Saturday, October 30, 2010

The 3 A-holes ; )

I've been thinking lately that it's important to bring everyone up to date on the main characters in my life.  I commonly refer to Ryan and Bentley.  Then there is Mom, Dad and Erin (look for them around Thanksgiving, they will be staying with us).  Every once in awhile you'll hear me refer to the 3 A-holes.  Yes, I am a proud member of this club.  I belong with 2 of my colleagues/closest friends.  We bonded over a traumatic event at the E-town fair (woman in a box as a side show... no more explanation needed) and ever since, we've referred to ourselves as the 3 A-holes of E-town.  2 of us now reside in E-town and we're working on our 3rd member to get her butt up here.  We try to find the humor in the days we share and have supported each other through a lot.  I don't know what I'd do without these girls : )

Below are some fun pictures that should help give you a feel as to what we're up to.  I foresee many future posts referring to our escapades.  Oh, and Dixon - thanks for hanging in there tonight with the coupon queen.  I was so glad to be able to use my Border's 40% off coupon and treat you to your first trip at Perkins with a coupon.  Booya!  Slater - I missed your "ambivalencey" tonight!
3 A-holes at the E-town Fair 2010
Slater and I as blondes Halloween 2010 - Yep, it was only 8:30 and we were already at it!
Dixon and I praying that Carole (and flat Carole) never leaves... our prayers were not answered and I never took French.
 And drum roll....

1st purchase with a coupon from TheKrazyCouponLady website:
Thank you Ryan for finding your wife the PERFECT coffee mug for work.  I'll be breaking this bad boy out on Monday and let the mug do all the talking!  Best $6 purchase (with 40% off coupon) in a LONG time : )

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Krazy Coupon Lady...

So I have a confession...

My confession is not about food, it's not about hiding multiple pairs of shoes in a closet so my husband doesn't see them, and it's definitely not about some deep dark secret that I harbor.

My confession is that I LOVE COUPONS!!!

Alright, where to begin?  Recently, work has been hard.  Work has been really hard.  I've been coming home feeling totally uninspired and like I've lost my calling (Not the best feeling for a career counselor that spends her days helping others figure out their passion/calling).  Now I know that me losing my calling is not really true, because I still get my energy from helping students and offering them guidance - but the "administration" is out of control.  So much so that it makes me question every professional decision I've made in the last 2 years.  The good news, I have yet to question any personal decisions I've made in the last 5.... so at least something is working!

So my friends, husband and co-workers have been on a mission lately to find me a hobby.  I think this need for MY hobby comes to protect themselves from the regular venting and also a not so subtle attempt to redirect my energy towards something productive.  For any of you in my life circa 2008, you'll know that there was the brief stint with jewelry making.  As Ryan reminded me recently, I had a business account, tax ID number and over $1000 worth of beading supplies in the first 3 days.  What I did not have was 1 piece of jewelry made.  After reflecting on this and Ryan holding that lovely mirror right up to my nose - I've realized I enjoy logistics, planning and structure.  Scrap the creativity, scrap the dreaming - I want RESULTS people.  Thank you mom and dad for passing your exact personality types on to me ;)  ESTJ all the way!  The career counselors out there will know what I'm talking about.

Before I get into the specifics, I should tell you that with moving and everything else we want to accomplish in the next year - Ryan and I have really been watching our budget.  One of the ways we're watching that budget is trying to save money on regular things we buy or do.  For example, lunches during the week, cars being serviced at a particular location or shopping for new clothes (pant size is still changing about every 3-4 weeks!) using a great deal like buy 1 get 1 free.  The running joke is that I don't go anywhere unless there is a coupon.  And if there is a rewards card at the check out, you better prepare yourself for me signing up for it.  the other week I saved us over $130 bucks on groceries with clipping coupons and developing our grocery list off of the ad.  We like to visit Boston Market with our coupons and dine on their thanksgiving style food for less than 10 bucks for our "night out".  Yes, we live the high life.  We live in a world of Sunday paper excitement, a constant need for sharp scissors and my coupon organizer.

There were many ideas vetted as to what my hobby/passion outside of work should be before coming full circle back to coupons.  For reference, some ideas that were brewing included: 1 - Fresh floral arrangements for our house each week 2- painting on a canvas for the "collage" 3- photography 4 - event planner/consultant 5 - travel coordinator 6 - refinishing furniture 7 - stylist/design consultant 8 - the perpetual student... always a good fall back for me 9 - becoming addicted to some of my favorite magazines by ignoring reality and bury my head in them each night when I come home.  Real Simple... you know I'm talking to you!

Then one of my closest friends, Dixon, showed me a you tube clip of the Today show.  There were 2 women in the clip, Heather and Joanie.  Heather and Joanie are 2 stay at home mom's that were college roommates.  They are passionate about saving their families money by cutting coupons and shopping smart - any they now run a business and wrote a book called Krazy Coupon Lady.  They are passionate, energized and wanting to help others by passing along their information.  Sound familiar people???  Dixon showed me this clip because she thought these ladies were like me.  What she didn't know is that I'd jump all over this and get even more involved in coupons than I currently am. Do you know comforting it is to know that there are other Krazy's out there like you???
My current coupon book - only 13 categories.  This will grow I'm sure!
A picture with proof of some of the shenanigans Dixon and I get in to =)

So here's my plan... I plan to work through their website with tips, tutorials and binder creations to make sure I'm not missing anything in the world of coupons.  These ladies have their bases covered with this stuff.  Clearly, I'm not a beginner - but I'm going to start at the beginner tutorials - just so I don't miss anything ;)  I'll continue to post my findings, tips and other experiences as I embark on this journey.  Let me apologize in advance to any of you that I will be interacting with while on this Coupon Kraze...  yes, our destinations might be seriously impacted or influenced by my coupons.  No, I will not just forget about it and not worry about the extra 50 cents, I will always want that extra 50 cents back.  And maybe, just maybe... I'll start my own E-town/PA chapter or club of the Krazy Coupon Lady! 

Passion meets Practical = Mel's bliss

Shout out to my dad's cut off Velveeta box lid where he stored coupons growing up (and probably still does)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

We've been up to moving...

So I've been M.I.A. for over 1 month.  Okay, we are getting close to 2 months at this point.  A lot of updating to do, but I thought I'd start with a picture of Bentley and I.  Last night Ryan, Bentley and I went to a k9 club event on campus for rescue dogs.  Although Bentley is not a rescue dog, he was still welcomed and the students enjoyed playing with him.  One of my students, also named Ryan, was there taking pictures of the event.  He's trying to start his own business of photography someday, so I'm encouraging him at every possible turn to come and take pictures of whatever is going on.  I was really proud to see him there and he took some great pictures! The one below is one he took of Bentley and I - Ryan likes it : )
Ryan and I have been busy little bees working on the house in the last month and a half.  Our friends have been helping out too.  Frankly, the walls would not be painted without their help!  We've painted 5 rooms (dining room, living room, sun room, master bedroom and guest bedroom) and all the trim.  We have a bit more work to do in the guest room and then we're going to start decorating.  Unpacking is, well... a work in progress.  We have unpacked all the "necessary" items, Bentley has his stash of toys and the main furniture is pretty much in the correct rooms.  This weekend I suppose it's time to tackle unpacking all those boxes, but I've started to find a NEW passion... refinishing furniture.  My goal for the master bedroom is to make it look shabby chic.  A few google searches later, Ryan said "honey, just do whatever you want with the room, I guess I don't really understand".  I think he's starting to get it.  Tonight we bought 2 dressers for me to refinish.  I have been going to every antique and thrift store in our area looking for "treasures".  I've decided my sister and I have officially traded personalities!  She is becoming the ultimate business woman and I am shopping in thrift stores, talking people down on prices and looking at the "bones" of a piece of furniture to decide if the piece will work.  Mid life crisis at 28??? It could happen!

I think a lot of this is stemming from me wanting to have a project, something tangible and something to see RESULTS!!!  Work has been without "results" for awhile now and this might be my solution.  I will probably get back to cooking, but while the weather is nice, I plan to refinish furniture while I can in the garage and keep working on everything else.  I've also found some treasures here and there that I'm looking forward to putting up in the rooms.  I'd love to find a sitting chair for one of the rooms yet, but I think I'll have to wait on that one.

So here's what's to come...
-before and after pictures of the house
-9 month pictures (because as of Oct. 5th I hit my 9 month mark and I'm down 130 pounds total!!!)
-Before and after pictures of furniture I refinish
-crafty projects that either succeed or fail - remember... it's all about trusting the process ;)
- more recipes (eventually)
- and finally... a little more commentary.  I feel like I've been censoring some of my thoughts on things because it didn't fit the title of my blog.  But to HELL with it!  I have thoughts that can become plans that can easily influence other parts of my life - even if I don't intend for that to happen.  So I'm going to be checking into redesigning the look of the blog.  I'll stay with the title because there is a part of me that wants to honor how this all started, but in the last 9 months I've changed and I think it's time for my blog to reflect that too!

So all of you structured people out there (you know I love you!) get ready for my A.D.D. of blog posts and enjoy the ride of the next 9 months. (Not that there is a countdown or anything ;)