Five on Friday


{1} Oh my goodness, TGIF in the biggest way possible this week! There has been a bit of work drama going on, and I'm so ready for a break. Not only do I get the normal weekend, I'm taking off Monday and Tuesday, so I am very excited!

{2} I've booked family/Coop's two-year photos for next month and am excited. Now who wants to coordinate our outfits? LOL!

I love these little twinkies :) But no camo shorts and white shirt for this mom.

{3} We started running again last night. I did 1.2 miles, averaging just over 10 minutes/mile... I'll take it, considering I had to stop halfway through to tie my shoe. Hoping to do a 5K in late October, but we'll see...

{4} Hubby is on vacation next week, so Operation Get The Basement DONE is about to commence. I can't wait!

{5} My handsome baby is less than 2 months from turning 2! Where does time go?


Menu Monday ...err Tuesday!

Yesterday was hectic, but I still wanted to post this to keep me accountable.

Last week we did very well following the menu, although we did hit up the BK drive-thru after our Tuesday parade. Baby steps, right?

Sunday: Grilled pork chops, cheesy potatoes, pork & beans
Monday: Spicy sausage pasta, corn, bread
Tuesday: BBQ sandwiches (using leftover pork chops), homemade chips
Wednesday: Spaghetti, garlic bread
Thursday: Leftovers
Friday: Salmon patties, mac & cheese, fried potatoes
Saturday: Leftovers

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Five on Friday

{1} We've had another case of the ickies around our house this week. I think hubs and I got whatever C had last week? We had chills, fever, etc. on Tuesday night/Wednesday morning. Yuck. I am still having allergy issues. This, my friends, is why I loathe the transition to fall.

{2} Last night was beautiful though, y'all. So like any great mom, I snuck off to the front porch and enjoyed a cold brew. It was heavenly.

{3} Oh, how I love menu planning! And we had some yummy food this week, specifically the bacon cheeseburger pie recipe I need to share soon!

{4} Apparently I am getting old, because I was actually glad that a bonfire planned for tonight was called off due to rain, because now I have an excuse to sit home in my sweats.

{5} It's about time for chili weather! That, my friends, is the greatest thing about fall and winter, becuase I LOVE soups.

Happy weekend!



Spending freeze

A couple weeks ago, I did something a bit rash.

I put myself on a spending freeze. And when I told hubby of my plans, he did the same!

We've gotten quite frivilous with ouor money. Add to the fact that in late July/August, we were on vacation and had rodeo and the Labor Day festival in my hometown. Oh, and then I had the "atypical" bill this month of my car insurance, which I pay semi-annually.

So, I declared no spending any of my "personal" money other than for bills and the necessary things. That means no running to Burger King at lunch, even if it is the dollar menu, or any other little things. All off limits.

It's a definite adjustment ... I didn't realize just how much money can burn a hole in my pocket. But it's going OK. I had meetings and was not in my office for lunch one day last week - but I packed a pb&j one day, was treated to lunch two days, and did fall off the wagon and purchased my lunch another day. I also purchased a baptism gift for my nephew which is out of the ordinary, but still necessary, in my opinion.

This spending freeze is a big part of the reasoning behind meal planning. Way too often (especially on the weekends) we get caught up and don't have anything to eat so end up ordering a pizza or something. I purchased eight frozen pizzas from Aldi when grocery shopping last week to keep us out of this predicament!

Tonight, we are heading to the fair in a neighboring town, as I am to walk in the parade representing my workplace. I have a quick dinner planned for us once we get home and I am not intending to stay at the fair beyond the parade ... let's just hope I don't get pulled in!

Right now, my plan is to continue my "spending freeze" through the end of the month, and potentially into October, so I can do some big saving in preparation for the holidays. No matter what, I think it definitely shows me how lax I've been in saving and gives me the little push to brown bag it or keep those "convenience" processed foods around the house - they may not be the healthiest, but they are just as good for me as fast food, and definitely less expensive.

Do you have any good advice for cutting back on expenses and saving money?

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Weekend wrapup

I've gotten out of doing weekend wrapups, which I really hate. I know it's not the best blog reading material, but I love being able to look back at the random things we do.

So ...

Friday night was super low key. Since none of us were totally recovered yet, we just lounged around the house and watched TV. I'd had a super yummy lunch while out and about that day, so I skipped supper all together and the boys enjoyed burgers and fries.

I also did a bit of baking for the next day. My new nephew was being baptized (his family lives 6 hours away, so it's easier for them to come to us rather all the family go to them) so cupcakes were part of my contribution.

Saturday morning, we slept in. Yay! As I mentioned in his recent post, Cooper is quite the fan of French toast and I had a slice of it left, so I heated it up for his breakfast. Meanwhile, I did eggs and toast for J and I. Long story short, Cooper finished his food before I could sit down and was yelling Eggs! Toast! so I gave him my food and got up to make another plate for myself. I love you, kid.

The baptism was great (still waiting on photos) except the fact that my demon child apparently thought he was the entertainment. You can tell we don't take him to church regularly. And since hubby had still been running a fever the night prior, he figured it was best to skip out so as not to potentially spread germs to the little ones. Which means I got to deal with little man all on my own. Yay. Afterwards, my parents hosted a little luncheon, so it was great to hang out ... even though I have no photos to document it, since I left the phone in my car.

After a quick nap and outfit change, it was time to head back to town for a wedding reception. Y'all. My kid was cracking me up. A little 3-year-old (I think) fell in love with him. She kept pulling him to the dance floor, kissing him, chasing him, etc. It was so adorable. But I think he was a little traumatized. J and I were just glad to find someone with just as much energy as Cooper who could chase him. Ha! Once we got home and tucked Little Mister into bed, hubby and I enjoyed a couple beers on the porch.

Which brings us to Sunday. As per usual, it was dedicated to cleaning and grocery shopping. Hubby was able to get some work done outside, such as trimming our shrubbery, which looks 10 times better!

I'm also working to do a better job menu planning. So, here's what's on tap for the week:

Sunday: Stew meat w/gravy, mashed potatoes, corn
Monday: Bacon cheeseburger pie, tomatoes
Tuesday: Fish stick sandwiches, mac & cheese
Wednesday: Round steak w/rice, green beans
Thursday: Leftovers
Friday: Frozen pizza
Saturday: Leftovers


Thursday randoms

  • Super Cooper isn't feeling very well :( He's running a fever and goes between acting like a crazy kid and being super cuddly. So I'm home today playing nurse and trying to get some work accomplished.
  • Thankfully he waited until last night. The first three days of the week, I covered at least 400 miles (thankfully I didn't drive all of it) and have another day on the road tomorrow. Ugh.
  • This morning, we had to head to town to pick up my laptop and Coop insisted on wearing his boots. With his shorts. I figured why fight it and I may as well pick my battles.

  • We are on a real boot kick these days. The other night, he insisted on boots, a diaper and a hat to go outside. Thank goodness we are in the country!

  • This will be a very busy weekend for us. My nephew is being baptized and we have a wedding.
  • Over the weekend, we went out shooting skeet with some friends and had a great time!

  • I know there are a lot of weight loss products out there. My blogging friend Erin is selling ACE, which is one of the hottest weight loss/energy supplements out right now. She and her husband have lost a combined 30 lbs. in two months! For more, contact her at and let her know Michelle sent you!
  • Happy Thursday!



Saving money on textbooks

If you've been following for awhile, you know that I work for a community college in the area where I grew up. I work in development/fundraising and really love my work.

However, for about three weeks every semester, things get crazy. This is known as the last minute registration/book checkout/financial aid rush. So my work goes on the backburner, and I more or less run the bookstore in our Center.

And man, it reminds you how EXPENSIVE books are. I recall spending more than $500 per semester on textbooks while in College - and only getting a small fraction (if anything!) back when selling them at the end of the semester.

That's why I'm glad to team up with and spread the word about the perks of renting textbooks.

Using, students can save between 40 and 90 percent off bookstore prices and get FREE shipping both ways. You are allowed to highlight in the textbooks and is flexible with the renting periods.

One of the huge plusses about the website is that it has a partnership with Operation Smile (more information HERE) and donates to the organization with EVERY texbook rented.

For students who have extra books lying around, has just rolled out a new RentBack initiative. Through this program, students can retn the texbooks they own to other students. Typically, the textbooks owner makes two to four times more money than they would if they can sell it back at the end of the semester. AMAZING!

If you are taking classes, or know anyone who does, I highly recommend checking out I sure wish they had this when I was in College - and know many students now who would love to take advantage of it.

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post that I was compensated to write. However, all opinions are 100% my own!

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One and three-quarters

Alternate title: Cooper is 21 months old!

Alternate title: The last three month's of my kid's life

Alternate title: Worst Mom Ever

And so on ...

I figure it's time to get this post up before my kid is officially closer to 22 months.

You are a wild child and mommy's little monkey all rolled up into one. You are such a stinker, but have a very sweet heart. You love to love. You are always giving hugs, or kissing your friends or toys.


Your favorites right now are tractors {which will probably be a favorite forever}, Cars/Lightning McQueen {which you say Cane! and it's so precious}, Curious George, trains (you call them choos!) and puppies. Sometimes when you are snacking, I catch you feeding/giving drinks to the stuffed animals and tractors and it's so cute.

I'd say you currently weigh about 27-28 lbs. You are still working on your two-year molars (and that's a mess) but you have the cutest little teethy grin and mouth full of teeth.

You are a daddy's boy through and through. And it actually stinks, because I get no love and sometimes when I want a hug, you push me away. It's pretty funny, the gender roles that you have established. Even though you love tractors and riding on them, you refuse to do so if I am driving. In fact, you have a fit, like girls aren't supposed to drive tractors or something?

We've always read most nights before bed, but in the past month, you and your daddy have started reading a bigger chapter book (about Lightning McQueen, of course!) and you seem to really love that.

You recently had your second hotel stay, and I'm relieved that you did much better than you did at the first. We stayed at a hotel when we went to Marion, Ill. on vacation. You loved the hotel pool, and slept very well at night. Possibly because you were a handful at the game and stayed up until midnight?

We've flipped your carseat to forward facing, and you love it and rarely fight us on going in the carseat these days. You like the high chair a lot more now too - oftentimes, you will climb up and in, and all we have to do is help buckle you in.

You are a pretty good eater, but definitely have a sweet tooth. Luckily, you really like bread (AKA toast), fruit and veggies. Beans are another love of yours. On the weekends, we do a big breakfast, and you'll then typically skip lunch. You love bacon, eggs, pancakes, sausage, biscuits and French Toast.

You've just now gotten to a point where you will sit and watch movies. We don't have many kid-friendly movies (nor have we been able to record many) but you like Ice Age, Toy Story, Cars (duh), Curious George & Kung Fu Panda. We'll be requesting movies for your birthday and Christmas.

Let's see... you like to bounce in bounce houses. I pulled out your ring stacker and you did great with it. You really love to be outside. When we ask if you want to go outside, you run to grab your "flops" and yell "SIDE! SIDE!"

Whenever we do something like turn lights off/on or you see smoke, you go "wow" in this whisper voice and it's just plum adorable.

You are all boy, and love playing in dirt and puddles! I think there is some sort of a magnetic property that attracts you to them? Playing in the rain doesn't seem to bother you, either.

You love to brush your teeth. When you get up in the morning, the first thing you say is "teeths!" and then you stand on the vanity and brush them alongside your daddy.

You are very curious about the potty. We did buy you a potty chair a couple months ago, but you like to play with it and use it as a stool. Still not quite ready for potty training, but we are getting there. Ideally you will be potty trained for the day by the time you turn 2, but we'll see.

You are really into imitating everything, so that's fun and scary all at the same time.

We love you so much, Monkey Man!






So What! Wednesday

I've been a longtime blog lurker of Shannon's, and decided today was the perfect time to finally join in on her link up :)

Today I'm saying SO WHAT ...

So What Wednesday

  • If I'm already wanting another vacation, although I've only been back at work for a month after having a full week off!
  • That I still haven't blogged about said vacation.
  • If the only reason I got dressed (outside of pajamas) on Monday was because my parents called to invite us to dinner and it gave me an excuse not to cook.
  • If my son is now obsessed with his stuffed dogs (both appropriately named "puppy" and I let him carry them around wherever he wants.

  • If link-ups seem to be the only thing I can participate in on the blog lately. Life is crazy.
  • If hubby and I met with a builder yesterday about doing some work to the outside of our house and the work will begin next week. EEK!
  • If I've put myself on a spending freeze for the month. And maybe Octover. All those little $5 purchases sure do add up!
  • That I popped open a bottle of wine during nap time on Monday, intending to enjoy a glass or two. And ended up practically finishing off the bottle before the child woke up. (No, I didn't share any with him.)
  • That I'm wearing white pants after Labor Day. It's all about how you style it and what the current weather conditions are.

  • If, on a whim, I decided to cut about 4 inches off (the back, mostly) of the back of my hair last week. Seriously, I made the decision 30 minutes before going in. And I love it!

How is your week? Anyone else totally pumped to only have (just over) two days left?