Christmas

Ho, Ho, Hold on There!

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For some stupid reason, I waited until the last minute to do some of the needed shopping. Small items like the ham for Christmas dinner and all the fixings, another item or two for my son, and presents for my husband. One, my husband is very difficult to shop for and secondly, well to be honest, I needed one more pay day. It appears that everyone also got paid today as well and the stores, mall and everywhere else was packed.
 
    The day started on a good note. I ran a few errands, got a call from my doctor who wanted to move my appointment up. I was free so I was excited. Doctor’s appointment went well, scored some good drugs and headed over to the soldiers Mecca, the Post Exchange. Found a few good deals, picked up some items for hubby and son and was feeling rather good about myself. I remember the free coffee coupon in my couponizer for Cinnabon but I had to buy a roll to get the coffee. Fine, twist my arm, I will buy the Cinnabon cinnamon roll too. That was when I saw the beautiful, magical table of ooohhhh! It as free gift wrapping and these kids were working for tips. Saying hello, I get in line. A rough around the edges fella spotted me and commenced to bragging about what he had spent on his kids and wife. Ho, Ho, Hold on there fella, if you have bought all of that, I want to follow you home all right but not for what you may think, I am thinking I want to rob you.
    Now along comes Granny and she gets in line beside me. Yes, that is right, beside me not behind me, ho, ho, hold on Granny, it’s not your turn. The same thing happens on the other side. These people are trying to cut in the line. I am patient, the gift wrap is free and I only have three small gifts.

    I leave here and head over to Wal-Mart. Dear Jesus what was I thinking? Every aisle, crook and cranny was filled with people snatching up last minute cheap ass gifts. I was tempted to tell one little man, your Mama don’t want that stinky perfume, but I stopped myself, because it could indeed be his Mama’s favorite. I watched for a minute and the sister confirmed, it was their Mama’s favorite. Oof! Then there were more kids, who were breaking in line, cutting you off, snatching things off the shelves before you can even get to it. Ho, Ho, hold on there! My pimp hand is strong and I will slap a body. Yet, I persevere.
    Last on my stop is Bi-Lo to check out the weekly meal deal. It is the same meal deal they had last week along with a new deal on a no name pie, and get another pie and whipped cream for free. Ho, ho, hold on there Bi-Lo, you seem to be coming up short this holiday season. I am still furious at having to pay seven dollars for some cinnamon sticks.
    Now I am home, and preparing to make Wassail and wrap a few other presents to add under the tree. My beautiful neighbor has shown up with the annual can of Christmas cookies. I am putting away my laptop and keying into my family. I will check back in with you guys after Christmas. In the meantime, and in between time, please be safe, and enjoy your ho, ho, holiday!


Merry Christmas


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Loving What You Do

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Three weeks of freedom. Freedom to create, get masterful, sleep late or improve my skillsets. An opportunity has presented itself for me to be better. I am going to take it. My first stop of course was to Joann’s Fabrics and Crafts. Loaded to the gill with 40% off coupons, I was ready.

    Since it is December, the new Block of the Month program is out for the New Year. I love this pattern, and it is actually a quilt I would like to make and have on my bed this Spring. I use my coupon to buy the first block.

I also pick up stuffing, batting, and other items that are on sale. Simplicity patterns are $1.99, so I pick up a few for Halloween costumes, new place mats and pillow case patterns. I also pick up one or two apron patterns for potential mother’s day gifts.

    Once home, I am armed with my stuffing, so I fill my holiday pillows and place them in the living room chairs. A few cuts and some clever stitching, I have a matching holiday quilt to drape across the back of the sofa. Did I mention that I also had a 40% coupon on fabric as well? Those aprons only require a yard and a half of fabric so I stocked up. I am ready for my new year.

    I love to make crafts and I love to sew. I made the first block with pride and I look forward to going into Joann’s and picking up the next few blocks. I have fabric, I have patterns and I am carving out time each week to make a little something. It is my goal next year that all of my Christmas presents will be made. I am working on my crafts and I am doing what I love.

    Now, if I can just get my manuscript complete and my syllabi ready for class next quarter.

Tis the Season To Save Big!

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          It is that time of year again. It is the season of giving. It is the time of year when we sing Joy to the World, wish peace on earth and show good will towards men. It is also that time of the year to buy new small appliances and stock up the pantry and linen closet! Yes, that’s right, it’s the time of the year to buy some of the stuff you really want and need to make your life easier!
    I’m not different than my fellow man with the exception that Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the major shopping days for me! Yes, I will pick up a little something for Nana, big sisters, my favorite cousin as well, but right now, I am stocking up for me. This is the time of year when stores begin to overstock for the holiday season, but the beauty is they start to slash prices on December 26th as well. Starting the day after Thanksgiving, all the way through the New Year, you can really stock up and save. But before we get to the after Christmas deals, let’s get smart about the items for the holidays.

For example, these cups from QVC.com, you can get the set of six for a mere $25. Think about it, this makes six gifts for your co-workers or team mates. These are also great “extras” for those neighbors or people who drop by with a little something for you, now you have something for them. Now that is music to my ears.
    Speaking of music, this is also the time of year for great deals on DVD’s and CD’s, you can also buy now for birthdays and Easter baskets. Many of your favorite artist realease “Best Of” or live performances this time of year. Great stuffers for stockings, gift bags and baskets are picture frames, tools and bath products. It is also a great time of year to buy storage bins; they may all be in red and green, but what the heck, they are dirt cheap. This handy tub is $2.74 at Lowes and you can buy one and get one free. While in Lowes, every girl should have her own set of tools and for around $10, you can get the lady started.
    Last but not least, one of my favorite ideas, is to stock up the pantry with buy one get one deals. There are great deals on flour, sugar, cooking oils, broths and spices. The http://www.thecoupongodess.com also suggests that if you have room in the freezer, go ahead and buy that turkey or extra ham. I was also reading on mommysavers.com you can buy a set of eight dessert plates with mugs and separate these into sets of fours. Add in some small stocking stuffers like hot cocoa, or Bath and Body Works (5 for $5) products, you are good to go! Also, if you are a Foursquare user, look for the hidden deals and specials when you check in, it can save you a few bucks and often will give you a certain percentage off your purchases.

    Shopping for the holidays are great, but smart and savvy shoppers have loaded up all year and this is season to replenish the coiffures. I even scored a new food chopper and waffle iron for $2.84 on Black Friday at Wal-Mart. Forget the perfect card, here ya go neighbor, for your birthday, a new waffle iron! Now, I always have on hand a cute card or item for a birthday gift and you can too. After all, tis the season!

My Favorite Things!

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If Oprah can have a list of her favorite things, then why can’t I? As I was walking through the grocers, I came across the magazine rack and saw the Lady Oprah dancing across the cover of “O.” She looked so pretty I almost bought the magazine that is until I saw the $4.50 price tag. I was bad, I picked it up and flipped through the pages. Personally, her favorite things weren’t really all that awesome. I can see no real use for these Chocolate Bears for $12 plus shipping and handling. For exactly the same twelve dollars, I can buy some of my favorite things, like frozen vegetables at the ten for $10 sale, which mean I have vegetables to eat for at least 10 days.

    I continued to look through some of Ms. O’s favorite things. I did see some items that made me stop and wonder what where she came up with these items.

 http://zappos.com retail $120

Originally $137, now $109 with code OPRAH  DeuxLux.com
$125 | Saks.com

These are really nice items, but really, we are in a recession and I can’t afford these things. What I have learned over the years is how to take the things that I truly love, and make a version of them.

First on my list is Moose Munch made famous by Harry and David, retailing at $29.95. This is Crunch and Munch on steroids. I sometimes will buy it as a treat, but most of the time, I make it myself. Here is a simple recipe.

Second on my list of favorite things are any items that I can make. The holiday season I love placards for my holiday table settings. Oriental Trading Company is always on my holiday shopping list, because I can pick up these easy placards for about $5.00. The kit creates 12 settings, and at this price, I can afford to buy several, even to give them as gifts.

And last but not least, some of my favorite things are bags. Purses, satchels, book bags, shopping bags and anything that I can carry my stuff in. I love to shop on http://Ebags.com. There is everything there for your pockets and your pocketbook. Best of all, the prices are right for your purse.

The whole point to my thought process here is to not over spend or get caught up in the haze of Black Friday and the holiday shopping madness. There is enough retail therapy to go around without breaking the bank and acting like a mad person on a spending frenzy. Out of curiosity, what is on your list of favorite things?