Monthly Archives: April 2012

Manic Monday- Hooters, Brios, Bissell Sweep and Mop

Happy Monday, y’all! The weekend was too short, but I am ready to see what this week brings. I have started writing a new book and have been writing here for two weeks straight. I’ve also been exercising. I am doing the little things and will hopefully start seeing some results soon!

Last Wednesday was Administrative Professional’s Day and my office took me out to Brios for a nice Italian lunch. Jeffro lost fifty pounds by watching his carbs, and can eat ice cream if he doesn’t eat bread or pasta. So spaghetti night at the Fenter home has become Italian chili night. I want Italian whenever Jeff is not around!

Brios- good food and service
For the price, this place had better have it all, and it does. We started out with the bruschetta sampler. The capressi salad one was delish, but my favorite was the one with olive tapenade and arugula. I then had a wonderful chopped salad and risotto. The risotto had pine nuts, shredded chicken, butternut squash and asparagus. Each bite was different and lent itself on a culinary treasure hunt. Lunch prices weren’t bad, but out of my budget for a weekly rotation. I will bring Jeffro back for cocktails and he can have something low carb. The menu was much more than bread and pasta. Speaking of bread, the crispy bread they first bring out is to die for. It is covered in layers of herbs, spices and Parmesan. If my boss wasn’t hosting, I would have made an even bigger glutton out of myself. I didn’t even try to enter this meal into myfitnesspal. I just pretended Wednesday never happened.

Hooters- new menu a hit, new prices not
I LOVE Hooters and not for the (.)(.). Don’t get me wrong, after nursing three babies I’d kill for a killer rack, but until Q is a year old and there’s funds in my fakers account, I’ll have to keep dreaming. Plus, I have far too many other dreams before I can realize that one (I.e. replacing the toilet Ebro flushed surfing Mickey down). But, I love Hooters. They have the best wings, but surprisingly, the BEST salads anywhere. I tried their new Spinach and Shrimp salad. The shrimp was perfectly cooked to garlicky perfection. There was the perfect amount of dressing, a little bacon bit action with real bacon (don’t go fakin with my bacon), and some feta. I would have loved some of the cucumbers that Hooters puts in all of their other salads, and some red onion. It did feel like a diet salad, though. I’m usually stuffed after eating their salads, but was seriously considering an order of Lots A Tots. I didn’t and stayed on dietary track until I blew it this weekend. Everything went up about a dollar, but for what you get it’s still not horrible.

So I am going on a fiscal diet, so my reviews will be of products for awhile since I won’t be going out to eat. Anyone interested in a grocery store review? I encountered some of the least personable checkers at Kroger this past weekend.

Bissell Steam and Vac- must have for hard floors
I am a sucker for vacuums. I want them all and buy many. I have found the ONE! It truly vacuums and steam mops at the same time. I still Swiffer Vac for day to day cleaning, but plug in my Bissell for my weekly deep clean and have it knocked out in about 20 minutes. I have more hard areas than carpet, but it takes half the time to clean. The bonus is that there have been $20-$30 rebates online and in the coupon inserts in the newspaper. Great price for a timesaver. With three children and a Reno Beano, I need all of the help I can get!

New daily addition starting today- my daily prayer: dear God, please open my eyes and ears to you and please gently guide me down Your path. Amen!

Tomorrow- finally Tuesday Book Club review
of Fifty Shades of Grey book one and two, and do I have to read the third?

Web Wednesday- Surveys! Like them, love them, hate them, get paid to take them?

Thankful Thursday- How my prayers were answered this week. My pool is clear again and house is pest free! Such a gross past week 😦

Family Friday- as teased for two weeks now, how did we ever survive with Jeffro gone for six days?


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Faithful Friday

So yet another format change! Fiscal Fridays are now Faithful Friday and are a reflection of how my faith panned out for the week.

Yesterday, my faith was a little weak. I gave into fear and envy. I envied those around me who seem to have it together, financially. I then looked hard at what Jeffro and I actually have. We have three very healthy, hilarious and entertaining children. We have our dream house that we bought in July. He is able to act and I am able to write. And, we have each other.

I am very driven and always want more, but need to see how I’m already blessed. More time with my family, I am able to come home for lunch each day to feed Q and see Easton. I have a job near home with great benefits and I like everyone with whom I work. Blessing.

I want to write for a living, I am able to blog on my iPad while I pump (tmi, but my writing is about full disclosure!). I used to pray for original ideas. Now there are so many and I need to show my gratitude for my prayers being answered and complete a project. My baby step is blogging. Now that I know I can type on my iPad, I am going to work on my books during my pump sessions and when I feed Q at night when I’m putting her to sleep. Boom- there’s my time to write that I’ve been looking for!

My prayers are being answered. Sometimes not in the ways I want or am looking for, but if I write down what I think I need I ALWAYS get an answer. Funny that God chooses to speak to me through writing. How does God (or the universe or whatever you believe) speak to you? I have to look for the answers, but they are always there if I quit feeling sorry for myself and start looking around at how great it truly is. So what if my garage door broke and we need the pool guy to come back out and we each want a newer car? We’re already living our dreams!

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Thoughtful Thursday- Praying for an open heart and eyes

I know I was going to talk about my adventure of being a single parent of three for six days while Jeffro was in good ‘ol Marfa, TX, but I have something tugging at my heart. Have you ever had so much happen to you that you wonder what God, or the universe or whatever you believe in is telling you? I firmly believe that my words are powerful, so I do not say I am going through a time of bad luck or hard times or have bad luck. I am blessed. Truly blessed. But, sometimes we all go through challenging times for whatever reason. I am having one of those times right now.

This is no coincidence, lately as soon as we get ahead of the game something happens. We’ve never had that problem before, we always stayed ahead and could manage any challenge that we faced. Right now as soon as we conquer one challenge, another arises seemingly bigger and badder. Why? What is God trying to tell me? Why are my eyes blind as to what I am supposed to be doing differently? I am trying to be a more patient mother and wife. I am trying to be the best employee I can be. I am writing everyday trying to cultivate my passion. I cook, shop and coupon for my family. I am trying to be the person God wants me. I know He is leading me, steering me down some unknown path, but I don’t know where and it is very uncomfortable.

Here is what I want and pray for- more time with my children and Jeff, financial security (emergencies and home repairs deplete our emergency fund the second it is replenished from the last emergency or repair) and guidance as to what He wants me to do with my life.

But, my children have never felt a pinch and we always are able to take care of the emergencies. It always works out. I guess my faith is a little shaken right now, but I know better than to doubt.

I am a proud person. I raised a child on my own and never asked for help. But, circumstances are out of my control and it is all I can do not to say, “what else is going to break?”. I know it is temporary, I know that I will learn something or end up in a better place in my life. But right now I need my eyes and ears opened to see what it is that I’m supposed to be doing, learning, whatever. I feel closer to Him than ever, so I’m confused. This type of challenge usually occurs when I get off the path and need a hard shove back.

I just read a quote- and I paraphrase- like an arrow, the harder you’re pulled back, the farther you’ll go. My bow’s string is about to snap. Let go already. But, obviously I don’t know where this arrow is about to be shot so I just need to hold on for the ride and pray for a bullseye. I’ll let you know when I hit that mark. It will be soon.

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Web Wednesday- to Groupon or not to Groupon

What is your favorite group coupon site? I subscribe to Groupon, Living Social, Google Offers, and somehow Sweet Jack, but it always ends up in my SPAM folder. I always forget about the Groupon Now. If I were smart, I’d consult it before going to lunch to save a few bucks. I also get Target’s Daily Deals text, it’s not a group coupon, but it’s a one day only deal, and I am a sucker for the free shipping and they have my credit card number saved for my “convenience”.

I follow Groupon on Twitter and have the iPhone App which alerts me to the latest deal. My inbox is filled with Living Social and Groupon deals, so I barely glance at them before deleting. I also subscribe to Corporate Perks which is like Groupon, but sponsored by work. So many deals, so many of them not for me. I get Target emails and texts- I am so inundated with deals, I don’t even look at most of them.

I’ve bought $5 for $10 of Starbucks and loaded it to an app that always shuts down before I can access the funds, movie tickets that I never used, I currently have $75 to the Melting Pot only $25 I can use at a time (found that out AFTER I bought them), indoor safari theme park tickets, carpet cleaning and who knows what else. So far, the carpet cleaning is all that I’ve used. Oh, over Christmas I bought a Groupon for $20 for $40 to Old Navy. I did use that!

I am currently looking for hair cut deals or a Brazilian Blow Out. I’m sick of wearing a bun because my split ends are deplorable. (And even though sweet baby Q sleeps through the night, it is exhausting being a nursing mother who works full time!) I do look closely at the carpet cleaning ones and I’d like an air duct cleaning, too. But, I’ve spent $5 here, $20 there for things that I wouldn’t normally buy, so I am trying to refrain and only buy things for which I’d pay full price otherwise.

The emails are so overwhelming that I’ve started a deal only email account, but I forget to look at it and then miss some great deals. But they come to my normal email, too. It is probably better that I miss or delete them. Jeff is tired of things arriving at our door via Fed Ex or me taking the kids across town to indoor amusement parks or bounce houses. Of course, after I paid retail for a bounce house rental for Ebro’s birthday, I now see bounce house deals at least twice a week. That is the other problem with couponing in general, the more you do it the more you see missed opportunity.

Tomorrow- What in the world would I do without Jeffro? We’d eat pizza every night, try desperately to keep up with laundry, and everyone would sleep in my queen-sized bed. All three children and me. If Reno hadn’t just had stomach surgery, she’d be up there too.

Friday- An update on my attempts at budgeting and coupon adventure.

Monday- a critique of Brio and more

Tuesday- Fifty Shades of Grey– finally!

Until tomorrow, GO RANGERS!

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Tuesday Book (and more) Club

I’m saving the Fifty Shades series for next week- yes, I bought book two and am cringing every time her “inner goddess” makes an appearance or whenever her subconscious chastises her. But, today let’s have a look into my DVR, Showtime Sunday nights, and shows which I wish I had time.

Jeff and I were suckered into “free” Showtime and now I don’t know if we could give it up. I’m sure if it came between being able to afford ice cream on a daily basis or Showtime, we’d probably choose ice cream. I had been ice cream free for about two weeks, but last night walked to CVS and back to justify the treat. Anyway, Showtime- our new favorite indulgence. House of Lies, Californication and Shameless are probably three of the best written shows we’ve seen. Huge Dexter fans, but we are a few seasons behind and need to catch up.

House of Lies just wrapped its first season and is probably the weakest of the three Sunday night shows, but still funny and extremely entertaining. Don Cheadle’s and Kristen Bell’s characters (Marty Kahn and Jeanie) are pretty messed up and make me feel pretty normal. Even when I was at my craziest, they still make me feel normal. I don’t buy that they indulge as much as they do and are still such good game players at work. It’s fiction, so hey. Even though they are pretty messed up, there is something very alluring about them. You want to be them, yet you are glad that you’re not them all at the same time. Brilliant! I love that Marty’s son is a cross-dressing, private school going, show tunes loving ten year old. And, his ex-wife and baby mama works for the competing consulting firm in the area. So much drama, so much fun. And it is a quick thirty minutes. House of Lies hits you hard then leaves you wanting more.

Californication is another thirty minute thrill ride that leaves me wishing for more. I do not know how these people have so much sex and smoke so much weed and drink so much and still function. The scenarios and the conversations and the walking in on each other doing it all the time. It is too much, yet this may be my favorite show. Hank Moody (David Ducovony) makes me want to go around saying mf-er like it is hello. Fortunately, I refrain knowing that there is a three year old parrot in my home who will hear me even if I make sure he is not around. Never fails- his newest word is “bummer”. Better than Syd’s at that age which was “f-ing it”. I promise she did not get that from me! But, this may be the only show in which I will not read through, fall asleep early or play Draw Something through. It has my full, undivided attention. But then again, it is only thirty minutes. I wish the season were longer and I wish that they didn’t give away so much in the preview.

Shameless is the poorman’s version of Californiacation. Sex, drugs, and everyone fooling around with everyone else. But, the way the kids all look after each other and the way William H Macy (Frank) makes such a deplorable character kind of likeable is nothing short of genius. You want to hate him, but there is something kind of likeable yet not one redeeming quality. That takes skill in both the writing and acting. That is such a fine line, yet he pulls it off flawlessly. Fiona is easy to like, but some of her decisions are questionable at best. Man, I can’t talk about just one character. They are all so complex and have so many good and bad qualities. It is brilliant how this show works. Californiacation has the rich overindulgent LA scene to play off of if the story isn’t too strong. It has glitz and gleam, but Shameless is gritty, grimy, and plain old sad at times, yet it isn’t depressing and is even fun to watch. Set in a not-so-nice part of Chicago, right off of the rail line, it is truly a story of struggles in finances, love, drugs, alcohol, and so many other things. When the dad gives out bjs for money to get his two year old son out of “pawn” after making a bad bet, you know that there are no boundaries this show won’t cross. Hilarious, sad, thoughtful, but always entertaining. Again, I am sorry it is such a short season. This show keeps me up well past my bedtime on Sunday nights and I am so amped up after that I have a hard time falling asleep and I am one to fall asleep before my head hits the pillow.

Other shows I try to catch when they are originally aired are Glee and Smash. Lately I’ve been catching them either via On Demand or DVR. I watch GCB when no one is home except Q and will watch while I’m doing something else or feeding her. I used to be religious with Grey’s Anatomy, but am several episodes behind, and losing interest. Jeff and I will watch NCIS, Justified, and Person of Interest. We DVR them, usually get way behind and then will have a marathon when the kids go to bed on the weekends. No wonder we don’t have time for movies! Justified is probably my favorite of those three, but I still have been known to doze off in the middle of it. NCIS used to be a full attention show, but now I read during it or snooze.

Now that I am back to work full time, I have no time for reality shows. I loved watching full seasons all in one sitting when I was on leave. We never miss a Mavs or Ranger’s game and when football starts, we’ll have the Cowboy’s too. Usually, tv is mediocre at that time. We love Dexter, but are several seasons behind. We’ll probably catch up during the off season.

Tomorrow- Web Wednesday. What is your favorite Groupon purchase? What is your favorite group coupon site? Do these sites offer great deals or great ways to spend money that you wouldn’t spend normally? Do you use or lose your deals?

Thursday is a summary of my week without Jeffro. Did we have another squirrel invasion? Or did the endless parade of pizza deliveries scare them away?

Fiscal Friday will be about my attempt at budgeting and my coupon adventure. Feeding five is not an easy feat, but with the help of coupons and a tight budget, we can live our dream and eat it too. Or something like that.

Next week- a review of some eateries TBD, Fifty Shades of Grey, internet surveys, SPAM, and more!

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On yet another Manic Monday where I’d rather be sleeping in than making myself presentable for the professional public, I look back at date night in downtown Plano two weeks ago, all of the pizza that fed my family while Jeffro was out of town, Bikinis, the new Burger King salad and my obsession with Hooters. I wish wings were on my diet plan.

Downtown Plano- A Must Go

Who knew that downtown Plano was such a happening place? It is only about a city block total, but there are about a dozen restaurants, bars and eateries in addition to the antique stores and shops. I thought it would be all shops and a couple of eateries and one bar. Not the case at all! And, no creepy panhandlers or creepy people that you’d see in a more urban area. Sorry, but when Jeff’s not with me, that can be intimidating! It is well lit and feels safe. I am not the strongest gal so fending off an attacker is probably out of the question. My best bet is to mace the mf-er and try to run, but that may be more comical than effective.

We started out at the family friendly Kelly’s Eastside for dinner. We just had the appetizer platter and side salads. We opted for chicken quesadillas, spicy chicken strips, potato skins and cheese sticks. The spicy chicken strips were really tasty and the potato skins were LOADED. Although the cheese sticks had well seasoned breading, I would have still liked some marinara or ranch or something to dip. The platter only came with a little sour cream and some guacamole. The salads looked a little puny, but had tomatoes, shredded carrots, lettuce, and some cheese. I wish I would have gotten the spinach salad instead. It was average bar food, but it isn’t what they are known for. I will definitely return to sample the burgers, BBQ, and larger salads. I should have tried the West Plano Burger- burger topped with brie and avocado. Yes please! The service wasn’t exceptional, but the servers were definitely polite and had great product knowledge.

After a glass of Pino Noir for me and a beer for Jeffro, we walked to Vickery Tavern. It is a dark wood-paneled bar with tattooed up bartenders who are attentive, but not too chatty and right on time for refills. I guess Jeffro and I are getting old, we started our evening at 6PM and got to the bar at about 7:30-8. Next time, I’d leave the house at 8/9. That’s when all of the families leave and the nightlife, well, comes to life. The bar slowly filled up and is perfect for watching sports and talking. Not too loud, good looking menu and decent service. We tried more than half the beers on tap and could have spent all evening sampling the different brews. There is another Vickery Tavern in downtown Dallas, but it is more upscale and caters to the affluent sports enthusiasts going to the AAC to see the Mavs or Stars. It’s been a couple of years since I dined/drank at the much shinier and polished Dallas establishment, but I remember it being much pricier. I prefer the Plano one- much more comfortable and feels like it could be our “place”.

We ended the evening at Fillmore Pub. This is where all of the action was! It was a little noisier and less intimate than Vickery Tavern, but a fun atmosphere. After trying out a few beers from their tap, we ordered “dessert”- baked brie served on a two foot long cheese board with thin sliced apples on the left topped with slivered almonds and honey, the gooey warm brie in the center, topped with the almonds and honey, and on the right, water crackers. This was far better than dessert and the best part was that Jeffro was grossed out by the honey, so I got the whole thing to myself! I was glad that we split an appetizer and had salads for dinner. The rest of the menu is typical bar fare, but they have some homemade pork rinds that sounded delish.

We never made it to Urban Crust/32 Degrees Bar. That is what drew us to downtown in the first place! Oh well, we have a few other places that we can try out on our next date night in downtown Plano. Our next date excursion will be two nights at Winstar at the end of May to celebrate our fourth wedding anniversary (and eight years total).

Bikinis– Meh, but I’d go back

Bikinis is no Hooters, but it is okay. I’ve been twice and had the grilled chicken sandwich with thermonuclear sauce and their kettle style chips. Delish. The sauce is very hot, but not vinegary, and has very nice flavor. It is a little intense for lunch, though. The next time I went, I had the grilled chicken salad tossed in their next hottest sauce. That sauce was typical vinegary wing sauce with a slight bite. Good, but not as flavorful and their thermonuclear. The salad was okay- I am HUGE Hooters fan and their salads are over and above what most salads are. It was typical salad mix- lettuce, shredded carrots and cabbage, one thin purple onion, some cheese and I noticed some accidental fried onion strings every once in awhile. I am trying to watch my calories, so I had their tomato vinaigrette. Tasty, but I would rather have ranch or blue cheese to go with the wing sauce! The girls are in, you guessed it, bikini tops along with cut off shorts and cowboy boots. Classy! But, I love these places, so no biggie. Every breasturant I have been has amazing salads in addition to whatever their specialty is. I can always find something good to eat. In the case of Bikinis, the salad was meh, but the chicken sandwich is worth a repeat visit.

Burger King Apple Cranberry Chicken Salad- Yes Please!!

On the way back to the office from an errand, my only choice was Burger King. Gag. But, I thought I’d try one of their new salads. I have to say that the grilled chicken on it may be the best chicken I’ve ever had on a fast food salad, and maybe on any salad. It is obviously freshly grilled. The only downer to the salad is that the dressing, although a vinaigrette and not a creamy dressing, is where over 400 of the 520 calories in the entire meal are! YIKES! It was very tasty, but if I am watching my caloric intake, I will be using my own dressing or getting something with less calories. I love the salad at Wendy’s that is similar, but this may be my new fast food salad fav. Now, I shouldn’t have had the medium Dr. Pepper, nor the dressing, but hey- I’m making dietary progress.

Papa John’s– Spinach Alfredo pizza and Buffalo Chicken pizza

This is not on my diet, at all. But, with Jeff out of town ordering pizza two out of the four nights he was gone was the best I could do. (I ate with his parents and my mom the other two nights). I am not a thin crust girl, but Papa Johns’ is almost like a buttery pastry. It makes the Spinach Alfredo pizza a delicacy! It’s easy to over indulge in it though. Syd and I decided to be adventurous and ordered the Buffalo Chicken pizza. Ranch, onion, bacon, boneless wings and wing sauce. O-M-G this may be the best thing I have ever eaten. Where was this when I was pregnant? Pregnancy cravings are the only thing that can justify the indulgence of all of the calories. I would eat the whole thing if we order it again. The only downer to Papa John’s is that they do not offer any salad or anything to balance the carb heavy meal. I need some salad!! My other gripe is that when they were offering bonus points for tax day, I made sure my current order was enough points to get a free pizza. Somehow it didn’t register and I had to start over. L Oh well, I really don’t need any more pizza right now. I never thought I would over pizza my family. We are pizza-ed out- until the next time Jeff goes out of town or next weekend.

Tune in tomorrow for Book Club Tuesday. I will be talking about what’s on my DVR and the following week I’ll talk about how I’m pissed that I have to read the next Fifty Shades of Grey book to see what happens. I thought books in a series were supposed to be able to stand alone. I’m not too happy to spend another $10 on this mediocre story, but hey. This is why I didn’t start Twilight. I knew I would feel “meh” about it and then have to read all of them just to see what happens and resent not spending time reading something I really enjoy. It’s okay, but I am sick to tears of her “Inner Goddess” and subconscious. But, it is good if you need an easy, mostly fun read. I don’t have time for mindless reading. There are so many other things I really want to read, but now I am hooked. It is very hard to put down, but I get dizzy from all of the eye rolling I do!

Web Wednesday will be a discussion of which group coupons you like, such as Groupon and Living Social. I’ll talk about the wasted dollars and truly awesome deals that I’ve scored. And, I’ll put up my wish list.

Terrific Thursday will be about my week without Jeffro- aside from eating pizza for a week, how did it go? Did he come back to an utter s#it hole or did I hold down the fort? Was it okay being a single mother of three for six days?

And on Fiscal Friday, I’ll talk about my latest grocery store successes and savings plans for the future. I am not the best budgeter, so what am I doing to create an automatic budget?

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April 23, 2012 · 3:58 pm

Fiscal Friday

I’ve started couponing about six or eight months ago.  I tried the notebook method with the baseball card holders, but that was a huge mess and waste of coupons and time.  Now I have a little coupon holder and only put coupons I’ll use in it and carry it with me where ever I go.  I have always been a big Target shopper, so I would shop there with my coupons.  It  turns out that I was just buying stupid stuff because it was on sale and I had a coupon.  My grocery bill went up and I wasn’t stockpiling like I wanted to.  Stupid. 

I found that I spent less at Kroger and couldn’t figure it out.  I know that non-sales items are more expensive, so I only buy what I need, ergo, I shop with a list and the list is based on my coupons/sales.  DUH!  It takes next to no time to go through the ad, go through my coupons and put what I need in a separate envelope.  I cross off the items as I find them and put the coupons in a separate envelope (or make Syd hold them, her favorite chore). 

It takes a lot longer to go through each aisle to make sure I get everything, use the right coupon, make sure I follow it’s specifications, etc, but my savings have been immense.  I save on average $25 in coupons, and another $25-$100 from grocery club sales.  I’m still not perfect, but I’m getting better and am learning where to find coupons, sales cycles, the best times to shop and which clerks are more coupon friendly than others (find a young man!). 

I follow and he is awesome about pointing out high value coupons.  I print out coupons from his site,, and from the store sites.  Kroger will load the coupons onto your Kroger card.  Target’s site prints out both Target coupons and manufacturers’ coupons, and Target will let you use both a manufacturers’ and their coupon for a single item.  The down side is that when you’re printing them, you don’t know which you have until they’re printed.

I keep my coupon book with me even though I research beforehand.  You never know where there will be a manager’s deal, clearance sale, etc.  It takes several shopping trips to get the hang of it.  I’m still not great, but have come a long way from saving $2-$3 in coupons to now saving at least $25 and buying my normal stuff and not absolute crap.  That’s the trick- don’t buy crap and you’ll save a ton of dough.  Duh.  But, coupons can deceive you into thinking you’re getting a good deal when you’re just buying something that you’d never buy full price.  Okay to do that now and then, but do that on a whole cart of groceries and it is one expensive mess!

Syd hates shopping with me, but I cannot coupon alone.  We pick a time that Jeffro can watch the babies and she and I have some quality of her eye rolling and complaining and my threatening to not give allowance.  It ALWAYS starts out as a battle.  “Please hold the list and cross off the items.”  Huge sigh.  Every week it is the same thing.  And every week I give her the coupons that we’ve used so far to keep separate (despite my pres-hopping research, usually common sense kicks in and I realize we really don’t need Pop Tarts) and every week my pile of coupons end up being dropped and scatter all across the aisle.  And every week Syd pulls it together and becomes the best shopping partner ever.  But, we have to go through the same ritual every single time. 

After we load up the car (I load it while she watches and tries to figure out which bag she can put into the car since she’s lost steam again) we head home.  Usually, Jeffro’s called two times to see where we are and how much longer or to request a twelve pack of his favorite beer of the moment.   When we get home, Jeffro is waiting on the back porch and gently tosses Q into my arms to be fed.  Ebro runs around screaming “I help too” while Jeff says “just let me do it because I can’t get anything done holding Q and these need to be put away before I can mow the lawn”.  And Reno always gets almost stepped on, but yelps like we actually stepped on her, and someone cries and I just sit down with sweet baby Q and play either Words with Friends or Drawsomething and leave the drama in the kitchen until dinner time when everyone wants to help and Q needs to be held that time of day.  I’m tired just thinking about it.  Nite nite.

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Web Wednesday on Terrific Thursday

Not even three days into my new format and there is a format change.  Wednesdays will now be Web Wednesdays and Thursdays will be Terrific Thursday, my parenting segment.  So, welcome to my Thursday edition of Web Wednesday!

I subscribe to many group coupons such as Groupon, Livingsocial, Google Offers and for money saving deals, I subscribe to Brads Deals, CouponPro Blog, Totsy, Get it Free, Cool Savings and more.  I don’t know how I got on the distro for some of these emails.  Maybe the same way I get College F*** Book, Meet Single Black Men, Cougar Dating, and Free Viagra.  Brads Deals is probably the only one I look at religiously.  I glance at Groupon and Living social, but Brads Deals is way cool.  (Can I unsubscribe from the others without getting a virus?  I do have a MacBook. Or just let them continue to go to my SPAM folder?  It’s very unnerving seeing the F word in my email so much, even if it is in SPAM.)

Brads Deals- AWESOME!

I found a Vera Bradley bag for $4 on Brads Deals.  He constantly has free glasses, cheap designer shoes, cheap jewelry- like diamonds, not CZ, patio furniture, Kitchen Aid mixers and a million other things I’d buy if I had hundreds of play dollars lying around. be careful- it is addicting.  He has an interactive site in which you can earn points and badges, but I don’t play with it much.  I religiously read his emails, though!  When I was pregnant and on maternity leave, I was constantly getting packages from the deals that I bought.  Jeffro had to have a talk with me about how spending money on a good deal is still spending money.  Duh!  But, I don’t feel quite as guilty if I can see the savings.


I recently bought some swaddle blankets/sleep sacks off of  These sacks are the reason my now three month old slept through the night before she was a month old.  When I saw them on sale for a microfleece swaddler and sleep sack combo for $18 from $48, I bought three for baby shower gifts and a pair of shoes to bring up my total to whatever amount I needed to get free shipping.  That was last month and I still have not gotten my order!  I contacted customer service via email because I don’t want to call during work and I like having a written record.  They said that my credit card info wasn’t correct and that I need to call customer service.  I was never contacted, in the first place.  I looked at my payment info, it was correct, I logged into my bank account everything looked fine, and replied to the email to please run it again.

They responded to call the 800#.  I understand that they don’t want my personal info over email, but it’s not.  Just run the card you have on file.  And, they didn’t even tell me that they had a problem!  Grrr…maybe one lunch break I’ll have a chance to call them.  Great deals, not so great service, so far.


I love DSW and I love that the more I buy, the more deals they give me.  So, when I saw on Facebook that they were giving away a cute bag with a $30 purchase, I jumped on it.  I had a gift card and needed some new shoes, score!  I checked out, entered in the promo code and even qualified for free shipping.  Perfect.  When I got the receipt via email, I noticed that the bag wasn’t on there.  I emailed customer service to make sure that it was a part of the order.  Nothing, I thought no biggie, I’ll wait until my order comes in and see if the bag comes or not.  Nothing.  So I re-email them with the original email from the day I placed the order.  I get a reply saying that they bumped up my points to earn a $10 certificate, but in the future, I need to make sure that the item is in my basket.  I need.  That is probably the rudest thing you can tell a customer.  And, I was only ten points away from my next reward, so big whoop.  So I replied stating that it was in my shopping cart.  My complaint then went up to another customer service agent and when they replied a few days later, they apologized profusely, they were out of the bag, but sent me a $10 gift card.  Not bad, I did get $20 total for the whole thing.  I am eyeing some cute wedges right now, so I will give them another shot online.  Plus, they gave me free 2-day shipping for my trouble.  It’s not the bag, it was the “you need” that got me hot.  I understand technical difficulties and running out of promotional items, but don’t be rude and don’t tell me what I need to do in the future.  That is the quickest way to make me unravel.  I will continue to shop in the store if I have another online blunder, so no loss for the company.  I really like their store.

Next WEB WEDNESDAY- I’ll have my favorite Groupon/Livingsocial/Google Offers buys.  What are yours?

Tomorrow is Fiscal Friday and I’ll talk about my couponing adventure or misadventure depending on how you look at it.

Monday is a my review of some restaurants and the downtown Plano, Texas scene.

Oh, I’m almost done with Fifty Shades of Grey and I am fed up with Ana’s “Inner Goddess”.  Gag me!  (Get it?)

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Wonderful Wednesday

So welcome to my first wonderful Wednesday where I talk about family “stuff”.  This week Jeffro took off for an out of town gig and I am home holding down the fort.  Sydster has decided to sleep with her mommy even though she’s almost eleven.  Ebro is at Mimi’s and baby Q stays in my arms while Syd and I read our books.  It is great being just the girls, eating leftovers for once, and going to bed early (or staying up late and blogging). 

I haven’t been completely lazy, I’ve managed one load of laundry (from the washer to the dryer before it got ewey) and I fixed the dishwasher.  And I’ve managed to get out two blog posts in a row.  Go me.  

Sydster is finally adjusting to her new school.  I have found that she is like me, the more on my plate the better.  Take this week for example, I don’t have a husband to cook for (Jeff doesn’t do left overs or sandwiches for dinner) or son to chase after, and instead of getting stuff done, I go to bed early, read and generally do next to nothing.  Syd is the same way.  We took away a dance class so she wasn’t overwhelmed at her new school and her grades were less than stellar the first half of the year.  This second half of the year she’s had extra choir rehearsals, sang with the DSO and had various other extracurriculars eating up almost every school day and Saturday.  Our gas bill doubled from all of the taxi-ing her across North Texas.  And guess what?  Honor roll!  So when she said she wants to play the flute next year, I said where do I sign you up?  By the way, anyone know where to get a good deal on a flute?  I think I am just going to buy it and not rent it.  Thoughts?

Ebro is potty trained!  He was on his way to being diaper free when we moved, then he got used to the move and then we had Q, then he got used to Q and then he had a new daycare lady that traumatized him.  We are still not sure what happened, but he tells us that Ms. Wenda pulled his hair at nap time and got mad when he had to potty.  It has become a joke and an excuse for him to get out of bed to “tell you something about Ms. Wenda”.  But with the help of his new nanny, he finally gets it and potties in the pot and not his pants.

Speaking of nannies, we finally find a nanny we love for Q and Ebro and guess what?  She got a real job.  We knew that she was looking for a job for which she got her degree, but none of us thought it would be so soon.  We found a new girl, and she starts on Monday.  The kids really like her, and I hope that it works out.  I hate making changes.  But, when we hired someone for Easton, she lasted two months and then we found the one that watched him until he was a year and a half.  I hope we are as lucky this time.

Finally, yes, baby Q is a sleeper!  She turned three months on Monday and has been sleeping all night for two months.  Occasionally, she’ll wake up once for a quick snack, but then goes back to sleep until at least 7:30-8AM.  We found that swaddling is the best thing EVER and now that she is bigger, we put her in her sleep sack and she does just as well.  She sleeps in her bed and Jeff and I sleep in ours.  The funny thing is that I told him that she would sleep with us for a year.  That lasted about a week when I put her down for a late nap in her bed and she slept for four hours.  And, I tried it the next night and she did it again.  She continued and slept longer and longer until I would have to go in and wake her up.  Thanks to my Facebook friends who told me that I should just let her sleep.  I did and she does!  I do wake her up after eight hours, but that is for pain relief. 🙂

I miss Jeffro already, but am glad that we have these times apart, occasionally, so that we can see how much we appreciate each other.  Sydster is glad to have Mommy time, Q is glad to have endless dinner sessions since I clearly am not cooking or cleaning, and Ebro is happy at Mimi’s and Papaw’s.  I miss the little bud, but have to admit that it is nice not hearing a three year old scream.  He’s going through an unfortunate screaming phase.  There was nothing terrible about two.  Three is when my children become temporary monsters.  It should pass soon, though.  Man, he’s loud, but he’s also pretty sweet most of the time.  And, he finally loves his baby Fwinlee. 

Tomorrow, I will discuss and review some online purchases from Totsy, Google, Groupon and more.  I’ll talk about some of the deals I found on Brad’s Deals, Coupon Pro Blog and other dangerously helpful sites.

Friday is Fiscal Friday and I will discuss my couponing adventure.

Monday, I review downtown Plano, Bikinis, Hoffbrau, and more. 

I can’t wait until next Tuesday to further discuss Fifty Shades of Grey.  All I have to say right now is, if I read about her “inner goddess” one more time, I may scream, and not for the same reasons she screams.  I am vested in the story and have to see what happens, but I may not have to read all three books.  I find Christian Grey’s character unbelievable and I have a hard time with all of the kinkiness being okay.  That is all for now- I should finish it tomorrow and will have a full review on Tuesday, along with what’s on my DVR. 

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Tuesday Book Club

What are you reading?  I just finished Roses by Leila Meacham.  It was pretty good, but predictable at times.  It was a fun light read, but a lot of it at over 600 pages.  I got through it in about a week and there were times I couldn’t put it down.  The characters were pretty well developed, but often one dimensional.  My favorite part of the book is the Texas references.  Howbutker is a fictional East Texas town, but the Dallas references were spot on.  It was fun imagining where the characters were based on my life-long residence in the Lone Star State.  It is a love story of how history repeats itself over three generations from the early 1900’s to the mid-eighties.  I recommend it if you like complex relationships and stories based in the South. 

I am currently reading Fifty Shades of Grey.  We’ll see- I am not the romance novel type, but maybe these will make me a convert.  So far I am annoyed at the names of the characters, typical romance cheese, but I understand that this is not a typical romance novel.  I can’t wait to see what all of the hype is about!

I read the Hunger Games trilogy a couple of weeks ago and I cannot wait to see the movie. I found the third the most disturbing, but over all, I found them appropriate for teens/preteens.  The violence was not gratuitous and fit within the context of the story.  The third is a bit intense for young readers, but I have no problem letting my young reader read any of these books.  I will watch the film before letter her see it, and I was hesitant to let her read the final one, but she reads everything and has a good head about fiction and reality.  The story has wonderful characters and the main character is one in which young girls can relate.  It is interesting to watch her grow and change throughout the books.  It is so well written that you can watch her grow before your eyes.  It reminds me a lot of the Harry Potter series, but more mature and without magic to carry the story.  I am a Harry Potter fan, but I think I may enjoy this series even more.


Next week, I’ll discuss Fifty Shades of Grey, and what’s on my DVR such as GCB, Showtime Sunday nights, Smash, Justified and more.  Some shows are background noise while feeding the baby, others I will sacrifice my bedtime to watch and miss terribly when the season is over.  What is on your DVR?

Tune in tomorrow for my Wednesday parenting update.  Is Ebro finally potty trained?  Does Baby Q sleep at all?  Has Sydster adjusted to the new school?  What happens to the laundry if Jeffro goes out of town? These questions and more answered tomorrow! 

Thursday is my Website/purchase/deal review day, and Friday is Fiscal Fridays where I discus my adventure in couponing, budgeting, and more.  Monday will be dedicated to food and service critiques.  See you tomorrow!

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