Thursday, April 30, 2009

Free Mother's Day card!

Get a FREE Hallmark Card mailed to your mom for Mother’s Day!
Here’s How:
Choose a 5 x 7 folded paper card.
Personalize it. You can even add a picture to it.
Use Promo Code CARD4MOM at checkout. FREE Shipping.
They will print it and mail it out for you...all for FREE (when you use the code)!
(You will need to order by May 1st to ensure Mother’s Day delivery.)
This is a great idea for Moms who do not live near us!

CVS find

Today I ran into to CVS, while I was there I checked out the 90% off bins at the back of the store. The CVS that I shop at had Glade plug ins on clearance for just .37 cents each! I got 23 Refill oils, each one came with a free plug in. I also got a extra plug in (without the oil) and my total was $1.07 after MQs!!! I used 11 "$1.00 off and twin pack or two single packs of refills" MQ and I used one "Buy a refill get a free warmer" MQ . Since the value of the Q was more than the product the cashier typed it in manually.....taking off .74 cents for every two-making them FREE. Since they were clearanced down so cheap the tax was minimal......bring my total to $1.07 for all 23 oils with warmers and the extra plug in! I cleaned out my CVS (Sorry...if it is on CLEARANCE....I consider it "fair game"! I do not do that with "Sales")...but check your local stores to see if they have the same deal!!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

My Birthday celebration!

Yes...I am "milking" my B-day month for all that it is worth! Last night I went out with my girl friends for our monthly "GNO"-and since April is my B-day month we celebrated last night. I got lots of great gifts including: a bracelet-inscribed with a "love" saying, shopaholic coffee mug, journal, pedicure gift cert, Starbucks gift card, necklace-bracelet-earring set, and an adorable storage box. We tried out a new place to eat-"Flamestone Grill", the food was really good...a bit "pricey" but REALLY good! Anyhoo, I just wanted to check in with everyone.
I am starting PT again tomorrow, I have not gone for 3 weeks-since I have been sick. I am really hoping that it will help me get rid of these tension headaches that I have been having!
I am still very excited and nervous about my surgeries.....I am not sure why, but I am MORE nervous about this surgery than I was about my 9 hour back surgery! My guess is because I knew that I could not continue to live my life like I was having to before the back surgery, so the risks just did not phase me. This time, quite different. I think that it will have a huge impact on my life and how I feel about myself....but I would not say that it HAS to be done. I am still working on coming up with the money, so my photo shoot offer is still on the table...let me know if you are interested! I spoke with my insurance company and my surgeon yesterday. The insurance company said that the paperwork has been submitted so it will take up to 2 weeks to get an answer. Once it gets approved it will take up to 1 month to actually have the surgery. I am REALLY hoping that it doesn't take too long, since I have that wedding to shoot in July. I want to be 100% recovered for that. My surgeon said 4-6 weeks recovery time, but I would feel more comfortable having a "cushion" in case it takes me longer. If I can't get the surgery by June 10th, then I will have to wait until after the wedding...if my insurance approval doesn't "run out" before then. Well, I have too much I should be I need to get off of this computer. I will keep you updated on the progress!

Saturday, April 25, 2009


Yesterday was insane! I was up by 6 am, went to Sam's to buy all the produce that I needed for the event, rushed home to take the kids to school and then I rushed home to cut up enough veggies to feed 100 people! I ran out of time and had to rush to the event to set up-realized I did not have enough serving spoons and rushed to the store to buy some.......rush, rush, rush........ . The event went really well, I had several people stop to thank me for the food and tell me how much they enjoyed it. I even got the job of doing it all over again in 6 months! I got paid $200, which is more than I agreed to do the job for! I also had a shoot last night-so I am still recovering from the craziness today. Anyhoo, all the money (after tithes) is set aside for my surgery.......we are just "pretending" that it is not there. My insurance co told me yesterday that I should have an answer (either way) in about 14 days.........I am nervous and excited.

I have STILL not been feeling 100% better yet. I think that stress is probably to blame. I have continued to get severe headaches, I am tired and have no appetite. I have lost 10 lbs in the past 2 weeks.......7 lbs within one week.....looking for the positive in the situation. I appreciate all the emails and prayers...please continue to pray for me. I WILL come through this situation......I just need a little "push" to get through to the other side.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

checking in!

Well, I am finally (almost) back to "healthy"! Today I am even going to go for my walk with Tanya! I have missed our walks together :( I lost 6 lbs last week......being sick is not the best way to do that, but at least I have something to show for my misery!
Anyhoo.......I had a class last night, we had a great turn out! ( Welcome! new readers!) I am using that money to put towards my surgery......$60 doesn't seem to put much of a dent into the $5,250 that I need....but at least it is SOMETHING! I have a had several people respond to my $100 photo shoot donation....but no one has nailed down any dates yet. IF all the people who said that they wanted a shoot actually donate $100, (along with the wedding I am shooting in July and some extra "grocery money" that I have managed to save the last 2 weeks).....I would "only" need $3,450! My goal is to get as much cash as possible so I can limit the amount that I am going to have to finance! We will just have to wait and see! I have struggled with this minute I think EVEN if I have to go into debt to get the surgery...I am GONNA do it! The next minute I think....well, I could just keep saving my money and pay cash within a year.......but then I think back at the nasty effects of the anesthesia and the reduced cost of doing it now (since I am already going to be having one surgery, it brings down the overall cost).....and my mind is once again SET to just "go for it"!
I have had a LOT on my mind lately.....the surgery is just "one more thing". I have always said that I was going to be 100% honest on this blog.....and I ALWAYS have been....but I have finally realized that some people just do not have my best interest at heart and they will take anything that I say and use it to attack for THAT reason alone, I am choosing to remain silent on a more private issue that is pressing me. But....I will ask for prayer....I will take all that I can get!

Monday, April 20, 2009

You will have to forgive me this week...I was feeling better on Saturday and then Sunday I got a migraine headache! Today I still feel weak from throwing up all day yesterday....I hope to be 100% by tomorrow! Anyhoo-I am still here-kinda! So glad to hear all the great deals that you guys got at Kmart this week! I went today-but I only got a few things since I was not feeling well. I bought the Kellogg's cereal for .50 cents a box, I bought Quaker rice cakes (those were free!) and I got a can of scrubbing bubbles. Anyhoo-my total was $6.42 and I will be getting a $5.00 gift card back by mail! Well, I need to make my grocery list for tomorrow-if I am feeling up to it I am going to do my weekly shopping.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

I am finally feeling much better and I have regained my voice! It is a good week is going to be a busy one for me! I am teaching a class on Wednesday, I am catering (kinda-it is only a salad bar) an event at a local church-I have a lot of prep work for both of those things! I have booklets to print and put together for the class. For the catering, I need to make a list and price all the items that I will need to feed 120 people! The church is paying for all the food-thankfully it is not coming out of my pay. I am excited because BOTH of those things are going to help me with raising the money that I need for the surgery.

Tonight I am meeting up with some of my oldest friends from middle/high school in a "reunion" of sorts. I am looking forward to seeing everyone and catching up! HS seems like a lifetime ago...I guess it really WAS a lifetime ago! My life is so different now..but it will be nice to step back into that "world" for a while.

Right now, Maddie and I are cuttin' coupons....getting ready for our Kmart trip tomorrow! BTW....I looked through some of my coupons and I realized that there are $1.00 off ANY Kellogg's cereal MQs. Use these at Kmart on that 4/$10 deal and the cereal is just .50 cents a box AND you'll get a $5.00 gift it is a money maker! I will let you know what we bring home tomorrow and I would love to hear the deals that you find too!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

DOUBLE coupons!

Starting Sunday some Kmart stores (check with your local store) are doubling MQs up to and including $2.00-so your $2.00 Q becomes a $4.00 Q! Yipppeee! Here is the deal can only use 25 MQs per person per day and you can only use 4 identical MQs. Kmart does not allow overage so I do not think it will double if the value of the Q is higher than the value of the item-it may make it free..I am not sure how that works with Kmart.Anyhoo-I will be going through my Q box and searching for those high Qs to use this weekend! One deal I saw was Kellogg's cereal will be on sale 4 for $10 and when you buy 4 boxes you get a $5 Kmart gift card. Use your MQs and this is one sweet deal!

BACK to the doctor

I went back to the doc today, she put me on a stronger antibiotic (Levaquin), hoping to knock out this "thing" I have going on! Anyhoo, I am feeling a little better-finally! I am ready to get back to "life"! I miss going to the gym, playing with the kids,...shoot...I miss getting out of BED! I wanted to update everyone on my status.

I have come up with an idea to help me pay for my surgery (NOT one that I want to share here on this blog though-sorry)! I am very excited and relieved! Now hurry up already Citrus care! I have to be 100% recovered by July 18th-when I have a wedding to if the insurance company takes too long deciding my fate then I will have to wait to have the surgery until after the wedding! It is all in God's hands-I need to be patient...weddings make me nervous-NO reshoots :)

So glad to feel kinda human again...thanks for all the prayers!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


I have spent the entire day in bed today! I am still sick ! Last night I got sick in the middle of the night, but I have not thrown up again since! How crazy is this virus!? I have had a fever, sore throat and cough for three days. My strep test was negative on Monday, or else I would be convinced I had strep throat! The doc wants me to go back in tomorrow-so we'll see what happens from there! Please continue to pray for me. I SOUND much worse today-but since this afternoon I FEEL a little better. Anyhoo-I am still here-just too sick to get out of bed and not feeling well enough to even blog from bed! Hope all is well with you and your families!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Update: Publix also has "vitamin water'"on sale for $1.00-use your $1.00 off MQ (for the 10 cal vervion) and they are free!

I have been sick the last 2 days.....Maddie shared her fever and sore throat with me...ain't she sweet? :) Anyhoo, I HAVE to go buy groceries today or else we will not be eating tonight! I was looking through the new Publix ad and I spotted a few really good deals that I wanted to quickly share.
Pam cooking spray BOGO @ $3.39 -Use 2 Publix Qs for .55 cents off 1 and 2 MQs for .35 cents off 1= .59 cents for 2!
Crystal Light drink mix BOGO @ $3.99- Use the MQ that states "buy 2 get one free" and since they are BOGO you can get 4 boxes for the price of one! Since you will be charged $3.99 2xs but the cashier will take off ONE of those $3.99 when you give her your coupon. BTW-I always write the price of the product on the coupon when I have a bogo makes the cashier's job a lot easier!

Now....if this rain will just let up a little I can get my shopping done and get back to bed.

On second thought....I may just head back to bed now-it is STORMING right now!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

Brett had NO work this whole weekend-it was nice to have him home! Yesterday we took the kids to an egg hunt at Publix and then we went to another one at a local church. Today after church we went to Cracker Barrel-we expected to have a loooong wait-but to our surprised we walked right in and got a table immediately! After CB, we came home and took a nap. While we were taking a nap, the kids cleaned our entire house from top to bottom! What a nice surprise! They said that they were grateful for all the "Easter bunny" brought them (which wasn't that much!-Brooke got a $10 gift card for music for her Zune, Maddie got a Christian CD and Bubba got the movie "Bolt"....along with a litte candy). Anyhoo-I am so proud of my "babies" for taking the initiative to work TOGETHER to surprise us! I wanted to share some pics from our weekend!

Brett helping Bubba make a craft.

Brooke and her new "Vera Bradley" purse & her and Maddie taking a B-ball shot.
I had to post this pic....the sun was "too bright" for Spencer and Maddie!

For my local readers

As you already know, I am trying to raise $5,250 (that is LESS than I thought!) in 4 weeks for an upcoming surgery. I have already sent out a mass email, but in case I do not have your email address I wanted to make this offer available to you as well: I am offering a full photo shoot (location of your choice!) , complete with a disc with ALL the images and copyrights for a $100 donation per family (a $400 value!). Once you donate you will receive a certificate that can be redeemed immediately or any time in the future! I am offering this special for the next 4 weeks only! Once I recover from this last surgery I will be going back to my photography business full time-to get this price locked in you can donate using paypal or you can contact me via email at . Hopefully my surgery will be within the next 4-6 weeks (I am still waiting to hear back from my insurance company)-if you want portraits done soon contact me right away...otherwise I will need to do the shoot at least 3 weeks post op. Here is a link to some of my old work.....the website address for "capturedbyshay" is no longer valid, but I did post a few pics. Let me know if you have any questions! Thanks!

Friday, April 10, 2009


Little "Miss Gillie" was combing my hair and she got the comb STUCK!
I thought I was gonna have to get a few MORE inches of hair cut off! :)

We're home!

The kids and I got home today...we are busy unpacking and getting settled back in. We enjoyed spending time with family and just kickin' back...but I am ready to get back into our routine. Anyhoo, I hope to post some pics later. Hope you are all having a great Spring Break!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

My date and Spring Break

Today Brett took me out on a Birthday date! We went shopping (so I could spend my Birthday money!) and we went to Sweet Tomatoes (they are having a Lemon fest this month...the lemon pasta was soooooooo good!). I got 3 new shirts, 3 pairs of capris, some Victoria's Secret coconut body spray and lotion and VS honeydew lotion and spray (I had a VS gift card and a $10 Q!) ! I love being able to shop and actually BUY something for myself...but I must admit, I had some major guilt about it! Anyhoo, I enjoyed my night out with Brett.
Maddie was REALLY sick last night and this morning. I took her to the urgent care center today, she was running a fever and had a sore throat, the doc said that he thought she had strep throat-but I am happy to report that she is SOOO much better now! We have been praying hard for her! We will be leaving first thing tomorrow morning to spend Spring Break with my parents in Cross City...the kids are SO excited about that! I am excited too...I miss my Mama and Daddy!
Anyhoo, I will not be back in town until Easter no one file a "missing persons" report on me when you do not see any recent posts! Brett will still be here...he has to work :( . I hope that you all have a great Spring Break! See you next week!

Saturday, April 4, 2009


Here are some of the deals I got at CVS:
4 BOGO intuition razors ($9.99 each)-used 4 $4.00 MQs and 1 CVS $4.00 off $20 purchase Q. I paid tax only!
2 Easter baskets ($1.49 each), FREE after ECBs
2 bags of Easter grass (.79 each), FREE after ECBs
1 Skintimate shave lotion ($3.79), FREE after ECBs
Colgate freshmax toothpaste (6 oz) FREE after ECBs!
Revlon BOGO-bought eye shadows that were $6.99, used 2 $2.00 MQs and one $2.00 Store Q= .99 cents for 2!
My CVS has a clearance section that is 90% off right now! I bought all kinds of footcare items (lotions, files....).
I saved over $120.00 and I spent less than $3.00 out of pocket!

CVS deals

Here are some of the deals available at CVS next week.

Friday, April 3, 2009

How I spent my day..

I took full advantage of my Birthday today. I woke up to breakfast in bed...(ok, I must admit, I get that every morning!), the kids gave me their homemade cards (those are the BEST!) and they gave me the gifts that they got for me. The girls bought me a gift certificate for a mani/pedi and Spencer got me the "entertainment book" (he's been wanting to buy that for me ever since he saw it at Walgreen's months ago!). Spencer has turned into quite the coupon connoisseur! He was so excited for me to get a book FULL of coupons! He said "this is the best day of my life!".....?? Anyhoo, then I went to the gym and worked out (which really is a GIFT that I gave myself!), then I went into the steam room, hot tub and sauna....ahhhhhh! Once I finished that I came home and had lunch with Brett. After lunch I went to cash in my gift certificate..I now have some majorly HOT pink fingernails and toenails! I have not had a mini/pedi in at about 3 years! Thanks girls...I REALLY enjoyed that! Tonight, Brett made me one of his famous paninis for supper and then we went to see the tigers, monkeys, pony at the traveling "animal thingy". Now, I am heading for a super long, hot bath! Thanks for all the birthday wishes that you have all sent! I am looking forward to Sunday, Brett and I are going out on a "date" to celebrate! I get to go shopping and then to dinner with the love of my just doesn't get any better than that!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

My trip to Publix

I went to Publix today to take advantage of some of the great deals they have this week. Here is what I bought:
6 bags of steam fresh veggies
6 bottles of Kraft salad dressing
6 bags of Halls cough drops

My total was just $1.09! The dressing ends up being negative .05 for 2! I am not sure if all Publix stores allow overage but the one I went to did not have any problem with it. They did have a hard time getting the computer to take the last 2 Halls coupons for some reason, the cashier called the manager and she just entered them manually. The cashier suggested that it may be because I had 18 items and 20 coupons (since I had 18 MQs and 2 Store Qs), which was perfectly fine, but the computer may have rejected it for that reason. Anyhoo...that was HUGE savings! I saved $35.54 and only spent $1.09! Yippee!

Isn't that the cutest pic you have ever seen?

Just bein' real.....

Sometimes I ask myself "WHY am I SO real on this blog?". Most of the people who read this blog are complete strangers and yet I offer up my deepest thoughts! Anyhoo, it is what it is and I suppose it will always be that way. I can NOT believe that I am about to share this on my blog! What in "tarnation" is wrong with me!? Well, yesterday I got a second opinion, from a plastic surgeon, about getting a breast reduction. The few people, I told that I was considering it, all told me that I did not "need" their eyes diverted to my DD chest! (All but Tanya...she was very supportive...NO pun intended!). I asked my doctor about it last month, and she seemed to think it could relieve some of my headaches, neck pain and upper back pain-so she referred me out to a plastic surgeon. The first one that I saw seemed "nice enough" but he was primarily a "hand surgeon". When I asked him how many breast reductions he had done he said between 12-24! I could not help but wonder if that meant 12, and since he did the surgery on both breast he doubled it to 24! I did not feel comfortable with that number, so I kept searching. Yesterday I ended up at the same USF office that my neurosurgeon is at. I have a MUCH better feeling about the surgeons that I met there! So, now it is a waiting game.....the insurance will have to approve it, if they do then it will be 100% covered! is the problem that I have...I have been wanting a "tummy tuck" for years! Ever since I lost 92 lbs I have been left with lots of saggy skin in my belly and it REALLY bothers me. I am ashamed of it and I feel like I have this "dark secret" that I am hiding! Most people can not imagine what I am talking about.....they see me and think that it must be about being "skinny". It is NOT a skinny issue. I honestly feel like I have a deformity that I have been hiding for years! The few people who HAVE seen my "secret" all agree and can understand my desperation! Anyhoo, I thought that while I was at the plastic surgery office, I'd get an estimate on getting a "tummy tuck" too. I get REALLY ill from anesthesia, so if I could get them both done at the same time then it would save me from having to go back "under" again. A few years ago I got estimates (from 2 docs) and to get both a breast lift and tummy tuck it was going to be $17,000! Well, now, since my insurance will be paying for the breast reduction and the breast lift, it would "only" cost me about $6,000 to get the tummy tuck. Well, I do not HAVE $6,000......YET! I am racking my brain trying to come up with a way that I can make that kind of money! Tanya says "where there is a WILL...there is a WAY!". The WILL is there...I just have to find a WAY. I know that I run the risk of sounding "vain"...which is one reason that I hesitated on being so REAL on this issue, I even considered taking a picture of my belly and posting it-just so you'd know that it is not a vanity issue. ( but, knowing some of the people who read this blog would be seeing my bare belly was just unbareable for me!) It truly effects how I view myself, it is like a "foreign" body part that I live with and can feel 24 hours a day! Anyhoo-Brett has told me that I should post a video of one of my coupon classes and charge people to view it (he's been telling me that for months!). Does anyone "out there" know how that can be done? OR...does anyone have any creative ideas that can help me come up with this money? PLEASE let me know if you have any ideas that will help me. Please try to understand my "heart" on the matter. And, if you have gotten any help through this blog, and you have learned how to save your family money and you have the "extra" to give.....there is a pay pal "donate" button...feel free to use it :) . I figured that even if every person gave just $2.00-within one month I could have most of it paid for! Honestly, I really do not expect my readers to donate..I KNOW that times are tough...I know what it is like to have even have $2.00 to give, I also know the "anger" that people may have towards me for me even wanting a "TT", but unless you know me and have seen my body-please do not judge me too harshly..I just thought that I would "put it out there".

Hurry in to Publix!

Sherrie brought it to my attention that Publix's store coupon, for $1.00 off 3 Steam fresh veggies, is still good! It expires tomorrow. So, hurry in and combine the store coupon with 3 of the MQs and you will pay as little as .25 cents per bag! These steam fresh bags ROCK! You just pop them into the microwave and out comes perfectly steamed veggies! My kids LOVE them! They often eat them as a snack! DH cake mixes are bogo, if you use (2) .35 cents off MQs-they are around .50 cents a box! Brett made my B-day cake last night...we are celebrating my B-day with my "in laws" tonight. I had him make a WW recipe. I doubt the Angel food cake mix is bogo-but here is what you do to make this is worth paying full price for! Take a angel food cake mix, pour it into a non metal bowl, dump an entire can (juice and all) of crushed pineapple (in its own juice) into the bowl and stir (with a wooden or plastic spoon-NOT metal!). It gets really "foamy" don't worry! Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 mins (in a 9x13 pan). Do NOT add anything else....just ignore the directions on the box! It is SO good and VERY WW friendly! Hope you all enjoy!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Final total

Final total savings in March=$2,522.21!


Starting tomorrow Publix will be having their Kraft 16 oz salad dressing bogo @ $3.03. Use 2 of this week's coupons for $1.50 off any ONE bottle (16 oz or more) and they are just .03 cents for two bottles! Thanks for the 'heads up" Tina!Some other great bogo deals include:
Mt Olive pickles
A1 steak sauce
Kraft mayo-use $1.00/2= $3.59/2
Chex mix
Keebler crackers
Emerald nuts
OR popcorn
Wheat thins-use $1.00/2= $2.39/2
I can't believe it is not butter
Ragu sauce
Ronzoni pasta
Kellogg's cereal-use (2) .70 cents off MQs=$2.59 for 2 boxes

50% off Birdseye steam fresh veggies
That is just to name a few...don't ya just LOVE Publix?