Monday, December 15, 2008

and a new hobby is born

I love you Albertsons!

Thanks to Albertsons I scored all of this this week for only $11.17 for a total savings of $60.58 (there's even a second can of frosting missing from the picture).

Besides a toddler, a husband, a job, a primary and the holidays to explain my recent absence from blogging, a major culprit is actually a new hobby that I have recently picked up (as if I don't have enough already)... I have delved into the glorious world of COUPONING!!!

I decided to start clipping coupons with the goal in mind to save some money on groceries. I knew going into this that it could be time consuming, but what I never knew is how addicting it would be! The first time I saved $80 in one transaction I got this rush of adrenaline that took me by surprise!

I have a friend who gave me an idea of how to start (thanks for your help Leah!) and after spending a lot of time on I figured out a system that works for me and I love it! Since then, Albertsons has become my new best friend.

And the best part besides the incredible savings?....drum roll please.... I have only resorted to Walmart once (out of necessity) in the past three months. Hallelujah.

Monday, November 24, 2008


Ok, I realize this post is way, way overdue. but don't let it fool you into thinking that I didn't absolutely love the second half of my vacation to NY!

After being in NYC for a couple days, Katie and I rented a car and drove to Ithaca where Melanie is living. Mel was the reason we even went to NY in the first place. It was such a blast to be with my two best friends from HS again and to have it be like no time has passed.

We took 735 pictures while in NY, so I have narrowed it down as much as possible!

Katie playing with Mel's kids (Owen, Tyler and Halle) - aren't they adorable? Logan had so much fun being around other children. I think he really gets tired of only seeing me during the day!

Halle holding a crazy caterpillar bug that she found. Mel's back yard was awesome! It is a big, long yard that is shared with a few other apartment buildings right next to theirs. Tons of running room for all the kids that live there.

One Night we made a trip to the grocery store, but this was no ordinary grocery store. This was Wegmen's, the most luxurious grocery store I've every been in! There are no words to describe what a breath of fresh air this store was compared to Walmart and Albertsons on Center St in Provo (not hard to beat)!

I loved this picture of Katie and Mel! This was taken at Tyler's 5th b-day party that he had while we were there.

The theme was monsters and Star naturally we created monster pinatas (quite the adventure) that the kids could destroy with their light sabers.

Thanks to Halle, Logan got a share of the loot...his first sucker.

Mel pushing Halle at the b-day party. Sad to say, but Mel has actually had her baby girl since it has taken me so long to post. :-) Congrats Mel and Baby Eva!

The best ice cream in Ithaca, of course we couldn't pass that one up.

Logan and I on the walk up to Taughannock Falls. Because the river was so low, we were actually standing in the middle of the river basin in this picture. I loved the changing colors all over upstate NY!

Mel, Gary and the kids at the falls. It was so fun to be with them for a whole week.

Gary watched all the kids while we went to Palmyra so we could see the church sites. Katie and Mel at the top of Cummorah's Hill. It was so green everywhere. (Thanks again, Gary!)

This was while we were at the Smith farm. The Palmyra temple overlooks the sacred grove.

The Smith home. We had a great Sister Missionary telling us so many stories and history behind the Smith cabin and house. I really gained a new appreciation for the Smith family, esp Joseph Smith.

In the Sacred Grove. We were lucky enough to be there all by ourselves at that time.

We couldn't help but stop at an Ammish farm/store/shack on our way back home. There were a lot of Amish in that area and it was so fun to see their farms and wagons.

We bought bread, Strawberry and Ruhbarb jam and pumpkn whoopies. So delicious!

Logan, me and Owen at a pond in Sapsucker woods, which was pretty much Mel's backyard. It was so green and gorgeous.

Thanks again for the fun times, Mel and Gary! It was a blast to be there!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Having a Bad Day?

If so, then browse around this site for a few minutes for a dose of instant pick-me-up.

Picture from Cake Wrecks...see the explanation here

From what I gather, Cake Wrecks is a blog devoted to the worst cakes that exist. The cakes are a crack up, but the commentary from the blogger is the best of all. Really, anytime I'm having a crappy day, I check out the latest and greatest from Cake Wrecks. Enjoy.

PS) I realize I am due for NY part II pics, Halloween pics and much more, but I am home in Spokane, WA right now without any pictures at my disposal.

PPs) Ok...I couldn't resist. Here's another favorite of mine:

Explanation (if you need it) here.

Literal LOLs is one of my favorite labels thus far on Cake Wrecks.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Finally a Girl!

For those of you who know my side of the family, I have three sisters and one brother. Between all of us together, there are 11 rambunctious grandsons for my parents to enjoy. For a while it was somewhat of a race to have the first girl and now the race is over!

After five weeks of bed rest and one week in the hospital, my sister, Erin, delivered the first grand daughter, Carlie Marie McSpadden, yesterday morning at 1 am. She was only 25 weeks and 2 days along (about 99 days early) but is doing amazing so far! She came out breathing on her own and had an apgar score of 9 - amazing for a preemie!

Because this all happened in Spokane I don't have any pictures, so look at my other sister's blog here (thanks Mindy!).

I must say how proud of my sister I am. This was her third and, by far, her hardest pregnancy. There were lots of complications and moments of frustration along the way. I don't think I would have been strong enough to endure what she has; she has been a great example to me of strength, patience and love. I have to give credit to her husband, Jeremy, too for being there with her the whole way and for big brothers Avery and Boddee too. Love you , sis!

(I know, I am still going to post pics of the second half of my NY trip...I haven't forgotten!)

Monday, October 6, 2008

If I Didn't Have Any Children...

I would live in New York City! I loved every minute of my time there. Even with children, I decided upstate New York would be a wonderful and beautiful place to live too (pics of upstate NY are for a second post, though...)

Here is what we were able to shove into 48 hours:

After only two hours of public transit from JFK with two suitcases, two back packs and a child in a stroller (and only one minor detour...) we finally reached our destination. This is the outside of the apartment in Queens where we rented a room for two nights. We loved our experience there and would do it again any day! (don't worry mom...we had our own bathroom)

Our first stop in Manhattan was Times Square. No picture taken can do this place justice! It was so fun to see experience at night.

Katie with our water's stop/go sign at Bubba Gumps Seafood (in Times Square). Delicious!

Of course we made a stop at the M&M store in Times Square.

Logan helping himself.

Katie and Logan while waiting in the subway. Carrying a stroller up and down the stairs of the subwaysgot old really fast, but other than that, traveling with a child was really not bad at all.

Ground Zero. It was all just a huge construction zone, but nevertheless, very solemn. Those two huge posters on the building across the construction zone are plans for the reconstructed buildings.

The fire station right across the street from Ground Zero (ironically located on Libery Street) had this memorial on the inside of their garage. Check out the liberty street sign hanging in the upper right corner.

The fire station got a call when we were there so we got to see them gear up and head out. I loved their truck. The whole feeling in the area was very patriotic and reverent.

This memorial around the corner from the station speaks for itself.

Logan and me in Battery Park (very southern tip of Manhattan). This is as close to the Statue of Liberty as we got because of our time constraints. Good enough for us!

We stopped in Little Italy for lunch to eat pizza at Lombardi's. Can you tell Logan was more than ready for lunch that day? He was a trooper!

We took a stroll down Wall Street

The New York Stock Exchange... when we got back my friend asked if I could see if crumbling...

This was the part I loved most about New York - the history! It was so cool to see these beautiful historic buildings right next to the gigantic sky scrapers.

The Manhattan temple. It was under construction while we were there so we couldn't see the visitor's center.

I loved Central Park! I could have spent hours and hours there. This was one of the famous walk ways there.

Just a photo to commemorate our good friend, the subway map. We never really got lost thanks to the many kind New Yorkers who stopped to answer our many requests for directions.

This is a store that Ralph Lauren's daughter, Dylan Lauren, opened. This 3-story candy store made me feel giddy and like a kid all over again. The store is very nostalgic in that they carry almost any (American) candy you can remember along with all the modern candies.

Just a glimpse of their tasty selection upstairs.

We stopped at Serendipity 3 (from the movie, Serendipity) for dinner. It was a quarky little restaurant with a stingy "NO STROLLERS ALLOWED" rule. We ditched Logan's stroller a few doors down inside an apartment building while praying the whole time that it wouldn't get stolen.

They are famous for their frozen hot cocoa and after drinking that whole thing by myself I can see why! Can you tell Logan was wasted at this point?

This is a subway stop in Queens, close to the one we got off to go to our apartment. I have some friends in my ward that lived right by 61st in Woodside and so I took this pic for them!

St Patrick's Cathedral. Another part of history that I loved experiencing.

Our last memory in New York City (besides driving our rental car across Manhattan on our way out of town...during rush hour traffic) was going to the top of Rockefeller Center to their observation deck.

This pic is looking south at the Empire State Building.

This pic is lookng North right over Central Park. The funny thing is that we saw someone we knew from Spokane while we were on the Top of the Rock...what are the odds?
It was incredible to me how stuffy and packed it looks from this view, yet once on the ground, NYC is really not all that bad! Thanks for letting me borrow the sling Megan - it was wonderful to have!

New York Part II soon to follow...

Friday, September 12, 2008

Countdown to NY

It is hard to imagine that in 4 days I will be here!

Long story short, a girl's weekend was scheduled to take place in San Diego with two of my best girl friends from high school (Katie and Mel). And due to unforseen circumstances, Mel had to stay put in Ithaca, NY, where she currently lives. So for some crazy reason Katie and I decided we should go surprise her in New York instead. Except we needed her help in planning, so the surprise factor went down the drain.

After many, many, many hours of scouring through the internet tryng to conquer the crazy world of "touring in New York City," my head is ready to explode. I am excited and giddy, yet terrified out of my mind! I have no idea what to expect and the fact that I will have my 1 year old in a completely strange city that I've only seen on tv doesn't help.

We are flying into JFK and staying in NYC for a day and a half before moving 5 hours eastward to Ithaca. While in NYC, we are staying at an apartment in Woodside (Queens) where a family rents out the master bedroom as a vacation rental (found through amazingly popular option for housing in NY). The End. That's as much as we have planned.

So here's the challenge: safely packing in everything we possibly can while in New York City (considering we'll have Logan with us) into a day and a half! Does anyone have ideas, tips, advice, warnings for us?