Friday, April 16, 2010

I like to coupon! Coupon is nice!


Well, I have a new little hobby thanks to my friend Virginia and the mysterious Haitian man who I recently witnessed at Publix buying 40 tubes of toothpaste and paying a mere $4. I am forever changed.

Let me tell you the plain truth. I chuckled in a clenched-teeth kind of way at the couponing "creeps" who would take ages to check out of the grocery store because of their stack of coupons. I would invariably end up behind one and was always shocked at how much food they were buying. 15 cans of corn. Seriously? 12 boxes of Eggos. Say what? 6 bottles of laundry detergent. WHY SO DIRTY?

One day, out of the blue, I decided that, hey, I'm spending way too much cheddar* on groceries! This can't continue! Precious money that I could be using on scrapbook supplies and college savings for the kids was going into picnic roasts and delectable white powdered mini doughnuts. So, I thought back to the toothpaste guy and actually considered it might be a good idea. I happened to talk to Virginia about it and she made it easy enough to understand. I still had questions but friends on Facebook led me to websites that could help. One thing led to another and I have started couponing!

To sum it up:
1. Collect coupons from all different sources.
2. Start with one store (I like Publix) and look up their weekly ad for specials
3. Take advantage of Buy-One Get-One Free offers (BOGO or B1G1)
4. Plan your shopping list NOT on what you need now, but what is on sale that you WILL need.
5. Stock up on those items on sale (that you use... don't just start buying everything just because it's a good deal) by figuring out how much to buy (how much your family will consume) within the 4-6 week cycle (a cycle is the time until the item will be on sale again)
6. Use manufacturer coupons & store coupons to combine with in-store offers to get the most savings (you can use 1 manuf coupon & 1 store coupon PER item).
7. FOR ME: the key was changing my mind about how I shop. I buy what is on sale and resist buying something because I know eventually it will be on sale. I also plan my meals for the week around the meat & fresh produce on sale that week. :)

I learned most of this from Southern Savers where I scope out the weekly Publix ad and print online coupons. I'm just starting, but last week I saved about $84 on my grocery bill. This week I saved $113!

Anyways, pretty cool, huh? I am now that ANNOYING person in front of you at the grocery store with multiples of every item and a big fat stack of coupons. :) And I like it. :)

*cheddar= Urban slang term for money. LOL. I just had to use it.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Farewells & New horizons...

Hey! I'm back! :) Boy, I've got lots to catch up on...

Snookums & Me, my little Etsy shop, is going well! Three sales in the first month... which I've heard is good for a new seller with 0 Feedback. Sales are always nice, but regardless of how many I'm thrilled with how it's coming along. Mom and I are making some really cute stuff! We have bunnies, robots, blankies, cards, and pre-made scrapbook pages so far... more to come.

Check out our Snookums & Me blog to read more about that part of my life:

My kids! They are growing soooo big. And beautiful, if I don't say so myself. ;) I am enjoying Grace so much at this age. 13 months is FUN! I love it how she's talkative and full of adventurous spirit. The girl has guts! She doesn't let anything slow her down. I can't wait to see what type of person she becomes and more and more of her personality comes out. So far it's looking like we'd better watch out! She'll be bungee jumping from the roof before we know it. LOL. Benjamin is at a more difficult age. He is acting like a boy now... no more baby. The baby is melting away from him every day... it's actually hard for me to see him change so much. He has his OWN ideas about things, for example: I should wear my hair in a ponytail and wear glasses - not contact lenses! The hard part of this is the daily tantrums, arguments, and stalling. They are wearing me thin. I pray for patience every day. :)



Ok, is this not the sweetest photo ever? My kids! I caught them in my rear view mirror holding hands and grabbed my camera while swerving to avoid on-coming traffic (just kidding). Then, I turned around and held the steering wheel with my knee (just kidding) and took a few shots. Of course I had to adjust the ISO and bracket the shot just to make sure it came out OK (kidding!!!). But seriously, I probably shouldn't be doing photography whilst driving. Please do not judge. I mean, I couldn't let this moment go un-captured. :)

Another thing that I'm having a tough time with is this blog: BROOKS CRAPS. LOL. It's not really Brook's Craps. It's Brook Scraps. Seriously. Why did I not think about that? And why did I choose such a name to make me feel like all that belongs on this blog is my scrapbooking stuff? A change is in motion. I need a new blog, one that encompasses everything I do and my everyday life. I'm thinking of letting this one go dormant and heading back to my old Dilly Girl blog. I'll keep you posted.

Finally, I've stepped down from the Mosh Posh Design Team. :( BIG bummer. This was a not-so-easy choice for me, trust me. I have been thinking about it for months as my life just gets busier and busier. I've had less time to devote to using the kits to their fullest extent, and blogging on the blog like I should. I knew it was time.

My family has been urging me for some time to start my OWN business or use my time more wisely... and I mostly have disagreed with them because I LOVED being on the Design Team. Getting free kits and being able to create with them monthly was such a reward and honor. I truly enjoyed the challenge, the community, and the creativity. But, I did eventually feel like my time to enjoy working with the kits was getting less and less as the months passed. So, in order to allow for someone with more time and ability than myself, I stepped down. :( The March 2010 kit was my last one. I loved it so much... here's what I did with it:

So, if you're reading along with me, give me a shout in the comments! I know my readership is low because I'm so infrequent... but I'd really love to hear what you think and get to know everyone. :) Hi!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Yes, hi! It's me again...

First and foremost... a new post can be found HERE on my Snookums & Me blog.

And, secondly... pictures...
Me and my hubby. This was a stretch your arm out kind of shot. :) Love those.
My girly-girl, Gracie. She is more than happy to accessorize her outfits. LOL.
Ben was so thrilled to meet the Strawberry-guy at the Strawberry Country Fair. He loves characters. And he is one, too! :)
Ben rides a bike now!!!! He has never been interested in even attempting to ride his trike... until the other day. So, we went straight out an buy him a bike. Now he begs to ride it.

So! Hi!!!! Where have I beeeen? Oh so busy. Although, it's all relative. Busy for me may not be busy for you... but I promise. I am busy for me.

You know, I've come to the realization that I have a small plate. Like, a dessert plate or a tea cup saucer. People say: "my plate is full" or "I can't, I have a full plate"... well, my plate fills up faster than the average person, I think. I'm not one of those people that can work 9-5, cook dinner, sign the kids up for 3 activities a week, be on 4 scrapbooking design teams, volunteer at church, go out with my girlfriends 2 nights a week, travel on the weekends, sew my own clothes, bake gingerbread houses from scratch, get my hair and nails done regularly, go to the gym everyday, tweet 10 times a day, and keep my husband a happy man. LOL. For me, it's like... do ONE big thing a day maybe two. That's IT. Otherwise I am so stressed that I can't do anything well. *sigh* I wish I was different sometimes. I wish I could be one of the busy people that seem to accomplish so much with their time. But, I have come to terms with who I am. I am the turtle, not the hare. But the turtle does win the race in the end, right. ;)

Things have been good in my little small plate world. :D The kids are growing up, the weather has been beautiful (but slightly too cold for my taste), I am making some changes in my life, and most importantly... I have an 85 minute massage scheduled for Tuesday. YeSSSS!!! Oh, and a few weeks ago at the zoo I got up close with a resting Peacock. Have you ever seen one up close? They are simply breathtaking...

Also... I had to resign from the Mosh Posh Design Team earlier this week. Man, that was soooo tough to do!!! Now that it's been a few days it hurts even more because I love that kit club. Kristen (the owner) has become a friend, the new Design Team girls I am working with are amazingly talented, and the kits keep me so inspired. I just couldn't devote the time to it anymore. You know, the whole plate thing. The March kit will be my last one. :(

I do have some exciting news for you, though! I will be offering pre-made scrapbook pages in our Etsy shop, Snookums & Me. So, if you follow my blog but you're not a scrapbooker yourself... you can buy my work and insert your own photos. How cool is that? :) I will also be offering cards and mini albums. The shop opens on Monday, February 22nd. Mark your calendars!

So, that's my lil update for you! Have a great weekend!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Adventures in Etsy-land!

So... have you ever heard of Etsy? Most of you probably have, and if you haven't... WOAH! Go check it out. :) It's basically an online marketplace for supplies and handmade things. Jewelry, sculptures, pillows, blankets, scrapbooking embellishments, albums, cards, clothes, stuffed animals, dolls, art, toys. Almost anything you can think of! And it's all special because it's made from people just like you and me, not mass-produced. I love that!

I love the concept so much that I've been mulling it over for almost a year now. I am passionate about creating things, and I love the idea that my passion can be shared with others while simultaneously helping to contribute to my family finances! From home! Doing what I enjoy.

My mother is a crafty genius. She works in the realm of cloth, mostly. She sews like crazy and collects fabric like it's in short supply. :) When I gave birth to my son, Benjamin, mom found a new niche for her hobby: making baby things. She made Ben little lovey blankets, stuffed toys, and blankets galore. One day, for Ben's 2nd birthday, mom surprised him with a one-of-a-kind stuffed robot toy. That's where it all started. Mom and I sat down several times and drafted up a cast of robot characters. The robots made us think about starting a shop of our own, together.

I love scrapbooking (have you noticed?) but I also paint, draw, and design. And sewing is something I do decently. ;) Between my talents and mom's, our little shop will be stocked with a variety of delightful things for both mom (or any woman) & kids. We're having a BLAST putting this together! Check it out:


Our Snookums & Me blog will continue to be updated with more sneaks of our shop offerings, plus some giveaways! :) Fun stuff!

Well, I better get back to my creative work. Hope you all are having an awesome weekend!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Creative in January!

Hey Everyone!

Once again I'm here just to post about my layouts from the Mosh Posh scrapbooking kit club. :) The January kit certainly did inspire my creativity. See the yummy (sold-out!) kit below:

Here are my pages:

This one is of my cutie-pie, Gracie. The stunning photo was taken by my friend and photographer, Dawn Yap: YAP ORIGINALS. I loved the pic so much that I enlarged it to an 8x10 to make it the centerpiece of the layout. Then, those cute little chipboard frames fit perfectly in the grassy area of the photo. I "hung" them there (they're actually glued in place) and framed hand-cut hearts & my journaling inside of them. I also did some machine sewing around the paper and photo... I think it finishes it off nicely without too much fuss.

This page... oh, this page gave me trouble! You know how it is sometimes? A layout just fights you the whole way... well, this one just didn't come together quite like I envisioned it. I tore it apart (very carefully) multiple times. I even changed the photo to a completely different one. It still isn't quite right. But that's how it goes sometimes. LOL! Anyways, this page is about me when I was a baby. The title it "Cozy with my Cup" but I would have liked it to be "getting Cozy with my Cup". ;) So... here it is...
For a tutorial on how to make your own Cupcake Liner Paper Flower, visit my post on the Mosh Posh Blog here: CLICK HERE.

The pictures on this layout were also taken by Dawn Yap. Isn't she talented? :) This layout is about how my son Ben is a cherished member of our family. There is so much more to this layout than I could even write in the space I had for journaling. He is such an amazing little boy!

I love my old vintage-y baby photos. I especially love looking at them and seeing the kind of life I had as a child. What my mom dressed me in, the places we went, what I looked like, etc. etc. I have always been a HUGE fan of photos... it kind of explains why this is my hobby. So, due to my love for my old baby photos, I try to make a point to scrap them whenever I find papers that match. These papers were perfect with the green blanket I'm laying on, but not too matchy-matchy. I used some green ink (martha stewart) to ink the edges of each punched (fiskars) scalloped square. Then I used the lines of the photo to create a quilt-like design. Some squares hold something delightful inside, some are plain, and 3 of them hold the initals of my name.

Finally, I created a banner to hang above Grace's crib. It says "Grace". ;) I've never made a banner before, it was super fun. I even incorporated some fabric into the triangles. I happened to have some cream terry cloth also, the terry is the background for "r" and "c". :) Fun stuff!

Well, thanks for checking out my blog! :)