Super Double Couponing

Hi eaters!

It’s Thursday, which means it is exactly a week until my vacation!

Leon and I are throwing Charlie and all of our dirty laundry into the car and heading to Virginia Beach to see Papa and Co for the 4th. I’m so freaking excited!

It’s going to be a week of walks on the beach, beer on the beach, trying to keep Charlie from eating dead things on the beach, beach, beach, beach.

I even bought a new bikini for the occasion, which is something I haven’t done in a good two years.

But enough about my vacation. Let’s talk coupons.

Last week I told you all about my couponing habits. And while this is absolutely not going to turn into a couponing blog, I do want to show you my latest couponing haul. Think of it like a motivational picture.

This week is Super Double Week for certain Harris Teeter stores. That means that Teeter will double all coupons that are worth up to $2, whereas they regularly only double coupons up to $0.99.

Obviously, this is a huge deal in the coupon world. Such a huge deal, in fact, that there were posts on couponing websites for days before about the “rumors” of a Super Double week.

(Nerd alert.)

Here’s my haul:

super double week1

3 6-pks Zevia soda, 2 packages Spam singles, Reynolds foil baking cups, Folders Gourmet coffee, 2 bags Community coffee, 2 bottles French’s Dijon mustard, 2 jars Vlasic dill pickles, Snausages, 2 tubs Wholly Salsa, avocado, 2 cans Dr. Scholl’s foot spray.

I did not pay full price for a single thing, which was awesome. And even more awesome was that I got a good amount of it for free.

super double week2

The soda, pickles, Spam, and cupcake wrappers were all free! Free! FREE!

Free is, without a doubt, my favorite. And thanks to all those free things, I came out pretty damn well.

Total retail value: $83.41

Total after coupons: $26.16

That may not seem like a noteworthy amount, but it is. And here’s why:

1) I’m a simple couponer, not an extreme couponer, so any savings over 40% is pretty amazing.

2) I only bought things that I would have bought anyway.

3) I didn’t have a coupon for the avocado (but it was on sale) and the odor spray wasn’t a great deal, but I needed those things and, since there’s no wrong way to coupon or save money, I did it anyway.

4) Teeter only doubles 3 of the same coupons and 20 coupons total per household per day, so I could have gotten more and saved more (including another free 6-pk of soda) were it not for those rules. I might go back and use more coupons to get more deals. But there is my first go around.

So with all that being said: woohoooooo, I saved 69%!

And I have a lot of FREE Black Cherry Zevia soda, so I can keep making fizzy, jazzy smoothies.

Your turn, eaters:

Have I turned you into coupon converts yet?

What’s one thing you wish you could get for free?

Later eaters!

WIAW: Best Decisions

Hellooooo eaters!

Have I ever told you that in my head when I say that I sound like Oprah? Have I ever told you that whenever I sing along with a song, as long as I don’t sing too loudly, in my head it sounds like I’m harmonizing almost perfectly?

Yeah, neither of those things will ever be true outside my head.

But enough about what’s in my head. Here’s what’s on my plate!


Breakfast:

A breakfast taco with scrambled eggs, cheese, and salsa on a tortilla with blueberries on the side.

A breakfast taco with scrambled eggs, cheese, and salsa on a tortilla with blueberries on the side.

I splurged a little and bought 2 lbs of blueberries this week. It was, by far, my best purchase of the week.

Lunch:

A berry, Greek yogurt, pb, and spinach smoothie with a little something extra.

A berry, Greek yogurt, pb, and spinach smoothie with a little something extra.

Can we talk about this smoothie? Because it was phenomenal for a couple of reasons.

First, it’s just my classic Really Extra Awesome Smoothie with pb instead of avocado and spinach instead of kale. And without the protein powder. But what makes it phenomenal is that I added half a bag of spinach — wheeeee greens! — and for the liquid I added some Zevia Black Cherry soda.

Zevia soda, I really enjoy you.

Zevia soda, I really enjoy you.

Zevia is my new thing and in my head it’s just like flavored club soda (please don’t tell me if it’s not). And adding half a can to my smoothie was the best decision. It added a great flavor and some nice, noticeable fizz.

I like fizz.

And since I skipped the protein powder, I had a couple of slices of Applegate turkey on the side.

Snack:

I shoved a handful of trail mix in my mouth at some point.

Dinner:

Mustard baked chicken drumstick with buttery, cheesy spaghetti squash.

Mustard baked chicken drumstick with buttery, cheesy spaghetti squash.

Leon cooked and I love him for it. Not only does he make such better baked chicken than I do, but he had the bright idea to bake the spaghetti squash with basil, garlic, and butter.

We added more butter and some parmesan after it was scraped.

So delicious. It was the perfect summer comfort meal.

Dessert:

And as I’ve been writing this Leon and I have been spooning big hunks of Ben & Jerry’s chocolate fudge brownie ice cream into our mouths.

Now talk about a good decision.

Your turn, eaters:

What’s a good decision, food or otherwise, that you’ve made lately?

What’s your favorite topping for spaghetti squash?

Later eaters!

Birthday Tacos!

Hi eaters!

How did Monday treat you?

Mine was less than stellar, but I’ve risen above. A glass of wine and an hour spent planning my next couponing trip (it’s almost Super Double Week at Harris Teeter!) sure helped me rise above.

Also, I’m still glowing from a really nice birthday weekend.

I would love to tell you all about putt putt and my birthday wound and my pretty friends and beers at Natty Greene’s and reading for pleasure (I’m currently reading Dreaming in French, by Alice Kaplan and I loveloveLOVE that I have time for pleasure reading now!) and all the other fun things. But other than dinner, I only have pictures of my birthday wound and my birthday donut.

Car selfie in the parking lot at work.

Car selfie in the parking lot at work.

That little bump in the middle of my chest is where I got stabbed by my sunglasses. They're surprisingly sharp and it bled a surprising amount.

That little bump in the middle of my chest is where I got stabbed by my sunglasses. They’re surprisingly sharp and it bled a surprising amount.

 

And then there was dinner.

For dinner, my friends Peach and Janet came over and we went downtown to Crafted. If you remember, I went there for the first time over Christmas.

Well, it’s gotten a lot more popular since then, so there was an hour wait when we got there at 7pm. And while I’m normally not one to wait that long, I was in no hurry and Natty Greene’s was within walking distance, so we put our name in and went down the block to grab a beer.

After just over an hour we were seated and it was ah-maze-ing!

Nachos!

Nachos!

We split the Dirty South Nachos, which were housemade sweet potato fries topped with pulled pork and some kind of cheesy cream sauce.

Janet likes to be creepy in the background of my pictures.

Janet likes to be creepy in the background of my pictures.

For my entrée, I went with the Fixie, which was beef brisket, pineapple, sweet chili sauce, and coconut aioli.

O’m’gah, so freaking good. The pineapple and the sweet chili sauce was a bit much on the sweetness, and I could always do with a little more spice, but it was still a delicious little combo.

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Everyone else raved about their tacos, which was nice because we’re typically a $1 taco crowd.

Next time, though, I’m definitely getting the stuffed avocado appetizer. Something about avocado, chorizo, and queso together with tortilla chips sounds like straight up mouth sex.

And that’s all I’ve got.

What about you, eaters:

Do you like big, raging parties or small gatherings for your birthday?

Do you like more sweet or spicy?

Later eaters!

Beautiful Mess, Birthday

Hello eaters!

How are you doing?

It’s Friday, which means it’s the weekend and that’s good. Also, it’s my birthday. And that’s nice, too.

So tonight I’m giving you a big, wordy, lifecasting post, because birthdays are always a good time for posts like that and because I’ve been promising to stop being so cryptic about my work situation. So here goes.

beautiful mess1

Right now my life is kind of a mess. A beautiful mess. But a mess nonetheless.

I graduated about a month ago. I quit my retail job and my last day is Saturday. I got a job doing HR in an office. The new job isn’t full-time and it doesn’t pay all the bills, but I’m optimistic. I’m working 6 days this week.

Almost all of my friends have left town. I have a few school friends left, but they’re still living such college lives and I’m living such a I-can’t-go-out-drinking-on-a-Tuesday-because-I’m-old-and-boring-and-I-have-to-get-up-early life that we rarely see each other. I don’t know how to make adult friends. (If you live around me, please be my friend.)

I need a vacation in a way that I’ve never experienced before. My house needs to be cleaned in an almost embarrassing way. (I would invite you over so we could be friends, but you wouldn’t want to hang out again when you saw how much junk I have on my kitchen table.) I’m in this weird place where, for some reason, I’m not overly worried about paying the bills once my savings run out. Leon and I are really very happy. I’m struggling to work on expanding my thesis, but I’m sure that’ll come together soon. I’ve even started looking into going to a couple of creative writing conferences.

I’m in a much better place with regards to not feeling like a loser at Crossfit for not being the strongest or the fastest or the best at anything. I have taken a yoga class and am planning on taking more. I don’t know how to describe my diet, except to say that I eat foods often. My jalapenos are ripe and my tomatoes are turning red.

So like I said, there are a ton of balls up in the air and a lot of things I’m really unsure of. I should probably be working on figuring out those things and making moves for my future. I should probably be stressed.

But right now I really don’t want to be stressed. I want to be happy. I want to enjoy my summer and the feeling of accomplishment I have from getting something that resembles an adult job. I want to revel in this time of being underemployed before I spend the next forty years working all day, everyday. I want to focus on figuring out what all I’m going to fill my time with now that it’s not filled with homework. I want to keep counting down the days until my vacation.

So there you have it: my beautiful mess of a life as an underemployed, 22 year old, recent college graduate who is in search of friends that like to go to bed early and don’t mind a mess.

And in keeping with tradition, to give you a soundtrack for the year in between birthdays, this year’s song is Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked, by Cage the Elephant.

And the bonus tracks are this cool Baz Luhrmann song, You Are Free, and the Bob Ross Remix, of course. Because everyone could use some happy little clouds.

Your turn, eaters:

How do you feel about your life right now?

When’s your birthday?

Later eaters!

Banana Bread

G’day eaters!

I meant to post the delicious banana recipe last night, but I got a killer headache.

Stupid changing weather systems!

But after some time cradling my head on the couch and some Ben & Jerry’s, my head was fine enough to…go to bed.

Have I mentioned how unbelievably exciting my life is?

Anyway, onto the recipe. But first, a rant.

There is a huge difference between banana bread and banana cake. A banana baked good in the shape of a loaf is not always banana bread. Far too often it is banana cake sans frosting masquerading as banana bread.

Banana bread is bread. Cake is cake.

Blergggg!

Don’t get me wrong; I love a good slice of cake. Cake is awesome. But cake is cake.

Bread is good, too. Bread has its place. That place is on a breakfast plate next to some eggs. Or with an afternoon cup of tea/coffee.

Or in my mouth when I don’t want to eat a giant baked loaf of sugar!

So let me be very, very clear. This recipe is for banana bread. It has minimal sugar. It is not overly sweet. It tastes nothing like the stuff you buy from Starbucks.

But it is really damn good and has a nice, almost crispy outer crust. Ya know, like bread.

Okay. End rant. Here’s the recipe.

Banana bread masquerading as cake with some pb frosting.

Banana bread masquerading as cake with some pb frosting.

Banana Bread

Yields 1 small loaf, ~5-6 servings

¼ c butter, softened

1 egg

1/3 c sugar

2 t vanilla extract

1 c whole wheat pastry flour

1/8 t salt

1/8 t baking soda

¼ c milk

1 ½ bananas, thoroughly mashed

Put the butter, egg, sugar, and vanilla in a bowl and beat on medium, using an electric mixer, until everything forms an even cream.

In another bowl, whisk the flour, salt, and baking soda until there are no clumps.

Turn the electric mixer in the butter mixture on low. Alternate adding the flour and the milk, beginning and ending with the flour, until everything is added and clump free.

Gently fold the pureed banana into the batter. Pour the batter into a greased loaf pan.

Bake the bread at 350F for 30-40 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.

What do you think, eaters:

How do you distinguish between bread vs cake, or a muffin vs a cupcake?

What’s your favorite breakfast loaf?

Later eaters!

Charlie’s 2nd Birthday

Hello eaters!

It’s been a fantastic day for so many reasons, not the least of which that I absolutely needed a day off and I took a yoga class for the first time since I broke up with Bikram.

The real reason that today was so great, though, was because it’s Charlie’s birthday!

Yes, my sweet baby puppy is two years old. We’ve had him for about thirteen months and I want to write an entire post about what’s changed since getting a dog (because I think choosing to get a pet is a huge decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly), but today all I want to talk about is how freaking cute Charlie is. And how happy he looks all the time.

Because he’s the happiest, cutest dog in the world.

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We started the day off by letting Charlie cuddle between Leon and I this morning, which is his favorite thing ever. Every time he gets in bed he tries to get in between us and then I have to shoo him over to the other side of me, so letting him roll around between us was a huge thing.

The real excitement didn’t start until after I got home from yoga when Leon and I decided to walk down to Best Way for beer. It’s about a mile each way and Charlie loved the exercise and the chance to sniff pee he doesn’t get to sniff everyday.

After a quick break inside to cool down in front of the fan, we all headed to the yard.

Grilled cheese on the side with some grilled bread.

Grilled cheese on the side with some grilled bread.

Leon grilled some pineapple and ham (leftover and frozen from Easter) kebabs. And Charlie got his first present.

Kong Air squeaky toy. The best ever.

Kong Air squeaky toy. The best ever.

Dog owners, get this toy for your dog. It’s made by Kong, so it’s pretty much indestructible. And it’s a squeaky toy with an on-off switch, for when the squeaking gets annoying. How awesome is that?!?!

charlie's 2 birthday02

charlie's 2 birthday03

Charlie loved it.

After kebabs and beer, it was time for cake.

Banana and peanut butter pup cake.

Banana and peanut butter pup cake.

Please excuse the sloppy icing. It was hot and the icing didn’t turn out quite right. But who cares, because this banana cake/bread with peanut butter icing was delicious. (I’ll post the cake/bread recipe soon.)

charlie's 2 birthday07

charlie's 2 birthday06

And Charlie, after demonstrating his only trick of staying until we tell him to eat, loved it.

charlie's 2 birthday08

He licked it a few times and then proceeded to eat the whole damn slice in one bite.

How many bites does it take to eat a slice of cake?

How many bites does it take to eat a slice of cake?

charlie's 2 birthday10

charlie's 2 birthday11

One bite.

One bite.

It wasn’t graceful or polite, but it was gone in a flash. And then he wondered where it went.

Where'd it go, you guys?

Where’d it go, you guys?

Once we all finished our cake, we went inside for presents. Leon thought it would be funny to wrap all Charlie’s presents in newspaper.

As to be expected, Charlie was a little afraid of it. He sniffed it a few times, but made no moves to get into it.

charlie's 2 birthday15

charlie's 2 birthday16

Leon flipped the bundle over and Charlie was…still a little scared. (He’s a huge scared-y cat.)

charlie's 2 birthday17

charlie's 2 birthday18

Eventually, after several tries, he was able to overcome his fear of the newspaper enough to retrieve the cheese and bacon stuffed bone.

And then he was gone.

charlie's 2 birthday19

Seriously, he carried the bone off into his room and just now, two hours later, he emerged for the first time. It’s hilarious.

So all in all, I’m pretty sure Charlie has had the best birthday ever. And of course, he doesn’t understand what a birthday is or why we’re being extra nice to him today, so he’s probably a bit confused. But he’s also very very happy, which makes me very happy.

What do you think, eaters:

Do you throw your pets birthday parties?

What’s the best birthday present you’ve ever gotten?

Later eaters!

WIAW: Beerface

Hiya eaters!

I hope I didn’t overwhelm you with coupons yesterday. It’s a lot to take in, but even if you just take in a little bit you’ll be guaranteed to save money.

And who doesn’t like saving money?

As my job situation changes I am becoming very conscious of every penny I spend.

(I really need to stop being cryptic about my jobs. I promise, I will very very soon.)

And speaking of work, yesterday was my day off. As I mentioned on Monday, I get every Sunday off. My other day off comes on Tuesdays. I’m not crazy about the day off-work-day off sandwich, but it’ll do.


Pre-Crossfit:

Apple and pb. But now that it’s plum season you can expect to start seeming pretty pictures of gorgeous fruit soon.

That reminds me that I need to get sunflower seed butter. It goes so well with stone fruit.

Crossfit:

I went to my beloved 9:30am class and it was great.

A little running.

Some great work on pistols and GHD sit ups.

A bunch of split jerks.

And I made some really good progress on my wall ball shots.

I have this weird thing where I am completely capable of throwing the 10 lbs wall ball up to the 10’ target IF the target is on the wall. But if it’s to our front targets, which are just wood boards essentially floating in air, I can’t hit it. Sure, I can throw the ball plenty high, but it doesn’t make contact with the target, which is a no rep.

After a couple pointers and a wall ball tabata, I could seem some very nice improvement.

Breakfast:

Breakfast nachos with sprouted sweet potato tortilla chips, scrambled eggs, salsa, and cheese.

Breakfast nachos with sprouted sweet potato tortilla chips, scrambled eggs, salsa, and Cabot cheese.

Honestly, you should know by now that I’ll take any excuse I can to 1) eat with my hands and 2) eat Mexican food.

I should have added some cilantro from my garden to really spice it up.

Lunch:

Alfresco sausage with mustard, and Yoplait greek yogurt with a big plum.

Alfresco sausage with mustard, and Yoplait greek yogurt with a big plum.

I never claim to eat normal foods. But even though this was a weird lunch (and I didn’t eat it until almost 4pm because I never got hungry), it hit all the right tastes for me.

Snack:

While Leon was grilling dinner, I got a little hungry, so I sipped on a beer. Not the most sensible snack, but it was hot and I was thirsty.

Now please enjoy the assortment of pictures I took of myself while I was drinking that beer.

Beerface!

Beerface!

It’s been a while since I posted a good Kara-drinking-alcohol picture.

Dinner:

Grilled steak and grilled corn.

Grilled steak and grilled corn.

Doesn’t this dinner look fancy? Anytime there’s a giant piece of grilled beef I feel fancy.

Dessert:

I popped a couple of peanut M&Ms into my mouth and called it a day.

Your turn, eaters:

When do you normally eat lunch?

What’s your favorite topping for nachos?

Later eaters!

Simple Couponing 101

Okay eaters!

Tonight we’re talking coupons and it’s going to be a bit of a lengthy one, so let’s skip the pleasantries and get right to it.

Ready…set…go!

I started couponing last summer because I was barely employed and I thought it sounded like something a pre-books, TV shows, insider trading Martha Stewart would have done. I was then, and still am, a very simple couponer.

Where I get my coupons:

As of right now, I get almost all my coupons from the newspaper. I get some from catalinas (those coupons the print out with your receipt) and some from off packages or the random store advertisement.

I’m lucky that my local newspaper puts the potential coupon savings amount on the front page. If it’s less than $100, I buy one paper. Between $200-$300, I buy two. More than $300 and I buy three papers. Once, and only once, the count was $608, at which point I bought five.

What coupons I clip:

I don’t clip every coupon.

Let me repeat that — I do not clip every coupon!

Those couponers from Extreme Couponing clip every single coupon.

“Cat liter? Sure. Diapers and baby food? Of course! Yogurt? The more the merrier. It doesn’t matter if I’m childless, cat-less, and allergic to dairy. If there’s a coupon, I’m clipping it!”

That’s not the best way to go about it.

I only clip the coupons I will use. That means that I rarely use coupons on food, because most food coupons are for crap meat and sugary snacks. I don’t have too much brand loyalty, which makes it easier to find coupons I’ll use. I mainly find and use coupons for house goods and toiletries. I also find a ton of coupons for coffee.

How I use coupons:

I use coupons two ways — the right way and the more right way. The right way is when I use them to save money. The more right way is when I use them in connection with a sale on an item (and sometimes also at stores that double the coupon value and/or have some kind of buyers’ rewards program) to save even more money.

Do you see what I’m getting at here?

There’s no wrong way to use coupons. Anytime you save money is good.

But to save the most money I go through store flyers, most of which come in the same newspaper as the coupons. I take a Sharpie and circle whatever sale items I also have coupons for, I write what the coupon is (i.e. how much it’s worth, how many I have to buy, etc) next to that, and then I write how many total sale-plus-coupon opportunities I find on the front of the flyer. Then, after going through all the flyers, I pick the one or two best stores.

By “best,” I mean the store with the most items to buy and/or the store with the highest percentage of savings. I absolutely refuse to go to more than two stores. I’m a little lazy and I’m not trying to build an apocalypse-grade stockpile. So I force myself to be picky about what deals I go out of my way to get, which ultimately ends up saving me more money.

Once I have my stores and items selected, I make a neurotic list. I list the exact brand, type, and count of the item along with the sale price, the coupon value, the quantity I plan on buying, and what the final price should be. I break things up into different transactions, if necessary, and list the total estimated cost for each transaction.

When I go shopping:

Whether I’m going on a couponing-specific shopping trip or not, I always make sure to take my little coupon folders. Because there’s no wrong way to use coupons, and since it’s common for me to find a surprise sale item, I always want to be prepared to save money.

When I’m going on a couponing-specific shopping trip, I take all my coupons, my neurotic list, a calculator (on my phone), my frequent buyer card, and the sale flyer. This way, when I’m feeling extra neurotic, I can double and triple check the coupon against the item against the advertised sale.

That’s about all the tips I have.

A lot of couponers will tell you that to get the most out of couponing you have to change the way you think about shopping and only buy what’s on sale and what you have a coupon for.

That’s not how I go about it at all. I changed my thinking to allow me to buy things that I normally would when they’re on sale, even if that means going a little over budget one week, in order to save money in the long run. And once I started I had to change my thinking so I wasn’t jumping at every single sale-plus-coupon opportunity and wait for the really good ones.

More than anything, I had to learn that couponing is about restraint and persistence.

So enough talk, let’s see all this in action.

Everything I bought from Harris Teeter.

Everything I bought from Harris Teeter.

coupons2

Everything from Harris Teeter that was on sale (plus the creamer and salsa).

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Everything from Harris Teeter that I used coupons for.

My total from Harris Teeter was $35.65. I saved $16.58, which was a 32% savings. Not too bad considering I made my list without thought to what was on sale or what I had coupons for.

Everything I bought from Whole Foods.

Everything I bought from Whole Foods.

Nothing from Whole Foods was on sale. I didn’t use any coupons. That’s fine with me.

Everything I bought from Walgrees, all of which was on sale and I did have a coupon for.

Everything I bought from Walgrees, all of which was on sale and I did have a coupon for.

My total for Walgreens was $43.62. I saved $58.09, which was a savings of 57%. This shopping trip was specifically for couponing.

As you can see, I don’t live off my stockpile, nor do I eat crap because it’s cheap. I still buy things that are full price, but I manage to save a good bit of money nonetheless. And now that I finally have a printer, which means I have access to a whole world of healthy coupon websites now, hopefully I’ll be able to save even more money.

coupons6

What do you think, eaters:

Did I leave anything out?

How do you feel about coupons?

Later eaters!

Productive Sunday

‘Ello eaters!

How are you doing? Anything new in your life? Anything exciting to tell me about?

I’d love to know.

I’d especially love to know right now because there’s nothing too terribly exciting going on in my life. The most exciting thing in my life is that I’m figuring out how my time off will go.

Ya see eaters, I recently started a new job (which I will tell you about…on June 23, I promise) and my schedule is a little odd. I get Sundays and Tuesdays off and work the rest of the week.

It’s a little weird, but I don’t mind and I’ll probably/hopefully savor my time off more.

I certainly made the post of my day off this go around.

I thought the day was going to be more lazy and relaxing, because Leon made me breakfast in bed — French toast waffles! — and we lounged around until noon. But when we did get our butts up, we got a ton done.

Leon and I went to Macy’s, Belk’s, and Old Navy to do a few returns and to look for a pair of khakis for him and a watch for me. We didn’t have luck on either.

From there we went to T J Maxx so I could return some shorts. I ended up spending almost all the money I got from my return on a dog toy (for Charlie’s birthday next week!), some habanera ketchup, and a new shower curtain.

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Nothing too terribly exciting, but some of those returns had been hanging over my head since April, so it felt great to finally get it done. And our shower curtain was too gross for pictures.

And while I was browsing home goods at T J Maxx Leon swung by Lowes and picked up a small can of white latex paint and a can of spray-on sealant.

Ya see eaters, when we first moved in we painted some of our furniture, including our bright yellow kitchen prep table, with acrylic paint. That turned out to be a pretty dumb move because acrylic comes off with water.

Kinda gross, right?

Kinda gross, right?

So over the year our pretty yellow table has gotten stained and peeled and it was looking pretty rough. But a few coats of paint and a few sprays of sealant later…it looks just as bright as the day we painted it last summer.

Much better.

Much better.

And in between coats on the prep table I got to work on painting another table.

Leon picked up this side table off the side of the road and it’s been sitting in the corner of the dining room, acting as a kind of mini buffet ever since. After a few months of looking at it in all its scuffed and poorly stained glory, I decided to paint it white. More importantly, I decided to paint it white with latex paint so I don’t have to worry about it peeling and staining when we put food on it.

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I still have another coat to paint and then I’ll live with it a bit longer, but I’m thinking that I might paint all the bevels a medium gray. Something similar to this dresser.

Side note — Once I finish a few more house projects I’ll do a post because I want to show off.

Then, after an easy dinner of grilled chicken and vegetable kabobs, I went out on a couponing trip.

Couponing at Walgreens.

Couponing at Walgreens.

My haul wasn’t spectacular, but it was pretty great and I am going to do a post about that tomorrow.

So finally, at 10pm, I got home from the store and crawled into bed. The day was exhaustingly productive and I loved it.

But I’m pretty sure that I’m going to love my lazy Sundays and my Sundays full of friends and fun just as much.

It’ll be a trade off, I’m sure.

Your turn, eaters:

Do you like to spend your days off with friends, being lazy, or getting things done?

Do you return purchases to stores or only buy what you’re sure you’ll love?

Later eaters!

Did You Know…Mole Health

Helloooooo eaters!

As I mentioned on Tuesday, it’s time for the latest installment of me telling you to wear sunscreen and measure your moles.

Last time I talked about skin health I think I told you to take nudies. Not for sexting purposes, mind you, but so you can see if new moles are developing.

The faint scar from my first mole removal, when I was about 8.

The faint scar from my first mole removal, when I was about 8.

Did you know … that after you have gone through puberty your moles shouldn’t be changing, nor should you be developing new moles?

Did you know … that the oxybenzone and retinyl palmitate in most sunscreens have been linked to skin cancer? (Source.)

My worst mole scar.

My worst mole scar.

Did you know … that you should wear sunscreens that are between 15-50 SPF and that contain mineral ingredients, such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide? (Source.)

Did you know … that you should avoid sunscreen sprays because you can inhale them and it’s really hard to put enough on? (Psst, CVS-brand baby sunscreen fulfills all of these requirements and was about $4.)

My best mole scar.

My best mole scar.

Did you know … that if your dermatologist’s office has more advertisements for wrinkle care and beauty treatments than information about skin health, you should probably find a new dermatologist?

Did you know … that I’ve had seven moles cut out, two of them were cut twice, and five were in the last 14 months, and that I’m due to get a mole removed from my forehead?

mole scars5

One of my latest mole removals.

But the most important “Did you know …” of them all:

Did you know … that I will spend $100s of dollars on sunscreen and get every single mole cut off if I need to, because skin cancer is the most common form of cancer (roughly 3.6 million cases predicted for 2013, which is nearly half of all cancers), but it is also the most preventable. (Source.)

So please, for the love of deities, stop tanning (that definitely includes tanning beds!). Wear a hat. Wear sunscreen. Avoid the sun at its peak hours.

Don’t let yourself become part of that skin cancer statistic.

What do you think, eaters:

How do you protect yourself from the sun?

How do you feel about your doctors?

Later eaters!