Lori V.

Jun 242014
 

I used to be such a good couponer.  I had a binder full, I could plan out shopping trips, and get a ton free (remember the free boxes of Frozen Limades?).   Then….I got a full time job, and life happened, and kids got into sports and well – I did what I could, but not to the level I used to.

I miss being able to open my pantry and see a stash of paper towels I got for free, or go to my laundry room and see 15 bottles of detergent I got for pennies.   

Couponing has evolved from simply cutting coupons out of a newspaper on Sunday.  You can get them online, and even on your smartphone.  They come in the mail inside of magazines, and direct mailers from the companies.

Here are some of my favorite places to get coupons and or savings!

The obvious one – printable coupons from Coupons.com.  Cilck & print – super easy!!!

Next comes iBotta.  This one takes a little work AFTER you have done your shopping.  iBotta is an app on your phone that allows you to scan the product, and then upload your receipt and they will give you cash back for buying the product and doing things like sending a tweet (often worth 25¢) or liking the products facebook page.   iBotta allows you to cash out at $5 earnings, and use it towards cash (via paypal), or Starbucks or other gift cards! 

ibotta

 

Next comes SavingStar.  This one is a “no brainer”.  Just sign on, add the coupons to your store cards (Bi-Lo, Food Lion, CVS, etc).  And it will add the savings to your account (it will NOT come off at the register).  For example, a few weeks ago they had a “Get 100% back when you buy a York Peppermint Patty”.  I bought one, and got 99¢ credited to my account.  Like iBotta, you can cash out with this one!

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CellFire.com – online coupons that allow you to add coupons to your Kroger (or affliate) store cards.  They come off at the register when you purchase certain items.  They often also have freebies to load to your Kroger (or affliate) store.

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51Checkout.com – another like iBotta, that requires a little work after the fact, but has good results.  They routinely have “get cash back when you buy milk” – any brand of milk.  Just scan the barcode on the milk and the receipt and they will credit your account with the offers you pick.  Currently, they have offers for milk, yogurt, Pledge & Windex, along with about 15 others!  Again, you can cashout with this one (at $20)

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Jun 202014
 

Oh five for Friday, its been awhile since I did one of you….I always have a ton on my mind, but lately its been stuff I just can’t (don’t) want to write about.

1.  Has this week been the longest EVER for anyone else?   I mean really…Tuesday I thought was going to never end, and now its finally Friday.  Watch the weekend be a bitch and fly by.  Anyone agree?   I thought Thursday was never going to end, because everyone was out of the office doing professional development training.   

2.  Have you ever just gotten this feeling that something just isn’t right?  In my case its my feelings about how much of an influence someone else has.  Yeah I’m vague, but either way has anyone ever just felt like something wasn’t right?  Maybe its a woman thing, I just have a weird feeling about one particular person, and their affect on my personal life.  I am sure that most people will say “don’t let other people affect you”, but I just get a weird vibe from this person.  I am sure at some point I will talk about it, but for now – *le sigh* enough with the heavy stuff.

3.   I want to binge watch OITNB (cause I’m still not done with season 1), and I am craving nachos with melty queso and chicken.  Yes, chicken nachos.   Or I want chicken tacos, or fajitas.  I guess I know what we will have for dinner this weekend.  YUM!

4.  My only plans this weekend are to darken my tan, and read a book by the pool (and #3 above).  We have no baseball events that require my attention, no places to be – it will be nice.  Of course, I have laundry to do and at some point grocery shopping – but the pool is calling my name.

5.  I am loving the fact that I can order books from the college library on their website, and they deliver them via campus mail to my office.  It is amazing, and I am certainly enjoying that new perk! 

 

5 on Friday Logo - Final(2)

Jun 192014
 

So in my daily hopping around the blogging world via BlogLovin’, I have discovered so many new and amazing bloggers.  I saw this great post a few were doing and thought “why not”.  So here I am taking stock of what’s going on around me and in me currently!

Making :  a grocery list.  I wish this could be something amazingly fantastic with my craftiness, but its not.
Cooking :   fresh corn, zucchini and squash tonight with maybe burgers
Drinking :  about to drink some coffee, as soon as our office brewer finishes
Reading:  The Rescue by Nicholas Sparks, although I just finished “Lowcountry Summer” by Dorothea Benton Frank
Wanting:  date night with Patrick, trip to Charleston, a clean house
Looking:  forward to B’s next baseball tournament
Playing:  Bingo Blitz on my phone
Wasting:   time doing the above game playing

Wishing:  for a lot of things, but right now I’ll be content with what I have.
Enjoying:  the peace of a new book
Waiting:  for Patrick to come home from PA
Wondering:   what to make for dinner with the fresh corn, squash & zucchini
Loving:   the beautiful SC sunshine
Hoping:  for a date night soon (although this is the same thing as “wanting” for me)

Wearing:  black pants, black cammie, black & white sweater. Very monochromatic today
Following:    You’re Meaghan me Crazy
Thinking:  about the blog posts I need/want to write over the next 2 weeks
Feeling:  refreshed – quiet evening last night while the kids were at their dads, a good book & conversation with one of my besties
Giggling:   over the odd requests we get here in the history dept – like “how do I make something historical”

Have you taken stock lately?

Jun 102014
 

So the blog has been a little slow lately.  I’m OK with that.  I started a new job, its summer break, we are busy, life is busy.  But I have some confessions.

I am addicted to “Orange is the New Black” (#OITNB for short).  Its funny, on point, raunchy, and all around a show that makes you want to watch the next episode.  Raunchy as in, I would never let my mother, brother, dad or possibly even Patrick watch it in the same room as me (and note to mom, don’t watch it – you would NOT like it).  Martha Stewart did not make prison life look like that – although I once read she made tea out of dandelion leaves, and well the main character on #OITNB gets called Dandelion all the time.  Either way, its only on Netflix, and they just released the ENTIRE second season (brand new) all at once.  Bravo to you Netflix, for putting seemingly normal people into binge mode last weekend.   Meet “crazy eyes” and “dandelion” below:

 

I also confess that I got so pissed at baseball last weekend over a freaking cooler.  It was stupid, and petty but I was pissed.  Here I am lugging this giant cooler around with lunch for 4 people (2 adults and 2 kids), and not once did someone offer to help me.  Like I said, it was petty and I’m sorry for being so angry.  I am still adjusting to “the new normal”, and well – it ain’t easy.  Apparently I just need to buck up buttercup.  And don’t worry if you don’t understand what any of this little paragraph means, its just something I had the need to type out to get it off my chest.

As a new pedestrian on campus; I routinely have to cross the road on my travels around campus, and to and from my parking garage daily. I also confess that I used to be a not good driver when it came to pedestrians.  If your car covers the entire sidewalk when you stop at a stoplight, you are an asshole.  Also, if you continuously creep up as the light is red and people are crossing in front of you to gain an inch or two – you are also an asshole.  And one of these days someone is going to get a little too close to me, and I am going to ceremoniously collapse on the ground in front of you like you hit me.   For now, you just get this look….

 

and lastly…..I must confess that I am loving the fact we have a coffee maker in our office.  And by coffee maker I mean, I make coffee every morning, and people drink it.  It is nice, and it even has caffeine (take that non-caffeine allowing athletics training table!).  However, the next person who leaves the pot empty on the hot burner will be subjected to random torture, as determined by the European Medieval history professor.

 

 

*gifs courtesy of giphy.com*

 

Jun 052014
 

We got home and got dressed to go to what was possibly the last Carolina home game of the season.  Didn’t think a thing about what I was wearing, or Patrick was wearing.  We both have so many Carolina shirts (and some of his I wear on a regular basis too!)  A few minutes later I got in the car and started laughing to myself.  

It was the last game of the regionals – June 2, 2013…I wore what was at the time my only Carolina shirt.  Patrick wore his “game shirt” – a garnet polo he wears to most every Carolina sporting event we go to.   Fast forward one year to June 1st, 2014 and we are wearing the same clothes, going to the same regional game.  

 So I thought it appropriate to take a similar photo, and being the sweetie that he is, he let me (either that or he knew I’d pester him enough for a photo he might as well just let me).  =)

 

PicMonkey Collage

Turns out it was the last home Carolina baseball game of the season.  We went home a little sad to see our boys lose so badly to Maryland, but it is what it is.  Looking forward to the next season of Carolina sports though – Carolina vs. Texas A&M.  So damn excited I could dance (and well, I might!)

May 262014
 

Memorial Day in our home this year will be spent quietly, I have to work (yes, thank you University of South Carolina) and the kids don’t have school.   However, very close to my heart and in my thoughts will be two special people I had the honor and privilege to know.   While I do not discount the countless other families who were affected by conflict and war, by the loss of a child, a husband, a father, brother, sister, mother, wife – these two individuals are close to my heart.

Frank (Capt. “Puj” Hooks) – a pilot in our squadron in South Carolina that made the ultimate sacrifice in June 2004.   I have a hard time this year grasping that it has been almost 10 years.  His loss deeply impacted all the Marines of 115.   My best memory of Frank was the DVD we unexpectedly got in the mail one day during the first deployment Matt went on.  They had made us a “we are halfway home” DVD full of photos of all the guys from the squadron.  It was a silly DVD, but so special to all the spouses.  Frank was married to my sweet friend Cindy – whom I admire for her beautiful spirit.

   Second is Clarence Adams.  Clarence was 3 years ahead of me in school (me a freshman, he a senior) when I decided to run indoor track.  He then decided to take me under his wing and teach me to throw shot put.  So, he taught me and I did it.  I wasn’t that good, and didn’t stick with it, but he was always encouraging.    He always had a smile on his face, and was loved by so many at Varina.   Clarence died in Baghdad, Iraq in September 2004.  He was the father of six, and devoted husband.  

 

 

While for many it’s a day of picnics, BBQ’s and the unofficial start of summer, it is also a VERY real holiday to remember those who have fought and died for us to have the ability to go to the river or beach, watch a parade in peace and have a picnic.   Please take a moment today and remember them, their families and their sacrifice.

 

Note – photo of Frank courtesy of Cindy Morrison, and photo of Clarence courtesy of  Iraqwarheros.org.  This post was originally posted on 5-28-2012.

 

May 232014
 

You have seen them, and they are adorable!  State necklaces are so popular right now.  These are brushed silver, with a brushed gold heart shaped charm.  They all have a 18″ brushed silver chain with a 3″ extender.   

statenecklaces

 

 Right now, you can get your choice of state for $11.95 & FREE SHIPPING with the coupon code HOME, over 50% off our retail price.   The deal is valid tomorrow only, 5/23/14, or while supplies last.

Would make a great gift for a college bound student going to another state for college – or really for anyone!

 

 

 

 

May 062014
 

Patrick and I love Charleston…the food…the sights – everything.  We have been once as a family, and before we got together – dozens of other times.  When I lived in Beaufort, we would routinely travel to Charleston to shop at the mall, or to pick up friends/family from the airport.  

Awhile ago, Patrick and I agreed that we needed a weekend getaway for just the 2 of us.  I joked that if I got a new job – we would plan one.

Well…the new job came (more about that another day!) and we are heading to Charleston in a couple of months for a weekend getaway.  Just the 2 of us.  No kids, no baseball, no responsibilities except to one another.  Our lives are so consumed with work, business trips, baseball, kids schedule – that our time together is usually spent doing the above. Don’t get me wrong – we love the time we have with our kids, we love weekends full of baseball – BUT…for the health of our relationship, we need the time together.

Of course, I am the queen of planning, and Patrick well – is the king of “lets wing it”.  I like to have a written out plan, he likes to just get in the car and go. Well, this time we will do a little of both.  I have some places in mind that I want to stay, and some places I’d like to eat.  Then we can just wing the rest!  Right now I have been researching places to stay and below are the ones I have found!

26608_371444420459_8265984_nTopping my list of places that I would love to stay is Seaside Inn.  Its on the Isle of Palms, just a short drive from Charleston, and right on the beach.  Literally, STEPS away from the beach.   The Seaside Inn just underwent a 6 month renovation, improving the exterior AND the interior.   I have been stalking their facebook page for weeks looking at all the updates they have done.    They even have several packages available for couples weekends (hint hint!).  Isle of Palms was recently rated one of the Top 10 Beaches in the South by Southern Living Magazine.

 We shall see if I get this wish for a night at the Seaside Inn!  Right now they are having a construction special, since they are still undergoing some exterior renovations, you just have to call to see what the current special is!  

 

"VFMLID=51196034"Another on the top of my list is Tides in Folly Beach.   It seems like it’s a world away, but its a short 9 miles into historic Charleston.  Patrick and I  took the kids to Folly Beach last Labor Day weekend for one last summer beach day.  It was so beautiful there, a wide flat beach with minimal wave action (good for little kiddos), and warm water!  The Tides has a cool thing going this May with movies on the beach!   This May they are showing The Princess Bride, Mrs. Doubtfire, The Lone Ranger and Robin Hood: Men In Tights.  Right on the beach at dusk!    They also have an on site restaurant, Blu which is a favorite of Folly Beach guests and residents!

Where are some places you have stayed in Charleston?  I would love to hear them, and any ideas you have for our weekend getaway!