Thursday, January 26, 2012

A New Year Brings New Adventures

In case you've been wondering why I fell off the blogging radar lately, I recently accepted a new position in Event Planning at Vanderbilt University!  It all happened pretty quickly after Christmas and I am almost finished with my second week.  I still want to keep up with Claudie Belle Designs as much as possible in my free time so be looking for more tutorials, recipes, and new items in my Etsy shop periodically! 

I am really excited that the Lord has provided this opportunity to gain some experience and work with a great team in a very fun office! 

Do you have any new adventures that have come with the new year?


Friday, January 6, 2012

Not So Extreme Couponing

Right after we moved to Nashville two and a half years ago, the girls in the Bible Study that I joined were getting into couponing.  This was around the time that those shows like Extreme Couponing started airing and I have to say it is pretty amazing how much money some of those people can save using coupons.  A lot of us started following Kelly at Faithful Provisions.  She has written a book on couponing and how to cut your grocery bill in half.  I jumped on the bandwagon and was really into it for a couple of months, but then I got busy and let all of my coupons expire.  I have decided to give it another go since it's a new year so I wanted to share my recent couponing trip with you!

Now, I'm not great at it and don't like to buy stuff with coupons unless we are really going to use the item or can donate it.  I like to say that I'm a "Not So Extreme Couponer".  Every now and then I do find some great buys though, so here is what I found this week:

My first stop was Wal-Mart where they are having 75% off all of their Christmas items including gift sets.  With the 75% off and coupons I got the items below for next to nothing.

Olay set including moisturizer and face wash- $10 @ 75% off = $2.50
-$1 off 1
Final- $1.50

Second Olay set- $10 @ 75% off = $2.50
-$2 off 1
Final- $0.50

Old Spice Set with deo and spray- $5 @ 75% off = $1.25
-$1 off 1
Final- $0.25

Old Spice Deo- $1.97
$2 off 2
Final- Free

Total: $2.25

Next stop: CVS
Oral B Spinbrush- $5.99
$3 off 1
$2 reward bucks
Final- $0.99

Colgate Toothpaste- $0.99
(2)$0.75 off 1
Final- $0.25 each

Dawn Dish Soap- $0.99
$0.50 off 1
Final- $0.49

Ivory Bars- $0.99
$0.35 off 1
Final- $0.64

Almay Make-up- 13.99@ 75% off = $3.50
$2 off 1
Final- $1.50

Total- $5.33

Last stop: Kroger

Softsoap- $0.88
$0.40 off 1 (Kroger doubles any coupon $0.50 and under)
Final- $0.08 each

Here is a summary of my coupon trip from all 3 stores:
Total Spent: $7.82
Total Saved: $53.81

Thanks to some Christmas sales and a few coupons I got some great buys on things that are good to stock up on like face wash, body wash, toothpaste, and hand soap.  Have you ever couponed before?  What are your thoughts on it? 

Happy couponing!


Monday, January 2, 2012

Goodbye 2011. . . Hello 2012

I can hardly believe another year has come and gone!  2011 was a great year with many things to celebrate!  Here's a little recap of the highlights:

My Dad and I are huge Duke fans and in January my parents and I got to go to our first game in Cameron Indoor Stadium!  It was awesome!

In January, I also made my first cake for a paying customer.

A fun girl's night making jewelry and baking cupcakes with our sweet Burmese family for Moo Beh's birthday.

Off-roading with Hubbs in March. (the highlight here was surviving!) :)

Daniel and I ran our first half-marathon in April.

We had a surprise birthday party for Mom's 50th!  May 2011

My awesome bro-in-law graduated from UT (Texas) in May.  Hook'em!

We found the World's largest cinnamon roll in San Antonio, TX- May 2011

Our dear friends, John and Stef got married in Houston, May 2011

Bell Buckle Craft Show- June

Anniversary Trip to Mexico with my sweet hubby :)- July

One of my besties, Sarah and Tony's wedding in Austin- July

Summer Boat Days with some of my best girls!

 Charleston, SC where my precious friend Nikki lives. . .

 Charleston with Daniel. . .

and my sweet family :)- August

My cousin, Emily's wedding- September 2011

Asheville, NC with Daniel's parents- October

Since I recently posted on Thanksgiving and Christmas I won't add any photos from those.  It was a very busy and fun year with so many wonderful celebrations!  The Lord used both the good and bad times throughout the year to teach me so many things.  One of which is that He is in control and never changes no matter what our circumstances are.  When things are abundant, lonely, happy, sad, hard, or easy, He is God, the one true hope!

I guess it is resolution time. . . while I have never been big on strict rules such as no sweets for a year or whatnot, I do have some things I really want to work on this year.  There is something so fresh and encouraging about a new beginning and I'm so thankful that God gives us new beginnings and second chances.  Here are a few of my resolutions:

1) Read more.  In grade school I remember liking to read and reading books in a day or two but I think that college ruined me on liking to read.  Aside from my Bible, I rarely read.  There are so many books on my list to so here's to reading in 2012.

2) Make some more specific goals for my business, Claudie Belle Designs and where I want to be by the end of 2012.

3) Grow in my relationship with Christ.  I want to be better about having my daily quiet time and have deeper and more meaningful conversations.  I want to learn to pray more specifically and expect God to do big things according to His plan.

4) Be a better friend.  Living far away from most of your best friends can be very hard as far as keeping in contact as well as you would like.  I want to make a better effort to communicate and love on the people in my life as well as reach out to those around me more.

5) Find an area to serve.  Daniel and I have been working with a Burmese refugee family here in Nashville for about 2 years and they are to the point where they are very independent now.  I want to pray for and seek out another area to serve in our church and community.

Those are some of the things I want to work on this year!  What are some of your resolutions?

Happy New Year!