Post-Labor Day Blues

I am VERY sad to report that my Labor Day weekend has come to an end. School has only been in session for 2.5 weeks and I am already exhausted. This weekend has been a wonderful time of rest and relaxation.

Grant and I attended the wedding of an old friend of Grant’s from Seminole. It was a beautiful wedding and we are so excited for her to start this new journey! Marriage is SUCH a blessing!

This weekend has been an absolute blast for me. I had every intention of studying at least a few hours a night this weekend, but I didn’t. I am regretting that decision now, but I really enjoyed my weekend. I miss my husband SO much already and I have only been studying for the past 5 hours. I was able to joke and have fun with my husband this weekend. We just got to be silly and laugh and enjoy each other! We even got some laundry done and some fall decorating done!

In 5 weeks, I will have another break! Fall Break… unfortunately it is only for one day, but it will be a break and I cannot wait. I will be pulling out one of those encouragement sticks tomorrow morning! I may have time to blog it tomorrow or later this week!

I love my husband and cannot wait until May 11th! I will no longer spend my evenings away from my husband studying, I will spend them enjoying his company, laughing, and being silly! My husband is a wonderful man who not only helped me fold laundry today, he also mowed the lawn and then came in and fixed dinner while I studied. I absolutely adore him and couldn’t imagine going through DH school without him!

This is my best friend! God has truly blessed me!

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And So it Begins….

Crazy that it has been 20 days since my last post! A lot has happen in the past 20 days! I have officially started my senior year of dental hygiene school and am counting down the days until May 11th when I will graduate (247 days… 176 weekdays)! I feel like our lives are on hold until I finish school so it will be SO great when I finish! I can’t wait to have my house back in order, be able to travel a bit, and not stress and fret about school!

This semester is going to be VERY full! I originally thought this semester wouldn’t be as busy as the previous 2, but I was wrong… so very very wrong! This week I saw my first patient on Tuesday morning at the VA hospital dental clinic. I really enjoyed it and was shocked to know that I still know what I am doing! I am excited to be in the clinic every day except for Friday, but with that come stress too! 8 months…. 8 months til graduation! WAHOO!!!

A big challenge for me this week has been trying to be a wife and a good student. I am bound and determined this semester to stay on top of my studies and not have to play catch up in order to take an exam (Oral Pathology is going to be the thing I wrestle with the most this semester). Trying to make dinner while studying is IMPOSSIBLE for me, it seems like everything I make needs to be babysat at the stove so I can’t just go sit and study while it’s cooking. I think I’m going to have to utilize the slow cooker this winter and figure out some casseroles that I can make ahead of time and can just throw in the oven when we get home in the evenings!

I am so happy that we only have to be in this situation for 8 more months, but I am also grateful to be in this situation! I know how long I we have wanted this and in only 8 months, I will be exactly where I want to be!

Aside from school we are starting a small group at church. We have been at our church for over a year. Our church does not have “Sunday school” but we do small groups in homes. Our church encourages that you try out several small groups before you settle on one to find the best fit for you. We visited a small group last summer and then school started. I struggled with not having enough time so we never got involved with the small groups. We did a bible study on Tuesday nights called Sacred Marriage during the late winter. Grant has gotten involved on the tech team running the projector and camera during the Sunday morning service. We wanted to get involved with a small group this summer, but we realized there were no small groups for our demographic (married without kids) and we were constantly gone this summer visiting family and such such we aren’t able to much during the school year. Several couples on the tech team are in the same demographic, so our church is starting a small group at the beginning of September. I am really excited to get more involved with our church! I am hoping to keep my school stuff organized so that I will be able to attend small group during the week.

It is so hard to choose between school and church stuff sometimes. Before hygiene school it was simple, church should be the priority… but it isn’t so black and white anymore. God has allowed me to be in this program and I am to do it with the best of my ability. Colossians 3:23-24 says, ” 23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” So even though sometimes I’d rather do a church activity or volunteer at the church, I probably should stay at home and study. This isn’t to stay that I completely neglect the church and forget about my relationship with Christ! This is just the season my life is in right now and these are the decisions that I have to make. I suppose I am serving God in school by working with all my heart at hygiene school.

My sister, Alison, actually did something awesome for me. Alison, Grant, and I went to see “The Help” a few weeks ago together while Ali’s husband was out of town on a work trip. After the movie, Alison had a “gift” for me. I opened it and I found a glass jar filled with popsicle sticks with writing on them. Alison explained to me that she had sent a popsicle stick with a letter to all of my family. The letter explained that God had laid it on her heart to encourage me this semester and this is how she felt He wanted her to do it. She asked my family to write a scripture or words of encouragement on the popsicle stick and when I get discouraged and need some encouragement, I can reach into the jar and pull out a stick. I was so thankful when she gave it to me and I even cried. She spent a lot of time on this for me while she was preparing herself to return to school and teach her new 1st graders! I think I will do a post around the time that I pull out a stick… maybe these popsicle sticks can encourage more than just me!

Now that Grant is awake, I should finish the studying that I started this morning and try to enjoy this nice Saturday!

P.S. 4 months til our 3rd wedding anniversary! (just noticed that)

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Coupon WIN

I am not sure if I have mentioned it before on my blog, but I have been trying out my hand at couponing. I have only been doing it for about 3 weeks so I am still just trying to get my coupon book up and going to where I have a stock of coupons to work together with store deals! Quite honestly, this week I have gotten a little sick of couponing because I am just flat out tired of clipping coupons and it hasn’t been saving us a whole lot of cash… until today!

Yesterday we went grocery shopping and I was a little disappointed that we only saved about $5, which I suppose that $5 is $5 and I am happy to have saved it but it just wasn’t what I wanted. We were buying some miscellaneous items so we didn’t have a whole lot of coupons that fit our deals, plus we went to WalMart and they don’t double coupons like Homeland does.

While I was clipping my coupons from today’s paper, I noticed that I had some Extra Care Bucks (ECBs) from previous visits to CVS that were going to expire on Tuesday. I have been needing some body wash and shampoo/conditioner so I decided I would check out the circular to see if I could get my coupons to match some deals for me! I had $11.99 in ECBs that I could just spend like cash. CVS is probably my absolute favorite place to coupon! It takes a little work to understand how to work the deals, but I watched this tutorial and it made complete sense and even made me excited to get started.

I just wanted to share the deal that we worked at CVS tonight cause I am so excited about it.

We made $0.52 for $37.76… for a savings of $38.28!!!

CVS had a deal on Dove shampoos and conditioners that if you purchase 2, you get them for $6.00 and they are origianally $4.79ea. I Googled and found found a coupon that would save $1.50 off the purchase of any two Dove hair care products! This brings the price for the two products down to $4.50 which is less than the price for one of the products alone (almost like a buy one get one free… but better.) I printed two of the coupons and purchased 4 products for less than the price of two ($9 vs. $18.80.) I was also in need for some body wash which was on sale for $5 and I had a $1.00 coupon from the paper leaving me paying $4 for the body wash (originally $7.99.) I should add that CVS is running a deal this week for select Dove products: if you spend $15 (before coupons) you earn $5 ECBs (which work just like cash.)

I worked on the deal for the Dove products at home before we headed to the store. In the store you can scan your CVS card at the coupon kiosk and receive a coupon in store. I received an in-store coupon for $3 off the purchase of $10 of cosmetic last week that was to expire today. I also scanned my card again today and received $1 off any Maybelline cosmetic purchase.

Lucky for me, I had 2 coupons in my folder and they were both $1 off Maybelline mascara. This specific mascara just happened to also be buy 1 get one 1/2 off. I cannot quite remember the exact numbers on these coupons for mascara but the original price for the mascara was around $4.99. I did the buy 1 get one 1/2 off (2 tubes for $7.49), $1 off each tube (bringing the total down to $5.49), as well as the $1 off coupon that I printed at the kiosk making the total price for both of the mascaras $4.49 (would have originally been $9.98.) I wasn’t going to use the coupon for the $3 off a $10 cosmetic purchase because I didn’t think I was going to meet the $10 but my husband noticed that I was 2 pennies away from the $10. The cheapest thing I could find was a travel pack of Q-tips for $0.99, which ended up being on sale and ringing up for only $0.49 (I had to spend $.49 but it ended up saving us $2.51 off our cosmetic purchase.) The price of the 2 mascaras and the q-tips would have been $10.97 and we only ended up spending $4.98!

A few weeks ago, I also received a coupon via email that was $3 off a $15 purchase which we were able to use.

Some of my numbers won’t add up exactly because I might not be remembering exactly how the coupons work or the exact price of the original product and the receipt isn’t easy to follow.

As I said before, we had $11.99 in ECBs (CVS cash earned from previous purchases) that we were able to put toward this purchase. Our out-of-pocket subtotal was only $4.48! Also, remember the deal that CVS had for purchasing $15 of select Dove products, we got $5 in ECBs to use towards a future purchase. We essentially made 52 pennies!!! Obviously we had to pay tax which was $1.77!

I definitely do not claim to be a good couponer, and I am most definitely NOT a crazy couponer nor do I (or will I ever) have hoards of products stored in my home but I WILL take advantage of an awesome deal if I can find one! This purchase tonight was well worth the time I put into developing my coupon book every week!

I have put a picture of my receipt and the products below! I can’t quite follow the receipt and I was there so if you can, then you have a true gift and should start couponing immediately! ;)

The tutorial I mentioned above from Carrie at CouponCloset.net is an awesome way to get started couponing at CVS! There is also a weekly list of good deals and you can even sign up for emails and get alerted to new printable coupons and she shows some awesome deals you can work!

Happy couponing!!!!!

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