Not Back-to-School ALREADY!

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Have you noticed that back-to-school sales are slowly but surely making their way into the weekly circulars? Have you also noticed that I’ve totally been slacking on the blog? My bad! But there’s a reason behind it which I’m excited to share with you all.

Anyways, back to the school supplies. I know people REALLY don’t want to hear about school supplies in the middle of July but buying early will really save you some money. I was at Walmart on Sunday and freaked out over $.97 binders! DORK ALERT, I know. I can’t help myself. They also have sales on notebooks and folders and some other awesome stuff that I couldn’t resist. I even got a 6” desktop fan for my desk at work since the AC in our building is, at the very least, inconsistent. If you’re in need of some school supplies for yourself or for the kids Walmart is the place to go this week! I’ve looked at a lot of the store circulars and though Target has some sales they’re not as great as Walmart’s sales. One subject notebooks for $.17. $.15 two pocket folders and Crayola markers and colored pencils for under $1! Not to mention the chocolate pudding snack packs for $1! (YUM!) It doesn’t get much better than that. I also picked up some index cards which I really only use for my grocery lists and a few reminders here and there and they were under a $1 also. I love Walmart! I don’t go very often because 1) Target is a lot closer to me and 2) They’re renovating their store and the parking lot is a mess and the store itself looks like it was hit by a bomb but my most recent trip was definitely a success!

So, the reason I’ve been kinda ignoring the blog lately is because I kinda got a promotion at work! I’ve really been craving a change and more responsibility at work and the opportunity finally came and I was very excited to grab it. I’ve been training for the last week and a half and it’s been exhausting and nerve-wracking. I’ve been training all day and then coming home from work and re-writing my notes. I’ve been a very busy chick but I know it’ll pay off in the long run. The majority of my new position is accounts payable but a lot of it has to do with keeping records and staying organized which I love to do any ways. It’s just so hard to take in all this information in such a short amount of time. I hope I retained all of it but we’ll see. WISH ME LUCK!

And Happy Hump Day! (whoop, whoop!)

Awesome PROMO!

If you’ve never heard of Snapfish, I feel sorry for you. I honestly get all of my pictures printed by them. Recently I started to get their photo books and they’re amazing!

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Last week, I received my book that I had done for Rachel’s grad party and it turned out great. The quality is amazing and pretty much everything is customizable. It’s a great alternative to scrapbooks and makes the perfect gift. They have all different sizes from  5 x 7 all the way to 12 x 12 and 11 x 14. I’ve only gotten the 12 x 12 and the 8 x 11 and I’m telling you, they’re beautifully made.

Normally, the price of the books are anywhere from $11.99 – $59.99 but I got an email this morning and the 8 x 11 and 12 x 12 books are on sale! If you use promo code JUNE8X11 you can get an 8 x 11 book made for just $19 and that includes shipping! And if you use promo code JUNE12X12 you can get a 12 x 12 book that is usually $52.99 for only $29 and that also includes shipping. This deal is only good until 7/3 so hurry up and get over to snapfish, get creative, and get your customized photo book made.

Also, they have deals on their prints. You can get 100 prints for $9.99 including shipping by using promo code PRINTS999. You can get 300 prints for $28.99 including shipping by using promo code PRINTS2899. This deal is only good until 7/2.

Everyone knows I love photos and I love being able to fill my photo boxes so these deals are exciting.

If you haven’t checked out my new side project check it out here. And happy Saturday!

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I haven’t been posting a lot lately and I apologize but I wanted to let you guys know what I’ve been up to. I just started a new blog!!! It’s a photography blog and I know, I know, you can’t throw a toothpick into a crowd without hitting someone with a photography blog. I’m not claiming to be any good but I do enjoy photography and pictures and I wanted a place online where I can start to compile a photo album of sorts for family, friends, and strangers to look at and give me some tips and tricks. I also wanted to keep track of my progress as I’m just beginning to learn all the settings and what they mean and all that “jazz“.

I’m going to find a way to make it more accessible from this blog but for now you can just head over to http://coordinatedkatephotography.wordpress.com/ (WOOO! That’s a long link) so check it out and pass along the link to some of your photography friends. I know you have some!

I hope everyone has an awesome Friday and a lovely weekend!

Brand new goals!

I love setting goals and creating new projects for myself, if you haven’t noticed. Now that the grad party is over and there’s no more planning involved as far as that goes, I can turn my attention to something else.

Sam and I have been trying not to eat out as much as we do. 1) to save money and 2) to lose weight and get healthy. I’m not the best cook. I’ll be the first to let you know and I’m sure Sam will be the second  – haha!.. I come from a family of really awesome women that can cook their booties off but I guess I never paid attention enough and I definitely regret that now. I really want to get into meal planning and learning new recipes.  And when I say “new recipes” I mean ANY recipes at all. Unless we’re talking about grilled cheese. I can make a mean grilled cheese. Anyways, I purchased a few magnetic notepads on Friday that I think will help me stay organized while I try and figure everything out.

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The plain notepad on the side is for any food items or whatever that I need to pick up from the store and the notepad on the right side is for our meal planning. This way we can plan and decide what we’re having from week-to-week.

I need help, though! Gimme some tips, tell me some tricks, send me some recipes, or whatever you got! Help ya girl out, people!

Happy Sunday! Hope everyone had a good weekend.

Tips to get your new grad ready for COLLEGE!

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If school isn’t out already, then it’s about to be out and it’s the perfect time to talk about getting your child, sibling, niece, nephew, or whoever ready for COLLEGE! My younger sister, Rachel, just graduated from high school and you already know that if you’ve been keeping up with my blog for the past month or so LOL. Luckily she’s doing her first year at a community college but if your recent high school graduate is getting ready to pack up and leave for college there’s a few things you may need to do.

Start by getting them to do everyday things on their own. Things that you may be doing for them like waking them up or doing their laundry or doing their grocery shopping. It is now time to have them waking up to an alarm clock, doing their own laundry, and try giving them the grocery list and sending them to the grocery store. You’re not going to be there to walk into their bedroom and rip the covers off and tell them to wake up so make sure that when they need to get up at a certain time, that they’re a custom to waking up to an alarm clock. If your graduate doesn’t know how to do laundry at this point in their life, they really need a wake up call! Show them and have them do their own laundry for the summer. Most colleges don’t have a mommy laundry service. A lot of college students go on meal plans and such but at this point they should have developed some kind of money management skills so try writing out a list of the groceries that the household needs and send them to the store with a budget. Not only will this give you a break but you’ll get to see how they do on a budget, which is what they’ll be working with when they go off to school.

And speaking of budget, if you’re going to be giving your children a monthly allowance while they’re away at school, go to a bank branch near the campus. Talk to them about the monthly budget they’ll be receiving, if any, and discuss how to handle it as far as groceries and everyday expenses go. Also talk to them about what to do if they run out of money. Don’t say things like, “call us and we’ll transfer more money over”. You don’t want to make it too easy for them. Tell them that you’ll figure out things for them to do in order to acquire more money.

Most college students have a dorm mate or a suite mate or something along those lines. Usually they’re able to communicate with their new roomie before hand but they’re not able to get to know each other that well through email, texts, or phone calls. Talk to them about how to resolve problems that may arise regarding their new room mate. Advanced problem-solving will definitely help when confrontations come up.

College is way different than high school especially when the student is away from home. Try printing out or going to the school and picking up their course load for the first semester. Try and put together a game plan of how they’re going to accomplish this along with other activities they may be partaking in. Go over what needs to happen if they can’t make it to a class and the procedure they’ll need to take in order to let their professors know and get the work or notes they may have missed.

How will they get to class and around campus? Do they have a car? If not, transportation may be a big deal. Bikes are a BIG mode of transportation to getting around campus. Normally, everything you need is around the campus and can be reached by bicycle. Ask the campus about bike storage facilities. If they don’t have a car and you’re looking for one, consider buying a clunker.

Make sure your new college student knows where the student health center is and what services are available, including birth control. I know, it’s a touchy subject but sometimes they’re not the ones that need the help. It could be their roommate. No matter what, just have a conversation about all the services that the health center provides.

After they’ve been at school for awhile there may be a little friction when they come home on breaks. They’ve been away and on their own for awhile now and may not want to accept your house rules again. Just realize that this is a new phase for them and for yourself. Sitting and having dinner and not being able to answer their cell phone or go out with friends may be a problem. Just be prepared for the tension!

I hope some of these tips help get your new high school grad ready for this brand new chapter in their lives!

Country Theme Graduation Party!

I think it is safe to say that the party was a success. It was a lot of work getting ready for it but I had a great time and it seemed to me that everyone else had a great time as well.

The photo booth turned out better than expected and I think I pretty much got pictures of all our guests (except a couple sneaky neighbors that left before I got the opportunity to hound them ask them to come up to the photo booth). There’s a ton of pictures from the photo booth and I don’t think I have the space to post them all but I’ll post a few.

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I bought a huge roll of that red vinyl barn siding and we ended up not needing it because the outside of my mom’s house pretty much looked the same way. BIG time saver.

The outhouse door cover was a big hit too. I don’t think a lot of people noticed it until some other people pointed it out.

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Also, the picture wall with all the clothespins looked perfect! Rachel wants to keep it up all year long. Instead of doing it in the dinning room we ended up taking a painting down off the fire place and just doing it there.

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I cut out the “CONGRATS RACH” banner with my cricut and then, yes, I had to feed the twine through it which took some time and effort but we loved how it looked after we were done.

My mom had rented 4 tables and 20 folding chairs from a party rental place and we set them up on Sunday morning before the party.

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I thought the black chairs made it look a little too formal. I would have loved to have brown chairs, but what are ya gonna do? Each table had a small mason jar with a candle and a bigger mason jar filled with daisies. I loved them!

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All of the tables that held the food were covered in the awesome $1 gingham tablecloths that I got from the dollar store!

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Do you see the awesome milk can?! Remember it from my first Country Themed Grad Party post? Yep, it turned out great!

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I put out a card basket instead of a card box and I thought it looked pretty cute. I saw on Pinterest that someone did an advice box for their wedding and I thought an advice box would be even more perfect for a graduation party. Who needs advice more than a young gal that just graduated high school and is making her way out into the world?

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And that pretty much wraps it up. Sharing the day with friends and family was very special, not only for Rachel but also for myself. Thanks to everyone who came!

QUICK SHOUT OUTS!

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BIG thank you to my cousin’s awesome husband John for being the grill master! Food was delicious.

Thank you to my Aunt Mary for taking Bella up to her house for the afternoon so that she didn’t bark everyone’s face off. And also for letting me borrow your iced tea maker. You’re the best!

Thank you to my Aunt Patty for coming over the day before the party and planting some stuff in the front yard and also for helping with the veggie and fruit trays and everything else.

Thank you to my Aunt Maureen for helping put everything out when the party got started while my mom was freaking out about our parking situation.

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!

Total Slacker!

I’ve been totally slacking on the blog! I apologize. The last week and a half have been a little crazy and way too fast for my liking. Last Thursday I had to take a half day from work because I was driving back to Pittsburgh for my sister’s dance recital weekend. She did beautifully, by the way. The next day on Friday Sam found out that he was being promoted at work but at a different store. Great news but it was a little sudden and I was excited but saddened that I was unable to be with him to celebrate or anything.

All last weekend was dance recital stuff. Friday night was dance rehearsal night and then Saturday and Sunday were both crazy because of the actual recital. My sister’s senior solo was amazing and I’m not ashamed to say that I cried three nights in a row, dress rehearsal included.

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This is my sister Rachel with one of her adorable dancer students

I left Pittsburgh on Sunday night and got in around Midnight on Sunday night or Monday morning (whichever way you look at it). I came in early because I had to go look for cars to lease. Before Sam got promoted we were lucky enough to be able to share one car. We both worked really close to home and were able to drop each other off and pick each other up and what not. It worked great! But now that Sam got promoted to a different store, the one car was not going to cut it. I spent all day Monday, which happened to be Memorial Day, with my mother and father in law at the dealership. Negotiating is exhausting, let me tell ya! We got a pretty good deal. I was just freaking out all day due to the fact that I really hadn’t got to talk to Sam about any of it because I got in late Sunday when he was still sleeping and he left before I got up to go to work. It was insane!

Anyways, I ended up getting a Hyundai Elantra to drive back and forth to work in. I like it a lot.

This coming weekend is my sister’s graduation party. I’ve been blogging about it for a little over a month now and it’s finally here and I’m freaking out! Did I get enough? Do I need anything else? Did I forget something? Oh my! I know it’s going to be fun so I’m trying not to stress about it! I’ve already got a stress pimple on the bottom of my cheek! Guh! Anyways, I’ll be blogging more often, I promise and I actually have some good stuff coming up so stay tuned!

Random Sunday Post

Well, hello!

If you haven’t noticed I’ve given up on the Blog Everyday in May challenge. I’ve been a little busy and kinda gave up. I’m a quitter :(… Anyways, I’m completely obsessed with the show Flea Market Flip on the HGTV channel. I was watching it this weekend and Laura Spencer said that some of her own projects were on her website which you can find here. I quickly picked up my laptop and was on the website for like an hour. One of my favorite projects was this one:

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And the result was this:

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Isn’t it adorable?! I love the mirror that she put on the side and the lower hooks for purses and bags. I’m definitely going to try this project.

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Day 10: Most Embarrassing Moment(s)

Oh boy… I’ve been doing everything humanly possible to avoid writing this post today. I watched The Place Beyond the Pines and I even watched 21 & Over. What an awful movie! I haven’t drank any caffeine this morning thinking that maybe I would take a nap and forget about this post. I went to sit outside and catch some rays but an annoying bee chased me back in. Gosh!.. I guess I have no choice.

Let me begin by saying I have a nervous stomach. My story starts off in July of 2010. Sam and I were driving from New Jersey to Pittsburgh for my Uncle Joey’s wedding. After I picked Sam up from work we decided that we would get something to eat before we hit the road. I’m a lover of anything Panera Bread so we decided that we’d stop there. I got the cheddar broccoli soup and Sam had gotten some kinda sandwich or something. We made sure to eat quickly because we wanted to beat traffic near Philly, which if you remember is one of my big fears!.. We get back in the car and we’re on our way! After about an hour in the car my stomach starts to bubble.. severely. Oh man, this is so embarrassing. We’re on the turnpike and there’s traffic! I’m freaking out. I’m breathing as if I’m in labor and I’m sweating through whatever it was that I was wearing. I needed a bathroom, and fast!!! We’re sitting in traffic that is literally crawling and I’m thinking to myself how bad it would be if I HAD to get out of the car right here in front of everyone and just release myself! I make it to the first exit that we saw and I’m searching for a place with a bathroom. We drove for like 5 minutes and didn’t see anything but farm land and I couldn’t hold it anymore. I park the car on the side of the road, grabbed some tissue from the glove box, shuffled down a small hill (which luckily was hidden from the road), and pulled down everything and shit. How lady like! After I was done I noticed there was a huge house that was about two football fields away from me with wall to ceiling windows and I thought how lovely it would be if someone had seen me in this ridiculously hectic state. I get back in the car with my head hung low and Sam says, “Feel better, fertilizer?” You would think that a situation like this would become funny after time has past, but for me… it’s still not funny.

Blogging about this makes it 10x worse!



Mother’s Day Gift Idea! It’s Not Too Late!

If you haven’t already got something for all the mothers in your life then you should definitely consider checking out Fairytale Brownies! I was introduced to them a couple years ago when the insurance broker for our company sent a huge box of them to our office. They are AMAZING! I started sending them to family for special occasions and I actually sent a box to my mom this year. I think I saved $20 by having it delivered early instead of on Sunday (the sooner the better!) and my mom received them today.

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Isn’t my mom so adorable?!

My mom’s favorite brownie is the cream cheese brownie. My favorite is the cheese cake brownie which is to die for and Sam’s favorite is the mint chocolate brownie. They have all different kinds like raspberry swirl, pecan, toffee, peanut butter, espresso, caramel, and a ton more! They’re all individually wrapped and come in big and small sizes. Also, the packaging is beautiful! Not only were my coworkers fighting over their favorite brownies but they were also calling dibs on the adorable boxes that the brownies came in. They have holiday boxes around Christmas and Thanksgiving and Easter and they also have ‘Get Well’ boxes and ‘Thank You’ boxes and ‘Sympathy’ boxes and a box for any occasion that you can think of. Do yourself a favor and CHECK THEM OUT! If you decide to purchase anything use code ‘ML608’ to save 15% before it’s too late.