Thursday, August 28, 2008

Gowns, Suits, and Luncheon Dresses

I've reached the end of my pageant career and have almost accepted that I may never satisfactorily fit into any of the clothing...hehe. So, I'm selling it all. If any of you skinny-mini's out there that are still involved in pageants or have prom coming up would like these please let me know. I'll give you an even deaper discount if you buy all of them together. They are already heavily discounted from what I paid. On a side note: please don't judge me for what I paid for these gowns! How embarrassing. Fortunately I had sponsers that helped with the cost of them and the money I made in scholarships far outweighed the cost of these gowns. So, Travis and Shawn....I don't want to catch any flack from you!

Dorian Ho- silk gown w/ detailing. Originally a size 6 altered down to size 2 or 4. Paid $800. Price for you: $150

Vintage Designer Gown from 1960's. My wardrobe/stylist found it at a designer vintage shop in L.A. I paid $1000 for it. There are no tags indicated which designer it is since I had it altered and to be honest I forget. It is now a size 4. Retailed at $1000. Am asking $225.

Kay Unger Seafoam Green Designer suit. Gorgeous suit...would keep it if I could move in it :) It is perfect for a college entrance or pageant interview. Originally a size 2 but was altered down just a bit. Originally $600 but am asking $150. Perfect condition.

Anne Barge Wedding Gown. I wore this for a talent competition so it would work perfectly for both. The train is completely detachable (including the satin roses on back) and the dress is gorgeous by itself as well. Just needs a quick dry clean and pressing because the train drug on the floor during the 15 min competition but it isn't even noticeable and will come completely off if dry cleaned. This is a $2000 wedding gown and I'm selling it for $225.

Cache Lucheon or Casual Wear - This is a perfect little outfit for the casual wear portion of competition or for one of the luncheon's througout the week. If you purchase any of the gowns or suits above, I'll throw this one if for just an extra $25. I paid $80 at Cache for it. Size 4

Monday, August 18, 2008

Obama vs. McCain Round One

So anyone who knows me even just a teeny tiny bit knows how I feel about Obama.... I think he's the most horrifyingly terrible option for our nation's president. On Saturday there was a civic forum at Saddleback, Rick Warren's church where each candidate was brought out separately and asked a series of questions. Even if I were looking at this unbiasely I would give the victory to McCain. Obama didn't answer half the questions and waffled back and forth on everything. McCain was concise, decisive, definitive and unapologetic. Keep in mind that McCain isn't my ideal candidate but he is impressing me so far with his stance on a number of things given that he is what I would consider a more liberal Republican. I guess I'll have to choose the lesser (much less) of two evils. I don't have a lot of time to go into everything but let me point out a few things:

1.) Abortion:
- Obama said "That question is above my pay grade" what??????? There is no higher pay grade than the president of the United States except for God. (that may have been his point but it was a stupid thing to say) Plus, if you're a Christian, as you say, then you have a direct connection to the Lord. He should be able to let you know what he thinks about embryonic life. As President you need to know your beliefs and stand by them. I don't want someone who doesn't know when a baby is a baby.
- Obama said "I want to work as hard as I can to reduce the number of abortions....despite legislation from the Bush administration abortion numbers have not gone down." First of all, if it is just a pile of meaningless tissue then why do you care to reduce the number of abortions. That is stupid. If life doesn't start at conception then why should it matter. Second of all, the last part of his statement is NOT TRUE. Abortion rates are currently at their lowest since 1974. Nice try Barack
- McCain said "Life starts at conception" Nice, clear, concise, and decisive answer.

2.) Marriage:
- They both said that marriage was between 1 man and 1 woman. However, Obama said he would not support a constitutional ban while McCain said he would. I appreciated this from McCain although I do think he is still to far left on the issue. I believe in human rights and equality...blah blah blah.... but I don't think that homosexual couples should receive the same "benefits" (i.e. employer discounted family healthcare pacakages) that same sex couples do. Why? For a moral reason? Yes. But also for fiscal reasons. I do not want to pay for someone else's higher risk lifestyle. Same thing goes for obesity, smokers, etc. Higher healthcare costs = more that comes out of my pocket for premium's every month.

I'm going to stop there for now. I don't have enough time right now to think everything through and present it concisely (as you can see above :) More later....

Sunday, August 17, 2008

A Good Steward

It is really important to me to be a good steward of all that we have, especially right now. Besides cleaning houses I really try and contribute by saving money on groceries. Travis and Reba are the ones who really inspired me to do this. Plus, I'm an old pro at couponing since one of my chores as a kid was to cut coupons....thanks mom!

This week was my best savings week yet. For 2-3 weeks of groceries, I spent $103 and saved $145. Erin and I have taken our grocery budget from $400+ to under $200/month. This includes toiletries and household items. Above are pictures of my loot from this week.

I have enough for 3-4 weeks worth of lunches for both Erin and I (including Lean Cuisine, Home-made Ranch Burgers, and left-overs), 2.5 weeks worth of dinner ingredients, 2 weeks worth of produce, Brita filters for 3 -6 months, and toiletries for a month.

Some of you have asked me for the details of my shopping trips. How do I find these savings?
1.) I check the following websites (and others) for coupon links and deals:
2.) I sign up for every online freebie I can find. These are great because you not only get samples of products but they usually send valuable coupons in the mail with these samples. offers tons of samples every week.
3.) Pick up the circulars at your grocery stores and match the advertised specials with the coupons you have.
4.) Plan your meals around the deals. Do not vary from your set menu...just having a plan will save you tons of money plus take lots of stress off you since you won't have to decide every day what you're going to have. After planning your meals go directly to manufacturer websites to look for printable coupons for ingredients.
5.) Sign up online for the coupons that load directly onto your grocery card. Kroger is the best for this. Plus, every couple of months I get a big packet of coupons from Kroger that represent groceries I buy regularly. Its pretty awesome.

Here is a list of the deals and things I got this week.
- 5 12-packs of Coke/Dr.Pepper and 1 8-pack of bottles
*Kroger special: buy 3 12-packs and get an 8-pack free
*2 coupons for free 12-packs
- 4 boxes Hot Pockets
* Nestle deal (spend $20 bucks get $5 off)
* Coupons for $1 off of 2 - 2 coupons
- 7 Lean Cuisines
* Nestle deal (spend $20 bucks get $5 off)
- 1 South Beach Pizza Lunch
* Coupon $2.00 off
- Toilet Paper
* Coupon for $2.00 off and another for $1.00 off
- Kroger brand Nacho Cheese Doritos
- 2.5 lbs Fresh Chicken Breast
*Coupon: spend $7 in poultry get $2 off
- 1.25 lbs Ground Beef
*Kroger sale $1.99/lb for 97% fat free
- 1 lb Butterball Turkey Bacon
*Kroger sale - $2.5
*Coupon: $1 off
- Butter
- Crest Toothpaste
*On sale $0.88
- 2 Toothbrushes - Oral B
* On Sale $0.88 each
- Fresh Yellow Corn on the Cob
*Sale: 4/$1.00
- 5 Green Bell Peppes
- 2 Red Bell Peppers
- Celery
- Carrots
- Milk
*Sale: 1/2 gallon $1.77
- 3 lbs Fresh Ground Turkey
- 2 Old El Paso Stand and Stuff Taco Shells
* On sale 2 for $3.00
* Coupon: Buy 2 get $1.00 off
* Coupon: Buy 2 get Taco Seasoning packet free
- Taco Seasong
* Free: See above
- Kroger Crescent Rolls refrigerated
* On sale for $1.60
- South Beach Diet 7-pack "Tide me over" Drink Mix
* Coupon for $2.00 off
- Bread Crumbs
- 3 Lunchables
* On sale for $1.00
- Dozen eggs
- 2 packs Shredded Cheese
* on sale 1.90
- Brita Filter
* Coupon: $6.00 off
- Mac n Cheese
- 6 cans Chx Broth
- Parmesan Cheese
- Cilantro
- Mission Tortillas
* Coupon: $2.00 off
- Fresh Express Salad Mix
* Coupon $1.00 off
- 3 Packages Frozen Veggies
*Coupon: buy 2 get 3rd free
- Contessa Skillet Meal
*Coupon: $2.00 off
- Sour Cream
* On Sale $1.00
- Simply Orange juice
* On sale: $3.59
* Coupon: $1.00 off
- 2 Dial Hand Soaps
* On sale $1.00
- Hamburger buns
- Printer Paper
- 2 cans Ranch Style beans
- tomato sauce
- 3 cans diced tomatoes
- 2 cans Pillsbury biscuits
* On sale for $1.00
* Coupon for $1 off 2
- Organic Tortilla Chips
* Coupon: $1 off any Private Selection Organic
- 2 lbs Tenessee Pride Sausage
* On Sale: BOGO
* Coupons: $1 off 2 and $1 off 1
- On the Vine Tomatoes
* on sale: 1.99
- Rice a Roni
*Coupon: $.50 off
- Onions
- Cream Cheese