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Sunday, January 3

Frugal shopping

I think frugal, almost always. I seem to be offering up advice on savings to everyone, both willing and unwilling alike. So maybe instead of frugal living ideas being thrust upon our close friends and family, I will leave them here. Maybe I will actually reach an audience that wants a few tips and well, save myself a friend or two in the process.

I love post-Christmas time because of the frugal shopping opportunities. A little preparation will save you money in the long run. Before and during shopping, I always remind myself that a deal is only a deal if I can afford it. Also, if I don't need it or have not wanted it for many months, it stays there for someone else. I give myself an overall limit and bring cash. I also lug in my coupon binder just in case I find a great deal that can be combined with coupons.

This year I searched a little and found neutral wrapping paper and gift bags, to use for birthdays and special occasions, marked 75% off (make sure to check roll length for max savings). I also bought a few rolls of matching Christmas paper (only the short rolls so they will store nicely in my Christmas bins)and boxes of cards to use next year.

Check the whole store for bargains. Tucked away in the decor section of Target was a set of bronzed train stocking holders that were $24.99 but rang up $7. Also look for items that are holiday packaged. Storage bins, ziplock bags, cookies, snacks, and toys are often marked way day just because of the holiday packaging. We scored moon sand for more than 70% off because of the santa mold included. My little ponies were marked down to $1.99, regularly priced at $5.65, because they had snowflake clips included. I stocked up on both of these items to add to my gift box for birthday presents.

I love bargain shopping and I hope you are encouraged to fight the small crowds and score some deals as this holiday season wraps up. In the comment section, let me know what great deals you find. Off to make some post-Christmas Santa cookies, $0.59 a roll when combing a coupon and sale!

Monday, November 9


Our 2009 season of football has come to an end~ bittersweet! No playoffs this year but I am so proud of the team! I hate it for my coach, but I must admit that I love having him back! We actually went on a date, kid free, the first time in months! And even better, he woke up on Sunday and fixed breakfast!

Saturday, August 15

Football Prep "Game Day Bags"

Our first scrimmage is today and I am so excited to get the ball moving! We have decided that before each season begins, we are going to start the tradition of getting our cheerleader prepped for the games! We are going to make a "game day bag" for her.

I found a black and red (our school colors) tote bag and we took a trip to the dollar store to let the cheerleader pick a few toys to stick in the bag. The "game day bag" will stay in the trunk of my car, the contents designated as "special game toys." This will relieve some of my game day frazzled-ness by having one less thing to worry about. Once the season is over, they all get donated!

Why don't we pack a bag with what we have, you ask?! We want our cheerleader to be as excited about sporting events as we are, but at the age of two, she has very little interest in sitting in the stands for hours. My coach hates seeing children running all over the place at events, so the "game day bag" is a win, win, win. He does not see cheerleader running around (Coach is happy), I can enjoy the game without correcting or chasing her the whole game (BBB is happy), and she is entertained for an hour or two(Cheerleader is happy).

When the season is over, Cheerleader will help take all the toys to be donated. This is a great lesson about giving, the toys (hopefully) will only be slightly used, and we will not have more toys cluttering up our home turf!

This year our "game day bag" consists of markers (no crayons!), spiral notebook (no flying artwork), color books, reading books, a baby doll, and an etch-a-sketch. Fortunately and unfortunately, we have also agreed to let her take her portable dvd player (not up for donation ;)!), on occasion. Our stipulations for this privilege: cheerleader must do all of her chores and be well-behaved for the week.

We are off, "game day bag" in tow, ready for a great season! See you there!

Wednesday, August 12

Football Family

Two-a-days are in full swing and I am sitting in a clean and very quiet home! It is amazing how clean things stay when my coach is not at home distracting me from wanting to vacuum! This summer we spent every moment that we possibly could snuggled up to our coach, so sending him off to coaching school (where it all really begins each year) was bittersweet. We are all eager to get this football season underway. Their is just something about the fall air and fresh cut grass that gets our competitive juices flowing!

This summer we were very blessed to attend three weddings to help welcome new coaches' wives to our group! I am excited to sit next to these ladies in the stands during the upcoming season, as we cheer on our team together.

Unfortunately, we had a horrible tragedy this summer as well. Our head coach lost his wife to acute leukemia. The loss was very sudden and shocking, to say the least. We are resting in our wonderful memories of her. She was a proud coach's wife, dedicated mommy, patient teacher, joy filled friend, and most importantly, she was a loyal Christian. She will be greatly missed but we rejoice knowing we will see her once again!

In the midst of this tragedy, I saw something so beautiful. The hospital waiting room and the funeral were cram packed, standing room only, full of past and present friends, mostly coaching families. People drove from all over Texas to show their love and support for this family.

What an awesome reminder that although we often give up spending time with our own extended families for the coaching lifestyle, we have a chance to add to our family at every stop!

It is my hope that we do not wait for more tragedies to express these feelings of family love and appreciation to one another! Go out and hug the next coach's wife you see (or two) and invite her to ride with you to the game or for coffee. You won't ever regret it!

In loving memory of Kiana Lock!

Wednesday, January 28

Frugal Wedding Gifts

Over on money saving mom they are discussing frugal wedding gifts. I thought this would be a great topic to cover being that coaches usually have tons of wedding invites each year. Many coaches, teachers, and alumni pass through our lives and we love sharing these special times.

My favorite frugal gift to give is a A Gardening Mix.

What is needed:
~A garden flower pot, clay or plastic, any size.
~Flower seeds, fresh or fake flowers, or/and gardening tools, gift cards, just about anything to do with gardening!
~Paint, paint pens, markers, or stencils.

If you are feeling adventurous, customize their flower pot. Try adding their initials, a scripture, or just creative designs on the pot. Let your imagination run wild!

Fill the dried pot with tissue paper. Add all of your goodies. Finish off with ribbons and bows.

Gift baskets are full of limitless possibilities and can be very practical.

A few other favorite gift ideas are scrapbook starter pages, "go green" home product gift baskets, handmade thank you card sets, recipe card box with your favorite recipes added, or for the frugal newlywed, try a coupon binder and add a copy of your beloved price book too!

What is your favorite frugal gift to give?


The coach has been home for two days straight because of bad weather. (Ain't Texas great! Canceling school because of 35 degree weather!)

I am happy.

I (okay, he) rearranged all the furniture. Actually vacuumed under most of it. Hung pictures on the wall. Cleaned the tops of cabinets, shelves, and the fridge.

He's tall. I'm not.

He's strong. (I am but please don't tell him that. It could damage his self image.)

I begged him to push all the furniture around. And then back. And then over there. Never mind. Just put it back in the original spot. It was fine.

He smiled. He feels more manly now. I can tell. And thank goodness he loves me or he may have quit half way through. (I have a somewhat annoying bark. I am aware. I am working on praying to get that removed. I'll let you know.)

I also let him wash and dry all the dishes too.
Nothing boosts the self esteem more than seeing a task out through it's entirety, right?

So basically, his vacation days are my vacation days!
And I have built up his self esteem along the way. (Like many coaches need help with that!)

I am happy.

Tuesday, January 13

Tone-Up Tuesday

Tuesdays are now "Tone-Up Tuesday" at Bleacher Bottom. I will make a list of creative activities to do throughout the week to help tone and tighten things.

I am starting at square one. No previous workout stamina or serious in-shape-ness necessary! We must all start somewhere. My somewhere is at the bottom!

Tuesday: Fifteen minutes of continuous: skipping, shuffling, jump rope pretend, grapevines, knee high steps, and jogging. Completing the initial test for the one hundred push up challenge. Both will make your audience laugh, really hard!

Wednesday: Push ups for week one. Dancing continuously to The Wiggles Wiggledancing. I try to imitate the performers or add my own grove. Try your favorite music or dvd.

Thursday: Crunches. Yoga Stretches~two sets of beginner poses.

Friday: Push ups for week one. Walk around the neighbor for a minimum of fifteen minutes, pulling cheerleader in her wagon.

Saturday: Crunches. Family fun activities! Weather permitting, we are headed to the lake for some trail walking after the coach is done with work.

Sunday: Push ups for week one. Five minutes of basic stretching.

Monday: Crunches. One hour of dancing to the wiggles again (this is my favorite exercise to do with the cheerleader)!

Join me for some toning, tightening, and tons of laughter (at least from your cheerleaders)! Remember, burning means progress!

Feel the burn baby!
If your not burnin'- your not earnin'!
Burn to bind!
Behind burn, skinny jeans earned!

okay. I'll stop.