Frugal Foxie's Couponing Tips

I've had a couple of people talking about coupons lately, and couponing in general so I figured I would share some of the things I've learned over the past few weeks in regards to saving money at the grocery store.

I will mention that I have noticed that our grocery bills are cut nearly in half. Recently, I went to the grocery store and spent about $25, while my "savings" printed on the receipt were over $30! When I was not using coupons, and only shopping the sales, I would still spend $50 every week or two, easily.

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I hope this is some useful information; I'm backdating it so that it will show up at the top of my journal if anyone ever wants to go back & take a look at it. Feel free to ask any questions or share any input, links to sites you like to use, or methods you've found that you like as well. :)
Glue Gun

She's gone...

I'm just passing along word here, because I know there are still some of you here that I don't have on my Facebook page, that may have been mutual friends or would otherwise want the news. I learned last night that walkertxkitty passed away. We had lost touch while both of our lives kept us busy in other circles than the ones we used to run in together, and had been meaning to make time to meet up and reconnect at some point.

She was such a bright spot in my life for several years, and a fixture at local friends' gatherings when potluck get-togethers and cookouts were a regular thing. She had the most infectious smile, reminiscent of a child that knew she did something naughty but also knew full well that she'd get away with it. Her laugh was equally charming, and her tales could keep you enthralled for days.

I'll miss you, dear friend. I'm so sorry we couldn't find that time to reconnect. Rest in peace.
Glue Gun

Is this thing on?

I'm just dropping a quick note here since I've had a couple of people get in touch with me about it already.

Yesterday morning I deactivated my Facebook account, but it's only temporary. There's been a little bit of drama here, and a little bit there, and it adds up, of course. I'm busy trying to focus on cultivating two different businesses, as well as planning a move north within the next year, so I'm trying to spend a little time regrouping and avoiding Facebook.

There wasn't any one specific cause, and I assure you, I'll be back on Facebook in a short time. But for now I'm busy preparing my products for both Adorable Foxie (we are going to be at Megacon again this year, and need to be prepared!) as well as for Scrub Oak Soaps (which will also be at Mega). I'm getting things listed on Etsy, and hope to upload some stuff on FA within the next few days as well. A break from Facebook makes me more likely to update the things I -need- to update. :P

I can always be reached via e-mail, and I'm on Skype (guess the username :P) if you need to get in touch. So please don't worry, if you were. ;)
Glue Gun

FWA - Pizza Party Art Jam!

Sorry for the relative silence around these parts- most of my down time has been spent catching up on work lately. So much to do, and not enough hours in the day to do it!

We are planning on attending FWA this year, of course, and as usual we are intent on hosting the Sunday night Pizza Party Art Jam! After closing ceremonies have ended and the dealer's room has closed, we gather with friends in a common area of the hotel and spend the evening together laughing, drawing, chowing down on pizza, and making memories together. It's a fun way for us to have a meal with friends without having to commit to going to dinner with just a small group of people. It's like a big room party, only, too big for one room to handle!

Since the con is at a new hotel this year, I have no idea where we'll be hanging out for the jam. Those of you that have joined us in years past, I'll pass along info to once I figure it out, and for those of you that might not be connected, either check @adorablefoxie on Twitter for details, or I will try to put up a notice on a bulletin board if there is one.

Looking forward to seeing all my friends again! :)
Gator Wrasslin'

Slow Going

To say the past two months have been a learning process would be an understatement. I expected to have a newborn baby that would sleep a lot, as newborns tend to do. What I got instead is a young'un that wants to stay awake and not miss any of the excitement. We just got her used to sleeping at night consistently so I can get enough sleep, now we're working on a daytime schedule.

Of course, everything is trial and error at this point, some days everything works just fine and other days nothing works. I've found something that seems to help get me some work time during the day - if I put E in her moby wrap and go for a ten minute walk around the neighborhood, I can get about 40 minutes of work time before she'll wake up and want to eat and/or play. Dizzy is ecstatic because this means lots of walks for her. I'm trying to be content because that means hopefully my legs will get into shape. :P So now I'm starting to schedule these walks/naps/worktime so we can have some daily consistency.

But to give you a good idea of how hectic the past few days have been: in the past week I've been able to accomplish work that I could normally get done in about a single day. Simple sewing components to a project take far too much time - the measuring, cutting, pinning and sewing all are done as quickly as possible without making errors, but 40 minutes a go is not much to work with. Granted, right now I only have been getting one work period per day (as the rest of the day is spent with chores and/or errands, in addition to tending the baby) but since E is showing consistency in the walk-then-work pattern, I'm going to bump it up to two working periods per day, then possibly three.

I'm also recruiting Silv to help out where he can. Either by watching E for me while he's home on weekends, or by teaching him to help with patterns/cutting/pinning/sewing, he's going to help me get caught back up on projects over the next few months.

Needless to say, things haven't gone as expected - they haven't been *bad*, just different from what I thought. I'm just glad that right now things seem to be leveling out a little bit, and that after a week of practicing work I'm getting that consistency from her already, hopefully that will continue for us. :)
Glue Gun

General Update

Just dropping a note here to let you all know I'm still alive. I promise. :)

For those that might have missed it, our baby girl was born three weeks ago. While we are not necessarily bending over backward to keep her real name private, we are going to be referring to her publicly/at conventions as "Eevee." And yes, it's based (somewhat loosely) on her actual name, and we already use this as a nickname for her. She is, after all, a mini-me, so she is just as foxy. ;)

The span of time between her birthday and today has just flown by. It is best described as "one long day" since survival has been from one nap to the next. We are finally getting a little bit of a schedule down for nighttime, which has been great, but daytime is another story. Right now we are going through a growth spurt, which has not been a lot of fun. Joe returned to work today, and I had hoped to do so as well in the near future, but growth spurts require a lot of eating and a lot of crying, so I haven't been able to. I'm aiming for late November/early December to resume work, if not necessarily full time then at least doing what I can during daylight down time. So my big projects will be resuming before the year's end. I really wish I could just carry my little girl in her wrap while I work, since she loves it and would cooperate, but all of the fur fibers flying around the room and fumes from glues would not be good for her respiratory system so I can't do that. Eventually I'll have some time to get back into the groove. :)

That's about it for now... Halloween here was quiet, we didn't pass out candy, we were just anti-social. We did go downtown that weekend and watched the costume contest/parade, there were some fantastic costumes! The people that congregate downtown for Halloween are easily as creative as cosplayers at a convention. :) After our day in town we walked some and visited with friends in the shops down there.

Will try to post some more updates in the future. :)
Glue Gun

RIP PandaGuy

News has been circulating this morning that pandaguy passed away last night.

PandaGuy was one of the earliest costumers I got to know, and was one of many that helped inspire me in building and performing in costumes. Though I don't know the exact cause, he has been struggling with health issues over the past few years. He always did his best to suit despite health problems, and always brought smiles by sharing balloons with everyone at conventions.

You'll be missed. :(
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Glue Gun

Well, that's that...

No, no baby yet.

But it seems like these last few weeks are going to be -really- hard on me, and now it's beyond frustrating. Last night, I discovered (after spending some time at my work desk, sewing) that simply using my sewing machine stretches a muscle in my pelvis that causes me to not even be able to walk without pain. You never really know how much you use certain muscles until you can't - last night, I literally had to shuffle, Igor-style, dragging my right foot behind me, across the living room and up the stairs to my bedroom because I simply could not raise my right foot/leg at all without excruciating pain through the right side of my abdomen.

So it looks like, for now, pretty much any of my major projects are going to be put on hold. I have a lot of stuff that I have yet to photograph as far as small items go, and I also have some accessories I can work on to finish by hand, but there's only so much I can do. Now, it's down to a waiting game. I don't want to over-work myself to the point where I'm simply unable to function enough to take care of myself, so I'm suspending most of my work from here on out. I guess I should be glad I've made it this far before having to "give up," as it were, but at this point I just want to get the last of it over with and be on the road to recovery.

Over the next week or so I might be adding a few new things to Etsy, things that have yet to be photographed or hand-finished, but other than that, I'm not going to be active as far as current work projects go, because I just can't spend the next three weeks dragging one foot behind me because it hurts too much. It's beyond frustrating, because there is SO much I want to get done, and just physically can't. :\
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Any day now...

Just dropping a note publicly since I'm not around too much on social sites lately. :3

So, at my doctor's appointment last week, the doc pretty much told me that if anything starts on its own at this point, they're not going to stop it. And you all know how spontaneous babies can be when they make their appearance, they can be early or they can be late.

Initially I was hoping the baby would stay put until the end of October so I could really crunch and work, but as the past few weeks have progressed, I'm starting to change my mind! It's been frustrating, because of physical limitations - I'm not going to go into detail, and while for the most part many things have been fairly easy about this pregnancy (and I'm not going to complain!) there have been a lot of things that I simply cannot do any more.

The biggest frustration is not being able to sit at my work table or sewing machine for long periods of time. Over the past few weeks, swelling in my feet has gotten so bad that I have to spend my evenings with my feet propped up on a mountain of pillows on the couch, and the swelling still doesn't go down by much.

The physical limitations have, frustratingly, slowed down my ability to work so much so that I've fallen behind on my big projects and just haven't been able to get done the things that I've wanted to get done.

Pretty much the only thing that will relieve the symptoms I've been going through is actually having the baby. We're due in the middle of October (roughly three weeks to go) and I'm hoping for quick recovery from that so I can get back to work. It's really been killing me to not be able to do many of the things that I enjoy, including working on my projects.

So I'm hanging in here, counting down the days, and hoping for sooner rather than later so things can get back to normal.... or, at least as normal as they'll be when things have been shaken up by a new member of the household. ;)
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Glue Gun

Dog updates, and Megaplex

Our new dog, Dizzy, has been continuing to make progress every day, especially now that I keep her on the leash during the days while I am home. Last week, she took a treat from Joe's hand instead of turning her nose up at him. She also learned after working for only one day that she doesn't have to bolt up the stairs as quickly as possible. This week she's started leaning up against me or sleeping on my feet. I think being on the leash and being made to be around the other members of the household, she's starting to feel like she has no choice but to be a member of the "pack" and so she's warming up a little bit.

I took her out this morning for her weekly socialization at the farmer's market and the dog park. We were very early (we went right after I was done with a glucose test appointment I had) so there wasn't a lot going on but she was actually eager when we got to the farmer's market - when she got out of the car her tail was wagging and she was happy. Then, at the dog park, there were other dogs there this time (last time it had been empty) and while she wasn't afraid or nervous, she sniffed them then decided she'd rather hang out with me. The only way she'd wander the park was if I walked with her. The rest of the time, she was glued to my side. Trying to see what she'd do if I left her to her own devices, I sat on a picnic table in the center of it so she couldn't lean up against me, and she climbed up onto the table with me and laid down beside me. So, I guess that settles that, she prefers me as a pack mate, now. ;)

This weekend is Megaplex. We're not planning to actually attend, though I do have some things to pass off to people over the weekend so we are going to be in Orlando at the hotel on Saturday for a brief period. Otherwise we'll probably do our usual Sea World and/or Ikea thing, as we both have really been needing a vacation day. If anyone here is going to be at the con and wants to say hey, let me know. We'll at least be in the area, if not attending.