Archive for December, 2010

New Year’s Eve

I’m going to be celebrating the fact that 2010 is going away.

Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

Now don’t get me wrong. There were a lot of new skills acquired this year.

I learned to cut with scissors.

I learned exactly what time the mailman comes.

I learned that one can only use the timer on my microwave while cooking things in my oven, and that if another one comes along and decides to nuke something in the middle of it, you have to turn the light on in the oven and stare at what’s in there until it’s done, or bad things will happen.

All of these are invaluable lessons and they are allowed to come with me into 2011.

The rest of you must go.

Thank you for understanding.

These are my weapons of choice for this evening.

I am officially 5’7′ in them. And I’m pretty sure they are going to make the snow melt.

I will be going to see a movie. I got one free from Living Social because I had a $5 credit for signing up, and I bought Brad one as a gift for $5. So we’re going out for $5.

That reminds me. The other day I went with my family to see Narnia. It blew my mind and I cried like a little girl through the whole thing. And I liked Eustace’s eyebrows. They looked like check marks. But that’s not why I’m telling you this.

I had 2 tickets from cereal boxes and 3 tickets a friend gave me about 3 years ago. They had no expiration date so I was super excited. The little cereal box treasures went through just fine. It was the real tickets that were the problem. Mean movie dude almost ruined my life.

MMD: (about 6 minutes into the process) I should have told you when I saw those in your hand that they  weren’t going to work for the movie you’re trying to see. They won’t work for 3D.

Me: Huh? Why not? They have no expiration date.

MMD: They’re red. They need to be blue.

Me: (in my head) Well hand me a marker and I’ll take care of that. (out loud) Huh?

Brad: It doesn’t say that anywhere on here.

MMD: It says it excludes large format movies.

Brad: Large format movies are IMAX movies. This is 3D.

Me: Huh?

MMD: It isn’t going to work. The system won’t let it work.

Me: Well, can you trade me a blue one for a red one, and I can pay you the difference? (in my head) OR, you can just hand me a marker and I can take care of it.

MMD: No. I can’t.

Me: Please? (in my head) Please?

MMD: Nope. Sorry.

And he walks away. He. Walked. Away.


I guess I still have 3 red tickets. To match my red cheeks.

All ended well anyway.

Happy New year, folks. I’m expecting a great one.


the parentals

My parents are so here.

I love that more than anything, probably ever.

We played Apples to Apples. My dad is very good at this. He sort of wills it.

Tay still beat him. Something about  a will.

She doesn’t quite get it.

Mom and I shopped a little.

And then I dragged her through Target. I needed a few things.

People live here and eat things. So many times.

disclaimer * I’m sorry. I had no idea my mom has no idea what the inside of a grocery store looks like. I should have known, since any and all grocery visits throughout my life involved my father, very fast walking and chipper conversation. The only time I recall a moment in the grocery store with my mom involves strange butter cookies that could be made into fancy rings, just in time for Sunday School. *

Luckily, my favorite check out dude was there. No, it isn’t you, James. You could be. You just choose to be all supervisey every time I see you. Which I suppose is great for you. Glad I could be of service.

It’s the very tall man who I always warn, interact with and generally, schmooze.

And he says, “We’ll make it work.”

I’m in love with him and thinking of running away with him.

Except he’s too tall.

And I’m married.

But he made it work.

Unlike the crazies at Walmart who have to call 911 for help to okay a manufacturer’s coupon that happens to have the word Safeway on it. It’s still a manufacturer’s coupon. I could use it in Hawaii if I felt like it. But feel free to call the law. Or Leeza the coupon exterminator. Is it personal, Leeza?

Guess what?

I went ahead and took that little gatorade coupon guy to Target.

And he made it work.

I’m pretty sure “We’ll make it work” is the best statement I’ve ever heard in my life.

Oh, and also…

I used the word flippin several times when I told my mommy about the Walmart chick. She curled up into a ball and cried like Kanye West. Okay, that is a huge lie.

My mom’s first language is sarcasm. She speaks it fluently. And gracefully, which is virtually impossible.

I spent .44 on a Gillette gift set.

Tucker is so clean shaven.

Tomorrow I’ll post pics of the stupid sick deals I took home today. And I use the word tomorrow loosely.

Been Busy

I’ve been busy.

I’m pretty sure you have been, too.

Here are my top observances of the week.

1. My kids are loud. In a good way. Okay, I asked for noise canceling headphones for Christmas.

2. I have memorized my credit card number, expiration date and cvc code. That little guy could disappear forever and I could still book cruises for the next ten years.

3. I think Whole Foods should pack up and move to the open space. We’ll see how much traffic there is then.

4. If I don’t get to the Safeway coupons first, the crazy self check out Nazis grab them, crumple them up, and throw them away. I don’t know about you, but I think they should be charged as criminals.

5. I may or may not be hatching an international register coupon plan to have Safeway save the ones that aren’t taken by customers and brought to use for the Carry Out Caravan program for the elderly. Do it or bust. By the way, I almost imploded when I saw that they crumpled them up and threw them away. The calculator in my head hurts real bad.

6. Have I ever mentioned that a legion of Kindergartners could wrap presents better than I do?

7. I’m going to a beach in Mexico in January. I might need to stop eating.

8. My friend Natalie brought over cinnamon rolls. They literally gave me chills. Twice.

9. I pronounce the word coupon wrong. I didn’t know it was koooopon. Losers.

10. I want more cinnamon rolls.

Happy Christmas to you.

I’ll be back soon with a vengeance.

um. gypsy jules facebook. I would have saved you a million dollars by now.

oh man

I lost my coupons at the mall. All of them.

But then I found them.

People are lucky I didn’t blow the mall up.

That sounded violent.


It may or may not have been the worst 15 to 20 minutes of my life.  Only because I ran. With my hip breaking Uggs on. Don’t buy those. They are debilitating.

I almost and I’m not exaggerating lost and found about $150.

More than I’ve ever had in my actual wallet. Ever.

Stupid mall.

Stepping Out

I’ve been cheating on Target.

Okay, not really cheating. More like flirting.

It’s just that Safeway can be so spontaneous, and begs my attention, and has started wooing me mercilessly with its random steals and winks at me with the coupon printouts it so graciously awards me.

Yes, I am as uncomfortable with this as you are.

Lately, Safeway has been so generous with me. I pop in there to grab some olives (almost daily, it’s my only vice) and then I will see that little yellow tag and soon the little calculator that lives in my head goes completely berserk and then the little filing cabinet in there starts stacking coupons and then I have to check the date of when these little beautiful deals expire and then I promise Safeway, in earnest, that I will be back. And then I buy my olives.

And here’s where it really starts to get interesting.

I always check out at the self check lanes. There’s a child inside who still likes to scan things and make them beep and memorize codes. The code for olives is 5445. It’s incredibly satisfying.

But I’ve noticed that the people who check out for themselves tend to leave all of the coupon printouts at the registers and they accumulate, sometimes until they reach the floor.

This can’t be happening.

So naturally I go around to each (there are 12 of them if you must know) and collect them. Shamelessly. It’s sort of like elegant dumpster diving. Okay, that is a horrible analogy.

Here’s a sample of what I got just yesterday.

It’s completely ridiculous.  A free Simply Apple Juice, 2 free Simply Grapefruit Juices, a free 2 liter bottle of Sierra Mist and a buy one, get one free Lean Pockets, which I will stack with another coupon to basically get them for free. Uh, score?

I’m seriously considering bringing  a lawn chair to Safeway and camping out at the front.

I’m starting to freak myself out. My apologies.

Here’s another little example. Guess how much I paid for these?

4 bucks. Yep. Now I just need a thousand pounds of port wine cheese and it’s pretty much Christmas.

Here’s why.

If you buy 5, you get them for $1 a piece. I had a $1 off 2. I was actually annoyed with myself because I didn’t bring 2 of these coupons. I’m slipping.

Here’s another little beauty.

Clementines. Yum. Great price.

Here’s one that could be considered child abuse.

Banquet chicken strips. Or whatever they pretend to be. They sure aren’t chicken. But Tucker couldn’t care less. Just dip em in bbq sauce and inhale. These were $1.99, normally almost $5. I can buy 2 real live chickens for that, I think. I’ve always wanted to raise chickens.


Speaking of chicken, I went to Chik fil A today. Heavenly, I tell you.

But there’s something truly incredible that happened. My receipt printed out and it had a survey on the bottom. If I participate, I get a free sandwich. Simple as that. So of course I squealed like a little girl. And that reminded the Chik fil A window dude that they are having a receipt day Dec. 22. What this means is that whatever you buy that day, keep the receipt and anytime in 2011 you can show that receipt and get the exact same thing for free. Could be $500 or $3. Doesn’t matter. It will be free.

So I wept. And then I apologized to Taylor for having to witness this. And then I remembered that Chik fil A is introducing a spicy biscuit breakfast sandwich and you can reserve a free one on Monday, Dec. 27.  By now I’m holding up the line. But you can’t drive while sobbing.

Good thing Tay has her permit.

Here are few deals for this week.

Better Oats buy one get one free

Special K buy one get one free – register for the challenge

50% off carry out orders at Domino’s

Free Aveda samples

Lots of free full size bottles of Excedrin – just click on health when you get to And while you’re there, browse around and have your mind blown.

80% off gift certificates, code is PRESENT. You can also be giving away 40 $10 gift certificates for FREE everyday until Dec. 31th. It’s called the Feed it Forward program. It is an amazing way to gift those people in your life who have everything.

Free Bath and Body Works lotion, no purchase necessary.

And you’re pretty much crazy if you don’t friend my gypsy jules facebook. Frankly, I don’t know how you sleep at night.

A fairy tale

Once upon a time I blogged.

About coupons and mailboxes and flour. And coupons.

I miss that.

12 Dates of Christmas

I asked Misty to write about this tradition she has with her family because I think it’s sweet, affirming and really really clever. Misty is one of those people who values beauty, family and community, and likes to find ways to bring all of those things together. Besides that, she has mad decorating skills, cooks like a maniac and somehow, her house always smells great. Hopefully you can incorporate some of these ideas into your holiday experience.

The Twelve Dates of Christmas

I like to celebrate.  I like to make a fuss.  I like to be a little over the top.  I like to make sure things that are supposed to mean something are filled with meaning.  So I’m constantly on a quest to create special celebrations and specifically special holiday traditions.  Especially special, huh?  Randy & I have amazing families but holiday celebrations consist of gathering and eating; with the addition of a gift exchange at Christmas.  So what does this mean?  Not a whole lot.  Our families gather and eat year round.  We’re actually pros at it.  So it has been very important to me that we create traditions with our kids that infuse the holidays with meaning beyond the amazing feast.  One way we do this is our annual Twelve Dates of Christmas.  I suppose you could be really creative and plan your dates around the themes of the song “Twelve Days of Christmas” but we haven’t done that… yet.

Our Twelve Dates of Christmas are always flexible.  Life with kids will do that.  Some are very planned and others are more spontaneous.  The idea is to create special moments by planning fun dates but also by approaching the regular holiday activities with enthusiasm. We plan a couple of splurge experiences like tickets to the Philharmonic’s Christmas show, Merry Pops.  And for other dates we try to plan around free and low-cost activities offered in our area.  We live in the Oklahoma City metro and OKC offers a great “Downtown in December”.  There’s ice skating, snow tubing, free canal rides, sponsored free admission to museums and attractions, and more.  While most dates include our whole family, we always plan a romantic date or two for the Mr. & Missus and some dates include extended family and friends.  This year, we’re inviting friends over for an “O Come All Ye Playful” game night.  For all of our “at home” dates, we make sure to have something special that makes it feel like the holidays: eggnog, hot chocolate, popcorn, or our other favorite holiday treats.

Here are a few other ideas:

Trim the Tree & Deck the Halls – we always make a production of out decorating our home (this year has been a bit drawn out)
Christmas Programs at local churches and schools
Christmas Movie Marathon  – some dates get repeated, this is one of them; there are just too many good Christmas movies
Christmas Light Tours – we usually take one in our pajamas and another night after dessert at one of our favorite spots.
Cookie Decorating – Lola & I make our favorite sugar cookies, Randy makes gingerbread men & women… he’s very creative.
Local Parade
Trip to see Santa
Trip to shop for Angel Tree child or other charitable contribution
Shopping date – hit all the special shops you want to go to but never do.
Dinner & a Movie – December is always a terrific month for new releases
Bonfire & Marshmallow Roast
Gift Wrapping Party
Horse Carriage Ride
Holiday Parties
Sporting Event
and the list could go on… in the comments section!!!

Merry Christmas and Happy Dating!


P.S.  Does anyone want to go caroling with us?  It’s only fun with a group and maybe just a bit creepy for a couple dragging their kids along.

Thanks, Misty. And yes, I’d love to go caroling with you. Maybe we could Skype that in…

Oh, and check out Misty’s photography at Revel Photo. You might just want to schedule an appointment with her. If you live in Oklahoma, that is. Can’t really Skype a photo session. Or can you?