Author: Cheryl
•3:22 PM
Well, Oprah without all the money and all.  As you read in my last post I lack in the shopping gene (well outside of groceries), and I can be pretty cheap with myself.  However, I do have a a few items that I come to just fall in love with madly, and some I have spent a little money on (or got as a gift, that counts, right).

So without further ado, here is My Favorite Things, in case you haven't completed your shopping yet, and you are so pathetic that you would look to me for holiday present advice.

1.)  Butler Bag by Jen Groover 

I originally talked about my fascination about this bag a year or two ago on this blog before I even owned one.  I saw it, knew it was perfect for me.  Since I never want anything my husband was thrilled to have something easy to buy me for my birthday.  It was as simple black bag with the organizer of all organizers inside.  It was love at first site.  That was over a year ago and we are still in love.  I do have to admit I did switch to another bag for a little.  One of those typical bags where everything just gets throw in the bottom of it.  But that lasted about two weeks before it drove me crazy and I went back to my Butler Bag.

The inside of my hybrid Butler Bag contain 6 small compartments and one large compartments.  You can fit several things in each of the small comparts.  I have one that has my Iphone, Ipod and headphones in it.  Another that holds 4 tubes of lipstick/gloss, a compact and a container of hand sanitizer.  The large compartment is great for all sorts of things.  I have a compact umbrella and hairbrush in it, but I have room for more, like a water bottle, scarf, lint roller etc.  There is even room on both sides of the organizer for flat items, like paperwork, full sized notebook, that great novel you are reading or the latest grocery store circular.  There is a zippered change purse and the bag is sturdy and fashionable.

The greatest compliments I have gotten on this bag, for real, have been from security people.  When I have had to open my purse at the airport, concert, tv show, etc., I get the toughest men and women ready to scrutize the contents until I open it up and they all go soft and say "Oh wow, that is the coolest thing I have ever seen".  I'm not kidding.  It has happened just twice last week.

I love my Butler Bag and hope Santa (hint hint) gets me another one in a different color this year.  Please check out Jen's site.  They are worth the price and are cheaper than those fancy foo foo bags all the girls carry in the mall.

Butler Bag by Jen Groover

2.)  Iphone

My husband is an Apple junkie.  If its made by Apple he wants it.  He stood outside the Apple store in line when the Iphone first came out.  He was on it 24/7, he raved, raved, raved about it.  I held my ground and kept my cheap old phone saying I didn't need all that fancy stuff, I just need to make a phone call now and then.  I even called him Paris Hilton when he would text and basically sit glued to the phone where we went.

About a year later my phone really started to die on me and I knew I had to get a new one.  My husband insisted I get an Iphone and promised me I would love it.  I gave in and he drove me right down to the Apple store.  I walked a little bit later with a brand new Iphone 3G (didn't need the 3GS).  I must say the Apple employees are quick and wonderful with your purchases.

At first I just played with what came on the phone and it took me a while to get the hang of it, but I still was convinced I would get overly into it like my husband.  Once I found the App store that all came to an end.  I was addicted.  I loved sorting through the applications I could get for free and purchase that would make my life easier.  Some I didn't like and erased shortly after getting them, but some have become things I can't live without.

Its an amazing phone and I'm sure you heard people whoop and holler all about it, but it really is worth it.  Its my daily organizer, financial planner, internet, e-mail, Ipod, camera, tape recorder, radio, file cabinet, game center, cookbook, map finder, and card store all into one, plus more.  The only thing I am hoping is that Santa brings me a car charger for it, as I tend to burn the little monster into the ground over the course of the day.

So yes, I love my Iphone.  I'm not ashamed to say so.  I highly recommend.

3.)  Hamilton Beach BrewStation

I got my love of drinking coffee from my grandmom.  When I was a teenager I would sleep over her house in the summers and she would make me breakfast.  She would always have instant coffee with her meal.  I loved the smell of it from the beginning.  At first she let me have a sip now and then and as I got older she would let me have a cup now and then.  It wasn't again until I was in my mid twenties that my love of coffee came back.  But the only place I liked to drink it was at a diner.  They have great coffee, don't know why.

My mother in law was the first person I knew who had the Hamilton Beach BrewStation.  I loved the look of it, the lack of glass carafe, and the coffee pouring out of dispenser, all hot when you need it.  I told her how awesome I thought this was.  A few months later guess what I got for Christmas from her?  You got it.  I still have that same BrewStation a few years later.  And I love it.  I am the only one in my house who drinks coffee but it still gets a good use just from me and when I have company over.  It works as good as the day I got it.  Its easy to use, easy to clean and looks good on the counter.

The picture above is the the version I have but Hamilton Beach makes all sorts of versions of BrewStations now.  I highly recommend for the coffee lover in your life.

Author: Cheryl
•10:04 AM

Over the course of my 37 years of life, I've noticed that I lack in a few areas where women are either supposed to excel in or just go batty for.

And lately I have had the pleasure in meeting some great new friends who really bring these inperfections to my persona up to the light.

1.)  I don't like shoes.  I mean I see ones that look cute.  I see them on other people and think they are cute. But I really only think of one thing when I see shoes, BLISTERS.  New shoes hurt and in my opinion they hurt enough to make me not like them, and not want to buy them.  I am probably one of the only women I know who rarely gives a glance when passing by the window of a shoe store.   I love Sex And The City, but I ain't wearin' the shoes.  I buy a pair of shoes, and wear them until my toes are peaking out the holes.  What you see above is the type of shoe I wear all the time.  I do have a collection of shoes in my closet that look great but I have banned them from my feet cause they just freakin' hurt.  But I hate to be barefoot so I really can't win here.

2.)  I can't accessorize. 

I own 3 belts.  A black belt that is basically falling apart, came free with a pair of pants and has holes I made in it to fit my various sizes my waist has been.  A green belt that again came with an outfit and another black one with rhinestones on it that my husband actually picked out for me at a fancy store in AC.  That is my fancy belt and only comes out on special occasions.   That is it.

Scarves.  My husband had to get me into wearing scarves.  Most women just gravitate towards what the hot trend is and then seek out what they need to make it work.  Not me, I have my husband.  He says  "You should buy some scarves and wear them like all the girls are wearing them now."  He then proceeded to pick some out of me and made me buy them.  He also looked at me with such disgust and disappointment as a woman when I went to wear one one night and had no clue how to wear it. I actually looked on the internet to see how you were supposed to wear one of these.  I still only know one way to wear a scarf.  The others were just too complicated.

3.)  Hair.  I hate going to get my hair cut.  I do love a good cut the next morning when you get to try it yourself for the first time.  But I completely despise sitting in the chair and engaging in that fake conversation with the stylist who really could give a crap about what you doing this weekend but feels the need to ask.  I had an amazing stylist about 10 years ago who not only did great hair but would be pretty engrossed in conversations with the stylist next to her while she did my hair.  So we barely had to talk, she did great hair and then she went and quit the salon to stay home with her kids.  If I could I would seek her out and hire her privately, but I'm poor.    Because of this I wait long periods before I give in to get my hair cut.  The last time I went was in July, yes, JULY.

What spawned this was the conversations I was privy to with these great, fabulous new friends on a day trip to NYC this week. They were discussing great moisturizers and face creams.  Brands that I never heard of.  I realized that I use whatever is cheap or whatever I get for free at CVS.    They make me aspire to be more of a woman or at least try to get my hair cut once a season.

I'm working on it.  To be continued...
Author: Cheryl
•1:01 PM

I remember last year I made a killing of deals at CVS on Black Friday.  This year it wasn't too bad, but could have been better.  And I did need body wash, so that is always a good find.

1 Schick Quatro  $9.99
1 Vaseline Sheer Infusion  $7.99
1 St. Ives body wash  $3.99
2 Bic Soleil razors  $6.99 each

Total $35.95

(1) $1.00 off Schick Quattro
(1) $1.00 off Vaseline lotion
(1) $1.00 off St. Ives body wash
(2) $2.00 off Bic Soleil Razors

ECB's Used $23.95
OOP  $4.95 + tax
ECB's Earned $28.99

Made some extra ECB's.  One of my ECB's didn't work, and that is why I had a $4.95 oop cost.  But still not bad.  Hopefully they keep good sales running for the next few weeks.
Author: Cheryl
•3:32 PM

We have been pretty well stocked up on some things for a while.  So I just hit ShopRite to take advantage of some sales and the basics.


2 Friendly's ice cream $1.88 each
Cool Whip .99
Salad dressing $1.99
Real Goodness milk $3.69 - $1.00 q = $2.69
4 Texas Toast croutons $1.00 each - $1.00 off 2 q's = .50 each
3 College Inn broths  3 for $2.00 - $1.00 off three = .33 each
1 Mrs. Smith pie  $1.99 - $1.00 q = .99
1 Hefty trash bags $2.24
3 Philadelphia cream cheeses  .99 each - $1.00 off three = .66 each
2 Quaker life cereals  $1.99 each
1 pk of tomatoes $3.99
1 head of lettuce $1.99
1 Gillette shaving cream $1.99 - $1.00 q = .99
2 LA Looks gel  $1.24 - $1.00 q = .24 each
1 Reynolds wrap  $2.49 - $1.00 q = $1.24

Total spent $31.20

Author: Cheryl
•3:23 PM
Hey I said I was getting back in the game on my blog, but then I put it off again for a bit.  What the heck.

Well here we go.  Back to CVS.  Not bad deals this week, considering the last few weeks they have been absolutely dreadful.

1 Scope Outlast  $3.49
2 Glade Sense & Sprays  $6.00 each = $12.00
1 4 pk Duracell batteries $2.99

Total  $18.48

(1) $1.00 off Scope
(2) $4.00 off Glade Sense & Sprays
(1) $1.00 off Duracell

ECB's used $8.00
Total oop $1.77
ECB's earned $7.00

Not a money maker, but I have found lately that not alot of the deals are.  But still good to stock up on some things.  I am hoping the deals get better as the holidays get closer.
Author: Cheryl
•4:06 PM

I'm back, I'm alive and ready to post. 

I took an unexpected leave of absence from the blog when alot of stuff was going on in our lives.  Been through alot, learned alot.  But everything is good, and ready to get Nice Pumpkins back rolling again.

I did learn through my hiatus that my stockpile was a godsend.  There were many times I could get to or didn't feel like shopping and I had my storage to use.  Unfortunately it took a little hit from that, and now I definitely need to replenish some things.

As for the finances well.......and I have to be honest.......they took a hit too.  I wasn't so good with the credit cards and the emergency fund when my stress increased.   But all you can do is get back on the horse and continue the journey (how cheesy).

So I now continue with the shopping, the couponing, CVS, the deals and back to the debit paying and savings plan.  Stay tuned...  
Author: Cheryl
•3:09 PM

I went to SuperFresh on Saturday because they were having triple coupons. Been a while since I've been to one of those. And this one didn't work out too bad. I also got some meats, as we needed to stock up.


2 boxes New York bread products $3.70 - .50 q tripled = $2.20 each
1 pack steaks $4.15
1 Weight Watchers cream cheese $2.59 - .75 q's = .34
2 pks chicken thighs $2.50 and $1.59
1 Blue Bunny ice cream $2.99 - .75 q's = .74
4 Newman's Own dressing $2.50 - .75 q's = .25 each
4 Tabasco sauce $1.89 - .75 q's = Free plus overage
1 Febreeze $2.50 - .75 q's = .25
1 Marzetti cole slaw dressing $2.99 - .75 q's = .74
1 Milk Way Bar = Free with coupon
1 Mr. Clean magic eraser $2.50 - $1.50 = $1.00
1 Oscar Mayer franks = Free with coupon
1 Velveeta cup $1.39 - .55 q's = FREE
4 McCormick spices $2.29 - .75 q's = .04 each

Total spent $20.45

Off to Vercchio's, the produce market, and then to ShopRite to finish up the deals.

2 bags of tomatoes
3 bags of bananas
1 bag of apples
1 bag of Romaine lettuce
1/2 lb of swiss cheese
1/2 lb of corned beef
1 loaf of rye bread

Total $20.00

3 Land O Lakes lite butter $1.99 - $1.00 q's = .99
1 Land O Lakes Fresh Butter Spread .99 - .55 q's = FREE
4 boxes of Carolina rice .99 - .50 q's = FREE
3 Ocean Spray juices $2.77 - .55 = $1.77

Total $9.44

Total spent $49.89.

Gayle, who has a great website call The Grocery Cart Challenge, was the original inspiration to me to try a budget with my grocery shopping. Please check out her site, to see how she does it and how some others who also have decided to try her challenge.