Couponing to Disney

I follow this blog (and Facebook page) called Couponing to Disney because she and her family are obsessed with all things Disney, much like my husband and me. She has a "Grow Your Fund" challenge that encompasses a couple of different things:

1) Budgeting
2) No Dining Out
3) De-cluttering
4) Minnie-mizing for the mouse

All these things are meant to help you "Grow Your Fund" to go to Disney. If you are thinking of going out to eat and you decide not to, you put that money in your fund because mentally, you'd already spent it. Same for movies, things you think of buying, etc... If you fall under your budget, you put the extra in your fund because you don't need it. And working on walking and losing weight is always helpful for a Disney vacation because you'll be doing a lot of walking, so it's good to condition yourself. The decluttering part I don't participate in because we declutter often enough that it's not something we need to do right now.

So I'm going to be adding my Grow Your Fund information to this blog so that I'm even more accountable for growing our Disney fund, especially since we'll be needing to tap that fund come December 24th of this year! So on the side I've added a little spot for me to keep track of what we've saved and I'll account for it here. For example, I put $300 away today for my scheduled savings, plus $13.42 because our utility bill came in under what I'd budgeted for it. That brings me up to $751.53.

Our goal is $1,320. Here's our breakdown:

1) $300 for gas, a little less if prices stay around where they are right now
2) $120 for two one-night hotel stays halfway to and from Florida
2) $336 for 2 two-day Disney tickets
3) $150 for a third and fourth day if we decide we want it
4) $50 for gas while we're there
5) $100 for food for two days at Disney
6) $50 for a third and fourth day (those would likely be shorter days so we wouldn't need as much in-park)
7) $214 left over for incidentals and for our Christmas shopping in-park

My Christmas shopping is done for everyone. All that's left is the Christmas shopping we do for each other and for Scarlet at the park. I'm thinking we'll be able to make our goal if I do my couponing really well and keep our food budget to about $75 per month! Whew!


It's been raining allll week long!

Scarlet during tummy time!

It's been raining cats and dogs here all week long. Big, massive rain storms. They only last for a few minutes, but those few minutes are pretty regular and much too often for us to actually go out and go for a walk or anything without getting drenched. I've been itching to get out and go for a walk with Scarlet because the weather is nice and cool, but it's definitely not happening until at least Saturday. So we've been stuck in doors! Scarlet has been working on her tummy time--she's getting great at holding her head up and kind of pushing herself up. She doesn't get frustrated immediately anymore! And she's gotten really good at rolling to her left! Here's a cute video of her rolling over:

We've been playing with toys, and even making our own, like drum sets made out of Tupperware and a rubber spatula. She also loves her new GloWorm and her Pop 'n Spin ball top. Sometimes she's scared of the balls popping around and the sound they make, but mostly she's excited about it.

And we've been reading a lot of books, including touch 'n feel books so she can feel all the different textures. She loves her Puppy Touch 'n Feel books!

Reading books with Mommy

Because of the rain, not much at all has happened this week that's newsworthy. I was able to deep clean my house because I discovered that Scarlet loves Mumford & Sons and is completely content to sit through the entire CD in her swing while I run around and dust and mop and Pledge the furniture. Vacuuming is also a great way to induce nap time.

The weather is supposed to clear up this weekend though, so I'm thinking we'll either visit the Milwaukee County Zoo (it's supposed to be amazing!) or we'll go visit the Jelly Belly visitor center. Yum! Or it'll be an errand weekend and we'll get all our shopping for the month done. Either way, we'll have fun. :)

Now for a dose of cuteness. She just has so many great faces!


Our Fun-Filled Weekend!

This past weekend we took advantage of all sorts of things to do around Milwaukee. We ran all over the place on Saturday! First stop was Toys 'r Us, where they were celebrating Geoffrey the Giraffe's 2nd birthday. There were giveaways and parades every 1/2 hour (it was a really pathetic parade...) and best of all, a buy 2 get 1 free sale on Playskool toys! And Scarlet needs more toys. So we were able to pick up a Gloworm, which she adores, one of those Press 'n Spin Tumble Tops that babies love, and a Fill 'n Spill Hippo, which we're saving for Christmas since it's more for the crawling stages.
While we were there we saw the old school Lincoln Logs and Tinkertoys and decided those were a must have for us. Because we want to play with them, regardless of whether or not Scarlet likes them! We also sat Scarlet in one of the Disney Princess chairs. She generally loves to practice sitting up, almost as much as she likes to practice standing up, but she wasn't having any of that sitting down business right then! I also did some cleaning up on Hasbro games with the Hasbro Family Game Night coupons that were recently released. Not all of these games were purchased at
Toys 'r Us, since K-Mart had the best deals, but after all was said and done, I got $257 worth of games for $38. A ton of our Christmas shopping is done now, including for friends! The rest of it will be done at Walt Disney World! After all, it's our favorite place, and Disney merchandise is our favorite. Since we don't need anything, why not just buy fun stuff this Christmas for all of us? After getting our picture taken with Geoffrey the Giraffe, it was time to head to the Milwaukee Art Museum for National Museum Day!

The Milwaukee Art Museum is in a gorgeous building right on the lakefront right in downtown Milwaukee. It's where they filmed part of Transformers 3 (you know, his girlfriend works in the museum and he goes there to see her and he meets her boss and everything is very white with lots of windows?). They also hold American Idol auditions here when they come to Milwaukee. This is a view of the museum across the skyway to the entrance. The roof of the building actually opens up and creates wings at certain times of the day (as long as it isn't too windy). I'll have to get a picture of that sometime (or you can Google it if you want to see it now). Anyway. It was National Museum Day sponsored by the Smithsonian, so participating museums all across the country were free to visit.
So we headed over and walked through the museum. I had been to the museum recently with my mom and Mike on Labor Day weekend, but it's a great museum so I was more than happy to visit it again. It actually has one of the paintings that I wrote a paper on while I was studying art history at BYU--Wayne Thiebaud's "Refrigerator Pie." It was fun to see it in person. It look just as unappetizing in person as it did when I wrote about how unappetizing it looked based on
the pictures in my books. We spent a couple hours there, wandering around. We particularly like the modern art part of the museum. Aside from ancient Greek and Roman art, Modern has always been my (and Jeremy's) favorite artistic period. Jeremy loved this bronze sculpture and snapped a photo of it. It was also one of Mike's favorites when we visited. And bronze sculpture has always been a favorite of mine, and is still one of my favorite mediums to work in (except I don't have the facilities to cast bronze now that I'm not at BYU anymore...sad), so this is one of my favorites at the Milwaukee museum, too.

The view from the Art Museum windows

Sitting in the Art Museum

After the museum, we headed to Wal-Mart. Arguably the best part of the day... :/ We had to go there because Scarlet needs a new bassinet. She's outgrowing her Moses Basket, and we want to get her up off the floor when she sleeps in our room since the weather
is getting colder. We tried a co-sleeper, but our bed is only a queen, so we need to get a bassinet so she doesn't feel so alone on the ground. She's a terrible sleeper. She naps maybe once per day and absolutely refuses to fall asleep at a respectable time. Really, I'd be happy with any bedtime prior to midnight right now. They were all sold out of the travel bassinet that we want though (since we're coming to Utah for Thanksgiving and then going to Walt Disney World for Christmas, a travel one would be handy), so I'll just order it online. After that, we went home and tried our hand at copycat KFC fried chicken. It was delicious!! If you want the recipe, just let me know in the comments and I'll post it here on the blog. Turned out perfectly. Great crispy breading, wonderful flavor. Mmmm. Definitely a great copycat recipe.

Scarlet at three months, on September 24, 2011

Scarlet turned 3 months old last Wednesday (on the 21st)! She's now 22.5" long and weighs about 10 lbs, 2.5 ounces. She's gained pretty much four pounds since she was born! She's our perfect little Lettie. :)

Morning from Scarlet!

Lettie and Mom watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse

We were up early this morning to eat breakfast, so we watched Mickey Mouse Clubhouse after we were done. We're working on getting Scarlet on a more regular schedule. I don't know how well it will work since she's still so young, but it's worth a shot so we can get some better sleep. So we're getting up early so she'll be tired for a mid-morning nap and hopefully an afternoon nap, too, rather than an evening nap so she'll go to bed earlier.

I'll definitely be joining her in her morning nap.


Labor Day Weekend, 2011

Scarlet was blessed in our Church over Labor Day weekend, so my parents and Jeremy's parents and his two youngest sisters came to visit. We had a great time! Jeremy's family got here on Thursday night and stayed through Tuesday. My parents came on Saturday morning and stayed through Monday.

Scarlet looked so pretty in her little white eyelet dress! She had little black shoes with polka dot bows, too, but they didn't work so well--her feet are so narrow!

We had cupcakes from the Milwaukee Cupcake Factory to celebrate! Cupcakes seemed more appropriate than a cake for such a cute little girl. Her face in this picture tells me this was a correct assumption. :) We also had some great subs for lunch and a tasty barbecue for dinner that night.

Dayna is pregnant with a little girl, so she got some good practice with Scarlet. And Steph and Lettie had a great time meeting each other.

Jeremy and his parents and sisters went to the beach on Labor Day. It was a great day for the beach!

And my parents, Scarlet and I went to the Milwaukee Art Museum and to Kopp's Frozen Custard for lunch. It was so fun!

The past year and a half, in a nutshell

I forgot I had this blog. But now that we live in Wisconsin and we're the only ones who live in Wisconsin (of our family and friends--we don't have the entire state of Wisconsin to ourselves, of course), I figure this is a great way to keep every up on what we're doing. But first, here's a recap of the last year and a half. Mostly in pictures so as not to be overwhelming.

Jeremy graduated from BYU with his Bachelor's degree in Bioinformatics. At the time, he was working for both BYU and for the U of U. For both Athletic departments. BYU still rules. U of U still stinks.

We moved to Draper. Got ourselves out of Utah Valley. Hooray!! We got a townhouse on South Mountain and commenced one of the best summers of our lives--at the pool. It was our first house with stairs. We decided we don't like stairs. They just take up square footage.

We got guinea pigs. Darwin (the black one) and Einstein (the white one with the potential for crazy hair). This is them meeting for the first time. It was a slightly rocky evening. But they're best buds now.

We went to Disneyland. A lot. Because we had season passes. It was a-m-a-z-i-n-g. Amazing. I took my mom with me in April, too. Best Mother/Daughter trip ever!

I got pregnant!

Jeremy got a job as a Bioinformatics Analyst at the Medical College of Wisconsin! So we picked up and moved. Jeremy started on April 25, 2011. I moved here a week later. Cleaning a leased townhouse to move out while 7.5 months pregnant?? Something I'd rather never do again.

We really like our new place. We rented it based only on pictures taken mid-remodel, but we're very happy with it. We're going to look at getting into a house next April, though. We'd like to not have to deal with landlords and have our own place.

We had Scarlet Hypatia on June 21, 2011 at 9:22 a.m. 6 lbs, 3 oz. She's perfect.

Darwin and Einstein both turned 1 (about one month apart)! We celebrated with veggie plates with veggie "candles." They shared with each other at both Piggie parties.

Scarlet is now three months old. We're very happy here in Wisconsin. Jeremy loves his job, Sara loves staying home with Scarlet, and Scarlet loves being cuddled. She also loves her new Gloworm, named Squishy. And now, random pictures from the last three months: