Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Christmas overload

I'm just gonna go ahead and warn you that, like all of my (or anybody's, really) holiday recap posts, this is going to be really long. BUT it's full of pictures so if you just want to glance over them that's fine with me. Or if you want to read everything that's fine too. That's better, actually. OR if you just read these first few sentences and you're already bored and you're like "Oh my gawd, Juliette, enough with the recaps!" and leave without reading any further then that's fine too.

ANYWAY. Vacation started Tuesday night. I left work around 5 and got my stuff together and cleaned out my car so Keith and I could begin the 5 hour drive to his parents house in California's Central Valley. I think we ended up leaving around 7. The drive was pretty boring at first, but then I convinced him to eat Taco Bell with me and then I asked him like 50 billion questions which I'm sure weren't annoying at all. Questions like, "What's your favorite food?" "What's your favorite dessert?" "What's your favorite drink?" "What's your favorite childhood memory?" And we had some really great conversations because of those questions so if you're going on a long drive with your significant other or anybody, really, ask seemingly boring questions because the answers may surprise you.

We got to his parents' house around 1230am and his parents, grandma, and brother were still awake so we spent an hour talking about my job and other things I only vaguely remember because it was after midnight and I was practically asleep.

Then I slept in the laundry room.

The next morning, Christmas Eve, we had a big breakfast with all of his family and then his parents and his grandparents gave me gifts and it was really sweet but also really embarrassing because 1) I had to open things in front of everybody, and 2) I hadn't gotten them anything. I mean, what's the protocol for getting your boyfriend's family gifts? My parents and siblings-in-law didn't exchange gifts until after there was a wedding, so I just didn't even think about it. Am I the rudest? Should I buy them things and give them gifts when they come visit this weekend? HEEEEELP!!!


Then I drove to San Luis Obispo and you guys, it was gorgeous. I usually filter the crap out of all of my pictures but I didn't touch this one.


After spending about 3 hours doing last minute Christmas shopping (procrastinators unite... tomorrow!), I headed home where most of my family had congregated. My grandpa and aunt from Sacramento were visiting but if we're being honest, I was mostly excited to see the cutest baby in the entire world.

I was feeding her avocado and had sat her on the counter. She crawled over to the window in the corner and barricaded herself in the corner by the apple cider and the coffee maker and she held onto a bag of bread and absolutely did not want me to take it away from her. She thinks it's funny when people sneeze, so I was sneezing like an idiot and then she made the face below which was like the beginning of a sneeze and my ovaries exploded.


Obviously I had to take pictures of how excited Baby Kate was to see me. Sorry if her joyfulness is overwhelming.
There's a Christmas Eve service at my parents' church every year, and usually the whole family goes and afterward we get together at my parents' house and do a small gift exchange and eat snacks. This year we fed the baby pizza and nobody cared about anything else because why would you?


The house was pretty crowded, but I loved it. Christmas morning everybody was awake by around 9am. We've never really been the kind of family who gets up at the crack of dawn on Christmas morning. My siblings and I have never been morning people, which is funny because for the past few years we've all had jobs which required us to wake up around the crack of dawn so I think that's what you call irony?

Anyway, the family that was at my parents' house grazed on some breakfast (mostly coffee) and watched some Hallmark movie - I think it was called "The 9 Lives of Christmas" but I'm not sure - and then we opened some gifts around 1pm. Since Baby Kate wasn't there we got our entertainment by watching my sister's chiweenie run around like a maniac attacking her new toy and trying to get the squeaker out. I think that dog's mantra is something like, "If it squeaks, it dies."

THEN we went to lunch. I used to think it was just so wrong to not eat a home-cooked meal on Christmas, but we've been going to Madonna Inn for several years and I really love that tradition. Plus, there just isn't enough time in the day to do all we need to do and cook a big meal, so Madonna Inn it is. (Google the Madonna Inn. It's even on Buzzfeed. Oh and definitely google "Madonna Inn men's bathroom.")

This Christmas was wonderful and also kind of bittersweet. I sat next to my Grandma at dinner and I kept almost tearing up because there's a very high likelihood that this Christmas was her last. I know, morbid, right? But that's pretty much all I was thinking during dinner.



Baby Kate really was the star of the show, and everybody wanted to carry her around and let her see and feel all of the decorations. At one point she was carrying around a roll and just sucking on it and I kept cracking up at her. She was constantly pointing at things and saying, "Wooooooooow," and everybody commented on how adorable she is.
After dinner we went to my Grandma's house for dessert and more gifts, and really there's nothing else to say except that all the attention was on Baby Kate.


You guys, she can walk in high heels already!! She's obsessed with shoes. My aunt gave her some red sparkly shoes, and my sister said, "Katelynne, let's put your shoes on!" and she raised her little feet in the air all ready for the shoes. Kill me with the cuteness, kid.





The next day some of us went bowling. My 85-year old grandpa is in a bowling league and we've always wanted to bowl with him, and we finally got to! It was a blast, but I broke three nails. I also had forgotten socks and this was like, the one bowling alley that didn't have a sock vending machine, so I had to wear paper towels in my shoes. It was disgusting and I wanted to chop my feet off.


My aunt taught my mom how to play pool .I never thought I would see my mother holding a pool stick (or is it a cue stick? Isn't the cue the white ball?) so I guess you could call this a Christmas miracle or something.


The rest of the day was kind of awful. My aunt used to have two cats, and in November she unexpectedly had to put one of them down. The day after Christmas her other cat (who had been sick for about two years but still had pretty good quality of life) had another stroke and she had to be put down also. I went with my aunt because nobody should have to go through that alone. It was the saddest thing I've ever seen, but the vet we went to was extremely kind and sensitive so all things considered, it was pretty pleasant. Sad, but not as awful as it could have been.

On Saturday I met Keith in Morro Bay for another Christmas celebration. We ate and did a white elephant gift exchange. The cutest part of the day was when I peeked into a bedroom and found Keith bonding with the kids and watching them play Minecraft or something. Clearly he hated every minute of it.


The gift exchange was really fun. Keith exchanged the bedazzled toilet plunger he originally opened for a bathroom set that had toilet paper, sudoku, a candle, and other bathroom necessities in it, and I came away with like 4 peoples' gifts because I kept asking people for their stuff. Mostly mugs, because I love mugs. Like LOVE mugs.


And then his aunt took this picture where neither of us look demonic AT ALL.




Saturday night we drove back over to the valley and Sunday we went to church with his family, ate lunch, and watched the Packers/Lions game. We got back to the mountain around 1030 on Sunday and I'm still catching up on my sleep.

WHEW. YOU GUYS. WE MADE IT TO THE END OF THIS BLOG POST.

Christmas 2014 was absolutely wonderful. Next year the whole family won't be together on Christmas Day (having married members of the family makes things difficult sometimes), so this was most likely the last time we'll all be together on December 25th. Knowing that helped me to really try and make the most of the holiday, and soak up every moment that we had together. I know this Christmas is one that we'll all look back on fondly.

That's all the end.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Being my own Zoltar: a 2015 prediction linkup


I'd like to take a moment to thank Amber, my co-host and internet friend and future IN REAL LIFE friend, for coming up with this link-up idea because without this prompt I would not have a cohesive post. Actually let's be real: I probably wouldn't have blogged today at all.
If you haven't heard, Amber and I are hosting "2015: A Fortunate Linkup" today and we and all of you are predicting what's going to happen in 2015. You can predict what's going to happen, what's definitely not going to happen, what you wish would happen but you realistically know won't actually happen... it's up to you!
Let's get down to business (to defeat the Hunsssssss.....)
By the end of 2015...

- Keith and I will have gotten engaged and married (he said this one doesn't count because it's so obvious but he's not the one with a blog so I'm still putting it on here because it's a thing that is happening in 2015)
- I'll be involved in church again
- I will have gotten a passport
- ... and used it to go to Seattle and Vancouver
- ... and on that trip I will have finally met Brittany and Faith
- another niece or nephew will at least be on his or her way (I hope my siblings don't read this)
- my grandma will have passed away (she'll be 99 in 15 days)
- hike Potato Chip Rock with Amber (we live an hour and a half away from each other, it's ridiculous that we haven't gotten together yet)
- I will actually know what I'm doing in my job and I won't have nightmares about getting fired anymore

- Krista and I will be good friends and I will have joined her bowling league. It's kind of insane we haven't hung out yet considering we live FIVE MINUTES from each other
- I will have won NaNoWriMo again
- I will have worked on editing one of my finished novels
- after I actually go beyond the 50,000 minimum and write endings
- I'll lose the last 20ish pounds
- I'll stop being such a bad texter and actually keep up with friends back home more than once a month
- Lisa, Matt, Keith, and I will have finally gone on a double date
- I'll get my own pet (I'm aiming for a dog, cat, or hedgehog)
 And now a short list of things that I'm almost certain will not happen in 2015:

- I will not eat sushi
- Baby Kate will not stop being adorable
- I will not move away from the mountain
- I will not dye my hair blonde again
- This giant stuffed bear from Costco will probably not have stopped being an alcoholic
To me it looks like this bear imbibed a little too much on Christmas.
A Costco employee said I should have put a bottle of vodka next to him
and I really wish I had.
Next time.

That's all for now (unless I update this list throughout the day which is entirely likely). Go ahead, predict your year and link up with us!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

2014 was cool... what about 2015?

About a year ago, somebody (Keith's aunt) asked me if I would ever want to get back together with him. I'm pretty sure I laughed at that.

"No! We haven't spoken in like, two years! Plus, if we did, I'd probably end up eventually moving down to where he lives and I never want to leave San Luis."

Ha. Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.

If you had told me a year ago that in 2014 I would have gotten back together with Keith, quit my job in San Luis and moved to the mountains, I would have told you you're crazy.

If you had told me a year ago that some of the friends I was so close to then wouldn't really be a part of my life right now, I would have rolled my eyes and muttered something like, "Yeah, right."

If you had told me a year ago that in 2014 I would win NaNoWriMo again, I would have gotten excited and asked you what I was going to write about, and then doubt you because writing 50,000 words in a month is hard.

I thought I had a pretty good idea of what would happen in 2014. I thought I would stay in San Luis and at some point get an apartment by myself, and I thought I would continue working at my job where I could watch Netflix and blog all day. I didn't give much thought to dating, because I didn't care if I had a boyfriend or not. And I especially never thought I'd be where I am now.

But I'm so glad I am...which leads me to the next part, the most exciting part:

The other night Amber and I were talking about all that had happened in 2014 and how we never could have predicted most things. Then we thought we would enjoy trying to predict 2015, and we're really generous so we're letting you join us! On Monday, December 29th, we're hosting a link-up for all of us to predict things we think will happen in our lives, in the country, in the world, whatever, in 2015. You can predict happy things, funny things, sad things... predict away! BE YOUR OWN ZOLTAR. (You know, the fortune guy. Amber shared a picture of him today.)

I wish I had written down more specific things last year so I could look back on them now, but oh well. You live and you learn or something. So, on 12/29 please join us and let us know what you think will happen next year! DECEMBER 29TH. REMEMBER THAT.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

What's been happening here???

I miss blogging and the internet in general. I feel really disconnected from my internet life but I guess this whole "having a real job that doesn't allow me to be on the internet for 8 hours a day" thing had to happen sometime. Anyway, I figured I'd try to crank out a little update post since I know you're probably all just DYING to know what's happening in my life, right? Just kidding. I promise I'm not that arrogant. This is largely for posterity (which I just googled the definition for and posterity means "all future generations of people" and it's really just for me) but you guys get to read it too, if you want.

Also sorry that I repeat lots of Instagram pictures. That's one of my weaknesses.

1. SNOW.


It's been snowing a little bit here! There's more snow at my house than at Keith's... something about elevation or something ... and I haven't actually seen it actively snow, but THERE IS SNOW ON THE GROUND. This is great for my Instagram pictures, and I love looking out the window and see the snow, but when I actually have to go outside it becomes a problem. Why? Because these are the warmest shoes I own:

...and they're not even warm. I don't own one pair of boots. I used to have fuggs but I wore holes through the bottom and had to throw them away and I never bought new ones because I usually refuse to spend more than $20 on shoes and I never find boots for less than $39.99.

2. I GOT A JOB!!


I'm the Program Coordinator at a non-profit up here in the mountains, and so far I'm really enjoying it. It's about four times as much work as my last job (where some days I would literally do nothing work related because there was nothing work related to do), but about seventy-three times more rewarding. I have lots of projects and lots of responsibilities and I've gotten to go to two meetings, which is something I've never gotten to do before and so far I still like going to meetings. Plus, on my drives to the meetings I get to see views like the one above, and this:


Too bad it's so ugly where I live.

3. I did not decorate for Christmas.

Keith and I had plans to get a Christmas tree but then I turned into a Scrooge and decided I didn't want to deal with the hassle of getting a tree and buying lights and ornaments. However, I did decide to hang our stockings on the mantle, and since neither of us have stocking holders, they are now hanging under a signed Packers helmet/cheese head. There's also a like, lion or gargoyle statue and a skull that I'm like 50% sure is from a real human but I 100% hope I'm wrong.


 4. Christmas came early.

Keith and I won't be seeing each other on Christmas (it's ok, don't feel like you have to cry for us), so we knew we were going to exchange gifts early. Yesterday the last two of Keith's gifts arrived in the mail and I was like, "HEY GUESS WHAT ALL YOUR GIFTS ARE HERE!" and then we had this conversation.

K: Let's open our presents tonight!
J: But it's 9 days before Christmas.
K: So? We wont' be together on Christmas.
J: But it's 9 days before Christmas!
K: Let's just do it tonight!
J: What if we open one gift a day until Tuesday?
K: No. Let's just open them all tonight.
J: What if we open them all tonight but we HIDE them around the house and then we have to search for them?
K: But some of your gifts go together.
J: So hide them in the same area as each other and when I find one just tell me, "Hey, look in that area for something else."
K: But all my stuff will get messed up and I have it all organized.
J: *guffawing because his stuff is NOT organized at all*
K: What?
J:I just thought hiding the gifts would be fun.
K: Oh, so I'm not fun?
J: So I guess you don't want to hide the presents.
K: You don't think I'm fun?
J: Let's open all the presents tonight!
K:Sorry I'm so boring.
J: Do you even have wrapping paper?
K: No, do you?
J: Yes.
K: Perfect.
J: It's wedding wrapping paper with wedding dresses and tuxes on it.
K: We don't need to wrap them.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how Keith and I came to be opening unwrapped gifts on December 16th.
 He got me:

-three sweatshirts (two with my college name on them ((that I mentioned months ago I really wanted and HE REMEMNBERED)) and a USC sweatshirt so that I can have my own sweatshirts and I don't have to wear his anymore (and it's really cute that he thinks having my own clothes will keep me from wearing his clothes HAHA YOU'RE CUTE.

-a t-shirt from my college that's a really pretty blue color.

-a Giant's t-shirt because clearly he hates me.

I got him:

-a book about Seinfeld and philosophy.

-stone ice cubes. I'm actually convinced this is a good gift for men in general, because one of my brothers and Keith both hats ice in their drinks because they get watered down. Plus, these look super rugged and cool and they come with a chilling sack!

-a new battery for his cell phone because his phone always dies and it's annoying so really, this was a gift for me so that we can play Trivia Crack all day long without having to worry about his phone dying.

-a shirt that has a bear with antlers on it and underneath it says "Beer" and I think it's HILARIOUS. I felt so proud of myself for getting this for him but he reminded me that he already has the sweatshirt and he showed it to me and zero part of me remembers him showing me the sweatshirt so now I feel exactly zero percent clever.


5. We got into a fight.

I don't usually dump super personal relationship stuff on the internet, but last week Keith and I got into a huge fight that resulted into us not really speaking for like four days. More on that later though because I learned a very important lesson that I want to share because now that I've been in a relationship for 9 months I'm super qualified to give out relationship advice.

Bye.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Somebody is getting married

Part of me feels a little bad for bragging about what an awesome weekend I had at Lisa's bachelorette party and bridal shower, but the other part needs you to know that there are places where you can drink wine and look at white tigers and restaurants where you can get free champagne. There was glitter and pink everywhere and everything was planned perfectly and I just can't even tell you how much fun it was.

Did you know there's this place in Southern California called Rancho Las Lomas, and it's a winery and a zoo????? We got to sip wine while we took pictures with an emu and looked at antisocial alpacas and saw a tired white Bengal tiger and there were zebras and macaws and holy beautiful it was amazing.


The bride is one of my closest friends, Lisa. We met in college when she sold me Mary Kay products and was the least annoying Mary Kay salesperson EVER and she convinced me to buy the scent "Bella" which I've since run out of (I think this was like 6 years ago) and that reminds me, I need more.

After Lisa sold me the Mary Kay, we became roommates and she got me a job at a bridal salon where we got to sell and model the wedding and bridesmaid dresses. Don't believe me? Here's proof. Headless MANnequins were totes mah jam. (MANnequins... GEDDIT???)


When we weren't busy at the bridal boutique ((I'm pretty into alliteration these days) we were busy binge-watching Bridalplasty, Paris Hilton's My New BFF, that Kendra Wilkinson show, and episode after episode of Say Yes to the Dress. We also drank massive amounts of champagne and sometimes our friend Skyler and I slipped some Captain Morgan into her drink to see if she could tell the difference.

She could. She always could. Sorry for that.

We used to eat copius amounts of macaroni and cheese, McDonald's breakfast sandwiches, and popcorn shrimp, and she got me out of my jeans and t-shirt rut and took me shopping at the Irvine Spectruma nd forced me to buy things that weren't plain black t-shirts and Lisa, for that I'll be forever grateful (even though lately all I wear is men's long sleeved shapeless shirts from Target).

We lived together in an apartment in Brea and we have so many wonderful memories from those two years and I can't tell you how genuinely happy I am for her that she's found the love of her live and will be married in ONE MONTH!

You can always tell when two people are really, truly, deeply in love and totally meant for each other, and even though I've only met Matt once I know the two of them fit that description. It's beautiful, inspiring, and so very exciting to be a part of!

SO. The weekend was all about celebrating Lisa and love. And we did.

If you knew Lisa you'd know that she could have pulled off that sparkled engagement ring bow veil headband on any random day of the week, not just at her bachelorette party.
After the wine and fancy animals, we headed to Newport Beach to get fancy and go to Red O for dinner. The maid of honor, Carizza, said, "I need everybody downstairs in twenty minutes, okay?" And we pulled it off pretty well if I do say so myself. (Oh and we all took like 45 minutes not 20 minutes because duh. It was totally worth it.)


Did you know that I'm a good 6 inches taller than Lisa? No? Here's proof.


Lisa and I have a friend who we found out works at Red O, and he happened to be working on Saturday night. We found him, said hello and hugged and gave air cheek kisses, and then were surprised when a waiter came to our table saying he had given us each a glass of free champagne! (Best part was that hardly anybody drank their champagne and guess who loves champagne? ME! I DO! I drank almost all of it.)

They also gave Lisa a celebratory churro, which was just what she wanted. Seriously, when the waiter came bringing her a surprise dessert she whispered, "I hope it's a churro!" Dreams do come true.


Then we headed back to the hotel for the lingerie shower and Lisa looked incredibly appropriate and gorgeous in her bride shirt and I looked totally creepy and awkward in my wine shirt. I'll probably frame this picture.



Is there anything better than sitting in a chair surrounded by bags of Victoria's Secret merchandise? Probably not, but I don't know firsthand so we'll have to let Lisa answer that question for us one day.


After lots of bachelorette party talk most people went to bed at a reasonable hour because they're working professionals who have a reason to get up before noon every day and I was like LET'S KEEP THE PARTY GOING so I took a bottle of champagne out to the hallway and sat down quietly to whisper to Keith on the phone.

And then these loud people came running down the hallway at 1 in the morning and I politely asked them to please be quiet because people were sleeping and they were like "WE DON'T HAVE TO BE QUIET YOU B-WORD YOU'RE NOT EVEN SLEEPING YOU'RE JUST TALKING ON THE PHONE HAHAHAHA WHAT A HALLWAY SITTING LOSER" and I was like, "Well that was uncalled for."

Then I was watching The Walking Dead using my earbuds and cuddling a bottle of delicious champagne and a security guard came up to me and I whispered, "I'm so glad you're here, there are some loud people around here!" and he was like, "Uh, you can't drink champagne out in the hallway" and I was like, "Oooooh this is a very fancy hotel" a la Annie Walker and I said "Ok I'll leave" and one of the loud girls poked her head out of her room and yelled, "WE AREN'T EVEN BEING LOUD WE WERE JUST COMING HOME AND YOU'RE SO RUDE" and I offered her the rest of my champagne but she declined it so she obviously had head problems.

THEN on Sunday morning we went to Lisa's hair trial, and can I just say that Lisa is going to have FABULOUS wedding hair in one month.

THEN there was the bridal shower and it was so pretty! I think my favorite part was probably the dessert table, and if I were a photographer I would have taken pictures of all the desserts but since I'm not all you get is this picture of a s'mores cupcake with a GLITTER marshmallow that Cortney took for me because she's WAY artsier and fancier than I am.


Then we all took a picture together and I would like you to notice two things:

1) Cortney's hair. Corney is wearing the pink dress. LOOK AT HER BRAID.

2) I am a giant.


WOW I think we've made it to the end!

TL;DR Lisa is fancy and I had a great weekend full of glitter and champagne and I used to take pictures with headless grooms and Lisa is getting married in a month and I CANNOT WAIT.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

#12gramstilchristmas

If any of you were around my blog at this time last year, you may remember that Allie and I decided to create an Instagram challenge thing slash post fun Christmas related pictures for all of us to look at. I bet all of you who remember that were really sad allllllllll year long when we couldn't do #12gramstilchristmas but YOU'RE IN LUCK because 12 grams is back YAY HOORAY CELEBRATE GOOD TIMES COME ON.

Allie made this pretty graphic with the dates and corresponding themes so go ahead and follow along and use the hashtag and by this point I think you know how Instgram works.


We're starting this Saturday, December 13th, and going until Christmas Eve (December 24th but I didn't need to tell you that, right?).

Also I've been missing the internet and gchatting and stuff because I finally got a job (YAY!) and it's not a gchat friendly job, like my last job where I watched Netflix for most of the day and got paid for it. But hopefully later this week I'll get a chance to sit down and blog about Lisa's bachelorette/bridal shower weekend and the emu and the champagne and when some people called a security guard on me because I was sitting in the hallway drinking champagne out of the bottle at 1am.

That's all goodbye.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Cheapskating


A couple of weeks ago Keith and I were watching tv (like we never do, except on days that end in "-y"), and he introduced me to this show called Cheapskates. Have you heard of it? People go to all these insane methods to save a buck or two, and some genius decided to film it so I could enjoy it. There's this one guy who is in his late twenties (I think) and he works as a bartender. When people don't finish their drinks, he saves the alcohol in a big bag and takes it home. He also saves the garnishes (olives, fruit, what other garnishes go in alcoholic drinks? Celery? Like in Bloddy Marys?) and any unpopped popcorn kernels that were left in bowls of popcorn. (I've never been to a bar that serves popcorn but now I think I need to find one.) Then he takes it home and makes himself martinis and popcorn. Oh, and he lives with his mother so he makes her drinks too.

There's this other guy who reuses his mouthwash. His reasoning? "It's an antiseptic, so it cleans itself." He has two bottles: one of new mouthwash and one that he spits the old mouthwash into. His wife has her own bottle of mouthwash. Oh yeah, he's married, and he gets an alert on his phone whenever she spends money.

Then there's the couple whose dates are dumpster diving. They went into one dumpster and found Chinese food and they ate it.

I'm all for saving money, but I think some measures are just a little too far. Like drinking leftover drinks. Just NO.

Obviously after watching this show, I was like I HAVE TO BLOG ABOUT THIS, so I started thinking of ways I save money and got a little depressed that I couldn't think of many ways. I like to think that's because I don't spend a lot of money but that's probably not the case. Oh well. Here's my list.

- I like to reuse my old coffee grounds for up to four days. I don't really like the taste of fresh coffee, so I'll suffer through the first round and then the next day I'll just add another little scoop of fresh grounds to the old grounds and that's how I get my perfect coffee. (If this is unsanitary I don't want to know.)

- My Target RedCard helps me save 5% every time I go to Target. The RedCard acts just like a debit card, so you don't have to worry about having another credit card to pay off. Plus, when you use it online you get free shipping.

- Coupons. I rarely use coupons, but growing up (in a family of 7 and with one pastor's income) my dad was a coupon master. Not quite to the extent of the people on Extreme Couponers, but it was impressive. Mondays were always the grocery store days, and in the mornings he'd clip coupons from the three or four grocery stores in our area and stack them in all these piles on the table. He also had printouts for the grocery stores that said the things he usually got from which aisle, and he'd circle what we needed that trip. He'd usually take one or two of the kids with us and we'd fill at least one cart in the major grocery store to the brim, and sometimes we needed two carts (those were the fun days!), and before we checked out, my dad would count his coupons to make sure he got every discount.

- I make Keith buy me things. That's what boyfriends are for, right?

- I convince myself I don't need things. That's the biggest way I save money. When I go to Target or Home Goods or Old Navy or somewhere, I'll carry things around the store for a while and then convince myself that I don't really want or need them. Plus sometimes I'm too tired to stand in line.

- I don't drink soda. I used to spend so much money buying fountain Diet Cokes, but since I quit soda at the end of August that expense has disappeared. Dolla dolla bills.

Now it's your turn. How do you save money? Tell me so I can implement your tactics and be a total baller. Thanks.