Last night, Bren and I watched Extreme Couponing. It seems like everyone was watching – and we were both compelled to tweet about it. I have a few friends who are big into coupons, but I never have really been outside of whatever comes in the mail from the stores where we shop. In fact, I found myself having a really strong reaction to the whole thing. I just kept thinking, if you have this stockpile, what are you saving it for? When the revolution comes? The apocalypse? If you’re going to buy six months worth of mustard, you’d better freaking like mustard.

I understand and appreciate the effort that goes into collecting a pile of coupons and saving a ton of money. I mean, who wouldn’t like to get out of the grocery store with a bunch of stuff that they didn’t pay a lot for? However, I could not agree with the women who were featured who were stay at home moms who said they spent six hours prepping for a shopping trip (and made three or four trips a week) who then went on to say that their groceries were free. Well, I don’t think that’s free.  That’s a job. 

The other thing that struck me was that so many of the couponers were talking about how they wanted their stockpiles/couponing to be their legacy. That’s just odd to me. I don’t think I want to be remembered as a giant pile of toilet paper or 60 cans of soup. 

After I thought about it, I realized that I’m just the exact opposite. Sure, we shop at BJ’s/Costco and purchase meat, diapers and paper goods in bulk; and I like having an extra gallon of milk or loaf of bread handy. Heck, we have an extra refrigerator in the garage. All handy. But I draw the line at buying a lot just because it’s a good deal, or simply because we have a coupon. I always find myself asking, “do we really need ____?” If we don’t, or we won’t soon then it stays on the shelf. 

I take pride in buying exactly what we need for a few weeks and waiting until we really need it before we get it. There’s only one (regular-sized) jar of peanut butter in our cabinet. We just don’t have the space. And my parents didn’t have  a whole lot of extra space, either. The couponers, I expect, would argue that that is short-sighted and I’m missing the window where item X is on sale by waiting. But I say when I only NEED one, that the difference between 1.50 and 2.00 and the time it takes to worry about such things isn’t a big one.

This attitude of mine extends beyond food and grocery shopping. I am not one to shop for clothes (too much) unless it is actually needed. And then, too, I do not buy something simply because it is on sale (unlike my husband who has a real weakness for that). And if I add something, I like to remove something from what I own. I’m still trying to teach Brendan that one.

Reyers – The ONLY place I got shoes as a child…

I got a frantic call from my mother tonight to tell me to turn on CBS Evening News. This was playing:

Watch CBS Videos Online


When I was growing up, Reyers was billed (still is) as the "World’s Largest Shoe Store." I remember when it moved from the little store on State Street that you see in the flash-back footage into it’s current location, which used to be a supermarket.

One time, when I was little, my mother tried to take me to get shoes somewhere else to get new shoes, and the entire time were were in the other store I kept saying, "I don’t know why we’re here, I ONLY get my shoes at Reyers."

EDIT: I failed to mention that Jessica’s grandmother is from Brockway, and she and her sisters used to drive to Sharon for the express purpose of getting shoes at Reyers. We call her to see if she wants anything every time we head up there.


I love the Farmer’s Market. I’ve been trying to go every Sunday and now that the summer produce is in full swing, there is just such an abundance of good stuff. This week:

  • 2 tomatoes
  • 3 peaches
  • 1 cantaloupe
  • 3 zucchini

And all for around $5.00 TOTAL.


Bridget and I went Christmas shopping the other day. It was so annoying. Generally, I like shopping; however, shopping during the holiday season drives me insane. Take the toy store for example. There was a little train that was running around in a circle on a track and was playing "Jingle Bells" over and over and over. Plus there was another train making noise running around on the floor. And Christmas music playing in the store. I could not wait to get out of there. Fortunately, we went right when the mall opened and since it’s a weekday, it wasn’t too crowded. Most of the other stroller-pushing mothers were there waiting to get their kids photos with Santa.

Electronics Blowout! Everything Must Go!

I’ve had my eye on a new scanner for quite some time now, but the finance committee (Jess) has had enough of my buying electronic/computer equipment.

So I’ve decided to sell some of my extra crap that’s just lying around collecting dust. We have:

1 computer – Dell Dimension 4300 with no hard drive. Other than the hard drive, it’s pretty good to go. I’ve even installed some upgrades to it lately. Extra RAM, USB 2.0/Firewire card, and USB wireless adapter. It’s a decent machine. Of course it comes with 17" monitor, speakers, keyboard, and laser mouse.

1 scanner/printer – Lexmark x73. It needs cartridges, but other than that, it’s good to go.

2 external hard drive cases – One for SATA, one for IDE. I’ve never really gotten to use either.

1 5.1 stereo receiver – Onkyo 301. It’s awesome, I just outgrew it.

1 wireless router – SMC Barricade g. Worked great before we moved and I had to use what Verizon gave us.

1 pretty new, but extremely old photo scanner from Polaroid. Bought it for $17 at Ritz Camera a little while ago, and had a hell of a time finding a driver for Windows XP. I found the driver, but now I can’t use it because it’s got a parallel connection, and the new iMac definitely doesn’t have one of those.

1 DirecTV TiVo receiver. Was awesome, but as is well chronicled here, I can’t get DirecTV anymore, so that has to go.

So if you know anyone, send them my way. I’m anxious to get the new scanner. There will also be an eMac available at some point. If you don’t see anything on this list, just ask. I probably have two of them. So buy my shit because I always need money to buy something new.


I almost had a crisis on my hands this morning. Bridget and I were at Babies R Us this morning picking up some things, and as I went to walk out the store, I realized that I no longer had my car key. Crap. Of course, I had also made the decision to leave the diaper bag with my house keys and my phone inside the car because we were just making a quick stop. Fortunately, someone in the store found the key and turned it in to guest services.

In other news, as you can see, Bridget is growing like a weed and starting to smile.

attention employees

Brendan and I went browsing for umbrella strollers, a crib and a high chair last night. Since we have a strict one hand operation rule now, we’re much pickier about what we need. The Babies R Us near our house has a great selection so that’s where we go, but everytime we leave I’m this close to hurting someone. Who? The trying to be helpful employee who asks us "Do you guys need any help?" We say no, we’re just looking. We need to physically try things out. About every 10 minutes for a good 45 minutes this girl comes back asking "Are you still OK?" Um yeah. Now shoo! Maybe she’s new or needs to make extra commission this month. Whatever. Leave the pregnant lady alone. I still have one good punching arm. I know, I know, she’s trying to be helpful, but she’s the only one in the store who doesn’t get that we’ll let her know if we need something after the initial offer has been made.

a note on style

It’s turned cold here in the mid-Atlantic, and that means that a lot of people have their winter coats out. I would just like to tell some of these people that the little tags that are sometimes tacked (not sewn, tacked, with one or two loose stitches) on the sleeve of a coat is meant to be removed before you wear it out. Are they such label whores that they want to tell us all that they have a Calvin Klein cashmere blend coat? I just want to rip them off their jackets every time I see someone (and it’s a lot more than one would expect) with one!

a nice little saturday

Yesterday we decided to take a drive out to the mountains to check out the foliage. A friend of mine from college, who I haven’t seen since our wedding, Amy, lives out in Front Royal. Since it was on the way, I finally gave her the call that I’ve been meaning to for several months. It turns out that the leaves have just started to turn, so there wasn’t going to be much to see, so we spent the afternoon with Amy and her boyfriend in Front Royal.

I fell in love with this store on Main Street, Vintage Swank. I can’t usually fit into vintage clothes that I like since it all seems way to small for me, but I adore housewares, furniture and handbags from the 40s and 50s. Take for instance the seafoam table shown here. Sadly, I don’t have $1,200 just sitting around.


Brendan joined the party on January 2, 2004. He's cool now.

Jessica has never been cool. She is OK with that.

And just so everyone is clear, what we say here is not endorsed by either of our employers.