beauty ho, pop culture, shopping

5 things I love in June

  • eBay.  Don’t be all like “Dude, I was loving eBay back in 2001.”  Yeah, I know.  But I went a while without shopping on eBay and over the last year I’ve gotten back into it.   There are some serious deals to be had.  I fell in love with these earrings at a Lia Sophia jewelry party a while back.   But they were like $24 or something.  I found them on eBay for $6.  With shipping.  They are my absolute favorite earrings.
  • My latest eBay purchase is actually a birthday present from CSP.  I’ve been coveting my sister Sara’s Black Rapid camera strap.  Well, those sell for upwards of $50.  I found it on eBay for $18 with shipping!  Mine may be a different brand, I’m not sure as it came from Brooklyn and while it was new in the package (like the earrings-used earrings would be gross) it has a Q on it instead of an R.  Whatever.  It works the same and now we have $$ left over!  I love it so much!  It holds the camera down on your hip so it’s not bouncing off the girls right in my way.  LOVE.
  • Revlon Scents of Summer Nail Polish.  Scented nail polish.  At first I was dubious.  I bought the Coconut Crush and the Ocean Breeze at CVS for less than $1 each with coupons.  I use the Ocean Breeze on my toes (makes me feel like a mermaid) & the Coconut Crush on my fingers.  It really smells like coconuts!  Plus the colors are fab.  I painted Olivia’s nails with the aqua as the base and white polka dots.  She said her hands smelled “refreshing”.
  • Cuddling in the bed watching movies with CSP & the pugs.
  • Adele.  Buy her album 21.  It’s amazing.  I can’t stop listening to it.  19 is fabulous too, but right now 21 is on repeat in my car.
cooking, events, family, food

Fore my Papa

For Papa for Father’s Day this year I decided to make him a golf ball cake since he’s a huge golfer.  I’ve never made a golf ball cake before so I was a little nervous.  I baked a cake Saturday night in my Pampered Chef Batter Bowl.   I sprayed flour/baking spray into the bowl first and the cake popped right out when it was done.  Perfect!  Then Sunday morning I  carved the top of it (or I guess technically it was the bottom of the batter bowl) and made it more round.   I made cream cheese icing then colored some of it blue and some green and left the rest white.  I made a little flag out of a toothpick and a piece of paper.  Then I iced it.  For the dimples I used the end of a spoon dipped in hot water (so it wouldn’t pull any icing away).  He loved it!


Blinded by the light

The other day I went to my eye doctor to get my glasses fixed (the little nose cushion thing broke).  While I was there they told me that it was time for my annual exam so did I want it.  Ok that’s fine.  So my exam is going well up until the eye drops part.  I HATE eye drops.  I can’t stand anything in my eye.  All the sudden my eye doctor said “Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry I just dilated you!”  WHAT?!?  I was like “I live 40 minutes away!!!”  So I went out to the lobby area to wait for the dilation to happen so she could finish the exam.  I typed a couple of unreadable texts then finished my exam.  Then it was time to go.  Let me remind you that I live in Charlotte, NC and it is as bright here as, I don’t know, THE CENTER OF THE SUN.  I asked for glasses.  This is what they gave me:   A roll up sun shade that goes behind your glasses.  THANK THE GOOD LORD I’M NOT SINGLE, cause hooooboy, I would NOT have done well that day with the fellas.  Here’s another view.  Take in the sexiness.   Luckily my sister lives near my eye doctor so I dropped by her house to let the sun go down.  On  the way there though I realized these roll up sun shades just weren’t cutting it as far as keeping the blinding sun out of my eyes so I added some sunglasses to the mix.    That’s 3 levels of optical beauty right there people.  Don’t hate.

bloggy stuff

People, please!

I haz a grumpy.  I’m so annoyed lately with some basic 5th grade grammatical errors that I’m seeing around the interwebs.   I don’t ask for much, people.  I just ask that you please remember a few things:

  • You lose your keys.  Your sister is loose.
  • Aldi and Best Buy do not have the letter ‘S’ at the end of their names. Check the sign if you don’t believe me.  You don’t go to Aldi’s and Best Buy’s.
  • The plural of book is books.  Not book’s.  (that one is a real stickler for me)
  • There are no books.  There is no book.  Please don’t say “there is no books”.

That’s it for right now.  See, I told you I don’t ask for much!

csp, married life

CSP goes green again. And not in the way that helps the Earth.

CSP & I have been enjoying this tv show called How the States Got Their Shapes on the History Channel.  It is hosted by Brian Unger.  Brian Unger is really funny and charming and very handsome.  Not unlike my dear CSP.  Brian Unger is on Twitter.  You can follow him at @bungerla.  I am also on Twitter.  You can follow me at @heyshanny.  A few questions creeped into my brain while we’ve been watching the show as I am of a curious nature.  So I tweeted Mr. Unger.  He tweeted me back.  I told CSP about the exchange and this is what happened:

Me:  So guess who I’ve been tweeting with?

CSP:  Who?

Brian Unger, the host of How the States Got Their Shapes.  (I explained that I had a couple questions).

Do you think he’s hot or something?

No! (YES!)

And he wrote you back?  Great.  Just great. 

What?  Why are you acting jealous?  It’s not like I’m going to run off with a tv host.  He just answered a couple of tweets.

Yeah, well how do I know for sure?  I mean, this IS THE AGE OF THE SMART PHONE! 


Those of you who are long time readers may remember that this happened before a few years ago when CSP turned suspicious of the internet.  Apparently every good looking man on tv is just one tweet away from sweeping me off my feet.  You know they all dream of hooking up with a Southern housewife and now that all the Hollywood hotties have smart phones it’s only a matter of time.



Small town entertainment

We live in a very small suburb of Charlotte.  Since I’ve gotten into couponing I go to the CVS down the street every Sunday evening for my weekly coupon trip.  Well, there’s apparently not much else going on at that CVS because every week the girls who work there call out to each other when I’m ready to check out.  “She’s ready!  Get up here!”  Then a small crowd forms to watch to see how much I pay out of pocket for my goods.  They all know me by sight now and all ask where is CSP if he’s not with me.  Then they guess how much I’ll save when they are ringing me up.  It’s starting to feel like a behind the shed dice game or something!  It’s a lot of pressure now to save a whole lot since their entertainment is riding on it as well as my budget!  Sunday is coming…wish me luck!  By the way, the good pictured at right were $106.06 but I paid $26.


Cyborg Shanny

I went to the dentist and eye doctor today.  Everything went well at the dentist – I’m getting a retainer (!) and I helped the front desk lady with her couponing.  Then at the eye doctor for my annual exam my doctor accidentally dilated me!  I was 45 minutes from home and blind!  Luckily my sister Sara lives up that way so I hung out at her house for a few minutes to get my eye holes a little back to normal before hitting the highway.  Check out the roll up “sun glasses” they gave me:  They were no match for the Carolina sun though so I had to add my own sunglasses over the whole deal just to see to drive.    So pretty!


Interview with Desirae from Extreme Savings With Diva Desirae

If you watch TLC’s Extreme Couponing then you may have seen Desirae’s episode.   Desirae and I met a few years ago playing bunco, and now look at her!  She’s a tv star!  I just got into couponing a few months ago so after Desirae’s episode aired I knew I wanted to ask her a few questions about extreme couponing.  Some of my readers also had some questions.  Here are her answers:

First I want to say is that everyone needs to take this show like a grain of salt. A lot of this show was staged! None of us shop like this, we did it for the show. They wanted us to go extreme so we went extreme. All of those items you see in our carts are not something we buy every day on our normal shopping days. We had to get our totals high and bring them down to basically nothing. So we had to buy multiples of free and cheap items. 80% of my trip was donated, and most of all others on the show donated too. Just because you didnt see it doesnt mean it doesnt happen. Ohh and I do not spend 60hrs+ a week, and I never get into the dumpster. They have to bump of the ratings somehow right? I always say you wouldn’t watch the jersey shore without drama right? If they turned this into joe went to the grocery store and saved 15% that show would be boring!

From Ani: How do you get started? Do you have a system for each store? Is it (couponing) cheaper than buying store brand?
I got started almost 5yrs ago when my husband was working 2 jobs, just graduated college & we were welcoming the birth of our son. We were living paycheck to paycheck and I just couldn’t do it anymore. Thats when I started looking online & found coupons, and after that it was history!
I wouldn’t say I have a system for each store. I know mostly all stores policies so that makes it easier to shop at. I have never bought store brand anything. I can always get the name brand for cheap or free!

From Tina: Which charities do you donate to?
I have donated to several-Cabarrus pregnancy center got over 80 bottles of formula, plus feminine products. I have given to the mooresville soup kitchen, cabarrus humane society Plus i have given to families that I know need items the most. Recently there was a family who’s husband got laid off and they were struggling so i packed my trunk full and delivered it. They were grateful!

From Yvett: I’d like to know how to save on food I use. I see a lot of coupons for processed foods like mac & cheese and sugary cereal, but never for products that are good for you. I try to feed my family well,
but it’s really expensive. How can I start to save?
I would recommend calling the companies and requesting coupons. Organic/whole food companies are really great about sending out coupons! I actually have a whole blog list full of coupons to request and to print for organic/healthy items. Also there are several great coupons that come in the sunday paper for organic/gluten free/healthy items. Of course the other ones are included too!

From Jacquie: Ok, just watched the episode with Desirae. #1: I notice with all these extreme couponers their stores double the coupons. Our stores here don’t do that. So that means I can’t have these huge retail
values that end up only costing me a little bit, right? #2 What does one do with 45 boxes of cake mix? 😉
You can save by not having doubles. There are a couple of people on there that didnt have stores that didnt double either and they still saved thousands. Of course when you get started out you will not save that much on your first bill. It takes a lot of time and dedication to save like that. I did have a guest poster on my blog recently where he talked about how he survives in the land of no doubles.
Ohh and all those cake mixes were donated! I hardly use them, but they were part of the show. I had to get my totals in the thousands and bring it down to nothing. So basically i just bought all cheap or free items!

From Maureen: How is this different from hoarding? Some of these people have filled up every room of their houses, even the kid’s rooms, with this stuff. One guy donated a pallet of cereal to the food bank, why don’t we see more of these people do this? At least this way the product will be used before it is out of date.
Well the thing about this show is that its not to teach you and its not to talk about donations. Its to show you the extreme part. That is why they are not focusing on this subject. Most of us do all donate-just because it doesnt show it doesnt mean we don’t. Hoarding to me in living in a filthy house with thousand apon thousands of items everywhere to where you cant walk, you dont know what you have, and you wont part with it. Here i have everything secluded to one room, and its nicely organized. Plus i will give away anything in a min. I don’t hoard my items.

From Kristen: and they have thousands of shampoos and toothbrushes, but then go and buy 100 more. is there a way to get the great savings, but only get a reasonable amount of items?
Yes! I never get 100 of the same items except for on the show but I still have great savings. 2-3 of each items is great! You still get them for free and your still stocking up!

From Kristine: Seriously…what do they do with things that eventually will go bad? I saw some woman on the show this past weekend who bought about 100 packages of deli turkey or something.
Who eats that many sandwiches?!?
Like I said above it was all for the show. She never buys over 100 of the same items.

From Shannon G.: I’d like to know if she does all the sale matchups herself, or if she relies on sites like Southern, or Hot Coupon World. I’d also like to know if she gets coupons from Ebay or trades for them in coupon circles or what. I mean, how do you GET 55 coupons for toothpaste without spending $55 on the newspaper??
Nooooo!!! Never do the matchups yourself! Save yourself some time. I like to go to and use that site. It has everything for every store you would need! It tells you the matchups a week early before the sales hit, it tells you every single thing about coupons and sales you would ever need to know! And yes I do order off ebay sometimes. But I dumpster dive for my coupons Thats how i get 50 of one coupons. Plus I do coupon trades and coupon trains that give me more coupons!

Now for my questions:

1. I’ve only been couponing for a couple of months. I started with the purse sized coupon organizer (accordion file) but I’m tired of shuffling through coupons at the store. How do you organize your coupons? I’ve seen the binder method and the filing then clip method on TLC’s Extreme Couponing but I’m not sure which will work better for me. If you file then clip only when the match ups tell you to what do you do when you’re at the store and you see a product you’d like but your coupons are at home? On the flip side, I’ve heard that the binder method is very time consuming. What are your thoughts?
I use the binder method. I always have and it works best for me. I like that i can flip to a page and my coupons are right there. I have a binder video on my youtube that will help you see how i set it all up. Also never leave the house without your coupons!

2. Do you clip EVERY coupon or just the ones you think you’ll use?
I clip every single one because I do a lot of trades, and trains so that I can giveaway my coupons I wont use for coupons I will use. Plus troops oversea’s can use them now and even after they expire.

3. Do you shop every drug store or pick one and stick with it?
Nope! I love CVS! I usually hit the store once a week to get my weekly deals and thats it. Its easier to stick to one so that you dont get confused and burnt out.

4. On the show you said “I’ll tell my neighbor to come shop” your stockpile. Do you charge them or just let people take things they want?
Nope everyone is allowed to come and shop! I do charge some people but that is because they are still getting a good discount instead of going to the store and paying full price. Its just like shopping at good will. Someone bought those items at full price and now they are selling them to you at half. When you think about it I had to spend the time to search, get the coupons, organize them, use my gas, pay tax and my time. So really it wasnt all free. My mom and family comes and shop for free. I have some friends that will pay me $10 and fill up bags. I don’t sit here and charge everyone full price its like pennies to the dollars 🙂

5. Is your stockpile insured?
Haha No!

6. As for donations, on the show you said you donate only “when I’m pressed for space”, but your stockpile clearly holds more items than you and your family could ever use (480 razors according to the show). Was that edited for tv or do you donate more often than when you’re just “pressed for space”?
That was edited for tv! I actually don’t even remember saying that. But heck we filmed for 24hrs I was exhausted! I donate what I don’t need and what I wont use. Before the show I couldn’t donate anything because they wanted my room to be filled. It doesn’t look like it does on tv. But heck I will keep 50 razors because I will never have to pay for another razor again and we will need them for life!

7. When you donate, since most of the items are items you were able to get for free, are you still eligible for a tax deduction on those donations?
Good question. I have never put them on my tax returns because I never keep up with what I donate.

8. Back to your stockpile, the show’s narrator said you have 45 dish soaps, 105 deodorants, 125 hair and body washes, and 480 razors. How much is enough? When you see a coupon for razors now or any of the other items mentioned above, do you still buy it or just hold off until you’ve used all that you have in your stockpile? Or is there a point where you say “OK I’m down to 15 dish soaps now I’ll start buying again ” (as an example)? Those of us just starting our stockpiles don’t really know how big is big enough.
I never buy anything that I already have in my room unless its free or cheap. I really don’t grocery shop anymore. If it cant fit on the shelf or in the room then i wont buy it. I dont want it to overtake my house.

9. On the show there have been some couponers featured that have tons and tons of coupon inserts. Remember the lady with the coupon room? All those crates full of coupons? I know you don’t store near that many in your home but what is your weekly goal as far as number of inserts to clip from?
I really dont have a goal. Some weeks I get 10 and dive for more and like this week I only got 6 and I am okay with that. It just depends on the week and the coupons that are coming.

10. How has being on the show changed your life?
It has changed a whole lot! I am always recognized in the store so going to the store for 30min is impossible because someone always see’s me and ask a million questions lol! Plus I am filming for fox news every wednesday morning which has been awesome! People freak out when they see me and ask for my autograph, my picture when really I just try and tell them I am a normal person! 🙂

11. How has being on the show changed your couponing style?
A lot! Only because everyone is now doing it so I never really shop anymore because 238420349203 people are doing the same deals.

12. You demonstrated a level of politeness on your episode that seemed lost on some of the other featured couponers in that you didn’t clear shelves, you ordered ahead, etc. What is your stance on shelf clearing?
Well the thing is, is that we all pre-ordered! The store took their stock off the shelf and put our stock on the shelf, we took it and then they restocked it. So no one was taking away from others. Of course it looks like this and that is what I hated. I told them when I started filming to not get that because I dont believe in shelf clearing. Well now that others have seen it they will do the same things. I hate hate hate it!

13. When you were filming, what was “for good tv” and what was real? Do you really climb into dumpsters? Do you really spend 60 hours a week couponing? If not, then how much time do you devote to couponing and how are dumpsters a part of your couponing?
Nope it just made good tv! When they flash money in your face you will do whatever right? LOL!
I don’t coupon for 60hrs and my schedule is never like the one they made me make. I usualy only use 20-30hrs but that includes eveyrthing that has to do with couponing including my blog/facebook. I do dumpster dive but never get into the dumpsters! I just look through recycle bins with my hands.

14. Will you buy something without a coupon?
Only if we absolutely need it and its still on sale with a great price.

15. When you created your coupon binders did you build them yourself or buy them pre-assembled? Do you have a tutorial to show us how to create the perfect binder? It can be overwhelming trying to decide on categories, what type binder to use, what type of insert pages, etc.
Yes check my youtube video

16. Do you still maintain your photography business? Will you continue to operate your photography business if your couponing business continues to grow?
Its still there although been neglected. Its okay because I was so busy last summer that this break is nice. I will still do pictures but wont advertise as much as I do.

17. Where do you see couponing taking you professionally and personally?
Hmm good question! Right now I have a permanet spot on fox charlotte every wednesday morning. And fox & I are starting up a deal site that is goign to be pretty cool! So being branded as the fox extreme saver is good for me!

18. What advice do you have for those of us with small homes and no space for a spare bedroom or garage sized stockpile?
Use your closets! Get rubbermaid bins and store your items in there. Where ever you have room I would use it. Cabinets, closets, and under sink storage work great!

Want to learn more from Desirae?  You can find her on her blog, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube:

Thank you so much Desirae!  We all appreciate your knowledge and insight into the world of couponing!


I went to my ortho doctor recently and he did some new xrays.  If you’ve ever wanted to see what advanced arthritis of the knees looks like- here you go!   I took a picture of my xrays with my phone.  As you can see, I’m bone on bone.   And see those little hooks on the ends of my bones?  Those are calcium deposits from the arthritis.  The round things are my knee caps.  Apparently they are higher than they should be.  Looks like I’ve got coasters on my thighs!