September 16, 2011


I'm excited to say, "We've booked our honeymoon!"

This is where we will be in exactly 192 days:

I can't wait!

{Tips on saving money on your honeymoon at a resort...} Reserve ahead! We booked our honeymoon room and airfare over 6 months in advance and some of the less expensive rooms (but still fab rooms) were already "sold out".

September 1, 2011


I've contemplated writing a post about my wedding dress for a while. It's one of those "keep it a secret or perish" things. Without giving away too many details, here goes...

I found my wedding dress before I was engaged. Yep. Four days before THE PROPOSAL. I never planned that it would work out that way, but I'm so glad it did.

I had visited several local wedding shops back when I was a bridesmaid in my best friend's wedding, so I had an idea of the stores I liked. I was most impressed with an upscale, small boutique in the ritzy area of my city. (Of course...) They sell designer gowns-- Vera Wang, Priscilla of Boston, Melissa Sweet, etc. You know, the ones off limits to a bride-on-a-b*dg*t. But one day Tim and I drove past the store and there was a large sign that boasted the word my heart longed to hear: SALE. Tim encouraged me to check it out, but I resisted because I didn't want to "jump the gun" before I even had the ring. Of course he knew I would have the ring in a matter of days...

It so happened that one of my bridesmaids, who resides in Boston, was in town visiting family. Because of the distance, she won't be able to be involved in any of the bridal festivities other than the wedding. I had been at her dress appointments, and I wanted her to be there for at least one of mine. It was the right timing, and I figured I would end up at several different bridal salons looking for a dress. So, after talking it over with my mom and a couple bridesmaids I made the appointment.

I had no idea what type of dress I wanted. I knew I wanted something between traditional and obscure. (That's a huge scale, right?!) I didn't know what style would look best on me...a princess ballgown or a form-fitting lace dress? We found the sale rack and I picked about ten dresses to try on. As I tried on each one, we saw a pattern of what worked best with my figure and what dress features we liked best on me.

And then I found it. The dress. The one that had ALL the features we had admired on other dresses. The one that was unique, but elegant. The one that hinted at a vintage style, but didn't scream 1953. At first I questioned it's features and listened to affirmation from my peers. It didn't look like me on the hanger, but once I slipped it on, I didn't want to take it off. I had to step into my dressing room to keep from crying. After all of us talked and gushed about THE DRESS, I tried it on twice and had my MOH take tons of pictures. And, it was on drastic SALE. Like, affordable sale.

We bought it the next day. The ladies at the shop were so sweet and helpful and didn't fuss that I was on a tight budget. I can't wait to get it altered and find the perfect veil to go with it!

Unfortunately, since my appointment my dress designer, Priscilla of Boston, has announced they will no longer create gorgeous wedding dresses. It's sad to think I will be one of the last brides to wear one of her designs. On a happier note, I'm thankful PofB stayed around long enough for me to find my perfect dress!
These 80s wedding magazines did not give me wedding dress inspiration!

{P.S. Maybe I can upload photos of the wedding shopping day after my wedding!}

August 5, 2011

PIGGY BANK WEDDING: 1st month of planning and EMOTIONS!

Over the past month, I have experienced the ups and downs of wedding planning. I know I haven't handled my emotions as well as I should have, but I'm keeping it together...I'm still sane!

My emotions (+ and -) list for the 1st month of wedding planning:
+The initial excitement after the proposal and the blingin' ring!
-The moment you freak out because you realize HOW MUCH work/planning you're about to have to do.
+The feeling you get when your friends "Ooh" and "Ahh" over your ring and proposal story!
+The moment you put on THE dress. The one you never pictured until you saw it on your body. The one your mom teared over. The perfect one.
-The moment you realize that all those gorgeous churches downtown are WAY out of your price range.
-Looking over the budget for the first time. And the second time. Third...
-+Moving money around in your budget to splurge in areas.
+The second you tour the perfect venue at the right price.
-The text you receive informing you one of your favorite people in the entire world won't be able to attend your wedding or make your cake.
+The butterflies you get in your tummy when you hear him tell you he loves you.
+The excitement of planning to decorate and make a future home together.
+The moment brilliant wedding inspiration hits you!
-The day you discover your favorite flowers/plants won't be in season.
+The same day you discover your dad can grow those out of season plants so you can have them in your wedding.
+The joys of picking out your Fiesta colors!
+The email that informs you that your favorite photographer is available on your wedding date!

The list can go on...

Friends and Family: Thank you for all your encouragement and ideas over the past month! You know we've (I) needed it!

August 2, 2011

PIGGY BANK WEDDING: "Will you be my Bridesmaid?" Project

One of my favorite wedding projects has been my "Secret Bridal Project"
AKA "MISSION: Will you be my bridesmaid?"

My close friends have always been very important to me. I value their relationships and the time we've spent together. So, when I got engaged, I knew I wanted my sweet friends by my side...and I wanted to ask them to stand by me in a way I hoped would be special. Unfortunately, I don't have unlimited funds, so I wasn't able to have a blow-out evening out or buy them something extravagant. I decided to do something simple and affordable that represents me and my tastes.

I love vintage hankies--there is something so soft and romantic about each one. My grandmother gave me two of hers that I will incorporate into my wedding (possibly wrapped around my bouquet). My mom graciously gave me a small collection to also use for my wedding, and I knew I wanted to share them with my six girls!

The materials I used: a variety of vintage floral handkerchiefs, corsage pins, scrapbook paper, brown gift bags, ink and dress form stamp, tissue paper.

Using scrapbook paper, I wrote the very important question and pinned the tag and a polka dotted translucent layer to the hankie. I folded it and wrapped it in coordinating tissue paper. I put them into small brown gift bags that I dressed up with a cute stamp of a vintage dress form. I hand delivered all but one (that I mailed to Boston). It was so much fun to watch each girl open her floral hankie! I hope they enjoyed receiving them as much as I enjoyed putting them together and delivering them!

They all said, "Yes!"

August 1, 2011

Piggy Bank Wedding Planning: Stress

I was definitely not prepared for the level of stress I would mentally, physically, and emotionally endure after becoming engaged. I should have known. But, I was hoping I would magically be one of those calm, cool and collected brides. Instead, my hair started falling out at the speed of lightning, venue after venue fell through, and budgets became a blur of dollar signs and numbers!

Let me tell you...I've had some incredible support! My mom has done a bulk of the wedding research, calling almost every single church and venue in our area, moving dollars around in our budget and just being absolutely fabulous. My MOH and MatronOH have both been exceptionally supportive with ideas and calming me down when I have freak outs about the most bizarre things. My bridesmaids are all excited for me! And, of course, my fiance has been by my side with every decision and question.

I am happy to say that after a few weeks, we have accomplished much. We have a date, venues (at the right prices), a dress, my bridesmaids, and an almost completed guest list. And, I am also happy to say...I've mellowed out so much since making these decisions! I feel like I can relax a little!

Any suggestions on ways to keep stress from keeping me from enjoying the planning process and engagement period?

For a little comical relief...Lucy sleeping on her new donut bed! Super cute, right?

July 15, 2011

I have some news to share with you!

You may have noticed that I've been a little quiet lately.

That's because I've been spending my time with him...

Adopting her....

and, being distracted by this sparkly thing....

Yep! We're engaged! He proposed to me on a Saturday morning underneath an oak tree in one of my favorite spots, the Fairhope bluff. He told me he wanted to make a short video of our new puppy, but was plotting to get the proposal on video! I am so very happy to marry this sweet and wonderful man!

Here's the video he created using the proposal and puppy footage:

(Yeah, we look really scary in that still shot! Haha!)

You may soon notice a new section on the blog: "Piggy Bank Wedding". I will *attempt* to update it with some of our wedding plans and ideas. We're hoping to create a wedding that is beautiful, but doesn't break our {Piggy Bank} budget! 

May 3, 2011

Sweet Date: Starbucks Happy Hour Begins May 6

I'm not sure if anyone gets more excited about this deal than I do! YAY!
Make is a sweet date: Starbucks is again offering Frappuccino Happy Hour! You can get half-priced frappuccinos from 3pm-5pm every day at participating Starbucks locations beginning May 6 until May 15! Visit here for more information.

April 27, 2011

Excercising Together: The Date that never gets old!

I've posted about exercising as a fun and inexpensive date before, but nothing beats a great ride and a fun hike!
My boyfriend has always been into sports. Soccer, football, rugby... Me, on the other hand, I don't have an athletic bone in my body! (But I do have a fear of breaking a bone due to my lack of athleticism!) My boyfriend has become my own personal trainer of sorts and is always wanting us to be "moving."

Here are some pictures of our recent mountain biking and hiking excursion at a state park:

March 28, 2011 80% off code

My boyfriend and I ate out at a sit-down restaurant for $15 during last Saturday's date night! Without coupons. It's just too bad I hadn't purchased a gift certificate for 80% to make our meal even less... is offering another 80% off deal! That means, you can score $25 gift certificates to local eateries for about $2! Love it. I've used these deals for sushi places, burger joints, and fine-dining (oh, love a deal on a fine piece of filet mignon!)
Use the code TASTY at checkout to save BIG! {Expires 3/31/11}

Quiznos: $2.99 Small Sub Coupon

It's the end of the month...AKA the bottom of the food budget (for me at least!). It's time to eat out for super cheap!

Quizno's is once again offering a fab deal-- any small sub for $2.99 with this printable coupon! These subs usually fill me up. Also, sign up for their email club and get a free cookie with your sub!

March 20, 2011

Personal Fun Frugal Date: Our Living Social Ballet Date

Hi all! It's high time I start blogging again about my fun frugal dates! There have been so many I've neglected to share with you.

My boyfriend and I frequently take advantage of Living Social and Groupon deals. We have the app, text each other about deals and often share links to attempt to get one of our deals for free. I often am able to get my deals for free (thanks for using my links!), so he and I often get to go to the movies or eat out for free! It's definitely a blessing since we are both on pretty tight budgets right now. {I have a goal set for my savings account, so I'm trying to save every penny!} Fortunately, we both have similar budget/savings styles, so he appreciates a good deal as much as I do.

We've now go on, what I would call, Living Social dates. For example, last night he took me to the local ballet for half what he would normally would be charged. I loved it...granted, he's a guy and he took me out of love instead of a strong desire to see men dancing around in tights. It was a very special date, but it was very interesting getting us there. He bought the tickets and didn't read the fine print that stated he needed to take the Living Social vouchers to a certain building during the week to exchange for tickets. By the time we discovered the fine print, it was the day of the performance. Of course no one answered the phone numbers (or the 10 others he tried) provided on the Living Social voucher. We had a semi-freakout! We didn't want to show up to the venue all dressed up and be turned away because we didn't have tickets. Fortunately, it turned into a happy night when we arrived and Will Call had anticipated people like us and had our tickets set aside. Our panicked freakout turned into something to laugh about later. Moral of the story= check the fine print on your deals!

I have several other deals lined up that I'm very much looking forward to (places and things I wanted to do, but couldn't at full price): a massage he got me for Valentine's Day, a mani/pedi at a spa I treated myself to, free movie rentals, and an evening out to a nice wine bar (maybe with the girlies?). 

Keep a lookout for great deals that could turn your regular date into a fun and frugal one. Watch this site (and the Facebook page) for deals... feel free to use my links to get to your fabulous deal! ;-)

February 28, 2011

Baskin Robbins: BOGO coupon

Need a cheap sweet treat?

Get a buy one get one free coupon on the Baskin-Robbins Facebook page! (Find it on their wall.)

Free pancakes at IHOP 3.1.11!

Yum! Pancakes!

Enjoy a free short stack of pancakes at IHOP from 7am-10pm tomorrow (3/1/11)!  
{This is a fundraiser. Donations will go to charity.} 

Read the details here.

February 15, 2011

"Healthier" Onion Ring Recipe

Looking for a fun snack or an easy food recipe to try with your sweetie?

My friend, Jessica, recently posted an easy recipe for "healthier" onion rings! I can't wait to try them! The onion rings are baked instead of fried, and should end up being much healthier than regular greasy rings. See the recipe here.


February 7, 2011

Free Redbox rental code: TODAY only!

Want to make tonight a movie date night in?

Use this FREE Redbox code good today, all day: FEB7MOVIE
Make sure to return the DVD before 9pm tomorrow to keep from being charged for an additional night.

January 26, 2011

New York & Co.: $50 off $100 coupon

Need some new date outfits? Or just some clothes for work?

TODAY ONLY: "Like" New York & Company on Facebook and get a coupon code or printable coupon for $50 off $100 at NY&C online or in stores. The code will only work for today and it may exclude sales items.


January 20, 2011

Valentine's Day Affordable Gift Ideas!

Looking for some customized and affordable Valentine's gifts?

Use your very own photos to create special and memorable gifts!

-Make a 8x11 linen cover photo book at Snapfish. {$24.99 value} Login to Snapfish. Visit the "Photo Books" page. Choose the 8x11 classic photo book. Create your photo book. Use the promo code SOAPBOOK at checkout. Only pay $6.99 shipping and handling! Expires 1/22/11. 

-Make a free purse photo book at Walgreens! Go to Walgreens Photo online. Select the "free purse book" button. Use the code PURSE at checkout. Pay $2.99 for S/H. Expires 1/22/11.

-Create a free Valentine's Day card for your Valentine! Login to and select "Get a Free Card." Follow the directions. Make sure to use the code CARD4U at checkout. Only pay 99 cents for S/H. Expires 2/1/11

{If you're signing up for Snapfish or Shutterfly for the first time, you'll receive free prints!}

January 12, 2011

Jamba Juice Coupons

Do you and your honey need a little sweet "pick me up?"

If you have a Jamba Juice close by, print these coupons and score Coldbuster Smoothie for $2, Steel Cut Oatmeal for $1 or a Probiotic Fruit & Yogurt Blend for $1. Expires 1/19/11.


January 5, 2011

Free Waffle at Waffle House!

Who doesn't love a good waffle every now and then?!

And, what's better...a free waffle! Use this coupon for a free waffle at Waffle House before 3/1/11! It's good for any variety! If you want more than one free waffle and you're with friends, grab a coupon and pay separately. I always buy something else to accompany my waffle and tip on the full amount of the check (including waffle price). It's a great deal!

Thanks, MoJo Savings!


January 3, 2011

Frugal Date Idea: New Year's Resolutions

Yeah, I know it's not January 1st, but it's never too late to set some great {attainable} goals! 

Today is the perfect time for some goal-setting with your significant other!

Frugal Date Idea:
Sit down with your sweetie {over coffee} and write down/talk about your personal goals and goals you want to have as a couple this year. Sharing your personal (individual) goals may help you stay accountable and on track as the year progresses. Whether you choose fun, financial or serious resolutions, creating goals together should help you grow as a couple. It will also give you an idea of how your significant other is perceiving the future. 

A fresh way to set your 2010 goal: with ONE WORD. Read this fantastic blog post at Grit and Glory for the details. It's pretty cool. I'm still trying to decide my word for the year. It's going be EPIC (but that's not my word)! :-)