Monday, November 30, 2009

I Love The South

I live in South Carolina, as most of you know. I grew up on Long Island, though, and lived there until I was in my early twenties. The high school I graduated from was huge. My class alone had over 1200 kids. At my graduation ceremony, it took over two hours just to call out all the names. I remember when it was over, walking back to the car with my parents, and it wasn't where I remembered they had parked it. I found out years later that they had left after my name was called (I was a "C") to go get something to eat.

I don't blame them. If I could have left I would have, too.

I love that my kids go to schools where everyone knows everyone. The staff in the office knows who my kids are when I walk in, and I love that. I wouldn't trade it for anything. I loved growing up in New York, but I would never raise my kids there. I am now a true southerner, even if I do still have my New York accent. I would recommend to everyone that they come visit South Carolina, and if they are anything like me, they will stay. Greenville SC Real Estate is really booming right now, and I have heard that it is a buyers market. I wish Junior and I could afford to buy our own place right now, but it's just not in the cards for us.

Maybe someday...

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

I am going to spend the day with my family. I hope you are doing the same. There are so many things to be thankful for; not just today, but everyday!

I hope you enjoy your Thanksgiving, and remember to take a moment today to thank God for all the wonderful thing in your life.

Happy Thanksgiving!

It's That Time Of Year

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of TrickOrTreatMe. All opinions are 100% mine.

It's Thanksgiving today. I woke up this morning thankful for so many things, not the least of which are my husband and kids, and the fact that we are all healthy. We got the best news yesterday at the dermatologist...Kasi's rash is nothing serious, just a spider bite. I can not tell you how relieved I was to hear that.

I can not believe that in four weeks we will be celebrating Christmas. It seems like every year, time goes by faster and faster. It seems like just yesterday that I was taking the kids trick or treating. I wish I could say that all the candy collected that day is gone, but I can't. We still have a bowl full of the stuff the kids don't like, and I keep forgetting to throw away. I hope next year more people give out healthier treats. There was this website called Trick or Treat Me
where they talked about healthy alternatives, like giving out shelf stable, single serve chocolate milks. I love this idea, and my kids love chocolate milk, so everyone would be happy. The blog is now a "mom's blog", dedicated to sharing tips and tricks to keep all our kids happy and healthy.

Twick or Tweet Me is also over for the year, but I am sure it was a success. The World Wildlife Fund received a donation for each tweet, which I am sure they are going to put to good use. I loved the idea of helping a good cause while raising awareness of good, healthy alternatives for kids instead of candy. Next year for Halloween, I am going to look into those single serve milks. Heck, I am going to look into them now. I bet they would be perfect for the kids on our day long fishing trips.
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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Turkey Cookies

What you need:

sugar cookies
hershey kisses
red hot candies
chocolate frosting
candy corns
a really cute seven year old

That last ingredient is really important, because no one can put as much love into each cookie as a child who is allowed to do it all herself.

The finished product:

I wish you could see the kisses better, but they serve as the nose/beak.
They came out so cute, and she is so excited to serve them to our family tomorrow.

Holiday Airfare Deals from my Friend in Paradise!

This is a sponsored guest post written by Ali Kendall on behalf of Post powered by Sponzai.

Just wanted to send a quick "shout-out" across the Pacific to my friend Ali in sunny Honolulu, Hawaii!

Ali runs the website with all kinds of tips, coupons, strategies, etc. for findng holiday airfare deals. Now airfare comparison travel sites have come a long way in the past few years but there are still literally thousands of them to choose from. So here's a big aloha and mahalo to Ali for keeping it simple on a pretty nifty little travel website!

Turkey Cookies

Yesterday Brandi made cookies at school. The kids took regular store bought cookies and made them look like turkeys with chocolate frosting, candy corns, red hots, and hershey kisses. She asked me if she could make some for tomorrow, so I am going to get the supplies and let her go nuts. I am curious to see what they look like when they are finished. Don't worry...there will be pictures. :)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Growing up, I always heard that the shoes make an outfit. You could have on the prettiest dress or the nicest pants, but if you wear the wrong shoes, you could ruin everything.

I had one pair or dress shoes, a pair of boots, and sneakers. I wore them with everything, and I lived. I was never one of those girls who has an obsession with shoes. My daughter, however, is already showing those tendencies at seven. It drives me crazy! Pretty soon she is going to be asking me to buy her custom shoes so that she can match from head to toe. To be honest, I had no idea that brands like Nike, Adidas, Converse, KSwiss, and RBK even offered custom shoes, but apparently they do.

Let's just not tell Brandi.

Getting There

Here's a look at some of the decorations Brandi put up over the weekend. I helped with hanging the garland, but she put all the figures and stuff out. She had a ball! I remember doing the same thing with my mom when I was little, and I hope someday she can do the same with her daughter. Now to tackle the tree....

Monday, November 23, 2009

New Furniture

I have always wanted glass tables for my living room. For years I told myself that as soon as the kids were older, I would get some. Now that the kids are older, I am trying to find some that I absolutely love and have to have. While looking at Furniture online the other day I found this table.
I wasn't necessarily looking for glass tables, but when I found this one I fell in love. It's not too modern, but it still doesn't go with my couch. But to me, that just means I get to buy a new couch, too.

Do you think I can talk Junior into that?


Here's another addition to my Halloween decorations. I found this at Micheal's and paid about $.12 for it.

Not a bad price, right?

I think next year, closer to Halloween, I am going to try and find some glow in the dark paint to go on the white bones. I think that will look pretty awesome.

Getting Help To Lose Weight

Are you like me, and constantly trying to lose weight? If so, you may be thinking of alternate ways of doing so. I know from experience that diet and exercise doesn't always work. You may think that the cost of lap band surgery is too high, and that you can not afford it. In the United States, you will pay anywhere from $14,000 to $25,000 to have the procedure done. Going to Mexico can save you more than half of that, with prices ranging from $5,000 to $7,000. The only issue I have with this is whether or not you will get the same level of medical care that you will receive here in the States. I guess you have to ask yourself how bad you want it.

Tired Of My Ornaments Yet?

This one is just a simple blue and silver snowflake. I wish I had bought more of these, because I love the way it came out.

Maybe I'll make another trip to Micheal's this weekend. Wait, maybe not.

I hate shopping the weekend after Thanksgiving. The stores are way too crowded for me.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

What I Want For Christmas

Have you guys started panicking about Christmas shopping yet? I know I have. The thought of spending money I don't have is enough to raise my blood pressure. Luckily, I don't have too many adults to buy christmas gifts for. We started a few years ago only buying for the kids in the family, and that has been a blessing. I do still buy for my mom and dad, and my dad's wife, but that's it.

Junior and I don't usually buy gifts for each other until we get our taxes back in February, but I found this really cute (pink) video camera online and I love it. It's a Winait DV-Q1 1080P Digital Camcorder 5.0MP CMOS 12.0MP Enhanced 3.0 inch TFT LCD 4X Digital Zoom(DCE014). I have no idea what any of that means, but the list of features is pretty impressive, and it only costs $161.99. The only thing that would make it more perfect was if it was purple. Now I have to work my magic and convince Junior that I need this for Christmas, so I can capture all the memories of our kids while they are still relatively young.

As far as christmas gifts for the kids, I am going to do a little shopping myself at They have a good variety of gifts for boys and girls, so I am sure I can find everything I need for all my nieces and nephews. Paying wholesale prices is a great way to save money, and you all know how much I love saving money.

You can save money, too. Just go check, and see what you can find.

Just Aother Ornament

Here is a little ornament I painted the other day. Nothing special, just something I picked up on sale at Micheal's.

I added the sparkles to give it a little something.

I bought a few other ones, and of course will post pictures when I get them done.

It's The Little Things We Do

A couple of weeks ago I went to print something, and the printer didn't have any paper in it. I searched the drawers in my desk and found nothing. Turns out the girls decided that computer paper works well for drawing, and they used up every last piece.

As I was standing in the store trying to decide which kind to get, I noticed that they now sell copy paper made from recycled materials. I thought that was pretty neat. I would love to be able to buy all recycled office supplies, but I just can't afford it. The recycled paper was almost twice as much as the regular paper.

Why is that?

I have been doing little things to help save paper, though.

  • I signed up for online banking, so the bank will no longer send out monthly statements in the mail.
  • My cable/phone/internet provider no longer mails me detailed statements.
  • We signed Junior up for direct deposit, so he will no longer be getting paper checks from work.
  • The kids have started doing power point presentations instead of written reports, and to be honest, they have more fun and do a better job this way, too.

I know these are only little things, but if we all did these little things, we could make a difference together.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Kasi's Country And Brandi's Angel

How awesome do these look?

I let the girls pick out these signs in the Dollar Tree, and they had a ball painting them.
kasi said she was going for a camouflage look, and I think she did great.
Brandi was just trying to make hers look as colorful as possible, and I think she did an amazing job! They are already planning which signs they will get next.

My Kids And Church

I have been struggling a lot lately with the fact that I do not take my kids to church. I know for some this is a touchy subject, but it has been on my mind so much the past few weeks. You see, I took my kids to a fall festival at my dads church. They had a pretty interesting way for the kids to trick or treat. Different rooms in the church were decorated for different bible stories, and members of the church dressed up as those characters and told their stories. (I say characters, but you know what I mean) After going through several rooms with Brandi, she turned to me and asked if the stories she was hearing were true.

I knew all the stories, because I had grown up in church. I want my kids to know the same things, and it finally dawned on me that I am the one that needs to lead them to that knowledge. Yes, I can be a little dense sometimes.

Living in South Carolina, there are churches everywhere. Ryan and Kasi both leave school on Fridays to go to a local church for youth lessons. They are learning bible verses, and the other day Ryan came home and told me that he got saved. I was floored. I asked if he knew what that meant, and he said he did, and he explained to me what he believed it to be. I was so proud of him, and so sad at the same time that it took the school for him to be exposed to God.

I am such a horrible mother. I thank this youth pastor for all that he has done, and I pray that one day soon Junior will agree to take us to church. Things would be so much easier if I could drive myself, but that is just an excuse. I am tired of writing about what I wish I could do, when I should be doing everything I can to make what I want happen.

Did that just make sense?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

A Butterfly By Me

I am thrilled with the way this one came out!

I wish there wasn't a shadow in the picture, because the bottom wings look just as good as the top wings.

This is also a clip, so like the other two, it can hold papers or whatever on the fridge.

I had a baal painting with my girls. I love that they have inherited my love of all things crafty. kasi has asked if her and I can find something to try together...just the two of us...and I think we are going to get some polymer clay and see what we can come up with.

Any tips from all you sculptors out there????

Customizable Visa Gift Cards

I am not usually a follower of trends. I have never really found myself having to have something, just because it is the hottest new thing. But, I do know a good thing when I see it, and I am loving these customizable Visa gift cards. O, as in The Oprah Magazine, featured these cards in the Holiday Gift Guide, and I have to say, I think they are an awesome idea. You can upload any picture, and have it put on the front of the Visa. Imagine how surprised you kids would be to pull a card with a picture of themselves on it out of their stockings Christmas morning. I know my kids would love it! This is also a great idea for businesses too. They can put the company logo on gift cards for their employees as Holiday gifts. The possibilities are endless!

And if you order before 11/25 and use this code: pumpkin, you can get a $2/card discount.

You can also check out this press release for more information.

Flower-ish Magnet

Again my camera was acting up, and when I edited the pictures, the white looks yellow. The bottom flower is really white, with blue, pink, and orange flowers. The front flower is black with different colored flowers on it.

It looks a whole lot prettier in person...

This one is also a clip, so it can hold paper on the fridge. I got these in a pack of three at Walmart for under $3. I am really into thrifty shopping this year...

Photo Christmas Cards

Last year I sent out Christmas cards without pictures. My sister got mad, and told me that there is no point sending out cards if they don't have a picture of the kids. I thought the point of sending cards was to let people know you are thinking of them during the holidays, but whatever. This year, to make her happy, I will be sending out photo christmas cards. In the past, when I have sent pictures cards, it has always been a shot of all three kids together. This year I found a card that has room for individual pictures, and I really like the way it came out.

What kind of Christmas cards are you sending out?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A Little Ladybug

I painted this one...

For some reason, when I edited the pictures, it turned all the white a little yellow. Trust me when I tell you her face is actually white.

I made a set of these little critters for myself a while back, and thought they would make good Christmas gifts. This guy has a clip between his head and body that can hold papers on the fridge.

Ohm, and he does have a right side...I don't know why it's black in the picture...

Mr. Handy Man

The other day, Junior decided to move the television in the girls bedroom. He moved it to the other side of the room, and of course, the cable wire wouldn't reach that far, so he had to go buy the compression connectors to make the wire longer. Compression f connectors from ICM are easy to install, so he had no problem once we had the right supplies. I love that my husband is handy enough to fix these problems. This saves us lots of money on repairmen. Although, I do pay for the inside wire maintenance every month on my cable bill, so maybe this would have been covered. I will have to call and ask the next time we need to move things around.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Brandi's Butterfly

I love the way this little guy looks with the goolgy eyes!

I was debating putting them on, because the head is so small, but I am glad I did. They gives this green butterfly some personality!

I bought these critters at Walmart, and they came in a four pack for under $4. I was looking for Christmas crafts to do with the girls, and they had NOTHING! I remember when they used to have more than Michael's did. The only things they had were the foam crafts, and I really don't like those. I think painting shows more of the kids personality.

Maybe next weekend i can make a trip to Hobby Lobby and see if they have any ornaments the kids can paint. I am looking for a baby's first Christmas one for Lylah...

Monday, November 16, 2009

Generational Equity Complaints

Is it fair that the younger generations are going to have to pay for the older generations healthcare? Our parents spent years raising us; is it time for us to return the favor? These questions are all part of generational equity complaints.

Do I have an opinion on all of this? Sure I do. Am I going to discuss it with all of you? No way. Because no matter what I say, no matter which side of the issue I support, someone will disagree with me, and I am not in the mood for a heated political debate.

Feel free to click the link and read the information available. Then make up your own mind.

Brandi's Flower Magnet

I love this little flower!

Brandi has been bugging me for weeks to buy her some things to paint, and today I gave in. I have been thinking about what I can get a certain member of my family for Christmas, and decided that hand painted magnets from the kids would be perfect.

I even painted a few myself...I'll post those later.

For now, enjoy Brandi's handywork!


Years ago, I developed an ingrown toenail. It was ridiculously painful. The entire left side of my toenail was red and swollen, and I couldn't even touch it. When I went to my regular doctor, he said I needed to see a podiatrist new york city. The podiatrist did a little surgery right there in the office and a couple of weeks later my toe was as good as new.

Last year, Ryan had to have his toenail done, and we were lucky enough to find a good podiatrist for him around here. I wonder if getting ingrown nails is hereditary? I know Junior had to have both of his big toes done when he was younger, too. If it is inherited, then my kids are in trouble because they are getting it from both of us.

Butterfly By Kasi

Here's another magnet from Kasi.

You can't see it too good, but the wings are light blue.

I really hate that I bought these to be gifts, because I want to keep them for myself.

I wonder what Junior will have the kids do for me this year? Maybe if I drop enough hints, he will figure out i want some of these magnets painted by the kids.

Want To Win $5000?

Christmas is right around the corner, and I am totally stressing about money, as I am sure most of you are. We started buying a few things over the weekend, and hopefully by the time Christmas comes around, we will have a few things under the tree. I have been scouring the internet for giveaways and contests, and I found quite a few. I am entered to win books, gift cards, and other cool stuff, but what I really want to win is $5000.

That's right. I said $5000. You want a chance to win too, right?

All you have to do is enter the iLASIK Video Contest and if you win the grand prize, you get $5000! First and second prizes aren't bad either. First prize is a HDTV package, which is a $2,500 value, and second prize is a Flip UltraHD™ camcorder, which is a $199.99 value. Both of those prizes would make excellent gifts. The Grand Prize is from all categories, but first and second are awarded in each category.

So, I guess by now you want to know what you have to do to enter, right? It's really simple. Just make a video that can fit into one of the following categories:

“My contacts are getting in the way of my good time”
“My favorite sport or activity would be so much cooler with better vision”
“You should see life after the iLASIK® Procedure”

After you make your video, just submit it to the contest, and then tell all your friends to go and vote for it. (voting makes up one of the key factors in determining which videos win a prize) It's that simple!

So go...make a video! If you decide to submit one, come let me know and I will vote for you. Be creative. Make your video stand out from the rest.

Good luck!


Saturday, November 14, 2009

Flower By Kasi

So what do you think?

Looks like it was painted by a two year old, right?

Nah, I'm just kidding! The girls were given some magnets to paint as Christmas gifts, and this was the last one Kasi did. I think she was pretty much done with painting by the time she got to this one.

I love the crazy eyes, though. They are SOOOO Kasi! lol!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

It's Raining

Most of you know why I hate the rain. I already have the buckets out, waiting for the drips to start. The weatherman is calling for heavy rain all day; up to four inches. Just in case you are new here, let me explain. My ceiling leaks in like eleven places, and whenever it rains I have to live with buckets on my floor to catch the water. It is not a fun experience.

This also means that my mom probably won't make it to Brandi's performance tonight, because she has a hard time seeing in the dark to begin with, and add in the rain and you are asking for disaster. It's okay, though, because I plan on having Ryan videotape it for me so I can post it on here for everyone to enjoy.

It's times like this, though, that I wish I had invested in a camera bag for him. I have a very small one for my camera that fits into my purse, but his video camera is going to get a little wet tonight without something to protect it. When we went camping, I had him use a small tote to carry all his electronics, like his video camera, mp3 player, portable dvd player, psp, and all the movies and games that go along with them. That will not work tonight.

I think a camera bag might be something that Santa can bring him. I found these really cool sling camera bags that look like backpacks. The great thing is that you can kind of unstrap one side to sling it around to the front, so you don't have to take it off, and you have a harder time dropping it. I would say that you couldn't drop it, but I know my son and I am sure he will find a way.

I guess for tonight I will just have to carry a bigger purse.

How Creative Is This?

Those of you who read my main blog can skip this, because I posted about this over there lasy night. most definitely needs to be seen over here, too, because this is one of the most creative things I have seen in a long time.
See, I entered a picture of Brandi and her bff in their Halloween costumes...the pink fairy and the angel...and it won a Halloween costume contest! How cool is that? I got my prize in the mail yesterday...this awesome pumpkin! The girl who made it cut the front off of one of those foamy pumpkins they sell in craft stores and decorated in this awesome witch scene. I have never seen anything like it before!

I am so excited to display it next year for our annual Halloween party.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Being Overprotective

When I was a new parent fourteen years ago, I questioned everything I did. I was so inexperienced. I have three younger siblings, so I had been around babies. It was just that I had never been solely responsible for one.

I was just like every new parent, I think. I mad sure everyone washed their hands before touching him. I made sure he was always wearing a complete outfit, from onsie to shoes. I never let him out of my sight, and I was completely overprotective.

I can admit this now, but at the time, I just thought it was good parenting. By the time I had Brandi, I was a pro, and I think I was a little more relaxed. I remember when Ryan started walking, we used to put him in a harness buddy whenever he wanted out of his stroller in public. People used to give us the strangest looks, but we didn't care. I thought those things were great, and I was thrilled the first time I saw my sister use one with Carson. In fact, I see them all the time now.

I still think they are great, and now they can look like animal backpacks. I told Junior the other day that we needed to have another baby just so we could use all the new baby stuff they have available these days.

He didn't go for it.

Teacher's Gifts

Every year, I try and make something for the kids teachers and the bus driver. Now that Ryan and Kasi are in the middle school, I only have to make for Brandi's teacher and Peggy, the bus driver. This means I can spend a little more money on each of them.

The problem I am having is figuring out what I want to make.

I am slap out of ideas. What do you do for your kids teachers? Gift cards? Apples? lol! I really want to know~!

Management Companies

I have made real headway with the packing this past week. I am about ready to take out the Christmas decorations so I can use those totes to pack. Every year I put away my everyday knick-knacks to put out the Christmas ones, so I figured I would just pack the everyday stuff for good instead of putting it back out. Makes sense since we are moving in February.

I was researching online what recourse we have if any, with the management company. I believe with my whole heart that we are dealing with the worst one in the country. We have been here for almost 16 months, and for those 16 months we have complained about our leaking faucet. Well, I say leaking, but what I really mean is that the bathroom tub faucet doesn't turn off completely, so water pours from the faucet 24 hours a day. I'm just glad we don't pay the water bill.

During my research, I found Real Property Management. Now, this is a company I would love to rent from. They are award winning, and come out three times a year to check on their properties, making sure the tenants are taking care of their properties. If they do that, I am sure they are interested in keeping their properties in good repair. The company we rent from obviously doesn't care, but you have all heard my horror stories.

I just can not wait to move.


That is the only word I can use to describe this bowl I found on etsy. It is in Karen's Karvings etsy shop. This is just one side of a four sided bowl, and each side is just as beautiful. She hand carves everything...I am so impressed. This is one talented lady. You can find the other four sides of this bowl here, and make sure to check out all her carvings. Elephants may be my favorite, but you may like one of her other animal carvings better.

This bowl is way out of my price range, but I just had to share it's beauty with you.

Friday, November 6, 2009

To Play Or Not To Play

Okay, who plays this game?
Because I don't have enough things to keep me busy, I am thinking about checking out World of Warcraft. I know, it will probably suck me in like all the other games I play. I have heard that it is fun to play, and extremely hard to stop playing once you start.

Can you tell I have an addictive personality? I am now active seeking out things that will take up what little free time I have these days. I was also wondering if any of you players have ever bought gold to play with, instead of finding or earning it yourself. (See, I am not even sure how you get gold in the game, but I am already looking for shortcuts!) I have heard you can buy wow gold so that you can "skip the boring parts of the game". What boring parts? How long do these boring parts last? Is this game as fun as everyone says?

Come on people. Help a girl out. Should I start playing?

My Ratty Looking Children

This is what my brats looked like going to school this morning. Can you tell it's been a long week? I promise you that the girls hair really did look a lot better than this picture shows...or maybe I was just too tired to notice! lol! Either way, it's Ryan's birthday today, and we are meeting some friends and family for supper tonight at Golden Corral (Ryan's choice) and I am really looking forward to it. I just love spending time with the people I love.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Laser Hair Removal For My Legs

I hate shaving. As much as it embarrasses me to admit this, now that I am no longer wearing shorts every day, I am no longer shaving every day. I know, it's mostly laziness, but I can't help it.

I am thinking that I might need to look into laser hair removal in chicago and maybe have the problem taken care of once and for all. The thought of never having to shave again is nice, but I am curious about the pain involved. I am too chicken to wax, so I don't know how brave I would be about having laser treatment.

I think I might need to do a little more research. I am not even sure if they do legs. Here I am getting all excited, and I don't even know if what I want is possible.

Okay. I just did a little reading, and it seems you can have your legs done, and it will kind of hurt. They use a topical anesthesia for large areas, so that tells me there will be some pain involved.

Now I need to decide if the discomfort will be worth it.

I've Been Shopping

I bought this bracelet for Kasi last week as a Christmas present. I am happy to say that all the "girls" I have already bought for, I have bought home made off of etsy.

I bought myself a black and silver "memory" bracelet for myself a few months ago, and Kasi loved it. She keeps begging me to let her wear it to school.

Um, no. She has a tendency to lose/break things. So, Santa will bring her this cute pink and purple one. It's more suited for a 12 year old than mine is. I found this in trinitygrace's etsy shop. This bracelet was $4, and that includes shipping.

I hope Kasi loves it!

That Means What?

I have got to tell you all about this website I found. I can not think of one reason why I would need to use this, but it looks so cool.

Basically, it is an online translator. You submit what you need translated, and depending on the length of the translation, you could have results in as little as one day. I am curious about the name translation. I think it would be interesting to see what my name looks like in Chinese or something.

I have to make sure my kids don't get wind of this. I am sure they would figure out a way for this site to do their Spanish homework.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

All Done!

I love this! I had so much fun with it. I am glad it is finished, because I want to try something else. It's really not crooked like it look in the picture...I think it was because I took the picture with it laying on a chair. I wish I had bought all the kits they had at that yard sale.

I am assuming this is the same general way that beaders make all their beautiful jewelry. I am excited to draw out a pattern and try my hand at a bracelet. It might have to wait until after Christmas, though, because i found so many other projects that were packed away when I started packing the other day. It's amazing how many things I have started and never finished.

It's time to finish...

Chinese Withdrawals

From now until February, we are on a really, really, really tight budget. One of the easiest ways for us to save money is to stop eating out. We usually only do this once every two weeks, because it is so expensive to feed our family of five, especially now that Ryan and Kasi are considered adults. A trip to the Chinese buffet can easily cost us about $45. We usually only do this about once every few months. But, since Chinese is my favorite food these days, I crave it all the time. I have been trying different recipes, in an attempt to create my favorite dishes at home. The only thing I have come close to making is the inside of an egg roll.

I recently found this store that sells asian food online. The best thing is that they also have recipes that you can follow, and a few cooking videos. I really want to try to make their fried rice recipe, because I can never seem to get this right. I have tried many times, but it never comes out tasting like it does in the restaurant. I can also buy the ingredients online, and they offer fast shipping, with a flat rate of $4.99. If I spend over $50, I can get free shipping. I bet I could easily qualify for that free shipping, because there are so many things that sound so good.

Don't worry. Once I perfect some of these recipes, I will invite you all over for supper.

Trying Something New

Over the summer, I found this kit at a yard sale to make a banner out of beads. Last night I pulled it out and decided to give it a try. As with most thing, I can not put it down. I just can't wait to see the finished product. I thought it was going to be a lot harder than it is.

In fact, it makes me want to try making some bracelets with little beads...

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Tea, Sweet Tea, Iced Tea...Too Many Teas!

I remember as a little girl, going to my Grandma's house, and watching her drink tea. My sister and I always begged her to try some, but it wasn't until we were a little older that she finally let us.

I hated it. In fact, I am not too fond of any type of tea. I know, living in the South and I don't like sweet tea. People look at me like I am insane. But, growing up in NY, when people asked for tea, they got hot tea. When I first moved down south, I got a job at Hardee's. I will never forget the first time a customer asked for tea, and I handed him a cup of hot water and a tea bag. It was more than embarrassing having him tell me that in the South, tea or sweet tea means iced tea.

Who knew?

I keep hearing about the benefits of drinking white tea, but I just can't do it. I do, however, usually keep tea in the house, because Junior and the kids love it. They can go through a couple of gallons a day. Ryan has taught himself how to make it, so at least that lightens my load.

Maybe I should teach him how to clean the bathroom properly, so he can do that for me, too.

Christmas Ideas

Walmart has their Christmas stuff out already. I needed to get toothpaste today, so while we were in there, I decided to walk through their Holiday aisle. They had so many cute things.

I wish I had money to spend, because they had a nice selection of $1 stuff for the girls stockings, like makeup and bath stuff. They also had $3 bath sets that will work great for teacher gifts.

I also checked out some of their Christmas crafts, trying to get some ideas. They didn't have a lot of was mostly foam sticker crafts, which to be honest, I hate. I have to go to Hobby Lobby and Michaels the next time Junior gets paid, so hopefully they will have a better selection.

Monday, November 2, 2009

SCUBA Diving

I have to share this with you. Every time I hear the word SCUBA, I think of that old Family Ties episode where Alex is tutoring Mallory, and he asks her what SCUBA stands for, and she was able to answer correctly. It will forever be stuck in my head that it means self-contained underwater breathing apparatus. I know, it's crazy the things that stick in my head.

My sister has been SCUBA diving. She said it was an awesome experience. She had to take classes for a couple of weeks, and learn how to use the scuba dive gear in a swimming pool. I remember her saying how when they finally went on a real dive in the Caribbean somewhere, on the first dive she couldn't get her ears to pop, so she couldn't go down very far. After a while she was finally able, so she got to go all the way down. I am not too sure I could handle being underwater that low, and not know what I'll find. I am kind of having an anxiety attack right now just thinking about it.

Maybe someday I can get over my fear.

Happy Christmas Elephant

Isn't this guy totally adorable?

I found him in Shelly Schwartz's etsy shop. He is only about 1 1/2 inches tall, and I want him! lol!

I love the Santa hat and the candy cane in his trunk.

You should definitely check out this shop, because she also has angels and dragons. I know, that's quite a combination!

At only $10 (and $2 shipping) this guy is a steal.

Remember him when you go to buy my Christmas present! **wink wink***

Three More Months And I Can Take A Bath!

Notice the exclamation point on the end of that title? That just shows you how excited I am to move. Don't misunderstand...I do bathe. I shower every day. It's just been a really long time since I have gotten a good book and soaked in a nice, hot bubble bath.

Why, you ask? Because this apartment we rent has the most disgusting bath tub. The tub is really old, and apparently rusting. So the management company just slapped a coat of paint on it, making it look pretty when we viewed the apartment for the first time. About a week after we moved in, the paint started peeling up, and the rust showed through. It's fine to stand in and shower, but there is no way to enjoy a relaxing back without scraping up whatever body part touches the tub.

Now, in a perfect world, when we move it will be into a place that has a jacuzzi tub, with a separate shower. We used to live in a trailer that had both of those things, and the only thing I hated about it was that the shower stall didn't have a door, just a curtain. It leaked water everywhere! Junior actually looked into Shower Enclosures, thinking maybe he could put one of those in. We had no idea how expensive those things can be, and it was a rental, so we didn't want to invest the money. Luckily, we had another bathroom with a standard tub/shower, so it was no big deal.

I miss that trailer...we never should have moved from there, but three kids and two adults didn't fit in a 14 foot wide by 70 foot long 2 bedroom trailer too happily.

The Girls Bags

Remember these bags I made for Kasi and Brandi to trick or treat with?

Well, the girls loved them, and they worked so well! They held a whole lot of candy.

The best part for me was all the compliments the girls got on them. I mean, who doesn't love hearing that something they made is beautiful.

I think next year I have to come up with a manly version for Ryan...that's if he even wants to go with us. I mean, he will be almost 15 by then...

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Walking Shoes

I am so flipping tired. I slept pretty good last night, even with getting up around 5am because of a Charley Horse in my leg. I absolutely hate when that happens, but I kind of knew it was coming because we did a LOT of walking yesterday. We also did a lot of walking today, too, so I am pretty sure it will happen again in the morning. I need to invest in some good walking shoes, or maybe some 5.11 Tactical boots. Okay, so maybe the boots are not a good idea for long walks on pavement, but I need to do something. The past two days I have worn my fake crocs, and they are not the best for walking. I have blisters on more than a couple of toes.

I think I need to finally find out how it feels to have a professional pedicure.