Sunday, January 31, 2010
I don't know about you, but the Green Police could do a lot of good over here in the US, too.
Saturday, January 30, 2010
Not my guys, though, They were determined to have a good time, and they did.
For a while now Ryan has been talking about buying a truck, and seeing all the big ones last night just reinforced this dream. Of course, his truck would have to be street legal, so all the "upgrades" would have to be kept to a minimum. I heard him and Junior discussing the things he could put on a truck, and I think they decided the first thing he will need is an air intake, which will increase his fuel economy. This is a good thing, because as a new driver, he will have a high insurance bill, and spending less on gas would help him save a little money. They were also discussing the benefits of a performance chip, but I think this is something a teen aged boy's car just doesn't need. I am nervous enough with him driving, I don't need him breaking speed limits and such. I did agree to let him have a cat back exhaust because I know that those are "in" right now. Of course there were other things they were debating, but to be honest, after a few minutes of car talk, I kind of tune it out.
I mean, there is only so much this girl can handle when it comes to boys and their toys.
Friday, January 29, 2010
For the past 18 months, we have been living in a two bedroom apartment. Ryan has his own room, and the girls have a room. I sleep in the girls room, in bed with Brandi, and Junior sleeps on the couch. Now, even when we move, Junior will still sleep alone, because of his c-pap machine. But, it is going to be so nice to have a bedroom to ourselves again.
I am looking forward to decorating our new room. I have two dressers and a night stand, but my bed is just rails and a box spring/mattress. I would love to find a headboard that matches the rest of the furniture, but who knows. I may end up looking into leather beds, to give the room a more modern flair. The dressers I have used to belong to my parents, and they have been divorced for more than 10 years now, so you can imagine how old this stuff is, because they had it for a while before they split.
The dresser in Ryan's room used to be Junior's when he was a kid, and he is 43 now. I guess you could say that all of our bedroom furniture has character. I think that's better than saying it is all old as dirt. Maybe we all need new beds and dressers. If only we could win the lottery...
The other day, Junior, Brandi and I were in Walmart, and we found this PS2 game for $6. It's some kind of dancing game, and it comes with the dance mat. Brandi totally freaked out and had to have it, because it is just like the wii game they play in gym at school.
That's right, my kid goes to school to dance to the wii. I'm not sure if I think this is an awesome idea or if I think the gym teacher is just slacking off. Either way, this was originally a $30 game, so we bought it for her.
I just can't pass up a sale that good.
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Of course, the adults take turns bowling, too.
Check out Brandi's bowling stance. I love how the little leg goes up! lol!
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
This is a big deal for us.
I will admit that we are not very good with managing our money. I will also admit that 2009 has taught me so much about money management, and how easy it is to get caught up in high interest "loans" when you are left with no other options. I think it was in September when we figured out that we were paying more in fees than we were in payments, and we knew it had to stop. It was then that we discussed getting credit counseling.
One night I was so stressed about money that I couldn't sleep. I got online and tried to find some one who could help us with our money issues. Do you have any idea how much information is available out there? It was difficult to make sense of it all, and to be honest, I had no idea what the difference was between debt management, debt settlement, and credit counseling. I just knew that we needed help.
I ended up finding a site that had all types of articles about debt management news. They talked about all the different options available, and what the difference is between them all. I found so much useful information about how to get out of debt, from budgeting your money better to finding a credit counselor who can talk to your creditors for you, and sometimes even reduce your debt. I subscribed to their RSS news feed for free, and now I can read their daily news. If you are a Tweeter, you can also follow them on Twitter.
Once Junior and I get rid of all our debt next week, I am going to make sure we stay debt free in 2010. We don't have any credit cards, and we will no longer have a car payment. I am really looking forward to a stress free year.
Or at least a less stressful one.
Junior put her in it, and she started running around the house. I had no idea something so little could get that things moving as fast as she did. I would have taken a picture, but my house is a disaster area. There are walkways through the boxes, but no actual living area.
Thankfully we should be moving next weekend...keep your fingers crossed for us!
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Did you watch that video? If not, please do before you continue reading. Don't worry, I'll wait.
Now that you have watched it, what do you think? I think that Raj Patel made some very interesting points, and one of the things he talked about has been on my mind a lot lately, especially since I have been trying to get my family to eat better. Why are organic foods more expensive than their chemical laden versions? This doesn't make sense to me, really, because aren't these farmers saving money by not putting all the chemicals on these plants and in the soils? Shouldn't these saving trickle down to us, the consumers? I could be totally off, because to be honest, I have no idea how much it costs to grow vegetables either way, but in my mind, if you are using less product to begin with, shouldn't the end product be a little cheaper?
I know Junior and I could both stand to lose weight. But to eat healthier, we need to spend more money on food, because the better choices cost more money. For instance, we can eat spaghetti with sauce and bread for about $4, feeding the whole family, and having enough left over for Junior to take some to work. If I were to buy the organic sauce, it would be a couple of dollars more. Being on such a tight budget, I can not afford to pay the extra $2, so we miss out. How is that fair?
Anyway, it has been a long time since there has been a book not written by dean Koontz that I have really wanted to read. This is a book I really want to read. It looks so interesting. I can buy the book, and so can you, for only $14. Or, you can do like I did and try and win a copy of this book by simply filling out the form with your name, address, and email. That's it. It took me all of about two minutes, and hopefully I will be one of the lucky winners. If not, I will buy myself a copy.
I am really looking forward to learning the value or nothing.
My good friend Nicole had a baby girl yesterday! She named her Ansley, although I am not sure about the spelling, and I don't know the middle name yet. Her mom emailed me last night saying she came out with a head full of black hair, long enough for a bow! I am so excited that I get to go visit her when Brandi gets home from school. You all know how much I love babies!
Junior and I had our taxes filled out last week, and the lady doing it asked us if we had bought a home, or were planning to buy a home in the next few months. I told her that no, we couldn't afford to buy a house right now, and she said that was too bed, because they had extended the deadline to qualify until the end of April of this year, as long as you closed before the end of June. She said a lot of people are qualifying for the Real Estate Tax Benefit, and it's too bad that we didn't.
Yeah, that's too bad.
We are going to spend another couple of years throwing money away on rent, but what can we do? Hopefully some day soon we will be able to afford to buy a house.
If you did buy a house last year, make sure you know everything about this tax credit, especially if you file your own taxes. Check out this video, which shares all the details.
Junior and I may not have qualified for this house credit, but we did qualify for some other things. Thankfully we will be getting enough of a refund to get us out of our financial mess, which means that come March, I will be a little less stressed.
I like less stress.
Saturday, January 23, 2010
Really. Probably the worst movie I have seen in a long time.
This disappointed me greatly, because I really do love Jennifer Garner.
Basically, this is a movie about a world where everyone tells the truth, no matter what it is.
Then one day, Mark (Ricky Gervais) tells a lie, and realizes that he can get whatever he wants by doing so. Sounds like a great premise, but they went in a really weird direction with it, and it really turned me off. I know, for some reason I am saying the word "really" a lot. Anyway, when they had Mark make up the story of God, I was pretty much done with the movie.
Seriously, don't waste your time on this one. I wish I hadn't.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
But, if you believe in either or both of those things, check out this Fictional movie site for believers in karma and reincarnation.
The last time I did, I saw this:
This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Allison Maslan, author of "Blast Off!". All opinions are 100% mine.As we reach the end of January, I am wondering how many of you have already given up on all those resolutions you made at the beginning of the year? I know I haven't even started on my "non-resolutions". I have put them on hold until we get settled after the move. In the mean time, I am trying to find ways to make sure I stay motivated once I start the ball rolling.
I saw this book online called Blast Off! written buy Allison Maslan. She is this kind of life coach, and she helps ordinary people fulfill their dreams, whether it be for success at work, or happiness in their personal lives. I was reading the reviews that are available on Amazon, where you can get the book for a discount price of about $18 (compared to the list price of about $24), and I was impressed with what I read. You can also find the book, starting January 19th, on Amazon, Borders, and Barnes and Noble websites.
People credit Allison Maslan with helping them reach their full potential in life. I know I would love to live up to my full potential, even if I am not sure what that is right now. But, with the help of this book, I may be able to take the steps that lead me in the right direction.
And believe me...they were just as yummy as they look!
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
I found this purple pair of eyeglasses at Zenni Optical. If anyone knows me, they know that purple is my favorite color. Do you think I could pull them off? The best thing about this pair of glasses is that they only cost $8. That's right, I said $8. That means I can buy them, try them out, and if I don't really like them, I have only wasted a few dollars.
I know most of you are thinking that the quality must be poor if they are that cheap, but that couldn't be further from the truth. These are well made glasses that can be offered to us, the public, at reasonable rates, because Zenni has no overhead, no middleman, and they make the glasses themselves. If you don't want to take my word for it, check out this article for yourself.
I am going to give them a try. I mean, I really don't have much to lose. If you are looking for cheap glasses, I suggest you give them a try, too. I bet we will all be happy with our new glasses.
Anyone who has bought a house knows, there are always little things that need to be done. Sunday was family day at moms, so we headed over a little early so that Junior could put in some new toilets, and while he was busy doing that, Ryan decided to put together my mom's new TV stand for her bedroom.
He did a great job, too.
If only he hadn't put the top on backwards. I laughed as he had to take it apart to fix his mistake...
Saturday, January 16, 2010
There, I said it.
Even if it is just sample sized stuff, I still love it all. I love the shampoo and conditioner samples the best, because it saves me from buying a big bottle of a new brand, only to find out that it doesn't work well on my hair.
I know there are lots of sites online that list daily freebies, but my favorite is shop4freebies.com. They list only the free samples that are completely free, and I have gotten a whole bunch of great stuff because of them. I highly recommend signing up for their daily emails. With just one click, I can see each days list of freebies.
And I love free stuff.
His solution to this problem was to teach the kids how to play. And they LOVE it! I was impressed with Junior's patience as he taught them. Now they not only play with him, but they have started playing each other. The girls are fun to watch, because they aren't sure of all the rules, so they kind of make them up as they go along.
I love it, though, because I don't have to play anymore.
Friday, January 15, 2010
Maybe it's the weather. Or the move. Or just laziness on my part.
The bad thing is that my blogs are starting to suffer. My standings on certain marketing sites have slipped, and it is my own fault. I am no longer qualifying for paid posts, which is weird because in the past, skipping a few days of posting hasn't made a difference.
Maybe it's the weather. Or the move. Or just laziness on my part.
I have decided, though, that once we get settled into the new place, and that's assuming we are going to find one, I am going to dedicate more time to my blogs. I am going to market myself more, and try and get more traffic to my sites. I am going to get some business cards online and start leaving them in random places around town, like I have heard other bloggers do. I am also going to try and not focus on just one of my blogs. I need to do the same for all of them. This blog and my Journey blog both increased in page rank during the last update, and i want to keep them where they are. Or even get them to rank higher next time. In fact, this blog is still not where it was before I went dot com, but I have faith that it will get there someday. I also have patience, and that is so important!
Now that I have laid out my intentions, lets see how well I do keeping to my word.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
I know I need to branch out, and this is where you come in. Leave me a comment telling me who your favorite author is, and why. You can even suggest books for me to read.
I look forward to seeing what you have to say!
I packed up my paints and beads and everything else, and it took me most of the morning. I also threw away the things that I have just been moving from place to place and never using. It feels good to purge a little.
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
It's amazing to me how much crap we accumulate as a family of five. I have my books and elephants, and the kids have the things they collect. Then there's all the everyday stuff, and I don't want to even get started on the kitchen.
I keep telling myself it is worth it, though, and that in a month or so, we will be living somewhere new. Somewhere with an intact ceiling and non-leaking bathtub.
I can not wait! (I think I've said that before, a time or two! LOL)
Thursday, January 7, 2010
This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Ramblers Way. All opinions are 100% mine.I always thought wool was itchy. I don't know why I thought that, but I have learned that I am wrong. Wool can be soft, and comfortable to wear.
I found this long sleeved t shirt on the Ramblers Way website, and I have to tell you, I am really liking it. It looks comfortable, and I can wear it all year long, because it cools as well as it insulates. It will keep you cool in the Summer and warm in the Winter. The way I have been feeling this past week, I need to wear something made of wool to warm me up.
There are a few other things I've learned about wool that are kind of interesting. The thing I find most interesting is the fact that wool naturally resists wrinkling and soiling. Now, I am the queen of not ironing. In fact, in the 18 months that we have been in this apartment, I have not ironed one piece of clothing. Any clothing that doesn't wrinkle is welcome in my wardrobe, and my husbands.
The wool clothing at Ramblers Way are enzyme treated so they won't shrink, they are chemical free, and they come prewashed and ready to wear. They are also lightweight and soft. While I was browsing their site, I found a page where you can request a sample of their wool so you can feel for yourself how soft it is.
I signed up, and will let you know when I get my wool. I can't wait to feel it for myself.
All I know for sure is that it is cold outside, and I don't want to have to go out there. I am chilly sitting here at the computer, and my heat is on pretty high.
I will be happy when I can open my windows again and let the warm air in.
How many more months until Spring?
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
I also know what I want this year. Last month, Junior got an awesome watch from his work. It was actually an award for great customer service. It is beautiful, and it got me to wanting a new watch. The one I have needs a battery, and to be honest, it has seen better days.
So I started looking around online, and I found these great seiko dive watches, but they didn't have any in a woman's style. I did find this black and silver Seiko watch on the same site, and it is only $97. I found it on bluedial.com, and not only can I get it at an awesome price, I can get second day free shipping.
That means Junior has twenty seven days to order this so that I have it on my birthday. I wonder what kind of hints I have to drop to get him to read this post. Maybe I will just print it out and tape it to the van's steering wheel.
The one plan that comes to mind is Nutrisystem. This plan ships pre-packaged meals to you, and all you have to do is eat. This sounds great, but I worry that I would get bored. I need variety in my diet, and I am a picky eater. I know, a fat picky eater, but it's true. I won't eat anything with onions, and I am sure they use onions a lot in their meals. And even if I do find some that I will eat, what happens when I have to start preparing my own meals once I've lost the weight? Will my body go into shock? Will I pile the pounds back on?
So my question to you is simple...have you ever used a weight loss center, and if so, which one? Were you happy with your results, and how did you do when you stopped their program? be honest, because I really want to know.
I am also a huge Queen Latifah fan, and I think she did a great job. But I think the best joke of the night was when George Lopez made that crack about Tiger Woods.
Ah, good times.
Okay, so that last one is maybe more of a dream than a resolution, but the rest are all related to, in one way or another, how fat I am. And to be honest, that is not something I want to focus on this year. Sure, I could go have a gastric band put in, or join Weight Watchers or something. But, since I have just recently decided to embrace who I am no matter what I look like, which, by the way, was a huge step for me, I don't want to spend the next 365 days focused on my weight.
I have, in the past 6 months or so, lost 42 pounds, by doing nothing other than eating less. I am going to try and add exercise to the mix (I say try because I always have the best intentions, but it never seems to work for me...I am entirely too lazy) and am hoping to invest in not only the wii fit, but the biggest loser wii game as well. I am a huge video game freak, and have a feeling that I can really get into working out with the games.
But, back to my resolutions. If I had to make one, I would say that I want to spend this year making happy memories with my family. I want my kids to know that they are loved and cherished, and I want my husband to feel the same way. I want to make enough money each month to help take the burden off of Junior, so he can learn how to relax, because I am pretty sure over the last 18 months he has forgotten how to do that. As for me, I want to continue being happy with who I am. I want it to not matter to me what other people think, and I want it not to hurt my feelings when I am excluded from things.
Not too much to work on, right? lol!
They all had a good first day back, and I had a wonderful, peaceful day here at home. In fact, I got a whole bunch of cleaning and packing done, and not once did I hear "it's my turn on the computer" or "why can't I play the wii". It was very nice and relaxing to just put on a CD, and spend the day doing whatever I wanted.
Until they got home, that is.
But, we are months away from another long break, and hopefully before then we will be in a new (and bigger...fingers crossed) place, and it will be nice outside instead of cold and rainy so they can all go out and play. Wow, that was a pretty long sentence. Anyway, I am off to enjoy the quiet while I can...
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Wheat Food Council. All opinions are 100% mine.Have you ever wondered what happens to your food before it gets on your table? We have all heard the horror stories of how hot dogs are made. I know for a fact that I do not ever want to see that documentary, because I am 100% positive that I would never touch another hot dog for the rest of my life. And I love a good hot dog.
I also love bread. I was just talking to someone last week, saying how I could live exclusively on bread, especially whole grain breads, as long as I had a variety of yummy things, like brucshetta, to put on it. I know how bread is made, but I don't know how all the ingredients are made.
Let's take, for example, wheat. I love a good whole wheat honey bread, but I have never taken the time to learn how wheat is made. Of course, I have seen wheat fields, but the whole process of harvesting and turning it into what goes into our bread is pretty neat. I know this now because I learned How Wheat Works. You can click that link right there and find out for yourself, too. This is a great website that takes you through every step of the process, and even my kids found it interesting. They were able to participate in all four steps of the "from the farm to the fork" program, and they learned a lot about wheat's nutritional value.
I want to give you a really good reason to check out this site. For each participant, the Wheat Foods Council will donate two pounds of flour, up to 90,000 pounds, to Operation Homefront, a non-profit that provides assistance to needy U.S. troops and their families. How cool is that?
So, go learn how wheat is made, and help our soldiers families in the process. Just stay away from that hot dog documentary.
Monday, January 4, 2010
I really wish we lived in Chicago right now...that is how much I am loving this sofa!
Sunday, January 3, 2010
This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of PBM Products. All opinions are 100% mine.I went to the store the other day with my sister to buy formula for Lylah. She has been exclusively breastfeeding, but the doctor took her off dairy, so her back supply of milk was no longer good for the baby. This meant that she needed to have something to supplement her when she wasn't home at feeding time.
So we stood in front of the formulas, trying to decide which was best. I am not sure if any of you have had to buy formula recently, but there are a whole lot more varieties now than there were when my kids were infants. To be honest, I was a little overwhelmed. I was also shocked at the prices. I guess I only thought it was expensive eight years ago. The can my sister finally decided on was pretty small, and she paid over $20 for it. I tried talking her into buying the store brand, but she didn't think that was as good as the name brand. I believed it was, and this led me to do a little research.
Turns out, I was right. The store brand formulas are the same, nutritiously, as the name brands. They have to be because they all have to meet very strict FDA guidelines. In fact, PBM Products just won a lawsuit against Mead Johnson for false advertising. It seems Mead Johnson was claiming that their formulas were superior to the store brands, and the store brands fought back. This is a huge deal, I think, because it proves that you can save money by buying the store brands.
In my sister's case, the store brand was about $10 cheaper. If you add that up over the course of a year, it totals hundreds of dollars in savings. I can things of a lot of things I would rather do with my money. How about you?