Wednesday, August 31, 2011

When Do You Say, "I Won't Pay That Much"

I just saw a mascara listed for $70. Holy crap!  Who would pay that much for mascara?  That is just plain crazy.  It did get me thinking, what is the limit that you would say, "That is way too much?"  What would you pay a lot for?  


I think I'm a pretty frugal person.  I hate paying retail for anything.  I bargain shop, check ads, go online and compare prices.  If I really want something, I try and find a good deal for it.  But, there have been occasions that I paid more than normal for a product.  


What is too much?  I guess it really depends on what the item is.  It also depends on whether that item is really needed or if it's just a want.  I'm sure there are a lot of things that I have, that I may have only paid $5, for, but since I didn't really need them, you could say I overpaid.  


It really makes me think. I have probably overpaid for more things that I even realized.  At least I can say I never paid $70, for some mascara.

A Little Frustrated

I'm actually writing this in between my sons school lessons, so excuse me if my thoughts seem a little broken up.


I am frustrated right now.  We are in Week 3 of school and I am really getting the hang of this.  I have a schedule down and teaching the lessons is getting easier.  I am building more confidence in myself and I am starting to know my own strengths and weaknesses as well as my sons.  


I wake up every morning with a positive outlook on the day. I am chipper and happy, (the extreme opposite of my normal demeanor in the morning). I try really hard to make this a pleasant experience for both my son and myself.


The problem is, my son.  He wakes up in the morning grumpy, (he doesn't wake up until 9:30am and we don't start school until 10am).  He gets upset at me when I try to explain things to him, or even when I want to help him.  He gives me crazy attitude throughout the day.  He daydreams and when I tell him to pay attention, we freaks out and tells me he's working.


Just to clarify, my son is not a problem child.  We are not homeschooling because he was in trouble at school.  We are homeschooling because we don't like the schools in t his area and felt he wasn't getting the education that he deserved.  He was, and still is all for homeschooling.  I just think he may be having a hard time with me being his mom and his teacher.  A mom/teacher is much more strict than a school teacher.  All my attention is focused on him instead of 30 other kids in a class.


Anyway, back to my frustration.  I try really hard to make this experience fun and enjoyable.  I come in everyday with a positive attitude and I try my best to help him as much as possible.  I just can't stand the snotty attitude he has with me sometimes.  The way he acts has a huge impact on the way I act.  Yes, that sounds childish, but when he's shitty, it breaks me down.  It upsets me and therefore, I am shitty.  


I want to make this work.  I want to have a good experience with this and I want Cameron to have a good experience with this too.  I want this to be fun, better than traditional schooling.  I just don't know what to do to make this better for him.  I figured by now, we would both be in a good groove and it would be getting easier.  


I guess I'll just take it day by day and home that things get better for him.  Maybe he just needs a little more time to adjust to this.  I hope that's all it is, because if his attitude doesn't get better, I may have to start beating him.  That was a joke, for those of you who don't know me.  I don't beat my child, and obviously, don't condone that.


Think happy thoughts for me!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

How To Beat The Heat On The Cheap

Ugh! It is so hot here right now. Well maybe not RIGHT now, since it's about 9:30pm, but during the day.  We are having a late Summer here in SoCal.  I predict it will be hot until the end of Oct, early Nov.  Late Summers suck.  They kind of mess with your head.  You expect it to be cooler and it just doesn't happen.


Unfortunately, the air conditioner in our house is too small to cool down the entire house, so when the air is on, it is working so hard that it sucks up the electricity and since the power companies here like to rape their customers, yes I just wrote that, it's the truth, the bill can run up to or beyond $300, a month.  The $300, is if you're lucky.  Anyway, needless to say, we do not run our air conditioner.  Some days it can get above 90 degrees in the house.  Insane, I know!


Here are some things we do to keep cool and just some tips that may work for you.


Keep the doors and windows closed during the day.  Make sure your home is well insulated and you don't have a draft.  Also, let as little light into your home.  This one is hard for me, because I love natural light, but leaving too many curtains open lets in heat.


If you can, open your house up at night.  If you have a two story home, open the windows upstairs.  This allows the heat to escape through the windows and the cool air from the night in.


If you have a house fan, turn it on at night.  That also lets the cool night air in.  The important thing you want to do is cool your house down as much as possible at night.  The cooler your house is the longer it will take to heat up during the day.


Buy a small room air conditioner and put it in your bedroom.  It is much cheaper to cool one room that it is to cool an entire house.  We do this and on very hot nights my son camps out in our room.


Other ways to keep cool is to wear cool loose fitting clothing. 


Carry around a spray bottle with water in it.


Take a cool bath or shower.


Make friends with someone who has a pool.


Try to use your oven and stove as little as possible.  The grill and the crock pot are good friends of mine.


Eat lots of popsicles and frozen treats.


And the most important tip I have is to make sure you, your kids, and even your pets drink lots of water.  Ice water especially helps with keeping your body temperature cool.  


Stay cool my friends!

15 Week Challenge~10 Things You Do When You're Bored

Here we are again, the 15 Week Challenge.  This is turning into the 20 week challenge, but I'm getting there. 


So, without further ado, here are the 10 Things I Do When I'm Bored:


10~Play games online
 9~Go on Facebook
 8~Listen to music
 7~Watch TV or Movies
 6~Talk to whoever is around me
 5~Play with my son or my niece
 4~Go shopping
 3~Clean
 2~Just sit in the quiet
 1~Blog


That was pretty simple, I probably could have added way more things, but it only asked for 10 things.  

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Change Is Coming Soon!

I am so excited.  There is change and a new adventure coming soon.  I love change.  I get so bored with the same old thing.  I need change, and adventures, well, everyone needs a little adventure in their life every once in awhile.  


I have a little business that hopefully I will be starting soon. It probably won't make me a millionaire, (HaHa, my son's Spelling word this week.) but it will keep me busy and bring in a little extra money.  So easy and fun, I will let you know what it is soon, I promise.


No particular reason for this post.  Lol  I'm just really excited.  Like I said, I love change and adventures.  They are so exciting!

What I'm "Into" Right Now

It's that time again.  These are the things that I'm into right now.  In no particular order:

Brita Water Bottle~ This is the water bottle with the filter in it.  I totally love this.  I drink a lot of water and this is so handy to carry around.  You can fill it up at any water fountain and since the filter is in the bottle, you get free filtered water.  So convenient. No more disposable water bottles.  Good for the wallet and for the environment.  This retails for $9.99.  Well worth the price. 

Tori Spelling's Blog~ Some people hate her, but I adore Tori Spelling and her family.  Her blog, ediTORIal, (such a cute name) has crafts, recipes and fashion.  She talks about her family, kids and outings.  I enjoy reading it.  I love how crafty she is and that she loves to share her ideas with her fans.  It is such a fun and total, non-celebrity blog.

Milani Ruby Jewels Nail Polish ~ I love this nail polish.  It is such a pretty sparkly ruby red.  It really does look like Dorothy's Ruby Slippers in"The Wizard of Oz". I have this color on my toes right now and I have named them my Dorothy Gale toes.  Lol

Pinterest~ OK, I am absolutely, obsessed with Pinterest.  Pinterest is a site, that you can "pin" things that you like from other websites.  I have spent hours just checking things out and pinning stuff I like.  I have found some great recipes and craft ideas.  Check it out, you'll be hooked too. 

Spotify~ Spotify is an amazing way to stream music.  You can transfer your music to the Spotify player and you can search and play music you find on Spotify.  It is so easy to use and there is so much music it is insane.  I was blown away when I started to use it and search.  You can star music you find and like and it saves it for you.  I use this everyday.  I love it!

Storage Wars~ I seriously love this show, especially Barry.  I freaking love that guy.  No lie, I want to go to one of the auctions just so I can meet him and be his friend.  Lol.  I really don't know exactly what I like about the show.  I think I just find it fun and interesting.

Danskin Bermuda Shorts~ Unfortunately, I could not find a picture of these.  They are my favorite, comfy, sitting around the house shorts.  They are cotton and the waistband and inside lining is that moisture wick fabric that is cool and dries really fast.  This is so great here in SoCal.  They are really nice and cool (temperature cool, not The Fonze cool) to wear in the summer or for exercising.  I have two pairs, gray and black.  I got them at Walmart and they were only $7.  Great price for a great pair of shorts.

Beats By Dre~ My wonderful husband bought these for my birthday.  I have the iBeats earbuds.  They are amazing.  I love music and being able to listen to music on these is so awesome.  I can't even describe how clear and how well you can hear all the music.  They are incredible.

Multigrain Pringles~ Ever since I tried these, they are the only Pringles that I buy for myself.  I have only tried the plain, but they are available in Ranch and Cheddar.  I can't even tell you why I like them.  I think they make me feel like I'm eating healthy.  They taste good.

Yellow Mustard in Chili~This one is so random.  Lately, I have been putting yellow mustard in my chili when I have chili dogs or chili burgers.  Yellow mustard on chili burgers reminds me of my youth and going to Original Tommy's with my mom.  They put mustard on their chili burgers with pickles, onions and tomatoes.  Oh, they are so good.  I want one right now.  Anyway, the yellow mustard adds a really nice tang to the chili and it compliments basic brick chili really well. 

So there you have it.  These are the things that I like right now.  

Sunday, August 21, 2011

15 Week Challenge~11 Signs You're Not Into Someone

Lol, I don't think I can come up with eleven things without being mean.


11~You try to avoid them.
10~You don't want to spend any time with them
 9~You tell them you're just friends.
 8~You hang out with them in a group.
 7~You try and fix them up with someone.
 6~You don't return their phone calls.
 5~You walk away from them.
 4~You avoid eye contact.
 3~You have an attitude with them.
 2~You are mean to them.
 1~You tell them!

First Week Of School~Done!

My son and I made it through our first week of school, together.  It started off really well. The middle of the week was a struggle, but we ended on a high note.  This is really going to take awhile to get use to, but I really think it is going to be a good year.  


I had to adjust our schedule already.  We were starting with Math, but decided that we would move that to the end of the day and start off with Language instead.  I'm sure that this will not be the first change that we make, but it wa the first.  


I have decided that I need to get a large whiteboard.  It will make "teaching" a little easier and I hope more efficient.  It seems to be the only teaching tool we are missing at the moment.  


School is taking about 4-5 hours each day.  My son and I really like that.  We don't have to worry about others getting the concepts or lessons.  He did find out the hard way, that he is the only student, so "I don't know" really isn't a good answer.  There are no other students to call on.  Lol


I'm hoping our second week is going to go much smoother.  I'm getting into the groove and by Week Three, we will be pros at this. 

Sunday, August 14, 2011

15 Week Challenge~12 Signs You're Into Someone

I haven't done the 15 Week Challenge in awhile.  Honestly, I lost the paper I wrote the challenge on.  Lol, I probably threw it away.  I have a tendency of throwing papers away and not checking them.  Really bad habit, I know.  So, here it is, 12 Signs You're Into Someone...


12~You're very nice to them.
11~You flirt with them.
10~You buy or give them things.
 9~You write them cute little notes.
 8~You spend a lot of time with them.
 7~You ask them out for coffee.
 6~You touch them.
 5~ You laugh at their jokes.
 4~You think about them all the time.
 3~If you're not with them, you want to be.
 2~You find it easy to talk to them.
 1~You get "butterflies" whenever you are around them.


This was actually very easy to write.  I just thought about how I felt when I started dating my husband.  <3



Starting The Fifth Grade

Summer break is over and my baby is starting the Fifth Grade tomorrow.  I told him this evening that we both are starting the fifth grade tomorrow.  This year is going to be interesting, but I'm up for the challenge.


Both my son and I are nervous, but excited.  Our first week should be easy.  We have orientation and then he has assessment tests that he needs to take.  Those will let us know what his strengths and weaknesses are.  


My main goal through this new schooling is to make sure that my son knows we are in this together.  Hence, the "we" are starting fifth grade.  I want to be the best learning coach for him.  I want him to excel and love school again.  I miss that boy, who loved going to school.  


When we get a few weeks into the school year, I will give you my thoughts on this type of schooling.  

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Update On July Experiments And What's Going On In August?

Last months experiments were cleaning out my freezer and putting some money in savings.  I was able to get a lot of the freezer emptied out.  The holiday and birthdays helped out a lot.  So I am really happy with that.  Putting some money in savings did not work out like I wanted.  I wasn't able to save any money.  I'm a little disappointed, but it happens.  I'm not beating myself up over it.  I'm just more motivated to make it happen.   


I think that it is important that when you make goals and don't succeed at them, to not let it get you down.  Stay positive. Things happen.  The most important thing is that you learn from the experience and try again.  Figure out why it didn't work and change it next time. 


I don't have any "experiments" for August.  We are ten days into the month and I just figured out what I want to focus on.  This month, I'm focusing on getting my son started in school (which is next week).  We are starting virtual (online) schooling this year and I want to put a lot of my attention on that.  I also want to plan a new attack on saving money for September.  I'm not doing it this month because we have to fix our car and need money for that.  


I want to start focusing on my blog more and I have a couple of projects that I hope will turn into a small business venture for me.  At the very least, bring in some extra money.  


So, that is what is going on this month.  Do you have any goals or "experiments" for this month?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Five Is The Magic Number (Original Post 07/01/2009)

I had a bit of an epiphany yesterday. I was thinking about some of the great deals that have been going on lately and realized that a lot were $5 deals. Five is the magic number here. There are lots of $5 deals. Five dollar footlongs, five dollar shorts, shirts, swimsuits, meals, services. Two for $5 deals everywhere.



I remember a few years ago when one dollar was the magic number. Everything was one dollar. What a deal, $1! Now the deal is $5. Don't get me wrong. I think that $5 deals are great. If I can get shirts, shorts or a meal for $5, each, that is awesome. There is nothing wrong with that.

So, let's embrace Five being the magic number. At least it's not Ten, although having some things $10, would be pretty cool.

Sign Up For Birthday Clubs (Original Post 07/01/2009)

I wrote about why you should sign up for newsletters. Now I am going to let you know why you should sign up for Birthday Clubs.
The number one reason is you get free stuff. They are like tiny little presents in your email. You get these nice birthday greetings and sometimes a little something extra.

My birthday is this week and I will tell you, I was impressed with the amount of things that I am getting for free.

Here is a list:

Benihana - Free complimentary meal (up to $30)
Baskin Robbins - Free scoop of ice cream
Moe's Southwest Grill - Free entree
Cold Stone Creamery - Free Like It with one mix in
HomeTown Buffet - Free buffet meal
Arby's - Free Swirl Shake
Joe's Crab Shack - Free Appetizer
Buffalo Wild Wings - Free Dessert
On The Border - Free empanadas or dessert
Red Robin - Free Burger
Daphne's - Free entree
Qdoba - Free burrito
Denny's - Free dessert
Ruby Tuesday - Free burger
Del Taco - Free shake
Black Angus - Free steak dinner
Famous Dave's - anything from a free dessert to the All-American Feast (they scan and pick your "prize")
Marie Callender's - $5 off your entree and free slice of pie
TGIFriday's - Free dessert

Most of these expire a week after my birthday, so the odds of me using all of these are pretty slim, but since it is just myself, my husband and son, the free meals will make for an inexpensive meal out.

So go ahead and sign up. Sign your family up too. These are nice birthday treats. My husbands birthday was last week, so we get to double up.

Here are a couple other sites that list birthday clubs.

http://www.freebirthdayclubs.info/
http://www.freebirthdaytreats.com/

Arts Cow (Original Post 06/29/2009)

There is this great site called ArtsCow.com. They are a digital photo print site and they have some fantastic deals on gifts. If you sign up for the newsletter, you will be notified of all these great deals. They usually run a few a month.



The items are made in Hong Kong, so it takes awhile to receive them (about a week or two) but the prices are great.

This is a great site and the items are really nice. I ordered a glass cloth and a photo book from them a few months ago.

Change (Original Post~06/14/2009)

Today, my son asked me why I had so many different colors of nail polish. I told him it was because I get bored very easily. It is the same reason why I have so many purses among other things. I love change. I crave it. I need to it.
As long as I can remember, I have always needed to change things. When I was younger, I use to change my hair color, all the time. I had tons of shoes, and I would paint my room and redecorate on a regular basis.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy certain things to stay the same. I love routine. You need a routine to keep things in order, but change keeps things exciting. Now that I am older, my changes are a little more subtle, nail polish, new recipes, favorite movies and music, and various other things. That is why the "things I'm into" changes.

Change is a good thing. I think that it keeps us on out toes and makes our lives a little less mundane. It also keeps things more interesting and reminds us that it is fun to be different and daring every once in awhile.

So, try it this week. Shake things up and do something different, something daring, something that is going to make your family say "Wow, that was fun!"

Sunday, August 7, 2011

My Week In Pictures

Went out to eat and my niece MiMi had a rainbow on her arm.

MiMi posing for the camera.

 My son Cameron and MiMi at the Fontana Aquatic Center.

Me lounging by the pool.

My dog Trixie laying on the bed.

Cameron concentrating very hard on the computer.

MiMi with her ice cream and the iPad.

My nephew Jesse acting silly.


Me, officiating my first wedding.  Lol, yes I am an Ordained Minister.


My husband, son and niece acting silly at JoAnne's.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

What I'm "Into" Right Now (Original Post 06/08/2009)

I have been trying to write some reviews, at least one a week, but that is not really working they way I wanted, so I decided to write about things that I am "into" right now.


This list changes all the time, so I may make this a regular thing. Maybe every month or so. We'll see. Here is the list:

Twitter - I am totally into Twitter right now. I know it is crazy, but it is so much fun. I love reading the updates on my friends, and I will admit, some celebrities.

The Impulsive Buy - This is a review blog. They mainly review new foods, but it varies from day to day. I read it everyday. I enjoy finding out about new products and the writers are extremely witty and sometimes it is just a riot to read.

Sweepstakes - I have been an avid sweepstaker for about ten years. I have won trips, TV's, movies, music, books, lots of things. My involvement in sweeps, vary. It usually depends on what is going on in my life and if I have the time. Here are three daily sweeps that I enter.
Bar SCountry Crock and Honey Nut Cheerios. You can click on each to enter. Make sure you read the rules before entering and good luck. If you win anything, let me know.

BeautyTicket.com - I have blogged about e.l.f. cosmetics and you know how much I love them, but Beauty Ticket is a great site to buy cosmetics also. They sell high end brands like Lola, Pixie, Pout and Smashbox for as much as 85% off the retail price. Their prices are amazing.

Taco Tuesday - Every Tuesday, my family goes to Del Taco for Taco Tuesday. The Del Taco near my house has tacos, 3 for $1.19. This is our "eat out night" and it is an extremely inexpensive meal out also. We even treat ourselves to "Happy Hour" at Sonic before, where we get 1/2 price drinks.

Books on tape - I guess it would be considered ebooks, since technically, I listen to them on my computer. I have a hard time finding the time to sit down and read a book. So, I started listening to books while I am working on the computer, which is all the time. This has given me back an appreciation for books.

Reading with my son - I have found time to read with my son. He is 8 years old and an excellent reader. We go back and forth with me reading one chapter and he reading the other. We are currently reading the "Schooling Around" series by Australian author Andy Griffiths. These are such fun books. I have really enjoyed spending time with my son and the books are great too. I find myself not wanting to put the books down and can't wait for the next evening so we can continue.

The Sun - I am so excited to see the sun. There are a lot of reasons for this. Summer is coming. My son is in his last week of school. We have family and friends visiting this summer. I get to swim. We live in an HOA and have a community pool. It is really nice to be able to go swimming and spend some time with the neighbors.

That is it for now. I am quite sure I will doing this again. What are you "into"? Let me know.

Why You Should Sign Up For Newsletters (Original Post 06/06/2009)

"I don't want all that crap in my inbox, besides, I don't have time to read it." That is what everyone always tells me about newsletters. I am going to tell you why you should sign up for these newsletters.


First of all, don't think of it as crap or spam. It's not. They are very informative and helpful on keeping you up to date on products and services that you use. When signing up for newsletters, open another email account. You should have an extra email account for freebies and such anyway. Nobody, likes spam and extra emails, and when you are trying to get through the important stuff, you don't want to go through emails that you can look at later. You can have the newsletters sent to the 'other' email address and go through them when you have time.

When signing up for newsletters, make sure that they are something that you want info on. Usually, you can look at a sample newsletter. The best newsletters to sign up for are vacations, stores, food, restaurants, services and recipes.

Signing up for these types of newsletters brings you a lot of information, bargains, deals, coupons, rebates and freebies. I am always getting lots of coupons, freebies, and great deals sent weekly to my email. I don't have to hunt around for them. They are there when I get on my computer.

Newsletters are an excellent way to save money and stay on a budget. Last year, my family was able to take a wonderful trip to Ireland, because I signed up for Sceptre Tours newsletter. Some grocery stores have newsletters, so you can check the ads and plan your meals and shopping trips. Certain products and restaurants will send coupons with their newsletters. You will be notified of company changes, new products, store openings, samples and sweepstakes.

So, next time you are asked to sign up for a newsletter, think about all the info you are missing out on, and go ahead and sign up. If you find, you don't like it, you can always unsubscribe.

My Soapbox For The Day (Original Post 06/06/2009)

Sometimes, I feel the need to stand up on my soapbox and vent about things that bother me. Today, is one of those days. You really don't have to read this if you don't want to. It is just me complaining.


Anyway, I was reading through some entertainment articles and it got me thinking. Why are some of these people 'celebrities'. They don't do anything. They are 'famous' (I use the term loosely) for being rich. They are certain people out there that are 'celebrities' because they have money, or their parents have money and they are in the limelight. Now, I'm not going to name any names, (not that I have a lot of people who read this blog, but I still don't want hate mail because I called someone's celebrity status ridiculous or useless, which I do believe in a lot of cases).

I just find the whole thing to be sad. We are going to have an entire generation of kids that look up to these people and think that if you are wealthy, then you can be a celebrity, and that you need to have money to be someone. This is ridiculous and I will say it again, sad.

It is bad enough that kids are made to feel inferior if they don't have the right clothes, backpack, shoes, notebook, pencil, whatever. But, now we have so-called celebrities that kids look up to because they have money, making it harder and harder to raise your kids with the values that money isn't everything and you can live a fabulous life without having to spend an arm and a leg, or by throwing your money around.

Well, that is the end of my rant. I am just sad that 'celebrities' don't have to have any talent anymore. They can simply be famous for their wealth. 

Monday, August 1, 2011

Use Rewards Cards As A Pot Scrubber (Original Post 05/30/2009)

I got this tip awhile ago from TipNut.com. If you have never been to Tip Nut, there are some great tips, and crafts there that I know you will love. You can use those old rewards cards or even the ones the hard plastic ones you get in the mail to clean the bottom of your pots. You simply scrape the bottom of your pots, pans or casserole dishes with the card. It doesn't scratch or damage the surface.

Make Money While You Search (Original Post 05/30/2009)

Some of you may know about sites that you can win prizes or points while you search. If you don't these are great ways to earn points and prizes for things like gift cards or other items that you can use for gifts.

The reason why I like these search engines is because, why shouldn't I earn points for doing something that I already do, search the internet. Another reason why this is great for me is because I work for ChaCha and kgb_ and I search the internet more than the average person would. So, I get points when I work. It is a win, win situation for me.

Right now, I really like using Winzy. The reason is because I think it has a lot more links that I am able to use. Also, I have been able to earn the most points from them. They also have these great little games, I usually get one or two a day, where you can earn extra points. The other two search engines I use areSwagbucks and Blingo. Swagbucks is great, but I really don't like their rewards very much. The search engine is nice, but it doesn't always have the info that I need. Blingo is my least favorite. Most the time when I use the search engine, I have to use another, because I can't find what I am looking for.

If you haven't already done so, sign up for one or all of these sites and tell me what you think. You can click on my links and those are my referral links, or you can simply search the sites and sign up that way.

Back To Basics Cooking & A Little Note From Me (Original Post 05/30/2009)

The past week I was in a pretty bad funk and didn't feel like doing much of anything, so that explains my lack of posts.  This week and next week, I am trying to get myself and my son ready for the new school year.  We are beginning a new school venture this year.  He will be starting online schooling and I will be his "learning coach".  This is so very new to us.  I plan on writing about our new journey, but need to experience it first. LOL   In the meantime, I'm going to just re-post some stuff so you don't start to miss me.  XOXO




Today, I started thinking about when I started cooking. When I was younger, my mom worked two jobs and I was left to make dinner for the family. As a teenager, I didn't want to spend time in the kitchen cooking, so I made really quick easy meals. Why don't I do that know? I think it is because I am an adult with my own family that I feel the need to cook a nice dinner every night.

Well, I don't. Why can't I make meals like I made when I was younger. It is OK, and it is also a wonderful and easy way to get my son involved in helping to cook meals. So, I am going back to basics. I am going to start making those meals that I made when I starting cooking. Now, I won't make these every night, but it will be nice and it might give me inspiration to simplify other meals.

For my meal tonight, I am going to make English Muffin Pizza. I am going to toast the english muffins in the toaster, so I don't have to turn the oven on and then melt the cheese in the microwave. Totally Old School cooking.

Other things I use to make were chicken nuggets, corn dogs, sandwiches and actually one of my favorites, cereal for dinner. When did that become wrong to do? I don't feed it to my family every night.

So, if you have back to basic recipes or ideas, please share them with me. I would love to have more suggestions.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Music Is In My Soul~Whipping Post

I love music.  It soothes the soul and has the power to invoke so many emotions.  My life runs on music.  Ever since I was very young, I have always had such a strong love for music.  When I was in preschool, my teacher would play classical music during playtime and instead of playing like the other kids, I would sit next to the stereo and just listen.  


When I got older, I got a job at a record store.  My mom told me, when I got the job, she always knew, that somehow I would be working in the music industry.  I thought that was funny, I was like, "I work at a record store.  This is hardly, the industry."  She had just meant, I had always loved music and she knew it was going to part of my life.  


If I was a little more talented, I could play an instrument, but instead I  settle with the occasional outburst of singing in the middle of the store, my voice is mediocre at best.  Still, music is my life force.  It inspires me, it reminds me of events in my life and brings me to happier or even sadder times.


I thought I would share some songs that I love and tell you why I love them.  Maybe, make this a regular addition to my blog.  


The song I wanted to share is "Whipping Post" by The Allman Brothers Band.  I chose this song because I have been listening to it a lot lately.  It has just been playing on my player a lot.  There is something about this song that makes me stop and listen.  When it comes on, I can't do anything else, but listen to this song. 


Written by Gregg Allman and released November 1969, Whipping Post has this intoxicating blues sound to it and if you are a rock fan, you should appreciate blues.  That is where it all started.  The blues guitar is amazing and sucks you in.  You can feel the music and the emotion that is being conveyed.  Gregg Allman has an awesomely gritty blues voice.  You combine the music, lyrics, guitar and Gregg Allman, this song has it all. The most spellbinding and emotional 5 minutes (or 23 minutes, if you're listening to the live version) of music you can listen to.  I don't know how anyone can listen to this song and not feel the emotion.  You can feel the pain and the guitar solo at the end is pulsating.  This song is one of the most amazing songs ever.  


If you have never listened to this song here it is along with the lyrics.  Listen to it and tell me what you think.




I've been run down
I've been lied to
And I don't know why ... I let that mean woman make me a fool
She took all my money ... wrecked my new car
Now she's with one of my good time buddies ... they're drinkin' in some cross town bar
Sometimes I feel
Sometimes I feel ... like I've been tied to the whippin' post
Tied to the whippin' post
Tied to the whippin' post
Good Lord I feel like I'm dyin'

My friends tell me ... that I've been such a fool
And I have to stand by and take it baby ... all for lovin' you
I drown myself in sorrow ... as I look at what you've done
But nothin' seems to change ... the bad times stay the same ... and I can't run
Sometimes I feel
Sometimes I feel ... like I've been tied to the whippin’ post
Tied to the whippin’ post
Tied to the whippin’ post
Good Lord I feel like I'm dyin'

Sometimes I feel
Sometimes I feel ... like I've been tied to the whippin’ post
Tied to the whippin’ post
Tied to the whippin' post
Good Lord I feel like I'm dyin'








Wednesday, July 20, 2011

What Inspires Me?

This week I've been in a writing funk.  I have topics that I want to write about, but when I sit down to write, I'm just not feeling it.  I just can't seem to collect my thoughts.


So, what inspires me to write?  First, I need quiet.  I can't write when kids are jumping around, calling me, screaming in my ear.  This is one reason why I usually write late at night.  Everyone is asleep and the house is nice and quiet.  Very peaceful.


I need a good topic to write about.  I actually write down topics that come to mind.  I have a list on my computer and also on my phone.  Whenever I think of something, I write it down so I don't forget.  These topics come from things that I see, hear, read, things I talk about, anger and various rants I have.  Sometimes I just sit at the computer and topics come and I immediately start writing.  This is the case with my writing today.


Other inspirations I get are my family, friends and other articles that I read.  Thoughts appear in my head and they kind of form into numerous paragraphs and turn into what you read.  Lol  


Writing is very easy for me.  It always has been and I am so happy that I have an outlet that allows me to express myself.  At times it is very therapeutic.  A lot of things inspire me and I'm happy for that.  I'm glad that I can share these with you.  

Hidden Mickey Featured on Couponing To Disney

My hidden Mickey was featured on Couponing To Disney today.  Do you have a hidden Mickey you'd like to share?  While you are there, check out Kristin's blog.  She has great tips  and deals that can help you save money.


http://www.couponingtodisney.com/2011/07/19/hidden-mickey-7-19-11/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+CouponingToDisney+%28Couponing+to+Disney%29

Monday, July 18, 2011

How to fold sheets

I found this today while going through my bookmarks on my computer.  I thought I would pass it along.  


http://raisinghomemakers.com/2010/how-to-fold-sheets/

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Crock Pot Beer Brats

Sorry, I didn't take any pictures of this meal.  It is pretty easy to make.  I took two packages of Johnsonville Beer Brats, Blue Moon beer and about a cup of water.  Threw everything in the crock pot and turned it on high.  Cook it for about 4-6 hours.  Basically, you are just boiling the brats.


You can serve these on hot dog buns or with mashed potatoes.  I'm serving ours on buns with some chips.


Easy, peasy, lemon squeezy. Simple and delicious dinner with little effort.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Review~Scott Extra Soft Toilet Paper (Original Post~5/29/2009)

I know, what a crazy thing to review, toilet paper. I use to be a toilet paper snob. I only liked Cottenelle or Charmin. I didn't care if it was more expensive, that is what I liked, and that is what I bought. For years I did this. But recently, I was in need of toilet paper and went to my local Target. They always have the large packages on sale and I was looking at the prices. The Scott was a lot less and had a lot more paper, so I tried it. And I liked it. 


I will admit that it is really not as soft as Cottenelle or Charmin, but the Extra Soft is soft and very durable. And it has more paper on the roll. I do like the Extra Soft more than the regular. The regular Scott toilet paper is not as good. It isn't very soft and there isn't much paper on the roll.

Another great thing that I love about Scott is that it is on sale at Target frequently. There are coupons available at http://www.scottcommonsense.com/Offers.aspx and if you save Box Tops, they are a part of that. To me this is a win, win situation.

Bookcloseouts.com (Original Post~5/22/2009)

Bookcloseouts.com is my all time favorite place to purchase books. They have great prices and deals every month. My husband and son love to read and they read so quickly. They both go through books so fast, it sometimes gets a bit expensive to keep up with their hobby.


I have been purchasing books through them for about 2 years now. I have even passed this information to my sons teachers who have since started purchasing books through Book Closeouts.

Although the books that they have are not usually the newest titles, you will be able to find some wonderful books. Book Closeouts has mostly overstock books and some that have been discountinued and the inventory changes all the time. Sign up for the email and you will be notified of new offers. 

Organizing With Office and Kitchen Supplies (Original Post~5/20/2009)

In this weeks "Quick and Simple" newsletter, there was an article on recycling office and kitchen supplies. There are some interesting uses for common items that you may have in your home. I thought it was worth sharing, so enjoy reading "17 Ingenious Things To Do With Old Office And Kitchen Supplies".

Getting Vitamins for Cheap (Original Post~5/20/2009)

Staying healthy is not always inexpensive, but you can get vitamins and herbal supplements for a good price. Puritan's Pride is a great website that offers deals on these items. If you sign up for the newsletter, you will be notified of great deals that will save you even more money. One of their most popular deals they have is Buy 1, Get 1 Free or even better, Buy 2, Get 3 Free. So go and check it out and stock up on your vitamins.

Start Your Christmas Shopping Now

I worked retail for a lot of years and the Summer is the time of year when stores start to get rid of their inventory to make room for the holiday season.


This is especially true for toys.  I was at Target today and noticed that there were a lot of toys on clearance.  If you have some money saved for the holidays, this is the time to start using it.  You can get most of your shopping done before November if you take advantage of these markdowns.  


When you shop, make sure that you check the clearance racks and keep everyone that you are shopping for in mind.  Check the internet as well as the brick and mortar stores.  You will be surprised that there are great deals online also.


Make sure that you make a list of all the people you need to shop for, set your budget and start shopping.  I hope you find some great deals and come out below your budget.  Happy Shopping!

15 Week Challenge~Week 13~Ways I Break The Ice

I'm a few weeks behind on this.  I lost the paper that I had written the challenge on.  Thankfully, for the internet, I was able to find it.  So here are 13 ways I break the ice.


13~What's Up?
12~Who are you?
11~What brings you here?
10~Hey is that your kid?
 9~Hi, I'm Tina
 8~How about this weather?
 7~What do you do?
 6~What are you drinking?
 5~Do I know you?
 4~Nice shoes.
 3~Have you seen (insert movie title here)?
 2~Did you go to (insert school here)?
 1~Do you know (insert name here)?


I wish this one was a little more exciting, but it is what it is.  Kinda boring.  Lol



Monday, July 11, 2011

Update~How Are My Experiments Doing? 7/11/2011

I'm a little less than halfway through my experiments and I have to tell you, not doing as well as I wanted to. 


I'll start with Experiment #1, which was living off my husbands part time pay. I have not saved any money.  I know, I am terrible.  I'm an emotional shopper.  I know I am.  The first step to recovery is admitting it right?  The past couple of weeks have been pretty emotional and I think a lot of the money I spent was during my birthday weekend.  I was so frustrated and upset, I bought things for myself and my family, took them out to dinner and basically said f*uck it.  So all the money I should have saved the first half of the month, I spent.  I'll be honest, not too broken up about it.  I'm a little disappointed, but I'm not beating myself up.  


Experiment #2, cleaning out the freezer is actually going really well.  The first week, we got rid of a lot of food.  We had a BBQ, so that helped out.  I have cleaned out all the TV dinners that I had, and most of the other pre-made frozen foods.  I made pork chops in the crock pot.  (See my Epic Crock Pot Fail blog post)  This week, I have a few more crock pot meals planned, Beer Brats in the crock pot and Spaghetti in the crock pot.  I have two meals that involve chicken, just not sure what I'm going to make.


All in all, I'm pretty satisfied with the way the experiments are going.  The next half of the month, I predict will be better for saving money.  I don't think I will save as much as I originally wanted to, but even if I just saved a couple hundred dollars, I will be happy.  Something is better than nothing.  The second experiment I think will stay pretty strong.  I found some steaks, more ground turkey and fish.  I plan on posting more recipes for you.

Green Lantern~The Review

This weekend we went to the drive in and saw Cars 2 with Green Lantern.  I wasn't too excited to see Green Lantern. To be honest, I thought it kind of looked lame, but hey, Ryan Reynolds was in it so I figured even if it was bad, I could look at him for 90 minutes.


I've had a couple of days to try and figure out what I was going to write.  Two days to find one good thing about this movie.  I had a hard time.  I'm beginning to think that all of the good things about this movie are sitting somewhere on the cutting room floor.


First of all, I was somewhat lost throughout the movie.  There were too many unexplained connections.  The holes in the plot were as big as the Grand Canyon.  The story seemed too rushed. It was like one minute he gets the ring, he's the Green Lantern, he fights the bad guy, (that connection was too loose and confusing) saves the world and gets the girl.  Really, it was that quick, no meat in between those bones.


This is a super hero movie, which I love.  I thought there would be some cool action scenes.  That apparently was asking too much.  The action scenes were boring and really not much action.  


The chemistry between the characters was dull and they had no spark.  I even thought Ryan Reynolds was boring.  I find him to be sarcastic and witty, but the writing left him no good material to work with.


I think this movie had really good potential.  I really do believe somewhere, there is a good movie that got all studio~ized (yes, that is a word I just made up).  Hollywood big wigs came in and decided that the movie was too long and said cut it up into, well the crappy movie I watched.  


Sorry Ryan Reynolds, I adore you and think you are one good looking man, and aside from this movie and Van Wilder, I think you're a great actor.  I can't in good conscience recommend this movie.  If you want to see it, wait til it comes out on Redbox or cable.  Please don't pay to see it.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Epic Crock Pot Fail

I made dinner tonight and used the crock pot.  I was so very excited.  I had boneless pork chops, rice, carrots, broccoli and orange sauce.  Sounds delish!


I put the rice, pork chops, salt, pepper and water in the crock pot.  Turned it on low.  Checked it throughout the day. About an hour before serving, I added the frozen carrots, broccoli and the orange sauce.


I went to serve the kids dinner.  Put the food on a plate and it smelled delicious.  I tasted it.  It was ice cold.  The crock pot was unplugged, but not all the way. It was in the socket, just not plugged all the way in.  When I added the frozen veggies it must have gotten unplugged.


Anyway, I plugged the crock pot back in, but I'm not sure how dinner turned out.  We all had chicken nuggets for dinner.  Here are the pictures I took.  It looks good.  Lol


The ingredients 




The finished product (sort of)