Thursday, June 30, 2011

How to know when to get rid of your stuff

Collectables, memories, crap, stuff, whatever you want to call it, we all have it. Tons of it in every area of our lives, yet some of us have such a difficult time getting rid of it. What is it with this stuff, that makes it so hard to part with it? Why do we have such a deep rooted attachment to our stuff?

I don't really know. I'm not trying to claim to know. What I do know, is I have tons of it. I have a hard time parting with a lot of it. There are different reasons for different things. How do you know when you should get rid of it? How do you know what to get rid of?

I think a lot of us, put a value, whether monetary or emotional on our stuff. Doing this makes it really difficult to part with these items. Hopefully, these tips will help you figure out if you should hold on to your stuff or let it go.

Do you have a place for it?~This stuff you hold so dear to your heart, do you have a place for it? Is it just collecting dust in a box, closet, or where ever? If your things are just taking up unnecessary space, you may want to think about letting it go. If it is not being used or showcased, chances are it will remain where it is. Just taking up space.

Do you use it?~Are those items being used? Do you have kitchen appliances that you just had to have, but you have never found a use for it? Bought some gadgets that are not useful? Basically, if you have items in your home, that you have not used in the past 6 months, you probably won't use them. Take a look at those things and really think about their purpose. Can another product take the place of that? Do you play that game anymore? Is that item broken? Can someone else get better use out of the item? Weigh the pros and cons of the item and get rid of the things you really are not going to use.

What do I do with those sentimental items?~These items are always the hardest to part with. These are the things that were given to or passed on to us throughout the years. It is so hard to let go of memories. Remember, we hold the memories, not the object. If you are not displaying the items, you might want to think about why you have them. Now, I'm not suggesting that you get rid of all your sentimental objects. I would never do it. Just look at what you are keeping and why are you keeping it. If you live in a small home, and can't display all of your things, pare down. Get a chest that you can keep all those sentimental objects in. Keep them in one place, so that every once in awhile you can go, open it up and reminisce.

Why are you keeping those collectables?~We all think we have those items that are going to be worth a fortune one day. Is that one day going to be in your lifetime? Probably not. These items are more than likely just going to sit and you'll never see any profit from them. If they are collectables that you display in your home, keep them. Enjoy them, and let others enjoy them. If you are just going to sit on them and they are just going to collect dust and take up space, consider getting rid of them. Let someone else enjoy them.

Are you really going to wear that ten year old pair of pants?~A good rule as far as clothes go, is, if you haven't worn it in 6 months, get rid of it. Maybe one day that jacket is going to be retro and back in style, but does your closet have the room to wait 20 years? I'm thinking no. Purging clothes every 6 months is a good way to make room for all those new outfits that you will find. I always keep in mind that when I donate my clothes, they are going to someone who really needs them and may not have the money to buy brand new clothes. I find that makes it easier and it makes me feel like I'm doing something good for someone else.

My child has toys and won't part with them!~I have been there, many times. This is so hard. You try so hard to get rid of those toys and they tell you, “That is my favorite” or “I was going to play with that”. Teach your kids early that they can't keep all their toys. One big rule in our home is that if it is broken, and can't be fixed, it gets thrown away. That alleviates the problem of having broken toys, right off the bat. Now, getting rid of old toys. I always go through the toys myself and then I let my son go through the ones I'm getting rid of and let him keep a set amount. This gets him involved in the process. I also explain to him, that in order for him to get new toys, we have to get rid of the old ones. I also explain to him that when he gets rid of his toys, we can donate them and by doing this other kids can get good use out of them. This has always worked for me.

Getting rid of our things is always tough. We have these items for a reason and letting go is difficult at times. I hope I was able to make the process a little easier for you. Do you have any tips for making getting rid of your stuff easier?

How to display your child's artwork

Kids love to color and craft, but you only have so much room on the refrigerator for all those projects. You want to show them that you love and appreciate all those great pictures and crafts that they make, but you can't keep them forever. HaHa, as I write this, I sound like one of those crazy infomercials. Just buy this, and all your troubles will be gone. Lol

A great way to display artwork is to designate a wall in your home and place all the crafts and art there. You can even put the pictures in frames and swap them out when you get a new one. I have one wall in my home that I display all the pictures I get. The kids love it. They are so proud when they see their artwork displayed.

Displaying their art in their bedroom is a great idea. You can buy frames at your local dollar store and they can decorate their own rooms. Turn your kids room into an art gallery.

Another wonderful tip is to scan the pictures into your computer. This way, all the artwork is saved and there is no paper mess. There are endless things you can do with the art by scanning it into the computer. You can make a mural, mosaic, scrapbook, puzzle, coloring pages, t shirts, whatever you can think of. There are endless new projects you can do.

So, think beyond the fridge, where are you going to put your childs artwork? 

What was one good thing that happened today? 6/28/2011 & 6/29/2011

I read this question on Facebook and thought this would be such a great daily question that I could answer on my blog. Even when your day is completely shitty, there is always at least one thing that made you smile.

One good thing that happened today, is my niece used the big girl potty all but one time today. I know it's kind of silly, but up until today, she would never go for me. She always says no when I ask if she wants to use the potty. This made me smile big today. I am so excited that she is finally going to be potty trained.

Since I was unable to post this yesterday, I'm adding today to this post. 6/29/2011

Today was a pretty shitty day for me. But, there was one thing that made me smile. Seeing Cameron so happy that it was the last day of school and that he had an excellent report card.  

15 Week Challenge~Week 14~ Not So Basic Facts About Me

14~I've always enjoyed writing. I use to write English papers for people in high school.

13~I don't wear my wedding rings. They fall off. Once, I lost them in the trash and since then, I don't wear them in fear of losing them again.

12~I have very eclectic taste in music. I listen to every type of music imaginable. I love music.

11~I love kid/teenage movies. Such a sucker for them. I think they are just mindless fun.

10~In 2001, I was in the hospital for 4 months and almost died. During that time, I missed watching my son walk for the first time. It was also during 9/11.

9~I have two nieces, one on my side of the family and the other on my husbands, and they both are redheads. ( I have 4 nephews.)

8~I love to sing. I have been known to burst out in song in the middle of stores.

7~I have OCD and it drives my husband crazy. It doesn't bother me much, lol.

6~I consider all my close friends part of my family, and I would do anything for them.

5~I can hold my own and no one needs to worry about me.

4~I lived in one of the biggest gang areas in Orange County, CA growing up.

3~I never met my biological father. My stepdad is the only dad I know and as far as I'm concerned, he's my only dad.

2~I weigh less than I did in high school.

1~My first job was working as a coat check girl at Red Hill Country Club in Rancho Cucamonga, CA when I was 14yrs old. I worked with my mom and my grandma.

So those are my not so basic facts about me. I don't think many people know those things about me. What are yours?


I just had one of those days. Had no sleep, I'm tired and cranky, my husband came home sick today and found out he has to work on my birthday. I was really excited, for years, my husband worked retail and was never able to get my birthday off because it is two days before July 4th. This year he has a new job and has weekends off, so that means, my birthday off. Yay! Without getting into what happened, that dream was crushed this year.

I find myself in my f*ck it mode. I am so tired of pretending things are alright, when all I want to do is hide in bed and cry. I just want to give everything up, pack up my family and necessities and move. Just start over. Fear of not making it stops me.

Can you really be happy living with the f*ck it attitude? Can you make it through life with a Coke and a smile? Should I try...again? Money isn't everything. Stuff is just stuff. Do I want to barely make it? I don't know. All I know is I am tired of waiting for things to be better. I usually try and find good things out of bad situations, but I just don't see it. I hate seeing the ones I love unhappy. It makes it difficult for me to be happy.

I guess there is one good thing that comes out of this. It makes me angry and it makes me fight. I fight for what I know is right. You push me or my loved ones and I tend to push back. That is my drive. The boxing gloves are on and I'm going to come out swinging.

Writing this changed my attitude. I went from a f*ck it attitude to a f*ck you attitude. HaHa, it took writing things down to help. That's a good thing. My head is cleared and now my mind is working again. Thanks for listening. 

Monday, June 27, 2011

Experiment #2

It's almost the first of the month.  I'm getting ready to start my money saving experiment.  I'm very excited for this to start.  I know it's going to be great. I already have a new experiment in mind and I haven't even started the first one.  What am I getting myself into?  

Experiment #2, is going to be cleaning out the freezer.  For the month of July, I will be cooking all the food (or as much as I can) that is in our chest freezer.  Anything that I can cook in the microwave, crock pot, or on the grill will  be eaten.  No oven cooking because it is way too hot to turn the oven on.  

I'm thinking that this will be easy.  We have chicken, pork chops, ground beef and turkey, pot roast, steak and various TV dinners, hot pockets and pizza.  Plenty of food to feed the family for an entire month.  

I'm excited for this experiment because it will help out with the first experiment.  We're going to save a lot of money next month.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Christmas Shopping in July?

Summer is the time that most retail stores start thinking about Christmas inventory.  So a lot of stores, especially Target, is starting to clear the shelves so they can fit all the seasonal product.

This is the perfect time to look for gifts for family and friends.  Toys are especially going to be clearanced out.  Since so many new toys will be released around the holidays, stores really need to make room for all the new product.  

Summertime is the perfect time to start shopping the clearance areas in stores.  You will find some great deals and you may even get your holiday shopping done early.  Most of the time, I will have my Christmas shopping done before Black Friday.

To keep track of your gifts, make a list of all the people you need to shop for and set a budget for each person.  Find a place in your home, like the garage or a closet and put all the gifts in that one place. Make sure your gift stash is a secret place so no one knows goes snooping around.  If you make sure all the gifts are together, you won't forget and have to buy twice.  Keep a copy of your list with you and place a copy with the purchased gifts. 

On a side note, I found out yesterday, that if you don't use a bag or bring your own bag to Target, you get $0.05.  So, make sure you bring your own bags or if you only have a few items, like I did yesterday, tell them you don't need a bag.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Silver Jewelry Club (Original Post 04/27/09)

This is just a really quick post on one of my favorite places to buy jewelry. It is Silver Jewelry Club. This site is a sister site of Peora. Silver Jewelry Club has jewelry that they have for free, all you do is pay for shipping and handeling at $6.99. The regular price of these items are $45 - $60. They have rings, earrings and necklace pendants. They have beautiful pieces and are of great quality. And of course, my big thing, they make great inexpensive gifts.

Saving Without Coupons (Original Post 04/25/09)

Today, I have some tips on how to save at the store without coupons. I am a coupon shopper. I have been all my life. When I was younger, I use to clip coupons for my grandma and my mom and they both showed me how to shop with coupons. I use coupons for everything. At the grocery store, restaurants, clothes, shoes, make-up and services.

There are times, though that I don't have coupons, but still want a great deal on items. So here is what I do.
1. Grab those ads, go online and compare prices. Sunday Saver is a great site that has ads for almost every store that prints ads. If you are unable to get the ads from the newspaper or mail you can go here and look at them. They are all in one spot. It is also a nice green way to check the ads. No paper.
2. Check the sales racks and shelves. This is also a great way to find things that you can buy and save for gifts. I have found some really nice things, especially toys, for more than half off the retail price that I was able to give as gifts.
3. Shop at outlet type stores. I always joke that I love to "Dress for Less" at Ross. Ross is one of my favorite stores. I am able to get designer clothes (not that I am a designer label snob, I'm not, I love Walmart clothes), but I can purchase some very nice items for a fraction of the cost. These places are also a great for finding very inexpensive but nice gifts. They also have very nice household items. I usually buy my sheets at these stores. I can find very high thread count sheets for about $30. This, I am a snob about and I blame my mother in law. She introduced me to 400 and 500 thread count sheets and I won't buy anything less anymore. But, I also won't pay more than $35, a set for them either.
4. At the grocery store, browse the discounted meat. I haven't bought meat at retail price in years. If I don't use it the first few days, I put it in the freezer, so the meat is still good when I do decide to use it. I have gotten some very nice cuts of meat for half of the retail price. Also, I don't buy very much steak. Steak is a luxury in my house. I use ground beef, ground turkey or chicken for everything.
5. If there is something that you really want, but it is a little out of your price range, wait. Wait for it to go on sale or better yet clearance. This has worked to my advantage several times. I have found things that I wanted, but just couldn't bring myself to pay the full retail price, so I waited. I was able to get a few things on clearance, by doing this. Now, sometimes, this backfires and the store winds up selling out of it, but I just figure it was never meant to be.

So those are the tips that I have to save money without coupons. If you follow these tips and you have coupons, you will make out even better. So, what do you do to save money without coupons?

Review~e.l.f Cosmetics (Original Post 04/24/09)

I decided to do a review on e.l.f. cosmetics. This Christmas I had bought some things for myself and my family. I absolutely fell in love with the make-up. Now, I don't wear make-up often, so I have a hard time paying a lot of money for cosmetics that I don't wear all the time. So e.l.f. is perfect for me. If you don't know about this company, they sell their cosmetics for $1 each. They have a mineral and a studio line, that cost $3. Not too bad of prices. I have used all three lines and love them. I will do separate reviews on products later, but overall, the make-up is excellent. It is worth more than the $1 to $3 that you pay. The studio line is their professional line and these are wonderful and professional products. The brushes are awesome. The mineral line is my all time favorite. I have used Bare Minerals for years and this is up there with that. Another thing that I love about e.l.f. is that they have deals all of the time. Some are Buy 1 Get 1 Free, half off, if you spend $20, you get gift certificate, and movie tickets. So, try them out and tell me what you think.

Weekend Plans~Husband's Birthday

Last weekend was Father's Day and this weekend is my husband's birthday.  He's doing pretty good on weekends lately, lol.

Saturday morning is Lowe's Build and Grow.  This is a FREE event that is held twice a month.  The kids put together different projects. This week is Waving Flag. The kids love this.  Saturday evening, we will be going to an Inland Empire 66ers Minor League Baseball game.  I won 4 tickets, so I am very excited.  I haven't been to any type of baseball game in years.  

Sunday is my husband's birthday.  Like last weekend, I'm not quite sure what we are doing.  We may have a BBQ, or we may take him out to dinner.  Since mine and my husbands birthdays are only 6 days apart, and July 4th is 2 days after my birthday, we usually have one big party to celebrate all of them together.  We tend to be last minute planners, so we'll see what we're going to do.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Make Your Own Dryer Sheets

Save some money by making your own dryer sheets.

Reusable Homemade Dryer Sheets*

Flannel pieces
4 TBS liquid softener
10 TBS water
  • Cut fabric sheets from old flannel pajamas or leftover flannel fabric from sewing and cut into 3″ x 5″ strips (approximately).
  • Stack flannel strips in a cleaned margarine tub (large size) or plastic container (cleaned baby wipes container works well too). Mix the liquid softener and water together, then pour evenly over top of stacked flannel strips.
  • Seal container and shake well.
You can use several dozen strips with this mixture. Leave sealed for 2 or 3 days, then use one flannel strip per load–squeeze out excess if necessary (it should be just damp). Keep container sealed at all times. Wash strips after use, then use again to make another batch when needed.

*Thanks Tip Nut

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Free and Inexpensive Summer Activities

I am so very excited that there are so many free and inexpensive Summer activities.  There is bowling, movies, crafts and even reading programs.  Here is the list that I have.

Regal Theaters~Starting today, June 21st, every Tues and Wed they will be hosting the "Summer Movie Express".  The family friendly movies are $1.  Some of the movies include, "Diary of a Wimpy Kid", "Megamind", "Despicable Me" and "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs".

Michael's~Starting today, June 21st thru July 30th, Michael's is hosting its "Passport to Fun". Free crafts featuring 18 countries. The activities are the following:
June 21 11 am – 2 pm
The Knack Passport to Fun Sweden Dolls & Flag FREE Make-It Take-It
Make a fun craft project from Sweden. Design your own Swedish dolls and flag. While supplies last. Ages 3 and up.

June 23 11 am – 2 pm
The Knack Passport to Fun Germany Hat & Bell FREE Make-It Take-It
Learn something new about German culture. Handcraft a traditional German hat and bell. While supplies last. Ages 3 and up.

Jun 25 11 am – 2 pm
The Knack Passport to Fun Egypt Hieroglyphics & Mummy FREE Make-It Take-It
Embrace Egyptian culture. Create your own stylish hieroglyphics and make your own mummy. While supplies last. Ages 3 and up.

June 28 11 am – 2 pm
The Knack Passport to Fun Bahamas Tropical Can Hug & Flower Lei FREE Make-It Take-It
Show your island spirit. Create a fanciful flower lei and festive tropical can hug. While supplies last. Ages 3 and up.

June 30 11 am – 2 pm
The Knack Passport to Fun Canada Moose & Maple Leaf FREE Make-It Take-It
Celebrate Canada. Craft your own fun moose and maple leaf. While supplies last. Ages 3

AMF Bowling~Sign your kids up for FREE bowling 7 days a week until 8pm.  This is valid until Sept 5th. You will receive a coupon in your email every week for this activity. 

Lowe's Build and Grow~As usual, twice a month, Lowe's hosts a FREE project for your kids to enjoy.  Make sure you sign up early. This activity is held on Saturdays at 10am.

Home Depot~Every first Saturday of the month, Home Depot hosts a FREE project.  This is year round.

Lakeshore Learning~Every Saturday from 11am to 3pm, there are FREE crafts for kids.

Bass Pro Shops~Now until July 10th, they will be hosting a "Family Summer Camp" with FREE crafts, activities and workshops Tues, Thurs, Sat & Sun. 

Here are some Summer Reading Programs that reward your child for reading this summer.

1. Barnes and Noble Summer Reading Program 2011: Imagination's Destination

© Barnes and Noble
The Barnes and Noble summer reading program gives out a free book to each child who reads 8 books over the summer.
This program is great because the child gets to choose what book they want from a big list of titles. Also part of the program is parent activities that can be used to encourage children to read.

2. Borders Summer Reading Program 2011: Double-Dog Dare Challenge

Summer Reading© Borders
The Borders summer reading program gives out free books to children as well. After kids read 10 books, they're eligible to choose a book from the list of free books.
The free books on the Borders summer reading list include Danny and the DinosaurThe Cat in the Hat and Ramona the Brave. Click the link above for a complete list.

3. Pottery Barn Summer Reading Challenge 2011

Summer Reading© Pottery Barn
The Pottery Barn Summer Reading Challenge 2011 challenges kids to complete one of their reading lists.
When a child successfully completes a reading list they'll be eligible to stop by a Pottery Barn Kids to get a free book.

4. Half Price Books Summer Reading Program 2011: Feed Your Brain

Summer Reading© Half Price Books
Half Price Books gives out free gift cards to kids who read books this summer.
When kids read for 600 minutes during June and July, they'll get a free $5 gift card to Half Price Books. One lucky kid in each age group and store will get a $20 gift card.

5. TD Bank Summer Reading Program 2011

Summer Reading© TD Bank
When your child completes the TD Bank summer reading program, they'll get $10 free!
Kids will need to read 10 books and have a new or existing Young Savers account at a TD Bank to get this deal.

6. National Amusements Summer Reading Program 2011: Bookworm Wednesdays

Summer Reading© National Amusement
For each book kids read and write a book report over, they'll get to see a movie at a National Amusements movie theater for free.
The movies are at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesdays this summer and adults and younger siblings will get in free as well.

7. HEB H.E. Buddy Summer Reading Club

Summer Reading© HEB
The H.E. Buddy Summer Reading Club sponsored by HEB grocery stores gives out a package of cool prizes for each child who reads 10 books this summer.
It's a mystery what the prizes are but I'm betting it includes a free t-shirt!

8. Chuck E. Cheese Reading Rewards

Summer Reading© Chuck E. Cheese
Chuck E. Cheese has a summer reading program where kids can earn free 10 Chuck E. Cheese tokens for reading each day for 2 weeks.

To keep all these activities in one place, print up a calendar and add each activity by day.  Have fun!

Summer Reading List compiled by

**I have found some other Summer activities.  Thanks Couponing To Disney.

Brunswick Zones~Kids get one free game a day with Ball Pass.

Cinemark~10 Shows for $5, or $1 per show. Ten weeks of films for kids. A different movie every week. Weekday mornings this summer.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Making Money While Shopping (Original Post 02/04/09)

First of all, I'm sorry I haven't been here posting any good deals. There hasn't been much and I have been very busy. I have probably missed a lot. I have some cool sites to share.

The first is called Cashbaq. If you shop through them they have coupons and you can earn money while you shop. I have been signed up with them for about a month and I have almost $18.00 so far.

The second is ZogoPoints. I just signed up with them, but you can earn points for cash and gifts. A lot of people are getting great goodies from them. It is a lot like MyPoints.

If you haven't signed up for MyPoints, you should do that. I have received great rewards from them, like much needed gas cards when gas had skyrocketed. That was helpful.

Well, until next time.

Grocery Outlet (Original Post 01/12/09)

If you have never been to a Grocery Outlet, you need to go. This is one of my favorite stores to shop at. They usually don't carry the same products all the time, but there are awesome deals. They have some unusual items that you may not find in your grocery store, and great deals on other items. There are food items, toys, blankets, paper products, clothing items, meats, fruit, dairy, cleaning products and a lot more.

So, if your area has a Grocery Outlet, check it out. I'm sure you'll be happy with it.

Free Magazines (Original Post 01/08/09)

I hardly ever pay for magazine subscriptions. And I get a lot of magazines, but I get them all for free, or for very low prices. So, here are two magazine subscriptions you can get for free. Woman's Day and Shape. Click on the link to get a full year of each of them.

Enjoy! Free magazines are like ice cream for breakfast.