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.

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.

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 and if you save Box Tops, they are a part of that. To me this is a win, win situation. (Original Post~5/22/2009) 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)


If you're a friend of mine, or follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you would know that my husband works long hours and last week and now this week, will work on Saturday too.

This has made us both pretty upset.  Last Saturday was my birthday and those birthday plans were cancelled.  I had a good weekend, but wasn't able to do what I wanted.  This weekend, because we told my son twice now and cancelled, were suppose to go to the drive in.  I actually promised him we would go.  I never break a promise. Promises are serious business in my family.  I can't take my son myself. The problem is, we have one car and my husband goes to work at 4am.  Watching a movie in the dark is only going to put my husband to sleep.  Not fun.  

After spending almost an entire week now, just pissed off, I came to a realization that sort of helped me, not be so upset.  I hope when I talk to my husband, he'll feel the same way.  What is the realization, you ask?  Well, this is peak season for selling ice cream.  It is hella hot here California and people like ice cream when it is hot.  It is just like working retail during the holiday season.  You work a lot of hours.  

It is going to die down considerably during Winter.  My husband will have shorter hours and less money will be coming in.  Then we will be bitching that he is working too little.  I'm going to start thinking more positive about this.  No, I'm not happy that I don't see my husband because he comes home and goes to bed, and that he only has one day off.  I am going to be happy that he does have a job and that he is making good money. After the peak season, I will see more of him.  

You have to take the good with the bad.  Sometimes, we let emotions get the best of us and forget to think clearly.  Emotions sometimes cloud our judgement and we can't see past them.  So, I will accept that, it is what it is.  I'm grateful that we are so fortunate to be able to have money coming in.  We are all healthy and when we do have time together, we choose to spend it as a family.  

I'm not saying the bitching will end, but I am going to try and be more positive about the situation.  In a few months peak season will end.  

On a side note, if you like my blog, please subscribe by email, Google Connect or RSS feed. There are links to the left and right.  Oh, and tell your friends.  Thanks    :)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Ireland Vacation (Original post 5/13/2009)

Last year, my family took a vacation to Ireland. This is a vacation that I never would have dreamed we could have taken, much less afford to go on. I was lucky to find a great deal and was able to take this dream vacation. I received and email from Septre Tours and they had a great deal that I could not pass up. A couple of days ago, I receieved another email with a similar offer that I used and I wanted to share with you. The deal is $499, per person for 6 night stay in a townhouse, air and car in Ireland. This is a remarkable price and they have other offers available too.

Ireland is wonderful place to visit. I wish that we had more than a week to visit. I will definitely be visiting again. We stayed in Waterford, which is a beautiful town. Everyone there is so very friendly. I hope that you are as fortunate as I was to take advantage of this offer. If you do, let me know about your trip.

Crock Pot Refried Beans (Original Post 5/10/2009)

This is a very loose recipe. I'm not one who follows recipes. I kind of just make things up as I go along, and I go by my own taste.

Anyway, I use to think that making refried beans would be difficult, boy was I wrong. They are so easy to make. And very inexpensive. You can buy a bag of pinto beans for a little over a dollar at most grocery stores. I use 1/3 of a bag for my family of four. You can use as much or as little as you need.

Put the beans in a bowl full of water. Make sure the water covers all the beans. Soak the beans overnight or for at least 8 hours. This softens the beans and releases some of the gasses.

Drain the beans and place them in the crock pot. Cover the beans with water. Now this is were you add your seasonings. I add different things all the time. You can add whatever your family likes. I always add onion powder and garlic powder. And a few other things that I find in the cabinets. Go crazy and have fun with it.

Turn the crock pot on low and cook for 8 to 10 hours. After the beans are cooked and soft, turn the crock pot off or if it has a warm setting you can choose that. Get a potato masher and mash the beans. You can mash them as little or as much as you like, it is what you prefer.

When you are ready to eat, take the beans and put them in a pan and fry them. That is what makes them refried beans.

You can top them with cheese or put them in your tacos or burritos. Enjoy!

Electrasol/Finish (Original Post 5/10/2009)

As of the re-posting of this, I still use this detergent.  It is the only detergent I use in my dishwasher.  :)

I have been using Electrasol, now called Finish for about a year now. I usually used whatever I had a coupon for, or what was the cheapest product available until I tried Finish. Target always has Finish for a great price, so tried it. I was incredibly impressed. I am one who usually rinses my dishes before putting them in the dishwasher. With Finish, I didn't have to do that. The dishes came out clean. There are no water spots on the glasses when dried. There is no residue left on the dishes. I also like that they are tablets. It makes it much easier to grab a tab and put it in the dishwasher, instead of dealing with the powder or the liquid. Not that I make a mess or it's hard, but the tabs are just easier.

I still use other products if I find a deal on them, but Finish is the best dishwashing detergent I have used so far. You can usually get a box of 36 tabs for $4.99 at Target. If you have a coupon, you can get an even better deal. Finish usually puts out a coupon every couple of months.

Happy Mother's Day (Original Post 5/10/2009)

I just wanted to wish all you Mom's out there a Happy Mother's Day. I hope you are able to have a nice relaxing day.

If you do not know the history of Mother's Day, here is bit about our special day.

The tradition of this holiday seems to have stemmed from an English celebration in the 1600's honoring the mothers of England called, "Mothering Sunday." Employees were given the day off to visit their mothers, and many people gave their mothers a special treat called a "Mothering Cake." With Christianity came a different celebration called "Mother Church," which honored the spiritual protection from the church. This holiday eventually combined with "Mothering Sunday" to form one day of celebration.
In 1907, a woman from Philadelphia, named Ana Jarvis, started a campaign for National Mother's Day to be held on the second day of May in honor of her mother. Her mother, also named Ana, died two years earlier in 1905. She gave her daughter the idea after she organized a "Mother's Friendship Day" to heal lingering emotional wounds of the Civil War.
Finally in 1914, Woodrow Wilson made an official announcement proclaiming Mother's Day a national holiday. West Virginia was the first state to recognize the holiday, and today the holiday has spread beyond the USA to countries such as Australia and Denmark, which also celebrate Mother's Day on the second Sunday of May.
Source:, Holidays on the Net

Inexpensive Entertainment (Original Post 5/4/2009)

How do I entertain the family on a budget? I think everyone has asked that question at least once. Spending quality time with the family is sometimes hard, and you don't want to spend all your hard earned money on one day trip. I have a few ideas that my family enjoys doing together, and they don't cost much.

Some free family entertainment is watching your local little league games. We are lucky enough to be within walking distance of two fields. These games are a lot of fun to watch and it is great support for our local teams. Another free idea is to take a walk or bike ride around the neighborhood. What a wonderful way to meet your neighbors and get some exercise. You can also pack a lunch and go to the park. On a nice day, this is also great exercise and a fun way to bond with the kids.

A favorite of my family is to have a family game night. We choose a game (usually Monopoly) have some snacks and just enjoy the fun, and each other. Another favorite of ours is movie night. We pick out a couple of movies, pop some popcorn and enjoy our favorite movies. You can all cook together. Make some fun of it. Pick a theme and pretend to be in a restaurant. Let the kids be the servers and the cooks. They can make a menu, take your order and serve the food.

Now, all those suggestions are things that you can do for free. Here are a few that can be low cost. Pick a local attraction in your area and visit it. Pretend to be a tourist. A lot of people live in an area and never get the chance to really explore where they live. Take a drive. I love getting in the car and taking an "adventure". We get in the car and drive. We don't have a particular destination, we just explore. Try a new restaurant. If you find some local coupons, use them. My family has found some great hidden gems, by using coupons at restaurants, that we probably wouldn't have gone to.

This last tip isn't very inexpensive up front, but throughout the year it is good to have. If you live near a museum, zoo or theme park, buy season or yearly passes. If your family has a day together, you take advantage of those passes and have an awesome family outing.

Mother's Day Gifts (Original Post 5/03/2009)

Mother's Day gifts. I always get questions on what to do for inexpensive gifts. Everyone wants to save money, but are out of ideas of what to do. These are some gift ideas for Mother's Day, but will also work other occasions.

My number one tip, is to make something. You are never too old to make your own gifts. Even if you are not very artistic, grab the crayons and paper and make your own card. As a mother, believe it or not, you never get tired of the homemade gifts. It means so much more that you took the time to create something special.

Another thing you can do is make a special meal. It could be breakfast, lunch or dinner. It doesn't matter. Let Mom have a day off from cooking without worrying about battling the crowds in a restaurant.

Plan a special day for Mom. Get her favorite movies and pop her some popcorn. Let her have a relaxing movie day. You can also treat her to a homemade spa day. Give her a mani/pedi, do her hair and make up. Just pamper her.

Some other wonderful things you can do is clean the house, wash her car, find that list of things that she needs done and do them. The most important thing is to make her feel special. She's your mom and this is her day, she deserves it.

I hope these have helped you and have sparked some ideas of your own. You don't have to spend a lot of money to make your mom feel like a queen.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

What's Going On?

I've been a little tired and unmotivated this past week, also, my back has been killing me.  It's hard to concentrate on writing when I'm in pain.  I feel like the posts are rushed I never like how they turn out.  I decided instead of writing new blogs, I'm going to move some more of my old posts to this new blog.  I was looking at my old blogs and forgot about some of the great tips that I had written.  I thought it was a good idea to re-introduce everyone to them.  

I have some great new topics for you, and will also return to some of my regular posts.  Until then, I hope you enjoy the re-posts.  

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th Of July!

I took the weekend off for my birthday, but I wanted to wish you all a happy 4th.  A little late, but it's the thought that counts right?  

Friday, July 1, 2011

It's The First Of The Month

Today is the first of the month.  That means Experiments #1&2 are starting today.  Very excited to see these in effect.  I really hope I can save as much money as I wanted.  I also can't wait to clean out the freezer and get rid of all the food inside before it goes bad.

Weekend Plans~My Birthday/4th of July

This weekend is my birthday weekend.  Yay!  It is also 4th of July weekend.  You would think I have definite plans, I thought I did too.

Saturday~My birthday.  I'm not really sure what we're going to do.  As of right now, I'm still unsure if my husband has to work.  In the morning, Home Depot has their kids workshop.  They will be making coasters. This is from 9am to 12pm.  I wanted to go to the San Diego Fair, but I don't think that is going to happen.  I would also like to go to the San Diego Zoo.  That is up in the air.  We will probably  just go to the drive in.  Transformers 3 and Super 8 are playing together.

Sunday~We are going to have a BBQ. We will be grilling up some of the meat we have in the freezer (experiment #2).  We'll be celebrating my husband's and my birthday and the 4th of July.  Just a nice family get together.

Monday~Just hang out with the family.  No plans.

What are your holiday plans?

What was one good thing that happened today? 6/30/2011

Hmmm, what was one good thing that happened today? Today was kind of a crap day. Most of this week has been crap days. Today, I got some quiet time to myself. It was nice. I just sat in my room, played some games on the computer and listened to music. Music calms me. I sing all me frustrations out. What was your good thing of the day?