wADmM5mNLtOv064mhMCS_CYE3Bc Just Dorothy: 2011

Why Pay More?

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Zenni Optical for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

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389324  Plastic Half-Rim Frame
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All over but the cryin....

No, no tears here!  It was a great Christmas here at the Heaster House.  Our year has seen a lot of changes, mostly good, some difficult to navigate, but pretty much all for the better.  We've made new friends, gained some family members and lost a few, too. 

The Whippets had an undefeated regular season and went to the semi-finals.  Ryan was chosen as Lineman of the Year for the 9/10 team.  Zach had a zero win season but had at least 10 quarterback sacks and quite a few other tackles.  Ryan started taking Spanish and Zach learned how to speak with a British accent.  He's working on an Australian one.

My sister got married and my little nephew Sambo was born.  I've started a journal and a bucket list 4 seperate times.  We gained a cat.  I (very recently) got into Pinterest.  I may never leave the house again.  I also actually "found" time to read at least 5 books this year.  I haven't been able to do that in many, many years.  We now have an owl collection started.  When I say we, I mean "I".  No one else cares.  Boys...what can you do?? 

I have two great kids who are kind and compassionate and pretty good lookin.  I have a husband who bought me a new diamond ring.  He's pretty good lookin, too!

It's everywhere. No, really, it is.

So, before I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, I was oblivious to what it was.  I mean, I knew the basics but didn't read about it, skipped over any advertisement for it and tuned out any commercial I saw for it.  But now, I notice DIABETES everywhere.  It's in every magazine, every other television commercial refers to it and I hear about it in conversation nearly every day.  I can't escape it.  Literally. 

Yet, it's one of those diseases that's largely ignored.  It doesn't have a 3-day walk like breast cancer does.  It doesn't have Jennifer Aniston or Robin Williams in a commercial like St. Jude's does.  It's got a Jonas brother and a football player.  Even though it's got lots and lots of media coverage, it's not really taken seriously.  People ignore it.  I can't ignore it anymore because it's a 24/7 thing, but I can still turn the page of a magazine and turn the channel when they start talking about free monitors and test strips (sure wouldn't mind getting free test strips, those little suckers are expensive!).  And most of the time I do exactly that.  But it's getting harder and harder to do.  Today I opened up a magazine and on one page there was a huge, full page ad for test strips.  Two pages later there was an article on a girl who started making bracelets when she was diagnosed at 12 years old and sold them to raise money for researching a cure.  She's 18 now and has donated about $40,000.  Sweet! 

Anyway, it's just an observation. 

No Vulgarity, No Crotch Grabbing!

Yesterday I watched White Christmas for the first time.  I love old movies like that and I love Danny Kaye!  The colors they used in those movies were like nothing else.  Everything is so bright, so vibrant.  The wording they use is old school and really sweet.  "Gee, that's swell, doll!"  "Did you get a load a that dame?"  Gay meant happy. They sure don't make movies like that anymore.

And guess what?  The dance numbers were fabulous and no one grabbed their crotch!  The outfits in each dance number were tasteful, covered everything they needed to cover, there were no wardrobe malfunctions (on accident or on purpose) and yet they were sexy.  The songs had no naughty words in them, they didn't talk about sex, strippers, hookers or drugs and the only stealing they talked about was stealing a kiss or stealing someone's heart.

They sure don't make movies like that anymore.  I sure wish they did.

Ahead of the Christmas Game

So...it's 10 days til Christmas Eve.  Christmas Eve is a big day in our house because it's Steve's birthday.  It's not as big as Jesus' birthday, but it's big all the same :) I mean, we have CAKE on Steve's birthday!  It's the kickoff of 2 days worth of over indulging ourselves in every way imaginable.  Christmas Eve seems to be more of a stressful day to me than Christmas Day does. 

Steve is usually waaaay behind the eight ball on shopping, thinking about shopping or even stepping foot in a mall around the holidays.  Mostly it's because he's been in retail and can't get away until the last minute.  So, I won't say I usually get the best the local drugstore has to offer, because he typically does pretty well.  This year, he's still in retail but in a much different, much better capacity so he's ahead of the Christmas game this year!!  In 17 years of marriage, this is the FIRST time he's been done BEFORE Christmas Eve!  Yay, Steve!

I got done a week or so ago.  Now I have to wrap everything.  I am not a fan of wrapping.  I much prefer gift bags.  But...they're a lot less fun.  And I always put it off til the last minute because if I wrap and put under the tree, there's a chance the boys will figure out what they got.  Like they don't know already.  It's just the fun of it...gifts get put under the tree on Christmas Eve. 

Anyway, I feel a lot less pressure and stress to get things done.  Even the food we plan to make is purchased and some of it will be made in advance so there are no worries, no stress.  Just peaceful, blissful, relaxation. 

Oooohhh so lazy...

So I wrote the blog earlier talking about our first snow.  I had good intentions, meant to get some stuff done like clean the kitchen, sweep and mop, do some laundry, etc.  We went to this little craft fair thingy and then to the store and now...I'm watching a Psych marathon and feeling guilty for not doing anything.  I'm not sure why I can't just relax and be ok with just doing nothing.  I'll still get the tree up, I swear.  Maybe today, maybe tomorrow....

And so it begins

We have our first snow of the season today.  It's forecasted to be 6-8 inches and the wind is supposed to pick up.  And it's cold, bitterly cold.  You would think I would have enough sense to stay inside where it's nice and warm and cozy and just be happy with putting up the tree and drinking hot chocolate.  But I'm not...I'm going out in this beautiful mess.  Because the dogs need food and I didn't pick it up last night when I had the chance.  I really don't mind though, it's just here in town.  I wouldn't drive any further than to the store and back, that's for sure.

I love the first snow of the year, though.  It's pretty and peaceful.  It gives me an excuse to use any scarf, hat and boot combination I want.  It gives me a reason to break out the camera and have the kids make snow angels.  They are becoming weary of my requests to do it, but as long as they keep giving in, I'll keep asking.  I can also send the pictures back to my family and friends in AZ and make it look like where we live is serene and pretty and that they really should be here.  But then they send pictures of the most amazing sunsets from AZ and I know I really should be there.  And trust me, there is nothing like cactus wrapped in Christmas lights.  Especially barrel cactus in front of my Dad's house.  It always makes me giggle.  It's just how the southwest rolls. 

Paraphrasing Dave Matthews Band

So, things have changed a little bit around here for our family.  Steve doesn't work for a certain company anymore.  He took a big cut in pay and went to another certain company.  It starts with a "T" and ends with a bullseye. He's HAPPY.  Happy!  And that's a very good thing. 

The cut in pay has had me stressed and of course I dream of being independently wealthy.  Doesn't everyone?  I will most likely have to take on a 2nd job or find something that pays more and leave the job I enjoy, along with the flexibility I LOVE.  Big changes sometimes suck.

But today I was making lunch for Steve and the boys, who were outside hanging up Christmas lights and getting down all the Christmas stuff we have to decorate with.  And one line from a Dave Matthews Band goes running through my head:  "What I want is what I've not got.  But what I need is all around me".  And that's the truth.   I want 2 new wreaths to hang up on the doors.  I want amazing yard art to put out front and stuff for the deck.  I want it to be spectacular, something the neighbors will hate because the rest of the community will drive on our street just to be in awe of the awesomness.  I'm only kidding.  Sort of.  But what I need is already here.  I have lights for the front, cute yard art, a wreath for the front door and decorations for the house.  It's festive and joyful.

It's enough.  And I'm happy with it.  HAPPY!

Super Sunday

Ok, there really is nothing super about this particular Sunday. But, I had to give this post a cool title, right?  Mostly it's just cleaning and doing laundry and getting ready for this short but busy week.  I've started my holiday shopping, in fact, bought our Christmas cards months, MONTHS ago.  They are the cutest ever.  Wish we had pix to add in there but we don't.  Oh well.  There is still time I suppose but no one to take them yet, so...

Anyway, today I'm going to rock some Christmas music, get out some Christmas decorations, plan my week and call it good!  I'm jazzed :) 

Family Cook Book!

I saw this and wanted to share.  Awesome idea for a gift or a family project!  Get all of granny's family recipes in one place :)


I have a love/hate relationship with Halloween.  I'm a big, fat scaredy cat when it comes to, well, scary stuff.  Just the sound of a scary movie sends me over the edge.  If I see a part of it on t.v. forget it.  I will freak out and think about it and run it over and over in my head for weeks.  It truly sucks to be that worried and panicked about it. 

But I love all the dressed up little kids that come to my door and say "trick or treat" and you know it's their first time ever trick or treating!  They're all so cute and sweet.  Ryan doesn't trick or treat anymore and Zach is on the brink of being too old.  The kids that are in that in between age don't bother me, I understand why they still do it.  What bothers me though are the (very) young ladies of the night.  You know which ones I'm talking about.  They wear their mom's lingerie and heels bad, bad eye make up and red lipstick.  Why would anyone let their daughter out like that?! 

We used to have a lot of kids come over when we lived in AZ.  Crowds and crowds of kids.  Here, we're lucky if our doorbell rings more than 10 times.  We used to have big parties at our house for the kid's classrooms and we'd have a nice turn out with family and friends too.  We don't do that anymore either.  The boys are older and it's just not "cool", mom!  Jeez!  We don't have friends or family here to invite either so there just wouldn't be any point.  I miss it, sort of.  I also miss figuring out costumes for the boys.  Both boys have been dinosaurs, "army guys", one year Ryan was a werewolf, it was completely awesome.  It's the stuff of scrapbook pages!  Maybe one of these days I can do this stuff again when I have grandkids.  Not that I'm in any hurry or anything.

Catching up!

It seems like I haven't blogged in a while.  I've been busy at work, busy at home, you know...all the excuses we all use all the time.  "Well, you know, I've just been SOOOO busy!"  So, I'm just going to stuff all these random items in one blog, get it off my chest and get on with my life.  Let it do what it do.

The high school football boys have had one helluva season!  8 and 0 in regular season and won their first round playoff game.  They hadn't been undefeated since 1959!  They also won the first round playoff game which hadn't been done since 1985.  Pretty cool to be a part of this as a player (right Ryan?) and a parent/spectator!  On to round two on Wednesday ~ Go Whippets!!

I took Two Toots to a craft fair and it went pretty well considering everything stacked against it.  The town was itty bitty and the Husker game was on.  I'm a fan of football but not a big fan of college ball so...whatev.  I sold stuff to what little traffic was there, so it's all good.

Today I have a big agenda.  Which is just a fancy word for "to do list".  I have it all written down, you know, things like, clean dresser, finish laundry, update both blogs, cook ... Who needs to write down that you need to finish laundry and cook??  My memory isn't THAT bad, but I just like to jot it down so I know that I want to get it done.  And when I write down cook it just means I want to menu plan, cook stuff and freeze it for the rest of the week.  Because I'm SOOOO busy you know. 

So here's the menu plan for the week in no particular order (because I know you like to see my menu plan! lol):  breakfast casserole, potato soup, chili, meat loaf, chicken tostadas, and that's as far ahead as I want to think.  Oh yeah, pork chops, too.  So I'll make the casserole, soup and chili today and half the meals already done for the week.  And I'm going to attempt coffee cake today.  People tell me it's not that hard.  Famous last words.

In 6 days my baby will turn 12.  Amazing!  He's a wonderful kid, kind, considerate, charming, handsome, a good student, a good friend, a good son.  Hard to believe this is the same kid that had the "terrible two's" from the time he was born until the day he turned 3.  I love him.

We were talking last night about moving back to AZ.  I want to but I WILL NOT take Ryan out of high school to put him in an AZ school.  Not going to happen unless circumstances drastically change.  And I mean, DRASTICALLY.  We never should have moved here to begin with but I can't say that I regret the education the boys have gotten, the opportunities they've been given and the friends they've made.  It's been much harder on me and Steve making the adjustment from city life to small town life.  Major culture shock.  I'm used to having friends and family around.  We don't have any family here which makes it hard.  But, it is what it is for now and we're making it work.  I sure can't wait until he graduates though.  The very next day I hope to have a U-Haul parked in my driveway.  Unless Zach wants to stay, of course.  :)

An Open Letter to Netflix

Dear Netflix,

I miss you.  I really, really do.  Despite the fact that you told me and my family that you didn't care about us, I miss you.  You made us feel like we didn't matter.  I bet you are sorry about that now. 

We enjoyed having you around.  You were a cheap and easy date night.  We could use you when and how we wanted to and not worry about anything.  If we were desperate enough we could stream you directly to our t.v.'s.  If we were more patient or more interested in something specific we could take our time and peruse you.  But you had to go and screw it all up. 

You tried to take what was good and kind and beautiful and make it something it wasn't;  A money hungry whore with a split personality.  Your attempt to change failed miserably and I have to say I'm a bit smug about that.  I was hurt and angry when you wrote your own open letter to "Dear Netflix Customer" and said, essentially, that you knew I would be leaving and you expected it and it happens and there's nothing you could/would do to stop me from leaving, that there were more people out there just like me that would appreciate you and pay whatever you wanted because you were just that good.  You never guessed that I would be only one of 800,000 that would turn my back on you, much the same way you did to us. 

Even though you've treated me and my family so horribly, I want to forgive you.  No, really.  I do.  But so far, I just can't.  I refuse to cave and pay what you want now.  Maybe someday I'll be able to forgive you for trying to stick it to the "little" guy, but until then, my family and I will be smirking when that number changes to 800,001, 800,002, 800,003 ....

Ms. H

Giveaway ~ your choice!

Two Toots Soap Shop is giving away a Lip Balm or a Solid Perfume, your choice! 

Made with organic shea and cocoa butters the lip balm will smooth and soothe your winter lips!

The solid perfume is delightful and comes in your choice of scents.

Both are sized right for travel, just toss in your handbag and off you go!

Hurry and enter, giveaway ends soon!

He's stuck around for another year....

So tomorrow is our 17th anniversary.  It doesn't even seem possible that we could even be married for that long.  I feel like a young girl still.  Ok, except for the bifocal contacts, the diabetes, the high blood pressure and the memory loss.  I almost forgot to add the memory loss.  We usually go out to dinner and maybe do a little shopping.  Without kids.  Most of the time this is all we can manage because of schedules, money, kids, etc.  And that's ok.  We almost always exchange cards but I'm kind of iffy about cards.  I used to keep them all and then it got to be too much and so I started keeping just a special few and then I wondered why.  I come across them again only when I'm cleaning something out.  But I just keep on keeping the special ones. 

Today he said that he was remembering one song that kept playing when we first met and it reminds him of me.  It's Cranberries "Linger".  Another song that reminds him of me is Sixpence None the Richer's "Kiss Me".  He says it's because I always used to say that...Kiss me.  Kiss Me! 

It's all so innocent and cutesy I can't stand it!  :)  So I just you tube'd it and we're listening to it as I write this.  He's sitting across from me playing some computer "impale them with a stick" game.  It's all good. 

So Kiss Me....

Perfect Gift Ideas

Looking for a great gift for any gift giving occassion?  Going to travel by air soon?  You should probably check out Two Toots then!  Solid perfume and lip balm in delicious flavors and scents.  Each one made by hand and perfectly sized for travel and gift giving.  Each one is only $5 bucks and includes FREE SHIPPING!  Don't subject yourself or anyone else to "winter lip" ~ get Two Toots Lip Balm and smooth and sooth!

(Just so you know, I made all that up myself, like all fancy and whatnot!)  :)

It seems like yesterday...

This coming Saturday, Steve and I will celebrate our 17th anniversary.  Well, actually I don't know if we'll do any "celebrating" because he'll probably have to work the night shift but, we'll figure something out.  We've never been big on that kind of thing.  We try to go out to dinner or something.  Maybe walk around the mall or Target.  Gosh, you'd think we're in our 80's!!  I don't know why, it's just how it always ends up working out.  Anyway....

Last night I came across two scrapbooks from back in the early days of scrapbooking.  It really does look like a "crapbook".  But the important pictures are in there so it stays that way.  The first one was from our wedding.  We have the rehersal, wedding, reception and a few from the honeymoon in Mexico.  Our kids were cracking up over the pictures last night.  Our 15 year old talked about his Dad's "80's porn-stache".  Just to clarify, Steve's never had a "porn-stache" but to Ryan, anyone with a mustache back in the day had a "porn-stache".  I'm just curious how he knows about 80's porn-staches though.  Hmmmm.  And then Zach said, "Wow, Dad had hair!!"  Then Ryan asked if we had a traditional wedding and if he was the reason we got married.  We reassured him that we are celebrating our 17th anniversary and he's only 15.  And he insisted that that's not what he meant.  Yes, our kids are such a joy! lol

Which brings me to the second "crapbook".  This one is really bad, construction and creativity wise, but the content is brilliant!  It's titled "Our Kids" and is full of, well...our kids.  It shows me preggo with both.  The pg picture with Ryan shows me with pre-eclampsia, completely swollen and just done. My nose was swollen and spread out it looked about twice its normal size.  My lips were so swollen they were slightly blue.  I was happy yet miserable.  And once that 9lb 4oz baby was born it all went away and 4 years later we decided to do it again!  That pg picture of me with Zach is completely different.  My face is not swollen, I'm smiling, I feel tired but really good.  My mom snapped it of me right before we walked around with Ryan in his dinosaur costume for Halloween.  5 days later, my little 8lb 7oz Zeenie Weenie was born.  Speaking of weenie, it's the one thing Ry pointed out about that book last night...(girly giggle)"look at Zach's little wiener!"  Ok, seriously, he's a 15 year old boy....what did I really expect for him to point out?  After that, all the pictures were randomly posted in there with a few bad captions hand written in my horrible handwriting.  Ryan with his fruit roll up wrapper made into a ninja head band, Zach and Ryan with permanent marker mustaches and goatees (Steve didn't know I only used eyeliner to do that, NOT PERMANENT marker) both in the tub, those wonderful future blackmail pictures.  And there are some of Zach being super cute and sweet and sleepy, you know those ones that capture the moment when you see that they are the perfect angels from God. 

It was nice to look back at both of those books and reminisce and see how far we've come and how much we've accomplished.  And how much we've changed.  No more bangs for me, no more hair for Steve (ok, he just keeps it really short...he knows it's a losing battle so why not just work with whatcha got, right?)  Anyway, it doesn't seem like it can already be 17 years of marital bliss.  Maybe I'll dust of the VHS tape and torture the kids by making them watch our wedding video with us.  We'll be on the look out for the 80's porn-stache.

Free Children's World Atlas

Good Saturday morning!  It's a bit breezy here in Nebraska today but temps are heading towards 75 degrees today.  Last night we froze in Milford for a football game.  My throat is a little raw from yelling for our boys.  They are now 7 and 0 with one more game at home next Thursday.  Tomorrow the pee wee's play their "playoff" game.  I'm not sure what that means at this level but that's a whole other story.  And today I head out with my Zeenie Beanie and we're shopping for pants.  The kid refuses to wear jeans and it's starting to get cold.  I've also tried basketball type pants.  He's not a fan of those either but will wear them if he has to.  I might even splurge for lunch, too. 
Anyway, this post has a purpose, too.  I joined Barefoot Book about two years ago (free, of course) and never pursued it.  Not sure why, just didn't.  I posted on this a few days ago too.  So...being a literacy advocate, especially for young children and families, this is really important to me.  Books are amazing tools!  Isn't there a quote that says "give a child a book and you give him the world"?  I don't know, it's something like that.  I don't have a kit, I don't have inventory, I do it all online.  I don't do home parties, I don't do shows.  I CAN, I just haven't.  Yet.  I WANT a kit, I just don't have it.  Yet. 

Have you ever wanted to do something like this?  You can sign up, it's easy, it's FREE and you can get a Children's World Atlas.  Go to www.ladybugjuly.barefootbooks.com and join my team.  You will get the free atlas and the opportunity to share the world with your children!

The Ultimate Blogging Challenge!

Lacey over at Little Miss Nerd Girl threw down a challenge my way.  You KNOW I can't resist!  Here's what I had to do:  List seven previous blog posts based on various criteria, then issue the challenge to seven other bloggers.  No problemo.  Except it was harder than I thought...I back tracked through a lot of posts.  It sure did bring back a lot of memories, though.  So, here ya go:

Most Beautiful Phase 2 of my 3 Phase Life

Most popular Menu Sunday

Most controversial Don't Talk to me About Politics

Most helpful Brain Bleach - You never know, I might have sparked an idea for someone to actually invent something!  It could happen....

Posts whose success surprised Aging Part Deux Ok, it didn't have "comment success" but it got a response on facebook and from my family.  So there.

Post that got undeserved attention Blogger Gone Wild  Not any comments once the perves that were googling it realized it wasn't what they wanted.  Lots of views though!! LOL

Post I’m most proud of  The Real Dorothy McFadden  This is how and why it all started.  I love her.

So now to pass the challenge on to 7 other bloggers:

1. Barefoot
2. Belle
3. Pam
4. Prew
5. Sarah
6. Lisa
7. Heather

Ready, set....go!!!

That reminds me. Or, Amy, this is for YOU!

So my little sister is now a married woman.  Wait..."woman" is just so....not her.  Not that she's not old enough or smart enough.  It's just that she's my little sister and I don't want her to be a "woman" yet because then that means I get to be "old lady".  We're 19 years apart.  And this whole thing is completely beside the point and I'm rambling again.  Here is the point of this blog:

Menu Planning!  Yes, I do it (mostly), yes I love it and no, I don't follow it religiously.  BUT, she's been checking in to it and wondering out loud on facebook and sending texts and stuff like that, so I thought I'd give her a little help and post my own ideas here and hopefully she can get a few ideas.  They are a military family and young so their budget is a bit lower than mine is but she should be able to work around it.  I haven't menu planned in a long time.  Football season makes it almost impossible.  But, Amy, maybe this will help!

Pasta and beans are cheap and go a long way.  Ground beef...find a good sale.

(Meatless) Monday: Garlic spaghetti (your mom makes it, it's fabulous and she has the recipe)

Tuesday: Chicken pot pie-cream of chicken soup and a bag of frozen veggies, thawed and drained.  Mix soup and veggies, heat up a little bit and put in a baking dish, put a tube of biscuits over and bake.

Wednesday: Pot Roast in the crockpot ( 1pkt onion soup mix with can of cream of mush. soup)
Thursday: Tasty tostadas -Left over pot roast shredded up, mixed with green onion, cilantro, salsa and black beans, spead over a flour tortilla and baked at 350 until golden brown.

Thursday: tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches. Don't be afraid to try different cheeses

Friday: Homemade pizza and salad (use a premade crust. use a can of mushrooms, add onions and ground beef.  Brush the crust first with just a little bit of olive oil. Or use ranch dressing as the sauce, add a can of cooked chicken and a few pieces of crumbled bacon and have bacon ranch pizza.)

Saturday: Potato soup

Sunday: left overs!!

Mim, I hope this helps you a little bit and of course just use your imagination. A lot of meals are made by trial and error!!  Love you!

Award Winning Blog!

Got your attention, right?  :)  A huge THANK YOU to Lacey at www.littlemissnerdgirl and Mikki over at www.momsbestnest.blogspot.com for giving me the Versatile Blogger Award!  The "rules" of this award are simple:

1. Thank and link back the person that awarded you the...award :)
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Send this award to 15 other bloggers and let them know you have awarded them!

#3 is probably the hardest part because there are so many wonderful blogs!  So, here we go, starting with 7 things about me.

1. I turned 40 this year.
2. I have 2 dogs, Rex and Jerry and 1 cat, Ana.  I love Rex.  I tolerate Jerry and Ana.  I dislike ALL of their fur though.  I'm an equal opportunity fur hater.
3. I was diagnosed with diabetes this summer and it's a bummer.  I quickly got on the healthy bandwagon.
4. I started back to work after summer break and quickly fell off the healthy bandwagon.
5. I create and sell my own lip balm and solid perfume.  Lookey here: www.twotootssoapshop.blogspot.com
6. Did I mention I have another blog?  ^^ See #5^^
7. I'm actively seeking a new career direction

And, ta-da, 15 blogs I adore:

1. www.beacauseidontscrapbook.com
2. www.aroundmyfamilytable.com
4. www.crunchyfrugalista.com
5. www.forblogs.blogspot.com
6. www.grandmasguidetolife.blogspot.com
7. www.growingupgeeky.com
8. http://istinkatcouponing.dyndns-blog.com/
9 .www.lifejustsaying.blogspot.com
10. www.littleredhenry.blogspot.com
11. www.massholemommy.com
12. www.pmaynardwrites.blogspot.com
13. www.samplervillage.blogspot.com
14. www.sewbeastly.com
15. www.tightwadinutah.com

I encourage you to check out these ladies' wonderful sites!

Little Miss Nerd Girl

Lacey at Little Miss Nerd Girl is hosting a Two Toots giveaway for a .5 oz solid perfume in your choice of scents.  You can read the review and enter the giveaway by following this LINK. 

Good luck!!!!

Half off custom stickers!

Oh Sticker You, how I love thee! As many of you know (and if you don't, click HERE ) I create lip balm and solid perfume. Soap too, but let's focus people! :)

Anyway, I've had a heck of a time figuring out my labels for my uber cute tins. I've got the retro slider tins for lip balm and round tins (and some plastic) for solid perfume but can NOT make labels for either.  It's very frustrating.  The average address label is too big for the sliders and it looks dorky when I cut them.  The round tins obviously don't work with a rectangular label.  What's a lip balm, solid perfume loving/creating girl to do??  Luckily Eversave came to my rescue and I had this link in my email inbox this morning....
I got 4 sheets of various custom labels and only paid $5.94 in shipping costs.  Thank you, Sticker You, thank you, Eversave!!

Barefoot Books

Did you know I'm a Barefoot Books Ambassador?  You can check out my website here: www.ladybugjuly.barefootbooks.com.

Barefoot Books is a grassroots community that fosters imagination, exploration and creativity. 
Have you ever seen the statistics on people that have low literacy skills?  Really, just google it and the facts will amaze you.  I'm very thankful I have two children that have a love of reading!  Give the children in your life the wonderful gift of books.  You can even become an ambassador yourself if you prefer.  For more information follow this LINK.

Why I Miss American Bandstand

We're goin' hoppin' (Hop)
We're goin' hoppin' today
Where things are poppin' (Pop)
The Philadelphia way
We're gonna drop in (Drop)
On all the music they play
On the Bandstand (Bandstand)

If you are a person of a certain age, this song is now stuck in your head.  You're welcome!  I remember back in the day getting up and watching American Bandstand.  I watched it in the 80's.  I think I might have watched it a little in the 70's too but I was only 9 so...who can remember back that far?  Anyway, I loved to watch that show and am a little disgusted at the "progression" music has made over the last decade or two.  I like music of all kinds and I like new music but there's a lot of bad music out there in every genre.  American Bandstand was a place where the artists seemed like they did it simply for the love of music and didn't go all showboat and get stupid.  Today it seems like musicians strive to be over the top, the more bizarre the better.  Just play music, dude, because you love it.  Not for the fame or fortune but because you truly LOVE what you do.  And for God's sake, please make music videos that make sense, are not overtly sexual and make women look like tramps.  Let's bring back good music and American Bandstand.  As long as it's got a good beat and I can dance to it.

Sins of the Father...or as I like to call it, Crap my Dad says

Ok, that is the title of a book already published (not by me of course, I could never be that clever.  Like how I made never and clever rhyme?  Yeah, me too.)  But seriously, my Dad is a funny guy.  Only you have to know him for him to be funny.  You have to look at his face when he says something for him to be funny.  He is quick whitted and dry.  And often starts a story with, "Oh, Alicia, you would have DIED..."
He's the guy that wears an "I LOVE HUGS" button at family functions but tells my little sister that they don't give drivers licenses to buck toothed skanks.  And to clarify Amy is not buck toothed nor is she a skank.  But said in his dry way and with the quick whit, my brother and I were rolling!  Ok, so that probably just makes him look like a jerk.  But really, he's not. 
He's the guy that takes 2 of my nephews and my sister's 8 year old brother in law to Sam's club, buys cans of Spam for each of them, goes to the antique store, the comic book store and sometimes the movies.  This is on a regular basis.  Everyone gets something on these little outings with Dpa, even if only a can of Spam.  My sister in law lets the boys eat the Spam and then sends them over to Dpa's house for the rest of the day.  Actually he told me she's banned the Spam. 
He's the place where dreams go to die.  His words, not mine.  Which actually makes him sound like a jerk again.  Boy, his hilarity is not transferring well at all!  In all reality it just means that he will tell you the honest truth about stuff and not sugar coat it in any way.  He's always the one that will be honest and bring you down to earth, no matter what your grand ideas are.  Not that he's not a supporter of dreams, because he is.  Mostly.  But he'll tell you all the possibilities that could happen, good or bad and even things you've never thought of.  It's helpful.  Mostly. 

So, I'm going to think on where I was going with this post and try to think on how I can translate his funny bone onto it! 

Etiquette 101

So, this new Face Book is driving me nuts.  I've had a love/hate relationship with fb since I joined a while back.  People definitely overshare.  And they feel entitled to just say what they want when they want.  We've all heard the reports that facebook has been the cause of a lot of break ups and divorces and friendships exploding.  Families have been torn apart by actions/posts put on facebook.

Here's the etiquette as I see it, for posting on any social media that your family has access to:

1) Shut your trap.  Just shut it.  Don't try to make people take sides in something that does NOT involve them.

2) Don't air your dirty laundry on Facebook.  NOBODY wants to see it.  It makes you look foolish.

3) Are you seriously turning to social media to ask for money?  You realize everyone can see this, right?  It's ok to ask for prayers, encouragement and to make people aware of what's going on but for goodness sake, have some class!  Maybe a blog would be a better medium for you.

4) When in doubt, just don't post it!  Think before you "share".

We have a winner!!!

Congratulations to Nicole!  She's the winner of the Two Toots Lip Balm Giveaway :) 

Review me?

Is anyone interested in writing a review for Two Toots Lip Balm?  I'm needing reviews for Lip Balm and solid perfume and we can do giveaways too.  Interested?  Let me know asap!

Limited time?

I have a question for all my blogging buddies out there.  Do you limit, or try to limit the amount of time you spend blogging or surfing the net? 

I am usually busy during the week with work and whatnot and can't devote a whole lot of time to blogging or taking care of my Etsy, etc.  So I try to catch up on the weekends.  But then I feel guilty for spending time on here too because the house needs attention, laundry needs to be done, kids need to eat, and so on.  I've been trying to give myself a time limit, say an hour or so from the time I wake up until I shut it down and so other things.  I tell myself I can get on again but later.  In the end I still don't feel like I've accomplished as much as I'd have liked to, but I don't want to "waste" the day either.  Not that blogging is a waste but...does anyone else feel like this?  Or limit their time?

Free Friday

I'm such a lucky girl!  My kids are at a football game in a town about an hour away.  My hubby is at work, about an hour away.  No one will be home until 10:30 or later.  I'm alone.  Alone.  ALONE!!  For several hours at a time, I'm alone.  Usually I like the quiteness that comes with alone.  I keep the television off, don't play the radio.  I do leave my phone on though because, you know, I'm a mom and that's what we do just in case our kids need us.  Luckily I don't get many calls.  A few texts maybe.  Tonight though, I have Directv sonic radio or whatever it is on just for background music.

This alone thing is kinda nice.  I'm blogging.  I'm making solid perfume.  I'm making lip balm.  I'm listening to Tory Amos!!  Haven't heard this particular song in years.  Years!  Whatever "station" this is, I'm loving it! 

It's not often that I get quiet time around here.  God bless his pointed little head, I love Zach so much but that kid yammers on and on.  Often about nothing in particular and everything in particular.  He is the most random kid ever.  Ever.  Don't even get me started on the Mexican hooker comment, damn you Travel Channel!  He can be on the computer and sing, yes sing, everything he is thinking.  He can be in the bathroom singing everything he is thinking.  But he doesn't normally sing in the shower.  Huh, weird.  He will make noise just to make noise.  Ryan is typically quiet.  Steve blares the tv when he's home.  He might have a slight hearing problem.  He is over 40 after all.  And we all know what happens once you reach 40.  *Sigh*

Even our animals are loud.  Rex sighs and moans, the biggest dog sighs you've ever heard.  Jerry pants constantly.  He also follows me everywhere and his nails click on the hardwood and it sure sounds like he's got more than 4 paws.  Ana the cat is relatively quiet unless she's gotten into Z's miniature football helmet collection and is batting them across the hardwood.  She's too little yet to have that uber annoying meow. 

And this is why I love the alone quiet time I so rarely get.  I wouldn't want it all the time, but it sure is nice when it happens.


Just Dorothy is giving away a Raspberry Lip Balm from Two Toots Soap Shop. 

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Ok, friends...it's here!!

I'm giving away a Two Toots Raspberry Lip Balm. 
All you have to do is comment below to be entered.  Random drawing will be held October 1st.

He knows it's where all the important stuff goes...

My house isn't overly clean.  We live here, afterall.  For the most part it's ummm, tidy?  There might be dust and some dishes in the sink but never, ever down and out dirty.  I don't like clutter but it seems we have a lot of it.  I'm not talking knick knacks and stuff, I actually like that kind of thing.  I'm talking shoes on the floor, backpacks taking up space in the kitchen because no one actually bothers hanging them up, mail and other stuff piled on the kitchen table and stuff hung on the fridge.  I tried to control the junk stuff on the fridge too but, well, the important stuff goes there.  A monthly calendar that highlights EVERYTHING, our 4H schedule, a football schedule for Zach, a football schedule for Ryan and my gift certificate for nail services.  This is all up here because it's stuff that's important and frankly, things I need to remember because I have a horrible memory.  I'm 40, remember?  And when the boys were little all of their artwork would go on the fridge because I couldn't not put it up.  Their great papers would go there too. Spelling test got an A?  Heck yeah, it went on the fridge! 

Now they are older and there is no more art work.  There are still A's on tests and whatnot but at a certain point I just stopped putting them up there.  But Ryan, at 15 got an award for Defensive Player of the Game in last week's football game.  I came home from work yesterday and there it was.  That very important document proudly displayed on the fridge, put there by Ryan himself.  Because he knows that's where all the important things go.

GO AWAY! Giveaway

I'm hosting a giveaway on my other blog Two Toots Soap Shop!  Check it out and enter to win, share with your friends so they have a chance to win too!


Ryan asked me why I hadn't posted a 9/11 blog yet today.  Well, here it is:

Most of us can remember where we were, what we were doing or at least remember that for most of us it started out like any regular day.  I was home with Zach, Steve was at work and Ryan was at school.  Steve called me and said, "Turn on the tv.  I think NY just got attacked".  My first thought was, yeah, right, the media is probably making a huge deal out of nothing.  But then I turned on the tv.

The first tower had been hit but they were not sure yet if it was a terrorist attack.  It could have just been a tragic accident.  Then the 2nd building was hit and there was no mistake.  Both buildings fell and the nation, the world went numb.  The other hijacked planes went down and we were no longer the safest place in the world. 

For awhile we watched the rescue efforts and then the clean-up efforts.  The funerals, the eulogies, just pure sadness.  I was glad Zach was so young and Ryan was too young to really understand what was going on so I could just explain the unexplainable as simply as possible. 

Everyone today is posting "Never Forget" and things like that on facebook and all social media.  I didn't because there really isn't much more I can say without it sounding tired and old and stale.  And worn out.  So I will say this: 

I will REMEMBER to celebrate our country's strength, courage and ability to recover from a horrible tragedy and not let it keep us down.  We are brave, we are strong.  We are America.

It's over there and I'm over here

I'm sick and sore. I don't know if it's allergies or a cold but either way it completely sucks. I have stuff I need to do and stuff I want to do but have no motivation or mobility to do so. I took some advil and an allergy pill and we'll see if that helps. But I poured myself a glass of tea and it's over there and I'm over here and I don't want to get up to get it. Bugger.

My back and ribs hurt from sneezing so much. My head hurts, my eyes are watery and puffy. I had to breathe through my mouth while sleeping last night so I woke up with a sore throat.

I have laundry to do and dishes to wash and we have not only a 4H meeting today but a youth group parent night to attend.

And I can't taste anything I eat. Not that I'm complaining or anything. I just wish I had a jacuzzi!

The Love Spirit of Animals and Oh Zachary

When my sister Amy was younger she accused our Dad of not having the "love spirit" of animals.  It's true.  For the most part he's not an animal person.  He's not an animal hater, but he's just not an animal person.  The smell, the hair.  I'm right there with him, although I do have 2 big hairy dogs.  I just invest in lots of Scentsy and vacuums.

Anyway, my kids have an abundance of love spirit of animals.  Especially Zach.  My dear, sweet Zachary.  *Sigh*  Since he was very small he's been asking for a cat, for hermit crabs, for hamsters.  Once we joined 4H he wanted a calf or a pig.  Uh, he doesn't understand that once you raise it you then sell it "by the pound".  He has always wanted our dogs to have puppies.  Dear, sweet Zach finally got to the age where he could understand that we have 2 boy dogs and that both are fixed anyway.  My mom has 20 some odd cats around her place.  4 are inside.  So maybe it's 24.  I don't know, I think she won't tell me the real number.  Zach is like her in so many ways.  He definitely inherited his love spirit of cats from her.

Recall a few paragraphs back when I said we have 2 dogs?  Large dogs.  Rex is a German Shephard and definitely has never had the love spirit of cats.  Jerry...we weren't sure because he's never been around any since we've had him.  He's a little sweetheart but he really likes to tree squirrels and has laser beam focus on them when they dare to cross his back yard and he happens to be outside.  Luckily he's easily distracted by treats so we can usually get him to leave them alone after awhile.  Anyway, Monday night the boys went to football practice and Z calls me and says, "Mom!  Can we have a kitten?"  Followed by me saying, "Uhhh, NO Zach, we have 2 dogs and I'm allergic, remember?"  After that, a chorus of boys says PLEASE MOM, CAN WE HAVE A KITTEN, COME ON MOM, WE WANT THE KITTEN!  The football team totally ganged up on me over the phone to convince me to take this damn kitten!  I said no, AGAIN.

Fast forward 5 minutes later I go to pick the boys up.  Zach is holding the kitten.  Now, I don't mind cats, I've just never really had cats.  Because I'm allergic.  Did you get that part?  About my allergy, I mean.  Allergic.  Wheezing, itchy allergic.  We're clear on the allergy, right?  And of course, she's absolutely adorable!  I reach my hand out to pet her and baby talk to her.  The little rat fink bites my finger.  So not off to a good start.  But I do not have the heart to watch him leave her on the practice field and watch her as I drive off.  Nights are getting chilly here and she's so very tiny. He told me the little kitten was following him everywhere while he was at practice with the high school boys and she was licking the ranch dust from his fingers from his flavored sun flower seeds.  I told Zach to get in the car with the kitten and we would see if our neighbor Lynda would like to have it.  Lynda already has 2 cats and 2 dogs and apparently is not allergic to either and definitely has a love spirit of ALL animals.  Lynda wasn't home.  We go on home, let the dogs out, take the kitten inside and feed her a leftover hamburger from dinner.  She gobbles it down so fast she nearly chokes.  I could feel every dip in her spine, every rib.  Her meow is so weak and pathetic it's awfully sad.  I give her water and she seems so inexperienced in lapping it up I think she should probably still be with her mama. 

As we are making phone calls trying to find her a home, because we have two dogs, remember, and I'm still allergic, she falls asleep.  Content, her eyes close while she's curled up on Steve's shoulder.  Steve, who grew up with cats.  She sort of slides down and lands on his stomach.  And falls asleep there too.  Have to admit it was pretty adorable.  Her little motor was running, she was very happy.  My mushmallow of a husband says, Well, you haven't really been around cats in a long time, maybe you're not allergic anymore.  Maybe we should try it for a few days.  See how it works out.  If not, Kelly can take her. 

Needless to say it is now Wednesday.  The cat has a name.  Ana.  Ana has a litter box.  Ana has a segmented dish for food and water.  Ana sleeps with Zach. 

My Dad, the non love spirit of animals Dad, is coming to visit in a few weeks.  I'm sure he will love Ana, the kitten whose meow has gotten a little stronger and whose ribs I can no longer feel.

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Personal Responsibility

Today Steve and I were discussing Personal Responsibility.  It used to be a popular concept but now, not so much.  Why is that?  I believe it's generational, but why?  Did we as parents raise this generation to be irresponsible, narcissistic, entitled members of society?  It's not just my kids' generation.  The tail end of my generation has that irresponsible thing going on too. 

It's a measure of your character to take responsibility for you and your actions.  If you don't show up for work and don't get a paycheck, why in the world would you ask your boss for more hours?  You just proved that you can't hack the hours you were already scheduled.  If you make a mistake why can't you own up to it rather than pointing the finger at someone else?  Admit your mistake, make it right, move on! 

My kids will sometimes try to blame a not so great grade on a teacher.  They know that does not fly with me.  Whose responsibility was it to study, to turn in the homework, to show up for class?  Certainly wasn't mine.  Wasn't the teacher's responsibility.  Luckily we don't run in to that too often.  Mostly because it's never worked in the past. 

I've also noticed an alarming trend with men not working.  At least here in our sleepy little town.  I don't venture much into the outside world and try to keep to myself so it could be more prevalent than I realize.  Some go from job to job to job because as soon as they start one they become allergic to honest work and quit.  Or they owe child support so they just don't work so they don't have to pay it.  It's the ultimate FAIL in personal responsibility! 

I think we need to see these trends change, and soon.  Kids need to be taught that they will not like everyone they work with or meet in their lives.  Nothing will be handed to them.  Bosses don't usually give second chances or put up with whiny employees.  And opportunity truly does not come knocking at your door.  Sad, but totally true.  Entitled, spoiled kids make really crappy, spoiled adults! 

I'm hopping

Care to join me?

The Not-So-Secret Confessions of a First Time Mom

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And So it Begins. Or...How I Must Wear the Jersey of Shame

So, it's football season again.  There are reasons this is a good thing and reasons this is a bad thing.  I don't understand much of the game but I know that I absolutely love watching my kids play.  Whether it's high school ball for our oldest or Optimist ball for our youngest, I get a big kick out of watching them out on that field.  I love sitting in the stands cheering with other spectators if they are doing well and, well cheering them on even if they are doing not so good.  I get super peeved when there is a bad call or the refs seem to favor the other team.  They aren't supposed to but sometimes you can just tell.  Ahem....

But here's one bad thing about it.  I'm highly competitive about a game I don't completely understand.  Duh, not the smartest move, right?  My husband and boys are big San Diego Chargers fans.  I don't really have a favorite team but I do like the Cardinals, mostly because it's home town team and I feel I have to root for someone.  But also because I really like what Kurt Warner and Larry Fitzgerald brought to the team.  Now Warner is gone but Fitzgerald is so good that with the right QB again they can have another great season and will be fun to watch instead of the embarrassing team they had been since they made the moved to Arizona. 

Anyway, last night in a preseason game the Chargers played at Arizona.  Steve and I made a little wager on who would win.  Naturally, he took the Bolts, I took the Cards.  I wanted to make a bet that had him posting this on Facebook:  My wife is always right, I am always wrong.  Cardinals rule, Chargers drool.  I was willing to do the same IF the Chargers won, but since I knew they wouldn't it didn't really matter.  He didn't want to take that bet but instead made this one:  If the Chargers won I would wear a Chargers jersey during the next game and cheer them on and if the Cardinals won he would wear my lovely #13 Kurt Warner tshirt that lovingly hangs in my closet in a place of honor.  Ok, just kidding, it's kind of shoved towards the back, but still.  So I take that bet since he will NOT agree to the the rule/drool one.  We didn't get the game but I watched with interest the running scores at the bottom of NFL Total Access while watching the Texans mash the 49'ers into the ground, with who, of all former AZ QB's?  Matt Leinart (or however you spell his name).  He who did absolutely nothing for the Cards the whole time he was there, took the Texans to the win.  I'm calling BS on that one.  Ahem...again.

Anyway, there I am trying not to fall asleep, keeping my eyes peeled for the score running along the bottom just so I could wake Steve up and gloat (it was about midnight our time) because the WHOLE freakin game the Cards lead.  Until the last minute or two of the game.  And then...and then.  Fast forward to this morning.  He's at work.  He texts me this:  "Well, guess u will be wearing my chargers jersey i would like to see you in it."

At least I didn't have to see his face when he said it.  At least I didn't have to put Cards drool on FB.  At least all I have to do is Wear the Jersey of Shame.

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An Open Letter to Moms of Preschoolers

First let me say, Congratulations!  You and your child have survived the infant and toddler years and now you are ready to take them to preschool (or Kindergarten).  That's a huge accomplishment in itself.

If this is your first child and you are a bit apprehensive to take them to school, worrying about them crying, missing you, being naughty, I just want to tell you to lay your fears to rest.  Some will cry, most will miss their moms and some will be naughty.  But, most, if not all, preschool and Kindergarten teachers and staff are used to all of these behaviors.  I promise.  Here are a few tips to help make that transition a smooth one for you and your big kid:

1.  Don't cry in front of your kids!  Yes, I know it's hard to see your baby growing up so fast.  Yes, I know it's hard to see them so independent and seemingly ok with you leaving.  But if you cry when you are getting ready to leave them, their anxiety level increases and they wonder if being in school is something to cry over.  Then they get upset and don't want to stay in school and try to bolt for the door the minute you walk out.  Yes, I've had to be the door guard.  Trust me, they don't understand "happy/sad" tears in this case.  Wait to cry until you leave.

2.  Make school sound very important and their role in school just as important.  If they have a job (most preschools have "jobs" for each child to do on a rotating basis) it makes them feel wanted, needed and accomplished.  Which brings me to...

3.  Attendance isn't optional.  Let me repeat...Attendance IS NOT optional, period.  Of course, I'm not saying take them when they are sick, merely pointing out the fact that you signed them up for preschool, why not take them.  If you can't roll yourself out of bed to get them ready and out the door in the morning, please just drop the enrollment.  Most preschools have a waiting list and there are other kids and parents who can make it there on time on a daily basis.  Someone wants your spot so use it or lose it!  In the same vein, if your child is sick and will be gone, please call!  We really do care and would like to know if they are ill or if they have something that might be contagious so we can advise other parents.

4.  Leave the distractions at home.  It's not ok to bring toys to school (show and tell, something that gives permission for a special occassion is fine), even when kids whine and cry in the morning.  Draw the line before it even becomes an issue.  It will make everyone's day much more pleasant, I promise.  No one wants to see toys lost or broken, especially your child.  And teachers and staff don't want or need to be responsible for those things. This includes jewelry on girls.  For heaven's sake leave those silly bandz at home!  We have dress up things at school that work just fine.  It's all a distraction, trust me.

5.  Be kind.  Be kind to teachers and staff and be kind to other children AND their parents.  You don't have to be friends and you don't have to arrange playdates but you do have to respect other people and their feelings.  You never know, your kind words may be the ONLY kind words that person has heard all day.  We're all in the same boat, trying our best to raise our children to be fantastic adults.  Being mean to someone else doesn't make anyone feel good, not even the person being mean. 

Sounds like I'm being harsh?  Maybe.  But it's realistic.  I know you will be emotional as your baby starts school and that's just normal, human behavior.  But please realize that your actions and reactions have an impact on your children's young, impressionable minds and that if they see you being ok with them going to school, they are going to be ok with going to school. 

We love having your children in class and we love getting to know all of the families.  Keep in mind that we know your kid can be naughty but that usually when they go to school they are entirely different kids.  We've seen and heard just about everything and usually nothing surprises us.  Keep the lines of communication open with your school's staff and you and your child will have a fabulous year!

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$55 worth of natural skincare for $20

Eversave is offering $55 worth of natural skincare products from Terralina for $20 today.  Terralina products are 98% natural and contain no chemicals.  Elle magazine voted their Gentle Facial Cleanser the best of 2008! Terralina contains Vitamin E, antioxidant and is paraben free.  As someone with ultra sensitive skin, I really appreciate that!  Click HERE to get there and reap the rewards from Eversave.  Oh, by the way....they offer FREE shipping too!

$20 for $55 worth of natural, age-defying and allergen-free skincare products from Terralina - plus free shipping!
Offer expires: 11:59 PM - Aug 26, 2011

$100 for a week of dinners?

I'm really considering doing this. If it helps me feed my family dinner for $100 a week and takes the guess work out of what to make on a daily basis, I'm all for it! And for $16 bucks for 6 months...yeah, I'll take that deal!  Check it out HERE.

I just made $57 by blogging!

It's going to feed my current Cricut cartridge addiction!  I'm just starting to earn money doing one of the things I really love to do and you can too.  I'm also just starting out with different companies so I'm sure it will pick up, but $57 bucks is a start.  Like I said, it's a few Cricut cartridges that aren't coming out of my pocket.  Wanna know how I do it?  Social Spark is mainly how I roll.  I've just recently started working with other affiliates and when I see how they pay, when they pay, etc, I will pass that along as well.  Wouldn't want to give you information when I don't know what I'm talking about, right?! hehe

Anyway, it's nice to just get "rewarded" for doing what I love.  I'd also love to get "rewarded" from my Etsy shop!  I've just started that too and only have one thing listed but I actually have a lot of stuff.  Need to get it all listed so it can just hopefully take off. 

Eco-friendly Diapers half off!

Trying to be green/eco-friendly/crunchy? Got a baby or know someone who does and want to not use disposable diapers? CLICK HERE NOW TO GET THE DEAL!

$25 for $50 worth of eco-friendly, reusable bamboo diapers and more from EarthMomandBaby.com
Offer expires: 11:59 PM - Aug 18, 2011

An additional 20% off Famous Footwear's BOGO 1/2 off sale!

So not only are you buying a pair of shoes, you are getting a second pair of equal or lesser value at half off AND then an additional 20% off ~ that's some crazy savings!

School Pictures

So today I was driving to town by myself, which is a love/hate thing for me.  Hate it because it's sort of boring but love it because sometimes I just need the quiet time to think.  It's a half hour drive each way so it gives me good time to think. 

When I start to panic about school pictures!  I'm not a big fan of school pictures.  Mostly they always look horrible and are not a true reflection of how your kids really are.  At least not after 3rd or 4th grade anyway.  The poses are always the exact same way every single year.  And like I said, after 3rd grade every single kid goes through that awkward stage.  Their hair isn't right, they are missing teeth, they've gained weight.  If you have boys you know what I'm talkng about.  Around 4th grade a lot of boys stop growing taller and grow wider.  Their faces chub up.  They just don't feel good with how they look.  If you have a boy and haven't reached that stage yet, don't worry, they start to outgrow that stage between 12 and 13.  Anyway, why would I pay for that kind of picture?  And they are NOT cheap!  For some of those packages the price they charge you would cover a professional photography session. 

And where do they get those photographers anyway?  When Ryan was in 6th grade he came home from school that day and said, "Mom, I'm not sure I'm even looking at the camera.  The photographer said, 'Look over here', but she was cross eyed and I'm not sure where she was wanting me to look." 

But, I started panicking today thinking about not having any school pictures to mark the years as they go by.  I have tons and tons of pictures of my kids and I scrapbook so I feel ok mostly, but nothing "official".  And now I'm obsessing about it.  I shouldn't, I know this.  And there is nothing I can do about it.  I feel bad mostly for not getting Ryan's last year, his freshman year.  AND then I started freaking out about the fact that I don't have many pictures of either of them throughout the year so that when I try to scrapbook Ryan's freshman year, what the hell am I gonna put in there???  Are you feeling my panic?  Again, I have lots of pictures, but not many "specific, milestone" type of things.  Does that matter?  Am I just obsessing all of a sudden because I'm just being a freak right now or what?  lol, I think I just need to lie down and rest before I hurt my brain anymore. :)

The Art of Napping

I used to wonder why anyone would ever want to take a nap.  It's understandable that babies need to nap.  Infants, toddlers too.  But anyone over the age of, I don't know, 5?  Why?  Why would you purposefully lay down, close your eyes and snooze in the middle of the day.  I used to watch my Poppy fall asleep watching All My Children.  Ok, if you aren't following it but are forced to watch it, I can understand why you'd doze.  

But now, I must confess.  I nap.  Not every day of course.  I don't need to every day.  But when I need to I do it and I don't feel guilty at all.  You know that tired feeling that sometimes hits you in the later afternoon, the one that makes your legs feel like they weight 200 pounds each and you literally can't keep your eyes open?  Yeah, that's when I take a little snooze.  I only need 10-20 minutes and I'm good to go.  It just recharges me and gets me motivated for the rest of the day.

For a successful nap I only need the following:
A semi dark, chilly, quiet room
A body pillow
One flat-ish pillow for my head

In a matter of minutes I'm out.  I can hear things going on in the background but I'm out enough to have dreams.  Ok, maybe not dream dreams, but....scenarios?  Whatever.  It's all good! 

Do you nap?

The Jig is Up!

So the other day I took the boys out to lunch for one last "hurrah" before school starts and I return to work this next week.  The lunch was expensive and not worth the cost at all but the company was priceless!  I enjoy hanging out with my boys.  They are interesting, tell great stories (although they've inherited the "curse" of our family where it takes forfreakinever to tell a story) and are funny. 

As we're sitting there waiting for our lunch Zach starts to tell me about a dream he had the night before and the night before that.  Apparently it was so good it continued over two nights!  Anyway from the time we sat down until the time we were served it was an hour and it took him this long to tell me about the dream.  He starts telling me about Old Peculiar and his daughter Isabelle Peculiar and her ship The Black Pimple.  He's so serious when he tells me this that I start laughing.  He looks at me in total seriousness and says, "Mom, this does NOT go on Facebook!  And you can't blog about it!" 

So, I will stop right there and not say anything more about his dream although I'd really like to share it.  It was sooooo cool!  Such imagination this kid has!  It makes me sad that the jig is up, though.  The boys are on to me, give me instructions on what can and cannot be shared on FB or on the blog.  I don't think they've actually ever even read my stuff so I'm not sure they would know.  But it's their private stories to tell, not mine, and if they don't want me to share I won't.  Even if it is a little "Peculiar". :)

Donate to a Wounded Warrior

For your donation of $99.00, Under Armour will send a backpack to The Wounded Warrior Project. Heroes in need will recieve a backpack filled with Under Armour products like a jacket, shirts, shorts, socks, underwear and assorted comfort items. Get more information HERE.

SpaFinder Free Gift Box and Shipping

Hey, the kids are back in school.  Now you have time to go to the spa and relax, right?  Don't you deserve it?  Free shipping and gift box from SpaFinder on orders of $50.  Ends 8/31. Use code MARRYME. 
Click HERE to order now.

Famous Footwear 1/2 Price Sale ~ Going on NOW!

If you haven't started shopping for school yet, now's a good time to get started! I don't know about you but I am always buying sports shoes. Football, basketball, wrestling, they all require some sort of special shoe. And that gets expensive!

Good until 9/17 you can buy one pair, get the 2nd pair 1/2 off at FAMOUS FOOTWEAR. Click here to take advantage of this sale!

$1.00 Makeup

I love this makeup! e.l.f offers everything from eyeshadow to lipstick, mascara to blush brushes. And it's only $1.95 to ship right now!
e.l.f. Studio - luxurious and professional line of cosmetics

HELP! No, seriously ~ someone help please!

Ok, I linked up to at least 3 blog hops yesterday and .... nothing!  Zilch, zip, nada in the way of any comments or followers.  Which doesn't usually happen but wouldn't be that alarming (maybe they just didn't like my blog.  It happens), except I've been to my page and once again, there is no place to follow me!  GFC is gone.  I also click on google affiliate links and all I'm getting is the home page for google to search something.  No direct way to the link, only the search page.  Pointless!  So...what has happened?  Does anyone know?  Can anyone help me?  I'm getting super frustrated. 

Happy New Year!

Is it just me or does the beginning of the school year feel more like the "new year" than January 1st? 

When I was a kid the start of the school year felt more celebratory than counting down the hours, minutes, seconds til the new year.  We finished up the summer vacations, shopped for new clothes, new school supplies, anticipated which teacher you'd end up with, dying to find out which friends shared which classes.  It was so exciting!  Nerdy, but exciting. 

I still feel the same way.  There is such anticipation for school/fall at the end of summer.  For instance, today is the first official day of football practice for Ryan.  It's the ultimate sign for us that summer is nearly over and fall is right around the corner.  Just last night we were all saying how we couldn't wait to be sitting in the stands watching the game with our friends and waiting to pull out the blankets to cover our laps.  Sometimes there is a light misty rain at games.  It's lovely.

So the boys are not as excited as I am about summer ending, naturally, but I've made them get their back packs ready, full of new school supplies.  They've reluctantly gotten new clothes.  I don't know what it is about these boys but they really don't care to have new clothes for school.  "I can just wear what I had last year, it's no big deal.  Who cares besides you, Mom?"  I guess it's better than having girls who constantly need/want/beg for new stuff.  And they've been put back on the school routine.  Zach absolutely hates it.  My little night owl is being made to go to bed at 10pm.  Boo hoo.  He's gonna have to suck it up and just do it.  But past experience tells me I'm beating a dead horse and he's not going to get on a routine/schedule until we are well into the 2nd week of school.  Oh well, he's a big boy, a smart kid, he can figure it out. 

Anyway, 9 more days til school starts and "we" are super happy about that!

It's like a whole new (cheap/free) world!

Today's economy sucks, no doubt, but I'm finding lots and lots of discounted/free things in my time spent blogging/surfing/searching. 
For example: http://www.nomorerack.com/?cr=782014 has majorly discounted items on things like brand name purses, women's clothing, kids clothing, jewelry, things for men, etc.  Here's how it works:  Each day there are 8 items on the website that are offered at deep, deep discounts.  Shipping, I believe, is $2.  You have 24 hours to purchase the item or until it is sold out.  I found out too late yesterday and missed out on a nifty little luch tote I would have loved to have had.  And if you have friends sign up (no purchase necessary, just sign up under your code) you can get FREE stuff.  Today's free thing is a cool little flask that I would love to give as a gift.  But I need at least 13 friends before I can score that free item.  But it gets better.  There are other free items like Ipads and TV's.  Yep.  Good stuff. 

I also found something on Eversave but I  need to research more before I spread the (good?) word. 
So, click on the link, http://www.nomorerack.com/?cr=782014, and see if this would be of any benefit to you.  Save a little money getting things you want anyway, right?

Not living up to its full potential

My blog, that is.  I know there are so many more ways I could get it noticed, recognized, useful, etc.  But I am pretty illiterate when it comes to figuring all this stuff out.  I want some nice blog fairy to rescue me my blog and make it all shiny and pretty and functional.  Only I don't want to pay for it.  Well, I don't want to pay a lot for it.  As in, cheap.  Dirt cheap.  So, I'm gonna go wait for that blog fairy to show up.  Maybe she can fix GFC, too?

Is it just me?

GFC must be having problems again, right?  I'm trying to follow people's blogs, sites, pages and .... nothing.  There is no link under the "follow me" heading.  I know Blogger has had this issue before.  It's getting majorly tiresome!!! 

So....if you've followed me recently, Thank YOU, glad GFC is working for you!  If I haven't followed you back yet, please know I'm sincerely trying!


As of today...

I've lost 23 lbs since last summer.  Sounds like a long time to lose 23 lbs.  And it is.  However....

From the end of May last year until August last year I lost roughly 19 pounds.  I was obsessively weighing myself (6 times a day or more) and getting really frantic about it.  And then work started back up and I reverted to my old ways of Pepsi, Pepsi and more Pepsi.  I had been "clean" all summer.  So, about 10 lbs or so slowly came back from August to May.

Then, at the end of May this year, I swore of Pepsi (it's like heroin to me) and drank tons and tons of water and tea.  I drank nearly 4 qts of tea a day.  Unusual, no?  I dropped about 10 lbs in a matter of weeks.  Turns out, I have diabetes but I can't complain about the jump start.  Since my diagnosis on July 1st, I've lost another 4 lbs, so about a pound a week.  Not great, but I'm also not exercising (I know, I know) and I've heard it is difficult to get rid of weight once you are on diabetes medication (at least the pills I take, I'm not on insulin).  So....I'm still a giant girl but it's slowly coming off and if I can ever get motivated to work out it would be even better.  I already feel better!  I just want to look better too.  It's a start.