wADmM5mNLtOv064mhMCS_CYE3Bc Just Dorothy: May 2011

Google to the rescue. Sort of.

So I'm going over the budget.  Again.  This is a regular thing I stress out about when I'm not stressing out about Zach making shanks.  And of course I'm doing the whole coupon thing, which is a stress reliever and a stress creator (and an entirely different story/subject).  But here is my ultimate goal: only spend $50 to $75 dollars each week on groceries and household items (dog food, detergent, etc) and not feed my family mostly packaged foods. 

Of course I consulted the Google gods and typed in exactly this: "how to spend only 50 a week on groceries".  I got some info out of it but also a lot of common sense, no brainer advice, too.  The dilemma we have is that we live in a very small town with two small grocery stores that carry their brands mostly and don't have coupons for said brands.  Also, because they are small stores in small towns they charge outrageously expensive prices for stuff anyway, so shopping with a coupon actually makes it a "normal" price at a bigger town grocery store.  They are fairly comparable on milk, regular bread and most meats.  Other than that...not so much.  Our solution is to meal plan and drive about 25 miles to the nearest store that has a customer card and double coupons.  But I still end up spending over $100. 

So, here is what I am going to do this week when I shop:
Get my list of items I have on hand
Scan the ad they have online and base our menu off of the items I have on hand and the sale items
ONLY BUY those items I have listed
STOP putting items into the cart when I have said listed items in the cart!
Go to Dollar General and buy the stuff I know I can get there cheaper like toilet paper, paper towels and toothpaste, probably some pasta too.  They also have canned chicken for (usually) cheaper than the regular stores. 

Is it realistic to think that I can actually feed my family of 4 (keep in mind I have 2 boys, a tween and a teen)?  And now for the summer we are home most of the day so they will now be eating breakfast and lunch at home.  I guess we'll find out.  Of course, Ry is on his Big Adventure so we will be minus 1.  That will help.  I'm gonna give it a try. 

Am I giving up on my extreme couponing/stockpiling dreams?  Heck no!  But I'm also a bit more realistic now in thinking I just might not have the smarts/time/patience/attitude/patience/patience or patience to be that "extreme".  So wish us luck and if you have any advice on spending only $50-$75 a week on groceries, please let me hear it.  I will let you know this weekend if I met my goal!

Ok, that's it...

No more "Lock Up: Raw" for Zachary.  He just said, "hey look, mom, it's my shank!". 
Hahahaha, geez, I love that kid!

And the winner is......

Congrats to Michelle! She is the winner of the $25 credit to Daydreaming Designs.  I used random.org but was not able to get the number generator to transfer over.  The numbers entered were 1-22 and the winning entry was #5. 

My sincere gratitude to Kim from Daydreaming Designs for donating the credit and going in on this giveaway with me.  Thanks Kim!
Bluebellscreams so kindly awarded me with The Versatile Blogger Award!  Thanks Bluebell, it is much appreciated!
So the rules are:
Thank the award giver in your post (check)

Tell us 7 things about you (see below)

Award 15 newly discoverd bloggers this award (see below)

7 things about moi:
1. I have a love/hate relationship with facebook
2. I love, love, love blogging
3. I have a children's story published in an anthology that I would love to publish on its own
4. Sometimes I wash my hair only every other day
5. I want to get into product reviews on my blog
6. My hair is naturally red, I only started getting blond highlights when I turned 35
7. I would blog and surf the net all day every day if I could

And the 15 newly discovered bloggers in random order are:

So, all you Versatile winners, go forth, spead joy! :) 

Menu Sunday

So we've been trying to menu plan and stick with a budget and do the whole "extreme" couponing thing.  And I put quotes around "extreme" couponing because "extreme" for me at this point would be to just FIND the items I have a coupon for, have it be on SALE, and be able to get it for uber cheap.  Like pennies on the dollar.  So far, I'm not there.  I've found some good deals and I've saved some good money, but I've still spent far more than I wanted to.  It's rather disappointing.  Anyway, we're trying to "make do" with what we have in stock already so I don't have to run back out for something which always ends up costing waaaay more than I ever wanted to spend.  With that said, here is what our menu will most likely be for the week.

Meal 1: Grilling out steaks with baked potatoes and salad and all the fixins

Meal 2: Garlic spaghetti and I promised the boys I wouldn't use whole wheat noodles this time

Meal 3: Ham steaks with mashed potatoes

Meal 4: Taco salad

Meal 5: Why yes, I've been craving Jimmy John's thank you very much

Meal 6: Hamburgers on the grill with cole slaw and maybe some fries

Meal 7: Whatever is left over at this point....it could get interesting.

Our oldest is leaving on a trip of a lifetime before the butt-crack of dawn on Tuesday morning so there will only be 3 of us.  It's only one less person but it does seem to change the dynamic of things quite a bit.  Anyway, there you have it...one more week of our menu planning.  Do you menu plan?  If so, what kind of meals do you come up with, do you have favorites that you go back to all the time or do you try new things?

Is it just me?

Blogger seems to suddenly have an issue with me wanting to follow people.  It seems like when I am trying to follow someone from a blog hop all of their "follower" links are gone!  Anyone else having this problem?? I've been wondering why new followers are not showing up for me....hmmm.  Disappointing.

Low Entry GIVEAWAY Ends Tuesday

Enter HERE .  All it takes is a "follow" and a comment.  Simple Dimple!  You know you want free JEWELRY!

It's Thursday ~ time to HOP!

Glad to see you here! Follow the HOP~it won't hurt a bit, promise!

Bassgiraffe's Thoughts Thursday Blog Hop

Yes, young grasshopper....

I haven't been couponing for very long.  Not with any real seriousness anyway.  Now that I'm completely gung-ho about it I see coupons everywhere.  In magazines, on boxes and bags of other products, everywhere.  I guess I've been talking about it enough and the boys overhear me because today I asked Zach to take out the trash.  And he says, "Uhhh, Mom.  Cut that coupon off that box!!"  I had set a box of dog bisuits near the can for him to take out and it had one of those sticker coupons on it.  That's my boy! hahaha

Don't Forget!

I have a giveaway going on right now!!  It ends 5/31/11 at noon and has very low entries.  PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE enter the giveaway.  It's for JEWELRY!  On your mark, get set, GO! 
Do it.  Now.  Please. :0)  CLICK HERE to enter.

Every Little Thing...

On facebook I get updates from a page called Positively Positive.  They put various quotes as their status that are, well, positive.  Today's is "Love the life you live.  Live the life you love." by Bob Marley. 

Do you?  Love the life you live and live the life you love, I mean. 

The Boys Are Geniuses I Tell Ya!

So last night was a dragging kind of night. We have had a long week and a week of later nights than usual. Steve and I headed off to bed but the boys wanted to watch the end of the OKC-Mavs game. I wanted to make sure I had let the dogs in after their last potty break (I've left them out overnight before by accident and had doggie mom guilt for weeks!)so I got out of bed and walked into the living room.

Ryan was sitting on the couch and Zach was sitting on the chair opposite of him across the living room. They are throwing a small, foam type basketball at each other. Not hard or anything, just kind of tossing it up in the air and arcing it so it will go over far enough to the other one. 

But my panic laser beam focus of making sure the dogs were in did not register that they were not actually catching the ball that was being thrown with their hands.  Oh no.  You see, my two boys made up a game called "Ballsy".  That's right.  Ballsy.  In this game they don't catch the ball with their hands.  They catch the ball with ummm, how to say it delicately?  Le Sac.  They let that ball fall into their, ahem, laps. 

On the one hand I thought, "jeez, what idiots!"  On the other hand, I was a proud mama that thought, "wow, they CAN get along and cooperate and come up with something that appeals to both of them!"

I just wonder if I'm ever going to have grandchildren.

Hop on Over 40!

I actually have time to day to find new blog hops and new friends ~ wanna join me?? :)

The whole "retarded" "gay" thing...

So my kids are like many other's in today's society.  They say things and use certain words that are not deemed politically correct and or polite.  Those two words are "retard" or "retarded" and "gay".  As in, "that's retarded" or "that's so gay".  I've even said those same things a time or two myself just by overhearing it again and again and again.  EVERYONE says it. 

However....if everyone jumped off a bridge, would you?  (thanks, previous generations for brining us that cliche).

A while back I started on a mission to break my kids of that particularly nasty habit.  Both are offensive and just flat out mean.  First of all, "retarded" means to be delayed.  But "to be delayed" is not the same thing as being dumb or stupid, which, when used in the context of, "that's retarded" is what it's being used as.  That debate could go on and on forever about dumb and stupid, et al.  But IT IS NOT THE SAME THING! 

Now let's move on to "that's so gay".  Gay means merry, jovial, happy, etc, and homosexual.  I'm not sure why that word means both of those things, they just do.  Anyway, I don't think being gay is a choice.  I think you are born gay or you are born straight.  I also know my opinion is not shared by everyone.  And that's ok.  Just remember that if you decide to comment your opinion on my post, you must be respectful.  I honestly believe it is a gut feeling, a reaction, an attraction, etc.  For instance, I am not attracted to women.  I'm also not attracted to Asians, African Americans or Hispanics.  It's not being a bigot, prejudiced or anything of the sort.  It's what I am attacted to.  Maybe you are definitely not attracted to redheads.  Maybe you only like blonds.  It's an attraction.  I don't see that the preference is any different.  Don't misunderstand.  I think there are some very interesting and lovely looking Asians, Hispanics, etc.  I appreciate beauty and good looks just like everyone else.  And I'm not saying I would never date someone that wasn't white (well, yes I am, but it's because I'm married, not because I'm a racist!)  I'm probably making my point in a very jumbled way.  But the point actually is this:  I'm trying to give my kids a wider vocabulary.  Those words are hurtful and only "trendy" because we've gotten lazy at teaching proper use of language and we've given up on morals. 

Over the last 2 days Ryan has seen two tv commercials talking about using "gay" to describe something as "dumb or stupid".  He looked at me and said, "Ok, mom, wow, it's what you've been telling me!"  And I said, "Yes, son, do you see now how cool and trendy and ahead of the times I am?"  No, really, I just smirked, shook my head and said, "yeah, see!!!"  So he's come up with another word he's using besides "gay" or "retard/retarded" to describe something he doesn't like.  I'm proud of him for actually being aware now that this is real, it's bullying and it's just plain sad.  I know he was never saying it to be a bully or to be mean, it was just a habit and is considered the "norm" nowadays.  He's realizing that just because it's the "norm" it doesn't make it right. 

Anyway, those are my opinions and you may now respectfully comment! lol

Don't Judge

I had a bologna sandwich for lunch.  With chips.  And a Pepsi.  I did add a big healthy chunk of lettuce to the sandwich and used olive oil mayo if that makes you feel any better. Made me feel better!  I haven't had a bologna sandwich in years and years.  It was good!!  Total comfort food.  Sometimes a girl just needs a bologna sandwich, ya know?

Guest Post!

I was recently given the opportunity to guest post on Love You Always and Forever.  Check it out when you can.  Thanks Stacie for the chance!


Looking for some great jewelry?  You're in luck!  Kim from Daydreaming Designs is giving away one lucky winner a $25 credit to her Etsy shop!

Peach Floral Pendant and Chain                                  Seafoam Green Starfish Bracelet

Double Strand Red Glass Beaded Necklace                                  Pale Pink Link Earrings

Here's how you can enter to win:       *Just leave a separate comment on this blog for each entry*
1) Be a public follower of Just Dorothy and leave a comment telling me you are.
2) Like my Facebook page and leave a comment telling me you did.
3) Check out Daydreaming Designs etsy shop and tell me what's catching your eye.
4) Blog, Tweet or share this giveaway on Facebook and come back here and tell me you did.

The more you enter the more chances you have to win!

The giveaway will end at noon on May 31st and the winner will be drawn by Random.org.  Please respond within 48 hours or a new winner will be selected.

Kim has also graciously offered a 20% discount to my followers towards a purchase at her etsy shop.  Just use code DOROTHYBLOG.

Good luck!

Oh, Blogger, it's good to have you back to normal!

I was seriously jonesing for some alone time with Blogger.  I'm glad it's back.  I've started a new blog with the help of my fabulous Zeen Bean.  You can find it here.  Just a little extra service we provide :)  Just kidding!  It's just another outlet for me to blab on and on about nothing and everything all at the same time.  He will also guest post on it.  Rybaby wants to start a blog.  He's still sleeping, otherwise his would probably be up and running now.  We'll see if he can get up soon and start.  Doubtful.

So, here's what's been going on lately:  My baby boy is now a driver.  We're both nervous.  Watch out world ~ here comes Ryan.  No, really.  Watch out!  He will leave for his CWF trip in a few weeks.  We're nervous and excited about that, too!
Work has ended for me for the summer and I'm super excited about that ~ beyond words actually.  But money will suck.  That's part of what Leafy Greenz will cover. 
Zach is not playing any sports this summer and for that I am eternally grateful. 
I'm going to contact Mama's Monologues right now and work on that giveaway I've been talking/thinking about. 
I've got a guest post in the works for another blog, more info coming soon!
And, I've got some affiliations that might help make the summer a bit profitable for me.  You can check that out here.  That's my week in a nutshell.  Now I have to go rattle some cages to wake up the "beast".  And make the Bean something to eat.  He's withering away to practically nothing!

Have a blessed weekend!

Is this what we've become?

Watching TV with Ryan and what commercial comes on?  Uhhh, cougarlife.com? Really?  And we also have reality shows such as The Judds, Shania Twain's Why Not and tons of pawn store shows.  You can watch 2 dorky guys searching for vintage/antique stuff all around the US and you can watch really large people with bad hair and bad taste repossess vehicles.  And just for our viewing pleasure we can watch teens get Scared Straight and wacky relationships on Prison Wives and what is that one....Four Wives and Counting?  I mean, Sister Wives.  People overpopulating the earth is a popular topic and one that seems to ruin said families. 

In all reality I have not watched most of these shows.  One of the pawn ones and the dorky picker guys a few times is all.  I'll skip the rest, I'm just not interested in, ummm, cougars, huge repo people or huge pawn shop workers or human baby factories or former entertainers that have nothing going on except for this.   I'm seriously thinking of not renewing my dish subscription.  I don't like dish anyway.  Moving on in June!  It's sad to think this is what our children have to look forward to.

The name game...

taking suggestions on names for 2 possible new blogs...one about budgeting/money and one about food/weight loss and the highs and lows of both.  thanks in advance!

Wordless Wednesday


So I'm anxious for the school year to be done, I've mentioned that, right?  I'm anticipating my next step though.  That's right, always thinking one step ahead.  Chances are though, 5 minutes from now I won't remember what I was thinking before that one step.  Yes, it's an issue.  Yes, it's a blog.

 Anyway, I'm anticipating having all this time on my hands and considering starting 2 different blogs.  Ambitious?  Crazy?  Yes to both.  For now I gotta get this tooshie moving and get my face on.  The magic doesn't just happen ya know!! lol

Decide to be happy today!

I swear it's just my family that does this weird crap...

Ok, so one of my kids, I won't say which one to avoid humiliation, is infatuated with one of our dogs.  He loves, loves, loves Jerry the Springer Spaniel.  So just a second ago he asked me this:

Him: so do you think they know when you are kissing them?
Me:  Uhhh...what? (insert one raised eyebrow here)
Him: the dog.  you know, when they lick you it's like they are giving you kisses.  So should I kiss him or lick him?
Me:............................................................well, ......................I wouldn't do either but.....you know. whatever.
Him: Ok, then I'll just kiss him.

And just to clarify, he kisses him on his snout so it's not like some kind of weirdo fetish thing.  Well...you know.  Whatever. 

Yeehaw, Woohoo and Hells Yeah!

Those three words can only mean one thing.  It's the last week of school with kids!!!  We have four more days with kids in the class and then the teacher and I have to stay one more week for closing up the classroom.  Can't even begin to say how excited I am to start the summer.  Ok, well, aside from that whole no pay thing.  Now that we've been through a summer like this I feel like maybe we can actually survive it with no pay if we play our cards right.  Now I'll have time to make sure we do.  I'll also have time to organize my house and maybe make our family more money minded. 

For example, right now we have 2 computers going and 2 tv's going.  There are 4 of us in the house.  What is up with that?  I call it multi-tasking for me since I'm one with a computer AND a tv on.  Hey, in my defense I'm blogging and watching the Lakers get smacked by the Mav's (hopefully) to take the semis.  I hate the Lakers, but that's an entirely different blog. 

Steve suggested we live in the basement so we don't have to keep the upstairs as cool.  It's all cozy and cave-like down there so why not?  Take the laptop, maybe a microwave and a small fridge....seriously, we could make it happen! :)

We definitely need to change some of our lifestyle and "live like no one else so we can live like no one else", right Dave Ramsey? 

I can also take time during the summer to plant a garden and educate myself in couponing so I can be one of those crazy coupon chicks.  I'll have time to create my plan of attack.  I feel good about this!  See why I'm excited to just be done, especially with the kids ~ of course I'll miss some of them over the summer ~ but without them being in class we can just hit the cleaning hard and be done.  There's some stuff we can't move until the kids are gone so....bye-bye kids, have a great summer!  I will! lol (I sound mean, but really....)

I'm back and I'm in the club!!

It's been a long time since I've been able to sit down for more than a few minutes and catch up on my blog and all the wonderful blogs I follow.  But, here I am ~ and I'm glad to be back.  I've missed this.  The "end of the year" is always super busy for us trying to get out classrooms and paperwork organized and finalized and then my boys have their end of school year stuff like band performances and what not.  Busy, busy.  So anyway....

I joined a club when I was in AZ a week ago.  And it's a club with very good company.  I have one brother that is in this club.  Several cousins are in too.  Many of my high school classmates have joined the club already.  My husband is in this club.  He's been a member for 2 1/2 years already.  Sucka!  (Just kidding honey! Not really).  We're in the 40's club!!  Wooohoooo!

I guess when I was younger I never really pictured me being here.  I mean, when I was 20 I didn't picture myself being 40, married almost 17 years, 2 kids, 3 dogs, a house in the midwest with lush trees and green, green grass in the front AND the back yards.  Didn't really picture anything, really.  Just didn't think that far ahead. 

I panicked when I turned 30.  It actually depressed me.  I seriously cried and felt sad that my "life" wasn't where I wanted it to be.  And most of you will know what I mean by that.  It has nothing to do with your husband and kids.  It's all about YOU.  It just felt like once I reached 30 I should have had the dream career thing going on and should have had all of life's answers.  But once I reached 30 I didn't have any answers to life just more questions.  By then I had 2 small children and things had changed.  Not that anything was bad in that regard, it was just....I don't even know how to explain it, it just was a personal feeling that I had some unknown, imaginary goal that I never reached. 

So....I actually formed goals.  Just small personal ones that fit well within that 10 year span between 30 and 40.  So far, I've reached a few.  I wanted to go to school and get my associates degree.  I started college right after high school but never finished.  I promised myself that if I was able to get grants and not loans I would take online courses and get that damn AA.  I started at 35 and finished while working a full time job and a part time job, raising kids and even moving half way across the country.  I also wanted to raise really great kids.  Did that too!  Ryan is an amazing, kind, compassionate, articulate, funny teenager who isn't a "jerk" as my sister in law would say.  Zach is just as funny and random, but also fiercely determined (stubborn!) and has a bit of a serious side when necessary.  Of course I couldn't have done it without Steve.  He really picked up the slack while I was doing school work.  He'd do laundry and dishes, clean the kitchen.  It just made it easier on all of us and it seemed to work out that way.  And as a bonus, I got spoiled and he still does most of that stuff most of the time still.  Way to go Steve! :) 

Anyway, I guess my point is this:  At 30, I didn't know what I wanted but was upset because I didn't have it.  At 40, I know who I am, I know who we are and I know what our priorities are and should be.  This has nothing to do with fame or fortune (neither of which I have) it just has to do with how well we've done with what we have.  Simply put, "What I want is what I've not got.  But what I need is all around me."  (Dave Matthews)

Ok, it's a long winded post about me turning 40 but my mind is all jumbled from work and travel and aging and stuff, thanks for sticking with me! lol

Did you miss it?

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

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