Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Walking On Sunshine

Sunday was my annual all-day meeting for my sorority team.  And it was awesome.  This is our third year doing this mini-retreat and it is getting better every year.  It's such a great time to connect socially with the other advisors and officers, as well as work on projects and topics that are often over-looked by time constraints.  It's amazing how much good can happen when you take the time to share a meal and laugh with people.  It makes the mass quantities of emails that bounce between us each moth feel a little more personal. 

I just cannot say enough about my positive state when leaving that meeting.  Thinking about it on Sunday night, I was just as cheery as could be.  Truly walking on sunshine thinking about this team of wonderful women.  Such a fantastic way to start off our year.  The last team I worked with was amazing and I really felt that they would be hard to match in diligence and enthusiasm and general awesomeness.  I know it's only month one of the new team, but so far they have nothing but impressed me.  After five years, I think I am finally getting the hang of this advising business.  'Bout damn time I found my groove! 

Mark those words...they probably mean that doom and gloom are on the horizon. 

People often give me snide comments on my participation with my two volunteer organizations.  Most ask why I do it and why I don't get paid on a fairly regular basis.  I'm a bit tired of defending myself so let me just take a moment to clarify right here and now.  I don't get paid because hello, I volunteer.  And I do it because I LOVE it.  I do not love every moment.  But hey, even parents will tell you that they don't love every moment of parenting.  I'm pretty sure the "terrible twos" was not named by some momma running around telling people how fabulous her kids are.  No, she was wearing one shoe and crying in the corner next to the toddler flailing in a tantrum on the floor, with food all over both of them and hair that has not been brushed in four days because she is sick but doesn't have time to take care of her own needs.  But she loves being a parent.  Just not every moment of the program.  Same goes for my volunteer gigs.  Sure, I vent sometimes.  I have encountered a lot of vent-worthy events over the years.  This month alone I have cried actual tears at least a half dozen times.  But I still love it.  I love the interaction.  I love those tiny and rarely seen moments when I can make a difference.  And I love how my kids make me laugh.  They are funny little teenagers who think they know it all, can wear it all, can do it all, and have masses of time to figure it all out.  Oh to be 19 again...  I volunteer because I am passionate about these two organizations and think that they are truly anchors for goodness in society. 

Of course I lead because I am a sucker who has "cannot say no" embroidered on her forehead.  But that's a whole separate issue.

Do y'all volunteer your time anywhere?  Are you forever explaining how you chose to spend your time working with your chosen groups?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Quick Question

Do any of y'all know of a good team-building exercise for college aged kids and adults?  Maybe something that gets you up and moving about the room?  I need one more idea for my big meeting this weekend.  Any thoughts?

Be Right Back

I need to focus on my volunteer gigs for a few days.  So things might be light on this little bloggy blog.  But I'll be back in a few days. 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Free Magazine

One more FREE magazine subscription.  These go fast so sign up quickly.  Oh my, I am a total magazine-aholic! 

Good Times Two

I don't know where y'all live but we had one heck of an ice storm here yesterday.  As much as I love staring out my window at the ice covered tree, I hate ice storms.  They are so crazy dangerous.  I've never seen one quite this crazy either.  Walking the dog was insane.  We were both slipping and sliding all over the place.  And she couldn't figure out what it was so she kept leaning down to lick the sidewalk.  I mean, of course she's seen ice before.  We live in the bloody North Pole.  But this was solid ice that sounded the same as when you walk on a frozen pond.  All creeky and cracky and spooky. 

When the weather gets really bad around here, most people clear their cars off and then move them into one of the parking decks for the night.  Then we just go get our cars out in the morning before it reverts back to a pay deck for the local offices (Remember I live in a downtown area of a small city so most people don't have garages- it's all row houses.  Like DC or Boston.  But not as cool and with a total lack of good shopping.).  So apparently as my dad was leaving the parking deck to walk home (it's a block away), he dropped his keys.  But I actually picked him up outside to come with me to run a few errands and grab dinner.  So he didn't notice until hours later when he was trying to get back into his house.  We were gone for a few hours as the roads were a total mess and driving was sloooow. 

So when he realized his keys were gone, we drove back to the parking garage to look for them.  Not there.  We figured (hoped) they fell out of his pocket as he was putting his gloves back on when we left the grocery store.  He thought that pulling the gloves out of the pocket might have also pulled out the keys.  They must be in the entry way of the grocery store.  And since we (read: I.  The reason he came with me is because no matter how old I am, to him I will always be daddy's little girl who needs help in ice storms.  And I often do so who am I to complain.) were the only fools in the grocery store during a bad storm, we figured there was a good chance we would find them again.  So back we drove.

As we were about half way there, dad's phone rang.  It was a woman who works at our local food co-op.  Some guy found my dad's keys in the parking garage.  Noticed the little membership tag for the co-op on the key ring (which is actually the only thing on his key ring and he just finally stuck it on there last week) and walked over to ask if they could call the owner of the keys.  Some amazing stranger walked about four blocks in a freezing rain ice storm to turn in keys.  Then the girl from the store called my dad several times (he didn't see the missed calls until after he hung up with her) to let him know they were safe and sound.  The store was closing and we were not going to make it back in time.  But she told dad where she was headed to eat (just a local pizza place) so he could meet her there. 

And as much as I whine about not having fancy stores and restaurants open on Sundays, moments like this make me grateful to live in a small town.  Only in a small community would you find two good Samaritans going so out of their way in the middle of a wicked storm to help out a stranger.  Makes you feel all warm and cozy inside, doesn't it!  A good reminder that it's free to be nice and have a major impact on strangers.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

It Started Way Back In History

Do you know what's funny?  I've probably only been on YouTube a dozen times.  Twenty max.  But I figured out how to post the clips on my blog.  And it makes me feel rather clever.  (Just give that to me.  I'm all puffy and proud of myself right now.  Don't tell me that everyone has been visiting YouTube for eons and knows how to post clips on blogs.  Mums the word.  Let me feel fancy for a bit.)

This is isn't great quality.  But it is completely awesome if you even remotely have an affinity for hip hop. 

Andy, Pee Wee and Andy...Hilarious!

Lost And Found

An update to yesterday's post...

Good:  I found the person.  They are alive.  And I assume well.  But for sure alive, because we spoke on the phone.  I am extremely relieved!

Bad:  I do not know if I believe the person's story.  I have more questions now than when this all started.  I am relieved that they are alive but even more worried about what lead to this situation.  The coming week should reveal more information.  I hope.  The entire ordeal is getting more confusing by the minute.  I want to believe the best but after my phone convo today...I am finding it very difficult to see the light.  Crossing my fingers that this is a humongo misunderstanding that will be cleared up soon.

Holy moly crazy!

Monday, January 17, 2011


I misplace things all the bloody time.  My keys hide from me on a regular basis.  I have totally bought something online and left my credit card on my desk.  Only to realize it as I went to pay for something in an actual store.  And you know there are always 200 people behind me in line as I have to walk away like a crazy person sans whatever I was trying to buy.  Last night before walking the dog, I popped my two corn bags in the microwave (I keep them in my pockets to warm the non-leash-holding hand.).  I put my gloves on, leash on dog, walked outside and realized that I only had one corn bag in my pocket.  Assuming I left the other in the microwave, I laughed at how I managed to do that and continued our walk.  Got home, looked for the corn bag, and never ever found it.  I still have no idea how I lost a little flannel bag of corn between the microwave and where I was standing (about 8" away).  I've even spent a half hour looking for my glasses.  That were on my head.  And not on top of my head.  No no, I was looking through them.  Not my finest moment.  Or if I am being truly honest, moments.  Plural.  It's happened twice.  I plead blonde.

But many of those incidents are just a result of trying to multi-task.  Which I recently learned is the downfall of America.  Studies show that multi-tasking creates crappy results.  Totally less productive in the long run.  But this is not my point.

No, about two weeks ago, I tried to contact someone about a personal matter (theirs, not mine).  It was a time-sensitive issue so I tried multiple avenues to get in touch.  And kept trying.  And when days passed (normally this person gets back to me in a few hours max), I solicited others to help me make contact.  To no avail.  Now I have an entire team of people reaching out to my missing buddy.  The story is so bizarre that I can't make heads or tails of it all.  And the longer I go unable to contact this person, the more paranoid I become.  Fearing poor health or safety or something else incredibly serious. 

This is not like losing my keys for 20 minutes, making me late for a meeting.  This is a person.  I have lost an actual human being.  I've hardly slept in days as my mind is just spinning with crazy worry.  I am praying that this is just a big, wild mix up that can be clarified in one phone call and a good laugh.  But the longer this goes on, the sicker I feel.

I can't disclose more than that.  Which I recognize is not really much at all.  I just needed to put it in writing and send it out into the great big pink and green bloggy world.  I am insanely worried.  Something is wrong.  As I do not really know what is wrong, I can't begin to fix the problem.  I've lost someone.  I need to find them.  And that's all I can think about today....

Friday, January 14, 2011

I Did It!

I've been obsessively reading coupon blogs and newspapers and grocery websites.  I am determined to become a crazy couponer.  It has fascinated me for years but I finally have the fire to figure it all out.  It's not a quick process to learn.  I imagine it's easier if you are lucky enough to live in a city catered to by those websites telling you what to buy and when based on coupons and sales.  I wouldn't know.  But it turns out there are some awesome bloggers out there.  Of course.  Bloggers rock my pink socks!

I never in a million years thought I would really figure out how to buy my groceries for free.  But yesterday, I did it.  Big binder in hand.  In Rite-Aid for the second time in my life (the first being last week).  Kelloggs cereals are buy one, get one free.  Which is a good deal by itself.  They sell for about $4.75/each.  But I had a few coupons for $1/2.  Taking my total for two boxes from about $10 down to under $4.  Or less than $2/box.  That's an even better deal.  BUT...thanks to reading blogs....I knew to look for the boxes that were labeled "Try Me Free."  I knew that I could buy that box, mail in for my rebate, and get a check for $4.49 back from Kelloggs.  So in a few weeks when that check arrives, I will have made about $0.35 on each box of cereal.  That's right...they PAID me to buy cereal.  A PROFIT.  I did this transaction twice, buying a total of four boxes.  So I saved nearly $20 and profited a buck and change!

Now I am not running to the bank with my quarters.  But that sure beats paying $5/box of cereal.  It's not that I am opposed to paying for things.  But realizing that I can pay a whole heck of a lot less for things makes me realize just how much money I have thrown away for no good reason.  I have seen the light, my friends!  In just two little weeks I have learned to buy toothpaste and cereal for free.  This is going to be a very lesson-filled year...I can feel it.  Bring it on, 2011.  I'm so ready!

The funny thing is that I gave all four boxes to my father because I am gf and can't eat them.  Even funnier was the lengthy (in case you've not yet noticed, all of my stories are loooong) explanation to dear old daddy-o regarding why I was buying cereal I cannot eat.  As always, he was amused.

Not For Company But Damn Good

I almost didn't post this because I know the photo looks like what Ina would call a "dog's breakfast."  It's what I refer to as a "not for company" meal.  But regardless, it's damn good.  Just not purdy.  And it freezes great so you can eat it for single girl dinners later in the winter.

Once again the crappy blackberry photo quality.

Not For Company Casserole

* Meat (pork sausage, ground turkey, whatever you like)
* Half a bag of potatoes
* Mashed potato makings (sour cream, butter, milk, garlic, whatever you like)
* 1 bag of frozen baby peas
* 1 bag of frozen chopped spinach
* seasonings of choosing

* Pre-heat oven to 350.

* Peel, chop, boil and then mash potatoes.  Add whatever you like in your mashed potatoes.  I love garlic, fat free sour cream, some butter, milk and pepper.  Use whatever you have on hand.  But be sure to season well.

* While potatoes are boiling, brown meat.  This time I used a tube of pork sausage so it was already seasoned fine, but if you use ground beef or turkey, be sure to season well to taste.

* In 9" x 11" (or something close to that size), layer the meat on bottom.  Then add the green veggies- I used peas and then spinach.  Add any seasoning.  I added a bit of garlic and onion seasoning.  Then layer on the mashed potatoes like a thick layer of frosting. 

* Bake until the top starts to get a bit of a golden tone to it.  Really you just want to make sure the frozen veggies and everything else are nice and hot.  I'd say about 25minutes.

It's sort of like a very easy and very flexible Shepherd's pie.  Again, it ain't purdy.  But it's exactly what you want after shoveling your driveway.  It's family worthy- not boss or impress-upon company worthy. 

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Buried Alive

These photos are terrible as they were taken on my blackberry.  And they so do not do this snow storm justice.  But let me assure you, we have officially been blanketed in white here in Upstate NY.  More than a foot in less than 24 hours.  It's definitely snowy.  And cold.  And that's about all it is.  The weather man said it won't "warm up to freezing" for a good week at least.  At what point in my life did the freezing point become "warm?!"  It's seems a lot less pretty after an hour of digging your car out.  Especially when you have to shovel a path just to get to your car. 

Sadie LOVES it though!  She cracks me up.  She gets soooo excited to run and leap into big piles of fresh snow.  And she bites and licks it as we take our walks.  And dips her little nose in the snow and flicks it into the air.  Little silly girl!

My backyard.  Covered in snow.  I think the urns look like cake pops.

A little evergreen hidden by lots and lots of fluffy snowflakes.

The difference between the north and south is that we are fully prepared to handle mass quantities of snow.  So we will be up and moving just fine by tomorrow morning.  And all the fluffy white stuff will be a black mess in a few short hours.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Learning Channel

They call themselves The Learning Channel.  So I'd like to share a few things I have learned from TLC...

* If you have a lot of kids, especially during a single hospital visit, you will be given a TV Reality show.

* After a few years, said multi-kid reality show will have nothing to do with reality and everything to do with fancy vacations.

* Parents from said multi-kid reality shows will make bank but will be crucified by society as America's worst parents. A small price to pay I guess.

* Parents from said multi-kid (or any on any channel for that matter) reality show will constantly repeat, "you have no right to judge me." But then proceed to film a reality show.

* If you don't have a lot of kids but instead have a lot of wives, you will also be given a TV show. Equal opportunity.

* America dresses schlumpy and slutty.

* And capri pants are the death of style.

* But you can fix that problem with a $5000 Visa gift card.

* You should go by yourself to find a wedding dress. Friends and family become evil when you walk into a fancy wedding dress store.

* Expect gasps if you bring a male with you shopping for a wedding dress.

* New Jersey is the new black. If you have a thick Jersey accent, are super loud, and make up your own words, you will be given a show or three.

* C very possibly stands for cupcake.

* Or cupcake competition.

* Or creepy cupcake sisters who act like toddlers and say mommyyyy a lot.

* You can turn anything into a reality show. Clipping coupons, cutting hair, spoon-feeding babies, cleaning a house, baking cupcakes, selling antiques or eating toilet paper to name a few.

* Kiddie beauty pageants are really, really horrific.

* The parents of said beauty pageant contestants will look nothing like their bratty toddler daughters.

And the number one thing that TLC has taught me is....

* I will get sucked in and watch crap that I don't even like.  I might not watch a second show but the chances are high I will watch the first episode.

all photos from TLC

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

First CD's

I was thinking about this the other day and laughing.  I very specifically remember when I got my first CD players.  Plural because I had one at each house of course.  But they were very similar and an equally big deal.  I think I was in 6th or 7th grade.  Anyone younger than 30 must be looking at that sentence twice.  I know babies these days have a CD player next to the crib.  But back in the day, it was a totally big deal to have your own CD player in your bedroom. 

And even bigger deal because mine also had TWO tape players so my friends and I could record our own mix tapes.  Oh...those were the days.  When a mix tape was the ultimate gift.  Simpler times.  Ha.

So I got both CD boom boxes for my birthday and the one I opened at the actual birthday party was known about my several of my girlfriends.  Because they each gave me a CD to accompany my new player.  (You can imagine how exciting this birthday was, right?  Totally thrilling!!  A rite of passage.) 

So I think we will all get a giggle when I tell you that my very first four CD's were by....

MC Hammer

The Party

New Kids On The Block


Vanilla Ice

Ooooh yeah!  Ice, ice baby!  It was a time of very baggy pants and the sideways shimmy.  Big hair.  Shoulder pads were still in.  Tapered legs and a pleated waist that gave you that super desirable diaper butt look.  Did anyone else shop at Units?  OMG my best friend Florida and I LOVED that store.  Was it a shirt or a skirt or a belt...oh it was all three.  Clothing shouldn't be able to have nine purposes, by the way. 

What was your first CD?  And how high were your bangs at the time?

Monday, January 10, 2011

Monster Monday

On December 22nd, right after I finished chatting with one of my besties, the door bell rang.  I ran down, told the dog to quit barking, and signed for the box.  I closed the door and looked to see who sent me a Christmas prezzie.  Only to realize it was my mother, Satan's wife. 


I sort of stared at it for a while and tried to decide if I should try to return it to sender or open it.  When she used to send me things in the USPS mail, I would write return to sender and drop them in the nearest post box.  When she stopped writing her return address, I would recognize her handwriting and write it in for her, then in a different ink write return to sender.  But this came UPS and I had already signed for it. 

So I opened it.

The gifts were fine.  Better than they used to be.  Less odd.  More me.  Leading me to once again believe she is reading this blog.  Though I have no specific proof this is the case.  Just a hunch.

Then there was a letter.

A long, multi-page, two-sided, hand-written on a legal pad letter.  Long.  Mostly telling me about herself and her step children* and step grandchildren.  Telling me in particular how golden the golden child still remains.  Predictable.  How they love the golden child's new wife and how much I would like her too.  Unlikely, as we will never meet. 

She also mentioned that one of the gifts reminded her of me because it was "preppy" and that when I was young, she and I had matching Lilly Pulitzer purses.  Further leading me to believe she might be reading this blog.   I honestly cannot imagine her making that whole connection otherwise and using that exact vocabulary. 

She again invited me and a friend to come stay with them for a visit this winter. 

Now that's a special offer to a close friend!  Hey, person I love, come down to Florida for a visit in Hades with Satan himself.  Who shall the lucky winner of that getaway be?  Any takers?

Then at the very bottom of the multi-page note, was one line about knowing she didn't always make the best decisions as a mother and wants to repair them.  I can't remember exactly and at the moment I don't remember where I tucked away the note.  But know that it was one line at the bottom. 

And that is when I started bawling hysterically.  Out of control, gasping for breath, in a ball on the floor, sobbing.  

I so desperately want her to leave Satan and come tell me she loves me and is so sorry for all the things she and he did to me in the past.  For all the lies they blabbed about me and my dad around town.  For taking away my church.  For taking away friends.  For making my childhood a living hell at times. 

I want so badly to know, just for one day in my life, what it feels like to be loved by a mom.

But I know that one off the cuff, slap-in-the-face sentence changes nothing.  It was more a reminder of what I will never have.  It's one thing not to know a mother's love.  But it's another to have a mother tell you to your little face that she will never love you.  It's life-altering in a way that is indescribable.  It takes away a piece of you. 

I had to talk to a friend.  Someone who would tell me it would be OK and that they loved me.  But I couldn't get a hold of anyone.  I finally got Georgia to pick up but I was sobbing so hard that she couldn't understand me.  She thought my dog had died.  She was in the middle of the mall and I knew she would never hear me over the holiday shoppers.  I sent her a quick text explaining and said we could talk later when she was at home and I was able to physically speak again.  I just had to cry it out on my own for a bit.

In a few hours I was totally fine. 

I almost didn't blog about it because I get so nervous writing this stuff down.  I never want people to think I am a.) looking for sympathy or b.) a bad child.  I don't believe I am either.  But I decided to write because I always get a very positive response on here.  I know it helps us all to feel we are less alone and a little less different for everyone.  So for those not yet in the sharing too much on a public blog stage of life, let me be your comfort for a few moments.  Let me assure you that your childhood might have sucked.  But mine did too.  And I totally get that strange as it might seem to say aloud, our common, crappy childhood bond makes us all feel a little bit better.

*I don't believe I've ever mentioned that I actually, technically have two step brothers.  Growing up I was close to the golden child and barely knew the other one.  Golden child of course loves my mother and sent one too many notes to me telling me I was terrible for not speaking to my mother.  Mind you, he knows what went on in that house growing up.  Or knows a good part of it anyway.  But he was and forever will be the golden child.  Can do no wrong.  Worshiped.  Doted on like a King.  The other one is about five years older than me and was considered the polar opposite of the golden child.  Can never do anything right in Satan's eyes.  He had a really extra tough time because of this.  I have not spoken to any of these people in more than a decade.  I plan to go the rest of my life not speaking to them.  Not because any of them are particularly bad.  They are not.  They are good people- I want to be clear about that.  I might still be good friends with golden child (and his wife) if it not for his Satan father.  But I don't trust any of them.  And I value the peace that the final separation from all involved has brought to my life.   A decision I would make again in a heart beat.

**New to the blog?  Just click here to read past Monster Monday posts.  Start at the bottom and work your way up.  Though they are not really in any specific order. 

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Prayers for Congresswoman Giffords

My prayers are with Congresswoman Giffords, her family, the nine (?) others also in critical condition,  however many have already passed away and at this moment, mostly with the doctors and nurses working to save lives.  My jaw is on the ground in shock.  Truly unbelievable and unconscionable!  This photo was taken on Wednesday.  I don't know her and have no ties to Arizona but this situation just takes my breath away.  So many wonderful lives destroyed by one crazy person in a heartbeat.

Photo by Susan Walsh/AP

Taco Soup

I still do not have a working camera.  I need to figure out what to buy this weekend because I feel completely nekkid without a digi on my person at all times.  And in case you haven't noticed, this ole bloggy blog is severely missing photographs.  Any suggestions are more than welcome.

In the mean time, I came up with a very random but quite delicious soup this week.  It makes a TON.  I am an eat twice and freeze the rest kind of girl.  So I will be eating this soup for lunches for quite a while.  No complaints here.  It's very filling.  And totally healthy...until I go and ruin that by adding cheese. 

* ground meat (I always use turkey)
* 1 onion, diced
* 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
* 2-3 cans kidney beans
* 1 can of corn
* 1 can of tomato sauce
* 2 cans diced tomatoes
* 1 package of taco seasoning
* stock or water
* shredded cheese
* corn or tortilla chips
* salsa
* sour cream

* Brown meat in a little EVOO in large pot.  This makes a lot so use your big pot.  Add taco seasoning packet.  Add in onion and cook until translucent.  Add minced garlic last to be sure it doesn't burn.
* While cooking meat and onions, open all the cans.  Feel free to add more or less or use whatever you have on hand already. 
* Dump them all in the pot.  Don't even drain the beans.  I mean, you certainly can if you want to.  But the beans have been sitting it there for who knows how long.  Why throw away free flavored and thick liquid?  Right.  So it all goes in the pot.
* Stir.
* If you need more liquid, add either stock or water.  My pot was rather full at this point so I ended up adding a big can full of water but not a ton.
* Go walk the dog.  Or let it sit there cooking away for a good half hour.
* Serve with chips, cheese, sour cream and salsa (I forgot about the salsa actually but I am sure it would be yummy.).
* Enjoy! 

** If you brown the meat and onions off, you can certainly dump this in the crockpot and let it cook on low all day too.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Snowflakes And Stuff

I am trying to do some minor blog changes and I think I have somehow made things worse.  Do y'all see the little tool icons all over the place?  Oh please tell me I am not seeing things.  How do I get rid of them.  I have no idea when or why they appeared, but they look so odd and out of place.

Overall I think I am doing a crappy job of making my blog look better.  So that's just swell. 

But sitting in bed, blogging and watching the snow fall is sort of nice.  Not exactly a rockin' Friday night but then again, none of my Fridays are rockin'.  The pretty snowflakes are a bonus.


Just to be clear, I LOVE watching snow fall. 

And love seeing the snow right when it is finished, all sparkly and white and fluffy and perfection.

But a few days later, when it is all dirty and ugly on the side of the road and turning into puddles that I step in and the dog steps in...  Our mutual adoration, for me and snow, fades.  Snow and I have two night stands.  We love with full passion and then wince at each other's sight.

But tonight...it's love. 

If only I could stop wrecking my blog.  Make it look pretty.  Figure out how to make some fonts larger.  Remove those tool things. 

I'm pretty sure if I go get hot cocoa it will greatly improve matters... 

Last Two...For FREE Of Course

I swear this blog is not going to be about free crap.  These should be the last two I list for a while.  Unless I spot something particularly amazing.  But this is all I can muster up for posts lately.  I promise next week will be better.  I am working on another Monster Monday post- possibly even for Monday if I can get myself motivated. 

That said, click this link to find a few more magazine subscriptions.  For FREE.  With all the snow they are expecting in my 'hood, my vast collection of free mags help keep me from getting too stir-crazy. 

Thursday, January 6, 2011

More Free Magazines...

Click photo for 2 free issues.

Click photo for 12 free issues.

Click on my coupon/savings blog for a few others too!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Another Free Magazine

Another one I've never seen but I bet young kids would love a FREE TWO year subscription to Lego Magazine. 

Click here to sign your little one up. 

Oh and if you are worried about giving your name out, I actually use my dog's name a lot too.  Sometimes it makes me feel safer. 

Free Magazine

It's no secret that I LOVE magazines.  But I don't like to pay for them.  I receive no fewer than a dozen magazine subscriptions at any given time- often more.  And have only paid for one of them ($5 from Amazon deal) in nearly two years.  All the others are FREE.  And no, you do not need to give your credit card information.  And no, you don't have to remember to cancel them in a year.  I don't sign up for that stuff because I promise I will forget.  I found, via other fab bloggers noted here, this subscription last night to Rogue Magazine.  I have no idea what it is but it appears to be a fashion mag that comes out four times a year.  Who cares, it's free.  I'm sure I'll enjoy it.  And you can too.  Click the link and sign up.  Happy (free) reading!

Too Funny

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Betty Saves The Day

So y'all should know by now that my Bestie is pretty amazing.  But beyond the obviousness of her Belle-like beauty and kind heart, she is super duper fantastic at crunching numbers.  Girl counts to ten for a living ... or something like that. 

She and her hub went through a major financial make-over a few years ago and it has really changed every aspect of their lives in a positive manner.  She wrote a bit more specifically about it here the other day.  But has now offered to send you a sample of her budget template too.  She is truly the nicest person like that.  So if you are even mildly interested in figuring out your finances this year, be sure to pop over to Buford Betty's blog and then send her an email.  This is an amazing offer for those of use who are less talented in the number crunching template figuring out aspect of life.

Has This Ever Happened To You?

Around 4AM on Monday morning, I woke up crying. Not like a little bit, but I was hysterically bawling. And had no idea why. I have no idea if it was a dream. I had zero memory- not even a distant thought. I had no particular emotional feelings. I didn't feel particularly sad or scared or happy or anything else. Woke up sobbing uncontrollably for no known reason. How strange is that?!

Photos found online via google.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Blinking Light

Did anyone catch the Diane Sawyer program on OWN last night?  I was flipping while cutting coupons and happened upon it randomly.  I adore Diane!  And she said something that has just really resonated with me.

A criticism is just a bad way of making a request.  So why don't you just make the request.

Light bulb.  This is so true in every aspect of life.  Every niche, nook and cranny.  I need to repeat this quote to myself over and over until I truly learn to better manage my words and thoughts.  If I didn't dislike tattoos so much I might have this scribed on my hand.  But alas, I will never be convinced there is any beauty in permanently embroidering giant roses or Chinese characters on my skin. 

Still very wise words, even without a mini tattoo monument.

A Tale Of Two Swatches

I have a friend who is in the beginning trudges of a nasty divorce.  Involving a young child.  And as a child of divorce, I certainly have that perspective to offer.  She too is a child of divorce (heck, 50% of kids are), but as it is not my divorce, it seems easier for me to offer a little clarity.  A less emotional perspective. 

So she is still in the stage of never having a nice thing to say about the ex.  And to be fair, he has been a really terrible person to her and the baby.  So it's not without reason.  But when you have a child, you have to find the strength to put certain emotions aside for the sake of the child.  I completely understand that this is easier said than done.  But it is an important goal.

Growing up, my dad was fully willing to be the peace-maker in terms of my mother and her Satan husband. And for the longest time, she wanted that too. But her Satan husband refused to let her even say a nice word about my father, let alone to my father. She would literally get in serious trouble if she as much as said "Merry Christmas" to him on the 25th when they dropped me off. My point is that they did not communicate. Satan threatened lives. It was bad.

One year for Christmas, sometime in the mid 80's, I really wanted a Swatch Watch for Christmas. Don't judge, it was the 80's and they were all the rage. I of course told both parents when asked what I wanted. I was young though and didn't quite realize that I needed to be very specific in the information I gave to both of my parents. So Christmas morning at my dad's house, guess who got a fabulous pink and green Swatch Watch? OMG it was the most perfect 80's fashion statement ever! Next stop, my mother's house. Guess who got me a cute (but not my style) red, yellow and blue Swatch watch? But the moment I opened it, while still wearing the pink and green watch, Satan went on and on about how much better the red watch was. How I should only ever wear the red one if I loved my mother and wearing the one from dad would mean I hated my mother. Ever the peacemaker, I wore both. One on each arm. Like an idiot. For YEARS. I looked like a damn fool for most of elementary school.

Not my watch but the closest I could find.

I know this is a silly story and certainly not anything traumatic.  If you've read any of my previous Monster Monday posts, you know this is actually one of my funnier stories.  But I offer up this story to parents who are in the midst of a nasty split, fighting over kids and holidays and houses.  I get that your ex is evil in your eyes.  I get that this person has hurt you beyond words.  I get that you hold a grudge or have moved on or feel better getting the last word.  But if you share a child, the ex is likely going to be in your life to some degree forever.  Don't make your kid wear a watch on each arm for three years because you can't be big enough to send a few mature emails or phone calls.  Find the strength to be the bigger, better, nicer person.  I promise your kids will realize and be grateful for all your efforts and maturity in the end.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

A Year Of Creativity

I am busy becoming a good couponer today.  And cleaning.  And making Christmas returns.  And doing laundry.  And probably being a bit lazy too.  Because it's Sunday, after all.

So if you want some creative inspiration, go visit Tatertots.  Do y'all read her blog?  OMG she is so fabulously creative.  And attracts such amazing and talented bloggers to link up to their creative posts too.  If you are a crafter, be sure to take a look.  So many fun projects and ideas to keep in mind as we start this new year.


Saturday, January 1, 2011

I Resolve To Do This Year: 2011

1. Read the bible.  The whole thing.  I have a lot of questions.  I want answers.

2. Become really great at using coupons.  This is mostly because it fascinates me.  But just think of the flights I could take to visit friends with serious grocery coupon savings!  (note: I do not want to be like the crazies on the TLC show.  That show needs a part two hoarders intervention follow up.)

3. Lose 20 lbs.  I really need to lose 30-40 but seeing as how I have not really exercised in who-knows-how-long, I think I will be pushing it with the 20lb goals.

4. Blog more consistently here and on How To Bake A Crocodile

5. Be a better friend.  I want to be better at communicating with my dearest girlfriends.  They are amazing and I want to make sure I tell them that and encourage our friendships to grow deeper.

6. Re-organize my world.  2010 felt very disorganized to me.  I want to tackle that issue this year.


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