Monday, July 25, 2011

Extreme Couponing??!!!

So, I saw this show - Extreme Couponing - and well, it intrigued me. People were buying everyday items and getting them for free. They were using a simple concept - clip coupons, print online, order them, etc - and use them when the items are on sale.

I was fascinated.
So I decided to start this on a MUCH smaller scale. I dont see a need for 1300 boxes of total - but if I could cut my grocery bill down a little....I would be happy.
I never thought that within one week I would cut my grocery bill in half - and in three a third....and Im hoping for better results.

Now, I cant stand to pay full price for anything - it drives me nuts.
And when I see other people in the store without coupons I want to help them, but my husband said I probably shouldnt do that, so I thought....a blog about the deals that I got, that you can too, might help.

Grocery Prices are not going to go down, so we might as well do what we can to save money.   So lets see how I do! 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

When to let go.....

I have these pair of jeans.....they don't fit, they're not even close to fitting, yet I hold on to them.  I hold on to them cause one day I hope to be able to wear them.

The reality is - they are out dated, they have a button down fly for crying out loud! 
They aren't fashionable, they aren't my style anymore, but yet I hold on to them.
I hold on to them because they remind me of a past me, a me that I'm not quite willing to let go of.

The jeans no longer flatter me, make me feel good, or are good to me, yet I keep them around.  I keep them around with the hopes that one day they will fit, they will come back in style, and they will be perfect for me again........

But slowly I'm realizing this homecoming may not be in the cards for jeans.

I used to think I was a very nostalgic person.  I tend to hold on to good memories, good experiences, and if Ive had something for a long time, I can overlook the negative if the good memories can stay vivid.

But, slowly I'm realizing, I'm not as nostalgic as I think.  As I grow up and change, I'm realizing that what once fit, was once comfortable is no longer.
Suddenly those old jeans are being traded in for a new style.  A style that is comfortable to me, that makes me feel like a million dollars, makes me smile, makes me feel better than I did before I put them on.

Suddenly those old jeans become harsh....they are too tight, they don't compliment me, they make me feel bad about myself....and suddenly I'm wondering, why do I keep these jeans around?  Just toss them!

But then the jeans are saved, cause I come across an old picture - its me in those jeans, smiling, laughing, loving, having a great time.  Life is good in these jeans, and those old memories and feelings come washing in.  All is OK with the jeans for the moment.

But as soon as they come in, the reality sets in.  Those jeans are no longer my favorites, they don't quite fit - and something has changed.

Its then that I realize that I have changed.  I am different.  I am no longer that same girl in those fact I'm better than her!  I'm happier, more confident, stronger, more reliable, respectable, I am proud. 

Its then that I realize that these jeans do not make me a better person - in fact they try to bring me down.  They try to bring me back to a life that I no longer want.  I'm enjoying this life.....
I don't need these jeans to feel good about me.  They don't have to fit for me to be OK with me.

So its then, its now, that I realize that I have to let go of those jeans.....I have to let go of the jeans, the hopes of what they might be, the hopes of what could be, the memories of the past......and I have to live in today - and with today's jeans.....

So as a once nostalgic person I am learning to live in the moment.  I'm learning to laugh harder, love stronger, smile wider, and live fuller.  I'm happy with the choices I make and trust those involved.

I'm ready to let go of the old jeans.  I may revisit them once and awhile, try them on for old time sake....but it is now time to let go of these jeans and move on. 

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Gratitude - a Simple Magnitude....

I was sent this article today by someone I had the pleasure of working with a few times.  She has always been very good about thanking others and sending written thank you notes. 
I thought this was very timely as lately with being sick I havent been feeling all that great and very down.  This helped to perk me up. 
I hope it does the same for you......Happy New Years......

After a particularly bad 2007, lawyer John Kralik decided to start 2008 with a serious New Year's resolution: to be thankful for the good things and people in his life. So he spent the next year writing one thank you note for each day -- to family, friends, co-workers, even the barista at his local Starbucks. Those notes make up his new book, 365 Thank Yous: The Year A Simple Act of Daily Gratitude Changed My Life.

Why not just say thanks? Kralik tells NPR's Liane Hansen that it was his grandfather who fostered his interest in written gratitude at an early age.

"My grandfather, whenever you sent him a thank you note, he would always send you a silver dollar," Kralik explains. "And then if you wrote him a thank you for the silver dollar, he'd send you another."

The first thank you note Kralik sat down to write in 2008 was to his son. But when it came time to send the letter off, Kralik realized he didn't have his son's address.

"I called him to get his address," Kralik says, and his son replied, "Gee, I need to stop by and take you to lunch." Over lunch, Kralik's son repaid a loan of several thousand dollars. "So I wrote him another thank you note," Kralik says, "for repaying the loan and also for taking me out to lunch."

Short, Sweet ... And Written By Hand

In the early days of 2008, Kralik systematically wrote thank you notes for all of his Christmas presents. When he was out of gifts, he wrote notes to his co-workers. And when he ran out of co-workers, he was stuck.

"One day, I just couldn't think of anybody to thank," Kralik says. But on his way to work, he stopped at his regular Starbucks, where his barista greeted him by name -- "John, your usual venti?" -- and with a big smile. "I thought, this is really kind of a great gift in this day and age of impersonal relationships, that someone had cared enough to learn my name and what I drank in the morning," Kralik says.

Kralik lingered at the counter to learn his barista's name -- it was Scott -- and then set out to write him a simple note of gratitude. Scott was very happy to receive it, Kralik reports, despite the fact that at first he had assumed it was a complaint letter.

After the holidays, it's easy to view thank you note writing as a chore, but Kralik says that sincerity is the best approach -- he encourages people to focus on one true, meaningful sentence about the gift or the person. The notes don't have to be long, Kralik explains; sometimes limiting yourself to just a few sentences forces you to distill your sentiments.

Kralik wrote a simple thank you to his young daughter -- she was too young to read his cursive handwriting, so he read it to her out loud:

Thank you for being cheerful and happy when I pick you up in the evening. Sometimes I don't have a very fun day, but when I see you and we talk about things and have fun, I feel better. Thank you for being the best daughter ever.

Though it might be tempting to fire off a quick thank you e-mail, Kralik says true expressions of gratitude should be written the old school way -- with pen and paper.

"Things we write in cyberspace are so easily deleted and forgotten ... buried by the next 30 e-mails we receive," Kralik says. "In this day and age, a handwritten note is something that people really feel is special."

Kralik says he is often moved by how many people have saved his notes: "It's up on their wall," he says. "It's like part of you that's there." [Copyright 2010 National Public Radio]

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


At 4:30 my alarm went off - I hit 4:40 it went off again and I got up - got dressed - got into my husband's car and we drove and drove....
We then got out of the car and hiked to the "perfect spot" at this point we then waited.......

While waiting - others joined us.....we didn't know them, but for that moment they were our friends....we were all friends...we were all there for the same reason and we were all ready and excited for the same thing.

We talked - we laughed, we took pictures...then all at once we got quiet.....

Ahead of us was the most amazing sight.....the Sunrise.

Such a simple thing - it happens everyday - yet when we take the time to view it - we are in complete amazement and wonder.

The sky filled with beautiful hues of red, orange, purple, blue, white, and more......
Pictures snapped the beauty.  Offers of taking pictures of each other in front of it were given.  And for those few minutes all of the world stood still and everyone admired the beauty and wonder in which live each and everyday in.

With that moment I truly appreciated life, and what it has given to me - and the gratitude for simple things like a Sunrise, being able to appreciate it, being able to share it with my best friend, and everyone around us.

After the sun peeked through the clouds then finally broke through a few more pictures were snapped and then everyone started on their day. 
We sat there for a few more moments taking the glory in and then we also continued on our path.

As we all rode down that windy path back to our starting places things were different.  People were moving a little more slower, smiles were bigger, patience was extended, and we were all different somehow....

(to see pictures of the sunrise - check out my FB Photos - I will post them soon)

Friday, July 16, 2010

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do........

Lately that little voice in my head has been screaming.

Its been screaming for me to quit being healthy - quit taking care of yourself.

Only this little voice doesnt talk to me like that - it more ....justifies.

It tells me - you worked hard today you deserve a blizzard from DQ. You have been so good lately - you work hard -you deserve this - whatever really bad for me treat is. Or you are tired - you need your rest - dont get up and workout -be lazy and relaxxxxxxxxxx.  It tells me that all things I know that are bad for me are oh so good.  That its good to be bad.....
I know this voice - and unfortunately I know it all to well.
And up until today I have always fell victim to my own voice - weird right?

But, Im realizing now - that its time to break up with that voice.
This voice has been ruling my life for waaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyy too long now. It has been causing me to gain weight, be lazy, reward myself with food, think about getting drunk, and do destructive things.

This voice has been running the show and this show has not been a pleasant one. So its time to pause for commercial break and restart the show. I need to learn to stop this voice in its tracks and do what is best for me.....and that means ignoring this voice when its telling me how good these bad things will feel.....
Its time for me to learn and use the word NO! and be ok with it. No is a complete sentence and I need to start using it
Its ok if others want to eat that cheesecake, go to the bar, not workout, not go to work, etc - that is their choice - and they can chose to do whatever they want. I shouldnt pressure myself to fit in by making unhealthy choices. I need to look out for me.
And if Im not strong enough to go along with them - then thats ok too - I can do something else.
Its amazing how at times we can convince ourselves that we need to do things that we really dont need to - so we have that sense of belonging.

So while I hope this breakup is amicable - Im prepared for the fights, the tears, the fears, and the overall frustration of this voice. But Im also preparing myself for the healthy rewards this break up will bring.
The happiness, the satisfaction, and the pride that I can begin to feel.  Its time to reward myself in a positive way and hold my head up high.

Change is inevitable and this time I know its for the good.

So, breaking up may be hard to do - being unhealthy is harder. So the choice is mine and I choose to be healthy.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Blind Leading the Blind?

Such a small word with so much meaning behind it.

In one of my past employers we did a "Trust Walk".  With this - we were put into duos.  One of us was blind folded while the other took us through this mock obstacle course.  The key was the non blind-folded person was leading us through the course - but they could not talk.  They would have to push you to the right - push you down, etc.
With this you had to trust that the person was looking out for you, taking you in the right direction, had your best interest in heart, and would safely bring you back to the starting point.

For anyone with trust or control issues this was NOT an easy session.
while doing this session my leader who was trying to make sure I didn't fall down a slide was trying to get me to sit down.  Being so intent on the slide - she did not see the bar that I eventually banged my chin on and bit my tongue.  And lets just say it was followed by pain and some blood.

With this I easily could've whipped off the blind fold and yelled.

But after the pain passed I realized - it wasn't her fault.  She was trying so hard not to have me fall that she missed the other obstacle.  Something to her that she did not see as dangerous.

This seems so true in our own lives.  Sometimes we fear something so much that we don't even realize that the real danger is approaching us. 
We may try and try to avoid a specific situation or event and in reality what we are going through is worse. 

We tend to make things so much worse in our head than they really are!

So how do we come to know and trust that in the end - it will all work out?

How do we allow the blindfold to be placed and trust that our leader will bring us back safely?

What I'm coming to realize is that we just have to do it.

Our blindfolds are on whether we want them to be or not.  We can try to rip them off, we can try to see whats coming, we can prepare for the obstacle, cheat and look down through the part that's out a bit by our nose......but no matter what we do - we are never going to be fully prepared.
We are never going to be completely prepared.  There will always be an unexpected event, something we didn't even think of that will come out and smack us in the chin........

So we must trust.

We must trust that our leader - whomever it may be- is looking out for us.  They are weighing the consequences with us and when they do allow an obstacle to get to us - its more than likely to avoid a worse one.

We are never given more than we can handle.  And at times it definitely feels like we are, but when we put that blind fold on and take that first step we must have complete faith and trust that our feet will land on soft ground and that as long as we trust our leader - everything will be OK.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Disney Movie

So today I woke up, well in a mood...Not sure why, not sure what happened, no idea how to get out of it - just in a mood.

Sometimes this happens and honestly I hate it. I hate that I’m not enjoying every second of life and that I’m not happy and chipper - but I’ve come to realize that sometimes we just need to feel things.

Sometimes we are in moods, and we just need to roll through it - with as little damage as possible.

On the flipside sometimes we get to have great moods! Some days I wake up and get out of bed and the birds are singing to me, all the lights turn green, I’m early for work, the coffee is done perfect, breakfast tastes amazing, everyone around me is in a great mood as well, and the world is a Disney Movie come to life!

Today is just not one of those days!

I was late to work, the lights were red, and my coffee tastes off today. Far from a Disney Movie - but not a Freddie Movie - somewhere in between! :-)

A year ago when this mood would hit me I would dwell in it - lash out - strike - and cause allot of damage: to myself, my emotions, my spirit, and unfortunately others.

Today I can practice what I have coined as mood containment. Today I can contain my mood - to some degree.I’m no longer the running psychotic banshee, or the woman on the edge.

Today I’m just a chic who's in a mood and who is going through it.I don’t need to lash out on every poor unsuspecting person, I can just be me, experience the mood, and move on.

Even better - I can call some of my chicas and just chat it up and start to let it go.I know now that eventually what ever has my panties in a bunch will even itself out and I will be able to deal with it like a big girl and move on. It also helps to know I’m not the only one who has days like this - and I’m definitely not unique in this sense and I’m not alone.

So as I move through my mood today I’m grateful to have more tools to successfully go through unharmed and not harming anyone else...So until the mood passes Ill be here just chillin- taking it one moment, or today - one minute (or second) at a time.

Today I believe that these moments are just the previews, and that any moment this too shall pass, and the Disney Movie will start...

So I think Ill grab some popcorn and just wait this one out...