Tuesday, December 28, 2010

CRAZY Christmas!! :-D

Well, the holiday season was a bit crazy for me this year! I was crocheting blankets for the kiddos this year, and Bugs turned out really, REALLY well!! I just had Monkeys to finish. I had an infection in my finger and had to go to the doctor for a follow up to see how it was progressing in the way of healing. Well, it wasn't healing as well as the doctor would have liked, so, he lanced it open! He pumped my finger full of local and... well I will spare you the grody details. I still felt it... it wasn't fun. He then covered it with gauze and more tube gauze, gave me a 'script for more antibiotics and some Vicodin. Oh LORD did I need the Vicodin about 2 hours after I got out of the doctors!! Ooooh man!! The local started wearing off and man oh MAN did my finger hurt!! I decided to take one. While I was on the Vicodin, I decided that the giant gauze thumb looked like Santa, and painted a red hat and smiley face on him. Of course, this put an end to my crocheting. :-( I didn't get to finish Monkeys blanket, but, I told him that I would finish it for him when I gave Bug her blanket. He was very understanding and  told me that he wanted my finger to get better before I started working on his blanket.

So.. I was doped up for most of Christmas, and it still hurts a bit to type, but I can't just keep taking Vicodin, so, I just suck it up! :-)

Anyways! I will try to get some pictures up today!

Monday, December 20, 2010

No Giveaway Monday... :-(

Sorry guys, no Giveaway links today. I've got an infected nail bed and it HUUUURTS! I seriously just want to cut it off... :-( (Okay, not REALLY, bit it does hurt really bad.)

I went to the doctor on Friday, and they gave me some antibiotics. Apparently they're not working because it's getting worse. :-(

Saturday, December 18, 2010

And a star is born!!

So, I'm going to do it! I'm going to start my own candle company! I don't know when opening day will be, but, I want to do it!
I've decided on Charwood Candle Company.
Now, all I need is the supplies, a label, and customers!! I already have quite a few people saying that they want to buy some. :-) Now all I really need to do is get everything in motion!!

If anyone knows of a way to get a  reasonably priced header for my shop, and label for my candles, please let me know. :-)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Candles anyone?

So, I want your guys opinion. I'm thinking about starting to make candles and sell them in an Etsy shop. What do you guys think? I've dabbled in candle making for some time now, and it's something that I really like doing. It's fun, it's calming, and I love being able to just see my finished product and know that it's something that I did with my own hands and that someone will enjoy it! A couple of you have gotten my candles, what do you guys think? Think they're good enough to hold their own on Etsy?

If I do this, what do you think I should name my company? If you help me with the company name, I will send you a candle!

Next thing I would have to think about would be labels for my candles. I either need to find someone to create me a label for inexpensive, or figure out how to make my own. Any ideas??

It's like a democratic company start up!! LOL

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Monday, December 13, 2010

Not so fun Monday...

So, I'm not doing a giveaway today guys... I'm not in the giving mood this morning. :-/

Today, I'm going to ask you guys for advice. (Yeah, all 19 of you followers....) It's going to be a doozie as well.. sorry for the long post. :-/

So, since I "work" from home, Sam thinks that I do nothing, especially since I'm not making a ton of money right now. He thinks that because I'm not making money, that it's implied that I'm not working, so, therefore, I'm sitting around the house doing nothing all day, and that I should have to cook, clean the house, and basically do everything that doesn't involve taking out the trash, mowing the lawn, or general outside duties. Which, normally is okay.... sorta. Anybody that has known me longer than a few days knows that I HATE (read: abhor, loathe, would rather stab myself in the eye with a spork) doing dishes. I will do all the laundry, scrub the floors, clean the toilets, just about ANYTHING other than do the dishes! Since I cook, I don't think it would be too much to ask if the husband does the dishes.

Apparently, Sam thinks that I don't even do all the house work either, and that MAGICALLY the house is clean. This past week (I think it was either Wednesday or Thursday) I cleaned the entire kitchen. I wiped down all the counters, used the disinfecting solution, wiped down all the cabinets, did all the dishes, cleaned the dogs bowls, cleaned out the recycling bin, moved everything out of the kitchen and scrubbed the floor on my hands and knees with a double sided sponge. I REALLY cleaned the kitchen. By Sunday, we had no clean silverware, only a couple of dishes left (which is a pretty good feat considering we have THREE sets of dishes), and a few pots and pans. So, when we got home from church, I asked what everyone wanted for lunch and Sams idea was Egg Salad. I had no problem making egg salad, one big thing tho, we had no bread. When I asked Sam to go get bread he said "With what? We are broke until Wednesday!" I told him to dig out some change and just go get a loaf of bread. He started throwing a fit and I was very quickly losing what little bit of patients I have left. I can't tell you how many times I have asked him for help with the dishes. COUNTLESS times! It's the ONE chore that I hate! I would rather eat a giant pork chop with a side of ham than do dishes! (FYI I hate pork almost as much as dishes) So, when I said to him "Sam, I don't know how many times I've asked you to help me with the dishes! I just cleaned the entire kitchen, and look! We have NO silverware!" to which he responds "ONCE! You've cleaned it once!" O.O! Really?! That was the icing on the cake. I couldn't take it any more. I completely lost it.

I guess half assed doing the laundry (read: putting a load thru the washer and dryer and only folding HIS clothes), feeding the dogs half the time, half assed mowing the lawn (half of our back yard never got mowed before frosting over), half assed trimming the hedges (he trimmed them {again half assed} this spring), and asking Monkey to take out the trash, and sometimes loading the dishwasher half assed (read: I usually have to run at least part of the dishes again, or there are giant gaps or he's loaded it completely wrong and I have to reload it) means that he's entitled to sleep in on Saturdays until 1 or 2 in the afternoon, and then possibly a nap by 7. It also entitles him to not having to help any more than that. Apparently it also means that he does all of the housework, and that all I ever do is sit around and play on the internet, watch TV, and crochet!

Apparently he, in all of his infinite glory, can do all of that and then some! Not only can he magically wave a wand and the house is clean, but he can run my business better than I can, regardless of the fact that he is completely oblivious as to what it is that I do and of any of the products that I sell. Not only that, but he can do his Marine Corps job, be a better parent, AND cook better than I can! Basically, I'm just a turd ball that sits around and can't do anything and all I do is take up space. He may not have said all of these things, but he sure has implied them, and has made me feel like general crap. Someone once told me "nobody can make you feel any thing" which is true, but, with all of the emotional issues I've been having lately, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that I'm a bit fragile right now.

So, I'm asking you, my readers... do you think I over-reacted? Do you think it's too much to ask for some assistance on the ONE chore that I loathe more than anything? Tell me what you think!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Feature Friday - Sew Smashing

So, It's Friday again, and I found another FANTASTIC Etsy shop for you guys. I don't remember how I found her, but, I did, and when I found her, her products just drew me in! I KNEW I needed one! (Btw, I haven't ordered yet, but I will be hopefully soon!! :-P)

So here is my Feature Friday for 10December2010

Sew Smashing

This is why I'm IN LOVE (like head over heels) with Alexis' shop:
Yup!! That's the first piece that I saw and my jaw dropped!! I LOVE it!! I shall covet this piece until it is mine!
(I'm not sure who the model is... but I am a little bit jealous of her beautiful red hair!)
(I LOOOOOVE that orange!!!)
The butterflies aren't the only thing she has tho! Oh no! She has more!
Gorgeous purses:
BEAUTIFUL evening wraps:
Sweet wall hangings
Lovely scarves
And SO many more things!

Here is what Alexis has to say:

I'm Alexis Harper, a San Francisco Bay Area native, I own and operate "Sew Smashing." My Finnish husband and I live in a small house on two acres in the East Bay. While I should be outside battling weeds, I'd prefer to sit and sew in front of a window admiring the colors of nature...and ignoring the weeds!

I started my business 2 years ago, and mostly sell my items online in my Etsy shop. While I started out selling handbags, I had found a niche for my business by making silk origami butterflies. What began as a brooch design, available in a handful of colors, has now turned into every silk origami butterfly accessory imaginable in over 70 colors of silk!

I love custom requests because it allows me to meaningfully interact with my clients. I thoroughly enjoy making items that hold a special meaning to the customer. My most recent cherished moment was with a woman who asked me to make some silk origami butterfly hair clips. These hair clips were going to be worn by dancers who were going to perform a dance piece that the client had choreographed. The choreographed dance piece was an expression of the emotions she felt while dealing with thyroid cancer. Having my items be positively involved in someone's life, no matter how small, brings me a deep sense of fulfillment.

People can find me at www.sewsmashing.com or can contact me at alexis(at)sewsmashing.com

Please go visit her beautiful shop! Consider it your Christmas present to me! (Of course, buying one for me wouldn't be turned down either!) She has such beautiful products, and they are so unique, and not to mention beautiful! (Did I say that already?) 

Monday, December 6, 2010

Super Monday!! WOOO!

So, okay Friday I told you about my Etsy find (Looking for more now as well!!) So, today I'm going to post more giveaways around the bloggy world!!

The first giveaway is for a free baby sling!! All you need to do is go here, pick your sling, enter the promo code "Thanksgiving" and pay shipping! (which is $10!)

These next giveaways are from one of my favorite sites Dandy Giveaway. Someday I want to be able to have giveaways like they do!!

Organic kids clothing giveaway here
The Boy Store here (I could seriously use this!!)
Picaboo photobook here

These next ones are not from Dandy Giveaway, but, they are great blogs as well!

Chic womens clothing $25 giveaway here

This one isn't really a giveaway per-say, but, you could earn a $25 Amazon gift card when you refer 15 people. So, click here to sign up for that gift card! Help me, help you!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Feature Friday - Abby Cove

So, I told you all that I was working on something! Well, here it is! I was working on my very first FEATURE FRIDAY! YAY!!!


How this is going to work is, I'm going to find sellers on Etsy and Artfire that I REALLY like! Eventually maybe even get a few giveaways going. I'm not near big enough yet to have giveaways, but maybe once I reach 100 or so followers, I can think about looking for some giveaway stuffs. 


So anyways!! Here is my Feature Friday for today 03December2010!


Abby Cove on Etsy 


This is the reason that I chose Chantal for todays feature: 






SO many cute hats!!! SO many sizes!! AHH!! Here's it what Chantal has to say about her shop:

Hi! I'm Chantal with Abby Cove. I have been crafting ever since I can remember and it is one of my favorite things to do. I learned how to crochet when I was 12 from an elderly neighbor. She taught me the basics and I took off from there. I love projects for kids and projects that are somewhat quick to complete as I usually get an idea for another project before the current one is completed! I hope you enjoy what I love to make. My shop carries mostly handmade hats for infants to adults but check back in regularly as I have tons of new projects coming soon!

For your readers I have a special coupon code that will get them 10% off their order. Simply use the coupon code LIFEATW2010 at check out for this discount. Offer good through December 31, 2010.

That's right folks!! She's giving you guys a 10% discount just for being my readers!  How awesome is that! :-D Seriously! Check out her shop. She has some adorable hats for kids AND for adults! She also has headbands and wraps as well as scarfs, hair clips and even facial scrubbers! So cute! 

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Planning!!

I'm planning something for you guys!! Be on the lookout!! :-D

Monday, November 29, 2010

Shutterfly

So, on Monday I usually try to find the most awesome giveaways for you guys, but, today is a little different.

I'm going to talk about Shutterfly! We LOVE Shutterfly!!

Last year we ordered our Christmas cards from Shutterfly. We thought we were going to be sending out A LOT of them, but it turns out that we weren't, so we still have a ton some left. (oops) Sams' great idea was to just resend the old cards from last year so we could just use them up. Two problems with that. 1) Pretty much the same exact people are going to get the card. We can't just keep sending the same card year after year until they're used up!(Well, we COULD, but I think a Christmas card with an 11 year old Monkey and a 6 year old Bug might look a lil funny in 5 years!)  2) We added a member to our family AFTER the picture was taken, so, we can't have Doc and Lilly in the picture, and neglect poor Dusty! We need a new card, with all of us in it. Last year we had a FANTASTIC experience with Shutterfly. We ordered our cards late (Who would have ever thought we would do that?!?!) and we still got them in time to send out! Hooray for fast shipping!

So, I took the liberty of picking a few of my favorites out!

I think this one because it has a nice layout
And this one because not EVERYONE celebrates Christmas (and it's super cute!)
I like this one because it's bright!!
The models on this card are just adorable!
This one looks interesting as well!
But, I think that this might be our Christmas Card this year. It's BEAUTIFUL!

But these cards aren't the only thing that Shutterfly does!! They do Christmas Photo Cards, Holiday Cards, Photo Calenders, Holiday Invitations, and cards for Mom and Dad! Oh! And don't forget Birthdays!!

Shutterfly is also giving bloggers 50 free prints!! If you click here you can find out about this offer as well!!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving and Black Friday

So, for Thanksgiving we made a GIANT decision. It was, again, going to be just us 4 for Thanksgiving, so while doing our grocery shopping, I ask Sam if we should invite our friends Bob, Keona, and kiddos over for Thanksgiving if they're not having one of their own. So, I make a quick call and they were just going to go to the USO for dinner, so, I tell them they're coming over to our house. Next comings selecting the bird. I'd never cooked Thanksgiving dinner for anyone! Last year I wouldn't really call it a "feast" but more of a larger than average meal with a turkey breast, not a turkey. So, since I had never selected a turkey to cook, I asked the other women that were gathered at the floor freezer that had all the frozen turkeys. One of the women asks how many people I'm cooking for, I tell her 4 adults and 4 children. She then says to me "OH! I would go with AT LEAST 20 pounds!" So, I, being the naive Thanksgiving dinner maker, select a 22.8 pound turkey for 8 people. We then get 2 boxes of stuffing, green beans, and potatoes to round out the dinner. I tell Keona she's in charge of dessert.

This past Saturday, I check the turkey to see how long it needs to be in the fridge to thaw. It was a good thing that I did! It needed to go in THAT DAY! Shew!! Glad I checked!! I then made sure I had all of my supplies and put them all in my roasting pan on top of the fridge, save the produce that I was going to put in the stuffing.

Wednesday I spent the day cleaning my kitchen, making it a mess, and cleaning it again. (Multiple times might I add!) I made the deviled eggs, and Bug and I made the Parker House Rolls from scratch. She used some of the left over dough and made "Bug Truffles"  I only used half of the dough for rolls, I had an entire sheet of rolls and still lots of dough! So what do I do? Make Cinnamon rolls for breakfast!! Hooray!!

Thanksgiving morning I wake up and get everything ready to put in the oven. Man oh man was it a process!! I brought the turkey out to soak for just a few minutes and rest from being in the fridge. Of course, but this time I'm freaking out because.... well... I have no idea what I'm doing! I'm just sort of winging it!! I mix the onions, mushrooms, carrots, and garlic into the stuffing and toss it into the bird. I would have added celery as well, but Sam ate it all... LOL I stuff the bird and I say "What am I supposed to put on the OUTSIDE of the bird?" A few frantic, unanswered, phone call to my Momma, I decided that I would just put some Olive oil on the skin and then cover it in Garlic and Herb mix and throw it in the oven at 325. After some more frantic cleaning and Monkey brushing the dog and both the kids making a few last minute touches to the bathroom and us running the sweeper (Len is allergic to dogs, so we try to make sure there is as little dog hair as possible for her).

Unfortunately, I COMPLETELY forgot to take a picture of the food, or any of us enjoying the food, but, everyone chowed down. The turkey came out beautifully! When Sam went to carve it, he couldn't, simply because every time I put the knife to the bird it started to flake off! Here are a few pictures

Sam and Bob enjoying a pre-dinner movie
Bug and Len cheesing for the camera!
Monkey and D rolling on the ground
Bug and D waiting for food
A little after dinner game of Monopoly Deal
The baby is tired!!
She wasn't exactly happy to have her picture taken

Keona twisted my arm really hard to go with her for some Black Friday shopping. I knew that I wasn't going to be able to purchase much of anything, if at all because we don't have much money in the bank, and we're trying to pay off our credit cards. It was okay tho. I wasn't exactly doing anything and Sam does tell me that I need to get out more often! So, I took a 2 hour power nap and Keona came and picked me up at 10:30 and off we went to WalMart to catch a few sales. It was CRAZY!


 But not near as crazy as waiting 4 hours outside of Target!! When we got there at about 12:30 there were about 50 people outside waiting in front of us. That number kept getting bigger, and bigger! Around 1:30, a fight broke out towards the front of the line and the cops were called. A short woman was apparently using some foul language and a very large man asked her to contain herself and I guess she wasn't willing to accept his request. It was a bit crazy. I think my favorite quote of the night came from the Target security worker. Right before 4, a BUNCH of people started to congregate directly across from the doors, and of course, the people that had been there since the beginning of time (at least it felt like it at times... LOL) were getting a bit testy! While we were walking in he's screaming to the people that are inching ever closer to the ONE entrance they have open and roped off "If you line cut, you will be banned from Target!" This made me laugh. It's not that serious!! It's only shopping! I only went because I didn't have anything else to do and my friend asked me to go with her. I wasn't buying anything. 

Apparently it was much worse at Toys R Us, which opened at 10PM. When we drove by at 11, the line to get in the door was wrapped almost completely around the parking lot!! It was CRAZY! I guess they were actually doing it in a pseudo-rational manner. They were letting 50 people in the door at a time. I can COMPLETELY understand their thinking behind this. After seeing a woman at WalMart almost attack another woman because she thought that she was trying to cut in the check out line (she was really just trying to get thru!) and women at Target threaten physical harm to another woman for bumping into her with a cart, I can totally understand! I was rather upset when we found the $3 sandwich makers! A woman loaded her cart with about 10 of them! I understand wanting to get a great deal, but, let others take advantage of the deal as well!! I was tempted to take one from her cart while she was picking up the last one from the floor. 

I made it back home around 5:30, told Sam about all of the funny things that had happened over the night (including cat calling the 2 very handsome police officers that were there), and fell asleep about 6. Sam let me sleep in, took care of the kiddos, made them breakfast, and cleaned the kitchen! SHEW!! What a good day it's been so far!! :-D

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Happy Tuesday!!

So, since I missed Giveaway Monday yesterday, AND last week as well, I thought I would post some today. Look out for random posts!! I have over 1000 blog posts in my Reader... *sigh* I have been SO busy! I don't know that all of them will be read, which is very sad because I'm sure all of them are great posts. :-(

FIRST GIVEAWAY!

CSN Store giveaway and Fall Project link party @ Hand Me Down House (Which is a blog I <3!!)
Silhouette Machine Giveaway @ The Idea Room (Oh please oh please oh PLEASE let me win!)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Boozhoo!

Yes, so, I missed the 2 year anniversary for my blog! It was yesterday. *sigh*

We have been SO busy here lately!! I know, I know! It's not excuse! I should MAKE time to at least write a little blurb on here every once in a while to let you that I'm alive! Well, I am alive and doing quite well.

Saturday started the big prep for Thanksgiving! I put the bird in the fridge to thaw, did a run down and made sure that I had all the necessities. It also started the "cleaning season" as well!! Monkey and Bug cleaned and organized their rooms.

Bug's room is SO clean and organized now! We took the 208972934823 posters of Miley Cyrus off of her walls. She now has 1 up, which is fine. Her walls look a little bare, so, we're going to have to figure out what to do about that.  We relocated her backpack and winter coat inside of her closet on some Command strips, and even put her Lowe's Build and Grow workshop apron and goggles on, and another one for her hats. We also moved her bed and netting as well. We switched out her lighter bed clothes for her heavier winter ones. We went from girly flower quilt type bed clothes to yellow gingham and a solid yellow comforter. Her shoes and toys got a re-organization as well!!

Monkeys room got a re-working as well! We didn't move anything around other than in his closet. I'm sure that his will get some more TLC while they're off of school for Turkey Day. In his closet we cleaned out a bunch of the old toys that he no longer plays with and changed moved around the things that were sitting on his closet shelves. We also hung his Indian wall covering in his closet as well. He's got SO much stuff on his walls that there's no room for it in his actual bedroom.

We came up with a way for the kids to be able to make a little extra money! We have a local craigslist sort of website called LeJeune Yard Sales. They picked out things that they no longer need, want, or don't fit any longer. For being willing to get rid of these things, they will get half of the monies earned. They both are in love with this idea, and I am as well. It puts a little more money into the Christmas pot, which *I* like a lot, and they're trying to decide what to spend their few dollars on. Monkey has decided that he wants to buy some Christmas presents with his money. What a great kid.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Maple Chicken

So, Friday night I made a new recipe. I like to make new recipes. I'm just always worried that they're going to turn out WRONG and my family will hate it and then we will have to order pizza or something. It's a terrible feeling. I know that more often than not, everyone LOVES what I cook and I'm just self conscious.

So, I make this new recipe on Friday night called Maple Chicken. The menu actually had oven baked chicken, but I thought I would switch it up with this recipe. Oh my GOODNESS it was SO good! I wish I would have made more just so I could have HAD more! Alas... I only made enough for the 4 of us. *tear*

Anyways! Here is the recipe. They only thing I modified was the amount of chicken I used, didn't have any tarragon (I don't even know what it is! :-O) and I didn't have a lil brush thing so I just used the Jacque patented pour method. ;-)

Maple Chicken

Ingredients

  • 6 chicken breasts (About 6oz each)
  • 1 Tbsn vegetable oil
  • 1tspn paprika
  • 1 tspn salt
  • 1/2 tspn cinnamon
  • 1/2 tspn ground cumin
  • 1/2 tspn tarragon
  • 1/2 tspn ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsn maple syrup
  • 1Tbsn melted butter
  1. Preheat the oven to 400. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray (I used a dab of vegetable oil spread with a paper towel.. hehe) place the chicken on the baking sheet and brush with the vegetable oil.
  2. Combine paprika, salt, cinnamon, cumin, tarragon, and pepper in a small bowl and mix well. Coat the top of the chicken evenly with the mixture and bake for approximately 15 minutes
  3. Combine the maple syrup and the butter in a small bowl. Brush with the mixture and return to the oven for another 10 minutes or until the chicken is done and juices run clear when pierced.
Simple and tasty!! Trust me, you will want to make enough for leftovers! While it was baking Monkey came in the kitchen and said "I thought you were making chicken?" I said that I was and then he said "Well why does it smell like pancakes then?!" 

I served this with mashed potatoes and green beans, but, I would have rather have had rice. Blame Sam, he was the one that said make the mashed potatoes! ;-)
This would have been very good with the remainder of the spice mix sprinkled over some potatoes and baked with the chicken! Obviously not on the same baking sheet tho. I'm not so sure how roasted potatoes would taste with maple syrup! 

I'm also making a roast today in the crock pot for dinner. It's also a new recipe. It called for 2 cups of coffee to be blended with some cream of mushroom soup. (Later you make it into gravy...) Well, we don't drink coffee that much in this house, and I knew there was some coffee in the freezer (probably left over from the last time Momma was here) and I decided that I wasn't going to buy any more because we just simply don't drink it. Well, this morning I get the roast out, slice holes for the garlic, get it all ready to put in the crock pot, slice my onion up, then I go to get the coffee to brew it. Wouldn't you know it, it's FRENCH VANILLA FLAVORED! *sigh* Oh well. I guess it will give it a bit of a twist! :-D I'll let you all know how THAT went on Monday with my giveaways!! LOL

Friday, November 5, 2010

I hate the cold!! and other news

So, just so we're clear here, I grew up in Ohio. It's cold in Ohio. We like to joke that there are 4 seasons in Ohio; cold, winter, construction, and almost warm. That being said. I DO NOT LIKE BEING COLD!

When I moved to North Carolina I got on the plane in Cincinnati, Ohio and it was 32 degrees. I had my "Eskimo" coat, my cat, and my Ultimate Hitchhikers Guide as carry ons. I made a stop in Atlanta I think it was, and then boarded a small plane to fly to Wilmington, NC. When I stepped off the plane in Wilmington, North Carolina, it was 72! I was in HEAVEN! That was almost exactly 4 years ago today! Sheesh! I wish it were like that today! No sir! It's was a beautiful 48 degrees this morning! FORTY-EIGHT! NO! This can't be right! when I first got here I was walking on the beach with no shoes and a tank top on! How can this be?! *sigh*

Yes, I realize that 4 years ago my body was used to always being cold most of the time. I realize that if I went to Ohio right now that I would turn into a Popsicle and die because right now in Ohio it is 36 and it is 45 here... wait... it got colder?!?! *sobbing* I'm not liking the fact that I'm wearing my fleece Eeyore pajama bottoms and fuzzy Halloween socks to try and stay warm. I DO like the fact that I just made myself a pipping hot mug of spiced apple cider! YUM!

I always feel bad for Doc and Dusty this time of year as well. Greyhounds don't like the cold either. They don't have a lot of hair to protect them from the cold. They don't like a lot of heat either because they can get heat exhaustion so easily. Basically, they need to retire to Northern Florida with the rest of the old people. I'm kidding! My friend Keonas husband Bob makes fun of us all the time because we put clothing on our dogs. Just Doc and Dusty tho. Lilly does have a shirt, but that was because when she first got here she had no hair, and we didn't have any trees in the back yard so we were worried about her getting a sunburn.

In other news!! I've decided that I'm going to link up with Giveawayscout! It's a place where you can find different giveaways! They had contacted me some time ago about linking up with them, but I just hadn't yet! I guess I should just start trying to find more places for giveaways, eh? :-)

What kinds of things would you guys like to see for giveaways??

Thursday, November 4, 2010

32

I know that my blog has been a little dark and twisty as of late. I apologize. I'm not usually this down and depressed. I think it's a combo of things that has been really working on me here in the last couple weeks. It doesn't really help that I'm dealing with Greggs passing either. I also know it's not fair to blame me being in a dark and twisty place on a man that isn't here any more. I'm not actually blaming him, but he sure didn't help matters any.

Today would have been Greggs 32nd birthday. Today should have been a happy occasion for his mom. Her baby boy turning 32, but instead, she has to visit a grave and lay flowers on a tombstone. It's just overwhelmingly sad to me. I know that I have a good husband who loves me so very much, but, I just can't help but feel a great sense of loss because of it. Gregg was my first love, the one that you never ever forget. I haven't. I can't.

I guess that the one thing that his passing did for me was restore a vigor in me to help those that are overweight. Gregg was always battling his weight. Even while he was in the Navy, he was overweight. He liked to drink and those extra "el-bees" really showed in the form of a pot-belly. He had such severe PTSD that he would drink to shut his mind up. It's actually quite common among vets who have such bad PTSD. It's unfortunate that the only solace he found for all of the terrible things that happened while he was fighting for this country could be found at the bottom of an empty liquor bottle. I'm more passionate about people getting in shape. I'm not even talking about fitting in size 00 jeans that need to be altered and looking like a tooth pick! I'm talking lets get our hearts pumping today! Lets be at a healthy weight for our hearts and joints. It's not healthy to carry around excess weight.

I just want to thank all of you (any of you? LOL) that take the time to read my random crazy rantings about seemingly nothing.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Halloween!! and other randomness

So, we did our traditional Trick-or-Treating in the "ritzy" neighborhood this year with our friend Keona and Bob and their two kids. We had a BLAST! Monkey was Dracula with blue hair (my mom had made his cloak for him a few years ago. It USED to almost be to the ground, it was to about his knees... LOL). I tried to get him to get black colored hair gel, but nooooo! "It will be cool with blue Momma! Just watch!" Ultimately, he got to be a "cool Dracula with blue hair." Bug was a clown with BRIGHT pink hair (Mom had also made the clown costume as well!)! Len was a Zombie Vampire (I think....) We started right about 5:45. We tricked and treated all the way around this neighborhood. Here is a pretty good picture of all 3 of the lil ragamuffins at around 8:10

We were trying to make it back to the car at this point. They were all pretty tired! There were still a few houses handing out candy at that point. There was one "haunted house" that had me laughing pretty hard. The kiddos went up to go into the garage (the haunted house) and all disappeared. I then hear one of the girls screaming. Monkey comes walking out like it's not a big deal, Bug comes out a little more quickly, and then poor Len gets chased out by a nun with a chainsaw! LOL When we finally make it back to the car at right after 8:30, we all decide that we're hungry! Wendys it is... no it's not! There were about 15 cars in the drive thru and we didn't really feel like walking any more than we already had and really needed to, so we went to BoJangles. (Think Cajun style KFC) We came home, ate, then we had to wash hair because I didn't want to have to wash sheets! Finally both kids were in bed just a shade after 10. That's really late for the kiddos!! 
Being that it was Sunday, they had school the next day, and Sam had to go to work as well. He had to cut his hair, which meant I had to stay up longer! I finally got into bed around 12:30. Monday was killer! (Which was why I didn't post any giveaways! Sowwy!)
I drug booty all Monday long, and Sam had to go for a sleep study so they could figure out what kind of CPAP machine that he's going to be getting. The tech told him that he is a "mouth breather" which is REALLY funny because I would have never thought that. What *I* thought is that he snores so loud that it's impossible to tell the difference! Both of the kids had their check up at the Dentist as well. Monkey had one cavity in the very back, so we had to make an appointment to have that filled. Monday night was very chilly, so I had turned on the heater. Which in turn made all kinds of crazy noises, which kept me up! Logically, I KNEW nothing was in the house, it was just weird hearing them, and every time I would start to drift off I would hear a knocking sound coming from some part of the house. Needless to say, I didn't sleep that well.
Yesterday was a bit of the same. Very tired when I woke up!! Monkey had an appointment to get his cavity filled, so we went and did that. I picked lil man up from school and we headed over to the Dentist. I LOVE our Dentist. He's in his late 30's, so he's a younger guy. He reminds me just a tiny bit of the Dentist I had growing up, Dr Robson. We talked about "old school dentistry." You guys know what I'm talking about! Where the Dentist was in the room with you, for the most part, alone. He did all the suction, and spitting, and instrument changes and everything all by himself, with the occasional help from someone else. There wasn't one person that did cleanings and then he would come in and check. Newp! he did the cleanings, and the fillings, and pretty much everything else. The assistant helped with the x-rays. He didn't wear gloves, and he didn't wear one of those paper masks either! I remember looking up my Dentists nose, always looking for boogers and watching him work on my teeth in his glasses! (Yes, I was a strange child, why do you ask?)
ANYWAYS! 
This time of year always gets to me. It's the time of year that it starts to turn colder. It's the time of year that those of us that live in the country don't particularly like. We didn't have this problem last year... either that or we didn't notice it last year... either that or I've blocked it from my memory... but there are MICE in the house! (EEEEEEEEEEEK!) So, I set some traps. Not those wooden traps with the springs that if you ACCIDENTLY set it off it tries to sever your finger. NO! These are plastic traps. I'm not sure of I like them or not. Yesterday afternoon, I heard the trap snap. HOORAY! I caught one! Now I can just throw it in the trash and be done with it. Oh no! It had to get it's leg stuck in the freakin thing!! So, here is this mouse, trying to run away on 3 legs, with a big plastic trap stuck to it's 4th one. I simply let it be. Sam can deal with it. So what does he do? Decides to bonk it with a crow bar! *sigh*
Today is another story. TODAY Monkey has an appointment for his ADHD meds and then he's done with appointments for a while. Then Sam and I have an appointment on base for Thursday! ACK! Busy busy busy!!

*linking this up at Fun On A Dime*

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Feeling better

Greggs passing hit me very hard, but I'm trying to take it in stride. I didn't cry at all yesterday, but I did still feel a bit down. One day at a time!

Today, Monkey has a therapy appointment at 8. Normally his school bus picks him up at around 6:40, but today we woke up at 6:30. He FREAKED out and jumped out of bed and said "MOM! WHY DIDN'T YOU WAKE ME UP!" *giggle* Wouldn't you know it, I had the opportunity to sleep in this morning and I woke up at 5:30 anyways, even tho I set the alarm clock for 6 so I could take an early shower. Oh well.

Bug has "dress up" day today at school. They were either supposed to wear something to show what they want to be when they grow up, or dress up nicely. Bug did both, because she wants to be a Princess/model when she grows up! She even took the little tiara from when we had her hair done for the father daughter dance and stuck it in her hair. She is SO funny!

Monday, October 25, 2010

My reasons...

Today started out like any 'ol Monday. I woke up, read my (almost 200) blogs for the morning while Monkey was in the shower and eating breakfast, walked to the bus stop, make Sams lunch, woke Buggy up, had breakfast, walked to the bus stop again, came home, tweeted a bit, went to my Monday afternoon meeting with Beachbody... you know, normal stuff!

Then I started talking to a guy from my past. Not a bad guy, just a guy. One of my very best friends cousins. It just so happens that I once dated this guy for a brief amount of time. But, this is normal in a small town like I grew up in. Everybody knows everybody. So, we started talking, and we're talking about just old times and it got me thinking about my "first love" Gregg. I'd been enamored with this guy since the moment I laid eyes on him. He went to my best friends school. But I seen him at a dance (Yeah, I went to their dances because I didn't like my own school.) and I INSTANTLY had to know who he was. Now, being the ugly duckling that I was, I hadn't blossomed into a swan yet. I was too shy to even talk to him. So, I did what every young girl does when she has a crush on a guy but is too shy to tell him. I stalked him. LOL My best friends school was much larger than my own, it was the county seat and all, so, anything "super cool and exciting" happened at her school. She was part of the drama dept. I thought that was the coolest thing since sliced bread, so I tagged along. And wouldn't you know it, HE was there!! So.... being the stalker self that I was, I send him TWELVE DOZEN red carnations for opening night of their play. Every single one of them said "From: Your Secret Admirer" (Aw! How stalkerish!)
The next night was the cast party. Now, I never went to this school, but, usually where you found my best friend, you found me, and vice versa. So, we're at this cast party, and a bunch of us decide that it's time to go outside and smoke (Don't judge... I was young and stupid. At least I lost the young part! ;-P) and Gregg was out there as well. Since basically it was me, Amy, and Gregg standing outside in the ally being the bad teenagers that we were, she decided to tell him that *I* was the person that sent him all the SA flowers. Booooy was I ever mad at her, at least for a split second. Gregg said thank you and kissed my cheek. I don't think I washed my cheek for a week!
Gregg and I always had a back and forth type of relationship. He walked, I followed. It didn't matter that he was dating someone, I loved him anyways. I would go on "class trips" with their drama dept. I went with them to see a play. I can't remember which play, but I remember going. I remember sitting with Gregg on the way home talking about when his foreign exchange student girlfriend left how we were going to start dating. It didn't matter that he was in love with her, I loved him anyways.
After Gregg graduated high school, I still had a year left. He stuck around town for a while, we would hang out, laugh, have a good time, and be generally terrible teenagers. Then one day he just disappeared. I moved on with my life, but always thought about My Superman. (That was my nickname for him.)
We found each other again in 2004 and quickly decided that we were meant to be together. We started planning a future together for when he got out of the Navy. He would call me every night, and most mornings and we would talk. In the evenings we would talk for hours on end, sometimes until the early morning sun was peeking thru the trees on my coast, which left him with just a few hours sleep before he needed to be back on base at Camp Pendleton. He was slowly losing grip of reality. PTSD was stripping away the man that I loved so very much. In early 2005 he decided that it wasn't fair to me and the kiddos to make us go thru everything that was happening to him with the PTSD and broke things off. It (PTSD) didn't matter tho, because I loved him anyways.
A couple of years ago, we found each other yet again, but this time on MySpace. He was too hurt to talk to me for a very long time. He knew he had broken my heart yet again, and he was in a relationship. He didn't want to bring up all the old memories and feelings from our past. It hurt too much to think about. We finally talked about everything. I told him that while I would ALWAYS love him, I had grown to love what we had and not yearn for it like I used to. We talked more and more, and then again, he was gone without notice, until we find each other again on Facebook.
This time it's different tho. This time we don't talk as much. We don't have that same connection that we did. He's more fragile but yet tougher. It's hard to explain. We exchange a few words here and there. Some heys, how are yas, glad to see yas, but nothing super life changing.

Today was a hard day for me after Bryce and I talked. After I decided to go to Greggs Facebook page to drop a little hey how are ya. I notice that he'd posted new pictures. One of which said "Now I must say good-bye" and the first thought to my mind was "Oh no! Not again!" I started reading more of his posts. My Gregg, my Superman, the man that had my heart for nearly 10 years had passed away. From what I was told, he died of a heart attack. Gregg would have been 32 years old 04Nov. I've cried almost non stop since I found out. I cried thru making dinner, thru trying to actually eat dinner (which didn't go so well), thru calling some of our old friends to make sure that they knew, thru welcoming my husband home... and now here I sit at almost 11:30pm. I can't sleep. When I close my eyes, I see his face. I hear his voice "Lets lose some el-bees today!" What am I supposed to do? I don't know why this is hitting me so hard. I don't know why I'm just not saying "Wow! He was only 31. That sucks!" and letting it not effect me like it has. Why can't I just lay my head down and go to sleep? Why does it feel like a tiny part of my heart died today when I found out? Why can't I just find solace in the fact that he will never have terrible nightmares of war again? That he will never feel claustrophobic in large crowds any more? That he's finally at peace and doesn't hurt the way he used to? Maybe because he never has another chance to do any of those things any more?

Monday Morning Goodies!!

Ahhh!! I LOVE Monday morning!!
Kids go back to school, the house gets quiet, I get in a FANTASTIC workout, and (!!) I get to give all my lovely readers the scoop on Giveaways and goodies!

So, my favorite giveaway site, Dandy Giveaways, has a few that I wanted to make mention of for you. There is a giveaway for a 10th Anniversary BRATZ doll here. I'm entering because my lil Bug loooooooooves BRATZ dolls. Evident but the 2938623 dolls and 938465827346598340598 accessories (including a bus!) in her closet.

Next is this WONDERFUL Mom & Daughter purses. They're adorable!! Bug likes to try and match colors with me when we dress to go anywhere. It's a good thing she doesn't try to dress like me tho, she would be stuck with t-shirt and jeans forever! Anyways, the post for the purses is here. Adorable!

The last giveaway for this post is a SodaStream. These look SO cool! I would LOOOOOVE to have one!! It's basically like having your very own Soda Parlor!! I'd seen a review on another blog (she reviewed it for CSN, another store I've fallen in love with!) and she really liked it! I like the endless possibilities for soda! The link for that giveaway is here.

And I have a goody for those of you that actually DO read my blog! Old Navy (My Heaven!!) got it's one millionth like on facebook, so, they decided that they would give all the Old Navy followers a special treat on Sunday. I knew my giveaway day was on Monday, so, I SAVED the coupon to share with all of you! Just click and print! It's valid 10/26-10/28. One per person and can be used online as well! :-D


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Pumpkin Pickin!

So, Saturday we went to a local church for a "pumpkin pickin." It was more like a "pumpkin pick out" than anything tho. They had all the different sizes laid out for you to pick from. Which was really nice! You basically knew how much it was going to cost before you even got up there to pay for it. Some places don't do that. You could pick out your "perfect pumpkin" only to realize that it's $25 when  you go to pay for it!! :-O I don't know about you, but, I'm not exactly willing to pay that much for something that we're going to carve and basically destroy within a couple of days of having it.

Saturday afternoon my friend Keona sent me a text message asking if we wanted to go pick out pumpkins up the road from where we live. She lives about 10 minutes up the road from us, which isn't that far. We all met last year at Brownies. Our daughters became fast friends and so did we. When I was married to my ex husband, for the first year of our lives we lived in roughly the same area in Colorado. Bug and Len have become best buddies and Keona and I love to share recipes and have cookouts together. We have shared a few birthdays and holidays together. I'm going to be very sad when Keona and her family move. :-(

I got some really good pictures of Bug and Len, and all 3 of the kids, of our two kiddos, and even got a couple of Sam and I! When I started to download all the pictures in the camera, I even found some older ones of the dogs! I've been pretty slack about posting pictures here lately because I just haven't found a photo manipulation program that I like, that won't cost me a kidney, and part of my lung. I finally found PhotoScape, which was free to download, and it has a lot of the same things as Photoshop, but, not as many. I know that I could probably download GIMP, but, I really don't feel like learning all of that! So, here is my first attempt at manipulating my photos!





Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Oh bother...



So, the last couple days I've been in an Eeyore mood. I've been in my "dark place" as I used to refer to it. I guess I just feel down on myself. I recently found out some things that really showed me how deep and dark the hole that I've climbed out of really is. You know, that proverbial hole in the road of life. Yeah, mine was pretty darn deep. I spent the better part of 3 years trying to climb out of it.

Back in the day, I wasn't a good person. I was a master manipulator, partly learned, partly instinct, and partly necessity. I manipulated those around me to get what I needed or wanted with as little work as possible. I would use people for what I wanted and when resources had gone dry there, I would move on. I started my decent into my pit long before I started manipulating those around me tho. My decent started right about the time I found out that my (then)husband was cheating on me. He was a truck driver and was gone more often than home. One time he came home with one of his trainees, a young-ish girl, mid 20's, pretty thing. I knew that he trained female drivers and had not had a problem with them before. Even inviting them to come have dinner with our family at our apartment. They were usually older ladies. I loved talking with them. One of his trainees actually went to school with Garth Brooks! How awesome it was to hear her tell stories of what my favorite singer was like in high school! Well, one time he brought this young girl home and had forgotten something in his truck and asked (told) me if I would get it. Me, being about 93846759283645987 months pregnant with our 2nd child, crawled up in the cab, crawled over the seat, opened the curtain to the sleeper and was met by a bare bum. I quickly grabbed the forgotten item and exited the cab and proceeded to tell him that there was a naked girl in his bed. He didn't see what the big deal was and of course I threw a fit! *I* didn't even get to sleep naked in his truck, how is it that some other woman could, and in his bed none the less? It wasn't until later that evening, when he invited her to have dinner with us, that I realized that something wasn't right. It was the coy glances and stolen looks. The twinkle in her eye and the way that she laughed at his un-funny jokes and touched his knee. The way that he leaned into her when they talked while sitting on the couch. While I do have blonde hair, I'm not an idiot. That was the beginning of my decent into my own personal hell.

I can honestly say that when I look back at the person I was, it makes me want to cry. I did so many things that were so unlike the caring, compassionate person that I know that I am. I hurt so many people that I love(d). I did many many horrible things to people that I cared about so very much. I lost 4 years of my kids lives because of the guilt, shame, manipulation, and immaturity that plagued me. I lost the person that I was in that pit.  It was like I was so close to hell that the devil himself came and stole me. I was just like Eeyores tail. Lost.

I started pulling myself out of the hole. I got a job. I got an apartment. I got a cell phone. I was making great progress! Then I had a small set-back. I met Sam. Not that Sam was in any way bad, he just set me back a step. I started thinking things like "Oh, well, if Sam's going to take me out to dinner, I can spend more money on THIS item!" and buy a new top or jeans at Old Navy. Then we bought cars together and things started to get serious, so I really had to buckle down. I was even more determined to get my life straight and be someone.

I think it all boils down to me wanting to make my Mom proud of me. I guess I just don't feel like I've done anything that she CAN be proud of, other than get my life back on track. How terrible is it that I feel like I've done nothing that my Mom can be proud of me for? My brother has his certification in HVAC. One of my sisters is a nurse. The other one is a truck driver. What am I? A housewife. A poor one at that! It doesn't seem to matter what I say or do, we're always broke. I tell Sam that we're not going to buy anything and he buys things anyways. He tells me to stop him, and when I try he gets angry at me because he works for the money and feels like he should be able to spend it how he wants. Mom has been poor, and still had 4 kids to take care of. She got (what would become) a  fantastic job, went to night school got her GED, graduated college, all while working a full time job. Granted part of that time it was only me and my brother and then just me, but, she did it! If I were her mom I would be so proud! But me, I've not done anything like that. I've bucked the system at every turn!

The other problem is, I'm comfortable being a housewife. I have no ambitions to be at the top of some corporate ladder, to have people that are "under" me, to graduate Cum Laude from some fancy school, or even an unfancy one. I have no silly notions that I can follow in my Moms footsteps because I know I can't. My Mom is super smart. I'm lucky to be able to add without using my fingers. My daughter takes after my Mom. She's so smart! My son takes after me, but he has great ambition, which makes up for his lack of genius. I'm working with him to try and get his reading better. It's a slow process. Growing up I never wanted to be anything other than a horse trainer. Everything I did revolved around my horses. I ate, breathed, and slept horses. Even my bedroom was set up with a western theme and my ribbons and trophies were all around my room. I gave all of that up when I got married to my ex-husband, and I still have no idea where any of my old ribbons and trophies are.

I guess, just like Eeyore, I'm going to have to find my tail. I'm not exactly sure how I'm supposed to do that. I don't even know if I know what my tail is any more. I don't know what makes me happy any more. I don't know how to make my Mom proud of me, or if I ever have, but I know that someday it's got to happen. I need to validate my existence somehow, mostly to myself.  

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

What would you do with $110 Million??

So, I was reading the New York Daily News gossip section this morning (don't judge!!) and I stumbled across this article about how Elin Nordegren is "cutting costs" and being "more frugal" with her money.


I'm not sure about you, but $110 Million is more money than I'm likely to see in an entire lifetime! She got all of that money just because her ex-husband is a lying, cheating, scumbag! Now don't get me wrong, she deserves every penny of that money, and probably more! If my ex husband would have been worth $600 Million, I probably would have more than a modular home on a small 1/4 acre lot! I would be debt free and probably be driving a brand new Honda Oddesy. Don't get me wrong, I love my new car, but, I've always been and will always be a Honda girl! I would also probably have taken my entire family to Cabo, or Disneyland, or bought us all matching shirts or something!


I guess the part that bothers me is that Elins idea of "cutting expenses" is cutting back the hours of the kids nannies and flying commercial instead of a private jet. Really? How horrible life must be! Oh GOD! I have to fly first class instead of all by myself!! SHUT UP! You have a house in Sweden, a house in the Orlando area, you're drop dead gorgeous, and you're a multimillionaire. Why don't you use some of that money and do something for someone else? I don't know, maybe spend a little time with you kids! You're a single mom, yeah, but it's not like you need to rush out and get a full time job! If you think life is tough now Elin, why don't you try being a REAL single mom? You know, the kind that have to take care of their kids all by themselves and have a real job that doesn't involve getting paid to just show up, look pretty, and possibly do a small bit of speaking.


Don't get me wrong, I love Elin. I think that she is a beautiful woman. She doesn't stir up dust like Gisele B√ľndchen. She seems to have her head and heart in the right place. It's just that *one* thing that bothers me. Apart from her ex-husband being a skeezbag, I don't feel sorry for her one tiny bit. Well, okay, that's a lie as well. I feel bad that her skeezbag ex-husband made her look like a giant idiot to the entire world, and that her (if she really thought it was) happy marriage dissolved from under her feet in a matter of moments. Been there, done that, have the divorce papers to prove it. But I DON'T feel bad that she has to cut down on her staffs hours to try and save money. Sorry Elin. No sympathy from me. 


So, I want to know, if you were handed $110 Million, what would you do?


I would:

  • Pay off all of our debt, including house, cars, and credit cards.
  • Purchase 50 acre lot across the road and build a completely green house.
  • Build affordable low income housing for those who TRULY need it (single parents, families working minimum wage jobs, etc) that is free of crime and drugs.
  • Build a dog park in Jacksonville
  • Purchase everyone in my family's current house. (Or a decent sized down payment on a new one).
  • Set up college funds for all my nieces and nephews as well as my kiddos.
  • Donate our home to a needy family or charity organization.
  • Donate to our favorite charities and organizations.
  • Throw one hell of a party flying in all of our family, friends, and relatives (both sides)!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Free canvas to round out the day!

So, I've noticed these around the blogosphere for a couple of days.

I haven't had a chance to tape part in this giveaway, I have seen many peoples free canvas prints. I wish that I had a decent picture to actually turn into a canvas wrapped picture! Maybe we can solve that as well!

Here is a link to Canvas People and their free offer!

Monday Morning Giveaways!

Good Monday Morning everyone!!

The first item up for grabs is the Black Diamond watch ring. It's pretty neat!!
The second item is absolutely gorgeous Earrings! I WANT these!!
Then we have Barn Owl Primitives which is super cute!!!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

How I lost the Curvy in my pants size. (Fat picture included!)

For those of you that didn't know, I'm fat. Yes, I know I have a beautiful profile picture with a pretty, slender girl standing by the ocean. That really is me. But that was me about 4 years ago. That was the "skinny me." Since that picture was taken, I've packed on about 50 pounds. (YIKES!!) So, now you know my dark secret, and the reason that I don't post many picture of myself on here. (Other than I'm usually the one taking all the pictures.) I never really had a problem with my weight before. I was slender pretty naturally, and ate whatever I wanted.

When I moved to Jacksonville 4 years ago, I was 130 pounds. I was a bit on the thin side really. I think I was just a bit TOO thin. I was in pretty good shape, but, I just didn't eat enough, so I was thin. I started eating more, exercising less. I started gaining weight. I then obtained a job in a call center. There, I ate more. I ate because I was bored. I ate because it was there. I ate because we reached a goal. I ate because we didn't. I ate because it was someones anniversary. I ate because someone got divorced. There was always food around, and I was normally stuffing it in my face. I ballooned up to just under 200 pounds. I didn't LOOK that big, but I felt like a giant blimp. I felt like the largest cow in the pen. It was terrible.

If you look back thru my blog, you can see that I've tried before and failed to lose weight. It's been a battle for me. About 3 weeks ago, I really started to crack down on the exercise and eating better. Guess what? I've started to lose weight!! I've been sick and injured during that time as well, but I have managed to drop to 179 pounds. I'm starting to notice that my pants are fitting looser, that my tummy isn't bulging out as much. I'm starting to notice a difference!

I was in my closet the other day, and I was putting up shorts and whatnot for the winter. I looked at my shorts and said "This will be the last summer that I wear you. Next summer, I'm going to be back down to my size 4! Goodbye tight size 12!" (Yes, I was talking to my pants....) I started to pull out my pants and such for the winter. I found my FAVORITE pair of navy blue jeans and gave a heavy sigh. I haven't been able to wear those in a year because they were just too tight. I could get them on, but buttoning them up had become a problem, and when I did get the buttoned up, I had a severe case of muffin top. It was terrible! I looked at my Aeropostale size 12 "curvy" jeans, then I looked at my Old Navy size 12 regulars. I held them up to each other. The ON jeans were 2 fingers width smaller than the Aero jeans. I thought to myself "I wonder if my big fat bum can fit in these this year." So, I tried them on. Guess what??



THEY FIT!!!

Yeah, I know. I still have a ways to go. But that's me! That's my big 'ol fat belly and my smaller sized jeans. That picture makes me want to run and hide and never show my face to the light of day again. But, I'm being real. I'm not perfect.

I'm on my way to a smaller me. I'm exercising more. I'm currently doing Turbo Jam. It's SO much fun! It doesn't feel like I'm working out for more than a couple minutes even tho by the time I'm done I'm POURING with sweat! There is even a timer at the bottom to tell you how much time you have left in the workout and in the particular activity that you're doing. All in all it's a fantastic workout!

I was trying to figure out how to embed the video to show you all about it, but, I can't figure it out, so, I'm just going to give you a link to view it. Which is here. I'm still trying to figure out how to get all of my software and whatnot back onto this computer since we upgraded to Windows 7. I'm hoping that we can get everything to work. *please please please!!*

Anyways! Until next time!

Love ya! Mean it!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Life has a new look!

So!
What do you think?!

I think I drove Courtney crazy with the amount of times I went "I really don't know... what do you think??"

She was AMAZING to work with!

Thank you Courtney SO much!!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

New design is coming!

I've been hard at work with Courtney over at Not So Homemade to roll out a new blog design.

It's not quite done, but, it's coming along fantastically! I'm IN LOVE with it! There are a few little tweeks here and there, but, it's looking great! This will be the first design change for Life Along The Way since shortly after it's birth almost 2 years ago! ACK!

Anyways! Go show Courtney some love over at her blog. She's got a fantastic Calzone recipe that I'm dying to try! Maybe this weekend... hmmmm....

Monday, October 11, 2010

Great Ways To Start Monday!

So, every Monday, I'm going to start telling you guys about Giveaways! So, it may come in more than one post, but, I will tell you about all the fantastic giveaways that I find on the good 'ol net!

The first two that I found are pretty awesome!

Dandy Giveaways has done it again!! They are offering two new giveaways that I'm interested in! There is the Stencil Giveaway. (I could really use a stencil for my kitchen. I want to use a stencil for a "backslash" for my counters and sink island!) And the eUndies Giveaway. (C'mon!! Who doesn't want cute undies?!?!)

More when I find them!! :-)

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Yeah yea yeah.... I know! Sheesh!!

So, as some of you have noticed, I haven't posted in a while. I can explain! It's a legit reason I swear!!

Last week it rained every day (no joke) for almost an entire week! It started on Monday and didn't end until about Saturday. It was terrible!! No joke!

I did get a bit of a night out with the girls tho. (I had written a nice blog entry about all of this, but, it disappeared!! :-( )My favorite Nicole graciously invited me and a bunch of other girls to join her at Chili's for a girls night. Of course, I ended up going to APPLEBEES and then couldn't understand why I couldn't get checked into Chili's on foursquare. (DUH!!!) I got to meet a bunch of fantastic ladies and I got to have some adult conversation with someone other than my husband. It was fantastic I say!! I ended up having Salmon with broccoli and brown rice. It was super yummy, but I couldn't eat it all, so, I brought it home. Of course Bug decided that what I brought home was for her, and she stole all of the broccoli. It's okay. I don't mind sharing broccoli with my little picky eaters! :-)

Monkey got $40 from the Tooth Fairy for his very last tooth, and it has been BURNING a hole is his pocket for some time now. He did spend a little bit of money at his school book fair. I got very excited when he told me that he wanted to take some money to buy something. I thought just maybe he would buy a book! Alas, it was not meant to be. He bought a calculator that looks and smells like chocolate and a pencil sharpener. *sigh* He decided last week, when we went to pick up a bag of dog food that he just simply couldn't live without an African Dwarfed Frog. Now, don't get me wrong. They are incredibly adorable and docile. He picks out the smallest frog in the tank, and carry's his new prize to the register. He plops down $5, and even got some change back! He was very thankful that I bought his new pet, Hopper, some yummy food as well as some weekend feeders for the snails. (Which are getting REALLY big by the way!!)

Monday (the 4th) Monkey woke up and said "My throat hurts." That was all it took. He never complains about things like that. The last time he said something like that his blood pressure was thru the roof and he didn't have a bowl movement for 3 days! (It was terrible and he missed a WEEK of school!!) So, we went to the Doctors and wouldn't you know it, he had the flu!! So, one pack of Tamilfu later, and a note to go back to school the next day, and we were off and running! Of course, then on Friday, he decided to tell me that he's had diarrhea for 3 days! SHEW! This kid is killin me! LOL

Well, we decided that we were going to trade in our Pleco that we bought back in July for something that wouldn't poop as much. (Seriously... Spike pooped.... A LOT!!!!) So, we put him in a 1 gallon ice cream bucket and took him to our local pet/fish store and traded him in on a Corydora Catfish (Cory Cat) whom Monkey named Cory. I think I might have inadvertently caused Cory some harm today. The filter was running really slow and I decided that I would clean it and put it all back together, so I took about a half a gallon of water out and cleaned everything up, and then I put some rather warm water back in the tank. I didn't think it was THAT warm, but poor Cory came barreling out of his little hidey-hole and didn't look like he was doing so well. He floated for a little bit, and didn't move for about a minute, and then he went down to the bottom of the tank where he stayed for quite some time. I thought he was going to die!! I thought I had done Cory in! Nope! He's back in his hidey-hole after a bit of normal swimming. I just hope that in the morning I don't find half eaten bits of Cory in the tank.... :-/

I also have been a bit under the weather. On Wednesday I went to wake Sam up for work and I walked in the bedroom and felt like someone had skewered my from back to front. It was terrible! I couldn't breath in very much. I thought maybe I had pulled a muscle, took some Ibuprofen and laid down for a while after the kids went to school. Of course my wonderful 68 year old Philippine neighbor told me she could come over and rub some liniment on my back and I would feel better in no time! I love this lady to death, but I don't know that I want her rubbing some chicken poop on my back that she brought from the the Philippines!! (Okay, I don't know that it's chicken poop... but I have no idea WHAT it is, tho it's probably better for me than the meds the Dr prescribed!) So, I go to the Doctors (I joke with them that I deserve my own parking spot there.) and meet this fantastic guy! He, of course, was my very capable Dr. Perry! I think I now want to follow this man to whatever office that he is practicing in. He was that great! FANTASTIC guy! I wanted to pick him up, put him in my pocket, and drive home. I love him! Anyways! He said he thinks I have Pleurisy. What that is, is that at some point in time I had some sort of infection or something in my lung, and that my Pleura are rubbing together and they hurt. (I would make a wonderful Doctor wouldn't I?!) I have a follow up appointment with Dr Hotty (Or at least that's what the receptionist and the office manager and I have named him. His real name is Dr. Jones. Dr. Hotty is a better name tho.).

On a happier note!! I have a WONDERFUL person making over my blog!! It will be the first time that this blog has seen a new layout, background, anything, since it's birth! How terrible is that?? I'm such a bad blog-mom I swear! I can't wait to reveal it to you guys!! As most of you know, I'm not a very girly girl, but, she's doing a fantastic job of everything so far! I sent her about 2397234983 pictures for her to use. I just know that what she comes up with, you all will love, but even if you don't, I will and really that's all that matters!! ;-)

Anyways! It's 9PM and Sam and the kiddos are watching Wackos' Wish on Netflix and I can hear Pinky and The Brain planning to take over the world, so I should probably go spend some time with them before my

Monday, September 27, 2010

Giveaways!! Woo!

So, as some of you might know, I'm a sucker for a giveaway! I LOVE giveaways! I actually won one not too long ago! I won this fantastic little red, and blue purse that has white stars all over it. It's from A Happy Distraction. Fantastic shop!
Anyways! That's not todays giveaway tho! I found this FANTASTIC site called Dandy Giveaway. It's all they do! Give away stuff! Well, they have DIY and recipes and such as well, but, they give stuff away! All the time! How fantastic is that?! That has to be the absolute best job in the world. I swear. Not only do I like to get free stuff, but I like to GIVE free stuff away as well! Which is why I'm telling you about their latest giveaways. One is a $50 gift certificate to Bella Michele Jewelry!! You can enter by clicking here! And for all you parents of little girls. They are giving away a Lalaloopsy doll as well! Serious cuteness there! I want to win this for Bug! She would LOVE it!! You can enter that giveaway here

Good luck! :-)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Stress-- It's A Killer!

So, last month we sort of went over our budget by a lot a smidge.  And so September is going to be a bit tight for us. We will be able to make it, but, the first half of September is going to be really really tight! I hate hate HATE being low on funds. I don't like how it seems to fuel Sam and I getting into arguments. I don't like it when something comes up and we have to try and move things around so we can make things work. I don't like thinking that I'm going to miss on something really big. I don't like living paycheck to paycheck. It's terrible!

I know I shouldn't complain because we have a lot. I guess that's why we're in the mess we're in. Bad choices made in the past. I got so comfortable when I was younger always having this or that or the other. Always being able to say "Hey Mom! Can I have $5 for gas?" and three days later ask for more. Now, mind you, $5 in gas back then was like half a tank or more! *I have come to terms with the fact that I am now considered an Antique* I got used to driving new cars. I got used to always having my Momma there to bail me out when things got rough. (And by rough, I mean I spent my money on other things that I more than likely should have never bought in the first place.) In the past few years, I've done a lot of growing up. Things most people learned when they were much younger, like, how to manage your money while living on your own, I never learned. I went straight from living with my Mom, to being married. From there, you would think that I would spread my wings and learn to fly. Well, I did, kinda sorta. I learned that living away from my family isn't all that fun. I learned that having a car with no heat in Colorado just doesn't work that well. I also learned that being married to a man you really don't like doesn't make for a very successful relationship. Don't get me wrong. I loved my ex-husband, but, I think the parts of him that I loved the most were my 18 year old imagination making him into more than he really was. I can honestly say that the only thing I learned about life while married to my ex was how to stand up for myself in a fight, not back down, and that I shouldn't let people get too close to my heart. Momma was there to help me pick up the pieces. She's a great Mom. She's more of a Mom than I probably deserve.

When I moved to North Carolina, I was full of hopes and dreams that I could start over, get a fresh new life and prove to everyone that I wasn't the person that I was before. I wasn't the 26 year old little girl that my whole family knew. I can take care of myself! I'm an ADULT! Yeah. It turns out that I really was a 26 year old little girl, just like my family told me I was. But, I have learned SO MUCH from being down here. I've learned to take care of my bills first, because they really do come back to haunt you if you don't take care of them. (Even if that means eating ramen and PB sandwiches for 2 weeks.) I've learned that I am strong enough to do things on my own. (Thanks for always telling me that Momma!) And just recently, I learned, just because I want something, doesn't mean I need it. (I really don't like that one!)

I'm still learning to manage money better. Sam and I are still learning life lessons together. But what really matters is that we are a family. We're learning this together. We try to teach the kids about money, that way they don't have to take the hard road like I did. I thought the world OWED me all the nice things that my mom provided for me. I mean, I shouldn't have to work for them because I'd had them my whole life, why should it stop just because I moved out of my Mommas house?! How DARE the world not give me what I want. Yeah, I was pretty selfish. Now, when we go to WalMart or the commissary, or anywhere else really, instead of saying "Oh Mom! I want THIS!" and then begging for it until I get mad and throw it in the cart just to shut them up, they comment on things. They will say "Oh wow! Wouldn't that be nice to have?" I'll admit, they still have their weak moments where they see something that they REALLY want and will beg, but after I tell them no a time or two, they usually drop it.

As I said in one of my previous posts, I'm now an Independent Beachbody Coach. When I started this I was so gung-ho! I thought EVERYONE should be using these products and I had no qualms about telling you why and what you should be doing and where you could go to get them, to my website, of course! I still think everyone should use these products, but I'm not quite as in your face about it as I used to be. It's finally starting to pay off. I've got 2 people that are signing up to be coaches with me, and one of those already has a coach prospect! It makes me really happy that I can share the nutritional value of Shakeology, that I can tell someone about which exercise program I would suggest for them, that I can help others lose weight and be in better shape! I still have that passion about it like I did when I first started, because I know that it works. I've seen it working in me! But, I can't make everyone motivated like me. Some day they will see what wonders it's done for me, and they will want what I have, but I can't force it down their throats.

I know I've done a random, ranting post about seemingly nothing, but, it helps me to get things off my chest. That's the ultimate goal of a blog, isn't it? One of these days, I'll be able to have a blog about how great life is, about how I can devote time to sewing, and crafting, and be able to go buy Sam and the kids gifts at random times "just because." That day isn't today tho. Today, I'm cleaning the house, doing the laundry, and making the kids clean their rooms as well. I think tomorrow I'm going to sit down and make a list of things that need done on a daily basis and start a "checklist" that I can print out and hang up so I can just check things off as I do them. Some day, I'll be able to tell you guys how great life is, but right now, life is just life. A little bit stressful, a little bit not, a little bit fun, and a lot of love!

Until next time, dear reader(s), I'm going to try and see what I can do about cheaply filling my fridge on the 1st!