Friday, May 30, 2008

Birthdays

I may as well face the fact that I am going to hit the big 2-8 in a month and a half. That is depressing! But at least I can say I have been married in my teens, early, mid and late 20s! lol

So my dearest hubby has been asking me what I want for my birthday. Frankly, I have no clue. I did ask for a Roomba, but figured that it might not work well since our place is a bit cluttered. We lost 300sq feet when we moved here, plus a garage and a shed. So it probably wouldn't be a good idea. Then hubby mentioned a KitchenAid Mixer, because I have only been asking for one for the last eight years. I love to bake, so I am pretty sure this is what he'll be getting me.

Does anyone else have any ideas? I'm not much of a mani/pedi person b/c I do that myself, and I pluck my own eyebrows, so I don't need waxes. I have enough books, and I just got a brand new digital camera a few months ago. I have lots of perfume. And I don't want clothes.

I do like purses...I am a purse junkie. I buy a new one every few months or so. There is a red one I just saw that I might just get for myself. And I also need a new box chain for my locket that he got me for Xmas.

So now that I have proven myself to be difficult to buy for, does anyone have any ideas?

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Black Friday, One Of My Favorite Days

For those of you who don't know what Black Friday is, it is the day after Thanksgiving, here in the good old USA. Basically, it is to the USA, what Boxing Day is to Canada. But we have better deals! I am a Black Friday junkie! I always buy a ton of gifts for the kids for Christmas, if I am not done with my shopping already by then. Since I can't get up so early in the morning without my hubby home, I hit up the deals as soon as we can get out of the house. And since I go mostly for toys, I've gotten everything I've wanted in the past.

There is a fantastic site for black friday shopping that you can use now. Some of the stores they have on their site are the Disney Store, Amazon.com, Toys R Us, Circuit City, Best Buy and Target. BlackFriday.net has a great service to provide; they will help you to purchase the items online, without having to stand in line on Black Friday. On their website, they offer direct links to each store, which saves you the trouble of having to search for them. They also say that they can provide you with the store adds BEFORE the stores can provide them. You can sign up with your email address, and they will email you when your selected store's adds are available.

Usually the Black Friday shopping adds come out on Thanksgiving day, but with this website, you can even sign up for e-mail alerts, and BlackFriday.net will email you when the adds come out!

I have actually never used this site, but I am sure that I will use it this year. Since I lived in a small town last year, I missed out on all the good deals because I couldn't get to the mall soon enough. But this site has the black friday information for the store I want to shop the most, and that is Toys R Us. Toys R Us always has good deals, and I buy a lot of toys for my kids, so I need the deals they offer. This site, black friday, will certainly help me save money this year especially since I won't have to venture out with the crowds at 5AM, and can just shop online.

I really am looking forward to shopping with this website on Black Friday this year, I love scoring a good deal!

Thrifty Thursdays



My thrifty thursday isn't so thrifty according to some, but to myself, I got a fantastic deal!

I went to gymboree last sunday and got 55 pieces of clothing for $163 including tax! It wasn't all accessories, it was regular jeans, shirts, leggings, sweaters etc. There was so much clearance stuff out, so that was heavily discounted. Plus, with the MD sale, I got 20% off on top of that, PLUS I had a 20% coupon. I think I did great! All 4 kids got some goodies. And if you think about it, I spent only $40.75 per child.

Win An iPod Nano

Who doesn't want an iPod? I just bought one and LOVE it. I have the shuffle, but I use it when I work out, and it serves the purpose and keeps me going. My hubby has one as well, and we both really enjoy ours.

Development Dimensions International (DDI) is giving you a chance to win an iPod Nano. They are looking for more entries for their surveys, so they can get a wider array of answers. DDI's survey mostly targets HR executives and health care delivery systems, but I'm sure anyone can take it. I will be, I want to win a Nano!!!

To take the survey, click here.

Once you have completed the survey, DDI will ask you for your email address and contact info. A winner is picked at random. The survey ends on June 22, 2008 and takes only about 10 minutes to complete. The drawing is held on June 23d, 2008.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A Clean Kitchen Makes For A Happy Mom

My dishwasher broke yesterday, and I didn't know it till today, so I was forced to wash the dishes by hand tonight.

Is it just me, or is doing the dishes without a dishwasher calming and theraputic? for me at least, it is. And once I get the dishes done, I can't stand to see a dirty counter, so all my counters are clean now too...except one, which needs to be decluttered tomorrow. And the floor needs to be swept and mopped, but that will be done tomorrow. My sinks here are so so so tiny, so it takes forever to wash them, but I am all caught up. Except for my crockpot pan, which is soaking.

Now if I could only get the rest of my house in order.

I Don't Want To Go To The Gym

I want to stay home today. I've lost 5lbs in a month, which is pathetic to me. My diet has sucked ass, so I know I could have done so much better. I just feel like i am being pulled in so many directions, and I need some time to slow down. And the last thing I want to do is go work out for an hour.

I am definately not used to this busy life. I have my avon bazaar next weekend on the 7th, plus keeping up with the regular avon stuff. Plus the boy has Karate twice a week, and I have to sit there at the Y while he is in class. The girls don't want to continue, so they are with me too, but next month I am going to start them all on saturday morning swim lessons. Oh, and I do go to the gym 3 mornings a week. But with Karate, I am there 5 times a week, sometimes twice on one day. You know how tiring that gets? lol

Perhaps I shall feel better once summer starts, but I highly doubt it as I will still have to work out, we will still have karate, we will still have swimming lessons, and I will still be selling avon.

How do I manage all this and still keep my house clean and keep myself sane? I need some tips!

I need a nap.

Works For Me Wednesday



Welcome to this weeks edition of Works For Me Wednesday, hosted by Shannon over at Rocks in My Dryer

One thing that does work for me, as un-exciting as it may be, are Mr. Clean's Magic Erasers. They clean everything! Except stuff on oil based paints. I will test before hand to see if something is oil based. lol I have used Mr. Clean Magic Erasers to clean practically everything in my house.

I also love to use Orange glow orange oil! It comes in a spray bottle, and I use it to clean glass shower doors, tubs and shower walls. You just spray it on, and wipe it off after a few minutes with a dry cloth. It prevents the soap scum from sticking to the smooth surfaces, and the water just slides off too.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

I Did It!

I actually bbq'd all by myself last night!! well, with a phone tutorial by my hubby. And before you go saying how easy it is, we don't believe in propane in this house, we're all charcoal baby! I was scared actually, but I actually managed to cook us a nice dinner of bbq'd burgers. I think I can do this more often! And even better, I am proud of myself for learning something new!

Make It From Scratch Carnival

I took the plunge and joined a blog carnival! This is my first one.

So, a big big thank you to Delilah at The Miller Way for including my post Baked Potato Soup in this weeks addtion of the Make It From Scratch Carnival

Monday, May 26, 2008

Just Tell Me Why

I found a really neat website today while I was browsing SocialSpark. JustTellMeWhy, a website about Dichotomies. The site owner has readers debate about every topic under the sun; from what Harrison Ford is better in (Indiana Jones, or Star Wars), to the different Nintendo game systems, to technology and even to politics. Seems like a pretty cool site! It just launched a couple months ago, and already there are quite a few "debates" on there.

I posted on The Simpsons VS Family Guy, because I've been watching The Simpsons for years! And how can you not like The Simpsons? they're a cult favorite!

You should head on over to his site and give it a try! great way to debate, and have fun at the same time!!

Yard Work+Me=Blisters

yep, I got blisters from mowing the lawn. My delicate hands were not made for that kind of work. lol

Unfortunately, I have misplaced my gardening gloves, and I am sure they were lost sometime during the move. The lawn was such a chore to mow, as it has rained off and on the last couple weeks and I haven't been able to get to the grass as I've been busy. So today I braved the yard. I wish my hubby was home more often to do this for me. I HATE yard work. hate it, hate it, hate it. And I've about given up on my marigolds, the dog keeps digging up half the flower bed and I have come to realize that flower beds are just not my thing. Really, I don't like to garden and I would rather have potted plants or hire a gardener instead of doing it myself.

Do you like yard work?

Moms For Modesty

I was just clicking around blogs today, and found this MomsForModesty. I signed the petition, but I guess it isn't for everyone if you don't agree with their mission statement.

Frankly, I am tired of seeing "hoochie-mama" type clothes for little girls. I think they should stay little as long as possible. While I was searching for some good summer clothes, I looked at Old Navy, which i normally LOVE, and was not impressed. My two older girls have to wear the big girl stuff and it all looked like stuff that was good for 17 year olds!!! They are 5 and 7, they don't need to be wearing that. So that is why I shop primarily at Gymboree and The Children's Place. Their clothes are cute, cheap and modest, in my opinion. And I don't shop at wal mart normally because, frankly, I think some of their stuff is absolute crap. You can find a gem here and there, but most often not. Boys clothes are better to get there than little girls. And I don't want to see everything plastered with Hannah Montanna.

I'm off my soap box now.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Multiple Posting Day

Just a friendly PSA that not all my posts are sponsored ones. Just scroll down the page and you can see my regular posts too! Today they included "How do You make Roast", "the Lone Filmmaker", and "my fantastic deals".

Enjoy your reading!!

Police Gear Website

Have you heard about La Police Gear yet? They have these really cool 511 Tactical Shorts that are both comfortable AND efficient! They will carry all your bulky items, yet are still durable enough to last a long time. The 511 Tactical Shorts are made from 100% Cotton, so they also breathe well too.

Check out their site, they offer FREE shipping, and a FREE hat, if you buy any two 5.11 Tactical Clothing items.

The Lone Filmmaker

I wrote about this awhile ago, TheLoneFilmmaker, but I just wanted to give a thumbs up to Rob again!! He is really awesome, I love his videos. Go take a look!

Vote Now!!

Tying in with my last post about the Dockers contest, I am now going to share with you my favorite video in the Dockers contest. I picked it out of many because it seems to be the funniest, most creative and most original video in my opinion. Some of the other videos that have been submitted lack all of the previously mentioned aspects. Ok, they aren't all that bad, but I do think that the entries could have been a lot more interesting.

When I heard that I could watch some of the Dockers Contest videos, I expected to see some rip-roarin' funny stuff, and this was the only one that came close to it. It describes in detail, all the ways Dockers can be used and places they can be worn. Dockers Video

If it doesn't come up, click on the red arrow and scroll down to the one that says "Do It In Dockers", I think it is the 6th video.

I would love to see more entries, so why don't you submit a video? It is fun, and you get to win a chance to see your add on Jay Leno!!! Wouldn't that be fun? But you better hurry, because the contest ends on May 29th, so you only have a couple more days to enter your video submission. The clock is ticking! Use your creativity people!

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Sponsored by Dockers

My FANTASTIC Deals Today!

Not many of you would consider this a big deal, but to us die-hard gymboree shoppers, it is. I was invited to go "back-room" shopping. Does anyone know how big of a deal this is? they have all of the clearance stuff there, from last year and sometimes before. Only select customers get asked/invited. All of the clothes are very highly discounted. So needless to say, I was sooooo excited!! I shopped for all 4 kids today and got over 1K dollars worth of merchandise. 55 pieces. How much do you think I paid for all of it? just guess.

$163.00
yep, ,that's it! Everything was on sale for 20% off, plus the stuff was already discounted, PLUS...I had a 20% off coupon!

And I earned 3 gymbucks!

I forgot to add, my best deal of the day was a t-shirt for the boy. It was marked down to $.49 cents. I got it for $.29 after all the discounts!!!

A Day In The Life Of My Pants

My jeans certainly don't live an exciting life. In fact, my favorite pair of jeans probably hates me right now because it was sitting in a pile of dirty laundry for over a week. But today however, they had fun! They started off the day, clean, dry and unwrinkled. I think they must have been confused, because they certainly don't experience that every day. They were put on, and secured with a new leather belt they helped me to find last week. Then we went shopping together! They stayed with me as I searched the bins in Gymboree for good deals, and complained when I threw them on the floor of a dressing room so they could be usurped by a newer, better pair. Well, lucky for them, they weren't. Jeans such as this are not easy to come by. Now we're home, and they are once again sitting in a pile of dirty laundry, awaiting the glorious day that they can accompany me on another "exciting" adventure. I feel though, that I shall have to break the news to them that they are about to be replaced, as they are becoming to big for me.

I bet if my pants were Dockers then they wouldn't have to suffer on a day to day basis.

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Right now, there is a Dockers contest, where you can submit a video about your favorite pair of pants, to the Dockers TV Commercial Contest. It is a really neat contest, and you can win a chance to see your add on Jay Leno!!!

Why not head on over there to the Dockers contest and submit your video! You never know, you might win!!!

Sponsored by Dockers

How Do You Make Roast?

Ok, I admit it, I am terrible in the kitchen. I CAN cook, and do it well when I apply myself, but I strongly dislike cooking. I guess it stems from just not having a lot of time and being on my own a lot with 4 kids. Plus, I have gotten into a recipe rut and just repeat our favorites.

One of my favorite things to cook is Roast Beef. I am a huge fan of red meat, so there is no way I could ever become a vegetarian or vegan.

When I buy a roast, I usually plop it in the roasting pan. Then in a small bowl, I'll take a pack of beef stew seasoning and mix it with some water to make a thin paste. I'll brush it on the roast, and then cook at 350 for a few hours, or till it is done. Depending on the size, sometimes it takes three hours, or sometimes less. About an hour and a half before the roast is done, I prep the veggies. I quarter a bunch of potatoes, coarsely chop onions and add baby carrots to the pot. I mix it all up so there is a good mix of veggies all around.

Let it cook for about an hour more, till the veggies are tender and easily pierced with a fork, and voila! You have a delicious tasting roast and veggies. The veggies will absorb the flavor of the roast, so it tastes amazing.

The next day I either make beef stew in the crock pot, if there is enough leftovers, or the kids and I will eat it cold. LOVE IT!!!

While my mom was here for Mother's Day, I had a pork roast to cook. Now, normally I really dislike pork roast, but this came out fantastic! She put it in the crockpot with a bit of water and some onion soup mix seasoning on high for a few hours, and it came out so incredibly tender and juicy. And the flavor...omg, the flavor!!! I'm going to try this soon.

How do you make a roast? I'd love to hear some comments!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Am I Crazy?

I thought I would enter a photo contest. This is one of my favorite pictures that I took, Sky Of Fire

Here is another one I added, Shelton Sky, but haven't added into the contest yet.

I just wanted to share!!

My Shameless Plea

Can all you readers pass along my blog link? my visit counts/reader amount is really low, and I'd like it to jump!! Pass it on to anyone you know on the internet...I want readers!!!
I need them for this blog to survive, so unless you want it to shrink into a unrecognizable ball of dust, then get me more readers!!!

I've also added a new feature where you can subscribe to my blog in a reader!

Thank you!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Life Update

Well, I've been posting a lot the last couple days! Does anyone want a bit of a life update? lol

Karate was tonight again, but I think we've decided to withdraw both the girls. When we signed up, the classes were free because we have a full family membership with the YMCA. I did not think it would be anything really structured, but I guess I was wrong. Now the "coach" is insisting that all the kids have a "karate suit". (forgive me, I don't feel like findout how to spell "sensai" and "gii" properly, unless I just did it). The coach is ordering the, and is charging $35 a piece! I have three kids!!! In no way was this told to us when we signed up, so I am a bit fed up with them sliding this in after the kids start. The girls don't really want to continue with karate anymore, so we will probably just keep the boy enrolled. The girls want to start swimming lessons, but since we are late for this session, those will have to wait till next month for the summer one. Life sure is crazy with 4 kids!

Something exciting going on for me, is that I was asked to do a table at a school bazaar. An Avon table. I was hesitant at first because it is something that is totally new to me, but I found childcare for all 4 kids, and my Avon lady (the one that I signed up under) has offered me her expertise and is lending me a ton of stuff. Plus she has extra product that I can sell and split 50/50 with her! I am hoping it goes well because I have the opportunity to make at least a few hundred dollars. This event is on June 7th, so I have a few weeks to prepare. You'll all have to wish me luck!! And if anyone is interested in ordering from me, I do have free shipping codes. Just ask me for one!

My Personal Avon website




The above shower gel, lotion and perfume are my two current favorites. Even Mama Bear loves them. If you click on the pictures, it will bring you right to the site to order them. Same goes for the bug guard below! And right now the bug guard is 2 for 1. Bug guard is DEET FREE!!! And it is also one of Avon's best selling products.

The Stark Museum Of Art

If you all remember, not that long ago, I posted about the Shangri La Gardens in Orange, Texas, that was started by H.J. Lutcher Stark in 1946. Well, H.J. Lutcher Stark also had a vision to start a museum. Not any museum though, an art museum. The Stark Museum of Art is also in Orange, Texas.

The Stark Museum of Art focuses on collections of Western Art, American Indian Art, Decorative Arts, and Rare Books and Manuscripts. Mr. Stark shared his passion for collecting with his Mother, Miriam Lutcher Stark, though his focus was more on nature and art depicting the American West.

Mr. Stark and his wife, Nelda C. Stark, started the "Stark Foundation", which was to be operated exclusively for educational and charitable purposes. Though Mr. and Mrs. Stark have since passed on, their visions are carried on by the Stark Foundation's directors and officers.

"The mission of the Stark Foundation is to improve the quality of life in Southeast Texas by encouraging, promoting and assisting education, the arts, and health and human services...The Foundation also seeks to encourage and assist education through grants and through the scholarship program of the Miriam Lutcher Stark Reading and Declamation Contest. In addition, the Foundation strives to achieve the intent of its founders through grants to organizations seeking to improve area health care and to local organizations with a focus on special community and social needs"

The Western Art collection shows how, during the last two centuries, art has been interpreted in the western region of this country. It includes many photographs of Native American Indians in their natural customs.

The American Indian Art collection is a collection of hand crafted pieces from tribes around the west such as the "Great Plains, Southwest, Eastern Woodlands and Northwest Coast. The collection includes excellent examples of Plains clothing, body ornaments, and beadwork, such as elaborately beaded moccasins."

The Rare Books and Manuscripts collection is what interests me the most. I'm a HUGE history buff, and love "old things", so I would just love to go see this collection.

"The Rare Books and Manuscripts collection includes The Birds of America by naturalist John James Audubon. These five double elephant folios, which depict the birds of North America, belonged to the artist. The groundbreaking publication is widely regarded as one of the finest illustrated books of all time. In addition to Audubon’s The Birds of America are letters and journals by Audubon and artist Paul Kane, seven Books of Hours manuscripts, and more rare treasures."

And lastly, the Decorative Arts collection consists of primarily glass and porcelain. The collection includes such pieces as "the only complete set of The United States in Crystal, a series of bowls engraved with scenes representing each of the 50 states as well as Puerto Rico and the Union", as well as a series of porcelain birds by artist Edward Marshall Boehm.

When you are done exploring this beautiful museum, be sure to explore the city of Orange , Texas a bit too! You could also visit Shangri La Gardens and Nature Center, which is also run by the Stark Foundation. The Stark Museum of Art website is very informative and helpful. They have a wealth of information, much more than I could provide in my post.









Thrifty Thursdays



Hey Readers! Welcome to my 2nd installment in Thrifty Thursdays, hosted by Comical Coupon Cents. I can't think of too much to write, so I am going to share my post from the other day about the jeans from The Children's Place:


Awhile back I found a 15% off code for The Children's Place, on a message board I frequent. It was for online only, but I didnt think I would use it. Well, when we were in the actual store last weekend buying clothes, the SA gave me a coupon for free shipping b/c I couldn't find my middle kid jeans. So a lightbulb went off in my head today! lol

I did find her jeans at Value Village for the summer, brand new. But today I looked at TCP's website and found the baby 3 pairs of jeans for the fall for REALLY cheap. They were on sale already, so I got 3 pairs of jeans for $15.45. Free shipping, and a 15% off coupon let me save around 6 or 7 dollars. I only paid for the jeans and tax, and the jeans were $4.75 each. Score!!!

The grey jeans I actually have for her in her current size, as well as the dark wash ones with the flare. I didnt like the grey jeans at first, but in person they are really really cute!

And yes, I did look for the other kids too, but there was nothing on sale that was as good of a deal as this! How can you beat $4.75 for jeans?






I LOVE the children's place, they have such cute clothes and great deals!
Now off to work out...blech!

Ronald Bongo

Ronald Bongo is a leading executive in the open source software industry.

He currently is the CEO of the company CORA Technology, which is also known as CorraTech. Mr. Bongo has brought two decades of experience to his position of CEO for CorraTech. His expertise in technology, management consulting and finance have helped him bring a wealth of information to the company.

Ronald Bongo "manages CorraTech's corporate strategy, directs its management team and builds key business and strategic relationships for the company."

Check out his website by clicking on the link at the beginning of this post.

My Kid's Favorite Video



Thought I would share this with you! We laugh every time we see this. Everyone in our family is a fan of Spongebob.

Need An Investment Advisor?

My hubby and I have been talking lately about seeing an Investment Advisor, simply because we know nothing about it! We plan to start saving for our retirement soon and want to learn how to increase our funds.

It seems like George Divel is our man!

Mr Divel is very client oriented. He gets to know his customers and makes recommendations based not only on their immediate financial needs, but also their long term financial goals. He has been in investment banking for the past 10 years, and first started working for Morgan Stanley, but now works on his own.

George Divel has his own firm, Global Wealth Advisers, which services the Baltimore, Maryland area. He offers investment advice, products and services to his clients.

If you live around there, check out his website and give him a call!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Multiple Posting Day

Hey everyone! Make sure you scroll down and read all my posts for today. Occasionally I will get a lot of chances to write, so don't just read the first post you see. I posted about 4 or 5 times already today!!

Eye See You

With all the talk going on right now about "going green", eating and using organic products, and being kind to the earth, I thought it would be good to discuss companies that ARE striving to do things for the environment in a positive way.

Visit http://justskincare.com/eye_care.htm and see for yourself!

Emerge Labs has come out with "i", a new series of eye care products. Since the skin around the eye does not have a natural source of lubrication, it is important for all women, regardless of age, to moisturize, moisturize, and moisturize the area around their eyes religiously. I do every day and night!

Emerge Labs claims their eye cream is

"ultra-hydrating, super-smoothing, lightening and protecting treatments: iRevitalizer, iBrighener, iLift and iProtector – the ultimate nutrition, replenishment and anti-wrinkle care that corrects and prevents degenerative cellular damage caused by the environment, all formulated for the sensitive eye area"

I do feel that it is a little pricey, to be completely honest. Seeing that we are a family of 6 on one income, I probably shouldn't be spending $64 on a jar of eye cream anyway. If I did have the money though, I would probably try it.

You are probably wondering why they are Eco-friendly? Well, Emerge Labs is giving back to nature. They have graciously decided to give 10% of all their proceeds from the new "i" treatments to Plant for the Planet: Billion Tree Campaign! You can see more information here regarding the Billion Tree Campaign. I think they are also giving away a free tree with every purchase!!!


And for more reading pleasure, here is a copy of their press release:


“i” Technology! Science Meets Nature! Beauty Goes Green!

Emerge Labs new high-technology i Treatments Give Back to Nature with 10% of the Proceeds Going to Plant for the Planet: Billion Tree Campaign!

Watch fine lines, wrinkles, dark circles, puffiness, discoloration and aging diminish right before your i’s!

Emerge Labs presents the “i” series of total eye rejuvenation and protection.

Skin surrounding the fragile eye area does not have a natural source of lubrication making it the predominate area to show signs of aging. Send your crow’s feet flying with Emerge Lab’s new ultra-hydrating, super-smoothing, lightening and protecting treatments: iRevitalizer, iBrighener, iLift and iProtector – the ultimate nutrition, replenishment and anti-wrinkle care that corrects and prevents degenerative cellular damage caused by the environment, all formulated for the sensitive eye area. Emerge Labs is the brainchild of skincare guru, Cleo Londono, the director of Metamorphosis Day Spa in New York City.

iRevitalizer
iRevitalizer is an anti-stress eye cream with revolutionary anti-aging ingredients Vitamin K1 and EyePro 3X extracts and the powerful antioxidant, Micro Encapsulated Vitamin C that reduces dark circles, puffiness and combat signs of aging by diminishing fine lines and wrinkles.

iBrightener
iBrightener is a multi-benefit formula that hydrates and firms skin over time. It lightens skin discoloration under the eyes, using a rich botanical formula and a powerful blend of Kojic acid and Azelaic Acid.

iLift
iLift is a lifting fluid for the eyes containing the highly effective combination of Bio-Peptides, EyePro 3X extracts and Hyaluronic Acid that reduces the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles & puffiness and diminishes dry, crepe-like skin around the eye with an incredible moisturizing “lift”.

iProtect
iProtect is a moisturizing formula that actively helps prevent photo aging of eye area skin by incorporating encapsulated sunscreens to shut out aging UVA and burning UVB rays. i Protect promotes skin health by repairing, treating and preventing the aging effects of environmental exposure using Micro Encapsulated Vitamin C which is a powerful antioxidant that works to combat signs of aging as well as diminish fine lines and wrinkles.

Try the products to renew your skin and please plant the enclosed tree to renew our environment!


Organic Makeup

back from the gym! I found an article at the gym today about organic makeup. A good friend of mine, MamaBear is really starting to get into the organic side of life.

The article I found is about organic makeup, which I think is pretty neat! Have you heard of Physicians Formula? you can pretty much find it at any major retailer. Well, it turns out they have a new line of completely organic makeup!

Here is the link: Physicians Formula Organic Makeup

Pretty cool if you ask me!

Awesome Deal I Got Today

only have a minute to write as I am off to the gym. I'm forcing myself to go today! ugh!!

Anyway, awhile back I found a 15% off code for The Children's Place, on a message board I frequent. It was for online only, but I didnt think I would use it. Well, when we were in the actual store last weekend buying clothes, the SA gave me a coupon for free shipping b/c I couldn't find my middle kid jeans. So a lightbulb went off in my head today! lol

I did find her jeans at Value Village for the summer, brand new. But today I looked at TCP's website and found the baby 3 pairs of jeans for the fall for REALLY cheap. They were on sale already, so I got 3 pairs of jeans for $15.45. Free shipping, and a 15% off coupon let me save around 6 or 7 dollars. I only paid for the jeans and tax, and the jeans were $4.75 each. Score!!!

The grey jeans I actually have for her in her current size, as well as the dark wash ones with the flare. I didnt like the grey jeans at first, but in person they are really really cute!

And yes, I did look for the other kids too, but there was nothing on sale that was as good of a deal as this! How can you beat $4.75 for jeans?






I LOVE the children's place, they have such cute clothes and great deals!
Now off to work out...blech!

Works For Me Wednesday



Hey readers, time for my weekly installment of Works For Me Wednesday, hosted by Shannon over at Rocks In My Dryer .

Today I am going to talk about Chicken!



I am pretty sure that chicken is way up there on the list of "most consumed meats". It is in my family at least! I like to buy whole chickens and roast them. I try to get the biggest one I can find, at least a 6 pounder. So after I roast it, we will usually have enough left overs for the next night, if we add in some sides to make it stretch. Then the 3 day I will make chicken soup from scratch. Usually the soup will last us two days because I make a huge pot, so I actually have a rubber chicken! lol I consider that quite an accomplishment if I can feed us for 4 days off of one 6lb chicken! I don't just cook whole chickens though, I will do chicken breasts and drumsticks too in different recipes.

When I make the soup, I like to "boil the snot out of it", as my mother would say. I usually put the carcas in a huge stock pot with some seasonings and carrots. Once the meat is falling off the bones, I take it out and let it cool. While it is cooling, I add the other stuff to the soup, like other veggies, noodles (we like egg noodles in ours), more spices etc. By now the meat has cooled, so I cut the pieces off and put it in the soup. Now I have a huge pot of delicious smelling chicken soup, and then we eat. Sometimes I will freeze the leftovers instead of eating soup for the 4th day, because I just know the kids will complain for having chicken 4 days in a row! lol


And that is What Works For Me!

Friends Around The World





A HUGE thanks to Malditang, who tagged me in her Friends Around The World post!!! Thanks!!!

I know I am supposed to add some other stuff to this post, but frankly, I haven't the foggiest idea how!!!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Karate Today

Today marked the three older kids' FIRST ever Karate class. Their instructor is REALLY strict and anal. We were actually 10 minutes late today because of unforseen circumstances at Wally World and the world's slowest cashier, and two carts full of groceries. Anyway, we walked in and I went in after with the "baby" in the stroller, and he literally BARKS at me "DON'T BRING THE BABY IN HERE". So, I was pissed and gave him a dirty look and walked out. But it turns out it really is distracting for the kids. I watched for a few minutes behind the window and they were waving to me, so I had to leave. LOL

From now on I will just park myself in the waiting room at the Y. But all in all, the kids did great and had a lot of fun. We're going to see how this session goes, and if they do well, then we will continue.

Now they want swimming lessons!

Peek-A-Boo, I See You!

If you are looking for an awesome site, visit PeekYou. Peek You is an online directory that anyone can add themselves to. It helps others find your blogs, websites, photos or anything you post online. What's great about it, is that you can even create a profile for an older relative to ensure they are easy to find.

What I really liked about Peek You is the fact that YOU can choose what information people see. You can also have several different locations on your profile if you want, like your hometown, or where you went to college etc.

When I searched for myself on there, I couldn't find myself. Hmmm...I thought. Then I tried a different user name I had before, and there I was! What is really neat is that I can add my blog to my profile, which I went ahead and did, and this will help me gain traffic to my blog. Which of course, is always a plus. This is a very easy site to use, it is perfect for everyone!

Here is a link to my profile. If you click on my name when the profile comes up, it will bring you to a more detailed page that has more information on it like this. I'm also going to add it to my sidebar on the left side of my blog. If you have any questions about Peek You, feel free to email them at help@peekyou.com


Monday, May 19, 2008

Potty Training Update

I realized I haven't been updating on the PTing very regularly. Well, it seems she has decided to train herself! And she learned the urge to go herself as well. After I gave up, she decided she didn't want to! Lately she has been peeing on the potty almost all the time, and going #2 as well!!! She isn't dry at night yet, and she has been in diaper still, but I am not rushing her. She is doing well, and I am sure pretty soon I will go straight to cotton training pants again. She still has a few accidents, but was dry in her diaper almost all day. Hooray!!!

Society Without State

I found a very enlightening website today, Stateless Society. I am not very familiar with what they are talking about, which I will explain shortly, but the website was very informative and very helpful in explaining exactly what they believe and are striving for.

Society without State strives for a better world! A world where everyone gets along, where there is no Government. No borders, no countries, and no warheads (no sour candy? lol). There will be respect for life, and it will be full of personal responsibility. There will be peace.

According to their website, a world without violence is possible, but everyone has to work together to achieve that. They say that everyone, regardless of race, sex, and language, can live together in harmony and have one language; that of the heart. I do think it sounds quite intriguing, though probably a tad ambitious. I would love to see a world like this, where we can all get along and live and love and just "be".

There are four statements that define their beliefs:

1) Truth. To them, truth is the Law of Nature. It can not be affected, changed, or manipulated by man. It super cedes all. Mahatma Gandhi said, “Truth is God.”

2) Liberty. Everyone has the right to their own body. Man has the right to find his own happiness in any way he needs, provided it does not damage his or anyone else's life or liberty.

3) Non-Violence. They don't mean actual "non violence", but it is the absence of coercion by “constituted authority.” It means not having to be afraid of force, and is required for all relationships between mankind.

4) Peace. “Peace connotes absence of fear. There would be peace only when no part of the world is afraid of or exploited by any other part.” ~ Vinoba Bhave. According to them, Peace comes by being mentally pure. There is calmness, humility, and tranquility in peace.

So I hope that explains Society Without State a little better. Their website has a wealth of information about alternative government, no government and alternative currency ideas. Head on over there and see for yourself!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Did Ya Miss Me?

I didn't post at all yesterday! Wow! We've had a busy weekend. Seeing as there were two birthday parties to go to yesterday, plus we had some more much needed clothes purchasing to do, I was pretty tired. I managed to do it all though, and even fit in a trip to Value Village, where I found my middle daughter some much needed jeans. Two of them brand new! AND... two pairs of gymboree pants for the baby for fall/winter 2009. Score!

You are probably wondering why I spent all that money on brand new summer stuff, but got her jeans at value village, right? well, let's see... Summer is almost upon us, which means my kids will be living in shorts, t-shirts and dresses (well, not the boy! LOL). I don't feel the need to spend a fortune on a few pairs of jeans when she won't even wear them. That can come once school starts.

So unfortunately, I have another busy week ahead of me:

Monday: return DVD player to Best Buy b/c it won't work with our sound system
purchase desperately needed groceries
post office to mail pkgs

Tuesday: Gym
Karate for 3 older kids

Wednesday: Avon stuff
Possible Gym trip

Thursday: Karate

Friday: Possible Gym

I know the gym doesnt seem like a big thing, but I have to be there at 9am to get child care, and then I work out etc for an hour, hour and a half. Go home, shower, and then it's time to pick up my daughter from the bus (she gets out at noon). So it takes up my whole morning.

Well, I sure hope I enlightened you today! LOL

Do You Like Horror Films?

Me? Not so much. I have seen The Exorcist, and to date, that has been the scariest movie I have seen. I wasn't able to sleep properly for weeks! And I had to have my hubby come with me every time I went somewhere at night, or in the dark in our apartment.

There is buzz about a new movie called Frontier(s) that has movie critics everywhere talking! Apparently, it is a new Horror movie in the "gore" genre, and was classified Unrated. There is quite a bit of controversy over that, simply because it is unrated and extremely, extremely gruesome. Most movies of it's kind don't even make it to the theater, because of the violence and gore. But Frontier(s) did! It was shown in select theaters on May 9th, in only 10 cities across America, and went straight to DVD on May 13th. Seeing as it is now May 18th, you can purchase it uncut and unrated on DVD.


I am not into this type of movie, so I won't be seeing it. But I did watch the trailer, and found it to be a very suspenseful film. So if you are into the whole horror, guts and gore movie scene, this one is for you. To see clips, the unrated Trailer, and get general information about the movie, head to Frontier(s) Unrated to get your gore fest going on!

Sponsored by Frontier(s)

Friday, May 16, 2008

Wow, What A Night!!!

Can you believe it? I was brave enough to take ALL 4 kids to the mall on a friday night so we could buy clothes and a few misc things. I found some awesome, awesome, awesome clothes for them at The Children's Place. I spent $270 and the three older kids got tons and tons of stuff. The baby got a few things as well, but not as much as she hardly needed anything. I really got some great deals because I had a 20% off coupon. Everyone is set for summer except for some sandles. And my middle daugher needs jeans, that I forgot to buy. After that we headed to "Claires" because my eldest had to buy her bestest friend a birthday gift. Well lucky me...they had $10 for 10!!! I found some even cheaper stuff there (4/$1) and stocked up for xmas stocking stuffers. Then we treated ourselves to cinnabon ;o) Not that I should eat it, but I did do 60 minutes on the elliptical and treadmill today. lol Oh well! Then we had to get a couple other things, and last but not least, buy a new DVD player at Best Buy. The kids didn't get into bed till about 9:30PM. 1.5 hours past their normal bed time. Let's cross our fingers that they sleep in. lol

Tomorrow brings another busy day...

And of course, mommy came last...we didn't have time to get my stuff, so tomorrow while my eldest is at the birthday party, I have to drag the three other kids out shopping for me. Muhahaha.

I Now Pronounce You...

When my Hubby and I were married years ago (December 29th, 1999 to be exact), we had to answer with a "Yes", not an "I Do". We were married in a civil ceremony in Wiesbaden, Germany. It was such an un-traditional wedding, a little chaotic, but I have such fun and fond memories of that day.

December 29th, 1999, started off with a bang! A very early bang, as we were married at 9:30 AM. As I was putting on my dress, the strap broke! lol My fiancee, well, hubby now, had to sew me in. I didn't wear white, I did my own hair and make-up, and we drove a hoopdie to the wedding site. We weren't even packed for our honeymoon yet! We had to have a translator to translate the German for us, but what made us laugh about that was the fact that she spoke LESS English than our officiant! Afterwards we had lunch at the Brauhaus in Mainz, with my hubby's 1st Sergeant, Lieutenant, and a couple of his friends. It was fantastic! Nothing better than beer, fries and bratwurst for a wedding meal.

Seeing that my hubby and I essentially eloped, we didn't have a traditional wedding or send out invitations. We still talk though, about having a traditional wedding for our 10th or 15th wedding anniversary. So occasionally I still look at wedding dresses, and wedding invitations, just to dream. Today I found this site that sells really nice Wedding Invitations.

This was my favorite one:




I love the simplicity of this, the black and white is so classic. I think the two color combinations make each other pop! And I think the ribbon is pretty cute too.

What I really liked about the site was the fact that you can zoom in on each individual invitation. This is really helpful because you can see exactly what is on your invitation, and all the little details. I like to know what I am getting for my money, so this feature is fantastic!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Stimulus Check

Tomorrow we are FINALLY getting our stimulus check from the good ole IRS. We were lucky to get $2400 this year. I know a lot of people didn't get this money, so we are pretty happy we did! Hubby is buying a lap top, I got my iPod, the kids are getting their summer clothes and we have to buy our youngest a big girl bed. Fun Fun! Oh, and we need a new table and chairs. But the table, chairs and bed are going to wait till my hubby gets back again this summer. I do have to say though, I am looking forward to going shopping this weekend!!! I have coupons too, so even better!

Lap-Band Surgery



Can you read it? pull at the corners of your eyes if you can't

I Signed Up With Social Spark

If some of you recall, I signed up with Social Spark exactly one week ago! I actually wrote about it here in my blog last week.

Being as this is my first official Social Spark post, I am not quite sure what to write, I just want to tell you I signed up with them. I do get paid to blog with them, as I do with PayPerPost, but with SocialSpark, 100% Audit-able In-Post Disclosure is required. So ANY posts that I do for Social Spark will have a "Sponsored By Social Spark" banner at the end of them.

Once you are accepted for a post at SocialSpark, you have twelve hours to complete it. Customer Love is pretty quick about getting back to you if you need to correct anything, and they do allow you to re-submit your posts if need be. Social Spark has some great opportunities to blog about, as well as offering "Sparks".

A "spark" is for those of us with writers block, like I often get. It is not a paid opp, but more often than not, the sponsor will blog about you on their site in return. This is called "Blog U Back". Even though I wouldn't get paid for doing this, it actually does give me some sort of "return". See, if another blogger writes about me or my blog on their blog, that will generate more traffic to this site. Which in turn will raise my rank, and get me more Opps, and therefore, more money!


Once you have submitted your post, and as long as you have followed all the required posting guidlines, as well as the Code of Ethics, you will be paid. But don't forget, your blog has to be 90 days old before you can sign up and start posting with Social Spark.

This is Social Spark's Code of Ethics:

100% Audit-able In-Post Disclosure
100% Transparency
100% Real Opinions
100% Search Engine Friendly



Sponsored by SocialSpark

I've Had A Busy Week

And there is more to come!

Let's see...

Monday: went to the gym

Tuesday: Baby Dentist Appt, errands PM

Wednesday: Went to the gym in the AM, dropped kid off at friends, Target and Bank errands

Thursday: MOPS in the AM...this afternoon is free, thankfully!

Friday: Gym in the AM, summer clothes shopping for kids in PM

Saturday: B-day part at the YMCA, B-day Party at Chuck E Cheese's

Sunday: Possible b-day party for my friends 1 year old. Havent decided if I am going to go yet b/c we've been busy every single day this week.

Next week slows down a bit thankfully, but starting next tuesday and thursday...we have Karate from 4:30-5:30 for the three older kids, so my gym time will move to those time slots, and I'll have to decide what day is my 3d day.

If you have a busy schedule, how do you manage it?

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Wild Wild West

Or should I say, the Wild Wild NORTH west.

I haven't really ever been on a wild vacation, but if I ever went on one it be to San Francisco. My hubby and I are dying to go there, and in fact actually planned to go there last summer. We really want to see where Anton LaVey's Black House once stood. San Francisco has such a neat history! There are so many fun things to do, such as Alcatraz, the Golden Gate Bridge, China Town, and the Fisherman's Wharf. We would paint the town red if we went! While we weren't able to go last year, I am sure we'll go sometime soon. We'd like to take our kids there in a couple years once they are a bit older to appreciate it. I'd also like to visit New York once in my lifetime, but I have a feeling I'll have to wait a bit for that, as I am the only one in my family that would like to go for the shopping. Maybe I could take my sister? She'd love to go with me.

If you are looking for a fun vacation this summer, then be sure to contact Trusted Tours and Attractions for sightseeing tours in 23 different cities across America. Some of the cities they do tours in are Las Vegas, Honolulu, New Orleans and New York, just to name a few. But if you want to head to the east coast, they also offer Things to do in Boston. I have always wanted to go there as well! The history of the area simply fascinates me, especially the Salem Witch Trials. I've always had a fascination with the "dark" side, so that is why I focused especially on Boston and San Francisco.

Trusted Tours and Attractions has a really cool promotion going on right now. If you sign up for their Trusted Travel eNewsletter, you have a chance to win a $150 iTunes gift card!!!! So head on over people, and go win yourself that gift card. But hurry, the offer ends May 31st!

iPod

I got my first iPod today! It's a purple shuffle and I got it for $49 at Tar-gay. lol I love it! I bought it to have while I work out.

Does anyone else have one? what kind? this is just perfect for me, I don't need something much bigger.

Jitterbug Cell Phones

Works For Me Wednesday



Well, it's time for the weekly installment of "Works For Me Wednesday", hosted by Shannon over at Rocks In My Dryer

Seeing as it is 12:30 Am and I am supposed to be sleeping, I am only going to add a few tips right now and do the rest later in the afternoon.

1. Getting a Gym membership. I actually do go to the gym and workout if I have a membership! Going in the morning and actually looking forward to it! gasp!

2. Buying name brand toilet paper! LOL Some of you might think this is funny, but I can't use anything but Charmin Ultra Soft. If I go for the angel soft like I buy the kids, well, let's just say, my tooshie doesn't thank me!


I'll write more in the afternoon!

Ok, we'll I am back! I really tried to think of another tip to share, but I seem to be having a major brain fart today. So i will just elaborate on the exercise thing. I have yo-yo dieted for years, and just couldn't stick to a program and bugged and bugged my hubby about getting a gym membership. We werent actually able to afford it until we sold our house, so we went to the YMCA and signed up. I really enjoy going, exercise is a great stress reliever and I feel good about myself because I am working out. I can't work out at home b/c I have plantar faciatis, so the added stress of doing an aerobic tape really really hurts my feet. So i go to the gym and use the elliptical and recumbent bike and weights. Anything that doesn't require me to actually put pressure on my feet (like the treadmill). Essentially, I have the membership for myself. Not for my hubby, not for my kids or my family...for me! Myself is my motivation. I want so badly to feel better about myself, and to feel like the hot wife and mom I should be! My struggles with weight and dieting have gone on far too long, and it's time for it to stop. The end picture is also what motivates me...I can see myself thinner and wearing awesome clothes. I don't know how far away that is, but I am going to keep working at it until I get there. I'm doing this for me! And that's why I have a YMCA membership!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

I just got a discount on my phone bill!

Well, today is bill paying day! ugh! I was looking over what needed to be paid and saw that my Qwest bill (phone) seemed awfully high, so I called customer service and asked why. Well, for some reason they billed me twice for my long distance by accident, so they took off ($23.94), and I got a month free! WooHoo!!!

Going On Vacation This Summer?

If you are needing to rent a car while on vacation, then be sure to check out Advantage rent a car.

I found this site today, as I was looking for a minivan rental. We're probably going to Pennsylvania next summer for a family reunion, and we'll be flying, so we'll need a mini van for our brood! lol I checked a few sites and Advantage was the cheapest I found. The rate I was quoted for a 7 seater mini-van, for 5 days, was only $194.94. That is $33.92 per day! Hertz quoted me $108.99 a day! Their average rates start as low as $19.99 a day, which is probably the best price I have ever found from ANY car rental company.

I am really very happy with what I have seen and read on their site, and I am pretty sure we will rent from them when we go on our vacation next year. Advantage also has a rewards program: Every rental earns 50 points per day, and once you reach 600 points, you get a free day of rental to use however you please. The site is really easy to use, though I do wish they had more locations. Advantage is also offering Sun Country Airline customers a free day of rental, so if you fly with Sun Country, you can get 3 days of rental for the price of two.

One thing you Eco-Conscious readers might enjoy is the fact that "Advantage is committed to providing environmentally conscientious travelers with a fleet of 100% fuel efficient vehicles by the end of 2010. We plan to go green, with the assistance of our automobile providers, and offer choices consistent with our pledge to protect the environment with each and every rental." I try to be as Eco-friendly as I can, and I really appreciate that companies are making this effort!

So if you are looking for a great deal on a car rental be sure to check out Advantage Car Rental.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Awesome Freebies!

Hello dear readers!
Today's mail brought some awesome surprises..

I got a free Magic School Bus soft cover from here. That came super fast!

I also got a free $10 off a $10 purchase at Kohl's. Not sure where I got that from, I think I signed up on their website. I'm off to shop in a few days too, so this will come in handy!!

It's A Bird, It's a Plane...Wait, It's A Blinky!

I found a cool site today. Here is a Link to Magic Matt's Brilliant Blinkys. They sell thousands of different blinkies, in every style imaginable.

What is a blinky, you might be asking? It is a light-up pin you can wear in your hair, on your clothes, or even as an earing! Prices are cheap and start at $2.99 for one. Or you can order multiples, and get as low as $.74 cents each! They also have LED flashing sunglasses, fiber optic flashing baseball caps for your favorite teams and a variety of other products.

I think the blinkies especially might be pretty neat for halloween, and they would help me keep track of my kids as we trick or treat. Or if you're a partier, buy them to wear to a club.

Check them out!


Exercise and Working Off My Fat Ass

I have had 2nd thoughts about sharing this, but then thought perhaps if I post what I am doing, you readers can help keep me accountable!

Hubby and I got a gym membership and we both need to loose some weight. My goal is to go to the gym 3 days a week right now. I went today, and did 33 minutes on the elliptical, 15 on the recumbent bike and then some resistance/strength training. I feel awesome!!!

I am going again on wednesday. I haven't lost any weight yet, but I am sure that will start happening. Today was my fourth time going, and I haven't exactly been eating great as we just had mother's day weekend. I have to work on my diet too, unfortunately.

Vegas Baby!

I have never been to Vegas, but I think I would like to go! And there is a great opportunity for me to go as well, because the 4th Annual New Media Expo 2008 will be held in Las Vegas this year from August 14th-16th.

The expo is attended by around 3000 individuals, all with interest in some form of on-line media. They are freelancers, hobbyists, all those learning how to create better blogs, podcasts and online videos.

The buzz on their site says it will be an exciting, hands on, "how to" event, without the boring speakers. I am not normally interested in conventions like this, but this actually seems like an event I would like to attend. I'd like to learn how to make a better blog!

If you are going to head over there, I would make reservations fast! This is sure to fill up quickly.

Me and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Oh yeah, this week started off with a bang! Being mother's day I decided to "lounge" around and not worry about any housework etc today, and just enjoy the day. The kids and I had a picknick in our living room (due to rain earlier), we watched The Golden Compass again, and just had a nice relaxing day. Since mom and my sis were here, I didn't get much sleep, as my sis and I always stay up late. So I fell asleep on the couch. Not too bad, right?

Well...

I forgot to wash all the denim needed for tomorrow because i got behind on my housework because they were here. I also forgot that my kindergartener has snack day tomorrow. I have nothing. not a thing. So here it is at 12:30 Am, I am supposed to be in bed already, not a care in the world. And I am too freakin pissed off to go to bed now because I have a load of denim in the wash that has to go in the dryer, and can't figure out what to do for a snack.

But...

I have to be at the YMCA at 9am otherwise I miss my reservation for child care for the baby, and I need to work out too. So how do I get 3 kids off to school on the bus by 8:20 with no snack? I think I am going to have to drive everyone and just leave super early and stop by safeway on my way to the gym/dropping kids off. The snack thing wouldn't be such a big deal, but in her class there is EGG, DAIRY, KIWI and NUT allergies. And of course, no home baked goodies or snacks are allowed. I might just send her to school with a freakin bag of baby carrots now.

And let's not forget to throw in the mix, a hubby who doesn't really care that I messed up, says it is my fault, and is in a pissy mood himself.

And that's what makes my Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.

are baby carrots a bad idea? I would really like to avoid going to safeway if I can help it.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Start Sampling

Scroll to the bottom of my blog and see my new widget! I'm a frequent visitor over at Start Sampling and thought I would share the goodness!!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

U Comment, I Follow

I have to admit, I am COMPLETELY clueless as to exactly what this is, so I am going to copy and paste from my friend's site. I just know it is good for my blog, and for all my readers who need to build up their site traffic as well!!


In case you have been wondering what that U Comment, I Follow item is in my sidebar, here's an explanation given by Randa Clay over at Randa Clay Design.

Almost all blog platforms by default are set up so that a “dead end” piece of code is inserted wherever there is a link in a comment, so that search engines will not “count” the link as they are crawling the internet. This was originally designed to help stop comment spam, but it doesn’t work. What it does is remove some of the incentive for your readers contribute to your site by commenting on your posts.

What can you do about it? Turn off “nofollow”. Show your commenters that you appreciate them. Spread the link love.

How? Depending on the blog platform you’re on, you can install a plugin (like this one for WordPress), or disable it (see this post if you’re a Moveable Type user), or modify your template (check this site for Blogger tips).

Turning off the “nofollow” on blog comments has become a sort of “movement”. Well, if we’re going to have a movement, we should have something to show our readers that we’re part of it, don’t you think? I’ve created some little “I Follow” logos that would work well for a side bar, and if you’ve written a post letting your readers know that you’ve turned off nofollow in your comments, you could link the logo to that post.

Thanks Randa!

As an addition to Randa's great tutorial, I just wanted to mention that the whole reason why blog platforms do this to begin with is to prevent comment spam - spammers spamming blogs with spam comments (can I say spam any more in this sentence?) in order to gain links - as long as you have some sort of comment moderation (Captcha letters or owner approval) you won't get spam comments!


And I have to say thanks to MamaBear, because without her help, I would still be in the stone age! I am no good with computer stuff, HTML, or anything like that.

Mother's Day gifts








The kids were so eager last night to give me all my presents, lol, so we opened them early! Here are some pictures of my flowers from hubby, and then our son bought me a rose. I also got a cookbook from our middle daughter, some pretty magnets,and some nice shower get and soap from all the kids. They picked that out with their aunt. The cookbook was my favorite actually. The kindergarten kids had to remember mom's favorite recipes, and write it down for us! This was my daughters...if you can't guess, we had baked potato soup for dinner the night before she did this.



We all had a good laugh after reading the "cookbook".

Friday, May 09, 2008

Mother's Day Weekend

My mom and sister are in town this weekend, so I am not sure how much time I will be on here. Today mom and I are headed to my daughter's school for a "muffins with mom" kindgerten tea. Then this afternoon we're headed to the mall. Tomorrow we have the kid's school carnival. And of course, sunday is Mother's Day.

I'll be back soon!!!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Scratch Meals

I found this awesome site today!!! Scratch meals makes healthy, tasty, from Scratch meals and delivers them to you at your home or office! I would love to have a service like that. I've signed the older kids up for Karate, which starts in a couple weeks, and having these meals would be awesome to heat up for dinner when we get home.

But, I don't live in S.C., and Scratch Meals has prepared meals Greenville sc. I have to say though, if I lived in any of the areas they service, I would definitely sign up. I am admittedly a lazy cook, I don't care for it.

Some of their menu options are Sun-dried Tomato Crusted Chicken, Sliced Pot Roast with Mushroom Gravy, Scratch Chicken Salad, and Chocolate Cream Pie.
Their meals start at $9.50 per serving and include fresh cornbread. Soups, Sides, Salads, and Desserts are $5.95 and are packaged to serve up to four people.

Still have some questions?

FAQ
I haven't had time to plan. Can I just come by your location and pick something up?

Absolutely. While our entire menu isn't always available, we're cooking every day so we always have something fresh and ready to go. Stop by our Augusta Rd. location anytime between 10:30 a.m. and 7 p.m., Monday-Friday and see what's cooking. Not going to be able to come by until the end of the day? Call ahead and we'll pull something aside and hold it for you.

Are Scratch meals healthy?

Scratch doesn't take shortcuts. No preservatives or flavor enhancers. Just the freshest ingredients prepared to order. We make our own stocks, use very little butter and no wheat glutens. We take our time and let the natural flavors of the ingredients come through.

How often does your menu change?

We have a few items on our menu that are popular and sell year around. However, every six weeks or so, we'll add new items to take advantage of the seasonality of different fruits & vegetables. It is our goal to keep the menu fresh, and we'll do that by taking advantage of the freshest ingredients available throughout the year.


So if you live in the Augusta, SC area, give these guys a call! I really can't say how much I would love to use a service like this. How about you guys come out to the Northwest?




Thrifty Thursdays


Comical Coupon Cents has a new meme up...Thrifty Thursdays. We're supposed to share what we have found for cheap, free, made ourselves etc. I have a couple:

1) I found my eldest two brand new shorts/capris at Value Village for CHEAP. I paid less than $5 a pair. I really like value village. lol I also got my youngest several pairs of shoes at Target for $3.24 a pair. And I found our middle child a pair of capris at WalMart for only $3. I love getting a good bargain.

2) I also got a Scotch Brite tub and tile scrubber for $.50 cents!! This item is normally $14.99 at Target, and was on clearance for $7.48. I had two coupons equalling $7, so I got it for $.48 cents actually. I was really really pleased with that. I also got the Scotch Brite toilet scrubbers for free thanks to coupons!

Free Shipping with Avon

Just a shout out to any potential Avon customers!!!
Let me know if you want free shipping and I can send you a code via email!!

This is FREE SHIPPING with ANY order. So even if you spend $1, you still get FREE SHIPPING!!!!

Come on people!!!

Thursday Ramblings

I don't have much time to write today, as I have family coming in from out of town. My mom and sister are coming for Mother's Day. It has turned into an annual traidtion with us!

So here I am at almost 11am, still sitting in my pajamas because I have been cleaning up and writing my last PayPerPost opp. I got my first Avon shipment!! I started putting that into bags for my customers, along with a couple samples I ordered for everyone. So if you ordered from me, you'll be getting a couple extra goodies!!!

Hubby told me he had ordered me a package. I thought it was maybe an iPod, or something else electronic. The Fed-Ex truck came, and to my surprise, he sent me a gorgeous boquet of tulips for Mother's Day!!! I love them. Tulips are my favorite flowers. I will add a picture after they have bloomed some more. Thank you honey, they are so pretty!!!!

Well, my kindergartener gets home in an hour and I have to shower, get the baby down for a nap, tidy up some more and get off this computer!!!

Social Spark

Well, I got another Opp! This makes about $150 I have made in PayPerPost Opps in just under a month! I will get my first payment this Sunday I think, and I have made $150 so far. PayPerPost has given me some spending money, which I like, especially since I get paid by PayPal and can use my PayPal debit card.

Today I am going to enlighten you all about SocialSpark. Social Spark is a sister company to PayPerPost, and is run by Izea. I thought it might be fun to get some more posting opportunities, as I am all for making any money I can. I set up my profile, and if you click on the link you can get an idea of how it works. My profile was pretty easy to set up, and it didn't take me too much time this morning. I can get quite a few posting opps as well, since my blog is "old" which makes me happy. I picked my profile simply because it is mine, and because everyone else who signs up can see how easy it was to do it, and how theirs will look as well.

I do have to say though, that I do not find the Social Spark website very user friendly. A friend of mine has also signed up for Social Spark, and I can not find any of the information that she did. That discourages me a bit, but I am going to keep plugging away at it to see what I can uncover about the site. I can not accept any opps now, as my blog has not yet been approved, but that should be done in the next day or so. I will be taking any available opps that I can!

From what I did uncover, there are several different posting opps. Those include:

1. Sponsored posts like what I do for PayPerPost

2. Banner Adds. A sponsor will pay you to host their banner on your blog

3. Sparks. A "spark" is for those of us with writers block, like I often get. It is not a paid opp, but more often than not, the sponsor will blog about you on their site in return. This is called "Blog U Back". Even though I wouldn't get paid for doing this, it actually does give me some sort of "return". See, if another blogger writes about me or my blog on their blog, that will generate more traffic to this site. Which in turn will raise my rank with PayPerPost, and get me more Opps, and therefore, more money! So you can see how the Spark feature is one of their best.

I wanted to share something funny about Social Spark. While I was navigating the "Sparks", I happened upon a spark for the scariest picture. A little background...The Exorcist is the scariest movie ever. I watched it with my hubby when we lived in Germany, and for months afterwards, I made him come to the bathroom with me at night because I was so scared. I hate seeing pictures of Reagan. So you can imagine how startled and scared I was when I opened this spark, because lo and behold, it was a picture of Regan's face. It startled me so much, I got tears in my eyes. LOL

Once my blog is fully approved, I am going to jump right in and do as much as I can. I have to admit, I was skeptical at first, but after more research, I like what I see at Social Spark.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

What Doesn't Work For Me Wednesday



Shannon, over at Rocks In My Dryer has a blog carnival called "What Works For Me Wednesday". Today she decided it would be "What Doesn't Work For Me Wednesday". So...here goes, what doesn't work for me:

1. Clipping Coupons. Sometimes I can find some good ones, but more often than not, I really can not be bothered to even try.

2. Getting my daughters to clean their room! It looks like a bomb went off in there.

3. Canning food. Doesn't interest me, I don't have the storage space, and I don't want to bother taking the time to do it. Though we do live right next to a HUGE strawberry farm, so I will make some jam this summer. That is one thing I do want to do.

4. Dieting. I can't seem to give up sweets, but as long as I can have them in some form, I am ok.

So what doesn't work for you? Bargain wise, family wise etc. Anything you can think of!