Saturday, December 19, 2009

Today’s Mail: House Party!



I was so excited to be a host for the upcoming Fun, Fit and Guilt-Free House Party!  Today I got the package in the mail and I couldn’t wait to show it off!   I think this one is going to be a lot of fun.  I plan on sending out invites next week!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Notes on Democracy by H.L. Menken

Who is H.L. Mencken and why am I just now reading him!? This book is genius! I started highlighting passages I liked but then realized nearly every page was marked in florescent pink.

I'm not going to say this book is for everyone but it is definitely for those of us out there that watch the news and listen to certain groups or leaders thinking, "Seriously are there people out there buying this?" Then we come into contact with those who are in fact subscribing whole-heartily to an idiotic brainless existence. Left dumbfounded we trudge along wondering if there are any 'real' people left in the world.

The world was a completely different place in 1926 when Mencken originally wrote this but it doesn't' take long to realize despite our innovations and advancements nearly 100 years later we've made no real progress in terms of democracy. Mencken's insights serve as a reminder to that fact and while the organizations may have changed and the leaders all have new names they are in essence the same.

"Public policies are determined and laws are made by small minorities playing upon the fears and imbecilities of the mob-sometimes minorities of intelligent and honest men, but usually minorities of rogues." Hmmmm, rogues you say? Remind you of anyone?

If you are of a thinking mind I highly recommend this book but be warned it reads like a philosophy book so if you think you can just pick it up and read a few chapters you're wrong. It will have you thinking and a buzz with every paragraph so make sure you have a good sounding board to bounce ideas off of after reading.

(I received this book as part of a giveaway on I was not in anyway encouraged to give a review that didn't reflect my genuine feelings towards the book.)

Friday, December 4, 2009

Has it really been a month?

Wow, with changes at work I spent most of November in the office and fell behind on my savings hunting.  However I continue to keep up with my coupons.  On average I’ve been saving $35 when I go grocery shopping but this time I did sooo good I gotta brag!  $54 saved by using coupons.  This is the most I’ve ever saved and I’m so excited.  Much to the cashier’s chagrin the lady in line behind me asked how I find all these good coupons and I told her about and Frugal Friend

I’d try to give a rundown of my exact savings but well my to do list is still too long.  I don’t know how those other ladies do it, but I’m so grateful they do!


Everything is the picture had a minimum of a $1 off, which made the panko .16 a box and nothing went over a $1…except for the chocolates.  

Butterball Turkey broth .41 a can, no coupons, just great deal!


Money Maker! $1.00 off Kotex product that were only .84 each, that’s .32  (–paid for the panko)

Free Alouette Brie wheel $5.99 savings!

Free Alouette crumbles feta cheese $1.79 savings!

$3.00 total on Pantene shampoo and conditions!

$3.00 total on Glad candles!

9.00 on Kashi GoLean Crunch cereals ( unfortunately the commissary bumped these up from $2 a box to $3.23 but I still got them all for $3.96 if my math is right.)

Commissaries are great about coupons and they actually had some that make the Nestle hot chocolate .41 a box!


Sierra Mist ended up being .98 for 2 with a B1G1 free coupon!

Now that' I’m back to my usually schedule I’ll hopefully find time to hunt out some deals of my own to share!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Monday, October 26, 2009

Mailbox Monday


This Monday was all about the coupons. I finally got my Pop Tarts “Sprinkling” package along with an Alouette mailing, through SheSpeaks with a coupon for a free crumbled cheese and more coupons to pass around, and the Fructis shampoo and conditioner samples.

For some reason I also got a Bed, Bath and Beyond mailing. The nearest store is over an hour away but hey it did have a coupon for $5 off a purchase of $15 or more, so they next time I go I’m prepared and Christmas is right around the corner!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Feeling Tall!

After reading Max Lucado’s Fearless I was jumping at the chance to review his newest children’s book, The Tallest of the smalls. On the first page Lucado asks parents, “What do you do when your child feels small and insignificant? What do you say to smooth hurt feelings? What does your child need from you?” The answer to those questions is on the pages of this book.

In Stiltsville there are those that are low and those that aren’t. Every day at the exact same time the lows are reminded of their position when ‘they’ come out and parade around on their stilts. In a show of superiority they choose one person from the lowly crowd to “…move up the ladder.” Of course we all know that when you try to be something you’re not or hold yourself to someone else’s standards and judgments you are bound to fall. And when you fall in Stiltsville ‘they’ will be there to laugh and take away their good judgments. But their judgments don’t matter, or God loves us and wants us to keep our feet on the ground.

The book is beautifully illustrated by Maria Monescillo. I liked the simple, non-descript faces on the characters, the rich colors and seemingly textured clothing. Still the images didn’t overpower the text and instead created a nice balance.

I highly recommend this book. While reading it to my little ones they felt sorry for the main character Ollie before he got his stilts and they felt even worse when he fell back to the ground. By relating to Ollie I think it helped them to understand that Jesus is there for us and doesn’t want us to make ourselves into someone else’s image. We were made in his image and he loves us!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Mailbox Monday


So this time is was a stack of magazines! I wanted to point out to anyone looking for a free body and soul subscription that I actually used my coke rewards to get that. There is also a free sample from philosophy and a nice package of stuff from Beingirl.

On a different note the houseparties went well this weekend. I think everyone had a good time and enjoyed the Green Works samples. We didn’t have a chance to ‘play’ with Windows 7 so I think I’m going to have another smaller get together to go through it.

In regards to tips about being selected for houseparty I can only say be honest. My first party was a Splenda party and the second was the Green Works and I was honest in the survey process that I didn’t know that much about either products and what I did know wasn’t positive. (Being Splenda always tasted bad to me and Green Works was a Clorox company jumping on the green bandwagon.) That being said, I have NO IDEA why or how I got to be a Windows 7 host other than my self proclaimed lack of computer knowledge. Maybe they select people who ‘know’ about a product but don’t have extensive knowledge of it. Which would explain why my admission to being an avid crafter DIDN’T get me selected as a Martha party host, bummer!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

A Stupid Moment

I wanted to thank everyone for the mailbox monday comments...okay now the stupid moment. When I set up this blog I didn't realize I needed to change the setting so that I KNEW when people had commented. So talking to my sister she mentions all the comments about Windows 7 and I think she's crazy or looking at someone else's page. OOPS :)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

What Difference Do It Make?

What Difference Do It Make? By Ron Hall, Denver Moore and Lynn Vincent is one of those books filled with so much information and inspirations you won’t want to loan it out but rather buy copies for your friends and family.

It’s hard to read both Ron and Denver’s writings and not feel instantly moved by the honestly and brevity of their words. I didn’t have the pleasure of reading their first book, Same Kind of Different as Me, but I can assure you it is on my to-read list. I never felt like I came in halfway through a story both authors do a great job of keeping the reader up to speed and referencing the previous book. Their stories are real and never feel staged which too often happens in books aimed at “Hope and Healing.” I mean these aren’t a bunch of sappy stories that will make you reach for the soup if you catch my drift. These are the kind of spoken memories that make you say, “Oh, no he did not just say that out loud did he?”

Semantics aside I cannot describe to you the hope and warmth emanating from both these soulful outpourings. Besides Ron and Denver you are also treated to insights from others touched by their stories. Carolyn’s story, in particular, spoke to the gardener in me. I couldn’t agree more with the Garden School’s Philosophy, “…schools should be like parks, not prisons; the best way to learn about good food is to grow it and children have to know nature to love it.”

While I received this book free of charge I was not encouraged to provide a review other than my own. That being said, I whole-heartedly recommend this book to anyone looking for a bright spot on a cloudy day.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Mailbox Monday October 12th

I was gone for a week for a work conference but what a nice surprise it was to find all this waiting for me! Really the magazines are for the hubby and while the Secret, Lever 2000, Nature Valley samples and coupons are wonderful they pale in comparison to what else was waiting for me! Windows 7!!!!!
The Windows 7 party will be my third through Houseparty and all I have to say is, "If you aren't on this site go there now!" As you can see from the pictures with this most recent party I received an awesome poster with streamers, balloons and napkins for the party, a puzzle, playing cards and super great reusable bags! Oh yeah I also got two versions of Windows 7 ( a 32 bit and 64 bit). I'm combining this party with another houseparty and my son's birthday party for a ton of fun all in one fell swoop! Saturday will be a very busy day at our house!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Mailbox Monday

Yeah, free stuff! I also got a Bear Naked granola bar but I had that for lunch :) I think I'm going to stash the EOS lip'll make a great stocking stuffer!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Great Escape

Okay my friend Sunshine, I'm sharing the love and if I win and you don't I WILL give it to you :)

This is contest entry for those crazy folks at TodaysMama and Cricut. Be sure to check out Cricut's cool new cartridges and the chance at $30,000 in travel for you and your friends at the Great Gypsy Escape site!

Great Escape Meme
1. If you could escape to anywhere in the world where would it be?

Definitely New Zealand. I read once about an island within sight of Auckland that looked like heaven!

2. What song do you play when you are by yourself in the car?

Wet and Rusting by Menomena! Oh, yeah!

3. If you had a night to yourself, and money was no object, what would you do?

Go get some boring documentaries that no one but me wants to watch, some chocolate, potato chips, my pillow, a blanket and the couch all to myself.

4. What is your guilty pleasure?

70% Cocoa dark chocolate, crappy magazines, french almond macaroons...I so sneak one when I make them so that I get more than anyone else in the house does!lol

5. What is the farthest place you have traveled away from your home?

Technically Korea, not that I remember it, other than that Canada.

6. Last book that you couldn't put down?

Geography of Love by Glenda Burgess

7. When you want to escape into another time, what movie do you watch?

Moulin Rouge

8. What is your favorite local escape?


9. How do you escape on a budget?

Go to St. Louis. It doesn't take that long to get there and there are a ton of free places to visit. I also like to make a lunch and head to the park or library with the kids.

10. Best food you've ever had while on vacation.

There was a place in Eureka Springs I had salmon in dill sauce it was scrumptious!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Geography of Love by Glenda Burgess

Me, oh my! I did not want to like this book. The first quarter, maybe even the first half of it, I really disliked Burgess but by the end of the story I was bawling and I dare anyone who has every loved to read this book and not end up staining its pages with tears.

The problem with biographies are that they are peoples lives and who are we to judge and criticize? Then again, a person's gotta be honest. When I first received Geography of Love by Glenda Burgess I read the back cover and literally said, "Ugh, love." I'm of a cynical sort that just finds that blatant blabbering boring. I was, however, intrigued by the story of Ken Grunzwieg. The back of the book made it seem like Ken had all these 'demons from the past' or 'skeletons in his closet' that had to be dealt with; but don't be fooled this is an autobiography.

We meet Glenda and Ken at the beginning of their relationship and follow them through the years and through the issues. This is where I'm going to get snarky. Ken seemed like a truly lovable and all-around great person. Glenda however reminds me of one of those women who at 35 have never really lived outside their little bubble. They can't except that their loved ones can have pasts that include living, breathing people they will never stop loving. She exhibits no tolerance for anything or any living person connected to Ken's life before her. I don't want to give away too much of the story but take for example Ken's relationship with Abby and Jordan. Here were two women Ken loved dearly. Here were also two women that Glenda dubbed as stand-offish, yet admittedly made no attempt to get to know or love on her own until forced to by her husband's illness. "He was asking the impossible of me a second time...I knew this request came from a special place inside him." (page 215) You're right it was a special place, like a father talking to a child it was the 'please be a grown-up and stop being so petty I'm dying for goodness sake' place. I know a woman with this unfathomable selfishness...I don't get it, give the man a break.

Okay now that I've gotten that little gripe off my chest there is only one other tick I had about this book and that was the obscure mention of recipes, ingredients, traveling stories that went no where (i.e. didn't fit in with the title of the book) and just...well...a feeling of pretentiousness.

Now for the good part. What you didn't think I liked the book? I read this one in a day, a clear sign it's still a winner. The description of Ken's love and their family touched my heart. The chapters filled with only one highlight of a life together and a sentence that covered years. That is life. The years seem to meld together into a routine that becomes so second nature and comfortable simple words describe it. Moments that are lived in seconds but feel like eternities.

I don't want to go into details about the second half of the book, just know it gets good. In a Terms of Endearment but with a husband and wife kinda way. I leave you with this final thought, " In so many ways I had learned that the geography of human caring was far more complex than the simple topography of the family or love affair. And one gesture's reach, far greater than any of us could imagine." (page 236)

A New Place to Call My Own

So after talking with Rach I decided to go ahead and create another blog here at so that I can separate more 'business' related topics from the familial topics. Get ready to hear my opinion! Bwa, ha, ha!