Monday, March 30, 2009

Movie Numero 2 ~ The Searchers

Here is my second movie on my list. It also made Yahoo's list but this is my list and I can have what ever movie I want on it right? Well I've already done a post on this particular movie already which you can read if you click HERE. So I will leave you with the highlights of the movie for me.
Highlights of the Movie: The scene's between Ward Bond, John Wayne and John's son Patrick Wayne. Monument Valley.
Best Line of the movie for me: "Let's go home, Debbie."

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Movie Numero Uno ~ Second Hand Lions

I posted yesterday that I was going to post my own list of movies that I think you should see before you die. Well here is movie numero uno....Second Hand Lions. If you liked the movie The Princess Bride you'll like this movie too.

Second Hand Lions stars, Robert Duvall, Michael Caine, Haley Joel Osment, and Kyra Sedgwick.

The last place Walter (Haley Joel Osment) wants to be is on his great uncles' farm in rural Texas, where he is dumped off by his mother Mae (Kyra Sedgwick), in the middle of nowhere living with two crazy old men, a pack of dogs and a pick with only the promise that she'll come back for him. Walter has been lied to enough times that he's not quiet sure what to believe in.

Walter's eccentric and gruff great uncles, Hub and Garth McCaan (Robert Duvall and Michael Caine) who had been missing for 40 YEARS are rumored to have been bank robbers, mafia hit men and/or war criminals in their wild and wooly younger days. No one seems to know the truth, although the brothers do seem to have an endless supply of cash. During Walter's stay begins to see a "new" side to his great uncles when he stumbles upon an old photography of a very beautiful woman hidden away in a trunk in the attic (known as the "Tower" in the movie) and asks his uncle Garth who she is.

Through the stories spun against the backdrop of the dusty Texas night, an amazing story comes to life through Walter's vivid and very colorful imaginings - a tale set in a very long ago exotic, very mysterious place where the men rode on powerful stallions and fought with HUGE swords. Complete with beautiful princesses mixed up with evil sheiks and where to very unlikely heros lived an adventure that only most people can dream of.

Whether to story is true or not, the uncle's tales become a "doorway" of sorts for Walter, to "experience" their many adventures. Little by little they also give Walter something true to believe in - a "world" where honor and valor mean more than money and power. A place, real or not, belongs only to him. While telling their stories to Walter, Hub and Garth begin to see their lives with a whole new set of eyes.

Over one unpredictable Central Texas summer in the early 1960’s, everything in the lives of this new family of strangers is about to change forever.

Highlights for me: The lion, and the "flashback" scenes to the uncle's younger days.
My absolute favorite "line" in the movie: "Sometimes the things that may or may not be true are the things a man needs to believe in the most. That people are basically good. That honour, courage and virtue mean everything ; that power and money ... money and power mean nothing. That good always triumphs over evil. And I want you to remember this.... that love....true love never dies ! Remember that boy ... remember that. Doesn't matter if it is true or not, a man should believe in those things , because those are the things worth believing in...... got that ?"

Friday, March 27, 2009

26 Years and other randomness

'Tis be Friday again! For most people Friday is the end of their work week....For me it's just the beginning. I'm hoping that this week is a little bit better at work than the last two weeks have been. It's been a little bit rough for me....We're waxing the floors at work and the smell from the wax and floor stripper gives me migraines. Toss in being treated poorly by a supervisor and a fellow team member two times in two weeks and you have me being pretty miserable. This two shall pass and I can hardly WAIT!

Yesterday was my parents 26th wedding anniversary. It was a pretty nice day too. Weather was decent....minus the wind. But we were still in the low 50's which is better than the last couple of days around here, where it's been pretty dreary.

I joined another Favorite Things Swap....Seriously, these bloggy swaps are a TON of fun. Now that I've done one I have a little bit better idea of what to expect. Flying by the seat of your pants isn't always the most fun. If you want to participate, please click on the words "Favorite Things Swap" to go to the post with all the instructions in it.

I'm still waiting on Spring to actually show up and stick around. I'm pretty tired of this one or two days here and there. That sucks pond sludge.

Yesterday, I posted the "100 Movies You Must See Before You Die" according to Yahoo. I'm in the process of coming up with my OWN list of movies that I think you should see before you die. You might be pretty surprised to see how ecclectic my taste in movies really is.

I've been doing some "studying" on some of my money saving blogs that I've added to my blogroll recently and will of course continue to study until I find/figure out a system that works for me to help me save money on my everyday needs in this rather "shaky" economy. Of course I'll be sure to share with all of you so that you can test these idea's out for yourself if you'd like.

I'm coming up on my FIRST ever blog giveaway. I can hardly wait!

Ms. Laci went to the groomer yesterday to get her Spring 'do done. Is it sad that my dog has her own stylist? She said that Laci was a good girl until she tried to trim around her face...then not so much. I thought that Laci would give her grief when it came time to brush her teeth but according to the groomer she actually enjoyed having her teeth brushed.

Well there it is....My week in a nutshell....Complete with a few blessings thrown in too. Have a great weekend for me!


Thursday, March 26, 2009

100 Movies to see before you die

I got this off of Yahoo....I'll admit that I've only seen a handful of these movies...Guess I'd better get a move on!

Movie's I've Seen

The Yahoo! Movies editorial staff has created this handy checklist to track the 100 movies you must see before you die.
12 Angry Men (1957)
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
400 Blows (1959)
8 1/2 (1963)
The African Queen (1952)
Alien (1979)
All About Eve (1950)
Annie Hall (1977)
Apocalypse Now (1979)
The Battle of Algiers (1967)
The Bicycle Thief (1948)
Blade Runner (1982)
Blazing Saddles (1974)
Blow Up (1966)
Blue Velvet (1986)
Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
Breathless (1960)
The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
Bringing Up Baby (1938)
Butch Cassidy and the
Sundance Kid (1969)
Casablanca (1942)
Chinatown (1974)
Citizen Kane (1941)
Crouching Tiger, Hidden
Dragon (2000)
Die Hard (1988)
Do the Right Thing (1989)
Double Indemnity (1944)
Dr. Strangelove (1964)
Duck Soup (1933)
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
Enter the Dragon (1973)
The Exorcist (1973)
Fast Times At Ridgemont
High (1982)
The French Connection (1971)
The Godfather (1972)
The Godfather, Part II (1974)
Goldfinger (1964)
The Good, the Bad, and the
Ugly (1968)
Goodfellas (1990)
The Graduate (1967)
Grand Illusion (1938)
Groundhog Day (1993)
A Hard Day’s Night (1964)
In the Mood For Love (2001)
It Happened One Night (1934)
It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
Jaws (1975)
King Kong (1933)
The Lady Eve (1941)
Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
The Lord of the Rings (2001)
M (1931)
M*A*S*H (1970)
The Maltese Falcon (1941)
The Matrix (1999)
Modern Times (1936)
Monty Python and the Holy
Grail (1975)
National Lampoon’s Animal
House (1978)

Network (1976)
Nosferatu (1922)
On the Waterfront (1954)
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s
Nest (1975)
Paths of Glory (1958)
Princess Mononoke (1999)
Psycho (1960)
Pulp Fiction (1994)
Raging Bull (1980)
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
Raise the Red Lantern (1992)
Rashomon (1951)
Rear Window (1954)
Rebel Without a Cause (1955)
Rocky (1976)
Roman Holiday (1953)
Saving Private Ryan (1998)
Schindler’s List (1993)
The Searchers (1956) - One of my ALL TIME FAVORITE MOVIES!
Seven Samurai (1954)
The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
Singin’ in the Rain (1952)
Snow White and the Seven
Dwarfs (1937)
Some Like It Hot (1959)
The Sound of Music (1965)
Star Wars (1977)
Sunset Blvd. (1950)
Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
The Third Man (1949)
This is Spinal Tap (1984)
Titanic (1997)
To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
Toy Story (1995)
The Usual Suspects (1995)
Vertigo (1958)
When Harry Met Sally… (1989)
Wild Strawberries (1957)
Wings of Desire (1988)
The Wizard of Oz (1939)
Women On the Verge of Nervous Breakdown (1988)
The World of Apu (1959)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Another Favorite Things Swap!

Kati over at Country Girl, City Living is having a Favorite Things Swap! I just did one with Mamarazzi over at Dandelion Wishes and had a GREAT time. I'm looking forward to doing another swap so I can hardly wait to get started! Stop by Kati's blog if you want to participate in the swap!

What I've learned so far.....

I posted a little while ago that I was trying to learn how to live a more frugal lifestyle and try to put some more of my money away into savings instead of blowing it all on unneccessary items. I guess my main downfall is determining "need" from "want" right now. I think that "little" issue is going to to take some time to "overcome."

Here is a little sampling of what I've learned/saved so far -

~ Making lists is a good thing....I've started making lists of things that I need to purchase and have been doing alright at sticking to the list....I'm still working on it....I've got a LOT of bad habits to break.

~ My dog is another one of my downfalls....She's currently on a pretty expensive brand of dog food (Royal Canin....her tummy didn't like the Solid Gold brand we tried her on). I put her on this brand because it makes a kibble specifically designed for Cocker Spaniel's dietary needs. Well yesterday when I went into buy her some food I was comparing the Cocker Spaniel kibble to the regular Medium Adult kibble and there really wasn't vary much of a difference and in the long run it would be cheaper for me to feed her the Medium Adult because the store only sells the Cocker Spaniel kibble in 6 pound bags. A 6 pound bag lasts us maybe 2 weeks if we're lucky. So I picked up the Medium Adult 30 pound bag which will last us a LOT longer. Here's the upside to this "story"....I actually saved money buying the bigger bag....For some reason the larger bags have the "instant instore coupons" on them and I saved a whole $4.00.

~ I don't always purchase name brands....Most of the products that I currently use, the name brands are more expensive than the store brands (even with a coupon).

~ I'm in the process of learning to do all of my errands in one trip (if possible).

~ Clearance/bargin racks are a good thing.

I've also added some "frugal" blogs to my blogroll if you are looking for more ideas. Here are the links:

Bare Budget Beauty


Frugal and Fabulous

Frugal Fabulous

The New Frugal Mom

Thrifty and Chic Mom

Cheapskate Mom

Monday, March 23, 2009


So Twilight was released on Saturday....That was pretty exciting. When I got off of work Saturday morning and ran over to Walmart to pick up a couple of essentials....There weren't very many copies of the movie left in ANY format. When I got to work Saturday night we had exactly 1 copy of the movie in Blue-ray disc format. I can hardly wait to watch this movie! I've been re-reading Twilight the past few days and everybody at work has been giving me crap about "sparkly vampires."

Friday, March 20, 2009

Happy First Day of Spring!

I bought my first pair of shorts for the summer yesterday.....Last summer I was in a size 14 pair of pants/shorts.....This summer I'm in a size 10! I can hardly believe it. The wonders getting out and walking the dog does for your body. As I'm typing this post I'm actually doing a little shopping on Old getting ready for spring/summer. I've got A LOT of dressier shirts and stuff in my closet right now so I'm looking to invest in some tanks and nice t-shirts so I don't have to be all dressed up all the time.

How to Save Money, Even When You Don’t Have Any

Even if you have a decent job and don’t waste a lot of money, it’s possible you’re in a situation where, like millions of other people, you are living from paycheck to paycheck. You think that you’d like to save money, but it just doesn’t seem practical when every penny you earn goes toward the costs of daily living. However, even in seemingly dire situations there’s almost always a way to put aside cash in small amounts, and the benefits of having a growing accumulation of savings will end up rewarding you in many ways, both practically and psychologically.

First of all, it might be worth it to define exactly what you mean when you say you “have no money,” and then redefine it in a way that’s more amenable to adaptation. Quite often I’m amused when a female acquaintance tells me she can never afford to put any money aside because she’s always completely broke, and then I look at her and notice freshly filled acrylic nails, new Manolos, or this season’s latest Prada bag. No wonder she has no money to put aside! Let’s be clear: if you can afford to pay all your bills and have enough left over to buy designer goods and spa treatments, you’re not broke, even if you consistently have no money left at the end of each month and are gritting your teeth until your paycheck comes.

It’s amazing the lengths we will go to try to convince ourselves that certain items we buy are necessities rather than extras. Often I hear the excuse, “But I have to have these designer clothes and expensive shoes because one of the requirements of my job is to look my best all the time.” That’s understandable, but it doesn’t mean you have to spend all your extra money, every paycheck. Let’s be honest, if you’re supplementing your wardrobe every single month, you’re doing it because you enjoy it, not because it’s strictly required. But that doesn’t mean you have to give up shopping altogether — even if you just cut your fashion spending down to every other month instead of every month, think of all the extra money you’d have. I promise you, no one is going to notice if you buy new clothes every eight weeks instead of every four weeks.

Even at lower levels of income there are always extras that we quietly slip into our budgets. Of course you want to treat yourself, and that’s an important part of keeping your sanity, especially if you’re constantly stressed about money. But even something as simple as a weekly night out with your friends can end up running away with your wallet if you’re not careful. It’s not uncommon to spend fifty or even a hundred dollars or more in one evening at a club or bar, especially if parking or cover charges are involved. Think about what would happen if you passed on the invitation even one week a month, and put that money in a savings account instead — it wouldn’t seem like much incrementally, and probably you wouldn’t even really miss it, but at the end of the year you’d have enough put aside to do something really nice for yourself, perhaps take a vacation somewhere exotic. If you really want to be forward-thinking, maybe you could even use that money to start on some small investments, which in return will pay for many more vacations in the long run.

One of the keys to making this work is setting up a system where the money you set aside is no longer money you consider “available” for any reason whatsoever. This can mean a simple psychological shift, or perhaps a more physical one. Some people have enough willpower that just telling themselves the money they put away no longer exists is enough to keep them from accessing it. Other people need a little more help to forget about a pile of money as if it weren’t there. Ask your bank (or shop around at different banks), to find out what sort of savings or incremental investment options are available, and choose the one that has the most excruciating penalties for withdrawals. Preferably, you want something where withdrawing your money would end up costing you almost as much as the withdrawal is worth. It also helps if getting your money is more complicated than just logging on to the internet branch and entering your PIN number. In this case, the more of a hassle withdrawals are, the better it is for your money situation. You’ll probably think twice about your perceived need of some luxury item if getting the money for it will incur significant service charges, take three weeks, and require lots of paperwork for which you actually have to go to the bank and stand in line.

Believe it or not, saving at least some money is possible in almost every circumstance. Even if you start out with very small amounts — say, five dollars a week — by the time a year has passed you’ll have put aside well over two hundred dollars, which isn’t earth-shattering, but it’s nothing to scoff at, either. Don’t avoid saving money on the grounds that you think miniscule weekly contributions will never amount to anything. If you can gradually raise your weekly savings to ten or twenty dollars a week, even if it’s not every week, you will soon find you have a respectable cushion of cash that can be used for small investments, as well as doubling as an emergency fund. Over a period of months or years, these things can really add up. It may require some small sacrifices on your part, but the if the end result is that you end up in a better financial position overall, no doubt you’ll feel that any minor adjustments you made to your lifestyle were worth it.

Borrowed from Totally Her

The Importance of Splurging

Whether you have a lot of money or a little money, you still have to decide how to use it, and you still have to have a budget to allow for both necessities and extras. Often when things look bleak, we can get very down on ourselves because it seems like all the money is going to bills, and none of it is spent on the things that we’d like to do or have.

If you are in a situation where money is something to keep you alive rather than something you enjoy, you probably think it doesn’t make any sense to go out and spend a pile of cash that you don’t really have. And that’s true, you do have to be prudent when times are tough… but you also need to learn to splurge a little sometimes, even when you think you can’t.

You don’t have to spend a lot to indulge yourself, and sometimes you don’t have to spend anything at all. Something as simple as a take-out meal or a going to the zoo can really brighten your day, and won’t break the bank. Likewise, you can rent a couple of movies and invite your friends over, and have everyone bring something to help spread the cost.

The psychological benefits of allowing yourself to enjoy some of your money can not only have immediate results, but can help to improve your overall situation over time. It is difficult to stay motivated about making money when all of it goes to necessities. This in turn can affect your attitude about work, and the quality of the work you do. Over time, people will notice these changes in your productivity and demeanor, and if you’re not careful you could find yourself out of a job, which is hardly going to help matters. Of course, you can always fake your enthusiasm at work until the rough patch passes, but people tend to see through that, and in any case it wouldn’t be necessary if you really did have something to be enthusiastic about, which is something you can change right now if you choose to.

If you allow yourself just a small amount of income to spend on wonderful, enjoyable things, the difference it can make in your mental well-being is astonishing. You’ll be out a tiny amount of money, but in return you might have some nice new trinkets for your home, a fun night out with your friends, or maybe a DVD or CD you will be able to enjoy again and again. Chances are, you really won’t miss that amount of money, and the amount of enjoyment it can bring you is well worth fitting it into your budget. Feeling like we can have fun with some of our money sometimes is a key factor in how we feel about having to go out and work so hard to earn it.

It may seem counterintuitive, especially during these times when many of us are struggling within the waning economy, to start going out and spending money when it’s so difficult to make ends meet. But if you force yourself to do a few small things to splurge on, not only can you improve the quality of your life and start having good times again, but you are contributing to the economy, also, which helps everyone in the long run. Learning to splurge can be difficult, but it can also be difficult to put the brakes on once you start, so use caution and common sense, and go out and have a little fun.

Borrowed from Totally Her

Budgeting Tips from the Trenches

It used to be called “pinching pennies”. Now it’s known as “stretching a dollar,” maybe because inflation made pennies so valueless it didn’t seem worth the effort to pinch them. But no matter what phrase you use, it all comes down to making the money you get from paycheck to paycheck last longer and go further.

Getting more bang for the buck is a subject that always fascinates consumers, but never so much as it does during a recession. Of course, being in the middle of what is turning out to be the biggest “economic slowdown” since the Great Depression, the subject keeps popping up every time you pick up a newspaper or turn on the television.

Many of these media outlets are asking financial experts to give their views on how America should be keeping expenses down as the cost of living rises and the pink slips start mounting. But in spite of all of their expertise, conventional wisdom tells you that the real know-how comes from the people on the front lines. The average consumer, with the unemployment check instead of a paycheck, or with a paycheck that was slashed, who has to make a mortgage payment and put meals on the table, understands what it takes to keep body and soul together.

That’s why the following working people have been asked to contribute their best ways to save a little here and there, because, as your mother always said, “Watch your pennies, and your dollars will take care of themselves.”

This first list of suggestions comes from Chrissy Scivicque, Content Manager for OfficeArrow, a network of executive and administrative assistants, office managers, and small business owners. Chrissy is also a former Executive Assistant:

“1. Brown bag it. Stop wasting precious dollars dining out. Save money (and calories) by packing lunch and taking it to the office. To avoid missing out on valuable team bonding time, establish one day a week to indulge in a meal out with the group.

“2. Borrow it. Libraries are often forgotten, but it is easy to save by borrowing instead of buying. These days, many public libraries house a huge collection of movies and CDs in addition to books.

“3. Grow it. Consider starting a fresh herb and vegetable garden. Not only do these foods taste better when picked fresh, but a garden like this also saves a ton of money. Plus, it provides a convenient supply of fresh goodies, so no gas is wasted hitting the grocery store throughout the week.

“4. Change it. Switching to Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs (CFLs) can significantly lower energy bills. They use 75% less energy than standard light bulbs, and they last about 10 times longer! They also produce less heat, so they are safer. These bulbs are a win for both the wallet and the planet.

“5. Care for it. Whatever ‘it’ is, take care of it. That could mean one’s health (prevention is less expensive than treatment) or just a pair of nice shoes (polish can make an old shoe new again). Show a little love to personal items, and they will last a lot longer.

“6. Skype it. Take a look at that phone bill and see how much it is per minute. Why pay for domestic or even international long distance calls? Skype allows consumers to make free calls to other Skype users all over the world through their computers. It also offers very cheap calls to land lines and cell phones domestically and internationally.

“7. Trade it. When they have an abundance of something (tomatoes in the backyard, for instance) or a special skill (auto or computer repair), consumers should use the barter system to obtain products and services from friends and neighbors. Trading is good for one’s wallet and community.”

Sarah M. Place, MBA, President and CEO of Place Trade Financial, Inc. provided this roster of her favorite money saving tips:

“1. Always compare price per ounce when shopping for groceries. It is incredible how often I find that the products that are sold ‘in bulk’ or in larger packages are significantly more expensive than smaller packages. Years ago we were taught that buying in bulk offered big savings and many people just pick up that larger item and move on not realizing that they may be much better off if they took a few seconds to compare.

“2. Always travel with a bottle of water. So often we get thirsty (or hungry) when we are out and it is so easy to pull up to a drive through or convenience store to buy something and spend a few extra dollars when we could have a brought something from home. Invest in a nice bottle to carry with you. Even if you only spend a buck each time on a drink — that can really add up over time!

“3. Invest in a crock pot — it is such a great tool. It takes just a few minutes to throw ingredients into a crock pot in the morning and let it simmer all day. When you come home from work that house smells great and dinner is ready. Saves time and money. Never throw away a chicken without either turning [it] into soup, chicken and dumplings, or at least throwing it in your crock pot to cook down for stock. Toss that stock in the freezer and who knows what you will create with it later — it is just great to have homemade stock on hand when you need it versus the store (expensive) brands.

“4. Save on your utility bills. Often times there are services that you do not need or fees that can be waived or deleted with one phone call. Last month I finally decided that I could live without my home phone because I was tired of paying so much, but was torn because I still need it to support my alarm system. I called my service provider, explained my situation, and within minutes she wiped about 30% off of my total bill without reducing my service. I was in shock, but quickly thanked her, and am now enjoying the savings. It is worth asking — the worst thing they can do is say no.

“5. Enjoy events for free. Check your local paper or community calendar for free or close to free events. Larger communities often have festivals and events that you can attend for free. In Raleigh, NC, we have a summer concert series with nationally known musicians/bands that play for free to the public, free movies on the lawn, and every ‘First Friday’ of the month the city’s artists open up their shops and studios for the community to come and enjoy their wares while mingling with fellow art lovers.”

These are hard times, so no matter what your economic status, it pays to save where you can. That extra money may come in handy when you least expect it.

Borrowed from Totally Her

Cost Cutters

Most of us are feeling the financial pinch right now and are trying to cut corners. Here are some possible cost cutters for you and your family to try out in this coming year:

~ Get acquainted with your local library. Most libraries now have inter-library loans and a wealth of books and videos available for borrowing. Borrowing videos from the library can save on rental fees from video stores and the power of reading together as a family is amazing! Focus on reading more than watching TV or movies and save the watching for special occasions instead. You’ll not only save on your electric bill, you’ll instill memories of reading times together into your children, to carry throughout their life.

~ Use half the amount of toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, etc., that you normally use. A little goes a long way and you can extend the life of your products quite a bit if you cut back on the amount you use each time. (Of course, getting hubby and kids to do this is another story!)

~ Add water to your dish soap and laundry detergent bottles after they are empty. You can usually get one more sink-full or load out of them.

~ Consider exchanging paper towels with rags and tissues and baby wipes with flannel wipes. Though a small investment up front, no longer buying paper towels, baby wipes, and tissues can add a few extra dollars to your grocery budget every month.

~ Also consider switching to cloth diapers. This is a more costly first-time investment, but it more than pays for itself within 1/2 a year!

~ Join sites like and become acquainted with money saving blogs. Browse them frequently. They often give heads up on freebie days at places like Starbucks and Cold Stone Creamery. They also give links for samples from Walmart and Proctor & Gamble. Just recently I received the Ziplock Freezer System for free because I was given a heads up about it on one of these sites.

~ Speaking of Starbucks, eliminating that Starbucks coffee several times a week will put extra money back into your wallet. If you must have coffee, consider Dunkin’ Donuts instead or even the new McDonald’s lattes, which I have not tried but have heard they are quite tasty — at a fraction of a Starbucks coffee. Go small, too, instead of venti. Just switching sizes can save money. It all adds up!

~ Instead of traveling far away for vacation, look up places of interest near where you live and take a vacation closer to home.

~ Share a meal with your husband when you go out to eat. This not only saves money, it also cuts your calories in half! If you must have that entire meal to yourself, definitely go half and half with dessert. I can’t remember the last time my husband and I had our own dessert. I probably couldn’t eat one all by myself if I had to, and I like the fact that we save close to $5 everytime we go out by doing this (even more if we split a meal).

~ Look into making your own household cleaning products, including laundry detergent. Making these things in bulk are great cost cutters!

~ Learn how to freeze and can fruits and vegetables. Even if you are not able to garden, check out the local farmers market in the summer and fall months and buy large quantities and then go home and preserve them. In the end, it will be much cheaper this way than buying frozen and canned foods from the store.

~ Make your own goodies rather than buying pre-packaged.

~ Get rid of the cable TV. Not only can this save a couple hundred dollars a year, it can also prove to be a move that boosts family relationships!

~ If you have a cell phone, call and see if you’re using the minutes you’re signed up for. If not, choose a lower package plan. Sometimes we are so used to paying the same amount every month we aren’t aware that the plan we have doesn’t even fit our needs anymore.

~ Switch to energy saving light bulbs. This will help save on your overall electricity bill as the year goes on.

~ Have your electric company come out and go through your house, showing you possible places that you could made some adjustments to, to cut your bill down each month.

~ Determine that you will learn how to use coupons and store sales to your advantage. I have made a commitment to not buy makeup and things like shampoo and toothpaste until I can get it for half cost or almost free, combining sales with coupons. Again, money saving blogs will help you learn how to do this. I’ve only been doing this five months and have already shaved over $200 from my shopping budget.

~ Join rewards programs. If you fly, stay at hotels, eat at a favorite restaurant, or buy a favorite brand, check and see whether or not they have a rewards or points program. These programs allow you to save up points and then redeem them for free flights, free nights, or gift cards.

~ Check into doing surveys for reputable companies, such as National Family Opinion. Doing surveys takes 10-20 minutes of your time each day, but it gives you points, which you can then redeem as cash or prizes like Amazon gift certificates.

Borrowed from Totally Her

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

What I'm Currently Fascinated with

It's that time of the week where Mama Kat posts her writing prompts....The one that I chose for this week is: What are you currently fascinated with?

These are the Brazilian Bullriders on tour this year
Well I've always been fascinated with it but right now I'm big into my PBR (Professional Bullriding). There's just something about this:
2008 PBR World Champion Guilherme Marchi

Trying to dominate this:

2007 PBR Bucking Bull of the Year Chicken on a Chain

Right now I'm a little bit upset with the PBR because they axed the one event that I really wanted to go to this fall in Minneapolis....It's only 5 HOURS from my house. I guess there just might not be any live events for me this year.....No 2009 Dear Diary's. But the upside to that is that it gives me time to set aside money for trips next season or just a random trip.....It'll be really hard on me not going to any live events this year but life is rough all over right?

I'm going to be missing out on lots of this, I don't even get to watch it on TV because I work weekends and right now that makes me sad:

Oh and a LOT of THIS too:

I LOVE Butt Cam....It makes me happy. There's always next season right?! Hey maybe I'll even get a trip to Vegas in for the PBR World Finals who nows!?

Monday, March 16, 2009

Dear Dr. Phil

Dear Dr. Phil,

When I retired, I could hardly wait to spend time enjoying my favorite pastime -- bass fishing. I got my own little fishing boat and tried to get my wife to join me, but she just never liked fishing.

Finally, one day at the Bait & Tackle Shop, I got to talking to Sam, the shop owner, who it turned out loves bass fishing as much as I do. We quickly became fishing buddies. As I said, the wife doesn't care about fishing. She not only refuses to join us, but she always complains that I spend too much time fishing.

A few weeks ago, Sam and I had the best fishing trip ever. Not only did I catch the most beautiful bass you've ever seen, only a few minutes later Sam must have caught his twin brother!

So I took a picture of Sam holding up the two nice bass that we caught and showed the picture to the wife hoping that maybe she'd get interested. Instead she says she doesn't want me to go fishing at all anymore! And she wants me to sell the boat! I think she just doesn't like to see me enjoying myself. What would you do? Tell the wife to forget it and continue my hobby or quit fishing and sell the boat as she insists?

Thanks, Fishing Fool

P.S. Attached is a picture of Sam with the two bass we caught.

Dear Fishing Fool,
Get rid of that narrow-minded wife.
That's a couple of really nice bass!
Dr. Phil

Friday, March 13, 2009

I became a Partner In Hope

Coming Soon: Follower Exclusive Giveaways!
Welcome to my major blessing for the week.....This week one of our local radio stations had their 14th annual St. Judeathon, I've been listening to the St. Judeathon for the last few years, a couple of years ago the radio stations morning show hosts vowed that if a certain amount of money was raised for St. Jude during the radioathon that at the end they would shave their heads.....Needless to say we radio listeners rose to the challenge and the radio hosts shaved their heads on the air. Now they are doing things differently, but I finally took the plunge. I became a Partner In Hope, for $20 a month I am helping children with cancer from all over the globe who come to St. Jude to receive treatment.

I became a Partner In Hope because their are parent's out there who just can't afford the treatments that their child needs to get rid of this terrible illness...At St. Jude the hospital covers ALL costs of treatment from donations from people like me and you as well as fundraising. I became a Partner In Hope because it can/could happen to you or me, because cancer knows no age. I became a Partner In Hope because we need to find a cure for this horrible illness. I became a Partner In Hope because if it were me in the shoes of some of these parents, I would like to know that their are people out there "behind the scenes" helping to keep St. Jude up and running....Did you now that the daily operating cost for St. Jude is nearly $1.4 million which is primarily covered by public donations?

As a Partner In Hope I will be receiving a monthly newsletter from St. Jude, which will feature a patient of the month (the cutie in the picture is this month's patient of the month, click on her picture to read her story) and all sorts of information about the research that is being done at the hospital. I will also be receiving the peace of mind that my donation is helping to find a cure for Childhood Cancer. Knowing that the research done at St. Jude (which is shared with hospitals all over the globe) could mean for a family that in the future there will be kindergarten, Middle School, prom, High School graduation, broken curfew's, college and a long happy life for their child. That feeling right there is the best feeling in the world for me, knowing I'm helping a whole bunch of someone's I've probably never met before and giving kids from all over the place a fighting chance, well that beats Chocolate right there. For the record I am a Chocolate FREAK!

Here are a few links for you to check out if you would like:

Quick Facts About St. Jude

The Corporate Sponsors of St. Jude

About the Founder of St. Jude

Danny's Promise

I want to encourage you to become a Partner In Hope because together we can find a cure for Childhood Cancer. Please click on the St. Jude logo to become a Partner In Hope.

Here is a video with the song Where Angel's Hang Around that Country artist James Otto put on his recent album Sunset Man....The song is entirely about St. Jude....The video itself was done in memory of a St. Jude patient who passed away May 9, 2005.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Mama Kat's Writers Workshop

This is something new that I'm trying out...I've seen it done on a couple of the blogs that I frequent so I thought that I would give it a try. If you want to join in the fun click on the "Mama's Losin' It!!" button to go to Mama Kat's blog. Here are this weeks prompts:

1.) Discuss an intense game of Pictionary that you spent most of Saturday night arguing with your family about, only to log in to your email account two days later to find 35 emails between said family regarding aformentioned game and rules.

2.) Tell about a time you hurt somebody that still bothers you to this day.

3.) The one that got away....spill it.Thank you Kristen from All In A Mom's Life for those last two suggestions.

4.) What inspired you? Write about a time when you were impassioned to write.(

5.) What happened in the last year? Write about something you can do now that you couldn't do a year ago. (

6.) Write about the event that was the end of your childhood(

I'm choosing number 5 this go around. What happened in the last year? Well in the last year or so it's been a bit tipsy turvy. Alot has gone on in my life so I thought that I would try to do this prompt as more of a "photo essay" type post. I hope you enjoy it.

I got my first digital camera and printing station last Christmas. Love my camera, haven't figured it all out yet but I still love it.

I started growing my hair out....I started out with hair slightly longer than Alyssa Millano's short style.

We said "hello" to Laci when we adopted her last March.

Spring actually showed up and decided to stick around....unlike this year.

I went on a trip to Omaha, Nebraska where I got to go to the birthplace of John Wayne, saw my first covered bridge, was in my first Cabela's and got to see one of my favorite sports....Professional Bullriding.

My great-grandma turned 93...She's an AWESOME lady!

I saw Craig Morgan live in concert....AWESOME show!

Twilight happened...Need I say more? You can NEVER have toooo much Edward.

We said "Goodbye" to our dog Shawna....She was almost 20 years old and her quality of life was deteriating. We still miss her alot...Needless to say Thanksgiving is now a dark holiday at our house.

We had new floors put in in December....Laci doesn't like the floors....she slides a lot and spends alot of time lying on the rugs we've got put down.

I had a benign cyst removed from my right leg in February and acquired 3 stitches...For the record stitches SUCK!

This is me and my hair a little over a year after I started growing it out. How cool is that!?

That is my ugly ass scar from my stitches....I really HATE it! Sorry about the fuzziness of the photo.

My mom and I decided to start Cloudberry Creations where you can get your own Tote bags, aprons, oven mitts, etc. We even have our own blog for Cloudberry.... if you want to drop by and check it out.

Well, that's my year or so in a nutshell....Now for the second half of the question....Write about something you can do now that you couldn't do a year ago. I learned to knit in one 30 minute lunch break....My brother's fiancee had taught herself how to knit and I wanted to learn so she taught one of our co-worker's and I how to knit on our lunch break. I also got back on the sewing wagon in the last few weeks. I hadn't touched a sewing machine since middle school...I just turned 25 on the 21st of February.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


I just downloaded a song off of Itune's called "Take My Drunk Ass Home" pretty funny. It's by Luke Bryan.

Don't really have much planned for today, but tomorrow the plan is to go to the fabric store and get more stuff to make more aprons, mitts, etc. I can hardly wait!

Well I couldn't wait until tomorrow, so while I was out getting dog food I stopped at the fabric store (which is across the street from the pet shop that carries the food we feed our dog) and picked up a couple different prints. Stop by to check out what I got.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

My cute froggies

Here are a couple of photo's of the apron that I mentioned in my blessing's post for this week. I'm usually not into a lot of pink but I really liked this print and color.

To see more of our creations visit Cloudberry Creations (Today we have our Oven Mitt proto-type and another cute apron) blog at

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Usually a Friday tradition but for this week only....

NOTE: Tomorrow we have photo's of my pretty pink froggy apron.

We have Saturday blessings! Let's see what's gone on this weeks? Well, I only worked 2 (saturday and sunday) of my 4-day rotation because I was only scheduled for 2 days. We get into big time trouble if we don't adhere to the posted schedule, so I just played along. I'm hoping we're just about done cutting hours and can go about our business as usual. On the upside I got to go to our offsite warehouse both days, which is a rare treat for me.

On Monday I didn't really do much other than send my box for Mamarazzi's favorite things swap in the mail. Pretty uneventful day...the first day of my days off is usually uneventful cause I'm gearing down from all the stuff that may or may not have happened at work...thankfully this week no real drama, just tired.

Tuesday I went out and bought the movie Australia, which I didn't actually watch until Wednesday. GREAT movie! I even did a post about it, which you can read here.

Wednesday I finished my first apron....My pink froggy apron is sooooo cute! The sewing machine gave me fits for awhile but I got it all figured out in the end. Watched the movie Australia. SEE IT!

Thursday I got my box from my swap partner in Mamarazzi's Favorite Things swap. If you want to see what I got in my box go here. I also rearranged and added to my favorite posts, if you want to check those out go here.

Friday I posted about my new follower buddy Ms. Cupcake's giveaway for Barbie's 50th birthday, if you want to check out the post I did or find out more information about the giveaway click here (Mine) or here (Ms. Cupcakes).

Friday, March 6, 2009

Barbie Turns 50!

One of my follower friends, Zen Cupcake, is having a giveaway to honor Barbie's 50th birthday. Ms. Cupcake is giving away some pretty AWESOME things too. Here's a little rundown of what's being given away:

1. 4 Stila makeup kits from Sephora(value $40 each)
"In this collection, created to celebrate Barbie's 50th birthday, each paint can features the look of an iconic Barbie doll from the past five decades. Inside each can is everything you need to get that beautiful Barbie doll's signature look. The Barbie Loves Stila paint can also includes a "Barbie Look Book" that includes a history of each top-selling Barbie doll over the last five decades."

2. 1 Juicy Couture Cupcake Eau de Parfum from Sephora. (Value $50.00)

3. Two (2) $25.00 gift baskets worth of Sephora's Vanilla Cupcake bath and body products.

4. Barbie cupcake candles, cupcake wrappers and cupcake toppers.
5. Random prizes like Cupcake Mints, Cupcake Bandages, Cupcake Dental Floss and Cupcake Key Covers too!
NOTE: My blessings for the week will be posted tomorrow...I don't usually post on the weekends (or I'm going to try to only post during the week) but I'm making an exception just this once.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

I love good mail.....

NOTE: To go to my review of the movie Australia click here.

I received my swap box from Mamarazzi's Favorite Things swap today! I can hardly wait to share the contents of my box! So lets get started shall we?! Oh when your done reading this post go visit Mamarazzi and see who else participated in the swap.

My swap partner was MaryRC. Mary is a professional makeup artist! How cool is that?! Here is what I found in my box of goodies from Mary:

How cool is that wrapping paper?! This was soo much fun, being my first swap and all .

Oh, here's the box....Time for the big reveal!

Look at all those fun things! Let's take a closer look at them shall we?!

How cute is that little frame!? Now I'm on a mission to find a picture to put in it!

Isn't this scarf sooooo pretty! Has my favorite color (blue) in it!

I've never seen Pretty in Pink, so I can hardly wait to watch it!

My candy is rebeling....I couldn't get my photos to turn the way I wanted them too.

I LOVE earrings! My policy is you can never have toooooo many pairs! LOVE these!

How cool is that candle holder!? Can hardly wait to light the candle inside!

I have a confession to make....I'm new to the makeup scene. I'm one of only 3 girls on both sides of my family and I had graduated High School before I really decided to release my inner "girly" girl.

Can NEVER have too much Edward and Bella!

I see a new hobby in my future.....

I want thank Mamarazzi and MaryRC for making my first swap experience a great one! I can hardly wait to do another one!