Saturday, April 30, 2011

Z is for...zoo

As in life has been like a zoo!
It feels like I have been running around like a chicken with my head cut off. Between my work schedule, Bill's work schedule, Jacob being sick, Easter, birthday celebrations, etc. it seems like all I am doing is running. I haven't felt like writing on here much and I feel bad about that. But life just got in the way. I am proud that I finished the A to Z blogging challenge.

I am hoping that things calm down, but I doubt it. I have a lot coming up. We need to find somewhere else to rent as our current lease is up at the end of May. We will not be renewing for various reasons, none that have to do with our landlord all of which has to do with living in a house that is almost 110 years old. We are having a yard sale in 2 weeks to get rid of junk that we don't want to move and I still have to declutter several closets and the kitchen. Not to mention packing and working extra shifts since the college kids that work where I do are done in 2 weeks and there are still 3 weeks of school left after that. Ughhhh...life is crazy!

I hope your life is not as crazy as mine. I hope to be back in the blogging swing next week. I am giving myself the weekend to regroup and come up with a plan!

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Y is for....you

Y is for you!

As in I want to know why YOU read my blog or are friends with me on GFC?

Is there anything you want to see more of on here?

I am thinking that when I reach 100 followers I may do a giveaway of some sort. What types of giveaways do you like?

If you want to responsd to any or all of these questions I would appreciate it. Just leave your answers in the comment forms. THANKS!!!!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

X is for.....

eXhausted!

I have been so tired lately with no energy. I am on zoloft for depression but I think that the Easter holiday and changes in our life (looking for a new house to rent, etc.) has taken it's toll on me. I haven't been in the mood to blog, to eat right, to exercise (although I have made myself), to really do anything. I need to get my act together. The weather hasn't helped with all the rain we have had.

Something has to give.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

U, V, and W are for.....

UNHAPPY, VERY, WHINY Toddler!!!!!


Sorry I haven't been posting for the A to Z challenge or my regular posts, but Jacob has been unhappy, cranky and whiny since Sunday. He had a fever Sunday (103) and Monday, and is just cranky. I think he is fighting off a cold and/or he had a reaction to his Dtap vaccine shot he got last week. Also yesterday he fell and busted his bottom lip open.  Either case, he is cranky, whiny, and I have had no time or energy to write on here. I hope to be back to normal in the next couple days! Sorry again! :(

Sunday, April 24, 2011


Happy Easter from our family to yours! 

Saturday, April 23, 2011

T is for .....Turtle Lady

Sometimes a change of routine is just what you need to break out of a rut and to live better each day...

An example of this:

We had a "visiting" field trip at the after school care program that I work at. The Turtle Lady came to visit the kids. She brought turtles, snakes, frogs, and bearded dragons for the kids to learn about and for the kids to be able to touch and see. She was great and the animals were so cute. (Okay so the snakes were not so cute...but that is just my opinion!)


 
She taught the kids about baby turtles, adult turtles, how to tell if a turtle is a boy or a girl (by the color of their eyes!) and what might happen if a turtle is fed the wrong food (it's shell becomes deformed).


She taught the kids about frogs and how to tell them apart (by their sounds). She also taught them about bearded dragons and how they eat.



I will say that the kids LOVED the turtle lady. And they loved getting to touch the animals. I had one little 2nd grader who DID not want to touch the dragons. Finally I was able to get her to touch it's tail and the look of accomplishment on her face was priceless! I was so proud of her!



It was fun to have something a little different after school. It was a great break in the routine and the kids and adults enjoyed it very much.

It made me think that when you are stuck in a rut in your life, a break in the routine may be just what you need to live better each day. Seeing the turtle lady and petting dragons definitely was a break out of my rut and was just what I needed. 

What can you do today that will allow you to break out of your rut and add a little excitement?




Friday, April 22, 2011

S is for....Showers

As in April Showers bring May flowers. If that saying is true then May should be an abundance of color around here. It has been raining it seems like for days and days.



Today it was raining and it is just that steady cold, yucky drizzly rain. It has made it really hard to get motivated to do much of anything. There is tons of things on my to do lists and yet the weather has affected my mood and desire to get any of them done. I hope that the sun will come out in the near future so that I can get some things done.

I haven't been doing completely bad. I have worked out 15 days so far this month (my goal is 20 days). I have started to slowly declutter for our yard sale in a couple weeks. Other than that I have been depressed and just not myself. I feel like I am in a rut and I need to get out of it.

We have so much going on next month that it is not funny. We are moving at the end of next month. That is the plan, even though we haven't found a rental house yet. I need to start packing the house and decluttering the house....ughh....

I can't even get motivated to make lists for what I need to do. I just wish the showers would go away and the may flowers would arrive so I can feel better.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

R is for....Rebecca

Rebecca...sweet Rebecca....my first born. My daughter who decided on November 28, 2006 that she had had enough of the tests that Mommy had to go through. That she didn't want to react right to Mommy's non-stress tests at the doctor. She didn't want to move at all for the bio-physical profile at the hospital so the doctors decided to induce Mommy 3 weeks earlier than her due date. As the nurse is setting me up for the induction she is laughing because Rebecca is moving so much in utero that she is having a hard time keeping the monitor on me. So this post is R is for Rebecca.

Rebecca who has always had her own sense of style!


Rebecca who has always loved letters and numbers and magnets!


Rebecca who loves art!


Rebecca who loves to be silly!


Rebecca who is a great big sister to Jacob!


Rebecca who is a big help to Mommy!


Rebecca who loves to play outside!


Rebecca who has her daddy's sense of humor!


Rebecca who is growing up way too fast!

Q is for....question

I just have a question. Maybe I am weird. Maybe I am just strange. Does anyone else feel exhausted all day and then get bursts of energy after 9pm even though they know they should be winding down and getting ready for the next day?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

P is for....photos

We have been busy these last few days...

Sunday we took the kids to our friend "Mimi"'s house for an egg hunt that she hosts.

Mimi is a truly wonderful woman. She only works part time at the after school program that I work at and she pinches her pennies to make ends meet, however she was able to host 60+ kids at her house for an egg hunt with over 2000 eggs handpacked with candy and trinkets. She has been hosting it for 5 years and each year it gets bigger and bigger. She is such a sweetheart and is a truly good friend. The egg hunt was a blast for the kids.

So my P for today is Photos from the egg hunt!



hiding the 2000+ eggs

some of the kids and adults

Me with Rebecca and Jacob


the empty eggs after the fact
I will have to say it was fun. The weather was sunny and WINDY but it was great! 

Monday, April 18, 2011

Grocery shopping and menu planning--a little late....

After having a really good week grocery wise last week, I didn't do so well this week. But it was not all my fault.

I went to Aldi with the intention of getting everything there...however, they were out of almost all my essentials that I needed. They were out of most of the produce, waffles, bread, hamburger buns, etc. I was NOT happy. They were so busy too. It seemed like they hadn't got a shipment in or something. I wasn't the only one who noticed that they were out of a LOT of stuff. It was annoying.

So then I went to Kroger and broke the budget again. sigh....

However I have decided to cut back and use up what we have for the next 5-6 weeks. We are looking to move at the end of May and I don't want to move a lot of food. So I will be getting into a self imposed pantry challenge (more info coming soon!). So hopefully this was the last week of high spending for a while.
Anyway, here is what I bought this week....


Aldi: total spent $21.14

Kroger: Total spent $79.75
So the total numbers this week are:  $21.14 + $79.75 = $100.89 (over budget by $25.89) sigh....

Now on to this weeks menu:



Monday: chicken nuggets and mixed veggies

Tuesday: Clean out the fridge---leftover chinese food, pot roast and veggies, spaghettios

Wednesday: grilled ham and cheese sandwiches, corn, peas

Thursday: manwich sandwiches and green beans

Friday: macaroni and cheese, veggies

Saturday: pizza/ or spaghetti (not sure yet)

Sunday: Easter dinner
For more great menu ideas visit http://orgjunkie.com/

O is for....online

I spend a lot of time online. More than I probably should....but I feel like it is part of my job as mom and wife to get good deals for our family, be our chief financial officer, and just learn ways to have a better family. One way that I do this is through reading online blogs. I have my favorites that I read daily and recently I have come across several that have had really relevant posts. I would like to share them with you today:

The Frugal Girl offers How to Keep Up with Your Credit the Frugal Way

Life as Mom offers 6 Good Things to Do with your Kids for Easter

Penny at The Saved Quarters offers Making the Most of Daily Deal Sites

If you get a chance check these out. Are there any sites or articles that you find especially helpful? Let me know about them!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

N is for....Nothing

N is for nothing. As in I have nothing positive to say today. Today has been one of those days where I just want to go back to bed.

I have had a headache all day. I went grocery shopping in the rain, and it seemed like everyone was in a bad mood. Customers standing in the middle of the aisles blocking the way. Drivers being idiots. I lost my claddagh ring at the store and spend a couple hours being ticked off (was able to find it in the bag with my eggs when I got home!). We went out to dinner and it took forever to get our food.

Just NOT a good day!

I hope to be back tomorrow with positive energy to try to live better, however I am done for tonight. I think I am going to bed.

Friday, April 15, 2011

I'm Dreaming of a Cool Outdoor Oasis

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Pier 1 for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

The weather has gotten warmer which means it is time for me to start dreaming of an outdoor oasis!

Now that my kids are old enough to enjoy spending time outside playing, I can finally start to design a usable outdoor space for both myself and my kids. I have several criteria for an outdoor space. First of all, it must be functional for our needs (aka. kid friendly) but it also must be stylish. I want a space where I can hang out with my mommy friends, or my hubby but that the kids can also play in and around and not feel like they are in a museum. That being said, it also can NOT cost an arm and a leg to put together.

I have found the PERFECT place to shop for ALL my outdoor needs---PIER 1! Yes, the place that we rely on for indoor decor also offers a wide range of outdoor furniture and decor. Pier 1 is the perfect place for me to plan the outdoor oasis of my dreams.

While browsing through their site, I found TONS of ideas that would work for my outdoor area. However, there was a couple things that really caught my eye and that I would love to have for my outdoor oasis.

I have a nice patio set that we were given, however I have not been able to find any cushions that I love for the set. I have found THE set for me. These pillows are colorful, fun and aren't old ladyish! They are awesome! (and at $20 a piece they are definitely affordable!)

One of my pet peeves for spending time outside is that I never have any place to keep drinks cold so we are constantly having to go in the house to get a cool drink. Not anymore. This metal beverage tub is the right blend of cool and functional! I totally need this for my oasis! It is perfect for keeping juice boxes cold for the kids and adult beverages cold for the adults! (And during the winter months, I could used this indoors during holiday parties to keep wine cold! Great for indoor or outdoor!)

Another item I fell in love with on Pier 1 was this adjustable chaise lounge. I have always wanted one and this would be perfect to lay outside and relax while the kids are running around playing, or laying on after dark looking up at the stars. It even comes with the cute orange pillow. I so want this!

I also don't want to forget my front porch. I have a wrap around front porch and have been looking for a swing to hang where I can sit out on the porch and read while my hubby entertains the kids. I adore this outdoor papasan Swingasan chair. Who knew that Pier 1 had indoor/outdoor papasan furniture? The chair is super cute and looks so comfy! And at less than $300, it is the perfect price for a piece of paradise!

These are my must haves! I won't break the budget by buying these at Pier 1. I will get quality products from a company I trust for my indoor and now for my outdoor decorating needs. Most of these pieces can be used outdoors in my oasis, and indoors during our cold winters. As I was browsing their site I saw many items that would fit the needs of many of my friends as well, even though they have very different tastes. I saw items that were modern and colorful and items that were more old-fashioned in style. There is definitely something for everyone.

Pier 1 offers many great deals in store and online. They are also offering Pier 1 Tweetups in select cities around the USA. Pier 1 is evolving yet staying the must shop store for all your indoor and now for all your outdoor needs as well! What are some of your must haves for your outdoor oasis from Pier 1?

 

Visit Sponsor's Site

Letters of Intent

Foursons


Foursons has a great weekly feature that she runs, called Letters of Intent. In it, she invites readers to write their own letters of intent and to link them up to her post. This week I have decided to join in....

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Dear Mother Nature,

I know that I have been really mean and whiny the last few weeks. I just am so sick of cold winter weather. This week instead of complaining though, let me thank you. The weather has been nice for the last couple days. I have been able to open doors and windows. I have gotten some stuff done. I know that not everyday can be sunny and warm and that is okay. Thanks for giving me some sunshine though to get my mojo back!

Signed,
Happy that Spring is here.
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Dear City of Mt. V,

Thank you for finally fixing your tax site so that I could do our income taxes. I am so glad that I am FINALLY done with all of our tax stuff. Next year, could you make sure the site is fixed before April 15th though?

A city tax payer
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Dear Motivation,

You have come back somewhat. I have the mojo to exercise again! I have been doing okay with eating. I still need the motivation to get back to cooking. But thank you for coming back somewhat.

Sincerely,
Me
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To read more letters of Intent please visit Foursons.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

M is for....Man

Sometimes to live better, I just have to take a step back and enjoy some good music. Today for the A to Z blogging challenge that is what I have done. I have been working on taxes, cleaning and decluttering paper piles and I just need to relax. Hope you enjoy these selections of "M" songs....







L is for Love and Live

Love Food and Live Well is Chantel Hobbs' latest weight loss book. Hobbs is the author of other well known weight loss books, Never Say Diet and The One-Way Diet. She knows what she is talking about as she has lost over 200 pounds and has kept them off.




In Love Food and Live Well, Hobbs encourages readers to LOVE the food that they are eating and in loving their food, they are in turn loving themselves and living better each day. 80% of the time she encourages eating God given food---fruits, veggies, lean protein, fish, whole grains, etc. 20% of the time you can splurge on food that you love and enjoy but that may not be the best nutritional choices for you. Hobbs argues that this way you have the freedom to choose what you eat and in doing so you won't feel guilty because you had that piece of chocolate cake. 

This book was a great encouragement as I am trying to lose weight. However, there was nothing new in the book. Much of the book was spent talking about her other books or referencing things in her other books (which I have not read).

Hobbs does offer several exercises in the book, however many of them I cannot do as I do not own a stability ball. I DID enjoy and will use the stretching exercises that she demonstrates in her book.

Overall if you need a refresher course in what makes a good diet plan that you can follow and still allow yourself to have the treats that you don't want to give up, then Love Food and Live Well is for you. However, if you want a NEW plan that teaches you something new about diet and exercise, I would recommend looking elsewhere.

DISCLAIMER: I received a copy of this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

K is for....Kalanchoe, Kalimeris, and Kerria

K is for........

Kalanchoe


Kalimeris

Kerria

Can you tell I am ready for sunshine and flowers?? It has been unusually wet here and I am so ready for sunshine and some flowers blooming! Spring and summer, where are you?


 

J is for...JACOB

J is for Jacob. Sweet, adorable Jacob. My Son.


Born 10-11-09 via emergency c-section

Sleeping during the day for the first 6 months, wanted to party all night long.

Who me?

Roar!

Finally sleeping at night.

Playing in the leaves

Handsome man in his baptism outfit.

I hate the snow!
Jacob, my sweet Jacob. You are the light of our lives. You are your sister's best friend. You are a stinker. We love you so much!

Monday, April 11, 2011

I is for.....I (as in this is me!)

I is for I as in me! I have gained a bunch of new followers---WELCOME!!!--- and I just wanted to take the time to re-introduce myself to you all...

This is Jacob and I (January 2011)

My name is Rachel. I am a 31 year old wife to one amazing, crazy funny man named Bill. I am mom to 2 adorable children---Rebecca is 4 (going on 30) and Jacob is 18 months old. I also have 2 angel babies in Heaven--- a child I miscarried in September 2005 and our son Travis Omar who was born at 20 weeks silently into Heaven  on Sept 21, 2008. Each of these children has has a profound impact on who I am and what I stand for.

I am also a former teacher. I have taught K-2 grades in a brick and mortar school, 3 years of homeschooling tutoring, and am currently a program assistant for an extended care program at one of the local schools. We recently moved to a small town in Ohio, after living in Columbus since we got married in 2005. I couldn't raise my kids in an area where we had 7-8 year old kids fist fighting in our front yard and their parents egging them on. Not happening. So we live in small town Ohio and I have to say we LOVE it.

I enjoy many things---reading, blogging, reading other people's blogs, looking for and scoring deals, spending time with family and friends, and the Cleveland Indians, to name a few. I also enjoy the challenge of living better each day and trying to improve myself each day. It is definitely a challenge and I don't always do well with it, but I do try to stay true to me each day and that is important.

If you have stuck with this post this far, I just want you as a reader to know, that I enjoy writing this blog. I love reading your comments to my blogs and am trying to get better at responding in a timely manner. I hope you enjoy what I write and I hope that you have an amazing week!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Menu Plan and Grocery Shopping

Last week I decided to change up the way that I do my grocery shopping to see if that would help me cut our grocery bill. This week was the first week that I did this. I decided to go to Aldi and to Walmart.

I had to go to Walmart anyway to get a prescription filled and to pick up the last things for Jacob's Easter basket, so I picked up a few grocery items from there that I knew were cheaper there than at Kroger.

Walmart Trip
Spent: $16.35
Used Free item coupon for Temptations, $0.35 off (x2) coupons for goldfish, and $0.75 off 3 for Hamburger Helpers

Then I went to Aldi to fill in the majority of our needs for the week..milk bread, produce, cereal, butter, etc....

Aldi
Total Spent: $40.58

On Sunday afternoon, I DID run to Kroger to get gas for our car, a newspaper and Rebecca wanted a melon. So I bought her a melon for $1. That was it. It was so nice only to spend $1 at Kroger!

Total spent this week..... $16.35 + $40.58 + $1.00 for a total of : $57.93!!!! (Under budget by $12.07!!! FINALLY!!!) I hope I can keep this up. I will admit that it felt strange NOT to do most of our shopping at  Kroger but it will probably be better for my wallet if I only go there for their loss leaders if I know it is a good price.

Now on to our menu plan:


Last week really didn't go to well. I didn't have motivation to cook. I just didn't feel like it. But I feel better when I do and so I have to get back on track starting NOW!!!

Monday: Chicken patties, green beans, and applesauce

Tuesday: Lasagna, garlic bread, broccoli

Wednesday: baked chicken, mixed veggies, pears

Thursday: pizza and carrots

Friday: fish, macaroni and cheese, leftover veggies from the fridge

Saturday: salad and sandwiches

Sunday: Hamburger helper, salad, green beans

Maybelline Super Stay 24 Color Lipstick

As a bzzagent I have been able to review many new products ranging from cleaning products to candles to personal products. One of the newest products I have been asked to test out is Maybelline's new Super Stay 24 2-step color lipsticks.
This is my bzz kit. In it is my bzz guide, welcome letter and lipsticks in forever chestnut, wear on wildberry, everlasting wine, and timeless rose.

New Super Stay 24 Lipcolor is a very neat lipstick. A gripe I have about average lipsticks is that they never last all day. I don't have time to keep reapplying lipstick throughout the day. I want something that I can put on in the morning and will last me through the day into the evening. Maybelline's New Super Stay 24 Lipcolor does just that.

Personally I have fallen in love with the Timeless Rose color and it is now my go-to lipstick EVERY DAY ALL DAY!!!!


With it's unique 2-step applying process, the color stays on all day long! First you apply the long lasting base coat to clean, dry lips and you allow it to dry (may take up to 2 minutes). You then follow that with a moisturizing top coat lip balm to seal in the color for the day. It is quite simple and easy, yet very effective!




Maybelline SuperStay 24 2-Step Lipcolor is available in 30 different colors, divided into four color families--Reds, Plums, Pinks, and Naturals. They are found in most drug stores and in Target and Walmart with a suggested price of $9.99.

Disclaimer: As a bzzagent, I received these products for free for review. All opinions expressed are my own.