Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Do you ever feel like you could just sit down and cry?

Nothing is wrong.  You're not sick.  You just feel your stomach in knots and a tightness in your throat from holding back tears that trying to work their way out.

I've been feeling like I'm spread thin and that I'm not giving 100% to anything.

Work is going well.  But I have my own way of doing things that isn't the same as others who had my job in the past.  They all did a fabulous job, but I'm not them and can only do things in the way that's right for me.  I ran into an issue a week ago and I had someone not connected with the situation call me yesterday and tell me that I just have to deal with it.  Frustrating and now I think a few folks aren't thrilled with me...  Hate to be disliked.   Bluck!

I've been cleaning out old toys and baby/toddler gear.  It makes me so sad.  I LOVE my boys!!! I just always thought I'd have three kids, I feel like there's a piece of the puzzle missing.  But my feelings are just wrong.  It wasn't God's plan for us to have three so I need to count my blessings and move on and accept my little men are getting older - that's how it goes.

I'm working, and yet money is still always so tight.  I'm sick of having to squeeze a dollar till it squeaks.  I'm tired of having to plan things down to the last dollar.  I'm sick of having to buy crap food because the fresh produce costs so much more.  I hate that I can't get my kids what they really want for Christmas (although, we are so vastly blessed and they are getting plenty).  I've never had aspirations of being rich, but just being able to pay my bills without concern and not having to wear sock with holes in them would be great.

I miss my mum!  I could tell her how I felt and she'd call me her 'little love' and she'd say 'come here my little babe and let mum love you' - yes, even at 40 that's what she'd say to me and then give me a big hug and let me rest my head on her shoulder for a bit.  She was the one person in the world who was in my corner no matter what!  My husband is awesome, but it's not the same.  It gets me too that I'll never have a mother-daughter relationship again.  I miss her desperately..

I feel like there are a lot of people who don't like me. Boo hoo, I know.  But it hurts my wittwle feewing.

Oh, and fat??!!  I'm sure I've gained back all that I lost a year and a half ago. I haven't been brave enough to get on the scale, but all of my clothes are tight, or just don't fit and I feel yuck.  Why do I keep yo-yoing?  Why can't I make a life change for good?

I don't think anyone reads this blog any way so I'm venting. 
Sending my rants into the great big void in hopes that it will be cathardic and I'll feel better when I'm done.

Just feel like I wanna cry.
But this too shall pass.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Should I Wait Until B.F.?

"Are the sales on Black Friday always the best deal of the season?"

In a word, 'no'.

Don't assume that everything will be at it's lowest price on Black Friday.  If you're looking to keep those purse strings pulled pretty tight this year, it will be worth it to take 20 minutes a week from now going forward to look at the weekly sales flyers.

If you're looking for board games for instance, right now is a great time to get them.  For the past few years Toys R' Us have been having their big game sale prior to Black Friday.  I think last year's game sale was better than this year, but thankfully, last year was my year to buy all of my nieces and nephews (and my boys) games.  There was a game one of my nieces wanted that I picked up for $15 that for the rest of the Christmas shopping season never came below $22 again.

Even if you cancel it on December 23rd, go ahead and sign up at your favorite store's site to have their weekly circular sent to your inbox.  Sit down to paruse the circulars with a nice steamy mug of coffee and by the time you hit the bottom you'll have determined if there is an item or two, or three or four that you can purchase now at a better price than on B.F.  Don't forget to sign up for the B.F. scans.

Next post: "Not your typical place to buy Christmas gifts"

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Christmas giving - Part I

We have lots of people on our Christmas list to buy for.  To be honest, as much as I enjoy giving gifts, the amount of presents we want to give verses the amount of money in the bank stresses me out and steals some joy out of this holiday that's really about celebrating the ultimate gift, Jesus.

For years I have been putting on the ole' thinking cap to get the best deals and searching for creative ways to get the most for our dollar so that we not only have happy gift receivers but also a gift giver that's not stressed to the max.  Over the next few posts I will share some of the observations I've made and some creative gift giving ideas.

Today's tip isn't really much of a secret to anyone, Black Friday.  I've been a Black Friday shopper for years, since before I had children.  Over the years I've learned a few things.

1. You don't have to wait until Thanksgiving to see what great deals there are to be had on the next day.  You can go to and sign up to receive notices to your email when each B.F. flyer is scanned and listed on their site.  There are a few up already, such as Kohl's.  They will also list other special sales leading up to the biggest shopping day of the year.

2.  When do you go?  We've all seen the horrible clips on the evening news follow B.F. showing the throngs of bargain shoppers rushing into a store as the doors open like they think their in Madrid running from the bulls.  I remember a few years ago a man actually got trampled to death at a Wal-Mart.  Listen, I don't care how cheap those flat screen tvs are, that's never going to be a good enough reason to act like a lunatic and hurt people.  The first few years I did go as the doors opened (back then it was 5:00 am) but soon learned that people tend to be rude (pushing, shoving, hitting you with their cart, etc..) and that everything doesn't go in those first few minutes.  Sure, if you're looking for the hottest item and the sales flyer says that they'll only have 5 of that item in stock, you'll need to be one of the first in line to get the item.  Ask yourself, 'how bad do your really want it?' before putting yourself out there.  I suggest getting there about 20 minutes to a 1/2 hour after they open.  Other than the extream items (as mentioned above) the other sales items will still be on the shelves and the people who think they've entered the hundred yard dash are now making their way back to their cars.  Sure, it will still be crowded, but your chances for bodily injury will have decreased dramatically.

3.  "They open at midnight, but the really hot item isn't being offered until 5:00 am.. What should I do?"  I faced this last year.  I wanted to get the game system that was on sale for a great price at Wal-Mart at 5:00 am.  They opened at midnight and there were other items I wanted.  I thought I'd arrive at 4:30 and get in line for the DS and then pick up the rest of the stuff I wanted (pj's, DS games, etc...)  So, I waited in line in the automotive department and got the DS, but when I went to get the rest of the items on my shopping list, everything was so picked over and they had even sold out of things.  Going forward I'd suggest either going at midnight and get everything you want and then come back for the 5:00 am items, or get there at 3:00 am and stay till you have everything you want.

4. Ok, this one isn't a tip to save money, it's more like a public service announcement. We all know that those out on B.F. whether it be at mindnight or 5am are sleepy. It's great to go in sweats. Go ahead and throw your hair in a clip. No need to fuss with make up. But please, please, take one minute before heading out the door to brush your teeth. I swear I almost passed out in line last year with the two bffs in front of me discussing their purchases and where to go next. And why did it seem every word they had to say began with an 'h'. Just sayin'....

5.  Have a plan.  Check out the flyers and try to make as few stops as you can.  Each store has special items for sale during a specified window of time.  It's hard to hit Target, Wal-Mart, Toys r' Us, Kohl's, Sears, etc... all before the early bird specials are off the tables.  Figure out where you'll save the most money.  Also, don't forget that Wal-Mart will price match!!  Oh ya baby, bring those sales flyers with you.  No, the shoppers behind you may not love you for holding the line up and extra minute, but tough, they didn't brush their teeth so that's what they get.

Next time.. "Are the sales on Black Friday always the best deal?"

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Two and a Half Minutes

Lately I've noticed that I'm finding myself either loving or hating commercials.  Here are some that I adore and others I find a big fat bore!


1. Volkswagon commercial with the little boy dressed as Darth Vadar.  Having two boys I especially appreciate the magic of this commercial.  I get so excited for the little guy when the car starts, I can just picture how my boys would react.  Who am I kidding, my husband gets as much delight from this commercial as my sons.  It's fabulous!!  I rank this commercial right up there with one of my favorite commercials of all time. (see #2)

2. We normally think of this song toward the end of November and in December but the folks at Stapels brilliantly used the Christmas standard, "The Most Wonderful Time of the Year" for their back to school ad campaign.  This commercial came out before I ever had kids, but even so, I've adored this commercial since it first came out some time in the 90's.  I love when the father uses the staplers like they are castinets and then goes gliding down the aisle on a shopping cart.  Brilliant - just brilliant!!!

3. Take that Starbucks! was the message being sent by McDonald's with their commercials featuring two guys who wanted to enjoy a good cup of coffee without all the pretention.  "Now I can shave this 'thing' off of my face." (gesturing to the 'soul patch' under his lip)  Lol - good fun!

4.  Another favorite of mine is the Puffs Plus Pals commercials.  You know the ones I mean; it tells a little story with cute characters in softened animation.  I just think the commercials are so sweet - love them.


1.  I know a lot of people love these commercials, but there's just something about those homeboy hampsters of the Kia car commercials that just creepy me out!!  I find the drummer and the one sort groovin' in the car especially disturbing.

2. The modelquinns were bad enough - but no, no, not the songs!!  Who writes the lyrics to the Old Navy commercials?  One of the most irritating  was the onethey had for their 'breezy blouses' set to the tune of "I Think We're Alone Now".  "The breezy blouse is great for work or play.  Can I have more whip on my latte?"  Seriously?!!  Ahhhh... Then they came out with their workout clothes commercial; "Don't jiggle it when you wiggle it."  Oh my goodness, make the madness stop!!!!

3. Planet Fitness - 'I pick things up and I put them down' - I see this commercial and I change the channel.  'Nough said.

4.  I'm cheating for #4; instead of naming a specific commercial or company, I am stating how much I dislike commercials that portray men as idiots, women as *itches and glorify bratty spoiled children.  For the past week there have been commercials advertising Halloween candy and a few of the ads showed children greedily reaching into candy bowls and taking handfuls.  This was supposed to be funny.. or cute.  Well this translated into real life.  On Halloween a little boy who was about 4 / 5 years old came to the door, I dropped a few pieces of candy into his bucket and then he reached over and took a big handful of additional candy.  Mum and dad's response?  They called out to him and took a picture and said 'that was so cute!'  Seriously?  I think it's rude!!  Not the 4 year old's fault, it was mom and dad who were truly the rude ones as it's their job to teach jr right from wrong.   But I digress...  Wrotten commercials.

So what are the commercials you love or loathe?