Sunday, December 27, 2009

2009 Goals Revisited

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In preparation of my 2010 goals, I decided to take a look at my 2009 goals I had planned. I was actually doing pretty well until June/July when Dad was diagnosed with cancer and my goals got put on the back burner as I had to take care of him.

Daily
Exercise 30 minutes a day (I was doing this religiously from March til June, even got to walking 4 miles a day, now, not so much)
Drink 8 glasses of water a day (See notation on exercise, same deal)
Track calories (This one I even did during the summer, but once school and Dad's radiation began, this went out the window)
Log into SparkPeople daily (Still doing this!)
Be realistic about weight loss and not give up (I'm more realistic about this now than last year, haven't given up, but eating that x-large peanut butter/chocolate tree I just ate isn't helping)
Spend a minimum of one hour per day on homework (Pretty much did this, but let's face it, there are days when no homework can be done and other days I put in 12 hours)
Complete morning routine by Noon (Waking up at 11 am puts a hamper on this goal)
Complete afternoon routine by 5pm (I'm usually "waking up enough to move" by 1pm, get started on morning goals, and afternoon, never finish all of them, but I do try to do at least some of it)
Complete evening routine by 9pm (AHAHAAHA...as if.  Let's face it, after dinner I barely want to get anything done.  Dinner at 7:30 means finishing close to 8 and then prime time tv starts, so who has time to clean the kitchen and do other things?)
Complete PDC's daily (Really hard to do these, when they're not sent out anymore LOL But I do occasionally try to do the Monday Weekly Blessing Hour and Tuesday 2 Minutes)
Complete Kelly's mission (I don't think I've even looked at these since January)
Spend a minimum of 15 min per day on pccx when in effect (I've had an excuse for every pccx that came about this year as to why I didn't finish it, maybe January will be different and I can try this again)

Write blog daily - limited to 30 min a day (I've had different blogs, I think I'll stick with Most Stressed Woman, because let's face, the title fits)

Weekly
Go to the library to do homework if necessary (This didn't work as Dad was so sick that I couldn't leave the house, but I did move the desk in Jordan's room, so I can go there when need be, so let's consider this one done)
Menu Plan weekly (I've done this on/off. But I really am trying, already have this week's done!)
Grocery Shopping weekly WITH a list (NEVER go shopping without a list anymore! Checked DONE!)
Help Dad with gardening (Helped, and did more than I wanted once he got sick as he didn't have the strength so I got stuck doing more than my share.  DONE!)
Spend quality alone time with DH at least 2x month (Didn't necessarily accomplish every month, but we have been going to breakfast on Sundays about 1-2x a month since Dad started getting better)

Annual
Reach goal weight of 125 by December (at 170 now) (Went up, then down but not to goal, and now climbing back up again. Sighhhhh)
Pay down credit cards to 0 by end of year (ROFL! Yeah right!!)

One Time
Update SparkPeople site (DONE!)
Attain a minimum of 3.5 in each class (I got a 3.0 in 2 classes and 2.0 in 2 classes, but with everything happening with Dad, I'm okay with it)

Rewrite routines (DONE!)
Hold 1 garage sale and donate anything left over (DONE!)
Start growing herbs (DONE! But would like to grow more)
Start scrapbooking Kris' letters from basic training (Started, but didn't finish, but goal was only to start, so DONE!)
Organize genealogy records (I started to do this, I even created an all new file so I knew all of the information I had was 100% accurate, but I have a lot of files...)

Input genealogy records into program (DONE! Okay, not done, started LOL)
Organize bills (DONE! At least in January, have to reorganize again)
Create a budget (DONE! At least in January, and then husband was laid off in May, have to create a new budget)
Complete taxes by Feb. 15 (DONE! Not only with my taxes, but everybody else I do taxes for too!)
Start savings account (Uh nope....but I hope to open a new account at a different bank soon, so I'll get right on this)
Get physicals completed for all (DONE!)
Get dental work completed for all (Got my son's done, our dental insurance got canceled)

Okay, so I didn't get everything done.  Heck, I barely got 25% done probably.  But, I have a REALLY good excuse: I became a caretaker.  So, hopefully 2010 will be my year to get more done...

Menu Plan Monday

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Okay, I'm getting back in the groove once again.  I'm preparing my 2010 goals this week and having my menus all set will certainly help keep me focused. 





Monday:  Turkey Noodle Soup (A great way to get rid of the leftovers!)

Tuesday: Steak Stir Fry

Thursday: Not cooking - won't be home.  I'm going to partyyyyyy the new year in!

Friday: Tuna Melt Burgers and Chips (Recipe for Tuna Burgers below)

Saturday: 15 Bean Soup with Ham


How to make the best tuna burgers EVER:

1 10 oz. can Tuna in water, drained
1/4 cup fat free Mayo
1/2 tsp. Garlic Powder
1 tsp. Italian Seasoning
2 T. Pickle Relish
Ground Black Pepper to taste
1 cup Mozzarella Cheese
8 Hamburger Buns

Drain and rinse tuna.  Combine all ingredients (except buns) in a small bowl and mix well.  Spoon mixture into buns.  Sprinkle 1/8 cup of Mozzarella cheese over mixture, place top bun back.  Place sandwiches into 9 x 13 baking dish and cover with aluminum foil.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 15-20 minutes until cheese is melted. 




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Monday, December 7, 2009

50 FREE Photocards (Today Only!)

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Have you procrastinated your holiday cards?  Would you like to have everyone think you spent countless hours on them?

Join Snapfish and get 50 FREE 4" x 6" prints plus a FREE set of 4" x 8" photo cards. Turn your photos into fun photo gifts, keepsakes, and everyday treasures that you can share with family and friends. To help you get started, enjoy these free gifts just for creating a free account.  You will have to pay for shipping, which will be around $5.99.  In my experience with them, they have a very good turn around and you could have the photocards by the end of the week.

Happy Holidays!

Monday Menu Plan

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Okay, I'm getting back in the groove this week.  I have a LOT of homework to do and having my meals will help me keep the wheels in motion.


Tuesday:  Tuna Casserole


Thursday: Chicken Stew



Sunday: Leftovers

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Friday, December 4, 2009

Behind on my Homework

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To say I'm behind doesn't even begin to reflect the anxiety I'm beginning to feel.  Unfortunately, neither of these classes was available online in the traditional 16 week class.  Instead, I've been forced to do them in 8 weeks.  I was "on time" the first week, only because I started a week before classes actually began.  Today I had to write down what I need to do to catch up by Monday.  Then additional homework will be added to the list.  So, here's my list (blue items are done, I'm using this list to keep it up-to-date)

The bigger problem?  I'll be leaving Saturday morning and won't be home until Sunday night.


Chemistry:
Chapter 10.9 and 10.10
2 problems
Chapter 11.1 – 11.11
Chapter 11 problems: 4, 6, 8, 10, 14, 18, 20, 22, 26, 32-46 (even), 50-56 (even), 60, 62, 64, 70, 72, 74, 78, 80, 82
Chapter 11 notes – 39 definitions
Chapter 12.1 – 12.10
Chapter 12 problems: 1-4 (all), 6-14 (even), 20-26 (even), 30-46 (even), 50, 54, 58-74 (even), 80-88 (even)
Chapter 12 notes – 37 definitions
Chapter 13.1 – 13.10
Chapter 13 problems: 4-10 (even), 14, 16, 18, 24-32 (even), 36, 40-52 (even), 56, 60, 66, 68, 72, 76, 78, 82, 86, 90, 92, 100
Chapter 13 notes – 43 definitions
Chapter 14.1 – 14.6
Chapter 14 problems: 3, 6, 10, 12, 16, 20, 22, 26, 32, 36, 38, 44, 46
Chapter 14 notes – 36 definitions

Quiz for Chapters 10 - 14 (Open book)



Ethics:
Week 4 Tutorial: Read 46 slides (Powerpoint)
Shaw, Chapter 6, pages 201-222
Shaw, Chapter 7, pages 239-265
Shaw, Chapter 9, pages 315-330 and 335-339

Kathleen Reardon, "The Memo Every Woman Keeps in Her Desk," (page 35-40).

Week 5 Virtual Lecture: 11 pages
Week 5 Tutorial: 48 slides
Shaw, Chapter 8, pages 277-304 (5th edition pages 267-290).
Week 6 Lecture: 9 pages
Week 6 Case Study: 12 cases, 25 question
David Myers, "How Nice People Get Corrupted," located in the McGraw-Hill supplemental reading materials (page 61)
Week 6 Lecture Part 2: 1 page
Week 6 Tutorial: 40 slides

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Time, Television and Templates! OH MY!

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My family and I moved in with my father last year.  When we moved in, he made a point of stating that he rarely watches television so we could watch whatever we wanted.  Over the course of 6 months, all of that changed.  I've tried to accommodate him by recording all of my shows and waiting until the middle of the night to watch my shows.  Midnight to 5 a.m. is MY time.  I can do homework in peace and quiet (do you know how hard it is to learn how to write a stoichiometric formula while listening to WWII documentaries or old westerns?).  I can also watch my favorite shows without commentaries about how crappy the shows are in his opinion (I don't like that dance, he's a horrible singer, etc.).  But lately, he's been staying awake later and later.  Tonight, he stayed up until 3 a.m.  I wanted to turn to him and scream GO TO BED ALREADY!

In related news:

I watched the Biggest Loser tonight.  I'm usually quite psyched about the contestants at this point and have a favorite that I pray will win.  While I look forward to seeing the results of everybody next week in the finale, I'm not invested in anybody in the final four.  I had three favorites in the beginning that I wanted to see go all the way: Daniel, Shay and Abby. Unfortunately, Daniel and Shay went home the same night and dashed my hopes of having a favorite win. 

In unrelated news:

I hate this template.  Honestly, hate is being kind. 



I've spent countless hours messing with fonts and alignment and widgets. I've really had to hold myself back from throwing the computer across the room in frustration. I have other things to do. I don't have time to continue messing with this any longer!

If you know of a good Web site or template, PLEASE let me know. I think I prefer a 3 column at this point, but let me see what you got!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

How I Met Your Step-Father

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Future Ted: Kids, I'm going to tell you an incredible story, the story of how I met your mother.
Ted's Son: Are we being punished or something?
Future Ted: No.
Ted's Daughter: Dad, is this gonna take a while?
Future Ted: Yes. Twenty-five years ago, before I was Dad, I had this whole other life...

Wait….this isn’t How I Met Your Mother….this is How I Met Your Step-Father.  So, have a seat kids, and I’ll tell you the story on how I met your step-father Eric:



Back in March of 1989, I was 19.  I was married but planning on getting a divorce since my husband was in prison (okay, that’s another story!).   Anyways, I ran into Mark at a local convenience store.  I had known Mark since I was 13.  He was my 1st love and we had dated on and off for 2 years (You know how teens are when it comes to relationships).  So we exchanged phone numbers to keep in contact and we began dating again immediately.  About a month into our new found relationship, I met Eric.  Eric was best friends with Mark.  Now, I will admit I thought he was cute.  But I was in a relationship with Mark, so I didn’t have eyes for anyone else. 
 Mark was the really jealous type.  I mean, really jealous.  If another guy was within 500 feet of me, he was accusing me of having an affair.  This meant that any time one of his friends was around; I disappeared into the background to avoid any potential fights (Of course, later on, I found out the reason he was always accusing me of having affairs was because he was doing it).  Needless to say, I didn’t really get to know Eric all that well.  While he was best friends with Mark, he was a mere acquaintance to me. 
Mark and I had a tumultuous relationship for 4 years, but ended up getting married in June 1993.  A month after our wedding, he lost his job.  He began to fill his days by drinking them away.    It didn’t take long for us to lose contact with all of our friends.  He was either at the bar or at home drinking and I was working or tending to the kids.  Almost three years later on February 22, 1996, I’d had it.  While he was at the bar, I packed up the kids (we had 2, and I had one from my previous marriage), quit my job and left without looking back. 
I moved in with my mother and managed to get 2 part-time jobs (this was when jobs were actually available).  I worked mornings while the two older boys were at school and midnights while they were sleeping.  One night while working my waitressing job, I walked up to one of my tables, did a quick head count and offered drinks.  A familiar voice said, “Fine, don’t say hi.”  I looked up to see Eric sitting at the table.  I dropped the pad of invoices to the ground as my jaw dropped because I hadn’t seen him since my wedding day.  He informed me he was married and proceeded to ask me how Mark was and I began rambling about how I had left him (that’s when his jaw dropped LOL).  I didn’t go into full details because he was with a group of friends, so he asked for my phone number so he could get the full story the next day. 
So, as you can see, the first time we met was not the beginning of our relationship.  The second time we met began the journey of our relationship, but honestly, I was not looking for another man in my life and he was married, so neither of us looked at each other in that way.  

AW C'MON, MY STORY DIDN'T TAKE THAT LONG!

Next time on How I Met Your Step-Father:
He did call. We spent a lot of time together becoming friends over the next 6 weeks.  He left his wife 3 days before his 1 year anniversary.  He stayed at a hotel for one night.  He moved in with me.  My ex-husband stalked us for 3 months.  His ex-wife stalked us for 6 months.  We married 4 years later.  We celebrate our 10 year anniversary in September of 2010. 

Monday, November 30, 2009

Monday Mingle 11/30/09

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Time for another Monday Mingle (Our hostess is Eighty MPH Mom, I remembered to mention Jennifer, didn't say who I was ROFL) 

Here are this week's questions:


1. Someone tells you that you have the whole day off and gives you $1,000 to do as you please. What do you do?

2. Who would play you in a Lifetime movie about yourself?

3. We're in the technology age. What is your favorite technological innovation? What one do you think is just useless?

4. What is your favorite funny childhood memory?

5. What is/was your favorite Kool-Aid/Jello flavor? One you hated?






If you'd like to join in on the fun, you can begin with this week's questions, or be more fully prepared with next week's questions:


1. Tell us FIVE random facts about yourself.

2. Do you wear perfume or cologne? What scent(s)?

3. How many speeding tickets have you gotten in your life?

4. Do you go fishing? Do you like to fish?

5. What reality tv shows do you watch?

Monday, November 23, 2009

Monday Mingle 11/23/09

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Time for another Monday Mingle (Our hostess is Eighty MPH Mom, I keep forgetting to mention that in the videos...next week, I promise!)  I'm so excited I've made it again!  I'm even starting to think that vlogging is much easier than blogging LOL

So, I didn't mention it in the vlog, but the answers I recorded from my husband were taped without his knowledge LOL

Here are this week's questions:

We're mixing it up a bit this week - ALL ABOUT MARRIAGE/RELATIONSHIPS:
Speedy Cop would love to see the husband/partner's answers too - either via vlog or through you!

1. Men: When your spouse asks you "how does this outfit make me look" - how do you respond?
Ladies: Do you really want him to answer honestly?
2. Both: What is one thing you should always do to keep your spouse/partner happy? What do you do/say to avoid friction in your relationship?
3. Both: What were the first thoughts about your spouse/partner that came to mind when you first met him/her?
4. Both: What is your favorite physical feature of your spouse/partner?
5. Both: What are the key ingredients to a successful marriage/relationship?

6. Are you ready for more Speedy Cop movie quotes?






If you'd like to join in on the fun, you can begin with this week's questions, or be more fully prepared with next week's questions:

The next three are excellent questions - they were submitted by LAUREN from Mid-Adventures in Theatre:

1. Someone tells you that you have the whole day off and gives you $1,000 to do as you please. What do you do?

2. Who would play you in a Lifetime movie about yourself?

3. We're in the technology age. What is your favorite technological innovation? What one do you think is just useless?

4. What is your favorite funny childhood memory?

5. What is/was your favorite Kool-Aid/Jello flavor? One you hated?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

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I haven't followed my own advice. I didn't create a menu plan for last week, and to say dinners were substandard is being polite. I was stressed out with homework and ended up calling leftovers our dinner two nights and ordered pizza on another. Every night I would give myself a lecture that if I had created a menu plan, I wouldn't be in the situation I was in, standing in the middle of the kitchen pulling my hair out (and not the gray ones either!).

I never made this a few weeks ago, time to try again!

You'll notice I cheat and use a lot of Betty Crocker recipes.  They're usually quick to make!


Thursday: Thanksgiving at the In-Laws
Expect a post of complaints on Friday

Friday: Spaghetti
(The Ole Stand-by)

(This was a real hit a few weeks ago!)

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Favorite Commercial

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Ok, so its not my all-time favorite commercial, but this one puts a smile on my face every time! I love the voice of the pot hole LOL

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I Need a Chauffeur

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Today was the day Dad and I had to drive down to see his oral surgeon (Dad was diagnosed with Stage 2 Cancer of the Tongue in June). I hate these appointments. The doctor knows full well that its a 2 & 1/2 hour drive for us and yet insists on 8 a.m. appointments. We have to leave at 5:30 for these appointments. Last time, due to a large number of construction areas, we didn't get to the appointment until 8 a.m. Then we had to wait 20 minutes for the doctor's receptionist to show up to lead us to the 2nd waiting room. So, since we actually made it to the appointment ON TIME, Dad insisted we leave 15 minutes earlier today. WHY? Right? WHY would we have to leave earlier to make it to an appointment that we have to wait for anyways? There's no talking to the man. He must arrive 10-15 minutes before an appointment, that way if he's not called within 5 minutes of said appointment, he has a reason to start complaining (to me, nobody else).

**I should note that Dad did not have surgery. He went through 8 weeks of radiation which finished on 10/28, no chemo.

As you may or may not know, I didn't sleep Saturday night. I then crashed early Sunday night and slept 14 hours. There was NO way I was going to bed at 9 p.m. to get 7 hours of sleep. So, how much sleep did I get before having to make that long drive? A whole 2 & 1/2 hours.


Now I have a question for anyone that has a drivers license:

Suppose you're driving down a road with no streetlights in the middle of the night.  If an oncoming car begins to flash its headlights (normal and bright lights) at you, would you think:
  1. This person can see how hot I look in my car and is flirting with me
  2. This person is having serious problems with their car, I'm glad I don't have that problem.
  3. This person is letting me know I have my bright lights on and its blinding them, so I should turn them off until they pass me.
If you chose number one, you should learn the song "You're So Vain" by Carly Simon.
If you chose number two, you need to learn some driving etiquette.
If you chose number three, you are correct, and obviously not one of the three people I passed this morning. 

Now, I understand that some cars have headlights that are super bright, this was not the case with any of the cars I passed today.  This did not help my mood at ALL! 

We got to the appointment 15 minutes early (shocker right?)  Then, the receptionist was late AGAIN and didn't take us back to see the doctor until 8:20 again! Needless to say, we didn't get out of the doctor's office until 9:30 and I was fuming.  Another 2.5 hour drive was not what I wanted or needed, but what option did I have? 

In the last 3 months, I've put over 5,000 miles on my car taking Dad to appointments.  I'm just tired of being a chauffeur.  I need to win the lottery, just so I can hire somebody else to drive.



 







Maybe somebody like him?  










WOW! 2 Brad Pitt references in 2 days.  That never happens! Maybe its the lack of sleep???  Maybe my mind will be Brad free tomorrow....

Monday, November 16, 2009

Monday Mingle

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Today is my first attempt at the Monday Mingle.  Teresa from Gossip at the Fence invited me to join a few weeks ago, but I'm just getting around to it.  Our lovely hostess is Jennifer at Eighty MPH Mom and I've been having fun watching everybody's videos.  Most are 5-10 minutes, so you can watch a few and kill some time and laugh with us!


This week's questions (courtesy of Mat and Erin from Mrs. Cox's Slice O' Heaven):


1. Have you ever gone streaking or skinny dipping? - from Mat (Erin's hubby LOL - Eighty MPH Mom added the skinny dipping part)


2. If could invite any 5 people to dinner who would it be?


3. Would you rather ... have x-ray vision or bionic hearing?


4. When you tap your fingers... do you tap index finger to pinky finger? Vice versa? Or can you do both equally well?


5. Would you rather ... stand 4'1 or 7'9"?


6. What is your favorite Thanksgiving dish? 



After thinking about it, another alternative to the 5 people for dinner would be: 
  1. Jon Stewart (from the Daily Show)
  2. Glen Beck
  3. George W. Bush
  4. Anderson Cooper
  5. Kathy Griffin
The conversation would certainly be lively, and G.W. would probably start drinking again LOL


If you'd like to join in on the vlogging fun, here are next week's questions:

We're mixing it up a bit this week - ALL ABOUT MARRIAGE/RELATIONSHIPS:
Speedy Cop would love to see the husband/partner's answers too - either via vlog or through you!


1. Men: When your spouse asks you "how does this outfit make me look" - how do you respond?

    Ladies:  Do you really want him to answer honestly?

2. Both: What is one thing you should always do to keep your spouse/partner happy? What do you do/say to avoid friction in your relationship?

3.  Both: What were the first thoughts about your spouse/partner  that came to mind when you first met him/her?

4.  Both:  What is your favorite physical feature of your spouse/partner?
 

5. Both: What are the key ingredients to a successful marriage/relationship?

6.  Are you ready for more Speedy Cop movie quotes?

Freaking Out!

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Even with no sleep, yesterday was semi-productive.  I completed my shopping at Walgreens, purchased some stocking stuffers at Dollar Tree, purchased 1 gift at Kmart and discovered the deal of the year at Kmart: coupons doubled up to $2.  I also clipped coupons (okay, some...not all) and learned how to operate my webcam so I can begin vlogging.  While the day seems productive, I didn't get a hundred other things done, thus, semi-productive.

Because I got no sleep yesterday, I ended up sleeping almost 14 hours and not waking up til after 10 today.  I have so much to do, I don't even know where to begin!  Basically, I haven't worked on my chemistry homework since last Wednesday.  This puts me majorly behind and I have to take a test this week for that class.  I'm caught up on ethics homework, but the question is whether to fall a little behind and just concentrate on chemistry or do a little of that as well to stay current. 

I have at least 3 loads of laundry to do today.  That's just so the basics are clean.  Fortunately, Dad was kind enough to do dishes last night while I was sleeping and put them away this morning, so that's one thing off my list.  What else?  OH!  I want to try vlogging the Monday Mingle's with eightymphmom which means creating a vlog of less than 10 minutes which will probably take me at least 2 hours to do.  At LEAST!!!  What else?  *tapping fingers* I know there is more....

OH YEAH!  Vistaprint is offering a a free 2010 calendar, so I'm hoping to do that, but first I want to use the photo collage software I found over the weekend (see yesterday's post), which means I have to go through more photos, because I'd ideally like to have 25 photos for the calendar, and I think I have 11 set aside right now.  This also means scanning.  This project will take at least 3 hours I'd imagine.

Then there's that Kmart deal.  I know it doesn't expire today.  BUT, I can get the Hormel Compleats FREE with the $1 coupons I have, and I'm sure there is even more deals to be found, so I really want to go through my coupons and head to Kmart.  I suppose this could wait til tomorrow or Wednesday, but I want free stuff NOW!!!

Oh right, and then basic housecleaning on top of all of that.  Guess I should get going, huh?  Will try to get my Monday Mingle in today!!!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Walgreens Specials

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I had FUN at Walgreens today as I skipped up and down their aisles taking advantage of their specials this week. Normally I'm limited to a couple of items, today I looked like a woman that won a shopping spree, complete with the over flowing cart by the time I reached the checkout.



I bought so much, I couldn't fit it all into one photo! LOL Here's the skinny:

  • 4 boxes Kellogg's Cereal  (On sale for $1.99 ea. - (4) $1 coupons = $3.98 aka $.99 each)
  • 2 Club crackers/1 Cheez It/1 Austin Cracker (On sale $.50 ea = $2.00)
  • 2 bottles Welch's Sparkling Grape Juice (On sale 2/$5 -(2) $2 coupons = $1.00 aka $.50 each)
  • 3 boxes Kraft Mac N Cheese (On sale $.59 = $1.87)
  • 3 bags Chex Mix (On Sale 2/$3 - 2 ($.50) coupons = $3.50 aka $1.18 each)
  • 2 cans Ham (On sale $1.99 ea = $3.98)
  • 6 Christmas Nestle Crunch (On sale $.39 ea = $2.36)
  • 3 Bounty Paper Towels (On sale 3/$5 - (3) $.25 coupons = $4.25 aka $1.08 each)
  • 3 pack Scotch tape (One sale $1.99 - $.50 = $1.49)
  • Gillette Body Wash & Deodorant (On sale $4.99 each - B1G1 coupon = $4.99 aka $2.50 each)
  • Ricola Cough Drops (On sale $1 - $1 RR = Free)
  • Blistex (On sale $.99 - $.25 coupon = $.74)
  • 2 gallons Milk *Not pictured* (On sale $1.89 each = $3.78)
  • 3 boxes Puffs (On sale $.89 each - $1 coupon = $1.67 aka $.55 each)
  • 1 pkg paper plates (On sale $.89)
  • 4 boxes Betty Crocker Au Gratin Potatoes (On sale $.99 ea - $.50 - (2) $.40 - $.35 = $2.31 aka $.58 each)
  • 3 cans Olives (On sale $.99 each = $2.97)
  • 3 cans Green Giant Corn (On sale $.69 each = $2.07)
  • 4 cans Campbell's Gravy (On sale 2/$1 - $.25 coupon = $1.75 aka $.44 each)
  • 4 cans Campbells' Cream of Chicken soup (On sale $.79 each - $.25 coupon = $2.95 aka $.74 each)
  • 3 cans Ocean Spray Jellied Cranberry (On sale $.79 each = $2.37)
So overall, my savings were:
Wag Coupon Savings: $29.65
Wag Advertised Savings: $23.99
Mfg Coupon Savings: $17.94
Total Savings: $71.58

Picture Collage Maker Review

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WOW!  It's going to take everything I have to muster up the right words about how fabulous this program is for everybody!

How about:  Fantastic! First-Rate!! Perfection!!!

In all seriousness, this is, by far, the best photo program I've seen out there. In just minutes you can have works of art that look like they took you hours to put together or cost you a fortune.

In my attempt to find just the right photos for a 2010 calendar I was going to order (a gift for my in-laws, shhhhh...), I asked my husband if I should use older photos of our boys, or more current photos.  My husband came up with the bright idea of having multiple photos on one page. As if I hadn't already thought of that, I explained to him in my most condescending voice, that photo programs that will do that simply cost too much money and we can't afford it (who can these days, right?)


Out of complete boredom, I decided to do a search anyways, knowing I was right and wanting to show my husband just how wrong he was thinking I could get what I wanted for a low price. 

I found this gem after multiple downloads of different programs.  The others didn't even come close in options to this and cost a pretty penny (just as I suspected)!  I almost didn't download this one, because with the low cost, I didn't think it could even come close to what I wanted.  Boy, was I wrong!  Not only does this do what I want, it blew me away!! Not only does this program create collages, it can even create the calendar for me! (Note: You must get the Pro program for the multiple page calendar, see below for pricing information).

If you're like me, you despise wasting your time reading the "Read Me" file to learn how to use a program.  Instead, you fumble around for hours, okay sometimes days, until you're able to get the program to work out the way you want it to.  Not this program.  After the install, a short video tutorial is available which shows you exactly how to use the program.  When I say short, I'm talking a whole minute.  Imagine the time saved!

Fully equipped with knowledge on how to use the program, I opened it up.  I wasn't really prepared at all of the options available.  Not only can you use assorted templates of picture layouts, but a multitude of background images are available as well.  Seriously, you could probably make 1000 different collages in an hour.  I'm not kidding.  The wizard makes it that easy.  I'd still be on there making collages now, but I just had to share this review asap!!  So far, I haven't found ANY problems with this program.  If I do, I'll edit the post with an update.

Have you been debating which photo to use for your Holiday photo cards?  Get this program and collage the photos instead!  Not only will this allow you to save money by creating your own holiday gifts, its a perfect gift for anybody!  Moms will love how much time they save.  Kids will love creating.  Dads will even love this one!!!

Here's what the maker says:

Picture Collage Maker, a simple-to-use Windows program that turns ordinary photos and pictures into stunning keepsakes to share with family and friends. With just a few clicks, you can create collages, scrapbooks, posters, invitations, calendars, and greeting cards. Unlike photography software that takes days to master, Picture Collage Maker lets both seasoned collagers and new hobbyists become productive in minutes.



Choose from hundreds of templates; add clipart, frames, text to enhance your collage even more; save as a jpg image to use on your Web site or email to friends and family.  Don't worry about not being the creative type, this program even has a Wizard that will do all the work for you.  And, you have options depending on your budget: 
  • Picture Collage Maker: 80 templates; Single page project. 
    Cost: $29.90 Personal or $59.90 Commercial license.
  • Picture Collage Maker Pro: 130 templates; Multiple page project. 
    Cost: $39.90 Personal or $69.90 Commercial license.
Did I mention the FREE 15 day trial?  Check out Picture Collage Maker, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.  




Disclosure Statement

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The products in the review category are provided to me for free.

This policy is valid from 15 November 2009


 This blog is a personal blog written and edited by me. For questions about this blog, please contact  Kim (MostStressedWoman At Yahoo Dot Com).


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 This blog does not contain any content which might present a conflict of interest.


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Saturday, November 14, 2009

FREE Photo Calendar!

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I found this little tidbit in my coupons section this week.  By going to this Vistaprint link, you can get either a FREE photo calendar OR 3 photo calendars for the price of 1 ($15.99).  Note: You will have to pay for processing/shipping, but I believe that is under $4.  Where else are you going to find a personalized gift for that little?

  • Add your favorite family photos
  • Hundreds of designs available
  • Add personal captions to photos
  • Highlight all your special dates with icons for FREE!
Now if you choose the 3 for 1 deal, they will be exactly the same, but still, this can be a great gift to send grandparents! 

This is a limited time offer, so don't delay if you want in on this sweet deal!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Walgreens Purchase

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My plan for today was to take a trip to the library to take two of my college exams, followed by unstressing by going coupon shopping at Walgreens LOL. While I did better than I thought on the first exam, 90/100, I was so over the edge stressed out that I decided to hold off on the other test until next week.

Instead of just getting a couple of items I knew I wanted to get, I decided to go through my coupons aisle by aisle, looking for sales, clearance items, etc. because of the fabulous $5 off $25 purchase coupon in this week's ad.  I should note that this was my 2nd Walgreens stop this week.  I had sent my DH to the store on Sunday to get the really fabulous deals.

Walgreens,coupons,sale,shopping

Here's what I got:
  • 2 Covergirl True Blend
  • 2 Clairol Nice N Easy Hair Color
  • 2 Nivea Lip Moisture
  • 2 Glade Candles
  • 4 Bliss Candy Bars
  • 3 Kleenex (200 count)
  • 4 Halls Lozenges
  • 2 Hershey Miniature Chocolates
  • 2 Keebler Fudge Stripe Cookies
  • 1 Gallon Milk
Okay, now guess how much I spent...go ahead...guess...too hard? Okay, I'll give you a hint by giving you regular prices, grab a calculator:

  • 2 Covergirl True Blend ($7.99 each)
  • 2 Clairol Nice N Easy Hair Color ($7.99 each)
  • 2 Nivea Lip Moisture ($2.99 each)
  • 2 Glade Candles ($3.29 each)
  • 4 Bliss Candy Bars ($.89 each)
  • 3 Kleenex (200 count) ($1.99 each)
  • 4 Halls Lozenges ($1.79 each)
  • 2 Hershey Miniature Chocolates ($2.99 each)
  • 2 Keebler Fudge Stripe Cookies ($4.59 each)
  • 1 Gallon Milk ($2.29)
Okay....NOW guess what I spent. I'll watch a video while you do the math.



Where was I? Oh right, the cost of my shopping spree:

  • 2 Covergirl True Blend (On clearance for $4.19 + B1G1 coupon)
  • 2 Clairol Nice N Easy Hair Color (On sale B1G1 50% off + $2 coupon)
  • 2 Nivea Lip Moisture (Coupon for B1G1)
  • 2 Glade Candles (Store coupon for $1/2 + Mfr coupon B1G1)
  • 4 Bliss Candy Bars (On sale for 2/$1.59 + B1G1 coupon)
  • 3 Kleenex (200 count) (Store Coupon for $1.09 each + $.50 coupon/3)
  • 4 Halls Lozenges (On sale $.99 each +  2 Mfr coupons of $1/2)
  • 2 Hershey Miniature Chocolates (On sale $2/5 + $1/2 coupon + I earned $1 Register Rewards)
  • 2 Keebler Fudge Stripe Cookies (On sale B1G1 + $1/2 coupon)
  • 1 Gallon Milk (Regular Price, hey...I needed milk)
On top of all of that, I had a $3 Register Reward from buying the Fusion Razor Cartridges on Sunday and I used the $5/$25 purchase.  Overall, I had $45.28 in savings and spent $29.57.

WOOHOO!!!

Monday, November 9, 2009

WOOHOO! FREE COFFEE!!!

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I know I've already blogged 2 posts today, but I am getting stuff done today, came across this and just HAD to share:

Dunkin' Donuts. Dunkin' keeps me blogging. Try Dunkin' Donuts Coffee For Free. Get a Sample

The Perfect Day

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Over the weekend I was asked how I do everything I do. Personally, I feel like I'm always going one step forward, two steps back. I never have a day that works out exactly like I plan.

My perfect day would look something like this:

7:00 - Wake up without an alarm clock, make the bed, get dressed, grab dirty clothes from both bedrooms and toss in hamper, take hamper downstairs and start laundry. Go to the bathroom and complete a swish and swipe of sink and toilet.

7:15 - Get coffee, check email, get more coffee, check Facebook games, get more coffee, check calendar, update POA (Plan of Attack), log into SP (SparkPeople), plan dinner (ideally, I already have a menu in place, so this is more like checking what I'm making that day and seeing now long it will take to cook, taking out to defrost, etc.)

8:00 - Take a shower and do personal care

8:30 - Update Quicken and balance accounts and write blog(s).

9:00 - Spend 3-4 hours on cleaning and exercise(Laundry, Dishes, Vacuuming, Sweeping, Mopping, Dusting, Room Rumbles (picking up and putting items away), etc)

12:30 - Lunch

1:00 - Homework (2 hours per class)

5:00 - Start dinner

6:00 - Eat dinner

6:30 - Begin dinner cleanup

7:00 - Check email, FB, and SP (to log food for the day)

8:00 - Watch prime time tv

11:00 - Go to bed

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA....as if that type of day even exists!

Menu Plan Monday

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I really like to menu plan. I hate freaking out at 5 p.m. trying to figure out what I'm going to cook, only to realize I don't have all of the ingredients. By spending 30-60 minutes per week on a menu plan, I have all of my ducks in a row. I cheated this week, and used my Betty Crocker email for Dinners less than $10 for all of my selections. Of course, I won't be making the recipes exactly like them, but overall, I'll have an idea of what I'm making.

Monday:Chicken Parmesan

Tuesday:Chicken Chili over Corn Muffins

Wednesday:Slow Cooker Sausage and Beans

Thursday:Chicken Soup with Easy Dumplings

Friday:New Potato Chicken Stew

Saturday:Ground Beef Stew and Garlic Mashed Potatoes

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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Introduction

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I suppose I should share why I think I'm the most stressed. I mean, I'm not trying to belittle the millions of other women that have a lot to do by any means, but I have a very full plate and hope that griping about it to the one or two people that are kind enough to read this will help me to remove at least some of the stress.  Obviously I can't share every single thing that has happened to me which has put me into the place I am now in just this one post, but we'll get there eventually. 

I'm 39, married and a mother of three boys.  Kelly is 22, Kris is 19 and Jordan is 15.   Kelly dropped out of high school at 17, had a daughter 2 years later (making me a grandmother at 36, talk about RUDE!) and he is now going back to school to get his GED.  Kris joined the National Guard at 17, graduated high school at 18 and then attended basic training and AIT (our car was stolen while we were on our way there, that's a future story).  He is currently working 2 jobs and scheduled to go to Afghanistan in September 2010 (which puts college on the back burner once again).  He is a MP and hopes to get into SWAT or the FBI.  Jordan is 15, has X-Linked Icthyosis (which means his dead skin doesn't automatically fall off) and he's been teased a lot for this condition.  He is now a sophomore in high school and hopes to get into accounting. 

I am currently getting my BA in Administration through online classes.  This was not my original plan.  When I went back to college in the fall of 2007, I had every intention to become a high school counselor.  However, I discovered I would have to become a teacher first, and then after 5 years of teaching, could become a counselor.  So, I began my journey taking classes to become a Secondary Education English Teacher.  After only one year of classes, I learned my father was losing 2/3 of his pension from General Motors.  They discovered after 3 years that they had been overpaying him.  So, he was now going to lose 1/3 that was too much of his income, and 1/3 to repay back his overpayment.  He had just purchased his house the year before, so the choice was: move in with him or have him move in with us.  Well, since I had just lost my house to foreclosure the year before and was currently renting, the wise decision seemed to be to move in with him.  I ended up transferring colleges and changing my degree.

This leads me to yet another stress in my life.  My father.  My father was an alcoholic from the time he was in his early 20's until 1999.  This brought on a lot of problems for me my entire life.  My Dad was a yeller, and I got the brunt of it.  Nothing I did was right.  And its because of the constant bombardment of how I did everything wrong, that I tend to be a perfectionist.  No matter what I do, its never enough.  

I was just about to sign off, when I realized I hadn't shared one of biggest stressors of this year.  In June, my father was diagnosed with Oral Cancer, stage 2.  It took three months before the doctors could agree on a plan for treatment in our area (we live in a rural area).  During that time, Dad began to eat less and less.  This caused a lot more problems, because he's also diabetic and he was going into altered states every single day, sometimes multiple times a day.  After 39 sessions of radiation, which ended last Thursday, we are now done with the long hour drive just to get to the hospital five days a week.  

That's all for today....more to come in the future...

Funny Things to Ponder