Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Years Eve!

2011 is going to be my year, I can feel it.  I spent 2007 in and out of hospitals, 2008 just trying to come back from all of that and get somewhat of a normal life and 2009/2010 were spent trying to make a relationship work that was failing.  I spent those last two years in a constant cycle of breaking up/being miserable and getting back together/being thrilled.  That rollercoaster is finally over and I'm ready for what this new year has to bring!

My only resolution is to do 30 minutes of physical activity  No excuses.

My hope though, is that I really make the most of each moment.  That I become comfortable with who I am and mesh that with who I know I can become.  I want to look back on this moment on the first day of 2012 and know I don't have regrets about how I lived this year.  To know I did life and I did it up big!

I wish all of you the best year yet!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Slumber party...

Well not technically.  Although, I've been sleeping on a mattress in my living room for the past two weeks so it kind of feels like it!

I remember going over to my best friends house in middle school to spend the night all the time.  Her sister was a year old than us and would usually have someone stay the night too.  All four of us would make a huge pallet of blankets on the living room floor and stay up so late watching tv and eating junk food.

Since I don't have a tv in my bedroom, it's been such a luxury to lay in bed at night watching movies.  And since the bed is in the living room, I usually just sit on it to eat dinner too.  It's way comfier than the couch or dining room table. :)

Anyway, the reason I have a bed in my living room is because I got a new king size mattress!!!!  My dad helped me take apart my full bed and move it to the guest room and then I vacuumed and shampooed the carpet where it used to me.  Max had gotten under the frame and thrown up when he was sick so this was the first time I could get under there and clean it up.  Since the carpet needed to dry we left the new bed in the living room and were planning on moving it the next day.

I ended up loving it though, so it's been in there ever since!

The Master Bedroom is so empty!

It was fun to camp out in the living room, but tonight I decided to move everything into the bedroom.  The Christmas tree needs to come down this weekend (if I find some motivation!) and the bed was in the way.

Now I just need to figure out a color theme for the bedroom and look into buying new bed linens (I only have sheets that fit-all of my comforters are too small), curtains, decorations, etc.!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone!  I hope that you all are having a day full of everything you wanted it to be :)

Unfortunately, this Christmas hasn't been quite what I was planning on.  Last Wednesday I started wheezing and then by Thursday morning I had a full blown cough.  I decided to get into the doctor that afternoon and get started on some medicine with the hopes of avoiding being sick over the holiday.  I got diagnosed with bronchitis.  At that time I just had a cough, a bad one, but no fever or other symptoms.  By late Thursday I was feeling pretty miserable.  I couldn't regulate my body temperature so I was constantly freezing or burning up, I was coughing like crazy, my head was throbbing and I was in pain.  I know I've mentioned it on here before, but I have a bunch of adhesions in my belly from all my surgeries I had back in 2007 for a ruptured appendix.  I've had to deal with pain off and on from those adhesions since then, but Thursday night I was in more pain than I had been in awhile and I had no idea why.  I didn't sleep hardly at all and by Friday morning I was convinced something was wrong.

I had been on medicine for less than 24 hours, but i felt like I should have at least stayed the same and not have been getting continuously worse.  I was to the point where I didn't feel like I could really get out of bed and I felt so bad that I just started crying.  I started to think I was having a reaction to one of the bronchitis meds and that was causing me the pain and a racing heart.  I'm allergic to one other medication and it causes my heart to race and for me to get really anxious and I was feeling very similar.  I called my parents crying and said I think I needed to go to the ER.  They came over and while they were very sympathetic to the fact that I was obviously sick, they didn't want to take me to the ER unless something was REALLY wrong.  I've grown up being told that you don't abuse the ER system and you only go if you're on your deathbed and I completely agree.  It causes long waits and overworked staff when people go in for a cold, ear infection, slight cough, etc.  Especially when regular doctors are open.  It's weird, but I know the ER is cheaper somehow so some people use it for non-emergencies.  Anyway, I told my parents that I didn't think I was on my deathbed, but something was definitely wrong.  I was scared and felt like I would only continue to get worse because I either wasn't being treated correctly for the bronchitis or I didn't have bronchitis.

We agreed to go to an urgent care center and they had us in and out within 30 minutes!  I'm so glad we went there instead of the ER and it turns out that I have Influenza Type A and needed to be on Tamiflu.  My fever was at 101 when I got there and my heart rate was in the 150's.  My blood pressure had gone from 118/80 on Thursday to 156/84.  The doctor said I could quit both bronchitis meds and gave me nausea and pain medication.

Within a couple of hours of taking the Tamiflu and pain medicine I felt tons better.  I know the pain medicine helped break my fever because of the acetaminophen and it helped lessen the pain, but I'm sure the Tamiflu hadn't even begun to work yet.  I think that I just felt better because I was relieved. I knew that something wasn't right and I'm glad I listened to my body.  I doubt I could have stayed on that one medication for the prescribed 5 days without being in severe pain and suffering the consequences from having my heart beat at that speed constantly.  I was also so relieved to just find out it was the flu.  I hadn't realized how much getting so sick in 2007 had affected me.  Being in pain so similar to what I had before all my surgeries really scared me.  The thought of another surgery is terrifying.

I feel even better today than I did yesterday.  Still very sick, but I can tell I'm getting better instead of worse, which is all I can ask for.  I'm celebrating Christmas at home with the pups and frozen pizza so I don't expose my parents even more while I'm still so contagious.  We're going to do our Christmas dinner and presents next weekend.  I'll admit that I cried this morning when we decided that because, well it's Christmas today and I so looked forward to it, but I know it's the right thing to do.  I decided to make the best out of my day and gave the dogs their presents!  They unwrapped them and loved their new toys :)  I've spent the rest of the day watching Friend's DVD's, taking naps and a bubble bath and just plain relaxing.

I think it's important to learn what I can when things like this happen instead of feeling sorry for myself.  And I think this was a wake-up call.  I know that you can't avoid getting sick and that sometimes it just happens, but even before this I just haven't been feeling all that great.  I'm run down with hardly any energy, my stomach is upset way more than normal, etc.  I've said it before, but I promised myself that I would take care of me after I got so sick.  I understood how fragile life was and I just knew I would eat right, exercise, stress less, be kinder...that didn't happen at all.  Feeling so awful has just reinforced that I need to make some BIG changes.  I'm more determined than ever to follow through with my New Year's resolution to exercise everyday.  I've decided to do 30 minutes of physical activity each day.  I will make next year better than this one and I will make it my healthiest year yet!

Sorry this is so long and I don't blame you if you've skimmed most of it.  I wanted to get this down while I can remember how bad I really feel.  I want to be able to look back on this post when I don't want to work out or I want to binge on junk food.  l want to remember that my health is important and all those little choices do add up.

Well, I wanted to post pics of the dogs opening their presents, but writing this has worn me out again.  I think I might need another nap... Oh, and please excuse any grammar errors!

Monday, December 20, 2010

My resolution...

I've been thinking about what I want to do for my New Year's resolution and all the usual stuff came to mind, but I wasn't feeling motivated.  I love the thought of having a brand new start, but I hardly ever stick to my resolutions.  I say vague things like I'm going to lose weight, I want to be a better person, I'll exercise more, etc.

I've come to the conclusion that what I really want is to be the best person I can.  So I tried to come up with just one resolution that would do the most to get me there.  I was driving home today listening to that book "Julie and Julia" on CD and I was so inspired by her taking on this new project to cook her way through "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" in a year.  I was sitting there thinking that I want to do something like that.  I want to do something that will challenge me, take me out of my comfort zone, something that I know will make me better...

So, I've decided that my resolution will be to do some kind of physical activity every single day for the entire year.  It doesn't really matter to me what it is: it can be walking the dogs, going for a run, playing basketball, doing a yoga tape, strength's just important that I do something each day.  And stuff like cleaning the house or walking from my car into the building can't count.  Obviously.  Although, I'm sure there will be plenty of days that I'll try to pass some of that off as physical activity.

I really don't see how this can be negative.  It's about becoming healthier and doing something proactive.  I feel that becoming more active will have the greatest positive impact on my life compared with anything else I could have chosen, so I'm going to give it a shot!

What do you guys think?  What are some of your resolutions?

Saturday, December 18, 2010

It's here! It's here!

Recently I ordered a calendar from the etsy shop "Much Ado About You."  It got here earlier this week and I'm absolutely in love with it!  It actually came wrapped up all pretty in hot pink tissue paper, but I forgot to take a picture because I was so excited to open it :)

There are three different sizes and a ton of different desings to choose from, but I had the hardest time picking one design.  Eventually I just contacted the shop owner and asked if she could do a customized calendar that combined several of the designs.  I was really specific on what I wanted and she was super easy to work with.

I pretty much keep my whole life organized in here, so it's really important to me to have one that's functional.  This year I also wanted something unique-something no one else would have.

My requirements were a cute cover, monthly page layouts, and daily timed layouts.  This planner meets all of those!  I use the monthly layouts when I'm budgeting for the next month.  I make sure to record all the important things that need to go in the budget on this page so I don't miss anything.

These tabs totally sold me on this shop!  I mean where else do you get glittery, pretty tabs?!!?

Something to remind me to chill out and relax :)

I was a little worried that the cover and back would tear because they're paper.  I always keep my planner in my purse and carry it everywhere so sometimes I can be a little hard on them.  However, the back cover is laminated (at least that's what it feels like) and the front cover has a plastic covering.  Perfect!

Cute bookmark, huh?  I can't believe I took so many pictures and forgot to take one of the regular week.  It's basically broken down into hour increments, which is awesome for someone like me.  It really helps me keep my days straight.  

I know I just dedicated an entire post to a planner, but you guys...I'm so smitten.  If you're in the market for a new one (and really, the new year is about to start, so I imagine most people are!), then definitely check out this shop.  You won't be disappointed!  

Oh, and one of the coolest things is that you can pay a little extra to add on some months.  So if I'd gotten this in October, I could have done October 2010-October 2011 and added on the months of November and December 2011.  

Okay, okay I'm really done rambling.  Have a great rest of the weekend everybody!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Silent Sunday...

New haircolor!

Oh, and this is my 300th post!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Doggy Destruction...

I love my dogs and can't imagine not having them in my life, but sometimes they really test your patience.

Like when they chew up your only pair of headphones that were still in excellent condition:

Or this becomes an all too frequent scene:

And finally...when they get ahold of your $50 Victoria Secret bras:

Maddy is still her puppy stage and while I could do without all the destruction, I love how playful and spunky she is.  It reminds me of when Max did the same things.  Plus, all the destroying of things make her sleepy and I always forgive her :)

And I can't have a post all about Maddy without a photo of my first puppy hanging out under the Christmas tree:

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Sick day...

My ideal sick day would find me at home from work with a sparkly clean house, cozy pajamas, soft tissues and a cute little trashcan to keep them cleaned up, warm blankets, plenty of medicine on-hand so I don't have to run to the store feeling awful, soup, ice cream, 7-up (my dad's cure-all when I was little), baking supplies in case I felt well enough to make some cookies, hot choclate, lots of good, girly movies, candles, books I can get lost in and the latest juicy gossip magazine. 

Instead sick days usually find me with a messy home, out of medicine, no soup or ice cream and with all my best pajamas in the laundry basket.  Yesterday was pretty much like that.  I made the best of it though and spent much of the day relaxing and working on getting better. 

I had my cable cancelled Friday and I haven't bought one of those converter boxes yet so I've been without television.  I thought it would really suck being home all day without tv, especially since I've had cable for the last two or three years.  It was actually fine!  I have all ten seasons of Friends on DVD so I spent the day watching far too many episodes.  I literally laughed all afternoon. 
  • The clothes they used to wear are hilarious!  You can definitely see how much fashion has changed since the show began.
  • They featured this state of the art laptop that was HUGE!  The phones are also ancient compared to what we now consider pretty common.
  • I jumped around between the seasons and it's weird to see how different everyone looked!  Chandler would gain and lose weight, Joey would be buff sometimes, but not others...
It was so much fun to watch them again.  And then I got the Bounty Hunter from Netflix and put that in last night.  Jennifer Aniston looked so much older!  I never think she looks old at all when I see pictures of her, but it's noticeable when you spent the afternoon watching episodes with her that took place over ten years ago!

Anyway, I've decided to hold off on the converter box as long as I can.  I'm having too much fun watching all my dvds.  :)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Look what I bought!

*happy dance*  Woohoo! (Click on the pic to link to the website).  You might remember that I posted these bags from Gussy on my lust list a few months ago.  Well she's having a Cyber Monday sale and giving everyone 30% off their order by using code: CYBER30.  I just couldn't resist! I got the pink and damask one, yay yay yay! The sale continues until 9am CST-you have about an hour and a half left....check it out :)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Silent Sunday...

Saturday, November 27, 2010

I love this...

Friday, November 26, 2010

Life is good!

I hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving!  Mine was absolutely wonderful and filled with the spirit of the day.  I woke up thankful for all the good in my life and the entire day was so great that I felt continually blessed.  It's not that I did anything different than usual on this holiday, I was just able to see the moments for what they were and live in the present.  It was an amazing feeling.  I spent the day at my parents home enjoying their homemade cooking, soaking up time with all the animals  (5 dogs!), spent hours just talking to my parents and catching up on each others lives and even took some of the dogs for a walk with my dad in the crisp weather.  It was pretty much perfection.

Today has been nothing short of pretty awesome as well.  I woke up and made the house shine.  My bathroom is going to be a haven tonight when I take a bubble bath to celebrate all my hard work :)

I've spent the rest of the day just relaxing.  I baked some peanut butter cookies:

I'm soaking up the holiday season and enjoying a fully decorated home:

I'll do a post soon with all the decorations and fun stuff I've put up this year.  I actually put everything up two weekends ago because I couldn't wait any longer.  If there's one thing to help cure feeling down from a breakup, it's surrounding yourself with Christmas cheer.  :)

If you're interested, here's the cookie recipe:
  • I cup creamy peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup golden brown sugar (I used dark brown and they turned out fine)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
Stir everything together and bake at 350 degrees for 13 minutes.  I also think they would turn out great if you added peanut butter chips.  I found this recipe on EatMoveWrite.  

Did any of you go shopping today?  Did you score any deals?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

I finished!

I completed my Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University class!  Tonight was our last one and I'm just bursting with happiness and motivation.

I wanted to write this post right now while I'm feeling this euphoria of knowing I CAN.DO.THIS.  I know that the feeling will fade and I'll become frustrated with all the saving and sacrificing.  I know there will be times when I jealously watch friends go to concerts, buy new appliances, buy new cars, plan elaborate vacations...I know that and hence this post.  I want to be able to read back on how I was feeling this day and re-energize myself.

Because I feel amazing.  I feel like I can conquer this thing called debt.  I feel like I'll pay my car and student loans off so much quicker than before.  I'll build up my emergency fund.  I'll pay off my home and never have to worry about not having a roof over my head.  I'll fund my retirement, save money for a wedding and babies.  I'll be able to donate to all my favorite charities.  I would love to someday write a $10,000 check to someone or someplace that really NEEDS it.  And I know that I can do that.

I know that the decisions I'm making now will and from now on, will change everything in my life, not just how much money's in the bank.  I'll take better care of myself, I'll be a kinder person, I'll eventually have a great marriage because I'll go into it with the tough stuff already on the table.  So many marriages end over money disagreements and I won't go into marriage without discussing this important issue up front.  I'll value myself more and not accept less than I deserve.  I'm ALREADY doing some of these things.

Life is good and this class has changed my life.  If any of you are on the fence, DO IT!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

This could get interesting...

Last week I was meeting with someone at work and somehow we got on the topic of half marathons.  He was an older man, probably in his 50's or 60's and he had finished a half earlier this year and was training for a full coming up soon.  He was so passionate about it and somehow after two hours of meeting with him I came out of the meeting having said I would sign up for a 5K.  I was just so inspired by him!

Well saying I'll do one is much different than actually getting out there and training.  I've started running off an on over the past couple of years with a 5K in mind, but I never made it very far.  I get shin splints easily and they always caused me to quit running before I really even got started.  I've tried the C25K plan, but I think trying to keep up with the intervals caused me to keep running when i should have listened to my body and slowed down because of the whole shin splint thing.

This time I'm taking a different approach.  I've told myself that I just have to get outside for 15 minutes everyday and run as far as I can.  Once I can run for a full 15 minutes I'll increase the time, but I'm letting myself run and walk as much as I want.  Today's the second day and it's pitiful how little I can actually run-we're probably talking less than 5 of the 15 minutes, but I'm okay with it.  It just means I have tons of room to improve, which I will!  I've been stretching before, during and after.  I'm also icing my shins for 10 minutes when I get back, just to keep myself as healthy as possible.

I got fitted for special running shoes last year, but they made my shin splints worse, so I needed to pick up some new shoes.  I ordered a pair of New Balance's yesterday and they should be here soon.

The 5K I'm hoping to run is April 10th, so wish me luck that I'm ready!

I'm also trying to take the dogs for a walk everyday regardless of what else I have to do or any other excuse.  Today it was 44 degrees, rainy and windy, but we went!

Maddy wore her new jacket and Max had on his hoodie :)

Monday, November 15, 2010

This too shall pass....

This whole single thing is interesting.  One minute I'm looking forward to the future with excitement at all the possibilities out there.  The next I feel like these photos:

And I guess that's okay, because I may have my down moments, but ultimately I'm thrilled that I now have the opportunity to make all my wildest dreams come true.  There's nothing holding me back.  I can find the fairy tale, be whoever I want to be...I know too many people who settled for a relationship because they were too scared to chase those dreams and I'm done being one of them.   I honestly feel kind of lucky.  There's so many possibilities...I think I might take up running and train for a 5K, I'm going to knock out my 101 list, I can look for new volunteer opportunities, I can train Max or Maddy to be a therapy dog for hospital patients, I can travel to Paris, I can learn to be a chef, I can open my own business, I can marry a wonderful man and have babies...there's no limit to what I can do!

And the fact that I felt that most of these weren't options to me in my previous relationship just goes to show that the relationship wasn't meant to be.  Because really, shouldn't everyone get to feel that way regardless of whether or not they're in a relationship?

The goal: to focus on me.  To explore new things, do something different, be extraordinary.  And I'm willing to bet that the relationship I crave, that once in a lifetime kind of love, will come when I'm ready for it.

Images via WeHeartIt

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Breakups suck...

but this song is helping me feel a little better.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Present time!

For once I'm on top of my Christmas shopping!  Queue the angels singing :)  I decided what to get everyone last month and I spread out my budget to buy everything that needed to be ordered online this month and buy the rest at the beginning of December.  I'm pleased as punch!

So I thought I would give you guys some of my present ideas in case you're still searching for that perfect gift.  Let's keep our fingers crossed that no one I'm writing about reads this.

For one of my really great friends I decided to get her a Gussy pouch like this:

It's on sale RIGHT.NOW for $14.50 so I would check it out if you're interested.  Oh, and I'm seriously loving the new stockings she just put up:

If it was in the budget, I would be all over getting them for my mantle this year.

But back to my friend-she really loves my sparkly phone cover I got awhile back.  So I want to get her a blingy one like mine, but I'm not sure they have them for her style of phone yet.  She has a Samsung Acclaim.  This is kind of what mine looks like:

via google images

If I can't find one, I plan on getting her a Starbucks giftcard because we meet there all the time for coffee.

via Google Images
I'll be (hopefully!) bringing homemade chocolate truffles to work this year as my holiday treat.  So I plan on giving some of them to her as well.

Via Google Images
My bff from college recently got married and I found the best etsy shop for her gift: Bosheree.  I used this template for her and her husband:

It was less than $50 with shipping and should be here in a couple of weeks-squeee!!!

Another friend mentioned a few months ago that she really loved my Lifefactory water bottle.  So, that's what she'll be getting!

I just went on there to find a picture and they've got this cute raspberry color!  I'm so jealous now.  I had the orange one earlier this year and accidentally shattered it when it slipped out of my hands and fell on the asphalt.  So I had to order another one a couple of weeks ago and went with the red color, but I kept wishing they had a pink one and now they do!  Oh, well I'm sure I'll be ordering several more of these throughout the years.  I absolutely LOVE them.  They're made of glass so they don't get that nasty plastic smell, they can be washed in the dishwasher, I drink a ton of water because I carry it with me and I could basically go on and on.  Oh and don't be turned off because my first one broke.  The rubber sleeve (the colored part) really protects it and I've dropped it before on carpet and it just bounces.  I'm sorta clumsy though, hence the asphalt accident.  In fact, just today I shattered a regular glass by dropping it on the tile :(

My mom wants some kettleballs:

via Google Images

My dad wants some hours at the shooting range, so I'm going to see if I can get him a giftcard.

Before Shawn and I split up I was going to get him a heineken mini kegerator:

via Google images
I also need to pick up a birthday and Christmas present for a one year old, but I plan on just swinging by Toys R Us and getting a couple of things.  I would love to get him a hat like this:

Unfortunately, his mom isn't really into stuff off of etsy or dressing him up like that.  She's kind of specific about what he wears and the last outfit I bought for him (GAP polo onesie and khaki shorts) didn't seem to thrill her.  She asked for toys, so that's what he'll get.

I'm currently on the hunt to replace Maddy's favorite toy with a new one for Christmas:

It's that pink bone.  The friend that I'm getting the Gussy pouch bought this for Maddy last Christmas from Petco.  It's definitely Maddy's favorite toy and she carries it around like a security blanket so it's all torn up and barely squeaks.  The hard thing is that I haven't been able to find another one anywhere!  I've checked Petco a ton of times and looked online and they're all too big.  This one is less than 3 inches and the smallest one I can find online is 5 inches.  And I think that Maddy likes this so much because it is small.  I did find one slightly bigger at Petsmart tonight, which I bought, but she's not interested :(

Anyway, I'm sure they'll end up with some yummy treats and good stuff this year even if I can't find it.  I hoped showing you some of the presents I'm buying this year helped!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


I've been reminded several times recently that life is short and a long, fulfilling life isn't promised to all of us.  It's sad and I've cried big crocodile tears today over my fears that those close to me won't always be here.  It's terrifying.  

There are too many parents watching their children die, too many children dealing with the deaths of parents much too young to leave this place, too many spouses made widows.  I love this blog world, but it exposes you to all those events taking place in others' lives on a regular basis.  I can't tell you how many blogs for sick babies I've read over the years and it breaks my heart over and over again.  

I'm not sure what my point is tonight.  I guess I've just been reminded how I need to NEVER take for granted a job that pays the bills, healthy parents/family and all the other blessings in my life. 

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Life is sweet...

I'm in such a good place right now.  I just feel deep down that I'm where I'm supposed to be.

Work is going much better lately.  I'm beyond busy, but I'm not behind.  I get grants for my company and we were running pretty thin, but over the past couple of weeks, I've gotten some approvals.  That takes a huge weight off my shoulders.  I also found out Friday that my boss gave me a raise!  I didn't ask for one this year because we didn't have as many grants (studies) as I would have liked, which means we weren't making as much money as we could.  He surprised me though and I found some extra money in  my paycheck on Friday :)  It's not a huge raise, but every little bit helps!

Things are going amazingly with my finances.  I've got a budget that works and didn't have a problem sticking to it last month.  I feel so much better just knowing where every penny goes and I don't feel overwhelmed because I'm not sure if something will get paid or if I'll have the money for Christmas presents.  Its' a great feeling!

I'm single again and actually okay with it.  Shawn and I tried to make things work, but we just aren't on the same page.  It's sort of terrifying to think of starting over with someone new when Shawn and I have so much history and i thought we would end up together.  So I'm not thinking about it.  I know whatever is supposed to happen, will happen.  I'm enjoying the freedom and focusing on becoming the person I know I can be.

I'm also doing really well with my health/weight loss goals.  I've lost 11 lbs as of this morning, which is great!  I've also been trying to walk the dogs more often and to take them on longer walks when we do get out.  I've tried the 30 day shred and while it's hard, it's something I'm going to try to do more frequently.

The dogs are healthy, I'm making more of an effort to see/talk to my good friends, my parents and I have a good relationship...everything is just going so well right now.  And I know they can even be better than I imagine if I just keep working towards my dreams.

Night ladies!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Let's get thrifty!

Saving money has kind of become like a little game to me.  How much can I shave off this bill?  How much will buying the generic brand save me?  It's actually kind of fun.  I thought I'd list some of my money saving strategies, more for me than anything else.  That way if I get lax about things one day I can come back to this post and remember some of things I'm doing right now.

  • Pay attention to things like little extras when buying something like deodorant.  For example, I use Dove deodorant and needed to pick some up last weekend.  I was at Wal-Mart and automatically went to grab one of the fun scents like "fresh" or something like that and realized it was nearly $1 more than the original scent!  Easy way to cut some costs, plus I had that coupon!
  • Use the library.  I love to read, but buying books is expensive!  The library can pretty much get any book I want if I'm willing to wait a little bit and have some patience.
  • Don't replace things until it's absolutely necessary.  Maddy ate the ends off my glasses, but they're still functional so I use them.  My tv is a 19 inch huge box of a tv that I would love to replace with a flat screen, but I'll keep using it until it breaks.
  • Drive less.  Try to plan to run all your errands at the same time so you aren't using as much gas.  If possible, try to not drive at all at least one day a week.  It really cuts down on gas money and helps the environment!
  • Eat at home.  Simple.  Going out costs more money.
  • If you shop at Target, they should give you a nickel off for each reusable bag you use.
  • Give yourself a pedicure and spread out waxing eyebrows as long as possible.  Also, go to a natural hair color to cut out coloring expenses and spread out haircuts.
  • If you do need to buy something, check garage sales, craigslist and ask around.  
  • Also have garage sales and use e-bay/craigslist to get rid of clutter and make some extra money.
  • Eat what goes bad first (produce, perishables, etc.) and save leftovers to eat again.
  • I've cut down on dog treats.  Instead of each dog getting a whole treat, I break them in half.  
  • Keep your curtains and blinds closed in the summer to keep out heat and keep them open in the winter to bring in heat.
  • Use coupons.
  • Drink water.  It's free.
  • Only keep lights on in the room you're in at the time
  • Use a fan instead of turning down the AC
  • Use less shampoo and conditioner-most people use way more than they need.
I'm sure I left out a bunch, so let me know what tips you have!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Happy Birthday!

Yesterday was Madelynne's first birthday!  I can't believe this little feisty girl is one already.

Lately, she's been waking me up before 8am every single Saturday and Sunday.   Yesterday was no exception so I brought my comforter out to the couch and tried to sleep while she pulled out every.single.toy her and Max have.  Eventually I got up for good around ten and brought out her present!  My parents have had this tradition of wrapping up a present for each one of the dogs every Christmas and we watch them try to get their treat or toy out.  I didn't have Maddy last Christmas so I wanted to do it for her birthday this year.  

She's a pro at unwrapping gifts!  She sprinted around the house with it, wouldn't let Max help and had the toy completely out within a couple of minutes.  :)

I think she really liked it!

After the pups played for awhile I put a little bit of hot water in their dry food to make a gravy and they went at it!  They usually get dry food and organic treats only.  I'm not big on table scraps or lots of random treats because it's not very good for them and Max gets sick easily.  They really liked the whole "gravy" thing though and went to town!

I think it's so important to celebrate birthdays.  Whether it's for one of your pets, parents, friends, etc.  Life is way too short and making the most out of the time we have with those important to us is something that I want to look back on and know I did right.  I don't want to leave this world wishing I had enjoyed more, celebrated more, loved more...

Maddy's first vet visit

The first time I met her.  You can't even see her eyes!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

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