Monday, February 28, 2011

Project Smile {February}

1. Finally getting the windows fixed on our Jeep.

2. Snow day, got to sleep in since kids didn't have to get to school.

   Unfortunately my smile didn't last long...the rest of the day sucked :(

3. Oatmeal chocolate chip cookies!

4. Picking up the free $10 gift card card I won!  Yay me!

5. My 11yo helping with the grocery shopping and getting dinner in the crock pot without any complaints!

6. Making pizza and watching the Superbowl with my family.
7. My cousin and his wife welcomed their new little girl into the world!

8. Listening to my daughter tell me about something good that happened at school today.

9. Made hot air balloon ride reservations for hubby and I while we are on our Florida vacation.  I can't wait!!

10. Snuggling on the couch catching up on some favorite TV shows with hubby.

11. Listening to my kids sing, giggle and basically get along instead of fighting!

12. Watching movies with my 11 year old!

13. Red velvet cake.


15. Talking with a bloggy friend on the phone.

16. The new season of Survivor started!

17. Going back to bed after the kids left for school.

18. Lunch date with hubby.

19. Watching my daughter's tennis tournament.

20. Meeting Frank Fritz

21. ?

22. I've been reading every day lately and I'm on my 2nd book for February!  See more about my reading list and goals here.


24. Alone time. Watched a netflix movie that has been sitting here for weeks.

25. Starbucks with a friend

26. Watching my kids try to dance to "Michael Jackson, The Experience" on Wii.

27. Spending the day at home as a family.  My daughter made a cool spaghetti and meatball cake, dinner together, watching "The Amazing Race"

28. Winning a giveaway from Mamarazzi at Dandelion Wishes
She holds one every Monday.  Check it out!

Wow, listing something for each day was harder than I thought!  Some days I had many things to choose from.  Other days I sat there thinking "what even happened today to make me smile?"  And one day I even forgot and couldn't come up with something days later.  Oops!  But it made me realize that there usually is something good, however small it may be, that happens each day. 

I just need to start noticing they are there!

    Friday, February 25, 2011

    Friday Confessional


    This is my first time participating, bear with me!

    I confess.....that I sometimes find myself doing the things I tell my kids not to do.  For example the other night I caught myself having to shut off 4 lights I left on around the house.  Ooops. 

    I confess.....that my husband and I have a secret spot in one of the kitchen cupboards to hide stuff we don't want the kids to find.  
    Like CHOCOLATE!  
    I can't believe they never found it on their own.  I did accidentally left it open a couple weeks ago and they saw the stuff in there and asked about it.  I made up some lame excuse and would you believe since then they seem to have forgotten all about it!  Whew! I think we're still safe.

    I confess.....that the main reason I just read the book "Water for Elephants" is because Robert Pattinson is starring in the movie and I really want to see it!  
    There, I said it.  Happy now?
    Seriously though, I really enjoyed the book.  I read it in 4 days.  That's fast for me.

    I confess.....that although I know I am FAR from perfect, I'm having a hard time coming up with things to fess up about.  

    Wednesday, February 23, 2011

    Wee Bit of Me

    {one} do you always wear your seatbelt in the car?

    {two} do you crack your knuckles?
    I used to all the time, but not any more.

    {three} what is your favorite flavor of gum?
    oh, and the new Extra Mint Chocolate Chip is pretty good

    {four} what is your favorite piece of jewelry that you own?
    my wedding rings I guess, I'm not much of a jewelry person

    {five} who is your best friend?
    My hubby.

    {six} what is your favorite smell?
    hmm...Probably Cinnamon.  Used to love the smell when making cinnamon rolls at work!

    {seven} what is your favorite lunch meat?
    pit ham

    {eight} do you still have your tonsils?
    yup, still there

    {nine} do you untie your shoes before you take them off?

    {ten} what color is your car?

    Monday, February 21, 2011

    Another for the Wall of Fame

    Yesterday we drove through rain, sleet and snow to meet this guy...

    Frank Fritz from American Pickers, one of our favorite shows in this house.  He was doing an appearance at the World of Wheels Auto Show at the WI state fair grounds.  I was surprised at how many people were there considering the crappy weather we were having.  We had prepaid for tickets so we weren't about to lose out on that money.  Henry Winkler was also supposed to be making an appearance but he wasn't there, not sure why.
    Now my daughter wants to start a "wall of fame" where we hang up any celebrity autographs we get.  Could be fun, we've got a few so far.

    After meeting Frank we of course walked around and checked out some cool cars.  And hubby got some more ideas for his car, like he needs that!  He keeps changing his mind about what to do.

    Wednesday, February 16, 2011

    Wee Bit of Me

    {one} what is your favorite breakfast food?
    I'm not much for breakfast foods.  I usually eat something like cold pizza or a ham sandwich for breakfast but if I had to choose I'd say scrambled eggs with ham mixed in.

    {two} how many pairs of shoes do you currently own?
    I have about 30 pairs right now.

    {three} city or country?
    City, I guess.  I'd love to live somewhere a little  more secluded but it needs to be close enough to the city to not feel like I'm out in the middle of nowhere!

    {four} what is your favorite part of your job?
    Not working right now but when I was it was the people I worked with.

    {five} what is your favorite junk food to snack on?
    Chips.  Or Chocolate. Or Chips and chocolate!  Sweet and salty.

    {six} have you ever been mentioned in the newspaper?
    The only time I know of was my birth announcement.

    {seven} do you use post-it notes?
    Yes. Yes. Yes!

    {eight} do you have freckles?
    Nope, no freckles.

    {nine} is it okay for men to wear pink?
    Sure, why not.

    {ten} when was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper?
    Sometime within the last couple months.  I belong to a website where I exchange postcards and have also tried the pen pal thing with a few people I've met there.  
    I LOVE snail mail!!

    Thursday, February 10, 2011

    2011 Reading List

    I like reading but I don't do nearly as much as I'd like to so I've decided it's time to change that.  I was updating my Goodreads account recently and my stats for 2010 show I read 8 books.  Eight. Sad.  
    How can I keep encouraging my kids to read if I'm not?!

    Before I had looked at my stats I had decided I was going to shoot for at least 1 book per month.  I know it doesn't seem like much, but if I do it I'm already beating my score for last year!  Hopefully I can do better than that.  I'm already behind so I have a bit of catching up to do.  

    We're almost half way through February and I've only read one book.  A book that took me way too long to read!  I plan to continue to update Goodreads so if you'd like, come by and request me as a friend so we can read together.  I also hope to continue to update this post so I have a record of the books I've read here too.

    Got any recommendations?  Be sure to let me know.  Right now the only ones on my "to read" list on Goodreads are books that I actually have.  I have another written list I've made that I need to add to that.

    Below is a running list of books I've read for the year.  Beware that the list may contain spoilers! 

    Psych: A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Read, William Rabkin(finished 2/10/11): My whole family loves this show so when I found out there were a couple books based on the series I decided I had to read them.  It's a fun easy read.  Though like I said it took me way longer to read it than it should!  I'm sure I'll eventually read the rest of them.

    The Broker, John Grisham(started 2/11/11,finished 2/20/11): This one was OK.  I've enjoyed most of the other John Grisham books I've read but I didn't think this one was a good as others.  This is the 18th, I've actually been trying to read them in order.  I'm weird that way.

     Water for Elephants: A Novel, Sara Gruen(started 2/21/11, finished 2/24/11) I really enjoyed this book and I wasn't sure I would.  My mom first got it awhile ago and I remember thinking "Whatever, a book about elephants, a circus, not for me". But then when I saw there was a movie being made and it starred Robert Pattinson my interest was piqued.  I read it wanting to know the story before seeing the movie.  I'm glad I did!

    Here's the Deal: Don't Touch Me, Howie Mandel.  I remember Howie from the 80s and St. Elsewhere.  It was quite interesting to find out just how far back his issues with OCD and his phobia with germs went back!

    City of Bones (Mortal Instruments), Cassandra Clare (started 4/19/11, finished 5/6/11)  The first book of another young adult series.  I guess I'm still a teen at heart!  LOL  But I'm kind of liking these fantasy type series lately.  I was so not expecting what happened toward the end!!  I won't say in case anyone reading hasn't read it.

    City of Ashes (Mortal Instruments), Cassandra Clare (started 5/9/11, finished 5/29/11)  I don't think I liked this one as much as the first, but still basically enjoying the series.  I must say though I am a little creeped out by the Clary/Jace relationship.

    City of Glass (Mortal Instruments), Cassandra Clare (started 6/7/11, finished 6/25/11)  This is my favorite of the series so far.  Questions answered and things explained so that everything that concerned me in the second book no longer does!  This book seemed to wrap up everything nicely which in a way makes sense considering when I first heard about the series I had read it was to be a trilogy.  Well, now there is a fourth book and plans for two more.  It will be interesting to see where it goes.  I have a theory based on the one thing that seemed to be left hanging in this book.  I hope it continues to be as good and doesn't loose momentum.

    Psych: Mind Over Magic, William Rabkin (started 8/1/11, finished 9/5/11) Another Psych book that took way to long to read.  I guess because I didn't really care for it.  I LOVE the TV show but this book was kinda boring.  

    Dead in the Family (Sookie Stackhouse, Book 10), (started 9/6/11, finished 9/27/11) I've really enjoyed most of the Sookie Stackhouse books, but I think so far this has been my least favorite.  It just didn't have the excitement the others seemed to have.  I wasn't as drawn to get back to reading it as I had with all the others.  

    City of Fallen Angels (Mortal Instruments, Book 4)Teen Science Fiction Books) (started 9/27/11, finished 10/13/11) Ugh!  This is why I hate starting a series knowing that all the books have not been published yet.......major cliffhangers!  I want to keep going but can't until next year. 

    The Hunger Games ,Suzanne Collins (started 10/20/11, finished 10/27/11) Yes, I know.  I'm way behind reading this book.  No, I was not living under a rock.  It just took me awhile to get to it.  Kinda glad I did, because like I said after the previous book I read I like to just keep going with a series and not have to wait for the next book!  Great book though and I cannot wait to read the other two books!

    Catching Fire (The Second Book of the Hunger Games) , Suzanne Collins (started 10/28/11, finished 11/1/11) I'm really liking this series.  So glad I have the next one to just keep reading.  Ugh! But would Katniss just make up her mind on whether she wants Peeta or not!?!  Is he even alive??


    Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, Book 3) , Suzanne Collins (started 11/1/11, finished 11/6/11)  I like the series but many things frustrated the hell out of me.  The whole thing started to save her sister and she ends up gone in the end anyway. :(  I supposed at least some good came out of it all since they are all free now.  And I'm so happy that she and Peeta were able to find their way back to each other! 

    The Innocent Man , John Grisham (started 11/23/11, did not finish) As much as I've liked most all the other John Grisham books I've read I just cannot seem to get into this.  Maybe it's because of the non-fiction thing.  It's basically just a retelling of events that occured and it's kinda boring.  It jumps back and forth between different murders and is just not keeping my interest.  Maybe I'll try again at a later time.  I really hate to start a book and not finish but I've spent too long trying to get into this one.  Time to move on. 

    as of 12/31/11:
    That makes a total of 14 attempted and 13 read for 2011!!  I reached my goal and even went over by one book.  I think I'm going to keep going in 2012 and start another post logging those books also.  I have quite a few on my to read list so I'm going to try to beat my number from this year.

    Tuesday, February 8, 2011

    How do you sort your laundry??

    My husband joined the Army at the end of his senior year of high school and spent six weeks of that summer right after graduation in basic training.  

    Of course that meant he was 18 years old and not very domestic.  As I'm sure was the case with the rest of the guys too.  They also didn't have much money.

    So when it came time to do laundry for the first time, him and a buddy come up with a plan to try to save some money.  They didn't have much to wash individually so why not wash it together?

    Good idea, but how do we keep our clothes from getting mixed up?
    I know, you put yours on the bottom.  Then we'll put a couple towels and I'll put mine on top.  
    Another good idea, why didn't I think of that?!

    I'm guessing those of you reading this know what happened when they ran the washer!  They did not and were quite surprised when they opened it back up to find all their clothes had mixed together!

    Live and learn......

    Saturday, February 5, 2011

    I love FREE stuff!

    It's been 8 months since I quit my job.  I've been trying to focus on my photography more and sell some stuff but it's slow going.  I'm still on the waiting list to get a booth in the craft store to sell my prints.  I've also got my zazzle store up and running but it's a work in progress as I want to continue to add as much as I can.  I've had some sales though and in less than six months I've actually met the requirement to get my first payout!  Woohoo!  

    But obviously that is not nearly as much as I would have made in six months working.  I've been feeling guilty that I'm not contributing a whole lot financially.  So I've been trying to do my best to cut corners where I can and save some money whenever possible. 

    I was inspired by a woman I saw on Ellen and have been using more coupons for grocery and household things.  I found quite a few coupon and money saving blogs to follow and have found some great deals.  I've gotten many items for free or next to nothing by using them on sale items or stacking them with in store coupons.  I'm not doing it nearly on the scale this woman does and it takes some time a planning to match things up but in the long run it saves on the grocery bill.

    In the past couple weeks I've also won some free stuff just by following some businesses on Facebook or Twitter.  I'm a fan of Rocky Rococo Pizza on facebook and a few weeks ago they posted that a certain number commenter on that post would win a case of their sauce.  Well to encourage people to comment they said they would be randomly giving away other prizes.  So I commented and ended up winning a FREE Large pizza.  That's one meal we don't have to pay for and I don't have to cook!!

    Yesterday I checked Twitter and one of the malls in the area that I follow tweeted about Green Bay in the Super Bowl and that the first 50 people to email them "GO PACK GO" would win a $10 gift card.

    Look what I won!!  Hmm? What should I buy?

    So if you're on Facebook and Twitter check out some of your favorite companies and products to see if they have pages.  If not just find their website.  You just might be able to snag some free stuff.  Many of them have either coupons to print or free samples to request in addition to doing these giveaways sometimes.