Thursday, October 25, 2007

Gotta get this body moving

I feel fat. I need to move. The one thing about our house I hate is that I cannot walk out the front door and walk around the block. We live on a very short street that is at the top of a very very very steep hill. I would have to walk the length of the street back and forth about 15 times to get even a very little workout. And the hill is just way to steep. I seriously have to take two or three breaks on the very very rare occasion that I do have to walk it. So I have decided my next major purchase after the dining room furniture, will be some exercise equipment. Yes, I will be among the crowds probably right after New Years, looking for a deal on a treadmill or some such beast. The next task, is to figure out where I can put such said beast, where I'll actually use it and not have it become a clothes hanger. Pffft.....

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Finally found my dining room set!

So my husband got his motorcycle, and he has agreed to let me get a dining room set since we are hosting Christmas dinner this year. He actually even went out with me looking at various furniture stores and we finally found a set we like at Macey's. We are waiting until their Thanksgiving sale to go an purchase it, but I really can't wait to get it. Our dining room has been sitting emtpy for soooooo long!

Halloween costumes

So do you have your kids costumes all set to go? We are almost done. We still have to get some type of animal costume thing for my oldest who wants to be a werewolf. My middle daughter will be a purple spider witch, and the youngest stole my plush pteradactyl costume I found at the thrift store to sell on Ebay and decided she must have it as her own costume this year. I'm just praying it's not too cold and dry!

Yearly reviews

Let me tell you, I do NOT miss going through yearly reviews! I would get so very nervous everytime. And I always did great, but I just hated them. Now they have software to help do them, such as 360 degree evaluation . I don't know if I like this idea or not, but I guess their could be some advantages to it, but it seems really impersonal.

Sweet Babies

Seems that lately I've been seeing a lot of tiny little new babies around. I miss those days cuddling with a sweet new baby! My youngest is 6 now and in first grade, my how time flies. Don't get me wrong, I am certainly happy to be done with that phase! I don't miss the baby gear that needs to be lugged around, the baby sling and the baby ON me all the time, the diapers, etc.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

So I'm back!

Did you miss me? It's been just an insane few weeks here, and I'm finally back. My middle daughter Shannon fell off the monkey bars two weeks ago and broke her arm. It's was just a small buckle/greenstick fracture thankfully, could have been much worse, but it is her right hand, which has made writing difficult.

Then my oldest is struggling in school again. Trying to figure that out has been very stressful to say the least. We have a conference scheduled this week to address that and I am so nervous about it! On top of that, she has been playing volleyball for school, and she has practises or games everyday of the week except the weekend, so we are spending a lot of time in the car running to pick her up or watch the games.

THEN, my darling husband, seems to be hitting his midlife crisis a few months early (he turns 40 next March) and decided that he must acquire a motorcycle, something I absolutely loathe the idea of. He spent most of this weekend at a beginners training class to learn all the rules of the road, etc. Blah. He's trying to convince me it will save money in the long run because now I can drive his New Beetle instead of my Suburban, which will save on gas. Yeah, um, HELLO? We live near Seattle and it's October, the rainy season has JUST begun!!! Plus, it was my turn to get the next new vehicle, my Burb is 10 yrs old! I guess because he just got a really nice promotion/raise, he's feeling he deserves a treat or something, and yeah, I get that....but I so would have preferred a nice vacation somewhere or something. Oh well. There's a peek into my life as of late.

budgets smudgets

I wish there was some kind of financial reporting software that eliminated the need for us to keep track of our budget. Something that would be tied to our debit cards, and let us know what was left in each budget category right there on the spot. OK, yes, I would probably hate it, but I hate trying to stay on budget too. Just seems like a menial task that only serves to remind me that there is NEVER enough money, so I'm supposed to just accept that and deal with it. Hmmmm...I just remembered, I have a lottery ticket I haven't checked on yet from the other night. Gotta run!

Hmmm...I think I struggled with this one before?

Maybe not, but I could have sworn I had an assignment with colon cleanse as the subject before. I think I snuck it in a "To do" list post because I was stumped on what to write about. Oh well. It does not sound like a pleasant thing to subject oneself too, however, I suppose if it is via Dr's orders, very well then.

Ahhh...the beach!

No, I think if I were to go on vacation, I'd choose the beach. Maybe the Outer Banks. I've always loved the beach. Something about the reptition of the waves, the sand, the neverending horizon. I guess it's just calming to me. Of course I prefer the beach when it's hot out, with my ice cold diet pepsi and some Lay's potato chips. Oh wait, usually the beach requires a bathing suit. That thought just destroyed my fantasy. Oh well, it was nice while it lasted!

Las Vegas

I've never been there, but would love to go. A little vacation would suit me fine right about now. The Tropicana Las Vegas looks like a lovely place to stay. In fact, I don't even think I'd need to leave the room. Just give me some peace and quiet, and no household/child related tasks to do, and that's all the vacation I need! Room service and housecleaning are just extra bennies as far as I'm concerned!

I'm not a techie

So I'm not really sure what to write about a wireless router except to let you know that I know that we have them. We have 3 desktops and a laptop in the house, and they are all connected to the network wirelessly, thanks to these lovely little doo dads....but that's about all I can tell you about them!

I miss grilling outside!

It seems our fall has come in fast and strong. It's been rainy and cold for two weeks now and I already miss those warm summer days and dinner off the BBQ. Tell me, who wouldn't love an outdoor kitchen? I would. I'd have a covered outdoor area with a fireplace as well. It doesn't get really really cold here often in the Pacific NW, but that rain sure does put a chill in the air!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

We need a new PC, or three.

The girls are getting older, and fighting over the one they have. And it's old, and doesn't even run a lot of the stuff they want to use on it, so I fear it is time. And we have to buy pc here, no other computer will do in my husband's eyes, and I fear I would be lost on anything that is not a pc. And not only do we need to replace the ancient computer, but getting one each for the girls would be ideal, but not likely to happen anytime soon. Hearing them fight over it, is just mind numbing, so yes, one a piece would just do us fine.

What I need is a windfall, actually, because I wouldn't mind a new one myself as well. So there you go. Four should do. Now I just need to find some outrageous pc deals AND win the lottery, and we should be good to go.

How could I forgot to mention this!

How could I have forgotten earlier to mention the REASON we left and had a nice Saturday out?

Here it is: Something has died in one of our heating vents. Yep. And the stench is just foul. I put the heat on for the first time Thursday morning for about an hour. That night, after watching Survivor, I went up to bed and when I opened the bedroom door I didn't notice it. But when I walked across the room and set the laundry basket down on the bench, right next to the heating vent, the smell was just awful! We opened the windows, put on a fan, put my incense ring on and buried ourselves under the covers.

Then yesterday, my husband took out his shop vac and attempted to use it in the vent, but no luck. Then last night at dinner time, I noticed the stench was now in the kitchen. So out came the shop vac again to hit the vents in there, no luck again. This morning, it was so bad, we just had to leave. We left all the windows open and when we came home late in the day, it was much better, but we know it's probably not gone, and will be back in the morning.

So the questions is, what do we do? My only thought is to call those places that clean out all the ductwork in the house, but we don't have the money to do that, and we don't want all the ducts done, just the line that goes through the kitchen and up the wall to our bedroom above. Will they do that? If we just ignore it, how long until the smell passes?

The Real World

I think I've posted before about how sad I find all these stories of celebrities going to rehabs. It's hard to fathom what their lives must be like, but I certainly can think of so many things I'd rather be doing with my life, than boozing up and doing drugs. It's just so sad and such a waist. I think a lot of them don't really know what they are getting into when they start, and just don't know how to find their way back to the real world on their own. It's a shame really. I hope they find their way in the end.

A nice Saturday today

I really enjoyed today. We had no plans really, other than one of the girls going to a birthday party for the afternoon. So the husband and my other two girls and I went out and about. We strolled through one of our favorite little towns that has a bunch of antique shops and such, and had lunch at the bakery. On the way home, the husband wanted to stop and look at his latest obsession, a Yamaha cruiser bike. .....yawn. He saw it at the fair last month and has been lusting after it ever since. I think because he's hitting the big 4-0 next year, he's getting that mid-life crisis itch or something. Oh well. Also want to give a little mention to this Dodge Charger accessory thing, so I can wrap up another assignment.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Dreaming big

If you are one of the lucky ones who is able to build out your own personal movie room, check out this site for some discount home theater seating choices. We have an unfinished basement that we dream about finishing off as a media room. But alas, not a top priority. Sure would be nice to send the kids down there with all their popcorn! Can you tell I'm tired of vacuuming up popcorn kernals in the family room? Ah well, maybe one day!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Hosting during the Holidays

So we are hosting Christmas dinner at our house this year, yet we don't have a dining room table! I would really like to get the dining room done before the big day. I need to find the furniture and maybe some home lighting to make the room feel perfect. Perhaps some drapes as well to cover the french doors and make it feel cozy. Not quite sure how I'm going to pay for it all....but a girl can dream, right? Maybe my Ebay sales will be good to me this month. So far they are doing ok, but could be better. Guess we'll just have to wait and see!

Itching to get crafty

Well yesterday the rain started here, and it truly feels like fall. I've been having the itch to get out my scrapbooking stuff and hunker down in my sweats and be crafty. I mostly enjoy just plain old scrapbooking, but sometimes I like to make cards, like baby and graduation announcements. Christmas cards are fun to do, but I find I'm so busy at that time of year, I have all these great ideas for them but they just never get done! I guess I need to start going through all my summer pictures and get them printed out. Maybe after this eBay crunch for the big September Sale, I can squeeze in some crafty time in October!

And another week goes by...

Hard to believe it's been a week since I posted! We had I think what might be, our last burst of summer weather for most of it, and I was working on the deck for a lot of it. I also got a bunch of listings up on Ebay, so I have been super busy as usual.

Today marks the first sick day in our house. My middle daughter has come down with a nasty croupy like cough so I kept her home. Isn't it typical though, exactly 2 weeks ago school started, and here we go with the colds! I'm starting my Coldeze today to help ward off anything!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Fun site!

I found a new site called Quibblo. It is a user generated site that lets you take online quizzes, survey's or poll's, or you can create your own! You can then also put them on your blog or website. You can also take a personality test and ad a personality badge to your site. Have fun checking it out!

This week has been super productive

I feel like I am making a lot of progress on all my things on my to do lists! Yesterday I started painting the back deck and have it about half way done. I also got a batch of new Ebay listings done that I launched this morning. Taking a break from the deck work today to get some more work done on my Ebay listings. I've taken almost 100 pics this morning and I'm working on editing them now. Hoping to get another batch of listings ready for tonight, but the late afternoon/evening is kind of crazy. After my younger kids get home, we have to run down to the middle school (30 minutes away - ONE WAY!) to pick up my oldest from volleyball practice. Then run home and get a quick dinner before I head into curriculum night for my 3rd grader. I'm already missing the lazy days of summer!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

What a beautiful weekend

I hope everyone has enjoyed their weekend as much as we have. The weather here is absolutely perfect, clear blue skies, high 70's, no humidity. These are the type of days I love for! But fall is in the air, the leaves are just starting to change around here!

Yesterday I worked all day sanding the remainder of our back deck. Every muscle in my upper body just HURTS today. But that deck is done, and I plan on priming tomorrow and painting on Tuesday. It's supposed to be in the low to mid 80's, so the weather will be perfect!

Trying to catch up on my blogging assignments while I'm online, and just not sure how to go about this protective underwear I'm just sticking it in here to get it done! I've been so busy with the kids back to school, the deck project amd trying to get as much stuff listed on Ebay as possible this month due to their sale, I haven't had a lot of time to check on Payperpost lately for new assignments, so I've at least got to get my PayU2blog one's done.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Thursday to do list

I started out with high hopes of being really really productive today, but I need a kick in the butt! So I'm typing out my to do list in hopes of getting myself motivated.

1. Finish eating lunch while typing this list
2. Take as many photos for Ebay listings as my back will allow (it's very sore today :-( )
3. Edit and upload photo's
4. Pick up little ones off bus, drive down to middle school to pick up eldest after practice
5. Get home and make dinner
6. Check homework/backpacks
7. Tidy up downstairs after the evening chaos and get girls to bed
8. Relist unsold auctions and start listing new ones
9. Type up assignment for Payu2blog for colon cleanse ???

OK, one item done, maybe I can finish eating my lunch now and move on down the list. ;-)

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Botox is not just for wrinkles

It's amazing what medical science can do today. Most people think botox is just for reducing wrinkles. My Uncle has a wierd ailment where he loses his voice if he is sick, stressed or tired, and they inject his voicebox with botox and his voice comes back. Apparantly you can also use Botox for headaches now too. I wonder what is next?

Advertise your business or blog

One cool way to advertise your small business or your blog even, it to get some cheap advertising pens and pass them around! You can even just leave them around at convenient locations such as the bank or post office. People are always looking for pens, and what a more convenient way to advertise than to have your name right there when they find one?

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

First day of school and all is quiet!

And it's so peaceful here! But not for long. The clock is ticking and my oldest will be home in less than an hour. I was not as productive today as I wanted to be, but I was just totally enjoying the peace and quiet. I did get the playroom straightened up and went through my overflowing inbox and cleaned that up. Also straightened up my office a little bit but it still needs more work. Hopefully tomorrow will be a more productive day!

Monday, September 3, 2007

Are you stressed?

If so, one way your body shows stress is by grinding your teeth at night. I had this pretty bad in middle school. In fact, it was so bad, I shredded my nightguard at one point, which left my mouth pretty cut up as a result. NOT fun. Today, they have softer, rubbery nightguards for this though, which is way better than what mine was back in the day when they were still a hard plastic. If you think you have a problem with this and may need to be checked out for a Night Guard, TMJ, Bruxism, Tooth Grinding, NightGuard, be sure to check with your dental professional. Anything is better than having your jaw locked in one place and in pain. Stress sucks, and it's so weird how our bodies all react to it differently.

School starts tomorrow!

Can I get a WHOO HOO!?! Just tucked in the girls after going over the bus schedules, double checking the backpacks have all the school supplies, and putting out their first day of school outfits. We had a great summer, but this mom is ready!

My "To Do" list is pretty long, but I'll be starting with finishing the deck refinishing project we got under way yesterday, as well as trying to get some more stuff listed on Ebay during this month long sale they are having for September. I really want to clear a bunch of stuff out of here. I also want to start walking more, and go check out the new YMCA that just opened near me. They apparently have an indoor pool with water slides and all. I have always loved swimming and I'm sure the kids would enjoy the slides, never mind the gym and other activities they offer. Just have to decide if we can afford the extra monthly cost or if we have to wait to do it.

Well I'll wrap it up here, got to get to bed early as I imagine the early morning routine will be tough for the next couple of days.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Hot real estate

So I've received a lot of real estate assignments lately focusing in on cities such as the Phoenix real estate market, and I'm wondering if these assignments are all for the hot housing markets that remain. It seems that there are only a few left going against the grain of the rest of the nation. I know out here in Seattle, we are still going strong with housing costs continuing to go up instead of down. That's great for my bottom line, but my dad is planning to buy a place out here to retire in the next year or so, and it's not helping him out any. I guess you can't make everbody happy, right?

Finding quality bantam show birds

So I have decided I have to do some local market research and see if there are any local hatcheries that might be selling some quality bantam show birds. Our birds did not fair very well this year, and I fear it's because we have just been ordering them from some of the large national hatcheries. Out of 11 of our birds, we only received 3 blue ribbons, two were disqualified for "too much smut" and the rest were only red ribbons. I say this, yet our very good friends did quite well with a champion bird ordered from the same place we get ours from, so who knows! But I would like to do some research and find out if their are any local places. We have one very competitive club in our county, and they breed show bantams, but obviously we don't want their rejects because they are our prime competition. Off to do a little research!

Caffeine please! Any form will do!

I am just wiped out from all the fair activities, but have to finish some Payu2blog assignments before I can hit the hay. Maybe a jura capresso is in order. I'm not sure exactly what it is, but it sounds caffeinated, so it's all good! Today was actually not a long day as far as fair commitments go, but this getting up early everyday is doing me in. And tomorrow will be a very very long day, we will be on the fairgrounds from 8:00 until at least 4:00. It is the busiest day we have scheduled as far as activities and requirements.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Getting ready for fair today!

Today is the day! The girls are all excited. The birds go in today for health check and get settled into their new temporary homes. The fair starts tomorrow and runs through Labor Day, but we are only there until Monday night with the 4-H and FFA chickens. Early Monday night we check out and then the Open Class birds check in for the remainder of the fair.

We are also entering in photographs (the photo here is one my middle daughter is entering!), a drawing my middle daughter did for the arts and crafts division related to poultry. Both girls are also entering a dozen eggs each to be judged, as well as educational posters. Then the birds will each be judged for Type tomorrow morning, and there is a Poultry Knowledge contest for my oldest and Prime Time (for the Primary 4-H members who are 6-8 yrs old). Friday is the Judging Contest. Saturday is our Group Demonstration w/ their club members and the Poultry Bowl contest as well as covering the information booth in the Poultry Barn for a 2 hour period. Then the biggy Fit and Show on Sunday! My oldest has always done really well in this but has not had a great bird to accompany her until this year, so we are really hoping she does well this year! Last we have Fun Day and Round Robin on Monday. Then we also have herdsmanship every morning that the girls are judged on which involves cleaning, feeding and watering the birds and their area in the barn. It will be a fun yet busy next couple of days!

Kitchen design

I am an HGTV addict. It drives my husband insane. Here we built our house only 6 yrs ago, and we have absolutely no plans to move or redecorate or remodel, yet I am addicted. I love to watch everything from House Hunters to the yearly gadget shows which are builders conventions to see all the hot new products from funky kitchen faucets to the latest refridgerators that are computerized and keep a running grocery list for you. I try and tell him it's that "architect" in me that's not currently doing anything architectural, trying to stay up to date with the current trends for maybe one day when I'll need them.

Losing weight

Who doesn't want to lose a little weight these days? I know I do. I could easily stand to lose about 30 lbs if not more. The sad thing is, about 4 yrs ago, I started South Beach Diet, and I stuck to it for over a year and did lose the 30 lbs. But now I've gained it all back! I keep wondering about things like hydroxycut, but don't think I want to take anything to get there. I think it's just another thing I'm adding to my "When the kids go back to school" list. It just seems like it will be easier without having all their goodies around!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Computer problems

Not quite sure what my computer needs, but I fear it needs something. Perhaps a little Dell Memory or some such thing. It seems to be going much slower than usual. I've deleted all my temp files, run defrag and rebooted, and it's still having issues. I guess it's time I have my tech savvy husband have a look at it. But then I'll be down for hours and we can't be having that! Ah well, hopefully it's something that will work itself out. If not, I'll nab him when he's on vacation later this week to figure it out. Wish me luck!

Tampa Real Estate

OK, I don't know much about Tampa, but it's on the beach, right? So I'm sure I'd like it. Especially about now. I'm really really feeling like we've been gypped this summer....we've hardly had any heat while the rest of the nation seems to be hitting all time record temps. Oh well. I'm hoping that we win the Megabucks lottery this week. I hear the next jackpot is up to $171 million or some such thing. I'd certainly be happy to check out the Tampa Real Estate scene if I do, cause a little old beach house somewhere I can go year long and have some warm temps would be awesome.

Dreaming of new furniture

The husband and I have been dreaming of getting some new furniture lately. His offices just moved, and now they are in a high rise with shopping on the first few floors, including a HUGE furniture store. He was trying to convince me to come and look at poker tables of all things the other day. I said no, first we need to replace our kitchen table that one of our dogs chewed the legs when she was a puppy, and our dining room still sits empty. A poker table is like the last thing we need!

Rainy Sunday

Wow! Did it rain today! It's chilly too, only in the 60's. Perfect day for sleeping in, which is what we did today. We then went out to IHOP for brunch and hit the Half Price bookstore to turn in some books and pick up some new ones for the kiddos. Then we hit the British Shop for some tasty pastries for dinner. The kids got sausage rolls, husband got beef & onion pie and pork pies and I got some spinach quiche. Yummy!

Just a lazy day here, fully enjoying our last veg weekend at home before school starts. The next two weekends will by super busy, and we only have 16 days until school starts! Whooo hoooo! My younger two found out their teachers on Friday and were quite happy with them. My oldest we have to register I think on Friday and get her class schedule. This mommy is getting quite excited for school to start......can you tell?!?

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Troubled Teens

As my oldest daughter approaches her teen years faster than I can believe, I have to trust that she will make the right decisions and be smart with her choices. I hear so many stories of troubled teens, many who have come from broken homes. I can't imagine having to deal with kids who have broken the law or need teen rehab or have other major issues that cast a negative spin on their lives. I just have to trust that my husband and I have done all we can to raise our girls the best we can, and be there to support them.

Lazy Saturday

I am enjoying a lazy Saturday here at home. We have no plans this weekend, which is really nice. My husband took the girls up to the fairgrounds this morning to drop off some things for fair, and I cleaned the first floor while they were gone and finished the laundry. It's nice to have that done. We have been talking about needing to refinish the back deck, and I have been motivated to start sanding/scraping and doing the prep work, but the husband is not motivated to help me, so I don't think it's going to happen today. He has to work Monday and Tuesday, and is then off until after Labor Day, so I'm hoping between fair activities and our two days free after fair before we leave for camping, that we will get that project done and then we can cross off one item on the "To Do" list. We really need to paint the whole house too, but I think we might have to do that in two phases. Hopefully we will get one phase done next summer. What fun! NOT. Hope you are all having a great weekend!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Customer relationship management

For many sales businesses to succeed, they need a way to manage their customer relationships, or CRM. One way to do this is by using software to manage your customer relationships. Most of the software out there that provides this service is time consuming, complex and difficult to learn. AIMpromote gets rid of all the confusion and provides a solution that can be implemented with quickness and ease.

Some features that are built into AIMpromote can help to streamline the sales process, and improve follow-up with the sales force automation and sales management features.

CRM Software offers lead aggregation companies (those who generate and then sell leads) the ability to manage and run their entire business from within a single piece of software. They can: - Sell any type of lead, in any vertical - Manage accounting - Sell a lead as many times as they choose - Sell leads automatically - Run ROI reports on all leads, campaigns, and/or website activity

If you own a Sales company, a software program that helps you with CRM and lead management may be exactly what you need to take your company to the next level. And Aimpromote can have your entire organization up and running in a matter of days.


Happy Friday everyone! Only two weeks to go and school starts here, and those two weeks will be so busy! Last night we had barn clean-up over at the fairgrounds. Tomorrow we have to bring the girls Educational Posters up so they can be hung. Wednesday, the birds go through health check and moved into their temporary homes for the week and fair begins on Thursday and last's through Monday for us. The actual fair goes through Labor Day weekend, but after our 4-H and FFA birds go in, then the open class birds come in for the remainder of the fair. The girls are excited and I am too. Our 4-H friends are like our second family and it is fun to hang out together for the week. After that, we have two days to rest at home before we head out for a Labor Day camping trip with my husband's family, so that will be a nice way to wrap up summer.

Today we finished working on the girls posters, and my oldest has a friend sleeping over. I just picked up pizza for the girls, and my husband and I had some yummy Thai food. Good way to end the week! Have a wonderful weekend!

Pet bling!

Speaking of bling, what's with all the animal jewelry and accessories these days? I swear, the furry little creatures seem to be treated like children these days! I wouldn't be suprised if soon enough, dogs and cats have their entire own rooms in peoples homes soon to accomodate all their stuff! Don't get me wrong, I love my doggies, but my kids come first. I guess it may be different if you don't have kids and your little critters are all you've got, but to me, the assortment of things available for these little guys just seems overwhelming lately.

Bling or no bling?

My husband and I had our 15 yr anniversary in May. He has always wanted to buy me a larger diamond set, but I have so many other higher priorty items we need, that it hasn't happened yet. I guess I'm just not a jewelry kind of person. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure if he squandered away and saved up and surprised me, I'd love whatever it is he splurged on, but if I KNOW the money is there, I can always find something we NEED instead. But I've never been a girly-girl, more of a tomboy since the git go. I'm quite happy with my plain old cheapy watch and the wedding set I have. Maybe he'll surprise me one day though!

Monday, August 13, 2007

The end of summer birthday season

My youngest daughters birthday is today, she is 6. Megan is the typical youngest child, always anxious to keep up with her big sisters at all times. However, the only thing she really wanted for her birthday was monkey bars added to our swingset. She is the Monkey Bar Queen! She will do monkey bars until her hands are covered in blisters and keep going! Last year she came home from school one day with huge blood blisters, and I told her for her hands to heal, she'd need to find something else to do at recess for a few days and she was broken hearted. She also was in love with her Googles Webkinz that she wanted, and hasn't put him down in days. Megan is a sweetie and loves to cuddle and I'm thankful for that as she's my littlest baby! Love ya Meg!

Speeding along......

Anyone know which is the best radar detector out there? I need to get my husband one. He was so close to getting another speeding ticket this weekend. He is like a magnet for them. We live out in a rural area, where some of these empty roads in the valley have a speed limit of 35 mph. It's sooooooooo easy to go over that! We used to have one but it broke long ago.

Window Coverings

I would really love to get some wood blinds for my kitchen, or maybe roman shades. We have a LOT of windows in our kitchen/living room area, so it would probably be out of our price range. We've been in the house 6 yrs, and still don't have window coverings on the windows in the kitchen. Reason being mostly that we have a built in eating nook with benches, and most of the windows are right at the back of the benches. I have't wanted to invest in anything for fear of dirty fingers destroying them immediately, but maybe with wood blinds, I could just wipe them clean. Not like I need to add another thing to my cleaning list. Maybe I'll just keep waiting until the kids are a bit older. Hmmmmm....

Sunday, August 12, 2007

I love saving!

I am someone who never leaves the house before checking to see if I have a coupon in my stash for whatever we might need. It really does pay in the end to put this little effort out. There are now a lot of online communities dedicated to saving money, alerting members of special deals or coupons out there so that you don't miss out. One of these sites is I also like to buy coupons in bulk online for things we use often, wait until the items go on sale, and then buy 10 or 20 of them at the sale price minus the coupons. It all adds up in the end!

Growing up is hard to do

My oldest daughter just turned 12 last month, and today she went to a birthday party she was invited too. She was very nervous about going. The girl who invited her, Emily knows her from them being on the same bus home from school, and they have become friendly over the last year. Emily had invited her to her birthday last month and all went well. But today, is the other girl's birthday, and Em was sooooo nervous go. Apparantly, this other girl is quite popular in school, so all the "popular kids" were going to be there. It was supposed to be a rather large pool party with a lot of kids. Emily has always been a bit shy, and has her one Best Friend Forever since kindergarten, who was not invited. I told her to look at this as an oppurtunity to make new friends, and to just have a good time. We pick her up in about half an hour, so we shall soon see how it went!

Friday, August 10, 2007

I have been a little scared lately

When I was in middle school, my knees ached and ached, and were swollen. I was finally diagnosed with JRA, otherwise known as Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. Back then, I took baby aspirin for it and did physical therapy to strengthen my leg muscles, and got to miss PE class for a year. By high school, it had pretty much gone away. Since then, I haven't had any major problems, and I am 37. My knees crack and pop when I go up stairs, and occasionally ache if the weather is changing, but that's about it.

But starting last winter, my hands have started bothering me, and one of my feet, where the toes attach. Last winter was really bad on some days, to the point where I was taking Ibuprofen all the time, to where my stomach got sensitive to it. By April of this year, it started to get better, and I thought maybe the with the weather warming up, that was helping.

But in the last few weeks, my hands and toes have started hurting again. :-( I can't bear the thought of going through another winter like last year.

So I guess I really need to go to the Dr, but I'm scared too. The idea of taking major drugs just doesn't appeal, but neither does suffering in pain. I often wonder if I'll need to have knee replacement or something like that when I get older, but I guess I'll just have to wait and see.

Summertime is back!

After a week of cold dreary drizzly rainy overcast days, the sun is back today! The kids have just ventured outside to give their pool a go, although I'm afraid it will be WAY too cold! It's only in the high 70's, but it feels so nice after the week we've had.

We finally got our lawn mowed too after over a month with no mowing. We had a part break on it back in early July, and the part was back ordered, so it took a few weeks to arrive. My husband had only been mowing for about 10 minutes, when it broke again. Luckily Sears replaced it for us, but it took another week and a half to come in. I'm sure our neighbors were just thrilled with our dandelion field, so it feels really good to have it done.

Small business financing

Have you ever thought about starting a restaurant? I was just watching a show last night on BBC America, with the dudge who run's Hell's Kitchen. He would go out to a little restaurant that was struggling, and try to figure out why they were struggling and fix it. It was quite amazing. If this is a dream of yours, one place to start would be to look at business loans. ARF, or Advance Restaurant Finance, specializes in loans for restaurants and retailers.

TGIF! And NO weekend plans!!

I love weekends like this! Acutally, it is my youngest daughter's birthday on Monday, but she only wanted two friends to come over, and they are both out of town this weekend, so we will be doing something fun as a family. I think she wanted to see a movie or go to the aquarium. I'm also hoping to escape the family this evening or tomorrow and finish up her birthday shopping. She is turning 6 so I of course got her a Webkinz, (see my previous thread here if you don't know what they are!) and she wants monkey bars added to their swingset. I found some at Home Depot that come as a kit, but the store I was at, all the boxes were open, so I need to try and find a set at a different store. I will probably also get her some arts & crafts stuff, as her and my middle daughter are big into that right now also. I hope you all have a fantastic weekend!

The real estate game - House flipping

I know that I am not the only one who has been affected by all these shows on TV showing people flipping houses, and turning very large profits in very little time. I am completely intrigued, and if I had large sums of extra money lying around, you can bet I would be jumping on this bandwagon.

My husband and I both have degrees in Architecture, and have worked in the construction industry. I have always thought about entering in real estate as a career down the road, and if I did, it seems as if flipping houses might even become easier as I would get a first glimpse of the ideal prospects when they came on the market.

The most difficult aspect to this process, besides having the money around to invest, I think would be finding the right crew to help you. We could do a lot of the work ourselves, but I am sure we would need to hire some professionals for parts and pieces, depending on the job. This part is a bit intimidating to me. We don't have a handful of folks we could turn to, and in construction, it seems almost impossible to find a crew who will show up when they say they will. In my experience, it seems that they run on their own clock. I understand this, as jobs take longer than expected, unforseen things come up, etc. But it seems as if the folks who do well flipping houses, have people in their back pocket who they can count on, and that they show up when they say they will. And these folks seem hard to find, as we found out when we built our house.

Business advertising

Do you have a small home-based business? Do you advertise it? Some inexpensive ways to advertise your business would be the obvious business cards and flyers, but how about promotional items like personalized pens? You can then hand them out, or leave them around town in handy spots like at the bank or the post office. We've even received a few of these in the mail!

Webkinz World

I have 3 daughters, and this summer they have been lost in the Webkinz virtual world. Have you been there yet? Webkinz are the new "beanie baby" craze. They are cute plush little critters made by Ganz, and they come with an online code. You plug in the code on the site, and create a virtual world for your pet, or, um, petz if you have more than one. It's birthday season in our house, so the girls have each gotten another critter, I think this will be 4 now for each of them! Yikes! It's a fun site though, the kids can play games to earn money to buy things for their petz, and I like how it teaches them about how to budget their money for things they really want. The hardest part is limiting their computer time, but they have been pretty good about it. These plush critters were really hard to find by late spring, as their popularity was not well planned for and they did not have enough supply to meet the demand. However, stores have been getting in shipments in the last month or so, and we are seeing them everywhere again. If you have a child in the 5-8 yr range, this would be a great gift idea!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Financial planning, investing and stocks

I often wish that I knew alot more about financial matters and how to invest properly. The entire subject just scares me and seems rather intimidating. Wizetrade is a powerful stock trading software program and stock research tool, and they have now started a blog called The Wizetrade Blog. It seems these days as if with blogs such as these, and so many of the personal finance blogs out there, that if you really set your mind to it, you could teach yourself the basics, I guess I just need to get over the initmidation factor. Of course I would need money too before any investing could occur! But I do like to plan ahead, and I'm hoping by year end, we will be starting to finally "get ahead" a bit.

Do you do meal plans?

I need to start making meal plans. I was doing it for awhile, and did really well with it and felt so organized! I just spend awhile browsing recipes online. I made pulled BBQ pork in the crockpot the other night, and we had quite a bit left over. I decided to make enchiladas with them tonight, I think we have all the required ingredients. I need to go grocery shopping and really feel like my life is so disorganized right now, that having dinner all planned out and ingredients accounted for in advance, would be one less thing for me to have to worry about each day!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Halloween is coming!

Fall is coming! Halloween will be here before you know it, and there is already a lot of hype out there for the new Halloween movie directed by Rob Zombie. I am not a horror movie fan per sey, but I have seen The Shining, and the same suspense of the insane killer wandering the halls of the huge empty Inn in the middle of winter in The Shining, seems to be captured in the new Halloween movie as well. I think both films will capitalize on that feeling of suspense, rather than the gore and violence so many other horror movies focus on.

I think Rob Zombie will bring an interesting twist to the new version of this movie. In an online interview of him I read, he mentioned that he dislikes the term "remake", and instead, "plans to make this more of a prequel and semi-remake all in one, so in theory, there will be much more original content to this film than remake content." He also said his focus in directing this movie will be on "character, mood and terror." Halloween the movie, is a classic horror flick. I think Rob Zombie will do well with the new version.

The following U-tube trailer, leaves my heart pounding. It's quite intense! So please don't say I didn't warn you!

Summer is winding down!

Today is one of those weird summer days that feels like fall. The sun has been gone AGAIN, and it's been misting/drizzly and overcast for a few days now with temps only in the 60's. YES, I said only in the 60's! It's a bit bizarre actually.

The girls have friends over, and everyone is cooped up in the house so it is a bit loud and chaotic. It feels strange that summer is already coming to a close and winding down. End of August is always a crazy time for us with the State Fair, and then we are squeezing in a short camping trip afterward over Labor Day weekend right before school starts. I am looking forward to those quieter less chaotic days once school starts, but I will miss sleeping in and having veg days with the girls. Tonight we have our last 4-H meeting before Fair stuff begins, so it feels like summer is almost over!

Sunday, August 5, 2007

What makes you feel good?

Summertime is always an interesting time for me. I love the weather, hanging out with the girls, sleeping in late, not having to go through backpacks and check homework. But it also stresses me out in other ways. I feel like I cannot keep on top of the house no matter how hard I try. I find it difficult to do errands with three kids in tow. I find I can't concentrate on my "work" whether it be Ebay or blogging. There are constant interruptions. So as I count down the days until school starts, I'm trying to figure out what might help me feel better about all the little things that are stressing me out.

One thing you can do that makes you feel really good about yourself is to give back to those who need a little help. Whether it's just by donating your unused household items or clothes, car donations, or donating cash to your favorite charities, it all feels good. I honestly believe that what goes around comes around, and when you help out others, good things will happen to you as well. I am at a point where I have so many Ebay things around my office to list, I am seriously considering donating most of it. I think it will be a weight off my shoulders right away, and I know that many people would put a lot of this stuff to good use.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

I have an 8 yr old slumber party going on!

It's my middle daughter's 8th birthday today! Happy Birthday Shannon! Yes, it's birthday season at our house! All three girls have birthdays within a month of each other. Guess you all know now when I'm most fertile! HA! Anway, Shannon is creative and thoughtful, organized and always wants to know what the plan is, what's on the agenda, when the next play date is. She won the "Most Responsible" award in Kindergarten! She is the most social of my three, doesn't like to be on her own or entertain herself. She's crafty, loves to do projects and go shopping! She wants to be a "clothes designer" when she grows up and she is definently my girly-girl! Hope you have fun at your slumber party tonight, love you Shannon!

Friday, August 3, 2007

Do you need a mattress?

Or any other furniture? If so, check out or if you live in Texas, Houston Furniture. We actually need a dining room set. We've been in our house for 6 yrs next month, and with three kids, and lots of other priorities, getting a dinning room set has not been that high on our priority list, so it sits empty and is usually full of miscellaneous toys. If I had the money right now, I love this set and would get it in a heartbeat:

Our dining room set up calls for a lot of circulation all around it, and I think a round table would work best in there. It's also open to our Great Room, and we wanted to go with either a dark brown or black finish on the pieces in both rooms when we one day get around to buying new furniture for both rooms. Being that we are not really fancy folks and much more casual, I think this set would work well for us with it's casual look, but I love the little touch of having upholstered seats, adds a little grown-up feel!
We also need to get a different set-up for when the girls have sleep overs. I'd love to get my youngest a bunk bed set up but that would also mean we would need another mattress. In fact, her entire room needs to be redone and is next on the list. She still has her nursery theme in there and she's turning 6 in less than two weeks! So much to do, so little time.......and money!

Back from camping! Back to the blogosphere!

We had a wonderful few days camping, lots of walking on the beach, sitting by the lake, a little sunburn and a lot of smores. I've finally caught up with unpacking and laundry. Time to get back to the real world and the blogsphere!

I finally have reached my 10 approved posts on Payperpost for this blog, and hope to add my NEW blog A Problogger Mom to their system this week. Before I left, I signed up with Sponsored Reviews with that blog also, and I just heard back that I have been approved! I have heard really good things about that site from Amanda over on The Blog World. I have two other blogs I need to work a little harder on, in able to qualify them for one or both of those sites also. In the future, I would like to be able to spread out the sponsored posts on multiple blogs, instead of having one blog chock full of them. I don't like reading blogs that have a ton of them, so I'm sure most of my readers don't either.

I know everyone is antsy about the next Google Page Rank update, and most people seemed to think one would occur either late July or the first half of August. I sure hope so. I am very curious to see where the new blog will fall. This blog has a PR of 3, and I think the new blog has a few more links than this one, and a few more technorati favorites, but I don't know if it's enough to have it qualify for a PR4. I'd be thrilled if it matches this one with a PR of 3.

Friday, July 27, 2007, the UK’s newest Car leasing search engine have revealed the most popular makes of car that users are looking to lease in this press release:

"In July, we have seen a marked increase in the number of users searching for car leasing deals" said Alan Gates, Marketing Director for "We see this growth as a Nationwide trend as car leasing becomes more and more popular."

The top 5 searches in July were for:- Audi leasing (13.89%), BMW leasing (13.57%), Mercedes-Benz leasing (8.41%), Volkswagen leasing (6.05%) and Land rover leasing (5.09%). In total, they account for 47% of the overall search volume at

Over the past 6 months, Audi leasing deals have consistently been the most popular searches. Audi has seen a 6 month average search volume of 14.86%.

So, for anybody considering leasing an Audi or any other make of car, have over 14,000 car leasing deals available at any one time! To see what all the hype is about, visit the website now.

Leasing a car is a great idea if you always want a new car and plan to trade up in 2 yrs or less. If you are changing cars that often, there is really no sense in buying. As they say, when you buy a new car it loses equity the minute you drive it off the lot. And if you aren't keeping it long term, you really won't pay off enough of the car in that time to have much equity in it, this is why leasing may be a better option. This is especially true for higher end cars, which are shown to be the most popular cars searched on the site. If you live in the UK, and think that leasing is a better option for you, be sure to check out to find some great leasing options.

House maintenance woes

Why is it that house maintenance seems to pile up all at once? Our dryer is on the end of it's rope. Our driveway is showing cracks and needs to be sealed. Our roof has a leak and we may even need to replace some drywall in the living room due to it. Our decks need refinishing, and the house needs painting. Ugh. To do all of this work would probably cost at least $12,000! Yikes! That is a really large number! Guess we just have to do what we can do when we can do it, and prioritize what needs to get done. I just hate spending money on this kind of thing though. I'd much rather go on a nice vacation or put that in my new car fund. Oh well! I'm excited to go camping and forget all about my to do lists for awhile!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Vacation Ideas with kids

Getting ready for camping has got me dreaming about future get-aways I'd love to do with the girls before they get older. The obvious one is Disney, we've only been once when my oldest was 3 1/2 and I was pregnant with number two. I'd also love to do Yellowstone and see the Rocky Mountains. I think going to a Dude Ranch or a Texas bed and breakfast would be fun where we can go horseback riding like the old cowboys used too. I have lots of ideas, but they all cost a lot of bucks we don't have! One of these days though, I hope we get there!

Another camping treat!

Oooh! I thought of another camping treat for the campfire. It's another must do. Peel a banana and slit it down the middle and place a couple pieces of chocolate in there. Then wrap the banana up in tin foil and place in in the hot coals for a little while, not too long, I'd say 10-15 minutes at most. Just long enough for the banana to soften up and the chocolate to melt throuroughly. Open the tin foil carefully and eat it with a spoon. SOOOOO GOOD!

Camping treats

We are trying to get ourselves organized to go camping on Sunday. We haven't been since last summer so I am making lists. Food list, items needed for activities list, do not forget list, dog stuff, etc. We recently were at an evening get together where we sat around a fire pit for smores, and we were introduced to Deluxe Smores, and I must share them with you. It's rather simple. Swap out the plain chocolate bars, for a Reeses Peanut Butter Cup. It is to die for! I am not a huge marshmallow fan to begin with, so I usually passed by the smores and just ate the chocolate straight, but you have to try these! They are sooooooooooo good!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Fire Ants

If you ever have a fire ant infestation, check out this site for fire ant treatments. It is called Or if you or your family receive a fire ants stings, they will also tell you how to deal with it. Luckily we don't have these little pest near us, but if we did, I would be sure to bookmark that site for future reference. They provide basic information about fire ants, tell you how a colony of fire ants works, teach you how to identify fire ants as well as how to deal with infestation through baiting to using boiling water.

Girls night!

I am having a great week. I had a girls night out with some girlfriends on Monday night to celebrate one of their 40th birthdays, and I am having another girl's night out tonight with a close friend. These really allow me to keep my sanity and I'm so thankful my husband is cool with that. He knows that day after day with the kids can drive me batty, and that I need some girl talk time with my friends. We are going to grab dinner and do some shopping as well. Now that the sun is back, it's a beautiful evening and I am looking forward to it!

Motor Sports for fun in the summertime!

I don't know a lot about motor sports, but if you are a fan, check out this blog Addicted to Sports for all the latest gossip on the sport. They provide full coverage of the Formula 1 and Moto GP races. Suicidal Sam is the author of this blog, and in his coverage, he provides full and complete lists of riders, teams they belong to and their final time in each race. He reviews each race, and these are some examples of those reviews: Moto GP: Sachsenring German Grand Prix Review, Formula 1: European Grand Prix Qualifying and the Formula 1: 2007 British Grand Prix result and review . He even has some really nice photo's in these reviews that cover some of the highlights from each race. If Motor Sports is your thing, be sure to bookmark this site!

We've started the Back to School Shopping

It's hard to believe. The kids don't go back until September 4th, but we've started the back to school shopping already. Earlier this week I hit Target for some basic supplies that were really marked down, and then today we were in Fred Meyer and they had all backpacks marked down 30% and each of the girls found one they like. That alone is quite a remarkable feat, so in the cart they went. We don't usually go crazy shopping for back to school. The required supplies are a must, backpacks if they are necessary, shoes and at least one outfit for the first day of school. Clothes I really only go crazy if they are really needed.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Closet cabinet storage - Who doesn't need more?

Our garage right now is just nasty. It really needs to be cleaned out. We need to make at least one trip to the dump, maybe two. It's to the point that the floor just has a ton of junk on it, like dirt and straw and it's tracking into the house! I think after we go camping next weekend we might have to tackle that project and get it done before summer is over. I would love to have a closet cabinet for our camping gear, as well as for the gardening junk out there. I'd love a shoe system that works too while we are at it. I put shoe shelves out there, but for some reason the shoes end up in piles on the floor anyway, causing us all to trip over them all the time. Maybe I should just sign up for Clean Sweep! LOL! Ok, it's not THAT bad.

Big Brother

Are you a reality TV junkee like me? This show is my summer indulgence. I can't wait for it to start tonight. Sunday's episode was great with Danielle going to her dad for some support. I hope they are both on long enough to work out their issues. I think Nick is such a sweetie, it's going to be so tough for her to be a good girl! I am routing for Jen to go home this week. I hope the nominations stick tonight. That girls drives me nutso. Being that Kail is a mom my age with 3 kiddo's, I'm not ready to see her go yet. Gotta go get the kids ready for bed so I'm all set when it starts!

Tutoring Help

My oldest daughter started middle school last year in 6th grade. She struggled quite a bit juggling 5 teachers a day and different teaching methods and homework requirements. We credited a lot of her struggles with it being her first year in middle school as well as being one of the youngest in her class and being a bit on the immature side. Hopefully, her grades will improve this year on her own, but we are certainly considering some type of innovative tutor situation such as Score offers if need be. I really like how they try to help while also making learning a positive experience. I also like the idea of having a third party involved when we hit rough patches. I know sometimes I lose patience in trying to explain a new type of math problem because I feel her heart isn't into really trying to solve it. Hopefully, they would be able to get through to her better than me!

What's for dinner?

Eeek! It's 4:15, and I have no plan for dinner. It's got to be quick and easy too. Our lawn mower broke right before all this rain we had, and my husband finally got it fixed this weekend, but of course it was raining. Today is the first sunny day in over a week, and our grass, er, um, I mean our weeds, are at least 2 ft tall, so he WILL be mowing as soon as he gets home and eats! I think I may go peruse Char's weekly Monday meal plans for some ideas. I used to be so good at planning our meals even two weeks ahead of time, but I've been slacking since it's summer!

Update: I am stealing this idea from Char!

"Taco Cups and refried beans. These are super easy. Lightly grease large muffin cups and press medium sized tortillas in the shape of the muffin cups. Place in oven on 350 for about 7 minutes until crisp. Fill cups with meat, cheese, lettuce, tomato and other taco toppings"

I think I have a tub of that Chi Chi's mexican taco chicken in the freezer, so off to go defrost it and get these going!

Funky office design

Check out these funky modern desks. Some of these are very cool. Brings me back to my working days, as we used to design some pretty cool reception desks. Reception area's are often the first impression clients will get of a company, so they are often little show pieces with some cool design features, and the reception desk is often the primary focal point. Cool lighting features were also something we used alot in our designs.

Bar stools - who would have thought?

So we built our house and moved in almost 6 yrs ago. Our kitchens have white cabinets and we have a large island in our kitchen. I went out and bought white bar stools to match the cupboards. They are just simple (cheap) bar stools I got at Target or Walmart or some such place. What I didn't realize, is how grimy they would get. With three kids, I don't know what I was thinking with white cabinets to begin with! I guess the positive aspect to them is, I know, along with everyone else mind you, when they are dirty. There is no hiding it! The bar stools especially. Anyway, just thought I'd mention this in case you are contemplating what your dream kitchen might be one day.

Hard to buy for Gift Ideas

If you are stuck trying to find that perfect gift for someone who is hard to shop for, think about a digital frame. I think these are so cool. I am putting this on my list for Christmas gift ideas for both my stepdad and my father-in-law, both who I find really hard to shop for. I really need to get my act together and seriously start Christmas shopping! It will be here before you know it! I hate waiting until the last minute. I get all stressed out and it of course hurts the budget when you have to do it all at once. My three girls all have birthdays within a one month span and so we are just trying to get through that right now. My oldest had her birthday last week, and my youngest two are only 9 days apart in early August. I will probably seriously start keeping my out for bargains to put away for Christmas in September when the girls go back to school and I have more free time without them in tow.

Entering our Poultry in the State Fair

If you read my other blog A Problogger Mom, you will know that my kids show our chickens in the state fair for 4-H. We are getting pretty excited, it's a nice event to end the summer with and it is coming up fast. I have just filled out all their entry paperwork, and it's another thing to cross off my "to do" list. In all we will be entering 11 birds, that's 3 less then last year as we lost a few this past year.

We almost got chicks in February, but decided not to, and then ended up getting 8 new chicks in May. Unfortunately they aren't old enough yet to go to fair this year. We will also be shopping for new birds at fair for the girls to use for Fit and Show. We lost 3 birds this year that were designated as Fit and Show birds, or at least stand-bys. So we only have one of really good quality this year and she's a Old English black bantam hen named clover who my oldest will be using. My middle daughter is only a Primary this year, so she will be using an older friendly bantam hen named Ginger, but she's never done well in Type. She's a Buff Japanese but hardly has any black on her tail feathers.

All the chicks we bought in May are full size too, so they won't be good for Fit and Show as they are too big for the girls to really handle well. My youngest will also be joining 4-H in the fall and so we will need even more "show birds" for next year! We are quite excited about the chicks we have though, we have 4 Americauna's, the kind that lay blue and green eggs. This is the first time we will have any tinted layers. We don't expect them to start laying though until October probably.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Self-Publish with AuthorHouse

Are you a writer? Have you thought about self-publishing? AuthorHouse is the leading self-publishing company in the world since 1997. Of all the Book Publishers out there, AuthorHouse is your best bet for getting the support you need to get your book self-published. You will be guided by author advocates who are serious about writing and publishing.

So ready for summer to return!

OK, the rain has gotten old. Where did our summer go? We've had 7 days of rain now, and I'm ready for it to end and summer to return. The kids miss the pool. I miss them playing outside! Luckily, the weather man said this should be the last day. We are scheduled to go camping next Sunday for a few days, so I'm relieved to say the least. Looks like we should be back on track tomorrow with the sun out and the warm temps back too! Whoo hooo!

BP Whiting Refinery

Recently the Chicago Tribune ran an article about a BP Factory in Whiting, Indiana and misrepresented some important facts. This post is an effort to clarify some of these facts.

The Chicago Tribune article can be found here:,1,647384.story?ctrack=3&cset=true

BP's fact sheet can be found here:

There are obviously some discrepancy's between them. I will touch on three of these that touch on the impacts to our environment.

What is going into Lake Michigan from the refinery?

Chicago Tribune claims: "The massive BP oil refinery in Whiting, Ind., is planning to dump significantly more ammonia and industrial sludge into Lake Michigan, running counter to years of efforts to clean up the Great Lakes."

BP claims: "Only treated water into Lake Michigan: What is released from our refinery is treated water that is more than 99.9% water - not sludge. All sludge is treated separately, according to state and federal requirements, and never discharged into Lake Michigan."

Will the refinery be allowed to emit more pollutants into the lake?

Chicago Tribune claims: "Under BP's new state water permit, the refinery -- already one of the largest polluters along the Great Lakes -- can release 54 percent more ammonia and 35 percent more sludge into Lake Michigan each day. Ammonia promotes algae blooms that can kill fish, while sludge is full of concentrated heavy metals. The refinery will still meet federal water pollution guidelines. But federal and state officials acknowledge this marks the first time in years that a company has been allowed to dump more toxic waste into Lake Michigan."

BP claims: "Well within legal limits - A new water discharge permit allows the refinery's average ammonia discharge to increase, but at levels that will still be less than half of those that federal environmental guidelines could allow."

Local crude oil vs mid-east crude oil:

Chicago Tribune claims: "BP, which aggressively markets itself as an environmentally friendly corporation, is investing heavily in Canadian crude oil to reduce its reliance on sources in the Middle East. Extracting petroleum from the thick goop is a dirtier process than conventional methods. It also requires more energy that could significantly increase greenhouse gases linked to global warming."

BP claims: "Energy , security and diversity - BP plans to spend more than $3 billion to modernize the Whiting Refinery to process additional heavy crude oil from Canada, a secure and reliable source" They also say: "Collaborative, transparent approach - BP is working with federal, state and local elected officials, regulators, community and environmental organizations, and communities to develop comprehensive, environmentally sound plans."

As you can see, there must be trade offs in order for us to acquire energy Independence, and one of those trade offs, will be the impact to our environment. Global warming and clean water are obviously both crucial concerns, but the lifestyle we've all grown accustomed to, requires resources that we don't currently have enough of in our own backyards. Sometimes we have to sacrifice a little bit for one cause, in order to advance another. As our technology advances, hopefully the sacrifices will get smaller and smaller. If we can reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and still maintain federal and environmental guidelines at the refinery as is declared by BP, this time it seems as if the trade off is well worth the sacrifice for the benefits gained.

Friday, July 20, 2007


WOW! Friday already. This week went by really fast for us. Hard to believe it's almost the end of July already. Hope you all have some fun weekend plans in store. We have my daughter's birthday party tomorrow. It was supposed to be a trip to the movies and then some time in the pool, but the weather is much more movie weather. It's been raining all day and it's supposed to continue. We are actually getting flood watches for a few rivers which is so far from normal around here this time of year. November - March is when we normally get this much rain and flood watches. Oh well, it's been a nice break from the heat and the lawn and landscaping could sure use it. Sunday we were supposed to go to my husband's company picnic, but I think the rain will also keep us home from that, so that will just be a veg day and catching up around the house type day. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Online Dating Sites

Wow. Who knew there were so many types of dating sites onine? In my sponsored posts just in the last week or two, I've done Goth dating, BBW dating and now fitness dating.

This site is focused on men and women looking to find a fit partner that is into Fitness and Health. You can search buff guys or muscular women. You can search locally in your area for other people in the fitness singles scene. You can post your photos and even send a "flirt" message to people you find interesting. The site is also free to join. It's nice to know so many different types of online dating sites exist and I hope you will check this one out if it sounds like your cup of tea.

My baby has a cell phone!

As I mentioned earlier today, it's my oldest daughters 12th birthday today. My husband and I agreed it was time for her to have a cell phone. Primarily for safety's sake, and making afterschool activity coordinating easier this fall, but also because it's getting to that point where she is always on the house phone. We just got back from the store where we let her pick out one of the freebie phones and upgraded to the family plan. I can't believe that she's almost a teenager! I am feeling rather old. She has had a great birthday today with the family, and will be celebrating with friends on the weekend.

New car dreams

I am lusting after a new vehicle in the worst way! My current car is a 10 yr old Chevy Suburban, and it has been a great vehicle for us to this point, except for it's gas guzzling nature. We have three kids and two large dogs, and I am torn about what to get next. I want something that gets more gas mileage, something that can fit 3 kids comfortably withouth the "she's touching at me" or "she's looking at me" that a smaller 5 seater type vehicle would cause. So I'm inclined to keep the 7 seat minimum capacity, but I don't want a mini-van. We also have a pop-up trailer and need something that can tow it as it's a pretty big one and a lot of the minivans can't haul it if you go by their guidelines. I'm torn though, because I would also love a truck but I think the kids would be too squished. We have two acres, raise chickens, love gardening, and it would be so much easier to be able to have a truck with a nice truck bed liner I could just hose down after picking up straw or bark chips and that type of thing. Right now those types of things leave the back of my Burb' a mess. Any suggestions?

It's my oldest daughters birthday today!

Happy Birthday Sweetie! Emily is turning 12 today. I can't believe how the time has flown by! My last "tween" year before she's officially a teenager....sigh. Emily is a sensitive girl, who cares a lot about others, animals and the environment. She is a wonderful big sister and lovers her family to pieces. She would like to be a vet one day and is in 4-H in a poultry project and helps take care of our 24 chickens and two dogs. We love you Em, hope you have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Call me ignorant

but I really don't know much about the goth scene at all. I really need to make an effort to learn more about it. My oldest daughter is turning 12 (tomorrow!) and while she is intrigued by those who look to follow the goth scene, I am just a tad frightened! Apparantly, it's a growing community though, they even have their own gothic dating website called It is a free goth dating site for girls or guys who have intersts in the gothic lifestyle. Many members love techno, punk rock, and goth music. You can see who is online and even browse through pictures! So if this is your scene, check out

It's cold!

So refreshing! We've had a cold wet front move in, and it's so nice. I've been wearing my fleecy and socks today for the first time in forever. It's very strange this time of year, usually all or our lawns are turning brown right now from heat and lack of water! It's supposed to stick around for the next few days and I'm so exicted to wear my cozy sweats! LOL! How sad is that?

Saturday, July 14, 2007

I want to go to Disney World!

If anyone has an Orlando vacation home available, please allow me to come and use it! I am so ready for a vacation from my summer vacation! OK, well I guess I should rephrase that to be I am ready for a vacation from my kids summer vacation! We aren't even half way through summer break, and I am burnt out! We are heading out camping in two weeks, hopefully that will help me to relax. Of course, there's the planning, packing, cooking, cleaning and unpacking and LAUNDRY that comes with camping. OIY!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

To do list for today

OK, the list is long, and I'm already feeling burnt out and time is running out!

1. Have to finish 3 more Ebay packages and make a quick run into the Post Office.

2. Have to finish cleaning the house which involves vacuuming, cleaning the guest bath, straightening the first floor and changing the sheets on my daughters bed, my Dad is arriving for a visit tomorrow.

3. Fix a quick dinner and be ready to be picked up at 6:15 by carpool to 4-H meeting.

4. Did I mention how freakin' hot it is?

5. Oh, and last, finish my last Payu2blog assignment for this week for disposable underwear.

Hmmmm, I get to cross one of those items off my list!

What the heck is a plasma cutter?

What the heck is a plasma cutter? I have an assignment from Payu2blog, and I'm supposed to include those terms, and I'm not even sure what it is? I assume it's some medical device, and yes, I could go and research it, but don't have time. I honestly think I don't really want to know. It doesn't sound pleasant, or like something I would personally use, that's for sure!

Summer Gear

I am in need of a new pair of sunglasses and I can't find a pair that I like. I usually don't spend a lot on them and try and pick up a pair for under $10. With three kids, they aren't going to last anyway. My oldest daughter is at that stage where she can almost fit into all my stuff and is constantly borrowing things or trying them on, sunglasses included. I did see some cool motorcycle sunglasses that my husband would have like the other day, but they were more expensive than I wanted to pay, so the search continues.


OK, the heat has hit the Pacific NW area, and it is sooooooooo hot! We generally don't get hot weather like this, but maybe for one or two very short blasts each summer, and it has hit. I have to run some packages to the post office and I don't want to leave our house which has actually stayed pretty cool, but it's supposed to be in the 90's out there! Tonight we have a 4-H meeting, and it is in an unairconditioned old grange, and there is usually about 40-50 people packed in there. It's elections tonight, otherwise I'd think they would try and wrap it up quickly due to the heat. Think I will try and pick up a Frappacino on the way to help keep me cool! Hope everyone out there is staying cool too!

Monday, July 9, 2007

Online romance and big beautiful women

Are you looking to find that perfect someone online? Do you like big beautiful women? If so, you should check out bbw personals and the bbw dating scene on BBW is for big beautiful women and men. Their site features chat, bbw personals and many great features to help you find love online. Sexy large women are looking to meet their special BHM (Big Handsome Men) or FA (BBW Admirers) like you today. They claim to be the number one BBW community site on the internet, so you must check it out if you are looking for a dating community like this.

My earnings are up!

Just a brief little update about my blogging earnings.....they are up this month! So far, I've earned over $75 using Payperpost, and another $45 using PayU2blog. I still have some pending assignments from PayU2blog, so that will add another $10 to that total just this week. All of these sponsored posts have been only on this blog, but I am hoping by end of this week, to add all my other blogs to both sites, and I hope that they will be accepted. Then I can spread out the sponsored posts a bit more, not have them all lumped into one blog. Hopefully by doing this though, I'll also be able to take on a few more assignments, thereby increasing my income yet again.

My Pay to Click Sites blog has also been picking up a few referrals here and there, so hoping they are active ones. These sites don't really pay much, but of course, the more referrals you have, the more you can make.

I was also pleased to see my Agloco referrals are up a bit also. For the longest time, I only had 2 direct referrals and 2 more in my downline for a total of 4 referrals. I'm now up to 4 direct and 8 in my downline. Check out the Agloco blog post about how they expect to pay members for simply surfing the web.

My Bigcrumbs referrals have also been growing, 30 direct referrals, and 302 in my downline, with my first person in my 7th generation! It's been really cool to see this grow. I only joined last November, and had a lot less referrals back then. I still cleared $80 plus dollars from Christmas shoppers who shopped through the site in December, I'm really anxious to see how I do this holiday season and in the coming months. The payouts the last few months have been low, but this was expected as the last few months are not typically great for retailers. With Back to School shopping right around the corner, I'm hoping for the payouts to start increasing and only continue to go up until next spring when I expect they will decline again.

Please be sure to check out my new blog at I'm hoping to be posting much less on this blog in the coming weeks.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Street appeal for your home

If you are considering selling your home, one overlooked item that can impact the street appeal of your home are the mailboxes that line your street. If yours is old or rusty or just not looking very nice, it may be time to think about replacing it. You can have fun with it even and paint it a fun complimentary color to go with your house. Be sure and put some nice stickers on it or paint it with your house number. Depending on where you live, you may want to consider getting a mailbox that has a lock on it. We live in a pretty rural area, and mail theft has been on the increase.

Make money blogging for advertisers

Did you know that if you blog, it's easy to get paid for writing posts on your blog? All you have to do is include a keyword given to you by an advertiser, and include a link to the advertiser's site. I use PayU2blog for alot of my blog advertising income. They typically pay $5.00 per post. On average, I've received from 3-5 assignments per week from them, so you can easily earn $60 to over a $100 per month from doing this. Then if you use other similar sites that pay you to post, you can increase that amount A LOT. Consider starting several blogs, and increase that amount of money you can earn, again!

Friday, July 6, 2007

TGIF and 7-7-07!

WHOA! I just realized tomorrow is a big day if you are into numerology or if 7 is your lucky number. Tomorrow the date is 7-7-07! I hadn't heard a peep about it coming up or anything. I've always considered 7 to be one of my lucky numbers. Hope you all have a great Friday and a great 7-7-07 and a fantastic weekend all around!

Drug Rehab

Apparantly, Linsay Lohan has completed her latest stay at a drug treatment center. The gossip online is she was out and about and celebrating for the 4th of July holiday. The news is, that she managed to stay away from "alcohol and other stuff". Hopefully this will be her last needed visit for drug rehab, and she stays on the straight and narrow from this point forward. I can imagine it's touch to do living in the land of make-believe in Hollywood, but I do wish her well. I have to say I think she looks good in all the photo's I've seen of her, and I hope she continues to do well.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

What are you doing for the fourth?

Any big plans in the works to celebrate the fourth of July? I'm really looking forward to tomorrow. I've got the girls tucked in early as I am expecting we will have a late night tomorrow. Have a cup of tea going and enjoying this beautiful summer night. It's 9:00 and still light out! LOVE IT! I'm also working on Ebay listings and surfing around. A perfect evening in my eyes! Hope you are all having a good one also. Happy 4th of July!

Summer Concerts

I love going to outdoor concerts in the summer time. Here in the Pacific NW, we are blessed with several awesome venues. And believe it or not, it dosen't rain here much in the summertime, usually by mid-July, the weather is perfect. Unfortunately, we are too broke right now to afford to go to any, but I did look into concert tickets for The Police. WOW! The prices were way out of my league! Guess it just shows my age, but I remember the day when the big concerts tickets were only $30-$50, now they are $300-$500! Ah well…….them there were the good ole days I guess!

Happy 4th of July!

I hope you all have a wonderful 4th of July holiday. The weather could not be more perfect here, which is pretty unusual here in the Seattle area. Usually we are still clouded over and rainy for both Memorial Day and the 4th of July, but we have lucked out this year and the weather couldn't be better. We don't have any big plans, a few fireworks planned in the evening with friends. Just enjoying the summer time and each other. Hope you all do too!

The Police are back on tour!

I was thrilled to hear that The Police were reuniting to do a tour this year. Unfortunately, they have already passed through here in Seattle, and I was not one of the fortunate ones who was able to go. I did however see them back in the early 80's during their Synchronicity tour, and it is still one of my most favorite concerts to date. Sting singing Roxanne live, what more could you want? I just don't think that seeing that song, sung by that man, live, will ever be surpassed!

Please click on this to go and view an awesome banner where you can watch The Police's videos, listen to tracks from The Police's new 2 cd hits collection, enter to win a trip to NYC to see The Police in concert and even view details about their current world tour.

You can check out all the latest information about their latest release in the banner above. It is loaded with features such as videos for 8 songs to watch and listen to, there’s a complete track listing with the option to listen to a view of the titles, and a listing showing all of their tour dates is on there. You can enter a contest to see The Police live at Madison Square Gardens in New York City, send this banner to a friend via email and also get downloadable ringtones. What more could you need?

The newly released 2 disc compilation CD was released on June 5th, and it includes a vintage poster. It contains all the old classics that were so well known back in the 80's, from Roxanne, to Every Breath you Take. The set includes a good compilation from all five of their albums. I love the new Police Cd. If you are a true Police fan, you will not be disappointed!

New blog project - a personal blog!

Just a brief note to let you all know about my latest blog project. I have had an older blog on my profile here at Blogger for awhile, but had pretty much abandoned it. I decided to revamp it, start from scratch, and turn it into my personal blog. I will be sharing my penny squeezing thrifty tips, as well as blurbs from my day to day life. I hope to update the look soon and I'm on the lookout for a fun and funky new template. Please check it out when you get a chance, and I hope to be adding much more to it soon. Check it out here: Pennysqueezer

Monday, July 2, 2007

Searching for antique furniture

I love to go to thrift stores and garage sales in the hopes of finding some quality Century furniture pieces. We have been in our house for almost 6 yrs, and our dining room is still empty. We are still in need of several key pieces of furniture throughout the house. Finding a good piece of antique furniture, or even a good reproduction piece, is always a thrill. I much prefer buying furniture this way than going to the local warehouse type stores.

Celebrity Gossip - A new form of entertainment?

I swear, celebrity gossip has become an all new past time! It's everywhere you look. It is a whole new form of entertainment. You can get all the celeb gossip you can possibly want now that the internet is here. There is a new site, called, that is an aggregate for all celebrity gossip. You can become a member, and even vote on the juiciest bits. No need to go searching for the rumors and scandals anymore. Just become a member and check out this site, and you will have all the celeb news, rumors and scandals from Hollywood right at your finger tips!

Pardon the sponsored posts!

In case you are checking in here for the first time, please pardon the flood of sponsored posts. I have recently moved this blog to a self hosted solution with a new URL of, please check it out there. I had signed up at Payperpost awhile ago with this blog address, and apparantly you cannot add a new blog to your Payperpost account, until you have a certain number of approved posts on your old blog. So I am trying to get these out of the way here and then I can add the new blog to my Payperpost account. If you are also interested in signing up for Payperpost, please sign up by clicking here. It is a great way to earn some extra money while you blog!

Summer time smores on an outdoor fireplace!

Speaking of summer time home maintenance, I have always wanted to get an outdoor fireplace for our yard. I just love the smell of the wood burning and it would be fun to have weiner roasts and smores on it anytime for the kids, instead of waiting for those camping trips that are too far apart. Our neighbors have a big fire pit, and they often have outdoor campfires. With three boys in boy scouts, in fact, they often have camp outs with their whole troop taking over their entire front yard! At least I get to benefit from the good campfire smell from them. Although it would be very nice to have our own!

Pests, termites and home maintenance

It's summertime, and maintenance on many peoples homes is in full swing. One thing to keep a lookout for, are signs of termites. If you go down to your basement, or walk along the perimeter of your home, look for mud tubes, the size of a pencil or so, made of dirt and along the surfaces of your home. Also look for wood damage, termites eat wood from the inside out, so break open any hollow sounding wood and look for a honeycomb pattern. Lastly, watch for live termites themselves, that resemble grains of rice. If you see any signs such as these, be sure to call in a professional right away to take care of the problem.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Britney Spears, Paris Hilton & Lindsay Lohan

These poor, poor girls. I can't seem to go to the grocery store or watch the news without hearing about one or another. And unfortunately for them, most of it is not positive. From Britney's fued with her mom, to her highly publicized iffy parenting skills, to Paris' emotional breakdown in jail, to, well, jail, and Lindsay's second stint at drug rehabilitation what more need I say?

I truly do hope the best for these young women, and for Britney's boys. I think they were all forced to grow up too fast, under the microscope of the tabloids. If they want to change, they need to remove themselves from that. I truly thing they need to move away from LA and the whole Hollywood party scene and attempt to live a "normal" life far away from the limelight. I hope they mature enough to figure that out themselves, soon, rather than later.

Another online coupon site

If you haven't noticed, I am a tightwad and I am really big on saving money when ever possible. For both my real world shopping and online shopping, I always look for coupons and ways to save before I buy. I try and buy things on sale, with a coupon and through a rewards site, whenever possible, to maximize my savings.

I just discovered another online coupon site called and wanted to point it out to my readers. The site is updated daily with the latest coupons and product deals. It is a a consumer friendly easy to use site that is useful for finding the latest bargains on the web. They offer over a 1000 different merchants to shop through so you are bound to find several of your favorite stores. Be sure to check out the Keepcash site first before shopping at your favorite retailer.

They currently have several computer deals for Dell if you are in the market for a new computer. Or if you are like me and spending more time outside working in your yard or garden, they have several gardening coupons listed for Gardeners Supply Company. My mothers birthday is coming up next month, and I may just get her some flowers using coupons for that are currently listed.

Two additional features they offer which are very handy indeed, are a weekly newsletter and an RSS feed. You can get free online coupons delivered directly to your inbox, or subscribe to their feed, and check for new coupons or deals listed when you are checking in on all your feeds. Both of these features are extremely convenient and I think they will help you to remember to check for coupons if you choose to use either of these options. Having a regular newsletter in your inbox with the latest coupons, would definently help you to remember they are out there before you go shopping.