Monday, November 23, 2009

10 Things I Think I Need to be Truly Happy

I once in a while look at this thing called the "Imagination Prompt" and it yields some interesting food for thought. This is what came up today.

10 Things I Think I Need to be Truly Happy (not really in any particular order):

1. Enough money to get by and enjoy life - I'm not talking about excessive cash here, just enough to pay my bills, purchase some really nice groceries and ingredients for recipes, some to save every month for emergencies, and some (like a couple hundred) for entertainment. That is all.

2. Immediate family - although sometimes I want to strangle them, life would be pretty empty without them.

3. Extended family - I really love large family gatherings.

4. Friends - The best and closest all the way down to the acquaintances and those who live far away. We connect on Facebook, and lots of people give me lots of great advice, and I can help people also with advice and encouragement.

5. Reading material - sometimes I'll read almost anything to get my fix. I do love words on paper (or the computer screen).

6. Basic clothing - I think I'd miss it if I had to go without it. I'd be pretty cold a lot of the time at any rate.

7. Health - anyone who has been in ill health can attest that it can really ruin your shit.

8. Food and Drink - I love it and I also need it to live, so win-win, right?

9. Shelter - even if it was just a car to live in. Or a sturdy crate. I could make do. I'm creative. I just don't like the elements. Seriously. Wind pisses me off the most, probably followed by rain. Or maybe equally. I'd have to give that more thought.

10. Errrrr, having trouble thinking of a #10. Nope, I got nothin'. So what would YOUR list look like?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A tank for all seasons

I love tanks tops. Plain ones most of all.

Do you know WHY I love tank tops?

Because I REALLY get my money's worth!

I can wear a plain tank top all year round. Yes, most people use tank tops for layering, and I do too, but you know what else I do?

Since I refuse to wear bras (shocking, yes), I use them as undershirts! That not only means that I don't purchase bras ($$ anyone?), but it means I can wear thin weight shirts throughout the winter as well.

I use tank tops as such:
- Layering under lighter weight shirts during colder seasons
- as undershirts (bra substitute)
- underneath a blazer or cardigan for the colder months
- just as a tank top in the summer

I've recently discovered (last couple of years) how important PLAIN pieces are in the wardrobe. SO versatile!

Another thing I have that I REALLY love is this lightweight blazer I got umpteen years ago. Plain black, comes to about my upper thigh/mid-butt (?) area. I can wear it with almost ANYTHING - love it!

I have this terrible habit of HATING to try on clothes, so a lot of times it's hit or miss when I purchase something. I missed on one of the shirts I bought this weekend, and I'm ready to trash it. I could almost kick myself for not sticking to my rule of PLAIN, GOD DAMMIT! The shirt itself isn't too bad, but the sleeves are ridiculous. Like you'd have to be anorexic for the darn things not to rub a rash into your underarms. You probably know the kind of sleeve I'm talking about - shorter than a short sleeve, but longer than a sleeveless.

Abysmal, I tell you. I'm ready to chuck it in the damn trash. I don't care about the $6 I spent on it!

On the flip side, I bought a plain $1 blue tee by Abercrombie that I just put on with a yellow tank under it (being a bit cooler today and being that I'm at work), and it's really soft and comfortable. So, I'm chalking the $6 mistake up to the fact that I would have spent the extra $6 on this t-shirt.

Me talking about fashion? You probably never would have thunk it! You know what, neither would I - I'm going to stop now ;)

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Recent Articles I love

Good tips of nutrition and good habits for sanity's sake.
How To Save You From Yourself | Marc and Angel Hack Life

Hrm, interesting. Can you pick up those Starbucks cards without actually loading them? I know you can do that at Subway and use them to earn points with each purchase, but I don't know how it works with Starbucks.
Saving at Starbucks: Gourmet Coffee Just Got More Affordable | Wise Bread

I love all of these things! I do find that doing some housework, getting things organized, or making lists does help, even if it seems mundane at first look.
15 Low Cost Ways to Beat Stress | Wise Bread

Hrm, interesting. Interesting indeed.
Three Effective Ways to Enhance Your Willpower

I approve of this message. I'm guilty of checking many email inboxes, but Digsby centralizes them all for when I don't have much time.
17 Things you Should Stop Doing : Productivity501

I am really loving this idea. The article is a little long-winded, but you can skip the personal examples and go right for the "meat" if you're impatient.
The Big Question: Are You Better Than Yesterday?

I approve of this advice. I will even take and apply it!
To Get What You Want, Don't Go With Your Gut - Peter Bregman -

Just in time for summer, an easy recipe for making your very own Drumstick style ice cream cones - also known in some parts as Cornettos!

Ha, this is so interesting! I do fidget a lot, and I always wondered if it was burning extra calories. That's awesome.
Use NEAT Activities to Burn More Calories - Health - Lifehacker

Hrm, I'm wondering what you all think of this advice, or how you work your own resumes.
Avoid These Phrases to Keep Your Resume Relevant - Job search - Lifehacker

People are really creative with cardboard!
Create an iPhone Document Scanner from Cardboard - iPhone - Lifehacker

This is really flippin' nifty, and a really cool idea for a really cool small gift for a dude if you're strapped for cash and they need a new wallet... well, that's pretty narrow, but you know what I mean!
Use Cardboard To Make A Billfold or Wallet!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Consolidated Articles and Pantry Update

I haven't been posting recently, and instead have been putting things on my Facebook page, but I figured it was time to consolidate here. Not only for the benefit of the no one reading this, but for my benefit when I want to go back and reference later.

First, an update on my pantry challenge:
Due to some sales and BBQs in the past few weeks, we have added a few more things to our pantry, but we have been doing REALLY great eating meals from what we have! I actually used some of the things that have been sitting in my freezer for ... forever... and feeding my family in a healthful and frugal way always makes me feel great!

Here are a few articles and links that I've posted over the past couple of weeks on my Facebook that you may or may not have seen:

How To Get A Job By Thinking Outside Of The Box
Yes Yes, another employment article. I just really love these, though, and find it useful to stir up ideas about job hunting.
I really dig a lot of the products in this article!

Hungry Girl "Egg Mug" Meals
I AM a big fan of the egg mug - been doin' it for years!

This is a great article. Read and absorb! Indeed, the job I have had for 8+ years now started out as a temp job.

Hungry Girl posts a couple of awesome snack ideas!
I really like #2 and #3 snack/meal ideas!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Pantry Challenge Week/Month

I recommend taking the "pantry challenge" - go through your cabinets, freezer, fridge and see what you can make for meals without shopping!

My husband and I went through our cabinets, freezer, fridge, and other misc shelves and detailed (in spreadsheet format) all of the food we have that could be used to make dinners and some lunches for the next few weeks. Here's what we came up with:

  1. Pasta with Sauce (carrots or applesauce on the side) x 3
  2. Bean & Rice Tacos (with small amount of chicken for my son's taco) - turns out we got 2 meals out of this!
  3. Tuna Melts (carrots or applesauce on the side)
  4. BLT on Bagels (carrots or applesauce on the side)
  5. Egg Beater Omelets w/Hashed Browns
  6. Elbow Mac w/Franks in Cream of Mushroom "Soup-Sauce" (carrots or applesauce on the side)
  7. Steak Tacos w/ Beans and Rice
  8. Pancakes with cinnamon applesauce on the side (or other "breakfast for dinner" option such as Cream of Wheat or Oatmeal)
  9. Beef w/Mushroom Gravy & Egg Noodles w/ Butter x2 (carrots or applesauce on the side)
  10. Spaghetti w/ Clam Sauce
  11. Hamburger Helper w/ Peas and Mushrooms (and the hamburger, of course)
  12. Baked Beans w/ Hot Dogs
  13. Mix and Match night: Pizza Slice, Chicken Soup, Tomato Soup, Grilled Cheese, Cheeseburger Boca Burger(s)
The only thing we'll need to go to the store for is 1 can of mushroom gravy, and the weekly staples like cheese, bread, milk, and chocolate milk. I'll also need to pick up lettuce and tomatoes last minute for the BLTs so they don't go bad beforehand.

That's 17 meals!

For lunches, I discovered things like:
  • Frozen Muffins
  • Canned Pears
  • Pineapple Cups
  • Pudding
  • Raisins
  • Frosted Shredded Wheat (used as lunch snacks)
  • (2) Boca Burgers
That's not including the staple lunch items like carrots and cheese sandwiches.

I also have lots left on my list of foods that will not be used in these meals, so I can plan meals around those items and not have to pick up a full complement of groceries for probably an entire month.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Free Food (June 19th) and Paint (June 25th) and a Funny Article

AWESOME list of Birthday Freebies updated just today!

If you're currently doing any painting projects, this is for you! Free quart of Glidden paint on June 25.

Free Orange Julius Light Smoothie on 6/19 w/ coupon!

Funny Article on Work Personalities. I know a lot of SMILING BACKSTABBERS and I am a combination of The Sensitive Thespian and the Too Much Information Sharer.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Ooh, New Articles/Money Saving Stuff!

I haven't read my feeds in about a week, which is why I haven't posted. I did, however, read them today!

I was TOO excited to find this link to a comprehensive list of "Kids Eat Free". I've found other sites that list them... kinda stink... but this one is pretty good. Of course, you always have to call the locations to confirm, but it's a great starting point!

Are you actually productive with Twitter? Well, I'm not, but if you are, here is a list of the 30 best deal hunters to follow.

Pay attention, because this is an important one! This is an article about a woman who has someone else's credit history on her report, and it's not a case of ID theft. In the comments, you'll find some REALLY great info to file away in your knowledge banks (or, for me, my email knowledge banks, as I can't remember a darn thing) in case this should ever happen to you or someone you know.

Also, I went to a $10 bag sale at a local thrift store this weekend. I found out about it from a local email list I am on, and it was awesome. They had a lot more stuff than I expected! Of course, I only got 1 shirt for me, and the rest was for... everyone else.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Coupons and Deals - only the best!

Ran across some really good coupons and deals today and really wanted to share them.

First, for you fans of Stacy's Pita Chips (I think they're pretty good anyway), this deal that allows you to get (24) 1.5 oz bags (that's single serve) for $9 shipped. Pretty good, especially if you routinely spend money on chips or snacks at work!

In the market for a book? If you're a Borders Rewards member (and you should be, because it's free), you can use this coupon for 40% off one item good only until 5/24.

Going out to eat? Consider Ruby Tuesday and they'll give you 1 FREE entree when you purchase 1! I love these coupons! Valid 5/21 - 6/2.

If you shop at Lane Bryant, check out this coupon for 50% off your order + $2.99 shipping through 5/26!

This is a good one for Mastercard holders from CVS: 20% off everything (coupon code) plus Free Shipping & $15 off orders ($10 sign-in bonus + $5 off when you pay with MC). Keep in mind, you can purchase some food items from them as well!

And last but not least, there is a coupon for that will allow you to purchase selected $25 gift certificates for $2 each! We use these for an Indian place closeby that we love to go to. Check it out and see what restaurants they have that are in your area.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Shout out for

Quick shout out to a site I had previously overlooked. allows you to put in your location and finds brick and mortar sales that are close to you.

I'm shopping for a razor scooter for my son (he has one at his grandmother's, but not at my place) and I had a ToysRUs gift card. I thought "well, let me go see, I'm sure they can't be more than $30", but alas, THEY ARE! Ridiculous - on, they wanted $40 for a scooter PLUS SHIPPING!

I said "no way" to myself! I know my mom said she got his for around 20 bucks, so I went on a quest to find one way cheaper. So so so many sites have them for so so so many different prices. I'm not really interested in paying that much for it, so I was thinking "man, I wonder if there's a way to find local sales, because I don't keep the circulars for very long", so I typed "find sales" into google search. BING! Came up with the first site,, which I have heard of before but I haven't really checked it out much.

I should be checking it out for more stuff from now on, because I found that the local Walmart has these scooters, same one I was going to buy online, for $19.97. Hello, WAY BETTER!

This is shared on Works for Me Wednesday at We Are THAT Family (you should visit that blog!)

Monday, May 18, 2009

The Value of Good Shampoo

This morning I realized that there really is value to good shampoo! It only took me years to get to this, but here I am.

I have been blaming my son for not washing his hair correctly, and he's been telling me that there's something wrong with the shampoo. I had washed my hair with that type of shampoo (White Rain, ugh) before and didn't have any problem, so I was telling him he was crazy and he just wasn't doing it right.

Boy do I owe him an apology!

I ran out of Pert Plus and had to use the White Rain. HE IS RIGHT! That stuff stinks! It would barely lather! I could not believe it.

From now on, I'm sticking to Pert Plus or Head and Shoulders. They're not extremely pricey, but they are both great and treat my hair way better than the crappy stuff.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Link to Review of Plants vs. Zombies

Plants vs. Zombies is a really fun 2D Tower Defense game. Since I couldn't say it better, I'm linking to Michael Aulia's review of the game!

Seriously, I've been playing it for 3 days and it's addictive!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Time and Sanity Saving Tips

I may or may not be repeating myself with some of these! Here are some little tips and habits I've picked up to save time, energy, and sanity.

- YoCrunch yogurts (you know, those yogurts with the little add-ins on top?) were on sale at my Acme this week. I bought 20, but they had a lot with toppings like M&Ms, Nestle Crunch, and Reese's Pieces. I thought "well I add wheat germ to my yogurt, so not sure what I'm going to do with these toppings". In the shower this morning, inspiration hit me! I'll separate the toppings and put them away for small treats later! There's always a time when someone in my house is craving chocolate, so this should work out perfectly.

- If you see something in the house that needs to be done and it's a very quick fix, just do it right when you notice it. For instance, I look at the floor in my bathroom while I'm peeing and think "ugh, look at all that dirt and hair in that corner there". After I'm done on the terlet (my word for "toilet"), I just use some TP and wipe it up, flush the TP, and then ta-da, done!

- If it can't be done within that very few seconds when you notice it, WRITE IT DOWN for later. I am such a fan of WRITING STUFF DOWN because it simply works. Keep the list in a place where you'll see it and you will likely not forget to do that thing later.

- If you're on a roll, keep going. When I get up in the morning, I make sure I do the cat food (water, dry food, wet food) and then the litter, and then packing my breakfast and putting anything that needs to go to work with me in my bag. I do all of this before I even get in the shower, because I know if I don't do it first thing and all at the same time, I'll get distracted and forget to do it.

- Have a plan. Know what you're going to do and when you're going to do it. This saves A LOT of sanity, and if something unexpected comes up, you can always re-arrange the schedule. This avoids the "OMG WHEN AM I GOING TO DO THIS?!" syndrome.

- Have a grocery store near your work? If you're like me and don't really socialize every day at lunch, you can do this. Check the sales circulars for good deals at your work-local store, and pick them up on your lunch break! I do this a lot now, and it helps me to save time and get some good deals.

Just some things that work for me!

Grocery Comparison Shopping

As far as grocery shopping goes, I keep my list pretty much in my head. I can tell you, though, that I've shopped almost all of the grocery stores in this area, and have consistently found Shoprite to come up with the best prices on most products.

I've shopped (and of course this is my locality, so some of you may not have seen these stores in your area):
Giant/Super G
... and probably a couple more!

Cons of "discount stores" such as Aldi's and Save-a-Lot:
- Don't always have everything you need.
- Meat and produce is sometimes low quality.
- Not always the best prices in any case. You can get similar or better prices on sales at other stores.

For a quick trip, I don't mind going to Acme, but I always know I'm going to spend more. I've found it to be one of the highest priced stores in the area, and even their sales are sometimes not worth it.

I feel the same about Genuardi's as I do about Acme, but I shop online with them in a bind, if I REALLY don't have time but desperately need groceries. I always use their coupons for free delivery, though. I don't order unless I can get free delivery!

Giant has fairly good prices, but can be all over the board, so I would always check the circulars before going there.

The best advice I can give for grocery shopping is this:
- Stick to sale items
- Buy generic whenever possible
- Compare prices for each brand on the shelf. Sometimes the sale price isn't always the best price.
- Compare unit prices. Sometimes buying the larger one may seem more expensive, but if you will use all of it before it goes bad, it is a better value in the long run and you'll be making less trips to the store.
- Check expiration dates and see if you can get the latest date possible. Less waste = less trips to the grocery store = saving money.
- Plan meals around the good sale items. Of course, not around the sale items that are crap, though. Bad nutrition certainly isn't frugal!
- Shop with a list. This has saved me a lot of money and storage space, actually, since I don't end up purchasing a lot of stuff I won't use. It takes me some time to make my list, since I create a loose meal plan (including desserts, breakfasts, snacks, drinks) before creating my list, but it also allows me to know EXACTLY what I need.
- Go through your pantry, freezer, and fridge and take "inventory" before going shopping. There's probably some things lurking back there that you forgot you had and can use.

The bottom line for getting the best prices on grocery shopping is that it pretty much depends on your purchasing habits. I can tell you where the overall best prices are, but you need to evaluate if that works for you.

Links to grocery circulars:

This "Works for Me", so I'm posting it over at WFMW at the wonderful blog, We Are That Family.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Kellogg's cereals for 50 cents and emailing for Grocery Coupons

Wanted to alert y'all that if you buy breakfast cereal with any regularity and like a wide variety (i.e. are not that picky about brand/type), you can get boxes of cereal for about 50 cents a box @ Acme with their sales this week (at least in my region - East Coast, PA)! This is actually better than their circular coupon sale of 88 cents for a store brand box.

Acme's sale thru May 14:

Kellogg’s Cereals
Bite Size Frosted Mini-Wheats 24 oz.
Frosted Flakes 17 oz.
Raisin Bran 25.5 oz.
Must Buy 4 Greater or Lesser Quantities $2.50 (PAY ATTENTION TO THIS)

Get the coupons:

There are 3 there - All for $1.00 off. 1 is for Raisin Bran, another for Frosted Flakes, and another for Mini-Wheats.

You can print them more than once.

Buy 4 boxes of cereal. Use (1) $1.00 coupon for each.

Voila, 50 cents cereal!

Also, found this article online and thought maybe I'll try it out. Can't hurt!

Emailing for grocery coupons

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Organic Meats, Health Insurance, and Food Donations

This is a GREAT website to find/shop for organic meats. This is becoming increasingly more important to me, as I'm starting to feel sick with myself when I eat meat. This could be a good compromise. Visit Local Harvest to see what they have to offer.

Very Informative and Comprehensive article for dealing without health insurance. Be sure to read through it all - it has GREAT ideas and tips!

I didn't even know about this until now, which seems odd, but the NALC (National Association of Letter Carriers) is having a food drive on 5/9. All you have to do is leave out a bag of food for your postal carrier to pick up. Read more about it here. I got the original link here, and you should also check out that page because it gives some good ideas on how to afford to donate food.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Lower Your Bills/BillShrink, Webby Awards, and Free 8x10

Have been away for a couple of days dealing with some crappy issues (health, cat health, mental health!), but here are a few cool and potentially useful links for the day!

Webby Awards have been won and posted! It's pretty cool to check out this list of websites, because you could find some interesting stuff you didn't know was out there. Of note would be the legal websites, and BillShrink (which I am looking through now). Of course, you should scroll through the entire list.

I also find this site useful, and not sure why it's on there (unless I missed it) - Lower My Bills. I just got an auto insurance quote that would save us about $60/month and I might actually decide to switch.

Also, Walgreen's Photo is giving a free 8x10 today with the code MOTHER. Today only, guys! Great Mother's Day gift - give your mom an 8 x 10 Framed (you can get frames at the dollar store, btw).

Friday, May 1, 2009

Freelancing, Medical Care, and Air Conditioning

GREAT ideas for freelancers trying to network. I thought the BarCamp thing and this Help A Reporter thing was (were?) darn intriguing!

More on medical care for the uninsured. 5 good resources - some you may have thought of, but never hurts to be reminded!

Hrm, Food for thought if you're considering going "AC free" this year (most likely because you can't afford it).

Thursday, April 30, 2009 is so rad, I wanna build it an aquarium!

This site is now going to replace my somewhat disorderly and never complete enough MS Excel packing list. HUZZAH!

It's even integrated into Google - I love Google stuff. I use it for almost everything. Especially their Calendar, without which I would be UTTERLY LOST AT ALL TIMES!

So basically, you go into the site, it asks where you're going, how you're getting there, and what accommodations you're staying in (in very simple format, albeit), and it GENERATES A LIST FOR YOU!

I have honestly been looking for this for the longest time, but the only thing I ever found was pre-generated down loadable lists or lists I didn't like. For some reason, I like this a lot more.

I'm easy to excite, shut up.



Oh my goodness, I have to share this... Walgreen's EasySaver (their Free After Rebate items) has been.....


I... I... don't know how to FEEL! Man, I have used the heck out of that for the past several YEARS, and I am so going to miss it! Guess it's on to other venues...

I know Rite-Aid has a rebate program, but in the past I haven't been too satisfied with it. I'm going to start keeping an eye on it, though.

Now I know there are some real experts at CVS ExtraBucks out there, but to me, it shouldn't take that much effort! I'm going to keep an eye on these ads, too, though.

Man, I haven't paid for toothpaste or hair gel in YEARS, and now I'm going to have to start doing it again? MAAAAN! Oh well :(

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Random Articles/Freebies + BACK TO THE FUTURE II ARTICLE

How to Launch an EECB (Executive Email Carpet Bomb). This is in case you're not getting anywhere with customer service at any particular company and need to go higher up.

Dalai Lama says "DUH!"

B&N (Barnes and Noble) is doing their kids book club summer reading thinger again this year.

No more excuses to not send mom a Mother's Day card with this offer - a free mother's day card that they mail for you!


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Why I am giving up modeling

I've been struggling with this decision for some time now, but I have come to the conclusion that discontinuing modeling is for the best at this point in my life. There are several factors influencing this decision:

  • I've always liked getting the extra money, but it has never been reliable enough of an income for me to miss it that much. This is a difficult thing for me to let go of if you know how I feel about money!
  • I dislike committing my evenings and/or weekends, and would rather spend them with my family and/or in other pursuits, such as volunteering, attending HSA/PTA meetings, becoming more active (possibly purchasing a bike), and simple RELAXING!
  • It's hard on my feet and knees (mostly referring to art modeling). Standing or sitting in one position for long periods of time causes a lot of strain on my body, and I'm concerned about the long term effects.
  • For photographic modeling, I'm getting older and just can't "compete" - and I don't want to! I don't desire to expend to effort anymore.
In the end, modeling is just not getting me anywhere towards my true life goals, and it's something I have been dreading recently. I may experience a slight "mourning period", because modeling has always boosted my (terribad) self-esteem, but on the other hand, I'd rather boost it in other ways, such as being a better mother, better lifemate, and doing more for others. There are also some small side ventures I'd like to have more time for.

The exceptions to this decision will be:

  • Special projects that I may stumble upon or be asked to do, depending on content.
  • If I lose employment, I may fall back on art modeling until I can get a steady income going again.
  • Completing any special projects that I have already committed to.
Again, this has been a difficult decision and a long time in the making. Feel free to give thoughts or feedback. I always like hearing what everyone has to say!

If you are interested in the "other projects" or special interests I would like to work on, here is a partial/starter list:
  • Becoming more involved with the HSA/PTA at my son's school and possibly helping with their projects.
  • Fitness and starting a walking club with family or my mom's church (although I am not religious).
  • Volunteering for cancer initiatives, Human Rights campaigns, and Animal Rights (among other things).
  • Starting a side business with family (strombolis, cookies, etc - more ideas developing).
  • Finally getting and riding a darn bike!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Recipe - Cheesy Beefy Quesadilla (Healthy!)

Just a quick one for today because I'm pretty ill! Hopefully it's not SWINE FLU OMG!!

No, just kidding. I'm sure it's not.

Anyway, I've had this sitting in my inbox for a while and I REALLY want to try it - HG's Cheesy Beefy Quesadilla

Personally, I'd probably substitute 2% cheddar for the fat free. The fat free cheddar tastes a bit like plastic to me! FF Sour Cream is fine, though. I'd also just use whichever tortilla I happened to have on hand (usually a bunch of wheat ones in whatever variety was on sale).

If anyone tries it, let me know how it is.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Best of the Best for 4/24/09

Well I sure am a big fan of body wash... and especially of getting it for free. These Walmart offers DO come!
Free NIVEA Touch of Happiness Body Wash

Here is an article called 11 Ways to Get Extra Cash
. I think the most useful parts of this article are the web addresses for 3 reputable "call-center-from-home" companies.

This really nifty website converts almost any format document into almost any other format document. I gave it a go and it worked well! You upload your document to the site, choose your conversion, and then enter your email, and it will email you a link to the finished converted document. CometDocs

This... is just really cool and innovative! Watch the video! Lights made from water bottles.

This is a really cool site that will help you figure out what to make from the food you have at home. It's not perfect, but it sure will give you some good ideas and suggestions! Just put in the ingredients you have as keywords, and RecipePuppy will find recipes from all over the web with those ingredients, as well as making suggestions as to what other ingredients you might want to add. I find that helpful because I'll look at the list and say to myself "oh! I have that!".

Woah! Check out this Monster List of Freelance Job Sites (2009 Update)!

It will save us all! From having to keep mashing the phone keypad, that is. ContactHelp tells you how to get an actual live person on the line. Now that's customer service! If nothing else, their front page picture is pretty funny.

And last but not least, we have AlternativesTo. What a GREAT SITE for finding alternatives to programs for Windows, Mac, or Linux software that may have a high price tag.

On backing up your files and Cat Health

I am a huge advocate for backing up your files in an off-site location (i.e. not on your PC). Doing this has been an invaluable tool for me, as I tend to have to transfer files from PC to PC a lot, or have a lot of crashes (for some reason, way too many in the past year or two).

I just put a link to Mozy backup on my page, and there it will stay. I can not advocate this service enough. It is FREE and really no-hassle at all. When your files back up, it runs in the background and does not slow down your PC - it just backs them up quietly at a scheduled time every day and you're covered in case you lose your hard drive (oh how we all hate that).

I urge everyone to get this service. 2GB free, and you can choose which files to back up.


This is especially handy if you have been dealing with shitty unstable computers like I have. Ugh!

Now, on to cats. I want to provide this insight and info in case anyone might have a cat they need to medicate or are wondering whether to take to the vet (unlikely, I know, but I'm a huge cat fanatic and I like to spread info).

My friend came to me and told me about her cat that had a urinary blockage. She was extremely upset because she hadn't noticed sooner and the vet told her he could have died. She said she felt like a bad cat momma because she should have been more aware. Here is what I told her:
Ah I know how you feel – when Ziggy got the cancer, I was so devastated and I spent so much trying to make him better!! It’s hard to grasp how dangerous these things can be to their health, even such a simple thing, and alarming to realize how quickly it can go downhill. You are an awesome cat momma and you DID do the best thing for him, which was to call the vet. Animals tend to not show their pain until it’s way late in the illness process. I mean, my cat sneezed out his damn tooth but he was still eating dry food! Trust me, I felt plenty bad about that, so now I’m always on top of them, getting them dental chew toys, etc.

It’s all a learning process and we do the best we can.
She also expressed concern about the medication. He has 3 meds and wasn't doing well with one of the pills. She says:
I had to give him his medicine and it didn’t go well. The pain medication is in a syringe and I had no trouble getting that to him. And this one pill is in capsule form and he took that with no problem. Opened his mouth popped it in and it went right down. This other pill is huge and he just kept spitting it out. It was awful Jackie. I even tried to but margarine on it to make it go down easier. Didn’t work. It started falling apart and it made him drool like you wouldn’t believe. I then tried mixing it in with water and giving it to him through a syringe and he just spit it out. It didn’t mix well. Have you ever had this problem? I am going to call the vet to see if they have any suggestions. He won’t take pills in food. Just eats around them.


It’s an antibiotic called Baytril. I have to give it to him once a day in the pm for five days.
My advice was:

I would say call the doc and tell them the pill isn’t working out for him. Baytril is one of the best antibiotics, and it DOES come in a liquid form.

The other suggestion I have is they sell these pill popper things in the stores that gets it further down their throats. I have one of those and it is a slight help. Putting the butter or margarine on it is def a good idea in any case because it can get stuck in their throats if not. Ever tried to swallow a dry pill? Ick, right!?

What I usually do when I give meds is that I get it all prepared first, get a couple of paper towels or a towel and then catch the cat. Then I sort of straddle the cat and cross my feet in the back so he can’t get out. Then you have to get your hand under his chin and sort of raise his head, open his mouth, pop in the meds and then, here’s a big part, hold their mouth shut and rub their throat or blow lightly into their nose until they swallow. It’s a real struggle any way you slice it!
Don't be afraid to advocate for your kitties!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The shock of "America's Next Top Model"

I guess I have been pretty out of touch with what we as a society have been telling young girls these days. I caught the end half of America's Next Top Model at a friend's house last night, and I was honestly appalled by what I saw on the show. Maybe I am too old fashioned, but here is what I learned that young girls are learning by watching this stuff:

Being painfully skinny is beautiful
No, seriously, I had NO IDEA girls were being led to believe this is what normal people should look like. Yes, I knew they were being told that "thin is beautiful", but I thought THIS particular variety of sickliness was off the market. Looking at these chicks made me literally wince in pain. I kept yelling at the screen "GO HOME AND EAT!" These girls are so tall but they weigh less than me, most likely (I'm 5'2" and 119 lbs), but that is NOT HEALTHY! Yes, maybe they are like that naturally, but many girls just aren't built that way, and they are seeing these people looking that way being "adored" as models and they think they should look that way.

If you're 25+, you're too old
Really? REALLY?! When one of the judges noted that one of the "models" was 25, the other judges gasped in horror and surprise. Ok, some of that was purposely exaggerated, I'm sure, but since when did being 25 mean you're old?! These girls are being led into "modeling" at a younger and younger age, and now we all are starting to think we're worthless once we're past 25?! I can't even stand it. I'm 29, and I don't happen to think I'm particularly old. Gosh, I even thought maybe I could still do a bit of modeling at my age, but I guess I'm just an old washed up hag! UGH!

Jeez, I guess all my photos are for shit. God forbid MY PERSONALITY comes through! That's just not FASHION enough! You have to look like a model, gosh darnit, not a real person! Come on, be more sassy! But wait, that's too sassy! Tone that shit down before someone sees you! Ugh, you suck so much because you aren't posing, but you're posing!

You're constantly being judged and you don't meet our standards
The judges actually insulted just about every girl that appeared before them. I could not even stand it or believe it. "What are you wearing?", "You made a funny face", "You're just not interesting". Oh give me a break, come on! You're telling these girls to mug for the camera, but then not to mug for the camera because they are too "sassy" or too "posed", but then you're telling them they suck no matter what they do. I just... I can not stand it! Of course they look uncomfortable when they get out there - you're making them paranoid!!

Yes, I realize this post devolved into more of a rant, but come on... REALLY?!

I just can't believe we let this go on! I suppose I was under the impression that things had gotten better and people had become more aware of this problem. I thought we were edging towards healthier looking "models" or role-models... I guess I was wrong!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Bailing Yourself Out and Mother's Day Ideas

Two end of the day articles for you guys.

Lost your job, or the economic downturn otherwise affecting you? Bail yourself out with some of these tips.

Mother's Day is coming up, and you may not have much cash to spare, so here are some ideas to get you started on an inexpensive gift for mom.

List of Paid Survey Sites I Use

The thing to remember is that you won't always qualify in for the surveys and it's very small amounts of money here and there, but once or twice a year you might get like an online discussion board that pays you $50 or something!

Also, these are for online focus groups/discussions you can get paid for:

Also, you should go to and follow her blog. She lists survey opportunities for online focus groups as well, but I don't have the direct links to the companies.

A beginning note, and today's awesome articles!

Look, let's face it. I can't really write original content and I most likely never will be able to unless it's about personal things. However, I think it's important to share the amalgamated wisdom of the most awesome bloggers on the internet - and of course, some comedy cold, too!

That's what you'll find here - mostly my sifting through articles and presenting you with the best of the best for your consideration. Once in a while, I may write my own musings, but don't count too much on that!

Feel free to comment on anything or email me to ask me to look for info on anything specific.

Ingredient Substitutions

50 Side Businesses You Can Start on Your Own

25 Vintage Baking Tips

25 Vintage Kitchen Tips

Lentil Burritos (this piqued my interest!)

Listing of Free or Low Cost Clinics throughout the US