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