Monday, July 16, 2012

The Choice

As I walk into stores lately, I am reminded that back-to-school season is upon us yet again.  It is crazy how fast the merchandise creeps in the stores.  Seeing all the clothing placed ever so brilliantly at eye level, I can't help but notice the plethora of colors and designs.  Instantly I start to get excited to look around.  Upon looking closely I am reminded how expensive new clothes are!  hahaha  When you are an avid bargain shopper like myself, seeing standard retail prices sure can shock you back into reality. 

A couple weekends ago Epic was having their sale at 50 percent off everything in the store.  I scored some amazing, name brand clothing for my kids.  $2 - $2.50 for nice sun dresses for my daughter, $2.50 for a Vans hoodie, and numerous other finds.  Some items looked like they had never been touched.  In fact I scored some with tags still attached from Children's Place.  Imagine seeing a tag telling you $10.00 for a shirt and you walk away only paying $1.00! Who can beat that?

Just a plain ol' hoodie at a standard store runs about $20-$25.00 (obviously not name brand or anything like that).   I cannot imagine paying retail prices after having such great success at thrift stores like Epic.  I love how I have a choice where and how to spend my money when it comes to shopping for my kids' back-to-school clothing.  I obviously am able to get a lot more clothes this way than if I was purchasing them at places such as Target, Walmart, Old Navy or any other store. 

When you are only paying $1.00- $2.50 for an item and they are really cute, you are able to score them all and not feel guilty.  I remember growing up when I was young, we had a family we were friends with and they purchased their clothes at thrift stores.  I hate to admit it but you could definitely tell that their clothes were all worn and used prior to their possession.  I was not a snob by all means!  But I remember my dad taking me to the store once just to look and I was mortified at what was in there.  Faded, worn clothing that I wouldn't have left the house in.  I think I had to be about 9 years old. 

When I was about 14-15 my friends and I wanted our own style and started hitting up thrift stores with GREAT success.  Suddenly I was onto something.  My first job just happened to be at a thrift store.  Who could beat getting a 25 percent discount?  I remember girls in class asking me all the time where I got my clothes cause they loved my pants and whatnot.  I remember one of them spending money on designer pants at the mall and they were over $100 for ONE pair.  Imagine me thinking how insane she was since I had only spent $3.75 for each of my pairs of pants.  (They were $5.00 each plus my discount.)  The funniest part is she liked my pants so much more than hers.  I never told her where I got them either.  hahahah  I was way too ashamed to admit that after she was spending so much on clothing at the malls.

Thrift stores have come such a long way since then.  I honestly love them!  This back-to-school season please remember that you have a choice where to spend your money.  My kids are not ashamed at all of the clothing I get them.  They love them!  I obviously make sure they aren't all worn out and stained. 

Keep a good eye on your finds. Check the items to make sure they fit.  Also, make sure there are no tears.  Don't take off the tags without making sure you or your child will wear them.  Typically thrift stores will take the items back within 7 days as long as the tags are still attached and you have the receipt. 

If any of you reside in Las Vegas, I think I should tell you some great news!  Epic is having another 50 percent off sale this weekend.  I suggest checking it out. 

Friday, July 6, 2012

Epic Sale Weekend

Epic Thrift Store, which I reviewed before, is having an awesome sale this weekend! 

They are having a store-wide 50 percent off sale.  Everything in the store will be half off tomorrow.  As I mentioned in my previous blog post, they have a fantastic selection as far as clothing goes.  Everything is nice and organized.  Who doesn't love a color-corrdinated thrift store at great price?  With the new school year around the corner, you might want to check this out and stock up on clothing for your sweet kiddos.  At half off, there are bound to be some killer deals!

I love the great selection this store has and the prices are amazing. 

For any die hard thrift store shoppers, you might want to check it out! :)  Happy Shopping!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Summer Joy

I know I am a total slacker. Been gone for a bit.  So many changes and things going on.

You know me and my love of yard sales, thrift stores and great deals.  Well that season is totally here and I am loving it.  I have been scoring some awesome deals at yard sales.  The past few weekends I have scored a substantial amount of clothing for 25 cents each.  Who can beat that?  Much better than any thrift store prices.  I have even found some things for myself.  I have been so thrilled with what great things I have managed to score. 

I am thinking of starting a little side business like I see people do selling on craigslist and ebay.  With my negotiating skills when it comes to yard sales, I think I could manage some great deals and in turn sell them online.  I have heard many people talk about doing this, in addition to seeing some awesome blogs such as this one which I totally love following.  Do any of you do this?  If so, do you have any pointers?  I have heard of people making a pretty good profit and it sure wouldn't hurt to partake in the profits of that kind of side business.

News in my life- in a relationship and it is going amazing.  I couldn't be happier.  He is great with my kids and I completely love and adore his.  I never thought I would date anyone with kids, considering what I went through as a child of a blended family.  It just never seemed like my cup of tea ever.  Sure enough here I am and I would never change it for anything.  Between the two of us there are 5 kids!  That is a lot of kids but they sure are all worth it. 

Monday, April 30, 2012

Yard Sale Love

This weekend I decided to go yard sale hunting again.  I am so extremely thrilled with the amazing finds that I scored.  I went back to that same area I went last week and had such great luck. 

There were so many yard sales and a great amount of Community Sales.  From my experience, Community Sales present a great experience for me because there are so many people who get together to get rid of things, and then I come in and get to buy things at super low prices.

This summer my daughter will be having her birthday.  I decided that it would be fun to throw her a surprise tea party.  I have been looking around for ideas and found some great pictures of nicely decorated tables with real china sets and glassware full of sweets and treats.  I decided that would be the perfect thing for her party.  In looking around at prices for china and glassware, I have had a bit of sticker shock.  Typically I can find great deals at thrift stores.  Unfortunately, $3.00 for one plate doesn't sound like a great price in my humble opinion.  I have looked high and low at thrift stores with not the greatest luck.

Thankfully this weekend I found a great old china set!  It was in a cardboard box and the lady said $10.00!!  I couldn't believe my luck.  Imagine my surprise in myself when I negotiated her down to $8.00.  Yes, $8.00 is a much better deal than purchasing everything separately at thrift stores and such.  I also found clear glass dishes and platters for the party.  I couldn't believe the great luck.  There was such a great selection for these items and I happily scored.  I found a white glass pitcher that matches my dish set at home for only 50 cents!!!

My son likes Imaginext toys and has been wanting this pirate ship for a while now.  He looks at the stores and excitedly exclaims how much he wants it.  At about $50 - $60 there is no way this mama wants to spend that much.  Well, imagine my surprise when I found the complete set for only $5.00 at a yard sale.  Jack spent his own money on it and was so excited about buying it.  Score!!!  He also found a space ship shooter thing for $1.00.  (When we got home we cleaned up his toys and he played with them on his own for hours.  Definitely worth the money spent.)

My daughter found this Pucci pup for only $1.00 which was paid with her own money.  She has been wanting another one to go with the one she has that Santa purchased for $2.00.  Another score!

I found a nice JC Penney queen size comforter for only $2.00!  The lady said she purchased it new at JC Penny for $80.00.  No worries for me.  I will happily use it. 

We had a birthday party to go to that evening, and I found a brand new Baby Phat purse with the tags and everything on it for $7.00, with the birthday girl in mind.  I tried to talk them down to $5.00 but they wouldn't budge.  For $7.00 I figured I couldn't go wrong.  The birthday girl is into fashion and purses so why not?  Much cheaper than spending a lot more at the store like I was planning to do. 

I found a vintage Disney blanket for a dollar that I talked her down to only 50 cents. 

I had my sister with me as well and she bought a bunch of nice things for herself.  Needless to say, I sure love yard sales.   

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Yard Sale Season Is Upon Us

You all know that I love yard sale season.  This past weekend our neighbor mentioned how she had been at her sister's house the night before and had seen a substantial amount of yard sale signs being put up.  She hinted at going in that area to check out the sales.  I happily acted upon her hinting and off we went.  I had never been in that area before and was so happy in my experience. 

Let me tell you how thoroughly excited I am about the amazing finds we stumbled upon. 

I found a number of items of clothing in different price ranges.  The best just so happened to be a jacket for 25 cents.  Yes, you read that correctly.  25 cents! 

My neighbor found so many clothes that her and her family will wear.  She found toys and an awesome oil painting for $10.00 which is really big.  Needlesss to say in my little car with three kids and two grown ups plus all our finds, we were squished. 

The greatest find of all though was the amazing bicycle I found for my daughter.  It was in great condition in a nice light blue color for only TEN BUCKS!!!!!  I was so excited because I have been keeping my eyes out for a bike for her.  I have seen plenty of them but in pretty bad condition.  When I say bad, I am talking about completely rusty and sellers still asking for about $10-$15!!  I was mightily excited for this find, as was Bug as well.  My camera isn't working the greatest or I would take pictures of it to share with all of you. 

Tonight as I was driving home, I saw a church yard sale sign up and a parking lot of things.  From my experience in yard sales, I tend to have pretty good success at church sales, so I decided to stop and have a little look.  I ended up finding some really nice clothes for my daughter for 6 dollars total.  Two were cute t-shirts for fifty cents each, two were nice light long sleeved shirts, one nice Arizona jean company sweater and One was an H&M brand Hello Kitty red shirt with black sequins.  These will be for Bug to help dress her for next school year.  (Yes, I am already thinking of next school year as I shop in advance in hopes to spend a lot less on clothing while I can find the great deals.)

The weekend is almost here and most people think happily of relaxing and lounging.  Me?  Heck no!  I am thinking of yard sales.  A thrifty, sassy, mama life for me :)!  I love being able to save money by hitting up yard sales. 

Have you been yard sale shopping lately?  What finds have you found?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Any Toy Story Fans Out There???

Are there any cool Toy Story fans out there?  If you head here to Go Graham Go, you will see a great giveaway for an RC set giveaway.  I loved watching the video The Great RC Rescue.  I know in our house, I have some fun Toy Story fanatics.  Get over there and enter right away!  :)

Friday, April 13, 2012

Mom Spotted Is at it Again

Mom Spotted is at it again everyone!  She is having an awesome giveaway for a Chuggington MEGA Bloks Set!  My son is a huge fan of Chuggington.  The giveaway includes not one, not two, but THREE MEGA Bloks sets.  Do you have kids in the home who loves MEGA Bloks?  How about Chuggington?  Wouldn't they flip to have the Mega Bloks brand and Chuggington together. 
I think this set would definitely give children the opportunity to keep their hands busy and fascinated.  Happy entering!

Chuggington Mega Bloks Giveaway

As some of you know, my son is a fan of Chuggington.  If you head here to Crafty Mama of 4, she is having an incredible giveaway!! 

In her review and giveaway, she mentions that Each set comes with 8 part buildable characters like Wilson, Action Chugger, Old Puffer Pete, Brewster and Calley.  I  love that they use building blocks as a means for children to create and build the structure intsead of it just being made for them.  I think this would be a lot of fun to create with your kids.

Head over there now for a chance to enter.  Happy entering.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Epic Thrift Store Review

I was listening to the radio show this past week and they were talking about a new thrift store.  The name of it was Epic Thrift Store, and they were selling certificates to the store.  Basically the certificate was worth $20.00 and if someone wanted to buy one, they were $7.00.  You just take the certificate in and use it just like you would as cash.  I decided to buy a certificate and check out the store so I paid the radio show the $7.00. 

Upon pulling up to the store, I noticed the window had painted words stating everything was 30% off in store on Friday and 50% off on Saturday for Easter.  Since it was Friday, I was excited.

Upon entering the store, I will happily admit that I was impressed.  Everything was color coordinated.  I immediately went to the children's clothing section.  I started looking through the racks to see what all they had. 

I looked in the children's jeans, which I was specifically on the look out for Bug.  I swear that child grows out of everything so fast.  They had a great variety and the average pair of pants ran $4.00- $4.99, though I did see a few pairs for even less than that.  (Add into account that 30 % off special for that day as well and it would have been even less.)  So I checked out the racks to see what else they had. 

I loved how organized the entire store was.  I really liked the decent prices on clothing.  I had been in Savers recently and noticed them charging $4.99 for children's shirts!  Epic was nothing like that.  Their children's shirts were typically priced in the $1-$3.00 range.  Obviously the $3.00 shirt being really nice and not to mention Tony Hawk brand. 

Although I absolutely loved the selection for clothing, I was not very impressed with their housewares, books or furniture.  Then again I wasn't really on the hunt for those sections this weekend.  I was a little shocked to see a wall hanging priced at $30.00 which didn't seem very reasonable or nice. 

I ended up finding Jack (3) sturdy jackets, (one of which was, a thick, wind and water resistent jacket in great condition for $7 plus the 30% off so the total for it was $4.90!!!), a costume for him for Halloween (Transformer's BumbleBee) for $3 plus the discout, 2 pairs of pants for Bug, some shirts, and a few other things.  In all, my total was $22.00 including the 30 % discount.  Since I had my certificate, I handed that over and paid $2.00.  So my total was $9.00 out of pocket for all those items!!!

(I wish my camera was working so I could take pictures of the items.) 

As a result of their 50 % off deal on Saturday, I decided to go back that morning on a whim to get some more clothing for my kids.  My kids are sporadic with their sizing and fitting clothing.  For a long time they can stay in one size and the next minute it seems they keep growing and growing.  I swear I can never win.  ;)

I ended up walking out with about 10 pairs of nice jeans for Bug (some of which were larger sizes for her to grow into since I never know how long she will stay in a size of clothing), a bunch of nice shirts for Jack in a size or two bigger than he is in now (some of which included Tony Hawk, Transformers, Spider Man, Cars, and various other logos/brands), 4 shirts for Bug, a jacket for Bug, a really nice dress for Bug for Christmastime, and a couple other things.  I walked out with 5 or 6 bags full of clothes.  My total was about $54.00!

In conclusion I highly suggest checking this store out to anyone looking for a hip, reasonably priced, organized, color coordinated thrift store!  I know I will be going back there for future shopping.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Money and Bills

Last night while check the mail, I had a disconnect notice for my gas bill.  Uggggg. 

                                                                 Photo Source

I have to admit I have a major issue paying my utility bills.  It isn't that I don't have the money for them, it is just that I put them aside and completely forget about them.  I pay every other bill on time and don't have issues.  I religiously pay my tithing, mortgage, car insurance, medical payment (due quarterly), and everything else that comes up.  Don't ask me why it is so dang hard for me to pay the utility bills. 

Last night I realized that I really need to get my act together and work on improving my payment history on my utilities.  I am paying all these late fees and it is pathetic.  I also really need to work on getting a budget together like I posted in my last post. 

I need to designate an area for incoming bills.  I really need to get better organized in life.

So last night I got my butt in order, well sort of... 
  • I paid my electric bill as well as the gas bill (I think they were both about 3 months worth). 
  • During the week I paid the trash bill. 
  • I also purchased the money order for the medical bill last night.  I already have a stamp on the envelope.  I just have to force myself to take it to the post office to send off.  I HAVE to do this. 
  • I also put my tithing payment in the envelope, filled the slip out and have it all sealed and ready to go.  I just have to pay it on Sunday.
  • Today I have to pay the water bill which is for about 3 months.  (I know I am a total slacker.  Please don't stone me.) 
After reviewing everything last night I realized that I really need to implement a budget or method of paying my bills.  I felt all accomplished after paying them last night.  Why is this all so hard for me?  I could understand if I didn't have the money to pay them and was struggling and unable to do this or that.  However, that is not the case. 

I have heard of the Dave Ramsey envelope system, but I don't think that system would work for me.  It sounds way too complicating.  Too many envelopes and keeping track.  Excel spreadsheets- I don't have Excel so I would have to download it. 

I think the first step I need to do is start tracking my spending.  I mean REALLY writing down every single penny I spend on anything.  Even if I give a bum 50 cents.  I think I will better understand where my money is going and where I need to designate money to.  I am sure it will give me a better understanding of what I need to do.

I am extremely frugal and smart when it comes to spending, but if I don't know where I am currently spending, I can't better plan.  What do you use as your budget?  Are you horrible when it comes to utility bills or is it just me?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Ugly "B" Word

The ugly "B" word crossed my mind the other day.  You know that big, ugly word that starts with a b?  No silly.  Not that one.  Come on this is me you are talking to. Not the word that defines a female dog.  The big B word that most of us all cringe at the thought of.  Budget

I will admit that I do NOT have a budget.  I know that might sound really weird to some of you.  I know so many people who live by their budget.  I know others who don't have one at all.  What works for you?

I am extremely frugal and smart money-wise.  However, I don't really know where on earth it is all going.  Don't get me wrong- I have a rough idea.  Upon further thought process though, I really have no clue. 

This week I think I am going to get a binder and start recording all my spending.  If I don't know where my money is currently going, how do I plan to plan?  What does your budget look like per month?  How did you come upon the decisions on paper? 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

New Design and Changes

So I decided to change the design of my page a little bit.  I do hope that you guys like it. 

I have noticed a lot of changes around me lately.  Work is slowly getting better.  I will admit that I have been so super busy to the point of exhaustion.  hahaha  Being busy is a good thing, but then again you have to step back and look around and catch up all the time.  It is great.  Bossman has been in much better spirits, which definitely helps.  I haven't been yelled at in a few months (I better knock on some wood right now).  In all honesty, I am doing the work that more than one person should be doing.  You don't hear me complaining though.  Job security right?  ;) 

My kids are getting so big!  It is crazy how fast they grow.  I love them so much and just wish they would stay little.  Mommys, hold your kids tight.  They only have one childhood.  Of course mine are still young, but man I can't believe how fast they have grown. 

I finally decided to get out and try dating.  Let me tell you, not an easy thing.  I went to a single conference at church and it was crazy!  There was easily 6 women to 1 guy easily, if not MORE!  It was shocking.  I had some friends and cousins who attended and couldn't believe what I saw in front of me.  Amazing women not even being so much as talked to by a guy.  Not one guy talked to me or my cousin.  Wow!  I am not on the "hunt" or anything, so I have plenty of time for this whole dating thing.  But I will admit that I did step out of my comfort zone and attempt it.

My little sister is having her baby next month!!!  Aunty Sassy is way excited.  I just can't wait.  We had her baby shower and it was a blast.  I was in charge of the games.  I will admit that I put my nice, sassy spice to the mix and it went over very well.  The ladies were laughing so much at the candy memory game.  My little sister seemed to enjoy it, and that is all that counts right?  I can't wait to hold that little baby in my arms.  :)  Woo hooooo! 

My little Bug is getting more excited about being baptized in a few months.  Of course there is plenty of time in between then and now, but it is still fun to think about it.  I can't believe how big she is getting.  I miss her being a baby, but I sure adore how much of a little lady she is becoming.  I know she isn't a baby anymore. 

Jack is keeping me on my toes as usual.  A few weeks ago we were getting ready for church and he did NOT want my help.  He told me he was going to do it all on his own.  I was in the bathroom curling my hair and no matter how much pleading I tried in an attempt to help him, he would NOT have it.  He went to his room and decided he was getting ready.  He came out all dressed, I looked at the clock and realized we.were.late!!!

So we rushed out the door, got in the car, got to church (about 5 minutes might I add), and sat down at the nearest area to our "spot" as possible.  On a total side note, if anyone from church tells you they don't have a designated spot they typically like to sit in, they are lying!   Someone was in our spot, but there was room in between that person and the next family.  Most people would go sit in the back but me?  NO WAY!  I asked if they minded us sitting by them and the guy moved down and let us have the end.  What can I say?  A nice, smart guy right?  Jack being the clever boy he is, decided to sit RIGHT by the guy.  Good ol' Jack.  I looked over two minutes later and noticed that Jack didn't have his shoes tied.  I told him to come over and started to tie his shoes. 

Upon looking at the shoes, I noticed his pants didn't look familiar at all.  I was trying to figure out where we had gotten them.  Now you have to know, we receive hand-me-downs from friends and a cousin.  For the life of me, I could not remember these pants.  Upon further investigation and really looking hard, I realized his pants were inside out!!!  Oh the shame.  The guy we were sitting next to completely noticed and had a smirk on his face.  I took Jack to put them on correctly and we hurried and got back into the meeting. 

A good five minutes or so later I noticed movement out of the corner of my eye.  The guy was unbuttoning Jack's shirt!!!  I was in total shock.  In turns out Jack's buttons weren't buttoned correctly and I completely overlooked it as I was so focused on the pants.  Doh!!!    I will admit that I was beyond embarrased and more in shock than anything. 

I decided that no matter what, I will be helping Jack to get ready on Sundays.  Hahahahahah  

What embarrasing things have happened to you or  your kids lately?  I would love to hear them.  Comment away!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Epoch Design AmAzInG Giveaway

Back in December I won an amazing set of furniture that I had to drive down to Arizona to pick up.  Some people thought that I was crazy for driving all the way down there just for furniture.  I will tell you the truth- my son didn't have a bed at the time.  (His toddler bed had broken and he would either sleep on his floor, my floor, climb in bed with me, or I would find him on the couch.)  I decided to get the furniture set and give it to Bug and give her old bed to Jack.  Sounds exhausting huh? 

I will admit that I couldn't believe what great quality the furniture was.  Epoch has great, quality furniture and I couldn't be happier with her bedroom set.  My daughter can be really rough on things and I see that the furniture really holds up well, and is made from quality material.  Epoch is such a great brand of furniture available at Costco.  My daughter was so excited when she found out the set was for her. 

As a single mom who doesn't receive child support and doing it all on my own, I will admit that most times I can't afford things that I would love to buy for my kids.    My kids are always thankful for everything they do receive.  If I had the money, I would totally buy more furniture from Epoch. 

Right now if you head here, Epoch is have such an amazing giveaway!!!!   They are giving away $1,000.00 to spend on Epoch Design online.  I am telling you from personal experience that this is an amazing prize.  They will send it directly to your home.  That is right- no having to drive and pick it up.!!  

I can't tell you enough about Epoch.   I wish I could show you just how great their furniture is.  You really should check out their site.  If I won, I would totally pick a nice bunk bed for Jack.  It would be awesome when we have sleep overs so the guest could sleep on an actual bed and not having to camp out on the floor.

Head over to Epoch and enter now!


I apologize for being away so long.  I have just had so much going on in life between work, kids, the house, church and everything else.  Let's face it, it has been a "so much to do, not enough time" sort of thing around our house.  Obviously I have taken a bit of a break from really blogging. 

However, Sassy is back!!!!!!!!!!!!

In the midst of my not blogging and what not, I really haven't been entering giveaways or any of that fun stuff.  I haven't been following and reading up on blogs that I enjoy either.  I must admit that I have missed a lot of it. 

How has everyone been?

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Simple Pleasures

I just love the sound of my laughing, happy children.  Enough said.  :)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Recently a dear friend of mine had a major health scare.  He is older and obese.  He is a sweet guy and I couldn't help but be scared when I heard that he was in the hospital.  The first news we heard was that he had bronchitis.  I have had bronchitis before and I knew how that felt.  However, I never had to stay in the hospital.  A couple days later it was bronchial pnemonia.  Upon further investigation by the doctors on staff, it was discovered that he had had an extremely serious heart attack.  He had actually been at work and had this heart attack on the jobsite.  The saddest thing is that he didn't even know he had it.  With being so unhealthy and smoking like a chimney, he just went on his way.  Imagine if you will going three whole weeks without knowing anything was wrong. 

When in the hospital and finding this information out, it was soon planned that he would have  surgery to assist this.  However, upon the operating table, it was discovered that it was more serious than they could have ever imagined.  They couldn't continue with the surgery.  When he woke up, doctors informed him that they couldn't do anything for his heart.  He would have to have a heart transplate.  I couldn't imagine being told that from a doctor.  It broke my heart when he and his wife told me.  It took everything I had not to immediately cry on the phone.  Now he has to wait to be put on the list after approval from the doctors after numerous tests are conducted.  They had to transport him to another state for these tests.  It is just a matter of time.  When talking to him, I have to admit that it didn't sound as if he had much hope.

This entire situation brought me to think of my life.  I am not ready to go.  I have so much to do before I die.  Life is a gift.  For the past couple years though, I have been stuck in a little hurdle and just been going through the motions of life.  Not out of depression, but out of just not having  much hope.  Shaking myself out of the mundane habits I have been living for this long is my current road block.

My birthday is fast approaching.  As I look around me in my current life, I want a lot of change in my upcoming years.  I really want to get healthy, travel more, enjoy life and not let my finances dictate my opportunities.  I want to become happier, satisfied, and more caring.  I want to be a better person.  I want to be more accepting of people and things in my life.  That might sound kind of broad to some of you, but I know what I mean by that. 

Hold the ones tight that are dear to you.  Don't forget to let them know how much you love them.  You never know what can happen.  Each day is an extra blessing. 

Friday, January 13, 2012

Financial Sins

Confession time.  What are your biggest financial sins?  Be honest now.  Me?  Well, I will be honest and tell everyone that even though I am really thrifty and frugal, I DON'T HAVE A BUDGET!  I know that all the books and sites say that should be your first step when it comes to personal finance.  I just haven't done it.  Never.  I went to and then I just stop and put it off.  So for me that is huge.  I am sure I could save even more money than I am now.

Another really bad thing that I have a tendency to do is not paying my utilities on time.  It isn't that I don't have the money for them either.  I just literally put them to the side and forget about them.  In turn I add late fees on mine.  Pathetic huh?

Head over to this site and enter for a chance at some cash to confess your financial sins.  I am trying to win the $500 Financial Blogger competition–   Crossing my fingers that I win!  Check it out now.  :)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The 10 Pound Challenge

As a way to keep myself accountable, I decided to join in the 10 Pound Challenge over at Newlyweds On a Budget!  check it out.

 I joined the 10-pound Challenge hosted by Newlyweds on a Budget. Lose 10 pounds in 12 weeks, win $$$. Are you in?


So I weighed myself the other day and I am down by 6 pounds!  I am so proud of myself.  I haven't had one Mountain Dew at all since this year.  Considering today is the 12th day of the year, I am on a great track.  I have been eating much smaller portions (with the exception of a binge last night, but that is a whole other topic).  I have been drinking plenty of water.  I feel much better about myself sticking to losing this weight.  I can't say it hasn't been hard, because it has. 

At work we have my beloved Mountain Dew stocked in the fridge.  Those dang cans stare back at me every day when I grab my lunch or snack from there.  I would be lying if I said I haven't been really tempted to partake of a can here or there.  However, I have held firm and haven't had one.  My coworker even mentioned how it wouldn't hurt me to have one from time to time.  I know myself better than that though.  I am the type of person who will internally decide it won't hurt to have one here or there and then before I know it, I will be back to my soda habit.  I am not strong enough to allow myself  to have one. 

The hardest has been yesterday and today.  My boss has a tendency to come unglued over anything.  When I say anything, I mean quite literally anything.  One minute you are talking to Bobo the Clown and joking and the next second he just starts snapping and screaming like a Shark.  Ummmmmm..... for what reasoning?  Nothing good enough. 

Well, he was freaking out over stuff and I was so stressed out.  It took everything I had not to have a soda.  In the past I have relied heavily on food and soda for comfort.   I wish I could say that I am able to get away from the stress. I can't though. If only it were that easy. Some days I would love to scream back, but I know that will lead me to the unemployment lines. I can't afford to be unemployed. What is the hardest part of it all is that you never know who you are going to be talking to with him. Will today bring a caring, compassionate boss or will it be the psychotic jerk? Hmmmm.... 

After such a long, hard day yesterday, I did what any normal person would do.  I turned to food.  We went grocery shopping and I picked up a loaf of french bread while there because it sure looked good.  While cooking dinner for myself someone ate half of it!!  Can you believe it?  I looked around to see which of my kids had gotten into it, but I didn't see it torn apart like some crazy animal had sneaked it away from my sight like I would have expected had one of them gotten into it.  It was cut ever so neatly by the sharp knife immediately surrounding the bread.  Then I realized something.  I didn't think it was my kids after all.  It turned out that it was me!  Oh the shame of it.

While eating it, I focused on how good the bread was and about how plain crappy work had been.  I snatched some of the kids' yummy chicken nuggets that were just finished from the oven.  Mmmmmm how tasty.  They need to cool down so I will put them over here so the kids don't burn their mouths.  I don't mind if I do.  Next thing I know I smell the aroma of those fresh curly fries.  Oooooo I smell those .  I think they are almost done.  Oooooo I don't mind if I do have some of these tasty curls as well.  Mmmm. 

One nugget turned into 5, which then turned into some more...  You know where I am going with this.  I had purposely made that food for the kids while making me a big pot of some goolash which has chicken, tomato juice, macaroni noodles (don't knock me- I like noodles and yes I know they are full of carbs), onions, a few seasonings and some garlic.  Much healthier than nuggets and fries. 

Instead of exercising or cleaning or doing anything at all productive, I sat my fat butt in my easy chair and watched the T.V. which had nothing good on, but I still wanted to watch it.  Somehow we ended up on Wheel of Fortune.  Yes, I knew plenty of the answers before the contestants guessed them.  I had my warm, cozy blanket on me and next thing I knew I had some added weight on my chair. 

As I opened my eyes at around 2 in the morning, I discovered that added weight was my sleeping son who just wanted to cuddle with Mommy.  We both had been out cold for a long time.  I resorted to my bed. 

When I woke up this morning, I felt total guilt for what I had done.  There is no way I am going to get to my goal by eating like that!  I need to be off my butt and doing stuff instead of just sitting there and doing nothing.  Even though experts say to weigh yourself once a week, I decided to weigh myself again this morning (as I had done the day before).  Two whopping more pounds than the prior morning!  Wow, you stupid scale.  You must be wrong.  There is no way.

And then I thought about it.  No, the scale is right.  I need to just continue and be better.  On the positive side, I have lost about 6 pounds.  I just need to be stronger and not resort to my friends- food.  Dang you food.  Dang you for tasting so good and parading yourself in front of my eyes like I am some crazed animal.  Dang you!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A Relationship

Last night I was lying in bed and texting a friend.  I don't remember what brought up the conversation or anything, but in our conversation my love life was brought up.  I mentioned how I was tired of being a single mom and how frustrating it can get sometimes.  I love my kids to death and would never change anything I have done.  I love them so much more than I can ever explain.  For those who really know me, you know that I believe in God and go to church.  I stated to my friend that maybe God just didn't think I was prepared and ready for a guy yet.  Her response was along the lines that if I don't really have God as a priority and focus on Him, then it is pointless.  She said to focus more on my realtionship with the Creator.  "When you forget about your pursuit of a husband, then He will send you someone."

Her response was so clear and made me think for a while.  I love God!  I do.  I wholeheartedly love him.  But part of me kind of hurt when she said that.  I don't know how to explain it.  Guilt?  Yeah, possibly.  Maybe I haven't put focus in the right areas.  I think I need to work on that more than anything.  I need to have a real relationship with Him. 

I have never been one to preach or put my nose in everyone's business when it comes to religion.  That is one topic I like to leave alone.  I choose to agree to disagree.  Can't we just be in harmony and not bickering about religion?  There are so many religions out there.  I won't turn this blog into some preaching sermon and insist that you all agree and convert to my church if you aren't already. 

Today I have been thinking a lot though.  I am left thinking how God has a plan.  I struggle sometimes trusting his timeframe.  In my mind I just keep thinking the following:
Remember that He has a plan.  Everything happens in HIS timeframe.

So many times in my life I have prayed and prayed thinking that He just didn't answer and that for some strange reason God didn't grant my prayers.  However, looking around I see how He has had a plan the whole time. 

From the time I was little I always wanted to own a house.  I remember that was the great, American dream.  I worked hard and "somehow" got working in pretty decent jobs.  I had steady employment and was making okay money.  I thought it was time to buy a house.  I wanted a house so bad.  It was when prices were sky high and credit was easy.  I will never forget putting an offer in for a house.  Let's be honest- there was no way I could even afford one, but I put in an offer anyway.  I was determined to be a homeowner.  My payments would have been over 50 percent of my income and it was a fixer upper house AND THE MORTGAGE COMPANY WAS GOING TO APPROVE IT!!!  Seriously, they were insane.  I was even more insane for being so convinced that I could do it.  Well, I put my offer in for their asking price and the bank came back and said that wasn't enough!  It was a short sale.  I wasn't prepared to increase my monthly payments any more.  I prayed and I prayed so hard at that point.  I was so mad later when it didn't work out. 

Now at this point looking back to then, I know my prayers were answered IN HIS TIME not mine.  There was no way I could have afforded the payments.  Not even close.  I was so set on having it though.  As a look around me, I have an ever increasing respect for God's timeframe.  It is hard to notice when you are praying so hard and think that He has let you down. 

I am hoping that maybe this whole "OH MY GOSH I WANT TO GET MARRIED ALREADY AND STOP BEING SINGLE" crap will be the same way.  From my earliest memories, I remember thinking I would find a husband at 18 and live happily ever after as they did in stories.  I was so convinced that that was how it was going to work.  I dreamed of my wedding and all the details and colors that would be involved.  I was determined and focused.  hahaha  I wanted to have 7 kids and live in a big house, being a single mom and watching my kids while my husband was working.  I would be the best mommy in the world.  I would bake the best homemade cookies.  I would be the prettiest and funnest.  I was going to be the best wife in the world.  My husband and I would grow old together and be happy.  I wanted it all. 

Now that I look around to the present day, wow!  Time passes and wounds heal. 

I know that I need to not worry about a relationship with a guy right now.  I think I need to focus more on the Lord, my kids and myself.  As hard as it is to say, when the time comes then it will come.  Patience. 

Monday, January 2, 2012

A New Year, A New Start

Today I feel strong.  I haven't had any Mountain Dew yesterday or today.  The only drink I have consumed has been water.  I feel so proud and accomplished of myself, considering how much Mountain Dew I would consume on such a consistent basis. 

Last night I was on the exercise bike for, oh....about 10 minutes or so. Yeah I am a total slacker on that.  I just couldn't stay and focus on that.  However, this morning we walked up to the park around 10:00 which is uphill.  While there I actually ran around and played with the kids.  I normally sit on the bench and watch them play.  Our friends came and met up with us to join in the fun.  In addition to playing with them, I walked all around the park with my friend for a long time while there ( I would say over a good hour though I didn't time it or anything).  It helped having a friend there to talk to.  It felt awesome.  When we were finished, we walked home, though the kiddos were pretty tired after being on the go that whole time at the park.  We just got home about half an hour ago (1:50).  So I was up off my butt the whole time.    I will be honest and say that my feet hurt now, but I am so proud and happy with myself for sticking with this and working hard. 

When we got home, we drank plenty of water and had some Progresso canned soup.  My choice was the Beef Barley.  Pretty yummy stuff and has plenty of veggies.  I liked it and so did the kids.  It was very filling and sustainable.  I had a whole can to myself.  As I sit here typing, I think I am going to have to work on my portions in time, but right now it is baby steps.  Just having to work on it. 

Yes, it is only the 2nd day of the year but I am still on track.  In talking to my friend at the park while we were walking, we talked about resolutions and goals.  She mentioned how her and her family plan on putting together vision boards together as a family for what they plan to do this year.  I think that is such a great idea.  While walking we talked in detail about some of our goals for this year and what we plan to do and I thought of some other things that I would like to do this year. 

In addition to losing a significant amount of weight, I have some other things that I want to work on.  I want to work on having better self confidence and happiness.  I really would love to start dating again and hopefully find a good guy.  I know so many people who don't have any problems with dating and meeting people.  I, however, have a hard time for some reason.  Let's be honest- when you basically just go to work, get the kids, go home and do the motherly things without any additional time for going out, it is hard to meet people.  I don't really go out.  On the weekends I go to church and let's face it, there is noone there.  I just can't seem to find date worthy men.  Of course, I need to work on myself and be happy with myself first. 

I want to read more.  I want to stay off Facebook more.  I want to be more organized.  I want to be more serious about my blogging.  I want to be happier in general.  I want to go out more often and not just stay home all the time.  I need to make more friends in my life.  I need to work on being a more patient mommy.  Man, sometimes that can be tough.  There are so many things I would love to do new this year.

I think I am going to work on a vision board sometime soon and have it all put together.  With this new year I have high hopes for myself.  Here's to you 2012!  A new year and a new start.  Thank you, I really need you.