Friday, September 28, 2012

Mossimo Women's Ruffled Ponte Jackets - 30% Off Target Daily Deal

These Mossimo Women's Ruffled Ponte jackets are gorgeous! And perfect for the cool fall mornings to layer over a nice top.

Even better, they're 30% off today!

And, as always, free shipping for orders over $50.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Getting Paid to Shop at Walgreens - New Points Program

If you've never shopped at Walgreens you're missing out on some great deals. It doesn't take *that* much time to browse an ad and see what the best deals are for each week.

This last week's ad introduced a new rewards system called "Balance Rewards". These rewards accrue when you make purchases but there are also bonus rewards each week for certain purchases.

I purchased 10 packs of the new ID Gum and earned 5,000 points, which equates to $5.

The gum only cost me $5 out of pocket because it was on sale and I had coupons. So essentially the gum is free (although I don't tend to look at it that way because I'm still OUT $5 with another $5 to spend there later on at the store ... getting twice the amount of products for the same money).

With the Balance Rewards, Walgreens is also STILL doing Register Rewards. So I got back another $2 in Register Rewards for getting the Blistek chapstick for $2 out of pocket.

Then I got two twenty four packs of water for $1.99 a piece and 500 Bonus Rewards. We don't drink bottled water on a regular basis. This is more for trips and our emergency stock pile. At $0.08 a bottle this is a stock up price!

All in all...

Total Out of Pocket = $6.41 (My total savings was 78% off retail)
Reward Points = 6,000 (At 10,000 I'll earn $10 rewards)
Register Rewards = $2

Essentially I gave Walgreens $6.41 and they gave me back $7 to spend on other stuff we need at their store. Not too shabby.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Dealing with Disappointment

I mentioned I was going to go to the fair for the third time in this post. I was really looking forward to it because I'd be all by myself ... except hubby was going up to work and I'd be riding with him and get to have lunch with him on his break. so often happens, plans changed. As disappointed as I was, I feel like I have grown a lot in the last few years because my response wasn't pleading or trying to force the situation to be what I wanted. Instead I thought about it and just went back home.
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11
God has plans for me and trying to FORCE my plans into being I interfere with what HE has designed. I *could* have figured out a way to still go to the fair but it would have cost me more money than our original plans. And I'd have to rely on someone else (who is wonderful and did offer) to give me a ride home.

So often in the past I've found myself trying to find a way to make my plans happen...through all kinds of maneuvering  bargaining, planning. And usually if something is not meant to happen and I try to force it, I screw it up.

Being home for the day, I have tons of stuff to do - including my job, which I can thankfully do from home - and getting the house ready for Marshal's birthday. Maybe this is the path I was supposed to take for the day.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Should I Get a Target Debit Card?

Shopping at Target can be dangerous for me, but it's a thrill I enjoy. Between coupons and the store itself, I LOVE shopping there.

My most recent excursion resulted in several free items including air freshener, razors, and really inexpensive cleaning spray.

24850_The Shops at Target + Spend $50 Get Free Shipping on Select Items

At checkout I heard the cashier talking to another gal about the Target Visa. I don't want or need another Visa but the cashier also mentioned that you can get a Target DEBIT card and earn Save 5% When Using Your Target REDcard.

Well blow me over. I always thought it had to be a target now I have to decide if I should switch my debit card to a Target one.

I don't use my current debit card all that much. I usually use my VISA and pay it off every month. Every once in awhile I grab my debit...usually by accident. We earn points on the Visa card that we turn in for gift cards several times a year. I'm pretty sure it doesn't equal 5% of our purchases though. I've tried doing the math but my brain just can't wrap around the math...1 point per $1 and it takes $6,000 points for a $50 gift card. Somebody?

So do we get a target debit card for those times we shop at Target or should I just keep using the Visa card to earn points towards gift cards????

Dyson Asthma & Allergy Cleaning Accessory Kit - 30% off Target Daily Deal

Does your family struggle with allergies? Or just dust? Maybe asthma. Mine has all of these. 

This Dyson Asthma & Allergy Cleaning Accessory Kit is a great option to add to your cleaning repertoire. 

Get it today for 30% off ... and get free shipping with orders over $50.

Monday, September 24, 2012

New Earrings - Awareness Ribbons

Combining jewelry with awareness...I decided I like the looks of my handmade earrings using sterling silver awareness ribbons. I was looking through my charms and had some extras and experimented with some pretty smooth Amethyst rondelles.

There are colors assigned to all sorts of causes. Ribbons are our symbol to show others we support or want to raise awareness of a certain cause. I'm going to try to get stones that match all the different colors for causes. I'll also get some additional kinds of charms (i.e. Autism awareness puzzle pieces) and possibly some gold filled ribbons.

Part of the sale from each pair will go toward a charity ... I'm too bipolar to choose just one ... throughout each year I donate to American Cancer Society, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, CareNet Pregnancy Center, and Saving Shelter Pets. :)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Fred Meyer, Walgreens, Target Deals 9/23-9/29/12

It's Sunday, which means new ads for Target, Fred Meyer, and three favorite stores.

I don't see a TON of things that I need to run out and get but there are a few good deals out there.

Fred Meyer

Twix, Snickers, or Milky Way Candy
     2 for $4 ($2 a piece)
     Coupon $1.50 off Three bags
     Buy 3 = $6 - $1.50 = $4.50 for three bags
     Final Price $1.50 per bag

Fred Meyer Water 24 pack
     Fred Meyer Coupon $1.99
     Limit 2

Tillamook Shredded Cheese 8 oz
     4 for $5 = $1.25 per bag

Kotex Pads 14-24 ct, Tampons 18 ct, Liners 33-64 ct
     $2.99 each
     Buy 2 = $5.98
     Use $2 off 2 Kotex Natural Balance Printable Coupon (not valid on liners 14-22 ct)
     Final Price $1.99 per package

V05 Shampoo or Conditioner
     $0.79 a piece with In Ad Coupon
     A great price even without a manufacturer's coupon.

For a more extensive Fred Meyer list visit The Coupon Project's Fred Meyer Coupon Deals post.


Gain Laundry Detergent 24-32 loads
     $4.99 each
     Buy 2 and get 1,000 Bonus Rewards
     Use $2/2 Coupon (found in 9/16 Red Plum Insert)
     Final Price = $3.99 per Bottle plus 1,000 Bonus Rewards

More deals can be found at The Coupon Project's Rite Aid and Walgreens deal post.


Head over to Hip 2 Save's blog post for this week's Target savings. I don't see anything I can't live without this week at Target but these would be my favorite deals...

Magnum Ice Cream Bars 3 pk $3.25
     Use the $1/1 Magnum Bars 3-Pack Ice Cream coupon found here
     Final cost only $2.25 each!

Old El Paso Seasoning Packets $0.79
     Use the $0.50/1 Old El Paso Product coupon found Here
     (or, use the $.60/3 Old El Paso Products coupon found in the 9/9 SS)
     Final cost as low as $0.29!

Have a great week!

40% off C9 By Champion Men's Jacket - Target Daily Deal

What a great looking jacket!

This is a great deal at 40% off.

Plus, don't forget you get free shipping for orders over $50.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Avoidance and Imperfection - Compulsive Overeating Overtakes Me

It's been a rough couple of weeks...or months depending on how I look at it. when you're in denial it's hard to determine exactly when things started going south.

Food has always been a struggle for me. Our whole family struggles with addictions...smoking, alcohol, gambling, runs through my veins to be addicted to something.

Just like an alcoholic who sucks up drink after drink after drink with no thought and no care for consequences...I eat. And eat. And eat more. And then a little more.

I only stop when I'm so full I could throw up (which I don't...I have never been able to binge and purge which would officially make me bulimic). The first phase of Bulimia definitely applies to me:
"Recurrent episodes of binge eating, with an episode characterized by (1) eating in a discrete period of time, usually less than two hours, an amount of food that is significantly larger than most people would eat during a similar period of time and under similar circumstances; and, (2) a sense of lack of control over eating during the episode, such as a feeling that one cannot stop eating."
Oh yeah. That's me. I clearly fall into the Binge Eating or Compulsive Eater category.
"Compulsive overeaters will typically eat when they are not hungry. Their obsession is demonstrated in that they spend excessive amounts of time and thought devoted to food, and secretly plan or fantasize about eating alone."
I'm pretty sure it's a miracle that I'm not over 200 pounds. I the beginning of the year I was 207 and I dropped down to 175 but I've slowly been seeing that number creep back up and I know it's because I've lost control ... again.

For six months or so I was doing okay. Tracking my food and calories...staying within my limits most days. I wasn't perfect and I still had episodes, but for the most part I was moving the right direction....which was a smaller and healthier me. It's not so much about how heavy I am. It's MUCH more important that I'm not giving myself diabetes and that I'm able to keep up with an active little boy.

When exactly I stopped focusing I'm not sure...but I know that it's been worse than it has been in a LONG time. I'm absolutely miserable but at the same time ... even though I know I could logically stop ... I can't.

I've actually been avoiding blogging this because if I ignored it I could pretend that I could control it myself. Which I obviously can't.

Friday, September 21, 2012

First Soccer Practice

Marshal started soccer on Sunday. Who decides to schedule a class for three year olds at 2:30 in the afternoon? Isn't that a universal nap time?

Anyway, I managed to keep him from taking a nap and he was excited to go to his first class but this whole nap time issue may trip us up in weeks to come. I signed him up for soccer even though I HATE (yes, I capitalized it) soccer.

It is a completely boring sport to me. I like baseball better and I know lots of people think that's pretty boring to watch.

But I sucked it up and got him enrolled. He's also enrolled in swimming lessons again so between swimming and soccer he'll have activities three days a week. Do you think that's too much for a three year old?

Anyway...I admire Coach Curtis, Marshal's new soccer coach. You have to have a lot of patience to put up with trying to "coach" three year olds. I wouldn't be able to handle it.

Marshal was first nervous...then excited...then quiet and tired and wanting mommy to kick the ball. He preferred to pick up the ball and throw it - maybe he'll be a goalie!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Puyallup Fair Replay

We went to the fair once already but decided we needed to go again. We got free tickets with our Rodeo tickets so Marshal, his Nanny, and I went up to see daddy who was working the fair for the day.

Talk about spoiled. Marshal was the only kid who got to go INSIDE the cop car (it was his daddy's after all) and on a cop motorcycle.

I'm Winning!

Oh my gosh! My first Roller Coaster!

Pure Joy

Bubble Fight!
On this trip I got Marshal a "Dizzy" pass...which meant unlimited rides. Oh dear Lord! This kid did not slow down all day! And I took way too many pictures...but the look on his face on most of them was just priceless.

I admit...I threw up after the Tilt-A-Whirl. He wanted to go on it so badly and for some reason he met the height requirement. So I sucked it up and took him on it...bad decision. He loved it. He was laughing and giggling and having a blast. As I was getting more and more green. Not ok.

All in all it was a fabulous day. Marshal had a total blast and it was divine seeing the joy on his face at experiencing new things. It's going to be very hard to not spoil him this much as he gets older!!!

And even though I've been to the fair twice already, I'm going again! :) This time I'll hitch a ride with the hubs who is working so I can get in free and not pay for parking (or gas to drive up). I'll get to walk around and do the stuff I want to do.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling 45% Off - Target Daily Deal 9/18/12

I'm a HUGE JK Rowling fan...I have all the Harry Potter books and movies...even have the books on CD (and on my iPhone!).

Her new book, The Casual Vacancy, comes out soon and you can get it 45% off at Target today only. It is released on 9/27.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Angry Birds Boys PJ Pants - Target Daily Deal 9/17/12

Head over to Target and get Boys PJ Pants with Angry Birds on them for only $8 a piece! Stock up - these would make a great Christmas gift.

These aren't sold in more pairs to save even more money! Buy 2 get 10% off...Buy 3 get 20% off!


What Do I Want to Be?

Remember having those discussions in school with your friends? What do you want to be when you grow up? At one point, all my friends wanted to be teachers. Then interior decorators. A couple of my friends knew they wanted to be mommies.

Will I be a Fireman? Police Officer? Architect?
I'm not a teacher. I'm not an interior decorator. I am a mom and a wife. Those two things are constants in my life. Everything else is a constant state of change.

Career wise, I was with a large financial company for a long time - ten years...I left as an Analyst and now work as an agent with Aflac for the last two and a half years. I love working most days but lately have been feeling such tugging to be away from the office and back at home.

How do you make a decision to be XYZ when you grow up? I've never been a person who has known exactly what I want to do. I got my Bachelor's degree and it's pretty worthless career wise (Political Science).

There are days like today when I absolutely love my job and am so thankful for what I do. When I get to help clients in their times of stress...a client had a MAJOR accident involving amputation...that is when I really do my best. I hate selling. But I love helping.

It's a fine line...a balancing act. Tomorrow we are going to go to a movie matinee with Marshal. Today I worked until after 4 pm. Friday I'll take off to go to the fair again. I figure as long as I don't say yes to too many extra curricular activities on top of work and Marshal I shouldn't get so overwhelmed that I can't handle life. Let's hope!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Puyallup Fair Rodeo - Good Times

We headed out to the Puyallup Fair (also known as the Western Washington Fair) ... the largest single attraction held in Washington State, and the top ten fairs in the United States. It's big. We never do get to see everything when we go.

This year I decided that Marshal would love to see a Rodeo. I was right. :) It was a BLAST!

The bull riding is the main attraction and of course comes at the very end. Marshal was getting antsy and wanting to go "play" (i.e. ride the rides). But when the bulls came out he was pretty impressed. Even hubby (who was grouchy from only five hours of sleep) enjoyed himself.

The video above is boring for the first 54 seconds...and then it's heart stopping.

Finally we hit the rides and my son impressed me with his much so that we are going back for a redo day and more rides! :)

A Happy Face

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Fossils are Fun!

Part of my "inheretance" from my grandfather (who hasn't passed yet, but is in a home) is his entire rock and lapidary collection...which includes a TON (literally) of fossils.

What are Fossils?

According to Wikipedia:

Ammonite Fossils
"Fossils (from Latin fossus, literally "having been dug up") are the preserved remains or traces of animals (also known as zoolites), plants, and other organisms from the remote past."
Well isn't that dry and boring?

To me, fossils aren't super terms of rock excitement. I prefer pretty rocks like garnets, perodite, charoite, etc. But fossils are just kind of...dull. To me.

I can appreciate fossils for their historical value and in some cases their earthy beauty. I made a pendant out of a piece of fossilized tree. Which, I must admit, is pretty cool.

Apparently it's pretty hard to become a fossil...even though I feel like I have tons of the things from my grandpa's collection.
Fossilization is an exceptionally rare occurrence, because most components of formerly living things tend to decompose relatively quickly following death. In order for an organism to be fossilized, the remains normally need to be covered by sediment as soon as possible. However there are exceptions to this, such as if an organism becomes frozen, desiccated, or comes to rest in an anoxic (oxygen-free) environment. 

I had no idea. I've been around fossils a lot...mostly petrified wood which decorated my grandparent's home and gardens. I never really saw it as a big deal but when you read about how rare it is and what it takes to's kind of a big deal. :)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Savings at Walgreens 9/10/12

It wasn't a super organized planned trip, but I had a few extra minutes and had seen some deals posted on Facebook so I decided to try Walgreens.

I paid $10 out of pocket and received $7 in Register Rewards to spend later.

I got...

7 x Dawn @ $0.24 each
7 x Dawn @ $0.49 each
4 x Wet & Wild Nail Polish @ FREE
2 x Suave @ $1 each plus $2 Register Rewards Back
1 x Infusium Shampoo @ $3.99 + $3 Register Rewards Back
2 x Kleenex 4 Packs @ $3 each plus $2 Register Rewards Back
2 x Dove Chocolate Bars @ $0.34 each
3 x Good & Natural Bars @ FREE

Not too shabby for a quick stop in...Walgreens is so fun!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Kids Need Their Daddies

Okay, before I move on...I realize that there are wonderful single mothers out there who do their best and raise wonderful kids. This is not a dig on single mothers or looking down on any woman trying to do their best to raise a well adjusted kid. I think my mom did a pretty good job raising me and my brother. :)

This is about the value of dads. Because as much as our society tries to put dads down and make them seem like baboons who aren't necessary, good dads ARE important.

My father died when I was 8 and I can assure you I am not better off without him...nor was my little brother. We both could have sorely used his guidance as we grew up...and I certainly needed his influence when it came to boys in my life as a young girl.

This article brought tears to my eyes.

"Not one of the men I knew as a child would consider raising a hand to a woman. A man who would hit a woman was a coward, not a man, a nothing, in their eyes. Any man stupid enough to do a thing like that was very likely to have the other men thereabouts take them out some night and “knock some sense into him.”
It never entered my mind to be afraid of anything when I was little. Whatever bad was out there, I believed my daddy would make sure it never touched me. I can not remember a time when he didn’t seem as big and safe as a fort."

My daddy taught me to to be independent. I was a "tom boy" who loved playing with boy cousins and having slug fights. Of course, he only had eight years with me before he passed away from cancer. Even in those short eight years he had a significant impact on my imagine if he'd lived!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Struggling with Compulsive Eating

My journey in healthy eating started in January when I returned from my vacation to Las Vegas. It lasted a good six months and over 20 pounds lighter.

It has now stalled and started going backward. I've fallen back into old habits and compulsions.

I am a compulsive eater...once I start it can be very hard for me to stop. Even to the point of making myself sick. Lately my sugar intake has been out of control. I'm not sleeping well. I'm moody (more so than normal). And I've been really, really thirsty.

My experience with Gestational Diabetes was depressing and definitely an eye opener. I did not enjoy the insulin shots.

In my head, I know logically what I need to do...but I don't know how to get around this compulsion. I want to...I don't want to give myself diabetes. I don't want to gain that weight back. And I definitely want to sleep!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Book Review - Through the Door (The Thin Veil) by Jodi McIsaac

Having a Kindle has certainly helped me expand my reading list. Prior to the Kindle, the only books I would read were authors I "trusted" for their stories and writing. James Patterson. Vince Flynn (still a favorite). Patricia Cornwell (not as big a fan of her new stuff).

Kindle offers free books and I managed to snag Through the Door (The Thin Veil) by Jill McIsaac a few weeks ago. Sometimes free books are just okay and it's no big deal because it was free.  I must say though that this book exceeded all my expectations.

Cedar is a single mother, left by her lover unexpectedly and with no explanation. She didn't even get a chance to tell him she was pregnant. There's some obvious tension between Cedar and her own mother as Cedar juggles the obligations of raising her daughter, Eden, and working to support them.

One night...their whole world turned upside down. Eden has an unusual ability. And it's directly related to her  father's family...or is it?

This was such a great book and it totally sucked me in. I generally only read while I'm working out on the elliptical machine at the gym but this book had me reading other times too.

There was no inappropriate sexuality - though there was some hints to it but it was tasteful and not graphic. There is some violence but it is fantasy violence that doesn't bother me.

Most importantly I really loved the characters and the story line. This is Jill McIsaac's first book and I can't wait for her next one!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Making Blackberry Jelly

We went down to my grandfather's house over the weekend and hubby happened to notice some blackberries growing up really high on top of a huge Holly bush. Seriously huge. It required a very large orchard ladder to even reach the blackberries and we still couldn't reach them all. But we managed to get a nice size bowl full to take home.

I decided that it was time to make jelly. I've never made any sort of jam or jelly before but my mom has so she came over to help.

In the meantime, I figured we might need more so I took Marshal out the next morning to find a blackberry patch. Thank goodness for Facebook...I posted for help finding a good spot and hit the mother load. Tons of blackberries, easily accessible for Marshal and I to pick.

Together with what we picked the day before, I thought we'd have enough to make jelly. I'm glad we picked more. We wouldn't have had enough from the batch picked at grandpa's. But with our extra we got some juice to freeze for next time and enough leftover berries to send home with Aunt Jennifer.

Crushing Berries for their Juice

Straining the juice through cheese cloth. 

Juice ready to boil.

Extra juice to freeze for next batch.

Final product. 4 mostly full pints of Blackberry Jelly.
Now the big question will does it taste. :)

Monday, September 3, 2012

Target Sale - $20 Gift Card with iPad Purchase

Looking for an iPad? Get a 16 GB iPad2 with Wifi and get a $20 gift card from Target.

It also ships FREE.

Deal good through 9/8/12.

Target Labor Day Sale - Women's Apparel, Accessories, Intimates, and Shoes!

To celebrate the three day weekend...also known as Labor Day...Target is offering an additional 10% off all women's apparel, accessories, intimates, and shoes! Use code TGBDJLN6. What will you find???

On clearance for $6.98 and then get another 10% off!