Wednesday, May 30, 2012

31 Days to Clean?? Challenge Accepted :)

Do you feel like you can't get on top of your housework lately? Well, unless you are perfect I am guessing you are sighing in agreement with me:) I am excited to be starting a new project called 31 Days to Clean with one of my favorite bloggers 31 Days To Clean Challenge  It starts next week.  She will  lead us through daily challenges and get us back into martha-stewart-style-housekeepers in just 31 days! Check it out and we can suffer through this together!

$1.50 off Birdseye Viola Printable Coupon :)

Follow this link for a $1.50 off a Birdseye Voila! This is a great coupon, get it while it's available!
COUPON Just click and print!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Taking the leap...

There is something you should know about me. You know how I seem fearless, confident and unaffected? Well those things are SOOOOO not me.  I spend much of life terrified, disappointed, and altogether insecure. I maintain a pretty good facade but truth be told-I am a bit of a mess.

I have so many dreams. To run a marathon, be a healthy weight, write a book, make this blog a success, go back to school...My head swirls with ambition but I seem to be a toe dipper at this stage in life.You know what I mean. When I should be diving into the pool, head first, ready to commit , I dabble. I dip a toe and see how it feels, maybe even a foot, and then I retreat.  I wrap up in a familiar towel and retire to my comfort zone. 

So it goes for my newest venture. I love photography. I greatly enjoy photographing my children and secretly feel pretty good about my talents in this area. I have long been considering starting a small photography business. I don't want a studio or anything, I would simply like to take pictures of families and their children in nice outdoor settings.  I love the process. The snapping, the editing, turning ordinary pictures into art...

But the voices start...what if you aren't any good? What if people aren't happy? What if someone realizes you are not a "trained" photographer? Worst of all, what if you are a joke? What if everyone sees you fail? What if you disappoint "them"? Oh the unnamed them, always meddling in my business...

I hate these voices. They have followed me my whole life. They have done a great job of keeping me from failing...but at what cost? They have also kept me from trying...

I am tired of dipping my toes, it is time to leap...but where to jump...and how???

Have you followed a dream, big or small? How did you take that first step? How did it turn out for you? Please share below!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

No more excuses...

I am one of those people who is constantly dieting.  I do so with pretty good success, but the weight always creeps back on as life takes over. I become too busy to work out, too busy to eat healthy, I start to slide. I am a master of excuses for this. It is too hard with all the junk around for the kids, too hard with all the events, parties, and family is just too hard.

But the other day I had an epiphany. I was at Planet Fitness and I saw her. She was an older lady accompanied by her husband struggling to get int the door. She had a visible limp, it appeared as if one of her legs was completely paralyzed as she drug it behind her. I pretended to be reading a brochure at the desk so I could hear her conversation with the attendant. It was actually her husband who spoke. " Hi, my wife wants so desperately to get in shape. I have told her I am not sure if she can even do it, but she would love to try the treadmill. If she can use it, we will buy memberships but we need to make sure she is...capable.., " he stuttered trying to find the least offensive way to describe their delicate situation.  I listened for the attendants answer, hoping he would oblige. He did, and showed the man and his wife over to the nearest treadmill.

The man had to life half of her body onto the deck and she used her arms to pull herself up the rest of the way. She was breathing heavily already, just from the struggle of getting across the room and onto the treadmill. I looked at her face and she was glowing in anticipation. She was thrilled to be here, to be taking the first step to being healthy.  Her husband started the deck cautiously rolling, on the lowest setting. He smiled at her with pride as she began to move her working leg and slide the other across the deck of the machine.

 Soon her smile faded as it became evident she could not keep this up. Even on the lowest setting her leg was becoming fatigued and they were in danger of becoming tangled. Her face dropped and tears welled up in her eyes. She went to speak but she didn't have to...her husband turned off the machine. Their eyes met. Her eyes disappointed and his reassuring.  He  helped her off the treadmill and onto the floor, she nearly fell multiple times. Her face was full of sadness and embarrassment. She was heavily winded and he slid a chair for her to sit in and gave her a bottle of water.

He went to the desk, presumably to tell the attendant that sadly they would not be needing the membership, but instead I heard him say they wouldn't need the memberships yet.  "Thank you so much. We will work harder. We will be back."

After going through all of that, they would be back. She would do it all again, as many times at it took.

Ouch. I was instantly humbled. How dare I complain. With my working arms and legs I still found so many excuses.  This lady, barely able to walk, was willing. I climbed on the treadmill with a new appreciation for my body. Yes it is overweight and not the one I would choose, but it is functional and strong. It has housed two children, seen me through my 32 years, and it would see me through this journey to fitness too.

Stop making excuses. There will always be reasons not to do it if you look for them. Find the reason TO DO IT and go!

Friday, May 25, 2012

RUN don't walk to Rite Aid!! Large Wipe Refills for $2.12 !!!

So I saw this online and had to try it for myself! Rite Aid is clearancing out baby wipes!! For those of us with kids in diapers these words sound more beautiful than the hallelujah chorus! In many cases these are unmarked so you have to have your friendly cashier price check them for you! The large soft packs of Huggies Sensitive wipes rang up at 75% off at ALL the stores I tried making them only... drum roll please....$2.12!! These packs refill your wipes box THREE times so that's about .70 a box! Also if you can find enough to spend $30. you get a $10 UP reward! I did-after hitting about 8 stores- which brought my total to right around $20 plus tax for 15 refill packs (equal to 45 refills)! If you have the .50 Huggies wipes coupon from the paper this deal can be EVEN sweeter!!

I also found that the pampers large soft packs Sensitive Thick Care Wipes were on clearance at some, but not all, of my stores for 75% off ($2.24)so it is worth checking those too! Remember these were UNMARKED so you have to have them scanned and your luck may vary:)

Other baby items I found on clearance were the Huggies night time pullups-princess style Reg-$12.49 on clearance for $6.24-$2 coupon=$4.24 a pack and Pampers Sensitive Diapers-Reg-$12.49 on clearance for $6.24 or half off :) Happy shopping!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Things not to say to THIS stay-at-home-mom

Sometimes I get frustrated when people talk to me about being a stay at home mom.  I am sure the things they say aren't meant to offend but still, it happens. I normally gracefully ignore them and continue the conversation, but just in case you ever hit me on a bad day. here are some things you should never say to me.

Do you work?

While this question is innocent it poses some problems for me. You see I do work, ALOT. I am a nanny, a house keeper, a cook, a bather, a driver, and a tear wiper. I am a teacher, an entertainer, a kisser of boo boo's and a lover. I get no breaks, not even for lunch. I can not call in sick. I can not leave work early. I can not quit my job. I am on call every minute of every day. My pay comes in the form of respect and druelly kisses. It is the best and most rewarding job in the world. But instead of answering in this way I say "no". This is not what you want to know. You want to know if I have a "real job"-a job with a paycheck and an office. 

I hate this question because I feel instantly like  need to defend my choice to stay home with my kids. I usually say something like...I have a degree in teaching (true) but I couldn't find a teaching job (true). BUT this is not the truth of the situation. I could get another job. I could work outside the home. I CHOOSE not to. I CHOOSE to do this. Not because I am lazy, not because it is easy, not because we don't need the money, but because it is important to me. Period.

This generally leads to another comment that kind of drives me crazy. 

I wish I could afford to do that.

Okay this is a touchy one so let me do a disclaimer first. I understand times are hard. I understand that it is TRULY impossible for some families to get by on one income. However, I think that many people would be surprised to see how little extra money they are making when they figure in the cost of having another vehicle with insurance, child care, work clothes, work education, work expenses, etc... 

Secondly, I don't like that this comment makes it sound like we are just rich and it's easy for us to do this. It's not. We give up a lot for me to stay home with the kids, but it was just that important to us. It was a choice and we made it KNOWING that we would not be able to live like 2 income families do. We don't. Here are some examples of things we have cut in the past or plan to cut in the future in order to make this work.

We don't buy new vehicles, we don't buy new clothes, we don't buy new much of anything honestly (we do buy new underwear, socks, and some obvious exceptions). We don't eat out a lot, we don't ever go shopping just for fun, I NEVER go to the mall. I get only a few haircuts a year, I don't get manicures, I gave up my massages. We don't travel often, we don't hire babysitters ( I am blessed here as my mom and sister are close buy and help with the kids A LOT). We don't go the movies often and we never buy popcorn, and we are getting ready to get rid of cable.

I also do a lot of little jobs to help with spending money. I sell on ebay, I sell our kids clothes online. I take surveys, belong to focus groups, etc.  I make A LOT of our food from scratch because it's cheaper. We eat based on what's on sale. We use coupons-lots of coupons. We can tomatoes, tomato sauce, pizza sauce, apples, applesauce and anything else we can get our hands on free or cheap!  We only buy bread at the bread outlet. There are lots more and we are always looking for new ways to cut. Any more ideas?? Please comment below!

That must be so nice.

Okay this one seems innocent enough, but sometimes it makes me laugh. Some days it really is-most days really. I love knowing I am the first face my kids see each day and that we are learning and playing together. But let me just say when you have the flu and the kids wake up at 5 AM, and the house is a mess and there is no end in sight, and you are feeding breakfast while prepping dinner, and someone spills grape juice on the carpet, and then while you are cleaning it up, a dog poops on the floor and a toddler is crawling towards it, and another kid is screaming help because she has climbed onto the counter and spilled a whole bowl of mashed strawberries on the is not it is entirely "unnice" LOL