Weekly Menu & Goals

Last week is what I’d term as a lost week.  Sunday started out productive.  I made 10 dozen cupcakes and had a nice dinner with the kids.  Monday I decorated the cupcakes and then Tuesday hit.  Tuesday morning I woke up at 2am sicker than a dog.  The rest of the week is a blur of cold medicine and work.  Thursday morning I finally waved the white flag and went home to crash until I crawled out of my sick room until today.  Ugh!

Needless to say that only that that I actually made off the menu was the chicken for the kids.  Mike and Belle were on their own for the rest of the week.  Goals – with the exception of the cupcakes not one thing was crossed off my list.

Unfortunately, while the worst of the illness has passed I still feel terrible.  The cold has settled in my head.  My ears are plugged and I can’t hear a thing, the sinus pressure is unbearable and my teeth feel like they aren’t connected to my head.  I’m going to try and self medicate for a few days (nettie pot/Muscinex) and then I’m going to go to the doctor to rule out a sinus infection.  At this point I think I just had a doozy of a cold that is going to take a few days to clear up.

Weekly Goals and Menu



Tonight at dinner I mentioned that today was December 7th.  I asked Belle and her boyfriend if they knew what day it was.  Both of them looked at me with blank stares which validated a story that I read today that we are a nation are forgetting about Pearl Harbor and the horrible, horrible day it was for our country.  Just like I’m sure one day kids will forget what 9/11 was and the impact it had on our nation.

While I could go on about my feelings about forgetting our history , I won’t.  I want to share with you a personal story about Pearl Harbor.

A number of years ago Mike and I had the opportunity to go to Hawaii for a few days.  I was asked to do a trade show in Oahu so Mike came with me and after I was done working we spent stayed a bit so that we could have our first “real” vacation.  While in Honolulu, one of our “must do’s” was to see Pearl Harbor.

Weekly Menu & Goals

Vacation week is over – back to the grind for me.  I enjoyed my week off even though I did a lot of work.  Being able to cross things off my list while working at my own pace (i.e. laying down for a nap when you feel like it!) was wonderful.  Probably one of my most enjoyable days was when I took a full day to run errands.  I had dug up a bunch of gift cards that I’d been hanging on to along with some old lottery tickets and birthday money so I treated myself.  I spent $8 out of pocket to fill up my gas tank.  I had a free apple cider from Starbucks plus I bought myself a bunch of new clothes.  My kind of day!

I’m feeling pretty good about Christmas this year.  Mike and I have agreed to scale back on ourselves as well as the kids.  We are taking a family vacation in February so while the kids will still be getting Christmas presents, they’ll probably be geared towards the practical or something for the cruise (i.e. new shorts for Belle.)

While I didn’t go nuts shopping on Black Friday, I did take advantage of some online sales.  I did quite a bit of online shopping at Kohl’s using Ebates and saved a lot of money.  I also had a $10 birthday discount that I used so I had quite a bit of savings on top of the $45 worth of Kohl’s cash that I still get to use – sweet!

10 Ways to Take (Some of) the Pain out of Jean Shopping

Jean Pile

You know what is the biggest waste of money?  Buying clothes that you never wear because you get them home and decide that they aren’t comfortable or look good on you.  Then, because we’re all so busy, we never get them taken back to the store like we plan to.

Like a lot of women, jean shopping is horribly painful for me.  I think I would rather have a mammogram, a root canal or my nether region waxed before I would gleefully jean shop.  When I have no choice but to shop (like now when my go-to pair has completely worn out) Mike begs, seriously – begs me to buy multiple pairs.  Of course, in my desire to limit my wardrobe (I’ll share more later on that saga) I usually only buy one pair and force myself to repeat this cycle of hell process over and over.

With age comes great wisdom, or in my case I’ve finally knocked some sense into my brain.  Through some hard lessons and wasted money, I’ve come up with some tips that I live by when shopping for jeans.  While it’s still not a fun process, it does usually lend itself to some success with few tears.

Choosing to Be Thankful

Image courtesy of Huffington Post

Image courtesy of Huffington Post

In the midst of our crazy preparations and maniacal shopping week – let’s take a moment to pause and be thankful.  Not the lip service that we usually do but a truly thankful, from the very core of our being thankful,  for what we have.

It’s very easy to get caught up in the noise of what we don’t have.  How much better someone else has it.  How hard we have to work for table scraps.  The bad things that are going on in our lives.  Although it sucks, most of it is just noise.  My guess is that if you sit back and reflect on what you actually have instead of fretting about what you don’t you’ll find yourself much happier.

I’ll be the first one to stand up and say that a couple of pretty shitty things happened this year.  My own world has been in a state of flux and uncomfortable.  At the end of it though, I have so much to be thankful that I’m choosing to block out the noise and choose gratitude.

Earlier this year I lost my grandmother, my last grandparent.  The last few years were horrible as we watched her decline due to Alzheimer’s.  Caring for an Alzheimer’s patient at home can be emotionally and financially draining.  I watched helpless from far away knowing that I couldn’t do much.  After the funeral my kids saw me, for the first time ever, break down and sob uncontrollably.  The deep, gut wrenching sobs that make you physically ill and that you absolutely cannot contain.

Weekly Menu & Goals

Can you believe that Thanksgiving is just around the corner?  I really don’t know where time goes to, it definitely speeds up the older we get.  Given how late Thanksgiving was this year we have Christmas bearing down on us pretty quick!

We had a milestone birthday at our house this past week, Belle turned 18.  It feels like yesterday she was just a little stinker (and she was quite the stinker!) and now she’s morphed into a beautiful young lady.  We are so proud of her and the person she’s become.  Below is a picture from when she was little (can’t you just see the mischievousness in her eyes?) as well as a couple shots from her senior picture photo shoot.

danielle closeup



Is Procrastinating Costing You $$

Financial Series Picture

Being busy and procrastinating can be very costly.  How many times have you run around trying to get everything needed to participate in a rebate, buying things you didn’t need right at that moment only to realize that you forgot to mail in the rebate form and missed your window of opportunity.

Have you ever forgot to mail in your car registration resulting in the $10 late fee plus the $3 “convenience” fee for doing it online?

What about the last minute gift that you had to pay through the nose before because somehow your kids birthday came earlier this year than you thought?

Butterfly Snack Bag

Fruity Butterfly

Where was Pinterest when my kids were little?  Of course, when my kids were little we could send cookies and candy to school and didn’t have to worry about this healthy snack stuff :)

Recently at work, my friend Jennifer and I were talking about what we did on the weekend.  She shared that her and her mom had made some butterfly snack packs for her kids to take to school.  As she was telling me about I asked what every good friend asks, “do you have pictures?  That would be a great post idea!”  That is what a good friend would ask, isn’t it?

Staying Sane Through the Holidays

Christmas Table_WWIN

Wellness is a big deal at the company I work for.  While it is does feel a little ironic that a large portion of the stress in my life is brought on by the amount of work that is sometimes required, they are sincere in their desire for us to be happier, healthier and less stressed.

At least a few times a week we get emails reminding us to take our stretch breaks, get up and walk around occasionally as well as tips to alleviate stress in our lives.  This past week they sent out an email that I thought was pretty good on how to reduce the stress over the holidays.

Christmas use to be one of the most stressful times in my life.  As part of my Wonder Woman complex, I felt that need to create a magical Christmas that got better and better each year.  I’m sure you can guess what typically happened.  The kids would break down in tears.  I’d probably have some kind of psychotic break that would result in me screeching like a banshee.  Mike and I would have the inevitable fight.  I’d be so exhausted and worn out I couldn’t even enjoy the season.

Sound familiar?