About Me

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I am old soul who covers the grey really well. I love to be active and creative. I am blogging to help keep the memories alive and to keep those special moments around.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

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Hi,

Do you love or hate the blue? Personally I am not feeling it. I need to find a better background. Leave a comment on which 1 of the 3 above that you would like to see instead.

But I love my header & will not change it for awhile.

Thanks for voting! I will decide at the end of the week. Thanks CitrusMoon.com!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Most Excellent

O.k. I am not a Black Friday shopper. It is too much work. But I am also looking for a deal, any easy deals. I love the Freebies 4 Mom web site. It is a great place to peruse any deals on the internet. I wish she would expand into vacations!

So this web site led me to Ebates.com. Right now for Black Friday, they have boosted their normal instant $5 rebate to $10 rebate - woo-hoo. I have to buy my soon-to-be niece some stuff so I will definately be placing an order at Babygap & getting the 9% rebate back! Gotta love giving a little & getting a little back.

Most excellent are the patterns I have been researching & trying out for my blog online like at CitrusMoon.com. I like the blue but it is a little intense. This website helps you understand how to apply them to your blog: http://www.splitdecisionz.com/2008/02/how-to-change-background-image-in.html

I will be adding a poll to my blog soon once I decide which 3 patterns I will use. I can assure you, it will not be kitschy or holiday specific.


I am in love with Lisa Leonard's jewelry designs especially the double ring with my kid's names on them. I gave my husband a BIG hint about wanting these for Christmas. We'll see what is on my finger after the Dec. 25th. I am not a huge fan of the bird jewelry but the other necklaces are so cool. She also has a great blog to read once you are there. (Thanks Soule Mama for the link)

http://lisaleonardonline.com/

I am looking for a peaceful & calm holiday season after this hectic fall & I enjoy this zen web site. I have always been faithful to the color black when choosing my clothes & they strongly suggest choosing a few colors to wear. However, lately, I have been searching for some other colors to add to my sweater collection.

http://zenhabits.net/2008/09/21-easy-hacks-to-simplify-your-life/

Hope your T-day was as good as mine! Enjoy the weekend, meet up with a friend, smile at a stranger and kiss your kids at least 10 times.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thankful days

I couldn't help it but I do get a little nostalgic at this time. Here is a list of my favorite T-day memories.

#1 T-day up North with my grandparents who lived on a hill. We would sled & sled. We would go back in with soggy mittens & put them on the heater to dry. We wanted to sled so badly that we couldn't wait for them to dry. Then we would sit down to a dinner table so filled with food, it was truly a feast. (Plus my grandma's cherry pie that almost always had a pit that almost always ended up in my dad's mouth. Whenever I get a pit in my pie now, I think she is looking down at us)

#2 A T-day in Cincinnati when it was just my husband and moi. My first use of the good china. We heaped the plates with Stove Stop stuffing (not interested in cooking then) It was a day so brilliant we could barely go inside to eat.

#3 T-days with toddlers & babies when we would be at Grandma & Grandpa's & put them in their pj's for the ride home. It was such a serene time driving home with little ones all settled in the back of the car under their blankets.

#4 My 1st Turkey Trot race downtown with all of the fun people who show up not just to run but to enjoy the day before digging in.

#5 A T-day at my house when we were young. My grandparents actually came to us. We did the Detroit T-day parade. My grandma burned all the bread stored in the upper oven that my mom never used but logically stored bread in.

#6 My daughter's 1st T-day when I dressed her up in the littlest dress. She was only 2 months old. She had on the littlest tights too.

We are entering T-day with pre-teens & teens. We now play an annual football game & then watch the kids entertain themselves while we relax & talk. So enjoy your T-day with your family & don't just fill up on food but fill up on memories too.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

If a cell phone goes off in the woods, who will hear it?




A few years ago I asked the kids if they wanted to go on an adventure. That adventure has turned into 1 of our favorite places in the world and it is 1 mile away from our house. It is an extremely tiny nature park called the Douglas Evans Nature Preserve. (http://www.rougeriver.com/wildlife/recreation/evans.html) It is a beautiful place where the Rouge River winds around and in between the land creating small islands that my son wants to own one day.

We get "lost" in that small section of nature. We cross the river in daring ways over trees that have fallen so perfectly that they have become bridges. Today, we found a tepee of sorts that someone else made. We opened up a few milk pods and let the seeds float away. It was pretty nice & cool & not a shopping mall.

The kids kept finding patches of ice in the low-lying areas that they wanted to skate on. On the way out, they found a huge patch so we left them there. We kept going but could hear them. Then I heard "Mom!?". I yelled where we were and we kept on walking. They were completely out of view but we knew they were o.k. My husband & I enjoyed the quiet and talked for a few minutes. Eventually a few minutes became ten but I did not feel like walking back. Then the cell phone rang. My husband picked it up & heard "Mom?! Dad?!? Where are you?" My husband then proceeded to shout "We are over here."

What would we do without cell phones? How would they ever have found us? Could they have gone around the bend & looked? No, our kids opt for the modern way & call us. Dare I say "nature calls"? (bad joke but I could not resist)

Friday, November 21, 2008

Saving your pennies and earning some...

I have so many friends who want to cut back on their budgets but how? It seems like when we think of cutting back, we think big but it is the small things that can help ease your budget.

First; make what you can like bread and cakes and granola bars & buy in bigger packaging. You spend so much on the packaging.
This is a decent granola bar recipe
http://www.joyfulabode.com/2008/04/11/homemade-granola-bar-recipe-no-high-fructose-corn-syrup-in-these-bars/

Second; go to Aldi's. The store in Clawson is great. It is on 14 mile a few blocks east on Woodward. They sell milk for way lower than most other stores so stock up. But remember they do not take credit cards, bring your own bags and have a quarter to rent your cart. I buy lots of fruit there.

http://www.aldifoods.com/index_ENU_HTML.htm

Third; cut down on snacks & pre-packaged stuff in your home. Popcorn is so economical.

Fourth; ask yourself why are you buying it & really, why are you buying it? I am constantly amazed at the people who buy lounge wear. When did this become a clothing category. Do you really need work clothes, play clothes, lounge clothes & active wear?

Fifth; sell your kids old, slightly used stuff. If they have grown out of their clothes then resell them. I once made $100 the year Riley was born after I sold all of her baby presents that she outgrew. I bought all of her Christmas presents with that money. 3 great places in Detroit are:

Children's Orchard

http://www.childrensorchard.com/component/option,com_store/state,MI/

Funky Frog in Rochester

http://thefunkyfrogonline.com/site/index.html

Once Upon a Child

http://www.mom2momlist.com/shop.shtml


Sixth; Water things down. You won't believe how much you save buy watering down your fabric softener, detergent, soap, etc. when it gets to be half full. It still cleans just as well.

http://www.home-ec101.com/ask-the-audience-the-great-fabric-softener-debate/

Seventh; make bigger and better meals & serve leftovers. Plus plan out your week of meals. What can you do for a week with a whole chicken? Don't serve meat for at least 1 dinner. You would not believe it but there are Depression era recipe books you can look through too. They were geniuses at shaving off pennies from their budgets.

Good luck & hope money comes your way!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Cowboy boots


Did I miss the boat or the stage coach? I was sitting at my daughter's conferences tonight waiting a long time for the 5 minutes I get with every teacher. Of course, I am people watching. I have never seen so many cowboy boots in 1 place in Michigan. There were brown, worn ones & black, tall ones and some other interesting ones. I have never been partial to cowboys boots. I have three pairs on the Danskin clogs that I absolutely love. My mom calls them my clogging shoes but who cares, when my feet never hurt. I am pretty sure I will stick with them but kudos to all of you Michiganders livin' like we are in the wild west.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Cards & more cards

A sure sign winter has set in at our house is card games. The kids are old enough now, we can play more than a few hands of Euchre. Last night, we played this bizarre card game called Borderline that I found at an educational store. It has a U.S. state on the card. You put your state card down & the other person has to put down a state that borders it. It is bizarre but the kids love it.

We are also fans of Apples to Apples, Set, Quiddler and the infamous Uno. And now the kids are even beating me! Deal me in.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Za-zing

I have decided to make up a few new English words. The first one I decided on is Za-zing. This is the feeling that I am experiencing right now. Only you in the colder parts of the world can feel it. It is when the coldest of cold sets in during the winter but the sun is crisp & clear & feels a little warm. You want to be outside to enjoy the bright sun but the cold gets into your bones. So if you are like me on a day like today, go out with a cup of coffee before the sun sets & enjoy the za-zing.
(then run back in the house before the cold bites you & really warm up)

p.s. I will upload a pic once I find my camera battery charger

Monday, November 17, 2008

Home alone

I am at my house with absolutely nothing to do. Yes, I decided to blog a few words. Should I catch up on Tivo? Should I make a list of all of the things I need to do this week? Should pet the dog a few more times? I have so much time but what to do with it? I am all alone with nothing pressing. I can't tell you how long it has been since this has happened. Ah, it is just pure joy.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Most Excellent

Another tame weekend at our house. Right now it is snowing! Crazy. My son is at his football banquet & my lucky husband got to go. Which brings up another point.

We had to make a Kohl's run for some dress shoes for my son yesterday. I did not have one of my Kohl's coupons but I asked the cashier what he could give me. He gave 15% off! I have never tried that but I love it. I also picked up a 30% off Gap & Old Navy coupon at work this week(somebody left them there). I took my daughter for bottoms - being on the swim team, she needs lots of comfy clothes! She picked out a pair of day-glo green sweatpants at Old Navy. They were 30% off so we paid $9. Cha-ching. I then took her to the Gap. We bought a sweater which was 25% off but with the coupon that added another 30% off. We got 55% off the sweater. That was a huge cha-ching.

We went to the new Toast restaurant in Birmingham this morning for brunch. This is where we spent all of our savings from the weekend. It is a cute place and very aesthically pleasing inside. I can't wait to go back sans kids and have their Bloody Mary. The food was great. My son had the pumpkin pancakes which were a special and especially yummy. My daughter had a Greek omelette and loved the potatoes on the side. A definite visit should be planned by all.

We are on our way to a special furniture store in Clawson called Leon & Lulu's. The web site was cool and I am hoping the actual store lives up to it.

http://www.leonandlulu.com/

My daughter is into old movies lately. Friday we watched "Rear Window". It was fun to watch for like the 5th time. I love that the fact that my teen-ager likes all of these great old films. Remember some of the oldies are goodies.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

I miss Cincinnati

I have been dreaming a lot lately about Cincinnati. I am always driving somewhere in the city trying to get from one place to another. I wonder what that means? Although in my heart of hearts, I do miss it. I miss the weather, the food, my friends and the time I spent there.

I told my husband this & asked him if he ever dreams about Cincinnati. He said "Of course!". I asked him what he dreams of specifically. He said he always dreams about 1 of the bars we used to frequent. So tonight in my dreams, Cincinnati, maybe I will get off the road and end up in the bar with my husband.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Google yourself

Hey, we have all done it. We have googled ourselves, friends and family. What is listed about them? When, where and why are they on google? I have many random little postings about me. I ran a few races, I joined Facebook but nothing more. None of it is big.

So what is Internet fame? I read a few blogs where the bloggers now represent Wal-mart & are "official" bloggers (a.k.a. they get paid), is that fame? My niece has a few YouTube videos about her? Is that fame?

How many google hits does it take to get you to the center of Internet fame?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Habits of the mind/forehead

The other day I started my annoying winter habit. I walked around the house in my coat. The house is cold and so am I. I get super busy & never take it off when I walk through the door. An hour or so later, I realize I have it on still.

I also have a scary habit. I have to run up the basement stairs. I started this in childhood. I always felt like the boogeyman was behind me so I started to run. I still can't shake him off.

I have a sad habit. I can't watch any sad commercials about animals. My whole family turns off the Humane Society commercial that starts with the song "In the _______ of...". We do not know the rest of the song, we just can't watch it.

I also have a silly habit. In the middle of the night when I am falling asleep, I will not turn off the light. I am so cozy. My husband hates this one since he becomes the official light-turner-offer.

I also have a needy habit. I am not feeling great & my husband needs to take care of me. I want the works; hot tea, cold juice, a warm blanket & more importantly, someone to unload the dishwasher. He has been with me long enough to know to run when he hears the words "Feel my forehead."

But seriously, honey, you do need to feel my forehead & unload the dishwasher at the same time tonight plus turn out the lights.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Most Excellent

Here we are again Sunday night. A whole weekend is gone and a whole week ahead. It was a weekend of cold and quiet but full of excellent things.

#1 My husband. There is no web site for him but right now I love hims lots. He cleaned the gutters, took the kids to a State game and helped my dad with his trees. All the while he is keeping me going through this hectic year & a busy weekend. I hate this anxiety over the economy & life in general.

#2 The Baldwin Public Library in B'ham, MI. My city has a new & pretty library but I love Baldwin. It has nooks and crannies to hide out and read in and an everlasting beauty all over the place. This Saturday as I was studying at my normal table in the main room, I looked up. The ceiling was breathtaking and divine with an ornately carved molding that could only be done in the past - craftsmanship. So if you have a few moments then I encourage you to go there & look up. If you do not then just look up & see if you can see anything new.

http://www.metronet.lib.mi.us/BALD/

#3 "The Family at Home" by Anita Kaushal. I read about this in someone's blog but I picked it up at the library. What a great book of captivating pics full of color & love of home & family.

http://www.amazon.com/Family-Home-Love-Life-Style/dp/030739445X

#4 Microfinance: In this world of crazy stock markets, one can be unsure about where to put money. I read an article about providing finance backing to the poor. Love this!

www.kiva.org or www.microplace.com


#5 Popcorn is a great treat & economical. I was just interrupted by my husband who is up at the local high school with my son & some friends. They are playing football. I am going to make them popcorn & hot cocoa. I'll make it my dad's way with a little olive oil & lots of salt.

#6 My new Lands' End coat is awesome. I originally bought it in ivory but ended up disliking the color on me. I returned it for a dark, dark brown with a shaggy collar. Yum! Plus it was on sale & had free shipping.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

What will my children be?

My son advised me the other day that he is getting a degree in football. He has made many career choices in his short ten years. This includes working for the FBI and being a ninja. He also wants not to just work but be a pro baseball player while he is working on his degrees. I have never shot him down. It is joyful to hear his dreams and who am I to discourage him?

My daughter has many dreams too. She is a bit more grounded than my son. She wants to be a journalist and live in New York City. At least it is only 1 career. I know she can do it. She can do whatever she wants and I will be proud.

My kids have dreamed big from early on and it has been great to see them act them out. I remember taking my 2 1/2 year daughter everywhere in a pink tu-tu for about four months when she wanted to be a ballerina. My son spent years "spying" on us in our own house!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Scary Halloween Goodies turn in to Christmas craziness

You may think you know what I am going to write about but boo! My son just opened 1 of his treats from his Halloween bag. It is a full bag of Snyder's honey mustard & onion pretzels. He received 2 of them. For many years in our neighborhood, my daughter has received a tennis ball. Yes, that is right 1 tennis ball. Guess what. It is her favorite goodie. My son loves his pretzels.

The kids have me thinking about Christmas, our budget and crazy-inspired gifts this year. What do my nieces & nephews want but do not know they want? Could it be a tennis ball, a bag of homemade chocolate covered pretzels or do we dare give them a CD of our favorite music? I do not know about you but my family has a lot of stuff & a lot to be thankful for this year. Do my relatives need 1 more thing?

What to do? What to make? Could it end up being a "crazfrugal" Christmas? I could save a little money & make their day.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

I feel like

I feel like writing this morning. It hasn't been a stellar week & I am tired.

I have to remind myself like I did earlier this morning that good things happen especially when you are running through tons of crunchy leaves. I love that sound!

The weather this week has been perfect. I have been outside everyday with my kids. We have great video of them jumping in the crunchy leaves. (I am trying to upload it on Youtube. I am 1/2way there)

I am wearing a crazy sweater thanks to Boden with the biggest buttons you have ever seen, fashion-forward or fashion-fluke? My student's will let me know today. Plus I am wearing my favorite, most comfortable clogs today so who cares!

Thanksgiving is coming. I am already dreaming of turkey & my favorite stuffing! Yum.

O.k. I am ready to get through the rest of the week. How about you?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Pumpkin carnage




Ah, nothing like getting rid of your pumpkins. We have a great tradition year after year. Smashing pumpkins, need I say more?

Monday, November 3, 2008

Save your house, stop buying Starbuck's

O.k. I am not the queen of frugal but I am learning how to cut corners. We are pretty good with our bills and bought a house we could afford on 1 salary. I am not bragging. I am confused.

This weekend on NPR, they were interviewing random people about the economy. They stopped 1 woman with a large cup of Starbuck's coffee. She said she was in the process of losing her house. Why is she drinking Starbuck's? Does anybody else see the disconnect? You can't afford a huge mortgage payment so you throw up your hands and buy a $5 coffee?

Does she drink Starbuck's everyday? Should she let them know so they can set up a cot in the back? When she is without a home, can she build 1 out of recycled Starbuck's cups? If yes, I want my house to be all decaf, mocha latte lights! Oh yeah & I want my walls decorated with all of the crazy CD covers that they have.

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