Like so many women out there, I am a wife, mom, and do-it-all handyman, err- woman. I wanted to create a blog that can help us as women get back to what's really important. It's time to get priorities straight and make life better for ourselves and our families in these troubling times. I plan on having multiple pages to touch on each aspect of our lives- including what others expect of us, as well as the pressure we put on ourselves. I hope my posts will touch someone out there and help her days be sweeter!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Start With the End in Mind

This was the title of my health final during winter term. It was our "Wellness Project" where the class had to think seriously about our personal lives, both physical and social, to see where we felt change needed to happen. We had to write out characteristics we thought others would say about us at our funerals, create a "bucket list" and analyze it, and lastly, write a list of "Rules to Live By" either by using from the teacher's list or make up our own. I felt like being original and writing my own. Here are the rules I live by:

Mind over matter.
The fastest way to get on your feet is to get down on your knees.
Give a hand up, not a hand out.
Listen to your heart; it doesn't over think.
When you point a finger you have three pointing back at you.
Think before you speak.
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.
What goes around comes around.
Stand for something or you'll fall for anything.
Be a "do-er"
Fight for what you know is right.
Learn from other's mistakes.
Prepare for the worst, but hope for the best.
Do your best.
Treat others the way you want to be treated.
Two wrongs do not make a right.
Trials are blessings in disguise.
God's Will be done.
Make your home a heaven on Earth.
Listen to your mother.
Always keep a prayer in your heart.
Learn to listen... without giving advice.
If you sprinkle when you tinkle, be a sweetie and wipe the seatie.
To have JOY= Jesus, Others, Yourself (in that order!)
Accept service from others. It will bless you both.
If the label reads, "Open moth, insert foot," don't take it.
It's better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all.
A true friend will tell you the truth, even if it hurts.
Let kids be kids- explore, get dirty, try new things- but give them boundaries to do so in.
If you can't have what you want, want what you have.
Ignorance never was bliss.
Money doesn't buy happiness, but it sure can buy misery.
The LOVE of money is the root of all evil.
Be selfless, not selfish.
I can't, but God CAN!
Don't be afraid to make mistakes. Just make sure you own up to them and learn from them.
Reduce, re-use, recycle.

   We were only supposed to do 10, but I couldn't narrow it down. What would your ten be? Make your own list and fill your cup!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Man, She's Thrifty

  Now, more than ever, thrift is necessary to get by in this economy. While dumpster diving and second hand stores are legitimate ways to save money and find unique deals, there are easier and more reliable ways to save on what you need. Watch for stores going out of business or liquidating stock (they may be open to negotiation on prices). Coupons and store ads are another great way to save a lot of money. These ads are not limited to food savings, but clothes, toiletry items, furniture, vacations, gas, and more! There are also blogs that are dedicated strictly to finding the best deals and making you aware of them.
   The art of couponing may be intimidating to some, but in reality, it can be pretty easy and exciting! There are classes available from the people who write the blogs to help new comers get in the swing of things or help old timers get new ideas for organization and new deal combos. Just google "couponing" and search around for local sites.
  The basics are: collect manufacture coupons, pair them to store ad sales, combine with store coupons and double coupons to maximize savings. Grocery stores and super stores such as Target and Fred Meyer send out postal mail fliers with extra coupon savings too. Some have coupon booklets in-store too for patrons to take. Manufactures even have deals with specific stores that when you buy certain items or combination of items you get a special coupon called a "catalina" that acts as cash on your next purchase. These are gold! Keep in mind that buying generic may help budget-wise for somethings, but there aren't coupons for generic merchandise, nor will you get catalinas. Many times with using coupons you can get brand name items cheaper than the store equivalent generic. This goes for food, medicine, toiletries, cleaning supplies, make-up, and more. Here are some examples of savings I did just today:

  My oldest son thinks it is fantastic to see how much I save, to the point that he grabs the receipt before I have a chance to look at it first. My kids also love getting treats I wouldn't normally buy because they are often out of our budget, but not with coupons!
  Now, don't go buying something just because it's a "good deal". Buy what you normally use or wish to use but couldn't afford before. Saving money and resources is a thrill for me, and I know that I am helping my family in doing so. You can do it too! Fill your cup.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Are You Feeling Lucky?

  I know, I know. St. Patrick's Day was a few days ago, but this is something I had been wanting to do since New Years and never got around to. This idea is from my mom (thanks, Mom ) and I hope to have it be a motivational piece for me to write and you to read my blogs, at least until Easter. I haven't really written since the holidays, and I feel like such a slacker.
  So, here is the incentive. You read my blog ( I have many, in fact I have 7 you can read) and leave a comment. Check out the left side under "CHECK OUT MY PAGES" to find the links for all the sites. Each blog you leave a comment on enters your name once into a drawing for a $25 gift card (old or new posts, I don't care, but once each). I haven't decided where to yet, so your comment could even be where you want the gift card to be to. If you've already commented on an old post previous to today, I will count it for the drawing. Any subsequent drawings will have a set time frame of posts to comment on. Since this is the first one, I'm including all I've done past and present. The drawing will take place the day after Easter Sunday. If I can keep up the posts there is potentially 7 possible entries per day per person. Oh, and I would LOVE for you to become a public follower!
  Happy reading!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

If You Don't Have Anything Nice To Say...

...then don't say anything at all. We've all been told this growing up as kids. As adults we need to remember this rule applies to us too. How many relationships have been carelessly destroyed or even prevented over a thoughtless or sarcastic comment that was hurtful to the recipient? While age gives us the experience and discrimination to say or do things to a friend that is in their best interest (even hurtful things) we still need to acknowledge that unnecessary words or deeds are just that- unnecessary.
  Being nice to our friends (and family for that matter) is not the end. We need to treat everyone around us with the respect and dignity that we as humans all deserve. This includes that punk who cut you off on the freeway when you were late to that appointment, and the lady with the stack of coupons in front of you at the grocery store who took 20 minutes to check out. Anger and non-sympathy like qualities are running rampant in this country and its being noticed.
  Have you noticed the new billboards going up along the highways? "Be Kind." "Be Nice." "Generosity- Pass it On." "Smiles Are Contagious." Its all in an effort to get people to realize the small and simple things in life that truly make us happy. I guess this is such a huge problem nationwide that a group of people have actually come together to form an organization to bring awareness to their fellow Americans of this sadness. Back in 1997, Tokyo had the same problem and World Kindess Movement was born. Many different forms have been born after the likeness of this movement, but none can compare to what Jesus taught. No matter what tongue, culture, country, socioeconomic class you belong to, Christ-like attributes are universal.
  My challenge this week for everyone (including myself) is to do a kind act every day for someone. This doesn't necessarily mean the same person, but for whoever you see needs it. Sometimes, it may even be yourself! "A soft answer turns away wrath." Try it. Use it. Live it. Smile. Laugh. Love. Fill your cup!