Tuesday, August 31, 2010

We're Choosing Colors

We're getting together with the contractor tonight to decide what colors we want for our new siding and shingles, and garage door.  I was originally thinking I'd like to stay pretty close to the siding color we have now, but we've been walking every morning and watching what everyone else is doing, and now I'm wondering if we might want to change everything after all.  Some of these houses are really looking good. And some of them aren't so good.

We've also been playing with some pages online that let you choose colors and see what they'd look like on a house, but I think it's really hard to see what it's really going to look like until it's actually done - and then it's too late.  There are some houses in the neighborhood that would look a lot better if they'd just picked a slightly different color for the trim, or the shutters, or the roof.  These decisions are going to be with us for a long, long time.

Oh! The pressure! I hope our contractor has some really good samples and that the colors we choose will look good together - after they're on the house.

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Monday, August 30, 2010

He's a College Student

Our son is now a college student. Today was Move-in Day.

We got all his stuff to his room and set up, met his roommate, attended a parent meeting, and then he hooked up with some friends and didn't need us any more. So we came home. Alone.

It kind of reminds me of his first day of kindergarten, when I walked him to school, and as soon as he saw his teacher, he was all ready to line up - and he didn't need me any more. He actually turned to me and said, 'you can go now, mom.' So I went, and I probably cried on the way home, but there were no tears from him. The boy was ready to move on with the next step in his life then, and he's ready now.

Mom on the other hand - I'm wondering what happens now. It's not like kindergarten when I got to go back to school that afternoon to pick him up and hear all about his day. No, he's not coming home, except for sometimes on the weekend - he lives there now. He sleeps there; he eats there; he'll have his friends there; h'll be studying there, or at least he better be. While I'm wondering why we didn't look into Online Schools so I could keep him here with me for a while longer, he's getting on with his life. Like he's supposed to.

Thankfully he's not all that far away, and we do have facebook, email, twitter, Skype, and cell phones. I'm bound to get a glimpse or two into his college life.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Camera Critters (#125)

I think Weasley would still like to be friends with Tillie, but she’s not ready for that.  She tolerates him.  He’s usually pretty good about giving her space.  Sometimes she chases him, but she doesn’t want him to chase her back, and I don’t think they’ll ever snuggle up together and take a nap.  Sometimes they get kind of close, though.

Camera Critters is a fun weekend meme hosted by Misty Dawn.Visit the Camera Critters headquarters and join in.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Looking at the Sky on Friday - 66

Looking at the 

Sky on Friday
I’m so glad there’s a meme like Looking at the Sky on Friday, because it means all the time I spend looking at the sky, and taking pictures of it, has a purpose! Click the badge for more info.

The sunset the other night had me taking my camera out to the deck again, trying to capture the light and color in the sky.  Sometimes it’s just amazing.

You could read all kinds of camera reviews trying to find the best camera, but I think the best thing is just to pay attention to what’s around you, and when you see something you like, just take a bunch of pictures.  Some of them are bound to turn out, right?  That’s pretty much my approach to photography.  Thank goodness for digital cameras, because it doesn’t quite work that way when you have to pay to get rolls of film developed.

If you enjoy skies as much as I do, be sure to check out Looking at the Sky on Friday.

My Script is UnResponsive

When I tried to start Firefox this morning, I kept getting an unresponsive script warning.  It said:
A script on this page may be busy, or it may have stopped responding. You can stop the script now, or you can continue to see if the script will complete.

If I hit 'Continue' the box would go away for a little bit and then come right back.  If I hit 'Stop Script' the box just goes away and comes right back.  Apparently, there's some extension or add-on that is ready to update, but the script is all unresponsive, so nothing will happen.  I can't start Firefox!

I restarted my computer a couple times to see if that would help, but no luck.  So I've been using Chrome today.  Cory uses it all the time, but I've been happy with Firefox until now.

Has anyone else had this problem? Is there a way to fix it?

Another Day, Another Headache

I'm not feeling much better today than I did yesterday.  I hate this whole headache thing.  Unfortunately it's something I've always had to deal with, and the best I can do is just try to get some extra sleep and wait for it to go away.  Excedrin used to be the only thing that worked for me, and I only took that as a last resort, but I can't take it any more, so I just have to wait it out.  Thankfully it feels like it's on the way out, and now I'm just really tired.  If I'm smart, I'll go to bed early.  Except I'm probably not that smart.

I'm hoping that by tomorrow I'll be back to normal, and I can get some stuff done.  At least more than I got done today.  I did some cooking - made Taco Dip and a zucchini pie for dinner.  Then, of course, I had to wash the dishes from cooking, and I got a couple 'presents' today in the mail and delivered by UPS, and those had to be washed, too.  So I guess I don't get to completely take the day off even if I don't feel good at all.  No sense pulling out the Blue Cross Blue Shield NC card, that is if we lived in North Carolina, and running off to the doctor or something.

Then tomorrow, when I feel better, I can try out my new 'toys' and see how they work.  Hint: one of them is from CSNStores, so I'll definitely be telling you about that one.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

College Survival Kit

SenseoImage via WikipediaWhile Cory's packing the clothes, I've been putting some things together that he's going to need.
  • tea - English Breakfast (need to get some mint)
  • instant coffee
  • hot cocoa mix
  • coffee/tea mugs
  • plastic forks and spoons
  • Emergen-C
  • Fire sauce from Taco Bell
  • Easy-Mac
  • and RAMEN!
A while back I got a Senseo personal coffee maker for around $15, but I never really use it.  It's kind of convenient if I just want one cup of coffee without making a whole pot, but mostly it just takes up a lot of extra space on the counter.  Also, you have to buy special coffee pods to use it, and they cost quite a bit more than just buying coffee beans or ground coffee.  But, for heating water in a dorm room, we think it will work fine.

It heats the water up really fast, and Cory can use it to make his tea, hot chocolate or coffee.  Also, it makes really good Ramen, as Cory discovered this afternoon.  He was thinking that we needed to get some of the Ramen cups that you just need to add hot water to, when he decided to try breaking his usual Ramen into a mug and filling it with hot water from the Senseo.  It worked!  He used the two-cup setting and then the one-cup to get enough water to fill the mug then let it sit for a couple minutes, stirred it, and had Ramen.
He just ought to survive college, now that he has his Ramen.  What do you think?

Cleaning and Packing

Cory has been cleaning his room the last couple weeks - he's a teenager, and it really was that bad.  He's been doing a really thorough job, going through everything, tossing junk, boxing stuff up, and deciding what he's taking to college and what he's not.  He's in the process of deciding what clothes to take now.  Thankfully, he's only going to be about 15 miles from home, so he doesn't have to decide everything right now, and he doesn't have to take everything with him when he moves in on Monday.  He can get settled in and take more stuff as he figures out what he needs and what he doesn't, and what he actually has room for.  Winter clothes can wait until it gets colder.

The room just needs to be cleaned up, straightened up, and organized.  We need to be able to walk in there, and his window needs to be accessible, when it's finally time to replace it.  It's not like he's moving out and never coming back.  Thankfully.
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For some reason I woke up with a headache this morning.  I hate that.  I just don't feel like doing anything.  I probably should have just gone back to bed, or gone out to the deck and curled up on some outdoor cushions, and hopefully a little rest would have made me feel better.  Instead, I just slowly moved through my day and didn't accomplish much.  So far.

I guess it's not too late...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I'd Like to try #Fracture

There's a new photo site called Fracture that I'm really interested in trying out.  It looks like a really neat way to print and display some great photos.  You just upload your photo to FractureMe.com and they'll print it on glass.  So it's all ready to hang and display - no finding the right frame or figuring out how to mount it.  Everything you need is included.  Doesn't that sound neat?  They say it's the fastest, easiest, best way to get your pictures from your camera to your wall.

100 bloggers will be chosen to receive a free Fracture product to review, so I'm hoping to be one of those lucky 100, and you'll be able to see what I think after I've actually tried out the site.  I better start picking a photo!

I wrote this blog post in response to a TwitterMoms RAMBO alert, making me eligible to get a Fracture picture frame for review. You can learn more about Fracture at http://www.fractureme.com.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Soon, It'll Be Good as New

It looks like we're getting close to getting all the insurance numbers matched up with the contractor's numbers, so we'll be able to start moving on the house.  That means we'll be picking colors for the shingles and the siding, probably this week.  We've been keeping an eye on all the houses in the neighborhood on our morning walks, getting some ideas about what we might and might not want.  I still think we're going to stay pretty close to the colors we have now, but we're thinking of going with a different style of siding.  And all the shingles are better than we had.  After having a tornado go through, everyone is wanting the shingles with a much higher wind rating!

Thankfully we didn't have any serious damage to our house, but it's been two months since the tornado, and we're ready to get things fixed.  The garage door groans more and more every time it's opened or closed.  We just didn't want to get started until we knew exactly what the home insurance was going to cover, and how much.  We've only had to file auto insurance claims in the past, for things like somebody hitting a deer or a coyote, and those were fairly simple - just take the car to the shop, get it fixed, pay the deductible, and the rest was taken care of.  Filing a home insurance claim for tornado damage is a little more complicated (just a little) so it takes a little longer to get things taken care of.   And in the end it's all good, and our house will be just as good as new, or better.

One Week

Next Monday is move-in day, the day Cory moves into his college dorm and begins life as a college student.  Jeffrey is going to take the day off so we can load up the van with all his stuff, take him over there and help him get all moved in.  There's also a dorm meeting for the parents sometime during the day, so we'll have to go to that and maybe learn a thing or two about what to expect and how things are supposed to work.

And then, we'll leave him there and come home without him.  And it will be just the two of us - at least until he comes home for the weekend, which will probably be the following weekend since it's Labor Day weekend.

Apply Now for the Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Woodrow Wilson. All opinions are 100% mine.

Good teachers are hard to find, and they are desperately needed. The Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship is working to attract talented, committed individuals with backgrounds in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (the STEM fields) into teaching in high-need secondary schools in Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio.  Current undergraduates, recent college graduates (3.0 GPA or higher), midcareer professionals, and retirees who have majored in, or had careers in, STEM fields are all eligible to apply.

The fellowship includes a $30,000 stipend and admission into a specially designed master's degree program at one of 14 participating universities.  Fellows will complete a field-based master’s degree in teacher education and commit to teach for at least three years in a high-need school.  During this time they will also receive intensive support and mentoring in the classroom.  The belief is that high-quality preparation and the support that the Fellowship provides will position Fellows for a sustained and successful career in teaching. We get the kind of teachers all of our kids deserve!

The Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowships seeks to recruit, prepare and retain effective teachers for the students and schools who need them most.  Will you be one of them?  Visit www.wwteachingfellowship.org to get more information and apply. The application deadline is September 1, 2010.
Visit my sponsor: The Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship

I Decided!

I finally decided what I'm getting from CSN Stores for review - and I just placed the order.  I know you've been dying to find out, but you'll just have to wait a bit longer.

I thought about getting:
The Magic Bullet Blender
But then I picked something else.
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Saturday, August 21, 2010

Camera Critters (#124)

I found these critters at the Wisconsin State Fair on Sunday.

I’m sure there must be some eyes somewhere in all those feathers!

Camera Critters is a fun weekend meme hosted by Misty Dawn.Visit the Camera Critters headquarters and join in.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Does He Need a Locker?

On GMA last week they were talking about some things college students should have.  One of the things they mentioned was a security cable for the laptop, to keep it from growing legs and walking off.  I would like to think that no one would walk off with Cory's new laptop, but that got me to thinking that it's better to be safe than sorry.  So Jeffrey is going to look at some cables and maybe pick one up for him.

That, of course, got us to thinking about his other stuff and wondering if we should find some kind of Locker or safe for him to keep in his room and keep the small electronics in - like his Zune and DS.  So when he's not using them they can be locked up and kept safe.  Maybe the dorm room is pretty secure and no one can get in except Cory and his roommate, but I just don't know.  College doesn't come with School Lockers to keep all your stuff in, like high school.

Any comments or suggestions?  Should I be looking for Lockers for sale, or do you think his stuff will be fine?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

My Milk Man

Jeffrey working the Golden Guernsey booth at the Fair:
Selling Milk at the Fair
Both the kids have worked the booth at the Fair, but this was Jeffrey's first time.  Since he works for the company, and he's salaried, he didn't actually get paid for doing it - unless you count the free Fair tickets.  But they needed somebody, so he did it.  He looked kinda cute in his apron, didn't he?  I'd buy some milk, or led flashlights, or whatever he was selling. (Except probably a Vita-Mix because I'm cheap like that)

Looking at the Sky on Friday - 65

Looking at the 

Sky on Friday
I’m so glad there’s a meme like Looking at the Sky on Friday, because it means all the time I spend looking at the sky, and taking pictures of it, has a purpose! Click the badge for more info.

Jeffrey and Cory had to work at the State Fair Sunday morning.  I went later and walked around by myself for a while, waiting for Jeffrey to finish his shift so we could hang out.  While I was waiting, I checked out the Midway and all the colorful rides – set against a blue sky.

If you enjoy skies as much as I do, be sure to check out Looking at the Sky on Friday.

My Favorite Fair Purchase

 Cory doesn't understand it, but we like to go to the Wisconsin State Fair every year, at least once.  And we usually have to buy something - just because.  All those booths are hard to resist.  So far I've managed to resist buying the Vita-Mix, though I do think about it every year.  I just can't justify spending $450 on a blender.  Maybe one of these days...

I'm pretty sure my favorite Fair purchase of all time has to be the Mr. Sticky . We bought it at the fair 3 years ago because we had just gotten a white cat, and I thought it would be great for all that white cat hair that gets all over everything.  And it's been great.  It really does take care of that cat hair.  Except that my Mr. Sticky had lost some of its stickiness, and then the handle of my giant Mr. Sticky broke when I was cleaning the Weasley hair off Jeffrey's ottoman.  So we went to the Mr. Sticky booth at the fair this year to find out what we should do - because Mr. Sticky comes with a lifetime warranty.  I wasn't sure if a broken handle was covered, but when Jeffrey told the lady at the booth that the handle had broken, the first thing she said was, "Why didn't you bring it with you?"

That's right - because of the lifetime warranty, it was all covered, and because they were at the Fair, we could just exchange it there instead of having to mail it back to the company. We didn't have it with us, but because Cory was working at the Fair and going every day, he offered to take it back and exchange it one day.  So he did, and we now have a brand new Mr. Sticky and a brand new Giant Mr. Sticky - and the travel size Mr. Sticky that comes in the box, too.  So we're all set for a lifetime of picking up cat hair.  And other stuff.

While I was there, I took some time to watch a Mr. Sticky demonstration, and I realized I haven't been using this thing as much as I should be.  For instance, there are lots of times when I think the stairs really need vacuumed, like now, but I just don't get to it.  Mr. Sticky to the rescue!  Why didn't I think of that?  Instead of dragging out the vacuum cleaner and putting the extra long hose on, I can use my giant Mr. Sticky.  I tried it this week, and it doesn't get everything because I can't get into the crevices where the steps come together, but it does take care of the large pieces of fuzz and stuff.  How handy is that?  So I'm going to have to be thinking of new ways to use my Mr. Sticky.  It's not just for cat hair any more!

Be Rewarded with WeReward

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of WeReward. All opinions are 100% mine.

Do you have an iPhoneWeReward?  Droid?  Blackberry?  Then I think you'll want to check out the WeReward app from IZEA.  From what I hear there are all kinds of apps for these phones, but this is one app that can actually make you some money.  It sounds like a lot of fun.  There are tasks to complete and places to go, and a lot of them are probably things you're doing anyway.  So why not earn a little money while you're doing it?

To get started you just need to download WeReward for iPhone from iTunes, link it to one of your social networks like facebook or twitter, and then you can start earning points.  Each point is worth a penny, and there are a lot of opportunites to earn points with over 15,000,000 businesses in WeReward.  When you accumulate 1,000 points ($10.00), you can cash out your points through PayPal!  Sounds easy, right?  Last time I mentioned this my brother said he downloaded the app and would let me know how it's been working for him.  I haven't heard from him (and I haven't asked, either) so I'm just going to assume that he's been having so much fun completing tasks, checking in around town, and earning points/money that he just hasn't had time to get back to me.

If I ever get a fancy phone, I'll definitely try it.  Right now you can get the app for iPhone and WeReward for Android, and the Blackberry app should be available later this month.  Check out WeReward.com and watch the video for more information on how it works, and be sure to let me know if you get the app on your phone and how you like it.  Oh, and you can refer your friends, too, and you'll get 10% of the points they earn - so you'll want to be the first of your friends to join.  At least I would.

Visit Sponsor's Site

Because Sometimes a Car Needs a Little Work

What do you do if your car isn't running right?  Do you have a mechanic or garage you always go to?  Or are you looking through the phone book trying to find somewhere to take it?

We've been taking our cars to a little shop not too far from here for several years now.  We've had brakes and water pumps fixed, and a new catalytic converter put on the Buick.  I can't even remember how we found this place, but I'm really glad we did.  He does good work, and his prices are really reasonable - and it doesn't hurt that the shop is close so it's easy to drop off and pick up the cars when we need to.  I just found out that the guy who runs the shop lives right here in town, too.

If haven't found a mechanic you like yet, RepairPal might be able to help.  You can search for auto repair shops in your area by searching by city, state (for instance, search for Chicago auto repair) or zip code.  Or you can search by make of car, so if you need your Toyota Corolla  repaired,  you can find a mechanic who specializes in that car.  Then, you can get more information about your local auto repair shops and even read customer reviews to help you choose the right one for you.

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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Mindset List 2010

... or can you believe how much the world has changed in 18 years!?

These lists are always interesting to read, but when they started talking about it this morning on the news, I realized that this year they're talking about my son.

Mindset List 2010 - a look at the cultural touchstones that shape the lives of students entering college this fall.
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We Lost Weasley Tonight

Nobody tell, Cory, OK?  I'm sure he would kill us if he came home from the movies with his friends and found out we lost his cat.

Jeffrey and I were eating dinner on the deck this evening, when Jeffrey went in to get seconds.  When he opened the door, Weasley rushed out.  The little guy used to lay right in the doorway but make no move to get out no matter how many times we went in and out.  We just had to step over him.  Lately he's decided an open door is an open invitation to him - to go outside.  So he went out, and I didn't immediately grab him, so when Jeffrey came back out, Weasley dashed under the deck before he could grab him and make him go back in.  And then he wouldn't come out again - or he would come out, but as soon as we looked in his direction, he'd dash back under the deck so we couldn't make him go inside.

I figured he'd come out eventually and went in the house to wash the dishes, and Jeffrey went to talk to the neighbors or something.  I guess Weasley came out from under the deck, spotted a bird and chased after it,  and ended up a couple yards over.  So Jeffrey went after him and got him back into our yard - and back under the deck, where he holed up and wouldn't come out.

Jeffrey reinforced the lattice under the deck, trying to block all holes so there was only one way Weasley could get in or out, and then we  waited and tried to coax him out, all to no avail.  Finally, Jeffrey decided he didn't want to wait any more and started hosing the deck down to get Weasley to come out.  And come out he did!  He found a hole Jeffrey had missed and streaked out from under the deck and off to the neighbors' yard again.  It was almost completely dark by then, and we had no idea where he'd gone.  We went out with flashlights to look, but we couldn't find him.  He could have been anywhere.

So we came back home and hoped he'd come back on his own.  I was just hoping he wasn't too freaked out by the water and hadn't gone too far to find his way home and thinking that he may be a little brat, but I'd miss his little face and fuzzy self.  And he did, he made his way home and wanted back in.  It took a bit to coax him in, because he didn't want to let Jeffrey get anywhere near him, but he's home now - and he's not going out again any time soon.
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How Do You Feel About Spying on Your Teenagers?

First let me say that I didn't really spy on my kids.  Too much.  It wasn't really that I thought it was wrong or an invasion of privacy - though Beth would have definitely complained about that if she had thought I was spying on her.  It's more that I didn't think about it until later.

Beth used to hang out with her friends in the basement, and there were times when it would have been really nice to have some kind of hidden camera down there so we could keep an eye on them.  As it is, we just randomly went down and checked on them once in a while, but with a camera, it wouldn't have been so random.  I wonder how long it would have taken Beth to figure out how we knew what was going on down there?  Or maybe she just would have figured that parents know everything, and she couldn't get away with anything.

After she'd been driving a while, I started thinking we should have installed a vehicle tracking device on the car, so we could have checked up on her and made sure she was where she said she was when she said she was.  There were some times I'm pretty sure she was lying, but there was no real way to prove it.   That tracking device would have answered all the questions.

So the question is - should you spy on your teenagers?  How do you feel about it?  Is it something you would consider?  I'm thinking that I would have done it, if only I'd thought of it in the beginning, but instead of hiding the camera, I'd put it right out in the open, and I'd tell her her car was being tracked.  That way she'd know we were keeping an eye on her - maybe not all the time, but she'd never know when.  Just a little incentive to make sure she was behaving herself.  And, of course, we'd have to keep an eye on Cory, too, or we'd hear about how unfair it was - though he never quite needed watching the same way she did.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Camera Critters (#123)

Jeffrey and I went to the Wisconsin State Fair last Sunday.  We saw several live critters and several critters of a different type – inflatable!

Camera Critters is a fun weekend meme hosted by Misty Dawn.Visit the Camera Critters headquarters and join in.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Cory was a Cow

It was Golden Guernsey day at the Wisconsin State Fair today.  That means all kinds of fun activities for the kids and adults too - like ring toss with milk bottles and a cream puff eating contest.  Cory got to wear the cow costume.
Did I mention it was a really hot day?  Somebody said the heat index at the fair was 118°.  On the news tonight, they were talking about how hot it was and how everyone was managing to stay cool.  They never once mentioned Golden Guernsey Day or the poor guy (and girl - they took turns) who had to wear the cow suit.  I guess he couldn't have told them how hot he was anyway - since mascots don't talk.

The good news is he survived, and tomorrow he gets to stay inside.  In the air conditioning.  He was cute though, wasn't he?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Unlimited Everything with Boost Mobile

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Boost Mobile. All opinions are 100% mine.

We got Cory a new cell phone on Sunday.  Since the Wisconsin State Fair is sponsored by USCellular (our current cell phone provider) they offer special deals on phones at the fair.  Cory's phone had been acting up, and we wanted him to have something reliable for college.  We managed to find one that he likes that doesn't require any kind of data or Internet plan.  I'm sure he would have liked Internet on his phone so he could easily update his twitter or facebook status no matter where he is, but the cost just seems so high.  $20/month for one phone in addition to the cost just to have the phone, when we've got unlimited cable internet at home for around $40.  So, he's got a new phone that's under contract for the next 2 years, and all he can do with it is talk and text - and take pics and play music, but those things don't cost, unless you want to send them to somebody.

As we were walking away from the booth, I said we really need to check into Boost Mobile, because with Boost you get unlimited everything - nationwide calling, texting, web, picture (and audio and video) messaging, and more - all for $50/month, with no contract.  With a Boost Mobile phone, you can keep in touch with everyone easily - tweet, update facebook, share YouTube videos, check and send email, even make phone calls if anybody still does that.  If, for any reason, you can't make a payment, you have 60 days to add enough money to the account to cover the monthly payment before they'll cancel your account.  So you won't lose your phone number, even if you can't use it for a little while.

To keep the account active, just be sure to put enough money into your Boost account to cover the monthly payment by the monthly due date.  Boost makes it easy to add funds to your account, or Re-Boost.  There are three ways - pay online, pay in person, or pay by phone.  I guess technically, you could pay online using your Boost Mobile phone!  It looks like the easiest thing would be to set up Auto Re-Boost  by registering a credit or debit card, and have it transferred automatically.  I'm a huge fan of those set-it-up-and-forget-it automatic payments!  Right now they're offering a $20 credit for signing up for the auto re-boost.  Friends and family members can make payments, too.  File that under: "what to get the person who has everything" - and then expect a thank you call, or post to your facebook wall!

Boost-branded wireless phones are available nationwide at nearly 20,000 major retail and independent wireless dealer locations, or you can order them online.  Right now Boost is offering free shipping, too.  There are quite a few phones to choose from.  I've just started looking and already found a couple I wouldn't mind having, like the Motorola Bali and the Motorola Rambler.  I wonder if that's because my current phone is a Motorola?  They even have Blackberry phones. I know some people just can't live without their Blackberry!  The Boost Mobile Blackberry plan is $60/month, which is cheaper than the company is paying for Jeffrey's phone right now.  Think of the savings if big companies who want their employees in touch at all times would switch to Boost.

Think of how much money you could save with Boost if you're currently paying extras that are included in the Boost Mobile unlimited plan.  Even better, you could win a free phone and $50 Re-Boost card by entering Boost Mobile's Dream Vacation Sweepstakes.

Visit my sponsor: Reboost

Yard Mowed

I just finished mowing the yard.  Well, not just - I had to take a shower and eat some lunch when I came in.  Mowing is such great exercise.  You people with riding mowers don't know what you're missing!

I heard about a study once that said if people consciously think about the exercise they get when performing ordinary tasks, they get more benefits than people who perform the same tasks but aren't thinking about exercise.  I never found the actual study or any information on it, just heard it in passing on the news.  So, if anyone knows anything about this, please let me know.  I thought it was really interesting. 

Mowing isn't like that, though.  Mowing is exercise whether you think about it or not.  All that walking and pushing.  I was amazed at how much of a workout my arms got - so much that I had to bend over to wash my hair in the shower after, because I couldn't keep my arms up to my head any longer.  Yeah, I haven't mowed for a while because Jeffrey and Cory usually do it.  And Cory usually complains about having to do it.

I can't believe he complains so much about mowing.  You'd think he'd want to do it as often as possible to get in great shape - so he can impress those college girls.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Free Shipping from Linens 'N Things

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of LinensNThings. All opinions are 100% mine.

Linens 'N Things is offering FREE shipping through 9/15/10.  Just enter the code - LNTFREE when you check out.

I love free shipping!  When I'm shopping online, that's one of the first things I look for.  Sometimes, even when you can get a good deal by shopping online, the cost of shipping means it costs the same or more as you can get it elsewhere.

There is so much available on the Linens 'N Things site - sheet sets, shower curtains, towels, alarm clocks, bakeware, and even things for pets.  There's a whole page of Dorm Essentials that features everything a college student could need for the dorm room, and more.  I think we've pretty much gotten Cory everything he needs - sheets, comforter, towels, laundry hamper, closet shelf, etc. - but it doesn't hurt to look.  It's so hard to know what the boy is really going to need, until he gets there.  I'm thinking the 7-day 'Never Late' alarm clock might come in pretty handy.  It's a clock that can be set for a different time for every day of the week, perfect for a college class schedule, and perfect considering I won't be there to make sure he gets up in the mornings.  There are also a lot of great organizational items, some of them I think I could use, never mind Cory.  I think those dorm rooms are pretty small, though, so every bit of organization he can get will be important.

Anyway, if you're looking for some linens or other things - home decor, gifts, candles, bedding, window treatments - be sure to check out Linens 'N Things now while you can get the free shipping with coupon code LNTFREE.  And feel free to share the code with all your friends, too.

Visit my sponsor: Linens 'N Things

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Camera Critters (#122)

It’s a parade!  Our annual Kettle Moraine Days parade is always a popular event in our village.  There are a lot of fire trucks in the parade, marching bands, veterans, local businesses, Scout troops, and of course horses.

Camera Critters is a fun weekend meme hosted by Misty Dawn.Visit the Camera Critters headquarters and join in.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Feed Your Passion

Häagen-Dazs logoImage via Wikipedia
This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Haagen Dazs. All opinions are 100% mine.

What's your passion?  At Häagen-Dazs®, their passion is creating the world’s finest ice cream.  I can get pretty passionate about their Rum Raisin!  But the ice cream really isn't what this post is about.

It's about an original online series called Passion Profiles that Häagen-Dazs® is sponsoring.  In this series, ET Canada's Cheryl Hickey takes you into the lives of some of Canada's most entertaining personalities, people who are living their passions.  Chefs Anna & Michael Olsen have already been featured, and coming up next on August 11 is designer and HGTV star Sarah Richardson.  I think Beth might really enjoy that one and perhaps get some inspiration and ideas about how she can turn her interest in interior design into a career she loves.  And that seems to be the purpose behind this series, not just to entertain but to inspire people to live their own passions.

It's something I've been thinking about recently as I try to figure out what I'm going to do when Cory goes off to college and I don't have any kids left at home.  We've got to help put the boy through college, so Jeffrey says I should get a job.  And, since I've been mom for all these years since the kids were little, I don't really know where to start.  What do I want to do?  What can I do?  I keep coming back to something dealing with food.  Maybe I could bake bread somewhere.  That would be awesome.  Somebody's gotta bake the bread, right?  I'd be happy with a knife and a cutting board chopping vegetable somewhere.  I don't really know, but it would make it a lot more enjoyable to be doing something I like to do instead of just working somewhere because I have to.  Maybe all the stuff that isn't getting done at home won't seem so bad then?

Be sure to visit www.passionfiles.ca and check out the Passion Profiles series.  Perhaps you'll be inspired to pursue your passion.

Now, about that Rum Raisin...

Visit my sponsor: Our Passion is Ice Cream
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Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Bag it Forward with Elmer's


I always buy more school supplies than my kids really need - because I just can't resist those back-to-school sales at Walmart.  Notebooks for 10¢, boxes of crayons for 25¢, rulers for 10¢, glue sticks for 25¢.  Who can help but stock up?  I think the costs have gone up a bit in the last few years, but still, you can get some good deals during the back-to-school sales.  And you never know when the kids will lose something or need a new notebook or bottle of glue.  Of course, now I have a bunch of school supplies stored up in the basement, and the kids won't be needing them anymore.  This year we bought Cory a laptop, some pens and some notebooks for his classes.  He's a bit too old for crayons and glue.  I should probably see about donating some of our extras to the local elementary school.

Unlike my kids, there are a lot of kids who don't have the school supplies they need.  Maybe we can't all physically donate, but we can help.  How?  Join Elmer's Virtual Bag it Forward:

This Back to School season, Elmer’s is celebrating it’s every day low pricing on back to school supplies at Walmart by partnering with Adopt-A-Classroom to help make a difference in classrooms across the country.

Elmer’s will donate up to $10,000 to Adopt-A-Classroom with your participation. Join now!

The Elmer’s Virtual Bag It Forward is charity blog meme, bloggers are able to raise $10 per blog post for Adopt-A-Classroom by writing a blog post or Facebook note and donating a virtual bag of school supplies . Elmer’s will donate $10 per each post written for Adopt-A-Classroom, up to $10,000.

HOW CAN YOU JOIN? It’s easy.

  • Participate in the Elmer’s Virtual Bag It Forward by giving away a virtual bag of school supplies and creating a blog post or Facebook note with specific rules described below.
  • Elmer’s will donate up to $10,000 to Adopt-A-Classroom.
  • You can give as many virtual bags as you want.
  • The Elmer’s Virtual Bag It Forward will officially begin at 12 AM EST on July 22, 2010 and end at 12 PM EST on August 12, 2010. Blog posts submitted to us before or after that time period will not be counted.
  • The blog post link has to be submitted in the comment section [on the Elmer's Bag It Forward page] for your participation to be counted.
  • In addition copy and paste the following text into your blog post:


  • Copy and paste these rules into your blog post or Facebook note.
  • Create a post giving a “virtual bag of school supplies” to other bloggers or write about your Back to School shopping trip at Walmart.
  • Link back to the person who gave you a bag of school supplies.
  • Let each person you are giving a virtual bag of school supplies know you have given them a bag.
  • Leave your link in the Elmer’s Virtual Bag It Forward comment section. You can also find the official rules of this virtual #bagitforward program there.
  • Elmer’s is donating $10 for each blog participating in the Virtual Bag It Forward Donation to Adopt-A-Classroom (up to total of $10,000 for blog posts written by August 12, 2010).
  • Please note that only one blog post per blog url will count towards the donation.
Here is the photo you can use for your virtual bag or create your own!
Elemer's Walmart, charity
Read more about Adopt-A-Classroom

I'd like to pass a virtual bag of school supplies to Jenn at My Kids Are My World and Sandra at Pookie and the Boys.  I hope you ladies will join in to help #bagitforward with Elmer’s. And please, if you’re reading this and have a blog – consider joining in as well!

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CSN Stores - So Many Choices

Remember my CSN Stores giveaway?  I had the biggest response I've ever had to a giveaway on this blog, and one lucky reader won a $60 gift card to use at one of the 200+ CSN Stores. 

Well, now the nice folks at CSN Stores have offered to let me choose one of the many, many products available through those 200+ stores - and they'll send it to me for review.  How cool is that?  Hopefully I will be able to decide on something.  There really are so many things to choose from.  So.  Many.

I'm wondering if I should get Cory something he'll need for his dorm room or just get something for me.  And if I get something for me, should it be something practical or something just for fun?  You see, those CSN Stores have it all at.  If you need a lamp or a bedroom vanity, they've got those.  How about shoes or purses?  Yep, those too!  And frying pans and cutlery sets.  They even have flooring and appliances. 

You see my problem?

Maybe some cocktail tumblers? 

Or a nice address plaque to add to the house once we get the new siding?

Or shoes, because, well - shoes.  Need I say more?

Whatever will I choose?  You can hardly wait to find out, huh?  Yeah, me too!