Thursday, April 28, 2011

Time to Cash In?

5oz Silver QuarterImage by Madbuster75 via Flickr
Years ago, before I married Jeffrey, I worked at a grocery store.  One day a lady came in and paid for her groceries with change.  It wasn't just any change, though.  She paid with real silver dimes and quarters.  Those of us who were working on the registers quickly checked to see how much cash we had with us and 'bought' as many of the silver coins as we could from the register drawer.   I've held onto mine ever since.

I'm wondering if it might be time to cash those silver coins in.  I hadn't thought much about it.  We keep hearing about the rising cost of gold bullion, and how people are cashing in on all their old gold jewelry, but the rising price of silver isn't stressed quite as much.  Or maybe I just haven't been paying attention.  Last week Beth said that someone she knows had sold some silver coins - which made her remember mine - and made quite a bit from them.  She said maybe I'd want to sell mine.

Maybe I should.  They've just been stashed away somewhere all these years, and I'm not doing anything with them.  Silver may not be worth as much as gold bullion, but my coins are definitely worth more than face value.  The current price of silver is getting close to $50/oz.  I'm not sure how many ounces of silver are in my coins, but it might be worth at least taking them to someone who's willing to buy gold bullion and silver, just to see how much I could get from them.

I may or may not decide to sell them, but it would be fun to find out how much I might get.  I could find out, hold onto my coins, and consider them an investment!

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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Part 2)

Coming on Cory's birthday:

Can't wait to see this. I would really love to re-read all the books or at least re-watch all the movies before this comes out, but it's probably not going to happen. We will probably at least watch Part 1 before going to see the last one.  The Last One - yeah, that's kinda sad...

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Review: Walgreens Brand Oil-Free Acne Wash

This is a compensated post written by me on behalf of Walgreens. All opinions are 100% mine.
AdvertisementHaving a teenage son, I was happy to have him try the Walgreens Brand Oil-Free Acne Wash.  We've used some of the other Walgreens Brand Health & Wellness Products but hadn't tried this yet.
acne washHere's what he had to say about it when I asked him how he liked it:  "It dries my face out a bit, but I haven't had any huge zits pop up.  It is very mild though so it's nice to use on my face, but it isn't really clearing up the areas on my face that get the most zits."
When I asked him if it was as good, better, or not so good as things he's used in the past, he said, "about the same, better than the Neutrogena stuff I got once."
It sounds like he feels like the Walgreens Brand Oil-Free Acne Wash works just as well, if not better than some of the name-brand products he's tried.  That is exactly what Walgreens is trying to accomplish with their Walgreens Brand Health & Wellness Products - helping their shoppers meet their health and beauty needs and manage costs at the same time, because most of the time buying the Walgreens brand can save you money. Walgreens Brand Health & Wellness Products are Walgreens pharmacist recommended, 100% guaranteed, and usually contain the same active ingredients as the national brands. If you can get a product that works just as well while spending less, why wouldn't you?
120x30_WalgrensTransparentLogoPurchase of every Walgreens Brand Health & Wellness Product supports bringing preventive wellness services to local communities through the Walgreens Way to Well Fund™.  This fund will provide free preventive health tests as well as other health and wellness services and education to local communities.  So, not only will you be saving money, you'll be helping Walgreens help others, too.
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You Really Need to Buy a Mirror

I think every bedroom absolutely must have a full length floor mirror. I've stayed places that had either no mirror in the bedroom or just the mirror on the dresser. Do you know how hard it is to tell if the entire outfit looks good when you can't see the entire outfit? I mean shoes and all.  It just doesn't look the same when you have to stand on one foot and hold the other up to try and get a glimpse of it in the mirror.

For those of you who know me and the fact that we do not wear shoes in the house, I'm really only talking about dressing up and putting on dressy shoes that haven't been worn outside for ages and, therefore, will not track dirt through the house if I slip them on in the bedroom to see how they look with the dress.  If I'm just putting on jeans and a top to go out to the store or something, I still like to see myself head to toe, but I'm not too worried about the shoes.  I do want to look presentable, though.  Unlike some people.

Have you seen how some people dress when they go out in public?  I would be too embarrassed to leave the house!  I don't know if they just don't care, don't have anything better to wear, or just don't have a Decorative wall mirror, let alone a full-length mirror, so they just don't know how they look.  Is there a good way to go up to someone and suggest she start looking for some mirrors for her house? If this is you, consider this a gentle nudge to start looking for some mirrors.  You can thank me later.  Then you can go out in public without embarrassing your friends and family.  The mirrors will look nice in your house, too.
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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Snapily Deals

Remember that cool greeting card I got with the two pictures of Cory?  Well, if you're thinking of ordering some of your own, today is the day.  Get Mom the best Mother's Day card ever.

Coupon code MOM3OFF gives you $3 off ANY order and SHIPFREE gives you FREE SHIPPING on any order. They CAN be combined! ONLY UNTIL THE END OF TODAY!! Get those Mother's Day photo gifts for almost free at Snapily!!

You can also save up to 50% by purchasing a savings coupon - click the image.  Coupons can be purchased through May 8, and can be used any time in the next 6 months.
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Sunday, April 24, 2011

Book Review: Sabbath by Dan B. Allender

Sabbath by Dan B. Allender with a foreward by Phyllis Tickle
part of the Ancient Practices Series

About this book:
Dan Allender asks the question, "What would you do for twenty-four hours if the only criteria were to pursue your deepest joy?" His book expels the myriad myths about this 'day of rest,' starting with the one that paints the Sabbath as a day of forced quiet, spiritual exercises, and religious devotion and attendance. This, he says, is at odds with the ancient tradition of Sabbath as a day of delight for both body and soul. Instead, the only way we can make use of the Sabbath is to see God's original intent for the day with new eyes. In Sabbath, Allender builds a case for delight by looking at this day as a festival that celebrates God's re-creative, redemptive love.
While I agree with the premise of this book, that God gave us the Sabbath and it is supposed to be a delight, I really did not delight in reading it.  I have been observing the weekly Sabbath my entire life, and while I love the Sabbath, I'm sure I could be getting more out of it, more of what God intended when He gave it to us.  So, Dan Allender did give me some things to think about in his enthusiasm for the Sabbath, but overall the book was really hard to read.  There were some gems in this book, but they were buried in so much other stuff.  This was one book that I almost didn't finish, and that doesn't happen often.  I wish I had thought to highlight the phrases and paragraphs that really struck me, but I didn't - and I just can't bring myself to go looking for them.

Overall, I felt that Dan Allender is very excited about the Sabbath and has some definite ideas about what it should be, but I felt that they were more his ideas about what works for him than actual Biblical teachings about how God wants us to celebrate the Sabbath.  I was just celebrating the fact that I finally made it to the end of this book!  I would not recommend reading it.  I would, however, recommend looking into the Bible to see what God has to say about the Sabbath, because, as Jesus said, "The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath."  So, the Sabbath is something God made for us and gave to us.  It's a good idea to find out more about what he wants us to get from it, and at least reading this book has me asking what more does God want to give me through the Sabbath? - even after all these years of keeping it!

I received this book free through the BookSneeze®.com bloggers book review program.  All opinions are mine.

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New Lamps for the House

After the house was painted and we started putting things back into place, we realized we needed some new lamps.  For years we've had several halogen torch lamps, but they've been gradually dying, and you just can't buy those anymore.  So, we went looking to find something else.

There are so many different styles of lamps - lamps to suit every taste.  We didn't think a Tiffany floor lamp would be right for our house, but we did find a very nice set.  It included a floor lamp, a table lamp, and a smaller table lamp - the first matched set of lamps we've ever had.  I really like the smaller one.  Well, I like all of them, but that small lamp has come in really handy.  When I get up in the mornings, while it's still dark, I don't like much light - but I still need to see.  I used to go around the living room, turning off all but one light, and then back to flip the switch to turn it on.  Now, I just go to this one lamp and turn the switch on it.  It puts out just enough light.  It's also a good lamp to leave on for a kid who's coming in after we go to bed, and we don't want to leave all the lights on.

We liked our new set of lamps so much that we went back and bought another set for the bedroom.  Not the exact same set, but another similar one.  It has a floor lamp, beside table lamp, and a smaller lamp we put on Jeffrey's dresser.  Our tastes are pretty simple, so the lamps we bought aren't real fancy - but we like them, and that's what matters.

For those who want fancy or specialty lamps there are lamps of all kinds available online.   Have you ever wondered where they get the bear lamps or deer or fishing lamps they put in those rental cabins?  I even found some of those online.  You can shop the largest selection of table lamps or floor lamps from the comfort of your own home and even get them shipped free to your door.  Sometimes I wonder how we ever found anything before we had the internet.  I guess we just didn't know how many things we could have to choose from.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Baby Giggles

I saw this on Good Morning America this morning. So cute! I just can't watch it without laughing.

There's nothing quite so wonderful as a baby's laugh.  Oh, I do wish I had videos of my kids when they were little and adorable like this.

Update on Beth

I met Beth at the doctor's office where she turned in the urine she'd been collecting and had some blood drawn at the lab.  Then she checked in at OB/GYN, got weighed and had her blood pressure checked.  Her blood pressure was perfectly normal today.  Also, the doctor said her urine tested fine, and he'd call her if anything unusual showed up in the blood test.  Otherwise she could just come back next week.

He said the ultrasound she had on Tuesday looked great.  He just felt it was better to be safe than sorry so he wanted to do the tests.  So, now we wait.  Only a couple more weeks...
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Doctor's Appointment with Beth

Beth had her regularly scheduled doctor's appointment on Tuesday.  Her blood pressure was a bit higher than they would like.  I don't know how high, just that the doctor ordered some extra tests, and she has to go back today for lab work.  He told her the high blood pressure could be caused by stress or some other normal things, but it's a bit elevated for that, and he wants to rule out Preeclampsia.  Either that, or if that's what she has, he'll probably want her to go ahead and deliver the baby.  She's at 37 weeks, so he will be fine.

She's not real thrilled about that because she did not want any kind of drugs - to induce labor or for pain - and this would mean that her labor would have to be induced, and then she might need something for pain because apparently this makes the contractions really bad.  I told her she needs to stop worrying about it because that's not going to help her blood pressure, and, however it has to happen, the most important thing is that she and the baby are healthy. 

Today she goes back for test results.  Tim can't take off work to go with her, so she called me last night and asked me to go with her.  Hopefully, she'll get good news, but if she doesn't, she doesn't want to be alone.  It's kind of nice to know that she still needs her mom sometimes.

Prayers that everything works out for the best and that we end up with a healthy mother and baby - whether now or in a few weeks - would be appreciated.  Thanks.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Hangers for My Guests

Coat-Hanger CatImage by JupiterSSJ4 via Flickr
When I mentioned I was looking for a new mirror for my front entryway and thinking about getting one with coat hooks, one of my friends mentioned that I could just put some extra hangers in my front coat closet.  And she's right, I could.  The thing is, I thought I already had extra hangers in there.  I used to.

Well, I found my extra hangers yesterday while I was cleaning - in the basement, under the stairs.  They've only been there since last Fall (2009) when we had our Tile flooring put in.  We moved everything out of that closet so the workers could get in there to lay the tile, and then, obviously, we didn't move everything back.  We moved most things back, but these weren't out in plain view.  Out of sight, out of mind and all that.  There are still a couple coats hanging down there under the stairs, too. 

I brought the hangers upstairs and put them in the front closet, where they can be used by my guests - and just in time for warmer weather when they won't be needing coats, but that's beside the point.  Really, if somebody had complained let me know sooner, I could have fixed this problem sooner. 

I left the coats downstairs.  They're not mine.
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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Still Looking

Looking at the Sky on Friday ended, so I haven’t been posting sky pictures.  There are probably some other sky gazing memes out there, but I haven’t gone looking.  I am, however, still looking at the sky.  I just can’t help myself!

I just pulled these off my camera and decided to share.

I love a good sunset.

Customized Animated Gifts from Snapily

Check out this card I ordered from Snapily:

It features my sweet son, now and back when he was just a little guy.  What mom wouldn't love to get a customized card like this?  The thing is, creating a card like this - using your own photos and words - really doesn't cost any more than buying those Mother's Day cards at the store.  Even better, you can get a coupon and save 50%.  Best of all - no other mother is getting the exact same card!

Snapily offers easy to customize Animated Printed gifts and customized 3D gifts.  It's easy.  Simply select your product type and then upload your photos and add text.  The animated card lets you display 2 images on one card!  You can see how it's going to look before you order with the preview - and even share that preview like I did above.  Once you're satisfied, simply complete your order, and your card will be custom-printed for you and delivered in days.

The card I ordered turned out really well.  The only thing I want to mention is that, even though the pictures change from one to the other, you can always sort of see the other picture.  Does that make sense?  For instance, when I'm looking at the baby-Cory picture, I still see grown-up Cory in the background.  So, if you're going to order an animated card, you might want to use two similar pictures, or at least pictures that have the same lightness so one picture doesn't distract from the other when you move it.  Either way, it's a very cool card, and I would have loved getting it for Mother's Day.

Speaking of Mother's Day, It's coming up soon, so you'll want to get busy designing and ordering your cards now!  Don't forget to grab a coupon first so you can save up to 50%.  The coupons are good for ANY and ALL of Snapily's personalized animated & 3D gifts - bookmarks, photo cards, greeting cards, scrapbook pages, notebooks and more.

Check out Snapily on Facebook.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. Tomoson Product review & giveaway Disclosure.

FRESCHETTA® By the Slice Pizza (Review and Giveaway)

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of FRESCHETTA® for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.
Oops, I ate it all!  I was reading over the requirements for this Sponsored Post and read the part about sharing pictures, and I have to tell you, I ate the whole piece and never once thought of pictures.  I was too busy enjoying my lunch.
FRESCHETTA® By The Slice BBQ Recipe Chicken I received a coupon to try the new FRESCHETTA® By the Slice Pizza for free along with a six piece storage set, so I went to Walmart yesterday to pick up my pizza.  There were 4 varieties to choose from - BBQ Recipe Chicken; Vegetable Medley; Chicken, Spinach & Mushroom; and Six Cheese Medley.  What I love is that I could choose any of those!  Since I don't eat pork products, I'm usually limited to cheese when choosing a frozen pizza.  All of them sounded great, but I ended up choosing the BBQ Chicken.
My coupon said, "It's true... Oven baked taste out of the microwave."  I was a bit skeptical, though.  I've had pizza warmed up in the microwave, and it hasn't been good at all.  There are microwave directions on the package as well as conventional oven directions.  I decided that, in the interest of testing this pizza, I would follow those microwave directions and see if it really did turn out as well as they promised.  Guess what?  It did!  I'm not sure how they do it - they call it 'innovative, microwave cooking technology' and it involves a special cooking tray and moving the pizza from the edge of the turntable to the middle midway through cooking.
However it works, FRESCHETTA® By the Slice delivers one perfect slice of pizza in about 4 minutes, so it's great for lunch or whenever you're craving pizza.  It's made with all the same premium ingredients and fresh taste you've come to expect from FRESCHETTA®.  I, for one, love their pizzas!  The crust was perfect - not too thin, not too thick, and not soggy or chewy like I've come to expect of pizza from the microwave.  And the seasonings and vegetables?  Fresh tasting and yummy!
LaCuisine Locking Round Storage
Container Set w/ Freschetta logo
How would you like to try your very own slice of FRESCHETTA® By the Slice Pizza?  I've got an extra coupon for a free slice as well as a 2nd 6-piece FRESCHETTA® storage set to give away. (like the one pictured)
To enter, just leave me a comment and let me know which variety you'd like to try.  Giveaway is open to U.S. residents, and entries will be taken until 11:59pm CDT on Friday April 29, 2011.  Good luck!
Even if you don't win, you can try FRESCHETTA® By the Slice Pizza for free by looking for specially marked "Try me FREE" boxes in your store.  You're allowed two rebates per household, so buy two.   Just be sure they're on different register receipts so you can mail them in.
Also, be sure to check out FRESCHETTA® on Twitter at @FreschettaPizza and on Facebook.
Visit Sponsor's Site

Wednesday, April 13, 2011 Giveaway

Last week I mentioned that Cory received a very spiffy tie from  Well, good news!  One of my lucky readers will also receive a tie from!!

To enter, visit and have a look around.  You'll be able to choose any tie under $20 - and they have plenty to choose from.  Then, come back and let me know which tie(s) caught your eye. is also asking for your feedback, so while you're there be sure to "like" your favorites using the facebook 'like' application.  I just liked the muted stripe skinny tie Cory got.

Image representing as depicted in Cru...Image via CrunchBase
For extra entries, you can tweet, share on facebook, blog, etc. - spread the word.  Just be sure to leave me a comment for each.  You have until 11:59pm Wednesday April 20th to enter.  Good luck!
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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Spring Break in Branson

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Hiltons of Branson for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Why is it that Florida gets all the attention when it comes to Spring Break?  There's plenty to do in other places.  Take Branson, for instance.  There are some really great events happening there this spring, the Charlie Daniels Band, the 3rd Annual Missouri Food and Wine Festival, and something called Bluegrass and BBQ to name just a few.  There's always great entertainment in Branson, with 49 live entertainment theaters, not to mention shopping, golf, and Silver Dollar City.  I'm thinking we can leave Florida to the crazy college students, and the rest of us can enjoy Branson.
The Hilton Branson Convention Center Hotel is offering some nice packages for Spring.  They include tickets to Silver Dollar City as well as food and beverage vouchers and start at $455 for a 2-day, 3-night stay.  We really enjoy amusement parks, so Silver Dollar City would definitely be on our list of things to do in Branson.  I'm also thinking that Food and Wine Festival sounds like fun.  I know Jeffrey would want to play some golf, and I would love to try the zip lines I've heard they have in Branson.  With so much to do, I don't think 2 days is enough time at all.  But at least it's a start.
Both the Hilton Branson Convention Center Hotel and the Hilton Promenade at Branson Landing are in the midst of all that's great to see and do in Branson.  So, if you want to do more with your Spring Break than get drunk and enter wet t-shirt contests, give Branson some thought.  I'm certainly thinking I'd like to go.
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Friday, April 08, 2011

Clean is NOT an Option

I don't know about you, but this commercial always bothers me. First of all, if the dad doesn't want his daughter to leave the house in a short little skirt, he should tell her so - or at least HIDE the skirt so she can't find it.  Yeah, I know.  We had a teenage girl in this house, and no matter what we tried, she insisted on wearing the shortest, tightest, etc.  It wouldn't have mattered if she was wearing a nurse uniform or jeans and a sweater, she insisted on showing what she had. There were at least a couple items of clothing that just didn't find their way back into her closet...

What really bothers me about this commercial is the statement that 'Style is an option.  Clean is not.'  Hey!  I want the option to have clean clothes.  Tide doesn't seem to want to give me that option.  I can choose style.  I can't choose clean.  And here I always thought getting your clothes clean was the point of using a laundry detergent...

I think what Tide really meant to say is that style is optional, while clean is not.

Review: Skinny Ties from

Cory started wearing ties regularly.  I think it was last week that he declared it to be 'Tie Week' and wore a tie every day.  This week he's worn a tie several days, too - at least for his job interviews.  He's getting to have a whole collection of ties, and he's always on the lookout for new ones.  That's why he was extremely excited to find out he was getting a tie from

This was his first choice, Bold Plaid Skinny Tie by Silk Rhino Neckwear - Turquoise Polyester:
Spiffy, huh?  Well, they must have been out of this one because he got is 2nd choice, the Muted Stripe Skinny Tie by Silk Rhino Neckwear - Black Microfiber

That one is pretty spiffy, too!  And, while it looks nice in the picture, it looks even better in person.  This is a very nice tie - dressy and stylish, and the microfiber is really nice material.  It seems to be easier to work with and get a nice knot than the polyester ties. has ties of all kinds, designer ties, skinny ties like the one we got, striped ties, solid ties, bow ties, and tie storage too.  We're definitely going to have to get Cory some kind of tie storage so he can keep all his ties nice and neat.  And, for guys who don't wear ties because they don't know how to tie them, they have a great step by step animated guide that shows how to tie a tie in several different knots.  So there's really no excuse for not looking sharp on a regular basis, right?

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. Tomoson Product review & giveaway Disclosure.

Like Listening to the Radio

Last week, we turned on the tv, and nothing happened.  No picture, no sound, nothing - except for some silly flashing lights on the front.  The DirecTV box is hooked up to the stereo, so with the stereo, we could still have sound - just no picture.  So, it was kind of like listening to the radio.

That was just fine for listening to the music stations, and there are plenty to choose from with DirecTV, though it was a bit hard figuring out what channel was what.  I just scrolled through the channels until I found something I wanted to listen to. 'Watching' tv with no picture didn't work quite so well when it came to actual shows.  Wipeout kind of loses something when all you have are the sound effects! (bam, pow, matouk, oh!)  It just isn't the same when you can't actually see the people bouncing off those big balls.

And for other shows, the writing is a bit different than it had to be back in the day of radio dramas, and it's hard to follow what is going on without that picture.  Thankfully it wasn't anything major, just a burned out bulb, and we have a Best Buy service plan, so the Geek Squad came out and replaced the bulb.  It works now - and it's much brighter.  We didn't realize how much dimmer the picture had gotten until we saw how bright the new one is.

Walking in the Rain

He comes with the rainImage by jk+too via Flickr
I waited a bit before walking this morning, because it was raining.  The satellite on the news made it look like it was pretty much out of our area, but the rain was coming down enough that I hesitated going out.  I'll bundle up and walk in the winter with -20° windchill, but I really don't like getting wet.  There was one time (thankfully in the summer) when I got absolutely soaked while I was walking.  It really wasn't doing much, until about halfway through my walk when the skies just opened up and poured.   Since there wasn't much I could do about it, I just kept walking.

Today was a bit too chilly to want to get soaked like that.  It was misting enough that my glasses got covered in water drops, but the rest of me stayed fairly dry.  Maybe I should think about getting some rainy-weather gear - rain coat, rain boots, umbrella - so I don't have to worry about whether or not it's raining in the mornings. Yeah, I'm obsessed about my walking.  Beth says I'm addicted.  Either way, if I don't get out and walk in the morning, I'll often end up with a headache.  I think it's worth getting a little wet (though not soaked) to avoid that.
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Thursday, April 07, 2011

The Crib Came In

Job Interviews

A SUBWAY restaurant in Dawson, Texas.Image via Wikipedia
While he was on Spring Break, Cory submitted several job applications looking for a summer job.   So far he's had an interview at Best Buy, which went really well, and he has to go back for a 2nd interview with the store manager this evening.  And, he's had an interview at the Subway right there in Whitewater, within biking distance of campus.  He said that one went really well, too, though they were looking for a delivery driver, and he's not old enough.  They're supposed to call him back in the next few days and let him know about working in the store instead of driving.

So, I guess we'll see what happens.  Cory thinks he would really like working at Best Buy, but the Subway job wouldn't have to just be a summer job.  He could start now, work through the summer, and then work during school next year. The Best Buy job would just be for summer and maybe Sundays and breaks during the school year, because it's not close to campus at all.  From home, the driving to either place would be about the same - maybe a bit closer for Subway.

Whatever he ends up doing, selling electronics at Best Buy, making sandwiches at Subway, putting up metal buildings, or anything else, I know he'll do a good job.  And he'll be happiest at a job that lets him interact with a lot of people.

So, keep your fingers crossed and pray that everything works out and he gets what's best for him.  Best Buy, Subway, or something else.
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Affordable Online Education

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Ashworth College for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.
This seems to be a recurring theme these days - the high cost of a college education.  Room, board, tuition, text books, loans, grants, scholarships... If only all those things would balance out and it was possible to graduate from college without a huge debt!

There is an option that just might make that possible for military personnel and their families using their Post 9/11 GI Bill education benefits.  Ashworth College is  a 100% online, affordable, accredited and a great choice for obtaining a quality education.  Tuition is 50% less than the average accredited online university so the up to $13,500/36 months of education benefits military personnel can receive will go further.  That means it can be possible to graduate without debt.
It is kind of tempting to be jealous of that, but considering the sacrifices and service our military personnel give our country, I'm just glad there are options like this to help them.  They should get benefits for the service they are doing.
It looks like the flexibility of studying online would be great for anyone with an active life.  You can access courses, interact with instructors and complete assignments completely online anytime, anywhere.  Set your own pace of study, schedule and deadlines.  So it's good for military personnel who may move around a lot or be deployed and have to put their studies on hold, but it's also good for someone who's busy working or raising a family and would like to change careers or advance in his current career.  Or for a mom like me who's looking for her next direction in life now that the kids are grown and out of the house.
Ashworth College offers over 100 accredited online education programs that give you the skills you need for a rewarding career.  Military personnel and spouses may be able to get degrees for little to no out-of-pocket cost.  Anyone else can get started with a down payment of $100 or less and very affordable interest-free monthly payments as low as $29.

Visit Sponsor's Site

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Status Serendipity

Shortly after I posted that last post about make-up, one of my friends posted this picture of himself on facebook:

and then another one of my friends commented that I should have used his picture in my post, which made me laugh.  I should have thought of that!

And then I saw how it showed up in her news feed, and I laughed harder.

Sometimes things just line up!

Anyway, we get a kick out of it.  I usually take a screen shot like this when the status updates on my facebook feed make me laugh.  I'm thinking of starting a new album and calling it Status Serendipity.  Of course, now that I've thought of it, it probably won't happen anymore, and then I will have lost the serendipity.  I hope not, 'cause it's fun.

Do You Wear Makeup Every Day?

Assorted cosmetics and toolsImage via Wikipedia
Since I'm at home by myself most days, I just don't see any need for make-up.  I've had friends who always had to put on the make-up whether or not they were going anywhere.  Just because.  I tried that for a while, but it didn't last too long.  I guess I'm just too lazy.  Sometimes, when I go out, I'll wear it.  Sometimes I won't.

For people who wear make-up daily, I think organic make up sounds like a good choice, because everything that goes on your skin is absorbed into your body.  I don't think a lot of people think about the health consequences of using chemical-filled products every day, and maybe those consequences aren't immediate, but I bet they multiply over time.

I'm thinking that I may not put make-up on my face every day, but I do use moisturizer on my face and lotion on my body.  That's a lot of skin area absorbing whatever is in those lotions!  I really ought to think about trading them in for some more natural ones.  It's just that I know they're going to cost more, and I'm going to have to convince myself that they're really that much better for me.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

How to Avoid the High Cost of Textbooks

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Flat World Knowledge for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.
I remember having to buy textbooks when I was in college.  Even back then it was hard to believe the books we needed for class could cost so much.  And things haven't gotten better.   According to The College Board, students spent an average $1137 in 2010-2011 on textbooks and supplies.  $1137!  According to the Department Of Education, textbooks cost almost as much as tuition and fees (72%) for 2 year community college students. This means 42% of college costs for these students go to textbooks.  42%!  Thankfully, where Cory goes to school, they have a textbook rental program that is built into the cost of tuition.  Then again, maybe he's spending that much, and we just don't know it because it's rolled into the overall cost of going to school.

With the ever-increasing cost of tuition, fees, and everything else associated with getting an education, wouldn't it be nice to find a way to save some money?  Of course it would, and that's why I'm excited about the FREE online textbooks offered by Flat World Knowledge. It's not just about the cost savings, though that would be worth a lot on its own.  Instructors can choose and adopt a book for their course, and they have the ability to make the book their own by rearranging chapters or deleting them altogether to suit the actual class.  They can replace the text-book examples with their own real-life examples.  The books offered by Flat World fall under a Creative Commons License that allows educators to make all those changes and more.   But just because they have open licensing, does not mean these text books are inferior to the more expensive ones.  They're written by leading experts and are peer-reviewed, edited, and highly developed. They're supported by test banks, .ppt notes, instructor manuals, print desk copies, and knowledgeable service representatives.  BUT, instead of costing over $100, these books are available FREE online.
The teacher then shares a link to the book with the students in the class, and the students can access that book online for FREE.  There are also various other options for accessing the books, ranging from black and white soft covers to full-color editions, to audio versions.  Students can choose to print .pdf files of individual chapters and can add flash cards, study guides, and online practice quizzes.  There is something for every learning style, at prices significantly less than traditional textbook prices, $35 or less.  The choices are left to the students.  They can also choose to participate in social learning on the Flat World site, studying with other students, sharing notes, etc.
Since Spring 2009, Flat World’s books have been adopted by 1600+ professors in 900+ schools. That’s equal to over 115,000 students.  It sounds like it's time for more students to join the Textbook Rebellion and bring reasonable textbook costs to their schools.  If the idea of saving money on textbooks sounds good to you, be sure to Visit their site and request more info.
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Looking for a New Mirror

 Several years ago my sister-in-law bought us a mirror.  It's really pretty, with flowers etched in the glass.  It hangs by our front door where it's really convenient.  In the mornings when I'm putting on my hat or headband to go walking I can check to make sure I look at least sort of presentable, and the same goes for when someone rings the doorbell.  The problem is that the mirror is getting old and doesn't look as nice as it used to, so we've been thinking that it's time for a new one.  We just haven't found the perfect one yet.

I haven't decided if I'd like a bronze bathroom mirror to put there or maybe something with a black or a wood frame.  I haven't even decided what shape I want - rectangle like I have now or an oval like that bronze one.  We've even thought about seeing if we can find a mirror with coat hooks along the bottom of the frame.  Wouldn't that be perfect for an entry-way?  Since our front coat closet always seems to be full of our own coats, it would give us a convenient place to hang visitors' coats and also help ensure they don't forget them when it's time to go home.

I've been looking through all these bathroom mirrors - modern collection so I don't know that I'd find anything with coat hooks, but I have found some really nice looking mirrors.  With so many mirrors to choose from, I think finding the perfect one is going to be harder than I first thought!  I'm pretty sure that I'll know it when I see it, though.  There's one that already caught my eye because the style is similar to our new windows.  I'm not sure that's exactly what we're looking for, but I do like it.

If you're looking for a new mirror, be sure to check out all of them available at  It looks like they have something for every taste and every room, and shipping is FREE.  They've got some nice information about how to choose the right mirror for your room, so I think I'm going to go read that and see if it helps.  It's either that or I browse through all of them waiting for the right one to jump out and grab me.  That's how I usually shop, but with so many to choose from, I could be looking for a long time.

Monday, April 04, 2011

They Moved!

Well, Tim & Beth are all moved.  They probably have some cleaning to do in the old apartment, but that's all.  They just found out they got the new apartment last weekend, signed the lease on Monday, and they're already moved in.  They spent their first night there Friday night.

Cory helped some with the loading, hauling, etc. but we hadn't even seen the new place until yesterday.  It's going to be so nice for them.  They've got a nice, open living area, dining area, and kitchen.  Both the bedrooms are really big.  We joked that the bedrooms were bigger than the entire old apartment!  Maybe not quite, but they've got a king-sized bed in the one bedroom as well as two dressers and a computer desk, and they's still room to move around.  They've got a queen-sized bed set up in the 2nd bedroom, and there's still going to be room to set up the crib, changing table, and dresser.

We just kept commenting on how much space they have - especially compared to their old apartment, but it's a nice-sized apartment even f we didn't have the old one to compare it to.  They're not within walking distance anymore, but it's only 10 minutes away.  Beth seems to think we'll want to visit quite often for some reason!

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Camera Critters (#156)

Camera Critters


This Camera Critters post celebrates two special occasions - The 3rd anniversary of Camera Critters (can you believe it's been 3 years?) and Weasley's 2nd birthday.

We don’t actually know when Weasley’s birthday is, but since he’s named after Fred Weasley of Harry Potter fame, Cory has decided that his birthday is April 1st.  It’s as good a day as any, right?

That means our Weasley boy turned 2 on Friday.  He didn’t get a cake or anything special.  We just told him it was his birthday.

He is a handsome boy, isn’t he?

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

Hello! Anybody There?

I'm feeling a bit neglected nowadays. All my giveaways are closed, and nobody is commenting anymore.  Well, hardly.  I guess I know who my true friends are now, because you're still talking to me!  Everyone else was just hoping to win, huh?

Seriously, besides giving away great prizes, what is the secret to getting people to comment?   I should probably pay more attention to the posts I comment on when I visit other blogs and analyze why I feel compelled to comment on certain posts.  Or not.  Maybe I'll just accept that we're all busy with our own lives, with housework, homework, work work, taking that massage therapy program online or whatever, and no one really has time to comment, even when they have time to read other people's blogs.  Because I'm just as guilty and rarely take the time to comment.

Maybe I should be looking for the secret to cramming more stuff into a day - getting more done in less time.  Any ideas how I can do that?

Friday, April 01, 2011

Does it Ever End?

I dusted and vacuumed yesterday and cleaned bathrooms today.  Well, at least I wiped off the mirrors, the bathroom faucets, and all surfaces so they're at least presentable.  We've got people coming over tomorrow, and I'd hate to let them see how we really live.  LOL!

Actually, my house isn't really that bad.  I just get tired of the clutter - newspapers, magazines, paperwork that I stack up because I need to get to it and then never do.  Bills get paid, but I've got receipts to organize and file away, coupons to organize, my freezer list to update, etc.

I also baked bread today and mixed up a coffee cake to have for breakfast in the morning.  We just have to pull it out of the fridge and bake it tomorrow morning, and we'll have fresh yummyness.  (is that a word?  well, it is now)  Oh, and in the middle of it all, I had to run and get Cory from school because Beth wants him home to help her move this weekend, and while I was out, I put gas in the van, and went and signed some papers at the bank.

And now I need to scrub some potatoes for dinner and make a Mountain Cake for my sweetie, because that's the kind of wife I am, and wash all the dishes from all the cooking, and ...  Can I sit down now?  Oh yeah, I am sitting down, but now I have to get back up and get back to work.

Does it ever end?  Thankfully, yes - it's called the Sabbath, and it starts at sundown.  Yay!

Guess What I Just Ordered

No, it wasn't wedding invitations, weren't you paying attention when I said Beth and Tim have different priorities right now?  Nope, I ordered the crib.  Beth finally decided which one she wanted and called me this morning to ask me to order it.  She could have ordered it herself, but I told her that we could save a little bit by clicking through Ebates, so that's what I did.  2% cash back may not seem like much, but every little bit helps.  If you haven't signed up for Ebates yet, be sure to use my link and do it, so you can start saving money, too.

Besides the crib, she's getting a dresser and a changing table, so the baby will be all set.  With that and all the baby things she's storing in our basement right now.  Now that they're moving into a larger apartment, and she actually has a room for the baby, I think Beth is getting excited to get things all set up and ready for her little munchkin.

Now, if they can just decide on a name...

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