Thursday, August 30, 2012

Color Me Rad

I posted this blog about my experience with the Color Me Rad Run with my kiddo on another site not so long ago and I've decided to share it here as well. 

I didn't have the opportunity to post about our Color Me Rad experience on the 11th since my folks were still here.

We had a fantastic time!

Deac was very worried, we'd trained together for almost 7 weeks and about halfway through he peaked. Then his brain kicked into overtime and he started worrying every time we ran. He fretted about disappointing me, his dad, his grandparents. What if I can't finish, what if we have to walk part of it? I felt bad for him, this was intended to be something fun for he and I to do together. Two days before the run, he was doing better, but still not able to run a full 5k. I think it was taking us 40 minutes to run/walk 2.6 miles.

We talked about his fears and I told him to give it his best and not to worry about the rest. If we had to stop or walk, it was fine. I let him set the pace all through our training and told him I intended to do the same at Color Me Rad. He was still worried and Dave sat down with him too. He gave him a pep talk and gave him this advice.. don't stop running, slow your run if you need to, but don't stop, it's so much harder to start again. I worried.

Race day...clean white shirts, excited at the start line. 6:15 am. He was really happy and excited!! So was I. Lots of music, folks in costumes. By 6:50 Deac was near tears. He was afraid. Dad, Nate, Nana and Granddad would all be at the finish line and he was terrified he'd be disappointing them. I told him that the change of scenery, the energy of the crowd and his excitement would carry him.

At go, we started running, his fear faded. At 5 minutes in, grown adults around him were slowing down, walking and stopping. He kept going. I asked him over and over if he was okay, he was great. He. Never. Stopped. No slowing down, nothing. We crossed the finish line 30 minutes after we started. My 10 year old, who had been in fear for the last 2-3 weeks, set our pace and finished us at 30 minutes. He was a rock star and my hero! I was brimming with pride, but more importantly, so was he. He gained so much in those 30 minutes. I can't wait to do it again with him!

We rode the trolley home looking like this!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

A Little Weekend Decluttering

Since I had some free time today I decided to tackle a couple of cabinets and drawers.  It wasn't a whole lot of work and I only remembered to take pics after I was done with the hall closets, but I still feel good about doing something.

After playing Munchkin with the kids, I enlisted their help to clear out some books from one of the cabinets in the hall.  We filled two large bags we purchased for Costco trips(nice sturdy bags!).  Oddly, the cabinet is still totally full.  I think everything we fit into those bags was just overflow.  I'll have the hubs sort through his.  I know he'll give me the freedom to get rid of most, if not all of his books.  Since he got his Kindle and then replaced it with his Kindle Fire the books are just collecting dust.  I think I'll be the one with the most difficulty, I parted with a lot, but I can't bring myself to get rid of my cookbooks.  And I have a lot more than I remember.  Not too long ago, I forced myself to whittle down my collection of cooking magazines.  Dating back to 2005.  I spent a week looking through them, pulling out the ones I couldn't imagine getting rid of and ripping out recipes I wanted for the rest.  Then I scanned all of those.  I keep telling myself I'll be happy when we move and I don't have all of this stuff (junk) weighing me down.  It may not surprise you to find out that when the hubs saw the pile I was keeping he was shocked.  That I was keeping so many.  *wince*  I pared it down a bit more, but I still have plenty.

While I was in the area, I took a moment and pulled a couple of holiday plates out of another cabinet.  I think getting rid of a lot of the holiday stuff is going to be key in making this move work.

Moving on to the junk drawer.  Every kitchen has one.  Sometimes more.  I cleaned one of 2 and took on one of the lower cabinets.

Before:  As you can see, my junk drawer, is very junky.  Tangled wires, picture hangers, batteries, fast food condiment packets (loads of those >.<), paperwork and more.  Pretty much, a nightmare.

After:  I brought all the paperwork together and bound it with a rubber band I found in there.  There was also a bag of zip ties floating around so I used a few of those for the cords.  Birthday candles found their way into a sandwich bag and I neatened the rest of it up.  All of the collected condiments got rolled in the bag and stuck on top of a spare kitchen towel.  It's not perfect, but it's a heck of a lot better than it was!
Looking at the two picures now, I wonder why I didn't take the first one from a slightly wider angle...shame, most likely.  hehe.

 Since that took just a few minutes I went ahead and did another cabinet.

Before:  In this spot are all of my cake pans and cookie cutters, icing tips, cake plate and other baking miscellany.  I also have some spare plates, magic bullet and other crap stored away.  What a mess.  You want a little bit of truth on this one?  When I opened the cabinet, that round cake pan came crashing out.  D'oh!

After:  I made a couple of cuts.  Two Wilton pans will be landing in the yardsale bin, I tossed a try that was chipped, but mostly I just took a few minutes to neaten it up.  Much better!

That's about all the hard work I think I'm willing to put in today.  Haha!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

What's That You Say? Two Posts, One Day?

Sorry for the lame title, hehe. 

I had to share a little score that I just encountered.  I went to Target to grab some K-Cups for the hubs.  He was out of them (for his Keurig).  Anyhow, even though I'd promised my kids it would be a fast trip, I wanted to check the clearance.  Just the aisle near where I was getting the coffee, not the whole store, I promise!  

From where I stood, there wasn't much to see, but I still felt compelled to check it out.  In fact, from where I was, the four shelves looked almost empty.  Anyhow, upon arrival I found my Brew Over Ice Perfect Black Tea K-Cups (which I ran out of about 3 days ago) sitting there, staring me in the face!  16 cup packs on clearance for 50% off!  5.48 per pack!!  And guess what I had...?  2dollar coupons!  (Remember when I talked about being a Bzz Agent and taking part in some Bzz Campaigns? Well, Brew Over Ice was one of them, and even after sharing my coupons with the folks I bzzed to, I still had some left for they were put to good use!)  I scored 5 16 count boxes. Originally priced 10.99.  Clearance priced 5.48.  Less 2 dollar coupon...3.48 per box. (I'm doing the happy dance. Be thankful you can't see, I have no rhythm.)  I drink one of these a day maybe 3-4 times a week.  I think they're a nice little treat and this stash of 80 should last me a good long time!  Expiration is still 8 months away.  I'm absolutely thrilled!  Love a deal.  Now if I could do so well with the hubs coffee.  Fingers crossed.

Meatless Meals to Save ?

A while ago the hubs and I watched a Ted Talk that had to do with going meatless during the week. We talked about it a few times, wondered if it was something we could do, wanted to do, etc.

Last night, after discussing a few things, our current situation, our future (his military retirement is so close!), money and our health, the idea of being meatless during the week came up again. We've decided to give it a whirl. We'll aim for 5 meatless dinners a week (I'm not ready to do 5 meatless days, I'm already struggling with menu planning, tyvm!) and if we miss our mark, no big deal, we just try again.

Part of the reason is that meat can get expensive, another part is we'd like to eat better overall (we eat pretty healthily most of the time, but we've noticed an eating out trend recently.. not very thrifty!). I have some concerns though...mostly one. How do I make creative, tasty meals that are not one gigantic carb-fest? I'm not interested in meat replacements either. Once in a while would be okay, I suppose, but really those can be as pricy as the meat. I was searching the web for meals that moved me and I found some. Lots, actually, but so many had such a high concentration of carbs that I felt a bit worried. Should I not worry? I mean, I can just make sure breakfast and lunch are lower in carbs and higher in proteins I guess.

My only other concern is that my 10 year old isn't a huge fan of beans and I found lots of great recipes that take advantage of beans. I mean, he likes some beans, but I can't see him being thrilled about beans 5 nights a week. ;)

If you have any recipes, tips, tricks, hints or general ideas on this, I'm all ears!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A Couple of Thrifted Finds

While my mom was visiting we took a day to spend together, just the two of us girls. It started at The Good Will Store, headed to a consignment store and then an Antique Mall. We had lunch and hit up Marshall's and Old Navy. Apart from just having a fantastic time shopping and goofing off with my mom, I found a couple of good deals. Sadly, my skill at picture taking hasn't really improved much. Heh. I have been wanting (for a couple of years now) this shirt from Target, it's a One Star, long sleeve, button down top. Simple, but cute. Initially I wanted it in blue. I am pretty confident that it was 29.99 when I first decided I loved it. Now, it's 22.99. I can't explain why, but the price just rubbed me the wrong way. And that was before I began thrifting. Well, my hesitation paid off, I found one at the Good Will in my size, but in a different color than I'd have initally chosen. I didn't even care! It's a very light pink, I can wear it on its own or unbuttoned with a tank under it. I love it!
I was also able to find a 3/4 sleeve striped top from Banana Republic. It's a soft tee shirt with tiny button details on the sleeve. Very casual and easy to wear in the fall. It's got a wide neck, cutting almost to the shoulders, boat neck? Is that what it's called? I don't know. It's cute, it fit and I like it. :D

 I know, it's all wrinkly in the picture because I was too anxious to get the pic after I'd washed it.  I'm lazy like that.  Might explain the disappointing photography skills, eh?

My last great find of the day was a little LeSportSac make up bag.  This little bag is 20 bucks new and I got it for less than 3.  It's practically brand new.  In fact, I'd guess it had been used once.  Love it.  It's funny, because when I saw it, I hemmed and hawed.  I need a new make up bag, mine isn't really coming clean anymore and I've been turning my nose up at the $10 + pricetags of the new ones.  But for some reason, I couldn't commit to this initially.  Finally though, I did.  And I'm glad!

At this point we moved on to a local consignment shop.  I wasn't impressed with much of what they had.  It felt as though very little of it had been cleaned prior to being brought in.  Very disappointing.  Left with nothing.

The antique mall was fantastic and I would have left with about anything in the store, loved it all.  But since I'm moving soon, I would like to wait before picking up any of those fantastic items.  Gorgeous chairs, handmade doilies, cake plates, crystal items.  Looove!  Favorite thing there?  !940-50's style short white gloves with teeny button details.  If I could have them, I promise I'd wear a dress and do my hair every day!  ;)

Monday, August 20, 2012

Prepping for a Yardsale

The time has come for me to start getting very serious about having this yard sale. School starts up in about 2 weeks. I'd kind of like to have the sale before then, but it's warm enough here for me to do it well into September. Initially I wanted to do it while my folks were in town visiting, but I didn't want them to feel like they had to do the work. My mom did give me some ideas about pricing and offered her opinion on what was worth keeping and what was worth getting rid of. My biggest issue is that I have a couch and loveseat that are structurally perfect, but the leather is cracked and peeled on the arms and the seat of the sofa has a hole. I figured I'd have to toss them, but Mom says to stick them out there and sell them as is. The hubs also thinks I should try and sell one of the kids bikes, which is a bit rusted and has a broken chain. I know that there are plenty of crafty types out there, but I feel weird having so much "fixer upper" stuff. I gave the kids the opportunity to go through their stuff and sort out what would be worth selling for them. Not surprisingly, they had a very difficult time with this. Everything was something they swore they'd be using soon, even after not using some of it for years. Some of it was emotional (trying to keep things they've had for years, but offering to sell things that were nearly brand new that they'd been desperate to have) and some of it was just pack rattish in nature. I feel their pain. Knowing that we're sizing down is hard. We're not just going to a smaller house, we're going from a house to an apartment. No more extra bedroom, no more back yard, no more garage. This is a huge amount of space to lose. I'm guessing we'll be renting a small storage unit for those few things we're totally unwilling to part with (in the hopes of having space for them in the future), boxing bag, chest freezer, trampoline, folding table. Holiday items are also giving me a little trouble. How much to I keep, just enough to add a few touches, I suppose. Do people buy holiday items in August...from yard sales? I would if I had the extra dough, I guess, but I wonder if anyone else does. So, I'm open to any and all suggestions here, how to do this yard sale thing right. Pricing, haggling, how long to stay out, is it okay to broken things out? I need to get rid of lots of stuff, is it tacky to put out things I think are trash (open rolls or wrapping paper, etc) much to consider.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Review: Bic Soleil Savvy Razor

So, I'm a member of the BzzAgent Community.  If you're not familiar with it, hit up and check it out.  This community allows companies to spread buzz about products by word of mouth.  They take into account different aspects of your life (products you use, places you shop, etc) to match you up with products to try, review and generally talk about with the people in your life.  It's fantastic.

Recently I was sent (by a pack of Bic Soliel Savvy Razors.  I used them and I loved them.  Here's my review, do with it what you will.  ;)  Seriously, though, great product, I'll be making them my regular razor.  It's not a huge leap for me, I was already using the Soleil line, but these are superior to the ones I was using before.

I found myself very pleased with the Soleil Savvy razor! A couple of bits of background for you, I'm one of those lucky girls who has super sensitive sking, so shaving stinks in general. I also have a large scar on my leg that is raised and opens up nearly every time I shave. Lastly on the list of things that are important to know is that my hair grows crazy fast. Those things having been said, I shall relate my experience with the Soleil Savvy. Point one-sensitive skin. I had zero issues with this since I began using the Savvy. No nicks and cuts, which I almost always get with a brand new razor. No razor burn, either. This is looking good already. Point two-that nasty scar. I dread the moment when I get close to my scar when shaving. I have to navigate the area so delicately and even then, it rarely ends well. I wind up with a bandaid that needs to be changed over and over because the lightest touch with a razor opens it up and the bleeding refuses to end. Not so with the Savvy! I gave it an honest try and didn't give in to the urge to just avoid that area entirely. I was so pleased to go over it with no issues at all. I'm really liking this razor at this point. Point three-fast growing hair. For years, shaving daily is just how it goes for me. I don't love it, but I'm used to it. Imagine my surprise the day after I first used the Savvy, when I jumped in the shower and found I didn't have to shave! I had to pinch myself. ;) Ladies and Gentlemen, I've found myself a new razor! Seriously, I'll never buy another one. I was already a user of the Soleil line, but I won't go back to the rest of the series after trying the Savvy. It's THE razor for me. As a bonus, the Savvy takes up very little space too, since you're just storing the replacement heads and not a stack of disposable razors. Heads are all used up, toss the whole thing and grab a new pack. Love it!