Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Sister's "Friendly" Competition!


Monday, November 7, 2011

Where's Waldo?

I feel like Waldo, from the popular book series "Where's Waldo", because I have been misplacing everything lately. The objects range anywhere from one of my favorite gloves (the right side one) to hand towels to my craft scissors.

Anyway, I made a list of about 7 or 8 objects that I've misplaced. And, as fate (or irony) would have it, I've misplaced that list of the things I've misplaced.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Don't Eat the Yellow Snow!

We made it through a Halloween this year without any snow! It snowed the week before, but by the time Monday rolled around, we safely walked door to door without any jackets hiding our costumes. Lauren had a blast running in the neighbors' lawns and didn't quite grasp the candy thing; that doesn't mean Jeff and I didn't get our share of the loot though! I swear, when people see a little toddler out trick-or-treating, they get very excited and give double, sometimes triple, candy. Which is funny because of all creatures, those 1 and 2 year olds should be the last ones eating candy!

Two days after Halloween, we got another snow storm and this is what I caught Lauren doing on the back porch the day after that storm:

Yup. That's my daughter!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Sarah's Key

I recently finished an amazing book, "Sarah's Key" by a French author. I love the book. It was well written, it was intriguing, it had emotional elements,and they made a movie about it. My mom, one of my sisters, and I all went to see the movie. I still had about 60 pages left to read so my mom drove. I continued to "speed read" clear up until they turned off the lights in the theater and the previews for upcoming films were played. My mom even pulled out her cell phone to try and give me light!

The movie was great, and I finished the last several chapters after the show later that night. I would definitely recommend this book, but the main reason for the post are the feelings we get from our experiences. I didn't cry in the film, and I didn't cry while reading the book. However, while I was cleaning media this morning at work I came across a book called, "Unlikely Friendships" or something of that nature--and I can't blame any allergies on what became of my watery eyes.

So, there I was at 6:30 in the morning flipping through this animal book, looking at pictures and reading about the different friendships when I thought to myself, "This is ridiculous! Am I really about to let a tear drop over this book?!"

There were two pictures in particular that stood out. The one on the cover, the one that got me hooked, is of a pigeon and a baby monkey. And the other one, the picture that provoked these emotions was one of a dog and a piglet:

I think this one got me the most because I connected it to Sarah's Key. One of the worst and most sad parts of the book is when the soldiers separate the mother's and the children and one of the ways they try to calm the chaos is by telling the lie that no one should worry. That the mother's have to go to Auschwitz first and the children will come a few days later and be reunited.

Right away, Sarah seems to know this is a lie. She can't trust the soldiers. The chapter then goes on to describe all the crying children anywhere from a few months old to ten or eleven years old. Sarah, who is ten, tries to comfort some of the toddlers who feel abandoned, hungry, and have no idea what is going on besides the fact that they are alone and their mothers and fathers are no where to be found. After a few days some have already died. She sings to them, holds their hands, and hugs them. This is just a fraction of the book, one small chapter, but the most emotional for me.

The picture of the older dog comforting that tiny piglet in some way reminds me of that part in the book where some of the older kids tried to hold and comfort all those babies and toddlers who were ripped away from their mothers.

There's not much more I can say, besides the connection I made and how it nearly made me cry in the book section at Costco this morning. I think it's good to read about history tho, even if it makes us sad because we always need to remember where we came from, this world's past, and how we can move forward. It's a good look at the best and worst of human nature.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

What does Employee of the Month look like?

Well, usually Employee of the Month pictures at my Costco look like a regular head shot photo of the person smiling. Month after month, my coworkers got Employee of the month and some of my friends pictures were put up. For the past year (or so....) I have day dreamt about what I would do, should I be chosen to receive Employee of the Month.

Well, June came and went, and the first week of July I was informed that I had received Employee of the Month for June, 2011! I was ecstatic! I was so enthralled with what I would do for my picture that I didn't even bother to ask how or why they picked me. (Later I guessed it might be because they ran out of people to give it to! I'm always running in at 5:15 am trying to make that 3 minute window, I ask at least a handful of coworkers what they did on their days off before starting work, I'm always chewing gum, and I stock clothing pretty high to most every one's standards but don't really notice because I, myself, am in fact pretty giant in stature!)

Anyway, I was SOOOO excited, and this is what Employee of the Month should look like when you're as excited as me:

Side note: a supervisor later congratulated me and said he was amused by my picture, only, he also pointed out that I really didn't jump that high...only lifted my legs as high as I could! Who cares?! I've never gotten Employee of the Month!

Second side note: No, no parking space, no gift card, not even a free hot dog :( But again, who cares?! I've never gotten Employee of the Month and now my picture will be up for an entire year!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Boy! Am I glad I didn't pay a dollar for that!

I have a brother-in-law who checks consumer reports for just about anything from clothing, to restaurants, from cars, to toys (for big kids and little kids). Sometimes, we give him a hard time about it and tease him for constantly tuning into consumer reports.

I can only remember a handful of times where I was mad about paying for something that wasn't worth the price tag. #1, Jeff and I spent $30 for dinner at Johnny Rockets at the Cherry Creek Mall and I was a little more than disappointed and a little less than ticked off. Case in point, no food that unappetizing should be more than $4 for the entire family.

Anyway, I'm not the type to check out consumer reports, I usually just shop the best deal or greatest discount, that way if it's a bust, I'm never that mad. I recently visited Target to get soda and Peanut Butter M&M's and I don't know how, but on my way to or from those aisles, I passed the 75% off summer sale rows. I got a few pool toys for Lauren and a fridge water dispenser for me. Let me break it down:

1) Fridge water dispenser thing, normally $6.99 (I paid $1.75)
2) Bubble 3 pk, normally $1.99 (I paid $.50)
3) Cool fish bomb pool toys 3 pk, normally $3.99 (I paid $1.00)
4) Water guns 3 pk, normally $1.00 (I paid .25 cents.)

Today we experimented with the water guns. (Disclaimer, I know I have a little girl, but every time we go to the pool she's always trying to steal the boys' water guns!) Two of the three are great. Excellent accuracy, high range shooting, tasteful really in a kid's squirt gun. The third, however, leaks out the bottom. Needless to say, I sure am glad I didn't pay an entire dollar for the water guns! Really tho, it's a way of me saying that I really do enjoy getting a good deal--and, I suppose I have an underlying understanding that the item might not reach my expectations and I get what I pay for.

There are some things you don't skimp on, and that is up to the consumer to decide. In my brother-in-law's mind, he could put that quarter toward a $20 powerful super-soaker, deemed to bruise a kid's gut. I, on the other hand, am okay with spending a fraction of the cost on a super cheap toy or two that my kids will inevitably break anyway!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Leftovers, Episode 2

It's been awhile since I last wrote, so again, the leftovers have been piling up.

Tupperware thought #1: My sister, husband and I went down to the Castle Rock Outlets recently to go shopping. One of the only things on my list were denim capri's. Think Cameron Diaz character in "What Happens In Vegas" at the very end when she is on the beach. Super cute, super dark, rolled up capri. Anyway, everywhere we looked the price ran anywhere from $60-$110 (reference, True Religions). While I would LOVE to own a pair of designer jeans, I'm not spending full price for half a pair of pants.

As we kept walking, I told my husband that my price range was under $20. At the rate we were going at, I was thinking I might need to hit up Goodwill or my sister's hand-me-down piles. Anyway, we decided to slip into the Lucky Brand Outlet. And as luck would have it (pun intended), I found a pair of capri's for $9.97. They were THEE last pair, and I won't mention the size as I had to squeeze my bum into. Seriously, I got lucky at the Lucky store.

Tupperware thought #2: I'm okay with people owning dogs. I'm usually okay when they bark once in awhile or pitter patter above our apartment. I'm not okay with my neighbors not picking up after their dogs. My daughter is super independent right now and loves to walk and run in the grass. Right outside our apartment, I see dog poo everywhere.

I don't understand. Every 20 feet or so in our complex there are doggie bags provided and special poo trash cans. Here's the way I see it. Some people have kids. Some people have pets. Some people have kids and pets. I have a kid. I don't have a pet. Do I have to change my kid's diaper? Yes. Does my neighbor take his/her dog out to take care of business? Yes. Do I toss my dirty diapers out my window? No. Should I? Maybe. I mean, there's already a waste land within throwing distance. What's the difference between me not picking up after my diapers and someone not picking up after their pet?

Are you sensing one of my biggest pet peeves? I won't name names, but there is a certain bald guy with a huge dog who thinks he's flying under the poo-poo radar....

Tupperware Thought #3: I started watching "Prison Break" again and it's just as addicting and captivating as it was the first time I watched the series. Michael Scofield is just fun to look at. I can admit that he is super good-looking because my husband and I point out people who are super good-looking to each other. (Including each other!)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Think of a Wonderful Thought!

Any happy little thought! (Peter Pan theme song.) Jeff, Lauren and I just got back from our vacation in California. We had a wonderful time and did everything on our list.

We ate at "In and Out", went to the beach (even though it was rainy and overcast), headed to Santee Alley, and played for an entire day at Disneyland. Jeff's only disappointment with our Disneyland day was that we weren't the first ones in line when they opened the gates. He thought that maybe there would be a grand entrance for the first devoted Mousekateers!

I have to start at the very beginning. The highlight at DIA, and proof that old age doesn't equate to maturity level, were the automatic, industrial hand dryer's in the ladies' restroom. If you hold your hands a certain way, it makes a farting noise!

Lauren was overstimulated from the get go. She waved at all the other passengers, screamed
excitedly out the window before takeoff, and had we packed any less fruit
snacks we might have been in trouble with her ears popping.

Saturday morning, we all got up and by the crack of noon were out to the beach. It was spring weather, so we didn't wear suits. We just rock hopped, shoreline dipped our toes, and Jeff got
soaked by an oncoming wave hitting a group of rocks. The best find of the day? A vibrant red crab!

Sunday, we literally hung out all day at my in-laws. We went on a walk to a nearby park, and if one thing other than the weather and the beach would get me to move to California, it would definitely be all the green. I love how green the parks there are. Lauren and her cousin love playing on the playground, and Lauren started quaking, "QUACK" more clearly!

Monday, we headed downtown to Santee Alley, which is like Chinatown to San Francisco, only people there call it "Mexicotown" because there are way more South American shop owners than oriental. We found the good finds, bought the good buys, and bargained the already good bargains. Jeff expertly negotiated a $125.00 watch down to $120.00. With the $5.00 saved, I was able to buy a belt and 4 different neon colored nail polishes. Screamin' DEAL!

Tuesday, well, Tuesday deserves it's own post. So, stay tuned for pictures and details about our Disneyland Day!!!!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Finding my Quarter in the Sandbox

Every once in a while I like to read a church book, light reading, about inspirational or uplifting stories. The latest one I read was about a little girl going into 1st grade on her first day of the school year. She was so excited and even had her best outfit picked out.

The story goes on telling that on the morning of the first day of first grade, she spills breakfast all over herself and has to change. That, in turn, makes her late for her bus. As she runs to catch the bus she trips and gets cuts and scrapes everywhere, then the bus door opens and smacks her face, giving her a bloody nose and two black and bruised eyes. Yet, she insists on going to school. At recess, she falls on the playground and just before she blacks out, she sees something shiny and grabs it. When she wakes up, she's in the nurses office all bloody and bandaged. When her mom runs in, distressed and worried, she tries to console her daughter and asks if she wants to come home. The first grader simply says, with a huge smile on her face, "Look, Mom! I found a quarter!"

I love this story, because contrary to the little girl having such a horrible day, it just took one little positive to turn this child's day right around. Anyone else might just give up. I like the idea of having a positive attitude and trying to find one good thing in every day, in every situation. But the other night.... I'm ashamed to say it didn't happen that easy for me.

Jeff and I went to our favorite burger place to eat dinner. As he was giving us his usual rundown of his day, Lauren and I played and listened. All of a sudden, she reached out and grabbed my drink, pulling it down and spilling Coke all over me (white t-shirt and all!) It even got all over my favorite shoes. The entire time we ate, I worried over my shoes and if they were ruined.

I'm not going to lie. I had a really hard time finding my quarter in the sandbox. I read about the girl's story earlier that day so I was constantly trying to find a positive from this situation. I think it wasn't until a few days later when my shoes dried and I tried them on that I finally found mine. Instead of my shoes smelling like feet, they smelled sweet and sugary!

I think the key for me is to always be looking for the positives, even if I can't always find them right away!

Friday, April 8, 2011

What do you do when....

What do you do when you have so much to tell your husband, but he can't answer his phone because his new job demands most to all of his attention? Well, I blog. In the midst of my "That 70's Show" marathon, I realized maybe I've been watching too much 70's. I started listening to a lot of Led Zeppelin, wearing a lot of colors (I used to be a jeans and white t-shirt kind of girl), decorating my kitchen in orange, yellows, and greens, and shopping for floral printed clothing. I've come a long way from when I used to ask, "Led Zeppelin, who is he?" I decided to watch the news the other day, and was informed that our government might shut down tomorrow because of the budget dilemmas. It reminded me of a bumper sticker Jeff and I saw: "We live within our means, please tell the president." It was a good one. Anyway, one of the newscasters on this segment was talking about how our generation doesn't know the meaning of sacrifice. Back in the 50's up through probably the 80's, men entered into the draft, went off to war, came home and got a job, provided for their families, etc. He said, "'s generations probably think they are making a sacrifice if they don't have the I-Pad 2." Then, I felt guilty. What have I sacrificed? I barely lasted one month of my spending fast. I constantly think how cool would it be if everything you owned fit into one suitcase? But, do I live that way? Not exactly. After my latest spending-spree two weeks ago, I felt some buyer's remorse, but I couldn't find one thing that I was willing to give up. After some thought, I decided the only thing to do was to start another spending fast. It started April 1st, and lasted till April 4th. So today I felt a compulsive returning session coming on. I returned $70.00 worth of merchandise today. I'm going to start spending fast #2 (technically #3) on Monday, April 11th. I'm going to prove to myself that I can sacrifice!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


I haven't written in so long that all I have are random bits and pieces of thoughts. A lot like leftovers. You don't have an entire entree or meal, all you have are Tupperwares of cold corn, lettuce salad, french bread, and 1/4 casserole dish of lasagna. And hence, my leftovers post.

Tupperware thought #1: I've been thinking a lot lately of my dream job. I still love working at Costco and although it's the early shift, I love the physical elements. On the days I feel like quitting (usually the initial 3 days when I get back from vacation) all I have to do is talk to a coworker who has been with the company for a couple years. Then, I am reminded of the great benefits, the pay raise scale, and the awesome bonuses you get after serving the company for x amount of hours! Anyway, my dream job I've decided is to write. Write books, children's books, young adult fiction, historical fiction, freelance, etc. The only problem? The other day when I was at Barnes and Noble with Kelly and my nephew, I got to thinking that I don't even buy books. For me, it is borderline a waste of money because why buy a book you're only going to read once when you could just rent from the library? So, I decided I'll keep my dream job as my great hobby: blogging.

Tupperware thought #2: One of my favorite TV shows growing up was "That 70's Show" and still is. We don't get cable, so you could imagine my sheer joy when I found ALL 8 SEASONS on Netflix!!!! Since mid-February I've been having a "That 70's Show" marathon. Don't ask me how, but where I thought it would take me 8 months to finish them (one month per season) I am currently all the way through 6 seasons and halfway through season 7. I love the 70's. Also, I'm learning life lessons such as, there were recessions in the 70's (and throughout history) so we shouldn't get so down about the ones we are going through. Learn from them: yes. Get depressed: try not to. Stay positive. It reminds me to keep my head up, that things turned around in history, they will turn around for our futures. It also makes me wonder, did no one in the 70's wear a bra, or is that just part of the show?

Having been obsessed with this series leads into my 3rd Tupperware....

Tupperware thought #3: If you are going to hoard something, why not try and hoard something productive that you could turn into a business? Like, I would hoard buttons. Then, I would make a store, call it something cliche like "Cute as a Button" and sell crafts that I make with buttons in them. If my hoarding was really extreme, I might buy a few dressers, fill the drawers with buttons, and sell the buttons along with the crafts. I would have called it "The Button Boutique", but someone beat me to it.

(Who knew there were so many button crafts!!!)

I would love to attempt to make this clock!

Tupperware thought #4: I miss getting up any day of the week and going for a 90-minute marathon training run. That would also mean I miss not having to start work till sometime after 11:00 am. But, mainly I miss feeling great and in an "exclusive group" of the few who have a resting heart rate below 50 beats per minute. That lead to thought of what life would be like if I didn't have a baby. (It is okay to mention this thought because every book about having kids that I've read say this is a natural and normal thought.) I thought of all the restful nights I would be having, messes I wouldn't have to clean up, laundry bill going down down down, being able to run to the store on a whim and have it take less than 30 minutes, having a full time job, taking my 90-minute marathon training runs, and did I mention GETTING SLEEP?!? Wow, that's just to name a few....

But, that would mean I would miss out on raising a baby, cuddling and kisses, having someone who needs me and loves me unconditionally at every hour of the day, playing and creating, being creative, finally getting to buy those miniature outfits that are adorable, having so much in common with so many people and swapping stories, feeling like I have something so special and worthwhile in my life, feelings of accomplishment that outweigh any other project or event thus far, and logging every first-->first smile, first giggle, first crawl, first tooth, first steps, first time I caught her climbing in the name a few! I wouldn't trade being a mom for anything in the world! Not even a lifetime supply of 8-9 hours of sleep every night!

And those are my leftovers. I hope you enjoyed!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Proof that your mom can dance, Lauren!

...She just doesn't always bend her limbs!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Pea Poo and Defining a mental health need

I've had a long weekend, do these constitute a "need" under the mental health clause?

On an unrelated note, Lauren has been eating more solids, and her...poo's have do I put this....fascinating in the name of scientific wonder. I tried to take a picture, and luckily it didn't turn out, not that anyone but a mother would care to see her baby's poo; but, I've been giving her little bites of "big kid" food and her poo literally had a full edamame pea right there, perfectly intact, like it never went through her system. Below, I've tried to capture the image in a painting. I'll warn you, it's graphic:

Fascinating, I know. It's amazing what can and cannot make it through our systems.

Monday, January 31, 2011


Have you ever done something you deeply regretted? No, I didn't break my spending fast on that $1.00 bag of mixed buttons at Porter's Craft Store. And, I don't regret spending half of my don't ask money on a traditional Valentine's Day gift exchange for my sisters.

I actually won't get into what I regret doing, and, I can't even give you a ballpark range for the event that brought on this post. I guess why I'm writing is because we all have something in our lives that we wish we could take back. This is the first time that I've spent the past 3 days at work (5 hours each) replaying in my head what happened over and over, when I realized how much energy and time is wasted thinking about this thing.

I once clipped out of a magazine a quote from Drew Barrymore, where she said, "I never regret anything. Because every little detail of your life is what made you into who you are in the end."

So, I can only keep going and learn from this. It's like I told my clients in my PSR days, "forget about yesterday, it's a whole new day." We get a new chance everyday to be the person we want to be. If I'm trying to not gossip about people, I only have today to say nice things. If I want to treat everyone the way I would like to be treated, I only have today to set an example.

Mistakes will inevitably be made along the way, but you learn to laugh off the small ones, apologize and make restitution for the big ones, and spend everyday striving to be the person you make your mind up to be.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

This is Tough

This spending fast is tough! I've created some dangerous habits that include (but are not limited to) running to Target because I'm bored; running to Target because of after-holiday sales; running to Target just because I saw a funny Target commercial. And by Target, I umbrella all retailers. I'm finding that it gets harder and harder to save my money...and it'll take a miracle to make it 3 more months in this spending fast. I'm down to $10.00 in my "don't ask, don't tell" money, and I thought by now I would be closer to $100.00 so I could go back out to shop for my dream jeans. Every time I go to the store, I think I find something my subconscious can't live without!

The moral of the story is, take only one trip per week to the store to get the necessities, which, while not fun and totally against my current habits and routines, will inevitably help me control my spending and succeed at this fast.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Long Road of Layaways

Jeff had a gift card to spend at Nordstrom's Rack, so we went this weekend in hopes to find something right around the amount on the card. While he set off to the Men's department, Lauren and I casually scoped out the jeans' racks. I've been wanting a pair of True Religions for quite some time. At the actual T.R store, they run for about $300 a pair, so you could imagine my sheer delight and astonishment when I found an adorable pair at the "Crack" (as we sometimes call it) for $87.00!

Do I need a pair of jeans? No, not exactly. Do I badly want a pair of T.R? Naturally. So, as I showed them off to Jeff, I racked my brain to see where in our "guidelines" of this spending fast I could get away with spending just shy of a hundred on a fashion entity...not necessity. The only solution I could muster involved finding out if Nordstrom's Rack had a Layaway program, and if me, my spendy-self, and I, could wait 6 weeks to pay them off with my "don't ask don't tell" money. (Because this past Friday was payday, I'm up to a whopping $38.87.)

I ended up handing the jeans to the fitting room lady and walking out the store empty handed, and needless to say, I didn't even bother finding out about the Layaway program.

This is seriously one challenge that is just that: challenging! I don't know what would be easier: a) continue this spending fast? or b) get an additional part-time job?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

And Just For the Record.... husband is doing no better than I! He just spent a quarter of his "don't ask, don't tell" money on a paper shredder that he insists "we really need". Let the record show, we both need to pace ourselves, and thank goodness for the 'don't ask don't tell' accounts!!! (Now, if we can only keep enough money in those accounts to keep this spending fast going longer than the month of January!)

An Ex-Shopper's Dilemma

What DO you do when stores have holiday stuff 90% off and you're only one week into your shopping fast? Well, with zero will-power, and a dream-like sale, I did what any new year resolutioner with a spending fast would do. I checked my "don't ask, don't tell money" account, and budgeted $8.00 to get 3 amazing items.

(Seriously, how am I gonna pass up "JOY" stocking hangers that were once $45.00 that were selling for $4.50??? Technically, these are a "need" for next Christmas. My new strategy should be to steer clear of the stores altogether....)
And, can anyone justify this $1.50 purchase??? I know, right?! A gingerbread kitchen timer!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Spending Fast in Full Effect

The Spending Fast is in full effect! Here are the logistics:

- Only buy things that are needs (i.e food, gas, diapers, baby things, etc.) and don't buy things that are "wants" (clothing, jewelry, things of excess, eating out, etc.)

Guidelines/Tips to get us there:
1) Before each purchase, ask:
- Do I NEED this?
- Can I get by without this?
- Do I already have this? Something like this? Similar? What do I have that would suffice?

2) Make things (i.e birthday gifts, homemade cards, presents, etc.)

3) Define 'checkpoints' where we can spend our "don't ask, don't tell" money. (roughly $25.00 each pay period). Checkpoints are up to the individual.

4) Allowed to spend gift cards and the extra that spills over. For example, we received a $25.00 gift card to Barnes and Noble. The Blueray movie we wanted was $28.00 after tax, so we paid $3.00 extra. (We agreed this is allowed.)

5) One date night a week to go out and eat. (We always share, so we really won't be splurging here anyway.)

I don't know how we'll do, but it'll be exciting to see how far we can go--and how much we can save!

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