Monday, November 16, 2015

Being True To Myself Step 2


One thing I've always like was manicured nails. It's one of the few girly things I like. But like most people making my dominate nails look good - well I never mastered that. I thought I'd try water marbling.

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

So I decided to try it. First attempt was a total disaster. Second attempt okay. But I'm having fun doing it. And that's part of being true to yourself it should be fun!

This is my third attempt.

This is my 5th attempt

I'm getting the hang of it - but I have horribly short nails. So that's an issue.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Gifts for any occassion

I was trying to think of what little inexpensive gift I could do for my thesis committee as a thank you. I could purchase something inexpensive, but it feels impersonal in a way. So I decided to make something that was still personal. I decided on a homemade personal care set. I had found some 2 oz bottles in the house and well they were just sitting there.

Bulk Apothecary sent a message Halloween weekend - 16% off the entire store. So I ordered Shampoo, Conditioner,  Shower Gel and Hand Lotion base, and Lavender essential oil. 16 oz of the bases and 2 oz of the lavender. that's 8 gifts for $33 (that's with shipping) or $4 and change.

There are sites all over the web that will show you how to make these things without buying the bases but time is an issue for me. I need something I can do quickly. So I went with them besides at $3.95 for 16 oz? I'm not going to worry too much.

That got me to thinking of other cheap gifts a person could make here are a few.

Sharpie Mugs - get the mugs at the dollar store write or draw on them with Sharpie Markers and bake at 350 for 30 minutes. They can be double baked - just remember to include a hand wash only card with them. Fill them with goodies.

Sign up for Pinch Me - It's a great way to get samples! Save the samples and your toilet rolls and/or paper towel rolls. Get some tissue paper if you are doing it for Christmas find red or green. Stuff your free samples into the roll and wrap them in tissue paper using ribbon to tie the ends. Basically a free gift to give.

Chalkboard Clipboards - requires clipboards (Office Max has 3 for $4.99) and Black Board Paint (8 oz at Home Depot for $2.94. Great for putting in the kitchen to jot down things to pick up or appointments.

Recipe cards. Go to the dollar store and pick up mixing spoons and measuring scoops and index cards. Type your favorite recipes into the computer and print them. If you have a laminator you can laminate them or use clear contact paper. Punch a hole and attach them to the spoons and measuring scoops with a silver ring.

These should be enough to get you started. Share any gifts that you make in the comments.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

What is Love


William Shakespeare offered a beautiful sonnet on True Love.

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken. 
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.
(Sonnet 116) 

This is one of the truest things I've ever read. I once heard a bride to be say "He does (thing) but once we're married I'll train him." I rolled my eyes at the statement. At the time I'd been married about 7 years. I told her "He's not going to be trained. And before you start remember for every habit he has that annoys the crap out of you, you have one that annoys the crap out out of him." Yes, a person can break a habit. It takes 21 days to do it and they have to want to do it. But there is something else to consider - if you change the person you love - will they still be the person you love?

My hubby is a Military aircraft buff and will talk about it constantly if he gets on the subject. It annoys the crap out of me. But I listen. Hey, I talk plans for my cat breeding for hours and it annoys him, but he listens.

When hubby became disabled in the military, (PTSD, Anxiety, Depression, Migraines, Back and Neck pain) I could have thrown up my hands and walked away. When he kicks me in his sleep from flashback dreams, or even after the time I woke up with him still asleep choking me; I could have packed my bags and left. But as I've told him "I promised the nice man that married us in sickness and in health". But that's not the only reason. I love him. not because he's perfect - Heaven knows he's the one person that can make me so mad I could get violent. 

There are a couple things I've discovered in 28 years of marriage and I'll share them with you.

1. When you wake up in the morning beside this person your first thought should be. "I'm glad they are there." Or if it's a rough patch "I can deal with your crap today because I love you."

2. A person who truly loves you will encourage you in whatever you want to do.

3. You worry when you don't know where that person is.

4. You feel like your relationship has been forever and no time at all. 

5. The idea of that person won't be there tightens your chest with fear.

6. You both accept when the other says no to something - that's a no.

Love should never be hard, it should never hurt. Love accepts the good, the bad, the terrible and the truly terrifying and is still there.

Monday, November 9, 2015



Now one of the things I love is cooking! I've gotten good at it in 28 years with hubby. I was a horrible cook when we got married, bless his heart he ate the few meals I did know how to make. Then he bought me a bunch of cookbooks and a subscription for a year to Gourmet magazine. He encouraged me to get better. Now I search out recipes.

I have several places that I go.

The newest one is it's run by an Australian who is a trained French chef. I love this site because in addition to the recipe he has videos you can watch. I'm trying several of his recipes this month.

I love eating out and am always looking for copycat recipes to make my favorite meals at home - hey eating out is expensive. So when I was looking for Texas Roadhouse's Chicken Fried Steak recipe I happened across this blog the best thing about it is there are several blogs linked to for different recipes! From Applebees to Zaxby's! Now I can make them at home.

If you love Bonefish Grill's Bang Bang Shrimp, I found this recipe

Cracker Barrel's Hashbrown Casserole? Yup that's online too. But unless you want to taste onions and mostly onions - CUT what they recommend a LOT!

If you love Carrabba's well the classic menu they have a cookbook.

Then there are the standard places - all, Food Network's site, Betty Crocker, Campbell Soup... well there are a lot of them. Some of the best recipes I find are from friends on Facebook sharing recipes!

Cooking is creative, nurturing and makes the house smell great! There is nothing better than seeing someone enjoy your cooking.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Loving Myself


For a lot of years I hated myself. I hated my height - 5ft 10. I hated my natural hair color - mouse brown. I hated that my best was never good enough. I had a good life, a husband that spoils me, a roof over my head, no need of a full time job because of hubby's disability pay. But I still hated everything.

Then I realized it wasn't my hair - I could color it. It wasn't my height I like being tall. It was that I hated myself.

Self-harming is a symptom of depression. Though I didn't know it when I was a kid. It made the emotional pain stop, for me at any rate. I've learned now to talk to someone or try and ride out the numbness until it tips to anger or crying. It will always be a part of me. But mostly I cut because I hated myself.

My BFF of 12 years has been someone that I could count on for help. Even if it was just keeping me from hurting myself. I was a cutter, well I guess I'll always be one. If the emotional pain gets to bad I go numb. Physical pain I can deal with. Not so much the emotional. I cut to deal with the numbness. I got that way about 2 years ago. Totally numb and wanted to cut. I told her and she stayed up late for her and talked me through until I came out of the numbness. My husband has also helped me through a desire to cut myself. He was the one that insisted if I ever felt like doing it again I had to talk to someone until it passed.

My being true to myself journey is helping me learn to love myself. I've discovered that the truer I am to myself the more I love myself. Maybe I've always hated myself because I was being true to everyone else's idea of who and what I should be.

Society tells us to love ourselves, but they never manage to tell us how to do that. Have you noticed that? Most young children know this instinctively. Maybe it's because we tell them how cute they are, how much we love them. Why do we stop giving people compliments? Why do we stop believing compliments we are given?

Here's a story.  Hubby and I were in a jewelry store to get a ring resized. The sales clerk noticed I didn't have a diamond ring. I don't like diamonds - to me they are cold, hard, judging and have nothing to do with love. Now you may like them, I'm just talking about me. She said hubby needed to buy me one. He told her "I'll get her something for her computer, she'll like that more." My response "He knows me so well!" Her response - "Every woman needs a diamond."  Why when I don't like them, don't want them and don't care about them do I need one?

The reason was simple and complex. Society deems that a woman should love jewelry. I don't never have. I do have a few pieces I adore but I wear them rarely and only on special occasions. This clerk determined that because I was female I had to have a diamond because I was female. What she did was make me feel less like a woman, less lovable because I didn't want a diamond.

I'm still learning to love myself. But I know the benefits of it - happiness.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Grocery Shopping


Oh man I hate Grocery Shopping. Well I hate the way I use to grocery shop. Same things every time. Go through the aisles and guess how much I needed. Well I always ended up with a lot, and if I hadn't eaten a lot of junk. So I decided to do something different this month. It's not easy or quick but so worth it!

My first step was to create a menu. Since we get paid once a month, I made it for a month. To do this I started with favorite meals. I allowed for them to be served no more than once a week. The only thing that is served that often is Saturday is Pizza night - it's the day I have my glass blowing slot and I'm too wiped after that than do much more than throw a frozen pizza in the oven. I'm also trying some new recipes this month - if we like them they will go into regular rotation. If you grocery shop weekly or every two weeks - plan your menu accordingly and follow the steps.

Then I looked at every recipe and listed out the ingredients and made a tic mark for every ingredient used more than once. Then I created an excel spreadsheet. With 4 columns: Ingredients, # Needed, # on hand, # need to buy. Once I had everything in the list with the first 2 columns filled out I went through my pantry, spice cabinet, refrigerator, and freezer filling out the third column. Simple subtract needed from on hand and put that number in the fourth column. From that I made my shopping list. Now granted I can be slightly anal at times, so when I made my shopping list I organized it - Meat, Produce, Dairy, Canned or boxed goods which included Spices (basically anything in the middle of the store.)  Yes, I know it takes time, but nothing worthwhile is ever fast.

My shopping list has 5 columns, (just make a second sheet in Excel): Ingredients, then the 4 stores that are close to the house. I used my computer to look through their sales adds (Note: If you shop at Publix when you create a shopping list you can print it and it will tell you what aisle the items are on. You can also get a free account and "clip" digital coupons. Just input your phone number at the check out!) Enter the price for each item in the correct store. If things are BOGO or B2GO make note of the amount saved according to the ad. Do that for each store. Again not easy or quick but worth it. Now I knew what was on sale and where. I also know who is in general cheapest usually. So if I didn't see the item on one of the sales I bought it at the cheap place and use coupons if I have them.

At the stores that I was in for the sales - I ONLY bought those items. A little lesson in grocery stores I found out years ago, but never used until now. Sales ads are filled with Loss Leaders - basically the store takes a loss on these items figuring you'll buy the rest of your groceries there - but YOU DON'T HAVE TO! It's federal law, use it to your advantage.

My monthly budget for food is $500 - but with the old way I ran out of food before I ran out of month. Now every day has a menu, as you see in the menu planner. Here is the break down for this month.

Savings With Coupons $9.25
Savings on Loss Leaders $85.11

Total Savings: $94.36

This allowed me to splurge on Filet for my steak dinner and for my Beef Stew!

If I continue to save at that a month for a year $1,132.32! To me that is worth the work as we live on a fixed income.

I have just started using coupons. I've seen the extreme coupon thing and it's not for me. I don't have room to store stuff. But that is up to you. But I only clip for what I actually use.

If you have questions feel free to ask in the comments.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Being True to yourself


Everyone says to be happy you have to be true to yourself. You really do need to do that and from my journey on that rode, I've noticed that I AM happier. But how do you start that journey?

I credit Caitlin Jenner (Not a Keeping Up With The Kardashians fan, so that had nothing to do with it). It was her comment that she was finally being true to herself. That comment got me thinking, was I being the real me? Or was I letting everyone else determine what that truth was? So I asked myself one question...

Am I happy with myself?

Not the life I was living, or where I was in my life - but with myself. I'd thought I was but the more I was honest with myself, I realized I wasn't. I was happy when it was just me and my husband I was happier with me, but still not completely. I finally realized it was because I wasn't doing things because so and so wouldn't approve. I was too old. Or some other stupid reason I wouldn't let myself do or be what or who I wanted.

It wasn't easy to decide what steps to take. Truthfully, I'm still figuring it out and I hope to be figuring it out for the rest of my life. My true first step, I didn't realize that it was the first step. It was going back to college and getting a degree. I'm about to graduate with a double degree! 

The second step came after the Caitlin Jenner comment. I'd seen the "Rainbow/ Crayola" hair colors and I wanted to do my hair - in green. But I'd always told myself "You're 52. That's too old to do that." Then I made the "Be True To Myself" project had started. So that was something I wanted to do and I DID IT! I love my green hair. I feel younger. I've gotten more compliments on my hair even when I feel like crap. When I got out of that chair, I knew I was being true to myself.

Other things have appeared on the list as time passes but that's okay. Each one I've made came from deep within myself. It has taken time to make. I had to break out of the habit of thinking someone wouldn't approve or I was too old or I can't. 

Now it's your turn. Comment and tell me something you want to do but told yourself you couldn't because of someone else or your age. 

Saturday, October 31, 2015

What is this?

It's about Life, Love and Saving. It's as simple as that.

A Life post will be about how I'm making myself happy with me. By being who I want to be and doing whatever is true to that individual. In one I'll share my journey on being true to myself, share recipes that I love, make up tips, tips on organizing your home, your life on a budget and how to make cool things for gifts.

A Love post will be about, well love. What does it look like, how do you show those that you love and how to recognize someone that loves you, but most importantly how to love yourself.

A Saving post will simply be tips on how to save money. We'll look at how to shop, how to determine if something is a want or a need, and when to deny or reward yourself. Maybe even discuss things you can do to bring in a little extra money.

Will my way work for you? It might or might not. But I really hope that everyone that visits finds something they can apply to their lives. I'm not an expert, just someone that is taking this journey and inviting you to come along for the ride. Every post will be tagged with what it's about; Life, Love, or Saving. A lot of post will overlap because all three things are connected anyway.

My plan is to update 3 times a week. Monday, Wednesday and Fridays. So join me in this continuing journey. Any ideas please feel free to comment.