Tuesday, July 31, 2012


Get ready for another very random post people.

A little known fact?  I'm a little bit of a tree hugger. 

Okay, maybe not so little.  At least to those that know me well.  I am not as fantastic as I could be.  I wish I could be the best damn earth saving philanthropist out there.  I have to settle for just being me and having to work a "real job" and just doing what I can do.

I annoy the crap out of my husband because I'm not great at getting recyclables out of the house.  Our town  charges a butt load for curb side service.  It's cheaper to just load the car up once in awhile and drive them the mile to the plant.  It makes me feel good.  I also know stuff slips through.

It's the same with my shopping.  Everyone sometimes gets frustrated with me because I'm always harping about the state of our bank account but I'm willing to pay a few bucks for the good old blue Dawn dish soap because they help the animals.  I'll pay the extra for post consumer content in my paper towel and aluminum foil.  I'll buy local.  I fell in L.O.V.E with a new farmers market this past Saturday.  Maybe next time I go I'll get some pictures because it was amazing.  I scored some pickled asparagus and honey made less than 15 miles from my house.  Both are to die for.  I love pure, raw honey.  I know that stuff in the store says pure...but if you've ever had it straight from the farm, you know that thick gooey stuff in the bear bottle isn't the best stuff out there. 

Believe it or not, this post was not actually brought to you by my trip to the market or my wish to save the planet.  It was brought to you by my night time beauty routine.

You heard me correctly...my night time beauty routine.   As I'm sitting in the bathroom applying my night cream (thank you old age..my face now requires night cream) and my hair oil and all that good jazz I realize that my love of nature and my love of saving my wallet a few bucks have found a perfect balance.  It took a lot of time.  A lot of bottles of stuff being tossed in the trash.  A lot of irritated skin.

I realized that all of my products are almost all natural products.  I found some amazing stuff in some not so traditional places.  My favorite face cream is Burts Bees Baby Bee Buttermilk Lotion.  My face adores that crap!  The best oil for my hair?  A $7 bottle of Burts Bees Baby Bee Almond Oil.  I'm not joking when I say two drops of this stuff goes a very long way.  The best serum and face cream?  It's at The Body Shop.  My new cleanser that took me almost three years to find? Neutrogena Naturals Cleanser and Make Up Remover.  It's $5 a bottle.  If your face is extra dry, go for some Say Yes to Carrots or Cucumbers.  Very inexpensive.

I'm a firm believer that nature will always give us everything we need to survive.  If you're hungry, you can grow something.  If you're cold you can warm by a fire.  If you're warm you can cool off with a breeze or some water.  Nature is what will keep you beautiful..and save you a few bucks in the process.

Next time you find yourself stuck in a beauty rut...get out of the beauty aisles.  Try something new.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


I'm pretty sure I've posted before with this title but this is different.  Or maybe not.  Is guilt always the same?  Does it matter what it stems from or just that your suffering with it?  Who knows.  I don't.  Not sure I care either.

I've been fairly melancholy lately.  I miss my kids.  I miss being home (I'm working my ass off lately).  I miss hanging with friends.  I feel guilty for all of that too.  Guilty for not spending enough time with the kids, the husband, the house, the dog...the washing machine and I are still talking on a daily basis though.  The shower and I are drifting apart.  That's bad.

Lately with all the talk about the economy, the housing market, the elections flying around like the thick and plentiful dust in my house it's got me down.  I've had a lot on my mind about all of these things.  I'm tired of it all.  Prices are rising because of droughts, fires, and rising oil prices.  The corn fields around me at home are sad...or just plain dead.  We can barely get tomatoes to grow in the back yard.  It's just too hot and dry.  That makes my water and electric bill go up.  I try to work overtime to cover that jump.  Gas prices keep going up, produce prices keep going up, milk?  I think we're going to have to switch to powered.  I keep working overtime to cover that jump.  I'm just tired.  Worn out. 

Life overload.

I've been working overtime to pay for making my house a veritable fortress against the others.  By the others I mean the people in my neighborhood that feel it's okay to take from those they see as more fortunate.  Am I?  More fortunate than they are?  Some days I think yes, others not so much.  More yes than no.  I do have HBO after all. 

I've noticed stuff lately.  The guilt I'm feeling is because I feel fortunate.  I have a home, a job, a bed, and even though it's sparse, I have food in my kitchen...as long as you're not counting that banana that's been hanging around a week too long.  I don't think that counts as food anymore. 

There are so many people standing on the side of the road when I come to work with signs.  They say "Need Work" or "Have family, have no food, please help" or the one I see almost every day "Anything will help, even a smile." 

Then I think about seeing blurbs on TV of our president.  He's smiling.  He's on a private jet, he's smiling at a basketball game (up on the jumbo tron, kissing cam no less..that's a huge accomplishment is it not?), he's back from vacation, he's going on vacation.  He's got his freshly pressed sleeves rolled up like he's ready to work hard....to get his hands dirty. 

I'll admit it right here, publicly.  I voted for him.  I was ready for change.  We needed a change.  We needed a whole makeover. 

I'm still waiting.  Aren't we all?  I'm not slamming him..or maybe I am.  I don't know.  I don't want to talk politics, I want to talk human kindness. 

I wonder if President Obama's smiling face is the one that homeless and hungry man on the corner is looking for? How would he feel if it were him driving my car by...nothing to give but my own lunch meant to get me through the next 14 hours of work?  Would that really help, a smile?  I see a lot more than that.  More than half have dogs with them, in 100 degree weather.  Are they really homeless, hungry, and helpless to their situation or are they professional beggars that really could make more than I do in a day?  I wonder this. Then I feel guilty for wondering this.  Who am I to judge?  I can only do my part.  I want to do more for my fellow people, I hate that I have to leave them standing on that corner in the hot sun..their dogs with them just staying close to their masters like the best of friends do.  I tell myself tomorrow I'm going to bring extra PB&J sandwiches and snack bags of veggies, baggies of dog food for their companions.  Then I forget..and the next day I feel even more guilty for forgetting because I was too tired or lazy to get out of bed and ran late.

I'm not as up on my politics as I should be.  I'm too upset about it all really.  I feel like the state of our country is too overwhelming to try to fix...and I feel as if our only choices aren't really choices at all.

I just want to do better.  I just want to help.  I need to get rid of the guilt that I carry around all the damn time.  I really will remember one of these days to pack a few extra sack lunches or grab some gift cards to fast food joints.  I'll have doggie bags made up as well.  There is other stuff to do, you can grow food and donate it to a food bank.  You don't really have to get your hands dirty to help.  Why don't I help more?  Why can't I just go to bed happy with myself and the choices I've made for today?

I can't change what will happen in the higher ranks of this place...those that really make the decisions but I can change what's going on down here in the dredges of everyday life.  I hope.

I hope everyone reading this will too.  Don't judge the people you see...just help them.  What they choose to do with your help is on their conscious, not yours.  Yours will be clear.

We can be our own change...isn't that how the saying goes?   Be the change you want to see in the world?

 There it is...the stuff that won't let me sleep on a typical Tuesday.  

Monday, July 9, 2012


There's something about that word, comfortable.  It's so ambiguous and so specific at the same time...all while being universally understood.

It describes those yoga pants of mine that I can't seem to get out of.  My bed, all cozy and soft.  The smell of clean laundry, the crook of my husband's shoulder, the feel of all my kids sitting around me just watching television.

I've always thought I was comfortable in my own skin, always known who I was as a person.  I'm beginning to wonder if I ever really was or if I just lost it somewhere along the way.  If there was something at a point in my life that made me...well, uncomfortable.

As I get older I realize that maybe that's exactly what it was.  I can't pinpoint when it happened.  If it was a person or an event that did it.  I only know that it happened because recently I find I'm getting back to it, to my old self.

I'm kind of a dork, more than a little weird, and I say a lot of inappropriate things and the most inappropriate times.  I can't help it.  There is no filter between my brain and my mouth.  I find I don't do it so much online.  I'm able to find a filter...I'm still not sure where.  I'm okay with it.  I'm okay with not being a size six.  I'm okay with my wide ass feet and my wide ass.  I'm okay with my jeans and tank tops.  I'm not okay with my ridiculously plain and straight hair but that's an easy enough fix.  I'm pretty comfortable with my parenting ways.  I don't have bad kids..they just have bad days.  Goodness knows I have plenty of my own.

I am enjoying this time, I love that I'm comfortable enough with my life to get back to me.  Don't get me wrong, I have made many mistakes.  I carry a lot of guilt.  A lot.  Even more. 

My life is starting to feel comfortable in spite of it all.  It reminds me of a light sweater in the spring.  You don't wear it all the time but it's there.  Hanging on your shoulders...around your waist...lurking in the back seat of the car.  It's like an old, favorite comfortable spring sweater.  A fuzzy yellow one.

It's taken a lot of years to get here.  I just realized today that I'm content where I'm at.  I'm not content with a few things, but overall, I really couldn't ask for more than what I have.  We still struggle, we still have issues in our house but I wouldn't trade it.  We're getting there.  I'm getting there.

Comfortable.  It feels good.

Saturday, July 7, 2012


That's me.   I'm a cheapskate.  A frugal little whore.  Most of the time.

Over the years I've learned when to spend the money and when to skip it.  I've learned a few tricks that maybe can help someone out somehow.  Not sure why this is on my mind today.  Probably because I'm broke as hell, stressed as hell, and want to spend lots of money.  Which is how I usually deal with being broke and stressed.

Things I think you should never buy on the cheap:

Bed linens
Toilet paper

I'm not saying to always pay full price for those things.  I'm a HUGE fan of getting deals on normally expensive things.  Black Friday is the perfect day for scoring on the bed linens and jeans..maybe even the furniture.  The best deals I ever found on Black Friday was a dishwasher, a convection microwave, and 1200 thread count sheet sets.  It worked out to be able to save for those because I knew we'd end up finding deals and wouldn't have to wrestle the crowds because they're not common Christmas shopping things.   All of those were under $100 each.  DSW has the best clearance racks for shoes...combine that 70% off price tag with one of their $5 or $10 off coupons and you're walking out with a $150 pair of shoes for $8. 

Just about everything else is fair game.  I know some would argue the furniture bit there but after 3 kids, 16 years, and countless sofas, dining room tables, and recliners I've learned my lesson.  There really IS a difference between a $250 sofa and an $1800 one.  It's about 8 years and 2 kids worth of difference....and still going.  Spend the money.  You'll thank yourself, unless you're one of those people that has to buy new stuff every year.  In that case just hit up IKEA. 

I love Suave shampoos and conditioners, I've used the Biolage, Paul Mitchell, you name it.  The Suave really does work just as well.  Instead of the expensive hair oils I use Burts Bees Baby Bee Almond Oil.  I buy Target brand body wash, unless my favorite Coconut SoftScrub is on sale.  I've used Aussie Sprunch spray since 6th grade.  It's changed a bit but I can't seem to give it up and it's still under $3 a bottle.  My favorite eye liner of all time is still the $.93 long stick Wet n Wild.  I can't get enough of the NYC $1.50 lipgloss. I can deal with regular baby lotion instead of the fancy pants stuff.  Now Johnson and Johnson has a few different scents like Cocoa and Shea Butter, Country Apple, and Lavender.  Nothing high end but it gets the job done.  Cheap nailpolish is my obsession.  I actually like doing my own nails at home with a cocktail and an epsom salt soak.

What I really have the most fun with is planning vacations on a budget.  It's a challenge I take very seriously.  My biggest secret is VRBO.  I guess I can't really call it a secret, I think I tell everyone I know about it.  It's how I got a 5 bedroom, 5 bath house with its own pool and hot tub for $1100 for 8 days.  It's how I went to Hawaii, twice, for $85 a day.  I love it, I really can't get enough.  If you're planning a trip for three nights or longer it's a must.  You always have a fully stocked kitchen so you can save even more by making your own meals.  Not a fantastic idea but hey..if you want to afford to go to Hawaii or the likes, you make concessions.  I wanted the Hawaiian food experience so instead of restaurants or eateries (we still went to a few) we hit the local farmers market or food stands and cooked with all the local fare. I think I have more fun than should be allowed searching for the perfect place when we decide to go somewhere.  Searching for free or cheap activities.  Look for local Groupons before you go for restaurants or shops.

I'm not afraid to hit up places like TJ Maxx for shoes, clothes, even my pots and pans.  It's also a great place to pick up small gifts like cook books, picture frames, kitchen gadgets, or even a bathrobe and pajama set or a kitchen apron.

This post kind of came out of left field but I knew I needed to write about something and this ended up being it. 

If not, at least you killed a few minutes of your work day.  Or not..because it's Saturday.

Friday, July 6, 2012


I just want to say that I'm a normal person.  I think.  I think I'm a normal person.

I think normal people have insomnia.  I'm not sure if it's because I work nights or because I have a brain that refuses to shut off.  It could be a bit of both.  I don't know, I don't even know if I care.  What I do know is that I'm tired.  I'm tired of not being able to sleep.  The fact that I am exhausted when I drive home in the morning, even having to put my cell phone down because I'm too tired to hold it to my ear and talk to the person that is trying to keep me awake...that's how tired I am.

I'll finally crawl into my cloud like heaven and then my brain seems to go into overdrive.  I am relaxed, I'm ready to float off into dreams of cupcakes, folded laundry, and well behaving kids that don't fight.  It's almost as if that relaxation opens the flood gates to my mind. 

All of a sudden there's an avalanche of thoughts about whether or not I rememered to log out of my computer at work.  Did I water the dog?  Do we need milk?  I think the kitchen is starting to stink, why do I think it's doing that?  When did I do laundry last, do I have clean underwear for work tonight, when was the last time the kids showered, do they stink..maybe that's what the smell in the kitchen was...Avery was standing right there.

It doesn't stop, it goes faster until it's literally five thoughts at once and they get jumbled and then I begin to wonder if I'm going crazy. 

If you think I haven't tried or heard everything that is supposed to help me, you are very wrong.  Okay.  I lied, I haven't tried straight up exercise.  I'm too fucking tired to do lunges and run a mile when I get home after a 12 and a half hour shift and then drive another hour to get here. 

I'm hoping writing will help. Writing about anything really.  Obviously tonight it's the insomnia itself.

Maybe if I get some of these thoughts out of my brain they can stop floating around and give me some peace.

I'll do the drugs if I need to, but the last time I did that I ended up folding laundry while naked and somehow found some Taco Bell cinnamon twists to feed to my dog.  At least I didn't drive anywhere, I don't think.

I'll do them again if I have to, even though things get weird I still sleep great and actually wake up alert.  I can fix a bowl of cereal and not forget where we put the spoons. 

We'll see how this goes.