Wednesday, January 26, 2011

(almost) Wordless Wednesday

7:28 PM 1 Comments
Another Wednesday and I've survived it. That sounds awfully dramatic, doesn't it? I had a bit of a tough day but survived is an awfully strong word. I guess it's true though, huh? I mean if I hadn't survived, it means I died or something and that certainly didn't happen.

So, what's wrong? Nothing really. Money is always a struggle and today is no different. We had a bill that came up that was unexpected and of course, comes at a bad time. Then again, when is a good time for an unexpected bill? We'll manage somehow. We always do. Someone always seems to be looking out for us.

Now, who is ready for this week's photo? The theme over at Sunday Shutterbugs is still Shapes. I think we have one more week left. I actually took this picture about 30 minutes ago and while I had a hard time getting a really good picture, I really like the concept I was going for.


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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Tackle It Tuesday - Week 2 Challenge

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Welcome back to another challenge week! I hope that some of you stopped by and saw last week's challenge to tackle a dumping ground spot in your house. I am happy to say that I have a nice, clean table and I'm hoping that my boys and I will be able to sit down at it this weekend and enjoy dinners together. If so, it will be the first time in 4 years since we've sat down at a table and enjoyed a meal together.

Now, part of the fun of all of this is that I get to share my after picture with all of you.  This is good because it holds me accountable to actually tackle my own challenge! So, here we go, one cleaned off table:

For those of you might wonder, yes, that is a rocking chair pulled up to the table. It's actually an antique that was passed down to me that won't fit anywhere else in our house and I can't stand the idea of putting it out into the barn. It sure came in handy the night my nephew was here and teething!

Now, who's ready for this week's challenge? I am! I hope all of you are too. This week, we're going to be tackling what quickly becomes another overflowing area for me. My bedside table. I only have one because well, that's all I have and I can't afford to buy another right now. On the other side of my bed, I have vintage suitcases stacked and they hold magazines I haven't had a chance to read and out of season clothing. The bedside table, however, is covered with who knows what! Plus, I'm an avid reader and have this bad tendency to drop the books on the floor by the bed when I'm done. So, since the move is coming up, I'm going to be clearing that stand and sorting those books so that they're either ready to be donated or ready to be packed! Let me show you what I have in store for me this week...

Yuck, right? Books stacked taller than the stand, wrappers, more books, kids' water bottle and yes, that is a box of cookies. That poor teddy bear looks like he's hanging on for dear life! I guess not only am I going to clean, I'm going on a teddy bear rescue mission! Who will join me?


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Book Review: Why You Say It

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Now here I went and said I wasn't going to post them all that often when I suddenly realized that I had never posted my review for this fun book!

As some of you know, I love little bits of trivia, so this book was right up my ally. The author filled the book with the history/explanations of 600 words and phrases used in everyday life. If you're like me, you have no idea where some of these came from!

This is one of those great books that you can pick up, read about something and then put it down and come back for more later! I love those kinds of books when life gets super busy. I kept this in the car for ages. Then, on those days, when I got to the boys' school early, I could keep myself entertained while learning about where things came from!

If you're a "too busy to read" type of person or if you're just a word geek, this book is certainly one that you'll want to pick up.


I received a copy of Why You Say It to review from BookSneeze. All reviews and opinions are 100% mine. 

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Book Review: Sir QuinLan and The Swords of Valor

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It's been a while since I've posted a book review and I don't suspect I'll be posting them more than once a month or so, but when I find a good book, I do want to share that with all of you because like I said, books are sexy.

Sir Quinlan and the Swords of Valor is actually book 5 in the Knights of Arrethtrae series. I didn't know that when I chose this book, but luckily for me, it reads wonderfully as a standalone book. The story is all about Quinlan and how he learns how to balance who he is with his dream to serve the Prince. Along the way, there are stumbling blocks and of course, he doubts himself and his abilities when compared to the others around him. As a person, I could relate so much to that! That's something that I deal with so often in the blogging world!

While I very much enjoyed this book, I do need to warn you that this book does have some serious religious undertones. While children might not notice, adults will. However, please don't let that stop you from picking up one of these books to try out. Even if you're not religious or even a Christian, the other messages in this book could speak to you like they did to me. In the end, Quinlan comes into his own and that's an important message. Never give up, keep on going even when you don't think you're the best at something.

Overall, I very much enjoyed this book and I look forward to placing it on the boys' bookshelf to see how they enjoy it.


I received a copy of Sir Quinlan and the Swords of Valor free from Blogging for Books. This review is 100% mine.

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Monday, January 24, 2011


11:05 PM 1 Comments
I love this graphic. I wish I could remember where it came from. It has my favorite flowers and my theme for 2011. For the past few years, I've heard about Ali Edward's One Little Word Project.  In fact, for the past couple of years, I've actually chosen a word. The problem is, after a couple of months, I've gone and forgotten the word! Tonight, while reading over at Forever Daisies, I realized what the problem was. They were all good words and good goals, but I made it far too complicated. So, this year, I've decided to go simple. Just like the lovely Kimberly, over at Forever Daisies, I've chosen Simple for my word.

I really believe that my life has gotten far too complicated over the years. I've become more and more reliant on technology and less focused on the things that really are goals I've had for years. I spend far too much time sitting online and not nearly enough creating wonderful things. I have collected far more things than I need.

Now, I can't say I've spent more money than I should because let's face it, there's just no money there to spend. I don't have a credit card and the little bit of money that I do bring in just covers my bills. The bit that I occasionally make here on the blog quite often goes to other things that pop up. However, that doesn't mean that I can't look for other ways to save money. Honestly, I should have been doing that ages ago. So, I'm going to work more on finding new ways to save money and I'm going to try to share those with my readers.
In fact, I would love it if people could post their tips here in the comments. I can them combine them all into a post and share them with everyone.

Simple. It's not only going to be my word, but my lifestyle goal for this coming year. It's going to mean more purging and maybe some tough decisions, but I believe I'll be a happier woman for it.


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Thursday, January 20, 2011

(almost) Wordless Wednesday - A Little Late

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Last week, I was early. This week, I'm late. I do have a good reason though. Yesterday, I had to go to the dentist to have my permanent crown put on and my jaw was not as appreciative to have it done as my mind was. I do have pictures though. I do. I do.

I did it, folks. I applied to graduate school. I actually mailed out the paperwork about 10 days ago, which means I only have about 20 more days to go until I find out if they accepted me or not. Surprisingly, I'm not at all stressed out about what might happen. I know that before I posted about how afraid I was. In fact, I want to thank those of you who left me encouraging comments. It helped a lot. At this point, while I'd be thrilled if they said yes, I'm ok if they say no. It just means that something better is out there for me and maybe I'm not meant to do this right now. I guess we'll know in 20 days or so, huh? Until then, here are my photos for Shapes for this week.

The deadline was January 15th and this shows that they received it on January 11th. So, what pictures have you taken this week and have you shared them over at Sunday Shutterbugs yet?

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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Tackle It Tuesday - Week 1 Challenge

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Hey everyone! It's another Tuesday and since I did get a few responses saying they would be interested, today will start our first of many, many cleaning and organizing challenges. Since I have to prepare for a move, I will certainly be doing this right along side all of you.  I do need to mention that these challenges are in no related to the fabulous ladies over at These are all me.  I'm posting them on Tuesdays because well, these are all areas I need to tackle each week and as I prepare to start packing.

This week's challenge is one that I know all of us can tackle! We're going to find one space in our house where everything just seems to get dumped. Ok, if your house is like my house, that can be two or three places, but this week, I just want you to choose one.  I chose my kitchen table:

Now, I suspect you might be thinking that it doesn't look too bad. Well, I will confess that last night, I decided to go out and remove all of the holiday decorations that had been adding to the clutter. Yes, I am still putting away holiday decorations, but that's another challenge.  In fact, I'm going to share that challenge with you. If you have not gotten all your decorations down and put away yet, get to it! Clear out the space in your home to make room for other things that make you smile!  My goal is to have all of mine out into the barn by the end of the weekend. It should be sooner but I have to take the weather into account.

Ok, now back to this week's challenge. Ready? I want you to find your spot, clear it off, polish it up and then keep it like that for a week. Think you can do it? I know you can! As for me, I''m going to go tackle mine right now and then next week, I'll share my after photo as well as the before one for next week's challenge! Good luck and make sure you come back and share your links with me! It's good to feel that none of us are in this alone.


PS Today is the 12 year anniversary of my son's death. I've chosen not to post about it this year, but if you're looking for the post about it, you can find it here.

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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

(almost) Wordless Wednesday - A Little Early

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It's been a long time since I've posted one of these but I am so happy to have a photo to share. Plus, it's a photo that I actually just took. It's not an ancient archived one! This is just one of my shelves of books. I have so many and I wouldn't change that for anything. I love books. I think they're sexy. I think knowledge is sexy. I've already started packing my books and it makes me sad not to be able to see them or to just pull one from the shelf whenever I want.

Shelf of Books

On a random thought, I've been thinking a lot about bringing back the Tuesday cleaning/organizing challenges. Would anyone out there be interested? If so, please leave me a comment.

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Tabasco Original Red

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This post brought to you by TABASCO® Original Red. All opinions are 100% mine.

The Super Bowl is right around the corner and with thoughts of that come thoughts of food. We all know that you can't watch the Super Bowl without some delicious snacks on the menu. For us, that quite often includes soda, chips, pretzels and pizza. We would love to do wings, but have you ever tried to buy wings anywhere near the Super Bowl? Good luck! Heck, I'm going shopping this weekend and I bet I'll still have some trouble finding some. 

Now, along with good food must come good condiments. We always have the standards: ketchup, mustard, ranch dressing and some sort of dips. This year, however, we're going to be adding TABASCO® Original Red to that listing. Why? Well, because it's something that Roger and Jim and Justin all enjoy and I've decided to maybe even try it out for myself. I've been told that the ingredients (salt, red pepper and vinegar) do more than add flavor, they enhance it. Well, I like a bit of a kick to my food and anything that enhances sounds good to me! 

Justin likes his on tacos, potatoes and even chicken & waffles. I've seen Jim use it on his eggs. Me? I think I'm going to try some on a slice of pizza this year. I'm sure it will add a little kick to that pepperoni and will be delicious! 

This just in: I checked with Justin and he has used it on pizza and I was right! He said, "It helps to bring out the subtle spices in the meat and improves the body of the sauce." Wow! I really want to give it a try now.

If you'd like to serve up some delicious foods this Super Bowl or heck, anytime, check out the Game-Day Party Menu. It's full of ideas and recipes that you can try out. :)  If you're a pizza lover, make sure you check out Pizza Perfected! It all sounds so delicious to me!

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Friday, January 7, 2011

Perfectly Afraid

3:17 PM 3 Comments
So, that's the question. Well, really the question is, Should I go to grad school? I think most people would say yes. I know that I should. Right now, I have an expensive piece of paper for a bachelor's degree. While it looks really nice, it's not going to get me a job or help to provide for my children. So, yes, I should go to grad school.

Will I? Well, that depends on two things. One, will I actually write out the essay and then mail the packet in? Two, if I do those things, will they say yes?  Those are the questions. I don't have the answers.

Ok, I know the answer to the first one. Yes, I will. I'm going to do it. I'm going to sit down over this weekend and write it. Why this weekend? Because it has to be in their hands by the 15th. Yes, I have massively procrastinated on this. Why? Well, that's the entire point of this post.

I'm afraid. I'm afraid that if I do this and they say no, that I will take the rejection personally and it will send me spiraling. Of course, if they say no, I also have no idea what I'm going to do. I need to go back to school and finish this degree so that I can get a job that allows me to take care of my boys. I also need to go back and get an assistantship to help pay the bills. There are so many things that need to be done that haven't been done because the money just isn't there. We're living one "emergency" to the next right now and all of the should get dones aren't getting done.

Then, there's the other side of the coin. What happens if I do this and they say yes? This bring up a whole other set of fears. Let's see, there's the fear that I just won't be able to do the work. Yes, I have a BA in Psychology but what if I somehow just learned it to pass the tests? What if I don't really know it? I had someone ask me a psych 101 question a few weeks ago and I had to look up answers for it. That's scary. I ought to be able to recite that stuff in my sleep. Plus, there's the fear of having to drive almost an hour every day to campus and that's assuming I find a house in Hastings. If I don't, I could be driving who knows how far. Ugh!

You see, I've gotten myself into a perfect tizzy over this and really, it's just silly. If they turn me down, there's always next year to reapply or maybe it will be for a good reason, like I won't be living close enough this year.  If they say yes, then good. I can do this. I'm a smart woman and I can learn. My brain may not be 22 anymore but it's not 102 either. I can learn and I'm good with people. I would make a good therapist. I know that I would.

So, I'm going to ask all of you for some help. If you read this post and you see me online, ask me if I've written that essay yet. Post comments here, reminding me to get it done. I'm asking for your support and encouragement. I know you won't let me down.

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Thursday, January 6, 2011

Butt Paste

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This post brought to you by Boudreaux's Butt Paste. All opinions are 100% mine.

Doesn't that title sound so naughty? I bet you're wondering what the heck this post is about, huh? Well, nothing naughtier than diaper rash, I'm afraid. Then again, if you've had a kiddo with a nasty case of diaper rash, you'll know what I mean when I say they can be mean little things. Who could blame them? It hurts and it stings and it's just a miserable experience. This is when you want a really good diaper rash ointment. 

When my boys were babies, I found an ointment that I loved and that worked! Sadly, it is now basically impossible to get it in stores. So, since I now use diaper rash ointment for other types of rashes (including heat rash) and even on bug bites, I went looking for a replacement brand. That's when I discovered Boudreaux's Butt Paste. Not only does it have the best name ever, but it also works wonders! Plus, it comes in various sizes so I can have a tub of it in the bathroom and a tube of it tossed into my travel case. 

If you're looking for a new diaper rash ointment and want to try out this product, just click on the link above to discover how you can receive a free sample!

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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

2011, Here We Come

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It's 2011 and I'm left wondering what the heck happened to 2010? I certainly wasn't ready to leave last year behind or prepared to step into a new year but it seems the calendar ignored my desperate pleas to slow down and just went right on ahead without me.  Well, that's just fine because it took me with it, even if I was kicking and screaming just a little bit.

As always, the end of a year is cause for reflection and the start of a new year is cause for planning. If you know me, you know I'm a major planner. The funny thing is, that I dream of a man who is spontaneous and will call home and say pack your bags, I have a surprise for you. I know that opposites don't really attract but I do want someone who will bring out my fun side while being able to deal with my ocd neurotic side at the same time. *grins*

So, what am I planning for the coming year? I know you all desperately want to know, right? I hope so because I'm going to tell you. Don't worry, it's nothing shocking or anything that you'll have to send the kids out of the room for. I have very "simple" plans and hopes for the coming year.

In no particular order, they are....(I feel like I'm announcing the top 10 in a beauty contest when I say things like that..hehe)...

1. Grad School - My application is due in 10 short days and I'm down to just having write the 2 page essay. This is going to be the hardest part though because they want a lot in those 2 double spaced typewritten pages and really it's probably the one thing that will swing them towards yes or no. Once it's submitted, I should have an answer by February 15th or so as to if I've been accepted.

2. Weight Loss - Yes, this has been an ongoing battle with me. I get started all gung ho and then my accountability partners quit and not long after, so do I. This year, I'm setting a small goal. I want to lose 20 pounds. Yep, just 20 pounds. Is it the total of what I need to lose? Not even close, but I want to be realistic and break this into small chunks. Last night, I was introduced to A Better Second Half and I'm hoping to hook up with her as accountability partners. I think it would be great for both of us.

3. The House - Yep, it's still standing! I have the same goals for this year as I believe I did last year. I want to continue in my purging efforts. We've gotten rid of so much but there is still so much to go! Plus, we have a move coming up in 5 months and I want to be totally prepared for it. I have serious anxieties as to whether or not we'll be able to find a house that will allow us to have our 5 cats, but that's a bridge to cross once I get to it in April.

4. The House Part B - I mentioned the move in the last section and part B is all about the move. Starting on February 1st, I'm making it my goal to start packing up 1-2 boxes each week so that when it's time for that move, I'm not frantically scrambling.

5. The House Part C - Yep, there's another part to all of this.  I'm also making it a goal for this year to be much more on the ball with my cleaning and organizing. I know that as I purge, this part will become easier and easier because I'll be tripping over less stuff. With depression, this is one area I really struggle in. The more down my mood becomes, the worse my house becomes. The worse my house becomes, the more down my mood becomes. You see the cycle and so do I. I'm working hard on breaking that.

6. Katie's Craft Corner - This is my little Etsy shop and I do mean little. I think there are maybe 4 items posted there right now. Sadly, those 4 items have been posted there for quite some time. I'm making it my goal to set aside 2-3 hours each week to make new items and to get them listed. I'll also be mentioning them here and continuing to post them to the shop's Facebook page. 

7. The Blog - Last but certainly not least is this blog as well as the one over at Welcoming Weightloss. I've been really bad about posting to either of these for the past few months and I want that to change. I'm not promising every day posts (though that's my eventual goal) but I'm setting myself a small goal of twice a week to this blog and once a week to the other. I just heard that my girls over at Sunday Shutterbugs are back up and running so I'm hoping for some sincere motivation and inspiration to help with this goal!

So those are my goals. I also have some other ones, including continuing my Irish language studies and figuring out a way to make some money to get my finances in better shape but I don't have any real plans for those yet. If I get into grad school and get an assistantship, the finances will certainly do better but that won't happen until September. Until then, I'm just going to keep doing my best and who knows, if my Etsy shop takes off, that might keep me plenty busy making extra money!


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