Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Goal Check-In

It's the last day of February.  How is everybody doing on their goals for this year?

I have been slacking.  I'm not proud of it, but it's the truth.  Sometime in the last month, my mojo seems to have taken a vacation.  I think my discipline went with it!!

So here are my new short term goals to get me back on track to my 2012 goal.

1.  Stop playing Angry Birds when I know what I should really be doing.

2.  I have a DVR.  I need to use it.

3.  Eating chocolate is fine as motivation.  Eating chocolate as the be-all end-all is not.

4.  Every e-mail, phone call, and text can wait.  I do not have to answer everything immediately.

5.  It's okay to say no.  It's okay to say this time is just for me.

Now let's see how well I do on making the time I need to complete my 2012 goal.  I think if I can accomplish some of these smaller goals, I'll be on my way.

How are you doing on your goal?  Do you need to refocus and re-energize too?  Let me know what tricks and tips you use!


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Free Concerts And More

I love finding new resources, especially in the arts.  Today's post is about offers over 98,000 recordings of live concerts. Listed under Live Music Archives, that includes bands such as Cracker, Little Feat, and the Grateful Dead.  Without a doubt, the most popular concerts to view are the Grateful Dead.  And there's no surprise there!  Granted, there are also a gazillion bands I've never heard of but when you think about it...every band is unheard of until that first time!! also offers over 600,000 movies.  They are under the listing of "Moving Images".  They include "A Star is Born", "Farewell to Arms", and the original "House on Haunted Hill".  All movies are free and LEGAL for download so you can download literally months of entertainment!

Under the category "Texts" are over 3 million free books, essays, sheet music, etc.  Yes, I said 3 million!  I would have browsed more, but I was afraid I'd get lost in downloading and never make it back to this blog!

The last category is the "Audio Archive".  It includes radio programs, sermons, podcasts, and even more music.    There are over a million recordings in this archive so I'm pretty sure you can find something to enjoy.

Head on over to!!  Grab a couple of movies, a concert to enjoy, and a book to read!  You can fill all your entertainment needs in a single stop!

Monday, February 27, 2012

And So It Begins...

This is it.  The last week of my 40's.  I have to admit, I'm feeling it this morning.  But that may just be a Monday thing!!

Time for a bit of self-reflection.  Just a tiny bit...I've seen too many people get so deep in to their self examination that they get stuck there and don't move forward.

Am I where I thought I would be at this age?  I can honestly say no as I never pictured being this age!!  With that being said, I'm pretty happy with where I am.  That's not to say there aren't challenges and bumps (mountains) in the road.  I'm looking forward to my future.  I have goals I want to attain, people to see, and places to go.  Bring it on!!

I am so incredibly blessed to have friends in my life that love and support me.  I have fabulous children and grandchildren.  I have two gorgeous rescue dogs who own my heart.  Life is good.  Life will get better.

I have to admit that turning 50 isn't bothering me as much as I thought it would.  Hell, I'm happy I'm still here!  And so my journey continues...onward and upward!!


Saturday, February 25, 2012

Easy As Pie

I am a berry addict...all of them!!  This is an easy way to combine that addiction with pie!

Raspberry Dream Pie


1 graham cracker pie crust (can use chocolate version also)
2 egg whites
Dash of salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 10 oz package of frozen raspberries, partially thawed and drained
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup whipped cream
1 tsp vanilla


Beat egg whites and salt until frothy.  Add sugar slowly and continue beating until well mixed.  Add raspberries and lemon juice.  Beat at a high speed for 10 to 15 minutes or until thick.  Gently fold in whipped cream and vanilla.  Pour mixture into pie crust and freeze for 4 hours.


Friday, February 24, 2012

Got A Minute?

Here are a few tips to accomplish small tasks when you find yourself with a spare moment.  I know...they are few and far between, but they do exist!

1.  Sort through the junk drawer.  Really, when is the last time you saw the bottom?  

2.  Clean out your purse.  If nothing else, it should score you some spare change!

3.  Sew on a button.  You know, that shirt that's been sitting there for months for that one button?

4.  Set out your clothes for the next day.  It will only take a moment now but will save 15 minutes of morning confusion!

5.  Pet your dog/cat.  It will lower your blood pressure, bring joy to both of you, and repays their unconditional love.

6.  Stretch.  Stand up, reach for the ceiling and release all that tension.  You'll immediately feel better for it.

7.  Eat a piece of chocolate.  Get those endorphins firing and you'll be ready to face the rest of the day!

8.  Write out a postcard.  If you're like me, there is always a list of people you need to touch base with.  It doesn't always require a full-blown letter.  Let them know you're thinking about them with a postcard.

9.  Clean the bathroom mirror.  It only takes that one minute and it always needs it!

10. Leave a treat on a coworker's desk.  A chocolate kiss, a wildflower, their favorite will bring a smile to their face which will bring one to yours!

Now you have a few ideas on what to do with a spare moment.  What are your ideas?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Approaching The Big 5-0

For the last couple months, I've been wishing my high school classmates a happy birthday on their 50th.  Now my own is rapidly approaching.  How did this happen?

To be honest, I don't feel 50.  I weigh the same now as I did in high school, I'm still active, and I don't feel like I'm ready to switch to the early bird special.  You're more likely to catch me wearing stilettos than flats and skinny jeans versus a housecoat.  When did the half-century mark sneak up on me?

When I was in my 20's, I couldn't even picture living to this age.  I don't feel any different now than I did then.  I will admit I'm a lot harder, a lot less innocent, and a lot more distrustful than I once was.  But those are the lessons of life in general.  I also believe I've learned to love more and harder, to treasure what I have now instead of what might be, and to be grateful for every moment I'm given.

So I have to say, all in all, turning 50 doesn't seem to be so bad.  Now I'm not saying I buy into that "50 is the new 30" blah, blah, blah.  It's not.  I'm not turning 30...I'm going to be 50.  The road ahead is now a lot shorter than the road behind.  That road still holds adventures, love, excitement, and hope.  I look forward to the rest of the journey.


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Feeding My Addiction Part Two

A few days ago, I reviewed how I earn Amazon gift cards on Superpoints.  Today, I'm going to share how I earn even more via Swagbucks.

On average, I earn about $10 a month in Amazon credit.  That's pretty much without even working at it!  Step one is to install the Swagbucks search engine.  At random times when you search, you'll earn Swagbucks just for doing what you would have done anyways!

At various times throughout the day, the site will also post codes in places on the sites that earn you more bucks.  If you follow Swagbucks on Twitter and Facebook...they'll actually tell when and where to look!  Enter the codes and more bucks in your bank!

The Swagbucks site offers a multitude of ways to earn more bucks.  You can participate in offers, take surveys, take the daily poll, or watch TV!  I try to remember to go to the site and participate more...but like I said, I still earn money even with my scattered brain!

If you think you'd like to give it a try, here is my referral link:

It's hard to turn down free money!!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


MySpace, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, BlogHer, BlogFrog, Ladies Blogging Society, etc., etc., etc.  I'm feeling over-socialized!!

Some networks I belong to and participate in due to my blogging.  I need to pay more attention to them to improve my skills but I feel there is never enough time.  Put this on my list of things to do!

Other networks such as MySpace and Facebook I belong to for the social interaction with friends and family.  I admittedly spend WAY too much time on Facebook and a lot of it is playing games with friends.  Not exactly social interaction so I need to work on that also.

Google+ and Pinterest?  Those I seem to belong to because of an innate inability to say no to an invitation!!  I try to remember to pin things as I'm window shopping on the web...but I forget...alot!  Google+?  Mostly I just share this blog and try to 1+ other's postings!

Where is the happy medium?  How do you keep up with everyone you love, everything you need to do, and everything you want to do for fun?  I'm sure that utopia exists out in cyberspace somewhere.  I haven't found it but I'm curious if you have.  Tell me about how you balance it all!


Saturday, February 18, 2012

Quick Sweet!

Cherry Crunch


1 can cherry pie filling
1 small can crushed pineapple
1 small cake mix (Jiffy box) or half a regular mix
2 Tbsp light brown sugar
3/4 cup instant or regular oatmeal
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup flaked coconut
6 Tbsp melted butter


Spread pie filling and pineapple in 9 inch square baking pan.  Mix cake mix, sugar, oatmeal, cinnamon, and coconut together.  Sprinkle evenly over pie filling.  Pour melted butter evenly over the top.  Bake one hour at 350 degrees.  This can be eaten alone or served warm with ice cream.


Friday, February 17, 2012

The Top Three

I was reading an article on fashion trends and there are three trends right now that I absolutely do not understand.  So here's my little rant on what they are and why I hate them!

1.  Pajama Pants.  Unless you're running out in to the front yard for no more than 3 seconds to grab the newspaper...DON'T DO IT!!  You don't look look like you were too lazy to even get dressed before you left the house.

2.  Black or Brown Fingernail Polish.  Really?  Please explain to me why you would deliberately want your fingernails to look like you have a fungus.  Or that you have some awful disease that is turning your fingernails black.  That's really the image you want to project?

3.  Peep Toe Boots.  Key word being boots.  You know, those things you wear in winter to keep your feet warm?  Add peep toe and you totally negate their purpose.  Again, not look like you don't have the common sense to keep your feet covered when it's cold outside!!

So that's my little fashion rant...what's yours?  Come on...I know you have one!!


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Reading Week

A number of blogs and publishers are celebrating "We Love Reading" week.  I've done a number of posts about where to find free e-books for your Kindle, Nook, and Sony e-readers.  But what if you want the actual hard copy?  There are a couple of options I've found to win free "real" books.

1.  Your favorite authors.  Follow them on Facebook and Twitter.  Go to their websites and sign up for their email list.  If they also have a blog, follow that also. They frequently will give away copies of their books, both past and present.  They also will hold giveaways for signed bookplates, bookmarks, and other swag that ties in with their books.

2.  The publishers.  For example, Simon and Schuster, Penguin, Putnam.  Follow them on Facebook and Twitter.  Join their email lists.  Publishers will hold giveaways highlighting new authors or new releases.  The giveaways are spread pretty evenly over Facebook, Twitter, and email so it will benefit you to cover all three mediums.

These are two of the ways I've found for "real" books.  If you've found others, please share!!!


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

For The Love of Spam...

One of the first things I do every morning is clean out my spam folder on my email accounts.  I just hate seeing that number go up and up.  And I'm always amazed at some of the absolutely IDIOTIC messages that these spammers think people will fall victim to.

I had one email this morning where the sender was Joseph Biden.  Really?  The vice-president is sending me an email about missing money?

Let's not forget all the emails from the FBI.  Like they wouldn't show up at my front door if they really wanted to talk to me?

And Viagra!!!  I realize my name is Jerri and that might confuse some people but...I"M A GIRL!!!

OMG!!  My Chase account is endangered!!  Oh...wait...I don't have and have never had a Chase account.  Make that Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and any other bank you can think of.

Penis enlargement?  Please see the Viagra post above.  Again...I'M A GIRL!!!

Now add in the British National Lottery, the Nigerian lottery, etc., etc., etc.  ARGH!!!!!!

That's why it's one of the first things I do.  What better way to start the day than to take out the trash?

And those are my random thoughts this morning...

Monday, February 13, 2012

Lord Help Me...It's Monday!

Today started with my waking up late.  I'm still feeling groggy even though I thought I slept well.  It must have been that killer hot flash that hit about 1 a.m.!  Seriously...I can't possible have any hormones left...I'm sure these hot flashes have burned them all!!

Then I hear the trash truck coming down the street.  Instant panic!  I knew I hadn't taken out the trash and was sure I had missed it.  My brain then kicked in and I remembered that today was recycling day.  I had already put that bin on the street last night.

It's a cold, grey, rainy day in Texas.  It's definitely not helping my motivation to get up and get after it.  I have errands to run but driving in Austin in the rain is absolutely terrifying!!  So I'm playing on Facebook wasting time until the rain moves out.  I know...a productive use of my time!

Alright, I'll behave.  Off I go to face my day.  The consolation?  I won tickets to the Chris Isaak concert tonight so I'll be meeting a girlfriend for dinner and the concert.  Maybe this Monday will be alright after all!

And those are my random thoughts this morning...

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Make Your Own Mix

Remember the commercial for Shake n Bake from when we were kids?  "And I Helped!"??  Here's a recipe for your own Shake n Bake mix at a fraction of the price.


1 sleeve Club crackers, finely crushed
2 tsp paprika
3 Tbsp seasoning salt
2 Tbsp flour
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a large plastic bag.  Shake well to fully mix.  Add your pork or chicken to bag and shake to coat.


Friday, February 10, 2012

I Need An Invention!

I need someone to invent a blanket.  Yep, a blanket.  But not just any blanket...a very special blanket!

The blanket needs to:

1.  It has to maintain it's place over me no matter what.

2.  If I'm having a hot flash, it needs to drop in temperature to compensate.

3.  Thirty seconds later when the hot flash is over, it needs to heat back up because I'm freezing.

4.  It has to automatically repel any dog, husband, or child who attempts to steal said blanket.

5.  It has to always smell like lavender to lull me to sleep.

See?  Just a blanket!  Now if I can't have everything on the list...can I at least have numbers 2 and 3?  Please??

Enjoy your weekend!!


Thursday, February 9, 2012

Feeding My Addiction (Part One)

If you're a regular reader of my blog, you're aware that I'm a reading addict.  Full-blown, all-out addict.  As you've seen, I have found multiple resources to get books for free.  But there are those best-selling authors whose books I can't get for free.  So to feed my addiction, I've had to come up with other ways to get my hands on those books without busting my budget.

There are a couple of sites I use to earn points to trade in for Amazon gift cards.  Today, we'll talk about Superpoints and next week we'll cover Swagbucks.

Superpoints has to be one of the easiest sites I've found to earn points.  You click a button.  That's it.  A button.  Depending on your level, you have anywhere from 30 to 100 clicks per day.  I have never had a day when I didn't win some points by clicking.  You also receive an email every day awarding you even more points.  The most I've won from an email is 25 points.  I've earned $10 in Amazon cards so far and am well on my way to my next $5 card.  

Superpoints also has surveys available where you can earn more points on completion.  I usually get about one survey a week and qualify for about every other one.  A survey can get you 50 more points to add to your bank.  Because of my age, I'm no longer in that holy target demographic...if I was, I'm sure I could earn more.

Superpoints is an easy and quick way to earn a little extra money to pay for those little extras I can't find for free.  If you'd like to join me, I've listed my personal invitation link below.  Remember, on Amazon you can add multiple gift cards and build up a bank.  That will come in handy for next Christmas!!  Now go earn that money!!

Here is the invitation link:

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Old Friends

I have a good friend...we'll call her "T".  We've known each other since we were twelve and I've been reminded lately that old friends are truly a treasure.

T is a busy woman.  She works, still has children at home, is an artist, and is attending school.  Yet, she makes the time to check on a friend every day.  I've been dealing with some issues lately and she has opened her arms and her heart to comfort me.  That is the true definition of a friend.

There's a quote that says:  Friends are those who know the song in your heart and sing it back to you when you've forgotten the words.  Recently, I've forgotten the words, the melody, all of it.  T has sung my song back to me and thrown me a lifeline.

I am incredibly blessed to not only have T in my life, but to have her friendship for over 35 years.  I look forward to the next 35.  

"Promise me you'll always remember:  You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think."  Christopher Robin to Pooh.

Thank you, T.


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Frugal Entertainment

Ok, this goes beyond frugal to absolutely free!!  Yes, free!  Did you know you can watch full-length movies on your computer for free?  Thanks to YouTube, you can.

Here's the link:

Now, these aren't brand new movies.  But you do have different categories to choose from.  They are divided by Documentary, Comedy, Drama, Action & Adventure, Horror, Classics, Animation, Mystery & Suspense, Romance, Crime, Family, and Science Fiction.

Did I mention free?

You can also hook up your computer to your television if you want to watch them on a bigger screen.  Now my tech expert has left the nest, so I had to look up instructions on how to do this.  Here is an article that will help you do that:

Sigh, I miss having my son be able to accomplish this kind of stuff in 30 seconds or less!

So your next rainy/snowy day, choose a classic movie for free.  Snuggle up and enjoy!!


Monday, February 6, 2012

The Monday After

The Monday after the Super Bowl.  I've seen a lot of posts over the last couple of days saying this should be a holiday.  It doesn't seem to make a lot of sense to have such a huge event late in the evening on a Sunday.  Why not Super Bowl Saturday?

I realize 40+ years of tradition are hard to break.  But shouldn't practicality figure in somewhere?  Monday is a work day for the majority of the country.  Why not make the occasion easier for that majority?  The fact is, parties and partaking are part of the Super Bowl.  Do we really want that many hung over people driving in to work on Monday morning?

And it wouldn't just be for the benefit of the individual.  Can you imagine the increase in business for bars and restaurants if patrons didn't have to get up early the next morning?  That would be a benefit not only for the owners, but for the waitstaff with increased tips.  It would spread the bounty.

So I challenge the NFL and the networks to change the tradition.  Changing it to a Saturday would be a win for everybody!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

An Easy Casserole

Taco Casserole


1 lb ground beef
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can diced tomatoes with green chiles
1 taco kit
Shredded cheddar


Brown ground beef and drain.  Add soup, tomatoes with green chiles, taco seasoning and taco sauce from kit.  Mix well and heat thoroughly.  Heat taco shells from kit in oven according to package directions.  Crumble half of the heated shells and line the bottom of an 8x8 glass baking dish.  Add beef mixture over shells.  Crumble the other half of the heated shells and top beef mixture.  Cover with layer of shredded cheddar.  Cover pan with foil and heat in oven for thirty minutes at 350 degrees.


Friday, February 3, 2012

National Wear Red Day

Today is National Wear Red Day.  Heart disease is the number one killer of women in this country.  Because the disease presents differently in women than men, it often goes unrecognized and untreated.  Take some time to familiarize yourself with some of the indicators.

1.  Unconventional symptoms such as fatigue, malaise, shortness of breath, nausea, and depression.

2.  First heart attack around age 70 with a higher fatality rate than indicated in men.

3.  Women are more likely to have microvascular disease.

4.  Diabetes

5.  Low HDL

6.  High triglycerides

7.  Waist measurement greater than 35 inches

8.  Inflammatory disorders

9. Back, neck, or jaw pain

10.  Vomiting or indigestion

The majority of women who suffer from a heart attack never experience that debilitating chest pain as pictured in movies and on television.  Please see your physician for appropriate testing to see if you are at risk for heart disease.  Prevention is key.


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Groundhog Day

Another six weeks of winter.  That's kind of hard for me to wrap my head around as it hit 81 degrees in Austin yesterday.  Instead of another six weeks of winter, I'm still waiting for winter to actually begin.  Even New York is enjoying temperatures in the 60's.

Although I live in Texas right now, there are elements to winter that I still enjoy.  I love being able to wear my boots and sweaters.  I love the comfort of foods such as stew and chili.  I love to curl up with a blanket and read in front of a roaring fire. You don't need a foot of snow on the ground to enjoy winter's treats, just a significant drop in temperature will work.  So far this year, not so much.

But according to Phil, I have another six weeks to hope for that weather.  My fingers are crossed!!  We usually get a winter storm around the middle of February so I still have a shot to wear those boots.  If not...maybe I'll crank up the AC and start a fire in the fireplace anyways!

Tell me...are you looking forward to more winter or are you ready for spring?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

RIP Don Cornelius

I am a child of the Seventies.  A huge part of my weekend viewing during my childhood was Soul Train along with American Bandstand.  Don Cornelius possessed one of the most distinctive voices in television and will always be remembered.  Not only for his voice, but for opening up television to the youth of all races.  RIP, Don.


Jerri's Empty Nest