Monday, July 29, 2013

Winding Down

The summer semester is almost over!  I only have two finals left...I will be done Wednesday evening!

I want to thank you all for hanging around in spite of these huge gaps in posting.  I have been completely overwhelmed this semester and I truly appreciate y'all!

Without a doubt...I'll see you Thursday!!


Wednesday, July 24, 2013


I'm halfway through finals for the summer semester.  Three down and three to go!!

I don't think I've felt exhaustion like this since my youngest son was a newborn.  I'm talking exhaustion to the point of sitting at my desk and breaking down in tears because I am just so tired.  My brain is completely, totally fried!!

I saw a post from an author friend the other day celebrating that she had done 10,000 words that day.  Oye, the guilt!!  10,000 and I couldn't even manage 100 for a blog post!!

Halfway next Thursday, I'll be done!!  Then three weeks off before the fall semester starts.  I'll be asleep if you need me!


Thursday, July 18, 2013

I'm THAT Woman!

Sigh...I've become THAT woman.  What do I mean?

My son bought me a new laptop for school.  First, read that sentence again.  Kind of backwards, huh?

Anyways, it has Microsoft 8 loaded as the operating system.  I had never seen it before so today I had to ask my son how to find my programs and where the shut down button was.

I've become that woman who has to ask her children for basic computer help.  I've become a cliche.  How did this happen to me?  When did this happen to me?  I'm so ashamed. (Kidding!)

Actually, I'm thankful I have such a thoughtful child.  He supports me in my education fully.  I'm a lucky mom.


Monday, July 15, 2013


Last week I lost a friend.  She was murdered by her ex-husband.

Domestic violence is not a new issue.  Here are a few statistics:

  • Every 15 seconds, a woman is abused in the United States.
  • Women who leave their abuser are at a 75% greater risk of being murdered.
  • 1 in 4 women in the United States have been beaten by their significant other.
  • 4000 women a year in the United States are murdered by their significant other, former or current.
  • 1 in 3 women murdered in the United States are murdered by their significant other, former or current.
Why did I quote statistics?  Because I am so incredibly, all-encompassing angry.  By quoting stats, I'm hoping to gain a bit of distance and a bit of control.

I remember the first time my friend left her husband.  We worked in a small office and we all came together to gather supplies to help her set up her new household.  I don't know what kind of spell or hold he had over her; but it ultimately cost her her life.  And I'm angry.  At the same time, I don't want to give him that kind of power by allowing my anger to grow.  He does not deserve that time or energy.

I have struggled all day with this post.  There are no words that are adequate.

To my friend...You will be missed.  Rest in peace...there will be no more hurt.

Friday, July 12, 2013

A Frugal Reminder

We frequently receive freebies, samples, or hugely discounted/coupon items.  You can only stockpile so much!  What to with the overflow:

  1. Select a variety of samples and gather them together in an attractive basket for overnight guests.
  2. Donate extra canned goods to food drives in your town.
  3. Take extra shampoo, conditioner, razors, etc. to your local women's shelter.
  4. Pack extra supplies in your emergency kit for extreme weather.
  5. Donate extra pet freebies to your local shelter or ASPCA.
These are just a few ideas on what to do with your extra freebies.  Pay it forward!!


Thursday, July 11, 2013

Culture Shock

Moving after my divorce was an adventure all in itself.  Then there is the culture shock of moving from a city of almost one million to a town of less than 45,000.

Every once in a while I'm reminded of just what a difference there is between the two.  Chinese delivery?  Nope...if you want something delivered here, it's pizza.  Period.  Shopping?  Let's just say that there are quite a few stores I miss!!

There are the benefits, also.  While it used to take up to 45 minutes to go 5 miles, around here I can do it in less than fifteen.  I know my cashier at the grocery store by name.  The manager at the Family Dollar lets me know if something I regularly buy is on sale.  If my UPS driver sees me out and has something for me, he will pull over to deliver it then and there.

When I got my new driver's license, I was in and out of the DMV in under 20 minutes.  Total.  The last time I went to the DMV in my old was over three hours.  Truly, when it comes to fast, personal service...a small town just cannot be beat.

While I miss my Chinese delivery, the benefits of living in a much smaller city far outweigh the downfalls.  I'm still adjusting...but I love it!!


Wednesday, July 10, 2013


I am blessed with the most amazing friend.  Truly, she is absolutely incredible!!

A few days ago, I was lucky enough to win a turquoise necklace in a sweepstakes on Facebook.  Here is a picture of the necklace I won:

A few days later, I received a package from UPS.  What did I find?  A beautiful pair of turquoise earrings to complete the set!!


How thoughtful is that?  One...not only to pay attention to what I actually blather about on Facebook...but to pay close enough attention to actually match the earrings!!

I was so touched to realize that she actually took that kind of time, research, and effort to make me happy.  There is no greater blessing than a friend such as this.  I am exceedingly lucky and grateful to call her my friend.

Give a friend a call today!!


Saturday, July 6, 2013

Rainy Day Recipe

It's been raining here for three days straight.  This is the perfect recipe to warm the soul on a rainy, gray day.

French Onion Soup Casserole


3 LARGE yellow onions, sliced
2 Tbsp. butter (the real stuff...not margarine!)
1 can cream of chicken soup
2 tsp. soy sauce
Swiss cheese slices (enough to cover a 9x13 pan)
Dash of pepper
Loaf of French bread
Additional butter for bread


Sauté onions in butter in a skillet on low to medium heat until transparent. Place in a pre-buttered 9 x 13-inch glass baking dish. Whisk together chicken soup, milk and soy sauce. Pour over onions. Cover with Swiss cheese slices and sprinkle lightly with pepper. Thinly slice and butter the French bread.  Place on top of the onion mixture.. Bake at 350 degrees F for 35 to 40 minutes or until bubbly and brown. 


Friday, July 5, 2013

The How of the Matter

Quite often, I win various prizes on Facebook.  The response I get most often?  How do you win all this stuff?

The answer is actually quite simple.  I enter.  Think of the lottery.  You will never win if you don't have a ticket.  Makes sense, right?

To enter contests on Facebook, a large number of them are listed here.  For others, if you like the page of your favorite brands, the actual sweeps will be posted on a tab on that page.

A surefire way to find sweeps is to watch what your friends are doing.  Frequently, a contest or sweeps will require that you share the sweepstakes either for entry or to earn extra entries.  Keep an eye on your friends' walls and see if they are entering.  If so, click on those links and enter also!

Remember, companies run these sweepstakes to interact with the fans of their brand.  When winning, be sure to thank them publicly on their pages.  Companies are not required to give products away for them that you are appreciative of the opportunity.



Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Summer is Flying

I am halfway through my summer semester.  So far, so good!  I am exhausted, but I'm still upright!!  I've also been doing better this semester at keeping up with my blog.

My friends, on the other hand, have not been so fortunate.  I am not the best friend right now.  If I actually answer an email, it is usually only a sentence or two.  Phone calls and texts?  Forget about it!  But I am an extremely lucky woman...I have some of the most understanding friends ever!

This past Sunday, I did actually leave the house for something other than food or school.  I attended Social Media Day at the Beau Rivage (see yesterday's post).  It was wonderful to be out and about.  I have to be honest, though.  If it hadn't been work (blog) related, I probably wouldn't have gone!  Thankfully, I did go, and I enjoyed my evening out.

Over this holiday weekend, I'm going to do my best to at least make a couple of phone calls, send an email, and actually interact with other human beings.  If I have to (and I might), I will add it to my ever growing to-do list!

If you're a friend of mine, know that I haven't forgotten you, I love you dearly, and I will do better!!


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Social Media Day

Sunday, I attended the Social Media Day celebration at the Beau Rivage Resort and Casino.  Wow!!  What a fabulous event!!

First, let me share a couple of photos I took at the Beau.  They have nothing to do with the event, but this place is so stunning, I have to share.

They have the most beautiful floral arrangements!!!  It's hard to tell from the picture...but this is about five feet across!

On to the event...It was held at the Eight75 club inside the hotel.  The setting was perfect...large enough to party but intimate enough that you didn't feel lost in the crowd.  This is the Beau's third year of participating in Social Media Day.  The hotel decided to participate to guild a strong social media presence and to interact with fans of the Beau.  The event was well organized, easy to register, and quite enjoyable!

Throughout the evening, trivia questions were sent by text that needed to be replied to on Twitter.  Below is a picture of the prizes awarded for the trivia contest:

I did get lucky and came home with a new Apple TV!!  The trivia questions were all based on social media and were a blast to answer.  It was an extremely creative way of playing the game!  The only suggestion I would make is to have a charging station available.  We were all so diligent about tweeting; everyone burned through their phone batteries pretty quick!

In addition, there were special drinks created for the festivities.  Personally, I recommend the "Facebook Friend" was scrumptious!!

Oh...did I mention we all received a free t-shirt for attending?  I personally love having a t-shirt to remember an event!

The entire event was a lot of fun and I was so happy I was able to attend.  Jessica and the rest of the social media crew for the Beau Rivage did a outstanding job!!!  The music provided by DJ Zack Avelon was fantastic, perfect for dancing and not so loud you couldn't have a conversation.

Next year, find the Social Media Day event in your area, and be sure to attend.  For'll find me at the Beau!!


p.s.  Remember my post a few days ago reviewing the show, "Funambula"?  Check out the pic below with the star of the show, Bello!

Monday, July 1, 2013

There Oughta Be A Law!

You know those things that just make you crazy and you wish there was a law?  Here's a few I came up with!

1.  Restaurants should come with "Adults Only" section.  Nothing ruins a romantic dinner date quicker than being seated next to a table with three screaming children under the age of four.

2.  There should be a separate lane for those drivers who have "Retired" anything stamped in to their license plate.

3.  When hot dog buns come in packages of eight, Hebrew National should also be in packages of eight, not seven.

4.  Get rid of the heat index.  If it feels like 106 degrees outside...say it's 106 degrees outside.

5.  If you are rude to a store clerk, you still have to pay for all your merchandise but you don't get to leave the store with it.

What about you?  Is there anything you think should be a law?



Jerri's Empty Nest