Friday, January 31, 2014

Product Review---Valentine's Gift for Him!

I received the CUTEST Valentine's Day gift idea for the man in your life!

Let's face it...Valentine's Day is really for us girls.  99% of gift ideas are tailored towards women.  But don't you feel just a little bad when he hands you a gorgeous gift or flowers and you don't have something for him?  I have the solution!

Jack Links Beef Jerky has come out with the perfect Valentine for your man:

How adorable is this?  An adorable heart framed in Sasquatch fur!  The best part?  Check out what's inside:

Inside, you'll find a bag of Jack Links Original Beef Jerky.  Now, I don't even need a test subject for this one...I can tell you  myself that the jerky is delicious!  Just in case it doesn't actually make it to your man...Ladies, it's low fat and high protein!  Just what we need for those New Year resolutions!

Also included are an official Sasquatch trading card and a coupon off of your next purchase.  It's a win all the way around!  

To order in time for Valentine's Day...visit this website .  Don't have to order by February 10th in order to receive it in time for the big day!

Head over there now!!


I received a free item to facilitate this review.  All opinions are strictly my own.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Snow Day 3

Cabin fever set in this morning!  Luckily, things are beginning to melt and I was able to get out of the house.

I didn't go far as most of the bridges around here are still closed.  I did make it to the Family Dollar store to grab a pizza and that most important of stores during bad weather...the liquor store!!  I am now in possession of Bailey's Caramel which is absolutely delicious when blended with ice.

I feel incredibly blessed to have been able to enjoy these days off and avoided the terrible consequences suffered in such areas as Atlanta and Birmingham.  At most, I suffered a bit of inconvenience.  My heart goes out to all more severely affected by the storm.

Stay warm, everyone!!


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Snow Day 2

Yesterday I posted this dream list of things to do on my snow day.  I accomplished one.  I cleaned out ALL of my email inboxes!!  Yay me!!!

Today is study day.  I'm going to do my best to get everything done today and tomorrow so I have the weekend free.

Today's Wahoo Wednesday is for the ice outside!  It's forcing me to behave and get my work done!

To all snowed/iced in this week...stay warm and stay safe!


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Snow Day!!!

Due to the weather, I actually have a snow day!  How cool is have a snow day from school at 51?

What should I do?  Sleeping in won't work...dogs just do not understand that concept at all!

Here's my list:

  1. Clean out my email.  It's scary huge!
  2. Read a book that's not a textbook.
  3. Have a mug of hot peppermint tea.
  4. Cuddle with my dog, Emma to keep warm.
  5. If there's time left
That's my plan for my snow day.  What are your favorite things to do when snowbound?


Monday, January 27, 2014

That ($*&%(#*&$(# Mirror!!

I have a confession.  I rarely look at myself in the mirror other than the rare occasions I wear makeup.  Well, I looked this past weekend and saw just what a toll my studying marathons have taken.

I never realized that exhaustion was an actual "look" but let me tell you...I have this look down pat!  I honestly look like I haven't slept in months.

As graduation rapidly approaches, I'm beginning to realize that more than my resume needs work before I enter the job market!  I am in desperate need of some anti-aging miracles, STAT!!

I think I'll begin with a nap as soon as I get home from school today.  That sounds like a plan!


Saturday, January 25, 2014

A Bit Messy...

This recipe can get messy, but kids love it and I'm pretty sure the mess is part of that!

Taco Dogs


One package hot dogs
10 crunchy taco shells (warmed)
10 slices American cheese
1 can pork-n-beans (heated)


Cook hot dogs as you usually would.  After warming the taco shells, place a slice of cheese in the bottom of each shell.  Next, place a hot dog in each shell.  Finally, top the hot dog with pork-n-beans.  Serve with lots of napkins!



Friday, January 24, 2014

Frugal Friday

I have a freebie for you this Friday.  The only have to use an Android phone.  Sorry, iPhone's not available for you as of right now.

Today's treat is a little app called Mr. Number.

We've all signed up on the do-not-call lists and we are all just as aware calls still get through.  By installing Mr. Number on your Android phone, you can block these calls for good.

I currently use Mr. Number myself.  When a call comes through that the app has already identified as spam, a message box pops up on my screen, identifying it as such.  I then have the option to block the call by having my phone hang up automatically.  If that number ever calls again, the hang up is automatic.  Pesky calls gone!!

If you're looking for a call-blocking application for your Android phone, check out the Mr. Number app at .


P.S.  Mr. Number also offers a premium option that is not free.  I personally have found the free version to be more than adequate!!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

A New Language

I have discovered a new language in college.  It's not Spanish, French, or even American Sign Language.  No...those would all be too easy.

Where did I discover this language?  In the pages of my macroeconomics textbook.  Whatever this language is, it is completely incomprehensible.  I've never seen anything like it!

Luckily, I have a professor who has given us plenty of time to study each chapter.  Well...I'm hoping I'm lucky because right now I'm just lost!

I'll be spending this weekend in the land of macroeconomics.  It's a foreign land and frightening to navigate.  But I am going to be brave and slay this monster!

Pray for me.


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Wahoo Wednesday

Today a shout-out goes to my youngest son.  He's the baby but he has grown into an amazing man.

He always manages to make me laugh.  I can be lower than low and he can make me giggle in a matter of minutes.  Granted, it's usually by aggravating me...but it works!!

He is a loving and caring man.  He cares for and takes great care of his friends and family.  He works hard and grown so much over the last few years.

He takes time out every day to check on me since I moved away a couple years ago.  That's a big deal...even for a grown woman...when you're far from family.  It says a lot about his character.

I could keep going...but I've probably already embarrassed him!  But hey...what are moms for??


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

At That Age

I'm at that age.  I'm an empty-nester who also happens to be a full-time college student.  Graduation is rapidly approaching so I decided to begin the hunt for a dress to wear under my gown.

Sigh...this is going to be difficult.  I'm old but I'm not my grandma.  I'm also not THAT old but I'm not a stripper either.

Am I asking too much?  I would like a dress that shows my figure, fits great, and makes me look my best.  I don't want to look matronly...I don't feel that old inside.  On the hand, I also don't want my hooha hanging out because I'm definitely too old for that!

Why are women of that age missing from the fashion world?  Granted, I'm only talking about real women.  Celebrities and movie stars in their 50's and 60's have absolutely no problem finding clothes.  I'm talking about women who can't afford an entire year's salary for one dress.  We do exist!

I'll keep you updated as my search continues.  Hopefully, it won't take too long!  After all...once I have the dress, the most important hunt begins.  The shoes!!!


Monday, January 20, 2014

Day of Service

Today is Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.  It has become a day of service in our great country.  Today...what can you do for others?

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Frugal and Filling

Tamale Pie


1 1/2 lbs. ground beef 
1 jar salsa 
1 can green chilies (can skip this if making for kids)
2 cups shredded Monterrey Jack cheese (can also use Mexican blend)
2 boxes cornbread mix
1 can refried beans
1 can whole kernel corn-drained

In a bowl, prepare cornbread mix per package directions.  Add 1/2 can of whole kernal corn and set aside. Brown ground beef and drain. In a large bowl, combine beef, salsa, chilies, remaining corn and 1 cup cheese. Spread refried beans in the bottom of a well greased 13 x 9 glass pan. For the next layer, top with meat mixture and remaining cheese. Spread cornbread mix evenly across the pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.


Friday, January 17, 2014

Frugal Friday

Did you survive the holiday season?  How about those credit cards...did they survive?  Belt tightening in January doesn't just mean your diet.  A lot of us are cutting back now to repair the damage of the holiday excess.

This year I used a new system for gifts.  It made it easy to decide what to buy and kept the budget in check.  This is used for those you buy multiple gifts for such as spouses and children.  It's easy to follow and takes a lot of the stress out of holiday shopping.

1.  Something you want

2.  Something you need

3.  Something to wear

4.  and Something to read

This method is especially effective for children.  Somehow our society seems to have evolved (devolved maybe?) to the point where large numbers of children are overindulged and honestly believe they should get anything they ask for.  Using this system not only keeps the parent's budget intact, but allows children to learn the value of what they receive.

Try truly works!!


Thursday, January 16, 2014

I Will Not Be Silent

How to even begin this post.  This subject cuts so deep and so personally that I'm almost at a loss for the words to express how I feel.

What do you do when a friend has made the conscious and willing decision to stay with her abuser?  Do you remain silent?  Doesn't that actually enable the abuser?  I choose not to remain silent.

I will not listen to the justifications and the excuses.  I will throw the bullshit flag every time I hear one.  There is no justification for verbal, physical, or emotional abuse.  There is no excuse.

"But he's's getting better".  No...he's not and it's not.  It's called a honeymoon phase and that is exactly what it is...a phase.  Phases end and eventually he will get angry again.  Everything will come crashing down and he will make it all your fault.

"He's helping me correct my behavior so I'm a better person."  No...he's not.  He is controlling you.  He is not your priest or pastor.  He is not your teacher or principal.  He is not your supervisor or employer.  He is not your daddy or your father.  It is not his place to "correct" your behavior.  You are a beautiful, smart, talented woman.  If YOU see something in your life that YOU want to change, that is completely up to YOU.

Where do I get off saying all this?  What gives me the right?

1.  I'm your friend.  We've been friends for a long time.  Being your friend means all of it.  Not just when we're out having a drink, going shopping, or chatting on the phone.  It means all the time and all the messes.

2.  I love you.  Unconditionally.  That doesn't mean you get an automatic pass.  It means I will tell you how I feel because I love you.  I know what an incredible woman you are.

3.  Been there, done that.  I have a two inch scar on my face that reminds me daily about the incredibly hard lesson I learned.  I would do anything to save you from facing that same lesson in the mirror.  The scar, that any time I hear a couple arguing, I find my hand unconsciously moving to trace.

This past year, I lost a friend to a domestic violence murder.  I am not willing to lose another when there is something I can do; even if it is just saying how I feel.

I will not be silent.  I will not lose you too.

With all my love,

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Wahoo Wednesday

This week I would like to do a special Wahoo Wednesday.  Today is dedicated to my dearest friend, L.

Since I began school, she has been unwavering in her support of my pursuit of my goals.  From pep talks to a friendly ear when I needed to vent, she has emotionally supported me during my journey.

Part of her support has taken a more practical turn.  L. has made sure I have been supplied with printer ink since my very first class.  We are talking 67 college hours worth of printing, people!!  That alone is epic!!

Ink aside, I truly do not believe I would have made it this far without her.  Her friendship has buoyed me all year.  There was more than one instance when I wanted to give up and her faith in me kept me going.  As I approach graduation in May...I hope and pray she is there with me to share in my day.  It wouldn't have occurred without her.

My wish for you this Wahoo Wednesday?  That you have at least one friend such as L. in your life.  There is no greater blessing.


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

2013-A Year of Gain and Growth

Yesterday I shared my losses of 2013.  Today I want to share the gains and growth I've experienced in the past year.

I have gained self-confidence.  Starting college at age 50 is a terrifying thing.  I've learned to trust in myself and my own abilities.  This is a much bigger thing that it sounds, as my divorce completely destroyed my self-confidence.  It's back...and so am I.

I have grown strong.  Not physically, but emotionally strong.  I am no longer willing to be treated as less than what I am worth.  It may seem I have grown hard, but that is merely my refusal to tolerate those who feel the need to criticize, demean, or diminish me in any way.  I no longer have the time or patience.  I now know I am good enough.

I have grown braver.  I drive farther, do more things alone, and handle things I never did before.  A lot of that grew out of the aftermath of divorce; but some grew as the result of my growing self-confidence.  Bravery is a self-replicating phenomenon.  The more you exhibit the behavior, the more it grows.

While I have gained and grown much in the past year, I still have a long way to go.  I hope you will join me on my continuing's going to be a hell of a ride!!


Monday, January 13, 2014

2013- A Year of Loss

What a year.  2013 was a year of incredible loss for me.

I lost my beloved aunt/godmother.  She was that person in my life that one believes will always be there.  As I age, I realize more and more just how tenuous our hold on this live truly is and how the absence of just one can impact your life.  I miss her every day.

I lost my buddy, my black lab, Max.  He blessed me with 16 years of unconditional love.  I got him as a rescue at 8 months old.  A typical lab puppy, one of his first misadventures was eating the wall off my house.  All through my divorce and move to a new state, Max was my steady, loving companion.  When he left, a hole opened that will take forever to heal.

I lost a friend to domestic violence.  She was murdered by her abuser.  She did everything right.  She moved.  She got the restraining order.  He found her anyways and that piece of paper doesn't stop a man with the intent to kill.  In the United States, a woman is beaten every 18 minutes.  In less time than it takes you to watch a sitcom, a woman is in fear for her life.

I lost a friendship to a betrayal of a confidence.  Once the trust has been destroyed, the rock on which that friendship was built disintegrates into sand that washes away.  At this stage of my life, I have learned to let that sand slip through my fingers.  Those that wish to be in my life are here and those who do not...I wish them godspeed.

While 2013 has been a year of heartwrenching loss, it has also been a year of gain and growth.  More on that tomorrow!!


Saturday, January 11, 2014

Recipe for a New Year


Sunshine to brighten your day
Rain to make your garden grow
Books to feed your soul
Friends to care for your heart
Love to tie it all together


Enjoy the sunshine, revel in the glow, and play outside.
Watch the rain fall and enjoy the greening of the earth.
Read to learn, read for pleasure, just read.
Call a friend, write a note, hug a pal.

Encompass the above with love and joy.  Leave out the past, the hurt, the doubt.  Refresh with anticipation each morning.  Marinate with gratitude each evening.  Repeat each and every day.


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year!!

May the worst day of 2014 be better than the best day of 2013!!

Happy New Year!!

Love, Jerri


Jerri's Empty Nest