Saturday, August 30, 2014


Not a recipe for today, but today's post is still recipe related.

Look at your cookbooks.  Quite a few probably haven't been touched in a while because you know the recipes you like by heart.  Don't throw those books away!!

Before you toss, donate, or recycle...look through those books one more time.  Are there certain recipes in them that your kids loved?  Don't let those cherished recipes from their childhood disappear.  Sort through the books, separating them into piles by which child would most enjoy which recipes.

When my grandmother passed away, most of her recipes were lost forever as they had never been written down.  To this day, I still cannot recreate them and make them taste the same as they did when Grandma made them.

Give your children a head start.  Pass down those cookbooks.  Tag the pages for their favorites, and write your own personalized notes in the margins.  It will turn an old, used cookbook into a family treasure.


Friday, August 29, 2014

Catch Those Savings!

By now, you've probably seen the ads for the WalMart Savings Catcher.  There are two ways to catch your savings.

The first is to log on to the website.  You can find it at: .  After registering, you will be able to enter your receipt number.  Warning:  the receipt must be entered within 7 days.  If it is past the 7 day mark, it will not allow you to enter that receipt.

The other option is to download the Savings Catcher app for your phone.  At the bottom of your receipt, you'll notice a QR code.  The app will scan the QR code and load your receipt into the Savings Catcher.

Savings Catcher will then compare the items on your receipt to other stores in your area.  If it finds a lower price, the difference is deposited in your account up to a yearly maximum of $599.00.  It takes two to three days for the comparison and you will receive an email when each receipt has been completed.  The money you save is put on a WalMart gift card that can be used online or in stores.

I've entered about five receipts so far.  My total savings?  Zero.  But I figure sooner or later I'll get something and I'm going to the store anyways...I might as well try to save a bit more!

Let me know what you save!


Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Power of Laughter

As I write, I am listening to my son play video games with a friend.  The peals of laughter coming from that room warms my heart.  That kind of laughter has been missing from my life for quite a while and it is a welcome return.

Even if you are not the one laughing, it is such a gift to hear someone you love having fun and enjoying themselves.  It reminds you that there is joy in the world and even if you don't have a grasp on that joy right this's just around the corner.

I have laughed a lot these last couple of months, including a number of times where I've laughed until I cried.  Pure, unadulterated joy has returned and I see joy in a multitude of ways every single day.  Each morning as I smell the sea breeze, enjoy my morning cup of coffee, and watch the dogs play in the yard...I realize I am blessed and I am joyful.  I laugh at the dogs' antics and it's the perfect way to begin my day.

Look around.  I guarantee you will find something to smile at, if not laugh aloud.  Joy and laughter are there for the taking.  Reach out and grab yours.


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Wahoo Wednesday!

I haven't done a Wahoo Wednesday in a while so here goes!

Today's Wahoo Wednesday goes out to the women in my life.  From my sisters (blood and otherwise), to my friends, to my mentors; I cannot say enough wonderful things about the women in my life.

Too often we see and hear media reports of women attacking one another.  Whether it's working moms vs. stay-at-home, white collar vs. blue, Democrat vs. Republican; not a day goes by where one woman is not publicly attacking another.  I must be one of the luckiest women on earth.

My friends and family are loving, supportive, steadfast, and true.  They lift me up when I fall, are proud of me when I do well, and are not afraid to give me a reality check when I need one.  They are the most incredible women and I am so proud to know each and every one of them.

This Wahoo Wednesday, reach out to the women in your life.  Let them know how valued they are and let them know how much they are loved.

I just did.


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

A Brand New Me

The last few months (or year) have been an absolute hell.  There's not a pretty way to describe it.  However, I will not allow the past to dictate my future except where it serves as a warning.

I have immersed myself joyfully in my new life.  I have decorated my new home, started attending classes and workshops to learn new things, and I enjoy every second at my new job.  There were a whole lot of "news" in that sentence!!

And "new" is okay!!  There is no law that says you can't reinvent yourself or expand your horizons once you're over 50 years old.  As a matter of fact, the maturity and life lessons you have accumulated along the way make this the perfect time to do just that!

Don't leave everything in the past, however.  Carry those that love you with you into the future.  A good friend is a treasure that can never be left behind.  I am blessed with the best!!

As I move forward, remember you can also.  There is nothing stopping you...except you.  If you need some encouragement, hit me up!!  You have all my support!


Monday, August 25, 2014

Time to Grieve

Back in June, I lost my mother.  It was not unexpected, but you can never really be ready.  A couple of days after that, my fiance broke our engagement.  It actually felt like I had been hit by a semi which then turned around and ran over me again.

After all that, I was extremely stressed, both about bills and my mother.  I was told, "There's no point in worrying about it; it's not like you can do anything about it."  Picture the sound of a slamming cell door on Alcatraz.  That is what it felt like happened to my emotions.  A door slammed shut, and I was unable to feel anything.

Now that my life is back on track, I have been taking the time to grieve.  Not only for the loss of my mother, but I also needed time to grieve the loss of a love I had come to learn was naught but a false illusion.  Regardless, it tore my heart apart and time alone is putting it back together.

It is important to remember that just as we celebrate the joyous moments in life; we also need to grieve the horrendous losses.  Pretending that the past doesn't exist, that it didn't happen, only buries the pain.  It doesn't dispel it or mitigate it over time.  The loss of my mother is something from which I shall never truly recover from but the pain lessens with each day and the memories will always be with me.

Take the time you need to grieve your losses.  It is your pain and time limits or grief restrictions are not the place or right of anyone else.  Only you can tell when you are truly healed.  Do not let anyone dictate otherwise.


Saturday, August 23, 2014

Cheap and Easy!!


Two lbs. hamburger, browned and drained
8 medium potatoes, peeled and cut in bite-sized chunks
1 can tomato soup
1 can vegetable soup


Combine all ingredients in a 2 quart casserole dish.  Cover and bake at 350 degrees for an hour or until the potatoes are tender.


Friday, August 22, 2014

Frugal Friday!

Last night I attended a new event and had an absolute blast!! Home Depot runs a workshop once a month called "Do It Herself".  I learned to build my own rolling cart!

The workshops are free, but you do have to pay for your own supplies.  I didn't know that beforehand but I was lucky enough to take home the one we worked on in the class!  I still have to finish it which is why you don't have a picture yet.  I'll update this post when it's done!

I thoroughly enjoyed the instructor, the other women I met, and the project itself.  At times, we had trouble getting work done because we were laughing so hard!  Not always a good thing when you're holding a hammer!

To register for the workshops--just go to  Click the workshop tab and find the next workshop in your area.  You can search by zipcode.  If you have children, they also run kids' workshops!

I highly recommend it!  Take a girlfriend, plan to stop for a glass of wine afterwards and make an evening of it!



I said I would post a picture when finished.  I didn't get to it last night due to the fact I had a date (a great one, by the way!) but I did finish it this morning!  Here's the finished might not be pretty, but I did by myself...and it rolls!!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Woman in the Mirror

There's a meme that is frequently posted on social media that says:

An honorable aspiration and with the way I adore my rescue Aussie, Emma; one I can truly understand!

Reading the comments on the blog post yesterday and the emails and Facebook comments I received, I realized that I also want to be the person my friends see.  I would like nothing more than the woman I see reflected in the mirror to match the woman my friends see.  Right now, I'm not there.  I am on my way, though, and my goal is for those women to be one in the same.  Currently, I'm probably about halfway between what I had become convinced I was and the woman my friends insist I am.  But the fog on the mirror is clearing more day by day.

What man or woman do you see in the mirror?  Do you see what someones has cut you down to be or what is truly you?  Has your mirror been fogged by the vitriole and disparagement of others?  How do you dispel the fog?

Let me know your thoughts and tactics for clearing that pesky fog!!


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

On The Wings of Angels

Over the last couple of years, my domestic situation had completely broken my spirit.  It is a daily effort for me to try and mute that voice which lingers. 

Luckily for me, I am blessed with a multitude of angels.  I have the most incredible friends and family who remind me daily that "Bitch" is neither a term of endearment nor my name. 

They emphasize that "just an associate's degree" is plenty.  They point out how hard I worked to obtain that degree and how proud they are of me.

My friends and family have gone above and beyond these last few months to lift my spirits, my ego, and my heart out of the depths in which I had become mired.  I have been lifted on their wings until I can fly with my own.

Granted, I am well aware that I frustrate the hell out of them some days!!  On those days, that voice that still remains in my head is louder than theirs, and louder than other days.  But they don't give up on me.  They love me and lift me higher.

My name is not "Bitch".  My name is Mom, Grandma, Sis, and Friend.

Yes, I have an associate degree.  I busted my ass for that degree; I completed a two-year program in only sixteen months and graduated at the top of my class with a 3.9 GPA.  That "Just an associate's degree" obtained me a job I absolutely adore and I am blessed.

I am beautiful.  (ok, that one is still a stretch!)  But I have friends and even ex-boyfriends who have gone out of their way to remind me of that.  Until the last couple months, I hadn't heard those words in over two years. 

Bless my angels.  They will not let me fall.  One day, I will fly alone.  Until then, I don't have to worry...there is always an angel by my side.


Monday, August 18, 2014


In the past, I've frequently utilized Mondays for whatever rant I need to get off my chest.  That way, I've cleared the air at the beginning of the week and don't carry the poison with me.  That premise got me thinking and I (and you) have something to ponder this Monday.

Getting my rants out on Monday to clear them from my life got me thinking about Karma.  Very often, people make the assumption that when karma comes around, it will be a big, bombastic event making it obvious to the world that karma has come into play.  That's not quite the way I view it.

I believe that karma is more a stain on your soul (or your essence, if you prefer) from your past actions.  If you have done vile things, I believe they leave an imprint that you carry with you and which colors your future.  While it is all well and good to proclaim that you must forget the past in order to move forward, it is also incredibly naive to believe that the energy and actions you have sent out into the universe don't linger.  I believe that is why so many twelve-step programs and others like them include making amends as such a large, integral part of recovery. 

You truly cannot move forward without healing the wounds you have caused in the past.  To carry such a stain on your soul jeopardizes everything and everyone in your future.  The flip side, of course, is forgiveness of those you believe have harmed you.  Carrying the pain and anger prevents you from making any amends you personally need to make and removing your own stains.

Like I said...just something I was pondering this morning.  Hopefully, I gave you something to ponder also!


Friday, August 15, 2014

On My Way

I've been absent for a while but I'm on my way back!  Thank you for those who've stuck by this blog...and sent me private messages wondering when I'll be back.  I'm on my way.

It has been a hell of a journey the last few months and there are definitely things I would like to examine and share.  As always, I will take you with me!

I know today is supposed to be Frugal Friday so I won't let you down.  Here is today's tip:

Hug the ones you love!  It's free...can be sent virtually...and can change that person's whole day.  Too often, we take those in our lives for granted.  Give them a hug.

With huge hugs from me to you...



Jerri's Empty Nest