Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween!!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Littlest Things

Yesterday morning, my day started with a quick message from an old friend.  Nothing real involved, just more of a quick, how ya' doin' kind of message.

That message, however brief, put a smile on my face.  It made my morning just a little bit brighter.  Now I can guarantee you, that thought probably never entered his mind; that he might bring a little bit of joy to someone's day.

Sometimes it is truly the littlest things.  It was nothing earth-shaking, just a quick hello that made someone smile.  Too often we forget what an impact something small can have on someone else.  We also forget to be grateful for those same small things.

So here is a virtual hug from me!  Just something small to start your day!


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

What If Wednesday

It's my second What If Wednesday!  I'm going to take a bit of a different track today...hope you enjoy it!

What if:

1.  You said "I love you" to your best friend.

2.  You hugged a co-worker having a bad day.

3.  You played with your pet when you got home from work.

4.  You responded to that email from family you've been avoiding.

5.  You finished that one chore you've been avoiding.

6.  You took ten minutes and watched the sun set.

7.  You called your mom.

8.  You took a bubble bath.

9.  You read a classic book.

10. You thanked your spouse.

All of these are unexpected blessings...either for yourself or someone else.  Spread the love!


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Unexpected Blessings

When you least expect it, something wonderful will happen.

I have touched briefly on the fact that I recently left an intolerable situation.  With that came unexpected expenses for beds, groceries, etc.  Day to day living has been stressful, wondering if there will be days left at the end of the paycheck.

For those who follow this blog, I post every Friday about frugal tips, how to enter contests, and other ways of bringing a little extra money in to the household.  This week, my work paid off!  I won the grand prize in a Facebook contest...$2,500!!!

This money is definitely an unexpected blessing!  One...I enter so many, I forget which ones!  Two...this money will definitely make a dent in the damage that was caused earlier this year.  Three...I know for at least this month, there will be money left at the end of the month rather than month left at the end of the money!

This truly is a blessing and I am extraordinarily grateful.  Even claiming it on my taxes doesn't bother me!!

Look around your world.  While it may not be monetary, have you had an unexpected blessing?


Monday, October 27, 2014

Reality Check

Friday, I came home from work in a thoroughly pissy mood.  It had not been the best afternoon and I was looking forward to indulging in a major pity party.

I got home and logged onto Facebook.  Seeing a post from a friend battling cancer, I had a serious reality check.  My crappy afternoon immediately seemed incredibly petty and small.  Rather than spread my grumpiness, I simply posted a picture of my glass of wine and kept my pity party private. I still indulged in that pity party, I just refrained from dragging anyone else down with me.

While social media encourages us to share, not everything falls into the "share" category.  Moods like anger, grumpiness, and self-pity are better contained than spread.  Happiness, joy, and laughter need to be spread as much as possible.  I don't mean to infer that any "bad" news has to be supressed.  Actually, social media has become an incredibly useful tool when news needs to be shared at a rapid pace to a large amount of people.  General bitching and whining, however, do not need to be put out in the universe.  There is more than enough of that out there already.

For the next couple of days, watch your newsfeed.  I think you will each have that one person who constantly lives in and shares that negative place.  Examine how you feel when you see that person posting.  Is it viewed with a sense of dread?  Is that what you want to share with your world?  Definitely a stop and think moment, isn't it?

Spreading tons of love,

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Just Three!

Here is a recipe for peanut butter cookies to enjoy this weekend...and yes...just three ingredients!!


1 cup peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg


Warm peanut butter in a microwave safe bowl for 1-2 minutes until melted.  Stir about the halfway point to make sure it is thoroughly melted.  Beat egg and stir into peanut butter along with the sugar.
Roll into one inch balls and place on cookie sheet.  Flatten slightly with a fork.  Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes until slightly golden brown.


Friday, October 24, 2014

A Quickie

Just a quick reminder on this Frugal Friday...

We're approaching the holiday season.  As you begin to do your online shopping, don't forget to search for coupon codes before you complete those transactions.

Two of the best sites for coupon codes are and .  Both offer codes for hundreds of sites.

Frequently you can find codes for 20-30% off, free shipping, or free shipping upgrades.  On an average purchase, you may save as much as $10 - $15.  In this economy...every penny counts!

Remember to check for those coupon codes every time you shop online.  You'll be happy with how much you save!


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Stepping Forward

Last night, I had one of those nights.  I had to stop at the store to get something I forgot on the regular trip.  I got home, fed the dogs, and heated up a french bread pizza for myself.

Sitting down at my desk, I picked up my pizza.  And promptly dropped it in my lap...sauce down...on my work clothes.  Yep, one of those nights.

Next, my bra tried to kill me.  Ladies, you're familiar with this crime.  It's the one where that damned wire comes right on out and stabs you.  Sigh...

I decided I had just about enough fun for one night so I was going to take it easy and just watch some television.  Did you know that watching "Stalker" is probably not the wisest choice when you are home the dark?

The weird thing is, my day went just fine.  It wasn't until I was out of the office that it started to go downhill.  You would think it would be just the opposite...or maybe I am the one who is opposite!

Today is Thursday, tomorrow Friday.  It is almost the weekend...I can do this!


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Two Words

Monday, I had my entire day turn around due to a simple text with only two words.  That got me powerful can just two words be?

How about:

Love you!

Miss you!

Call me!

Come over!

Been there...

Done that!

Heading out!

Finally home!

My love

My son

My daughter

My grandkids

Look at all the power and emotion that can be expressed in just two words.  Reach out today...use just two words...and brighten someone's day.

Oh...and the two word text that turned my Monday around?  It was "Shoe size?"!!


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Old School

This past weekend, I went old school.

Sunday, I took a little time away from "have to" and "need to" and headed for the bookstore.  I wanted to re-read some classics and I felt a compulsion to read them in print form.  Now I do have all of these books on my e-reader, but I just had the desire to hold them in my hands.

I also went extremely girly old school.  What did I come home with?  Emma, Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre, Lady Chatterley's Lover, and Rebecca.  Those were my first introduction to "romance" books as a child (well, except for Lady Chatterley!!) and I just wanted to revisit them.

These books are classics for a reason.  The writing is superb, the storytelling incredible.  I look forward to re-exploring them.

How do you go old school?


Monday, October 20, 2014


Last week I did a post about a real man was in relation to domestic violence.  Saturday, I observed shining examples of what a real man pink.

Saturday, I participated in the Making Strides against Breast Cancer.  Although women outnumbered the men about 7 to 1...the men were definitely there!

The men were wearing pink shirts, pink boas, pink wigs, pink tutus, and pink hats.  They were wearing pink with pride in support of the women they love.  It takes a real man to get up early on a Saturday morning and don his pink tutu.

There is no doubt in my mind.  Real men wear the strongest color.  Real men wear pink.


Saturday, October 18, 2014

Gag Gift

Every holiday season, there always seems to be that one party or office get together where you need a gag gift.  This one comes right out of your kitchen!


Pint size canning jar
Dry beans (whatever kind you have or that are on sale)
Card stock for tag


Fill the jar with beans.  Cut an appropriate length of ribbon to go around the jar and tie on the tag.  On your tag, you will need to handwrite or print the following:

Instant Bubble Bath
1.  Ingest contents of jar.
2.  Wait at least one hour.
3.  Take bath.

Enjoy the laughs!


Friday, October 17, 2014

Frugal Household Hack

Today's Frugal Friday is an easy household hack.

We all have the standard floor sweeper.  You know the one...that uses the disposable cloths.

If you're anything like seems like those cloths are the one thing that never makes it on the list for the grocery store!  Here's an easy and CHEAP solution to never having to buy those things again!

Yep...fuzzy socks.  You can get a pair for only a dollar.  And I mean a in I bought a pair at Dollar Tree.

Slip one of the socks over your sweeper.  If you wish, you can dampen the cloth slightly to pick up dust even better.  Use your sweeper as normal and just throw the sock in the laundry when you're done.  With a pair of socks, you'll always have the other to use!

No more buying (or in my case, forgetting) those disposable cloths.  For just a dollar, you have an effective tool that also keeps those cloths out of the landfill!


Thursday, October 16, 2014

In Memoriam

This Saturday, I will participate in the American Cancer Society's Strides Against Breast Cancer.  I do so in honor of my late best friend, Judy.

Breast cancer touches one in every eight women.  I was one of the lucky ones who was caught extremely early.  My Judy was not.  

I will get up early Saturday morning, put on my pink and my sneakers and I will walk.  I will walk for those we have lost, those who survive, and for our daughters, that they may never have to fear this killer.

For that one in eight, for my granddaughters, for me, and above all, for my Judy.


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

A Real Woman

Yesterday, I gave a list of what I believed does and does not make up a "real man."  Today, I would like to share the story of a "real woman."  I am proud to say I know this woman.

Last week, my co-worker left for lunch.  As she waited in her truck for her lunch companion, she witnessed a boyfriend yelling at his girlfriend as they both pushed small children in strollers.  To her shock, she then witnessed him slap her.

I personally don't recommend her next action though to be honest, I would do the very same thing.  She jumped out of her truck and confronted the abuser.  She told him she had seen what he had done and was calling the police.  The girlfriend begged her not to trying to convince her it was no big deal.  My friend did the right thing and called the police.

When they arrived, she gave her statement.  The police then went to find the couple who had proceeded down the street.  Luckily, we live in a state where the cooperation of the victim is not needed to file domestic violence charges.  Hopefully, this will be the wake-up call that this girlfriend needs.

I am so incredibly proud of my friend.  She is a true example of a "real woman."


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Real Men

One thing that was brought up over and over again in the discussions regarding domestic violence was the subject of "real men."  I happen to have a few thoughts on the matter!

1.  Real men do not curse at women.

2.  Real men do not call women vulgar names.

3.  Real men do not raise their hand to women even if only to threaten.

4.  Real men do not lay their hands on women in anger...EVER.

5.  Real men do not denigrate another man's woman.

6.  Real men do not disrespect their mothers, ex-wives, or complete strangers.

7.  Real men treat women with respect.

8.  Real men protect the women they love.

9.  Real men defend those women they see being abused.

10.Real men do not support men who abuse.

I am sure there are more that other women can add to this list but I think it pretty much covers the basics.  As women, and especially as mothers, we have a responsibility to settle for no less than a real man and to raise our sons to be the same.


Monday, October 13, 2014

Open Floodgates

A couple of weeks ago, I dedicated the entire week of blog posts to domestic violence.  I was among a large number of bloggers with the same focus as it was also leading the national news.

Little did I know how it would open the floodgates.  I have heard from so many women who are living with physical, emotional, and verbal abuse as well as those living with infidelity.  

It broke my heart to know so many women are living in such situations.  I have felt so helpless, feeling that the small bits of advice I could give were completely inadequate.  At best, I simply provide an example of someone who has survived and is beginning to thrive.

Then the light bulb went off.  These women weren't asking me for a quick fix.  More than anything, they just wanted to talk to someone who had been there and knew what they were feeling.  They needed to share with someone that didn't need an explanation of the fear.  I don't need that explanation...I know it intimately.

For any other women out there who haven't talked...find someone like me.  We are out there by the thousands.  We care, we love you, and we listen.


Saturday, October 11, 2014

Edible Gift!

Keeping the focus on preparing for Christmas, here's an edible gift sure to be a hit!

Homemade Taco Seasoning


1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup chili powder
6 Tbsp dried minced onion
2 Tbsp garlic powder
5 tsp salt
4 tsp dried oregano
4 tsp ground cumin
3 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp ground coriander


Mix all ingredients thoroughly.  Yield is two cups.  Package in a canning jar and decorate.  Mix will store for up to a year and consists of eight (8) servings.


Friday, October 10, 2014

Frugal Christmas?

In this age of electronic everything, is it possible to have a frugal Christmas?  What if you made the commitment to go electronic free for the holiday?

One way to go about it is the Four Gifts.  It is a simple concept, and it makes gift buying a breeze!

The Four Gifts

1.  Something you want

2.  Something you need

3.  Something to wear

4.  Something to read

Take a moment and think how you can apply the Four Gifts to the people you do major buying for at Christmas.  I will bet it probably won't take that long for you to complete the list for each person!

This is just one way to make it a frugal Christmas.  Any ideas?


Thursday, October 9, 2014

Treading Water

Have you ever noticed Thursday is the longest day ever?  Think about it.  You are already exhausted from working all week.  It still isn't Friday.  Really...can this day be longer?

I have tried and tried to think of ways to make Thursdays better.  I use a fancier mug to drink my coffee in the hopes of starting my morning on a brighter note.  I try to pack an extra treat in my lunch.
I have even gone so far as to start weekend chores on Thursday in the effort to trick myself into believing it will give me extra time on the weekends.  I'll let you in on a little doesn't work.  Somehow the chores multiply and my time doesn't.

What are your tricks for getting through the long days?  Please, share!!  I'm desperate!!


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Losing Balance

My latest endeavor has been an attempt to find more balance in my life between what needs to be done and including joy.  As this post is obviously about 18 hours can tell it is not going that well this week!

Usually I have all my blog posts for the week done by Sunday afternoon.  Because of events beyond my control, I was unable to accomplish that goal this weekend.  From there, it just snowballed!

It seems my shortcomings are multiplying this week.  At least that is my perception!  It appears that I am falling further and further behind.  I think I will just blame it on the full moon!

It's late, the post is overdue, and I still have miles to go!  Sleep well, my darlings!


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The Urge to Nest

As the weather cools, my urge to nest goes into overdrive.

The fall brings out my urge to bake, get out my craft supplies, and basically become a hermit.  I don't know if it is a leftover vestige from my childhood in Wisconsin or just a basic human instinct, but there is something about the cooler temperatures that makes me into even more of a homebody than I normally am.

I have already begun my jewelry making for gifts and there is a batch of brownies planned for this week also.

A true sign of fall in my home is the whistling of the teakettle.  Yes, I'm old school...I still heat my water for tea in a vintage Paul Revere teakettle.  There is something about the ritual of making my tea that is comforting and homey.

What makes it feel like fall for you?  Do you also have a tendency to nest?  Please share!


Monday, October 6, 2014

A Fall Day

It finally got cooler down here in the South!  It was a beautiful day yesterday with wonderful breeze, clear skies, and gorgeous water.

I took full advantage of the fall weather.  I stayed away from my usual soda yesterday and honored the fall weather with a huge mug of peppermint tea with honey.  Instead of my usual 90 mph day, I slowed down and enjoyed cuddling up with a good book.

I capped off the day with a pot of chili.  I hadn't had any in months...I have to say, it was delicious!!  And of course, that bowl of chili was accompanied by watching the latest Transformers movie with my son.

All in all...a perfect fall day!  How are you celebrating the cooler weather?


Saturday, October 4, 2014

It's That Time!

When I posted earlier in the week that I was going to start my handmade gifts this month...I meant it!
Here is an easy, quick gift that women love!

Lemon Lip Scrub


2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup extra virgin olive oil (I prefer that from Crete)
4 Tbs lemon juice


Combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly.  Scoop into a small mason jar and decorate the lid for the appropriate holiday.  Attach a gift card around the neck of the jar.


Friday, October 3, 2014

All About the Box

One of the newest beauty trends is "the box".  Birchbox, Julep, and a multitude of other companies are offering subscription services where you receive a box every month containing samples of various beauty products.  Most of these services, to be quite honest, are out of my price range.  However, Walmart has also started a beauty box service that is more in my budget.

The Walmart Beauty Box comes four times a year.  You don't actually pay for the box, but there is a flat rate shipping fee of $5.00 per box.  That's a whopping $20 for the whole year!!  I've already received my first box.  Check it'll see I received well in excess of what I paid for shipping!

Okay...first, let's just ignore the fact that I haven't set the date on my camera.  Moving on...

The box did contain a couple of'll see there was a sample of Juicy perfume and a sample of Clear shampoo/conditioner.  Those, however, were the only sample sizes in the box.  The Secret deodorant, Olay moisturizer, CoverGirl lipstick and L'oreal Revitalift were all full size products.  Just the Secret deodorant alone more than makes up for the $5.00 shipping fee!  

This is the box as pictured on the Walmart Beauty Box website:
Obviously...I did not receive exactly what was pictured in the box.  However, I am more than happy with what I did receive and have absolutely no complaints!

If you want to try an inexpensive beauty box that offers great value, head over to the Walmart Beauty Box at  


Thursday, October 2, 2014

My Beautiful Women

I am extremely blessed with those who love me.  Recently, Tiny Prints offered a free personalized coffee mug for just the price of shipping.  I took advantage of the offer and I now have a way to keep the beautiful women in my life with me all day.

 Here in my hands, first thing every morning, are some of the most beautiful, talented, loving, caring, and compassionate women in the world.  My life is incredibly richer because they are in it.  My youngest son is also on the mug as he has been by my side through some wonderful and some terrible times and I rely so much on his support and love.

Keep an eye out on sites such as Tiny Prints, Shutterfly, and others for deals such as this.  It is a beautiful way to start your day with a cup of joy.


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

It's October?!?!?!?

It's the first of October!  How did this happen?  Where did the rest of the year go?

October means it is time to prepare for the holidays.  First is Halloween.  Depending on your scale of celebration, this may just mean picking up some candy or it might entail a full week of decorating the yard and entry to delight the trick-or-treaters.

November...the month of planning.  First, you plan for Thanksgiving.  What will you prepare, how many are coming, what decorating will you do?  Don't forget the two to three days of chopping, prepping, baking, and cooking.  Then there is the cleanup of the aftermath.  Of course, we can't forget the official start of Christmas madness!

December...I'm already stressed!  The shopping, the wrapping, the hiding, the crafts, the food, the BUDGET!!  How do we women survive this madness year after year?  Better question...why do we do this to ourselves???

It's the first of October.  I hereby vow to begin making my handmade gifts right now!  Halloween will be a minimum of decoration with tons of candy.  Thanksgiving will be delicious...but we won't be eating it for two weeks!  The rest of the year...well, I'll probably fly by the seat of my pants as always!

What are you looking forward to as we finish out 2014?  How do you stay sane?



Jerri's Empty Nest