_bbR3iY5lLSjzaZNziPYc6VX6tk Inspiration CAN be found EVERYWHERE!: January 2010

Friday, January 29, 2010

TJ's Test Kitchen Giveaway

I know that more and more people are brown bagging it for lunch (or dinner) these days, because it really is so much cheaper than eating out. AND you really do save on calories. I read that someplace just recently but for the life of me can't remember where.

Anyway, TJ at TJ's Test Kitchen is having a fantastic giveaway. You really need to check it out.

It starts with the cutest lunch tote - gives a whole new meaning to brown bagging it.
Then she has a pack of fit & fresh containers to pack your lunch into.
And then just to add to the sweetness of this giveaway, she has a whole pile of snacks that just look great.

Now hurry on over to TJ's and check it out. The contest lasts until February 5th ..... but why wait? Hurry over and give her some bloggy love while you enter her contest. Tell her I sentcha!

Monday, January 25, 2010

101 Slow Cooker Recipes

Gooseberry Patch is having a giveaway for a slow cooker recipe book - 101 recipes to be exact. They are giving away 25 books - 5 people get 5 books each.

I've entered because I LOVE slow cooker recipes (especially during the winter months and my busiest time of the year) and if I were to win I could share the 4 other books without worrying about getting one of my precious cook books back.

The giveaway is open until January 29th - so hurry.... you don't want to miss out.

I actually found this as part of Shop Freebies (I reviewed that site do-you-like-freebies earlier this month) but I'm just so nice to give you that link gooseberry patch. OpenForm - I am nice aren't I? :) Love you all too.

Valentine Giveaway you Don't want to miss.

Looking for something special for Valentine's Day? skinmdnatural is having a giveaway that has a great looking basket. Now if you win, you can guarantee that you get something to pamper yourself (just in case your SO doesn't really have a clue) or you could point him in the direction of this site to pick out things he would like you to have.

Valentine's Day Giveaway Basket Includes:

  1. A Bottle Skin MD Natural shielding lotion
  2. A Bottle Skin MD Natural + SPF 15 shielding lotion
  3. One pound of See's dark assorted chocolates
  4. 12 Starbucks VIA Ready brew coffee pouches
  5. A "Kiss Me" mug
  6. A Cuddly teddy bear
  7. Lollipop Bouquet
  8. All in a lined wicker basket
Contest closes February 7. The winner will be chosen randomly Feb 8 and the winner has 24 hours to reply so shipment will arrive by Feb 13th.

You can only enter once (so you can't "load the deck") but it sure does look like a great basket don't you thing. I've entered already - whatcha waiting for??

Life's Little Lessons

Week 3 in our Journey through Life's Little Instruction Book

11) Sing in the shower.
Even if you "can't sing". Who will hear you? And it really could make you feel so good you will have started your day with a laugh or at least a smile!

12) Use the good silver
What are you waiting for?

13) Learn to make great chili
Everyone can make chili - all different meats or meat substitutes can be made. Try it!

14) Plant flowers every spring.
Make your space YOURS with some flowers. Besides playing in the dirt is fun!

15) Own a great stereo system.
What can I say --- everything sounds so much better on a great system.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Let Me Call You Sweetheart bloghop

Do you have a blog? Want to try something fun?

The Frugal Housewife is hosting a Let Me Call You Sweetheart bloghop! It will be held February 4th. Go HERE for details and to sign up. Sign up has been extended to January 25th!

On February 4th post your Valentine tips and ideas. Everyone who signs up will hop from blog to blog reading each others posts.

I've not done one of these before, but I'm going to try just because it sounds like fun. I hope you will join us too!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Great Big Giveaway

If you haven't been to HappyDaisyAZ in awhile - you NEED to hop on over there ASAP. You see she has a great giveaway that is going on now .... until Monday January 25th.

If you like platinum or titanium and diamonds she has the best giveaway for you.

Check it out - they have some really pretty and interesting rings on this site!

Military Gratitude Campaign

I received this in my email and thought it was GREAT, so of course I have to pass it on to you.

If you ever wanted to thank a soldier for everything he or she has done or is doing - here is a great way to do it.

Check out the Gratitude Campaign

Feed the Children

Here is a great way to donate to Feed the Children, which won't cost you anything. Oh and while you are there, you can get a chance to win all kinds of things that you and your kids will love including the grand prize of a Frigidaire Affinity Washer & Dryer!

make time for change is sponsored by Save the Children, which is a great organization, among others.

Make yourself feel good about helping out in this time uncertainty AND get a chance to win prizes.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Auto Insurance made Easy.

This has to be one of the most expensive things I can think of, as well as confusing. Auto Insurance - the very words make me cringe.

I found this interesting site that makes it much less confusing. You really should check out automobile insurance if only to get a little bit more insight in what your agent is trying to sell you. You can find out just what the whole thing means - they have a great basic insurance "cheat sheet" for us as well as a glossary of all those sometimes complicated ideas that the agent starts throwing at you. You know the ones I'm talking about, those that make your eyes just glaze over.

They have a great group of companies that are included in this site. All are well known companies and some have really "cute" commercials.

If like me you have "new" or "relatively new" drivers on your policy, you and your student drivers could benefit from the information they have provided. Some of these things I already knew, but that was because I have been through this "joy" already with my son.

If you are in one of the few "lucky" states to have no-fault insurance - do you know what that means ??? really? Check out fault vs no-fault to make sure you know just exactly what the differences are and where they are alike.

If you are looking for affordable automobile insurance and who isn't, they even give you some great ideas for that too.

If you are looking for auto insurance, or if your policy is going to renew soon, you should be checking them out, they could be significantly cheaper than what you have now. You never know, you could be spending way more than you need to. Have them prepare a quote and find out for sure.

Just to be "clear" ... if you click on the link I do receive a nickel. Definitely won't get rich on that one - but it was how I found this site. I am glad I found it though since some of the terms are confusing for me, so I'm sure some are confusing for you. And heck who wouldn't like to save some money.

Healthy Recipes - Free E-book

I know that with the new year (and all those resolutions that people make - no not me) that people are looking for ways to eat healthier.

I found this free ebook at Recipe Lion, Healthy eBook, while I was searching for things to do with leftovers and for those bulk packages of meats/veggies you get at those wholesale warehouse clubs.

I've picked up my copy already - how about you? Are you clicking??

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

3M and Post-it-Notes Rebate

I know I have been looking for more and more coupons - rebates - samples for things that I use on a regular basis just to save a few pennies. I know its the result of such a "wonderful" 2008 and 2009, but I am thinking that I will be doing this more and more as I find great deals.

I found this offer at Amanda's blog afewshortcuts where she always has some great ideas and solutions, oh and freebies! Thanks Amanda!!

The rebate lasts until June 30, 2010 so you have plenty of time to pick up some of these items. I know I always stock up on these items at the beginning of the year for school items as well as work items, so this is perfect. That and I really like those post it notes and post it flags, etc. Check out 3M_Postit_Label_Rebate_Offer to get your rebate form too.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Crock Pot Recipes - Free Samples / Freebies / Free

With the winter upon us, I know I am always looking for interesting recipes that I can pretty much let do their own thing. The crockpot is the perfect solution. Put everything in the crockpot before you leave in the morning and when you get home ... everything is ready for you to sit down and eat.

If your family is anything like mine - its a revolving door in the kitchen at this time of year. Everyone is running from one place to another, classes, work. meetings - you get the picture. Here is a wonderful FREE e-book of Hearty Crock Pot Recipes. Click 33 Hearty Crock Pot Recipes eCookbook for your copy today!

And if you are looking for even more Free Samples / Freebies / Free give this one a click :)

Life's Little Lessons

Here's week 2 of our Life's Little Instruction Book Lessons:

6) Have a firm handshake.
Having a firm handshake makes people take you seriously. Firm NOT crushing. I want to have my hand BACK when I shake with you. But not whimpy either. Who wants to shake hands with a wet noodle?

7) Look people in the eye.
It is very difficult to lie or be lied to when you are looking into someone's eyes. And then they do say the eyes are the doorways to the soul.

8) Say "thank you" a lot.
This lets people know that you appreciate what they have done. Nothing is taken for granted by you.

9) Say "please" a lot.
This lets people know that you are asking for help - not expecting to be waited on.

10) Learn to play a musical instrument.
Expand your mind - learn something that uses a different part of your brain so that you can learn even more.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Cool contest I found to win free groceries for a year

"Free Groceries ......."
Hey, I just entered this contest on Cozi.com to win free groceries for a year. All you have to do is put in your email address.

Even if you don’t enter, please click the link to help me win. (I get an extra entry for telling you.) Thanks!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Life's Little Lessons

I was going through my bookshelf looking for the discs for my laptop to finish installing everything that needs to be reinstalled here and found this cute little book my sister gave me years ago called "Life's Little Instruction Book". I've decided that I will share a few "instructions" weekly so that perhaps it will "sink in" my brain so that when my daughter needs some pithy comment - I can give her one of these and then she can pass them on to her children .... when she has some in the future (hopefully many years from now)

My "comments" on each of the blue numbered lessons are below that lesson.

1) Compliment 3 people every day.
Sometimes people don't know they are appreciated until you compliment them and it makes them shine.

2) Have a dog (or a cat).
Pets really do know what we are feeling - even if we don't always know. And when you are sad they really do try to make you feel better.

3) Watch a sunrise at least once a year.
Come on you can stay up or get up before the sun comes up - you're not that old!

4) Remember other people's birthdays.
Like a compliment, just acknowledging someone's birthday makes them feel special at least once a year.

5) Overtip breakfast waitresses.
These people are one of the hardest working - at work before the sun, always has a smile, always there with the coffee or tea to help you wake and lets face it breakfast is the most important meal of the day!

Do you like Freebies?

I know I LOVE freebies ....... free samples .... free stuff - you know that stuff you wanted to try but didn't want to actually PAY to try it? That's right FREEBIES!

Some people are able to get freebies by clipping coupons and matching them with sales at their local stores and walk out without having anything out of pocket (OOP - now you know what that means too.) But I've never been able to do that! guess I'm just coupon challenged.

Other people wait for their friends to give them some of what they have already bought because "You just HAVE to try this". I'm sure you have one or two friends like this.

But there are still others, like me, who have found this great site for free samples where you can easily grab freebies every day. What I LOVE about this site is that they have done all the leg work for you already. All you have to do is "click" the "grab this now" button and fill out the on-line form. No more searching for new things to try. You could be the first of your friends to "try" something new and brag about how it was totally free to you!

I really love this site - I've gotten all kinds of free samples and free e-books just because I stumbled onto this site. You really need to check it out. There are always something new added each day - so give it a week or two and I bet you will find things you like too. Let your fingers do the walking through shop4freebies.com you will not be disappointed.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

One Woman's thinking for a Happy Life ...

This came in my email this afternoon - I think it is PERFECT for the start of the New Year. Please enjoy.

Recently, in a large city in a poster featuring a young, thin and tan woman appeared in the window of a gym. It said,

"This summer, do you want to be a mermaid or a whale?"

A middle-aged woman, whose physical characteristics did not match those of the woman on the poster, responded publicly to the question posed by the gym.

To Whom It May Concern,

Whales are always surrounded by friends (dolphins, sea lions, curious humans.)

They have an active sex life,
get pregnant and have adorable baby whales.
They have a wonderful time with dolphins stuffing themselves with shrimp.

They play and swim in the seas,
seeing wonderful places like Patagonia, the Bering Sea and the coral reefs of Polynesia ..

Whales are wonderful singers and have even recorded CDs.
They are incredible creatures and virtually have no predators other than humans.

They are loved, protected and admired by almost everyone in the world.

Mermaids don't exist.

If they did exist, they would be lining up outside the offices of Argentinean psychoanalysts due to identity crisis.

Fish or human?

They don't have a sex life because they kill men who get close to them, not to mention how could they have sex?

Just look at them ... where is IT?

Therefore, they don't have kids either.

Not to mention, who wants to get close to a girl who smells like a fish store?

The choice is perfectly clear to me:

I want to be a whale.

P..S. We are in an age when media puts into our heads the idea that only skinny people are beautiful, but I prefer to enjoy an ice cream with my kids, a good dinner with a man who makes me shiver, and a piece of chocolate with my friends.

With time, we gain weight because we accumulate so much information and wisdom in our heads that when there is no more room, it distributes out to the rest of our bodies.

So we aren't heavy,
we are enormously cultured,
educated and happy.

Beginning today, when I look at my butt in the mirror I will think,
¨Good grief, look how smart I am!¨

Quote of the Day ..... It's a Two-fer Day

Today's quote is actually a two-fer. I say this because rarely do I find two quotes that are just so "linked" that show up on my blog. If you go to the very bottom of the page, you will find an app for the "Quote of the Day" and "Fitness Tip of the Day". Today (and probably only today) these two tips are quotes that are so in tuned to each other I had to share them here for future pondering.

The first is from Helen Keller:

Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.

The second is by Anonymous:

"Ultimately, I am what I choose to be; my self-esteem follows the same path."

Somehow I will remember these as my "mantra" for this new year. I am thinking I will make a framed page for my office so that everyone who enters my office will see this and allow the optimism and promise to enter their lives as well.

Happy New Year - I'M BAAAAAACK!!!

Happy New Year to everyone!

Sorry I've been gone for almost a month now - although the reason for my being gone was not totally by choice.

Yes I would have taken time off for the holidays - it was crazy here with everyone here for the holidays, which meant LOTS of cooking (but that's ok cause I do love that).

My son unfortunately didn't get to come up for Christmas - but that was because he got the virus that seems to be hitting almost everyone lately and just wanted to die. As I had said to my sister - if he had to get this bug, it was good that he got it BEFORE he started on his 7+ hour drive up home and not during or after arriving here. It took almost 4 days for him to feel human again. Although I was sad to not have him here for the holidays - I'm glad that he was able to spend most of the time sleeping and getting better.

My daughter's new boyfriend - yes we now have a Marine "in the family" so we have pretty much covered all the armed services - was visiting us while he was on leave over the holidays. It was fun having him here. It was almost like a continuation of our time in California for the Marine Corp Ball. We were all sad to see him leave after New Years.

So that was the GOOD things that happened over the time away from my blog. The BAD thing - was the blue screen of death on my laptop. Unfortunately I ended up losing some of the files I had on my laptop (didn't do complete backups for a few weeks) because we had to reset back to factory setting to get everything fixed. I am still trying to get everything back to "normal" since the factory settings means 4 years worth of updates on programs ........

But all will be good soon - there will be no lapse in backing up data from now on - and I will be looking for a new laptop soon.