Monday, March 23, 2009

There's nothing like free information

I'm a glutton for information. I love to learn new things to help me become a better person. The Internet makes it so easy to stumble across some useful, free resources, without adding a another piece of paper to my overwhelming stacks at home. Here are some links to information I found useful.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

what's for dinner? homemade whole wheat blueberry pancakes. yum!

Mom of three Ü

Sunday, March 15, 2009

DS Mania, Love, and Money

My son calls me a "cool" mom because I'm into technology. Currently, I've been obsessed with playing my Nintendo DS. For those who may not know, a Nintendo DS is a handheld video game system which happens to be the number one system in the world. One out of every two households in Japan owns a DS. At one time, our household owned three DSes. We are a bunch of techno-nerds who have a plethora of gaming systems and computers. I love my DS especially because there are a lot of edutainment games out there such as crosswords, anagrams, learning foreign languages, etc. It's funny to see young children googling at me whenever I play my DS. They display a mix of awe and confusion seeing a old-in-their-eyes woman playing a video game.

My latest addition to my green living is this. Mind you I didn't pay over $50 for it at Best Buy. According to this source, slow cookers use less than 1/2 the energy of a conventional electric oven for preparing the same meal. An added benefit is that your meal will be hot and ready for you when you get home after work. This model has sensor probe which will switch from the cooking mode to the warming mode once the optimal temperature has been reached. My next purchase will most likely be a convection toaster oven for baking cakes, cookies, casseroles, and such. A convection toaster oven uses a little less than half of the energy of a conventional electric oven and cooks a lot quicker.

I've been interested in the subject of finding a harmonious love connection such as the ones that are advertised by eHarmony and I find their TV ads to be quite compelling although I know they are putting their best side forward and this may not work for everyone. I don't believe that being loved should include abuse, neglect, complacency, or merely existing on earth. However, in order to get this type of love you really, really need to know who you are, what you want, and what you can and can not live with. You need to be truly self-aware which I find is not as simple as it sounds.

In my continuous quest of self-discovery, I have been browsing through relationship and love books at Borders. A friend recommended Steve Harvey's book Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man: What Men Really Think About Love, Relationships, Intimacy, and Commitment. I scanned through it last night and decided it wouldn't be one to add to my library but rather a book to borrow. It's a quick and easy read, written in a down-to-earth style. I got a few chuckles and flash backs to the days when I was heavily in the the dating scene back in college. One thing that really got a laugh out of me was the 90-day probation. Raise your hand if you remember that term? Keep your hands up if you lived by this philosophy. Are there any hands still raised?

One book I would consider buying is Why Men Love Bitches: From Doormat to Dreamgirl-A Woman's Guide to Holding Her Own In a Relationship. I could relate to so much in this book as far as women giving away their power and sensibilities to get and be in a relationship. This is so foolish and most of us, I suspect, have played that fool at sometime in our life. I don't want my daughters to be that foolish if I can help educate them otherwise.

I'm a big coupon girl. One of my best savings stories is about getting $80 worth of gift cards just by using coupons when refilling prescriptions at pharmacies I normally don't patronize. I plan on getting $50 more dollars in gift cards for two more prescriptions that need to be refilled. I used to belong to an online coupon and sales site which would analyze the current sales prices of groceries at the stores of your choice, match up available coupons, determine if the sales prices are the best possible, and provide you with a report to help you make the best purchasing decisions. This service, which is available for a nominal fee, has saved me more than enough to pay for it. However, I've found sites that offer similar services for free, such as this one. I know some people don't like to bother with using coupons and matching up the sales. But, I find it entertaining-like a game-to do this every Sunday. My goal is to save at least 50% off of my grocery bill. I think the most I've saved was 40% which is damn good I must say. I get a thrill seeing the $$ subtracted off of my bill at the end of check out. Yes, I admit to having this cheap but financially rewarding thrill.

My personal economy is such that I'm considering obtaining a part time job to supplement my income. What a drag. I've been looking at places where I can get an employee discount that would boost my buying strength at my favorite stores such as Target, Food Lion, and Best Buy. My friends may find it curious that I didn't mention craft stores as potential employers.
Working at a craft store would be a BIG problem for me. That's like asking an alcoholic to be a bartender. It's just not a wise choice. I know I'd get paid no where nearly as much as I get at my day job. However, if I combine the additional pay, the employee discount, and coupons it may actually be worth some of my time. I've already applied at a couple of places. Wish me luck and pray really hard. Thanks!