Queen of the Jumble

What A Year….

This past year I…..

went back to work for the first time in over two years

left my relationship of 11 years (7 of those married)

moved into a new place

got my oldest son started in preschool

made some pretty amazing friendships with some pretty amazing people

lived life to the fullness that I always hoped I could

danced more than I have in years

got into the best shape of my life

opened my mind up to new experiences 

did some pretty crazy but very fun things ;-P

met my best friend/partner in crime/person I hope to love forever

over all am very proud of the person I’ve become and the things I’ve been able to achieve and am so grateful to the people in my life who have supported and loved me through all of it’s twists and turns

Here’s to courage and change and new beginnings, cheers

#change #nofear #empowerment #strength #overcoming #selflove #believeinyourself #newbeginnings #againstallodds #badass #badbitch #lovelife #livelifetothefullest #seizetheday #carpediem #getinspired #health #fitness #motherhood #divorce #love #career #femaleempowerment 

This is possibly the best pasta salad I’ve ever had, definitely the best I’ve ever made!! Vegetable rainbow bow ties, 4 medium tomatoes, 1 large cucumber, olives, grilled artichoke hearts from the jar, pepper rings, green onion, good seasons Italian dressing mix, and grated romano  :-D

This is possibly the best pasta salad I’ve ever had, definitely the best I’ve ever made!! Vegetable rainbow bow ties, 4 medium tomatoes, 1 large cucumber, olives, grilled artichoke hearts from the jar, pepper rings, green onion, good seasons Italian dressing mix, and grated romano :-D

More salad creations…southwest salad with romaine, bell pepper, black beans, corn, green chiles, and bbq sauce.  Also, a greek salad (my fav) with romaine, cucumber, red onion, olives, artichoke hearts, feta, and lemon juice

Tried something a little different this week…after chopping all of the veggies and whatnot I placed them all in those fresh saver bags.  You know, the ones that say they keep your fruits and veggies from spoiling for weeks and weeks? Yeah so I wrapped everything up and stored them in my little shelving unit.  Today was my baja inspired salad with romaine, spanish brown rice, pico de gallo, mango, and lime!  Also, this is what I look like when I chop onions, real purdy I know ;-D

“It is when change causes you to sit somewhat uncomfortably with yourself for a moment that you know you are breaking ground, prompting you to let go of fear and doubt so that instead you may embrace love and ultimately, embrace your journey”
— J.R.M-P.

My friend tipped me off the other day that Target had these cube organizers on sale so I picked one up.  Only $40!  I already had these bins ready to go from the dollar tree because I was originally planning on building the furniture myself with the hubby but when I heard that price, I was like, “cha-ching!” ;-P  So yeah the whole thing was assembled that same day (thanks to a hammer, a screwdriver, and a little man-power aka my husband.) 

Ever wonder what an allergic reaction can look like?  Well, here it is! WOW, my son woke up the other day looking like this.  He was oblivious.  Jumped up and was ready to start the day like it was no big thing but I’m pretty sure I had the look of complete terror on my face.  If I ever wanted to know what Quasimodo is supposed to look like, I’d bet my son’s face was a close comparison.  So like any parent that finds their child in the morning with a swollen face and eyes, I went into freak out/get it done mode and called my husband in order to let him know that he was to drive home immediately and we were going to the ER.  My son could not be more happy-go-lucky at the hospital, perfectly satisfied to just walk around the waiting room and read the letters on the various signs.  It was all peaches until they shoved a cotton swab into his throat and a needle in his arm to collect samples….that didn’t fly too well with him, lol, but immediately after all of the trauma and horror of bodily fluid collection, he conked out and stayed that way for a couple of hours.  After ruling out mono and strep, the doctor pretty much concluded he had an allergic reaction to something that we absolutely cannot figure out.  Will most likely remain a mystery forever but the experience taught me that hospitals are awesome, nurses are awesome, lab technicians are awesome, and doctors are awesome.  The list of awesome people actually goes further than that but those are just a few.  Because of all of this medical awesomeness I went from slight panic to sitting comfortably in my home while I gradually watched the medication take my sons swelling down.  Gotta love how fortunate we are to have access to all of these things and to people who know their shit ;-D

So yeah I’m a couponer :-/….Don’t judge me cuz I’m awesome lol but seriously I’ve been couponing for a little over a year now and I gotta say it’s pretty legit.  It all started when the hubby was watching “extreme couponing” (of course) and was like, “hey babe, you should totally do that, you’d be amazing at it.” to which I replied, “well obviously i’d be amazing at it but no, those people are freaks.”  After some thought though I decided, wtf, why not just try it out?  So I did and at first it was way too time consuming and difficult to keep up with so I modified my strategy and now I have a picture perfect method.  My original “stock pile” as couponers call it was ginormous.  Too ginormous actually so I started bringing all of it to a church that a lot of my good friends go to.  They put up a sign, “Jenni’s 99cent Store” lol and people would take what they need, putting a dollar in a little jar to help cover my costs so I could buy more shiz.  Sooooo then I had no stock pile because I enjoyed giving my stuff away so much that it was all gone and then I got kinda tied up with the holiday season so couponing got put on the back burner.  A few weeks ago I started up again, this is my pile thus far, not bad ;-D  Anyways I’ll share my weekly method real quick in case anyone is interested in trying couponing out:

So typically on Friday or Saturday I go to this website: http://www.couponmom.com/.  I very occasionally go for the grocery store deals because what’s cheap or free is stuff I don’t really eat.  I always check out the drugstore deals and more specifically I look at CVS, Walgreens, and Target.  I’ve just found these places work best for me and have what I like to use.  I look at Coupon Mom’s lists, isolate all of the deals that come out to $1 or less, then print out the list.  I then go back to the list online and see if I need to print out any coupons because sometimes the deals require a printed coupon, this is especially true of target deals.  I then flip through all of my coupon booklets from previous weeks to find the coupons I need for this week’s sale.  I clip all of the newspaper and printed coupons.  Sunday morning, when the new paper comes, I also pull out any coupons I need for the sales and clip them.  Now I usually try to tackle the coupon run that Sunday because this is the first day of all of the drugstore sales.  If you wait too long, many sale items are already cleaned off the shelves from other couponers, like me haha, so it’s best to get in there quick and get what’s on your list. 

For CVS you’ll need a CVS card.  Deals that give CVS rewards pretty much always have limits so you may only be able to purchase one or two of the same item to get the rewards back.  Rewards are like store credit and can be used for future purchases.  I’ve found they typically expire about a month from when they’re printed. 

Walgreens is a little different.  They do not have a customer card but instead offer rewards per transaction.  This means that you can get reward money back as many times as you want but if you have 20 coupons, you’re going to have to do 20 separate transactions.  Also, if you get reward money back (which is actually a manufacturer’s coupon) from a particular sale item, you cannot use that same coupon towards that same item in a separate transaction.  This means if the schick razor was on sale for $5.99 and you received a $5 rewards print out, you cannot use that $5 reward on another schick razor that is on sale for $5.99 that same week, even if it’s in another transaction.  If they repeat the same exact sale the next week, you can use the rewards cash because the new week resets all of the sales.  UPDATE:  Important to mention, can’t believe I forgot!  Because rewards print outs are equal to manufacturer coupons, they require 1 item per reward coupon during checkout.  This means that if you are in the checkout line with 5 items, 5 coupons for each item, and 3 rewards print outs your number of coupons technically outnumbers your number of items because TECHNICALLY you have 8 coupons.  This means you need to grab 3 extra knick-knacks like little 33 cent caramels or 25 cent pencils.  Sometimes you can find these little cheapy items around the store.  If you don’t have one item per coupon/reward, you will not be able to use the reward so this is very important!  Rewards usually expire about two weeks from when they’re printed.  Hopefully this makes sense!  I had to learn all of this the hard way so it’s good to pass along the information!

Now Target is awesome because they accept a target coupon as well as a manufacturer’s coupon.  Many target coupons can be printed off of their website here: http://coupons.target.com/.  Some also come in the mail and some can be found in the newspaper with all of the other ads and coupons.  Target is easy because you don’t have to bother with rewards.  Sometimes they will have sales where if you buy a certain item you receive a free $5 gift card which is awesome because it’s not complicated at all.  It’s $5, it doesn’t expire, and it can be used towards any item for any purchase. 

So there’s the low down.  Couponing can be very intimidating at first.  I was so confused when I started but now I’ve got a sort of rhythm and system down that works really well for me.  If you’re wondering where to start, sign up for a newspaper like Orange County Register or LA Times.  I personally receive the LA Times and was able to get a deal where it only costs me $10 a year for the Sunday paper only service.  I subscribe to 3 copies so every sunday I get 3 copies of every coupon.  It’s good to have at least have two copies since many deals are “buy 2 for $5” and whatnot.  Good luck couponing! :-D

Another light, late night rice cake idea! Bomb-diggity, easy midnight pizza ;-D

My garden!  A few months ago my hubby helped me put this together.  I did a ton of research to try to figure out the best way to do this so once I came up with a solid plan, we went out and got the supplies.  2 kiddie pools, gravel, soil, and strips of fabric.  We layered the gravel inside of the first pool and drilled drainage holes around the sides.  Then we drilled holes throughout the bottom of the second pool, threading strips of fabric through each hole and knotting them securely.  We dumped all of the soil into the top kiddie pool and planted all of my little sproutlings that I had already been growing for a few weeks using my little self watering seedling starter, (here is exactly what I used, got it at target: http://www.burpee.com/seed-starting/grow-kits/xl-ultimate-growing-system-prod002628.html?catId=2211.)  The idea of the kiddie pool garden is to fill the bottom pool with water and as the strips of fabric wick up water into the soil in the top pool, water gets distributed evenly amongst the plants.  This way you don’t have to water them everyday.  At first though, my plants started dying so my hubby dug down to the bottom to try to figure out why.  He realized that it was just getting soupy and yucky at the bottom of the soil so we removed all of the fabric strips.  This seemed to help a lot but then a couple of weeks later they started looking unhealthy again so we tried placing an umbrella over the garden to protect it from the sun.  Once again, we managed to save the plants, it seemed they were getting scorched in the heat.  A couple of weeks after that they started turning yellow which I suspected may be from over watering so we laid off of that for a while and now they are thriving more than ever.  Strange adventure it is to raise plants!! Much more trial and error than I originally thought but it’s been fun and I still can’t wait to finally harvest all of my fresh and organic zucchinis, tomatoes, lettuce, and peppers!  For now at least I have my yummy basil.  Looks like I’ll have to start prepping already for which winter plants to try out! :-D

Follow up to my “More Money More Religious?” post a little while back…

I was just watching a video of Richard Dawkins explaining the differences between religion in England and religion in the United States.  He mentioned how religion is still written into government proceedings in England like how the Queen is still the head of the church and so forth but in America the constitution very strictly puts up a wall between the two, enforcing separation of church and state.  This has led to religion becoming somewhat of a free enterprise, big business for opportunists who want to build an empire.  Therefore in England, religion has become mundane and boring whereas in America, the sky’s the limit.  This so resonated with me because it made me think about why communism failed.  When you remove competition you leave everyone without motivation or drive.  Money DRIVES people.  When you remove religious competition in a country then perhaps what you do is cause people to feel indifferent towards it whereas when you include religion in the prospects of bureaucracy, you allow another avenue to become wealthy, noticed, or included in something.  This in turn brings the money which brings the people which brings more money and then brings more people.  Just a little light bulb that went on in my head that I had to write down!

I’ve been looking for weeks now for something practical for the hubby and I to store our phones, keys, wallets, and sunglasses!  I always see these hanging shower caddy thingamajigs (we also have one in our own shower) and I’ve thought, “wow, those look like they could be useful for other things besides holding shampoo bottles and body wash,” but for some reason my brain could not put these two ideas together.  Well, I’m excited to announce tonight that these two ideas not only met but they made love and had a baby and now my new shower caddy hangs on my front door, solving my phone/keys/wallet/sunglasses problem for all eternity.  THE END. :-D

“Children, as persons, are entitled to the greatest respect. Children are given to us as free-flying souls, but then we clip their wings like we domesticate the wild mallard. Children should become the role-models for us, their parents, for they are coated with the spirit from which they came- out of the ether, clean, innocent, brimming with the delight of life, aware of the beauty of the simplest thing; a snail, a bud….”
— Gerry Spence
“The true test of liberty is the right to test it, the right to question it, the right to speak to my neighbors, to grab them by the shoulders and look into their eyes and ask, “Are we free?” I have thought that if we are free, the answer cannot hurt us. And if we are not free, must we not hear the answer?”
— Gerry Spence

Is it late?  Are you craving something nummy num nums??  BEHOLD!!! Something nummy yet light yet healthy yet satisfying:::: plain rice cake, natural peanut butter, fruit preserves, brilliance.