Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Ridiculous Ramblings in Retail: Part 5 I'll have your jobs!

Retail gives you more than experience in work. It gives you extra patience, a better outlook on your own intelligence level, and humorous stories to relive over and over. I've been witness to all sorts of things. I've seen a child burst into tears and tell his mother that she was "breaking" his heart because she wouldn't get the candy he wanted. I've had little girls want high fives on their way out.
Sometimes though, you come across people who are out to ruin the night with their bad attitudes. We have some of those that are regulars. Known for making trouble and being verbally abusive. Like the one that stopped by last night. First time I've ever encountered her.
She came and loaded a cart with various items she wanted. Most of which were clearance. Then she remembered that she left her payment method at home. To the Guest Service desk she goes. "I want to leave this here while I run home to get my card. I'll be right back!" This was about 8 PM or a little before.
What's wrong with this scene? First, we don't hold clearance for anyone. Against Target policy don't you know! But we were trying to provide excellent customer service and doing her a favor. She did say she'd be right back... right? Secondly, 9/10 people who say "hold this for me" won't come back at all. Do you know how much food we throw out? How much merchandise we have to rush to put back out on the floor before closing time? All because someone didn't bring their money. Well, guess what happens next.
9:45 rolls around and that cart is still there. We have 15 minutes to get everything set up for closing and hope we get out on time. So I made the choice to reshop everything. I figured she was just like the other 9/10 people that says they will be back but never do. Clothing was picked up by the team members in that department immediately. Everything else went into the carts. 9:55 comes up and we are feeling great because closing time is almost here and we have everything ready so we can walk out as soon as we verify no one is in the store. But here walks in Trouble... Yep. She came back in. 5 MINUTES BEFORE CLOSING!
"Where is my car?!"
"Well, ma'am, we returned everything to their rightful areas."
"WHY?"
"We are preparing for closing and you hadn't returned to the store."
"I said I was coming back, didn't I? Don't assume I'm like the 98% who say they will but never do. That's wrong of you."
Then comes a long rant about wanting to call our store manager and how the security guard (me) will be escorting out this employee come tomorrow with a "Have a nice day and you're fired." She claims to have worked for a Target store before and knows company policy. She says we shouldn't have re-shopped everything until right at closing as that's the rules. There's a lot of things I wanted to say... But I was trying too hard not to laugh to open my mouth. And then she brought back a return to top it off! 5 minutes before closing?! What store did you work for, honey? Because I can tell you that 5 minutes before closing, all but 1 register is closed, all the reshop is put away and we are clearing the building of guests. We plan to go home ON TIME! We don't want to hear about your store. We don't care who you worked for or what region you came from. We are on a mission and nothing you say or do is going to change that. If anything, its going to make our resolve stronger. So zip it and move along.
I have to commend the incredible poise and dignity displayed by my coworker who was dealing with this piece of work. He didn't raise his voice, referred to her as Miss, kept a polite tone, and provided the best Vibe possible as if there weren't any issues at all. Then when her words didn't rattle him as she wanted, she turned to the rest of us and apologized for us having to work with "such a guy". My answer? "I LOVE working with him! He's a really great guy." Another coworker chimes in, "He's a great guy to work with." Another, "Oh I like working with him! Don't apologize for us." The look on the ladies face was PRICELESS! I'd love to have a copy of it hung in the break room. She mumbled something about not understanding how we can stand it when half his coworkers and most of the guests she's met say how much they hate him. Sweetheart, we all know you are lying. He's one of the top performing employees of our store with some of the highest guest compliments given. I've worked with him for over a year and never heard a guest complain about him unless they were upset that he wouldn't bend the rules to fit their fancy. So shut the pie-hole and get out of my store. While she's ranting, I gathered what was left of her cart items and we rang them up for her. She freaks out at this and tells us no, because we are all going to be in trouble and she wasn't buying anything until she talks to the store manager. Then she grabs a bag that was on the counter and acts as though she's going to walk out with it. At this point I say um no! "Did she pay for that?" She stops and turns around then brings the unpaid for merchandise back. "Now I'm getting so upset that I forgot I didn't pay. Keep it!" And she throws it down. "Do you want us to hold these items for you to get tomorrow?"
"Yes, I do. You ruined my trip and now I have to start over."
"I remember your name started with a C but can you tell me the name again please, miss?"
"No! I already told you my name today and if you can't remember it then you are out of luck."
"Well, miss I can't hold them if I don't have a name."
"Too bad. You hold them and remember my name." At this point she begins to walk towards the door. Before she even gets there I tell them to reshop everything. "If we don't have a name, we don't hold the items. Put everything in their carts." She stops at the door and starts yelling something about how we will remember her name tomorrow when we get fired for being such poor Target employees. Everyone was ignoring her though. Why give her the benefit of an audience when the performance was such a poor one? As soon as she was gone, there were high fives and cheers all around. Why? Because we are Target's finest. We don't let people bully us and heavens to Betsy, she wasn't going to ruin our night with anything she had!
The previous night we had a known trouble maker who tries repeatedly to fraud the system with coupons. Well, ma'am, the gig is up. We know your face and MO and its not happening. As a matter of fact, everyone has been warned. You might want to take your business out of town from now on. She always comes in at closing. She doesn't get to the checkout lanes until 5 minutes before closing. She has a stack of coupons, most of which don't match or aren't able to be processed without managers approval. We deny them because of her reputation. She's cursed at least of the managers out. She is verbally abusive to the cashiers. She hates my guts as I won't leave the front until she does and will have no problem returning her icy stare. She promised to have us fired too. It didn't happen. She claimed Target gave her a $100 gift card. But she didn't spend it so that's probably bogus too.
Then we have people who think its okay to solicit in the stores. Target is a privately owned company. Target stores are private property. They have a strict No Solicitation policy. You get caught doing it, you will be asked to cease or leave. Get caught a second time, you will most likely be asked to leave. A third time will result in trespass warnings or calling the police to trespass you. Step foot in that store again and you get arrested for violating a trespass warning. This particular guest thinks she should be exempt from that because she's promoting her book and no other guests asked her to stop. She has since screamed at another security guard, yelled at a manager, and now has added the front lanes leader to her "get fired" list. I've got news for you, its not going to happen!
A lesson from the wise... Don't come to Target with your attitude, people! Most especially not at closing time. Don't try to sell other guests something, we don't need your health food books. Don't use and abuse your coupons and you won't make it on our black list. You won't run us down. We just "ain't gonna take it!"

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Oh those cravings....

Ever have a craving for something that you couldn't explain? And no, I don't mean when you are pregnant. I came home one night with the thought of fresh brownies. Or chocolate cake. I really wanted some. My husband had the Freshly Picked Strawberries candle burning and instant ramen in the microwave. Now don't ask me why, because I still haven't been able to wrap my head around it, but I thought the smell was too close to that of freshly baked brownies. Suddenly I wanted to bake. But being that I'm moving, I don't have much in the way of baking supplies piled up like normal. I had a cake mix though. So I went online to do some research. I found a recipe that used a cake mix, 1 egg, and 1/2 a cup of butter to make cake mix cookies. On top of that, I had Hershey kisses and M&M's.
They came out so well (yes, I'm so proud!).
Have a recipe to share? Email it to me at texanmama08 at gmail dot com. I'll share it and possibly try to make it as well.
 

Monday, January 20, 2014

Our visit to the local Bath & Body Works Outlet

St. Augustine is having a beautiful day as far as weather goes. And since I was off today, we decided to go to the outlet mall. Famous Footwear is having a buy one get one half off clearance sale as well as price cuts on everything else.
Since my husband is in desperate need of new shoes we thought we would check it out. We found him a pair (not on clearance though) and 2 for my daughter that she can grow into that were on clearance.
Then we stopped by the Bath & Body Works Outlet shop.
They were having a huge sale. Lots of things were 50-75%, some of the 3 wick candles were $8, even some of the men's items were on mark down.
We picked up one candle that we both liked. Most of the $8 scents were from the winter/holiday collections. 
Though a few of them were of the tropical kind. The travel-sized lotions were $1 each.
These are great for those times when you are carrying a smaller purse or to keep in the car. The travel-sized shower gel were $1.25 each.
The men's aftershave that my husband likes is only $3. And then the soaps were $2.50 - $3 depending on the kind you get. Plus they give you a 20% off $25 or more coupons that start tomorrow and end in February. These types of things make great gifts, not just for your sweetheart. You can hold on to a few as gifts for next Christmas or birthdays in between. The candle sale was ending today though so if you are going, now's the time!

Also, they have a new line that reminds me of fairs and snack stands... There are Lemonade, Ice Creams... and Popcorn! Check this out.... And yes, it smells like popcorn... I didn't get this one even though my husband liked it. My kids would never cease to ask for popcorn.

Friday, January 17, 2014

It's moving time again....

May I just start by saying... I HATE moving! It's miserable, time consuming and seems to be a strong supporter of holding me back.  In the little over 6 years I've been married we have moved about... 7 or 8 times? Including one very long and draining move across the country from Texas to Florida... with 3 small children in a Buick LeSabre with a trailer about the size of or slightly larger than my car trailing behind us. Besides the few hilarious moments when my deaf husband would do the fist pump so that truckers would honk as we went by, it was tiring. My back and legs ached and on parts of the drive I almost went off the highway when extreme exhaustion hit me like a sledgehammer. You see, I'm the only driver. And that's about 20 hours of driving with minimum stops. Plus I get to listen to the children complaining in the backseat, worry about the trailer dragging behind and wish I was alone on a sandy beach listening to anything besides the kids soundtrack CDs that I now have just about memorized. I've moved during pregnancies in the hottest parts of summers. I've packed entire apartments very nearly on my own while my husband slept during the day and worked overnight.
I hate moving. With a burning passion.
And yet, here I am again. Packing. Cleaning out. And preparing for another long move. 
 This time I'm transferring my job to another store so we won't have to end up living in a hotel while I scramble for work. And my husband is disabled. So there's some comfort. I've made friends here who are joining my other friends as online buddies. I feel like I'm abandoning my amazing coworkers here for the unknown folks of another store.
Housing arrangements are still in the air. My apartment here looks frightfully desolate as half of everything is in boxes already. And being OCD is driving me insane! I can't stand clutter, so having boxes stacked along the walls makes me feel like a freak from Hoarders.
Once again my children are showing signs of being unsettled as we have yet to firmly set roots anywhere.
So many questions swirling in my head. So many fears. Are my children ever going to have a good solid place to grow up? I sometimes feel like we go from apartment to apartment and they are like the puppies growing up in a pet store. They don't have room to run and play. To be free. For most of my childhood, my parents had houses. I went bike riding, roller blading, running, climbed trees... I had adventures. I want the same for my kids. But I'm always struggling. We can only afford so much. And time is quickly passing us by. Between work and getting daily chores done, we seem to miss the times of taking the boys fishing, going to the park, or visiting family and friends.
To make matters worse, my husband spends at least 2-3 hours (broken up in intervals between his gaming) to "talk" about what sort of housing situation I want. All the while knowing that I'm going to give the exact same answer I have been giving for the past month because we both know where we will end up in the end despite our best efforts for the ideal home. A house would be amazing. But at this point I'd settle for a 2 bedroom apartment so long as we get to where we are going and have a place to rest after the move. And so long as the one sided "discussions" finally end.
There are still the daily activities that come with being a working mother. Preparing and cleaning up after 2 meals a day, organizing the packing scene and de-cluttering, home schooling two highly active boys who get ants in their pants when told to sit still, working part time 3 days a week, and then trying to get enough sleep to keep me out of the zombie zone.
Some mornings I hear the "Mom" alarm and want to hit the snooze button (if only there was one). But the voices get louder. And they multiply.
I've been working on getting them ready for the move. I made up a backpack of toys, bought some fun packs from the Dollar Spot at Target, and tried telling them what's happening. They look forward to seeing their Oma and Papa. I got them in on "helping" me pack the toys...
 Finally there is the "Going Away" project. You know when you are going far enough away that you won't see the people you are close to for quite some time. So you plan shindigs and soirĂ©es to see everyone to say goodbye. Only it's hard to find those times. Most of them are later at night. Then comes writing those heartfelt goodbyes. I believe that when you truly mean it, you write it. Not just say it.
All of this leads to the choice of curling up  in the fetal position whilst growling at any who dare approach... Or rolling with the punches and taking it one step at a time. I'm still fighting the urge to take the first option.
I know that the next few months will be a completely different nightmare. On top of being in a new place, I'll be starting over in a new store as the new girl all over again. Let's be honest, I don't make friends well. I hide in my shell until someone forces me out. Ask my best friend. She literally scared the friendship into life. Then she dragged me into her circle of friends of our workplace adding two other besties to my life long pals list. I think that's sorta how it worked out in my latest job as well. The outgoing, friendly people pulled me in and one of them even gave me a run down on everyone else so I didn't come out feeling like a total stranger around everyone. Now I'm starting over...
School is going to be put on hold. Again. 6 years is a long time to put college on hold. Especially when you had so few classes left towards your degree.

So much to do. So little time. Sadness, frustration, anxiety... all tugging away at what's left of this moms sanity. I certainly hope for the best, fear the worse and will do everything I can to make it the best transition possible! Thanks for listening to my craziness. Feel free to tell me what you think about it in a comment below.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Another trip to Target

It seems like I've posting a lot about finds at Target. I seem to be there a lot. Last night I went to pick up some pull ups for my sons. While there, I checked some clearance end caps. In health and beauty, they have the bath sets half off.
Each one of the larger kind was $4.48.
The small one was $2.48.
We also found some Softsoaps for .80 each. 
In toys we found 2 Lego sets that actually rang up half off despite having a clearance sticker of 15% off.
So don't be fooled by stickers or signs. Use the price scanners. 
These make great gifts year around since they are useful things that are needed daily. Stock up now if you have space and save time shopping later. 
I'm a little disappointed that there is so little, but I guess the economy is having that effect. Did you find any savings deals? Don't forget to share!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Jewelry Candle review

I finally received my replacement candle for the broken one that was ordered before Christmas from Jewelry Candle. And I have to admit, I'm a little more impressed.
So I wrote about the previous experience. My biggest complaint was the customer service. I still think they can improve their service ratings with a little more attention to customer service skills. However, that being said, they do provide a great product. One that seems worth the money.
About the candles...
They are a rather large size with a double wick. Made from 100% natural soy and using premium quality fragrances, they offer so much more than a candle. They are natural, hand poured, and the double wick technique means they burn evenly so you aren't wasting anything. The rings are exquisite as well. You can check out others reviews and reveals on their website. So many variations! They also put in necklaces and earrings that I've seen.
My husband ordered the Freshly Picked Strawberries ring candle. He originally wanted it here by our anniversary on December 15th. When it was late, he said it would be my Christmas gift. It came just in time! December 21st, I received the first candle. It was broken inside the box despite being firmly wrapped and sealed.
They do package their candles very carefully though. Even before I opened the box, the scent coming from the package was divine! I was enjoying the rich aroma and certainly in no hurry to get the ring yet. It burned for several hours before the ring foil could be seen. And the smell of strawberries was evident throughout the entire apartment! We did manage to get the first ring out. It was really pretty.

We contacted Jewelry Candle and were answered much quicker this time around. Of course their Christmas rush was over by this time. We sent pictures of the unwrapping and damage to show proof of it and they immediately answered that they would get another candle out to replace it. We waited a couple weeks but didn't hear anything else. I finally posted on their Facebook page about it and someone answered quickly that they would have the new candle in the mail the next day. True to their word, they did. And in a couple days following, our candle arrived at our door.

Opening this box, I didn't smell the candle as strongly as I did before.
Its not as overwhelming as that first one. However, it still smells amazing and the scent travels down the halls around the apartment. It burned a little weaker this time as well. A couple times the wicks snuffed themselves out. It burned about a third of the way down before the ring foil was seen.
My husband was impatient though and decided to try tugging it out as soon as it would budge a little. Its perfect!
It came the month of my birthday and was a garnet (my birthstone) ring. There are tiny green (peridot?), pink, and purple stones on the sides as well. I love it! He wants to order another one maybe in a month or so and I already have a few ideas of which one I might like to try... Just remember to order BEFORE the Christmas rush. Like August or September maybe? They have Ring Candles as well as Jewelry Candles. I also like that they have Greeting Candles. Want to add a message such as congratulations, your love for soldiers, new baby, etc.? They have so many to choose from. They also have Jewelry Tarts, Soaps, Wax Roses, and host Giveaways. You can also become a consultant. So check them out and let me know what your thoughts about them are.

My son and the F bomb...

Today my son definitely said THE F word. Three times. No doubt about it. And the result? I told him it's a bad word and I never want to hear it coming from his mouth again. I feel guilty. I know growing up, my parents would've smacked the tar outta me for saying that. I wasn't even allowed to say "what the hell". I remember the first time that phrase slipped my lips in the presence of my mom. 
So where is this coming from? Not me. I don't curse around my kids. I try to not swear at all. And my husband is deaf so unless he signs it, he doesn't say it either. What other options? TV? My kids don't watch anything that I don't approve of. They have minds like sponges that can soak up and splash out everything imaginable. Radio? I only listen to Christian, their CDs, and the occasional flipping through channels and stopping on good songs that I know aren't going to come back and bite me. What does that leave me? 
Games. Yep, we are all gamers here. Even the kiddos. But I make sure to turn the volume down. I know what the content of my Black Ops and Halo might be. So I mute them when I play. I've also warned my husband. But there have been occasions when he forgets and I catch him. I remind him and shut off the sound. Not like he needs it anyhow, right? I've also warned my brother though he seems to hate turning the sound off. He hasn't learned to make his own noises in the game and hasn't learned the fun of yelling "Die!!!" as he slices and dices the living dead Nazi's. 
That's another thing... I've been faced with the question of whether the children should see us playing such a game. I've banned them from watching my husband play Grand Theft Auto. I dread the day my son asks me why Bryan's character is going into a house filled with naked women on poles. Or tells me he can't wait to steal a car and shoot back at the police. Bad enough I came home from work and he told me "On daddy's game, the guy took his shirt off and drove fast cars. Then he took his pants off and the cops shot him!" *insert head slap here* Followed by, "Bryan!" 
We have had talks about this. I know how poisonous the games can be to young minds. Today makes that point very real. 
And if the game doesn't come with a foul mouthed character, you can bet there's going to be some hot shot 8 year old spouting off profanities that would make a sailor blush. I cannot tell you how many times I've been asked personal questions because some kid found out he was playing with a "girl"! What I'm wearing has no bearing on how well I do against you. Cursing a bloody storm worth of words won't make you play better and definitely won't impress the intelligent opposition. 
I can't erase what has been done. But I'm going to be even more cautious of what they are exposed to from now on. My husband and brother too, better watch out. 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

That Awkward Moment movie

This movie is ADULT content and even the trailer is rated R. I like the premise though, all those awkward moments you have in the dating arena. I know I had mine. How many of you plan on seeing this one? Its about 3 guy friends who find themselves in shifting relationships. Reactions are quite comical.
http://www.thatawkwardmomentmovie.com/

More clearance at Target!

Prices on clearance are making their way to 50 and 70% off. They are preparing room for spring items. So be on the lookout! I found these Lego sets had dropped again and now are only $4.98. 
In the Men's health and beauty products, Dove and Axe were marked down too. 
These were $3.38. 
These were $3.87 I believe. Head and Shoulders for Men were also marked down. Don't forget to let me know what deals you found!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Clearance around Target

So today as I made my rounds around the store, I noticed several areas of clearance. Toys has been mostly centralized to a single aisle. While it says 30% off still, some of them seem like more of a discount. 
The Lego sets I previously bought have dropped even lower in price. 
I also saw that in camping supplies, several things were marked as clearance. 
Don't forget to check other areas. Also in case you didn't know, Cartwheel now has the option to Search for offers by scanning products barcodes. It makes it so much easier to match deals now! 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Update to Target clearance

Alisa went to buy more of those pants I previously posted, Circo toddler girls. They are currently ringing up $1.50 each making them 70% off even though the sign still says 30%. So check your price scanners. Plus the Cartwheel offer still has 15% off. She only paid $1.27 per pair! 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Inspiration for losing weight

2 weeks after giving birth to baby #3.
A friend of mine has recently reached the milestone of losing 88lbs! After gaining 75-80lbs during her pregnancy with her third child, mostly in fluid retention, she took to seriously working the weight off. She recently told me about it. "After Edward was born I thought I was going to lose weight fast. I was wrong. I lost about 20lbs fast and then I lost another 10lbs by Christmas. I didn't do anything special because I was breastfeeding Edward. I was hoping to lose more after Christmas but I didn't really  lose any weight. I was very depressed and told Avery's mom (my daughters friends mother) I needed to lose more. She suggested that I should talk to Jenny, Emma's old teachers aide. She owns a Body by Vi business. She said I should drink the milkshake with protein power from Body by Vi. It worked great and I lost other 25 lbs for about 2.5 months... And then my doctor said I should join the MyFitnessPal program. From there I read that I should eat up to 1200 calories per a day. When Ash Wednesday came around I decided to give up all sweet foods like candy, cake, etc. and no snacks. It was extremely hard for me but I did it! I lost another 20lbs in 40 days. I started eating more healthy foods like fruits and vegetables... I cut back on meats... no bread. I started drinking a lot more water and less diet Coke. From then until now, I have been watching what I eat. I'm planning to lose another 15 to 20lbs before I'm done. I'm much more happier then I was before.
Eating healthier helped me to lose the weight slowly. Doing so allowed me to lose the 88 pounds in the past year. My doctor thought I wouldn't lose weight like this, and I'm going to show him just how wrong he was at my next appointment on January 29th when I take Edward to his check up appointment.
Another thing I did to lose weight was drink Silk Pure Almond unsweetened with vanilla in my Body by Vi protein powder shake. It helped me to feel full. I only had to drink it twice a day."
2 weeks after her baby delivery on the left, a couple weeks ago on the right!
She's done an amazing job. And she's a wonderful mom. Love hanging out with her and hearing about her success! Thanks for sharing Alisa. 
 The right side is the most recent showing her loss of 88lbs.

My Target clearance trip!

I hit up the clearance sections on a recent shopping trip to Target. Some of the deals I found were amazing. First stop was clearance. I found these pants marked down 30% = $2.50 plus Cartwheel has 15% off Circo Toddler Girls Apparel! Its for clothing 12M-5T which is what these pants were. I ended up paying only $2.12 each.
These Lego sets were in the Christmas clearance section from the stocking stuffers leftovers. The Friends set was $1.19 a couple days after Christmas. The TMNT sets were only .38 each on this recent trip!
The Minnie Mouse gift bags were also in the Christmas clearance section for .20 each. The gift tags for only .30 and the stocking was $1.30.
In Boys we found these Lego Chima pajamas for $9.98 on the 50% clearance rack. It comes with 2 complete pairs.
In Toys they have recently put these Friends sets on clearance. It says its 30% off, but when you check the receipt you will see original price as $13.98 making these more like half price at $6.98.
These weren't on clearance, but when you pair them with Cartwheel and a coupon if you manage to get the printed ones at the register it can be a good savings. We picked up 2 Market Pantry Ketchup 20 oz bottles. I had a coupon for $1.00/2 plus 10% off in Cartwheel. I ended up paying $1.46/2 or .73 each.
Then on to pasta... We grabbed 2 boxes of Market Pantry pasta for $1.04 each. Add the coupon I had for $1.00/2 and the Cartwheel offer of 5% off making them $1.02/2 or .51 each.
I also bought 2 folding chairs for only $5.99 each using the Cartwheel 40% off any folding chair offer.
What deals have you found??

Monday, January 6, 2014

Super mom having a not-so-super day...

I've been sick the last couple days. Something in the vicinity of allergy or cold... I hate getting sick. It's disgusting and draining. Then I also have three munchkins ranging from 1-5 years of age. The oldest seems to be holding off the illness quite well. The middle child is wiping his nose on anything EXCEPT tissues. And the youngest has started showing signs of the sickness which has her quite miserable. Plus, she's learned to climb on just about everything and in the past 24 hours has fallen and managed to hit her mouth 3 times. I can tell she takes after me already.
I seriously wanted to curl up in bed and sleep until I'm all better. Then I made the mistake of looking around the apartment. Dishes in the sink, floor un-swept and needing to be vacuumed. There's a load of laundry in the dryer plus I should be starting another load.... I went to pick up my sons cup and found his grilled cheese sandwich that he said he had eaten, floating in his Koolaid. This is an average day for me. But normally I can keep up with demands. Feeling like I have the plague... Not so much!

I was faced with the choice of going to bed and calling the day quits... Or putting on the big girl undies and getting to work. Can you guess which one I chose?
Yep... An hour later and the floors were cleaned, counters wiped, dishes done, daughter awake from her nap and eating. I'm still holding out hope for a nap or quiet moment to rest. In the meantime I'm going finish the laundry, plan this weeks meals, make a shopping list to match and try not to pull my hair out in the process.
It's difficult some days, not gonna lie. I want to curl up and growl at everyone that comes to me for something. Husband comes asking what I deem "stupid" questions every five minutes, my oldest son asks to play a game about a hundred times a day, middle child wants to sit around watching movies all day, and my baby girl wants to be held and/or fed often. I would clone myself if possible! Then one of me could work while the other me handles home issues. But alas... its not possible... yet.
Tonight is a win though. Italian marinated chicken, rice, apple cobbler, and garlic bread for dinner. Score!
 

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Exterminators: Shadows book review

I wrote about a book I had helped edit for a friend of mine a while back. He's a great author who has some new adventures to read as he continues his series, Exterminators. Book two, Shadows, is now available on Amazon for Kindle download or you can order the paperback edition
This up-and-coming writer is named James DeSantis. He has a truly wonderful sequel that continues to shed light on the characters and story from book one, Infected. A battle has been brewing, but now there are more groups getting involved. The Shadows have taken an active roll with the Summoners towards bringing the Exterminators down. 
Riven is battling the memories from his past, especially the most recent one taken from the body of previous Exterminator, Fred, as well as Cole from the Summoners. They differ in opinions. He also doesn't believe that David is leading him in the right direction or trusting him. 
Jin and Emily go to battle where tragedy strikes. Jin falls into a depression that leads to a passionate quest for revenge against the man responsible. He also has to deal with the loss of his father. 
Carl has to get himself back together. With the loss of Fred so soon, he takes a more active role in leading his team of new Exterminators. 
Nick pushes himself daily to be the absolute best he can as he leads his team against the Unknowns. He wants to be strong. He's still keeping his secret from Kelly who becomes more and more convinced that he has a big secret. She pushes him to tell but still loves him enough not to push too hard. He also has to keep his secret from his dad.
Peter and Rachel get closer and soon become a couple of the cutest sort. Even though he still has trouble relating to others, he finds a love that he's willing to die to protect. Even if its not reasonable to someone who isn't sentimental or even romantic. He also learns to stand up against his father who is trying to come back.
Marshall and Lucy are going strong. A bun in the oven has Marshall going on a serious job hunt that lands him work with someone dangerous. His new friend and coworker puts Marshall in a deadly situation that leads to the death of someone he loved very much.
The battle begins to wage and losses are high. Shadows and Summoners are gathering forces that join together to create a world in which Unknowns are allowed to be "known" to humans. The Exterminators are working double time to keep them out and protect themselves against attacks. Secrets are revealed, deaths take their toll, and desire for revenge courses through more than one involved. This book will keep you on the edge. Its amazing follow-up has you begging for book three. 
You can get the Kindle download here. Or order a paperback copy here. Also check out my review of  book one, Exterminators: Infected. He also has a short story, Those Devils that is climbing the ladder in popularity! All of them are available for purchase on Amazon. 
Those Devils  Available for download only. 
Exterminators: Infected is still on sale here.  Follow James and see all his upcoming works on his Fan Page on Facebook
Be sure and leave a comment on what you think. Both here and your own review when you buy it on Amazon. He loves to hear feedback from his readers!  He has another review on his Facebook page. So if you need reinforcement in encouraging you...

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Want to get organized this year?

A new year has arrived. And with it, new resolutions. For some of you, those might include getting organized. Being a part of the US Family Guide network of bloggers, I get to share a special promotion with you! Check out the following:
Are you frazzled by your family's hectic schedule and chaotic household? Then try Debbie Lillard's "A Mom's Guide to Home Organization." This book walks you through simple processes and tips for organizing your time, your stuff and your space. The second half of the book addresses how to teach your children the life skill of being organized. Written by a busy mom for busy moms.
Buy Today at: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1440324883/ref=as_li_tf_il?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1440324883&linkCode=as2&tag=wwwspacetospa-20
Before getting organized ^^
After!
 
So check it out and let me know what you think! 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Looking our best; mother and daughter style

My mother has been getting back into shape. Along with that, she is taking more pride in her appearance. I can't tell you how often we have been mistaken as sisters instead of mother and daughter. I can tell you, it makes me incredibly proud of her. She has 10 children and still looks amazing.
She has been trying to convince me to dress better. Or at least dress up my laid back style. I typically wear jeans and tees everyday except when I go to work. In which case I put on a security uniform handed down from the man who previously held my job... Anyways...
She brought over books and even showed me some of her inspiration. Like this outfit:
Its all about those bright blue pants! Well, mom gave it a shot with her own twist and came up with this outfit:
She only spent about $5 for everything. We went shopping and I started to look for things I enjoy. Besides my normal, comfy clothes of course. That's when I saw a skirt that looked similar to this one:
Since I like more of the form fitting, sleek-lined skirts, I wanted to find one that worked well with just about anything. I'm slender with decent hips and this style shows it off. Reminds me of the style of Regina, the Evil Queen from Once Upon A Time. I ended up finding a skirt just like this one from the book that I LOVE!
The back is even detailed as well. I definitely won't be tempted to wear a shirt un-tucked.
I only have one issue with this skirt: I'm going to have to modify the back, as the slit (I found out when I came home), comes up way too high. I'm thinking I'll just add lace so I can wear it modestly but still be able walk. 
So that's one outfit I pieced together from our shopping trip. Only spent a few dollars on the skirt and had everything else already. It adds variety to my boring closet assembly and spice to my look. 
While looking around, I decided to piece together another look. I love cosplay and have been dying to create a look for anime conventions that I wouldn't feel like a noob wearing in public. However, I don't have money to spend on professional pieces. Or the time to sit and sew one from scratch (lacking the talent for that matter). My favorite movie character is The Phantom of the Opera. I wanted to transform his look into the female version. And its something that's easy/cheap to do. I went looking for a Maxi-style skirt. I wanted something long enough to reach my ankles at least. I was hoping for a fitted bodice or corset top. Then I have to have the mask that covers half my face. I already had black boots, a custom black cape with silver lining and dark red lipstick. (Totally out of awesome here...) I found a chic little top that had off-shoulder sleeves and very simple but cute decor to feminize it. I later went to Bealls Outlet and found a long black skirt to complete the look. This is now my costume:
Without the cape:
This last one only cost about $15. Now I did get two outfits out of these shopping trips. More if I mix and match the items with others I already have. But I got more than just clothing. I got a little more self esteem, some adult time without the munchkins running and screaming around my feet, and most importantly - time with my mom. Her fashion tips might seem a little out of my league as I feel I'm in no way a beautiful woman... maybe cute, but I don't push my luck. And they might not match my ideas of what looks good on me, but at least she takes the time to talk to me and make our time together memorable. That's all that matters. Dressing nice on occasion helps me feel better about myself.
Thanks for reading my crazy post on my shopping trips. Leave me a comment on what you think or what things make you feel good about yourself.