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Friday, February 27, 2015

Another day off

I had the day off yesterday and was ready to sit down and post away to my hearts content. Did that happen? No. I was too busy letting the student driver practice,
(Yep, still serious) running errands, and then there was the 3 loads of laundry.... 

While I was at Target though, I did find a few goodies. Like these lime Green Party napkins.
My baby sister loves lime green and her birthday is in July. So I picked up a couple bags to send to my mom at a $1 each. It seems green is the party color for clearance deals. I found napkins, paper straws, and table covers. Sadly, they were all regular green and not the lime. 
The. I went in search of toothpaste. I had a Target coupon and manufacture coupon for Colgate.
These were on clearance, so score! 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Teaching my husband to drive....

I can't believe how stressed out I got in less than 5 minutes of being the passenger while my husband was driving for the first time. He's so excited. But so not good behind the wheel. 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Smead review via Shoplet.com

I'm always seeking to be more organized. Being OCD, I'm meticulous at knowing where things are and having everything in its own place. The office is always the hardest for me. So many documents, so many files. It can be hard to keep track of things. I was very excited to receive the file folders from Shoplet for another review.

 They have a 12-Pocket Stadium file that keeps everything tiered and in view to help find things quicker. Label each tier and you can just glance over. It holds at least 900 pages, has 12 tiered pockets, labels include: A-Z, Jan-Dec, 1-31, household subjects and blanks. I like that it's Navy blue. It fits into many color schemes.

The SuperTab tab file folders are wonderful. Doesn't matter what gender you are, there's never shame in carrying a pink folder that shows support for breast cancer awareness. I've know women affected by it and I'm proud of those that are survivors or family members of those who fought it. These files are made to fit every drawer, have a larger label area, and were made right here in the USA from recycled products.

The new 3-in-1 SuperTab section folders are really cool. They have the larger tabs and come in a multicolor pack. What makes them different is a Lockit flap that secures your documents from sliding out the other end. They also have 3 pockets within to maximize your storage capacity.

Don't forget that Shoplet has many more options for your office supplies needs. They also now offer promotional products, medical supplies and office stationary.

More deals and savings!

$1/1 M&M's candy bags coupon

Get some free Valentine's Day M&M's candy! Use the coupon above to print $1/1. If your Target still has M&M's, they should be under $1 by now. Making free candy!

Target coupon for $1/3 pastas. The coupon has changed so that its only good for pasta and not the sauces. The Market Pantry pastas are currently $1 each.
Plus don't forget your Cartwheel offers!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Living with the pain in my head

Headaches are, in my personal opinion, the worst pains anyone can suffer. Your mind is your center. It controls your thoughts, your motor functions, and everything that makes you, you! So when your head hurts, you don’t function to the best of your ability. All the information I provide is based on personal knowledge and experience. I'm not a doctor or medical professional. This information is NOT meant to diagnose or treat anything you have. Its meant to help you cope and maybe give you insight on things you can discuss with your doctor.

Headaches take form in various degrees of pain. Something from a light pain to a tension headache or even a full blown migraine. They can be a slight annoyance to completely debilitating. They can have a plethora of side effects that come along with them. Side effects may include vomiting, dizziness/lightheadedness, blackouts, blurry vision, disorientation, shaking, and even chills.

Headaches are triggered. Not just randomly sprung as one might think. If you can figure out your triggers, you can control them to some degree. Light headaches are typically caused by lack of sleep and hunger. Easy to fix, even in a busy life. Tension headaches and migraines are trickier. Things like caffeine, sugar, light, sounds, or random foods can turn the switch of pain on. Sometimes you are able to feel one coming on while other times it’s sudden.

I’ve been reading up on migraines a lot in the past couple years. This week in particular I found an old article my mom had given me on head pain in general. About 1/5 women suffer from migraines. Yet, barely half will be diagnosed with a cause. As a matter of fact, most of us “endure” the pain because we know what happens when we “check out”, even for a short time. Moms in particular don’t like taking time for themselves when there is so much to do. But suffering in silence won’t do you any good in the long run. Here are some things to take into account when dealing with headaches…

Here are four types of headaches that you can identify:

1.       Sinus headaches – these are accompanied by sinus swelling and pain or pressure in the cheeks and/or forehead. Many people misdiagnose themselves as having a migraine which can have similar symptoms, but taking a decongestant can make you feel worse.

2.       Migraine – these are largely genetic. Common symptoms include nausea and sensitivity to light and sound. Ladies, the week of your period is the worse time for attacks because your estrogen levels are at their lowest. (I've been dealing with them daily myself since my cycle started.)
3.      Tension – These are often set off by stress and anxiety. The pain is typically dull and located on both sides of the head, around the forehead, temples or back of the head and neck. It could also be caused by changes in brain chemicals called neurotransmitters.
4.     Cluster – The exact cause for this type is still undetermined. It’s rare and more common in men though. Pain centralizes around the eyes, can happen a few times in a single day or can last weeks to months.
I've been gathering information on dealing with the different levels of pain. Since migraines are my worse problem, you might read a lot more on them....
Migraines can be a centered pain in the temples, stretched down one side of the face and head, or centered at the base of the skull and top of the neck. It may make your eyes feel swollen or give a burning sensation. They can be as brief as under 30 minutes to as long as several tormenting hours.
My personal experience with migraines has had me struggling to keep it together and renders me inoperable as a functioning human being. I can't tell you how often I've had to slip away to a dark room, seeking silence and relief from the mind-numbing pain that has taken over. Some things I've found useful for relieving the pain are the following.
  • Let your hair down at the onset of pain. Having my hair in a ponytail not only causes breakage up top, but can start the throbbing. Letting it down can release the added pressure. 
  • Dim the lights. Being in a dimly to no light room can take the stress off your eyes which in turn knocks the pain down in your head. 
  • Turn off the noise. Take out the headphones, shut the door, and relax in the silence. This is extremely difficult for me. Silence is truly deafening. So if you must, put on soft music at a low volume. Whether you like it or not, classical is probably your best option.
  • Lay down! Again, I struggle with this. Being a mom, I have kids who won't hesitate to barge in if I actually try to relax and beg for a drink or snack or complain about something a sibling did.
  • Take a shower or bubble bath. Make it warm but don't overdo it in the heat. That can make you quite lightheaded and possibly lead to passing out.
  •  Get those eyes checked! Especially if you wear corrective lenses, but even if you haven't before, maybe it's time you did. And keep updating that prescription yearly. Mine has changed every time I've gone in. As a matter of fact, this last time I found out I have a stigmatism. Plain English? One eye is shaped like a golfball while the other is ovoid like a football. Yes, one more feature that adds to my freak of nature status. Just can't catch a break. Also, invest in transitions. Otherwise, get prescription sunglasses. They make a world of difference in the light. I've been buying transitions for the past several years and I refuse to go back to being without them. 
  • Take time out for yourself. Stress is a leading cause for a lot of the head pains we get. It's not easy, I know. The last doctor that told me to relax and get more rest... I laughed at her. As moms, it's hard to catch a break. Especially single moms. But if you can manage to get a sitter, go for it! Take a walk on the beach, see a movie you've been wanting to (but couldn't with the kids around), or call up your friends for a few hours of adult time. Whatever brings you joy, make time for it. I'd say a minimum of twice a month. 
  • Take a bite... or two. You might not feel hungry especially if you're so far into the pain zone that it's making you nauseous. So grab a light snack and give it a chance to settle. Sometimes that's all it takes to bring the pain level down.
  • Lay off or lower your caffeine intake. This is another huge trigger for some people. Try to come off the addiction to sodas and coffee. Instead of energy drinks, get up 30 minutes earlier and do some brisk cardio. Yes, you'll have to make a sacrifice and sleep earlier at night, but it will pay off. It helps lower your stress levels as well as jump starts your metabolism. That could lead to weight loss as well. Win-win if you ask me.
  • Drink until you're clear. Did you know that the more water you drink, the lighter your urine will be? This not only insures you'll keep properly hydrated, but helps steer you clear of urinary tract infections. As an added benefit for the ladies, the more water you drink the easier your cramping will be while on your menstrual cycles. Staying hydrated helps ward off so many things, but headaches are the one I'm mentioning right now.
  • If you have to take something, try Excedrin Extra Strength or Excedrin Migraine (both are the same). They seem to work the best for me in speed and in ridding the pain. However, this is mostly caffeine and will possibly give you the shakes. Or try another anti-inflammatory medicine. Remember this, you can only take them constantly for so long before they don't work or you start damaging your organs....
  • Sometimes you might be able to find holistic oils that can relieve the muscle pain in your temples. I know my mothers friend mixed oils that worked wonders. But the original company that sold those hasn't had them in stock for quite some time.
I found some other interesting things on keeping headaches at bay. Avoiding strong scents and going fragrance-free. If caffeine isn't your trigger - drink a cup of coffee. Its a stimulant so if you're already a regular, don't stop cold turkey. Withdrawals will give you migraines. Eat a better breakfast! Aged cheeses, citrus fruits, and processed meats typically contain nitrates which can set you off. So consume them with caution and in moderation. Make time for every meal. Whether you eat small meals throughout or three large meals daily, don't skip! Hunger and lower blood sugar levels can alert your brain to send those signals of missing out. Beware though - dairy, wheat, nuts, chocolate, deli meat and even fermented foods, like pickles, can also be triggers. Stay cool. Not temperature, but attitude. Life can drag you down and stress you out. Don't let it get out of control! Take a moment to look at pictures of good times, watch a funny video on YouTube or try out some yoga poses. Drinking while you cook might not be as good as you think. Red wine in particular has been linked to migraines in some women, but drinking on an empty stomach just exacerbates its effects. Check the weather. At least 30% of sufferers are linked to weather induced pain. Maybe try takings an anti-inflammatory before the front rolls in.

I hope this is helpful to someone out there. Migraines are a personal battle that you don't have to fight completely alone. Speak up and don't let others give you that eye roll for "just a headache". Especially moms. If you don't care for yourself, how can you care for your loved ones? So when you feel so bad you want to take a drill to your temple, take a breath and find your comfort zone.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

My shopping trip

I picked up some Chips Ahoy cookies
that came to $1.53 each after using  .75/2, plus the sale $1/3,
as well as cartwheel 10% off.
This was my reward after spending Valentine's Day cleaning up. I woke up to this mess in my boys' room...
That used to be a poster. Wonder how long it took...
Then I did laundry... 
Let the kids outside to play until they tried to get water for the guns and the sand they wanted to play in... 
My green onions are thriving better than I am these days. 😆 
And finally I got started on cleaning the garage. 
It's turned into quite the ugly mess. And since I'm also taking the time to divide my belongings from my husbands, I only got through 4 bins so far. 
My next treat will be the Breyers Gelato Indulgences. Around here, they go for about $3.99 (check your stores).
There is a $1/1 printable coupon. And then stack on the 10% offer in Cartwheel.
Looks like I'll need a buddy to help finish this one off. 😉

Day after Valentine's Day clearance!

The holiday that symbolizes love and affection has come to an end. Stores are clearancing all the merchandise that is left over.
Target has all food items at 30% off and pretty much everything else at half off.

There were some things that could be used all year long. Things that could be used for party favors like little bubble tubes, glowing Frozen balloons,
and Lego poly bags (under $2 each).

I picked up a few pink party supplies as well. Eating utensils that I can use for my daughters birthday party that were pink and glittery. 
Plates and napkins could also be used for a girls birthday party. As well as some cute papet straws. 
My daughter loves Barbies so I've been picking these little Kelly ones 
Even the Dollar Spot items with the red dot are 30% off. Just make sure you double check the prices as some things didn't ring up that way even though they were in red dot areas. 
When prices drop a little lower, I want to grab one of these. 
Since I've started making more cookies, I thought it'd be fun to make them in shapes for a change. 
Lastly, I used $1.50/2 coupon from the coupon book I previously told you about to pick up a bag of Dove chocolates and a bag of M&M's which were 30% off. 
As much as I hate to admit it, I stopped in a Walmart too. They had everything at 50% off. 
Overall it was a huge haul. 

Saturday, February 14, 2015

The Incredible Pizza Company review via US Family Guide

As a part of the U.S. Family Guide, I was given the fantastic opportunity to review The Incredible Pizza Company. My kids love pizza and games, so going to places that have both are typically going to mean a great time.
We went on a Thursday around 5PM. Surprisingly and pleasantly enough, there were very few people there. Parking is plentiful. I love the fact they play oldies. Not 80's music.... Go farther back. Think 50's! Truly family-friendly music that my kids can get embarrassed by me singing to. It reminds me of the fun drives with my grandma back when I was a kid. But let's keep going, shall we?
We chose the Diner room to eat in. They have various ones to choose from though. As you can imagine, it's modeled to look like a 50's diner.

 Cups are plentiful just like plates and utensils. I do wish they had larger sizes for the adults though. These are tumbler sized and will need to be refilled. They keep them by the soda fountain.
 Food choices range from a variety of pizzas that seemed a little boring to me. They do offer gluten free crusts though. I like that the pieces are cut smaller. It's easier for smaller hands and mouths and gets is big people to eat better portions.
  I think putting the desserts right where you walk in, is a poor choice for families. Kids are going to want to dig into that buffet first. Then you have pasta choices and nacho fixings. Lastly is the salad bar. With some more dessert choices mixed in.
The pizza tastes alright. Best to get it when it's freshly served or request what you want. My favorite was the jalapeño and ham. Pastas and sauces were average. Though I preferred the red sauce. The pasta dries out as it sits so again, look for the freshly served batch. I guess the best part of the meal was the salad. My kids didn't mind the cookies even though they seemed too crispy for me. The only thing that looked appealing was the cinnamon rolls. They were hot and soft.

 Now about the games....
They have a huge game room that has video games, laser tag, bumper cars and so much more. The games are a little higher priced than other places we have been to. Most of them about $1 each round. My kids had a lot of fun playing a game that resembled beer pong.
 I wasn't thrilled. The only thing that truly put them ahead of similar competitors would be the presentation of their facilities.
The food was average or below. For $47 I got a $20 game card and meals for 2 adults and 3 children (one being under 3).
Since the games were higher priced, the game card didn't last long.
There weren't many things my kids could reach the pedals for or play without assistance. I do like that they have laser tag and other "big kid" stuff to do though. Some of the games reward electronic tickets that can redeem prizes. Our $20 got us 147 tickets.
Better be good or get more on your game card?

Happy Valentine's Day!

Whether you have a special someone in your life or not, don't be afraid to enjoy today. You shouldn't need someone to make you feel amazing about yourself. Take it from someone who has been married 7 years and has had more heartache than love. Being with someone is never better than being alone, if you are unhappy. 
So if you have the love of your life, enjoy every moment and treasure today. 
If you're single, get dressed up and spoil yourself today. I know I am! 
These are my Valentine's! And I got dressed up to go to Target 😆. AFTER cleaning the garage and doing laundry... And cleaning up the toys... You get the point. Happy Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

I've come a long way...

I've been cleaning up and going through stuff. I've got a move or two to get ready for in this upcoming year. Going through pictures and packing them away, I got to glimpse my life in stages. To see my personal history in still frames, really puts it all in perspective. It renews the hopes I had for a brighter future. Some of the most memorable parts of my life's adventures, are in these photos below. I encourage you to look back and see how far you've come. No matter what you don't like now, find the things that you do like. Have you grown stronger? Wiser? Gained a special skill? Are you getting where you want to be? 

About this time, 17 years ago, I went under the knife for my first spinal fusion. I felt like a huge weight had been put on shoulders. I could move, but it was all stiff. There were nights when my pain was excruciating but I could barely move myself off the couch that had become my bed. Crying myself to sleep, I learned what true pain was. I also learned to manage it. To be stronger. It takes a lot to make me cry these days. Even more to make me turn to pain killers for relief. 

My next major life change was the day I become a mother. Since my spine is fused, I can't have an epidural. And considering how small a woman I am... I felt EVERYTHING. But my screams of pain were soon replaced with tears of sheer joy. I couldn't hold my little boy at first since I lost so much blood that I could only lay there shaking. But he was truly the most beautiful creature I'd ever seen. I'd take that pain again any time to relive that moment. 
Now I'm a mother of three. I work a full time job, juggle life, and strive to stay ahead of the chaos. I have a long way to go to reach the dream I currently have. But I'm taking it a step at a time.