Sunday, June 05, 2011
This weekend, I tried out something I’ve been wanting to do for a while and I think I was pretty successful. I have been intimidated by couponing, but it wasn’t that bad. I started off at Fred’s (double coupons on Saturday) and got a free bottle of Dawn and Cascade packs for around 1/2 price.

I then went to Family Dollar and ended up with around $41 of stuff for about $26. Keep in mind that everything was stuff that I use and not stuff I bought just to buy it.

Today, I tried Walgreen’s. Wow! It was crazy, but I did well. I spent around $50 ($9 of that were the little princess’s purchases, which were not couponed) and I saved…..$68!!!! So, pretty much, $41 and saved $68. I was so proud of myself.

I can see where this might get addicting. Do any of you coupon??

The Best Things in Life are Free

I got the mail on Tuesday and had two great surprises amongst all of the junk. Remember when I went to Chilis and had less than stellar service? Well, I went to their website and filled out a customer complaint, and I am happy to report that I received the nicest letter and included was $20 in gift certificates! That was about the total of my bill ($10 cocktail! Talk about sticker shock upon getting the bill!) I am very pleased with the speedy response!

Secondly, I had the nicest note from a Chobani rep on an adorable Chobani note card! I scored some free Chobani in a Cho and Tell contest on Twitter (follow Chobani on twitter…they rock!) and a cute magnet. The best part was the handwritten notecard!

And finally, I have a free and highly motivating running coach. I left home around 6:30 pm Monday night and halfway through my run, a bee got after me. Anytime I would show signs of slowing, he would try to land on my leg or arm and it scared me to death! I was highly motivated to run at a decent pace. This morning (National Running Day…did you celebrate?) I was about halfway through and after running by the same house as Monday, there was yet another bee. This bee was really fond of the 8-8:30 minute mile. Needless to say, that pace didn’t last too very long….maybe .3 miles? I have GOT to plan a new route!

My last story, and then I swear this is over. A week or so ago, I left home around 6:30 pm and the hubby warned me to watch for snakes because the neighbors had killed a few in the last few days. So, not far from home, I hear leaves rustle and see a slimy little head poke up out of the leaves. I freaked out. Picture flailing arms, squealing, etc. I go back home and get the hubby and he gets a gun and follows me to the scene of the crime. He moves the leaves (with a beer bottle kindly left by someone in the ditch) and there we find it…..a turtle. I felt like an idiot! :)

Here’s hoping you celebrated safely today! :)

Girls night and review time

I am really loving this warmer weather. I’ll be griping because it’s too hot within a couple of weeks, but for right now, it’s absolutely perfect for getting in runs and getting a little golden glow at the same time. I’m also loving the fact that summer means more flexibility in our family schedule and the schedules of friends as well. LittleMan had his first ever away from home, not with family, sleepover. He had a great time and now wants to invite some people over.

The next night, I went with friends to dinner and a movie. GIRLS’ NIGHT!!! We saw Bridesmaids and it was hilarious. Fair warning-it’s raunchy-but hilarious. I laughed until tears were rolling. Great for a group of girls just wanting to go have FUN!

We also went to eat at a chain restaurant, Chili’s. I am usually fairly happy with the food quality and service, but I had a bad experience. Please leave comments and let me know if I’m overreacting though. PLEASE!! The service was rather slow, but I’m okay with that. Even though we were running late because of it, I was still okay. They didn’t refill our drinks at all, but honestly, we were so happy to be out of the house that we didn’t complain at all. However, I ordered chips and dip for the table, and then I ordered a black bean burger on wheat with broccoli.

By the time our food came out, we had 20 minutes to eat and have our behinds in a movie seat. I noticed that instead of broccoli, I had fries. The guy put out the food and ran off before I could comment, and being pressed for time, I decided to let it go. Then I bit into the burger and it was beef. I quit eating and it was about 5 minutes before a server came to check on us. I told him that my food wasn’t right at all (except the wheat bun) and he offered to get me the correct meal. I told him that we were already late for a movie and I didn’t have time, I just wouldn’t eat the food. When our ticket came, he told the whole table that since there was a food mix-up, the chips and dip were on the house. I was charged for the meal!!!!!! I was so upset and emailed Chili’s yesterday. Am I out of line for complaining???

Anyway, on to a few other things. If you are renting movies this weekend, consider Redbox. (this is truly my own recommendation…unsolicited by the company) I am loving reserving them online and then running by the Circle K and picking them up. And for $1 per night, I’m not upset if the movie sucks! If you sign up with an online account and reserve online, they send you free rentals. I’m just really loving this service! Click here if you want to look at locations, what they have to offer, etc and if you sign up for an account, I *think* you get a free rental right away for confirming your account if you use the link.

And finally, a few book reviews! I have been reading like crazy after getting my Kindle. Here are my latest reads:
• ‘>Water for Elephants: GREAT book! I was mesmerized and couldn’t put it down! Great story, great ending….I can’t say anything negative at all!!!!
• ‘>The Help: This was great too. I don’t think it *quite* lived up to the extreme hype, but I can’t wait to see the movie. I also had trouble putting this one down too!
• ‘>Mini-Shopaholic: If you like Shopaholic books, you’ll like this one. Not my favorite in the series, but reading it was like snuggling into a familiar chair with a blanket….Comfy and enjoyable.

Have a great Memorial Day weekend. Buy some mini flags, take the kids to the local cemetery and place flags on veterans’ graves. It’s a great lesson for the kids and celebrates the reason for the “off day” from work.

And the tide changes

My workouts have been crappy lately. Crappy and somewhat non-existent. However, a couple of weeks ago, I got inspired to get back at it.

This week has rocked in the workout department. 50 pushups and 100 situps a day, a 4.5 mile run one day, 3 miles another day, a 5 mile bike ride today, and I still have the weekend! I probably could have gotten more in, but I had lunch meetings a few days this week.

I hope the hot weather doesn’t derail this train!!

The bike ride was my first in about a year. I had totally forgotten that running and biking are two totally different muscle groups. Now I am painfully aware.

We have gotten baseball season kicked off and the kids are doing so well. They have improved so much just in the last 3 weeks! We won our second game and I was thrilled. 2 home runs and some pretty decent work in the field and we won by one run. Woo hoo! They are so adorable. Melissa

And finally, I have gotten 3 donations to my St. Jude fundraising for my half marathon. I am off to a great start. I am going to work on some fundraisers for the blog soon.

Have a great weekend! Hope you make it through the end of the world tomorrow!

Life Gets in the Way

I have started this post about a hundred times and never finished it. I have been so overwhelmed by life in general and was never able to finish a post in the manner which I thought it needed to be finished, ya know? I have unfinished blog things to do and I haven’t visited any of your blogs in forever, so I felt guilty posting if I wasn’t reciprocating by visiting your blogs.

Then I thought about it today and figured, to heck with it. That’s life and that’s what this blog is about. Life consists of missed deadlines, missed opportunities, and a whole lot of “I need tos” and “I wish I had time tos”. So, here is my official apology. I haven’t been to your blog and I’m sorry. I probably owe people emails, maybe even snail mails, and I’m sorry.

Whew! That was cleansing in a strange way. So, here’s the rest of it. I’ve been struggling with running. My weekly mileage is embarrassing. But, I’m trying to dust myself off and get back out there. I have a 10K on April 16th and I’m not nearly ready. But I’m going to do it anyway. Nothing like a goal, right? I’ve gotten back onto the abs and weights regimen which I was severely neglecting.

So, last night it was healthy food (scrambled egg whites, roasted kale, and a banana) and lots of exercises with the kids while watching The Biggest Loser.

So, speaking of TBL, who are you pulling for? I love Hannah, Olivia, and Courtney. My son says last night, “I like Hannah the best. She’s good at volleyball”. So, I tweeted her the compliment and she tweeted back. It made his night. He was so excited! So, I think we are TEAM HANNAH!

Hope you are having a great week and if you are struggling like me to fit it all in, I guess we just have to do what we can, right?

Maybe buying a new vehicle???

First of all, I need to say a belated THANK YOU to my Valentine’s Swap Buddy. I love my package and it really made my day.

I spent Valentine’s Day with a stomach virus and at work because I had a project that couldn’t be put off (I need to be employee of the year!). Add that to 2 ear infections for LG, stomach virus and fever for LM, and a few other situations and you have my past week and a half. Due to that, I was late getting out my swap packages, but I hope I made it up to them buy adding in some goodies!

I’m looking at some new vehicles, mainly the GMC Terrain and the Ford Edge. I also thought about the Traverse, but I’m concerned that the cargo space is too limited. Thoughts? Suggestions???

Movie Reviews and Gym Frustrations

The 31 miles in 31 days challenge is going well and is almost over! Be sure and update your mileage on the spreadsheet. Prizes include a cool bumper sticker for all participants, itunes gift cards, and bondi bands.

The bumper stickers came from Build A Sign. I was approached by Megan at Build A Sign to try a product and give a review. I was given bumper stickers for each of the participants in my 31 Miles in 31 Days challenge. **Disclaimer** I was not paid for this review. These thoughts are all my own.

Build A Sign is a great and VERY user friendly website. It was easy to design the bumper stickers and they look awesome! I will post a pic once the challenge is completed (I want to keep them a surprise until then!) Check out build a sign for personalized magnets, window clings, bumper stickers, signs, etc.

I will begin emailing out the swap buddies tomorrow and I will email a questionnaire for you guys to fill out to help your swap partner pick you out something fabulous!

This weekend I rented lots of movies with the kids and we watched movies until we dropped! We watched Alpha and Omega, which was really cute (LittleMan has watched it 4 times since). I highly recommend this. I read a recommendation from Tall Mom and she was right on!

We also watched Ramona and Beezus. It was fantastic. I loved this movie! If you, like me, have the “good kid” and “strong willed child” you will totally relate.

Another movie we watched was Diary of a Wimpy Kid. I was totally disappointed in this movie. I found the main character to be rude, self-centered, a horrible friend, and he had some terrible misplaced values. I give this a giant thumbs down. Has anyone watched this movie and liked it?? Hated it???

And finally, the gym has been going well, but has been interesting. First of all, there is the older man with one lung (seriously…he told me) who picks the nicest treadmill (there are only 4…only 2 you can run on) and walks slowly while reading the paper. He’s very nice, but it annoys me. Especially when he takes a break to go outside and smoke a cigarette. UGH!

Then, Friday, there was a woman to got on that same treadmill in jeans and a hoodie. Seriously??? You could get that kind of workout on one of the not-so-fancy treadmills. There was a guy on the other running treadmill walking also. I was so frustrated!

I know I should be glad that they are getting out there, and I really am. But, it frustrates me!! I am trying my best to get a better attitude. : )

I hope you are all having a great week!!

Healthy Living Blogger Valentine’s Day Swap!

I love Valentine’s Day. I think it’s all the hearts and pink! I had mentioned a Valentine’s Day swap and some of you sounded interested, so here is the info!

  • You will get one person as your match and you send them a gift
  • There is a $10 minimum (not including shipping)
  • I will have a fun questionnaire for you to get to know your buddy better
  • Sign ups end on January 25th at midnight
  • Matches will be assigned by February 1st
  • Email me (littlemp at gmail dot com) with your name, blog, and address to sign up

This will be a fun way to make a new blog buddy or get to know an old one better. Have fun!!!!!

If you are part of the 31 miles in 31 days, keep updating your mileage. Y’all are all doing so well!!

I have been hitting the gym lately in a renewed committment to vary my workouts. Today was 1.75 on the treadmill, 0.70 (with lots of resistance and hills) on the elliptical, and 50 crunches on this device of torture in the corner of the gym.

Tonight I hope to get in some Ab Glider and arms workout. If I do, I do, if not, oh well.

Today has been pretty productive and I have gotten quite a few things crossed off of my To Do list, which is awesome. :)

I hope you are all having a great Tuesday! (which is Monday for me….even better!)

Back at it!

Have you ever noticed that when people get quiet, it is usually because they have nothing to contribute? Well, that was me and running talk on the blog. However, I have gotten a remedy to that in the last couple of weeks.

Two weeks ago, my sister in law (whom I wish I saw more often!) told me that she wanted to start running and try Weight Watchers. She said I was her inspiration. (which honestly is amazing. Growing up, she was THE hot chick in town that every guy knew and drooled over. So, that one statement made my week). Anyway, we talked about both and that was that.

The next day, I told her that she should pick a 5K to motivate her to stay with running and have a goal. We found one and decided that my husband and I could travel with the kids to her town and I could run it with her. I am beyond excited. :)

So, since I had been doing virtually nothing (it feels good to admit to that) I started getting back into a plan and some real mileage. I had a 5 mile trail run at the end of November that I had almost talked myself out of doing, but now it is ON.

I got in 4 miles at lunch yesterday and even walked 3 miles with a friend last night. It feels great to be active again!

So, now I have 3 5Ks and a 5 mile trail run (which I *might* turn into a 10 mile one….not sure yet) in the next two months. I am glad to be on a “plan” again!

I am planning on blogging a “Runner’s Christmas List” and a “Healthy Eating Christmas List” soon. That way, you could always email the link to family members and still maintain a sense of surprise when you open your gift. So, suggestions for gifts to add would be awesome!!

Seeing the Light!

Well, I finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. Work is slowing down just a little and I got the American Cancer Society Relay for Life 5K that I was planning over with. The race went well and a friend’s 5 year old son ran the whole 5K with me in around 38 minutes (I wansn’t going for time, just wanted to help him finish) and he took first place male in the kids’ category!

I will have a product review tomorrow of some awesome nutrition bars that I was asked to review. They honestly tasted like a treat without that chalky aftertaste of some bars.

The adorable LittleMan and I attended a Cub Scouts Mom and Me campout a few weeks ago and had a blast. I will update on that soon as well. We had so much fun that we are planning to take the LittleGirl with us for a family campout this weekend. I am beyond excited about it. I really want to start camping out as a family more often!

And finally, my brother and I had two of the best meals yesterday. Lunch was a Kashi veggie pizza that we added broccoli, spinach, and onions to and it was great. Supper was an omlette/fritatta with red bell peppers, onion, spinach, a little bacon, low fat cheese, and mushrooms. I’m seriously considering having that for supper again tonight. It was fantastic.

I just wanted to update. I am sooo glad to see a relief to all of this constant activity. It feels nice to breathe (and blog). I will be visiting blogs tonight for the first time in FOREVER and I can’t wait!