Daily Archives: September 30, 2011

Fabulous Fridays!

Fabulous Fridays!

What does it mean to YOU to be fabulous?  Is it what you wear, what you do, who you do it with??  I think it’s who you ARE in all of the ways you express it when you are at your very best. 

We all know when we are at our best – we walk a little taller, enjoy socializing, show a strong self-confidence and give attitude in all of the best possible ways. We also should be honest enough with ourselves to know when we are just phoning it in – sweats, pony tail, baseball cap, flip flops, over sized tees – you know what your incognito crutches are! Those are fine to have every once in awhile, but when they start to become the norm and we convince ourselves that it doesn’t matter because “I am only running errands” or “I won’t see anyone I know” it severely limits your fabulousness. Every Friday I’ll share some tips to help you put your best and brightest forward – don’t think that it will require a big investment of time and money, you will be surprised at how much fabulousness you can mine from what you already own.

Today’s Tip = an investment of $00.00!!

Your first step to fabuousness, or becoming even more fabulous than you already are, clean out your closets!!  Not exactly the most original tip you have ever heard, but I want to tell you exactly what you will be getting rid of:  anything with tears or holes, anything stained, anything more than two sizes smaller or larger than what you are wearing right now, anything that is only “for in the house”, anything that was a gift you know you will never wear but you feel guilty about giving away.

Next make an effort to come to terms with what you are “saving for good” – many of us were raised by depression babies who were so appreciative of having nice things that those things got stored away except for company or holidays. There were outfits, shoes, coats and jewelry that never saw the light of day unless there was a wedding, funeral or dinner dance.  Sets of china, dishes, towels,sheets – you name it – were stored away for special occasions or for when company came.  Sadly, at least in my case, after my mother passed  I came across so many of her things I knew she would have enjoyed every day packed away for”good”. With this mindset came an implied or sometimes stated feeling that if you were using or wearing good stuff everyday you “thought who you were”.

Well you should think pretty highly about who you are, you should wear your best and set your table and decorate your home with every beautiful item you own.  If it tears or is stained, get rid of it.  If it breaks throw it out.  Live your life to the best of your ability every day – don’t wait for the day that might never come and deprive yourself of the life you were meant to live.

So for step one get rid of the things that say I am not worth the effort and break out the good stuff! See if it doesn’t lift your mood, put some attitude in your step and just make you feel better about yourself and whatever you are setting out to do. 

Next Friday – some other treasures you didn’t realize you had!!

 

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Clyde’s Corner

Clyde’s Corner

Clyde's Corner

Clyde is a Miniature Schnauzer of discriminating taste!  He will be contributing his suggestions so that your pets have some positivity in their lives as well. Clyde will be sharing from his own dog based perspective and hopes that all other species can translate his message into their own lives (and languages!).

Halloween is coming! I suggest Target for a wide range of pet costumes.  My bff Dash will be a squirrel this year, I am going to be a pirate!!  Pics to come!

I am four months old now and teething!  Boy do I have a taste for human flesh!!  My family has been trying lots of stuff to help me chew other things – so far my two favorites are frozen baby carrots and compressed rawhide bones.  Make sure they are compressed rawhide, they are safer and so much less gross when I chew on them. 

My mom found a great selection of really nice dog things at Home Goods (they had other animal stuff too, but I wasn’t interested enough to check it out).  I was there and I got to help pick stuff out, my mom takes me lots of places in my travel bag so I can socialize – so far so good!  The thing is I already grew out of my puppy bag – a very nice one from Target.  Then mom lost her mind and bought me the Michael Kors dog bag, but I’m too little for it yet and got nervous because it only has one window and I am too out of control to have her let me keep my head out yet!! In Home Goods we found the perfect bag - the right size in black with lots of windows and a fleecy pad inside just like my bed!  Even better, when we got home we found wheels inside that attach to the bottom, a long pull strap and a paper that said it is an official airline travel size!  California here I come!!

Clyde and Dash Play Date

Finally, last week I had my first playdate with my bff Dash! It was so cool!  He taught me how to jump on a couch and climb more than two steps at a time! I liked hiding behind the chair and jumping out at him as he walked by – good times, good times!!

I think because Dash is five he got tired of me being all puppy like all over the place – we both had a lot of naps that day!! Next time Dash is coming to my house!

Be good, have fun and get lots of treats!

Clyde xo

 

 

 

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Extreme Couponing For A Cause

Extreme Couponing For A Cause

I was cruising through channels today and came across Extreme Couponing on TLC. I had previously considered myself a champion couponer – when we were first married and the kids were small I had a system that allowed me to save about $50.00 per visit.  More recently I don’t make the time to coupon, go to online sites and plan a strategy, but I do organize some coupons in my wallet for Target and use coupons at clothing retailers that can certainly add up.

After what I just saw I realize that I don’t even come close to being a coupon champion – I had no idea that couponing to this extreme existed.  My initial response was that this was an extremely clean way to hoard (these folks have storage systems in their house that rival the organization and presentation of Whole Foods!). My next thought was that you couldn’t possibly use that much of one product – such as toothpaste or deodorant – in a life time. The narrator then went on to say it was the equivalent of deodorant lasting one hundred and fifty years!!

Some of these folks spend forty to sixty hours a week working on their couponing – cutting, searching the net and printing, filing systematically and creating spreadsheets to determine weekly sales at various stores.  Some of the more extreme efforts: dumpster diving for coupon inserts, driving to vacant homes to take the coupon fliers from the drive and front porch and using multiple computers at home to avoid the limit of printing a certain number of coupons per offer. They also keep an updated file of the stores couponing policies and carry them in case their strategic shop is questioned.

I can totally see this as a way to ease a family’s financial burden, or a great way to boost family savings, but I don’t understand filling your home with items that you will realistically never be able to use.

Then the light bulb went off above my head (the old fashioned soft glow kind, not the funky Al Gore kind)! People can use the skills of extreme couponing to do good!!  Individuals, groups, schools and service organizations can use this phenomenon to donate items to food pantries, community centers, midnight run groups, and our service men and women.

There are many resources both online through amazon.com that can provide tips on how to begin and optimize your strategy – over 58 search results.  This is certainly something people of all ages can do and could be a great project for a classroom, scouts or student service groups. Once the collection and filing systems are set up volunteers would be needed to do the actual shopping and provide storage and transportation to the donation points.

My Family Program has been doing collections for local organizations for the past six years and each time the item or items collected were things within reason – canned goods at Thanksgiving, character band aids for pediatric hospitals, sweatshirts and pajamas have always been generously provided by our families. This month we are collecting tuna, peanut butter and pasta as these are items that either provide protein or can stretch a meal as more and more families are in need of assistance. As we all are experiencing the need to tighten our belts these days couponing would allow my families to continue to be generous without tapping into their own food budgets.

Maybe groups could be formed in communities based on this way of obtaining necessary items for little cost purely for the purpose of donating them?

I still don’t know why anyone would need one hundred and fifty years worth of deodorant, but I love the idea of using this tactic to make life easier for those in need and those who serve.

Edit Post 10/3/11:  Did you see that Extreme Couponing is featured on the cover of Time Magazine’s October 10, 2011  Special Money Issue (page 36)??!!

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Thoughtful Thursdays!

Thoughtful Thursdays!

Flowing Thoughtfulness

When one person is thoughtful to another, the thoughtfulness gets carried on and on

It is like a river of kindness, once blocked by rocks

That is suddenly opened by a single person’s kind thought or act

The river runs freely again and continues to flow

Moving more rocks and reaching the hearts of others

When one person is thoughtful to another the thoughtfulness gets carried on and on

The more we get together and help each other

The more friendship there can be throughout many different places

The friendship can begin like a small stream in a single neighborhood

And then expand throughout a river of districts, states, countries, and even continents

When one person is thoughtful to another, the thoughtfulness gets carried on and on

Soon we could have a whole ocean of friendships, and that’s how the world was created

And how it should always be

That is suddenly opened by one person’s kind thought or act

The river runs freely again and continues to flow

Moving more rocks and reaching the hearts of others

Mattie Stepanek

(1990 – 2004)

 

Thoughtfulness, manners, civility and kindness hold so much power yet we rarely tap into it. We have to start in our homes, our schools, our workplaces, on the sports fields, running errands and walking down the street. When we employ respect and kindness only when it serves us in some way or impresses others we are missing out on the transforming power it can have on our daily lives. If we don’t choose to live in a peaceful way in all of the small ways how can we expect peace in our lives in all of the big ways?

In fourteen years on this planet Mattie Stepanek did more to promote peace and have others reflect on kindness than most of us could hope to do in our entire lifetimes. 

Learn more about Mattie Stepanek

 

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