Thursday, January 31, 2008

Amazon





Leslie!!!! Search for your Amazon item now! You are the super duper winner of our giveaway!

Boy Child drew your name at 930 as I was begging him to GET TO BED!

Since you are a New Smyrna resident and my neighbor I will hand you the gift card at the bus stop in the morning!

Congratulations!

Amazon Giveaway~Day Late!




So I am a day late on the giveaway!! I feel like I lost a whole day yesterday. Anyway on to important things. I know you are on the edge of your seat waiting to hear the prize. We love to read, so we are giving away a $50.00 Amazon gift card. How do you win? Leave me a comment today with your favorite book and I will do a random drawing for the winner (or rather my kids will they love this stuff). Don't delay, deadline to comment is 9pm EST. Enjoy your day!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

It's Free









Do you know about Freecycle? I did not until a good friend in Kentucky (ANN CRABS) told me about it.

New Smyrna Beach has their own chapter...it has over 700 members. You can access the group here. This is how it works, you have something you want to get rid of, you post it and it gets picked up by someone who wants or needs it. You can literally do it without EVER meeting the person, leave it on your porch. If you want something, post a wanted ad, if someone has it the will let you know. It is ridiculously easy.

I have tried it out, I have posted, doll houses, polly pocket items. mostly kid stuff, each time I received an email of interest, each time the item was picked up.

If you are a member of NSB Freecycle, you can also join the Cafe....

The Cafe is a bit more liberal than the Freecycle site. You can share a newsletter, article or discuss a Community Event, you can also sell things in the Cafe.

Check it out, I was surprised by the number of members and the excellent level of communication. Leave me a comment and let me know what you think.....

Check back tomorrow....we are having our first GIVEAWAY!

Mrs. Meyers





I love Mrs. Meyers, her Clean Day line of household cleaners smells fabulous, the dishwashing soap lemon verbena scent freshens the whole kitchen. Mrs. Meyers also has a line of candles available. I keep a lavender and a lemon verbena candle on hand all the time the fresh scent brightens up any room.

The best part is all of her cleaners are kind to our environment. I feel very comfortable promoting her products since I use them in my own home.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Menu Plan Monday











In the ongoing effort to be more organized I decided to join my friends at Orgjunkie who plan their meals every week. I often use recipes from other sites so I will link to those as well! Happy planning & eating!



Monday - Pot Roast - get the recipe here
Tuesday - Spaghetti
Wednesday-Baked Chicken
Thursday- Chicken Tortilla Soup-Grilled Cheese
Friday- Dinner out night
Saturday- Eat at Grandmas

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Little Girls
























My little girl is eight, she came home from school yesterday in tears, it seems that another little girl in her class is having a birthday party. This child brought invitations in and handed them out to the class in the cafeteria. She excluded three little girls, my child being one of them. Now I understand that you cannot always invite everyone, I understand there are disapointments in life. BUT come on, mail the invitations, don't hand them out in school and obviously exclude a few children, what in the world is this child's mother thinking, the school does not allow invitations to be disbursed in school unless everyone gets one, but I guess this parent does not care about that either.

I wish I could express how bad my sweet little girl felt yesterday when this happened. Parents out there, please think.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Steal & Shake Denies Service

Check out this link to a fellow blogger that I read regularly.

Steak & Shake Denies Service

I am dismayed and disgusted by this Steak and Shake employees behavior, not only as a representative of the company but as a human being.

No more shakes for us.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

We are getting company, full fledged, real live company. We don't get much company, the occasional family member drops by for a visit. But real-live, not related to me, need to clean the house company does not happen often.

So today involved a serious assessment of how badly I have let things go. Nothing is dirty mind you. I hate dirty, but boy do I have some clutter going on. Flylady would NOT be proud of me right now.

So I did what any other unprepared person would do. I went into total panic mode. Since I work best under pressure it is all good, the house is clean, the laundry is done, fresh sheets ready to go on the beds in the morning. I am so proud. EVERYTHING that was on my desk is now in a box in the closet. I am trying not to think about that. I am going to use DeClutter It on Sunday to fix that problem!

Wish me luck. I will photograph the results for you!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Blue Spring State Park




















We took a little trip to Blue Spring State Park today. I had always wanted to go and never took the time. So today we did, what a beautiful park. There were about 130 manatees in the park today, they have a nice concession, canoe rentals, a playground and picnic area. The boardwalk thru the park has numerous areas to view the manatees, there was a big variety of birds as well. A very nice way to spend the morning. I recommend it.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Snobs








You know who they are, the car snobs drive Escalades or Mercedes, the clothes snobs with their expensive designer labels, the food snobs with their organic health food or expensive wines (my brother is one of these).....I am so sorry to say I have joined the snob category.

I HAVE BECOME A VACUUM CLEANER SNOB!

For years I had an old Kirby, I mean OLD, it weighed in the neighborhood of 200 lbs and I lugged it everywhere. When I moved to Florida my movers made fun of me dragging this "antique" vacuum to Florida. That thing was incredible. It would suck up the rug!

Shortly after we moved I was vacuuming and it began smoking...I, of course was in denial..I turned it off and waited.....turned it on and it smoked more and whined. You could not hear it whining over my whining....I put it out for the trash. IT was a terrible moment.

So off I went to the Wal-Mart, I bought a 75.00 Eureka. It sucked..or should I say it sucked for two weeks, then it decided it was no match for my hairy dog, messy kids blah blah blah. It quit. Oh if I wanted to take the hose off and stick a skewer in it and dig out the dog hair every time I used it, it worked great. I love to vacuum and do it often, this skewering, no sucking thing DID NOT work for me.

So I bought a Dyson, I told all my friends, I waited with great anticipation for its arrival, I greeted the UPS man eagerly at the curb when he pulled up. I told him I bought a Dyson, I could not contain my excitement. I know what you are thinking "my god, she needs to get a life." Don't worry I was thinking the same thing.

The best news is, I vacuumed last night, well five minutes after I got it. My 8 year old had to help me put it together, it was easy to assemble I was just too excited to read the directions. I was able to vacuum my entire house, not once but twice, it picked up a medium sized animal worth of dog hair and was worth every penny and no this is NOT a paid advertisement, I just wanted all of you to share my glee in vacuum cleaner snobdom! Oh the joy!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Lights


















I love Christmas, I love lights, I love Christmas lights. BUT...it is January 15th, take down your lights people. I just took a little jaunt out to the local 7-11 and was amazed and appalled at the lights that are still up. I know what you are thinking. "She needs to get out more.." Yea, I know, I have no life....anyway back to the lights. Okay so you have not had time to take the display off your house. I can see that, but for heaven's sake DON'T TURN THEM ON. It is January 15th....I understand it takes awhile to get down the 1,000lights you have lining ever single space on your roof, but why do you have them turned on?? Please help me understand?

Monday, January 14, 2008

Monday Motivation

I love Monday, no seriously, I love Monday. Every Monday is like starting over for me. I get to restart my work week, my meal planning, my clean and organized house and so on. My kids get back to the school routine, homework, activities etc.

Monday's are my favorite day of the week. I don't need a push to get motivated on Monday, now by Thursday I could use a SHOVE or two but Monday's are my best day!

This week's to do:


1. Finish getting 2007 tax records together (this is almost done)
2. Plan my menu and shop for the week (Tuesday)
3. Check out at least two more stables for my horses.
4. Continue to move 30 minutes 4 days a week.
5. Keep working on my open job orders and contacting potential new clients(2 per day)
6. Keep taking babysteps in getting my house in order and my children on board.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Ramblings





So I was feeling pretty sorry for myself today, again my house was a wreck, my laundry is three miles high, my vacuum quit working, I have to find a new stable for my horses, my 10 year old is in total brat mode, I cannot see the top of my desk.....shall I go on or do you have the picture? Well I get an email from my friend Annie over at Ann-Crabs, her dog was bit by another dog this weekend, she had to have a drain tube put in and is wearing one of those lampshade things on her head....this dog is a German Shorthair so no, she is not the calmest of animals, enter the lampshade....well, if that is not bad enough, her toddler screams in terror every time she sees this poor pooch. So unhappy, dog with a drain tube and a recovery collar and screaming toddler....yes, I happily cleaned my house, started the laundry, ordered me a new Dyson Vacuum off Overstock.com and generally went on with my day! Sorry Annie!


I love reading organizing and cleaning blogs from real people who do it without a staff of people (yes Martha I am talking about you)....

I was on one of my favorite blogs to day, OrgJunkie and she had some great tips from another blogger who is now becoming one of my favorites. Check out this plan for making a mail center, then check out her other stuff, it is pretty darn good.

Also some pretty good organizing tools on this site.


Be Organized, Shop Organize.com


Happy Organized and Clean Monday to all!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Amazed





















I am often amazed by the wonderful place we live. Here are some pictures from today in paradise.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Sheeeee's Back





OK, my guilty pleasure is back, some nights, well most nights, I turn on Nancy Grace on CNN and listen to her while I clean off my desk and get my house in order. My dad gets so mad cause he can't stand her, he rolls his eyes at the mention of her name.

YA GOTTA LOVE HER. She is so dramatic, she does not care what she says, she cannot stand murderers, rapists, child molesters and Brittany Spears! What is not to love!

If my choice is her or primary returns I will take Nancy anyday!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Local Goings On





Happy Monday! Could we have any better weather here at the beach?

Here are some local sign-ups currently under way, click the link for more information.

Southeast Volusia Little League

Little Theatre of New Smyrna Beach Wonderland Theatre

Both are great programs for local children. There is limited space so sign up quick!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Gift for the Mountain Man










Fireplace Screen w/ Two Deer (Rustic Metal Art)





I am trying to contain my excitement! Mountain Man who is my brother...has some serious deficiencies in decorating his new house in the WOODS of Wisconsin. So I am committed to help him! I assure you he is thrilled by this assistance. He is quivering with anticipation at the treasures I will uncover!

The first one is above. I love it! IT is from Black Mountain Decor, I am going to try and find some chilling dead animal wall art for him as well. He really wants a dead animal head for the wall but in the meantime I will make it my mission to find him something appropriate!!!

The Joy of Marriage





Bet that title caught your eye! I know it did if you have known me for more than 15 minutes. I was thinking today about those little things that make being married worthwhile. A plug thingy...if I mentioned a plug thingy to my ex husband he would know exactly what I am talking about....and usually he could produce one from the chaos that was his work truck or our garage. He could change the direction the door the dryer opened, change the water filter in the refrigerator and a variety of other 'boy' things that I have no interest in doing. But do not roll your eyes dear friends, I have learned how to locate a plug thingy in my clean garage, I called the repairman to switch my dryer door and I can change my own water filter. I always took out the trash so that was not even on the list.

So whether you are taking out your own trash or not smile, be happy!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Oxymoron




Once again, I feel I must comment on the school system in this area, Volusia County and Florida in general. I am not sure where to start. How about the kids in Volusia County went to school 15 days in November, of those days they got out at 1pm on two days and 12 noon on one. Unlike most other school systems in the United States, most Florida schools got the entire week of Thanksgiving off, instead of Wed-Fri.

Enter in December....another 15 day month. Two early release days at 1pm and one at 12noon. They were then off for a whopping 16 days from December 22-Jan 7th. They go back the Monday and prmptly get out early on Wednesday, get off the following Monday and have early, early release on Wed the 23rd.

I am not sure how any child can retain anything with this schedule, or any teacher can make an impact. My children are very lucky to have two excellent, conscientious teachers at their elementary school. Others are not so lucky.

I am certainly not bashing teachers for the schedule the county puts forth, I understand these early and early early release days are for planning. BUT it is very hard for working parents to plan, I know that is not the teachers nor the school district's problem either, I am lucky enough to work at home and can be here for this crazy schedule, again, others are not so lucky.

Both my parents were public school teachers. Classes started at 8am. My father was at school at 730am each day, he had one planning period and a lunch period. He was at school each day til 4pm. He was involved in many "extra things". He sold basketball and football tickets and chaperoned school events each weekend. He had cafeteria duty and a homeroom. He taught summer school and tutored. I do not ever recall him bringing home a great deal of papers to grade or extra things to do. I do recall him joking about how he had the best part-time job ever. He was with us all summer and on all school vacations. I probably did not appreciate that at the time, but I do now that he is approaching 80 and I have my own children.

I have spoken to teachers here and in other school systems in this state and in other states and they all say they are being forced to teach "to the FCAT" or the other state standardized tests. IN order to meet the "no child left behind" guidelines our children's education is suffering.

Have you ever looked at the No Child Left Behind Act? Take a look at the link above and see if it makes sense. I am curious to see what others think? How do you feel about our schedule? I realize we are very lucky not to have snow days to deal with and that contributes to what seems like endless time off but it seems just when they go back to school and get in the routine, they are off again. Retention of information has to suffer.

Let me know what you think?

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Winter





It is fast approaching the freezing point, they are talking about snow flurries here on the coast. I have a fire in my fireplace, my plants are in the garage and the wind is howling.....no I am not in Central NY or Wisconsin, I AM IN FLORIDA for heavens sake!!!!

But seriously, it is kind of refreshing, and since it will be 70 again by the weekend, I can handle it.