Healthy body, healthy spirit, healthy mothering. This is the journey I have set out on with my two amazing children.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Walgreens haul 5/29

This week I found some amazing deals at Walgreens.  :)

Once again it was divided into three different transactions.


-3 Kids Aquafresh toothpaste
-1 3 pk Listerine pocket-paks
-1 Ecotrin aspirin
-1 Icy Hot Naturals creme
-1 issimo Cappucinno drink

$17.94  Retail price
$  5.94 After coupons/sale pricing
-$5.00  Register Reward 


-4 Degree deodorants
-2 Off! Clip-on mosquito repellants

$30.98 Retail price
$ 7.02 After coupons/sale pricing
-$5.00 Register Reward



-1 Kids Aquafresh toothpaste
-1 issimo Caffe Machiato drink
-1 3 pk Listerine pocket-paks

 $7.28 Retail price
 $4.48 After coupons/sale pricing
-$4.00 Register Rewards


So for everything I bought I paid only $3.44.  

I do so love my couponing!

Friday, May 20, 2011

85 cents goes a LONG WAY

Today was my first completely successful trip for some super-couponing shopping.  Let's not call it extreme couponing because I don't have room to become a Hoarder of non-perishables.  :)

First thing I did was make a list of what I wanted to get and exactly which coupons I needed to take (which I attached to my list with a paperclip).

So very organized.  So very unlike me.

I headed to the Walgreens nearest me only to be met with empty shelves.  :(  Uh oh.  Luckily there was another Walgreens on the way to work so I simply hopped in the car and headed that way.  

Here's what I got:

  • 3 bottles of Gillette body wash

  • 3 Gillette deodorants

  • 1 Dove Men+Care deodorant

  • 6 450 in. Scotch tape rolls

  • 1 Twix :)

  • Here is what I paid:


    Let me give you a moment to scroll up & look at that list again.

    You read that right.  Only 85 cents!

    Here's how I did it:

    This was two separate transactions.  

    Transaction 1:
    Gillette body wash x 3 on sale for $3.33 each                                       9.99
    Coupon for $2 off body wash x 3                                                        -6.00
    Gillette deodorant $4.99 x 3                                                               14.97
    Coupon buy Gillette body wash get free deodorant x 3                       -14.97
    Scotch tape roll $1.99 x3                                                                    5.97
    Coupon Buy 1 Scotch tape @$1.99 get 2 free                                     -3.98
    Coupon Get $1 off Scotch tape x 3                                                     -3.00

    Grand Total                                                                                     $0.48 pre-tax

    Plus I got a $3 register reward to use for the next transaction :)

    Transaction 2:  
    Dove Mens Deodorant                                                                     3.99
    Twix                                                                                                .39
    Scotch tape 450 in. roll $1.99 x 3                                                     5.97
    Coupon Scotch tape $1 off x 3                                                        -3.00
    Coupon buy 1 Scotch tape get 2 free                                               -3.98
    Use previous Register Reward                                                        -3.00

    Grand Total                                                                                 $0.37 pre-tax 

    Oh. And I got another $3 register reward for my next trip.  

    Yep.  :)  I paid more in tax than I did for my items.  Weird huh?  

    Tomorrow I am hunting for some free hot sauce.  :)

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    Back to basics

    I realized that this blog is supposed to be about my journey to healthier living and I haven't posted on my workouts.  I have begun working out regularly again.  It's only been a week(ish) so there are no dramatic results to be posted.  No fancy before and after photos.


    I am doing a variety of workouts all found through Comcast's On Demand.  They have something called Exercise TV and there are so many free workout videos.  I started with the little ones, 12 minutes or less of focused video.

    Abs & back.

    Today was my first 30 minutes workout and I did Jillian Michaels Shred.  It kicked my ass.  Literally.  As it turns out she had us doing butt kicks which are exactly what they sound like.

    My butt isn't what is sore though.  It's my arms and shoulders.  The muscles are still quivering and its been at least 45 minutes since I finished.  I've had a hot shower and still they just keep on quivering.  Sadly, I was only able to use 2lb. weights but that's better than no weights I guess.  :)

    Not sure how I'm going to feel working today, if people bring in a lot of heavy packages I may just drop one.  Thats how jelly-like I feel.

    1 a day: Day 12- What I Believe In

    Well, first and foremost.  I am a Christian.  I believe that Jesus is the son of God.  I believe that he died for my sins and I have asked him to forgive me.

    I believe that God is loving.  Which means that he doesn't hate groups of people because of the god they choose to worship.  He doesn't hate people because of the color of their skin or the region of the earth that they come from.  He doesn't hate people because of their sexual orientation.  He loves.

    He loves me.  So when crappy things happen all around me I try to remember that.  If I can remember that then I know that I can get through the crap.

    He loves me.  And that is enough.

    Wednesday, May 18, 2011


    I feel like I haven't done this in forever although in reality its probably been only 2 weeks.  The end of school and the immediate aftermath really kicked my butt this semester.

    Breakfast: the usual greek yogurt and an apple

    Lunch: I had a craving for Cheez-its so I made some.  :)  You can read about that adventure here

    Dinner: Some sort of baked penne dish that I threw together.  I made the sauce with a can of small diced tomatoes, garlic, onion, spinach & grated carrots.

    Bubbling away.

     Alternate layers of sauce, cooked whole grain penne and cheese.

     Ready to go into the oven

    Such cheesy goodness.

    Monday, May 16, 2011

    1 a day: Day 11-Your Favorite TV Shows

    Ball as Lucy, Vivian Vance as Ethel on the &qu...Image via Wikipedia
    I Love Lucy.  I get so happy when I see a TV Land Lucy marathon.  Comedic genius.

    MASH  This one cracks me up but was probably the first time I saw that comedy could be sad or that sadness also comes with joy.  A pretty important life lesson for a little kid to learn.  Is there anybody that doesn't know who Hawkeye, Trapper John, Hot Lips or Radar are?  Really?

    Trapper John McIntyreImage via Wikipedia

    Magnum P.I.  I am pretty sure I was too young to understand what a crush was but I definitely had one on Tom Selleck.  Actually, I still do.

    Tom Selleck, filming a scene for MAGNUM P.I. i...Image via Wikipedia

    What do I watch now?  I love shows that scare the bejesus out of me.  Criminal Minds and The Killing are scheduled into the DVR.

    If I want to laugh I go for How I Met Your Mother or The Big Bang Theory.  What can I say?  Nerdy men are hot.  ;)

    And my all-time favorite tv show ever?  That's easy.  Most of my family is addicted to it and we wait not so patiently for the stupid hiatus' to end.  It comes back in a few weeks.  Shawn, Gus, Juliet, Lassiter.  Oh yes.  Psych.  For an 80s lovin', Brat Pack movie quoting freak like is my crack.  I can't get enough.  We buy it on DVD, we DVR it, we send texts lol-ing during the broadcasts.

    Here are a few psych-isms to get you through the day.

    • Are you a fan of delicious flavor?
    • Gus don't be exactly half of a 11 lb. black forest ham.
    • Gus, don't be a myopic chihuahua.
    • How can you tell that someone's a compulsive liar?  I mean, assuming their pants aren't on fire?

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    Sunday, May 15, 2011

    Homemade Cheez-Its

    I had a major craving today for Cheez-Its.  I don't really know why, they aren't my favorite crackers.  Huh.  Odd but I decided to just give in.  I had to go to the store anyway because my little one was up all night throwing up and we needed some popsicles (all fruit to keep her from dehydrating) and some ginger ale cuz thats what my Mom always gave us.  :)  For some reason I read the ingredients list on the Cheez-Its box.

    The ones I questioned were: TBHQ, paprika oleoresin and soy lecithin.  What were these ingredients?  So I went home and began searching.

    According to (yes it has a website developed by the leading manufacturing company located somewhere in India):  Tertiary Butyl Hydroquinone (TBHQ) is the synthetic food grade antioxidant, which was developed to be used in stabilizing various vegetable oils, fats and food against oxidative deterioration, thus retrading development of rancidity in these products and extending their storage life.

    This just means that it keeps fats from going rancid.

    Paprika oleoresin turns out to be an extract of paprika used for color and lecithin is merely a generic term for the phospholipids found in plants and animals.  Very simplistically they are fats derived from phosphorus which help make up cell membranes.  So soy lecithin is derived from soy beans.  I like soy beans.  My only question would be the manner in which it is extracted in large amounts.  Most commercially produced oil stabilizers are processed using hexane which forms highly toxic derivatives.  There have been studies showing that hexane has been found in food products and that just can't be a good thing.

    While I am not opposed to food stabilizers I wondered if I could make these crackers myself using whole foods and no chemically derived additives.  I began searching online for recipes and combining a couple this is what I came up with.  Feel free to do a search, almost every recipe is the same.  :)

    • 1 C flour
    • 8 oz. sharp cheddar
    • 3/4 tsp salt (I am not usually a salty food fan so I used 1/2 tsp.)
    • 1/4 tsp cayenne
    • 4-6 TBSP cold water
    First thing to do is grate the cheese (or open the bag of pre-shredded cheese---your call).  Mix all of the ingredients EXCEPT the water in your food processor and pulse until its crumbly.  Dump it into a bowl and add the water 1 TBSP at a time mixing it just like you would a pie crust.  Actually, this recipe is almost exactly like a cheesy pie crust.  Form a ball, cover with wax paper and toss it in the freezer for about 20 mins.  I like it to firm up a bit so that its easier to roll out.  Please note that most recipes don't call for freezing it, that is just my personal preference when working with rolled out doughs.  

    At this point its time to preheat the oven to 350.  Roll dough between 2 pieces of parchment paper until thin, less than 1/4 inch.  Transfer it to your baking sheet and then cut into little squares with a pizza cutter.  

    Before baking

    Most recipes then say to sprinkle with salt but I did a mixture of salt, onion & garlic powder.  Bake for 25 mins (this may vary so watch them closely after about 20 mins.) until the bottoms are getting toasty brown NOT DARK.

    See how puffy they get?

    These are so fracking good.  I can neither confirm nor deny whether these were inhaled in a single afternoon.  But I can say that we are going to try to make a spicy version in the near future.

    Saturday, May 14, 2011

    1 a day: Day 10-Something You're Afraid Of

    • Something happening to one of my kids
    • Dying while my children are still young and leaving them without a parent.
    • My mom dying---its not the death I fear but the loss of our relationship, the one we have worked so very hard on.
    • Being a victim of violence again.  Not the violence, the body heals quite amazingly, its the fear of being the same stupid woman I used to be.  The fear of not seeing the truth about somebody that I let into my life.
    • Staying in my depression(s).  As long as I keep trying to be a better person I at least don't get hopeless.
    • My children growing up to be like me or their father.  I want so much more for the both of them.  
    • Big, fuzzy or fast spiders.  The big ones crunch when you step on them.  Ewww.  The fuzzy ones are just scary looking.  The fast ones escape before I can catch or kill them.  I really do try to catch them first and release them outside.  After all, its not their fault they freak me out.

    Thursday, May 12, 2011

    1 a day: Day 9-A picture of your friends

    You've seen my sisters.  I would put up more pictures of them but...come on.  They're gonna start to get big heads.

    As for my friends, I am so not ok with putting people's pictures up on the web without their permission, and I'm too tired to call everybody and get that permission.  So, instead I'll just say this.  I have a few very good friends that I would hate to live this life without.  Some I have known for most of my life and others are new.  Many friendships have come and gone and I am thankful that they were a part of my life, whether for decades or only a few short years.  Each one of those women (well there was one man but we screwed up & tried to turn a great friendship into romance & haven't spoken in years after that ended so very badly) has brought something important into my life.  Someone to talk to, someone to drink with, someone to talk about sex with, someone to do stupid things with, someone to laugh with, to cry with or just to be myself with.  They were all important to my life and for that, I say thank you.  Thank you for being yourself with me.

    Tuesday, May 10, 2011

    1 a day: Day 8-A place you've traveled to



    What comes to your mind when you think of road trips?
    Crowded, overheated, overstuffed cars?
    Singing along to the radio at the top of your lungs?
    The bright orange blur of miles and miles of construction cones flying by the window?
    Squished peanut butter and jelly sandwich crumbs sticking to your legs?

    I have so many memories filled with those images.  Of course we were either in a van or a station wagon.  Do you remember what it was like to be stuck in the back of a station wagon, never knowing what's in front of you only what you've left behind?


    While never in a wagon, the kids and I have taken a lot of road trips in the past 11 years.  Some were good (family trips) some were bad (heading to TX for their Dads funeral) and some were necessary (running away to safety).  We have memories of them all.  I can only hope that my kids can look back on them someday and smile--even about the painful ones.

    Last summer was a visit home to Michigan for Grandma's 75th birthday/mini-family reunion and a 1 day visit to Lake Michigan.

     Going for a ride

     Keeping cool on a super muggy day

     the pond

    Frog hunting

    Picnic in the park

    driving and driving

    Their 1st visit to Lake Michigan


    Escaping the waves

    He stole my sandwich!

    Darn sandwich thief

    I think she still has sand in that suit


    Californians aren't the only ones that know how to shimmy out of a suit.  :)

    The sign of a great day.

    Time for S'mores

    The birthday girl

    Everybody knows Great-Grandmas sneak you the best food


    Time to go home and recover for the next trip.

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    1 a day: Day 6-Picture of something that makes you happy

    I don't know how I skipped this one.  Well, I do know.  I am sinking into a depression fog again although I am very aware of it and trying desperately not to let it happen.  I thought it would go away after the stress of school was over but apparently that wasn't the cause.  Yesterday was (or should have been) Dads birthday so I spent all day in my pajamas on the couch eating crap food and watching crap tv shows.

    Anyway.  On to the picture(s).  If a picture is worth a thousand words then these ones ought to help me get out of this funk.  :)

     The idea of so much happiness it can't be contained.

    The courage to stand up & shine.

    Pride in a job well done.

     Experiencing something all over again.

    Someone to cling to.


     An unguarded moment of pure fun

    My perfectly imperfect family

    Saturday, May 07, 2011

    1 a day: Day 7-Favorite Movies

    Steel Magnolias

    "You are evil and must be destroyed"
    "Take a whack at Weezer"
    "You know you love me more than your luggage"
    "You are too twisted for color tv"
    "Nothing like a great piece of ass"

    Better Off Dead

    Dancing hamburgers in love. 
    "I want my two dollars!"
    Snorting snow. "Do you know the street value of this mountain?"
    That nasty green jello creeping off the dinner plate.  "It has raisins in it.  You like raisins."

    Come on.  You have to love this movie.  

    The Station Agent

    Two words.  Peter Dinklage.  What a beautiful man.  And a great story about grief.  Nothing flashy, just people dealing with their traumas in their own way.
    "Would you do me a favor and not look at me right now?"


    Seriously?   Good girl goes slutty and we are cheering for this?  How did they do it?  By setting it to music.  I love it!

    Rat Race

    "I'm a weener"  I literally laugh so hard I cry EVERY single time I watch this one. 
    "It's true, you could break your neck.  But that's a chance I'm willing to take." 


    Just looking at this picture is sending shivers down my spine.  A classic that absolutely stands the test of time.  This one still scares me to this day.  I can't wait until my kids are old enough to watch this one with me.  

    I could go on and on.  I LOVE  to quote movies.  Mostly cheesy 80s movies.  :)  It's who I am.