Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Did my parents set me up to fail?

Did my parents set me up to fail?  I hope not.


As I continue my journey into adulthood, I continue to question/reflect/and dissect my childhood and adolescence and wonder... was it all a set-up for failure?

What I mean is this.  I am a Gen Xer and Gen Xers are different. 

Compared to generations before us; we have different ideals, acceptances, and expectations.  We value different things, we accept the evolving world, and we expect to achieve greatness.  We have been told that if we work hard, we can accomplish anything (and everything) we want.  But, is this always true?

Everyone has their own version of a checklist.  You know the one I am talking about.
This is what mine looks like-

1. Graduate from high school (check)

 2. Graduate from college (check)

3. For a lot of us, go to and graduate from graduate school (check)

 4. Get married (check)

5. Buy a house (check)

6. Have a kid(s) (check)

7. Find and work in a fulfilling job, where I feel I make a difference, and I am valued as a employee
(anyone else still looking for that check????)

I have worked hard.  Really hard.  And I continue to work hard.  So... why do I not have everything I want.  Am. I. Failing?

I want a job where I feel valued, appreciated, accepted, understood, and respected.  But time and time again, I feel an emptiness in my work life.  My personal life is so full and wonderful and everything I have ever wanted.  But, my work life leaves much to be desired. 

I have changed careers once.  I even earned a Master's degree to help me do it. 

And so I have been wondering- is it me?  Is it where I work?  Is it what I do?  What is IT?

So this brings me back to my original question, did my parents set me up to fail?  To constantly be looking for that next bigger, brighter thing?  

To answer my own question, NO, I don't think my parents set me up to fail.

I think I am just going to have to continue to look for the best thing in my professional life and not drop or lower my expectations.  I have several friends from graduate school that absolutely love where they work.  I know, with time (and patience), I can find that too.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Fifteen Months

Dear Elizabeth,

You are 15 months!

You turned fifteen months on Saturday (we were in Texas)!  You have grown so much since your first birthday and I am constantly amazed at how much you have changed in such a short amount of time.  You talk a lot and you are very curious.  You are always saying, "What's that?" and pointing to something.  You also say: Momma, Dada, thank you, please, red, ball, baby, hi, and bye.  You love to say hi to anyone that walks by and if they say hi back you give them the biggest smile.

You have been very busy this past month.  You watched mommy run in two 5K races.  Dan came to visit from Philadelphia.  Ann came over to babysit so that Mom and Dad could celebrate their wedding anniversary.  You flew to Texas with Mom to visit Grandmother and Great Grandmother.  Noah and Jessica came over for dinner (yummy tacos).  You played with Alysaar for a few hours while Mom went to rescue Dad from his car accident.

You are currently wearing 18-month clothes, a size 3 diaper, and size 3 shoes.  You love to play with your baby and sit in your new chair and read books.  You are very polite and always say "thank-you" whenever someone gives you something.  You still eat 3 meals a day plus and afternoon snack.  Your favorite foods include pasta and cheese or any variation of those two (mac n cheese, pasta noodles with cheese cubes, string cheese, casseroles like baked ziti with pasta and cheese).  This month you have started drinking more water and juice and seem to enjoy them both more than ever before. 

My sweet Elizabeth, you are walking everywhere!  You love to walk all around the house and this has made Mom and Dad very creative in the ways we block you from escaping a room (moving couch cushions, the coffee table, etc.)  You also refuse to go anywhere without a hair bow because your hair is so long it gets in your face if it is not pulled back or up.  You use your whole hand to brush your hair out of your face and it is just about the cutest thing we have ever seen.

As always, we love you.  You are our heart and we cherish every moment with you.  We love your little personality that is developing and beginning to shine through.  We are so proud to be your parents.


Mom & Dad

PS. Below are some pictures of your adventures from the last month

 April 19th race

 Dan visiting from Philadelphia!

Yummy pasta and meatballs.

April 26th race.

 Mother's Day!

 Playing in Texas

 Ft. Worth Zoo

 Landing in Texas

 Playing with Mommy's cell phone camera

 Crawling on Dad

Snack time!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Favorite Things

I have a bunch of new things I am loving right now!  It has mostly to do with the time of year (warm weather) that has brought about my new favorite things.

I have been teaching soccer outside for the last two weeks and I have to have on sunscreen.
I love the Banana Boat lip block.
It keeps my lips from getting dry, sunburned, and it keeps them moisturized!

This is a new sunscreen for me this year and right now I am loving it!
I have always used the traditional lotion type of sunscreen, but the spray has become my go-to for work.
On days where it's in the 80s and 90s, and I am teaching outside for 5 hours, it is easy to apply and quick!

* I am still using my Clinique Sunscreen made for face *

Most of my hand sanitizers are from Bath and Body Works.
But... I love this apple scent from germblaster.
It smells sooooo good, I just keep using it.  

I have been using this product on my hair for a few years, but I especially love it 
in the summer when I don't feel like blow drying my hair.

When my hair is wet, I just put some of this moose/gel in it and scrunch it up.

Below is what my hair looks like today:

I love the easy curls (and my face is covered in sunscreen)

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Anniversary and Mother's Day

***Okay, so I just erased everything I had written and I am now starting over.***

On Thursday, we celebrated our fourth wedding anniversary.

Thank you Ben for FOUR wonderful years!!!

And today, we celebrated my second Mother's Day!

Thank you Ben and Elizabeth for a wonderful day!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Thirsty Thursday

Today is Thursday and that means it is time for another Thirsty Thursday!

Tonight's cocktail is:

The Sea Donkey

To make, you will need:

1 oz sweet and sour mix
1 oz tequila
1 oz orange vodka
1/4 oz Blue Curacao liqueur
1/4 oz Melon liqueur
1 lime wheel for garnish


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

More on coupons and couponing

So... my brother asked me the other day to explain a little more about how I coupon and where I get coupons.  He said that my blog always says how much I saved at the store but never how I did it.  He was also looking for some tips on saving money in general.

So, Andy, I heard ya and I have been thinking it over the last few days and this is what I have come up with:

The number one place I get coupons is:

The Newspaper

 If you don't get the Sunday paper you have a couple of options.

A) Call and order just the Sunday paper and see if they will give it to you at a discount
(we pay 70 cents a week, it retails for $2.00 at the store).

B) Ask your neighbors if you can have their leftover paper and coupons.

C) See if you can find a place (like a hotel) that gives guests a free Sunday paper and ask if you can have any leftovers

The number two place I get coupons is:

My neighbor's newspaper

That's right.  My neighbors and I go through our newspapers and cut the coupons we will use.
Then we switch papers and cut any coupons that we would use that they don't.  This has become great for me because I end up with 2 or 3 copies of the same coupon and so I am able to get more items at that deal.

For example:

Yoplait yogurt coupon for 40 cents/off 6 yogurts. 
Ben and I both eat yogurt everyday in our lunch.
So, if I get a second and third copy of this coupon from my neighbors, I can get 12-18 yogurts at a discount.
At our grocery store, any coupon under 99 cents is doubled.  So...40 cents off becomes 80 cents off.

The most important thing to remember when cutting coupons...

Only cut coupons you will use.

For example:

We don't have any pets, so we don't cut the dog food coupons.

The second most important thing to remember when couponing...

It helps if you are not brand loyal.

For example:

Ben loves Cheerios, but if I can get Corn Flakes for a better price, he is willing to eat Corn Flakes.


Other ways to save money...

These are some things I have either thought of, we have tried, or I know other people doing-

1) Only eat out once a month.  This is something our family practices.  We eat every meal at home, except our date night once a month or for a very special reason. 

2) Entertain at home.  Ben and I love to host people at our house.  Cocktails and snacks at home is so much less expensive than going.  A bottle of vodka can run you $20, where you can make 20-25 drinks at home.  Two cocktails and tip at a bar will run you $20.

3) Plan your meals.  We plan our meals monthly (try weekly to start).  This helps us not order in or go out to grab something because we already know what is for dinner.  We also keep a variety in our dinners.  I love thai food, so we incorporate homemade chicken fried rice twice a month.

4) Get rid of cable.  Order Netflix streaming. 
Netflix is $7.99/month and Cable is usually over $50/month.

5) Use a weekly cash budget.  Once your cash is gone, it's gone.

6) And my last "quick tip": April just ended.  Go back through your checkbook/online checking/ however you balance your money.  And spreadsheet every single penny you spent.  Once you know where all your money went in April, you will be able to better plan for May.
I break it into categories such as:

groceries (food we bought at the grocery store0
dining out (food or drinks from a restaurant or bar, happy hour, meals)
entertainment (movies, bowling, golf)
bills (water, cell phone, cable, insurance, etc.)
mortgage (or rent)
gas (and other car expenses, oil change, new windshield wipers, etc)
misc. (gifts, hair cuts, pedicures, clothes, etc.)

Break it into as many or few categories you want.  This is about how you budget.  Or start budgeting.

Well... that is my two cents.  Hope it helps.