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Saturday, July 31, 2010

Staples Teacher Appreciation Day 2010 in August

Staples is sponsoring their annual Teacher Appreciation Day in August. Go to THIS LINK to find a location near you and then mark it on your calendar so you won't miss it (if you are a teacher).  The one closest to our home is Saturday, August 14, 2010, from 9 a.m. until 12:00 p.m.  

Homeschool moms can take advantage of this, too. Usually you just need to show some documentation that you homeschool; last year I didn't need to show anything.  Lots of freebies and a little gift bag for teachers while quantities last, so don't miss out!

Friday, July 30, 2010

National Cheesecake Day is Today July 30, 2010 Cheesecake Factory

Go to  THIS LINK  for more info.    Any slice, half price today!

FREE Trial Pair of Air Optix Contact Lenses

My younger son got Air Optix soft contact lenses this year and as always, I was searching for coupons and discounts since they are disposable lenses and have to be replaced monthly. This was new to us since my husband and I both wear rigid lenses which can last for years.  Anyway, here is THE LINK to print this valuable coupon.  I know these lenses are $38+ at Sam's Club which is a vendor; I'm sure our optician / eye doctor's office is double that price (they were more than double for a year's supply).  Every little bit helps...  :)

As always, be sure to read the fine print.


Print this certificate and take it to your eye care practitioner or retailer to try any  AIR OPTIX® brand contact lenses for free**.

**Eye exam may be required. Professional fees may apply. At participating offices.

UPDATE 7/30/10:  One of my sons had an eye checkup scheduled today and we took the certificate in for the optician to look at.  He said he would send it in for us and our free pair of contact lenses would be sent to us  in the mail.  :)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Staples 20% Off One Item Coupon Expires July 31, 2010

Our math teacher sent me this coupon from Staples. Thanks, Becky.  There are exclusions, so read the fine print.  If you have to purchase higher-priced items such as graphing calculators, it's a substantial savings.  Too bad it doesn't include ink cartridges.  

*20% off one item coupon valid 7/28/10-7/31/10. Valid in Staples U.S. stores only. Discount applies to highest priced item, some exclusions apply. Not valid for the purchase of any desktop, laptop or netbook computer, HP ink and toner, cell phones and cell phone services, BOSE or Apple products, gift cards, postage stamps or phone cards. Limit one coupon per customer, coupon must be surrendered. Each item purchased can only be discounted by up to one coupon. No cash/ credit back. Not valid on previous purchases. Not valid for purchases made with Staples procurement or convenience cards. 

Print out the coupon from  THIS LINK.

Summer Swimming Pool Exercise DeltaBells

On Monday of this week I began a new exercise routine.  I have been going to the YMCA with my younger son 2x a week doing cardio (treadmill, elliptical or bike) and weights.  Over the summer I've been a slug and have not been walking every morning like I was previously and a little extra weight is beginning to creep up.  When you're short like I am (5'3") every ounce is noticeable.  My husband lost 20+ lbs (took him about 6 months) and I don't want him to have a frumpy wife, so I've amped up my get-back-in-shape routine.  

In the Florida heat--it's been in the mid-90s just about every day over the past week or two--the only place to exercise is inside in the air conditioning or outside in the pool.   I have a few runner friends who are doing 5Ks in this weather but I want to get more in shape, not have a heat stroke.   I am so thankful that we have a swimming pool. It is screened in with large oak trees shading a bit of it so the water stays somewhat cool.  The summer months of July through mid-September are ideal for swimming in it. The rest of the year we just look at it.  It came with the house, so what can I say? When our sons were younger, we were all in it just about every day from mid-April through the end of September.   Someone told us that when they reached high school that would change and they were right.  They do jump in every now and then though.

A dear friend who moved away to England and now The Netherlands gave me these water weights before she left.   Thanks, Britt.  To be honest, I have hardly used them and I've had them for a few years just sitting with all the pool toys.   They are called DeltaBells and can be purchased online at THIS LINK as well as at Amazon.  I would imagine that you can search other places as well.  Not cheap, but boy, do they do the job.

If you have a pool or have access to one, swimming or exercising is one of the least likely to injure you types of exercise.  In the water I can extend my arms to the front or the sides holding these water weights and kick my legs.  I can stand still in the shallow end and use them as I would any weights at the YMCA.  I can hold them while I swim, pulling more water (and with more resistance).  If I get tired, I can hold them close in front of my chest either horizontally or vertically and just float and rest.  They support my weight which is good to know if I get in trouble in the water.  I don't advise swimming alone but if I'm going to exercise I have to do it in the mornings and no one else is up yet--except my husband and he's already gone to work.  

I turn on my portable radio and exercise for about 30 minutes while listening to either R.C. Sproul (8 a.m.) or Chuck Swindoll (8:30 a.m.), whichever time I get my suit on.  So far this week  it's been 4 for 4 and I've done it every day, usually after doing a little cleaning or yard work.  I hope to continue this until the pool is too cool to swim in this fall.  By then I'll be ready to walk the neighborhood in the mornings again with my friend Virginia.

The photo above is as close as you're going to get to seeing me in a swimsuit. :)  Maybe in a month or so... :)

Proverbs 31:17 
She girds herself with strength 
And makes her arms strong. 

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Photo Editing / Ebay Store

Just wanted you to check out my updated logo for my Ebay store.  :)    

I made the log using an online editing software called Seashore.   It works great with Macs and is FREE.  Similar  to Photoshop.    Give it a try!  There is a learning curve as in all softwares but once you get the hang of it, it's quick and easy to use.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Should the American Flag Be Banned? FOX News Poll

Who thinks of these things?  Fox News ran this in May 2010 on their opinion forum and it appears to still be active.   Cast your vote at THIS LINK.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Smokey Bones Coupons in Sunday's Newspaper

If you have the newspaper from Sunday (July 25), be sure not to throw it away without removing the Smokey Bones coupons!  $10 off $25 through Aug. 18; $10 off  $20 Aug. 19-Sept. 11, 2010.   An inexpensive date night!  

My Blog

Just wanted to say thank you to everyone who has been reading this blog.    It's been about a year since I began it (last summer about this time).  Every now and then I check the graphs on the StatCounter.  Some topics are noticeably more well-read than others. :)  Although there are only seven followers, I know many of you prefer to read it via Google reader or bookmark it (as I do all the blogs I  read).  Anyway, I'm now up to 4824 page views, not including myself, which is amazing to me.  

This blog is a creative outlet for me, photography-wise,  and I enjoy writing as well.  Thanks for checking in with me periodically!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Sunday Worship

Sunday worship, a day of rest. If you had to miss church this morning, our pastor's sermon today is at THIS LINK for you.

How to Tell the True Shepherd from the False (Part 2)

Here is THE LINK to our pastor's blog with a little info on this picture which was a wonderful illustration of the shepherd BEING the door of the sheep  (John 10:7-10 ).

John 10:7-10 So Jesus said to them again, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them.  I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.  The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.

The offertory song was just beautiful.  I had not heard it before although my son said that it was sung at the Passion Conference in Atlanta in January.  You can hear  Healing is in Your hands by Christy Nockels  at THIS LINK.  Personally I thought the two women who sang it sounded better than the original version.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

EBay Power Seller Top Rated Seller :) Working Mom at Home

Colossians 3:23-24 
Whatever you do, do your work heartily, 
as for the Lord rather than for men, 
knowing that from the Lord you will receive 
the reward of the inheritance. 
It is the Lord Christ whom you serve. 

What a nice surprise to get this in the mail this week.  I've been recognized previously but not with an actual "award" certificate.  :)

Mrs. T's TidBiTs and Treasures
Mrs. T's TidBiTs and Treasures

My goals in teaching piano,  playing piano for special occasions,  and selling on Ebay and have always been to earn enough $$ to fund our homeschool needs, our family outings, add to the clothing fund, share with others and have a fund for Christmas, birthdays, and special occasions.  Not to mention, that it's fun and a creative outlet for me. I love music and anything to do with finance (I know, that sounds strange).   Since my husband has a good job, my working at home, coupled with managing our family finances, budgeting and living frugally (but well)  has been so blessed by  God that I have been able to be with my children these  21+ years for which I am truly, truly thankful.   :)

Home businesses can be fun if you are using your gifts and talents. So is bartering what you have or what you can do for others to fill in the monetary gaps.  If you are in a financial pinch, discover your strengths and gifts and ask the Lord to help you be resourceful and creative as to what you can do at home to help provide for the needs you may have.  Whether you are in a pinch or not, be a good steward of what you and/or your husband earn.  Spend less than you make, save some and give to others regularly.  [He who dies last still doesn't get to take any with him.]   God's  provision may have been  right in front of you all the time in more ways than one.  :)  

A few years ago I was interviewed for the book Hired @ Home by Sarah Hamaker.  [The real-life stories of the women in the book demonstrate how anyone can work from home.]   I wrote a short review on Paperback Swap about it.   Check it out.  :)

Proverbs  31:11-13 
The heart of her husband trusts in her,  
and he will have no lack of gain.  
She does him good and not evil 
all the days of her life.  
She looks for wool and flax  
and works with her hands in delight.    

Luke 12:42 
...“Who then is the faithful and sensible steward...?

Friday, July 23, 2010

An Easy Summer Recipe Meal Sausage Bowtie Pasta Stir Fry

This is one of our family's  favorite quick meals. Keep the basic ingredients on hand so you can whip it up for lunch, a light dinner or even company (it's pretty enough).  I had to ride with my younger son while he drove to his youth group the other night and asked my older son to start dinner.    By the time I arrived back home, my husband was already here and everyone was hungry for dinner.   I thought my son was going to make rice but since he had prepared bowtie pasta, I made this meal instead.  It was very easy to go with Plan B and get a meal on the table quickly.  :)

Prepare one box of bow-tie pasta (or any other shape that you prefer).  I like the way the bowtie pasta looks on your plate.  Drain.  

Put the drained  pasta in a large bowl and generously sprinkle grated parmesan cheese on top, fresh or canned.  Use a VERY large bowl to allow for mixing everything together well.

Cut up pre-cooked sausage (I use Hillshire Farms or whatever brand is on sale), usually turkey sausage but beef or pork  is fine, too.  Also cut up whatever fresh veggies you have on hand.  I used a yellow pepper, mushrooms, broccoli and onion.  It was the day before grocery shopping so I had just a bit of each.   A good way to clean out the refrigerator.  :)

Put all this in a large skillet with olive oil (I added coconut oil, too, since it was high heat cooking) and stir-fry about 8-10 minutes.   We like the veggies a bit crunchy and they stay more colorful the less you cook them.

Add half of the mixture to the pasta and sprinkle with more cheese.  Stir well.  Repeat with the other half of the meat/veggie mixture.  Sprinkle more cheese on top.

Add some fruit (I added sliced red apples--remember my "red lipstick" rule)  and/or a salad, and voila!  A tasty, colorful meal in about 20 minutes.

VARIATION:  Substitute mozzarella cheese for parmesan cheese and use multi-colored pasta.  Mmm!!!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Weekend to Remember Family Life / Campus Crusade for Christ

A Weekend to Remember... my husband and I attended this marriage conference put on by Family Life (a division of Campus Crusade) on our 10th anniversary.  What a wonderful weekend away of laughing, talking, writing and listening to wonderful speakers, plus a date night without the children who were fairly young at the time.

From July 19-August 1, 2010, you can attend this excellent conference for the group rate of $159 per COUPLE (without having to be a part of a group).  When calling, ask for the "Bob Special", referring to Bob Lepine who co-hosts Family Life's radio program.    Hotel accommodations are separate from the price but each sponsoring hotel offers a significant discount if you are staying there while attending the conference.

My husband and I purchased a weekend getaway for my brother and his wife as a wedding gift. They will be attending in November and will be staying at this hotel in Texas.

There are conferences all over the country.   For my Florida readers, there are three scheduled here  in September--Tampa, Fort Myers and Delray Beach.

Click on THIS LINK to access the site for more information or call 1-800-358-6329.  I highly recommend this as an investment in your marriage or as a wedding / anniversary gift for someone special to you.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Wordless (or not) Wednesday / Just for Fun

I know this is supposed to be "wordless", but it really needs a little commentary.

This was the photo I missed the other day when I didn't have my camera.  My younger son had one last day for his summer flower watering job this week and these same (I think) two birds were strolling around this Altamonte Springs  neighborhood again.  I couldn't believe it.   THIS time I was ready...   I had him stop the car and they didn't even fly away.  Guess they have been residents for awhile.   Looks like a male taking his sweetie for a morning walk.  I'm sure they fly so you may be seeing them in YOUR neighborhood soon.  :)

Genesis 1:20  
Then God said, “Let the waters teem with swarms of living creatures, 
and let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of the heavens.” 

Monday, July 19, 2010

Free Online College Courses / Education / Homeschool

Since my husband and I are both 50+ (I won't say how much +)  :)   we belong to AARP. AARP is short for American Association of Retired Persons.  We do not agree with all of their politics but for $16.00 per year, their discounts, magazines and newsletters are a real bargain with truly a wealth of information in each.   Some people don't want to tell their age when they turn 50; I say, just take the discounts and benefits and run.

I was skimming through the AARP newspaper, AARP Bulletin, which is mailed to us every 2 months and found an article titled "99 Great Ways to Save".  Always looking for discounts and bargains, I started checking out some of the suggested sites online.  

One of the sites that I hit upon is at THIS LINK.  It is #14 on the list--Free online college courses.  Yale, MIT and Stanford are among dozens of  universities offering no-cost knowledge.    Here is a copy of some of what is on the page which could be very useful in these economic times for furthering your own personal learning or that of a student in your home. Check it out.  I will be bookmarking this for myself to revisit.

4.15.14 Note:  Due to AARP's political leanings, we no longer belong to this organization, however the links below are still excellent.

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