Why Was I in Such a Rush?


adult collage (2)Finish the Sentence Friday

This week’s sentence is One of  the most unexpected parts of being a grownup is…”

…being an adult.

All my teens I wanted to grow up, be an adult, do what I wanted. Now here I am 38 years old, married, have a son and I wonder why I was in such a rush. Don’t get me wrong, if you know me and read my blog, you know I love my life. I just realized that I am now where my parents were. 

As a kid I watched as my parents deal with the death of their parents, dealt with deaths of friends, dealt with their own aging. Now here I am with aging parents and feel a bit scared. I don’t care about the fact of getting old, I love the gray hairs I am getting, I am going to rock aging. But aging also comes with the fact that my parents are aging. They are in relatively great shape, but what would I do? I call my parents everyday, what would I do? How did they survive that loss? Being a kid it doesn’t phase you, now as an adult it truly scares me. I have been truly lucky in the fact that both my parents are still married and in my life.

parent CollageThen it hits me, what would Dino do? He is so attached to my dad. As long as I waited for a child, they waited for a grandchild. Dino is their world.  He loves his Pop Pop and La La, what would happen if they were no longer there? My father would come up and take care of a tiny Dino when he was sick and both hubby and I couldn’t take off work. He would feed him, change him, and play with him. Dino and my father have a special bond that I know will continue to grow. I don’t want him to lose that, ever…

Each moment, each stage achieved, each moment of learning means a step closer to Dino going off to college, leaving home. Believe me I truly enjoy life, I treasure each moment I have with my son, he’s a miracle, a gift I once though was unattainable. Though every once in a while I think about the future and while I see so many amazing things, I also feel sad for all the changes that I have no control over.


One of my Hidden Talents is…

talents - FTSF

Finish the Sentence Friday

This week’s sentence is One of  hidden talents is…”

I just couldn’t think, so I asked Hubby what he though my hidden talent was…he responded with “You have a consistent effort to be thrifty in all facets.” While I think there are MANY others who are far more frugal than me…I DO NOT stop until a company rights their wrongs when it comes to my money. I cry with delight as I add on the coupons to an order. I love when we eat every bit of leftovers, who wants to waste money on food. 

If you are not sure what the difference between frugal/thrifty and cheap…these are definitions of the words.


I am happy to be frugal and thrifty, but cheap is just wrong. Cheap, to me, means you are not concerned about quality and health. Frugal and thrifty means that I will do my best to save money while maintaining quality and health. What do you think? 

I use Peapod Pickup because I just don’t have time to go shopping. Sure I could save even more if ran to various stores, but I just don’t have the time to do that now. Perhaps over the summer when I am off I will do that and stockpile things that I might need for later in the year. In the meantime, I collect coupons, and set up a spreadsheet with Peapod. I have the order number/date, total amount, copy of all coupons, total coupons, and date coupons were refunded for matching order number.  If push comes to shove I can make a dinner for just four dollars and have leftovers. 

I found THIS great site for contacting companies and possibly getting coupons. Instead of looking up each and every company, it’s all right here for you! I contacted most of them and complimented the hell out of them. Most are sending me coupons, others were appreciative of the compliments. 

What other frugal things do I do?

~~~ I save freezer bags (just ones that I used for frozen veggies, pancakes, and waffles). I keep them in the freezer, and keep using them until they rip or tear.

~~~ I cut up old/stained clothes for rags and cleaning rags. I have big sizes for cleaning up messes and small ones for washing dishes. Heck I even use them as tissues and napkins then just throw them in the wash. 

~~~ I take large bags of snacks and sort them into smaller bags. This makes it easier for not only packing lunches, but making sure the snacks don’t get eaten all in one setting.

frugal collage

~~~ I like to buy sliced Italian bread when it’s on sale and used it to make French Toast. It’s thicker so it makes for a better french toast.I section it into bags of two and three slices and freeze them. I also do this with pancakes and waffles.

~~~Okay…I am addicted to seltzer. I buy the pack of bottles and cans and use them during the week at work. It’s much cheaper than buying water from gas stations or vending machines. I know I could save even more by using a filter and drinking water from home, but I feel like the girl in the movie Signs. I swear I can see things in the water and need a slight flavor. Therefore, seltzer is healthier because it feels like soda, but with no sugar or carbs it’s better for you. Plus, I am getting that water in my body. I did all the research and carbonation doesn’t cause tooth decay or cavities, it’s the sugar in soda that does that.  

~~~I just realized how to use Groupon and Restaurant.com and similar sites. If we do eat out we’ll be able to save money from now on. 

~~~Insisted that we drop cable and watch TV and movies on Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu Plus…with all three we are still paying less than we have with either Comcast or AT&T.

~~~Plan a bi-weekly budget and account for every single penny.

~~~Plan weekly meals and make sure to check food cabinet before ordering more of the same things.

~~~Eating less meat…having a few meatless meals saves on groceries and is healthier. I think I’m going to up it to three times a week. 

Dino overheard us talking and said my talent was that I am cute, awesome, and beautiful. After that comment I’m pretty happy. 

 What little frugal/thrifty things do you do in your home? 

No More Guilt

Finish the Sentence FridayThis week’s sentence is “I was found guilty…”

of taking “ME” time.

guily - FTSF

Since I pay the full time price at daycare, I might as well send him when I am home. I mean…Am I really going to pay for him to be home with me? I know some moms look down on that or think I am a terrible mother. I know childless people think I am selfish. How could I NOT want to spend time with my son? Do I have to spend EVERY single minute with my son to be a good mom?

I will tell you I am a better mom for it. He wants to be in school and I want him to be in school. I love him to the moon and back, but we both do better with him in school. We live in a tiny apt, so he needs to GET OUT and move around. We love each other…but space is tight and it drives us mad.

I need my time, I work full time and even though I do enjoy the alone time when I drive and listen to books on tape…it’s not the the same thing as being home and relaxing. Even if I want to shop, get my nails done, watch TV, or sit on my butt and blog I can do that GUILT FREE!

I’m still an awesome mom. My son thinks I rock and his opinion is the only one that really matters. 

Other moms are the worst critics of moms…we need to stick together not gossip and tear each other apart. If all moms stood by each other imagine how strong a front we would make. Imagine what we would be teaching our kids? Imagine the power we would have as women. 

I LOVE working, I love using my skills…even if I was a millionaire, I would still be out of the house keeping busy and working…that is just who I am.  NO guilt. 

Full Time Working Moms

Part Time Working Moms

Stay at Home Moms

Work at Home Moms

we are all Moms…and we all need to stick together…

The women before us and those before them worked too hard to get us the right to do what we want as moms…to then turn on each other is a true slap in their faces.

Have you been found guilty of something?

It Will Happen

Finish the Sentence FridayThis week’s sentence is “My best dream ever was…”

OMG, well I have had some beyond awesome dreams that I really can’t share. Though my friends Kit and Cathy know EXACTLY what I am talking about.

Since I can’t talk about those dreams, have had dreams I just don’t remember, and have quite a few horrific nightmares…I decided to talk about my vision board. 

What is a vision board? Well it is a place to visualize all your dreams, inspirations, hopes, and future goals. It is a place to talk about them, wish about them, envision them. If you live in the positive and believe it will happen, it WILL happen. it may not happen the exact way you wanted or when you want, but it Will happen the way that is best for you. 

In the past my vision board held pictures of motherhood, a home with a yard, teaching job, being healthy and happy. Now while things have not worked how I wanted, they DID happen the best way for me. I am a mom, we rent a house with a yard, I still have a job, I may not be  skinny model but I do feel good and love myself.

So what’s on my vision board now…well check it out.

vision board

my vision board – http://www.pinterest.com/karenc1975/vision-board/

  • I will keep teaching
  • We will live in a house with a yard
  • I will find time to exercise
  • I will find ways to cook even healthier foods
  • I will continue to crochet and sell my projects on Etsy
  • I will continue to be happy and enjoy life and each moment
  • We will find extra money
  • We will put money in savings
  • We will be surrounded by babies. No, I do not want another baby, I have come to terms with Dino being an only. But…I WILL be SURROUNDED by babies and HAVE them in my life.
  • We will grow old together and enjoy life
  • We will proudly watch Dino graduate college and be a true success
  • Dino will be a great dad

What are your dreams?

While Driving to Work

whie on teh way to workFinish the Sentence FridayThis week’s sentence is “A funny thing happened on the way to…”

While I was driving to work I saw a woman driving in her car and she was laughing so hard. Seriously she was busting a gut, laughing like a lunatic. She finally pulled the car over, trying to catch her breath. What could have been so funny?…Oh wait that was me when I was listening the audio versions of these books.

Finish the Sentence Friday

Tough Shit – Kevin Smith

Finish the Sentence Friday

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened – Jenny Lawson

While I was driving to work I saw a woman screaming and violently hitting her steering wheel. What could have made her that mad? There was no one else in the car? Maybe she’s mentally imbalanced. I made sure to stay away from that crazy driver…oh wait that was me when I was listening to the audio versions of these books

Finish the Sentence Friday

Six years – Harlan Corben

Finish the Sentence Friday

Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn

Finish the Sentence Friday

Family Pictures – Jane Green

While I was driving to work I saw a woman sobbing as if she heard some heartbreaking news. Did she lose a loved one? Lose her job? Get hurt? I felt so bad for her…oh wait that was me when I was listening to the audio versions of this book

Finish the Sentence Friday

Another Piece of my Heart – Jane Green

While I was driving to work I saw a woman screaming “Yes, yes, yes, yes.” as she fist-pumped in the air. She must have heard some great news. I mean seriously, there was no one in the car and here she was cheering and whooping. What is going on with that wackadoo…oh wait that was me when I was listening to the audio versions of these books

Finish the Sentence Friday

Caught – Harlan Corben

Finish the Sentence Friday

Babyville – Jane Green

Finish the Sentence Friday

Think, Pretty, Rich – Beth Harbison

So obviously I’m the crazy lady in car reacting to audio books as I commute to work. What books have you recently read that have caused the biggest reactions? Isn’t amazing the power of a book? My son enjoys books as much as I do and I hope when he’s older, we can listen to his chapter books in the car…how awesome would that be?

whie on teh way to work

Are you on GoodReads? Why Not? It’s a great place to list all the books you read, get ideas for other books, and share the books you love. Check it out GoodReads

Plus, you can give updates on the books you read…you should see my comments, you would swear I was talking about real people in my life…though all characters in a book ARE real to me. The book I am reading now is

whie on teh way to work  whie on teh way to work


Going Gray and Loving It

gray collageFinish the Sentence FridayThis week’s sentence is “We can either be traditional or non-traditional in the way we do things, I…CHOOSE TO TAKE A STAND.”

So this post is a bit off topic…but here goes.

About six years ago I was told by a former co-worker that I would indeed dye my hair when I saw grays. She insisted upon this after I said I have not dyed, highlighted, or straightened my hair since I was in my late twenties and I never will again. Why? I finally loved myself and was/am happy with who I am. I don’t want to spend money on things that won’t make me happy.

It took me a long time, but I love my thick, unruly, curly, hair…and now with a few grays. I have always said and agree that gray hair is sexy.

There was another former co-worker who let her grays come in and owned it. She wasn’t beautiful because of her grays…she was just beautiful, she felt it and owned it. She walked around with CONFIDENCE and others felt it and reacted to her accordingly…Confidence goes a long way! 

Finish the Sentence Friday

I have always believed and still do that even the skinny, almost naked supermodel and actress still stand in front of the mirror and critique on their bodies…maybe even more than the average lady. I know I am not perfect, I love all my imperfections and flaws, they make me who I am. 

My son will grow up knowing that real beauty comes from within…not hiding under makeup, fancy clothes, or expensive hair. It comes from who we are…the rest just enhances our beauty. He will find a women who doesn’t need to be validated by him or expect her to look a certain way. He will love her for who she is, and her for who he is.

So back to my gray hair, I embrace it and squeal with delight when I find another one. I love it and know I am going to rock it!


First of all society is to blame…we want women to be natural but then attack a woman when she feels and acts sexy. We want women to be sexy but call them wh*res and sl*ts when they act that way. Do men have the same harsh criticism? NOPE. 

If we want to age gracefully we have to believe that we are beautiful…not “because of” or “in spite of”…we are beautiful and that is that. Accept who we are, love who we are and everyone else will. Who cares what society wants, who cares what others think. You are YOU. Your body is YOURS…live, love, laugh. You are beautiful. That is what we need to tell our children…SHOW our children.

Come one everyone just say it… “I AM BEAUTIFUL” no ifs, buts, excuses, explanations, footnotes, prepositions….just


Do you feel the power? Say it every morning, noon, and night, say it when you walk in a room,when you get out of the car.

Am I saying that you are more beautiful or better than others? NOPE…we are all beautiful, but we have to BELIEVE it before anyone else will.

If you don’t believe it, how can you expect your children to believe it? Do you want them to grow up feeling less than? Start now…

Take a stand for your children. Take a stand for every women who who believes she needs to go under the knife to be beautiful. Take a stand for every girl who reads a magazine and thinks she will never be that beautiful. Take a stand for every boy who thinks real beauty can only be found on a TV screen. Take a stand for every backwards and ridiculous fashion rule out there. Make your OWN fashion. Take a stand for yourself, love yourself.



hair Collage


I Barely Escaped

 friday collage

Finish the Sentence FridayThis week’s sentence is ”I once saw the biggest…spider in my life.”

Not only was the it the biggest, but I almost walked face first into it. I am positive it had every intention of jumping on my face and sucking the life right out of me. Or worse…it wanted to get in my mouth and eat me from the inside out.

Let me set the scene for you. It was at night, not sure of the time, but it was dark. I was at my mother in laws house many years ago, pre-Dino, and we were leaving her condo. As I walked happily in front of my husband, our cousins behind him, we headed towards the stairs.

Now these were concrete stairs with black metal railings on both sides and tall bushes behind the railings – the perfect hiding spot for an evil, human-killing spider.

I started down the stairs at a fast pace, and thank God I looked up and was face to face with the largest spider I have every seen. It was in a HUMONGOUS web that connected to both the bushes and railings…it had to be the size of my face, legs included in that measurement.  I don’t know how, but I stopped moving forward without falling on my butt and jumped back. By doing this I knocked my husband and cousins back. They ran forward thinking there was an evil lurker, dangerous animal, or serial killer.

My husband, in all his usual all fears except mine are silly, waved me off. My cousin agreed that it was a big spider and we walked down the ramp to get to our cars. What did my husband do? I’m not sure. Did he kill the spider? I DOUBT IT. Did he put it back in the bushes? DOUBT IT. He probably admired it and moved on…leaving the murderous spider to catch another victim and drag it into the bushes.

I have a horrific fear of spider, I think a spider may have landed on my face as a child. To make matters worse, I am always looking to see if spiders are crawling on me or swear I see spiders lurking on the walls waiting to eat me alive. Once my hubby tried to kill a spider on the ceiling, even though he hates to kill them. Whether it was dead or alive, I truly believe alive, it came flying towards me and I almost died. Another time a spider jumped on my cheek as I drove my son home from school. I had the windows open and it came right in. I swear it’s an order of death from that spider many years ago…one day he will find me and get me. *shivers*

This is another reason why I HATE summer, in the brittle cold there are no spiders around me. 

If Only…

PicMonkey Collage

Finish the Sentence FridayThis week’s sentence is ”If I had a million dollars…I would

pay off all our debt…it would be nice to not have to worry about car payments, medicals bills, student loans, and credit cards. Imagine paying ahead on all insurances and utilities.

buy a small house in our town and by BUY, I mean own it outright. I would pay it in full and never have to worry about a mortgage payment again. Now I am sure you are asking what do I mean by a small house. Well, I mean a three bedroom, one and half bathroom, small garage, basement, driveway, and a yard. I’m not asking for too much, am I?

add money to my son’s college fund. This is a must!!!! I am saving now and add anything I can to his account. I am sure by the time he goes to college one semester will cost more than a car loan.

AND YES…I would keep working, all the money I make would be added to our savings, vacations, and retirement funds.

Now if I had TWO million dollars I would give the rest to my family


Christmas as a Mom

Finish the Sentence FridayThis week’s sentence is My favorite Christmas Tradition is..”

…enjoying Christmas through my son’s eyes. Yes I know it;s not really tradition, but to me is another reason I love being a mom. You all know how difficult it was for me to become a mom. I spent so many days/nights crying scared that so many moments of my life would be childless. Now watching Dino open gifts on Christmas morning is just another joy of motherhood.Watching Dino light up when he sees Santa or watches a Christmas movie swells my heart with love.

The gift of Dino is the best EVERYDAY gift I ever got. He makes the holidays truly special and momentous.


The Christmas I was prego with Dino…before it all changed for Balboa.

PB300006Then Christmases meant more to me than I could ever explain



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2011-12-25_07-22-19_656 2011-12-25_07-22-13_375 2011-12-25_07-21-20_13IMG_2467 Each year he understands more and I look forward to another wonderful holiday and the moments I will cherish forever

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Way Back When…

way back when Collage

Finish the Sentence FridayThis week’s sentence is ”One of my favorite childhood memories is…

bagels every Sunday. Every Sunday my dad would go out and get the papers, bagels, and rolls. It was our family tradition to sit around, read the paper, dunk our bagels/rolls in coffee. Hey don’t knock it…it’s beyond yummy and the coffee afterwards is divine. Whenever I do this it always brings me back to being at home, when times were simple and there were no worries in my world.

Now there are no photos of that…but my father found a BUNCH of old photos that really blew my mind. Wow…time flies way too fast.

Now I look at my son…WOW…I am where my parents were thirty years ago. Boy how time flies and lives change. It seems like only yesterday I was a little girl playing with my toys…now I have a child of my own. One day he will look back at pictures of himself as a young child…and what will I feel? What will I think? What do my parents feel right now?

do you see my horrible hair-fro…if only I could go back in time with my hair products…sighs. I’m guessing this is Christmas morning or close to it.

me and my sisterlook at my hipster parents…LOL.

me and my parents

Me with both set of Grandparents…

all grandparentsMy dad’s parents Grandpa Freddy and Grandma Angie

granpa fred and grandma angie karenMy mom’s parents Grandpa Tommy and Grandma Betty

dessert with GT GBcake

Is that a dog sitting between us?

me and momEnjoying a vacation with my dad…

with dad in holderI see my son’s silly smile in my face…wow.

me smilingMy parents sill have Rudolph…me and tree

playdough creation anthony tree