Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Winter = Hibernation

I must confess: I'm not a big fan of Winter. I'm not a snow sports kind of person anyway so I could care less if it snows or gets cold. Which is why I live in the south. But after Christmas and New Years I've noticed that hubby and I tend to hibernate. It's almost like a post holiday depression that lasts until Spring. I'm sure we're not the only ones who get that way. Which is why I'm making it my mission to make plans with friends and family so we don't get stuck into the watching TV and movies all weekend rut. Its hard, when it's cold and dreary outside to want to do stuff outside the home. And I'm thankful for friends and family who have January and February birthdays, so we do get out of the house. It's quite the effort, because sitting around is soooo easy! Am I right? 

Not hibernating this year,

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

New Years Eve!

I must confess: I used to love New Years Eve, but December 31st, 1995 it all changed.  While living in Connecticut, a friend and I went to one of those inclusive New Years Eve parties at a hotel. Dinner, dancing, room, breakfast, etc for NYE.  It was going to be so much FUN! We ran into people we worked with and were having a blast. But sometime before midnight, after dinner, while the party was rolling along, a man at a table next to us had a heart attack and died. Right there, in the ballroom, in front of hundreds of people. It was awful. He couldn't have been more than his late 40's. It was truly tragic, his wife was a co-worker. Needless to say, it put a damper on the rest of the night. The hotel tried to do their best for the man and his wife to respect their privacy, but getting the party going again was a lost cause. I didn't sleep well that night, watching the life leave that man. So awful. What I learned from that experience was this, I was never to make another New Years resolution.  If I wanted to change something about myself, I was going to do it, and not wait for the new year and claim to make a change under the guise of a New Years resolution.  It has been the only resolution I made that actually stuck. We never know when our time is up. I'm guessing the man at the party was expecting to have a wonderful time with his wife with out the kids and ring in a new year and go home the next day, he didn't get that chance. If you want to change something about yourself, just do it, don't call it a New Years resolution, call it a New You resolution.

Happy New Year everyone!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Walmart vs Aldi - a REAL comparison

I must confess: well it's no secret I have a love-hate relationship with Walmart. I hate the parking lot, the morons inside and everything in between. But a girl on a budget can't beat the prices. Or so I thought. Lately in the Atlanta area, I'm sure across the country as well, Walmart has been running price comparison ads where you can save 13%!!! Wake me when I can save 30-40%, then we'll talk. Thirteen percent isn't enough to cover the road rage I experience trying to get up and down each miserable aisle in an effort just to get the hell out as quickly as possible!!!
So I decided to do my own comparison, to Aldi. My wonderful, small, easy to get in and out Aldi.
Let's see how Walmart stacks up to ALDI!!!
I went yesterday, 12.20.12, around lunch time, to Aldi then I left there, when 1 mile up the road to Walmart. That's right! I must be insane, but it brought me much joy to do the comparison on things I buy regularly. I compared store brand, since that's pretty much all Aldi is, to store brand at Walmart, Great Value. Same sizes and when the sizes were not comparable I did a unit price break down.
Here's what I found:

Item Aldi Walmart
gallon of milk 2.39 3.23
dozen eggs 0.99 1.88
16 oz butter (sticks) 1.99 2.49
5 lb bag of flour 1.59 1.78
sugar (Aldi 4lb $2.12, Walmart 5lb $2.88) .53 per lb .576 per lb
48 oz vegetable oil 2.49 2.64
8oz cream cheese (bar) 0.99 1.78
16oz tub sour cream 1.29 1.48
24oz jar spaghetti sauce 1.19 1.33
angel hair pasta (Aldi 32oz $1.69, Walmart 16oz $1.00) .0528 per oz .0625 per oz
15 oz breadcrumbs 0.89 1.08
15 oz canned peas 0.65 0.68
canned corn (Aldi 15oz $.49, Walmart 15.25oz $.68) .03266 per oz .0445 per oz
28oz can whole tomatoes 0.99 1.08
8oz block mozzarella cheese 1.49 2.32
8oz pre-sliced swiss cheese 1.99 2.38
24 oz bottle dish soap 1.89 1.97
6pk full size Hershey bars 3.79 3.94

WHAT?! Walmart wasn't cheaper?! That's what I've been trying to tell you! Walmart does not always have the best price!  If you don't have an Aldi in your area, then yes Walmart is the best price option. But if you do have an Aldi, I URGE you to check it out. Wait till I do a cereal comparison!  You'll be stunned! And no Aldi does not carry everything.  Example: yesterday red wine vinegar was on my list, but Aldi doesn't carry it, so I bought it at Walmart.  But I have noticed that over the last 4 years, Aldi has expanded their food selections and they offer more and more items all the time.

In the meantime I will continue to buy everything I possibly can at Aldi at much better prices! 

Happy Saving! 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Tis the Season to be.... crazy!

I must confess: I really love Christmas, but its such a crazy time of year! I always feel like it's over before I get a chance to enjoy it. This year my shopping was done before Thanksgiving. All 80 holiday cards went out earlier this week. Note to self, pare down list for next year.

Please enjoy this years Christmas card!

Wrapping isn't finished, and baking isn't done either. Hopefully this week?! We don't even put up a tree since we aren't home for Christmas. Each year we alternate which set of parents we spend Christmas with (and Easter and Thanksgiving). This year it's a beach Christmas in Florida with my in-laws. Then, when we return, a trip to SC to see my parents. No wonder people take 2 weeks vacation, you need it to recover from all the traveling!

Hoping you have a wonderful Christmas season and Happy Hanukkah too!

Happy Holidays,

Friday, November 30, 2012

I love my pets!

I must confess: my patience is wearing thin for my animals. I love my pets, don't get me wrong, but lately, I'm telling you, I'm being tested!
It all started a couple of months ago when our youngest dog, Max got an ear infection. A trip to the vet, rounds of medicine we fight him to take and a follow up to the vet.

Then one day about a week later our youngest cat, Sherman decided to pee in the den on the carpet, in front of me. A trip to the vet, to find out he's diabetic. While being treated and taking him to the vet once a week until we find the right dosage of insulin, he is still peeing all over the house. Great, now the carpets need to be torn out and the flooring replaced. Success, we found the right dosage! No more peeing in the house! My new wood floors will be ok! Wrong, the first day of the floors being ripped up, he pees right on the concrete, 3 times. Back to the vet. Oh yeah, they tell me, being diabetic can cause urinary tract infections. Lets give him more medicine he'll fight me to take and throw up later. Great! 

Diabetic Sherman

Ear Infection Max

The new floors go in and things are calming down. No more peeing. YAY! 

Two weeks later, my oldest dog, Lola is chewing herself raw! WTH! Off to the vet we go.
She has fleas, what?!?! Are you freaking kidding me? Crap. Back home with more medicine for another animal that I will fight with. Then I spend the next 9 hours washing everything that will fit in the washing machine in hot water. The medicine starts working, she isn't chewing as much. I'm getting a break. Sort of. Then I catch her peeing on the rug in the living room on my new wood floors. Crap, back to the vet. Oh yeah, didn't we tell you that a side effect of the steroids is peeing, A LOT. Great, that rug goes in the trash.
And now diabetic cat, Sherman has a skin infection. Back to the vet, more medicine that he throws up all over the place. 
 Fleas Lola

Seriously how much can one girl take? In all since August we have spent $1566.75 on medicines, vet exams, etc. Do you know how many shoes that could buy? At $50 a pair, 31. Thirty one pairs of shoes! But these are my babies. My children. What else can I do but maybe get a job to pay for it all?

Still an animal lover,

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Madonna Review

I must confess: the Madonna concert was good. It was weird, but good.

The rumors of her late arrival were all true. Knowing that she had been showing up late, we didn't arrive in our seats until 9:45pm, and we still waiting for 45 minutes to go on. It was a let down between the opening act of Paul Oakenfold who we saw for 15 minutes and waiting another 30 minutes for her to finally take the stage. The crowd lost its mo-jo. I read that in Miami two days later she didn't show up until 11:23pm. People were pissed, left and asked for refunds. Can't say that I blame them.

The concert itself was different. I felt like at times she was trying too hard and other times she was trying to shock and awe a group of people who probably don't shock and awe very easily. But that's Madonna and she is still the queen, as we were reminded by Nicki Minaj during the concert, who made a pre-recorded video appearance. A little dig at Lady Gaga? Jealous much Madonna?

She played for a solid two hours and no encore. She even chastised a guy in the pit for having his arms crossed while she performed. 'I'm working my ass off up here' she said to the guy. I was thinking: for the amount of money he paid to see you work your ass off, he should be able to do what ever the hell he wants!

All in all, I can say 'been there done that' but I won't be attending another Madonna concert any time soon. 

Below from left to right, my cousin, Kristine, myself and my sister-in-law, Amy.  The company was AMAZING!!!!


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Giving Thanks

I must confess: I hope I'm as thankful as I should be. I have nothing to complain about. I have everything I could ever ask for in life. I really do. The material things don't matter. They can all be replaced, for the most part. I have an amazing husband, family and friends. What more can anyone ask for? Nothing. This month on facebook many people are posting their daily thanks as their status. Here are mine, all at once!

Things I am thankful for:
1. my husband, Eric- love of my life, my best friend, and puts up with my crazy.
2. my parents- I am so lucky to have them; as role models for marriage and I am thankful they are still here on earth and that I can call them and say 'I don't know what to do, help me'
3. my brother- who when all is said and done, he is the deepest link to my childhood and past
4. my in-laws- who love and treat me as if I was one of their own and another good role model for marriage
5. my sister-in-law, a sister and a friend
6. my aunts & uncles- my other parents and those who gave me a thick skin
7. my cousins- with whom I am very close and that have my back no matter what- they are more like siblings to me than cousins.
8. being an Aunt- nothing give me greater joy than being called Aunt Wendy. Even if they are the children of my friends or cousins. I LOVE being Aunt Wendy. To me, it's next best thing to be a mom.
9. my high school friends- way too many to name: who got me through elementary, Jr and Sr high, with tons of support, love and laughs. I can look back on those years as a good, fun experience.
10. my college friends- who also loved, supported me and I had WICKED good times with, that I can also look back and think of those years as fun and a major growing up time for me.
11. the rest of my friends- that I've met along the way on this journey called life- from the friends who are still in college and the ones looking at retirement. I find that having friends of all age groups gives me different perspectives on life. Especially when you need them most.
12. a house- I have a roof over my head for which I am very thankful
13. electricity, cable, internet, indoor plumbing, heating & air- the little conveniences that we take for granted every day. As the people in Northeast affected by Hurricane Sandy can attest.
14. a car- so glad I don't have to rely on anyone else or public transportation to get around. It equals freedom, this is the teenager in me!
15. my right to vote- so many women fought and paid the price for my right to vote. I exercise it as much as possible and not just for a presidential election. We need to teach our younger girls how important it is to exercise this right for the women who fought so hard to get it. And for people still trying to get it in foreign countries.
16. my animals- who make me crazy sometimes, but I love how much fun they are.
17. my angels in heaven- I believe they are with me when I need it most. They keep me safe and when necessary give me patience when I need it most.
18. healthcare- I am very grateful for our medical, dental and vision plans. So many are with out, I'm so glad to have them.
19. books, music, movies and TV- a wonderful way to escape reality and on occasion, learn something new.
20. living in the South- the cost of living is much cheaper down here, the climate is better, longer summers=shorter winters, little to no snow and only a few hours to the best beaches in the country. All of this is my opinion, some people love the snow, I do not.
21. Snellville, GA- this little city I live in, with the worst possible name, isn't so bad. I literally have everything I could ever need in a 5 mile radius: doctors/hospitals, restaurants, shopping and activities. Seriously, I can not complain about that! And the big city of Atlanta, with everything it has to offer, is not that far away.
22. satellite radio- hundreds of choices and no commercials!
23. playing games with my family, apples to apples, pass the pigs, mexican train dominoes, etc. we always have a good time and laugh really hard!
24. thick skin- figuratively of course. I developed very young from uncles who teased me (and my cousins) from everything from growing boobs to boyfriends. All that teasing taught me to get a thick skin, quick.
25. God/time on this earth- I'm not here for a long time, but I'm here for a good time!
26. Quiet time- of which I have a lot of, and not that many people have it, I do and I'm thankful.
27. Choices- all kinds of choices, where to live, what to drive, where to work, where to shop, where to eat out, what Doctors I can see, etc, etc, etc. Very thankful for to have choices.
28. which leads me to: living in the USA. I love this country and wouldn't want to call any other place home and I'm proud to be an American, even if the rest of the world thinks were obnoxious or stupid or whatever. I know better.
29. Travel- so glad to have the experiences that come from traveling!
30. Food- I love food, enough said!

Happy Thanksgiving!