January 28, 2012

Just when I thought I couldn't love shopping more!

As an avid shopper, I am always on the hunter for a sale or great bargain. I never pay full price for anything, and use coupons as much as possible.

But today I wanted to share a neat little trick I've been using for the last few months that makes shopping even more fun that usual! It's quite simple.

I buy sometimes without trying on or even knowing for sure if I need/want an item. Then a week or two will go by, it's still in the bag, and I realize I should return it. Here's where my trick comes in. When I go to return it, I simply ask for a store credit. No cash back, no putting it back on my credit card, just a store credit. My thought when I started doing that was that I already paid for this item, allotted for the money in my budget, so why not keep that money in my shopping 'cart'?

I then leave the store with credit in hand, and put it in my drawer with the pile of others. Next time I decide to go out shopping, even if I don't have any extra money to do so, I simply go through my stack of cards and see where I can shop. In reality I've pre-paid for a shopping trip!

Of course this won't always work in your favor, especially those times when you impulse buy a bigger ticket item that you did spend your food shopping money on. Then I say by all means, get your cash back! But in those other small purchase trips, enjoy knowing you have that rainy day credit ready to be spent :)

January 26, 2012

I never would have thought.

Today, I did something I haven't done in a very long time. It's something I used to do almost every day, for many years. Last year life changed, and so did my schedule. So I no longer do this thing anymore. But today, I did. And I have to say, I don't miss it at all.

It doesn't matter what this thing is. What matters is that I am ok with it no longer being part of my life. Something that was so integral to who I was, or who I thought I was, has no bearing on my life now. I thought I would miss it, I thought I would want to turn back time, when in fact, it's just the opposite. I feel....grown up. I feel like I have moved forward in life, and there's no turning back. That's not to say I might not do something different over the next year or two, but I won't do that original thing again.

This post probably makes no sense to any of you. But it makes sense to me. It makes me realize I am ok with change, something I've always had a hard time with. It makes me realize sometimes you have to move forward in order to move ahead. It makes me realize sometimes looking back won't make you sad...it will make you happy and content.

January 18, 2012

Pie Oh My!

I love to bake. Sadly, I don't bake as much as I used to. And strangely, I've never made a pie. And even more strangely, I've never had pie other than store bought apple pie or a family favorite chocolate pudding pie. Crazy, right?

The other day though, I got inspired to make one. No crust from scratch just yet, but still enough steps for me to consider it a homemade pie. I'm not sharing the recipe today, as I think it still needs some tweaking, but I want to give you a glimpse of my simple, yet delicious masterpiece. I call it Triple Four Berry Pie. Was supposed to be 3 berries, but I really wanted that fourth(strawberry!).

                                Prepped the bottom crust:                              
Mixed my filling:
Prettied up my lattice:
Baked and patiently waited to eat:

Go me! I know it wasn't my best baked work, but I had to start somewhere!  I will definitely try something a 'bit' more complex next time. Can't wait to keep experimenting :)

January 17, 2012

I love my iPad apps!

After a few months of dabbling with the iPad, I can finally make the decision of my top favorite apps. I don't like to spend much on apps, so I'm sure there are plenty more out there if you don't mind paying! But in no particular order, here are my free/cheap top contenders:

USA Today Newspaper: The top news stories, and easy access to different sections of the paper. I suck at the crossword puzzles, but continue to try.

Wall of Sound: Not the best music app, but a very cool one. Clips of any songs you can think of. Stream in the background of your game playing, or just search for songs/albums.

Sock Puppets: Makes me laugh every time I use it. My kids love it too!

IKEA catalog: I love everything about IKEA, and the ability to read and reread the catalog, and dream about the changes I want to make in my home make me love them even more.

Lion Brand Yarn: Thorough and easy to use to find a quick project to do over the weekend.

10 Pin Shuffle: Shuffleboard/bowling that I don't always beat, but always enjoy playing!

Blogshelf: How can I leave this off my list? It's how I read up on all my favorites :)

My list can go on and on(Kindle, Scrabble, Cryptoquote, Brazilian Beauty Slot Machine), and I can do a whole separate list for kiddie apps, but these will get you started. Have fun!