Friday, November 21, 2008

Paying the price

Sometimes I have to remind myself that what sounds like a great idea should perhaps require a bit extra thought. Not to say that it still shouldn't be done, but maybe lay some more prep work down before hand... such is the case with last night's movie adventure.

So, yesterday, on a whim, I registered online to win tickets to the first showing of Twilight and was suprised to get a call shortly later telling me that I had won! My friends and I had been discussing wanting to go see the movie, but were having problems coordinating schedules to find a suitable time over the weekend. I should point out that AT NO POINT during the discussions was the thought of going to the midnight screening even suggested. In fact, we were grumbling that the Friday night showing would probably be waaay to crowded for our tastes.

So fast forward to that call, "woohoo, I won!" I hang up with the DJ, give my roomie a call and open the conversation with "How would you like to postpone your sleep schedule tonight?" Now the funny thing is, he actually responded with inquiring if I was referring to going to see the movie tonight... That's what happens when you are roomies for as long as we have been... you're in each other's heads... it's scary!

He's in... so I hang up and give my good friend Mish a call at work, and give the same opening line, she is afterall the one who is really, really wanting to see it right away. After some convincing (I'll split the cost of the 3rd ticket, you can take a nap beforehand, you can skip the gym tonight, yes you can have popcorn) she's in too.

Now, what I do wish I had done... was take a nap myself... I have to remember that I no longer find it as easy to function with little sleep... not that I get a ton of sleep... but I had actually gotten up early yesterday morning...

I did however opt to go to the movie in comfy clothes that could easily go from the movies to the bed. The difference between going to see a midnight showing when you're a twenty something and when you're a thirty something is all in the look. It was comfort over style for all of us... not saying I went in looking like a troll, but I had my makeup off, my hair up in a ponytail... you get the picture.

As we waited for the movie to start, the three of us laughed that we were the chaperones for the movie, as most of our fellow moviegoers were obviously younger. Finally at around 2:15 we were headed home. Luckily, it was a short drive and I was in my bed by about 2:45. I was however T-I-R-E-D this morning. I skipped my Enbrel shot last night, I'll do it tonight, as it happens to make me incredibly sleepy in the morning and I definitely didn't need that working against me this morning.

I almost made it to work with no mishaps... Just one small fender bender about 2 minutes from work. Luckily, no damage, no injuries, just the embarrassment of having to stand outside my car in the midst of morning traffic surveying the damage with a fellow commuter!

So, do you want to know about the movie? I loved it... It made me want to read the books that much more, because I can see where there is alot more to the story. This is not your typical vampire movie. When we left last night, we were discussing it, and I compared it to Interview with a Vampire, in the sense that it's not a movie that's about blood, guts, and violence (not that there isn't blood, or violence) but that there's an actual story...

So, would I do it again... probably, just might try to squeeze in a nap first!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Just because I like to share

I think I've mentioned this before, and I know I tell people in real life this all the time. If you are looking at free/cheap entertainment, try entering local contests. Chances are the odds will be more in your favor. I routinely enter radio station contests on their website. Just this afternoon, I saw that Hot102 was giving away tickets to tonight's midnight showing of "Twilight" so I registered real quick. And sure enough, not 5 minutes ago, they called me and I won a pair of tickets!!!

Over the years I have won (locally):
$500 Macy's Shopping Spree
Kings Island VIP 4th of July Passes for 4
Countless CD's
Restaurant Gift Certificates
Movie Passes
Concert Tickets a handful of times
Diamond Journey Necklace
Free Trip to L.A.

and my hands down favorite...
10 Tickets PLUS 10 Backstage Meet & Greet Passes to see P!NK (She's my favorite)

so how do I do it, some of the time, I'm lucky and I'm Caller # whatever... but more often than not, I've registered via the radio station's website. If you're reading this in the Lexington Metro area, here are the ones I recommend:

104.5 The Cat
98.1 The Bull
94.5 Mix

(Those, and a handful of other sister stations that you will find links to on their site, sometimes run the same contest on each station, and you can sometimes register multiple times by registering on EACH station)

Hot 102

So what are you waiting for, get registered... or just leave them all for me to win! :)

Looking for a good book?

The cold weather is upon us, for me that means curling up with a good book (usually in a hot bath). There are plenty of ways to pick up books. I frequent halfprice bookstore here in Lexington for some great prices on books I want to dive into. I also head over to the library and check 'em out there (this is especially useful for cookbooks or reference type books, gives you a trial run to see if you'll benefit from what's in it)

And then there is always winning FREE books. I love when bloggers give away a book. Maybe I'll do that sometime soon, for now though, head over to see what Mary @ Owlhaven is offering up. There's actually a choice of 2 books from her list. i personally am leaning towards "The De-Stress Diva's Guide to Life" and then maybe a 2nd one from the list as a Christmas Gift. What are you waiting for... go check it out!

A pretty good deal on some pizza!

I used this last night so I know it works! Papa Johns Pizza has started marketing through Facebook. If you "add them as a friend/fan" on Facebook, THIS WEEK, they will give you a code for a free medium cheese pizza with an online order! (You have to buy something else online, but it's not one of those "regular menu price" things where you still spend $15.

Go to Facebook (Register if you have never used facebook

Search Papa Johns (you'll know you're on the right one, the promo is on the page)

Add yourself as a fan

Check your inbox for a notification or message from Papa Johns shortly after, they will send you a message, it contains a place for you to enter your email address.

Then just check your email, you'll get your one time code.

Visit Papa John's online (Register if you have never used before)

Enter the code, and add something else.

You can actually order a "Create your own" 6 inch pan pizza for $3.49, and you'll get the free pizza. I opted to get some of their yummy parmesean breadsticks for $4.99. I also opted to pick it up, so I didn't have to worry about a minimum delivery charge. Keep in mind, if you're planning on getting pizza, it appears you can combine it with the other specials on their website, but if you just want to get a quick meal, pick something small and you'll score the free pizza!
(Note, on Facebook, it says "w/ online pizza purchase" but when you enter the code on the website, it just says online purchase, so you could order breadsticks, cheesesticks, dessert, etc!

Friday, November 14, 2008

The "eww" factor

Why does it seem that if something is going to go wrong, it is going to go wrong on the heel of some other catastrophe... in the middle of the night, when you have to work in the morning... This is my life.
So, everyone remembers, Zali, the little brindled hellion that was just sooooooo cute she had to come home with us, right? She definitely is adding some spice to the house. I'm just hoping we survive "puppy teeth 08" but I digress...
Since Zali is so little, she can't quite make it through the whole night without needing a "potty break." In an effort to maintain some of our sanity, Kev & I rotate nights, trading back and forth who gets her for the night and in turn has their sleep interrupted... (let me just say I LOVE when it's not my night!) Last night, however, was my night... Zali comes off to bed with me around 11:30, and she's looking a bit tired. I must say, when she wants to be, she can be soooooooooo sweet. She cuddles up beside me, tucks her head on my shoulder and actually goes to sleep in about 5 minutes. SCORE 1 for me!
Around 2:45 Zali rustles, and I oblige by scooping her up, carrying her down the stairs, and out the back door we go, me half asleep. She does her business, and wants back in... because, well, the grass is wet... that's no fun for her. I promptly stumble back in the house, hand her a treat, then decide to make a quick bathroom trip myself - so I step into the half bath downstairs. Now mind you, all of this is done with no lights being turned on in the house... My goal is to stay in a semi slumber myself and not wake her up too much either. I step out of the bathroom and Zali is sitting at the bottom of the stairs, she yawns... this makes me happy, because I should be able to get her to go back to sleep. I scoop her back up, and we head back upstairs... I crawl into the bed and Zali quickly settles back to sleep.
Fast forward a few hours, it's almost 6... I don't know if Zali wakes me up, or if I instintively wake up because something isn't quite right, but I turn over and something seems different. I scoop up Zali, but my nose has detected an odor. I am curious, perhaps she had an accident... (she is after all only about 12 weeks old) I step into my bathroom and flip that light, so as to be able to see, but not completely flood my room with light. Sure enough I see that Zali has an upset tummy. She has pooped... in my bed... before dawn... I grab some tissue to pick up the offending mess (at least I have a big bed, and it's not where I should be sleeping) then put a towel down, to pick up anything excessive (luckily it wasn't a really messy episode... I have pets, so I guess I'm used to these things happening, while not fond of them, I've seen worse, and this is why I own a carpet/upholstery shampooer). Zali is still squirming a bit, so I decide to take her downstairs and let her back out. I head down the stairs (again no lights, as I'm hoping to get about another hour of sleep) and as I reach the bottom of the stairs and head towards the back door, eyes half closed, dog in one hand, I feel a squish... under my foot! It seems that when I scooped up Zali earlier in the dark, I didn't notice that she had a little accident, but I FOUND IT THIS TIME... so I am now, half asleep, grossed out, dog in one arm, hopping on one foot into the half bath... Oh and should I mention that while I am cleaning up her accident, she decides she can't hold it any longer, so she squats and pees! After cleaning my foot, and the floor, I grab her food, set out breakfast, set her in front of her bowl (lights back off now) and head back to find a clean corner of my bed for another hour's sleep.
So, how'd you sleep last night?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Give your opinion and help a local charity has a great program going through the end of November. For each review you write of a local business, they will donate $1 to a local charity of your choice. Click Here for full details of how it works. There is a max of $25 per person that can be donated. This is a really cool way to add an extra donation to your favorite charity. Also be sure and check out for reviews on local places in your area. It's a great way to find the best and worst your town has to offer!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Free Burnless Bakeware for only $1 Shipped

Please make sure you read all the details of the offer. It's a pretty good deal, but you have to pay attention. I picked up this FREE Burnless Bakeware Loaf Pan from All I had to pay was $1 Shipping. There are several items you can choose from. If you click on the link, you can select any of the items under Freebies. That's it, pretty simple. Now as for shipping. You have a few options for shipping. Standard shipping is $7.95. HOWEVER, you can get it shipped for just $1 if you agree to take a Free 7 Day Trial to a rewards program. Here's the part you want to pay attention to. I take advantage of these occasionally. When you read the offer details, it will provide you the member services # that you can call and cancel your trial. I write down the #, the date I am starting this, and how many days I have free. Then I just call and cancel this service. I make a note on my calendar. In fact, for this one, I'll actually just call tomorrow and cancel that rewards program. I've done this in the past, with much success, you just have to remember to call and cancel. If you're not sure you'll keep up with that, you may want to pass on the deal, otherwise in 7 days, you'll be charged $14.95 as a monthly fee for that program. An additional step that I use, I pay for these items with prepaid Credit Cards. I'm always getting these as rewards for different things... you know the kind that are $5 Visa cards, etc... by using this card, I am completely secure in knowing that my personal checking account, credit card, etc will never be charged for anything. Pretty neat pan for a buck!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Did you?

Well, I'm not going to make this a political blog. This is definitely a historic election for many reasons. I'm not going to share my personal decisions on here, and I'll ask everyone else to do the same. I do want to encourage you to get out and vote if you haven't though. I got up a bit early this morning, and headed to the polls. I was there around 8 AM, walked out at 8:50 AM. Yeah, it was a long line, but it was actually pretty neat. You'd have to have lived under a rock to not have been bombarded with campaigning in recent months (and I think even the underside of rocks were plastered actually, lol) But today, standing in line to participate in this moment in history, I took the time to take in the scene laid out in front of me. There were gray haired women in their Sunday best standing alongside young college guys still wearing their sleeping clothes. Women in business suits standing beside of moms with kids in tow. Movers n Shakers rubbing elbows with retirees. People of all colors and nationalities. Blue Collar, white collar, and no collar. The mood was good. People talked, no one seemed to complain about the line. Most thought it was pretty cool. People talked about staying up late to watch the results, parents were explaining why so many people were there to their children. At the end of the day, regardless of who wins any of the elections that we had today, this will be a moment to remember. I was there, were you?

Let's Try home made pizza

Ok, so for this "try it Tuesday" I am going to share with you my latest culinary adventure, a pizza made with home made pizza dough. My original plan was to do the sauce from scratch too, but there were forces conspiring against me, so I decided to just stick with the dough for this attempt. I've been wanting to try this dough for awhile now. It's a recipe I've read that several other bloggers tried and loved. I also had finally acquired my bread machine... and decided to give it a whirl (no pun intended!).

But first I had to run to the store, 2 stores in fact. I had to run to CVS because I had some ECB's that were expiring AND they had Coke products on sale. My original plan would have netted me 4 - 12 packs of Coke for about $5, but as I tried to print out some Coke Reward coupons, my ink cartridge completely gave out on me. I searched in vain for the refill I bought a few weeks ago, and COULD NOT FIND IT. Finally, frustrated, I just headed to CVS and bought the soda anyways, better luck next time I guess. Then on to Kroger to pick up flour. Flour would be a crucial ingredient in making pizza. I suppose you think it's odd that I don't already have flour in my house, considering if you know me, or have been reading my blog, you know I have stockpiles of practically everything. Everything except flour. I knew that I did have some flour, but I knew at least part of it was self rising (bad for bread machine) and the other, well I honestly couldn't remember when I bought it (I never really use it much) so I decided it would be best to start from scratch.

Now, next time I decide to be adventurous in the kitchen, I will probably exercise a little pre-cooking planning, but I was hell-bent on making this pizza. And while I do know how to cook, have a pretty decent stocked kitchen in terms of equipment, etc... lately cooking has been more of a quick process. Quite frankly, I'm a bit out of practice to actually preparing a real meal, from raw ingredients. I'm not saying that's a bad thing, it's more of a sign of the times...

The following are actual phrases heard from my mouth last night, that could probably give you an indication that I probably should have just had a bowl of cereal and tried again another night:

"Kev, I can't get the bread machine out of the box!"

"Kev, do we have any measuring cups that we're not using for dog food?"

"Kev, can you Google how many teaspoons make up a tablespoon?"

"Kev, can you do something with this dough ball?"

Don't you feel bad for poor Kev, who I had convinced to postpone having dinner, because I was going to make us a pizza? See, the bread machine had just been bought this weekend, and it didn't want to come out of the box. I don't do alot of baking from scratch, so when I cook, I'm good at eyeballing, I rarely need to measure a dry ingredient, other than Zali's puppy food, so it seems that the measuring cups have disappeared except for hers. And I believe that the tablespoon measuring spoon has wandered upstairs with the humidifier for cold season.

I do recommend pre-assembling all of your ingredients. I did this, it helps... I also recommend reading through your recipe before you start, I did this, it helps... I also recommend not being scatterbrained while you're doing it, I didn't do this, but I think it would help. The first mistake I made was as I started dumping my flour into the mixing chamber... BEFORE any of the the liquids (in case you don't use a bread machine, this is a No-No) so I had to dump that out, wipe the residue out and start over. Now the unfortunate thing, I didn't really take timing into consideration. So when I finally started the dough in the bread machine and did the math, imagine my mood when I realized the dough was going to take an hour and a half... and it was almost quarter after 8!!! (Que poor Kevin as I explain "well it will only have to bake for about 15 minutes once it's done!"

An hour and a half later, my machine beeped, and I headed back in to check out my doughy goodness. After removing said dough, I realized that this dough made a bit more than I would want to use, so this is where "can you do something with this dough ball" came in, as I divided the dough in half (the other half is now resting in the freezer). As I formed my pizza, I got ready to start preparing it. I ALMOST forgot that you're supposed to sprinkle the dough with salt before putting on the sauce... and when I say almost, I mean, I had placed a blob of sauce in the middle of the pizza when it occurred to me. Though I didn't notice a big difference in tast between that spot and the rest of the pizza when all was said and done.

Finally, at 10:15, we were chowing down on the home made pizza. It was good. I will definitely use this recipe again. I've normally used one of those mixes in a pouch, but not always been satisfied with the results. Maybe next time though, I'll actually have my act together!

And if you're wanting to see a picture of my creation... well... if you hadn't been able to gather by reading this, that was another FORGOTTEN step... maybe next time!

Monday, November 3, 2008

This week's Meijer trip

So I jumped up early on Sunday and ran to Meijer to pick up a couple items. Ended up w/ a bit more than I planned, but the deals were great. Total out of pocket expense was about $27. Total before coupons was in the $60 range. What did I buy:
Meijer Doubles coupons up to $.50
Glade Air Freshers - Sale Price $.50 each, used $1/2 coupons = FREE
Glade Glass Scents - Sale Price $1.59 each, used B1G1 & a $1 coupon = $.59 for 2
Ziplock Pump Vacuum - Sale Price $3.19, used $2 MFN = $1.19
Ziplock Freezer Bags for Vaccum Sealer - Sale Price $2.28 each, used $1 MFN = $1.28 each
Glade Fabric & Air Refresher - Sale Price $1.99, used $1.50 MFN = $.49 each
Glade Carpet Deoderizer - Sale Price $.99, used $1 MFN = FREE
Betty Crocker Potato Dishes - Sale Price $1 each, used $.35 MFN = $.30 each
Think Thin Protein Bar - Sale Price $1.75, used $.50 MFN = $.75
Eggo Strawberry Pastry Swirls - Sale Price $2.50, used $.55 MFN = $1.95
Jello - Regular Price $.74 each, used Meijer Mealbox $1.50/2 = FREE
Taco Bell 12ct Shells - $1.30, used Meijer Mealbox $1.50 = FREE plus small overage
Bagel Bites - sale price $5/3, used $1/3 = $1.33 each x 3
Sargento Artisan Blend Cheese, sale price $2.01 x 2, no coupons
Kellogg's Pop Tarts - sale price $1.33, no coupons
Zesta Saltine Crackers - sale price $1.28, no coupons
Doritos - sale price $1.99, no coupons
De Fratelli Pizza Sauce - sale price $.99, no coupons
Pepperidge Farm Frozen Coconut Cake - sale price $2, no coupons
also I had a $.50 OYNO (off your next order) and 2 $2 OYNO coupons I used.
Not a bad trip.