Tuesday, December 29, 2009


I might have posted about this before but I am not organized enough to remember or find it ...HAHA, get it. Ok, ok, whatever.

So, I am unorganized. I know none of you are surprised so I will skip the explaining part. Part of my New Year's resolution is to become more organized. I feel like it might have been my resolution last year too but I am not sure. I am trying to come up with ways to do this and have a few ideas. I have found that I am better with a routine. I guess most people are...that is probably why they tell people to put babies on a routine, maybe we would all be happier on a routine. I also do better with lists so here are my ideas/struggles:

--I am going to make a list of "chores" that need to be done every week and do them on Sundays (other times if they need to be but even if I don't think they need to be done throughout the week I will do them on Sunday). I find that Sundays are really lazy in our house so this is a good time to get some of these things done (vacuuming, dusting, clean the bathroom, wash the sheets, etc).

--I am going to try to get some sort of organizer/system to organize my mail. I am curious what you guys keep and what you don't. I feel like even after I go through my mail I have a MILLION pieces of mail where Craig has like 5. I don't get it and it must be something I am keeping but don't need or am not filing (I don't even have one anymore).

--RECEIPTS- they consume me and my purse and various other parts of my house. It is ridiculous. I do ALL of the shopping at our house...Target, grocery, lowe's, whatever so I have a million receipts. I also have to keep up with all the ones for my million business trips and keep them organized to turn them in. I had more missing receipts than I would like to admit this last year and with me reporting to someone higher next year, I feel like I should get it together. I also have the ones for my photography business (though not much was bought there this year). I have the idea of getting one of those coupon organizers and doing sections for work, MAP, and various stores that I frequent (I am the queen of buying and then returning items) that I might need receipts for (I also have to keep the grocery store ones until I can enter the savings into my vacation fund...I would go by the receipt but last week I got one at Kroger that said I had saved $35 so far this year...um, no, way more than that).

--Coupons, giftcards, rebates. I am getting addicted recently, and I have forgotten to send in rebates or spend giftcards in the past so I want to organize them so they are all together. I feel like I can remember getting one and then I don't know where it is when I want to use it. I swear I found one the other day that I got from a friend about 3 years ago...wonder if it is still good.

--Clothes - there are just too many. You can put shoes in that category too. I know that you should throw out things that you haven't worn in a year, I just don't do it. Anyone have a good system of when they do this? I suppose seasons make sense, right? I need to 'pencil' it in so I do it. (again with the lists). I hold on to the clothes from my going out days that I know I will never wear again. I literally can't think of the last time I went out. I also have lots of cute heels and stuff that I would still like to keep for weddings or whatever...they are sort of classic styles so I don't have to worry about them going out of style but not sure where to keep them until someone else gets married or I need them.

--Food - I buy stuff but then I am not great about using whatever I buy to make meals. Sort of hard to explain but I will buy stuff on sale and not really think about what I would make to go with it so I always end up missing an ingredient here or there that I need to make a full meal. I would like to do more menu planning and then go shopping, just haven't found out the best way to do it.

Those are probably the big things. I know there are a million more but I have to be realistic about it all. Someone can't go from never being organized to being super organized in a week. Hopefully by the end of the year next year I will be much better at it and can have an original goal for next year. If you have any tips for me, pass them along!!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Week in Review.....

I am back in Ohio and finally have internet again. The person's whose internet I was "borrowing" moved so we didn't have any all week. So, here is my week in review:

Friday: Pointless to go to the meeting. Didn't find out any new information but did luck out in that it didn't pour on me on the way from Marta to my condo. Oh, but did forget to take my house key off of the car key ring that Craig had in Ohio so I had to call Drena and Adam ended up bringing me my spare that they had (thanks guys).

Saturday: Craig wasn't able to get it all together to make it down to Atlanta so he decided to wait until Sunday so I walked to Atlantic Station for some shopping and then Drena and Adam picked me up to take me to the Christmas party and dinner (thanks again). I ended up losing the spare key that night somehow but luckily I didn't lock the top and you can just push open the bottom (sad, I know. I have since made 5 copies of the key. 1 to replace Drena's, a new one for Morgan or Dudley (Morgan's sticks so we will see), one for each of my sisters and one for my desk at work).

Sunday: Had lunch with Carrie, Morgan, and Dudley. It was fun to have a little girl time :-) Craig showed up around 5 and then we had dinner with Morgan and William and watched the Packers game.

Monday: Up and at them to pick up Ariyana from daycare to take her to the children's museum. I was a little disappointed by the museum. It was just chaos and kids and toys everywhere. They did appear to have "stations" but nothing was where it was supposed to be so it was a bit confusing. There was also nothing "museum" about it. I thought it would be more like SciTrek but for kids but instead it was things like sand, painting, plastic grocery shopping, a couple golf holes and some huge contraption that you put plastic balls in that went through tubes (that part was cool). Ariyana didn't have a nap that day because she didn't sleep in the car and she was a little overwhelmed when we got to the museum. She did warm up but after an hour and a half we left. We took her back to my place and tried to get some pics for my sister...that was a challenge. Then Drena, Adam, and Oliver came to get pictures and of course Ariyana wanted a turn...figures. Oh well. We were going to grab dinner with Drena and Adam but Ariyana had been a bit whiney and Craig suggested that we just feed her and let her get home to go to bed. I am so glad that he did because by the time they left she had a complete meltdown and when we got her in the car she was asleep before we were out of my parking garage. When we got to my sister's house she said she had never seen Ariyana so tired..HA!!

Tuesday: Day 2 of Ariyana, this time the aquarium. We decided to let her sleep this time and then get her after her nap. It worked a bit better but she loved to run around the aquarium. the cutest thing was that she really didn't say "craig" but it sounded more like "deg or something....I never could pick it out but she LOVED him. She wanted to play with him all the time and when he would walk away to look at something or when she wanted to show him something she would yell for him but he didn't hear his name and isn't used to her voice so he wouldn't know it. She would just yell it over and over and over....it was so cute. After the aquarium I did manage to get some shots of her by bribing her with candy and then too her home.

Wednesday: I had two doc appts that day (we get a free physical every two years at work and there was a doc I didn't switch to OH yet). After that we sort of just laid around for a while and then went to get Ariyana's gift. After that we went to Erin and Dave's for dinner. It was really fun. We got there in time to see some cute, clean little twins running around. Those girls are ADORABLE!!! After they went to bed we had a yummy dinner and some adult time. It was really fun to hang out...thanks Erin and Dave :-)

Thursday: Couple runs to Target, LAZY :-) Worked on Craig's t-shirt quilt. The top is almost done so just have to get the edge done and then the back.

Christmas: YIKES! We got up at 7, went to Alyson's for breakfast and to watch Ariyana open her presents, then to my dad's for more family time and presents, then to my mom's for even more family time and presents, then home (at 11pm). It was so good to see everyone and to spend time with them but I was exhausted by the end of it all.

Today we drove back to Ohio :-) I am happy to be home and ready to get back on a schedule and stop eating so many treats but I had a great time in Atlanta and was so glad that I was able to see as many of my friends as I did. I will have some pictures to post coming up soon. I think that little miss ariyana might become a little photographer herself. She stole my point and shoot camera and took about 100 pictures with it on Christmas. Craig and I are going to try to figure out something cute to do with them all.

Hope everyone had a great holiday!!

Friday, December 18, 2009


I am a bit nervous about work today. The VP called me 8pm on my personel cell last night to tell me about the change. I am sure it was a formality but it also seems like something bigger might be going down today. I guess I will find out some time between 11:30 and 5 (provided I am still awake)

I ended up sending Craig an email yesterday telling him that he could some to Atl on Sunday if he wanted (our schedules yesterday didn't allow us to see each other for more than 5 mins before I went to bed at 11 last night. When I got out of the car at the airport this morning I asked what he decided and he said he was coming tomorrow (sat) so yay. I am a bit worried he won't be able to make it because we are supposed to get two inches of snow but we will see.

Even though I was not prepared to get up at 3:50am today and come in town a day early, I am glad that after I make it to 5:00 I will be on vacation for a week!! Lots of fun things planned! Dinners and lunches with friends and we are stealing Aryiana for two days. Plus, actual Xmas so it should all be lots of fun. Now to make it through this day with my nerves! I am sure it is nothing!

Thursday, December 17, 2009


Ugh, it has been a rough couple of days at work. I have a ton to do, going on vacation next week and trying to get a lot done before year end. THEN, I am asked by several people on Tuesday (or, 2 people, but 2 people who know all the secrets at work) if I am going to be flying to Atlanta for this Finance meeting tomorrow. My understanding was that it was just to go over our latest survey results (the same thing people say every time, they aren't paid enough, blah, blah blah) so I wasn't going to go. These 2 people made it seem important that I go so I asked my boss about it. She didn't seem to know but said it was up to me. Then she talked the VP to ask him if I should go and he said it wouldn't be a bad idea but still left it up to me. So, after all sorts of indecision (I was supposed to drive to Atlanta on Saturday with Craig), I had a meeting (on the phone) with the VP yesterday and at the end he asked if I was coming. I said I wasn't sure, but should I and he again said "it wouldn't be a bad idea" but in a way that made me think that he thought I should come. So, I booked a flight last night to fly to Atlanta at 5:55am tomorrow...yuck. Then this morning my boss called me and informed me that the decision was made yesterday that I would no longer be reporting to her and would be reporting straight to the VP. It will be announced at the meeting tomorrow and she didn't want me to be surprised. Hmm, I guess that is why I have to go. I have mixed feelings about it. I LOVE my boss. She is great and I love working for her. The VP is really nice too but I can't speak about working for him yet since I never have. He will provide more leverage for me to get some of the items on my agenda done but a part of me thinks it is strange to have me skipping several layers to report to someone higher than who I should. I bet there are more changes and we will see them tomorrow.

So, the torn part. Craig now has to drive to Atlanta by himself. I feel bad about it. I especially feel bad about it because the whole reason we were going on Saturday was to attend the xmas party with my friends. He wanted to go on Sunday so he wouldn't miss his soccer game on Saturday night. So, now I am torn as to whether I should tell him that he doesn't have to come until Sunday to make up for the fact that he has to drive alone or whether I just shouldn't say anything and have him come on Saturday. I will still go to the party regardless (well, if I can get a ride there from someone) but he doesn't hang out with everyone that much so he is usually pretty shy and is just better in small groups anyway (which we are doing with some of my friends later in the week anyway). Plus, I haven't seen some of them in a while so it will be a lot of me catching up with them which will be sort boring for him too. What do you guys think? Should I rack up these bonus points now?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Grocery Game

Ok, I have completely lost it and have become obsessed with coupons. I wrote last week about how I was going to try this new website about coupons and I did. So far, I love it. Here is a basic breakdown on how it works:

You sign up and pay per store. The first store is $10 and each additional store is $5 per 8 weeks (2 months, so about $1 a week. You can save that with one coupon). There is a trial period of 4 weeks for you to get used to it (and during the trial you can have all stores in your area for free and then just change it to your fav when you will be charged).

You get the highest circulation newspaper in your area (for most the AJC) and cut the coupons of the stuff you will use (or I know some people just file it by the date and cut later).

Each week there is a "listmaker" that is employed by the website that goes to the store and goes through the flyer to enter all the sales into the database that this lady maintains. Apparently there are a lot of sales that are not advertised.

They then use the database, combined with recent coupons to see if the items are at a "rock bottom price". If it is then it goes on the "the List" and is blue which means you should buy it. They will tell you which coupon to use, how much it is for and what week it is from (they even tell the insert it was in but I don't track that but I guess if you just filed the whole insert that would be helpful).

So, for example. Say you cut a coupon this week that is $.50 off of cheez-its and they are on sale for $2.50. If you go to Kroger, they double coupons so you would get it for $1.50, BUT, in three weeks Cheez-its might go on sale for $2 and then with your same coupon you would get it for $1. So, they will not recommend you buy it this week since it is not at rock bottom but will recommend it when they go on sale in 3 weeks.

There is nothing hidden...you can cancel online with no phone call to any customer service or anything and you can change your stores when you want. It even posts online when you will be billed next so you can cancel before then. I also have only received one email from them and that was the day I signed up to welcome me. Grant it, it has only been a week, but still good.

It takes a little getting used to and they say that all sales go in 12 week cycles so the idea is that you buy the items in bulk sort of, when they are on sale and then it will last you the 12 weeks until it goes on sale again. The first few weeks you also will not have all the coupons that she tells you to use (since they are from papers in October) but once you get all the coupons, there are some great savings. I think that on an $80 grocery bill last week I paid $50. I know that the economy hasn't been great so I figure every little bit we can save is a good thing (plus, our savings go into our vacation fund so it will be used for something fun). Some of the items on the list were deodorant for $.50-1, toothpaste for $.50, frozen veggies for $.20 and they are all name brand things (not the Kroger brand) that you use every day(well, maybe not the veggies but hopefully the toothpaste and deodorant). I personally think that it is well worth the $1.25 a week to save a ton, plus, I would think that after a little while you might be able judge on your own what good prices are in general. I also recommend printing the list and taking it with you or writing down what you want and the price it should be. Last week there was a couple items that were not the same price at my Kroger as on the list but then they are on sale this week so sometimes you have to watch it. That only happened on one item but still, check it. Anyway, if you want to try it out here is the link. If you wouldn't mind putting my email in there melissapowers10 at gmail dot com, then I can earn free weeks (which is NOT why I told you about this but hey, it is a nice bonus). Or if you want me to just send you an email from the site, then I will....just leave me a comment. I know some of you out there are coupon people so enjoy!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Friends and Crafts

Ok, I know you guys are sick of my "no friends" post BUT, this is a good one. I met up with the DG last night for some drinks and Mexican food and we had a good time. It still feels a lot like dating but she was a good date. She remembered stuff that I had told her the last time we went out (in like Sept) and it was easier to talk because there wasn't all that getting to know you stuff. I really had a good time and hopefully we will hang out again. We discussed making plans with the boyfriends too so we will see....I am sure that Craig will be thrilled that I volunteered him for that :-) She also knows of this place where you can volunteer and teach cooking or gardening classes to children in some of the under privileged schools. Sounds right up my alley!! YAY!

This weekend I plan to do some crafting. It is only 18 degrees here and a wind chill of 4 so I feel no need to leave my house. I am making some xmas presents this year and I want to work on them a bit. I also am going to work on my quilt some more....I am loving it so far and will take some pictures for you guys. Hopefully by the end of the weekend I will have a ton of pictures of all my finished crafts for you :-)

Thursday, December 10, 2009


Um, so I can't count....(it's ok because it is not like I need to be able to do math for my job as an accountant) so I really am only on 489 and not 499. I suck and I have built up the 500th post so much that it will not be as fun now but oh well. I have a fun little game for you guys to try when it finally gets here.

It is snowing today...again. On Monday I got up all ready to drive to Cinci for work that day. I needed to do some expense reports and it is easier when I have a printer and fax machine since I have to fax them in....well, when I went to get in my car I saw that it had snowed the night before. I was a little nervous but I was going to do it (Atlanta would have been shut down, Craig called it a dusting). Craig got a text from a friend that it was icy out and to be careful so I drove him to work (or I should say that he drove my car because we didn't know what the roads were like and the Z3 doesn't exactly have snow ready tires). It wasn't really that bad but I had emailed the Controller in Cinci and he said it was a mess down there any people were driving like idiots so I decided to stay home! I am glad that I did because when I was watching the Today show as working they kept reporting accidents in exactly the places I would have gone. Whew. Last night we went to bed with nothing and woke up to snow today. No ice though so that is not a big deal....it is supposed to stop. Of course they just said it was 15 degrees outside and supposed to get down to 10 tonight! I knew it was bad last night when I was supposed to meet the DG girl for drinks and she said it was too cold but she grew up here. We rescheduled for tonight but it doesn't sound like it is going to be any warmer.....

So, the advent calendar has been super fun. I didn't find too much to put in Craig's.....chapstick, cards for his camera, candy, stuff like that. He decided to go a different route and all of his have little notes in them. I was gone for the first three days that I was supposed to open so he had a little scavenger hunt for me and then it ended with Lance Armstrong's new book. It is a photo essay of his comeback year...photography and Lance together....what could be better?? After that they are little notes for massages or just other little cute things. I am proud of him for getting so creative :-)

Other than that, I really need to get on the xmas shopping train. This year my family and I (all the kiddos) drew names and set a dollar limit. It has been my goal to use sales to get as much for my person as I possibly can within the limit. It is pretty fun because I love a good deal. I have also found a new coupon place that you actually have to pay for ($10 every 8 weeks) but the girl who I found out about it from saved $98 in one trip to the grocery store so it was worth the $10 to her. They have a free month trial so I am going to try it and see if is it worth it or not. I will let you guys know if it is. Obviously there are not coupons on fresh stuff but we still need stuff like shampoo, toothpaste, pasta, cereal, crackers.....you know, other stuff that doesn't come fresh :-) Plus it would be nice to have a couple backup meals in a box when I don't feel like cooking. I will let you know.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Yeah, I know it is extremely late but I have been busy so I didn't get a chance to post. I thought about it a lot but just never got around to writing it down. I think that the things I am thankful for can be summed up in 3 very cliche and very cheesy words but they are so true.
1. Family
2. Friends
3. Health

I am thankful for my family because we are close. I know that if I need anything I can call a family member and they will drop everything to help me out. I would also do the same for any of them. There are so many people who fight with their families or dread having to go see them or for whatever reason just don't get along with them. I am very grateful that even though I might have gone through some of those phases with my sisters when we were growing up and learning who we were, we no longer deal with any of that. I am thankful for my niece who I love dearly and for my nephew (just found out today that Alyson is having a boy) that is yet to come. I can't imagine how I will be able to love the new baby as much as I do Ariyana but I know that my heart will grow to make room for him.

I have written a few posts about how I am having a hard time making friends in Ohio, but I think that part of the problem is that my old friends are so hard to replace (not that I am trying to). I really am lucky to have such wonderful friends. They will listen to me complain (or read about it or both), or they will share happy memories (I have been in several of their weddings). I am fortunate that I have never had a friend who did anything to betray my trust or hurt me. Even though I am 500 miles from most of them (and further from some), I still feel like we all make an effort to keep up with each other's lives and that certainly helps when I am feeling lonely.

As most of you know, the whole healthcare thing really hits home with me when caring for my Dad and his disability that he gets. There was a time when his insurance cost more than his rent did...literally. Luckily we were able to work through it and now have a bit of a better plan for him but I can't imagine the stress that I would have to go through had we not been able to do that. I feel for all of those people who need healthcare but can't afford it (most times, like my dad, through no fault of their own). I am so thankful that I do not have to deal with that. I am also thankful for my own health and I know that I am lucky, but when I think of the part I am thankful about, it really gets back to being able to have the means to help my dad to get what he needs.

Anyway, I had a great Thanksgiving that involved a lot of cooking for me, some football watching, and some crafting. We didn't go anywhere but it was a nice cozy Thanksgiving at home. I hope that all of you enjoyed it as well!

One more post until 500....for real this time....