Monday, June 29, 2015

My personal opinion - take it or leave it.

Image result for Statue of Liberty+flag

I have tried to remain neutral on this flag news, new rules of marriage, civil disputes, along with quite a few varying opinions of history - which remember - there are ALWAYS 3 sides to ALL stores - mine, yours and the truth.

I tried not to add to the frenzy for as long as I can.

My rant now begins. 

Whether anyone cares or not, here is my opinion.

I just finished hearing and reading yet MORE stories about arguing and controversy about which flag this and which flag that.

But OMG!!!! 

Enough is enough!!!

First of all, I am proud to be a northern born girl adopted and raised by deep rooted God believing, Arkansas parents.

I was always taught that:

NO ONE - whether they be rich or poor, black or white, pink, purple or zebra stripped, and no matter your history or my history, or our personal version of our history, no matter of religion background or no belief of any, or even whichever sexual preferences, - NOT ONE of us are in ABSOLUTELY NO way, shape, or form,  one single bit better than ANY other one of us.

We are so close to yet another anniversary of our Nation's most tragic "human" initiated event ever - which we all know as 9-11.

Do we too quickly forget just how all of every type of man woman and child, banded together to bury our lost ones, and all greive for them TOGETHER?

Do we all seem to forget too quickly, that we are suppose to be the UNITED States of America?? 

Land of the Free and home of the Brave?  Thankful for those who did fight for and lose their lives and family to enable us to live in a free land to make the choices we all have?

Isnt' that exact freedom of life, liberty and choices what the UNITED States of America is to be all about being the "great melting pot" of all types of people from all around the world.

I always was lead to believe and in my heart still do, that we are suppose to be setting examples of how other countries should strive to be. Not to run from.

Can we NOT just become United in our country and celebrate the upcoming birthday of this freedom on 4th of July together?

Isn't that what we were all reminded of on the tragic September 11th?  

I so very much hope and pray we, and our children never have to see another event such as this but for EVERYONE to become as one again!!

It so deeply hurts saddens my heart to see such a display of confrontation between so many various groups. 

Can we not all be ONE Nation together to help and support all? 

Shouldn't we be lifting each other up instead of criticizing and knocking someone over to make our excuse seem bigger?

Don't we all have enough hatred, sadness, loss and struggle in our own daily lives to try to deal with the best way we know how, that we allow others that don't seem to have enough of a personal life, have to take it upon themselves to cause others sadness, loss and hatred and turmoil?

Please for whatever your reason or belief or history that your opinion is, PLEASE stop feeding the crazy nonsense frenzy and get back in touch with the basic HUMANITY of ALL!!!!


Image result for flag

Friday, May 1, 2015

Weed Killing Potion that ACTUALLY works!

Thanks to the  - for a great recipe that works for
killing those pesky weeds around our area.

And about all of us already have these simple ingredients.

DIY Car Vent Air Freshener - Frugally Blonde

I just ran across an awesome little trick I am definitly going to be doing!

Here it the tip.  And thanks bunches over at Frugally Blonde website.

Head on over to:

DIY Car Vent Air Freshener - Frugally Blonde

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

My successful matchup shopping trip.

Today I hit Walmart with my extra large coupon binder and a 2 page 
list of store items to check out and seeing if it's the best deals 
(or sometimes not).

I had a lot of fun and each time learn quite a bit each time. 

All went very smoothly without incident as my previous adventure was.

Also, had Haylee with me, (which is a fab life lesson for our homeschool hours),
so she uses one cart to have regular priced items/and coupons matches only, 
and I have a basket with price matchups and/or coupons.

I had very close to $60 of coupons.  And LOTS of price matchups.  

Many weren't but a few cents here and there but all adds up.

Here is a list of a few of my fav's.

(please keep in mind, I live near Heber Springs, AR 
so these are prices near my town)

General Mills cereals (up to 13 oz)  
Wm - $2.82-$2.98  = Edward's Food Giant - $1.48 + -50c. coupon.

Oscar Meyer bacon (1 lb pkg) 
Wm $4.48 = Knight's Super Foods - $1.99 ea

Bush's baked beans (28oz) 
WM $1.98 = Edward's Food Giant - $1.78 + - 50c. coupon

Angel Soft bath tissue (24 roll) 
WM $ 10.97 = Cash Saver@Newport $5.45+10% = $6.05

Paper Mate Ink Joy pens (8ct)  
WM $3+? = Staples - $1.00/pk

Planters Peanuts 16 oz - 
Wm $3,50 = in store coupon from Family Dollar insert $3.00

And remember - like I stated earlier,  I had LOTS of coupons and many small matchups that add up really quickly!

Also, I NEVER buy anything with or without a matchup with coupon and sale if I wouldn't already purchase it or want to try it anyway!

A hint to help a LOT when you get to the register that will make things run SOOO much smoother, is make sure to carry the smalles size of  "post it" notes, and write where you are matching and the price, and stick it to the items.  

When I saw on a site to do that - it helps sooooo much!

Also, I try my best to group all my "like" items together as I set them on the belt, and try to seperate the price matches seperate from the regular priced items.

You will be amazed at how easy, and how much fun it could be to play this.

And you save money at the same time.  

With all the coupons and price matchups I had along with using Ibotta (a phone app)
I think I saved approximately $136.00 in all.

It's like getting free turns on the board of Monopoly and landing on Free Parking.

Remember, have fun!  
KNOW the rules!  
Play fair and enjoy!!!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

New updated list of stores I price match to:

I have updated my list for online viewing of all the main stores 
I like to try to price match to my local Wal-mart store.

(There are a few more, but they don't always 
post sales in the local paper and/or online.)

Remember - play the game of coupon-ing and price-matching by the rules. 

Know all the rules and stick to them and when you are very certain you are right - Stand your ground.  

Corporate makes these rules to bring in our business. 

If our local store wants our business as much as Corporate does - they will 
play by the rules the same as we are suppose to.

And remember - Bring your PROFESSIONAL attitude!!

My latest shopping adventure!

For lack of a better title at the moment.  

My latest adventure, as you will soon read, 
was just that - quite an adventure.  

I have been price matching (ad match)/couponing for several years now.
From time to time, run into a question or altercation about this or that, and usually work
it out in a reasonable way.

Yesterday (Monday 4/27) was different!

I had a list of several items, an aide with my mom for a couple of hour, and had Haylee with me, which she is so good at this too in checking ounces, etc, sort of math lesson.

She usually has a basket with the regular items in it and I take care of a basket with the price matching items in it.  Makes it so much more simple when ready to check out to keep all straight for me and faster/easier for cashier when doing so.

First of all:
I have ALWAYS  prided myself on the honesty and respect I try to use when using this feature as I know it's a bit bonkers, everyone has an opinion on things, etc. 

I try to be extremely certain of the rules of the game, the item I am after, and the exact size, etc., of that match.

Even with Cash Saver adding 10% at their check out, I make sure to have it already on my list with the price of sale + 10% already added and really to make sure the cashier even knows both prices so they can see I did my homework as fairly as possible to make the transactions as smooth as possible!

I know there are several people out there all the time that are trying to do an extremely advanced job and even not making sure at presenting all the information or be a little vague on it so they can get the products through.

WE are NOT a big city with big city stores that have all the buildup of overlapping stuff.
I just want to try my best to save what I can with this feature that is allowed to us to save time and money not to have to travel further and to get to many different stores to find the sales.

Well as my story continues:

My very first item I tried to "price match" was to a store that I have price matched to for a very long time and NEVER really had a problem with. 

Yes, I have been asked for sure what store and where it is located.  I have NO problem with that.

Yes, too - I have had the cashier check to confirm what size/type of item is offered in the sale.  I get that - it's only fair and their job to try to make sure we are correct also.
If I EVER have any doubt at all, I either don't get the item, or pay regular price.
Well, with the very first item, the CSM was called over to the register. (No names mentioned - for now).

She immediately wanted to know where and what price.  No problem.
It happened to be Edwards Food Giant in Little Rock. 

She said she needed for me to show the ad or pull up on my phone.  I refused stating I don't have to prove it, have never proved it, and corporate policy states I don't have to prove it.

CORPORATE policy states:   (copied directly from:

*The following are guidelines and limitations:

·                            We will match any local competitor's advertised price.
·                            We do not require customers to have the ad with them to honor a competitor's ad, but we reserve the right to verify an ad at any time; we also require the store to verify the ad if there is a difference in price greater than 25% from the competitor.

She continued raising her voice to me (and Haylee) determined if I was NOT going to show the ad, she was NOT about to let me have the item at the price matching price.

After standing my ground for a good couple of minutes, and her continuing to raise her voice to me, shake a paper at me stating it's a new policy for the store and item to be proven, (but not offering to show me that paper) I saw I was getting absolutely no where.

I proceeded to get my purse, bag and coupon book and direct Haylee out the door. 
WITHOUT ANY OTHER SINGLE item in my hands.

We walked out with 2 baskets of stuff which much of it was price matched or coupon to go with it still sitting at the register!!

I felt that I had better just sort of retreat as  I could feel that I was NOT going to be handling this very professionally and needed to regain some composure before proceeding.

When I arrived at my car, while still in Wal-mart parking lot, I called for the manager on my cell phone.

Finally spoke with an assistant manager, stating the head manager was out.
I went over the entire story, what I was doing, what went wrong and with WHO.
I also explained how this CSM raised her voice, waved a paper at me, that was not actually shown to me, and stomped her foot once even.

She clearly understood how frustrated, embarrassed and totally ticked I was.
I did NOT go into any excuses of life of this and that - I stuck exactly to the facts
of the problem at hand.  My life info is NOT anyone's to know in this event as many bring up to get more "sympathy." 

Keep it simple, determined and KNOW your facts!!!

The assistant manager apologized several times for the mis-understanding and told me to make sure to ask for her if I had that problem again with this particular CSM or any other one.

When she realized I was still in the parking lot, she put me on hold and checked to see if my baskets were still up front.

They were except for a few frozen food and dairy items being taken back.
She told me that if I would head back in, to meet with another assistant manager up front, he would see to it that I was checked out and no more problems would arise.

Which is exactly what happened, my baskets were brought to me, and someone was getting the items I had in it from dairy and frozen back to me.

While still with one of the assistant managers, and a couple of other CSM,s (at times) the current CMS that I had the issue with, asked me if I would mind for her to check me out.
I said I didn't have any problem with that.

She proceeded to an empty register, items were loaded onto the belt by employees as I went over each item to match to, and even made sure each price match was understood to be as correct as I had stated in the beginning the first time and every time. 

All info is always on my list.  Place/size,/item and if any restrictions, it's on there too.

She asked and I answered every single store, item price to match, sizes involved and any restrictions on such items.

The CSM, herself, found absolutely NOTHING wrong with any one single item I had.

As I finished up I thanked the asst. mgr that assisted us, and the employees for helping
too.  I left there being very nice and very professional.

Once again, I would like to make sure it is understood that this is a really super thing that Wal-mart provides for us to be able to do.  I, in NO way want to make this challenging to cashiers, or other employees of the store. 

I DO NOT want to push the rules.  I am a good game player.  I want to play fair, treat fair, but I EXPECT - NOTHING less than that from the stores.  In ANY situation!

If I am ever in any doubt as to a rule on this situation or any other, I make a call to check on the rules.  If not sure or the person I speak with seems unsure, I will call back to make sure to speak to another person to see their viewpoint on it.  I have done this with MANY

If I ever feel, as like yesterday, I cannot maintain an absolutely professional attitude with
myself, I will retreat, regroup and go back.

But I too make DARN tootin' sure I am exactly in the right!!!! 

Remember, at all cost, in ANY situation in life, whether it be shopping, marriage, - Life
in general,  make darn sure you are in the absolutely with out a doubt right - then
go for it.  STAND YOUR GROUND. 
Even if it means retreat - regroup and go again.  LOL!
I think of all days for Haylee who is 8 yrs old and a darn good shopper already,
learned a very valuable lesson yesterday. 

** Play fair - know the rules of the game (whatever game it may be) and STAND your ground no matter what.  And expect NOTHING less from everyone else. 

You are NOT better than anyone - never let anyone EVER make you feel that way, but first of all KNOW the rules and stick to them!

P.S.  New sales come out Wednesday morning.  I WILL be at Walmart bright and early with an even more lengthy list of price matches (even for a very few cents which I usually don't match under a few pennies, I will now, and WILL not give in - when and if I know I am in the right. 

Now, all this being stated.  I DO NOT believe it is my right or anyone else's to go into any store demanding anything! 

I believe it is our right as customers to use the rules of the game as stated by such store whether it be corporate ran or franchise ran. 
Find out the rules - and stick to them - with a TOTAL PROFESSIONAL attitude!
Yes they are there to provide product/service for us.  Yes, customer is suppose to always be right, but we are dealing with someone not one iota better or worse than ourselves.
If the positions were reversed, keep in mind how you would want to be spoken to.

God bless and have a wonderful day and keep those price matchings and couponing's
fun and play the game fair!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Updated List of printable coupon sites

Wanted to post a new/updated pic of my fav sites I go to for printable coupons.

Always remember to print 2 times per coupon, in most cases.
Also, most coupons are good for 30 days from print date.
Zip codes are important also.  You can sometimes find better value and/or different coupons if you type in a large city such as in California/etc.

All coupons are possible to run out of prints across the net but sometimesrenew print availability by manufacturer.  So keep checking for fav's

Approximately midnight on the last day of each month, coupons are changedand new ones added.  

Thanks for all info's you can provide to more sites to print from also.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

1 year post op of weight loss surgery

Hey hey hey!  
I cannot believe it has been one entire year since my Rny (gastric bypass weight loss surgery)  Woo Hoo!  What a ride it has been.  Ups and downs, and spins and twists.  Talk about roller coaster.  But all is good.  Actually all is great!

I have attached a before surgery pic that I took at my first meeting with the Dr. and one that was about 1 month ago.  Then I have a full update of my wild and crazy year journey.

My year in review at 1 yr surgiversary of Rny surgery.

Today, February 3, 2015 is a huge day for me and my journey and battle against "My Monster". 

As of today, it is my 1 year anniversary of one of the biggest, most significant decisions I have ever made.  It was my choice to take back MY LIFE and MY HEALTH! 

One year ago today, I arrived at Baptist Hospital in Little Rock to have a surgery that is referred to as Roux-en-y (RNY) for short.

It is a robotic version of a gastric bypass surgery to re-route my stomach, small intestine to help me to gain control of my weight, diabetes, high blood pressure and many other smaller issues that were contributing to my declining health.

I did NOT enter into this decision to merely "loose weight".  I went into this venture, to gain a tool that I could fight a better battle, more equipped to take on and succeed in the battle of my life.  I though long and hard about this decision. 

Just over a year ago, I was trying to do all I knew I should do with the help of Dr's and many friends, and wonderful husband and daughter and grand-daughter, to try to get this declining health under control, but was desperately losing the battle, slowly but surely as each day passed, becoming more and more, against all the odds of time being on my side. 

I had not long ago, turned 54, and now in my hand at the crucial moment of my truth and awakening, my very first insulin shot.  Yikes!!!

One of my worst fears in my own life, besides the ultimate being cancer, was to face the truth that I had failed, and failed miserably. 

At that crucial moment of truth and awakening, I sat in the dark, alone, as everyone had gone to bed, and held the syringe in my shaking hand, it was like you see in many movies.  The syringe grew larger and my hand shaking, trying to get up the nerve to stick myself in the stomach, knowing it wouldn't be long and it wouldn't be just once a day type of shot.  It would increase in volume, and frequency with time.

I totally lost it!  I totally broke down.  Tears rolling down my cheeks, gasping for air, syringe still in my shaking hand.

I did quite a bit of crying, cursing, and if you know much about me - a laugh in there too.

Along with all of this - quite a bit of praying too. 

What was I going to do.  I had to have an answer and quick.  Sure I have tried and succeeded before in losing the weight, but I had to have something NOW to get this under control NOW.   I truly felt as though I had no time to waste.

WHATEVER it took.  I was to the point, I would have cut off my hand that was holding the insulin syringe if necessary to get a grip on my life.

What???  What was I going to do???

Once again, as I referred to, as in the movies,  an answer suddenly and very clearly popped into my head.  I knew instantly that was it! 

God had taken my shaking hand.  It was a feeling as if it was being held onto and patted.

I could finally take a reasonable breath again, and suddenly my desperate question was answered.

Weight loss surgery! 

I remembered that my sister in law, had recently had a surgery called gastric sleeve, and was doing great with it.  Losing weight which was helping her gain control of her health and life also.

That was it.  My answer and without any single doubt in my mind from that second on, I knew with all of my heart, and without any fear from that moment on, I never once felt nervous or scared to go through with it.  I truly felt I was lead to this decision by my Lord and once again Savior of my life, not just my spirit.

Instantly, my faith was renewed in all aspects of my life.  I would do whatever it took and no matter how long or painful or complicated this may be, I KNEW it was the right thing.

I was able to, without another negative, or nervous though, took my insulin shot, no pain, not anything, just peace of mind that I would NOT take ONE more of those shots than
ABSOLUTELY necessary to get me to the next step of this journey.

I think that was about the longest night I had been through in a while.  I had already written online to my sis in law, all sorts of questions about what steps to take and who to contact.

The next morning, while spending a few minutes with Larry before he would head out to work, I highlighted my adventure, we will call it, from the night before, to Larry.  Not knowing what he would think, I guess in a way I did already know in my heart.

He instantly patted me and said, lets check this out.  And that he would take off whenever and whatever necessary to get me to Little Rock (as I hate driving there) to do whatever necessary to get this started.

Before his first couple of hours had passed at work, he had an email with all sorts of names and links on it to contact the correct people to get the ball rolling.

As phone calls and meetings, insurance approvals, progressed through all the steps of a not so easy process to reach the surgery day, I actually felt so much better and stronger that there WAS actually a light at the end of the tunnel of desperation I was in.

I was counting down the days on my calendar until the day was finally here.  The day to take back MY life! 

I had two weeks prior of surgery to go on a liquid only diet plan.  I had a tough spell a couple of times.  A bit of panic but not over the surgery that seemed to have slowed time, but the withdraw from chewing I guess you could say.  But with only 2 weeks until that would take care of itself by my stomach being - rearranged, it was only a limited time to have to go through. 

Sure I was very much aware that after surgery would not be a piece of "cake" (funny term for "after" weight loss surgery).  But I still had such a strong un-wavering determination, as I have not had in quite some time that THIS was my path, my destiny to follow and that all would be fine.  Whatever happened would happen.  But the alternative was NOT going to happen.

I was in NO way going to back down from this. 

I remember clearly as Larry and I was sliding to Little Rock to check in on an icy road most of the way, he asked if I was nervous and ready to head home yet.
I just said "Nope!  Lets do this"!!! 

Then as I sat all dressed in the lovely hospital gown and cap, I was all giggles.  I was so ready for this to begin.  They got to me really quickly, but seemed to be forever.

Next thing I knew was waking up and being so very dry mouthed, that I couldn't speak.

And sure, without a doubt there was some discomfort.  But still NOTHING as I would have expected and had planned for.  I was thinking it would be much worse. 

My back gave me more trouble from having to lay pretty flat for the first several hours and being dry mouthed.  For the first few hours, absolutely not even any ice chips to suck on.  Which sucked. 

But before long, I got those awesome ice chips, then few hours later, sip of water, hours later,  broth.  Woo Hoo!  Broth.  hehe!

Wasn't really that long until I was up and pacing the halls with a couple of other fabulous gals that had the same surgery by the same group of  three doctors who worked together on all three of us.

We had become "Pouch Peeps" together.  By the next day, we were roaming the halls together to get in our exercise and to work off the swelling from the air and gas they pump you with for surgery.  The nurses definitely got a kick out of us.

On the third day we all were allowed to head home.  Thank goodness for a good dose of pain medication before heading home.  I still barely remember climbing into a four-wheel drive truck and the ride home.  Hmmm.  Good meds.  hehe!

Home sweet home.  It always does look even more awesome when you are away a couple of days.  The faces of my girls, Ashley and Haylee, meeting us at the door was absolutely priceless. 

My dear hubby, and girls took such good care of me.  It was so nice to become a bit spoiled.  Although, it never fails, when you aren't really able to "do" something, is when you want to the most.  Wipe the counter, laundry etc.  
You know all those dreaded daily things.  You suddenly need to do. 

I am still amazed that, in spite of many times of having to lay down a bit here and there pretty often, and having to have someone help me to get flat into the bed, it was all tolerable. 

I definitely say it was not an easy journey.  But worth it - DEFINTELY!
I have grown to know so much about health, diet, good and not so good foods in disguise, and so on.  I have learned thorough trial and error, that "one more bite" WILL make you pay with only a small "egg" size stomach.

Also, have learned the hard way - to make sure you sip ALL the time to get those liquids down. 

And like all the others who followed this path, the dreaded part of about 4 months after, hair starts coming out like crazy.  LOTS of it.  There were days that I would just stare at the hair in my hand instead of my head, and then panic a few times, but it's hair. 

Is it worth losing a lot of hair to gain a lot of control of your life.  YES!
And thank God, it's not the type of hair loss associated with any type of cancer and its treatments.  So this is a minor detail process to go through.

I did finally give in and have it all cut short.  Shorter than I have ever had it in my life.

And no bangs!  OMG no bangs!  Ugh.  That part got me a couple of times, but it was still way better than the dry stringy scrunchy mess left behind to deal with . 
All of this short hair-do is all new, so much more healthy hair.  And it's so amazing how all of my life, I have pretty much fought with my hair, needing it to be so-so and most of the time it not working as I wished it would. 
So through the process of chopping off all the length, and not having it to fuss over has actually become quite liberating.  

What's the silly saying, No muss - No fuss.

I might actually keep it short for a while.  Although bangs will be nice at some future point in time.  They are growing, just extremely slowly.

As for my health, one year later you might ask?  I have lost over 80 pounds since surgery and even more than that from my highest weight, which I have a pic or two of but not actual weight as I wouldn't get on the scales for months to try to avoid reality of it all.

My health - well, I would say - never been better.  I am probably more healthy in so many ways than I have ever been. 

I traded all my prescriptions for high blood pressure, out of control diabetes and all sorts of meds to counter act all the other meds - for a handful of daily vitamins.  And  . . . .my blood work looks amazing. 

I am so full of enlightenment, blessings, excitement and graciousness of all of my special people that have helped me to and through this journey.

To each of you - you hold a very special place in my heart and may God bless you.