Saturday, May 23, 2015

Blogworthy

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I have been such a super slack blogger lately.  And by lately, I mean for like half a year or more.  I’m sorry.  It’s not that I don’t love to blog, because I do…it’s just…a few things really.  I prefer not to blog if I’m not in a great space.  And it’s not that I’ve been depressed or anything, because I haven’t, it’s just that…idk I am kinda just going thru my journey and just nothing big enough to update I guess.  Guess nothing has been blogworthy so to speak.



Work is kicking my butt.  That’s putting it mildly.  Apparently I have discovered that I have a complex. Ha!  I have many!  But this is about learning something new.  I like to learn new things…in theory.  In reality, I would like to go from a novice to an expert in the span of three weeks.  I know, I’m totally reasonable.  :-)  It’s difficult for me, I’m learning, to go from a position where I knew my job in and out and I was the one being asked questions to a position where there’s a learning curve and I am the one asking the questions.  I know in time I will be the expert that I know I can be, and be confident in my ability and be worthy of the praise they’ve given me.  It’s really all in my perspective I suppose.


Work is also kicking my butt because of working overtime.  I’m trying to find the right schedule that works for me and my family.  In the meantime, I’m plum exhausted.  Everything falls out of sync when I’m not getting enough sleep.  Add to that the fact that my job is mentally challenging and exhausting and I’ve just been a ball of blah.  If that makes any sense at all.


What I think is worse than blogging negatively so to speak, is not blogging at all…and that my friends is what has happened.  And like I’ve said, I haven’t been depressed or anything like that, but I just haven’t really felt the urge to blog.  That’s a disservice not only to my readers but to myself.  I started blogging because it’s therapeutic and I enjoy it.  It’s my hobby.  It’s my passion.  But you wouldn’t think that by how few and far between I’ve been posting.  Not only do I actually like the act of blogging, because it is writing, and deep down I’ve always wanted to be a writer; but I like to read my blogs.  I like to look back on where I was and I learn about myself through re-reading my blog posts.  So I’m carving out time to blog, just like I’m doing with working out…because with it in my life I’m a happier person and without it I’m grumpier.  Both relieve stress for me and both have been absent or not consistent for long enough.


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She’s back!!!



For real this time!!! ; )




Saturday, April 4, 2015

I Got The Job



It’s been 37 days since my last blog post.  It hadn’t been intentional, but eventually I figured why not just wait until my fast was over before I pop back up on the blog.  My fast just ended yesterday.  It began February 24th and went thru April 4th.  It’s a big step for me.


I participated in my first fast last year.  I did it on my own as a way to seek God, to hear from Him, and to get closer to Him.  Last year I believe I did it for two weeks and I gave up sodas, fast food and social media.  I read my devotionals daily, read more Bible and listened exclusively to gospel music.  I felt I really grew in my faith and walk.  I did it on my own and not with the church.


This year I decided to do it with the church.  I am a member now and I agree with my church’s vision and wanted to participate in this fast.  It hasn’t always been easy.  I got up for morning prayer at 6:33 every day except Sundays.  I really felt that I was growing closer.  I am so glad I did the fast.


Now in my last fast, I had some personal gains so to speak.  I had two different jobs that I made it to the second round of interviews for.  Close but no cigar.  This time around, I had an inkling in my spirit that by the end of the fast, something big was going to come to pass.  I had a hunch it would be that I would change positions at work, but of course, couldn’t be sure.  Well, thankfully, my hunch was right!!!


And it happened so fast!!!


Within the past few weeks, I applied, phone screened, panel interviewed, was offered and accepted a new position at my company!!!!  I am sooooo very happy to say that as of Monday, I am in a new department in my new position and I am truly happy and thankful and grateful!!!  God is so good!!!!!

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Last week felt like my last week of high school.  Like all I am doing is coming to class in order to graduate… all of the exams have been taken and it’s just a waiting game until the weekend.  It felt super awesome!!!



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Like I am not burdened with any thoughts about my past job.  No dreading going to work.  Work is work, I know, but guys, I just can’t even put this into words how awesome this feels!!! 




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It’s in the department that I wanted from the beginning.  It uses my degree.  It has tons of opportunity for growth.  It’s exactly what I’ve wanted.  It’s truly a blessing and I am truly grateful.  I know that from here, it’s going to get even better : )   Thank you Lord!!!









Thursday, February 26, 2015

Snow Day 2015



In the past two weeks I have had quite a few days off from work due to ice and snow.  Last week was an ice event and I had a day and a half off from work.  Did absolutely nothing of productivity.  Wanted to blog but at the same time didn’t.



This week, today is Thursday and I’ve been home since Tuesday.  Cabin fever is an understatement.  Thankfully, I’ve had opportunities to get out of the house to run to the grocery store twice this week.  Tuesday morning when it was beginning to snow and yesterday afternoon after a lot had melted in front of the storm that was to come last night.  They called for more than a few inches of the white stuff. 



I expect nothing more than a delay for tomorrow if that.  And I’m counting down till Spring to say the least.



But since I have a last day at home, and I’m pretty well rested, it’s time to tackle some areas of the home.


After reading Erin’s blog post this morning, I was inspired to stop threatening the kids and make good on my threats and do my own cleaning of their room.  See, they fail to realize that it’s a privilege to have toys.  A child doesn’t have to have a room full of toys.  I’m tired of yelling.  So since I had a few minutes on hand, a burst of energy, I have thrown away 3 large shopping bags of toys, and I’ve set up about 3 boxes of toys to donate.  Some are in great enough condition to sell, but I’m just gonna give them away.


I feel like I’ve made such a huge accomplishment!  Just by taking about 30 minutes to really just get in there, in the zone, really helped me to feel less overwhelmed.


I have a few more things I want to organize/purge of my own today.  I have some reading to do and some writing.  Gonna try to eek out as much productivity as I can today.


It feels really good : )




What do you do on your snow days??



Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Bikini Ready Body


Truth moment:  I wanted to title this post Baby Ready Body but I decided against that.  To be honest, the clock is a ticking for baby # 3, but where I’m at right now…I don’t know about that.  It is an underlying motivator, but I decided to go the totally superficial route and focus on being bikini ready.



We’re going into the second full week of January.  By this time, the gym is already starting to look more like normal and less like the hot place to be.  That’s because by seven days in, many people have already given up on their resolutions.  This is the time when I actually begin to get real with myself and decide what my resolutions are and how I will achieve them.  To be honest, I just call them goals.  Call them what you want, just make an action plan.



We are planning our summer vacation and we’re going to do the beach house thing again.  I’m soooo excited!  Thinking about that week of bliss will help get me through these brutally cold winter days : )  Last year and the year before and the year before, I’ve wanted to be able to wear a bikini.  A lot of big girls do rock bikinis and I say more power to them.  Aria will not wear a bikini unless she CAN.  Know what I mean?  Not saying I have to be ripped with a 6 pack, but I want to be able to look amaze in my bikini.



With that being said… it’s time to get this body right!!!!  Going into 2014, losing weight was not a big goal for me because I had really gotten down in 2013.  Sadly, although I could have stopped it at its onset, I allowed the weight to creep back on throughout 2014.  Each month cursing myself as my jeans and pants became more and more snug.  Every Sunday when trying to put together something decent to wear to church and I’m breaking into a sweat because I can’t zip up my skirt.  Everyday feeling more and more sluggish and tired because I just can’t seem to get my energy back, trying to do so artificially, knowing the whole time that what was lacking was my exercise.  Yeah, all of that was me in 2014 and your girl is tired of it.  I have from now through July 20, 2015 to get my body right and tight.



I miss my muscles.  I miss my definition.  I miss feeling strong.  I miss feeling hard and not soft.  All I feel is softness now.  No Bueno.  Jordan has said multiple times that my stomach is fat.  He’s not trying to be mean, but he’s a child and children call it like they see it.  He also tells me that I’m beautiful, that I’m strong, and that I’m the best Mommy ever!  So he knows of what he speaks! : )



Go hard or go home.  That’s it in a nutshell.  I can talk about it all I want, but it’s about putting in the work.  It sucks during the process but the rewards are well worth it.  Workouts suck sometimes.  Plain and simple.  I have to do them in order to see the results.  I love sodas but I can’t have them.  Salads and chicken aren’t as desirable as burgers and fries. Sacrifice for what I want.  It’s worth it to me.  I curse at Chalene Johnson during our workouts but I love her to death.  It’s time once and for all to get all the way to the end.  If we’re going to have baby # 3, which would also be all she wrote in the baby making department, I want my body to be as healthy and as fit as can be to carry my baby.  I want to be the fashionista that I am in my mind in real life because I have the body that I want.  I want to look great in any swimsuit that I wear.


Before I end what turned out to be a longer than expected post, I wanted to share a few cute bikinis and swimsuits that not only inspired this post, but are motivation for me to buy once I accomplish my strength training and weight loss goals.  I want to have at least five swimsuits to wear on our vacation.  I love the beach and I will be going between the beach and the pool a lot and I need more than just two swimsuits which I don’t even have now.  Anyway, stop writing now and just show the swimsuits already : )




All of these suits are very affordable, most of them are from Target.com, Forever 21 and Venus Swimwear and all under $40.  Cute, affordable and perfect for a mom on a beach vacation.


Monday, January 5, 2015

New Year Giveaway!!! [CLOSED]



Start 2015 off with a BANG and save big with coupons! Here is your chance to win coupon inserts from 01-04-15, one of the biggest coupon weekends of the year!  If you are wanting to get into couponing, or get back into the swing of things, like me, this is an awesome giveaway for you!


Thanks to SundayCoupon Inserts, FOUR readers will each win FOUR COMPLETE AND UNCUT 01-04-15 SmartSource #1 coupon inserts, FOUR 01-04-15 SmartSource #2 coupon inserts, FOUR 01-04-15 Red Plum #1 coupon inserts, AND FOUR 01-04-15 Red Plum #2 coupon inserts.


Take a chance on the giveaway, but also visit Sunday Coupon Inserts' website HERE as they do have all of these coupon inserts available and you can also see a detailed description of the coupons that are inside. PLUS – check out their availability of the SmartSource En Español and the January 2015 Target P&G!


Sunday Coupon Inserts offers whole, uncut inserts delivered right to your door. You can order single inserts or combo packs and their site is super easy to navigate. They are extremely thorough in coupon descriptions in each insert, so you know exactly what you are getting, and all orders received by 11 a.m. EST are shipped that same day via USPS Priority Mail (this means you will usually receive your inserts in 2-3 business days). You can check out what Sunday Coupon Inserts has tooffer HERE.


HOW TO ENTER THIS GIVEAWAY:

For this giveaway, you can earn 3 entries per reader. Please leave a separate comment for each entry. Facebook and e-mail entries will not count, so please be sure to leave entry comments on this post.


Entry #1: Just simply leave a comment on this post.  INCLUDE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS!!!

Entry #2: Like Sunday Coupon Inserts on Facebook and leave a comment saying you did or already do

Entry #3: Like www.facebook.com/BlogsbyAria  and leave a comment saying you did or already do.


This Giveaway will go until NOON EASTERN STANDARD TIME 1/7/15 and the FOUR winners will be notified by email and via facebook immediately.   All inserts will be mailed out on Thursday 1/8/15.  Happy New Year and a big thanks to Sunday Coupon Inserts for sponsoring the giveaway!


I know this is a super short giveaway but I wanted to bring it to my readers since I was provided the opportunity :-)    Think of it as a flash giveaway!!


Good luck!!!




Thursday, January 1, 2015

Here's to 2015


Happy New Year!!!



I hope you enjoyed your New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day!  Now that I’ve recovered, it’s time to get into planning mode.  It’s going to be an awesome year for me and my family and in order for that to be the case, I have to be intentional about it.  2014 was one of the first years in a very long time that I felt the uptick or the upswing.  I can feel the momentum shifting, I can tell the pendulum is heading the other way.  It’s an awesome feeling.  I’m looking forward to all that God has in store for me in 2015.


With that being said, I have a list of a few goals.  There’s a lot I want to accomplish this year.  In no particular order…


1.    Save Big.  Coupon Burnout was the name of the game for me in most of 2014.  That’s no longer an option.  Couponing bigger, maximizing my savings apps, and scheduling time to organize my coupons are big on my priority list.

2.    Lose weight.  I steadily allowed my pants to fit tighter and tighter.  That ends now.  I’m not happy with my body right now and I want to be happy.  About 40lbs or so.  I’m starting now so that by the Summer I will be very pleased.

3.    Move.  I know that we are moving this year.

4.    Work on self more.  Not always the easiest to do, but certainly very rewarding.

5.    Read more.  Bible.  Fiction and Non-Fiction.  I want to learn more this year.

6.    Pray/meditate more.  I want to get used to a morning routine that consists of prayer/meditation and devotional/scripture reading, followed by a workout to get my day started.

7.    Travel.

8.    Get my camera and snap like crazy!

9.    Cook more.

Those are just a few of the things that I’m working on in 2015.  I’ll be blogging more and journaling more.  I’m working on my Vision Board today and over the weekend.  Just adding a few things in place of other items I’ve manifested in 2014.  I’ll be doing some de-cluttering and organizing.  As for today, I’m ready for bed.  What else is new? 


Here’s to more sleep in 2015 :)



Sunday, December 28, 2014

Notes to Self



Christmas weekend is winding down and I could use help keeping my eyelids open.  But even though my body is physically exhausted, my mind is full of ideas.  I want to make some Christmas notes to self so that I don’t forget them.  I can’t recall a year where I was already taking down the holiday décor as early as I am this year.  Even though I am jumping the gun early with clean up, I’m already thinking about Christmas 2015!  I hear your groans and I see your eyes rolling and I am politely ignoring you :)


I have been seeing a few things here and there leading up to Christmas that I could slap myself for not thinking of these things sooner.  Like literally.  With taking some of the things I already do and adding a few of these notes… Christmas 2015 will be even more amazing!  Enough rambling and let’s get to the ideas shall we?


Save for Christmas


Target Gift Cards – in every Target weekly ad there are options of getting gift cards with purchases.  Instead of rolling those gift cards into your next purchase, save the gift cards and use them for your holiday spending.  Awesome idea that I just didn’t think of.  Target has awesome deals that you can use manufacturer and Target coupons for and this is just an added bonus.




Target Cartwheel app – I’ve discussed this here and there and on facebook, but I am in love with this app.  This year they offered a toy on 50% off every day up until Christmas Eve during the holidays.  I took advantage of a few and they were really great deals.  My only complaint is that they didn’t have a large variety of boy toys.  Many of the special offers were targeted at girls and toddlers.  The app itself, however had a ton of great discount offers that really helped stretch my money this Christmas and I hope they continue with this next year.



QVC – I bought a gift for DH on QVC this year and I was enticed by the great easy pay offer.  They had so many great offers that I wanted to take advantage of but had to be budget conscious.  These great offers weren’t on my list so since they weren’t planned for, and I was already going overboard by the time these offers were coming, I couldn’t do it.  But next year I want to.  So much more convenient and to do without the traffic and crowds.  After studying the deals, QVC wins in a lot of areas, and budgeting for those big ticket items now will help me to afford the luxury of shopping on tv.



Shopkick and Ibotta – I’ve talked about both of these apps several times on the blog, but it must be said again.  These apps are awesome ways to save for the holidays.  With Shopkick I was able to use Target gift cards that I earned to get presents for the kiddos.  I will continue to earn my kicks and save them up till next season.  I earned a lot just for shopping during Black Friday.  Ibotta is adding new ways to earn every time I turn around and that cash I will save up till next season as well.  Savings Star, Checkout 51 and even Walmart’s Savings Catcher app are all great honorable mentions.  The key is making it a habit to check your apps before you shop.  Before you know it, you’ll have hundreds of dollars saved up, with very little effort on your part.



Holiday Cash Fund -- I’ve talked about this several times before also, but it’s the primary way, in my opinion, to save up for the holidays.  I only see things becoming more expensive as my kids get older and they want less toys and more tech stuff and pricy shoes and clothes. 


Shop All Year Long --  I will admit that I used to think this was a dumb idea.  Primarily because I have younger kids, who are constantly growing, so how would I know in March what they want in December?  This year, it wasn’t intentional, but I was in Target, (can you tell I shop there a lot?) and I saw a cute puppy purse that Brianna wanted.  I wasn’t willing to pay retail price, but one day during the summer, it was under $5 on clearance.  I scooped it up and tucked it away and remembered to pull it out for a Christmas gift.  The key word is remembered. Lol  Keep a little log of gifts you buy like this and keep them in a place you will remember and this is a great way to prepare for next Christmas.


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After Christmas Sales -- for me these are great to get décor and wrapping supplies.  I spent more than I wanted to this Christmas because I didn’t have as much wrapping supplies as I thought I did.  I didn’t have much to spend after Christmas, but I was able to get 7 new rolls of wrapping paper, so I’m set for next year!  I don’t buy many gifts for the next year after Christmas, but that’s something I will start doing as I can.


Next Christmas I hope that my employment is different.  Regardless, I will need to be off Christmas Eve and the day after Christmas.  I would like to reschedule how we meet with our families and eventually I would like to host Christmas when we finally move.  I love the memories we created this year.  I will be popping in throughout 2015 with saving for Christmas updates.  It will be hard not to touch the money I’m earning in my apps and stacking gift cards but I know it’ll be sooo well worth it :)




How about you?  Did you see something that you want to incorporate into your holiday savings planning?  Share with me :)


Saturday, December 27, 2014

Our Christmas 2014




I hope everyone enjoyed their Christmas this year.  My family sure did :)


I wanted to take a moment to do a quick overview of our Christmas 2014.


For the past few years I have done a new additions to our tree post and this year, time just got away from me.  Here’s a quick collage of many of the new additions.




I am absolutely loving all of the new friends on the tree.  Olaf was the most hunted.  I looked for him and looked for him.  I found one at Target early in the season but thought he was too glittery.  By the time I got this one from Kohl’s, he was still too sparkly but I wanted Olaf.  The nutcrackers are my personal favorite.



In previous Christmas addition posts, I have mentioned my desire to buy more décor and less ornaments.  I went a little overboard all around.  I got several new ornaments, a nutcracker, a bell wreath and a nativity set.  I didn’t put up a ton of décor this year, including garland, but I did pick up some clearance pre-lit garland for only $6 at Walmart’s after Christmas sale yesterday.




Here’s our tree after Santa arrived:




Brianna has always left a letter for Santa, well at least for the past few years she has.  One year she asked him what is Mrs. Claus’s name?  The next year she left him a full questionnaire.  This year, she left this… and it touched my heart.




You know how you see all of the facebook posts with everybody opening their gifts?  Yeah Idk who has time for all of that.  Lol  I always start out taking pics and then stop because I can’t keep up.




The hubby and the kids all loved their gifts.  I’m already looking forward to next year :)  DH even said it’s one of his most happy Christmases he’s had in a long time.  That just melted my heart :)  I won’t let him forget it :)





I hope everyone had a very Merry and Blessed Christmas!!!!



Saturday, December 20, 2014

Bah Humbug or Nah?

Wow.  Five days till Christmas.


Who’s ready?


As far as gift buying goes… I am 97% done and that’s an awesome feeling.  I only have to buy for my nephew and finish a few stocking stuffers.  It feels great to be this close to being finished.  Yet, I am still overwhelmed.  Guess it’s just par for the course. 


I have not been in the Christmas spirit tho.  And it’s rather disappointing.  At this point, I am forcing myself into the spirit. The kids help me get into the spirit when they look at the few presents already under the tree, squealing with joy as they find the ones with their names on them.  That makes me feel good inside.   Or when I buy a new ornament, and put it on the tree, then I tell them to look for something new on the tree, and they get so excited.  It’s an awesome feeling and I’ve had a few of them, since I’ve added quite a few new friends to our tree and our décor.  I hope next year I can do a Holiday Home Tour post :-)


Who is going to wrap the rest of these gifts tho?  That’s what I really want to know.  Every day this week coming home from work, I’ve been beyond exhausted.  Work is kicking my arse.  And that’s the most polite way I can put it.  Here it is the weekend before Christmas and I’m only about 20% wrapped.  Jesus be a fence.  I’m the wrapper in the family.  I also have control issues, so there’s no letting my daughter have at it.  Maybe next year…doubtful tho.  If I can get these kids distracted today, then I will be able to get that percentage up drastically.  The goal is to avoid doing any wrapping on Christmas Eve.


If I am being honest with you, Christmas is a very sad time of the year, even with all of the festivities.  I kind of find myself just throwing all I have into Christmas to escape any low feelings.  I know I’m not the only one.  This is a hard time for many people for many reasons.  Maybe you lost a loved one around the holidays, or maybe the holidays just remind you of someone who has passed on.  Perhaps something of significance occurred during the holidays and it makes it difficult for you…a relationship ending, a friendship falling apart, the loss of a job… I mean there are so many ways and reasons that can cause you to feel the exact opposite of what you’re supposed to feel at Christmastime.  I wish I could snap my fingers and make all of that disappear for me and all of you.  I can’t do that.  But I can encourage you.  Know that you’re not alone.  Know that this too shall pass.  And I’m sure my method of working through things isn’t the most healthy.  But it works for me for now anyway.  Being one of Santa’s Elves aka Mommy distracts me from those thoughts.  Here’s some advice…


Don’t listen to sad Christmas songs.  You’ll just be boohooing in the car looking crazy.  Trust me. 


·        Do listen to spiritual Christmas songs.  When you realize that what we’re really celebrating is the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ you can’t help but turn your spirits.  I mean, my God!!!  Literally!!!

·        Don’t take out your feelings on others.  Don’t be Scrooge to everybody and expect holiday cheer to come back to you.  It doesn’t work that way.

·        Do watch holiday classics that remind you of a happy time in your childhood and/or that have a message of hope.  “It’s a Wonderful Life” is my 2nd all-time favorite movie and if you’re feeling down it will give you that hope that you need to keep going.

·        Do find something you like and do that.  Stake out a spot at your favorite book store and just give yourself an hour to go into another world.  Do buy that scarf you want that’s on an awesome sale as a Merry Christmas to me gift.

·        Don’t shop anymore if your budget is maxed out.  That’s doubly depressing to be low in the spirits and maxed out with your finances.



Those are just a few that I came up with off the top of my head.  With Christmas just a few days away, know that this too shall pass.  Enjoy Christmas with those you love.  If you are alone, there are many families who would love to have you for Christmas.  My mom was always one of those people who would invite random people over for dinner who she knew didn’t have family in town.  Not everyone can afford to travel and many people have to work.  Being retired military she knows about that life.  I will be able to do that too someday.


As for me, I am going to use these last few days before Christmas to really get into the spirit.  I bought egg nog today, on December 20th when I usually buy it at the beginning of the month.  I’ve turned on the holiday music.  The kids and I have been watching some of our favorite Christmas movies and cartoons and we have some more to go.  The presents are beginning to fill out the bottom of the tree.  I’ve learned that I can’t wrap gifts sitting on the floor anymore.  It hurts and it hurts for a while.  Standing up wrapping at the dining room table is much easier on my body.  I’ve also learned that wrapping a few gifts at a time makes it go faster, so that’s what I’ll be doing over the rest of the weekend.



Even though it’s been a struggle to get into the holiday spirit this year, I am making the conscious effort to not be Mrs. Bah Humbug over here.  Christmas is my favorite time of the year and I don’t have time to not make the best of it.  I can’t wait to see my children’s faces on Christmas morning as they tear through all of their gifts.  And see my husband’s surprise at his gifts.  It’s what it’s all about for me.  Plus I have a few items under the tree for me from me too, and what’s not better than that? ;-) 



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