Saturday, February 28, 2009

DQ!

Dairy Queen now has a value menu. To be honest, I would get 4 sundaes. I"m an ice cream fiend.

Thanks For Reading,
SonyaAnn

Friday, February 27, 2009

Free Panties!

Yeah more free stuff. This is a printable coupon from Express and its good until March 1st.

Free Essential Cotton Panty

Store Locator

Thanks for Reading,
SonyaAnn

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Money saving tidbit

I have found a new way to save some money. Actually it's been around for a while but I don't think that it's done in the home very often. I've been repackaging leftovers. I've found that if I put leftover spaghetti in a clear cute container, it gets eaten very quickly. Or a piece of leftover pizza in a baggie instead of wrapped in aluminum, it's gone in a flash. If I make the leftovers more eye appealing, they are eaten rapidly. And it helps if I move them to the front and center of the refrigerator. Ahh, product placement and packaging who would ever have thought that I could find a use for it in the home.
Thanks for Reading,
SonyaAnn


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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Gross Cleaning Tip

Super, gross, yucky cleaning tip! We have really hard water in our town. In fact the joke is no one here has a white shirt. Everything turns yellow and no amount of bleach will keep things white. Anyways, I was scrubbing the tub with a magic eraser and there was just a little left. So I used the last piece on the toilet bowl. All the hard water stains were gone. I of course, pitched what was left but from now on I'll save the last of it for the toilets. I use toilet bowl cleaner, the tabs and weekly pour bleach in the bowl and nothing helps. So this is wonderful. I was thinking that we would have to replace the toilets because it just made me feel dirty. Everyone has this problem around here but until now no one was able to get the ring out. I know a couple people that will be real happy about this discovery.
Thanks for Reading,
SonyaAnn

Monday, February 23, 2009

By Sunday Evening

I can't be the only one that is sick of their family by Sunday evening! I know that you are never supposed to admit that. And you are only allowed to say what a blessing they are. If you say something along the lines of, you are pissing me off or that I'm running away or perhaps I'm going to choke you, it means that I'm a terrible person. So I'm not admitting to any of those maybe just flirting with it.
The cat puked in the corner. So what did the three of them do, they argued about it. Then each one decided that it was the other one's problem. And of course, they left it. So 2 hours later, I find it. So a fight breaks out between the three of them because it was someone elses fault. You get only one guess to decide who cleaned up the puke. Me! Then I washed an entire pickle. Really!?!? I guess it was too much to ask someone(no one would own up to it) to scrape their plate. So they dumped the entire thing in the dishwasher. It held up surprisingly well, who knew you could run a pickle threw the dishwasher? At what point, do I get to get even?
Thanks for Reading,
SonyaAnn

Free Sub!!!!

Hurry! Free subs for the first million. They will send you a link and then you can print your coupon. It's only good for 5 days after you print it. I'm going to save it until I know we are going!! Yeah free food!
Free Sub!
Thanks for Reading,
SonyaAnn

Thursday, February 19, 2009

My free addiction

I'm always on the look out for cheap entertainment. It's almost a sin to tell you about this because I've become so addicted. I hate to see another soul lost. But I've been listening to the 80's on VH1. I'm dating myself by telling you. And then I've been playing Brick Breaking. It doesn't look like much of a game but the goal is to zero out all of the bricks. At first it seems so simple but it is so difficult to not leave any of the blocks. Have fun.
Thanks for Reading,
SonyaAnn

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Eating bugs



-->I'm a God awful parent. I'll just start another parenting story there. Poor D.J.
One of the women that Den works with just got back from
Mexico. The department Den works in gets along really well and most of them try to bring everyone a little trinket back from a trip. This time Den got a bag of beans, dried and coated in yummy spices. Den said they are call avas. If you ever get the chance hoard them, they are the best treat ever. So Den and I were happily munching on them when D.J. walked in. We told him to try one and he did. He popped it in his mouth and started chewing, then asked what it was. I said a cockroach. He opened his mouth and stuck out his tongue and had a full on fit that we fed him a bug. Den started laughing and then choked on his avas. D.J. looked as if he wanted his tongue to jump out of his mouth. He was furious at me. Den was laughing, crying and choking all at the same time. He spit it out before I could tell him what it was. He didn't get over that one for a while. Then Anna came home after her practice and ate one. I couldn't resist and told her the same thing. She spit it out right there onto the floor. She took it much better than the boy. Screaming funny.
Now here's the kicker, each of my children whole heartedly believed that I would feed them bugs. This incident makes you wonder about my parenting skills.
Thanks for
Reading,
SonyaAnn

Monday, February 16, 2009

That's a big ten-four good buddy?



-->I just want to start this story with Anna is a good kid. She is a honor role student, in sports year round, pays her own car insurance, does her chores every day and cleans her 82 yr old great grandfather's house once a week. And she is drug tested by the school, you can't play sports unless you are clean. She made a mistake just as we all do. Don't skewer her, I'm thankful she is as good as she is. And I'm glad that she is a better teenager than I was. So on to the story........
Little miss Anna was not going where she was supposed to be. She said she was going one place and then heading off to another. She was hanging out with an 18 yr old. She can date but we have to meet him. That's the rule and it's not negotiable. Well, she bypassed the rule but not for long. I came unhinged, who knew? I took her car, she was grounded from going anywhere and all friends and I took her phone. She is no longer with the boy and I'm thankful because he was in some trouble. The problem I ran into was the bus. She had told me a long time ago, after we had given her the car, that a lot of the kids were getting stoned at the bus stop. And when she started driving to school she was glad that she didn't have to deal with that anymore. She has sports after school and clubs so her schedule is up in the air quite a bit. Den said she should ride the bus. But that boy was on the bus too. So Den and I had a huge fight and I gave her the car back after 2 weeks. The school is
1.2 miles from our house and it's too cold to walk and I don't want to have to drive to and from the school 4 times a day everyday. So I gave her the car and a walkie talkie. They are on loan from friends of ours. My thinking was if I gave her her phone then she would be able to coordinate plans and it would start all over again. And then it's not much of a punishment, if she gets everything back. I like to know when she gets to the school(I worry) and when she is on her way home. So now, she calls me on the walkie talkie. She has been a real good sport about it and calls and says things like, "hey good buddy or over and out or what's your vector or niner,niner." So we laugh about it now but I'm still not giving the cell back. We also had a talk with her coach and if she doesn't show up to practice, he is to call us and vise versa. He said that she hadn't missed any practices but he would keep us informed. (Gotta love him)
Did I make a poor choice in giving her the car back, probably. I've been very honest with the kids and I tell them that I'm making it up as I go along. When they grow up I'm sure they will have tons of stories about us but all I really want is for them to know that we really tried. I didn't always succeed but with all the love in my heart, I tried.
Thanks for reading,
SonyaAnn

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

In honor of Valentine's Day, here is a great way to spend the day, reading a love story. Curl up with someone you love.

I'm still loving the freebies! 16 free Harlequin Novels!
Download your FREE book - Harlequin’s gift to you.

Thanks for Reading,
SonyaAnn

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Yeah Dejunking!

I'm a freak of nature. I love to clean and dejunk, it makes me smile. I even offer to dejunk my friend's closets. I only do this with my very closest of friends. Because I morph into a drill Sergeant. I just believe that we all drag too much crap around in this life time. That said I have 2 teenagers and we have a lot of crap too.
We usually start to dethaw in May and I don't want to start cleaning when I could be outside. So I go through the house twice. I make a list and go through every nook and cranny and donate everything not in use. I try to do 3 spots a day, maybe a couple drawers or shelves. In about a month’s time, I'm done. And then round two, I scrub the hell out of everything. I don't use harsh chemical because I'm an asthmatic. But soap, water, vinegar and anti-bacterial soap are my weapons of choice. It's not clean unless your arm is weak and the muscle is burning, is what my wonderful grandmother would say. I would help her scrub when I was about 8 until the skin on my hands would crack and bleed. It sounds miserable but I loved the time that we spent together and I wish so often for just one more brief moment with her. But that said it's easy to see where this obsession began.
I'm off to clean and it's a good day. (I need help!)
Thanks for reading,
SonyaAnn

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Freebies!

If one of your New Year's Resolutions was to quit smoking, this might help. It's a free NicoDerm CQ patch from Walmart. I got one for Den but I doubt this little present will make him happy!

http://instoresnow.walmart.com/enhancedrendercontent_ektid64766.aspx

Thanks for Reading,
SonyaAnn

My $.55(ish) rolls



-->
These are the french bread rolls I made. I think that they actually cost less than $.55 but I have no idea how much the yeast cost. I buy 2 bricks of it a year and they cost about $3.99 a brick. SO really that doesn't help either of us figure out the costs but we bake quite a bit throughout the year. I could have broken it down by using those little packages of yeast but then it would of cost way over $1 for the rolls. Anyways, they are yummy and easy. Making bread is really easy like this, it just needs time to rise. And the best part is you get to punch it! I love being immature.
I got this recipe off the internet a long time ago and I have modified it quite a bit so I don't know who gets credit for it. But here it is...
French Bread Rolls
5 to 5 1/2 cups of flour
5 teaspoons yeast
1 1/2 teaspoon salt

1.) In large bowl add 2 cups flour, 5 teaspoons yeast, and 1 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add 2 cups very warm water and mix well.
2.) Mix in the rest of the flour and knead into a firm ball. I knead right in the bowl so I don't make a mess. Knead 10 minutes.
3.) Place the ball into a greased bowl and cover, let rise 1 hour.
4.) Punch down and let rise another 10 minutes.
5.) Divide into 8 balls and place on 2 greased cookie sheets. I sprinkle the cookie sheets with cornmeal so they don't stick.
6.) Let rise anywhere from 45-60 minutes.
7.) Bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes.
This is a very forgiving recipe. One time I forgot it and it rose for almost 3 hours. I just punched it down. Another time I didn't have enough time and I only let it rise for a hour total. It was flat but still really tasty. I did brush these with butter because I wanted the picture to look better but I normally don't do that. It doesn't change the taste just the look.



-->

No one ever complains about having to eat these and I always have enough left over for the next night. We usually have this with homemade vegetable soup. So tomorrow, we will have left over soup, salad and the french bread roles. So for a few minutes of measuring and 10 minutes of kneading, I have enough good bread for two nights.
Thanks for Reading,
SonyaAnn

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Great Depression?

Right off the top, I need to say that I'm not nearly smart enough to understand all of the economic information. And at times I'm truly confused by it. I sit here and try to decipher the language used by the "smart" people. But I found this article and I've made it a must read in this house. I've said for a while that the unemployment numbers are being skewed. Everything is being compared to the Great Depression. Well if that's the case then use the same formula that was used during the Great Depression to calculate the actual unemployment rate. The latest unemployment rate I could find was 7.6%. I figured out the unemployment rate, if we used the same formula that we did during the Depression and right now it's at 18.7%. Are my figures correct? Honestly probably not. But are the governments? This is a wonderful article.
Great depression jobs parallel may not be far flung

Thanks for Reading,
SonyaAnn

Monday, February 9, 2009

Still working on the New Year's resolutions

I'm still trying to accomplish all of my resolutions but I'm faltering in some areas.

A Recap

1.) Lose a few more pounds (I only lost 4 lbs but it's better than gaining)
2.) Write 2 books at the same time
3.) Improve the blog
4.) Start generating an income from writing
5.) Knock down our debt (I will continue to make 2 extra payments on the house a year & will try to pay extra on the 2nd mortgage)
6.) Find a way to pay for Anna's college

I'm giving myself a boo or a yeah rating!
1
.) I gained 2 pounds so I'm only down 2. But I'm still working on it, it just seems the more calories I cut the more I gain. Sounds weird, I know. I'm thinking it might have something to do with the thyroid or maybe water weight gain. Not real sure but I'm not giving up either. I'm just going to try something new. I'll keep you posted. BOO!
2.) I'm writing 2 books now. It's really hard and is taking up a lot of my day. I'm hoping that it will get easier once I get into the swing of it. Anna thought that I might have a hard time keeping them separate but that's not the hard part, it's keeping up with my household chores. Yeah!
3.)
Well, I'm still writing so I'm ok with this one.Yeah!
4.) Haven't made one penny. BOO!
5.) We are still paying down the house but I haven't found any extra to put towards the second mortgage yet. So Yeah! and Boo!
6.) I've been researching grants on line for a while and have gone to all the classes that Anna's high school offers. And I've been talking to Anna's cousin that received a bunch of grants and she said she would help us. I don't know how to rate this one it's not a Boo or a Yeah. I'm going to keep working on this but she can't start applying until August so I will have an idea then.
So far I've got 3 Boo's and 3 Yeah's so I guess I'm getting somewhere. Or I could look at it as a wash. But I'm going to look at the positive side of this and appreciate the fact that I'm still trying.
I'll check back and let you know if I'm actually getting anywhere.
Thanks For Reading,
SonyaAnn

Living on Unemployment

This is just my what if budget I have been working on. I looked it up and in the state of Illinois the maximum you can get a week is $534.So I would have $2136 a month. I really don't know how this works and I'm sure this isn't with taxes being withheld. But I'm not going to call them and try to find out, I bet they are a little too busy for a question like this.

Here is the budget now
1296.00 House payment(bi-weekly) so we save $324 a week
122.00 Car Insurance
183.00 Nicor and Comed
25.00 Home phone
135.00 2nd mortgage with a little extra
280.00 gas for all three cars
38.00 satelite
480.00 groceries for the month 120.00 a week
75.00 Den smokes
70.00 garbage and water
24.00 synthroid and iron pills for me
2728.00 total
On unemployment (It's sketchy)
1190.00 House payment (stop all extra payments)
115.00 Car insurance(raise deductibles)
125.00 Nicor and Comed (line dry and freeze)
0.00 phone (drop it)
100.00 2nd mortgage(no extra$)
80.00 gas for car
0.00 satelite(drop it)
350.00 groceries
75.00 Den smokes (you tell him to quit)
60.00 garbage and water (bathe less and stink)
12.00 synthroid and iron pills (generic)
2107.00 total
This is rough but I might be able to swing it. I think that I might be able to shave a little more off of the car insurance and the Nicor and Comed. I might have it too low for the groceries and the gas for the cars. But it looks like it might work itself out. I just hope that I never have to implement this. I feel very blessed that we are still hanging on.
Thanks for Reading,
SonyaAnn

Welcome Tight Fisted Miser Readers!

I just wanted to say a huge thank you to Andy. I consider it to be a honor that I can sponsor part of a giveaway. Please just poke around and see if there is anything of interest for you. I'm not a financial expert by any means I'm just a mom trying to find the best path for my family.
Thank you for Reading,
SonyaAnn

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Free Stuff!


This is a good one. First read the article and then download the free workout videos.

http://shine.yahoo.com/channel/health/the-bare-minimum-amount-of-exercise-you-need-to-stay-healthy-its-less-than-you-think-362327/

http://store.exercisetv.tv/p-2103-free-jillian-michaels-mini-workouts.aspx?intcid=dottv:storepromo
(cut and paste)

Thanks for
Reading,
SonyaAnn

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Free Book Downloads!!

I'm still loving the freebies! 16 free Harlequin Novels, This is a good Valentine's day gift for yourself!

http://www.harlequincelebrates.com/
(cut and paste)

Thanks for Reading,
SonyaAnn

Friday, February 6, 2009

My letter to the CEO of Amazon

I'm crazy first off but I know this. This is the letter that I wrote. I mailed it on Tuesday.


Dear Mr. Bezos,
My name is SonyaAnn Mott and my book Dissipate is for sale on Amazon. I’m sure that you are wondering why I’m contacting you. I have a very slight request. I would like to have a quick synopsis about my book added to the information on your site. Now before you discard this letter, I have tried all the avenues offered by your wonderful company. I truly love Amazon and at times wonder if I’m an addict. This is in no way a letter to bash you or your company.
I personally don’t believe in saying anything that would be hurtful in anyway. That said I have two teenagers and I don’t always follow through on that but I try. Right about now you are wondering why I’m telling you all of this, there is a point just hang on. I try to be fair and respectful and never do anything that I might later regret. Key word is try. I help any friend or family member in need, often going beyond the call of duty. I recently helped a friend of mine; reorganize her entire house so she could put it on the market. I am also known as the cookie lady. I make many trays of homemade cookies during the holidays and give them out. And I bet at this point, you are back to wondering what does this have to do with you. Well, the point that I’m trying to make is I work hard to be a kind person. I am in no way a saint but I will do the best that I can to help anyone in need.

And where does Amazon come into play, I can hear your wheels turning. My simple little request of adding a synopsis has turned into quite an ordeal. I started by email my request a few times. Everyone was quite kind with their responses but we never succeeded in getting it added. Then my next few attempts were calling, your employees were very apologetic but again nothing was added. I had the sneaking feeling though that I wasn’t going to get results during the last phone call when I had to spell the word THE very slowly. Please don’t get me wrong everyone was very friendly and kind just not very helpful. And as much as I’ve tried to be upbeat and fair, I’m losing the battle of staying the sweet cookie lady. The voices in my head are now contemplating very bad things (rude letters and maybe voodoo). I try to always keep evil at bay but this friendly but frustrating exchange is wearing me down. Please save me from the naughty voices in my head and add the synopsis.
I thank you for your time,
SonyaAnn Mott
Synopsis
The normal creaks and groans of your home you overlook, the rush of the water from the sink, the gurgle of a draining tub. A new sound is added, possibly overlooked but not for long. Intoxicating and deafening, it hunts you. Paralyzed by fear and overcome with a sense of tranquility, you realize to late your fate is sealed. A single mother finds her inner strength and stands against what hunts us.
Here's the funny part the synopsis was added today.
Thanks For Reading,
SonyaAnn

Thursday, February 5, 2009

UGH!

I'm no where near where I need to be with funding the "funds". I finished filling the birthday fund so now I have $500 for all the gifts I need to buy for the year(YEAH). And the "other holiday" fund is full. I put $350 in that one and it covers Valentine's day, Easter, Grand Parent's day and so on. And I have $610 in the car fund so only $190 more until I'm through with that one. I feel like I'm just a little behind is all. The kids kicked in their money for the FL trip but we still have quite a bit to go. So I'm hoping for a large tax return. I would like to use that to finish off the FL trip and the Christmas fund. I usually try to take the tax return and pay off the largest fund. Having to fill a fund that is that large seems impossible sometimes. So it's much easier just to pay for the little things. I'm more of an instant gratification kind of person, I guess. I guess we will see when the time comes.
Thanks for reading,
SonyaAnn

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Free shampoo sample


--> Free Dove sample!

http://www.dove.us/#/haircare/free_sample.aspx/
(cut and paste)

Thanks For
Reading,
SonyaAnn

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Hotel Rome




-->These are the pictures of our room at the Hotel Rome. We had a great time. We ended up bringing Anna, DJ, his best friend and his best friend's little sister(9yrs old). It ended up costing us $170 for the room but that was because we had to upgrade to a room for 6. But I'm glad that we did.
We made sandwiches at home the morning we left and ate them on the drive up there. So that saved us from having to buy lunch for 6. And the hotel of course had a microwave and frig in the room. We took full advantage of that and brought cup-a-soup and lots of junk food. We got there about
11am so when we got our room at 3pm, we went up stairs and filled up on junk. It's one of the few times I encourage everyone to eat like that. That night after a hard day of swimming, we ordered pizza and had it delivered. That was a real treat for us, we haven't ordered a pizza in a long time.
Hotel Rome is really a great place because for the price of the room, everyone in your party gets unlimited access to the indoor theme park and the indoor water park. The water park is not the best one in the Dells, the indoor theme park is. But for the price I would recommend it.
We left the hotel around
12:30 and then went out to eat at Cracker Barrel. So we paid for 2 meals which came to $85 for both and the cost of all the junk food ($30ish). And I almost forgot $40 in the game room. But they won enough tickets to pay for a round of lazer tag. It would have cost $30 for the lazer tag but it's a rip off either way. But I'm sure the family would disagree with me on that one. And we had to put gas in the van and that was $40. So our total for DJ's 13th birthday was $365(ish). God, that's a lot for a party but he's only 13 once so I'll let it go. Anna had a nice 13th so I have to be fair. But when she was 13 we weren't having to watch our pennies so closely. Anyways, we used our credit card points for this so that took $250 off and I saved $75 for it. So it was only $40 out of pocket, I guess I won't complain too much over $40.
And on a side note, if there is ever a war and you're thinking about giving me a gun, DON'T. I got spanked at lazer tag. It was pitiful.
Thanks for reading,
SonyaAnn

Monday, February 2, 2009

Homemade dog food

First I don't want to hear about how you can make your dog sick by making their food(lovingly said). Our cat was poisoned by tainted cat food and eventually died a long painful death. Yes I understand that if your not careful they can get very sick. But after all the vet bills and eventually finding out that our animals were being poisoned we decided to make our own pet food. The strange thing is our dog Jessie and our two cats, Harry and Cinders were all poisoned but only Cinders passed away. I think that it had to do with her being the oldest. But I don't know, it's just a guess.
Another good side effect of us making Jessie her food is that she has only had one seizure in 2 years. This is a miracle because she was having about one seizure every other week when she was eating dry dog food. It was getting to the point where she was going to have to be medicated. So this is a nice side effect of making her food. It proves to me that we are doing the right thing.
To make her food we just save all of our meat scraps and it's kind of nice knowing that almost all of our food is being used. Anything else goes to the birds or the cute raccoon family that lives under the neighbor's shed. Anyways, if your animal is sickly I would really check into making your own food. Just research different recipes until you find one that your pet likes.
For Harry, we were making cat food for a while but he was so picky that we went back to cans of cat food. He doesn't seem to be having any problems and he was wasting so much food that I'm ok with it for now.
It is a lot more work but I feel that their health is worth the extra effort.
Thanks for Reading,
SonyaAnn