Life... Health... Reviews...

Thursday, September 25, 2008

What's on your check?

As a mom, if I can save money on the services and products the children and I use on a regular basis then I feel like I’ve done a good job. I know if you’re like me then you feel the same way. Nowadays, there are so many ways to save on the things we use – groceries, medicine, household items, etc. – by using coupons, purchasing products online and taking advantage of rebates.

There’s probably one thing that most people don’t think about that they can save money on and that’s personal checks. I think I’ve ordered my checks from my bank a whopping total of once. When I realized how much they wanted for a small box of checks, which I don’t use that frequently, I knew that I had to find a better way.

Thus my quest to order checks online. This may sound silly: I don’t just order my checks online, but I shop for checks like I’m picking out an outfit to wear for a special occasion. For instance, if I had checks with a motivational quote on them last time then the next time I order them I get some with flowers, images of nature, relaxing beach scenes, fancy embossed lettering or cute little baby animals. (Yes, I like cute little baby animals!)

Since it’s almost time for me to order some more checks I thought I would go with something a little different and a little more personal. I was thinking about getting some photo checks! What do you think? Is a picture of one of my children on my checks too much? I think that would be cute.

I know! What about a picture of myself? Just to see the look on people’s faces when they saw my check would be motivation for me to use checks instead of my debit card when I make a purchase. I’m sure the cashiers would think that I’m full of myself. You have to admit … that is a little funny.

Okay, so I’ll stick to the animals and nature, but I was thinking that now that my teenager has her own checking account she can have a little zing on her checks by adding a personal photo. I don’t think she would get the type of looks that I would get. Whatever she decides to put on her checks, I just want her to order them online so that she can save a little money… ‘cause that’s the whole point, right? Whatever we do, whatever we need to purchase, we should do it responsibly and save a little money in the process.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Pass it on

I got an award and tag from Donna, and I am a little late in posting it. However, it's not when you post it's that you get it posted. (Said like someone who frequently forgets to post things when they say they will! LOL)

As a recipient of this award, there are rules to follow: Answer the following questions with one word answers and one word only! Then pass it on to five others! The questions are as follows:

1. Where is your cell phone? Desk
2. Where is your significant other? Who?
3. Your hair color? Brown
4. Your mother? Funny
5. Your father? Heaven
6. Your favorite thing? Chocolate
7. Your dream last night? None
8. Your dream/goal? Author
9. The room you’re in? Office
10. Your hobby? Reading
11. Your fear? Failure
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Vacationing
13. Where were you last night? Home
14. What you’re not? Crazy
15. One of your wish-list items? Laptop
16. Where you grew up? Maryland
17. The last thing you did? Talked
18. What are you wearing? Clothes
19. Your TV? Old
20. Your pet? None
21. Your computer? ThinkPad
22. Your mood? Tired
23. Missing someone? Maybe
24. Your car? Dodge
25. Something you’re not wearing? Socks
26. Favorite store? Wal-Mart
27. Your summer? Fab
28. Love someone? Sure
29. Your favorite color? Red
30. When is the last time you laughed? Earlier
31. Last time you cried? Yesterday

The five bloggers that I’m nominating:

1. Tina F.
2. Tammy
3. Toni
4. Lin
5. Tina

Now, for you recipients of this award, here’s the deal:

* Display your award.
* Link back to the person who gave you the award.
* Nominate at least 5 other blogs.
* Put links to those blogs on yours.
* Leave a message on the blogs of the people you’ve nominated.
* Enjoy your award!

My birthday celebration

I know you have been anxiously awaiting my birthday recap, but I've gotten a little behind on my to-do list. You'll have to forgive me for falling behind on my blogging - both posting and visiting - 'cause this week has been pretty busy AND fun with my BFF still in town.

I remember I told you a little bit about my 40th birthday and some of the things I'd gotten so far. Here is the rest:

As you know my birthday celebration began on September 1st when my teenager daughter said she was going to cook dinner every night (good gift, huh?). So by Friday the 19th, I was in full-swing, enjoying-birthday mode. My BFF came into town on Thursday and on Friday we didn't do much of anything (that I can remember), but played one of my favorite games (Scrabble!) that night.

I hate to admit it, but he beat me in the first game of Scrabble. It's only because he got lucky. I demanded an immediate re-match and beat him... I must add that we've played another game since then and I beat him again! :D

Here we are in the van running a few errands. Don't I look like I'm having fun? (No, I was not driving when the picture was taken. We were sitting in a parking lot.)

On Saturday, the day of my birthday, I had a chance to sleep in a little and when I got up my BFF gave me a box wrapped in silver paper with a cloth ribbon. I opened it to find:

Juicy Couture!!! And it smells fabulous. He so rocks because I had mentioned to him a few months ago that I loved that scent and he got it for me. Needless to say I have been smelling yummy since that day.

That same morning my teenager also fixed me breakfast. Here's me trying to hide behind my gigantic coffee cup... Amber (the teenager) prefers me to drink a regular sized cup of coffee, but in honor of my birthday I was allowed to indulge! (What she doesn't know is that I've had a large cup of coffee every morning since then. ... And you better not tell her!)

Now, for the moment you've all been waiting for. (Insert drum roll here.) What secret were the teenager and the BFF keeping? They had made reservations for me to eat at a restaurant I've always wanted to experience.

The Sun Dial Restaurant Bar and View, which is Atlanta's only tri-level dining complex featuring a revolving upscale restaurant, a rotating cocktail lounge and an observatory View Level that has a 360-degree panorama of the magnificent Atlanta skyline. The Sun Dial is 723 feet (73 stories) above the city.

I had the oven-roasted Scottish black pearl salmon with English pea potato mash, fava bean succotash and sweet corn broth. Sorry, I was so excited that I forgot to take a picture of the food, but you can take my word for it when I say it was mouth watering. My BFF (don't worry, you'll find out who he is soon enough!) had the roasted Ashley Farms organic chicken forestier with mashed potatoes and wild mushrooms, which he said was really good.

It would be remiss of me to forget to mention the beautiful display of red roses that were waiting for me on our table. I was surprised and pleased... all in all it was a great dinner.

Check me out on the observation deck. Both pictures were taken within minutes of each other - one with a flash and one without:

After dinner we went to the movies at the Atlantic Station theatre and saw Righteous Kill. It was an okay movie... just a little slow. This is us waiting for the movie to get started.

Although I neglected to get pictures of it; I have to tell you that the teenager and I went to Spa Sydell and enjoyed full-body massages and facials. Both were the best I've ever had.

I've loved and appreciated everything I've received and experienced during my birthday celebration, but it would not be complete without a little chocolate:

(Those are my favorite... okay, yes, every chocolate is my favorite!)

Finally, to celebrate my birthday with all of the children, we had cake (guess what kind!) on Monday night.

Before I end this post, I know you've been wondering about this MD BFF... well, I've kept him a mystery because he's actually Frankie. You know him: The Frankie who comments on the majority of my posts. He thinks it's funny to comment and pretend like he doesn't really know me, but after all the wonderful things he's done for me I thought you should find out who he is. Here he is: My BFF since 1986. Good friends really do rock!


Wordless Wednesday... You're silly!


Monday, September 22, 2008

Win a coupon organizer

You could win the cutest little coupon organizer ever... The giveaway is being hosted by Moms Helping Mom Save Money and it's their first giveway. Visit the site for entry rules. Good luck.

Beginning a total body transformation

Almost everyone knows that I’ve been losing weight (I’ve lost 30 pounds so far) and have a little more (about 19) that I want to lose. You may also know that I watch what I eat, but I don’t workout on a regular basis. Well, that may change with XFLOWSION, which has revolutionary TRIPLE TRAINING™ - the only exercise program that is touted to efficiently and effectively give you all three workouts in one convenient workout by combining the best moves from martial arts, power yoga and dance. The best thing about it is that you don't need to spend all day, everyday in the gym. This program is a 3-in-1 workout that provides results in one-third of the time.

I think it’s exactly what I need, what do you think? I mean this could literally change my life (and my body) because I am committed to looking and feeling better especially since I just turned 40. Wouldn’t it be great to end my weight loss quest with an exercise program that will help me scuplt and stretch my body from head to toe and, according to XFLOWSION, from the inside out. Meaning my core will also get a workout and that’s exactly what I need to get these stomach muscles under control. Not only will this help me get those final pounds off, but I heard it’ll be fun too.

Wish me luck.


Smooth, creamy & dark

Hi, my name is Petula, and I'm a chocoholic. Yes, I'm putting my dirty little secret out there for all to know. I'm not just an any-type-of-chocolate girl. I consider myself a true chocolate connoisseur. I like premium chocolate. Dark chocolate. I like melt-in-your-mouth, make-you-want-to-slap-your-momma chocolate.

You know what I'm talking about, right?! (I know Tammy does because she's a confessed chocolate lover too!) One of my favorite brands of chocolate was featured in O magazine and it's made by NewTree. They have the best chocolate ever, but I've noticed lately that regular companies are trying their hand at winning over us chocolate lovers. For instance, like Dove and M&Ms that have come out with premium chocolate experiences.

Then there's my all-time favorite. A chocolate that can not be surpassed... a tried and true favorite: Godiva. Their solid dark chocolate bar -- with it's whopping 230 calories -- is absolutely to die for. A bar, which I must admit, I finished off in less than five minutes a few minutes ago.

Yes, that's the empty wrapper sitting on my desk... *SIGH*... I just couldn't help myself.

I will also admit it was an emotional induced moment, but I so enjoyed it. If you're addicted like me - don't hide in shame. Share your addiction with us now. You'll feel better afterward. If you have other addictions, feel free to reveal them too. We won't talk about you in public... just in private.

Happy addiction enjoyment to you!


Get 25 percent off at VistaPrint

One of the best things you can do for your business is have professional stationary and supplies like business cards, letterhead, note cards and anything that you give out to represent your company or service. I'm not just saying this, but one of my favorite places to order business cards is vista. Not too long ago I updated my business cards - I kept the same design, which I think really fits me - and changed the information to reflect my current services and to include the new URL of my blog.

If you haven't done so already check out and order whatever you need. You can choose from high-quality brochures, holiday cards, wall calendars, t-shirts (I got one of these for free to see how it would look with my blog information on it) and postcards - among other things. If you order now you can get 25 percent off site wide by using the coupon code: VPRINT25. That's more discounts to their already low prices.

The VistaPrint site is easy to use and one of the things that I like the best about it is that they save your order history. So, when you sign in again they'll have images of the products you've already used and you can update them or design and order an entirely new product.

Check out VistaPrint for low prices and high quality products.


Summer ends

Today, September 22, marks the first day of Fall. Since I moved to the South, about 12 years ago, the beginning of this season has been quite strange to me. The stores begin selling fall and winter clothes while most of us are still sporting sundresses and shorts, skipping around in sandals, hanging out at parks and driving around with the windows down and sunroofs open.

I've noticed that the mornings are cooler, but I refuse to put on a jacket. I'm not cold yet and I'm definitely not ready to make the transition from one season to another. Does this mean I'm resistant to change? Possibly. But I'd like to think that it's just because I want to enjoy my favorite season.

Although the colors of fall are beautiful -- the falling leaves and changing foliage -- I long for the brilliance of the summer sun that shines on the flowers and warms my skin. I'll slowly adjust to the changing weather, the need for heat instead of air conditioning and the necessity to slip on a jacket and a pair of socks. I'll cover up reluctantly and dream of next year when tank tops, shorts and sandals make an appearance again.

For now I'll enjoy the breeze on my skin and the crisp, dewy mornings thankful that I've lived another year to experience it.

Above, the view from the front of my house, you can see the leaves starting to fall into my driveway from the many trees surrounding my home.

Tell me:
What's your favorite season and what are you looking forward to this fall?
(I found some information here about the first day of Fall if you'd like to read it -- seemed kind of interesting.)
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