Saturday, March 26, 2011

How the coupon class went...

Last night, we held a coupon class at our church. It was really fun and the turn out was great! We had a couple different kinds of coffee, as well as some snacks. A lady who doesn't even normally attend our church offered to make a cake and what she brought was not only delicious but so cute. It was a bundt cake that she had decorated for the coupon theme with "Save Some Green" on a banner stuck into the cake. We had a few other simple decorations around. I really wish I had taken pictures! I was so sad when I got home after cleaning up and realized my camera had never made it's way out of my purse! I would have liked to have shown you with pictures, but words will have to do.

My co-teacher, Terri and I had so much information to share and I really hope it was helpful and not confusing or overwhelming to those just starting with coupons! I spoke first and covered couponing basics, and then Terri explained all the great ways to save at Rite Aid in particular. There was lots of chatting and fellowship throughout the evening so that was so fun.

I'm including my notes in this post although I'm not sure how much of them I actually followed! I think in actuality, I did more rambling than note following! Oh well... I had a table set out with my "free stockpile"... just items in my home that I've gotten for free using coupons. These were not items I got for free because I bought something else, but rather the value of the coupons I used covered the entire cost of the product. The table was completely full. REALLY wish I had a picture! We played a game to get started: whoever had the closest guess for the value of my free stockpile won, as well as a random winner drawn from the slips of paper with guesses on them. The cost was $516.03. That number was calculated based on WalMart regular prices, although none of the items were bought from WalMart. I just wanted to give a fair price (instead of the outrageous regular prices at the drug stores where they were actually bought from). Our two winners were ladies who were guests of our church ladies, so that was neat. They each won a coupon organizer, calculator and a pair of scissors. ☺

Here are my notes:


Can you guess the value of my free stock pile? Closest guess wins a prize!

Our class tonight will hopefully give you an overview and place to start your own couponing adventures! We won’t be able to cover every single aspect of utilizing coupons but hopefully, you will learn enough to start saving significant amounts of your own grocery bill and never pay full price ever again.

What we’re NOT going to do:

- Be extreme to the point that coupons begin to actually hurt our families instead of help them.
Anything can become a bad thing when it is not properly prioritized.
- Buy stuff just because we have a coupon for it.
I still throw many of my coupons out.
- Run ourselves ragged to catch a deal.
I usually shop at RA and PC once a week and Target/Wal-Mart ever few weeks as I feel up to it.
- Be dishonest to get a cheaper price.
No copying coupons. No using expired coupons. Read the coupons, follow the rules.
- Spend more to save more.
It doesn’t matter what the bottom of your receipt tells you that you saved; what matters is how much cold hard cash came out of your wallet.

So HOW does one save all this money with coupons? I used to casually browse through the coupon inserts on Sunday and know that even with $.50 or even $1 off certain products, I could still buy the generic for less. So I would only clip for items that I really liked name brands. Now, I am spending WAY less and having fun using the fancy name brand products I went without for so many years! No trips to Wal-Mart for toiletries where I spend way more than I wanted to because after all, I HAD to have deodorant, etc. Here are the principles of effective couponing:

- Rock bottom prices are gotten by COMBINING, or as couponers call it “stacking”.
Stack coupons with sales, or even clearance. Use both manufacturer coupons and store coupons.

1. Manu. Coupon only: Reach floss $1 off manu. coupon, reg. price $1 = FREE
2. Manu. Coupon + Sale: Bailey’s Coffee Creamer (2) $1 off 1 Manu. Coupon + 2/$3 sale = $ .50 ea.
3. Manu. Coupon + Store Coupon: Benefiber $3 off Manu. Coupon + $3 Target Coupon, Reg. price $5.56 = FREE + little overage
4. Manu. Coupon + Store Coupon + Sale: Afrin $3 off Manu. Coupon + $2 off Store Coupon + $3 UP + Sale price of $6 = FREE + $2 money maker

- When an item is for FREE or very cheap (at least 80% off or more), stockpile.

1. The goal is to never pay full price for anything. If it won’t expire soon, stockpile so you aren’t forced to run out for it and risk paying too much.

2. Having an ORGANIZED stockpile simplifies life. Meal planning, when sickness strikes, last minute gifts, etc.

3. Know WHEN to stockpile. One unexpected benefit to couponing has been really knowing what a good price is. Now when I see a “sale” I’m not fooled by a flashy sale tag; I know the prices of so many items that I know when it’s actually a good price, a so-so price, a bad price or a very very cheap stock up price. Some couponers make a list or little booklet to help them remember.

4. Cut out every coupon, and then patiently wait for the right sale to get your loot for as little as possible. When I first started couponing, I had a few great coupons for Finish Dishwashing detergent. So at the first sale, I bought several boxes, paying about $1.75 a box. I was thrilled since they are usually around $5. Then, a few weeks later, another sale came along which would have meant FREE Finish if I had held onto those coupons. Lesson learned. It doesn’t take long to catch onto the trends and cycles of coupons. Toothpaste is routinely free. Cereal coupons are almost always available. Now, I save almost all coupons, even things I wouldn’t be willing to pay anything for, because I just may come across a sale which will allow me to get to try a new product for FREE. (Ex. Tylenol Precise. Don’t like it but got to try it for free. Anyone want it? ☺)

Getting started:

Firstly, realize that although it may take an investment of your time, you will get faster as you become more experienced. Just like the first time you make a new recipe, and you have to keep checking back to make sure you’re doing it right. I never judge if a dish is a keeper by if it took time. A new dish always takes me extra time. But it’s it really delicious, I’ll find a way to streamline and make it faster next time. Saving hundreds of dollars is worth my time. I typically spend about an hour per week working on coupons and shopping list. This is done while snuggling with a baby or husband. What other work would be so flexible around family that still has that much financial benefit?

Next, you need a way to organize your coupons. Many expert couponers use a binder. I still like the expandable purse sized organizers simply because with 3 kids under age 4, I don’t have the extra arm for a binder! I need it to fit into my purse. Terri has her binder to show you an example. Whatever you choose, organization is essential. Some people save the entire coupon page, not bothering to cut until they know they will use it. A file folder system may be the route for you.

Get coupons. The paper and online sources (see handout) have the manufacturer’s coupons. Also keep an eye out for sticky coupon right on packages. Store websites (i.e., have store coupons, as well as in store (ie. Walgreens) and in mailers and flyers. Some stores have facebook pages with great coupons, or in store coupon machines (i.e. Price Chopper)

A rule of thumb that many abide by is getting as many papers as there are people in your household. For me, 5 papers are too many to cut out. If I did regularly buy 5 (which I don’t) I would use the whole page method of organizing because cutting out and organizing that many is too time consuming. I normally only get one paper, unless I see a coupon I’m particularly interested in. Whenever I have bought multiple papers, it was well worth it as far as the savings verses the cost of the paper. You may also find free coupon inserts in the free papers around town.

Coupon blogs (see handout) are a great tool is helping find sale and coupon match ups. They take much of the work off our hands.

I suggest starting with one or two stores and concentrating on learning their particular policies. Trying to figure every store’s coupon and sale structure all at once is confusing and frustrating.

Make a list and separate the coupons you plan to use before you go to the store. I often use a bank envelope to write my list on and hold the coupons I am for sure using. I still bring my coupon pouch, just in case I run across an unadvertised deal. Be extra polite to your clerk because you’ll be spending more time with them than usual! Let others go in front of you if you have a ton of stuff and a ton of coupons, especially in a drugstore where most people are hoping to run in for one or two quick items. Print the store’s coupon policy (found on their website) and carry it in your coupon binder or pouch. Some cashiers may not know their own stores policies.

Just like everything else, practice makes perfect! Enjoy your savings and brag to me about your good deals!

These were the two handouts I gave:

Handout 1

Online Resources

Coupon Blogs:

Find weekly coupon and sale match ups:

• Great for learning the basics. Nationwide coupon match ups.

• Great for online shopping, such as amazon, and Price Chopper coupon match ups.

• Preview RiteAid sale/coupon match ups weeks in advance

• Price Chopper coupon match ups, Central NY based

Coupon $ources:

Handout 2

Couponing Basics

Stack ‘em & Stockpile

1. Stack coupons (both manufacturer’s and store coupons) with good store sales.

*Know what good sale prices are. Don’t be fooled by a bright sticker.

2. Stockpile. When you find a great deal by combining coupons and sales, buy as much of it as possible so you never have to pay full price.


Plan weekly menus based on whatever proteins are on sale. Make a list and stick to it. Planning ahead and being organized is vital to saving on groceries. Those quick trips to the store for that night’s dinner will probably result in going over budget.

Use weekly store ads or coupon blogs to find great sales for the items for which you have coupons.

Organize your coupons!!!

Product websites / facebook pages often have great coupons available to print.

Pick one or two stores to focus on as you learn. Add more as you increase your coupon skills!

Save every coupon you get, even for items you wouldn’t normally buy but would enjoy trying. You just may find a sale which will allow you to get it for free!


Thursday, March 24, 2011

My baby and I


Monday, March 21, 2011

Brushin' Buddies


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Coupon Cookin'

Santa Fe Chicken Skillet. Yum.

I can NOT take credit for this recipe at all, since it was on the package of the Philadelphia cooking creme, minus a few ingredients I did not have.

I was not planning on this tonight... I had defrosted the chicken tenderloins to bread and bake, but when Maddie began to feel yucky, and it was clear she only felt up to eating toast for dinner, I decided to take make something cheesy and dairy laden for the rest of us, since I've been trying to cut dairy from Maddie's diet to help her asthma.
PS. Maddie is feeling better now. Phew. This mama is ready to be done with this year's horrific cold/flu season.
Sometimes, when coupon shopping, I've done all my shopping... I've gotten lots of stuff but NO MEALS. Ya can't eat deodorant, even if it was free. ☺But with some planning, and creativity in putting different items together, we've been enjoying some delicious dinners. I know there are many different ways to plan weekly meals.... what works for me is just planning 5 meals at a time. I get the weekends off. ☺Well, mostly... I'm also always glad when I make a double batch of one night's dinner, and put half in the freezer for a week or so later.
Last night, I made baked salmon that was TASTY. Aldis has frozen fish of several varieties for about $3.50 for 4 fillets. I defrosted the salmon and put it into a large baking dish. To 1/4 c. of brown sugar I added a few of my favorite spices: ginger, paprika, a spicy steak rub, salt, and some cracked pepper. The mixture was sprinkled over the salmon, then dotted with a bit of margarine. Baked uncovered for 20 minutes. Easy and soooo good. I really want my kids to grow up eating fish. It's so healthy, and so easy and fast to prepare. And $3.50 for the main dish? That's a good price!
Tonight's dinner was also easy and fast... and cheap.
$2.45 for 1 pk. (1.2 lbs.) of chicken tenderloins (When all chicken packages were 40% off a few weeks ago, I threw several in my freezer)

$.50 for 1 lb. box of Rozini rigatoni (also a sale that I stocked up on..)

FREE (with coupon) for 1 tub Philadelphia cooking creme

Plus veggies: onion, green pepper, corn. Not sure the cost.

1/2 c. Monterrey jack cheese. Not sure on the cost either, but I'm going to say $.50 if I normally pay $2 for a pound of cheese.

So I think I can safely say I payed about $4-$5 on the whole dinner, and we had plenty. A nice portion for lunch tomorrow is sitting in the fridge still.

In a large skillet, I cooked the chicken (cut up into bite size pieces) and diced onion and green pepper in a bit of margarine. Once the chicken was cooked through, I added the cooking creme and frozen corn (1 c.). (I would have liked to add cherry tomatoes, but sadly, I was out.) Heated all the through, then stirred into the cooked pasta. I transferred the whole thing to a serving dish and sprinkled with cheese. Viola. Easy, right? Good? Yes.


Coupon Class

Yup. I'm doing it. ☺

After several months of not knowing if this was the best idea in the world or completely lame, I decided on the former! We're having a coupon class at our church next Friday, March 25.

If ya want to come, please do!

There's gonna be cookies....

Seriously. I'm afraid I'll be there talking to myself.

Ok, not really. I have a couponing crazed friend who will also be teaching, so we can at least be yapping to each other if no one else shows. ☺

In other news, today is the most gorgeous day out. It's warm and sunny and perfect.

Leila is very very cheerful and is becoming very vocal. She's saying "AHHHhhhhhhHHAHHHhhhhh" right now. ☺You won't believe this but today as we were driving, she was fiddling with her car seat straps and on her own, she undid the top snappy thing. I was shocked. Hopefully, that was a one time fluke.

I have been soooo busy this week which is why blog land has been neglected entirely. My husband is planning a public school outreach for the last week of the month and I've been his "lovely" assistant. And we're also beginning to plan some ladies activities at church which has me all excited and nervous and busy and nervous some more. In all seriousness, I would greatly appreciate prayer over these ladies fellowships. We've never had anything like this at our church. The need is there. But the know-how is not. ☺ At least not in me! The "Ladies' Coffee & Coupon Class" is our first. I hope to have 2 or 3 "Ladies' Coffees" thorough out the year. In May, to celebrate Mother's Day, I'm planning a special luncheon. THIS is the big one that has me lying awake at night planning and thinking and praying. I so badly want the Lord to use these fun times to encourage and edify.

And that is all the blabbing I have time for, friends. Have a great day! If you're anywhere close to me, it's LOVELY outside and we should all find a way to be out in the sunshine enjoying it! ☺


Friday, March 11, 2011

More on Mom

In my last post, I teased my Mom for her puff painting, presidential ambitions for me. But there are more things you should know about the uniquely, wonderful lady I call Mom.

She's funny and sarcastic (now you know why I can't help myself...).

She's honest. Brutally (now you know why I can't help myself in that way either...)

She likes to write.

I may stop this list because it's simply reinforcing the fact that I'm turning into my Mother!!!!

She's a good grandma, although the bribing, spoiling variety.

She has a tremendous vocabulary. It's prodigious. She would totally know what "prodigious" means.

She is completely non-judgemental.

She thinks her kids do no wrong. To most, this would be a flaw. Unless, of course, you happen to be one of her kids. Which I am. ☺

She's makes curtains out of sheets. In fact, as a die hard crafter, she makes something out of just about anything.

She is a woman of priorities. No maker how bad the budget gets, she will always have red hair that is suspiciously gray-free and acrylic nails.

She's strong and has survived a lot, with her dignity in tact.

My mom and I become better friends the older I get. I suppose that's the story between mothers and daughters. When daughters become mothers themselves, there is an understanding and a gratitude that simply did not exist before. And perhaps could not have existed. This is just one of the reasons that I have decided that aging has more perks than liabilities.


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Is it Tuesday???

I am asked, "Is it Tuesday?" every single day by the older girls.

Of course it's the older girls asking. If Leila was asking, I'd be on TV showing off my talking 5 month old. I actually had a nightmare about Maddie talking when she was a newborn. In my dream, I was all excited about it and then my pediatrician gravely told me that it meant something was horribly wrong and we'd have to go the St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital. Good thing it was just a dream...

Speaking of St. Jude's, I can NEVER watch their commercials EVER. I cry. A lot. Can't take it.

Anyway, back to "Is it Tuesday??" or as Eden says, "Is it Monday, Friday, Too-day or Sat-day? Nana comin' ov-a?" Because they really don't care about what the calender says; they just want to know if our weekly dinner guest will be coming over.

My mom always comes over to our house every Tuesday. I cook dinner (something low carb, diabetic friendly) and then my hunk of a man and I go on a little date for an hour and a half.

It's a wonderful tradition and I love it. So do the girls.

Last night, as I was finishing up dinner, my Mom was holding Leila and chatting with Seth and I. Somehow we got onto the subject of how I am somewhat of a weirdo in my family. Have you ever read the "Fancy Nancy" books? It's about a little girl who is quite fancy and girly and frilly, unlike the rest of her family. Her mom and her sister are more casual, sporty, not fancy. Well I am just like Fancy Nancy. I always begged for dresses when my mom was inclined to put me in jeans and t-shirts. I wanted my hair in 2 pigtails, just like a rock star as my Mom recalls. (I have no recollection.... or plead the 5th. Either way I can not confirm nor deny.)

I remember as a little girl having a friend about my age who was delightfully girly just like me. And her mom was too. In fact, her mom was so frilly that whenever I went to my friend's house, and if we were to go out somewhere, her mom would actually have me change my clothes. Because I didn't match most of the time. Like hardly ever. Now in my Mom's defense, she did not purposefully send her little girl out the door every day in mismatched outfits. I was very opinionated about what I would wear and if I declared I wanted to wear the purple stripped shirt with the green polka dots pants, my Mom let me have at it. (Not that I actually owned either of those particular articles of clothing, but just to give the idea.) In fact, once, Mom even let me wear my PJ shirt to school. She warned me I'd get teased. But I just knew everyone in the second grade was dying to see my totally awesome teddy bear PJ shirt and I would be an instant social success for being bold enough to wear it.

Mom was right on that one.

So while I do take responsibility for some disastrous wardrobe choices, many of my fashion blunders as a youngster were a result of these two words: Puff Paint*.

*3D fabric paint. Came in every color of the rainbow. My mom liked the glittery bright ones.

My mom was a puff painting maniac. She was THRILLED when we came home with a stain on our clothes. "That's the perfect spot for a puff paint flower!!!" For several Christmas', everyone in the family (and yes that includes grown men) received their very own customized, wearable work of art. My Uncle Dave was crazy about his black Hanes t-shirt with "Dave" written on the front left side and a clever little poem on the back of the shirt, telling the world that as much as he loved trains, he loved his wife more. Boy, do I wish I could remember that little poem...

And what did little Kayte's t-shirt say? You're gonna love it. And you're gonna be amazed that I was not beat up every single day at school.

It was yellow. The front left said "Kate." And the entire back of the shirt read:

"Future leader of the free world".

I'm not joking. Not even a little. As I shared this (now) amusing information with Seth last night, my mom STILL defends that yellow shirt. Apparently, my pre-school teacher prophesied that I was bound for the US Presidency. Just goes to show that you've really got to be careful about what kind of fluffy compliments you tell parents of pre-schoolers. Or... maybe.... maybe she was right! Hey, people, I can even run until I'm 35. I'm just killing time 'til then.

That is all. Just wanted to tell you about Mom's puff paints and my possible candidacy.


Tuesday, March 8, 2011


I thought I would bring you up to speed on things I have mentioned recently....

♥ I appreciated everyone's comments on my whining post about being tired. ☺ I've come to the conclusion that Leila is probably going through a growth spurt and needs some extra nourishment. And I also think she would benefit from getting nice long naps instead of the many many tiny cat naps she tends to take. Getting into that deep REM sleep helps her disposition a whole lot. Since making 3 nice long naps a day a priority for her, she is much happier and I hope she's learned better sleep habits. She still is up a few times to nurse at night.

♥ Spring cleaning:

Wah wah wah waaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh

That was that sound you hear on game shows when the contestants completely flop.

Some deep cleaning has been done but I'm pretty sure it stayed cleaned for exactly 3.8 seconds. And no spaces were cleaned completely all at the same time so I never got that ultra satisfying moment when I could look at the whole house, or even just one room and know: This is clean. I really enjoy that moment and it's been a long time since I had it. ☺ Oh well. Will you all still be my friend if there is crud underneath my stove and shoe-dirt residue on the floor of the closets?

♥ Baby weight. A good report here. Only a couple pounds above pre-Leila weight. I really like the Pilate's class I take weekly, and as much as it does help the waistline, I am almost as equally pleased with how much it helps my back. Toning those muscles has helped with the constant dull pain that I almost had been so used to I didn't notice it. The class I take is mostly older ladies so there are some weeks when I leave a tiny bit embarrassed that I was struggling so hard that my limbs were trembling to do an exercise while the 60 yr. old next to me seemed to not even break a sweat! But of course, the older ladies in the class do have the unfortunate tendency to um... release gas doing some movements too. Of course, everyone just pretends we didn't hear a thing. And pray we aren't next. ☺I've also been eating healthier lunches and snacks (low fat cottage cheese and fruit or tuna salad on whole wheat...) If I remember correctly, it took 3 months to loose the baby weight after Maddie, 4 months after Eden and 5 after Leila. So if I have a 4th baby and start freaking out about not losing the weight, remind me of this so that I chill out until the 6th month.

♥ Maddie's asthma. After several experienced moms suggested cutting dairy from her diet, we have finally done so. It's been about a month, but I haven't really noticed much improvement. I want to give a little more time.


Friday, March 4, 2011


We're not getting enough of it around here.

After a few months of nice long stretches at night time (about 10:30pm until about 5am), Leila has regressed back to wanting to nurse every 3 hrs. around the clock. I'm struggling to keep up with this new schedule she has picked for us. :/

After my post last week about not being tofu, I'm feeling rather tofu-ish. Being tired makes chocolate-like behavior extra difficult. It almost seems like I'm back to newborn stage... Leila is simply not content unless being held, AND being held in certain ways. Thinking that she was over 4 months and needing more substance in her diet, I started her on rice cereal last week. She gobbled it up fairly well for a beginner, but it didn't seem to agree with her tummy. After two episodes of vomiting (not spitting up... VOMITING) I have put the cereal away. Yesterday, I tried peas instead. So far, no problem but neither is she any happier. Maybe she has a cold? Everyone else I know does. I don't see any other symptoms other than grouchiness and an apparent inability to sleep well unless being cuddled.

By now, someone out there is probably debating whether they should comment and tell me that I'm spoiling her. Part of me would agree and part of me says phooey on that. Babies like being held, and I like holding babies. But I do need to put them down sometimes. I know: she needs to develop her self soothing mechanisms and cultivate healthy sleep habits. I'm just not going to let her cry it out. Sorry. Not saying crying it out is wrong. I have done it in the past... but it never was necessary until the other girls were much older. In both cases it happened like this:

Somewhere between 1 and 1 1/2 yrs. old, the girl would get sick. Of course, I'd take care of them throughout the night for a few nights. Then, after the sickness had past, baby girl decided she rather enjoyed visiting all hours of the night and wanted to keep it up. And mommy, seeing that they were no longer sick, would put them in their cribs and say night night, see you in the morning. Little girl cried for 5 minutes, figured out that I wasn't coming back, and went back to sleep.

So, at 4 months, I'm just not doing it. She wants to nurse, and she does go back to sleep after nursing but not for as long as I like. I planned to make the whole first year breast milk only, but formula (offered by someone other than me....) is becoming more tempting by the minute. I have frozen breast milk defrosting right now, and a bottle and bottle warmer set out on the counter. Let us see if Seth catches my drift. ☺

This morning, I was feeling beyond tired. I was feeling blue. I know I'm in desperate need of a good night's sleep when my normally optimistic view of life takes a downward spiral. Not only did I feel tired, but my life was dismal and sad and I was a pathetic wife and lousy mommy and my house is in disarray and the dog died. Well, we don't actually have a dog but if we did, it would have died this morning. So naturally, I made a pot of coffee. ☺ After two giant mugs of Dunkin' Donuts, I had way more caffeine than I could handle. Instead of helping, I was now irritable and shaky. Booo.

Around 2, I put Eden down for her nap, sent Maddie to "help" Daddy run errands and laid down with Leila in my bed. I am never comfortable co-sleeping but I figured desperate times call for desperate measures. I nursed Leila to sleep and tried to doze off myself. Instead I just laid there thinking how pretty she looked. Then I just had to take a picture. There, I thought. NOW I'll sleep. Nope. Too jittery. Gotta get up and get that picture on my blog RIGHT NOW.

Thus, here I am.

It reminded me of this picture of Maddie from last June. My kids looks so beautiful sleeping. They should do it more often.

Almost as soon as I sat down at my computer, Leila sensed I was no longer in the bed with her and commenced wailing. She is now happily snoozing again... in my lap. Hopefully I didn't scare your comments off. Please do leave your suggestions for a unsatisfied little sweetie. Just don't tell me anything a weary mama couldn't handle. Thank you. ☺


Thursday, March 3, 2011


Do babies learn to make "raspberries" at the exact same moment Mommy is introducing peas into their diet?


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Just TRY not to say "ahhhh".... I dare you!



Stubbornly protruding from among a soft bed of auburn fuzz, one lone white strand, coarse and unyielding, takes it's stand with the sole purpose of irritating and puzzling me.

Yes, this is Leila's scalp you are looking at. And yes, I plucked that peculiar little hair as soon as I finished taking it's picture.


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Things I've decided to do....

In no particular order, the things I have recently decided to do:

1. Buy winter boots when I find them for a decent price. It's only been 11 yrs. since I spent winter in California, so it's about time, don't you think?

2. Buy a half (or maybe a quarter) of an antibiotic and hormone free cow in the fall. Must find freezer too.

3. Buy vitamins for myself and hubby. We are way too young to so tired and sick all the time.

4. Save up for a SLR camera. It may take me 14 years but I need the time to decide what kind to buy anyway.

5. Block out the memory of Eden eating dog food off the floor in WalMart today.

6. Put hand cream on my hands before writing #7.

7. Make meatloaf for dinner tomorrow.

8. Never cut my hair above my shoulders again.

9. Clean and refill the humidifier in my bedroom tonight.

10. Vacuum the living room.

11. Omit #10. I'll do it tomorrow.

12. Stop procrastinating, starting tomorrow.