Uncategorized

$1,394.94

That is the amount we saved in coupons last year. This year, with three months to go, we have saved $1,407.62, woohoo!

Advice to married couple to be: use coupons.

I spend about 15 minutes a week getting coupons. Yes, we keep track (on the calendar), yes we only count the ones we actually have to hand over. Not the “savings” from the store. Yes, it makes our life a little nicer.

Rich or poor, young or old, newly married or passed the silver heading for gold,
use coupons. It is a smart way to handle your hard earned money.

Advice number two for the day: never pour yourself a glass of water, or juice or lemonade or coffee or get a soda without asking G.I. Joe if he would like something too. He will do the same for you. It is not waiting on him hand and foot. It is called having good graces, it is called being civil as well as one more outward sign that you are nurturing your relationship.

Advice number three for the day: Do the dishes together. Yup, you heard me right. It could be just tossing the pizza box and wiping down the counter or it could go on until 3 in the morning until after the Thanksgiving dishes are done. Hang out together after the meal. Set up the coffee for tomorrow. Make some lunches. Dry or wash or fill the dish washer. It is the best time to talk. You betcha! Talk, like people who like each other. Talk and get something done twice as fast together. No, the kitchen is not just for Wonder Girl to use her powers to clean up the kitchen.

Girlfriend to girlfriend, let it be known that yes, a little hanky panky has gone on after said dishes were done. There is nothing like looking at a nice pair of well fitting Levi’s on a handsome dishwasher to put a twinkle in your eye.

Advertisements
Uncategorized

more bride to be advice

As you know, Mr. Right is from Quebec. He adores, loves, dreams of Maple cookies. He has tried many. I have bought many. I have been trying to come up with the perfect (to him) maple sugar cookie with icing. I have given it the “old college try”. I have tried many a recipe. Yesterday, I hit pay dirt!!!!! Yup, it’s true. Mr. Right doesn’t have much of a sweet tooth. So when he had one when he came home. Two cookies for dessert and two prior to bedtime. I knew I had a winner. He even took two today with his lunch.

It made him really, really happy. I felt giddy in my stomach that he was so happy. I have already started planning when I will make them again. I want to find the perfect tin to give and store them in. I will make a batch for him the next time he gets a raise or he has a great golf score. I always bake fresh Scottish Shortbread for his birthday. Yes, I wrap it as a present and tie it with a ribbon.

So here is the relationship advice……..write his mom a note. Yes, I said write. Not e-mail or text, actually take a pen to paper and write a simple note. Tell her you want to know G.I. Joe’s favorite childhood cookie. Ask her politely for the recipe. Here’s a secret, she will LOVE that you asked. Okay, if there is not a recipe, ask what brand of store bought cookies he loves. Make it happen! Keep the recipe or the name brand. Write it down. (oh, yes, send a thank you note to the mom telling her how happy G.I. Joe was with his surprise treat.) Make or buy the cookies. Package them in a great tin or a take out box or a sweet bag. Use a ribbon, make it an event. Make him feel special. Yes, he is one tough Army guy. Yes, even the toughest of the tough like to secretly feel special. Trust me on this one girlfriend…………….what goes around will come around. You are really doing a favor to yourself. No man can just accept a sweet, thoughtful, loving, kind gift without doing something sweet for you. This is another one of those win/win things in life!

Advice number two for today……..buy or make one or two little tiny drawstring bags/pouches. We have a black one with a skull and crossbones on it. It is for the car/s. Put $10.00 cash and $2.00 worth of change in it. Put one in each car. Do this together. Tell G.I. Joe it will make you a very happy girlfriend. You care about him way too much for him to ever be stuck somewhere with out a little gas money to get home. You want him safe. The change, oh that will come in handy when you need to park somewhere and need change for the meter. If you EVER use the $10.00 replace it that next day. Make sure you ask/check to make sure the bags are up to date. Once he gets the idea that you adore/love/care/head over heels in like with him, he will totally love that you care enough to make sure he is safe. Yes, again, he is a strong Army guy. Yes, you are a strong and capable Army woman. Make sure you are both safe and can get home to each other safely. I can almost guarantee that you will feel special when you find him checking to make sure your emergency gas money is in your car. Make the effort to take care of each other. You will not regret it for one single day.

Here is some girlfriend to girlfriend advice, buy great underwear and keep it looking great. Oh sure you can have super sexy little nothings. I can tell you heart to heart, ALL G.I. Joes love that. I am talking about everyday sweet undies. Cute colors and sweet ribbons, make the effort. Budget in the upkeep of said underthings. Every single person on this earth who has a special someone loves to get a glimpse now and then of somethings sweet, lovely or sexy on the other person. Sure we all have comfortable and serviceable underthings that work well under work clothes or wearing to the gym, keep those for those times. Make the effort. Oh and by the way, nothings says on your way out the door you can’t share just the tiniest of peeks of what you have on under your outer garments. Nothing wrong with a little teasing now and then.

Uncategorized

toe nail polish

Many moons ago, when Mr. Right and I were newly married, we would of course fill each other’s Christmas stocking. For about three or four years in a row, I would get toe nail polish. I would be so happy. I just loved the intense wild colors. Finally, he asked me how you know it is toe nail polish and not fingernail polish? Does it say that somewhere on the label? I answered happily, toe nail polish is the color that you would wear under your socks, inside your shoes or under the bed covers! He laughed. Those were not colors I would ever wear on my fingers, not to mention, never would I wear those out in public or to church. I love that story. Remembering it makes me smile.

Here is my advice to the bride to be……. plan a pedicure or better yet two, every single month! Or do it yourself. Learn to pamper your tootsies! Take care of your feet. Save up and budget for a professional pedicure. Take your own polish or go wild and use something that catches your eye at the shop. Ask for a pedicure gift certificate if your mom asks what you want for a birthday gift. Get to know your shop ladies or men. Tip them well. They will take care of you for many sessions to come. Or like a gal I know, mark off the last day of the month as a “beauty day”. She dyes her hair and does a facial and “polishes the apple” so to speak. That includes nails.
She has been married over 45 years! Make the effort it is SO worth it!!!!

Every single man I know LOVES a nice pedicure. Let me ask you, who on earth doesn’t want to slip in between clean sheets and play footsie with someone’s sweet pampered toes?

This is a two way street. It is a win for both of you. You feel good and pampered and proud of yourself for taking the time and making the effort to keep your pedicure up to date. He loves it that you make sure and do that. He loves to look at your sparkles or glitter or green shamrocks for March. You will most certainly get a nice foot massage out of the deal. If nothing else you two will share a secret because you both will know what is under those socks and Army boots!

Godmother to Wonder Girl……..make the effort to take care of your tootsies. Your love life will benefit because of it.

I have a fresh pedicure as I type this. I chose OPI color Peru-B-Ruby. It is a deep raspberry color that I love. I added a top coat of gold sparkles. Yes, it caught the attention of Mr. Right.

Oh by the way, I still, 28 years later get a bottle of toe nail polish from Santa every single year. It is a sweet tradition that we both love.

Uncategorized

more advice for my favorite bride to be

Buy a jigsaw puzzle. Or ask me to send you one. Mr. Right and I can do a 500 piece puzzle in about three hours. Have a quick dinner. Make/buy some snacks and pour a couple glasses of lemonade. Unplug the phone, turn off your phones, blackberries, ipods, the television and on and on. Turn on some great background music. Write down the time. (After each puzzle we sign our first names, the date and how long it took us. Then we trade, pass on the puzzle with other couples.)

You will soon learn which companies you like doing. Don’t spend too much. Remember that old adage to get an hour of entertainment out of each dollar you spend. Well, now days I can’t find many puzzles for $3.00 so try and keep it under $10.00.
Mr. Right and I usually do about four a year. So pretty much every once in a while.
Dump the puzzle on the table. You both have to turn over every piece. Then go to it.
Now, here is the “marriage advice” portion…….talk, talk, talk. Talk about your families, your issues, topics of the day, work, friends, problems and on and on. You and G.I. Joe will have to be looking down at the puzzle. Not looking at each other. Just working on something together. An amazing thing will happen. Three hours of talking will fly by. You will accomplish something together. You will learn something new about the other every single time. You will have spent three hours of quality “talking” time. Engaged in conversation and making an effort on your relationship without even noticing. You are so worth the effort.

Get an address book, today. Do it. I will wait…….. Okay, fill it in. This is now your responsibility as a couple. Get all of his and your families and friends addresses/birthdays/anniversaries NOW. Within the month. Let me tell you, three years down the road is not the time to ask for an address that you never had or misplaced. Keep one address book. Keep his sister’s name, address, birthday, anniversary, kids names, favorite foods, allergies, phone numbers, e-mail addresses etc. in her section. You will be AMAZED at how impressed everyone is that you sent a birthday card or a sympathy card at the appropriate time. YOU WILL BE ENDEARING YOURSELF TO HIS FAMILY. HE WILL ENDEAR HIMSELF TO YOURS. Everyone appreciates the effort. Here’s the secret, you only have to do this once and then updates now and then. So that first thanksgiving you spend with his family. Both of you can sign and send a thank you card the day you arrive home. I know it sounds like work. It is not. It is the effort you are putting forth to build a solid relationship. Hey, look this is Wonder Girl and G.I Joe being a couple and making an effort. You will not regret the power of the address book, not once.

Next……Have a picture of you and G.I. Joe taken and framed and keep it in your home. NO, not just a quick cell phone picture. Buy your friend a coke and have him or her snap a couple of pictures. Or actually save up and have one done professionally. PRINT it and frame it. Update the picture now and then. Find a cool frame on a trip you take together. It is a wonderful reminder of you two. The happiness will build on itself. This is important. Did I just say this IS important? Yes, I did. You two are worthy and valuable individuals. Make the effort. Oh sure you can tape it to your refrigerator or tuck it into a mirror, but this one time, well actually once or twice a year, put it in a frame. Set it in your bedroom. Put it on a table, move it around. Tie a great ribbon on it. Paint some hearts on it. Write your initials in the sand and frame that picture. Glue some seashells on the frame. You can spend way too much on a frame (been there, done that) or you can buy a $1.00 frame from the dollar store and paint and glue and mod podge to your hearts content. Here’s the ps to this piece of advice. Have a framed picture on your desk at work. Make two. I am not talking about dozens and dozens that clutter the area. I am speaking of one really excellent photograph. Give him one. If he doesn’t have a desk, get a smaller version printed for his wallet. Material things come and go. You will be blessed to have so many great pictures of you as a couple. If you are really proud of this relationship, then you should take the time and effort and energy and make that feeling evident to you both and the people around you.

I adore, love, respect, admire, like, can’t get enough of Mr. Right. I want you to have that same feeling. We are standing in your corner, silently, lifting you up. We are supporting the both of you. We want you to have what we have.

Uncategorized

advice, not asked for, but given anyway

As the usual, my mind is whirling and going in all different directions.
I can’t type fast enough to keep up. I have a pen and paper that I scribbled notes. Yes, a long, long list of notes and ideas and thoughts all messy and different directions. I write at 3 in the morning. I write while waiting for coffee. I add to a list near my sewing machine. I have a pad of paper in the car. (I am the passenger when I write, or at least wait for a red light.)

Our sweet Goddaughter, to protect her identity, I think I will call her “Wonder Girl” is engaged to be married. Her betrothed name starts with a J, so I think I will call him G.I. Joe.

We have been thinking of gift ideas for an engagement gift as well as a wedding gift. Both important, yes, however, I want to give them advice. I want to give them the tricks of the trade that make “it” work. I want to fill their young, pliable, sponge like brains with great ideas and thoughts and lift them up.

I have a funny feeling this is going to be way more than one blog! ha. Wonder Girl and Joe will LOVE that.

Buckle up kids, it is going to be a thrilling ride with lots of ups and downs and curves along the way. It is SO WORTH the price of admission. This is going to be the ride of your life!

Okay, everyone knows the number one thing people gripe about in marriage counseling is money. Buy Dave Ramsey’s book/s. Period. Buy them. Read them. Read them together or separately. It is the blueprint how to run a financially stable life. Get that in place BEFORE you marry. You will NEVER regret it. His books are reasonable, intelligent, well written, easy to follow. Quite possibly the best thing you can do for your financal peace of mind.

Okay that said…………..I am going to share bits of our life that make it smoother, happier, better, lighter, easier, nicer and on and on.

Mr. Right says, every kitchen should have four or five, save up for, “the best you can afford” kitchen knives. We own Henckle. We LOVE them. We want to marry them. We saved up and bought one a month for a few months. You buy them once, you will NEVER have to buy knives again in your lifetime. You will always have them. It will be worth it. Mr. Right also says, every kitchen should have of course a cutting board, however a small cutting board just for little things gets used almost every single day of our lives.

So far that is two pieces of valuable information.

Here is the third bit of enlightenment for today (then I will stop for today): Your bedroom. Make it a sanctuary. Make it a lovely place to go. NO TELEVISION. NO pictures of dogs, brothers, kids, nieces, parents, grandparents!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! NO piles of laundry. DO NOT PAY BILLS in your bedroom. DO NOT have a disagreement in that room. Even if you have the smallest apartment on earth. Keep that room sacred and special. If and when you have kids put a lock on the inside of the door. (yes, keep a spare key somewhere, duh). Purchase the highest quality linens (you only need one or two sets) you can afford. Save up for them. Buy some really great battery operated candles. Think through the lighting. A couple of nice bedside lamps. Save, save, save for a really lovely bed. Buy a good mattress. Replace said mattress every 10-15 years. Budget for it. YOU ARE BOTH WORTH the time you put into it. Budget some money for special things. Buy a great basket or bin with a lid. Spend the money and buy some great massage lotion, potions, sensual books, and on and on) Purchase lovely (and sassy) lingerie. Buy some great under garments for G.I. Joe. Make the effort from day one. Have a great music system in your bedroom. Sure everyone needs an alarm clock. However, figure out a way (please hide the cords) to have a docking station for your ipod, or a CD player or whatever. Make a concerted effort for each other. This is not a room to show off to friends. This is yours. This is private and sensual and intense and lovely and just for you two. Yes, buy a bed cover, bed spread, comforter, duvet whatever your preference. Make it something the two of you BOTH love. However, also buy some fabric with texture. Buy a faux animal fur throw. Buy a lovely, feather pillow. Make an effort. When G.I.Joe gives you flowers (and he will). First thank him, go overboard, make him feel like it was one of the best decisions in his life. DO NOT complain about the money he spent. Smell them, enjoy the moment. Put them in a vase. Make an effort. Take the flowers every single night into your bedroom. He will love that you do that. You will love that you do that. He will grace you with love and attention if you will give him the chance to do so. If you will swallow your “girl power” for a moment and wait graciously, he will have the time to open the door for you. If you give up some control and share the decorating and decisions about your bedroom, it will be both of yours. Not just a ruffle filled, perfume filled place he can slip into once in a while. Hopefully, you will allow him to be a gentleman. However, you need to give it right back to him. Make sure when you buy him some little treat you wrap it in paper with a bow. Hide it under his pillow. Buy a small little candy jar. Fill it with his favor sweet treat or sour or savory. Keep it on his side of the bed. Keep it filled, surprise him. Leave him love notes. Tape them to the bathroom window. Put one in his car. Put one on his coffee cup. Mr. Right and I have been married for over 28 years. I wake up to a letter every single day. Yes, he writes me a 5 X 7 ” letter. He includes stick figure drawings. I feel LOVED everyday of my life. Make each other feel loved. That is your mission. When G.I. Joe goes TDY, put a card or letter in his suitcase/duffle bag. Set the tone these first few months.

You are both worthy of a wonderful lovely relationship. Make the effort now. You will enjoy the fruits of your labor for years and years to come. Oh sure, I will offer up more and more not asked for advice. For now, set your relationship apart and on a higher level. Make time for friends and pizza and movies and hikes and bike riding and camping etc. First and formost make your relationship the most important thing above all the other “stuff”.

Your mission if you choose to accept it……………from this day forward, make the other person feel lucky to have you in their life every single day.

When you love someone, all your saved-up wishes start coming out. ~e.bowen

Uncategorized

better baker than nurse

Mr. Right has not been feeling well this week.

I am the world’s worst nurse. I can’t seem to be quiet and not talk up a storm. I
fuss and clean and tidy. Some sick puppies just want to be left alone. (Speaking of puppies, our sweet dog is a good “sick dog”. She comes to where you are laying down and lays down on the floor next to you. Waiting with you until you are all better, so sweet.)

So instead of a white uniform and nurse’s hat, I put on an April Cornell, yellow and green riot of color apron and get to work. The business of cooking for the patient.

This week, I have made; chocolate pudding, and English Muffin Bread (makes the best toast in the world), Sheppards’ Pie with homemade mashed potatoes on top and lots of healing vegetables inside, homemade juice, and more juice. I have emptied that darn fruit and veggie basket twice this week and it is only Thursday! Today, I am making apple sauce with healing cinnamon. Oh sure I have the “thingie” that you put the apples in, once cooked and turn and turn and then have to clean……I will cook the apples, add some magic and then use the immersion blender to do the job in about 30 seconds.

Now, I ask, would you rather have a nurse that is stuffy and strict and mean wearing white support hose OR would you rather have a chatty curly girl bringing you homemade bread toasted to perfection with fresh applesauce?

Unfortunately, or fortunately for Mr. Right, he doesn’t have a choice!

I am trying to do quiet projects like hand sewing and embrodiery as to not make too much noise.

…the circle of wellness is supported by both movement and stillness.

Maybe between the lazy (I mean stillness) of our dog and my crazy need to be
moving and doing………Mr. Right will get better soon.

Uncategorized

a needle pulling thread

Today, my sewing skills were
trusted enough to be asked to help do the finishing work
on three flower girl dresses with big, fat, luscious sashes.
My friend is having surgery today. She had another friend sew
part of the dresses and I am sewing the other part. My friend
had promised the bride to be that she would indeed complete the
gowns. With a little help from some sewing fairies, she will
deliver on her promise. I feel happy and honored that she
has placed her faith in me to do a good job.

Once, I sewed a bridesmaid dress that was not of the highest
quality fabric, nor was it a becoming pattern or color for that
matter. The person I sewed it for hated it. I could even go so
far as to say, she despised that dress. She even changed after
the wedding and dropped it off in a Goodwill box on her way home.
She went on and on about said “ugly” bridesmaid dress. Strangely, in a weird
way, it hurt my feelings. Oh don’t get me wrong, I too equally hated that
dress. However, as a seamstress, I still had to cut out the pattern correctly.
I still had to sew in the sleeves on the correct sides. I still had to put in
a zipper so that it looked store bought and not a jumbled mess of stitches.
As the seamstress, I had to do my very best work. I did. The dress did
not fall apart during the wedding. Thanks to the three fittings, it fit the
bridesmaid perfectly. I still had to sew the hem the correct length for the
person, and so forth.

I have sewn three wedding dresses, over 45 long gowns, pants galore,
pajamas, curtains and more curtains, quilts and blankets and shorts,
and headbands, and purses and totes and short dresses and the list of
alterations would boggle (love that word) your brain!

Sadly, we attended a funeral this past week. As you sit and quietly wait,
your brain, well at least my brain wonders in all directions. I was thinking
about the black dress I had on. I remember sewing it. I remember putting the
hem in by machine. Every single time I where that dress, I think, why on
earth didn’t I spend 20 minutes on myself and put that darn hem in by hand?

Over the weekend, we received a photograph of the completed inside
of two little girls’ playhouse. Oh my. Pink, pink, and more pink are all
over this 1950’s style kitchen and play area. It is just screaming for me
to make reversible half ruffle aprons for two little girls that will be “working”
in the kitchen.

I have several stacks on my long sewing table. Each stack is an exciting new
sewing project that I am gathering supplies so I can begin. Two different quilts,
two Christmas wall hangings, a pair of jeans for me, a little girl’s jacket for a
gift, lots of felt to make felt sushi for play, material for some fabric wallets I
am filling for four college care packages and a couple of dish towels to embroider
for gifts.

I love the challenge and the diversity of my sewing hobby. It feeds my soul.
It makes me happy and oh so frustrated at times. I can control most of
what happens in my sewing room. I like the feeling of stating and finishing
each project. I love having gifts completed and boxed ready to give as gifts.

A special girl I know announced her engagement last week. I wonder what
sewing projects will pass through my fingers within the next year?

Today, one of the Christmas wall
hangings will get my full attention. Tomorrow three little flower girl dresses.
By next week, two little “housekeepers” will be sporting fancy new girlie aprons.

In my sewing room, under my full spectrum light, with my needle and thread, almost magically,

Grace Happens.