Monday, November 4, 2013

I'm Back!

As you all know, Christmas is less than two months away! In the spirit of giving, I just wanted to share that I am available to make gifts for your friends and family and to save you time and maybe some money!

I will be able to create themed gift baskets, personalized jewelry trays and dishes, wreaths, placemats, tile coasters, dish cloths, and whatever else you can think of!

I also can make burp cloths, diaper cakes, and baby mobiles if you have an upcoming shower to attend.

I even have some brand new scarves that were hand crocheted by my grandmother as well as a few afghans.

If it's jewelry you're looking for, my sister can help you create the perfect piece!

Please let me know what you are looking for and I will be glad to create it! Just comment here or email me at 

Here are a few photos of what I have done in the past.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Menu Plan Monday 4/1-4/7!

Monday: Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry with Fried Rice
Tuesday: Baked Ziti and Tossed Salad
Wednesday: Grilled Chicken with Mixed Vegetable Salad and Brown Rice
Thursday: Leftovers
Friday: Out
Saturday: Baked Tilapia with Fiesta Lime Rice
Sunday: Leftovers

Breakfast, Snack, and other Treats for the Week: Bird Nest Cookies

Monday, March 25, 2013

Menu Plan Monday 3/25-3/31!

Monday: Bubble Up Enchiladas with Black Beans and Spanish Rice
Tuesday: Grilled Pork Chops with Roasted Corn and Tossed Salad
Wednesday: Crockpot Chicken Stroganoff over noodles
Thursday: Leftovers
Friday: Spaghetti and Tossed Salad
Saturday: Leftovers
Sunday: Easter!

Breakfast, Snack, and other Treats for the Week: Creamy Pineapple Dessert and Strawberry Shortcake Muffins

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Harris Teeter Super Doubles 3/12!

I had to go back for round 2. I just had to. Basically I was forced to.

(2) Kraft Homestyle Mac and Cheese $2 each
          $1/2 = $1 each
(1) Campbell's Go Soup $2.99
          $1/1 = $.99
(1) Smithfield Ground Pork 16 oz. $3.99
          $1/1 = $1.99
(4) YoCrunch Yogurt $.75 each
          $1/4 = $1, or $.25 each
(1) Visine $5.29
           $2/1 = $1.29
(2) Cooked Perfect Meatballs $2.87 each
           (2) $1/1 = $.87 each
(2) Brisk Sugar Free Lemonade 2 Liters $1.50 each
          $1/2 = $1, or $.50 each
(4) Diet Dr. Pepper 2 Liters $1.50 each
          (2) $.75/2 = $4.50, or $1.12 each (these coupons were not subject to doubling)
Total: $15.34
Savings: $25.86, a 63% savings!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Menu Plan Monday 3/11-3/17

Monday: Grilled Pork Chops, Stewed Okra, and Seasoned Fries
Tuesday: Salsa Chicken Fiesta
Wednesday: Tilapia Tacos with Brown Rice and Corn
Thursday: Hamburger Steak with Sweet Baby Carrots and Mac and Cheese
Friday: Leftovers
Saturday: Spaghetti and Wheat Rolls
Sunday: Leftovers

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Harris Teeter Super Doubles 3/10!

(1) Jingos! $2.50
          $1/1 = $.50
(2) Juicy Juice $3.49 each
          (2) $1/1 = $1.49 each
(4) Yakisoba Noodles $1 each
          (2) $1/2 = Free!
(2) McCormick Gravy Mix $.60 each
          $.55/2 = $.08, or $.04 each
(1) McCormick Grill Mates $2.59
          $.75/1 = $1.09
(1) HT Paper Towels $6.77
(2) WhoNu Cookies $2.50 each
          $1/2 = $3, or $1.50 each
(1) Smithfield Ground Pork 16 oz. $3.99
          $1/1 = $1.99
(1) Lean Cuisine Salad Addition $3.34
          $1/1 = $1.34
(3) Kahiki Egg Rolls $2.69 each
          (3) $.75/1 = $1.19 each
(1) Stouffer's Lasagna $8.39
          $1.50/1 = $5.39
(1) Tropicana Strawberry Banana $3.99
          $1/1 = $1.99
(2) YoCrunch 4 pack with Fruity Pebbles $3 each
          (2) $1/1 = $1 each
(1) HT Skim Milk $2.97
(1) Oscar Mayer Carving Board Pulled Pork $6.99
          Free coupon = Free!

Total: $35.10
Savings: $50.50, a 59% savings!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

A Lazy Saturday!

First of all, I want to brag a little bitty bit and tell y'all that in the last six weeks that I've been covering as my coworker was out with her new baby girl, I am almost completely caught up on documents (that I know how to do) and therefore did not have to work today! Last Saturday I was off because of my sister's shower, but this is the only day in at least the last six weeks that I haven't had a thing to do!

And you know what I did all day? That's right... nothing. I, of course, woke up at 7:15 when Matthew left for work and Cinnamon had a barking meltdown. The only times I rolled myself out of bed were to pee and to get cereal.

After a short nap, Matthew heated up a leftover calzone for lunch. And now he's on his way to pick up Outback takeout for dinner! This has been one of the most relaxing days I've had in a while. I feel like I'm recharged and ready for a new week.

Only 39 days until my niece or nephew is due, 59 days until my 25th birthday, 60 days until school is done, and 63 days until graduation! I am so excited for all of these things to come!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Did I Just Run a Marathon?

No, no I did not. But I feel like in the last week, I have been going nonstop!

Last week I had two 12 hour clinicals out of town, so I prefer to call them my 18 hour days. I wake up at 4 on these days, drive an hour, take a 15 minute bus ride, then a 15 minute walk, work a 12 hour shift (unless by some miracle I get to leave early), walk 15 minutes, ride 15 minutes, and then drive an hour back home to eat and get in bed as soon as I possibly can so that I can wake up and do it all over again. In fact, I get to do it again this week and next week! Lucky me!

I have been working a lot of Saturdays at my job to help us stay relatively caught up on paperwork. So after working 8-6 Friday, I worked 7:30-3:30 on Saturday. I was still extremely tired from the long clinical days but was kind of in autopilot at that point haha. Then I got to babysit the sweetest little baby that night for a couple of hours! He is always good though and never exhausts me. I can only hope that one day my children are as easy and quiet as he is haha!

And Sunday was my sister's first baby shower! Super exciting and fun! She got so many things that she needed. I think she got most of her big items like the swing, bouncy seat, pack n play, etc. And of course there were a few fun items in there that she hadn't registered for like a cute elephant hooded towel and washing mitt. They even had the elephant's trunk on them! All of the food was really good. I probably ate my weight in fruit with chocolate and marshmallow dips. Seriously, I love that stuff!

If I can just make it to Saturday, then only one more week of my 18 hour days, and then a few less stressful weeks will be in sight!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

My Recent Finds.

As you know, I love a deal. So I'm sure you've at least assumed that I shop at TJ Maxx and Ross and Tuesday Morning and Big Lots. No? haha Well it's true. I pop my head in at least once a week at each store. Is it bad that the employees at Tuesday Morning know my zip code by heart? I do enjoy getting the scoop on sales before others know though, so totally worth it.

I thought I'd show y'all in photos what some of my deals have been lately!

My $4 porcelain coffee mug with hot pink silicone lid. Love these colors! I'm just glad it didn't say Maxxinista like most of their other coffee cups right now. I don't know what's going on there. A marketing mistake, clearly.

50 blue and white paper straws for $4. Obsessed! And this pile of green plastic? Drawer organizers. 8 pieces in all. You snap them together the way you want them to be! Spring cleaning a little early around this joint! They know how to pull at my heartstrings at TJ Maxx. Bright colors.

Did I mention this Kate Spade vase I got on clearance at TJ? $23. I waited patiently for this baby. It was $40 to begin with. I waited weeks. When I saw it on clearance, I grabbed it so fast. Then I asked Matthew if it was okay if I spent $23 on Kate Spade. And really that was a rhetorical question. The answer was yes no matter what he said. It has butterflies etched all over. I'm not really a butterfly person, but I'm a Kate Spade person. Therefore, I'm a Kate Spade butterfly vase person.

 This blue zebra dress was a $16 find at Ross. After scoping the whole store and ready to try on my other items, I strolled over to the dresses "just to see if there's anything good!" as I told Matthew. And there was! Fit like a charm and didn't think twice about buying it!

Oh, and this little winner here caught my eye so quickly I'm fairly sure I went into shock for a moment. I didn't even care what size it was, I was trying it on. And then I found the next size up! I tried them both... but I mean I don't need 2 of the same thing, so I bought one. $35 for Michael Kors. This top is ridiculously cute on. I'm not crazy about the gold chain, so that may be taken out. But I am so happy about this find!

As I browsed the baby section, you know, looking for things to buy my future niece or nephew, I found this. And I had to have it. $3 for this diaper rack thingy. I don't even care. It has a barn. And it's perfect for my future child, whenever that may be. Not trying to announce anything here. I'm just getting prepared by buying things I love when I see them. You know how it works when you go to look for a specific item and search to the ends of the earth only to learn that it doesn't exist. I'm trying to avoid that, so I'm buying way early haha.

Found this melamine platter for $4 at Tuesday Morning a few days ago. It's so cute! The tag said $5, and I was okay with $5. I would have been okay with $10. But it rang up for $4 and I loved it even more. Again, for my future child's room.

And these next few are of fabric fat quarters I got at Tuesday Morning. If you know me, you know I love cows. This fabric has been there for a while and I wanted it badddd. But who buys things for their future child that hasn't even been planned or scheduled or anything? I mean I am not trying to jinx anything. My sister convinced me to buy it before it got gone. So I did. $10 for 7 pieces of fabric. I could care less about the ones with fruit, but I love the farm prints and the plaid.

 As I was sitting in class a couple weeks ago, one of the local shops posted some jewelry at deep discounts. I had to have them! So I messaged them over facebook to make sure I got them! $10 for this necklace and earring set.

And $2.50 for each of this bubble bracelets. 

I just realized this post makes me look like a shopaholic. I prefer to be called a dealaholic. Thank you.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Menu Plan Monday 2/18-2/24

Monday: Leftovers
Tuesday: Crockpot Chicken and Dumplings
Wednesday: Salsa Chicken Fiesta and Black Beans
Thursday: Cornbread Salad (with some ground beef thrown in)
Friday: Out!
Saturday: Glazed Pork Chops
Sunday: My sister's first baby shower!

Can you tell I'm going with easy meals this week? I'll be doing my 12 hour clinicals. I'm already tired thinking about it.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

A Valentine's Recap!

Fortunately, I did not have to work or go to school on Valentine's. Since I had a free day, I had planned to go to Raleigh to drop off a resume and run a few other errands. My sister told me about this new store at Brier Creek called Versona. This is definitely my new favorite place! They had the cutest clothes, jewelry, scarves, hats, and other accessories. And everything was very affordable! I only left with one thing for myself and two for someone else. But I will be going back.

I also went to GiGi's cupcakes, because everybody needs a cupcake on Valentine's. I decided to surprise my sister at work and picked up a couple cupcakes for her. However, she had already been that morning and gotten four cupcakes. So then she had six! Her work had ordered pizza for lunch, so I indulged myself. It was good. It had been too long since I last had pizza.

Once I got home, I started cooking dinner. I had these boneless back ribs from Sam's in the freezer. I'd pinned a recipe and decided to give it a try. Seriously, these ribs were awesome! I had leftovers for lunch, and there is another plate left (thank goodness). I also made cilantro potato salad.. a pinterest find. Cilantro is like top 5 on my favorite things list, so yeahhh, I'm basically in love with this stuff. And then we ended our meal with our Chocolate Chip Cheesecake cupcake and our Birthday Cake cupcake. To finish off the night, we planned to watch Taken 2, but they were out at the Redbox. So we got The Watch. It was hilarious! Lots of horrible language, but funny nonetheless. Anything with Vince Vaughan and Ben Stiller is a winner!

Also, Matthew brought home some roses and a funny card! It said, "To me, you're sweeter than a pina colada, more beautiful than a piano sonata, good looks and great heart, you're the whole enchilada, so loving you isn't a choice, I just gotta!"

At work the next day, I found red tulips on my desk and a giant Hershey's kiss! Matthew planned dinner for Friday night, so we got Outback takeout, my fav!

It was a great Valentine's this year!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

85 Days...

...if you're counting weekends and holidays! The graduation date has been announced for May 11, and of course it's bright and early at 10 a.m. It seems like yesterday I was quitting my job to pursue this 21-month adventure. And now, we're in the middle of month 19. Yay! That's all I have to say about that.

During my lunch break between classes on Tuesday, I went to the grocery store to get everything I needed to pass out resumes. Didn't know that things from the grocery store could accompany a resume? Well they did! After class, I whipped up quite the list of goodies to pass out to various clinical sites. I made peanut butter brownies, chocolate chip chocolate cheesecake squares, chocolate cheesecake cupcakes, and banana coconut bread. I wanted to let each place know how  much I appreciated them for allowing me to rotate at their facility and for everything I learned during my time there. I used my cute little note cards that were pink and green and everything bright! Of course, I left my resume with the goodies! I want my  name to stand out from everyone else in my class and from any other school rotating through those facilities.

However, my luck stinks. Out of the 5 places, I never saw a single manager. I have great timing! I was feeling somewhat discouraged after the first couple of places because I had seen no one that I knew. If you know me, you know that I don't like being noticed in public. I felt very awkward and very noticeable as I carried in a huge container of food. Ha you wouldn't believe I felt like I would be looked at suspiciously, as if I had a bomb in my hands. Stupid I know. It's just a scary thing to be a big girl and to be looking for a job where you don't have someone on the inside looking out for you.

When I got to the third hospital, I saw some of my great preceptors who quickly took notice of me dressed to impress. They were so excited that I had cupcakes for them! That was all I needed to be reassured of my goals! There was not a soul around when I strolled into the next place. But it was okay. I knew just where to place everything so it would be seen!

Today, I went to the last place on my list. This was the largest hospital I planned to go to, one of the two major hospitals we rotated at throughout the program. I was extremely nervous and kept waiting to actually go through with it. I wore a dress with leggings and boots and my jean jacket. I was worried I was too casual, but I knew deep down that I was looking good haha! Again, there were no supervisors in sight. But the team leader was there and a couple of preceptors I had been with before. To my surprise, they remembered me! The butterflies went away and I was at ease. I gave them my spill about being thankful and appreciative and told them I brought them bread. I may have rambled about licking the bowl and how good it was before baking. They were blown away that I made them something!

My spirits are high! I am hopeful for any news that is to come!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Menu Plan Monday 2/11-2/17

Monday: Honey Lime Shrimp with Brown Rice
Tuesday: Chicken Tortilla Bake and Steamed Broccoli
Wednesday: Boneless Back Ribs with Creamy Cilantro Potato Salad
Thursday: Valentine's Day!
Friday: Leftovers
Saturday: Glazed Pork Chops with Macaroni and Cheese and Green Beans
Sunday: Leftovers

Monday, January 28, 2013

Menu Plan Monday 1/28-2/3

Monday: Baked Honey Dijon Turkey Tenderloins with Green Peas and Leftover Potatoes
Tuesday: Chicken Fajitas with Corn Tortillas and Brown Rice
Wednesday: Barbecued Boneless Back Ribs with Baked Sweet Potatoes and Creamed Corn
Thursday: Baked Cheesy Chicken Penne with Tossed Salad
Friday: Leftovers
Saturday: John Wayne Casserole
Sunday: Leftovers

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Beginning the Job Search

This week I sat down with my teacher to go over my resume. I've been using the same resume for years, because it works for me. Any time I've sent it out to multiple jobs, I always get at least a couple of interviews. But since the healthcare field is so different from what I'm used to in the business world, I just felt that I needed his professional viewpoint on what all I needed to include. He really loved my resume though and honestly felt that I needed very few changes, which really surprised me! We actually use a form of resume called a vitae. Has anyone ever heard of that before? It basically is just a more thorough resume with paragraphs explaining your experience instead of bullet points. It is the perfect format for me considering that is exactly how my resume already was!

Then we discussed what I will do after graduation. I am going to register for two summer classes and finally get on my way towards completing my bachelor's degree! I cannot wait until May 2014! My teacher is a great advisor and friend. He knows that despite my personal motivation to continue my education, I also need a big push to actually achieve my goals. I don't plan to stop with just a bachelor's degree. I told him that I never planned to even be in this situation. I dreamed of going off to college and eventually moving to a big city or another country. I never planned for my PaPa to die two months into my college career and to end up in a 6 month long bout of depression that I vaguely remember. I never planned to move back home when I was 20 years old, or even to get a full-time job making the move so permanent. And I certainly never planned to enroll in community college for a degree in anything medical. My life is so opposite of what I ever expected it to be. I told him that, and how I felt so behind all of my friends who have moved to those bigger cities and who have real jobs making lots of money. They get to travel with their friends and families and go out to try new things. I feel like I am a level below them because I am still a college student at the age of 24. Seriously? That sounds so awful for me to basically admit that I'm jealous of what they have. But it's all very true.

But because my teacher has also become a good friend, he pushed me to express what I really want to accomplish in my life. I never want to be just a respiratory therapist. Once I get my bachelor's, I want to get my master's in healthcare management. I eventually want to be in management, possibly owning a business related to the field. But I even shared with him that I still have dreams of going to law school and being a lobbyist. I still love business and law and government and politics. Those will always be a part of me. He assured me that all of these things do make sense together and my dreams aren't out of left field! But his best advice, and something that will always stick with me, is not to compare myself to what others have. They have finished school and are now in what is the rest of their life. But I have not finished school, and clearly my educational goals are nowhere near complete. So how can I compare my life, where I am still climbing the ladder, to someone who has already reached the top of their ladder. I currently don't see an end to my ladder! And I hope that it continues to be that way throughout my life. I'm admitting that I am going to be one of those lifetime learners who never stops setting new goals and achieving bigger and better things!