Ok, Ok,,,,

October 21, 2011

Since BOTH people who follow my blog have noted my absence over the last week, here’s a quicky post.

This will tell you how the last 6 months of my life have gone.

This picture has been on my desktop to post since the first of June!

The rest of the summer/early fall has been a blur.  SO here comes a series of posts on “$#!+ I’ve Learned During the Summer and Fall of 2011”

Lesson #1

Animal Crackers are a great gift – and worth the headache of making from scratch.

So, I’ve changed my Gift Giving Attitude this year – more on that later….

These are little gifts I gave to a few people at the end of the school year last year.

Whole Foods had these flavored lemonades on sale for $1…and I instantly thought “What a great gift that would make”  (plus it’s cheap!)

 I threw together animal crackers (yes, I went to Williams Sonoma and bought animal cracker cookie cutters when I saw this a couple of years ago!)  and packaged them together with a cute tag (Tip Junkie – has the BEST printables), and proceeded to have  a blast passing them out.

Gift giving is WAY more fun when it’s unexpected…don’tcha think?


Food Pantry Part Deux

February 28, 2011

You might remember my commitment to donating $10 of groceries/month to our local food pantry.

It all stemmed from a trip that our inter-faith religious school took to a food pantry – only to find bare shelves.

So, I’ve started playing the coupon game to see how much ‘stuff’ I can buy for $10.

This is my second haul.  I went over my budget a bit.  This bag o’ goodies set me back almost $6.

Free Hugs Shirt – Update

February 15, 2011

Yes – I wore my Free Hugs shirt for Valentine’s Day.

I only had 1 person ask for a free hug…

I’m not sure how I feel about that…

Add to the initial sadness that he was an 89 year old man at a Weight Watchers meeting and I seem even more pathetic.

It’s hell getting old…

Random Acts of Kindness Week

February 10, 2011

Next week is Random Acts of Kindness Week.

I know, I know – didn’t we just have Random Acts of Kindness DAY?  Yes, yes we did.

I am of the mind that everyday should be Random Acts of Kindness Day.

I don’t usually like to tell people what I do as Random Acts of Kindness… but I will tell you that next week, I will be utilizing these adorable eye charts from It’s a Crafty Life.

What will you be doing to celebrate this special week?  You can post a comment here or e-mail me if you want to remain anonymous.  I’d love to share our ideas!

Here are a couple of sites that specialize in kindness.

Do One Nice Thing

Random Acts of Kindness Foundation

Oh, and one of my favorite kindness videos.

Yes, I will be wearing my Free Hugs shirt next week…. I will NOT be standing on a corner with a sign.

Here’s a game…

You’ve heard about these people who match their coupons up with sales and end up with an entire grocery cart FULL of food that they buy for $11.64, right?


I am NOT one of those people.  I don’t have the time or the patience – plus, my family doesn’t eat much pre-packaged, convenience foods.  (which are the foods that you GET coupons for)

I AM, however, a person who loves a challenge and likes to play the ‘let’s see if I can get groceries for free’ game.

So I”m going to set aside $10 per month to buy food for our local food pantry.  The challenge will be to see how MUCH stuff I can get for those $10.

If you’re interested in joining me – here are a couple of sites that match coupons with sales – or just give you good tips on how to use coupons to the most benefit.



If you have a favorite site for coupon match ups or just good information, please leave a comment so we can share.

Google “coupon match ups (and then the name of your town)”  to see if anyone does these for your area.

If coupons aren’t your thing, why not pick up a few boxes of pasta and some jars of sauce to take to your local food pantry.  It’s cheap and easy and you won’t even notice an extra $5 on your grocery bill!

…and with all of that good karma,  you might just catch one of these:

JCS – Giving to others

January 22, 2011

Last week our JCS lesson was about giving to others….

…helping our neighbors, even if we don’t know them.

We read the Good Samaritan – we talked about how we can help our friends and neighbors.

We counted the money that we had collected over the last year (our JCS tzedakah – or offering for you church-goers).

We went shopping for items that our local food pantry needed,,, cereal, canned meats and fruit, and batteries.

Yesterday, we delivered our goodies to a local shelter and food pantry….  and were we ever SHOCKED.

We live in the wealthiest county in our state.*

One would think that our food pantry would be OVERFLOWING with abundance.

One would think that ‘to whom much is given, much is expected’ and we would be a generous group.

One would think….

Well, apparently, our neighbors think that there aren’t hungry people in Hamilton County because the pantry was bare.

If a family comes (no matter how large or small the family is) the pantry fills them up with a months worth of food.

If you’ve ever done shopping once a month, you know this is A LOT of food (even for a family of 4, imagine a family of 10 or 12).

Perhaps if we took care of our neighbors, we wouldn’t NEED a food pantry – – – but we don’t.

Perhaps if we took care of our neighbors, we wouldn’t need the government programs that we complain about the most.

Perhaps if we took care of our neighbors, we could eliminate the desperation that causes many to turn to crime to feed their families or pay their bills.

So, here’s a challenge – ask around YOUR community, see what the needs are.

Does your food pantry need peanut butter?

Does your local school need coats, hats, and gloves to give to kids who come to school without them?

Does the homeless shelter in your town/city need volunteers to serve a meal?

You don’t have to contribute your entire paycheck or all of your spare time….

….but if we all gave a little, I believe that big things could happen.

If all 279,287 people in Hamilton County set aside $5 per month to buy food for a food pantry, we would have $1,396,435 per month to feed our hungry neighbors.

*Based on information from a few years ago, Hamilton County ranked 16th on the top 100 highest-income counties by median household income and 24th on the top 100 highest income counties by median household income IN THE COUNTRY.

Notebook Follow-up

December 13, 2010

Thanks to all of the “Notebook Supporters”!  I was comforted to learn that my child isn’t the only one who obsessively made lists of Pokemon characters.

In my original post, I forgot to mention the J-man’s Gratitude Journal.

For Jewish/Christian School, we do a lesson on gratitude and the importance of being grateful for the smallest things.  When you appreciate even the littlest things, you feel blessed ALL DAY EVERY DAY…. which is how you should live your life anyway, right?

Here are a few things that the big J was grateful for:

Food (this was on the FIRST page….and anyone who knows J will get a kick out of that)




Hanover Basketball

Annie (our 16 year old dog)

The Buddy Walk



Pokemon (specifically Piplup)

The Stars

My games

My T.V.



My school

My age (6 and 1/4)

My sofa

My Clock

My Bus

My Backyard

The Trees

Tunnels (????)


My Birthday

The months (????)

My dad getting me off of the bus (I love this one)


The fair



My Doctor





My Sister

Indian Corn

UPS (Like the big brown truck that brings packages)

A TeePee

Dawn of the Dinosaurs

The Rocks

My Name

The Sky and the Grass




The Road

Papa J


Meme and Poppy


The Gym


Laffy Taffy



The Pacer’s Basketball Court

This is a great exercise for young and old…..  Go pick up a $1 journal at Target or Michaels and stuff those stockings!