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Sunday, July 10, 2011

New Modest Swimsuit Arrived!

I ordered my new swimsuit not long ago from and it took a very short time to be shipped!

I can't say enough about this swimsuit! This is the first swimsuit ever that I thought, wow, this could be about a third of an inch lower on top! The swimsuit has an inner lining and full-size cups on top. The material is a bit heavy, which means it will last for the next two or three summers!

The swim bottoms were not shorts but were a mid-cut. I wear shorts, but the length of the bottoms would be appropriate if I wanted to skip swim shorts.

I have washed it once now and am proud that the color didn't fade and the suit didn't shrink!

The hardest thing about this swimsuit is the price. However, I am much more comfortable, trendy, and well supported than any other designer or walmart swimsuit I've ever owned. Overall, the quality made the price reasonable!

Gluten Free at Applebee's!

I know there aren't a lot of eating out choices for the food allergy bunch. However, planning ahead has saved me from getting sick!

Applebee's website has a list of food products that are dairy, soy, nut, and gluten free.

I was disappointed that the Spinach and Artichoke dip isn't gluten free. That's usually a staple. They also didn't list the Oriental Chicken Salad with some minor changes, it is gluten free. I put grilled chicken instead of breaded chicken and then no crispy noodles. The dressing is listed as gluten free.

They did have several other salads listed as gluten free. If a salad doesn't sound good, the only other choice is an appetizer as a meal or a steak. Make sure to watch the sides with the steak becuase some of the sides do have gluten.

Happy eating!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Gluten Free at Jason's Deli

I was sooo excited to eat at Jason's Deli when I found out they had a Gluten Free Menu! The menu wasn't limited to potatos and salad's either! The one in my area had gluten free bread! I had an awesome turkey sandwich with avocado, tomato and lettuce.

Here's the link to their locations and menu's.

One idea is to call ahead and find out if they have a gluten free menu. If they don't great back ups are the amazing salad bar, the giant baked potatos, or a drink with free ice cream!

Free tickets to Chuck E Cheese!

I just won!

There is a game on the Chuck E Cheese website that will let you play a game of skee ball to win tickets. You can win up to 40 tickets. I won 25 the first time and 35 the second!

They will only let you redeem one coupon per child per day. We have two kiddos so this will be fun!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Grocery Store 3 Month Food Storage List

Food storage and the necessity to “Be Prepared” has been laid on my heart recently. I have been considering the passage, “If you are prepared, you shall not fear.”  There are many other great scriptures and quotes, but I hate being scared and I want to make sure that I have done all I can to prepare my family.
Some families go into debt or spend massive amounts on food storage they don’t know how to use. Then they take classes on how to use it. (Grinding wheat, etc.) Then you have to purchase other items like a wheat grinder that you can use by hand to even be able to use it.
The church I attend has recently been trying to urge families to prepare as they are able to and what they would be able to use. I’ve been trying to figure out how to combine my sense of urgency to prepare with my own skills and strengths.
I will never be the women who bakes bread from scratch, makes my own pastas, even in the worst of times I believe it would be difficult for me to imagine doing those things. Plus, if there isn’t electricity, you’d have to know how to build an oven and have all types of skills I don’t have the time to learn.
I have put together a list of items that my family could live off of. They don’t certainly LOVE everything on the list (chef Boyardee, gross) but it does have protein, carbohydrates, and vegetables.  Also, everything on my list could be made on my wood burning stove in a pot.
My husband is stressed about water. But if we needed to sanitize water, you boil it and then let it cool. Not difficult, some places of the world this is what you do anyway. If it is dirty, you filter it through a shirt or clean cloth first and then boil. (You should still store water, but don’t NOT fill your water because you’re worried about not having the chemicals that you need to sterilize it, or you have to use a dirty hose to pump it into the water barrel. If these are the worst times we’re preparing for, we’ll be glad we have that water to use for crops.)
The last tip before the list is to KEEP EVERYTHING OFF OF THE FLOOR (except water) because if there is a problem with plumbing or earth quakes or flooding, your basements will flood and you’ll lose your cereals, diapers, tp, and other soft things.
I am using this list so that when I see something on sale or coupons, I buy it on sale with a coupon and mark down how many items we have extra until we have enough.
Food Storage for 3 months:  
(For 2 adults: 7 dinners a week, cereal for breakfast each day, fruit for snack 2x per week)
12 cans of white beans
12 cans of black beans
12 cans of whole pinto beans
12 cans of tuna
12 cans of chicken
12 cans of chili with meat
12 cans of spaghetti o’s
12 cans of chef Boyardee with meat
24 cans of chunky with meat soup
12 cans of tomato sauce
12 bags of spaghetti noodles
12 cans of green beans
12 cans of peas
12 cans of peaches
12 cans of mixed fruit
12 boxes of tuna helper
24 boxes of cereals (healthier kind, not sugar filled)
24 cans of dried milk
12 cans of evaporated milk
12 cans of condensed, sweetened milk
180 gallons of clean water for drinking & mixing with milk, cooking (1 gallon/person/ day /adult)
3 packages of diapers, next size up
3 packages of female hygiene items
3 months worth of tp (this would be 24 rolls for my family)
90 gallons of unfiltered water (for flushing toilet)
24 bars of soap
12 packages of hand sanitizer
3 bottles of shampoo
6 gallons of vinegar (for cleaning, etc)
12 boxes of baking soda (for cleaning, hygiene)
Laundry detergent for 3 months
Clothes pins (not a necessity, you can drape your clothing over the curtain rod in bathroom)
Other things to consider:
Seeds (buy cheap, after season, and store in a paper sack in a cold, dark place)
Medications, especially if diabetic!
Health supplies: gauze, band aids, hydrogen perozide, rubbing alcohol
Guns & Ammo (think of New Orleans, how would you protect your family if you had to?)
Gasoline for cars (stored in a safe way)
Consecrated Oil
Seasonal clothing and next size clothing for children, mainly focus on shoes, boots

The point is to be working towards being prepared. Any thing that you do is better than doing or having nothing at all. Leave a comment on your ideas and how you are preparing your family.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Lord's Evaluation of Mother's

There was a great talk in my church this afternoon regarding the Lord's expectations on mothering.

I didn't catch the article or scripture but he made the claim that the main thing the Lord looks for is that we are actively "Nurturing" our children. Nurturing is our main goal, or primary role, and our primary standard.

I found peace in this concept. In further reflection, many of the things I do could fit under nurturing-type behaviors.

With this as the new criteria, I think I may be able to live up to the expectation.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Mother's Day Personal Evaluation

While mother's day is a time to celebrate moms. I think it's a great time for self-reflection on my own strength's and percieved weaknesses of my mothering talents.

* I let my children drink from my cup and don't worry about back-wash
* I take time to play with my children on their level
* I do individual time with each of my children, even if it's only putting them to bed
* I work a full-time job to keep us a-float
* I don't put them in daycare or preschool and let them be kids with a grandma
* I read to my children every night
* I pray with my children daily (or most days)
* I say please when I ask them to do things
* If they get thirsty, I get them a drink (and don't say "swallow your spit!")
* I share things that are mine: my computer, my sweet treats, my drinks, my beliefs, and my time

* I let my son watch too much wii
* I feel overwhelmed when my son cries and whines
* I hate changing diapers (who likes this! Seriously?)
* I have to work to stay sane
* I don't do family home evening
* (All of the above could be manipulated into weaknesses, but I'm not going to because I like that I do those things.)

Overall, I'd have to say that I'm a pretty good mom. This year, I passed the Mom evaluation!

In the upcoming weeks, I'd like to work on how to desensitize myself from my son's relentless (at-times) whines. So, instead of feeling stressed, I'm going to breathe and have him go to time-out.

To do your own evaluation, simply think of all of the things that you like that you do for your children and list them as strengths. For the weakness, think of all the things you don't like that you do for your children. Pick one thing on the list and make a goal to start to make small behavioral changes.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Gluten Free Mini-Muffins

Jeff made incredible mini muffins tonight for a party. They were a huge hit and nobody even knew they were gluten-free.

The recipe took him about 30 minutes total to prep and bake. We used Jules Gluten Free Flour and the recipe from her beginners cook book.

They had frozen bannanas and blueberries. Yummm!

AND...I soo used my new pampered chef mini muffin pan on this one!

I'll also be linking up to
Make it Yours @ My Backyard Eden

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Taco Time: Updated Allergy Information

A few months back, I posted about Gluten Free items at Taco Time.

While I was in Taco Time today, I spoke to the Director of Operations for many of the Salt Lake City Taco Time locations. I had a great chat with him about the "old days" of Taco Time (my husband and I both worked for and managed Taco Time restaurants while we were in high school). I asked him about the spices and seasonings and the potential that they may have gluten.

He referred me to a nutritional chart that is also on their website.

The flaw in the chart is that it does not specify "gluten" but it does specify "wheat."

Here's the run-down:

Everything has "wheat" except crisp ground beef taco's, pork street tacos (be careful, the chicken street tacos do have wheat), ground beef enchiladas, chips, cheddar fries, mexi fries, mexi-rice, and refritos. (Be careful to avoid the stuffed mexi fries as those do have wheat.)

Everything has "soy" marked. This is probably in one of the seasonings.

Everything has "dairy" except pork and chicken street tacos, chips, mexi fries, and mexi rice.

Eggs is only listed in the chicken BLT and the chicken rancherito.

This list was updated on Taco Time's website on Sept 2010.

Happy Eating!!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Feeling Good in my Garden!

A couple of weeks ago, I posted about saving money in the garden. I finally put some of those practices in action.

We went to Lowes and used buy one get one free coupons to buy $20 worth of vegetables for $10.

We also bought two trees and some much needed fertilizer.

The past two weeks, we requested bids from five different tree companies. We had a giant pine taken down, a sycamore I hated destroyed, and another pine trimmed. The cheapest bid came in at $1200 for all the work, stump grinding in all. We negotiated that cost down to $1100 by paying for the job by cash.

Now that the two trees are gone, our yard felt a little empty. We thought it would be nice to plant another crab apple in the front and add a quaking aspen in the back. Both trees are supposed to have a fast growth rate, low water needs, and grow around 20 feet. This is much better than our enormous trees from before. Yesterday, we got the two trees planted and the first part of our garden in. I'd say it was a very productive day!

Have you got your garden in?

Measuring Depression: Physical Signs

One strategy used to measure depression is to look at the physical traits that are around the person.
*How organized is their home, bedroom, or office? Is it typically this way?
  Was it this way before they were depressed?
*Are they keeping up on their physical hygiene? Do they remember the last time they   showered or brushed their teeth?
*Is the vehicle they drive being regularly maintained?
 *How is their yard or balcony? Are indoor plants being cared for?
By looking at the physical surroundings, you can start to get an idea for the internal state of the person. If the person is recently depressed, you can compare recent behavior to past behavior. The cleanliness and completed tasks are a way to measure varying levels of depression; typically the more disorganized and undone things are, the deeper the depression may be.
For me personally, I know I am feeling the best when my yard is cared for, my children are clean, and my dishes are done. Some other things may be falling apart (I can't be perfect!) but these three areas are key peices of insight to my mental health.
I also find that the previous areas (yard, children, and dishes) are coping strategies for me. I enjoyed reading Ginger's blog today on how she used her coping skill of nature (inSERIOUSLYsane: The Healing Power of Nature).

Friday, April 15, 2011

Behavior Modification: Low-Cost Reinforcers

I worked in our latency aged group home today and was reminded of a very simple, yet some how easily forgotten concept:

Reinforcers MUST by defination be reinforcing to the person involved.

If you're trying to motivate any child, youth, or even yourself, the reinforcer (or award) must be something that is enticing enough to make you want to change. The reinforcer must also be frequent enough for the child's developmental level or the difficulty of the task.

Free Reinforcers that worked for my non-compliant youth today included:


*Playing a Board game after positive behavior

*Being read to

*Watering the plants

The youth teeter-tottered all day but he had a slightly better day today, then yesterday!

Progress, regardless how small must be celebrated!!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Finding God in Trauma

One exercise I have been developing for helping abuse victims heal from trauma is developing a conversation with diety. I give the assignment for the client to write out what a conversation would look like. We then process how that conversation would feel. We then use this conversation as a way to anchor an alternative feeling to the abuse as a way to de-sensitize and help the client visualize another reality to the abuse.

This is an example one of my clients gave me permission to use:

I imagined that I had a conversation with the Father. He told me things would be hard down here. I nodded and said “I am Strong.” He told me that things would happen to me that I wouldn’t choose and that He wouldn’t choose for me, but that He wouldn’t intervene because of His plan. I told Him I trusted His plan and repeated, “I am Strong.” And “You can depend on me, Father.” He said the things I would see, He would be there for and He would send others. I told him I would watch for them and I would believe in Him. He said, “Others will want you to give up, they will teach you to hate me, that I am the source of your pain. You will want to believe them. The choice will be yours, but I believe in you. I believe you can live through it and heal through it.” I was confident and said, “I will be strong. You can trust me.” He said, “Others will cause you pain but I will place angels and sentinels to be by you.” I told him that I would watch for them. He told me that I would question His plan and His existence. I promised that I wouldn’t and He cried. He said, “Down there, earth there are people hurting my children. I see them and I hear their pleas. I need one, one to hold them, comfort them, and understand the abuse they’ve seen. You will hurt, but I will heal you. You will cry and I will send one to wipe your tears. You will heal, and then heal my other children. You will give them what I have given you."
I personally believe that healing from abuse happens in many stages and based on the client, spirituality can be one way to help the individual find peace.

Monday, April 4, 2011

DivinitaSole: Modest Swimsuits!

This isn't a deal post, for once, but a fashion post!

DivinitaSole has THE cutest swimsuits ever. Plus they have a design button and details on which type of suits flatter each body type and then the style number to the ones they have in that style. You then can design a swim suit with style, patterns, tops, and bottoms.

They come in pretty pricey, but I am willing to buy a modest, flattering swim suit for $84 plus shipping. Victoria's Secret is more expensive for less material!!

This is the one I love!!! Plus check out: for a way to win one of these fabulous suits!

Food Storage Steals-Utah Only

In Utah, I just got word from my good friend Becky who rocks at family preparedness that Macey's is having excellent food storage sales. Here's the break down from Becky (who should start her own blog some day!):

55 gallon blue water barrel $34 ($40 at Walmart)
5 gal storage bucket WITH lid (not gamma) $3
Gamma lid $4 (instead of 7 at Walmart)
5 gal water jug for camping $3
Butane stove with 4 cans for butane $20, pretty good deal
Siphon/pump for 55 gallon barrel $7 (I got mine for $9 at Walmart)
Butane cans $1.59 (Beats $2 in Salt Lake City)
They also have some good prices on TP for your storage too.
Augason Farms whole eggs #10 can, $14 (plus a bunch of other items so you don't have to go to Salt Lake City)
Hope fellow Utahn's can stock up

Free Audiobook: "A Biblical Approach to Anxiety"

I was uploading my free "Hiding Place" by Corrie Ten Boom and thought I'd see what else Christain Audio had to offer.

As I like to provide alternative ideas to dealing with mental health concerns, the title "A Biblical Approach to Anxiety" stood out to me. Even better that it is free today.

I'll do a review of it once I've listened to it. If you've read it, what were your thoughts?

A Biblical Approach to Anxiety

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Save 45% on Organic Snacks

Amazon has Jammy Sammy Organic Snacks for 45% off!




Use code: PLUMOR33 for 30% off. Use subscribe and save for an extra 15%


Total reduction: 45%


Happy Organic Snacking!

Gluten Free Grocery Items

The local gluten free specialty store in my area has a newsletter they send out every month. This month they featured a cool website I thought I'd also pass on.

Gluten Free Overflow is a website that lists grocery food items that are gluten free.

This site has both search and browse options for many of the food items I eat on a daily basis. The system has a thumbs up or thumbs down rating.

The website also lists the date that the item was varified. As most of us with allergies know, manufacturers change their recipes periodically and you may still want to check the ingredient list to make sure that there hasn't been any changes.

They have things I wouldn't typically think of checking for gluten, like bouillon cubes and medications. All in one simple place.

I like to buy my gluten-free items that I eat regularly from This website could be helpful in identifying which items are gluten-free and then you can purchase and compare taste within.

Now we just need an extensive list like this for fast food!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Saving Money in the Garden

I have loved the past two days of sunshine!

I raked the leaves, pine needles, and pine cones that were left from the fall when the snow hit hard.

I am dreaming about the plants I would love to buy and fill my garden with. I am dreaming (and getting estimates) on having three trees removed. I also am looking to have a more successful vegetable garden. Last years didn't turn out so well.

How would it be to be one of those people who could plant seeds, nourish them, and watch them sprout? I would love that. My grandma does it each year, so it's in my blood but I think my blood needs maturing or something!

There are the traditional ways of saving in the garden, outside of growing seeds. "Trade plants with neighbors", "Plant perennials, divide, and spread", "Collect Seeds," and of course, "Use coupons."

Some good coupons lately came from Lowes for buy one get one free plants.  This is my first choice, not because I think they have better plants, but they have a waranty on their plants that if you do everything correctly and it still dies, they will replace the plant. I have used this policy in the past and it is my favorite way to go. Make sure you save your reciept and then if you need to, dig up the plant, stick it in a box and take it back to the store. Go to the customer service desk like you were returning any other item and they will either exchange it or give you a store credit.

City Deals has a deal: $30 to Glover Nursery in West Jordan for $15 for those of us in Utah. I imagine other city's will have similar deals.

My grandma gets several plants at the end of the season from the local nursery by her home at pennies. However, she is able to bring them back to life somehow (while I always manage the opposite).

I plant ground cover in my back yard, to be able to use in my front yard once I have enough. Then I rotate where the ground cover was and plant vegetables. As a result of crop rotation, I don't worry too much about supplementing my soil. We till the ground, rake the ground, weed the ground, and then plant.

However you plan to spend your money or your time, I believe that gardening is naturally healing.

Happy Spring!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Utah 1/2 Price Produce!

Utah Moms should be excited about this city deal! Maceys has a $10 gift card towards produce for $5 on City Deals. I see some for the Clinton, Clearfield, and Ogden, Utah locations

I never see deals for produce and coupons for fresh fruit and veggies is few and far between. We will be getting some of these and spreading the word too!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Priesthood Pedastool?

I have heard recent complaints about how men in the LDS or Mormon faith have been placed at such a high standing. They are supposedly revered and more powerful.

I really have to disagree with this notion. I believe that anyone who took the time to examine the responsibilities of the Priesthood holders from a 12 year old deacon through a 70 year old high council men, they would see that the Priesthood is about service, not power. I wouldn't want to responsibilities that come with the Priesthood. I am not envious of the young man who passes the sacrament, nor of the bishop who sits in the front of the ward. All of those "callings" would make my anxiety sky rocket and I probably would attend church much less than I already do.

I believe that a righteous man, in any denomination is reverenced and respected. This is no different for the LDS community. I do think there are men who misuse the role of "head of the house" but I think the LDS normatives follow the general population normatives.

Any other ideas on the topic?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Going Sugar Free

Not too happy for all the cake!
First off, I work for a great company. They have these monthly health challenges and we get monetary compensation for following through. One of the challenges was Sugar Free. However, they stepped us into it using a structured approach. I think this approach would be helpful for anyone trying to "diet" or just improve their health.

The first month's goal was to increase water and to "stop the pop". They limited us to one can of diet soda a day. I found this first month fairly easy as I only drink diet soda. I made the goal to push myself to only 2-3 cans of diet soda a week.

The second month's goal was to continue the challenges from the first month of more water and no soda. Then we added 5 servings of fruit or vegetables and no added sugars or sweets (except one "free day" a week).

I found that once I had mostly stopped soda, I didn't crave chocolate or sweets near as much as I did before. I also noticed that the increased fruit made my after-dinner dessert habit more bearable. Instead of ice cream every night, I have switched to a fruit smoothie with almond milk or yogurt with fresh fruit.

One other thing that made the no extra sugar a much easier thing for me is that I already don't eat gluten products, like donuts, cakes, or cookies. I know that you can buy all of these items gluten-free, but it is more cost effective to make them home made and I just don't have the time or motivation to make them. Once in a while, Jeff will make me waffles and I put raspberry preserves on them and that fills my cake craving.

Next month, we're adding a half hour to an hour of exercise. That will be the challenge that pushes me to change. Wish us luck!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Cheesy Stuffed Acorn Squash

We made an excellent acorn squash for dinner tonight. We used a recipe from and used two of the comments: not cooking it in the microwave and using olive oil instead of butter.

It turned out great! We served the left-over stuffing on top of chicken and rice. Yummm....

Saturday, February 19, 2011

$1.19 Country Crock at Smith's!

Smith's Deal Scenerio:

If you bought two country crocks, one using coupon  at 1.49 and the other at 1.89 and got the $1 voucher for the next shopping trip, the price for each country crock would be ($2.38 total/2) $1.19 each

The country crock is on the 10 items get $6 off promotion and also a catalina! Too sweet!

(Check out to find your own great deals!)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Relaxation idea for Children

Sometimes children having a hard time getting to sleep or calming down can be the most challenging aspect of parenting (at least for me!).

One thing we have done with my son is turn relaxation into a game.

We start out in the living room. If it is night time, all the lights are off and he would sit on my lap in the lazy boy. I would use a very soft voice and say, "Can you hear what I hear?" and then he would say what he could hear. Fortunately for us, we live in a very noisy area. He would name the obvious things like a train or airplane or cars passing. I would then name something softer like the refrigerator. I would wait several minutes before asking him what else he could hear.

When we ran out of things to listen for in the living room, we would move to his bedroom. I would sit on the floor and he would lie in bed. I would say what I heard and wait for his reply.

This activity would take between 20-25 minutes and usually happened after we read books and our son would get out of bed to complain of being scared, hungry, thirsty, etc.

I have never tried this when our son was mad or noncompliant, however I assume it may work as a de-escalation technique for a child.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Gluten Free Treat!

I love home made preserves! I miss my pb and j sandwichs.
I've decided to improvise! For right at 100 calories, you can score a delicious gluten free treat:
Rice Cakes ala Raspberry
This is the simpiliest recipe ever! Just take 1 tbs of raspberry preserves and one pre-made rice cake and coat the rice cake with the raspberries.
I like this because it is one step up from raspberry's on celery and two steps up from raspberrys on cardboard!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Things NOT to Say

There are several things that are discouraging that you should not say to someone with depression or anxiety. I have put them in categories:

Spiritual: "Let God carry the burden."  "Read your Bible more." "Serve others and you will feel better."
You get the gist, any idea that by reading more, praying more, or serving other people will make the depression go away is just not true. People who are expriencing depression will be more frustrated with you for not understanding what they are feeling. Many cannot muster the energy to brush their teeth, let alone pray, read, or serve others. Some may have tried doing these things, only to find they didn't help and so they are frustrated with themself about why these things may have worked for someone else but not for them.

Cognitive-Behavioral: "Act Opposite to your Emotion." "Fake it until you make it."
Statements along this realm are frustrating to hear because they implicate that you have a choice over how you are feeling. While there is some choice involved in an emotion caused from an event like sadness over a death, clinical depression is not an emotion or a choice. A person cannot choose to feel something they didn't choose to feel in the first place.

Worst-Story: Please don't give examples of "someone you know who is worst and you are doing so much better than them because you brushed your teeth today." Or not good also, "You don't have anything to be depressed about, you have a beautiful family, nice house, etc." (Indicating that you have a choice.)

Well-Intentioned Advice:
These usually start out as, "My sister had this problem and she did xy or z" and ends with a sales pitch for a specific diet, vitamin, water purifier, or exercise equipment. In my mind, if there is something that is powerful and effective, it would be a million dollar money maker and not some obscure thing that a friend, heard from a friend. Likely, someone who is depressed will interpret this as your way to push your own agenda and make a buck off of someone who is vulnerable. You can tell your story, just don't expect a depressed person to jump at it as they have either tried it and it didn't work or are unmotivated to try it because they feel helpless.

If you shouldn't say things that are explained above, what can you say???

1-Run it through your head first. If you wouldn't replace it with something like "cancer" or "high cholesterol", don't say it. ("If you just act like you don't have CANCER than you'll feel better." or "If you serve others, you're HIGH CHOLESTEROL will disappear.")

2-After it passes #1, determine if it is something that would be genuinely helpful. Something like, "what can I do to help you?" is a start. It's likely they won't want to be a burden on you so be proactive and do something that you observe needs to be done.

3-Something like "I hate that you're experiencing this" is also a good idea. Empathy is helpful, as long as it doesn't come across as pity.  Pity is frustrating and demeaning.

4-You can ask questions, if you ask first and have permission! You could say, "I notice you seem down, do you mind if I ask questions to better understand what you're going through." Some good questions are, "Is everyday bad or just some days." "How do you know the difference between a bad day and a really bad day." "Has anything been helpful in the past?"

5-If it's none of your business, keep it that way!

6-If it is your business, evaluate in your mind how severe you think they are and if you think they are a risk to themself or others, ASK them. Many times they will tell you. If they don't tell you, and you still think they are a risk, intervene with the advice of a trusted professional.

If you have other ideas about helpful things to say, or not to say, feel free to leave a comment!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Home Schooling Vs. Public School

I admit, I am not ready to let my 4 year old go to school. Some of my hesitation comes from a recent seminar I attended on teen mass murderers which definitely scared me  but I was having second thought s previous to that, too. 
My main hesitation for public school comes from my personal philosophy that school is more of a means of teaching obedience and sameness. My son would do fine, but not blossom. In organized classes, he is shy and is often overlooked (he easily missed snacks, extra art supplies, and singing time). With me, he loves to sing, loves art, and I hate that he was left out of activities.
I am really inspired by Money Saving Mom and her dedication to homeschooling, home organization, and working. However, homeschooling takes consistency, a schedule, and discipline (things I currently lack).
Unfortunately, Jeff and I neither agree or disagree about the subject. I think in the ideal world, I would be staying home, homeschooling, nursing until our baby is 3, and happy and content. The reality is that the lifestyle I just described would soon become very boring and unfulfilling for me (as I have tried it before and suffered much worse depression).  
If anyone has any insights that could sway us one way or the other, or a third option, that would be helpful!

I did check out Joy of Five J's blog. She has great articles on home schooling. Even after surfing her site for hours, I'm still not convinced one way or the other.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Valentine's Promo Code = Free Baby Carrier!


Special Valentines Offer For Members!

Free Baby Carriers!
Use Promo Code "Love" Today

Visit Seven Slings for your baby sling gift set!

It's as easy as 1-2-3:

  1. Go to
  2. Click on "Shop Now" and select any baby carrier you like. Be sure to go to the sizing page to get the correct size.
  3. Once you have selected your size, you'll automatically be directed to the shopping bag. Enter the promo code "LOVE" and we'll deduct 100% of the cost of the carrier - all you pay are the shipping fees! Remember: the promo code is "LOVE" and you can use it more than once - just open a new browser window each time you do.

These Baby Carries make great holiday gifts.
Selections dwindle quickly, so get your today!

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Saturday, January 22, 2011

Debt Tracking

I found a pretty simple debt tracking excel form from "It's Your Money" and wanted to share the link!

The first sheet is an introduction, the second is instructions, the third is an overview where you can put all your account information, the next is debt and income sources, the fourth is a break down of each debt including limits, APR, and months to paydown, the last three are a way to track your paydown and how close you are to freedom!

Wowza! I was not happy once I saw all of our debts in one location. I won't share how bad it is, just know ITS BAD.

I hope this form can open your eyes too!

Friday, January 21, 2011

G-Free DisNey!

Jules Gluten Free has a great article today about how to do Disney dining gluten free. She stayed in the same Disney resort I stayed in as a kid so it had a nostalgic feel to it.

She also offers that Margaritaville has a gluten-free menu. We'll have to check that out, too!

Now to book plane tickets! Mawhahahaha...

Budgeting Spread Sheet

I was reading along my blog list and saw a great offer from the the frugal free gal! She has an incredible spreadsheet to help you organize your finances.

For the first time in over a year, I pulled up my bank account online and went through item by item of everything we've used the debit card for this month and seperated it all out. I even think I found an error of something we've been double billed for each month for the past three months. Wahoo!

Now, I just have to track down outstanding balances on our debt and on our investments so we can track that too! It's so nice to have it all in one little place.

Our goal this year is to rebuild savings.

Saturday, January 8, 2011


I just love reading Stephanie's blog from Keeper of the Home. This week she did an amazing article that really sounded familiar. She wrote: My Journey to Burnout: Proof that I can't do it all and I was too emotional to even cry.

My burnout was a little different. My priorities a little different. My feelings, very similar. I make time for things I find important, but not people I find important. I find I emotionally drained by the end of the day.

She listed things she is doing to recover from burnout and to avoid burnout again.

I look at what she is able to cut-out and I think, wow, it would be nice to have the finances to cut out one of our businesses/jobs and try to use that as an excuse to not make any changes. I recognize that I am overwhelmed and exhausted but I am resistant to change.

If you read Stephanie's article and relate, what are you willing to change?

If you are resistant to change (like me) what does that change mean?

If I do less, am I worth less?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Self-Guided Imagery

There are two main types of  self-guided imagery that I am familiar with for relaxation:

1-You imagine a scene from far away, like you're looking at a picture, but it's fuzzy. As you try to focus in, you provide more details and colors to describe the picture, you then pick one object in the picture and you begin to narrow that object down, until you are only seeing that object. Once you only see one object, you zoom into examine texture, color, and minutia. Focus on one spot of minutia until you only see the atoms that make up that minutia.

2- You imagine a colored, flat, empty wall. Imagine the wall changing to white. Examine the corners and edges of the wall. Repeat.

I have also read (in "Symphony of the Brain") another way to use imagery is to imagine nothingness. Such as, the space between your eyes, or the space between your bones in your knee. Imagining nothing seems to produce a higher amount of low-frequency brain waves which helps your mind to relax.

Neurofeedback is one way brain waves can be altered with or without using imagery.

Defeating Negative Thoughts

Negative thoughts typically have a place and a purpose in our lives. Some therapeutic professionals refer to negative thought patterns as "thinking errors." I don't really think that it's an error in thinking, rather a problem with logic.

Plus, tell someone they are using a "thinking error" and you're likely to get an earfull. At least that was my response when someone told me I was engaging in a thinking error. I went "closed channel" pretty fast!

Some of the most common negative thought patterns (or thinking errors, if you like) have fun little names. I don't know where the names originated but I've seen them in multiple places and many therapists know them and teach them to their clients. The point of that is to help them identify an illogical thought and then change it.

I'm not a therapist by any stretch of the imagination. I'm not licensed. I'm not giving professional, paid advice. Just my opinion. However, I think you have to figure out the FUNCTION of the illogical thought pattern before you can change it.

If you are or are working with an insightful client (or even a client with a normal to high IQ) exploring the function of the pattern shouldn't be difficult. I'll give some basic examples:

Closed-Channel: This thinking error means I stop listening and engaging in the conversation. Pretty obvious how it might be helpful, if I use this than I get to ignore you and I don't have to change my behaviors. That would be my personal reason, but if you're the one using it, you should consider WHY?

Black and White: This thinking error means that I see things as one absolute truth or another. There is no middle ground. I like this one because it means for me that I can say that I will always be fat and then it relieves the guilt I have for not exercising. Also, my personal reason.

Blaming: This is a fun one! It means I don't have to take accountability for my actions. I can blame my genetics, my income, or my children/parents/spouse for my eating choices that lead to being overweight. Awesome! I no longer have to feel guilt or anxiety about this problem.

These are the three that I see frequently in myself and others. Once I know that their function is to relieve my anxiety, I can then find other healthier, more effective ways to deal with the anxiety the problem causes or to directly approach the problem I am masking.

Identify thinking error + Identify function of thinking error = new strategies to resolve problem

20% off plus free shipping at City Deals!

I saw that City Deals is having a "January Sale" plus 20% off. These would make for a good gift certificate for a birthday, co-worker appreciation, or family night! Use code JANSALE to get the discount!

The hottest Utah deal right now is the Armstrong Mansion for $50 (regularly $100) plus 20% of would be $40. Sounds like a nice Valentine's get a way!

Also good is Santa Monica Pizza at Jordan Landing, Hollywood Connections is West Valley area is a fun little place too.

Monday, January 3, 2011


Free How-to make a button! Literally took 2 minutes to make.

Over-coming Depression: Step One

Okay, so probably not step one for most people, but a good place to start is to Consider life without depression.

Be specific. Make a list. Some journal or assignment prompts:

*What would I do if I felt better?

For me, I have a huge long list of things that pile up I would definately hit that hard if I had the energy, drive, or just plain felt better.

*How would I look if I felt better?

I have never been a fan of make-up, so that wouldn't be on my list. I would definately shower, fix my hair, and change clothes. I would wear contacts.

*Some days are worst than others. How do I know it's a good day?

For me I know I feel better on days I shower. When I make lunch for my kids (instead of letting them eat Oreo's for lunch!).  When I wash the dishes.

*How would my spouse, child, co-workers respond if I did things differently?

For some, this is a BIG question. Sometimes depression becomes a part of your identity, especially if you've had it for a significant amount of time. How do you let go of that identity?

These are some ideas on things to explore with yourself (journaling, blogging), a spouse or close friend, or if they are harder to answer maybe with a trained therapist or physician.

Imagining a life without depression can be one way to give yourself hope that you will feel better someday. Knowing what a good day means to you is one strategy for starting to recognize when you do feel good and to fully take advantage of that day or moment the fog lifts.

Saving Money Blogs

I've realized lately that there are TONS of blogs on saving money. I don't think that this blog is going to go that direction for two main reasons:

1-It's timely and there's already tons on the topic

2-I'm not that good at it!

For anyone thinking that this would be another saving money blog, be warned I may find a deal or two but I think this new year we will be driving this blog in the mental health arena of blogs (of which we are good at, and there aren't millions).