Sunday, June 9, 2013

Rigors of a Mom-Student

So Friday afternoon we had company-one of the other 5th graders. Nice girl, silly (aren't they all), and very polite. Then trying to figure out a car issue I am having. So by the time I got home I was so tired I could barely walk in the door. Needless to say, straight to bed I went. Got up early on Saturday and attempted a 7 am study session-one thing you will learn about me is that I am NOT a morning person! Then off to a 3 hour hike at Stoney Creek. Looking for birds. With some of the LOUDEST freaking people I could have imagined. So the whole birding process our Prof. had intended was more like a big BS session-at least the guys spent a lot of time with chest puffing behavior....

Then back to class to bomb a test. I clearly need a better method of time management. Studying has been down the list a bit this semester.

So now that I have set the mood, I wanted to discuss one of the ways I intend to improve my situation and relieve one of the biggest stressors-money trouble! I have threatened to get serious with using coupons for a while. I even set them aside to be used later. Unfortunately later doesn't come-until the coupons are expired. And all that does is cost time and stress, and certainly not saving us any money. So I picked up a book at my campus bookstore (yay clearance bin!) by Stephanie Nelson who runs It is called The Coupon Mom's Guide to Cutting Your Grocery Bills in Half. It is a set of guidelines on couponing and a technique she has dubbed "strategic shopping". So as of this morning, I picked up two different Sunday papers loaded with coupons and sale papers. The next stage is menu planning in conjunction with what is on sale, and building my collection of coupons.

One thing that has really kept me from successful coupon shopping is lack of planning. By that I mean menu planning as well as remembering to bring the dang coupons to the store!! I actually have a really cute coupon organizer for my store trips that my daughter made me-and let me tell you, it is going to get some use now! Another thing about this book (and corresponding website) is that it outlines how to organize coupons between shopping trips to better utilize them. And the website does a fantastic job of putting together the local deals and online printable coupons. So I believe with these tools, some perseverance, and my new found motivation I will be successful at this "extreme couponing" phenomenon that has helped so many families! And although I have heard you "can't do it in our area" I personally know someone ( a man no less!) that IS very proficient and is saving the family incredible amounts!!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Busy, broke and big!

Hello! Thank you for coming to visit-I am a bit new to the blogging thing, so figure my best bet is an intro. And the title of this one pretty much says it all. First of all, I keep myself busy-too busy if you ask my family. I have a husband, 2 daughters (one in elementary school), a son (also elementary school), a grandson, 5 dogs and currently 5 rabbits. There is also a filly and goat, but those are in residence elsewhere. I compete with the dogs when I can find the time, and my intentions with the rabbits are to breed/show meat rabbits-my preference is to feed as naturally as possible with what I have to work with. So in addition to the vertebrates in my life, I have a pretty decent garden going on.

So that is just my "at home" version. I attend Oakland University as a full time student-Biology major, and planning to enter graduate school for molecular/cellular biology. I work part time, and have a burgeoning business creating accessories for the pet industry-things like crate covers, dog beds, toys and utility type items for working and competition dogs. (You will find out more about that in a future blog, I am sure!)

As you can imagine, I am an advocate for animals of all sorts and for science-based thinking-be it in medicine, personal care, technology and pet care. I am also rather outspoken when it comes to thinking that can drastically affect the health and well-being of my loved ones, and people in general. So you can expect some possibly controversial subject matter, though I generally write that under my other blog, The Barefoot Skeptic (

So that pretty much covers the busy part-broke is somewhat self explanatory. At least from a financial standpoint-lots going out, little coming in. Hopefully that will be changing with my new ventures, as well as my hubby's photography business. He is actually pretty darn amazing! (Shameless plug-check him out at The other part of broke is physical. I have a couple of bizarro conditions that tend to make things a little difficult at times. One is called Ulnar Impaction Syndrome. Essentially my ulna (bone) in my left arm is slightly too long, so it grinds on the wrist bones. I feel it when I am really active-hurts like crazy-but fortunately I am a righty, so can get by most of the time. The other condition is called Dysautonomia. That one makes life a tad bit harder as I occasionally pass out, but more often just get extremely dizzy, light-headed and nauseous. On bad days I am exhausted, have limited motor control and find it difficult to function. On good days I am just like any other mom-running around, exhausted and uber-busy!

That leaves big. Not insanely big (not knocking anyone else-this is all about me right now!) but far heavier than I would like to be. I am about 5'6" and weigh around 190lbs. I would like to weigh around 140-145, but would definitely be pretty happy if I could get back down to 160! You would think being this busy I would lose weight-but when you grab what's quick as often as I do.......well, let's just say ice cream is pretty quick. Oh, so is Biggby coffee-that is my guilty pleasure and only true addiction.

My blogs are going to initially start with addressing the "big" concern. I am looking at how I can fit in workouts-for myself and my dogs-and utilize what is on hand. You see, the "broke" aspect is quite limiting for running out to the gym. Being a student helps, as there is a great facility on campus. But pride goeth before a fall so 42 and overweight makes it pretty uncomfortable to hang in the workout room with all the 20-something athletes, and the idea of putting on a suit and doing laps in the pool? Yeah....right.

So I look forward to figuring out how to make it all work-and who knows, maybe I can help someone else sort through some of the same issues. And save someone else the trouble of trial-and-error.