• After a week and a half of room temperature soda and dining out, our refrigerator is being repaired! I’ve never been so excited about the prospect of chilling leftovers!

    It makes me realize just how important […]

  • When I was young and started writing, it was all creative writing, but now that I’m older I feel like I don’t have any writing ideas that come even close to being fiction. At the same time, I kind of like it that way, because I’ve lost my interest in fiction even in my leisurely reading.

    How do you guys feel about creative writing blogs?

    • I see what you’re saying. Whenever I go to the of my favorite hangouts! I always fall towards the “non-fiction” books..vs. the fiction…when I was a little girl.. it was only fiction. Idk maybe social media has something to do with it? Or growing up?

  • I’m a little obsessed with chocolate…okay, probably a lot.

  • crodriguez posted a new activity comment 6 years, 9 months ago

    I hate it when that happens

  • Linked my Google AdSense acct to my sites. Hoping I did it right, I’m not very tech savvy. Bring on the cash!

  • It took quite some time for my husband and I to get to this point. We tried for years to start a family without much success. I’m very grateful that our baby will be here soon, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

    That being said…pregnancy sucks. I often describe it as the most wonderful, miserable experience in the world. And now that it’s almost over, I can’t help but reflect on all the reasons I don’t want to do it again anytime soon.

    Morning Sickness

    This term was definitely created by a man because any woman knows that these frequent meetings with the toilet bowl are not limited to the morning time.


    This is my first child, so I will fully admit, though I have a full time job, when work is over I have the luxury of putting my feet up and calling it a day. As tired as a I am, I couldn’t imagine what I’d do if I had other people to take care of.

    Living Caffeine Free

    I’ll admit, when it comes to this one, I cheat. I think most of use do at some point. I know a little coffee on occasion won’t condemn your child to a life of behavioral issues, but it still puts a damper on your morning latte

    Sober Living

    I don’t really drink that often, so I’m not really missing out on the bar scene. That being said, there are days when work is rough and I’d love to come home and have a glass of wine, and then I realize “Oh, I can’t because I’m creating a human.”

    Water weight

    I haven’t stressed too much about weight gain, because it just comes with the territory, but the water weight is what drives me crazy. I feel very much like a water balloon and I’m pretty sure I look like one too.

    Everything is about hormones

    I would just like to say that pregnant women are entitled to have valid emotions as well. But some how, every opinion we have is dismissed as being hormonal


    Speaking of hormones…


    I’m not sure why this has to be a part of pregnancy, but it does. So being in an enclosed space with anyone I don’t already know intimately can be stressful.

    Too Many Questions

    I very much wish at times I could hide the fact that I’m pregnant, because I get tired of answering questions. Every stranger you encounter wants to know what you’re having, when you’re due, what you’re naming it, or my personal favorite, “are you excited?” What are you really supposed to say to that one?

    No Personal Space

    I’m not sure why, but people seem to have a fascination with pregnant bellies. I never felt that way, but it has come to my attention that there is a large demographic of people that feel it necessary and appropriate to touch the pregnant belly of strangers…even worse are the ones that feel the need to kiss it. 

    • One: Congratulations!
      Two: God, that sucks. I’m so sorry.

      Seems like a mixed blessing, and THEN comes the hard part. Kudos to you, I’m not sure I could ever do it, haha.

  • budgeting1

    So not too long ago I realized (when we started to fall behind on our bills) that I had no idea where our money was going. We’re not very frivolous or advid shoppers. But some how it felt like it was disappearing. That’s when I made the decision to rethink the way I made my budget.

    For the sake of honesty, I think it’s only fair to disclose that I hadn’t actually sat down and made a budget for a couple years (since our income and bills were, for the most part, unchanged) so it was a pretty big overhaul.

    Get Organized

    First things first, let’s get organized. We need to know exactly what we’re working with. You’ll need pay stubs and/or bank statements to so we can get a genuine look at what your income really is. You’ll also need ALL of your bills. This includes not only bills that you pay every month, but annual bills as well like property tax, home warranty, annual exterminator contract, etc, so we can plan head. Any debts such as loans or credit card balances, You’ll want to get a statement so you know realistically how much you owe.

    Now that we got all the important documents it’s important to be able to track and sort your spending in some format that works for you. I have a notebook specifically for recording bill pay and spending, but other people use electronic spreadsheets, file folders, or a combination of things. Be true to what works best for you.

    Calculate Your Income

    So let’s look at how much money you have coming in.  If your hours vary, or you have occasional overtime pay, use the pay stubs on the lower end of the spectrum. At this point we just want to get an idea of how much we’re working with and it pays to under spend as opposed to counting on money that won’t always be there. Your income should include your salary, child support, alimony, disability or anything other regular cash flow.

    Calculate Your Bills

    So now that we know how much money we have to spend, let’s figure out how much money we need. Just as we underestimated your paycheck, we’re going to overestimate your bills. Things that vary like electricity or water, use the higher bills as your guide. Those annual bills that we collected, you’re going to divide them by 12 or the appropriate amount of months. This will tell us how much money you need for the month. Don’t forget to include gas, groceries, and other regular expenses that you can’t avoid.

    Trim Back Where You Need To

    Hopefully, your money in is greater that the money you need to survive. But if it’s not, that’s really important to know. Now that we’re looking at what our bills actually are, it’s a perfect time to make some choices about what we need. Whether you’re in the red or not, ask yourself if there’s anything you can do to cut back. Do you really need a phone plan with unlimited data? Are you even using that gym membership? Be honest about what you need and what you are using. The more cash you can free up the better position you will be in no matter what your starting point is.

    Set Some Goals

    Now is time to ask ourselves what it is we want our budget to do for us. If we just want our budget to enable us to pay our bills, that’s an important start, but we need some goals. Do you want to pay off your car, get out from under your credit card debt, or save for a down payment on house? Your budget should be a tool to get you where you want to go, not just to enable you to stay where you are.

    Make a Plan

    So now we know what our income is. We know what we have to spend to survive and we’ve pruned back the expenses we don’t need. We have our goals. Now is where we make our plan. How much money can we put in savings? How much can we put towards our debts? Which debts are we going to pay down first and how quickly can we accomplish this? Put solid numbers to your plan so it’s easier to stay accountable.

    Make Your Budget

    You’re going to want to make a budget every month (or week depending on your pay period and what works best for you.) You want to do this and put it in writing every time, because, as you recall, the numbers we used earlier were just averages. Take your income for that period and account for every penny. That includes bills, savings, spending money, emergency fund, or what ever else you decide. You need to know up front where you money is going before it’s gone in order to have control over it.

    Be flexible

    Things will change. Your goals my change. Your income may change. Your grocery budget may need to grow with your family, or maybe you numbers were unrealistic from the beginning. Be open to change. That doesn’t mean you budget is “wrong” or has failed. It just needs some more work.


    photo credit:

  • Profile picture of crodriguez and are now friends 6 years, 9 months ago

  • crodriguez replied to the topic in the forum crodriguez 6 years, 9 months ago

    I definitely enjoy crafting and DIY. I have a problem with not finishing what I started though.

  • Excited to get some writing done today!

  • groceries2Nothing makes me happier than saving money. Well…very few things anyway. One of my family’s biggest expenses is groceries. Luckily, it’s one of the least fixed expenses. Over the years, I’ve found ways to trim back our grocery bill and save some major bucks. Here are some of my favorite techniques.

    Plan on stocking up on sales before you get there.

    I refuse to shop at multiple stores just to hit all the sales, because frankly, ain’t nobody got time for that. I do, however, make a point to look and the weekly sales ad for the store at which I’ll be shopping. Any real sales (not the kind where the knock 5 cents off) on things I would ordinarily buy anyway, I stock up on. Usually 6 weeks worth is a good amount, because that’s about how long it will be before that product is on sale again.

    Plan on more meatless meals.

    Meat is one of the most expensive parts of the grocery list. I try to plan at least 2-3 vegetarian meals a week to cut down on the amount of fresh meat I need to buy. Casserole and pasta dishes are really good to because it requires less meat per person compared to other entrees.

    The meat that you do buy, buy big and freeze it.

    Meat, like most things, is cheaper in bulk. Don’t waste your money on one pound portions of ground beef. Instead buy large packages and separate and freeze them once you get home. This works especially well for chicken.

    Don’t buy lunch stuff; plan on leftovers.

    This won’t work well for school age children, but for my husband and I, I don’t send much money or pantry space on things to make for lunch. The reason? We always have leftovers. But some how these leftovers never get eaten if there are other options in the cupboard. I find this system doubly rewarding: there’s less food being thrown out and wasted and fewer things I need to buy at the store.

    For the love of God, buy generic.

    This is a personal soapbox of mine. Nothing upsets me more in my marriage than when I send my husband to the grocery store for something and he comes back with a brand name product (that of course was not even on sale.) Very few things do I believe in paying more for. Baked beans, toothpaste, and toilet paper and a few. We all have these things we feel strongly about, and that’s fine. But everything else? Go cheap or go home.

    Coupon with caution.

    I don’t use coupons in the grocery store. Why? Because as I mentioned above, I always buy generic. Most of the time, coupons get you a small amount of money off a brand of product that’s far more expensive to begin with. So if I can just get the one with the black and white generic label instead of clipping, that makes sense to me. Now that’s not to say that there aren’t some talented individuals who can couple coupon’s with good sales and really get a deal. More power to you. But if you’re going to use a coupon, be mindful of what your options really are.


    photo credit:

  • crodriguez replied to the topic Post Limit in the forum Help and Support 6 years, 9 months ago

    Thanks for the info!

  • Thanks for the link! I had never heard of that site before

  • ThumbnailAnyone who knows me knows that I don’t handle crowds well. I hate making plans…and putting on pants for that matter. To be completely honest, I’m probably the biggest home body that I know. And I would really […]

  • crodriguez and Profile picture of AdminAdmin are now friends 6 years, 9 months ago

  • crodriguez changed their profile picture 6 years, 9 months ago

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