What Did You Do? Wednesdays

Calling all fall fanatics, adventurous organizers, exercise procrastinators, perfectionists unable to make a move unless they're certain it will turn out with ultimate precision, messy Marvins, and any other category you put yourself in ~ stop by each Wednesday and share what you did that week. Big things, little things, adventurous things, nothin' much things, somethin' special things....doesn't matter.

Share your just one thing on What Did You Do? Wednesdays!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

CSN Winner

Thanks to all of you who entered the giveaway.  I've enjoyed "meeting" new people out there in blogland.

There were 27 comments, and using a random number generator, number 5 came up the winner.  Having said that, congratulations goes to.....

Shel said...
I'm a GFC follower

I'd buy the Graham & Brown Paintable Beadboard Wallpaper

shel704 at aol dot com
March 15, 2011 1:18 AM

I have contacted Shel, and know that she is excited about her $40 gift to CSN stores.

Here's wishing everyone an enjoyable Tuesday.  Coming up this week, a yummy, homemade salad dressing.  I hope you'll stay tuned.


Monday, March 14, 2011

Sunny Day & CSN Giveaway!

....and a good, sunny day to you all. It seems that we're finally coming to the end of our dreary Wisconsin winter weather. I'm elated to see and feel the sun's rays after so much cold and depressing darkness. Melt, you blasted snow, MELT already!

Since I feel like extending my happiness to my readers, I'm delighted (get it? De-lighted....as in sun and light? Ok, moving on....) to give one of you splendid peeps $40 to spend at the CSN stores.

If you have never visited their all-inclusive stores, I urge you to go, go, go!  Right now.  I mean, they have everythingCSN Stores offers it all, from pendant lighting to great cutlery and cute cookware!  And speaking of light (there it is again), indoor and outdoor lighting is such a fun thing to pick out for a house, isn't it?  Everyone's tastes are so different, but I'll bet they have what you're looking for.

Let me illuminate (ha!) you on some other great things about CSN stores, there are some awesome sales going on for pendant lighting right now and many selections have free shipping!  Doesn't that just make you glow (I'm almost done)?

Wouldn't it be a bright (final pun, I promise) spot in your day if you won $40 to spend at the 200+ CSN stores?!  Here's how you can, sweet and simple.  You have two opportunities to enter.  Giveaway will close on 3/24/11 at 11:59pm, central time.  Participants must be residents of the U.S. or Canada.

1)  Entry #1:  MANDATORY...you must be a follower of Practically Spent via Google Friend Connect.  If you already follow, just say so. Make sure to tell me what you would buy.

2)  Entry #2:  Subscribe to Practically Spent via e-mail subscription.  You must activate your subscription.

*I was contacted by CSN Stores to participate in this giveaway.  The opinions of CSN Stores are my own.


Monday, February 14, 2011

Chocolate Chunk Pretzel Love

....or at least that's what I'm calling it since today is Valentine's Day.  (Happy, happy BTW)

This is the snack goodie, we whipped up before we went to a Super Bowl party the other weekend. It's one of my favorite treats. It's sweet, it's salty. You can make it as sinful or as "healthy" as you choose depending upon your choice of ingredients.

For this batch, I used:

(1) full-sized bag of mini pretzels
Half of a cup unpopped popcorn (which will yield a big ol' bowl of air popped corn)
(1) bag miniature marshmallows
Approximately half of a cup red cinnamon heart candy

On the stove top, I melted the chocolate chips and marshmallows over low heat in an 18" oval roasting pan. Once the chocolate chips were fully melted, I kept the roaster on the burner, added the popcorn and pretzels until almost coated and then sprinkled in the cinnamon hearts making sure they were evenly mixed. (I wasn't so concerned about getting the marshmallows completely melted. It was fun to hit a chunk of marshmallow, anyway, during the devouring process.)

Spread the whole mess on a large cookie sheet and find room in your 'fridge for it to cool.  After that you can break it up into pieces and store in a Ziplock bag (preferably in the refrigerator if you are not giving/sharing/inhaling it right away).

You could certainly use true dark chocolate instead of just chocolate chips, add sliced almonds, raisins, peanuts, bits of dried apricots......oh how the list goes on!

Look out, people will be waiting in the wings to snitch this stuff!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Organizing Gift Bags

I just got to the end of putting away all the left over Christmas gift bags, etc.  Don't you hate it when you go to use a bag, whether it's from Christmas or a birthday, Easter, Valentine's Day, or whatever and you don't know if you can give it to "said" person in fear that THEY might have given you the bag that you're about to give BACK to them?  Yeah, me too.  Here's what I do to keep all these miscellaneous gift toting sacks organized:

Label!! With sticky notes, I put the year (or occasion) it was received, who gave it, and if need be, to whom it was given on the top, inside of the bag.

If the bag came with a tag on it, I'll leave it there until next time so I know who it came from, but I will still label the year.

If it's a brand new bag, and I might forget that, I'll label it as such. Actually, this one I wouldn't have had to because, on it, still appears the clear hook tab used for display at the store. Take them off before giving a gift! Please!!

On to storing the bags for future use.... If you have enough gift wrapping paraphernalia to start your own store like I do, this gets really important. I have mine categorized according to holiday/occasion and then stored (thank goodness they can be flattened!) in large shopping bags.

Here's my stash of Christmas bags.

These are categorized by baby, birthday, wedding, various holidays and nondescript.

Now,  if only a little fairy would come and fix up the rest of my house so it would be equally as organized!  (Just a little hint as to what I'll be working on in 2011.....  turning into a fairy.  Either that or organizing, one of the two.)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The "Eyes" Have It (aka: Why I Would Never Suggest Lasik Surgery)

Peekers, peepers, baby blues, oculars, eyeballs.....whatever you call them, I think we'll all agree that they're important.  Really important.  Extremely, ostensibly, indubitably important.  You know the old saying, "you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone"?  Well, in my next story, I'm sorry to say that you'll see how it's completely applicable.

I've been absent from my blog.  I've been absent due to something I mentioned in the first sentence of my last post.  "I had Lasik surgery."  Indeed, I had Lasik surgery that did not only fall short of eyesight perfection, but left me with horrific and terrifying side effects.  Some have subsided, and others remain.  The shortened version is that it's taken me this long (2.5 months) to be able to discuss what this surgery did to me.

I thought I waited long enough to undergo Lasik.  I had very poor eyesight (like -650 with extreme astigmatism in both eyes), but technology was finally where it needed to be to perfect my vision.  I went to an excellent surgeon (a premier corneal specialist at that) and this area's most reputable facility, which has been doing Lasik longer than any other group in town.  Without even asking opinions, schedulers and nurses volunteered that I was in the hands of a superb doctor.  And, finally, I had never, EVER heard anyone who had previously had the surgery say anything but awesome details about their perfected sight.  Everyone absolutely raved about the freedom it gave them.

Given all of that, I was ready.  Really ready and very excited.  I'd actually read through all of the brochures, watched the video, approached the doctor with a lot of questions, and wholeheartedly weighed possible dangers of the surgery against every positive outcome I had ever heard.  One of the bullet points in the pamphlets highlighted the fact that people with chronic illnesses should not undergo Lasik.  I was prepared to abandon surgery for this very reason considering my fibromyalgia.  But I point blank asked the doctor about this and he assured me that such a warning was for people with Lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and the like.

Not only would I like to shout from the roof top that no one should ever have Lasik, but I feel I absolutely need to warn anyone with fibromyalgia or any sort of inflammatory, chronic, sensory, immune compromised or impaired immune system disease to not even consider the surgery.  Although the doctor did not get my eyesight to 20/20 (I'm left with 20/35 and 20/50), I don't believe my side effects have anything to do with his inability.  (However, I certainly didn't appreciate his cold demeanor once he knew how upsetting the difficulties were to me.  He didn't exactly emit a gracious or comforting bedside manor then.)  It seems to me that it was my body, specifically because of the fibro, which was unable to properly recover.

Side effects that have subsided in time included both dull and piercing pain, feelings of needles in my eye and behind my eye, extreme gritty feeling and terrible dryness.  However, besides having to still wear glasses, the lingering damage to my eyes comes in the form of not only halos with light, but strings of light that attach to one another (at night).  It's a very psychedelic, disorienting phenomenon.  Night driving has been absolutely horrifying on a couple of occasions.  Had I needed to go further than 2.5 miles, I don't think I could have proceeded.

Unfortunately, I immediately lost all of my close up vision (I was very near sighted) to about 12".  That means so long to seeing my face real well.  Seriously.  You should see me trying to pluck my eyebrows.  It's ridiculous.  (Upside: inability to properly view the onset of aging??)  This one makes me mad.  I asked both a nurse and the doctor about automatically losing close up vision and they both said it didn't happen.  The only thing they pointed out was that Lasik will not slow the hardening of one's cornea with age.  Therefore, after the age of 40, most people would still need reading glasses.  I, however, experienced what might not have genetically (based on my mom's need for "readers") happened for another 10 years or so in a matter of minutes.

Finally, I'm going to tell you about my light sensitivity.  To me this was the most terrifying part.  The first month I could literally not fully open my eyes.  The light from my computer was too much even with it at the lowest level.  Upon awakening each morning, I would have to wear sunglasses just to come into my kitchen, with all the blinds still closed.  My husband was traveling so I had to get the girls to/from school.  At first I had no glasses I could properly see out of (because the doctor actually thought driving was safe with fuzzy eyesight!), and I had to wear 2 pair of sunglasses in addition a hood around my face to shield any residual light.  I kept both car visors down, and yet I could barely look out of slits in my eyes.  I'd have to blink nonstop and squint like my life depended on it (I'll need Botox between my eyebrows in about 3 months due to that).  ALL THE WHILE, DRIVING MY CHILDREN!!!  I was furious and scared out of my mind that this scenario was one I was going to have to live with forever.

Currently, I have chosen to forego enhancement surgery.  I think it would be foolish of me to attempt to successfully get through without additional and/or more severe long term damages.  Halos and night vision difficulties still remain, but I hope that even in a year they will diminish some.  I am still more sensitive to light, but nothing like it was.  For that, I am so grateful.  I'm hoping like everything that, in time, my body will be able to further heal.

So, for today, RIGHT now even, take a moment to be thankful of all your working body parts.  Because they are more important than anything else in life, except for your kids and their working body parts.

I hadn't wanted to start 2011 out with a post like this, but I felt it was necessary considering my long absence.  More upbeat posts to come.  I promise!

Just a few of the items I poured into my eyes in the last couple months, including steroids. The pink "readers" looked cool, but they were useless to me.....unless I put them over my regular glasses. How lovely that was.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Garbage Bag Witch

Yesterday I had Lasik surgery, so I am laying low yet today.  Meanwhile, here's a re-post from last year.  I had fun making this smart gal.  Maybe you'll be tempted after your own leaf-raking this weekend......

Last week my husband raked leaves and mowed the lawn for the final time this year. He bagged the clippings and prepared them for the next garbage pick-up. I walked by the bags as I took my daughter to the bus stop, and when I met her upon arrival home from school. I walked by the bags on my way to and from the mailbox. Something tugged at me each time. As if a spell had come over me, I felt compelled to create! I'm sure the possibilities are endless, but here's what transpired.

Boring bag of clippings/leaves

Roll of white paper and double-wide construction paper

Introducing Ms. Witch!

I didn't use any patterns...just drew on the construction paper freehand. And everything you see is from construction paper except the witch's hat that I got on clearance two years ago for $.19.


The Girl Creative

Texas Monkey


504 Main

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

What Did You Do? Wednesdays - No Purchase Necessary

I like stuff.  I like stuff a LOT.  No, I actually think I love stuff.  They say "things" can't make you happy.  But I believe I would beg to differ.  Shopping for the stuff has actually made me VERY, VERY happy.  It's one of the few things I'm quite good at.  Ahhhhh, shopping.  And it's not just going to a store and laying out bookoo bucks for something.  For me, it's the bargain searching, the clearance finds, the garage sale treasures, the discovering the last one left, the thrill of the hunt....you get my drift?  I'd never feel good about an expensive purchase on, say, a pair of boots.  What I would feel pleased as punch about is the excellent sale plus coupon plus rewards I used to get a zillion dollars off that pair of boots.  Do you do the same thing at all?  I think many of you bloggers do.  We're a thrifty bunch with some seriously shrewd spending habits.

But here's where it got me in trouble.  That stuff I love has, over time, brought me down to the point of being really kind of miserable.  I'm not a serial shopper.  I'm not out there every day shopping and only shopping.  It's actually not even that often that I go, but like I said, when I go......I'm goooood.  And it's hard for me to turn down a good garage sale, or go to Super T A R G E T and come away with things I really only needed.  I mean, come on ~ the other day they were changing out aisles of merchandise.  We're talkin' shiny, new STUFF here folks!  THAT'S exciting!

However, after looking closely at my basement.....and closer and closer still, I sheepishly admit that I am embarrassed.  I can laugh about it, and I can get rid of it, but I truly do know that I have an addiction.  I'm also not one to waste, so many items I think I can fix or do up pretty like so many on the blog-o-sphere can.  Truth is, some of it I could put a snazzy touch on, and other things I couldn't.  I guess because I don't have the space, the time or the talent.

My goal, in the next year, is to comb through my belongings with a fine tooth comb, so to speak, and be wary of all things I purchase and where the money actually goes.  My mom had a great idea for me:  keep a list of all the things I didn't buy, and keep that money separate in a special fund.  What a motivator to know how much I would have spent on stuff crap I just. didn't. NEED!

I think it might be a little hard considering we're approaching the biggest sale season of the year, but staying out of stores in general, sticking to my list of necessary items when I do go, and keeping track of the money I saved when I didn't buy all seem like a good plan.  See?  Money in my pocket for vacations or all new flooring or a kitchen remodel....no purchase necessary.

What do you think?  Anybody with me on this one?

**This post brought to you by a bin of 20 childrens', clearance Valentine's boxes.  (For the record, I have 2 children, not 20.)


Related Posts with Thumbnails