Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Stages of a Starbucks gift card

I got a $25 Starbucks gift card for gambling at The nice thing is I was gambling with points for watching videos and taking polls. Can't beat that.

Every time I receive a gift card to Starbucks the following stages always take place. The length of each stage varies depending on how much the card is worth.

I waited in anticipation for that card like you wouldn't believe. I checked the mail everyday, hoping that today would be the day Dave (my mailman) put my little piece of plastic happiness in our mailbox. Stage one began the day after it arrived. Stage one involves being so excited about the giftcard that you drive 4 miles out of your way to immediately go use it. It also involves sharing the coffee goodness with everyone, even your two year old daughter. Drinks for everyone! Yippee!

During stage two you get a little more greedy. No more drinks for the toddler. "Addison you can have water in a special cup with a lid and a straw! Won't that be fun?!" You might order a tall drink instead of a grande to make it go a little farther.

When stage three comes around you start to think "hmm..I better watch my calories. Three drinks in three days is kind of a lot" and order a non-fat, sugar free vanilla latte instead of a caramel macchiato. It's not nearly as good, but still better than drip coffee at home.

Stage four is a bit of a downer. It's when you look at your receipt and see that you only have $4__ left on the card. Time to make a choice: one espresso drink for one more trip or two regular coffees spread out into two trips? One really satisfying last hurrah or two delicious, yet semi-satisfying cups of coffee? It's a toss up.

Stage five is just downright depressing. It's when Starbucks sounds really good and you think about making a trip, and then realize that your gift card is all used up. Sometimes you dig around in your wallet or in your husband's change jar. Other times you sigh, turn on your own coffee maker, and long for your birthday, when another Starbucks gift card will make trips to Target, the park, church, work, and just about any other place that much more exciting.

Note: The stages are exactly the same with a Caribou Coffee gift card.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Yeah you...

This is for all of my latest and greatest "anonymous comment leavers." I'm all for a little healthy criticism every now and then, and don't mind one single bit if you disagree with my post and want to tell why, however, to post a rude comment anonymously and high tail it out of there is laaaaaaame. I may have some issues, but at least I put myself out there. Sometimes it bites me in the butt, but I am who I am. Take it or leave it. But if you don't want to take it, read someone else's blog instead of leaving your crappy incognito comments on mine.

I love Aunt Shel!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

I do what I can...

Adventures at Baby Gap

One of our managers is a cutie patootie named TJ. TJ knows all the words to all the Miley Cyrus and Jonas Brothers and Taylor Swift songs that play in the store, wears vanilla scented lotion, and is one of those people that brightens your day just by being around him. I'm about 5 years older than TJ and even though he is one of my bosses, I tend to mother him a bit. Last night was no exception. When I got to work he was whining and jumping around and saying he was going to kill himself because he had a piece of popcorn kernel stuck in his teeth and it was driving him nuts. Hey, we've all been there. I suggested every thing I could think of to get that thing out, but nothing was working. I went and washed my hands and said "TJ let's go to the backroom. I'll help you out."

One flashlight, one plastic fork, and one mom who is grossed out by very little later, the kernel was gone.

Sometimes I think I should bring a camera to work.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


You all know Devin and I have been Dave Ramseying it for three years now, and we've been on a budget this whole time. On she listed her splurges and I thought it would be fun to list mine!

1. Coffee-mate creamer: We always, ALWAYS have it in the house. It's a sad day in my book when one of us uses the last drop and we have to use skim milk in our coffee. My favorite flavor is chocolate raspberry. YUM! Yes, I've put this on the debit card when we've run out of grocery money!

2. My hair. I lived here for a whole year and spent practically nothing with a "rising star" stylist at Dillard's salon and HATED my hair. Then one day I found Jessica, the girl who used to cut my hair at Crimpers in Manhattan. Hallelujah! She has been cutting it every 8 weeks ever since and there's no way I'm leaving her. She does a great job. I will curl up in a ball and die if she moves away.

3. DVR. We welcomed him in the family when we paid off our credit cards last year and I'm officially hooked. There have been a couple of times I've told Devin that it can go when things were looking a little tight, but secretly I was thinking "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! PLEASE! ANYTHING BUT THAT!" I would probably put internet in this category too.

4. Our little slush fund. It's $60 a month of happiness. It goes towards Starbucks, eating out, movies, etc. It's just a little bit to keep moving forward on this budget.

5. 24 hour fitness. Our gym memberships are dirt cheap ($45 per month for both of us including childcare), and it's so worth it!

What are your splurges?

Monday, October 12, 2009

Poor, poor Huck

Our poor kitten gets carried around daily, squeezed, squished, thrown, febreezed, its fur cut with toddler scissors, and now pushed around in Addison's babydoll stroller. Yet, he still likes to do this:

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A little tip

This kind of a no-brainer, but I thought I'd throw it out there. I have a pair of slouchy brown suede boots that are my FAVORITE boots to wear. They look really cute with tights and a skirt, jeans, cords, everything. I bought them two years ago at DSW for only around $30 or so. After being used as "snow boots" a couple winters ago (I'm an idiot) and out and around town last year they took a pretty harsh beating. A lot of the dye had worn off and they were generally in bad shape. I figured I'd just have to shell out the $$ for a new pair. Kelly paid me to watch Elise for a couple of days so I thought I'd use the money for new boots. The problem was there were so many other things I needed that money for and new boots were low on the financial totem pole. Plus I really, really liked them! Slouchy boots are really popular this season and they're so comfy! I hated the idea of throwing them out.

Then I remembered how obsessed I am with shoe repair places. I go there all the time! When my favorite strappy sandals from Italy broke I got them repaired. I even had the heels shortened on my cowboy boots because I was pregnant and they were too tall. I took my poor distressed boots to a place nearby and $10 later they were looking awesome! They don't look brand new, but pretty darn close. Anyway that's my tip for you guys. Kind of lame, but hopefully helpful. That's what I'm here for.

Do you like my new blog look? I was supposed to be googling stuff on Old Testament Prayer for our small group, but I spent two hours re-doing my blog. BAD! That scrapblog is one big black hole....

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Good Day

Saturday was kind of crappy because we had to spend the entire day vacuuming, cleaning, washing anything that might have flea particles on it, but today was a great day!

I went for my first non-treadmill run in many, many years. My iPod died as soon as I started, but the peace and quiet was good for me. I don't have any peace and quiet in my life because I like to talk so much! The run was harder than anything I've done in a long time, but it was beautiful outside. It felt so good to accomplish something that was so difficult. There are people that have a lot of inner drive, but I tend to get excited about something and then forget about it after a little while (especially if I can't do it perfectly right away). I'd love any tips from you runners out there.

Then we relaxed and relaxed and relaxed and I watched Shark Tank and Grey's Anatomy re-runs. Perfect!

Jeni came over and took some wonderful pics of our family. I haven't seen any of the pictures, but I am positive she did an amazing job. The girls were working that camera like nothing I'd ever seen. I will admit that we bribed Addison by telling her she could rent any movie she wanted from the redbox when we were done if she did a good job. I asked her if she liked Jeni and she later said "Yes, she was berry nice."

The night ended with a yummy roasted chicken and pumpkin pie dinner (with red AND white wine) at my parents' house. Mmmmmmmmm.

Oh and it's flea free and CLEAN around these parts! Just in case you were worried about stopping by!

Friday, October 9, 2009


I was playing around with blog layouts and I messed up my whole blog!! I don't feel like fixing it right now, but no, this ugliness won't be around forever!

Current crisis: FLEAS

GROSS! Roxy has never had a single flea. Huck was covered in them when he came to our house. I found like 9 fleas on him his first night here. The adoption lady told me that they had given him a treatment and everything should clear up in a few days. Today I found two more fleas on him. Well I found one and Addison found the other. I called my vet that very instant and went to pick up some medicine for him and Roxy ($90). Now I'm just so grossed out! By the time I got the medicine and a new filter for my vacuum to increase its flea sucking power, and we ate dinner it was already 9:15 and too late to do all the deep cleaning. So now I'm sitting here, feeling really itchy and flea-ish, wishing I had paid for a nice purebred, flea-free, Siamese cat from the breeder and not this little fleabag.

I'm sleeping on the couch tonight. I did get a chance to vacuum the heck out of that thing.


I read that Borax works great when sprinkled in your carpets and stuff. Have any of you earthy people ever heard of diatomaceous earth?

Tomorrow is cleaning day.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

A Lesson on Forgiveness

Saw this on this blog.

Toward the end of Sunday service, the Minister asked, "How many of you have forgiven your enemies?"

80% held up their hands.

The Minister then repeated his question.

All responded this time, except one small elderly lady.

"Mrs. Neely?; Are you not willing to forgive your enemies?"

"I don't have any." She replied, smiling sweetly.

"Mrs. Neely, that is very unusual. How old are you?"

"Ninety-eight." she replied.

"Oh, Mrs. Neely, would you please come down in front & tell us all how a person can live ninety-eight years & not have an enemy in the world?"

The little sweetheart of a lady tottered down the aisle, faced the congregation, and said:

"I've outlived them bitches."

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


Do you have one? I've got lots. I love spending time with people. My love language is Quality Time, which is why my house is always so danged messy and the laundry is never done. I'd rather go meet a friend, hang out with my mom, chat on the phone with far away friends/family, or take the girls to the park ANY DAY than do housework or errands. ANYWAY I have been in a Life group with our church for about 4 years now, and recently the women of the group started meeting once a month to do a bible study. My favorite part about this group of ladies is that we're all different ages: 60s, 50s, 40s, 30s, 20s. I'm the youngest of the group and thus have the most to learn, but I like to think that I help the older ladies understand their children better. I also like to think that what I lack in insight, I make up for in entertainment value! I just got back from one of our monthly meetings. We were there talking for four hours. It was truly wonderful. I received some jaw droppingly (is that a word? ) good advice, learned more about God, and felt loved. I guess my point is that you should go find a mentor. Whether it's your mom, mother in law, aunt, slightly older or much older friends, go find someone to help walk you through life. I have tons of them so if you don't have one, I'll lend you one of mine. Who is your mentor? Do you have lots like me or is there one person in particular that sticks out in your mind?

P.S. I am finding a good balance with my love for people/laundry pile situation (at least until I can afford to hire a housekeeper). We go out a couple times a week and stay home a couple times a week. That seems to work pretty well.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Family Update

If you need a good laugh read the other post I put up today. Here are some pics of the Riley fam:

Here is Devin from his first triathlon last month in Lee's Summit. He's a stud in yellow.

Here is Roxy with our adorable new cat Huck. After lots of hissing and cat growling, Roxy has finally accepted Huck as her new BFF. Huck is sort of weird in that he begs for people food. It doesn't matter if we're eating cereal or green beans, he's there begging and eating up the crumbs.

When Devin was working late last week I took too long at the grocery store and both Ainsley and Addison were starving. I let Addison feed Ainsley a bottle while I got dinner going.

It only lasted a few minutes until I had to resort to this (Ainsley in swing with bottle propped up with Boppy). Just send that mom of the year award to my home address!

This is Addison with one of her bff's 'Vannah (Savannah) and Savannah's brother Luke.

This is Ainsley's first time in the race car cart at Lowe's.

This is from our yummy anniversary dinner at the Cheesecake Factory.

Ainsley just started crawling and is now pulling up to get stuff. I suffered through her colicky stage because I knew there would be a time when she'd happily sit on a blanket and play with a toy. That beautiful stage only lasted a couple of weeks. She is crawling all over the house and getting into everything. This is the face she makes when we try to tell her no. It's really hard not to laugh!

Poor Roxy. Her social status in our household keeps getting lower and lower.

Here's big sis. She's so grown up now.

Another one bites the dust

I have been a fan of What Not To Wear with Stacy and Clinton since the show began and it was Stacy with some other long haired bearded guy. They always have some weirdo on there that can't part with an outdated clothing item, hideous hairstyle, or something that doesn't fit properly. I always watch these freaks and think "What the heck? It's a _____. It looks ugly. Let it go." Well I've discovered that it's easier to say that to other people and their ugly junk than it is to say that to myself and my ugly junk. Case in point: my beloved green Eddie Bauer sweater. I bought this beauty with my mom nearly 5 years ago. It was the only non-pleated, non- turtlenecked (I usually look like a midg...err.. little person in turtlenecks) item on the clearance rack and so she bought it to give to me for Christmas. I wore it all the time and must not have washed it correctly, because it keeps getting shorter. And shorter. And shorter. Yesterday I tried my beloved sweater on for Devin and he said it was too short to wear. I asked him if it might be ok with a white button down hanging out. Nope too short still. Darn. BTW If any of you are needing a male opinion on your outfit, hair, etc. and need someone to give it to you straight (no sugarcoating) give my husband a call. He says it like it is (he has learned for said opinion to be asked for FIRST after 10 years of being my significant other).

Anyway the sweater is going bye bye. Maybe someone with a shorter torso (if that's even possible) will get some use out of it at the Goodwill Store.

Just in case you haven't laughed today: