Favorite Things Vol. II

I nearly forgot to post this today, but clearly have stayed up too late and am starting to remember things amidst my delirium. :) So, here goes...another selection of things I have recently fallen (or re-refallen) in love with:

1. NBC'S Trauma, 8 p.m. EST: I was intrigued after the pilot, but had my doubts since it seemed like NBC's attempt to regain the E.R. viewers. But after watching nearly every episode, I whole heartedly give this show two thumbs up. Check it out, if for no other reason than what else are you doing at 9 p.m. on a Monday?

2. Butterball Turkey: Obviously not a new favorite, but Thanksgiving is only a couple of days away and I am already thinking of dinner. And for serious, Butterball is in a league (farm?) of its own.

3. Groupon: It's like one of those "deal of the day" websites, but better. Each day is something completely different, from tickets to stationary to who knows what! And the cool thing is it's specialized to your area (i.e. last week one of the steals on my Groupon was Wizards tickets).

Here's to starting off the holiday week on the right foot!

Family Values

The world sometimes works strangely in tandem and I am currently living through one of those glitches in the Matrix. Mark "the attempted competitor" Rutledge lent me the fiction novel Push, by Sapphire to preface the movie, Precious, modeled after it. Having led a somewhat buffered childhood, it is hard to even process the things that have happened to this young girl, whose parents abuse and take away her dignity and basic human rights (See a trailer of the movie).

Even though this is a fictional story, it is a story that could be very true and surely is the story that more children than we know have to tell. It made me grateful for the two parents that love me and have always encouraged me to be a better person. And guilty. Guilty for having that household with two parents, dinner as a family every night, church every Sunday, birthdays with cake and candles, getting grounded for not turning in homework, brothers to ride bikes with, but only to the second light pole, having a little money to give to charity, guilty that not everyone had that.

So of course this morning when I am running late to work, Meredith announces on the Today Show that the upcoming segment is, "how to instill family values in your children." Values that I never realized were instilled in me, but that my current reading was beginning make quite obvious. And in fact, these were values that I tried to fight as a child...

I never understood why we had to eat together every night at the table -- when I went to friends' homes they got to eat take out on the couch, LUCKY! Or why we really had to go to church on Sunday -- none of the cool girls do, it's not fair. And MOM, nobody else's parents check their homework nor do they care if they get C's, I am going to have to be in the honors English class with the dorks. Why cannot I not have these $150 pair of basketball shoes when there are always checks to be sent to the benefits at school? Sigh, I was so mistreated. Right.

...the segment revealed the importance of eating together as a family, attending a service, checking your child's homework. That habits like these -- though not always appreciated -- will infuse certain values, that I realize now, married and in my mid twenties, I charge myself to uphold. Making time for family without distractions. Donating money or time to charity. Pushing myself to succeed and asking for help when I can't do things alone. Inadvertently surrounding myself with wonderful people. Realizing that even when I do mess up or when it seems like things just won't go my way that my family will always be there, just like they were always there for dinner.

And this is not to say that if you're family didn't have these traditions that you were left with no values. But more of an example of how I am realizing my were transfused. And to bring up the question -- what childhood lessons are disguised and unappreciated at the time?

Precious questions in her journal how could one baby could be born to poverty when another is born to picket fences? She also comes to realize that values are what make up the difference. That picket fence baby could end up on the street just as quickly as the poverty stricken baby if there no values learned.

Remember Super Mario Kart "Battle Mode"...that's sort of what this is like

Just wanted to give a warm welcome to Mr. Mark Rutledge and I hope the blogosphere greets you kindly.

And to let it be known, that the battle that is about to commence between this gentleman and I is on. Even like Donkey Kong, as they say. That's right, you heard it here first -- Mr. Rutledge talks a big game, but I will win this blogging war.

Check out his progress in my "fun reads."

Ah, victory smells so sweet. ;)

A Few of My Favorite Things

Each Monday I am going to profile a few jewels that I have discovered and think need to be shared...here goes the first report:

Target Deal of the Day: Each day is something different and usually half off...who doesn't like that?

Coupons.com: Seriously folks, I save an average $20 per grocery adventure, just by visiting this site before I go!

Hungry Girl's Chew on the Right Thing: Alternative recipes to your favorite foods that can save you bookoo calories. For instance the 165 calorie cupcake, cha-ching!

Red Box this one...

Last night Dusty and I went to see Cameron Diaz's newest flick, The Box. Not really knowing much about the movie beyond the television trailers, we didn't really know what to expect; those short synopsizes had us intrigued, though. And now having see the movie in its entirety I don't really know much more about it than I did two hours before we entered the theater. It was bizarre and had a lot going on that didn't really gel together. Plus it made me have really strange nightmares.

I can safely say that it is one of the worst silver screens I have seen in awhile. Dusty's review is a little more positive, well I guess -- he said he is still confused and doesn't really understand what happened, but wants to see it again and try and figure things out. We do agree that it was definitely not money or time well spent; my outlook may have been more positive if this were are Netflix rental. So, if you are still compelled to see this movie, take my advice and wait a month for it to be released on DVD.

All the best things in life...

are free. Obvi. And Kiplinger has released their 2009 list of best freebies. From ice cream to financial services, there is something for everyone. I'm going to check out the websites with free shipping...


Savvy is the New Chic

I have a dear friend/accomplice/possessor of oddly similar characteristics as myself (for instance -- our glasses prescription up until recently when she had Lasik surgery) whose life script follows a sort of romantic comedy path. Seriously if I wanted, I could dedicate my life to essaying hers; as they say, "you can't make that shit up."

Aside from her real life sitcom, this dear friend is one of the hardest working and most dedicated people I know. And this applies to more than just her salaried job -- she has a personal life to rival her much accomplished resume and is a better friend than all of the Baby-Sitters' Club members combined.

Now that I have filled you in on the fantastic person, meet her new business venture and pet project that is set to open its doors to the World Wide Web in January -- Savvy Cinderella...

"By the age of twenty-four, Meghan Lazier was honored to have stood-up as a bridesmaid in four of her closest friends' weddings, but felt uneasy at the thought of someday spending so much money on a fabulous day of her own. She realized that there needed to be a way to connect style-conscious brides who were total strangers -- because there are just some things that friends don't want to share -- like the same wedding colors). Somewhere between all the taffeta and tears of joy -- Savvy Cinderella [emerged]. [This website] helps brides-to-be keep their wedding budgets in check, while allowing newlyweds to make a little cash after their big day.  [It also offers] a community of like-minded brides wedding ideas, humor and advice."

As a recent bride and negotiating guru -- so what if I do it for fun? -- I have been asked to participate in the penning of an e-book entitled, The Bride's Guide to Negotiation, hoping to put an end to the current crisis the wedding industry is creating in the minds of pre-nuptial women world wide. No it doesn't have to cost that much -- "average price" is an average price of those wedding planning women surveyed, not all of them out there. Yes, if you say "wedding" the price goes up. But, no it does not have to.

It's time for brides to unite and for each of us to put our foot down. You shouldn't have to sacrifice budget nor your immpecable taste to making all of the details of your big day just the way you imagined. And this is where Savvy Cinderella picks up. So people, get the page bookmarked -- www.shopsavvycinderella.com -- and get excited, because January is right around the corner.

Look ahead.