Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Coupon Adventure...Total Savings $31.85

SAVINGS AWARENESS: I am becoming aware of costs!!!! This is profound for me! I always thought that was for the stay-at-home mom part of life, yet I am now realizing that there is great value saving money at all times and that money saved can be used many other places. I also thought that coupons and savings were only for packaged and unhealthy items. I am here to tell you that I am still learning, but there are savings out there on healthy items if you know where to look. I also thought that it wasn't worth my time to look for money savings if I was working full time, but I am now able to look for these savings with my new job relieving some stress in my life.

My coupon adventure wasn't a TOTAL bust, but I thought it would be when I got to the checkout and found out THEY DON'T TAKE INTERNET COUPONS!!! I had asked all other questions...Do you double coupons? When it says 2/$5.00, can I buy one for $2.50 or do I have to buy two? But, I didn't dream that they wouldn't take internet coupons. They don't. So, my next endeavor (which I had been thinking about anyway...get the Sunday paper).

Double coupons - Albertons says they do double coupons, but only sometimes and they don't know when. There may be a trick to this that the entire store is unaware, but I am not sure. All of the employees I spoke with said, yes, today they are ringing up double. This did not affect me though b/c my coupons were all internet ones.

Albertsons had a GREAT sale....LAST WEEK (one week off means a lot of missed savings). It actually ended yesterday and I was out of town until today. So, proper planning....Anyway, their great sale was a LOT of half off items. This would have been a great chance to stock up on these items. Long story short, I ended up getting chicken at buy one get one (which accounted for $9.64) of that savings after speaking with the store manager....we are now "tight."

Also, another $9.51 of that savings was from making friends with a boy who was stocking the shelves in one of the aisles and was trying to help me find parchment paper. He finally found 3 rolls for me and since there was no price and he liked me after being so NICE to him today...he gave me these $4.36 rolls for $1.19. Now, I do now realize I will have to bake the rest of my life to use all of this parchment paper. OR, I can give it to my baking friends, knowing that I saved them approx $5!

Shawna of styleberryHOME led me to Operation case you're interested at all in my comments and belief that being NICE gets you somewhere as well as affecting others' lives.

COMMISARY: Now, I am a military wife and I usually go to the commisary. I will continue to blog about coupons and savings as I learn about this topic. I am feeling that with double coupons, great deal savings on a weekly basis and being a thrifty shopper that I can save more money than the tax savings I get a the commisary. I will let you know when I find out! I know that for the same amount of groceries, I used to save at least $15 by going to the commisary vs Walmart when we lived in Columbus, Ms.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

eat pray love

I started out seeing this book "eat pray love" on Oprah. Yes, all if you who know me know that I Tivo Oprah daily. No, I do not like her politics or even her. I like that her show keeps me updated on what's happening in the world that I otherwise would be unaware. This book, for one, I was unaware. I saw this book on Oprah and thought - NO WAY! This book is about her leaving her husband to go find herself! What a bunch of crap! That's the easy way out! Stay with him. You made a vow...keep it.

But, I was in the airport bookstore in January of this year and needed a book to read for my trip. I saw this and for some reason it spoke to me to get it. I figured out that if you look past that part of the book, as we do not know, nor does she tell us, the details of her marriage, to the real messages in this book you will learn a lot!

I find that even the description on the back of the book spends more time on her unhappiness than the true premise of the book. The book spends very little time on the unhappiness that leads her to Italy, India and Indonesia. She adds in humor in her life lessons and this book really struck a nerve in me. Some of the things that I found really resonated with me....

(p. 23) "ask myself a radical new question: What do you want to do, Liz?...And when I finally started to answer, I did so cautiously. I would allow myself to express little baby-step wants. Like:

I want to go to a Yoga class.
I want to leave this party early, so I can go home and read a novel.
I want to buy myself a new pencil box.
I want to learn how to speak Italian....

What was I going to do with Italian? It's not like I'm going to move there. It would be more practical to learn how to play the accordian.
But why must everthing always have a practical application? I'd been such a diligent soldier for years--working, producing, never missing a deadline, taking care of my loved ones, my gums and my credit record, voting, etc. Is this lifetime supposed to be only about duty?...Did I need any justification for leanring Italian other than that it was the only thing I could imagine bringing me pleasure right now?"

(p. 26-7) "I want to be with God all the time. But I don't want to be a monk, or totally give up worldy pleasures. I guess what I what I want to learn is how to live in this world and enjoy its delights, but also devote myself to God....'To find the balance you want,' Ketut spoke through his translator, 'this is what you must become. You must keep your feet grounded so firmly on the earth that it's like you have four legs, instead of two. That way, you can stay in the world. But you must stop looking at hte world through your head. You must look through your heart, instead. That way, you will know God.'"

(p. 32) "I explained to Iva my personal opinions about prayer. Namely, that I don't feel comfortable petitioning for specific things from God, because that feels to me like a kind of weakness of faith....Iva listened politely, then asked, 'Where'd you get that stupid idea?....where di you get the idea you aren't allowed to petition the universe with prayer? You are part of this universe, Liz. You're a consituent--you have every entitlement to participate in the actions of the universe, and to let your feelings be known. So put your opinion out there. Make your case. Believe me--it will at least be taken into consideration.'"

(p. 40) (Humor - speaking of not blending in foreign countries during her travels.)
"First off, I don't blend. Tall and blonde and pink-complexioned, I am less a chameleon than a flamingo. Everywhere I go but Dusseldorf, I stand out garishly. When I was in China, women used to come up to me on the street and point me out to their children as though I were some escaped zoo animal. And their children--who had never seen anything quite like this pink-faced yellow-headed phantom person--would often burst into tears at hte sight of me....I also have a shortage of personal coolness, which can be a liability when I travel. I have never learned how to arrange my face into that blank expression of competent invsibility that is so useful when traveling into dangerous and foreign places. You know--that super-relaxed, totally-in-charge expression which makes you look like you belong there, anywhere, everywhere , even in the middle of Jakarta. Oh, no. when I don't know what I'm doing, I look like I don't know what I'm doing. when I'm excited or nervous, I look excited or nervous. When I am lost, which is frequently, I look lost. My face is a transparent trasmitter of my every thought. As David once put it, 'You have the opposite of a poker face. You have, like....miniature golf face.'"

(This cracks me up reading this for two reasons. One, I am that...I often have a look of sheer horror on my face at dinner with friends when I can't believe the stupidity of what I'm hearing across the table. I am very used to the kick in the shin, Tara was great at doing that for me while in Columbus, with the very kind "wipe that look off your face." I also recall two very AMERICAN looking girls wandering around Germany this summer, looking very....American!!!)

I don't want to give the entire book away...You still need to go buy it!!! I have underlined, highlighted and written all over this book. It's an easy read, a relaxing and calming read, a spiritual read and a funny read. It's light-hearted yet I came away from it with many great lessons. I have felt a lot of the same things that Liz felt in this book and as she learned her lessons, I learned them as well.

I learned about:
-Americans are too busy and work longer than any other country and we are
unskilled on doing nothing.
-"Beauty attracts beauty (p. 85)" And, you can substitute many words in there. This
resonates with the part of me that chooses to associate myself with people that
make me want to be a better person.
-"You gotta stop wearing your wishbone where you backgone oughtta be. (p. 150)
-"Prayer is a relationship; half the job is mine. (p. 177)
-The fourth level of human consciousness.
-Liz's journey into hours of meditation and the true meaning of yoga.
-"This smile will make you a beautiful woman. This will give you power to be very
pretty. You can use this power--pretty power!--to get what you want in life (p. 241)."
-Stories of other cultures always teach us something new.

It's only $9 on (one of my favorite places).

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Boomerang Tags

Anne gave me the idea to blog about the tags that I get for our golden retriever. I HATE hearing my dog jingle through life and know that if it bugs me, it just might bug him. SO, I found these neat tags called BOOMERANG TAGS that are great! They fit right around the collar.

Now, you ask, what do you do about the Rabies Vaccination tag? I don't use the normal loop that is for tags unless it is next to an area with double fabric - where the collar is doubled over to expand. In this case, my Planet Dog collar (recommended to me by my best friend, Shawna of styleberryHOME is reinforced in that area. So, I used the other metal loop and tucked it in between both collar straps. See in the photo below.

BTW, I purchased 5 of these collars because they were on sale from $19.95 to $4.95 a few years ago. They have fleece on the underside AND EVEN BETTER....IT'S KU COLORS!!!!


DRYING curly hair

This is the morning of my wedding as my best friend and maid of honor assisted me in drying my hair. You can't even see the diffuser on my hair dryer because it is inside my hair :) Beauty is painful. That is my best friend rubbing my neck from the strain being caused by drying my hair!!! I put a picture of my hair that day, before I got into my wedding dress (as I was putting on my bridal shoes), so you can see that it dried beautifully!

Drying curly hair is VERY important! A diffuser is a MUST....not a maybe, a MUST!!! I found a great YouTube video about styling curly hair that I cannot embed but is perfect information. Click on my link to see it. There are TONS of videos that are just like it that you can use to get info. Just try different tips and tricks and see if they work for you!

Tips I like for drying my hair:

  • Use an Aquis Super Absorbent Towel (You can find these at many retail locations. I got mine years ago at Bath & Body Works )
  • Do NOT brush you hair. I don't even run my fingers through my hair. I try to keep my curls together and touch it as little as possible
  • Put styling product in by scrunching it in (I plan to blog about different product ideas later). DON'T be afraid to use a lot of product!!! We curly girls need it!
  • Use paper towels to scrunch hair after putting in product to take all the excess moisture out. Your hair will still be wet but not dripping and ready to dry
  • Use a "finger" diffuser on the best hair dryer you can afford. I believe in expensive hair dryers. I have a Chi that I love ! It comes with a "finger" diffuser attachment. (I also plan to blog later about straightening and my Chi flat iron is another product I swear by)
  • When using your Chi, use the lowest setting for speed. You want the least amount of air to hit your hair. The more air, the more you look like you came out of a wind storm and get the "wind blown look"....not the look we are going for here :) You will have less frizz if you have a lower power setting on your hair dryer. That is a MUST for any hairdryer of any cost for me!
  • TAKE YOUR TIME! Hold the diffuser at your ends and treat it as a cup, then slowly raise the dryer and let your curls ring around the "fingers" until you reach your scalp and let it rest. Let the dryer do the work. Don't move it around a lot! Let the blow dryer DRY your hair! It will set the curls. Turn your head to each side for a few sets of drying (each time for a few min) and then tilt to the back and the other side.
  • Finally, flip your head over and dry it from the top. Don't be frightened! When you flip back your hair will be wild!!! But, you can put more styling product in and get it to lay down. Better to try and tame extra volume than have your hair too my opinion!
  • When done, DON'T TOUCH YOUR HAIR! Throughout the day, touch your hair sparingly. The more you touch it, the frizzier it will get!
Future curly hair post ideas:
  • My hair throughout the years
  • Straightening
  • Products
  • Curly Celebrities
  • Styling
  • Know your type of curly hair
  • Curly books
  • To wash (shampoo) or not to wash...
  • My curly hair inspiration and instructors

There are a lot of curly hair resources out there that I have discovered throughout the years of my curly hair trials! One that I have found very useful is Looking for a new product? or inspiration? or a curly friend? It's all here....

There are some great resources on this site. I have used the CurlSalons feature in all of the states I have lived in. When I lived in Denver in college I found a fantastic hairdresser in Boulder. (Side note: I also found someone to wax my eyebrows there...ruined me for life! It was the best wax I've ever had and now will not allow anyone to wax me because they don't compare.)

CurlPix has great ideas for hairstyles. When have you tried to find a new hairstyle (as a curly girl) and not been able to find any pictures online? Try looking up short hairstyles, for instance, in a hairstyles book at a salon or online. You will not find but 1 in 100 pics of curly hair. Kinky curly hair? Forget it!




About This Blog

I am Tori (FITori) and welcome to my blog!!!

I created this blog from the encouragement of my best friend who pushed me to start a blog about my passion, which I am always talking about! It started as a way to inspire others the way I have been inspired and to share what inspires me. I also want to share with you what I have learned through my years of research on health and fitness.

For me, this blog is a great place for me to document my fitness journey. I decided to compete this year, but have transferred that goal to next year so that I can bulk and compete in Figure. This blog is my accountability and hopefully I can get some advice and tips along the way. I am hoping that I can learn from you all also as I post what I am learning along the way. If I am wrong or there is advice for me, I want it! I want your theories. What are you doing differently?

I'm also looking for accountability to keep this up and inspiration from you all. I read your blogs and get inspired and knowing you're reading mine keeps me going!

Thank you for your support!!! Let me know if you have any special requests for blog posts!


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