Welcome to my new home!

movingI hated to leave my free WordPress site, but apparently I’m breaking their rules by doing sponsored posts. I hate to break rules, so here I am. It will take me a while to get indexed and have the page rank I did over on WordPress, but with your help, I can do it.

If you wouldn’t mind, please update your bookmarks for Snippets and Blabbery.

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Thanks again for reading, and I hope you’ll stick around!

More favorites…food, food, food

We’ve been eating some good stuff at my house lately, and I thought I’d share it with you other harried moms. First off, my most favorite new product (about a year old, I think):

bertolli

Dinner
Bertolli frozen dinner in a skillet meals. There are a few different flavors of the pasta with meat, then there are a few selections of just pasta. Our favorites are the fettucini and the chicken florentine and farfalle. Awesome. Dump the bag into a skillet and ten minutes later is the best meal with only one dirty pan.

I just went on their site looking for the right name of the one I love and noticed a $2 coupon you can print. Definitely worth the effort, because they run on the expensive side ($7 a bag), unless you catch them on sale. I usually buy a few when I catch them on sale.

The portions are not huge, but it’s the perfect amount for my husband and I. Or just me when I’m feeling like eating a big bowl of pasta. Although, then I feel guilty after.

Snacks
Next favorite: Flat Earth chips. Yum. So far I’ve only tried the farmland cheddar kind, but they are awesome, and my son loves them too. Looking forward to trying the fruit flavors. They’re made with all kinds of veggies and baked, so they’re not too bad for you at all. (As a side note, as I was searching for their site for an image, I found the Flat Earth Society – who believes the Earth is flat and that the whole round idea is a wild government conspiracy. Could be, right?)

Breakfast
Final favorite: The green smoothie – thanks to Moxie. I’ve changed up her recipe a little. I put a container of Horizon organic vanilla milk, about 1.5 cups fresh spinach, a banana, and about .5 cups frozen fruit (tropical fruit bag – mangos, pineapple and strawberries) – blend it all up in the food processor. Awesome. You can’t even taste the spinach! What a great way to eat my fruits and veggies. Highly recommended.

Thats it for today. Let me know if you try any of these…or if you have a fast favorite of your own!

Free Icons

My new favorite website…IconBuffet. I was googling “free icons” one day, and stubled onto Icon Buffet – the coolest icon swapping/social networking site. THIS IS NOT A SPONSORED POST. I just really love this site. The best part is that I’ve gotten the coolest icons for free. My current favorite is the sushinobi series. Here are a few of my FREE icons!

ninja_red-32sushi1nigiri-32

How cool are those?! Plus, when you download your set, you get a million versions, so you basically don’t have to edit them. They can be used as favicons, bullets, background tiles (which is usually tacky, so you shouldn’t do that)…whatever you can dream up.

So anyway, you have to ask people to be your friend, they can send you free deliveries of icons, and when you accept them, you get stamps. Then you use your stamps to send deliveries to other people. And so the kindness goes…

Check it out…I promise you’ll like it.

Memorial Day

folded flagJust for info…because LOTS of people don’t know…here’s what Memorial Day is all about: it’s a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation’s service.

Two years ago, I was in DC for a conference for work. I was seven months pregnant, and I decided to hike a few miles through Arlington National Cemetery to find my maternal great-grandparents’ graves. It was so hot, and I didn’t bring any water.  It took a little doing (and a lot of sweating), but I found their graves, and I was so proud. As I was walking back to the Metro, I saw a full funeral procession, complete with caisson and I started bawling. Even sadder was all the fresh grave sites at the front of the cemetery.

This little journey was as much a tribute to my unborn son, mother and grandmother as it was to my great-grandparents. My mom passed away on June 5, 1994. The day I went to Arlington was June 6, 2005. My grandmother died before I was born. My great grandfather was a West Point grad, retired as a Colonel in the Army (after serving in WWI and WWII), and then worked for the CIA. My great grandmother gets to be buried next to him, so they rest side by side in the nation’s most well known military cemetery. I cried for all the family my son will never know, and for the proud military heritage I have on both sides of my family. On my mother’s side, military service goes all the way back to the Revolutionary War. On my father’s side, I’m the latest (and the first female) of at least one of each generation serving in either the Army, Air Force or Navy. We don’t have any Marines – yet. But we do have a nurse, a few pilots and at least one Airborne Ranger.

I plan to visit the other national cemeteries where my family members are buried. Even the one in Hawaii where my great uncle – my father (and my son’s) namesake – is buried, after being shot down during WWII.

I hope we all remember to take a minute to remember these men and women – and to be grateful for their sacrifice. I’m certain I wouldn’t be running my mouth on this blog all the time if it wasn’t for them ensuring my free speech.

John Edwards has set up a great site called SupportTheTroopsEndTheWar.com – it’s got a lot of activities we can do during Memorial Day weekend (or every day – if you’re motivated) to voice our feelings that our Soldiers, Marines, Airmen and Sailors should not be in Iraq any longer.

Eric Volz

Seriously, what in the world is going on? What a nightmare for him and his family. I hope you’ll share this video and contact your state leadership to help support his case.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8YChhOHrFA4]

Paris Hilton’s prison term

paris hiltonI hadn’t followed this story at all – mostly because I could give a crap. But when surfing the BBC, I saw a headline that she was dropping her appeal, I followed the link to read the story. I was surprised to find that all this media coverage is over a 45-day sentence, now reduced by half due to good behavior.

I really dislike drunk drivers – even one-drink drunk drivers. Especially those that can afford chauffeurs. I am an annoying t-totaller on this subject – just ask my husband.

I wish they’d make an example out of her since so many people are paying attention to this story. As expected MADD is not happy with Paris’ acceptance of responsibility or the court’s judgement.

The cost of college

My sister’s husband is going to go to school full-time in the fall. This is long overdue, and I’m excited for him. He just got his FAFSA info back, and he qualified for Pell Grants, which will cover about 75% of his costs. They’re hoping to qualify for some scholarships also, becuase he wants to be a teacher, and there are quite a few incentives out there for prospective teachers.

Then, after they’ve tried all the free options, they’re probably going to have to look at federal or private student loans. Hopefully, they can stick with Federal loans because of the lower interest rates and better repayment terms (deferral until out of school, etc.)

I joined the Army Reserve to pay off my loans. They paid $20,000, and I still owe another $5,000. I hope to go to grad school someday soon, but I’ll only do it if I work somewhere with a tuition reimbursement deal.

Before the war, and even during the first year, I would recommend the Army to anyone that would listen. They really have outstanding education benefits. But now, I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone. Maybe after the war is over. Maybe.

So, borrowing it is. But in the world of loans, student loans are the best kind. I recently consolidated mine, locked in a low interest rate, and have a really reasonable payment.

SAHM no more?

Update: The interview went well. I liked the people, and I felt excited at the prospect of the job.

Then I came home, and my son gave me the biggest hug, and he wouldn’t let go, and he rested his sweet little baby head on my shoulder, and I thought about how this isn’t going to last forever, and how surly my friend’s teenager is.

sweet little angel

Thanks for reading everyone, and for your words of experience and encouragement!

I recently applied for what looked like the most perfect job ever. I do this every once in a while, just to force me to keep my resume up to date. Well, they called me for an interview. Never mind that none of my work clothes fit (how about four sizes too small!). Never mind that I don’t want to put my son in day care at all. Never mind that I have finally gotten my husband to understand and appreciate the benefits of a stay-at-home parent. We decided that I would go to the interview.

So it’s in a few days and I’m nervous. I have suitable pants, but I’ll have to purchase a shirt or sweater set or something. And I think I kind of want the job. What I really want is for them to say I can telecommute most of the time, so I can just get a babysitter in my house.

If we lived exactly the way we do now – only off of my husband’s pay – we could use my salary to pay off all of our debt in one year. We could plan our second baby during that year, and I could work until I delivered, and then quit. (Man, I hope the company isn’t reading this.) Financially, it would solve everything.

Emotionally, I don’t know if I can handle it. I keep telling myself to stop being a baby, that mother’s go to work all the time, and that there is nothing wrong with daycare. And I do believe those things. But I can’t help but feel like they’re just not going to know when he’s tired or hungry or bored like I do. Are they going to pay attention to him? Will he be happy? The honest answer is that he’ll be fine. He might have a runny nose more often, but he loves other kids, and he’d probably be thrilled to have someone other than mommy and the cats to play with. (The cats don’t give him the time of day.) He probably needs the socialization. And now that he’s figuring out the whole fake-cry-to-get-my-way, it might be better if a stranger stepped in and didn’t fall for it.

But that doesn’t make it any easier.

Ft. Irwin

Ft Irwin rocksThis weekend, we visited my brother in law at his new duty station, Ft. Irwin. I’m not going to sugar-coat it, it’s an awful place. The term “God-forsaken” is about as apt as you can get. We encountered many a strange insect and animal in his backyard, it was ridiculously hot, and very very isolated. I feel so bad for him. I was hoping he’d find a little joy and purpose in his job, but as of now (he’s been there a little over a month), it’s not going so well. He’s a Staff Sergeant (E6) in a job (MOS) that has too many Staff Sergeants, and very few Sergeant First Class (E7) positions, so he can’t get promoted until some of those people get out of the Army or get promoted to E8 – of which there are even fewer positions. So even after two tours in Iraq, one to Kosovo and one to Bosnia in the last five years, his promotion potential is very very small. Add to that an inordinate amount of confusion and mismanagement in his new unit, and he is very unhappy.

We talked a little about his first tour in Iraq, and we all got teary eyed because it’s such a depressing situation. He spoke of the good he did (building a school, playing soccer with Iraqi children) but he also spoke of the Iraqi’s inherent distrust of Americans and the lack of trustworthiness of many Iraqi’s.

It’s really an awful situation that our service men and women are in.

After 14 years of service, my brother-in-law is seriously considering getting out. Not because of deployments that have ruined his marriage. Not because he missed the whole first year of his second daughter’s life. But because the Army doesn’t make sense to him anymore. The war in Iraq overrides everything. This means he will forgo his retirement. He’s that unhappy. And this is someone who REALLY REALLY REALLY loved being a soldier. It breaks my heart.

Smart Entrepreneurs…depresident.com

Well, the smart entrepreneurs/funny liberals at dpresident.com are getting a jump on election gear. From Barack Obama t-shirts and stickers to “I heart elections” – this funny site is worth taking a look at.

From their About blurb: “Depresident.com is dedicated to bringing you fair and balanced Anti Bush facts, some truth and some pure truthiness.” Pretty funny. If you’ve got a little time, check out their Bushisms page…funny and sad at the same time.

Here are my favorite designs from their shop. I like the retro look of the oval, I like what they did with the’08 in vote, and I just plain love the “I heart elections” idea. I think I need one of those.

obama

I heart elections

vote hillary