Friday, April 29, 2011

Time for Change!

I've been scrapbooking regularly since 2002. But I have been a Creative Memories Consultant since 2005. Next week is my 6 yr anniversary of becoming a consultant.

In 6 yrs of being a consultant, my business has truly changed. It has gone from being mainly a way to get my and my family's supplies at cost, to having a good core group of regular customers.

I have some customers who are more like friends than anything else. Which is definitely a good thing to have. I have some customers who dont use anything that is made by Creative Memories, they mainly just come to the workshops.
My best experiences have been when someone has something like an album or adhesive from another company, and it fails, or they have a problem with it and my Creative Memories product steps in to the rescue.

I'm having to work out some new strategies and open up my Creative Memories business to those who are not remotely interested in scrapbooking. They take pictures. They want access to their pictures, but that is it.
I need to focus on those picture takers who have no interest in scrapbooking.

I've found over the past year or 2 that I stay too busy to do much traditional scrapbooking.
Sitting down with a blank piece of cardstock and creating a layout from scratch is just not really going to happen. I just dont have the time.
I've really embraced the whole idea of using kits, and simple photo solutions.
I've done 2 albums recently completely with kits and I am just loving it. It looks like I spent all this time creating these awesome layouts, and I didn't do anything but put it together!

Tomorrow will be a big challenge for me. It was supposed to be 3, possibly a 4th consultant renting a shared room for tomorrow. Myself and the other leader would pay $75 each, and have my downline pay $50. If we had a fourth jump in, it would be $50 per consultant.
But things do not always work out as you have planned.
So we will see how it goes with me and my downline.

I am steadily trying to come up with ideas to "shake up" my Creative Memories business, and my personal saving of photos.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

My Favorite Picture

This picture of Godfrey and I was taken in July 2010. We went on the Spirit of Norfolk to celebrate our 2 year anniversary. Our anniversary is technically in August, but he left for training in Great Lakes, IL on July 30, so we had our anniversary dinner a little early.

This is my favorite picture of the 2 of us. I just love the way it turned out.

Monday, April 25, 2011

A Flare

I was diagnosed with Rhuematoid Arthiritis in 2010. I've had it for awhile apparently, but I always thought I had the standard Osteo Arthritis and I really couldn't do anything about it but take Tylenol.

Today, I am having a flare. When I have a flare, my joints swell and hurt. Sometimes, its pretty much all over, sometimes it is just one or two areas. Today, I am having a localized flare in just my hands and feet. My hands are so swollen that I cannot make a fist today. My fingers are so swollen I cannot wear my ring. It hurts when I try to make a fist.

My ankles are swollen and my toes hurt really bad. For probably about a month now, I haven't been able to bend the big toe on my right foot all the way.

Even when I am not having a flare, I still have pain from RA. Some people do not understand that I am hurting. The biggest thing that causes me pain, is shaking hands. People insist on shaking hands because it is the norm in the US. But frequently people shake my hand and hurt me and don't even understand that they do it.
The other thing that can really hurt is when some people hug me. They hug me too tight and it hurts.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Couponing 101

From time to time, I am going to update on my couponing adventures. This post will be about some basics to use coupons.

1) Do Not Clip coupons for things you cannot use! Unless you plan on donating or trading coupons, there is no need to clip coupons for cat food when you don't have a cat.

2)Get the paper! Either subscribe to the Wed & Sun deal, or go pick it up. You can get the Sunday paper from Dollar Tree.

3) Google online printable grocery coupons and print as many as you can use before they expire. Don't waste your paper on 10 coupons of something you won't use before they expire.

4) Know your grocery store's coupon policy! Farm Fresh will let you use a max of 20 coupons per visit, they double up to 99 cents everyday, but on Wed they double the $1 coupons. Kroger doubles up to 50 cents everyday.

5) ORGANIZE! The best way is a binder. Organize the coupons by type of product.

6) The biggest couponing secret is: MATCH YOUR COUPONS TO WHAT IS ON SALE!
Sale flyers come out on Wed & Sun. Look at what is on sale, and match the on sale items to what you have coupons for. If you have a store that will double, you can get it for free for extremely cheap!
Example: Farm Fresh has French's Spicy Brown mustard on sale for 99 cents. I have a 50 cents coupon, they will double. So my mustard is free. Colgate toothpaste is $2.50, I had a coupon for $1, they doubled it. I got a 6oz tube of toothpaste for 50 cents!
If you hate mustard and you don't like Colgate these are not good deals. But in my house, we use both of those, so they are awesome deals.

7) Sign up for every store's saver card. Frequently you get extra coupons or extra savings by having the store saver card.

8) Make Room! The whole point of couponing is buying when things are on sale to receive the maximum discount. Have a place to store your extras. Eventually the goal is to have everything you need, so there are never any last minute trips to the store paying full price for something.

9)Use the Computer! You can get special saver emails from manufacturers and stores. Frequently manufacturer's email me promo's with special coupons. Also, visit the websites for products that you like. If they do not have a coupon on the website, send them an email. Frequently, they will email or mail you a coupon (or sometimes a sample).

Food banks, Churches, Homeless shelters, etc all need donations!
Don't keep something because you got it free. Donate!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


I am probably the most "unconventional" Navy Wife that exists.

Reason number one is that we aren't married. We don't plan to get married any time soon.
Both of us have been married before, and we don't want to get burned again.
We've decided that we will get married when we are both 100% sure that is what we want.
We are not going to be rushed into marriage by the Navy or by my employer.
True, the military pay changes when the enlisted have a dependant. But we have determined that the pay is not a reason to get married.

Reason number two is also money. I don't know, don't care, don't have access to, and don't want access to his military pay. His paycheck is his paycheck. My paycheck is my paycheck. I don't see any reason for me to consider his paycheck my money just because he is military. If he had any other job, his paycheck would still not be "My Money" so why does it suddenly become my money because we are military?
When people ask questions, I don't know and don't WANT to know the answer. It is NONE of my business. He stays out of my bank account, I stay out of his.
We have ONE joint bank account that we pay a joint car loan through. But that is IT.
Even when we get married, we do not plan to combine anything, or change the house to both of our names.

Reason number three is that I deal VERY well with separation. He doesn't, but I do. I don't see the need for him to be calling me and texting me ALL NIGHT when he has duty. Its only every 6 days that he has duty. Its not like he is gone every other day. His in and out, home for a week, gone for a week, schedule works just fine with me. He is kind of needy sometimes and the crazy schedule makes him worse. Not me. I need my down time. My alone time.
I have no desire to cram my head up his rear end when he is home, just because he will be home a week and then gone a week.

Reason number four is that I am still in my home area. We have been together almost 3 yrs. He is stationed in my home area, and plans to stay here for the rest of his career. If we stay together until he retires, I will have never had to move as a military wife! That is VERY rare!
The fact that I am basically "at home", minutes from my high school and college, I don't really feel like a military wife being someplace separated from the world. I can drive to my dad's and my sister's in 20 minutes.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Not Sure

Not sure what this weekend will bring. Godfrey is only home until Monday at 4am, and I have already made him VERY MAD. It is totally my fault. I did something STUPID, and when confronted, I tried to avoid it, and didn't tell the truth. Now, I am stuck with him being mad at me, when we will only have the weekend. When he gets mad, he just shuts down. He doesn't want to talk to me at all. He will probably give me the silent treatment until Sunday. I am hoping he gets over it quickly.

My Sweet Suprise

Godfrey left on March 31. He told me when he left that he would be home on Friday, April 15. However, when I got home from work on Thursday, April 14, it was obvious that someone had been there. The dog had her collar on. The backyard had been cut. But there was no signs of Godfrey. He hadn't taken a shower, his toothbrush wasn't there, he hadn't put his clothes in the hamper. So I looked around the house for him and couldn't find him. I went ahead and changed clothes, getting ready to do a few things around the house. When I came out of the bedroom from changing, he jumps out at me! He had been in the attic, and was trying to hide from me! Crazy Man! One day, he is litterally going to give me a heart attack from jumping out to scare me.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Eleven Cents!!!

My first amazing coupon deal where I was even surprised! Last night I purchased a total of 20 items from Farm Fresh and I spent ELEVEN CENTS!!! They had a sale, taking things down to 49 cents and 99 cents. Of course I had coupons for both. Farm Fresh will only let you use 20 coupons at a time, and only 2 of the same coupon. So I went to Farm Fresh in Va Beach. I got 8 mashed potatoes and 2 stuffings and my total after coupons was 8 cents. I accidentally left my reusable bag in the car! Then I stopped at the Farm Fresh near my house, I got 8 more mashed potatoes and 2 more stuffings. This time I remembered my reusable bag and it was only THREE CENTS!!! We go through food like crazy in our house. Godfrey always feels like he has to feed the whole world. So trust me, although it seems like alot, I am sure I will use 4 packs of mashed potatotes in one meal! My other purchases have been good. $88 total at Walgreens cost me $35, $89 total at Target cost me $32. But I am still looking for the awesome deals!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

So here is my blog ....

I am mostly writing a blog as an outlet for myself. I wrote in paper journals for years and years. When I moved, they all got put in storage, and now I have no idea where they are, and I haven't written in them in a year, so I might as well move on. I figured that I would Blog about several things. My first priority on the blog will be my Unconvetional Navy Wife Blog. I will be bloging and mostly venting about the military life. My better half is active duty Navy in a well known Navy town. We are a very unconventional couple in general, so of course I'm an unconventional Navy Wife. My second priority on the blog will be my second job, which is as a Creative Memories Consultant. I have been a consultant now for almost 6 yrs. I have been mostly just a typical traditional scrapbooker, but now I am really opening up to other photo solutions realizing that I dont always have time to sit down and create pages from scratch. My third item on the blog will be theme parks. Due to geography, most of the theme park info will be Busch Gardens Williamsburg, Water Country USA, and Kings Dominion. However, we do take periodic trips to further away parks. I love theme parks and roller coasters, however, I hate people, hate crowds and hate all of the BS. Another item that I will be documenting is my battle with Rheumatoid Arthritis. I'm only in my first year post diagnosis, but I am having some severe problems and flares. I will try to upload pictures when I am all swollen. Sometimes it is scary. My newest hobby is couponing. I don't know why it never really clicked with me how to make it work, but I recently sort of figured out the tricks. I've been using coupons for several weeks now and saving at least 50% everytime I do a couponing trip. I will be documenting my successes and failures at this venture. I'm sure there will be other things I blog about, such as my weird relationship with my mother, my constant roller coaster life, and my dealings with my AADD.