November 30, 2010

Cash Back for Christmas Presents?!

In my family, I am the person known as the savvy internet shopper, always finding great deals, promotions, freebies, etc. Since the Christmas season has officially started, I have already told quite a few family members about how to get cash back while shopping online. The way I do it is through Ebates. With over 1000 online stores, Ebates is the best place to find great deals and coupons. Simply click an online store's link from the Ebates website. Ebates opens a tracking ticket for you for that store, and if you make a purchase, they credit your account with anywhere from 1% - 26% cash back. After you accrue a cash back total of $5 or more, they either send you a check in the mail or deposit your money directly in your Paypal account. How easy is that? 

Mr. M and I just bought a Christmas gift and some items for his business last night, and just from those purchases, we will get roughly $10-$12 back! Sounds like a no-brainer to me! 

Please go and check it out! If you register for an account with them, they will give you $5. And it's absolutely free! Yay!

November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hope you have a blessed Thanksgiving! Be safe if you are traveling and make sure you wear loose clothing.

November 20, 2010

Just For Fun


Have you ever heard of tilt shift for photos? Basically, it takes a regular photo and, by magic that I am not at all experienced at, will make it appear as if everything is in miniature. It is a really fun effect!

Source

Source

There is a website that allows you to create tilt shift images very easily. If you go to tiltshiftmaker.com, you can upload any image and play with the tools provided to create a 'miniature' land. There are also ways to create tilt shift effects in Photoshop, GIMP, and other photo editors, and there are great tutorials out there that will show you how to do it. I hadn't had any images for quite some time that I thought would make good 'miniature' lands, but I remembered a photo I took when Mr. M and I went to St. Michael's, MD for an anniversary trip. I played around at tiltshiftmaker.com, and here is my final result!

St. Michael's Tilt-shift


If you would like to see more tilt shift images, check out the Flickr pool specifically for tilt shift.

November 18, 2010

Why I Drink Coffee

Coffee Love (FI-20473)
Source
  1. I like the taste.
  2. Peer pressure. Mr. M likes it A LOT more than I do, so I sometimes drink it to fit in.
  3. My brain tells me it benefits from the caffeine in the morning. I really don't believe it.
  4. Drinking a Starbucks coffee makes you 10 times cooler than you normally are.
  5. I enjoy the somewhat odd coffee bean/nutty smell my lips emit after drinking a lot of coffee.
  6. I enjoy my options. Splenda or Sugar? Full-caf, half-caf, or Decaf? Cream or Non-fat? Big or Little?
  7. Peer pressure. The girls at work go on coffee trips during the week, and I go with them to fit in.
  8. There's just something about holding a warm mug in your hands on chilly days.
  9. If I am feeling nibbly, it is a great distraction and much less caloric.
  10. I may just be addicted.

November 16, 2010

I Am No Writer

But, somehow I am really excited about joining in the Writer's Workshop created by Kathy of Mama's Losin' It!


I just recently found Kathy's blog, and am already smitten with her family, her wit, and her imagination. I don't know how she finds time to do all that she does since she is a stay-at-home mom running a home daycare business. Regardless, almost every time I read one of her posts, I have to chuckle.

Like the title of this post says, I really am no writer. I was always pretty good at English and Composition in school, but I have always felt that I am not creative enough to actually WRITE. Sure, it's easy to write about the everyday stuff, but sooner or later, writer's block is going to hit. That was the inspiration behind the Writer's Workshop. Every week, Kathy creates a list of topics about which you can write on your own blog. Then, on the following Thursday, you head back to her blog to link up to the topics post. Here are her current topics to choose from:
  1. Why are you burned out?
  2. Write a poem about a time someone made you smile.
  3. A list of 10 reasons why you do or do not drink coffee.
  4. An open letter to a celebrity.
  5. That one time you met your online friend in real life (was it everything you thought it would be?).
I have chosen the really deep topic of why I drink coffee. Stay tuned Thursday for my scintillating list!

November 15, 2010

I Crack Myself Up

I am one of those people that are extremely wary of e-mails I receive from addresses with which I am not familiar. I constantly lecture Mr. M on the dangers of opening e-mails from people he does not recognize. He still opens every one of them. It's a good thing we have a Mac.

Anyway, on more than one occasion, I have scared myself when seeing new e-mails in my inbox. They normally come in pairs, and the first e-mail I see is something along the lines of 'Notification of payment received'. I instantly think somebody got into my account and made unauthorized purchases, which turns out to be so not the case!

You see, when I get the few and far between Etsy sale, that is how I am notified. That first e-mail is from Paypal notifying me that funds were deposited into my account. The second e-mail is from Etsy, telling me I made a sale. It takes me at least a good minute or so to realize I've made a sale. And then when I do, I wind up doing a happy dance in my chair with silent 'Yays!'.

I wonder if I will ever just instantly know I made a sale? Or will I always be the skeptic at first, then feel like a complete and total moron, later, after realization hits?

November 13, 2010

Mr. M has a website!

I am so proud of Mr. M. He is almost through his second year of business, and it is still showing signs of growth. Not too long ago, a good friend helped him launch a website for his business, S & N Construction. It is still a bit rough around the edges, but just knowing that Mr. M has a website is so exciting. And he is totally not a tech-savvy person! Anyway, you must check it out, just because I am so proud of him. 

He is also in the process of getting his new logo on business cards, truck magnets, signs, etc. I am really loving it, especially since it reflects our faith, as well as key traits Mr. M possesses. My very talented cousin had just graduated from school with a degree in graphic design, and she was beyond happy to help design a simple logo for Mr. M. She is incredibly talented in graphic design, art, and all kinds of other creative things, and had quite a few unique ideas for the business. This is the final result.

A lot of white space from blanked out info.
Mr. M used to build custom homes for another company before he decided to start a business of his own. Because of our current economy, he decided to begin his business with home improvement. Eventually, he will get back into building houses, but he is definitely enjoying the variety of jobs he has now. So far with his business he has built decks, sunrooms, additions, fences, installed windows and doors, replaced gutters, gutter boards, soffit, and a myriad of other things. On his website are several images and a link to his Flickr page of completed projects. 

So far, this has been a huge learning experience for him, and even for me, too, business-related and personally. We are on quite a journey, and I am really excited to see where we are headed someday.


November 10, 2010

On the Workout Wagon with Bob

Mr. M and I decided to jump back into working out and eating right. We had both been so sluggish, achy-painy, and irritable with each other. Plus, for me, it seemed like the weight was slowly creeping up on me, and I wasn't sure why. Well, maybe it was the ice cream and snacks and Starbucks and doughnuts and...

I had heard that Bob Harper released a new set DVD workouts and that they were pretty hardcore. I had worked out with P90X before, but unless you have no job and no responsibilities, it is just utterly impossible to commit to AT LEAST an hour or more a day to working out.



Enter Bob Harper's Insisde Out Method. It consists of 4 DVDs, one for strength (Pure Burn Super Strength), one for cardio (Cardio Conditioning), one for yoga (Yoga for the Warrior), and one for complete insanity (Bob's Workout). All DVDs have two workouts, one that is a full hour, and another that is anywhere from 15-30 minutes. This is nice for me to have since I know I can not commit a full hour to working out everyday, but the short workouts still definitely kick my butt.

Mr. M and I followed the workout schedule that can be found here. Neither of us has made it to Week 4, yet, although we have been working out for over a full month. I am rather peeved by the way the schedule and some of the workouts are set up. In Week 3, it suggests you alternate the strength and cardio DVDs for 4 days straight. That would be fine if a lot of the exercises or muscle groups weren't repeated in both DVDs. I could see somebody working their way to injury if they kept going like that.

Also, one lady that appears in several workouts has now officially been named 'O-Face' in my household. I don't know if she does it for the cameras, or if that's really just what she does, but she constantly has her mouth hanging open as if she is in complete agony. I mean, the workouts are hard and all, but I never thought they were THAT hard.

Although there are those things that I do not like about Bob Harper's Inside Out Method, I would have to give it a rating of 4 out of 5 stars, unicorns, or lollipops. All of the DVD's provide an awesome workout, and even just doing Week 2 from the schedule for several weeks has me feeling super fit and seeing results.

As a disclaimer, I don't know Bob personally and he doesn't even know I exist. I merely had to share my experience with his new DVDs since I am so excited to have them in my workout library. And it's a super-duper plus that Mr. M likes them, too, especially since he has been dead set against working out for so long. Also, they are an awesome deal if you buy all 4 at once, at only $35.99 plus shipping.

Have you had any experience with these DVDs? Do you have a favorite that you go back to often? Please share!

Image from here.

November 4, 2010

It's Makeover Time!

Pretty soon, this blog will have a new look. Jessica from Life on Delgany Street is building a blog design portfolio and needed some guinea pigs. I am definitely willing to support her in her endeavor, as I know how difficult it can be to get things started sometimes. I, myself, am still working on the 'getting started', but still haven't pressed the gas.

Stay tuned for the big reveal!
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