Minute by minute

my thoughts on making the most out of all of life's minutes…


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Let’s talk about passwords…

Seriously  – – how do you remember your passwords?

 

Do  you:

  • have a written down list on the pullout on your desk like in the 9180’s movie War Games?  

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  • use the same password for everything?
  • have a list somewhere in Excel that is also password protected that lists all accounts, usernames, passwords, etc?
  • have an app for that?

 

This video is funny – but also real.

 

Tell me – – and others!  What tool(s) do you use to remember all your passwords?

 

Happy Thursday everyone!

 

Amy

 

 

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My Take Thursday – Extreme Couponing

I’ve very intrigued by the recent craze in couponing.  My husband’s aunt posts almost daily on Facebook how much she saved and what a great deal she got in her last trip to the grocery or drug store.

I must not live in a good coupon area, because the coupons we seem to get – I don’t buy that stuff.  And, I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a local store offering double or triple coupon days.  Hey Washington – what’s up?

I wish I could partake in the coupon frenzy – I’d love to save more money.

Do you coupon?  Is it appropriate to use coupon as a verb?

Have you seen this show on TLC that is dedicated to Extreme Couponing?  Apparently there is a whole faction of the population who goes to extremes when using coupons.  I believe they view it as a challenge to see how many items they can acquire with their coupons.  Then they create stockpiles in their homes with all their free stuff.  Check this out.

 

I posted a question on Facebook yesterday (did you see it, are you a fan of my Facebook page yet?) to everyone about their thoughts on this show.

I felt like Kristin had been in my head when I read her comment:  “While I understand the thrill of saving, I often just shake my head when I watch that show. I understand if it’s someone who is going to donate a lot of the items to a worthy cause, but for those that just “stockpile” to me it just seems like another form of hoarding. The one person who cleared the shelves of 47 mustards because she could…..really?”

I find it really interesting how we as a society, can be fascinated with the hoarding that is a result of couponing – but disgusted by someone who hoards cats.  I’m no psychologist – but it does seem very similar to me.  Collecting and collecting, not being able to stop and not being able to let go of anything in their stockpile either.  To me  – the only real difference is that the coupon people are just cleaner.  I guess I would ask them – when do you plan on eating all that Ranch salad dressing?  Do they eat any of their stockpiles or do they just keep adding to it?

I’m not trying to insult anyone’s lifestyles  – and Sara’s comment said it nicely –  “firstly all shows with the word “extreme” needs to be banned from TV”.  

Right on Sara, I’d say anything in extreme whether it is on TV or in real life – shouldn’t be.  What’s that saying – everything in moderation?

On the contrary, I jealous of this lady in the video below.  She claims she gets fresh produce and organics at reduced prices with coupons.  Again – I tend to agree with Sara’s second point in that most of the items in our circulars are for processed foods or junk foods.  I tend not to buy too much of that stuff ( I try at least).  “Second, I think many of the products stockpiled/couponed aren’t particularly good for you. Lots of sugar, lots of preservatives, lots of sodium…. Don’t get me wrong, I love Doritos as much as the next person, but having 15 bags in your garage beside the 18 cans of Hormel chili….????”

 

I have a friend who has a genuine stockpile.  She is preparing for a disaster of some sort – be it man-made or natural.  She’s prepared.  But she is rotating through her items and keeping her pile to a realistic quantity.  And she’s storing items that can be eaten or used  – like canned soup and vegetables and soaps.   The stockpiles of condiments and deodorants – – what sort of disaster are they planning for?

What do you think?   Extreme Crazy – or Extreme Smart?

Happy Thursday Everyone!

 

~Amy

 

 

 


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Thursdays’ Take – Two things for which I’m most proud…

Happy Thursday Everyone!

As I was lie awake in bed this morning at 3:30AM, catching up on some reading, feeling frustrated that once again I’ve woken up in the middle of the night, and wishing I could get my insomnia under control, I stumbled across an article about creating waste-free lunches for your kids.

For some reason this article created a sense of pride in me.  Maybe because I am happy to report, I am already doing most of the things suggested to reduce waste in my sons’ (and husband’s for that matter) daily lunches.  I work from home, so I don’t need to pack my lunch, but nine times out of ten, I pack three lunches a day.  I’ve taken steps over the years and just last month, I banned all juice boxes from my house and discovered bags like these to help reduce the use of plastic baggies.

Photo Credit 

But as I was thinking and reading this blog, it occurred to me….one of the two things I am most proud of myself is how little trash my family generates.  I know this sounds like a strange thing to be proud of, but for a family of four, we really generate only a tiny bit of trash.  How?  I’ll work on creating a list of how we do it, but they mainly revolve around choosing things that can be recycled, composting and using reusable things over the throw away options (sandwich baggies, juice boxes, paper plates and napkins).  I’ll share this list with you in a future blog.

So – back to my trash….we, my family of four, only have trash picked up at our house once a week.  And we opt for the smaller trash can and usually it isn’t even full.  On the other hand, we have two large recycle cans that get picked up every other week.  Luckily, we live in an area where we can recycle almost everything.

What’s the other thing I’m most proud?

That would be having earned my Master’s Degree.  The decision to get my Master’s was an easy, the two and a half years to get it were tough.  Kids, and more kids (I got pregnant with my younger son about half way through the program), a husband who traveled – A LOT during those years.  It was many late nights and early mornings, but I did it.  And the thing about it was – although the timing of it all was tough, the material wasn’t.  I  always thought the ideas and concepts obtained in a Master’s program were so complex that I’d struggle.  But, you know what…I didn’t.  I mean, don’t get me wrong, I had to apply myself and I had to work at it, but overall, the material wasn’t overly hard or impossible to grasp.  Hey – I’m pretty smart!

As I continue to write, maybe I can’t limit my list to only two.  I’m proud of many other things too, my kids, my work ethic, my rescuing of too many dogs and cats, my marriage of almost nineteen years….

What are you most proud of?

Happy Day!

~Amy


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Thursday’s Take – Just let me vent

My older son started third grade the Wednesday after Labor Day.   So this week marks the end of two and a half weeks of school.

As I’m sure with many school districts across the country, we’ve had to deal with some changes due to staffing based on enrollment numbers.

Last Friday, an email came from the superintendent explaining that enrollment numbers were lower than projected, thus, there would be the need to move some teachers around from one school to another, thus leading to shuffling some students into different classrooms.

This is a less than ideal way to start the new school year, in my opinion (or IMO if you read yesterday’s post).  Kids and teachers need the first few weeks to get acquainted , learn the new routines, and just get the wiggles out.  In addition, teachers use the first few weeks to assess where each student is academically.

As a result of the decrease in enrollment numbers, my son’s school lost two full-time teachers this week and has shuffled probably half the students into new classrooms or different configurations with split classes.   Again, less than ideal.  Tomorrow they will be hosting a Reboot 2012 – and basically start fresh and treat tomorrow as the first day of school all over again.  Two and a half weeks later.

My friend posted on her Facebook status on Monday saying that she was hoping for strength and patience for the teachers and staff at our school with the decisions they’ll need to make and with also all the changes that are occurring.  I backed her up and commented on her status that I was concerned with the changes, and I was as it was the beginning of the week when there was still a lot unknowns.

One of the comments on her thread from a friend of hers basically said  “it could be a lot worse, a kid in my kid’s school just got diagnosed with leukemia.

I had a couple similar comments to a status I posted on Tuesday afternoon saying I was frustrated, irritated and concerned with the changes that were being made at school.  And in turn, some of my friends replied to me, that it could be a lot worse and went on to give examples of who they know are in worse conditions and situations.

OK, I’m probably going to sound heartless now but here goes.  But first let me say, I consider myself a positive person and usually after I’ve processed a new situation (which might include a bit of venting and/or complaining) I usually turn to and roll with the punches, trying to find the best way to make lemonade out of lemons.

Here’s my point for today:

I get that there will always be worse scenarios than mine.  I fully admit that I live in a bit of a Norman Rockwell world.  I acknowledge that my life is much easier than others.

But because of all that, does that mean I should not be given the ability to process a sudden and potentially big change that has been thrown at me unexpectedly????

Timing people – timing.  Do I really need to have a sick child’s situation thrown in my face six minutes after a statement is made?

I get that the situation of a child with leukemia is AWFUL.  I have not idea what that entails, but I can imagine that learning that your young child has a life-threatening illness is probably the worst situation a parent can find themselves.   And I get in the whole scheme of things, yes, shuffling around students and disrupting their new routine is minimal compared to that.  But you know what – I still should get a chance to process my situation and then be allowed to move on and deal with it.

So again with timing – – if my rant and rave (which in my defense, wasn’t really all that, it was more of a statement of frustration) continued into next week and next month or even the next day – then yes, by all means…put me in my place and remind me of how worse the situation could have been, and how worse other situations are.

I would also say this on the flip side if I was expressing my joy over a happy occasion.  I’m not sure I’d really appreciate anyone coming up to me saying “sure, your news is great, but I know of a situation that is even better.”

So how did it end?  About thirty minutes after my frustrated status on Facebook, I felt better.  I vented a little, got my frustrations out, received some reassuring and positive comments from friends and  I felt much better.  It cleared my head and I was ready to move forward.

I just needed the time to process it all.

What do you do?  Do you rant and rave or can  you see the bright side right away?

Happy Thursday,

~Amy

 

PS – a not so related part of this story was….my origianl Facebook status was on Tuesday afternoon.  Wednesday morning I woke up to an email from a reporter from the local newspaper asking me if I’d like to make a statement on the changes at the schools.  Talk about Big Brother feeling…I mean, I know Facebook tracks stuff…but this was creepy. How in the world did I get on her radar and why was she contacting me regarding this?   I called her back mainly to see how she got my contact information.  Luckily, she got it off the PTA website, I happen to be the secretary on the PTA.  If you’d like to see my quote:  here it is……

 


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Welcome Back Friends!

Happy September!

HEELLLOOOO!  I’m back!  It’s been a great summer, very full of fun things happening.

I’m happy to be back in a firm routine and am happy the boys are more engaged in things besides running through the sprinklers and eating popsicles all day.

Before I jump right into my themed days (I’ll start that up again next week), I wanted to ask you a question.  I’d love to hear other’s views on this point that I’ve heard from about three friends over the last few weeks.

Talking with these three very different friends of mine, none of them know each other and in each situation, the discussion took an interesting turn which lead to the same sentiment:

“I don’t have enough time for the friends I have now, I don’t want to make any new friends.”

I wonder what your thoughts on this?

Do you agree?

Do you disagree?

Why?

I’ll share my thoughts tomorrow, but I’d love to hear yours today.

Happy Thursday everyone!

~Amy

 

PS – it’s good to be back!


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Thursday’s Take….GMA where did you go?

I love Good Morning America.  Well – – I loved Good Morning America.

That is…until it changed.

And I’m not talking the change from when Charlie went to the evening news and then when Diane left and went to the evening news….I actaully like Robyn, Sam, Josh and George.

But I guess their ratings aren’t doing all that well….so they are resorting to TMZ type stories that they feel are “news worthy”.  Sadly – I’m not really all that interested in what’s happening in Hollywood or what the famous people are doing.  And when I saw Nancy Grace on the show the other morning – – I thought – well, good gravy- they must be doing poorly in their ratings if they think they need that gal to help stir things up.  For me, that was an all time low.

I get it – I understand why they are turning their methods towards Hollywood and “trending now” stories.

When I was in college, in every Marketing class I took we seemed to be given the same example, it went like this:

If you move to a tiny little town and there is a bar on three corners of Main Street…what are you going to build on that fourth corner?  

a. A 24 hour gym?

b. A Four store restaurant

c. Another bar. 

Do you know what the answer is….

If you guessed C – you are correct.

Why do you ask?  Because obviously bars do well in this little town.  And that’s how marketing works.

If it sells – it must be what people want.  So let’s sell more of “it”. 

This is why we see duplicates of the same show on different channels.  Just how many show are about cooking challenges, talent contests, shows on hoarding, shows on pawn shops, and all those reality shows.

The theory is – – if it is popular – that must be what the people want.  And they are right.  People watch these sorts of shows and find similar ones and watch those on the different channels.

The sad part is for people like me – I don’t always want to watch the same thing over and over.  I like variety and I seriously don’t like what the choices are these days.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ll dive into some Hollywood gossip every now and then – I’m not that much of a prude.  But I also like good reporting and good shows that make me laugh or think – not just roll my eyes and shake my head.

I guess it comes down to….I just miss Good Morning America.  When they travel to see different parts of the country and report on different aspects of American life.  I love the Made in America series they did a few years ago.   When they did good, quality reporting – that was really news worthy.

Come back Old School GMA.  Come back!

Happy Thursday, everyone!

~Amy

PS – today marks the end of my challenge to sell 100 copies of Making Time for Dinner.  We didn’t quite make it to 100, but the good news is – it is still for sale and you can buy your copy at any time.  Thanks for all who purchased a copy  – I love the support.


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Thursday’s Take….Thoughts on Attachment Parenting

I’m guessing that most people read the recent Time magazine article about Attachment Parenting.  Or maybe if you didn’t get a chance to read it, you certainly heard the buzz around the cover and got from comments what the article was about.

I don’t normally read Time, but I was curious about this article, so I picked up this issue.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are my thoughts on Attachment Parenting…

I don’t like labels.

So for that matter, I don’t care much for labels like “Tiger Moms”, “Grizzly Moms”, “Soccer Moms” and “French-style Mothering” and whatever other labels there are out there.

I think the reason I don’t like to subscribe to one dogma of parenting style is because it is too limiting.  I don’t want to be placed in a box and only be able to determine what is best for my kids based on a few  guidelines.

My style of parenting is called “Tim and Amy Parenting“.  (Tim is my husband and the father of our two sons – ages seven and three.)

What I have learned from my two sons is that both are very different and both require a different approach when it comes to parenting.  And to try to fit them into a prescribed method, doesn’t seem fair to them or to me as a mother.

Here’s our approach when it comes to parenting:

  • Consistency is key.
  • Flexibility is key.
  • Don’t approach every situation for every child, the same way.
  • Trust our instinct.
  • Take examples from our parents and how we perceived our childhood – what we liked and didn’t like about it and apply them to our children.
  • Take examples from our sisters, cousins and friends – see what works and doesn’t work for them and determine if it might work for us too.
  • Children need lots of love, patience and understanding, but they also need a dose of firm discipline every now and then.
  • Communicate with each other what works and doesn’t work and try different things – always adjusting.

I am lucky to have two really good friends in my “village”.  One is a teacher and the other, a family and child therapist.  I strongly recommend getting some friends like these.  I have a Business degree and we didn’t learn one thing about the development of the brain and how children process things.  (But I can tell you all about how supply and demand works with kids…..it is very simple, really –  if they demand it – you better supply it!).

Seriously, my two friends are a source of expertise that I routinely rely on. They offer my insight from their experience and knowledge that I’d have to find else where if not for them.   If you don’t have friends with this knowledge, I suggest books or search for other sources of help like your family doctor or your pastor.  I’ve read many parenting books and always walk away with some sort of new knowledge or new tool in my belt.  I even learned something from the Time article.

For me – I don’t want to be put in a box and then try to cram my kids in there with me too.  I feel I owe it them to listen to their needs and watch their personalities and work my molding of them in ways that they will respond best.

Good luck with that parenting thing!

Happy Thursday!

~Amy

Thursday’s Takes are my personal opinion on current events or just random thoughts.  I’d love to hear what you think…leave your comments below.