Challenge 4: Love Notes

So as promised ... 

Below is the base of the letters that I'm writing. 30 people will receive this next month. I'll mail them all at the same time.

Hey! Hopefully you are receiving this some time within the week of May 25, 2013. If you know what that day is, then great! If not, I still love you anyway and I’ll tell you just how much and why below. I know this letter may seem random, but it really isn’t. I’ve been thinking about writing it for years now, but just never made the time to do it due to all kinds of excuses. This year, I’ve been trying to figure out what to do for my big 3-0 birthday (yes, that’s what that day is) that would be different, unique, and all me. The plans run the gamut, but I knew either way I wanted to somehow show some love and appreciation for those who have contributed to me making it to this big day. So on my day, I’m thinking of you and all that you’ve done for me deliberately or not. Now that I’m done making excuses, I hope to make this an annual letter because what better way is there to prepare for my birthday than telling you all the ways that I love you to date?

Obviously, it is way after May 25th, but better late than never for stuff like this huh? Whether you agree or not, this is what I've decided to do. So far, I have 5 notes done. Great start eh? Maybe, maybe not. The interesting thing about these notes is that they are emotionally draining. I've never experienced such mixed emotions so yeah ... it's a pretty hard one. Plus, y'all know I'm not really into emotions and whatnots. It's actually why I decided to mail them and not personally deliver them. That'd be too much for my non-emotional self right now. 

Oh for those who may not receive one this time around, no worries. It's NOT that I don't love you. It's just the nature to such things. Maybe you'll get one the next time around. Maybe you just think more of yourself than I do. Maybe I just suck at recognizing your importance in my life. Who knows? Either way, don't be offended. You may mention it to me to place your love note on my radar, but don't be all extra about it or you'll NOT get a doggone thing. I don't have to be nice to you. Always, remember that. But I do love you because you may need my love for now. {Do you believe I have to be nice to you just because I love you? Another post for another day.}

Love y'all much!!


Bugs, Bugs, & More Bugs ... Life Near a Pond

So about these bugs ...

The other day I rid our home of a HUGE spider. I'm not exactly fearful of spiders, but I don't like them in my space. I won't hurt them if they are outside and stay out there; this one ran his fast tail into my house. Sorry, spider lovers, but that's NOT cool! Well, I'm thinking the lil bugs outside my door should have been excited about that cause that joker was trapping all of them. Seriously, we knocked down several HUGE webs. We won't even open the front door - if you visit, we will ask you to come through our garage. Well, NOW I think these jokers are getting out of hand. There are bugs, huge bugs, all over my front door. I don't like it at all. I am NOT a fan of bugs. Maybe that huge spider was keeping these jokers at bay for us. I'm not sure though cause he was getting too comfy around my front entrance. But anyway, not getting on my box today. Here's what I saw when I looked outside of my windows last night. Enjoy ... (or not)
 Keep in mind that I took these photos through my window so the quality isn't that great, but you get my drift.

So moving right along. The other bugs that we have BAD are mosquitoes. Those things bite & bite & bite some more beginning around 7:30/8ish. That must be when they get awaken to eat cause boy have they feasted on us. I mean I get those huge bumps & everything from them. And they will feast anywhere on your body - it's terrible. 

Whelp, that's our life near a pond. We actually have a few in the neighborhood, but I'm sure it's more because we have one in our backyard. I love my home, but these bugs got to go!!! Anyone know of any plants or natural solutions for keeping them at bay? I hate gardening, but I'll plant some citronella and whatever else needed to keep these jokers away from my home. 

Also, about that pond ... we've had to take care of a snake a couple months ago (I'll call it an anaconda, but I believe others refer to them as garter snakes - eh!)

Alright y'all that's enough of that. Tomorrow's post will describe my new challenge - no bugs involved. Heh heh heh!

Road Trip

RRROOOAAADDDD TTRRRIIPPP!!! Exciting eh? Heh heh heh! For real, we're on a road trip. So look forward to short posts with just pictures or videos as we go along our road trip.

I'll tell y'all all about our trip when I return. It's my 1st road trip (ya know where we actually stop and chill for a bit). It's lil man's 1st road trip (and most plans revolve around activities that he'd love - pools, Children's Museums and whatnots). It's Jason's 1st road trip with us (dealing with a crazy wife and crazier toddler shall prove interesting - eh?). It's OUR 1st road trip and we shall enjoy each other and the open road ahead.

See y'all soon! And we look forward to sharing our travels ... woo hoo! ROAD TRIP!!!


Gallie ... Hey Gallie!

So I just got a new phone; that new Samsung Galaxy S4. It's pretty cool! Not as creepy as I thought it would be with that whole following your eyes & movement to stop a video, scroll through a book, etc. BLASTED! I just dropped the doggone phone too. This is some BULL! It fell right out of my pocket, like that's okay, onto the asphalt. I picked it up & it is cracked - like one of those iPhone cracks ... Gggrrrrrr!!!

What do I do? I go to the store to get a new phone. I jjuussstttt got it, but I am still outside of the return to sender time. Cost? $200. NO!! I didn't even pay that for the doggone phone! Independent Screen Replacement Retailers? $100-150. NO!! To Google, I go. What'd I find? This:

and so what did I do? Well ...

I was going to post a video of me doing just that. I was sssooo tempted because it looks like so much fun [I have an engineering background ... electrical at that]. However, I just broke down and busted up our Christmas Savings because I didn't want to void my warranty and I especially didn't want to mess up my phone even more. Also, I kept looking at reviews for the screen replacement kits on Amazon and stuff was looking real fishy!

Guess what though ... it was NOT $200 AND it arrived the next day (didn't even take 24hours)!! Woo hoo! So I'm back in business with Gallie & I can get back to the extras in life.
Sidebar: Y'all walking around with these cracked screens, how do you do it? I was too disturbed by my phone being broken like that. I wouldn't even put the phone all the way up to my ear for fear of being cut. Actually, I hid the doggone phone for those 10 days cause I just didn't even wanna look at it like that. I didn't even realize just how much it bothered me until I felt the wight lift when I broke down and placed that insurance claim for my new phone. Sidebar End
 Oh wait, before I head on out. didn't do very well with my challenge last month, but y'all got more posts than usually right? Yeah. So I'll keep up with that sine my goal is to have something for y'all everyday ... ONE of these days. The new challenge of this month though is a bit more personal. This month I'm writing my Love Notes. if you haven't heard about it, I'll give another post tomorrow concerning it. But yeah ... this is probably the MOST emotional challenge I'll do, but since I haven't thought of them all - ya never know.

Alright y'all, I'm out - time to finish getting Gallie right. Oh and about the title. That's my wake-up command for Gallie. Lil man likes to repeat me to see if Gallie will respond to him too. Silly kid! He has the "Stop" command down for my alarms though.

Until next time, don't drop your phone! Heh heh heh!


Table TalkN Interview: 14KT

Hey All: Yesterday we interviewed one of our dear friends who we consider one of the hottest DJs out there!! He's about to drop an album on Tuesday (8/27/13) and we wanted to make sure to get the word out cause he's our boy & that's what we do. Soooo without further adieu ...

We did have some technical difficulties with airing some videos, but for your previewing pleasure:

Go on and cop this album Nickel & Dimed on itunes here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/nickel-dimed/id668873948.


Tea Experiments

Hey folks ... What's going on?

Had any delicious tea based vittles lately? Well, I have at least one every week. Sometimes it's as simple as experimenting with sweetened condensed milk in my Earl Grey or Bengal Spice. Other times, it's baked Bengal Spice Chicken or tea-infused rice. I've even made up random muffins and sodas using various tea flavors. It's sooo much fun to see just how many things I can use my tea for infusing and just adding a slightly more complex flavor profile.

Recently I experimented with simple Sweet Tea as defined by me.

{Steps on soapbox}
I am from GA and I enjoy sweet tea from time to time. If you serve me ice tea and it's not sweet, I will judge you something awful. If I wish for that mess, I will ask for unsweetened tea. I know. I know. These days it's all about less sugar and the whatnots, but I am not on that boat - and you can't force me into it. I don't drink enough sweet tea for that anyway. It takes me all week to actually drink all of my experiments ... sometimes 2 weeks. And don't hand me no doggone sugar packets to sweeten some ice tea. That foolishness doesn't work!! And it just ain't right - forget what ya heard! I will take simple syrup though.
Now, I've only recently learned of the folks who actually care about it even more than me. Did you boil it and add sugar while it was still hot? Did you sweeten it after it cooled with simple syrup (or its like)? I don't care which way you did it because I think each one holds it's on depending on the crowd. I just began experimenting with simple syrups and I'm still working on the perfect consistency for using it to sweeten tea. I especially like that you can add various other flavors to add to the tea flavor. It'd also help with being able to do more with cold tea drinks that I want to play around with.
{Steps off of soapbox}

Last week I brewed an Oolong Sweet Tea, a Tangerine Honey Sweet Tea, and an Earl Grey Simple Syrup. They each were delicious with various sweet levels. Of course, the Oolong sweet tea was the sweetest because I brewed it the way I normally brew sweet tea adding in a heap of sugar. The Tangerine Honey Sweet Tea was brewed like normal as well except I just sweetened it with just a bit of honey instead of sugar; It was for lil man so yeah. As for the Earl Grey Syrup, I used it with the SodaStream and enjoyed some Sparking Earl Grey; Not too sweet, not too (un)sweet, jjjuuusssttt right for a sunny afternoon. It reminded me of a sort of cream soda.

Whelp, those are my tea experiments of the week. I'm sure I'll come up with something else this week. I have some meat to bake (or slow cook) that I think will go well with a cup of strong brewed tea. What are you steeping these days?


Coupon Excitement

Hey y'all! If you've been following us and paying attention, you know we're all about a good deal. Matter of fact, I told y'all about one just last night (Bzz) - I'm building up to even more. Anyway, because we're in to deals, it was just a  matter of time before we got into couponing. No, we're not Extreme about it, but we're pretty efficient at it nowadays. We have a system that seems to work so well that we saved almost $50 during one of our shopping trips. Great right? Yeah, we thought so and became even more vigilant about it.

That was a few months ago ... fast forward to this past weekend. I went on a shopping trip (a small one), but I left the store without spending 1 cent!!! Seriously, everything was free because a sista got into couponing and actually keeping up with the sites for the FREE deals. Y'all hear me. I get FREE stuff. So yeah, now I'm all about this couponing stuff now. Still not going Extreme, but more than willing to give out my system. You want on? Well, here ya go.

Here's an excerpt from an email I sent to one of my girls cause she actually came through for my face-to-face "How to Start Couponing" spiel.
Wait, first: Sign-up for them, but know that a lot of sites have the same coupons. I sign-up for those few that aren't the same or the items I plan to get that may need more than 1 coupon (rare, but it happens).

Kroger Plus kroger.com - I know you already have this, but make sure to check back often because they randomly have things that they don't necessarily advertise. And right now they have the Free Friday Downloads. You have to go to the site to download whatever is free for the week.

MPerks https://mperks.meijer.com/mperks - Most printed coupons are manufacturer so you can use them here too. Mperks also has their own coupons similar to the Kroger Plus ones - digital. And they just got a sort of Rewards program in which you can earn personalized rewards - I don't shop there enough to be successful at this, but that's because Kroger is more convenient.

CellFire cellfire.com - More digital coupons for your Kroger Card. They just added a few more stores (RiteAid, Hiller's, & DeCA [<- no idea what this is]) and they do have some printable coupons.

SavingStar savingstar.com - Just found this one so I can't vouch, but I did sign-up. I'll update you on this one as I figure out more about it. You don't get an immediate return though so I'm not so sure about it.

SmartSource smartsource.com - Generally, these are mostly the same as the printable ones that come in the paper. This is why I said you don't need to buy a paper. :)

Coupons.com coupons.com - I think you said you may already be signed up. If not, make sure to sign-up. There are digital and printable ones. There are also coupon codes for things other than groceries so check 'em out.

P&G pgeveryday.com - Sign-up. You get coupons more-so for household/cleaning, but yeah. They also have digital ones.

Valpak valpak.com - Coupons for a whole bunch of stuff (groceries, clothes, restaurants, etc.); some digital, but I think most are printable and there are coupon codes.
SO you're welcome for this. Feel free to let me know of any sites or sources you have for getting the BEST deals around.


Bzz: Frontera Wine

Hey Folks: I just wanted to give you all a heads up. I’m a BzzAgent.

What’s that, you ask? HA! It’s awesome. I get to try things out for FREE or a GREAT DISCOUNT. In return, I take on the role of pretty much a worker bee :) I spread the word, bzz-ing all over about the latest, greatest product that has graced our house through me being a bzzagent. I’m quick to post about it on twitter and even quicker to pass out coupons that I have to get my friends & family in on these great products deals. If you haven’t received one, you haven’t been around at the right time.

Anyway, my most recent one was a Frontera At-Home Wine Tasting. We saved $5 off two bottles of Frontera Pinot Noir &/or Moscato. We bought one of each so here’s our review.

Frontera Pinot Noir:
Jason (not necessarily a red wine drinker): Surprisingly tasty for a red wine.
Me: Pretty Delish. I’d buy it again.

Frontera Moscato:
Jason: Not all that great.
Me: It was along the lines of most Moscato to me. I'm not a big Moscato fan though so I suppose that's not saying much. I'm more of a red wine gal myself.
We had friends over when we popped the Moscato bottle open & they enjoyed it so you should go taste for yourself.
Frontera Brand:
For the price, we would definitely try this brand again. We were very surprised by the tastes of these given the regular price of the wine. Our rebate made it even better!
I already passed out my rebate coupons, but there will be more so stay tuned until my next bzz ...

{... OOOORRRRR you could sign up to become a bzzagent yourself at www.bzzagent.com.}

P.S. I, of course, have to respond to my husband's delightful letter at another date. Y'all know how we do - can't be normal about anything. Plus he surprised me so I'll have to wait him out til he's not thinking about it anymore. Heh heh heh ... Still on that challenge flow even though I've been slacking. This one is "hard yo!"

Dear -ME-

Good day my friends,

As I sit and write this post, I reflected back on what we stand for (Table TalkN).  It’s quite simple, “Everything is on the table. Nothing is left unsaid. Join the conversation.”  That’s pretty direct and to the point.  Every post I have written and posted has been to the general public.  Sharing a story or 2, telling you of my most recent experience and/or thoughts.  While this post is not by any means private, it is directed at one person.  The person who has stolen my heart, got caught doing it, and refused to give it back.  This is my letter to my wife:

Dear -ME-

They say time flies when you’re having fun, but what about when you’re doing more?  While we haven’t reached the 7 year marriage point, I’m pretty confident I won’t EVER get the itch!  I am having too much fun every day that I wake up next to you.  We always seem to find things to talk about, and even when we don’t agree, we do agree that we each have a valid point.

You have given so much of yourself to me, more than you would anyone else and for that, I thank you.  You have allowed me to enter into that dark recess of your heart and allowed me to comfort you when you’re sad, laugh with you when you're happy and sit with you, when you just want to be quiet.

And even though you claim to be the “mean one” of the two of us, it’s relative.  Because, no matter how hard you try, you can’t help but to give love to everyone you come into contact with.  They may not like what you are saying (self included) but it always comes from a place of love and I appreciate that.

You said the other day, that you feel for our son because he loves so hard and it might cause him to get hurt as he grows.  He learned that from you ya know?!  The reasons that he has such a big heart is because of you.  He may have gotten his million dollar smile from me, :-D  but he loves like his “mommy”.  I thank you for bringing another level of your love to me.  You continue to find ways (whether intentional or not) to show me how much you love me.

Let it also be known, that you inspire me.  The reasons that I do what I do is so that you can be happy & taken care of.  I was hanging with some of my friends the other night and they were speaking about their wives (nothing bad) but just talking about what they (the wives) do that they (the husbands) like.  And one asked, “if they do “xyz” do the husbands reciprocate?”  I couldn't help to think that I’m so glad that our relationship is not like that.  It’s not an “if, then” relationship.  We do for each other because we genuinely want to do nice things.  I don’t work out for all the traditional reasons, I know that you appreciate that I’m in shape. (Maybe a little ego plays a part, but it’s not a big part...)

So as I sit here, reflecting back on the past 8 years of my life (1 year without you and 7 with you in my life) my admiration and gratitude for you continues to grow. I realize that I may have “found you”, but you chose me, and for that, I thank you!

I love you, always!



Been Awhile

It's been awhile since I last did a post. Yes, I'm still doing the challenge. Just haven't had the energy to post. Life transitions are draining for me, but it's cool. I'll be back soon. I actually have quite a bit of writing to get out from the past week or so. How long has it been anyway? Oh well, I'll get better.

You'll read about my Tea Experiments, Coupon Excitement, Gallie and more ...


Friday Night Jazz

Here's a glimpse into how we spend some of our Summer Friday nights.

Come on out & join the fun at the Canton Color Tour Jazz Series.

Best Friends - Toddler Style

Have you ever had a friend that you’re just excited to see?!

Lil man has a friend like that. It is very heartwarming that he has found a friend that is just as excited to see him as he is to see him. They run to each other like they haven’t just seen each other the other day. I mean it’s like a movie scene to see these two running towards each other. Then they cry when we must separate them for any reason (dinner, bath/bed time, rain, etc) and we all cringe to have to be the parent to initiate it. We try to work together and plan around each other.

The other great thing about this is that we like our lil man’s best friend’s parents too. They’re cool peeps and we love that they’re our neighbors and the parents of his lil friend. The kids are both around the same age (friend recently turned 3) so we’re looking forward to them attending school and just growing up together. Fun times ahead!!

{... excerpt from today’s thoughts as the kiddies played a lil longer than planned in their battery operated vehicles}


New Phone Day

Today (or by the time y'all read - yesterday), I got a new phone. Woo hoo! If you know me well enough, you know that it was an exciting day. Productive only in the respect that I spent the day getting to know my new phone, my new Life Companion- that's what it calls it self. For now, I call it Gallie - not very creative, I know - but I may rename it after it has been fully integrated into my life, our life.

Lil Man hasn't gotten acclimated with Gallie just yet, but there's always a "cheese" ready:

{... an excerpt from today's antics}