Hello and sorry for the mess!

Hello and sorry for the mess!

I say that a lot with a toddler.  Way more than I thought I would ever need to say it.

Anyway, I thought I would let you guys know that things are going to be a little bit messy for the next week or so.  I just upgraded to delf-hosting through 1&1.com. I love them and they have been so very helpful during all this mess!

Either way, things are going to be messing as I get everything just the way I want it! I hope you enjoy it!

Remember, keep your eye open there will be a lot of new stuff going on!

Until next time…

Hello world!

Hello world!

Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start writing!

Five Simple Ways to Save Money

Five Simple Ways to Save Money

Saving money is everyone’s goal in life. Regrettably, money has become central to life. But don’t fret, there are ways to save some money! Remember, every little bit counts.

Once I got into couponing and saving money, a lot of people ask me about my tips and tricks. So I have decided to share some of my tips in an ongoing series. Each week I aim to share what I know and what I learn with you guys.

One other little thing, there will be an announcement at the end of this post! Be on the look out for it!

Without further a due, let’s share some tips!

1. Shop once a week, or every other day. (Or aim to get all the shopping done at once.)

This is one of the most important tips you need to remember and use. Why? Well, this helps keep you within your budget.  How?  Two reasons: one, it cuts out all impulse buys that you often get when you go to the store and two, you are more mindful of what you are buying when you go once a month. You often keep an eye on the total due to it being a larger total than your daily stops.

It does take some planning. You won’t master it overnight. You have to learn how to plan meals out for a week or more out at a time. Also, you will start to notice more of what your family actually eats and what often sits in the back of the cabinets or fridge.

2. Shop with what is on sale.

Unless you only ever shop at Walmart, each week different stores have different things on sale.  This means that for one week, certain items are on sale that might me way less than Walmart.  (And I am not hating on Walmart, but if you can find a deal somewhere else, go for it!)  This has worked wonders for me.  I buy my meats when they are on sale and I try to stock up as much as I can.

Planning your meal ahead of time saves money but also, if you plan them around what is on sale that week you can save even more.  That means if chicken breasts are on sale for a $1 a pound, then plan a meal or two with chicken that week versus planning a steak dinner.  And then make sure you buy enough for later as well.

When you stack a coupon with a deal, while, just keep reading!

3. Collect coupons – lots of them.

Now, I don’t mean do go and buy a thousand Sunday papers (but that might help your local newspaper).  What I mean is buy a Sunday paper (or two) and scope out online for coupons.  Collecting coupons can take a little bit of time but once you have a few – and of what you actually use – then you should be okay.  For example, coupons.com is a great place and a very popular site for coupons. Your Sunday paper is a great place for coupons (and they sometimes have coupons that you can’t find online!)

4. Match coupons to sales (and learn to stack coupons).

This is the best way to maximize your savings. If you have a 50¢ of an item and that item is on sale 10/$10, you are getting that item for only 50¢.  Not all sales are that easy to figure out.

Some places often store coupons, which differ from manufacturer coupons.  Store coupons come for that store (and are often only good at that store). Walmart will take other store coupons but does not actually have their own store coupons – but this will be explored in greater detail at a later date!

I will use Target as an example.  They have store coupons, Cartwheel and they accept manufacturer coupons. You can stack all of them together (but only one store coupon, manufacturer coupon, and cartwheel offer) per item. This maximizes your savings!

But please remember, check each store’s store policy.  Each one is different and it’s important for you to know them.

5. Buy only what you need.  (Seriously, this is important).

This is a hard one for new couponers to grasp.  It’s hard to decide which deals to follow and which ones to let pass you by (trust me, I know this one very well).  It is so very important that you buy only what you need.  If you do not have a cat, do not buy the cat treats.  Even if you can get them for dirt cheap, do not buy them.  If you find a great deal on them, share that deal with a friend (who has a cat).  Do not buy two truckloads of paper towels because you can get then from less than a dollar.  Do you have room for all of that?  I’m guessing not.

That is the second half of shopping is that you need a place to put it all.  And please do not get me wrong, it is a wonderful thing to have a stockpile but you need to keep it in check.  Remember what levels of storage you are dealing with and stock up accordingly. On top of that, until you get the hand of saving all this money, be smart and start slow.  Do don’t try to lose fifty pounds in a day, why try to only spend $10 on a $100 order?  Start small and work your way up.

Okay, those are a few ways to save some money.  At least, they are ones that worked for me.  I hope you enjoyed this post – oh wait!  I promised you a surprise!   Okay, it’s just a simple small announcement.

I am going to post every Wednesday what is on sale (or a great buy) for central Nebraska! My goal is to share what I find a great deal.  There will be only a few stores at first but my goal is to cover more stores!  So be on the look out!  This should be happened next week! (And for my non-Nebraska folk, there might be a few that can be found anywhere, so I’ll keep you guys posted as well!)  I haven’t worked out all the details so the first few posts might be a little rough but I think you guys will enjoy it!  🙂

Until next time …

Five Signs You Are A Creative Person

Five Signs You Are A Creative Person

You dream in vivid color.

You often are caught staring out the window.

You struggle with knowing who you are.

If you nodded your head to any of these statements above, there is a chance you might be creative. But how do you really know if you are creative? Is there a test? Do you have to take a class? Can you read a book?  Well, no. It’s not that easy. To paraphrase Bob Marley, nothing worth doing is easy and if it’s easy, it’s not worth doing.

So take a moment, take a deep breath and read. If any of these traits click with you, there is a strong chance you are a creative person.

1. You have high energy but you are often quiet or at rest.

This seems like a contradiction (but just wait ’till you get further down). I can assure this in not the case. Creative people are often able to long hours on projects and not feel tired but full of energy. Their passion is what keeps them going (and a little bit of caffeine). Novelists work months on one project. Painters can work 48 hours straight on making sure the hair comes out just right. These are quiet actives but use lots of energy.

2. You often battle between two extremes.

Real vs fantasy
Extroverted vs introverted
Humble vs proud
Passionate vs objective
Rebellious vs conservative
Creative people are not simple people. Labels are not easily placed on them. People with a creative flair are often daydreaming but often it’s for a purpose. They need to dream up an upcoming scene in their masterpiece or they are trying to figure out how warp drive would work. They are out going about their art but often are hard to speak to in the grocery store. They humble to learn new information about their craft but (once in a while) too proud to see a fatal flaw in their painting. Living with two extremes is just a way of life for a creative person.

3. You risk having a higher chance of getting depression.

Regrettable, creativity often requires alone time. Lots of it. Being so isolated for long periods of time often increases the risk of depression. Not interacting with others (being human or animal) reduces interactions and reduces your emotional well-being. Humans evolved to interact with each other and when that is cut off, depression can creep in. So a word to the wise, remember to schedule in time to interact with others.

Another issue that increases depression is an extreme need for perfection. Artist, writers, musicians and other people in the creative world often hold themselves to high standards. Always having high standards and not always meeting those standard sometimes leave to the feeling of not being good enough or being a truly creative person.

4. You work hours that not everyone else works.

Creative people often work when it works for them verse working nine to five. This means they work early in the morning before everyone else is awake or long night hours after everyone is asleep. They often loose track of time and get lost in their work. This means they might start Monday and end Tuesday morning when their muse is truly singing to them. Other times they might only work for five minutes and call it a day. They often find a pattern that works best for them.

5. You step into the unknown.

Yes you! You took the time to look up creative people and their traits. This is just the first step to following your passion. Sometimes just acknowledging that you aren’t quite like the rest of people is following your passion. Once you acknowledge that, you can break away from the path and create your path. Stepping out into the unknown is a very common trait of the creative person and one that is crucial to creativity.

Consequently, do you feel like you are a creative person? Not all these traits apply to everyone. Hopefully, you might have felt a connection to one of these traits. Maybe know you know a little bit more about whether you are a creative person or not!

References –

http://expanded–consciousness.blogspot.nl/2013/12/10-paradoxical-traits-of-creative-people.html
https://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/199607/the-creative-personality
http://www.medicaldaily.com/what-genius-looks-common-traits-worlds-smartest-and-most-creative-284698
http://www.womenonbusiness.com/5-signs-you-are-a-creative-person/
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/04/creativity-habits_n_4859769.html

New Face; New Words

New Face; New Words
New Face; New Words

Well hello all!  It’s been a long time since I have been able to update.  Things in my personal life have kept me away but now I have been able to return!  It’s Return of the Steph!  Did you miss me?

Well, as you can tell, I have updated the site’s look.  I feel it’s a nice upgrade!  What do you think?

I’ve also updated my ‘about me’ page.  Please check it out here.  There are a few cute little girls on the page, but I’m a little partial.

Be on the look out, I will be posting about once a week!  I’ll see you soon!

Until next time!

In like a lion, out like a lamb…

In like a lion, out like a lamb…

That’s how March is often described as; it’s how I grew up remembering it. I lived on the East coast and I would hear it a lot. Every March first, the teacher would change the hearts and set up the lions and lambs.

Either way, March is almost always known to be a transitional month. Let’s just say that it is true for me this month!

Last month was pretty busy for me. A lot of things had been going on. Doctor appointments, babysitting a little more, so many school events and birthdays. Somewhere I once I read that February was the least popular month for birthdays. I don’t think that person ever met my family. My older cousin’s two oldest kids have birthday’s in February, my sister in law, myself and my mother in law all have birthdays. My sister in law’s, mine and my mother in law’s are all within a week – 20th, 23rd, and the 26th respectively. That is why we are always broke in February. Also, at the end of the month, my tiny terror came down with hand, foot and mouth disease. She’s been a little whiny but for the most part, she is doing well and seems to be healing well.

Anyway, on the writing front, I got close to nothing was done. It’s a bummer but it happens. But we have a new month and it means a new chance to get things done. So I am working on writing up some goals for me and for me to stick to. But overall, there are a few things that I am going to be working on!

The few things I am working on are:

  • working on creating content for this blog. I have done a few guest blogging but I haven’t done much for my baby. So that is my current goal. I got ideas, outlines and first drafts in the works
  • Short stories – I have a few short stories cooking on the stove at the moment. One is for the anthology I am partaking in. A few others one I am working on are for contests that I am hoping into entering into. (One of them is the Writer’s Digest annual contest). I will be writing, plotting and editing those bad boys within the month. (But not in that order. : -P )
  • I am also going to be working on replotting my sci-fi project that I had started last year and had worked on through two Camp NaNoWriMos and NaNoWriMo! I have the skeleton of the plot but I still need to work on it. My goal is to write the second draft during April’s Camp NaNoWriMo! (I’ll update you more on that fun challenge!)

Well, for the moment I think that is all. I have a lot of behind the scenes stuff to work on and I will try my best to keep you guys updated. I also have some interesting stuff to talk to you guys about as well! I promise, please keep your eyes open, it will be worth it!

Until next time…

Happy Birthday – TO ME!

Happy Birthday – TO ME!
Happy Birthday – TO ME!

Today is my birthday!  I just thought I would share! I’m a big 26! 🙂

So if you want to do something nice for me on my birthday, share my blog and tell your freidns to check me out!  It would make my day!

I’ll be back soon with lots of new stuff so please keep your eyes open!  (I know I have said this before but I promise I have lots of good stuff!)  🙂

So, happy birthday to me!

Until next time!

9 Tips To Break through writer’s Block | Sverve Blog

9 Tips To Break through writer’s Block | Sverve Blog

Source: Guest Blogger: 9 Tips To Break through writer’s Block | Sverve Blog

This is my guest post about breaking through writer’s block!  Tell me what you think!  Just click on the link and enjoy!  You can comment here or on the original page!  Thanks!  🙂

Those dreaded words: “writer’s block.”

If you are a blogger, writer, author, poet, or college student, those two words have probably attacked you. It’s a scary feeling. The words that are in your head will not get out of you. You can do all sort of things to break it; anything from praying to any deity you would like to (I often pray to the word gods or the blogging gods) but often times that doesn’t always fix the problem. The only problem that is going on is a word blockage problem. Anyone who uses words in a written form knows this problem. But, for every problem, there is an opposite and equal solution. So, here are a few tried and true solutions to breaking through writer’s block:

 

Take a nap

This sounds like procrastination but trust me on this, it’s not. Often times, the words will not come out of your head because your brain is running on empty. Have you ever tried to walk around the block after shopping for eight hours? I don’t think so. A nap will rest your brain and it might help get those words start to flow again.

 

Take a break

Again, this sounds like procrastination but it’s not. If you have a fever, do you go to school? If you have a broken leg, do you try to run the Boston Marathon? No, you take a break to recover and to step away for just a moment. Sometimes overworking the brain will cause a breakdown and 404 will show up. Step away from the computer, grab a pair of headphones and go for a walk around the block. Jam out to some music and let your brain just relax. It might just help you!

 

Go get inspired

This is simple yet a tricky task to balance. If you blog about food, go watch a cooking show (or two) but do not spend the next three weeks watching cooking shows. Writing the next science masterpiece? Watch some Star Trek (movie or a couple of shows) but do not watch all of the Original Series episodes, and then watch the first six movies. The point of this solution is to getinspired, not glued to the couch. Occasionally, the brain needs to be reminded of the subject matter. So, go remind it, not distract it.

 

Do a timed free write

If the writing juices are still running a little dry, try some freewriting. What is freewriting? Well, it is a writing exercise where you write for a short period of time and you ignore your inner critic and editor. You just let the words flow. The topic doesn’t have to be premeditated or perfect by any means. It’s not a ‘usable’ piece of writing – as in, you can’t just do a free write and publish it on your blog for your weekly post. But it will start to break the dam down and get some words out of your head; and, you might get an idea from the free write. So try to write for a solid five minutes and see where your brain goes.

 

Skip ahead

While this might be aimed more toward the novel or storytellers, this can also apply to the bloggers and article writers. If you are stuck on something, try something else. This might be writing whatever you are working on in another point of view or change up the writing program you are working with. If that isn’t working for you, skip that post (or chapter) and write that article or blog post that you really want to write or happen to be currently in the mood to write.

If your passion isn’t in it, then your brain won’t go along for the ride. If your brain doesn’t go for the ride, then your readers won’t want to tag along as well. You may never know, skipping might help you in the long run!

 

Scream

Go ahead, just let it out. (Unless you live with others or in an apartment building.) Screaming the stress away might open the floodgates to get the words going. Then again, just screaming might help you feel better. Just try to make sure you are alone.

 

Eliminate all distractions

Now, if you haven’t already done this, do it now. Stop tweeting. Stop checking your email. Stop watching cat videos (I know they are awesome but c’mon!) Exit out of Facebook. Stop watching reruns of that show on the USA network. Unplug the internet. Unplug the TV. FOCUS! This is what you need to do. You need to focus and get words on the page. I would guess that at least 10% of writer’s block problems are just the problem of distractions (I’m looking at you, college kid!)

 

Challenge yourself to a ‘writing challenge’

What’s this? Well, in layman terms, it is a challenge of writing that you create. Google the terms and you will have a lot of articles and a lot of lists of prompts. There are monthly, weekly, or even daily prompts that you try to write about and work with. If you are lost and don’t really have an idea on where to go with your writing, this will definitely help. It’s even better when you join a group; it will keep you accountable for getting stuff done!

 

WRITE

Yes, you read that right. Just write. Get words on the page. Ever heard of NaNoWriMo? That is the National Novel Writing Month, and you know what they are all about? Getting 50,000 words down on the page. Do they have to be the best? No! But the point is to get those words down on that page. It’s easier to fix a bad page of writing rather than trying to fix a blank page.So just write that rough draft of that blog post. Get those words down and fix them later. You’ll thank me later!

 

Getting over writer’s block is a challenge and it is something you have to work on. It might not happen overnight, but if you keep chipping away from that block, you just might clear it. But if you actually have a large metal box called ‘writer’, please, just pick it up and move it. That might solve all the problems you are having!

Big plans on the horizon

Big plans on the horizon
Big plans on the horizon

Like I have said before in other posts, I have big things planned for this site. At the moment, a lot of everything is going on in the background. So, unless you live in my head, you can’t see much of anything. As a result, today I will share a little with what is going on in my head. I am going to try my best not to confuse you and not have you become lost in my head along the way.

First thing is first, my current short term goal at the moment (for the blog) is for the next six weeks, I am going to post something once a week. After the six weeks (and after six more postings) I am going to add another post a week. At the moment, I haven’t decided on the topics but my goal right now if to just get back into the habit of posting again! So be on the lookout for that!

Also, on my plate is a short story I am going to write and publish in an anthology I am partaking in. I will keep you guys updated on that. At the moment, I am still plotting out the basic story line and research more about short stories.

Another thing on my plate is my science fiction WIP (work in progress) that I worked on during Camp NaNoWriMo and NaNoWriMo. I am working on editing it! I am completely reworking the plot but I will completely discuss all that in another blog post in great detail! I even have a book to share with you! 🙂 Be on the look out for that!

On top of all my writing goals, I have a family that I have to keep alive and a house to keep clean, so be on the lookout for posts about that stuff!

Well, I think that is all for me at the moment! 🙂 I will talk to you guys later! In the meanwhile, leave a comment below on what you have been doing recently! I would love to know what you guys have been up to!

Until next time…

 

2015 in review

2015 in review

So I thought I would share my year in review. It gave me a baseline on what to work on!

How did you year look like last year? Tell me in the comments!

Until next time…

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 3,300 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 55 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.