Shopping

Are you talking to me?

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    As I made my way through the grocers on Friday, it appeared that I had broken out in the words, “Talk to me.” At first it seemed kind of random, and then it became kind of creepy. I am uncertain why people I don’t know like to begin conversations with me. Some of the conversations are to my face and some have been to the back of my head, and while I was leaning over to check the beef selections, there was even one to my butt. Each time, to make sure I was not being rude, disrespectful to my elders, I responded with the same question, “Are you talking to me?”
    Evidently, the older gentlemen picking sweet potatoes, was conversing with me. It seemed to be a burden on his mind that “people need to get right, because the end is coming near.” I looked to my left, then right, and even over my shoulder. “I’m sorry, are you talking to me?” He was, and the price of sweet potatoes triggered some mental flash in him that the end of the world is coming because both sweet and white potatoes prices were on the rise. After he left, I went over to make sure that one of the sweet potatoes didn’t have an image of the Virgin Mary in it. No, it was just random.
    Milling my way through the fresh produce and down the canned goods aisles, Grandma Mazur decided to stop me so I could help her find a can of red salmon. However, the conversation first started with how all the stores carried the pink and not the red. Not meaning to frown, I asked, “are you talking to me?” She was angry and frustrated and just wanted some red salmon. I pointed to the red can and even went as far to hand it to her. They were the only red cans of salmon, ergo, red salmon, so calm down lady.
    It just got stranger from there. I was asked did I know how to make weenie stew. I have never heard of such but figured it required beef franks instead of the normal hot dogs. Another lady wanted tomato paste in the tube; do they even make that? I was polite and told her to try Publix or fresh market since that was a specialty item. If she shopped in this store often, she could ask the manager to order it for her. “That’s what they did in the Tobacco Road store, they ordered me some polenta,” she smiled and continued, with unbridled excitement, “it came in real quick like too!” Yes, it was uncomfortable to me too. Even more uncomfortable was me bending over the beef bin and hearing, “yeah, that looks real tasty.”
    I turned to find a diminutive version of my grandfather eyeing the rump roast. Or was he eyeing my rump? I refused to ask if he was talking to me because the mental implication was just too creepy and gross to fathom. I am not certain what it is about me that prompts spontaneous conversation, but it happens to me all the time. I must have a friendly face or a Doppelganger that needs to learn to shut the bleep up. It is even funnier to me that although I am polite and answer, most people would leave me be, if the only knew what I was just thinking.



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Organize Me

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    One of the biggest requests that come through my office is for personal organization. Often, the customer feels as if life is overwhelming and getting day to day tasks completed is taking over their life. Normally after hearing the stories of finding the car keys in the refrigerator or the inability to stay asleep all night, I usually start the customer off with a better to do list. However, before we can build a to-do list, we must first turn off the distractors, which are the things that prevent you from being organized.

    According to All You Magazine, there is a top ten lists of items needed to help you master getting organized.

  1. Maintain a calendar so you can keep track. http://Cozi.com has a great online family calendar.
  2. Make a list of priorities. Take 15 minute every evening to map out what has to happen the next day. This way, you to do list can turn into a done list.
  3. Practice makes perfect and you must practice a new routine to be for it to become part of your daily habit. Yes, this included bad eating, failure to exercise, putting off and feeling like a slug.
  4. When are you at your best? If you find that in the wee hours of the morning before every one arises is the sweetest time of the day, make this time your magic hours. If you need to stretch, read, pray, meditate or whatever you require to make your day start out right and stay on track.
  5. Reach out and touch someone….instead of calling, no answer, calling again, just leave a message already. Tell your intended conversationalist what you want, when you plan to call them back or when you will available. I even saw an app called http://lucyphone.com will dial you when the party you reach is available.
  6. Make a decision and stick with it. Research has shown that your first reaction is the one you should go with. Get rid of the self-doubt and uncertainty and trust yourself.
  7. Log off and stop multi-tasking. Multi-tasking is fake word created by fake people who believe they are accomplishing a great deal, when in fact, they are accomplishing very little. Check your email in the morning, the afternoon and evening. Turn off some of the feeds on your phone and keep on point.
  8. You can stay on point if you learn to say no. The world is not going to end if you can’t be there. Go ahead, practice with me, say no. That felt good didn’t it? Try it again; say it with me, “no.”
  9. Ask for help. You are not going to be fully appreciated for all the little things you do. Hell, you probably won’t be appreciated for the big things you do either, so share the load. Delegate and pass some of that stuff on to somebody else.
  10. Sit down. The world is not going to end if you take a bath, read a book with a cup of tea or take a nap on that couch that you are always vacuuming.

Here are some fabulous sites to help you get started on your newly organized life.

Manage your entire task with this website. http://www.rememberthemilk.com/

Capture anything and everything with http://www.evernote.com/about/home.php

Organize your grocery shopping and menus all in one place http://get.ziplist.com/

Count the calories and stay on track with you diet at http://loseit.com/

Or create new work habits with http://todoist.com/ or another similar site https://wedoist.com/

iBroke

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    There are very few things in this life that genuinely surprise me. This past Christmas, I was pleasantly surprised by my family. My son, who is forever brooding in that dark, I am so deep manner, gifted me with a really cool watch. My husband usually gives me something impractical that I hold on to for several years before finding a good use for or he gives me something so practical, like socks, which one has to question his thinking. This year he surprised me. I received a gift certificate to my favorite store, Jo-Ann‘s, six new pairs of socks and I got an iPod.
    I have been fighting joining the iVerse for many years and often felt it was some form of an exclusive cult of white corded techies. This club consisted of mass collections of iDroids posing as techno beings, who spoke their own language as they made iMovies, published iBooks and downloaded iTunes. I just didn’t get it, but know I do. I was again surprised.
    My iPod came ready to go when I turned it on and after adding my little snacked out of apple sticker, I was now a part of the Hoi Polloi. I was now officially a Pod Person. I went online and joined the exclusive club and updated my iCloud. I thought, well how cool is this? I started considering ditching my Droid phone and just relying on my iPod for many of the functions I use on my Evo. I could save a boatload of cash each month while sticking it to the Sprint Gods. I proceeded to download my favorite apps like Foursquare, Fandango, Twitter, Facebook and of course, the Jo-Ann app. This was not enough. I want to be a part of the Tekkie universe so I needed to understand iWork which included iPages, iNumbers and iKeynote. In order to get these gems, a visit to the iStore was required. It turns out that each of these little applications were $9.99 each. Color me surprised!

    I then learned that I could also download my favorite movies, music, videos and books. All of these wonderful little pieces of the iVerse start at about $.99 each. Did I mention to even get the iPod started I had to give my credit card information? I wanted these things because I was now a Pod Person and Pod People needed Pod things to make their Pods grow and be bountiful. As day two rolls around, the shine is officially off the penny as well as the Pod, and I have just joined a new exclusive club called iBroke.
    However, although it is in our nature to want all the bells and whistles, we can fool ourselves that at $.99 each, I can just get the songs I want. I can watch movies on a cute little appliance that I can hold in my fingers while making my friends and other non-Pod people envious. I can show off my white ear buds and white cords and let others know that I too, was a member of the iClub. Screw that! I have satellite radio. I have Comcast Cable with Xfinity internet and wireless access in my home. I don’t want to watch a movie on a hand held apparatus. I want to kick back on my oversized couch, have an oversized bowl of popcorn and watch a movie on my big ass oversized television!
   Yet, I am grateful for my new toy because it provided fodder for me to rant about. I am even grateful for my six new pairs of surprisingly colorful socks. I am glad to also have a new MP3 player and even more grateful that hubby got the best one on the market.  I just don’t want to go broke to use it.  I will keep you updated on good deals and steals in the Apple Store and even more clever ways to use this device.  I am hoping, that in the end, I can remain optmistically surprised.


Tis the Season To Save Big!

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          It is that time of year again. It is the season of giving. It is the time of year when we sing Joy to the World, wish peace on earth and show good will towards men. It is also that time of the year to buy new small appliances and stock up the pantry and linen closet! Yes, that’s right, it’s the time of the year to buy some of the stuff you really want and need to make your life easier!
    I’m not different than my fellow man with the exception that Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the major shopping days for me! Yes, I will pick up a little something for Nana, big sisters, my favorite cousin as well, but right now, I am stocking up for me. This is the time of year when stores begin to overstock for the holiday season, but the beauty is they start to slash prices on December 26th as well. Starting the day after Thanksgiving, all the way through the New Year, you can really stock up and save. But before we get to the after Christmas deals, let’s get smart about the items for the holidays.

For example, these cups from QVC.com, you can get the set of six for a mere $25. Think about it, this makes six gifts for your co-workers or team mates. These are also great “extras” for those neighbors or people who drop by with a little something for you, now you have something for them. Now that is music to my ears.
    Speaking of music, this is also the time of year for great deals on DVD’s and CD’s, you can also buy now for birthdays and Easter baskets. Many of your favorite artist realease “Best Of” or live performances this time of year. Great stuffers for stockings, gift bags and baskets are picture frames, tools and bath products. It is also a great time of year to buy storage bins; they may all be in red and green, but what the heck, they are dirt cheap. This handy tub is $2.74 at Lowes and you can buy one and get one free. While in Lowes, every girl should have her own set of tools and for around $10, you can get the lady started.
    Last but not least, one of my favorite ideas, is to stock up the pantry with buy one get one deals. There are great deals on flour, sugar, cooking oils, broths and spices. The http://www.thecoupongodess.com also suggests that if you have room in the freezer, go ahead and buy that turkey or extra ham. I was also reading on mommysavers.com you can buy a set of eight dessert plates with mugs and separate these into sets of fours. Add in some small stocking stuffers like hot cocoa, or Bath and Body Works (5 for $5) products, you are good to go! Also, if you are a Foursquare user, look for the hidden deals and specials when you check in, it can save you a few bucks and often will give you a certain percentage off your purchases.

    Shopping for the holidays are great, but smart and savvy shoppers have loaded up all year and this is season to replenish the coiffures. I even scored a new food chopper and waffle iron for $2.84 on Black Friday at Wal-Mart. Forget the perfect card, here ya go neighbor, for your birthday, a new waffle iron! Now, I always have on hand a cute card or item for a birthday gift and you can too. After all, tis the season!