Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween!!!!

Enjoy this Halloween edition of Celebrity Deathmatch: *NSYNC vs. KISS!!!!!

Monday, October 30, 2006

He Does All His Own Stunts: Part 2

Looking out our bedroom window, we noticed that the boys and their friend had been throwing 1/2 inch gravel on the roof above the garage. They had amassed a nice sized collection up there. And for months, Q and I kept saying we need to get that roof cleaned off.

When Lucas got wind of our little project, he asked...no, begged us to let him climb on the roof and clean off the rocks. I had my reservations, but Luke really is the most sure-footed and fearless member of the family (when he was 2 years old, I found him perched on top of the refrigerator eating Halloween candy). Besides, at least one-third of the rocks were there because of he put them there.

Lucas was quite comfortable up there. So much so that we asked him to wash a window that hadn't been cleaned since we moved in 7 years ago.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Ms. Val's Bargain of the Week

Yesterday, the boys--all three of them--accompanied me to Kohl's to pick up a few things. After Q found the pants he needed, I decided to give a quick once-over to the clearance rack--because you're always bound to find something.

Well, among the sea of peachy-orange dress shirts, pink striped polos that Q would never wear, and size small everything, I found this green polo shirt priced at $3.50. It was size medium, but I made Q try it on anyway. It fit. We bought it. And all is good in the world.

Although, I must admit, there's just something wrong with the notion of buying a men's shirt for less money than a small soda at the movies. Oh well.

A Few Changes...

In case you haven't already noticed, I changed the name of my blog. I decided to rename it "The Fluffy Pink Blog" to reflect the usual subject matter (fluff) and my favorite color (pink).

No, the boys I love have not left the building. I will still continue to talk about the family, but there's more to my life than the husband and kids. And I want my blog to reflect that. Besides, we added a girl to our household a few months ago. The URL will stay the same for the time being. When and if I do change it, I will try to do so in a way that will allow both of my readers to find me with a minimum of muss and fuss.

Also, I have added music videos! I want to thank within without for teaching me how to that. If you find my taste in music too odd (some do....isn't that right, Quinton?) then feel free to turn it off. Anyway, I'll be changing it often. You might get KISS one day and Air Supply the next.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Knots Landing: The First 200, Part 1

Here's a two-part recap of the best show ever made--Knots Landing. Knots, IMO, is even better than Dallas (sorry, Christopher and Papa). Also, Mark G. posted a similar homage to Star Trek: The Next Generation on his blog.

Even if you're not a KL fan, it's worth a watch. There's some cussing in part two so watch with discretion.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Without Mom, The Household Stops.

I've been a little under the weather the last few days (but I'm never too sick to bitch!) Still, I'm forcing myself to do the basics: attend my classes...go to the doctor...help the boys with their homework...placate Jango... I can barely take care of myself, much less everyone else. Everytime I stand up I feel like I'm going to faint.

As a result, the house has gone to the dogs (and cat). And I've decided that I don't care. If there are no clean dishes, someone will eventually wash them. If the boys run out clean underwear, they will turn them inside out, rinse them out in the sink, or (gasp!) do a load of laundy. Either way, I don't care.

I noticed that the milk jug is almost empty. If someone wants milk, they can go buy it. The store is only a mile away. Nah, I think they'd rather drink water or V8 Splash.

It's a good thing today's Friday because there's just enough pastrami left for one more lunch for Lucas. Damn, I wish that boy would acquire a taste for cafeteria food. Kyle says it's all good. But then, that boy will eat anything.

In the meantime, if the trash can overflows and stinks up the house, it's all my fault. Oh F*%#!^& well........

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Thursday 13: The Anniversary Edition

Today is Q's and my 15th anniversary. We just celebrated last weekend because Q has customers in town all week. Today's Thursday 13 illustrates my theory as to why we have lasted so long--we are complete opposites.

1. He’s a country boy and I’m a city girl.

2. He’s quiet, easy going, and laid back. I am loud, wound up like a top, and easily stressed.

3. His style is simple and casual. Mine is colorful and flamboyant.

4. He’s a saver; I’m a spender.

5. He’s a left brain; I’m a right brain.

6. His movie preferences include court room dramas, action films and whodunits, while I like comedies and cheesy, campy garbage films.

7. He loves to cook, bake, grocery shop, and watch Food Network. I prefer order a pizza.

8. He likes to watch the Fox News Channel. I prefer….anything but.

9. Him: banana nut bread. Me: Banana Republic

10. He likes ice cubes. I prefer my ice crushed.

11. He thinks I have enough handbags. I think he should be grateful that I’m not a jewelry person.

12. My ideal date night: Dinner at an upscale sushi bar in North Scottsdale…complete with valet parking and overpriced Jell-O Martinis. His ideal date night: Attending a Diamondbacks game where the tickets and food are free. Double points if it’s t-shirt giveaway night.

13. I’m picky about the cars I drive. I will only buy cars that have things like cool taillights, big radio buttons, and the shifter has to be on the floor. His only requirement for a car is that it runs.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The B List

Belgian waffles; baggy jeans; being different; Bee Gees; baby boys; baby girls; Ben Stiller movies; Best Week Ever; bargain shopping; bike riding down a hilly street; blogging; Banana Republic; blueberry pancakes; books about decorating; books about dishes; books about decorating with dishes; bright colors; bold prints; breaking bread; blond-haired; blue-eyed boys; black olives; belts; brownies; Beetles--new and classic; bloody marys; Burberry; birthday cake; the Betty bowl; bubbles; Brighton Collectibles; being the bitch; Bed, Bath, and Beyond; Boz Scaggs; birthday cake; blankets; beaches; brisk Fall mornings; breaking the rules; being right; breakfast foods; boys not fighting for an entire day; being bold, brash, and brazen; big, brown kitty;

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Leave Shyness Behind

This was played on a local radio station the other morning. After about 30 seconds of searching, I found it a postable version.


Monday, October 23, 2006

Palm Springs Weekend

You know you're almost there when you get to the windmill farm.

We were both drunk on $4 martinis when I took this picture

I don't know how he did it, but Q managed to wedge our car into this super tight parking space. When we got out of the car, a table full of restaurant diners gave him a round of applause. Lucky for us, the other two cars left first. By the time we left, the nearest car was a Hummer that was parked a good five feet away.
What's wrong with this picture?

I'm not just the president, I'm also a client.

We drove the whole way home with the top down. And I have the sunburn to prove it.

This is what happens when its my turn to drive.

Fast Food!!!!!!

I would really love to know the story behind the naming of this road.

Friday, October 20, 2006

The Mr. and I are off for our anniversary weekend in Palm Springs. No kids. No homework. No cleaning. No fighting. No whining. No, I might never come home again!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Thursday 13: The T-shirt Edition

I don't own or wear novelty t-shirts. But if I did, this is what my shirt drawer would look like. I'm seriously thinking about buying #1.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

So much for the water dish....

Jango has decided that when she wants her water, she wants it FRESH...right out of the tap! Sure, I clean her bowl and give her clean water everyday--from the filtered refrigerator dispenser, no less. But she has decided that this will only do in a pinch.

No, whenever I'm in the bathroom, Jango will jump on the counter and glare at me until I turn the faucet on to a slow trickle. Then she eases into the sink and helps herself to a drink.

I submitted the above photo to Cats In Sinks--a website that shows photos of...cats in sinks! I hope they add Jango. Although considering that every other cat on there is lying in the sink instead of drinking from it, I'm not so sure.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Fun With Telemarketers!

My aunt sent me an email of this last week. Unfortunately, I don't know how to put mp3 files on Blogger, but I'm a whiz with YouTube.

This is audio only...no pictures.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Ms. Val's Bargain of the Week

When I decorated our guest room a few years ago, I wanted to do it in girlie style. After all, it was the only room that Q didn't object to me painting pink. To complete the look, I bought this pastel patchwork comforter for the bed. The colors are just perfect. And admittedly, I bought it purely based on how it looked.

Problem is, the comforter is useful only during cold weather...which we only get in Phoenix maybe 2 months out of the year. It's useless the rest of the time. Also, the fact that the guest room window faces south--making it the warmest room in the house--doesn't help matters.

Since we'll be having a series of guests staying here in the next few months, I felt a new blanket was in order. I wandered into Linens 'n' Things and headed straight to the clearance department. Let the digging begin.

And that's exactly what I did. There were quite a few blankets and comforters that had been taken out of those plastic zipper bags and replaced. As such, many bags that were labeled "Full/Queen" actually contained Twins.

I finally found this lightweight down blanket. The original price was $50. It been marked down to $40 before being relegated to the clearance section, where everything was 50% off.

So, after my 20% off coupon and tax were applied, I got this blanket for $17.29.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Our Anninversary is in 2 Weeks....

Let the hint-dropping begin.

Coach Soho Signature Hippie Flap

Friday, October 13, 2006

Happy Birthday, Baby!

Happy Birthday to the original Boy I Love, Quinton. You're almost as cute now as you were 37 years ago.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Some children read the backs of cereal boxes...

My son studies the Arizona's Ballot Propositions and Judicial Perofrmance Review Guide. This is what I found him doing this morning in his down time between eating breakfast and leaving for the bus stop. Lucas was really trying to decide who or what he should vote for. I don't yet have the heart to tell the boy that he has to be 18 to vote.

I'm thinking about taking him with me to vote on Election Day. It might be a fun experience for him to see the process in action. I'll take Kyle too if he wants, but I'm afraid it would cut into his video game playing time.

Thursday 13: The Quinton Edition

Following kj's lead, I am publishing this week's T13 a little early because I don't plan on getting to the computer until later tomorrow.

1. Friday is Quinton’s birthday.

2. Last year, Q took an interest in cooking. In that time, he has accumulated enough cookware and gadgets to necessitate remodeling our kitchen.

3. Q’s favorite movie is Groundhog Day. He also likes It’s a Wonderful Life.

4. Quinton has a very dry, sarcastic sense of humor. Sometimes he’ll say things that make me laugh so hard that he’ll just look at me and shake his head.

5. I am so lucky to have a husband who is supportive of my decision to stay home with our boys—even now that they’re school aged. It’s the way he was raised.

6. Quinton makes the best homemade pizza ever.

7. While he was in the hospital, Q didn’t eat a crumb of food for six weeks. He lost over 20 pounds. We wouldn’t recommend that diet to anyone.

8. Quinton is very a level-headed, rational thinker. I’m a total dreamer who goes around with my head in the clouds. Very frequently, Q has to grab me by the ankles and pull me back down to earth.

9. Q is the best daddy ever. Complete strangers often compliment him on the way he interacts with the boys.

10. Quinton is the best friend I have ever had. And I didn't realize just how true this was until we nearly lost him earlier this year.

11. One of our favorite movies to watch together is Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan. We've seen that movie so many times that we can recite the lines. Q does the best Captain Kirk imitation: "If you want to kill me, Khan, you're going to have to come down here. You're gonna have to Come Down Here!"

12. Quinton is a baseball fan. His favorite team is the Arizona Diamondbacks, but he’ll watch any baseball game that happens to be on at a given time. One year for my birthday, I got spring training tickets.

13. Q has a great baritone voice. I love it when he sings along with the deep-voiced guy from the Oak Ridge Boys.

It's too bad this list only allows for 13 items. I could add quite a few more.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Confessions of a Bargain Hunter

I love a good bargain. For me, the best kinds of bargains are the ones that occur when you’ve been coveting an item for awhile. It can be any item: a Fiesta vase…a cashmere scarf…set of 1000 thread count bedsheets. You stare at its picture on a store website. You cut its picture out of a store circular. You read the description over and over. You might even go to the store to visit your desired bauble.

You wait. And wait, hoping it will go on sale. Then one day, you break down and decide to treat yourself. You’re going to buy this item you’ve been wanting so much. You approach the cashier to make the purchase, and…your item rings up at far less than what you expected to pay. For me, that has to be the best kind of bargain rush.

Other bargain hunting rules I live by:

--I never, Never, NEVER, NEVER, go to Linens 'n' Things or Bed, Bath and Beyond without a coupon. I'll bet I've gotten enough of those blue and white 20% off cards to wallpaper the downstairs bathroom.

--And speaking of the downstairs bathroom, the reason I haven't redecorated it yet is because the mirror I want is at Joann Superstore, and I haven't yet received a 40% off coupon from them. The regular price of the mirror is $100. That coupon would give me a $40 savings, people!!!!!

--Errant eBay listings always make my day.

--Staples always offers free shipping on purchases of $50 or more. Once, when buying $48.58 in printer ink cartridges, I added a $1.49 pack of unneeded BIC pens just to qualify for free shipping. I do the same thing at Amazon.com.

--I save and reuse gift bags, shirt boxes, and bows.

--Often,--usually during holdiay weekends-- our grocery store has soda on sale for $2.50 per 12 pack, limit 4. At that price, I want more than that!!! During those times, I will buy my limit. But then, I will load a second shopping cart with 4 additional soda boxes, give Kyle my extra shopper's card, $12 cash, and send him to check-out line to pay.

--Speaking of Kyle, I have taught him that it's better to buy a used Nintendo game for $7 at Amazon Marketplace than for $20 at Target. The extra cash in has pocket means that waiting a few days for the game to arrive in the mail is not a big deal.

--I don't buy liners for the small garbage cans. Plastic grocery bags work just as good.

--I can't smell fresh flowers, baked goods, or barbecue. But I can smell a clearance rack a mile away.

--I keep driving until I find cheaper gas...even if the tank is near empty.

--I open department and specialty store charge accounts just for the coupons. This is the only reason I got a Victoria's Secret account. As Q once said: "Geez, they really rob you women on the price of bras!" My husband has seen the light.

--I have taught our two boys that for the $2 apiece that the ice cream man charges for popsicles, I can go to the grocery store and buy enough popsicles to feed every kid on our street.

--I rarely ever turn down free furniture. If I don't have room for it, I will MAKE room!

--If you're willing to wait long enough, it WILL go on sale.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Weekend Roundup

Friday night:
--6:00: Dinner consisted of
Q’s homemade pizza. Great stuff! I really need to make a few of these things to keep frozen.
--7:30 Went to Skate Night. The boys’ school rented out the skating rink for the night. The boys wanted to go, although neither one knows how to skate,
which is apparently my fault.
--9:00 The boys did surprisingly well for not having much skating experience. Stopped at McDonald's for flurries on the way home.

--7:30: Wake up and mope around the house. Get breakfast. Lucas has drum lessons at 9.
--8:30: Run around the house looking for Luke’s drumsticks and notebook.
--8:40: Luke and Q leave. I get to enjoy some piece and quiet, AND I get to turn off the Fox News Channel.
--9:00: Time to buckle down and work on my architectural history notebook.
--9:50: Q and Lucas return home with a box of donuts. Time for a break!
--10:00: Back to the notebook. Kyle goes outside to play. He and his friends end up back here. They’re upstairs playing Runescape.
--12:45: I’m still in my jammies. Lunch consists of cheese and mushroom omelets, hash browns, and maple sausage.
--1:30: I’m mostly done with the Early Christian and Byzantine stuff. It’s all so boring. I desperately need a nap.
--5:00: Kyle comes in my room: “Mom! Mom! Mom! MOM!” “Hmmm…” “Can “Daniel” spend the night tomorrow night?” “You woke me up for that?!?!?” “Sorryyyyy! GOSH! But can he?” "Hmph. We'll see.”
--5:05: Got up and went downstairs. We had hamburgers for dinner.
--8:30: Watched Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan. Q and I annoyed the boys by reciting the movie.
--10:30: Tried to sleep but my brain was in overdrive. Came downstairs to work on future blog posts.
--11:00: Finally went to bed for good.

--6:30: Woke up. Cinnamon Toast Crunch for breakfast. This stuff is my new addiction.

--7:00: Read an interesting news article about recycling. I had no idea pizza boxes weren't allowed in recycling bins. I also didn't know disposing of my recyclables in a plastic garbage bag renders them useless.
--9:00: Got dressed and did the laundry. It’s better than researching Romanesque and Norman architecture!
--10:00: Got Q off the couch and the boys off the computer. Approached the threshold of Psycho Mom mode: “This house isn’t going to clean itself!!!!!”
--10:02: Threatened grounding if the whining doesn’t stop.
--10:10: The boys are fighting over who gets to use the Swiffer Sweep n Vac. Kyle can use the SnV. Luke can use the Wet Jet when he's done.
--10:30: Cleaning continues: sorting clothes…folding clothes…hunting down baskets…gathering empty hangers out of closets…clearing clutter off the tabletops…dirty Fiesta bowls are emerging like forgotten Easter eggs. I’d much rather be doing this than the architectural history swazi.
--11:00: Lunch was leftover pizza for me; leftover chili for Lucas. I’m not sure when or what Kyle ate. He was outside.
--11:10: Took a study break for the rest of the day
--2:00: Alternated between Flip That House marathon on TLC and A-Team marathon on TV Land.
--6:30: Picked up a pizza from Brothers. Storm clouds looming large in the southeast. I know it will rain. I’ve got the top down.
--7:30: Major rainfall! The boys are going crazy. Luke is outside running around in it.
--8:00: Desperate Housewives!!!!!
--8:15: Ate my weight in Oreos.
--9:30: Lights out. But not before publishing a quick blog entry.

--7:00: Wake up. Treat myself to two bowls of Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Boys don’t have school today. Today is their “Fall Break”. In a vain attempt to be politically correct, we can’t call it Columbus Day. Anyway, it’s going to be a leisurely morning.
--8:00: Watch two episodes of The Hogan Family. I LOVED that show when I was a kid.
--9:00: Start work on outline of Romanesque and Norman architecture.
--10:00: Decide to go clean out the garage. This illustrates just how much I'm hating this assignment!
--11:30: Eeked out a few minutes of work before…
--12:00: Q got hungry and we went out for smoothies.
--1:00: Came home. Got down to business and started working again.
--5:00: Finally got the Romanesque and Norman stuff done.
--5:30: Dinner’s on the table. Spaghetti with jarred sauce
--6:30: Leave for drafting class.

Weekend over.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Eye Candy!

Enjoy this KISS video, featuring my rock star boyfriend, Paul Stanley (the lead singer). This guy wears more pink in this video than I have in my whole closet. There's also a few pretty pink guitars.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Ms. Val's Bargain of the Week

Since I had to cough up a pretty penny for a new set of tires this week, I wasn't able to pick up any real bargains. Unless you want to hear about how I bought a can of olives for 69 cents the other day. I didn't think so.

Instead I'd like to share the tale of an unexpected bargain that fell upon Kyle's about five years ago.

There was a Lego town set he had been wanting. It was called Roadside Repair. The set cost $50 (Legos aren't cheap), which is a lot of money for a 7-year old to save up. So I made him a deal: if he saved up half the money, I’d kick in the other half.

Kyle was very diligent about saving his pennies. He did extra jobs around the house. He helped a neighbor pull weeds. He also fished loose change out of the sofa cushions and from under the clothes dryer. I think one, or both of his Grandmas might have spotted him a few bucks.

Anway, It took a good month or so, but he saved up that $25. And when he did, I drove him to the toy store after school to pick up the Lego set.

When we got register to pay, I went fishing for my debit card. Meanwhile, Kyle was shoveling his life savings--mostly ones and coins--into my purse. But wait! The total for the Lego set rang up to $26 and change, after tax! After we got to the car, I gave Kyle $13 of the cash he had just put in my purse.

Kyle was shocked: "Mama, that's your money for the Lego set!"
I explained to him that the set had gone on sale for alot less than we were expecting to pay. "And I did promise to pay half. A deal's a deal."

Kyle grinned from ear to ear: "Cooooool......"

It would have been really easy for me to let Kyle pay for the entire Lego set himself. After all, he did have enough cash to cover the entire purchase alone. But I truly felt that I should pass the savings on to him. It was the Mommy thing to do. Plus, I wanted him to experience the rush of getting a good deal--and an unexpected one at that.

I don't remember how he spent the $13 he had leftover. All I know was he walked out of the toy store with a Lego set, extra cash, and the knowledge that delayed gratification can pay dividends.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

The Family Buzzword Is.....

Swazi. It was funny how this came about. During dinner on Tuesday night, the conversation came up about the countries in Africa. Kyle's social studies class had just finished a section on Africa in which they had to learn the names of all the countries. We started rattling off some of the more obscure names: Djibouti came up. As did Burkina Faso, Lesotho, and Burundi.

And then someone mentioned Swaziland. I don't remember much of what happened next because I was laughing too hard. And the strawberry daiquiri I had in me didn't help matters. I do know Q and the boys started throwing around phrases like:

"Get your little swazi in here!"

"This bathroom smells like swazi."

"Oh, swazi!!!!!"

"You've got some swazi on your face."

On Wednesday, during a trip to Target the boys were helping me load our purchases into the trunk. Lucas picked up the toilet paper and announced: "Look, Kyle! Mom bought some TP for your swazi!"

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to work on this swazi for architectural history class.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Not Again!

Yes, again. I can't believe it. For the fourth time in as many months, we've had tire trouble. But this time, it was on the Mustang. Thursday morning, as I was driving south on 67th Ave, I heard a slight flapping noise coming from the right side of the car. I must have hit some litter and the car is now dragging it. After all, Phoenix is legendary for its road trash...and it's happened to me before.

So I pulled off the road into a church parking lot. I got out and walked to the other side of the car. No road trash here. No cardboard boxes, no plastic grocery bags, no carpet scraps. Nothing.

I looked closer. The front-right tire had little silver threads sticking out of the edges. The tire is coming apart at the seams.

I called Quinton. Unfortunately, he had already gotten to work, but all I needed was advice anyway: should I have the car towed or drive it one mile to the shop. Since I'm too cheap to pay a tow bill, Q told me what I wanted to hear: "Drive it to Fletcher's...just keep it under 35". That shouldn't be a problem since it's still rush hour.

I limped the car up the street to the tire place. The manager came out and looked at my car. The two left tires were almost as bad as the one in the front. And the right-rear tire wasn't too far behind. I needed a whole new set of tires.

I knew these were "z-rated" high-performance tires, which typically didn't have a long life, but come on! These tires had less than 20,000 miles on them!

Anyway, the manager recommended an "h-rated" tire. These perform well at high speeds, but they aren't a racing tire. Fine with me because I don't plan driving 150 mph anyway. In fact, the car merely gets used for errands, commuting, cruising around town, and the occasional road trip.

Also, these new tires have a longer tread life, but "the tread pattern isn't as fancy" as the our old tires. "I don't care what the tread looks like!" I told the manager. Well, apparently there are people who do.

This ordeal--just like any car trouble--was an inconvenience. For starters, I missed my architectural history class. But in the grand scheme of things, the circumstances under which this happened couldn't have been better. I was able to pull off of the road quickly and safely. I was close to home, and I was even closer to the shop. And the shop manager was nice enough to give me a ride home while they worked on the car.

Also, it's better that this happened to me doing 40 mph on a surface street than Quinton doing 60 mph out on I-17. And I'm really glad it didn't happen two weeks from now when we'll be traveling I-10 between Phoenix and Palm Springs for our anniversary trip.

And speaking of our which, I think I just got a set of new Fuzion HRIs for our anniversary.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Thursday 13

1. During a recent trip to Dairy Queen, I noticed that they seem to name their menu items after natural disasters: Brownie Earthquake...Blizzard...Pecan Mudslide... Is the thought of catastrophe and widespread human suffering supposed to make us hungry for ice cream?

2. Q: "Honey, do you have class this morning?"
Me: "I have class every morning."

3. Olivia Newton-John is one of my favorite singers. So when Xanadu came on late night cable awhile back, I taped it (no Tivo yet). By the time I got around to watch it, I couldn't. The beginning of that movie was so bad that I turned it off after 10 minutes. Too bad because I loved the soundtrack. And I usually like bad movies!

4. I'm getting sick and tired of this Oxiclean detergent ball commercial. This ad insults the intelligence of the average American laundry-doer. Really, how hard is it to measure and pour detergent???? Sheesh!!!!

5. Quinton has been out of the hospital for almost 5 months. And I am just now feeling confident enough about his recovery to box up and remove the medical supplies from our bathroom.

6. When the boys get home from school, Kyle's first stop is the couch to love up to Jango. Lucas' first stop is the popsicle box in the freezer.

7. I used to think that the Lysol pop-up wipes were an unnecessary luxury. That is, until I broke down and bought some for the bathroom. I was so wrong!!!! These things are great for quick touch-ups. They also curtail the inevitable build-up of hairspray residue that occurs on my sink. I finally realized that the worst part of cleaning the bathroom was lugging the spray cleaner, rags, sponges, and other crap up the stairs. The bathroom is easier to keep clean if you don't let it get dirty in the first place.

8. Ces' house cleaning posts have obviously had an effect on me.

9. It is my opinion that the best music ever came out in 1979.

10. And the best movies came out in 1982.

11. I scored 97% on my first architectural history project. Yep, I'm happy.

12. I finally figured how to keep my stainless refrigerator clean. I had bought several brands of stainless steel cleaner, but apparently I wasn't using enough product! I guess the "less is more" rule only applies to the wax I use on my hair.

13. Every year for Halloween, I give out glow bracelets instead of candy. The kids love them, but they don't like being told they can only have one each. Last year, I ordered 300 and we ran out.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The Boys' Bathroom

I decorated this room a few years ago. While I still like the way it looks, this bright turquoise color is a bit bold for this small, windowless room. Actually, I'm quite proud of underwater look of the bathroom. In fact, I'd probably rather add a skylight than repaint it.

The wallpaper fish actually came from a boarder that I found in a clearance basket at the Laura Ashley store. It took a few nights in front of the TV, but I managed to cut every little fish, sea turtle, and starfish out of the boarder. I pasted them to the wall and used the rim of a paper towel roll dipped in white paint to form the bubbles.

I hung these hooks low so the boys could easily hang up their towels after baths and showers. Who was I kidding? These hooks only get used when I nag loud enough.

It took a whole entire week's vacation, but Q and I laid this tile ourselves. We haven't done a tile project before or since, but I think our next one will be hired out.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

EVal KineVal

I am not a person who lives dangerously. My idea of living on the edge is making a left turn out of the Fry's parking lot near my house! In fact, I think this healthy fear of daredevil behavior has gotten me all the way to the age of 33.

But last night was different. As I was leaving for school, I noticed the gas tank was low...I mean, VERY low--way below one-quarter. No problem. I'll stop at one of the dozen stations I pass on the way to school.

I approached to the Circle K station at Happy Valley Road. $2.29 per gallon! It's below $2.20 everywhere else in the Phoenix area. No thank you.

Five miles south at the 101 Freeway, there's a Mobile station, but I refuse to go there due to the nature of their business practices. For the longest time, this was the only station in the area. Well, this made them so arrogant that they don't even have a sign posting their prices!

Two miles away at Bell Road is an Arco station. I won't stop there, either because they charge a 25 cent fee if you pay with your debit card. Keep driving.

Right after I passed the Arco station, I noticed a flash of yellow in my periperhal vision. The "Low Fuel" light had just kicked on. $#!T!!!!! I've never seen that before!

At Greenway Road, there's a Diamond Shamrock station. Their price is $2.17. I'd like to stop, but I'm in the wrong lane. Double $#!T!!!!! Besides, I'd kind of like to stop someplace where I can make a right-turn in and a right-turn out.

As I approached Thunderbird Road, the whole right lane was blocked due to parking lot construction at the Sonic hamburger place. Traffic merged left and everyone slowed down. I was sweating bullets at this point. I just know the car is going to drop dead here and now where there's no shoulder to pull into. And to make matters worse, the driver in front of me stopped to let other cars out of the Sonic driveway. Nooooo!!!!!!!!!!

Just past the Sonic is another Circle K gas station. Here, the price is $2.19 and it's on the right side of the road. YES!!! I made it...upholding a lifetime streak of never running out of gas. And as an added bonus, I managed to fill up the near-empty tank for just under $30!

Flamingo World

I love shopping online. I don't have to wait for stores to open. I don't have to pay for gas or wear and tear on my car. I don't even have to leave the house! Oh, and I usually don't have to pay sales tax. The only drawback is that I don't get to hand-pick the merchandise, but it usually works out as long as I choose my purchases carefully.

I also love a good bargain. So much so that I write a weekly blog post dedicated to just that. Now, I wish to share a website that faciliates my interest in both. Flamingo World is one-stop shopping for discount codes for special offers, dollars- or percent-off coupons, mail-in rebates, and--my favorite--free shipping!!!!

So stop by, check it out, and save a few dollars. You might even discover a few stores that you didn't even know existed!

Monday, October 02, 2006

At Last!!!! A Song About ME!!!

******NOT SAFE FOR WORK******

My family laughed their collective @$$e$ off when they saw this. They insisted that I publish it on my blog...and I was more than happy to oblige.

Viewer discretion is strongly advised!!!!!

If you're offended by the "F" word, please don't watch....

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Ms Val's Bargain of the Week

I'd had my eye on this breezy, airy, cotton white blouse at the Gap website for quite awhile. But at $48, I wanted to wait until it went on sale--because I never EVER pay full price at Gap, Old Navy, or Banana Republic.

So, when the website showed that the shirt had gone on sale for $34.99, I wandered over to the Gap store in our local mall. They had the shirt...last one in my size, too. But the price tag still read $48 and there wasn't a sale sign in site. No problem. I'll just have the cashier look it up on the Internet.

When I went to pay, the shirt rung up at $19.99. Cool! "Oh...oh...WAIT....I have a coupon too...for $10 off!!!!!!!

Final price for this was $10.31...almost 80% off. SCORE!!!!!!