InstaGC: Another Drop In the Amazon Bucket

So I just wanted to give a little shout out about this program I found.  I don’t, by general rule, like to do something like this because to me, it sounds really spammy to me, but I think it’s kinda kool.  But y’all know I love to shop on Amazon?  Well, I found this gift card program, called InstaGC, in which you do little tasks like complete your profile, like the on FB, follow them on Twitter, watch videos, do a few little surveys, etc. and for each task you complete, it’s one point, which equals a $1.  And you can cash out at any denomination, like $5, $10, $15, $20, etc.  And it’s not just for Amazon, it’s for other online stores, and for brick and mortar stores too.

So I had to create this little post here and throw in my referral code and get 5 points ($5) and those points rack up fast.  It’s just another drop in the bucket, is all.  So this is my referral link here if anyone is interested: http://www.instagc.com/amazon.com/littlevampgurl

I have actually been filling out surveys for various survey sites and have accumulated $60 worth of gift cards…yeah I have no life… :p

I apologize if this sounds kinda spammy.  I hope it doesn’t.  :(  Talk to y’all laterz  :)

A Melancholy Entrance To Spring

(if only it was that Spring-looking outside :)...)

(if only it was that Spring-looking outside :)…)

 

Hello, everybody.  I have been in a generally melancholy mood these past couple of months and not feeling up to par and have had nothing to really say nor write about.  The weather has really gotten me down too and that hasn’t helped things in the least.  Winter has just been too long.  Spring is here in a way too but it has been a muddy and dreary start to it.  But it looks like Tuesday it will be on the up and up and Winter and snow will finally have gone away for good.  It seems I have long forgotten what it looks like when the shine streams through the windows early in the morning and the birds are up at the crack of dawn(which I loathe and complain about at no end).  We need a few days of rain though to clear away all the salt on the roads and the ickiness of winter.  It seems a long time coming.

Some projects we have been working around the house to help pass the time is making a chalkboard/corkboard for our kitchen.  I had proposed to Chris(my fiancee) that it would be good to help plan my meals for the month as well as stating when what bills are due, and if we have any appoints.  Plus we hang those bills up on the corkboard.  The corkboard was cut from our old corkboard and we got a piece of chalkboard, and a few pieces of pine baseboard from Home Depot.  Minus the corkboard and the chalkboard paint(I put another coat on it), the project in total cost $39.00.  Now we are just mulling over how to hang it up on the wall.

As I mentioned above, I have taken to planning our meals for the month.  It has helped us stick to a better food budget so we can catch up on bills and order out less.  Though it has not allowed us any flexibility to go out and do stuff yet, we are working on that.  There has  been a shifting of management at Chris’s work, so he will be taking on a few more hours, which will help a lot.  As we have bought a car I mentioned in the last post, that has added on a few more expenses.  So far it is still running good.

I am still suffering from back pain, though I did get a week of no pain, which was awesome.  I was able to walk down to 7-Eleven with my sister and also to CVS, which is a bit further.  And I also have a tooth that needs extracted, but my dentist is telling me that they cannot do it until May because they are overbooked and I suffer greatly from pain from that.  My cheek swells up and the whole side of my left mouth swells up and the teeth on that side ache too.  But that is the only dentist in town that accepts my insurance.  So I wait, patiently.  I don’t know what pain in my life has been worse, the tooth ache, the back pain, or the ovarian pain.

I see, once again, I have to give my blog a makeover.  It is spring, anyways, so I should give it a touch of bright color and rebirth and a fresh look to it and such.  I have been wanting to buy my domain name, but just haven’t had the money to spare for it.   Maybe here shortly something will come up that I can.

I hope everyone will have a great weekend and is in Springtime now and all the snow has gone for them!  Will post again very soon!

 

As you can see, I cannot keep up with things.  I haven’t checked my blog since 28 January, so it’s been almost a month since I have been here and I see my blog has kinda ‘broken’.  Um, I am wondering where my header went ???? lolz

Yesterday, I turned 31.  Terrible!  I cannot believe it!  Where have the years gone?  I am certainly not at the point of my life where I have hoped to be.  Yesterday, my family and I went out to dinner to Sprague’s (pancake/dinner restaurant that makes their own maple syrup and raises their own animals…kinda a big thing around in western NY) for my Grandma’s birthday(she and I share the day, hence why my middle name is Joan…).  It was kinda an emotional day, with my Grandpa(her husband) being dead three years now and all and I was pretty emotionally and physically exhausted when we got home that I went right to bed at 8.  It doesn’t help the fact that I have not been sleeping very well nor getting up around 4:30AM….

Chris and I did end up setting a date.  My family prompting hard  being a big factor in it so they can plan their summer vacations next year.  I will formally announce it on here when we send out our ‘save the date’ cards in early summer of this year.  Speaking of which, he bought me a replacement ring.  The other one was just a temporary ring.

IMG_20140218_105823

 

I have began to tire of winter and I think no I know, that I have cabin fever.  I am sick of being cooped up in the house because I am afraid of going outside and slipping and falling or trying to save myself from slipping and screwing up my back even more.  I grow weary of the cold and the lack of sunlight.  Most of the plants I had bought last summer have died too.  I have managed to keep a few plants alive but they are just as desperate for warmer temperatures as I am.  I think spring is on the way for we had a very, very brief 15 minute thunderstorm Wednesday night and the snow is a melting a bit.  It’s not as cold outside as it has been.  I need to start walking and working out as tolerated to get back in shape and so I can look nice in a wedding gown.  I have a friend who already has a membership at the Y but just needs someone to work out with.  Because I have SSI, I qualify for a free membership.

We are finally able to purchase a car because of my fiancee’s tax refund.  It will come to about $3200 after everything is all said and done.  It will get us from point A to B.  It’s a 2001 Ford Focus.  It’s fully loaded.  Has a little rust above the rear wheel wells.  There will be a new muffler and battery put in before we get it.  There’s new tires on it.  The engine and the inside of the car is clean.  Chris is going to have it taken down to a garage to put it up on a rack to have the undercarriage looked at and the car inspected just to make sure.  We are hoping to have everything finalized so he can drive it by the end of the week.  I don’t have my license anymore because it is suspended and I still own $150 for a stupid ticket.  I don’t know if I could drive anymore because of the pain in my legs and back.

I don’t feel any older.  I don’t feel any wiser.  I think my bones and my body feel older though.  But I guess that comes with all my ailments and such.
But as winter winds down, I am hoping to be more out and about more. :)

I will leave you with this picture I shot last Wednesday morning, the morning of the storm, with my phone. They do say pink skies in the morning, sailors take warning….
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So Many Things!

Hi everyone! I know I have been gone for a few weeks now and I have been kinda sick. I think I had a bug of some kind or something. But now I am back and just wanted to update my readers with a new venture that I am going to be doing here in the next coming months.

My Mother is a rep for doTerra essential oils. I am sure many of you basically know what essential oils are, but not really what they are used for and how to use them and blend them, etc.

ClaryCalm is a proprietary blend of Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade essential oils that have been traditionally used to balance hormones and manage symptoms of PMS and the transitional phases of menopause. A topical blend of clary sage, lavender, bergamot, Roman chamomile, cedarwood, ylang ylang, geranium, fennel, carrot seed, palmarosa and vitex, ClaryCalm? provides temporary respite from cramps, nausea, hot flashes, and the emotional swings sometimes associated with regular hormone cycles in women.

ClaryCalm is a proprietary blend of Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade essential oils that have been traditionally used to balance hormones and manage symptoms of PMS and the transitional phases of menopause. A topical blend of clary sage, lavender, bergamot, Roman chamomile, cedarwood, ylang ylang, geranium, fennel, carrot seed, palmarosa and vitex, ClaryCalm provides temporary respite from cramps, nausea, hot flashes, and the emotional swings sometimes associated with regular hormone cycles in women.

I really don’t either, but my Mother is going to teach me and I of course will be posting about what I have gleaned from her. I will be placing an order at the end of this month and I will start using them to help me with my various health issues and such. Last Friday, I went to an oils meeting with my Mother, my bff, and her mother. It was very informative and inspiring too at the same time.

I received the ClaryCalm for Christmas as a gift from Mom to help out with Menopause I am going through.

I know a few of my blogging friends have left me some comments that still need approval and some things done for them and I promise to get to them this weekend. Last weekend I would have made some posts but since I do all my internet on my fiancee’s son’s laptop and he was here last weekend and was using it, I didn’t get on it at all.

I have fallen in love with the timeless drama on Downton Abbey. It has consumed me. I am so far in the middle of season three. I love the pre1920s fashions, the high waisted gore skirts. I don’t care much for the flapper style fashions though.

downton abbey

My favorite character is Lady Mary Crawley.  Not only is she very beautiful but I find her quite favorable and kind hearted as well.  She has the best taste in fashion as well.  Here are my favorites of her wardrobe so far….and I would wear them too  :)

I love this gored/circle skirt!  I have been looking for a pattern for it.  It is very modest, and very feminine.  I like the fact that is is high-waisted as well.

I love this gored/circle skirt! I have been looking for a pattern for it. It is very modest, and very feminine. I like the fact that is is high-waisted as well.

If anyone knows me at all, you would know that I am (or was, an equestrian back in the day before my back injury).  I love this riding habit.  I have yet to ride sidesaddle, but I hope someday to do so.  And I love how this top hat has a veil too.

If anyone knows me at all, you would know that I am (or was, an equestrian back in the day before my back injury). I love this riding habit. I have yet to ride sidesaddle, but I hope someday to do so. And I love how this top hat has a veil too.

Here's a different view of Lady Mary and her habit.

Here’s a different view of Lady Mary and her habit.

Tonight we are having bbq pulled beef for dinner.  As we do not eat pork in our home, we do love anything bbq and pulled, so we either do beef or chicken.  I have a yummy recipe for bbq pulled meat that I simmer on low all day in our crock pot.  It is usually whatever meat we had on Sunday, whether it be a roaster chicken, chicken breast, or a beef roast.  It looks so delicious and tastes very good too.  I ought to share the recipe so you guys can try it too.  Sorry about the poor lighting- it really doesn’t do it justice!

Crock Pot BBQ Pulled Beef-Yum!  :D

Crock Pot BBQ Pulled Beef-Yum! :D

Ah, which reminds me, it needs a stir!  I think that’s all I needed to say in this post!  Btw, yes, I kinda flounced on the BlogHer challenge for this month.  So sorry about that, guys  :(

I will be back tomorrow with more.  Have a good rest of the day!

Mobile Historic Landmarks

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A tram (also known as a tramcar; a streetcar or street car; and a trolley, trolleycar, or trolley car) is a rail vehicle which runs on tracks along public urban streets (called street running), and also sometimes on separate rights of way. Trams powered by electricity, which were the most common type historically, were once called electric street railways. Trams also included horsecar railways which were widely used in urban areas before electrification reached the world. 
Do you know how the trolley got its name? The shoe or wheel at the very end of the trolley pole, the part that actually touches, and runs along the underside of the overhead wire, is called the trolley. So, the trolley is attached to the trolley pole, which is attached to the trolley car, and that’s how the trolley car got it’s name.
The first successful electric street railway installation in the United States, was in Richmond, Virginia in 1887. It wasn’t long, after the initial success in Richmond, that almost all of the horse car lines in North America were converted to electric power. The electric trolleys became so popular with the riding public, that the street railway industry, experienced explosive growth in ridership, almost overnight.
And I mispoke in my Tweet, they are historic landmarksツ My apologies!
If you came here via Twitter, I invite you to look around, share, and subscribe/follow. I hope you enjoyed this brief historic lesson.
Thanksツ
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The Thief Of Time

“Procrastination is the Thief of Time; Year after year it steals, till all are fled.” Edward Young.

Procrastination is the practice of carrying out less urgent tasks in preference to more urgent ones, or doing more pleasurable things in place of less pleasurable ones, and thus putting off impending tasks to a later time, sometimes to the “last minute”. According to Freud, the pleasure principle may be responsible for procrastination; one may prefer to avoid negative emotions, and to delay stressful tasks. The belief that one works best under pressure provides an additional incentive to postponement of tasks.  Some psychologists cite such behavior as a mechanism for coping with the anxiety associated with starting or completing any task or decision.  Other psychologists indicate that anxiety is just as likely to get people to start working early as late and the focus should be impulsiveness. That is, anxiety will cause people to delay only if they are impulsive.  Putting of things just robs us of the opportunity to do something else.

I am notorious for procrastinating.  The biggest things I procrastinate about is folding/putting away laundry and doing sew and crafts.  Yes, crafts and sewing are suppose to be fun but I just put them off.  But idk why ???  Another big thing I procrastinate about is making phone calls.  I hate, no, I loathe ENTIRELY talking on the phone.  I think the convenience of having a cell phone and the ability to text has turned me off to making a phone call.

When I was in college, I used to put off homework until the last minute.  Sometimes, I was able to pull off a high mark on my papers.  But every once in a while, I didn’t succeed.  So case, in point, sometimes it does not benefit to wait until the last minute.

Once in a while I am able to make a to do list and stick to it.  It makes me feel good that I got the list done and got whatever done on it out of the way for a while.

Let’s look at some causes of procrastination, types of procrastinators, how to stop procrastinating, and some quick procrastinating tips.  Please note this is not an all-inclusive list.

Causes of Procrastination

  • Fear- The fear of success, the fear of failure. People will always put off things that may cause unknown factors in their future. Fear can be a strong motivator to procrastinate.
  • Lack of Motivation- Procrastinators believe that something isn’t worth doing unless they are motivated. A major reason people become chronic procrastinators is that they can’t get motivated to do things.
  • Lack of Confidence- Procrastinators often lack the confidence to do something and therefore end up avoiding it.
  • Perfectionism-  Many people will only do something if they think they can do it to the high standards they set for themselves, so they end up always putting things off and become chronic procrastinators.
  • Rebellion- Children forced into doing chores they dislike will often procrastinate on those chores when they are adults. 

These are some of the primary causes of procrastination. One of the main reasons procrastination become a chronic habit is because it offers temporary relief by avoiding things you don’t want to do.

The downside, of course, is that you will get behind on the things that are important to you.

Types Of Procrastinators

  • The Relaxed Type- The relaxed procrastinator is perpetually lazy when it comes to doing the work that needs to be completed. They continually feel that their work is simple enough to be completed rather quickly so they put it off until the final minutes of their deadlines.
  • The Intelligent Procrastinator Type- The intelligent procrastinator always feel like the work that they should be doing no matter how complex is very simple to understand, and complete. They hold off doing it because they feel it can be completed in a short amount of time.
  • The Decisional Procrastinator Type- This type of procrastinator is good at recognizing the work that needs to be done, and what hinders them is making decisions about the work. They do not directly put the work off consciously, but their troubles with making decisions is putting pressure on them so that the work is started and completed at the last minute.
  • The Escapist Procrastinator Type- The escapist procrastinator is what you would call a day dreamer, and have a tendency to only see the big picture in the near or far off future and forget about the steps or the work that needs to be done to accomplish their dreams of success. The escapist procrastinator is also addicted to pleasure much like the relaxed type. 
  • The Afraid Type Procrastinator- This type of procrastination is worse in stressful situations because they are unsure about their ability to complete the work. They feel that they work better if they relax first because they put themselves under a lot of stress. The time they spend unwinding should be better spent completing their work because when time becomes a factor they put themselves under much more stress and the work is never completed to their satisfaction.A procrastinator’s worst enemy is themselves, they use excuses more often and put themselves under more stress than they need to.

How To Stop Procrastinating

A chronic procrastinator is a person who has mastered the art of convincing themselves they do not need to do something now. Over the course of time they have become very good at justifying reasons why something can be put off and they take comfort in their decision to do it later.

What most people do not understand about procrastination is that is it a habit formed over many years. It’s a habit that’s very tough to break because it offers comfort and relief from putting yourself through tasks you do not want to do.

In order to stop procrastinating, you need to start by taking the following three steps:

  1. Admit that you are a procrastinator.  Recognize that you have a problem that you want to overcome. This is no different that trying to overcome alcoholism, anger mangement, or things of that nature. Admitting the problem is the first step. 
  2. Make the decision to stop procrastinating.  Once you have recognized that you have a problem, it is even more important that you make the firm decision that you are going to do something about it. In the same way someone must make the decision to stick to a diet or stop smoking, beating the habit of procrastination takes discipline, repetition, and time. It will not happen overnight — it is a constant struggle to overcome procrastination.
  3. Learn to address the impulse to procrastinate.The decision to procrastinate is made in a split-second. Over time it becomes habitual to make the decision to procrastinate — in fact you may not even be aware of it because it becomes so natural. When it comes to decision time (“Should I start my assignment now?”) you must be aware that your habitual response will be to talk yourself out of it.Ok, so how do you do that?

Procrastination Tips

To overcome procrastination, you must learn to control you impulse to automatically procrastinate. When you realize there is something that you need to do, you must master the art of getting started on it — DO NOT make the easy decision to do it later, no matter how convincing you can be to yourself.

Here are some quick tips that may help you control the impulse:

  • Break larger tasks into smaller ones. If you have a big assignment that you must do, tell yourself you’re only going to do the first three questions today. The excuse of “this is going to take forever” is something that can be easily overcome by breaking up a large task into smaller pieces.
  • Imagine how you’ll feel when you’re done and use this feeling as motivation to get started. Two of the most common symptoms of procrastination are guilt and stress. Imagine yourself watching your favorite TV show while feeling guilty that you haven’t addressed your responsibilities. Now imagine yourself watching your favorite TV show feeling relaxed and confident. Use this feeling as a way of getting started.
  • Come up with “power word” to push you through the moment of decision. A power word is something you can use motivate yourself to get started. For example, Nike’s slogan “Just Do It” is a great one. When you’re faced with the decision to watch TV or clean the kitchen, say to yourself “Just Do It!”. Use this very brief feel a surge of confidence to start cleaning the kitchen.  Do not allow yourself the internal debate of “do it now or do it later“. For a procrastinator, “do it later” is almost always the winner.
  • Do not outsmart yourself. For a procrastinator, it’s extremely easy to convince yourself that there are reasons beyond your control for why you cannot do something now. Some may be true, but there are alternative solutions to most of them. A procrastinator will chose to delay and not chose to seek alternative solutions.
  • Just Start. This is the most powerful way to defeat procrastination. After all, procrastination is the art of “not starting” something. You’ll be amazed how much easier it is to do something once you’ve started. And once you’ve completed your unpleasant task you’ll be even more amazed how much easier it was than you thought.

Let’s continue the conversation below.  I would love to hear from you! If you are a procrastinator, what type of procrastinator are you?  Why do you think you procrastinate?  Can you apply any of the above tips to help you overcome procrastination?  Or do you have your own tips that you find work better for you?

Join me again here on Monday for another installment of  NaBloPoMo.

Are You Setting Reading Goals For 2014?

Good morning, everyone!  I pray y’all are staying toasty warm on this chilly mid-morning.  I am curled under my nice, soft heated throw.  It’s brrr outside and we are buried under several inches of snow here in WNY.  Ugh!

I used to be quite an avid reader right up into my mid 20s.  Then I got sick and I kinda lost interest in most everything I found joy in and that included reading.  Even though I had bought myself a nice tablet that had a nice reading app on it and the Scribd app on it, I just couldn’t get into a book, including ones from favorites authors.  But this year, since it looks like I am going to be laid up for a indeterminate amount of time, I have set some reading goals for this year and have purchased some books for my tablet and some hardbound books for me to delve into too as well.

Homemaking: A Bible Study For Woman At Home by:  Baukje Doornenbal (Author) , Tjitske Lemstra (Author)

Homemaking: A Bible Study For Woman At Home
by: Baukje Doornenbal (Author) , Tjitske Lemstra (Author)

In Homemaking: A Bible Study For Woman In the Home, This book invites you to examine your habits, your values, your hospitality, your appearance, and the way you use your time and money, all in the interest of being your best for God.

Becoming a Titus 2 Woman; A Bible Study with Martha Peace by Martha Peace

Becoming a Titus 2 Woman; A Bible Study with Martha Peace by Martha Peace

Becoming a Titus 2 Woman provides older women a training tool for learning how to successfully mentor younger women. Each of the ten chapters concludes with a chapter summary and application questions that will help women put into practice what they have read.

The Little Book of Etiquette by Dorothea Johnson

The Little Book of Etiquette by Dorothea Johnson

With The Little Book of Etiquette, never again hesitate when selecting a fork from a fancy place setting, making a formal introduction, hosting a business dinner, or dining on awkward foods. The experts at Washington’s School of Protocol will save you from embarrassing future faux pas! Full-color illustrations.

I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai

I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban
by Malala Yousafzai

When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan, one girl spoke out. Malala Yousafzai refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education.
On Tuesday, October 9, 2012, when she was fifteen, she almost paid the ultimate price. She was shot in the head at point-blank range while riding the bus home from school, and few expected her to survive.

Instead, Malala’s miraculous recovery has taken her on an extraordinary journey from a remote valley in northern Pakistan to the halls of the United Nations in New York. At sixteen, she has become a global symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest nominee ever for the Nobel Peace Prize.

I AM MALALA is the remarkable tale of a family uprooted by global terrorism, of the fight for girls’ education, of a father who, himself a school owner, championed and encouraged his daughter to write and attend school, and of brave parents who have a fierce love for their daughter in a society that prizes sons.

I AM MALALA will make you believe in the power of one person’s voice to inspire change in the world.

Orphan Train: A Novel by Christina Baker Kline

Orphan Train: A Novel
by Christina Baker Kline

Orphan Train is a gripping story of friendship and second chances from Christina Baker Kline, author of Bird in Hand and The Way Life Should Be.

Penobscot Indian Molly Ayer is close to “aging out” out of the foster care system. A community service position helping an elderly woman clean out her home is the only thing keeping Molly out of juvie and worse…

As she helps Vivian sort through her possessions and memories, Molly learns that she and Vivian aren’t as different as they seem to be. A young Irish immigrant orphaned in New York City, Vivian was put on a train to the Midwest with hundreds of other children whose destinies would be determined by luck and chance.

Molly discovers that she has the power to help Vivian find answers to mysteries that have haunted her for her entire life – answers that will ultimately free them both.

Rich in detail and epic in scope, Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline is a powerful novel of upheaval and resilience, of unexpected friendship, and of the secrets we carry that keep us from finding out who we are.

The Snow Child: A Novel by Eowyn Ivey

The Snow Child: A Novel
by Eowyn Ivey

Alaska, 1920: a brutal place to homestead, and especially tough for recent arrivals Jack and Mabel. Childless, they are drifting apart–he breaking under the weight of the work of the farm; she crumbling from loneliness and despair. In a moment of levity during the season’s first snowfall, they build a child out of snow. The next morning the snow child is gone–but they glimpse a young, blonde-haired girl running through the trees.

This little girl, who calls herself Faina, seems to be a child of the woods. She hunts with a red fox at her side, skims lightly across the snow, and somehow survives alone in the Alaskan wilderness. As Jack and Mabel struggle to understand this child who could have stepped from the pages of a fairy tale, they come to love her as their own daughter. But in this beautiful, violent place things are rarely as they appear, and what they eventually learn about Faina will transform all of them.

The last three are on my wish list.  I would rather have the paperbacks, but for now, I have a digital copy on my tablet.  I tend to be a fast reader so I think I can polish all these off in about four months.  And then I will have to find some more to read.

I apolgize ahead of time if the pictures and the descriptions of the books get messed up.  I don’t quite know how to format it so they don’t all bunch up like that.  If anyone knows how to do so they don’t, please let me know.  I would be ever so grateful!  :)

Have you set any reading goals for 2014?  If so, what are a few books that you have chosen to read for this year?  Can you suggest any to add to my list?  Will you be reading any of the ones that I have posted?  I look forward to reading your comments!