I’m Posting every day in 2011!

Wow!  This is so cool!  Tonight, I decided to go tag surfing to check out other bloggers.  I surfed on over to Not Pretending(to be Sane) which is an awesome blog!  Be sure to check out her “Top 10 Best Words Ever.” Also, her “The One That Got Away” post.  It is hilarious.  I noticed that she had a button on her side bar about participating in a post a day.  I wanted to learn more so I clicked the button.  This led me to The Daily Post which is another awesome blog!  I’ve decided I want to blog more.  Rather than just thinking about doing it, I’m starting now.  I will be posting on this blog once a day for all of 2011.

I know it isn’t going to be easy, but I believe it is going to be fun, inspiring, awesome and wonderful.  Therefore, I’m promising to make use  The Daily Post, and the community of other bloggers with similar goals, to help me along the way, including asking for help when I need it and encouraging others when I can.

If you already read my blog, I hope you’ll encourage me with comments and likes, and good will along the way.

Signed,

Nicole Griffin Eakin

My Top 10 Guilty Pleasures

Last night, I went to hang out with two friends who are very near and dear to me.  I ended up spending the night at their house.  This morning a pang of anxiety hit.  I love these two people but I started longing for home.  Finally, it hit me.  Every night, I put the kids to bed and afterwards take a long hot bubble bath.  I lay there and float till the water cools.  I let the water drain partly out and refill with the hottest water along with more bubbles.  I asked my friend if she minded if I take a bubble bath know she did not care.  As I layed there in the tub, I relaxed.  My anxiety went away.  What I did not do was use the hottest of water and fill their tub twice.  I would not dare.  The idea strikes me that my nightly bubble baths are one of my guilty pleasures.  Urban Dictionary defines a guilty pleasure as something a person enjoys often while said person morally believes the practice to be wrong, abnormal, improper, or incorrect.  I’m not sure I like the definition.  If we enjoy doing something, we should not feel guilty about it.   Right?

What are some of your guilty pleasures?  Here are 10 of mine.  I wonder if any of yours are the same as mine?

  1. Taking my nightly bubble bath as I described above. This is by far, my most favorite guilty pleasure.  I could probably cut our water bill in half  if I did not refill the tub.  It is just so relaxing.
  2. Facebook and Zynga Texas Hold em Poker. My day is not complete till I check Facebook and the house is quiet enough to get in a few hands of poker.
  3. Working out in my living room at mid-night half-naked. I do not know what it is that appeals to me about this nightly ritual but I cannot help myself.
  4. Chocolate Milk. I try to only eat 1000 calories per day.  Yet, I can’t seem to resist some good ol Chocolate milk.
  5. Sleeping naked on the weekends. When my kids are at their dads house on the weekends.  I am sleeping butt naked.  I love it,.
  6. AcroChallenge I play this game in the adult room only.  I love this game and have to have daily dose.  I play in the adult room.  The game gives you some letters.  Everyone types in a dirty sentence then votes for the best.  It gets crazy.  For example:  tham  Tonight, Hump At Moms.
  7. Panties and Lingerie. I love my panties and soft silky lacy lingerie.  I will buy these before I buy clothes.
  8. Blue-Grass Music. People think I am insane.  Who cares?  I love it!
  9. Knee High Toe Socks.
  10. Sleeping late. I do it every chance I get!

These are mine!  What are yours?

Living With My “isms”

What is an “ism?”  It is some minor little something that tends to bug you more than it does others.  Simply put, a pet peeve.  We all have them.  For instance, I can not stand a man with smooth hands.  I am talking like smooth as a baby’s bottom kind of smooth.  I went out with a man once whose hands were so soft.  It really was a major turn off for me.  One of my MAJOR “isms” is someone had best not touch the bottom of their foot to the bottom of mine.  This causes extreme chaos and possible catastrophe.  I will kick and scream and cause bodily harm because it makes my skin crawl.  Have you ever touched your finger to another persons?  You take your free hand and feel the two fingers pressed together.  They feel dead and numb.  That is what I feel when a person touches the bottom of their foot to mine.  So , please!  Do not do this to me!  Do not do it to yourself.  It could be hazardous to your health.  Maybe I am just weird.  I do not know.  To me, my “isms” are very scary and real.  I have often wondered if I just stuck the bottom of my foot tot the bottom of someone else’s and just held it there no matter how it felt.  Just “man-up” and hold them there as long as I can probably gritting my teeth together.  I imagine that I would also break out into a sweat.  I would have to close my eyes and just ggggrrrrrrrr.  You know what I mean?  Could I then cure myself from my own “ism?”  The thought terrifies me.  I am uncertain whether I could take it long enough.  I may try one day…… but I probably will not start today!  : )

I hope you all have had a great day!

Valentine’s Day is not Just For Lovers

Happy Valentine’s Day!  I hope you have the best day ever!

My fondest Valentine memory was one that I spent alone.  I could not begin to tell you what Joe Blow gave me this year or that.  I spent part of last night trying my best to remember.  The only one that I could recall was one I spent alone and I pampered myself.  It was wonderful!  Therefore, I am going to do something different this year.  Today, I am going to make sure my grandmother does not have one thing in her house that she needs doing.  She is Queen for the day.  I want her to feel special.  She is special.

I think today would be the perfect day if everyone did the unexpected.  Today is not just for lovers but for everyone special in our lives.  So, I am going to share the love.  Here are some of my idea’s:

  1. Call an old friend that is special to you and tell them Happy Valentine’s Day.  If it is possible, take them a card.
  2. If you know someone is spending the day alone or they do not have a significant other, send them flowers or a card.  Send both and do not sign the card.  Make them smile.
  3. Take your nieces, nephews, or cousins out for ice cream.  If you know a child who has had a tough time this year, take them.
  4. Surprise an elderly family member with a gift.  Especially if they are in a nursing home.  Would you not just love to see their face light up when balloons were delivered?  Deliver the gift in person.
  5. You may know someone who has lost a close family member or child, be sure to send them a some candy and a card today.

The possibilities are endless.  The best way to make sure a person does not feel alone on this day is to let them know they are special.  Make them smile.  Include your children in sharing their love with someone.  Have them give their siblings a card.  Let them be a part of making a difference in someone else’s life so they can learn how wonderful it is to give.

Make someone smile today and create a memory that will warm their hearts forever!

Cool, Inexpensive, & Creative Ideas for Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is tomorrow.  If you are like me,  you have waited till the last-minute to buy that special someone a gift that expresses your love.  Money is tight there is no doubt about that so what is one to do?  Every guy in the world has to hate tomorrow or at least get jittery about how he should express his love.  Guys if you can afford to just go all out you should and send her a bouquet of balloons, flowers, and chocolates(her favorite kind of course) to her at work.  Have you ever been on the job and every delivery of roses you see you think to yourself, “are those for me?”  You feel your chest rise because you are holding your breath.  The delivery guy passes on by taking them to a co-worker and you let out your air.  There is no greater feeling than for that delivery to be for you. If money is tight, you still have plenty of options just use your imagination.  Girls if Valentine’s Day is for lover’s then why not try surprising him for a change?  At any rate, I have put together a list of some inexpensive and cool ways to express your love.  I hope it helps you!

  1. Music makes the world go round.  Why not say it in a song?  Burn a CD that means something for him/her.  Be sure to use songs that you know they like and not corny ones.  This way every time they pop that CD into the stereo and listen to it they will be thinking about you!
  2. Record yourself reciting a poem that you wrote for your special someone to listen to on the way to work.  If the idea of writing a poem is unheard of to you, then check out the 10 greatest love poems of all times.  She will be impressed that you even knew the poem.
  3. Have a winter picnic in front of your fireplace.  If you do not have a fireplace, prepare a nice dinner complete with candle lights.  Start conversation by telling your Valentine how thankful you are to have them in your life.  Then reflect on your fondest memories of one another.
  4. If you have trouble expressing your feelings, write them down in a letter to your loved one.  Was it love at first sight?  When did you realize you were in love?  What do you hope the future has in store for the two of you.
  5. Frame a photo of the two of you.
  6. Run away for the night.  Who cares where?  Go parking.  Re-create your first date.  Run away together then decide.  spontaneity is great!
  7. Leave little love notes everywhere for him or her to find during the day.  Call them every other hour and recite silly limericks or love quotes to them.  Make your lover smile.
  8. A single rose that is hand delivered by you with a kiss is so much more effective than a dozen sent to the office.  Hold for a moment and tell her you love her.  Wow!
  9. Create your own spa and spoil and pamper each other.  Use plenty of oils and give each other a full body massage.  Who knows where this may lead?
  10. Go to the river and slow dance with each other till midnight or at least until the sun goes down.  If it is too cold where you live, park by the water and listen to music and just talk while you share a bottle of wine.

The most important thing to remember about Valentine’s Day is that the day should mean something.  Tomorrow is not the day you should lavish her with expensive gifts and then you work late at the office and forget about it.  Valentine’s Day is special and so is your lover.  The person you love should be pampered and treated like a King or Queen tomorrow.  Your expressions of love should come from the heart.  Show that person how much you love them by letting them know they are your world.  It does not matter what you go out and buy.  The greatest gift of all is each other.  Let them know.  May everyone have the best Valentine’s Day ever!

Self Pep Talks of a Single Mom

Funny how it wasn’t until I had kids of my own that I began to understand my parents.  I used to think they were the most crazy, insane, inhuman people who I had ever known.  In a way, I suppose they were because when it comes to your kids you will be what ever or who ever you have to be to protect them.  I know this now.  Looking back, I understand the decisions my parents made with me– the ones that I just did not, could not, and would not fathom back then.  I see their actions with a whole new vision and I think to myself, “Wow!  Now that is love.”  Some of the choices they made ha d to be the hardest things a parent could ever have to do.  Yet, they did it.  No matter how bad it hurt them or much they did not want to.  They did it for me.  That is unconditional love.  That is what my own kids will look back upon when they have kids of their own.  They, too, will reflect back and say, “She love me more than I ever realized.”  Yes, one day they will look back the same as I did.  That is, if I do not end up killing them myself first.  You pay for your raising do not ever think that you don’t or won’t.  You do.  You will.  But, you know what?  This is how we develop character.  Life has its funny little ways of working things out.  Kids are a blessing.  Mine is well worth every minute and every second of every day.  There is no doubt in my mind of that!  I think I will pour a glass of wine and toast to every future gray hair they create for me.

Random Thoughts on Life

Life can be so crazy sometimes.  You never know where it may lead or what is going to happen next.  Yet, we take the good, the bad, and the ugly and keep on keeping on.  At times,  it is insanity.  Hell, sometimes I am insane.  I remember when I was 18 years old.  I was sweet, nice, and polite,  I did not drink, curse, smoke, and had never taken any drugs.  What happened?  Life happened.  I never dreamed the firs person to call me a fucking whore would end up being my husband!  What did I do?  I sat down and cried.  I was so hurt not to mention stunned.  I had to get tough.  Sometimes, we all have to.  You let that punk bastard call me that same name today and see what I do for him.  He knows better.  Our marriage ended up in divorce–thank God.  That was in 1998 and I always said that I would never get married again.  I went ape wild for a while but now that I am older and I think of the future.  I get scared.  I get scared at the thought of being alone.  When my kids grow up and leave home to star lives of their own.  I will be alone.  I do not wan to be.  But, I am not going to settle for less than I deserve.  Because somewhere lost inside my soul is that same 18-year-old girl.  I am still the same person but a lot wiser and a lot less naive.  I want to love and be loved and I only want the best a person has to offer.  I am sick of all those bottom feeders.  I want it all and after some of the craziness life has thrown my way –I deserve it damn it.  I do.  Everyone does.  Life is what we make it.  We have all been told at one time or another not to sit back and let life happen.  You have to make it happen.  That is so true.  You only live this life once.  So make life happen and live out loud.  No one is promised tomorrow and you can never be sure what will happen next.  So live your life to the fullest.  Trust me.  I learned all of this the hard way but it is never to late.  Love your life and live it!

What It Means To Be An American

I’ve always been patriotic so to speak.  I feel compelled to share with you a book that has been introduced to me by my American Literature Instructor Dr. Linda G. Raughton.  W. Cleon Skousen’s book “5000 Year Leap” is sure to shed a whole new light on the true meaning of being an American.

At first reading, I felt the familiar sense of pride which turned to “my God what have we done and how do we fix this?”  The book is about the 28 principles that our founders based the Constitution upon.  The principles were based on Natural Law or God’s law.  The principles may seem a little outdated but they have a proven track record.

It all began in Jamestown where Communal Economics was first experimented  with and 200 years later in 1776 the global experiment of Free Enterprise Economics had prevailed with phenomenal results.  A list of achievements had been produced that contributed to leaps in science, politics, and economics.   According to Skousen, ” in 200 years the human race had made a 5000 year leap.” 

Sometimes prone to duplicate errors of the past, we muddled our lives with drugs, riots, and terrorism among other things.  “Social decay has a harmful effect on the freedom and prosperity that had been given to us.” 

  How do we began to reform?  Education is a good start.  Read the Constitution in its original form.  Read Skousen’s “5000 Year Leap.”  You will be glad you did.  I thank Dr. Raughton for sharing the book with students.  It has shed new light to the real meaning of what it means to be an American.

10 Ways To Save Money

  • Cut your cable bill.   Do you really need that many channels anyway?
  • Reduce your bills.  Ask your service providers if they have bundled services.  The best way is to only have the things you really need.
  • Don’t impulse shop.  Never go shopping when you are depressed.  Never go to the grocery store hungry.  Make a list of the things you want and wait 2 weeks.  If you still want something on your list than budget for it.
  • Work for yourself.  Find something you really like to do and figure out a way to make money at it.
  • Wear your clothes longer.  Easier said than done for me.  Salvation Army is wonderful.  I am lucky because I live in Scottsboro, Alabama which is home to Unclaimed Baggage!
  • Cut down on your food costs.  Make meals at home.  Do not go out to eat.
  • Cut back on cell phone usage.  Most people have internet either at work or home use it instead.
  • Put it in the bank.  Do you have at least 3 months income saved in case of emergency?  If not stop spending and save.
  • Don’t feed bad habits.  Especially gambling and drinking.  Do you smoke?  I figured out my cigarette bill and I could have taken my kids to Disneyland at least once per year already which would have been one item marked off my bucket list!
  • Use condoms.  Kids are expensive…….  Thats so awful.  I love my children they are a gift from God!  If you are young and single, you may want to think about this one!!

Anyone have anything to add?

Tips on Balancing Work With Life

Recently employed as a Supervisor at a group home for mentally challenged adults and teenagers, I loved my job!  However, there never seemed to be enough hours in the day to balance work with family.  I am a single parent with three children.  Three children plus twenty-eight more if you counted my family at the group home whom I love dearly.  Let’s not forget that along with three other Supervisors our thirty something employees were at times like children themselves.  After three years, I had to make a choice between my real family who I felt as if I were neglecting and the clients at the group homes.  I am going to share with you some tips on balancing the two.  I hope that if you are someone who is feeling as overwhelmed as I that this post will help you. 

  1. Share the load.  Unfortunately, I did not have this choice but a lot of people do so use it to your benefit.  It should not be one person’s job to work, take care of the kids or older family members, and household chores.  Get your partner or other family members to help.  I had a bad habit of thinking I was the only person capable of doing something.  fortunately, I found that was just not the case.
  2. Slow down and do not sweat the small stuff.  You don’t have to wash the dishes every single day.  So what if the house doesn’t get vacuumed weekly.  Sometimes its simpler said than done but learn to let them go and don’t feel bummed for doing it. 
  3. Set priorities.  Take charge and make that list of things that you need to get done.  Prioritize them.  I think sometimes it was easier for me to feel overwhelmed and not to just take charge.
  4. Slow down.  I have learned the hard way that life is just way to short.  Don’t let it pass you by.  Take time to stop and enjoy the people who love you.  Remember to take time for yourself.  Find ways to distance yourself from the things that causes you the most stress.
  5. Find a new career.  Some careers take up more of your time than others.  Some are more stressful than others.  If you find yourself needing more time for you and your family explore other career options.  You may find that some careers are more flexible.
  6. Change jobs.  If a career change is not an option, you could look for a new job.  You may even be able to negotiate with your employer a new position.  It could involve a job search, or it may involve temping or working part-time.  You may even try becoming a consultant or free-lancing.  Explore your options.
  7. Don’t procrastinate!  Alot of feeling as if your overwhelmed is due to disorganization and procrastination.  Make that list as discussed above.  Be sure to set realistic goals and don’t put off doing what is on your list.
  8. Find a way to simplify your life.  I think as human beings we try to take on too many responsibilities.  We try to do too much.  We try to own too much.  Learn to say no.  Change your lifestyle.  Get rid of clutter and baggage in your house and in your life!

Life is a process just like striving for balance in your life.  Figure out what works for you.  Celebrate your successes and don’t dwell on your failures!