Saturday, January 25, 2014

My Coke Rewards = My Free Stuff!

Hi my name is Elise, and I used to drink 8 Diet Cokes a day -- and sometimes even a dozen on Saturday. Yikes! Now I drink Cherry Cokes as a treat when we go to Ruby's diner in Cabazon.

I did however discover the awesomeness of Coke points in 2007, and I still like to collect coke points and cash them in for awesome prizes!

Here is how it works:

1.  You buy a Coke product (Cola, Poweraid, Dasani, etc.)

2.  Locate the "My Coke Points" number somewhere on the packaging.  For cans, it's on the cardboard box.  For bottles, look under the cap.

3.  Create a free "My Coke Rewards" account online HERE.

4.  Enter your code from the packaging and you're on your way to earning great prizes.  You can enter up to 100 points in one week (Sunday through Saturday).

For example, you can get discounts on flowers, coupons for more Coke products (such a vicious cycle), donate to your local school, and my favorite: vouchers for photography items on Shutterfly!!!!

There are sweepstakes for trips, products and even cash prizes; just browse through the prizes by category, or if you know what you're looking for, use the search feature (usually what I do when looking for Shutterfly goodies!)

I literally have not paid anything out of pocket for photo prints in 6 years and I have had a big fat discount on the many photo books I've ordered. All it takes is a little time to enter the codes! Um, yes please.

And if you don't want to be bothered with entering codes, bag them up and pass them my way!

*photos copyright polkadottedbluejay* 

Friday, January 24, 2014

Christmas Clean Up

I simply did not get to enjoy Christmas as much as I would have liked -- stupid French class.

That being said, I decided I was going to leave all of my decorations up until the end of January.  Rather silly, I know, but I'm sitting on my couch right now with the tree lights on and it is quite lovely.  Plus, it gave me an excuse to mess around with my camera and different aperture settings (I need more practice).

My indoor plant the other 11 months out of the year simply doesn't look as pretty. *sigh*

My tree is a mix of silver and sage ornaments, but I only have one "word" ornament on my tree:

Interpret how you would like, but "Believe" has about a million different meanings to me, and that is why I love it on my tree.  It reminds me to hope and believe in my dreams and to believe in the reason for Christmas - Jesus!

I did add one new decoration this year, a super cute "Noel" wood block set from Tai Pan Trading.  Seriously, if you haven't checked that store out, go NOW.  But leave your credit card at home... it could be deadly to your finances if you bring it with you.

It goes quite nicely with my sage colored living room and I think it looks great on the PERFECT cabinet!

So, until next year, my pretty decorations.

*photos copyright polkadottedbluejay* 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Flushing Money Down The Toilet

Today was a sad day. I had to purchase toilet paper for the first time since April 2013!!!

Last year I received an awesome 18 roll sample for myself and 8 more rolls share with friends from Cottonelle, care of Crowdtap (read more HERE) and I have been living without the expense of toilet paper shopping for 9 months.  Winning!!!  I remember thinking what a funny sample and share it was, I mean... toilet paper??? but I am sooo glad I was chosen to participate.

I'm frugal, obviously, and toilet paper is just one of those things I hate to spend money on.  I mean, it is LITERALLY flushing money down the toilet.  (Right???)

So it is off to Target I go, coupons in hand.

Want to know more about Crowdtap and how I got 5 pounds worth of free toilet paper??? What about the amazon gift cards I get every month?  Click HERE or HERE to find out some more!

*photos copyright polkadottedbluejay* 

Monday, January 13, 2014

One Week Down...

I have survived my first week of school at CBU.  


I'm trying not to focus on how far away graduation seems (I'm on track for 2016) and taking it one day at a time.  Before I know it days will transform into weeks, then months and then years.

I'm so thankful for the support system I have encouraging me to finish strong - you know who you are.

Back to reading... so. much. reading.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Baby Steps - A Stolen Mantra

I had one of "those" moments.

You know what I am talking about… When you see a picture of yourself and think: "yea, that semester of French where I did nothing but work and study really did a number to my physical well-being."

Needless to say - I did not like the picture, but I will spare you the visual.


Girls in love gain weight, it is kinda a fact - we go out to eat a lot, bake yummy desserts for the fella, and use the spare seconds we do have to be with him - time when we would have squeezed in a mini workout in the past.  Now, no need for self-deprecation... But something has got to change!

I have been eating poorly (stress) and not working out (schedule).  The other day I was literally salivating at the thought of a big bowl of broccoli - probably because my taste buds don't remember what broccoli tastes like!  Ugh.

"Not having time" is just an excuse, but for me it is also a reality. Not wanting to jump up and down in my apartment (I am a kind neighbor) is another excuse.  So is thinking that I have to work out for over an hour to make any impact!  So, I got my attitude in check, thanks to Janee at Yellow Bird, Yellow Beard HERE and have adopted her "baby steps" mantra.

It started yesterday, by bringing a delicious salad to work for lunch.  But, I chased that salad with a soda and Snickers bar by 4 o'clock.  Lame.

Baby steps. [Breathe]. Baby steps.

So today I managed to drag myself out of bed and squeeze in a mini 10 minute workout before work.  It's pretty stinking awesome and it sucks at the same time (in a good way).  I found it on Pinterest HERE and it is a butt kicker!!!

Salad for lunch (sans the Snickers) and I paid a visit to Exhilarate Fitness.  A place I used to check in at 3-4 times a week, but I haven't stepped through the doors in almost 6 months (and I can tell). I miss my fit family!

An hour and a half of dancing around like a maniac, three bottles of water and some serious muscle cramps and I could check off a fun workout for the day! (Don't judge me, I am still making lists despite my 2014 post HERE - that's all about baby steps too).

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Fun-filled Baby Weekend!

This weekend was a fun filled best friend weekend! Could there be anything greater?  I think not.

I get to be an Auntie to two new babies in 2014 -- and my sisters don't have to have any more kids. 
Shauna and Aaron are expecting their baby... GIRL in May and shared the wonderful news on Saturday. She will be named Harper Grace.

Shauna has the most petite baby bump at 22 weeks, but have no fear, Auntie Elise provides a steady stream of In n Out cheeseburgers for the mama to be!!!

Leah's baby girl, Carrie, is due in just 12 days (12 days, Leah, you can do it!) and Leah and I got to see each other Saturday night. - it may be the last time I see the baby bump, and not the actual baby!!!  and no Auntie visit would be complete without an adorable onsie in my favorite color. Leah is such a lovely wife and a wonderful planner.  She had meals planned and we went grocery shopping so she and her mom could cook all day Monday and make a few weeks worth of frozen meals for after Carrie arrives. Gold star mama to be.

Sunday after church, Houston and I drove to Long Beach to celebrate Christmas with his best friend and family. We had to practically bribe Henry to open the presents - he was much more intrigued by the boats in the harbor.  After lunch we went for a walk around Naples and the three boys couldn't have been more adorable waking hand in hand.  Yes, it's January and in California we wear short sleeve shirts and flip flops!

[be still my beating heart!]

I am so fortunate to have such wonderful friends... And I am sooo excited to see all the wonderful things (and babies) 2014 is going to bring!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Happy New Year!

I am a planner, plain and simple. 

Lists? I love them.  Checking things off those lists? It is like freaking Christmas on paper!  I suppose it is because it gives me a sense of “control” and a feeling of accomplishment at the same time.  Seriously, few things rival the feeling of running a straight line through numerous lines on my “to-do” list.

Write 2014 blog post
Start reading textbook
Paint toe nails while drinking a glass of wine
Fix toe nail polish

I often feel as if I have wasted time if I don’t have a general plan for the day or if I do not accomplish things on my list. My mom has always said that I am most content when my planner is full and I have a million things to do.  Well, that is normally true, except lately I feel like I have no margin.  No energy. No time for the people I love and it is HORRIBLE. 

I felt pretty convicted when the following daily devotional turned up on my desk calendar (gulp).

If there is anything being with Houston will teach me is that I can NOT plan everything.  He lives much more simply and has a more “go with the flow” attitude.  I could stand to learn a thing or two from that handsome fella.  He lives more in the moment, and soaks up every second, where I tend to be thinking about what I have to do tomorrow and in many cases, three weekends away!

Yes, I am still going to be making lists – and checking them twice (haha).  But I am also going to try to relax more.  Now, in my mind, this just means being even more organized so I don’t feel obligated to spend five hours on the weekend scrubbing under my stove and cleaning the grout in my bathroom. It will be a challenge.  I start “real college” on Monday and I know it is going to be some seriously hard work at a breakneck pace.

So, 2014: Plan less and enjoy life a little more.  Otherwise I fear I may plan my life and forget to actually live it!

Happy New Year!