Lighten the Load With Savings, FREE Chicken

23 Feb

Attention Publix Shoppers! From February 23–29 you can participate in P&G’s “One List Life” promotion, available exclusively at Publix: simply select any four fabulous participating P&G items and pick up a FREE Rotisserie Chicken while you’re at it! Learn more at

Publix Rotisserie Chicken is right up my alley. Not just because it’s free. Or because chicken is a go-to protein for me (no red meat here). More like because it’s already cooked, and that is a big bonus in my book, because (1) I don’t love to whip up recipes and fun foods, and (2) any ready-to-serve meal takes one big chore off my to-do list (well, for a day, anyway), and that leaves a little more time for managing mommy madness.

OK, I’m not all that crazed, really, mostly because I try hard to streamline the stuff of life so that my days are filled with peace. Here is sorta how I do it:

  • I pack school lunches at night because I hate hectic mornings.
  • I run a few miles right after I drop my  boys at their classrooms so that I’m all fit by 8:30 a.m., latest.
  • I keep a paper calendar that details all my goings-on. It’s a supplement to reminder alarms on my phone, which might seem like overkill, but I’m a fan of staying on track at all times, and double duty works well for me.
  • I type all kinds of lists on my phone (grocery lists, to-do lists, packing lists), and I check off tasks as I complete them.
  • I manage a “spending” spreadsheet on my computer desktop, and I add every itty bitty purchase we make in this family. Each item subtracts from our total income, so, with just a moment’s notice, I can spout out just how much money we are using and saving.

I could go on, but let’s get back to the chicken, plus the scoop on how you can rack up some savings via the P&G promotion at Publix. It’s really easy.

First, just head over to and print the promotion coupon from the site (or grab one at your Publix — I found them on the counter where the chickens are kept).

Then, head to Publix, and choose any FOUR of the listed participating P&G products.

Finally, gather up your rotisserie at the deli department — your chicken will be free at checkout.

Now, your freebie isn’t the only deal you’ll be getting. You’ll also score super sales prices on all of the participating items. Prices vary by market, but you can save up to $2.50 on Charmin and Bounty and close to $2.00 on Tide 50 oz. You might see P&G advertisements next to each participating item — I did, which made them simple to spot.

And bonus >> if you saved your January 29 P&G brandSAVER, there are coupons for Tide, Charmin, Pampers, Bounty, Iams, Pantene, and Cascade!

Ahhh, savings.

Mmmm, chicken.

Can’t beat that combo!

Thank you to P&G for sponsoring my participation in this “One List Life” promotion. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective. All opinions expressed here are my own.


How’s This For Square One?

19 Jan

I’ve got two feet firmly planted at Square One, effective today, all because of one quick call from an employer who spoke the words that went something like this: “I’ve got some bad news. Your position has been eliminated.”

Such a crappy feeling to have given my very best and to have it all terminated by phone in a quick minute. Employer wrote in a follow-up email, “I will miss your energy, cheer, willingness to take on tasks, and attention to detail.”

I know these traits don’t matter in the whole unraveling of my job — the position just went away, nothing personal. I understand. Still, it stings.

It also presents an opportunity for bigger and better. Maybe this means a different and more exciting job, or, perhaps, I’ll give 100% to the position of unemployed mom + master of family-budget balancing (because the loss of income is no small matter), and I could ramp up my itty-bitty freelance editing career, too. I’ll soul search for a few days, weeks, months before diving into anything new. For now, I will focus on little-boy perspectives, which always enlighten and remind me life can be simple and sweet:

Danny (he’s 8): “Mom, why don’t you just get a job that comes with a lot of money? Or can you get a job at Schlotzsky’s so we can get free pizza?”

Joey (he’s 11): “You could always work at Sports Authority. Or how about McDonalds?” (says the boy who could spend money all day long on sports and fishing gear — and burgers, too.)

Also, I’ve got my eye on the timing of it all, which just sorta works out, because our new credit card billing cycle begins today, and what better chance is there to start tracking our spending than right now? My freelance calendar shows two projects coming my way this month and next, and the work should be stress-free without a job forcing me to push my edits to late-night hours. It’s middle-school open house and application season, too, and, now, I can give Joey my focused attention as I assist him in his sixth-grade pursuits. Oh, and tomorrow my kids don’t have school, which means we can all sleep late and do whatever we want all day long!

Square One is scary.

It’s also liberating. It was two years ago when I quit a job, and it will be again.

I just know it.

Start Today

12 Jan

Bum Thumb a Bad Break

23 Dec

The poor kid has been living with an untreated broken thumb since November 22. Two X-rays missed the break, but the thumb, which Joey injured during basketball practice, is indeed broken, according to the MRI he had on Wednesday.

The MRI came by way of an ortho doc we saw because Joey just was not feeling any better, and it picked up on a “healing fracture.” Nothing too major — no joint, ligament or tendon involvement — and because the boy has kept it pretty much splinted for all these weeks, it has made some improvement. Not that he can feel, he says (it still hurts!), but evidence shows the boy is on the mend.

The problem, however, is that all the splinting has rendered the thumb pretty lifeless, and, so now, we get to trek to physical therapy three times per week for a month. Joey also has orders to use the thumb for everyday tasks, you know, like making his bed and washing dishes — the activities he happily gave up in exchange for a bum thumb. Oh, and piano — perfect therapy, says the doctor!

Our goal over the next four weeks is to get Joey back into the game. And by “in the game,” we mean holding the ball, passing the ball, and shooting the ball. Not just walking through team drills, running suicides and conquering wall sits. Joey wants the fun stuff, too, and we happen to think that if he puts his heart into therapy, despite the pain it will surely cause, he can have it.

Wednesday kicks it all off — therapy at 12:30 p.m.

Report forthcoming.

The Boy Is Benched

16 Dec

We went to an orthopedic doctor today for an assessment of the thumb that has been giving Joey so much pain. A powerful basketball pass is the culprit, we know that much, we just aren’t sure why the boy is not getting better. An X-ray two weeks ago revealed no fracture, and we were told the problem was likely a deep bruise. But a bruise would have disappeared by now, and this so-sore appendage is showing no improvement. At all.

Another X-ray this afternoon, then the orthopedic guy confirmed no break. He suspects Gamekeeper’s Thumb (aka Skier’s Thumb). It all boils down to a strained ligament, which could be torn all the way through, which is why Joey will have an MRI next week. If torn, we’ll discuss options for fixing (maybe a cast, maybe surgery, we just don’t know at this point). In the meantime, Joey is wearing a thumb stabilizer, (trying) to ice four times per day, taking Ibuprofen as needed, and refraining from use (well, except for use while fishing).

Such a bummer. Joey was really loving his basketball team, and he really wants to keep playing. Will he get a fresh start at the game? We sure hope so.

Ahhh, but that’s not all.

Joey’s heel has also been bothering him (not as bad as the thumb, but still a pain), so we had today’s doc get an X-ray peek while we were in his office. Also no break. Probably plantar fasciitis, the most common cause of heel pain. Another ligament, this one  connecting the heel bone to the toes. We’ve got a heel cup now, and, sadly, Joey will need to scale back on the running. Half-marathon? We’re thinking not. (Will I continue to train? Oh, I don’t know.)

Joey is discouraged, feeling like he’s back at square one, watching his basketball buddies pass him by and logging all those training miles for nothing. The running is not a waste, I told him. He still conquered his longest run ever at four miles, and that’s an awesome accomplishment for a 10-year-old boy. Basketball, well, we will wait and see. That’s all we can do. That, and hope for a miracle that puts the kid back on the court and back in his running shoes.

New Moo MiniCards for Me

6 Dec

I have business cards! You might wonder why I need such things.

I work from home, after all. No co-workers here (they are all in NYC). My meetings are phone calls. I don’t dress all fancy — most times, I land at my laptop post-morning workout all sweaty and messy. And the folks whose paths I cross in the course of a day (besides my family people) are teachers, parents of elementary school kids, and grocery store cashiers.

Still, I have business cards, and they are not just for dropping in restaurant jars intended for monthly drawings, although I do use them in this fashion, even though I never, ever win a lunch for “my entire office.”

I have business cards because, sometimes, people ask me what I do. And when I veer off the track of my somewhat administrative AOL/Huffington Post gig and mention that I write and edit, a few of them are curious and ask where they can find my work. So, instead of fumbling for paper and pen so I can scribble down the names of my blogs, I hand them a card with a few simple facts: name, phone number, email address, and blog URLs. I also meet folks now and then in need of a cancer blog, and what better way to head them my way than to toss them my info.?

No need for big fancy cards, though.

That’s why I just scored some little fancy cards.

MiniCards is what the company Moo calls them, and they are so totally terrific for me. They are small, kinda thick like cardstock (perfect for hole punching and dangling on a keychain. I mean, if you ever want my card hanging with your keys), and they feature different colorful designs that make me feel happy.

My MiniCards are stashed in my wallet, my mom and sister have a few in case they run across a breast cancer girl, the majority are packaged all neatly in the nifty box Moo sent me, and, soon, I’ll be sinking one into the oversized wine glass at Blue Highway Pizzeria, because, well, I’m pretty sure I’m coming up as winner of a shiny new gift card.

Half Marathon Obstacle 1

1 Dec

The kid blew off half marathon training run 2 yesterday. Something about a deeply bruised thumb, throbbing pain even when he walks, a splint, bags of ice, blah, blah, blah. So, I ran our scheduled 2 miles alone, on the treadmill, with Rhianna in my ears, and an itch to finish the short run asap. It just wasn’t the same without him.

Training run 1 was great — all 3.2 miles of it. There were times I was convinced I could just keep going. Other times: not so much. It was the boy who kept me going throughout, though — his long body finding a smooth stride, the way his head bobbed to his music, his knack for never really looking fatigued or even breathing in my usual labored manner. I even sprinted (kind of) to the finish because he did. I can’t wait for re-do of that run.

Friday is training run 3, and, maybe he’ll make it. I mean, he thinks he can fish on Saturday, so, surely, he can conquer a few miles just before he launches a boat in the water and pulls in his usual red fish. No pressure, of course — he can heal for as long as it takes. I’ll keep running in the meantime as I eagerly await his return.

(NOTE: the injury is a result of basketball, not running.)