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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.


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.

Border Collie Blues

21 Sep

It’s been one week since a border collie bit the back of both of my legs, and I feel more shaken by the whole ordeal today than I did seven days ago, when Gabby accidentally got out of her house, pursued me on my morning walk, then promptly chomped into each of my calves, leaving me with wounds that are still healing and a butt still sore from a tetanus shot. It’s not the same feeling I had the morning of the incident, when I called my mom crying, followed up with Animal Services and the owner, and reported to an urgent care center for medical attention. I was literally shaking that day; today, my mind is rattled.

Here’s what is swirling through my head: Have I done enough to hold Gabby’s master accountable for his loved one’s actions? Have I done too much? When will my bite marks heal entirely, and will my yellowish bruises ever go away? Will I have scars on my calves, and, if I do, how long will they last? Will I forever prefer to avoid dogs like I do at this very moment, or will my fear fade? Should I acquire some mace, a big stick, a powerful kick to fend off future Fidos? Will I continue to volunteer at the Humane Society because my kids love it so, even though my first dog bite occurred there — and now this?

Maybe it’s the week anniversary that has spurred on my intense thinking.

Maybe it’s the opinions of others that have me second guessing and wondering if I’m properly handling this whole predicament.

Or maybe it’s just normal to dwell on a personal attack that leaves lingering effects and reminders — like messed-up legs, dying flowers on my kitchen counter-top from Gabby’s daddy, notice that the 12-year-old pooch will have an electric fence in her yard beginning tomorrow, the passionate protection of a husband who is both sad and angry this has happened to me, the concern of a sister and mom who get to listen to my ramblings on the matter, and well, that’s enough.

Yea, normal. I think that’s it. And today is apparently my day to normally reflect on what I never thought would happen when I ventured into Oakcrest neighborhood on September 14. Tomorrow, however, is a new day. And I trust it will be better.

May I Suggest Starting Over?

9 Aug

“Vitality shows in not only the ability to persist but the ability to start over.”

I’m borrowing this so-true quote from my friend MizFit (she borrowed it from F. Scott Fitzgerald), because I so totally believe in the power of starting over. My own start-overs are what inspired this blog, and I happen to be working on a few at this very moment. I’ll devote whole posts to them at some point, but in a nutshell, they are:

  • School starts in less than two weeks, and that means fresh school supplies, and meeting teachers, and establishing routines, and classroom volunteer opportunities, and I love it all.
  • I’m taking on a few new work projects (three of them editing gigs), and I’m eager to roll them into my world.
  • As always, I’m tweaking my diet and exercise efforts so I can keep my body and my weight at a healthy happy. It’s never easy, but always worth it.

Got any plans for starting over? Would love to hear!

Gluten-Free Works For Me

15 Jun

I am not going to say a whole lot about the gluten-free diet, because I’m a newbie, and I don’t think I have the skills necessary for spouting out real knowledge on the subject.

I can say that a gluten-free diet is one that excludes the protein gluten, which is found in grains such as wheat, barley, and rye, and that it’s the prescribed treatment for folks with celiac disease. (People with celiac disease who consume gluten have a reaction in their small intestines that is reportedly painful in all sorts of ways.) Do I have celiac disease? Not sure, but my blood is sitting in a lab somewhere, and before too long, I’m going to find out.

If I do have the disease, I’ll keep eating gluten-free.

If I don’t have the disease, I’ll keep eating gluten-free.

It just makes me feel better. Way better.

I veered onto the gluten-free highway maybe two weeks ago, after lots of tummy troubles, and now, all the treats I’ve always loved and craved are gone. I’m talking Wheat Thins, Teddy Grahams, frosted and sprinkled animal crackers, any basket of bread found on a restaurant table, and so much more — all ditched because I realized these goodies were likely responsible for my twisted-up insides.

Long gone are the buns on my turkey burgers, and so is the marinade that soaked into those patties. Pasta has to be a special variety, and so does its sauce. No more backyard bonfire smores, and that sweetness pictured above — yea, not on the diet.

The list goes on, and I’m still figuring it all out (air-popped popcorn is safe, I think, but TCBY frozen yogurt is not). In the meantime, I’m eating lean meats (do you know Boar’s Head deli turkey is gluten-free?), fresh fruits and veggies, some nuts, eggs, and a few other items. It’s the cleanest diet I’ve ever practiced and the best I’ve felt in a long time. The funny thing is, I’m not even really dying for the old favorites, because I fear if I eat them, they’ll make me sick.

So, I don’t have a bunch of wisdom to share — yet — but Shauna James Ahern does, and I hear her blog is one rockin’ resource for people like me trying to build meals and snacks that are healthy, yummy, and gluten-free. So pay her a visit if you’re in market for some accurate scoop, and then come see me later down the line, because one of these days, I am going to zero in on what exactly I’m doing.

And, of course, if you’re a pro on the subject, please, please, please share your smarts in comments.

Turn Off the Tunes and Run

1 Jun

Today, I ran without music. A big deal for me, because usually, if I don’t have music, I don’t run. It’s all linked to motivation — my playlist pumps me up, keeps me invigorated, pushes me through the tough spots. Well, I thought it did. Until today.

Inspired by a runner friend who turned off her tunes yesterday and remarked that the sounds of nature and her own breathing kept her moving, I decided to unplug. Well, to be honest, I run after I drop kids at school, and I’d forgotten to put the iShuffle in the car, so, really, my choices were (1) don’t run or (2) run without music. I went with (2), just because I’m sometimes open to a new challenge (but not one that involves camping or anything like that).

The run rocked! While it wasn’t so much birds chirping in my ears as it was traffic roaring by, I did find myself concentrating on my breathing. I liked that. And I think if you were watching me from your speeding-by car, you’d think I was swifter, faster, steadier in my pursuit of 3.2 miles. With music, I slow down and speed up according to my songs, and I know there’s value to that, but today’s quicker, more-focused pace was kinda cool, too. Other benefits of tuning out: I could actually hear myself greeting other runners on the road, no wrestling with earbuds that slip and slide, and the thoughts running through my head (like, “I really need to drink water when I get home”) were really great company.

Will I abandon my playlist entirely? Probably not. Will I run music-free again? Definitely.