March 28, 2008

The Top 20 Worst Foods in America

Starting with the least offensive and moving on to the worst violator:

20: Worst Fast-Food Chicken Meal - Chicken Selects Premium Breast Strips from McDonald's (5 pieces) with cream ranch sauce. 830 Calories, 55 grams fat (4.5 trans fat), 48 carbs. Add large fries and regular soda and this seemingly innocuous chicken meal tops out at 1,710 calories.

19: Worst drink - Jamba Juice Chocolate Moo'd Power Smoothie (30 fl oz). 900 calories, 10 g fat, 183 carbs, 166 g sugar. Jamba Juice calls it a smoothie, MSNBC calls it a milk shake. The beverage contains as much sugar as 8 pints of Ben & Jerry's butter pecan ice cream.

18: Worst supermarket meal - Pepperidge Farm Roasted Chicken Pot Pie (whole pie). 1,020 calories, 64 g fat, 86 g carbs. Label may say this pie serves two, but, who ever divided a small pot pi! e in half? Once you crack the crust, there will be no stopping.

17: Worst 'healthy' burger - Ruby Tuesday Bella Turkey Burger. 1,145 calories, 71 g fat, 56 g carbs.

16: Worst Mexican entree - Chipotle Mexican Gri ll Chicken Burrito. 1,179 calories, 47 g fat, 125 g carbs, 2,656 mg sodium.

15: Worst kids' meal - Macaroni Grill Double Macaroni 'n' Cheese. 1,210 calories, 62 g fat, 3,450 mg sodium. It's like feeding your kid 1-1/2 boxes of Kraft mac 'n' cheese.

14: Worst sandwich - Quiznos Classic Italian (large). 1,528 calories, 92 g fat, 4,604 mg sodium, 110 g carbs. A large homemade sandwich would m ore likely provided about 500 calories.

13: Worst salad - On the Border Grande Taco Salad with Taco Beef. 1,450 calories, 102 g fat, 78 g carbs, 2,410 mg sodium. This isn't an anomaly: Five different On the Border salads on the menu contain more than 1, 100 calories each.

12: Worst burger - Carl's Jr. (Hardee's on East Coast) Double Six Dollar Burger. 1,520 calories! , 111g fat. Carl's Jr. brags it's home to this enormous sandwich, but the restaurant chain also provides convenient nutrition info on its Web site -- so ignorance is no excuse for eating it.

11: Worst steak - Lonestar 20 oz T-bone. 1,540 calories, 124g fat. Add a baked potato and Lonestar's Signature Lettuce Wedge, and this is a 2,700 calorie blowout.

10: Worst breakfast - Bob Evans Caramel Banana Pecan Cream S tacked and Stuffed hotcakes. 1,540 calories, 77 g fat (9 g trans fat), 198 g carbs, 109 g sugar. Five Egg McMuffins yield the same caloric cost as this stack of sugar-stuffed flapjacks, which is truly a heavy breakfast, weighing in at a hefty pound and a half.

9: Worst dessert - Chili's Chocolate Chip Paradise Pie with Vanilla Ice Cream. 1,600 calories, 78 g fat, 215 g carbs. Would you eat a Big Mac for dessert? How about three? That's the calorie equivalent of this decadent dish. Clearly, Chili's customers get their money's worth.

8: Worst Chinese entree - P.F. Chang's Pork Lo Mein. 1,820 calories, 127 g fat,! 95 g carbs. The fat content in this dish alone provides more than 1,100 calories. And you'd have to eat almost five servings of pasta to match the number of carbs it contains. Now, do you really need five servings of pasta?

7: Worst chicken entree - Chili's Honey Chipotle Crispers with Chipotle Sauce. 2,040 calories, 99 g fat, 240 g carbs. 'Crispers' refers to an extra thick layer of break crumbs that soak up oil and adds unnecessary calories and car bs to these glorified chicken strips.

6: Worst fish entree - On the Border Dos XX Fish Tacos with Rice and Beans. 2,100 calories, 130 g fat, 169 g carbs, 4,700 mg sodium. Perhaps the most misleadingly named dish in America : A dozen crunchy tacos from Taco Bell will saddle you with fewer calories.

5: Worst pizza - Uno Chicago Grill Chicago Classic Deep Dish Pizza. 2,310 calories, 162 g fat, 123 g carbs, 4,470 mg sodium. Downing this 'personal' pizza is equivalent to eating 18 slices of Domino's Crunchy Thin Crust cheese pizza.

4: Worst pasta - Macaroni Grill Spaghetti and Meatballs with Meat Sauce. 2,430 calories, 128 g fat, 207 g carbs, 5,290 mg sodium. This meal satisfied your calorie requirements for an entire day.

3: Worst nachos - On the Border Stacked Border Nachos. 2,740 calories, 166 g fat, 191 g carbs, 5,280 sodium.

2: Worst starter - Chili's Awesome Blossom. 2,710 calories, 203 g fat, 194 g carbs, 6,360 mg sodium.

And #1: The worst food in America - Outback Steakhouse Aussie Cheese Fries with Ranch Dressing. 2,900 calories, 182g fat, 240g carbs. Even if you split these 'starters' with three friends, you'll have downed a dinner's worth of calories before you entree arrives.

Now there's some food for thought!

Have a Wonderful Day Y'all!!

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March 27, 2008

TT #55

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13 things I cant live without

1. My family and the ones I love.

2. Eggs...I love them fried, poached, or scrambled with a twist.

3. Music...I love my IPOD (Thank You DBF Michael) and listening to the radio.

4. Sex (hmmmm, this should probably be #2, its definitely better than eggs).

5. Survivor, Lost, or Biggest Loser. I know thats 3 but they are all on TV.

6. Air Conditioning in my house and in my car. The Summers here are HOT!

7. Mexican Food.

8. Lotion...I use it 100 times a day. Coconut Lime is my favorite.

9. My cell phone. I dont leave home without it.

10. A mirror to look at myself before I go out in public (I'd never last on Survivor).

11. Family photos of all my memories.

12. Going to the movies...I love them!!

13. Hot coffee in the morning and over ice in the afternoon (Starbucks).

March 25, 2008

Wordless Spring Wednesday

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Some terms commonly used in Divorce

Affidavit A sworn statement in writing.

Alimony Payment of support (not child support) from one spouse to another so that the spouse receiving the payment can maintain the lifestyle that he/she was accustomed to during the marriage. Also called spousal support or maintenance.

Arrearages The difference between the amount of alimony or child support paid, if any, and the amount required under court order.

Community Property A rule of property division which divides equally all property acquired during the term of the marriage, without regard to whose name it is held. Inheritances and gifts are excluded in some jurisdictions.

Pro Se To represent yourself in court proceedings without an attorney.

QDRO Qualified Domestic Relations Order. A ruling by the court stating what portion of one spouse's pension is to be awarded to the other spouse.

Quid Pro Quo The giving of one valuable thing for another.

Complaint The formal document filed with the Court which states that the plaintiff wants a divorce and why.

Contested Divorce The party sued opposes the because either : she/he denies the asserted grounds or he/she does not agree with the suing party as to the terms of the divorce i.e. property, child custody, child support, alimony, assumption of marital debts etc.

Custodial Parent The parent with whom the child(ren) live the majority of the time with.

Deposition Where a party or witness is asked questions orally before a court reporter.

Equitable Distribution The division of the property (marital assets) acquired during the marriage. Marital debts can also be part of the equitable distribution.

Mediation Process by which you work with a neutral third party to prepare your divorce agreement. This process is voluntary and non-binding.

Pendente Lite Support A temporary order of the Court which provides support until the divorce is finalized.

March 24, 2008

Does it count?

If you break up with someone, and then get back together, does what happens while you're apart count? I mean, If you slept with someone else, can they hold it against you? I have thrown this concept out and cant seem to come to any type of conclusion. I understand the realization of break ups. Lord knows Ive been thru a few in my time. I know that I have said the quickest way to mend a broken heart is to replace them. However, what if it wasn't the end? Is there a protocol people are suppose to follow or do you just do what you do when you want to do it? To me, if you really love someone, they cant easily be replaced. I also know that sleeping with someone else doesn't make the pain go away, no matter how good the sex was. If you are in a meaningful relationship, I would refrain from doing anything unless you are sure. The reason, if the person finds out days, months, or years after the fact, they are going to want answers. Then, what will you say? Do they even have a right to know? I guess, technically, when you're're single. It probably falls under the old saying, "What you don't know, won't hurt you"..although, I'm sure skeletons in the closet have been the reason for many divorces and/or break ups. My advise would be, keep your slate clean. If you truly care about the person you just broke up with, give it time. Don't rush into rebound relationships and/or sex, even though ghosts from the past may be an easy prospect. Remember, they are in the past for a reason. Why reopen that can of worms? Is it really worth potentially damaging any hopes for a reconciliation with the person you really love? Just curious......

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March 22, 2008

Lets talk about Alimony

Alimony, also called maintenance in some states, is money paid by one spouse to the other after a divorce for the purpose of support. Husbands as well as wives are sometimes responsible for alimony. If you mention the word "alimony" it often sets off strong emotional responses. In the past, before so many women worked outside the home, the husband was the one who paid, and he paid more if he was at fault in the divorce. Sometimes, if the wife was at fault, she was not granted alimony. At the present time, a very small percentage of divorces or separations even involve the payment of alimony; of those that do, an even smaller number receive alimony for more than a brief period of time. Fault is no longer a factor in granting or limiting alimony in more than half of the states. Ask your mediator about the alimony situation in your state. Permanent alimony is a term generally reserved for an elderly, unskilled spouse who's been married for many years, or the spouse of a wealthy person who would be totally unable to maintain the standard of living the wealthy spouse had been providing. If you successfully negotiate for any alimony, it will probably be for a specific period of time so that you can develop a way to earn a satisfactory living or qualify for a promotion. The other option is to get temporary alimony, which is intended to compensate you for time spent in the past helping your spouse with his or her business or career, or in some circumstances, for time you will spend without full-time employment until your child reaches a certain age. You will need to negotiate about whether you will receive any payments, and if so, how much and for how long. You will want to be sure there is enough money available, in accordance with the child support guidelines, for child support and child-related expenses before alimony is negotiated. Then the income and expenses of both you and your spouse must be considered to determine if alimony is appropriate. Take a realistic look at your personal financial situation, have a complete physical examination, and try to make the best possible assessment of your present and future needs, especially with regard to when and under what circumstances you become self-sufficient. These considerations will help you negotiate for an appropriate amount of alimony. I personally didnt ask to for it, but it was offered by the judge at which point, I waived it. As long as you are perfecty capable of supporting yourself, I think its unnecessary to request it. However, if you're married to a millionaire, I say go for it!!

March 20, 2008

The Right to Bare Arms

I'm not a big fan of guns. I never have been. Truth be told, they scare the crap out of me. However, my son just inherited some sort of Military rifle from my Father. I truly believe that if people have guns in their house, someone is more likely to get hurt or even killed. Add a heated argument between two people that don't get along anymore, (a husband & wife, girlfriend & boyfriend, or two siblings) and things could get out of control very quickly. And then you have another consideration. A 16 year old that loves to play video games. In my opinion, that has trouble written all over it. I don't understand the need to bare arms. I guess depending on where you live, you might really need that type of protection but why was such a thing invented in the first place? Why are children of today so fascinated with killing? My son does not know its in my house, I chose not to tell him. Although, he does know that he inherited a gun. My Father had quite a collection, but I must say, I wish he would have never brought it up to Brad nor left it to him. I honestly don't know what to do. The thought of handing it over when he turns 18 scares the crap out of me but I feel as if I will have no choice at that point. I don't believe in violence. I think we should all treat people the way we want to be treated. If it wasn't for guns and "weapons of mass destruction" we wouldn't be in a war right now. Maybe someday the world can get past the urge to kill and hurt one another. In the meantime, I'm stuck with this awful machine in my house and an uneasy feeling in my gut. Any suggestions?

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TT #54

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13 terms to help you surf the personals

1. 40-ish = 49

2. Adventurous = Slept with everyone

3. Athletic = (for girls) no boobs...(for boys) stuck on themselves

4. Average looking = Ugly

5. Emotionally Secure = On Medication

6. Free Spirit = Junkie

7. Self employed = Unemployed

8. Fun = Annoying

9. New age = Body hair in the wrong places or body piercings

10.Outgoing = Loud and embarassing

11. Passionate = Sloppy drunk

12. Professional = Bitch and/or Jackass

13.Wants soul mate = stalker

Sorry about Mr. Linky this week. I had some format issues but finally got is resolved after 18 comments. I will be back in full swing next week:)

March 17, 2008

Gastric bypass vs. Lap Band

I have been doing some research online about Gastric Bypass and Lap Band surgery. For those of you who don't know what these are, the Gastric Bypass is a surgery that makes the stomach smaller and allows food to bypass part of the small intestine. The smaller stomach is connected directly to the middle portion of the small intestine, bypassing the rest of the stomach and the upper portion of the small intestine. Although guidelines vary, surgery is generally considered when your body mass index is 40 or higher or you have a life-threatening or disabling condition related to your weight. The Lap Band is the brand name of the FDA-approved, adjustable gastric band used in the actual procedure. It is a silicone belt that goes around the top of the stomach. This results in the ability to control your hunger and achieve a "feeling of fullness". Ultimately, you eat much less and should feel full sooner. A key component of the Lap-Band System is its adjustability. The band is connected to a port, which enables the device to be inflated over time to expedite the weight loss. It appears to be a safer surgery but Id like to hear from anyone that has had a Lap Band. I think that Gastric Bypass is a bit too extreme for someone that doesn't need to loss 100+ pounds. I worked in a hospital that had more than one person die from it secondary to massive infection. However, for a person that needs to loss between 50 to 75 pounds, the Lap Band might just be a better choice. So, has anyone out there had this surgery or know someone that has? I know its been around for a while but you don't really hear too much about it. I'm interested in live feedback, not by websites trying to sell their products, but by people that will give me honest answers.


I read alot of blogs. The majority of the blogs that I read are owned by parents of small children. They talk about how wonderful their little ones are and what new things they are learning. I think thats awesome. I remember the days when kids never questioned what you said or requested of them, they just did it. Little people adore big people and they never think to second guess the authority figures in the house...UNTIL they become teenagers. Parents of small children beware. One day, those precious angels that you dote on will become rebellious young adults that think you are completely clueless. Its funny, when I go thru things with my kids, I try to remember what it was like as a teenager. Yep, I thought I knew it all too. True, my mother had no idea of the things I was doing and getting away with, but she was never stupid. I think I figured out what life was all about shortly after I moved out on my own and I found a whole new respect for her. As parents, we should tell our kids that life is tough. Nothing comes easy. If you want something, you have to work for it and there are going to be a million times that you don't want to do things but you do them anyway. It seems that today's youth are disrespectful and unappreciative of the things that they have. That's wrong. Why do parents give in to the outrageous demands of teens? Going back to our roots and the way children were raised "back in the day" would be a good thing. Kids held down jobs and bought the things they wanted, and in turn, appreciated it much more. Spoiling children doesn't get them ready for real life, it makes them spoiled adults that have a hard time holding down jobs because everything has been handed to them. I don't believe in spanking a child because you can get your point across without beating it into them. However, you must be unrelenting. I guess my point is, how we raise our kids today is what kind of adults they will turn into. Make your child work for what they want. If nothing else, it builds character. Time outs are good, but don't give in to their screaming demands. If they are teens, take their computer away or their car. Be creative!! Yes, sometimes its easier to give in then to hear their mouth, but in the end, its not helping your child. Its teaching them that if they yell loud enough, people will cave in to their insistence. Am I wrong? Any parents of teens out there with a little input on this subject?

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March 15, 2008

Parents without Partners

Parents Without Partners is now the largest international, nonprofit membership organization devoted to the welfare and interests of single parents and their children. Single parents may join one of approximately 200 chapters. They can be male or female, custodial or non-custodial, separated, divorced, widowed or never-married. My DBF Michael was reading the paper and noticed an advertisement for a dance they were holding in my city. He suggested doing an article for PWP considering my blog is primarily about single parents. I thought it would be a great idea so I did some research. As a member of PWP, you share in the opportunity to interact with a large-scale network of single parents, facing together the unique challenges and triumphs of parenting today. They provide a myriad of social and educational activities for parents and children from all walks of life. If you have any questions you can call: 561-391-8833. An individual, who meets the above eligibility requirements, can join PWP. Once you find a chapter in your area, contact the individual listed who will inform you of the chapter's activities, orientation days, etc. The annual membership fee varies between individual chapters; however the range is between $20 to $40. I’m not sure if this is something you are willing to invest in or what type of benefits you get with the membership fee but you can call the number or just look them up online. I hear that this membership is the best alternative for a hands-on, local support network. For those of you who are struggling and want to interact with someone that is going thru or has gone thru the same thing you are, I think this is a great idea.

March 14, 2008

The Death of a Spouse

Divorce is one thing, you're not happy with the way things are so you do something about it. Death, on the other hand, is something completely different. How do you handle the lose of someone that you werent ready to lose? Dealing with children left behind from a divorce is a bit easier because they know that even though Mommy or Daddy is gone, they will see them again. When the other parent is gone forever, its harder to fill the hole in their heart especially if the death was unexpected. I would suggest dealing with both situations similar. Make sure that the child/children, first and foremost, know that they are loved by both parents. Be there for them to voice their hurt and feelings towards the situation and the complete change in their life. Understand that even though you are grieving for a person you loved very much, they have lost their parent. That puts it in a different category. As the voice of very recent experience, the death of a parent can be devestasting. Im 41 years old and found it hard to deal with, imagine being a child and going thru the same thing. Im not sure if there is anything you can really do to make the pain go away but if you let your child/children know that you are there for them, that will make all the difference in the world. They say that time heals all wounds, Im not sure if that is true, but it definitely makes the pain a little less intense. There are also support groups to help deal with these types of issues. Go online or look in your local phonebook for options. You need to know that you're not alone. There's nothing wrong with asking for help. After all, we are only human.

March 13, 2008

TT #53

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13 Do's and Dont's in a relationship.

1. DO always make your partner feel loved and appreciated.

2. DON'T put them down or make them feel bad about themselves.

3. DO anything extra to make their life easier when you can.

4. DON'T have a wondering eye. Be happy with what you have, the grass is NEVER greener. Its a respect thing.

5. DO find time to have sex on a regular basis. Its amazing how close that can bring you.

6. DON'T expect things. Be grateful for what they do for you.

7. DO not only hear what they say but actually listen.

8. DON'T lie or keep secrets. If you know what you are doing is wrong, you shouldn't be doing it.

9. DO always tell them you love them before you leave or end a call. They should always know how you feel.

10. DON'T make decisions about your future when you are angry. If you wait, chances are you will change your mind.

11. DO leave them love notes when they least expect it. What a wonderful surprise.

12. DON'T forget to laugh. Its amazing how much happier it will make you both.

13. DO your best to make it work. Even when there are doubts, make a commitment and stick to it.

March 11, 2008

Community Property

Many of you know my father passed away recently and my sisters and I are having to contend with his wife of 3 years now. She married my father knowing that he was a very sick man, and personally, we all knew she was a gold digger except my father. She has been throwing out the term "Community Property" quite a bit these days. I went on Wikipedia to determine what exactly that entails. This is what I found out. In a community property jurisdiction, most property acquired during the marriage(except for gifts or inheritances) is owned jointly by both spouses and is divided upon divorce, annulment or death. Division of community property may take place by item, by splitting all items or by value. In some jurisdictions, such as California, a 50/50 division of community property is mandated by law. If property is held as community property, each spouse technically owns an undivided one-half interest in the property. This type of ownership applies to most property acquired by the husband or the wife during the course of the marriage. It generally does not apply to property acquired prior to the marriage or to property acquired by gift or inheritance during the marriage. After a divorce, community property is divided equally in some states and according to the discretion of the court in the other states.The majority of my fathers belongings were acquired BEFORE their marriage but she thinks that because they were married, it belongs to her. However, she is not going thru a divorce, my father died. This is going to be a big battle that we will have to go thru to save our fathers things and it isn't fair. Its a shame to think that her drug addicted children are draining my fathers house, trying to get what they can, and they didnt even like him. Meanwhile, we(my sisters and I) had to hire an attorney to fight for what is rightfully ours. We don't deserve this and neither does my fathers memory. Has anyone been thru this with a parents spouse, and if so, any suggestions?

March 9, 2008

Child Support

I read a post the other day on the Divorce360 site that made me shake my head. A woman was talking about how she lives paycheck to paycheck but that she didn't want to ask for child support, she just wanted her last name back. Of course, I had to give her my 2 cents worth on that one. If your children are small and you are spending a fortune to raise them now, wait until they are teenagers!! Why in the world would you let another parent get off Scott free for the sake of a name? You can go back to your maiden name after the divorce anyway. I think that if two people came together and produced a child, they are both responsible for that child. One person should not bare the full burden of EVERYTHING. Its hard to raise a kid on your own, not to mention a decent adult. The children of today are our tomorrow. I don't think every child should have a cell phone, new car, or the latest electronics out there if you cant afford them...not even if you can. They need to learn responsibility. However, I'm talking about day to day living. I spent a fortune on groceries to feed 2 growing boys...heck, I'm still spending alot to feed my 16 year old. Now take into account new clothes, school supplies, lights that forget to be turned off, gas for your car and for hot water, Doctor and Dentist visits with co-pays, haircuts..the list is endless. It really adds up. To all of you single parents out there or soon to be divorced single parents, do whats right for the kids now. You can always take them to court later but why do tomorrow what can be done today? Don't short change yourself and make living a day to day struggle because you are short on cash while your ex pockets their paycheck. Trust me, you will be glad you did. Any thoughts?

March 7, 2008

Trust is key

Trust is the foundation to any relationship. Whether it be with a partner, a child, a sibling, or a friend. I think we start out in life trusting everyone. As a baby, your mother always takes care of your needs and you trust her to do so. Then you get older and learn that you cant rely on everyone. Your best friend sells you out as a child, your high school sweetheart dumps you and your heart is broken for the first time, you go thru your first divorce, and you get a taste of what the real world is all about. The person you swore to love, honor, and cherish is no longer the person you thought they were, in fact, you're not even sure you like them anymore. When you get into your 40's, you have had your fair share of heartache and disappointments. How do you get past that? Its not as simple as some may think. They say when you come out of a relationship, you should go into the next one like you have never been hurt before. Is that really possible? Those skeletons we try so hard to hide always show up and we are faced with a major dilemma. Everything needs to stop, for a brief moment in time, so we can lick the wounds of our past heartache before we can go on. Its not fair. I think, if children are taught how people should be treated in the beginning, there would be a lot less deception. I don't know if the trials we go thru as children of divorced parents has any part in what shapes us as a loving parent and partner, but something is definitely wrong. Is it too late? Has society as we know it completely lost the plot? Maybe its too late for me to start anew, but I'm hoping that my children's future will shine brighter than my pessimism. May they marry once, give me grandchildren, and live happily ever after. What?? It could happen, right? And for those of you who don't know what trust stands for, here goes: T=truthful, R=rational, U=undying, S=sincere, and T=tough, in a nutshell.

March 6, 2008

TT #52

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13 ways to save money

1. Accept frugality as your savior- If being a little cheap saves you money, so be it.

2. Cry poverty with style - Learn handy phrases like, "Lets eat somewhere cheap” or better yet, eat at home. You can save a bundle. Go out once a month instead of every weekend.

3. Don’t even think about it - Direct deposit is a savers best friend because the money is whisked away into your IRA, 401(k) or money market account and you don’t have to do a thing. Pretend like that money doesn’t even exist.

4. Don't overpay your taxes - Sure you love to get a fat refund from the IRS every spring. The fact is, however, you're effectively lending money to the government interest-free.

5. Raise your insurance deductibles - Reassess the deductibles for various kinds of insurance. If you can raise them, your premiums drop. How often do you have to actually use your insurance? Think of all that extra cash in your pocket that you are throwing out “just incase”.

6. Toss the catalogs – This is very common spending temptation known to man or woman. Chuck them straight in the trash.

7. Don’t pay unnecessary fees - Like the $1.50 you pay just because the ATM is right there as opposed to walking two blocks to your bank.

8. Bank your raise - You may find that measly 3% to 5% boost in the paycheck irritatingly tiny so add that to your direct deposit into your savings account.

9. Pay less for long-distance- Evaluate your phone bill and see how much you're paying per minute. It may be cheaper to buy a calling card.

10. Never pay full price - If you must shop, for pete's sake, discover the online world of discount Web sites or go directly to the clearance rack.

11. Recycle – You are already paying for that 12 pack, why not get a return on it?

12. Cut Coupons – It’s amazing how quick the savings can add up!

13. Haggle - You’d be amazed at who will drop their prices, fees and interest rates especially with airlines and hotels rooms.

March 3, 2008

Starting a new job

As some of you know, I recently changed jobs. It was a very hard decision to make but one that had to be made. I went from knowing my job like the back of my hand (after 6 years) to knowing absolutely nothing. Its extremely frustrating. My new employers were very supportive with the recent death of my father. I actually had to take my first week off to be by his side and eventually, grieve the loss. Now, I'm back to work and ready to get started. I have found with many different jobs, you are thrown into a position and you either sink or swim. The people you were hired to help can be over worked (in my case extremely behind), so its hard to get a full grasp of what is expected of me. I have found, from past experience, the best thing you can do is BREATHE. Learning every ones name isn't easy either but if you repeat their name back when they are introduced, it can help your memory bank. Its funny, I take a ton of notes when I am first starting a job but I find that I rarely ever use them. I think that is also another way of playing the memory game. If you right it down, re-read it, it may have a better chance of sticking in your head. My main problem is patience, not for other people (OK, maybe sometimes) but basically for myself. No one likes to feel stupid, and when you are learning something you have never done before, the chances of that increase. I have been in the medical field for 15 years, and Ive done alot of different things, but nothing about this job is familiar at all. The down side is the time it takes to learn enough to make you feel comfortable but the upside is being able to increase your worth and marketability. As a single mother I really have no choice, I have to make it work. I just wish it was 6 months down the road and I had the confidence that comes with time. Any suggestions on how to make this type of transition easier? I know I can do this and thats half the battle. Now, I just need the knowledge to do my job. Until then, I will remain cool, finish the tasks at hand, and ask tons of questions. This too shall pass.

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March 1, 2008

401K...its the right thing to do.

Alot of single parents wonder what they are going to do when its time to retire. We have spent our lives robbing Peter to pay Paul, leaving no money for a Savings account. Im here to tell you, its really not that hard. Everyone can put aside $25.00 dollars from each paycheck, now imagine if your employer matched it. The money really adds up quickly. I started saving into my 401K five years ago, with a company match, I have a nice chunk of change to my name. I just recently switched jobs and unfortunately, I wont be eligible for my new 401K until after 90 days and I have to cash the money out of my old one in 30. My Mom suggested putting it into an IRA account, that way I wont have to pay taxes on it and it will continue to earn interest. Im still a little new to the whole Stocks and Bonds thing but I know at 41, I really need to start thinking about my retirement. And while we are talking about the future, get that extra life insurance your employer offers you. Most companies have life insurance that they give to all employees at their cost but then there is usually a choice to get more if you pay into it. I opted for the $250,000 plan and only have to pay $11.34 a money. Thats nothing. I would hate to think if something happened to me tomorrow, my children would have nothing to take care of them in their time of need. It's all about your future and the future of your family. If your company doesnt offer a 401K, look into putting your money in an IRA. It really isnt that difficult and it makes good money sense.