Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Feb 1 - National Wear Red Day - Promote Awareness of Heart Disease in Women

Help us make America Go Red this February. Here are just a few ideas:

• Paint the town red! Whether it's your home, or your neighborhood Main Street, we need your help to shine a red spotlight in the community
• Have a Wear Red Day event. Whether at work, school or your club, our planning guide, posters and flyer will help you put together a great event.
• Shop For a Cause. 100% of proceeds after expenses to educate around heart disease and stroke.
• Research to save women's lives is only possible though donations. Create a Fundraising page or Donate today.
• Know the Symptoms of a Heart Attack. Some signs may be a different for women than men. Know them and share them with a woman you love.
• Turn your Twitter or Facebook profile picture red using our red dress image, or change your cover on Facebook.
• Share your pictures with us. Join the America Goes Red Challenge, where thousands of Wear Red Day photos will be shared.
• Honor a loved one with a memorial donation to the American Heart Association.
• Know your Heart Score. Think you are eating right and getting enough exercise? It takes 5 minutes to make sure. Take the My Life Check and find out where you stand.

Help us make America go red and Save Women's Lives!

Learn More at GoRedForWomen.org/WearRedDay

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Free Sample Valspar Paint from Lowes

Feeling the winter rut & ready for a change?   I'm always thinking about painting a room, a piece of furniture...anything to change things up and add a little color.  Right now you can get a free coupon for a sample size of Valspar paint from Lowes, perfect for sampling a color in a room to see if you like it OR to paint a small piece of furniture!  Like them on Facebook to get yours today (offer ends 1/31/13). 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Rescue Mission Annual Walk for Homeless

The 8th Annual Walk-A-Mile-in-My-Shoes Event for the Grant County Rescue Mission is Saturday, February 16th.  Check-in for the event is at 9:15am and the event starts at 10am.  It is a 1 mile walk to raise awareness about the homeless population in Grant County and also to raise funds for the Grant County Rescue Mission.  The event is free, but walkers are encouraged to get pledges to raise money for the Rescue Mission.  The event starts and ends at the Marion YMCA.

To register, go to www.grantcountyrescuemission.com or call Debbie Ballard at #662-0988 (dbrballard@yahoo.com). 

My family has done this event together the past 3 years - we'll be there again this year and hope to see you there. 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

AnnualCreditReport.com - Getting My Ducks in a Row

In the new year, I'm all about trying to purge/clean/organize/simplify my life.  I try to do this regularly, yet still end up feeling overwhelmed multiple times per year at how quickly things pile up.  As the year came to an end, I looked around at all the stuff in my house (as I do every year!), papers for my kids, mail, statements, mess in my kitchen, half used toiletry bottles in bins in my closet, etc., and I realized I NEED TO GET RID OF THE JUNK IN MY LIFE!

We spent New Year's Day cleaning out our attic.  Ever the recycler, I have been storing way too many boxes, packing materials, etc. (things I didn't want to waste) in my attic, and a few hours of cleaning with my husband resulted in a MUCH cleaner & organized attic (and new play space for my kids), as well as a big pile for recycling for the curb and another pile to take to the Rescue Mission.  It was a good start to getting organized in the new year.  I also spent some time in our home office, going through old files and shredding statements - it felt good to get rid of JUNK.  I'm still working on my budget for the year, along with a mapped out schedule of dates for when what bill is paid and how it is paid (charged to credit card, debited from account, send check, etc.).  I've done a little sorting in my kitchen, getting rid of things I don't really use/need to create space in my cupboards, but I need to do some more.  And, I've yet to tackle my closet with half used toiletries, etc., but the day is still young! 

Today, my first project was to get my annual free credit report and to audit it, as I've been meaning to do for a year!  I went to AnnualCreditReport.com, and spent about 15 minutes plugging in my info an printing out my report (you no longer have to wait for them to mail them to you, you get them right away & can save to PDF!).  It really wasn't nearly as much of a headache as I anticipated... in fact, it was quite easy.  A few years ago we went to purchase our first house, and had to spend a good chunk of time cleaning up errors on our credit report - thankfully, this time I only found one error on one report I have to fix!


I suggest taking 15 mins - RIGHT NOW.  Go to AnnualCreditReport.com and audit your free reports from Experian, TransUnion and Equifax.  You'll feel accomplished, in control, and be glad you did. :)

Saturday, January 12, 2013

KidsMealDeals.com - Website for finding free/cheap kids meals

Kids Eat Free Restaurants at KidsMealDeals.com

 I'm a working mom, and have found this year that there are nights when eating out sounds like a real help in our crazy schedule - no planning ahead/shopping, no prep, no clean-up, and no arguing. :)  Most nights we eat in, but every once in a while I'm thrilled to get to eat out!  That said, the miser in me can never justify eating out if I know how much it will be compared to how much a meal at home costs.

Enter KidsMealDeals.com - a website where you enter your zip code or city (you can use it while you're traveling away from home too!) and it will tell you the restaurants in the area that have free and reduced kids meals.  Several times in the last month we've taken advantage of Fazoli's Tues night kids eat for $.99, which has made Tues nights a much needed break for me in middle of the madness of the week! 

Try it in your area today.  :)

Thursday, January 10, 2013

YMCA Joiner Fee Reduced in January

Join the YMCA in January, and your Joiner Fee (regularly up to $80) will be reduced to the date you join!  So, today is January 10th, and if you join your joiner fee is only $10!  It is a GREAT way to start the new year off right!  My family is a member of the YMCA, and we take advantage of the FREE childcare while my husband and I work out (and catch up with each other!) at the end of the day.  We also take advantage of their pool on Saturdays (my kids LOVE it!), and have done their Bitty Sports in the past.  This spring we're going to do swim lessons for my kiddos (only $15/month for members!).

Need to get moving in the new year?  Join today!

Grant County YMCA
123 Sutter Way
Marion, Indiana 46952
p: 765-664-0544
f: 765-664-0548
Hours of Operation:
Mondays-Friday  5:30 a.m.-9:00 p.m.
Saturday 6:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Sundays (members only) starting November 4, 2012 through March 24, 2013 12-5 p.m.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Christmas Tree Disposal/Mulching

Disposal of your Christmas Tree in Marion...

Have you taken down all your Christmas decorations yet?  We just finished getting our stuff down tonight - such a depressing time of year.  :( 

Not sure what to do with your tree?  Call the Street Dept in Marion - (765) 668-4451 -give them your address, and they'll pick it up within a day or two from your house!  They'll add this to the mulch pile the same as they do with your yard waste/paper bagged leaves, etc. 

I'm having my carpets cleaned tomorrow, which was the urgency for getting our tree down & out of the way, but apparently, we should have waited until January 7th, the day after Epiphany. See below if you're curious to find out more!

Answer: Traditionally, Catholics did not take down their Christmas trees and other Christmas decorations until January 7, the day after Epiphany. The Twelve Days of Christmas begin on Christmas Day; the period before that is Advent, the time of preparation for Christmas. The twelve days of Christmas end on Epiphany, the day that the Three Wise Men came to pay homage to the Child Jesus.
Because so many people, especially in the United States, treat the Advent season as the "Christmas season," however, the actual Christmas season gets lost. By the time Christmas Day comes, people are ready to pack up the decorations, and the tree—which they might have put up as early as Thanksgiving weekend—is probably past its prime.

If we were to revive the older tradition of putting up the Christmas tree and decorations closer to Christmas (see "When Should You Put Up Your Christmas Tree?"), then we could celebrate Advent to its fullest—and in keeping our decorations up after Christmas Day, we might find a renewed sense of joy in celebrating all Twelve Days of Christmas.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


Happy New Year! 

2013... kind of crazy.  Lots of possibilities in the new year, and in the craziness of the "old" year of 2012 the past few weeks (Christmas, events, sickness, travel, etc.), I never have actually started to think about the new year until last night, when I asked my husband what he'd like to do in the new year (changes, new things, goals, etc.).  In asking my husband, I realized haven't even thought about it myself! 

I read an article in the paper a few weeks ago, which talked about what we leave behind when we die.  Rather than talking about life insurance, etc., it was talking about the sheer amount of STUFF that people have to go through when we pass away, and how much stress & headache it is on the people who we leave to pick up the pieces.  The author of the article was encouraging readers to SIMPLIFY.  She asked, if something unexpected happened to each of us today, would someone (husband, parents, friend, sibling, etc.) be able to come behind us and FIND things that are important? 

Unfortunately, the answer to that question for me is NO.  I do all the bills in my house - pay stuff, keep track of stuff, file stuff, etc. - and while my system could be worse, it could be a WHOLE lot better.  I have pieces of paper tucked into multiple drawers, I have two checkbooks, I don't have dates for paying bills written anywhere but in my head.... I have multiple savings accounts, multiple credit cards, ETC.  It would be a real headache for someone to try to learn my system.  Additionally, I just have too much stuff - even though I try to "purge" multiple times per year, we still keep ending up with too much stuff.

So, in this new year, I pledge (again....I'm sure I've done this before) to SIMPLIFY.  I want less STUFF, less HEADACHE, less PAPER, less clothes & gadgets that I don't LOVE.  And, while I think getting a few things to help me get organized might help, I think the main thing I need to do is to go through every room and GET RID of stuff I don't need.  I'm going to start today.  AND, I'm going to go through my home office, file by file, and start getting organized - writing down dates bills are due, seeing which accounts I can close, and making things easier on me now, and anyone who might have to come behind me.

January 1, 2013 - let the simplifying BEGIN!