Friday, September 27, 2013

Blog Journey: What's My take Away from ALL of This?

Okay reality check. Why did this happen to me and why did it come into my life? I am more about the take-away and how I am going to grow and move forward than I am about the actual experience...

We all have scripts that we need to play out and lessons to learn. What are mine?

  • I too have been judgmental about this topic in the past. About three weeks before this started, I had told a friend that I would never date a married man... I went on and on about it: absolute. I know for a fact that we need to be careful and thoughtful with our words and intentions... and here I sit. Will I ever learn to Never say Never? One more reminder that we are all on our personal journey. Sitting in judgement doesn't help the sender or receiver of the judgement.... It is my experience that passing judgement kind of has the same effect as anger on your body, mind and spirit: negative.
My Past Experiences:
  • My first serious boyfriend and the father of my daughter cheated on me with my best friend... and others.
  • What I realized as I sat talking to the married man, was that he was my Dad... Showing up in a different way. The relationship that he was describing with his wife was similar to that of my parents. Not as in the relationship, but as in the physical dynamics. It was then that it dawned on me that this was a big lesson for me. 
  • My father was a liar and a cheat. He cheated on my mother my whole life. As a little girl my mother would drag me out of bed in the middle of the night and put me in the car as we drove around town looking for my dad. No cell phones then. She would find him and as I sat in the car and watched them fight outside... I knew what was going on. 
  • My mother would put her head in my lap and cry to me as a very small child and share my father's escapades, so that I would feel sorry for her. I would rub her head and tell her that it would be alright; always the little adult. I was teased all through school and into my first years in college about my dad's "relationships." It's one of the reasons that I moved away as a young adult. I never knew who's mother he had been with. Humiliating for a kid in school... I could go on. You get the idea. 
  • My father would talk badly about my mother. He would say things about her being fat and the way she looked, the way she acted and make excuses to me for his behavior - never admitting or discussing his affairs... just making excuses for his time away from the house. I knew. 
  • They had no relationship and always said that they stayed together for the kids. That was a lie. They finally divorced after the final child had been out of the house for probably 8 years... or more. Married over 30 years. It was never for the kids. He was a horrible father.  It was a co-dependent, mutually abusive marriage. They lived together - yet apart and he was a cheat. Instead of being a man and leaving... even if it was to just make himself happy --- he lied and cheated. 

One lesson that I am probably supposed to learn is to see my father in a softer gentler way... 
I am not that evolved. Let's be authentic. His abuses were many. This is just one aspect.

It may help me see the married man in a softer gentler way, because I do understand what that could look like. Not the same as my parents, but similar.

It definitely helps me see women involved in this issue, from all angles, in a more understanding  way.

My responses and judgments have been driven by past and personal experiences... We all operate through our personal filters. Maybe I needed to have this touch my life so that I could see things from another angle.... I still have my own code of conduct and what I think is right for my life and how I want to move through this world... I guess that I just see that it is more complex than I originally gave energy to it, and that it is not black and white... It's complex.

I have to say... I really do not need to have any more difficult experiences to be able to connect with women. I have already lived so many lifetimes in this one, that I am able to identify and connect on a deep level with many. I have shared in their experiences. I will say it again... I have had enough difficult experiences and DO NOT need anymore. My life has been rich enough and I have paid attention to the lessons presented to me. 

Bring on the GOOD and the POSITIVE... 
I pay attention to all things good: BIG and SMALL... Bring them on: the GOOD!

Designing a life with grace and ease 


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Blog Connect: LOVE is More Powerful than Fear or Hate....

Thursday's are all about Connecting...

I am here to tell you that when you decide to show up and be your true authentic self, that people will show up in droves to support you. The love that is showered on me since I decided to take this journey has been overwhelming at times. Most days it is just pure joy, warmth, love and support. When we decide to let go of the fear that only serves as a barrier, the gifts come in.

I was walking and connecting with a colleague/friend a while ago, and I was talking about the wall that I built when I was younger to protect myself. She asked what the wall looked like, and I told her that it was definitely brick, tall and thick. She said, "How is it serving you now?" That really struck me... It was keeping the people out that I wanted to connect with in a deeper way. It wasn't protecting me anymore. It was hurting me and making me have to work 10X harder to connect with people and create the deep intimate relationships that I wanted in my life. We did some visualizations, meditations and did some other work to break that wall and put other protection tools in place that served me better.

Fear is not your friend. I know a lot of coaches are going to send me hate mail... In my opinion fear and anger are not your long term friends. They are deceptive and destructive. They may serve you in the moment... But, I think those occasions are rare and if you are living in a place where you are constantly tapping into fear and anger... My loving hope for you is that you find a way to move past that and find a healthier way to move forward. Love is ultimately a strong emotion and people respond more favorably to LOVE.

I am moving forward on my journey and LOVE is coming to me from all directions. Powerful, Authentic are being made constantly. My life is beautiful and blessed.

I am proof that thing change when you learn to shift your paradigms....

Join me tonight or listen to the playback of this radio show... About...

Get Your Prance On Ladies!!!

Lisa Lamont

Lisa Lamont

Join me tonight for a a heartfelt chat with radio host and woman extraordinaire Lisa Lamont founder of the Prancing Kittens! We are going to chat about not prejudging people before you get a chance to connect and really know who they are... You may be missing out...

Overlapping from my current blog and my most popular speaking topic: Don’t Judge a Book by its Cover ... Learn to Open Your Eyes to Unimagined Possibilities

Do you know the biggest networking and client mistake that you could possibly make?'s not being shy. Some would say it is making assumptions about people solely on their appearance. Making judgments about your client, customer or contacts maybe costing you money, relationships and more!
Thanks for the LOVE and SUPPORT!

Designing a life with grace and ease 


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

BLOG Savvy4Less: Easy Savings by Design!

I could write about Grocery shopping everyday for a year and not run out of tips, tools and techniques to help you save....

The big thing is that people ALWAYS tell me that it's just too much of a hassle to think about and deal with...

My ex husband used to be horrified and embarrassed that I used coupons.
It injured his ego. He would say that he made enough money that his wife didn't need to cut coupons... It was a personal hit to him every time we went shopping... UNTIL I broke down what I saved and put that money in an account. When that account built up to a certain level - I paid cash for a high end time share in Mexico. After that, he would smile to himself every time he stood in line with me and I would use coupons.

My grandfather was financially successful AND selectively frugal.
He spent money on the things he wanted and that mattered: A boat, travel, his Cadillac...
He saved on things that mattered less to him: groceries, meals, daily essentials. He used coupons and was careful with his money on a daily basis. He even went as far as to buy towels that were less fluffy, because they took too long to dry in the dryer....

As a young single mother, I learned to take on this practice. Maybe not as extreme in some instances.. However, It has never left. I could care less what people think of me when I use a coupon, because I know the value of a dollar.

I want to live at a certain standard, and have the lifestyle by design that I create.

One way that I do that is to take advantage of easy offers!

Here are two EASY offers:

offers a Red Card. It's a debit card that you apply for through target. It is not a credit card. It is a debit card that is attached directly to your checking account.

You receive 5% off of your purchase when you use the Red card. 
That's an easy 5% savings!

Target has the best clearance and sales: including on grocery items, toiletries and items 
that you need daily.

Why do they offer this benefit to customers?

  1. They track your purchases to send you better offers. In addition, forecasting sales is an important part of retailing. It helps them know what to purchase, and offer for sale. It also dictates the quantity that they order from manufactures. This actually saves the retailer money, because they don't end up with left overs and loose money having to throw it away or liquidate merchandise. That savings trickles down to consumers. Having purchases tracked freaks some people out... but, it's actually a positive in many ways.
  2. When a consumer use an outside source - credit card or debit card, Target is charged a service fee. By offering you 5% savings, they in turn are saving a fee as well. They are splitting the difference with the consumer. It's a win / win... Good business!

I save a minimum of 50% every time I grocery shop, without much effort at all.
Once you make it part of your routine, it is automatic and you don't think about it much. I too can shop and end up getting most items for free; just like the extreme savings you see on tv shows and in print.

However, this does take a lot of work and energy. I think it overwhelms people. I prefer to make it easy and accessible for everyone. Just because I know how... doesn't mean that I am pressured to do so. Take the tips you want and that work for you, and leave the rest behind...

Safeway has one of the best loyalty reward grocery programs around. They offer discounts on staples like meat, produce, dairy, alcohol and health foods. Some only give you savings on packaged and unhealthy items, forcing people that are trying to save into buying things that are not good for them....

Loyalty Reward Benefits:
  • Get your flu shot at Safeway and they will give you a coupon for 10% off of your total purchase. (there are restrictions read carefully)
  • Try free grocery delivery.
  • Reward points toward gas discounts
  • Purchase 7 cafe sandwiches and get the 8th FREE.
  • Transfer Prescription and get $25 reward.
  • Regular Freebies added to your card
  • Weekly Specials.
  • Purchase 6 or more bottles of alcohol and receive an additional 10% off.
  • Just 4 You Programs: 
  • Coupon Center - no clipping. It's added to your card
  • Personalized deals - calculated just 4 you based on your purchase history. (this is how you end up with the items that you normally buy like produce and health foods instead of frozen pizza)
  • Club Specials - based on geography and availability.
  • Once you have selected the savings that you want to take advantage of online at They will email you the list with pictures of the items so they are easy to find in the store... EASY offer and tools to make you successful at SAVING!

Take Advantage of Different Ways to Layer Your Savings!
  • You can use paper manufacturers coupons in addition to the digital savings added to your card. Check out the blog about Savings On Steriods... You can print out coupons and get benefits from the sites mentioned, as well as at SAFEWAY! I am not only saving over 50% at Safeway... I am layering my savings and getting points and credit at one of the online sites listed in my blog as well :-)
  • You can add rebates too which is an additional layer... Sometimes they are hanging on products! Keep your eye out!
  • Look for tags hanging on products: including wine... to mail in and add an additional layer to save even more! 

  • Look for Coupon Tickers / Dispensers to next to products that you are interested in...

Even if you don't opt for the additional savings - 
the 50% off is an EASY Offer to take advantage of!


A few of My Favorite Deals!

Top 5 Favorite Ways to Design Your Savings!

Coffee Club for My Lifestyle


It Should ALL Start Here!

Happy Saving and don't forget to sign up for updates!!! 

Designing a life with grace and ease 


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

BLOG GPS: The Married Man...

Here is what I posted on Facebook that sent everyone into a frenzy...

More on my personal journey and dating GPS blog next week... I always said that it would never be me... How did I get entwined with a married man... Now what? If it could happen to me... It could happen to anyone... Read more about it on Tuesday... 

I definitely hit some raw nerves... Some of the people that showed up with Major Judgement surprised me. 3 people unfriended me: a gift. One I had to tell that I did not want her in my life anymore, after she verbally attacked me, my character... and more. It was abusive and brutal. Funny the condemnation was about me personally and had very little to do with the actual topic... and I never even stated what happened...
there were lots of judgments and assumptions. 
Which only makes me know that I am talking about the right topics....

The beautiful thing that came out of it - as is with all of my vulnerable, personal posts is that women come to me in droves and express themselves and share their experiences - many times about things that they have never been able to talk about before. They are given a voice and allowed to share without judgement. That is my goal and it is working. I will continue to talk about the things that no one else will... That is part of my journey.

Again. This is my journey and my experience. It has no reflection on anyone but me....

So this what happened....

I rent out my spare room sometimes. He rented my room because he is working in the city. It was casual and business like. We exchanged conversations. I asked him if he was married and about his kids. He said that he had been divorced for 13 years... There was no intent to date. No reason to lie.... Separate rooms. We ended up spending lots of time together and he was there for me while my sister was having her health scare. I have NEVER had a man be kinder and more caring to me: PERIOD. We laughed constantly and he lit up when he was around me. We connected.

My friends met him and loved him. They thought he was "the one." They have not liked any of the others....

I met his brother... still no clue. I went to his jobsite...

I refuse to move through life cynical and not trusting people... BUT, I asked all of the right questions and had my eyes open. I was his friend on facebook. No hiding...

We were getting closer and closer... and then I accidentally found out.  The look in his eyes was not an oh shit... it was an oh my God I am hurting you look. I know that he cares about me and I care about him. We have a great connection and tons in common... But, in the end he lied to me. Earlier I had expressed what I wanted in a relationship, when his reality came out, it became quite clear that he could not offer that to me. He had nothing to offer me. He told me that he would leave his wife and asked if I would still see him.. My hope is that he does leave... for himself - not me. I ended it as soon as I found out. It was hard. I miss him. It was the only thing for me to do. I never considered any other option.

I know tons of couples that live in the same house and have no relationship. My parents were one. I have seen it up close and personal. It's sad and people should be happy not miserable. People stay together for different reasons; which are rarely the one's that they state. We never know what goes on behind closed doors... Sometimes miserable is comfortable because it is familiar. You have to seek happy and not settle for comfortable. That is their dance and their journey. To me, it is never fair to bring anyone else into that without full knowledge of the dynamics.

If he hadn't of lied and had told me about his situation. We would probably be sitting in a different place... I am not sure...

I saw his intense love for his kids and grandson. I know how important they are to him. To me... you  make a choice. Stay with the wife and that is that. Leave and have a new relationship: not both. It's not fair to either woman. All of the other stuff: kids, houses, shared resources work themselves out. It's the primary relationships that need to be dealt with - not ignored.

I know men that "stay for the children" and cheat on their wives. That will never be okay to me. Selfishness is ugly.... I have no desire to be involved with that... and find it astounding that I found myself in that position.

I believe him about his relationship. I am super intuitive and if he was connected to her... I would have felt it. It doesn't matter and I told him so. It is not my stuff and he needs to leave for himself and I cannot be any part of that. I will not be involved in any chaos. I deserve to be with someone that is fully ready and available to be with only me.

I do believe that he regretted lying once we connected. Then what do you do? How do you fix it?

A couple of my friends want to see his head on a platter. Not me. I don't think he is an awful person. I think he was selfish and thoughtless in some ways. He is on his journey and has not taken the steps to move forward. He is stuck and that is sad for him. My positive take away is that I got to experience a man being completely giving to me in the moment. During our brief time together, It was all about me. I have never had any man be so kind. That is a gift for me to take forward. It's not enough to make me stay. I want that and more.

I am a lucky woman that I did not get drawn in any more. I personally don't give in any relationship for a while. Once I give it bonds me deeply... it's a gift that I have to give and it doesn't come easily. I withheld that... which protected me in the long run. The scary thing for me is that I was just about to give him more of myself and then I would have been involved much deeper... I know other women are not that lucky. It's hard to get out once you are bonded.  For me it was fairly short... I found out early and he did not try to hide it.... others are not that lucky.

If this could happen to me... It can happen to anyone. It is complex.... That is authentic.

Okay reality check. Why did this happen to me and why did it come into my life? I am more about the take-away and how I am going to grow and move forward than I am about the actual experience... More in my Journey BLOG on Friday....

What's My Take Away from ALL of This Blog....

Kimberly R Lifestyle by Design 
Designing a life with grace and ease 


Monday, September 23, 2013

Blog Design: Leather Sofa's $300 or $30,000?

People always ask me about the disparity in leather sofa prices... Unfortunately most sales people aren't educated well enough to answer your questions. It all boils down to where the leather comes from, the quality and the process to accomplish the look.

More on frame construction next week.....

Knowing about the process is essential when buying leather goods. It lets you know how it will hold up and how you can clean your furniture.  Questions to ask: Is the stain just on the surface or does it go all the way through the leather? Is it a specialty finish that is more delicate? Will it scratch and show all the marks? Is it so slick that you will slide right off the sofa? Lots of things to consider and the time required to create that look adds to the cost...

What is Top Grain Leather?

A hide is actually much thicker than a finished upholstery leather. Before it is finished, a hide is split into layers. The layer closest to the surface is the Top Grain and includes the actual surface of the skin with all of its natural pores, wrinkles, and scars. It is the strongest part of the hide.
Top grain diagram
The Split Hide is everything that has been cut from the inner layer of the hide. It is used to make suede and other leather products. While some furniture manufacturers will use splits on sides and backs of furniture where you are less likely to touch it as much, it is typically found in cheaper products. Splits are 100% leather, but they are weaker and more susceptible to tearing, stretching, and fading.

You want top grain when you can get it!

Here are some other things that you should know...

There are three main categories, aniline, semi-aniline, and protected or pigmented leather.

Aniline Leather

Aniline leather is highly prized for the way it looks. It is the most natural looking leather and retains the unique surface characteristics. Aniline leather is dyed by immersing the hide in a dye bath, and the surface is not coated with any polymers or pigments. Only the very best hides are used as all surface marks remain visible, which is why it is also called "naked leather."
Advantages: Aniline leather is very soft and comfortable. It retains the unique markings and characteristics of the hide, making each piece different.
Disadvantages: Since it is not protected, aniline leather can be stained easily. It is not recommended for young families or very high traffic areas for that reason.

Semi-Aniline Leather

Semi-aniline leather is a little bit more hardy than aniline leather because its surface has been treated with a light coat that contains some pigment and this makes it more soil and stain resistant.
Advantages: While it retains the uniqueness of aniline leather, semi-aniline leather has more consistent color and is more resistant to stains.
Disadvantages: The markings are not as apparent, and therefore less unique than aniline leather.

Protected, or Pigmented Leather 

Protected leather is the most durable type of leather, for that reason it is the most used leather in furniture and car upholstery. Protected leather has a polymer surface coating containing pigments.

While the thickness of the surface coating may vary, it allows the manufacturer to have more control over the properties of the leather. It is possible to add more resistance to scuffing or fading.
Advantages: This type of leather is easy to maintain and stands up to different conditions and uses.
Disadvantages: This type of leather does not have the uniqueness of aniline leather, and looks less natural. It can be hard to tell one kind of grain apart from the other as the surface is coated and embossed
Bicast leather is not 100% leather. It is not even leather, but a leather by-product. THIS IS WHAT YOU GET WITH MOST cheap "leather" furniture.
Bicast leather is made from split leather which is then laminated with a polyethylene top layer. It has been made available thanks to modern technology, which lets leather be split into a number of layers. The layers used to make bicast leather are of very inferior quality, which, without the coating, may not be of any use at all.
After the polyethylene coating is applied, grain patterns are embossed into the surface to make it look more leather-like.
While bicast leather furniture may look like leather at first glance, you will find that it does not behave like leather. For one thing, it does not develop leather's suppleness or patina with time. You may find that it may have a strong chemical smell at first, which dissipates after a while. It may look like leather, and you may find plenty of color choices, but the grain might appear too even. Bicast leather may also be prone to splitting and cracking.
What bicast leather has going for itself is that it is more affordable than real leather, and easy to keep clean. All the same, it is misleading and dishonest to sell it as 100% leather or real leather. If you are looking for real leather, then bicast leather is not for you. If you want your furniture to last a while, again, bicast leather is not for you.

Note:Bicast leather is also known as bycast leather, bi-cast leather or PU leather. 


You also need to be aware that it is an industry standard to use different materials on different parts of the furniture. For instance, the trim may be a polyethiline or plastic material. The back side of the piece may be the pleather/plastic or the entire body. It is the same color as the leather. However it does not wear the same and you will soon see the glaring difference. Manufacturers are not required to disclose this and they still sell these pieces as leather. If there is some leather... they can say it's leather. This is a very common practice on relining chairs. They say it is for wearablility and cost factors. I think it's dishonest...
Kimberly R Lifestyle by Design 
Designing a life with grace and ease 


Saturday, September 21, 2013

Blog Journey: Why this All Started & Why I continue....

My goodness... My journey is just that: My Journey. My blogs were started to create an authentic place for women to share the things that we have kept hidden for years... I share from an open, authentic and completely vulnerable place (which is not an easy place to sit). 

I share my journey, my experiences and I talk about the things that others can't or won't. It is my desire to demystify these life experiences... It is only then can we help each other from one stage of life to the next with grace and ease...

My mistakes and choices may not be yours, but the consequences of my actions may help someone in the future. I never sit in judgement. I wish that you would feel safe to share your journey as well... It is only when that dialogue starts that we truly help each other with deep varied experiences. I don't judge you for being in relationship with a married man. We all have scripts to play out in life. What is right for me.... may have extenuating circumstances for you.

The messages that I get thanking me for openly talking about things, women sharing their stories and connecting are many. It is not easy to sit in this space of vulnerability. I continue to do so with the knowledge that it helps some and possibly many. I know that I am sparking the right conversations when I get a little hate mail... I will continue to be me. 100% me all of the time without external editing - authentic and open. I will post about it all... No matter what...

My thoughts, My Experiences... Always me...

Friday, September 20, 2013

Blog: Good From Bad... The Journey

My family had a scare with my sister's recent health issues... She has been in horrific pain and suffering. It is such an awful thing... How can I find the positive?... How can I not? 
That is part of my personal journey... Gratitude comes from being able to pinpoint and appreciate the Gifts.

I know that I am the bridge that connects people. 
It shows up in all areas of my life. I have just always known who the new person in the room is, what they need and who they need to meet. I have held that place in every organization and group that I have ever been in: a natural fit. That holds true in my family as well...

My brother and sister are quite a bit older than I am. They are close in age. I followed behind about 7 or so years later. Being close in age has it's challenges. Those are challenges that I didn't really have to experience. It did affect the relationship between my siblings...

As adults, I have always been the bridge to connect the family. For years it was with nephews and siblings. I did the same thing with my exes family through our whole marriage. Some years there would have been no connection if I had not been the constant hostess and inviting and inviting.

 I am not complaining. I love being a hostess...

Here is one of the biggest gifts that came from my sister's pain. 

The entire family showed up for her. 
My brother showed up in a BIG way. 
I was able to connect with both of my siblings at the same time in a way that I have never been able to do before. 
I connected with them each individually... 
but, never together because they did not connect to each other. 

That changed...

I saw the connection and closeness grow between my brother and sister like I have never seen in my lifetime. It was a gift to see and experience. I was asked if I was jealous because I have always been close with my brother and he has always treated me like a princess and protected me.
 My answer is an astounding NO. 

It is a gift and a blessing to see him give to her what I have experienced my whole life.

I cannot even express the feeling that I got when I walked into the hospital room and saw my brother using baby hair detangler and combing the knots out of my sister's hair that she had gotten from laying in bed for so long.... and then my daughter arrived and she took the other side.
My favorite people standing there behind my sister combing out her hair as she laid there in pain. 

The bonds that were formed and the relationships that were healed right along as my sister's physical condition was healing was monumental. A lifetime wish and part of our journey together....

I am Grateful!

Kimberly R Lifestyle by Design 
Designing a life with grace and ease 


Thursday, September 19, 2013

BLOG Connect: An Open Thank You Letter to My Friends

I have been sitting reflecting and feeling deep gratitude over the last few weeks... I took my time to release this letter and I hope it touches ALL of the appropriate people. I have such a deep feeling of love and care around me. 

I truly appreciate everyone that has reached out, kept me in their thoughts privately and/or showed up on my doorstep. 
I needed you...

I know it's long... Read the beginning, the end and skim the middle for what applies to you 

I have been a work in progress my whole life... But, since I consciously shifted about 6 -8 years ago I have drawn the most amazing people into my life. I know that it took a shift in me to manifest that... but, here is where I sit today.

When my sister had her medical emergency... I had a bit of a meltdown. I always think that I am so much stronger than I am. When it comes down to it, I initially fall apart before moving on with strength... My daughter will attest to some wonderful mother of the year moments to back this fact up.

Upon the first word from me, the support was strong and consistent. People from all areas of my life showed up in ways that I could not have imagined before.

My close friends gifted me with such kindness and they insisted that I treat myself with love and care as well. I have made decisions and choices that I have never made before in either my business or my personal life. I have always pushed through with a great cost to myself, my health and well being. I have gotten it all done at a price. It was very different this time.

I had a party that I did not want to cancel because it was in support of another friend... Me - the recovering Martha Stewart on Crack Hostess... did something unthinkable. I messaged my friends and said that I didn't want to reschedule and I asked for help. I did not have time to even get to the grocery store. My guests showed up with flowers, food and drink. I did not even have condiments in my refrigerator... They brought it all and I did not even feel guilty.They gifted me with that support.  I was open to the help and thankful that they were all there to add such loving positive energy to my home.

My local support and Mastermind Team messaged me and called me to check in. They got me out of the house. Took on some of my work... without me asking and showed me incredible kindness. Kindness like I have NEVER known in my life. 
I am not sure that everyone is gifted with this support. I hope that they are...

I have connected with people from High School... Those reunions that I never attend, but engaged in the community online has astounded me. That is one of the strongest support systems that I have ever seen. For each other and big time for me. Very special people that have shown up and supported me with absolute sincerity. Not just now, but consistently. Some may have known me, knew of me or not at all. As adults we have a unique connection. They are solid, caring and kind people. I have been busy with work and building my business and my engaging has dropped off... but, with one word that I was in need... they showed up front and center for me with offers of support, checking on me, offering a place to stay, to meet me when I was a mess... and more. A group that has known me for 30 years and although I am scarcely the same person that I was then... there is still a familiarity and it is a gift that cannot be properly expressed.

My David is such a rock in my life. 
I am not sure what I am going to do when he gets married again :-) But, he google chatted with me, texted me, called me... followed me and always was/is there. Even though he does not live close... he is always connected. One of the BIGGEST gifts that I could ever have in my life. His sister too... sends me support and really makes me feel like a part of their family. Nothing like being in on the family chat time <3

When I drove to Sacramento to see my sister in the hospital friends dropped everything and made time to support me. I know how busy their lives are... It helped me shift when I was on the verge of falling apart. It allowed me to collect myself and eased me through to the next step.

My facebook friends checked in and asked when I was not offering. Funny... It seems that I am one of the few people that actually personally knows most of my FB friends. With time and distance I may not see or talk to you all of the time.... But, I know you and appreciate you. When the people I know say that they are praying for my sister... I know that they are not just going through the motions or saying it in passing. I KNOW that you are taking a moment to send energy to my family.

My guest cleaned the house for me, picked up coffee and toilet paper from the store and sat with me; providing the most amazing kindness and comfort. A gift that I needed.

Two Doctors that I am connected to through facebook messaged me privately and gave me advice and support. A true gift and comfort.

Friends and Strong amazing women that I am connected with around the country set aside Prayer time so that we could pray and send energy to my sister ALL at the same time. An amazing gift which is much more than I can express here.  You know who you are <3

One of the first people that I rented my spare room to through airbnb follows me on facebook. She sincerely showed up BIG time. Not only with empathy and care, but offered her home to me while she was away on vacation: keys and all.... so that I had a calm place to get away that was not far from the hospital.

Family that have not been in touch have reached out to show support. Good things come out of horrible situations.... A gift.

The messages and support that I have received online, offline, in person, on the phone and energetically has been OFF the HOOK!  I hope that I did not forget to mention anyone....

Time is the biggest gift that you can ever give to me. I know what that means. I know the value of you taking the time out of your busy life to support me:; stopping and connecting when I needed you. I cannot begin to express how much I appreciate ALL of you. I wish I could email everyone and call everyone and this seems like so little for receiving so much....

Here is the thing... What I know for sure is that the prayers that were sent for my sister and family did not only help her. I know that they were intended for me too... I felt it. It helped me to deal and heal and I am sitting in absolute awe and gratitude...

Tomorrow's blog... Good from Bad: the Journey....

Thank You with all of my heart,



Wednesday, September 11, 2013


Blog Savvy4Less: Savings On Steroids!

All of these online loyalty and discount sites can be overwhelming... I recommend taking them in stages. They all basically function the same way. You get credit for clicking through the link that they have posted to get the advertised savings or to get credit in the form of cash back or points to redeem.

I was a HUGE fan of Chase's program until the banking restrictions put an end to that... 
I ended up getting thousands of dollars of money back from that program. 
It can really pay off!

Now back to the old tried and true companies... 

Top 3 That I Recommend! I have been a member since 2007.... 

Online Rebates & Coupons at over 1,600 stores!

Shop through the ebates site to get 2%-10% back on everything that you purchase. When you search the for a retailer, it will give you a banner/button with an offer/sale from the store and the percentage that you will get back from ebates. You choose which sale that you want and click on that link to claim the promotion. 
You can get cash back in addition to discounts and offers like: free shipping, sale prices, and gift with purchase. The cash back ebate is on top of whatever promotion the retailer is offering. 

ebates offers Daily Double cash back for one specific retailer each day and special offers by email too! 

You can print grocery store coupons and more! I will detail grocery discounts in a later blog...

I have gotten thousands back in rebates! I have been a member since since 2006.
 I have earned well over 200,000 points and used to always walk around with gift cards in my wallet that I got for FREE from Mypoints. You earn points through shopping, clicking on emails, printing and using grocery coupons, signing up for services and taking surveys. There are so many ways to earn points and they add new ones during holidays and special events. Games... Contests and more.

  1. Sign up for their emails. You can scroll to the bottom and see if they give you points for opening the email. If they don't... don't take the time to open it unless it is a sale or discount that you already know that you want... Mypoints will usually give you 5-15 points for opening emails.
  2. Cruise through their easy points section only when you have spare time... Most of those point opportunities are only available once.
  3. Grocery Coupons are an easy way to accumulate points. I will cover that in a later blog. (BIG topic)
  4. Every time you purchase anything online search the product or retailer on the homepage. I never wander through the site to shop. I search for what I want to buy. It's not overwhelming that way. 
  5. They offer just about everything: travel, retail, grocery, specialty, services....

I have been a member since 2006
  • Create a college savings service that harnesses the purchasing power of parents, extended family, family, and students to make it easier to pay for college.
  • Members direct their spending to Upromise partners—including more than 800 online stores, 10,000+ restaurants, grocery and drugstore items—and earn money for college.
You can shop the same way that you do with the other companies. I find that this one is powerful if you know someone that is going to go to college. You can set up and account for the child and have all of your friends, family and relatives log in their credit cards and then you never have to think about it. Every time they get gas... it adds to the account. Every time they eat at a participating restaurant .. it adds to the account. Easy for grandparents and  others to use without having to think or hassle with details. Once they register their credit cards... no more thoughts or worries.

I am not a huge fan of shopping through this site... But, a big fan of registering credit cards and getting credit for purchases without trying....

How Do I Layer Savings?   Easy......

  1. I sign up for email alerts directly the from merchants that I use regularly: Macy's, Overstock, JCPenney, Kohls, etc.
  2. When going through my email, If I find a sale or something that interests me from a retailer like Macy's, I will note the promo code in the email and go directly to ebates or Mypoints.
  3. When on ebates I will search for the Macy's, find the promotion that I want on ebates, make the sale through the ebates link and then at the end... when it asks for a promo code... I will enter the code that I received directly from the retailer.
  4. Purchasing through the ebates site gives me the rebate, using the promo code in addition gives me the retailers discount too!
  5. I NEVER purchase ANYTHING online without clicking on ebates or Mypoints first to see if that company has a link through one of those sites.  
  6. I do almost ALL of my holiday, gift and business shopping through ebates and Mypoints. 
  7. The points and cash back Really adds up fast!
  8. I do something similar with grocery shopping and ALWAYS save at least 30%-50% off of groceries with very little effort. That is a topic big enough for it's own blog post... 
  9. If you don't shop through one of these sites... it's like throwing away money.

Years Ago I Kept Track of All of the Money that I Saved and Paid Cash 
for My Timeshare with $ Saved!
It's Worth Your Time and Energy to take a couple extra steps when you Shop Online!

Designing a life with grace and ease