music within

brown and black gramophone

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i silently sit,  listening to each beat of the music

 

i close my eyes and allow my soul to soak in each note

 

i absorb the sounds and rhythms

 

they bring harmony to my soul

 

and heal me from within

 

 

~ wendi, under the pen name Charlie, is the author of Frugal Seeds: 501 Ways to Make, Save or Stretch a Dollar.  

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free activities for adults

national museum of anthropology building

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Now that it is summer (and I am way late posting this), there are so many free activities taking place around the country.  Just in my small mid-west town we have a free concert series, library summer reading programs, free movies once a week and free lunches every weekday for anyone who is hungry.  So check out what is available in your location………you might be amazed how many free activities are available to you and your family and the free choices can be just as fun as the ones that cost money – without the guilt.

Below is a list of some free activities for adults:

 

Free admission into National Parks

https://www.nps.gov/planyourvisit/fee-free-parks.htm

 

Free admission into museums with Bank of America credit card or

https://about.bankofamerica.com/en-us/what-guides-us/arts-and-culture.html#fbid=WooO27LGd7d/hashlink=museums-on-us

 

Free classes for adults at home depot………yes, they offer free kid classes too

https://www.homedepot.com/workshops/#change_store

 

Free fishing days

https://www.takemefishing.org/how-to-fish/how-to-catch-fish/free-fishing-days-2018/

 

Geocaching

https://www.geocaching.com

 

Places you can volunteer

https://www.volunteermatch.org/

 

Free music app………..makes doing something not-so-fun, more fun with a personalized playlist

https://www.spotify.com/us/

 

Whole foods offers free classes in some locations

https://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/events

 

Some Williams Sonoma stores offer free classes

https://www.williams-sonoma.com/pages/store-events/store-events.html

 

I have written a book, Frugal Seeds 101 Ways to Make, Save or Stretch a Dollar.  I would be thankful if you would take a moment to check it out.  Thank you.

food freebies for your birthday!

lighted candles on cupcakes

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Here is a (partial) list of food freebies that you can receive on your birthday.  Happy Celebrating and saving money!  I mean who doesn’t love to save money?!

 

Abuelo’s – free treat on your birthday & anniversary

http://www.abuelos.com/join-our-mi-abuelos-rewards/

 

Applebee’s – free dessert

https://www.applebees.com/en/sign-up

 

Arby’s – free milkshake

https://arbys.com/get-deals

 

Au Bon Pain – free lunch

http://aubonpain.fbmta.com/members/UpdateProfile.aspx?Action=Subscribe&_Theme=21474836609&inputsource=w

 

Auntie Anne’s – free pretzel

http://www.auntieannes.com/terms-and-conditions

 

A & W – free root beer float

https://www.awrestaurants.com/rootys-corner

 

Baja Fresh Mexican Grill

https://www.bajafresh.com/clubbaja/

 

Baskin Robbins – free ice cream

https://www.baskinrobbins.com/content/baskinrobbins/en/thescoop.html

 

bd’s Mongolian Grill – free entree

https://www.gomongo.com/join-bds-club-mongo/

 

Bertucci’s – free treat on birthday and half birthday

http://bertuccis.com/email-club-sign-up

 

Benihana’s – $30.00 birthday certificate – must follow all instructions

http://profile.benihana.com/registration/

 

Bennigan’s – BOGO entree and free dessert

https://bennigans.com/e-club-sign-up/

 

Big Boy – free birthday dessert

http://www.bigboy.com/email-club/

 

Black Angus Steakhouse – free steak dinner w/a purchase of any dinner – 1st year

https://www.blackangus.com/contact/#terms

 

Boston Market – free dessert

https://www.bostonmarket.com/eclub/

 

Buca di Beppo – free $20 for your birthday, free pasta just for signing up

https://www.bucadibeppo.com/eclub/

 

California Pizza Kitchen – free dessert

https://cpkpizzadough.myguestaccount.com/guest/

 

Cinnabon – free treat for signing up & on your birthday

http://cinnabon.fbmta.com/members/UpdateProfile.aspx

 

Cold Stone Creamery – BOGO

https://www.coldstonecreamery.com/mycsc/

 

Culver’s – free treat & BOGO value basket just for signing up

https://www.culvers.com/delicious-perks/join-the-club/join

 

Dairy Queen – special treat on birthday and half birthday & BOGO blizzard just for signing up

https://www.dairyqueen.com/us-en/Blizzard-Fan-Club/?localechange=1&D

 

Dave & Buster’s – free $10 game play

https://www.daveandbusters.com/rewards

 

Del Taco – free milkshake

https://deltaco.com/contactus

 

Dippin’ Dots – free dippin dots

https://www.dippindots.com/dotcrazy/signup.html

 

Dunkin’ Donuts – free beverage when you sign up and on your birthday

https://www.dunkindonuts.com/en/dd-perks

 

Denny’s – free grand slam

https://www.dennys.com/search/?q=birthday

 

Don Pablos – free nachos for signing up & $10 for birthday

http://www.donpablos.com/hab-club

 

Edible Creations – free gift

https://www.ediblearrangements.com/rewards/

 

Einstein Brothers Bagels – free egg sandwich w/purchase

https://shared.einsteinbros.com/join

 

Iguana Mia – free meal and fried ice cream

//www.iguanamia.com/

 

Firehouse Subs – free medium sub

https://www.firehousesubs.com/birthday

 

Friendly’s – free sundae

https://www.friendlysrestaurants.com/login/?login=register

 

Fuddruckers – free 1/3 pound burger

http://fuddruckers.fbmta.com/members/UpdateProfile.aspx?Action=Subscribe&inputsource=w

 

GOVIDA – free treat

http://www.godiva.com/get-chocolate-rewards?baseURL=get-rewards

 

Great American Cookie – free treat

http://greatamericancookies.fbmta.com/members/UpdateProfile.aspx

 

IHOP – free meal

https://www.ihop.com/en/pancake-revolution

 

Jersey Mike’s – free sub and drink

https://www.jerseymikes.com/email-club

 

Margaritaville – free treat & free appetizer just for signing up

https://www.finsupclub.com/

 

Moe’s Southwest Grill – free burritos

https://www.moes.com/rockin-rewards

 

Olive Garden – free dessert

https://www.olivegarden.com/specials/free-birthday-appetizer-or-dessert-with-your-meal

 

Orange Leaf – $3.00 off

https://www.orangeleafyogurt.com/rewards

 

P.F.  Chang’s – free appetizer or dessert w/purchase

https://www.pfchangs.com/faq/

 

The Melting Pot – free chocolate fondue

http://pages.themeltingpotclubfondue-email.com/Profile_Center

 

The Spaghetti Warehouse – free meal & appetizer for signing up

http://www.meatballs.com/join-our-club/

 

Pinkberry – free yogurt

http://www.pinkberry.com/loyalty/

 

Planet Smoothie – free smoothie

http://www.planetsmoothie.com/eclub/

 

Red Robin – free burger

https://www.redrobin.com/royalty.html

 

Rita’s – free birthday treat, if closed on your birthday will receive on 1/2 birthday

https://www.ritasice.com/connect/birthday-club/

 

Ruby Tuesday – free burger

http://pages.rubytuesdayrestaurants.com/page.aspx?QS=5c591a8916642e737829bde7e144b86f195bb33af6913d4c5dda6ef500467c48

 

Sbarro – free birthday treat

https://sbarro.com/slicesociety

 

Shula’s – free entree

https://www.shulas.com/shulas-clubs/

 

Smashburger – free side or shake w/purchase

https://smashburger.com/smashclub/

 

Sprinkles – free treat on birthday and 1/2 birthday

http://sprinkles.com/perks

 

Starbucks – free drink on your birthday

https://www.starbucks.com/card/rewards

 

Sonny’s BBQ – free big deal combo

https://www.sonnysbbq.com/reward

 

TGI Friday’s – free dessert & free dessert or appetizer for signing up

https://www.tgifridays.com/rewards/faq

 

Western Sizzlin

https://www.sizzler.com/join-the-club

 

Wienershenitzel – free coupon & free chili dog when you sign up

http://www.wienerschnitzel.com/specials/

 

Zaxby’s – free nibbler & free sandwich meal when you sign up

https://www.zaxbys.com/zax-club/

 

Zoes Kitchen – free birthday treat

https://zoeskitchen.com/rewards

10 frugal mental pick-me-ups

trees in park

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Living with illness day-in and day-out not only wears on your body, but takes a toll on your mental health.  It is hard to keep picking yourself up when you are in constant pain, hear a trail of bad news from health care practitioners, and experience the isolation that CI can bring.  Depression and anxiety start to take a grip on your brain and it can be a very hard grip to shake.  Taking time, daily, to give yourself a mental pick-me-up is an  important part of keeping as healthy as possible.

 

  1.  Pray/Meditate for guidance, for new ways to deal with your illness, for healing paths that bring comfort, and for people into your life who truly care.
  2.   Listen to music that makes you happy………from Mozart to The Beatles from Madonna to The Red Hot Chili Peppers, music has a way of making us happy and allowing our minds to escape from reality – as least for a little while.
  3.   Get outside in nature.  Who doesn’t love looking at pictures of the beach, a flower in a field or a beautiful tree in a forest?  To experience it in person allows you to internalize the beauty and refresh the soul.
  4.   Drink a glass of filtered water.  It is so important that we stay properly hydrated.  It seems like such an easy thing to do but when you are in pain and nauseous, it can be a chore to take in enough fluids.  Water is known to improve mood, reduce headaches and flush out toxins.  Plain water does get boring, so adding lemon, cucumber, lime, orange, strawberries, even some fresh herbs such as mint or basil can add flavor and bring added benefits.  Be creative!
  5.   Sit outside and soak in some rays for 15 minutes. Sun increases your vitamin D levels which can give your immune system and mood a boost.
  6.  Laugh.  Get on-line and read some jokes, get on Pinterest, search for some funny memes, or watch a feel good movie……..laughter decreases stress hormones and increases endorphins, which are the feel good chemicals.
  7.  Breathe……….sometimes we are so stressed we are not really breathing.  Take some  deep breaths, not forced, just natural.  Our body NEEDS oxygen to live and deep breathing has been proven to have a positive impact on your brain, heart, digestion and immune system.  Check-in with yourself at least twice a day to make sure you are really breathing.
  8.  Journal.  Sometimes the chronic illness monster gets the best of us.  We just need to say stuff, swear like a drunken sailor, scream at the top of our lungs, yell at our doctors for not believing/helping/healing, and who are we to tell?  When we are alone it is imperative that we get those thoughts and feelings out so they are not internalized, creating a breeding ground for more illness.  Write those feelings down as they come.  Do not worry about what it is or how it is written, just let it out.
  9.   Do some gentle exercise like take a walk, a few yoga poses, ti chi, or stretches.  Whenever possible, move your body as much as possible as this also releases endorphins, possibly reducing depressive symptoms.  Walking to and from the bathroom and/or kitchen is way better than nothing.
  10.   Eat a healthy snack.  It is important that we continue to eat clean, healthy food despite our illnesses.  Eating food in its most natural state is best for providing our bodies the necessary vitamins and minerals needed to function as highly as possible.  A smoothie, a piece of fruit, veggies, nuts, seeds or 1/2 an avocado are all healthy and simple.

Until next time……………….You are a superhero!  (Yes, I mean YOU!)

 

 

What makes you feel better?

red and white mouth plastic toy and food plastic toys

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When you are having a not-so-good day, or horrible day for that matter, are there things you can do to make yourself feel a bit better?  Do you have a movie, some music, a mediation or book that can instantly make you laugh, give you a sense of well-being, or help you ease your pain and discomfort?

For me, when my day is not-so-good, I can usually talk myself into a better mental state and just plough through.  But on my bad days………..not so much.  Those are the days when all the symptoms converge on my body and no matter how I spin the awfulness, I can’t shake the anxiety and sadness, let alone the physical pain.  This is when it helps me to know that someone else is thinking about me.  Do I always hear from a friend during these times?  No, not usually.  But when I do, it is a blessing beyond words.  So if you know others with a CI, send a text, a physical card through the mail, a phone call, just let them know they are not forgotten.  CIs don’t go away and “feel better soon” doesn’t work,  period.  The words may be meant with the best intentions but CI is a life long struggle and those of us with CIs appreciate every single kind thought, gesture, and prayers from others.  Small tokens of thoughtfulness can change a person’s day.

On my bad days I usually resort to lying in the dark in bed, which is so boring when you don’t want to be there.  I try to find something on Netflix or Amazon Prime but when you have been ill for so long……you have watched A LOT of movies!

If there are no movies that catch my fancy, I resort to YouTube but I have less success there.  If that doesn’t work,  I always have a few extra audio-books on hand that I purchase used at library sales just for those occasions.

 

So, what do YOU do on your bad days?

Until next time…………………YOU are a superhero, whether you feel well or not!

 

kitchen distraction

bazaar bottles business ceramic

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……..and it is not something I use to make cooking quicker; it does not spiral, chop or mix, nor is it something that actually sits on the counter. Instead, it is securely fastened to the underside of one of my kitchen cabinets, the one closest to my sink.

So what is it you wonder and how could it help make my life in the kitchen easier?  My favorite kitchen appliance is actually a combination radio/DVD/CD player.  It was something my parents had in their basement and when it was offered to me, I jumped at the opportunity to own such an amazing invention.

Since it was gifted to me, it has been my constant companion.  Whether I am cooking or cleaning it allows my mind it focus on something other than the tiredness and aching I feel in my body.  This allows me to work longer in the kitchen accomplishing more every time I am in there. So, not only am I able to physically stay in the kitchen longer, I am also enjoying an audio-book or a movie that makes me happy, or music that lifts me up.  I am so thankful I have something that is such a blessed distraction.

Here’s to things that make our lives just a little bit easier!