8.31.2012

More Confessions

Link up with Leslie @A Blonde Ambition
I confess that I spent the majority of  last weekend laying on the couch watching movies and catching up on DVR.  Oh, I did laundry and ran some errands too but that was probably only about 20% actual productivity.

I confess that I am annoyed that I felt guilty for taking a nap in the middle of the day and lazing about the house all last weekend.  Why should I feel guilty for relaxing?  I spend 5 days 50 hours a week including lunch hour dedicated to work.  Why can't the other 2 days and 48 hours be all mine for whatever I want even if whatever I want is NOTHING?

I confess that I got a little depressed when I read above confession.  My 5 day work week equals the same amount of hours as my 2 day weekend but it sure doesn't feel like it.  That 5 days feels like forever and those 2 days are gone within the blink of an eye.

I confess that I hate Captcha.  It's one thing to make us type letters into a box to ward off auto bot spammers but why do they have to try to confuse us too?  Do they WANT us to fail?  Why not just make the damn letters legible so I can read them and don't have to try five times just to get two words I can actually read.

I confess that there have been times when I went to comment on a post and just gave up when I saw the lovely Captcha box pop up.  Sometimes I'm just not in the mood for deciphering code.

I confess that I just added Gallery Girls to my TV watching line up.  If they were all rich NYC trust fund babies that I could never in a million years relate to then forget it!  But only 3 of the 7 are living off of mommy and daddy so I decided to give it a chance.  I did get rid of Locked up Abroad to compensate.

I confess that I spent way too much money this month.  One pair of shoes, two pairs of Capri pants, four sweaters (yes 4!!) an area rug and a new pair of Rx glasses really did me in.  I am on total spending lock down for the month of September so I can spend money on my vacation.

I confess that at 5:01pm happy hour is ON and I'm gonna go have a drinky drink or two with some girlfriends.  Pay day, happy hour and a three day weekend!  Can't wait. 



8.27.2012

You Call This a Tote?

The Gold one is tote size; tiny two on the right-not so much
Glamour is running this promotion where if you subscribe to Glamour Magazine for 1 year you get a free tote set.  I have been subscribing to Glamour off and on for years.  After I grew out of Seventeen I found it to be a perfect mix of fashion, healthy and beauty tips and some good reading.  The fact that I would receive a tote set didn't motivate me to order it any more or less.  I've got plenty of bags at home.  I don't need anymore but if it's free,  I'll gladly take it.  

Don't they look nice and full in the pic?
So imagine my surprise when I get this package in the mail about the size of a magazine.  I hadn't ordered anything.  What could it be?  I open it to find my free totes but they are not quite what I expected.  No where on the free tote add did it mention size or material.  I looked.  But I did not expect them to be this tiny!!  If you are getting a tote you kind of imagine that it will be sizable enough to actually tote things around.  Especially when the post card says it will carry "all of your essentials."  A tote is big right?  Guess not.  It's either a classic case of product misrepresentation or just my fault for assuming but I can't be the only one who assumed they would be bigger.  I'm okay with it because they have come in handy for other things.  I just found it hilarious that I thought they were going to be the size of an actual tote and they weren't.  Maybe it's the word tote.  A better word would be mini tote, purse, or make up bag considering that's what size they are.   They were free so hey; can't complain too much. 

Well, if anyone else want's a free MINI tote set, you can get it at here at Glamour.   And when you see how small they are you can't say I didn't warn you!

*******
 If anyone is interested the last day to save 10% on anything you want and get free shipping at the Proctor and Gamble E Store with my special link is Friday, August 31st!

8.21.2012

More Money? Area Rugs Edition

When you buy a house and/or try to decorate a home you learn about all kinds of  things that you didn't realize were expensive but are.   I guess that is true of everything; because when I was planning our wedding there were all kinds of things along the way that I was shocked to find out the price of.  Some things I knew were going to be expensive like a closet organization system, hardwoods and granite but other things surprised me.  When we did our back yard I was surprised to learn that a pile of rocks could cost hundreds of dollars.  When we had our blinds and curtains put in I couldn't believe how much those were.  Mirrors are shockingly expensive too.  And lamps.  The price tags on decorative pillows is outrageous.  I mean, pillows?  Then  I couldn't believe how expensive a King size comforter set could be, then I was shocked that an average household kitchen sink could be $400 dollars and the faucet runs $200.
Damask Trellis Navy Blue Rug @RugsUSA
Am I just cheap?  Maybe, but now I'm shocked again and this time it's by how much area rugs cost.  If you want a really big one it can cost thousands of dollars which seems to be as expensive as having actual carpet installed in which case it's like paying for flooring twice.  So as with everything else I have to walk the fine line between not wanting to get the cheapest thing out there and not wanting to spend more then I can afford yet still ending up with a quality product that I will love.  It makes no sense to spend a dime on something you don't even like.  I love saving money but I'm not the thrifter, craigslist shopper type.  I wish I was.  The selections are random and limited so it could take forever to find what you want.  I just don't have the patience or the eye to find that diamond in the rough, bring it home, clean it up and make it look all shiny and new.  I will run all over town looking for the best deal though.  I comparison shop and look for coupons and research the hell out of everything.  I don't stop until I find the best deal around.  I probably wouldn't feel comfortable buying something like a couch or rugs pre-owned but I know that if I had been willing to hunt down things like our dining room set at on craigslist I could have spent a lot less money.  So, what did my latest bargain hunt yield?
Hand Tufted Alexa Pino Floral Red Rug @Overstock.com
Right after we got our hardwoods put in I saw a Groupon for Rugs USA.  I'll say it again.  I love Groupon!  For $95 I got $235 in merchandise so I spent $149 with free shipping on a 5 X 8 area rug for our living room.  The original price was $289.  It was on sale for 35% off and they wouldn't let me double dip on the sale price which is lame if you asked me but I still saved $39 more using the Groupon so whatever.  They had the red one too but I found a better price on Overstock.com.  It was 15% off which brought it from $284 to $242.  I found a $15.00 off promo code on their site for a total of $227 for a 7'6" X 9'6" rug and only $2.95 for shipping because Overstock is cool like that.  That one will go in the dining area.  I am shocked by how much we spend on things.  Things that we don't even REALLY need.  $376 for rugs on top of what we paid for flooring.  Really?  Oh well.  Maybe I could have done better but I feel pretty good about how much we spent considering how much these rugs can cost.  It's so hard to tell colors online but hopefully we like them.  We'd better.  Chances are we're stuck with them because I am not returning them and starting all over again.

8.20.2012

He's 2

*Happy Birthday... what?*
It was my nephew's 2nd birthday on Saturday so we made the 2 1/2 hour drive to my sister's new home in the middle of the desert.  It's at the foot of a mountain and it's HOT.  I don't know how people who live there can stand it.  You feel like you are walking around in an oven when you are outside which is why they made sure to get a house with a pool.  I never understood why parents go all out on Christmas and birthdays for babies.  At that age, if you make a big production out of it then it's for yourself and not the kid because they don't know the difference and they certainly won't remember it.  When you are two you have no idea it's your birthday.  You don't even know what a birthday is.  My sister saved herself the time and the expense and kept it simple again this year.  It was just our family.  We gave him presents; which he didn't have a clue as to why he's getting.  Not that he would care anyways.  She bought a bunch of cold cuts and toppings so we could make sandwiches and we had macaroni salad, three bean salad and chips.  Instead of cake she made brownies because the birthday boy really isn't all that crazy about cake.  We sang happy birthday and then ate brownies and ice cream for dessert.  He spent most of the time we were in the pool crying even though he usually loves the water.  It's normally just him and mom in the pool so birthday or not he didn't appreciate his pool routine being disrupted by us.  Kids are so funny.

I think next year he'll have a better understanding of what's going on but for now it was just another fun day with the family for DJ.  He's getting so big and is such a cutie.  Now that he's older maybe my sister will stop using months to describe his age.  Instead of saying 24 or 27 months, she can just say he's 2. 


8.17.2012

Friday Confessional

I confess that after Direct TV dropped MTV then added it back we DVR'd all the Teen Mom episodes we'd missed and had a Teen Mom marathon extravaganza over the weekend.  The show is as terribly addicting as it is terrible and I'm not naming names but some of them; Amber, are complete train wrecks.  Sadly, I can't stop watching.

I confess that when I turned on my radio in the morning on the way to work last week I was crushed to find that AJ and AJ in the Morning was no longer.  He's gone with no explanation.  They've replaced him with someone else and it's just not the same anymore.  I may even stop listening.  AJ MADE that radio show.  He was so funny and what will happen with AJ's Annual Kids Crane Toy Drive?  So sad.

I confess that I think my 10% off Proctor & Gamble E store link is a total bust.  It's no surprise.  I've never been a good salesman.

I confess that sometimes I strip down naked in the laundry room so I can wash EVERYTHING including what I'm wearing.

I confess that I sit at work with a space heater on all day even when it's 80 degrees outside.  Did I mention that space heaters are banned?  Shhhh...don't tell anyone.

I confess that I'm still a little bitter that Mary blew up the toaster at work four months ago.  I love Mary but I also loved eating Fiber 1 toast with reduced sugar jelly on top every morning.  In her defense the toaster was like 20 years old so it wasn't really her fault.  Toasters got banned so I had to find a new breakfast.  Boo.

I confess that I have a pretzel addiction.  They give me my "chip fix" because they are munchy and salty yet don't have all the fat and calories of actual chips but what they do have is tons of sodium.  It's been about two weeks since we ran out and I haven't bought any since.  Let's see how long I can last! 
Cinnaminy Goodness
I confess that I ate five cinnamon rolls this week including the one I'm going to eat tonight.  The husband baked AGAIN!  He made brownies last week and this is his 3rd time making cinnamon rolls this year.  I'll be lucky if I still fit into my skinny jeans by Fall.

Have a great weekend!!
Link up with Leslie @A Blonde Ambition
 

8.14.2012

Hardwood Floors

Home renovations can be a pain in the butt.  After our kitchen I was not looking forward to doing anything else so this was one 'honey do' I did not bug Mj about.  When he told me he scheduled the installation I can't say I was thrilled.  It's so much work.  I hate the dirt.  I hate having to move everything and how anxious I feel when my house is a total disaster.  I know I'm totally whining and I hate myself for it but I got over it and we got our hardwoods put in last week.  If you looked at our upstairs you'd think we were hoarders because we had to put most of our furniture up there. Poor Mj had to listen to my incessant whining while we moved everything upstairs and out to the garage but we both survived.  It took them two days and then on Thursday we cleaned and put everything in order.  It was so good to have our house back!! 

We did the entire downstairs with a hand scraped engineered hardwood from the Reward Grenada Collection in Birch Retreat.  It's already distressed so when the inevitable nicks and dings start to turn up they won't be as noticeable.  We went with engineered because it's cheaper and we have a concrete sub floor.  It's a good option because they can still be refinished.  Our cheapo baseboards were replaced with really pretty five inch crown molding.  I didn't even know we were getting those.  Since they had to pull up the toilet anyways we bought a new one for the 1/2 bath.  Without the sound absorbing carpet it sounds really hollow like we we're in a cave or a bathroom but I don't notice it as much any more.  
It's not that I don't like hardwoods but I can't say I was 100% enthusiastic about getting them.  Mj definitely wanted this more then me.  I love the look but to me carpets are more practical and easier to maintain.  I've grown very attached to our carpet.  We upgraded on it when we bought the house.  It looks nice and I like the color.  I like the feel of soft carpet under my feet and sometimes I like to sprawl out on the floor.  We don't have pets or kids and we don't wear shoes in the house so it wasn't that hard for us to keep them clean.  After two years it's still in good condition so it was weird to watch them tear up perfectly good carpet.  We like dark wood so that's what we got even though we knew that every speck of dust and dirt would show up.  I kind of feel like I just made more work for myself.  We still have my precious carpet upstairs so I can get my carpet fix sitting my butt on the floor up there.  We're searching for an area rug too so that should help. 

So we finally have those coveted hardwood floors.  Mj just loooves it.  As hard as it is he did lay on it "'just to see what it felt like."  I know technically, hardwoods are cleaner because unlike carpet you truly can clean them whereas carpet absorbs.  And it does look really good.  I mean, it's kinda hard not to like.  They're beautiful.  The more I see it and get used to feeling it under my feet the more it's starting to grow on me.


8.13.2012

I Love Weddings

Thank goodness for that shade.  It was HOT!
I love weddings.  The last one I went to was ours...two years ago.  It's been way too long but I finally got to go to another one.  My co worker got married on Saturday in Balboa Park where we took our pre-wedding pictures.  Being back there always brings back wedding day memories and so does being at a wedding.  This poor bride had it a lot rougher then I did.  Wedding planning was stressful at times but for the most part I really did love every minute.  It actually took me a while to get over no longer being a wedding planning bride to be anymore after it was all over.  I was so sad.  Her, not so much.  I'm sure she's glad to have it over with so she can get her life back.  On more then one occasion she said that she now understands why people elope.  I mean, I could kind of understand it too as I went through the process myself.  It's so hard not to get lost in all the details and it's hard not to think of all the money you are spending on what is essentially a big party.  She spent triple what she anticipated on her dress and shoes.  She had to fire her caterer two weeks before the wedding and some of her vendors including her wedding coordinator were nuts but she made it and the wedding was absolutely beautiful.  Hopefully she'll find that it was all worth it.  My day had some hiccups and it went way too fast but it was one of the happiest days of my life and worth all the anxiety and every painstakingly budgeted penny.

The cocktail hour, the open bar, the great 80's music and the random cross section of people on the dance floor aged 6-60.  What's not to love about weddings?  Oh yeah, and true love.  They say 50% will get divorced but I still believe in marriage and think it's so special when two people for no other reason then that they love each other want to commit to spending their lives together.  I teared up a little when she walked down the aisle with her dad and then linked hands with her groom.  It kind of made me wish I could do it all over again. 

How was wedding planning for you? Worth it, wish you could do it all over again, hated it or did you just call it a day and elope?

8.10.2012

My First Confessional

I confess that I've wanted to do a confessions post for a really long time but when I'd start to write it I'd draw a blank.

I confess that I've been blogging for 3 years now and this is my first link up ever.  At first I kept seeing other bloggers saying "lets link up" and I couldn't figure out what they were talking about.  

I confess that we went to the movies to see Batman Dark Knight Rising  and it was really good but I have almost no idea what was going on.

I confess that I shed a tear while watching Ted.  What can I say, that crass cute little trash talking bear grew on me.  I actually wish I had one for myself.

I confess that I really wish just one person would buy something from the Proctor & Gamble E store with my 10% off link.  Even if I only made $2 bucks it would make me feel very accomplished.

I confess that I did a group exercise torture class called Hard Core on a Tuesday, could barely stand up straight without wincing the next day and was still sore four days later.  Think P90X Ab ripper for 50 minutes.  If that kicked my butt how am I going to make it to the next Olympics?  Oh yeah.  I'm not.

The Fierce Five made the Corn Flakes Box
I confess that even though I don't eat corn flakes I would still love to be on the box.  How cool is that?  

I confess that I woke up at 6:30 am to watch Olympic Gymnastics live online two Sundays in a row and because that wasn't enough for me I watched the Prime time coverage of the same thing on NBC too.

I confess that I still don't understand why everyone else doesn't LOOOVE Gymnastics as much as I do.  Maybe for the same reason I don't LOOOVE Archery or Triathlon .  I just don't.

I confess that I had a dream that I saw Gabby Douglas get on a train headed for Russia.  I had to explain to her family that she was really happy after I showed her the replays of her Olympic performance and that I had no idea why she left.  I know.  Weird.

I confess that I've been drooling over the amazing bodies of these Olympic Athletes.  Men and Women both!

I confess that I'm really sad that the Olympics are almost over and not just because of Gymnastics.  Coming home to find out who smashed a world record or came back from a loss has become part of my routine.  It's been awesome to watch these people compete their hearts out and hear their incredible stories.  They captured our hearts.  They had dreams, they achieved them and we were fortunate enough to get to watch.

I confess that after work my husband and I are meeting his co workers at a cool Pizza place for happy hour where I'll be indulging in Mashed Potato Pizza.  And maybe some beer too.  5:00pm can't come fast enough.



Link up with Leslie @Blonde Ambition

8.08.2012

Last Chance: Event Finals

 Did anybody notice that no other sport had it's very own theme song and special intro for it's TV coverage?  The husband didn't notice it either but I made sure to point it out.  I realize that I am totally biased but clearly gymnastics is awesome and I'm not just saying that.  The song is Home by Phillip Phillips and hearing it will always remind me of Fierce Five Olympic Gold.
Mckayla Maroney Vaults to win Silver [Photo Source:  NBCOlympics.com]
 Disappointed [Photo Source: NBCOlympics.com]
Vault
Everyone knows that Mckayla Maroney is the best vaulter in the world-maybe even of all time and that she was guaranteed a gold medal as long as she landed on her feet.  Her Vault got her on the Olympic team and is the only event she competed in London.  She soars above the vault higher then anyone else man or woman and her form is perfect.  She's just gifted with some natural talent when it comes to vaulting.   She got the gold medal at worlds last year but at the 2012 Olympic Vault finals...no dice.  You have to hit on the right day at the right time and shockingly she didn't.   She did her Amanar well enough with just one big step out of bounds then landed on her butt on her Mustafina vault.  It was good enough for Silver but not the Gold everyone including her knew she could get.  She couldn't hide the disappointment.  It was written all over her face.  She accepted a hug from Romanian winner Sandra Izbasa but did not accept one from Russian Maria Paseka who got the Bronze; it looked kind of awkward.  She seemed to be in a daze.  It's very sad that the best vaulter in the world doesn't have an Olympic gold medal.

GOLD- Sandra Izbasa-ROU- 15.191 (15.383, 15.000)
SILVER- McKayla Maroney-USA- 15.083(16.066, 14.300)
BRONZE-Maria Paseka-RUS-15.050(15.400, 14.700)
4.Janine Berger-GER- 15.016 (15.133, 14.900)
5.Oksana Chusovitina-GER- 14.783 (15.100, 14.466)
6.Yamilet Pena-DOM- 14.516 (14.566, 14.466)
7.Brittany Rogers-CAN- 14.483 (14.766, 14.200)
8.Elsabeth Black-CAN- 0.000 (0.000, 0.000)

Aliya Mustafina- Gorgeous bar routine [Photo Source:  NBCOlympics.com
Uneven Bars
This was a very deep field including two Chinese gymnasts who are very difficult to beat.  Aliya Mustafina was not intimidated and she did a beautiful bar routine with no mistakes.  Gabby Douglas was the only American to make finals.  There are so many amazing bar workers that I didn't expect that she would medal.  She probably would have needed someone to have a major break AND the best performance of her life in order to end up in the top three.  She had one error that most people wouldn't even notice when she had to add an extra 1/2 pirouette in to cover for falling the wrong way on a handstand and finished 8th.  Aliya flashed a sneaky smile when Gabby messed up and she knew for sure she'd get Gold and her teammate Russian Victoria Komova cried again when she clipped her legs on the low bar.  At age 27 Beth Tweddle from Great Britain got the home team it's only gymnastics medal on her best event.  And she finally earned herself the Olympic medal she was holding out for before retirement.

GOLD-Aliya Mustafina- RUS- 16.133
SILVER-He Kexin- CHN- 15.933
BRONZE-Beth Tweddle- GBR- 15.916
4.Yao Jinnan- CHN- 15.766
5.Viktoria Komova- RUS- 15.666
6.Elisabeth Seitz- GER- 15.266
7.Koko Tsurumi- JPN- 14.966
8.Gabby Douglas- USA- 14.800

Deng Linlin from China wins Gold [Photo Source:  NBCOlympics.com]

Balance Beam
I don't think I have ever wanted a gymnast to win a medal more then I wanted Aly Raisman to get one on beam.  There is something about her work ethic, fierce competitiveness and sweet personality that just makes me want to root for her.  She missed out on the All Around Bronze in a tie breaker.  Give the girl a medal!!  There were two Chinese gymnasts in the lead.  They own beam when they hit so after that it was basically a battle for 3rd.  Gabby Douglas fell off.  Russian Victoria Komova had a melt down falling off and then falling on her dismount.  She seemed to give up, but this time there were no tears.  I think she'd just had it.  Romanian Catalina Ponor did a decent routine but had some pretty big wobbles and a big step back on the dismount.  It was good enough for 3rd.  Then it was Aly's turn.  She had one slight wobble that seems to have lost her a connection but aside from a tiny hop on the landing it was a great routine.  The judges come back with a 14.966 placing her 4th which was ridiculous.  She hasn't scored that low since she's been in London and now they are going to low  ball her in event finals?  Her coach Mihai groaned.  You could see Bela and Marta gesturing in the stands that he should put in an inquiry.  Meanwhile, Aly being the good sport that she is offers Catalina a hug.  Her coach gets the paperwork and runs it to the head judge, there is a viewing of the replay and the passing of a paper to another table.  Nobody knows what's going to happen.  The arena is filled with tension, her parents look like they are about to pass out and everyone is staring at the scoreboard in confusion.  The judges increased her difficulty score so it went up to 15.066 but now it's a tie between Catalina and Aly for the Bronze!  Tie breaker math lost Aly the Bronze in the All Around but this time she won the tie Breaker with a higher execution score and got 3rd.  Whew!!  I was so happy for her her!! 

GOLD-Deng Linlin- CHN-15.600
SILVER-Sui Li- CHN- 15.500
BRONZE-Aly Raisman- USA-15.066
4.Catalina Ponor- ROU- 15.066
5.Kseniia Afanaseva- RUS- 14.583
6.Larisa Iordache- ROU- 14.200
7.Gabby Douglas- USA- 13.633
8.Viktoria Komova- RUS- 13.166

Aly Raisman nails Floor [Photo Source:  Getty Images @NBCOlympics.com]
Her 3rd Olympic Medal  [Photo Source:  Getty Images @NBCOlympics.com]

Floor Exercise
Aly had one more chance for an individual Gold Medal and with the highest difficulty of anyone in the finals it really was hers to take.  She nailed it with a 15.6; the highest score awarded so far on floor.  Nobody could even come close to touching her.  She may not be the most artistic gymnast but she wears you down with her consistency, she works with what she's got and she does it well.  After her All Around disappointment she ends up with the most medals out of all the Americans.  She put that Gold medal around her coaches neck as a show of appreciation.  How sweet is that? There was another tie breaker for the bronze.  This time tie breaker rules put Vanessa Ferrari of Italy in 4th and Aliya wins the bronze even though they had the same score.  Tie breakers are heart breakers for whoever loses out and I still don't understand why both can't get a medal if they are equal.  Why give out less medals when you can give out more?  Floor was Jordan Wieber's only chance for an individual medal.  She went out of bounds and sort of stumbled through her dance elements.  I've never seen her have a worse floor routine.  I felt so bad for her.  It hasn't been officially evaluated but she might have a stress fracture in her right leg.  It's been bothering her enough for her to not be at her best but not enough to keep her from competing.

GOLD-Aly Raisman- USA- 15.600
SILVER-Catalina Ponor- ROU- 15.200
BRONZE-Aliya Mustafina- RUS- 14.900
4.Vanessa Ferrari- ITA- 14.900
5.Lauren Mitchell- AUS- 14.833
6.Kseniia Afanaseva- RUS- 14.566
7.Jordyn Wieber- USA- 14.500
8.Sandra Izbasa- ROU- 13.333

I'd say it was a very successful Olympics for Team USA.  Maybe now that all this competition business is over the girls can relax and have some fun exploring London.  I'm not gonna lie.  I'm pretty sad that Olympic gymnastics is over.  It's been so awesome getting to watch the best gymnasts compete on TV night after night and I've really enjoyed watching their stories unfold.  There were tears, drama and so much controversy.  There is all kinds of hating and bashing going on around the interwebs.  Everything up to and including Gabby's hair, Team USA leotard selection, Russian divas, fake injuries, favoritism, score fixing and terrible NBC TV coverage is up for debate.  There are disagreements about unfair stupid rules and who "really" should have won.  When all is said and done the gymnasts competed their heart out, the judges made their decisions and medals were awarded.  They are all talented and deserving athletes and it's just too bad that everyone can't win.

Back to the Beginning: Team Qualifications

8.07.2012

Precious Medal

They're so pretty!!  [Photo Source]  
I heard on the radio that Olympic Athletes owe $9,000 if they win a gold medal.  It didn't make sense to me that you could work your whole life to win a medal and then when you finally earn said medal you have to pay for it.  Is the gold medal really worth that much?  The 2012 Olympic medals are 3.3 inches wide, 0.2 inches thick and weigh between 14-15 ounces.  According to CBSNews.com the gold medal is just over 1% real gold, 92.5% silver and 6.16 % copper and is worth about $644.  In the silver medal the gold part is replaced with more copper and is worth about $330.  The bronze medal is 97% copper, 2.5% zinc and 0.5% tin and is only worth about $4.70.  Obviously, the sentimental value and what they represent far outweighs their actual monetary value.  The taxes on the $5-$600 medal itself can't be all that much so where did a number like $9,000 come from?

Olympic athletes are compensated for winning medals.  The United States Olympic Committee pays $25,000 for a Gold medal, $15,000 for a Silver medal and $10,000 for a Bronze. This money can be even be accepted by amateur athletes without compromising their College eligibility.  And that's what they owe major taxes on.  Is there nothing sacred?  The government gets a cut of everything!  The IOC doesn't have have to pay them to make them want to win medals but it's gotta be a nice bonus.  Especially for those athletes that don't do money maker sports like Basketball or Tennis.  This is their big chance to finally earn some money after years and years of sacrifice and expensive training costs.

If you are already rich like Michael Phelps or going to be rich like Gabby Douglas then you can probably afford to come up with the tax money that's owed.  If not, I say don't spend it all in one place.  The $25K might only be $16K after taxes which is kind of sad but at least you'd have the money to pay up without the IRS coming after you.

8.03.2012

Gabby Got Gold

Cha Ching!  This is what happens when you win the AA Olympic Gold [Photo Source-USAGymnastics.com]
What can I say?  The girl is good.  She took the lead after vault and never looked back.  She is a totally changed gymnast from last year.  She was consistent from start to finish.  Even the Russian ballerina gymnast Victoria Komova couldn't stop her.  There was another staring contest with the scoreboard.   All eyes were on it awaiting the results.  Victoria had her hands crossed tightly in front of her chest and with her eyes you could just see her silently begging for first.  She narrowly missed out on a Gold medal to Jordan Wieber at last years Worlds and when it happened again she burst into tears.  Gabby's wins her first AA title at the Olympics.  Not too shabby.
Standing full twisting back tuck on beam [Photo Source:  NBCOlympics.com]
I felt so bad for Aly.  She hit every single routine for her team but when it was time to do it for herself she put her hands on the beam and almost fell off which was her first real mistake of the Olympics.  Aliya Mustafina actually did fall off beam.  She's a beautiful gymnast. Having come back from an ACL tear just last year she has to be happy with 3rd even though those Russians want nothing less then Gold.  I would have loved to see two Americans on the podium and Aly was totally capable of it but as we've seen it only matters what you do on that one specific day in that one specific moment.  The worse thing about it is that as you can see from the results below Aliya and Aly actually tied in the AA.  Nastia Liukin lost out on a Gold Medal on bars in 2008 with FIG tie breaker math and now it's Aly on the wrong side of the mathematical equation.  They did some funny formula where whoever had the highest execution and difficulty total on 3 events with their lowest event score dropped got the medal.  Why can't they both just get the bronze?  I'm not sure why it makes sense that this formula is the best way to determine who gets to stand on the podium but as we saw when Jordan didn't qualify for All Around finals due to the 2 per country technicality, rules are rules.  No matter how unfair they might seem.
Golden Girls:  Mary Lou, Gabby, Carly and Nastia [Photo Source:  USAGymastics.com]
Mary Lou Retton won it in 1984, Carly Patterson won it in 2004 and Nastia Liukin won it in 2008.  With that win Gabby Douglas becomes the 4th ever and the 3rd American Olympic All Around Gold Medalist in a row.  She's also the first ever African American to win it.  If she didn't know that moving away from home to train and dedicating her life to gymnastics was the right choice she certainly knows it now.  Her sacrifice has paid off big time and her life is forever changed.  Seriously, how did they get that Corn Flakes box made so fast?  Maybe the whole team will get the Wheaties box!  Not only is she going to be able to cash in on some major endorsements but she has the satisfaction of working hard for a dream and achieving it.  I can't take credit for noticing this on my own but all the letters in Gabby's last name Douglas actually spell out USA Gold when you re arrange them.  Guess it was meant to be.

Based on NBC's coverage you'd never know it but there were actually 24 and not just 5 gymnasts in the competition.  Here are the results.

WOMEN'S ALL AROUND
1. Gabby Douglas (USA)- 62.232 (GOLD)
2. Viktoria Komova (RUS)- 61.973 (SILVER)
3. Aliya Mustafina (RUS)- 59.566 (BRONZE)
4. Aly Raisman (USA)- 59.566
5. Sandra Izbasa (ROM)- 58.833
6. Deng Linlin (CHN)- 58.399
7. Huang Qiushuang (CHN)- 58.115
8. Vanessa Ferrari (ITA)- 57.999
9. Larisa Iordache (ROM)- 57.965
10. Elisabeth Seitz (GER)- 57.365
11. Asuka Teramoto (JPN)- 57.332
12. Celine van Gerner (NED)- 57.232
13. Rebecca Tunney (GBR)- 56.932
14. Giulia Steingruber (SUI)- 56.148
15. Emily Little (AUS)- 55.765
16. Rie Tanaka (JPN)- 55.632
17. Dominique Pegg (CAN)- 55.565
18. Jessica Lopez (VEN)- 55.5
19. Marta Pihan Kulesza (POL)- 55.465
20. Ashleigh Brennan (AUS)- 55.332
21. Carlotta Ferlito (ITA)- 55.098
22. Ana Sofia Gomez Porras (GUA)- 54.899
23. Aurelie Malaussena (FRA)- 50.166
24. Hannah Whelan (GBR)- 41.999

Next Up: Event Finals

8.02.2012

Try Oil of Olay


Since I know that you are all dying to know, I'm going to tell you about my skin care routine.  It's simple, inexpensive, and has never changed.  My mom uses Oil of Olay and  her mom used Oil of Olay back in the day when it came in the glass container.  My sister uses it too and we all look younger then our age so I figure we're doing something right.  I can't tell you how many best drug store brand lists that Oil of Olay has made.  Every time one comes out in Glamour, Marie Claire or whatever magazine I happen to be reading it's always at the top of the list.  This means that it's inexpensive AND effective.  I'm always on a budget so I don't want to pay expensive department store prices if I don't have to.
My skin care regime
The routine is simple.  Wash, tone and moisturize.  I switch back and forth between the Olay foaming face wash and the Olay Cleanser + Face scrub.  Then, I apply the Toner with a cotton ball.  I love the smell.  Really fresh and clean.  It removes any left over make up or dirt and doesn't dry out my skin.  Then I moisturize.  I use Olay Complete with SPF 15 during the day and Night of Olay Firming Creme at night which is a slightly thicker formula.  I love the way everything smells and I love the way my skin looks and feels afterwards.  Totally clean, smooth and moisturized.  That's it.  And you you really can't beat the prices.  Everything I use ranges in price between $5-$10 bucks.
  • Olay Pore Minimizing Cleanser & Scrub 
  • Olay Normal Foaming Face Wash
  • Olay Oil Minimizing toner is 
  • Olay Complete All Day UV Moisturizer with SPF 15 
  • Night of Olay Firming Cream
They've got a ton of other products now including sensitive, acne and anti aging lines so there is something for everyone.  These are just the ones that I really like and have stuck with over the years.  I've been meaning to switch to the Olay Regenerist Advanced Anti Aging line for the last five years or so.  Every time I look at the price of the moisturizer ($18.99) I say, "Eh...I'm not THAT old yet, I'll do it next time" and then next time never comes.  The Regenerist cleanser and wash is about the same price so I just need to do it already.  The moisturizer is still relatively cheap so I'll still be getting a great product for a lot less then what I could be paying.

Now through August 31st you will receive 10% off all items you purchase from the Proctor & Gamble e Store via my link AND you will also get free shipping with a $25.00 minimum purchase.   If you want to try Oil of Olay you can start with the **Olay Complete Great Value Skin Care Starter Duo Pack.**  It's only $11.99 for the Olay Normal Foaming Face wash AND the Olay Complete All Day UV Moisturizer.  P & G is also an Olympic Sponsor so there are lots of Olympic themed bundles and deals throughout their e store.  Chances are P & G makes products you already know and love life Swiffer and Cover Girl.  Remember, you must click and shop through the link to get the discount.  You save 10% on Olay or any other product and I get a 10% commission.  Win win!

8.01.2012

The Fierce Five is Golden!!

What am I loving on Wednesday?  Duh.  Gymnastics.  They women won Gold in the team competition for the first time since 1996.  There was the Magnificent Seven and now there is the Fab Five.  And fabulous they were.  They beat Russia by 5 points.   They nailed everything.  It was just such a beautiful sight to see.  Aly started crying right in the middle of her last split jump before she even finished her routine.  They joined hands and all eyes were glued on that scoreboard waiting for the final results to flash. The Russians cried tears of defeat, the Americans cried tears of joy and I cried too.  If Mj hadn't been sitting beside me I probably would have been bawling but I held it back.  It was good to see Jordan smiling and so happy after being so devastated two days ago.  And who would have ever thought Gabby Douglas would be the only Team USA gymnast to do All Around?  I never thought I'd see her in a team final on beam but it looks like things have clicked and she's got it.  What tough and talented group of girls.  How awesome must it be to be them right now.  Fab Five or Fierce Five.  They're amazing no matter what you call them.
Mckayla, Kyla, Aly, Gabby, Jordan [Photo Source Getty Images @NBCOlympic.com]
I'm also loving that Mj sat right there and watched the whole thing with me.  With all the jumping around NBC does with Olympic coverage it was hours.  He asked me questions about what was going on.  He was interested and it was pretty cool.  I had to totally unplug the day of competition because between the time difference in London and the East Coast West Coast time difference I can't risk being a spoiler alert victim.  I really like the suspense of watching the competition without knowing the results.  So there was little internet and no Facebook yesterday.  And it'll be the same on Thursday for All Around finals.  I could DVR and watch it the next day but I can't wait!  I'm so tired today but staying up was worth it.  I get a whole week of watching the best gymnasts in the world compete.  I'm on Gymnastics overload and I love it.
 
Team Final Results
USA  183.596
Russia 178. 530
Romania 176. 414
China 174.430
Canada 170.804
Great Britain 170.495
Italy  167.930
Japan  166.646

Next Up: All Around Finals 

So golden they ended up on a Corn Flakes Box!!!