How I became a Hockey Fan

Shop for NHL Team Logo Fan Gear at Fanatics!
THE REAL STORY
On January 20, 2015, I made a very important decision. You see, after failing to make up my mind for my entire life, I finally chose a hockey team that would be my favorite.

This would be the team I would route for.

The team I would be a fan of.

Forever.

And Ever.

Amen.

According to my husband Daniel, once you pick a sports team, you are supposed to remain a loyal fan for life. Evidently there’s some kind of unwritten code that states that you should stick with your chosen team – through thick and thin. Good times and bad. Wins and losses. No matter whether you originally chose that team when you were just a 5-year-old, because the name was easy-to-rhyme. (Mets, Jets, Nets, anyone?)  Unless your team moves to a distant city does something unthinkable, (such as trading Babe Ruth, or benching Tim Tebow) a die-hard fan is supposed to support the team.

(Don’t laugh, with that kind of pressure, it’s easy to see why I put off finding the right team for over 40 years. It was something of a commitment, really.)

HOW I DECIDED
I ultimately chose my team for logical, scientific and vain reasons:
1. Geographic proximity (so I could see live games)
2. Team colors that match my HS & College colors & flatter me.
3. A roster with a several talented, inspiring players.

I chose the Washington Capitals as my team. And the Detroit Red Wings as my secondary team. (In other words, I always route for the Caps to win, over any other team. But I route for the Red Wings in every game that they play – unless they’re playing the Caps.)

Capiche? Good.

After all, the Capitals play in DC, which is easy to get to from anywhere on the Eastern Seaboard. Their colors are red. (And if I must say so myself, I do look pretty good in red.) The motto “ROCK THE RED” suits me. Plus they have Ovechkin and Ward, both of whom are good players who are easy to like.

Shop 2014 NHL Playoff gear at Fanatics.com!THE PLAYOFFS

Anyhow, yesterday was the Seventh Game in the playoffs between the Washington Capitals and the New York Islanders. Of course I’d hoped my team would do well this season, but I hadn’t actually planned for them to get this far. Which meant that if my beloved Washington Capitals actually won the game, I’d have ABSOLUTELY NO fan gear to demonstrate to the world that I too have won. (Since I am their fan, when they win I am allowed to take some measure of the credit…another unwritten rule.)  Since I hadn’t ordered any fangear, I wouldn’t be able to post pictures of myself all decked out, rockin’ the red on Instagram or Facebook – because I didn’t actually have any. And that was a crying shame.

So before the game, I decided to take my kids to a local ice skating rink, sort of like an impromptu field trip. They had a blast, practiced their skating, turning and going backwards. Naturally I documented the ice skating trip with video and took pictures. (This serves as proof that anything I have to say about ice hockey is backed up with dedication, and first-hand understanding, see?)

And wouldn’t you know it? Turns out the Caps wound up winning Game 7 in the playoff series! (Is it coincidence that they won the day I took my kids ice skating – or is it confirmation that I made a *supremely excellent* hockey team choice?) Consequently, to further bask in the glory of my Washington Capitals most amazing victory, I decided I’d write this blog post about “fan-dom” – and I also ordered this sweatshirt, which is already on it’s way to me. (It’s on deep discount, and coupon code FREESHIP provides free shipping .)

Washington Capitals Hooded Sweatshirt ON SALE – $29.99

Retail Price: $69.95
Save: ~ 60% off!
Fanatics.com Now I can look good, support the team and save money in the process. This hoodie has  an embroidered Washington Capitals logo on the chest and the team name on the back. My “fandom” will show, whether I’m coming or going! With the slim fit and lace-up details, this hoodie has the figure-flattering feminine look I want/ deserve and the Washington Capitals spirit I love.

(Can’t wait until it comes…should be two days.) But even if you aren’t a hockey fan, Fanatics offers Jerseys, t-shirts, hats, jackets, key chains, sweats and everything for every sport I know of. Baseball, basketball, Football, NASCAR, soccer, The Olympics…everything. Take a look around and check out the sales and deals on things you can get for the sports fans in your life. (Or for yourself, like I did.)

However, as cool as I’m going to look in my sweatshirt, my favorite deal was this: Practically Free Twist Up Crayons


Washington Capitals 8-Pack Twist Crayon – $1.99

Washington Capitals 8-Pack Twist Crayon

**Disclosure, when you order through my links, you’ll get the same discounts and deals I got and I’ll get the credit for referring you.**

Gloss Jewelry Coupon: 80% off + Free Shipping & Gift Wrap

Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 10th

Gloss Jewelry-80-off
How I got $217 worth of Jewelry – for $43, with free shipping & free gift packaging!

Whether you’re looking to get something for your own Mom, or you happen to be a Mom with loved ones who are wondering: “What should we get her?”  Here’s a deal that is beyond anyone’s wildest expectations. Imagine getting really nice handmade jewelry, practically free.

I’m serious.

Gloss Jewelry is offering their jewelry on such a steep sale that even a child can afford it. (Through April 30th when you use our exclusive coupon code.) In case you aren’t familiar with Gloss Jewelry, they offer gorgeous, hand-crafted jewelry – and with the coupon code GLOSS80FREE every piece of jewelry on their website is under $12. Even without a coupon code, it’s fairly affordable. But how many kids (or adults on a tight budget for that matter) have extra money to spend?

It’s perfect timing that EVERYTHING on the Gloss Jewelry website is 80% off (with our coupon code) comes with free Priority Mail Shipping, and free black velvet gift pouches or sheer gift packaging! I’ve gotten several pieces of jewelry from them (that’s a picture of my Gloss Jewelry at the top of this article) and believe me, this is nice, solid, high-quality, nickel-free, impressive jewelry. (The kind you find in upscale department stores or specialty boutiques.) For example, the “Got the Look” bracelet which is regularly $9 is in the picture below.

But from now until April 30th, with our coupon code, you can get this bracelet for $1.80 with free priority mail shipping in a black velvet gift pouch – sent anywhere in the United States!


Got The Look Bracelet – $1.80

with coupon: GLOSS80FREE

And there are so many other beautiful necklaces, earrings, charms, bracelets to choose from. I just ordered a boatload of jewelry from Gloss Jewelry for my Mom for Mother’s Day using this coupon code. And I’m just about dying to show you everything I got her –  but since my mother reads my blog, I suppose I’ll just have to restrain myself. So I just encourage you to look at their site and check out this jewelry yourself.

VERY IMPORTANT DETAIL: Be sure to enter coupon code GLOSS80FREE to drop the price of EVERYTHING by 80% – plus get the free shipping.


(Sneak Peek, Swarovski Crystal Bracelet for my Mom)

Lastly, I encourage you to order as many pieces of jewelry right now as you think you’re going to want. Because quite frankly, at prices like these, with Mother’s Day coming up, you don’t want to risk having items sell out before you get around to placing your order!

Have a Happy Mother’s Day!

*Disclosure: when you click through our links & use our coupon code, you’ll get the deal & we’ll get the credit for referring you.*

 

Seventh Generation vs Cascades Moka Bathroom Tissue

Cascades(R) Moka(TM) 100% Recycled Bathroom Tissue, 400 Sheets Per Roll, Case Of 80 RollsHEAD TO HEAD COMPARISON

Given my druthers, I prefer to keep natural, organic, sustainable, dye-free, unbleached products in our home. All my life I sought to follow the Biblical mandate to “tend and care for” our God-given environment. But I took it even more seriously once we had kids. Reducing overall toxicity certainly couldn’t hurt anything, right?

Eventually my fascination with keeping things natural and organic went beyond food and using natural detergents. I ordered 48 rolls of Seventh Generation Natural Unbleached bathroom tissue on Amazon for $45. I have to admit, when they first arrived, my kids were taken aback at the sight of tan toilet paper.

“MOM, WHY IS THIS TOILET PAPER ALREADY BROWN?”

But they quickly got used to seeing the natural-colored, chic rolls in our bathroom. The only problem was that it seemed like we were forever running out. I was constantly having to reorder more, change the rolls on the spool, plus this natural toilet paper just wasn’t cheap. 91 cents per roll (at least.) And that’s for just 400 sheets per roll.

So I started looking for a way to get it in bulk – and hopefully get it cheaper too. That’s when I discovered that Office Depot offers Cascades Moka toilet paper in a case of 80  – for LESS THAN HALF THE PRICE of the Seventh Generation unbleached! That sounded great, but I had to wonder “Will it be as good quality?” (Because who wants to wind up stuck with 80 rolls of toilet paper that they might not like?) But since the Cascade Moka was on sale + an extra 25% discount + free next-day shipping – at a price like that, I decided to give it a try.  I’m so glad I did! I even decided to write the review I wished was out there when I was making up my mind.

You see, I’m pretty straightforward in terms of what I expect from toilet paper. I want it to be soft, strong, have ABSOLUTELY NO LINT, I don’t want it to run out too fast, and it needs to be septic friendly.  Although I love the idea of “luxury toilet paper” I cannot abide that paper that’s so thick and heavy that it winds up clogging the toilet. (Remember, I have have six kids, and there’s always SOMEONE who will use too much.) The last thing I need is to have something as simple as toilet paper making more work for me around the house. I don’t plunge toilets or vacuum up lint piles from the floor when I don’t have to. All I wanted was perfectly serviceable, non-running out, natural looking, earth-friendly and soft, toilet paper – that we could actually afford. Is that too much to ask? Preferably for like 40 cents per roll?

Evidently it’s not! The last place I would’ve thought to look to solve this problem was in an office supply store, but indeed, Office Depot is the place to go on this. I ordered Cascades Moka 100% Recycled Bathroom Tissue, 400 Sheets Per Roll, Case Of 80 Rolls, and it was absolutely perfect – and so much more affordable than the Seventh Generation toilet paper. In fact, no one in my family could tell the difference between the two.  The upsides to Cascades Moka from Office Depot are:
1. It came THE VERY NEXT DAY after I ordered it. Seriously.
2. And that was with free shipping!
3. It’s on sale Right now, Office Depot is running an EXTRA 25% off your order deal.
4. You can pay with Paypal if you don’t feel like getting up to find your wallet.
5. This saves 60% off the price of Seventh Generation. The shipping is faster and cheaper which means Cascade Mako is just flat out better than Seventh Generation toilet paper.

Now you know how you can go green (or tan in this case) while saving money.

WINNER
Cascades(R) Moka(TM) 100% Recycled Bathroom Tissue, 400 Sheets Per Roll, Case Of 80 Rolls

RUNNER UP

**Disclosure, when you order through my links, you’ll get the deals I described and we’ll get credit for referring you.**

April Fools Day – Without Lies

April fools day breakfast
Fake Sunny Side Up Eggs Prank

APRIL FOOLS DAY PRANKS

Every year, I try to have some kind of a good prank for my family. Something surprising, unexpected, yet humorous. Last year, I set an elaborate table for breakfast using our wedding China, my best tablecloth and fancy goblets, but when the kids came down to eat, the only food on each plate was a garden salad, – at 8:00 am in the morning. My oldest started out by asking what was the special occasion, then incredulously kept repeating “Mom, it’s just salad! This is just salad!”  When I whispered, “April Fools” (He burst out laughing!)  But there are a few restrictions. Some basic ground rules we observe. There main one is this:

1. No lies. Telling a lie and calling it a joke is no laughing matter. (Furthermore, lies don’t mesh with the faith that we profess.) That was a difficult concept for one of my kids in particular. He thought April Fools day should be something like: “Tell-lies, insult-people, and get out of all consequences-with-the-phrase-APRIL-FOOLS-day!”

I’m afraid not.

There’s a lot we can learn about getting along with God and other people from the 10-commandments. As a result of our trying to set a good example and  refraining from breaking the 8th commandment, and we’ve had to get pretty creative over the years. Coins crazy-glued onto the pavement. An old “Lilo & Stitch toy” popping out of the mailbox. Googly eyes in the pantry and yogurt/peach halves sunny side up eggs.

Our friends know that we try to surprise our kids on April Fools day and they send in suggestions prior to the big day – so we don’t have to come up with ideas on our own. It’s become a nice tradition.

Anyhow, the purpose of this post is to encourage you to have some fun today. But just don’t tell any lies. (You can do better than that – plus I’m sure God wants you to!)

Last thing I learned from Dad

Dad-Smiling
My Dad and that Colgate Smile

That’s a picture of my Dad.

He passed away suddenly and unexpectedly four years ago today.

I was 42 years old at the time, and to put it plainly, I had been remarkably blessed in terms of family. My mother and father were still happily married to each other and loved each other. We only moved once in my childhood, and it was to a fantastic neighborhood. My brother and I grew up surrounded by relatives and friends with financial and emotional security. These can only be described as blessings.

I myself was happily married with six children. Moreover, both my husband and I both worked from home, so we were in a position to be able to spend months at a time either with my parents at their home, or vacationing with them, what have you. Things were good. The kids all really got to know and make connections with their grandparents.

I had a conversation with my Dad a few months before he passed away. I asked him, point blank if he ever had any fears of dying, particularly since he was getting up in years and was closer to it than ever before. His reply was immediate, and completely sincere.

“No, not at all. Why should I be afraid? I’ve had my three-score and ten…when you and Jason were little, I figured it wasn’t a good time to die because the kids needed me. But now there’s the grand kids, and they kind of need me too… (laughs) I guess it’s never really a good time to die – but I’m ready to go whenever the Lord calls me.”

He meant that. But that’s not the most important of the last things I learned from my father. To say that I was devastated by his death is something of an understatement. I’m a reasonably grounded, solid kind of person. And although in retrospect I can say that my Dad and I were close, I didn’t think of it as anything particularly noteworthy during his lifetime. Our relationship was just a part of my reality…and when he died, the rug was pulled out from under me.

For the first time in my life, I had to worry about my mother. (Who incidentally is fine.) I suddenly knew what it was like not to have a Dad. And frankly, being fatherless is the pits. Simple things, like if I needed wood hauled, or a bug killed, or a critter trapped, and my husband was moving too slowly on it, I could always call my Dad…but now I can’t.

I didn’t speak at his funeral. I couldn’t. I regret that, but realistically, I didn’t have it in me to say a word then. I could only grieve and be shell-shocked. My little brother who is 10 years my junior handled everything, while I fell completely apart. It was the first time I realized what a remarkable man my baby brother has become. He’s strong, dependable, organized, decisive and comforting. I thanked God for him.

When we went to see Dad in repose at the funeral parlor for the first time, I was barely keeping it together. For the sake of my children, who were there with us, I had to maintain some semblance of dignity. It just wouldn’t do to act like a great, big, old Madea mess. So I put on as brave a face as I could, leaned heavily on Dan, and I went in.

It looked just like he was sleeping. But that wasn’t the remarkable thing. Something was unmistakeably missing. The obvious answer is “Yeah, his life.” But that’s not it…every time I had ever been in geographic proximity to my father, there had been a little “leap” or “tug” or acknowledgement between us. Something in me would automatically greet that same something in him. Sort of like an invisible, silent “hey.” Our souls had been connected somehow. And I NEVER noticed it until I experienced the lack of it. Truly.

I stared at him, wondering about the implication of the missing…thing. My Dad was not in that body. I knew it with every fiber of my being. Later I learned that energy cannot be destroyed, it can only be moved or transformed. My father’s soul and body had parted. And that meant that he most certainly had a soul, because I could feel it plain as day when it was someplace else. Which also meant I too must have a soul, because it could communicate with my father’s when he was alive.

My faith became a certainty that day. I was already a believer before he died. So was he. But after he died, it wasn’t just a belief or a hope, it was a fact. There’s something more to people than an mild electromagnetic charge, flesh and bones. More than the ability to breathe and communicate. There is something else in a person. I know it because of what I learned when my father died.

Incidentally, I should add that since then, I’m far more aware of these soul-to-soul connections. I have them strongest with my husband, children, my mom and my relatives. If you pay attention, you’ll realize that you have them too.

Family is powerful.
Love is eternal.
God is merciful.
There is a such thing as heaven.

The last thing I learned was this. I was saying the Lord’s prayer and I realized something about the character of God that had previously eluded me. You see, I know my Earthly father and he knows me. He was kind, generous, and wanted what was best for me. He had good intentions. So even when he forced me to learn to change a tire and work on cars (something I was loathe to do) – it was for my own good. Even my bad attitude, and whining and complaining wouldn’t deter my Dad from telling me “no” about something or requiring me to do or learn something that I didn’t want. Even in my frustration with him, I knew that always, my father meant well for me.

And he KNOWS me…he knows full well what what things will hurt my feelings, or what’s likely to bring me joy. Likewise, when my Heavenly Father allows trials and hardships, doesn’t He know me even more than my Earthly father does? Doesn’t he love me even more? Shouldn’t I trust God The Father at least as much as I trusted Ben, my father on Earth?

If I could trust the man God used to bring me to life, shouldn’t I trust the God who gave us life all the more? (And even if I can’t wrap my mind around that, knowing my Dad is in heaven, he’d certainly intercede on my behalf when I face a trial or hardship.) And yet, he wouldn’t have to. You know why? Because the Bible tells us that Lord Jesus himself is seated at the right hand of the Father making intercession for us!

The last things I learned from my Dad were:
About myself.
About our souls.
About family.
About God the Father,
And Jesus the Son.

Peepers Specs, Sales and Coupons

**Disclosure, when you order through our links, you’ll get the sale we described and we’ll get the credit for referring you.**

HOW I FOUND GORGEOUS READING GLASSES
Way back in the day, I used to be something of a “fashionista.” I’d been an international model for David Salomon, been in the Mrs. America pageant, stuff like that. I liked to be stylish. But time marched on, I had six kids, hit my 40’s and realistically, maintaining a high-fashion sense of style became a lesser priority – but I still liked it. Then something eye-opening happened which put stylishness back within my grasp.

Without realizing it, I’d begun this habit of taking my glasses off in order to read fine print. I’ve been nearsighted since I was a little girl, but with this new development it was hard to see close up with my distance corrective lenses. So I gradually stopped wearing my contact lenses. (After all, sliding a contact lens off my eyeball to read something just didn’t seem feasible.)  Believe it or not, none of this even bothered me, it happened so gradually I didn’t notice the impact. I just wore my glasses instead of contacts and I pipped off my glasses to read something.

DRIVING INTO THE SUN
One day I happened to be wearing my contact lenses while I was driving my husband’s car. The glare from the sun caused me to reach for a pair of his sunglasses…and it was an eye opening experience. Aside from cutting down the glare, and shading my eyes, I realized I could see the dashboard and everything else – with crystal clarity. Well what do you know?  Turns out, he had a pair of Bifocal Reading Sunglasses. I went around wearing those glasses EVERYWHERE. Indoors, outdoors, day or night – even to church. (It was getting ridiculous.) But I REALLY loved seeing things easily again. Eventually, I got my eyes examined and got my own new, progressive, no line prescription glasses. But when I wear contacts, I still want to be able to see EVERYTHING.

This is where Womens designer reading glasses from Peepers come in handy. And since, there’s no such thing as too many reading glasses, it makes sense to stock up on a few of the ones on sale here: Sale items that need to go to make way for new glasses. Huge savings.

These glasses are pretty. Nice. They don’t look like drugstore reading glasses. Plus at Peepers Specs, there are frequent sales where you can take an extra percent off, and shipping is always free on orders over $42. Right now you can save an extra 20% the whole site. Including the sale/clearance items.

So learn a little tidbit for women of a certain age about seeing again – and how to look good in the process. No need to look like a “little old lady” just because you want to read. Try Peepers Specs today, while the automatic coupon still works!

How Banana Republic Saved my Presentation


**Disclosure: When you click on the links in this post, you’ll get any sales and discounts – we’ll get the credit for referring you.**

It was one of those times when push had come to shove.
The rubber had met the road.
We were in the eleventh hour.
It was a time that tried (wo)men’s souls.

I had NOTHING to wear. 
(Seriously…I had nothing.)

You see, for the first time ever, I was going to be one of the featured speakers at my industry’s largest trade convention. It was Affiliate Summit East. There would be record attendance, meetings filled with colleagues, business contacts, prospective merchants and everyone in the industry that I know professionally. I was delivering a presentation on work/life family balance. Obviously I needed to make a good impression.


The only problem was I discovered I had gotten a bit too curvy to fit in the business suit I had planned to wear for my presentation. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I could still get it on alright…except my legs looked like squeezed sausages – and the buttons on the jacket were under so much pressure that it was safer for anyone within eye shot if I left it unbuttoned…thus revealing a blouse that had mysteriously become so overly form-fitting, it practically called out: “Vavoom, hubba-hubba!” (Obviously, that wouldn’t do.)

I was leaving for New York City within a few days, and I needed something professional and appropriate, and I needed it pronto. If I knew then what I know now, what I would’ve done was order three different sizes of the same dress online from Banana Republic. Who knew I could’ve saved myself so much aggravation (not to mention gasoline and miles on my van) if I’d just gotten a dress from here? The BananaRepublic.com Factory Store

It turns out, it’s far more affordable than I ever imagined to dress like a woman of means. I’d had the impression that Banana Republic clothes cost a fortune, and they sure look like they do, however in reality, with a good sale or sticking to the factory store or their clearance section – even my seriously frugal, “Mom of six” budget can afford their clothes.


Plus, there’s Free shipping on orders over $50
.
And free returns and exchanges by mail

.
(Those details will prove to be important.)

Affiliate Summit East - Banana Republic Dress
Sabrina presentng at Affiliate Summit East in an affordable Banana Republic dress

This is me at the podium at Affiliate Summit East in that beautiful, Banana Republic dress that I got off their clearance rack for $37.50. The reason I should’ve just ordered online instead of driving to the mall, looking for a parking spot, trying on dresses etc, is because it would’ve been easier, faster and cheaper to just browse through their online selection of dresses on sale, and order three of the same style dresses. One in the size *I thought* I needed, then one size larger and one smaller – just in case. Then FOR FREE I could’ve had them shipped directly to the hotel. And it wouldn’t have cost me a dime to send back the two sizes that didn’t fit. Just put them back in the box they were shipped in, stick on their return label and sent it back. Plus I would’ve had a greater selection of dresses to choose from by shopping online.

Conclusion: 
Shopping online at Banana Republic saves time, energy and money. And it made me look good at Affiliate Summit, no matter what kind of curves I was sporting. You can too!

Find the Ideal Dress at BananaRepublic.com And Meet Me at Affiliate Summit East 2015 this year!

Sabrinaomalone.com Returns!

Welcome Back to Sabrina O’Malone’s blog!

Would you believe that I inadvertently didn’t have a blog? (Um…for nearly a year?) But a few minutes ago, when I went to upload an absolutely killer post, (if I must say so myself) I discovered that my old blog was gone. Completely gone. So there I was, all by myself… with nothing but blank pages. I instantly surmised I’d need to set up a whole new blog – and it would behoove me to do it rather quickly.

Totally from scratch.

And here it is.

(Guess that’s what I get for not using WordPress in the first place, and for deprioritizing the old blog for such a long time.)

<Positive self-talk and attempts to put a good spin on this follow>

Time for a fresh start! smile emoticon
I get to learn new things! smile emoticon
Create with the skills and knowledge I have today! smile emoticon
‪#‎ToDoListBuster‬ ‪#‎UnexpectedProject‬ ‪#‎ThatsWhatIGet‬