Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Search for AM~Erica Continues

So anyway...

The Hairy Elephant wasn't the best deal...but only because of pay. Bummer!

I have interviewed with 2 daycares of the same chain now. We shall see how those come out.

I have, also, posted my resume on all of the main sites to get more exposure: Monster, CareerBuilder, HotJobs. I have gotten some bites, but they seem to be a bit ridiculous. One e-mail said I need to be a Financial Advisor. OK, I already hear most of you laughing. Don't worry, I did, too. First, you have to kinda like numbers to do that, and I am mathematically-challenged; second, you have to have a license & be certified to do the job - DUH! They said they read my resume...HA - I really don't think they did. Oh, my other favorite was the one about being a dental hygenist. I hate having to reach into my son's mouth, so why would I want to do it with a stranger? There was another one about being a doctor's transcriptionist from recorded tapes. This one can be done from home - so it has possibility.

Oh, the daycares share information,too, so I can have more exposure within that franchise. Plus, I had one of the interviews today, couldn't find it & went to 2 wrong locations. At the second wrong location, I ended up meeting the district manager for the daycare & got her card. That worked out pretty well...and I didn't have to fill out the 6-page application again. WOO HOO!!

Daycare is still a continued search, and depends on the daycare franchise, above.

I did get a phone call today from an insurance company looking for an assistant manager, and they saw my resume on the heck - I'm set up for an interview on Friday (as we get ready for company during the weekend).


Stay tuned...

God Bless, AM~Erica

Monday, August 27, 2007

More Shopping 'n AM~Erica

So anyway...

I promised some killer designer bargains, so let's get started, shall we?

Clearance!! Need I say more? Probably not, but I will anyway.

Whether you are at Wal-Mart or Macy's, check out the serious savings you can get! A lot of the reason things go on clearance is because they have discontinued the item, or they are making room for more inventory (probably an entire season early); it is NOT because the stuff is out of style! My favorite is probably Target & Kohls. I head straight for the clearance items, and I especially look for the 50% & up. I recently picked up a blouse from Nine & Co. (part of Nine West) for $3.40, and a pair of 1928 earrings to match the shirt for $6 at Kohls. I spent about $10 for a top & accessory ensamble. That's awesome!! The shirt was 90% off! About a year ago, I got about $200 worth of clothing for under $25 at Kohls.

DSW is a new fave of mine...I LOVE SHOES!! It makes my hubby crazy, but it's a passion. Even at "discounted" prices at DSW for their designer shoes, I still want to puke when I look at the pricetag. However...go to the clearance section (sound familiar?), and look at the color-coded prices. You can get 30%, 40%, 50%, 70%, even 80% off of the original DSW price. Learn when they have their sales, too. They had a sale all through the summer, plus gave 15% off coupons for Aug. 2-12. You could use 2 coupons at a time. I bought Lizzie 3 pairs of school shoes, which should have cost me about $80 or more, for under $25 for all three pairs - she got a MUDD pair, a Report pair, and (I'm not kidding) a BCBG pair! I wanted to do cartwheels in the parking lot! I found a pair of Katie & Kelly shoes, as well as a pair of Liz Claiborne shoes for under $10 each there. BARGAIN! I also try to keep track of the BOGO sale @ Payless. When they have their sale, Famous Footwear & Shoe Carnival have to have their buy-one-get-one for ½ off sale, too. Gotta love that! And that goes for every shoe in their store...including clearance items.

Look at the mall for stores catering to Juniors. I say this, because their pricing and sales cater to the working teen-aged girl, making minimum wage. After I got Liz the shoes, we went over to Wet Seal (another fave of mine), paroosed the clearance section (there's that word again), and got her a t-shirt, a sparkely hooded sweater, a long-sleeved shirt w/ rhinestone-crusted bow graphic, and a party-dress for a dance - all for...under $15. This was during their buy-one-get-one free on all clearance sale. Geez, I love shopping! Also, try Forever 21 & Heritage 1981 for clearance deals starting at $2.99 and up...and that includes clothing!

No, I ain't too proud to Goodwill! Thrift shopping is so much fun. Yes, you see a lot of weird stuff, but take time to sort through it; it's amazing what you will find. I recently needed a navy purse - navy is always in style, but you can never find a good purse in the color. I found the cutest patent-leather navy clutch EVER! Found it at Goodwill for $3.99. I even found 2 Issac Mizrahi dresses that I'd had my eye on, and missed out on both of them, in my size for $4.99 each. I also got a groovy, mod white-hooped necklace/belt (can be worn as either) for 99¢. I even found Ethan a pair of Old Navy swim trunks for $1. Look for thrift stores from Association for the Blind, Salvation Army, or any auxillary that may sponser one. Great stuff, great deals! Oh...and they don't charge tax.

I have already pieced together most of my Halloween costume, from these stores, for just under $15.

Another trick I love to use is rewards programs. I have one for DSW, Famous Footwear, and used to carry for Wet Seal (back to that one in jiffy). If you join a store/franchise rewards membership, it is usually for free, and the more you shop there, the more they send to you in rewards; this means they pay you, in essence, to shop at their store. That's Fabulous! Wet Seal offers a program which you pay a one-time fee for the year, and you get 20% off your first purchase, a purchase around your b-day, and 10% every other time. This is for EVERYTHING in the store. Within the first 2-3 trips, you've paid for the card, and you can still use it for a whole year. I've even been given coupons with the card to spend, 1/month. That's even more savings!

I have real challenge now that my hubby gave me. He has been so impressed with my bargain finding, he has challenged me to find stuff for guys like that, too: things like easy care, button-up dress pressure. I'm up for the challenge & will keep you updated to my research & findings.

Stay tuned...

God Bless, AM~Erica

Friday, August 24, 2007

AM~Erica Stinkbomb: Part II

So anyway...

I guess I should go into the second part of the story I started about the little stinker, so I call it:

"Crouching Christian, Hidden Pile".

Shortly after "...Part I" occured (refer to earlier post), I was discussing his antics with one of his preschool teachers...of course, she couldn't believe it what she was hearing.
Within 15-minutes, the teacher I was talking to came inside telling me she couldn't believe the timing of my story...
Christian was on the playground, crawled underneath some of the playground equipment, dropped his drawers & proceeded to do his business in the wood mulch. They had to try to clean the mess off of him, remove the "hidden pile", and try to remove pieces of the wood mulch off of his little tush.
Keep in mind, he had no idea I had a conversation with his teacher.
Little stinker!
Stay tuned for more antics...
God Bless, AM~Erica

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Searching AM~Erica

So anyway...
OWIE! (Like my youngest likes to say)
I had my meeting with my personal trainer. I still hurt! He worked me so hard, I wanted to hurt him...only if I could lift a leg or arm to strike him with, but to no avail.
I'm supposed to see him again in about a month...oh boy...I can't tell you how excited I am about that one. I thought I wanted to puke after my 15-minute workout. My hubby's workout was longer, but he was in the same position as me. He asked me what the name of my trainer was, so I told him it was Adam (as my eye started twitching...because it was the only part of me not hurting), and he told me, "Oh, that's nice...mine was named Satan." My hubby had to meet with his trainer again today. Poor baby...REALLY!
OK - after trying to muster up some normal movement without hurting, I put on heels & a suit today for my interview. It went very well, but now I've got some decisions to make. It's the perfect work enviornement for me, the hours are perfect, it's something I'm good at (I don't brag often), and it's just down the street. So what's making my hubby & I question? The pay. Yikes! Even with all of my expierence, they can't pay very much because they are still a very new company.
So, I may have to keep looking. Just like daycare. Once again, "OWIE!" My leads for in-home have fallen through so far, and the one chain daycare in the area that has openings, wants an arm & a leg. Both of my arms & legs hurt already, and so does my hubby's. That won't work! I did see where some of them are hiring & give daycare discounts & benefits...there may be some hope.
Stay tuned...
God Bless, AM~Erica

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Heart-Pounding AM~Erica

So anyway...

I have recently started walking bright & early in the AM. I'm really trying to focus on my health & fitness. It's not bad, but it could always be better.

My hubby & I also joined at Gold's Gym - YEA! I now have access to my yoga classes, and whatever I want to do there.

For anyone who knows my hubby, he's more like "Mr. Fitness". No, he's not big & buff, but he tries to keep in shape, and he knows his stuff about it. He invited me to workout with him, but I'll pass...he'd kill me with his workout routine torture. I prefer other methods.

Here's where it gets scary...
In joining at Gold's, the primary member (i.e., hubby) gets 7 hours of free personal trainer attention. That's pretty good since my hubby has gotten out of routine since we've moved, and he wants some real targeted know-how for his workouts. The membership also offers 1 hour of a personal trainer for the other member (i.e., me). My hubby set up his first appointment for Monday AM (yes, tomorrow). Go, Honey! Oh, that leaves me to make one now...for Monday AM (yes, tomorrow). I'm set up with "Adam", who called me today to confirm the appointment. OK, I'm going to admit that I already hurt thinking about it. I am terrified to work with a pro. I won't workout with my hubby, or anyone for that matter. I'm a loner when it comes to getting fit. I want to go at my pace, whether it's a fast day or slow day for me, I don't want someone else there to hinder me. No offense to anyone.

What have I gotten myself into? 8:00 AM is when I meet with Adam, and my hubby meets with his trainer. YIKES!!

Stay tuned...

God Bless, AM~Erica

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Pray for AM~Erica

So anyway...

If you have looked at my profile lately, you will notice that is now says "currently job-hunting".

My husband was helping me look through classifieds to see what might be out there, and there is a place here called "The Hairy Elephant".

The Hairy Elephant is a hair & nail salon for kids. They are looking for a daytime receptionist.

OK - the above should tell you a few things: 1) I have been a receptionist, to some degree, at almost every job I've had; 2) I enjoy working with kids; 3) Hello! Hair salon! You can also throw in one more that they do host birthday parties there, too. Hello! Party planning??

This one has some promise, and I have an interview set up for Wednesday, 8/22, at 10:30 AM. Thoughts & prayers are appreciated.

This leads to another one...child care! I am going to be shopping around for some affordable (HA) child care for Christian, so mommy can go back to work. I have a couple of leads to check into; so, once again, thoughts & prayers are appreciated.

OK, one last thing: we have found a gym prospect so that hubby can work out (he's chompin' @ the bit to get back), and I might have a place for yoga...I love yoga...I miss yoga...
We may be joining Gold's Gym this week or next to get things rolling. So exciting!

It's really hard to get used to a new place & new surroundings. It's very weird to try to get your feet on the ground in a whole new world. I've been in KC all of my life until the end of June. It's crazy!

Stay tuned to find out what happens with all of the above...

Oh yeah...I almost forgot...

God Bless, AM~Erica

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

AM~Erica Stinkbomb: Part I

So anyway...

We need another good kid story, right? Well, here goes...

Potty training for the 2-year-old is off & on. Several months ago, from upstairs in his room, we could hear the little voice saying,"Mama? Mama?" I went up to see the door to the room was closed, so when I opened the door, I screamed at the sight I saw!!

This little boy had climbed up on his dresser (not opening any of the drawers, mind you), and was crouched in an akward position, hovering over a pile of what had exited his underside, and the diaper was sitting on the floor, next to the door. Yes, that is correct - used the top of his dresser as his own personal "Johnny on the Spot". OK, also keep in mind that the bathroom was less than 6 feet away from where he was. GRRR!!

I hollered for help from my husband, closed the door (yes, I left little one in the hover position to try to teach him a lesson), and attempted to let my husband know he needed to brace himself. I opened the door for him to discover what I saw (see above).

To be continued...

Stay tuned!

God Bless, AM~Erica

Monday, August 13, 2007

Art 'n AM~Erica

So anyway...

I actually did it!

For any of you who know me well, you will know that I am creative, but no where near craftsy; I am what you would call "craft-challenged". Wish I was more crafty, but the things I try fall apart pretty soon after I get it together, if I can even get it together in the first place.

However, I have been wanting to do a painting for years now. It is a vision I had in my head since before I met my, a long time. I got the chance to start the background, on canvas, about 3-years-ago; I haven't touched it since...until today...

My kids (Lizzie & Ethan) started school today. When the little one took a nap, God took hold of me & told me to finish my, I did! It looks exactly like the image in my head for so, so long. I am very emotional to see my vision in a tangible form! It's so surreal.

I can't wait for it to dry so I can hang it!

WHEW!! I'm spent!

Stay tuned for more...there will be another one on the way (the background is done, just need to get more paint).

God Bless, AM~Erica

Sunday, August 12, 2007

AM~Erica 'n Worship

So anyway,

I love the worship service I've been attending the last six weeks, or so. It's an upbeat, high energy, praise & worship service - perfect for me! The band is fabulous, and the preaching is extraordinary. OK - I'm a bit biased on the preaching since it's my husband doing it, but a lot of the congregants agree, I swear!

We started coming to this church about six weeks ago (hence the amount of time attending) when my husband was appointed here by the Missouri United Methodist Conference this year. We came from a quaint "country church in the city" in the Kansas City area, with about 60 in attendance at the one service each week, to a church in the St. Louis area with 3,500 members, and about 1,400+ in attendance each week between 5 services. Whew! What a change!

My husband was put in charge of the primary preaching at the contemporary service. Remember what I said our previous church was? (reference above paragraph) Well, we were told this service was averaging around 210 each week. Big jump for us! Since we've been there, the attendance has been anywhere from 275 to 315 each week. So exciting! This is held in a room, we were told, could hold up to 280, if we squeezed people in. Then today happened...

The band was rockin' today, as usual; I was introduced into this church's drama ministry with my first skit for this congregation today, with two excellent people (thanks Bill & Lori); we had an awsome special guest today being Mark Cruz playing classical guitar (ab fab...check him out:; and exceptional sermon - of course...all of this in front of an offical count of (drum roll, please)................


Can you believe it? I think it's the biggest crowd I've done a skit in front of, for sure! It went over well, and it was PACKED! Standing Room Only!

It was a very exciting morning! I had to share what God had in store today.

You can hear a sermon of my husband's at

Oh yeah...and Chris Rice is coming to do a concert at our church on September 22nd! Can't wait for that one!!

Stay tuned for more!

God Bless, AM~Erica

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Shopping 'n AM~Erica

So anyway...

A few of you wanted some killer shopping tips. So I am going to start with the easiest of all of them...are you ready? Brace yourselves...


I love coupons! I get so excited to see the Sunday paper come, and I get the scissors ready, in hand, to sort through the sections to find the slick-paper booklets of savings - yes, even before I read the comics. If there are no coupons in the paper, my week is ruined! Same goes if I can't use any of the coupons that week.

Clip the coupons you find for products you use all of the time; then find ones of products or brands you wouldn't mind trying. Do NOT clip coupons for dog food if you don't even have a pet.

* Then, you need to do some homework. School is almost in session, so homework should begin anyway, right? You need to go to each store in your area to see how things are priced for the items you tend to get. Also, use your coupons to price check. Just because you have a coupon for 55¢ off of 3 of product Brand A, when getting two of Brand B would be less than that, doesn't mean you should stick to the product coupon you have; get the other brand. Just be smart when you compare.

* Generic &/or store brands are not bad things! Sometimes, we like them better than some of the name brand stuff.

* Know that you may need to do some store hopping for better pricing. Aldi's has great prices on most things. Go there first, then supplement with your other stores. Just remember Aldi's only takes cash & cards...NO CHECKS!

* Buy in bulk. Get a good deep freezer, and then get a membership to Sam's or Costco. But, be smart when shopping here...just because you buy bulk, doesn't mean you eat bulk. Get your paper products from here (i.e., paper plates, paper towles, TP, etc.). You can also get food items you use a lot; there are 5-6 people in my house...we go through a lot of stuff fast!

* Look for specials and sales at different stores. Another piece of homework is to look in the paper for the store's specials they are running for the week. If you have a coupon for the same product that's on special - BONUS!

I will have some more killer tips coming soon. (Think shoes, clothes, designer brands...for cheap!)

Stay tuned!

God Bless, AM~Erica

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

AM~Erica Presents: Christian Adventures

So anyway...

It looks like there is a large portion of you wanting to hear a kid story - well, most of the ones I have right now are of my 2½ year old son. So, here goes:

OK, Christian may not talk a lot still (we're working on it), but he is still too smart for his own good! This spring, he stayed home sick from preschool one day, and I got home right after work, checked on him, went upstairs to check e-mail, and then my husband (who'd been with him through the day) came upstairs to change clothes. We were up in the room for 3-4 minutes...TOPS...when we realized we didn't hear the little one. We got really worried because he had just learned to unlock the front & back doors. As we went down, he couldn't be found, but the back door was found open! He'd apparently become strong enough to open the doors, now, and we began to look through the neighborhood, calling for him. My daughter, Lizzie, was hysterical & screaming his name, and we all (including my other son, Ethan) split up. I could see from a distance that my husband was waving to someone, as he walked through a large field, behind our townhome. Apparently, our son ran through the field, across a busy street, and tried to get into the Super 8 Hotel that was less than a block behind our townhome. He was wearing a pull-up & t-shirt...and was barefooted. A woman saw him & asked him where his mommy was...he only shrugged at her. Then she saw a guy, who must be "daddy", coming through the field.

Just keep in mind, this was a 3-4 minute time span.

OK...more adventures to come.

Stay tuned!

God Bless, AM~Erica

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Welcome to AM~Erica!

So anyway...

You may ask why "AM~Erica", right? Well, I'm Erica, with a "C"; you know, "America" without the "AM"... probably because I am NOT a morning person, but I am still an all AMerican girl!

I will be using this blog to share some tips for bargain shopping, moving, and to share some wild & crazy kid stories (trust me...there are some doozies) for you to enjoy! Oh, I may post some random musings & stuff, too.

So stay tuned...

God Bless, AM~Erica