British Soccer Camp is Coming to The Dalles Summer of 2017

British Soccer Camps are the most popular soccer camp in the US.

With an innovative curriculum that develops skills, speed and confidence in players ages 3-18, The British Soccer Camp provide boys and girls with the rare opportunity to receive high-level soccer coaching from a team of international expert’s right in the heart of their own community. In addition to teaching new skills and improving game performance, each British Soccer Camp provides lessons in character development, cultural education and is the most fun your child can have learning the sport they love!
Enroll you child in a British Soccer Camp today REGISTER FOR CAMP & GET FREE SOCCER JERSEY, SOCCER BALL, T-SHIRT & POSTER with code: CAMP17

There is a camp running in The Dalles, Oregon from July 10 – July 14, 2017.

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Save 25% on Label Daddy labels

Save 25% on Label Daddy labels!

Label Daddy is the number one solution for labeling your belongings! Their exclusive laminated coating gives labels an extra layer of protection and is a must for camp! Remember to label all clothing, sports equipment, electronics, and other personal belongings your kids bring to school, camp, sports leagues, day care, vacation, and other places. Label Daddy labels keep them from getting lost or mixed up with others. These labels are great for adults too! — Put them on your sunglass/eyeglass case, phone, camera, sports equipment, tablet, e-reader, hats, clothing, and more.

These labels are super durable peel-and-stick washable labels — they’re washer/dryer safe, microwave safe, dishwasher safe and UV resistant! Label Daddy labels are also fun and attractive. You design your own labels! Pick from tons of colors, sizes and logos, including MLB, NBA, and NHL team logos, other sport and fun logos, and more. These labels are made in the USA and shipped directly to you worldwide.

Save 25% on your entire Label Daddy order – this is the best discount available anywhere. Use code USFAMILY25 at checkout. www.usfamily25.labeldaddy.com

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Don’t Stop Doing Your (eBay) Thing When Sales Suck

eBay sales are way down

Just as you began to feel halfway secure in working from home, you have a few bad days. Last Monday you were on top of the world when you made a months salary (part-time) in one afternoon. In fact, you even felt like everything was going to be OK because things must be evening out in the world of reselling.

Wrong.

Sunday you made $86 for the day.

Monday you made $41 for the day

and the final kick in the pants was on Tuesday when you made a whopping $23.

Usually you have some control over how much you bring in. If you list, you make money. The more you list, the more you make. Similar to other sales jobs, its a numbers game. However, this time you’re numbers just don’t add up. You list, you drop prices, you create promotions and sales – yet, you do not make money.

Although you have been an eBay seller for over 15 years, you have not been steady with it. Other re-sellers you know, are having the same problem. They say to be patient, that this time of year is historically low in sales. You want to believe them but deep down you fear that you are failing. You fear that the routine you have created for yourself will soon be no more. Change is inevitable, but that doesn’t mean you have to like it.

It’s Thursday and you’ve spent more than you’ve made this week. Your financial goals will have to be put on the back burner for this week.

You pout. You complain to your husband. You obsess over the hours you invested, without a monetary reward. You consult. Ultimately, you’re not ready to throw in the towel, not today. You pull out the bin of unlisted bras and do your thing.

 

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It’s High School Conferences In The Dalles This Week

You live in The Dalles and have kids in the local High School. It conference time – again. The end of the school year is just around the corner and you’re just realizing that you’ve skipped out on every school conference for this school year. It wasn’t exactly your plan to be completely hands off when it comes to school conferences, it just sort of happened. It’s been a long time coming.

You went to M’s school conference at the Middle School in the Fall, and it was about that time you decided you simply didn’t want to do this anymore. In fact, you were absolutely not going to attend anymore conferences. You hated them when your kids attended the David Douglas School District and you found the one conference you did attend in The Dalles was equally awful. You don’t blame anyone or think its anyone’s fault – the way the school systems are set up just make conferences less than ideal. Teachers have never called you out on your absenteeism, but you have your argument cocked and ready to go in the event that they do.

  1. Conferences these days are on a drop in basis. You come, you find your child’s classroom and wait your turn in the hall. This could be 5 minutes or it could be an hour. Your time is just as valuable as anyone else and waiting around for extended periods of time would mean you had pretty high exceptions about what would come next…
  2.  Upon meeting your child’s teacher you can tell they want to act interested in your child. In reality your child isn’t a troublemaker and is a pretty average student. You wonder if this teacher even knows anything about your child, besides his name.
  3. Student led conferences suck. If you’ve ever asked a teenager a question then you  know their responses are mumbled, shitty responses. The same type of reaction is given at these conferences. Teacher plops down a pile of work and tells the child to go over the work with the parent. Meanwhile, teacher pretends to look interested as she makes note of your attendance in her book.
  4.  You’re a pretty damn involved parent on the day to day basis. You check Parent Access several times a week, you know what they are missing and how their grades are. You leave communication open and ask loads of questions. You already know what the hell is going on and have lost  feeling the need to show up and waste everyone’s time for student conferences.

Part of you feels bad, mostly because you know it might look bad or sound bad that you don’t go. However, you also haven’t brushed your hair all week and that probably looks pretty bad also. Sugar-free candy has been making your skin break out and you’re pants are ready to bust at the seams – all bad looks.

Mother’s Day is coming up and you’ll be praised for all the things you do, and no one will mention the things you don’t. So, while you haven’t attended a school conference in several terms, you’ve still done a lot and that is going to have to be enough.

 

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You Always See People You Know When Living In The Dalles

You live in The Dalles, a city with approximately 13,000 – 15,000 people depending on the source. Either way, its much less then the city you came from. In contrast, Portland has about 600K people sitting one on top of the other. There are good and bad that go with living in a town with such a small population.

The good: You see people you know or recognize all the time. In fact, every time you go out you either see someone you know, someone you’ve done business with or someone who lives near you.

The bad: You see people you know or recognize all the time. In fact, every time you go out you either see someone you know, someone you’ve done business with or someone who lives near you.

Yes, the good and the bad are one in the same. Recently, the bad outweighed the good and you’re still a little red faced about it.

In Portland, your kids had their regular hair cut spot. It was a small, tidy salon staffed with Mexican stylists who understood the importance of a good fade. In fact, they had mastered the fade and knew exactly how your kids insisted it be. For a while you made the 160 mile round-trip to continue patronizing them. However, as your appointments in Portland dwindled you decided the teens would just need to find a place in The Dalles to get their haircut.

Attempt numero uno: Studio Beauty located on W. 6th street.

Review: 2 of the 3 teen boys hated their hair. It didn’t look that bad to you, but what do you know? In fact, one of the haircuts looked really good in your opinion and the other two looked acceptable. There are no bells or whistles, its a quick in and out. English is choppy, but that  has never bothered you in the past. On another subject, you also got a pedicure there and it was terrible. Sloppy polish, no foot filing and the massage was about 2 minutes long. You definitely wish you had saved your money.

Attempt numero dos: Great Clips on Mt. Hood Street.

Review: This is where shit went bad for you. The haircut just looked terrible. It was sloppy and unkempt  looking. Before your sons chair was spun around, you knew he was going to be mad. The finished product was similar to what you remembered as an overgrown bowl-cut. Not cool, right? After double checking with your son, you asked for some revisions. Instead of accepting the constructive criticism, the stylist repeated everything you said in an incredulous questioning tone. “It’s uneven?!”, she questioned as she combed through the tangled knots. It was her tone. It was shitty and you could feel your annoyance building.

“Just fix it!” and “I don’t care what the notes from last time say” are things that may have been snapped in her direction. Eventually she evened it out  but it was obvious her skill level wasn’t matching up with your expectations. You paid for the service, left a tip and walked out the door – never to return again.

You really didn’t think of her again until your other son asked to have a friend over, to which you agreed. As the visit neared, your son adds that his friends mom wants to meet you and she’ll be at the house to drop her kid off on Friday after school. As he walks away, he adds on, “Oh, and his mom is that hair stylist you were being mean to – the one that cut T’s hair”.

First off, you weren’t being mean. You were being assertive, or so you thought. Second, god-damn it. Why does this always happen to you? Maybe this is something you need to be more careful of as a small town-liver? Or maybe not.

Friday comes and Friday goes. You had prepared the perfect, light-hearted response to meeting her face to face. It was going to be more of a play it by ear thing. If she mentioned it, you’d apologize and move on quickly. If she didn’t mention it, neither would you. However, at the last minute you get a phone call from her instead – she was super busy that day and needed to just go over some instructions about her kid. Whew! Crisis averted – or pushed to the back burner to deal with at a later date.

You’d like to learn from this experience. You hope it reminds you to be mindful about what you say, the tone of your voice and the look on your face. In reality you already feel that old boldness creeping back. You try, but in the end, you do your thing.

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How To Be A Victim

It’s 2017 and you’re in your mid 30’s. You feel young most days, and you  still look half way decent when you apply the effort. The gray hairs around your temples can still be counted on one hand, okay – maybe two hands. You live an average life: Average income, average house, average cars, average problems.

You think about the journey that led you to all the things you have OR don’t have in your current life. The time you got fired from the Parks department for being an asshole and “dating” the married maintenance guy. The other time that you decided it was time to get your shit together and put in nearly 10 years as a solid, trustworthy and dependable employee, allowing you to purchase your first home and begin life as you know it today.

You remember people telling you your misfortunes were because you were female. When you got the job over your male competitor those same people said it was because they would have had to pay the male more. You continue on, doing your thing – working your jobs. A conflict arises, a fellow co-worker doesn’t like you. It doesn’t tear you up too much because you’re sort of that way. People love you or they can’t stand you. You’re OK with this, its kind of become your thing. You chuckle about it as you’re telling a friend, and try to remain still faced and serious as she gives her two-cents.

“Its because you’re Mexican”

You nod and pretend to consider, but deep down  you know its actually because you can be a loud mouth and are known to always say the wrong thing even if you have good intentions. Some people can handle this, others cannot.

College was never of interest to you. Two years was a sacrifice you made because you were still deciding what you wanted to do and needed something to occupy your time. You put minimal effort into each class, some you passed and others you did not. When your overly educated and unemployed acquaintance lends you some sympathy you don’t say a word in response.

“They make college so unattainable for most people! It’s no affordable and access is ridiculous”.

You try and relate but can’t. You never enjoyed community college but not because it was “unattainable” or “overly expensive”. Registration was as simple as going in and explaining what I wanted to accomplish. Buses from all over the city dropped you off right in front of the campus. FAFSA, Scholarships and loans were available for anyone who put the paperwork in.  When and if you were ready to transfer to a University, there was a department to help you with that. Sure, you might have some debt when you graduate but you never expected anything different. No one tricked you into anything. All your life people would tell you something hadn’t worked in your favor because you were Mexican. You feel guilty about not speaking up and saying that things haven’t worked in your favor because of your own choices.

You turn 30 and then 35. You have a baby boy, you start a business, you buy another house, you do your thing. You work hard and save money to feel secure about life, but end up having to send it all in to cover your income taxes. You are angry and hate people who don’t work for what they have. It was a personal attack, if anyone asks you. You think of all the $5 coffees you purchased and the $100 dinners you splurged on. You add up what you spent on those things and are angry at yourself now.

It’s almost summer and you’ll be 36 soon – closer to 40 than you are to 30 now. You self regulate and allow yourself an allowance, and save as much money as you can. You dine out less and make healthier choices for both your wallet and your waist. When someone asks you how you like your life in The Dalles, they may be surprised to hear you say that you feel “Powerful”. Starting over, isn’t always about a new house or a new town. It’s about learning to take responsibility for your choices and using your strengths / weaknesses to catapult forward instead of wadding in the same muddy waters.

 

 

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Getting Blocked On Facebook: Being Ok With Social Rejection

It’s the middle of April and although you don’t remember the exact date, you know an anniversary is approaching for someone you care about. You flip through last years calendar to see if their wedding ceremony was still there. Dang it. It must have been put on the pocket calendar you tossed out on New Years. You call your mom and your moms sister, and pester your husband. No one remembers the exact date.

It drives you bat-shit crazy for a few days before you have an “ah-ha!” moment. Facebook has all their wedding pictures and posts. You will scroll through and find their wedding date, wish them a happy anniversary and feel as if you’ve done right by them. You love them. After being distracted by a few updates from friends you type in the name you’re wanting to look up. No one comes up. That’s odd. You go into your messages and find a message from a year ago, a discussion about potluck dinners and family reunions. You click their profile from that message and all you see is a “page not found” screen. It’s hard to tell if they deleted their Facebook page completely or if they blocked you. You’re 99% sure they just left Facebook but that 1% doubt is nagging you.

Life has become impersonal and you start to feel grateful for the chance to send an actual card to wish them a nice anniversary. You pen a handwritten note, expressing well wishes and letting them know you’d like to see them more often. “Come out to my new house and lets have dinner”, you say. About a week later, you send a text to make sure the card got there OK and to reiterate that you’d love to have them over. Life is busy. There are dishes to do, kids to drive around, meals to cook, appointments to make…

Surely you would have been notified if they died. Maybe they’re dead. Maybe they blocked you on Facebook. Maybe they’re on vacation. Maybe they blocked you on Facebook. Your son has nothing to hide. He’s a teen but still mostly innocent. His Facebook page is hardly used and he will often stay logged in on the family computer. You open his page and type in the name you’ve been looking for. There she is. Still married. You scroll down her page a little while. Maybe you missed the anniversary by a mile and got blocked? No, the anniversary was just a few days before. Your card and text would have arrived early. You log out and log back into your own page. Still blocked.

You’re angry and you cry for just a few minutes. You rack your brain for anything offensive you may have done. You wonder why people just give up on relationships  and family. Outwardly, your quiet, but your heart and mind scream with hurt and anger. Days go by and your sadness dwindles. You send a card to a far-away friend just because, and are excited to see she sent one in return. You smile at a crying baby and she stops crying just long enough to smile back. You work extra hard and make a little extra to treat yourself to one of those fancy coffees. You continue to treat the people you care about with respect and allow them to decide if they want you in their life. Life goes on and before you know it a new friend request pops up on your phone, another mom from nearby. You accept. Life goes on and you continue doing your thing.

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Grocery Shopping In The Dalles Is Hard For My Large Family

I’m into my second week of the $100 grocery budget challenge. My first week started off a little rocky and I didn’t make my goal of only spending $100 on food for our family. Maybe it’s just not realistic for a family of 6? I don’t know. While I would typically spend between $400 – $500 per week on food, I was able to spend under $150. I did save money and we still ate. No one starved! Baby steps.

While discussing my new grocery budget with a friend she suggested I get into couponing again. Something along the lines of “remember when you got all that free shit from coupons? You should do that again – that would keep you way under $100/week”.

I think the all telling word in her statement is SHIT. Yes, it was all shit. Boxes of sugar laden cereal, mac & cheese, endless tubes of toothpaste and frozen pizzas for pennies. No one in my household needs to eat that stuff. I’ll happily spend more for better foods. For those wondering, couponing is just not for me.

Here in The Dalles, we have minimal grocery shopping options:

  • Fred Meyer
  • Safeway
  • Grocery Outlet
  • Smaller Mini-Mart stores (expensive!)

I would venture to say that Grocery Outlet has the lowest prices on things. If you’ve ever shopped there, you’ll understand that its hard to go there if you have specifics in mind. I have better luck going there when I’m just stocking the pantry with random things for the kids. Additionally, their meats and milk are often times more expensive than the sale prices at the other two grocery stores.

During the warmer weather I love visiting Packers Orchard out of Hood River for their fresh produce and pickled veggies. There is also a Farmers Market here in town that goes from June – October of each year. I get our groceries from many sources in this town and often times I find the experience of visiting these markets better then the shopping itself.

One thing I miss from Portland is having a grocery store that had everything I needed at low prices. Winco & Walmart Superstore are the two main ones that I’m thinking of. I knew I could find anything I needed at Winco (my favorite) and that the amount I would spend overall would be considerably lower than going to a competitor. While I continue to strive for a balance between wholesome foods and a healthy wallet, living in The Dalles has proven to be one large obstacle in that department.

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What IF Keto Kitty Is a Real Thing?

I’m back on the Keto way of eating. It works for me & makes me feel great. Once I get past the initial hump, its easy and the scale goes down like a $2 hooker. People always feel so free to voice their opinion of what and how I’m eating.

“I knew someone whose heart blew up from eating that way. It literally BLEW UP!”

or another one of my favorites…

“There is no proof that this diet will make you lose weight”

I’m pretty good about just shrugging shit off. I seriously don’t care what anyone else is eating. You do you – and I’ll do me. Of course, there are the goods and bad to any way of eating / dieting. For me, the benefits of being in ketosis far outweigh the negatives. The positives that I always notice within a week or so are:

  • My face clears up
  • I have endless energy
  • I don’t crave food throughout the day
  • I am able to turn down cheat foods easier
  • My waist becomes smaller
  • The roundness / inflammation to my belly disappears
  • I feel confident

While I’m first starting out (or restarting in this case) I try to focus on all the good things that happen to me when I cut out sugars, breads, pastas and all those other carb heavy foods. In order to get on the right path, I also cut out fruits and other natural sources of sugar. It’s just the choice I have to make if I want the sugar/carb cravings to stop.

As your body enters ketosis many people with develop something commonly referred to as dragon-breath. It’s exactly as it sounds. I’m pretty sure I’ve had it. Although I could not smell it, I could taste it. My mouth just tasted hot and not fresh. I’ve read about this and knew to expect it. What I have not experienced is keto kitty. You, like me, may be asking “what in the hell is that?”. Well, according to about 20 or 250 (who’s counting?) in my low carb lifestyle Facebook group, its when your body is in ketosis and instead / in addition to excreting the keto gases from your mouth, they exit your …cough cough….your crotch. There, I got that out. Yes, they confirmed that their coochie was stinky as all get out during their keto diet.

I honestly wish I hadn’t read that.

It’s making me second guess this way of eating choice. Be fat or have a possible stink puss. Which is worse?! I’m counting on it not happening, since I’m pretty sure it didn’t happen before. Maybe it’s just one of those urban legends that started as a way to discourage someone, and in the end spread like wildfire over the internet. Either way, if I get one whiff of something being off ‘down there‘ I’ll just stay fat.

 

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Cherry Festival in The Dalles: My 1st Time While Living in The Gorge

I had just missed living in The Dalles last year during the Northwest Cherry Festival. The excitement for the event is evident in the community. The checker at Safeway brought it up, my server at Mama Jane’s also mentioned it. I’ve been anxiously awaiting the celebration this year.

While my family won’t be taking part in every event, I am excited to attend the parade, carnival and the St. Mary’s Singing Idol. I have mentioned before that I moved here from Portland, and the Northwest Cherry Festival seems somewhat similar to Portland’s Rose Festival. As a younger adult I tried to attend as many Rose Festival events as possible. It was always such a special time,  and definitely the buzz of the city. As the city grew, I felt my interest and enjoyment waning for the activities. Insane crowds are just not my thing! I need to be able to breath without a stranger in my face. Yes, folks, Portland is that crowded.

While the festival events in The Dalles are smaller, they are easier to enjoy.  The event line-up can be found on the Chamber’s website.

Since I moved to The Dalles in July, I’ve really been struggling with my diet and weight. Events typically throw me off any good streak I’m having. It seems I have next to no self control. Please send positive vibes for me. Lord help me if I get a whiff of an elephant ear – It’ll all be over!

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