Thursday, March 7, 2019

Make Things Better, Not Worse

These days it seems like there is so much negativity in the world. We see it in the news and the media every day. We see it online and even in real life.

When you think about it, it really comes down to people and how they choose to behave. People have the ability to be positive or negative. They have the ability to do good things or bad things.

I think most people would agree that good is better than bad. We want to live in a world where good things happen and life is good. So why do people continue to perpetuate negativity?

There can be a lot of reasons behind it. One is that negativity, like positivity is contagious. For example if someone is having a bad day and they are in a bad mood, they are more likely to spread that mood to others. For example they might put somebody down or say a mean comment, not because they would normally do that, but because they are just in a bad mood.

On the contrary, if someone is having a good day and they are in a good mood, they are more likely to spread this feeling to others.

While it can be hard to be positive been you are feeling down, we need to keep this thought in mind and remember that we have the ability to control what we do and say. It is inevitable that bad things will happen every once in a while, but we have the choice to perpetuate that feeling or stop it in its tracks and choose to be positive despite feeling bad.

A little quote I came up with is “Make things better, not worse”. This means try to make the world a better place, not a worse place. It refers to everything we do or say no matter how little it may be. We as humans have so much influence on the world around us. We can choose to be positive and make things better, or we can choose to be negative and make things worse. If we want to live in a world that is good, it is easy to decide which one to choose.

There are a lot of other reasons why people may decide to be negative. For example maybe they are unhappy with themselves and because of this, they are always in a bad mood which affects their everyday life. Another reason could be jealousy. For example maybe someone sees another person and they are jealous of who they are or what they have and because of this, they feel the need to bring them down.

Some people have the misfortune of being raised in a poor environment. Someone who is raised in a bad neighborhood with crime may be influenced by this type of behavior. Someone who grows up without responsible parental or guardian figures may not learn the basics of how to be a decent human being.

In situations like this, it is not their fault. There is no easy solution to fix situations like this especially when there are hundreds of thousands if not millions of people in these situations.

Guidance and education at an early age can help but people have to continue to make the effort to be positive and stay away from negativity. If more people make the conscious decision to make things better and not worse, the world should slowly shift in that direction. The message is simple and if we can stick to it, we can make the world a better place.

Monday, February 25, 2019

Making Sponges From Packaging Foam – Free alternative to store bought sponges

I was at a friend's house one day and they mentioned a frugal tip in regards to household sponges. While most people buy sponges at the store, but my friend had made her own sponges out of packaging foam. This light foam is sometimes used to cushion products when shipping in boxes. Instead of throwing the packaging foam away or recycling it, she cut it into sponge size shapes to use as sponges.

I was skeptical when I saw it because I thought the material would not be nearly as good as “real” sponges from the store, but she offered to give me some to try out so I figured it was worth a try.

At home, I tried them out and surprisingly, they work pretty well! The material is different that regular sponges but they perform in a similar way. They don't hold as much water, but they are a lot more durable than expected. I found they work very well at cleaning dishes with soap and water.

I'm still on my first batch of free sponges and I plan to make more of them whenever I have packaging foam material around. I you have any of this material around and are looking for a free alternative to buying sponges, I recommend giving this method a try.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

2019 Monopoly Shop Play Win Game – Rare Pieces

The Monopoly Collect and Win game is back for 2019 and like previous years we will be following the game here and keeping track of the rare game pieces needed to win. Feel free to use the comments section below to post which ones you have and which ones you need.

Like last year, each prize will have at least 1 rare piece needed to win and the larger prizes will have both a rare and a semi-rare piece needed to win.

Rare Pieces List:

301AA, 302BA, 303CA, 304DA
305AB, 306BB, 307CB, 308DB
309AC, 310BC, 311CC, 312DC
313AD, 314BD, 315CD, 316DD
317AE, 318BE, 319CE, 320DE
321AF, 322BF, 323CF, 324DF
325AG, 326BG, 327CG, 328DG
329AH, 330BH, 331CH, 332DH
333AI, 334BI, 335CI*, 336DI, 337EI, 338FI
339AJ, 340BJ, 341CJ, 342DJ, 343EJ*, 344FJ
345AK, 346BK, 347CK, 348DK
349AL, 350BL, 351CL, 352DL
353AM, 354BM, 355CM, 356DM
357AN, 358BN, 359CN, 360DN
361AO, 362BO, 363CO, 364DO
365AP, 366BP, 367CP, 368DP
369AQ, 370BQ, 371CQ, 372DQ
373AR, 374BR, 375CR, 376DR
377AS, 378BS, 379CS, 380DS
381AT, 382BT, 383CT, 384DT
385AU, 386BU, 387CU, 388DU
389AV, 390BV, 391CV, 392DV
393AW, 394BW*, 395CW, 396DW, 397EW
398AX, 399BX, 400CX, 401DX*, 402EX
403AY*, 404BY, 405CY, 406DY, 407EY
408AZ*, 409BZ, 410CZ, 411DZ, 412EZ
413A$, 414B$, 415C$, 416D$*, 417E$
418A#, 419B#*, 420C#, 421D#, 422E#

Bold = Rare
* = Semi-Rare

Stores participating this year include Albertsons, Safeway, Pavilions, CARRS, VONS, Randalls, Eagle, Pak n Save, Tom Thumb, Jewel Osco, ACME Markets, Shaw's / Star Market, United Supermarkets, Market Street, Amigos, United Express, and more.

For the official rules and odds of winning, check out the official Shop Pay Win website.

Comments are moderated and will appear below once they are approved.

The 2019 Monopoly game runs from February 6th – May 7th 2019. Good luck!

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Ripple Pea Milk Review – Chocolate Flavor. How Does It Taste?

I had seen Ripple milk in stores for a while as a new alternative to regular milk but had been putting off trying it out. I am familiar with soy milk and almond milk but I had yet to try Ripple. Today I saw them available in single serve bottles so I decided to give them a try.

I had previously watched some reviews of Ripple milk on Youtube and I remember the reviews being just ok which is why I did not rush out to buy it. But since the single serve option was only a couple bucks, I figured I would try it out.

The main thing that makes Ripple different is that is uses pea protein. The other ingredients are common such as water, sugar, and sunflower oil. As far as nutrition, a 12oz bottle has 230 calories, 12g of protein, and 25 g of sugar.

So how does it taste? Surprisingly good! I would describe the taste as something similar to a low fat chocolate milk with a little bit of a malt flavor. It is very easy to drink and does not have any weird flavors or aftertaste. Usually I am not a big fan of peas, but this does not taste at all like peas so it is ok.

Overall I was pleased with the taste and the nutrition is pretty good too. I would buy it again if I can find it on sale. It is a little more expensive compared to similar alternatives so the higher price would be the only thing holding me back from purchasing it.

I will probably try out some of the other Ripple flavors as well to see if they are as good as the chocolate. If you are looking for a new milk alternative or just a new beverage to try out, I recommend checking out Ripple milk.

Update:

I tried the original flavor Ripple milk and it is ok but not as good as the chocolate flavor. This is to be expected since it does not have as much sugar or chocolate. I would say it compares most closely to a plain soy milk and works as a good alternative if you are looking for something new to try.

Update 2: 

I decided to try out the Unsweetened Vanilla to see how it compares to the others. I was worried it would not be very good since it does not have sugar, but to my surprise, it was actually quite good! I liked it better than the original flavor which does have sugar. This one has a nice vanilla flavor and is very easy to drink. Overall I would probably buy this flavor again. 

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Gas Station Brings Shoplifters to Justice with Youtube Channel



I recently discovered a channel on Youtube called Gas Station Encounters which is a channel run by a gas station employee who has taken a stand against people who try to steal from his store. The gas station has very good security cameras which they monitor closely in real time so they are able to catch shoplifters who try to pocket items without paying.

Once they are caught, the employee confronts them and makes them pay. Sometimes they charge them more for trying to steal. Sometimes they just confiscate everything they stole and kick them out of the store. Often they follow them out to get their license plate number in order to help the police identify them.

The best part is, since it is all recorded by the surveillance cameras, they have the whole thing on tape. They then take the footage and create a video with it including funny play by play commentary for the whole thing. Then they upload it to Youtube for everyone to see.

The videos are very well done and the creator is quite funny and talented. Sometimes he even makes original songs about what is happening in the video. They capture a surprising about of criminals trying to steal, but they also catch a lot of other stuff that happens around the store, for example store mishaps, people illegally dumping garbage, and pretty much anything interesting that happens to get caught on tape.

As someone who likes to see justice get served, Gas Station Encounters has quickly become one of my favorite Youtube channels. In a time where it can he hard to catch shoplifters and have them actually be arrested, this channel is actively doing something about it. They catch people in the act and are not afraid to confront them about it.

Usually the owner is able to get their license plate number, but even when they get away, they are still caught on camera and they end up going on Youtube for hundreds of thousands of people to see what they have done. If you like to see criminals getting caught red handed and confronted for their actions, and you like funny videos, I highly recommend checking out Gas Station Encounters!

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Ozark Season 2 Review

I just finished up season 2 of the show Ozark and overall it was very good! It's one of those shows where anything can happen and usually it is unexpected so it keeps you on the edge of your seat. I enjoyed season 1 and I found season 2 to be just as good as the first season.

This season Marty and Wendy try to set up a new casino as a way to launder money for the cartel who they have been in trouble with since things went awry in the first season. It turns out to be a lot harder than expected and there are all kinds of issues along the way. Their goal is to ultimately get out with their family intact and hopefully start a new life but it seems like they just keep getting deeper and deeper into trouble.

In terms of the writing, I find the show to be at times a little over the top, like they are making drastic things happen to shock the audience. It can seem a little unbelievable, but it certainly makes for an entertaining show. They tend to kill off characters pretty fast which can be risky but so far it seems to be working out ok.

The characters and actors are stars of the show. Jason Bateman and Laura Linney are fantastic as Marty and Wendy, as is Julia Garner as Ruth. They all have very intense and emotional scenes and they pull them off wonderfully. The kids and supporting actors all do a good job as well.

At the end of the season the future of what the Byrde family will do is uncertain, but Ozark has been renewed for a 3rd season so we have more excitement to look forward to! Overall I highly recommend Ozark if you like shows with suspense and drama. Seasons 1 and 2 are available now on Netflix.

Monday, January 21, 2019

A Series of Unfortunate Events Season 3 Review


I just finished up the 3rd and final season of A Series of Unfortunate Events and overall it was very enjoyable! This season wraps up the final books of the series with 7 episodes. If you liked the first 2 seasons, this season is very similar in style and tone as the Baudelaire orphans continue to try to escape Count Olaf and find peace and safety.

We continue to learn more about the VFD organization and meet new characters along the way. We also see the return of many characters from the first 2 seasons. One of the most noticeable differences is baby sister Sunny who is growing up and is now a toddler. She can now speak and help out her siblings even more than before. Some of my other favorite characters besides Sunny include Esme and Carmelita.

The visual stylings are one of the best parts about this show. They create a fictional world that looks different than what we are used to seeing in most shows. In this season events take place in a snow covered mountain, an underwater submarine, a fancy hotel, and a remote island.

For wrapping up the series, I felt the end of the second to last episode really could have been the finale. It just had the right feel and would have been a good place to wrap it up. There was one more episode after it that was still pretty good but somehow felt a little out of place or unnecessary.

I was still left with some questions at the end of the finale, but overall I was satisfied with the ending. Lemony constantly warned us that this was not a story with a happy ending, but without giving too much away, I think the Baudelaire orphan's situation ended up better than expected.

Overall I highly recommend watching A Series of Unfortunate Events. It is definitely one of my favorite shows available on Netflix.