Monday, August 31, 2009

FREE sample of Kashi Cereal

Kashi is giving away FREE sample of cereal. You can choose one of the three kinds being offered. Allow 4-6 weeks for delivery. Go on over HERE to sign up for yours.


Whether Rich or Poor

This past week's top news was the passing of Senator Ted Kennedy. In my class, we had a brief discussion about his life and career as a politician. Then, one of my students commented 'He was very rich and must have had a really good insurance, but his doctor couldn't cure the cancer?'

As someone who cannot afford to have health insurance, he might have meant to be sarcastic. However, as a Christian, I thought that was a very meaningful statement. However rich we are, however skillful and smart doctors we can afford, we are all helpless in front of death, aren't we?


Friday, August 28, 2009

65 Hours a Week

I teach reading and writing at a community college two evenings a week. All of my students are non-native speakers of English. Some of them immigrated to United States more than a few decades ago, some of them have lived here for a few years, and others have just moved to United States a few months ago.

I love my teaching job because I learn more from my students than what they learn from me. Their diligence, attitudes toward life and contentment with what they have teach me gratefulness. My students are hard-working people, many of whom do not get paid more than minimum wage: grocery store cashiers, restaurant servers, chefs, factory workers, construction laborers, nannies, etc.

Antelmo, one of my students, works 65 hours a week in a restaurant's kitchen. With two children and a wife, he says he is just grateful that he can provide for his family. When asked why he decided to come to school instead of resting at home, he says he can't stop growing. He always sits in the front seat and he isn't shy about asking for help for things he does not understand. During the break, he gets a 25-cent coffee from a vending machine so that he could stay awake for the rest of the class. He is serious about learning, and I feel very responsible and also privileged to feed his hunger for learning.

Some men choose to stay home instead of working to provide for his family, because they think they are too important or too higly educated to take 'such lowly jobs', even though those are the only jobs available for them. It's a pretty common phenomenon, especially, among first generation Korean American immigrant families. Their pride and need for face-saving disable them as a provider for his own family, which drives their wives out to workplace. This often creates tension and dysfunction in their marriage and in the lives of their children.

1 Timothy 5:8 says, 'If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever'. I don't know if Antelmo knows God, but in Antelmo, I see the strength of a man who wants to provide for his family. I also see the passion for life in Antelmo. He refuses to settle down for mere surviving, but he is preparing himself for a season to thrive.

Monday, August 24, 2009

FREE Hugo Fragrance Samples

HUGO is giving away free fragrance samples in both male and female collections. Go on over HERE and sign up for your samples.


Friday, August 21, 2009

Grocery Steals of the Week

I found two great deals from

Jewel-Osco is selling 1 pint Mocha Almond Fudge Haagen-Dazs All Natural Ice Cream for $1. Regular price is $3.19, so you are saving $2.19! I need to stock up a few of these for desserts!

Jewel-Osco is also selling 1 LB Organic Driscoll's Strawberries for $1.50. Regular price is $3.95. I'm going to get a few of these and wash & freeze for smoothies!


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Credit Scoring Changes We Need to Know

Do you know how your credit score is determined? Do you know that the credit scoring system has changed recently? Do you know what are the changes and how they affect you and your family? Mary Hunt wrote an excellent, easy-to-understand article on this topic in the finance section of

Here is the summary:

1. The new version of credit scoring model, FICO 08, ignores small collections that may appear on your credit report.
2. It is less punishing for those who have had a major setback, such as repossession, as long as their other active credit accounts are in good standing.
3. It allows some authorized-user information to be included when developing that person's credit score.
4. You should never use more than 30% of your available credit, even if you pay your balance in full each month.
5. You should not close credit card accounts, because it will reduce the total amount of your available credit.
6. The accounts you have need to be active, which means you'd better use each one for a very small purchase every month or so.

We all know that good credit score is somewhere between 700-759, and 760-850 is considered excellent. Obtaining your credit score is not free, but you can purchase your score at for $15.95.

*Tip of the Day
Knowledge is power.


15 Overpriced Things People Hate Paying For

I found an interesting article on money section of With the recession, more families are trying to cut non-essential expenses, and they have become very conscious about where their money goes. asked people to find what are the top 15 things they now go out of their way to avoid paying for:

1. Movie theater popcorn
2. Event parking
3. Printer ink
4. Drinks at restaurants
5. Bottled water
6. Gourmet coffee
7. Restaurant holiday deals
8. Movie tickets
9. Oil changes
10. Airport food
11. Ticketmaster fees
12. ATM fees
13. 401k management fees
14. Airline baggage fees
15. Hot dogs at baseball games

Well, I just paid for event parking and Ticketmaster fee last week, BUT I saved a lot on the ticket itself!


Monday, August 17, 2009

FREE Juicer

Just what I needed! Paramount Citrus is giving away free juicer. Sign up HERE. It will take 6-weeks for delivery.


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

No More Freebies On Campus from Credit Card Companies

Usually, I am not proud of the State of Illinois at all. The seemingly endless political scandals, the recent Chicago cemetery defamation, one of the highest sales tax rates in the country...

However, this week, the State of Illinois did something praiseworthy. I just heard the news this morning on the radio: The state is going to prohibit credit card companies from offering freebies to students on college/univeristy campuses in the state. That's right. Credit companies won't be able to give out free shirts, free gym bags, free gift cards, and other free stuff to entice cash-strapped college students. Governor Quinn, my hat's off to you!


FREE Sample of Somersaults Snack

Somersaults Sea Salt: this snack sounds very healthful. Following is the description of the snack found on the company's website: Somersaults Sea Salt brings to life the toasted perfection of a sunflower seed with the subtle hint of sesame rounded out with savory salts from the sea. Sign up right HERE for yours and wait for a few weeks for delivery!


Monday, August 10, 2009

FREE Sample of Nutland Crunch

School is starting soon, which means my second job is starting soon, too. I'll be in need of lots of snacks to carry around to survive those 16-hour days. I found a great freebie snack today: Nutland Crunch. These snacks sound so healthful and tasty. Go HERE and sign up for yours.


Sunday, August 9, 2009

Give One When You Get One

I met Pastor Dale while I was working toward my first master's degree at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. Pastor Dale does not get paid salary from his church, but he and his family depend on God's provision. I, personally, witnessed many times how God met their needs in divine ways.

I repect Pastor Dale for many reasons but one of the most respectable things about him is that he strives not to become materialistic in this materialistic world. I remember Pastor Dale and Jen sharing their concern about their daughter getting too much toy gifts.

One day, Pastor Dale and Jen realized that their only daughter, Michelle was being spoiled with so many toys. Her room and their basement were being filled gifts and toys from grandparents, uncles, aunts, family friends, and many others. So, they came up with a brilliant idea: when Michelle receives a new toy gift, she should give one of her toys away to another child. One Christmas, Michelle received a new toy from her aunt and she gave away one of her old dolls to a missionary family and thier child.

It's so easy to accumulate things without realizing how they end up owning us. Whenever I let go of the attachment and hold for the old clothes or things that I can live without , there is such a sense of freedom.

So, I just gave away a bag of my old, yet rarely worn clothes to a friend's daughter who's going to college this year.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

FREE Honey Nut Cheerios Sample plus $1 Coupon

Fill out the form HERE to get a Honey Nut Cheerios FREE sample and a $1 coupon. I like it that they don't ask for my e-mail address. Allow 6-8 weeks for delivery.


FREE Sample Packets of Emeril's Original Essence

Is everyone getting your free stuff in mail? We enjoyed free ice cream from Starbucks, and the free Wild Cooler from Caribou Coffee was so good!

This week's free stuff is sample packets of Emeril's Original Essence. Extra seasoning is always welcome to anyone's kitchen. Go on over HERE and sign up for yours.


Monday, August 3, 2009

$3 Dinner - Turkey Burger in Pita Bread

My apologies for not having posted for almost a week. Let's say I was very distracted.

These days, I'm kind of hooked to pita bread. At our local Greek grocery store, a package of 10 pita breads are sold at $1.49. It's not only inexpensive, but also it's kept frozen but can be easily, quickly thawed. One of the creative ways to use pita bread is to use it as buns. Today's $3 dinner is turkey burger in pita bread.

Ingredients (1 serving)
1 Turkey burger
1 Pita bread
Vegetables (whatever you have; I used lettuce, yellow onion, mushroom)

1.Take out a pita bread from the freezer and let it sit outside while preparing other ingredients
2.Cook the turkey burger either on a lightly greased pan or in a convection oven
3.Wash, drain, chop lettuce
4.Stir fry yellow onion and mushroom, adding salt and pepper
5.Cut top 1/4 of the pita bread, and put the burger and all the vegetables in the pocket