Thursday, March 31, 2011

Things that make me super happy

Here are details of a few things that have really made me happy lately, and the details of my second CVS trip!

Some of you may have heard of the 5 Love Languages study. It is an amazing study that helps you to better respond to others and helps you to grow the relationships, friendships and work relationships. When you know what someones love language is, or the way that makes them feel loved, you can then tailor your responses to them so that they can feel loved. The five love languages are: Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch. Take the quiz to find out what your love language is HERE. You can have multiple love languages but most people have a dominant one. Mine is words of affirmation... so... here goes. I did this study when I was about to be a freshman in college with my college career class at church back home... If my down home country church can do this.. so can you! :) It was very beneficial and I have learned so much!
  • I got a text from one of my adopted little sisters in SAI.. and it said 'You are the sister I strive to be' WOW... my heart swelled with joy and my eyes filled with tears.. it means so much to be looked up to.
  • Last week I was having a TERRIBLE week. God spoke to me through my boss Neal when he walked up to my desk high-fived me and said 'We've almost made it through another week!' Oh, how I needed that. God was saying, yes, it's been tough, but it's almost over; and you are not alone!
  • Just yesterday I was copying some papers I knew Clint, my associate manager, always copied for the weekly meeting. Since time was getting close for the start of the meeting, I just went ahead and grabbed the papers off the printer and started making copies. When Clint came into the office he said 'Are you copying my papers for me?' When I responded yes, he then went on to say, 'You know, you and me, we make a great team.. I put things on your desk and stuff gets DONE!' That made me so happy... we continued to talk throughout the day and each conversation was filled with compliments. God knows exactly what you need!
  • At work, we have a lot of guys trying to get a lot done. And on Tuesday I actually had someone wait in line to speak to me and get me to help them! It felt good that they were willing to wait in order to have my attention... I just love helping my guys.
Many things like this make my heart soar! These are just some recent examples of how God continues to bless each and every need, EVERY day! God knows exactly what we are going through and just what we need to make it through. How awestruck I am at His love for me. AMAZING!

My recent CVS trip was to buy band-aids and medicine. I had some coupons for band-aids and with your purchase of band-aids you got $5 extra care bucks (ECB). Also, I haven't slept since Sunday night... CVS had Advil PM on sale, and when I walked in the store there was a 'peelie', a coupon you peel off of the box to use, for $2.00!! I also used a $2.00 off coupon for my band-aids and $2.50 in ECBs that I had earned on my previous trip! It felt great saving money, and getting things I needed! I tried out the Advil PM last night... I am very leery of sleep aids.. So I only took half of the recommended dosage. I finally was able to sleep last night... and the glory all goes to God!! I am so thankful for the few hours of sleep I actually got, and so thankful that I don't have to spend day number four falling asleep in class or at my desk! Praise be to the Lord on high!

Monday, March 28, 2011

First Publix Trip

Today I made my first trip to Publix. I looked over the weekly sales add and searched for coupons online. It didn't take much time at all. Many things that I needed were on sale.. and I was able to find a coupon for them. This way, I saved more money. I am pretty excited about my first couponing trip. Some people I know are ashamed or embarrassed to use a coupon; however, I can say the savings is worth you getting over yourself! I was so excited. I didn't do any pre-calculation, so my total and total savings was a total surprise.. which made it fun too!

I was able to purchase produce (strawberries and grapes), cheese, trash bags, Clorox wipes, crackers and snacks for work, canned goods and dinner rolls. I got a total of 20 items... and paid only a little over a dollar, on average, for each item. Look at all that good stuff! I am so excited about getting started using coupons. I mean, think about it.. this purchase took very little planning and I didn't really know what I was doing... So, when I know what I am doing think of how GREAT it will be! 

Here is the coupon portion of my receipt... just look at what I saved: $27.77!!! I also was able to get coupons called 'peelies' you peel them off the items you are buying.. so I gained another $1.60 in coupons on my trip! In my first trip I spent only $5.22 shy of my savings. I can't wait to save just as much or more than I spend! And all this.. for groceries I already needed! Nothing in excess or that will go wasted or unused. Hooray couponing!

First try - Couponing

This weekend has been filled with lots of fun! Friday and Saturday I worked a little each day putting my coupon binder together and making a shopping list and then finding extra coupons. Yesterday I tried my hand a couponing for the first time ever. And I have to say, I am pretty proud of myself. I gathered my 'personal care' coupons after browsing through the CVS weekly add in my Sunday paper.

Tara spoke to us about finding the best deals around and gave us many tips on how she shops. So, I drove to my 24 hour CVS before I went to church last night. I had three coupons, and after a purchasing mishap, desperately needed shampoo. The shampoo was my emergency buy; so it was the only item I bought without a coupon. CVS does 'Extra Care Bucks' which are rewards card members get when buying... So, I enrolled in Extra Care, and with my first purchase started building ECBs.

Pledge products were on sale, two for $6, and I had two coupons for $1 off a pledge product. Also, skintimate shave gel was on sale and I had a $0.55 cent off coupon. :)

Pledge furniture polish -lemon scent (for my Mom) regularly $5.79 on sale for $3
<$1 coupon makes it $2.00>
Pledge fabric sweeper - pet hair (for Donna) regularly $6.89 on sale for $3
<$1 coupon makes it $2.00>
Skintimate 10oz $3.39
<$0.55 coupon makes it $2.84>
Shampoo 4.99

With tax I spent $13.12... and saved $9.23. Not too bad for my first buy. I also got $2.50 in ECBs.  So, granted, if I only had to buy the pledge products that makes my total $1.50!!I think $0.75 for two pledge products is pretty great!

This week, as I said, was my first time gathering coupons and trying to see what would happen at the store. I am sure the more I do this the better I will get at it and I am excited to continue to learn and work to save more money. As I went throughout the rest of the night I began thinking after church how I could have done my transaction differently to save more money... and there are ways, but hey.. you have to start somewhere. :)

Friday, March 25, 2011

A to Z about me..

All About Me From A to Z

I saw this on Sara's blog the other day and thought that it looked like a fun post to do. 

A. Age: 23

B. Bed Size: My apartment bed is a Full/Queen... my acutal bed is a Queen.

C. Chore you dislike: Cleaning the bathroom or taking out the trash.

D. Dogs: No thanks... I'm a little OCD and don't like dogs licking me... Yuck.

E. Essential start to your day: Shower, make-up, breakfast

F. Favorite color: Blue and Green

G. Gold or silver: Silver... i cannot stand gold.

H. Height: 5'4"

I. Instruments you play(ed): My primary is the Flute... I also play the piccolo, oboe, and trombone.

J. Jelly bean flavor: Watermelon.. or red hot.

K. Kids: maybe, after a husband.

L. Lucky number: 22

M. Month: August, fall... football and fun times!

N. Nicknames: Ker-bear, Keri Berry

O. Overnight hospital stays: Yep.. a couple surgerys.

P. Pet peeves: Chewing noises... lazy people.

Q. Quote from a movie: .....

R. Righty or lefty: Both

S. Siblings: One twin sister, and one older sister.

T. Time you wake up: 4:30am weekdays, 7:30am weekends

U. Underwear: Huh? Of course...

V. Vegetables you don't like: Collard greens, turnips, squash, butter beans, artichokes

W. What makes you run late: being tired or hanging out with Sean... However, on time is late and early is on time.. so by most people standards I am not usually ever late... Sean is always late, no matter what.  

X. X-rays you've had: Tooth, and abdomonal

Y. Yummy food you make: Pork tenderloin, mashed potatoes, lasagna, etc... I love to cook!

Z. Zoo animal favorites: Hmm.... Giraffe, penguin, koala bear

Tag, you're it!


Last night at church around 80 women attended a class on 'Couponing'. I am so excited to start saving money!! Tara gave us many tips and how to's. She was just filmed shopping at Publix last week for a TV show. The Lord has blessed so many and I am excited about the work that he is doing in Tara's life and allowing her to share it with us! For a family or three she spends $20-$30 a week on groceries... that includes her 'stockpile' items and food for her family. Now, they aren't skimping to save this much. Tara and her family eat at home 5 nights a week!

I am excited to get started! As with anything new, it takes a little time and effort to get started... but the payoff is TREMENDOUS! You can connect with Tara at her blog Southern Savings and Deals!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tick tock... are you free??

I feel that I am very good at managing my time and delegations. I love organization and when I began training for SAI time was of major importance therefore EXCELLENT time management skills are needed. We live in such a fast paced world today and everyone struggles with time and the need to 'have time. So the following tips are things that I use to maximize my time.

Ten Time saving tips:

  1. I love my planner... it keeps me organized mostly and helps me remember important dates. If you are busy and rushed how on earth are you going to remember what you told 'Jane' you were going to do three days from now?! Organization is the key to life, in my opinion... if you are not organized you will always be wasting time, money and effort... and if not yours, someone else's. 
  2. Plan in pencil. For me this is a big deal. Things happen, plans change.. don't be so bogged down in your schedule that you can't flex for the ways of life. 
  3. Prioritize, do what needs to be done first! If you have a deadline on something that needs to go before something you have an endless amount of time to accomplish. 
  4. Do things that matter most to you. If you do what matters you will be fulfilled, as well as still being able to accomplish your goals. Don't spend all your time doing something you can't stand... in the end when it is time to do the things you don't mind you will be do tired and worn out to do anything... this only causes more frustration.
  5. Take time to relax. Even if just for 15 minutes... if you are running crazy all the time you will burn out. If you stop, even if for a short period, it gives you time to recoup and regroup.
  6. Put away distractions. If you know there is a show on, or you love to text your best friend... or the infamous facebook looms in your corner.. TURN OFF electronics. (this ties in with #7)
  7. Set goals. If you have something specific you want to do; set a goal of things to get done before you do it. Say, you want to check facebook.... but you have laundry and homework. Finish two loads of laundry and do a set amount of homework before you even think of turning on the computer.
  8. Get adaquate sleep. If you can't function properly because of lack of sleep you aren't helping. You will work less effectively and less efficiently. This makes you have to REDO things.. aka NOT productive at all!
  9. Mix and match things to do. When you have school work, house work, professional work or even homework.. Try to accomplish something from each area... To me, this keeps me from getting burnt out on doing school work, or tired of cleaning. Like on the weekends I do my laundry when I do my homework. When a load buzzes, it is time for a short study break. After a brief respite, I am ready to do more homework! 
  10. Self discipline and self control. You are in control. If you need to get something done, don't willingly get on facebook to complain about how much you have to do.... are you kidding? You just wasted five precious minutes!

When I am super stressed and have a crazy week ahead I try to remember each of these things. When you work hard and stay focused you will be amazed at how much you can accomplish!


I am thankful that when everything else seems to be going wrong in life, I have a job that absolutely blesses my soul. The Lord knows exactly what I need... and while sometimes I get stuck in a pit He blessed me with so many great men to work with. Even in the worst of times, my guys can make me smile.

On my first day back at work and school yesterday, well... let's just say things were less than stellar. And this morning hasn't really started well either. But, I am blessed, beyond my imagination. Being at work reminds me of that. And I am so thankful that today, from 6am to 4pm... I get to be with my guys, working at a job that I love, being surrounded by those who value me and not having to worry about school.

Right now I am a little burnt out... but I know it is just a feeling, and that will surely change. Praise be to God, His love for me isn't based on mere 'feelings'.

Today I am wearing my 'Alabama Facilities' staff shirt. Clint, my Associate manager, was really excited that I was wearing 'team gear' this morning. I just love this job. HAHA!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Spring Break 2011

WOW! What a great week I have had, and thankfully it isn't over yet! I just can't brag enough about how great my job is.. I mean, not many working professionals can say they have spring break.

Last week was super stressful with tests in all my classes! However, I feel that I did well on all. What a great way to start my break! Donna came to Tuscaloosa on Friday and went to the Alabama vs. LSU gymnastics meet with me.

I left for DC on Saturday morning. Thanks to my SAI sisters I was able to be dropped off and picked up from the airport! Thanks Tori and Erin! I made it in to Virginia a little after 5pm, Mary-Anne picked me up from the airport and we went back to her home. We had a wonderful dinner and finished a great night with many episodes from season one of Glee, accompanied with popcorn. Considering I never have an ounce of free time it was great to just sit back and watch a little TV. Sunday, we went shopping! :) We started out at TJ Maxx, of course and found some great deals! Then, we fulfilled a recent obsession of ours. Anthropologie has many great outfits and such cute clothes, however they are EXPENSIVE! One thing on Mary-Anne's bucket list was to own something, even if just a hair accessory, from Anthropologie. So, off we went... After looking around the store and loving everything we headed to the clearance room. We each found a skirt on clearance to try on, and then picked a few things from the store to try on. After much fun and many great looks, we made a deal. We would buy our clearance item, and a full price item, ONLY if we loved it. As we tried on outfits we found that we loved most things.. but we stuck to the plan and each got our one clearance item and one full price item. After all, with the stress of school and work, we deserved it!

Here is what I got:
How cute are these skirts!?! They are work and everyday appropriate!!

Sunday night I was able to have lunch with and meet, Charles... And I am so proud that he and Mary-Anne have found each other. What a CUTE couple!

Monday I went in to work with Mary-Anne and was able to hang out at the House of Representatives while waiting for my tour of the capitol. I had a great time hanging out and my tour was AMAZING! I also got to sit in the House Gallery, which was beautiful. Being able to see what my vote enables was an amazing adventure. I spent the rest of the afternoon at the U.S. botanical gardens. I took many pictures of the beautiful flowers and just had a great time walking around. You can see all these pictures and more on my facebook. :)

Tuesday I had another tour, this one of the Supreme Court building. It was interesting to learn about the Supreme Court and browse the history and sit in the courtroom. Wednesday Mary-Anne and I were fortunate enough to have an appointment to meet and get our picture taken with Martha Roby, the Alabama, District 2 representative. She is so cute and was so nice!! We were even able to ride the elevator with her as she went to cast her vote. It was great just chatting with her, talking about her putting on her makeup, and the fact that in high school, she dated my boss!! :) She was so nice, and not just 'You are my constituent I will be nice to you', GENUINELY nice.

Today I took the metro with Mary-Anne to the Airport, and then flew back to Alabama.. then I drove the rest of the way home. In one day, in a span of less than 12 hours, I have traveled by train, plane and automobile!!

I have had a blast so far on spring break... and have a few more things left to do. I am home to see my family for a while; then traveling to Birmingham to see the SEC Gymnastics Championships. Finally, I plan on having a day of rest and church back at my apartment. I am so glad I was able to pack so much into this week, and it has been great, and will continue to be. Praise God for such a wonderful week!!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Times are changing

Even though I am a morning person, I don't usually look forward to when we 'spring forward' in the spring. However, since I have started my job making the morning drive in pitch black has always been a little different for me. I am so fortunate to have a job that I ABSOLUTELY love!! And, praise be to the Lord, I am a morning person.

Life seems a little brighter, literally and figuratively, when I wake up at 4:30am, get ready, and walk outside to see the sun beginning to rise. It makes me so happy to have the joy of the Lord shining through another day. I praise Him that the sun is rising on another beautiful day.

Life has been a struggle here lately, but I have the joy of the Lord and that is what keeps me going. I have a saying that I love, ''Nothing easy is ever worth it." And how true that is. Life is hard work, school is hard, but in the end it will all be worth it. I have my final test of the week today at 11am. Hopefully, all will go well.

I am so thankful for the many blessings I am surrounded by, some being my job, my church, the opportunity to be in school, and so much more. Life is good because the Lord has blessed! Next week is spring break, so I will have more time to post and catch up on a few things, HALLELUJAH to the LORD!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Glee, among other things..

I have started watching Glee on Tuesday nights with my bestie Mary-Anne. It is a show that she loves and one I have come to adore. I love the fact that we have continued to try to do something 'together' each week. Even if just watch a TV show at the same time, it makes me still feel connected to her through 14 hours of open road.

Last nights episode was so funny, and yet so embarrassing. My roommate Gabby told me when I got home that I reminded her of the character, Emma Pillsbury.. and as the show came on at 7pm, Mary-Anne sent me a text that said 'Emma reminds me so much of you!' HAHA! While I am flattered to be likened to this cute and bubbly teacher this also reveals a few traits about me. The episode last night, you might as well watch it: Glee. Last night's episode was called 'Sexy' and as naive as Emma is... that is so me. I had a great time laughing thinking, my friends are so right. However, I am proud to be an OCD, naive, red headed teacher who loves counseling! Especially since Emma has such a great wardrobe!

I mean... isn't she CUTE?!

All this being said, what a fun and interesting show. HAHA! Please be in prayer for a dear friend of mine today.... Today marks one year of the loss of a wonderful young man to cancer... This girl has truly changed my life, and I love her and I pray that the Lord bless her immensely and ease her pain today.

Monday, March 7, 2011


So many times you hear the fact that MEN are better at math than WOMEN. Studies have proved this fact, and honestly that doesn't bother me. The fact that I am one of FIVE women in the Math program here at Alabama doesn't bother me. What bothers me is the fact that I am getting an American education, taught by a Chinese professor, who looks down on me because not only am I American, but I am also female.

It is so sad that some people must limit themselves by stereotypes and judging others. Well you know what, I was raised to learn, to study, to do my best. Not to cheat my way through and make a computer do all my work for me. I can't wait for this professor to see my A at the end of the term with the Chinese students. I work hard, if not harder than anyone in my classes. And I am the only one in there that works full time.

I am not going to let the fact that I am a woman in a male dominated field mess me up. You don't intimidate me, and I can't wait to have my A alongside those you think so richly deserve it. Thank you, I have earned it and I can rest assured with the fact that my grade is based on integrity and hard work, that is enough for me.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Lord, help.

Here is a song by Mandisa, that is my prayer and my desire for my life right now...

Lyrics to Stronger :

Hey, heard you were up all night
Thinking about how your world ain't right
And you wonder if things will ever get better
And you're asking why is it always raining on you
When all you want is just a little good news
Instead of standing there stuck out in the weather

Oh, don't hang your head
It's gonna end
God's right there
Even if it's hard to see Him
I promise you that He still cares

When the waves are taking you under
Hold on just a little bit longer
He knows that this is gonna make you stronger, stronger
The pain ain't gonna last forever
And things can only get better
Believe me
This is gonna make you stronger
Gonna make you stronger, stronger, stronger
Believe me, this is gonna make you ...

Try and do the best you can
Hold on and let Him hold your hand
And go on and fall into the arms of Jesus
Oh, lift your head it's gonna end

God's right there
Even when you just can't feel Him
I promise you that He still cares
'Cause if He started this work in your life
He will be faithful to complete it
If only you believe it
He knows how much it hurts
And I'm sure that He's gonna help you get through this

When the waves are taking you under
Hold on just a little bit longer
He knows that this is gonna make you stronger, stronger
The pain ain't gonna last forever
In time it's gonna get better
Believe me
This is gonna make you stronger

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Flowers... and CAKE!

Apparently, some of the office staff at work were really disappointed with my flowers. So they got me a new bouquet. As a person who does receive flowers often.... I loved them both! Here are the pictures of the second bouquet:

This one included roses.... (which are more expensive) And they were well pleased. I appreciated the fact that I just got flowers. And I think both bouquets are delightful!

I also got a pleasant surprise when Clint, my associate manager called me on my link. He said 'Red rover, red rover send Keri right over!' HAHA! So I made my way into the meeting they were in and all office staff and managers were there! They sang happy birthday to me and had a cake and a card for me. I was so funny, and so sweet. 8 grown men and one woman, singing their hearts out for me. Again, and I can't say it enough, I love my job!!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


Enterprise, we will never forget... the tragedy of this day that brought our town together. The 8 are sorely missed. I will never forget that day, I remember it as if it were yesterday. The day that lives were changed, and a town affected forever.

'We will carry on..."

Mikey Tompkins... you are forever in our hearts.... as well as all others lost int he storm...
The Skyline Drive - Carry On
When mornings come and go so suddenly
It's hard to see why I believe
That there's a reason you were standing right next to me
So that this could be
'Cause something had to happen so they could see.

And everyone was scared of the winds that blew
And so were you
So were you.
I'm holding up a wall hoping you run through.
It's the least I can do
Anything for you.

And the buildings fall but we won't blow away
And our plane may crash but our black box of a soul is here to stay
And we will carry on
We will carry on

Well mom I heard you listening to "Fire and Rain"
And I just wanted to say everything's ok.
And Jesus touched me on my shoulder when he saw me today
He said, "Son you're safe
Son you're safe."  

Flowers for a Flowers

Yesterday was a glorious day at work!!! I got a beautiful bouquet of flowers from work with a card that said "Happy Birthday - Building Maintenance - Neal, Clint, Michael, Tingle, Marlowe, John, Spooner and Cheryl" I thought that was very sweet because Neal put the names that I call everyone on there, not just generic names. :)

Aren't they BEAUTIFUL!?! It made me so happy!

Also, I get off at 2:30pm and have to go to class at 3pm, and of course, as luck would have it... it started pouring right before I clocked out! As I walked to the door I decided I was going to get wet no matter what... so to just do it. Well, Clint, my associate manager stopped me and said 'Do you have to go to class?' When I responded yes, he said well, give me your keys and I will go get your car. I told him, thank you, but I won't melt. He however insisted, saying I was not going to get wet on my birthday. So, I told him where my car was and what it looked like, and haded over my keys. Clint came back a few minutes later soaked, driving my car right up to the building. He also held my door open while I got in the car and shut it for me. I felt so bad, yet I was overjoyed at this act of kindness. A true gentleman. I am so thankful for the presence of Clint at my job. He definitely makes things fun and interesting. I am blessed to work with so many great guys... so blessed. I truly have the BEST JOB EVER!!