Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Telemarketers or BOA employees?

Upon moving to Liberal, KS/Oklahoma Panhandle I opened a new bank account. Bank of America I chose. Several branches in Liberal and ATM location.

A home phone number was asked for on the checking account forms. For the first time in 8 years I have a home phone number. (Thank you internet/cable/telephone combo pack I had to sign up for in order to get internet.)

In the last month, I have been contacted by several telemarketers calling "on behalf of Bank of America". Many have attempted to sell me some sort of insurance. Account insurance, fire and rescue insurance, credit background insurance, etc.

I hate to be rude. Last Thursday the phone rang with a different telemarketer trying to get me "enrolled" in the same insurance offered to me the night before. I told the person I was not interest and this was the second time I had received this phone call. The telemarketer apologized but continued with the ramble because I hadn't "enrolled" yet.

I am not sure "enrolling" in the National Do Not Call Registry. After all, my bank is giving out my number to help me be "insured." Well, Bank of America. If I really needed all these account insurances I would probably have more than $8.54 in my account. Considering the telemarketers always tell me the insurance can be taken out of your account each month for the low-low price of $24. Bank of America you do the math. I am really not interested.

{Stay Tune}

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Where is the happy medium in our careers?

I had one of those unexpected free moments a couple of Sunday's ago.

(The moment where you are finished with a current task but don't want to begin the next before something else. That moment of killing time. )

I flipped through Marie Claire May 2010 issue on my coffee table.

Generation Burnout they called it.

What use to be a condition psychologist saw in women in their 40s is now hitting mid-20 year-olds in the the work place: career burnout.

The article paints the picture of women finding themselves in fastpace jobs with intense demands needing an out. The article does not say the women are under qualified, bad management or laziness as an issue to why women want out. The recession was named as factor but no other reason was given to why the movement of women suddenly quitting their jobs. However the article goes on to quote a psychologist who quotes a former patient.

"I had a 24-year-old client who worked for a news organization, and it was understood to get ahead, she needed to forgo holidays, give up vacations, and work until all hours of the night."

I know the feeling.

I can't lie. It is tough. I have experienced a similar feeling. Actions speaker louder than words. While I have never verbally been told this, I've been told I need to make deadlines and that means due whatever you may need to do. (I.E. Work late, work at home, give up personal time, skip a lunch break, don't clock hours, work on weekends).

Nearly two weeks ago, my female co-worker sat at her desk working with a Subway Sandwich next to her. It was lunch time on a deadline day.

"It is really great that your enjoying your lunch right now but you have to finish your story by 3 p.m." (Boss said to her in an annoyed voice)

My co-worker did not respond. Nor did I. Moments like that lead to career burnout.

Where is the happy medium?

Where is the position where we are able to be creative, work under pressure but not become over-stressed, over-worked and hit that point of no more?

Tips from Marie Claire on how to avoid career burnout : (Click Here)

**Notice their advice is take lunches, take advantage of personal days and do work at work. But Marie Claire, what about those that can't do that? ***

{Stay Tune}

Monday, April 26, 2010

What I love these days...wallets


When I was a little girl, I received a Disney's Beauty and The Beast wallet.
Plastic, pink, a graphic of Belle.

It was perfect for a 8 year-old.

But somehow I have moved on to love big wallets. Wallets that hold all my cards, cash, coins and can stand alone as an accessory.

I remember about a year ago purchasing some cute ones for $20 or less. I recommend the B.P. department at Nordstrom, Forever 21, Urban Outfitters and Clarie's.

Of course prices vary based on quality, label and material. Above are a few I wouldn't mind sporting.

(Left to Right) Brown Snake Skin Leather at What She ($178), Steven Madden ($98), Urban Outfitters ($28), Forever 21 ($9.80).

Friday, April 16, 2010

To Alva, Oklahoma we go

I've been needing to get out of town - that's why I couldn't have been more than ecstatic when the Cowboy texted me, 'Alva this weekend?'

Alva, Oklahoma is where the cowboy's family lives. The city is home to Northwestern Oklahoma State University and apparently the smallest Wal-Mart Super Center (Thank you Wikipedia).

We were in Alva for Thanksgiving and I remember spotting a Dairy Queen. It is really silly how excited I get about things like that. I see a blizzard in my future.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Warning: the bag is louder than the crunch

Applauds to Sun Chips and the decision to invest in a bio-degradable chip bag.

However, I feel the need to info all - the bag is loud. You think the crunching of eating chips is loud just wait until you fumble with the bag.

Just something I realized this past weekend as the cowboy and I sat down for TV and chips. Next time when the chips come out so does a bowl.

{Stay Tuned}

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

So stylin' it's silly

Now this is story all about how I save some green at

Just let me take a minute just read right here and I tell you how I became the coupon fashion queen.

In Cincinnati, Ohio born and raised at Gap, Old Navy and Banana's where I spent most of my days.
Stylin', fashioned and act all cool and saving some green with coupons at the store.
When a job opened in Liberal, I decided to move.
I got one little job, I wanted so bad- packed up my VW and moved away.

I pulled up to Liberal, Kan. and checked out the mall. No Gap. No Old Navy and No Banana.
If anything you could say I was scarred
But I thought, nah forget, 'yo online shopping.'

I logged on to
And I typed in promos (Tuesdays, Thankyou, MJ6VJFHBLM8W, GAPSALE25)
Looking at my savings and product I was finally there
To become so stylish once yet again.

Already, let's admit it I am ridiculous. However, I have been waiting for Tuesday to use my Gap credit card to save 10 percent on my online purchases. I carefully have planned out my purchases and knew I was buying sale items. Thanks to online codes obtain at RetailMeNot.Com I save $20 off my purchase at check out. You can search an online site and coupon/promo codes are listed. The next best thing since slice bread.

No go out there and online shop!

{Stay Tuned}

Overheard in the community of Liberal

Two women standing and talking: one in early-thirties and the other in her mid-sixties.

Sixty-year-old: Are you married?

Thirty-year-old: No, I am not.

Sixty-year-old: Oh, you still have time.

Over hearing conversations like that ALWAYS drive me crazy.

{Stay Tuned}

Monday, April 12, 2010


(First of all, let me apologize once again for a lack of posts...if you still read this blog - Thank you!)

For the past two weeks I have wanted to share this and haven't been able to crank it out to the blog world.

Mid-March: I was out on assignment for the newspaper interviewing a women who runs a local non-profit. The women told me it was best to drop by her truck-parts business and interview her during the day. However, if she had a customer she would have to help them and than come back to the interview. Fair enough.

Six minutes into interview: A man walks in and ask to make a custom order for something on his pick-up truck. I casual listened in as the interviewee took down the man's information and quoted him on the price. He had brought his dog into the store and I patted the dogs head. The man asked when the order would be received because he would like to have it before his trip to Topeka. She said she would contact him. He left with his dog thanking the interviewee for help. The man's name was J.B.

End of March (busy deadline day in the newsroom): Police scanner screeches a semi and pick-up truck collide on north U.S. highway 54. Scanner calls for all medic units, local police, ambulance and more. The newsroom beings to busy with should we send some one (we often arrive on the scene of accidents, write a story and take photos.) The publisher and managing editor conclude no - accident is way out of town, the paper has to be finished at 5 p.m. and we can't spare anyone.

The following day: I hear a report on the radio. The man driving the pick-up was taken to the local hospital and didn't make it. One of the other reporters rights up a small story and it appears in the newspaper.

Maybe two or three days later, morning in the newsroom: Local funeral home worker comes in with a photo to be scanned for the Obituaries page. I glance at the photo - a man, about fifty, with a boy-scout about 8-years-old. The two are smiling and happy. The boy hold a trophy. The funeral worker asks me to crop the photo so only the man's neck-up is used for the notice. The name he gives me to save it is J.B. Esser. At least it is not the boy-scout I think to myself. Nothing else has clicked.

Later that day: Editing the Obituaries page - reading over the obit of J.B. Esser. Died in an automobile accident. Originally from Topeka. A father and a grandfather. Leaves behind his trusty dog. It clicked.

I had met this man about 10 days before he died. The rest of the day, my mind couldn't escape having seen this man and his dog. He was perfectly healthy, happy and seemed like a genuine guy. How fast can life be over?

I re-read the article the newspaper printed on the accident. J.B. missed a stop-sign. His pick-up collided with a semi-truck. The driver of the semi was unhurt.

While this little connection, little coincident, ironic event has made me realize more than ever how we should really live each day to the fullest - I can't help but hope J.B. made that trip to Topeka. According to the obituary his parents, sisters and brothers all resided up there. Maybe he got to have a nice time with family. Maybe he got to tell his family he loved them. I hope he did. For that boy-scout, I hope he remembers the good times with his grandfather and how happy and proud his grandfather was on the day of that photo.

{Stay Tuned}

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Mistakes we try to avoid in the newsroom

Yup, we try to avoid these "simple" mistakes.

(These clippings are not from The Southwest Times)

{Stay Tuned}

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Give and Get: Family & Friends Coupon

I grinned last week when I opened up my Gap credit card bill.

Usually, this is not the case.

Typically, I dwell over the amount owed and think "how?" Once I review the charges, I think "oh, right."

Anyways, Give and Get (also known as the Family & Friends coupon) was nestled beside my bill.

"Yes!" I thought.

"No!" I thought four days later after furthering examining the coupon details. Not for online purchases!

"What's the matter?" the cowboy asked.

"The coupon I told you about a few days ago excludes online purchases!" I cried. (We live about 2 1/2 hours from the closes Mall in Amarillo, Texas.)

"Boo hoo." He said with no compassion.

Oh how I had already planned to purchase some spring fashions from Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy.

I can't use the coupon but there is some valuable information I can pass along to fellow blog readers that would like to save at Gap, Inc. stores March 18 - March 21. Post your email address ( I recommend spelling it out ex..lauraeastes at gmail dot com to avoid spam) and I will email you an invite coupon to take into the stores for savings.

Happy Shopping!

{Stay Tuned}

P.S. This is what I planned to purchase with incredible savings!

Monday, March 15, 2010

News in Liberal?

Questions concerning my job while home for the Christmas holiday was "Is there any news in Liberal?", "What do you find to write about?", "What kind of news comes out of small towns?"

The answer is: there is always news in Liberal and I would imagin it is the same as anywhere else.

I admit there are some slow days in the newsroom. However, Liberal, Kansas is like anywhere else. We have car crashes, we have fires, we have a city and a county government, we have a court system, we have criminals, we have locals doing good, we have visits from politicians, we have festivals, we have (occasionally) new businesses coming to town. I could keep going.

I meant to blog about this awhile ago but a sales associate in Wichita said the same thing to me. While paying I said I was from out-of-town, Liberal area. The individual asked me, why live there? I responded a job brought me out there. A reporter position, I said.

"Is there any news in Liberal?" He asked.

Yes and here is some news from Liberal I think anyone might enjoy.

{Her First Novel} Local author publishes her first novel after years of working and raising children. She finally found time to write a novel and inspiration for a story.

{Baker Art Center is deep 'Inperspective'} An art center that is working with at-risk juveniles.

{Stay Tuned}

Thursday, March 11, 2010

How to freak out your boyfriend

It might be hard to see but this is my desk top at any given time.

Sure Twitter, Facebook, Stuff Under 20, The Southwest Times might also be opened but generally speaking if I have an hour to relax online, I am looking at wedding blogs.

If you follow the blog than you know I use to work in the industry. Despite begin out, I am still very much interested in what wedding photographers latest weddings or engagement sessions photos look like, what the trends are by wedding planners, and how engaged brides are planning their day.

Harmless interest.

However, I left my laptop open on the coffee table and walked away. My cowboy boyfriend glanced over to see what I was looking at.

"Weddings, huh?" he said.

"Yea, I use to work for a wedding magazine. I've told you that," I said.

"I know," he said.

As he does know that, I still think it caught him off guard. Maybe a little, "What is she thinking about in that head of hers?"

The cowboy and I have been dating for a little over 4 months. (but hey, who's counting?) The future is on my mind but wedding/engagement is still far off.

I can't help but remember that within our first week of dating, the cowboy came over to my apartment and sitting there on the coffee table was {Get Married TV's wedding magazine}. I scrambled to throw an InStyle over it before he would see.

I don't think he ever did notice the magazine that evening. My point of hiding the magazine was for the cowboy to not determine within first week of meeting me, I was crazy. (One of those crazy, single girls that have their whole wedding planned out and are purely dating to find a guy they can simply 'insert here'. Well,, not one of those girls.)

May it be within the first week of dating or going into the fifth month of dating I am still cautious of freaking out the cowboy. However, now I am pretty sure he doesn't think I am one of those crazy girls.

{Stay Tuned}

Interested in some great wedding blogs?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

An emotional roller coaster of a day

I realize I haven't blogged a "decent" post since January. I also realize that it is March. I also gave considerable thought on what to blog about for when I finally took it up again.

An emotional roller coaster of a day was not it.

However, that is where I found myself on Tuesday, March 9. I was looking back on a day of ups and downs. Silent accomplishments made by me.

(I had a great interview with a lawyer in which I sounded confident and asked all the questions I need to. I signed up for my first online course. The course cost $55 and promises to make me a better writer. I thought the inspiration of an online instructor and exercises might help me out. I got a very sweet thank you note in the mail from a local author I interviewed last week. "I was impressed by the article," she wrote. I want to write her back and say I was impressed with you. As she told me last week, she had to retiree in order to follow her dream. At 65 she published her first novel.)

But like I said Tuesday was a day of ups and downs. There were some downs.

(My editor tore apart my lead to the article I wrote for Wednesday's newspaper. Granted the sentence did need some re-writing. I was told I needed to work on my page design skills and was asked if 'I rush through things?')

I could dwell on the negative. I could block it out and only concentrate on the positive but that is not how lessons are learned. That is not how we improve.

While a bit on the mentally drained side, I found myself inspired more than ever. Weird, right? I want to do better. I know I can do better. When I get better I know those ups will only get higher. The uneasiness look on the cartoon character will go to a smile.

{Stay Tuned}

I am happy to report Wednesday was one of the most productive days I've had in awhile. I really truly believe a bad day on Tuesday encouraged me to work harder than ever Wednesday.

Life lesson of March 9: The best inspiration can come from a bad day.
P.S. The cartoon is from a menopause website.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

For the love of sheets

For the love of sheets...

I am not sure when it happened or how but there has been a shift in my shopping wants and needs.

Going shopping in college meant going clothing shopping. However, it wasn't limited to just clothes but included shoes, handbags, necklaces, earrings, scarfs, and well, anything body oriented.

Going shopping now means shopping for things for the home. Maybe the shift happened as for the first time in my life I live alone. I am renting an apartment with white, bare walls. I have the ability to decorate my apartment. Decorate it the way I want to.

What is stopping me?

Money. Home decorating is expensive. In lovely, Liberal we have a Wal-Mart but our Wal-Mart doesn't carry the trendy, cool looking Home Trends collection. And before you throw out the suggestions of Crate & Barrel, Anthropologie, Home Goods, T.J. Maxx...let me tell you, they are no where close to me.

Last weekend, the Cowboy and I went to Wichita. We went for the weekend which involved meeting more of his family (Mom and half-brother). Sunday was designated for shopping. I said Target. The cowboy said "Really?" Apparently, he imagined shopping meant mall only.

"What are you going to get at Target?" asked the cowboy.


Well, I couldn't quite possibly buy everything because as earlier pointed out home goods cost money. However, I by-passed buying a cute side table, armless chair for my living room, the large art prints for my walls and went for purchasing new sheets.

The {Home Organic Sheet Set} was not a disappointment. The sheets feel almost like silk with a super soft feel. They remind me of the modal fabric Gap Body uses for their panties and p.j.'s.
I am in love with these sheets. Perhaps, they have been out for awhile and I finally just discovered them as I become more of an adult focused shopper.

{Stay Tuned}

P.S. We hit up the mall after Target. I limited myself to 1 hour which included Old Navy, Coach, a Kansas gift shop and than the stores the Cowboy wanted to go in. I am a good girlfriend to take to the mall.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Stuff Under 20 : Like these pieces?

What do all these products have in common? They are all under $20. Find them all at {Stuff Under 20} on Boomerang Thursday.

(Stay Tune)

Monday, February 1, 2010

48 Hours Mystery called

I have been meaning to post this for quite some time.

A few weeks ago I reported on a murder in Liberal. It was the first murder story I had ever written. While it was intimidating at times, it ended up being quite educational. The crazy thing is how unusual this murder was. It ended up getting national attention being broadcasted on CNN and being posted on CBS' 48 Hours Mystery.

A husband and wife were reported missing on a Wednesday night by family members. Police were given permission by the family to search the house. Upon entrance to the house police find a note saying the parents had gone to Garden City, Kan. The bedroom door was locked. Police broke the door open and found two dead bodies. The coroner told me the wife had been suffocated by a pillow. Her body was covered with the bed spread. The husband body laid next to hers. He had bleed to death after taking a saw cutting his legs open. The coroner said time of death was four days earlier.

You can get the story on The Southwest Times or on 48 Hours Mystery. (If you look closely, you will find my name on the CBS web site.)

There are still so many unanswered questions. Why did this happen? Was there any drugs involved? Why didn't the teen children suspect something earlier?

I am sure a follow up story will follow. The last two weeks I have attempted to get the coroner's report. (Which become public records after being filed). It still has not been entered in to the county record system.

(Stay Tune)

P.S. You could say, I like my job a lot. Something new everyday.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Who says snow storms are bad?

The Governor of Oklahoma declared the state in emergency last Friday as snow and ice blanketed the entire state.

Parts of Southern Oklahoma lost power.

Oklahoma City and Tulsa's airports were closed from Thursday with flights not expected to leave again till Saturday.

Turpin (where I live) closed school Thursday and Friday.

On Thursday the snow began to fall. At 3:30 p.m. I left work early to make it home before the roads got bad. Only about an inch was on the ground but it was coming down.

Thursday night I watched the snow fall. I even picked Tiger Lily up to show her the flakes covering the VW Bug.

Friday morning I awoke to about 8 inches of snow and flakes still coming down.

It was beautiful but it was also...well, how does a VW Bug get out of the drive way and attempt to drive on the unpaved roads of Turpin to get to work in Liberal?

Have no fear! Cowboy Boyfriend called and offered to drive me in his truck. While I gathered my stuff, he shoveled the walk way. He also did the walk way of the single mom neighbor next door.

I think he is a keeper.

{Stay Tune}

P.S. He is going to hate that I posted this photo.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

What do banks in Oklahoma repo?

The Bank of Beaver City owns a vacant lot right next to there location in Turpin, Oklahoma. What is the lot used for? For bank repossessions.

What do banks in the city repossess? Cars. Houses. Boats. Vacation houses.

What do banks in the country repossess?
Farm equipment. (Tractors, trucks, plows, combines and more.)

On I learned a used 2007 John Deer combine goes for around $218,000.

As the cowboy put it, that is way more then the fancy sports cars people drive in the city.

Friday, January 15, 2010

OH my my...who do you think investigates murders in Liberal?

CSI Liberal?

Liberal Police Department?

Well, they do but so do I.

Thursday and Friday have been ludicrous for me.

Thursday morning I was out on the scene taking photos and attempting to get police officer interviews. Thursday evening I talked to neighbors on the deaths. Friday I attempted to get more police comments and get updates on the case. At 4:40 p.m. Friday, I spoke with the coroner and got the scope. Liberal's first murder in (and don't quote me on this) 10 to 15 years.

This is a big deal in Liberal and else where. A husband murders his wife by suffocation then takes his own life by making large cuts to his legs to bleed to death.

Currently I am snuggled up on my sofa with mac & cheese, Rolling Rock and channel surfing to hear the news stations from Wichita and Amarillo tell the story. Check it out on {The Southwest Times}, {KSN}, and {KFDA}.

{Stay Tuned}

Photos of Southwest Kansas/Oklahoma Panhandle 1/15

I don't know the back story on this photo but I can tell you this is the look of the Southwest.

There once was a time when newsrooms didn't have Mac's, digital Canon camera, voice recorders, email communication or scanners.


Newsrooms had typewriters, dark rooms, note pads and pen, face to face communication and the only scanning done was with your eye.

My newspaper,
The Southwest Times, has boxes upon boxes of old photographs that appeared in the paper decades ago. Old photographs? At one point it wasn't as easy of snap a shot on a digital camera and digitally input the photo on to the newspaper page on a Mac program like Quark.

What's to be done with all these photos? I don't know but they are sure fun to look through and post on the blog. Expect more in the coming months.

{Stay Tuned}

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Stuff Under 20 : Resolutions

N & S over at Stuff Under 20 asked me to continue being a contributor to Stuff Under 20. I am very excited to be continuing on finding excellent style at excellent prices.

Last week was resolution week. Here are my fashion resolutions for 2010.

1. Dress for comfort
2. Dare to wear something outside my normal look
3. Don't underestimate Miley's Wal-Mart line, JC Penny's, Target and TJ Maxx for great pieces
4. Flat is fun - No use killing myself in heels...unless, well sometimes...
5. More is better- I love the look of traditional clothing with lots of jewelry

{Stay Tune}

P.S. Be sure to check out Stuff Under 20 today and every Thursday.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

You could say 'a little behind this year'

A week before Christmas on a sunny Sunday afternoon I dragged The Cowboy and Tiger Lily to the nearby rest stop welcoming all to Oklahoma. There, I handed The Cowboy a disposable camera and place Tiger Lily in her pink santa hat and cape.

I am crazy but it is one of my favorite holiday things to do.

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and well, at this point enjoy your January!

{Stay Tune}

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A glimpse into my Okie land Apartment

I have had request to see the place. Here it is. Home Sweet Oklahoma. It is actually the perfect apartment for me. Large kitchen, nice size living room, good closet (while not a walk-in it is long), one bathroom, washer/dryer and two bedrooms.

I call it home.

{Stay Tune}

Monday, January 11, 2010

Tumbleweeds do exists

I never was much of a western movie watcher. However, western movies is where my knowledge on tumbleweeds stemmed from prior to moving out West. My mind visions the plant blowing in some sort of early west town. (John Wayne movie style with hallow wind blowing.) I figure tumbleweeds were something Hollywood placed in those western movies for dramatic effect during duals. Tumbleweeds don't actually exists or do they?

I was wrong. They do exists and they roll through Southwest Kansas/Oklahoma Panhandle. Tumbleweeds even get stuck underneath your car. While driving I do see them tumble across the road. I thought it was the weirdest thing.

In November someone in my office said the tumbleweeds were beginning to come out. (Apparently, there is a season for tumbleweeds. I guess like how there is a season for tulips?) On the way to Alva, Oklahoma for the Cowboy's family Thanksgiving. I told the Cowboy how I had never seen a tumbleweed and wanted to see one.

The Cowboy laughed and laughed. How could someone never have seen a tumbleweed and be so interested? Then I said maybe it could be a story? The facts behind tumbleweeds? Again, laughter filled the car.

I am sure I am not the only one. People from the East Coast, West Coast and South have never seen tumbleweeds. Am I right?

{Stay Tuned}

New Year. New Life. New Boomerang Post.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Despite my New Year's snow...I didn't blog

Despite the snowy and cold weather this weekend I did not get caught up on bloggging.

I was off from work for 4 days: Thursday - Sunday and I didn't blog.

Instead I had a fabulously relaxing weekend. (Something I haven't had since moving to Oklahoma). I cleaned my house, caught up on magazines, finished my (now belated) Christmas cards, watched movies, made dinners for the Cowboy and caught up on sleep. For example exhausted me only stayed awake till Eastern Standard Time New Year's. I couldn't make it till midnight.

This time of year people make resolutions. I usually don't. However, some year's I just call them something else. Thinking back to last year (2009), I made a 'goal' to be in a different place. (Not locational speaking, but at the time I was struggling financially and was in a career path that left me unfulfilled, unappreciated and beyond exhausted daily. Needless to say, I did reach that goal and can happily report that is no longer the case.)

My goal this year is to blog. I really enjoy this blog and hate that I have deserted it for the past two months. There is so much I can share and expect to read about it all in 2010.

{Stay Tuned}