Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Oh yeah! I can't believe I didn't mention it...we closed our Refinance Yesterday successfully! I am excited about that as well! We locked in for 5.5% 30 Year Fixed! Very awesome! I hear the rates are supposed to lower more, but we didn't care, we weren't going to take any chances!
Saturday, December 27, 2008
If you don't have to concern yourself with finances...well treat yourself to something you really wanted that you didn't get because we all deserve that handbag or pair of shoes or movie tickets once in a while. By treating yourself, it helps to curve the itch to spend for no reason at times. It feels like a breath of fresh air.
I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and Holiday Week!
Now the Countdown to the New Year is on! Then TAX TIME!!! Whooo Hoo!
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Here are some updates on us:
- My husband is doing fairly well at his new job, this is his second week. I am hoping he will get to leave early on this Christmas Eve because we have a two hour drive to my Mom's house as we all go to our family Christmas Eve Party. I don't expect him to ask to leave early since he is the "new guy," but it sure would be nice not to miss the family party. It is the only time our family gets together all year long, just like many of you. But it will be alright...what happens...happens.
- We will close our home refinance on Monday the 29th! What a great way to end 2008 and roll into 2009 with! I'm excited!
- I did finish all my Christmas shopping...LAST NIGHT! :-) Hey, at least it is before Christmas Eve...I was sure I would be out there today! :-)
- I'm ready to get started on TAXES!
- We need to make our last of the year Donations to our local Guardian Angel! Everyone out there...you can do the same and make it to your local Goodwill, Salvation Army, etc... You are doing a good deed and will benefit on your taxes. It is a great way to make room for your new goodies and your children's new toys by making a donation! You are being "Green," Generous, and benefiting on your taxes for 2008! Hurry! You have one week left to make your 08 donations!
Monday, December 22, 2008
If this were a year we were going to travel out of the country...I would totally be taking advantage of Christmas gift cash or gift cards at the following stores!
They are already running sales as big as 75% off!
My favorite purchase ever for travel online was from Magellan's for the PacSafe CitySafe 200 Handbag! Check it out! It is an AWESOME gift for yourself! :-)
My other favorite online travel store for Travel Clothing (made for travel...you just have to read the descriptions to see what I mean...wow!) is Travel Smith!
They both have catalogs that you can have sent to your home! I do! :-)
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Friday, December 12, 2008
My husband received a job and will start on Monday. He will make more than his last job and little chance for a layoff there. Downside is he will not ever get any Saturdays off. Oh well. It will be okay. I still consider us lucky and blessed people.
We are also in the process of refinancing our house at 5.5%! Several people recommended us to refinance our house because my husband was laid off. Apparently there is something to it and it is looking good thus far on the refinance. I will keep you posted and let you know for sure if it went through by the end of the month. I am pretty excited about everything again; however, a bit exhausted. It has been a tiresome week. Today, I didn't have a sitter because her son had strep throat and pink eye and to be honest, my son and myself have a cold as well. We were better off to stay home as we also have the house appraisal today. Also, I have a ton of paperwork dealing with the refinance I have to take care of...so I keep moving forward.
Have a wonderful weekend everyone!
Sunday, December 7, 2008
As you read in the post before this one...my husband was laid off last Monday. This was a huge shock for us as we had no warning and no anticipation it could happen even though, yes, he did work for one of the Auto companies having trouble. It is just one of those things where you just don't think it will be you.
It is okay though...we have all accepted it (including my husband...whom believes in working). We don't worry, we know all will be okay. We see it as a blessing and an exciting "opportunity" for what is yet to come. I know, sounds "lame" but it is true and how we feel. No room to sit around and feel sorry for ourselves.
As the old saying goes "when one door shuts, another door opens!" (or something like that)
Thanks to our "penny-pinching" ways...I believe we will survive just fine until my husband finds a new job.
I wanted to make this post so all would understand the lack of posts I have made over the past week. Life is currently a roller-coaster but is slowing down momentarily.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
I know all about "all the sudden" surprises as my husband was just laid off on Monday (he worked for Ford for 7 years). My mom is going to be laid off this Friday (update: she actually ended up being laid off that Tuesday a few days earlier than originally told)(she worked in Furniture for 37 years). So, from personal experience...I believe this email has some truths to it and I will also add links to snopes.com with their spin on these emails. Without further adieu: here is the email:
Stores that will be closing after Christmas
and are still selling Gift Cards that will not
be good on January 1, 2009.
There is no Law preventing them from
selling these cards, so please beware.
Circuit City (Filed Chapter 11)
Ann Taylor- (117 Stores Nationwide Closing)
Fashion Bug and Catherine's (to Close 150 Stores)
Eddie Bauer (to close 27 stores and more after January)
Cache (Closing all stores)
Talbots ( closing down specialty Stores)
J.Jill (Closing all Stores)
Pacific Sunwear (Owned by Talbots)
GAP-(Closing 85 Stores)
Footlocker (closing 140 stores)
Wickes Furniture (Closing all Stores)
Levitz (All Stores)
Bombay (closing all Stores)
Zales (closing 82 stores & 105 after January)
Whitehall (closing all Stores)
Piercing Pagoda (closing all stores)
Disney (closing 98 stores)
Home Depot (Closing 15 stores in NJ)
Macy's (closing 9 stores after January)
Linens & Things (closing all stores)
Movie Galley (closing all stores)
Pep Boys (closing 33 stores)
Sprint/Nextel (closing 133 stores)
JC Penny (closing a number of stores after January)
Ethan Allen (closing down 12 stores)
Wilson Leather ( Closing all stores)
Sharper Image (closing all stores)
KB Toys (closing 356 Stores)
Dillard's (closing some stores)
Now, if you intended to get a gift card for someone from one of these stores, I would recommend you do some of your own research before you say oh, no...I'm not getting one now. Seriously...you could contact stores and such to be sure of which stores are closing and that sort of thing. It is worth at least looking into it.
Here are the Snopes.com links to these emails and their research about them (all worth looking into...they are not totally false as stated on snopes.com):
This link says the email is a "mix" of truths:
This link says the email is "Partly true":
Both of the snopes emails are very similar to the one above...so it does make you scratch your head and be more alert when purchasing a gift card for a loved one.
Have a good Thursday!
Friday, November 28, 2008
Free shipping on orders over $25! See Site for details.
Save up to 30% on Photo Books (30% on 12x12; 20% on 8x8 and 8x11; 15% on 5x7 and 4x4)! See site for details.
Save 30% on CenterStage books! See site for details.
This is a great item for kids as your child becomes part of the story for characters like Diego, Dora, Spongebob and more! Very cute and something that can be kept forever.
Save 25% on mugs (excl. Starbucks), save 20% on keepsake boxes, magnets/mousepads. See site for details!
Happy Black Friday and Upcoming Cyber Monday! Thank you Shutterfly for such awesome deals on such fantastic products!
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Take time to: be Thankful, Rest, EAT, Enjoy Family and Friends, Watch Football Games, Watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade (what I like to watch), and at the end of the day...Make your plan of Attack or Black Friday and Cyber Monday! :-)
I'm thankful for all my readers and friends out there that share the love of being frugal and "green!"
Take care and Travel Safely!
Monday, November 24, 2008
With this being such a predictable gift (maybe)...I thought I should repost my "Creative Ways to Give Gift Cards and CASH!" from last year with a few minor tweaks and added links for even MORE great ways by other great sites:
Here is a couple of ways I have seen cash and gift cards given, in an exciting way!
1) Whatever the amount of Cash you want to give, go to the bank and get it in ones!!! One year, my sister's secret santa in the family gave her $50 in ONES, and put in a large box with crumpled up shreds of newspaper! On the box, the label said: "CAREFUL SMALL PARTS!" All the family watched to see what the gift was in all that paper! hee hee Then, we all got it, as she pulled out one crumpled dollar bill after another! Everyone watched on to see just how much money was in there as our limit is only $20 for the family "secret santa" gifts...once she hit $20..we were like whoa...how much is in there? That is one of those times a video camera would have been handy, and would love to be able to rewind and watch again.
2) My mother, one year, gave my father-in-law money and again in ONES and filled up a little Christmas tree with the ones as "origami money ornaments!" Had to stare at it to figure out it was money on the tree! She gave a "Money Tree!" Sometimes money does come on trees, still not growing on them! :-)
3) For GIFT CARDS and GIFT CERTIFICATES: One year I bought my Mom an Aigner Credit Card Holder, and filled it up with $20 gift cards for many things (about $200 worth)...from grocery store to the movies, to a manicure! Loads of fun in a wallet! Merry Christmas to all and Happy Holidays!
4) For CASH combined with GIFT CARDS and TICKETS to Riverdance: A different year (I believe for Mother's Day)...all my mom wanted was a water pitcher from Wal-Mart that was like $5.00...I got her that (of course) and filled it with other items I wanted her to have: I gave her $20 with a printed note that said for "thrift stores and yard sales" with a cute little graphic on it; There was a gift card but I don't remember what it was for; A matching Aigner Checkbook with tickets to "Riverdance" inside for her, sister, and myself to go all together for a girls big day out. She was speechless! (It was a better year financially that year.)
Those are some of my personal examples...What are yours?
Meanwhile....here are just a few other great sites with this topic...Enjoy! I know I did...man there are so many ways to gift cash and cards...don't be boring, plenty of ideas here not to be! :-) (I do understand getting in a hurry at times...cash is ALWAYS appreciated!)
ThriftyFun (for cash)
ThriftyFun (for gift cards)
I will be looking for more to add (after work today)! Happy Monday and Happy Holidays...have an Excellent Turkey Day!
Saturday, November 22, 2008
First, I have to give a "serious" example and then to the "fun" examples:
A few years back I searched ebay regularly in hopes to find my mom a yearbook from her childhood. When she was growing up her family couldn't afford yearbooks for her or her siblings. The only one they owned was my mom's senior yearbook from high school. Now back to the gift part of the story: Can you believe I found a yearbook that I thought "Might" have my mom in it (on ebay) and emailed the seller and he looked and found her for me AND he said he had a stack that she might be in! SHE WAS! The seller was extremely generous and sold me the elementary books for $5.00 a piece and high school books for $10 a piece. I ended up getting her like 9 books that she did not own with her and her sisters and brothers in! What a FIND! She was speechless. She also had many hours of fun with her sisters and brother sitting down and looking at these books. Even though I got a great deal...you seriously can't put a price on such a gift!!!! Truly Priceless!
The seller also sent it media mail and charged very little for the shipping. What a great seller and helpful! I will have to see if I can find his seller ID and recommend him to you all...he sells only vintage items on Ebay!
Okay for my "Fun" ideas:
Whatever era the lucky recipient had their childhood in...search for movies from that time period or clothing or some "fad" item. Give this as a gift...they will have so much fun strolling and laughing down memory lane! For something like this...nobody beats ebay!
Personally, I would LOVE to have a Jordache Purse I had as a child and if I got that as a gift...Man...that would be AWESOME! Or should I say "Radical?" :-) Go 80s!
Speaking of 80s...if that lucky person is a child of the 80s (such as myself): Might I recommend my Squidoo Lens where I have collected a load of FUN items for these folks...including myself:
GenX; I love the 80s!
My husband has a truck (F-150) and I have a car (Corolla). Obviously, we all know the Corolla would be better on gas mileage etc... My husband's truck is surprisingly pretty decent on gas...it isn't four wheel drive (maybe that has something to do with it?). Anywho, my husband's job is twice the distance of my job from our home. Sooo, since my car is better for distance and takes much less gas....we switch vehicles to go to work. We have saved so much money with this obvious logic. I wanted to share this tidbit as I don't believe I have ever made a post on it.
There are some days that I need my car...for instance...I have to attend a meeting or leave my work for some reason (ex: doctor appointment, etc...) and thus traveling more than to and from work. Basically, whomever is traveling the most miles that day gets the car! :-) Silly sounding maybe...but sure has saved us money. Estimated savings (for us and our travel) per month is from $80-$100 per month varying due to up and down price of gas and where else, besides work, we have traveled that month.
Here is our breakdown (estimate on average): (Estimates are Price Per Month)
(Price break down if we didn't switch vehicles)
$200 Truck (Husband)
$60 car (Myself)
$260 (total price per month on both vehicles)
(Price break down NOW that we do switch vehicles)
$100 Truck (Myself)
$80 Car (Husband)
$180 (total price per month on both vehicles)
A savings is a savings! Find it where you can!
Does anyone else out there do something like this to cut cost on gasoline?
Friday, November 21, 2008
"Black Friday" comes from the color of ink on retailers reports for their yearly sales. Typically some stores (or many...not certain of exact statistics) are in the Red for the year before "Black Friday" and the go into the "Black" on "Black Friday" as a result of huge sales that day and through the Holiday shopping season. This is when stores really start to see profit. Many stores meet and exceed quotas thanks to "Black Friday." I used to work at a department store years ago and remember my commission would be in the "red" (aka: not making anything besides my hourly) and I, myself, would start making commission and thus going into the "black" on "Black Friday." I must say, I don't miss it. Maybe that is the reason for my lack of motivation to get out and about on that day. I hated getting up sooo early and always said when I get out of retail..."I'm sleeping in!" I guess I am doing that out of respect for my past self this year. :-)
For all of those brave shoppers out there, I did find this one site that you can sign up for email alerts on the latest black friday ads and updates: BlackFriday.com
I believe I am most interested in "Cyber Monday" this year and want to see what it is all about as I have never taken part in this day.
What is an ACEO? For those who don't know, here is the short of it:
ACEO=Art Cards Editions and Originals. This came from ATCs which means Artist Trading Cards. They were originally created and traded between Artists. Naturally, someone found a way to make money from it, changed the name to ACEO and sold them on Ebay and now has become a huge hit for collectors and Artists alike. They are a fun size (same as a sports trading card) of 2.5" X 3.5" (this is what makes it an ACEO or ATC...it HAS to be the exact size or it doesn't qualify). The size is the only "rule" an Artist has to follow for it to qualify as an ACEO or ATC. Typically they are flat and fit into a sports trading card sleeve, but many break this un-announced rule, including myself. :-) These are great because they are so many ways to display them. You can put them in tiny cute frames, set them on easels. Put them in a basket inside their sleeves...sit them on a coffee table for mini-art conversations! If you just want to collect...just get some sports trading pages/sleeves and put them in a book. You can collect hundreds/thousands and they do not take up the space that collecting large pieces would!
Now that I have stated my case on how cool ACEOs/ATCs are (even though I was just explaining them): what are you waiting for? Get started with a Custom ACEO of a Loved One by My Husband or take on some searches on Ebay or Etsy: Type in the Search boxes: ACEO and whatever topic you would like, for example: ACEO Cats
These would make an Awesome Personalized Stocking Stuffer! If interested for Christmas, you need to seriously get your order in ASAP. Christmas is less than 35 days away and he would need a few days to complete the drawing from YOUR photo of an animal or person. Also, you would need to allow shipping time and consider the holiday rush and potentially slow shipping when everyone starts spending up a storm on the 'net!
The Custom ACEOs are a nice low price of $25.00 for one Subject! An Economical way to collect ORIGINAL HAND-CREATED (DRAWN in this case) ART!
Monday, November 17, 2008
I like this kind of award because I am blessed to say I could list a thousand things I am thankful for, but will stick with the six that is requested! :-)
Here it goes:
I am thankful for...
- The fact I have way more than 6 items that I feel blessed and thankful for. God's many Blessings!
- My Son...he is a joy even when he is not necessarily being joy. (3 years old)
- My Husband....a wonderful man that puts up with me and my oddities.
- My Mom, Sister and Niece (5 months old)
- Friends (Work and Home)
- Having a sense of humor (most of the time): I love to laugh!
I could definitely keep going! I try to give thanks for my blessings every day!
Now I will pass this award on to six bloggers whose sites I enjoy. I have many to choose from so I will just direct you all to six and am certain it will spread through to all my favorites out there!
Saturday, November 15, 2008
There are so many ways that we can stop the "waste"...for examples:
- Turn of lights when you leave the room
- Resist the urge to spend at the check out (the ever so popular Impulse purchase...it does add up over time)
- Do you really need that extra bottle of window cleaner that is on sale when you already have two bottles at home?
- When buying gifts...is it really important to buy an extra gift because it is on sale when you already have that person the "perfect gift?"
- Don't throw out cans ....recycle them in some fashion, donate, take to a recycling center, an Art Room (hmm...I am collecting to do some art projects with my students and cans I don't use...go to my fifth graders who are recycling to pay for their beach trip!)
- Think about it, this list can go on and on and on....take time to figure up your wasteful spending....SAVE that money, put it in a jar...and put it to Good use...debt reduction (a bill)...or put it in a savings account for your child. Put it to GOOD use! It does add up!
Happy Saturday! What can you do not to waste...in general or money! :-)
Psst...sometimes that wasteful spending is good for the soul...we need it once in a while...like a meal out etc...don't beat yourself up....but stop where you can! :-)
Check out other folks' stories on Spendster.org
Master your Card
Thursday, November 13, 2008
PetsMart's November Special! Click the link below for coupon:
Save 15% off your order of $60
This is Phoebe...and she is wearing a funny hat, yes. :-) It is a little Romanian hat we got from this summer's trip there and we were bored and took a picture with her wearing it.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
VistaPrint is offering Awesome Deals on their Custom Calendars! Prices Ranging from $3.49 - $12.99 with many starting at $7.99 for the 12 month calendars with your photos for each month. You get to start by selecting the borders for your pages and you even get to choose number sizes and fonts for your calendar part of the calendar.
One of my favorite VistaPrint Products is their Custom Caricature Products like address labels and you design the Caricature of yourself and your family members...all the way down to the family pets. I love it! Sooo cute! This also could be a cool fun gift or Stocking Stuffer! Something useful, fun, personalized and cute! These are priced right as well starting at only $3.99!
Some VistaPrint Classics are their fabulous deals on Custom Holiday Cards as well as the age old but must have Business Card! (You can try their Business Cards for FREE even.)
VistaPrint has been around for a LONG time on the Internet. As a matter of fact, this is the first place I ever ordered from and at that time, I bought Business Cards! I also bought a custom address stamp and the Caricature Address Labels! I can say, they are easy to order from and fast on the shipping. You are sure to be pleased with any purchase from VistaPrint. Love these guys! Because they have been around for so long, you can feel secure in placing an order with them.
Have a great day and Happy Shopping for those special gifts...always custom and personalized is sure to win a smile from that someone special! It shows you put thought into your gift and not an "after" thought!
Get Busy and Get Creative!
Friday, November 7, 2008
Today I attended a Seminar on Art Education and one Workshop on Knotting. Both were pretty cool and now I am enjoying FREE Wireless Internet Access and maybe a cup of coffee soon that is in the hotel room. Also, I will take advantage of the FREE Breakfast offered by the hotel.
We (husband and son went along with me) don't have money, so we are taking advantage of lounging in the hotel room while I am not in workshops, etc... We took advantage of the Mall's play space for our son to run around and have his little vacation and all for FREE.
We are looking at this as uninterrupted, stress-free, relaxation. No cooking, No cleaning, No Barking Dog and No Toys to clean up/pick up. Just playing on the internet, watching cable, and that is about it. My son is enjoying a few toys we brought for him, leapster, and some movies we brought. I believe we all needed a little getaway and lounging. Not to mention the mountains are beautiful this time of year with the changing leaves and all. FREE Visual Beauty/Entertainment.
Have a great weekend.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
We will be watching our spending this Christmas way more than usual. The list is short and inexpensive this year. No worries because Christmas isn't supposed to be about the gifts and that is great. Still, would be nice to be in a bit better financial standing during the season.
The great news is....Tax Time is Nearing! Ya-hoo! I love Tax Time.
Happy Election Day Everyone and Get out and VOTE!
Sunday, November 2, 2008
At CVS.com (once you have filled a prescription) you can register and go online in your account and "refill" your prescriptions. It is awesome. You just use the information off the prescription you are refilling and follow directions typing it in. Once you have done this...it will show that it was received and "in-process." You also get to choose the time you want to pick it up! I put 5pm yesterday but didn't make it...so I went this morning when they opened..and it was ready! I love the "no waiting" of online refilling! Also, you don't even have to go IN...just use their "drive-thru" pharmacy! Hardly gets easier than that!
Friday, October 31, 2008
I would like to share my favorite items I ever got when I went trick-or-treating as a kid and this year I am adding ideas supporting each one for today's times:
#1: Polaroid Picture of myself with cousin and sister: This lady in the neighborhood took a picture of each group of kids and gave it to them as their trick-or-treating "treat" along with a hand-full of pennies that she collected throughout the year AND a can of soda! Wow! What a stop that was!
New Alternative /possibility, no doubt...with Technology getting faster and faster...why not break out the laptop and photo printer and give those kids a photo to keep forever? Or folks with printing docks! Cool! You could limit it to the kids in your neighborhood only, kids you know, or simply kids below a certain age, or best costume! Hey, get creative!
#2: My Aunt (Mom's sis) growing up was our next door neighbor and she ALWAYS (and I think still does) gives out gumball machine prizes. She saves up quarters and other change and goes to the little machines and gets rings, figurines, or whatever is in those machines, and trick-or-treaters (myself and sis and others of course) would get a little bag that had the gumball machine prize along with candy! Another cool WOW!
New Alternative: Why change this one? Save up that change and go get some prizes in those machines!
#3: This is NOT what I got trick-or-treating but it most certainly deserves the number three spot (would be higher if I got it as a kid myself): My Mother NOW (she loves it) goes to Staples, WalMart etc...at the beginning of the school year and buys tons of notebooks, pencils, pens, erasers, etc... school supplies! She gives out these EVERY YEAR now to the kids who trick-or-treat her house and they LOVE it! No Candy! Some kids make her a regular stop and one year she ran out of the notebooks and said do you have anymore notebooks? He counted on that...my Mom felt bad, so the next year she stocked up on even more and made sure that boy got his notebook. She is a SMART shopper and gets items seriously less than a dime a piece! She and my sister always stocks my classroom each year with their smart shopping!
Alternative: Again...why change this one...just remember next year at the back-to-school sales to stock up on those one cent to 5 cents items! Seriously...my mom finds deals like that! I am still working towards finding the deals she does....don't know how she does it! :-)
Okay, I love to talk about memories such as this! I hope this might give you all some CREATIVE alternatives at Halloween! Surprise a kid or two!
Do you have a great alternative to candy at Halloween? Share it by dropping your comment in the comment jar!
REMINDER: Get your candy checked each year! Look up local facilities in your area that checks trick-or-treating candy. Like hospitals, police stations or wherever. We always stayed in our neighborhood so no worries, but today, got to be more safe!
Thursday, October 30, 2008
We all know if you shop at places like Costco, Bj's, Sam's Club, etc...that you are Saving, but ONLY if you actually use enough of the item to purchase in "Bulk." Otherwise, it can seem costly...most especially if something gets old and goes to waste because you have so much of it.
This article I read in the BJ's flyer this past week suggested "Buddy Shopping" which mentions you make a list together with a friend...and go with that person to your store...and buy the items like, let's say, Eggs. You might get a LARGE pack of eggs that you KNOW you aren't going to use them all (and if you do..don't get that item together...get it on your personal list) but if you could split them and the price down the middle...whamo...What a Bargain all the sudden!
Okay, so you make that list together...and split the bill down the middle. When you get back to your house or your "buddy's" house...have fun splitting the items down the middle. Hey, and for those eggs...save an old egg carton from prior shopping and there you go...you both have egg cartons! :-)
You have saved money, and GAS (by traveling together) and hopefully had some fun in the process!
Now, find a buddy!
I loved this idea and it never crossed my mind. I like it because I have seen items that I thought to myself...unless you are a huge family...one wouldn't use all of this or that in time.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Visit Rather-Be-Shopping now to check out his Television debut! That is absolutely awesome!
Kyle's site and blog have been two of my favorites for some time now. I love to see bloggers and site owners recognized on TV, Radio, etc....!
If you have not visited his site before, I encourage you to do so and take advantage of his many coupon deals and advice! Excellent Site and Blog!
I know, I used too many Exclamation points!!! I can't help it, I am excited for Rather-Be-Shopping!
Saturday, October 25, 2008
It's Clinique Bonus Time! Choose your FREE 7 piece Gift with any $21.50 clinique.com purchase. Hurry, offer expires 11.08 or while supplies last!
My favorite Clinique products are the Advanced Concealer, Moisture Surge, Clinique Happy and Lipsticks! Stock up now and take advantage of the bonuses!
Friday, October 24, 2008
With much thinking and the fact we are on the tightest budget Ever (it seems)...he will be a three year old Executive Chef! :-) I will make his little jacket and everything. He already has the chef hat, and I am sure I can find him some black pants and shoes. The only thing I debate is whether or not to call him Chef Ramsey. He does have the Blonde Hair. Probably just stick with calling him an Executive Chef.
We couldn't afford for me to run out and buy him a costume this year, which is originally what I had planned to do before we had to "tighten our belts."
Glad it is Friday!
Our big weekend plans: Early Voting! That is our plans for the weekend because we can't go out and shop at all, but voting is a Free outing and we get something done and checked off the list!
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Using Shareapic here...Feel free to click on image to make it bigger and then even Zoom in from there!
Monday, October 20, 2008
Sunday, October 19, 2008
The last time I did this...I tackled the kitchen by moving electronics (cameras, small computer gadgets etc...) above where we use the laptop in the kitchen in the cabinet above. And I got rid of some unused baby stuff (son is now three) to make plenty of space. By moving the cameras, etc...I cleared out a different small narrow cabinet and put all the medicines, etc... together! This gave us a much more functional kitchen for our lifestyle (in the kitchen at least). :-) I am still enjoying my new set up!
I have also switched out hallway closets as well, moving the "Art Closet" next to the room we do Art in and my Barbie Collection to the closet near our bedroom that is much less used. All of this type of rearranging gives me some sense of a "sigh of relief!" Making life more functional!
Have a great weekend!
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
What did we do...well I know I have shared throughout my blog but here is a few in a "nutshell":
1-New lightblocking (or more so than what the other owners had) blinds.
2-Curtains (not sheers) over windows that allow tons of light (summer time).
3-Using Electric (Ceramic, they are called I believe) plug in heaters...one in the living room and an electric fireplace in the bonus (huge helps).
4-Ceiling Fans added in two rooms.
5-CFL bulbs EVERYWHERE! (only have a few specialty sizes left to go)
6-Sealed the bottoms of the bedroom doors with a plastic something at the bottom (can't remember what they are called) but helps keep the heat or air in the room and not escape.
7-Use outlet covers to keep cool drafts out (it really does help...don't you feel extra cold all the sudden even with a tiny draft?)
8-Cold water only washing.
9-No heat drying on the dishwasher.
10-Try to cut down on using the oven and use the Microwave whenever we can.
11-Lights off when we are not in the room and TV...etc...
12-Don't leave items plugged in that aren't being used or won't be used often.
13-Made sure to change filters every month winter and summer.
14-Made sure the attic was properly filled with insulation and that door sealed all the way around.
15-Close Bonus room door (room that gets the hottest in summer and coldest in winter...happens to be near the thermostat....so this one stays SHUT unless we are in there.)
16-We all pretty much hang out in the same room for the most part....so lights, etc...always running in just one area of the house instead of maxing out everything at once and really getting that meter to turn.
17-Not sure how much it helps, but laundry only on one day a week and full loads only.
18-We didn't know it, but our Fridge (one from the past owners) was not great and wasn't shutting all the way...so we eventually were forced to replace it with a new energy star one. :-)
Now I am sure there is many more things we do to cut costs...and none of these are a burden to us. Our electric bill when we first moved in was near $200 a month. (I freaked out!) Now we are talking not getting higher than $140 on the biggest month. All these little things add up as you see, and we all know over the past couple years that electric bills have went up even if you do nothing different...so that means we have cut even more cost that I can't tell because I am not sure how much it went up.
Okay...here is our electric company's website...I believe they have good tips:
Save the Watts (is there "cute" name for this area of their site)
I also like this section of their site: Energy Efficiency & Renewables (talking about "greenpower, etc..")
Friday, October 10, 2008
Have a great weekend!
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
My Mom said she was going to get me a subscription to House Beautiful! She told me this is what she is going to do for me, this Christmas! Believe it or not, I remember her saying this last year and it is a gift I am truly looking forward to! I love those magazines and they never get old to me! :-) What is my point? Well, maybe someone around you would love a subscription to their favorite magazine this coming Christmas. Would make a great stocking stuffer and it is a gift that person will remember you for all year long!
Once again, I have used Shareapic to display the pictures you see above. If you are interested in what this is all about...please check it out today:
Saturday, October 4, 2008
Check them out and give them some visits for a job well-done!
Go Green! (Everyone's Jumping on Board!)
Yahoo Answers Answers: What is the Bailout?
I just wanted to know, and I guess I knew the answer..but always good to investigate to be sure. Do you have a better link (family-friendly)? Share it in the "Comments Jar!" :-)
Happy Saturday Folks!
Friday, October 3, 2008
It's FRIDAY! Yay! Time to think about relaxing, shopping, and getting that costume! When you return from work today, take time to surf these sites for their Costume Selections and deals. Relax and shop now and get the costume of your choice. Don't wait til right before, as costumes tend to get "picked over" the closer Halloween gets.
Grab your kids a costume and go out and take some cute pictures! How about making a fun Photobook to commemorate the Season (Fall or Halloween would make a nice book) from Shutterfly or take advantage of their New Member Offer 50 FREE PRINTS and my goodness FREE SHIPPING!!!! Whoa! :
Thursday, October 2, 2008
What have you done or will you do to make sure you save on your Winter Heating Bill?
Here are some actions we have taken already and what I would like to do as well:
*Thick curtains downstairs (helps hold in the heat).
*Sealed the bottoms of the doors with those plastic things (don't know what they are called). They make the doors open and close slower and they hold the heat in each room.
*Electric Fireplace in the Bonus Room (typically very tough room to heat with the regular heating system and thus causing us to turn up the heat if we are in there...but no more..thanks to the Electric Fireplace...well worth the money..bought at end of season sale last year!)
*Oscillating Ceramic Electric Heater (very awesome...we use that in the Living Room for added heat without turning up the heat and heating the entire house)..very inexpensive and bought at Wal-Mart! Worth the money and does the job!
*Checking the attic door to be sure it is sealed and all insulation in place in the attic.
*Change Filters EVERY Month as recommended..it really DOES make a difference!!!!
Would like to do:
*Add a Thick Glass Storm Door to the front door! Would help heat from escaping and could open the regular door to allow the Greenhouse effect when home during the day on the Weekends.
*Thick Curtains upstairs in all the rooms (some of our curtains are Sheers upstairs right now, not doing much for holding heat in.)
(May add more to this list later!) :-)
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
(Left to Right): My son getting his hair cut; double decker bus; horse and carriage street sign in the city; Exchange sign (common sign to see in Romania: converting money is a very common occurance there)
Happy Wordless Wednesday!
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
It has been sometime since I last participated in a Mommy Community "Tuesday Toot!"
My Tuesday Toot:
I believe I have taken a VERY long break from regular blogging. I hadn't stopped completely, but it felt like I did. I finally feel back into the "swing of things" with blogging. It feels good to have had a break and to be "back on board" with blogging as well. I have a renewed interest in my blogging and feel energized as a result of the "break."
What is your Tuesday Toot? Join in!
Monday, September 29, 2008
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Does anyone else out there use Shareapic?
Here is my first gallery with Shareapic:
Join me in giving this a go:
It is cool because you can benefit from your own BidVertiser ads as well! That is kinda cool! They make it easy to set up. I am in test mode to see how it all works...again, join me by visiting the above link.
I am all in for making even minimal money for something I love to do.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
ZIRH Leader of Men's Shaving and Skin care products
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
This is a great Christian/Family-Friendly site. She is my buddy on Posh Mama and is a big part of our EntreCard PMs group on Posh Mama. I appreciate that she has given me this wonderful award! Thank you! She also designed our logo for EntreCard PMs!
Thank you again! I love your blog also! :-)
Monday, September 22, 2008
Have a wonderful Fall Weather Monday! Get out and enjoy the day (before or after work for many of us)! :-)
Saturday, September 20, 2008
The first is from Nickalodeon...good for these guys for teaching kids early about being "green" and not wasting. On this link you will have to turn on your computer sound. They give a "Green Tip of the Day" and it is audio. They tell it in a way that is educational...some facts...adults may not even know. Good stuff: Nick: Big Green Help
The second is for all of us adults and yes I have blogged this one before...but I just love this site and can just read it for hours and hours (if I had hours and hours)... WalletPop You will find an interesting topic on nearly anything financial you are looking for. You will find topics on finances that never crossed your mind and make you take notice. So give this site a glance or two or favorite it for yourself and others: WalletPop (I have this linked to their "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" page...they have other topics on Bargains, Taxes, and so so so much more!)
Have a Beautiful Weekend! I intend to get out and grab a Christmas gift or two and soak in the Fall-like weather! I LOVE it! It is totally a Front Porch Swing kinda day! :-)
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Go get those prints now everyone! Go! :-) Have a great day! Have I ever mentioned how much I LOVE Pictures? I do!
I am just so excited about Christmas this year. My son is 3 years old and can say so much and really enjoy everything and talk about it. Last year he enjoyed everything but I had to stay right with him for fear of pulling down the tree and things like that. He ended up not doing any of the things I stressed over but at least this year...I am really not concerned and I feel he will really really enjoy himself and know more of what is going on.
I also love Christmas time, as I finally make use of our Dining Room and turn it into the "Christmas Room!" This is where we collapse the table (It folds down narrow and looks like a console when done) and push against the wall and cover with a nice table cloth. We set the tree up in the middle and scatter the dining chairs about and in each one put a stocking or stuffed Christmas animal, etc... On the table I get to display all my Christmas knick knacks and it looks good that way. I really have fun decorating that room and it feels like Christmas is the only time it is used. We like to go in there and sit with the tree and decor. My son loved it also. He would just stare at the tree. So cute. We also had (last year) scented pine cones from Lowe's Foods. Awww..smells so Christmasy (sp?). :-) If that is a word, then you know what I am talking about. Last year was the first time we set the dining room up that way as we just finished our second year in this house. We love it.
Sorry to reminisce on everyone...but I am excited! I will hope to post Christmas shopping ideas and deals, etc... through the season.
Happy 100 Days Til Christmas!