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Archive for October, 2012

What is in the picture...

October 31st, 2012 at 08:49 pm

Happy Halloween.

We live at the back of a cul-de-sac. My house is tucked in and fairly secluded..so you have to look for it to know its back here. Not many trick-or-treaters find their way to my door. It was quiet tonight.

We had a potluck at work today- I went easy and cheap. A trio of seasonal mini-loaves from Costco and a tub of mac salad from the store. $10 total. Normally I either spend an entire evening cooking and then toting my crock-pot to work or I spend a good deal on something special. And guess what? The world didnt stop because I skipped the work..or the expense. Big Grin Lesson learned.

I thought I would share this spooky picture my son took of one of the pumpkins they carved..not sure what that is on the right- but it adds to the mystique IMO...just some Halloween fun:





Goodbye, I HOPE, to MLM invites..and more Christmas shopping done!

October 29th, 2012 at 08:08 pm

My thoughts are with everyone living in the path of hurricane Sandy tonight.

I received and email invite from my MLM friend this morning to an information lunch on Thursday. I responded with a decline and a very honest explanation that I was not interested and hoped it wouldnt hurt our friendship. She says it does not- so time will tell. I just hope this puts an end to the constant sales pitch.

I ordered a few more Christmas gifts today. I am a fan of Ravensburger puzzles- and so I got a few age appropriate puzzles for grandkids. I also bought a Christmas themed one for me Smile. I always enjoy starting a Christmas puzzle on Thanksgiving with the goal of finishing by Christmas. It is a 1000 piece puzzle, which should keep me (and vistors)plenty busy.

I am buying all Christmas gifts using my CU Visa, which pays 1% back on all purchases. I transferred the Christmas account from ING to the CU today so that I can pay as I play. The money will arrive on Wednesday. My spending plan is all set- I budget for each person at the begining of the year, and then save what I need to accomplish the budget each month.
It makes Christmas planning so much more enjoyable to have a plan.

I have been using the CU Visa for the 1% back for several months and the rebate goes into a savings specifically for this 'free' money. By the end of the year I should have about $200. (The CU will pay up to $500 per year) Next year I hope to find more ways to take advantage of this rebate and max out at $500 - since I pay the card off each month, it is free money to me.



Productive day!

October 28th, 2012 at 05:43 pm

Today was a stay at home day. I left all the spending up to the hub and DD3. The hub wants tacos for dinner, so he stopped and picked up the supplies to make them. He and DD3 are at the movies with DD2s kiddos (granson age 8 and granddaughter almost 4) They are seeing the transylvania movie. Dd2 got called into work today, so DD3 offered to babysit.

I stayed home all day and got the kitchen cleaned, mopped, cleaned the master bath, washed our sheets, laundry..just a busy get er done day.

Between the movie and groceries, we spent about $40.

Back in the 80s, I had an electric fondue pot. It died years ago and I never replaced it..but I am considering getting one again- would like to have it for our trip to the vacation rental in two weeks. I think a chocolate fondue would be a big hit. I was looking online and there are so many options and they arent too expensive. I may get one before the trip. Also, this might make a good idea for CHristmas gifts. None of the girls have one..and I remember they were quite fun. Something to consider.

This has been a great productive weekend- but like most of them, it went way too fast.

I am watching the news on hurricane Sandy. My thougths are with everyone who will be impacted by this one..it looks to be a doozy. :/



Highs and lows in friendships

October 27th, 2012 at 10:14 pm

My girls and I went to the Tea today and had such a wonderful time. My friend made all the food for the tea- 3 types of sandwiches, 2 types of scones, various cookies and cakes, lemon curd, devonshire cream...and they served 6 different teas- all of them wonderful, and a wonderful a strawberry lemonade. There were about 30 attendees. My friend and her husband put a big effort into this..and last night, their oldest son (who is stationed in Japan) and his fairly new bride (who is stationed in Afghanistan, surprised them by coming home for a visit. Poor friend...the kids are only in town two days and they had this event today! It turned out beautiful, but sure cut into her time to visit with them. Tickets for the four of us $80. I also bought 4 raffle tickets for $20. DD3 won an adorable Breast Cancer pin and DD2 won the grand prize, which is a room makeover book and an hour consultation with a home decorator. DD2 gave it to me..Big Grin So I will put it to good use soon.

After the tea, we stopped by Kohls. After my shopping trip last week, I received $20 Kohl's cash. I decide to get a cozy throw. Somehow, my other ones have been 'borrowed' by kids and I dont have one. I keep the house fairly cool during the winter, so lately my feet/legs have been chilly. They had nice ones on sale 50% off, or 24.99..I used the 20 and then got 15% off- or $4.27. I have told the kids HANDS OFF this one.

A while back I mentioned another friend who has recently gotten into a multi-level marketing 'business'. I was hoping that she would take my total lack of interest as indication that I didnt intend to buy or start selling. Unfortunately, that isnt going to be the case. This past week she has been at a convention and is clearly renewed in her committed to turning everyone she knows into a sale or a salesperson under her. Her new tactic is an empowerment luncheon that she would like to have me attend, no cost. and perhaps I could bring a friend. ugh. I will stick to my no thank you, but I will obviously have to just be blunt- and I know it will hurt the friendship. :/ Not something I want to do, but I am tired of the constant barrage.

The friend with the tea shop and this MLM friend are also good friends- the three of us get together for lunch occasionally. I have no problem buying tea once in a while or attending her tea luncheons..but the other friends business is almost cult like and once you sign up for the auto shipments $160 every four months), it is very difficult to get out of. NO THANK YOU. I would gladly just give her money each month, but she is very prideful and wouldnt accept it. Sadly she is so determined to make the business work that she is alienating people.

In other news, the hub said he cant guarantee when he will be home this winter, so we are going to pass on the Hawaii adventure for now. Frown It is such a good deal, but I learned in Alaska that its not as much fun if he misses most or all of the vacation. I am certain other opportunities will come along.

Getting some Christmas Shopping done at Amazon!

October 26th, 2012 at 07:53 pm

I have been getting some Christmas shopping done today thanks to Amazon.

I bought each of my kids family one of these:
[url]http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0000683A4/ref=oh_deta...

And one of these:
[url]http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002NPBT50/ref=oh_deta...

And for my lil granddaughter who turns 4 next month, one of these for her birthday:
[url]http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000GHVJPM/ref=oh_deta...

Hopefully each will encourage play and creativity!

The hub arrived home safely last night. Tonight he bbq'd steak, which I dont get while he is gone. It was so tasty! It is 8pm and the poor guy is already in bed. By tomorrow he should be rested and back to normal.

Hawaii?

October 25th, 2012 at 08:26 pm

The hub and I have been talking about what we want to do for our next big trip. He would really like to go to Hawaii.

Today, I learned that the no frills airline is offering flights to Hawaii for $99 each way. WOW.

The hub is currently enroute from Alaska..and when I talk to him I will find out how certain his January home dates are. If they are pretty certain, I will book a trip to Hawaii for us!!

The hubs paycheck is $120 more than budgeted. A friend at work is selling a really nice queen bed frame, head and footboard, mattress and box springs for $200, so I bought it. I will put this bed in my guest room and give my grandson (8) the queen bed that is currently in the guest room. His bed is a twin and pretty worn, so he will enjoy the bigger bed (which is his bed when he spends the night). The extra $120 went towards the bed- and I will take the other $80 out of the household fund.

This is similar to the bed:


Tonight I finished off the leftover teriyaki chicken. The hub gets in at midnight- I didnt take tomorrow off like I normally do after the hub gets home, so DD3 is picking him up so I can get some sleep.

This weekend is the tea party and on Sunday we are taking the hubs widowed aunt to Argo. (I hear its good). The hub also wanted to get a massage, so I scheduled his appointment while us girls are at the tea party.

Should be a fun weekend. I cant wait to find out if we are going to Hawaii in January!!!

Tea for a Cure

October 24th, 2012 at 07:40 pm

I have a friend who started a tea store last year. Her husband is a pastor, and they do this business together. It is slow to get off the ground and they are trying new ways to introduce the catering and tea party aspects of the business. This Saturday is their first official event. They are having an afternoon tea to raise money for breast cancer. It is $20 per ticket, $5 goes towards the cause. They will serve a variety of teas- little sandwiches, scones, cookies..I thought this would be a great event to take my daughters to..so the four of us will be attending. None of the girls have ever attended an actual 'tea', so I am excited to do this with them.
It helps my friend, it helps a great cause and it gives me a fun outing with my girls. I am really looking forward to it!

Today was not a no spender afterall. I did have leftovers as planned, but I stopped at the craft store on the way home and picked up a couple of strings of lights for the front porch for Halloween. It looks so cute out there with the pumpkins my grandson carved and now with the lights. I also picked up a new pot to transplant an African violet into. I spent $16.

Tomorrow night the hub gets home (midnight). He only has two cords of wood to process this time, so he will have a little more free time to relax and help with the list of honey-do's Ive been keeping.

Several weeks ago, DD1 suggested a gift for my granddaughter (6)..but for some reason the price has been higher (65-70)than what she orignally found it for (48)...today Amazon advertised it for $45..so I quickly ordered it. One down...6 grandkids to go!!

I probably wont ever be a cheapskate..

October 23rd, 2012 at 08:28 pm

Today was a no spend day. Lunch and dinner were leftover teriyaki chicken with green beans. Breakfast was oatmeal that I cooked on Sunday. I always have 2-3 cups of coffee at work (free) + some creamer. This week I have pumpkin creamer..so yummy.
DD3 was at the house when I got home and she had some of the leftovers for dinner too. She really liked it.

Tomorrow should be another no spender. I have oatmeal and creamer at work still, and there is enough leftover chicken for one more meal (lunch). I also have leftover steak from this past weekend in the freezer that will make dinner. It is nice to not have to spend my allowance because of using up the food.

I have been watching the new show extreme cheapskates. I havent really seen anything I would do to save money..but it is interesting to see what others would do. I can see why they are called extreme.

Ways I save money include not buying more than one pair of tennis shoes, sandals, and work shoes at a time. I use up my makeup before buying new. I dont buy pjs, rather I use old t-shirts, shorts.. I use shampoo and soaps that we get at hotels to stretch my supplies, I use leftovers, I but creamer and get coffee free at work, I send for and use free samples, I use my purses until they die (one of my favs I got at a yard sale for .75 cents that lasted about 4 years.

Things I am not so good at: helping my kids when they need it- I still dont say no as often as I should, our tv service - we pay for satellite TV and extra football service because I love watching football, food and fun while the hub is home. I pay a guy to keep the yards mowed (this is a co-workers husband who is trying to make it as a new US citizen- money well spent IMO)..

I stick to a budget pretty well. When we lived in the country house, I hung our laundry most of the year..now that I live in the city and dont have a laundry line, I depend on the dryer much more...I save gasoline and wear on the car living in town, but we also have two house payments (minus a small rent payment from the hubs nephew who lives at the country house). Until housing prices come up, I am not going to sale the city home. I love living in town- especially when the hub is gone so much. Someday I might sale and move back out to the country house..
but that wont likely happen as long as I am working full time.


Saving money by skipping hair cuts and DIY color

October 22nd, 2012 at 07:05 pm

Since I went to my friends for dinner last night, the meal I had prepared yesterday was in the fridge ready to be popped in the oven tonight. Teriyaki chicken..and I went to cook the rice, and I am out. So, I made quinoa, which wasnt my first choice to serve with the dish, but it actually was really good with it. The sweet and spicy teriyaki and pineapple went really well with the nutty quinoa.

I made enough for lunch and dinner tomorrow too. So tomorrow should be a no spender!

I still have not gotten my hair cut...I am saving money just letting it grow, but it is getting heavier to clip up. Last night I colored my hair myself..$7. I figure between cuts and color I am saving $60 a month. I need to get a cut though- I am having to stretch one bottle of color- and that poor box has a LOT of gray to cover. Big Grin

Looked at the weather report today and it was snowing up at the rental house we are going to in 3 weeks...I would love it if there was lots of snow when we get there- but the snow today most likely wont last. I live where it snows a couple of times a year usually, but it doesnt stick more than a few hours- once it stuck for a day. However, the roads ice up often in the winter- which is NOT good.

My grandson played with my Monopoly game while he was here this past weekend. He made up his own rules and had such a good time. Its funny how some games just stay classics and never go out of style. I will be buying a couple of them for Christmas gifts for the older grandkids..I think theyll enjoy it.

The hub will be home in 3 more nights. Looking forward to having him home for 3 weeks before the long winter shifts start!

Kohls deals

October 21st, 2012 at 05:35 pm

I went to Kohls this afternoon to see what I could do with the 30% off coupon. I picked up 6 tins containing dominoes or matching type games. Normally, 9.99, on sale for 5.99 plus 30% off or $4 each. I also picked up 5 candles that were 60% off before the coupon...so very good deal for those! And candles work for so many on my list. (Plus I love candles, so no waste there for sure!)

I splurged a new pair of slippers for home. They were normally 28, on sale for 19.99 and so I paid $14. I normally just wear socks around the house, but these are hard bottom slippers that I can wear indoors and out- and with winter coming, these will keep my feet warmer.

As I was leaving Kohl's, my friend texted an invite to come over for dinner (chicken cheese enchiladas)- So I went. Since they were eating early (4pm) it sounded good to me! These are the friends that we are going to the vacation rental with in 3 weeks..so we chatted about the trip. We have gone about twice a year for 4-5 years with these friends. Usually each couple chooses one day to be responsible for cooking the meals and cleanup. This trip, we are going for 4 nights, so we will include pizza delivery one night and something simple one night. The hub wants to make prime rib for our night. (yum!) we always have such a good time together - walks, dominoes, hot tub, movies...

Since dinner was early tonight, I was home by a little after 5. I had a dish all ready to pop in the oven for dinner here, so I will just let it marinade one more night and have it tomorrow night.

I have my pumpkin candle burning tonight. I love pumpkin candles this time of year. Actually I love the weather, the smells, the trees, the food...Fall really is my favorite time of year!



The morning after..

October 21st, 2012 at 09:17 am

My houseguest is sleeping in this morning. From the looks of the living room, he was busy after gramma went to bed. Either that or a hurricane hit Oregon, specifically my living room, that I havent heard about.

Today I plan on housework, watching the Packers beat the Rams (Sorry Boomeyers!) and maybe getting back over to Kohls to use my 30% off for some Christmas shopping.

I took out four chicken breasts last night and have them marinading in the spicy teriyaki sauce for dinner tonight. ( and a couple more meals). I plan to pull the pork out of the freezer that I cooked last week for pulled pork sandwiches. Breakfasts will be oatmeal this week. Then, on Thursday night the hub gets home and meals will change considerably.

Yesterday I spent quite a bit of my allowance. The big white pumpkin that GS picked out was $19, the one he picked out for me was $6. We spent $15 at the farm on misc games for GS and the corn maze. I spent another $40 at the grocery store. (Although that $40 can come out of the food budget). But it was such a fun day.

In comparison, today will be relaxing and inexpensive (unless I find some great deals for Christmas)

In the meantime, Go Packers!!