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Busy Weekend, gonna be a busy week!

August 30th, 2010 at 07:08 am

Well, this weekend was busy. In addition to all the social activities that I had planned - picnic Sat & BBQ Sunday, I also managed to get some things done around the house.

I also want to share that I went to a midnight showing of Rocky Horror Picture Show, complete with life actors, yelling things at the screen and throwing toast. Its a weekly tradition for years at a small movie theater near the university. I have never gone, but impulsively, a friend & I decided to go.

Paid $5.25 for the ticket, $1 for a bag of goodies to throw and $2.00 for a drink. There was lots of audience participation, weirdos to watch and general craziness. Very fun and unique experience.

Sunday, I did some cleaning and yard work. Managed to pull up some weeks in between my deck & my neighbors. I let it get out of hand this year. Ended up with several bags of yard waste, which I promptly took to the yard waste drop site (Free). By state law, I would have to have paid extra to have yard waste picked up by my garbage company. Dropping off is free, but messy. So now I need to vacuum out the trunk of my car Smile

This week will be busy. I have scheduled at least 4 days this week of working out/walking. I have plans to see a movie with my dad, go to my weekly pub night and have a girls night in with an old friend. And all of that is BEFORE next weekend starts!

I packed lunch today, breakfast & snacks. I'm hoping today will be a no spender.

And I am going back to my 5 Things list. To recap, I always have a large TO-DO list going. It seems never ending, so I have determined that getting just 5 things done of the list is an accomplishment and managable

Today's 5 Things:

1. MAke call to wellness program for a free 'session'
2. Finalize budget for payday. This includes a grocery budget and meal plan
3. Change sheets on bed
4. WAlk or hit the gym depending on weather
5. Pack food for Tuesday, eat dinner at home.

Weekend $$$ Plans

June 24th, 2010 at 06:21 pm

I have a tight budget for the weekend. I'm going to a girls only product party Friday night. I have $20 and a bottle of wine (recycled gift). I will buy 1 small item to support my friend, but thats it. Afterwards, I'm staying behind and we (my friend, her daughter & I are watching a horror movie).

Saturday & Sunday, I have absolutely NO plans. My goals are:

1. Walk or hit the gym each day (FREE)
2. Finish painting the downstairs bath - have to paint the ceiling (FREE - have all the supplies)
3. Put up toilet paper & towel racks as well as mirror in downstairs bath (FREE - already purchased)
3. Replant some basil plants from medium to larger pots (FREE- reusing pots, using leftover soil)
4. Clean the house (FREE)
5. Grocery shop - Budgeted
6. Hit Barnes & Noble - still have not spent my gift card & I want to pick up the new Janet Evanovich book if its out (FREE with bday gift card)
7. Watch movies from library (FREE)
8. Read books from library (FREE)
9. Make a few new recipes (FREE-ish)
10. Organize all the junk in my bedroom closet (FREE)

Happy Memorial Day!

May 31st, 2010 at 08:04 am

Happy Memorial Day to everyone! I've been having a fun weekend. Saturday was horse races, yesterday was a BBQ at my sisters (and a no spender!). Today is getting stuff done around the house. I spent $40 in gas for the car & the lawn mower. But thats it!

Its very warm out (HOT!) but I still have yet to turn on my air. I have house fans going & am drinking lots of cold drinks. As long as I'm not super uncomfortable, the air stays off!

I'm looking forward to puttering around the house today. When my house is clean and organized, I feel clean and organized. So even though there's lots to do, I'll be doing it while watching tv or taking breaks. Anything I don't get done, just doesn't get done.

My to-do list is as follows:

1. Laundry (DONE)
2. Mow lawn (DONE)
3. pull weeds
4. Work on container garden
5. Clean kitchen, vacuum floor, oil kitchen table (DONE)
6. Wipe kitchen blinds
7. Clean, dust, vaccum living room
8. Clean basement floor, change kitty litter
9. Vac spare bedroom, fill in holes left by old roommate, use magic eraser on walls
10. Clean bedroom, change sheets, vac floor
11. Clean upstairs bath, scrub tub
12. Make meal plan (DONE)
13. Food prep for the week, lunch & dinner at home (DONE)
14. Clean out car (DONE)
15. Organize stuff for verizon rebate (DONE)
16. Anything else that I can fit in! haha

Payday Tomorrow - New budget

May 13th, 2010 at 04:48 pm

Payday is tomorrow & I've already made my $0 based budget. Outside my normal montly bills, I have variable spending in the following catagories:

$45.00 gas
$129.50 groceries (need a good stock-up)
$50.13 entertainment
$26.00 Communion gift
$8.00 misc cheer up gift for a friend

Its going to be a tight month and I'm going to have to get creative with my entertainment. This budget takes me through to the end of the month.

I have 2 work happy hours, 1 friends happy hour, 3 or 4 of my nephew's ballgames, a wine tasting and a movie to fit into that entertainment budget. Should be fun! Luckily the baseball games are free. That helps.

Tomorrow is Friday - I've already packed breakfast & lunch. After work, I will be hitting the library, the dollar store & the grocery store. Then home for an evening in.

Saturday, I'm going to my nephew's ball game, then driving 2 hours to a Communion party, driving 2 hours back home and going to a housewarming. I already have a gift for that.

Sunday will be for the gym ($0), the farmer's market, the other grocery store & cleaning.

I have Monday off work and will be cleaning & organizing the house, hitting the gym and heading to my nephew's ball game that night.

I am hoping to list a few items on Craigslist this weekend as well. Any extra income will be welcome!

Other updates:
Heat went back off at hte house this morning.
Lunch challange is still going strong
Still looking for the roommate

Race for the Cure Philadelphia

May 10th, 2010 at 04:56 pm

Yesterday, I participated in the 20th Annual Philadelphia Race for the Cure. Local news is estimating there were 120 thousand people there. I think the first year, they had under 2000.

We raised a bit of money for the cause and got a nice healthy 5k walk in! They handed out a LOT of freebies - juices, drinks and food.

I came home with a bandana and some coupons for local stores. Food-wise, Wawa literally shoved into my hands: 2 water bottles, a donut, soft pretzel, banana, 2 bags sliced apples, 2 bags grapes, 2 cheese sticks,and 3 large bags of candy.

I drove home to have brunch with my mom, sister, her boyfriend and my nephew. Then had my parents over for dinner - we had take out at my mom's request.

The candy went to my nephew. Rest of the goodies went in the fridge for me!

Today's Food/Spending:
Breakfast: Granola bar & soft pretzel (.55 spent)
Lunch: Pasta salad
Snack: popcorn
2nd Snack: small tomato salad
Dinner: Penne pasta in tomato sauce with homegrown basil and 1 cup spinach. Leftover salad from last night's takeout.

My little indoor garden is growing. I planted some catnip, chives, parsley and something else I can't remember. I have several basil plants going & a tomato plant that I have to transfer soon.

It got really cold over the weekend and I ended up turning on the heat last night. Keeping it at 65, but the heat still is kicking in once in a while.

Payday

April 15th, 2010 at 03:27 pm

I typed up a whole post, then lost it. Dont know why. Anyway, I've made a mess of money the last few months and today, I'm back on track.

Payday was today. Spent $4.95 on food. I'm hoping to be VERY frugal hosting 2 parties between now & the end of the month.

The roomie is 80% moved out. I'm still waiting for the last rent check. It was due the 9th. He'll get it to me, but I'm thinking not before next week. Not a fan of that.

Still looking for a new roomie, but taking my time.

Went a little crazy at the garden store last weekend. I'm looking forward to planting a few things soon. And I have a bunch of herbs & indoor plants to play with.

I've had the heat off for a week now. Hoping my electric bill will be AWESOME this month!

I have a bunch of things to do this weekend, including home repairs and cleaning.

Frugal Things This Month

June 14th, 2009 at 02:52 pm

- So far this month, I packed my lunch all but 1 time. That purchased lunch was from last Thursday, and it broke a 6 week streak of packing breakfast & lunches for work. My goal for the rest of the month is to pack my lunch all but 1 time this pay period as well.

- I have yet to turn on the air conditioning this season. I came close yesterday because the humidity, but held out Smile

- A friend from work gave me a cutting from her mint plant. I have already repotted it and am enjoying the fragrance. Once it starts growing again, I plan on using the leaves for mint water. Yummy in the summer!

- I gave myself a pedicure. A friend had given me a foot spa for my birthday a few years ago, so I make it an event. Soak my feet, paint the nails and generally act all girlie!

- Utilized the library & friends for all movies watched this month so far. No video rentals for me!

- I've listed a few items on Craigslist. I'm looking to partially fund my week long Staycation in July by selling items such as a graphing calculator, a scientific calculator, an old desk, two mini tables, two lamps and some plastic storage bins. Goal: $60.00

Food, air & plants

May 26th, 2009 at 01:45 pm

I don't know about you guys, but I had a VERY relaxing and enjoyable weekend. I overspent Sunday night when I had a date that went from dinner & a movie to drinks afterward. But overall, it wasn't excessive spending :-) And we had a good time.

I enjoyed the good weather. It hit 90 here (which is high for this area) and I was able to still keep the air off. Mostly because the humidity wasn't terrible. I kept the shades mostly closed during the day & opened all the windows and let the heavy breezes in at night. Very nice! I ran some fans when I was home and when sleeping, but that's it. Ironically, now that I'm back to work today, the weather's only going to reach mid - 60's. Its actually COLD today :-)

I did some veggie and fruit shopping on Sunday at the Farmer's market and yesterday I prepackaged smaller amounts for the 4 days of work this week. I have pre-portioned amounts of animal crackers, watermelon, strawberries, salad and cheerios. I'm doing very well with my goal of packing breakfast, lunch & dinner 100% this month. And I'll be able to keep it up easily since I took the extra time to pre-package most of the food that I'll take! I also lost 1.5 pounds this week on Weight Watchers. I've been wavering on the plan (bad!), but packing my food has made it much easier to stay on plan.

My plants are still growing well in their containers. I'm going to post some new pics soon. Those tomato plants are GROWING!

I may have mentioned that I'm looking for a roommate again. No legit responses to my ad on Craigslist. But I also have friends keeping an eye out for potential roomies as well.

I have found that since I have been focusing on staying on track with one thing - packing food for work, its benefited me in other ways and I save more money. Today was even a No Spender!

Garden Update & Pic of the Yardsale Find

May 16th, 2009 at 04:54 pm

Two posts in 1 afternoon! I have to admit an addiction to taking pics of EVERYTHING I talk about in my posts - hope you guys don't mind Smile

Here are some updated pics of my container garden and yard sale finds.

Here's the whole garden all out of order. I fixed them after taking the pics.



My oregano is growing abundantly.



Parsley's working out too.



However, the basil is struggling. But there's hope because, if you look closely, there's new sprouts.



Pepper's going strong.



Tomatoes are doing VERY well!



And so is the lettuce.



I have other plants - more peppers, parsley & chives, but I figured that was enough with the garden pics.

And here is the great yard sale buy of the day! The eliptical!



Lastly, here's one of the rugs I picked up at a dollar apiece. One is for the entryway and one is for in front of the sliding doors.



Hope you enjoyed the pics & they weren't too much Smile

Lots Going On

May 12th, 2009 at 06:21 pm

Sunday I did the Philadelphia Breast Cancer Walk. It was very moving. Thousands of people walking for such an important cause. Here are a few pics to give you an idea of the crowds.

The people in the all pink tee shirts are all breast cancer survivors participating in the opening ceremonies.



This is a view of all the people in front of us waiting for the walk to start.



This is a view of all the people behind us at the same time.





Yesterday, I ran errands, but resisted eating out & came home to make dinner.

Today I had a doctor's appointment. $30.00 coapy. Afterwards, I met up with a cousin to head over a family member's house to start a plan for cleaning out it out for sale since she's moved into a nursing home. Its a long complicated story, but lets just say that I've met them both on only one occasion, so this was awkward.

We took the family member to her house to discuss what we would be doing. There is a TON of stuff to go through. Thousands of books, cookbooks, instruction manuals, tons of cookware & old construction equiptment. Its going to be overwhelming, but I think its doable.

While we were there, we cleaned out her fridge. Unless it was very old, they didn't want to throw out anything. So we split the stuff up between my cousin, a neighbor and myself. I came home with a bunch of stuff that I would never eat because its sketchy if its safe. And a bunch of baking supplies that I have no idea what to do with.

I did, however, come home with some english muffins, 2 containers of butter (frozen), 2 containers of cool whip and a large package of chicken wings. Also came home with some pine nuts, so I'm going to make some pesto - or at least try to Smile



She also gave me a marble cutting board and a very nice italian piece of cermanic flowers. Really pretty. I didn't ask for any of the things, but I think it made her feel in control to give things away, so we let her.




And actually, we had an interesting conversation about how she packed so much stuff in there, never wanting to let stuff go. Its something that I've seen discussed before. Its leftover from living during the Great Depression. Somebody might have a use for it someday!

Finances seem to be getting tighter & I
have a lot of upcoming house expenses. I FINALLY paid to have professionals come out to spray for the carpenter bees. $190.00 for a one time treatment to kill them. In 2 weeks, hopefully, I'll have my sister's boyfriend's company to come out and replace the gutters & soffits. That should be around $800-$900.

In good news, I spent nothing but the doctors copay. I'm still packing breakfast, lunch & snacks 100% for work! So has my friend. I think he'll finish the 2 week challange with me. But I plan on continuing through the rest of the month.

I called Comcast about dropping my cable or lowering it to the extreme basic. But I'm not 100% sure what I'm going to do. I have til Monday to make up my mind.

I also responded to a couple of ads looking for rooms to rent from facebook. Getting a roommate would REALLY help right now.

In more good news, I've had the heat/air off since before May 1st. Not sure exactly when it went off & stayed off, but I'm hoping to keep it off for a long, long time.

Also, my garden is doing very well, but I don't have any updated pics. I'll try to post some tomorrow.

Great weekend, lots of gifts & freebies!

April 27th, 2009 at 06:58 pm

Had a great rest of the weekend. Had a really, really fun time at the races - wasn't allowed to take pics, but trust, me it was fun. It was hot as heck, so I drink a lot of water, spending about $6.00 for the day. There was no fee to get in, lots of visual entertainment. I didn't do any betting, but my friends and I chose horses and competed amongst ourselves. It was fun Smile

I spend some time helping my sister pack and unload stuff at the new house. I was able to help her with some shopping and general support. Things are stressful & crazy for her.

This weekend, I was able to get stuff done around the house, hang out with my family, watch my nephew's baseball game, spend time in the sun & work on my container garden. I'm having a LOT of fun with it!

Today is my actual birthday, I ran around with family. Shopped for new eyeglasses with my mom. I had lunch with Mom & dinner with whole family.

In addition to the meals given to me by my mom, my sister, her boyfriend & my nephew gave me some beautiful roses and a birthday cookie cake.

My sister also gave me a few new to me items that she no longer wanted:





I have more pics to share - I am LOVING the fact that I have the camera back! And I realize I'm oversharing, but bear with me!


Here's a pic of my kitty enjoying my being home:



Here's a pic of my birthday cookie cake:



This is my kitten enjoying the flowers on my coffee table:





Transplanted the garden

April 26th, 2009 at 08:15 am

Took some time this morning to transplant the tomatoes to new pots. I still have to transplant the peppers, but I ran out of potting soil. I've seriously underestimated the amount I'd need. So far, this has been my biggest expense. I'm going to have to find ways to cut that expense next year.

I was able to get some plastic pots & gardening supplies at the dollar store. A friend gave me some extra plastic bigger pots and small ones too. I scored a big bag of unused potting soil from my sister and I found 8 pound bags of Name Brand potting soil at the dollar store. The seed cost was neglible and the time spent was free and fun! Overall, this has already been a good experiment.

Here's a before picture of the seedlings:



Here's a row of the new pots:







In other news, I've been helping clean out my parents garge in preperation for my sister moving out & taking 1/2 the crap in there. Its a mess. We had a housefire a few years ago & some of the one of a kind photographs that my grandfather took, framed & gifted us was supposedly destroyed. Well, I found a few of the photographs out in the garage. The matting has smoke damage, but the photos are salvagable. I was really upset to find there out there in the dirt and humidity and heat.

So I took the 2 of mine home, gave my sister 2 of hers and now I have a project! Here they are:

Awesome Friends & Tomato Plants

April 25th, 2009 at 05:43 am

I had a blast at my Birthday Happy Hour. I was the recipiant of some great timing and UPS delivered my fixed camera to me 15 minutes before I had to leave!

I really got a good deal with it. Paid $9.00 between packaging & shipping & I got a fixed camera back in 10 days!

SO because of that, I was able to capture some fun pics of the outing. I had shrimp for dinner & several drinks and my awesome friends would not let me pay for anything! That was not expected!

Now that I have my camera back I can share a few things.

Here's an updated pic of the tomato plants. I am transplanting them to new pots tomorrow.



Here are the pepper plants:



Here's the original lettuce batch. One of the cats got into it.



Here's the 2nd batch of lettuce.




And here's a pic of the lovely hole that the carpenter bees have taken over. It started out as a crack & they made a huge hole out of it.



I plan on taking pics at the Track today and will share them. I've only been to the horse races once before. Should be fun!

Awesome Weather & home expense!

April 18th, 2009 at 12:43 pm

Its in the mid 70's today. After rain all week, this is great!

I went to the farmers market, which includes an outdoor flea market. Ended up picking up some huge plastic garden containers - 3 for $5.00. I'm going to put one out on the landscaping rocks of my front yard and plant a few flowers.

The other 2, I'm going to use for the tomato plants. Its time to transfer them out of their seedling pots.

Then we went inside to the produce. I came out with tomatoes, spring mix, cucumbers, celery, red potatoes, green peppers, string beans and watermelon for $13.17. Definately a good haul!

Tonight I'm going to a party at a semi-new friend's house. I'm supposed to bring veggies & dip, but I may also bring a treat of rum-soaked watermelon. Mainly because I probably won't be able to eat a 1/2 watermelon all by myself Smile

I came home, went immediately to work in the yard. Prepped the lawn mower & went to work. The wood-boring bees are back again, so was goign to take care of them myself like last year, but there is a complication. The bad news is that there was a crack in some wood on the underside of the the eave to my house and it appears that this year, they are boring into it to create their nest. The hole is now about 5 inches wide & they are digging into the insulation. Pieces are floating down to the deck. I'm going have to get someone in to get rid of the bees & to repair the wood. That's gonna cost me. UGH.

How My Container Garden Grows

April 13th, 2009 at 06:19 pm

So I think that I'm doing well with the container garden. Out of the seeds, I've got several plants growing. I may have over-planted the tomatoes. But I'm ok with that as I'm not 100% sure that they're all gonna survive being transferred from the container of seedlings to bitter pots.

Wish I had pics, but the camera's still out for repairs Smile

Anyway, I was able to borrow some big plastic containers from my friend's dad's shed. I'm going to clean them off this weekend and try to transfer some of the plants. Its not quite warm enough to put them outside, but I'll acclimate them when I have a chance.

In the meantime, I've been reading Container Gardening for Dummies and watching How To videos online.

I've never grown anything before and other than my bamboo plant, I've killed everything I've tried.

But now I have 2 house plants in addition to the bonsai and all the veggie plants and herbs! Yay Smile

I've bought some containers and gardening supplies (gloves, tools, hooks for hanging the plants, ect) from the dollar store and I'll have to purchase some more potting soil. But overall, this hasn't been an expensive enterprise - maybe $15.00? - and I'll be able to reuse all the containers next year.

And to be honest, even if it WAS a little more expensive, it'd be worth it. I'm getting such a kick outing getting things to grow. I'm very proud of myself!

Plugging Along

April 6th, 2009 at 05:33 pm

Lots of things to update:

-Its finally warm enough to turn the heat off 100%. Its about 65 degrees at night inside right now. YAY!

-My plants are doing well. Lots of little guys growing now. Soon, I'll have to replant them into bigger containers. I'm just not sure when I'm supposed to do that. So I'll be doing some research! I'd take a picture, but the camera broke the night of the party.

-The lens just stopped retracting. So now I'm paying $6.00 to have the item shipped to the company I bought it from. Luckily its still under warrenty. AND that I was able to still upload the party pics.

-I sent in my contacts rebate today. In the past, the rebate has been much bigger. This time, its only $20.00.

-I bought groceries today & already planned my food for tomorrow. Cheerios, milk & strawberries for breakfast. Pasta salad and carrots for lunch. Dinner will be chicken and potatoes.

-Its been such a busy few weeks that I decided to make tonight a veg night. Used a code to get free Redbox movies. A good little horror movie and Seven Pounds, which was VERY good!

-My sister put a contract on a house! I'm on a pretty tight budget right now, so I'll be looking to do some frugal gifts. Time to hit the dollar store for kitchen items and I plan to donate time to helping them set up the house. Any additional suggestions are welcome!

Spring Cleaning or Something Like It

March 22nd, 2009 at 05:09 pm

Today was going to be a veg, do-nothing day. But I couldn't seem to sit still. I took all the clothes in the spare bedroom, organized and listed them to take to Good Will.



Then I ran some errands, went to Acme to return the movies to redbox & pick up some milk, then dropped the clothes off at Good Will.

When I got home, I went into the basement for some organizing. I came out with a bunch of stuff to list on Craigslist & to give to goodwill. I also collapsed some boxes to be recycled. All of which is loaded up in the car & out of the house Smile

Here's part of the basement before:





And here's part of the basement after:



I planted parsley & chives and organized my plants. I'm utilizing a small table & tray table to place the plants in front of the window & move outside in nicer weather. I've also utilized (temporarily) some old mugs for some of the seeds.



I unpacked some glassware from my Aunt that had been hiding in the basement. I cleaned the kitchen, made dinner & made some meatloaf muffins to freeze.

I then decided to organize the cabinet under the sink:

Before:



After:



Whew...now im gonna pick up the living room, put away the laundry & settle in to watch the Nora Roberts movie on Lifetime at 9 Smile

Lots of Errands & Planned Spending

March 21st, 2009 at 01:59 pm

Got a lot done today. Was supposed to hang with a friend, but when she cancelled due to sickness, I decided to get a bunch of things done.

Went to the Dollar store - got some kitchen & gardening supplies - including an 8 lb bag of pottery soil. I saw it there the other day & after researching the brand online, found it to be pretty good. $10.00

Pathmark (next to dollar store) for 51 oz Olive Oil - $10.00

Local Greenhouse - $10.95 in herbs, starter plants & fertilizer (for houseplants)

Lowes - to view the seeds. Bought Lettuce Mix to try out $1.67

Safeway - Bought 5 2 liter sodas, 2 boxes Cheerios, 2 bags mixed lettuce, and 1 can Hunts Sauce - Total $9.00

Produce Stand - mushrooms, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers & strawberries - $7.83

Super G - 4 12 packs Pepsi, Good Seasons dressing $14.49

Redbox in Super G - $3.06 for 3 movies