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LOTS of Updates - Sorry!

August 26th, 2016 at 10:14 am

It's been a while since I've posted - been super busy these last few months. We moved in July, finally got a renter into our townhouse last week, I am working OT, but not as much as before, been sick off & on and generally been living a lot.

We have had a LOT of social obligations. Never dull for me!

-My daughter turned One this month. We had a little party that my mom paid to be in a restaurant (she HAD to do my nieces and didn't want to be seen as favoring my sister's kids - that was her choice).
-Last weekend, I was at a bachelorette party.
-This weekend, my husband is going to the bachelor party.
-In September, we are attending a housewarming for friends (child friendly event)
-In September, we are attending a friend's house party (kid friendly)
-In October, we have 3 weddings - 2 out of state

We also are waiting for the rental income to come in. We have a renter, but are also using a property management company. Because of the renter starting mid-month and the PM fees, we won't see a full month's rental income coming to us until the middle of October, which will go to the 11/1 mortgage payment.

I have lots of cashflowing/savings goals -
-cashflowing budget deficit
-cashflowing wedding events/gifts/travel
-save 1 month Rental Mortage buffer
-save 1 month New Mortgage buffer
-Save 5k Rental Efund
-Cashflow tickets to an event in Oct
-cashflow new furniture

Fun stuff, people! I will say, that we are not revolving any credit card debt as we have been spending a lot. I am so thankful for overtime!

I also want to note that usually I buy Christmas gifts all year long - but not this year as I didn't want to move all the stockpile of gifts! So I need to get busy on that Smile

Home Repairs

July 14th, 2015 at 09:11 am

We had a plumbing issue a week or so ago. Yesterday, we had someone come in to do some drywall repairs. This is the 3rd patch in the same spot of the livign room ceiling and it went from ceiling and into the wall. It was getting challenging to fix, so we paid someone $250 to do the work right. To me - worth every penny. To my husband, worth MUCH more - he was so frustrated with that area.

Next thing up will be painting the ceiling and living room. We are splurging for help on this so we can get it done before the baby and get the wall up the stairs and in a very high ceiling area. We are picking a neutral color so we can utilize this paint job for the potential sale of the house next year.

Gonna be somewhat pricey (versus DIY), but we have OT funds to go towards it!

Oh, the JOYS of Home Ownership

November 2nd, 2013 at 09:55 am

In the last 2 weeks, I have replaced the downstairs toilet, replaced all the interior of the upstairs toilet. Fixed a leaky faucet.

And this week, a pipe leading to the hot water heater started leaking. We attempted the repairs ourselves, but without luck. So we had a professional come by $190 later, all fixed!

We are left with the problem of the pipes. The home builders used an inferior piping. I knew that buying the house (and it factored into the pricing). However, joints are gathering moisture & some are leaking. Replacing parts of the piping will not stop further issues in other areas, so I got a quote for replacing the pipes in the whole house. $5950. Yeesh. I will be doing research & certainly working out a budget & getting other quotes. We have time to plan, but its likely it will need to be done.

Getting Thing Done!

October 10th, 2012 at 06:46 pm

After a long period of inactivity due to heavy social schedule, plus lack of energy that I have been attributing to the thyroid, I FINALLY have energy to get things done.

Sunday, my family, my boyfriend & I took both my nephew and the bf's nephew to the PA Renn Faire. I spent quite a bit, but it was so worth it. We really had a great time!

Monday, I stayed home & started in on getting things done. This mostly consisted of napping then organizing the kitchen/pantry now that my Roommate moved out. The boyfriend is moving in Dec 1st,but in the mean time, I can clean, organize & enjoy having the house to myself!

In the last week, based on some promos I found - I earned 18 Redbox credits. I used 2 over the weekend.

I am pickingup some ideas on Pinterest. Tonight,I painted my keys with nail polish to make it easier to tell them apart. I have a house key, a screen door key, key to my parents, key to my work desk, key to the mailbox and a few misc ones.

Here's a quick of the final paint job! As you can see, I love different colors Smile



Between yesterday & today, I worked full days then:
-Cancelled lawn guy (now that the broken foot is officially healed)
-signed up for 2013 Medical from work
-Called in a prescription refill
-returned books to the library
-picked up a window sealing kit at the dollar store & 1 organizational tote for the kitchen
-relisted several items on craigslist
-Cleaned out fridge(had to - there was a big cherry limeade spill) and then cleaned the kitchen, wiped down cabinets, counters, ect and washed the kitchen floor. Also polished the kitchen table
-Cancelled subscribe & save deal that I got on Amazon
for toilet paper
-ordered a book on amazon for my mom in that same deal (she'll be paying me back)
-requested 2 $5 Amazon gift cards from swagbucks
-requested reimbursement from insurance for prescriptions paid out of pocket
-picked up prescription
-made appointment with guy of Craigslist to sell my old mower (now I use the reel mower)
-Put several items to sell on my county's Classifieds group on facebook
-obtained 40 MyCokeRewards from a friend off the Classifieds (I use these rewards for soda coupons). The boyfriend and a friend collect them for me. I am always looking for more codes though!
- started wrapping my coaster gifts for christmas
-updated new points into my coke awards
-Waiting for $10 earnings to hit my InboxDollars account so I can request my $40 payout. I earned it by ordering 3 bottles of wine for total of $15.01. These will be used for holiday partys and were already on my to-buy list
-working on swagbucks - want to get to another 450 points
-finish laundry
-fold laundry
-put out Halloween decorations
-watched Netflix movie
-made dinner at home

Tomorrow, I am doing a (cheap) dinner and a (free) movie with a friend. So my to-do list is much smaller:

1. 10/15 budget
2. 10/31 budget
3. 11/15 budget
4. budget after BF moves in (paying 1/2)
5. Have fun with friend!

Roommates, food freebies & freezer (long & probably boring)

September 30th, 2011 at 03:53 pm

Happy Friday All! It's been a stressful week and I am looking forward to some relaxing this weekend.

Today was payday, so I budgeted out everything:

In cash, I have:
$40.00 towards Wine Tour
$77.49 towards Groceries
$90.00 Entertainment spending

I paid some bills:
Mortgage
Electric
Reimbursed mom for some Halloween Decorations

And I bought Groceries
-Acme $5.49
-Farmer's Market $10.30
-Walmart $29.46

My manager let us out early (WOOO) and I was able to get all my errands done & get home by 2:30. I had time to clean my room, prep food for the wine tour tomorrow, clean the bathroom and help the new roommate move a dresser upstairs. She has her stuff here, but will start actually living here tomorrow.

Once she left, my previous roommate came by & picked up the last of her stuff. She gave me the $75.00 she owed me and the keys. I did an inspection and found that she left a couple of things:

-1/2 bottle of Pino Grigio
-1 clean tupperware bowl & lid
-a bunch of salad dressings (1/2 used)
-1/2 jar of vodka sauce
-protein shake
-1 full large, unopened bottle of V8 Splash
-3 bags of frozen mixed veggies
-1 bag frozen steamer red potatoes
-1 bag frozen broccoli
-1 lb ground turkey burgers (frozen)
-1 bag broccoli & rice
-1 bag Tyson grilled chicken strips
-2 opened 1/2 full bags of veggies

Most of it usable - I will get rid of the opened veggies (freezer burn), vodka sauce & some of the dressings - but all the freezer food is good and healthy! So Yay Freebies. I then had to move all the food around in the freeze to free up 1/2 the space for the new roomie.

And since I did that, I took a freezer inventory: (boring, I know - but its really good for planning)

-1 1/2 bags turkey pepperoni
-2 - 4packs of breaded chicken patties
-6 servings chicken breast
-4 frozen turkey burgers
-1 container lime sherbert
-4 tilapia fillets
-2 1/2 bags Morningstar crumbles
-1/2 loaf bread
-4 veggie burgers
-4 servings turkey bacon
-1 bag no sugar added strawberries
-1 bag no sugar added blueberries
-1 bag broccoli
-1 pint blueberries
-8 bagel thins
-1 bag broccoli & rice
-3 bags mixed veggies
-1 bag grilled chicken strips
-4 pack water ice
-9 meatloaf muffins
-4 servings sloppy joe
-3 cinnimon raisin bagel thins

The rest of my night will be dinner, making the rest of food for the wine tour tomorrow, cleaning up the kitchen & dusting/vaccuming the empty room. Hope everyone has a good night!

No Spender, but definitely not due to doing nothing all day

September 4th, 2010 at 01:40 pm

I planned today to be a yard work day as I just borrowed my dad's weed whacker and hedge trimmer. The temperature has lowered significantly & I was able to open up the windows and turn off the a/c. I woke up on my own this morning (as opposed to an alarm) and was outside in the yard by 9:15 am.

So today, I:

-Mowed the lawn
-Weed whacked around deck and air conditioning unit
-Weed whacked walkway in backyard
-Raked and bagged the yard
-Cleared the deck of debris blown onto it.
-Trimmed shrub in front of my house. This was a BIG task as 1/2 of the bush is dead on the inside. Its not the prettiest now, but I need to borrow a saw from my dad to get rid of the bigger dead branches.
-Weed whacked grass growing in crack in driveway.
-Bagged up all trimmings (4 full bags full).
-Piled all the yard waste into the car, as well as my 2 big tomato planters full of dirt and dead plants. -Took it all to the free yard waste disposal site.
-When I got home, I vacuumed out the car VERY well.
-I took the hose & rinsed out all planters that are now empty
-Did 2 loads of laundry.

And that was by 1pm.

Then I:
-made lunch
-made jello shots for a BBQ tomorrow
-unloaded the dishwasher
-cleaned the kitchen
-vacuumed and mopped the floor
-polished the kitchen table
-watered the plants

I have a few more things on my to-do list, but I made myself a nice margarita first & sat down to take a break Smile

The rest of my list is to:

-replant a plant (DONE)
-bring up last load of laundry
-clean the living room (DONE)
-vacuum and dust the living room (DONE)
-take cleaned out planters to the basement now that they are dry (DONE)
-vacuum upstairs bathroom floor (DONE)
-take a shower (DONE)
-make a yummy dinner
-PLOP MYSELF ON THE COUCH, watch some movies and/or read a book. No other work for the rest of the night. Even though my bedroom is a mess and so is the upstairs bathroom. That could be tackled tomorrow.

At least I knocked off a TON of stuff of my to-do list! hee-hee

Ode to my dad and his home repair knowledge

July 7th, 2010 at 08:47 am

My father is a wealth of homeowner knowledge. He has had his own home for 30+ years as well as 25 years of experience repairing appliances as his job. Because of the nature of his work, he has had 2 major back surgeries & cannot do a lot of what he used to. But he is still willing to help me repair things & to pass the knowledge onto me.

For example, last night, he helped me replace the garbage disposal. He let me do a lot of the physical work & talked me through things. But I know that 1. I can do this myself 2. When it comes time to do it in the future, I will have the knowledge. Thanks Dad!

Hes taught me tips of the trade and how to use tools. He gifted me my own (pink) tool kit when I bought the house & has given me many hand-me-downs. Extra screwdrivers, hammers, a drill with bits. But mainly, hes given me the knowledge on how to repair things.

Since Ive bought the house, hes helped/taught me how to:
-paint a room
-replace the innards of a toilet
-fix a plank on the deck
-clean out dryer vents
-repair dryer issue
-walked me through a hot water heater leak
-change out a garbage disposal

Hes made sure Im not afraid to try things myself. I certainly can get help when I need it (like around major electrical jobs), but I have the basic knowledge to do things for myself when I can.

So THANKS DAD!

Making Do

July 3rd, 2010 at 05:56 pm

Well, while I am settling finances in preperation for buying a car, I am in a self-imposed spending freeze. I bought some veggies today, but other than that, am hoping to have no spending until at least Tuesday.

This weekend, I am carless. I will mostly be at home until my mom gives me a ride to a bbq tomorrow (in her neighborhood) and I will borrow her car tomorrow night to get to work Monday.

However, life happens & I had to find ways to make due.

1. I have a problem with the kitchen sink. My dad has promised to come over Tuesday night & help me fix it. In the meantime, it will drain small streams of water, but clogs the second a larger stream happens.

I have been handwashing dishes, then rinsing in a big mixing bowl. Then pouring the water in the bowl into my downstairs bathroom sink. Its not pretty, but it works.

2. My tomato plant is growing & I needed to stake it. Howver, I have no plant ties or twisty ties or anything like that. So I used gift ribbon. Its kinda pretty to be honest Smile



3. I am bringing a veggie tray to the bbq tomorrow and in addition, I wanted to bring a gift. So I am portioning off some of my mint & giving that as a gift. The host loves plants & recently gave me some aloe, so I know she will appreciate this.

4. I wanted a plant stand to put my Meyer Lemon tree nearer to the window. I re-used an old ikea table that was down the basement. Works perfectly!

Don't Want the Weekend to End!

June 27th, 2010 at 03:16 pm

Had a good relaxing weekend! Got a lot of things done yesterday, including finishing updating the downstairs bathroom. I still have to put baseboards on, but I'm waiting to have a little more cash to do that. It really won't cost much, but I have a lot of one-off expenses in the next month. I hope to put up pics of the bathroom tomorrow.

In addition, to what I already accomplished yesterday, I watched some movies, created a budget for the next payday (Wed), made cookies, made a big thing of pasta salad, planned my meals, did some gardening, cleaned up the cat area and got my hair cut.

My mom stopped by to see the bathroom & the hair - I got about 7 inches off. Not loving the cut, but the hairdresser did what I asked - I just impulsively asked her to cut it to my shoulders.

Tonight, I'm watching redbox movies (to be returned before 9 tonight). I will catch up on True Blood at 9 & am in bed by 10.

Monday, Tuesday & Wed should be no spenders. I'm hoping anyway Smile

Day off tomorrow!

June 10th, 2010 at 05:58 pm

I have the day off tomorrow. Just took a random day this Friday and the 25th. I thought about going to the beach, but decided not to since its a 2 hour drive & I have a bunch of stuff going on Sat/Sun. So I'm thinking I will do the beach the 25th.

The house is fairly clean, but my bedroom is a disaster. Moved stuff out of the spare room into my closet after my FIRST roommate moved in. So I need to do some deep organizing.

So my goals for tomorrow are as follows:

1. Go to home depot for a towel rack, toilet paper holder and misc painting supplies for the bathroom (I'm looking forward to this)
2. Deposit money at the bank
3. Take a hike at the state park (approx 3-4 miles)(can't wait for this one either!)
4. Grocery shop
5. Finish sanding in the bathroom. Put tape up for painting prep
6. Start organizing my bedroom
7. Browse Barnes & Noble and spend my $25 birthday gift card!

And tomorrow night, I'm going to my friends for a horror movie night. We're introducing her older daughter to some of the tamer ones. Should be a blast!

Tomorrow, I plan on making a Lunch Challange update post - anyone participating could give an update Smile

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

Prepping for the Roommate/Home Repairs (long)

January 7th, 2010 at 01:41 pm

So the roommate moves in Saturday. I bought some stuff to put rods in both the closets in his room. Then I took the longer rod back out because it wasn't stable. I tried using another type of rod, but that didn't work. Finally, my dad helped me find a bigger pole and helped me out by sawing it to the right size and reinstalling it for me today. Yay Smile He also helped me re-hang a mirror and move a dresser from the spare room to the basement. In trade, I bought him, my mom & my nephew take out at our fav place. $56.00 OUCH, but well worth the help.

Now I have 2 rods to return & I'm not sure if Lowes will accept them since they've been taken out of their wrapper. Although I still have the papers that came with them. I'm thinking that IF they don't, I might install one as a hanging rod from the ceiling in my closet. The closet is a long thin rectangle with built in cabinets on one side. I could hang clothes that need to air dry in there, so its a maybe Smile

Other than that, I've upgraded my cable at the request of the roomie. I'm charging straight rent, with utilities included and the proviso to revisit that rent at a later date. He is going to pay the extra amount of the cable bill since he is asking for the DVR and HD for his bedroom. I splurged and got a DVR for the living room. $6/month & that'll be my BIG present to myself. All other roommate funds go to the credit card.

And I found a trustworthy handyman. He said he'd replace an existing ceiling fan for me for $75.00. Which is priced reasonably for my area. I'll be going to look for a new fan tomorrow. This isnt really a roommate expense, but I might have continued waiting a bit longer.

In other news, I've blown it with some of my 2010 goals. But hey- if I get on track in the next few days, I'll be fine with it!

I've gotten off track with my 5 things, but here they were for today:

1. Call Drs office for results (DONE & they were good)
2. Order prescriptions (DONE & cheaper than I expected
3. Write up rental contract & print (DONE)
4. Dinner at home, pack snack for work (In Process)
5. Work part time job (Soon)

Finding a good handyman

January 5th, 2010 at 03:13 pm

LOL. Sometimes its who you know! My mom's old coworker's son in law does handyman work. And apparently is VERY reliable (from references).

I called to have him give me an estimate on replacing an existing ceiling fan & light in my living room. I'm just not comfortable tackling the job myself, so I'm willing to pay to have it done. He'll give me an estimate tomorrow afternoon, so hopefully it won't be too bad. In the mean time, I need to go shopping for a fan!

In other news. Although the roommate isnt officially moving in until Saturday, he has been bringing stuff by the house. He's very nice and polite. Since he's not officially moved into the house, he has called prior to stopping by to drop stuff off. AND he noticed the new rods in the closets and thanked me for installing them!

Today, I've spent $1.90 on a soda & soft pretzel and another $1.35 on a second soda. I really need to cut out the soda addiction. But in the meantime, I need to buy some cans so I don't pay for soda at work anymore!

Its inventory time at the part time job and crazy me signed up for extra hours. Because its a store and cannot close during normal hours, the inventory hours are 9pm to 6am. Its mandatory that I'm there for the inventory in my department (Thursday) until 2am and then they ask for ANY additional hours we can give them to help other depts.

So now I will be working the following:

Thursday 6pm to 2am
Friday (OFF)
Saturday 6pm to 2am
Sunday 10:45 am to 7:15pm
Monday 6pm to midnight.

Then I'm off the spare job until the following Sunday. But I'm still crazy.

Finding a good handyman

January 5th, 2010 at 03:08 pm

LOL. Sometimes its who you know! My mom's old coworker's son in law does handyman work. And apparently is VERY reliable (from references).

I called to have him give me an estimate on replacing an existing ceiling fan & light in my living room. I'm just not comfortable tackling the job myself, so I'm willing to pay to have it done. He'll give me an estimate tomorrow afternoon, so hopefully it won't be too bad. In the mean time, I need to go shopping for a fan!

In other news. Although the roommate isnt officially moving in until Saturday, he has been bringing stuff by the house. He's very nice and polite. Since he's not officially moved into the house, he has called prior to stopping by to drop stuff off. AND he noticed the new rods in the closets and thanked me for installing them!

Today, I've spent $1.90 on a soda & soft pretzel and another $1.35 on a second soda. I really need to cut out the soda addiction. But in the meantime, I need to buy some cans so I don't pay for soda at work anymore!

Its inventory time at the part time job and crazy me signed up for extra hours. Because its a store and cannot close during normal hours, the inventory hours are 9pm to 6am. Its mandatory that I'm there for the inventory in my department (Thursday) until 2am and then they ask for ANY additional hours we can give them to help other depts.

So now I will be working the following:

Thursday 6pm to 2am
Friday (OFF)
Saturday 6pm to 2am
Sunday 10:45 am to 7:15pm
Monday 6pm to midnight.

Then I'm off the spare job until the following Sunday. But I'm still crazy.

Personal Quirk & $8 from Craigslist

December 4th, 2009 at 05:02 pm

I am weird. I know it and tonight I reminded myself. Backstory: The night before Thanksgiving I had my nephew spend the night. Thanksgiving morning, I was running around and trying to get him ready. Someone (and I DONT think it was him) used the downstairs bathroom, washed their hands and then failed to shut off the water properly. So it ran at a small pace all day. Yes, ALL day. Thanks to me. Can't even blame the 8 year old!

So in penance and because I had just gotten my quarterly water bill & wanted to try to beat it this quarter, I have been handwashing 100% of my dished. Its amazing how much water I save. I really was getting lazy & using the dishwasher an awful lot. It was so not necessary.

So yeah, I am kinda punishing myself with dishes to make up for leaving the water run Smile

Second point of the post - I sold a duvet cover & 2 pillowcases that have pretty much remained unused since bought. I think I paid $20.00 for it a few years ago. Got $8.00 cash for it tonight

Tomorrow, I am selling a desk to someone from Craigslist. Its been used by me since my early teens, but has been sitting unused in the spare bedroom. So I figured I'd earn a few bucks & have someone else haul it out. I underpriced it, but I'm ok with that Smile $10.00

And now for tonights 5+ Things (which I previously listed). I've gotten pretty much nothing accomplished!

1. Send pics of birthday party to friend (ON HOLD)
2. Laundry (ON HOLD)
3. PIckup house. Already clean, just a little cluttered again due to a busy week (DONE)
4. Set aside 2 items for pickup from Craigslist (DONE)
5. Adjust budget. Need to rebalance checkbook, I'm off somewhere (ON HOLD)
6. Change sheets (ON HOLD)
7. Do nails (ON HOLD)
8. Pull out dresses for Christmas party tomorrow (WILL GET DONE TONIGHT)
9. Meal plan for upcoming week (WILL GET DONE TONIGHT)
10. Wardrobe Plan for the upcoming week (WILL GET DONE TONIGHT)
11. Catch up on Sons of Anarchy, Monk, Fringe and Supernatural (DONE)
12. Put out Christmas decorations (WILL PARTIALLY GET DONE TONIGHT)

Spending Spending

December 4th, 2009 at 04:31 am

Yesterday I did a lot of spending.

$3.00 Dollar tree for grocery items
$5.67 Acme - groceries
$14.64 Walmart - groceries
$48.99 BIIIG bag of cat food
$98.00 Wilm Trust Home Equity
$8.65 Old Navy (after $30.00 in gift cards).
$16.00 Dinner & drinks at book club

*A note about the Old Navy. My NEW but TEMPORARY part-time job requires an all black outfit. I have a few black shirts, mostly summer and one pair of appropriate black pants. So I went to Old Navy in search of an extra pair of pants. Was unable to find any that were worth it money-wise (i.e. under $39.00) and that fit right. I did find a black sweater, a black long sleeve tee and a pair of christmas pajama pants. For me, it was worth it. Both tops can be entered into my full time job's wardrobe and the christmas pants were just a bonus for me!

I have another $10.00 to Old Navy to spend after the 6th. I'll try again for pants.

Today, I hope that I am able to have a no spender. We'll have to see! lol.

Today's 5 (+) Things:

1. Send pics of birthday party to friend
2. Laundry
3. PIckup house. Already clean, just a little cluttered again due to a busy week Smile
4. Set aside 2 items for pickup from Craigslist
5. Adjust budget. Need to rebalance checkbook, I'm off somewhere
6. Change sheets
7. Do nails
8. Pull out dresses for Christmas party tomorrow
9. Meal plan for upcoming week
10. Wardrobe Plan for the upcoming week
11. Catch up on Sons of Anarchy, Monk, Fringe and Supernatural
12. Put out Christmas decorations

Finally sitting down to enjoy my weekend!

November 28th, 2009 at 04:32 pm

Wow! I REALLY cleaned today. With a few breaks here and there (as prescribed by Lux!)

I was able to clean my whole upstairs, scrub the bathroom, organize stuff for goodwill (and loaded up the car with it), do some heavy duty dusting on fans, walls, baseboards & trim. I did 3 loads of laundry (hung 2 to dry).

I also organized paperwork, filed & shredded. Put out a few Christmas items (from the dollar store). And lastly, I am sitting down to watch a movie from the library, maybe read a book or play on the computer.

I accomplished a lot and feel 100% better for having rid myself of a lot of clutter and dust Smile

Tomorrow, I have to drop some items off to my parents, my sister and a friend I borrowed a book from. I will be making a Good Will run and hitting the farmer's market for veggies.

I TENTATIVELY will tackle the basement, which needs to be cleaned, but not organized. However, I'm thinking the chances of that actually happening are pretty low! Haha Smile

Financially, I have my ducks in a row. My Nov 30th budget is done, I found a $4 check to deposit, and am working on keeping my Christmas spending under budget.

I also have an appointment for a part-time job at Macy's on Monday. Just temp work, but I could use it. Also, since the house is superclean, I took some pics of the place & am putting another roommate ad up on Craigslist.

Happy October :)

October 8th, 2009 at 05:31 pm

So its that time of year. I'm actually a little late putting out the Halloween decorations. I finally got around to it tonight! Woohoo!

Today I packed lunch and came home right after work. So today was a No Spender! I skipped the gym today and came home to have some more Me time. I made dinner at home, cleaned the kitchen, took 10 minutes to pick up the living room & then lugged stuff from the basement to decorate the house for Halloween. I'm not going to actually be in town for the holiday, so I"m not putting anything on the outside of the house.

Here's a few pics:

One of my favorite pieces from PartyLite. If you look close, you'll see the fish bone in the kitty's tummy!



And these are the kitty's counterparts:



And here's an obligatory picture of my naughty little kitty Jack. He knows he's not supposed to get on that table!




Today's 5 Things:

1. Put out Halloween decorations (DONE)
2. Pick up living room (DONE)
3. Pack lunch for tomorrow (DONE)
4. Review benefits options (DONE)
5. Pack library & gym bags for tomorrow (DONE)

Still working on that To-Do List!

September 27th, 2009 at 10:18 am

The big item - getting rid of mold in the basement - got scrapped due to poor weather planning. Its pouring and a dry basement would be best.

In between the gym, my newphew's baseball game and horror movie night with friends, I was able to knock off a LOT of items. Its like spring cleaning, but Fall cleaning instead.

I feel like I'm getting the house ready for the colder weather. Deep cleaning and airing out the house with the windows open possibly the last time before the winter.

And the only spending I've done this weekend, other than groceries is the dinner I bought for myself & my nephew Friday night. And I feel AWESOME that I got so much accomplished.

Below is a running tally of what I've accomplished this week.

Friday

- Clean junk drawer in kitchen
- Organize freezer, make list of items
- Wipe kitchen blinds
- Organize & wipe down pantry
- Meal plan for the week
- Grocery Plan for the week
- Entertainment budget/plan
- Make new workout playlist on MP3 player


Saturday

- Grocery shop
- Cleaned downstairs bath
- Clean kitchen, wash floor
- Wipe down refrigerator and cabinets
- Polish kitchen table

Sunday - Already accomplished

- Get produce from the Farmer's Market
- Vaccum stairs & upstairs hallway
- Clean spare bedroom, vaccum & wash floor
- De-hair the chair in the spare bedroom that the cats sleep on
- Clean bedroom, vaccum floor
- Clean upstairs bathroom & floor
- Polish wardrobe in bedroom

Still to do today:

- Laundry (edited - DONE)
- Budget
- Make meatloaf muffins (edited - DONE)
- Make blueberry muffins (edited - DONE)
- Mani/Pedi (edited - DONE)
- Organize garden stuff, store in basement (edited - DONE)
- Clean, dust & vaccum living room (edited - DONE)
- Wipe down living room blinds, dust fan (edited - DONE)
- Clean out car (edited - DONE)
- Put out fall decorations (edited - DONE)
- File/shred paperwork.
- Pack bag for gym (edited - DONE)
- Clean litter box

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

Lunch Challange Part 1 complete!

May 15th, 2009 at 02:18 pm

So my friend & I completed our little lunch challange. Both of us succeeded 100%! My friend was the one that said he'd fail the first week, but he pulled through. AND he suggested that we do it again next week, with 1 exception out of the 10 days.

So next week, we'll continue the challange. He can use his exception if he wants to, but I'm going to try not to. Money is tight & I'd rather go out at night or on the weekends than eat a sandwich from the cafe at work.

I've cashflowed the bee treatment ($190) this month, but it means less funds in other budget catagories such as groceries and entertainment.

So I've already made a meal plan and grocery list for today through the 30th, which I'm going to do my darnest to stick through. I leave the meal plan flexible because sometimes I just don't feel like eating what I planned to Smile

This weekend, my goal is to do a lot of free or nearly free things Smile

I do have a birthday party at a bar tonight. I plan on eating dinner before going, buying only a beer or two and leaving early. I'm pretty beat and want an early night.

Tomorrow, I have my nephew's baseball game - as long as the weather holds. After, I'm supposed to hang out with some friends. I'm gonna try to convince them to grill out for dinner & watch some movies.

As for entertainment - I have several movies from the library & a bunch of housework on the to-do list. I certainly don't have a problem with things to do this weekend Smile

And a final note - I'm on day 15 of no heat or air!

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.

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:

Home Repairs

April 20th, 2009 at 07:05 pm

Have some home repairs coming up. Estimates for the Carpenter Bee Removal: $185.00 for 1 treatment. This will get rid of the bees temporarily. The bug guy, which I and my family have used before, even said as much.

I figured I'd have to replace my wood soffits (the underside of the overhang from the roof) with aluminum. But the bug guy offered an alternate solution. He said its easy to have someone wrap the soffits with aluminum or something like that. So I have someone coming out to give me a quote on that Wednesday. No idea on the cost of this yet.

A kink in the plan is that the bees love wood and while that would seal the soffit, there's a wood panel across the back of the house that is used to attach the retractable awning. I would need that wood wrapped and I don't know if they would do that for the wood panel as well as the soffits. I'll talk to them when they come for the estimate.

In addition, there are a few smaller projects that I've been putting off.

-Replacing the ceiling fan. I don't feel comfortable tackling this myself, so I'd have to call in a handy man
-Replacing the garbage disposal

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.

Housekeeping & Layoff Rumors

April 14th, 2009 at 06:02 pm

Well, I've been pretty lax with housekeeping this week. Part of the problem is, once again, I'm sick. I sleep a LOT. Or sit on the couch and 'rest'.

So my kitchen is pretty darn messy. I cleaned it up yesterday, but was unable to wash the floor because my mop has disintegrated and I was too lazy to buy a new one. I couldn’t stand it anymore, so I got down on my hands & knees with rags & washed it by hand. Took maybe 10 minutes tops. Might hold off on getting the mop!

I'm having friends over for a LOST party. We have dinner, catch up with each other, and watch the show. Very fun! But first, I have to get up the energy to clean the living room!

Onto other news, lots of rumors going on at work again. Possible layoffs or changes in my position from Exempt to Non-Exempt. Lots of higher level Organizational Changes, but nobody is talking directly to my department. Which makes me very, very nervous. People are talking about it all day long, which makes for a very stressful work day. Hopefully tomorrow will be better.

I am just gonna keep my head down, tune the negative people out, do my work well and try to stand out for all the positive reasons.

If something were to happen, its likely to happen either tomorrow or next Tuesday. Those are the rumors! We will see.

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

Whew

March 15th, 2009 at 06:04 pm

After I had lunch with my friends, I lounged for a bit and then got cleaning. I had cleaned the kitchen & living room (the downstairs) for the guests, but the upstairs was a disaster. So I cleaned the bathroom, the bedroom and the hall. The only place I did not completely get to is the spare room, which will be completed this week.

I made dinner & cleaned up the kitchen again. And now I'm beat Smile

I did pack food for tomorrow, a mish-mash of things I had in the fridge/pantry. So tomorrow, I'll have 2 apples, oatmeal, carrots, pasta salad and sloppy joe over pasta. LOL. I WILL be going to the grocery store tomorrow.

Had to turn on the heat.... booo!

October 23rd, 2008 at 02:30 pm

Had to turn on the heat tonight. The living room has been 61/62 in the afternoon/evening, probably a little lower in the night. Outdoors has been about 45-50 degrees. Tonight temps are supposed to go WAY down and while I've been pretty comfortable, I'm sick right now and the cold is messing with my sinuses. Sinus AND an ear infection. Lucky me.

So, I'm going to turn on the heat to 65 and I'll turn it down when I go to bed. I've put the down comforter on my bed, have pulled out the sweaters and I'll be setting the programmable thermostat to kick in right before I get up for work, to go lower during the day & kick back in right before I get home from work. Hopefully it won't turn on too much.

Anyway, I'm just trying to make it through work tomorrow and then I'm on vacation for 9 days! I have plans for Christmas shopping and doing some stuff around the house. But first I have to rest up and get better.

Tonight, I'm watching The Strangers. I love, love, love horror movies. A friend had rented it from Blockbuster & offered it to me to watch. All I have to do is return it to the Blockbuster, which is right near my work. Easy to do & I got a free movie out of it!



Looking at Electric usage and another vet visit

June 27th, 2008 at 05:47 pm

So its been a full week since the little kitten got declawed. And last night, as I was preparing stuff for my trip to the beach, I noticed little bloody pawprints on the hallway carpet. It looks like he pulled one of his stitches and had been too active, which reopened a wound.

Poor little guy was apparently in no pain though. He was still running and jumping around and I was able to clean his paw with no problem. Thank goodness, I would have felt terrible if he was hurting.

Anyway, the beach trip is now postponed until tomorrow and I headed to the vet this morning. Luckily, there is no infection and I just have to keep the kitten confined for a few more days. The best part- the vet didn't charge me for the visit. Thank goodness, I really couldn't afford another vet bill right now.



In other news, I just received my electric/gas bill. Both are supplied by the same company, which is how my state does things. Anyway, the new bill is 69.87, down from 71.84 from last month.

And because I'm a big nerd, I looked up the past electric/gas bills to analyze them. Since I bought the house in October of 2006, I've paid a total of $1,730.72 for electric and gas. Which averages out to $108.17 per month.

I'm doing my own version of budget billing. I've budgeted $119.00 monthly for electric/gas. When my bill is less, I'm socking it away in an ING account and when the winter months hit, I have a surplus to use for those higher bills. I'm thinking about increasing it a bit since its likely that prices for electric/gas will continue to rise.

I am also working on conserving more energy. If I do get that roommate, the usage will go up, but I've already allocated a portion of the rent to cover potential increased utilities, which are electric/gas, water and sewer (which is based on water usage).

One more thing that I did is compare bills for the same month in the prvevious year. For example, this month was $0.82 more than this month last year. And the prior 4 months (Feb-May) were under what they were in 2007. The heavy winter months this year were higher than last years though. And keep in mind, I'm just comparing the bills, not the usage.


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