Thursday, May 31, 2007

Day 6....

of being good...not quite working out how I wanted it to.

My first budget back-on-track fix em thing was my eating out all the time. I managed to spend my $40 at the store like I was suppose to. Then I bought 2 cokes (argg I guess that's better than the 12 I could of bought - I'm trying not to drink the stuff at all) and two lunches. And snacks when they were changing my oil. And just a few things when I ran in to get cat food. So I'm $25 off budget already.

And I also told myself, no new junk in the house! Ummm that isn't working out either. My boss called me and told me to come to her next door neighbors house to see their pre-yard sale stuff. I spent $68. yup $68. Fantastic deals tho, lemme explain!

1- I spent $20 on a 1.5 yr old white wood crib for my good friend's niece who is going to be pretty cash poor when the baby pops out this Nov. It's a nice crib and they included the mattress (I'm not sure if you are suppose to use someone else's mattress but they threw it in). There is one spot on the wood that can easily be covered with a bumper. If I didn't already have my crib I would of used it myself, it's that nice :)

2- I bought a Pottery Barn diaper bag. They got it for the dad, its chocolate brown with light blue insides. Then he ended up buying a leather manly looking thing and didn't use it. Brown and light blue are 2 colors I really like together so I am happy :) I have a gorgeous hot pink diaper bag in a CHinese print too, but it's not going to hold up, I can see it now. This is my pratical bag and I really like it. It is last year's style and are you ready for this...$59 plus tax plus $11 shipping = $75.61 woowie! - Revised - I like this a lot but it's going for $45 on ebay right now, I am pretty sure this sucker is being listed!

3- Bottles! The mom breastfed and went straight to sippy cups. She got bottles as a gift, 10 of the airvent crooked bottles. Those were $10, I thought a good deal since they are $25 a set at TRU and got two sets :) She also threw in some sippy cups and the dishwasher parts and pieces holder :)

4- Shoes! I know it's silly to buy shoes when I don't know how big her feet will be, but they were cute and all but the bunny slippers were new :)

5- Padded pink hangers - 10 of them that will look cute with her nicer outfits on them, still in the package :)

6- a chenille bunny! It's so cute and matches her bedding :)

7- 13 baby outfits and a bunny blanket (oh I know I didn't need any baby clothes, but they were cute and I'll pass them to my friend's niece if she has a girl)

So not too shappy for $68? Really $65 because I bought a beaded hippy purse for $3. New, this stuff would of been close to $500. See, $65 is a bargain! :)

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

What is blue and goes

CLOMP CLOMP CLOMP on the hardwood? shiney new flippers! I am a happy happy girl, someone returned a snorkel set to Wal-mart (unused I quadrupled checked :D) with my size flippers and everything!

The best part about it, the only other set I could find in my price range was $72 with shipping online.

Wal-mart price? $29.98. I hope the mask doesn't leak or anything. It's clear with blue trim. My snorkel is blue with an orange tip. It also has a backpack type of bag to keep it all together. Woohoo

So I decide to break in my flippers tonight. I chased the cat and scared the poo out of him (he's not impressed). After that exertion I crash on my sofa, put my feet up and here they are!

(boy are my feet huge!) (boy I need to caulk those seams in the wood on my ceiling!)

(wookie no like flippers, mommy not funny)

4 more months?

Families were matched with their kiddos up until Nov 7th 2005. That gives me 28 paperwork days until my referral.

I am thinking if they keep up with the small batches I'll have an Oct referral. It would of been nice to meet my baby before I turned 33 since I've been waiting in line for her since I was 29. I guess now I am just hoping to be home for Christmas!

Congrats to my bloggy friends Elisa, Jarrod & Thomas with a LID of 11-7-05!!!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Being Good - Day 3
I have found my Walgreens rebate receipts and the dates weren't scanned into the system correctly because I bought a bunch of stuff that day and my receipt was too long for their scanner. I guess there is a limit. Anyway, my and my dad's wasn't processed so I am faxing those in this week. That's $50!

If you would like to learn how to do Walgreens rebates check out the pro at:

I also checked up on my mouse and keyboard rebates for the superman stuff I bought in Jan. This rebate company...not too keen on them and won't buy anything that they process again. They asked for my invoice and my freight slip. Sent them both. Then they say I didn't send an I have a photo copy of the complete package that I sent to them, I'm not dumb, it's $45 of stuff. So I send a PDF of the invoice (look at me getting all fancy) and they accepted it. Told me it would be EIGHT weeks for my rebate checks. Sheez.

I have passed up 2 going out to eat opportunities already. Instead I made fish. I took 2-3 cups of cabbage, a chopped up carrot, a little bit of onion, milk & 1 ounce of pepper jack cheese and cooked that all together. Then I added the canjun flounder fillets (already cooked from the grocer, how handy!). I put it over rice. Ok, I know that sounds weird but it was pretty darn good. My only complaint is my cheese didn't melt, instead it sort of separated in the heat. A better melting cheese like a swiss processed single (BTW, Kroger brand on these is very tasty) would of made the dish look much prettier. But anyway, good enough to try again with the other fillet later on in the week. Today is perch day. Perch looks pretty pitiful next to a flounder fillet, they are just little strips. I thought about making a rice stuffing and putting the two pieces together with toothpicks and baking it all. I used to eat something similar at a steak house years ago but I think they used flounder.

Last night I made out my 2007 guesstimate for spending and what I think 2008 is going to look like. You would think it would be daycare running at $4800 ish for the year (eeck!) would be my biggest expense. I will get a subsidy from work, 15% if I remember correctly. But no, guess what my biggest expense is? All those trips I have planned. I didn't know the total costs until I put it down on paper. I did a list of what I wanted to do (5 day cheap cruise in Feb, 7 days in Myrtle, 10 at Disney, 14 day cruises at the end) because I wanted to max out my vacation time..umm having a good time :) This is what it came out to:
5 day cheap cruise - hmm not so cheap when you add it up for 2 people. $940 basic costs - this will probably be cut. The parking, the gas to get to FL and the room on the way down is what takes this from cheap to not so cheap.
Myrtle Beach for a week - room is $73 with tax split with my mom so $255 for me and kiddo. Food is cheap, we'll cook in the room and eat out 4 times at $10 places. So even if we go crazy nuts, there is no way this trip will be over $500, prob closer to $400. It's a keeper!
Disney - with free dining, it's such a good deal. BUT will they have free dining? Will I be able to find someone to go for 10 days? Why 10 days do you ask? Because after you buy 6 days of tickets, additional days are like $2 more per day. For example, $520 for a split 6 day package. $680 for a spilt TEN day package. Nice eh? Natalie is free of course. You can spend just partial days in the park and actually relax. Plus 10 days really allows you to experience Disney because you have all kinds of time to eat in the resorts, where the best food is. And TEN DAYS OF FIREWORKS! That is worth the cost right there, I love fireworks. I can do this trip super duper cheap at $750 with no toys or trinkets. I'd say closer to $1000 tho is a better guess. So worth keeping if I can find a travel buddy!
THE Cruises - no way I'm dropping this. I know it costs a ton but I'm already paying on it ($200 down woohoo). It's $2100 for the basic cruise stuff, passage, parking, gas, motel the night before. But I know it's going to end up being a lot more. I made a list of everything I like to do on a ship and what I'd like to do at each port (yes, it's 500 days away and I know what I want to do) and the est cost. Taking a 2 yr old is going to save me a ton, she can't boat snorkel, she's not interested in the slots and she doesn't drink fruity drinks. So I won't either lol. I am guessing this will be close to $2800 for the 2 of us. Yikes - but a keeper.

Does anyone else make out spending charts like me?

Memorial Day

I know people are upset about the war this Memorial Day so I wanted to share something nice that happens on a weekly basis at work.

We have a troop committee. Ran by the all powerful (and sweet!) Linda, she collects donations from all over the Tri-Cities to send to our troops. She was able to get Citi's backing on the project and they have been paying shipping.

Now that might not sound like a big thing but Linda is a powerhouse when it comes to mailing boxes. And these aren't teeny boxes either, some weigh 20 pounds!

Last time I checked, Citi had mailed 800 of Linda's boxes (and I will double check that number on Tuesday!). Folks that's like 10 grand in postage. Yay Citi! Yay Troops! YAY LINDA!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Too Darn Cute :)

30 Days of being good!

Day One:
I decided not to wait until June 1 to start my good girl budget. And what is weird, when I let the budget slip, I let other things slip too. My car is 1100 miles over oil change time, I NEVER do that. My blockbuster movies have been here for 2 weeks not watched. I haven't done Walgreens or CVS deals for 2 months easy. I've not followed up on the Walgreens rebates that never came. I've been pretty wasteful and I feel bad about that. So here I go:

I'm packing my lunches and not eating out for 30 days. I am not buying soda at work. My food budget is $40 per week for everything, plenty of $$. Check out what I got last night for $40.30 because of their memorial day stock up sale...
3 cartons of non concetrated good OJ for $1.26 each
Milk, $3.29
French Bread $1.50
3 1-pound bags of tator tots $.76 each (my junk food yum lol)
Brownie Mix $1.00
Oil 1.99
Pasta $.89
Asian Sesame sauce 2.79
BBQ Sauce .74
Grillmates Seasoning 1.19
Bananas .67
Carrots 1.69
Cabbage 1.19
Onions 1.12
Organic Garlic 2.29 (the only kind they had, I just wanted one, not 6 ggrrr)
5 pounds of "rotten" tomatoes to eat this weekend or freeze $.99
4 packs of 4 seafood eggrolls (sooo good) marked down from $4 to $.99 each woohhooo
1.5 pounds of Mahi Mahi (marked down from $10.99 a pound!) for $3.48
Almost a pound of perch for $.88
.75 pounds of Cajun flounder filets $1.41

See now I don't think that is bad at all. I will mix it in with things I have already and I have already repacked the fish so I can eat it throughout the month. I love to shop my favorite store on Fridays because of the fish mark downs, sometimes I think I'm the only one who buys it.

I think $40 is reasonable and that was what I was spending on take out/lunches a week so this is an improvement. Now I'm off to hunt down my Walgreens receipts! Bye!

Friday, May 25, 2007

I need to vent

Ok, I got a call today, one of the litle girls was "mean" and they wanted to give it back. No biggie, not every kitten matches up to it's new family and I don't want any of my kids heading to the pound.

So I head to their house after work to pick her up. We walk through the main part of the house and head to the basement. I think ok, basement is fine, it's pretty big. We walk past the areas that are halfway finished into a small dirty room where the LAWNMOWER is stored. When we opened the door it about knocked me over, the smell of gasoline and oil. I didn't see the kittens anywhere and they rolled back the mower and they were there. I about croaked.

Dirty and scared, my poor kittens were living in filth. I took the solid black one home and made my mom call the guy since she works with him. She told him I was really upset (I chose not to say anything when I was there, when I get going, I get going and my mom does have to work with him) and he told her I could come get the kitten (with his 6 year old crying in the background..classy huh?). Then his wife came on the line and said they'd move her upstairs. When I was there I told them they could bathe her that she was used to it and they looked at my like I was a moron. They said they didn't know they could bathe a cat. Why not? They like to be clean. Common sense right?

I'm just ill about the whole thing. I don't understand people who don't take care of their pets. It's easy, if you wouldn't do it to a baby, don't do it to an animal. Keep them clean, warm, feed and love on them. It's really easy.

So anyway, the kitten count is up to 2 now. She's happy as a clam with her brother. They are in the hallway beating each other up. I swear, I've never see a kitten so excited when he saw her again. He was shaking and it took .0001 seconds for him to pounch on her, pin her and lick her. It was so cute it hurt.

But I have a knot in my stomach about the other kitten. I just want her to be happy :(

P.S. Jack Jack loves me now!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


Look at what I bought tonight at my local theatre! I have to wait until the end of July to go get it. How cool am I? (ok, so if you are 12, I am the coolest thing ever....anyone over 12 probably thinks I'm a moron :) )

Yes it is as big as it looks, like 10 feet wide. My office is 10 feet wide so there goes a whole wall.


Monday, May 21, 2007

Kittens Kittens EVERYWHERE

A couple of days after my trip I caught three of the wild outdoor cat's kittens. They were 5-6 weeks old. All hissy and spitty, they didn't NOT like me at all.

Two girls, one black and white short haired and a long haired solid black. Plus one little runt short haired solid black boy. He looks exactly like Rocket, his older brother. Come to think of it, they look a LOT like all the other crazy cats around here.

I was able to tame the two little girls pretty easily, they liked to be petted. Yesterday I took them to Mike's house (a man that works with my mom) and his little girl Mattie named one Beauty and the other Beautiful. Perfect! By the time I left she was carrying them around in a baby blanket, they looked miserably happy :)

But this little boy is a mess. He hisses at me so much it's funny. He'll get on a spree and I think he's going to pass out. Sometimes he'll pause in his hissing spree and grab a drink of water then run back to where he was and keep hissing. But he's all show, when I pick him up he doesn't bite or claw, I think he LIKES being held but won't admit it. Men.

So anyway, I took the little bugger outside today to see if the mother cat would take him back. I can't get him fixed until he's 5 months old and he hates me so I thought this was a good solution. So we are hanging out on the front porch and along come the 10 milion cats I feed. Generation 1 - the original 4. Generation 2 - the 3 babies I bottle fed plus their rotten brother I was never able to catch. Then low and behold here comes Maggie, otherwise known as ho-cat (and I know that's not nice but good grief she's a kitten making machine, she's getting fixed in a week hooray!). All the big cats take their turn at growling at the baby (by now I've named Baby Jack Jack..he's not impressed) and Maggie didn't recognize him and that made me feel like poo. But Jack Jack is playing in my LR now. I guess he likes me now :) If I can get him tame enough I'll find a home for him too. With Maggie fixed, the three kittens gone...heck I might have ONE year where I don't have a litter of kittens. WOOOHHOOOOO

Update - in the 2 minutes it took me to upload this post Jack Jack hates me again. He's back in the bathroom in my vanity hissing at me. Thhhhpppppttt!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Back on Budget - yucko

Ok I took a break from being my normal frugal self. I got two vacations and a new wardrobe out of it hehehe

But back I go to my real world, today I made "The List". The list consists of where I want to be by the end of 2008 with mini goals in between. Items on the list include:

1 - where I want to travel: I love cruising and I am going to try to cruise 2-3 times a year in the off season. The Triumph will be my third cruise for this year and next year I have 2 booked at the end of 2008. I have a short trip planned to Myrtle Beach and another one to Disney for free dining (if it's offered - this trip is more for mommy than Natalie, I love Disney!) in 2008 in the 19 month cruise gap (waiting for the kiddo to be 2 so she can play in Camp Carnival if she wants).

2- fun things I want to do with Natalie when she's home: things like area parks, setting up a mini play ground at the house, taking her to g-pops to swim in the pool and going on trips with her itchy feet mommy.

3- my emergency fund: do you have one? What happens if you loose income for a month? For 2 months? I had an outrageous emergency fund planned but it was taking away from my quality of life. So I loosened it up and it's working much better for me. By the end of 2007 I'll have 1/2 of my yearly salary in an emergency fund. In 2008 I plan to really bump up my 401K from 11% to 25%. Sad to say I make so little I'll still be under the 13K limit with a 25% contribution BUT that will help me out so I won't have to work until I'm 70 - woohoo!

4- home fixer upper stuff: I'm to the landscaping part of the program. I want to put those stacking stone tings all around the house and add lots of flowering bushes and bulbs. I am pricing it all out tomorrow. The Home Depot is running a 12 month free financing promotion for $299 or more, I guarantee my fancy rocks will qualify as "more".

5- My car fund: or lack of car fund. Mine has 85K miles on it, it's time to stop stealing money from the car fund to go on cruises (twitch twitch)

Ok so now everything is right with the world, I have lists again. I promise to cool it on the clothes buying and the eating out. My lunches taste way better than the places near work. I promise to start bargain shopping again and to hunt for deals. I promise to start the freebies at Walgreens and CVS again. I promise to go through my rebate book and find out what has come and what hasn't and follow up on it. I promise to be good! :D

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

I'm back from the Legend

I'm back in one piece - GREAT vacation, would do it again in a heart beat. Blogger mixed up my pictures in the upload so it's all out of order.

From the art auction. $1400, way out of my budget but hand painted oil. Pretty huh?

A picture of the galley from the tour. Everything but the floor is stainless.

Dragon ice sculpture from the Grand Gala midnight buffet.

Costa Maya - such a pretty part of the world.

The Valor and Legend in port togather in Costa Maya.

The best cake from the Gala buffet - it's pineapple and angel food I think.

Costa Maya

A nice shot of the Valor as we were flipping a u-ie to go to the other side of the dock.


The Valor again as we were pulling out.

Costa Maya - the Legend - peek a boo!

Mahi Mahi (or perch)

Cozumel Water - this is why you cruise!


Sunset 4th day.

The Valor through our dining room window.

Red Snapper - my favorite meal on the ship.

Tada! To figure out nickels to dollars, take the zero off = 80. Divide that number by 2 and you have dollars. $40 kaching!

A blurry picture of the duck.

From one of the shows. This guy balanced all sort of stuff on his noggin.

Cozumel again - I told you blogger messed up my pics!

Our head waiter JP - such a happy guy!

Leaving Tampa

Some stairwell art

One of the pools.

Lamb - my second favorite meal.

More stairwell art

Baby news - I had my home study update before I left. I am getting my police clearance letter this week and getting refingerprinted next week. It takes 8 weeks to get it back, I think I'll have my referral in Sept!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Hello from Grand Cayman!!

How cool is this? Free Internet in a little store. The trip is fantastic!!

Got to go, this is their nickel, bye! - Kim