<< Back to all Blogs
Login or Create your own free blog
Layout:
Home > Archive: June, 2010
 

Archive for June, 2010

Love Costco

June 30th, 2010 at 04:16 pm

Yesterday afternoon I went to Costco for a few items. They had 4GB memory cards (and other sizes) in a two pack for $10 off. I needed memory for my camera. As a plus when you bought the cards you also get 100 prints from the photo department for free. I also bought trail mix, TP, PT, and some meat. When I got home and started putting thing away I realized I didn't put the cards in the truck. I had left them in the cart!!! Oh big crap! I put baby back in the truck, rounded up DD and drove back to Costco now at 5:15pm. Thankfully traffic wasn't too bad. I couldn't believe I hadn't picked them up. Just left $30 sitting there. Stupid. I thought I might get lucky and find my cart still in the parking lot because I was parked a little further out. I got there - No luck. I went to the membership desk and told them what had happened. He directed me to the "front end" manager who gave me a new package without blinking an eye! Big Grin WAHOO! Made my day. Thank you Costco!

Little Updates

June 29th, 2010 at 06:35 pm

Having a nice summer here.

Came home from my trip Friday. Surprise! My DH had a birthday/anniversary present for me, a digital camera! It is a Lumix. Blue; my favorite color! Wish he hadn't spent the money, but money he'd been stashing away for it. I'm excited to be getting some great pics of the family.

Saturday DH, DS and I went to our county fair with friends and their 15 month old DD. Our DD was still traveling with Grandma. Our friend has family that works for the fairgrounds in the maintenance department, so we didn't have to pay! Big Grin We enjoyed looking at the exhibits and spent a little money on food. I love fair food! Corn Dogs, Funnel Cakes and Giant Cinnamon Rolls. Yum. So we saved $30 on admission and spent $23 on food. The weather was beautiful, about 85F with a breeze. Glad we went on Saturday, because Sunday was 95F.

Sunday we stayed in under the AC. So NSD! We watched a movie, played with DS, took care of some chores and BBQed for dinner. My mom and DD came home that night.

Monday I treated my mom to a pedicure for her birthday. DD and I had our toes done also. $70 total. I had two doctor appointments in the afternoon. OB and derm. $0 co-pay and $30 co-pay. The dermatologist snipped off a mole and sent it in for biopsy. Just a precaution, I do have history of skin cancer in the family.
Baby DS went to daycare for two and a half hours. $10. He seemed comfortable and happy with GB, the daycare lady. Good!

Started my DH on a weekly cash "allowance". $30. Although I don't call it that with him, don't want him to feel like a child! He uses the debit card almost daily for lunch or snacks while he's out of the office working. This may be a challenge for him because I don't think he really realizes how fast his little purchases add up.

Good Feelings

June 23rd, 2010 at 10:41 pm

I just saved a baby bird. I feel so good.. Big Grin (More about that in a minute)


I am gone from home with both DD and baby DS to visit family. Monday we drove to my parent's house, about a 2.5 hour trip. It went well. Yesterday, my mom, myself and the kids drove to my grandparents house. They live very close to the Oregon/California border, about 3 hours from my parents. They hadn't seen the baby yet and we suprised them! They were SO happy to meet Great Grandson #6! I took my grandma to a quick doctor appointment and did her grocery shopping with her. My dad joined all of us after work for dinner and then we came back to my mom/dad's house. Long day, but so wonderful to spend time with family. My grandma tried to slip me some cash for driving her around. I couldn't take it. I am glad to just help her. She's my grandma!! Smile

About the birdie...
Today, my mom and DD started out for their trip to the coast. As they were leaving they spotted a baby bird on the lawn. Barely any feathers and it's little eyes were still closed. My DD was saying to me, "Mama, you have to do something! You can't leave it here. You have to take care of it." And I just felt so bad for the little guy/gal laying there moving it's naked little wings and kicking it's tiny little legs. I will admit I am probably a little more emotionally attached to babies right now because I have a new baby myself. I didn't want mama bird to lose her baby. Thinking about it made me heart sick..

Now, in our area we have people who do bird rescue or care for wildlife. You just pick up the phone or drive them in to a center. But, this is a little town. So I knew my best bet was to try to find the nest in the tree and put baby back. I thought I might have found it, but I wasn't sure, and it was 'up there'. Thankfully, it wasn't way out on a limb and was closer to the main trunk. I saw mama and dada bird next to baby on the ground trying to figure out what to do.
I tried parking our truck under the tree and then standing on the roof to climb on to the tree, but once on the tree I couldn't reach high enough. So, I located a ladder. I should say I am home alone (at my parents house) by this point with DS and my black lab. And I should say I don't do ladders! (My DH has all sizes of ladders and will zip up and down them all day, but he isn't here.) In order to reach the nest I had to use a 24 foot extention ladder. I managed to set it up good a solid. I said a little prayer. Tucked baby birdie into my bra and I up I went. Smile Snugged him back into the nest and waited in the house by the window to watch. Within five minutes mama and dada took over! Big Grin
Yay! Warm and fuzzy feelings!

Now off to take care of my own hungry little birdie.

Dad's Day

June 20th, 2010 at 11:16 pm

Having a real nice day here at my house. Hoping all of you are too! Smile

DD made a mini photo book for DH with some of her favorite pics of them together. And we gave him a $15 Cold Stone ice cream gift card from DD and baby DS. Made a breakfast quiche with fresh fruit on the side for breakfast this morning. The quiche is such a tasty treat, yet I only seem to make it once a year. Not hard, but it does take a bit of time. It has hashbrowns for the "crust" and today we used ham, onion and cheddar cheese, along with the eggs and cream, for the filling. So good!!! You can make the same thing. (Because I'm too lazy to type in my exact recipe) go to: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/hash-brown-quiche-recipe/index.html
I use a whole stick of butter with the hashbrowns. I use more eggs. I also find I need to bake at 350F for more like 45 minutes to get it done. We top with sour cream.
DH is BBQing ribs right now for dinner later. Yummy...

I've managed to get stuff done today too. Some laundry, dishes, paid a few bills and gave both doggies their bath. Think I'll take the rest of the day off. Big Grin

Oohh, I love July! (..and October and December)

June 18th, 2010 at 07:58 pm

Putting July's budget together and guess what? My DH gets an extra paycheck! He is paid every Friday, so I love five Friday months. Big Grin I knew it was coming, but excited just the same.

Escrow Account

June 18th, 2010 at 06:54 pm

Oh *groan* we received a notice from our mortgage company that we have a projected shortage in our escrow account. This means our monthly mortgage payment is increased by $137. *groan*
About a year ago they sent me a fat check for the overage, like $1200. So silly! But what'da goiní do?!
I know we could take care of paying these things ourselves, but having an impound account seems like a better idea for us right now. I mean, we'd just have to set aside the same amount each month anyway.

Here's a question: In my sidebar with regard to the debt payments. Do you think I should leave the starting balance posted and bracket the current amount? Or should I just update as I payoff? What would you all like to see? I can't decide. (Boy, my life is full of hard choices isn't it? lol.)

Walking

June 17th, 2010 at 07:17 pm

Met a friend and went for a two and a half mile walk with baby in the pack and DD on her bike. It was nice to get out this morning before it got too warm. We started at 8:30am and I thought it might be too cool, but it was just right, 68F. I had to take my sweatshirt off because the place we were at is mostly full sun. Thankfully there was a little breeze.

My friend is having her backyard landscaped right now. Or I should say hardscaped. It's going to be all stone and pavers. It's a pretty small (tiny) yard. You know big house on a small lot developement. She said the work should be done by next week. Cost: about $16,000. :0
I guess I'll move professional landscaping to the bottom of our home improvement to do list. lol.

What would you do? Buy a new fridge?

June 16th, 2010 at 11:41 pm

We have a friend who works at Sears. I saw her yesterday and showed her baby DS. She showed me a new refrigerator. It is one of the models I had admired on past visits. It's 'last years' model, the floor display. It is on clearance. More than 50% off, like $1100 less. 0% Sears card financing for a year.

We are going to need a new fridge - at some point. Our current fridge is a 1991 model that came with the house. I suppose it will die sooner rather than later. Should we replace it now while we can get a great deal on the fancy fridge I really like? Or wait until it dies and buy at (likely) full price?

Updates on This & That

June 16th, 2010 at 06:48 pm

Busy past few days! My little sister (23 yo) came for a two night visit. Very nice to have the extra pair of hands to help with baby DS. It gave DH and I a welcome break from diaper changes! Big Grin She took DD to the beach on Monday for some special Auntie time. The weather was so gorgeous.

Did some shopping. Monday morning I went grocery shopping. $190. We live center to every grocery store in town. Lucky, Raley's, Safeway and Whole Foods. We've found that prices are really about the same on the stuff we buy at each store. Well not Whole Foods! Ha, we like never go there. Mostly we shop Safeway. My sis works for Safeway so when I use her 'club card' number I get an additional 10% off all Safeway brands. I really like their Eating Right frozen meals for lunch. Add some fruit or a yogurt on the side to go with it and it's just right. Plus quick and healthy. Anyhow, these frozen meals are $2 each, but with the 10% only $1.80!! Wahoo! You can't beat that. I think they're a good deal at $2, much cheaper than fast food.
Yesterday my sis, I and the kids had breakfast out. $28. Then she wanted to go to the mall in the next city. I haven't been past the Sears store and into the mall in like two years, or more? Bought vacuum bags at Sears. $17. Hand soaps at Bath & Body Works. $11. Then we went to the other mall, yup there are two in town. Old Navy I bought a skirt for me, shorts and capris for DS, flip flops for sis and a tank top on clearance. The tank top was $1.38! Wahoo!! Old Navy total $56. It's hard for me to spend money on clothes (sometimes).

Baby is six weeks old today. How quickly time goes. I have six more weeks of maternity leave. We have set up daycare with an older woman who has watched DD since she was little. DS daycare cost: $4 per hour.

To all SA moms: My Avent manual breastpump I bought works very nicely. I still need more time getting used to it, but like it better than a loud electric pump. Quiet and gentle. I would recommend it.

To moms and dads: Remember to try diapers.com. Use my referral code: SWEE9706. Save $10.

Lazy Day

June 13th, 2010 at 03:43 am

It was hot here today, 94F, the AC felt so good! Big Grin
A very low key day. Stayed cool inside with baby DS and DH. DD played with a friend in the AM and splashed in the pool with the neighbor kids this PM.
For dinner we had BBQ cheeseburgers with Sandwich Thins for buns. Thank You Monkey Mama! They were perfect. I am not sure I would have bought them had I just saw them in the store. Bought at Costco, so I put some away in the freezer. It was a 24 count package (3 packs of 8) for $5.69(ish).
I sat outside for about 30 minutes this evening with DS. He enjoys being outside, so much to look at. It had cooled to about 80F. Very nice.
Time to give baby his bath!

Balance Transfers

June 11th, 2010 at 06:27 pm

Yesterday I went to our credit union and applied for their Visa card to take advantage of the lower interest rate. I couldn't open the card only in my name because I don't make enough money on my own..*Ggrr* So I had DH meet me there (aka The Money Man. lol.) I told him I figured it'd be about 20 minutes, so he just took a break from the office. Well guess what - I was wrong. It took a hour. When did it take so long just to get a credit card? Didn't they USE TO pass them out like candy?

I asked the loan officer about that. Told him I figured that things had tightened up for unsecured loans. He said that was exactly what's been going on. And the high credit limit we were requesting. Is $15,000 really that high??

He said that we might have to close the cards we paid off. I told him I wasn't willing to close cc#2 because it is linked to our checking for overdraft and it is one of my longest history credit lines. I would be fine with lowering the limit in order to get the new loan. In the end it all turned out fine. We will be closing cc#1, but no changes to cc#2. Our new APR is 9.4%, with no fees.

After I feed baby lunch I have to take some paperwork over to the c.u. so they can transfer the balances. Can't wait to see the balance shrink!

---------------------------------------------------

We went to Olive Garden last night for our anniversary dinner. It was an enjoyable meal. Baby DS slept all through and DD was sweet and polite (as usual! Smile ) I had a drink, boy did it make me relaxed! Haven't had but a sip of champagne in almost a year. Total spent $65. My DH gave me a $100 bill "to spend on myself and buy something nice". I want to use it for bills, hehe. Maybe I'll see if I can find a nice summer outfit for cheap and put the rest to the cc or ef.

Ten Years

June 10th, 2010 at 07:33 pm

Today is my 10 year wedding anniversary!
Big Grin
My DH and I kind of eloped and got married on the south shore of Lake Tahoe. On a little beach at the water's edge. Just us, my BFF, the preacher and his big St. Bernard doggie. We had known each other for seven weeks!

It's going to be a low key celebration, what with the kids and tight budget. We do plan to "make it up" when bills are paid and savings higher. (We took a 10 day cruise for our 5 year. Loved it!)

You save $ and help me make $

June 10th, 2010 at 12:51 am

On a friend's recommendation I used Diapers.com to order my breastpump and some other baby supplies. So cool, you can get free shipping and it gets to your door next day! (mine did!) Very handy when you don't feel like running errands with baby.
I got free shipping, no sales tax and saved $19 using promotions and coupon code. Plus no driving, so I feel like I saved more like $25.

Okay, now why I'm plugging this...
If you are a new customer and enter my referal code you can save $10 on your first order and $5 on the second. Plus I get a $10 credit for the referal!!!

Referal code is: SWEE9706

Thanks! Smile

Brrrrrrr....

June 9th, 2010 at 06:31 pm

Is it really June? Just asking, 'cause here in northern California it's cool and cloudy. We even had a few sprinkles early this AM. 60F right now. I had the heat on a little earlier this morning.
On the weather report they said this cool spell might set some new low records. Monkey Mama - they said Sacramento didn't have any days in May over 90F, breaking a record from 1971.

I bet we'll have the AC on again this weekend..Crazy weather!

Fresh Eggs

June 8th, 2010 at 05:34 pm

I really think if you like or use eggs regularly it is wonderful to have your own hens. We have six laying hens that live in a cute little henhouse/coop in our backyard. That means fresh eggs everyday! Yum! I look at it like growing your own veggies. I feel so good that our hens are healthy and happy. It is a fact that home raised eggs are more healthy too.
Cost wise I think it's about equal to buying them in the store. A bag of feed is about $14 and lasts about 5 weeks. A bag of 'scratch' (chicken candy) is about $12 and lasts 8 weeks. During warm weather they each lay one egg per day, so 3.5 dozen per week. Winter they lay about every other day, so 1 to 1.25 dozen per week. We give family and friends lots of eggs in the summer!
Plus, chickens do funny things. They are very entertaining! Big Grin

(Not a great picture, but all I had on my computer of the girls for now.)

Lovely Weekend (mostly)

June 7th, 2010 at 06:58 pm

Relaxing no spend weekend at home. My in-laws came Friday for an overnight visit with us and baby. They live about 3 1/2 hours away. When baby was born they drove their motor home down and parked it in our side yard. It is still here so when they visit they have a place to stay. It works out VERY well. LOL. I can send them to their place when I need a break. Wink

Saturday we kicked on the AC. It was about 86F. I know not really that HOT, but uncomfortable. My DH works in the HVAC industry so we have newer and efficient furnace and AC.

My mom visited all day Sunday. My DH had a job so he was gone. DD had a friend over and they played in a little kiddie pool and the back yard most of the time. Baby DS slept more than usual, so my mom and I had lots of time to visit. We talked about when she thinks she will retire and her maybe moving to our area. She lives about 2 1/2 hours away. Even looking at buying several acres together and living on the same property. She also brought me a check for $160. I closed a credit union account I've had from childhood. They mailed the check to my mom. Putting the money toward one of the cards.

The biggest bummer from this weekend is that I talked to my boss on Saturday. He can't afford to cover my children's insurance costs. Frown He has a lot on his plate, financially speaking, and he is moving into a new-to-us building in July. He has been in the same location for over 20 years, so it's going to be a big change. He said he'd really like to do it and we can re-visit the idea in a about 6 months when he 'might' know if he's better off $ wise. We'll see. My boss is a very nice guy, but not real great with money.. The insurance premium for the kids is $452 per month. I can't see us able to swing that right now. It stresses me. And baby will have several medical appointments within his first year. *sigh*

But, the weekend was nice overall anyway.

Today, DD started her week of basketball camp. She wasn't too sure about it. But, when we got there this morning she saw a few girls she knew and happily jumped in. She is very open, social and not shy. I pick her up at 3pm. I am thinking sometime this week we'll go to the city pool after I pick her up from camp. Maybe invite one of her school or camp friends too.

Buying a ..

June 4th, 2010 at 04:21 pm

breastpump.
I couldn't bring myself to type that into the subject line. Smile

When I breastfed our DD I tried an electric pump and hated it. So I didn't pump. I'd like to try again.
Looking at buying a manual breastpump. I've been reading reviews online. I know there are a lot of mommies on SA so does anyone have a recommendation?

I'm One Month Old

June 2nd, 2010 at 07:00 pm

Today DS is four weeks old!
Wow, that went fast. Smile



I keep daydreaming about all the fun things we're going to do together as he grows.
Like Disneyland! We really enjoy going. Actually he's already been there. DH, DD and I went in December as a Christmas gift to ourselves and I was pregnant with DS.

Loan Update

June 2nd, 2010 at 04:06 am

So tonight I happen to get on the computer again and in my inbox is an email from Prosper. I had a question from a perspective lender! Whoa! I logged into my Prosper account and 1% of my loan has been funded. Yippee???

Or is it a pitty bid?

If I can manage the time I will go talk to someone at my credit union tomorrow. I might at least call and ask some questions if I don't feel like going in.

Prosper has 20 more hours to come thru.

Un-Prosper-us

June 1st, 2010 at 07:29 pm

So after checking into Prosper I decided to try it. I was excited and a little nervous, but I jumped in..

Too bad it's not working for me. Frown
Too bad someone won't be making money from my loan.

Here's the story:
My very low interest rate on CC#2 has ended. I HAD planned on having it paid off by now. When I called the bank they didn't have any lower offers for my account at that time. They doubled my rewards points and told me to keep calling back to check on lowering my rate.
I wonder if they aren't lowering rates now so they can make more money before the new cc laws take effect ???
So I am thinking it would be a good idea for me to consolidate my cc debt to a lower interest rate. Save money and get the balance paid faster. In order for me to save money doing this the new rate would have to be lower then 16%.
This is when I think Prosper would be a great idea. I don't really want another cc to transfer the balances to. And the peer to peer lending seems like a win/win. I mean somebody would like to make 8%, 10%, 12% or even 14% on their money loaning to me, right?
When I sign up and fill out my "profile" Prosper suggests I start my asking interest rate at 24%! In order to attract more "bidders". The web site says your rate will probably be lower due to the "auction process" and you can decline the loan if the rate is too high. It didn't make sense for me to ask for a loan at that rate - That's higher than what I pay on my credit cards!
I ended up posting a request for a loan with a 16% rate. I was clear in my comments what the money was for and for any prospective lenders to PLEASE ask me any questions or comment on how I could make a better posting. I spent about 30 minutes setting things up and carefully posting my request.

And...Nothing...Not a bite or even a comment..Nada..

Meanwhile, I am looking at my credit union's rates. I could get a personal loan for 12% or less. I could get their credit card with balance transfer rates starting at 6%. I have a credit score of 750ish so I'm pretty sure I'd get a good rate from them or another bank if I look around.

Phooey on Prosper..
My dreams of p2p lending going down the toilet.
So Un - Prosper - Us!
lol.