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Archive for July, 2014

Last Day of July!

July 31st, 2014 at 04:04 pm

Sunset view from the side of the house (DS's bedroom window).



My phone does a good job with pictures, but this doesn't quite convey all the shades of color there was in the sky. Hope you all enjoy anyway. Smile

In other news, the bonus points have posted for my Wells Fargo Propel card. Yay!

Unfortunately, their system is down, so I can't redeem right now. *Shucks!*

Snowflake to Special Focus

July 30th, 2014 at 08:03 am

Monday I received the usual $15 check for the monthly inventory tracking.

$991 Starting Balance
-$15 Snowflake

$976 New Balance

DD's Birthday

July 26th, 2014 at 12:46 pm

DD turned 13 this past week.
She is waiting until school starts to have a party with friends. It will be a BBQ at one of the nearby parks.

DH, DS and I took her to fondue dinner on her "real birthday" and spent $120. We also gave her a birthday card with a $15 gc enclosed for music downloads. DS made her a bead necklace at preschool that he gave her - it was so sweet. Smile

I can't believe our girl is a teenager now.

Side Income

July 24th, 2014 at 04:16 pm

This past weekend I did a trial run sitting a client's dog. They dropped her off at my house on Saturday and I brought her home to them Monday morning before work.

Everything went very well. My family loved their little dog. The dog parents were thrilled that everything went well. They are planning a big vacation in a few months and were anxious about where their dog would be staying. Now they are so happy knowing she will be at my house.

I collected a check Monday morning when I dropped her off. $70.

Then during lunch I visited my usual cat client and collected $80.

$150 *extra* for the week! Big Grin

His & Hers Ferraris

July 20th, 2014 at 10:39 pm

I saw this today.

While having breakfast at our favorite hole-in-the-wall cafe this morning two black Ferraris cruised by. The tops were down - one was being driven by a man and the other by a woman.

When they reached the end of the block they flipped around to park. The drivers got out and headed to the restaurant we were eating at. We were sitting outside among several other tables. Everyone was commenting on the cars. When the man and woman walked up everyone was totally silent.

While the Ferrari drivers waited for a table my DH walked over and asked if that was a His & Hers situation. The woman laughed (in a friendly way) and said, "Yes it is!"

The question I really wanted to ask was what they did for a living to have money like that.
(Even if I had piles of money I wouldn't want two Ferraris. Let alone to drive them both around at the same time.. it was a strange, ostentatious thing to see.)

Identity Theft & Fraud - UGH!

July 18th, 2014 at 09:31 pm

I was flipping through the mail when I got home from work and I had a new credit card.

Problem was it wasn't a card I applied for..

So I called (Barclays) and long story short someone opened this line of credit at an Apple store in a nearby city and bought themselves almost $2k worth of stuff (new laptop?) using my identity. Frown

I was advised by the Barclay's CSR to place a fraud alert with the credit bureaus - I think I should take the further step and do a freeze. I am thinking we should do it for DH also.
What do you think?

I'm off to check our CreditKarma accounts to see if anything is popping up.

UGH! Frown

Special Focus Payment

July 9th, 2014 at 02:28 pm

Pushed it just a little here and used all my cat care money for the week to drop this balance under $1k. Smile

I say "pushed it" because DH still was short a few hours on Friday's paycheck. We ended the week with about $60 less than what I budget for. I think so far there has only been one week where we weren't short. It is slowing goals down for sure!
AND we'll be short again this Friday as DH doesn't get holiday pay for the Fourth of July. Phooey..

The $80/week cat care cash is REALLY helping to buffer the low paychecks, but I'd rather be using the cash for other than covering regular bills.

Okay, here it is.....

$1071 Previous Balance
- $80 C.C. Cash

$991 Current Balance

My Recipe for Margarita Jello Shots

July 8th, 2014 at 04:55 pm

This was fun to have at the party and pretty frugal as far as "cocktails" go.

- 6 oz box Lime Jello
- 1 cup tequila (I used a "silver" - clear type)
- 3 oz Triple Sec
- Juice of 1 lime
- Pinch or so salt (approx 1/4 teaspoon)
- 1/2+ cup cold water

Heat the water to just a boil (same amount as directed on package). Remove from heat.
Stir in mix until dissolved.
Add alcohol, lime juice, salt and cold water.
Stir well.
Pour equal amounts into 25 2oz disposable shot cups. Top off with a little cold water as needed.
Refrigerate several hours or overnight until set.
(OR use a glass baking dish and cut into squares once set.)

Enjoy! Smile

Post Fourth of July Post

July 6th, 2014 at 09:53 am

We had a busy week here. DH and I decided we would host a BBQ for a few families. I think it has been three years since we invited more than just our family over for a meal - ha!

DD was away all week at 4H camp (which was the BEST ever! Big Grin)
DH and I had to pick up her chores as well as work on getting the house and yard ship-shape. I also had to pick her up from camp Friday midday. So we worked on party preparation a little bit every day of the week. I squeezed shopping for food and supplies on Tuesday afternoon - my half day of work.
We made it a potluck, so that saved some money. I didn't feel embarrassed about asking and everyone was happy to bring something.

Party supplies were:
$ 2 - red plastic tablecloth
$ 3 - blue star paper dinner plates
$ 2 - blue napkins
$ 3 - plastic cups
$ 3 - plastic shot cups
$ 1 - glow-n-the-dark bracelets
$16 - kiddy pool
$ 3 - sidewalk chalk
The last two items are for DS to use all summer. If we are gentle the pool should make it for next summer too.
Total: $33

As far as food goes I wanted to make kabobs. We have never made them before even though I have wanted to many times. I bought 36 boneless/skinless chicken thighs at $2.50/lb. I used fresh zucchini out of our garden on the skewers also.

Food spending:
$23 - chicken thighs
$14 - Kabob produce (bell peppers, onions & pineapple)
$38 - (2) six packs of beer, (2) bottles champagne, (2) bottles sparkling juice
$ 3 - bamboo skewers
$16 - Avocados for guacamole
$ 2 - Tortilla chips
$16 - Huge watermelon
$ 3 - Whole Pineapple
$ 8 - Strawberries & Raspberries
$ 6 - Ice
$ 3 - lime jello
Almost all the fruit/veggies were organic.
Total: $132

The kabobs were a hit. Smile
I even had a few extras that I threw in the freezer - maybe dinner next weekend?

DH crafted a watermelon "basket" filled with the fruit. I should have taken a picture (I think he did) it looked great.

His guacamole was a huge hit as usual.

I had the idea to make jello shots. I saw this really cute idea to make red, white & blue layered jello cups. Well that gave me the idea to make jello shots. And then the idea to make Margarita jello shots.
(Let me say I have only had jello shots once before and I have never made them.)
They turned out really good! I will make them again as they were such a fun little adult item to have. Smile

DH and DD hit the fireworks stand and bought $25 in fireworks.

We all watched our city's fireworks from our house. It is nice to not have to drive anywhere.

It was a really enjoyable party. I would like to do it more often than once every few years. It's one of those things where you keep asking "Why am I doing all this?" and then you have such a good time you feel like "I am so glad we did this!" Smile

Fair Time!

July 1st, 2014 at 04:37 pm

We enjoyed our local county fair last week.
A close friend has a vehicle pass that allows her to drive in/out of the fairgrounds without paying any fees. She has been taking my family into the fair for FREE the past several years. This year the kids and I went to the fair three times!

The very nice thing about this fair is that the admission also covers all rides, so once you are inside you don't have to pay anything extra for rides or concerts. We did spend some money on fair food the evening we went all together as a family. We didn't go crazy, but did spend close to $40.
All in all spending $40 for all the time at the fair was easy to swallow.

I entered the table setting class again this year.
I chose to decorate for the fair theme which was celebrating the fair's 75th diamond anniversary.



I won First place for my class. Smile
Didn't win Best of Show this year (shucks).

I also entered a novelty planting class with this jam jar..



It won a First place too. Smile

And I entered a hanging basket (one of two that I made for our backyard).
Made up of purple basil, supertunias, alyssum and blue lobelia.




And I won First in that class too. Smile

I won $35 in prize money.


DD entered four canning projects.
(They're on those shelves somewhere..)



She won three First Places and one Second.
She also entered two baking entries.
Low-Fat Lemon Bars and Mini Cheesecakes.
Second Place for the bars and First for the cheesecakes. The cheesecakes also ranked Fourth in the "Make it with Dairy" class - a class where you have to use three or more dairy products in the recipe.

I will have to post her cheesecake recipe soon - they were so delicious!

She ended with $21 in prize money.

We entered a small preschool art project for DS - his first fair entry. He won a First (they all do in that age class) and received a check for $3.

I told my mom that I should enter a ton of preschool art for him next year BECAUSE it's a 200% return - you pay $1 to enter and are guaranteed a $3 check. Big Grin

Progress on Special Focus Debt

July 1st, 2014 at 04:22 pm

So despite DH's weekly paychecks still coming up short, I did manage a few small flakes toward this one particular cc.

$1121 Starting Balance

- $15 S. Flake
- $25 Regular payment
- $10 S. Flake

$1071 Current Balance