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Dream Homes

September 4th, 2012 at 10:36 pm

Non-Frugal Post.

I am sure we all have a *dream home*.
Mine is a large, open layout house with a wraparound porch. I have always loved the log house look so that would be a plus. One story or two story; as long as everything I wanted was there. Preferably a four or five bedroom. Maybe a three bedroom, but with a little guest cottage so when visitors stayed there would be plenty of space.

Our dream home would be on at least 3 acres of property. I would love to have a barn and a covered arena. Garden space and a manicured lawn area. Maybe a pool, hot tub and/or sauna.

Well, every so often I get to looking at places for sale in my area. Usually, I start by looking at recently sold places comparable to our house just to get an idea of our home's worth. Then I can't help but start looking at current For Sale homes.

My recent search yielded a few *Dream Home* candidates.

This house is 3800sf on 4.25 acres with a barn, guest house and garden.




The list price is $1.5 million.

How in the world can I buy it? Suggestions? Big Grin

I saw a few others, but this one so far was my favorite and the most expensive, of course, lol.

What is your *Dream Home*?

Root canal. Garden Progress. Coupons.

July 28th, 2012 at 10:59 am

I can't believe I didn't mention in addition to all the other stuff bugging me I also need a root canal and a crown.

What I find funny is that since I forgot to mention it, all the other things I listed must bother me more than a root canal!!!

I have no idea how much that will end up costing.

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Our garden looks like a jungle right now everything is large and green and blooming. I've been giving zucchini away. My lemon cucumber plant has about 20 flowers on it. I can't wait for those! Lots of baby, green tomatoes and flowers on the tomato plants.

Unfortunately, this morning I had our chickens out and they dug around my carrots. The Muscovy duck ate some of the carrot tops, a baby bell pepper and the beet tops! Grrr.. I'm pretty sure it was him; he is more of a veggie eater, while the hens do more digging and pecking.

The carrots might come back, but the beets are gone. Frown

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Our local Safeway store moved into a new renovated space on Friday. It's in the same location, just moved from one end of the shopping center to the other. Because of this they have mailed out a bunch of coupons. One sheet is $10 off on $50 spent to be used once a week for the next four weeks. There are also many FREE item coupons. Smile
I'll be shopping tomorrow morning so I'll be using all the coupons I can.

How Our Garden Grows

July 10th, 2012 at 10:36 am

The garden is lush and thriving with the beautiful sunny days. We have flowers on the zucchini, summer squash, tomatoes and bell pepper plants. On Saturday we put up a length of plastic fence for the snap peas and green beans to climb. I also placed a few stepping stones between the boxes and hope to get a few more.

@ FrugalTexan: Sorry I didn't post a reply earlier. Spinach is easy to grow. It's like grass. You can plant it in pots or the ground.

DS loves to go and pick spinach leaves and eat them while he is outside playing. He's so cute with his mouth full of green leaves. Big Grin I can't wait to show him how to pick and eat the snap peas when they're ready.


Garden


Peas on the fence


Summer squash flower

Pictures

June 14th, 2012 at 03:26 pm

I said when I had time I'd post some pictures. Smile

Here is our garden boxes. I still want a few pavers or stepping stones to place between the boxes so I can walk out in my bare feet.



The sad thing is our peach tree was so loaded with fruit that the main trunk split and we had to cut it off (in the pic behind the garden). Then the other half bent and cracked in the wind. I don't think we'll be able to save the tree now. Frown

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Sunday I took DS, DD and one of her friends to a local humane, sustainable goat dairy. (Redwood Hill Farm - you might see their stuff at Whole Foods.) Their "Farm Day" was free. You could pet and hold kids, milk a goat, brush goats and sample their products. I spent $22 for four types of cheese. Yum, So good!








Sonoma County vineyards on the drive to the farm.


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These are DD's fair entries.
Fused glass plate.
Painted notecards w/envelopes.
Decorated blown egg.



It cost $1/item to enter.
First prize for the egg is $25. **Fingers crossed** for DD!

Productive, Yet Relaxing, Mother's Day

May 14th, 2012 at 03:14 pm

Hope everyone had an enjoyable day yesterday.. Smile

It was a beautiful Sunday here. The sun was out with a light breeze and 72F was the warmest temp.

My family let me sleep in a bit and made me breakfast when I got up. After eating I watched "Water for Elephants" on HBO. I had been wanting to see it for some time and I was happy to get to watch it while we are getting free HBO. Smile I enjoyed the movie. It seems like the book would be a really good read.

In the afternoon we all worked in the backyard for a little while. Making over the garden area. This year we are adding more space and making it look prettier. I wanted to downsize the raised bed we had, and then add a few more of the smaller size beds. I also plan to spread the gravel we have raked up from this area around the raised beds and add stepping stones. If it turns out like I am picturing it's going to look very nice and last us a long time.

After working DH, DD and I all showered and DS had a much needed bath. Big Grin Then we watched the baseball game I had recorded while we were in the yard. The Giants WON! Yay!

We had a simple dinner. I finished Mother's Day off with a bowl of frozen yogurt while I watched "Game of Thrones".

MegaMoney! Payday. Rain.

March 31st, 2012 at 10:23 am

I did play MegaMillion$ yesterday. Like I've said before I buy tickets when the jackpot gets high. Usually anytime it's $150 million or more. Of course I understand that some people feel it's a waste of money.
"A tax on being poor" I've heard it called. I can totally see that when people are buying tickets for every drawing, every week. My thinkng is a few bucks once awhile for the chance to win multi millions is a pretty harmless fantasy. Last night I bought $20 in quick picks and I won a share of the money! ..... $12. Big Grin

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Last night I deposited paychecks and the check from the city for our toilet rebate. We went ahead and and replaced the toilet in our other bathroom with the same style as you all saw. We decided to do that now because I was getting 5% back on Amazon purchases and then I only had to submit the rebate paperwork once. Just get it all done at once. The rebate money ($300) goes straight to the card to payoff the toilet purchases.

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Rain, Rain, Rain today. Smile
Another very lazy weekend at home. I plan to have another cup of coffee and play a little on a computer game (Ranch Rush) I bought online from Big Fish Games for $3.

EF Balance

March 8th, 2012 at 10:53 am

Our EF is looking fat right now because we've deposited our refund checks into it.

We have earmarked those checks for the new roof, but gosh I am so tempted to leave the money in savings and try to limp the old roof along one more winter. Although, I don't think that would be wise....

EF balance (including tomorrow's auto transfer) is $7530

Another Adjustment

March 5th, 2012 at 11:12 am

Forgot that we sold the old pedestal sink and light fixture on C.List.
$1170
-$ 35
-------
$1135 OOP bathroom renovation cost Smile

And that OOP cost was covered by extra side income. No deductions to the savings account or additions to the cc balance.

*The* Bathroom Post

March 4th, 2012 at 11:52 am

Rounded up all my receipts for the bathroom.

Receipts
$ 70 - drywall, Hardibacker, screws, tax (Home Depot)
$276 - Tile for shower (Home Depot)
$101 - Grout, thinset, spacers, sealer, tax for above (Home Depot)
$133 - showerhead, tub spout, handles, drain (Amazon)
$ 59 - shower curtain & liner (Bed, Bath & Beyond)
$ 89 - curved curtain rod, rollerball curtain hooks (Signature Hardware)
$ 42 - paint, primer, paint tray, roller, tax (Home Depot)
$126 - Tile for floor (Home Depot)
$ 84 - Hardibacker, more thinset, tax (Home Depot)
$ 68 - caulk, tile drillbit, tax (Home Depot)
$634 - Vanity cabinet, granite top, backsplash, sidesplash, sink (Signature Hardware)
$140 - faucet and drain set (Signature Hardware)
$221 - toilet (Amazon)
$ 40 - toilet seat (Amazon)
$ 23 - misc. supplies (wax ring, plastic pipe, razor blades, etc..) tax
(OSH/ Home Depot)
$ 49 - light fixture, bulbs, tax (Lowe's)
$ 15 - Oil Rubbed Bronze knobs (Amazon)
$127 - towel bar, towel ring, tp holder, robe hook (Amazon)
$ 16 - Lather/Rinse and Clean/Fun prints (Amazon)
$ 41 - frames and mats, tax (Aaron Brothers)
$ 26 - Two each bath towels, hand towels, wash clothes, tax (Costco)
$ 16 - memory foam bathmat, tax (Costco)
$ 0 - labor Smile
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$2337 - Total


Adjustments
-$400 - Visa gift cards Christmas gift from DH's bosses.
-$200 - Home Depot g.c.Christmas gift from MIL
-$ 75 - Home Depot gift card
-$ 25 - Home Depot gift card
-$ 31 - Returns
-$ 40 - Returns
-$ 5 - saved by using discount gift card from Plastic Jungle
-$213 - CC reward gift cards sold to Plastic Jungle
-$ 28 - 5% cash back on Amazon purchases
-$150 - city water rebate for HE toilet
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$1170 Actual OOP cost

I was aiming for $1k which I think is pretty frugal for a bathroom overhaul. By having a smaller bathroom we saved a bit on floor tile and only having space for a 24" vanity, but pretty much the other costs would have been the same.

PICTURES!

**Before**


**After**

Toilet In

February 16th, 2012 at 09:35 pm

The new potty came yesterday and DH set it up last night. Big Grin

Works well thus far and is nice and quiet. I am really happy about that since the bathroom is right off our bedroom.

Pics of the complete remodel coming soon. Just waiting for the towel bar, TP holder etc. and it will be 100%.

Our Sunday Morning. New Lamp Pic.

February 12th, 2012 at 02:36 pm

Quiet morning here.
Woke up to some heavy fog so we all slept in a little because it was so dim outside. The fog burned off quickly to a pretty, sunny morning.

We went to a fancy champagne brunch at 10:30am. Stuffed myself on shrimp, chocolate dipped strawberries and champagne. Stick Out Tongue

Used a 2-for-1 coupon and gift cards from Christmas. Our total ended up at $0.06! Big Grin
DH left a $10 to cover the bill and tip.
$72 brunch for $10.
This is EXACTLLY how I like to do things! Big Grin

Afterward, we walked to a park across the street and the kids played for about 30 minutes. Lovely sunshine-y day. As I sat on the bench I reflected on how much I like the city we live in. It really feels more like a cozy small town, but has so many city conveniences. Smile

In a few hours I am going to run over to Safeway to use my $10 reward coupon. Today is the last day to use it. Not sure what to buy with it because we don't "need" anything right now.
Boy, that's a nice problem to have, isn't it?
Probably buy fresh veggies.


Here's the lamp I splurged on from Etsy. Perfect next to my bedside. Smile



Still No Toilet

February 11th, 2012 at 02:44 pm

Still no new toilet for the bathroom! Ugh!!!
Sharing one potty is stating to get old...

It seems the supply house that DH ordered the toilet thru didn't order the toilet. Angry
Come on - How hard is it to order ONE toilet?!

Anyhow, I had seen the toilet on Amazon.. yeah, really.. and so we told the supply house "Nevermind."

No sales tax or shipping thru Amazon. Plus, I'll get 5% back from using the Chase card. Big Grin So, that is actually a better deal.

Should have a new toilet by next weekend. *fingers crossed*

Vanity. Toilet. Towels.

February 6th, 2012 at 10:18 pm

Vanity:
Last week (Tuesday) the vanity set I ordered online arrived. Well packed. No damage.

It is beautiful!
The granite top is really beautiful!

I am so happy I found it. Much better quality than anything I saw at the home improvement stores. Much less expensive than anything at the specialty remodel stores. Smile

This is a pic from the website. Mine has a different granite top and faucet.

Toilet:
Last Tuesday DH ordered the toilet I picked out. He would have had it within two days, but it is on backorder. Frown
Hopefully we get it this week.
We will pay more than the water rebate of $150. This model cost $220.

Towels:
I have been looking at buying a new set of towels to complete the "new" bathroom. Last time I bought towels was about eight years ago. So I was looking at Macy's, Kohl’s, Bed, Bath and Beyond, Target etc.. etc.. My friend (ex coworker) works at Macy's so I could get her discount. I was looking at spending between $50 and $70 for a six piece set (pair of towels, washcloths and hand towels).

Then I went to Costco for a few things and *blam* towels.
Never paid much notice to the towels at Costco, but I bought a set with two washcloths and two hand towels for $9.99 and two bath towels at $6.99/ea.
Yay! Six piece set for $24. Big Grin

Splurge.

January 30th, 2012 at 09:39 pm

I have been casually looking for a new bedside table lamp. Something pretty and inexpensive. Then I saw this lamp on Etsy..


I kept going back to look at it. I couldn't find anything I liked half as much for the same price.
I finally sent the seller a message and offered $35 less than her listed price. She accepted the offer. So I splurged. Embarrassment

Painting. Painting. Painting.

January 29th, 2012 at 05:21 pm

Yesterday DH took out the toilet and sink in the bathroom. Then he ripped up all the old floor.

Last night I washed the walls and primed them. It took almost two hours from start to finish.

This morning I worked in the bathroom for close to four hours. I washed the ceiling and then painted it with a fresh coat of ultra-pure white. After I finished that I cleaned up my brush and roller and painted the walls a silvery blue color called "Silver Strand". Then I cleaned everything up again.

Glad I am done. The fresh paint looks so nice!

And I finally found an upside to having a tiny bathroom. Wink


DH has started laying the new tile floor. Smile

Quick Check-In

January 26th, 2012 at 08:00 pm

Two more tax forms rolled in. Our mortgage statement and DH's W2. Now we are waiting for a 1099 and then I can file. Looking like a bit bigger refund than I was guessing. One thing was we maxed out our childcare credit this year; getting the full $1200.

*The* shower curtain arrived yesterday too. It's pretty. A bit more golden tone than brown, but I think I will be keeping it all the same. It looks good up against the tile.

Had the "Water Wise" house call Tuesday morning. The toilet in each bathroom qualifies for the rebate. I'm not surprised. Old water-hog toilets.

DH is going to order a new potty from one of the supply houses he uses. Wholesale pricing.

Going to do some painting in the bathroom this weekend. As well as tearing up the floor so DH can lay new tile. Our goal is to have the bathroom wrapped up by next weekend. All the major stuff anyway. I won't have the towel bars, hook, etc. or new door pulls for the vanity until after I get my AmEx Gold card rewards.

Still Added to the EF. Weather Here.

January 23rd, 2012 at 05:18 pm

Well...*sigh*...my 49ers lost last night. Frown

I did transfer $10 to the EF because we made it so far in the playoffs and the game last night stretched into overtime.
New EF balance: $2080.
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It rained like crazy over the weekend, especially late last night. It really came down. I am glad, we really needed rain.

The weather has cleared now and we are supposed to have a week of clear, mild days.

We only had one *tiny* leak around the last old (yet to be replaced) window in the house. Phew!

The plan is to use the tax refund to get the new roof this spring/summer.
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Oh, last night I ordered the shower curtain and liner. I used the gift card code from Plastic Jungle which worked out just fine. I was going to try a coupon code for 20% off, but I couldn't find anywhere on the checkout to enter it!?

Bathroom renovation cost so far: $868.

Rain! Big Online Purchase.

January 19th, 2012 at 06:21 pm

It's FINALLY raining! Yippee!
It's been so dry for so long I am so glad to see and hear the rain. Smile

Of course ask me how I like it after it's been raining for three weeks straight. I'll be feeling differently then.
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Today I orderd the bathroom vanity, complete with countertop and sink, and a curved shower rod with cool little roller-ball curtain rings in oil-rubbed bronze.

I looked at a lot of vanities in person and online. The ones I saw in person were either cheap crap particleboard at the home improvement stores. Or high end soild wood at the nice kitchen & bath remodel stores. The place I ordered from online has excellent reviews so I am crossing my fingers.

It is solid wood and comes completely assembled. (Like a nice piece should.) None of that flat box, you assemble type thing. The set (vanity, granite top, backsplash and bowl sink) cost about as much (or less) as many of the vanity only options I saw elsewhere. If the quality is as good as it is described on the website I will be getting a great deal.

I have never made such a big purchase online, especially without seeing the product in person.

I also really hope that the granite color I picked looks like it does on the computer.

Used $400 in Visa gift cards that DH was given as a Christmas bonus to pay for most of the order. The remaining $323 came from a bit of DH's side work.

Reflecting on Today's Money Issues

January 18th, 2012 at 10:35 pm

We loaned $600 from our EF to MIL. I drove to her bank on my lunch to deposit a check into their account. She talked to DH, so I have no idea why they needed the money. I think it's just to get them through until the 1st. DH said we'd be paid back then. I don't really mind lending the money. She has asked before and always paid us back when she said. When we've needed a little money to get us through in the past MIL has always helped us.

Although, I think the last time was maybe seven years ago and she kind of kicked up a fuss about when she was going to get repaid... Rolleyes
(We always paid her back quickly BTW.)

Anyhow, for now the current EF balance is $2,070.
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Got to call my bank and rattle a few cages. HeHe.
They had a little promo where if you tried the bill pay they would credit your account $10.
Okay, for $10 I tried it, but I hadn't gotten my credit. I called once about two weeks after I did the bill pay thing and the CS rep said to give them about 6 weeks. They had two months now, so it was time to call again.
No problem. Now I'm $10 richer. Smile
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Oh, the cell phone company is charging us for two plans!

When DH bought his iPhone the guy changed his plan, but left my phone on the old plan. The past two billing cycles they've charged us for both family plans. I told DH about this after I saw the first "new" bill at the end of December. He is the one who is the account holder of the cell phone account. I love my hubby, but dealing with things like this is his weak point. He still hasn't contacted them. Now we've gotten the second bill. I haven't paid either bill and I'm not going to until they fix the account.

I figured when they turned off his phone he'd hop to taking care of things. We'll that plan backfired a little today - They turned off my phone! His phone still kept working totally fine! Well my phone getting turned off did jump him into action. He called and was on the phone for close to an hour. I was surprised he really had to fight to get things straightened out. I overheard part of the conversation and it was getting pretty heated. He had to ask for a supervisor like three times.

I figured it would be simple.
Call. Explain situation. Charges removed. The end.
I mean who carries two share plans in the same family, but doesn't share them?

It seems DH has won the battle. The old plan was removed and credited back. And, he asked for his "upgrade fee" be credited back and I believe he got that too in the end.

I want to see all the credits post to our account before I pay.
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I have been searching for a bathroom vanity, shower rod and shower curtain. I have narrowed down what vanity and rod I want, but not a curtain yet. I think I have looked at 500 shower curtains.
Why am I so picky?!

There is one at B, B and Beyond that I like, but I can only buy it online and they want to charge $6 S&H. Phooey!

I'll keep looking.

Sunday Stuff & Pic of New Tub Handles.

January 15th, 2012 at 11:42 am

The 49ers won!
The game was uber exciting yesterday. I think it will end up being the most exciting post-season game this year. What a nail-biter!

Transferred $20 to the EF.
Current balance $2670

Today I'm watching the other two playoff games. Not really rooting for anyone in particular. I do like Green Bay, but am hoping that New York will win so SF can play next weekend at home.
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DH and DD are working together on replacing a furnace for my boss today.

DS and I went grocery shopping this morning. $142. We should be all set for two weeks. The only thing we might need before then will be milk.

I also need to pack away the Christmas stuff. Of course everything is down. But it's all piled up and needs to be organized into the storage totes and then packed into the garage loft. I expect that will take me about an hour.

I have some laundry to wash and fold today too.
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Friday I was finally was able to set up the "Water Wise House call" with the city water company. This is the first step in order to qualify for the $150 toilet rebate.
That would mean a new toilet for FREE! Smile
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Thinking about buying Quicken. Costco has a $20 off coupon for it every year at this time. I was thinking the Home & Business edition because it has the most features. With the coupon it would be $45. Advice?
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Here is the new tub/shower trim set. I hope we can find a way to make them easier to turn.

Saturday Stuff

January 14th, 2012 at 12:41 pm

This morning we went out for breakfast at our favorite hole-in-the-wall cafe. $46.
DH loves their ham and cheese omelets. They have the best Eggs Benedict out of all the places I've been. Their coffee is very good also and the service is excellent.
It was a great way to start the weekend. Smile
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I just applied, and was approved, for another credit card. This is the AmEx that is offering $250 in gift cards after $1k of spending in three months. I am hoping I can find enough places that I routinely use that will take the AmEx. Costco will, hopefully Safeway too. Just couldn't pass up $250 reward.

If I can I will get gift cards for Home Depot, Macy's or Amazon. That way I can use the "free" money for stuff for the bathroom. Towels, towel bars, sink faucet, etc..
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The new shower hardware came yesterday. Fast shipping! It only took three days! DH put it all in this morning and it does look very nice. However, we aren't sure how well the handles are going to work out. You have to turn them off very tightly, otherwise it drips water. Really tightly; like it hurts my hand to try to turn them. Frown

Disappointed about that.

DH is going to call a plumber friend and find out what our options are to correct that.

Such a pain that we didn't know that we should have changed the valves to a single control before we closed up the wall and tiled. Blah!

There is a two handled Kohler set I REALLY like.
Unfortunately -
1. It does not come in oil rubbed bronze.
2. It's about $450.
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The 49ers play the Saints today in about an hour. The afternoon will be spent watching football. Smile
When the 49ers win I will add $20 to the EF.

Go niners!

EF Addition

January 11th, 2012 at 10:23 pm

Added $25 to the EF.
New total: $2649

Paid $300 toward the cc debt today also.

Still trying to get an appointment with the city water company so we can get rolling on the toilet rebate. In the past seven days I've left two voice mails and an email. What will it take for an appointment??

Bathroom Renovation Spending

January 10th, 2012 at 09:08 pm

Just purchased a tub/shower faucet kit on Amazon. Boy, it was next to impossible to find something for an older style two handled shower. Almost everything is the big one-handle style. Today I found out that is because it is now illegal to build a house with separate hot/cold handles for the shower. The government doesn't want you to scald yourself I guess.

Oil rubbed bronze spout, two handles, shower head and flange, overflow cover and drain cover. $133 total.
Used a $5 gift code I had and the Chase card that will give 5% back on Amazon purchases in Q1.

Bathroom remodel cost thus far: $493

Bathroom Tile Pictures

January 5th, 2012 at 07:49 am

Before:




After:






We spent about $70 in prep supplies like cement board, drywall, mortar, special screws etc.

We paid OOP $188 for the tile and supplies (grout, spacers, etc). The rest was paid with a gift card and money from MIL. (The tile was my Christmas gift and I couldn't be happier about that! Smile)

Free labor from DH and FIL! Smile

DH needs to finish trimming out the window with a new sill. I need to buy a shower curtain and rod.
At some point we will replace the fixtures - the shiny cheap chrome stuff does not match AT ALL! Smile

Bathroom reno cost thus far: $360

Day Off

January 3rd, 2012 at 01:57 pm

I have the afternoon off today. Right now I just finished watching a movie with DD. DS is napping. Going to get some To Do stuff done today. So far I've...

- I cleared the cash out of my purse and deposited $40 to the EF.

- I added DH as a second card holder to my Wells Fargo CC. By doing that I am hoping I'll be able to transfer the points he earned with his debit card to the credit card's point total. They discontinued the points program for the debit card about August and he has enough points to redeem for about $40 worth of gift cards, but there will be points left over. I would really like to combine the two point balances so we don't lose out on any points.

- Cancelled HBO. Our special deal ended. Not paying $10/mo to keep it. I will try to get another deal on it in a few months when "Game of Thrones" season starts.

- Paid mortgage. $1776.

Still need to...

- Buy some TP! Yikes, we're out!
- Donate some pet food I have to the animal shelter.
- Donate two bags of DD's old clothes and my old plate set.
- Un-decorate the tree and remove from the house.
- Call the city water department and set up a "water audit" thing. First step in qualifying for a $150 credit for a new toilet.
- Dishes.
- Wash all the new clothes DS got for Christmas.
- Take a picture of the new tile for you all to see.
Smile

Another Lovely Christmas

December 26th, 2011 at 01:25 pm

We were blessed enough to have another lovely Christmas here in our home with family.

I hope all of you had a blessed holiday also.

Not much drama from the in-laws. Or my family either. Smile

DH and FIL tiled the shower. It looks AWESOME! Pictures to follow.

I made out with plenty of really nice/useful gifts. Everyone seemed very satisfied with their "haul". DS still has a few gifts he hasn't opened yet. He opens a gift and then wants to play with it right then. So it's taking a little more time to get thru his stack.

The food has been amazing all this weekend. I am sure I've put a few pounds on. Wink
DH handled most of the cooking.
Christmas dinner last night was sooo delish. Prime rib, ham, mashed potatoes, green beans, fruit salad, dinner rolls, deviled eggs..

Okay, now I'm hungry. Gotta go eat some leftovers!
Big Grin

Christmas Preparations - Continued

December 13th, 2011 at 01:59 pm

The 49ers lost their game on Sunday by two points. Blah!

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Our tree looks wonderful! DD picked it out this year and it's the tallest one I think we've ever had. I put the tape measure on it and it was 7.5 feet. Very full and dark green. Two out of three strings of tree lights were dead this year. Angry
(They were working just fine when I packed them away last year. I hate that!)
Made a run to the hardware store for some new sets. About $36 for three 50' sets.

DH hasn't had any time (daylight time) to put lights up on the house yet. We also have an inflatable Santa, bought on clearance, that we are going to put in the yard this year. He did put our green bulb in the light post light so we've got a bit (wee bit!) of festive color out there.

I really love when we get the decorations up. Things look so merry and colorful. I have always enjoyed decorating for Christmas.

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Had a 20% off coupon for Kohl's. It ended on Sunday so when I bought lights I stopped in there and did a quick look around. When I didn't find anything worth standing in line for I gave my coupon to a lady with a cart load of stuff. Merry Christmas! Big Grin

Yesterday I got another 20% off coupon in the mail. Smile

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My order from Amazon is trickling in a few boxes at a time. I ordered eight items and I think only four of them are being shipped together. I ordered last Tuesday. $112 total. Gifts for multiple people. DD's boots, DS's fire truck board book, calendar for co-worker, etc...

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Getting set to order my Christmas cards. I use Costco and plug in pictures of the kids and dogs. $14.95 for 50 cards/envelopes. Going to try to finalize the card online tonight so I can pick them up Thursday or Friday. I want to have them all mailed off by Saturday 17th.

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Poor DD is home sick today. Vomiting last night. Frown
She has her class Christmas play tonight. We are all hoping she will feel up to that.
And, we are all hoping we don't get what she has!

Christmas Preparations

December 11th, 2011 at 03:02 pm

We bought our tree this morning at Home Depot. $43.

Once the 49er game is over (currently half-time) DH is going to pull out the Christmas totes from the garage loft and we'll decorate our tree. Big Grin

DH had a side job this morning and while he was gone I hosed down the front of the garage and house. Now the house is ready for DH to hang the outdoor lights. Which might happen this afternoon...
*fingers crossed*.

Paid Auto Insurance

December 2nd, 2011 at 11:09 pm

I paid our auto insurance policy for the year today. $618 for both vehicles for one year. This is the second year I've been able to do that and it feels great! Smile
By paying in full I am saving the $7/mo "statement fee" or the $3/mo "auto-bill fee".

December is also when our homeowner’s policy is due. That will also be paid in full; paid thru our impound account. $611 for one year.

I find it funny that the amount of these two policies was basically the same.

Visit. Weekend Happenings.

November 6th, 2011 at 04:15 pm

Skip to the end if you don't want to read about MIL's visit.
Smile

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MIL's Visit:
MIL left early this morning before any of us woke up. Naturally, there was drama with her visit but not all of her visit was bad.

She came Thursday night. Watched DS and took DD to school on Friday. Treated to pizza delivery on Friday night. Very nice. Smile

Saturday we went shopping at Kohl's and had a nice trip. She and I enjoyed shopping and visiting.

By Saturday evening things were going downhill. DD was in tears because MIL said she'd never bring crafts to our house again after DD didn't wash out a paintbrush. Then MIL tells me she would've rather bought KFC for dinner on Friday. Which would have been okay with us, but she picked pizza, but only after she said she wanted to go out for Mexican. Rolleyes

When DH and I got home from our "date" Saturday night DD told me that she had been crying again. MIL got angry that she wasn't helping her clean DD's room. MIL told DD that she would never stay in DD's room again. *Nice way to foster a loving relationship with your granddaughter hu?

I told DH that two days/one night seems to be the "sweet spot" for a visit from MIL. More than that and things go bad. He agreed.

She's called twice since she left. Apologized to DD and cried to DH because she doesn't feel FIL gives her enough love and attention.

While she was here, she and I talked about some of their financial issues (could write a whole post about that.) The biggest thing is that they've been in their house for 20 years. They bought it for $120k. They owe $240k. Current value is about $145k.
Cashed out in a refi and used the money for RV, new truck etc. None of which they kept.
BTW, she's glad they haven't paid off their house. They wouldn't have any tax deductions then. Yeah really!
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Weekend Happenings:
At Kohl's I checked out the clearance racks and found a shirt for DS and a set of PJ's for DD, both were $4.80 each. Will be Christmas gifts. I also found girls T-shirts that are meant to be colored on, like a page from a coloring book, with markers that come with the shirt. $4.40 each. My first thought was to grab a few to hold on to for birthday gifts for DD's friends. Decided we will use them as party favors for DD's party. The girls can color them together at the sleepover and then take them home. My grand total was $32 for 5 shirts, 1 PJ set and 1 toddler shirt.

DH and I had a nice date night. Saw the movie "Moneyball" with our free passes. Afterwards we had a great steak dinner with drinks for $62 total.

Now I'm having a cozy and relaxing Sunday watching football and just lounging about. It's been chilly out so we have a toasty fire going.

I have chicken enchiladas all ready to go in the oven for dinner later on. Ice cream cake for dessert. Yum!

The 49ers won their game so I will transfer $10 to the EF.


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