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Archive for October, 2011

Happy Halloween!

October 31st, 2011 at 07:55 pm

Happy Halloween everyone! Big Grin

DD is out Trick or Treating with school friends and we just put DS to bed. DH is in charge of handing out candy, but so far we've only had five. Our street not a popular place???

Here is my pumpkin - I am very proud of it.

For Game of Thrones followers: Winter is Coming Wink


Beautiful Sunny Weekend

October 30th, 2011 at 11:22 am

I see a whole bunch of you are already seeing snow! Yikes! I wish you all a cozy day with hot coco, a snuggly pet (or blanket) and a good book or movie. Smile

It was 80F yesterday. My DD's school had their harvest celebration with a pancake breakfast, concert, games, crafts and raffle. My mom came down and she bought breakfast. DH spent $20 of his cash on the raffle. We ended up winning a big basket full of craft kits and craft supplies. It's supposed to be 75F here today. We have bright blue skies and it's just gorgeous!

It's been very nice most of the month, but has been getting cool overnight. Last night it was 39F. SO it seems you run the heat at night and in the early morning and by mid-day you're wondering if you shouldn't put the AC on. Rolleyes

Really I should not complain about how nice the weather has been this month, most days it's been just right where we haven't had to use heat or AC.

My mom stayed the night and I have totally put off doing any weekend chores. Big Grin
Now, I don't have much desire to get anything done.
What I *must* do:
- watch the 49er football game at 1pm
- carve pumpkins
- load dishwasher

Payday - Whew!

October 28th, 2011 at 09:58 pm

Deposited DH's paycheck this evening so it will credit to the account tonight. I had let the checking account dwindle down to $19.80!

Stopped at Costco.
$66 in gas. It's 3.66/gal here.
$96 inside. I ended up buying a few more items than I had planned. Needed paper towels, laundry soap and ground turkey. I added Halloween candy, Nutella (coupon), frozen breakfast sandwiches (coupon) and a set of baking sheets ($4 off). And I saw plenty of other things I would've loved to have gotten. Like: hummus, bacon, Italian sausages, cheeses, pie, pizza, steaks, sparkling water, cute sweatshirts for DD, $50 value giftcard for $40, and so on and so on.

I also wrote two checks today.
$136 for DD's afterschool childcare.
$75 for DD's school lunch account.

I will send out a $300 check tomorrow for horse board.

Goes out as fast as it comes in, right?

Good Marketing: I Bit and Spent

October 27th, 2011 at 05:39 pm

Do you all know what Bare Minerals makeup is? If so, you can skip the next part if you'd like.

In case you don't, it is a very fine powder makeup that you "buff" on your face using makeup brushes. It is a San Francisco company, but sold worldwide (I believe). I don't wear makeup very much or often. However, I have mentioned before that I have Rosacea so my cheeks and nose can get very red, blotchy, icky. This makeup really helps cover that and has a very light feeling. I bought a starter kit about two years ago and am just starting to run out.
(I told you I don't use it very often!)
However, I am going to try to make an effort in the mornings to "do" my face because I feel better on the days I do.

Bare Minerals company, Bare Escentuals, sends me emails a few times a week. Today's email was get a free eyeliner when you stop in at a BE boutique. I was planning on hitting the mall to go to Macy's for a clearance toddler costume so I was like "Cool!" I'm already going through the trouble of going to the mall and I'll be getting a freebie.

Make a purchase and you get a free eyeshadow too.

See where I'm going with this?

I stopped in and chose the Midnight blue eyeliner. It might last forever for as often as I use eyeliner! Also had some questions about other products I wanted to try. Redness Remedy, two of the face cleansers, some moisturizer. (I have no beauty routine and would love to start treating my skin, esp. face better.) So the gal sat me in the chair and washed, moisturized and "make-up'd" my face. Hey, free pampering: I should do that regularly. Big Grin

Think I like the redness product, but didn't buy any.
Liked the eyeshadow primer. Can use alone. Super easy to apply, but didn't buy any.
Really loved the foaming cleanser - I bought it.
(The other cleanser was really nice feeling too.)
Really liked the moisturizer - bought it too.
Got a free eyeshadow because of my purchase! Big Grin Pretty golden sparkly color. Subtle enough for wearing at work/daytime. Name: Enlightened.
$46 spent on Moi. :O

I bit on the freebie and ended up buying.

My "treats" with the reusable shopping bag they put them in.

Dental Visit. Free Goodies from a Friend.

October 26th, 2011 at 03:34 pm

Have a bit of down time here at work. We only have four appointments this afternoon so my co-worker has left for the day and the boss just got back from lunch now.

Yesterday I had a dental appointment. Just a routine cleaning again. It's the third one for the year. The office will bill my insurance, but I think I will end up paying for it because it was #3 in a 12 month period. My hygienist had a few areas that she wanted to double check/clean from my last visit. Last year I only made it in for one cleaning because I was busy with new baby DS and totally lost track of time. It ended up being a year between cleanings. Making up for it now.

After my cleaning I met my previous co-worker for lunch. I brought her some doggie supplies so she bought me lunch. Her DH works in the movie theater business so she also gave me six movie passes! Approx a $60 value! She also gave DD several shirts she didn't want anymore (she is a pretty small woman) a package of Silly Bands and a cool cup with spiral straw. She's really a cool person and I miss working with her.

Next weekend MIL is coming for a visit so DH and I are going for a date night and see a movie for free. Smile

New Shoes. Doing Surveys.

October 25th, 2011 at 10:04 pm

Bought new shoes for the kids on Saturday.
DS's first real pair of shoes! Awwwww..SO cute. Big Grin
DD got a pair of athletic/running shoes. I tend to wait until October-ish to buy new school shoes for DD because it's warm enough that she wears summertime shoes until about now.
We have a little outlet mall in town and there is a Stride Rite (w/other brands) store that I have shopped at for years. I always bought Stride Rite shoes for DD when she was younger and now I will for DS because I love the quality. The prices at the outlet average 50% less than the retail stores. And I think the outlet has a better selection. I spent $53 total.

Both Stride Rite and Old Navy had a survey website on their receipts. Normally I don't bother, but knowing I'll be shopping both of these places again in the near-ish future I did both surveys. Just did them tonight for $5 off at the shoe store and 10% off at O.Navy.

Do you ever do the surveys on receipts?

CC and Retail Therapy

October 22nd, 2011 at 12:52 pm

Quite a few of you are doing so great on getting credit card rewards - Good Job!
I haven't gotten any super juicy offers. One $250 offer with a $99/year fee, so I totally wrote it off. But when I read Monkey Mama's post about the cc company refunding the fee I thought "Shoot! Maybe I should've gone for it."
I will "earn" a $250 cash reward from my current card by next month. My points total is this [----] close. Smile
Of course I will use the money to pay on the card.

I had a moment of weakness and actually let myself spend money on clothes for myself. I know that sounds funny, but most of you can relate. It's really hard to 'justify' spending money on a frivolous thing like clothes for yourself unless you need it for work or to land a job.

I had set out for Old Navy because they were having a sale on their active wear. I need a new sports bra and I wanted a new top because I'm always wearing DH's t-shirts to the gym.
Instead I found this cute, simple dress. Very comfortable. Can be dressed up or down. You know one of those types of things that you never find when you're looking for it, but is right in front of your face when you don't have any money?
I was ready to put it back when I asked the checker to scan the price and see if it was on sale at all. It was 30% off making it $23.
A classic type piece for $23. I went for it. Embarrassment

I also bought a SF 49er t-shirt and two racer back tank tops.

I wanted to get a shirt for DS. It had the Superman logo on the front (DS's name starts with an "S") it would've been very cute, but it was $15!!! For a toddler shirt - I don't think so!

I thought the tank tops were on sale, but when I got home I looked at my receipt and they weren't; it must have been the other style. Frown
These were $10.50 each. I really like the style, but I am going to take them back and I will buy them when they go on sale. Old Navy puts their tank tops on sale all the time.

Struck out on the sports bra and no work out tops since I'm returning what I had intended to be gym wear. So I will be shopping for those items still.

Bad(ish) and Way Worse

October 21st, 2011 at 10:08 pm

Bad: The check engine light came back on in my car. I figure it's just that burnt fuse again? Car is running fine, so???

Worse: I don't even want to say... Frown
One of our dogs, Sasha, has cancer. Frown
Last weekend I could feel her lymph nodes were enlarged. All of them and that's not good. I was hoping it wouldn't be serious because she's been feeling fine, normal. She's 7 years old.

I took her to work and we did a biopsy. The results came back as Lymphoma.

Without treatment the mean life expectancy is two months. With chemo the average life expectancy is one year. We would need to take her to an internal medicine specialist at one of the large referral hospitals. I spoke with one of the oncology specialists at the closest hospital (10 miles) and there are several treatment options. The best option costs upwards of $5k to $8k. **long exhale**

We are all so sad.
Even more so because we just lost a pet.

Sunday and Monday

October 18th, 2011 at 08:43 pm

Sunday I went grocery shopping and we really stocked up. DD went with me and I was glad she did because I had her get a second cart! I spent $262. Stocked up on many good deals: $1 items and BOGO free. According to the receipt I saved $110 on store savings and I had a (yes, ONE) $1 off coupon. I have a far way to go to be an Extreme Couponer. Wink

Speaking of Extreme Couponers, I finally watched a few episodes. Interesting... And I really applaud all the time and organization it takes. I think there are some great lessons on how to make it work for you. However, I don't know about getting like 500 Tic-Tacs just because they're free.

On second thought, maybe I would and pass them out for Halloween! Big Grin

In my area (Sonoma County, CA) there arenít any stores that double and the weekly coupons aren't anything that would make buying something you don't NEED worthwhile.

I do remember when I was little and shopping with my mom that stores doubled, and on special days, even tripled coupons. I might be totally wrong, but I don't think there are any stores in California that do this anymore.

Also on Sunday the SF 49ers won their game!
I think I will add money to the EF for each win. Maybe $5 or $10..hmmm..

Yesterday we took our boss out for lunch. It was Bosses' Day. I had a pear, caramelized onion and goat cheese pizza. Very different and very good. We shared a dessert - Mudpie - YUM!
It was fun and he was suprised. A splurge, my co-worker and I split the bill and tip. $32 each. I ate the rest of my pizza for lunch today.

Saturday Doings

October 15th, 2011 at 04:53 pm

DH is a volunteer firefighter and has firefighter engineer classes this weekend and next so it's just me and the kids from 6:30am to 6:00pm. Lots of put off house cleaning, regular weekend laundry and such. I have been alternating equally between working and vegetating. Like 90 minutes working, then 90 minutes on the computer, reading or watching TV.

This morning I took DS to have his second haircut. (That means we're averaging a haircut every 5 months. That's about par for me; it seems I only get around to getting my hair done twice a year.)
It's a children's salon. Super cute with a nice play area and tons of toys. It took about 10 minutes for his haircut and then he played with some of the other kids for almost 40 minutes. I also bought a hair clip for big sister. $25 total.

I received the check today to reimburse the cost for the bumper repair. Very thankful he was so fast sending it out. Smile

I will put that check in the bank tomorrow morning when I am out grocery shopping. Lately I've been managing to only go grocery shopping every two weeks. It's been nice because of the time savings. I also think I save a bit of money too because I'm only tempted to buy extra stuff twice monthly vs. four times monthly.

Bought some strawberries from a door to door peddler this afternoon at DD's urging. Delicious, large and ripe! I'm glad she talked me into it. $10 for a lot. We might need to freeze some and I think we'll have strawberry shortcake tomorrow night after I get the pound cake and whipped cream from the store.

Checking Account Changes

October 14th, 2011 at 09:53 pm

I was looking thru the notices on my bank account online earlier this week. They had sent us one last month notifying us that our free checking account would be changing in November to an $8/mo account or to $6/mo if we had a linked savings account. We do have a linked savings, but heck if I'm going to just submit to paying for our checking account after having it free for like.. ever?

So today at lunch I went into a branch and talked with a banker. They are more than happy to give you free checking if you can set up direct deposit, but that isn't an option for our paychecks. I told the banker that we have always been happy with this bank and like that they have ATMs and branches everywhere, but we would move our checking account to the credit union next door if we couldn't get free checking anymore.

He must be having these conversations multiple times daily. With the notice going out and the "99%" movements he said a lot of people are changing accounts. Anyhow, he was very friendly and quickly found an 'account product' that will work. Get this - College Checking!
There is a $3/mo fee IF your balance averages less than $500 for the month. I keep a cushion in checking and there is a steady flow of money thru, so this shouldn't be an issue. I am willing to give it a try because I do like the service I've gotten the past 13 years.

Nope, you don't have to be a student or be 20 or live at home to have the College Account. Thought that was interesting.
Why even name it that? Rolleyes

Our old account was named Custom Management.

I told the banker they should consider naming accounts like this: Super Special Savings or Valued Client Checking. Big Grin

We'll see how this works out... I've got other options if it doesn't.

I wonder how many people won't try to change their accounts or how many will even notice they're paying a fee now.

At Work, but Not Much Work

October 12th, 2011 at 01:58 pm

I am at work today, but I am all by myself right now and will be for the next two or more hours. My boss is out of the office for a business/attorney meeting thing and my coworker headed for home already. Not much for me to do but man the phone and the front desk. Which is very easy to do while I sit in front of the computer here.
I could clean or something, but......Nah!

I forgot at home the fax number for the person who hit my car. I had wanted to fax the final invoice to him so I can get a check ASAP. Oh well, it'll have to be tomorrow.

I took a survey for my health plan and earned a $5 Amazon credit code. I hope there will be more of those because $5 is nice, but isn't going to get me very far!

I did second survey for Diapers.com last night and was entered into a drawing for $100 credit. I think I'd rather have a guaranteed $5 credit. Smile

Spending a Little

October 11th, 2011 at 09:06 pm

Some spending:

My DH signed up for the Biggest Loser program/competition at the gym. He and his boss are a team and if they win (largest percent of weight loss) the prize is $500 for first (I think?). Cost to join was $50. Really I just want him to be successful at his weight loss. The money would be an awesome bonus.

DS and I walked home after dropping off the car this morning and when it was ready this afternoon we walked back to pick it up. A 30 minute walk each way. It was a beautiful day today, 65F in the morning and 76F with a soft breeze this afternoon. It's clear tonight with a big moon, and so mild. (Geesh two days ago it was pouring and five days ago it was like 40F and we had the heat on.)
Stopped at the grocery store after getting the car for a few "fill in" items. $14.

DD's school's fall fundraiser order is due tomorrow. I ordered a roll of cute wrapping paper with cartoon dogs and cats on it and a package of fancy tulip bulbs. $22.

I placed a Diapers.com order and my favorite "squeezy pouch" food for baby DS went up in price. Frown I will have to check the grocery store and see if their price is lower now. I also bought DD some shampoo. $41.

Going On Here

October 11th, 2011 at 12:35 pm

Thank you everyone for the kind comments on my last post.
Very appreciated. Smile


I don't have to go into work today because this afternoon's schedule is empty. I don't want my work to be slow thus leading to lower income, but I sure like having the day off. Big Grin

My Pathfinder is in the body shop today to get the bumper replaced. I am putting it on my cc for the points and getting a reimbursement check from the driver who hit it. $820. Which I think is so crazy because it's such an older car and there wasn't that much damage, nothing needed painting etc. Rolleyes
Anyhow, I am glad this will be done and I can take it off my "To Do List".

I took advantage of an offer at the grocery store last week and earned a $5 Starbucks card. I had to buy two Starbucks products at the same time. It worked out great because the coffee was on sale so I would have bought one package anyway just to keep in the pantry.

DH took our old HP laptop that Staples couldn't fix to the local repairman that our friends told us about. And guess what? He fixed it! It had been hijacked, whatever that really means, and a virus. He had it for two days and totally fixed it! $100. Now the bad news, somehow the screen got a crack in it. I think while it was in DH's work truck, but who knows. We have been letting DD use it by hooking it up to a monitor we had for the desktop that never gets used anymore. We could buy a new screen and have this guy put it in for a total of $180. But, we don't have any inclination to spend anymore on this computer. It is nice to have a second computer that connects wirelessly to the net and it works out just fine for DD the way it is now.

DH had a side job Sunday. He kept some of the profit for his own spending and gave $200 toward whatever I wanted to do with it. I applied it to credit card debt.

DD started her after school enrichment classes last week. She is doing Fused Glass (which I am so curious to see what she creates there) and Healthy Cooking (she loves cooking and baking). $85 total.

Fuzzy Angel

October 8th, 2011 at 08:37 pm

Our kitty passed this afternoon. She had been a part of our family for 11.5 years. There will be a little something missing from our family for quite awhile now.

Losing a pet is so painful, but the joy they bring during their time with us is worth it 100 times over.

(Lots of sleeping in her final days.)

All my love to these angels with fur.

Saving $25/mo.

October 7th, 2011 at 03:35 pm

A long time ago when DH and I had our first computer together we only had a dial-up connection. We used AOL and paid for the unlimited use per month package. I think high-speed was newly out then and absolutely way too expensive for us.

A few years later when we lived outside of town on three acres we couldn't get DSL because there weren't any lines that far out. We could have gotten high-speed satellite service, but again too expensive. We kept our AOL.

Two years ago after we had bought our house in town we started using DSL and then cable, but we still had our AOL account being auto paid by the credit card. The account had always been in DH's name and every few months I'd ask him to find out if we could cancel or downgrade our package. For several reasons we need and want to keep the email addresses we have so I was afraid to cancel outright without him talking to a live person. Well my DH is not so good at calling and taking care of these things so it hadn't happened until yesterday.

He was able to log on to his account and make the change with about two clicks online. And it clearly said we would be keeping our same addresses. Smile

Yay, now I have $25/mo more to put toward savings or debt. Big Grin

All About My Kitty

October 6th, 2011 at 09:12 pm

Tried to update on Tuesday morning about my kitty Fuzzy, but as we all know the site was on the fritz. So glad we're all up and running again! Big Grin

On Friday night we (the family) had noticed Fuzzy seemed to have a 'stuffy nose'. No biggie; a simple upper respiratory infection usually will resolve on it's own just like when we have a cold. But by Sunday afternoon she was lethargic and not eating or drinking. No vomiting or diarrhea. Monday morning she was looking jaundice (yellow skin) and I brought her with me to work. (I am a registered veterinary technician and work in a single doctor small animal general practice. Because of this I am very fortunate to have access to low cost or free care for my animals. Thankfully!)
We ran a comprehensive blood panel, took x-rays and started IV fluids and IV antibiotics. Her x-rays were clear: good. Her blood work however was all over the place like major shutdown and pointed to diabetic ketoacidosis: Seriously sick and life threatening.

I was surprised because I hadn't seen any warning signs for diabetes. I feel guilty that I might have missed something. What my boss (the doctor) is thinking is that she was borderline diabetic and when she slowed her eating and drinking because of the upper respiratory infection (URI) that started the domino effect.

She's been on 24 hour care. If she was a client's pet she would be hospitalized at a 24-hour hospital, but I am able to do what she needs so I take her home each night and bring her to work during the day. She's holding her own. There has been some slight improvement. Her URI cleared up yesterday and her follow-up blood panel showed some better values. I started her on insulin. She is still on IV fluids, antibiotics and I have to syringe feed her because she's not eating on her own. Hopefully she starts eating soon because that's going to be the biggest thing to help her be okay.