Monday, June 25, 2007

All caught up in summer

With the Prince back to school today (reading camp) I am finally feeling like normal! Haven't had a chance to post in for EVER!!! I spend most of computer time working & I don't seem to get back to it once hubby comes home, we've been too busy enjoying the out of doors.

My gardens are in, we might even have our first grape tomatoes this week. The pumpkins are planted & I even got in 2 strawberry plants. I don't know what to expect from them this year, but they were already producing fruit in the pots I bought them in.

Still need to finish clean up from the garage sale, amazing how everything just gets put off to enjoy the nice weather of get something else done!

Our weekend was interesting to say the least! We helped the neighbor in her yard a little. Her son mows our yard with their rider & we lend her our push mower, well between her & me mowing Sat we managed to kill the push mower DEAD!!! I'm sure I helped I was hacking some really large weeds with it out by our woods & then she took on a really large rock to finish it off... So we will be buying a new mower. Hubby doesn't think he can save it. Just another unnecessary expense! Of course the neighbor feels responsible, but she isn't & there is no way we'll let her pay to replace it (single mom of pity party we just like them!)

Well then the interesting part is after that, hubby was digging holes to set a couple posts in by our garage & he took out the underground power line to the garage! We aren't sure why it is there, if you could see the yard it doesn't make any sense so he didn't think twice about it... So that was 2...

I managed to make it 3 & insignificant at the same time...I broke a scrub brush handle! Woohoo! I just barely stepped on it so aggravating none the less!

Gotta go water my tons o'plants now!!!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Take a quiz, see how you score.

***Link Fixed *** Srooy I didn't get a chance to double check it after posting (used the software not online..)

Give the Household Energy Use Money Saving Quiz a try. I scored $825. I only disagreed with one answer that I got wrong because I'm not sure what the correct answer was, all of them were in the range given in the answer??? 5 - 25 %, so 15% would be in the middle right??? It got it's point across at least.

I took the grocery savings quiz too & scored a $975! Not bad, guess I a as thrifty as I think I am!!!

New Budget

I've estimated my income, & hubby's income for the upcoming insurance deductions but I think I've got it worked out!  At least I know what I have to work & why!

I am not going to put in amounts, but I'll use % instead

Income 100%

Housing = 20.5%

Utilities = 9.7%

Heat = 2%

Car = 19% (includes savings for new car, fees, gas, maintenance)

Food/Household =  27.5% (includes food, household, allowance, yard maintenance, & entertainment)

Savings EF/house = 7.5%

529= 1.5% (total for both kids, so individually 0.75%)

Debts= 7.5%

Flex = 4.8% (can go to building cushion balance on accounts, paying debts, or other misc purchases)

I have the actual amounts figured for my own use.  Now that we are looking at paying off the last "catch up" bill we should be okay. 

I am also heading into the other room to get the apartment appliances ready to sell this weekend.  We are putting them out front for a Saturday Sale.  I am going to put out a bunch of the kids stuff too, just to see what I can get rid of.  Hopefully all will go & we won't have anything left, but if we do it'll go to rural ministries or the Salvation Army.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

I added it up...

The new with tags items I purchased from yard sales totaled $63. Most of those were clearance sale prices. But I think the nwt stuff was maybe 1/3 of the stuff I bought & I didn't spend $60 the whole day (at least not at yard sales!). Felt good to put a bunch of things in storage for the Princess, I hadn't done it in a while so there is this "prepared" thing I feel! Now if she has another growth spurt (she's grown almost 2 inches since April) I should be able to still dress her!!! Shoes is another problem! I just can't seem to find good CHEAP kids shoes. I'd just love a pair of sneakers not to fall apart before they are outgrown, but then I don't think they need to be in perfect condition for 3 children either...Anyone found a good compromise? I usually just pick through whatever Walmart or Payless has to offer. And hope I don't have to go back in 3 months because they outgrew them, or worse, fell apart after 2 weeks...

I have to check the paper & see if any good sales are happening this weekend. I still need to look for clothes for the Prince & sports equipment is the best to find at yard sales!

My wild strawberries are looking good! We have several with fruit on them, hopefully we will get to them before the animals do! I may put in a few plants once we get the garden going. Still waiting for my Dad to come till. He hasn't done his own garden yet. I have gotten the plots cleaned up a little so the big rocks are gone & I rescued a couple of locust trees that were sprouting. If we don't plant them here I'm sure my Dad or Brother will take them for down at the farm. Locust is good for firewood & fence posts! I thin if we go to the store I'm gonna buy some soil & get the pumpkin seeds started. I probably should have already, but last year we had pumpkins so early we weren't sure they'd be around for Halloween!

Yummy Smoothie & theological quiz

I have apparently decided to start my health kick! I made myself a smoothie for lunch. It isn't bad, I probably should have strained the "oat milk" it's a tad gritty.

Oat milk - 1 cup water, 1 cup oats (rolled) or oat bran blended in a blender. You can strain or not (more fiber). I used rolled oats because that is what I have

I finished my first glass, not bad, pretty filling so I'll share!

1 snack sized container of vanilla yogurt
1 frozen banana
4 large frozen strawberries
3/4 C oat milk
1/4 C water
1 T flax seed - milled
1 tsp ginger
1 T honey
dash of cinnamon
Blended smooth.

Next time I will probably blend the flax with the oats to make the milk & then strain it. Of course the point is to increase my fiber & healthy stuff. I added the water because it was too thick & the honey because my strawberries weren't the sweetest.

Otherwise, not bad, nothing the kids would enjoy though!

Found this quiz at Mama Says... Pretty much confirmed what I already know, I don't really fit into any existing Christian Religion! I was Lutheran for a while & that seemed to fit me much better than the Catholic I had to be until I was confirmed. Of course when I was younger we used to enjoy torturing our Religious Ed teachers. We questioned everything & we never had a teacher be prepared for it, so if you are teaching Sunday school classes, be prepared with answers. "Because the Pope says so" is not going to win over a room full of curious teens!

You scored as Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan, You are an evangelical in the Wesleyan tradition. You believe that God's grace enables you to choose to believe in him, even though you yourself are totally depraved. The gift of the Holy Spirit gives you assurance of your salvation, and he also enables you to live the life of obedience to which God has called us. You are influenced heavly by John Wesley and the Methodists.

Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan




Neo orthodox


Classical Liberal


Modern Liberal




Roman Catholic


Reformed Evangelical




What's your theological worldview?
created with

Coloring Pages for girls

I just was introduced to the Doll Place's Coloring Pages. The website description says it specializes in stuff to interest teen girls but I was able to find some simple lined Princess, bear, and other cartoon images for my 3 year old to scribble on. I was able to save the image & print it out for her to use. She isn't totally computer savvy yet. But she loves to color.

The neat thing I found was the "paint" color feature! Just click on the image you want to color & the pallet pops up & you can color away. For some reason I really like lazy coloring. Just fill in the space with the paint feature, I find it relaxing! It would be more girly if you were able to add glitter! Girls like glittery stuff.

This is definitely for older girls or to be visited with supervision. Some of the artwork is uploaded by members & if you stray into the doll creation they are naked, eek!

You can upload your own pen & ink picture to "color." To save your work you only have to register for a free account, then you can share your work with friends & have them color your pictures or others.

It was worth the visit & is now a permanent resident in my bookmarks!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Anti-Procrastination Wednesday

Another trip to the grocery store... Goodness! I'm not sure how anyone can keep up with 2 constantly hungry children! I'd love to say that I keep them in homemade goodies, but if I did I'd never leave my kitchen. So, I went to Aldi & stocked up on some MORE snack type stuff. Granola Bars, fruit snacks, brownie mix, corn chips, yogurt, and other misc food stuff. I spent about $80. My 2 splurges 100 ct box of splenda packets & a bag of frozen raspberries. I bought a smoothie recipe book when we were yard sale-ing (just for kicks & additive ideas more than recipes) & I can't wait to get blending. I found one that is going to require a trip to the vitamin isle but it sounds so yummy. I'll share it if I like it!

Hubby is bringing home another order of food from work Friday that will cover our much used basics coffee, bread flour, steak, burgers, ground beef... If all goes well, we should be in food for the rest of the month. I am going to give a white bread recipe I found a try & see if I can get away from the store bought stuff. It may only cost $0.58, but what is it doing to my kiddo's insides? It's not like I pack lunches for the Prince & I probably won't this year, with only a couple of weeks left, I doubt they'd get our change of income in time to make any changes to our lunch plan. So maybe we'll replace the store bought white nasty stuff with some homemade white nasty stuff! I really should get them into the whole wheat thing.

I have decided that I live in a useless state & village. I have been informed that before I set up my "Intex" pool that I have had for almost 4 years I will need to pay for a building permit, 48" fence & a surface alarm. We figure it will cost us around $250 to set up our $200 temporary pool, that is 4 years old. I even have to have an electrical inspection. We plug it in with an extension cord, not like it's hard wired... The worst part is ANY POOL over 24" needs this. I'm not sure who was promised what when they let this idiotic piece of legislation through but I hope it was worthwhile. We aren't sure if we are going to comply, set it up anyways & figure the chances of discovery are slim to none, or go out & buy a 23" pool! The Prince will get swim lessons during summer rec (finally, I used to attened swim lessons every summer & I worked them when I was old enough, we've been arguing for them to come back ever since). I was really looking forward to enjoying our pool this year. Now I'm not sure what we'll do. Maybe go buy a 12 foot inflatable water slide...

So what am I anti-procrastinating at today... Not sure I haven't gotten that far yet! I think I am going to go put away my laundry pile. Not sure why my stuff always gets put away last??? But it does!

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Comments on Comments!

Christy, I don't think I've gotten any direct offers yet, but I posted the badge! I just had to download Firefox for my job. I used to have it & really liked the tabbed browsing, but since the new IE had tabbed browsing I just never got around to switching.

I love PPP Direct, I got my first one today and it was cool that I was directly asked by someone.

I also found out that you need the Firefox browser to be able to view your job details, etc. So I downloaded it. So far I'm liking the whole firefox thing, it's a bit different from what I'm used to.

Hope you are having a great day!

Christy 05.29.07

I did have a problem with the disclosure badge from PPP so I re-did the code & all seems to be okay. I think I found a "I disclose" badge somewhere, but apparently I didn't install it on my side bar...

Things are looking up! I am still waiting for my first paycheck to come (trying to be patient but it isn't easy!) My only complaint is now my computer time for blogging is limited so I don't post as much. Plus I can't really talk about what I do, it's "confidential"!!! Otherwise I'd have tons to say about it, some of the things I have had to view are just downright creepy!

I dislike not having a real checking account, it is far more inconvenient in our rural area than if we lived some place more urban. I did get him to agree that one of his June paychecks he will go open an account near where he works. I really like the ING accounts, because of the high interest rates but we need something more local too.

I am writing my PPP Direct post right now, and I am hoping to start getting some offers soon. Just wondering, did you have any troubles with the PPP disclosure badge not showing up on your post?
Melissa 05.30.07

I would go INSANE without the checkbook! I tried to give financial control to my husband a few years back 'cause I was just so fed up with it. That lasted a few days ~ I was so crazy with not knowing what was going on!

Glad things are lookin' up for you!

The Honda Civic Hybrid lists 50 mpg highway so even if it drops a little in reality it is still better than the 18-20 our 1995 Windstar will get. Plus there is an added tax credit for 2007 (estimated at $2100) just found out about that! That was why I'm not really interested in the "other" hybrids. I know I could get a bigger vehicle but the mileage improvement just isn't there. You'd think we'd be further along than we are in 2007!!! But consumers can't seem to win! Because of Ethanol the price of corn is going up.

Just an FYI--

You may want to check on the mileage thing before you jump in to the hybrid. I think they are a great, green way to help the environment, but the great mileage is based on mostly city driving. When I questioned why the mileage wouldn't be as high on the highway (since that is where most cars get the best mileage) I was told that the electric part works at lower speeds (city driving) and that on the highway the gas engine kicks in. This causes it to be more like a 'normal' car when it comes to mileage on the highway. Just something to ponder as you make the best frugal decision. I hope that soon we have a great green and frugal way to transport ourselves!


Why do we torture ourselves so???

The hubby & I had a realization, a light bulb moment, if you will yesterday. We took BOTH children to Wal-Mart. What were we thinking? Well the Prince has a birthday party today & I wanted him to pick out the gift & The Princess, well she is 3 & I'm pretty sure CPS would frown upon leaving her home alone! The realization - neither one of us EVER wants to do that again! The 4 of us in a store is just too much.

All in all I think we escaped with little damage. It was later in the evening & both kiddos had already had a full day of outdoor fun, so I figured they would be too tired to fuss obnoxiously. Was I wrong or what! We only made 1 unexpected purchase, zoopals utensils. They were a little cheaper than the frosted animal cookies they like, so they had to trade. We'll see if reason works come Wednesday when they want a snack!

Anywho - Total damage $83
$10 gift
$10 pool filter 2 pack
so $63 for food & household stuff

We went out Friday for dinner using Dining Certificates
for a local restaurant. I bought the $10 certificates during a sale so I paid $6 for $40 in certificates. Regular price would have been $12 (still not bad). You have to use them one at a time, but even with 4 of us our bill was only $28, so we paid $18 + $1.50 (for the certificate). We had enough leftover for a small dinner last night for all 4 of us so that $19.50 fed us twice. Plus the kids were rather well behaved, so bonus!

We have been spending more money than I would care to lately, but we are doing it to finish some much neglected projects. We found windows on clearance, and we bought one to replace the icky leaky window in our living room. It was $60 for a 72"x63" window. I don't remember original sticker exactly but I think it was $198. It was cheaper than the sliding door we originally wanted to put in the space (that was $1500 for the nice door + installation & permits).

We were hoping to pick up a few windows, but that was the only one they had the correct size for. The window in now is a triple with 2 crank outs, one crank out is broken & warped so it doesn't close & the frame cracked so it is unsealed (ant super highway). I've thought about caulking it, but hubby was supposed to replace it the summer we moved in... The new window is a double vinyl double hung with mullions between the panes. It is missing the screens but it WAS on clearance!

We also finally bought the "stuff" to set up the batting cage. Not a very frugal purchase but I was informed about it the day before it arrived via UPS. He picked that up last spring & it has been sitting in the box ever since. Now it will at least be a useful splurge! It came with a golf net too, so maybe I'll be able to practice. I'd love to be able to hit the ball farther than 25 yards a swing before hubby drags me out on the course!

I also went to a bunch of yard sales this weekend (reason there was no Frugal Friday Tip!) A neighboring community had it's attic & sellar days. I scored big time for the Princess. $29 for 3 bags of clothes, most new with tags. In the bags were 5 dance leotards (she'll be taking dance in the fall), a winter coat, lots of t-shirts, 4 skirts, 2 pants, 3 pjs, 3 sweaters, 4 or 5 turtlenecks & a boutique style dress/outfit. I figure she is set for clothes for the next 2 years with minor filling in with some seasonal stuff. Right now she is a 3T/4T so most of what I bought was in the 4/5 range. Lots of good preschool clothes. If it needs a little altering I can handle it, but I figured out that I'd have spent more on the dance outfits than I did for the entire purchase! Sweet!

I also picked up 3 pair of shorts & 2 t-shirts for the Prince, 6 books (including Harry Potter- Sorcerer's Stone), 6 silk ties for hubby, 2 new table cloths & a pair of pillow cases (for either fabric or the Princess's room haven't decided yet).

If anyone here is into sewing/quilting sign up for my Fat Quarter Swap. It's themed Patriotic, sew here comes the red/white/blue!!!

Also if you have faved me in Technorati & I haven't reciprocated please let me know. Last time I went to Technorati I couldn't find the list of people who had faved me so I feel I must be far behind!

Payperpost Love!

Have you signed up for Payperpost yet? It is the coolest thing in blog marketing yet! I have been enjoying my experience so far. I started with my first post on March 7th and have since been paid $77.25. I also have a "due" of $32.00. It takes 30 days to get paid & they send is right to my PayPal! It's not a ton of money, but I have been able to make a couple grocery store trips & buy some adorable hair clips for the Princess.

The better your page rank the better (or more) offers you can choose from. I try to be a little picky about ones that I choose. I suppose I could find a way to relate drug rehab to frugality or personal finance, but there always seems to be something more interesting to talk about! The newest cool op is to blog about your Police concert experiences. I wish I could say that I had any. Sadly I realized that I am a "radio" Police fan! The box set we used to have was far more punk rock than we were into in the day!

I am pretty sure that the rules are that you can't do back to back monetized posts, so not all my posts are Payperpost & not all my sponsored posts are either. But I do believe that it has been my most profitable so far. I am looking forward to a long relationship!