Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Abstract photography

The Princess's idea of a photograph.

2007 Online Earnings

Blogsvertise = $142 (20 posts)
Payperpost = $225.34 (28 posts)
LoudLaunch = $18 (4 posts)
Amazon items = $9.60 (haven't been paid yet, $10 minimum for payment)
Google = $6.69 (haven't been paid yet, waiting for PIN #)

Total received for 2007 = $385.34

All of this has gone on my paypal card & either bought food, coal, gasoline or minutes for my cell phone. My average was $7.40 per post written. I also turned down a bunch of offers to write really irrelevant posts. I figured if I couldn't think of anything worthy to write I'd probably better leave it for someone else!

So that's where it goes...

Ever wonder where your money goes in any given month? I pulled out reciepts for the month of January so far & realized because of all the runny noses here I have spent almost 2 hours worth of pay (before taxes) on tissues!!! At least I can say I spent very little out of pocket on all of the cold medicines thanks to CVS! We have been taking the immune builders, but we were all over exposed to something! My Mom even caught it!

I know that the warm/cold/warm/cold isn't supposed to increase our exposure to colds, but that is the only thing that was different! We had a stretch of warm weather then bam, snow. I think we just let our guard down when it's warm!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Cappuccino Muffins

This Cappuccino Muffins recipe was submitted for the January 22 Make it From Scratch Carnival. Of course I had to make it my own but it just sounded so good I had to make them this morning!

I added
2 T Milled Flaxseed
1/2 cup Chocolate Chips

I think next time I'll add a 1/4 cup more sugar, maybe some brown sugar to give it a deeper flavor. They were fantastic, I'll be making these again.

I also used 2 sleeves of single serve Nescafe Columbian coffee granules. From the free samples I was sent. We don't care for instant coffee as a beverage but I use it in my baking a lot. I add it to store bought brownie mix along with some chocolate syrup.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Green Me Up?

Green Me Up was an amazing show so full of ideas & projects that can make our homes & live "greener."  My only problem... The trash they generated doing it.  Can you imagine having to replace every (120 I think) light bulb at once with a CF.  The pile was just sad.  I doubt that they NEEDED to change every light bulb, wasn't that wasteful, not green???  Could be wrong here, but hey I know I'd have to take out a Home Equity loan to change all the lights & bulbs over to "Greener" versions if I did it at once.  We replace as we go & most of the "long running" fixtures have been changed out to CFs, we even put some decorative CFs in the upper bathroom.

Plus hubby & I got a kick out of the prize, It was a golf cart!!!  We'd have to get special permission to drive that thing on our roads & I wouldn't have the battery life to make it to the grocery store, because at 25 MPH it would take me 45 minutes to an hour to get there!!!  We are about 15 to 20 miles to stores (by the time you sit at red lights & deal with side roads).  And then where would I put the stuff???  Since I try to shop only once a week (or less, that would be awesome!) I have to buy a lot at one time!!!

There were a ton of great projects on the show, like insulating & updating appliances, it just seemed to do it all for the sake of doing it missed a BIG green principle.

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New Energy Saver in the House...

Sigh... Doesn't it always seem to figure, as soon as you think you are at least caught up if not ahead a little when a bottle of laundry detergent falls into the washer & blows it to pieces (I had to leave the lid open because the trigger fell apart) this is the same part we had to have fixed a few months ago so there was no way I was spending another $100 on this 7 year old washer (that's 2/3rds the original price, pushing 3/4). We had Lowe's cards from Christmas, they were going to go to a couple of kitchen cupboards but I can't be with out a washer.

We got so LUCKY! Someone had returned a pair of GE front loaders the day before. We grabbed the washer at $200 off regular retail, bought the extended 5 warranty (cuz ya never know) & paid almost the same out of pocket as we did for the old one. Bonus: Energy costs on this washer are $10 with electric hot water at $0.086/KWH, our rates are about half that, so we'll see just how much this saves us. The old one was listed at $76 per year.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Still in the Bathroom...

The wallpaper is up now I am pre-painting the trim... Looks like a hershey bar, makes me hungry, probably not the best choice of color...

We did start gathering tax info, so tis the season!!!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Hanging Wallpaper not nearly as hard as I thought it would be. Of course I didn't pick a restricting pattern with impossible matchings to be made. It is however highly time consuming.

It took us about 8 hours to do the ceiling. Our mistake was marking every 21" with a line, that took a while, especially when all we really needed was one line to work off of. Much of the rest of the time was spent waiting for the glue to cure, 5 minutes per strip. The pattern was easy to line up since it was mostly boxes (think tin ceiling tiles). The walls aren't done yet, but I only have the old closet left to do & I am waiting for some Spackle to dry. I was almost done with it yesterday but I noticed that there were some areas that just needed a little more help & it was time for the school bus to arrive anyways! What is left should be simple & only take me half of the day LOL! It's at least 6 strips of paper so that's 30 minutes just waiting for the glue!!!

The wallpaper project cost us just around $100 including tools we didn't already have.

We still have $114 to spend the rest of the project will be stuff we already have (approx $150 worth) So we'll be around the $1000 mark (in approx value of stuff we bought & already had) & it will look like we spent so much more. Mostly because we used a lot of things we already had, bought carefully & reused a lot of stuff (I LOVE spray paint!)

Organization & me

Understanding Chronic Disorganization

This is so me! It seems like every time I start to put things in order, something happens. Like the house was nice, orderly & organized for the Holidays but now that we are in week 4 of the bathroom redo the kitchen (landing place for all bathroom stuff) looks like a tornado hit it. I am trying to get rid of the clutter, but I swear it multiplies in the dark.

Again I have to remember that there are only 24 hours in a day & I need at least 6 of them for sleep, 4-8 for working, leaving only 10-14 hours for the "other" stuff. Of course I am not the only one living here, but I refuse to play the martyr. We just have too much stuff for our space & there is no getting around that. Plus we have too much going on right now. I am hoping to have the bathroom finished by this weekend, so at least one room will be clean organized & functional. I am trying to get one thing done at a time, that's my new 2008 habit I'm working on. To complete as much of a task as possible in the time allotted. Like after posting I will be off to complete the wallpaper in the bathroom. Then all we'll have left to do it install the trim. We are going to buy a utility cabinet & install a counter but I think that is a weekend project so my job is to make sure that it can be done then!!!

From there we are going to start the small projects needed to move our bedroom upstairs. Heat would be nice :D. So I will be able to get the kitchen & pantry back in order. The desk will be back upstairs & so will all the paper clutter that is on it., not before I toss 75% of it for the junk that it is!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Super Saving Saturday (late!)

Check out other Money Saving Moms HERE.

I went to CVS Saturday after the Princess's dance class, boy did we do good. My oop was $0.80, I didn't use a single ECB but I earned over $50. I only did so good because I was able to get a Contour Breeze 2 Monitor which are on sale for $9.99 with $9.99 back ECB, plus there is a $50 coupon floating around (and a MIR up to $40). I bought 2 more of the Sambucol elderberry syrups that are $12.99 with $10 ECB (4 total). I can buy 1 more & I'm sending hubby to buy some too this month. If it does the job (keep us from getting as many colds) it'll be worth the $, plus it tastes good. And we are taking it daily now & 4 will not get us through cold season.

I also took advantage of the Nature's Bounty buy 1 get 1 deal with the $2 coupons plus the $3 ECBs, I made out! I picked up some Ginseng, Melatonin, Flaxseed & a B vitamin complex.

I remember my total before coupons was $85, so I think I might be getting the hang of this! The cashier did say that I won the award for best shopper, so at least they like me! Of course there are some at the same store that don't, but it's not like I'm doing anything wrong, just taking advantage of whats out there!

Tomorrow I am running for the cottonelle deal, some rubbermaid containers & of course more Tylenol!!!

Our Walgreen's is set to open in a couple months, wonder what that will be like???

I am also going to start using Ebates more for online purchases, mostly because I like the cash back option. Or you could Join MyPoints
and earn gift cards (CVS, Walmart, Old Navy, JCPenny are my first choices). I think we'll shop a lot more online mostly because our gas is OUTRAGEOUS right now & we are both working from home so why drive if ya don't have to!!!

The been busy remodeling

So here's what I'm reading post...

Make it from Scratch

I will be giving this one a try...
MYO Pita recipe
This would be a great addition to the "Un-Grocery" list.

Carnival of the recipes

Pop on over to Renovating the Money Pit to see what we've been up to & what our remodeling goals for the year are. The bath is almost done, we just need to put up the wall paper (ew, but there is no other way to get a smooth wall), we did pick a nice neutral texured paint looking paper. If it wasn't a bathroom I'd do the technique myself. We bought the "tin" look paper for the ceiling, should look nice painted with the mold resistant paint & then rubbed with a tin color paint. Then some new trim & the project will be done, sigh. On to the next room!!! Kitchen I think, that is cabinets small counter top & some trim. Think it's the least destructive of our future projects!!!