Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Frugal Fire Safety

There is no such thing... I don't think the rules of frugality can be applied to health and safety issues. Actually if you are truly frugal than you value what is most important, so maybe over the top fire safety is frugal...

We have multiple floors, so we have multiple smoke detectors. By multiple I mean we have 3 on the first floor, 2 in the basement, at least 3 on the second floor & one in the attic. We also have 2 CO (carbon monoxide) detectors, although we have one that could be moved. We have 2 fire extinguishers, one between the laundry room and the stove the other upstairs in our bedroom. We will be replacing these this fall with bigger ones, they are also a little on the old side. I'm not sure how often you are supposed to replace them, but we've had them for 5 years, so I'm saying it's time to at least get a couple more!

We intend to add at least 2 more detectors to our array of protection as well. They will be the "Photoelectric" type. We will put one on each "living" floor. After watching a TV comparison that showed the photoelectric sensors detected a problem faster than the older model smoke detectors, we decided to add some. Faster is better, it means we have more time to get to safety.

We have just reviewed our fire escape plan with the children, we will do a drill sometime soon. Hubby just changed all of the batteries in the detectors. This is early for us, usually I schedule it for when we change the clocks for daylight savings time.

Am I paranoid, a little; overly cautious, you bet!!! Our community has had several fires in the last 6 months. We've taken a look at our house & our ability to react to the different causes of these fires. Our house was built in 1867, so it has it's own unique issues to think about as well. However, we have 2 modes of exit from the second floor, one directly outside, the other through our kitchen. The first floor has two doors outside. We have a meeting place that should be far enough away from the house to be safe and out of the way of where emergency personnel might need to be.

I have been slacking in the emergency kit department, time to get off my behind & get those up to date.

We started thinking about these things the same time we started preparing the furnace for it's first run. Of course having a fatal fire locally where the two victims were very close in age to my kids pushed us to be overly cautious, and added some extra steps to our overall plan.

Stumble It!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Fun Meme

This has been attached to the I "heart" your blog award floating around...

You have to use 1 word to answer the question!

1. Where is your cell phone? Shelf
2. Where is your significant other? Mowing
3. Your hair color? Brown
4. Your mother? Waiting
5. Your father? Busy
6. Your favorite thing? Chocolate
7. Your dream last night? Sex
8. Your dream/goal? Stability
9. The room you’re in? Living
10. Your hobby? Sewing
11. Your fear? Spiders
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Grounded
13. Where were you last night? Home
14. What you’re not? Patient
15. One of your wish-list items? ipod
16. Where you grew up? NY
17. The last thing you did? laundry
18. What are you wearing? shorts
19. Your TV? Off
20. Your pet? Chipmunk
21. Your computer? Acer
22. Your mood? Sad
23. Missing someone? Yes
24. Your car? Aqua
25. Something you’re not wearing? bra
26. Favorite store? TJMaxx
27. Your summer? Gone
28. Love someone? Yep
29. Your favorite color? Red
30. When is the last time you laughed? Now
31. Last time you cried? morning

That is hard to do with only one word!!!

Stumble It!

Halloween to Thanksgiving Ideas

Fall is here! Time to start thinking about Halloween & Thanksgiving, for me that also includes 2 weddings, several anniversaries & birthdays, hunting season and more FOOTBALL!!!

So when I open my email & find a bunch of great tips sitting there just waiting to be passed along I just have to share!

~The start of the upcoming holiday season is upon us with Halloween right around the corner! Between family dinners, parties, costumes, and more, things can really add up! With Americans looking to save money anywhere we can these days- we've got some budget saving decorating ideas (and kid-friendly crafts) that will transition you from Halloween through Thanksgiving. Lisa Kothari, a nationally known party planner, offers up some fabulous ideas for your readers. Below are just some of her ideas; please let me know if you・d like more. Thanks!

Cookie Cutters: The simple pumpkin cookie cutter you chose to create marvelous pumpkin invitations and decorations for your spooky Halloween party can be used at Thanksgiving time to make pumpkin sugar cookies, pumpkin bread, brownies, etc. Pumpkins are as festive at Halloween as they are at Thanksgiving.

Tablecloth: Use an orange tablecloth for your Halloween party table, and then trim it up using brown ribbon and scalloped scissors to create a formal tablecloth for Thanksgiving.

The bales of hay and Indian corn you purchased to make your yard, front porch, door, and even serve as a table centerpiece can all be used during Thanksgiving as well. The items will keep fresh throughout the entire autumn season. You can also use the corn husks to create dolls and puppets for more Thanksgiving decorations or plain fun!

Mini pumpkins and gourds look as festive for Halloween as they will for Thanksgiving. Have the kids draw faces on the small pumpkins, and turkeys on to the gourds.

Any leftover orange balloons can be blown up for Thanksgiving and the kids can either draw with brown magic markers or use other craft materials to create turkey balloons.

Have the kids roll up large orange napkins that you may have used for your Halloween party and create napkin rings using white and black construction paper rings (the Pilgrim colors, of course!)

Did you bob for apples at your Halloween party? Use these apples or some new ones to create Apple Candlestick Holders. Core out the center of the apple to fit a candle snuggly. Older children can carve out patterns on the skin of the apple, or just keep them plain red.

About Lisa Kothari: Kothari is the president and founder of Peppers and Pollywogs, a web-based company that is ・All About Kids・ Parties.・ During the past ten years, Lisa has organized hundreds of creative and unique kids・ parties in Washington, DC, New York City, and Seattle. She believes that no matter the budget or the amount of time a parent has, a great kids・ party can always be planned. Her passion is helping parents achieve this with minimal time and effort. Kothari recently released her book, Dear Peppers and Pollywogs・What Parents Want to Know About Planning Their Kids・ Parties, a must-have manual for all parents. Be sure and visit Peppers and Pollywogs for party tips, advice, and current theme trends.

Stumble It!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Frugal Friday - Kiplinger Rocks

What it takes to get a Mortgage Now. From August, so things may have changed just a little bit!!!

Besides Walking on water, you need to be ok on the 3 Cs
  1. Credit History
  2. Capacity - depth and continuity of your resources
  3. Collateral - Value of your property, down payment or equity.
  • The higher the credit score the lower your interest will be
  • Down Payment should be at least 5%
  • If refinancing - Should leave at least 10% equity after the loan
  • I don't even begin to understand jumbos - won't be an issue for me where I live. Most Dr.s don't even have to worry about that!

Kiplinger's Hybrid Calculator

Hybrids Worth the Price

Stumble It!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Just a catch up

Quick catch up that is...

I know everyone SAYS they are busy, but this is nuts!
Our week has been one thing after another.
I worked so I was out of the house from 9 - 3:30
The Prince did homework from 3:45 until 4:30 (he had a bad day)
Made dinner, got dressed for practice, where the coaches got into an argument with another coach & some parents... We have a parents meeting with the board on Thursday because of it.
Gist of issue - Apparently there was a communication issue with the Saturday game & ONE kid who was supposed to play both offense & defense only played offense. Oh boo hoo, he still got to play! If the kid was so concerned he should have said "Hey coach, shouldn't I be in there?" Anyhoo - things were said in front of the kids (9-11 year olds) and now we have to go tell the board what they should do or something like that... It's a small town & things seem to get heated quickly when everyone knows your business... Love it!!!

Tuesday The Princess had school, I painted for 4 hours. I've been working on my parents house every chance I can trying to get it painted before the snow flies.
Homework & then off to practice

Wednesday We had open house at the school, I had to work until 3 & then stop at the bank. Oh yea, the Prince started chorus, so he had to ride the first bus, which meant I had to get up an hour early to get him out the door an hour early.

Thursday Princess at school, run to store to buy the insulated heat duct to finish that project before it frosts tonight. The football meeting, homework I'm sure. Scraping some window trim & removing storm windows at my parents.

Friday Princess at school, I work 11-4, homework, dinner, maybe football.

Saturday we have to be at the game by 12:30, hubby has a gun raffle at 3, kids have a b-day party at 4, the boy will HAVE to shower first... I'm going to be insane by the end of the weekend.

Somewhere I'm supposed to find time to cook & do laundry, & all the normal cleaning that doesn't get done unless I do it (toilets, wipe sinks, dust, sweep under things).

We have to do about 6 outdoor projects on our house, but we've been side tracked by my Parents house project & building a wheelchair ramp at my In-laws.

It's no wonder my insides are all angry at me LOL!

Stumble It!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Product Review - Febreze Fabric Refresher Decor

I recently received the Febreze Fabric Refresher Decor - Lavender Vanilla & Comfort to use and review.

The first thing I noticed is how pretty it looks. It is an unobtrusive bottle is very sleek. I can see how it would blend in with any decor. Then I sprayed my couch with it, yummy! I also used it on the curtains in the kitchen, they always pick up smells. The fresh scent lasted for a long time.

It worked so well I took it into my office, to spray my musty carpet. Apparently they had some flood issues (plumbing) so it can smell funky in there. I have the gorgeous bottle sitting on my window ledge, so whenever I need a spray it's handy!

The decor line is available in 3 fabulous scents Lavender Vanilla & Comfort, Spring & Renewal, and Meadows & Rain. You can buy them as a three pack or individually.

This one gets a thumbs up!

Stumble It!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Adjusting the Frugal Momma's Budget

Things are changing all over. With hurricanes effecting gas prices again I think we are all in the same boat...the dollar just does not go as far as it used to. So what is a Mom to do? Especially one who just got herself a part time out of the house job requiring at least 3 trips a week into the office. Round trip is about 30 miles so that's 1.5 gallons a trip or 4.5 gallons a week. When you are used to hardly driving, it's a challenge!

It leaves you scurrying to find ways to save money on the per gallon cost! This past week I was doing a grocery store run. I stopped at a grocery store I usually only hit once every couple months, but 1% milk was on my list & they had a 20 cents off a gallon if you bought 8 things off a list, well at least 6 of those items were on my shopping list anyways. So I got my discount & filled up. I figured I saved about $1.60. Next time I'll plan ahead & bring the gas can too. Ah for the days of 1999 when I thought $0.99 a gallon was a lot.

The cost of gas has driven everything else up, have you noticed? Of course you have, all you have to do is try to buy ANYTHING!!! It leaves us having to be creative, cutting out things we normally consider staples, also doing things like clipping coupons, buying grocery items at drugstores, maybe going to stores we never thought we would.

Of course, I have "cheap" on the brain today. Looking at the calendar I have preschool tuition and school pictures due on Monday, open house with the book fair on Wednesday, this is after paying for our football fundraiser tickets & sweatshirt order. Yikes! Could be rice & beans this week, LOL!

But on the up cheap side I decided to make pizza Friday instead of take out. I knew we'd be buying food at the football game Saturday so spending $30 on pizza and wings was just not an expense I wanted!

Anywho, our budget is going to be changing a little because of my job. I get paid every other Friday and I think my paycheck will cover our food, gas & household expenses. So as soon as I know what my deductions will be I'll be able to allocate the funds. My goal is to increase my EF funding to $50 a month instead of $25.

Frugal is Green

Help! My Money Scares Me Relax...Breathe...Listen probably the best advice out there, given the tendency to panic at the slightest detail!

Stumble It!

Carnival Links

Carnival of the recipes - 2 I am going to be checking out "Vermont Cheddar Ale Soup" and "Steak Panini"

Festival of Frugality at Frugal Babe- This one covers tons of aspects from your car to your college students!

Make it from Scratch - Lots of yummy recipes & a few crafts

Carnival of Personal Finance - lots on retirement, saving money, investing money, frugality, family & more.

Stumble It!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Super Savings - Walgreens today **Updated

**I missed the revlon nail polish deal, which is no biggie, I only wanted to get a couple newer colors. I have plenty to choose from already. My neighbor cleaned out her stash on me, her Mom is an Avon Rep, so I'm sure I only have a fraction of her stuff!!!

I did make it back to Walgreen's for a round 2 on the Robitussin deal. I used the $10 coupon from the first, a $10/$40 internet coupon, a $3/$10 in store (grand opening) coupon, the $10 gift card from my points and the "Half" coupon code for photos online. I ordered over 100 prints and paid under $10 for them. It was worth the trip.**

I like working close to CVS and Walgreens. I can pop in quickly on my way home so I don't have to plan a weeks trip!

Today I took advantage of the $3.99 Robitussin with the buy 3 get $10 Walgreen bucks at the register. A Call to Higher Places has a link to a $3/1 coupon. I was able to print 9. Since I work 3 days this week that's what I needed.

So I spent $2.97 opp, got $10 to spend on the next trip. Plus I finally got my Walgreen's gift card today in the mail. You can start earning yours just Join MyPoints NOW!

Wednesday, I'll stop at CVS for the nail polish deal too, I just need to get my coupons ready for that.

Stumble It!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Monday Update and POWA

Parade of WEEKLY adventures!

We spent the entire weekend partying! Between our communities Fall Festival, football, the festival's parade and more.

Most of the kids activities were a wash due to the rainy weather, but they still had 2 party jumpers and some carnival games. We only had a small window of fun time on Saturday because of the Prince's football game, but they managed to get filthy and bounce them selves silly!

The parade on Sunday was a huge success, except for the rain again. It had fire departments, cheerleaders, football players (mine!), marching bands, Shriners, horses, even a float! There were prizes, but we didn't ever hear who won them.

I'm not sure what they are raising money for this year, but the last 2 years the committee made sizable donations to the new playground project (my hubby got the grant to get that ball rolling, so we were invested!).

Weekly Menu Plan
Breakfast for dinner, clean out the fridge night, mystery freezer stuff, spaghetti, hot dogs & burgers. No idea what order, depends on the activities!!!

  • Work
  • scrape more siding at my Mom's
  • laundry
  • unload truck of lumber for MIL's wheelchair ramp
  • The Princess is back to school
  • paint at Mom's
  • Clean children's bedrooms, they are gross
  • Work
  • Laundry
  • Paint at Mom's
  • Vacuum
  • Clean Bathrooms
  • Paint at Mom's
  • School for Princess
  • Clean desks
  • Vacuum couches, ewww
  • Work
  • School for Princess
  • Paint at Mom's
  • Shopping
  • Football Game - home

Stumble It!

Friday, September 5, 2008

DVD Winner!

#4 Jenna from Newlyweds!

Congrats to Jenna & thanks for all the entries. Now I need to go browse the works of the great bloggers who commented!

By the way - I used Math Goodies to generate the number! It was sooooo simple!

Stumble It!

One is Back to School

The Princess doesn't start until Tuesday, but the Prince went back a few days ago.

He started off 3rd grade with a bang! I think his self confidence has grown with football. Just last night he was able to do 6 pushups, first practice he couldn't do one. He got his work done on time in class, and brought home a "tough" book to read for homework. They chose their own books, so I was impressed. I hope he can keep it up, he is very capable and I think his teacher will be very encouraging!

On a garden note - this is my "wild" sunflower! HUGE. (by comparison The Prince is standing next to the flower & in his sneakers he has to be pushing 55 inches tall)

Stumble It!

Get in those entries!

I will be drawing for the Wow! Wow! Wubbzy! DVD tonight 9PM EST.

Good Luck!

Stumble It!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Our last summer excursion

This is what my kiddos look like while riding a ferry across a lake!!!

The ferry has been there for 195 years, it under went renovation a few years ago. It was a neat thing to do. We were half way to the other side before we could convince them that we were moving!!! The best part, it was fun & only cost a donation. You could even go across without the car just for fun. Next year we might have to do that.

Stumble It!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Ok so a couple words, they won 26 to 12!!! My baby had half a tackle!

Stumble It!