Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Finally - progress! - cleaning up my drafts!!!

I am cleaning up my drafts section & found some floating posts, so I'll be posting them this week!!!

We have finally put up the siding to finish our living room window project. Don't get me started on the interior trim... The siding is up. If it stays warm enough this week it will be painted & then I can say that the exterior portion of that repair will be complete!

We decided to replace instead of change the siding. So instead of putting up something new & different we just matched (sort of) what was there.

We used a type of cement board. We purchased 16 foot lengths. I caulked the joints and exposed nails. We primarily used a hidden nail installation method, but some locations that just wasn't possible, or since we were installing over some areas of old siding we hadn't removed just wasn't working!

Stumble It!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Making Money Online - Update

I haven't been doing very much in the way of internet or affiliate marketing lately, but it has been trickling in.

Google Adsense - I'm not sure if the "blogging the recession," clicking through helped me all that much, since I don't get paid per page view in any way. But, I do try to click on adsense ads when I visit. On my account - I am so close to getting my first Google check, I think by June it should be on it's way!

Inbox Dollars - It took a very long time to get a check, mostly because I only read emails. I do my shopping through MyPoints. The check came last week minus a $3 handling fee, the $27s went into my bank account!!!

MyPoints is sending me two $10 gift cards, that makes 5 for 2009! I've redeemed points for TJMaxx, JC Penney, and Wal-Mart cards.

DVD Sale - 50% Off Thousands of Titles

Monday, May 11, 2009

Square Foot Garden

Square Foot Kitchen Garden Planner

My garden is still lacking a very important essential... dirt! My Father's dump truck had an issue, now the loader is waiting for a part. Good thing I still have a couple weeks before it will be really safe to plant outside!

I was given this to pass on by Lissaloo.

The rules for this one are as follows-

I must post the award on my blog
List seven personality traits of mine
Pass the award to seven other bloggers - Feel free to participate, there's no way I could choose 7!!!

1- A little OCD - if this made me a neat freak it would be great. Instead it makes me a S.H.E - Sidetracked Home Executive. My obsession with organizing usually leads to huge messes & me giving up because I don't have what I "need" to finish. They say admitting you have a problem is halfway to a cure right???

2-Passive Aggressive - My hubby likes this trait, NOT! It's usually made worse by lack of sleep or hormone changes.

3- Stubborn - I am an OX & a Capricorn, it's very fitting!

4- Dedicated - I am usually not wishy-washy. I've had my views changed but it's usually after long debate & consideration!

5- Friendly & Outgoing or Quiet - These are from hubby. I guess I can be both depending on the situation! (or the number of drinks)

6- Obnoxious - "I'm obnoxious" is my favorite line from "Finding NEMO"

7- Dorky - I am into SciFi and all things my sister says makes me a dork!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

Hope all you Mom's have a wonderful Sunday! I am taking my Mom to a chicken BBQ for lunch & then hopefully spending the day relaxing. We'll see. I somehow doubt I'll manage to just "relax" all day!

Garden - One of the Wisteria vines I planted the spring after we bought the house finally bloomed all over! It is amazing to sit on the porch & look at it!!!

The other vine is still a couple weeks behind, I hope I didn't lose it.

Other News:

To help educate people about the importance of digestive health, P&G has partnered with celebrity nutritionist Ashley Koff, R.D. to launch the Align® My Digestive Makeover Contest. Ashley Koff has worked with celebrities like Emily Deschanel, Josie Maran and Elizabeth Hasselbeck to give them makeovers from the inside and help strengthen their digestive health. Consumers have the chance to win a trip to the 2009 People’s Choice Awards and After Party. The grand prize winner will also receive free nutritional counsel and digestive makeover advice from Ashley Koff, R.D., who will be helping the contest winner feel as great as her celebrity clients do – from the inside, out. To enter the Digestive Makeover contest, visit My Digestive Makeover
You can visit Align Daily for more information.


12 Simple Ways to Reimagine a Room

14 Quick Ways to Raise Cash

Lysol Kills Swine Flu or H1N1, good to know!

WFMW Frugal Edition Great collection!!!

Homemade Miracle Whip

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sunny Sunday Cleaning #2

I had every intention of cataloging my whirlwind of spring cleaning, but the whirlwind has been more of a snails crawl! The dust bunnies are winning and I see no end in sight!

My modest goal for today & tomorrow is to have ALL the surfaces cleared off & dusted. We'll see how that goes! I have a feeling that I may just be shutting the kids doors & doing a stash -n- dash Saturday afternoon.

I have already put away a ton of stuff in the laundry room, making room for all the stuff that is out & doesn't have a home yet. I also need to get the rest of the Easter stuff put back into storage. The kids just don't want to put the baskets & buckets away yet.

I have 6 days to get the house company ready, I am co-hosting a "Tastefully Simple" party Saturday night. Should be fun, even if it isn't very frugal! A night with the girls is always worthwhile.

My raised garden bed is built & now I am just waiting on my delivery of dirt. Thankfully my brother dug a big hole this week for his foundation, I should be able to steal a dump truck full! The weather is beautiful here, but I'm sure it won't last. I don't dare plant in the ground before Memorial day!

On the "Frugal" front I did not have a great week! I feel like I've spent all the money I've been avoiding spending for the year in the last few days. I can't complain too loudly though, sometimes you just have to break down & spend the money. The Prince needed new baseball spikes, like he wore a 2 1/2 last year, this year he's wearing a 6!!! The toaster kicked, my niece is having a baby so must sew a quilt (buying a little at a time, since I'm still deciding on a pattern), groceries, gasoline, blah blah blah. I did squirrel away some into the EF. That account is growing, so I must be doing something right!

We celebrated Earth Week by planting 7 trees at our local state park, where my sister works. The kids loved it & will insist on visiting there tree ALL SUMMER LONG, I'm sure! We also celebrated Volunteer Recognition Week with a big breakfast at work. We had 29 volunteers recognized in our north county area, it was an impressive turnout. If you volunteer at anything THANK YOU! Your services are truly valuable & valued, it doesn't take much to make a difference in your community. Even the smallest gesture can change someones life for the better.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Recovery & More Cleaning

Thankfully I am recovering from my minor surgery! It took a while to get out of the fog though. Next time I have anything done I want the GOOD drugs. I've tried Vicadin and now Darvacet, neither of which made me REALLY loopy. The darvacet made me a little hyper when I hadn't had enough to eat with it. Next time I want pink elephants, gosh darn it!

This week we have been clearing out more stuff and gathering clothing. I need to get the first floor sparkly clean by the 2nd of May. My neighbor & I are co-hosting a tastefully simple party here.

I shined the sink last night with baking soda & vinegar, the counter is wiped down. I also washed sheets for all our beds this week.

Upstairs I need to stick to my 15 minutes a day in the sewing area. I just have so much stuff "out" that needs a home.

I also have to make my Easter dishes & prepare the baskets today. I have to label about 100 pictures from the dance recital to give to family tomorrow!!!

It feels like I never get anything done, so if I write it down I can see that I did a lot more than I think I did!!!

Started seeds
Kitchen counter
laundry area
Easter shopping
Bed linens
dishes, laundry, dusting

Spring cleaning this week:

Linen closet
Bathroom cabinets
curtains in living room & kitchen
scrub the tub

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Dance Recital 2009!

The ballet dance was to "Uptown Girls"

The tap routine was to "Never Go To Work"

They are just so cute it's hard not to laugh at them, but they all got their standing ovation at the end of the evening program!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Decluttering & Spring Cleaning #1

Decluttering with a Camera is a great tip. I took pictures of a lot of my babies in their little clothing so I wouldn't have to hang on to boxes of that cute stuff! I'll always have the pictures.

I use my camera as a tool with my FlyLady home "walk through." It's a great way to SEE that stuff that you just don't see anymore. You know the knick knacks you walk by every day, that sloppy pile of papers or magazines... The camera doesn't lie & a quick snap shot is a great way to see what each area really looks like!

I am finding that it is easier to let things go when they are going to a good cause, so find a great charity to give your stuff too. I find myself adding things to the boxes just because I KNOW someone will be able to use it...

I like after pictures, a lot!!! They make you feel accomplished & it's a reminder of how good it can look with regular upkeep. Very helpful for an easily distracted homemaker like me!

Monday, March 23, 2009

New Do.

Hubby's new spring do! It's growing on me, I still think of a chia pet when I see him, but I'll adjust.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The medical front...

I had my outpatient surgery Thursday. They removed a lymph node that had been swollen almost 2 years, from my neck. I have to wait until tomorrow for the lab results to come back, very stressful! Hubby did OK with it all, just a little freaked out. Of course I'm on meds & they aren't making me as loopy as I'd like. I haven't taken any yet today, I'm waiting for him to get home from work/church. I don't like taking things when I'm home alone with the kids! Does that make me strange???

It took a whole day for the whole area around my neck to start to hurt. I must have been very tense! Now I hurt from jaw to shoulder, I'm such a baby!!!

The OR staff was a hoot. They were picking on me as they wheeled me into recovery, because I was giggling. I woke up on the move, that's a strange feeling, but apparently no one ever giggles!!! I am weird I know, but sedation is an odd thing...

I have to thank the sperm & egg donors for sharing some stellar genes here! Precancerous colon polyps, giant cell tumors, swollen lymph nodes, cervical polyp... what's next people! I have now had just as many surgeries as my hubby, of course one of his was a broken wrist reconstruction & the other a knee... Mine are minor by comparison! Oh if I ever have to meet you...having to learn your medical history as you go isn't fun when you have kids to worry about, grrr to the biologicals.

Spring has Sprung!!!

I just couldn't stay out of the dirt any longer! I had to start some seedlings.

I saved seeds from our pumpkins, green peppers, & squash. I tested them out by laying some on wet paper towels & leaving them in zip lock bags until they sprouted. After they sprouted I planted them in some dirt. So far they've done well. I may have pumpkins ready in August, but maybe they'll just be HUGE!!!

I also started some petunias & sweet peas, along with pole beans & eggplant. My issue last year was that the seeds didn't get in the ground soon enough to produce much at all. We had late frost. Now I'm just hoping I didn't start too early!!!

I also started a cherry tomato plant for my Princess. Hopefully it will thrive & she will have tomatoes all season!

I started a couple containers of grass to use as decor for Easter. I think they look cute, especially after I trimmed it yesterday! I'm thinking they'll look even better with a couple eggs hiding in there!

Going to start saving my containers for when I transplant outside

Monday, March 2, 2009

Some Links from my Google Reader

How to save $100 this year and Living Below Your Means It's a link to more links, but very helpful links!!!

Decadence on a Dime, great advice on making the everyday special.

Budgeting with a Purpose - Keeping your Goals in mind

Frugal Decorating tips.

For those of us already thinking spring Square Foot Gardening Roundup. And What to do with toilet paper tubes including a transplant alternative for seedlings.

Making a little girls canopy is going in my project file for after we finish the bedroom ceiling in the Princess' bedroom. Such a cute easy project!

One of many new quilting/sewing RSS feeds I am getting is Moda Bake Shop. Yummy!

And thanks to How About Orange for posting the link to Sproost Now I know my design style & why I can NEVER find anything I like LOL! I was equal parts Mountain Lodge & Nantucket with a little Wine Country thrown in to confuse things a little more!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Where does the time go?

It's already March 1st & I'm still wondering what happened to January...

So much for slowing down & enjoying life's little moments!

Both kids have been sick, so I am starting the spring cleaning early. Started yesterday in the Princess' room. I also removed a bunch of "baby" toys she was holding on to. It worked much better that they both went to a movie with the Granny! I can get so much more cleaned out when they aren't here!

Flylady just wrapped up the 1st 2009 Super Fling Boogie. I submitted 250 pounds, not a large chunk of the Million pounds flung, but not bad for us. Most of it was clothing and stuff from the kids, we donate everything to my Hubby's employer (soup kitchen, food pantry, homeless shelter, used goods store). I did do a brief kitchen clear out. I had some things that were in the back of the pantry & figured I'd never use, since I didn't miss them!

We're still keeping the insurance company hopping here, March isn't any less hectic than Jan or Feb. I have 3 appointments, one being an outpatient operation. We're gonna have the swollen node taken out of my neck (at least we're calling it a node). It didn't really show up on a CT scan, but the Dr. said if it was her she'd want it out & I agree! No reason to leave it there so it turns into a problem. I go back to the GI on the 3rd, I guess we go on to step 2, since the colonoscopy ended up being unhelpful.

I have managed to stick some money into the EF, but our vehicle is not cooperating at all. We went to pick it up from the shop yesterday only to make it 4 miles & have the front left spring break destroying the tire. The shop is picking up the tab, because clearly they damaged it during the tow. Next time I'll pay for my regular mechanic to come get it, even if it costs. He would have been more careful, since he has already replaced that spring once for us, ah the Windstar, if I had only known.

We are patiently waiting for our tax refund to arrive, then we will start looking for a newer vehicle. Something built in the 2000s would be fine with me! I'd like to pick up a beater car & an extended cab truck of some kind. The hubs & I may only work 6 blocks apart, but our schedules are SO different that we really need to drive separately.

I really need to do better posting here, I've managed to keep up with Lisa's Cookbook daily. Of course the "schedule post" tool is most helpful with that! I've been browsing more & more sewing/quilting blogs looking for inspiration. I will be sewing a few quilts this year & I'm searching for ideas, colors, motivation & advice! What I should be doing is organizing my stash of fabric to see what I need and what I already have for the things I need to sew.

I am going to make at least 4 quilts for Christmas gifts & now I am going to be a Great Aunt in October, so I'll have to hurry up on that one! I shouldn't have to spend much on fabrics, maybe backing & batting but the time investment is huge! Of course if I keep saying I'm GOING to do it & I don't start soon it'll be November before I know it...

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Post #500...

Woo hoo! To celebrate I'm recapping the 2009 goals with a how I did in January post, exciting!!!

But the dishwasher is running, the dryer is going & I need a coffee break. I had to go for fasting blood work this morning & I had to wait until 9:30 to get in & then another 45 minutes to get home & put on the pot. But I am finally enjoying my daily caffeine!

I could probably turn this into a medical blog with all the appointments & tests I've had & will be having in the next 2 weeks, getting old sucks, but getting old with NO family medical history really sucks. Also, having nondescript symptoms of a generic nature leading to of all things a colonoscopy (that will be a fun day) really really sucks. I think I have more appointments this month than my 85 year old Grandmother.

Hopefully all will be abnormally normal, just like me!!! I am just happy to be told there is something abnormal, I was starting to think the abnormality was in my head, after 3 years, 3 PCPs I've finally been told I have an issue that warrants further investigation. So Jan & Feb have included or will include two CT scans, a colonoscpy, blood work, dental checkups & a base line mammogram (normal, thankgoodness)and the corresponding follow up appointments with my respective specialists.

It's been hard to focus on being FRUGAL, I'm having a hard enough time keeping mine & the families schedules in line! We are a 1 vehicle family at the moment, with 2 out of the house jobs, part time preschool, dance, swimming, school, where do I need to be, where do the kids need to be, who needs the car at work, AAHHHHH, CRAZINESS.

I have managed to get a little done to get our 2009 finances & house off to a good start.

1. Emergency Fund - I set up auto deposit, not much but it's a start

2. Set up guest bedroom - still clearing it out, and then I have to get the bed back from my sister, who has to clear her room out...LOL!

3. Decorate the house. I haven't done anything in this category yet, still fighting the clutter battle & there's no sense in decorating the clutter!!!

4. Simplify & purge - clutter clutter clutter!

5. We joined our church, now I am fighting with myself to get up out of bed & go. It's much easier to get the 4 of us out the door if Mom isn't in a lot of discomfort!

6. Complete 6 home improvement projects NADA, nothing, haven't done a lick of it!!!
a. Finish painting & hanging bathroom trim
b. Run New ducts upstairs
c. Fix dinning room ceiling
d. Finish The Princess's bedroom ceiling
e. Finish ceiling in kitchen
f. Roof repairs
g. Screening on side porch

7. Work on one sewing project/gift a week. Finish my stack of UFOs. Have a more hand made Christmas in 2009. - I still have to uncover my sewing table & chair. Maybe this afternoon I'll sneak up there & get that done. Sometimes organizing can be a pain, especially when you get interrupted & then forget to go back to it.

8. Still no hair cut, but I've been either at work, a Dr's office or buried under a large pile of laundry, who has time for exterior self maintenance. I shaved what more do you want from me, huh hubby???, huh!

Stumble It!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Wrap up 2008

I found this 2008 Wrap up Meme from I've got a little space to fill in my RSS feeds & think it will be a good way to catalog our year.

1. What did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before?

Started working at a Non-Profit organization.

2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I did ok on 2008 goals, if there was a grade I'd give myself a 75%

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

No unfortunately.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Yes - my Mother-in-Law

5. What countries did you visit?

Didn't leave New York this year (except for a couple trips over the border into PA).

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?

A start on our EF, more free time with the kids, a cleaner house

7. What date from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory?

9/30, 9/6, 10/3, Princess' Dance Recital

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Getting a job outside of the house.

9. What was your biggest failure?

not enough funding the EF, paying off very few debts

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Yes, just getting through the Dr. appointments dealing with it now though.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

The Wii, aside from the occasional argument about "how" to play we've had great family time playing together.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

We had so many new things with the kids in 2008; dance, t-ball, baseball, football, soccer, school. They've accomplished so much.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?


14. Where did most of your money go?

Housing, gasoline, food & bills

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?


16. What song will always remind you of 2008?

Awake by Godsmack, don't know why...

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: happier or sadder? Thinner or fatter? Richer or poorer?

same, same, same (but I feel poorer, we are still feeling the pinch of high gas, because we couldn't keep up with our bills, back when it was $4 a gallon)

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Sewing, doing fun stuff with the kids

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?


20. How did you spend Christmas?

With family.

21. Did you fall in love in 2008?


22. How many one-night stands?

365 with the same guy!

23. What changes did you make to “green up” your lifestyle?

None, we already use CFs, recycle & reuse. I should drive a greener vehicle but they don't make a truly Green vehicle that we can drive around here.

24. What was your favorite TV show?

Bones, Battlestar Gallactica, Lost (don't miss these)

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

Nope, strongly dislike a former Dr though, dislike only grows with every new test I have to have done that SHE MISSED 3 YEARS AGO.

26. What was the best book you read?

Just Do It was one of the only books I've managed to finish cover to cover in 2008!

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Dragon Force was 2008s.

28. What did you want and get?

MP3 player.

29. What did you want and not get?

4 slice toaster (didn't want it as a gift, yuck!)

30. What was your favorite film of this year?

Attack of the Clones

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

35 & we celebrated Christmas Eve, as always

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

A trip to the zoo with my kiddos, time at the beach, finishing a quilt.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?

What has come back in style since I stopped working in an office 10 years ago that I still have in my closet "just in case" I ever had to dress up...

34. What kept you sane?


35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Johnny Depp. David Boreanaz.

36. What political issue stirred you the most?

Advocacy for the poor, children, medical... there's just so much bureaucracy not enough compassion.

37. Whom did you miss?


38. Who was the best new person you met?

my co-workers & hubby's we work with great people

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008:

Balance is a goal it isn't something we will ever achieve.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

All I ever wanted, all I ever needed is here in my arms.
Mas Tequila!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

I've found my perfect foundation

and where to buy it!!!

Join MyPoints

I have been a MyPoints member for a long time now, in fact I have redeemed 38,100 points for various gift cards to date.

I recently discovered Sephora & Clinique Superfit foundation. I made the mistake of using a free sample that came in a magazine. This foundation worked just the way it should. Even with the generic shade the coverage was perfect, made my skin tone even & felt wonderful. So, then I began browsing for the best deal... Because I don't like to spend a lot on makeup, but being 35 I'm getting to a point where I should be!

I found it at Sephora, through MyPoints. The foundation cost $20.50. I joined the beauty insider program at the website & was sent a promo code for free shipping on $25 order & if I shopped in either the 2 weeks before or after my birthday I would be sent a free Vanilla Cupcake Bath & Shower Bubbles. I am guessing that this is 2 separate promotions, I just happened to have them overlap!

Plus Sephora lets you chose 3 free samples with every purchase. I threw in a $5 package of foundation sponges and picked my 3 samples (3 designer fragrances). The total order cost $27 after tax, I received 2 points per dollar as well.

It may not be much but I just redeemed some points for a $10 Walmart card. It adds up quickly & I can honestly say that a bulk of my almost 40,000 points to date have been earned by just clicking through a few emails a day or answering an occasional survey.

So if you like to shop online and earn points as a reward Join MyPoints

We just took advantage of a New Year's Deal they ran to join Columbia house earning a total of 2000 points (so better than $10 gift card), plus I added 7 DVDs to our collection (after discounts & points less than $2.50 a movie). I will be cancelling it after we are fulfilled of course! I also purchased a few Christmas presents from QVC as well. I don't recommend using it just to earn points, but if you are already going to shop anyways, I've found it very rewarding!

Stumble It!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Today is Purge day

I am continuing with the purge & clear out today. The guest bedroom has become a dump zone, my sewing room was completely upheaved (can't complain I added a piece of storage/furniture), the kitchen is cluttered, the kids rooms are messy...

I have the day off & I intend to make some serious headway! Of course I will have the Princess home in an hour & I have loads of laundry to do on top of everything else!

At least I stopped procrastinating about my annual check up, that was done yesterday. Now I have to keep all the referral appointments I'll have and get the blood work done. Getting older stinks LOL! But my previous Dr.s have always ignored the fact that I have no medical family history, being adopted and all, this one wants baselines in my records so we have a starting place (mammogram, blood work, and because I've been having some issues a pelvic CT scan). My insurance company is going to love me!

TO do
4 5 minute room rescues
Fill a box for donation
shovel some snow
52 pick up in the kids rooms & the kitchen, fling & boogie!
dust dinning room

Check out other Tackles at 5MFM.

Stumble It!

2009 Goals

1. Continue to work the budget. Fund EF 5% of our income a month.

2. Set up guest bedroom

3. Decorate the house.

4. Simplify & purge

5. Join our church. This one is easy, we've already submitted the paperwork & have a second appointment. WOOT!

6. Complete 6 home improvement projects
a. Finish painting & hanging bathroom trim
b. Run New ducts upstairs
c. Fix dinning room ceiling
d. Finish The Princess's bedroom ceiling
e. Finish ceiling in kitchen
f. Roof repairs
g. Screening on side porch

7. Work on one sewing project/gift a week. Finish my stack of UFOs. Have a more hand made Christmas in 2009.

8. Stop feeling guilty about spending money on things that feel optional, but are really necessary (new work shoes, clothes, hair cuts). I've been a dream of a wife, considering the stats relating to what the average is we women spend on this kind of stuff. I spent $25 in 2008 on a hair cut, felt terrible about it, WHY??? It should be $150 if I had it done every 8 weeks like I should. That's just your basic cut, it would only increase with a style or a wash.

That's good for now! After all it's already the 13th...

Stumble It!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Tackle it Tuesday #22

Tackle It Tuesday Meme

We got almost all of the Christmas stuff down & back into storage. The next step was to rearrange the living room. This is the best "before" picture I could find. We flipped the room, our couch is here now. The kiddos were testing out their new light sabers on Christmas morning. It's a good thing Santa brought two...

We had to do something, with the Wii, I was afraid the Princess would take out my computer with one of the remotes! She has a monster throw. It looks like I have a bowling ally in my living room, but since that's our favorite game we should!

I broke out the oil soap and cleaned the wood work while I was at it, very dusty! So really it was 2 tackles in one!

Stumble It!