Friday, December 30, 2011

Busy and Lazy

Hope you had a wonderful Christmas! And are geared up for a New Year!

We spent the holiday relaxing and getting little things done around our house. My husband has had the entire week off due to unused vacation time that had to be used up. We probably should have used it more productively but we have kind of lounged around the house.

There are some pretty snazzy new toys in our house right now, we are blessed. Here are our favorites:
Husband-Gun safe, garage heater, he already hung up his new fire extinguishers, beer for his fridge, music cards, and he has been wearing his slippers a lot.
Kerrie-Kindle Fire!!!!, a new torch (my husbands eyes lit up when I got this), strings of lights for the back yard, tea, music gift cards and some cute clothes.

This is boring but sadly this is what we have gotten done this entire week.

-Went to see the Christmas lights at the Zoo.
-All laundry clean and folded :) Everything ironed (I hate ironing so this makes me HAPPY)
-Curtain rod raised that has been hanging too low and driving me crazy.
-Gun safe bolted to the wall in our basement.
-Base for car seat installed in car.
-Garage organized
-Car windows cleaned and inside wiped down, still need to vacuum.
-Christmas decorations put away, minus the front porch.
-2 parts ordered for the 4-wheeler, $16 seems pretty reasonable.
-Address label list made so we can send out announcements easily.
-An entire morning buying music using the gift cards we got. I actually had a list of songs for once.
-The exercise bike and fooseball table gone. And found a home for the bar cabinets once we rip them out. I can see our basement transformation even though it is a long way off.
-Baths for both dogs
-Lots of cups of tea :) My husband put some in my stocking that is delicious!
-All but 3 thank you notes written and sent!
-Met with the life insurance agent to increase life insurance, cheers to being responsible.
-Business taxes up to date and ready to finish.
-Review of our finances and plan for the next year to pay off debt! We are farther ahead than I projected even with a Christmas splurge and extra expenses! I want to go buy some gold stars for our calendar!

Our list of things to do was much longer but I think we did pretty good. We have also frequented the Red Box machine and have been streaming movies though Amazon. This has probably been the most inexpensive vacation my husband has ever had, and the least we have spent on fuel. Since we are still trying to have a life (not be total hermits to save money) we have had more game nights/dinners at home with friends (which I prefer) and are finally catching up on excess bills created by our insurance sucking. All of these things are trivial but crossing them off our list and knowing they are done is so relaxing to me. We have three things that are at the top of my list but I feel mostly prepared for the upcoming month and that makes me breath easier. Right now 2011 is ending on a positive note and 2012 is looking incredibly promising and we can't wait.

Hope you have had a wonderful week as well! Happy New Year!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Dogs for Free..........

I have been trying to get all kinds of things done as of course I am behind. Stuck to me wherever I go though is at least one of my dogs, until my husband is home they wont get much for than a foot away from me. They are both driving me NUTS! Especially since I am trying to clean and lets face it dogs are mess makers, they do not help clean.

All I can say is all our beds and bathrooms are clean and the main floor has been swept. I am not moping as my parents dog will be staying while they are traveling and with the snow outside and 3 dogs in my house I really can't see the point in bothering. I about bad after all the dust from my husband wiring our surround. Now I just have a few things left to do and I can get back to writing thank you notes. Right now all I want for Christmas is for someone to vacuum the couches and do my ironing.

We have an excess of cookies since I have been busy baking for gifts and my husband brought home a basket full of Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory goodies that was a gift from one of his sub contractors. The subs usually give gifts when my husband has been on big jobs but he does lots of little ones now and its nice that this sub thought of him.

It is beautiful outside with lots of pretty snow but I see some dripping already today! I love how it looks but I hope it refrains from snowing again because we have so many friends traveling right now. I have wasted enough time on the computer and better get back to work. Most of what is on my list HAS to be done today. :(

Merry Christmas!!!! Enjoy those you love! And if anyone wants a dog or two.....

Monday, December 19, 2011

Weekly Money Checkup

Weekly Money Check-up is sponsored by My Pretty Pennies, go check her out.

1. The most I’ve spent this last week was on dinner Saturday night with some old and new friends. I made reservations for the 6 of us at a Brazilian restaurant that has AWESOME food. One of the couples is from Romania and they were excited to try something new and the other couple introduced us to lots of different foods when we lived in Phoenix so I knew they would want to try something new in Denver. It was a nice night, and nice to get dressed up since we rarely go out to eat.

2. Today I am thankful this weekend is over. We had a Christmas dinner Friday and the one Saturday and Saturday day some other WONDERFUL friends came over and helped complete the TV/Stereo/Surround system wiring. I am beat! And this week still has so much that needs done. I am sitting in my chair for an hour and then getting my butt in gear.

3. Money can’t buy happiness. One free thing I did last week that made me happy was make Christmas cookies, peppermint bark, book marks and spiced tea for gifts. I still need to make more cookies but that can wait a few days.

4. I will consider this week a success if I complete all the things on my to do list to get our family room carpet cleaned. All the drilling into concrete and drywall etc. made a lot of dust. The upstairs of our house is spotless but we ran out of steam yesterday after deep cleaning that. Hopefully I have the energy to get at least 1/2 of my list done the next few days, it is long.

5. One of my holiday traditions is ???. I don't really know anymore, we had been away from our families for so many years we just kind of did whatever worked that year. Last year my sisters came over and one of my cousins and we made Christmas cookies together. I liked that but we wont be able to do that this year. Maybe I need to think up a new tradition? My one personal tradition is trying to get all my shopping done really early. I don't hate the lines at the stores but the traffic drives me insane.

Since I am bad about posting more than once a week have a Merry Christmas!!!! Hopefully I will be able to post again with pictures of our finished family room but this week is packed full! Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Weekly Money Checkup

I started this on Monday and got sidetracked by my list of things to do and the third book of the Fire and Ice Series.

1. The most I’ve spent this last week was on things at IKEA. I went with a friend that needed a cabinet and came out with a bunch of stuff. I planned on looking at some tall candle stands for our mantel when it is done and bought those and more. At least 2 things I bought were for my husband. They had nice robes for $20 and soft bath rugs (he hates when I wash the rug and there isn't one). 

2. Today I am thankful I am sitting at home relaxing. It was a long but great weekend, the best part was seeing family/friends all day Saturday. I LOVE living closer to those we love. This whole week I have "dates" with several of my friends that couldn't attend my shower or the Christmas party we attended Saturday.

3. Money can’t buy happiness. One free thing I did last week that made me happy was watch my husband clean up his mess after working on his mantel project again. He got the fireplace hole all wired and something wired in the garage. Not sure how long it will take to get the speakers in but I see progress. :)

4. I will consider this week a success if I continue working on my crucial list before the end of the year. I forgot about two things that needed to be on it so it grew!

5. One of my favorite holiday decorations is a little reindeer made out of 2 peanuts. His name is Peanie Rudu and years ago when my mom gave me my ornaments my dad got upset that he was going with me. For years now I have sent my dad a photo of him every time I put him on our tree. We are kind of silly :) I also enjoy putting up my husbands ornaments since most of them were handmade by his grandma. And I hate to say it but I get upset every time I get our decorations out since we were robbed late 2007 early 2008. A lot of our Christmas items were taken and the new items just are not the same as the old ones. Thankfully most of the important ones are still in our possession.

Sometime soon I need to drag myself out of the house and get dog food, some dog treats for the dogs stockings, and find some gifts from my dad for my moms stocking. I need to do that and get my husband a garage heater (his last present) and I am DONE! That is unless my dad calls back and needs me to do more shopping since he is traveling. Then I am working on things that have to be done so I don't freak out in the coming weeks. Hope you are having a wonderful week!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Great Start to The Day

I started out the day great! Somehow I managed to sleep in! That NEVER happens anymore. Then I cleaned my master bath and unloaded the dishwasher. I know that sounds super exciting :) All our bathrooms are sparkly this morning. I hate to say it but my husband being gone for a few days makes it easy to get things clean and have them stay that way.

I have BIG plans today getting my sewing projects done for the house and a few quick Christmas gifts. Nothing much but things I wanted to get done. I spent the evening last night reading and not doing anything needed but it was so nice. Tomorrow is my day of paperwork though so I better get lots done today and have FUN! I even have dinner planned for tonight, yea for productive days!

Hope you are having a wonderful day as well!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Weekly Money Checkup

1. The most I’ve spent this last week was on a red table runner for Christmas and some groceries but it was under $30 total. My husband spent $27 on his shopping trip for the mantel project though. I'd say we had a good week.
2. Today I am thankful we live inside. If it wasn't flu season I think I would go down to the shelter and volunteer. It is COLD! I am just praying those that don't have homes are staying warm today.
3. Money can’t buy happiness. One free thing I did last week that made me happy was watch a dog of some friends. They are originally from TX and had a spur of the moment trip for a funeral. He by far is the best house guest we have ever had. I pick them up from the airport today and I think the poor guy is missing them, he is 12 and recently just lost his doggy brother. 

4. I will consider this week a success if I continue working on my list of crucial items to finish before the end of the year. Last week I didn't get enough done. My aspirations are low this week, if I get 2 done I will be happy. One will probably take at least 2 days though.

5. My favorite Christmas gift as a child was ?. Sadly I can't think of any gift that stands out. I think the gift I enjoyed the most was gift cards to the book store. The used book store banned my sisters and I from trading books of one genre in for others. We used to take giant bags in from my Mamo so we could get the books we wanted of other genres. That poor book store owner got a lot of murder books before he changed his policy.

I finally am sharing some photos. My husband cleaned up a lot of his mess so this looks pretty good. Here is the TV/Mantel wall missing the mantel. The stereo components cabinet is only half way in it's new home and that snazzy board with electronics outlets will go in the ceiling of the hole where the cabinet is sitting. We also have baseboard missing where he is permanently wiring our surround sound so there wont be any cords on the floor. I hate cords but since he has been cutting so many holes we are also increasing insulation and the contractor that built this house did not insulate around the fireplace so hopefully our family room will stay warmer when we are done. My husband is out of town most of the week so it shall sit like this until Sunday when he has time again. I can't wait until then!

I had to throw in a picture of our Christmas tree for cheer.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Warm and Cozy

I am nice and cozy sitting in my sweats and slippers curled up with the puppies. It is icy and cold outside, I would hate to be our dogs needing outside when the snow is taller than their poor short legs. Should we be doing things, of course....lots and lots of things but staying warm sounds much nicer.

Yesterday I braved the nasty weather and got a pedicure and manicure...note flip flops do not work in snow. Then did a little shopping and wrapped all the Christmas gifts my Mamo bought for her adopt a family. She and my cousin picked out some really nice things but we both think more than one toy would be good for the kids (they needed clothes, pjs, underwear etc.). She got one toy for each and those essentials so I think Monday I am going to go pick up a small toy for each and either a grocery card, movie theater card or a restaurant card for the parents. Both parents only had essentials on their lists, things that their family needs so I think it would be nice to give them something for them. I know she spent more on them than she intended but we both agreed we would much rather help unfortunate others. Yes we both have bills and debt but you feel so much better helping those that have so little. Next year I am either going to save a little more for Christmas or cut our personal gift budget down so we can help out more. We used to do that as an entire family, not sure when we stopped. :( That makes me feel more in the Christmas spirit than all the holiday music playing everywhere you go.

So right now I am trying to figure out what 5 year old little boys like and 7 year old little girls like? At least I have a few days because I am not going shopping at the toy store on a Saturday in December. That would equal ZERO relaxation on a weekend.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Kindle or a Nook

I have wanted an e-reader for quite awhile. I read a lot, usually books that are given to me. Because of this I read a lot of different genre. I put an e-reader on my Christmas list because its a wish list. There are so many things I need and the e-reader doesn't even make that list but we all have dreams right? So anyways my husband asked me which one I liked better...maybe he is considering it. He prefers to get me things I want and don't always need. You never know what he is planning because he is pretty sly about these things.

Here are my thoughts on them.

Nook: If I have a problem I can walk into the store and get help. My Mamo has one and we can share books. The price is higher. Library friendly. Barnes & Noble membership discount doesn't look like it works on electronic books.

Kindle: Lots of brick and mortar stores sell them, can I go into them if there is a problem? I have quite a few friends with Kindles that I can share books with. Better price. Library friendly. Can use my Swagbucks $$ to buy books.

I would be happy with just a standard model (preferably a touch screen) but if my husband is buying one knowing him he will get the colored screen (higher model of either brand). I see benefits of the higher models but the black and white versions can be used outside with no glare. I don't read outside much but its a consideration.

So my question is which would you choose? Or would you choose another brand?

Monday, November 28, 2011

Weekly Money Checkup

1. The most I’ve spent this last week was on Christmas gifts. I was planning on waiting but Friday night we went to rent skis for my husbands dad and brother and they had the gun safe I was planning on buying $40 off the regular price. Guess I should have checked the black Friday ads. Thanks Jenifer for bringing it in the house!

2. Today I am thankful I have only 3 things left to buy for Christmas gifts. Saving $40 means I can get my husband 2 of the big things he wanted since I was already under the budget I set for him. He is going to be happy!

3. Money can’t buy happiness. One free thing I did last week that made me happy was decorate our Christmas tree with my mother in law. It looks great and usually I decorate it by myself. Now I really want to decorate the mantel but am holding off until my husband gets his wiring done.

4. I will consider this week a success if I can check off 5 of the 8 crucial things I need to finish before the end of the year. The sooner I get them done the better. Tomorrow I am going to help my cousin organize/watch her youngest since she just moved and Thursday I am helping my Mamo wrap gifts for the family she adopted for Christmas. Thankfully my crucial list is mostly computer/telephone related so I can fit them in easily.

5. My favorite Christmas song/album is ? There are so many great songs, I guess Silver Bells (not sure which artist) because my grandpa used to sing it and my mom still does around this time of year. It reminds me of the holiday spirit and those we love.

Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Since this is a money related post I am proud to say we paid off our mattress Friday and we are down to my husbands student loan and our credit card (medical expenses) so I am now going full force on our credit card so we can be almost debt free again. It feels great to see the end in sight (again sadly) and I haven't borrowed from our savings at all. Cheers to soon paying off the card and saving more again. I can't wait because it is a HUGE weight off our shoulders to not worry about extra bills. Cross your fingers that medical costs stay low so we can pay them off sooner rather than later. Have a great week!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Weekly Money Checkup

1. The most I’ve spent this last week was on wires etc? I am not really sure what we ordered but it included speaker wires, some outlets specifically for stereo/tv components etc. The order was $87 and should be the final supplies to finish this project we started on a whim almost a year ago. I have a new better plan as well....we figured out how to use that giant hole in the wall to hold all the components so we have built in storage and no cords!

2. Today I am thankful my husband is so resourceful. He managed to run cable through our garage and up into our master bedroom so our tv that has been sitting for 9 months can be turned on! He only spent $10 because he was able to use cable that we had. And that $10 was free because he used my Amazon $$ from Swagbucks.

3. Money can’t buy happiness. One free thing I did last week that made me happy was get house work done as a team. I dusted the whole house while my awesome husband vacuumed. He also raked up leaves in the back yard so the dogs stop tracking them in. Our house being clean makes me SUPER happy.

4. I will consider this week a success if I finish cleaning (I have very little left) and get some of our basement furniture on Craigslist to sell. I keep meaning to do that and haven't gotten around to it.

5. This Thanksgiving we are kind of relaxing. My dad will be home from traveling for work so we are smoking a turkey for him and not doing much else. My husband is excited because his parents and brother are coming Friday and it sounds like they are going skiing Saturday. He is REALLY excited to use the skis he bought last year.

Life is good here, we are getting lots of little house projects done and catching up on bills. We have a plan to pay off our recent stream of large bills, a timeline for a new vehicle, and some plans for the house. I can't believe that 2011 is almost over and how much we have accomplished. I hope 2012 has a few less hiccups and is as wonderful.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Online Shopping is the Best

Online Christmas shopping is the best! I sat on my computer yesterday and got most of it done! I still need to buy two things for my husband (shipping was too much online) and something for my dad. Other than that I need to wrap a few things and make a couple of things and I am done. 

My plate is full at the moment so getting this out of the way makes me so relieved. That and the money I had budgeted for Christmas can pay off medical bills since I have extra! Sad I know that I am excited about that but not owing money makes me happy! Getting just a little bit behind makes it hard to catch back up!

Since we are staying home for Christmas this year I think I am going to get my tree out Thanksgiving day and decorate so I can put things under it once I wrap them. I wish I could share all the things I ordered but its a secret!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Christmas Lists

I am REALLY struggling with this right now. I asked my husband early for his this year so I could watch for sales and he usually only has really expensive things that he would like so he has a hard time coming up with a list.

His list makes me laugh because it is kind of random.

-New Slippers
-3 Fire Extinguishers
-Snow Boots (he wants lace up hunting/camo ones from somewhere like Bass Pro or Cabela's so they can be used for more than one activity)
-A heater for his garage (I took a picture of the one he wants)
-A new Ipod dock for our stereo system, our really old one wont charge his phone and play music apparently. This one is hard because I only seem to find the ones with speakers attached.

And whether or not he likes it he is getting a locking gun safe from me. We have WAY too many guns. If I am able to find a reasonable small hand gun safe he is getting one of those too. He very rarely spends any money on himself though so I try to get him things he wants. Good thing I have a small fund set aside just for his Christmas gifts. :)

Making a list for me is hard, mostly because the things I usually want are household needs. For instance my new vacuum (that was a need having two dogs).  On Monday I had one thing on my list.....paring knives (they are always dirty because I eat so much fruit.) But yesterday I saw one of those SodaStream machines and saw you can make flavored carbonated water with them. I LOVE that. Not very practical and it would take up room in my limited cupboard space, but I really think I would use it a lot. I am not very good at making lists like this. Now if you asked me what I would like done around our house I could make a huge list.

At least I have his stocking done. How is your Christmas List/shopping going?

Monday, November 14, 2011

Weekly Money Checkup

1. The most I’ve spent this last week was on necessities like food and toiletries. We spent plenty the previous week on a new vacuum and my birthday fan. I am overwhelmed with things that need done so I will get around to pictures hopefully soon.

2. Today I am thankful I am feeling good. Yesterday I didn't feel so swell and had a lot of things I needed to get done. Hopefully I get a few done today.

3. Money can’t buy happiness. One free thing I did last week that made me happy was make a decision on health insurance issues for next year and have my husband to give me his Christmas list. I also figured out a few ideas to fill stockings with. Now I have a plan so I can budget since we have so many expenses right now. I need to be very tight with our Christmas funds.

4. I will consider this week a success if I get all orders out the next day and a few sewing projects done I have stashed away.

5. I am looking forward to checking things off my list that need done before the New Year. I am a compulsive list maker, we have so many notepads around the house you would think I hoard them. :)

Go check out My Pretty Pennies to join in on Weekly Money Checkup.

Have a wonderful Week!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Weekly Money Checkup

1. The most I’ve spent this last week was on ....oh dear. I was REALLY bad last week! I bought a new vacuum, a bench with tubs for our laundry/mud room to keep gloves/hats/shoes in, a new faucet for the kitchen sink, and my husband bought me a fan for my birthday. That fan sounds boring but our current one is ugly, has weird glass, and isn't made to hang flush with the ceiling so its too low and blocking my tv view from the kitchen while cooking. Thankfully I have been saving for most of those purchases. Now the fan just needs to arrive in the mail.

2. Today I am thankful we gave the dogs baths yesterday. They needed them Friday but my husband had a poker party Saturday and our poor puppy Max that likes beer was hanging out with the guys also smelled like cigars. Yuck!

3. Money can’t buy happiness. One free thing I did last week that made me happy was put my new storage bench together in our laundry room. We have a nice hall closet in the front of the house but we use our garage entrance with no storage and I was tired of piles of gloves/hats/shoes etc. So I fixed the problem and now have a spot to sit and put on my shoes. :)

4. I will consider this week a success if I take our 5 oak bar stools to the consignment store. I think I can make more money there than Craigslist so I am going to try. We spent last Friday drawing up a plan to remodel our basement sans 80's pink 16 foot bar. My husband hasn't decided exactly how he wants the details but told me to start clearing it out. My mom seem's to want to buy the fooseball table so that should be easy.

5. I didn't really notice
 Daylight Savings this year. I didn't go to bed until 2am though and then got up at 7:30 or actually 6:30am. What is wrong with me? We made up for it by going to bed an hour early though last night and lounging all day.

Go check out My Pretty Pennies to join Weekly Money Checkup. Have a wonderful Week!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Weekly Money Checkup

1. The most I’ve spent this last week was food. I didn't leave the house much with trying to catch up from being gone. The beginning of the week started out with lots of wet snow so that probably helped me staying in the house.
2. Today I am thankful for a quiet morning and my cup of spiced apple cider in my giant mugs new sock monkey sleeve. Thanks to my sister Cheryl for making him last week while she was here. 
3. Money can’t buy happiness. One free thing I did last week that made me happy was take a nap. I have been SUPER crabby and I needed a nap, ok I need more. After this weekend I am much better though. One other free thing we did last week was go watch my cousin run at the state Cross Country Meet and see lots of family. It is so nice to see family more often when you live closer to home.  
4. I will consider this week a success if I get the ENTIRE house cleaned! I am having lunch with my Mamo (grandmother) today and going and buying a new vacuum. I really wanted a Dyson because everyone I know with pets or without has had great luck with them but I can't spend that much and we need one now. So I am getting a Bissel Pet Rewind. My sister has had great luck with it so we will give it a try.
5. This year for Halloween....? I have tons of candy in the closet to give out but we are still debating if we want to just go to dinner. I am waiting until my husband gets home to make a final decision, it totally depends on what kind of day he had at work. Either way he usually gets home so late I am sure I will hand some out before he gets home tonight. I did save a bag for myself of our favorites though!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Weekly Money Checkup

1. The most I’ve spent this last week was definitely on gas for our road trip week.

2. Today I am thankful we are home and sleeping in our own bed. I am swamped with things to do but it is nice to be home.

3. Money can’t buy happiness. One free thing I did last week that made me happy was have a jewelry party. I love meeting new people and making money.

4. I will consider this week a success if I catch up on business and household paperwork and clean the house. There is a lot involved with both but if I can even just get the paperwork done I will be happy.

5. The next big trip I am taking is to the grocery store because be have ZERO things to eat and my sister is also staying with us this week. Then I am heading to the pet store because we are also out of dog food. Not super exciting but it sounds nice since we have been traveling so much.

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