Friday, August 31, 2007

On Family Vacations

School has started back for most of the United States. Soon Halloween will be here and before you know it Thanksgiving and Christmas will be upon us. Holidays almost always mean travel and travel with kids can be "interesting", to say the least. Finding family friendly hotels is hard enough without having to think about the activities that you will do while on vacation. That is where Kango comes in.

While I have not used Kango myself, I can say that if we were to plan a family vacation in the future, we would certainly check them out!

We like to plan our vacations in the off-peak months since it is easier for Hubby to take off of work. It would be great to be able to plan a trip that is interesting and fun, not only for the kids but for the adults as well!

While planning your next vacation, I hope you will check out Kango too.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Could things be looking up?

Hubby went out on two interviews yesterday. The second one was very good and they sent him on to interview with their regional maintenance supervisor. He really wanted to be in more of a job with an HVAC or other maintenance company but at this point, I'm sure he will take whatever he can get.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Keeping on Track

We had a few opportunities this weekend to "splurge" and go out to dinner. However, we were strong and resisted the urge. Instead of going out to lunch Saturday with the inlaws, we bought lunch meat and bread before they arrived. We served sandwiches, chips, and iced tea. Then Sunday we ended up running an errand that took longer than we anticipated. We were walking through Target at 6:00 and were starving! We resisted the urge to go out to dinner. We did get a candy bar each but I think $1 is a lot better than $15 or $20!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Free is Nice

My folks came over tonight so I could sign some paperwork for them and mom could pick up some stuff I'd gathered for her sunday school class. They treated us to dinner at a local Mexican restaurant. A free meal is very nice, especially when money is not flowing very freely.

Hubby went to the Evil Empire tonight to get some fabric softener and a mouse since his went kaput. He did not read closely and got fabric softener that is not concentrated. It was a big bottle but only 32 loads. The bottle I normally get is about 1/2 the size and is 72 loads. I'm going to pour this into the concentrated bottle and see if I can get away with using less. I happen to love fabric softener scent in my clothes and feel that it will be one of the last things I would ever give up. I'll be sure to come back to this subject and see how many loads I'm actually able to get out of the bottle.

We are still using the free Mexican detergent that hubby got from his work back in May. We still have enough left for another 6 - 8 months or more. I love that we're getting our clothes cleaned for a lot less.

I picked up 2 bags of clothes from Freecycle last night. All are name brands (Lane Bryant, Old Navy, etc) and 85% of them were my size. I have a bag full to share with a friend and another outfit for a second friend. I love getting free clothes!

I gave away some things on Freecycle this week as well: two pairs of name brand shoes (youth AMD and Nike brand) and two pairs of jeans. One little boy hugged me and told me that the shoes were his "dream shoes". Isn't that adorable?

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Yesterday I received some nice items from Freecyle: a large trash bag full of tshirts and 3 boxes of Mason jars. After hubby brought the shirts home, I went through the bag. I was thrilled with all of my "new" shirts and tried a few of them on right then and there.

I was left wondering why people don't love getting free clothing as much as I do. The joy I felt from my free clothes is not greater that the thrill one would get from those purchased. If fact, I think that I'm more in love with my free shirts because I have nothing invest in them. These are all very nice shirts, most are name brands from "mall stores" or new looking Haines Her Way tees. I saved at least $20 on these shirts (as compared to buying shirts for myself at $1 - $2 each).

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

I hate when I have bouts of insomnia. It is awful for me on many levels. I end up exhausted the next day, I cannot function, my pain levels increase, and I'm stuck suffering from horrible headaches.

Last night was one of those nights. I take two medications each night to help me sleep, both prescribed by my rheumatologist. Last night they did not work. I was up until after 3:30 this morning and woke up, unable to sleep, at 7:30 this morning. Sleep continues to evade me, napping has not happened, and I am barely functioning.

Bless his heart, hubby is making dinner and taking care of me so that I can rest. After dinner, I will take my customary medications and will add Ambien to the mix with the hopes of getting some sleep tonight.

Sometimes I really hate Fibro!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

An Overdue Update

Life is continuing on in the way that it always seems to. Hubby & I are settled into life without the kids here full time. He is looking for a job and working on getting his vehicle up and running (thank goodness he is getting unemployment). I've actually put out a few resumes myself. I'm not sure I physically can handle the whole full time job with a commute thing again but you've got to do what you've got to do.

I'm grateful for the fact that we are able to earn money to pay the bills. I trust that hubby will find a job soon and that things will return to their normal madness. :) Until then, we're scrimping and saving and making due with what we have even more so than before.

I'm going to start selling my artwork as well. I draw a lot of faeries and mythical pictures. Several acquaintances have been very impressed with my drawings lately and have suggested that I sell them at area festivals, SCA events, and online. I am going to give it a try soon. In preparation for this, I've been drawing a lot more lately. Today I did a belly dancer and a green man. I hope to get them painted and ready soon. My goal is to have 2 done per day so that by September 15th I can order prints and get them ready for sale.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Paying for the Past

We have some very old bills from hubby's past (as in 1982) that are biting us in the proverbial rear. We are paying two of them in full this week along with a down payment on a third. In a week we will have two more to pay off. The largest one will be there for years and there is little that we can do about it. At least we are doing something to eliminate the problem.

We learn in life and I hope that hubby has learned a major lesson here so that we can move on and move forward.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Financially Speaking

We spent $15 at thrift stores on Saturday and another $20 on supplies for a picnic I attended and sinus pills and deodorant.

Sunday, we went to lunch with my mom ($15) and then Hubby did a side job for a friend of theirs.

Monday, we went to lunch ($20 OUCH) and got fuel ($40). That day DID not go well.

Today, hubby has gone to get cheese and fruit ($7)

Goal - Spend $0 the rest of the week on eating out or other JUNK!

Friday, August 03, 2007

Friday's Financials

Total Spent today - $12.12
MTD Spending - $12.12

We went to Sam's and picked up milk ($2.70 - cheapest place around), two packages of turkey breast & two loaves of french bread.

Dinner was a freebie. I had a bad experience at Taco Bell so they sent me a free coupon for 2 menu items. We got taco salads. They are really expensive (nearly $6 each) and not that great, in my opinion.

Going Green(er)

I am taking babysteps toward living green(er). We do a lot of stuff already but I feel a conviction to do SO MUCH MORE.

  • We use cloth napkins instead of paper
  • We use dish towels/rags instead of paper towels
  • We use baking soda and other natural cleaners (need to do even more)
  • We hang dry all tshirts, work shirts, & anything stretchy. (need to start hanging other items)
  • We live in a smaller house than many of our peers
If you have any tips or ideas or would like to share what you currently do, please leave a comment!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

August: Making Changes

So far, I've spent -$0- this month, though I must remember that today is only the 2nd! I do need to do some grocery shopping but I'm trying to use up things in the fridge first.

I have earned an additional $20 from selling some old software online. It isn't much but every little bit helps.

Speaking of using things up, for hubby's lunch today I gave him the last of the cottage cheese on a bed of romaine (wilted but usable) and added some cut up peaches. It looked very appetizing and used up some of the stuff in the fridge.

For dinner, I'm making a stir fry with leftover steak, frozen veggies, and rice.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

August Already?

I really haven't done much this week. Now that the girls are gone, things are so very different here. It is quiet. Things stay where I put them. We are going through a lot less food than we were with two growing teenagers in the house. It is quite an adjustment.

My laptop hard drive has a glitch in it. If hubby is unable to recover it, I will have lost all of the photos I took this summer (over 1,500), not to mention all of the other things in my "My Documents" folder. Lesson learned here - don't let photos sit on a hard drive without backup. I'm praying that this stuff is all cleared up soon.

Our water bill was $60 this month. OUCH! I think we've had a raise in rates. I will have to check that out.

Feeling very sad lately. Depression is not a pretty thing.