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Monday, December 31, 2007

New Years Eve doings

Ds & I are going to the Bodies Exhibition downtown this morning and since my office is only a few blocks away, will swing by & pick up my paycheck & bonus check. The bodies show is about $20 a person. I don't think dd wants to go, she's a little leery about it. So it will be just me & ds. He does not want the narative tour, which will save about $5 a person. I will have to pay for parking which sucks, but that's the way it is. Probably a couple of dollars. We will NOT go out to lunch as I need to get back home so I can get the snacks & appetizers ready for this evening. We are the house where the other 3 couples will meet before we figure out where we are going to tonight. I really really wish everyone would agree to just stay here & party & ring in new year. Don't really want to go anywhere (crowds, danger, obnoxious, expensive, etc.). Of course, one person refuses to stay at home on New Years Eve, not sure if that means someone elses house too? I just don't want to get trashed, spend a bunch of money on cheap drinks, be around a bunch of drunk strangers, and then hassle with a cab driver for the ride back home. I don't know. Am I getting old? Plus the kids will be here and they would love to be part of this. Although seems that years past they fall asleep before the ball drops!! Snacks will be sliced brown sugar ham, cheese slices, crackers, cream cheese spread, snausages (smoke wienies & bbq sauce), veggie platter (carrots, celery, grape tomotoes & cukes) and whatever else I can pull out. Oh, tort. chips & salsa. If anyone is HUNGRY, I have leftover lasagna from Sunday night I will offer up ... told dh its better to feed them before we leave! :) Need to make sure the guest room is ready just in case someone needs to sleep over. One of the other couples live across the street & have a guest room too, so we could actually split up the people and have a sleep over. I actually played with idea of doing a New Years day brunch at the house, but then thought, nope! What if I'm hung over ... I will make it a point to remember that I don't want to be so I won't drink that much, but then again, you know how that goes!! It's suppose to be about 83 today and tonight will be about 72. Great. Freaking Hot & Humid!! Of course, the cold front comes tomorrow night!! Crumb. So I will probably wear a pair of white bermuda shorts & a black & white low cut sleeveless top tonight. The dilema is heels or flats :) Jan

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Merry Christmas and soon to be Happy New Year

Christmas was nice & quiet in our house. Thankfully! The kids opened the gifts from grandparents & aunt/uncles. Then I let them open one from us ... they chose the guitarhero iii one ... I wonder how or why? :) They ended up playing it til about 2am in the Florida room. I am so glad that we went ahead and accepted the television from our friends over a year ago for in there. Hubby had wanted to get one of the flat ones but I didn't want to spend the money, so when this came up, I said yes. It's a little 21 inch with a vcr player included ... which is good cuz I still have lots of vcr movies (odd, I know) and no vcr player :) Since we've gotten the tv hooked up in room, the kids have pretty much taken it over, which is fine. It is the most beautiful room in the whole house with a fantastic view yet we never use it cuz it didn't have a tv! :) What do you make of that??? Now the kids use it as their hang out room. Anyways, Did the Mcdonalds for dinner Christmas Eve (strange tradition we have!) and then on Tuesday, we were going to make burgers (sirloin, ribeye & tenderloin that hubby ground). Well, after all the snacking we never got around to cooking the burgers. No big deal really, everyone was just laying around watching tv anyways. Ended up making the burgers for dinner Wednesday night! Tonight (Thursday) I have to make the lasagna. Only cuz I had taken the sauce and mozz. cheese out of freezer, opened the ricotta cheese and I'd hate for it all to go to waste. Would really prefer something lighter but heck, need to do this!! It is my new years resolution, less waste! Friday, hoping to do chicken thighs. Saturday we are doing a brisket for friends. Sunday, I think I have down leftovers. Monday, no idea. I believe we are going down to the corner of Elbow Room and A1A as they close off the street and have a big block party. Not that I really want to do that as we will drink too much & spend way too much money. Once Tuesday comes around, I will be posting on my othe blog 2008 financial stuff. Hoping that by posting income & outflow $ I will be able to save more ... then again, after reading and listening to todays news ($3.75 gallon gas by spring!!??) it's depressing and may seem near impossible!! But by all means, swing on over there and check it out. Ok ... that's that! Have a terrific day & will hopefully chat tomorrow!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

kiki the missing kitty

Haven't seen kiki since Tuesday the 4th ... really worried about her. Hoping that her master scooped her up & has her captive (feel sorry for him if that's the case, the cat can get wacko) ... we've had a couple of foxes show up again and they are consistently by every evening ... hoping they didn't get ahold of her. So if anyone sees a bengal kitty by the beach area...let me know ... I've got some very distinctive markings to verify if its her or not :)

BJ's instead of Costco

Was going to head out to the produce store (which is about 10 miles from home and way out of my normal way) since I'm looking to start back to eating more veggies and a little healthier ... lets face it, 10 lb weight gain since November 1st is NOT good. I know, it's good that I quit smoking but honestly do not see HOW I gained 10 lbs. I have not changed my eating habits that much!!!! :( I'm very bummed. I am usually around 130 which is ok for me as I'm 5'7" ... but 140 goes straight to my butt & thighs :( And clothes are starting to feel a little different which really sucks. So anyways, on my way out west. Then decide, heck, go to BJ's ... see what they have. Walked out $90 later :( BUT did get a 2 lb bag of chopped romaine lettuce, 3 lb tomatoes, 1 lb shredded cabbage, 2lb provolone cheese, 18 hoagie rolls, 2 loaves bread, 3 gifts for dh and 1 for me. Actually, if I hadn't bought the gifts, it would have only cost me about $20 ... oh well. My thoughts on BJ. Hmmm... I don't really know yet. I'm so used to Costco. I did see that they do mark things down, which I've never really seen at Costco. So that's a plus. I am just trying to figure out if they were within the same driving distance of each other which I would do. I 'think' bj's is price competively. And they DO take coupons (which I keep forgetting) ... but the real big selling point to me is that they are so much closer to me ... by about 1/2 hour driving time (remember, I'm in a heavy traffic congested area!!!) ...I really need to go in on my day off, with a slip of paper & make notes on prices and then drive all the way out to costco and do the same. OR I could just pull out one of my old costco receipts (darn things fade over time!!!) I'll keep you posted ... it really is a dilema

Friday, December 21, 2007

Free Friday work clothes

Which in turn, means very very frugal! :) Black dress slacks (banana republic) from g/f L Black & teal patterned sleeveless blouse (really cool looking) from g/f K Black high heel sandels from g/f K FREE .... I love it when I can go to work wearing all free clothes. Remember, I work for 2 attorneys, and even though we don't have a 'dress code' per se, we do have to dress appropriately and for work :) If only I had my camera (still in the missing suitcase) I would take a pic & post! But in the meantime, Thanks Girls!! :) Jan

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Frugal Shopping

Stopped at Target Wednesday morning to pick up a few things on my way to work. Had to also return 2 things for a credit back of $10.xx. Picked up 2 pairs gloves, pair of leggings, 2 tshirts, 6 pk socks and spent $30. Also had my handy $5 gift card (from the game) so the total was $25. If you figure the $10 credit, I really only put $15 on the AE. :) Unless that confuses you ... On way home, stopped at Borders ... ds wants the niki stixxs book. Against my better judgement, picked it up (he's 15, I know he knows these things, but heck, it's pretty graphic. Maybe it will keep him straight if he ever becomes a big guitarist!), had my 30% coupon. Also picked up this stupid marshmellow bear that dd's been whining about ($8), 2 magazines for dh from ds, 1 magazine for ds (guitarist, of course, $15). Total was $50 including my coupon. So far, I've spent about $100 on Christmas for everyone else (not including my $30 gift!). My closet needs to be cleaned out ... I've got the bags in there and a bunch of other crap too. I have big paper bags of clothes that I need to go through, a bag started for goodwill, my craft stuff that I'm never going to do and then another big bag of clothes that need mending (taken in, taken out, hemmed up, etc.) Not to mention the shoes, small basket with information stuff (what, I have no idea anymore!), the 2 big wall mirrors that have been in there for 10 years now that we never got around to rehanging and a bunch of other stuff. I really really need to go through it. As much as I hate clutter, this is the place where everything gets tossed. It's a fairly decent walk in closet (square like) that has no room!!! Maybe for my 5 day weekend (new years) I will clean it out and some other places too :) Then again, this could be a huge chore!!!! Jan

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Christmas shopping

I've started to pick up a few things here & there and making a list. Does it sound like maybe I procrastinated a little bit?? Only 6 days left, and 5 of them are real bonafide shopping days! :( Had gone to Target on Sunday with dd after dropping off ds at band practice. Had a $10 off coupon when you spend $100. Figured heck, we can do that! Actually, had looked at the sales paper and saw they had the undercounter stereo/cd I wanted on sale for $29 and a hand mixer by Oster for $17 ... stereo is for Christmas, hand mixer for instant gratification (mine broke when I dropped it a few weeks ago). Also picked up new boxers for ds as most of his were in his missing suitcase. Dh got a new wallet. Dd got leggings (need to take back as they have feet & that's not what she wanted!), and a Cranium game for the kids. The game was $26 and then a $5 instant gift card. However, looking at the receipt is confusing as heck. I don't know if the game was on sale for $21 and the $5 gift card makes the returnable price of $16. Need to really look at the receipt again. Also picked up some maybelline mascara for me. Got home & realized that Kmart has them b1g1f. So I will take it back with the leggings :( I have a mini list going: dh is going to pick up his own Crocs since I got my stereo (weird, I know) and then we will surprise each other with something else. Have no idea what. Kids are going to get magazine subscriptions (not sure yet), a book or gift card from Borders or Barnes & Nobles, and maybe gift card for PacSun which is where dd works & gets a decent discount. Ds needs new clothes since 80% of his wardrobe was in the luggage to Mexico :( I am still so very upset about this. No one from AeroMexico is calling me back or taking my calls. Need to remember to notify TSA of the missing bag. To make matters even worse, there was a copy of the passport in there, not that I think it really does anything but still :(. Jan

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Christmas Boat Parade Party

We always do a big party for the Winterfest Boat Parade, but because of all the traveling back & forth to Louisville and the surgery, we had decided not to do it this year.

Well, 2 days before the day, looks like we will have about 20 people over.

I've made it quite clear to everyone that this is not a 'party party' per se, like we always do ... more of a casual gathering.

In other words, no the big food spread, alchol and such. Plus, hubby has said he'd like to make it a early night.

I agree.

Here are the food things I'm looking at ... trying to keep it from pantry & freezer to keep cost down: spinach dip - have all ingredients already smoked fish dip - dh makes this using canned tuna, have in pantry snausages - smoked sausage in bbq sauce spicy meatballs - have all, except may need to buy another can of rotel stuffed shells - freezer (from the cooking span before we went to surgery) summer sausage & cheese platter - picked up summer sausage @ aldis (2.99) and need to buy cheese chili - girlfriend wants to make & bring sweet & sour meatballs - another girlfriend wants to bring I know there are some other things, just can't remember what. So that's that! I really hope it's not a big deal. We have no christmas decorations out unless the kids want to put out the snowmen? :) Frugal tip: use what you have in house, be creative when it comes to last minute gatherings. You don't have to run to store & spend $100 to entertain.

Back from Louisville

Hubby & I flew out Tuesday afternoon on a 1pm flight, got to Louisville around 4:30 and then caught a 2:15 flight back on Wednesday, putting us back here around 5:45.

Dr was happy with progress from hand therapy. Not happy about the incision area that still has open areas. After 6 weeks ... well, that's just not normal. Wants us to clean with hydrogen peroxide and cover with a light layer of zinc oxide. Keep covered with bandage.

Ok. That's easy enough.

Come back in 6 weeks ... try to stay and visit a little longer. The dr is always teasing us cuz we fly in & fly out ... I guess he thinks we should try to make a little mini vacation out of it. Anyways, flight there & back was the cheapest yet. $99 each way. Southwest. We were quite happy about that. Hotel (hampton inn is just blocks from the hospital) is $89 a night.

Car was free (courtesy from dh work - got to get a Sebring convertible this time).

Dinner out was $55 (used my vip visa giftcard), drinks at hotel bar was $55 - this was definitely much more than I planned on but dh started talking to someone from Orlando and they just got carried away.

 Breakfast, free at hotel. Lunch was spent at Cardinal something (it's dedicated totally to the Louisville Cardinals, cool memorabilia) which ended up costing about $30 ... only cuz we did the bowls of soup too since it was quite chilly out. After lunch, we looked at tickets to confirm flight & realized it was later than we thought, by about an hour. So we agreed to go look for the Aldi's that we found the first time there. We don't have Aldi's here in south florida so it's kind of cool to us :) Pull in parking lot, point out the shopping cart & tell dh that we can return it & get a quarter. He just looked at me strange. Then I told him that you 'borrow' with a quarter & when you return, you get the quarter back. He thought that was pretty funny. $11 later and a bunch of stuff shoved into the carry on bag, dh finally tells me that next time we should take a check bag so we can fill it up with other stuff. I mean, crumb. Milk was $2.39 whereas I pay $4.49 here! Geesh. So that's that.

Uneventful trip, except record heat when we got there and freezing cold rain (not freezing to freeze, but really cold!) when we left. Back to Florida with 82 and humid! Jan

Monday, December 10, 2007

Not so frugal weekend

Saturday was daughter's 17th birthday. Wow ... that makes me feel so very old! Ended up running to BJ's that has just opened close by the house (5 miles or so away), originally just to scope it out & see if the prices were compariable with Costco. I already have a membership with Costco, but I have to drive like 1/2 hour to get there and it's kind of a pain ... so I wanted to see if BJ's would be better in the long run. Figured if it's a little more price-wize, that would be fine since it's much closer ... The parking lot was mobbed. However, since I was driving dh's new charger (i.e. no door dings), drove around the side & back and tons of open parking. 1 point for BJ's, none for Costco :) Had a free day pass that had come in the mail (or newspaper, don't remember which now) so decided to browse. 1. Guitar hero III - $79 with guitar. That's $10 cheaper than other places I've seen. 2. Uno Pizza - $7.99 for any of them - same as costco, only a lot closer to home. 3. B/s chicken thighs - $1.79/lb - same as costco, just not the same brand. would have to try them to see if they are as good. 4. Big plastic cups. $7.99 - 'appears' to be a little cheaper than costco. All in all, I think the prices are about the same. Would have to get some of my old costco receipts out and look. The real selling point however is the fact that they accept manufactors coupons. Hmmm. That's different. Picked up a cheese pizza, pepperoni pizza, new pirate movie ($18.99 for 2 disc edition!!!), 4 birthday cards (great selection), big bag of Kettle corn from Popcorn Indiana, 2 bags of ruffles, oj, apple juice, big red cups, christmas paper plates, 3 1/2 gallons of ice cream, 4 loaves bread, coffee, red pepper flakes, and some other stuff. Spent $108.00. It was also my g/f 39th birthday and we were all going to benihana (9 of us) ... that ended up costing $100 on our side. Then of course, she wanted to go to Opa's down the street. $40 contributed ... dh & I stayed for one drink ... epresso martinis are $15 a pop there and geesh, I just wasn't in the mood :( So dh & I got a drink (he doesn't drink martinis, just jd & coke), drank 1/2 and said our goodbyes. We were home by 11:30pm or so. Sunday we went to coconuts on the water, thinking they had a breakfast buffet. No. Just a brunch. Sorry, can't justify $10 for an omelet so ordered a burger for $9 which came with fries too. We haven't been there in years. It was a nice change and we got to see them feeding the tarpons. Those things are HUGE and a little scary!!! :) Then we went to honeybaked hams to get the g/c that we give the lawn & pool boys, and dh gives his 2 girls at work. They were closed on Sunday. :( ?? Figured they'd be open since it's getting closer to the holidays? Now will have to make a point to go during the week, 10 to 5 DH has 4 coupons. Two $5 off and two $7 off $70. Tried to get him to use the two $5 first then 1 $7 but the one $5 is for a ham only. We've decided to skip the ham for Christmas as it's $15 more than we paid last year. Told him we would try the publix spiral hams this year. Target was next. Looked at fake and small trees. DH wanted some christmas cards. I know I have some, just in the Christmas boxes and since we haven't decorated, didn't know where they were. He was overwhelmed looking at all the cards :) Kept saying "this can't be that hard!!" :) hehe...serves him right! I grabbed a thing of wrapping paper for $1.99, he found some cards (that say Merry Christmas & Happy New Year per my specific instructions!) and we checked out. Cards were $6.99 for 14. Geesh. Of course, we get home, and guess what? I'm standing there talking to him & see the small box of Christmas cards sitting on the shelf. He was right that I've had them out, just didn't remember! Funny how true it is that if things sit out long enough, they become part of the landscape & you don't really 'see' it :) I may try & take the cards back as I don't send out cards in the mail. Waste of time, waste of money & for all the wrong reasons (because so & so sends a card, you feel you have to send one back NOT) Ok, suppose I need to go get a shower & ready for work. Have a $1.7M refi today and no documents yet ... hopefully will be there when I get in this morning! Jan

Monday, December 3, 2007

Frugal Friday

Was off today. Had to take dd's friend to school & then we had 8 & 8:30 dentist appts. Did that and then went to Denny's for breakfast. Been a long time since I've been to Denny's. Guess they had to raise prices too since everyone else has. $27 for me & dd at breakfast (included tip). Good grief. Then we came home, laid out by pool for awhile (got some color), and then went & had a manicure & pedicure done, using 2 gift certificates I had gotten for Christmas last year. We each tipped $8.00 so that was $16.00. Better than the $40 plus tip each to have it done :) Came home & dd had to get ready for work at 4pm. My g/f Cat came over around 7ish. She brought a HUGE bag of stuff. 10 waffle rubbery place mats (which will have a different life in MY house), 2 complete full size sheet sets (for sleeper sofa), 24 dress shirts (half still had tags on them!), 3 skirts, 2 slacks/capris/clamdiggers (need to look more at them). And there was some other stuff in there too. Cat has been my friend for 19 years or so. We've matured together . She unfortunately has a clothes habit that she acknowledges but can't quite overcome it. Granted, she buys stuff on sale, but heck, giving 12 blouses away with tags still on them??? Come on!! I asked why she doesn't return them and she said it was too much of a hassle. ??? Huh??? And you know, she's quite frugal, but I guess in a different way than me? Oh well. In return, I gave her snacks for dinner :) hehe...I wasn't really ready for company that night & didn't know for sure she was coming over ... oh well. All in all, not a bad day. Spent a bit more for breakfast than I'd like, but overall, I think it was a good day! :) Frugal tip for Friday: Never turn down free stuff. Never know what you will get ... some things might not be for you but you can always turn it over to someone else! :)

What a week!

Dh went to Kansas City (missouri) and is freezing there (said it's windy as heck) ... ds went to Mexico City, concert was cancelled for Thursday but rescheduled for Saturday, so luckily they still got to play. His luggage got lost and then airport found it ... but airport was 1 1/2 hours away from where they were so he didn't get his stuff until Saturday am ... I won't even ask what he did for underwear & such :) So it was me & dd most of the week. She worked alot of the nights, was only off on Thursday which is the night her friend stayed over since her mom was in N'orlns for weekend. Since I get up early anyway, was not a big deal to take her to school on Friday ... make sure to read about Frugal Friday :) Dinner all week was pretty much low key as dd is sort of a vegetarian ... dh & I did take her out on Wednesday night to a japanese buffet that I've been wanting to try. It's not 'cheap' but the food is a heck of a lot better than the chinese buffet we go to occasionally. Honestly, I didn't mind spending the $4 more per person. :) Here's the link So here it is, Monday night and I've missed alot of time to post :). Ds is at the airport waiting for his bags. Dd is at the airport with her b/f mom. He was pulled aside at customs because he KNEW his paperwork wasn't 100% in order (been here 7 years, just turned 18, things happen I guess at that point if you don't have a visa/green card or whatever) ... So mom is hoping to be able to intervene with proof of paperwork that attorney filed TODAY. In my opinion, a little late, isn't it?? So there you have it. Dh comes home tomorrow, thankfully. Ds turns 15 on Wednesday. Dd turns 17 on Saturday. Oh my, I could get easily depressed if I wasn't careful :)