Friday, November 21, 2014

Fabulous Friday

Remember how I said that our birch tree in the front yard was dying? Well maybe we could cut it down and make a Christmas project out of it on Thanksgiving. OH WAIT, I have a better idea!! What if I tell our guests to chop down the dead part as part of their project? I like where this is going! Do you think that I could tell them doing dishes and cleaning up after all of the cooking would be their craft project? I might be able to spin this into something that benefits me.
Waggin the dog,
Sonya Ann

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Face of Christmas

Remember how I have been blathering on about reusing and not wasting at Christmas.
I think this would make for and AWESOME and perfectly acceptable Christmas center piece, we just need to reuse the burlap on the candles. I just love the way that my mind works. I'm sure that you find it as refreshing and sane as I do. I really consider this more of an environmental saving tip, though.
So I'm not just giving out a candle, I'm giving out a center piece. Damn, I feel good about me. Wait, maybe it would make a better tree topper. Or maybe my little nephews would like me to make a gift bag for them out of it. Yes, a 3 year old would love this.
I think this is what Christmas madness looks like. Yes, madness now has a face or would it be a mask!
Stitching,
Sonya Ann


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Money-Here and Gone

Me Likey

I'm totally flip-flop on everything on my blog. But you guys are used to it. I talk about how much money I have spent and then I talk about coming up with ways to save money. I save as much as I can and then I splurge every so often. But when I do splurge, I have the money for it. So I guess that makes it ok in frugalland.
Back in 2008, I wrote about setting up an unemployment/emergency budget. On paper, I could get the bills down to $2107 a month. That was cutting about $600 off of the bills. I've done really well not only paying debt off but making the unemployment budget our monthly budget. Our only extras are the phones and the gym membership, we don't have cable or car payments. We are dumping Verizon and going with TMobile when the kids get home for Thanksgiving break. That should cut at least, $100 a month off our bills. So in a pinch I could get our monthly bills down to $2200. Hmmmm, its higher than it used to be by almost $100. That would be the lovely Illinois taxes. We got hit again this month for another $80 a month for our escrow. Oh joy.
I'm glad that I have worked to get our bills down even if the tally looks the same on paper as it did before. I can't even imagine the mess that we would be in if we had credit card debt or didn't try to save money. So my efforts aren't in vein, its just that Illinois sucks. There is a sucking noise every time you open your paycheck in this state.
And the 10% challenge that I wrote about before is still at the front of the list. I did manage to save $82.58 last month on our gas and electric bill. But what I'm really shooting for is to shave 10% off permanently. It's not going to happen unless I can shave some money off of our tax bill. Haha, I really should be a comedian. Hmmmm, do I sound bitter?
My neighbor fights every year to get a lower tax bill after we are assessed. I think I'll hitch a ride with him next year and raise a stink. What have I got to lose? Maybe my freedom. I could see me getting arrested after dealing with them.
Have you ever fought your tax bill? Have you been working on the 10% challenge?
Little money,
Sonya Ann

Monday, November 17, 2014

Christmas, Death, Vortex Mish-Mosh Monday

Anna sent me this on Pinterest the other day. It made me laugh. I think she is really starting to panic. I don't know why. You would think that being in charge of a budget and being responsible for your own bills/money would be less intimidating than getting a degree. In two weeks, I will be free of her bills and nagging her to quit spending. How much do you want to bet that she will become a tightwad when she has to pay for stuff herself?
She did manage to get her cleaning job back so she has something waiting for her. Its nights and weekends so she said that she will try and find something for during the day. She is going to put in to be a sub at the grade school where she is at now.The teacher that she is with now and two other teachers are very fond of Anna and said that if they take days off they will only request her. Hey, its a foot in the door. I'm proud of her and I'm secretly laughing about how she is worked up.
Den and I went to Hobby Lobby looking for Thanksgiving day projects. I never would have seen this but of course, something naughty caught his eye. I wonder if Hobby Lobby will cover their birth control?
I bought some burlap, silver 70's looking material and some tulle from Hobby Lobby and then cut and tied A LOT. I scored a bunch of free candle from Sears and then bought some more from the Dollar tree. I love, love, love this gift!
This is a notice from the state of Illinois to bring the Lumina in for emissions testing. This is a death sentence for that car. Notice the PAIN magnet on it, it speaks the Vulcan truth. Den wants to bring the car in and have it looked at by a garage and see if they can tell us how much it will be to get the damned check engine light off. I say sell the poor thing. We have until the end of February to figure this out. Wanna buy a car? Its a great car, it just likes to have the check engine light on. Unfortunately, my van likes to keep the check engine light on too. Sigh.
This is terrible even by my standards!
I'm rolling in it. I scored $9 from Pinecone research and $15 from Sears. When I bought bedding from Sears, everyone got a free $5 giftcard that could be worth up to $15. And I got a $15 giftcard! Christmas shopping is fun when its free! I'll win the lotto next, I can feel my life going on the upswing!
So here is where we are at..................
 $250          Bank of America credit
$100.49     Google(blog writing)
$153          Pinecone research
$320.13     BP
$25            Amazon gift code from Saving Star
$25            Bass Pro Gift card from MyPoints
$10            Chili's gift card from MyPoints
$25            Amazon gift code that I won from Donna Freedman at Surviving and Thriving!!!!!
$50            Gamestop gift code from e-rewards
$4              Liquor rebate
$134.40     Hotel refund
$60            Free gas cards from Silverton converted to cash
$15            Sears bonus giftcard for purchasing over $50
Total $1172.02 for our 2014 Christmas!
If only it took as long to spend it as it does to save it. Oh well, even if I don't come up with enough money, the little bit that I will have to pay for will be easily covered.
Much to do,
Sonya Ann


Friday, November 14, 2014

Fabulous Friday

I'm still looking for crafty Christmas gifts or projects. What about taking a frame, maybe some old wrapping paper or Christmas cards, glitter and anything else you could find and making it into a picture with a cute frame. Where is Anna when I need her crafty butt?
Crafty,
Sonya Ann

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Soft Complaint

I'm still using my lotion bars faithfully. If you are interested in making some, here is the link to the recipe. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE these bars.
Sometimes I think that I was assembled by a drunk. I'm not even going to get into the extra ladle of fat that I was given by said drunk but I will say that someone installed the el cheap'o eyelids on my model. They seem to be too thin and too short. My eyes feel dry all the time and they almost completely forgot my eyelashes. Plus they may have inadvertently crossed pipes and redirected some tears to under my eyelids. It's the only way that I can explain the extreme puffiness that I am dealing with. I have submitted many complains to no avail and I didn't even get a coupon out of it. 
So I am still using a bar to rub/push out the puffiness problem that I have with my eyelids and avoid writing more letters of complaint. It has been working great and I think that my eyes look younger. I also noticed that my eyelashes look longer. I was going to post about how I think that it might be helping and then I read an article about how Vaseline may help eyelashes grow. I think it has more to do with moisturizing your eyelashes than with the product that you use. There seems to be quite a debate about it but I can say from my experience, this works well.
If I find the number for the assembly complaint department, I will give it out freely. I can't be the only person with complaints! Until then, use the lotion bars. Plus the lotion bars are great if you have problems with chapped skin and do wonders for your cuticles. I'm soft on the bars, can you tell?
Bar praise,
Sonya Ann

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Cat Trainer


The boy named Sue or the cat named asshole is still out of control. It might be the fact that he is an alcoholic or it just might be that he is the Devil. I'm not quite sure on this one but I'm sure that time will tell.

As you can see he has to be right in your face and investigates everything that you are doing. He's adorable but is a bit too scary for his own good. Whenever I clean or touch something, he has to come over and investigate. Then he has to touch it too. He's pretty smart and I'm concerned slightly diabolical. He has figured out how to turn light switches on. And I thought that I was going to save money on the electric bill once DJ left.
He also won't stay out of the kitchen and off the table. It's a no no around here. I don't want cats climbing where I cook. Harry never had a problem with this rule, a few squirts of the water bottle and he learned. Sue not so much. I've tried everything trying to keep him out of the kitchen. He knows I don't want him in there and he runs and hides when he knows I see him.
And then I got a fog machine on clearance after Halloween!
video
 He's not fond of the kitchen anymore!!!!!
Mean or funny,
Sonya Ann

Monday, November 10, 2014

Graduating, Drippy and Done Mish-Moshed Monday

I am so happy with the way that Anna's room turned out. We got the expensive and beautiful furniture delivered and set about putting the room together.
I was convinced that putting a full sized bed with a dresser, chest and night stand would make the room look VERY crowded. Not so, if anything, it seems bigger.
It still needs curtains, 2 black lamps and a lamp shade but other than that, I'm calling it done.
And it has made the rest of the house look like utter crap. Den seemed terrified when I brought that up. I don't know if  he was concerned that I would start gutting the rest of the house and make him do more work. Or if he was worried that I would spend more money. As Forest Gump would say, "maybe its both." I foresee many more room redos in the future. I also realized that I'm not a fan of the new comforter in our room. Much money needs to be spent.
Den is still sick. He won't go to the doctor only because all they will do is give him a nasal spray. This nasty cold/virus/misery likes the people around here and everyone that is sick is getting a nasal spray.
Den informed me that this cold is so bad that it had to have been genetically engineered by the government. I told him the name of it is the man flu.
The above is a picture of a hose going into our pool that has been closed for the winter. Sigh, it seems that the liner is leaking. Flipping great. Den said we will have to replace the liner, I'm hoping that we can find the hole and patch it. I was hoping that I was going to get the water bill down a bit but having to fill a closed pool, isn't going to save us money. I should just give up on the water bill and the food bill.



I got $6 from Pinecone! Yeah me.
I've spent about $100 on gifts so far. Doormats and Christmas mugs for everyone! 50 mugs might be a lot to some people but not us. I'm just hoping that Den will be satisfied with giving out just that at work.Time will tell.
 SO here is where we are at..................
 $250          Bank of America credit
$100.49     Google(blog writing)
$144          Pinecone research
$320.13     BP
$25            Amazon gift code from Saving Star
$25            Bass Pro Gift card from MyPoints
$10            Chili's gift card from MyPoints
$25            Amazon gift code that I won from Donna Freedman at Surviving and Thriving!!!!!
$50            Gamestop gift code from e-rewards
$4              Liquor rebate
$134.40     Hotel refund
$60            Free gas cards from Silverton converted to cash
Total $1148.02 for our 2014 Christmas!
Hard to believe but Anna girl(My MIL's name for her) is graduating. Never thought this day would come when she was about 3 and biting me. She has not been an easy child. Love her dearly, but good Lord.
Anywho, she is trying to get into the Grad assistance-ship program. It would mean that she would get her Masters for free and the school would guarantee her a job while in the program. Its a 2 year program. I told her its the Masters program or she would have to come home. We will be cutting her off after this. It finally sunk in after I said she should move home. To be honest, I don't think that we could live together. I may bite her.
So if you would be so kind as to throw out a positive vibe or a prayer that she gets in, we would all be so grateful.
The only problem is the program doesn't start until the summer. So Miss Anna is going to figure something out until them. She could start taking classes before the program starts but she would have to pay for them so I think she should wait.
Ahhhh, one down and one to go.
Too soon?
Sonya Ann