Thursday, April 30, 2009

Extra Money




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I know this looks like a shameless plug and it is. But I really like Inbox and they do pay pretty well. If you do want to join, I would set up a free email account first (yahoo is what I use) and use that instead of your primary email. You will get some junk mail just an FYI. It takes me a few seconds to click on each email and they pay you $.03. The problem is if you save them up and are planning on doing this only once in a while, they expire. So you will need to do this everyday or every other day. If you use my link, I will get a referral(being honest). But you will get a $5 sign up bonus, so it's free money. You just have to get in the habit of clicking.
If you think about it, the rich and famous will sell just about anything for money. I'm just asking for a few clicks and you get paid for your time.
Either way, thank you so much for taking a few minutes of your day and reading my blog,
SonyaAnn

laundry soap catastrophe

I think there comes a point in every frugal persons transformation that we realize, I just can't get into it. I've tried, really tried to get along and play nice with homemade laundry soap. I've tried a few times. This tip just isn't going to happen in this house. It doens't dissolve and I end up having to pick off soap clumps and then rewashing. Yes, I know this is my fault. I really do. But I'm at the point of..... what if I just use a little less purchased soap and save a little money that way. I tried using it the powdered way and then I made it into liquid soap. The liquid soap was like trying to pour jello and it still ended up with clumps on the clothes. I give up. Maybe I will never make it completely over to the frugal side. I actually feel like a slight failure. I mean how can I streamline our finances and become a true frugal beacon of hope if I can't adopt all of the frugal tips out there. I think I'm just going to shoot for my own comfort zone. Knowing me, I'll try again and just complain like hell when I fail again.
Thanks for Reading,
SonyaAnn

Queen of All Things Awe-Summmm!!!



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I feel so loved I just got an Awe-Summm award from Together We Save! and from A.Marie over at My Money Mission! and from Jules @ Lovely Las Vegas! We are passing this around like VD.


The Rules Are:

*List 7 Things That Make You Awe-Summm!
*Pass It On To 7 Bloggers Who Are Awe-Summm!
*Be Sure To Tag Your Awe-Summm Bloggers To Let Them Know!
*Then Link Back To The Queen That Tagged You!

7 Things that make me Awe-Summm:
  1. My family
  2. My friends!
  3. My blogger best friends!
  4. I'm honest!
  5. I'm an A type!
  6. I'm a good problem solver!
  7. I'm over organized!
I hope that didn't look like bragging. Hate that!
7 Bloggers who are Awe-summm:
Granny Spice
Raging Bear Ranch
Looking Forward to a more Frugal 2009
The owl's nest
Watch Nena Save
Little People Wealth
Frugal in Paradise
I just wanted to say thank you to all and no tag backs! I've been tagged 3 times and I feel like the town slut. I was going to wait until this weekend to post this but I was afraid of what else I would catch. All said with much love and appreciation!
SonyaAnn

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

An Oldie but a Goodie

video

This is an old video but it makes me laugh even though I've seen it 10 times. The quality isn't that hot either but its still worth it! Thanks for stopping by to see me!
Thanks for Reading,
SonyaAnn


SonyaAnn16 comments


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Our Mexican Restaurant



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We are weird just wanted to throw that out there before I started. Since we don't have the money to go out and try restaurants we try to find some fun things to do at home. We had a neighbor come over when we were in the middle of Mexican night and she just stared at us. It's strange, I know. But we have a Mexican restaurant box and a Chinese restaurant box. We just take out our decoration and it seems to make dinner more fun. My kids are going to have some stories to tell when they grow up. We told them we won't pay for college but we will pay for four years of therapy. Just kidding they will get college and therapy. There is also an inflatable cactus that goes with this but it's to hard to deflate and smash back into the box so it doesn't get blown up very often. What you can't see is the chili pepper lights that run under the cabinets. So this is just one of the odd things that goes on here. I won't blame you if you don't come back to visit.
Thanks for reading,
SonyaAnn

Monday, April 27, 2009

Homemade Cinnamon Bread



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I really should just stop trying to diet! I'm going to rename my blog! I'm thinking about frugal and fat ass, what do ya think? I should just stop trying with the whole diet thing. I would be much happier if I didn't stress over every bite. I think I'm just going to blame it on my under active thyroid and admit defeat with the diet.
Anyways, I made this cinnamon bread the other night and it was amazing. I'm not trying to brag but it was gone in 5 minutes. So I thought I would pass it along. This is just my $.55(ish) role recipe. I told Den that I could use this recipe to make anything and for my next trick I'm going to turn it into meat. Anyways, make the dough as normal but divide it in two. Roll it into a rectangle and then smash an entire stick of softened margarine onto the rectangle. Make sure that the margarine is spread evenly. Sprinkle half a cup of sugar on the margarine. And then sprinkle cinnamon on the sugar. I didn't measure the cinnamon but I just sprinkled until I couldn't see the sugar. Then roll it up and pinch it all closed. Place it in a bread pan and let it rise for 45 minutes. Bake it at 375 for about 30 minutes. I always check all of my breads 20 minutes into it and then every 5 minutes afterwards. I would kick myself right in the fat fanny if I burned it. If you try it let me know.
Thanks for Reading,
SonyaAnn </

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Bestowed upon me is.......





The blogger who receives this award believes in the Tao of the zombie chicken - excellence, grace and persistence in all situations, even in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. These amazing bloggers regularly produce content so remarkable that their readers would brave a raving pack of zombie chickens just to be able to read their inspiring words. As a recipient of this world-renowned award, you now have the task of passing it on to at least 5 other worthy bloggers. Do not risk the wrath of the zombie chickens by choosing unwisely or not choosing at all…


I would just like to thank the academy for this wonderful award! Well, how about I thank Frances over at Looking forward to a more frugal 2009! Thank you for thinking of me when you see a dead chicken! And I pass the dead bird to....
Donna Freedman- Thank you for ALL of your kind words and encouragement. I'm glad to call you my friend. And I'm sure that this is your most impressive award as of yet! So for all of your kind words I would like to repay you with a dead cyber chicken. Use it wisely!
Jules at Lovely Las Vegas-I just won't leave you alone, will I? See what you get for being so nice to me.
Donna C- My dear English friend that won't post a comment but I know you are out there! I'm ready for another session.
A.Marie over at My Money Mission- for being so kind and making me laugh with her comments.
Anne at Chicago's CookBook-She's a local gal and she is helping to wean me off of my diet! I also loved the comment from her and everyone on Health Conscious or Broke.
So I pass the creepy bird to you! Hope you are having a great weekend!
Thanks for reading,
SonyaAnn

Friday, April 24, 2009

Friends Friday!

I was thinking about how happy I am that I have all of you for my new friends. (Awwww) I've really been enjoying talking to everyone and venting. So I thought that maybe a good way for all of us to get to know each other better would be for me to have a Friends Friday. I know I'm a dork! I'm going to put a friend's link and some info about them every Friday. If you want me to talk about you and your blog just leave me a comment and your blog address on this post and I'll come back here every week and choose a new person. That way we can visit each other and get to know each other a little more. And we can all sit around, hold hand and hug trees. Well probably not! Anyways this week's Friday Friend is Jules over at Lovely Las Vegas. She was the first person ever to leave a comment for me and I never forgot it. She is sweet and her blog and pictures are amazing.It makes me want to go to Las Vegas to eat and explore! So use this link and check out her blog. And if you want to read my favorite post, read this one!
Thanks for reading and have a great weekend,
SonyaAnn

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Anna's new paint job

Here are some of the before and after pictures of Anna's car. It's a 1999 Lumina. It had a few problems but for the most part it was in really good shape besides, the couple places of rust, the flaking paint and the long dents down the passenger doors. Maybe it wasn't in as good of shape as I thought. Anyways, the dents were from when Anna went to a friend's house. I told her not to park on the road because a lot of cars get side swiped. So what happened because of my good advise. The mother of her friend, hit Anna's car while it was parked. They were having a rough time financially and its an older car so we said forget about fixing it. I just did the best I could with some touch up paint.

The picture below is of a rust spot just behind the passenger's rear wheel. And so you know that hole is the exact size of my pointer finger. I poked it to see how bad it was and my finger went right threw it.


And another picture of the hole I poked in the metal.
And Tada....Here are the after pictures.


And you can't even tell that the two doors had been hit.





See, no more finger hole. Anna was not happy with me when I did that. And what you can't see in the pictures is that Den added metallic powder to the paint so it's sparkly.
So for a total of $243, Anna gets a new paint job. I just hope that we don't have to put anymore money into this car anytime soon!
Thanks for Reading,
SonyaAnn

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Thought you might like this!

I love the Darwin Awards! And for some reason, I thought you all might like this! I would have left him but see what you think! Darwin Awards!
Thanks for Reading,
SonyaAnn

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Poor Man's Panini



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This definitely doesn't look as good as the food over at Lovely Las Vegas but it's the best that I can do. We buy cheap lunch meat. Who would of thunk it? Any who, we were tired of eating plain sandwiches so I came up with the poor man's panini.
I toast the bread over the burner on the stove. It's kind of like camping! Then I schmear a little mayo on it and add some mozzarella. Then I fry the lunch meat in a pan with some pepper. Slap it all together and WOW! It really can dress up a plain sandwich.
Thanks for Reading,
SonyaAnn

Monday, April 20, 2009

Health Conscious or Broke?


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I have a plan! Usually when I say this, something very funny and then very painful happens but not this time. Here's the story......
I was driving DJ to Karate the other night and we were having the same argument that we always have. He was complaining that Karate was too hard, it was painful (he got punched in the nose by a girl and she was a purple belt) and he didn't think that I should force exercise on him. And then his most beloved of all the gripes that I use his money from his savings account to make him miserable. So my response every week is, its not too hard, block and you won't get hit, we all need exercise(as I pop more of his Easter candy into my mouth, just kidding, I, of course, waited until he got out of the car) and I reminded him that if I hadn't been saving his money since he was little, he wouldn't have a savings account. Anyways, as I mindlessly argued with the boy, I passed a man walking down the street. My guess is he was heading to the stores a good 4-5 miles from where he was. That was a long walk! I felt sorry for him knowing that he must be having a hard time financially if he had to walk that far. He was dressed in gym shoes, a long trench-like coat, blue jeans and a baseball hat. He looked put together but still I couldn't help but pity him. So we continued on our way and we continued to argue. A few more miles down the road, I saw a jogger running down the road. He was running in sweats, a t-shirt, old gym shoes and a reflective vest. I didn't feel sorry for him even though he was dressed quite shabbily. And then it dawned on me, the only difference between looking poor and looking like a health nut was the vest. So for about $25, we could all dress in old sweats and look like we were health conscious instead of having money problems. The sweats would be a lot more comfortable and we could hide all of our money woes behind the shiny vest. What do you think? Wanna join me? I just don't know how I would come across when I'm in the store with a reflective vest on and stuffing my kids candy in my mouth(don't ask about the diet). Just a thought.
Thanks For Reading,
SonyaAnn

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Once upon a time

I started thinking about a tale my mother had once told me, a long while ago. It was a story about when she was a young child and they got new furniture. People would come over just to see it. Neighbor, friends and family would visit just to sit on or admire the new piece. Men would shake hands, slap backs, and the women would ohhh and ahhhh.
They would save and save and dream about it for a long time and when they finally had the money, they went and bought it. I'm 37 and when I was a kid, it was the same way. But somewhere along the way, patience and anticipation disappeared. I can't think of a time in my adult life that someone has told me they are saving for something. Not once! And I'm very guilty of this. When I started out, everything that was needed and wanted was put on a credit card. I'm so glad that I've found my way out of that trap. Maybe that's why so many people are so unhappy. Its the little goals that keep us content and motivated. Small steps instead of huge leaps are the ones that make me happy. I feel like I've accomplished something when I "fund" one of my funds. A few hundred dollars saved for flowers or a trip and I can honestly say I feel as if I've overcome a big hurdle. If I had done it the other way around and not planned or saved and just put it on the credit card, it would feel like a failure. Maybe that's where happiness comes from being prepared for your future. The Japanese have a word that the Americans don't and when I heard it, it reverberated threw me and it has never left me. The word is futurist. They live, work and strive for tomorrow. When I start thinking about everything from that point of view, I have clarity.
I'm glad that I have the patience to save. It's made my life better to plan and dream about my future. Maybe with the hard times and the credit crunch, we will all go back to saving up for our furniture instead of feeling like a failure and worrying about our debt load when we charge something that we don't have the money for. I don't expect anyone to bail me out, I just hope that I have presence of mind now to help me tomorrow.
Thanks for Reading,
SonyaAnn

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Helping Others

I'm an addict when it comes to the MSN Message Boards. I love poking around trying to find new ways to save money and helping others. Anyways, one of the boards was "What are some of the fun things you and your family do that doesn't cost money???" I told about how we play the 30 minute game. This has been a long standing favorite of the kids. Everyone chooses something that we all have to do for 30 minutes. So for 2 hours we are entertained for free. The only rule is that we all have to agree before we start. "Kicking your brother for 30 minutes doesn't count." We play games, scrapbook, find recipes or cuddle(my favorite). So I suggested this on the message board and someone said she saved $45 by doing this instead of going to the movies. And it sounds as if it was a hit because her son is asking to play it again. It was a really nice feeling to know that I help saved someone money and that they are enjoying one of our traditions. I'm all warm and fuzzy now. And its ok if you say I'm a dork.
Thanks For Reading,
SonyaAnn

House Fire



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As you can tell not much happens around here but this morning it was nuts. This is literally just up the road. DJ and I walked up there to see it when he got home. Here's the info from the newspaper.
Thanks for Reading,
SonyaAnn

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Dried Herbs



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I'm happy to say that the herbs we dried at the end of last summer were enough to get us through the winter. We still had to buy a few different herbs that we didn't dry but it was kind of nice just to pinch off a little from our "stash." And the good news is the chives and the green onions are coming back already. That made me feel a little better after the disaster I had when I tried to save money by starting my own flowers. Makes me feel as if there is a little hope for me. Pretty much the only flowers that made it were the marigolds. So sad.
Thanks For Reading,
SonyaAnn

Monday, April 13, 2009

Slight Wrinkle

There is a slight problem with our loan. So please pause the butt wiggling for now.
We closed the loan on Thursday night at 7 pm. The problem came when the very nice lady told us we owed another $2410 on top of the $750 we already paid. This was news to us and took me quite a bit of time to iron this out. I also found out that it's a HUGE no-no to not disclose that we would owe even more at closing. So I scoured the original paper work and there was no mention of it until we got the new papers at closing . So we borrowed the $2410 from DJ, we have that much but its in a bunch of my "funds" and I would have to completely start over with the budget. So it was just easier for him to lend us the money and just pay him back the $3-4 in interest that he lost. And considering how tight he is, he was more than ready to help the family and quite gracious.
So long story short(too late) and almost my entire Friday later, (I was on the phone so long that the first cordless phone went dead and the 2nd one was on its last leg) the problem was even though WaMu is a part a Chase they haven't quite meshed yet. So our loan started out as a previous customer refinance with Chase but was changed because Chase doesn't consider WaMu customers as their own yet. I have to say that everyone was beyond spectacular with getting this sorted out. And it boiled down to an escrow problem. The $2410 was to cover what was needed. On a side note, they have nowhere enough in the escrow account to start off and I did try to explain this but that's a whole other mess. Anyways, per Chase's company policy, any money from our other loan would be put towards the principal. Meaning DJ's $2410 would be used for escrow and our escrow account from the WaMu loan would go towards the principal. And right about now you are wondering why we signed it in the first place and gave them the money before we had this ironed out. Good question! I knew that we had 3 days to withdraw from the offer. And we so desperately want to get away from Fifth Third that we figured this was the best route. And we also need the money from skipping a payment to pay for the transmission. Anywho, it looks like WaMu will be cutting us a check for the money in escrow. Even though they are now one company and Chase's company policy is what will govern, internally they aren't one and WaMu will continue to follow their guidelines. So I have been promised that we will be getting our money back. Chase did say that if for some reason they intercept the money, they will amend our loan to refund $2410 at no cost to us(meaning another $750 processing fee).
I'm thankful that it seems to be working out and that everyone was so helpful. But we won't know until the funds are disbursed and I have the check in hand. Fingers crossed and hold the back end wiggle until the end of the month.
Thanks for Reading,
SonyaAnn

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Outings!

Our family outings are always done with frugal in mind, go figure. When we go to 6 Flags, we can get out the door in under 15 minutes if we all work together. I thought that the list that we use might be a good starting point for your family,so here it is....
Bread or tortillas
cheese slices
lettuce, chopped
tomatoes, sliced
mustard
mayo
lunchmeat
fruit
chips
water, I freeze a few bottles the night before so I don't have to buy ice
granola bars
cookies
plates
paper towels
a few grocery bags for garbage and what not

I just save the same list and pull it out every time we go. I hope this helps you. This is the most complete list I can come up with. It covers the two most important food groups, sweet and salty.
Thanks for Reading,
SonyaAnn

Dance With Me

The loan went threw! Yeah we just closed on it. Do the happy dance with me and I want to see a little butt wiggle too! So we officially have the money to pay for the transmission. What a relief! And thank you so much for your concern for me and my family! I love you bunches.
Thanks For Reading,
SonyaAnn

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Old Socks

This is a little tip for reusing old socks. When I just can't get any more life out of our socks, I throw them in the bucket with all of our car cleaning supplies. We just slip one on our hands and clean out the wheel wells of the car. Or I wipe down the inside of the car with a little cleaner on it. They are great too for wiping the wax off of the cars. I hate cleaning and washing the cars and this makes it just a smidge easier. The four of us do this terrible job a few times a year. For the most part we get along but this chore usually brings out the worst in us and we end up in a family fight. It's one of the few times where it becomes every man for himself. All of us are petty and grouchy when we have to do this. Just being honest. All of the houses are so close around here that I know our neighbors hear us.
We have gone to the local car wash a couple of times but weren't happy with the end result. I just see it as a waste. We pay all that money and come home and touch it up. When I'm old and hopefully have a little more money maybe I'll try one of those full service places that cleans your car from top to bottom. Until then I'll just dream about having someone else do this hateful chore.
Anyways, this started out as a car cleaning tip. Or I could wind the sock up and crack it like a towel at my family members. Maybe use it as a whip? See there is a silver lining.
Thanks for Reading,
SonyaAnn

Monday, April 6, 2009

US




Well, I'm feeling a little brave and I have decided to post picture of us. Be kind. I figure you deserve to know who you are dealing with.

This is DJ with his award for honor role and for being student of the week.
This is Anna with her rookie of the year award and her varsity letter.


And this is Dennis and I. Can you guess which one is me?
Now you know what we look like. So when I'm complaining about the nuts that I live with, you will have a face with the name.
Thanks for Reading,
SonyaAnn

I'm an Aunt



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My sister-in-law just had the baby! I'm an aunt. Now if only I knew his name!
Thanks For Reading,
SonyaAnn

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Christmas Shopping

I think I'm pretty close to being done Christmas shopping! Sort of!
Right after Christmas, I went and bought 10 little Christmas houses. They light up and all that fun stuff. We give these out to neighbors and relatives. They were marked down to $5 each. So I have quite a bit done. My Gift closet is filling up quite nicely.
Every year right after Christmas and through out the year, I search online for different gifts that I think everyone would like and then I bookmark them and save them in a Christmas file. I always check for good deals on line and when I think that I can't get it any cheaper, I buy it. So far I have about $460 in the Christmas fund. It's nice to know that if I find a bargain, I can get it and not have it cut into our monthly budget. I've been looking at a couple of really pretty necklaces for my SIL, Cindy. Kohls keeps marking them down and with all the coupon codes, I'm getting close to buying a couple of fun pieces. The more organized I am, the more I enjoy the holidays. I would love to be done shopping again before Thanksgiving.
Thanks for Reading,
SonyaAnn