Monday, November 29, 2010

Money Matters Monday

  1. Well, after a short hiatus to the mountains, I'm back in the blogging world. Yay! Did ya miss me?
  1. I'm really surprised we didn't spend more money than we did on our trip, but I'm pleased to report, we only spent around $500. I can hardly believe it myself. And some of that was on Christmas presents (of which I cannot go into details about for the obvious reasons!). But what I CAN say is that so far, I have six presents accounted for and that makes me uber happy. :D
Today's Money Matters post deals with the evil that is the "Friday After Thanksgiving Shopping Day." Yes, I got out in it. No, I didn't get out at midnight like I have before. Yes, I got some SWEET deals. Yes, I loaded up on Xanax to deal with the hustle and bustle. ;) No, I'm not kidding. LOL! The end!
Forgive me for the brevity of this post, but I must get back to the details that were left unattended while we were away. Did anybody else brave the crowds for some great deals? Was it worth it for you? Come back tomorrow for an awesome "Before and After!"

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Music Therapy Thursday...Me, Chuck, A Park Bench, and Edwin

Eleven years ago today, I sat on a park bench at Oxford Lake and was proposed to by a guy I had only known for 2 and a half months. As we talked about what people would say (and how we really didn't care WHAT they thought!), we decided to spend the rest of our lives together. I asked Chuck this morning if he remembered what today was and he said yes. I asked him if he had any regrets and he said, "Only that I didn't meet you sooner." Sorry, ladies. He's all mine... ;) This was our song back then. Since you can't have Chuck, enjoy a little Edwin on me!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Money Matters Monday... Homemade vs Store Bought

Today is Chuck's birthday (Happy birthday, babe! Love you!!) and JR has INSISTED that daddy have a cake (or the equivalent) to sing "Happy Birthday" over and put candles on. My displeasure is twofold: Momma is trying to cut calories and spending some dough on a delicious item from the bakery did not fit into my budget after buying the birthday boy his present (a new camcorder... I know I ROCK!).

I decided that I would make cupcakes with chocolate icing in hopes that I might only eat one instead of, oh, I don't know... SIX (I'm a cream cheese girl, myself) and to also save a little money as well. So it was off to the Pig this morning to pick up a yellow cake mix ($1.25), some chocolate frosting ($1.58) and a dozen eggs ($1.65). So for a whopping $4.84, we've got 24 cupcakes (that I'm hoping he'll take to work tomorrow and share) AND breakfast for the rest of the week. I know I could have saved even more money by going to Wal-Mart, but my sanity has to be worth something, right?!?! Plus, it'll be made with love and that's something that store bought just can't compare to. Of course, love can only take you so far. I only hope they're edible! LOL!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Music Therapy Thursday... UnPlugged

Today's Music Therapy is for all you poets out there. I think, lyrically, this is this most beautiful song in the world. Although 18 years have passed, Eddie Vedder still makes me swoon (even knowing that he's a flaming liberal. What can I say, the heart wants what the heart wants!). Today I'm reaching across partisan lines and embracing a little Pearl Jam. Enjoy!


Sheets of empty canvas

Untouched sheets of clay

Were laid spread out before me

As her body once did.

All five horizons revolve around her soul

As the earth to the sun

Now the air I tasted and breathed

Has taken a turn.

And all I taught her was... everything

I know she gave me all that she wore

And now my bitter hands chafe beneath the clouds

Of what was everything

All the pictures had all been washed in black

Tattooed everything.

I take a walk outside

I'm surrounded by some kids at play.

I can feel their laughter

So why do I sear?

Oh, and twisted thoughts that spin 'round my head

I'm spinning, Oh, I'm spinning.

How quick the sun can drop away

And now my bitter hands cradle broken glass

Of what was everything.

All the pictures had been washed in black

Tattooed everything.

All the love gone bad, turned my world to black

Tattooed what I see

All that I am, All that I'll be... Yeah.

I know someday you'll have a beautiful life

I know you'll be a star in somebody else's sky

But why, why, why can't it be, why can't it be mine?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Today's Top Ten

Here are the top ten things I should be doing right now instead of blogging:

10. Laundry. 'Nuff said.

9. The bills. I'm about 6 days behind here. That ought to make a great "Money Matters Monday" post for next week!

8. Finishing the tunic I'm making for JR to take to her Girl Scout meeting tonight. At least it's all cut out...

7. Calling someone from my bible study to tell them I had forgotten about JR's Girl Scout meeting tonight when I said I could make the rescheduled time for 5:30... TONIGHT! Oops!

6. Locating my pocket calendar to keep stuff like number 7 from happening again. ;)

5. A shower probably wouldn't hurt...

4. Getting birthday presents for my sister and Chuck (whose birthdays are Sunday and Monday, respectively).

3. Mailing my step-dad's BELATED birthday card. Where IS that pocket calendar??!!

2. Sweeping, mopping, vacuuming, scrubbing toilets... or finding a housekeeper willing to work for leftover Halloween candy.

1. Joyously SMACKING anyone who dares to say being a stay-at-home-mom must leave me with a lot of free time on my hands. Happy Tuesday, all!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Money Matters Monday: What Matters and What Doesn't

I remember distinctly the first time I cut my hair really short. It was the fall of 1994 and I was going through an identity crisis. Me and my beau at the time were on the outs and I needed a change. I remember looking at myself in my rear-view mirror and not recognizing the severely shorn reflection that was staring back at me. I knew no one would approve of this drastic change I had made for myself, but that only added to my exhilaration. I felt liberated. I felt free.

While pondering all the ways that I could save money, the thought of letting my hair grow out has crossed my mind. It's safe to say I spend about $30 a month on haircuts and $75 every two and a half months (or so) on highlights to go with the needed trims (that's $75 for the haircut AND the highlights). Compared to others I've talked to, that's less than some folks pay, and a little more than others. But every penny counts, right? Umm, no.

Well, yes AND no. I'm all for cutting back. But there are some things that you just can't scrimp on. Cutting Chuck's hair with shears... yes. Buying the store brand beans in a can... sure. Alberto V05 shampoo on sale at CVS for 79 cents... you bet. But there are some things this momma will not scrimp on. The proverbial "line in the sand" has been drawn and here is a list of things I just can't cut corners on:

1. Tampons. TMI? Sorry. Just trust me when I say that Tampax Pearls make life worth living.

2. Frozen broccoli. If you want to eat all stems and no trees, that's up to you. We like our trees around here.

3. Moisturizer. Ran out of my Mary Kay moisturizer and bought the Wal-Mart brand of Oil of Olay. I literally have to use TWICE as much. Where's the savings in THAT?!

4. Razors. Getting older has brought on it's share of sensitive skin. Cheap razors make my legs look like a victim from A Nightmare on Elm Street.

5. My salon visits. Let's face it, for a stay-at-home mom, a visit to the hairdresser is like a mini vacation. Not to mention, my hairdresser has MAD haircutting and highlighting skills. She's a magician, I swear. :) I get grown-up girl talk and I get to catch up on all the celebrity magazine gossip I can stand in just a few short hours. It's pure bliss. I haven't seen my natural hair color in about a decade (it's mousy brown if you must know), so shocking the world (and myself) with it now just seems so unnecessary. Besides, having a short haircut cuts my "getting ready" time to nil and time IS money, right?
So like the day in 1994 as I was sitting in the chair at the salon, I ponder, "should I?" Convenience with a side of selfishness won out that day. And it's looking like another winning combination for today, too. :) We all have things that are important to us and worth every dime we spend on them. The trick is maintaining balance so we're not so quick to jump ship on this budget thing altogether. So, what is it that makes your list?