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House sitting

January 23rd, 2009 at 08:16 am

Like I said in my last post, my parents took off for a Caribbean cruise for my sister's birthday .. lucky girl.

Except I am LOVIN house sitting. Besides the fact that I'm not actually on vacation, and I'm really only 20 miles away from my house, AND I have to walk their dogs (one who's gas actually woke me up from a deep sleep TWICE last night, YUCK!) in the cold. I am rather enjoying myself.

At home, my entertainment setup is bare minimum and I'm rather enjoying it. We have a decent size tv (I think it's 27 inches ... at most). We don't have cable, but we're enjoying our new digital cable box with kid shows. Thank the lord (the one thing I missed was being able to turn on Sprout and have something decent for her to watch ... Thank you PBS!) We have a HUGE collection of VHS tapes of (mostly) Disney movies thanks to Goodwill.

At my parents, they have a bigger than needed flat screen, with a sweet surrond sound system. My daughter asked me why the sound was coming out of the box behind her head ... "Well honey, it's this crazy thing called a speaker" They also have more movies than Netflix, internet (oh how I miss you!), and the "deluxe" cable channels. Man, this is great.

But what I'm really having fun with ... their new appliances. See, my parents have only lived here about two months. And before that, they lived in my house. I am in the process of buying it from them. My house was built sometime in the late 60's .. and needs a lot of work done to it. Don't get me wrong, it's a nice house ... and it's a hell of a lot better than not having one.

We had a dishwasher growing up that my parents told us that it broke, but in reality, it was putting to much water in our septic, and they weren't happy about it. I didn't know that for TEN YEARS. I really thought it had broken. Needless to say, I don't mind doing the dishes when I can load them up in the dishwasher.

I heard a beeping noise that I couldn't figure out ... I walked around the house for a good couple of minutes, putting my ears to different appliances, checking the doors and windows to make sure they were closed, checking the alarm ... oh I thought I had lost it. It was the fridge. It has an alarm in case say, your four year old gets into the fridge and doesn't close the door. It beeps at you until you close the door. AWESOME!

And let's not forget to mention their washer and dryer. They have a front loading, energy efficent brand spanking new washer and dryer set. I'm sure it would get old, but it's nice that my clothes take less time to wash and dry.

Of course, the detox of Juliette from being able to watch tv and play the computer probably isn't actually worth it, but she's having a good time, so I guess that's all I can ask for.


January 22nd, 2009 at 02:51 pm

I woke up to the temp being 23 degrees here in sunny Central Florida. Holy crap, that's really cold! I fell asleep watching the news last night, so I awoke to the 6:30am news, where people not to far above us (about 45 minutes) woke up to frozen pipes. I kinda freaked out, because I didn't even know that could happen, so I called my mom to ask her what I should do if it gets cold like this again. What a stressful time to be a new homeowner ... lol, I'm gonna burn the house down and flood it out as well. Luckily, it should be warming up in the next day or so. We're about 20 degrees below average, and well, it's just too gosh darn cold for me.

The part that scares me is my electric bill. I feel like our central heat has been working all day and all night, and though I'm sure it kicks off sometimes ... I just am not looking forward to the next bill. It's probably going to be as high as my July bill when the air has to run 24/7. Brrr!!!!

My little sister turned 11 today! My sister really wanted to go to Disney for her birthday (thanks to the multiple Disney commericals we see nightly about getting into the parks free on your birthday) So my parents looked into it, and decided to go on a three day Disney cruise for her birthday instead. The girl is on cloud nine. Way to go Disney with your creative marketing, you got my parents hook line and sinker. However, cruising is something they all really like, and they are in the financial standpoint to be able to do it, so have fun!

When my dad gets home I am having him check out my heating system. During the night, it resets down to 60 degrees. I know someone of you keep your thermostats that low, but ... uh uh, not for me. I woke up frozen this morning.

Fingers crossed that this is the last of the really cold weather. Strawberry season is just about on us, and it's something our local economy completely depends on. However, for all of you strawberry lovers out there, the frosts that have been covering our strawberries will make them incredibly sweet and juicy. Can't wait! Right now they're selling half flats for $6.99, but in a week or so I should be able to get a full flat for $5.99. A full flat last us most of the year, but anything more than that and I wouldn't be able to use them all in time. I freeze the strawberries and use them in smoothies throughout the year. And honestly, there's nothing like a frozen strawberry as a snack on a hot as heck summer day. I'd love to learn how to make my own strawberry jelly as well.

Another thing I am incredibly grateful for is a friend of my mom's. She gave Juliette an insane amount of clothes that her daughter had outgrown. In it, and about a size to big, was a really warm winter jacket they had had when they lived in Ohio. I've never bought Juliette a coat like this, since we don't normally need it. Let's just say, it's gotten a good deal of use so far this season. And, it's big enough to be worn next year ... something I am very happy about. Juliette's happy because it's pink and has a hood that's attached to it.

For all of you who deal with weather like this on a daily winter basis, I have no idea how you handle it. I hope you all get warm soon! I'm a flip flop wearing, never seen snow Florida girl, I don't know how to handle this cold.

52 weeks to a new me

January 3rd, 2009 at 05:20 pm

I haven't quite finished all of my goals for the New Year, but there are a lot of things I want to accomplish this year.

I am currently in the process of looking for a full time job. Right now, I am unemployed, so even a part time job is ok with me. LOL, I'm not picky.

But, in all honesty. I am planning on changing a lot of things in my life this year. I want to do the "normal" things and loose weight and all that jazz, but I really want to work at simplifying our life. I wouldn't mind becoming greener in our life, and just working to become a little more frugal.

I gave up internet at the house, so I am hoping to post at least once a week from my parents house. I'll try to find the time to do it sooner than that, but we live about 20 minutes away from my parents right now, so it would be silly to drive over here more than necessary.

Hope everyone had a good New Year! Juliette turned four yesterday, so our New Year always seems to be a rush for me. I've got to get going to get the little one in bed.

Cutting expenses

December 17th, 2008 at 12:22 pm

I've been working on cutting back the budget, trying to make sure that I am going to be able to really start throwing money at debt next year. I think it's been working.

I've done really well on the shopping part. I don't want to go out to stores and lug Juliette with me, so even though I never planned it this way, having her home instead of in daycare is saving me a lot of money.

With Juliette home, even grocery shopping is easier. I skip as many aisles as possible trying to cut time, and the lure of characters on certain products. The savings on both ends of this (money and my tummy!) of just trying to shop the perimeters has been great.

My parents new house is about 20 minutes away. As much as I would like to go out there and visit, we've been going out nice a week. This gives Juliette and I a lot of fun momma and me time. It gives my parents a much needed chance to get settled and try to unpack. They still have a ton of stuff here that I am *patiently* waiting for them to move. Since I'm not stopping off at Target, which is across town, just to browse, I am saving a lot of money there as well. While I take Juliette out a few times a week for playgroup dates, I try to keep within a certain distance of our home. This helps. Not to mention, it only cost $20 to fill my tank, as opposed to the $40 it was costing last month. Right now, I am keeping the same amount of gas budget I had a couple of months ago, because I know the price of gas is going to go back up soon. The difference *more than half since I am driving less* is going into a savings account, and that feels amazing.

We've been cooking at home, almost exclusively. Juliette won't eat everything I cook, but she tries. There is always leftovers, so I can have that as lunch. I've been trying new recipes, and that is always fun. I've been trying to get more creative .. and Juliette isn't loosing any weight, so chances are she might actually start eating vegetables, if I keep this up.

Our biggest change is canceling cable. GASP. I never thought I would be able to do that. I don't know why, and I can honestly say I don't miss it. We're watching a lot of PBS if we're looking for something new. Of course, that's the channel that comes in the worst on our little rabbit ears. It works though, and you can't ask for much else. Juliette only asked once this week to watch "her shows" (Sprout and Noggin) and I told her we didn't get that anymore. So she asked if I would put them "on demand". Sad, when an almost four year old nows how to use the tv probably better than my grandmother. LOL.

I'll probably be giving up internet, at least for a couple of months to really save some money. I don't think I could give it up forever, I would miss it too much, honestly. Since I am not currently doing anything completely productive on here (like finding a way to make money), I'd like to take the $50 or so a month and throw that at debt. I think it's money well spent. I can use the internet at my parents house if I need to, I could go to the library, but that doesn't always work out well with my little hellion.

I'm hoping to get the majority of my debt out of the way by next year. It would be simply amazing to start of 2010 in a better financial state.

Dear Santa

December 15th, 2008 at 10:02 pm

For Christmas I want a pink laptop computer, that's real. Not pretend.

And a baby sister from my momma's tummy. Not the doll you got me last year. A real baby sister.

That's what Juliette asked for ... any guesses on what she's getting?


A play kitchen and a vanity set. Anyone else think she's gonna be a little disappointed?

She even asked my brother for a pink computer. LOL. I thought she'd be at least 13 before she started asking for "big ticket" items.

Interview on Wednesday

December 15th, 2008 at 02:19 pm

Fingers crossed!

I have been looking for a new jib for awhile, and this is the first bite. I am ready to get out of the serving industry! I am completely done, and just looking for something "more" to say the least.

Here's to hoping!

My mom is trying to set me up ...

December 9th, 2008 at 08:57 pm

On dates. Sigh and a LOL all in one on that one.

I'm young, really young. I don't necessarily think that my dating life is over, however, I have made the choice to be single. I am VERY happy with this choice right now. There is no one I am currently interested in dating, and if I were, I would want to take it at my own pace.

My mother, whether she is scared of being stuck with me forever or what, has decided to start scouting for "eligible" guys for me. At first, it was humorous. Now, it's getting almost annoying.

Her latest catch is a new teacher at her school. He is 30 and just into teaching (he isn't certified yet, he's degree is in finance). I know he is Spanish, and not much else about him. My mother started going on and on about him while I was helping her move last Friday. When I rolled my eyes at her, she gave me a look of defeat.

I want to look at her and scream "I'm HAPPY!" Seriously, I am. I don't want to date, and I certainly don't need my mother to scout out potential love interests. That's ... just weird. I've always been very independent. My mother has often, lovingly, called me her black sheep. It's true, I don't necessarily fit the mold of the family, but it's worked.

I think my mother is not only scared of the whole financial instabilities of being a single mom ... but I think she is secretly worried if I don't settle down soon, she won't get anymore grandkids. I have to laugh at the insanity of saying that out loud, but it's true. My brother is 22, and hasn't ever really dated a girl, let alone found "the one" and my sister is ten, so she better not even think about having kids for at least 15 more years, lol. I just wish my mother could see that I am happy. Happy with myself, happy to be single ... and certainly happy enough to know when I am ready to date.

And I swear, if she invites this man over for Christmas .. which I wouldn't put it past her ... I'm keeping the gift I bought her for myself.

Getting back on track

December 6th, 2008 at 05:09 pm

I am about to cancel my cable/internet in a way to save money, but I am hoping to be able to keep up at my parents house.

My parents DID get the new house! YAY! It's such a nice house, and they got it for sucha great deal. I am very happy for them.

And me ... well, I am still trying to everything settled here. It's such a MESS! LOL. My parents are in the middle of still moving all of their stuff out, and most of my stuff is in boxes in the "spare" room. It's a pain in the rump! I am ready for them to get everything out so I can get settled in.

I am still looking for a new job, and hoping one is on the horizon soon. My brother is coming home for Christmas, for the first time in three years. I am thrilled with this.

I'm just hoping for a break in everything. I have been moving everything for the past three days, and I am pretty sure I am going to fall over in exhaustion.

Kinda freaking out

October 26th, 2008 at 08:45 pm

My parents and I have been discussing lately about the possibilty of me buying their house from them. Their plan for just about as long as I can remember, was to take off this coming year from their jobs and go on a year long road trip around America. My dad is retired, and my mom is a teacher (she can take up to a year off, and still have her job when she comes back). But suddenly, they want me to buy their house.

I was ok with this. I have to find a new job either way. When my parents leave, working on the weekends like I do wouldn't make any sense. My parents currently watch Juliette for free for me on the weekends, making it affordable to work. I knew I was going to have to go back into a 9-5 job, and even though I didn't want to, I was ok with it.

Their mortage payment is about $800/month (including taxes and insurance) This is way more afforable than what I would find around here, and even cheaper than renting an apartment. I was ok with this as well.

Well, now they are chaning everything. They found a house they want to buy. This will put off their touring the United States for about a year, but this house is their "dream house". They are planning on putting in their application for it tomorrow ... it's dropped over $125,000 in price since it went on the market. It was built in 2006, and has never had anyone live in it, it's on over an acre of land. It's nice.

I'm freaking out at the thought of possibly being a homeowner in less than a month. I THINK I can make the bills (going to go and sit down with the numbers now) with my current job. There is a chance that I will just rent from them for right now ... and there is another chance that the bank won't let them hold both mortages. So ... everything is in a toss up.

And of course I'm a tad bit giddy at the thought of owning a home. I've lived here since I was eight ... and I would LOVE to tear down the horrid wood paneling and repaint the pink walls in the living room.

Fingers crossed that everything works out!

BUSY weekend

October 24th, 2008 at 10:44 pm

Tomorrow I am taking my sister (who's ten) to see High School Musical 3. The Girl Scout council rented out to auditoriums for the local girls *300 girls* to watch the movie. The price of the ticket was something cheap ... but we have to be there prior to 9am. Are you kidding me? That's insanely early to be in a room with a bunch of screaming preteens. Not looking forward to it ... bringing along a bottle of asprin with me.

I took Jordyn to see Hannah Montanna ... and well ... if it's anything like that, maybe my head will stop hurting next Wednesday.

After the *fiasco* showing of HSM3 ... we'll be driving down about an hour to go on the Pumpkin Express. The tickets cost $32 for Juliette and I, and this includes the train ride down, face painting, hay rides and our pumpkins. I'm pretty excited about this ... we wanted to go last year, but forgot to prepurchase our tickets.

This weekend, everything is either already paid for, or my mom is paying. So, cheap weekend. I also work a double on Sunday. I bought my mom's Christmas gift tonight at work, so I feel a little ahead of the game. That feels nice.

A haircut for Juliette

October 24th, 2008 at 08:24 am

Juliette was needing a haircut like you wouldn't believe. My sweet little girl was ROCKIN a mullet. And not in a good way, at all. She had baby fine hair as the top layer, the curled. And then, on the bottom, had a straight layer that went down to her shoulers. WTF?

So I took her in for a haircut. We waited almost 2 HOURS. The lady said 45 minutes, and by the time I had convinced Juliette to sit still and realized we still had a way to go, there was no way I could let her leave. She was "scared" of the haircut place, "scared" of the people in it ... so we just sat and waited.

She did amazing for her haircut though. Once she realized what it was, she sat perfectly still ... didn't move a muscle.

The lady cut her hair way shorter than I wanted. I wanted a bob ... to get the ugly mullet gone ... and to make the layers work together. She cut almost all of her hair off. It's a cute cut .. .but it's short. It's a pixie instead of a bob. She looks so cute. The woman said by going this short (and cutting off all of her baby curls, sniff) that it would grow thicker and better together. I know nothing about cutting hair, but I hope so.

While it's adorable, I have to do a double take each time I look at my own child. LOL. One lady called Juliette a boy yesterday as well ... hahaha, oops. Luckily she was asleep, because Juliette doesn't play around, she would have told that poor woman what she thought about her.

She likes her haircut, and that's all that matters. Even if momma is tearing up about how short it is.

And of course I passed a different haircut place yesterday after getting her hair done, and it was Kid's Night, so half off hair cuts. Oh well, I don't know how I would have known that without driving to all the different hair places around here (and there are a ton!) I know for next time, and with her hair as short as it is, there won't be a next time for awhile.


October 22nd, 2008 at 09:14 pm

Seriously, I'm starting to think it is.

I'm all for gas prices dropping. Since moving closer to work, and just changing our driving habits completely ... I've been able to make a tank of gas last for two weeks. (Awesome!)

Two weeks ago, I literally waited till I was pretty much as low as I am willing to go. Pratically on E. I paid $3.47 a gallon. Two days later, it was down to almost $3.00.

I filled up yesterday, again, pretty close to E (but higher than two weeks ago, honestly) and it was down to $2.77. I was pratically thrilled. I saved around $7 on gas. (Not to mention the fact that I'm filling up half as often as I used to). It's dropped .10 overnight. LOL.

I only bought yesterday to make it home tonight in time to watch the Rays. Can't believe their in the World Series (I do NOT follow baseball) ... but it wasn't that long ago that my parents would take my brother and I and a couple of our friends to the game for $10/ticket, which came with a coke and a hotdog. LOL ... I don't think you can even park downtown for that much now. My brother is TICKED. He's a huge fan, and he's out in California and won't be getting any sort of leave until a month or so down the road. So sad. Oh well, I have an idea of what to get him for Christmas.

This month has flown by

October 22nd, 2008 at 10:31 am

Seriously, I can't believe there's a little over a week left of October.

The beginning of the month is always pretty slow for us ... the middle hits me hard, and I don't have time to breath, let alone post, and then at the end of the month, I'm just shocked that it's over.

Today was a NSD. We spent the day cleaning out the car. Tomorrow I will be taking it to vacuum the car out.

We also decorated some wooden Halloween "ornaments" (I'm not sure what these things are really called.) I picked them up on sale from Michael's earlier this month, they had markers to color on them with, and glitter glue. You would have thought Juliette had died and gone to heaven when I told her she could use the glitter glue. She literally asked me about 4 times during the hour we were outside.

The poor girl still hasn't recovered from coming up on Stella's (our kitty) latest hunting adventure. I don't know if your outside cats do this, but Stella LOVES to bring us birds (or lizards, or squirrels, you get the idea) and leave them on the front porch. Well, she left poor Mr. Birdie right next to Juliette's bike ... so we had a really quick talk this morning about why Mr. Birdie didn't live. Sigh. Poor thing, and early in the morning is just too early for the facts of life talk.

Is it wrong that I wish the cat would just eat the things she catches. She just leaves them on the doorstep as a sort of offering. How wasteful, Stella.

Trying not to kill my daughter

October 13th, 2008 at 08:01 pm


I'm really trying to keep it all together with Juliette, but seriously, I am a little over it.

I've been very sick. I thought it was a really bad cold, but I think it's allergies. It's been affecting work, and everything else in my life.

Tonight, Juliette peed all over my mom's leather couch. UGH! I understand accidents, but this wasn't an accident. She purposefully sat on the couch, peed a couple of minutes later, and then told my mom "I didn't have time to go potty!"

I'm trying to keep my cool with her. Now that I've found a decent allergy medicine, I feel like I can function. I am so looking forward to Jan when my health insurance kicks in. I can't wait to see an allergist.

Oddest Home Foreclosure

October 6th, 2008 at 10:53 am

A girl I used to know in high school had gotten married and moved in down the street from my parents. We weren't exactly friends in high school, but knew eachother. My parents neighborhood was built in the early 60's, but during the boom the houses were going for $150-175,000. Our neighbors across the street bought their house less than 2 years ago, and are trying to sell now. I don't know for sure what they paid for, I believe it was right around $155,000, but they have it listed right now for $110,000. There have been no interested buyers. The man who lives there put in around $20,000 worth of improvements. Needless to say, if they are able to get a buyer, they are taking a HUGE loss.

Anywho, back to the girl I used to know. She and her husbnad had two girls failry quickly, and then suddenly, the house was one the market. It also didn't have any takers, and I think they even put it down to about $90,000. These houses are on the small side and just need some work, so their really haven't been many takers, obviously. Then suddenly, the house wasn't on the market anymore, and they were making improvements to it. They did some things on the inside, and also put a fence around the property.

Last week, the moved. According to my sister's friend (who is all of 8) they were letting the house go because they couldn't afford it anymore. They were also leaving their car to be taken away as well. I don't know how much you can trust an 8 year old, but they did pack up and leave.

Here's the strange part. The people who live across the street, they have been at the house. Parking there and doing work on it. I don't know if they are staying there, but there was carpeting removed (and left on the ground outside the house), and I often see the granddaughter (who is my age) sitting on the front porch swing. While that is weird enough, we just thought maybe they were buying it from the couple or something.

Then, to make it even weirder ... the guy who lives two houses down was painting the house today .... WTH? My only guess is the couple sold it to their neighbors across the street (an older couple) and it looks like their daughter and granddaughter are living in it. Heck, maybe their just staying there until it's foreclosed ... but isn't that just weird.

Shockingly enough, we've only had two houses go into foreclosure so far in our neighborhood. There are a couple for sale, but it looks like most everyone knows there's no way they are going to be able to "move up and on" like they could have in the past. Even the house a couple of houses down is still being kept up by the family of the man who used to own it. He died well over a year ago, and no one is living there, but they keep the grass mowed and the house kept up. They told my parents they didn't want to sell it for such a loss. I don't know if the market will recover here anytime soon ...

My parents had a plan to sell the house this Spring, and take their RV and go. However, their plans are changing, that's for sure.

Three year olds and Santa

October 5th, 2008 at 10:01 pm

My daughter will be four the week after Christmas. Last year, she was pretty much terrified at the thought of sitting on Santa's lap. She looked at me and said "Mom, you don't sit on strange, old men's laps." Very good point honey.

Tonight, my parents, little sister, and Juliette went to Sam's for some Halloween candy. We're staying at Fort Wilderness and have read on some Disney boards about seeing more than 200 trick or treaters. AHH!!! So my mom and dad headed over to Sam's to get a ton o' candy. While at Sam's, they stumbled upon a HUGE kitchen playset. According to my mom, Juliette fell in LOVE with this thing. Jordyn and Juliette kept wanting to play on it, and kept getting really excited about it. Juliette looked at my mom and said "If you buy it for me, I'll be really good!" LOL, yeaaah, right.

So, my mom said to her, if you're good, maybe Santa will bring it for you for Christmas.

In her infinite three year almost four year old wisdom, she looked at my mom with the most serious of faces and said "Umm, Nana, Santa isn't allowed to come into stores to buy your presents. He MAKES them. I need you to BUY this for me, because Santa can't."

So ... I think we're in the right direction for her to actually talk to him this year ... fingers crossed ... but where did she learn about the North Pole and Santa making the gifts? I swear, there is a secret channel that only kids can see or something ... because she knows things we've never talked about.

And, BTW, I think it is going to be her big Santa gift. It's the kitchen I've been looking at, at a great price ... and my mom offered to pay for half. I really have amazing parents and Juliette is one lucky little girl. I think Santa is also going to be bringing her an easel ... and possibly a new baby doll. Then, momma will get to bring the kitchen utensils, new markers and such, and a couple of accesories for the dolls. The child doesn't need anything ... and with her birthday just 8 days after Christmas, I am still trying to come up with an idea for that.

I think we are going to be using Disney's come for free on your birthday though. She'll LOVE getting to spend the day with mom at Disney ... just fingers crossed for good weather on Jan 2nd!

October 5th

October 5th, 2008 at 08:30 pm

October Income -
October 1st: $70
October 2nd: $0
October 3rd: $82 in tips. $63 on my check.
October 4th: $85.
October 5th: $90

October Spending -
October 1st - $0
October 2nd: $20
October 3rd - $0
October 4th - $19
I ended up spending a little more yesterday after I posted. I spent $3.50 at the pumpkin on three small pumpkins and some stickers for the girls to decorate them with. Juliette has been dragging her pumpkins all throughout the house, so that was a plus!
And then, I bought our tickets for the Pumpkin Express. For $31, we'll spend the afternoon on a train ride and then head to a pumpkin patch where they have hay rides and face painting. We've never been, but have heard it's awesome. It sells out really quickly, so we made sure to get out tickets. Might be buying tickets soon for the Polar Express the same place holds in December.
October 5: $35 in grocers. Seriously? We go through a LOT of cheese around here. My little girl LOVES her some cheese, it's one of the few things she actually eats. I didn't spend $35 on cheese, but maybe I should have.

Today and yesterday where pretty relaxing spendy days. However, the joy on Juliette's face as she ran throughout the pumpkins yesterday was unbeatable. I couldn't pay enough to see that. Tonight, Jordyn (my 10 year old sister), Juliette and I made a pumpkin pie. They thought this was awesome. And it was, even when I pinches my finger in the drawer looking for aluminum foil. It wasn't ready to eat before the girl's bedtime, so they were pretty dissappointed.

Jordyn and I also played the game of Life ... where I somehow managed to make $1,257,000. Jordyn made around $25,000. LOL. She was so upset with me (she's a spoile sore loser) and I just laughed. The new Life is so much different than the game I used to play, updated I guess, but I used to kill my brother back then as well. Needless to say, it's one of my favorite games. Then, we had a nice bonding sister time while we watched Extreme Home Makeover. That show just baffles me. I remember the first season when they would makeover like a part of the house ... not anymore. I guess it wouldn't get the same viewers if they just did the amount of work needed on the house to make it liveable.

October 4th

October 4th, 2008 at 04:07 pm

October Income -
October 1st: $70
October 2nd: $0
October 3rd: $82 in tips. $63 on my check.
October 4th: $85. We were pretty slow again today, except for the 30 top. Who comes in with 30 people and expects to be seated together, in a place with no banquet type room ... these people. They weren't too bad, a group of teenage cheerleaders ... and some parents.

October Spending -
October 1st - $0
October 2nd: $20
October 3rd - $0
October 4th - $19 - at walmart finally. I bought a couple of things we didn't really need (some gum, a couple of sodas and a cup for Juliette) The rest was stuff to make pumpkin pie and some juice for Juliette.

I can't afford my play group

October 3rd, 2008 at 10:58 pm

I joined a playgroup a couple of weeks after I switched to working mostly nights at my job, and pulling Juliette out of daycare. I just wanted to make sure that she got some decent kid interaction, and well, I could use a couple of "mom" friends. Seriously.

I checked the calendar last night, and well, I just can't afford these people. LOL. During the summer, there were LOTS of plans for dates at parks and the like. It's Florida, it's not cold here. This month, there is ONE date at the park, as we missed it because Juliette was sick. How lame is that? However, they have plans to go to the zoo twice and the aquarium as well. We did the aquarium earlier in the summer, and I spent close to $70 for the day. Sorry, I just can't afford to go to those sorts of things. I was looking for a group of ladies who wanted to take their kids to the park a couple of days a week to let them blow of steam ... I just can't justify going to the zoo/aquarium every week. And I'm not going to lie, I don't understand how they can keep going to the zoo/aquarium/Bush Gardens every couple of weeks, it would begin to drive me BATTY!

Sigh ... we'll stay on for a bit longer, hopefully I'm not the only mom who feels this way. They did introduce me to Barnes and Nobles on Monday mornings, so something good has come out of this. Which, by the way, is free. They had this listed ONCE .. Juliette LOVED it. We went, the lady read three books which Juliette loved and we stayed and read like five more together. She keeps asking when we are going to go back to the bookstore, so I think I am going to make it a regular activity, at least until Christmas gets closer, and then, as much as I love the kid, you can't get me close to that mall during the Christmas season. Those people are nuts.

October 3rd

October 3rd, 2008 at 10:48 pm

October Income -
October 1st: $70
October 2nd: $0
October 3rd: $82 in tips. We were pretty slow for a Friday, since the Rays are in the playoffs. I guess a lot of people were watching the game. I still made really good money though, so yay! I also remembered to get my check, which was for $63.

October Spending -
October 1st - $0
October 2nd: $20
October 3rd - $0

I really needed to go to Walmart for a couple of things today, and then was going to get $40 on a gift card for gas ... but after work, I just couldn't bring myself to go to the store to spend all the money I had just made. Does the trip still need to happen? You betcha ... I just didn't want to do it. Oh well, got a no spend day out of it.

Update on Summer

October 2nd, 2008 at 09:54 pm

Summer was recently downgraded out of the ICU and is now in the Pediatrics wing. This is amazing news. The fact that this little girl was able to survive such a horrible car accident, well, it makes me want to believe in a higher power. She just underwent surgery earlier this week to remove some more pieces of her skull that had been broken in the crash, and to have a rod put into one of her legs.

Even though all of her limbs are broken, and one of her legs was shattered, there is a good chance she might be able to start walking in 10 weeks. That's so amazing! They put rods in her hips, and as soon as the pins are out, they are going to do an MRI to see how her brain is healing. The fact that she is speaking, is again, amazing.

She recongnizes her grandmother, which brought Tammy to tears. As of yet, she has not asked about her mother, but according to Jenny's mom (Tammy) it's like she knows. Deep down in her heart, she knows something must be wrong with mommy for her to not be there. As a momma, I can't even imagine the pain in that little girls heart.

The plan was to go and visit her today, but Juliette woke up sick, and I didn't want to chance it. I'm not going to lie, I'm terrified of going to see her. Scared of breaking down ... so freakin scared she'll ask me where Jenny is. Next week, as long as everything goes well, I'm going to go down there and just hold her hand and tell her everything is going to be ok. Just knowing that this little girl is down there in a hospital room wanting someone to love her, I know I have to go.

When we went to Disney last week, I brought a storybook that I had signed by a lot of the characters. Another coworker of mine went to Disney this weekend, and then two more are going in the weeks afterwards. They are all bringing this book to have signed for Summer. I am so pleased, I know this is something she'll be able to look at in years to come, and know how much we all loved her. While I was at Disney, a Cast Member asked me what the book was for (Juliette was not with me at the time), so I told the lady. She was so amazing. She was a handler for the Stepmother and Stepsisters. Well, I had the poor lady crying, and the woman behind me in line was in tears too. This was not what I wanted! However, if I start talking about it, it just flows. I'm like a mad woman recovering from my grief. Anywho, the CM told me "Nothing I could say would make this little girl loosing her mother easier on any of you, however, just remind yourself that she gained all of these Fairy Godmother's." It's so true (and so Disney). We won't be able to replace Jenny, and Summer will always be missin her momma, but in all of this, she's gained a whole support team of Fairy Godmother's. We're all working to make sure she's able to be a normal child, and know that we all love her.

And even though I don't want to mention the woman who hit her, she is claiming that someone must have spiked a drink she had with GHB ... and she is saying that the was suicidal. This was something that people speculated about from the beginning. According to what people have said (in the newspapers comment section online) the woman and her husband had both just been fired, and they were on the verge of loosing their house and car. Well, sorry ... that doesn't give you the right to get so completely drunk that you drive on the wrong side of the road on an expressway at 2pm. And, even if you were suicidal, you don't get to use the cop out defence of being "temporarily insane" ... sorry, not buying it. Just apologize to Tammy and Arthur ... and the public response to this story and your case would be better. The judge denied her bond, which is pretty rare here in the state of Florida.

And, for those of you praying for Summer, please pray for the lady's sons. She had two small boys, we don't know how old they are. As Arthur and Tammy have stated, they are praying for her sons who have also lost a mother.

Thanks for dealing with my ramble!

October 2nd

October 2nd, 2008 at 08:45 pm

October Income -
October 1st: $70
October 2nd: $0 - I didn't work, and I didn't go pick up my check. Which means, I also didn't go to the bank. I did a lot of things today, but nothing good financially.

October Spending -
October 1st - $0
October 2nd: -
$10 - groceries. Juliette woke me up this morning by throwing up in bed. YUMM! So, I picked up a couple of bottles of soda (giner ale and sprite for her, cherry coke for me) and some saltines. She kept everything down after her morning wake up call, so I don't know what the heck that was about. It was great to get in the shower at 7am though, yuck!
$7 - at Kmart for some hangers and some clothespins for my new organization of Julie's clothes.
$3 - on fast food for Juliette. Like I said, she was feeling GREAT after this morning. I pretty much didn't let her eat most of the day, since I didn't want to be the reciever of anymore presents ... but what she had she kept down. She started crying in the middle of Kmart that she was "pratically starving!" so I drove through for a cheeseburger. She actually ate the entire meal, which is pretty much, well a record.

Total spending for the day ... $20. Not to shabby. I am exhausted, I am not a morning person, and I love the fact that Juliette sleeps in. Hoping that she makes up on some time tonight.

So many clothes ....

October 2nd, 2008 at 02:38 pm

I don't know how my daughter has accumulated so many clothes, but she has. Jeesh!

I've been trying for the past couple of days to go through them all. It sure is a time consuming project! I am a little close to over it, completely. However, working on this is opening my eyes.

I have to have the 4t clothes completely gone through with an insight into how much I have before Christmas. My grandmother always buys Juliette a TON of clothes. "Winter" clothes for Christmas and "Summer" clothes for her birthday (a week after Christmas, lol). Juliette's in 3t (mostly, some 2t) clothes now, so I have the 4t from Grandma from last Christmas, a whole bunch of hand-me-down 4t clothes, and clothes my mom has bought for Juliette in 4t. I know I am about to get a huge influx of 4t clothes ... and I don't know when the child is even going to wear them. And I am honestly, not ready for them. I have them stored in plastic storage containers right now ... and after Christmas I am going to make a list of what's needed. She always needs more denim shorts/jeans than she has (or khaki) I hate colored shorts, I think kids look so much cuter in jeans or khaki ... lol. And no WHITE. Who buys white pants for a three year old little girl? My grandmother does ... I just sit back and stare in awe when Juliette opens some of the clothes. I'm grateful, don't get me wrong, but I just don't understand some of the color combinations she uses.

Since I am working on getting rid of all of her old stuff, I am sorting all of Juliette's old clothes. My mom told me to keep them, incase I had another child. My mother has obviously never had a conversation with me ... since I don't really want anymore, at least not right now. So, I have every outfit Juliette's ever owned. That's a LOT of clothes. Way too many ... I am sorting and organizing. Next week, I am taking the clothes to Once Upon A Child, and seeing what they'll buy from me. They accept two large storage containers per day ... and well, I already have 5 containers waiting. See ... and those are clothes that don't fit her!

Since we're going through all the other clothes, I am working on an orginaztion plan for her 3t clothes. With winter coming, supposedly, I know she'll need a couple of jeans, and sweaters. She has a jacket, but might need another one. I know she needs a couple of pairs of shorts as well ... since it's Florida and well ... shorts can be worn practically all year. I think she needs another pair of shoes.

I'll be buying any shorts/pants at Once Upon A Child, this week when I go and have the clothes taken in. Kill two birds with one stone. They give you more credit for your clothes if you spend the money in the store ... so we'll see how it goes. I just have to limit myself.

And for Christmas, can you believe she has three Christmas dresses? LOL. I bought her a dress last year in 3t ... that was too big. And then two people have given me hand-me-down dresses.

Whatever doesn't sell at the consignment shop and at the yardsale, I am going to be donating to a local battered women's shelter. They do a lot of work not only for women escaping abusive relationships, but they also help low income/single moms. While I never needed help ... I think it's the least I can do to help mom's in a cruddy situation. If I hadn't had such an amazing family, I would have needed help. It's the easiest way to pass it forward.

October Budget

October 1st, 2008 at 09:59 pm

This is the very basic of budgets for this month. I am trying something new, so I am starting small.

Here is my plan.

Since I am a server, I have added up all of my bills for the month, and then divided them by four. That is the amount of money I need to make per week. Each night after work, I am dividing the tips I make into envelopes for the day. I am keeping these in a box until the following Thursday. Thursday is payday. On Thursday morning (or Wednesday night depending) I am going to sort all of the money that is currently in the envelopes. Hopefully, I will have more than enough to pay the bills.

I am going to take the money for the bills and put it directly into my checking account. I don't touch the money that is there, I have been very good about going cash only the past couple of weeks. I am debating on paying something like, my car payment, as soon as the money is in there so I am not tempted to spend it. I don't know if I need to do this, but it is something I am considering.

Then, the money that is left over at the end of the week, half is going to be deposisted into my savings account, the other half is going to be sent to a bill, for debt reduction. I think this is a good idea for me ... and again, this is my trial month, so we shall see.

I am also putting aside $5 bills. I read a very interesting article about a woman who didn't spend $5 bills, and the amount of money she saved. I am going to be striving to use the $5 to pay off debt this month.

My paychecks are usually around $70/week. This month, I am saving these for Christmas. In the coming months, I am going to be putting half towards savings and the other half towards getting out of debt.

I wonder if this makes sense to anyone else. It makes sense to me, which is hopefully enough.

Here's the numbers for this month:
Car Payment: $325 (my actual payment is $273, but I am hoping to be able to pay it off quicker)
Car Insurance: $100
Gas: 160
Groceries: $200
Entertainment: $100 (see October goals of cheap/free entertainment for Juliette)
Debt Paydown: $225. This is min. payments for all of my debts. Obviously, my plan is much much larger.
Christmas/Birthdays: $150 (with the holidays so close, I have to up this, and quickly. I also have Juliette's birthday and my parents anniversary the week after Christmas. My grandmother, sister and my cousin's birthdays are also in Jan.
Dining Out: $50. I doubt we hit this, but it's good to have the money in here, just in case.
Vacation: $200. (We're going to be at Disney for Halloween and again in November for the Christmas party. I want to have tickets for the Christmas party paid for, as well as gas, though I think I Should be able to pull the gas money out of my regular gas budget. I checked it tonight, and I live 1.7 miles away from work, woot!)

So, here it goes. I know things are going to pop up, but I think these numbers are managable.

Month totals: 1510
Weekly Totals: 377.50
Daily Totals: 75.50

So, per shift, I need to make $75.50. I know on average this is possible, so let's see if it works out in black and white.

October Income -
October 1st: $70

October Spending -
October 1st - $0

Homeschooling a preschooler

September 30th, 2008 at 10:04 pm

Juliette and I have been pretty much sitting around the house the past two days. So, we haven't spent any money. YAY! Tonight, I am up pretty late looking for information for some homeschooling ideas for Juliette. She's incredibly smart, and I am worried about her "falling behind" by not being in a structured environment this year. Don't get me wrong, I don't think keeping her home for her 3 year old year is going to set her back for life ... but she was learning a ton at her daycare ... and I want to keep that up.

I figure we'll do the capital letter one week and the lower case the next. So, we are working on capital A this week. Then, I think I am going to do a "lesson" per kid movie. My parents bought Juliette the newest Ariel movie, and in the preview there is The Little Mermaid 2. Juliette is HOOKED! She wants to see this movie, and she wants to see it bad. I don't have it on DVD since I didn't have a child the last time it was released, so a friend had it ov VHS so I borrowed it. I am going to surprise her probably early next week with the movie and having a theme day. I am going to tie in our arts and crafts with this theme as well. I hope that makes sense.

Each week we are going to work on doing a special meal/dessert going along with the letter as well. This letter is going to be applesauce ... and something else. I haven't figured it out yet. I think making homemade applesauce will be fun for her ... she loves seeing how things work. On my day off, I figure I'll let her help with dinner ... this is something she's getting really into and I know she'll be tickled to death.

I hope this works ... I don't think I'm biting off more than I can chew ... and I think the two of us are going to have a bunch of fun with eachother. I know most parents feel like this, but I just love watching this girl soaking it all in.

Just back from Disney

September 28th, 2008 at 08:01 pm

Juliette and I, along with my family, headed for a quick weekend trip to Disney World this weekend. We went to Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party, which is one of my favorite things to do at the parks.

Juliette had a blast, and was just tall enough to ride Splash Mountain and Big Thunder. Let me tell you, I was worried. Juliette's a small thing, and I think she is missing a fear factor. She's been asking to ride Splash and Big Thunder for over a year now. I was terrified she was getting over her head.

Haha, I was wrong. She wanted to ride up front on both of them, on her first ride. I didn't let her do it, for a number of reasons (again, terrified she didn't know what she was getting into) ... so I talked her out of it. Well, she is a thrill seeker. As soon as we got down the hill at Splash, she asked "Can we do that again!" On Big Thunder, she kept her hands in the air for most of the ride. She was laughing and yelling, she truely enjoyed herself.

We're going back to the parks in November for the Christmas party. I can't wait for her to get to ride her rides again.

Over the weekend, I spent $50 on food. This isn't "too bad" in Disney's perspective, but I am going to aim for a lot lower when we go at the end of October and again in November. We're going for Halloween, but just staying at the Fort, not going in the parks. I know I can do this cheap since we stay in my parents RV ... and I'm going to only be there for the afternoon/evening of Halloween. In November, when we're at the park, I am going to bring Julie's food. Sheesh, the kid just doesn't eat, and it's such a waste to throw away $6+ food per meal. At dinner, she ate two bites of her hamburger ... and none of her sides. For lunch the next day, she ate nothing of her own, but a couple of bites of my mom's sandwich. This child eats pratically nothing.

Over all, I spent $120 this weekend, $60 on my ticket (my parents bought Juliette's) $10 on misc. junk, and the $50 on food. The food also includes a little candy I bought the girls, and the lunch I bought Jordyn (my sister), Juliette and I on our way to Orlando. I don't think I did too badly on spending, since I could have spent a lot more on Disney junk I wanted .. but I just kept putting it back.

October 2008 Goals

September 27th, 2008 at 09:58 pm

So, new month, new goals. I'm up late with no kid at home ... I'm starting the month off a little early (I have to pay my car insurance, and that's all for September.) I just realized how pretty lame I am right now ... no kid, work at 9am ... and I'm up working on my budget and goals. LOL ... I could be out, I don't know, acting like a 24 year old. Sigh, next time, maybe.

So, here are my October goals:
1. Stick to envelope plan
2. Complete budget folder
3. Get debt repayment plan complete
4. Stick to frugal shopping ways.
5. Pay an extra $50 to carpayment
6. Find an extra $100 for debt repayment
7. Save $500
8. Go through Juliette's clothes
9. Sell Juliette's old clothes
10. Complete Christmas list
11. Inventory 3t clothes
12. Inventory 4t clothes
13. Find cheap/free entertainment for Juliette
14. Look into 1/2 day daycare
15. Start vacation plan
16. Finish resume
17. Keep applying for jobs
18. Organize Juliette's toys.
19. Oil change

I don't think these are "too hard" ... and it's something I should be able to accomplish pretty quickly. Just gotta get to work.

Paying for storage

September 23rd, 2008 at 11:52 am

Ok, a bit of a back story.

My parents asked me to come back home so I could pay off some major debt and go back to school. I figured I would be here for about a year ...

Well, last night, they dropped the bomb on me that they want us to stay the following year as well. They are going on a year long RV trip and were planning on moving to North Florida ... but with the housing market as it is, there is pretty much no way they will be able to sell their house.

So, I'm looking at two years living here. I have a whole household worth of stuff. Isn't it insane to pay for storage for two years on it?!

I'm thinking of either selling things like the dishes and sort on Craigslist, or just donating them to Goodwill. My furniture has a home at a friends house, so I don't have to worry about that. I'll have to buy new things when they come home, but at $120/month over the course of at least 24 months, we're talking $2880. I know I won't be able to replenish everything with that amount of money, but I needed new livingroom furniture anyways, and I could do probably get most of my household stuff for less than $2500.

So, am I wrong to just give my stuff away, or should I pay to put it in storage like my dad thinks?

Restaurant Closures

September 21st, 2008 at 07:05 pm

Isn't it a tad bit frightening to watch the numerous companies that are filing for bankruptcy? I know as a server, it's pretty scary.

In our town, we lost Don Pablos, Roadhouse Grill, and Johnny Carinos, last year. Yeah, during the "boom". Oops.

Then, of course you've heard about Bennigan's and Steak n Ale. Yep, they're gone. Next door to where I work is a Ruby Tuesday, well, they've filed for bankruptcy as well. Then there is Shell's, which I believe is only in Florida, but they've filed for Chapter 11. Sam's Seltzer's closed here a couple of weeks ago.

Wouldn't you be scared if you were a server, and were watching all these places closed. We had one opening (my friend passing away) at CB ... and we had 25 applicants in ONE day.

Usually, when it gets into the slow season, people talk about leaving and looking for new restaurants. No one did that this year. Why? Well, it's pretty obvious ... it's just not the time to go. And if you did, what are your chances that you were hired to a place listed above ... and now you're unemployed. I had a few friends who worked in some of the above places ... and they just showed up to work and there was nothing. No last paycheck, no sorry ... just a closed door and bills to pay at home.

I'll be the first to admit, my income is DOWN ...I don't even want to look at the complete totals. It's been about cutting corners ... finding a way save ... taking Juliette out of daycare to try to save some money (luckily I have AMAZING parents) ... but who's to say we aren't next.

$25 challenge

September 19th, 2008 at 09:22 pm

Not completely unlike the $20 challenge, but close.

My goal is to put aside $5 a shift for the remaining time I have left serving (hopefully not too much longer, I am DONE with this line of work, just looking for a new job.)

$5 a shift, is typically $25 a week, which is $100 a month. That'd be a nice savings for things like birthdays and Christmas. Since we're such a small family, I'd say we could do a couple of short trips to Disney on that amount of money as well.

It's worth a shot ... isn't it.

Update on Summer: My friends little girl had her breathing tube removed on Monday. She is now completely breathing on her own! She is still in a semi-induced coma. She has been "watching" SpongeBob, and even said "Sponge"! On Monday, when they removed the tube, they asked her how she was and she said "I'm cold." With the amount of damage/swelling that was on her brain, this is AMAZING news. We are thrilled and still hopeful of a full recovery. They are doing an MRI scan to make sure how her brain is healing, but since she is forming words, this is an amazing thing. Her legs are healing, but they are doing another xray on the shattered leg to make sure it is healing/pinned correctly.

We needed good news, this week we (my friends and I at work, we) knew three people who died. Yep, we hit our three. Sigh. Then, our coworker threatened to kill herself at work ... it has been a freakin crazy ass week. I'm looking forward to Disney next Friday!

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