Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Halloween is Coming

Just another quick post. Sorry I have been so absent lately. Much going on at work. I am now a department of one and I am absolutely swamped. I work in accounting and its month end. Got to jump off the computer so I can be in the office by 6 tomorrow!



This is also heads up for all you Halloween lovers out there. Mrs. B over at Confessions of a Pagan Soccer Mom is going to have an awesome line up for the entire month of October. Give aways and guests posts (yes, I even have something to contribute) galore. You can also get to her by clicking on the 31 days of Halloween badge in my sidebar. So head on over!

I had hoped to do something similar but October snuck up on me and work is crazy.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Roku

The Roku we ordered finally arrived last week. We have successfully watch one TV show and that is it. For some reason the Roku cannot get online. I am so frustrated.

I have checked online forums and have already tried everything suggested. So at a loss and will return it if need be. Would prefer to actually use it!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Little Update

I apologize I have not been more of an active blogger of late. Just a quick update.

I got a call from my bank today. They are running a promotion right now. I was entered in to a drawing and won $100. It's not a lot but every little bit helps! Right now my e-fund goal is only $1000. I'm still following the Dave Ramsey plan of getting to that point and then focusing on debt reduction.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Lullaby Moon


Tonight we went down to Magnusun park to see Lullaby Moon. "Lullaby Moon is a year-long invitation to Seattle to explore a world of dream. A celebration of the night sky, the series of performance events brings bedtime whimsy and wonder to parks and other public spaces throughout the city, enlivening and enlightening the dark time of each month. Performances take place on each new moon for an entire lunar year beginning in October 2008."

This performance was one of the most original things I have ever experienced. It's interactive with the audience. The performers do no speak and their costumes are very stylized. All are wearing white with the exception of the ushers who are wearing black tails. People attending are asked to wear white but its not a requirement.

Above are two of the several people dressed up in "clock face". At night their head pieces glowed with LED lights.

A procession of horse women pushing prams. The prams were all lit up at night. They walked very gracefully, bowing to passers by.

The costuming was truly wonderful and very Victorian in feel. There were cat people and owl people and musicians dressed in long white nightgowns and nightcaps. Beds were set up for people to get in and snuggle up.



There were even horse drawn beds taking people for rides. My friends daughters were super excited to ride on the big bed.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Rockin the Knitting

A couple weeks ago I ordered this kit from Knit Picks. I started my first ornament yesterday and finished it today. It's so darn cute! This is my gift tag plan for this year. I'm certain I have more than enough time to finish them.

Crackberry shown to give you and idea of size.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Tabi Socks Done!

Last night, or early this morning I finished the toe of the second Tabi sock for SD. It's a Christmas gift I started last year (way to late) and am proud to say I have completed them for Christmas this year.

The photo below is my feet in the socks. They are super silly looking but I didn't have any great flip flops to put on over them. For a better photo check here. The pattern came from the Not Just More Socks book by Sandi Rosner. I used Imagination yarn in the Wicked Witch colorway (Evil Stepmother wasn't as pretty).

This was the first time I attempted the Kitchener Stitch and is so very cool I want to do it all the time! The yarn is hand wash so I hope my SD will remember that. They are so soft I want a pair now!


Being frugal means planning for Christmas in August my friends.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Halloween

When school starts and the leaves turn I am ready to get all decorated for fall and one of my favorite holidays. The hubs picked up Martha's Halloween edition of her magazine for me yesterday.

I am inspired and ready to get creative. There are tons of ideas inside for everything Halloween. I might even borrow the dog costume idea.

I'm ramping up for the holiday and so are others. Check out a few on my sidebar under Halloween.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Breast Cancer 3 Day


My sister is doing the Seattle Breast Cancer 3 Day walk today. She is walking for her friend Sherie who has Breast Cancer. She has already raised $1300 of her $2300 goal.

Go to www.the3day.org and click on donations, then click on search participants and type in Denise Hall. She is walking today (in the group Foxy Rack Pack).

OR

Just click here.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Obsessions

I have been obsessing about these wonderful boots in brown leather! They are $105 in UK dollars. Yeah, that equates to $175.41 in US dollars. Ug!


I found a similar pair for only $49.99 but they only come in black and I most definitely want brown.


I like the style of this boot but would like to stick closer to $100. The boots are mainly for my Steampunk costume but I will wear them IRL as well.


Any ideas on a create place to buy a brown leather boot that won't break the bank?

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Searching For The Right Furniture

I have lived at my current residence for over eight years. We are on our second set of living room furniture, both of them navy blue. It's really hard to position furniture in our living room. We have a sliding glass door and a fireplace on a 45 degree angle wall.

I am willing to, once I have saved the money, buy some nice furniture that will work within my space and taste. It's going to be a few months before we can get anything but in the mean time I am shopping the internet for ideas. The living room has some natural light from the sliders but no overhead lighting. So, it can get a little dark. I have left the wall color a light mocha so it doesn't become a cave.

I am going for a pretty traditional look. I would like some touches of travel and adventure. The room below is a little of what I am going for. I love the style and fabric of the wing chairs, the monogrammed pillow and wall color. The reason I like brown as a neutral is its warmer than black and I can add my olive green in throws and pillows and the existing rug I already have which is olive and chocolate.


We just bought a 50" flat screen TV and its currently sitting on a cabinet the same length as the TV which holds all of our components. We purchased a torchier lamp with a mica cover to go with it. I want to get a few smaller table top lamps with mica covers for the living and dining rooms.

As I was cruising through the internet I came across this wonderful media trunk from Restoration Hardware. Drool - want, want, want!

If you know me at all you know I love all things adventurous and travel so this would be a perfect addition to my home. The price tag however - $1895. Yikes! I already have a few pieces of luggage at home from my grandmother (one was made in to a bed for my dog) so for now that will have to do. I love globes and would like to get one. I don't have room for a big one but it would be fun.


The size of my room and the type of furniture we choose is going to be especially important. This wing chair I love and hope I can find a similar one with a little better price tag (these are $1310 to $1595 each). I love how tall it is but would want a brown or the herringbone in the top photo.

I love dark weathered leather and would love a leather couch. However, I think that a fabric covered couch would be better for our family and lifestyle. I have yet to find the perfect couch but this one comes close. In chocolate brown of course. It's deep and cozy!

I really like this spirits cabinet but the price tag is a little too much for me at $379. However, I think converting an existing dresser in to a bar could work too.

To round out the room a massive piece of art would be great. Something like this old Paris map would be perfect but the price tag is a little high.


I think I could probably buy a map of a favorite city and age it with tea and then frame it. Lord I wish I had money right now. With the exception of larger pieces I think I can work on getting a bar and artwork done on my own.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

August Wrap Up & September Goals


Here is where the money fell this month.

Income - $4154.56 (paychecks) $226 (craigslist and yard sale) = $4380.56
Coffee - $100.69 (down $43.92)
Eating Out - $150.51 (up $49.86)
Groceries - $406.72 ( down $117.85)
Gas - $213.09 (up $2.16)
I started contributing to my 401(k) again as well

We put $600 in savings and then transferred it out again plus the $225 we made to buy our new flat screen TV. This was a planned expense and we have been enjoying it immensely. No CC used! Now the focus is to save.

The goals we had for August were...
  • Pay off personal loan - check
  • Pay off six credit cards - paid off four and then used two (explanation below)
  • Save $525 - check (see TV above)
  • Birthday gifts for niece, nephew & mom - check
  • Concert tickets to Diana Krall at the winery - check (did use CC's for this purchase)
  • Get hubs BMW diagnosed - check (it only cost $48 to fix)
  • Track in food journal - check (did pretty well for the first time and lost 4.5 pounds in the first three weeks)
I am glad to have the major credit cards paid off but available when I need them. Even though I used two of them the balances are low and will be paid off this month. When shopping online I prefer to use credit cards as opposed to my debit card to protect my hard earned wages. Now that they are paid off, any time I use them I immediately put that amount in the budget to pay back to the card. This both avoids interest and doesn't get us in the kind of trouble we have been in before. So, items purchased on CC's.
  • Diana Krall tickets
  • Groceries (I forgot how much teenagers eat when they are at your house for two weeks)
  • Weight Watchers sign up (will transfer to debit card and lost 4.5 pounds - yay!)
  • Pre Paid Legal sign up fee (issue of the ex wife kind which has now been resolved without legal action - well, at least without expensive legal action)
  • Two crackberrys (see below for explanation)
So, I have been wanting a Crack (I mean) Blackberry for at least a year. Every once in a while I get online and price them. I did that on Sunday and lo and behold they were having a buy one get one free sale (the hubs wanted one too). I thought the one I wanted would cost me $49.99. When I went in the Verizon store (cause I have to touch and play with stuff and ask load of questions) I ended up with a different one due to the 8 gig memory feature. That one was (after rebate) free! So, aside from a few accessories I spent $100 on my blackberry which will be $0 when I get the rebate of $100 in the mail. We used a credit card to pay for it cause I'm not really in the position to not have $100 while I wait for it to be returned to me.

I got the Blackberry Storm Touch Screen Smartphone. So far I like it but am frustrated with a few things. Apparently I can download my own music and use them as ringtones - having issues with that. I purchased one ringtone and it was sent to me as a text message but I have yet to be able to activate it as a ringtone. Ug!

It's great for Facebook because there is an app that's really crackberry friendly. Hard to read blogs though. GREAT for checking and answering my personal email. Of course the kids asked if they could have our old phones.

I know why they call them crackberries - they are addictive.

So goals for September....
  • Pay off major CC's from August usage
  • Save $200 - I know, small amount but I need to fulfill paying the CC's
  • Follow grocery ($200), coffee ($50) and gas ($140) budget
  • Start working out two more days a week with Wii fit and Jillian Michaels
  • Drink at least four glasses of water a day
  • Continue on eating at least five servings of fruits/veggies a day
  • Start taking a multi vitimin
  • Finish baseboard molding in main part of house (purchased without using CC's)
  • Paint living room
  • Install tile on hearth
  • Finish SD's Tabi Socks for Christmas
  • Complete at least five knitted ornaments
  • Refinance condo
Created sidebars on my blog as well. Will update as needed. Here's to a great September!