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Archive for October, 2011

Feeling pretty positive!

October 8th, 2011 at 05:06 pm

It's a beautiful day out today. I just adore fall. So sunny, but not hot, and the leaves. Beautiful. I guess that's one reason I feel so overall positive today.

We also just made it through another rough patch -- like the broken stove. Thursday was crunch day. The appliance place delivered the stove in the a.m. and then the plumber came to run the gas line in the afternoon. The kids and I were stuck at home with people going in and out. That was rough, because we are usually on the go and they hate sitting at home, but it's done and we have a new, working stove! The plumber also fixed a small gas leak near the furnace AND fixed our leaky shower drain-- and didn't charge us any extra. Must have been my lucky day!

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Today is the end of week 4 of the weight loss challenge at the gym. I've lost 9 pounds in those four weeks. I'm pretty happy with that. Especially since I haven't been working nearly as hard as I could be. It makes me feel optimistic that I can stay on this current course and keep losing when the program is over. (the real goal!)

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I have also been christmas shopping for the kids on craigslist. I told you guys about the playmobil finds. Today I picked up a perfect condition little tikes play kitchen with new in box play foods and pots and pans for $75. This version, without the accessories, sells for $160 ish on Amazon. My oldest son, now 3.5, loves cooking and play cooking, and this model is big enough to accomodate him and little brother at the same time. I figure I should do the used christmas thing as long as I can. It'll be much harder when they are older. But now? Why not? There is so much kid stuff out there that they outgrow so fast, there's no sense in buying new.

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I did spend some other money this week (Eek!)

As you know, I just moved into a new house about 6 months ago, and there is always a bit of new furnishing that comes along with that. I've had my eye on a very sleek wool rug --8 ft by 11-- for the new dining room. It was on overstock, but I still couldn't justify the $400 price tag. I wanted to spend closer to $250 to 300 , which is hard for a nice rug that size. I want it for the visual effect, and to protect the hardwood floors in that room form the kids. We haven't eaten in there yet, the kids play in there alot. anyway. I decided to go back to overstock so I could daydream about the rug, and it turned out they were having a one-day rug sale, and they had knocked about $150 off the price, bringing in--tah-dah, to about $250. I bought it. I know. Spend spend. As soon as I get a chandelier in there, it's done!

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There will be more stuff going out this weekend, I hope. I'm charging the camera now so I can post some free and to sell items on craigslist. One advantage of moving has been finally being able to let go of just about everything that is just clutter. I don't know, something just clicked. I have a pile of things to sell and a few things to give away. I have two boxes and a bag to go to the goodwill.

At first, it seemed like all the stuff I donated and freecycled wasn't making much of a difference. There was always more. But, I think I'm finally seeing the fruits of all that decluttering. There isn't anything lingering on the floors in the closets. There are fewer stacks of things sitting around.

Slowly but surely we are organizing, and I suspect one day soon it might approach the clean, clutter-free sort of environment I've always dreamed of!

Hope y'all are having good days.

daily deals as gifts?

October 4th, 2011 at 05:46 pm

I've seen a few blog posts on the web about giving daily deals (like groupon) as gifts. Or, using them to buy gifts. What do you guys think about this? Is it perfectly great given you get more for your money? Or does it seem weird?

Also, I've been thinking a lot about how to stretch holiday gift budgets. I am not above using craigslist and such to buy things used and give those as gifts (if they are nice) but my mom looks at me like I'm crazy. What do you guys think?

What is it about fall?

October 2nd, 2011 at 08:46 pm

That makes me uber productive? Must be something in the air. My cells just must be acclimated to it or something.

I managed to knock two freelance projects out of the park this weekend, completely redesign my professional freelancer web site (it was really sad, but now it actually looks like something.). I paid bills, read two personal finance books this weekend, I ran in the park for 45 minutes, washed dishes and folded laundry, and now the kids and I are just hanging out.

It's very weird, but it usually happens to me in fall and early winter. I just feel so energized and inspired. It's like I'm not as tired as I am in the spring and summer. I know it sounds crazy, but it's true.

I'm also thinking a lot lately about that book I wrote. I'm really really wishing I just had a big chunk of time to dedicate to rewriting and revising uninterrupted. Of course, that won't happen barring a miracle, so I'm just going to have to start chipping away at it in little bits. I'm ready to finish it and send it off to publishers.

I'm also ready, I think to write my first nonfiction personal finance book. All the crappy ones already in circulation have me thinking that I could probably do a decent to good job on one, and I might have the chance to get it published given my day job.