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Archive for May, 2006

Groceries and Babies

May 27th, 2006 at 02:46 am

I got off work early today at 2:00 (everybody left early.) After looking at the sales papers for Kroger and Tom Thumb and Albertson's, I decided Tom Thumb had the most deals for my needs (although Albertson's had a *very* tempting deal on Dreyer's ice cream).

I headed off first to the library to drop off the books I read this past week, and also to pick up the book on hold. I unfortunately turned out to have a late fine due on a book. Frown $2.10 - so I was doubly glad I had to go to the library to pick up my reserved book today.

After I was finished at the library, I looked through my coupons to see what I had. Then headed off to Tom Thumb. I picked up bananas, bread (on sale), 3 pizzas (sale), 6 large cans of Bush's Best Vegetarian Baked Beans (sale), a box of Morningstar Stripples (forgot to use my coupon!), and a package of Kraft cheese (sale + coupon), and finally a 48 oz bottle of ketchup (sale + coupon). The total came to $19.09.

A couple days ago I received my Mypoints.com Visa Reward card. I used it to purchase pizza the other night (my job promotion celebration). So, imagine my surprise and consternation when it was refused - TWICE! I went ahead and paid with my debit card, but was quite embarrased.

When I got home I called the CS and found out that there had been a hold placed on my card because I had not activated it from my home phone. Good thing as far as identiy theft goes, but SO frustrating and embarrasing at the time.

I got an email from my friend Karin who lives in New Mexico. She sent me some cute pictures of her two little ones. That reminded me that I hadn't gotten anything for her baby girl yet (she was born in April). When her son was born (he's 2) I had gone to a children's consignment store and found 7 really neat outfits that ranged from infant to one-year size, but this time around I get off work too late to be able to go there again. So, I got on Ebay and did a search for baby girl clothes. I found a lot of really cute things for not too much. I finally ended up going with this one auction for 4 ladybug outfits. They all were in the 3-6 month category and pretty summery. They also were all NWT.

The auction had a Buy It Now option which I utilized. In my note to the seller, I asked her to mail the items to my friend and include a short note from me. I'll have to give Karin a call next week and find out if she got it yet. Smile

I was really surprised by what a variety of baby clothes there were. There was this one auction for a Lot of 40 outfits for $80. The clothes all looked pretty cute, and ranged in size from infant to one year. I had way too much fun looking at all the auctions. Smile

I wish she and her family lived closer so I could get to know her kids. The summer after her little boy was born I visited them for a few days, but its going to be a long time before I have much vacation time again.

I think its kind of funny that two of my best friends both had a boy first, then a girl - and about the same time difference too.

Well, I probably ought to sign off so I can get up for church in the morning.

Spending today:
Groceries: $19.09
Library Fine: $2.10
Gifts: $29.99


KIF,
Laura

And it keeps on coming! :)

May 25th, 2006 at 05:57 pm

Another big WOW!

I walk to work everyday, and walk home for lunch everyday. My route takes me past a courier service that has all its offices surrounded by floor to roof glass. As the months have gone by, I have gotten to at first a waving acquaintance with some of the people there (who face the window) and then have actually spoken to a couple of them once.

Well today I was walking past there on my way home for lunch, when one of the guys I have spoken to/waved to came out. He stopped me and told me that his boss had noticed how I consistentally walk by their offices everyday, and my friendly attitude (smile and wave at people). Then he said that if I was interested, he would like to offer me a job being a dispatcher!!!

I told him that I was totally flattered, but that I had just gotten a promotion yesterday, and was very happy where I am working. He congratulated me, and then said for me to keep them in mind if I ever changed my mind.

WOW!!

I was already on Cloud 9 yesterday, but now this!!

Maybe I'm asking for too much, but with all this great stuff happening jobwise, maybe something great is around the corner for me in another area of my life??
Smile

KIF,
Laura

I got a promotion!!!

May 24th, 2006 at 09:18 pm

Wow! Wow! Wow! Wow!! I just can't stop smiling -- I feel like a giggly teenager.

For the last 4 or 5 weeks I kept getting comments that made me think that something might happen, but I never thought it would happen this soon, if it happened at all!

Earlier this afternoon the VP who initially interviewed me for the receptionist/admin position walked by and asked me if Sha had talked to me. I asked him, "About what?" He said that there were exciting things afoot. I wasn't sure whether he was joking around or not, so later I asked Sha about it. She just kind of blew it off (in a not unkind way.)

Well, about my breaktime, M comes by and says - I'm here. Then she tells me that Sha and S want to talk to me.

Bare bones: They tell me that they have been very impressed with my attitude (cheerful, willing, showing up on time/everyday, willingess to learn, etc.). They also tell me that Shr has told them that she has really appreciated my help in the back. She is overloaded with things to do from all the different guys in the back. They also see that they have alot of projects/developments coming up in the future.

So . . . they ask me if I would like to go in the back (with the geologists/engineers) and become Sh's assistant!!! I said a resounding and enthusiastic YES!!

I asked what my offical title would be -- Geology Assistant. But as I learn more about the industry, etc. my title would evolve into Geology Tech.

I didn't ask if this involved a pay raise, but I have the feeling it will eventually. Honestly I don't really care that much about that - I'm just estatic that I'm getting off the phones (for the most part - I'll be the "fill-in") and learning skills that will be highly transferable and marketable in the business world at large.

One thing that was stressed to me is that Accuracy would be extremely important in the tasks I would be responsible for. I do always try to be accurate in what I do, but do sometimes slip up. I will have to just be MUCH more dilligent in watching my accuracy.

I won't start this full-time until they have found someone to replace me with answering phones and I have a chance to train that person. So it may still be a few weeks.

I started my job here on February 15, 2006, and now on May 24, 2006 I have been given a promotion. Just slightly more than four months!!!!!

It just amazes me sometimes how God works things out. A year ago I had just finished my eighth and last year of teaching, and had no idea what I was going to do next. Then the next 8 months were full of ups and downs, where I wasn't sure what I was going to do about a long term job.

YAHOO!!

KIF,
Laura

Tiring Day, but not over yet

May 9th, 2006 at 11:26 pm

Today I went with Sh. to the map library. We copied a TON of well logs! The log copier machine was very cool, although it was also very finicky. It has some kind of weird sensor that "knows" if you are trying to use a sheet of paper that was in the feeder already.

We finished at 4:30 (when the place closes) and I ended up getting home just after 5. I was talking to Tammy on the phone, so ended up not coming up till nearly 5:30. It was good talking with her. We talked about going to the dollar theatre after school is out. She was very happy to hear it was still open.

While Sh and I were working today we got to talking about coupons and saving money, etc. I told her about Grocery Game, and she told me that she had used it once before, but then let it go. By the end of the day, she asked me for my email address so she could put me down as a referrer(sp?). Smile

She told me about her kids and all these trips, etc. they were taking, and the kind of clothes they like to buy. I asked her if they have an allowance, and she told me they could never afford all they do on an allowance. I asked her if they'd ever thought about figuring out about how mcuh they spent on each kid (age 13 and 14) each month and give them a similar amount that they had to budget. She didn't seem to think that that would work. I decided not to push it.

I got a call from the doctor's office on the way home. Everything looked good except my TSH (thyroid) level, and a slightly elevated cholesteroal level. Both of which I was expecting, so not really any news. I'll be glad to get back on Synthroid so maybe I'll have more energy and maybe have some luck with shedding a few pounds.

Well, I better get going. Many coupons await me at the Coupon Club. Smile

No Spending Today. **I WILL NOT buy a DQ Blizzard after the meeting!!!!***

KIF,
Laura

Monday Update

May 9th, 2006 at 03:19 am

My focus today was on my bedroom. There really wasn't much to do, because I had picked up quite a bit of stuff yesterday. Hmmm. .. neat concept - picking up stuff and putting it away as you go makes less work later. Smile

I also sifted out that cat litter.

Dad stopped by and we went out to supper at Jason's Deli. He and I took the trash out (there were a number of empty boxes.) Then he took my vcr/dvd combo so he can record Scrubs for me tomorrow night (I'm Tivo'ing the "Bird Flu" movie) and the Survivor finale on Sunday (West Wing finale and Desperate Housewives will be Tivo'd.)

Tomorrow I am going back to the Map Library with Sh. I'll be spending the whole day there. Smile One of the company's owner's daughters is on vacation from college (maybe summer break?) and she's going to take care of the phones. I was kept pretty busy today trying to get anything done that might come up tomorrow, today. Smile

Watched the Series finale of 7th Heaven tonight. Wow. Words can hardly describe how bad it was. Ya know, "it was so bad, it was almost good" kind of thing? Everwood was really, really good too. I *hope* that it gets renewed so I get to enjoy more Ephram and Bright and Patch and Rose and Treat next year. Too many of my shows are leaving me. Frown Ok, /tvaholic.

Got another $10 today from an ING referral. Mmmm .. . I love free money. Smile

Did my weight training today. Tomorrow I *will* do Pilates.

No spending today. Smile

Dad brought me the coupon inserts from Sunday's paper. Our Smart Source didn't have the Morningstar coupon in it, so I am very glad I didn't go out and buy a paper just for that. There are a couple other good ones (the Red Barron pizza and the Eggbeater ones) but tomorrow night at the Coupon Club I should be able to get more than enough of those.

KIF,

Laura

Grocery Spending

May 8th, 2006 at 12:27 am

Today I spent $9.57 on groceries. I bought a gallon of milk ($2 on sale), a gallon of orange juice, 7 bananas, 1 box of Sunburst Granola Bars, and a large container of cottage cheese.

I could have gotten the granola bars for $.50 cheaper at Walmart, but I decided it wasn't worth the gas and the time to drive to Walmart just to get them. I think though, that next time I am at Walmart that I will pick up 3 or 4 boxes, so I won't have to pay the extra amount.

I still have about 1/2 of my last 1/2 gallon of milk left from last Sunday. When it is finished, I'm going to rinse the container out and pour half of the one-gallon into it, and freeze the rest. I might not have to buy milk again till the end of the month.

I ended up not buying the paper today. There was really only one coupon that I *really* wanted, so I ordered 20 of them from TaylorTownCouponPreview. As for other coupons that might have been good, I will be going to my Coupon Club on Tuesday night, so will probably be able to get any that may be useful.

Grocery Totals for May:
Previous: $6.97
Today: $9.57

Total Spent: $16.54

Total Left (for Spanish Class): $93.46

KIF,
Laura

1st Sunday update

May 8th, 2006 at 12:16 am

Today I did Laundry. While the first load was in the washer, I went to Kroger and did my grocery shopping. I also stopped by Ace Hardware to find out what I needed to do to get my Pur Water Filter working. A very nice gentleman there helped me, and it ended up that I didn't need to buy anything. Yay!

I got back and finished up my laundry and read a little while waiting. Smile

Between yesterday and today, I have spent approximately 60 minutes working on decluttering and organizing my office area.

Before I go to bed tonight, I plan on setting out what I need for breakfast.

KIF,
Laura

Cleaning carpet - thanks to my cat

May 7th, 2006 at 02:38 am

My darling dear cat has this annoying little habit of scarfing his food down quickly, then within 10 minutes or so, bringing it back into the world, and leaving it on the carpet.

*Note* I have mentioned this to the vet numerous times, and have been told not to worry - he's done this ever since I've had him.

Well, most of the time I am able to get it cleaned up right away so that it doesn't leave any stain behind. But, just in the short time we've been here in my new apartment, he's managed to "hide" four or five incidents long enough so that by the time I found them .... well, the stain had set.

So, anyway, I'm thinking that maybe I should rent a carpet steam cleaner from a store and take care of the spots. One time would probably cost ~$30. But then I'm thinking some more, and am wondering if it would be better to get one of those spot cleaners for $50 - 60 which I would then own. That way I could take care of the spot as soon as it happened.

Last Wednesday I got a $30 giftcard for CVS when I filled my allergy prescription there. While I was waiting, I was wandering the store to see if there was anything I needed/wanted. One thing I found was a Scunzi (sp?). The box didn't "say" that it was a steam/spot carpet cleaner - but I *think* I read about it doing that somewhere.

I really do need a way of getting those stains/spots out of the carpet. A couple of the spots are in the living room - very visible to visitors.

Anyone have/use a Scunzi? Or the other thing, a Spot Bot?

KIF,
Laura

My Grocery Budget

May 7th, 2006 at 02:24 am

Sometimes when I look in my pantry and in my freezer and my cabinets, I wonder why I keep buying more food each week. I have so much food already in my home. I think a large part of it is the convenience factor. Most of the food that tends to stay around a LONG time in my pantry, et.al. are things that are not fast and easy to prepare.

I am wanting to take a Introductory Spanish class at the local community college this June. It will cost me about $100. So, what I have decided to do is to spend as little as possible from my Grocery Budget this month - only buy milk, juice, fruit, granola bars and Morningstar (if they have the 4 for $10 sale). Any money left from my grocery budget on May 31 will go towards paying for my class. The remainder will have to come from my Fun budget.

I have $110 budgeted for Groceries. On Friday I spent ~$7. Tomorrow, I will need to buy O.J., bananas, and Sunburst Granola bars - ~$6.

I was going to treat my mom out to eat for Mother's Day, but I think I'm going to have her come here. I think I have enough cottage cheese to make her favorite roast. I'll have to think a bit more about that.

KIF,
Laura

Organization - My Challenge for May

May 7th, 2006 at 02:10 am

I've been thinking about this for awhile. I really need to get a better system to keep my apartment picked up and organized. There are many reasons, but two of them are so I could feel comfortable inviting someone over to my place at the drop of a hat, and two, so that I won't spend money and time buying something that I already own, but just can't find.

I've tried using the flylady technique before, but was completely overwhelmed by the amount of emails. Plus, I hate wearing shoes when I'm home - much prefer going barefoot as much as possible. Smile

But I decided today that I would take her concept and fit it into something that I think would work for me. I made a chart for me where each weekday has a FOCUS area. Then, each weekend has a FOCUS Declutter and Organize area.

This is something similar to what the pioneers did. I remember in the Little House books that Ma (Caroline) had a specefic chore for each day of the week.

So anyway, I have decided that I am going to use my blog here as an accountability factor.

Monday - Sift Kitty Litter/Replace; Straighten bedroom/Office.
Tuesday - Living Room
Wednesday - Kitchen/Dining Room
Thursday - Bathroom/ Empty Kitty Litter/Replace
Friday - General pick up/Vacuum/Trash run
Saturday -- Check food/HABA supplies; Check TaylorTownCouponPreview; Check GG and CutOutHunger for grocery deals; Make shopping List; Organize and Order Coupons.
Sunday - Grocery Shopping and Laundry
Declutter Focuses (approx. 60 min)
1st Sunday of Month - Office area
2nd Sunday of Month - Bedroom
3rd Sunday of Month - Office
4th Sunday of Month - Kitchen
5th Sunday of Month - Clothes

I also am going to start putting out as much as possible on the table for breakfast the night before. Also, as I'm making supper each night, I'm going to make sure I have my lunch planned for the next day. I only have about 18 -20 minutes for lunch, which doesn't leave very much time for making something and eating at a good, non-hurried pace.
I must complete my Focus each day after work before I can get on the internet, or sit to watch tv or read, etc.

KIF,
Laura

Coupons and Albertson's 8 hr sale

May 5th, 2006 at 11:09 pm

I had a nice surprise when I got home from work today. A very generous blogger here sent me a bulging envelope of coupons. Smile It felt a little bit like Christmas opening it up and going through all the various coupons - especially the Morningstar ones! Smile Smile

I headed over to Albertson's and picked up 4 bags of shredded cheese, and 6 boxes of frozen dinners. I also almost picked up a 2 liter of Wild Cherry Pepsi, but it wasn't one of the "select" varieties. That was ok though, I really didn't need it (even for just $.67.)

While I was standing in line, I noticed a gentleman ahead of me. He had a huge tub of I Can't Believe It's Not Butter, plus a number of other items. I just so happened to have a $.40 coupon for ICBNB plus 3 bottles in my fridge already - so I asked him if he'd like a coupon. He very happily accepted it. Too bad we weren't at Kroger where it would have doubled.

On my way home I stopped by my mom's place and left two of the bags of cheese, plus 10 Morningstar coupons plus a number of other coupons that I thought she might enjoy. She's going to have a nice little surprise when she walks in from work today. Smile

Money spent today:
Albertsons: $6.97

Money Earned:
$10 ING Referral Bonus

KIF,
Laura

Another budget adjustment

May 5th, 2006 at 10:53 pm

This morning when I checked my bank account, I noticed that my paycheck had been deposited. But, I also noticed that it was a little over $5 less than normal. So, I went to the online account statement and looked at my paystub. I figured out that they had started taking out the money for my Life Ins., Accident Ins., and Disability Ins.

For some reason I thought it would be taken out pre-tax, but it's being taken out after tax. So that reduces my takehome pay by about $22. I shaved $10 from my Personal Care and from my Other categories, and $2 from Medical.

Frugal Act of Kindness?

May 5th, 2006 at 04:11 am

Hmm. .. I don't know if this would count as a FRAK. Today I was talking with the other lady in my office who is a "Lost" fanatic. She told me that she had not been able to see it last night and was really annoyed. I still have the episode on my Tivo, so I told her I would try tonight to use the "save to vcr" function. If that works, then she'll get to see it. Smile

She also is a huge NYPD Blue fan. Smile She had never seen the first season though when David Carruso was on. So, I told her that I had the first season on DVD, and would be happy to lend them to her. So, tomorrow hopefully I'll have the DVD set + the Lost episode to lend to her for weekend viewing pleasure. Smile

KIF,
Laura

Mother's Day plans

May 5th, 2006 at 04:03 am

Wednesday night I had supper with my mom and helped her get some things done she needed help with. While I was there, I asked her what she would like for Mother's Day.

After a bit of discussion, we agreed to the following game plan: Eat at Macaroni Grill (Mom's eat free), then go to David's Bridal (find bridesmaid dress), see if we can find gold sandals, then go to Macy's where Mom can spend the giftcard I gave her for Christmas (from mypoints.com). She wants a new pair of jeans. So basically, a girls day out is what she wants.

To me, that sounds like a pretty good plan - especially if Mom's really do eat free at Macaroni Grill, because then it would only cost me about $8 for our meal + whatever I would have had to spend anyway on the wedding stuff. Plus, we'll get to spend some good quality time together.

KIF,
Laura

Free Lunch and Supper

May 5th, 2006 at 03:57 am

Today the compnay's owner's took the office staff out for lunch. It was this really ritzy place. They had made a special menu with limited choices just for our group.

I got a Wedge Salad (WAY too spicy, barely ate 1/3 of it), then I had the vegetable stir-fry which was *very* delicious, and last, I had the chocolate cake. I got to-go boxes for both the stir-fry and the chocolate cake because it was just way too much food. I ate the leftovers for supper tonight.

When I go to a resturant I normally NEVER order dessert or appetizers - usually just water and the entree. It was really nice being treated out like this.

I had some more things said to me today that make me really think they are trying to prep me for promotion/moving in the company. I'd spoken to Sh about my concerns that I'd been away from my desk so much and that the OM was having to watch the phone. So, she worked it out with the person who is training me in her department that starting Monday, I'll come back and work with her for one hour a day in the morning. That way it won't be such a big burden on my OM or others to take care of the phone.

So, I don't know if it'll be a matter of weeks, or of months, but the potential I am picking up is that it could work out that they hire a part-time receptionist, so I can work part-time in the engineer/geologist area. Or . . if they find there's enough to really keep two people busy . . . it may be that I go back there full-time.

Honestly, I will be happy however it works out. Especially if by taking on extra responsibility, it may mean a bit of a raise. Smile

The wedding drama between my dad/grandma/aunt and mom is worked out. Apparantally my brother had already told mom that she couldn't bring her ex-fiance before everybody got all worked up about it. I'm glad it turned out this way, but still it really irks me that they would all be so willing to shirk my brother's wedding because of something so juvenile (in my opinon.)

Last night I stopped by CVS and had my Allergy meds filled and got a $30 gift card with my new prescription. That will be a nice little boost to my budget. I'm not sure if I'm going to put it in my Grocery budget or in my Other budget.

KIF,
Laura

Weddings, etc.

May 3rd, 2006 at 03:49 am

I had two phone calls tonight concerning my brother's upcoming wedding. One was quite pleasant, and the other left me wanting to throw my hands up in the air!

The first phone call was my dad. We were talking about a number of different items, then he asked me how my mom was doing. After I told him a few pieces of news, he asks me if I'd heard what she had asked of my brother. I hadn't. So, he tells me that she's asked to bring her ex-fiance to the wedding. Rolleyes

Honestly, I'm not sure what in the world is going through her head to even want to bring him ... but hey, I'm not in her head. My dad though is all antagonistic about it and saying that if Mom brings her ex-fiance, then he, Grandma and Aunt Ni won't be coming to the wedding!!!!

I tell him that I can understand where they are coming from, but as for me, *absolutely NOTHING* would keep me away from my brother's wedding!!! I really don't give a rip about their guest list - the ONE and ONLY reason I will be there is to celebrate my brother marrying his wonderful fiance!!

I just HATE that he is putting my brother in the middle of this. Mom really didn't even need to ask, because most wedding invitations of single people are for the person + a *guest*!

Oy Vey!

The second phone call I got tonight was from my brother's fiance. She was using my brother's phone, so she got a real kick out of it when I answered "So, how's my favorite brother in the whole world?" then when I realized it was her, I said, "So, how's my favorite soon to be sister-in-law?" Smile We talked for about 20 minutes or so.

Essentially she was calling to tell me she had picked out the bridesmaid outfit. It's at David's Bridal, and is a top/skirt combo in candy red. I also will need to find a pair of gold sandals to go with it (where?????)

I forgot to mention that they set a date! October 29! I think that Candy Red will probably be a good late Fall color for a wedding (and red usually is a very good color on me -whew!)

This morning I had my doctor's appointment. I was talking to my doctor about my weight, and asked her how much I had weighed the last time I saw her (March, 05). I was very surprised to learn that it was only 9 pounds less than my current weight. I thought I had weighed less than that at that time.

I also found out something I didn't know before. When you turn 30, they give you an EKG as part of your physical. That was interesting (and quick!)

She gave me a prescription for generic Allegra, since my insurance doesn't cover Clairnex. She also strongly advised me against the generic version of Synthroid, due to the intricate dosaging required that generic drugs are not required to adhere to.

I was going to stop by CVS and fill my allergy med (getting a $30 gift card for a new perscription) but by the time I got out of the doctor's office, it was getting pretty late.

I learned some more new things at work today. The lady I went with to the map library last week told me that she thinks she could easily use an assistant full-time with the work she's asked to do + some new duties she's going to be having soon. Hmmm. . .. Smile

Well, I better be off and catch some zzzz'sss. Smile

May spending so far:
Co-Pay: $20
Pur Filter: $38.78 (need a different adapter for my faucet to get it to work -bummer.)

KIF,
Laura