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am I supposed to ask for coupons?

July 19th, 2006 at 01:20 pm

About this emailing of companies - am I supposed to come right out and ask for coupons? I've gotten several email replies from companies to my complimentary emails, and all they really say is "thanks." Only one (Amy's Kitchen) has said they'd love to send me coupons. I went down the Organic Coupon list and emailed those companies I knew. I'm just not sure if I'm should be forward and ask for coupons or not. And from what I've read, I shouldn't write more often than every 90 days...so I guess I'll wait a while.

Last night I made an impulse buy at Walgreens when I stopped in for my prescriptions. I bought a new fan for our home, but when I set it up, it was much louder than the display model in the store. It will be going back today. It's difficult to find a truly quiet fan.

I bit of respite from the sun and heat today...thunderstorms. My peppers and tomatoes should be happy.

Hitting Target and the grocery store tonight to stock up on provisions for my weekend guests and use some of my new coupons! Feeding my guests will be a snap - entertaining them will be more of a trick.

It's incredibly slow at work these days and I have so little to do. Dreaming of an office with a door and a job that interests me...

Amy's Kitchen & coupon train!

July 18th, 2006 at 07:22 am

I wrote an email to Amy's Kitchen, praising them for their wonderful food, and asking about new vegan options. They sent me a packet outlining all of their food items and enclosed were several awesome coupons, including one free product coupon! How exciting!

Yesterday's mail also brought my coupon train welcome packet! So many wonderful coupons, and a fat stack of them, too. Thanks so much, flash. I'm excited to jump on the train, and hoping I do it right!

Drove in to work this morning, the first time this month. I brought my gym shoes and plan to stay and work out tonight. My car is now down to two doors that will lock and unlock with the automatic locks, the A/C dripped all over SO's foot the other day, and a funny sweet smell flows into the car after the A/C has been running for a while. Mom told me I need a new car...yeah, I know.

I'm planning to visit the folks back home for a week in August. I'm not sure how it's going to pan out...if I'll take the train or if SO will drive with me...but I'm looking forward to it. I miss having summers off.

Every morning is still a struggle to get out of bed and go to work. My groggy mind thinks of all the possible ways to get out of going in, but I eventually lug myself out of bed and into the shower. It's tough, working just to pay the bills and have health insurance. I haven't seen any job opportunities I'd want to apply for lately. The grad school in Milwaukee would set me back $33,000, and that's with Minnesota reciprocity. Tack that on to the $13,000 in school loans I've already got, and it doesn't seem worth it at all. Who knows if I would get a job in the field I wanted after all that. There are plenty of people with Masters degrees flipping burgers.

I envy the people who know what they want to do with their lives, and do it!

Target is the bane of my existence

June 26th, 2006 at 02:03 pm

and I was doing so well...

SO and I went out for ice cream on Saturday night. If anyone living in or visiting the Twin Cities has not yet been to Grand Ole Creamery in St. Paul, GO! It's a little pricey but so worth it. It's delicious, rich, homemade ice cream, and they put a little malted milk ball in the bottom of your waffle cone to prevent ice cream leaks. So cool! It's a good thing I don't live nearby. Afterwards we stopped by Walmart and $65 spontaneously flew out of our hands and into their cash registers.

The next day we went to the Arboretum...such a gorgeous place. I had never been. Next time, we'll bring a picnic basket and lie in the shade of the trees. Even with a full parking lot, it was easy to avoid the crowds. Afterwards, we went to Target, The Bane of My Existence. Yes, we needed cereal and yes, we needed a wedding gift. But $206? *sigh* We'll see how long we can go without visiting the grocery store/Target again.

I had made some financial goals for June, simply because I couldn't not make goals. Unfortunately the eating out/Target/groceries goal is a distant memory. I am happy to report, however, that I have only driven to work three times this whole month. Rock!

SO and I made our anniversary B&B reservation. I'm soooo looking forward to it. Smile Four years together certainly flew by.

Also looking forward to the chiropractor tonight! I think my new headache meds might be helping ever so slightly, so it will be nice to report an improvement.

And now for my latest career thoughts...I like researching people. I can find things on the internet like nobody's business and it's fun for me. I think it would be fascinating to do geneology research or work in a history museum doing research. I found a MA program in Milwaukee that sounded interesting - a double degree in Anthropology and Library Science. Still tossing it around in my head. It's 51 credits and about $9K per year if I'd get Minnesota reciprocity. I don't know that a degree is necessary, but it certainly is difficult to get a job at the Minnesota History Museum. and...Milwaukee??

I have contemplated being a private investigator, since that deals with researching people too. I just couldn't be the one sitting in the car for hours staking out the cheating husband, you know? I'd much rather be in the office, looking up information.

waiting for the phone call

June 2nd, 2006 at 10:17 am

The CT scan is over. I had it done early yesterday morning. It was a bit uncomfortable and my teeth ached all day afterwards, but it was a quick procedure.

I'm waiting to hear from the doctor about the results. *insert Jeopardy music here*

I still have daily headaches, but I've only been on the blood pressure meds for a week. I'm soooooooo tired! It's got to be a combination of the meds, poor sleep, and staring at the computer all day.

They've updated our tech environment at work and now many of my favorite sites are blocked. I hope this one isn't the next to go. I have no idea how I will manage if that happens!

Speaking of jobs - I did not get that job I interviewed for, the ridiculously long one interview one. I'm glad I didn't get it. After stating that I wasn't chosen for the job, they graciously offered to give me a free half-hour analysis of my test results. (We didn't like you, and here's why?) Uh, no thanks. I talked to some friends and found out that they know people who have worked for that company and were absolutely miserable...so I'm glad it worked out this way.

To pass the time, I've been checking out homes for sale again. SO would really like to buy a house. There are some cute ones out there...but how much can we truly afford? and what about that pesky miserable winter thing? We're going to make a pros and cons list. The thought of moving all of my stuff again so soon doesn't thrill me, either...but if the place I lived in was MINE...it might be worth it.

certificate of rent paid

May 24th, 2006 at 07:57 am

I finally remembered to call my previous landlord and ask him for a 2005 certificate of rent paid. Once I get that, I should be able to file for a property tax refund. It kept slipping my mind (by law, though, he was supposed to send it to me in February). Last year I received $291 back - this year will most likely be less, but something is better than nothing.

I agree with what Thrifty Ray commented on in my last post. The thing is, I find it difficult to be a model employee when I'm unhappy with my job. It's hard to stand out from the crowd and tap dance my way to a better salary when I have to pry myself out of bed to trudge into work every day. Part of it is perspective - I could force myself to love it! - but that's not really authentic. If going to a private college taught me anything, it's that faking it makes me nauseous. It's not as if I make it obvious that I'm unhappy, but I find it hard to go above and beyond.

Well, we'll see. I'm still looking for a job that makes me happy (or at least doesn't require a tractor trailer to pull me out of bed in the morning). I do appreciate the suggestions.

In other news - tonight - more authentic Mexican food! Big Grin I've been corresponding with a friend of a friend via email in Spanish. Tonight we are all going out for dinner and I'll get to meet her in person. Mmmmmmm Mexican food.... (sorry Jeffrey!)

I need some anniversary gift ideas. SO tends to buy me really expensive electronic equipment and then my gifts seem silly in comparison. We have some cash back coming to us from our credit card...maybe I will suggest we go to a nice bed and breakfast and use that cash to pay for it. Hmmm....

I'm not the only one

May 23rd, 2006 at 08:08 am

Had a weird thought this morning as I groggily got out of bed. It will take me five more years to reach the $40K mark at this job, assuming I get another raise in December, and the same raise each year after that. Ick. Five years? I'll be 32.

I attended a benefit concert last night and talked to an acquaintance. She is probably about 10 years older than me (as many of my friends seem to be) and has had several high-paying, high-profile management jobs. She is seriously dissatisfied with her current position, though. I felt a small amount of comfort when I asked her what she really wants to do, and she said she has no idea. She has the luxury of taking a long sabbatical to figure it all out, though. Wink

I just started reading No Parachute Required. It's geared toward recent college graduates, but hopefully I will get something out of it.

I'm going to start a "Musts Before 30" list...

3% isn't bad, I guess

May 22nd, 2006 at 12:40 pm

Apparently my employer does not offer percentage raises, but dollar amounts. I got a $1000 raise, which essentially amounts to 3%. I'm not complaining; just slightly disappointed. It makes me miss the yearly 6% increases I received at my last job (except for that year when no one got a raise).

I'm still making a full $2000+ less than I would be had I stayed at my previous job. I don't miss it at all, but I am still envious of my friends of equal standing who are making waaaay more money than me.

At this rate, it's going to take forever to pay off my student loans. The current total stands at $13,054. *sigh*

I revamped my budget a bit, and I'll have $1000 back in my emergency fund in September, and pay off my smaller college loan in October. Here's hoping nothing goes wrong between now and then!

Potential Upcoming June Expenditures:
- CT Scan/doctors appts/chiropractor
- Cats need to see the vet & get microchipped
- Donation to friend's double marathon event
- Anniversary gift for SO
- Landlords are getting married (gift)
- Father's Day gift
- My favorite aunt's partner is retiring (wish I had enough $$ to make the trip!)
- Parents might visit
- Sister will most likely visit

job review

May 20th, 2006 at 09:59 am

Yesterday's job review went pretty well. Suddenly my nice boss was nice again. I decided to express my frustration with the office environment, and now she is on a mission to help me make friends. I told her that was unnecessary but that I wanted her to know that it's been a difficult transition for me. To go from one environment that was generally very warm and chatty (almost too much) to an environment that's cold, sterile, and silent....well, it's been tough. I went from a place where my boss was yelling for me every two minutes to only talking to SO all day long. Very strange.

I have two bosses - one did my review, and the other one is doing my raise. I find that odd. I won't find out what my raise is until Monday morning.

This morning I made roti (aka chipati) bread. It's like a thick, whole wheat tortilla cooked on a dry skillet. The only ingredients are whole wheat flour and water, but it's delicious. I had never made it myself before but it turned out pretty well. I'll have to make a nice soupy Indian dish to go with it. However, tonight we're going to a Greek restaurant for a friend's birthday, and then to the Da Vinci Code movie (if it's not sold out).

Headache today, a carryover from last night. SO pulled out the Mayo Clinic medical handbook and read the entire CT scan section to me this morning. I'm feeling a little better about it. I'll call the doctor's office on Monday. I'm going to have to take out more $$$ from my emergency fund to pay for it, though.

Today is my favorite aunt's birthday. She is an amazingly strong, capable, sweet woman, and I have always adored her. Hopefully she and her partner will come visit next month. I haven't seen them in several years. They will both finally be retired this summer, so hopefully we will see more of them. Off to make a happy birthday phone call!


May 18th, 2006 at 12:17 pm

Thanks for your well-wishes! I had a job interview today (the one I was hoping for). I had to do an hour-long pre-test which analyzed my personality, and then today I had a three-hour interview. They required me to take three tests today and do two interviews. The last interview was the most absurd interview I have ever done. It was with two people, only one of which was actually there (the other was on speakerphone from Texas), and every single question was, "Tell me about a time when..." Awful. Truly awful. These questions weren't just like, "Tell me about a time when you had a big project to finish and how you did it." They were like, "Tell me about a time when you had a big project to finish, and the person you were working with made it difficult, and you had trouble finishing it, and what you learned from that experience, and what you would do differently, and and and..." Every single time I answered a question, I had to ask what the rest of the question was, because there was no way I could remember every variable they set up. It was insane. I think the actual work might be interesting, but I didn't click with anyone I met, especially not the boss. So, in short, no way.

The nice thing is that I took the rest of the day off (since they had me block off 4.5 hours of time for the interview - yeesh!) and it is a gorgeous day. I had a picnic lunch with SO and now I'm going to see if I can meet my friend who is on maternity leave for a walk.

My job review is tomorrow...I'm going to take it with a grain of salt (or maybe a boulder of salt) like you've all said. Smile

I feel like I'm way overqualified for these jobs and starting to feel like I'm a little old too, since everyone is fresh out of college. More brainstorming about where to go next, coming up!

BTW, thanks for the ideas with the cats. I could close off the spare bedroom. The strangest thing about it is that I have TONS of plants in the house - I just counted, and there are 40. The cats only touch the spider plants (and seedlings, apparently).

May money & seedlings destroyed

May 17th, 2006 at 08:57 am

I have to cut back on chiropractic appointments. I had to pull $75 out of my emergency fund to pay for them this month already, and my fund is down to $125. I'm not going to be able to contribute anything to it this month, unfortunately.

Tonight I have a neck-cracking appointment and I'm going to have to tell her that I need to cut back to every two weeks or longer. I've been feeling a lot better...not 100%, but a lot better. She wants to solve the mystery of my headaches...I don't have the money to do that right now. I'd rather keep up with monthly massage appointments, which definitely help my body overall, rather than spend all I've got on weekly cracking.

I'm way overbudget this month. If I can stay out of Target until June, I'll be doing ok. I've only budgeted about $40 for groceries ($80 combined) for the rest of the month, but I think we can swing that.

My mom loved her Mother's Day gift. I got to see my parents for about 24 hours last weekend, which was nice. Smile I hadn't seen them since Christmas. They paid for way more in that 24 hour period than they should have - lunch, dinner, breakfast, gasoline, a new rain jacket for me - but fighting it just makes them more adamant. I guess since I so rarely see them, I should just try to enjoy it. I love my new rain jacket (essential in MN in the monsoon seasons of spring and fall). My old one was a men's size XXL and came down almost to my knees! This one actually fits. Wink

I have tried three times already to grow basil, tomatoes, and pepper plants. The cats are fascinated by the grow light and the little seedlings underneath it. I have the seedlings covered up with a tupperware container but the cats work to pull it off. Every time, they have managed to make off with one or more of the dirt pods. Last night I came home to dirt spread all over the kitchen and dead seedlings. I have to start all over again. I'm not sure where else I can put the grow light and the seedlings...I'm about to give up on this. I don't understand the fascination! I have a hard enough time trying to grow plants from seed - I don't need their interference!

Tomorrow is a big day in job-world...please send good vibes my way! I'll update tomorrow.

I'm an INFP

May 10th, 2006 at 10:35 am

Thanks for all of your support. This is such a nice place to visit and express ideas.

I've taken the Myers-Briggs personality test, the Kiersey Personality Sorter test, and many others on the internet for years. I most often get INFP (sometimes INFJ). Interestingly enough, SO is an INFP as well.

Live Career offers a free assessment test if you're interested in knowing what your type is. You have to register (free) and the quiz is 100 questions long - it takes about 20 minutes.

I'd love to hear what your personality test results are!! Post them in your blogs or here in the comments field if you have a chance.

I've been looking up ideal INFP careers this morning and found several interesting websites. If you know what your type is, here's an extensive careers link: Ball State University's personality type & careers page.

There's also a Jung Type Descriptions page that tells you what you're like and what careers would be good and not so good for you, based on your type.

I found this site fascinating as well: Murray State Myers-Briggs information page. The descriptions are very detailed.

I found a few lines from the last website interesting:

- People with INFP preferences have a great deal of warmth, but may not show it until they know a person well. They keep their warm side inside, like a fur-lined coat. DEFINITELY - is that why I've made no friends at my current job?

- They stick to their ideals with passionate conviction. I'm not going to sell my ethics for a $5 book! Stick Out Tongue

- They want their work to contribute to something that matters to them--human understanding, happiness, or health. They want to have a purpose beyond their paycheck, no matter how big the check. although if the check is big, I'm not going to complain!

-In the long haul, what INFPs choose as a career must serve their own idealism. If it doesn't, they can become restless and stressed and their work can become sloppy and counterproductive. restless - CHECK! stressed - CHECK!

According to all of these websites, I'm on the right path with my job search. My "favored careers" are all things I'm interested in. I just have to pick something new and run with it, I guess! What to choose...that is the question.

what's with this week??

May 9th, 2006 at 08:12 am

I just had a meeting with my boss because she sent me a scathing email yesterday about a project I was supposed to lead (and didn't know it). It was a bit of a misunderstanding but the meeting left me feeling worse. She was rather condescending. The best part is that I have a full review next week...I can't wait to hear about how I need to be coddled and have horrible communications skills.

I was so upset last night that I spent the whole evening searching for a new job. SO and I were brainstorming on what sort of job I'd do well. I love researching, so it would be fun to be a researcher at a private investigation firm (how does one get into that?). I like baking, but bakers don't get paid much. Could I be a sonogram technician? How about a kindergarten teacher? (I balked at the last one.) Wink I've been trying to break into newspaper/magazine/book editing for five years with no luck. It seems like it might be time to give it up.

I'd a like a job that doesn't require me to have a supervisor and doesn't require me to supervise. That's pretty much impossible, I know. I don't want to be a salesperson, either. We floated around the writing idea again...I'd love to write full time. I have story ideas. I just need to get over the fear of failure and criticism.

No word from that job interview, but I'm hoping I'll get a call today. That would definitely make this week a lot better.

cross your fingers for me!

May 5th, 2006 at 06:58 am

I have another potential job opportunity on the horizon. It's in the hiring manager's hands now, and I won't hear more until next week. I really hope I get called in for an in-person interview, but there is a ton of competition! It would be a fascinating editing position and I would get paid more, I think. Keep your fingers crossed for me!! I am so sick of reading the material I'm editing now. Boring with a capital B.

Upcoming spending: Chiropractor tonight ($25), haircut and color this weekend ($90). I don't have anything else planned yet.

I've been meaning to go walking for the last few evenings, but my neck has been bothering me so much. Last night I had a massive headache and it has slithered over into today. Ugh. Sometimes I'd like to remove the pain receptors in my head.

I gave up diet pop and anything with aspartame in it. Every time I drank it, I noticed I developed a rash down the front of my neck. Not good! I don't drink regular pop either because of the calories, so I am straight up water now. Not a problem, since I've always loved water and usually drink about 100 fl oz a day. Having a full 32 oz water bottle on my desk is essential! At least I know that my headaches aren't caused by dehydration.

Here's to a pain-free weekend!


April 5th, 2006 at 06:45 am

I'm feeling pretty good today. It was a struggle getting out of bed, but once I got up, I felt great.

SO mentioned Mexico again this morning. Has he done his taxes? No. I have already allocated the money for other things - like new glasses, since mine have disintigrated. How many times did I tell him to do his taxes? Arg!!

I need to stop using my cards and get back into only using the cash that I have in the bank. I pay off the cards every month, but I'm starting to get too dependent on them again. I tend to live a month BEHIND instead of a month AHEAD.

Last night I had a brief epiphany. I should be making a lot more money. Now, I know I've been saying this a lot lately...but I finally believed it. My talents and my education are not being utilized. I need to do something about that.

Friday snippets

March 24th, 2006 at 09:05 am

My friend still hasn't had her baby yet. He's due tomorrow. I can't wait! I took some photos of her giant preggo self for posterity. Wink I'm hopefully meeting her for lunch today - I bet it's the last time I'll see her before the baby comes!

Reading about Cercis' gossip session with her coworker makes me long for that kind of connection at work again. I miss having someone (or several someones) to talk to! It seems like the only person I talk to on any given day is SO. I'm certainly not complaining, because I'm lucky to have him in my life, but I miss having interactions with other humans. My cats do plenty of talking too, but it's more along the lines of "FEED ME FEED ME FEED ME FEED ME!" It's just bizarre, being surrounded by hundreds of people and not conversing with any of them. Lonely in a crowd, anyone?

I've been ogling 76-key keyboards on eBay lately. Anyone own one? I'd love to have a piano but don't want to lug it up or down the stairs, and we don't have room for one anyway. I'd like to have a large keyboard instead but don't want to pay full price. There are a few nice ones online...I'm just waiting to see how much they go for. If I could land one for $150, I'd be thrilled.

SO still hasn't done his taxes, so the Mexico trip is still up in the air. I refuse to talk to him about it until he does his taxes and finds out how much he has to pay in. Perhaps that will motivate him to do them this weekend!

The playing gig will bring in $125! I'm super excited. Now I'm contemplating how to find more gigs like this. I know there are churches out there that love woodwind groups. I just need to find other (sane) players who want to form one. I put an ad up on craigslist...we'll see what comes of it.

Vivo para el fin de semana! Have a good one!

Hallelujah, Friday

March 3rd, 2006 at 07:48 am

For mjrube94 (my favorite devil's advocate):
1) SO is all for moving. Especially somewhere warm and by the ocean. He misses it, too.
2) There are other schools in other places, namely Canada. Brrrr. I found a few other schools in Los Angeles, and they are options, too.
3) I'm still researching all the schools and options...but I will definitely do my research on placements.
4) This particular school has two sessions - Tues/Thurs full day classes and four-nights-per-week classes. If I took the night classes, I could definitely work a day job, and that's what I'd do.

Having said all that, I'm not sure that I will definitely set off in this direction, but it's simmering in the back of my mind. Also simmering is the idea that I should move out east (since that's where the publishing jobs are) and give this publishing thing one more shot. I'm also considering throwing up my hands and staying home all day (not really, but it would be nice).

Yesterday I was completely despondent, thus no post here. "In a funk," as another blogger put it. I need to sit down and sort through all the things going on in my head. Buy new car or fix my car? - Buy a house here or move elsewhere? - SO wants to get married, do I? - Publishing career or give it up already? - Mexico trip or save money? AAAARRRRGGGGGG!!!!!

Thank God for Fridays (and the weekend).

I am not a zombie

February 23rd, 2006 at 09:41 am

I drove to work again yesterday (didn't get out of bed until 7:15am). Booooo. SO brought me to work this morning, even though I got up early enough to catch the late bus. I don't know what my problem is. I go to bed around 9 or 10 and still can't get up in the morning.

I went from one extreme to the other. In my last job, I couldn't get people to stop talking to me. I was a veritable unlicensed psychologist for my boss. At my current job, people won't even look at each other when they pass in the hallway. They either plod around with zombie-like stares or travel in packs. It's totally bizarre. Happy medium, anyone?

I've still been looking at Mexico vacations (thinking May now) and used cars (thinking I should take my own to the shop). I probably shouldn't do anything until I bring my car in and find out how much it's going to be to get it back into relatively good shape. Then decide on everything else.

Life! It gives me a headache.


February 8th, 2006 at 02:11 pm

Work is soooooo slllooowwww today!! I am trying to keep busy but it is hard to find something interesting to read/do. The last couple of weeks have been super busy, so I shouldn't complain about a lull!

The key to not spending? Not having any money in my wallet. I can't buy lunch, or chocolate, or beverages, nor can I pay for parking. I'm trying to hold out until the 15th to take out any cash, too.

I have already consumed all the chocolate I brought today, which probably amounts to two or three Snickers bars (eep!). I'll attribute that to boredom and stress.

Frugalocity for today:
~ bringing breakfast, leftover bean soup, chocolate, and pop from home
~ taking the bus (finally!)
~ avoiding my favorite internet shopping sites
~ making more mini-savings goals for the rest of the year to prevent myself from spending and show myself how much I can save

Got a bit of a case of Jonesing going on - my friend is planning to buy a big, pricey home. They're already talking about having four TVs, a new computer, new furniture, etc etc etc etc. They make a lot more money than I do, but still...I hate feeling so behind people my own age. I know I shouldn't compare myself to others, but it's hard not to. Especially when we have the same background and same education (except mine was way more expensive!).

All this talk of home buying makes SO want to buy a house. I'm so afraid that if we do that, we'll get stuck here forever. He is dropping hints about wanting to get married, too. Yikes! I must be the only woman on the planet who doesn't relish the thought of marriage!

Tonight the massage lady comes - yay!

outrageous electric bill

January 11th, 2006 at 08:09 am

You know you need a vacation when you wake up wishing you had some sort of ailment that would keep you at home. Maybe I'm not in the right field...maybe I'm not at the right workplace. I don't know what to do about it. My skills are not being used and I am not getting much of anything out of my work. I am the equivalent of a human grammar and spell check. It wouldn't bother me as much if the work was varied, but we are talking about the same correspondence, with the same mistakes, every single day.

Massage tonight - I'm sure she will work her magic and I will feel better. It's like stuffing a piece of chewing gum into a small hole in a giant leaking dam, but little things count, right?

I bought concert tickets for an event in a few weeks. It is an early birthday gift to myself - a bassoon concert. SO is going with me. Smile I'm looking forward to it. We split the cost, so $27.50.

I desperately need a haircut, need to get my car fixed, and need to pay for renter's insurance this month. The electric bill was WAY more than I had planned on - what is sucking up all the energy?! and how do you get your significant other to shut things OFF? I feel like I am always shutting off lights that are needlessly on. Perhaps I should try to get him to use candles more often, since we have a ton of them! I can't figure out what else it is...maybe too many loads of laundry? I have energy saver light bulbs in place where I can. I have a programmable thermostat, so I lowered the temps even more. My mom flipped out when I told her I keep it at 62 and 67, because she thought that was way too cold! Now it's lower. I hope it helps.

*blink* and it's gone

January 9th, 2006 at 08:56 am

Ahhhhhh, the weekends. Where do they go?

Friday night: Stopped at a craft store and picked up yarn on sale and a few beads at 40% off. I plan to crochet a new hat. Mine is looking a little ragged. Also stopped by the grocery store to grab a few things I forgot, and spent about $17. Won't shop at that grocery store again - way too expensive.

Saturday: Cleaned, did laundry, made vegetable noodle soup from scratch, and baked the best brownies ever. Went to bed early. Didn't leave the house!

Sunday: SO wanted to go out to breakfast, so we did. Also spent a fair amount at Target. I crocheted for a while, cleaned more of the house, and made vegetarian stroganoff for dinner. We played Scrabble (no keeping score, but I did great!) and again, went to bed early. I sent in a rental insurance quote request, so we'll see what they come up with.

I could NOT get out of bed again this morning! What is up with that??? The bus was very late on top of it, so I was 15 minutes late for work. The good work news is that I will be getting an evaluation and potential raise before mid-year, and then again at the end of the year! I guess I'd better start getting to work on time.

Not one piece of jewelry made all weekend...I'm rather bummed about that. Won't have time to try again until Thursday.

2004 vs 2005

January 3rd, 2006 at 09:25 am

Spent $470 more in 2005 than in 2004.
Earned $2,625 more in 2005.
Had $820 more in savings at the end of 2005.
Put $950 into retirement in 2005 (2004=$0).

Not too bad. This year will be better.

Goals for January:
~ Get the Deathmobile fixed
~ Get a renter's insurance quote from my auto insurance company
~ Have $800 in emergency savings by February
~ Pay double on my smaller college loan
~ Read a book about starting your own craft business

My long weekend was fun, but not long enough, as usual. Sometimes I wish I lived a bit closer to my parents. My flight was four hours late yesterday, so I didn't land until midnight. We didn't even get a decent explanation from the airline, much less any compensation. I'm glad I didn't have to miss work today, but I'm irked about the airline.

Need to figure out what I am going to do with my life. Reading this article here reminded me of that yet again. I've always thought I should do what I'm good at...but that perception of what I'm good at has always come from what other people think I'm good at. Need to reevaluate.

really tired of working

December 13th, 2005 at 08:18 am

Yes, I know, at the mere age of 26 I should not be so fed up with the working world. But I am. I am so tired of working. I took yesterday off, and all I could think was, "I SO do not want to go to work EVER AGAIN." I wish there was some way for me to stay home and make money. The only way it is really socially acceptable to stay home and not work is to have children and become a stay at home mom (and even then, they don't get much respect). However, I don't want the children piece, so that foils that idea!

It would be so nice to be able to sleep in until 11 if I had a headache. It would be so nice to take a nap at 2 if I had a headache. A lot of wanting to stay at home has to do with my constant headaches.

My job is uninteresting and I have not made any friends. I miss the social aspect of work. At my last job, people talked to me. Wacky things happened. I had a few close friends to talk to. At my new job, I am lucky if someone says "hi" to me in passing.

Maybe if I was doing something remotely interesting at my job, working wouldn't be so bad...but editing this subject matter is like gnawing on old, dry toast. I think I am going to have to move if I want an interesting editing career.

The other thing that's bugging me is that all of my friends are getting huge raises and promotions. I have yet to hit $35K, almost 5 years out of college. I have friends in my age group making twice that.

*sigh* just sad, crabby, and sick of working today (and yes, I have a headache).

On the spending front, I've spent way more than I had budgeted. Car is not fixed yet. Enough said.

cutemol hand cream?

December 5th, 2005 at 02:13 pm

I spent a lot of money yesterday and today. Yesterday was on general household things, cat food, and groceries, all split with SO. Today was holiday gifts online. I only have two more gifts to buy and one package to mail. I don't think I have ever been almost done with my shopping this early. I don't think I will be sending the gift basket to my family. Maybe I'll make some fudge and a nice card and send that instead. I have an amazing recipe for Snicker's Fudge - it's time consuming but totally worth it.

I bought a few things for myself too (bad bad bad). A down alternative comforter that I think will look and feel awesome in our bedroom came back into stock on overstock.com, and I just missed it last time, so I bought it. I'll split the $50 charge with SO. I bought six soy candles for $6 from Crooked Mile Candle Co and a tube of Cutemol hand cream for $8 (it's supposed to keep fingers from splitting, we'll see). Anyone ever heard of it? It was in this month's issue of Allure magazine.

It took an entire bottle of lock de-icer to free my driver's side door. I haven't tested it since Saturday, so who knows, it might be frozen shut again. I need to take it in.

I am weary of work. I need a vacation. I'd like to take the $500 I have budgeted for the car repair and go south to warmer waters!

resisting the urge to spend

December 2nd, 2005 at 10:13 am

I've been browsing cookbooks online today and had to fight hard to resist the temptation to buy. I'm not sure what that's all about. Whenever I get a little down, and I'm buying stuff for other people, and things are on sale, I think "MUST BUY." However, I put them all on my amazon wishlist instead, and reserved what I could from the library.

I'm supposed to meet friends for dinner tonight. That might be a little tricky, considering my car doors are still frozen shut.

Yesterday I bought breakfast at work, had lunch with a friend, and dinner with another friend. I bought breakfast this morning, brought my lunch from home, and am supposed to have dinner with friends tonight. I'm looking forward to eating at home this weekend (although it is fun to eat out).

I have upped my holiday gift budget a bit. I want to send a gift basket to my family for Christmas, since I won't be there to enjoy it with them for the first time ever.

I have also upped my car repair budget to $500. Unfortunately, I don't think that will be enough to fix all the problems that beast has, but it should fix some of them.

Just found out that SO and I have his brother and brother's wife for the Christmas gift swap. $25 per person limit. I have absolutely no idea what to get.

I've been looking at DivaJen's website and contemplating a little handmade jewelry business. I think I could do pretty well. I'd just have to have the motivation and the time to make lots of beaded jewelry. An interesting idea. It seems like there are tons of websites out there with the same idea, though, so I'd have to find a niche (and a good photographer). Hm...

trying to stay awake at work

November 25th, 2005 at 09:05 am

November 24
No Spend Day!
I baked the sweet potato pie for our Thanksgiving feast, and it turned out great.

November 23
No Spend Day! (I resisted the caffeine urge)

It sucks being at work when it feels like no one else is. I mean, obviously I have plenty of coworkers around, but there's still a LOT of people out of the office, hardly anyone on the bus this morning, etc. I'd much rather be at home napping on the couch right about now. We're supposed to get 1-2 inches of snow today, too!

Well, apparently I really should bring my car in (thanks for the advice, Russell). I guess I will throw myself back into the challenge of trying to find a mechanic who doesn't lie to me, doesn't charge an arm and a leg, and doesn't look at me crooked simply because I am a woman who owns a car. I'm debating whether or not it is even worth fixing this car, but I don't want a car payment right now, so I guess it is.

I'm not sure what the rest of the weekend will entail. We might go to a movie tonight. We might go rock climbing this weekend. We might burrow into the house and not move until Sunday. We'll see.

making 2006 plans

November 23rd, 2005 at 09:45 am

What a boring day. There is hardly any work to be done. I can't imagine what Friday will be like, when so many people will be out of the office. I've been listening to NPR podcasts all morning, but there's only so much of that I can listen to in one sitting.

Wish I could go home! I'm planning to make a sweet potato pie for tomorrow's feast. I have never made (or even tasted) one before, but I saw a delicious looking recipe on the Food Network last weekend, and I'm going to try it. I need to clean up the house a bit before my sister arrives tonight. I could be so much more productive at home.

Took the bus in this morning, and brought my lunch and breakfast again. I could use some caffeine, though. I may run to the lounge and get a beverage. Walking around a bit might perk me up as well....

I've been revamping my budget in my down time. I'm striving for a 65% needs, 10% wants, 25% savings goal.

SO is now on my health insurance, yay! He's been without for two years - not good. I'm really glad that the option is available to us. We'll work something out with the rent so we come out even.

I'm going to play with my budget and my 2006 goals some more, just to keep busy (and awake!).

oops, missed a day

November 21st, 2005 at 09:08 am

Apparently Friday was a blur.

November 18
$34.66 cell phone bill
$100 emergency fund
$100 family savings fund
$100 Roth IRA

Since my sister is coming this week, I expect my expenses to be a little higher than I anticipated. I'm going to try to eat at home as much as possible to keep costs down. Maybe we'll go to a movie at the cheap theater or something.

I just found out that I may get to see a friend of mine this weekend, someone I haven't seen in over four years. I hope we get a chance to get together while she is in town. I have a feeling we have both changed considerably. She was always a blast to hang out with in college! Maybe we'll just go out for coffee, or she can come over to our house (again, the cheap route).

I really don't want to have to spend a lot this week! *sigh* Luckily, I'm working three days of overtime again.

uh oh snow

November 16th, 2005 at 09:11 am

November 15
$.80 3 Musketeer bar (another afternoon weakness...and now I know where they are cheaper)
$37.54 my portion of the electric bill
$80 tickets for my upcoming band concert (I was paid for them in cash, and decided I'd rather keep the cash and write the band a check)
$56.07 car insurance
$50 college loan payment

I was supposed to get paid yesterday, but my bank account has yet to show the deposit. I called and found out that it is because I opened my account in another state (eons ago), but my employer assumed I had opened it in MN. Once they change that little glitch, I will get paid on time. Yay!

I skipped band practice last night. Didn't really have a good reason other than I didn't feel like going. I am losing any dedication I had to this band...not sure if I will continue in the spring. I enjoy a few of the people I sit by, but 2 hours a week to practice music I could play with my eyes closed is not very fun. Not to mention driving 40 minutes to get there and back. I barely have time to eat dinner on Tuesday nights.

We got our first snowfall of the season overnight (lucky us in Minnesota, to not get snow until now!). The walk to the bus stop this morning was...chilly.

Today is my best friend's birthday. We have been pals for 16 years. I am going to dinner with her and a few other friends this evening to celebrate. It's one of our favorite restaurants, so I'm really looking forward to it.

Here's an interesting website I enjoy browsing: Baby Name Wizard. We use it at work. It's great if you are naming something (a kid, a pet) but it's also interesting if you want to see how popular your name was when you were born, or to find neat names from the 1800s.

drove in again

November 10th, 2005 at 07:35 am

Ok, so I flaked out again this morning and drove to work. I had to pick up cash along the way to pay for parking and for my night out tonight (dinner and a movie). I took out $40 and spent $.95 on a hot chocolate (to break a $20) and $4 on parking. Who knows how much tonight will be, so I'll update later.

November 9
$4 parking

I didn't work out yesterday, either...got hit by a light migraine and crawled home to my bed right after work. I didn't take anything for it because I'm beginning to think I'm building up an immunity. I just took some excedrin, though, because my head still hurts.

I love the vacuum cleaner idea too, but I don't think my landlord and her baby downstairs would appreciate it much. I'll have to come up with something else. Keep the cat deterrent ideas coming! By the way, I won't put my cats outside...I live in the city and on a busy street. Besides that, growing up I saw too many of my cats die on the road in front of my house to ever have an outdoor cat. The little rugrats are just going to have to learn that night time is for sleeping! Sweetly enough, my cat was giving the new cat kisses this morning...licking her head and such. I think they will get along well, he just has to stop chasing her through the house!

eleventh month of 2005

November 1st, 2005 at 01:31 pm

Wow, the year flew by.

I'll be keeping track of my finances here this month. I always keep track of it elsewhere, but I feel more accountable for my purchases when I write them down here.

As for my job - yes, I am editing now. Unfortunately it is not for a publishing company, but at least I am editing! Hopefully it will help me get me to where I want to be. However, I found out last week that my coworkers will be doing my reviews, basically. I'm not too thrilled about that. The reviews are monthly, too. Ish.

As for the apples - I made apple crisp and applesauce over the weekend. Both turned out very well. I still have 10 pounds of apples left, so I may take that suggestion and make apple pie packages for the freezer.

I had a really productive weekend. I'm always so much more energetic during the weekends. I just want to sleep during the weeknights! Too bad weekends are so much shorter.

November 1
$18 flu shot

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