Archive for the 'Etc.' Category

Veggie seedlings

I went to a farmer’s market yesterday and got some veggie seedlings.  I have red swiss chard, Thai basil, and an arugula salad mix.  I also bought some bok choys to eat.  I love how Asian veggies are popping up in farmer’s markets.  I’m going to plant some of these seedlings in containers and I’m sharing the rest with my friends who are starting a garden in their backyard this weekend!

WWMD – What would MacGyver do?

A few years ago I made a compost bin out of a trash can and drilled holes around it for ventilation.  I composted for a summer (dumping in kitchen scraps, weeds, dried leaves, and dirt) and gave up because I wasn’t sure if my compost bin was working or not.  This weekend, I took a peek inside and found all this “dirt” in it!  I’m still not sure if that’s real compost or if one of my neighbors just dumped some soil in it.  I poked around it with a trowel and found these buried inside…

WTF?!?!?!  Who the hell dumped these MacGyver DVDs in my compost bin and how long have they been in there??  Anyway, MacGyver was my hero when I was a kid and I’m thrilled to have the DVDs (wherever they came from).  He probably could’ve made a kickass compost bin with a tire, wire hanger, and a tube of chapstick but I think I’ll start using my ghetto bin again.  I wonder what else buried in it?!

A wonderful long weekend

This is the conversation I had with my sister on Thursday night.

The phone rings.

Sis: Hey, what are you doing this weekend?

Me: (Thinking: I want to finally nail down the baseboards in my bedroom, clean all the windows, basically spend the whole weekend spring cleaning.)  Oh, nothin’ much, just hanging around.

Sis: C (her bf) and I want to come up to Boston.

Me: (!) When?

Sis: Either Friday night or Saturday morning.

Me: (OMG, can I clean the entire house by Friday night?!)  When will you know?

Sis: We haven’t gotten the tickets yet, we’re trying to see if we can find some cheap tickets.

Me: (Oh f#ck, the craft room/guest room is a freaking mess!!) Um, when will you let me know when you guys are coming if you guys do come?

Sis: I’ll call you back.

Me: (I can’t deal with this – I’m gonna watch Law and Order and knit my bag.)

The  phone rings again half an hour later.

Sis: We got tickets!  We’re flying in on Saturday morning!

Me: (Yes, that’ll give me Friday night and Saturday morning to clean the house.)  Cool, see you guys on Saturday.

I ended up just knitting on Friday night and I basically did a “crap relocation” and moved all the crap from the craft/guest room to another room and closed the door on Saturday.  I did get some cleaning done (probably more than I would’ve done if I didn’t have visitors) and had a great time hanging out with my sister and her bf.   We ate too much, complained about our bulging bellies, walked around Boston and Salem, and ate some more.  Oh, and I had time to finish knitting my market bag.  T’was a very good long weekend indeed.

Don’t let rising costs get you down


I’ve been reading a lot of personal finance blogs lately and I really liked Lily’s list, One Hundred Ways to Cope with Inflation, and I thought that I would share some of the things that I do to save money.  Now these are things that I do whether we’re in a recession or not.  I was brought up as a saver and I hate to be wasteful.  

1. Do the CVS ExtraCare Bucks (ECB) deals.  I just started this and I think I will be able to get a lot of personal care products for next to nothing using ECBs.

2. Some people swear by meal planning and sticking only to buying the ingredients they need at the grocery store.  I do sort of the opposite and buy what’s on sale that week and then come up with meals with what I got.  Even with rising costs, most grocery stores still have sales on lots of things every week.  If you like curry like I do, it’s easy to make a big pot of curry with whatever’s on sale.  Eat the curry with rice if that was on sale, or bread, pasta, salad, etc.  Oh, and don’t forget to pack the leftovers for lunch – this alone will save you lots of money and possibly a few pounds.  While you’re packing your lunch, make sure you eat your breakfast at home or pack it to go.

3. Shop at Asian or other ethnic grocery stores. They often have cheaper produce and a 20 pound bag of rice (or brown rice like what I have above) beats on sale pasta any day and it lasts a long long time.  Plus it’s a good thing to help support independent grocery stores at a time like this.

4. Don’t go out and buy something new if something’s broken. Try to fix it, mend it, or live without it if you can.  If you can’t live without it, try Craigslist , thrift stores, or ask your friends and family before replacing it with something new.

5. Sell things you don’t need on Craigslist, someone else might be looking to replace something they need.  Better yet, give them to friends and family first and then donate or sell if no one wants it.

6. If you can pay your credit cards in full each month, get a cash rewards card.  If you’re going to pay higher prices for things, mind as well do all you can to try to get some money back.

7. Barter with others.  I made some tiles for my friends’ kitchen and I hope they know that means that they owe me big time.  They better be ready to help me move heavy things or tile my bathroom when I call on them!  😛

8. Make your own cleaning products (they’re much safer and cheaper than store bought ones and they use less packaging).  There are tons of recipes using vinegar, baking soda, and other household items on line.  I won’t ever buy Windex, Mr. Clean, or Tilex ever again!  But if you still want to buy cleaners, do the CVS thing and you should be able to get them for pennies.

9.  Make your own [fill in the blank] from scratch – it’ll probably be cheaper and more fun and you can do something productive with all the extra time you have now that you’re saving money by NOT going out to eat, going to movies, watching premium cable, shopping for fun, clubbing, etc.  I want to try to make my own bread one of these days.

10. Lastly, think about others.  Everyone is affected by rising costs.  If you’re able to give things away to friends or charities, by all means do it.  I was having a dilemma about whether or not I should get the practically free shower gels using my CVS ECBs even though I don’t use shower gels but I’ve decided to get them and give them to friends who use them and to women’s shelters. 

That’s it for now.  If I think of any others, I’ll make another post.  Meanwhile, please share your money saving ideas in the comments section!

The smell of burning tooth

I spent a little over 2 hours in the dentist chair yesterday afternoon getting a temporary crown.  I have to say that I am a very good patient now but I was HORRIBLE when I was very young.  I cried and cried and flailed my arms and legs around – I was pretty much your basic PLEASE DON’T MAKE ME GO TO THE DENTIST kid.  Every dentist visit was traumatic for my parents, the dentist, the staff, and me.  I think I might have kicked a dentist in the groin once.  I remember him limping into another room and giving me a pink rubber gorilla toy.  Mr. Dentist, if you’re reading this, I’m very sorry for kicking you in the groin…I was just a scared little kid back then.

Now I’m a super dental patient.  I don’t wince when the needle jabs into my gum and I don’t mind the piercing drill.  What weirds me out a little is smelling your own burning tooth.  That doesn’t happen very often, mostly only when they’ve been drilling for a long time.  Oh yeah, and inhaling the cloud of tooth dust (at least that’s what I think those fine particles coming out of my mouth is) weirds me out a little too.

So what do you do with your eyes when the dentist is working on you?  Are you supposed to leave them open or closed?  For 2 hours I darted my eyes around thinking about this.  I feel weird closing my eyes but I wonder if the dentist gets distracted with my wandering eyes.

The suckiest part about this whole crown thing is that I can’t have swedish fish candy until I get the permanent crown…boo.


I just started playing the CVS game where you buy items that give you ExtraCare Bucks (ECB) and then you use those ECBs to buy other items that will give you ECBs.  You use the ECBs just like real money at CVS and  you can end up with loads of free stuff.  Money Saving Mom is a good place to start learning about the CVS game.

I racked up 10 ECBs and I used them to pay for 2 mouth washes and 1 toothpaste with no out of pocket money of my own.  Those 3 items gave me back 9.97 ECBs which I can use to get more things that will give me ECBs.  I feel like I’m robbing CVS!

And the Winner is…

Thanks for all the commenters who left a comment on my new blog!  I’m so curious about all of you…who are you people?  Anyways, I wrote all your names on little pieces of paper, rolled each one into a ball, shook them around in my hands, threw them up in the air and picked the one that was closest to me.  It’s very scientific don’t you think?

In case you were wondering why I haven’t posted anything in the past week, it was because I took some time off and went to see my family in MD.  It’s already spring down there!  Daffodils are in bloom, squirrels are running around everywhere, the air smells sweet…all the good stuff that New England won’t get for another 2 months. 

I also hung out with my sister and she talked me into buying some makeup.  I have a reputation for not being a girly girl but I secretly do pluck my eyebrows (maybe every other month, does that even count?) and I wear eyeliner everyday (a friend noticed that I wear eyeliner one day and thought it was a BIG deal.  Well, I’ve been wearing eyeliner since junior high so it ain’t nothin’ new to me), and if you peek into my medicine cabinet, you’ll see that I even have those mineral powder makeup (I love that stuff).  So I spent $76 on some makeup at the store.  You would think that for $76, I would’ve gotten enough make up for my whole head, but noooo, all I got was eye shadow, eyeliner, and a 2-in-1 eye shadow brush.   Dang, it’s expensive to look made up.  At least my purchase came with a little free gift…more eye shadow…but I like the tin it came in better.

Well, that’s it for this post.  It’s good to be back.

OK, I didn’t forget about the give away prize.  AND THE WINNER OF THE SOAP DISH COMBO IS…



Question for you

Yeah, you who’s sitting in front of the computer reading this very post.  Would you mind if I give advertisements a try?  I know bloggers can make money blogging and I’m kinda curious about it.   I want to see how it works so the best way for me to do that is to actually do it.  I’d like to designate a purpose to this possible blog income and I think I might use it for etsy fees … for when I actually start selling my stuff that is.   

So what say you?  I’ll probably try it out even if people object to it but I’d like to know if there are any strong reactions to this. 

Spring Forward!!

OMG, I just found out that Daylight Saving is this weekend!!  I don’t care that we’re losing an hour … going home after work when the sun is still up is PRICELESS!

Establishing a Travel Fund!

I don’t travel enough.  The last time I flew somewhere for a real vacation was over 4 years ago … before I got the dog.  Since I’ve gotten Molly, I’ve limited my traveling to either driving trips (with her) or very short trips (without her).  This year I’m going to start a travel fund and put that $600 tax rebate and my tax refund and whatever else I can think of in there.  The dog and I will just have to get used to the idea of having someone else take care of her while I’m trottin’ around the world (we’re both not very trusting of strangers taking care of her).

This is like a major breakthrough for me.  Instead of automatically saving the rebate and refund for a rainy day (the responsible thing to do), I’m going to use them to do something fun!  It’s about time!