Friday, February 10, 2017

Life Update February 2017

I haven't given a life update / Adoption update since August, so I thought it was time to fill all of you in as to what has been going on in our lives.
Yes, we still want to adopt.  That is a huge desire.  But while I wouldn't say life has been getting in the way, we have been trying to prepare ourselves for that.  We've been doing a lot of work on the emotional and mental preparation that comes with fostering / adopting.  We had more to do on that than I had realized, so this has been taking some time.

We are still working on the house.  Not only does it need to be up to code, but I am still getting rid of "stuff".  What is this "stuff"?   Mom had, as her best friend from high school put it, "Many Treasures".  Not long after Mom passed away I had some work done on the house.  Most of this was put in tubs and needs to be unpacked and sorted through.  (A few keep items, some to give away, some will get tossed.)  This is slower going than I had anticipated, and it is also mentally exhausting as well.  

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Christmas Without Debt: February Edition - Stationary

FTC disclaimer:  This post contains affiliate links.

Welcome to my monthly series on how we can plan to have a Christmas without debt.  Not having debt eases stress and anxiety, which means we will appreciate the holiday more and be able to enjoy the extra time with loved ones without worrying about the bills that will come due in December.

As I mentioned in my December Christmas without Debt post,  you should know how much you should set back each month based on your spending last Christmas.    You should plan on either spending that whole monthly amount through the year -- or setting it back for use at Christmastime -- or a combination of the two.

This month we are going to focus on cards and greetings.

Friday, February 3, 2017

I Was Kicked Out of CVS Over Legit Coupon Useage!

I have been a CVS shopper for years, and yesterday I was in our "city" (town of 35,000 or so) and decided to pick up some stuff at CVS before heading home.  I didn't go to the one I prefer in that town because it was snowing, and I wanted to get home as quickly as possible.  (Little did I know that I should have gone to the CVS I preferred because although inconveniently located, they are well trained to handle coupons.)

I bought a number of items, including the eggs at 99 cents which were limited to two per person.  I have always obeyed limits when shopping.  I read a sign (or misread, I will say I may have been at fault here, but this is important at check out) I read a sign that said Coke products were 3 for $15, spend $30 get $10 back in Extra Care Bucks.

Monday, January 30, 2017

The Five Most Unique Things I have Received In the Mail

FTC disclaimer:  This post contains affiliate links.

I was on Facebook earlier and it seemed the entire thing was arguing.  I wanted to do something fun, and I thought I would write about the five most unique things I have received through the mail (All but one have been received through the United States Postal Service.)  Some of these were mailed before 2001 and the anthrax scares, so I don't know that all can be mailed now or not.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

How Best to Use your Remaining My Coke Rewards Points

FTC disclaimer:  This post contains affiliate links

The Internet has been abuzz with the news that the program is ending.  Currently no new members are able to sign up.  The timeline for the program is as follows:

March 22:  Last Day to Enter Point
June 30:  Last Day to Spend Points
July 1: A new promotion begins

I've been a member of MyCokeRewards for over twelve years.  I am very sorry to see this program go.  Over the years I have redeemed points for everything from Coke coupons to snow globes and Christmas ornaments.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Christmas Without Debt: January Clearance Sales

FTC disclaimer:  This post contains affiliate links.

Hopefully you made a tally last month of everything you will need for next Christmas.  January is the time to buy those items!  This is the month that many things go on clearance, sometimes as low as 90 percent off -- or even 25 cents an item.  Usually gift wrap can't be bought at this super low price, so I recommend that being bought right after Christmas and not waiting and watching sale prices so you can have the best selection.

This week, I stopped in at Target where all Christmas items were 90% off.  There wasn't much left, as I was a few days into the sale.

However, I stopped at Dollar General on Tuesday to buy something and saw their Christmas items were 25 cents each.  I ended up going to twelve Dollar Generals over the next few days.  I got Christmas cards as low as 30 for 25 cents.  The most expensive retail priced item was a huge package of decorations that was originally priced $18, and I paid a quarter for it.  I loaded up on all kinds of items -- some will go on eBay, some will be made into gift baskets for local schools' fundraising purposes, and some I will use.  There were adult coloring books, children's t-shirts, tablecloths, canned pumpkin, cookie mixes, plaques, lip balm, playing cards, wax scents, hand washing soap, air freshener, and much, much more.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Five Favorite Books I read in 2016

FTC disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

I love doing year end round ups, and today I want to bring you the top five books I read in 2016.  All but one of them I borrowed using Kindle Unlimited.  This is a service through Amazon that is free for the first 30 days, and then is only $10 a month after that.  With it, you can read as many Kindle books as you want that are eligible for the program.  You can read on your Kindle, computer, or download an app to use your iPhone, iPad or other device.  I make great use of this service, as you can tell with all of my favorite books being from this program.

Without further ado, my five favorite books and why I liked them.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

The New Year is a Great Time to Learn a New Language

FTC disclosure:  I am part of the U.S. Cellular Blogger Brigade.  This is a sponsored post.  All opinions are my own.

When I was in college, I attempted to learn both Spanish and German. I was not successful with either venture.  However, that was before the days of computers everywhere, and cell phones were a rarity that you usually only saw in movies.  It is now easier than ever to use a smart phone to assist with educational contest, taking a class, or studying.  Add to that wireless technology such as the U.S. Cellular data network that allows us to stay connected no matter where you are, and you can have the ability to further your education nearly anywhere.

Smart devices such as the iPhone 7 and the iPad are becoming a growing trend in learning.  Part of this reason is they provide something that traditional education cannot -- information fed to you in small pieces.  Being able to take a moment to study no matter where you are -- in line at the grocery store, waiting to be called at a doctor's office, or even at the laundromat -- you can receive a small bit of information and use that time that would otherwise go to waste.  I am considering going back to school and have been using my phone to study for the entrance exams and it's amazing how many extra minutes of studying I can pick up throughout my day!  Because 65% of smart phone owners never leave their device at home, it's a way to have study guides always with you.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

My 10 Favorite Blog Posts I wrote in 2017

Each year I like to do a post of the round up of my favorite posts of the previous year.  These are my favorite posts from 2016 and why I like them. These are in reverse order of when posted, with the newest ones at the top.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

One SMART word for 2017: THRIVE

FTC disclaimer:  This post contains affiliate links.

Last year at this time, I wrote a post about how I always set goals for the new year instead of resolutions.   This year, for 2017, however, I decided to pick a SMART word for the year.  What is SMART?  Attributed to George Doran, SMART means Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time based.

Why am I not doing goals this year?  It's not often like me to vary from a tradition.  I usually have a huge list of things I want to accomplish in the next year.  This year, however, is very different for me.  I am not sure where I am headed.  Some might call it a mid-life crisis (or is that what happened when I got married for the first time at age 42?)  But I want the second half of my life to be better than the first half.