Friday, November 28, 2014

Fabulous Friday

Now that Thanksgiving is over and we are all on a diet, no wait, the diet starts when the leftovers are gone, we can all start worrying about Christmas. I'm thinking that I'm going to make all of our gifts next year and keep the money to go to Vegas. Den might get on-board with this. But then again, I'm not that crafty, some people might get dryer lint cards and others might get a couple buttons glued together.
I do think with the proper supervision I might be able to make some glitter wine glasses and buy a bottle of wine. That would be cute in a little basket or something. Hmmmm, this might work. Or I could drink the wine and then try to be crafty. It might take two bottles to get me there. After three bottles, you might be in charge. I've visited the three bottles consumed a couple of times, it wasn't a crafty place to be, might I add.
All glittery,
Sonya Ann

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope that you are having a wonderful Thanksgiving. So the real question is, is your kitchen cleaned up? Ugh, it takes forever for the kitchen to get back to the my normal.
Happy to see you,
Sonya Ann

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Turkey Circle

Did you ever get sucked into such a crazy conversation that you had to stop and think, "what the hell?" Let's be honest, that seems to happen more with me than normal people but still your mind must be referencing one or two conversations.
And on with the show....................................
Dalten(the little boy I used to babysit for) and his mother stopped over for a chat one day. Dalten knows where are of the toys are and pulled the shoe box of legos out. He made us dozens of different weapons so that his mom and me could shoot each other. The cat, Sue, also loved grabbing a lego or two and running off with it. We all had a lovely visit and they were on their merry way.
That night when Den got home, he found what I presume to be a rubber tread from a lego wheel on the stair.
So he calls out after he finds it.
Den, "What did you do all day?"
Me- "Kathy and Dalten came over."
Den- "What the hell, do you have a boyfriend coming over during the day?"
Me-(I'm getting pissed over his tone)-"Does Dalten count?"
Den-"What the hell are you doing when I'm gone?"
I had no idea what he was talking about and he was quite worked up. So I ignored him.
Den-"Is this a cock-ring?" (Aren't you glad I didn't use that in the title and have it show up on your blog feed!)
Now I'm so confused that all I can do is blink and think he is an idiot. He shows me the cock-ring/lego toy. Needless to say, I laughed really, really hard at him and then told him what it actually was.
You will never look at legos the same, will you?
Sonya Ann

Monday, November 24, 2014

Ultimate Mess Moshed Monday

I've got a plethora of odds and ends for you today!
It's a bit blurry but I think Sue is worried about Ebola. Den wanted me to zip him in the plastic bag but he is way quicker than me!
Speaking of plastic, Den managed to get the plastic up on all the window. Wow, does that help with all this cold weather. 
I got more bedding for our room. This made the room look cleaner. The other bedding was too busy with the oriental tapestries. Since it was missing the bed skirt, I got $400 bedding for $105. Well, my MIL bought it for $105. She spoils me. I was ready to cry, I was so happy. It's been 15 years since the house had a major overhaul. And I'm not stopping.
But then the old valances didn't match sooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
I got new valances that I hate. It's better than the brown but UGH! I have never been this picky in my life, I really don't know what is going on with me. They will be fine until after the holidays. And that nasty old shade is next on the list to get replaced.
If you want to save money, don't buy anything new for a room. It will just make everything else look like crap.
Anna's room now has valances. I swear I am doing nothing but abusing my MIL, Donna. She loves to sew and I had a plan. I bought a black bed skirt from the Salvation Army for $3.88. And Donna made two valances out of it.
Maybe after the holidays, I could convince her to sew two valances for my room. Poor woman! Plus my SIL moved to OH and she is trying to help her. And DJ, bless his kind heart, gave the outer part of his zip apart coat to his roommate. DJ and I got into a HUGE fight when we were packing him to leave for college. He didn't want to bring ANY of his winter clothes. I insisted, LOUDLY. Seems he is one of the few kids that packed winter gear. My MIL is going to bring him more winter gear and buy him a coat and boots. It's 10 minutes out of her way to stop and see DJ when she is going to visit my SIL. I can honestly say, I have the best MIL that I have ever heard of.
About 5 years ago, an estranged family member on Den's side, called and threatened to abduct our kids and so on. For a recap of that drama, go here.  Alls been quiet until the woman that started all the threats, sent Den a friend request on Facebook. How fried does your mind have to be to think that you can threaten someone's entire family and then they would want to be your friend? And the biggest question of them all is, why do crazy people target us? Let's not forget the lovely cards that we got in the mail announcing the birth of Den's love child and an invite for me to catch him cheating. Please ponder why this crazy shit keeps happening to me and come up with a solution.

Den and I scored an awesome waffle maker at a garage sale. It was a whole $1. Den took the plates out and I scrubbed the snot out of it with wanton disregard for electrical safety. It was a mess in there. And by the time we were done, it didn't work. A dollar and quite a bit of time wasted. So the lesson here is check to see if it works before you scrub it. Or the lesson is don't scrub it until it doesn't work.
We are one month from X-day, people. Be afraid!
I scored $3 from Pinecone and $20 in Amazon gift codes from Swagbucks. Dang, those spend fast! I count gift cards as money. My tally, my way!
To be honest, I'm done shopping and I have the tally on how much I spent minus one gift. We buy chocolates for the owner of Den's company for the annual Christmas party. I buy them the day before so they are nice and fresh. Its always around $45.
So here is the free money that I have gathered............................
 $250          Bank of America credit
$100.49     Google(blog writing)
$156          Pinecone research
$320.13     BP
$25            Amazon gift code from Saving Star
$25            Bass Pro Gift card from MyPoints
$10            Chili's gift card from MyPoints
$25            Amazon gift code that I won from Donna Freedman at Surviving and Thriving!!!!!
$50            Gamestop gift code from e-rewards
$4              Liquor rebate
$134.40     Hotel refund
$60            Free gas cards from Silverton converted to cash
$15            Sears bonus giftcard for purchasing over $50
$20            Amazon gift codes from Swagbucks
Total $1195.02 for our 2014 Christmas!
 And that is all the mess that I have for you this Monday. So leave here and feel good about yourself! Your life can't possibly this messed up!
Thinkin' about drinkin',
Sonya Ann

Friday, November 21, 2014

Fabulous Friday

Remember how I said that our birch tree in the front yard was dying? Well maybe we could cut it down and make a Christmas project out of it on Thanksgiving. OH WAIT, I have a better idea!! What if I tell our guests to chop down the dead part as part of their project? I like where this is going! Do you think that I could tell them doing dishes and cleaning up after all of the cooking would be their craft project? I might be able to spin this into something that benefits me.
Waggin the dog,
Sonya Ann

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Face of Christmas

Remember how I have been blathering on about reusing and not wasting at Christmas.
I think this would make for and AWESOME and perfectly acceptable Christmas center piece, we just need to reuse the burlap on the candles. I just love the way that my mind works. I'm sure that you find it as refreshing and sane as I do. I really consider this more of an environmental saving tip, though.
So I'm not just giving out a candle, I'm giving out a center piece. Damn, I feel good about me. Wait, maybe it would make a better tree topper. Or maybe my little nephews would like me to make a gift bag for them out of it. Yes, a 3 year old would love this.
I think this is what Christmas madness looks like. Yes, madness now has a face or would it be a mask!
Sonya Ann

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Money-Here and Gone

Me Likey

I'm totally flip-flop on everything on my blog. But you guys are used to it. I talk about how much money I have spent and then I talk about coming up with ways to save money. I save as much as I can and then I splurge every so often. But when I do splurge, I have the money for it. So I guess that makes it ok in frugalland.
Back in 2008, I wrote about setting up an unemployment/emergency budget. On paper, I could get the bills down to $2107 a month. That was cutting about $600 off of the bills. I've done really well not only paying debt off but making the unemployment budget our monthly budget. Our only extras are the phones and the gym membership, we don't have cable or car payments. We are dumping Verizon and going with TMobile when the kids get home for Thanksgiving break. That should cut at least, $100 a month off our bills. So in a pinch I could get our monthly bills down to $2200. Hmmmm, its higher than it used to be by almost $100. That would be the lovely Illinois taxes. We got hit again this month for another $80 a month for our escrow. Oh joy.
I'm glad that I have worked to get our bills down even if the tally looks the same on paper as it did before. I can't even imagine the mess that we would be in if we had credit card debt or didn't try to save money. So my efforts aren't in vein, its just that Illinois sucks. There is a sucking noise every time you open your paycheck in this state.
And the 10% challenge that I wrote about before is still at the front of the list. I did manage to save $82.58 last month on our gas and electric bill. But what I'm really shooting for is to shave 10% off permanently. It's not going to happen unless I can shave some money off of our tax bill. Haha, I really should be a comedian. Hmmmm, do I sound bitter?
My neighbor fights every year to get a lower tax bill after we are assessed. I think I'll hitch a ride with him next year and raise a stink. What have I got to lose? Maybe my freedom. I could see me getting arrested after dealing with them.
Have you ever fought your tax bill? Have you been working on the 10% challenge?
Little money,
Sonya Ann

Monday, November 17, 2014

Christmas, Death, Vortex Mish-Mosh Monday

Anna sent me this on Pinterest the other day. It made me laugh. I think she is really starting to panic. I don't know why. You would think that being in charge of a budget and being responsible for your own bills/money would be less intimidating than getting a degree. In two weeks, I will be free of her bills and nagging her to quit spending. How much do you want to bet that she will become a tightwad when she has to pay for stuff herself?
She did manage to get her cleaning job back so she has something waiting for her. Its nights and weekends so she said that she will try and find something for during the day. She is going to put in to be a sub at the grade school where she is at now.The teacher that she is with now and two other teachers are very fond of Anna and said that if they take days off they will only request her. Hey, its a foot in the door. I'm proud of her and I'm secretly laughing about how she is worked up.
Den and I went to Hobby Lobby looking for Thanksgiving day projects. I never would have seen this but of course, something naughty caught his eye. I wonder if Hobby Lobby will cover their birth control?
I bought some burlap, silver 70's looking material and some tulle from Hobby Lobby and then cut and tied A LOT. I scored a bunch of free candle from Sears and then bought some more from the Dollar tree. I love, love, love this gift!
This is a notice from the state of Illinois to bring the Lumina in for emissions testing. This is a death sentence for that car. Notice the PAIN magnet on it, it speaks the Vulcan truth. Den wants to bring the car in and have it looked at by a garage and see if they can tell us how much it will be to get the damned check engine light off. I say sell the poor thing. We have until the end of February to figure this out. Wanna buy a car? Its a great car, it just likes to have the check engine light on. Unfortunately, my van likes to keep the check engine light on too. Sigh.
This is terrible even by my standards!
I'm rolling in it. I scored $9 from Pinecone research and $15 from Sears. When I bought bedding from Sears, everyone got a free $5 giftcard that could be worth up to $15. And I got a $15 giftcard! Christmas shopping is fun when its free! I'll win the lotto next, I can feel my life going on the upswing!
So here is where we are at..................
 $250          Bank of America credit
$100.49     Google(blog writing)
$153          Pinecone research
$320.13     BP
$25            Amazon gift code from Saving Star
$25            Bass Pro Gift card from MyPoints
$10            Chili's gift card from MyPoints
$25            Amazon gift code that I won from Donna Freedman at Surviving and Thriving!!!!!
$50            Gamestop gift code from e-rewards
$4              Liquor rebate
$134.40     Hotel refund
$60            Free gas cards from Silverton converted to cash
$15            Sears bonus giftcard for purchasing over $50
Total $1172.02 for our 2014 Christmas!
If only it took as long to spend it as it does to save it. Oh well, even if I don't come up with enough money, the little bit that I will have to pay for will be easily covered.
Much to do,
Sonya Ann

Friday, November 14, 2014

Fabulous Friday

I'm still looking for crafty Christmas gifts or projects. What about taking a frame, maybe some old wrapping paper or Christmas cards, glitter and anything else you could find and making it into a picture with a cute frame. Where is Anna when I need her crafty butt?
Sonya Ann

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Soft Complaint

I'm still using my lotion bars faithfully. If you are interested in making some, here is the link to the recipe. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE these bars.
Sometimes I think that I was assembled by a drunk. I'm not even going to get into the extra ladle of fat that I was given by said drunk but I will say that someone installed the el cheap'o eyelids on my model. They seem to be too thin and too short. My eyes feel dry all the time and they almost completely forgot my eyelashes. Plus they may have inadvertently crossed pipes and redirected some tears to under my eyelids. It's the only way that I can explain the extreme puffiness that I am dealing with. I have submitted many complains to no avail and I didn't even get a coupon out of it. 
So I am still using a bar to rub/push out the puffiness problem that I have with my eyelids and avoid writing more letters of complaint. It has been working great and I think that my eyes look younger. I also noticed that my eyelashes look longer. I was going to post about how I think that it might be helping and then I read an article about how Vaseline may help eyelashes grow. I think it has more to do with moisturizing your eyelashes than with the product that you use. There seems to be quite a debate about it but I can say from my experience, this works well.
If I find the number for the assembly complaint department, I will give it out freely. I can't be the only person with complaints! Until then, use the lotion bars. Plus the lotion bars are great if you have problems with chapped skin and do wonders for your cuticles. I'm soft on the bars, can you tell?
Bar praise,
Sonya Ann

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Cat Trainer

The boy named Sue or the cat named asshole is still out of control. It might be the fact that he is an alcoholic or it just might be that he is the Devil. I'm not quite sure on this one but I'm sure that time will tell.

As you can see he has to be right in your face and investigates everything that you are doing. He's adorable but is a bit too scary for his own good. Whenever I clean or touch something, he has to come over and investigate. Then he has to touch it too. He's pretty smart and I'm concerned slightly diabolical. He has figured out how to turn light switches on. And I thought that I was going to save money on the electric bill once DJ left.
He also won't stay out of the kitchen and off the table. It's a no no around here. I don't want cats climbing where I cook. Harry never had a problem with this rule, a few squirts of the water bottle and he learned. Sue not so much. I've tried everything trying to keep him out of the kitchen. He knows I don't want him in there and he runs and hides when he knows I see him.
And then I got a fog machine on clearance after Halloween!
 He's not fond of the kitchen anymore!!!!!
Mean or funny,
Sonya Ann

Monday, November 10, 2014

Graduating, Drippy and Done Mish-Moshed Monday

I am so happy with the way that Anna's room turned out. We got the expensive and beautiful furniture delivered and set about putting the room together.
I was convinced that putting a full sized bed with a dresser, chest and night stand would make the room look VERY crowded. Not so, if anything, it seems bigger.
It still needs curtains, 2 black lamps and a lamp shade but other than that, I'm calling it done.
And it has made the rest of the house look like utter crap. Den seemed terrified when I brought that up. I don't know if  he was concerned that I would start gutting the rest of the house and make him do more work. Or if he was worried that I would spend more money. As Forest Gump would say, "maybe its both." I foresee many more room redos in the future. I also realized that I'm not a fan of the new comforter in our room. Much money needs to be spent.
Den is still sick. He won't go to the doctor only because all they will do is give him a nasal spray. This nasty cold/virus/misery likes the people around here and everyone that is sick is getting a nasal spray.
Den informed me that this cold is so bad that it had to have been genetically engineered by the government. I told him the name of it is the man flu.
The above is a picture of a hose going into our pool that has been closed for the winter. Sigh, it seems that the liner is leaking. Flipping great. Den said we will have to replace the liner, I'm hoping that we can find the hole and patch it. I was hoping that I was going to get the water bill down a bit but having to fill a closed pool, isn't going to save us money. I should just give up on the water bill and the food bill.

I got $6 from Pinecone! Yeah me.
I've spent about $100 on gifts so far. Doormats and Christmas mugs for everyone! 50 mugs might be a lot to some people but not us. I'm just hoping that Den will be satisfied with giving out just that at work.Time will tell.
 SO here is where we are at..................
 $250          Bank of America credit
$100.49     Google(blog writing)
$144          Pinecone research
$320.13     BP
$25            Amazon gift code from Saving Star
$25            Bass Pro Gift card from MyPoints
$10            Chili's gift card from MyPoints
$25            Amazon gift code that I won from Donna Freedman at Surviving and Thriving!!!!!
$50            Gamestop gift code from e-rewards
$4              Liquor rebate
$134.40     Hotel refund
$60            Free gas cards from Silverton converted to cash
Total $1148.02 for our 2014 Christmas!
Hard to believe but Anna girl(My MIL's name for her) is graduating. Never thought this day would come when she was about 3 and biting me. She has not been an easy child. Love her dearly, but good Lord.
Anywho, she is trying to get into the Grad assistance-ship program. It would mean that she would get her Masters for free and the school would guarantee her a job while in the program. Its a 2 year program. I told her its the Masters program or she would have to come home. We will be cutting her off after this. It finally sunk in after I said she should move home. To be honest, I don't think that we could live together. I may bite her.
So if you would be so kind as to throw out a positive vibe or a prayer that she gets in, we would all be so grateful.
The only problem is the program doesn't start until the summer. So Miss Anna is going to figure something out until them. She could start taking classes before the program starts but she would have to pay for them so I think she should wait.
Ahhhh, one down and one to go.
Too soon?
Sonya Ann

Friday, November 7, 2014

Fabulous Friday

Ahhhh, its that time of the year again! It's time that I start searching for a Thanksgiving day project. I'm thinking that a bulb tree might be the way to go. I can pick all the supplies up for cheap. And cheap is my favorite word. No wait, free is my favorite word.
Free, cheap, and friendly,
Sonya Ann

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Frugal Wrap

Ugh, we are getting way to close to Christmas for my comfort. I would love to have all of my Christmas shopping done in say July. Never going to happen but its nice to think about.
Anywho, I'm doing some Christmas prep work. I am not a fan of wrapping paper and all of the waste that goes along with it. I love when things are useful and saveful. Saveful isn't a word but it seems to work. Instead of wrapping paper, I love to put my gifts in a container or something cute. Mugs with a gift card in it and a bit of tissue paper works better for me. Ok, I know tissue paper is wasteful but we reuse it. Oh and we reuse bows. Rest easy, my friends.
A makeup bag instead of a gift bag would be a cute way to wrap a gift. Maybe add some ribbon.
One year, I put my sister in laws gift in a bag similar to this one. She loved the bag more than the gift card.
Even these totes would be a nice change from wrapping a gift. You can get these at the Dollar Tree. I know its cheap crap but its cheap crap that can serve a purpose and can be reused. And you could use it to carry all the rest of your gifts home in!
Maybe I just don't like to wrap. Hmmmm, something else to contemplate.
So do you have any ideas on improving on our wrapping technique?
Not a rapper,
Sonya Ann

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Tuesday, November 4, 2014


This may not look like much but this is an amazing dinner and super fast. It's a recipe that one of the women that Den works with told him about. It's Mexican sausage(Chorizo) with eggs(huevos) and cactus(nopales). Yeah, I know you are thinking that cactus sounds a bit odd and I did too. But this is over the top, yummy. And its easy to make. Its my kind of meal.
Chorizo comes in tubes. Cook one tube according to the directions and then push it off to one side of the pan. Scramble your eggs.
The most important part of this recipe is to really drain the cactus well. I pour out as much as I can and then I set it upside down on a plate while I'm cooking the sausage and the eggs. If there is too much liquid added to the eggs and sausage, it gets runny and doesn't work so well on tortillas.
As with any of the recipes that I post-I'm not even good enough to be considered an amateur cook. Follow my recipes at your own risk!
1 tube chorizo
6 eggs
1 jar nopales
Cook the chorizo according to the package and push to the side of pan. Scramble the eggs on the empty side of the pan until completely cooked. Add the very well drained nopales to the pan and mix everything very well. Serve on tortillas.
Cheap, easy and yummy just like me!
Trust me,
Sonya Ann

Monday, November 3, 2014

Sick, and Dying Mish Mosh Monday

Den and I aren't happy campers. We have some stupid cold that is going around and it seems to really be enjoying its time with us. Neither one of us can kick this stupid cold/bug/virus/misery.
The bad thing is we were both sick and cranky at the same time. The good thing is we were both too tired to yell and even if we wanted to, our throats wouldn't let us. The best we could do was muster a dirty look or two.
Guess what we do when we get really sick? Spend money. Maybe this cold thingy shut off our cheap ways. We haven't found anything at garage sales or second hand stores that would work for furniture for Anna's room. Well, I did find a bedroom set at a garage sale that was just stunning, they also wanted $4500 for it.
After searching many different stores, we decided that we liked the clearance section of one of the super posh stores I have been posting pictures of. Note to self, just stay out of those stores.
Right before we bought the slightly chipped furniture, Den realized that it was particle board and not well made. It was the only set that we both liked and was small enough for the room. We had decided that it was alright to buy a new set because well, we couldn't find anything used for the last few months and we keep our furniture forever. Den said it was an investment and would be with us til we died.
I wasn't real happy with the thought of having to start our search all over again. We are pushing me out of my comfort zone. We are going to have company for Thanksgiving and I have a trashed room and nowhere for Anna to sleep. I have issues, oh and I don't like to spend money.
I have also learned that finding a bedroom set with a full headboard is a problem. I guess full sized beds are now only for kid's rooms. And I wasn't willing to buy purple furniture.
We ended up buying a simple set from Steinhafels. This is as posh as it gets around here. I hate parting with money but the quality is amazing and I'll leave it in the will for one of the kids. It will be with us for a while.
And since we were in the spending mood, we bought new bedding for our room. We desperately needed it. The last bedding set we had was from when Thor(our wonderful Rott) was alive. He died when DJ was in 3rd grade. We took that bedding past the point of well used.
So what do I do when I overspend? I try and find other ways to save money.
I took the full sized bedding that I found at a garage sale plus the curtains, bedskirt and pillowcase from Anna's room and tried to dye them black in an effort to save money.
I also decided to dye my valances chocolate brown to match the new bedding.
And I discovered purple! Anna's valances did turn out to be the perfect color for my room though. How does black end up turning something a darker brown? They ended up being too short on the sides to work. So is my luck.
Because I don't learn(or we could blame it on the cold), I went to the store and decided to try again. Den hit the $5 movie bin. It looked cheesetastic and I won't be watching that crap.
Tada! It still didn't work! I rehung my valances even though they don't match. I give up on dying.
The wash tub took the color quite well though.
I'm just glad this weekend is over, its going in the failure column.
The only bright spot was the $60 that I got to add to my Christmas kitty. Den and I won/earned $60 in gas cards when we were in Vegas. I took the money that I would have spend on gas and threw it in the fund. Yay for something working out this past weekend.
So here we are...................
 $250          Bank of America credit
$100.49     Google(blog writing)
$138          Pinecone research
$320.13     BP
$25            Amazon gift code from Saving Star
$25            Bass Pro Gift card from MyPoints
$10            Chili's gift card from MyPoints
$25            Amazon gift code that I won from Donna Freedman at Surviving and Thriving!!!!!
$50            Gamestop gift code from e-rewards
$4              Liquor rebate
$134.40     Hotel refund
$60            Free gas cards from Silverton converted to cash
Total $1142.02 for our 2014 Christmas!
Glad its over,
Sonya Ann