Tag Archives: money

When Its Not a Shoppers Paradise

Shopping can be fun, in fact shopping SHOULD be fun. However, when shopping you must be careful. Cautious even. You see, shopping can also be very dangerous.

Do you think I am joking? Oh no, in fact I bet I could name five instances in which you should avoid shopping. (Granted, of course I can or else I wouldn’t be writing this blog post.) Continue reading


Getting a new direction

You ever hear a song on the radio, see a person, or read a blog that just feels like someone is smacking you upside the head? You know, those moments where you really are rubbing the back of your head looking around only to realize you truly are alone in the car?

No? Only me? That sure explains the weird looks on the way home last night!

Anyway – on the way in to work I was rocking it out to the radio when a great country song came on called “Real” by James Wesley. It sure caught my attention. Especially the line about “the survivors are farmers in John Deere hats.” Then later that day as I flipped through my reader a blog post on The Nut House about a frustrating situation with the hubby’s job caught my attention. I’ve been there before! But as I read it, I had to thank the writer for the smack upside the head.

Then I’m driving home and yet again I get a smack on the head. And let me tell you…I’m getting awfully tired of the smacks. My head is starting to hurt!

But in all this, I got the message that I need to realign my compass. Continue reading

Christmas Gift Budget

Oh my! Christmas is upon us and that means shopping. Lots of shopping. On a budget. I don’t know about you, but my budget is looking nice and skinny this year. Perfect for the trendy skinny jeans.

Not that my rear looks good in skinny jeans, but hey my budget does!

You know the song “On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me a partridge in a pear tree…” and if you’re like most folks you kind of hum the rest of the song with the exception of “FIVE GOLD RINGS.”

(Why is it that we remember the gold rings part without fail, but never those maids-a-milking?)

Well PNC Advisors did the shopping for us this year and detailed out the costs of the 12 Days of Christmas. It’s a whopping $ 72,608.02!!!!!! I don’t know about you, but blew my budget out to wahoo and back again.

Based on this chart, the only thing my true love is getting is some turtle doves and eight maids who can milk our non-existent cows for an hour.

Maybe they’ll help me clean instead.

We try to set a budget every year, and every year we (OK, honestly mostly Alex who is shopping for me) blows that budget in the excitement of giving gifts. This year, I wanted to at least corral that giving a teensy bit more so we stuck to cash when paying for our purchases. We stuck to the budget 100% when it came to gifts for others. I managed to snag Alex’s gift at an amazing deal thus putting me on budget. And last I heard Alex was on budget as well.

Or so I thought….

Until I was touching up our paint (post on this tomorrow) in our kitchen eat-in area. Just trying to help. But I’m short. So I got on a chair.

And I got YELLED at to get off that unstable chair and be more careful by none other than this sneaky man.

My personal driver

And I think, I think I might know why.

Please ignore any and all dust you see. I haven’t had time yet to clean. Ah who am I kidding…I haven’t even tried to dust up there. It’s to high for me to see it so what do I care?

Does this look like it’s part of the on budget gifts? Nope, not to me either. But you know what…I don’t care. ‘Tis the season after all, right?

OK Where did the Baby Carriage go?

You ever have a fight that you intellectually know, even while the fight is occurring, is absolutely ridiculous? Then because you want to win or just want it over with or what may have you, you push and push the other person till the fight implodes and it’s over leaving everyone in their own little corner feeling anxious, ridiculous, and stewy? (Yes stewy…that is a word I just made up, but it works and accurately describes this feeling, work with me here.)

Alex and I had one of these fights last week and it was ridiculous. You see, we’ve been talking about (and trying! Wait…is that TMI. Dagnabit…sorry. I’ll just get on with it now.) to start expanding our family. Yet the very nature of doing so freaks us both out completely. Worries about money, we have no debt with the exception of our house and student loans and one more year on my car, worries about time, we both work full-time…, and worries about heck the color of paint on the walls of the office crowd our MY head. This is then compounded by the fact that Alex likes to talk and I like to clam up. Put those two things together and every now and then the pot goes KABOOM!

So here we are fighting because I feel ready, Alex has stated he wants to start having a family but has not explicitly said “I’m ready to be a Dad” in those exact words. As such I’m picking. I want those words. That exact phrase. I want him to be the nitwit that I feel like and express himself and his emotions in an eloquent and momentous manner as befits the situation. I.E. No matter what he said, even if it was the meaning I wanted to hear, I wasn’t having it. I was a Witch. So I pushed and I prodded, he resembled a ticked off cow and didn’t move an inch. Before he said oh go take a pill just to shut me up. I took a pill to spite him. The packet of which I left blatantly on his side of the sink so he could see just how serious I was. (really mature Stephanie…like this solved anything.)

Now the good news, in all this we did calm down, we did talk, we did resolve both our thoughts and more on this issue. I was able to point out that if I was nervous about the wedding (asking Alex on our wedding day if he was sure or if I was pressuring him too much…) and I’m nervous about EVERY big-ticket purchase we make (hello couches that took five months to buy because I couldn’t handle it) the thought of having a child equally terrifies me. Last I checked children do not have a 30-day return or exchange policy thank you very much. Nor do they come with a gift receipt or fun wrapping paper and a big bow. So of course I’m going to be nervous.

Now to clarify, Alex and I have talked about this LOTS. I have worries…worries about losing our friends if / when we do get pregnant, worries about money (yes this is constant for me, I revel in my freakishness), worries about being a couple and yadda yadda. We’ve discussed all my worries. We’ve discussed Alex’s concerns. We’ve talked and talked and talked. We know that for us as a couple, now is the right time to begin this journey. I realize many people out there may feel we should wait and enjoy being “us” right now. I also know a lot of people have an opinion on this subject. I’m simply going to say that in opening up about a subject that has been on our hearts for weeks now that you respect that we are two adults and have thought this through VERY CAREFULLY.

Which brings me to my biggest failing to date. I am incredibly impatient. I know that things will happen as they are meant to when they are meant to, but could things hurry it on up? I find myself jealous, JEALOUS for heaven’s sake, when I hear about other’s great fortune in this area. Heck, I just finished reading a book and was jealous of the ending of the book since it relayed the wonderful news of expectant parents. I mean how pathetic is that? Alex is a lot more relaxed about the entire matter. Of course I may read this here post when the time comes and yell at my yester-self (yup I keep making up words. Mr. Webster don’t hate) for EVER being so dang impatient, but it’s what I do. Still, for now at least I hope and I worry. I wonder and I ponder and I hope some more. Plus it seems every time I turn around someone else is preggers. So if there is something in the water or there is a baby – fairy running around, could someone pass along the info please and thank you?

And so concludes today’s mindless ramblings and dorky whining. I hope you will all forgive me for this weird post, but sometimes a girl’s gotta spill out her heart before her brain explodes!

Our Floridian Adventure part one

WE’RE BACK!!!!  I have a lot of pictures, which I will be posting samples of here and the rest on Flick over the next couple of days, but for now I’ll give you a rundown of our big, Floridian adventures.  Once I add pictures though, this could get pretty long so I think I’ll divide this post into two different ones. One post for the days pre-wedding, and one for the wedding and the day after.

Friday was hectic; I cleaned and prepped our house so that we could take off as soon as Alex arrived home from work. Once he did we were off to the airport at a whopping 10 MILES PER HOUR thanks to good ol’ downtown Atlanta traffic. However, we made it in time and by 11:30 p.m. we were not only in Florida, but we were tossing our luggage into our rental car.

Ahhh the sweet rental car. I must admit…I splurged. Oh did I splurge. We rented a 2010 V8 Ford Mustang convertible in white. Still be my heart! That machine (and let’s be honest here…it was not a CAR, oh no, it was a MACHINE) was so much fun, almost a little TOO much fun. Especially at midnight. On the interstate. With no other traffic. Tehehehe! The convertible was more money, but honestly, we drove everywhere we could with the top down and enjoyed ourselves fully. So, for us at least, the extra cost was paid in full by the fun we had driving around town in the vehicle. (Only issue now is that when I got home I desperately wanted to drive to the nearest car lot and say TRADE PLEASE!) Once we had loaded up our sweet ride, we headed off to the hotel / motel and crashed for the night. Poor Alex had been up 22 hours at this point.

Saturday I woke up and explored the place we were staying at, as well as taking some pictures. I had fun switching between the normal mode and the super-macro mode for some of these shots.

A touch of Paradise

Once Alex woke up, donned our beach gear, and then headed off to find breakfast. We ate at this lovely place called Jan’s in downtown Jensen Beach. The menu was pricier, but the amount of food you received blew us away. One plate combo could feed four children or two adults EASILY. And then…then we headed to THE BEACH! Oh I love the beach. I love the sand in your toes, bathing suit, every dang where you move. I love the salty smell in the air, the salty water drying on your skin, and the taste on your lips after you plunge into the ocean. I love the seagulls, and the way people walk when they realize the sand is hot. What I don’t love…is the massive amounts of Kelp you had to get through to have fun. HOLY COW you’d get half way out to the calmer part and a wave would shove you back into a tangled mass of Kelp. It was so thick you would literally stand there unable to step forward without tripping …. You had to time it right with the waves to glide over the masses. (Although it was fun to get past and then watch others try to fight their way through)

Margaritas and a good book

We spent several hours at the beach relaxing with our friends, visiting people we knew that were also  in town attending the wedding before heading off back to our hotel for a nap. Once my parents arrived we all headed out to grab dinner in downtown. We managed to find our way to the most delicious restaurant. I have to pause here and give a special shout out to the owner:

If you are ever in the Stuart, Fl or Jensen Beach, FL area (lots of small towns here) it is not only worth the drive, but also the money, to go see Jarrett and eat at the Pineapple Republic. The atmosphere, the food, the service…all of the above is beyond STELLAR. The steak literally melted in your mouth it was so tender. The past surpassed anything we could ever have, and while I’d love to offer you up an idea of how my Dad’s meal tasted…he ate too fast for the rest of us to snatch a bite.  PIG!

After dinner we headed back to our hotel where we relaxed in the pool and enjoyed all the fun murals to be had throughout the property. This was both a good and a bad idea. Good in that we were all SOOOOO relaxed (Gosh, I was so relaxed I went to be first. I’m a party pooper, what can I say) but the bad news is after doing this we have now resolved to taking an entire WEEK down there. Just imagine our little wallets moaning in pain. That’s what we managed to do!

Mural by our room