Saturday, February 28, 2009

Free (or really cheap) things to do in Nashville

So, my friend Katie is coming to Nashvegas in about 6 weeks, and I'm looking for some free (or really cheap) fun Nashville-y things to do. If anyone has any ideas, I would LOVE to hear them.

This is what I have so far:

Parthenon Visit
-Free for the outside, and I think we'll survive missing out on the museum. It was cool, but not essential.

Stone Rivers Greenway-A trail thats really close and great for walking with a stroller, dogs, exercise etc. It should be nice, so we can always just take a relaxing walk.

Opryland Resort-The resort is expensive and lavish, as is the parking, but thank goodness there's a mall next door and we can walk. I've always wanted to explore all the gardens and such, should be fun!

Farmer's Market
-I've been during the week and on the weekend. Its not super busy during the week, but fun (if we're bored).

Nashville City Walk-I JUST found this... apparently its a walking tour that you can see a lot of historic Nashville, plus the fort that's downtown, the statues, the capitol, etc. Its marked with a green stripe on the sidewalks, interesting. Plus there's a guide. I need to do this for me, ha!

Percy Priest Lake-The lake that's right down the street from us. I know that they have a bunch of hiking trails, a beach (if its warm), and stuff. We never got to explore last summer, I was hoping to some this one.

Pancake Pantry-One of the best places to eat breakfast in Nashville. Yummy pancakes and not terribly expensive. There's also another place Natalie knew of where you bake your own batter... maybe we'll give that a try.

Music-I'm sure that SOMEWHERE there will be some sort of free music, there always is. Or some kind of interesting festival.

Ok well, I'm not finding much else, but I'm not in a very creative mood today, maybe later. Let me know if anyone knows of any free... or really cheap... things to do in and around Nashville!

Its the Weekend!


We got our free Quizno's last night, and it was tasty!! We didn't buy chips and a drink either, making the meal completely free!! It can't get much better than that. Brandyn and I also went to Smoothie King and we used my buy one get one coupon. I love that place!

Phil and I went on our first date night since Charlotte was about a week old last Saturday. It was a lot of fun to be able to go out as a couple, not as parents. Charlotte stayed with Aunt Natalie and had a fun time playing with her. Phil and I bowled a couple games and went out for dinner. It was nice to finally use my bowling ball again, it has been a long time. Now all I need are some shoes, and bowling will be even cheaper!!

Phil is at work again this weekend. Unfortunately, its in the 30's and raining, so he's cold and uncomfortable. They were thinking about quitting early, but now he's not sure they will. I hope for his sake that they do. He could use a relaxing afternoon. Its also supposed to snow tonight, 1-2 inches, 3+ in some areas... and STICKS! I haven't seen the snow stick here, ever... but I haven't been here for a year yet. I hope that they can get the roads cleared off early enough, otherwise it will be a LONG drive for them in the morning. This is the end of Week 3, only 9 more to go (I hope)!! We're 25% done!

I went to MOPS on Friday and that was nice. They had waffles for breakfast, ymmm, and the speaker spoke about postpartum stuff. Kinda a heavy topic, but still good to talk about. We got a bunch of brochures and such. We also had our small group meeting and next week we're in charge of the food. Its supposed to be a game day so that will be so much fun! I love games!!!

I really feel like we haven't been doing a lot here. I try to make an outing most days, even if its just to the grocery store. Today we went to the bank and picked up a package in the front office. I need to run to Kroger for a few things at some point as well. But for now, the baby is asleep, I'll probably go once she wakes up and gets some food in her. Its such a crummy day though, full of rain, wind and cold weather, a part of me wants to just stay here.

Oh and I finally got a new-er phone. Its a Katana, so not really the newest one out there, but much better than what I had. It'll last long enough, then we'll reevaluate the cell phone situation. And its pink too (of course!). Now we just need to find a cheap... non-pink one for Phil so that he and I can be on the same service and we don't have to worry about all of our minutes. It wouldn't be bad, except that we like to talk on his lunch and at other breaks during the day while he's in Clarksville. If anyone has one they wanna sell, let me know.


An the last exciting bit of information is that we got our electric bill and its only $130!!!! The past few months its been right around $200... YOUCH! I've been working really hard at turning everything off and we've had some nice days that we haven't needed heat. I think we went about 2 weeks without heat this past month... and apparantly thats like $70!! Boy electric heat is expensive. I can't wait until we get a house... someday!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Free Quiznos!


I posted this in my Dave Ramsey blog, but I thought I'd put it here too. For anyone out there looking for free stuff (as I always am), Quizno's is giving away one million free subs... and there's no strings attached!

Go to...

http://www.millionsubs.com/

and sign up for your free coupon. Its limit one per person and you have to have an id. You will get an email with a link to the site and you can only print your coupon once. Once printed, it will expire in 5 days. There's only 400,000 left, so sign up and enjoy a free sub.

I think we're going to go tomorrow for dinner and drink water... we might just bring them home and eat our own chips :). (Because I'm not buying them there!)

A night of good deals, and then some.

I went to a consignment shop tonight, it was fun. It was part of a meetup group from my stay at home mommies meetup.com group. Five of us went. We got to go before the public because we're new moms. They have a deal where new moms (with kids under 1) and expecting moms can shop for an hour or so the night before it opens to the public.

I found Charlotte a couple toys, one with the alphabet and the other that you pull and it has some balls. I also got her some summer clothes and a rain coat (it was very cute!). However, I got dissapointed because there was this one toy I went looking for, and someone had already claimed it. Maybe there will be one at the next shop I go to (in March). I'll keep my fingers crossed.

Charlotte is learning how to clap and it is so cute! She has been watching us do it for a couple weeks now, and just loves it. A couple days ago she would start to while we were, and its been progressing since. Its fun to see the 'lightbulb' go off in her head whenever she figures part of it out. She did discover that if she just hits the table or a toy or her highchair with one hand, it makes the same noise.

Poor Phil is back at this Clarksville job. Its such long hours, and when his coworker asked about a bonus, they said they still weren't sure and were figuring things out. Frustrating! I calculated 12 weeks from the week he started and it looks like he'll be done the end of April. Oh boy do I hope so!! Maybe even sooner, that would be nice.

My friend Katie is probably coming to visit in April and I am SUPER excited!!! I can't wait!! I haven't seen her since graduation, crazy! I know that we'll have a great time and that she'll get to meet Charlotte and that will be awesome. Plus, some grown-up interaction during the day will be very much appreciated!! Now I have to come up with a few fun things to do in Nashville... that are free, or cheap. We don't really have a lot, but it will be nice out. I think a visit to The Parthenon will be in order, and I'm not sure what else. We could probably take a few walks on the trail by our house. Maybe we'll explore around the lake too.

I need to get some sleep! Its almost 1 am here and I'm still on this computer. I have to wake up early tomorrow too for a mystery shop. I think I'll be taking a nap with Charlotte.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Wow, its already been a week!

I can't believe its already been a week, though I guess that's good in most senses.

I have been adding some posts to ourvoyagetofinancialfreedom.blogspot.com and outlining what we're doing, how its going, and month to month progress. Its hard to stay motivated when we only write one big check a month, but none the less, it feels good to do it. I'm seriously considering taking on a part-time job when Phil gets done with this Clarksville job. Unfortunately, it'd be impossible for either of us to add something on. He has volunteered taking the job, but I think I'd rather get out of the house and work and let him spend some time with the baby. If I do (or he does), we're going to set a limit on it, so that we don't get overwhelmed. Still lots to think about that.

Phil had this past weekend off, and that was VERY nice! He came home Thursday night and didn't have to go back until today at noon. He also started carpooling with his coworker today (he didn't have a choice), so hopefully that won't tack on too much extra time. We went on a date Sunday too and Natalie watched the baby. It was our first date since Charlotte was 1 week old when Mom watched her while we went to dinner. Phil and I went and bowled a couple games... it had been a very long time, and then went out to dinner someplace near Natalie's school. I think its called Jackson's. Its a bar and pub type of place, but was very delicious. It is where Natalie went for her 21st birthday.

I also got a chance to finish making baby food, I found that its very hard to do with an unhappy baby, and its not really something I can just up and leave. We also really enjoyed each others company (and Charlotte too) and had some much anticipated family time. I hope that he gets another good long weekend off again soon!!

I've started to watch 30 Rock again. I had started it, but didn't get too into it. Now, of course, I'm addicted. I don't think that the beginning of the first season was very good, but once I got to the halfway point or so, it picked up. And I have to admit that Alec Baldwin is very attractive, is that normal? I mean he's old! I don't know if he's one of those actors a lot of people like. I didn't really think so until the past few nights... you know maybe its just his character, hmmm. So, now I'm laying awake at 12:30 am, unable to sleep. For some reason that always happens after I watch a few shows of something. Too much visual stimulation I guess... not that this is helping.

Nothing that new going on with Charlotte. She's getting around better and better, but still doing her "army" crawl. She's also starting to throw fits whenever she doesn't get her way. If I just ignore her for a minute or two she gives up and finds something to play with. I am not looking forward to the full-blown tantrums. Maybe we can just skip over that phase? doubtful. She's getting more and more vocal and adding a few consanants in here and there, so that has been fun to listen too. She absolutely LOVES peek-a-boo and enjoys finger foods. I think she'd rather just have finger foods than baby food, but I just made A LOT of it, so she'll have to eat it for a while more. She's not even 8 months, she'll be ok.

Tomorrow there is a HUGE consignment shop that I'm hoping to make it too. Hopefully Phil will be back in time and I can g without the baby. I'm hoping to find her some cute summer clothes and maybe a toy or two if there's something that she'll love (she has so many though!) Friday, I have MOPS and am looking forward to it. I am curious as to what their normal schedule is and how everything goes. It should be good though. I will really enjoy the time with other mothers and know that Charlotte is in good hands. Plus she'll get to interact with other babies too!!

Speaking of which, I went to a play group on Wednesday and it was so much fun. It was through the site meetup.com and it was my first time. It was very nice to see the other mothers and the babies interact. I couldn't believe how much the babies interacted with each other, even Charlotte was busy poking and trying to get the attention of the other kids. It will be very interesting to see them grow up more and interact at further playdates.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

How are YOU doing today?


I came across a unique audio project today called the "How Are You Doing Project." Its a project where you call a toll-free number and after being asked how you are, you report. Are you good? bad? happy? sad? did you have a date? did you meet someone new? did you get fired? ... ok I'm sure you get it by now.

So, why not call the How Are You Doing Project at 1-800-737-6045 and tell them how you are doing.

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Resolution Begins

I was recently invited to become part of another blog called The Resolution Begins. Its a blog where multiple people contribute their New Years Resolutions, some pretty normal, others a bit crazy. Then everyone writes entries on how well they have succeeded (or miserably failed) so that the public can read it, track their progress, and applaud their efforts, hopefully.

I strongly urge you all to check it out. I just finished my first post and its "pending approval." Hopefully it will show up soon.

You can find it at TheResolutionBegins.com

We're making some progress!

We signed up for Identity Theft Insurance!! Its through who Dave Ramsey recommended, Zander Insurance Group. Its $140/year. So I paid for it all up front and we are going to create a sinking fund in order to save for it so we'll keep paying for it by the year (it would cost us $10 more a year if we paid monthly).

We also received our Last Will, Living Will, and Power of Attorney today in my email. We will have to work on filling them out and finding a couple people to witness (can't be related, in the will, or receiving anything, etc.). They will then need to be notarized, which I believe I can take them to the bank. Phil will have to find some time in order to get his notarized... during bank hours. Maybe someone at his work is a notary.

I feel good, we're getting things done. Next order of business, life insurance! That's a big one and I don't know very much about it... eeek!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

If only it FELT like the weekend...

I went to my first MOPS meeting yesterday, it was fun. It was nice to hang out with other mothers of preschoolers and have some time without the baby, and not have to worry about her. I'm definitely going back. This MOPS meeting was spa day, what a great time to go! I got a facial and my nails painted. They even had a chocolate fountain with a lot of stuff to dip (including marshmallows, my favorite!) And I just sat and read a magazine for a while. I also met and talked with a lot of nice women and saw one person I met at my meet-up last weekend (at Rainforest Cafe). I don't know what the normal schedule is, but I think it'll be nice to be able to get together with other people. Next week they're doing something on Women's Health. That should be interesting!!

MOPS also has get-togethers during the week. On Monday they have a Mom's Night Out, for board games etc. I wish I could go, but I don't think Phil will be back in time. And they also have a playdate at some point before the next meeting.

Anyone doing anything interesting for Valentine's Day? We're not really. We got some stuffed steaks at Aldi's a few days ago (prepackaged) and were going to have them for dinner, but I have some left over chicken that needs eaten, so I think I'm going to make into fajitas instead. We'll save the steaks for another night. Mom and Dad sent us some money to go eat (THANK YOU!) and we're going to save it for the next time Phil has a day off, and hopefully Natalie can watch the baby and we can have a date!

These long days are starting to get to me, and it hasn't even been a week. Phil leaves at 5:45 and comes back around 7 if we're lucky. I feel for Charlotte too, she hardly gets to see her daddy. I don't think it would be so bad if he had weekends off, but he doesn't so it doesn't really even feel like a weekend. Its going to be a long 8ish weeks. I asked him to ask about the "finish" date, so that I have something to look forward too. Hopefully he can do that Monday. At least a job is a job....

Monday, February 9, 2009

Update on New Years Resolutions...

Since I started the blog as a New Years Resolution, I thought I'd update everyone on the progress of the resolutions I made.

Obviously, the blog has been going well. I think there was one week where I waited exactly a week between posts, but for the most part I've been posting at least every few days. I have found that sometimes I feel like nothing is really going on, and I don't have anything to write about, but I still write, and usually something interesting happens within a few days. Hopefully I'm not too boring! I've even started a second blog about our journey to financial freedom and I'm loving the blogging world. There is so much out here and so many cool people. Its hard to imagine I've lived so long without it! Even though I've only been blogging for 40 days, I'm learning so much, I can't wait to learn even more.

Exercising three times a week... we all know how that one is turning out, not well! I did do well on Wii fit for a while, then I got sick and didn't exercise a week. Now, I'm afraid to weigh myself on it, and I won't do it. We need to weigh Charlotte, so maybe I'll start again. I did walk 2 miles yesterday. They have a paved trail thing by a river and it starts like a minute from our house (its right over the dam). Once Charlotte wakes up, we're going to go for another walk, its so nice out today.

Portion sizes, I think that we're doing a lot better. I'm usually only eating one sweet a day (unless we have something really really good), and it feels good to do that. I'm also concentrating really hard on cooking the right amount of food for two people, or if I cook for 4, we either have people over or make sure there are leftovers. Of course we don't succeed at every meal, but we're doing better than we were, progress is always good. I've also started making a menu, and that really seems to help. I used to and then I got sick of it, but now I'm doing it again. I'm also trying to make sure we have a lot of fruits and veggies with every meal, and less of the bad stuff. I really wish we could afford all natural and organic stuff, but that's not happening right now, so I'll make due with what we have.

The last was brushing my teeth, well. I am finally brushing twice a day again (its hard to remember when you don't have anywhere to go like work or school), and about 1/2 the time I'm brushing well. Usually its at night. I think in a few more months I'll start flossing.... maybe.

And one more that I didn't really list before, but I think is a resolution, is to become DEBT FREE!! We're working really hard on it and doing pretty well. Its not something that we can do overnight, but we've definitely changed our lifestyle and are doing a lot more with the money we have than I ever thought possible. Oh and we're not going any further into debt! Hopefully it won't take more than a couple of years to get debt free... then we get our emergency fund, then save for a HOUSE!!! I can't wait until we can purchase a house, thats my driving force right now, a yard for the dogs to run in, a place for Charlotte to play, and not so much boom boom music through the neighborhood (I can hope, right?).

Dreams

Every once in a while, I have nights filled with crazy dreams, sometimes to the point that I'm afraid to go to sleep the next night. Last night was one of those nights.

Actually, the majority of the dreams were in the morning. Phil woke up at 5ish and left shortly thereafter. The rest of the morning, I had these crazy dreams, and I know I can't remember them all.

How crazy? Well, the first was that Phil came home and crawled back in bed with me at 7 this morning. This one felt real. I was like whats going on? And he said he wasn't going to clarksville today because he got there too late. He then got chewed out by his bosses... turns out, he got in the bus they were using to commute (not true in real life) and the busdriver kept falling asleep and driving erratically, so he climbed out of the window when it was going slow and went back to work. Later he found out that everyone died in route in an accident.

Second, Charlotte was trying to feed herself, as she always does, but actually doing a good job. I look at her, and she's happy as can be, but she has 1/2 the spoon down her throat. I freak out and pull it out, and she continues feeding herself normally.

Third, I decided to go to the mall. The drive there was really quiet (that never happens, Char is always screaming her head off). So I get out, and go to the mall. After roaming around for about 45 minutes, I realize I don't have Charlotte. I get to thinking, and realize I didn't even bring her in! I go rushing out and see that I have a $75 and the baby is gone. I have to go to counseling to get her back, in the meantime she's in a foster home.

I know that there were more, but they're not coming to my mind right now. If I do remember them, I'll be sure to add them.

I always wonder where the crazy dreams come from, not the ones about "The Office" when I watch 5 episodes before bed, or trying to spell words after playing Word Whomp for half an hour, but the crazy ones. Like the one I had a few days ago about Batman dying, because he was walking on a powerline and slipped on a shoelace.

And then there's the dreams that I can control (the majority of my dreams). I even know they're fake but I can make some pretty awesome things happen during them, and then I only wish they were true. And those recurring ones, like the recent one about me taking online classes to graduate and I always forget about them... even though I have my degree and I'm not in school.

I really think some of these crazy ones come from the full moon today. Not that I'm supersticious (wow I spelled that right on the first attempt!), but I do believe the moon affects us. It affects the tide, and we're mostly water. I guess I better wait to go to sleep tonight, until the full moon has passed.

I think I'm finally going to start keeping a dream journal. I've been meaning to for a long time, but now I might actually do it, and it looks like I've just started.

Does anyone else have crazy dreams that correlate to the moon cycles?

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Clarksville finally begins!

Phil goes to Clarksville tomorrow! Yay the project is finally starting! He's the head person out there too, yay Phil!!! He gets to record the rain gauge, cancel when its raining, etc. And he even gets a Qore truck to take home (for at least this week anyways).



We were talking today, and thinking that maybe Charlotte and I will take a trip up and go camping on the weekend. So when he gets off work he goes to the campsite. Charlotte can sleep in her Pack N' Play, and we have an air mattress, well it works for a night (there's a small leak). Maybe even Dragon, Laura, and Alex could come too. Then Laura and I could hang out during the day, cook meals, play on the playgrounds, go hiking and enjoy each others company. We could even bring the dogs, hook them around a couple trees and just chill and enjoy life. I think I'll have to ask her!

Phil just found a flat tire, but it was only because of the valve that you use to put air in the tire. it cost $3 to fix it, yay!!! We finally got to meet our upstairs neighbors too. We've said hi here and there, but never been brave enough to knock on their door and introduce ourselves. So, he helped Phil figure it out and drove him down to the gas station and the auto parts store, etc. I don't think we would have known if it wasn't for him! So we found out they have a 2 year old boy and that he is a stay at home dad, for the time. They're originally from Nashville and have lived in Texas and moved from Indiana. They're here to take care of their parents so that they don't have to go into assisted living. Yay people!!!! I like meeting people.

We also finished registering today. We have a few more things to put on the list, but not a lot. It was pretty hard figuring it all out, since we have a lot of stuff... but not too hard :). I am trying to go a lot more green, so we registered for compact florissants, cloth napkins, and the like. Then of course there's some stuff we need replaced, and I got rid of a lot of stuff from the first wedding, didn't really want it around. It feels great to finally get that done!

Charlotte is crawling more and more. She's using it as her preferred method to get around. She used to roll everywhere, and now its crawling/scooching. She's getting much better at it, oh and of course she gets into everything! no more baby just laying there...

Its such a nice day out, I think we're going to go for a walk soon. Its in the 70's and sunny!!! I love this weather, the winter, cloudy, cold weather gets me all depressed, yet another reason to keep on goin south!

Friday, February 6, 2009

For some reason there's always bad news with good news.

Phil got into work today and was told that they aren't going to Clarksville until Monday. He was supposed to go partway through the day and work all weekend. So, we get him for another weekend. He will be working long days. He is supposed to get to Clarksville at about 7 and will be done at 5ish. Its an hour commute and either in the morning or evening they have to stop by the office and "sync" their PDA's with all the data they collected during the day. So, at least he gets to come home and sleep at night. I think I might attempt to change Charlotte's schedule, so he will get more time with her in the evening. I don't know how well that will work though.

The bad news? They laid off two engineers today at Phil's work. One was a senior and the other was one of Phil's good friends at work. His wife actually did our wedding cake for us, and they're expecting a baby in March. I can't even imagine having to deal with that right now. The office manager said that the office has broken even with those layoffs. I'm just wondering for how long they have broken even? What happens when they loose money next month? Phil is probably the lowest paid at the office as he is the newest one there, so that is always good, they seem to be worrying about money, not seniority right now.

Of course with this news, I'm thinking more and more about trying to save as much money as possible and not working on our debt snowball, just paying the minimums. I think I need to turn on Dave's radio show today. Maybe he'll have some good advice.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

My 25 things

Its all over facebook, so I posted it there and I'm going to post it here....

Once you've been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it's because I want to know more about you.

(To do this, go to "notes" under tabs on your profile page, paste these instructions in the body of the note, type your 25 random things, tag 25 people (in the right hand corner of the app) then click publish.)

1. I'm a stay at home mommy.

2. My pregnancy was a HUGE surprise. that being said, I can't imagine my life any other way and would never change it.

3. I volunteered for the Obama campaign, however I think we need to start over and need a new form of government. (Or just a lot needs to change now).

4. I love Dave Ramsey, we're working really hard to get out of debt, hopefully it will only take a couple of years. $35k, is a lot to pay back!

5. Heath Ledger was on my "list." It has seriously taken me months to come up with someone to replace him, I finally decided on Jim from "The Office."

6. I won't buy anything unless its on sale... usually.

7. I shop at Aldi's, it saves so much money.

8. I love to travel, if I could, I would just constantly travel. Maybe someday.

9. I hate cold weather, I want to live in Florida, or someplace like it.

10. I am messy, but I have to know where everything is in the mess, otherwise I can't deal with it.

11. I still don't know what I want to do with my life, but I know I want to go back to school.

12. I started a blog as a New Years resolution, and now I have two. I think they're boring, but people still read them, go figure.

13. I really really hate my couch. Maybe with wedding money we can buy a new one.

14. I get bored exercising, I can never stick with it for more than a couple weeks.

15. I just started watching The Bachelor, and I'm a big fan now.

16. I took 60 hours my last year at school so I could graduate. (Yes, thats 2 years in 1).

17. I am not a morning person, I can't stand them. Thankfully, Charlotte isn't either.

18. I love to sleep, I usually sleep at least 10 hours a night.

19. I don't like Nashville, not at all, but I don't want to move back to Missouri either.

20. I love to shop. Even grocery shopping is fun for me.

21. Married life isn't any different than it was before I got married, but I still love it!

22. I have two big dogs, I don't think I could own a small dog.

23. I'm a mystery shopper, its fun and easy.

24. I'm addicted to the internet, I spend way to much time on the computer.

25. I hate living under someone in an apartment, I'm NEVER doing it again.

Charlotte starts Army Crawling!!

So Charlotte is getting more and more mobile. She has started the "army crawling" phase. She will pull herself forward with her arms. This video was taken on Tuesday, since she has gotten better. She is happy staying in one room, which is good, but she will go all over to get whatever she wants. I hope that you enjoy!!!!!
video

A few days ago I decided that Charlotte needs some new toys. Rattles aren't doing it anymore, I'll give her one, she'll look at me like I'm crazy, and then throw it across the room. So, I've been busy on craigslist and at thrift stores. (I'm not paying $40 for a toy I can get for $10-15!). Of course, her favorite toy is the one I picked up for 50 cents at Goodwill. Its a Little People school bus. It didn't come with any Little People, so I need to find some, but putting blocks in works just fine.

Charlotte also has a table thing that she can hold onto while standing and play with... or you can take the legs off and she can play with it sitting down. She has a big ball thing, kind of hard to explain, a hippo with blocks that when you push it or ride on it, it eats the blocks. She also has a giraffe with blocks (see-through kind), a train thing with animals, and another train with some blocks... but I haven't washed them yet. We're going to need to invest in some more rechargeable batteries! Oh and we bought two large baskets to put her toys in! We had a little one and it was overflowing with toys everywhere... so I think I'll stick books in it and all other oys in these baskets :).

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Does ANYONE have a secure job these days?

A few weeks ago on CNN, one of the people who work for them doing a radio show or tv show or something, asked the question "Is your job secure" or safe or something along those lines. Of course, everyone answered that no job is safe... except a stay at home mom. And after thinking about it for about a week, I would have to disagree.

Yes, there is still a need for me, and someone has to watch the baby, take care of the house, clean the kitchen, cook dinner... but my job is nowhere near safe or secure. Why? you might ask. Well I believe my job is just as secure as Phil's. If he looses his, then I'm out to find work... and there goes my job too. He collects unemployment, looks for a job, and stays with the baby while I go find work as quick as possible and juggle a couple part time jobs. So really, my job isn't as secure as people make it out to be... its just dependent on my husbands job.

The other answer that a lot of people gave to job security was retirement. And I'd have to disagree with them too. If someone was living off of their saved money, and most of it was in the stock market (as most of it usually is), then they are by no means secure. The market is almost 1/2 of what it was... and for those living off of interest, forget it! Nothing is making any money. If the market happens to crash anymore, I bet more and more retired people will attempt to find a part time job so that they can pay their bills and eat.

Speaking of Phil's' job, he still has it!! They laid off a part-time secretary on friday and a full-time tech yesterday. He is supposed to be going to Clarksville Thursday or Friday this week and will have tomorrow off (maybe Thursday if he doesn't go until Friday). He is going to work 7 days a week, at least for a while, if they get ahead I think they'll go to 5 or 6 days. He's supposed to get the rest of the details by the end of the day!!!

Monday, February 2, 2009

867-5309


Anyone remember that song with the phone number 8675309? I think its something that is going to be forever in my memory. If I went into coma and forgot all phone numbers, I think that would be the first one I remembered.

While looking for some interesting news, not Superbowl related (I already have something for that one), I came across this article on CNN. Someone actually has that phone number and is now going to sell it, on ebay. Ebay never ceases to amaze me, from Cheetos shaped like different figures selling for thousands of dollars, to this. Technically, its illegal to sell a phone number, so he is selling his DJ business with the number... as a way around the law. Pretty smart if you ask me. Honestly, I'm surprised he hasn't done it earlier... or anyone else for that matter.

The phone number even scored him a girlfriend for a while, who is now good friend. And now, he's hoping that it'll give him about $40,000. Boy do I wish I had that number for $40k. I'm sure we could all use it right now! The bid currently stands at $6001.00 with the reserve not met.

Anyone have any good ideas of what I can sell for $40,000?

Sunday, February 1, 2009

New Blog!

So, after a little thought, I decided to start another blog about our debt snowball, etc. and leave this one to general information about us, the news, etc. Basically what it has been.

For anyone interested the new website is:

OurVoyageToFinancialFreedom.blogspot.com

Let me know if you want me to add your email address to get an email anytime I write a new one, like I have this one.

Debt Snowball Progress

So, I've decided that I'm also going to write about our Debt Snowball here, so that I can look back for some encouragement whenever I need it.

For those of you that don't know, Phil and I are following Dave Ramsey's Baby Steps. We took his class, Financial Peace University, and graduated right before Thanksgiving. We haven't used any credit cards since Charlotte was born either!!!

Baby Step 1 is start a baby emergency fund with $1000. We completed this right before our class started, I believe in late August. We put the money in the savings account and its not attached to our checking account or anything. Thankfully, we haven't had to touch it.

Then, it just took us awhile to get going. We started FPU and that was great! It was nice to have a more concrete plan and someone to help us with our budget. There was a lot of good support there too.

In September we paid off my ring... it was on a credit card with 3 months, no interest. We paid it off in the 3 months and closed the account. That was during the beginning of our class, in September. There was $2000 on it (another $1000+ paid in cash to purchase it).

After that, it just took us a while to get our budget balanced. We decided that we really wanted to get married so we added in Baby Step 1b, and paid for our wedding with cash. We did not want to go into debt for it. We saved about $2000 in September-early December and paid for our wedding. The rest of December's extra money we used for gifts, because we hadn't planned very well (before September) for Christmas time.

Finally, this January we were able to start our Debt Snowball! In January, Phil got an extra check (he gets paid every two weeks, so two months a year he gets an extra check). We used it and more money that we had for our debt, to pay off the lowest student loan for $1500. It was our first thing and it felt so good to write the check. Since we paid it before February 1st, we didn't have to pay any interest on it! We then put just over $450 on his other student loan, the next smallest, which is just over $2500 with interest right now (before the $450). It looks like we're going to have another $700-800 this month to pay on it, thanks to mystery shopping, expense checks, and spending less than Phil makes.

I will be posting more documents, just outlining our debt snowball, different debts, and a few other forms that we received during FPU. They're more for me than anything for motivation... but feel free to look. I'll be updating them every few months too so that I can see the progress!

I encourage everyone to check out Dave's Radio Show. You have to put in your email, but that's so they can tell you what radio station it is on in your area. I also STRONGLY recommend Financial Peace University, it costs about $100 and its a lifetime membership (so you can go back again). It is good for all people in all different places in their life. It is often offered at a local church, but you do'nt need to be a member or anything to attend.

If you have ANY questions, don't hesitate to ask!

Super Bowl Sunday!!

Its Super Bowl Sunday! Anyone do anything interesting today? We just stayed at home and made a sub, it was yummy! I did a mystery shop at a grocery store, so I got $10 of free groceries and I HAD to buy lunch meat... oh darn... so we had a sub with two kinds of cheese and four kinds of meat... yummm! Oh and some BBQ chips, fruit and peanut butter fingers.

I was rooting for the Steelers, basically because thats who my parents grew up rooting for, so I'm following their lead. I hope they win.... there's about 5 minutes left in the 3rd quarter as I'm writing.

So do you all have a favorite super bowl commercial? I missed the first few because I was stupid and signed up for some shops to make sure all of the signage was working at fast food restaurants. I didn't miss much though. I'm not sure which was my favorite. I saw a lot of funny ones though.

So, I saw a Denny's commercial and they are giving away a FREE Grand Slam... no strings attached, I'm not sure which day though. Of course, I went straight to the website and it had crashed... imagine that. I wonder how many people are sitting here on their laptop, watching the superbowl, and went straight for their website. I'd be interested to hear the results. Or even how many people google'd it in the 30 seconds after the commercial aired. I think its been about 10 minutes, and I still can't get it to go through. Someone at Denny's didn't think that one through. The only thing I can get is "Enjoy a Free Grand Slam" on my browser window.

Charlotte is getting stronger and stronger. She's standing really well while holding onto something, and she can pull herself up if she holds onto us, but we don't have anything the right height for her to pull up on, she tries though. Phil's mom told me he walked at 9 months, so it looks like she might be taking after him... not me (I walked at 13 months). Even if she took the average, 11 months, thats still a little early!!

The Denny's site still isn't up... it'll load like one picture. I hope its up before I forget about it, then its going on my new trusty calander!

ETA: When looking at Wikipedia's website, someone has added the following about the free Grand Slam... "Denny's had a commercial during the third quarter of the Superbowl. At the end of the commercial, Denny's announced a "free Grand Slam for everyone in America" on February 3rd from 6am - 2pm. Following the ad, the Denny's website was unreachable due to the number of hits. This was the most hits Denny's website has received in recorded history known to man."