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Archive for October, 2006

Trip to Chicago was awesome

October 30th, 2006 at 10:43 am

Wow! We had a fantastic time! The hotel was opulent. Too rich for our blood. It was very old, so you had to take character over amenities, but hey - it was free to us! :-)
We did the Shedd Aquarium and the Field Museum on Friday. The Shedd was INCREDIBLE, the Sponge Bob Show a hoot and a good time was had by all. I have to agree with Elgin that the Field Museum was boring. The King Tut exhibit was extra, so we did'nt go, but everything was a little disorganized and you could'nt tell where the exhibits were and some cost extra, etc, etc, so not a hit on this one. We ate at the Rainforest Cafe Friday night. What a blast! The kids loved it!
Saturday we headed for the Museum of Science and Industry. FABULOUS! It was awesome. Lots to see and a free Ominmax movie because we bought the Citypass (5 Museums one price- saved money). The movie was boring, but the 2 youngest had never been to the Ominimax, so that was a neat experience for them. Then we went to the American Girl Doll Store. That was like being dropped into the pit of hell. Too many spoiled kids shoved into three tiny levels and the cashiers could'nt even begin to keep up with the demand. It was DD2's dream to go their though. She spent $50 on three outfits. Whatever, it's her dream and her money! Saturday night we went up in the Hancock Building at sunset. (Free audio tour with Citypass). It was GORGEOUS! Then we hit Watertower Plaza to go "shopping". We ate at that food court.
Thursday and Saturday dinner were treated by my BIL!
We were sad not to be at home when the CARDINALS WON THE WORLD SERIES!!! We missed all the excitement back home.
Home now safe and sound. I guess the biggest tip I have, is that if you are on a tight time limit, go ahead and take a taxi. They are plentiful and nothing is THAT expensive to get to. They take you right to the door and drop you off. No finding and paying for parking, looking for entrances. It was great!

Cheap Chicago?

October 23rd, 2006 at 09:16 pm

We are taking the girls on a quick trip to Chicago this week. Hubby has a business trip (free room for us! :-)) and the girls have a couple days off school. DH has to fly, so I will have to drive the girls up and back by myself. Can't say that thrills me. 5 hours. Hope the van is feeling friendly!
Anyone have any tips for free things to see and do? Trying to keep this cheap. DH will be working most of the time, so its just me and the girls. I told them to bring plenty to do and the hotel has a pool too!

Colon oh lee oh

October 22nd, 2006 at 10:33 pm

Well the colonoscopy was big fun and highly successful. As was the endoscopy. All looked good. Now I just have to go for some gallbladder tests on Tuesday and we will consider the plumbing to be rock solid! Now a check on the old mammogram and a visit to the dermotologist and I will feel like I can go another 40 years! :-) Just have to lose those 40 pounds!
Still waiting to hear that the refi is done and funding. I will set some goals when that happens and even post them! Will feel good to have all ducks in a row!
DD3 got pole-axed at a soccer game Friday night and might have broken her elbow AGAIN (this would be a 3rd time!!) This will cost at least 150.00 between the ER and the orthopedic guy. That select soccer is way more expensive than we bargained for. If she did'nt like it so much and be so good at it, we would pull it for sure! I will hear from the ortho guy tomorrow and go from there.
Spent too much this weekend and ate out like crazy people.

Got colder

October 18th, 2006 at 08:23 pm

It was downright hot today. Blessedly the temp dropped as a cold front moved in. It dropped 14 degrees in one hour. Gotta love fall!
Supposed to go on a field trip with DD3 tomorrow. Gusty winds, high of 40 and a chance of rain, oh, did I mention its a hike?
Friday I will be getting a colonoscopy among other test. I will be thinking of Julie (Ima Saver) as I think she got this done not that long ago! I have been eating like a pig, cause tomorrow I must fast and then drink all my gross stuff. Wish me luck!

Resisting

October 17th, 2006 at 09:30 pm

Well, I can't say I had a no spend day, but I did resist spending in many ways over the last few days.
I have been doing my "fall" cleaning and purging. Feels good. I did buy some plastic containers to make storage more easy. But the main problem has been the girls clothes. The thrift store did not yield anything. So I resisted running to my fav JCPenney and loading up on new cutsie outfits. Instead, I went through their wardrobes and filled in with a couple of cheapo things from walmart.
I guess it is the little things.

Too many parties

October 14th, 2006 at 08:15 pm

DD3 had a bday party to go to today. Had bought oldest daughter a movie for her birthday that she received from another friend as well, so that became our gift! I am sure this mom spent a pretty penny for this event! It was at one of those gaming places, go carts, laser tag, video games, rock climbing, etc, etc. They only had time to do one thing, so we brought home a bunch of activity tickets. Not sure if or when we will make it back!
Then we went to a first birthday party. Spent about $20 for a gift. Too much, but did'nt have anything hanging around the house that would be appropriate. A book and a stuffed animal seemed safe. I love giving good books!

Played the coupon game and won

October 12th, 2006 at 09:46 pm

Did pretty good at the grocery store today. It did cost a little more cause I had a "helper" with me! (DD2) We ended up saving over $30! I love it when the checker gets impressed and that has happened the last 2 times! Thanks Flash and my super friends on the Boo train! Of course I SPENT 155.00. But we are well loaded up on everything from breakfast foods to tp! :-)

Financial failure

October 11th, 2006 at 10:00 pm

I have been a financial train wreck lately. With the kids home from school I can't seem to be able to reign it in. (Not that I am spending wildly out of control, just spluging too much). Can't wait till they go back to school and life gets back to normal!!

Trying to get excited

October 9th, 2006 at 09:08 pm

Okay!! Not like THAT!!
With the refinance in the works, I am waiting to see how everything will settle once it is done. So until then I have been trying to just hang tight and be frugal. I can't say I have done exceptionally well, as the girls are on fall break. Guess I'll just keep on waiting! Just can't get excited about saving or spending.

Cleaning up after vandals

October 7th, 2006 at 07:33 pm

Can't say too much happened today. Worked at the concession stand for DD3's soccer team . Unfortunatly, it had been vandalised. Someone sprayed a fire extingusher into a crack in the shutter from the outside and COVERED everything on the inside! When the stuff dries it becomes a yellow powder. Ended up inhaling a lot of it. Hope it does'nt have lasting toxic effects. Not sure if it does anything to you or not, but it did taste nasty when we breathed it in. Had to throw away lots of candy and cups and had to scrub the whole place down. Could'nt find the fire extinguisher they used, must have kept the evidence. They apparently vandalise the fields and stands regularly. :-( Not much the police can do, just make a report for a "paper trail".
On the plus side, family had a nice cheap lunch when they came to visit me!

Visit to the new thrift store

October 5th, 2006 at 08:33 pm

Wow! What a grand opening! You would think that the store was giving things away. They opened a new Goodwill Thrift store in a nice neighborhood, going for a more "upscale" shopping experience. It was so fun to see the people! It was so packed you could'nt even move! Only bought a couple of things. Been getting ready to redo DD1's bedroom. Found a pink comforter for $10 (they insisted it was queen size, but it is full sized, oh well) will have to clean it up a little, but no big deal. And a lamp and a piggy bank she can paint the way she wants to. Oh, and a Christmas gift for DD2. I can't wait to go back and really look around when the crowds go down and it is so conviently located! My new fav shopping spot!
Took DD2 out to dinner for her birthday. We are offically done with birthdays till next year!

Freebie!

October 3rd, 2006 at 10:22 pm

Got a free Gilette razor in the mail today! They are finally starting to flow! Good razor too!

A little bit of this and that

October 2nd, 2006 at 09:04 pm

Well, the dog lived. $600 later. She's back to eating and wagging.
Received my free box of Betty Crocker potatoes today in the mail! Yeah! Wonder when the rest of my stuff will wander in.
Did not do a good job keeping track in my little book at the end of last month, so will start over with October.
DH has FINALLY agreed to a refi. Don't ask me how this miracle happened, I am just going to act on it FAST! He is still upset about it and does'nt quite understand it all.
Girls birthday parties were a success. Glad it is all over!!

Beware - this is a rant about Target!

October 1st, 2006 at 08:19 pm

MERELY A RANT - READ ONLY IF YOU HAVE THE TIME!!This is an email I sent out to 42 friends. Hope they are still friends!

As a long time shopper of Target, they have finally driven me out of their stores. The over the top return policies have squashed any form of customer service. It is impossible to buy a gift there, knowing the recipient is forced to keep the item if they don't like it, unless you enclose the gift receipt and even then, chances are risky. Some flexibility should be given in certain cases, but this is not allowed. NO EXCEPTIONS. About the only thing Target is good for is buying consumables, that you probably will never have to return, like food or laundry detergent. I'll take my business to Walmart.

If you shop at Target, I am sure you are aware of their return policy stated on their receipt. I realize they need to protect themselves, but in doing so, the term "customer service" has become obsolete. I also realize, it is not the employees fault that they must follow these over-the-top insane RULES.

EXAMPLES (SOME ARE ON THE BACK OF THE RECEIPT, SOME ARE NOT. THEY CAN NOT PROVIDE A COPY OF THE FULL RETURN POLICY, NEITHER CAN TARGET. COM)

*It does indeed state ON the receipt that a receipt is necessary for a return -however if I lose my receipt (I am human), then I wouldn't be able to read that rule! Also, I am no longer eligible for a return - no exceptions.

*Okay, lets cut us a break. If your return is a gift and it is under $10 (tax included in amount!!!! No 9.99 items!!!) they will let you make a return for a gift card. But only TWICE per YEAR! No exceptions.

*If you have a receipt, but kept the item over 90 days (NO early Christmas shopping kids!), then too bad. No return - no exceptions.

*If you purchased something and return it within the 90 days, but it has since gone on clearance, you will receive the clearance price even if your receipt states you paid full price. They state it is holiday and seasonal items. Guess what- clothing and shoes are considered seasonal! No exceptions.

*If you choose to exchange an item, it must be exchanged for something from the same department only. Guess what, calendars are books, not stationary. Sorry, must follow by their set guidelines - no exceptions.

You may be addicted, or maybe you feel as I do, but at least you will be a little more informed. BEWARE TO THE TARGET SHOPPER!!!