Monday, August 31, 2009

Cake Class Catastrophe

It's hard to say exactly at what point things went downhill...




Somewhere between too much icing and heavy flowers things went terribly wrong.

Things started to droop a little in class. I whined to my teacher about my sagging basket weave and she said my icing was too thin. After a short car ride home one section had started sliding down onto the board. A couple hours later and more icing was on the table than on the cake. (The picture was taken in the early stages.)

Greg walks in and looks at my cake with huge, terrified eyes - "it's.....beautiful honey" (eeeek!)

So much for cake class #2!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

CVS Deal of the Week

Not every week at CVS is something spectacular, but this week did not disappoint. I just got 4 Clean & Clear facewashes for about 87 cents each! To me, that is amazing. I got different kinds, and two of them even came with a bonus travel size face wash.

I don't want to berate the people about coupons all the time who really could care less about them, but this deal was really good so I had to share. I know CVSing isn't for everyone. It takes a lot of time, effort and consistency. But you don't have to be a fully committed CVSer to take advantage of this.
Anyway, here is the breakdown. I bought the following:

$4.99 Clean & Clear Face wash
$4.99 Clean & Clear Face wash
$4.99 Clean & Clear Face wash
$5.49 Clean & Clear Face wash (I got 3 different kinds, and 1 repeat)

- $4 CVS coupon - "$4 off $20 beauty purchase"
This one was emailed to me from CVS, but if you don't get the CVS emails just go to their pharmacy and ask about their Readyfill program and they will give you a coupon booklet with lots of great coupons, one of which is similar - $4 off $20 Facial Skin Care purchase".

- $8 (I used a $2 off manufacturers coupon for each face wash) You can go here to get links to these coupons - you can print 2 per computer. Yes you have to sign up with personal info (email, etc). That is why I created a junk email account for when I sign up for these things.

Total: $8.46

There is also a deal going on if you buy $15 worth of Clean & Clear or Neutragena acne products you get $5 Extra Bucks. And by the way most of their face washes were considered acne products so the deal worked.

Since I got $5 back in Extra Bucks it was really like I spent $3.46 or 87 cents each! Ok, so I didn't calculate tax, but I can never figure out how CVS calcs tax when you are using all those crazy coupons and paying in Extra Bucks.

Another great thing about getting one of those coupon booklets from asking about the Readyfill program is that it has 2 coupons for $4-off-a-$20 purchase. You may not think you want to spend $20 at CVS, but there are cases where it may be worth it. I am going to use those coupons for razor cartridges. They are so dang expensive. Greg uses the Gillete Fusion and an 8 pack is around $24. I price checked those at CVS, Kroger, and Target and they were all the same (a few cents difference). There was a $4 off Fusion cartridges in the newspaper a few weeks ago, so if you combine that manufacturer's coupon with the $4-off-$20 coupon, that is an $8 savings right there. Ok, and maybe I use the fusion razor too. Don't judge me. Greg and I have our own. I can't believe for more than a decade I never discovered one of man's best kept secrets - the awesomeness of a man razor. I could write an entire post about this. But really, have you ever shaved with a little slice of heaven? That's right. Venus has nothing on Gillete. That is why I jumped for joy when the Fusion razor was 99 cents at CVS one week. Anyway, CVS, you have been good to me this week. Thanks.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

24 Season 7 Time Share

I really want to see 24 Season 7. We have watched all of the seasons on DVD, and have successfully managed to borrow all of those DVD from very awesome friends. Yep, instead of renting movies on the weekends, Greg and I just watch 24. It is great.

Now it is time for season 7. We didn't watch it when it aired because we still hadn't finished season 6. Now we are caught up and ready for more. Bring it Jack.

We don't know anyone who owns season 7 (is it even out yet?), so I came up with a time share plan. It works like this:

Several couples go in together to buy the DVD. 4 couples would be a good amount. If you get too many on the time share then some people have to wait too long to watch the DVD's. If you get too few, then everyone has to pay more. So let's say there are 4 couples (including us) that split the cost of buying Season 7. Then we create a rotational schedule. Whichever couple thinks they can watch the DVD's the fastest, starts out. Now lets not get crazy here, we aren't asking anyone to cram it all in one night and be lazy tv addicts...but I just mean a reasonable amount of time. The first disc (4 episodes) could be finished in about 2 weeks. Yes, it can be done much sooner, but Greg and I like to limit ourselves to watching it on weekends only so it doesn't consume us. Others can do whatever they want, we just don't want to rush anyone. Anyway, after couple #1 finishes disc 1, they pass it on to couple #2. Then couple #2 watches it, then passes it on to couple #3. You get the idea. After everyone has watched the whole season, we sell it on Ebay and split the money. Seamless, right? And maybe there could be penalties if you don't pass the disc along in a timely manner. Such as, you may have to include a batch of brownies or other delicious treat along with the disc if you are late. Our penalties will be paid in cake. Our freezer is always well stocked with cake scraps.

If you would like to sign up for this time share, please let me know!

And it just occurred to me that I used couples in the example. It doesn't have to be couples though. Anyone is welcome :)

Just after I wrote this Greg read it and said...

"That's already been invented. It's called Netflix."


It's different.

Sort of.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

60 day Count Down

Let the countdown begin! Greg and I just gave our 60 day notice to our apartment complex that we will be moving. Where to, you ask? Not sure. We are busy looking but haven't found anything yet. But we are continually encouraged by friends and family that God is faithful and will provide for us in his perfect timing. Maybe that is in 60 days, maybe that is in 6 months. But He is our Good Shepherd who leads us in the way we should go and we trust that he will lead us in these next couple months.

We are now well acquainted with (that is Houston Association of Realtors website for the non-Houstonions) since we search in daily (er, um, hourly), and we have have thought of a few tips for the people who are selling their house on there.

-Try to take decent pictures. Maybe a flash would be nice. Do not aim at the floor unless you are trying to show your nice wood floors.
-If a toddler came and threw every thing you ever owned on the floor, consider picking up a few items before you take the picture.
-Do not stand directly in front of a mirror, aiming directly into it, and take a picture.
-Do not use your spring break 02 picture as your professional realtor picture.
-Do not have a larger than life close up of you taking up the whole wall above your bed. That scares buyers.

We have seen so many other weird things that I can't think of at this time...but that is a good starting list.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Clothing Rejection

This weekend Greg and I decided to tackle our non-walk-in-able walk-in closet. It was like a Super Walmart crammed into a 7 x 4 ft. space. There was the clothing department, craft section, outdoor world, home goods, luggage & accessories, and more, all packed in together. Since we were getting rid of some stuff, I thought it would be a great idea to take sell our clothes that we didn't wear any more to Buffalo Exchange. I was talking about that with some friends at work last week, and I thought that would be a great way to clean out some of our stuff, and be thrifty.

We had several bag fulls of clothes, plus a few shoes and accessories. We headed over to Buffalo Exchange - which is an adventure in itself trying to find parking, walk several blocks to the store, etc. The line for selling clothes was outrageous. Of course it was Saturday in the middle of the afternoon, but who knew so many people did this? We waited in line and it was not looking good. We could tell from watching the people in front of us that the store is extremely picky about what they buy back. The people in front of us must have packed 10 years worth of clothes in their trunk and were hauling it in load after load. The employees would look through it quickly and not take any of it. I thought, even though I am not quite hippy-cool, do not have any tattoos or a funky haircut, and my clothes are not very vintage and unique, at least they will probably take a couple items. Wrong. They went through our stuff (which was actually all mine with the exception of one jacket of Greg's) and rejected it all. You mean you hate all of my clothes? Come on - AT LEAST they could have bought back the way cool vintage dress I bought NEXT DOOR at the exact same type store several years ago to wear to a Halloween party when Greg and I went as Johnny Cash and June Carter. See picture below - complete with homemade guitars.

Can't see enough of the dress? Here is another view. (I love Julie and Jana's costumes!)

How could they not take the dress?? Wish (the store I bought it from) sells the exact same kind of clothes as Buffalo Exchange. It is old, unique, right up their ally. I also had 2 old tshirts that were the kind that we worn so much they were sooo comfy that I bought at a thrift shop on that same street several years ago. Sheesh. Greg and I left completely defeated. Being thrifty isn't always easy :)