Friday, October 31, 2008

I am back from Bermuda - did you miss me?

I got back from Bermuda yesterday. The ship left out of Baltimore last Saturday evening. Sunday was a horrible horrible day at sea - very rocky the entire day. Everyone was getting sick. On the plus side, the ship gave out free vomit bags. You know how I like "free". Oye, it was baadddddd. It was so bad that some people got off the boat in Bermuda and decided to fly home. I tried toughing it out that day and even took the line dancing class that was around 10am. I think there was about 5 people in the class. That was the first time I remember seeing a cute little couple in their 80's who danced at every opportunity. They were even at the ship's dance club at 11pm dancing it up on that awful day.

Then on Wednesday at the Salsa class, I saw the little old lady by herself. I asked her where her husband was and she said he fell in Bermuda and hurt both knees, bumped his head etc. How awful, they were such a cute couple, I hope he gets better soon.

The day we boarded, they had a few raffles and both my sister and I both won prizes. She won Ben & Jerry's ice cream for two in the ship's Ben & Jerry's, and I won a Royal Caribbean mousepad. On Monday we attended an art auction and my sister won some artwork. The art auctions on cruiseships is some sort of racket - some sort of mass produced artwork that they want you to buy frames for - for an additional $200. Anyhow, my sister got her choice of 6 different pictures. It's a good thing I poked her to wake her up for the raffle drawing. I had been dozing too, I swear the sea sickness pills just make you want to sleep. Everyone was feeling bad that day and no one thought anything about seeing someone snoozing in one of the common areas. But here is how the cruise ship makes money - you don't take the artwork with you. You have to pay $35 for shipping.

Tuesday we arrived in Bermuda. So good to get on land. We bought two day bus/ferry passes for $20. We took the ferry to Hamilton (the big city in Bermuda). We walked around and shopped a little, bought a few postcards. Then we went to the Salvation Army thrift store (it's located at the intersection of King and Victoria Street - I think - I can't find my map). It was closed on Monday, we talked to knee sock wearing Carl who work next door to the Salvation Army who recommended we walk to nearby Fort Hamilton for a good view of the city. We took a wrong turn and saw some really nice houses with a fantastic view before we got on the right street to Fort Hamilton.

After that, we found the Post Office and wrote out and mailed the postcards. It was
.70 for a postcard stamp. Then caught a caught a bus going to St. George (an historic smaller city on the island). Everything was closed there. We did find an immigration office and got our passports stamped (for the first time) - a little freebie souvenir. Then caught a ferry back to the ship.

Oh, one thing I should point out is that driving on Bermuda is crazy. The roads are narrow and some appear to be carved out of the side of hills, the side of the bus was inches away from trees, rock walls, etc. I'll have to put some videos on YouTube. Not for the faint of heart.

I was in Bermuda in 1986 - I had rented a moped for a week so I never rode the busses back then. We either rode our mopeds or took a taxi.

On the second day in Bermuda, the sun was out and we took a bus to Horseshoe Bay beach. That was one beach I do remember from my time on the island back in 1986. It was these huge rock formations in the water. The sand was super soft. Except when the wind kicked in, then it felt like you were having a full body microdermabrasion. After the sun went away, we took a bus back to the ship and did some shopping near the pier. There were artists blowing glass, bakers making rum cakes, and a wonderful little internet place that only charges $5 for 30 minutes.

So if you find yourself in Bermuda and needing an internet fix, the YSQueen recommends the Swiss Connection - located in the Clock Tower Mall at King's Wharf.

On the second day in Bermuda (Tuesday), we had to be back to the ship by 3:30pm. Wednesday was a day at sea. But not nearly has rocky as the first day, so we were able to do a lot of activities and got our money's worth of the food. You know, like having a pre-dinner dinner. Ordering a few (I won't say how many) desserts with your second dinner. Diet starts soon....

Ok I have some stuff I need to do today so I will write again and share lots of pics at another time. But one last thing before I go. know what you're wondering....what sort of souvenirs did you buy yourself??? Well you know me, I stuck with practical stuff. Stuff I can use everyday. Like a Bermuda grocery bag (.99) and liquor. Liquor was much cheaper on the ship, I should have had my DH make me a liquor shopping list before I left, but I wasn't thinking. And my cell phone didn't work on board. And if you smoked, you made out, two cartons of Marlboros were $41.95

The Cruzan rum was 4 for $28.95 (my sister bought 2 and I bought 2 - so we split it) and the Absolut was 2 for $19.95

Monday, October 27, 2008

Greetings from Bermuda!

I made it finally to Bermuda. Stopped by the Salvation Army store (but they are closed on Mondays....crap.

But the bars are open......:)

Friday, October 24, 2008

Careful: my shoes are inside

Well today I broke out the ole Pamela Barsky luggage tags for the first time. I bought a set of quirky and colorful luggage tags a while ago at Smile for .50 When I eventually go on my cruise, I'll be using two of the tags. One says "Careful: my shoes are inside" and the other says "I'm pretty sure this isn't your bag". I couldn't decide which ones I wanted to use since I want to use them all. I don't believe in packing light. I still may switch and use the one that says "open with caution: dirty clothes inside". So many choices. They are sold online for $12 at the Pamela Barsky Boutique

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I am still in the States......for now

Haven't been out galavanting or anything. But have been busy so that's the reason behind the lack of blogging in the past week. Yardsales were bad last Saturday, so nothing exciting to report from that. And my computer has been acting funny the last few days due to some virus or something. uggh.

My bargain yesterday was at JC Penneys. I had gotten a coupon in the mail, take $10 off a $10 purchase, so I had to use it. Bought a cruise-wear necklace for $2.76 - regular price $18. Once I got it home, I thought it was too busy looking, so I took a pair of pliers to it to make it more to my liking. The cheap necklaces at Penneys are glued to a card thingy, so hard to see what it really looked like on. It was a 5 stranded necklace, so I removed 3 of the shorter strands. If I get crafty, I'm sure I could make a bracelet or something out of the leftovers. I think it will look good with my $3 dress.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Shoppers Food Warehouse Double & Triple coupon deals

Last night I was looking thru the newspaper and saw that the Shoppers Food Warehouse grocery store was doing triple (up to .50) and double coupons (up to $1) starting today and lasting til Sunday.

So I stayed up late cutting and organizing my coupons and hit the store today. The pic above is my full shopping cart - when I normally grocery shop, I only pick up a few things here and there depending on what is on sale. I never have a full cart load.

My total before coupons was $223.04 and after I ended up paying $73.52 (159.52 savings)

And here is a pic of my buys. I didn't bother putting the Dr. Pepper in the pic.
That IceBreaker Strawberry gum - small rectangular containers (I got free after coupons), tastes awful. Its some sort of healthy gum made with green tea and antioxidants. Click on pics to enlarge them.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Weekend Update: DIY Projects and Yardsales

Over the weekend I did two little projects that really didn't take much time, but I had procrastinated doing for years. It felt good tackling those little projects, felt like I accomplished something.

First was painting a door. We've lived with this dirty, blemished door for years and years. The door that leads from the garage to the house. Even when it was installed, it had the discoloration in the center. But it didn't seem to bug me or DH that much since we've lived with it for 15 years, give or take. (This is the side that faces the garage). I remembered I had a gallon of some paint that I bought for a quarter years ago at a yardsale and figured anything would be better than how it was.

We are having visitors again soon, so it's time to start spiffing up the house a little (and maybe my clutter won't be noticed. Yeah right.)

So here is the "Before" door:

And here it is "After". The sign (a thrift store purchase, says "Beware of Attack Crab" was $1.) It's plastic so I glued some magnets to the back so sticks to the metal door.

Then the second project was unfinished corner cabinet that I bought in New York at a yardsale for $5. I've had it in the garage for years. It's not some exquisite handcrafted piece of woodwork that will be handed down thru the generations, but it's storage, and I have a need for storage. Cheap storage is good.

So here it is "before". Just plain, unfinished.

And here it is after a little bit of sanding, staining and polyurethaning. Not a drastic change or anything. I'm not sure what I want to put on it, but I already had those conch shells in the bathroom. It will do for now, but I'm sure it will be changed. It's too uncluttered - haha.

Speaking of storage, I bought this outdoor corner storage at a yardsale over the weekend for $10.

And I am excited that my Coke card came for my upcoming cruise. So I won't have to go thru withdrawls!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Will blog on Tuesday

I will post tomorrow (Tuesday). I just feel like vegging out now and watching some tv shows I have on DVR. Tomorrow I will post some Before and After pics of some little projects I did over the weekend. And post a pic of my yardsale buys.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Cruisewear Dress = $3

I think I can stop buying dresses now. I went to the second Vintage Value location today and bought the above stretchy knit dress for $3 ($3.18 with tax). It's the exclusive "George" brand - only available in the finest Walmart's in the country.

LOL! I do like it though. It's very stretchy so it's almost like wearing a full body girdle. Which I should look into buying anyway. Will especially need it after eating the cruise food. I have been doing good lately though, trying to ride my bike everyday and drinking that tasteless stuff called water.

The last cruise I was on was when I was pregnant with Jacob. (We got quite the deal on that one - 7 nights for $250 a person. We bought it online, on an auction website that is no longer in business).

Going on a cruise may seem like an extravagance, but believe me, I don't go overboard in spending. Haha - get it? I made a funny. There are ways to save a cruise and here's what we've done.

Don't go crazy drinking drinks. I remember the first cruise we were on, we met other couples around our age and they said this was their "trip of a lifetime" so they were going to live it up. Getting their drinks in the glasses that you keep as a souvenir (the kind of glasses I see showing up at thrift stores from time to time). Their bar bill was equal to the cost of their cruise. Meanwhile, I was saying to myself I don't want this to be a "trip of a lifetime" - I want it to be just one of MANY trips that I take like this. This upcoming trip will be Cruise #5 for me.

I don't spend my money on the cruise ship - there's many ways they try to get you to spend. The casino, art auctions, playing bingo, shopping on board. Eating in "specialized" dining rooms which cost extra, buying shore excursions, spa services and on and on. But they also have activities that don't cost anything - food demonstrations, napkin folding class (yes, I took a napkin folding class once), using fitness room etc.

Then once we get to our destination, we usually head out on our own. Instead of buying "shore excursions" on the ship, you can find pretty much the same activities but only cheaper if you wait and get to the island. For instance when we were at the Cayman Islands, the ship had a shore excursion to go to go swimming with the stingrays for an exorbitant cost ($100?? or so, I don't remember). Once you get on the island, we saw taxi drivers holding signs saying they would do the same tour for $40.

I don't really plan on buying a lot of souvenirs. I also have my free Royal Caribbean bingo shirt that I got a few weeks ago at a yardsale. And Jacob already has a pirate t-shirt with "Bermuda" on it.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Psychedelic Frog Family

Went to Smile today and bought this vintage psychedelic frog bank for $1. It will go up on ebay once I clean it. The Minnie Mouse mug in the background is a mug I bought several weeks ago (.25) at Smile. Then a day later the matching Mickey Mouse mug showed up and I bought that too.

Also bought myself a nice long sleeved black knit shirt (JC Penney brand) for $2. And for Jacob I bought a pair of navy classic chino Ralph Lauren pants for $1.50 that will fit him now.

Toilet Paper Update

Last week I mentioned I had 114 rolls of toilet paper in storage in the garage. I lied. Today I spotted where I had put an additional 24 pack of Angel Soft high up on a shelf. So that means the total is really 138. And in the past week we haven't had to replenish from the garage (since I also have more TP stored in the bathrooms).

Well having a large supply is TP is not the worst thing to have. The other day I found a bag of tortilla chips in the cupboard that somehow missed getting eatten. It had a "best by" date of May 2008. It will go the squirrels. Makes me think of that saying "You can go broke saving money".

Monday, October 06, 2008

Another Good Day Today

I had my dentist appt today. It was a good visit - no problems whatsoever which is nice. Usually my dentist likes to talk about replacing "old fillings" but today there was none of that. I think he's already replaced all my old fillings that he could get away with doing. On days when I don't get the "it's time to replace the old fillings" talk, I usually get the taking care of my gums lecture but none of that either. I guess my extreme flossing over the last week paid off.

Went to VV and found some nice shirts for .35 each. Including a vintage NFL shirt that says "NFL Alumni Philadelphia Eagles" on it. Didn't find any cruisewear. Also bought a boy's Van Heusen black jacket for .35. And I bought myself a Dress Barn jacket for $1.50 (pic below). I never shop at the Dress Barn. Makes me feel like a farm animal stepping foot into the place.

Also went to Walmart and bought a small (9") high velocity fan for only $5 (summer clearance.) I saw them a few weeks ago when they were $8. On some of the cruise message boards I've been on lately, some say to pack a fan for air circulation in the cabin. I like having background noise too when I sleep. Since I am driving to the ship, I'm anticipating bringing the biggest suitcase I can find and maybe a big dufflebag.

And big news, today I drove by the site of our future Kohl's store. Super yea!!!! As far as retail stores go, I love Kohl's. But not more than yardsales of course. It will be months til it's open. Our nearest Kohl's is 50 miles away at the mall and I don't get to shop there often, and when I do, I'm usually with DH and Jacob, and they cramp my shopping style so I never find anything. In previous blog entries, I've mentioned often hitting the Kohl's Night Owl Sales when I visit my mom in NY. I can put Jacob to bed and then drive 2 miles to my mom's Kohl's. This Kohl's will still be about 15 miles away, but at least I can occasionally shop there during the day when DH is at work and Jacob is at school.

And lastly I stopped by Walgreens to look at clearance (didn't buy any) but saw they had a big Health Screening Van there, so I got my glucose and cholesterol tested etc for free. They also had a bone density test. I had never had one done before, but my bones are awesome. Actually, I passed that test the best. I am glad all my diet soda drinking hasn't started to eat away at my bones yet.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Dyn-o-Mite Yardsales

But actually the yardsales today were not so dyn-o-mite, except at the one yardsale where I bought a JJ Walker from Good Times doll for $1. At that sale I also bought a Boober and a Red Foxx doll at $1 ea. (Boober, you know, from Fraggle Rock). Also bought a sealed DVD of Witness for .50 and I paid .50 at a different sale for the Wizard of Oz DVD. The blue thing on the bottom is a meshy beach bag (.50)

The church sale was ok. I didn't feel like clothes shopping. I usually find some neat vintage toys there, but not today. At that sale I bought the new Pampered Chef bowl (I think its a bowl anyway) for .25, a Eddie Bauer light jacket ($2) for Jacob to grow into (not in picture), and a stack of CDs for .10 each. I already have that Amanda Marshall CD (bought years ago at a different yardsale) - but had to buy another (I have a shopping sickness!!). I highly recommend that CD. She's someone you've probably never heard of - I just added one of her songs to my Myspace page (linked over there on the side), so if you want to hear one of her songs go to my Myspace page.

I also bought Jacob some books (not pictured). The new snorkel gear was .50 and so was those new pool toys (skimming discs). The little snowmen ornaments from Hallmark were $1 (Hallmark price tag says $18). Not sure if I will keep them, gift them, or resell them. They are cute.

p.s. To the person who was concerned over my soda addiction - don't worry I am trying to drink water. I am proud to say that I have actually had some water recently. I had some water on Friday. Really - that is an improvement over no water.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Life is Good!

I'm looking forward to two pretty big yardsales tomorrow - one is at a church. They usually have lots of neat vintage stuff at this particular church sale. They used to price most stuff at .10 or .15 each. They've gone up on their prices over the past few years (especially on their clothing) but it's still a great sale.

Then the other is a Mothers of Multiples yardsale. It used to be held in a school cafeteria about 15 miles away. I had stopped going to their sales since I don't need baby items and plus, it was 15 miles away. I typically stay within a 7 mile radius of my house. But last year, the Mothers of Multiples sale moved locations, now they are only about 8 miles away. I went to their last sale and bought lots of toys. I liked that they had a stack of generic white cheap laundry baskets for people to use as shopping baskets. Once you checked out, you left the basket there for someone else to use.

And I almost forgot to mention, yeah! We are now in October - my cruise to Bermuda will take place this month. And I am just thrilled (really, it doesn't take much to make me happy), because on the cruise I hope to be drinking unlimited free Diet Coke.

In case you missed it, I am a diet pepsi/diet coke drinking machine. Since I am driving to the ship (Port of Baltimore), I knew I'd have to use some of my suitcase space for soda. Really. Soda is not free on a cruise ship. Royal Caribbean sells a "soda package" which cost $6/day + 15% tip. And you have to buy it for the entire length of cruise (you can't just buy one or two days of unlimited soda). Or else you can pay per the drink.

Well anyway, on - one of their rewards is a free soda package on Royal Caribbean. I ordered it yesterday and hopefully it will come soon. Now I won't have to pack soda.

Speaking of the cruise, I bought 2 dresses the other week at the Spot Thrift. I think I paid $4 for one and $8 for the other (they charged $8 for the second dress since it was 2 pieces. One is a black dress with embroidered butterflies. I am not a butterfly person, per se, but it looked good on so I can deal with having butterflies on it. The other is a purple (the traditional color of royalty) shift dress with jacket. It doesn't photograph well so just showing you the butterfly dress.

I have a dentist apppointment next week (Note to self: start flossing vigorously over the next few days - haha). So I will stop at VV and see if I can find more cruisewear. I always schedule my dental appts to coincide with Vintage Value's .35 sale days.

Anyone see The View today? I caught a part where Whoopie was saying that she is a hoarder and has to have 75 rolls of toilet paper in her house at all times. Everyone laughed since 75 rolls seems sooo extreme! Oye. I went in my garage and counted 114 rolls. And that's not including the tp that is in the house.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

It really is a small world.....

A little while ago I mentioned one of my former coworkers had written a book, and I oh so conveniently linked it to Amazon if anyone was interested in reading about it.

So I was at Smile last week looking at the kid's books and happened to see a Stuart Little book on the shelf. I kinda smiled to myself and then moved a few feet away to peruse the toy section. A few minutes later a mother and her daughter start looking at the books and the mom points to the Stuart Little book and says "Hey, there's that book that the little girl didn't want to read". So of course I interrupt and say "You mean Moxy Maxwell! I read that too! I used to work with the author." (Surprisingly, they didn't even ask for my autograph. Or curtsy.)

And then I go to the library and see a copy of Moxy Maxwell on a book pedestal thingy on the counter with a notice that Moxy Maxwell was the next book to read for the girl's "Traveling Pants Book Club" or something.

I was looking thru my pics the other day, (I wanted to see my old Bermuda pics) and came across a pic of my buddy Beverly (on the left) and future famous Moxy Maxwell author Peggy Gifford (on the right). We all worked together and after I quit, I moved to Charleston SC, and after Peggy quit, she moved to Myrtle Beach. This pic was taken when Bev came down from New York and visited us both in South Carolina.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Update on Lusby tragedy

The other day in my post, I said that the mother who killed two girls and abused the third was "pure evil". Well, it's not pure evil since greed was a part of it too. So it was both evil and greed. From the Washington Post: As an adoptive mother, Bowman received $2,400 a month, $800 for each of the three daughters, through a federal program that assists people who adopt foster children.

Good thing I am no longer doing jury duty because I can't imagine having an unbiased opinion. (My jury duty service is over and I never had to go in - not even once).