Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thanksgiving & Black Friday Re-cap

This wasn't a typical Thanksgiving/Black Friday weekend for me since we had family visiting. And we actually used the formal dining room. I have pictures as evidence(will add once I find my camera.) So what that I used my Corona beer bottle Salt & Pepper shakers. And my usual Black Friday shopping was a little different too since I had to be home by 9:30am (so the guys could go golfing - weather was ok for golf, in the 50's).

The best deals I found were to be had at CVS, using coupons and getting Extra Care Bucks. But I totally goofed up and didn't realize it was a two day sale, starting on Thanksgiving day. I would have gladly stopped peeling potatoes to make a run for CVS if I had studied the ads more closely. But overall, I did get some great bargains at CVS and made money on certain items since I had coupons. For instance, Maybelline makeup was $8.99 but I had a $3 coupon. So I paid $5.99 for it, but got the full $8.99 Extra Care Bucks to use on my next purchase. I did a bunch of deals like that.

Went to JC Penneys and got my free snowglobe. Then went to Target, Bath & Body Works, Walmart, BJ's Warehouse and CVS and made it home by 9:30am. Picked up Jacob (so the adult men could go golfing) and went back out to Walgreens, Radio Shack and to a pool table giveaway.

For the pool table giveaway, you had to be present to win. We already have a 8' slate table, but could use an upgrade. Went to the store and filled out the entry blank (one per person). Did a specific special fold to the paper and dropped in in the box. And waited a few minutes to the drawing. I counted about 40 adults in the room, so I had a 1 in 40 shot to win a pool table. The owner reaches in and grabs a ticket, a ticket that had a special fold to it. My heart starts beating faster. And the winner is....Jonathan so and so. Crap. But now that I know they give away a pool table every year, I have a year to clean out the clutter under our current pool table.

Radio Shack and Target was sold out of the sale items I wanted. Oh well, there will be more sales. I didn't buy much - some stuff at Bath & Body Works which I used coupons for, some $2 DVDs at Walmart, bread for turkey sandwiches. I usually stop at VV on Black Friday since they are open, but I didn't have time since I had to be home by 9:30 so the guys could go golfing and I would pick up Jacob. No way was I going to take Jacob out early Black Friday shopping. I saw parents with kids sleeping in strollers etc. I never needed to go retail shopping that bad where I had to take Jacob out early and deal with Black Friday crowds. Now yardsaling....well that is a different story.

I was interviewed last week for an article about yardsales that was published in today's Washington Post. You can read it here:
Washington Post

I am glad I filled up when I saw gas at $1.49 - as it turned out, that was a one day deal. It was back up to around $1.60 by the next day. Now it's around 1.80

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving. I know I posted this same cartoon last year but it is one of my favorites.

here's another:

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Feel like I've been living at the grocery store

I spent several hours at Shoppers Food Warehouse yesterday to take advantage of their double and triple coupon deal they are currently running. It is time consuming to do a major couponing shopping excursion. I think I waste a lot of time trying to find particular items that I have coupons for. And then if I don't find it, I look again to make sure I didn't just overlook it. And so on and so on. Then once I find something, I have to mentally calculate whether its a worthwhile enough deal to get it or not.

Well I think I am plenty stocked up on cornstarch. I probably have a lifetime supply, if I had planned on eating it. Will probably make that play dough stuff with it (take a box of cornstarch and add water to make a weird goopy sloppy mess to play with). But its not like playdough where you can make anything with it, its just to squish around in your hands.

Been busy the last few days, so the last thing I wanted to do last night was arrange all the food and crap I bought on my kitchen floor to take a pic of it. So instead what you're getting is just a pic of my full cart. Total before coupons was $273.93 and after it was $104.67. I "saved" $169.26. I say saved in quotes because it's not like I'm really saving the money, because if I had had to pay full price for that stuff in the first place, I wouldn't have. It's not like I need 4 cartons of Haagen Daz ice cream but since I only paid $1.33 each, I figured why not. The receipt was over 7' long.

The ironic thing was, I was in the grocery store for hours yesterday and today I had more grocery shopping to do. Had to go to a different store today for my turkey and some other things.

I had an headache tonight and my DH asked me if I wanted to play a game of pool. Since company is coming tomorrow, we cleaned off the pool table. It's a rare day in the YSQ household when the pool table is free of clutter. I said ok even though I didn't feel quite up to it but I wanted to try out a *new* pool cue I bought a few weeks ago at a yardsale for $15. It's a nice grey graphite pool cue with fancy graphics. Dh asked me if I wanted to practice first, since he had already practiced a little. It's been months and months since I shot a game of pool. And previous to that, it had been months or a year etc.

Needless to say, I didn't need no stinkin' practice :) Winning does wonders for a headache.

p.s. I bought gas today for $1.49 a gallon. It was just at 1.70 the other day. I also saw gas at $1.47 in my area too today (but I don't care for that particular gas station because of the difficulty in entering/exiting).

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Oh look, a shiny penny....and an ear tube (not too gross I hope)

The penny did not come out of my ear the other day, but the little black ear tube did. I was having trouble with my ears a while back - long story short - I had tubes put in my ears about 2 years ago. One tube came out a while ago and the other day the ear doctor removed this tube which was laying in my ear canal. He cleaned it off and let me have it. I just put it on a penny to give an idea of it's size. Oh I need help with clutter and letting go of stuff or what???? Maybe I'll put it with my retainer and metal braces, which I still have, of course.

Went to 3 yardsales today. Bought stuff at all three. Nothing too exciting. One non-yardsale made me mad. I saw it advertised for today as Rain or Shine. I get there and there was no yardsale. There was a house, but no yardsale. Inconsiderate. I understand there could be extenuating circumstances - some family emergency or something. But if you have a yardsale advertised as rain or shine (and it's shining out), but you can't have the sale for one reason or another - the decent thing to do is put a sign up in the driveway apologizing for the inconvenience.

Friday, November 21, 2008

My Frugal Bathroom Spongebob Remodeling DIY Job

I was going to show you what my ear doctor dug out of my ear canal today (yes I saved it) but instead I'll show you my little frugal bathroom remodeling job. I mentioned it here on the blog back in January/February and never got around to showing before and after pics until now. I finished it a long time ago, but then before I could take pictures, it got messy again. I finally cleaned it up tonight (only because we're having guests soon) so I took some pics. Maybe I'll show you my ear debris picture tomorrow, if you're lucky. This is the bathroom that Jacob and I share. You think I want to share a bathroom with my husband?? Are you crazy???!!! That's the key to a successful marriage, not having to share bathrooms with your spouse.

Before Pics:
View of sink. Notice cheap builder's-grade faucet, stupid wall mounted toothbrush holder and soap dish.

Rust stained linoleum (long story - DH tried to fix the linoleum and put metal weights on it after he glued it down. Didn't work and just made it worse when the weights got wet - due to Jacob splashing in the tub). I told him I would fix it. Notice old bathmat and round towel holder that never got used.

Another view of sink (and clutter)

Close-up of the torn linoleum and caulking around the tub removed:

Closet door (I love those vintage Flicker Razors). Notice ugly doorknob and wear around doorknob.

Embryo-looking water stain on ceiling:

Grungy towel bar:

Ta-da! Here are the After pics. My inspiration for this bathroom makeover was a package of Spongebob self-adhesive border that I bought at Smile for about a dollar or two. I know I spent less than $100 for this makeover. And that was mainly due to replacing the sink faucet which was about $80.

New towel bar (similar to old one but clean and not grungy. Bought new at a yardsale)

No more round towel bar, now Spongebob border & big Spongebob wall decoration (the big Spongebob is a placemat bought at Walmart for about a buck). Talking Spongebob on toilet tank was something we already owned. Painted the woodwork dark blue (using free paint samples that I got from Ace Hardware when they had their Ladie's Night)

Another Spongebob Placement as a back-splash. "New" Martha Stewart toothbrush holder, bought at Smile for .50. New faucet - I wanted a tall faucet so it would work with my blue faucet light. At a yardsale I had bought some of those "As Seen on TV" corner shelfs, I found a spot near the medicine cabinet to add one and put some Spongebob figurines on (yardsale buys) along with a digital clock (a buy from Smile).

I cut a piece of linoleum from inside the bathroom closet and tried to match it as close as I could. I know the whole flooring should be replaced but this will do for a while. Bought a roll of peel and stick molding to hide the gap where the caulk was removed.

New bathroom rug (bought at JC Penneys when I had one of those $10 off $10 coupons). It hides the linoleum patchwork job I did.

Put border on the door to hide the wear around doorknob. New ceramic blue doorknob bought at Lowes on clearance for .50 (FYI, the little blue thing next to the Flicker Razors is an authentic packet of "There's Something about Mary" hair gel. If you've never seen "There's Something about Mary", then you're missing out on one of the best movies of all time.)

Painted the ceiling and got rid of the watermark. I still have lots of bathroom clutter. I bought the odd sink-to-ceiling shelfing unit at one of my thrift stores. It was supposed to be a floor to ceiling bathroom shelving unit but when I got it home I saw that some pieces were missing so I was able to at least turn it into a sink to ceiling storage.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

This is a just a warning....

Those words have got to be some of the sweetest words I heard today. Ahhhhh...this is just a warning. Those words are especially great to hear when spoken by a county sheriff with a radar gun. A new by-pass shortcut road in my town opened up within the past week. I think today was my second time on it. I was caught going 44 in a 30 (although the warning looks like 44 in a 55). As the officer was checking my info, someone sped by doing 53 in a 30, so the officer told me I was lucky (and to slow down) but the other person wasn't going to be so lucky.

I went to Smile today and bought a salt pig. I had no idea what it was but I knew I didn't already have one. Now I do. It was $2.50 (and new in box). I don't even think I need it since I'm supposed to be cutting down on salt, but it is cute.

Here's a link so you can get your own Salt Pig. Or two.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Christmas in November

Today I did a little bit of housecleaning/organization of my junk in preparation of Thanksgiving guests. It's always sorta like Christmas whenever I start cleaning since I start opening up shopping bags and finding all kinds of neat stuff. It's like Christmas without all the hassle of decorating and wrapping presents. Today I found a nice Liz Claiborne shirt and a pair of St. Johns Bay (JC Penneys) pants for myself that I don't remember buying but I know I must have. (They were thrift store buys, not retail).

Also today I found my vintage Bermuda pink sand bottle. Back when I was planning my Bermuda trip, I remembered I had a bottle of sand, but didn't know what I did with it. I thought I may have re-sold it at yardsale or ebay. I bought the bottle at a yardsale sometime in the 90's I think. It was definitely after my first Bermuda trip. Its a glass mini-liquor bottle with a painted pink cap which apparently benefited the Women's Auxiliary Bermuda Hospitals when it was first purchased.

Last month when I was in Bermuda, I saw similar bottles in a souvenir store but the bottles were the plastic mini-bottles (at $3.95 each). When we were at Horseshoe Beach, I saw a beachgoer scooping up a handful into a ziplock baggy for a free souvenir.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Sometimes you really do get what you pay for..

I got my free ginormous Tower of Treats today courtesy of Staples. Just look how it towers over that can of Diet Coke! Wow! When I opened the box and saw it, it did give me a good laugh though. And if anyone in this house besides me thinks they are going to get their hands on that huge truffle box (it's stuffed with not one but TWO truffles), they have another thing coming.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

10 years ago today.....I joined ebay

and then was too chicken to do anything with it until the summer of '99 when I made my first ebay sale. It was an Austin Powers The Spy Who Shagged Me Heinkein beer t-shirt. Man, that was before Jacob was even born. I remember getting the t-shirt (free of course). I won tickets to a premiere showing of the movie thru a Washington DC radio station. I think some other prizes may have come with it. Cuz DH and I went up to DC for the day and rode the Metro around and found the radio station and got the tickets, then took a Metro to where the theatre was.

Now with Jacob, I can't imagine doing all that running around just for free movie tickets. I remember the theatre was near the headquarters of the Fannie May and Freddie Mac Foundations since we had to walk right past the signs.

I also got a bunch of free Austin Powers movie posters. One of which is inches away from my mountain of clutter next to my computer desk here as I type.

Yardsale Taillights

I did run out to a few yardsales this morning, two yardsales to be exact. I don't think I've ever seen a tail-light at a yardsale before. Until today. Then boom, two yardsales, two sets of taillights. Each yardsale had a set of tail-lights for sale. weird. I am just happy they wouldn't have fit my car. That would have been frustrating.

I did buy a little $8 DVD player and a $15 pool cue. Also for $5 I bought two shelf storage units that should be a lot of fun to put together.

Friday, November 14, 2008

My free Harry & David Tower of Treats

As if my house is not already chockful of 75% off Halloween candy along with other miscellaneous candy that I bought when Walgreens was clearancing a bunch of stuff, I'll be getting a free Harry & David Tower of Treats soon (a $19.95 value) courtesy of Staples. It was a coupon that came in the mail a while ago and since it is expiring at the end of the month, I used it today. More stuff I need to eat before I start my diet.

Because I spent so much at Staples last year - (I recycled hundreds of inkjet cartridges at $3 a piece), I'm considered a "premier" customer and get free shipping on all my orders at Doesn't matter if I order a single sharpie or a computer desk, I get it shipped free. I think that premier status will be going away though since in order to maintain that status, you have to spend $1000 every year at Staples. Haven't done that this year.

I bought a .99 item today at and used the coupon code for the free Harry & David Tower of Treats. My total came to $1.05 with tax.

Been rainy here in Maryland. Supposed to be windy and rainy tomorrow. I haven't checked the newspaper yet, but I may actually stay home and not go to yardsales tomorrow. Less than 2 weeks til the in-laws arrive so I got some major cleaning to do.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Guess what my tail light costs?

Ok, so I had to recently go do some car tail-light shopping. I just decided that I wanted to replace the driver's side tailight just for the heck of it. I wish. Somehow my car accidently backed itself into something it shouldn't have. Naughty bad car. No one was hurt or injured except the cheesy expensive plastic taillight. I took it to a local place that does autobody repair and I was given a quote of $354.00 (installed) for a hunk of plastic. It was something like $320 with no installation.

So....instead I went to handy dandy eBay and a new one is in the mail to me for a grand total of $125. Dh will install it. Like he should. I'm old fashioned that way - I believe the guy should be in charge of all automotive maintenance, repair and also all preventative car maintenance. Dh is lacking in the whole preventative maintenance deal. He expects me to know when I should take my car for an oil change. The guy at the autobody place said installation would only take a few minutes so I'm sure DH can figure it out. And if not, I will just say my usual "hey, you can describe in detail how a nuclear power plant works, you should be able to figure this out". I'm sure he likes it when I say that.

Anyhow, see the big difference in prices? Autobody repair places really mark stuff up.

On a bright note, I did win a $50 gift certificate tonight to a local seafood restaurant. I won it thru a new freebie newspaper that had a "guess where this picture was taken" contest. My DH hates seafood - if it swims, he won't eat it. But the place does have a steak or two on the menu.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Bermuda Cruise Vacation Re-Cap Part 2

When I wrote Part 1 yesterday, it look a long time to upload all the photos and then figure out what to say. So today to finish it up, I just put up a ton of pics all at once and will write up as I the pics are definitely out of order, but hey, I saved a lot of time.

Near where the ship is parked in Bermuda, there is a bunch of shops and artists (pottery, glass blowing, etc). This was at the glassware studio. High prices but beautiful stuff.

This vase cost $195. I did not buy it. But it sorta reminded me of my .25 pink FTD vase bought at a yardsale.

My .25 pink vase:

Another grocery store pic:

At one of the midnight buffets, there was this weird mermaid/mer-man??? that they must drag out every week. Take a look at those man-hands! And the 5 o'clock shadow.

This was cute though:

I tried to remember to take a pic of my dinner food everynight (using my cellphone so the lighting/focusing isn't that great:

It was a 2 story dining room:

The first day when they said I had won a Crown & Anchor Society prize, I thought for sure they were going to give me this crown that they had enclosed in glass at one of the lounges. Mousepad shmousepad - don't they know who I am? But now that I think about it, I do prefer crowns that have more diamonds.

Me, wearing a bathsuit at the beach. Yes I was, but trust me, you don't want to see it.

Thursday morning, the day we got off the ship, I woke up at 5:30am and took this pic - so you'd better appreciate it. It happens to be a picture of *the* best nuclear power plant in Maryland - all lit up at night. Picture was taken with my cellphone. Had a nice conversation with a bathroom cleaner from the Phillipines who held the door open for me so I could get the picture. It was very windy and I couldn't go out on the deck. I do find it kinda cool that here there are cruise ships passing practically by my house and I've never seen them (since the Chesapeake Bay is pretty darn big).

Inside the cabin:

Baltimore bridge:

Last night at dinnertime - the waiters/busboys/cooks sang a song.

One of the many towel animals that our cabin steward - Wanda from Nicaragua made for us:

Playing the adult scavenger hunt - Quest. My sister and I played with another couple - the guy was very into it. We had never played it before - and people are secretive about it so I didn't know what to expect. Our team # was #17. He's wearing my bra and purse, and lipstick.

I asked Tom if he wanted me to email him the pictures. He said no. He didn't want his adult aged sons to see it. I wonder if his family ever go to yardsales....or yardsale websites...

Tried taking a picture of the menu's one night:

Bermuda is so pretty they don't even have garbage. They have litter.

I may still add some pictures/videos later on sometime. I haven't seen the pics my sister has taken. And I really haven't looked at the videos that I took with my cellphone.

All of my previous cruises were out of Miami or San Juan so it was different leaving from Baltimore. Most people were from Maryland and Virginia so it wasn't a big mix of people. Too many people wearing Washington Redskins and Baltimore Ravens attire. When you cruise out of from Miami etc, you get people from all over. I wasn't impressed with the Port of Baltimore - it was raining when we had to drop our luggage off, but it took 1.5 hours to drive from one side of the parking lot to the other due to the low number of baggage handlers they had working (in the rain). You couldn't park your car and walk the luggage to the drop off area, you had to drive to it and it took a ridiculously long time. I'm thinking the luggage handlers all called in sick due to the rain.

I think the next time I cruise, I will go get a prescription strength patch thing to wear behind my ear. I tell you, that first day at sea was really bad. Never been on a cruise ship with such rough seas and rockiness.

But other than that, it was a great time. I'm hoping the next time I go to Bermuda, the Salvation Army will be open. I could have gone back the following day, but we had other things to do and had to be back on the ship by a certain time or else they would have left without me.