Monday, November 30, 2009

More on Chesapeake Bay Spa & Hotel

Ok, here is the infamous pool/restroom area where I got locked into the men's room by myself. Up those stairs is the mens and ladies room. Jacob and I were the only ones in the pool area (no lifeguards - swim at your own risk etc). I left Jacob by himself in the pool (yes I know my bad) and told him to stay on the pool stairs cuz I had to run to the ladies room. The ladies room was nice, with a changing area, lockers, showers, and a sauna. The door to the restroom didn't click behind me but I didn't think anything of it, nor did I read the sign that said "You must take your room key with you to return to the pool area".

So I went back out and Jacob was there still on the stairs like I told him to stay. I decided to take a peek into the men's room just to make sure there was a sauna in there too, so I could tell my DH. Well I open the door and yell inside first to make sure no one was in there and go inside - the door clicks behind me - and I see the sauna and go back to leave. The door is locked - then I saw the card key reader. I yank on the handle of course and it doesn't open. I start to freak out - I'm locked in the men's room and my son is alone in a swimming pool. I start banging on the door and yelling for Jacob to open the door and he hears me and opens the door. What a relief.

But afterward I see why there was a card reader - there was a second exit to both bathrooms (and no key required) but it took you to the main part of the hotel. So I could have gotten out if I had walked thru the entire restroom area. So they have the card reader on the pool door to prevent random non-hotel guests (there is a hair salon, meeting rooms etc in the hotel that is open to the public), from using the pool.

There is a small museum next to the hotel (has odd hours during off-season so it wasn't open). I've been inside before - it's the original train station back when Chesapeake Beach was a popular resort area for Washingtonians and Baltimorons. There are lots of framed old postcards of the area - one I thought was particularly funny - it read something like "Hi Mabel - having a great time in Chesapeake Beach. I hope to see you again before I die". You can tell it was meant to be a joke between friends (at least I think).

I like walking on the pier and seeing the variety of boats, and reading their names.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Standing on the Dock of the Bay

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. As I mentioned last week, I have 4 free nights at a nearby hotel and last night we used night #1. Was foggy last night and foggy this morning. Went swimming yesterday (and this morning) in the indoor pool, my Finnish DH was in his glory at the sauna (Finns have a thing about being in a sauna). He pronounces it sow-na, not saw-na like it's supposed to. And I make fun of it every time he says it. It was our first time staying at this hotel. Even though our room was free (yes, absolutely free), we were upgraded and had a room with a balcony with a water view (I noticed that not all rooms have balconies). It wasn't waterFRONT, but we could still see and hear the water. Plus, in looking how the hotel is laid out, there are only 12 waterfront rooms, (the bottom floor is doesn't have rooms). The shampoos/soaps were all from Bath & Body Works and there was a complimentary (I asked just to make sure) large bottle of Saratoga Water which is cool since Saratoga Springs NY is my old stomping grounds. Free continental breakfast in the morning.

Only downside is when I locked myself in the men's bathroom, meanwhile Jacob was alone in the pool. I sorta freaked out. Will tell that story later plus add some more pics.

Gotta go check on my bird in the oven.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Me? Decluttering?

I promised my husband I would declutterize Jacob's bedroom - and I said I would have it done by the end of the month. Stupid me, I should have said I would have it done by the end of November. That way, when I didn't finish it, I could have said I meant November 2010. But you would be proud of me, I have a full heavy garbage bag full of games/toys that are either broken (i.e. one-armed Spongebob) or missing pieces or otherwise unsellable/un-donate-able. I think the last time I decluttered his room was when we sold his baby furniture. So it's been a while.

There were about 3 or 4 yardsales last Saturday. My best buy was this lot of Kitchenaid/fake Kitchenaid accessories for about $2 (I bought other stuff and my total at the sale came to $5 so I'm estimating this was all around $2). Only one piece is marked Kitchenaid but it all fits on my $8 Kitchenaid mixer.

This is all thrift store buys from last week. Catholic Nostalgia game $2 - probably an ebay dud cuz it's missing some pieces, $1 book (keep), $3 vintage Samsonite case (keep), $1.50 candle, $2 corner shelves, $2 Nintendo DS accessory pack (probably a dud - I have it listed on ebay now to get rid of it), .25 Japanese prints coloring book, .25 Imperial China book, .25 vintage Christmas decorations, $1 new window birdfeeder (keep).

At a yardsale: free big pig. Has a big hole in the side unfortunately. Had .13 still in it - even with the hole on the side, it was difficult to get the change out, $1 small washboard, $1 green depression glass. I'm thinking of filling the big pig with dirt and half-burying it in the backyard as a funky lawn decoration. What else can I do with it? Except bring it to the dump? If you have suggestions, please do tell.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Finding Jewelry at Yardsales - Tips

Because my blog is so hugely popular, I've decided to enter the world of bloggy advertising. Don't worry - there won't be any pop-ups ads, and probably no sex ads. (But I haven't totally ruled that out yet - haha).

Just a few unobtrusive ads that may appear from time to time on the side of my blog. And my first blog advertiser is over there to the left (and above). His name is Dan and he's been a longtime message board member - he buys gold and jewelry - primarily stuff that people find at yardsales etc etc. Even if you don't have any gold to sell, check out his website for pages of tips on being a smart yardsale shopper when it comes to buying jewelry and gold at garage sales, yardsales etc.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Faux Casino - here I come!

I can't get my browser back to normal. Somehow I accidentally deleted the place where you type in URLS and also the back & forward buttons are gone too. I will have to get my long suffering unpaid personal computer technician to look at it.

In other computer news, I bought the $40 Lexmark printer/scanner/fax/copier that was on sale at Target this week. My old printer - did the same stuff but my DH bought like 5 or 6 years ago and I think he paid like $200 for it. Now you can find printers that are so cheap and do the same stuff. So I will (of course) empty all the cartridges out the old and then e-recycle it.

Man, did I get some good junk mail yesterday! Back in the spring/summer you may have remembered me blogging and winning real money at the faux casino that is semi-nearby (about 30 miles from my home). Well in yesterday's mail, I got a holiday newsletter from them detailing their giveaways and events going on over the next few months. Well long story short - the casino is part of a complex with a couple of restaurants and a hotel. And as a valued customer, I can get 4 free nights (one night a month - Nov, Dec, Jan and Feb).

So today I called and made my reservations. It will be nice to have a change of scenery and do some indoor swimming in the middle of winter. Or walk on the beach etc etc. I even asked the clerk "what's the catch? How much will taxes be?" and she said $0. The only stipulation is that upon check-in I show the flier I got with my address printed on it, my frequent gambler card, and a photo ID. At the faux casino, they don't know how much you won or lost - since you don't insert your gambling card in to the machine - instead you just scan it once an hour at a machine near the cashier.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Yard Sale Buys

I didn't go yardsaling yesterday so this is all from last week. I paid $2 for the coin bracelet. I like real coins as jewelry. My favorite necklace is a square nickle coin pendant that I bought in Aruba in the 80's. I will add a pic of it later. I don't think I paid much for it (since the coin is only worth a nickle and someone just soldered a loop onto it). But it is unusual and people always ask what it is. I put it on a silver chain I already owned. It was sold by a street vendor and I couldn't understand them and I was in a hurry so I just held out a handful of American change and let them pick out what they wanted.

In the second pic: new makeup travel case .50, $2 JC Penney Chris Madden candle, .25 old Nintendo Super Pitfall game (Jacob liked playing regular Pitfall on Super Nintendo so maybe he may like this game), .75 ceramic Grandchild Change jar. Will use my labelmaker and put a "for Jacob" label on it and give it to my mother for Christmas, because I'm generous that way.

$1 bunch of enamel pins. The one on the right caught my eye and the seller told me to pick out a bunch and she would make a deal on a lot.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

How I save $$$ with my cell phone using T-Mobile

I know other people do this same thing so many of you already know this. I used to have a monthly very basic cell phone plan with T-Mobile. It was like $20 a month (which is $240 a year). I just wanted a cell phone so in case one of Jacob's teachers needed to get in touch with me while I was thrift store shopping, they could.

So then my husband heard that if you just used the T-Mobile To Go, you don't need a yearly contract, since you basically pay as you go. And if you loaded your phone with a $100 refill card (worth 1000 minutes I think) - all those minutes would be good for 1 year. And if you reloaded again with another $100 card before the old minutes expire, those unused minutes would rollover onto the next year. Clear as mud, right? So instead of paying $240 for a years worth of service, for the past several years, I've only been paying $100 a year (the cost of the prepaid minutes).

As I said, I really don't use my cellphone much so I really don't know how good this would be for someone who uses their cell a lot (I used my cell for a grand total of 262 minutes in the past year and I don't text). I really shouldn't say I don't use my cellphone much, cuz I do. It's my clock and my camera for taking pictures of food in grocery stores. I just don't talk much on it.

Where did this week go?

This week has just flown by and I've just been real busy so not much time to blog.

I think I spent practically all day Monday at Shoppers Food Warehouse for their triple coupon deal. Well it may not have been the all day, but it is very time consuming looking for brand name items that Shoppers Food Warehouse may or may not even sell. Then if you do find the particular brand, then you have to do the math to see if it's a good deal or not with the triple coupon. And then I have to think - do I really need this anyway?

I paid $65 for the cart full of pre-packaged foods. Total before coupons deducted was $181.82. Not bad savings considering the coupons had to have a face value less than $1 to be tripled. (So a .50 coupon = $1.50, a .75 coupon = $2.25 but a $1 coupon is worth just a $1) In the past, they've had double $1 coupons and that really was a good savings. I was too lazy to show a good picture of my buys, but you kinda get the idea. Mostly bad-for-you pre-packaged foods.

Today I signed up for a December indoor yardsale organized by our local Parks & Recs department. Somehow I still have a mysterious $20 credit on my account with them so I didn't have to pay the $5 space rental - they just deducted it from my account. They scare me a little. Here is a pic of their bookshelf for the public to take brochures etc.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Movie Prop Sale

Man, if I was in the Los Angeles area this weekend, I would be going to a movie prop sale (after hitting all the yardsales first of course). But I'm 99.9% sure I won't be in Los Angeles this weekend. So my loss is your gain.

here's the details: (their website is Premiere Props)



(310) 322-PROP

p.s. If anyone goes to this and can find a nice quality Bad Mother F*cker wallet for cheap (like the kind Jules used in Pulp Fiction) - you can gift it to me so I can then re-gift it to my DH for Xmas. He's been mentioning he wants one but they are $25 on ebay. But I have the feeling I'm gonna have to fork over the $25 for it. I already bought him the Bruce Willis Kangaroo caddy which I found at a thrift for cheap. But I know my church run thrift wouldn't sell that particular wallet.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Happy Happy Joy Joy Happy Happy Joy Joy

Here it is on a Saturday night and I'm being all happy about going grocery shopping in a few days. How sick is that? Man, I remember a time when on a Saturday night my friends and I would be discussing on our landline (of course) phone which nightclubs we would be hitting later that evening. Now in 2009, I want to get my coupons organized.

Our Shoppers Food Warehouse grocery store is tripling coupons (up to .99) until Wednesday so I gotta get prepared. Will report back my bargains.

I heard from Leslie, the Zhu Zhu Pet contest winner and she received her Zhu Zhu the other day. She even blogged about winning - see her blog at Sandfordy She does the same thing as I do - I check the expiration date on EVERYTHING I buy while grocery shopping in order to get the freshest foods. Ok, so canned veggies aren't exactly fresh but I would rather buy the cans (for instance) that expire 11/2012 than the ones that expire 10/2012. That is one of the reasons why grocery shopping takes me so long.
I went yardsaling today and it wasn't too bad, considering it's November. It wasn't great, but it wasn't awful either. Will post my buys later sometime.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Cramping my Shopping Style

Dh needs to burn up some vacation before the end of the year so he took yesterday off. So....I didn't go to Smile. Having DH home, kinda puts a damper on my out of control shopping/acquiring/collecting. Instead we did some other shopping together and did lunch etc. And today he took half a day off so I just did a quick run to Smile (bought some vintage Maryland magazines for .25 each).

But I guess my real bargain today was at Walgreens. I had heard that this there is a good deal going on with Almay cosmetics but was skeptical it would work. But it did. Bought an Almay foundation and an Almay mascara - Mascara rang up as half priced. So before taxes I paid $13.48 for both. BUT I got $15 back in Register Rewards. I also bought two Arizona Teas for .99 (for DH, cuz he likes them. I think iced tea is gross).

I cleaned up my desk area today and found my Hit Clips (all bought at a yardsale of course). Here's a pic just to make you all jealous. Who needs an Ipod? I got my Hit Clips! Note to self: search the stores for an Orianthi Hit Clip.

And here is a fuzzy little caterpillar guy I found this morning out on our deck. Growing up, I always remember seeing tons of caterpillars. I rarely see them anymore. I moved him to a safer location.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Yardsale Fate or Karma or whatever you call it

I just love yardsale karma, or fate or whatever you call it. I swear some days, I should just stay home and "shop" at my own house and see what I can find.

The other day I was looking high up in my cupboard and spotted this Jungle Book plastic glass that I forgot I bought years and years ago. It was one of 8 glasses put out by Burger King in 1994. The other glasses in the series depict Snow White, Pinocchio, Aladdin etc. I remember being at a yard sale and this other woman and I were looking at the various glasses that the seller had but nothing was marked. When the seller said they were .25 each, the other woman started taking a bunch and I just managed to get the one Jungle Book one, where it has sat in my cupboard for the past decade or so.

So get this - Jacob's *new* favorite movie is The Jungle Book. He watches it over and over and replays his favorite scenes. (Personally, I have never watched the entire thing).

I just find it very cool about yard sale fate - that years before my son was born, I manage to get the ONE glass from that yardsale seller that he would LOVE. And stranger still is that I actually found it while he can still enjoy it, rather than waiting until he outgrew his Junglebook phase and then finding it.

It's gonna be wrapped up for Christmas.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Boo! (hoo) - no yardsales for me

Didn't go to any yardsales yesterday. I got up early anyway and got caught up on my Oprah watching. I still have to watch Friday's Regis & Kelly. Their Halloween shows are a favorite of mine (although I am a Halloween scrooge in real life). We then went to the Family Day at the Nuke Plant. After I had Jacob in 2000, I remember going back to my old job and showing him off, having lunch with friends in the cafeteria etc. But since 9/11 they definitely made it more difficult to drop in for a visit.

So yesterday was my first time back in the buildings in 9 years. Some things are different but some things exactly the same. Above is one of the hallways in the office area near where I worked. No pics were allowed in the secured area - so no pics of me hugging the containment (the big concrete buildings where all the magic happens). But a family photo was taken at the event, so I may add it later, depending if it's up to the Queen's standards or not. There was also pumpkin decorating and snacks and treats for the kids.

I passed this house the other day - and saw what looked like the entire contents tossed out on the driveway. If the people knew they were getting evicted, why didn't they try to make some money by having a yard sale rather than having it all thrown out like that? The pic was taken while driving so its not great (and doesn't show the entire contents). I didn't stop. Had there been other people snooping around it, I probably would have. But it didn't look like anyone was around.