about me

My photo
Denver, Colorado, United States
i'm 33. i live with my husband, baby daughter 2 dogs and 1 kitty. i'm a chemical engineer with an MBA and work in technical sales. i tend to bite off more than i *think* i can chew and end up with a full bulging mouth for awhile before i can finally swallow. i thrive in chaos, but strive for order.


day after christmas = best shopping day ever!

today i hit the after christmas sales to get some good deals. i try *really* hard to not buy christmas decorations and things before christmas because they always go 50%-75% off the day after!

here's a summary of my loot:

petsmart - christmas treats and toys 50% off

everything in this photo was $33.70. but i had a $5 coupon and a $25 gift certificate, so I only paid $3.70. hopefully these chews will last a few months!

then i went to target and got the following at 50% off:
1 can mulling spices, 2 cans of christmas cookie sprinkles, 3 travel coffee mugs (one electrically keeps the beverages warm), 2 cool pillows for my couch, 2 rugs for the kitchen, 8 red placemats, 3 catnip toys, 2 packages of dog treats, 3 packages of cat treats, 3 ornaments, 1 snowman candle, 1 can chicken spice rub, 1 can beef spice rub, package of 3 extension cords, set of queen flannel sheets, 1 bathroom hand towel, package of 4 kitchen towels, table runner, kitchen towel/potholder set, tablecloth, 2 snowman candle holders, 2 votive candle holders, 1 package of napkins, and one decorative "jingle bell tree". total spent: $157.85

i also stopped by jc penney because i had a coupon, but they didn't have much and there were a ton of annoying people there. i did still get 2 ornaments (75% off) and a $50 waffle maker for $20. we've been wanting a waffle maker for awhile!

i wanted to go to cost plus and check out their decorations and holiday wine, but on my way there i got a call from a prospective tenant and had to go show the house. i may try to head over there tomorrow if i have some time.

then i went to the gap.com and got a cute striped hat, and a nice wool coat and some dressier pants for j (i think the coat will be his anniversary present). everything was on sale and then i got an additional 25% off with the code "sale". value: approximately $225.. and i spent just over $100 which included shipping and tax.

i also went to walgreens and transferred a prescription, receiving a $25 gift card in the process!

all these savings will make up for having to pay full price for the wii* fit and all the accessories i'm sure we'll have to buy!

*j's dad got us a wii for christmas!


j and i have decided to have a little competition.. since he can't seem to quit smoking, and i can't seem to lose 15 pounds.

at first, it was going to be the first one to their goal would get a special prize and the looser would have to do something embarrassing.

but i couldn't think of a prize good enough, or a punishment embarrassing enough to actually motivate me. i have been trying to lose 15 pounds for years, obviously i have a hard time finding something to motivate me. the standard ones like looking better, feeling better, etc just don't seem to be enough. darn high self esteem and boyfriend that loves me just the way i am. plus, i would rather j stopped smoking anyway.

so then we thought that we could make it a mutual goal and plan a prize for both of us - but we don't get it until we both reach our goal. that way, we can encourage each other and it's just a win-win situation. i think we're going to plan an elaborate weekend trip or something. we have a week to work out all the details, since the challenge starts on jan 1.

the other thing we want to do in 2009 is get our finances in order. i have decent credit, but a bit of debt.. j has no debt and makes good money, but has lousy credit. we're going to attempt to live on just his salary in 2009 and use mine to pay off debt and save. it's going to be tighter than we're used to, but at least his salary covers all our bills and a bit of spending money for both of us. i think i'll do ok with it, but j is an impulse-shopper that doesn't keep track of things too well so we'll see. our spending money is going to be cash, so as long as he remembers to go to the atm every week, we should be fine.

i love the new year.. fresh starts and new changes.. things always seem so promising!


get out of my way!

i was driving to the movie theater this past weekend with j, my brother, and my SIL. we went to see 4 christmases, which had its cute moments, but vince vaughn gets annoying after awhile. plus i didn't like reese witherspoon's bangs. but overall it wasn't bad.

to get to the theater, i had to turn left from california (a one way) onto 14th (another one way). there were people still entering the crosswalk about 30 seconds AFTER the red hand stopped flashing and i had the green light. these people were just moseying along, oblivious to the fact that it was *my* turn and they should have waited for the crosswalk light to turn green. one girl was even texting as she slowly walked across the street.

i got fed up waiting for them and honked.

a guy in the group flipped me off and yelled something at me.. i'm not sure what, but i returned the gesture to him as i drove by. jerk.

seriously. if you're crossing against the light, you should at LEAST hussle a little and look sorry for making me wait!


do these stripes make me look fast?

this is my car.

i know. it's super cute.

and apparently, invisible.

i have owned this car for almost 3 years. and i have been hit 3 times.

#1: summer 2006 - was parked at a friends house and someone in a large SUV backed into me. i had a huge dent in the hood from their ball hitch. fortunately, they were decent enough to leave a note and paid the $1500 repair bill.

#2: labor day weekend 2007 - was driving home from going out and a tweeker kid ran a stop sign and t-boned me. shattered the driver window, mangled the driver door. thank god no one was hurt. he was driving his friends mom's car. i didn't want to call the police because although i was ok to drive, i had been drinking that night and wasn't sure if i would register on a breathalyzer. i think the kid was on something too because he didn't want to call the police either. i was smart enough to get the license plate. i filed a police report the next day, saying that it was late and i didn't feel safe waiting for the cops to show up and thought it would be ok because no one was hurt. the owner of the car's insurance paid the $3500 repair bill.

#3: fall 2008 - was parked in front of my house. went outside and saw that my back hatch door was bashed in and there was red paint where it had been hit. no note. i filed a police report and then played detective in my neighborhood for weeks, checking the front of every red vehicle i saw. nada. so i sucked it up and claimed it on my insurance. its going into the shop this week. buh-bye $1000 deductable. i have a feeling it was a friend/family member of the immigrant family across the street - they are always parking in front of my house and dropping off or picking people up. and i'll bet dollars to doughnuts that they don't have car insurance. fuckers.

so not only do i seem to get hit a lot, i have about twice as many close calls. maybe only 10% of them are my fault. today i experienced 2 within an hour of each other.

#1: turning left onto colorado from 40th street. car in front of me slams on its brakes, so i slam on mine. turns out a stupid double-long fed ex truck was doing a U-TURN on a RED LIGHT on colorado blvd and got in the way of the guy in front of me. i passed the fed ex truck and honked. the guy behind me was riding my tail and when we got onto I-70, he sped up to pass me, honked, and flipped me off! WTF did *I* do? i hate that.

#2: going straight in the old navy parking lot. some lady pulls out and turns RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME. i slam on my brakes and lay on the horn. i was literally inches away from hitting her. i double checked to make sure i didn't run a stop sign or anything, and of course, i had the right of way.

is it because my car is small and people just don't SEE me? or are there more idiot drivers on the road now more than ever? i think i might have my insurance deductible lowered...


time to sink some money into the houses

i don't know if i ever mentioned that i am the landlord of two rental houses. the tenants in one of my houses just gave notice and they will be moving out this month, which means that i need to find some new renters. i put ads up all over and actually have a showing tomorrow, so that's great! anyhow, the house is old and a lot of the stuff in it isn't very nice, so we decided that we're going to put some money into it and make it a nicer place to live for the new tenants. here is what we need to do:

  • replace carpet in 2 bedrooms and the basement

  • paint every room

  • install new ceiling light fixtures in bedrooms

  • replace bathroom tile, toilet, vanity, mirror, and light fixture in both bathrooms

  • repair showers in both bathrooms

  • re-tile kitchen floor, install garbage disposal

it's a lot, but we're going to do it now and are looking at it like a practice house-flip. today we went shopping and found the carpet and light fixtures. the carpet place had remnants and we were able to find two matching high quality carpet pieces for the bedrooms. the basement is a different carpet, but the guy gave us a $0.50/sq ft discount. we also paid for installation, because we have no idea how to do it. total for ~400 sq feet of carpet + installation: $777

then we went next door to the lighting place that is moving and having a huge 20%-60% off sale. we bought 2 bathroom light fixtures and the 2 bedroom light fixtures. they were 20% and 40% off and we only paid $110! they would have been well over $200 at home depot, so i think we got a good deal.

i've been looking on craigslist, and between that and the habitat for humanity thrift store, i think we can get the bathroom vanities, cabinets, sinks, toilets, tile etc for pretty cheap.

then i started thinking.. you know, i really don't like the vanity, sink, and cabinet in my bathroom... so i suggested to j that we take those out and put them in the rental house.. then we can get nice ones for us! we might be spending more now than we would just buying cheap ones, BUT we've been wanting to replace ours anyway and now we won't have to buy other ones for one of the bathrooms. he thought that was a good idea, as long as we could find something we liked that was reasonably priced. we want one of those vessel sinks and cabinetry in a dark wood finish.

they are not reasonably priced.

here's an example of one i like.

$665! and that's just for the base.. it doesn't even include the sink.

to make matters more difficult, our bathroom is so tiny that the vanity can't be deeper than 15". that's not very big (standard is 22"). so what i would like to do is find a 15" x 30" cabinet in a dark wood with some drawers or storage space and then drill the holes to install a vessel sink (~$100 for a new one on craigslist) and faucet.

how do i do an internet search for that? i can't figure out what it would be called.. i've tried vanity base, cabinet, and a few other things. i'm not finding what i want. any ideas?

i could always do a pedistal sink, but we have limited storage as it is, so i wanted to avoid that option.

j is planning to take a woodworking class next year. i can't wait until he can just MAKE us what we want.


christmas destruction

for those of you that know me, you know that i have lost my fair share of personal belongings to the antics of my dogs. luckily, the incidents are getting fewer and farther between, but occasionally i am still greeted by a shredded possession.

today it was this

how silly of me to think that i could actually wrap all my presents and put them under the tree! especially ones that are technically food products. this one was for my mom's husband tom - a gift pack of spices from the savory spice shop* in denver. i'm going to take it in and see if they'll repackage the gift box for me - at least they didn't get through the spice jars!

this reminded me of a story my mom always tells about their first christmas when our dog champ was a puppy. this was before i was born, my parents were just married, and when they came home from work, there was wrapping paper and presents strewn all about the room. it turns out that my aunt paula had sent champ a bone and he tore through everything looking for it. my mom and dad had no idea who had given them what, which made thank you notes fun, i'm sure. dear grandma, thank you for the (check one): levis, book, frying pan, sweater. love sandie and luther.

and, because you all know i'm a list person, i'm going to try to compile a list of things my dogs have eaten over the past 2 1/2 years. i don't even want to think about the monetary value.
  • 15 pairs of shoes
  • 20 pairs of underwear
  • 5 expensive bras
  • 1 belt
  • 2 ball caps
  • 3 t shirts
  • 1 bazillion white athletic socks
  • 100 black dress socks
  • 3 remote controls
  • 1 fabric couch
  • 1 black leather couch
  • 1 brown leather couch cushion
  • 1 brown leather couch leg
  • 4 futon mattresses
  • 3 corners of baseboard woodwork
  • 4 dining room chair legs
  • 1 dining room table leg
  • 2 dog beds
  • 2 down comfortors
  • 6 pillows
  • 1 bottle of lotion
  • 25 pens/markers/highlighters
  • 1 autographed book
  • 2 coupon books
  • 2 paper back books
  • 1 library book
  • 3 ski hats
  • 1 scarf
  • 1 glove
  • 1 bottle of thyroid medication
  • 1 basketball belonging to neighbor kid
  • 2 vaccuum cleaner attachments
  • 1 christmas present
i know i'm missing some.

anyone else wanting to see marley & me on christmas? it will be like watching jerry springer when you're having some family drama.. suddenly, your life doesn't seem so bad!

*AWESOME store! all blended locally, reasonably priced, and yum! i highly recommend to the foodies out there..


and... i'm back!

so i know i kind of suck at blogging sometimes. i think it's during the summer when i slack off because there are just so many other things going on. when it starts getting colder, i spend a lot more time surfin' the net and am inspired to post more. the problem is when i take too much time off, i don't know where to start again. that's how i was keeping a journal too.. i'll have daily entries for 6 months and then nothing for 5 years.

a lot has been happening with me since last may. here is a rundown:
  • j moved in and we are very happy. he's going to propose soon, judging by the things he's saying.. i just don't know when - which is good!
  • i turned 30 in june and went skydiving. i didn't like it as much as i thought i would. in fact, i was absolutely terrified and have the video to prove it.
  • my baby brother got married in june to the awesomist girl ever - i love them!
  • in august i ended up taking over for the property management company that was managing my 2 rental properties. suffice it to say that they weren't doing their job and now i am a full blown landlord and i hate it. i need to get these houses refinanced and then hire a new company. however, j and i are getting a lot of practice fixing things up.
  • my job is still fabulous and i love it.
  • j brought home a stray kitten that he found on the drill rig. now the animals outweigh the humans. it's fun to watch him play with the dogs.
  • we've devised a plan to get all our debt paid off and be financially secure by 2011. then we can start having the babies and all that good stuff. :) we're going to live off of his salary and use mine to pay off debt/save for as long as we can. i never want to have debt again. ever.
  • still in school. 2 classes this semester. 2 next semester. 1 in the fall. then i'm DONE.
  • any extra money we do have has been going into the house. we figure we're going to be here a little longer than we thought, so we have been doing some great upgrades. i will post pictures if i find time.
that's about it for the major stuff. i've been kind of a recluse lately - definitely not going out as much. between work and school and the 3 houses and j's crazy work schedule and the pets, i really don't have much time to do anything else. and i really can't drink as much as i used to. i'm not complaining. it will help when we're living frugally next year!

keep checking back - i have a feeling i'll be posting a lot more for awhile.