16 September 2011

Braggin' Off Some Steam!

Labor Day, Monday Sept 5 this year, I decided to go out to my local thrift store and take advantage of 50% off.  I was met with hundreds of others with the same idea.  I really wanted to get a bedspread for my bed and a little something for Mr. Ryan (especially if he was a good boy in the store).  There were so many people, I decided not to get a cart, as there wasn't much room to maneuver.  We went to the blanket aisle, where there weren't so many people, picked out a nice light shade of green, then to the toy aisle.  Too many people looking at toys!  I found a LeapPad (one that wasn't pink) like this one here.

Just with three things, I decided it was time to go.  Ryan wanted to look at more toys, but I had enough of the large crowd.  We were able to skip to the front of the line because we didn't get carried away with shopping.  The lady rang up two items, including the blanket, then she looked for a price on the LeapPad.  There was no price written on it, so she sat it aside.  *GASP!*  She said I couldn't buy it because there was no price written on it.  I asked if there was someone I could talk to who could tell me.  She said, "no."  Now I don't know if it was because someone mistakenly put out the toy she wanted to take home to her children, or any other reason it had to stay.  I was pretty crushed (and it's not like it was a big deal).

I decided that we would go back the next day.  There are some really good deals everyday at the thrift store.  It's always better when you have some time to relax and find those hidden treasures.  Ryan and I returned the next day.  I was able to breathe and we found some really cool things.  One of which was a My First LeapPad, which came with a book.  Ryan had one before, but it stopped working and (aside from changing batteries) I didn't feel like trying to figure it out.  We also found some books and cartridges to go with it.  We also found a Leapster that was in working condition!  Grabbed that sucker, too!  Feeling pretty good about the things that were in my cart, mostly for Ryan, I continued browsing.  In the electronics, I found lots of cables and controllers for all kinds of things.  I will probably go back once I start working on this broken PS2 I've acquired.

In the furniture and appliance section, I found this little baby.  Normally retails (brand new) for $119.  The link I've provided shows $44.88.  I got it for $14.99.

Either way, I saved a TON of money.  Once I got it home, I looked for a website that could have a manual.  Euroflex does not provide manuals, unless you call customer service. :(  No biggie.  I made my own mop pads, using microfiber towels that I decided I didn't want to use.  $2 for a 2-pack from Forman Mills.  I used a bit of an old t-shirt and a Sham-wow for padding.

One gross thing about it was not the amount of dust that had built up on it, but what was inside.  There was nasty water inside and chunks of what I believe to be calcium.  I think the previous owner may have had hard water.  Of course that needed to be cleaned out.  The mop doesn't take more than 10oz of water (about 1.25 cups)  I used a cup of water and added 1/4 cup of vinegar and turned it.  I was hoping to try and mop that day...but it didn't work.  Decided to let the vinegar water sit for a couple nights.

Today, I emptied out the tank and filled it with a cup of water.  I decided to lay the handle down on the floor as the mop heated up.  After a few minutes, it was steaming.  A few passes proved that it worked.  Of course, my floor was not vacuumed beforehand, so...use your imagination.

I think after a few uses, I'll have it completely cleaned out.  I will make a few more pads as well.  I'm so proud of myself!

14 September 2011

What have we been up to?

Well, it's been almost a month since my last post.  I'm sure you've been wondering what's been going on.  Well, I'll tell you.  I've been looking for a job that I could do from home.  I haven't found one yet, full-time, but I have begun training as a public adjuster.  I have to go to classes and take the exam for my license.  That's all been going pretty well.  I hope to find some lifelong clients.

In other news, Ryan is still home with me, for the time being.  I will begin searching for a school for him.  He's 3 and will turn 4 in December.  Next year will be time for preschool!  I would like to home-school, but I'm a little concerned with my lack of organization.  Perhaps, I'll revisit that in the near future.  He and I have been running around being silly...

As I mentioned, I've been very disorganized lately.  It's been a combination of emotional and physical.  I've been pretty strong for the most part, but there are still some days where I can't function at 100%.  I miss my girlies that much.  For the last week, I've been fighting a cold.  It took me down for about a day and a half, which is normal.  But yesterday, the sucker came back!  I'm feeling better, but not completely there yet.

As far as saving money goes...I haven't been spending much!  There are a LOT of advantages to not having to drive an hour to work everyday or pay for childcare.  Ryan and I don't really eat much between the two of us, so we're okay on a $200 monthly food budget.  You would like to think that me being at home would give way to a lot of free time...ha!  Any housewife or stay at home mom knows better!

One of the things I'm working on is a schedule.  I need to come up with a schedule of regular things I do around the house.  I've learned that you don't have to cram everything in 2 days to have order in your home. Just break it down.  Do one room a day or do a few different things (cleaning the bathroom and take out the trash) each day.  If you keep this up along with remembering to pick up when you mess up, before you know it you'll find you don't have to sweat as hard to maintain.  Incidentally, since I haven't really been doing any shopping, I also haven't been clipping my coupons.  Remember that no matter how much shopping you do, you can always use coupons!

And one last thing...I'm still looking to do something different with  my living room.  If you can come up with some neat ideas, let me know.  My color palette has been decided.

I don't think it looks terrible.  I just want to clean it up a bit and add something(s) to the walls.  The other side of the room, however...

...is pretty bare and cluttered.  I would like to either paint or cover the file cabinet, paint the desk, cover the chair, and add something to the walls.  I think the living room is my most challenging room....it's also usually the most neglected...

I hope all is well with you!  Give me some ideas, if you've got any!