Friday, January 23, 2015

Things I'm currently loving...

Anything and everything gold!



The beautiful flowers my husband sent me for no reason on Tuesday.



The Maroon 5 song Sugar. It's so good!!

Gas prices. I can't even believe they are so low. Hopefully I'm not jinxing it.

(Okay, so maybe I used some fuel points on this one.)

Peeling wallpaper. Oh wait…I HATE that. 

Giant greasy hamburgers. Not sure why but almost everyday I want to eat a hamburger. (Don't worry I don't. Sadly.)

My husbands butt in these jeans…

American Sniper, the movie. It was really good and super intense. Makes you appreciate our freedom and what soldiers do for our country. You know it was good when the theatre is dead silent as the credits roll until people start clapping. Check it out. 

The lovely free printable Meal Planner I made for all you lovely readers :) You can find a downloadable file of it on my Blog BFF Kala's page My Breezy Room!


Have a lovely weekend!!



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Monday, January 19, 2015

Money Saving Monday

I've realized I have about a million little tricks and tips for saving money. Since I'm pretty sure everyone loves to save money I have decided to do a little series occasionally called Money Saving Monday



With this series I will share ways (that I actually use) to save myself and my family money. This ranges from making freezer meals, to couponing, to using certain websites or apps to earn things like gift cards, cash and magazines!

If there is something in particular you are interested in saving money on let me know in the comments below. 

To get started…here's a link to a post I did a few weeks ago. I have currently earned approximately $70 in gift cards just from this app. (Hint: If you use the link I provide I earn bonus points and so do you!)


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Thursday, January 15, 2015

I'm not a failure

(I bet that title made you click, huh? I'm not a failure at my non-resolutions that is!)

My New Years goal to Simplify my life is going pretty well. Am I an expert at it yet? Not even close. Here's a few things I have done so far to help me get the process going...

I cleaned out a few kitchen cabinets that were literally overflowing. I purged a bunch of food that was expired or that I realized we will never eat and reorganized to make things easier to find. Now I don't dread opening up my cabinets. Win!

I set up a second checking account with automatic transfers from our regular checking account. A small amount is transferred each Friday (Seth's payday).  This money will be used on household projects such  re-roofing and re-siding our house. Which will help avoid the, "oh shoot, that's a lot of money to come up with" Yay!

I have continued to write my to do lists in my planner and then try to get through the items on my list each day. If I don't complete the item I move it to the next day. Re-writing the same thing over and over from day to day seems stupid to me so I just get the item done so I can check it off. I love checking off lists!


It might only be the second week of January but hopefully I will be able to stick with it. Wish me luck!

How have your resolutions or non-resolutions been going so far?? Any tips or tricks?

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Monday, January 5, 2015

A New Year Without Resolutions!

It's already the 5th of January and until I started writing this post I was feeling slightly overwhelmed and like I already failed at the New Year. I decided to not make formal New Years Resolutions this year and I was a little worried about it because who doesn't like starting a new year with a long list of to-do's? 

I think it's my indecisiveness and moderate ADD that make resolutions overwhelming to me in general. I have so many ideas, hopes, dreams, that just thinking about them all makes my head spin. And then writing them down scares the crap out of me. 

Instead of year long resolutions, that usually end up forgotten by February, I have decided to try and have a general focus for the year. 

This year my focus is going to be:
SIMPLIFY


To me, Simplify, can mean a lot of different things but I think it can be pretty well summed up by saying: 

Figure out what's important to you, and get rid of everything else.

Can you tell I'm currently loving gold and polka dots?
Here's my plan of action:
1. Clean out my closets and cabinets and get rid of things that I don't need or use.
2. Plan ahead for things like birthdays, meals, bills, etc. using my planner.
3. Set up automatic banking transfers to save money for home improvements
4. Spend less time looking at screens which will create extra time
5. Fix problems instead of creating work arounds
6. Clean out unneeded digital data (photos, files, emails, etc.)
7. Buy less and use what I have
8. Add in extra time to avoid being late
9. Spend 15 minutes a day cleaning (laundry, dusting, sweeping) to avoid a weekend of cleaning
10. Focus any extra time on relationships. 


I realize this may look like a long list of resolutions but I would like to argue that it is different. This list is by no means all inclusive but it does help to give me a starting point and a direction for where I want to go this year. I'm hoping that by keeping it simple (aka: Simplifying) all I have to do is ask myself, "Will ________ help to simplify my life?"  The answer to that one little question should help me to focus on what really matters. 

January is filling up!

Do you have New Years Resolutions? Do you stick to them? I want to know what you think!

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Sunday, December 7, 2014

How I Make/Save Money with my Phone


Aren't cell phones amazing?! They are basically tiny little computers that fit in our skinny jeans and save us money!

I thought it might be a good idea to share a couple of my favorite apps that are super simple and have saved, even earned, me money.

My favorite money making app is Shopkick.

All you do is open the app when you walk in certain stores such as Target (where we all shop), JcPenny, Best Buy, Wal-Mart and more. When you open the app you typically get anywhere from 30 to 100 kicks (sometimes even 200). In some stores you can scan certain products to get you additional kicks. Many times these range from 10 to 100 kicks per scan. Once you have accumulated enough kicks you can cash them in for gift cards. Using Target as an example: you can cash in as few as 500 kicks for a $2 gift card or 6250 kicks for a $25 gift card.

I have earned a total of 14,500 kicks which is equal to over $50 in gift cards. I have cashed in enough of my kicks to equal $35 worth of gift cards at JcPenny and currently have 5,750 kicks I can use whenever I want. The gift cards are codes that pop up almost instantly on your phone when you redeem them. You show the cashier the code which they enter as a gift card and ta-dah, free stuff!



How cool is that?

I'll do a follow up post to discuss a couple of the other apps I use to save money. What are your favorite money saving apps? Tell me in the comments below.

Enjoy and happy Shopkicking!


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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Hate Mail: Dear Verizon

We have switched phone carriers from T-Mobile to Verizon and it has been the biggest pain in the ass hassle. My mom and I went into the Verizon store on October 13rd to start the process and order our new phones (3 hours). After going around and around and around with everything we finally got new phones way later (November 15th to be exact) than promised because of Verizon's ridiculousness. 

I have summarized a few, not all, of the main issues below in an email I so eloquently drafted to Shahrukh after he emailed me in regards to the customer satisfaction survey I filled out. Please note that when I say eloquently drafted I really mean typed incredibly fast and angrily while punching my poor keyboard as hard as possible. I had no regard for punctuation, grammar or run on paragraphs because I was blinded by anger and wanted to get my point across, so don't judge.  I have added in the sections in red for your viewing pleasure and because that's what I really wanted to write but I didn't think they would take me seriously.

Verizon - If you would like to contact me, you've got my number ;)

And without further ado:

Hi Shahrukh (the guy that emailed me from Verizon),

I just wanted to let you know that so far I have not been happy with my service at Verizon. It has honestly been nothing but a nightmare (literally, I dream I'm on the phone with them) with one problem after the next. I have spent 10 hours, at least, on the phone with Verizon, including over 3 hours in one day (207 minutes to be exact). I have been bounced from one person to another! I have talked to Wendy, Amber, Franklin, Quint, John, Julian and more and that was in ONE DAY!! I have been in 3 different Verizon stores to go over things with employees there. My orders were cancelled 3 times (get your shit together)!!!!! They shipped me an extra phone and billed it to me! (Oh, and the extra phone was delivered to my husband, at my house, WHILE I was in VERIZON.  Is this real life? Am I being Punked? Where's Ashton?) They still have not adjusted my data plan and now are telling me they can't do it until the extra phone, that was wrongly sent on Verizon's part, returns back to Verizon. (So I get to call again? FML) We switched for reliability and so far we have had multiple dropped calls on the road where we have never before dropped calls with our old provider (granted they got dropped many other locations with them). We have dropped phone calls inside our home. We can not pull up the internet in the parking lot of a local gas station….does that sound like reliability to you???? Heaven forbid I'm stranded on the side of the road! Multiple times when I called Verizon for help I was told a Supervisor would return my call and it was not returned. Is that customer service?? I think not. (Dis-service? Yes)

I'm not happy. If you want to do something to make it right I will listen, but until then I guarantee you that I will not be singing Verizon's praises. Instead, I have been telling friends, family, coworkers and anyone (and I mean anyone) who will listen how dis-satisfied I am with Verizon. I'm an easy to please kinda person so I hope you understand how unhappy I am at this point. (Even though I sound like a raging lunatic at this point because that's where you've pushed me).This is not how customers should be treated and Verizon should be ashamed of themselves!

Unhappy Customer,
Julie 

(P.S. I will not be thankful for Verizon on Thanksgiving.)


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Thursday, November 13, 2014

World Series - Royals vs. Giants (Part 2)

Okay, so let's see if I can wrap this up...

After we sold our tickets to Game 1 we were feeling a little bummed until we watched them lose, so we were okay with missing out on the game.

Game 2 was on a Wednesday and my brother, Mike, and is girlfriend, Taryn, rode with us and we all tailgated together. I obviously made some signs, it was the World Series, DUH, that the tailgating crowd seemed to really enjoy. Especially the Giants fans next to us. We even got interviewed by a news station, and even thought they didn't use our interview, we still made the footage though with my sweet signs.

Chevy had an area set up in the parking lot where you could go and take photos in a bunch of fun spots and then we got to play the worlds largest cornhole game. Let's just say, I sucked at it. Big time. At a certain point it was time to go into the game.

Our seats were actually decent and the people around us were a lot of fun. Turns out the people a few rows behind us didn't love us though because, heaven forbid, we stand and cheer with the other sections. That's right, we literally got yelled at to sit down. Pretty sure the people behind us didn't like it much when we turned around and told them to stand up because they are at "THE WORLD SERIES" and "buy better seats next time". Maybe that sounds rude but the majority of the people in the stadium were standing even if everyone in our section wasn't and they were literally yelling at me to sit down before I had a chance to sit down. At that point we pretty much said screw you and stood most of the rest of the game. Security even tried to tell us to sit and we argued with her until everyone around us stood up and she moved on. Pretty ridiculous really. We weren't blocking kids or anything it was just grumpy old people. We ignored them and had a great time.

Game 6
Seth's best friend, Chris, was in town from Colorado so he joined us in our tailgating extravaganza. We also met up with a few of my cousins in the parking lot. Since Game 6 was a possible clinch game for San Francisco the mood in the parking lot wasn't quite as boisterous but still lots of fun. I made some more sign's...some that were maybe a little inappropriate but the guys insisted.

We headed with the crowds into the stadium until we got stopped. My ticket worked great. Seth handed the lady his ticket and it beeped and wouldn't scan. I said, woah, woah, woah, we bought these tickets from your sales guy in the ticket office, scan it again. She did and it still didn't go and told us he needed to go to customer service. Chris jumped in and gave Seth his ticket and said he would take our ticket and get things figured out. So Chris went to customer service outside and Seth and I went to customer service inside where I threw a little fit and spouted off my speech..."We bought these tickets from so and so in your ticket office and our friend is stuck on the outside of the gate and we are being told our ticket was illegally sold on Stubhub and our friend in from Colorado and you need to let him in now!" I have no idea what happened but they let Chris in so we all raced to our seats but we missed the ceremonial first pitch and the National Anthem. Oh, and there was someone in my seat. NBD. Since we had just finished tailgating I obviously had a little liquid courage that made me ask mister in-my-seat if he had bought his ticket off Stubhub. He said yes and so I felt I had to tell him that someone stole our ticket barcode somehow and sold it illegally on Stubhub. I then went on to tell him I knew he didn't do it and sorry we were so crowded together. He apologized and offered to move to the empty seat the next row down. I insisted he was fine and that I was sure there would probably be someone coming for that empty seat anyway. At this point the people a few rows behind us thought it would be a good idea to yell at us again so I just yelled back that I didn't have a seat because mine was sold illegally!! I tried to sit on Seth's lap and decided the best option was to call Stubhub directly. Poor lady that answered the phone. Convo went something like this...

Stubhub Lady: Hello, Stubhub how can I help you?
Me: Ummm...I'm at the WORLD SERIES right now and someone is in my seat because someone sold it ILLEGALLY on YOUR site!
SH Lady: Ummmmm....someone sold your ticket on Stubhub?
Me: Yes, and it wasn't me! I DID NOT sell my ticket and now people are yelling at me because I'm standing at the World Series.
SH Lady: Ummmmmm....can you please hold while I get a manager?
Me: Sure, no problem.
SH Lady: Ma'm
Me: Yes
SH Lady: Do you have  your ticket?
Me: Yes, it's in my pocket because I didn't sell it.
SH Lady: If you have the ticket it's your seat and you might need to get someone there to help you.
Me: That's fine, thanks for your help. Looks like he left so I'm sitting here anyway. Thanks for your help!

And he was gone, never to be seen the rest of the game. Can't help but wonder since he left so easily if he was the real thief! If so, well played sir. Looks like you got to see the World Series, even if it was only standing room.

Once all of that happened, Seth decided he needed to go get a beer. While he was gone mean security lady came to take away my inappropriate sign. She was a lovely lady. Not really. I gave it up pretty freely because I just wanted to watch the dang game. Seth got back, we watched, we cheered, we stood. And then bitchy people yelled at us AGAIN!! I know at this point you are probably thinking we must have been obnoxious or rude or something but I assure you we weren't at all. I wasn't drunk or even a little drunk and was just getting annoyed. We were just standing and cheering with the majority of the stadium even if it wasn't the majority of our section. Anyway, Seth went out to get another beer with Chris. He was gone quite awhile and then Chris came to get me because they wanted to see Seth's ticket before letting him back in our section. I was basically thinking...are you kidding me?!!! I went to the little tunnel that led to our seats and flashed the tickets to the cops and security that were standing there. The cops asked Seth to sit if most people were sitting and he basically told them the same thing we told the people behind us. "They need to stand or buy better seats". The cops were actually super nice and just wanted him to say "sure" because the bitchy security lady was standing there. While we were all there talking a group of people from the row behind us walked by and started yelling to the cops, "he is not doing anything wrong, people are bitching and yelling at him for nothing". I assured the cops that he/we would be good and thanks.

After all of those shenanigans it was far enough into a 10-0 game that everyone was standing and cheering most of the time so people couldn't yell at us for doing it anymore. Victory!!!

Game 7
After the Game and excitement the night before we were pretty tired but still ready to go and cheer for our Royals for one more game. Chris decided he couldn't leave to drive back to Colorado when the Royals could possibly win the World Series so he bought a ticket on the drive home after Game 6 and went back with us the next day. It was basically more of the same in the parking lot, fun basically.

This time we made it smoothly into the game with no tickets being stolen and sold without our knowledge. And, not a single person yelled at us to sit down during the ENTIRE game!! I think the grumpy people were gone which was pretty awesome. We cheered our boys in blue on until the bitter end when we were hoping for a rally after Alex Gordon's triple. I'm sure people will debate for years whether the coach should have sent him home (I vote yes) or not, but it is what it is. A sad sad loss. After the last out was made you could have heard a pin drop in the silence that became the stadium.

I'm not afraid to admit that I cried. It was such an amazing season and post season and will be an October that I will remember for the rest of my life. The way the city came together to support the team was truly incredible. Everywhere you looked there were signs, flags, and blue. Walking through the grocery store, through the mall or even looking at the people in the cars next to you, everyone was wearing blue. It honestly seemed like 9/10 people were thrilled with Our Royals! I have never seen so many people come together to support something before with no anger or animosity like you see with political parties and such. We hope to someday be able to describe these games and the time in our life to our children and grand-children and I don't think it will even be possible. It was an unbelievable time and experience even for those of us that were there to witness it with our own eyes.

And that's my story of the 2014 World Series. I still can't believe it's over but I also can't wait until next season!


I have a million photos but I think I might make a new post that contains all of those so you can relive it with me....watch for it! I'm sure you will want to see my inappropriate sign and tailgate shenannies :)

Let's Go ROYALS!

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