Weekend

Mar. 6th, 2013 10:57 am
dancerjodi: (Geek)
It is Wednesday and I'm posting a weekend update. Time flies and all of that. I thought it did before I had a kid, but it is so much more faster now.

We took a walk on Saturday to our library and checked out the children's room. Wow! They had a nice open area for parents to sit on a long bench seat with room for the kids to play with a toy kitchen and food, puppets, small see-saw and then of course tons of puppets, books and such. And, a bathroom in the area with a changing table. I took Mina in to clean her up and Brian got the tour from one of the librarians. They are having a free 3 week music/dance activity that I'll be taking her to.

Our timing getting out of the house was later than I had hoped, so it put her at nap time as we were leaving the library. That paired with running around with kids there and she was pooped! She was out in the stroller within 2 minutes of leaving. We strolled home and stopped at our local thrift store and comic store along the way. After taking an inventory of her clothing that morning we found that she didn't have a lot of options in the next size up. She is starting to outgrow the 18 mo clothing (yes, she is 13 months), so we picked up a bunch of things from Global Thrift in the 24 mos/2T/3T range. Each one was around $2 a piece, which you really cannot beat! I love the hunt for this kind of thing.

We ran some errands in the afternoon and had dinner at PF Changs - our first time ordering something off the kid's menu for Mina. Normally I think it is unnecessary (you get such big portion sizes that Brian and I will just share with her) but her food reactions in her skin have been so odd lately, that we wanted something kind of plain but still not the regular chicken fingers and fries bent. Thankfully they were cheap: we ordered a $2 chicken and rice dish and another $2 veggie dish that she loved, with leftovers to spare.

Lately I feel like we are hemmoraging money, between buying food and clothing for this girl, despite trying to be low cost but high quality about it. We've gone through lazy periods where we just ordered dinner or went out, and have way outspent our "weekend" budgets over the last couple of months. We do great sometimes, not so great others. I really want to challenge myself to be better about this!

In other hemmoraging money news, our flights are booked for San Francisco for April. Brian's ticket will be reimbursed, and our hotel will be paid for by his company for part of the time. As will our rental car. This is both exciting and terrifying: first time flying with Mina!

She continues to just be a joy: running around, talking more, playing more. She is a social and active kid, so I can see the terrible toddler challenges just around the corner. I've been reading the Dr. Sear's Discipline book (picked up at the library) for some tips on how to deal with this before it explodes, because winter is surely coming. The Happiest Toddler DVD is waiting for me now at the library to pick up. I may try and snag a copy there of the Toddler Whipserer. I'm not a must do it by the book kind of person, but all of these experts were very helpful to us in the earlier baby days.

Work is work. Dance is dance. Right now, we just try and get through our days. :) We had a fun celebration of Gram's birthday (complete with looking at old photos and home movies). We need to take more lengthy home movies so that we can share more than 2 minute youtube clips with our kids decades from now!

Lazy

Nov. 9th, 2012 09:50 am
dancerjodi: (Default)
We need to get better about spending money for convenience. We've leaned on it a bit too heavily as new parents, but now our babe is almost 10 months old and it just isn't sustainable.

My bank has a neat system similar to mint.com where you can categorize and track spending, but internet connections are too slow for me to use it (I would need to categorize each expense before having a useful summary). Thankfully they also let you download a chunk of activity to a .csv file. I grouped in Excel and compared to our budget, heh. Some expenses are higher than normal and that's to be expected (have you seen the cost of gas) and we've been doing a lot of home improvements around babyproofing. Still, there is too much unknown ATM trips, restaurants and Dunkin Donuts runs in there. Particularly with this holiday season approaching, we should be smarter about this sort of thing.

(Jen, maybe we'll cook you guys one of our awesome CSA steaks on Monday?)

Happy about our weekend. On Fridays we tend to stay in and make our own pizza, get Mina to bed and watch a movie or catch up on the DVR. Tomorrow Miss M is going to spend the day with her Auntie, where she is sleeping over so that we can go to a wedding. Sunday we are celebrating my Mom's birthday over breakfast there. And Monday we visit with friends and (gasp) I may actually make it out to Ceremony for the first time in forever.

Have a great weekend peeps!

Truck

Jan. 14th, 2012 11:01 pm
dancerjodi: (Default)

Brian's truck turned out not to fit an infant car seat. So, we traded it in today for a new one with a bigger back seat. Unexpected and tiring, but glad we had the savings and good equity in his old truck to do this. Back to the drawing board in paying it down. :/

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

dancerjodi: (Default)
I enjoy playing with spreadsheets. This is one of the reasons I was able to keep track of our finances easily when we were trying to pay down debt (with some help from a friend with setting up a good budget).

From time to time I get lax with this, but then I always come back. I read a blog post today from a woman who found an old relative's cash log up in an attic somewhere, documenting their spending habits in the 1940s. It was a neat look at what things cost in days of old, how simple a normal family's consumer habits were, and a bit at the lifestyle that this family had in the purchases they were making.

I constantly think when tracking our own finances that they are quite complicated, and not as frugal as I'd like. I wonder what someone 50 years from now would think about my life, looking at it.

Having interests in history and sociology and ancestry research, I think sometimes of what I should perhaps purposefully leave behind for generations later to learn from, and it is this kind of thing that I consider when tracking things. Paper is a nice medium for this, but digital is so much portable, and shareable in other ways. Things to ponder.

Either way, now that we're back from our second spring trip, I'm excited about getting back to "normal" life and getting a handle again on where we are spending our cash.
dancerjodi: (Default)
Hammering out the details of missed dance steps with friends, early at the studio.

Getting sucked in to Mad Men and noting the irony of the retro commercials that are aired during a 60s themed TV show about an advertising agency (I love my DVR). I need to catch up on the previous seasons somehow.

Folding laundry with the cats circling me on the bed and looking cute and desperate, because they want their evening greenies. I get some weird kind of zen sense of peace with folding laundry - I'm not sure why but it's always been the case.

An interesting blog post on money and fear http://www.wisebread.com/a-society-of-fear . When considering my own budgeting and books and articles I've been reading of late (in addition to scanning old family photos and thinking of family, work, poverty and all of the related issues), this is timely.

Getting out another big work project.

Random

Jul. 13th, 2009 08:56 am
dancerjodi: (Default)
What time is it?!
http://www.boston.com/yourtown/news/waltham/2009/07/_source_the_home_of.html

Boston Rock: http://www.boston.com/yourtown/news/waltham/2009/07/waltham_historic_days_prospect.html

A clip on baby monitor:
http://www.boston.com/business/technology/articles/2009/07/13/clip_on_sensor_monitors_infants_for_trouble/?rss_id=Boston.com+--+Top+business+news

I enjoyed a podcast this morning on the way to work on the fulfillment curve http://www.thesimpledollar.com/2008/10/03/some-thoughts-on-the-fulfillment-curve/ - it makes a lot of sense, and it's some good food for thought. I can identify with this concept for myself, particularly in terms of books, and supplies for sewing and home projects.

I really love how our new tall/skinny shelf looks in the living room. It holds our stuff with room to spare. It makes the room look much larger and open and brighter. When we moved the TV in there months ago we ruminated a bit on storage and on purposefully using the stuff we had. At that time I couldn't bring myself to get rid of the old shelf that was part of our old entertainment set http://www.flickr.com/photos/dancerjodi/3111202046/in/set-72157611218982799/ , because it was the first big piece of furniture we bought together. Our needs and styles have changed since then, and we've gradually rid ourselves of pieces of the behemoth. A good thing about living on a main street is that things walk away very quickly from the sidewalk - I'd guess that old Bessie lasted less than an hour before she was taken away (along with the smaller wall shelf that I had picked up at Pier One as a 'it works but I'm not in love with it' solution). I'd like to be in love with the things I'm surrounding myself with if I have the resources to do that.
dancerjodi: (Finance)
Very interesting: link

Random

May. 19th, 2009 09:16 am
dancerjodi: (Default)
The new Tori Amos album came out today - 30+ songs! I like it quite a bit.

This http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2009/05/19/coping-with-lifes-little-setbacks/ is a nice post on little things piling up and making you crazy, and how its less powerful if you have your financial house in order.

An Iron Maiden video game: http://www.ironmaiden.com/games/flight666/
"Your objective is to fly the plane around five different countries (two levels per country), dropping speakers near the local people. If the speaker lands near enough, they will become a hardcore rocker! Each level requires a minumum number of rockers (get the maximum number of rockers possible for bonus points). If the person lands ON a person, then you have lost a possible rocker. You can upgrade your plane to help you achieve your goals, but be warned — this will cost you points! Avoid flying into obstacles and keep an eye on your fuel level."

I started reading http://www.amazon.com/Nourishing-Traditions-Challenges-Politically-Dictocrats/dp/0967089735 last night and I'm really enjoying it. Its making me very excited about the farmer's markets coming. Its also reiterating how happy I am about the efforts Brian and I have made to get local/untainted foods. We need a good source for raw butter again! We used to buy it through http://www.justdairy.org/index.html, but since we get our milk direct from the farm now, our source dried up. Who knows, maybe this cookbook will inspire me to make something of this milk we've been buying (yogurt, butter, whatever). Nah - I know myself well enough to know that I wouldn't have the time to spend doing that.
dancerjodi: (Default)
I've been looking for a purse that:
-fits my daily essentials (wallet, phone, keys, checkbook, with a bit room to spare)
-is professional enough for work but casual enough for jeans (and isn't 'girly')
-is comfy in my hands or on my shoulder
-fits inside of my favorite green bag
-matches whatever it is I'm wearing (colorwise, seasonwise)
-doesn't cost an arm and a leg BUT is good quality and will last forever if I take good care of it
-is 'sustainable' (I've been checking thrift shops for forever for something)

I was poking on Etsy and found one I liked from http://www.etsy.com/profile.php?user_id=5733817 , but it was a bit smaller than I wanted (the 'wristlet' - perfect for just my keys, phone and wallet, but sometimes I like to carry more than that). The owner and I wrote back a bit and she offered to make me one built to custom measurements, including a zipper (which I wanted), with the perfect strap length. I paid for this on Sunday, she made it on Monday and I received it today (shipped from Oregon).

Its PERFECT!

If you're into natural fabrics, supporting local businesses or building the perfect simple bag, please check her out. She's got some super cute baby shoes on her blogspot site too (old entries though, not sure if she's got the same ones for sale).

Good Things

Apr. 5th, 2009 05:11 pm
dancerjodi: (Default)
Waking without an alarm
A cat squished up to my belly
Switching cellular plans to one family plan, saving us $30 a month
Re-writing our mortgage with a lower rate, saving us $230 a month
"Red Beans and Rice" (which is mostly meat) in the crock pot
Sitting on the porch with the cats in the warmer weather

Random

Mar. 25th, 2009 11:19 am
dancerjodi: (Default)
The $ of having kids: http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2009/03/25/the-high-cost-of-having-children/

What can art do for your city?
http://www.boston.com/yourtown/news/waltham/2009/03/abrams_artists_and_communities.html

Is Borders going under? I'd really miss their cafe:
http://consumerist.com/5183629/is-borders-about-to-go-under

We hop on a plane for NOLA tomorrow for the wedding. Brian will have his iPhone and presumably his laptop so we'll have connectivity, I just don't anticipate a ton of time sitting online. We'll be back with lots of pictures and experiences to share, I'm sure!
dancerjodi: (Finance)
We love Watertown Savings Bank (our accounts and mortgage are there). Not only are they local, been around for a long time and don't sell their mortgages, they give back locally http://www.dailynewstribune.com/news/x260342694/Watertown-Savings-Bank-divides-50K-prize .
dancerjodi: (Finance)
This post http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2009/02/23/outside-looking-in-how-others-view-our-spending/ gets into discussions with friends about money and the 'you can't have it all' idea.

We have now paid for our Italy trip in full. How do you traveler's decide what to bring for spending/meals/entertainment? Some of our meals and tickets are included in the package, though not all of them are.
dancerjodi: (Default)
Our friend Mark has been down on his luck lately. He's a commercial illustrator (you've probably seen his stuff in the Weekly Dig) and is responsible for this gem of a comic http://thinkingapeblues.com/ .

They live out in Lunenburg, and so they suffered the 2 weeks of no power back with the ice storm a few months ago. When the power came back there was a major surge, frying the contents of his computer and killing his data (work and personal related). They are in the midst of insurance hell right now, trying to get the funds to get the data and computer back amongst other house related things.

Then his wife was in a pretty serious car accident. It was 100% not her fault, but they are in insurance hell right now (seeing a trend?) while they are waiting for the settlement. She's had some back issues and they are paying out of pocket for a rental until the claims are done. I'm not sure if she's back at work or not (she's a public defender in Lowell), but either way, they have two young kids to care for which is work enough on top of the injury.

And then the other day Mark slipped on some mud, fell and broke his wrist. The right one. The hand he draws with (so he's not working right now on top of all of this other stuff).

He's a very creative and all-around great guy, and if anyone likes his work at http://thinkingapeblues.com/ (its very, very clever) please throw some money his way on some merch. He's one of the main reason why some of the amazing prop projects you've seen the NEG and Alderaan Base do have been pulled off (Jabba, Landspeeder, Dewback). I don't mean this to be a charity call as much as a 'help a geek out if you like his stuff' request. Or support your local artist. Or something. In fact, he'd probably be annoyed that I'm posting this in the first place, but I feel so compelled (and I'm stubborn like that). :)

Junk Cars

Feb. 12th, 2009 12:37 pm
dancerjodi: (Default)
My hope is to keep Eddie for a long, long time. I liked this article about old cars.
dancerjodi: (Finance)
I really liked this article (stages of financial and life planning):
http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2009/02/06/what-next-the-third-stage-of-personal-finance/

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