Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Awards and Adventures in Real Estate

Last week Sonja over at 30 Before 30, gave me an Awesome Girl award! Also, Alison over at life: unqualified gave me an Honest Scrap award. You guys are so sweet! It just amazes me that people I have never met in real life found my little blog in this big, bad blogosphere, read my words, and actually like what they read! Seriously, you don't know how much this means to me...I feel overjoyed with every comment and awards just send me over the top!

I am supposed to share 10 things about myself. I feel like I have already shared everything imaginable on here, so I am going to change the rules. Since my new found brokenness, I find myself craving more and more things. So here are 10 things I am itching to buy but can’t afford right now:

1. An I-phone
2. A new flat screen TV (the one I have now if this wood monstrosity from 1992)
3. Hardwood floors
4. Stainless Steel appliances
5. a tile back splash in my kitchen
6. granite counter tops
7. a new kitchen sink and faucet
8. a new light fixture for my kitchen
9. a maid
10. new shoes- amazingly I want some flats. I used to not buy anything but heels because of my height challenges, but flats are so much more comfy!

So that’s it. Can you tell I REALLY want to re-do my kitchen? I’ve wanted to for a while now. That’s why it is on my list. With my funds now down to nothing, I was starting to look at just re-doing a few things in my bathroom, but that is not going to satisfy me. The kitchen is what I really want to re-do. I must find a way.

As far as passing this award on, I need to think about this some. I read so many blogs everyday and I am the worst bloggy friend. I never comment, I never email, I never update my blogroll, I just follow along on your life silently because I never have time to sit down and actually do the things I think about doing for my bloggy friends. So I am going to put together a whole post highlighting some of these girlies more in-depth than just a random link. So be on the lookout for that!

Back to what's been going on with me recently...another reason all this house stuff is at the top of my mind is because for the last month I have been house hunting with witty guy! Not for me and witty guy to buy together…I already have a house. But he has never bought a house and I convinced him he just could NOT miss out on that $8,000 tax credit! I mean I didn’t get $8,000 when I bought my house!

So we looked and looked. His first love was a little detached house with a one car garage. It needed some owrk, but it could be a great deal. So he put in a low offer. But the bad thing was that it was a short sale situation. For those of you who don’t know, a short sale is where you are behind in your payments and up-side-down in your loan. Meaning you owe the bank more than the house is worth. So the bank must “forgive” some of the mortgage to avoid you going into foreclosure. The bad thing for buyers trying to buy a short sale is that the owner AND the bank (or banks if they have more than one loan) must approve the offer and it can take forever! Like up to 90 days! He didn’t have that kind of time to waste, so on to the next choice.

The next choice was a really nice end-unit townhouse. It had hardwoods and was really, really nice. These sellers though were apparently smoking crack and priced their house about $5,000 more than what the highest comp in the neighborhood had sold for. And they were not budging on their price. They were using a discount broker who could not talk any sense in to them and so he walked away from that one too. I will be watching that house and I doubt it will ever sell at that price and even if it does, I am betting there is no way it appraises, so they will have to come down anyway. When that happens I so want to knock on their door and sing “Told you so, told you, told you. Told you so!”

His third choice had been withdrawn from the market, so back in the car we went to continue the search.

He had had his heart set on an end-unit townhouse or a detached house, but in his price range in this area of Raleigh, there was really nothing. So he agreed to look at interior unit townhomes. Miraculously, he found The One! It is a townhouse in the same neighborhood as house #2 but way better. It has HUGE bedrooms. The kitchen is to-die-for (thus my obsession for updating mine!), and hardwoods on the whole first floor. It is SO NICE! And last night, they worked out the offer! I know it is not my house, but I am still super excited for him!

And the Wake County Parade of Homes starts this weekend. I LOVE the Parade of Homes! So now I can go view million dollar houses and feed my need for updating some more!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I can always find ways to waste time!

Last week when I was so broke, my mind starting getting pretty extreme with my money saving ideas. I had pretty much decided I was going to cut off my internet AND cable! I needed a reason to stop wasting time in front of the TV and computer anyway.

But then I got a check from my mom for $149 to pay me back for the money I spent on that speeding ticket. She was sneaky and sent it during the week she was out in Seattle so I couldn’t even call her and tell her it was too much. (My mom is technically challenged and doesn’t own a cell phone. So every time she goes out of town, I pretty much have no way to get in touch with her. Hmmm maybe she does that on purpose?) Anyway, after a few days carrying the check around, I finally gave in and deposited it. Now I don’t feel so desperate and I’m having second thoughts about living without TV.

I have tried not watching TV much over the past few days. I was hoping this would lead me to extreme boredom which would force me to exercise, but unfortunately I am an expert at wasting time.

First it was Mah Jong online. Then I discover this game called Sushi Chef. Now I am obsessed! I played the free trial version a couple times and then I decided to upgrade to the full version. Since I had extra money in my pay pal account from my ebay obsession days, I feel like I didn’t even have to pay for it!

Go check out the trial version here: http://www.miniclip.com/games/youda-sushi-chef/en/

It is insane when you get to the higher levels, and it stresses me out, but I could seriously waste a couple hours playing this game!

When I get tired of playing that game, I have books to keep me company. I’ve read quite a few this month. Go check out my reviews on my Bookshelf Blog.

When all else fails I turn to my cell phone and call people and have random conversations about really nothing at all.

So TV or no TV, Internet or no Internet, I still find plenty of ways to waste my time!

Monday, September 21, 2009

I'm Dead Sexy

A few days ago Shoshana at From L.A. to LA tagged me to do a 5 sexy things meme.

Here's how it works:

* Write 5 things that make you feel sexy
* Post a pic if you dare!
* Pass it on to 5 lovely bloggers

Wearing a cute swimsuit (when my body is actually in shape) in the Caribbean on a catamaran drinking Bushwackers and Painkillers soaking up the sun.

High heels...for the first hour. Then they just make me want to put on some flip flops because I am in such pain.

A big fluffy comfy hotel bed. Makes me just want to cuddle up underneath the big fluffy comforter with someone. I like the Marriot's beds.

Swimming. I love to be in the water (except the ocean because of my fear of jelly fish). But something about swimming under water is kind of sexy.

This is bad, but put a few drinks in me and I just might think I am the hottest thing ever.

I'm tagging
Heidi from The Heidi Diaries
Themis0307 from Girl v. The World
AnnQ from Average but Not...
Akriah from Quater Life Lady
Alyssa from Twists of Fate

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Why I failed at envelope budgeting

For the month of September I was going to try the envelope budgeting method. This is where you take cash and put it in envelopes for your various expenses and once it is gone, it’s gone. I am still getting used to my take home pay amount and don’t have an official “budget” to go by, but I figured I would just pay all my bills online and then take the rest out in cash and split it up amongst the envelopes.

I deposited what I thought would cover my bills and took the rest out in cash.

First I had to get a certified check to pay my speeding ticket.

Then I sat down and paid my bills- mortgage, HOA dues, electric, gas, water/trash, cable/internet, and cell phone.

Then I took some of the cash I took out and deposited it in my Money Market account to pay my car payment. (I hadn’t done this since I bought the car back in April. It was just draining that account down to nothing!)

Then I got 2 other bills I wouldn’t get normally. One was my AMEX bill for the J Crew dresses I bought for church and the other was one from my Limited card for some jeans I had bought because I was seriously down to just one poor pair of jeans. At the time I bought these I didn’t really have enough money to cover them in checking, so I figured I’d just charge it and pay it off with next month’s paycheck.

I NEVER carry credit card debt because back in college I got a lesson in how quickly that interest can make it get out of control and you really start to feel like you are never going to pay it off.

Then I remembered I had to write a check for my health insurance.

So I added up the amount for the health insurance and 2 credit card bills. I went to my cash stash and started counting it out so I could deposit that back into my checking to cover these bills. When I got done, I had one $20 bill left! I looked in my wallet because I knew I had put a $20 in there when I first got cash out. There was a $10 bill and some change.

I decided I didn’t want to split up the two poor little bills I had left so I just stuck the $20 in my wallet.

I have $9 left of that now.

I don’t get paid again for 3 weeks.

So much for envelope budgeting!

Something is going to have to change in October...I am thinking about cutting off Time Warner, (they've been bleeding me dry forever anyway) going with Dish Network or something and living without internet at home. Any other suggestions?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Beach Weekend

I went to the beach this weekend to visit my mom. She has been down there the past couple weeks staying with a friend and they were kind enough to invite me and Cam down for the weekend. It was a great, relaxing time. I took Cam for a long walk on the beach. I laid out all day on the beach and took a dip in the pool (I had it all to myself!) I finished my book and started another one. I went to dinner with my mom and then they taught me how to play mah jong. (It is nothing like it is on the computer!) I got to see my mom’s dog Ginger (cutest dog ever!) and Cam had a blast with the other dogs and all the excitement.

Part of the reason I love vacations (even mini ones) is because it is an escape from the everyday routine. I forgot my phone charger so I had my phone off for most of the weekend. It was nice to escape my normal world even if it was just for a weekend.

My mom and her friend had been at the beach for a while and they had this young college guy come and walk their dogs every morning for an hour at 7:30 everyday. He also did little things like fill up their car with gas and helped out with things around the condo. Must be nice! Anyway, I met him when I finally emerged from my room around 8:30 on Saturday morning. I had wanted to sleep in, but as soon as Cam heard everyone else up, he spent the next hour whining and licking me to get me up so he could see what was going on.

The young college guy was really nice and he told me how he was studying computer science down there and asked what I did. I told him and then he asked me how long I had been out of school. It had been so long I couldn’t even count the years! I laughed and said a long time and that I had graduated in 2002. He said “oh wow, yeah that is a long time.”

I tell ya, there is nothing like a young whippersnapper college student to make you feel old as dirt!

Funny thing is, I still use my college ID to get a discount at the movies. The picture is now over 10 years old, but I guess I can pass for a young whippersnapper college student every now and then!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


I think the next time I fill out a questionaire and it asks for my hobbies, I am going to list watching TV.

I know it is bad for you supposedly. I know there are a million more productive things I could be doing with my time, but something about sitting (or laying) on the couch, remote in hand, and a full list of DVRed shows just makes me so happy.

I'm getting excited because fall TV is about to start up. And while I have been enjoying my new favorites I just discovered like Flipping Out and The Rachael Zoe Project and the summer classic Big Brother, I just can't wait for my regular line up to be back on.

But before we get to that I want to discuss some of my current favs:

I am so mad about Big Brother. I so wanted Jeff to win. I even think Michele played a good game and I can't figure out why everyone thinks she is the devil. Now we are stuck with Natalie, Kevin, and Jordan and honestly I don't think any of them deserve it. If I had to pick I guess I would go with Kevin. I will die if Natalie wins. I seriously do not like that girl. And poor Jordan, she just doesn't deserve it at all because she is just so...well....dumb.

Do any of ya'll watch Flipping Out? I just discovered it and I am hooked. It's on Bravo and the main character Jeff is just nutso sometimes. It is supposed to be about him flipping houses, but really it is just about him flipping out- hence the name! I could never ever work for him, but I do enjoy watching him flip out on his employees.

Jon and Kate Plus 8 has just been sucking since their family fell apart. Sometimes it is almost painful to watch.

I LOVE Cake Boss! They make the most geourgeous cakes and all the characters and assignments they get are really entertaining.

The Rachel Zoe Project just makes me want to talk like a stuck up skinny B**** or a really gay guy. But I do like the fashion and wish I had the guts to pull off that stuff.

Greek just came back on and I am really hoping Casey and Cappy get together.

90210 just came back on and I only saw a smidge of the begining. I can't figure out if Adrianna just grew her hair out or if it is a whole new Adrianna.

I DVRed the new Melrose Place. Is it any good?

One Tree Hill comes back on Monday and I am so freaking excited! I *heart* that show!

The new America's Next Top Model came on tonight and I was so excited when I found out the whole season is dedicated to petite models...until I found out their definition of short is 5'7". Seriously? Isn't that average? What does that make us girls who are barely 5'?

I've almost forgotten all my regulars, but I know the next few weeks will be exciting as I welcome them back to my DVR rotation.

What are you excited to watch this fall?

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Why I don’t put stickers on the back of my car

I am always running late. Always. This habit has led to another bad habit- speeding.

Although now that I think about it, maybe the speeding isn’t a result of my lateness but something that just comes naturally for me. In Driver’s Ed my nickname was “lead foot”. I don’t go dangerously fast, but I am almost always above the speed limit. And if you are going too slowly, you better get out of my way, because if I can’t get around you, I will tailgate and yell at you from the safety of my car.

I once tailgated my boss unknowingly at my old job. We had all driven separately and were on our way back to the office and when she got in the turn lane to turn in to the parking lot I knew it was her. Luckily she didn’t know it was me. But she did complain about it when we were all back in the office and I just played dumb.

It is for this reason I don’t put any stickers on my car. I don’t want people thinking “That pirate fan/ that Zeta/ that Summit church member is a b**** and can’t drive!”

In my lifetime I have had about 5 speeding tickets. The most recent is when I was visiting my mom in High Point. In my defense I was on a highway I had never been on before, I was in the left hand lane, it was ending, and there was a big truck beside me that I had to get in front of. I ended up having to get a lawyer and I just got the bill. I sent him $50 and now I have to pay the court $149. Where am I going to get $149? I also have a credit card bill to pay for my new dresses. This is not good.

Anyway, all this brings me to today’s story. I wasn’t running too late for work, but I couldn’t exactly take my time either. I take this back road to cut over to a main road every morning. The only bad thing about this back road is that it is a school zone. Which means on my way to work the speed limit is 25 on that road. So I was coming down the hill and had just entered the school zone and coming right at me was a cop.

My heart dropped as I saw him bust a u-turn and get behind me. I slowed to a crawl and prayed he wouldn’t pull me. But sure enough he flipped on those blue lights. I HAD to convince him not to give me a ticket. There is no way I could afford another ticket! When he came to the car I immediately started apologizing. Yes, I lied. I told him I had never taken this road and had just come down the hill and didn’t realize it was a school zone. He asked me how fast I thought I thought I was going. I guessed 35-40? He said I was going 41. I apologized profusely. He asked for my license and registration. THIS IS A BAD SIGN. If they take your stuff back to their car and you don’t convince them to be lenient beforehand, you’re getting a ticket and they can’t take it back.

So as I was getting them out I practically begged him not to give me a ticket. I told him about how I had been laid off and just started working again and how I was having money problems and please, please, I was so sorry.

Then he asked how my driving record was. I couldn’t lie, so I told him about the ticket and he asked if this was a pattern for me. I told him no and explained the situation of how I was in an unfamiliar place and my lane was ending.

As he took my license and registration I made one last plea of “Please don’t give me a ticket.” He said he’d be right back. I prayed he would not give me a ticket. I was freaking out. I would not be able to afford that!

He took his sweet time. But when he came back to the car he said he was going to be lenient today. I was so thankful. He reminded me that until 9:30 am it was 25 on that road and to be careful next time and not give him a reason to pull me again.

Now I was really late to work, but I drove the speed limit the whole way there.

Wonder how long that will last? I am guessing not long. I just feel like I am going SO slow when I go the speed limit. I guess I am a bad driver. Maybe if I put an identifying sticker on the back of my car it will help me slow down and not be so aggressive?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Great Weekend

I had a great weekend. Here are some of the highlights:

- Witty Guy took me to Firebirds on Friday and he ended up spending over $100 on our meal! We had an appetizer. I had 2 Mango Mojitos that were delicious! He had a margarita with way to much tequila in my opinion. My meal was a very yummy steak and green beans that were oh so good. He also opted for a peanut butter pie for dessert. He was disappointed with it and thought we should have got the brownie, but I thought it was quite yummy.

- I treated Witty Guy to brunch on Saturday at the place called The Flying Biscuit. They had soft, melt in your mouth delicious biscuits. I didn’t like my entrée though (Southern Eggs Benedict- it was a biscuit with poached eggs, chicken sausage, and gravy…sounds good in theory, but I couldn’t even eat it.) I did enjoy the grits and witty guy’s organic oatmeal pancakes though and the place was super cute!

- I wore my new orange dress to church on Sunday and got lots of compliments which is really saying something because some Sundays I go in and come out without even talking to anyone!

- I took Cam to the dog park on Sunday and he had so much fun. He needed to burn off some energy and he did. The only problem is he doesn’t really play with the other dogs. He will just walk up to anyone and try to get them to throw his ball. He will chase that thing non-stop until he passes out from exhaustion. This one guy walked in with a “Chuck-It” (this contraption that throws the ball really far.) Cam recognized it because we have one at home and he would not leave the guy alone! I kept having to call him away from the guy and explaining to him that it was not his.

Now I am trying to get in the swing of the work week. I have some posts brewing in my head, but it might take me a while to get them down. I’m kind of at a loss as to what to write on here since I haven’t been marking anything off my list lately. Any requests?