Monday, November 30, 2009

1 Year Subscription to Entertainment Weekly - $10

Right now you can get a subscription for one year of Entertainment Weekly for just $10. This is 95% off the list price of $182.50. This deal is good until this Saturday.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

People Behaving Badly

We saw a woman acting like a total nut job at Starbucks today. She was screaming at the barista because she wanted him to pour cream in her coffee. He asked her how much she wanted, and she just went crazy. She was screaming (actually screeching) that he is supposed to make her coffee and she rejects the fact that there is cream and sugar on the counter, because the baristas make all the other drinks. It was completely bizarre and everyone in the store was staring and laughing at her, but she didn't seem to notice.

She was dressed in a very tacky nouveau riche outfit, with freshly manicured claws nails, and was carrying a garish purse. All the while, she screamed about how she wanted to be treated equally to everyone who ordered drinks that were made for them, while clearly demanding special treatment since she was ordering coffee.

She reminded a lot of this classy gal. Skip to 1:43. Wow.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Horrible Customer Service at ING Direct

I am having some really terrible issues with ING Direct right now. I don't want to get into details just yet, since I will give them one more chance to fix things tomorrow morning. Right now I am absolutely sick and devastated by the turn of events. You know customer service is really terrible when you are crying to the representative, telling them that that you are in the midst of a panic attack and that they are ruining your life, and they still can't even be human enough to go off the robotic script.

I've always heard that once there is the slightest problem with an account, ING, the previously amazing bank, turns into an absolute monster. I wish I had taken those warnings more seriously.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Real Simple for $5

Until December 1st, a one year subscription to Real Simple is just $5. That is a savings of 91% off of the cover price!

I love this magazine, and I will definitely renew for $5.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Threadless $9 Sale on Black Friday

All shirts on Threadless will be $9 on Black Friday. This will finally be my opportunity to use the gift certificate that I won a few months ago.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Prep

I've been cooking since I've gotten home from school in preparation for tomorrow. We're not hosting, since last year our neighbors decided to be particularly obnoxious on Thanksgiving. So we are bring a bunch of stuff to my husband's family's house.

I made these mashed potatoes. The recipe called for cream cheese, which I have never heard of before, but I decided to go for it. They kind of freaked me out at first because they really smelled like cream cheese, but they turned out pretty good.

Then I made these pumpkin rolls. I wish I took pictures during the process, because dealing with that much dough was pretty ridiculous. Mine don't look as pretty as the ones in the picture, but they are delicious, especially with amazing Irish butter.

Right now I am still cooking sweet potatoes. I'm not really following a recipe for those - just mashing them, covering them with marshmallows, and baking them.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Debating Black Friday

Every year I usually go shopping on Black Friday, but I'm not sure if I am going to go out this year. I've never gone super early or waited all night for the door busters, but I usually go later in the day when everyone is exhausted and leaving the mall, but there were still usually pretty good deals to be had. I've got my eye on some stuff, but honestly, I find it hard to justify spending the money. I'm pretty much done with Christmas shopping, so it's not that I can say that the stuff would be for gifts. I need to remember that a great deal isn't really a great deal if it is something that I didn't even need.

Monday, November 23, 2009

More Free Music from Amazon!

Amazon is offering $3 in free MP3s! Go here and enter the code MP34FREE to add the credit to your account.

I used the credit, along with a gift card that I earned from Swagbucks to buy the new Lady GaGa album, The Fame Monster. Don't judge. ;)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Lazy Sunday

We stayed in today and it was was lovely. We bought short ribs when we went grocery shopping yesterday, and we cooked them in the crock pot all day. I browned the short ribs and then put them in the crock pot with onions, Guinness, water, and two beef bouillon cubes. I cooked it on low for about seven hours and made mashed potatoes on the side. YUM!

I also made some banana bread for breakfast this week. YUM!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Lovely Things!

I got my Nikki McClure calendar from Buy Olympia today. Love! We've been getting these calendars for the past few years, and they are so beautiful.

Friday, November 20, 2009

For the Love of Coupons

Today I was supervising a lunch period at school, when a teacher got on the microphone and made the following announcement:

Teacher: So maybe some of you would be interested in this... I just received a big stack of coupons to a clothing store. I've never heard of it, but maybe you have... *Pause*

The kids seem generally uninterested.

Teacher: It's called, uh, *studying the coupon* Aeropostale.

With this, kids jumped to their feet and swarmed towards the teacher. I watched a girl dive into the crowd and emerge a moment later with the coupon held towards the sky. Kids were jumping over chairs and there was screaming involved.

I pretty much died laughing as I watched the scene.

But at least they enjoy a good deal.

PS - I just looked it up and apparently the coupon is available online anyway. It is 30% this weekend.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Alice Order Received

I received my order from Alice today and I am really impressed. I used the gift card that I earned from Swagbucks to sign up, and I ordered a big bottle of organic dish soap. It was packaged really thoughtfully inside a bag with the cap taped on as well. I didn't realize that they required a minimum of 6 items per purchase, but they were kind enough to let me just order the one item anyway. Plus, shipping is free and the prices are pretty good. I think I definitely will be ordering from Alice again in the future.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Spending FAIL

Once I start shopping, sometimes I get a little out of control. I get all my packages delivered to my mom's house, since I don't want to miss the deliveries in my apartment. I had so many packages that I could barely carry them upstairs.

Well, I guess I went a little bit overboard with my order from Adagio tea, because when I received my package I had absolutely NO IDEA what was in it. There were deals and I had a gift card, and I ended up getting this strange sampler of sesame, white cucumber, sweet potato pie, and artichoke green.

I hate how I get once I start spending. I start thinking about potential gifts that I get for people and it just spins from there. I MUST stop shopping!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

If only all my receipts looked like these...

I ordered some gifts from Amazon, and thanks to $30 in promotional credit and a bunch in Swagbucks gift cards, this is what I got:

Item(s) Subtotal: $104.98
Shipping & Handling: $5.48
Super Saver Discount: -$5.48
Promotion Applied: -$10.00 (This promotion came from ordering the New Super Mario Bros game for the Wii.
Promotion Applied: -$20.00 (I took advantage of this video game deal on Amazon.)
Total Before Tax: $74.98
Sales tax: $6.64
Gift Certificate/Card Amount: $62.52
Total for this Shipment: $19.10

Then I ordered some more gifts from Banana Republic and got this lovely total:

Subtotal: $64.00
Promotions: -$19.20
Rewards: -$40.00
Tax: $.43
Total: $5.23

I love when shopping works out like this!

Monday, November 16, 2009

First Order from

I just placed my first order with with the $5 gift card that I received from Swagbucks. The website has good prices on all kinds of household products and shipping is always free. There are items that I could get for cheaper at CVS, but having the items delivered to my house is definitely a perk.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Cashing in Change

Coinstar is offering an extra $10 gift card when you cash in change for at least a $40 gift card. Our change jar was looking really full, so we decided to bring it to the Coinstar machine to get an Amazon gift card. So that adds another $47 to our Amazon account, with an extra $10 that should be coming in 6-8 weeks. The promotion runs through December 6th.

Plus I will have about $25 in Amazon gift cards that will post on Swagbucks tomorrow. This will definitely help keep our Christmas budget under control.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Bye Bye, Paycheck!

I was paying my credit card bills today, and I realized that I've definitely been a little bit out of control lately, but that is partially due to having to buy new work pants and also feeling inspired to buy my husband Christmas presents. Shopping is difficult for me because once I start, I find it very hard to go back to being frugal again.

The work pants situation is super frustrating though. It looks like I will be returning about $80 worth of stuff to Banana Republic, so at least my spending won't be too bad. I've always loved their Jackson fit pants because they fit my booty, but lately the Jackson fits have been awful! I ordered a few pairs on the website when I had my pants emergency, and when I got them I was horrified to find that they put pockets on the hips. The pants fit, but the pockets bunch funny and I am not a fan. So I will be returning a pair and dealing with the other pair and its weird pockets. Why oh why, did you put POCKETS on the hips of your CURVY dress pants, Banana Republic?!

It's situations like this that confirm my tendencies to stockpile. If only I bought more pairs of the fabulous Jackson fits from last year, then I wouldn't be forced to wear pants with weird, bunchy pockets.

Now, you might just be wondering why I don't just switch brands, but any curvy girl will tell you that to find pants that fit the booty and the waist is an absolute miracle. I just don't have the shopping fortitude to find new pants.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


I'm really glad on days like this that I have a stockpile of free Excedrin from CVS. Work today was stupid. It started with someone stealing my parking spot while I was in the middle of parallel parking. UGH. Then during homeroom the lightbulb in my projector overheated and popped, causing smoke to come out. AWESOME. I called the tech guy over to fix it, but apparently they have no light bulbs, and instead had to switch out projectors. So he switched projectors while my freshmen were writing an in class essay. Next week we are having these crazy observations, so everyone is nuts and freaking out. Plus at some point during the day I accidentally convinced myself that it was Friday, so I'm so bummed that I have to go back there tomorrow.

I just can't wait for Thanksgiving. Four day weekend, end of the trimester, and no more crazy observations. SIGH.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Free Song from a CMA Nominated Artist

Amazon is giving away a free MP3 of a CMA nominated artist. Click here for the code and the list of available songs. I used it to buy Love Story by Taylor Swift, since I always use the song when I teach about allusions to my 9th graders.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Christmas Shopping

I'm off tomorrow and I think that I need to take inventory of all the Christmas gifts that I have purchased over the course of the year and figure it all out. I have a habit of purchasing things over the course of the year and then forgetting about them and end up buying more. Oops.

I also need to fight the urge to go overboard. I don't need to give a gift to every person I have ever known. I also need to figure out if I will be making anything for anyone.

I can't believe that this year is so close to being over. Crazy!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Cooking Light for $5!

Right now Amazon has a one year subscription to Cooking Light for just $5! I used my Amazon credit from Swagbucks to get it for free!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Triple Coupons at Waldbaum's

This week there are triple coupons at Waldbaum's. My shopping trip was epic. One that will be remembered for eternity, both for the deals that were scored and the adversary that I faced along the way.

Waldbaum's finally allows internet coupons and has been advertising it in the circular for weeks. I planned many a sweet deal using internet coupons and I haven't had any trouble with them, until today.

The cashier looked at them and told me that they didn't accept them. I countered that it has been advertised in the circular for weeks now that they do. He tried arguing some nonsense that these were not "circular coupons." The people behind me were invading my personal space and I was getting frustrated. He then asked if he wanted me to ask a manager about the coupons. He called over and said, "Brian, can you explain to her that she is wrong about the store accepting these coupons." Brian told him that the policy changed and to scan them, and my cashier continued muttering strange things throughout the transaction. Amidst all of this I was trying to keep the people behind me from completely invading my personal space, (Major grocery store pet peeve! Do not push me while my transaction is being rung up!) and the guy even tried to push a cart past me while I was in the aisle. My husband told the guy to chill and finally the transaction from hell was done.

Interestingly enough, despite the fact that my cashier was studying every coupon that I handed up, all of the ones under 99 cents tripled, despite the fact that some said DO NOT DOUBLE OR TRIPLE across the top. I'm not really sure what he was scrutinizing so thoroughly.

Before coupons or sales, the total was $154.52. After the club card was scanned, it came to $94.86 and after coupons it was $60.91! I saved $93.61!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Cheap and Awesome Music!

I have been using a lot of my Amazon gift cards that I've earned from Swagbucks to download new music. This morning I got the Greatest Hits album by the Ramones for just $2.99! I also got the new Swell Season album, Strict Joy, for $8.99. Fabulous free music = LOVE!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Sewing FAIL

So I recently had two pairs of work pants become unwearable, but initially I wasn't concerned because I had a new pair of Banana Republic pants that I bought of sale last year waiting in my closet. I took them out and tried them on last week and I was confused when they didn't zip. I checked them and it turns out that the zipper was broken and missing that little metal thing that keeps the zipper together. I bought them a long time ago and the receipt is long gone, but I'm so annoyed that I just grabbed them without making sure that they were okay. They were on sale for $60, but now that is $60 that I just threw away.

Anyway, last week I decided to try to make them wearable so I took some time stitching the zipper together. It worked and they zipped; it even seemed pretty sturdy. I wore them earlier in the week (with a long shirt because I was paranoid) and they were fine. I guess I just tempted fate too much, because when I tried to zip them up at work today, my excellent craftsmanship failed me and my zipper was busted. The zipper of my pants was busted 5 minutes before I had to teach a class. I frantically pulled safety pins out of my purse. First I tried to pin inside my pants and be discrete, but that wasn't working so I just pinned across. I pulled my shirt down as far as I could (thankfully I wore a long shirt again because I was still paranoid) and hoped for the best.

Yeah, so I taught a class (pretty darn well given the circumstances) with safety pins holding my pants closed.

Lessons learned: Don't just pull stuff off the sales rack without examining it and making sure that it is okay. Also, don't have so much confidence in shoddy sewing skills.

I know that I could probably have a tailor fix them, but anytime I've brought clothes in with a messed up zipper, I never got it fixed because the repair cost more than the item was worth. Plus, I don't know if I could ever love these pants again when I remember the horror of realizing that the zipper was broken at work.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

"Raise your hopeful voice, you have a choice..."

My students remind me why I chose this job, and despite the fact that I frequently experience angst, worry, and confusion, I know that I am in the right place.

This year I am doing NaNoWriMo, and so are about 40 students from my school. Today a girl burst into my classroom between classes, looking excited. She told me that while her class was checking their vocabulary homework, she was inspired by a word and wanted to change the direction of her story. She wanted to know if that was okay. I was in awe of the fact that a word could set such a spark in her imagination. I told her such, and she bounded away, smiling.

All day I've had kids excitedly shouting their word counts at me and being so excited that they have written so much.

This is the job that I wanted. This is what I need to remember when things get difficult.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Update on my previous post!

Yesterday I wrote about one of my co-workers setting up shop in the break room. I just wanted to clarify a few points. She is selling as a side business, and the stuff is not homemade. It's just random dollar store kind of junk.

Her store expanded today and she brought in new stuff. I wanted to snap a picture, but unfortunately she was sitting right next to her shop.

And no, I definitely did not buy anything.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Selling to Co-workers - Where do you draw the line?

When I was a kid and I had to sell candy for my school, I would always ask my parents if they could just bring it to work to sell to their co-workers. Neither of them were allowed to sell stuff; since all of the coworkers had kids they quickly realized that it would become way too expensive if everyone brought in their candy, magazines, wrapping paper, girl scout cookies, or whatever else their kids were being forced to sell. Instead, I had to stand in front of stores, asking people if they would like to buy a chocolate bar. It was humiliating, but I did feel a twinge of pride when I would finally get to the bottom of that never ending box.

Lately the break room at work has become overrun with people selling stuff. There is a box of candy on every table with an envelope and a note. The candy never really bothered me too much, since it was for schools and it meant not having to go downstairs to get a chocolate fix.

But lately, people have just begun selling random stuff in the break room, for their own profit. The tables are littered with Avon catalogs, and last week one of my co-workers actually set up a little store on one of our lunch tables. Space in the break room is scarce, and now it has become a junk sale with $6 magnetic and copper bracelets, $2 tacky decorations, cheap picture frames, and other random crap.

Why does she get this retail space? I don't know if she asked permission (I doubt it), but does this mean that the break room will get even more cluttered with people hocking their wares.

Honestly, the whole thing really annoyed me. It just seems so incredibly tacky to try to profit off her co-workers with her crappy products.

What do you think? Would this bother you?

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Oh Sephora...

Just when I said that I was getting better at curbing my spending, I find myself filling my shopping cart at Sephora. Granted it's mostly gifts, but I'm still not sure if I am going to place an order. Tomorrow is the last day of the Friends & Family Sale (use code FF2009 for 20% off) and I just saw that Ebates is offering 8% cash back. I'm going to wait until tomorrow to see if I still want to place the order.

They definitely have some cute gifts for Christmas though.

Cute Philosophy set! $15 (from $28) before the extra 20% off.

Pretty cute for $10! I love Dr. Pepper and I miss my Bonne Bell Dr. Pepper lip gloss, but I have allergies now so I wouldn't even be able to use this. :(

This is a cute set for $19.50.

Oh Sephora... I just can never stay away from you!