Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Guess who's back? Back again...

Hello blog world! Remember me? Is there anyone out there that will actually read this?
If so, thank you and please accept my apologies for such an extended absence. It's been five months since my last blog entry. Here is what I've been up to during that time:
  • I got a job! This is the main reason for my blog silence. The temp job I started in March turned into a permanent job in June. It requires a lot of my time and zaps a lot of my energy.
  • With the job came a quick return to my old ways. I haven't cooked dinner at home in months. We are eating out every night and spending a fortune doing so. I think I might do an analysis and compare the amount we spent while I was unemployed to the amount since, just out of curiosity.
  • I planned a wedding for my husband's sister.  More on that later.
  • Our bathrooms are being remodeled, in preparation for hopefully getting our house on the market in the near future.
  • I got a new laptop, and for good measure an iPad too.  The laptop was needed; the sorry state of the old one contributed to the blogging hiatus.  The iPad was an impulse buy, but at least I bought it during the sales tax holiday and used ebates to get cash back
  • My obsession with couponing isn't completely dead.  I have totally fallen in love with CVS and get as much free stuff there as possible. 
  • I have a blog giveaway coming soon, thanks to the lovely folks at My Blog Spark.
There may be more but it's not coming to me at the moment.  A little sad that I can sum up five months of my life in seven little bullet points.

I will probably ease my way back into blogging, but I hope to certainly post more often that once every few months.  Hopefully I will be able to build back some of my readers that I've lost and find new ones that might be interested in what I like to babble about.  I look forward to getting back into the swing of things and sharing menus, recipes, freebies, deals and whatever else seems like a good idea at the time!
As a reward for reading this entire post (and either being around my age/generation or having good googling skills) I have a prize for the first person that identifies the reference in the title.  Leave your response in the comments.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Mailbox Monday

Happy Monday!  Here is all of the free stuff I got in the mail this week:

Magazines: Redbook & Saveur
-Olay body wash from Walmart
-Post-it tabs & coupon
-Dentek dental picks, from a Facebook promo I think
-Burt's Bees toothpaste
-Pantene full-size shampoo & high $$$ coupons to share, from Vocalpoint

Giveaway win:
-Pancake prize pack from Bisquick, won from Couponers United.  Includes a cast iron griddle, batter bowl, spatula & Bisquick mix.  Planning to use it this week to make breakfast for dinner!

To see what others got free this week or to add your own, stop by A Frugal Friend.

Menu Plan Monday

I ended up making all but one of the meals we planned for last week, but I have been lacking in my posting about them.  As I explained on Friday, I started a new temp job which is taking up a lot more of my time than my last one.  Unfortunately blogging is one of the first things to be put on the back burner.  On the bright side my laptop that had been in the shop is back, so I should be able to keep up better if I can blog while spending my nightly TV-watching quality time with hubby.
Here is the plan for this week:
For hundreds of other menu plans, check out orgjunkie.com!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Friday Follow

Friday Follow
Hello and welcome! It's that time of the week again - is everyone else as excited as I am that the weekend is almost here? Unfortunately I've heard we might get snow this weekend, just in time for my Digiorno House Party. Boo. Good thing it's indoors! Stop by on Sunday to read about how it went.

This week I thought I'd do a week in review.  Here are some things that happened this week, either on my blog or just in general:

My Jayhawks are #1 and picked by many people to win the NCAA tournament. I'm nervous, but glad they survived the first round. Bring on Northern Iowa!

Wordless Wednesday featured one of the two cutest dogs in the world. Not that I'm biased or anything.

Some random person in New Jersey won my $211 million Powerball jackpot. Again I say boo.

I encouraged the use of Swagbucks and even convinced two people to sign up. I'm now using them to earn extra points towards Amazon gift cards.

I got a lot of free stuff in the mail and shared it on Mailbox Monday.

Finally, I started a new temp job and it is most likely going to eat up quite a bit of my time over the next few months. I apologize if my posts suffer as a result. The good news is that it pays quite well so we should be able to bulk up our savings to help keep us afloat until I find something permanent.

Thanks for stopping by and have a happy Friday!

MckLinky Blog Hop

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Guess We're Watching Animal Planet

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Ok, so I usually don't do a lot of affiliate type promotions on my blog (except for a few ads on my sidebar and the ones Google inserts wherever it so chooses), but after a Twitter conversation (Twittersation?) w/Em today, I decided I wanted to take a minute to talk about Swagbucks.
What are Swagbucks? The best way I can describe them is as a "currency" of sorts. They can be used to buy any number of odds and ends and, most importantly in my opinion, Amazon gift cards. You earn Swagbucks by using their website to search as you would normally use Google, or Yahoo or Bing or whatever you are inclined to use. Sometimes searches get you nothing but search results, but other times you can win 10, 20 or 30 Swagbucks.
Currently a $5 Amazon card costs 450 Swagbucks. I've been using Swagbucks for a few months and have so far earned enough for 2 $5 Amazon cards. I know that isn't very much in the scheme of things, but it was still completely free and easy so I consider it worth it! Plus I would have just been using Google to search anyway. My hope is that through Swagbucks and survey-taking I can earn enough to pay for Christmas presents.
Swagbucks is powered by Google and Ask, so you get similar results to if you used those search engines. It doesn't have all the bells and whistles that I love about Google, so sometimes I still have to search in both places. It's a little bit of a pain, but I'm usually willing to spend the extra few seconds to try Swagbucks and see if I win.
Fridays are "Mega Swagbucks Day" which means you have a chance of winning even more Swagbucks than normal (50 or 100 so they say). This hasn't actually worked for me yet but I am keeping the faith that it could someday!
There are other ways to earn Swagbucks, like completing offers or buying things through their partners, but searching is definitely the easiest and it doesn't cost anything!
Another free way to earn is through a section called "Special Offers" where you can click on "No Obligation Offers". If you skip through about 5 or 6 offers it will give you a few Swagbucks just for doing so. You can do this once a day and pick up around 10 or 15 SB a week.
Swagbucks is active on Facebook, Twitter and their own personal blog. Sometimes they will give out "Swagcodes" that can be entered to earn some extra Swagbucks. They also have "Swaghunts" which are like virtual scavenger hunts to find Swagcodes. These aren't necessarily worth the time it takes to track them down, but if do you have free time on your hands it can be kind of fun.
If you'd like to give Swagbucks a try, it is free to join and you can go through my referral link and help me earn extra points! See, that's where my selfish motivation for this post becomes clear...
As I am an accountant and not a salesperson, I hate being pushy so please don't feel pressured to join just for me. Even if you don't use my link, I'd still recommend checking it out and seeing if you like it.  As I said, it can't hurt and it can get you some free stuff, so why not?
Search & Win

Monday, March 15, 2010

Mailbox Monday

Happy Monday!  Here is all of the free stuff I got in the mail this week:
Magazine: Good Housekeeping
-Axe body wash, from Sam's Club
-Lever 2000 soap, from Costco
-Aveeno shampoo & conditioner, plus $1 off coupon
-Fekkai shampoo & conditioner, from Wal-Mart
-Zone Perfect Indulgence bar, plus $1.50 off coupon
-Victorinox Swiss Army cologne
-Nature Valley Nut Clusters & granola bar, plus $.75 off coupon
-Pureology relaxing serum
-Louisiana hot sauce, from Facebook promotion/Saints winning Super Bowl
-Helluva Good Dip coupon, from Facebook promotion
-Fold-up reusable grocery tote, thank you for joining the National Consumer Panel (formerly Nielsen Home Scan)
-Coupon book from Box Tops for Education
-Recipe book from Unilever
-Digiorno House Party pack, including 6 free pizzas, many more $4 off pizza coupons, beads, apron, pizza cutter, trivia cards, finger basketball game and more

Giveaway wins:
-Rainbow Brite Activity CD from Stacey Says...

-$3 check from Pinecone Research
-Hand of Fate by Lis Wiehl, book to review from BookSneeze

To see what other people got for free this week, check out Mailbox Monday hosted by Debra @ A Frugal Friend!