Saturday, November 20, 2010

Busy Day

It was a busy day for Todd and I today.
I had my last craft fair of the year.  It was terribly slow.
I came home and Todd and I went to eat lunch at a new Chinese place.  After lunch, we went to the dollar theater to watch Toy Story 3.  Yes...two adults...watching Toy Story 3.  It was adorable.  Actually, Todd got a little teary eyed at the end.  He is so sensitive!  Afterwards, we went to the dollar store to pick up some items for a gift for someone for Christmas, and then back home.

We enjoy "$20 Dates," and today was one of them.  Actually, it was less than $20.  Lunch was $13 (with a coupon!), and two tickets to the dollar theater was $3.00.

It is not even 8:00, and I'm pooped.  I can hear our comfy bed calling my name.


Christmas 2010

I shop for Christmas throughout the entire year.  I have more fun this way as I don’t like crowds, I don’t like paying full price for anything, and I don’t like shopping.  This year, I have only a few things to purchase by Christmas, but they are for the four hardest people to buy for.  My mom and her husband, my dad and his wife.  They have EVERYTHING.  I mean really, what could I buy a doctor that he hasn’t already bought himself?  I would really like to buy them Financial Peace University, but I don’t want my mom and step-father to be offended.  I feel they really need help with their finances.  That’s not true.  I KNOW they really need help with their finances.

My father and his wife – it’s kind of the same thing.  They have everything.  My father is currently in college but they are living just fine on his unemployment and his wife’s income.  They are real home-bodies, so I was thinking about possibly getting them a gift certificate to Netflix for a couple of months.  It would be a “family gift” seeing as my step-sister and niece live with them.  They have a Wii system, so they could get unlimited streaming video.  I was thinking about getting my father a nice pen/pencil set for school, and a gift certificate or two from (when they go on sale for 75% off or more.)  I also got them a DVD box set to learn how to salsa dance together in January of this year while on clearance.  I’m not sure if they’ll ever use it, but they are getting it anyways.  If nothing else, Natalie (my niece) can learn to salsa with her grandpa.

My budget is generally $50/person or $100/couple for our parents.  Seeing as we have 3 sets of parents, our Christmas’ are pretty expensive.  I try not to spend any more than $25/person on my brothers, sisters, nieces, grandma and Uncle Todd, and $15 on friends gifts.

Every year, I tell myself that I will make more homemade gifts (like the Gift in a Jar items that I posted last month or homemade wine,) but I never do.

If you don’t mind me asking, what is your general rule of thumb for Christmas gifts?


Lately, I have had the feeling that I just want to be by myself.  Well, not by myself solely, but with Todd and our “furry-family.”  I’m not sure if this is because of the cold weather and wanting to stay inside, warm and cozy with my husband with a cup of warm, homemade chowder, or what…but the feeling is definitely there.

Do you go through times like this where you kind of shut yourself off from the world?
It is difficult because November is turning into a pretty busy month for us.  And then next month, we go on our trip to Miami the first weekend and then 3 weekends later is Christmas.  I have to learn to make the most of every minute I’ve got from now until the end of the year. 

Friday, November 19, 2010

Q&A: 100 Truths

100 Truths has been going around FaceBook, and I love to answer questions like this.  If you are interested in learning more about me, this is for you.

1. Last beverage: Homemade Wine
  2. Last phone call: Todd
  3. Last text message:Todd
  4. Last song you listened to:Dancing Queen (Todd has been singing it all morning!)
  5. Last time you cried: Last Friday (ER visit)


  6. Dated someone twice: yes
  7. Been cheated on: yes
  8. Kissed someone & regretted it: yes
  9. Lost someone special: Yes
 10. Been depressed: Yes
 11. Been drunk and threw up: Nope (lets keep it that way!)

List Three Favorite Colors:

 12. Yellow
 13. Red
 14. Orange


 15. Made a new friend: Yes
 16. Fallen out of love: Yes, but then fell back in love
 17. Laughed until you cried: Yes (are you kidding - mom and I do this every time we get together!)
 18. Met someone who changed you: No
 19. Found out who your true friends were: No
 20. Found out someone was talking about you: No
 21. Kissed anyone on your friend's list: Yes
 22. How many people on your friends list do you know in real life Majority
 23. How many kids do you want?  Dunno.  Maybe 1 or 2.
 25. Do you want to change your name: Nope
 26. What did you do for your last birthday?:  Celebrated the entire day.  After all, it IS the best day of the year. :-)
 28. What were you doing at midnight last night?:Sleeping
 29. Name something you CANNOT wait for: Derek to get back to the states
 30. Last time you saw your Mother: Sunday
 31. What is one thing you wish you could change about your life: Job
 33. Who was the last person to cheer you up: Rebecca
 34. Who is getting on your nerves now?: Pretty much everyone at the office has gotten on my nerves within the past 24 hours.
 35. Most visited webpage: Blogger
 36. Whats your real name: Megen Marie Guest Crispin
 37. Nicknames: Meg, Meggy, Midge
 38. Relationship Status?:  Married
 39. Zodiac sign: Aquarius
 40. Male or female?: female
 41. Primary School?: Regency Park Elementary (New Kensington, PA)
 42. Secondary School?:  Transit Middle (Williamsville, NY)
 43. High school/college?: Green High School / Kent State University
 44. Hair color: Brown
 45. Long or short: Short
 46. Height: 5'6
 47. Do you have a crush on someone?: Not really
 48: What do you like about yourself?:  ???
 49. Piercings: Ears
 50: Tattoos: 0
 51. Righty or lefty: Righty


 52. First surgery: Teeth taken out before braces when I was 7
 53. First piercing: Ears (and only piercings)
 54. First best friend: Missy Sue Vilk
 55. First sport you joined: TBall
 56. First vacation:  THere were so many, I dont know which one was the first
 57. Scariest dream: Being chased by monsters while driving away in a car
 58. First Love: Jadrian (my SECOND long-term relationship)


59. Watching: Nothing
60. Texting: No
62. Talking: No
63. Listening to: The fan on the laptop running


 64. Want kids?:  If it's meant to be...
 65. Get married?: Not again
 66. Career:  Something closer to  home and enjoyable


 67. Lips or eyes:  Eyes
 68. Hugs or kisses?:  Hugs
 69. Shorter or taller: Taller
 70. Older or Younger: Doesnt matter
 71. Romantic or spontaneous: Spontaneous
 72. Nice stomach or nice arms:  Guns
 73. Sensitive or loud: Sensitive
 74. Hook-up or relationship: Relationship


 76. Kissed a stranger:  Yes, every man I've kissed had been a stranger. :-)
 77. Drank hard liquor:  Yup (and lived to tell about it!)
 78. Lost glasses/contacts:   Daily!
 79. Sex on first date: Yes
 80. Broken someone's heart: Yup
 82. Been arrested: Not yet
 83. Turned someone down: Yes
 84. Cried when someone died: Stupid question -of course.
 85. Fallen for a friend:  Yes


 86. Yourself:  Yes.
 87. Love at first sight:  Maybe
 88. Heaven: Yes
 89. Soulmates: Yes
 90. Santa Claus:  Yes
 91. Kiss on the first date:  Yes


 92. Had more than 1 girlfriend/boyfriend at a time:  Yes
 93. Did you sing today?:  Not yet
 94. Ever cheated on somebody?:  Doesnt this go along with the having more than one boyfriend?  Yes.
 95. If you could go back in time, how far would you go?: Age 25 - it was a great year.
 96. The moment you would choose to relive?:  N/A
 97. Are you afraid of falling in love?: Not really
 98. Have you ever had a one night stand?:  No.
 99. Have you ever broken the law?:  Yes...according to the Newton Falls police, I did on Sunday (stupid yellow light cost me $120!)
 100. Are you afraid of posting this as 100 truths?:  No


As I mentioned in a Wordless Wednesday a few weeks back, I was informed that I can go on a trip that the company won to Florida.  Originally, my Manager (the President of the company) wanted to go with me (can you say, awkward?), but luckily, he agreed to let Todd go with me. 

So, we have been getting ready.
Even though most of the expenses are paid, we are going to be out of pocket a little bit.  They are providing $100 in “spending money” to cover these types of expenses.  That being said, we are trying to minimize our costs as much as possible.

Our flights are free to us (that was over $300/person after taxes!) but we have to pay for parking at the airport and a shuttle to the hotel from Ft. Lauderdale (about $25.)  It would be $55 to park at Cleveland Hopkins airport; however, I found a Park ‘n Fly that would be $23 AND we get a free car wash.  My little car desperately needs it!

When we get to Ft. Lauderdale, we found an adorable old-time trolley that will pick us up at the hotel and take us to several different stops to sight-see.  It is $1/person per ride.  Not bad.  A lot cheaper than renting a car.  Plus, the 6-mile boardwalk is across the street from our hotel.  I cant wait to spend evenings with Todd on the boardwalk or sitting on the beach watching the waves.

We pretty much have Saturday as a “free day” to do what we want.  Also, our flights aren’t leaving until later on Monday, so we have most of the morning and early afternoon to frolic around and do as we please. 

Sunday, we will be picked up by a bus to go to the stadium for a tail-gate party before the actual football game.  Todd is really excited about this.  However, this is where I will be meeting a lot of the people I have talked to over the past 3 years.  For me, it is more professional than a big football game.

Todd and I love to travel.  When we go someplace, we want to see all there is to see.  We are not the type that likes to go to the same place over and over again.  We enjoy new experiences and making new memories everywhere we go.  We are going to maximize our stay in Hollywood, FL as much as we can…on someone else’s dime.  Well, that’s not true.  I will receive a 1099 at the end of the year and we will pay taxes on the trip.  But I would much rather pay $500 for a 4-day trip than $2,000, which is what it is probably going to cost the company for this trip!  I am so lucky to have a husband who likes to do the same things as I do!  I couldn’t imagine being in a relationship with someone who doesn’t like to travel or sight-see.  We are definitely those dorky “touristy” type people! Camera around my neck, map in my hands, and walking shoes on! 

Weight Loss Aspirations

This may sound stupid, but I am looking forward to seeing my collar bones again.  I’m not sure if everyone has that ONE THING they are looking forward to most when they lose weight, but mine are my collar bones.  I have not seen them in years. 

In High School, I lost quite a bit of weight (over 30 lbs.)  I was down to 138 which may not be “skinny” to some, but I was a twig.  It was the smallest I’d ever been.  I was going through a rough time with my parents divorce and I was obsessive about my weight going so far as to nearly OD’ing on my mom’s weight loss pills.  After nearly OD’ing, I decided that I would watch what I ate and exercise excessively…and that’s exactly what I did.  I remember taking my lunch to school with me.  My lunch consisted of: a bag of pretzels (sandwich bag-full,) a miracle whip free & pickle sandwich (very low in calories), and a few marshmallows for dessert.  Everyone made fun of me, but I lost a lot of weight. 

Though I am not willing to go to those extremes again, I am desperately trying to lose weight and to keep it off for good.  I don’t even recognize myself anymore, it’s that bad. My goal weight is 150, as I’ve mentioned in the past.  Again, that may be heavy to some, but for some reason, with my frame, it’s not. It’s a size 6/8.  I am desperate to get off of my medications, get healthy and possibly start a family. 

Weekly Weigh-In: November 19th

This morning, I weighed in and I was the same as last week.
This is perfectly fine by me, because Aunt Flo came to visit and I feel like I've been eating like a piggy. 
Hopefully this weekend and next week will be better (with exception to Turkey Day!!)

These are my stats:
Weight lost thus far: 11 lbs
My goal was to lose 20 lbs by Thanksgiving.  Quite frankly, it wouldnt be healthy for me to lose the weight by Thanksgiving, and I'm OK with that.


I think I could be considered a home-body.
When I lived in my Akron house (and was single,) I would get home from work on Friday and not leave until Monday morning when I had to go to work again.  If you saw the disarray of my home, you would see that I didn’t do anything productive, but took some time out for myself and truly relaxed.  Those were the days before any major animals to take care of.  It was just the cats and I (yes, I was the crazy cat-lady.) 

I think this is still true today.  I consider myself a home-body.  I have friends that work 5 days a week like I do, yet go out on Saturday and Sunday (and sometimes in the evenings after work too!)  I prefer not to. For the next few weekends, I will have to get dressed and face the world both of my days off, but that’s OK.  One day is a craft show, the other day is visiting with family.  My last craft show for the season is November 20th, and to be honest, I cant wait.

I am desperate for a weekend to myself where I can either go grocery shopping or just hang out with the critters.  I love when it’s warm outside and I sit on a lawn chair outside with piggy and puppy frolicking around.  I enjoy not having anywhere to be and nothing to do.  Maybe because during the week, that’s not the case.

Would you consider yourself a home-body or a socialite?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Doctor's Appointment

I had my doctor's appointment Monday of this week.  Let me tell you, I am so excited!  I am off of the blood thinners after a year of dealing with all of the risks and bruises.

My cholesterol went from 249 to 205!!! YAY!  Only 6 more points and it will be "normal."

I lost some weight - I dont like their scale.  It is always alot higher than mine.

So, I have another appointment the day after my 30th birthday.
I am looking forward to weighing less, having even BETTER blood pressure and cholesterol!!

Percentage of Income

I hear on Dave Ramsey’s podcast that your house should be no more than 35% of your income.  I am not sure if he is talking about utilities AND house, or just house (mortgage, insurance and tax.) 

I enjoy working with numbers, so I decided to do our calculations.  Here are our numbers:

This includes our cell phones, electric, propane, DSL, dish, NetFlix, trash, septic inspection (yearly) and our Terminex (required by us: we had a horrible infestation when we first moved in.)  All of these services equal 15% of our take-home income!!!

This includes our mortgage (15 year,) property tax on both properties we own, and home owners insurance.  These are 17% of our take-home income.

That doesn’t seem so bad.  And it may go down when we get re-evaluated on the property we own next door.  The Auditor is still counting it as a regular dwelling valued at over $60,000 even though we purchased the home for less than $8,000 and it no longer has water or septic (the house is dilapidated.)  I have been working on the re-evaluation for over a year!  When they finally do it, our taxes should be cut down to next to nothing on this property.  Right now, they are charging as much as we pay for OUR residence, which just isn’t right.  Once it is re-evaluated, our homestead should be approximately 14% of our take-home income.

The numbers don’t look too bad at all, but I think it is redicules that we are paying as much for “services” as we are for our dwelling.  The culprits are our cell phone (3 phones and unlimited texting,) and satellite.  We have a 3rd phone for Todd’s mom so they can talk without racking up minutes.  The thing is, if we were to go down to one income, these numbers will double.  That makes me very uneasy.

So, I guess we will continue to work on Dave’s plan and build up our Emergency Fund and pay off the house as soon as we can.  I would really like to be able to live off of one income in the near future.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


((Originally written on Friday morning.))

I decided to cancel Netflix for this month.  Todd mentioned that he doesn’t really watch it that much anymore now that he has his satellite package that he likes.  However, I like to watch Netflix on the weekends when he is working.  I stay in my jammies and watch several streaming videos through the Wii console.  I noticed that our next billing cycle is November 14th.  So, tomorrow, I am placing a hold on the Netflix for a month.  I have two more craft shows for the next two weekends, Thanksgiving the weekend after, and then we are going to Florida the weekend after.  Why pay $10 for the month if we don’t have any time to watch the movies?  So, when we get back, I will determine if I have any time or need to watch any movies.  I would also like to start reading more at home.  I have been reading books for the blog reviews, but I would really like to read some books that I’m really interested in. 

Did You Know...?

Did you know that your eyes are the only part of your anatomy that does not grow with age?  A fellow blogger mentioned how large her son’s eyes looked.  Well…this is the explanation.

Age Is Just A Number

I know of some women (and a couple men, too) that refuse to share their age with others.  I don’t quite understand the big deal.  My mom is the same way as me – we are what we are! There is no changing it or hiding it!! 

A woman at work takes her birthday off every year and refuses to share her age.  What’s the secret?  You are a day older every single day.  Who cares if you are 42 and 235 days old or 82 and 16 days old?

I am not embarrassed or ashamed of my age at all.  I never have been.  I will be 30 in a few short months.  Does that scare me? N-O-P-E!  I am lucky to have lived this long!  Give me 90 more (healthy) years!!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Why Do People Talk To Themselves?

I hope this does not offend anyone, but it is something that kind of creeps me out.  I have a coworker that frequently talks to herself.  I’m not saying just mumbles, but carries on full conversations and even laughs at herself!!

Am I the only one who finds this not only annoying, but kind of scary? 

My Not-So-Frugal Weekend

This weekend, I did NOT have a frugal weekend in any sense of the word.

Friday, I had a $35 Urgent Care visit (and they couldnt help because of the blood thinner I'm on,) $150 Co-Pay for the ER visit.  Then, on Sunday, I got a ticket for going through a yellow light.  Yup.  That's right.  A $305 weekend of MY issues.

I called this morning to see how much I owed for the ticket (Todd wants me to dispute it,) and it is $120!  Oy! 

I am just hoping our car insurance will not go up because of this.  My last ticket from 3 years ago finally dropped off and our insurance went down by half.  I am thinking it could be because I'm coming up on my 30th birthday. 

Again, I repeat, Oy!
I am paying for the ticket out of my allowance.  I have to learn to start abiding by the rules.

Over the Grocery Budget (Already)

((Originally written Thursday, November 11th))

Well…it is not even half-way into the month, and we are already over the grocery budget.  Oops.  We found a good deal on split chicken breasts (I thought we had chicken in the freezer, but we used it all) and turkeys.  We bought 3 large (18+ lb) turkeys at $0.49/lb and 20+ lbs of split chicken breasts for $0.89.  I remember the days when split chicken breasts were $0.39/lb…but not any more!

At any rate, that’s what happened.  As you can see, we are not strict with our budget. J  That’s OK though.  We really like turkey, so we will have one after Thanksgiving because we go to someone else’s house and never have any leftovers (I love turkey with miracle whip free!), one early next year, and one probably in March or April.  There is nothing like turkey, taters & stuffing (which I bought on super-sale for $0.25/box at Ollie’s last month!) on a cold Winter day.

And the split chicken breasts, hubby is making his famous chicken & dumplings today for dinner.  When he makes a batch, it is usually enough to feed us several meals and then freeze half of it.  He makes it in a huge stock-pot.

My mouth is watering just thinking about all of this food! 

Green Smoothie

A few months ago, I started drinking raw, “green” smoothies.  I read an article online about the benefits of raw food as well as the fact that it can cure and prevent cancer! I was a bit over-the-top about eating raw (who me?  Obsessive? No…)  Let me tell you, it’s not easy!

I enjoy sitting down to eat dinner with my husband every evening.  This is something I did growing up.  We ALWAYS ate dinner together at the table.  No ifs, ands or buts about it.  I am pretty adamant about that for Todd and I as well. 

That being said, it was difficult to drink a smoothie while Todd was eating awesome dinners.  I felt a little neglected.  So now, I drink a smoothie once in a while as a meal replacement. 

What I like about the green smoothies is that I get my fruits/veggies in for the day within 2 meals.  Also, these raw shakes will “clean you out” in no time!  I was doing two a day, and eating dinner with Todd in the evenings.  I had more energy, didn’t feel exhausted at 2:30 every day (as usual), lost quite a bit of weight, and felt great!  It also helped with my cravings for sweets.  However, it was not something I could continue.  It is not the smoothie’s fault, but my own inability to stay motivated.

My smoothies usually are as follows:

1-2 carrots
1 stalk of celery
1 apple
1 banana

When a specific fruit was in season, I’d throw a bit of it in there with these items.  Strawberries, blueberries, grapes, watermelon, cantaloupe, kiwi, etc. The sky is the limit! They were so yummy! 

I would like to continue to drink a smoothie at least once a day for the health benefits and to keep my caloric intake down.  The great thing about them is that you can “hide” the vegetables in a sweet smoothie.  They are high in fiber and very filling too! 

Monday, November 15, 2010

I really like to use!  I have my own written budget, but this website helps me to stay on track!  Anytime within the month, I can check to see how much we’ve spent on groceries, entertainment, etc.  This is especially great considering we are debit-card junkies!  We rarely ever carry around cash (except for our allowances.) will show me how much I spent each month on certain categories of the budget.  For instance, groceries, electric, phone, restaurants, movies and debt-repayment.  It takes a lot of the guess-work out at the end of the month when I want to see where all of our money is going.

What budget software (if any) do you use to keep track of your spending?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

My Hubby the Work-A-Holic

My husband has a rotating schedule.  One week, he works 2 days, the next week, he works 5 days.  On his “days off” during the week, he works like a maniac!  I don’t know where he gets his energy from, but he gets a ton of stuff done while I’m at work.  It amazes me.

Todd will create a schedule of things he wants to get done on his days off.   He is very particular about trying to keep in-line with his schedule.  90% of the time, he is on time based on his “to do list.”  He does more in one day than I do in 6 months!

That being said, I don’t know if Todd could ever retire.  He is one of those people who cant take a day and just lounge around more than twice a year.  He is always up doing something.  No wonder his muscles hurt all the time!

Sometimes, I feel like I have to keep up with him on my days off.  Usually, on the weekends that he works, I try to do all the grocery shopping, bake a few meals for the week, pick up a little (not much – I hate cleaning,) take care of the animals and do as much of the yardwork as I can handle.  The other day of the weekend…I do NOTHING!  I like to stay in my jammies, watch movies all day, read, play with the critters and eat!  So relaxing.  And I don’t apologize for it one bit!