Friday, May 30, 2014

Friday Confessions

Hey y'all. I hope its been a great week for everyone.

Its Friday Confession time....lets do this.

1.I sneezed on a stranger. P and I were riding our bikes and I had to sneeze so I turned to the right and sneezed without covering my mouth. I didn't realize there was a guy right behind me trying to pass us. He ended up riding right by me when I sneezed openly on him.

2. I was running and blew a snot rocket in front of some ladies. I didn't see them, I needed to blow my nose, and I did it right in their front yard.

3. I gave P a nose blow, and I was not sorry about it. A nose blow is defined as taking ones mouth and placing it on anthers nose and blowing. P hates this, and for some reason I really like doing it. Yesterday morning P was about to give me a kiss before I left for work, and I gave him a pretty heinous nose blow. Then I proceeded to laugh hysterically all the way to work.

4. My dog destroyed someones flower bed. I took Bear running and he saw something he wanted to chase and jerked forward into this flower bed. In a tizzy the bricks went flying and
 some terrified rabbit scampered off. I was left having to piece everything back together.

Your turn! Fess up friends! 

Friday, May 23, 2014

Friday Confessions

Happy Friday Friends!

I hope that everyone is having a great week, and is gearing up for some amazing plans this Memorial Day Weekend. We are heading out to the lake for some swimming, kayaking, and hiking. I am looking forward to some late nights, some fireflies, and the smell of sunscreen.

I have been a bad girl this week--so lets do this and get our confessions on.

1. One night we ate a bag of Doritos and a pack of chocolate chip cookies for dinner while laying on the couch watching t.v. Bastion of health am I not? P sauce and I were both so tired and didn't want to cook or go pick up dinner, so we went to the gas station and ate sugar and empty carbs for dinner. 

2. I tried to get P to open the curtains on morning and expose himself to the guy repairing our irrigation system. One morning, as I was leaving for work, I saw the irrigation guy working. P just got out of the shower, and as I pulled out of the driveway I called him and said, "OMG open up the curtain right now." He already saw the guy outside before he got in the shower. I am a mean lady, but I thought it would be hilarious. 

3. I am way to emotionally invested in The Game of Thrones.  This show is addicting and I think about it way to much during the day and I talk about it to anyone who will listen. 

4.I bought a diet coke this week, and within 2 sips, I convinced myself that I could fee it rotting my brain, so I threw it into the trash can. I know DC is bad for you and I don't normally drink it, but I was craving something other than water. I held it for about 45 seconds and tried to feel if the aspartame was affecting my mental abilities. I got scared that it was so I threw it away.

Fess up friends! 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Aereo: A Review

For a few months, my husband and I have discussed cutting our satellite. We were motivated by several factors.

First, it was expensive. We signed a 2 year contract, and the first year, we got a great deal, but after that, our rate sky rocketed, and every month as we looked at our budget, it just seemed like an extravagant expense. In the end, it was a luxury, and one that we felt we could live without.

Second, we found that we were beginning to watch too much t.v. T.V. became what we did. We used it as an excuse not to go out or be active. Also, it was a filler for other things. We found that we would come home, chat for a few minutes, then sit down watch t.v. and stay on the couch until bed. 

Third, we realized that we were watching such a small selection of channels, and we didn't need to pay for such a large package. 

Finally, it dawned on us that the majority of the things we wanted to see we could find online for free. Most channels have app's and they show so much of their content on those app's and we could seek out the content there. 

Between our computer, our iPads, our iPhones and our Apple TV, we are geared up enough to make due without traditional media outlets. 

We knew we wanted some type of traditional t.v., and initially we thought of purchasing an antenna, but after talking with some employees at Best Buy, we discovered Aereo. 

Aereo is a subscription based source for local t.v. that is available online. It works just like Netflix. There is a monthly fee of $8.00 with no contract. It provides about 40 channels, including all the major local networks, ABC, NBC, CBS, and Fox. There are also quite a few random channels that we will never utilize, but are there none the less. (Unless my husband decided to start collecting weird porcelain dolls, we are probably never going to watch it).  We are able to watch Aereo on up to 2 devices at the same time. So if he is watching a soccer game on Saturday morning, I can still watch the news from our computer at the same time. Plus, with the Apple TV, we are able to use AirPlay and stream the feed onto our t.v. The other great feature is that it also has a DVR, so you are able to record shows just like you can with a traditional DVR or Tivo. 

Between our two subscriptions, Netflix and Aereo,we pay less than $16.00 a month for everything. Given what we were paying before, that is almost a 90% savings. 

At this juncture, we are happy with our choice and very happy with the savings we have found. 

This may not be a forever solution, and one day may go back to traditional cable or satellite, but right now, this is really working for us. 

Anyone else out there use Aereo? What do you pay for cable each month?

Friday, May 16, 2014

Friday Confessions

Hey gang! I hope everyone has had an amazing week.

Time to get our Friday Confessions on!

1. I have eaten at Chick Fil A 4 times in the last 5 days. As you can tell, I have eaten like crap this week. But, for some reason, at lunch every day, a chargrilled chicken sandwich sounds so good!

2. I have described my restroom ongoings with P in graphic detail. I had food poisoning last week, and have still been battling stomach issues this week. And, luckily for P, I tell him all about it.

3. We watched 3 seasons of Game of Thrones in less than 2 weeks. Each season is 10 episodes and each episode is an hour long. One day, friends came over and we watched 6 episodes in a row.

4. I offered to translate between and English speaker and Spanish speaker. I can hardly speak Spanish, but for some reason, I act like I lived in Mexico and am fluent. Luckily, they did not take me up on the offer.

Time to fess up!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Money Monday, On a Tuesday: The Art of Compromise

So sorry y'all. this was supposed to go live on Monday, but for some reason, it didn't. 

Its not uncommon in marriage to have a different financial personality that your spouse. One may be a spender while the other is a saver. One may have been raised in a wealthy family and the other was raise on food stamps.

For us, generally speaking, we are on the same plane financially. We know our goals, we know our plan, and we are following the same financial map. Where my husband and I differ though, is the speed at which we pursue those goals.

Right now, the only debt we have is our mortgage. When we purchased our home, we borrowed less than half of what we were approved for. We got a great rate and our monthly payment is very management for us. We live in a modest home in a working class area of the city. Because this was our first home, we opted to take a traditional 30 year mortgage because we wanted to ensure that we were not "house poor." We knew we wanted to maintain our lifestyle. We didn't want to have to say no to people and experiences because of our home mortgage.

We also knew that we did not want to pay off the mortgage in 30 years, we wanted to do it much sooner, which is the fork in the road for us. While we both want to pay off our mortgage early, what we tend to disagree on is the speed at which it is done, at to what extent we will cut and sacrifice our lifestyle to do so. If it were me, I put every single extra cent towards the mortgage. I would cut my lifestyle as much as I could, and I would pay the house off as fast as possible.

My husband, while he does want to pay off our home as quickly as possible, does not entirely agree with how much I want to put towards the mortgage each month.  Yes, he wants to pay it off early, but he also wants to make sure that we enjoy our home and our lives. We like doing home improvement projects. He likes taking down walls and building new ones. He wants to retrofit our lighting to make our home more energy efficient and safe. He wants to add a deck and pergola so that I can enjoy the back yard all year long.  He wants to replace aging equipment and features so that when we sell, we will get a high dollar amount for our home. He tells me all the time, how much he wants to make our home as nice as it can be for me.

While I want to do all of these things, and I appreciate all he wants to do, they all require a capital investment.

What do you do when you have two people under the same room with the same goal, but going at different speeds?

You compromise.

We decided that for every dollar we put towards home improvement, we will put .50 cents towards the mortgage. Before any project can begin, we must fund it to 150% percent.

This has worked out beautifully for us. He get's his projects, I get my extra payments. It is really a win win compromise of us.

In the end, we realized just how much we need each other. If it were not for him, I would never go anywhere, never see anything and have no friends because I would be to cheap to do anything. What is the point of a home if you can't share it with family and friends?

How do you compromise different goals and desires? Are you and your spouse on the same page and same speed?

Friday, May 9, 2014

Friday Confessions

Howdy ho amgios! Is there an amigo other than P that reads this? Pretty sure y'all are all amigos.

Here are my weekly confessions.

1. I ate 3 sleeves of Saltines and drank a gallon of Sprite. I had food poisoning this week, and to help myself get over it, I bought crackers and Sprite. Not sure if 100 crackers and chugging sugar soda water gets rid of stomach aches.

2. I throw our dog poo over the fence into the alley. I am the worlds greatest neighbor ever.

3. When taking out the trash, rather than opening the gate and setting it behind the garage, I hurl it over the fence. Again, I am the best neighbor ever. And it ticks P off to no end.

4. I paid money to get my nails painted, and then proceeded to pick all the polish off within 2 days.  Waste of moolah.

Ok, fess up my friends!!!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Money Monday: Are Vacations a Necessity?

For the modern professional, there is a question that we must ask ourselves on a daily basis.

Where does work end, and personal life begin?

20 years ago, the dividing line was pretty clear. The office and all the work were there, in the office. If an employee chose to arrive early, stay late, work through lunch, or bring work home, it was their choice.  As soon as they put their work away, they were done for the day or night. Maybe not mentally, but the line between work and home was much more defined.

Today, that is not the case. For many of us, we operate so much of our work through our cell phones, and those phones are never far from our reach. The last thing I look at before I go to bed is my email. The first thing I do in the morning is check my email.

Thanks to technology, I can do 90% of all my work from my phone if I needed to. If I can't do it from my phone, then I can whip out my laptop, log in remotely, and handle any and everything off site.

Again, this begs the question...Where does work end? 

I don't know anyone who only works 40 hours. I don't know anyone who won't pick up their phone and shoot emails for work during dinner. I don't know anyone who can't log onto their work computer from a bar and make things happen at 11:00PM at night.

Do you?

For us millennial's, the recession hit us hard, and has made many of us even harder workers than before. Those memories of the hard times are just beneath the surface. Our response is to work harder, work faster, and work all the time.

Given that we have now become overworked, overwhelmed, and over digitized, for us, it seems like we have no choice but to take vacations. Take time to get away from the office, to turn off our phones, iPads, and laptops, and try to decompress, even for a few days.

I don't know that vacations are a luxury that my generation can live without anymore. We are so glued in, tuned in, and always "on" that it almost seems like vacations need to be mandatory.

We need that "off switch." We need to not answer or look at emails for a few days. We need to be disconnected for a time. A time to recharge our internal batteries.

Whether we go to the beach, the mountains, or the lake, I know more and more people my age, who have to do more than just get away from the office, they have to get out of town in order to recharge themselves. They have to turn off the phone and disable email.

And, I know a lot of people who feel guilty of doing so.

But, in the end we have to. We can't keep working ourselves into the ground, doing more with less, and putting everything we have into our work.

What to do you think? Are vacations still a luxury or are they a necessity now?