Great time saving service from USPS!  

Two great features the United States Postal Service offers are online postage and carrier pickup. Carrier pickup is only available for Priority Mail and Express Mail. I can pack, pay and mail all from home! I just wish I could do this for media mail. :-(

Last year I ran to the Post Office with my package (carrier pickup is not available on Guam). I had already paid it for using online postage. It was right before Christmas, so the line was long. I went to the nearest window that was technically closed, but there was an employee there. I asked, "Where can I drop this box. It already has postage." She took it from me & I walked out the door avoiding that long line!


Tackle it Tuesday  

I ran across the "5 Minutes for Mom" site recently and decided I needed to participate in their Tackle it Tuesday. So I'm not a mom, but I can still pick up tips & tricks from others that post there! :-)

My project today was my work area. I work from home and currently my office doubles as the living room. It had been driving me nuts for awhile, so this blog motivated me to clean it up!

Tackle It Tuesday Meme

For background noise and entertainment, I turned on The Princess Bride and started tackling! (see previous post).

It looks much better now and I feel better too without all that clutter! Here are the before & after photos:


To the Batmobile...I mean the squad car  

I read an article yesterday about a new technology that will eliminate high speed chases. Equipment mounted behind the grille of a police car will allow the officer to target the fleeing vehicle with a laser and launch a small GPS transmitter that sticks to the back vehicle.

The officer pursues long enough to attach the GPS, then backs off and lets the technology do the work of keeping track of the vehicle and follow at a safer speed and distance. When the suspect slows down or stops, the officer then can speed up and move in.

You can read more about this technology on FoxNews or the StarChase website.


You want how much for that?!  

I listed a (barely) used cable modem on ebay today. While I was there, I browsed a little. With Christmas getting near, I thought I'd look to see what the hard to find Nintendo Wii was going for. Normal retail price is $249. One guy is selling one for 10 million dollars! I think I'll pass.


I've turned into a wimp!  

I grew up in Iowa where it can get pretty cold in the winter. I spent 7 years in Wisconsin and endured 30 below temperatures at times. And 10" of snow at the end of April. And yet, in Greenville, SC, I freeze when it gets below 60! People laugh at me for being bundled up in a sweater and a light coat. I really want to wear my warmer winter one, but when it gets "really" cold I won't have any more warm layers to put on!

Please understand, living on a tropical island thins your blood. If you get too cold inside the air conditioning (or air con as it's called there), you go outside to warm up!

I will be in Iowa for 3 weeks over Christmas. I think I'll turn into a human Popsicle. They've already had snow there. It will be good to be with family, but I think I'll be wishing we could all be together on the beach - where I spent Christmas the last two years! They don't know what they're missing! :-)

If the weather gets cold in your area and you need a new coat, I found some on clearance (50% off or more) at Amazon for women and men. Christmas idea for the sports fan in your family - the men's clearance had quite a few different styles of lightweight NFL jackets 60% off!


Kevin Inafuku's newest CD is on SALE through Christmas!  

Click on the pictures for more information about these CDs. Regular retail price is $17.50. Sale price through Christmas is $12!


Extreme Makeover Blog Edition  

I finally decided it was time my blog had a new look! I updated a few new features as well using the new draft version of blogger.


A budget help for ministries, individuals and businesses  

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I played fetch with the neighbor's dog today. Toys? Who needs them when you have rocks! Yes, she plays fetch with rocks! She is so funny! If I didn't throw it fast enough, she'd bark at me to hurry up! There is a chain link fence between us and she runs over and pushes it through the fence to me. Apparently if there isn't enough dirt on the rock it doesn't taste as good. Every so often she would run over to a dirt patch and cover the rock with dirt then bring it to me again. Silly dog! BTW, she does have dog toys, but likes rocks better. She'll even catch it mid air sometimes!



I can't believe it. I just found out today that The Princess Bride is 20 years old! It is one of my all time favorite "classics". So many great quotes and dry humor!

Who can forget the impressive clergyman?
Mawage. Mawage is wot bwings us togeder tooday. Mawage, that bwessed awangment, that dweam wifin a dweam... And wuv, tru wuv, will fowow you foweva... So tweasure your wuv.

Murdered by pirates is good...
As you wish.
Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father prepare to die.
You rush a miracle man, you get rotten miracles.

Another great scene is the rhyming on the boat. Anybody want a peanut?

I think I need to get my copy out and watch it again in honor of the anniversary!

I have also read the bookby William Goldman. The movie is pretty close to the book with a few exceptions. Shrieking sharks instead of shrieking eels. And they it into further detail about [use your raspy voice here] "The Pit of Despair" There are probably others, but I'll bet it's been about 20 years since I read the book. I'm getting old & my memory is what was I talking about again?


Guam pictures (I know...they're about 5 months late!)  

Asan Beach - I loved walking here and listening to the Pirates of the Caribbean Soundtrack on my iPod. I could just imagine a big pirate ship coming up over the horizon!

Pictures do not do justice to the sunsets on the ocean! You have to see them in person!

Crystal & I went snorkeling one afternoon and I shot this video of the little fishies in the ocean!


I miss Guam, but finding good buys is making me feel a little better about living in the States!  

Today I went to my favorite store - Target! Unfortunately, their clearance was no good today. I only found one good gift item that I won't mention here in case it's for you! :-)

Here are the other good deals I found on sale items using coupons -
4 boxes Stove Top stuffing
2 bags Cheetos
4 bags M&Ms (one 11 oz & three 14 oz)
1 Polly Pocket set
Grand total? $4.16!

I don't know what the "normal" regular prices for all these things was because they were on sale, but without using coupons, my total would have been $20.15. Overall savings of 79%! I wish I knew what the regular prices were...

4 boxes of Stove Top stuffing for one person you say? Believe it or not it would have cost me more to buy one box! They were on sale for .79. I had Target coupons for .50 off. I also had a manufacturer coupon for $1 off 4 boxes. So it ended up costing me .16 for all 4 boxes!


'Tis the Season to Travel  

With people gearing up to travel for the holidays, I thought I'd post some of my favorite travel resources.

- This site will show you the good bad and ugly of your airline seat choices. I always refer to this when choosing my airline seats!

Packing cubes from eBags - (click on the picture to go to the site for more info.) These help keep your suitcase organized. When I arrive at my destination, my clothes aren't a jumbled mess. I confess. I own a lot of eBags items - packing cubes, suitcase, laptop bag, luggage locks, toiletry bag, shoe bag, the list goes on! They produce quality and functional items. They also sell many other brands, but if I have a choice, eBags wins out hands down! (After seeing my packing cubes, several of my friends are now converts. One of my friends uses a different color for each family member.)
Packing Cubes - 3pc Set

TSA (Transportation Security Administration)
- Traveler information including prohibited items, carry-on policy, etc.

Sleeping in Airports - Yes, I have done this a few times! Not because I didn't want to get a hotel, but because of a long layover on international flights & I just couldn't stay awake any longer!


Better Business Bureau Update  

I did hear from Nu Era Group on November 14th. The lady I spoke with was quite nice. She actually remembered seeing my case awhile back and was wondering why nothing had been done yet. (Me too!) Anyway, they are going to credit my account within the next few days. We'll see how that goes.

This is what they submitted to the BBB:
On November 14, 2007, the business provided the following information:
After researching this complaint, we have determined that the customer is due a full refund. This refund amount has been turned over to our accounting department today, November 14th, and our customer should see a credit on their account in the next few days. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused, as we did have some difficulties with a system conversion that occurred during this time.


Better Business Bureau  

In July of 2006, I placed an order with Nu-Era Group for some store fixtures. They were plastic and not packed well at all. They arrived at my parents' broken and missing pieces. (I was living on Guam at the time.) Since 08-16-06, I have sent 4 emails and called 6 times. At one point I did talk to someone and they had to check on how to return the items (apparently they were shipped direct from the manufacturer & she didn't know if they wanted them back or would just give us credit.) I never heard back from her. I also got an email once that apologized for the delay & their customer service department was very busy handling customer requests and they would contact me soon. Yeah, well they've started contacting me - sending me PAST DUE notices and threatening to take action! (For some reason they never charged my credit card for these parts, but they did for the ones we kept.) I contacted the Better Business Bureau for help. Seriously, I have tried to resolve this! Finally on the last notice, they included an extension number, so I decided to give them one more chance and called that. Know what the lady told me? They wouldn't do anything because I've had the product more than 30 days! Can you believe it!? I explained to the lady I had been trying since we received them, but no one will get back with me. I asked to speak to her manager. He was "in a meeting". She said he would call me back. That was on 11/05. I also mentioned I have documentation of my attempts and have already reported them to the BBB. I still haven't heard back from them. They have until the 14th and the BBB will pursue it further. We'll see what happens.


My budget thanks me  

I bought 6lbs of chicken, cooking oil, conditioner, liquid coffee creamer and 2 packages of yeast. Total spent - $14.40! I saved $26.52! A savings of 54%