Tag Archive: money


A New Obsession

I get excited like it’s Christmas, it’s kinda sad, but it’s a good thing.

Couponing.

I have been turned onto it by a good friend, and just by watching her, I realized she was onto something, rather than just being a little geeky.  And the beauty of it is I get to try so many different brand name products, and I’ve gotten a bunch of free samples in the mail. I’ve even come to like Harris Teeter, which can be expensive, but not if you know what you’re doing!

I anxiously await the Sunday paper for coupons, and for my All You magazine to arrive in the mail.  I visit money saving blogs and stores’ websites to find out what’s on sale.  I’ve turned frugal, ya’ll!

My last trip to Harris Teeter yielded great results, especially because it was SUPER DOUBLES, where they double coupons up to $1.98!!!!  It doesn’t get much better than that…check out my shopping trip, and I’m curious how much you think I spent.

Here’s a rundown of all I got:

Butterball turkey bacon

Green Giant Veggies (5 cans)

Nestle Toll House cookie dough

Success Boil in Bag Rice (2 boxes)

Balance Bar (2)

Zone bar

Barber Foods stuffed chicken breast (bought @ Publix)

Febreeze Air freshener

Glade winter collection sprays (3)

Pert shampoo/conditioner

Got2B hair lotion

Cottonelle moist wipes

Bic lighter

People magazine

Trident Layers (2)

So, what’s your guess?

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Bringing You Up To Speed

Since the last time I blogged (seems like forever, really), I have moved out from living with “Joan Crawford“, and now reside with a gay couple (and their cat, let’s not forget the damn cat)!  They are 23 year-old guys, and not all that bad in relation to previous roommates.

Jeremy – The outgoing roommate, former marine, country boy, owns a ghost hunting company

Chris – AKA Sunshine, very quiet, acts like a child, walks around holding his game boy ALL the time

Winslett – The damn cat.  They couldn’t have picked a gayer name if they tried!

Mike – (36) Army dude who moved in with us temporarily, but has now turned into indefinitely. Unemployed, and vehicle doesn’t run. He dated Chris years ago, but only went out a couple of times because Chris played his game boy all through dinner!

Nick – (19) Mike’s boyfriend, who lives in Columbia.  Only had a part-time job. No vehicle

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The Power Of Diamonds

Who would’ve thought Diamonds could be so powerful???  The Gift That Keeps On Giving

Do The Right Thing???

You’re at a bustling airport, and you sit down at one of the food courts, and under your chair, you find a duffel bag…full of money…at least $100,000.  What would you do?  Would you keep it?  Try to find the owner?  Dontate it to charity?  Be honest!

Shopping via the Television

I’m outing myself…as a QVC SHOPPER!!!!!

I can hear the gasps now!!

Yes, you read right, I like shopping on QVC!  QVC, you’d think, is usually for the homebound or the elderly, but I, yes I, LIKE it! Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it!  It’s not as bad as you think!

I got hooked, one winter, when I had a cast on my foot, and couldn’t go shopping for Christmas presents.  My grandmother ALWAYS buys our gifts from QVC, and if she could have bought her house off of there, she would have, so I figured it’s gotta be an alright thing to use.   If you look close at her TV, you’ll see the imprint of QVC’s phone number in her TV, she watches it so much!

I’ve bought purses (The Sak is my fav), make-up (Smashbox has the BEST eye liner, and Bare Escentuals has a special place in my heart), sheets (Northern Nights high thread count sheets ROCK), jewelry, and even perfume (LOVE LOVE LOVE Philosophy’s Falling in Love).    Perfume and Make-up are the last things you would think you’d buy from television, HOWEVER, it usually is cheaper, and if you don’t like it, you can send it back, and they’ll refund your money, including shipping and handling, well, last time I checked, it was.  I once returned a pair of boots, that were really cute, but should’ve known my “grossly abnormal” feet wouldn’t fit!  I LOVE watching their make-up shows, you always learn new tips and techniques, and you’re able to see how a, say, lipstick color would look on different skin tones.  So there you have it!  My confession for today!

Your turn…

Out yourself, what’s one of your confessions, that you may not tell everyone you meet?

be able to fortell the future, or
have all the money you will every need?

be able to stop time while you slept, or
never need to do laundry?

be able to bring about a lasting world peace, or
eliminate all hunger and disease?

be able to fly, or
have the ability to read people’s minds?

ไทยแลนด์ (Thailand)

I’ve written about my experiences in Egypt, now, on to Thailand, the Land of Smiles! While we were still in Egypt, my parents went over on a look-see to find out where we’d be living and even if we really wanted to move there. My mom brought me back Bubble Yum bubble gum, and that was all I needed to know I’d love it over there! My dad’s company also sent them to Sao Paulo, Brazil, after this trip, and after being told of the crimes (usually aimed at ex-pats) and living behind bars on windows and doors, my parents quickly made up their minds!

In August of 1997, we arrived at the Bangkok International Airport, it was around midnight, and we were exhausted after 20 hours of travel! When you get off the plane, one of the first things you see is a banner that displays “Welcome to the Land of Smiles” and you see all the cute little Thais. We still had a two hour drive still ahead of us, just to get to the hotel where we’d be staying, what a LONG day that was!

We drove to Pattaya, which is south of Bangkok, the nearest city to where we’d be living. The hotel we stayed at was called the Royal Garden, and it had a MALL attached to it! I had never seen such a thing, and thought it was SO cool! As a 14 year-old girl, I was in heaven! The hotel was GORGEOUS, and the next day, I went to check out the mall, with no money of course, I forgot to ask for some Baht (Thai currency). I found this one store that, apparently, is big over in the UK, Boots, an odd name for a drugstore type of store, but they had a lot of American and British beauty products (although you’d pay the price for ’em), which was great! The mall also had a Benihana’s, so it was a MAJOR improvement from Cairo.

When we went to see our new home, we were in disbelief that it was as beautiful as it was. We lived ON a golf course, so my parents and brother were ecstatic, HOWEVER, I tried taking golf lessons in Egypt, and decided I could care less. The 2nd mode of transportation was a golf cart, everyone had at least one.

I can’t tell you how SPOILED ROTTEN we were over there, it’s so cheap to live there, we are fortunate enough to afford a maid and a driver!!! Our maid and driver were married, and the lived with us, in the outside quarters. They really became part of our family, they had a beautiful little girl whose nickname was Ploy, which means pearl in Thai, isn’t that sweet? To give you an idea of how cheap it is, we paid the maid the equivalent to $200, and she was one of the highest paid maids in the area! She felt so blessed we were able to give her a job, she gave up beef in return, completely on her own, and stuck to it!!! The Thais are willing to bend over backwards to please, and they really LOVE to smile, which makes me miss Thailand.

Because the primary religion is Buddhism, they have a different new year, their version is known as Songkran, which is celebrated April 13th – 15th, and it’s just a big HUMONGOUS water fight! They do have a white powder they mix with water, and that is supposed to ward off evil, and they will nail you with that, as well, and can sting your eyes. If you think you can go out, and still stay dry, FORGET IT!!!!! Watch the clip below and see it’s all in good fun:

School was different, we had uniforms, and I was not happy with that in the beginning. I’d never been to a school with uniforms, and the thought of wearing the same thing day in and day out was appalling! The school, the International School of the Eastern Seaboard (ISE) was SO small, even compared to my old school, CAC, there were less than 20 kids in the WHOLE 9th grade! We all had the same classes together, and there weren’t choices in what you could take, except you had the option of learning French of Spanish. I couldn’t even learn Thai in school, because there supposedly wasn’t enough interest to have a class, the majority of the students were Thai. Unfortunately, I never had the opportunity to learn it, besides the basic 1-10 and hello, good-bye, thank you, etc… In the 10th grade, we went on a Biology trip, we called the “Barge Trip” where we were on a boat, and went around to different sights, and had a good time. I remember feeling tired throughout that trip, just the fresh air and the heat got to me, and maybe just gross from the fact we literally had timed showers, you had 3 minutes once you got in the bathroom area, to jump in and out, and get dressed again…that was rough! I do remember everyone taking turns in groups cooking, and that was fun! That was my first experience with okra, turned out I kinda liked it.

Here’s a picture of the high school, that was newly built when I was there. If you can see the stairs have a covering, it’s because there’s no roof over the center of the building. One teeny tiny tidbit they may have overlooked, during the design process, was that there’s monsoon season!

This is the high school, and there were coverings over the stairwells because there was no roof over the center of the buiding, of which I don't think they took monsoon season into account during the design process

the inside of the high school

The good thing I learned is, when it’s a small school, you get a chance to get to know everyone there, and I appreciated that, we had people from all corners of the world, and I can’t tell you how NEAT it is to interact with people from such different backgrounds! I feel so blessed to have met EVERYONE there, the good, the bad and the ugly. It’s interesting how you look back, and you realize the ways people shaped your life.

This is my good friends, Guillermo.  Isn't he GORGEOUS???

My good friend, Guillermo & I

In Thailand, drinking was legal, so long as you paid, and the same went with prostitution. The typical stereotype if you saw a foreigner with a Thai girl, usually much younger, is she was getting paid for her company, and that was something you saw EVERYDAY! Even the next door neighbor would have parties with a few Thai women when his wife left. Everyone knew everyone else’s business, MUCH more so than should’ve. I guess that’s what happens when wives (of ex-pats) can’t work (weren’t allowed work permits), and have nothing better to do.  Anytime one of the their kids screwed up, and we ALL did, EVERYONE knew about it, and that was really annoying. My bad experience was with our golf cart. One day, I was screwing around on the golf cart paths, going up and down the hills for cheap thrills, and missed a turn,  I tried to compensate by turning sharply, which resulted in me falling out, and the cart kept going…right into the pond!!!!!! I was so upset, one of the neighbors happened to be driving by, and they gave me a lift back home. All I remember was I was grounded after that, and told I could NEVER drive it again! I was able to drive it again, they trusted me, and that was the last time I went up and down hills for excitement! I think it was about $100 or so just to dry it out. My mom jokingly told me to tell people I went looking for my dad’s old golf balls, sadly, that excuse didn’t fly!

WHOOPS!!!

My golf cart fared a little better than this one, but not by much

Thailand has some Amazing beaches, in Pattaya, Phuket, and the small islands. Our family traveled to Phuket a few times, and stayed at Le Meridian Resort, which was recked in the tsunami, but has since been restored. We LOVED that place, there was always something to do, and everyday, they had this fantastic mongolian barbecue (I’m such a foodie), definitely one of the things I looked forward to. The only thing i hated was the pain from my “pasty-white-girl-tan”, otherwise known as a sunburn, from being in the sun all day. Another place we visited was Chiang Mai, and on that trip, this Aussie boyband, Human Nature, performed in the lobby lounge of the hotel, and I remember thinking they were some FINE lookin’ men LOL, but my tastes have changed since then, but a couple of them are still cute LOL. They ended up having some songs on the Asian and Aussie music charts, but nothing too big. What can I say, I was a sucker for any cute boy!!!!

Earlier, I mentioned how I’m kind of a foodie, and I love Thai food. I’m not one for a lot of spice, like most of their dishes, but it’s worth the sacrifice, and if you think you’re eating Thai food, but your nose isn’t running, and eyes aren’t watering, then it may not be authentic. I did learn how to make Thai fried rice, from our maid, sesame beef. I do have a recipe for chicken cashew, just have never made it myself, but it’s awesome! Chicken satay and pad thai are my favorites!

Pad Thai

Pad Thai

Durians are a fruit that is native to southeast Asia, and you would KNOW if you were ever within a half a mile of one, the smell is unforgettable, to say the least! Remember how I said the high school was all open-aired??? Well, one day, someone brought 2 durians to school, and left them at the bottom of the stairs, and the smell was just AWFUL!!! One writer describes it as “overripe cheese. Rotting fish. Unwashed socks. A city dump on a hot summer’s day”, and I couldn’t agree more!! Apparently, the public buses, which are all open-aired as well, wouldn’t allow anyone with one of these supposedly tasty fruits on board due to the pungent odor. I never tried it, the smell was enough to turn me off. Pomelo was another fruit that is native to SE Asia, and it is SO good! It tastes like a sweet, mild grapefruit.

Pomelo

DurianDurian

See this picture…

Gorgeous, huh??? Well, these are what the Thais refer to as Katoys, which means “ladyboys”, and they have Mr. Miss beauty pageants!! So, if you go there, you may not always get what you see, As you can see, many of them are more beautiful than real women! My parents took us to a cabaret show when we were on vacation, and later, we met some of the stars of the show, and my mother broke it to us that they were men, I just couldn’t believe it, they were SO beautiful, but then I noticed the adam’s apple!

While I was in Thailand, I had the opportunity to travel Vietnam, Bali and Australia. I think we loved Phuket so much, we didn’t do as much traveling to other places, but I really don’t have any places on my must see list, that I haven’t already seen. I really loved the people, the culture, and the land, I would move back there in a heartbeat, if given the opportunity! There is a woman’s blog I’ve been reading, who just moved there, and it brings back memories to read about her daily life, although, she lives in a different part of the country. I’m sure I missed things, but this gives you an insight into my life, as well as the things the average tourist might not experience.

Need a Fridge??? Have a Baby!

Russians celebrate a day they call the Day of Conception, on September 12th, which encourages couples to conceive, and should it work, and they do indeed give birth to children on Russia’s National Day, June 12th, parents win cars, fridges and money! Read an article about it HERE

They get the day off work JUST to have sex!!!! CRAZY!!!! Glad they don’t have that day here, my roommate would take FULL advantage of that! *eye roll*

Paying kids to learn, what a great idea! I was watching this series on CNN, Black in America, and I’m intrigued! The whole thing’s great, but I thought this was a novel approach to motivate kids to learn.

They’re experimenting an incentive program in a handful of inner cities, and the one they were talking about would be based of 10 examinations they take throughout the school year, and they can earn up to $25 per test, allowing them to make as much as $250, which is HUGE for a 4th grader (the class they’re using). Some people are opposed to it, however, it makes sense! Isn’t the real world based on you applying yourself to your job, which results in more income, of which you are tested in so many ways. I think it’s great, especially, because these kids could use the money for their families, or college, and they can feel great about having earned it, plus the competitive sides will come out, and that would motivate kids as well. I just wish I’d had this as a kid, I may have applied myself more, and be in a lot better place now, not that I’m in a bad place now, just not a great place, but I just wonder why it took so long for someone to implement the idea.

This past week, I was going through old stuff I had from my mom’s house, and I came across this picture:

It just reminded me of what a snot-nosed kid I was growing up, and that, if you asked my mother, she would tell you, it hasn’t changed much!!!! I was probably 10 or 11 in this picture, but what a lovely child I was!!!

Then, I came across a book of my work in the first grade, and in there, was this picture:

It made me realize I was just as random, then, as I am now, I apparently, wanted to be an oreo!!!! So, if I tend to be random, it’s just always been the way I am!!!! I also either wanted a bike, or wanted to be a bike, the jury’s still out on that one ! I just found it amusing going through my old stuff, my friend, Sarah, kept making fun of the fact I left of the e’s in most of my words…I was only 7! Then we found a story about a substitute teacher, and I wrote SOB instead of SUB, and she couldn’t get over that I was such a snot back then!!