Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Tuesday Tip - Protecting Your Identity

From time to time I will be sharing a random Tuesday Tip.  Over the weekend I saw this report on Fox News.  I am a big fan of genealogy and often do searches to try to track down long deceased relatives.  Fox News shared about a "genealogy" website that has too much information on living people.  If you go to Family Tree Now and search for yourself, odds are you will find yourself, almost every address you have lived at, and your closest living relatives.  If you are like me, you probably do not want this to be easily accessible.

Here is how to Opt Out:

  1. Click This Link.
  2. Follow the steps to search for yourself.  Narrow it down faster by adding in the state or birth year.
  3. Make sure you select all records that link to you.  I found multiple ones for myself and my husband.  You can easily find the appropriate records by scrolling down to the addresses.
  4. Share with your family & friends.
The website states that it will remove the records within 48 hours.  I checked and mine were removed in less than an hour.  Your name will still show up in the search.  However, when you click on "view details", you will be directed to a "webpage cannot be found" message.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Pantry Challenge - Grocery Spending Update

This past week I only spent $1.55 on baby carrots for W's lunch.  Since I had very low spending this week, I got away a bit from the challenge and bought a pound of sprout seeds from Amazon ($14).  I had just a few sprout seeds left, and they were barely sprouting.  I dumped those into the compost and ordered some more.  That puts this week's spending at $15.55.

January Spending:
Week 1 - $19.00
Week 2 - $20.54
Week 3 - $15.55

Total for this month so far:  $55.09

2017 Goals Week 3

1.  Completely Finish the New House
We are having crazy warm weather.  This past week W and I opted to take advantage of the nearly 80 degree temps and sunshine to work in the yard.  He cleaned off the small back deck and put a house for Thea.  We both picked up trash and tree limbs.  I also cut back some plants that got hit hard by last weekend's 20 degree temperatures.  While the inside has no progress, the outside is looking much better.

2.  Plan Ahead for Birthday and Holiday Gifts
I added some money to the gift budget envelope.

3.  Use the Garden to be More Self-Sufficient
I started looking through seed catalogs and trying to narrow down what I want to add to the garden this year.  I spent a bit of time pulling weeds.  I started growing some sprouts in the house which is as close to gardening as I can truly get in January.

4.  Take One Class a Month
I did lesson two of the card making class.  This one was for a penny slide card.  I liked it, but I did not make a sample card this week.  I do appreciate having this public goal so I actually make a little time each week to do it.

5. Pack Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes on a Budget
I went in search of some discount items on clearance from Christmas.  I found some of the items in my local store, but they were only 25% rather than 75%-90%.  I will keep checking.

6.  Boost Savings
W had a smaller paycheck due to the holidays.  I was still able to put some extra money toward the credit card debt.  Yeah!  I will be so glad when we knock that out completely.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Pantry Challenge Days 17-19

I combined three days into one post since overall they were very boring.

Day 17:  W had cereal for breakfast, and I drank a Boost again.  We both brought home leftovers.  For dinner we took one of the chicken tenders and made big salads.  I used lettuce from the garden and the last of the tomatoes that we bought.  I added onion and pepper to mine.  I also diced up half of a piece of Texas toast.  Supper I fixed some instant mashed potatoes and garden peas to go with his hamburger steak.  I ate my leftover chicken tenders and sweet potatoes.


Day 18:  W was off to worked with a packed lunch of the usual.  I had an English muffin with cream cheese for breakfast.  Dinner was a tuna sandwich and chips.  I skipped supper (not good), and W ate cereal.  

Day 19:  Breakfast was another English muffin with cream cheese.  I was busy the day before and did not make a dessert for dinner with my parents.  W had cereal for supper.  I ate a slice of toast with peanut butter.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Weekend Book Reviews

Dead and Breakfast by Kate Kingsbury is the first book in the Merry Ghost Inn Mystery series.  Melanie and her grandmother Liza are opening a bed and breakfast in a reportedly haunted mansion on the Oregon coast.  While renovating the pair stumble across a long dead body.  The small police force puts the cold case on the back burner.  If the B&B is ever to open, Melanie and Liza must solve the mystery themselves.  This is a great start to a new series.  I loved the ghost story aspect.  Liza and Melanie are wonderful characters.  I look forward to finding out how the bed and breakfast setting develops as the series progresses.

Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli's She Stopped for Death is the second book in the Little Library Mystery series.  Jenny and her mother, Dora, are receiving nighttime visits from the town's reclusive poet, Emily Sutton.  Soon Emily drags Jenny, Dora, and their next door neighbor Zoe into her peculiar life. I have mixed feelings about this book.  The first half was a struggle to get through.  The characters, especially Jenny, are weak.  I am not a fan of women who cannot survive without a boyfriend.  The mystery only took center stage in the second half of the book.  The mystery was good and did help to redeem the book.  At this point I am on the fence about the book.   I would hope to see further character development in future books.  A book with all female leads needs to have strong female leads.

disclosure:  I received these e-books from NetGalley but was not otherwise compensated for these reviews.  All opinions are my own!

Friday, January 13, 2017

Pantry Challenge Day 16

I had a Boost drink for breakfast and W had cereal.


Dinner was tuna melts and chips.  We had been working in the yard and wanted something quick. 


Supper was a break for me.  W had a business dinner, and I went with him.  He had hamburger steak, baked potato, and salad.  I had a salad, chicken tenders, and sweet potato fries.  We both brought home some leftovers.

Frugal Friday

The temperatures were cold in the south this past weekend.  *I will pause here while everyone up north giggles a bit.*  My ideal temperature has a low of 75.  I am that crazy person who loves when it is 90+ degrees. I did keep the central heat cut lower and wore a cozy cardigan while in the house.

As much as I would have loved to stay in all weekend, I still had outside chores to do.  I bundled up in a set of coveralls that I purchased at yard sales.  I got the overall pants at one sale and found the jacket at another.  Since they were children's sizes (L and XXL), I was able to score a very good deal.  I have used both for several winters now.

I made several birthday cards from items that I had on hand.

I took advantage of some deals at Amazon.  I bought Glad trash bags as W hated the cheaper ones that were free with sale/coupon.  I also bought canned cat food for less per can than I was able to get locally on sale.  I chose the slower shipping on both items to get credits.

I took advantage of a sale and a coupon to get some OTC medicine that W uses at a bargain.

I wanted a house for Thea on the back deck.  We used a small rabbit house that we already had - modified a bit by W using materials on hand - so we had no out of pocket cost.  This was important for a starter house as we have no idea if Thea will even use it.

I received coupons for free candy bars which I won in an instant win game.