Trouble with Trebles

This blog is to keep track of my knitting, other craft projects, and the weird bits of life that don't fit anywhere else.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Yes, This is a Knitting Blog, Why Do You Ask?

Well, you might ask that because there hasn't been much knitting content lately. We have gone through another busy period, and my ability to work on my knitting projects has seriously suffered. I've reconciled myself to the idea that until the kids get older I will not get terribly much knitting done. I don't feel that bad about it. Afterall, they are only young once, and I want to enjoy this time with them. I anticipate that in the not-too-distant future that I will be waiting during dance lessons and soccer practices, allowing me a lot more knitting time so I am just holding out for that. I have been doing a lot of craft projects with RJ, as way of keeping her entertained and indoctrinating her into the crafting/artistic lifestyle. ;) I will have to take some photos of those projects and post them, even though they mostly aren't yarny crafts. RJ's birthday is the day after mine, so I have been doing lots of baking. Here are the cupcakes I made for school. It was a "bug/garden" theme, so I made these in striped cupcake papers with a flower on the bottom, and then decorated the top with the yellow frosting and put a gummy bug on it. The cake mix was "funfetti" with colorful sprinkles. They loved them!

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Monday, March 12, 2012

The First Time Around

Today is my 39th birthday. Yes, it is my ACTUAL 39th, not a sneaky way to not give away my age. I feel pretty good about this birthday, probably because we've had a lot of good stuff happen this past year or so. The hubby and I always wanted two or three children, so with our lovely second daughter our family seems more complete. Also, my tenure portfolio has not been officially approved, but it has made it's way through the department, the chair, and the dean with very positive feedback. This makes it fairly likely that I will officially get tenure sometime soon. Sometimes birthdays catch you during uncomfortable moments in life, when you feel that things have gone awry somehow. Other times your birthday gives you a chance to reflect on good things. Thankfully, this is one of those good birthdays. :)

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Cost Saving Measures

Like many people in the world today, we are trying to find ways to live more economically. I know we are not alone, because it seems like every TV show has a segment with money-saving tips, but I've found most of the tips to be, shall we say, less than useful. I assume that many of these are meant for people who are truly feeling the pinch in today's economy due to job loss, so I find some of these suggestions truly baffling (we are not in this position, thankfully, but two kids in daycare is killing our budget). Here are some of my favorites:

1. Stop getting your daily latte at Starbucks and save $15 a week! - Seriously, who buys a latte every day? I spend at most $5 a week on coffee. I don't feel like that $20 a month will go real far, but maybe I'm wrong.

2. Have your maid come every other week instead of once a week. - While I'm at it I'll fire the chauffeur and really save a bundle.

3. Carry your lunch, cook at home, don't carry a balance on your credit card, try generic brands, don't buy a new car every 3 years, etc. - Hmmm, I've been doing all these things for years. Evidently my frugal nature does not need to be inspired by being broke.

4. Look for a cheaper place to live. The cost of living in Iowa is surprisingly low. - I actually found this piece of advice on a web site. Look, I lived in Iowa for over 6 years, and I'm not going back. I'm just not a country girl. Oh, yeah, and my job and our house which is underwater are actually in SoCal, not Iowa.

5. Start a garden. - We have one, but the f*#@ing squirrel keeps eating everything! Do you think buying a weapon to get rid of the squirrel would be a good long-term investment? Seriously, that stupid rat with a fluffy tail has eaten every single vegetable that has started to grow.

A lot of the tips you hear are repetitive and obvious, but there are other more underground tips that you won't hear on NPR or the Today Show. Here are a couple:

1. Take the extra garbage bag. In businesses and public places there is always an extra bag in the can. Grab it whenever you get the chance and you will never have to buy trash bags again!

2. Fill up on condiments whenever you go out to eat. I have enough socked away that I may never have to buy ketchup, parmesan cheese, salt, or crushed red pepper again. Ditto napkins.

I suppose I could stop buying craft stuff, like yarn. Egads, now THAT would be horrible. Do you have any clever money-saving tips (naughty or nice)? Here is my latest FO, a dishcloth. Perhaps knitting dishcloths will save me money on sponges?

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