Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Last Post of 2008!

I am just sitting here with my family as we get ready to bring in the new year together. Chris and I are not the partying type and we enjoy spending time together as a family. It keeps us safe from all the craziness of having to drive home and pray that we make it safely and we know where our kids are and wouldn't want to spend it any other way.

Happy New Year to all of my friends! I hope 2009 brings all of you happiness, prosperity and most of all love!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Happy Birthday to my Man!

Today is Chris' birthday. I wanted to do something for him but all he wants is money for WOW (World of Warcraft for those who aren't in the know) and he woke up this morning with a pinched nerve in his back so he is going to be taking it easy and he will probably be playing his online game for most of the day. I did ask him if he wanted to go to Olive Garden for dinner since we received a gift card for Christmas. He isn't sure yet.

Since we have gotten the Wii for Christmas, the kids and Chris have been playing it pretty much non stop. The Wii sports games that comes with the system is really fun to play. We especially like the bowling. Chris and Katie played tennis yesterday and I think that is how Chris threw his back out. Old Man! LOL!!! So... most of my day will be catering to the old fart (kidding, since I am three weeks older than him :)

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas Everyone!

I sure hope everyone is enjoying their Christmas! My family and I have been busy the last two days visiting family and stuffing our faces with delicious foods!
The kids are happy with their gifts and I received 5 new books for Christmas that will keep me busy for a few weeks:) You can't go wrong with Stephen King and Dean Koontz! Chris has gotten movies and the T.V. Series House, Season 2 & 3. His next four days are going to be a House marathon! LOL!!
I probably won't be posting much tomorrow because I have two houses to clean and I know I will be exhausted but I am happy to be making money again! So it all works out!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Craig's List Rocks

I have heard about Craig's List before but never really gave it much thought. Until Chris' mom told me I should advertise the cleaning business on it. There is no cost to do this. I have a few ads on it and have gotten a few calls but sadly many of them were from people that are out of my service range.

Port Charlotte is almost 45 minutes away and to me that is just not cost worthy. But today I did receive an email from a woman in Sarasota. I called her number and left a message. She is looking for a Bi-weekly clean and I sure hope that it pans out. A lot of people that call me want a quote over the phone. I do not give prices over the phone. A lot of times in the past I have ended spending too much time on a home and all the extras they wanted but since I already gave them a price over the phone I could not in good conscience tell them it would be more. So... I do not do that anymore. There are reasons why a lot of companies do not quote anymore. More times than not they will offer a free in home quote because it gives them a better understanding of what exactly the customer wants. Many times a customer may think they know what needs to be done but in reality it is something completely different. I just thought I would put that thought out there in case there are people that don't have that understanding.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Two weeks of Bliss!

The new cleaning blog is up and so is my official company website. Please do me a favor check them both out and let me know what you think!

My Christmas shopping is almost done. I still have no idea what to get Chris that doesn't involve World of Warcraft! Ughh!!!! I plan to give him money for his birthday which is three days after Christmas so that he can apply that to his WOW account and get the new Wrath of the Lynch King that he has been talking my ears off about.

The kids are off for the next two weeks and so far my cleaning jobs are only on this Friday and three days next week. A lot of my customers have left for the holidays and some of them will not be back until after the New Year! Which is ok with me because I won't need to find a sitter for Katie! Jeff is working all this week except for Christmas and the day after so he is looking forward to a good paycheck. Chris will only be working 6 out of the next 10 business days! Things are always s l o w around this time of year! So the next two weeks I will be spending some much needed quality time with my family.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Getting better

I am feeling somewhat normal again. So far the only two to escape the agony has been Chris and Katie. Jeff was under the weather with different symptoms than mine. He had an earache and body aches but he was back to feeling better by Monday morning. I kept telling him that it was ok to stay home from school but when he knows he has tests, what I say to him falls on deaf ears.
The thing about Jeff is even though he may be sick, if he has something important going on at school, he will go no matter how bad he feels. His immune system is amazingly potent. He may get sick one or twice a year and when he does he bounces back fast. I was never like that. When I got sick I was down for a few days at least. Katie is like me in that respect. Jeff is like Chris. It's uncanny how much a like they are but they are not even blood related.

On a different note... I did do my cleaning jobs and I got them done without feeling terrible. I have the day off today but the next two days are booked. Today after the kids get home from school I will need to take the kids Christmas shopping for each other and Chris. Jeff needs to pick up a few things for a few of his friends and his Secret Santa gift for the Anime club he is in. I have also been nominated to make some cookies for his club on Friday. I told Jeff that HE can do most of the work and I will supervise him. I normally make Christmas cookies but I just have been so busy or sick to do any of it. I do not want to wait until the last minute so I am hoping to do some a little at a time every day. Hopefully that won't be to overwhelming.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Death can come now! No really!!!

I woke up Saturday morning with not much of a voice. I was hoarse and congested for much of the day until evening fell. Then that is when the party really started. I came down with one hell of a cold! Fever, body aches, runny nose and a very dry cough. I did what anyone else would do and loaded up on meds and O.J.

Sunday I felt like death warmed over! Fever, chills, body aches and the meanest stuffy nose on the face of the planet. Chris did a lot for me and even cooked dinner. I still managed to do some laundry and puttz around the house.

This morning was a killer. I couldn't even get myself out of the bed to go to the bathroom. Chris had to help me and he decided that he would stay home and take care of me. Every four hours like clockwork he was stuffing me with meds and replenishing my orange juice. Now I feel so much better except for the teary eyes and sneezing. I have taken everything to help alleviate that but nothing has worked until I sucked down a few Halls cough drops.

Tomorrow I have two houses to clean and I sure hope that these meds will help me get through the day if not I am going to be like a walking zombie!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Barley keeping my eyes open

Today was a long day. After dropping off my daughter at school this morning, I made my way to Longboat Key for a cleaning job. That is approximately a 35 minute drive from my house. The weather was lousy, rain and high winds made my commute seem never ending. I was supposed to be there at 9am. I called the client at 8:20 to let them know that I would be late. I was so happy when she told me that she figured as much because the rain is falling harder there and to take my time. I got there at 9:15. I didn't start cleaning until 10 because she is a talker. I was estimating that I would be there for 3-4 hours since this was a new client and I already knew it needed a thorough cleaning since they are snowbirds and only down here for the winter.

The apartment has not been cleaned in 6 months and the last cleaning lady never cleaned it after they left. It took me 5 hours! My client felt so bad that she gave me $20.00 dollars more than I told her the job would be. Apparently she was pleased with my work because I have now become her new cleaning lady. She gave me a key to her apartment and I will be cleaning for her every week and then once a month while they are up north for the summer. I also realized today that I am enjoying the independence of having my own cleaning company and being my own boss. The down side? I come home completely spent and exhausted. I had Chris and Katie help me with dinner tonight. They didn't mind. They could tell by the look on my face that I was fighting to stay awake. I am hoping that once I start to lose the excess weight that it won't be a problem. Only time will tell though!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Everyone likes contests and shopping!

Are you addicted to shopping? Do you prefer online shopping to conventional shopping? Would you love to win prizes for video tapping your confession for the love of shopping? Did you answer yes to all three questions? Good! Now mosey on over to check out the contest. Also when you do sign up please don't forget about the one that sent you. Just let them know by submitting my blog url, I may be eligible to win a prize also!

With that announcement, I would like to tell you more about the company that is promoting the contest. eBillme is an innovative company that provides a wonderful service. The ability to pay for your purchases using your bank account. "eBillme is the secure payment option that does not require a credit card. Simply checkout using eBillme and pay for your purchase through your bank’s online bill pay portal. It’s fast, easy, and best of all – there is no signup and you never have to share your financial information."
Many of us do not like to use credit cards because of the ridiculous fees and interest rates. I for one do most of my banking online and I also shop online as well for the things that are not available through name brand stores. For example, my cleaning products are purchased through a private company. I have heard about eBillme through many other bloggers and they have had great success with them. This company has an extensive list of retailers that accept their method of paying and you will find tremendous amount of goods on this site. It will not hurt to check them out and if you like what you see give them a try. They just may be your one stop shopping place.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me!

Unlike last year, my birthday so far is going good! I received an email Hallmark from Kat and her boys, My parents called early this morning on their way to work to sing "Happy Birthday" to me, Chris was sweet and kept saying Happy Birthday until he left the house for work this morning. My children both remembered and Chris' mom took me out to lunch and gave me a cute candle holder in the shape of an old stove with a teapot on it.

I won't be cooking dinner tonight and Chris' daughter, Brittany, and her boyfriend will arrive sometime this evening and be here for the weekend. They will be staying at her grandma's house.

Ok... I am off to do some more errands and get some groceries.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Business Christmas Party

Every year, Chris' office Christmas party, is held at his dad's partner, Ben's, house. It was for adults only because there was just not enough room for everyone and their children. This year however, is going to be different. The partner has moved to a bigger and better house and all are welcomed. Jeff was going to act as the gateman to direct people where to go once they pulled into the complex. He won't be because he is actually going to be working a full 8 hours at his job at the mall. That job may fall on Chris.

Chris has told me that the new house is huge. He has a room exclusively for a home theater with home theater seating set up just like a cinema. So, maybe the little ones can be entertained in there with a movie marathon or something. I know Katie will be all into that. There is a billiard room with a nice bar (I will be probably be seated at the bar all night) and he will have a bartender on duty until everyone leaves. Food will be catered by Sonny's because Ben loves Sonny's and we will provide a few items like we do every year. All the VIP people of Sarasota will be there like every year and although you would think people of money are all hoity toity; this group is extremely nice and fun. Some of the big wigs responsible for all the condominiums on Siesta Key, Longboat Key and Casey Key (where Stephen King has a house by the way) will be attending.

Last year was good. We weren't expecting Chris to get a bonus because business was down. Although, they did surprise Chris with a bonus. This year we are not counting on it either but it would be nice. They have had to scale back on office staff, in total they have laid off three people, including, the office manager. So I highly doubt there will be a bonus but we shall see. Ben by the way did not buy this house. He rents it and he got a great deal on it. He got a bigger house costing less money than what he was spending. So that just goes to show you that even the well to do are cutting costs.

12 Pains of Christmas

I just about died when I found this song. It took me back to when I was maybe 17 or 18 years old, going Christmas shopping with my family and this song came on over the radio and we laughed so hard that there was not one dry eye in the car. My sister had taped it a long time ago and my father actually would play it at every Christmas dinner for years until the tape broke. I am going to have to email my parents the link.

Its on my playlist at the bottom of this blog. I guarantee you will not stop laughing until after the song is over!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Caviar dreams and champagne wishes

Chris and I were talking today about how nice it would be to pamper ourselves with a mini vacation for just the two of us. A friend of mine that has lived in North Carolina frequently talked about the Outer Banks of North Carolina as an historical not just on how the British tried to colonize the Americas but also where the Wright Brothers took their flight. I was never much into history back in school days but the older I get I find myself more fascinated by it.

There is so much that I would like to see, but, until the kids are grown and out of the house, it's not going to happen. I have started a vacation journal and jotting down historical sites here and abroad and maybe one day I can utilize that journal for the memories from visiting such places. For now though… it's a dream.

Hurry... Contest ends on December 8th! is giving away a $100 Home Depot gift card as part of their Three Gs For The Holidays event! Click on over right now to get in on fun giveaways, get shopping ideas from their Gift Guide, and learn how you can help children in need this holiday season!

Call him Speedy Gonzales

Yesterday, Chris and I evaluated our expenses. We are budget minded individuals, and we strive to save money where we can. After receiving our car insurance invoice, we thought maybe we could save additional money there by taking me off of our combined policy and placing me with my own insurance. Our main objective, besides saving money, was to insure my Malibu for the cleaning business and possibly setting up a commercial account so that it could be incorporated into the cleaning business expenditures. It's not going to happen that way. Yes, I could get a great deal on my own but, Chris would end up paying a lot more with me out of the picture as a secondary driver for both vehicles. We can contribute that to his **ahem** driving boo boos. Chris has a lot of speeding tickets but luckily the points start coming off this coming March. The reason we pay a hefty premium now is because of Chris and his lead foot. With me out of the picture his premium would almost double. So for now I will continue to stay on until his record is clear. I say within the year it should be. That's of course he keeps his nose clean and the cruise control on.

Thanksgiving Pictures

My mom has such a flair for decorating a wonderful holiday table. I wasn't blessed with that talent one bit.

You can barely see me... I am sandwiched between my parents. My mom duped me into getting the rolls ready to go into the oven. Funny thing though, my kitchen is 3 times this size and I call it a one person kitchen.

Here is my dad, carving the turkey (one of them that is) Chris got the pleasure of cutting his fried turkey minutes after my dad was done.

It's beginning to look a lot like stuff your face time.
By the time everyone got ready to dig in there was not one place on this table that wasn't packed with a dish. Even the built in hutch behind the table was full with food.
I had asked Chris why he didn't get pictures of the family. His parents and our kids. Apparently the kids were next door playing until it was time to eat and his parents kept giving him dirty looks. I think we all know where he gets his camera shyness from. LOL!

Monday, December 1, 2008

24 days of insanity? I sure hope not!

Since I am still recuperating from whatever the hell I have caught, I am trying to be productive in my Christmas shopping by seeing what the deals are online. Chris and I have already purchased the big gift for the family. I can say we did a pretty good thing for the kids this Christmas. We bought a Wii. This was a decision that took months to make. Weighing the Pros and Cons and finally settling on purchasing it before Black Friday hit. We did our homework and figured better to do it now or not do it at all. Since, they would probably be unavailable, once the biggest shopping day of the year hit. Chris sacrificed his Xbox and all his equipment and games to be able to purchase an extra controller and accessories and four games. Total out of pocket cost for the whole shebang including the Wii…. $240.00!!! Not bad considering the Wii itself cost $250.00! I think we shopped smart on that one.

Now I am trying to locate wholesale electronics for two members of the family. I found a couple of good deals so I may actually be done with that part of shopping, now, all I have to do is find a few more items and my end will be 100% done. Now it will just be buying for Chris from the kids. Chris and I have forgone our gift giving to each other this year. We wanted to make sure the kids were taken care of and besides, with this economy, we have done pretty well considering. I let him off the hook for Christmas but he better remember my birthday or he will be sleeping with the animals. I am betting that Reese, Bentley, Cuddles and Belle will not like having a human in their bed this Thursday. We shall see though!