Tuesday, April 24, 2012

30 Days to a Cleaner Home - Day 6

Recap, Day 1, Day 2 , Day 3., Day 4. and Day 5

Today's project was to clean out the vehicles.  This proved hard to do this weekend for us since it was cold and rainy. Normally on a nice warm spring weekend, we will clean out all our vehicles (Mustang, Camry and Explorer...nothing fancy, newest one is a 2004!  Every time I say I have 3 vehicles people think I'm rich...if they only saw our cars, they'd know we are not!)  It was very cool this weekend and it rained a lot, so we put this one off until a nice weekend comes by.

The smaller project was to pick up odds and ends around the house, which we were doing anyways, so that's that. 

So here's another shot of 7 more things to take out of our house:

Top left is a Partylite piece I'm going to sell.  Purple doesn't really match anything in here.  Then there's the free nail file kit DH got when buying me the Hair Bean. I have plenty of that stuff, so I'm just throwing it away since it's cheap stuff anyway.  Ah, my fan.  I've had that fan/heater for YEARS.  I really didn't want to part with it.  I kept it next to my bed for days I felt sick.  I believe I'd had that one fan since high school.  I remember bringing it to field hockey camp since we were told there was no A/C in the dorms.  Yikes.  And it has gotten me through many sicknesses. When i feel like I'm about to vomit,the cool air on my face helps tremendously.  It also helps since it's not quiet when the neighbors upstairs are um, well you know where the bed squeeks.  The past year or so, when I turn the fan part on, it almost short ciruits and it gets a loud high pitched squeel.  So DH got me another fan for my birthday.  At first I was upset and kept this fan....but it's time is up to hit the garbage.Then the four sets of sweatpants are DH's that he has outgrown and doesn't wear anymore.  They are getting donated.

30 Days to a Cleaner Home - Day 5

Recap, Day 1, Day 2 , Day 3. and Day 4.

Ah, on to day 5.  Today, was a very good day.  Well, okay we all know I did this all in a one day span in hopes of catching up, but the tasks in this one was very easy for us.  We were to take off all couch cushions and CLEAN, clean, clean. Well, when we got our new couches, they are full recliners so you cannot take off the cushions!  There's no where for crumbs to go, so we made out well on that one.

The smaller project was to take time to enjoy yourself and relax.  DH and I make this happen every night...and no, not THAT way...get your minds out of the gutter.  We make it a point to sit and cuddle every night, which means I lay my head on DH's lap, he reclines back on the couch and he rubs my head.  To me, nothing is better then head rubs...they are my absolute favorite!

So, I did manage to find some things in my journey to donate/throw out/sell, etc so I figure this post is better then any to post the picture of my first of 7 things:

Okay so from top left we have a sweater that DH got for Christmas from my mom or his mom.  He had it sitting next to his side table waiting to return it.  However, upon cleaning, we cannot find the receipt and I know going to JCPenney to return it for a store credit, we will ge $5 max, so we are just donating it along with all our clothes.  The thing next to it is a cheap candle and holder for it.  It's pretty old and in bad shape, so we are throwing it out.  The basket we were gonna get rid of too.  It was in DH's bathroom and we had no spot for it in there.  And I love baskets.  I didn't really want to part with it, so I took it and re-purposed it after the picture was taken.  It now holds all our remotes on the side of the couch!  The calendar was what I got DH for our first anniversary.  You can't really see it, but it's a calendar of firsts for us.  Each month, I found a picture of one of our firsts that correlated with that month.  So for February, that's the first month on the calendar since that's when we started dating, is our first ever picture together.  Other months include our first kiss on camera, our first vacation, our first graduation, our first shower, etc.  It was a really nice thing, but the calendar is now outdated. I can always use the pictures and make a collage of firsts so we can hang that, as opposed to an outdated calendar.  The little thing next to the calendar is a memory card. All that's on there are pics of us parasailing which is saved on all our computers, so no need to keep it.  The pants I got and don't fit and they cost me about $5 from Kohls, so instead of returning it, I'm donating them.  And the belt went with a shirt I got, but it doesn't look right on me with the belt, so I'm throwing it away, it's pretty chintsy.

30 Days to a Cleaner Home - Day 4

One of these days, I will get around to fiddling around with this blogger and figure out how to post the days easier then this. But for a recap, Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3.

So Day 4, the mini project was the bathrooms.  I have 'my bathroom' (where I do my business, but DH showers in, it's the master bath) and 'DH's bathroom' (where he does his business in and I shower - main bathroom with full shower/tub).  I refuse to clean his because that's where all our guests go to use the bathroom. Mainly it's DH and my best friend (both males, and it skeeves me to clean that toilet).  So he cleans his bathroom, and I clean mine (his is bigger hahahaha!).  I didn't get a chance to take pictures, but we spent more then the required 15 minutes in the bathrooms, they needed it!

The major project was cleaning out under the bed and furniture. We lucked out with our new couches as you can't go underneath it, there's a wall of sorts so nothing can get under it.  However, our bed was a different story.  It's a king sized bed, so the mattress is heavy.  Their are two box springs which made it easy to move those.  And of course, Lucky was having  blast hiding behind the mattress and box springs!  I didn't get many before pictures, but I got a picture of DH cleaning the baseboard (a big project in the upcoming days) as well as vaccuuming and a final picture:

Very nice! 

30 Days to a Cleaner Home -Day 3

Moving right along to day 3.  If you missed the previous posts, see Day 1 and Day 2

Day 3 had us do a quick 15 minute quick clean of the bedroom.  Our bedroom needed more, so we did take more then 15 minutes. When I start something, I have to finish it.  Here's the before picture:

YUCK!  Look has diskept this room is (is that a word?). Clothes strewn on the unmade bed, stuff laying all over the dresser, things just laying on the side tables, etc.  YUCK! 

And now, here's the after pictures:

Much cleaner!  I thought I had another picture of the clean room, but I guess not.  So I felt a huge weight off my shoulders with tidying up the bedroom.

Now, off to the major project of the day. DH thought the major project WAS the bedroom, but it wasn't :)  The major project of the day was easy for us, it was cleaning out the freezer.  We had just done this not too long ago and started organizing them.  I have a spreadsheet on both freezers and anytime something goes in or out, it gets added or deleted.  It's an awesome tool for doing meal plans every week.  I've started doing it two weeks ago, and it's great!  No more 'I didn't take meat out, so let's eat out'  And it saves us a ton of money too!  My best friend comes grocery shopping with me and he's great with organizing the freezers. It's like Tetris.  They are both stuffed to the brims, here take a look:

This is my dining room chest freezer.  This is perhaps the best investment we made.  I was getting so many awesome deals on meats and frozen foods and I couldn't fit it into our kitchen freezer, so we purchased this. And it's filled to the brim! And very organized. 

And here is a our kitchen fridge freezer.  Very organized and up to date!  Love it!

Tomorrow is Day 4's assignments, stay tuned!

Monday, April 23, 2012

30 Days to a Cleaner Home - Day 2

If you haven't seen my day one results, check here. 

As I stated in Day 1, DH needs to be told how to clean, what to clean, etc.  And he kept getting in my way of doing a quick 15 minute pick up.  There were a few DVDs in the entertainment center, so I said 'Put those away in order, and dust the entertainment center.'  I go about tidying up, then ALL our DVD's are out on the floor and he's going through them ALL.  'honey, this is just a quick get the stuff off the floor and where they belong, not take everything apart task'  He's like 'Oh.'  So now I'm just like, 'Dust, then get in the kitchen and put the dishes away'  For some reason, that man LOVES the dishwasher and loves taking control of the cleaning of the kitchen.  And I won't stop him!  So I sent him in the kitchen to get started on the dishes and wiping the counters down, and he also did the wiping of the cabinets.  Good boy :)

We recently did a scrub of our refrigerator, so it just need a tidying up and organizing.  So here's the before shot.

And here's the after shot.

Still looks a little cluttered from the picture, but it's really not.  All the creamers are in the same spots, the Vitamin Water is coded by DHs and mine (mine are the 0 calorie ones).  Fruit is put away into the right drawer, etc. Big improvement!

I know I haven't posted the 7 things, but since this has been a more tidy up first before delving deep into the perils of my cabinets and drawers, I haven't had much to give away. But in all the cleaning, we did manage to have about 2 garbage bags of stuff to throw away.  And I plan on doing a major overhaul of my closet and getting rid of and donating a lot of clothes. 

30 Days to a Cleaner Home - Day 1

I decided to take Money Saving Mom's challenge of 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home

Now, since I march to the beat of my own drummer, I decided to take this challenge at the same time that work ramped up (read: OT) and when I decided I needed to start making lists of things to do to get organized at home first, etc. So the past two weeks, I started preparing mentally for this challenge, so yes, I'm a few weeks behind. However, I knew this past weekend, DH and I would be able to sit and really do a lot to catch up. We are not fully caught up, but here goes nothing! Please follow along and if you feel the urge to join in, DO SO!

So on day one, I took my to-do list of over 30 things (yes, over 30) and picked out 5 to do that day. That was pretty much getting on track. So on Saturday, DH and I set the timer for 15 minutes and cleaned the living room and the dining room in our home. I did learn something about DH's cleaning methods. He has NO idea what to do. He looks around aimlessly like 'Um' So I kind of have to tell him 'Do this, or clean that'. It does get annoying because I know what needs to be done and just doing a quick glance around the living room, I thought of about 12 things that needed to get done...DH found 0. Ugh. It was a chore giving him chores to do. This dominoes into every room in the house. That's one thing I need to learn to cope with. It did get annoying when he's like 'What do I do now?" He loves to dust and when I get the Swiffer dusters, he is a kid in a candy store. Here's a pic of him dusting the entertainment center.

And here's the end result, including Lucky (the supervisor) giving her okay that the room is now clean.

I know the big project was to clean out my purse, but I had just done that last week before going to Atlantic City. I downgraded to a small demi purse from a huge purse. And I have a tote bag that I leave in the car with my makeup and other stuff. I'm glad I got this started!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Getting My Feet Wet: Showboat Nightly Tournament 04/14/2012

So after my poker free Lent, I decided to get back into the game...slowly. Prior to giving up poker for Lent, I was not doing so well. You know it's bad when I buy my husband into a poker tournament and rail him (I watch from the other side of the rails). My husband normally does not play tournaments, he is more of a cash guy. But he cashed in a tournament at Borgata in the Fall on our vacation, then went on to cash in a tournament at Showboat. So when the Saturday Series came to Borgata a week or so after, I figured I would buy him in and ride his coat tail on it. Giving up poker for Lent was a decision I made to clear my head of poker since I was running bad. I don't know if I was just unlucky or playing scared, or even both, so getting away from the game I felt was best for me to rethink my game plan and move forward once Lent was over.

The buy in for the nightly Showboat tournament is only $65, as opposed to paying over $350 for a Borgata Spring Open event. Those are the ones I normally play, but the bankroll wasn't supporting that. Normally I can play cash and win a buy in or two after a few weeks, but not lately, so the smaller buy in tournaments are what I need to get my feet wet again. DH and I bought in, and a friend of mine came down as well. We were all seated at different tables. The play was quite normal...nothing too nuts at least at my table. I have been reading 'Decide to Play Great Poker' by my poker idol Annie Duke and tried to remember some of the things I've been learning. I'm on page 125 of her book and I have taken 15 pages of notes so far. Hopefully after I fully read it, I can go back, re-read my notes, type them up and take some stuff out that I don't need b/c I already know.

Early in the game, probably when the blinds were 100-200, I got 8c9c on the button. It was announced as the dealer dealt that the blinds were up the next hand. I hadn't really gotten involved in many hands to that point, so I wanted to limp in cheap if I could so I can see a flop. A few limpers, I limp, small blind (SB) limps, big blind (BB) checks. Flop is 9d9h3s. BULLSEYE! The action goes check, check, bet 300, fold fold to me. At this point, according to Annie's book, I should just call. I have a HUGE hand, there are no straight or flush draws out there, it's a very safe board for my hand. But silly me is too darn giddy that I have a hand after coming back from a break from cards, and I raise to 1200. Fold fold fold...darn! At least I got a few bucks from the limpers, and the guy that bet.

A few hands/rounds later (I don't remember, and I'm kicking myself for not bringing a little notepad to keep track of this...this is what I plan on doing, keeping very good notes of my hands so I can go back to my coach/mentor and run the hands by him), I get Kings in position...yay! One guy that gets involved in a lot of hands raised (he always raised) so I popped him. I knew he had nothing as he was always trying to steal the blinds and limpers. He called. Flop was 10 or J high. He bets, I raise. He thinks and thinks. And thinks. The way he was looking, I knew I had him beat. If he raised, I'm shoving (going all-in) I'm thinking to myself. He thinks and thinks, finally folds showing a pair. I contemplated showing my cards, but I remember one of the first things I was told when learning to play was NEVER show your cards. This is from a guy that I played with at a local place, and run into him almost all the time in AC now. He said you have to be consistent, so if you show once, you show all the time. But he said never show, be consistent that way. Keep them guessing. Were you bluffing b/c you were bored and wanted to play a random hand, or did you have it? They can read your facial expressions, so if you show you had a big hand, they will make a mental note of it for next time. Never give anyone the upper hand on you. So I mucked and raked in my chips.

Soon after, I got pocket kings again. There were 1 or 2 limpers in front of me, I raised and guy across the table from me called, everyone else folded. Flop came out 9 10 Q. I bet out immediately. I had checked out quickly when he called how much he had behind him (how many chips he had left after he called, so I knew how much I might have to risk post flop). He had not much left after the call, so I knew I wanted all his chips in the middle. So I bet out more then he had and he instantly called with 10 J. He had a pair with an open ended straight draw (An 8 or K would give him a straight). A 4d came on the turn, and all I'm hoping for is to fade an 8 or a king. A 6 or 7 came, and I took him out, and took all his chips. That was a great feeling.

Over a few rounds, I got my starting stack of 20k to about 35k and was feeling good. I'm in the BB and I look down at AhQh. It was really pretty. There were about 4 or 5 limpers in front of me so I raised to about 4k or 5k (blinds were either 600/1200 or 800/1600.) One guy called. Everytime he was in a hand, he'd bet or call with authority, like he had a great hand. A few times, he did have nuts...other times he had a pair but acted like it was nuts. So he calls, everyone else folds. Flop is A K A. BOO YA I think. So I bet out 10k I believe, he shoves for an additional 5k or so and I insta call. I flip over my hand, and he flips his over...A K he has! UGH! How bad luck is that???? Both of us were not going anywhere, pre or post flop. I played it well I believe, we both did, but that was just bad luck on my part I guess. I went down to about 15k and was not happy at all. I took a walk to see how DH was doing then came back. I ended up getting A Q off a little while later, won the pot and was back up to about starting stack of 20k.

Blinds were going up and I knew I needed to pick my spots carefully. It seemed that nobody at my table had a monster stack either, it was weird. I guess those with chips got moved to other tables. One hand I kick myself with is I was late in position and got Ace Ten offsuit. A few limpers, the guy in the 10 seat looked like he wanted to raise, but just flat called. I opted to fold. I thought about calling, but I didn't get the warm and fuzzies about seat 10. Even if I hit an Ace, I would put him on a bigger hand. Wouldn't you know, the flop comes out A A 10. and tons of action on the flop and river. A pair of jacks on the river took the pot. Oh well.

So I'm about at starting stack and look down in late position at kings. I raise to 5k, guy with Ace King earlier shoves for 4k more, I call. I don't remember off hand what he has, something like 9 10 or something, and hits a straight on the turn. Yikes. Oh well. So now I'm dwindled down to about 9500 left. blinds are going up again to 1500-3000. I get down to about 6k and shove with Ad Kd and decided to shove. I get called with nothing from the big blind and he hits a pair, nothing for me. So I'm out. I did last longest from my DH and my friend, so that's a win in my book.

I need to overcome this 'play tight' as I fear losing in most spots. I won't play random cards like I used to. I'm playing scared and I don't know why anymore. I guess too many bad beats will do it to you!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Candle Sale!

I normally don't post things to promote one of my side hustles, but there is a HUGE sale going on, and I wanted everyone to know about it. If it wasn't worthwhile, I wouldn't mention it, but even I'M excited and can't wait to go home to buy some wax and accessories!

Partylite is doing their anniversary sale, since Partylite started in April, every year they do an anniversary sale. So on my site, http://www.partylite.biz/sites/bethrusso you can see the items that are 75% off! Right on the main page, you will see the purple banner with 75% off. We are also doing the Tealight and Votive sale again. 3 dozen tealights for $25 and 3 dozen votives for $35. The votives come in 1/2 dozen so you can split up a dozen into two different scents.

I also typically donate the money I earn from my site to charities. Nowadays, I've been donating items and money to SPAC (Sayreville Pet Adoption Center). It's a no kill shelter with some wonderful volunteers, and that's where we took our Lucky when she was a stray to see if someone lost her, nobody claimed her so we adopted her, spayed and all her shots. That place holds a special place in our hearts and they recently were in danger of closing their doors, but with the help of donations, they are able to stay open.

Slacking a Bit!

Okay, I know I was supposed to be doing Money Saving Mom's 4 Weeks to a More Organized House but I've been slacking! Don't you HATE when that happens?

Monday, I was gung ho. I made my 'to do list' for the week and added Days 1-6 (since I'm behind). I had every intention of doing a ton after work Monday as I had tons of energy. I called my mom in the afternoon asking if she had some leftovers (which would solve the 'what to do for dinner' debate, since the meal plan was ON my to do list). She said she did and to come over as my aunt and uncle who couldn't come to Easter Sunday breakfast would be over. So I went there after work fully intending to grab my food and leave, but then my sister was coming over, so what turned out to be a 5 minute stop at my mom's turned in to a 4 hour stop. By time I got home, showered and got my stuff ready for work Tuesday, it was after 10pm..YIKES! And I was beat. Oh well. At least I got to spend some quality time with the family!

Yesterday was a blah day once I got home. I had some energy left when I was driving home, but then I started feeling BLAH! I got really tired by time I got home, decided against exercising (Was going to do the Bender Ball, but my ball is really deflated and I need to see if my friend can blow it up more since I lost the thingy to do it with) and watched some DVR stuff. Then I got even MORE tired and started craving FatBurger. I eat pretty healthy, somewhat, but last night I wanted a FatBurger. None arond me. And I was cranky. PMS maybe? My husband was like 'I'll pick up Subway' I'm like 'NO, I want FATBURGER!' So he knew this would not end well for him. So we got Five Guys. He got me a double burger (or at least that's what they gave him). I normally eat half a burger, but this one, I devoured the whole thing...plus fries! Needless to say, NOTHING got done, other then me getting gas in my car (one item off my list out of the 29!).

Hopefully today I can save some energy. I have to work out to The Biggest Loser Wii game, so wish me luck!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Lent is Over, Time for a New Beginning!

Ah, Spring has sprung! Lent is now over so my sabbatical from poker is officially OVER! And I can say I lasted! I was able to take myself away from the game of a few weeks and sit back and evalauate my play and my bankroll and I started reading a new book on poker from my poker idol Annie Duke (9 months pregnant and made the final table at the WSOP!). I also spoke to a friend who will be my mentor/coach, so when I start playing again, I will be very much prepared!

Over the past few weekends, DH and I did nothing but mope around the house. So many times, our weekends are jam packed with parties and things to do, that for a few weekends, we did NOTHING but stay in our pjs and watch TV and play video games, and did some laundry. However, that is in the past now. This past weekend, we went to AC, checked out the new casino, went to a show (Kevin James, he is AMAZING!) and met up with some friends. Then yesterday was Easter, so that was full of meeting with family and friends as well.

Now that none of my spring cleaning has gotten done, I came across Money Saving Mom's 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home and I want to try it. I'm a few days behind, but she is on Day 6. What she does is every morning she posts that day's assignments and in the evening she posts her progress. I think that's a GREAT challenge for me so I will be trying to do this as well.

So, hopefully Spring is Springing here at my blog and I hope to be posting more blogs in the future!

Love to you all!