Doll Houses

Hi all – i was lucky enough to be come the owner of a doll house about 18 months ago. it is one of those kits that someone had built (could have done a better job though) – it was donated to a church bazaar for the yard sale section but it was getting crushed because people were dropping off stuff an d putting it on it. I offered to buy it and the girl in charge told me to just take it as i was doing tons of volunteer work with her and it was going to get ruined if left in the garage.

Any how i am looking fro sites with idea on decorating it or any one who has some tips about making stuff for it myself- i bought some paint at Sears for 97c from their mismixed paints sectioned so i have several colors of paint.

I am giant to have to do sanding ( which the original owner neglected to do as they made it ) and some minor repairs i bought some ” wallpaper ” for it at 50% off at AC Moore the other day but i looked at it and i figured i could probably make more by printing out designs on the putter.

Any other frugal creative ideas ??

Please help me to understand men

DH has been very depressed the past few days. You know i mentioned the bank mistake last month? It is even worse than I thought but it is okay- DH tells me we need almost $1200 to pay the rest of the bills and it is his short pay period and in addition to that work took his loan payment from that check- this is why he is so upset. He doesn’t feel like a man or like a good provider. Believe me that is the farthest thing from the truth! I am thankful that I could finally get him to talk to me about it.

It took a lot to get him to relax enough to discuss it. To top it off good friend died last weekend and he didn’t tell me because he didn’t want to drag me down. He is accustomed to have several $1000 dollars in the bank but problems (including a $1000 error on the bank act) depleted it to less than $500 and his check will be about $500. We also took fast $1000 loan here and I told him it was okay- my child support check comes any day and will cover the rest but he said it isn’t the same- he should have provided it.

I don’t see the difference in him using the money now for bills or waiting for me to use it later on food, clothing and such. but it has something to do with his maleness. He said he will get a loan to cover the rest of it- it defies my logic when it isn’t needed (more loans more debt). I do understand that the male pride deal is there and I am thankful he feels so strongly about supporting us- he said he isn’t much of a man because real men support their family.

I am not allowed to work more than a scant amount- it was a part of the adoption agreement and that is why we get adoption (child) support. He keeps insisting it’s my money to spend and not for him to use on the house. He also says the money he earns is for me to spend as well and I do! It frustrates me to no end. When he got to work today he learned that another good friend was taken to the hospital with a major blood clot in his brain and was flown to Seattle to Harborview Medical Center and is in bad shape. Too much too close together.

Happy and Poor

Halfway home, while I was *trying* valiantly NOT to just burst into semi-hysterical giggles, DH says, “Well, now I *really* feel low-income…I’m driving an Isuzu Pup with 2 seatbelts, a floor full of WIC and day old bread stuff, AND you’re pregant!!” I just lost it…haven’t laughed so hard in ages. And I didn’t tell him that the plates were expired on the truck! LOLOL

And they say the poor don’t ever have any fun, LOL! Truthfully, though, it’s good you have those hormones to help you through. Nothing bothered me with my first pregnancy; and I’d get hysterically silly over nothing, either. I just wish the second time around had been the same. Anyway, throughout the whole pregnancy, I went around singing “Don’t Worry, Be Happy!” My husband despises that song to this day, thanks to the great efforts I made to sing it to him every chance I could:)

I decided a long time ago that it’s more fun to be insane than to be depressed. Don’t you just wish you had that picture of your Kodak moment?

I miss the first Christmas tree I ever had. I’m laughing hysterically now. It was an artificial tree not even 3 foot tall. It meant the world to us, though. I look back at that memory every time and laugh. I miss it, too. I have a lot of good honeymoon memories to go along with that tree.

Condolences to hubby, though, because I’m sure he’s out in left field trying to understand you:) And, you sure cheered me up. I was feeling kind of “poor” myself. Thanks for sharing the experience.

Take care and KEEP LAUGHING!

Yet another frugal wedding

Our wedding was also frugal. We wanted to build a future and not waste money- even then. My Aunt was a wedding gown seamstress and she made my gown she would have charged $1000 but it was a gift from her. She was a well known seamstress from Arizona and flew up to finish it. Her sister came and she and mom dod all the and bead work on the dress and she also did the silk flowers.

Her husband and daughter sang and they paid the organist and also for some of the fresh flowers and all the silk ones as a wedding gift. Mom, my brother Dh and I bought the supplies for the food portion and SIl and MIL made the cake and the food from a restaurant supply place alond with napkins etc.. SIL is a chef. We paid SIL $100 for her help. She and 2 friends (also chefs) catered it and the friends offered their services for free. Photos were taken by a friend who was a professional photographer. She charged us $100 and that included all the negatives. We were married in a long log cabin, Pioneer Hall. Rent was $100.

My sisters and niece were my attendants and they paid for their dresses- I let them choose and they volunteered to pay. DH wore a white tux and he and his friends rented them. Dh had to returne early to be a witnes at a trial so our Honeymoon was short and sweet- we took a ferry across the sound and went to an historic town, Port Townsend and stayed in a B & B then another ferry to Victoria, British Columbia and stayed in a cheap motel. A few months later we took a 2 week trip to the grand Canyon to relax and enjoy ourselves. Except for a couple nights in a cabin there (north rim) we slept in the back of our truck and canopy! I wouldn’t do that today though. The money gifts we were given were used buying fruit trees and we are still enjoying their bounty. Thanks for joining me along memory.

My frugal wedding

I found a $600 dress that was marked down to $150. On top of that I got an additional 20 percent marked off because my mother worked at the store. I found my wedding veil in the same store for $15.00 which was originally $60. The photographer was someone who did it as a second job. He and his wife had their studio in their basement and their work was very professional. He was extremely reasonable. I only had one attendant.

I found her dress on a clearance rack at Penney’s for $10.00. It had originally been around $100. My mother made the groom cake. I purchased the wedding cake from a bakery. I picked up the cake myself from the bakery. My cousin made the bridal bouquet and the bridesmaid bouquet. Flowers were expensive but I didn’t have a lot of those, just a few to decorate the front.

Cleaning radiators?

I know this is the last thing that some of you down south want to discuss but I’m still on the quest for lowering my heating bill and don’t want to wait until there is snow on the ground take the necessary steps.

My question for today relates to radiators. Does anyone know if cleaning the insides of the radiators will help with efficiency? If so, does anyone know the best way to do so? I’m planning on having my boiler cleaned and service next month and am hoping that this will make a big difference.

I am spending $1200 a year on my natural gas bill and would like to decrease it to less then $900. I’m going to be putting plastic on the windows and I know that this will help a lot. Also for ceiling fans, I forget if it is clockwise in the winter or counterclockwise? We have them through our whole house but have never used them in the winter.

I’m also having an energy/gas audit done for free by the local electric company where they will install up to $30 worth of energy savers in your home and give you tips on how to conserve.

I just wanted to let everyone know since maybe your local company has the same programs.

I will share any tips that I get from them with you I’m sure some things that will help for heat will also help to keep you houses cooler in the summer.

My aunt is a florist

Well my aunt is a florist so she did the flowers as a gift, my brother sings at weddings so that was free,one of my best friends is an organist and she decided she would rather play than be in the wedding. My parents slaughtered a cow for the reception for meatballs and friends and family made the rest of the food. My parents paid their Sunday School class @$100 to serve the food. MY dad and 3 three brothers are foremen so the hall was free., For photos I just used this local guy and our pictures turned out wonderful. He also let us make payments so we sent what we could every week for a year.I think we paid a couple of hundred dollars.

As I said before my gown was only $200 and we bought nice but inexpensive gifts for the wedding party. My hubby’s uncle is a pastor and he married us as our gift. We did the same with our honeymoon hotel(the yikes $250 a night one) so it was taken care of ahead of time. Of course once we got tho the honeymoon we decided for some reason we were allowed to buy whatever we wanted with credit cards because we would never do it again(no kidding I am probably still paying for it). We had a friend play Christian music that we had taped at hte reception so that was free.This is possible the only thing I would have changed.

People thought that was kind of lame and I felt like people left early because of it. It could have all been my imagination though as the night just seemed to fly by. All the people were gone and me and hubby were still there. We stayed to help clean up then went home and took a swim before leaving for our hotel (i think we were both a little nervous about leaving) We only drove about an hour to a little town called Baskerville to a Days Inn then went on to spend our lives into debt. What happened???? We started so frugally.

I’ve been lurking for a while

…but I thought I could help ya with this one: about three years ago we were in dire straits because of credit card debt (approaching $20k=over half our annual income) and went finally to Consumer Credit Counseling Services. First words out of their mouth once we reviewed the numbers was “Have you considered bankruptcy?”..ick. They were unwilling to work with us because they saw no way we could make payments that the cc companies would accept.

Well, we went back to the drawing board, reworked the numbers and then went back a few months later to a different counselor who didn’t have our records from the first visit: we excluded finite debts with no interest, i.e. M.D., dental bills, from our debts that we showed them, and just BARELY squeaked into the program after they suggested I pick up some sort of at home work (I’m SAHM). We now are still paying almost a third of our income to CCCS. They in turn negotiated with the cc companies, and First USA and Discover agreed to no interest paybacks, Household Finance/Mastercard lowered their interest, our credit union lowered its interest after a year, Nations was the only one that wouldn’t lower their interest and they at least agreed to a payment schedule.

I can tell you two things: unless both of you come they won’t work with you to set up a plan and if you ever, ever miss a payment (1 late is OK)- you’re out and on your own. You also cannot assume any new debts, ie NO credit cards while in the program. We have payments automatically transferred to CCCS from our account around payday and since I use Quicken, and prelist this I never am under the illusion we have the money (I’ve also contemplated a blind checking account with an automatic deposit from my husband’s paycheck). We have about a year and a half to go. YEA!.

We have virtually no Christmases, no vacations (except to visit Grandparents), my husband works -at least- 50 hrs a week, but I’m home with the kids and its working. Also-You’ve GOT to check on your credit status. Ours is still a bit murky. If yours is as bad as you think, then I have no idea how your husband got another card; also I would write to all the credit card companies and tell them that they need to CUT you off (even the newest one he got), that your husband is incurring these debts without your knowledge (I think they cannot extend credit once you notify them..).

Also, CCCS might be able to provide some counseling about how to protect your own credit; and, depending on where you live they frequently hold classes on a variety of topics – Being in debt is a sickening and terrifying feeling, as you know, and all I can say is protect yourself. If that means taking over the finances DO IT NOW, if it means getting counseling DO IT NOW; you don’t deserve to feel this way for another minute. DO IT before this weekend!!! I have other tips, things we’ve done to survive, but you need to deal with the big issue first.

I called some of the photographers

I called some of the photographers from the free city paper as well as from the local university (Indiana University) and got a great photographer for cheap. One other thing I forgot to mention was that I didn’t want per-recorded music at our outside ceremony and i had my heart set on a string quartet. I called the local university’s music department and was put in touch with several students who sent us tapes to “audition”.

We were able to provide beautiful music for around one hundred dollars. Since we didn’t pay to reserve the amphitheater and needed virtually no decoration/flowers for it this is basically all the ceremony cost and the music was just so beautiful out in the middle of the forest overlooking the valley that it really did make the ceremony.

We did the same thing

…..but in defense of “elopements” everywhere, I do want to say that I remember my wedding fondly. A lovely family who’s daughter was married before us took a handful of “wedding pictures” for us on our disposable camera (the humorous part was that they did not speak English and we did not speak Spanish but the moment didn’t really need any words.) The courthouse was a beautiful old building and the court chambers were marble and wood with vaulted ceilings and windows. Very awe-inspiring.

We “eloped” on purpose; families were not overjoyed but neither of us wanted all the fuss. We viewed it as a personal ceremony between the two of us and the symbolic start of our life’s partnership. Kind of a “leave and cleave” thing.

Although, maybe Dh would be better about remembering our anniversary if it had come with more “pomp and circumstance”.

I am sure that you did what you could at the time! But I would like to bring up this point. My stepson got married really young, about 19 and he was in the navy. They got married in a big navy chapel, but it was undergoing construction and they had a personal friend take the pictures. I tried to tactifully bring up these points, but no one listened and that is OK. However, I still get haunted everytime his wife says, “I wish we had some decent pictures of out wedding”.

She is such a wonderful DIL and they have a great marraiage and she has been the most wonderful mother, documenting everything of their lives, but this is a void that no one can fill. Their wedding pictures are a joke, the background looks like a subdivision going up and the pictures were awful – and yet she was the most beautiful bride. This is a moment that she can not recapture. When I got married, we didn’t have videos, but we did pay for a professional photographer. This was money well-spent, but very hard to come by. I think he had our pictures for 3 years before we finally got all of them!

What you may consider cute and thrifty now, may not be the issue later when you wish that you had meaningful pictures. I thank the Lord everyday for the pictures that I had taken with my grandmothers. My DIL had a grandmother come over from Italy, at a great financial sacrifice, to not even be included in the pictures. All I am saying is, make a list of the pxs you want and make sure that your friend realizes the importance. These moments can not be captured again.

BTW, I am in no way connected to a photographer!!! LOL But every time I go to a friend’s open house at Christmas, I am GREEN WITH ENVY that I didn’t take a px of my son in his little choir robe when he was 4 or 5, during the Christmas programs. Her pxs of her children during different Christmas activities ARE PART of her decorations and they are so precious!!!!precious!!!!

My DH and I eloped and thought it was wonderful. I bought a new dress at the Penney’s outlet store for $20, new shoes for $10. He wore his dress whites. We snuck off to Laverne’s Wedding Parlor over the state line, got married by a Baptist minister, I had a bouquet of silk flowers and they took our picture for us as part of the package and we spent about $100 for all of our clothes, licenses, picture and minister.

My DH can quote the vows word for word to this day and even after 11 years, I sometimes wake up in the middle of the night to find him tracing figures 8’s on my back because the vows had a part about interlocking circles like the figure 8.

We laughingly went to the 7-11 after the ceremony and bought Twinkies for wedding cake along with a bottle of Spumonti and stayed overnight at the local Super 8. It was wonderful for us. I’m very glad we eloped but I do understand some people have always dreamed of a large wedding. It’s all a matter of personal preference.