Friday, June 26, 2015

Delayed vacation post

I was too "in the moment" to get any shots of the grownups on this trip to Kennywood. It's a family tradition a few years running that we take my parents to my dad's favorite park on Father's Day weekend, which usually coincides with Daniel's birthday. It didn't this year, but we still had fun, and it was cheaper than usual. Why?

Last year we had a wonderful trip, but I noticed some things that made this on-the-national-historic-register-park look... shabby. Like CRT TV monitors hanging heavily over the lines for rides, without being turned on and the weatherproof cases looking rusted and worn. Things like that. So I wrote an email to the park management, saying how much we love Kennywood, but those details make the park look like it can't afford basic upkeep - either turn the monitors on or take them down.

I hit send and went on with my life, thinking that nothing would come of it.

Then a few days later, the freaking CEO CALLED ME. DIRECTLY. And told me I was absolutely right, he'd get right on fixing it, and he would love to have my family back as his guests the next time we came to town! So we got free tickets - pretty sweet, and unexpected. I wouldn't expect this to work with many parks, but Kennywood is special in many ways.

(BTW, they still need to fix a few of those issues, but they've been launching some new stuff in recent years - they'll probably have it all fixed up by the end of this summer.)

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Hard Core Poor, half off.


If you want a digital copy (Kindle) of my money saving book, Hard Core Poor , It's selling for half the usual price until June 20th in the US and the UK! For only $1.99, you get 200+ pages of thrifty goodness!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Driving Miss Drunk-y

I got my first two Uber fares the other evening! There was a wine tasting festival two miles up the road from my house, and apparently the prime Uber using demographic is well-to-do, tech savvy people who want to get good and blitzed without worrying about DUIs. A wine festival was prime for that demographic!

It's remarkably easy, kinda fun, and fairly lucrative for driving people home after a few glasses of wine. After all, I've done that for free before!

Of course, there's a hitch. We had some repairs done on the van last week at a total of $450, and the mechanic said that we MIGHT need to have another $400 repair done - he wasn't sure if it was an old code on the car computer or a current one. He said there would be a few warning signs if the code was accurate, and those signs started popping up after I dropped off my second fare. And since the van gets the best gas mileage, we want to have it repaired before we head to Pittsburgh next weekend. Hopefully I can pick up some extra driving gigs after the repairs are done to replenish our dwindling emergency/living fund.

And hey - if you want to take an Uber ride and you don't have an account yet, use the code b9wb7ue to get $20 off your first ride. (I get $5 out of you using the code, so we all win!)

Girl stuff

I have PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome). It causes hormonal imbalances that lead to irregular menstrual cycles, infertility, odd hair growth, weight gain, and depression. Thankfully I'm on a very effective treatment regimen that keeps me relatively normal... when I'm not pregnant or nursing.

And that's the thing. I've been doing extended breastfeeding with Tristan, who's 2 1/2 now. I nursed all my kids that long, but with the older two my cycle returned at 15 months - I have awesome hormone suppression powers when I nurse. However, with Tristan the 15 month mark came and went without even a comma, let alone a period. I was starting to get concerned that my medication would have to get changed to make my body come back to normal.

Um... I'm back to normal!

Gross, but a reason for rejoicing! It's such a relief when my body is functioning as it should.

And it's nice that my Diva Cup has a purpose again.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Constant vigilance.

Does this cherubic blond, blue eyed angel strike fear into your heart?

There's a reason that the clearest photo is the one where he's strapped into the bike. The kid is a living blur.

My husband's SUV has a running board and a piece of decorative trim about halfway up the door. He had it parked with the windows down a few days ago with Tristan playing outside next to it, and we turned around just in time to see his little rear end and legs dangling out of the window. He climbs everything - I'm always pulling him off windowsills, end tables, his brothers' loft bed.

Today he managed to dump half a jar of steel cut oats on the kitchen floor. While I was getting the broom to clean that up, he dumped a bowl of cereal (with milk) all over his lap, chair, and the floor underneath. This is where older kids come in handy - I had Catie change his clothes while I cleaned up the mess.

It's a good thing he's a super sweet lovey boy! He's saying 5 and 6 word sentences, loves to snuggle, and cracks us up continually. It's the trade off for constant vigilance.

Constant. Vigilance.

Friday, June 5, 2015


OK, I just FINALLY qualified to be an Uber driver on Wednesday (it's a 2 week+ project with all the background checks). I was planning on "clocking in" for the first time on Saturday, and hopefully doing a few rides over the weekend, making some ca$h.


Coming home from a non-uber drive for a friend, my dashboard went wacky with "Service ABS", "Service Traction System" and "Service Stabilizing System". The garage said they could check it out for me on Monday, and who knows what that will cost. So now the goal will be to earn enough in a few weeks to replace the money spent on the repair bill.

Two steps forward, three back. The financial cha-cha strikes again!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Uber driver!

I finally got approved as an Uber driver!

I'll give you occasional glimpses into the life of a part time not-a-taxi taxi driver as I go. In the meantime, if you want to sign up as an Uber RIDER, if you download the rider app and enter this code -  b9wb7ue - you'll get $20 off your first ride! (Full disclosure - I get $5 out of that too)

And if you decide that being a driver sounds good, enter that code
b9wb7ue when you sign up - once again, I do benefit from that by getting a bonus if you sign up and complete a few rides. It doesn't take anything out of your earnings if you do it that way, but I get it if you sign up on your own (or under another friend).

Also, if you subscribe to the Patriot-News in Harrisburg, you're entitled to Uber discounts - check your local paper to see if they offer similar deals.

SO - cheap rides, potentially lucrative ride giving - take a look!


Tuesday, June 2, 2015


It's June! School's ALMOST over for both Catie and Daniel. And for some reason, today's high temperature was only 65 and rainy. Where only two days ago the heat was an oppressive and humid 96.

As my brother said "Pennsylvania in June. Because predictable weather patterns are for wimps."

I have a bunch of projects right now - I have to assemble Daniel's homeschool portfolio, write a few paid projects, and do data entry for Recycle Bicycle. So, here I am, procrastinating.

I'm going, I'm going.