Sunday, March 25, 2012

Learning Phonics

Carleigh was pulled aside for some one-on-one with a teacher at daycare. The teacher showed Carleigh letters to see how much she knew. Carleigh got all of the letters correct on the first round. She was the only kid in her class that got them all on the first try. The teacher was impressed and knew it was time to move Carleigh onto something a little more advanced. The teacher suggested Carleigh start a phonics class. So this week, Carleigh will be starting her phonics class two days a week with two other girls in her class. I'm very excited for her. She catches on quickly. I give thanks to Preschool Prep Company. I bought Meet the Letters, Numbers, Colors and Sight Words 1 & 2 from them so far. I plan on purchasing Meet the Phonics: Letter Sounds next. These DVDs work wonders. Carleigh loves these movies and asks for them all of the time. I'd like to buy her the workbooks too.

I'm still working a lot overtime. I put in 16 hours of OT last week and hope to do the same this week. My original goal was to do 20 hours of OT, but I cut it short because I was getting worn out. Turns out getting up at 3:30am and working until 5:30pm can make you sleepy by the time Thursday rolls around.

Tomorrow, I'll be faxing our updated loan application to our loan officer. We are hoping to have a pre-approval letter by the end of this week. We would like to start putting offers in on the houses we really like. The sooner we get out of apartment life, the happier we will be. I just want my own private yard and no shared walls. Of course, that also means a cheaper monthly payment compared to what we are paying here. This place is robbing us every month.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Influenster Love VoxBox

Influenster is a community for trendsetters. When you register at Influenster, you are able to unlock badges that fit your lifestyle. The more active you are, the better chance you have at receiving a VoxBox. The VoxBox is a complimentary package chock full of goodies.

Recently, I received a Love VoxBox from Influenster. It was really cool that I qualified for this VoxBox since I had just joined the site. My Love VoxBox came with the following items:

  • Gillette Venus & Olay Razor
  • Kiss Nail Dress - Fashion That Sticks
  • Stash Tea Herbal Tea Sampler (18 pack with 9 flavors)
  • Ghirardelli Gourmet Milk Creamy Devotion Bar (as well as a coupon for $1/2)
  • Truvia Natural Sweetener
The first product I tried out of my Love VoxBox was the Gillette Venus & Olay razor. I enjoyed using this product because I didn't have to use shaving cream. It was a huge time saver for me. It left my skin feeling smooth and there was no need to use lotion after shaving.

Of course Heath & I dug into the Ghirardelli chocolate. I'm usually not a fan of dark chocolates, but this Creamy Devotion Bar was to die for! I'm in love. My Love VoxBox included a $1 off two Ghirardelli bars coupon, so I will definitely be picking up some more Gourmet Milk Creamy Devotion Bars in the near future. Maybe this coming weekend if I can hold out that long.

I haven't used anything else out of my Love VoxBox other than the first two products mentioned. I'm going to take my Stash Herbal tea to work with me tomorrow. There are nine different flavors:

  • Acai Berry
  • Blueberry Superfruit
  • Chamomile
  • Cinnamon Apple Chamomile
  • Lemon Ginger
  • Licorice Spice
  • Mango Passionfruit
  • Peppermint
  • Wild Raspberry Hibiscus
I'm looking forward to trying the Acai Berry the most. I'll probably make myself a cup of tea at 6am. Is that too early for tea? I guess it doesn't matter when you're working 5am-5:30pm.

The Kiss Nail Dress product is a stick on nail designer. I'll use these once my nails have grown out a little longer again. They are very 'bling' looking without spending a fortune at the nail salon. I may be working a lot of overtime, but I still don't want to shell out my extra money to get my nails done when I can just do them at home for free.

Last, but not least, is the Truvia zero-calories sweetener. I'll use my Truvia to bake Fudgy Brownies for Carleigh & Heath next weekend. I've never baked with Truvia before, so I am curious to see how well the brownies turn out. We probably won't even notice a difference.

Sign up at Influenster today. Become an active member for your chance at a VoxBox.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Working Overtime

It's been a few weeks since I updated my blog. We had family in town last week, so that kept me busy. Now that I've been released from training, I have unlimited overtime available at work. That amazing opportunity has me working 12 hour days. It's mandatory eight hours of overtime, but we are able to work as much as we want. All of this extra money is great. Who is going to complain about more money?

For this month, I wrote out a monthly budget and to show exactly where all of my money was going bill wise. I scheduled payments for bills out of each weeks pay. With that, I was able to pay off two credit cards. When I originally wrote out my budget, I did not include overtime pay because it was not available at the time. Now I'll have a lot more money to put into savings at the end of the month. And that is all from my pay only. Heath's pay for the month will give us a nice pile of cash to throw into savings as well.

We are saving for a house. We are using our tax return to go towards a down payment, but that alone was not enough money. With the tax return, this month's savings and all of my extra overtime, we should have enough money for a down payment in 4-6 weeks! We have decided to stay in Las Vegas/Henderson permanently. We wanted to move back to Illinois to be closer to family, but that state is a tax hell hole. No thank you.

On another topic, I am a member of Influenster and recently received a Love VoxBox a week ago. It was full of all kinds of goodies. I will have a couple of review posts coming either later this afternoon or tomorrow. I look forward to sharing what was included in this box. I encourage you to join Influenster too. It's free!