Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I Moved

I've moved. You can now find my blog at
I hope to see you there. Please update your bookmarks and feeds accordingly.

Wordless Wednesday - Face Painting

Only one picture this week because I have a nasty cold and just haven't had a chance to get the other pictures off of my phone. I'll make up for it with more pictures next Wednesday.
This weekend we went to the Yankee Candle Halloween event. Yes, they have their Halloween stuff out already. Hubby loves decorating for Halloween so he was excited to get a new decoration. The store we stopped at also had face painting so Pumpkin got her face painted while daddy shopped. This was her first ever face painting experience and she did very well. Plus, when she was done we let her have a piece of the cake they were giving out. Umm, cake!
For more Wordless (or Wordful) Wednesday, head over to:

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

To Do Tuesday

Last week I really didn't too bad, but I could have done better. The poor dogs haven't gotten much of a walk for the last few days because summer has finally arrived her in Baltimore. It's just way too hot and humid out there for them.

I'm still looking for an affordable To Do app for my iPhone. I really don't like paying a lot for my apps so that is limiting me. I want a To Do app that will push the notifications so that I get the little bubble telling me how many things I have to do. If anyone has one they want to recommend, please let me know. Right now I'm still keeping a To Do list online with Toodledo simply because I haven't found something I like better and I can at least access it with my iPhone.

Here is my To Do List for this week:

Clip Coupons (still haven't done this)
File Coupons (still haven't done this)
Put Away Laundry

Here's my Recurring To Do List:

Keep daily food & exercise journal (Tu W Th F Sa Su M)
Write daily blog posts (W Th F Sa Su M Tu)
Keep email inbox cleaned out
Track Daily Spending (Tu W Th F Sa Su M)
Walk dogs every evening (Tu W Th F Sa Su M)
Write in journal daily (Tu W Th F Sa Su M)
Complete Menu Plan for next week

What do you need to get done this week? To see more To-Do Tuesday lists, head over to Crazy Adventures in Parenting.

Books I Want To Read


It's been awhile since I've participated in Top Ten Tuesday over at Oh Amanda so I thought I would jump back in. This week I'm listing out ten books that I'd like to read. My reading list is always growing, but these are some books that I've come across recently and I would like to read. Here they are, in no particular order:

  1. Best Friends Forever: A Novel by Jennifer Weiner
  2. Even June Cleaver Would Forget the Juice Box: Cut Yourself Some Slack (and Still Raise Great Kids) in the Age of Extreme Parenting by Ann L. Dunnewold
  3. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
  4. The Unhealthy Truth: How Our Food Is Making Us Sick - And What We Can Do About It by Robyn O'Brien and Rachel Kranz
  5. I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
  6. Free-Range Kids: Giving Our Children the Freedom We Had Without Going Nuts with Worry by Lenore Skenazy
  7. Cheap: The High Cost of Discount Culture by Ellen Ruppel Shell
  8. Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats by Sally Fallon
  9. I Was a Really Good Mom Before I Had Kids: Reinventing Modern Motherhood by Trisha Ashworth and Amy Nobile
  10. A Touch of Dead (Sookie Stackhouse) by Charlaine Harris

As you can see from my list, my reading is all over the place. That and I am a neurotic mom who also likes a good novel.

To see more Top Ten lists, head over to Oh Amanda and check out all the links.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Menu Plan Monday - August 10

Last week we actually did very well with sticking to our menu plan. We did have a little bit of a lst minute change because we had last minute dinner guests one night, but it wasn't a big deal. We still used the chicken I had thawed out, I just had to prepare it in something instead of just having grilled chicken. Now I just hope that we can stick to our meal plan again this week.

Here's what I have planned for this week:


  • Monday - Meatloaf
  • Tuesday - Chicken Melts
  • Wednesday - Meatball Pitas
  • Thursday - Chicken Quesadillas
  • Friday - Hot Dogs with Homemade Macaroni and Cheese
  • Saturday - Pancakes
  • Sunday - Beef Roast

This week we also have a bunch of strawberries, blueberries and peaches to work into the menu. My daughter has a serious blueberry addiction so I think we will go through them with no problem. The strawberries are another story. I have three pounds of them and no one else in the house will eat them. I honestly don't know if I can eat that many strawberries before they go bad. I guess I'll have to freeze some of them or something.

This week we're back over with Org Junkie so head over there to see all the Menu Plan Monday links.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Yard Sale Update

This week we had another Moving Sale, or yard sale. I wound up making $144 which I don't think is too bad for one day. Other people had some stuff at the sale as well and they did pretty well too. It was nice getting rid of some of our extra stuff and making some extra money. After the sale we took some of the money and treated ourselves to a nice late lunch at a local restaurant. By the time we got back home we were all beat.

We're debating having one more sale before we pack everything up and donate it. It's tempting because I do still have a lot of good stuff that could bring me in even more money. It would give me a chance to get some stuff out of our storage unit and sell it too. I will be so glad when we get our house sold so we can get rid of the storage unit. Luckily I do get a nice discount on the unit, but I still hate paying for storage. I've been of the mindset that if you don't have room for it in your house you really don't need it. The only reason we even have one now is because we "decluttered" our house before we put it up for sale. Since we don't even miss a lot of the items that are in there I figure we can probably sell some of them.

Right now I am leaning towards having another sale, but I'd like to wait at least another week or two before having it. But really, after that we need to just pack up anything that's left and send it on to charity. I'm sure that by next year we'll have even more stuff to sell. Depending on where we're living at that time we may have another yard sale or we may just pack it all up and donate it. We'll have to see.

What do you do with your extra stuff? Do you have a yard sale or just donate stuff? If you do have a yard sale, do you donate the leftovers or keep them for another sale?

I hope everyone is having a nice, safe weekend. Come back Monday to see my menu plan for the week. I'm off to work on that now. I'm trying to use the slow cooker more this week to save myself some time on weeknights.

Saturday, August 8, 2009


When I first started this blog it was a way for me to share the deals I was finding and to pass that info on so others could benefit from it. While I do still enjoy posting about things like that, it is a bit much for me to keep up with. I have a toddler and a full time job outside of the home which seriously limits my blogging time. To be a good frugal blogger you need to be able to blog throughout the day as the deals come out and that just is not possible for me.

I'm sure that my regular readers have noticed that I really haven't been posting about many "deals" lately. While you will still see the occasional deal post here, I plan to change the focus of my blog a bit. I have a lot more fun blogging about things that relate more directly to my life. These are things like my daughter, saving money, tips for organizing and being more efficient, household tips, journaling, sewing, reading and, well, anything else that might catch my fancy. My interests are pretty varied, so why shouldn't my blog also be varied?

With this change in direction, I also feel that the name Pillaging With Buffie no longer fits. I'm still deciding on a new name, but once I make a decision the name will be changed. My Pillaging With Buffie url will still work and bring you here, but we will also have a new url. I will make an announcement here once I have decided on a new name.

I hope everyone is having a great weekend. Come back tomorrow to find out how today's yard sale went. I hope it goes well since I have a lot of "stuff" to get rid of.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Aloha Friday #94

This is two weeks in a row now for me with Aloha Friday. Yeah me! For those of you who have not heard of Aloha Friday, every Friday on the Blog An Island Life an easy question for everyone to answer gets posted.

This week’s question is:
Are you a good secret keeper?

My answer:
I believe that I am. I agree that it can be tempting to tell some secrets, but I am always afraid of being found out. It's much better to keep your mouth shut. It's amazing the things people will tell you when you don't pass on the details.

My Question Is:
Now that summer is so close to being over, what are you going to miss about summer?

I'm going to miss not having to wear a coat or jacket. I hate wearing jackets but I tend to get cold a lot.

Tracking Cash Spending

For me, part of spending less money is limiting myself to spending only cash. I know that a lot of people like to stick with the envelope system to make sure that they are spending their cash from the correct category, but that really doesn't work well for me. I hate having a bunch of envelopes to keep track of and I feel like it clutters up my purse.

My solution is to track my cash spending on my iPhone. I use the Spend Lite app which is completely free. The Spend Lite program only lets you track daily or weekly budgets. If you want to track bi-weekly, monthly, semi-monthly or annual budgets you will have to pay $0.99 for the full Spend program.

I love that this app automatically puts my budgeted money into the proper category on the specified day. Plus I can export my spending records via a csv file in an email from my iPhone to anyone I choose. You can also password protect your file with a pin. That way if someone else picks up your iPhone you don't have to worry about them seeing your financial information. And, if needed, you can transfer money from one budget to another.

I also setup a "budget" to track my extra income. For this category my budgeted amount is zero and whenever I make extra money I do a deposit to that category. I love it. You could also use this to track your monthly savings and so forth. I can easily zero out this account each month or keep a running total. It's also super easy to see how much "extra" money I've made.

The one thing that I don't like about this app is that you can't rename a category. For example, I have a category "Food" and it should really be "Household." I would love to have the correct name on this, but I can't figure out a way to change it.

I love the Spend Lite app and the fact that it's free only makes it better. Since it is free, if you're looking for something like this and have an iPhone or iPod Touch, why not download it and try it out?

I will note that I do not use this app for tracking my bank accounts. I track them in a completely different application which is the subject for another post.

For more Frugal Friday Tips, head over to Life As Mom. And if you have any recommendations for iPhone apps that you love, I would love to hear about them. Feel free to leave me a comment with the name of the app or email me.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

A Journal To Keep Me Sane

I started keeping a personal journal when I was in college. I'm talking about a private hand written journal here. When I started my journaling it was a way for me to cope with various things that were going on in my life at the time. I could write out all of my frustrations and not have to worry about anyone's opinion. It was my therapy.

Over the years my journaling habits have evolved a lot. I now write about all kinds of things, but my journal is still my sounding board. It's a completely private place for me to work through whatever issues are bothering me. I also keep all kinds of notes in there and snippets of some dreams I've had. Really, I write about whatever is on my mind.

During the course of the many years that I have been journaling, my writing habits have varied a lot too. That first journal actually took me a couple years to fill. At one point several years ago I was able to completely fill a journal in a week. There have been times when I haven't written for months, but for the most part I do write daily. The biggest adjustment came after my daughter was born. For months I simply did not have the time or the energy to write in my journal. Now I'm finally making time for it again and it feels good. I had forgotten how much daily writing helped me. Now I make sure that writing in my journal is on my to do list. By taking the time to write and clear my head every day I tend to have a much more positive outlook on life.

If you've never tried personal journaling, I suggest giving it a try. You can write in whatever is handy. Right now you can get spiral notebooks really cheap at various stores, but if you prefer a more "typical" journal you can check your local bookstore to see what they have. For your first journal I'd suggest sticking with some fairly cheap. You don't want to spend so much money on it that you're afraid to actually write in it. Wherever you write, don't be afraid to jump right in and start writing about whatever is on your mind.

For more Things I Love Thursday, head over to The Diaper Diaries.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - August 5

Happy Wordless Wednesday everyone!
Ok, so I'm not so wordless, but I do enjoy sharing pictures of our week.
Here is Pumpkin playing with the Fisher Price Market Place daddy found her at a yard sale. Great score daddy! I think it's the best $6 he's spent recently.
Later that same day, here is Pumpkin enjoying a cookie daddy gave her. What can I say, this was a really good day for her.
And a couple days before that Pumpkin got to enjoy a cookie at the Barnes and Noble Cafe with mommy. Yeah, she's my little Cookie Monster. Daddy's even been teaching her how to lick the creamy middle from the Oreos.

And finally, how many toddlers do you know that can be this happy with a purse and a battle axe in the Dollar Tree? I had to literally pry the battle axe out of her hands so we could leave. No, I didn't buy it for her. She is way to young to have her own battle axe.

For more Wordless (or Wordful) Wednesday head over to:
5 Minutes For Mom
Look What Mom Found...and Dad Too
Seven Clown Circus
Mud Bug
Ordinary and Awesome
A Daily Dose of Toni
My Sippy Cup Runneth Over
Sweet Serendipity

Google Calendar on my iPhone for Free

Note: I didn't realize that there was a Back to School Theme for this week's Works For Me Wednesday when I typed up this post. However, back to school typically means more activities to keep track of, so this could still be a good tip for the back to school season.

I have been using Google Calendar for months now. So when I finally got my iPhone I was very excited to see that I can sync the iPhone Calendar with my Google calendar. This way I can update my calendar either from my iPhone or from Google Calendar online. I've also setup my Google Calendar so that my hubby can access it. That allows him to update my calendar and it automatically updates on my iPhone. I love it.

Plus you can setup alerts so that it emails you and/or pops up an alert on your phone. I love the pop up alert. I set it to remind me a few minutes before an event when I think I could easily get busy and forget it. For example, I have setup pop up alerts for 5 minutes before a tv show I want to watch. You can turn the alerts on on off for each event, so don't feel like you're going to constantly have alerts popping up on you.

I also like to use the pop up alert to remind me in the mornings about what we're doing for dinner that night. That way I remember to pull what I need out of the freezer before I head off to work. Before I started doing this I was always forgetting to take dinner out of the freezer. Now I have my reminders. I've gotten to a point that when my husband wants to make sure I remember something he tells me to put it in my iPhone. Yeah, he has no faith in my memory.

The best part is that you can do all this absolutely free. Setting up Google Calendar is free and so is using the sync when you do it the way Google instructs. There are several apps out there that you could pay for that accomplish this, but Google has the instructions right on their website. They walk you step by step through how to sync your Google Calendar and/or Contacts with your iPhone. I have both of mine synced and love it. I highly recommend it. And remember, do it the free way. Don't pay a third party app to do something you can do yourself for free. And this will work on the iPod Touch too.

For more Works for Me Wednesday, head over to We Are THAT Family.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

To Do Tuesday - August 4

Last week I really didn't do as well as I should have. I really dropped the ball with keeping my daily food and exercise journal. Sadly I don't even have an excuse, I just got lazy. This week I really need to do better.

I'm still not sure how I feel about Toodledo. I like that I can view it on my iPhone or online and that it's free. It just doesn't completely feel right to me. I don't know how to explain it. I think I'll keep looking. If you have a To Do app for the iPhone that you'd like to recommend, leave me a comment with the name and I'll check it out.

Here is my To Do List for this week:

Clip Coupons (carry over from last week)
File Coupons (carry over from last week)
Put Away Laundry
Gather more items for yard sale √
Sell lots of items at yard sale this weekend √

Here's my Recurring To Do List:

Keep daily food & exercise journal (√ √ √ √ Sa Su M)
Write daily blog posts (√ √ √ √ √ √ √ Tu)
Keep email inbox cleaned out
Track Daily Spending (√ √ √ √ √ Su M)
Walk dogs every evening (√ √ √ F Sa Su M)
Write in journal daily (√ √ √ √ √ Su √)
Complete Menu Plan for next week √

What do you need to get done this week? To see more To-Do Tuesday lists, head over to Crazy Adventures in Parenting.

Parting With "Stuff" That's No Longer Used

This week I decided to gather up some more of my "stuff" for another yard sale. The last one did pretty well and I still have a lot of stuff that I don't really use. I don't see the point in moving unused stuff to a new house so now is a great time for me to part with it. I've been going through the house and trying to pick up a few more things to sell every night. Whatever doesn't sell will be donated.

Sometimes it's sad to part with things you own. For example, I've decided to part with my scrapbooking supplies. I haven't done any scarapbooking in five years now and with a toddler I don't see me having time to scrapbook for at least the next few years. I enjoyed it in the past and love the scrapbooks that I have, but it is one hobby I'm pretty sure that I am not going to get back to. So it's time for the scrapbooking supplies to go. It's sad to see the stuff go and remember the projects I had planned, but once that stuff is gone, it feels to good to be rid of it. I no longer have all of the supplies around reminding me of the projects I'll never get around to.

What do you have that you could stand to get rid of? I'm sure everyone has something. What are you waiting for? Get rid of it already. You don't have to have a yard sale or donate it. You could pass the item on to someone who could use it or even sell it online with Craigslist of eBay. However you do it, stop procrastinating and get rid of it. You'll be glad you did.

For more Tackle It Tuesday, head over to 5 Minutes For Mom.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Menu Plan Monday - August 3

The dinner reminders on my phone are still working out well for me. I think I'm going to keep doing that. It just suits my nature.

Here's what I have planned for this week:


  • Monday - Grilled Chicken
  • Tuesday - Pancakes and Ham
  • Wednesday - Chicken Quesadillas
  • Thursday - Spaghetti and Italian Sausage
  • Friday - Tortillas
  • Saturday - Chicken Nuggets and Homemade Mac and Cheese
  • Sunday - Steak and Baked Potatoes

This week Org Junkie is taking a blogging break, so you'll have to head over to The Happy Housewife to see all the Menu Plan Monday links.

Sunday, August 2, 2009


Yesterday seemed to be the day for miscommunication. The day started with a call from my mother asking me if I was coming over to the yard sale. Umm, I thought we were having the sale next weekend. We did make it over later in the morning. I got some of my stuff setup and managed to sell a bunch of scrapbook supplies and a few music cds along with a few other odds and ends. I wound up making $43.50 which I don't think was too bad for the quick effort we put in. Oh, and we'll be having the sale again next weekend. At least it's indoors so I don't have to deal with the heat and humidity. I'm hoping to do well next weekend and get rid of most of my stuff.

Saturday afternoon we had a showing scheduled from 1:30-2:30 at our house. So we took the dogs and the toddler to the park for a picnic lunch and a nice walk. When we got home I commented that it didn't seem like anyone had been there. About an hour later we're sitting in the family room and I hear someone walk into the house. It was the people for the showing. They had the times as 2:30-4:30. Of course the family room was now a mess because Pumpkin had been playing. I don't know where that miscommunication happened. We called out realtor and confirmed with her that she had it confirmed for 1:30-2:30. I'll be so glad when we get our house under contract and can stop dealing with showings.

Today we have two more showings scheduled for our house and we're off to look at some houses. I'm really hoping that we find a house this weekend too. Having so much up in the air is driving me crazy. I'll feel a lot better when we start getting things settled.

I hope your weekend has been going well. Come back tomorrow to see my menu plan for the week.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

July Month End Summary

For the last couple months I haven’t really done a month end summary. Even this month I don’t have any actual numbers to report. This is something that I really feel that I need to work on. I have gotten lax with our budget and keeping up with the numbers and coupons and so forth. So in August I am working to improve that. I’m now tracking the budgets for my household spending on my iPhone. That should help keep me on track. I’m also working out ways to get more tracking on there. I have some ideas and if they work out well for me I will post about them next month. If not I will move on to something else.

For about two months now I haven’t really been messing with coupons or deal shopping. Since we’re selling our house I’m trying to use up our stock pile. Plus there are quite a few times where we wind up showing our house around dinner time and wind up eating out. It’s been crazy. I’m hoping that we get a good offer soon so that we don’t have to keep showing our house. It will make things a little easier for me.

Now lets talk about my goals for the month of August. Here are my goals in no particular order:

  • Continue to track spending in Household and Personal categories
  • Get back to tracking money saved
  • Track extra money received during the month
  • Get back to writing grocery shopping lists and stick to them
  • Limit Costco visit to once during this month
  • Limit Target visit to once during this month
  • Limit grocery shopping to twice during this month

With a little luck and a determination, maybe I’ll actually be able to accomplish all of these. We’ll have to see how it turns out. I’ll update again at the end of the month to let you know how I’m doing. I may even do a mid-month update. We’ll see.

How did you during July? What things are you working on in August? I’m interested to know how everyone else is doing.