Thursday, April 19, 2018

Time for an April Giveaway!!!

April means it's time for the fourth Sluggy's Boring Blog Box Giveaway for 2018.
Though we had some warm weather this past weekend, we have been getting snowed on all week here off and on.  It snowed all day on Monday and it's snowing hard this morning.  ugh.

A nice giveaway will get us all in better spirits, right?
I've got child themed health goodies as well as chocolate this month. 8-)
Come on and enter.
Somebody has to win and it might just be YOU!

Here is what you can win if your entry is picked.

1 x Centrum vitamins
1 x Robitussin sugar-free cough medicine
1 x Nivea renewal body wash
1 x Herbal Essences shampoo
1 x Lil' Critters gummy vitamins
1 x Cetaphil baby wash and shampoo
1 x Advil children's tablets
1 x Sally Hansen lavender nail color
1 x Colgate optic white toothpaste
1 x Oral-B toothbrush
1 x Revlon tweezers
2 x Cover Girl eye shadows(teal and mink)
11 x Lindt truffles(assorted flavors)
8 x Cadbury dark chocolate w/mint filling candies
(The Cadbury is in a separate photo because when I repacked the box after the photo shot I noticed I did a better job and had space left, so I added the Cadbury chocolates in too.)

Over $70 in regular retail of goodies.
Closeup shots of the goodies up for grabs......

I'll leave this giveaway open until Saturday, April 28th at 11:59pm Eastern Time, so that gives everyone 9 days to enter this one.  On April 29th  I'll mark all the valid entries and use Random dotorg to pick a number and that corresponding person's entry wins.

*Please note the rules*
I'll post the name/Id of the winner on this blog and that person has 48 hours from then to contact me privately via email(my email addy is listed on my "About Me" page).
If I am not contacted via email I'll attempt to contact the winner via the email they supply with their entry and if that email is not responded to within another 48 hours I'll pick another winner.

There are three ways to enter--1 Daily and 2 One-Time Only........
1. Leave a comment every day.
2. Be a follower of this Blog(Hit the "Follow" button on the right hand side bar.) Let me know if your comment for this entry the name you follow under to verify.  You can do this entry once.
3. Post on your own blog(or on your Facebook page)about the Giveaway and leave a link in your comment/entry to where I can find it.  You can do this entry once.
In your Daily Entry tell me in your comment......something like what here is the thing you most want to win, do you have kids in your life to give the child items too, is anything blooming outside where you live(pollen doesn't count lol), do have plan on planting anything this season, etc.....stuff like that.

Disclaimer--This giveaway is open to those with mailing addresses within the US only.
As the cost of postage to foreign countries has gotten to high I am sorry to say I can no longer afford to mail boxes outside the US.  These giveaways are not sponsored by any companies, I pay for it all(cost of items given away and the postage to mail it all)out of my own pocket.

Please make sure there is a way for me to contact you in your comment.

If you're not a registered Blogger User with your contact information on your User page, please put your email addy in your comment or email me your email addy privately when you leave a comment so I can get a hold of you. If your Blogger associated user profile is a GOOGLE one with those Google Circles nonsense I CAN NOT CONTACT YOU as Google Circles doesn't show your contact info.

If I can't contact you then you can't win.  I am still having to disqualify entries due to this issue and I sure don't like doing that.  Thanks!

So let's get this started!


Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Another Presidential Cousin But Not the One I Was Looking For!

* I want to mention here the passing of First Lady Barbara Bush first off and send my condolences to her family and close friends(of which she had many of each).  I always thought she was a breath of fresh air in the rarefied atmosphere of American politics and political families.  A classy and strong woman, devoted to her family above all else.  A good example in the world.....and that all was years before I had any inkling I was related to her in any way. ;-)
R.I.P. Barbra Pierce Bush (8 Jun 1925-17 Apr 2018).

So I have this hobby obsession called genealogy.  I didn't start on this journey until about 10 years ago after my kids were mostly grown.  Before then I didn't have the time needed to devote to hunting up ancestors.

One of my fun missions within my genealogy meanderings is to see if I can hook my family tree macrame up to every US President......from George Washington to Donald Trump so far.

Some of these men have been easy to connect to since my mother's family lines go back to some of the earliest European settlers in America, the Jamestown Colony of Virginia.
Most mom's people never left Virginia once they got over here on the ships that brought them and her roots are deeply embedded in Virginian soil and Virginia official(as well as unofficial)records are accessible on line and there are so many family genealogy books written on many of these lines I have so it's been relatively easy to connect up with some Presidents.  It helps that 7 of our US presidents were also born in Virginia(Ohio comes second with claiming 6 US Presidents as native sons).

After about 5 years I found that I am cousins with Laura Lane Welch, known to the world as Laura Bush.......

Laura Lane Welch Bush is my 7th cousin 1 x removed.
Without going through the whole line lets just note the pertinent parts.....
Her 6x GGandfather was William Allen and her 5 x GGrandfather was Valentine Allen.  Valentine's sister was Susanna Allen, who is my 6x GGrandmother.  This makes us 7th cousins and Laura is one generation ahead of me so 1 x removed from me.

While doing the research involved to hook up all the Presidents to me it seemed that I am more directly related to many of our First Ladies and related by marriage to our Presidents.

So since I've already got First Lady Laura Bush in my fold I noted that I am related to George Walker Bush(George Bush 43)by marriage(husband of my 7th cousin) and to George Herbert Walker Bush(George Bush 41)also by marriage(father in-law of my 7th cousin).

Since it is well known that GHW Bush's wife, Barbara Pierce Bush is a descendant/cousin of President Franklin Pierce(#14)-they are 4th cousins 4 x removed and share a common ancestors in Thomas Pierce and his wife Elizabeth Cole.

So I began tracking down my Franklin Pierce connections last weekend......

Nothing seems to be panning out as I tracked back, expanding his tree and tracing back from his ancestors into New England until I got back to the European side of things.
Nothing.  No straightforward connection.  I bookmarked Franklin Pierce and decided to trace up GHW Bus and GWBush's line to see if we share ancestry that's closer than marriage to 7th cousins Laura Welch Bush.

And ding ding ding.....I found one!

George Herbert Walker Bush(41) turns out is my 10th cousin.

His GGrandmother was Harriet Eleanor FAY from Savannah Georgia.
Harriet's Grandmother was Clarissa Mundford.
Clarissa's Grandmother was Elizabeth Bolling.
Elizabeth's Grandmother was Ann Meriwether Stith.
Ann's Grandfather was Major John Drury Stith who arrived in America in 1656 making John Drury Stith GWH Bush's 9th Great Grandfather.

John Drury Stith is my 9th Great Grandfather as well.

John Stith's line to me.........

Maj. John Drury STITH I(1631-1694)
9th great-grandfather
Drury STITH(1670-1740)
son of Maj. John Drury STITH I
Anne STITH(1700-)
daughter of Duruy STITH
Ephraim Stith PARHAM(1723-1793)
son of Anne STITH
Jane PARHAM(1738-1804)
daughter of Ephraim Stith PARHAM
Joseph Hunter MASON(1776-1854)
son of Jane PARHAM
Sarah "Sallie" MASON(1805-1854
daughter of Joseph Hunter MASON
Mary Agnes DRISKILL(1837-1894)
daughter of Sarah "Sallie" MASON
Robert William HARPER(1881-1961)
son of Mary Agnes DRISKILL
Wirt Ross HARPER(1909-1968)
son of Robert William HARPER
Carole Frances HARPER(1934-2000)
daughter of Wirt Ross Harper

So just add another generation onto GHW Bush's line and George Walker Bush is my 10th cousin.

And Barbara Pierce becomes the wife of my 9th cousin GHWBush and the mother of my 10th cousin GWBush.

At this point the closest I can get to being related to Franklin Pierce is the wife of my 9th cousin(mother of my 10th cousin)who is 4th cousin 4 x removed of Franklin Pierce.

I'm working on a connection to Franklin Pierce now through George Washington's lines though so might find something cousin-like there other than by marriage. Did you know that if you "hook-up" to Washington's ancestry you are related in some degree to practically all the US Presidents?  George's lines won't get you related to Martin Van Buren or Donald Trump and maybe a couple others but it's amazing how all these men share ancestry!

Score card of Presidents/First Ladies related to me so far......

* George Washington 11th cousin 8 x removed
* Thomas Jefferson 5th cousin 9 x removed
* Zachary Taylor  7th cousin 5 x removed
* Edith White Bolling Wilson(Woodrow Wilson's second wife)9th Cousin 5 x removed
* George H W Bush 9th cousin
* George W Bush  10th cousin
* Laura Lane Welch Bush  7th cousin 1 x removed

Sluggy, ancestor hunter

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Money Stuff After the 1st Quarter of 2018

Just some miscellaneous money stuff........

* Grocery/Toiletries Spending after 3 months stands at $1261.72.  That breaks down to an average of $420.57 per month.  Right about on target for us.
I've "saved" $4006.34 buying our supplies on sale/using Qs/rebates over buying all our food/toiletries at regular retail prices.  I take that with a grain of salt since I wouldn't buy some of those regular retail prices ever(would buy store brands instead)so if I take half of the "savings" it's $2003.17....that seems more realistic to me. ;-)

* Eating Out Spending after 3 months stands at $570.92.  That breaks down to an average of $190.30 per month.  A bit high but we have 2 Birthdays(and thus Birthday meals out)in the first quarter of the year and nobody in my family likes to each out for their birthday at cheap places it seems.

* As for cash rebate/savings apps/accounts here is what I've earned back in cash monies for the 1st quarter of 2018.........

 *  Weis refunds/overcharges  $16.56
 *  Rite-Aid refunds/post Qs back  $70.15
 *  Checkout51 cash rebate  $4.25
 *  Ibotta cash rebate   $25.95
 *  Saving Star cash rebate  $23.79
TOTAL.....$140.70 cash back/refunds

At year's end I'll add that Refund/Cash Rebate $ back into the grocery Budget to offset some of our spending on food/toiletries.
After the 1st Quarter I've spent $1261.72 on food/toiletriesand gotten $140.70 in rebates/refunds leaving our actual spending at $1121.02 so far in 2018(if I added the rebates in now).

* I've also counted my WAM leftover at the end of March.........

$216.00 leftover and accumulated WAM going into April.
I had $140 leftover WAM at the end of February so after getting another $100 for March that made $240 WAM to spend in March.
I spent only $24 of WAM in March which means $216 leftover WAM at the end of March.

After adding this month's WAM that gives me $316 going into April.  As is my habit I doubt I'll spend much of it on myself.  If this trend keeps up I'll need to figure out what to do with it all at the end of the year.  Hmmm, maybe something splurgy for me?

* We have a change jar and I roll change once we have enough to roll.  At the end of the year I either add it to the food budget or some other goal I've been working on.

$10.50 is what we ended the 1st quarter with in change.  Back when Hubs was working we had a LOT more spare change to roll.....but I'll take it. lolz

* Gift Cards Tally
We currently have $1557.12 in gift cards.
 Home Improvement stores....$448.79
 Big box stores.....$298.46
 Gas cards........$20.00
 Rite-Aid......$200.00(not counting the partially used one in my wallet)
 Visa........$50.00(gotten as a gift at Xmas)

We started the year with $2015.57 in assorted gift cards so we've used down $458.45 so far this year.
The Home Improvement store cards will be gone before Summer is over(yard stuff, paint, etc.), $150 of the Restaurant cards is earmarked for Hubs Bday dinner out so that will put a nice sized dent into what is left.
I haven't bought any gift cards this year and I don't foresee getting anymore at Rite-Aid(where I usually bought them)as the benefit(store rewards earned)isn't as good as they use to be(plus the store rewards earned expire in 2 months, so not worth it).
If  Dollar General has % off gift cards, that is where I'll pick gift cards up....but they rarely do this except around the Holidays.
Some of the cards I have are old now and I need to make a point of using them up.

I am off to pay some bills and figure out Hubs eye dr. bills which are a clusterf*ck.  They don't bill in a timely manner and then after I pay and Hubs goes in for a new visit, the office doesn't show our payments(which are mailed to a third party clearinghouse a thousand miles away in DALLAS TX!)so they make him cut a check AGAIN!!  I should have such a credit on his account there by now....argh.

What are you up to today?


Monday, April 16, 2018

This Week on the Dining Table

The "Crazy Weather Edition" Edition--

After 2 days of 70+ weather(on Friday it hit 80F!)the temp sank 30+ degrees on Sunday into the 40's.  The rain Sunday didn't come until last night/this morning along with strong winds.  This reminds me we need to do something about a couple of tall trees out back soon. sigh.  Temps in the 40's today, snow showers mid week overnight/early morning and then 50's for the rest of the week.
The poor forsythia bush started budding out on Friday.....I guess it didn't get the weather memo.
Poor Mother Nature is on crack lately! lol

Moving On....

Onward to the meal planning!

This is what was planned--

1. Sunday--Lasagna
2. Monday--BLTs, Ham or Club Sandwiches
3. Tuesday--Leftover Lasagna, Zucchini side dish
4. Wednesday--Pork Chops, Sweet Potato Fries(baked), Sugar Snap Peas or Green Beans
5. Thursday--Spaghetti and Meatballs, Salad
6. Friday--Fish, Sautéd Squash, Mashed Taters
7. Saturday--Leftovers

And this is what actually happened--

1. Sunday--Lasagna
2. Monday--Club Sandwiches
3. Tuesday--Leftover Lasagna, Zucchini side dish
4. Wednesday--Stir-Fry Beef, Mushrooms, Broccoli w/Noodles
5. Thursday--Pork Chops, Mashed Taters, Green Beans w/Garlic
6. Friday--Leftovers(I had stir fry)
7. Saturday--Breakfast for Dinner

Last week saw 5 nights of home cooked dinners, 2 night of leftovers/fend for yourself, 0 nights of Take-Out or Eating Out.

4 small grocery trips(Weis, Shursave, Dollar Tree and Maine Source)brought the shopping to $67.65 for the week and brought April's food spending total to $192.90.  

My savings percentages last week was 45.45% and April's monthly savings total so far is at 60.04%.

Leftovers going into this week.......ham and lasagna.  The rest of the ham will go into the freezer later today so it's a helping or two of lasagna left.

Here is this week's "food plan".....

1. Sunday--Rigatoni and Mushroom Ragu
2. Monday--Fish, Squash Sauté, Corn Casserole
3. Tuesday--Homemade Pizza, Salad
4. Wednesday--Meatloaf, Baked Sweet Potato Fries, Brussels Sprouts
5. Thursday--Leftovers
6. Friday--?
7. Saturday--?

This week will see 4 new meals cooked,1  nights of leftovers/FFY and 0 nights of Take-out/Eat-Out and 2 nights of ?  because I'm not inspired yet to think of something. lolz  Maybe I can talk Hubs into cooking again one night this week.  ;-)

What needs buying for this menu?  Salad Greens

What is getting fixed and served at your house this week?

Was last week's plan successful, did you go off plan or did you not even plan what was going to be eaten last week?

Any great deals on food at your stores this week?