Monthly Archives: September 2013

Top 10 Shows to Watch on Netflix

We canceled our cable earlier this year, and I guess we’re part of a growing trend.  We’re called, “cord cutters.”  Who knew?  Last time I was part of a trend I was riding the beanie baby bandwagon HARD.  Even investors are picking up on the trend.

People are canceling their cable to save money, but also people are cutting the cord because the way we watch TV is changing.  Waiting every week to watch one episode is out.  What’s in?  Binging.  Binge TV watching is sitting down to watch a whole season of shows in a short amount of time.  It’s easier to relax and use the rest of your time to do other things.

Since we’re part of this growing trend, I thought I’d give you a list of the top 10 shows I’ve watched so far on Netflix.  And, yes, I’ve binged.

1.  Mad Men.

It’s so good that when I finished watching all the episodes, I thought I broke up with someone.

2.  Weeds.

Totally a guilty pleasure.  It’s like stuffing your face with pot brownies.

3.  Scandal.

This is my current FAV.  Love Kerry Washington and her relationship with POTUS.  Every episode unravels more and more about her staff and past. AMAZING.

4.  Revenge.

This show takes me back to summers I spend watching soap operas.

5.  Downton Abbey (first season only)

Like getting to hang out with Jane Austen except waaaaaaayyyy more scandalous.

6. House of Cards

This is a Netflix original, and it was nominated for an Emmy.  Do I need to say more?

7.  Wilfred

I’m not sure why I love this show, but it’s hard to go wrong with a man in a dog suit.  p.s. The jokes are rated RRRRRuff!

8.  New Girl

I laughed out loud at this show.  I even wanted to roll on the floor.

9.  Orange is the New Black

Like House of Cards, this is a Netflix only show.  I LOVE the relationship between one of the prison guards and one of the inmates.  Plus, I’m learning a lot about prison.

10.  Breaking Bad/Arrested Development

Okay, I haven’t watched these shows, but they are on my list.  I’ve heard so many great things about them, I know they will be great binging material.

I think the most interesting part of the new binge TV trend, is where it will take TV.  In 10 years, if companies like Netflix, HULU, and Amazon keep producing great material, then cable may not exist.  Or, maybe we will only pay for shows/channels we want to watch?  Wow, wouldn’t that be amazing?  You wouldn’t have to pay for 300 channels full of infomercials?  I really think it could happen…except for one thing.

Sports.  The biggest obstacle facing a TV revolution is sports.  If Netflix could come up with a way to stream live sports, I think TONS of people would cut their cable forever.  I’m pretty sure in about a year we will be back on the cable bandwagon for this reason alone.

Do you have any shows to add to my list?!  I need some more binge material.

 

Pay Off Our House Update (Rollercoaster of Ugh…)

After a summer of vacations, trips, and celebrations, our goal to pay off our house got put on the back burner.  Actually, it got put on the back/back burner.  It was so far back, that it moved outside on the grill.

The plan

I kind of got upset about our lack of progress (although not upset enough to say “no” to any vacays!), so to ease my mind we came up with a plan.  We would do “our best” to make progress throughout the summer, then in September, we would HIT. IT. HARD. like crazy-baseball-bat-wielding-debt-vampire-slayers.  Our plan was to find/steal/work like crazy to get $5,000 a month from September-March to throw at the house.  If we accomplish this for the next seven months, we will be within $10,000 of a paid for house by the end of March.

The rollercoaster

Finding $5,000 a month to pay towards the house is an ambitions goal– so ambitions there is NO WAY it can happen.  I crunched the numbers and never even got close.  Since there is NO WAY to make this work, we decided to go for it.  We’re gluttons for punishment.  We’re such complete gluttons… we can’t stay out of the punishment refrigerator.

Because our goal was completely unattainable,  we decided to take our it month by month.  So, I’m only going to talk about September, because we have NO CLUE about October yet.

Why so aggressive?

1.  We’re tired.  Since we’ve been married we’ve been working to pay off something.  It’s getting old, and I’m getting antsy to start buying rental properties.  We want to rip through this last chunk so we can move on!

2.  We’re starting to get weird.  Once we cut our cable (which we still love!) I realized we’re weird.  We need to finish paying off our house before we start reusing toilet paper.  Just kidding!

The miracle.

As I was planning to  pay off $5,000 in September, a MIRACLE happened: Mr. We’ve Had Them Since They Were Tiny got a new job and we realized he was going to get paid for all his unused vacation time from his old job!  Since he hadn’t taken a vacation the entire time he worked there, it was the perfect chunk to get us to our goal.

Miracle fail.

Sometimes I have a really optimistic calculator.  This was one of those times.  He only got half of what I calculated.  Totally my fault.   Then, I realized his new company only pays once a month, and we needed to use the extra money to tide us over until he got paid again.  I was pretty down about it, because I need lots of motivation to stick to goals.  if I don’t succeed the first month, then it’s almost impossible for me to get on board.  Especially with a goal that’s as unattainable as this one is!

So, I spent about a week in the gluttonous punishment refrigerator trying to get over my goal binge.

Miracle reboot. 

Then, like the goal rollercoaster we live on, we had another break!  I picked up some extra hours at work, and Mr. We’ve Had Them Since They Were Tiny got paid for 1.5 months instead of 1 month (don’t ask me how, I clearly don’t know how to calculate).  So, we just wrote a check for $5,000 to the mortgage company!  I’ve been smiling non-stop.  I’m like Buddy the Elf, and reaching goals is my Christmas.  Or, I’m like Rick the Dog, and reaching goals is my fetch.

rick happy pixlr

So, if your goal is COMPLETELY UNATTAINABLE you should just try anyway.  Sometimes, you’ll catch a lucky break.  What’s the saying?  Reach for the moon, you might just land in some stars?  I’m going to go throw up now…

Now, we just have to figure out how to get through the next six months….

 Until next time,

One Smiling Blogger, Mr. We’ve Had Them Since They Were Tiny, Pink, and Rick.

Two Years of Debt and Dogs

Two years ago our dogs were born, and we started paying off debt.

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Happy Birthday Pink and Rick!

First, the dogs.

I can’t believe they are 14 in people years.  Now they’re going to start growing facial hair, their voices are going to change, we’re going to have to talk about the birds and the bees.

Over the past two years they’ve drank poison, had a wild vodka party, destroyed our yard, destroyed our yard again, and made the neighbors hate them.  For the past couple months, they’ve been behaving a little better.  Rick even learned to jump in the back of the truck!  Finally!  I took this video to prove it to you, unfortunately he must have eaten too much yesterday because he doesn’t quite make it.  You have to watch this.  It’s hilarious.

Now, the debt. 

As I thought about their birthday, I remembered something else turned two years old–the day we started paying off debt.  Since I wasn’t blogging then, I’ll give you a little history.

Four years ago.  I graduated with about $20,000 in student loans, and I wracked up a ton of fees because I never paid them.  I was really good at rationalizing why I didn’t have to pay my bills.  For a while, the loan company was sending the bill to my parent’s house, since I didn’t live there anymore, I thought I didn’t have to start paying them until the bills came to my house.  Then, once the bills started coming to  my house, I thought if I didn’t open the bills, I didn’t have to pay them.  Take that suckers!  Somehow I became the sucker once they started tacking on the late fees.

Three years ago.  I got married, and I told my future husband my awesome theories on money.  For some reason he didn’t agree with my “don’t-open-the-bills-and-you-won’t-have-to-pay-them” philosophy.  So, we started making minimum payments on my student loans.  Also, around that time, my parents gave us some Dave Ramsey CDs.  Actually, they just loaned them to us, and we kept them!  Dave Ramsey is a conservative financial person who advises getting rid all of your consumer debt as fast as possible.  It took us a year after we started listening to Dave Ramsey to start his program.

Two years ago. We decided to kill my student loans.  We moved a couple times after we got married, and it took me a while to find a stable job.  Finally, two years ago, I landed a job that paid for more than just gas to get to work.  Since I had never made a real salary before, we decided to continue living on one salary and use mine to kill my student loans. We went crazy on them and knocked them out in 6 months.   We made our last payment right before Christmas of 2011.  It was one of the best Christmas presents I’ve ever received!

I guess you could say, two years ago we got financially responsible and started looking at the future.  We knew we wanted a future without student loans.  However, two years ago, I NEVER would have thought we would be in the middle of paying off our house right now.  The only reason I knew paying off a mortgage was possible is because of how we got rid of my student loans.

It’s crazy to think of how much of a difference two years makes.  Two years ago, we were beginning our journey and had seven puppies to raise!  Now, we have no student loans, half a paid for house, and 200 pounds of crazy dogs to take care of.

dog picture outtakes

It’s crazy to think of where you could be two years from now.  Do you want to get rid of some debt?  Do you want to switch jobs?  Do you want two huge dogs?  Well, in two years you could have anything!

Where do you want to be two years from now?

When Your Vacation Gets Fishy

When I made my 2013 Bucket List I never expected to spend six hours on a tiny fishing boat…in pouring down rain…with a man named Clyde.  The places a bucket list will take you!  Next, I’ll end up in a shack… rubbing lotion on a cat’s face…with a spoon.  Can you tell I’m writing late at night?

One of my challenges was do something really nice for Mr. We’ve Had Them Since They Were Tiny.  I’d thrown around a couple ideas, but I couldn’t get anything to stick.  The bucket list alarm finally went “ding, ding, ding” when I asked him what he wanted for his birthday and he said, “deep sea fishing.”  We were headed to the beach in a few weeks with some of our favorite people, so I knew we would be able to get it done.

Until it started storming, and we couldn’t go deep sea fishing.  So, we settled for Clyde’s Inshore Fishing.  Clyde told us to meet him at the marina, and I was pretty excited when we got there.  We were surrounded by huge boats with TVs inside.  ‘Ahhhh!’ I thought, ‘This will be perfect!  I can snuggle up with some trashy TV while he snuggles up with some slimy fish.  I’m so good at doing nice things for him!  Wife of the century.’IMG_3830

My dreams were crushed when, we walked past all the big boats.  Then, we walked past all the medium-sized boats.  Then, we walked up to the tiniest boat in the marina.  “Get in,” Clyde said.   Clyde was grumpy.  And he was bossy.  So of course, I asked him LOTS of questions.  He loved me…when he wasn’t snarling at me, which was never.  Between snarls, I managed to get him to tell us his best life advice.

1.  Don’t hook the captain.

Clyde didn’t want to get hooked for some reason.  It was his number one rule.

2.  Don’t throw bait overboard for fun.

…or you have to pay $10 per shrimp.  I would have totally freed those shrimp if it wasn’t so expensive.

3.  Enjoy the Fight.

When I was trying to reel a fish in, he kept saying, “enjoy the fight.”  Did he think I wasn’t enjoying it?  I clearly was.

4.  Throw back the little ones.

I guess Clyde likes to follow laws because he wouldn’t let us keep the little fish.  Or, maybe he didn’t want to clean them.  Or, maybe he liked tossing fish in front of us–trying to make us throw some bait overboard (see #2).

I made you a video of a couple of our catches rejections. 

Even though I was disappointed about the size of Clyde’s boat, I really did have a good time.  I even caught a fish!  It’s a Spanish Mackerel.  I made a mockery of that mackerel.  I’m naming his Mr. Selena Gomez.  (it’s late…)

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Here’s a prom pic from our trip! IMG_3820

 

This is my FAVORITE picture of our trip.  Best photo bomb ever.  Also, thanks to this cute couple who put up with us all week!

fishing pic

Hope you’ve had a great summer!  Are you ready for fall yet?