Update on life: house, stuff and books

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If you’ve been following me for sometime–you know I like to add these little blurbs in on the blog about me. I don’t like to talk about myself much but I like to share pieces of my life with all of you to let you know that there is a person behind the computer… not some automated deal machine. ;)

I mentioned several weeks ago that our house hunt has been put on hold due to identify theft/tax fraud. Long story short, we had a house.. but found out right before closing that the loan could not be funded due to the fact that our 2013 tax transcripts were not available (who know there was such a thing?!) Tax transcripts are basically a piece of paper from the IRS clarifying that you filed your taxes however, it is the *official* taxes with finalized numbers of your income and such.

The reason the IRS had not provided a transcript was due to the fact that there were duplicate returns under my husbands social security number. Which means, someone had filed taxes under his name electronically BEFORE we could file our taxes. Anyway.. So our house hunt came to a complete stop. The good news is, the IRS has cleared the identity theft and allowed us to file our taxes… now, we are just waiting on a transcript.

The best part about this experience is that I’ve learned way more than I could ever want to know about taxes, home loans and mortgages. :D

Lately, I’ve been reading several great money books– In general, they are books about managing your money, saving money and just being plain BETTER with your money.

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Right now, I am reading: Your Money or Your Life: 9 Steps to Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence It really is a great book to open your eyes about where your money is going and what you should be doing with your money to achieve Financial independence.

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Summer break has been fun filled for my boys. We took them to Legoland for the first time last month– they were thrilled! I was also excited that they all could go on the same rides. Our 4 year-old was happy to be able to go on the rides with his big brothers. Unlike Disneyland where we can only go on rides that he is tall enough to go on.

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My husband and I really enjoy growing our own veggies– We had control over our tomato plants for about a month– but now they are growing EVERYwhere but we are excited to have plenty of tomatoes for the summer. Are you successfully growing anything this summer? We only have tomatoes at this point. We did have romaine and onions but they have since been eaten ;)

I also want you to know that I am so grateful to have you all in my life. I know you have a lot of wonderful blogs to choose from when it comes to deals and such. Southern Cali Saver wouldn’t be what it is today if it weren’t for all of you!


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It won’t always be perfect….

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Its hard to stay ahead in life. The last two weeks have been a crazy, financial fiasco for my family.  I thought this blog post would be appreciated here on Southern Cali Saver because it isn’t just about coupons and deals. Its about stretching your budget and being smart about your hard-earned money.

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Home buying journey — why do they make it look so great on HGTV?

We have dove head first into the housing market recently.. I swear, HGTV is hazardous to your health– because it isn’t as great as they make it seem on TV.  ;) house hunting has proven to make me a  crazy, almost psycho wife and mother– and is probably not good for my sanity either. Any tips?? I’d love to hear yours. :) 

Over the last couple of years we have been saving every penny that we could for a down payment. We’ve successfully paid down our student loan debt to less than $25,000 (see just how broke we were ) and I can thank it all to coupons and just being smarter about our money.

Great story, right? Just when you are at the point where life is good and you think you’ve caught up… life takes you in another direction. 

Our Volkswagon. Apparently, Volkswagons’ are very expensive to fix. (how come no one told my 22 year-old self that this car was expensive to fix?!) Our Jetta– 2006 with only 90,000 miles took a turn for the worse. I couldn’t tell you exactly what happen with it but it needed to be fixed ASAP.

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Took it to the dealership… and BAM. 6 days later there goes part of our emergency fund.

All this time, I was feeling like I had achieved a “calm” period in our finances. We got to “that” point where everything seems to feel like its going your way……

To top it off.. we find out the same day that our taxes can not be filed electronically because someone filed taxes under my husbands social security number. um……… shoot me now.  Fraud? an error? No clue. another set back that we need to watch closely.. especially since we are trying to purchase a home.

Besides all the financial drama… I’m thinking to myself: We are healthy. We are happy. While its frustrating to get over the financial issues– you have to realize that it won’t always be perfect.  You won’t always be in that “comfortable” situation. I also realize how lucky I am to have discovered the power behind couponing and saving money in general. I honestly don’t think I would be where I am today in life if it weren’t for me willingness to grasp the whole couponing concept.

Why am I sharing all of this information about myself? Maybe because I felt the stress and realized that someone else may be going through the same situation as me.. or someone may have reached that point where they just don’t feel like they will ever get ahead… or maybe I just needed to vent?! :)

Whatever it is.. keep your head high.. it will pass. :)


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Yes, I drink while I blog (Occasionally)

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I have over 1,434 photos in my phone as of right now. I can honestly say that 80% of them are photos of deals that I find at the store– I don’t use my camera phone for candids of my family very often. However, I do have some.. and can I tell you just how much I love my little family?  :)

Today I’m just checking in with ya. Keeping it real  in between  all the madness of Black Friday and Cyber monday   Week. :) I thought it would be fun to let you take a peek into what photos (besides the deal ones) I have in my phone right now….

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THIS is my favorite Pinot Noir. (Saintsbury Pinot Noir) Yes, I admit to blogging and drinking once in a while. Not to mention, this is a great wine. Something I enjoy with a little of my money saved from couponing. :)

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Our Puppy, Bear. He’s not really a puppy anymore.. but more like a 75 pound horse that sleeps on the floor (in my way) while I’m cooking.

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… we recently lost family member due to said dog mentioned above. (this was my little guys favorite  :( )

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.. took a trip to the Hoover Dam. okay, not really.. We also have a home in Las Vegas and just recently visited the Hoover Dam. It only took us 3 years to do. :p

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George and I recently celebrated 7 years of marriage and visited one of our favorite restaurants in La Jolla. George’s at the Cove. (if you ever get a chance– you MUST go!)

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Thanksgiving with family was amazing. I always love coming together and talking about our lives. Its never a dull moment with them. :)

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and when I’m not blogging.. I’m spending as much time as I can with these guys. Just a reminder that I am the person behind the blog. While, you may not see me often. I am here :)

 

 


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Changes, Summer and … Why I over think.

(sailing in Long Beach)

I love to add these little posts that aren’t deal related.. just to throw you all for a loop. ;) Hopefully you don’t mind…

Summer is winding down.. I’m a little sad  because my middle child starts kinder but I am SO excited for the new adventures he will have in elementary school. We’ve enjoyed every bit of summer over here. We did a lot of pool-going and celebrated many fun times with our families.

This was a great summer for me and my family.. I was blessed with so many wonderful opportunities.

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This summer I went to Cincinnati and hung out with a bunch of awesome bloggers– we attended sessions to help us make our blogs better for you! It was very eye-opening and mind boggling at once– Even though I’ve been blogging for over three years now, it seems I’ve only touched the brink of what there is to know about this profession.

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(Ohio River View from our hotel)

I also got to hang out with my best blogging friend, Katie. :)

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George and I were able to take a small get-away to Palm Springs–It was 117 degrees everyday but it was nice to spend time with each other.. not something we do often. We spent part of our day at top of Mt. San Jacinto (we took the Palm Springs Aerial Tram–have you done that?? SO fun!)

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(Palm Springs)

 

If you’ve noticed, there are some changes here to SCS.. A lot of you have asked for more detailed grocery match ups and I hope that I have accomplished that for you.

I know it takes some adjusting but I hope you all have an open mind. I’ve found that this new program is the only way I will be able to meet everyone’s needs! Thankfully, it seems a lot of you love the new format.. I HOPE so at least. Or am I over thinking it?? :) By the way, I over think everything related to this blog. Because I’m a people pleaser.. and I want everyone to visit and find it useful.

I love summer! There are so many things to be excited about.. what is your favorite part about summer? 

 


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10 Things about Me.

 

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Today, I want to be different. I post deals everyday and sometimes I forget that I need to reassure people that I am a PERSON.. :) Besides, its really fun to get to know people. So, I’m going to tell you a couple of things about myself.

1. I am a mom to three boys (ages 9,5 and 3)
2. All of my boys were born with a 4 in their birthday. (4, 14th and 14th)
3. I am a California native.
4. I have a Psychology degree and went to law school for 1.5 years
5. I can’t stand dirty bathrooms
6. I recently became addicted to our new Shark Vacuum
7. I love the sun
8. I am terrible at math.
9. My favorite color is purple
10. I LOVE washing clothes.. but hate folding them :)

I started couponing about 5 years ago. I did it because I was ready to be that stay at home mom that I always dreamed to be. After working at a job that I hated and missing many fun times with my children, I quit my job and became a full-time couponer!  couponing has allowed me to continue staying home and help stretch my husbands income. and I tell people that I would do it even if I won the lotto one day… (its True!)

 


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$5/2 Clairol Coupon = My Take

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Updated as of 6:15 PM (New comment from Clairol on their FB page above)

This $5/2 Clairol coupon in todays P&G has got a lot of people talking. The question is.. can you use it on any Clairol product? I was really just unsure in the beginning but despite the very terrible verbiage on this coupon I decided to ask on the Facebook Page:

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The person who wrote this response–obviously doesn’t know how coupons are reimbursed.. Even though she states that you can “try” you know, as a couponer you cant just “try” a coupon on a product and if it works then it is ok. I am 100% sure that the store will not reimbursed for this coupon if used on a Herbal Essence product. I WILL NOT promote this coupon this way. Just want to make sure everyone knows that. :) I think the first line is enough for me to know that Hair Color is the only way to go.

.. of course, unless P&G releases a statement that it is allowed and that the stores will be reimbursed for this coupon when used on HE products.

Don’t forget that just because a coupon “scans” or doesn’t beep–doesn’t make it right.

PS: I’m feeling “delete happy” today–so please, state your opinion without being disrespectful.

 


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Chef Wanted with Anne Burrell: Cincinnati OR So Cal??

 

I mentioned several weeks ago that my husband was going to be on the Chef Wanted with Anne Burrell. Tomorrow (3/28) will be the premiere of his show. If you haven’t watched the previous shows–The idea behind Chef Wanted to help popular restaurants find a new Executive Chef. Anne Burrell finds candidates and puts them through the “toughest interview” of their life.

Lets Rewind….

Six months ago my husband George was looking for something new. As a chef you must constantly grow– it isn’t abnormal for a chef to spend a year or two at one place and move onto the next. While he was “looking” he wasn’t expecting to have the Food Network look at his resume.

Long story short… It has been a LONG 4 months that I’ve wanted to talk about this. Now that the show will be airing tomorrow I can finally tell you all that its possible that we COULD be moving to Cincinnati!

I am so proud of my husband and would love your support in cheering him on! Hope you will all tune in tomorrow at 10pm EST on the Food Network.! 


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