Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas is coming!

Today is Sunday, Dec 20, and for the first time that I can remember, all of my shopping is done! As a matter of fact, it's been done for almost two weeks. It's definitely nice not to have to "panic shop". I guarantee at least ONE person reading this blog will spend most of the day on Christmas eve fighting mall traffic trying to get those last minute gifts.

Let me give a word of advice - SHOP ONLINE.

Some things that have been contributing to my life lately:

--This is a very cool website where you can purchase gift certificates to restaurants at a fraction of the cost. Example: a $50 gift card to the Capital Grille will cost you $20. The site has offers for HUNDREDS of restaurants in the DC area, and thousands of others nationwide.
--Jen and I discovered this one about six months ago. You sign up for the free daily emails, and you get one email a day with that day's offer. We recently bought a $20 admission tickets to the Museum of Crime and Punishment for $10, and they offer everything from cupcakes to spa treatments. I HIGHLY recommend this one, as well as it's counterpart, LivingSocial.
--This is a very inspiring site about a guy who started with one red paperclip (hence the clever name), and traded up, 14 times, for a 2 story house. Capitalism at it's finest.
--Absolutely brilliant money advice guy. If you want real-world advice and common sense anecdotes on how to get out of debt, stay that way, and build wealth, you must read this book. Before we started, we were on the path to paying off our debt in 7 years. Now it will be done in two, including cars and student loans. No get-rich-quick scheme, no punchline, just a straight up plan.
--We just spent two days in the Times Square area. It was an absolute blast! The weather was freezing cold, and we were stuck carrying our bags around the whole second day, but it was worth it. We finally got to the NHL store, (with Stanley Cup shaped Christmas tree, complete with lights), shopped on 5th Avenue (the Tiffany store alone is 6 stories. Nice.), ate pizza in Little Italy, saw the Naked Cowboy, watched 2 people play the BIG piano at F.A.O. Schwarz, see the Christmas Spectacular show at Radio City Music Hall, and see the HUGE tree at Rockefeller Center. Not bad for only being in the city for 24 hours. Thanks to LivingSocial and Priceline, we were able to do this whole trip for around $250, including theater tickets.

As I was writing this I learned an important culinary lesson. Hershey bars and kisses can be melted down for whatever purpose you need. However, this cannot be done in the microwave.

After winning last night in Edmonton, the Washington Capitals reached the 50 point mark at the earliest point of the season in franchise history.

I just finished watching Dexter Season 4. Still bitter that my "friends" on Facebook couldn't keep the final episode twist a secret, so I went into it knowing what happened. Not cool.

That's it for now, thanks for reading!

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