Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A fabulous staycation

 X arrived Friday afternoon and we headed straight for Central Park before it started to get dark. I wish we could have wandered around the park all day but it was really hot and humid and we had places to go, people to see.
 After dinner with my college roommate (aka bestie), we hit up the Top of the Rock for a view of NYC at night. I had always gone during the day so this was a first for me as well.
 My camera is old. Like dates back to high school. So your iPhone pictures are better than mine. Don't be jealous.
 Since we are no longer dating, wearing black and brown together is totally acceptable. No need to match!
Saturday morning we saw The Hangover 2. If you go to the movies in NYC before noon, tickets are $6. The movie was alright but if you've seen the first one, you basically know what happens in the second one. It's the exact same movie. Funny nonetheless.
Then we headed downtown to see Ground Zero. It looked much different than the last time I had been down there. They had a really cool memorial preview room where they kept memorabilia until the actual memorial was ready. They made a Statue of Liberty out of pieces people had left at Ground Zero to honor those who died.

 This doesn't do it justice but this is the plan for 9/11 Memorial. You can read more about it here.
 Then we trudged through the heat to see the Brooklyn Bridge. We had great intentions of walking across it and getting pizza but I was starting to become a crab from the heat. That morning my phone said it would be a high of 67 and would likely be raining. I wore capris and ended up sweltering. Bummer. Thankfully X knows me at my worst all too well and put up with me just fine.
 I love how diverse the skyline is here.
 Saturday night we hit up Time Square to see Rock of Ages. If you're not huge on Broadway musicals but dig the Time Square scene, this is absolutely the event for you. It was basically an 80's sing along with plenty of alcohol involved, if you want it of course. X loved it.

 Sunday we explored a bit and headed back to the Top of the Rock for pictures during the day. It really is my favorite place on earth. Before we went up we found some other cool sites. The Today Show is filmed here.

 Those are all M&M's. Yum-o! And a very cool gift shop with memorabilia from all of NBC's shows.


 Sunday night X treated me to a dinner cruise! I had never done that before but I definitely recommend it! You get a great view of the city while the sun is setting, they have great food, you get to dress up, a fun band, and an open bar.

 We got a window seat so dinner came with great views!

 Filet minon, veggies and potatoes...yum!

 Ms. Liberty
 Probably the best part...dessert!
 This great cover band was a lot of fun! They had a dance floor and we boogied on down with other shipmates. They played "Love Train" and this little old lady wanted to start a "love train" conga line. Too funny.
 Our table.
 After ward we came across a bowling alley and thought it would be a great end to the weekend. X took a bowling class in college, but yet somehow...I WON! All 3 games! Who woulda thunk it!?

We had a great time and I'm so glad he finally got to see NYC after I talked about it for years. Anyone else want to come visit me? I love that I live in a place where staycations are so fun!

Case of the Mondays

For those who say "I wish I can just fast forward through Monday so the worst part of the week is over", you're kind of wrong. Just because we "fast forwarded" through Monday yesterday, today sure feels like one. Whatever the first day back to work after a break is will always feel like Monday, no matter if the calendar says Tuesday. If you can't follow what I mean, just know that I have a case of the Mondays.

After a really great long weekend (a post to come tonight with pictures, details etc), I checked my bank account and had about 30 panic attacks. I already knew I had spent too much this weekend and I was dreading that big time. But then I saw a charge for $75. I couldn't understand the description on my statement and I checked my spreadsheet to make sure I hadn't spent it anywhere. Eventually I calmed down when I realized it was just my monthly transfer to my savings account to avoid the $10 fee. Whew.

Then I saw that my gym was trying to charge me $40 for my monthly fee. No way, no how. They charged me $40 once that included a late fee for errors with my card when they were trying to charge my canceled card but that was supposed to be a one time gig. They were closed yesterday with the holiday so today I called back and fortunately she acknowledged that they over charged me and the money would be back in my account soon. Whew.

Then I went to go write my mom a check for my portion of the phone bill. It hit me that my account didn't reflect her cashing my last check and that's why all the numbers were off so much. AH HA!! I actually don't suck at math!! I suck at remembering expenses!! Big difference...kinda. Now I will give her cash from now on because I can't keep messing that up and accidentally think it's ok to spend that money.

Fighting fires all before 10am!

I have calmed down now so now I just need to job hunt and try to stretch $15 as far as I can for the next two weeks. Great, can't wait.

Friday, May 27, 2011

It's the freakin weekend baby...

...I'm about to have me some fun! -- Thank you R.Kelly from Freshman year of High School

Life has been good. Yesterday Lady Gaga's new CD was $.99 on Amazon. Yup, the whole thing. I meant to share this deal with you but ya know, I was working. In my head I created a whole post about how not only does Lady Gaga love the GLBT but also the broke by allowing us to afford it, even more reason to love her back. I do like to buy my music on iTunes because I think it reduces risk of virus and I'm not stealing. It is overpriced, yes but it's honest.

Anyway, after work I dragged (drug?) myself to the gym and had dinner with my bestie. One of the million things I love about her is that she is fair. Last week I treated to lunch and she remembered that and treated me to dinner without me mentioning a thing. I was able to continue my non-spending challenge so I basically made it all 5 days with my no spend challenge. Spending less than $5 in a 5 day span is pretty good, especially for this city.

Today we have a shorter work day and then I get to enjoy a very exciting stay-cation here in NYC. My very closest, bestest friend, also known as X (and yes, I do believe you can be friends with your X in certain situations), is on his way here as I type and we have a million New York activities planned. He has never been here so I can't wait to show him around my favorite city. I will be sure to post pictures of all the cool things we do because of course we're going to be touristy and have some great photo ops. Fortunately, money is not a big issue for X so we have the luxury to enjoy a little more than all the free things the city has to offer.

I also get to move a few things into my new apartment! Just a few more days before I'm officially a resident of NYC!

It is also payday for both jobs and the mailman just handed me a check to reimburse me from my expense report for Boston. 3 checks in one day makes Katie a happy camper.

Have a great long weekend everyone!! Is anyone going anywhere or doing anything fun and different?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Spending challenge day 3-I'm really really bad at math!!

Well folks, my spending challenge ended yesterday. I shelled out $1.25 in quarters from my piggy bank to get a bagel. I just couldn't have another apple and peanut butter yesterday. Luckily for me, I have started to adjust my stomach to eating less so I only ate half and saved the other half for this morning. It was almost as delicious as yesterday.

Also, on Tuesday night I updated my spreadsheet which is like a big electronic checkbook with a column for each fund item I have to put money towards. All of my purchases from the weekend had gone through and finally accounted for tips so I had to make sure everything added up. I double and triple checked that I had accounted for every penny I had spent and my spreadsheet said I had $40 less than the bank said.

I had $40 this whole week and I had no idea. I can't seem to figure out how I am so incredibly bad at math! 

I had taken some money that I would have used to pay my credit card to cover my expenses this past weekend. Now I don't have to do that and I still have $19. I could have gone to the grocery store for lunch foods, I could have grabbed a bagel guilt free, I could have put it into savings since I owe my savings account some money. I did end up buying a small iced coffee yesterday from Dunkin Donuts but I will save the rest. I did just fine without spending money so I'm trying to teach myself that just because I have the money, doesn't mean I need to spend it.

Anyway, besides a bagel and coffee, I didn't spend any money. Our department went out for lunch thanks to one of our clients who was in town. Yum and free!

Our client also brought us these delicious devils:
A nutritionist's worst nightmare!
I wish these weren't sitting at my desk taunting me. I'm only allowing myself to have a few a day because really there can't be anything good for you from eating them...besides pure joy of the sweet and salty combo.

Lunch and a few potato chips kept me satisfied through my workout and all the way home. And yes, I definitely did the ugly cry at the gym while watching the final Oprah show. Hate to see her go.

Some seriously ugly cries

Moving on...

As I walked in the door, my aunt texted me saying dinner would be ready soon. Music to my ears! It was even nice enough out to eat dinner on their porch and we enjoyed delicious baked ziti, fruit and veggies. Later that night my uncle won some major points by bagging up some ziti for my lunch today and then making popcorn for everyone.

Although I have spent money this week, I'm going to keep acting like the challenge is still going. I have 24 hours until I have more money in my account and there's nothing I really need to spend money on today so why not learn to live with what I have? I know I won't regret it.