Feb 24, 2010

Like, Love and Don't Like

This week, I like Turbo Tax. As a young man in the twilight of my professional career, I originally looked to Turbo Tax to help me file my meager taxes. Scared and unsure, Turbo Tax gently guided me through an unfamiliar routine. I was so pleased with the process that I stuck with this service. Over the years, my tax preparation has grown in complication but all obstacles were no match for Turbo Tax. This week, Julie and I filed our taxes jointly for the first time as man and wife. As she is known to do, Julie brought lots to the table. But this special time was a piece of cake thanks to my friend, Turbo Tax. (All apologies to my accounting friends. Jokes on me I guess – Turbo Tax ain’t free!)

This week, I love tinkering on cars. I’m not a certified mechanic and I’m definitely no gear head. But I like saving money. So when a mechanic recently told me that I would have to spend upwards of $300 to replace an oxygen sensor in my truck, my DIY intuition kicked in. A quick search on the Internet revealed that there’s no getting around a pricey part but I did find instructions on how to replace said part and bypass lots of labor costs. I’ve applied this method to other quick-fix areas on my truck and Julie’s vehicle and feel confident in my abilities. Best of all – with the money I save on labor, I’ll be able to buy Julie a nice present. THUMBS UP!

This week, I don’t like the winter Olympics. I have watched zero (0) seconds of Olympic coverage. My lack of interest probably stems from the fact that I was cut from the boys figure skating team in high school. And didn’t we just have all of these events a month ago? Except then they were called The X Games?

Feb 19, 2010

Sofa Update

In addition to making pizza together on Valentines Day...Nick also helped me work on the sofa! We were able to get a good start on removing the old fabric.

I sure am lucky to have a husband who is willing to help me with all of my many projects!

Nothing says "I love you" quite like PIZZA

So this year Nick and I decided to have a low key Valentines Day at home. Last year we made a big deal and with flowers, chocolate, and dinner at a nice restaurant....so this year we opted to spend time together and have dinner at home. Nick offered up the homemade pizza idea so I ran with it.

For several weeks now I have been hearing about this pizza dough that Publix sells in their bakery department so I figured this was the perfect time to try it.

the dough...

roll it out

place on pan

top with pizza sauce and cheese

prepare toppings

add toppings (and a little more cheese)

pop it in the oven


and enjoy!

If you haven't tried this pizza dough I highly recommend it! Yum.

Feb 18, 2010

Like, Love and Don't Like

This week, I like tote bags. At the risk of being labeled a “tree hugger”, Julie has been taking a few of those reusable tote bags with her to the grocery store lately. These tote bags may help contribute to Mother Earth’s health but that’s not why I like them. I like them because there seems to be some amendment to the Bagboy’s Code that says, “Cram as much as you possibly can into a tote bag.” This is opposite of the methodology used for plastic bags. So now that Julie is using tote bags, we only have to make one trip to the car when unloading groceries (as opposed to 17 trips when using plastic bags).

This week, I love Ebay. Several weeks ago, Julie sold my PlayStation 2 on Ebay (miss you buddy!!). I was able to look past the pain caused by this separation and eventually see Ebay as a streamlined way of getting rid of stuff you no longer want. Julie was a trooper and handled most of the details but from what I gathered, it seems like an easy process. In an attempt to dump some old golf clubs, Julie is now trying to sell my set of irons that I no longer use. I was impressed by the amount Julie got for the PS2 and so far she’s getting a lot of attention with the irons.

This week, I don’t like cold weather. This snow business is getting old. By my count, it has snowed 3 times in the Bammerham area since January of 2008 – twice since the beginning of this year. This last round was the “heaviest” by far but the fact that I did not even take the first picture of this recent snow should give you an idea of how fed up I am. Plus, it is just downright cold! Recent lows have been below freezing and the days haven’t been much warmer. I know…I shouldn’t be complaining. I couldn’t imagine what this poor guy was going through when this video was taken a few weeks ago in West Virginia. I’m ready for some warmer weather and I’m not just saying that for golf’s sake!!

Feb 11, 2010

Like, Love and Don't Like

This week, I like college basketball. Now that college football has officially concluded its recruiting season, the Super Bowl has passed and the golf season hasn’t heated up yet, college basketball has my main attention right now. I fancy myself a fan of Duke University’s men’s basketball team and have for a long time. This appreciation was instigated by my mother’s family in North Carolina. My cousin Margie has sent me an autographed team poster every year for over a decade now. I have watched several Duke games this year and thoroughly enjoyed their 10 point win over UNC last night. My dispersal of affection for sports teams is pretty weird. Here’s a breakdown:

College Football: Auburn University
College Basketball: Duke University (men’s)
Major League Baseball: Chicago Cubs
National Football League: Undeclared
National Basketball Association: Undeclared
National Hockey League: what???

When it comes to TEAM sports, my loyalty is to those squads with brief histories of success but not much hardware to show for it. But to me, that heartbreak keeps me going with higher hopes for the next year!

This week, I love fast weeks and slow weekends. I've been pretty busy at work lately and the weeks have been flying by. My weekends have not show the same pace due to the cold weather so I have gotten to enjoy some down time. I think Julie has some plans to help fill up my weekends though.

This week, I don’t like taxes. Specifically, I don’t like the tax applied to the renewal fee for my car tag. You know the tiny little sticker that indicates that your car tag is registered for the current year? I have to renew that sticker each February (Julie does too, now). The normal fee for this sticker is pretty staggering on its own but you can imagine the delight I had in realizing that the tax for this fee is nearly TWICE THE RENEWAL FEE! I Tweeted my original frustration with this fact. Now I want to write a letter or go knock on someone’s door. But I don’t know where to start. What’s worse…the incredible tax or not knowing who to yell at about the tax? Here’s another doozey: the tax on my fee is nearly $30 higher than the tax on Julie’s fee. What’s up with that?!?! I only assume this is because of the “Assessed Value” of my vehicle is listed on my reminder as a higher amount than the “Assessed Value” of Julie’s car. BUT WHO SET THAT VALUE? HAS ANYONE EVER INSPECTED MY CAR? NOOOooooo! FINAL doozey about all of this – I went into the nearby license office to attempt to get the address on my driver’s license changed. I was the only customer in this massive office. I counted 8 workers – more could have been in the back – who were all sitting down and watching CNN on the lobby TV. Maybe this blatant example of overstaffing explains why this tax is so high!

Please – if you can help me direct my frustration to the appropriate official, please email me: nbaggett@hotmail.com. I don’t know if my issue is with the state or the county. Thank you for your consideration!

Feb 8, 2010

Sofa Update

Since the weather was so nasty this weekend I was able to make a little more progress on the sofa. As you can see all the cushions are done! Nick has offered to help me with the rest so hopefully with two of us working on it the process will go quickly.

I will post more pictures soon.

Feb 6, 2010

Dress for Isabella

As Nick often reminds me...I have way to many hobbies. Between smocking, calligraphy, upholstery, couponing, not to mention a full time job I sometimes (oftentimes) get in over my head. However I had to smock something for Isabella (Whitney's baby that is due in early April).

This is the dress that I smocked for her and gave to Whitney at the shower.

For all of you fellow smockers...I used the Chery Williams "Baby Bishop" Pattern and the Creative Keepsakes "Cynthia" plate.
I cannot wait to see her in it!

Baby Time

Well I have officially graduated from bridal showers to baby showers! No I am not pregnant...it just so happens that most of my friends are! Last weekend we had a baby shower for one of my very best friends, Whitney. Whitney's mom and sisters did all of the work, and I simply provided our house for the event!

We started off the morning with brunch at Another Broken Egg in Mt. Brook Village. Yum!

After brunch we loaded up and headed to my house...

where we ate cake, played games, and opened presents!

We had a great time, and it was wonderful to share in the celebration of this new little girl!!!

Feb 4, 2010

Like, Love and Don't Like


This week, I like Super Bowl commercials. I'm really looking forward to Sunday's game - and the commercials. I've always been interested in the ads. The amounts spent on these spots are growing higher every year. I think that's why we all become advertising experts during the game. If your super-high budget is public knowledge, folks are going to be gunning for you and looking to tear down your artistic creativity. Having said that, let me now say that no ads from recent years stick out to me. Ads these days have all become a blend of expensive colors and famous faces. For my money, give me the Bud Bowl!!!

This week, I don't like the film, Conan the Barbarian. Feeling that my manhood needed a B 12 shot, I watched this movie this week instantly via Netflix. Many people are quick to say that this movie gave Arnold Schwarzenegger his big break. I respond to that claim with this simple question: "Who thought giving this guy more roles based on this performance was a good idea?!?!"

Holy cow this movie is bad. This movie is looooong. This movie is weird. This movie was co-written by Oliver Stone. This movie co-stars James Earl Jones in a bad wig. Governor Schwarzenegger's line are not great in length due to his broken English but I guess sometimes, all that matters is how well you wield a sword in nothing but a loincloth. I shouldn't be too hypocritical - that's pretty much how I won Julie's heart.

This week, I love that my mom has retired. She's put in a lot of hard work and she is very deserving of some free time to kick up her feet. My mom thinks the Internet is the mesh lining in my dad's swimming trunks, so there's no way she'll ever see this blog. But I'm proud of my mom and happy for her!

Feb 2, 2010


If you search the Internet and like to earn prizes then I have just the thing for you! I was recently introduced to Swag Bucks which is a search engine (like Google and Ask) that allows you to earn SwagBucks which can be redeemed for a variety of gift cards, electronics, and much more.

All you do is create an account and use SwagBucks as your search engine each time you search the Internet...it's as easy as that! Occasionally you will run across Swag Codes which can also earn you Swag Bucks, but it is mainly done through Internet searches. They offer a toolbar download which makes it easier, but it can also be done through their website. Click the link below to get started!

Search & Win

For some additional tips on how to earn SwagBucks go to http://www.southernsavers.com/2010/01/swagbucks-tips-and-tricks/