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New Year Reflections On 2009

2 Jan

1. What did you do in 2009 that you’d never done before?
Started a blog!

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Yes – I kept mine last year! Last year’s resolution had to do with family and I definitely kept it.  I love making resolutions (AKA goals) because personal development makes me happy.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yes, a very close friend gave birth.  It was a wonderful blessing!

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Unfortunately, I experienced 2 deaths this year.  They were hard but make you appreciate your life that much more.

5. What countries did you visit?
Does Las Vegas count as a country? 😉

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?
The letters “CPA” behind my name.  Carrie, CPA.  Catchy, huh?  I’d also like to have a life, which I did not have much of during 2009 due to the aforementioned.

7. What dates from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
May 12, 2009.  The day I took my first CPA test and quite possibly one of the most stressful days of my life.

February 13, 2009.  The day I wrote my first post.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Passing two of the tests for the CPA exam and getting my first freelance writing gig!

9. What was your biggest failure?
Not passing more CPA tests.  I have learned that I am not a quick studier.  My mind wanders.  It takes me time to absorb material.  However, I suppose that with every failure, you learn something about yourself.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Yep, unfortunately.  Nothing major, but still troubling.  I also had my first bout with insomnia back in April.  Horrible!  Luckily, sleep and I – we’re back together and have never been happier.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
A trip to Vegas!

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Everyone.  Pass. 🙂

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Lindsay Lohan.  I don’t know why, but her life irritates me to no end.  I want to kidnap her, shove her on a plane, fly her to a different country, get her a desk job, and never allow her back in Hollywood ever again. 

14. Where did most of your money go?
Into my savings and retirement accounts!  Outside of that, I spent some money on the CPA exam and study materials, Vegas, and some health stuff.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Moving in with Lloyd, passing the first two parts of the CPA exam, and summer.  I love summer with an undying passion and it makes me so happy.  I loathe winter and would be totally content if the temperature never dropped below 50 degrees ever again.

16. What song will always remind you of 2009?
Anything Taylor Swift!  That girl was everywhere this year!

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? Happier!
b) thinner or fatter? about the same.
c) richer or poorer? Richer, definitely.  This time last year, I had only $1,000 in the bank.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Spent more time with friends and family.  After the CPA, after the CPA.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Let my mind wander less… (see #9)

20. How did you spend Christmas?
With my family and by eating way too many sweets.

21. Did you fall in love in 2009?
Everyday more and more. 😉

22. What was your favorite TV program?
Mad Men!  Best show eva!

23. Do you hate dislike anyone now that you didn’t hate dislike this time last year?
The occasional co-worker gets to me, but nothing serious.  Oh, and Jon Gosselin.

24. What was the best book you read?
I’ll never tell for fear of backlash on my blog. 😉

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Lloyd’s iTunes collection.  Although he is not hip to the Top 40 stuff, he has amazing taste in music in all other areas.  He is my personal DJ.

26. What did you want and get?
A new computer!

27. What did you want and not get?
A CPA license.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?
I really liked Public Enemies and He’s Just Not That Into You.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I’m veinte-seis and I celebrated with a close group of friends.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
I sound like a broken record: a CPA license.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?

32. What kept you sane?
The gym (even though I’m becoming ever more short-tempered with the people at said gym…my home gym can’t get here soon enough), coffee, Lloyd, dogs (have I mentioned my infatuation with dogs?  I love them and they are the sweetest creatures on the planet), and my BFF (who I can talk to about anything from completely inappropriate health issues to our obsession with Taylor Lautner’s abs).

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Don Draper.  Yep.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
The bailout and health care.

35. Who did you miss?
My family dog.

36. Who was the best new person you met?
All of you bloggers!

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009.
Never take good health for granted.  It is not unlimited.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
“I’m noddin’ my head like yeah, movin’ my hips like yeah” ?? 😉

Earn Free Cash Using SWAGBUCKS (Plus A Referral Code!)

17 Dec

If you guys aren’t using swagbucks, now is the time to start! is a search engine powered by Google that allows you to search the web the way you normally would, but you earn “swagbucks” that get you free prizes (including cash and gift cards!) in the process.

I’m also very excited to offer ALL Carrie…On The Cheap readers a temporary Swagbucks referral code worth 5 swagbucks!

To get started, use the following link to sign up at Swagbucks.  Normally, you would get 3 swagbucks credited to your account to start, but with my referral code, your account will be credited with FIVE swagbucks.

Sign up for HERE!

When you sign up, be sure to enter referral code “carriecheap” in the Swag Code box to earn your 5 bonus swagbucks!  (The referral code is case-sensitive and good only through December 24, 2009.)

I’ve been using Swagbucks for only a couple months to search the interwebs, and I’ve already earned about $50 in cash or gift cards.  It’s super easy and really fun!  They also offer fun “swag codes” from time to time as freebies that you enter on their homepage for extra swagbucks.

Be sure and send your referral link (something you’ll get when you sign up) to all your friends – you’ll get the same swagbucks they receive when they search, too!

Sign up for HERE!

So, what are you waiting for?!  Head over to swagbucks and start earning some free prizes!

Search & Win

Always, Sometimes, Never

27 Jul

I always…

  • work out.  It’s like my happy pill, seriously.
  • clean my apartment.  If it’s cluttered, I’m pissy.  Weird?  Yes.
  • pay off my credit card.  I haven’t paid interest in many years.
  • pack my lunch.  Health and savings – what could be better?
  • speed when I’m driving.  I really need to stop.
  • have a drink on the weekends.
  • daydream about the future.  I find it hard to live in the moment.

I sometimes…

  • use the telephone.  I’m more of an e-mail kinda gal.
  • don’t tip at Starbucks.  So shoot me.
  • read full blog posts.  I admit – I’m a skimmer.
  • go on shopping sprees at Target.  I love that place.
  • want to reach in the TV and slap the dumb right out of Lindsay Lohan.  Come on!

I never…

  • spend too much on clothes.
  • enjoy cold weather.  It sucks.
  • want to be old and frumpy.  Here’s to hot moms and cougars!
  • will be in debt ever again (exception: mortgage).
  • want to live with less.  I want to live with more while spending less.
  • do things to please others.  I do things to please myself.

My Ode To Summer: The Best Money-Saving Tool

14 Jun

Dear Summer,

In my youth, you showed me that catching fireflies in a mason jar could be more fun than any activity I could ever pay for.

My friends and I relished in your long days and late nights and played Red Rover so many times that we forgot about those board games that Mom bought for us.

When I have been down, your sun’s rays have lifted me up.  S.A.D.?  Not with you.

When I was chilly, you warmed me.  When I was hot, you warmed me even more – a little too much, actually.  But I knew that this was just a sign of your relentless quest to keep me happy.

You lit my home with your natural light well into the evening without any increase to my power bill.

When my immune system was weak, you gave me a dose of Vitamin D – on the house.

When my skin was ghostly pale, you helped her glow at no charge.  The Tannery never showed me such hospitality.

When my hair was dull from the winter gloom, you brightened it without my asking.  And I didn’t even have to make awkward conversation with you like I do my real hairstylist.

You did not ask that I cover myself in head-to-toe wool.  No, you only asked that I wear just a quarter of that clothing.  High-priced, thick, warm clothing is not your style.  You prefer the lesser expensive, but more popular, light and airy camisoles, flowing skirts, and cut-off jean shorts.

When I wanted to bike, run, and walk, you provided me the guiding sunlight that I needed – with no more charge than the physical tax on my leg muscles.

When I wanted berries, grapes, and melons, you produced them at a much cheaper price than winter ever did.  Sure, apples are out of season… But, let’s be honest, apples are boring and berries are like blondes – they have more fun.

When my friend bar-be-qued me a well-done-100%-Angus-beef-burger, he did not expect a tip.  For he knew that I would return the favor at some point during your awesome 4-month reign, Summer.

The cost of that pack of hot dogs that I contributed to the BBQ, paled in comparison to my bar tabs during the winter months.

If I had my choice, you would be 12 months long instead of a measly four!

So, this is my ode to you, oh dear summer, the best money-saving tool I ever did know.

Your #1 Fan,


Happy Hour At Granfalloon Did Not Win Me Over

11 Mar

Granfallon Bar and Grill Kansas City Country Club Plaza I had yet another work happy hour at the Country Club Plaza last night.  I think I’ve mentioned the Plaza (pronounced “Plahhh-zahh”) in some earlier posts.  It’s a more prestigious area in Kansas City, yet somehow boasts the cheapest happy hours of all.  Tomfooleries happy hour is one of my favs.

Last night, we picked the popular Granfalloon Bar & Grill for the get together (AKA get tipsy and loudly nickname the oddballs in our office.  “Birdwoman” and “Jersey” were a product of last night’s session.).

For starters, our waitress was horrible.  She did not smile once.  Now, I’ve never been a waitress, but I’m pretty sure smiling or acting somewhat friendly are in the job description.

Secondly, the food “special” was a select few of the appetizers for $5.00.  Yes, you read that right.  Note to Granfallon:  That’s a horrible special.

It wasn’t even the full appetizer menu.  The first two appetizers I tried to order weren’t even on the “special”.  I finally decided on “Gator Tators” which is code name for potatoes with their insides scooped out and replaced with melted cheese.  Served with a side of Sour Cream. Continue reading