Monday, August 23, 2010

Return to Duke Gardens

 Yesterday, George and I had the pleasure of meeting Christina from Arizona, and her boyfriend, John! Christina's in the area on business, and came out a couple of days early. Christina and I know each other from our running blogs, so it was fun to meet her in person! After brunch at Gugelhupf, we drove around Duke and landed at Duke Gardens, where the picture on the left was taken. From left to right, it's Christina, George, and John.

Another picture in the Gardens. Check out the dragonfly hovering over the flower on the far left!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Cleaning for Company

Tomorrow, my niece arrives in town for a pre-orientation program that begins Monday morning, as she begins her career as a Duke student. She'll be staying with us tomorrow night, so G. and I have been sorta busy cleaning! It's different cleaning for overnight than it is for our church Covenant Group, which happens to be meeting here Monday evening! There's a different level of cleaning in general, plus, it's the first time G. and I have had overnight company! (We don't have a guest room, so my niece will be camping out, sort of.) And then, there's the fact that it's my niece! I find myself wanting to think her Aunt Lesley is neat, clean, and organized. In reality, she's known me all her life, so her impressions of me are already formed, with tweaks optional. Still...

It's funny what I'm cleaning! I'm currently taking a break from cleaning the cabinets underneath my sink! Really, is she going to look under there?! But ya know, it's been something I've been meaning to do for a long time. Nice to be getting it done.

My niece really is a neat kid, and I can't wait to see her and have her spend the night! In the big scheme of things, I can't wait to catch up with her, one-on-one. Usually, the whole family is around for that, which is great and all, but it's going to be cool to have her to myself for a night, and to drop her off Monday morning! Next weekend, the rest of the family will be here to catch up together and help her move into her dorm. What an exciting time!

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

10 on Tuesday-10 Favorite iTouch Apps

I don't have an iPhone, but I really enjoy my iTouch! Here's a list of 10 favorite iTouch apps I have (in no particular order):

1) Facebook
2) Scrabble
3) TapFish
4) Paper Toss
5) FourSquare
6) DukeMobile
7) SmartVocab (GRE)
8) Google
9) Goodreads
10) Words with Friends

Ask me again tomorrow, and I may have some others on my list, but for today, this is my Top 10 list.

It's a Virtual Piggy Bank

A few weeks ago, I happened upon the website SmartyPig, and decided to check it out. It's a website devoted to helping people set up savings goals, but with a real world way to put those goals into action.  The website has teamed up with Compass Bank to created online savings accounts for customers through SmartyPig, based on individual savings goals (not just amounts, but deadlines too). I'm pretty charmed by this concept, as well as the savings interest rate of 2.15% APY.

I've ended up setting up and tweaking several savings goals using SmartyPig, and it's helped me to be more realistic about my goals. Another plus is that it's helped me to alter my spending habits as well, which is not a bad thing! I've never been good at creating and sticking to a budget, much like trying stick to a diet by keeping a food diary. Anything that feels like too much trouble for an extended period isn't going to have staying power. So far, this feels like a fun (and consolidated) way of saving for different things in my financial life.

I'm curious, is anyone else out in blogging land using SmartyPig? If so, what do you think about it?