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Archive for November, 2008

Inexpensive Dinner Party

November 26th, 2008 at 03:58 pm



I decided to have a small, impromptu pre-Thanksgiving dinner party last night for a few of my close friends and it was a great success. I'm a battling perfectionist and it's hard for me to have people over since I believe my house is never clean, organized, decorated well enough. I will stress myself out preparing for it that I will avoid doing it for a long time afterward.

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays and I decided that I have to get over it and have dinner with my friends since we're going out of town to visit family too. That, and because they are always asking why I never invite them over!

The key was keeping the menu simple and focusing on the company and not the planning stresses. I basically had the variation of this party:

Dinner Party Menu

I worked with what was on sale and freshest at the store and the ingredients were less than $35. Guests brought wine and desert. I cleaned up the house and put out some fall decorations which were still the in Rubbermaid containers in storage. There were hours of laughter and fun and everyone loved the food. Success!

Entertaining can be so enjoyable when you keep it simple and don't try to make it like something out of a magazine : )

Cutting back on home insurance

November 21st, 2008 at 09:46 pm



I received my home owners insurance bill today. $818 Ugh. As always American Family bumps up all my values by $5000, just because they can even though the amount of my mortgage goes down. Every year I have to call and have them bump the numbers back down and even still I've seen the premium somehow climb up from around $550 in just a matter of few years.

Since you're always advised not to file any small claims for the risk of driving premiums even higher, I just want a barebones policy with a high deductible that covers the big-item essentials.

Doing a little research looks like both Allstate and Western Mutual can offer similar policies as AmFam without all the extras for around $400. I can't believe I didn't shop around sooner!

Profits Up 10% for Walmarts

November 13th, 2008 at 06:02 pm



Looks like the recession isn't making people live more simply and buy less. It just makes them buy cheaper Chinese crap.



I know it's good for the economy and my portfolio, but a little sad for the soul. I think it's more encouraging reading about people consuming less of the high quality goods rather than buying more of the cheap ones.

All Americans have a reason to celebrate.

November 5th, 2008 at 06:42 pm



Even if your candidate didn't win tonight, you have reason to celebrate. We all do. Barack Obama's impressive victory says a lot about America and what is possible in this country.

Hearing of Obama's win last night Dad proudly flew his American flag, which he hasn't done for years. My parents emigrated to this country when I was still young, worked hard and long to build a successful life and to become citizens. My parents made so many sacrifices because Dad believed in the ideals and freedoms of this country. The mis-administration of the past 8 years managed to turn his optimism to disillusionment and cynicism.

In America's journey toward a more just and truly democratic society, last night was a big milestone. Last night's outcome is a declaration that we are once again a nation more driven by hope and promise than a nation driven by fear.

Obama's victory holds up a mirror, reflecting the country we are: a young country, an optimistic country, a forward-looking country, a country not afraid to take risks or to dream big. That is what my father believed in when he left everything he knew to move his family here. Last night, his faith in America was renewed.