Friday, July 31, 2009

Show Us Your Life-Wedding Party and Flowers/Ceremony

Today on Kelly's Korner, she is featuring "Show Us Your Life-Wedding Party and Flowers/Ceremony". Last week, she featured our wedding dresses. I'm so glad that I picked the wedding dress that best represented my personality.

Our wedding party was very small. Angry Husband had his dad as Best Man and I had a friend as Maid of Honor. I will not mention that friend's name. I'm sure that I will read many happy stories about people's weddings on this carnival. My wedding was very happy. But my Maid of Honor and I, are no longer friends. I wonder how many people are still friends with their Maid of Honor or people in their wedding party? After eleven years, people and situations change. Unfortunately, life is not always rainbows, sunshine, and unicorns.

My friend and I had known each other since Junior High. We had one of those off/on relationships. Sometimes, we were friends, and sometimes we didn't talk. This was one of my more stable friendships when I was getting married, so I picked her. We had a small wedding, so I didn't want a ton of attendants. A few years after I got married, my friend ran into some problems. She got fired from her job, went back and forth on some temporary jobs, and ended up getting kicked out of her apartment. She came to live with us for a few weeks and drove me crazy. I finally had enough and kicked her out. She had family locally, so she went to live with them. I think the last time that I saw her was at our 10-year high school reunion. I know several people who never talk to their Maid of Honor and/or Bridesmaids. Life gets in the way and you part. That's what happens with friendships. Some times you don't have anything in common anymore.

Now back to the happy. My theme was red. My Maid of Honor wore a red dress. Since she was the only person in my wedding party, I let her pick out the dress. She chose a simple red dress. The Best Man, Angry Husband's dad, wore a tux. My flowers were tulips. I love tulips. Although it's pretty hard to find tulips, in Las Vegas, in December. But they did it. They were beautiful until they started flopping, as tulips do.

Before the wedding, I had my hair done at the hair salon in the Hotel. Big mistake. I just had a simple up-do, which in reality was a teased ponytail. They charged me $120. My Maid of Honor had a lot more done to her hair (curls, up-do, etc.), they charged her less than $50. I know I was the Bride, but seriously, $120 for a pony tail. We went and had our make-up done at the mall, at the Clinique counter I think?

We had a simple ceremony. I think we invited less than 50 people, so it was over pretty quick. Before the ceremony, I had my usual squabbles with my mom, etc. I'm a pain in the butt, would you expect anything less.

i have pictures with my Maid of Honor, but I really don't want to include them in this post. It makes my stomach hurt. There are so many more stories about this friend, but I don' t want to turn it into a nasty post.

I'm going to include a picture of myself, and my grandmother. She passed away in 2004, about a month before I found out that I was pregnant with Angry Toddler. It's not a great picture, but hey, you can see my flowers.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Angry Julie on a Budget-Saving on Electricity (Guest Poster)

I still haven't recovered from BlogHer. I have clothes all over my bedroom, the garage floor, and the bathroom. My computer is on the kitchen table, surrounded by business cards, and notes. I'm trying to visit all the new sites that I've discovered. I will get to you all by the end of the weekend, I promise.

My best friend, Stacey, offered to write a guest post for me. One of these days, I will write my own stories about being on a budget, saving money, etc. Stacey has cut her electric bill drastically. It's so low, it's scary. And we live in Southern California.

I'm adding a wonderful photograph I took of Stacey, Angry Toddler, and her daughter, Stella. Stacey was "parenting" via her iPhone.

From Stacey:

I’ve been budgeting a lot since I decided to open my own business about 2 years ago. It’s hard to go from a decent salary to no salary at all. My husband suggested we just try a little to save on energy. It started small by just replacing our incandescent light bulbs as they burned out with Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs (CFL’s). I loathe the way the spirally ones look in recessed cans. We have recessed lights throughout our house, but they have CFL’s with the traditional glass casing around them so they look “normal”. I bought a whole bunch of dimmable and regular CFL’s at Costco. Go here for a funny story about me changing a light bulb. They aren’t much more than regular recessed lights. I think the non-dimmable lights were $14 and the dimmable are $18. I would say that about 75% of our lights are CFL’s now and it’s made a difference in the electric bill.

The other thing that has helped our electric bill is only doing laundry with cold water and during off peak hours. You can look at your electric provider’s website to get a list of their off peak hours. I do all our laundry (between 5 and 8 loads a week) on Sunday. When I started doing this my electric bill went from $170/month range to the $130/month. I liked that so I tried to see what else I could do.

I started turning off some excess junk not being used. You know that little red light on your DVD player that’s on while you are NOT using it? It eats up power. So we started small by just turning off the power to the TV, amplifier, DVD and cable box, as well as completely shutting down the computers and monitors every night. The next bill was $100. Hmmm, me then I started turning everything that was not necessary bill, our bill was $64.

Here is the list of what we do:

*Unplug everything in kitchen when not in use (coffee pot, margarita maker , toaster, kitchen aid mixer)
*Every night we turn off the power button on the, cable box and amplifier. I don’t need the glow of the power button. I have suggested putting a surge protector on there but I’m afraid all the stuff on my DVR will disappear and I still need to watch like 14 episodes of Heros.
*Turn off ceiling fans and lights when we leave the room.
*Turn OFF your computer and monitor every night (off, not power save mode)
*Unplug the laptop cord from the wall. It does not need to charge all night.
*Unplug your phone/camera chargers when you aren’t using them.

I know a lot of you are probably freaking out by a $64/month bill. Our lowest bill ever was $53.88. I do have kind of a small house, it’s a condo that’s just over 1400 square feet. We have a plasma TV and all the media junk that my husband says has to come with it. We have 2 computers and I think we have a pretty normal lifestyle. My house is only 5 years old, so I’m sure some of the newer building standards helps out.


I was watching this Living With Ed episode where he installed a green switch to eliminate all "phantom power" while you are away. With the flip of one switch you can turn off ALL unnecessary power when you are away from your home. It leaves things like refrigerators, answering machines and alarm clocks on. But, it completely kills the phantom electrical feed to all other unused power sources while you are gone. Apparently, most homes can be outfitted for between $500-$1000 but there are estimates that 45% of power use is actually phantom power.

Now if we could just get the cable company to lower their prices!!!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I went to BlogHer and all I got was this t-shirt

I'm totally kidding. I was trying to think of a good title for this post. I didn't want to start it with "BlogHer Recap, My Story...." because that's been done before. I know, I've seen it. But really, isn't this BlogHer 5K t-shirt fabulous?

I started off my trip to Chicago with a flight detouring to Dallas, TX. Well I really wasn't detoured, my flight was not non-stop. I meet some fabulous people while waiting for my connecting flight who just happened to have the seats next to me on the flight to Chicago. {Hi there!!! You know who you are!!!} I was able to manage my flights due to my new little friend. I like to call him, Mr. X. I arrived at O'Hare and met with my roommate, Shannon. This was our first time meeting. We actually "met" on a parenting forum, awhile ago. We hopped in a cab and made it to the hotel, in horrible weather.

Shannon and I then began our hectic weekend. I attended these functions, if you really want to know...cause I know YOU do.

*Mom Central Cocktail Party
*MomDot Dinner Party
*Room704 Party
*BlogHer 5K
*EA Sports Party
*Mommy Needs a Cocktail
*MamaPopRocks: Sparklecorn
*BlogHer Cocktail Reception (Saturday)
*CheeseburgHer Party

I walked away with some great swag. I didn't fight for it though. Really, the swag fighting was kind of entertaining. I walked into the Room704 party late, and all I heard with women bitching about "the free stuff" being gone. But my only thoughts were, "Holy Crap, is that "The Nap Warden" and "Scary Mommy"? Did I just see a naked woman walk by? Yes, yes I was Naked Jen. Seriously, I lost all conversation when I saw Jen walk by, in her nakedness. I knew it was time for bed.

I got up at 5:45 the next day (Friday) to do the BlogHer 5K. I strapped that Garmin of mine on and ran with my ladies. Yay for the Garmin, because I was able to track our distance. I met some awesome Fitness Bloggers too. You know who you are. I actually felt better after doing that run. Perhaps, it was the Walgreens I ran into, to get my Monster. I got back to the room, ate some food, and attended some sessions.

Friday night, I wore two outfits. I rocked The LBD "Little Black Dress", but I really don't know how little it was. Then I changed into my MamaPop gear. A lovely personalized "Angry Julie Monday" shirt, some knee socks, and a jean skirt. I was intensely fascinated with that cake. I also wanted some fruit with my alcohol. I may have gone to the bar with one of my "blog crushes" Jennifer and ordered a very expensive drink. I may have gone to another bar after the event. I returned back to my room with some Legos from BusyDad. Oh, and I met my night time Twitter Family @onlyaman and @churchpunkmom.

Saturday, I was barely functioning, but made it to one session, "Vaginally Challenged Bloggers". I loved it. And I'm glad that I pushed my way to the front. I'm more used to hanging out with guys than girls anyway. I work with mostly men, or boys as I like to call them. After the session, I was ready for some food. Food came, and then went. Yep, I got sick, took a nap, and almost missed the entire day. I scrambled to get myself together and got dressed.

Shannon and I headed to BowlHer, and then back to the Hotel for CheeseburgHer. I assembled a beautiful paper bag hat with my blue flower attached.

After stuffing down McDonald's cheeseburgers, I headed back to the room with Cynthia. We had a great discussion about blogging, etc. In reality, I was holding her EA swag bag hostage. We said our goodbyes, she left with (2) bottles of Cuervo, and I checked my e-mail.

I finally crashed after a very very long weekend. I woke up the next morning to the sound of Shannon packing and getting ready to leave. Sigh, I knew it was over. We said our goodbyes and she left. I headed down to the coffee shop at the Hotel for some breakfast. I ate a $25 omelet. YES, with tax, tip, and everything, it was $25.

I left later that afternoon for the airport. I didn't share a cab with anyone. I was ok with it. I was totally over-stimulated and needed some quiet time. I made it to my flight check-in and had a bit of a problem. My suitcases were overweight. I had to re-arrange some shoes things. But I finally was able to check in. I flew home by the way of Atlanta and then Orange County. I was very excited to see Angry Husband and Angry Toddler at the airport. I think Angry Toddler missed me. Angry Husband probably did too.

I just wanted to give a HELL YEA to all of these people! Because you made my weekend ROCK!! If I missed you in my shout out, I'm sorry. Forgive me. Yell at me in a comment or something. If you have pictures of me, let me know. I'm starting to see them pop up.

, Twenty Four at Heart, Nap Warden, OnlyAman, Churchpunkmom, Picnik, Piper of Love, Playgroups are no place for Children, Undomestic Diva, @amysho, Workout Mommy, MizFitOnline, Ecostore USA, Kevin Burke, The Unlikely Housewife, @mumby, Looney Tunes, Scary Mommy, Sarah Bellum's tales of wit&charm, Blogfully Yours, Bizzie Mommy, and of course my @EmmieJ.

You probably wanted to read about nastiness, didn't you? I had no issues at BlogHer. I worked the room. I loved everyone. I miss everyone. I approached everyone. I'm not shy!

and YES, I was dehydrated. I paid $5.95 for one of those crappy water bottles in my room. Please let BlogHer 10' be sponsored by a water company!

YES, that's right...New York, here I come! I bought my ticket already for 2010!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Welcome New Readers

I'm sure that there are a lot of you just reading my blog for the very first time. I met hundreds of people last weekend at BlogHer. I've made some many new friends. But alas I got home at 10pm on Sunday night.

I got reaquainted with my husband today, unpacked my crap, ate some breakfast and left for work. I want to tell my story of BlogHer. It's a good story. Because it involves swag, naked people, running, and Legos.


I'm at work tonight. Yes, this idiot named Julie forgot to take the night off. I was trying to text my co-workers last night to work for me. But they were all busy. So here I am, sitting in the navy blue uniform. trying to re-adjust to working for "the man" while thinking of the "perfect recap post".

but...for now...enjoy some pictures taken today...

PANCAKES. Didn't I just talk about pancakes in my last post? But, seriously, these were from the Original Pancake House in Orange. My lovely friend, Suz, told me that I NEEEEEEED to go there. I decided that today was the day!

and Monster Energy Drinks!!! I only had one in Chicago. Maybe that's why I was cranky? Seriously, I needed my Monsters. No, these weren't all for me. That blue one was for Angry Husband. He's such a whimp with the Lo-Carb one. I found a store that sold Monsters on Friday, but that was on the way back from running. Yes, I ran to find a Monster. I think there is a shortage of Monsters in Chi-Town!

hopefully, my OCD will take over tomorrow.. I will be able to run, meet a friend for breakfast, do laundry, Tweet, and get my damn BlogHer post done!!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Sunday Traditions

The Angry Family likes to eat out, which does not work with my “Angry Julie on a Budget” philosophy. We’ve been doing very well with eating at home. Although we do like going out for Sunday morning breakfast.

We always talk about going somewhere different, yet we end up at the same places. One of our favorite places to go is Ruby’s Diner. There are several Ruby’s in Orange County.

Angry Toddler loves their menus which are usually some kind of vehicle, that you have to assemble. If I’m by myself with Angry Toddler, it takes me at least 10-15 minutes to put these vehicle/menus together. Angry Husband can put them together in less than a minute. He’s such a show off.

I especially love going to Ruby’s lately. They are serving fresh strawberries with their meals. I splurge a little and get the “Cinnamon Roll Fresh Toast” with strawberries, while Angry Toddler gets the “Silver Dollar Pancakes” with strawberries. Angry Toddler always asks for a spoon so that he can eat the whip cream off the top.

Last Sunday, we had a special treat when we went to Ruby’s. There was a woman from Whatta Balloon making balloon animals there. She approached the table and asked Angry Toddler what kind of animal that he would like her to make. He couldn’t make up his mind. Probably because she couldn’t make a Transformer. I suggested a spider and he agreed. He actually stated that he wanted a “yellow banana spider”. Yea, ok, whatever.

She was fantastic. I couldn't tell you how many balloons that she used to make the spider, but there were a lot. When it was said and done, the spider balloon creation was fabulous. So fabulous that I asked for her information, just in case that anyone in Orange County is looking for someone that does balloon animals.

We always leave Ruby’s Diner full. I totally indulged by eating that “Cinnamon Roll French Toast with Strawberries” , but you only live once.

Right before we were leaving the restaurant, Angry Toddler had a complete fit. Because he decided that he wanted a “black spider balloon animal”. But of course he did. This is always changing his mind. He said, “I want a black widow spider balloon, because I like black widows and black is my favorite color”. And people wonder why he gives me anxiety.

Do you have Sunday traditions, weekly food traditions, or something special that you do with your family once a week? Let me know. I love to hear about what everyone else does, especially in different regions.

P.S. This post was sponsored by my credit card, my lack of bad budgeting, love for good food and yellow balloon spiders.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

SHOW US YOUR LIFE-Wedding Dresses

This week on Kelly’s Korner, we are talking about wedding dresses. I got married in 1998, so the wedding dress fashion has changed drastically since then.

I only went to one store for my dress, Jessica McClintock. It was located in our local mall. I picked out around ten dresses and headed towards the dressing room. I had issues then because I had huge boobs. This was about three years before I decided to have a breast reduction. I had to go for a much larger size to accommodate “the twins”, which really limited my awesome dress potential.

I tried on lace, satin, you name it. But if anyone know me, they know that I like to be a little bit different. I picked a fabulous dress with a plain a-line design and marabou feathers surrounding the collar area. I even found some shoes with marabou feathers to match the dress. How fabulous is that! Our “wedding” was in December and this was actually being marketed as a “winter formal” style dress. Even better. I think we paid $250 for it. If I had to do it all over again, I would still pick that dress. Although I might put one of those really cool colored sashes around the waist. I love those!

The shoes didn't last very long with me, as they hurt. I tossed them after the official photos and switched to some more comfortable shoes, my 10-hole white Doc Marten’s. My grandmother did not appreciate the Doc Marten’s, but hey, at least they weren’t flip flops. And they were something old, I had them forever. I actually still have those shoes.

So now you know the story of my wedding dress. Our wedding was on December 12, 1998. We got married at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. They had only been open for about two months. We were one of the first weddings that they held, and the costs weren’t outrageous.

Oh, and I have to add this little tidbit....I like to say, “wedding” above. Because really we were already married. I know that some of my readers are friends and family, so this might be a first for them.

Yes, we actually got married on July 24, 1998. We went through the “drive-thru” wedding chapel in Las Vegas. We totally eloped. My mom knew about it, but no one else knew. I can’t remember the reason we actually eloped, but I think it had something to do with health insurance.

So, if you can do the math, today is my 11th Wedding Anniversary!!! Happy Anniversary Angry Husband.

I’m not even home to spend the day with him or do something special. Because I’m in Chicago at the BlogHer Conference. I will have to have a drink to celebrate. Ok, maybe I will have a few drinks.

Angry Julie on a Budget-Guest Poster ForTheMommas aka Shannon

I started my own little weekly topic last week, "Angry Julie on a Budget". I'm going to try and offer tips, guest posters, what I've learned, and some resources to my readers. This is my second post in this series.

For The Mommas

So, Julie wants to be on a budget. I won't lie and say it will be easy, it is going to suck at first. She will resent the fact that she can't buy anything she wants. She may hate it. However, she will come to love her budget. I promise, I can see it now Budget Julie Everyday. I like it. You wanna join Angry Julie on her quest to be on a budget? Great, I think I can help.

I too used to be like Angry Julie. However, I am a reformed shopaholic turned frugalista. I went from buying the high end brands to shopping at Goodwill. (don't turn you nose up. you can get some really great things at Goodwill. Did you know that Target donates everything it doesn't sell to Goodwill!) I request free samples and use coupons (lots and lots of coupons). I stockpile and shop at yard sales, yep I am the crazy coupon lady.

So, maybe you won't be as drastic as me, maybe you just need to save a few dollars per month. Maybe you are piling on credit card debt and need a complete lifestlye change. Regardless of what your budgeting goals are, there are a three great ways to start saving money!

1. Get Real with Yourself - You need to get honest with yourself (umm hmm Julie, you have to count every Monster you buy). You can't know how much you need to save if you don't know what you're spending. You need to have your expenses and income accounted for and I mean ALL. You can check out it is an online program that you can use to manage your budget. It will send you alerts and emails telling you how bad you are and that you went over your budget. Nothing like getting remprimanded by a computer program.

2. Cut out the fat in your budget - I am not talking about the ice cream, I am talking about the things you just spend money on because you can. This doesn't have to be all or nothing. (well unless you can't pay your bills, then it has to be all). Make a list of the items that you can live without.(Julie can live without the Monsters.) Start by cutting out the easiet thing to give up. Try cutting out one new every other week, until you have cut out the excess spending in your budget. Try to find less expensive alternatives if you cannot cut these things out all together.

3. Save Money on the Things you Have to Buy - You can start with using coupons. Make a list of the top 25 things (outside of produce and meat) that you buy. I guarantee you, unless you have a very specialized diet, you will find that atleast 8-10 things that you can find coupons for. Many coupons can now be found online. Visit Hot Coupon World and check out their coupon database. You type in the food item that you are looking to purchase - if a coupon is available, it will show up there. Start by simply using the database for things you are going to buy. Check out this post for information about general couponing. Also, bookmark this page for the best printable coupons

When you get a comfortable with coupons, match coupons to grocery store sales - Visit BeCentsableand find the grocery stores you shop at. This site provides you with a list of blogs that provide coupon matchups. This list includes grocery stores all over the country, so your store is like to be there. Remember, never buy something because you have a coupon for it.

So I know Julie can do it if I did and you can too. For many more money saving tips and ideas, visit my blog at (yes, that was a pathetic, shameless plug)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

OC Mud Run-Race Recap

On Saturday morning, I participated in the Inaugural OC Mud Run. This was the race of 2009 for me. I had been anticipating it for a few months, every since I heard about it on Twitter. I was competing in this race as an individual rather than a team, even though there were four of us doing it together.

We arrived in the parking of the venue, approximately one hour before the race began. We knew that we had to pick up our race t-shirts and check in our bags. What we experienced was absolute chaos. We hiked our way in, trying to find the t-shirt line. We found our places and were handed our t-shirts. Yea, my shirt is extremely small, and it's an adult large. I'm not a huge person, but I weigh a little more than 100 lbs.

We then went to check-in our bags. This was somewhat organized. We wrote down the last 4 numbers of our social security number on a tag, attached the tag to our bag, and then handed the bag to the attendant. This is where I got lost from my friends. I turned around and they were gone. The start line was another hike from the bag check-in. I just decided to find the start line and wait for my friends there. I barely made it to the start line before the race started. While I was waiting at the start line, I was able to check out everyone costumes and outfits. I finally got caught up with my peeps and the race started. The race start was very anti-climatic.

We went from a dirt trail up the hill to the asphalt parking lot. There was an obstacle that everyone was supposed to go over. The line backed up. I ran around the obstacle because, I really did not want to eat it and fall on the asphalt. That would have been very bad. I did see some people fall when I turned around to look back. After running around the parking lot (what the heck?), we headed back down to the dirt trail. We finally got to experience some mud, but really not a lot. I think this was the most mud I saw that entire race and it last like 5 minutes.

I'm going to do a short re-cap of the rest of the race, because this blog post could go on for hours and days. There were some mini obstacles along the way, nothing worthwhile. There were also some hairpin turns which could be considered somewhat "dangerous". I think I heard "be careful, watch yourself, this is dangerous" at least ten times, and this was from race volunteers. Umm ya, a race is not supposed to be dangerous.

At one point in the race, at the almost end, we hit a standstill. There was a wall of people and we were not moving. I couldn't see ahead of me, because I'm a troll (5'4" and short legs don't help). What were we waiting for? Well the line finally moved. We were about to cross the lagoon/inner tubes of "stench", "duck shit pond", "the sewage pond", etc etc etc. There were inner tubes and an open water area to cross. I think we did this at least three times. I chose to go through the open water, because there was a huge line for the inner tube area. What the hell was I thinking? As I was wading through this, I keep tripping on unknown things? Seriously, I really did not want to know what was in that water. It smelled nasty, like sewage nasty. We went through some more mini obstacles and made it to the finish line.

There were two choices at the finish line: a slip and slide mud area or the timed finish. Really, I don't think that they wanted you to do the timed finish. I climbed through the mud pit at the finish and did not do the slip and slide. Why? Because the plastic was DRY, no WATER. How can you slip and slide on dry water?

I waited at the finish line to re-group with my friends. I did not see any event staff there. There was no drinks, no water, nothing at the finish line. Seriously was almost 90 degrees and no water! I'm really getting tired of races not having water at the end. We finally all found each other and the complaining began. We were all in agreement about the race. I thought that the SBSD Mud Run was bad last year. The SBSD Mud Run was a vacation compared to this mess.

We got our bags from the bag check and waited in line for the meager showers that they assembled. Some PVC attached to the back of a baseball backstop. We probably waited in line for at least 45-60 minutes. I did not have that much mud on me, because I really did not make an effort during the race. I had a feeling that the showers were going to be sub-par and I did not want to make a mess of my car.

After changing, aka wrapping a towel around ourselves and removing our clothes "surfer style", we left the venue. There were vendors there "selling food and drinks", but nothing was free. Seriously $3 CASH for a water. Umm, I paid $40 for a race, got a crappy t-shirt that will never fit me, and I didn't even get water.

We headed out of there and towards Wahoo's at the Irvine Spectrum for some decent food!

I tweeted with several people on Twitter about the race for a few days after the event. We were all in agreement about how it sucked. Really, I think the people involved just wanted to run away with the money. They had a good idea, but they dropped the ball on this one. There was a ton of promotions and PR done for the event in the early spring months, but then it just seemed to drop off the radar.

One of the people I talk to on Twitter, Reggie, otherwise known as "OakleyOC" was a VIP Entrant at the race. He actually paid extra to have VIP status which included food, swag, beer tickets, a special showering area, places to view the race course, etc. His general opinion about the race was the same as mine though, even though he was VIP. Because really, it's all about the race, not really the perks.

My running pal, Monique, took some pictures during the race with a disposable camera. She hasn't taken it in to be developed yet. I will post the pictures in another post when she gets them back. Luckily, Reggie was soo gracious to let me use some of the pictures that he took. Ok, perhaps I took them from his Facebook page, but I did tell him that I would give him some recognition.

Next year, I'm going to sign up for Camp Pendleton's Mud Run. Everyone says that this is a wonderful event, but it always sells out right away. The OC Mud Run people better get their act together if they want to hold their Second Annual Event next year. But they might be too busy deals with all the "issues" that happened at this race. I saw a lot of negative comments on their Facebook page, which I think they have removed now.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

I'm Going to BlogHer..The Angry Julie Edition

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This week I will be attending the BlogHer Conference in Chicago. This will be my first time attending the conference. Yes folks, I'm a BlogHer Virgin. I wanted to go last year when it was in San Francisco, and in my home state, California. I felt that my blogging was not good enough, and that I couldn't compete with the "good bloggers". Well this year, I paid for my ticket in February, because I knew it would sell out quickly, as it did.

I have no idea what to expect, as I'm quite overwhelmed. I know that many people are overwhelmed and not sure on what to expect. I've been reading posts about BlogHer on blogs for at least two weeks now. I've seen what parties people are going to, what they are wearing, what sessions they are attending, or what touristy places they are going to visit. I love seeing everyone's comments and posts on Twitter. There was even a hashtag started today that said, #amgoingtoblogher.

I'm really not that nervous or meeting or interacting with people at the Conference. I work in the public sector aka law enforcement, so I talk with people first hand forty plus hours a week. I can start conversations very easy, almost too easy. I tend to talk a lot, and really fast. So please do not think I'm a freak if you meet me, it's the ADHD talking, not Julie being obnoxious. If you judge me by my blog title, you might think I'm Angry, but really, I'm not that Angry. I have an opinion on anything and everything, just start a conversation and I will give you it. I read a lot and I'm online a lot, so I have a wealth of random information in my head. Seriously, it's scary!

I can really thank my college sorority, Alpha Omicron Pi, for my excellent conversation skills. It's all those summer workshops that we spent hours in, practicing for Fall Formal Rush. I'm sure all the sorority girls will know exactly what I'm talking about. I can have a conversation with almost anybody, without even asking "what's your major, or what high school did you go too". I like to start with "What your blog name, and what's your genre?" I like to categorize people, it makes me remember them better.

I've been trying to work on an outline or a schedule all day today. I like to be organized. It makes things easier for me. I tend to over program myself and then I get overwhelmed. I showed Angry Husband my quasi schedule. The days were filled from six am to midnight. He just shrugged his shoulders and said, "well this is a once a year event, you really want to get the most out of it that you can." Oh my, did Angry Husband really agree with me? Say it ain't so. I spent a good twenty minutes with my BlogHer roommate, Shannon, on the phone earlier. We discussed our RSVP's and schedules. We pretty much agreed to go to all the same events. Yay, I will have a partner in crime...did I say crime, oops this may be a little bit out of my jurisdiction.

Now, the wardrobe. Everyone is really freaking out about what to wear. Angry Julie wears a uniform four days a week. This will be a nice change for me, to wear normal clothes, that are not navy blue. I have a ton of clothing, and most of it is brand new with tags. Although I doubted my own wardrobe and headed out to the stores today. I'm actually thankful that I did. I found the perfect "little black dress" at TJ Maxx for only $39.99. I also tried on a dress new tags with tags from Ann Taylor Loft courtesy of "The huge closet of Angry Julie aka Wasteland of Never Worn Clothes". I think I have a pretty hip wardrobe and will be sporting it daily in blogger land aka Chi-Town.

I can't wait to meet everyone and experience BlogHer. I hope you forgive me if I don't remember your name. I may appear to be rude, but really it's my un-medicated ADHD.

Oh, and you probably want to actually see those dresses I mentioned above, don't you...well guess what..I'm going to show you anyway!

The TJ Maxx Dress

The Ann Taylor Loft Dress
P.S. I was one of the 20 winners of The Johnson and Johnson BlogHer Scholarships!!! Thanks to Splenda, I'm receiving $1200 to pay my way! I'm pretty excited~

Friday, July 17, 2009

A Night at the Circus "Zing Zang Zoom"

Last night, we were able to attend Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey's "Zing Zang Zoom" circus courtesy of Mom Central and the Feld Family Activators. When I say, "We", I mean Stacey (The BFF), Stella (BFF's daughter), Angry Toddler and myself. Angry Husband has been very busy doing work-type stuff lately.

We started the night off with a Special Event for the Activators. We were treated to a buffet of wonderful "circus-type" foods (i.e. hot dogs, soft pretzels, all you can eat cheese dip for the pretzels). We then had a great show put on by Magical Zingmaster Alex. Stella was chosen as his helper. She was very excited.

They then brought in the clowns and goofed around with the kids. They loved the clowns and thought they were very funny, and not so scary. Ever since Poltergeist, Julie has not been a fan of clowns. Stacey and I agreed, that these were not scary clowns.

*All Access Pre-Show

At 6:30, we went down to the floor of the Honda Center for the "Clown College" show. We got to meet more performers up close, along with getting autographs, seeing the elephants, and even miniature horses. This is event is FREE to everyone with a ticket to the Circus. Several hundred people "flooded" the floor for this. Angry Toddler seemed to get lost in the shuffle. He is used to Daddy putting him on his shoulders. Ya, a 45 lb. kid on my shoulders was not too comfortable.

*Main Event

It was then time for the "Main Event". We went up the stairs and took our seats. Stacey and I were very excited because our seats were on the end. Yes, we are big dorks. Angry Toddler and Stella requested more cotton candy. We obliged, because really, we wanted some of the sugary goodness also.

We saw acrobats, elephants, horses, zebras, and even dogs perform some fabulous acts! Angry Toddler and Stella really loved the show. I didn't even tell Angry Toddler that we were going to the Circus, until we got there. He talked about going to the Circus all day today. He was very excited to tell his preschool friends this morning.

And a little video I took of the dog acrobats...please no comments on my bad videography!

I really want to thank Mom Central and the Feld Family Activators for such a fabulous event!

The Circus will be at the Honda Center through July 26th, and then will be in Ontario from July 29th-August 2nd. Use can use promo code: MOM, when purchasing tickets on With this code, you can purchase a 4-pack of tickets for $44.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Angry Julie on a Budget-Introduction

Angry Julie is a very frivolous person when it comes to spending her money. She is used to working overtime, when she wants, needs, or desires something. It's how she rolls? Where do you think the Louis Vuitton comes from? Yea, ok, my mom buys that, but anyway...

Angry Julie has taken on several bills throughout her early 30's. They are catching up to her. Pretty teeth ain't cheap, I'm just sayin'. And the latest and greatest? Angry Julie is taking a 5% cut in pay and possibly furloughs at work. Also, the overtime has drastically been cut! YIKES!!

Angry Julie and Angry Husband have had several discussions on how to cut costs, be more frugal, pay our bills, etc.

Here are some things that we have done:

1. Re-Evaluate all of our bills. What can we cut?
*HBO is gone.
*Second DVR is gone.
*Open all the doors and windows. Try not to turn on the air conditioner.
*Got rid of Salt Water fish tank-125 gallons at about $125 a month in electricity.
*Re-evaluate our cellphone plan. Analyze the bill.
*Cancel Netflix.
*Cancel our cleaning lady. Angry Julie will have to scrub toilets.

2. Started eating at home more. We tend to eat out A LOT. We've stocked up at the grocery store and are making easy meals. Well Angry Husband is making the meals. I just sit there and surf the Internet, which is what I do best.

3. Enrolled Angry Toddler in City Parks and Recreation Classes. We knew that we wanted Angry Toddler to take swim lessons this summer. Our options were: private swim place, Homeowner's Association, and City where we live. I had to get on some wait lists, but we went with the city. We are $56 a session. Which is not bad. I know some people who are paying $80-$100 a week for lessons.

4. Looking for deals and coupons at the grocery store. We shop at Ralph's. Mostly because it's like almost across the street. I hate the parking lot, but it's local. We use their Ralph's Club Card. We get points and rewards for our purchases. I try and use newspaper coupons also, when I remember. I've been averaging a savings of at least $30 a week.

5. Use our available resources for entertainment that were under utilized.
*Disney Season Passes
*Homeowner's Association Pool
*My 24-Hour Fitness Membership. I started it years ago. I now only pay $49 a yr.
*Local museums, parks, and beaches.

This is just an introduction post from me. I'm going to try and do something at least once a week on this topic. I'm also going to have some guest posts. I have tons of bookmarks saved about "living frugally" and "being on a budget". So stay tuned!

Are you an expert on one of these topics? Do you want to do a guest post? Let me know!

And for's some sneak peek links!!!

For The Mommas

My friend, Shannon, started her blog to provide moms with helpful saving tips. Shannon went from working a full-time job to working part-time. She realized that she had to cut her budget. Her blog, For the Mommas, is a wealth of information. She posts several times a day sometimes too! You will want to bookmark her site!



Aracely from Daytripping Mom is a local Orange County Blogger. Her site is dedicated to finding local Southern California fun places to visit for families. She knows that everyone is on a budget right now also. She always posts about the current deal, or specials going on.

Top photo is from Flickr.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

So I Married a Nerd

Angry Husband always like to remind me that I could have it much worse. He could be spending all his money on beer and strippers. Ya, not in my house. But alas, he's a nerd. Angry Husband would rather play games on the computer, watch movie previews on AppleTV, or hang out with his best friend, Eric. Eric has been around in our life since very early in our marriage. Angry Toddler calls him "Uncle Eric".

Angry Husband and Eric are mentoring Angry Toddler in all things nerd..oh yes!! Angry Toddler knows all of the Star Wars characters. He watches "How It's Made, Myth Busters, and Future Weapons". Angry Toddler would much rather hang out with them than watch cartoons.

Last week, Angry Husband put a movie called "Fan Boys" on our AppleTV. I was bored and decided to watch it. I was busting up, because really I could see Angry Husband and Eric being actors in this movie. They would fit right in.

This is what the movie is about:

It's the Halloween party they've all been waiting for, to have fun with friends and hang out with fellow Star Wars fans and partners in crime. However, events take a turn when one of their bunch who long ago outgrew his old gang and took on adult responsibilities is suddenly in their midst again. Reconnecting is not easy. But soon, Eric, Windows, Hutch and Zoe realize that Linus will not live long enough to experience what's been on their minds for ages: The long-awaited theatrical release of Star Wars - Episode I, which is still several months away. Linus once again suggests to his friends what he's been scheming since fifth grade: Breaking into Skywalker Ranch, this time to steal a print of the movie. Crazy, right? But it might be the only way for Linus to see the movie before he dies. So as insane as it sounds, they take Hutch's van and embark on a mission to drive across half the country to the Ranch.

I've gone through a lot with Angry Husband and Eric. They always have some kind of hobby that they are into; remote controlled cars, remote controlled helicopters, paintball, computer games, and Warhammer 40K. Angry Husband and Eric had ventured into the land of Warhammer 40K twice. I shall call it "hobby of summer 2009", until something else comes along. This is all they talk about.

What is Warhammer 40K?

Warhammer 40,000 (informally known as Warhammer 40K or just 40K) is a tabletop miniature wargame produced by Games Workshop, set in a science fantasy universe. Warhammer 40,000 was created by Rick Priestley in 1987 as the futuristic companion to Warhammer Fantasy Battle, sharing many game mechanics. Expansions for Warhammer 40,000 are released from time to time, often to facilitate a certain sort of game, such as Cities of Death, Planet Strike and Apocalypse, which give rules for urban, planatary siege and large-scale combat, respectively. The game is currently in its fifth edition.

Angry Husband and Eric were setting up their "game table" last week in our house. I had to "roll my eyes". I of course, grabbed my camera. Eric made some comment about asking his permission to take/post pictures. I told him that he needs to read the disclaimer. Anytime, you enter the Angry House, you are subject to being photographed and/or your conversations might end up on the blog. So of course, I started taking pictures, to show what true "nerds" they are.

But do they know they are "nerds"? YES. Eric actually texted me this: I prefer nerd, it implies intelligence. A nerd is technically the guy who does well in school and builds girl robots. A geek dresses up like a storm trooper. Eric went back to school recently and is studying engineering, go figure.

There's one thing for sure, they have never been WOW player aka World of Warcraft. It's not their thing. But, Angry Husband did send me this video the other day. I giggled because we had some issues a few years ago when he played Everquest. He told me that he was never as bad as this kid. That's up for discussion.

oh, and I told Eric about this post. He told me that I have to include this video also.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Hot Diggity Dog

Today I was invited to participate in a teleconference and twitter with Phil Lempert, which was sponsored by Hebrew National. Phil Lempert is known as the "Supermarket Guru".

Did you know that National Hot Dog Day is July 23rd? Well you do now!

This was my first teleconference as a blogger, so I had no clue on what I was doing. I had a notebook on the table, my Macbook, my cordless telephone, and Angry Husband nearby. Angry Husband is a big fan of Hebrew National Hot Dogs. They are the only kind that he will buy. He usually rolls his eyes when I'm talking about blogging, etc..but this time he actually somewhat participated.

I had TweetChat open to follow the discussions hashtag #HNLempert along with my cordless telephone to my ear. Phil Lempert was talking about summer, BBQ's, and cooking hot dogs. I wrote notes and tweeted along with the other participants.

It is interesting to hear about how other people cook their hot dogs. It vastly differs in different states. We are a mustard and ketchup household. We BBQ the hot dogs, toast the buns on the grill, and use these somewhat simple condiments. In other regions people use cheese, baked beans, onions, condiments and toppings. I would tell Angry Husband this along the way, and he would make a face.

Along with recipes and discussions about condiments for hot dogs, we received some great tips about budget friendly BBQ's!

*Plan a money-saving trip to the grocery store.

  1. Make a list of everything you need before you leave for the grocery store.
  2. When making your list, check your pantry, cupboards, fridge and freezer for what you already have.
  3. Do you research. -Check out the store circulars and compare to see which products are on sale at which store.
  4. Buying your meats at one store and your produce at another could save you big bucks.-Check your Sunday newspaper, magazines and online for coupons.
  5. Surveys say that using coupons could save you 15-20% on your bill.
  6. The average value of coupons today is $1.29.-Join your stores' frequent shopper card clubs for additional savings that can be combined with coupons.
  7. Never go shopping when you are hungry.

*Best techniques for shopping once in the grocery store.

  1. Don't follow the path that the grocery store lay out for you.-Stores try to steer customers to the produce department or bakery section first with their selective smells. They are designed with alluring deals on products you never thought about buying.
  2. Start shopping in the middle aisles were all of the unemotional foods are (boxes, cans and jars of food). You can more easily avoid the store's marketing tactics there.-Once you've hit all of the aisles, the temptation of the produce and bakery won't be as strong.
  3. Don't always trust that the promotions at the ends of the aisles are the best deal.-Take chips for example, a staple for your BBQ. I have seen huge displays of the large size at $3.99 a bag. But just around the corner on the regular shelf was a comparable brand, same ingredients, same nutritional and same size bag that were just $2.19.
  4. Dairy case vs. cheese table.-Every BBQ must include cheeseburgers but cheese can be quite expensive. Keep in mind that cheese is sold in two different locations in the supermarket, in the dairy case and on the cheese table. An organic mild cheddar goes for $6.99 for 8 oz. on the cheese table, while the same-sized package of the store's private label brand, which is also growth-hormone free is just $3.29 a package.

Check out a great website, Simple and Delicious. It has great ideas for simple, quick, and budget friendly meals.

I'm trying to learn new ways to save money and to be a little more frugal. I'm going to start a series now with the all the tips I've been learning along with some things that the Angry Household is doing. It's going to be titled, "Angry Julie on a Budget". Stay tuned!

Photo from Hebrew National's site!

Maloof Money Cup 2009-Day 3 (Sunday)

Yesterday was the last day of the Maloof Money Cup. I was able to catch it late in the day, about an hour before the awards ceremony. The crowd was in full was a huge turnout. There were so many people, you had to push your way through. The sun was blazing also. I was seriously sweating and it was 5pm. Not pretty at all.

I was trying to get some great pictures, but alas there were so many fricken was hard. I hard to push my way in through all of those "professional media types"..go figure.

I saw several of the pros posing for autographs and signing autographs. That was very nice. The little kids were stoked. I even saw a Sheriff's Deputy getting a shirt signed for her kid.

This was a great event and I can't wait for it to come back next year.

Oh, and I can say now that I've been there and got the t-shirt. I left with a black Maloof Money Cup shirt in my hand.

Here are the final results (from etnies' blog):

Men’s Pro Street

1. Chris Cole - $100,000
2. Tommy Sandoval
3. Nyjah Huston
4. Torey Pudwill
5. Ryan Sheckler
6. Sean Malto
7. Greg Lutzka
8. David Gonzalez
9. Paul Rodriguez
10. Mark Appleyard

Women’s Street

1. Leticia Bufoni
2. Lacey Baker
3. Elissa Steamer
4. Amy Caron
5. Marisa Del Santo

Men’s Pro Vert

1. Alex Perelson - $75,000 with a 900
2. Pierre-Luc Gagnon
3. Bob Burnquist
4. Andy MacDonald
5. Bucky Lasek
6. Adam Taylor
7. Rob Lorifice

Best Trick

Adam Dyet - $10,000

Zumiez Destroyer Award

* Torey Pudwill - $10,000
* Alexis Sablone - $2000 after a trip to the hospital

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