sailorzeo: (midriff)
Seriously, for as much as I don't like math, I always seem to choose math-heavy hobbies.

I had enough mango butter for yesterday's two batches of soap (Intense Almond and Bergamot Chamomile), but now I have crumbs, which is derailing my "make lots and lots of soap OMG RIGHT NOW!!!!" desire.  So I had to sit down and do math and figure out just how many soap batches I get from each pail of oil, in the amounts I usually order.

  • Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, 10 lbs: 10 batches

  • Palm Kernel Oil, 5 lbs: 12.5 batches

  • Coconut Oil, 5 lbs: 12.5 batches

  • Mango Butter, 1 lb: 10 batches

  • Shea non-relevant right now, because I got a deal on a 5 lb pail a while back, and that gives me like 50 batches.

In the past rounds of ordering, I've gotten 20 pounds of soy oil (with a pound set aside for lip balms), to make 19 batches of soap.  But I didn't do the math on the other oils, so I've run out of palm kernel oil and had to emergency order, but only ordered the 5 lb amount, when I still had 15 batches of soap to do.  I ordered coconut oil and mango butter earlier, but that was before my shop totally sold out and I wasn't planning on making this much at once, so I've run out of mango butter and am running low on coconut oil.

I did the math today on what I need to finish out the 19 soaps and still have leftovers, as well as get more lip balm supplies (mainly tubes, some flavors).  It came close to $200 before shipping and tax were figured.  I have $100 coming from my mom, and I have about $40 in my Paypal, so I may need to adjust quantities to get what I need at a price I can afford.

I live!!!!

Feb. 24th, 2015 06:36 pm
sailorzeo: (huh?)
Wow, haven't posted here in over 2 years.  I just...haven't felt the need.  I kind of wandered over to Tumblr and just fell in.

So, a quick update: lost my job in July.  Haven't found a new one yet, but I have an Etsy shop, Zeo's Soaps and Sundries, where I sell handmade soaps, lip balms, bath salts, and soon, cuticle oil.  I'm also running a GoFundMe campaign, trying to get a little extra money to help bridge the gap on weeks where sales are slow.
This has been dubbed "Soaphenge."  All of those soaps have since sold.

This week is full of soapmaking.  I have 13 more 2-pound batches I want to make, and I keep running out of ingredients.  Today, I ran out of lye, which is somewhat essential to making soap.  I have enough mango butter for one more, maybe two more batches.  I have some money coming in, so I'll be able to restock those ingredients, but dang, it's a fine balancing act I'm walking.  Once I get those soaps made and listed, I can breathe a little.

So, that's what I've been up to of late.  Anyone miss me?
sailorzeo: (Default)
Hasbro and Integrity Toys are releasing a line of redesigned Jem dolls. I was super-excited about this until I saw this line from the press release:

"This first doll in this exciting commemorative collection will be JEM AND THE HOLOGRAMS Special Edition Doll: HOLLYWOOD JEM, one of the most requested animated-based looks. This doll will be available for purchase at the HasbroToyShop booth #3329 during Comic-Con International in San Diego at an approximate retail price of $125 and following the convention, at"

ONE HUNDRED TWENTY FIVE DOLLARS?????? *dies* See? This is why I'm not in the hobby anymore. I love the look of the doll, I love that she has an articulated body, but I just can NOT justify spending over a day's wages on a doll. Looking over Integrity Toys' site, I guess they don't make playline-priced dolls anymore.

Wow. From a high of "OMG I love her, I want her!" to a low of "Holy shit, really, Integrity and Hasbro? Really?" in less than five minutes.

I'm still going to watch the line, though. I've love to see the designs for the other Holograms, the Misfits, and the Stingers.

Integrity's site:
sailorzeo: (huh?)
Is it odd that for a brief moment, I thought $8 for 5 pieces of chocolate was a good deal?

I signed up for Godiva's rewards program, because of the free piece of chocolate every month. So now I get their e-mails. July's e-mail is talking about their limited-edition ice cream flavored truffles. Their special deal for Rewards members is a 5-piece sampler for $8. Considering that this is normally $11, not a bad deal.

But then I thought about it more. That's over a dollar per piece of chocolate. That's over a dollar and a half per piece of chocolate. That's...not really a deal. I can get a full-size Snickers bar for 50 cents. For $8, I can get 16 Snickers bars.

"But this is GODIVA chocolate," will come the argument. "This isn't some mass-produced candy bar available at every convenience store."

True. It's Godiva, and Godiva is a luxury brand. This is why Starbucks can charge as much for a cup of coffee as I pay for a whole bag of coffee beans. Perception. Now, I'll agree, Godiva is good. I thoroughly enjoyed the free piece I had last month. It was the Open Oyster, hazelnut praline between 2 milk chocolate shells. But when asked to describe it, well... "A nugget of Nutella between chocolate shells."

If the five-piece sampler price ($11) is a guideline, that makes one piece $2.20. Going by Google, I can get 2 13-ounce jars of Nutella for $7. Throw in a chocolate bar from Fresh N Easy ($0.50), and I can get a similar experience, in a larger quantity.

So while compared to its original price, the sampler deal is a good one, compared to alternatives, not so much.

I will admit, though, that if I had the $8 to spend frivolously, I'd probably get it.


Feb. 22nd, 2009 08:44 am
sailorzeo: (Default)
Well, we left the house early, because I wanted to price some ingredients at LeeLee (Oriental supermarket) and wanted Matt to come with me. We had to go early because it does have a very strong fish smell, and later in the day, he wouldn't be able to handle it. So, we did our pricing there (I want to make dashi, miso soup, and a broth for the soba noodles I got last time I was there, but with the smaller paycheck this time, not happening this week), then went on to The Dented Can, over in Peoria. We were out of xanthan gum, and it's over $10 a bag most places (close to $12 direct from Bob's Red Mill). The last time I'd been to The Dented Can (over a year ago), I saw xanthan gum there for considerably less.

We ended up spending $10 there. What did we get for our $10? THREE bags of xanthan gum (Bob's Red Mill, a bag of Bob's Red Mill GF chocolate chip cookie mix, and a bag of (yet again) Bob's Red Mill GF rolled oats. Definitely worth the trip.

The next thing on our agenda was going down to the Phoenix Matsuri Festival, downtown. Unfortunately, when we got down there, it was PACKED. What with how I'd been feeling the past week, we decided not to go. So, we went to finish our grocery shopping. Stops at Fresh N Easy, WalMart, and Safeway, and we were done. I didn't get to go to Ikea, didn't get the box I wanted to start bentoing, but I did get a three-pack of divided Rubbermaid containers that would actually work better (and be a better size: 800-some milliliters rather than 2 quarts). So, I have those, I have foods for lunches, and I have a drive to make "cute" lunches. We'll see if that actually happens.
sailorzeo: (Default)
..and apparently, I want to type ; for l. I had to retype that subject line three times to get all the right letters in the right places.

So anyway. I had to take 2 sick days this week, even though I can't afford them. At first, I thought it was just something I ate Wednesday night ripping me up on Thursday, but it was still doing it today, so I'm blaming a stomach bug. No use going to the doctor, he'll just say it's a virus, drink plenty of water, that'll be $20.

Work's slowing down. Starting Monday, I work starting at 9, instead of 8, and probably still out at 4:30 or 4, depending on the day. I didn't think to ask that when I called in today. My paycheck was about $100 less than I thought it would be; possibly because of being short a few hours when I took the time off for Ellen's visit. I had enough PTO to cover MOST of it, but apparently not all of it. And I probably didn't bank enough in the time since I've been back to cover my sick days this week.

Matt's still job-hunting. Two of the companies from the job fair had promised to call him back about an interview, but nothing yet. So it's now been over 2 months with just my paycheck, and a lot of help from family and friends. I still have some doll stuff to try to sell, fabric and other craft things, but that won't bring in a lot. I just wish he could get a job, any job at this point. We've proved that we only need $500 more a month to survive. But without that....

Now's the time I'd be overjoyed for Publisher's Clearinghouse to come knocking on the door with the giant cardboard check.
sailorzeo: (Default)
I had to let my paid account and userpic add-on expire. I just don't have the $30 to spare now. But on the plus side, Matt went to a job fair on Wednesday and has some promising prospects. Hopefully soon, he'll be gainfully employed, and I can get my paid account back. I miss my extra icons. :(
sailorzeo: (Default)
Tonight, we take Dante's bandage off to look at that toe after a few days. I'm worried about it. He's my baby, and this is the first major injury he's had in the eight years he's been with me.

On the plus side, his teeth are really healthy; the vet thought he was maybe 8 months, not 8 years, they were so healthy.

On a side note: the Mazda has a flat tire. Again. These are new tires, bought less than a month ago. We took the truck to work so we wouldn't be late, and have to get the tire fixed after we get home.

Two unexpected emergencies in a week. Joy.
sailorzeo: (Default)
I've discovered that classical music is quite conductive to creative thinking/writing, at least in my case.  For some people, that might be a "Well, duh" discovery, but I used to do my best writing to pop music.  Not so anymore.  

For instance, while listening to the local classical station on my way to work yesterday, I brought up an old idea and suddenly started revising it in my head.  Got three out of the four main characters fleshed out, a revised title and tagline, names, and the opening chapter.  Trouble is, this was in my head.

Which brings me to my next point.  I think my next major purchase is going to be a digital voice recorder.  I spend two hours a day in my car thinking, plotting, daydreaming and musing.  By the time I get home and to a place I can write, I've forgotten most of it.  If I start, instead, thinking aloud and recording it, I can transcribe it later and not lose my wordings, pace, etc.  I have one picked out; it's about $60 at Staples.  But bills come first.  That $500 in income tax really hit us hard, especially since my calendar bonus still hasn't dropped.

Hopefully soon, though.  I don't want to lose anymore than what I already have.
sailorzeo: (thinking)
Well, the couple who looked at the china cabinet, but had to measure, decided against it. But that's okay, because one of Matt's coworkers is interested in it.

I'm trying to talk Matt into, if we manage to sell it, letting me get the DS with some of the money from it. I'm not sure if he's wavering or not.
sailorzeo: (crowbar)
We put in our 60-day notice at the apartment complex on Tuesday. So come late December, we're moving.

We've been looking at rental listings online for Phoenix. Matt actually called about one yesterday, to get some more info.

He didn't pass his Cisco test Tuesday. But he can try again.

We're getting into the time where we can start doing things to get ready for the move. I'm going to take some time off work before Thanksgiving (basically that Sunday through Wednesday, and store's closed Thursday of course) to start big-time cleaning and sorting things. I have boxes of things in the spare room closet that I haven't unpacked in two years. One would think that would mean I can get rid of all of them. But you know as soon as I do that, I'll need something.

I'm probably going to try Craigslist again as eBay wasn't too much more successful, and cost me $20.

Stress level is ramping up. Fear level is ramping up. I know we need this move, but I'm afraid of all the things that can and will prohibit our moving.

We will find a way to make it work. Somehow.
sailorzeo: (thinking)
...try, try, try again.

This time, it's eBay. Craigslist didn't work so well for me, so I decided to go back to good 'ole FeeBay. I listed three dresses. One sold. At the minimum bid. :-P Craptastic. At least I set the minimum to something I'd be somewhat happy at. I don't believe in "starting low to encourage more bids." It's been my luck that if I start it low, it ends low, and I don't get anything out of it. When I relisted the other two, eBay reccommended starting it at half price, or at $1. Ooooh no. I'm trying to make some money here. I'm sorry, but I'm not risking selling something for just $1 (unless it's stuff I think is only worth $1, like the stuff at MWD). If it goes another round without selling, I might drop the price a little, but I think the prices are reasonable. They're down $5 from what I listed them on Craigslist for, even. The BIN prices are what I wanted to get out of them at Craigslist.

Trouble is, everyone nowadays wants everything for nothing. I don't even see any sniping going on. The dress that sold, sold with one bid placed with 8 hours to go. It had four watchers at one point, but apparently only the one was actually interested in buying it (or the other three forgot about it until after it was over).

I just want the sale to work, to get enough money for the plane ticket. If this doesn't work, I might just have a porch sale in the next few weeks.


Sep. 20th, 2006 10:21 am
sailorzeo: (general cuteness)
So,  I'm still trying to raise plane fare for Ellen to come visit, so I started thinning out my figure collection (something I needed to do anyway) and posted a Dollar Days sale post at MWD.  Wow.  So far, 19 of the 34 items listed have been claimed!  And I still have more to list!  Don't think I'll make all $130 or $260 from this one sale, but it's an encouraging start (as craigslist has only gotten me $15 and I have no bids yet on the eBay stuff).

I don't think I'll make what I need in time to get the tickets by mid-October so she can visit in late October, but anytime before the end of the year is good.
sailorzeo: (up in the sky!)
...$115 to go.  

I'm trying to earn/save $130, half the cost of a round-trip plane ticket from Pittsburgh to Raleigh and back.  I want Ellen to come visit in October (one could almost say I NEED her to visit, especially after this past week), but she has her own financial troubles.  So, I looked up no-frills, low-cost airlines and found JetBlue has a decent price.  

So, I'm selling off more clothing that doesn't fit me.  I'm trying craigslist instead of eBay this time around: no fees for listing.  So far, I've sold two pairs of boys size 18 jeans for $10 (I picked them up in the women's plus section of the thrift store without trying them on, got home and realized they wouldn't fit on one leg) and 2 cardigans for $5.  The jeans paid by PayPal, and the cardigans will be picked up on Saturday (so most likely cash).  I have about $75 worth of other things listed, mostly dresses.

I'm trying to keep all the money made in my PayPal account, since I have a PayPal debit I can use as a Visa at  We'll see how it goes.  

I'm half-tempted to draw up a simple thermometer with $10 hash-marks, put it in the sidebar of my lj.  :) 
sailorzeo: (guhh matt)
(beats head on table, HARD)

Okay. So the check came today. $120 from my savings. It was SUPPOSED to be $50 for gas and inspection for Matt's Jeep, $20 for TracFone card, $5-$10 for a pair of Keds so I can start going to the gym again, $20 for cat food and litter, and whatever was left for basic necessities like milk, eggs, etc.

Instead, Matt comes home from his one-day contract job and says, "I miscalculated." We made 2 purchases for a total of $7 that threw us into overdraft. Spent $7, racked up $70 in fees. So now that $120 is going towards fees and the overdue inspection on the Jeep. He's going to try to get one of the fees refunded, since it was on a NINETY-EIGHT CENT PURCHASE. Wachovia's been really good with their fees, usually managing to get us SOMETHING back when Matt calls. I mean, there was one time where we were $300 overdrawn, and $250 of it was fees, and they managed to refund us $70, even though it wasn't their fault at all. Maybe it's because we're nice when we call. We know it's not their fault, that it's not "OMG the bank is totally trying to rip us off!"

[ profile] penprp works customer service for a major national bank, so I get to hear her horror stories. I used to work at a catalogue call center, so I have my own. Matt did sales and tech support for a national ISP. The stories he has! We know the operator is just there trying to pay bills. It's not their fault we screwed up.

But seriously, though. Is there any checking account out there that, like, doesn't charge an overdraft fee if the amount overdrafted is, say, under $10? I know there's that new Washington Mutual account out there that's supposed to be changing all the rules, but right now, I can't remember if that's one of them. But I also don't think there's a WaMu around here. Mostly Wachovia, Bank of America, and BB&T (which we actually did a big job for at OMax, and we were trying to figure out what it stood for. I liked my coworker's suggestion of "Bob's Bank and Trust").

And from now on, I don't care how much someone raves about a particular cold rememdy, if it has a cough suppressant in it, I am staying FAR away from it. Cough suppressants make me feel WORSE than I did before I took anything! Makes me light-headed and nauseated.

ETA: We got both fees back, so Jeep has gas, cats have food and litter, and I have nose spray. Tomorrow I will have shoes (around $3 on clearance at Target) and TracFone card. Jeep failed inspection; left turn signal is broken in the front. :-P So he has 30 days to get it fixed.

Money sucks

May. 5th, 2006 09:39 am
sailorzeo: (Default)
Doncha hate when you fall thisshort of something? Matt and I got paid today. Now, remember I'm part-time, so I have no vacation time to use for the six days we were gone.

We're $60 short on rent.

(beats head on desk)

Which also means we can't pay insurance and car payment.

(beats head a little harder)
sailorzeo: (meadow face)
Okay, so no back to bed this morning. I made coffee, and this coffee is going to fuel my day. Wreak havoc on my sugar levels, but at least I'll be awake. As soon as Matt's done paying bills, we're going to go get my paycheck, and if it's over $500, then we can go restock the pantry. Food is a good thing. Expensive at times (even shopping at Aldis), but necessary.

Speaking of expenses.... Now that I've started reworking the Castle, and the stat counter is showing that yeah, I still get visitors, I'm seriously tempted to get the basic upgrade: $24 a year to remove the three banner ads per page, allow direct-linking of photos, etc. I have to admit, if I had the $24, I would so do it. They use some of the most obnoxious banner ads. Bright, blinking, totally distracting. Maybe it's time for another round of auctions...well, it's time for that anyway.

I need to start narrowing down my Barbie collection. Time to sell off some nude lots for OOAK. Plus, I have that box of late-70's, early-to-mid-80's Barbies that Waerd sent me (they were in an auction with a Babs convertable; he just wanted the car). Might be able to get something for those. I know offhand there's a Peaches-N-Cream (I never had her as a kid, but a friend did and I adored her) Barbie and a Horse Lovin' Skipper. I don't remember who the others are...I'll know when I get them down out of the closet, though.

Looks like I have a busy weekend in store. I still need to call Kim and set up my study for tomorrow and next Saturday.

ETA: My pay was over $500 (almost $50 over $500), so we have food in the house again. But I started feeling icky the last 5-10 minutes at the store, and I am SO tired now, but if I lie down and try to grab an hour nap before work, I'll be SO sluggish and bad-tempered when I get up that it really isn't worth it. It's going to be a long, long night.
sailorzeo: (sick)
It's Friday night. That means waiting around for Matt to leave for his overnight shift. Usually, it also means vegging on the couch for a few eps of CSI on Spike, but the 8 pm ep is Committed, which I don't really care for. A few too many squick elements for me. So, it's bopping around on the computer trying to find something to kill time until 9 when the next ep starts.

On the plus side for today, I finished off So High School, my Sara/Nick fluffy fic. On the minus side, every time I've eaten, I've felt sick. I got so tired of the nausea yesterday I actually made myself throw up to see if it would help. It didn't, but it did reinforce the fact that I could never be a bulimic. I'm tempted to do it again, though. There's actually something in my stomach this time.

I'm also somewhat morose. My bonus finally came in, but it was combined on the same check as my pay, and they took out almost my entire paycheck in taxes. I was really hoping that check would be over $1000, but it was just barely over $800. (sighs in frustration) I don't know how we're going to make this work. I'm so tired of scraping by. It's better now than it was when just Matt was working, but not by much. We still pay about half the bills late. Part of that is timing; all the big bills are due in the first five days of the month, and oddly enough, those five days always seem to fall between paychecks. We'd planned to save $500 of my bonus to cover the trip in April, but since that seems to be my entire paycheck this week, I don't know what's going to happen. Matt needs to schedule his tests for school and get those certifications so he can start looking for a better job.

I'm just so tired, and sick, and nauseated, and stressed out. I just want things to get better. I want the cats to stop peeing all over the damn place so the apartment doesn't stink. I want to not feel like I'm going to throw up every time I see, smell or think about food. I want to not get dizzy when I stand up. I want to be able to afford to go to the doctor when I feel like this. I want to get through an 8-hour shift at work without freaking out. I want a lot, I guess. And I feel like it's never going to happen.
sailorzeo: (angry eyes)
I hate money. Great Lakes still wants money from me. And they couldn't get ahold of me here (not my fault they won't leave a message on the answering machine!), so they call and harass my parents, which means I get a long-distance lecture from my mother about it, and she won't stop harassing me about it for the next three months. But hey! I qualify for an economic hardship deferral, which means at least I don't have to go register with an unemployment agency and submit resumes all over the place. I like my job. I may not be getting many hours right now, but I really don't want to leave it and look for another right now. I can hardly wait for Matt to get the job he wants so we can start paying off some of these debts.

And the freaking cats are being ballistic! Patch doesn't want me on the phone or the computer, Dante seems to think if he goes out the window, he should come back in through the door, but Patch is waiting on the other side of the door, so there's meowing and hissing and growling. And Athena's taken over Dante's spot atop the speaker, so she won't let him up, knocked him down so he ended up climbing up the side of the speaker (oooh, don't let Matt know!) to scramble to a spot atop the entertainment center.

And grr, I need to go get ready, leave for work early because the car needs fuel.
sailorzeo: (Default)
Well, we're going to be a few hundred short this month, but at least we have meat, milk and eggs in the house again. No, we didn't spend over $100 on those items, but we were already short, and we NEEDED the food.

I need to find a job. But I really don't want to go back to retail. Sigh. And Chris moves out the 26th. So I NEED to get a job. I should check the local college sites, see if anyone's hiring research assistants. :-P

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