Friday, July 12, 2013

So You've Decided To Leave Cable : A Handguide

    This morning has found me two cups of coffee deep at only 6:26 am. I slept terribly last night, and the day greeted me at 4:00am. This morning, I decided to work on my newest obsession of budgeting. Please allow me to vent for a moment, while I tell you why I absolutely loathe RCN and cable companies in general. While I love, love, love, BRAVO and all things real housewives, I think its insane to pay $135.00 a month for cable and Internet. I literally watch the news, and Bravo. THAT'S IT. About a year ago, I decided to as they say "cut the cable cord" and get rid of my cable. I kept Internet and it was about $50.00 a month with taxes etc when all was said and done. I made it about two solid months with no cable. Quite the impressive feat for a self proclaimed trash TV lover. I eventually went back to cable, mainly because Hans and I agreed he was going to pay for it and it was worth it to have ESPN and Bravo. The price had naturally gone up, within two months and the bill is standing strong at $135.00 a month. Did I mention we had showtime as well? It was an extra $3.00 a month to get great movies like, Sharknado and Scary Movie 9. You get the idea. Absolute garbage.

   I called recently, to see the options for lowering the bill. Perhaps back to basic cable? The nice man, told me that If I changed service, It would be a cool 8 dollar savings to have about 20 channels vs my 200 that I currently have. I promptly wrote this man off, assuming perhaps he was smoking Crystal Meth. 


 There must be a better way to watch TV and keep up with current movies. I did some early bird research this morning and I am here to say, there are some options for us who are trying to eat and go out once in a while in lieu of living off cat food and being poor after paying the cable bill. Whooo Hooo! 


1. Roku 
My friends Lauren and Dave have Roku and from what I've seen its a neat little contraption. It streams TV, music and movies from sites you may already frequent like Pandora, Netflix and Hulu. With streaming options for TV shows and movies, it pretty much eliminates the need to have cable. You will however, still need an Internet connection. Unless you live under a rock, you most likely already have that. There are four Roku options. The most basic starting at $49.99 and the most souped up version with HD capability and all the bells and whistles for $99.99. Roku is also offering free shipping on their website currently. 
Roku Details:
When you have time for TV, Roku delivers with the best selection of streaming entertainment anywhere – from popular premium services like Netflix, Hulu Plus, HBO GO, Spotify and MLB.TV to many free entertainment options like Crackle, Pandora, Disney and VEVO. Every Roku brings you access to over 750 channels featuring the best in movies, TV shows, live sports, music, photo and
video sharing, games, international programming, radio, tech news, non-tech news, podcasts, cartoons, clips, cat tricks, and… well, you get the idea.

2. Mohu Leaf Ultimate HDTV Antenna

This option is one I have never come across until this morning, while scouring the Internet. MOHU is an HDTV antenna ( think bunny ears) for your TV. You can use it to pick up channels for FREE without any cable subscription. There are more then one type of HDTV antenna, but this one by far has the best reviews and success with users. Simply attach the MOHU to your TV and locate the best place for the receptor. Although a little sightly, depending where you place it, you could get up to 30 channels for free in HD WITH NO CABLE SUBSCRIPTiON. One Caveat, you will need Internet for this gadget as well. Not too shabby, might be worth a go. Online, they are on average about $90.00 but I also found them on EBAY new for about $55.00. Shop around for a deal. 

Mohu details:
With the Mohu Leaf Ultimate, you no longer have to pay high monthly cable or satellite bills to enjoy your favorite shows. The-top-of-the-line Mohu Leaf Ultimate delivers the most popular shows and more on network television for FREE in full 1080 HD. These stations include Fox, PBS, ABC, CBS, and NBC. 


1. Netflix 

Pretty much everyone is familiar with Netflix at this point. Use it to stream TV shows as well as movies on up to three devices for as low as $7.99 per month. You can also get a free month subscription with access to their huge online library :)

2. Hulu Plus  
Stream current and older TV shows for free on your computer. Upgrade to HULU Plus to stream this content to your TV or Smart phone. Use it with your Roku for as low as $7.99 a month.

3. Crackle 

FREE streaming video and television shows right to your TV, or computer. There is a limited selection however, in comparison to the other subscriptions listed.

4. Amazon Prime

Free streaming movies and TV with an Amazon Prime subscription. Without a subscription you can still watch, for about $4.00 a movie. Amazon prime memberships are about $80.00 for a yearly subscription.

 If you have used any of these devices, or subscriptions, I would love to hear about it. Just remember, if you do decide to cut your cable ties, you could end up saving a substantial amount of money. Be aware, you do need Internet to run all of these devices, and use these streaming subscriptions. That's a small price to pay in my opinion, plus you most likely already have it. Remember, most major network channels are now broadcasting for free. With all the free TV options available and streaming live movies and TV, there is no real need to pay for cable anymore  :)

Monday, July 8, 2013

Go time.

Here we go. Its the eve of my 30th birthday, and as I sit here drinking a Busch and trying to sort through all of my emotions I cant help but reflect on the past 10 years. For the record, stating that 10 years has passed since I turned 20, really hurts. I am feeling the 30 burn at the moment but I am going to keep this post upbeat, cause lets be honest, how bad could 30 be?? I am going to spare you the Jacula highlights of yesteryear. But please know, I wrote them all out. Then I smiled, and hit delete. I don't need to list them all here. Here is what I can tell you. I have an amazing family. We might not be the most normal, but we get each other and that's all that matters. Family is everything. Who else will tell you, that you are 30 flirty and fabulous when you feel 30 old and boring? I can also tell you, true friends are hard to find, you will know if you have them. Its easy to see. My regrets so far in life are the following: Not taking enough pictures. So I want to make sure I do that this year. Also, on my current things to do list: Eat a banana split, learn to do a cartwheel ( I have 365 days to perfect this before 31) and do more things that I am afraid of. Today, I am proud to report I watched countless videos on line on how to install flooring and I signed up for a tile laying class at the Home Depot. Go me. So without further ado, this moment that has been 10 years of anxiety in the making is here. People say that your 30's are some of the best times of your life. We will see about that. As for 30, I am ready bitches. Lets do it. 

Monday, June 10, 2013

Babes of the Big Screen

 This morning, I found myself in a serious dilemma. Having to make one of the hardest decisions, in the midst of a very real and pressing issue I called my friend Becky to sort things out. As soon as she answered, we got to talking and I confessed my legitimate concerns over which Hemsworth brother was hotter, Chis or Liam. Now, I know what you are thinking, I am psychotic. That may very well be true, but lets get real. Have you seen Thor? Hes so hot, his younger beefy brother, aka. Gale from Hunger Games / Miley Cyrus' fiance is a hot tamale himself. Does anyone know if Miley is still marrying him?  Every time i try to research it, I get off topic and start drooling on my Macbook looking at half naked pictures of the Hemsworth brothers. Needless to say, we spent a solid 20 minutes debating the issue, then another 10 minutes over breakfast. The consensus? We aren't sure who is hotter, because they both bring a lot to the table. The moral here is that, a beefcake of a man can take a morning of crappy, rain and miserable children to a morning of pure happiness. I now present to you, today's post of  

Beefcakes that make you forget your troubles, oversleeping and crappy hair days.

Try to be miserable while looking at these fine asses, its impossible.

 #1 Liam Hemsworth 

Total babe, and youngest of the 3 brothers.  Also, the hottest on most days.  The Becky / Jackie jury is still out on that one. Either way, he's hot. 

# 2 Chris Hemsworth

MUSCLE MAN. Middle of the three brothers Hemsworth.
Hot. Short hair, long hair, THOR don't care! Total babe. 

 I would like to personally thank their parents for creating these beefcakes and inspiring today's blog!
God Bless You!

#3 Robert Pattinson

I don't care what anyone says, hes hot. 
Hes a vampire and for a Brit he has pretty nice teeth. 
Plus, he put up with Kristin Stewart and shes a real pain in the ass, if he could be with her, we all have a chance. I say were winning here. 

#4 Matthew Mc Conaughay

I know I might get some crap for this one, but he's a mans man with a great body and he also has that southern accent/ drawl to his voice that makes him appealing. Hes also one the of the reasons I love How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. 

#5 Zac Efron                                            

Oh to be 17 again. Get it? 17 Again? OK never mind. He's super cute and super gentlemanly. Not to mention the muscles. Love love love him. Also, I googled it and hes over 18 now so its not creepy for me to like him. 

# 6 Ryan Reynolds
He's funny, super cute and super hot. 
Just Friends, still cracks me up. Major eye candy. 

#7 Kurt Russell
80's babe alert!!! Can someone say Overboard? He met Goldie Hawn on the set, and they have been together since. Never married either. Just saying. Hes a hottie. All man ladies. 

#8 Bradley Cooper
Born and raised in Pennsylvania. All charm. He seems like the type who is so kind, he would tell you if you had something stuck between your teeth during a conversation. 

#9 Jake Gyllehall 
 I don't think there's anything to say. He's hot, charming and every gal's dream. 

#10 Ryan Gossling 

Calm, cool and totally fashionable makes for a mega babe. 
Ryan, we salute you!

#11 Leonardo Di Caprio 

You cant pretend you didn't adore this babe growing up. From Basketball Diaries, to The Beach, Titanic, and all that's in between. He has the power to make any crap day better. 

#12 Jason Segal 

I saved this gem for last, because he always puts a smile on my face. I love Jason Segal. He's not the hottest man on the list, but hes tall, funny and did I mention funny. 
A solid 10 on the Smith Scale of Hotness.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Dirty Thirty: Accept no ones definition of your life, define yourself.

With each birthday, I always take time to reflect. In fact, you can usually find me  tirelessly comparing my current life, to my predicted life according to the MASH games that I played in my younger years. If you have never played the game of MASH, I implore you to use this amazing oracle to predict your future. Of course, I should warn you that the game isn't entirely accurate. I am sad to report that as of today, I am in no way happily married to a doctor, living in a shack, with 6 kids and a pet monkey. So please, use the game with caution, or you may end up being disappointed. 

I like to think that at some point, everyone examines how far they've come by reminiscing.  Memories seem to weave together and like looking through an old photo album, you are taken right back to different times and places in your past. Most times, I am greeted in my past with smiles of good memories. 

Other times, I may find myself just short of blowing rainbows out my ass . We've all been there,one minute you are looking through old pictures, the next you are crying relentlessly over lost loves, and opportunities. Before you know it, you're three quarters deep into a gallon of ice cream, watching The Notebook and crying to anyone who will listen. Your mantra: I am going to die alone with 900 cats. WHY ME? 

* In 2007 I may have watched the notebook and  done some eating that I am not proud of. In fact, I cried uncontrollably to my mother for hours thinking my life was over. I have since enacted a strict no Notebook watching while miserable rule to protect myself from  screaming out " Why wont someone build me a God Damn house like that?  "Nobody will ever build me a house, or love me like that!" 
* cry cry cry * blow nose * cry * cry to kathy, cry * 

I now prefer the likes of Leonardo Di Caprio in Titanic when I am feeling down. You can find me in my finest sweat pants whimpering," I will NEVER let go Jack!" which is almost always immediately followed up by a teary, yet inspiring musical rendering of My Heart Will Go On. As I finished typing this, I realize how lame this may be, but it soothes my soul, so judge not. 
( you know you want to push play. Do it. I'll wait ) 

Part of growing up is reflection and sometimes, as hard as it may be to admit, we sometimes find ourselves comparing ourselves to others. I know I am guilty of the comparison game. I would like to think that I am not alone here, but hell I may very well be, a jealous, miserable bitch. 

From a young age, you tell yourself what you want from life, and you dream of where you will be by a certain point in your life. I don't know about you, but I was either on sedatives in elementary school or I was really blowing rainbows out of my ass. (Mom can you confirm either of these?)  I swore to myself that at 30 I would be married to Lance Bass from N Sync with 3 kids, living in LA and drinking margaritas in my in ground pool while someone else took care of my kids. 


Here I sit 29 and unmarried. My true love, Lance Bass has since come out of the closet, and we never got to have those kids. In fact, the closest thing to that has happened in regards to my diluted life prediction, has come in the form of getting lit off of  1/2 price Corona's while sitting in a baby pool in my mothers back yard. 

As it turns out, things don't always go according to plan. But that's OK, I just keep telling myself that while aapproaching 30,  its normal to panic. Now let me share, my inner most thoughts with a little version of what happens in my mind each day.

     Here's a role play break down. 

Society: You are on the wrong side of 25, have yet to marry, and push out a baby, you are as a good as a leper.

Real life in Jackie's brain: I am 29 and 3/4. A room full of 13 year olds with attest that I don't look a day over 24. I don't want to be married yet, and I am not ready for a baby. I am poor!

Society: All your friends have babies, when will you have one? If you wait until after 30 your baby will have 3 heads and a tail. YOU WILL BE TOO OLD. You don't want a baby with a tail do you? DO YOU ?!?!?

Real life Jackie's brain: What the hell. Too old? I am turning 30! I don't feel old, don't people live past 100 now? In 2013 your telling me I cant have a baby over 30? Cant I freeze my eggs next to some ice cream in my freezer? Not to mention, there is always adoption, assholes. 

Society: Oh you poor thing. You aren't married and you don't have a beach house and 2 cars. Whats there to live for?  or There must be something wrong with her... ( whispers and head nods)

Real life Jackie's brain: Does this make me a worthless contribution to society? What the hell is wrong with you!? I am 29. Shouldn't we worry when I am 39 and living the life of a hermit?

When everything around me feels like its too much pressure, I remember the wise words of my father. " Screw them, do what you want" ( please note this works to use in pretty much any situation) and I proudly assert myself again as a woman who works on her own timeline. Not what I "should" be doing. Recently, my own mom, who has never been one for pressure, asked me if she would ever be a grandmother. I was caught off guard, especially when I realized she was serious. I didn't tell her at the time, but i am sure she saw it when I turned up my nose and glared at her, she really pissed me off.
 ( still love you mom) My initial thought was, not you too. Its not Kath's fault,or any ones really. I know my mom wasn't trying to be offensive. But sometimes, you just give in to the idea that you may very well have something wrong with you, since you are in fact, NOT where you thought you would be at a certain age. 

I have learned, that you cant compare yourself to others. Its hard, really hard. But you have no idea what their life path is about. In my experience comparison, leads to envy, jealousy, and gets you literally nowhere. Well that's a lie, it does help you gain about 10 pounds and gives you a one way ticket to miserable. The reality of it all, is who gives a crap what anyone thinks about your life, you are living for you, or at least you should be. Marrying Lance Bass and living in LA is not for everyone. Either is marriage, babies, or a conventional job. So be it. The lesson is this.

live. You want a baby, go make one. You want a marriage, you ring those wedding bells girl. You want to pack your shit and move across the country, break out the packing tape. DO YOU. The time is right when its time. Slow down and live. Screw the idea of your MASH future, and your perfect idea of what and where you need to be at 30. If you get nothing more from my ramblings, please take this, next time you feel old or sub par, please repeat. Its 30. Not, death.  

Now, I leave you with a quote that I refer to often. -This one applies to everyone, and somehow calms me down when everything else gets too big. 

 Carolyn Hax, said this to a 30 year old woman depressed over her single/childless status: 
"Single? Irrelevant. Staying happily married is a feat, I suppose, but getting married in itself is no accomplishment. Making good decisions, dealing with bad ones, resisting outside pressure, moving at your own speed, overcoming fear, growing up, facing your faults -- these are accomplishments. If they find you married, so be it. If they find you single, so be it. Just as age is no mark of worth, birthdays are no measure of beginnings...Your beginning will be the day you take on your malaise. "Now" has a ring to it, no?"

Monday, June 3, 2013

Dirty Thirties and How to Survive : What's a Girl to Do?

This morning, I had the pleasure of waking up to my fan turning off at 4:30 am. Normally, this wouldn't be an issue, but the power had gone out, and I was now without the whirling noise that apparently, now need to sleep. Without realizing it, I've come quite dependent on the fan. I am sure by now, you are thinking, Jackie why the hell does anyone give a rats ass about your fan or the power outage for that matter? Well, as you may know, I am on the brink of 30, its a mere month away, and I have about a million thoughts racing through my mind, all the time. This morning, around 4:31am, my thoughts were off and running and there was no turning back. Going back to sleep, was not in the cards and my blog came to mind as something to do to pass the powerless time. Maybe the fan turning off and the power going out or the fact that I feel like I am getting old, but still feel young doesn't matter or apply to you. But hear me out. I think I have some decent thoughts on the matter, and I plan to share them over my newest blog series Dirty Thirties and How To Survive. As the oldest gal in my group of friends, I feel like its my civic duty to guide the way to and through this horrifying birthday mile stone. Plus, I watched Princesses of Long Island last night on Bravo, and now I know I am not the only 29 something in America who doesn't have their shit together. Those bitches need help. So, for the first entry, lets keep the knives in the kitchen and keep it light! Most people claim that your 30's are some of the best times of your life, and since I am sure one of my future posts will be about me highlighting all the horrible fears I have for 30, I would like to share with you a friendly life list, of things to before you turn 30.

I researched a lot of lists, but I decided to share one with you, instead of making my own. Mainly because I am lazy, but also because I laughed to hard at this one, cause it didnt suck. Heres what lured me in. 

"Worrying about life is a lot like coleslaw: It sucks, it’s an ugly mound of crap that somehow shows up on all of our plates, people who swear by it still know deep down that it sucks, and most of us give into tasting it at some point ..." - JUSTIN WHITE

Here is Justin's list of 29 things to do in your 30's. He went to Harvard, so he must be smart right?  Click the link to check it out. 

29 things

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Savings: Secret Weapons Part 2

Secret weapons Part 2

Aside from rewards cards, savings can come in many other avenues. Here are some sites for savings, along with things you can afford to save money on by buying generic. 

Sites for savings: 

Groupon, Living Social & Amazon Local 
Use these sites to score the deals of the day to save money on local shopping from restaurants, vacations, services such as hair cuts and goods.

price comparison website to compare prices for items you wish to purchase. Bizrate will generate a list of prices and show you how much said item costs at multiple stores.

3. Retail me not
Coupon codes and savings for retailers. Most coupons are posted from real consumers. They also give you a % of times that the coupon has been used successfully. There is nothing worse than having a bogus coupon code.


Use this website to learn to coupon, combine savings and price match. Lots of tips and ideas for beginners.

5. CamelCamelCamel 

This website is great for big ticket items. After signing up, you type in the brand or type of item you are going to purchase. It brings up the history of selling cost, as well as stores and prices. You can also sign up to have an email sent to you when your coveted item goes on sale! Check this hidden gem out.


This website is awesome, if like me you want to live like Carrie Bradshaw. Simply create an account, and you can set up a delivery date for a particular designer dress. You can also rent accessories such as bags, jewelry, watches and belts. Some designers include, Badgley Mischka, Diane Von Furstenberg,
HERVÉ LÉGENicole Miller ,BCBGMAXAZRIA,D&G by Dolce and Gabbana ,Kate Spade & Vera Wang. Totally worth checking out if you have an event or hot date to attend. 

7. Bill Shrink
This website allows you to enter your current payments for cell phones, and cable and it generates other money saving options. It was featured on CNN as well as ABC.

8. Scoutmob
Utilizes local discounts that you can download directly to your phone. Most are time sensitive. For example, you could get a $10.00 haircut, but the voucher may expire within the day or two days. 

9. LIfesta
This websites buys pre purchased vouchers from Groupon that you may no longer need to use or forgot about. Don't let your money go to waste, re sell your vouchers.

10. I Heart CVS
This website allows you to preview the weekly circular, and also use store coupons with coupons from the Sunday Paper. You will get information on how to accumulate extra bucks and what to buy each week. There are many free items each week if you know the tips and tricks.

Things you should buy generic to save a buck

1. Milk
Cows milk is milk. There are no designer or brand name cows. Unless you have to have organic, or almond milk, buy whats cheap. It basically all the same inside the gallon.

2. Baking Staples
When buying baking soda, flour, and sugar, its OK to go generic. The ingredients are the same for the store brand vs. the name brand. When was the last time someone ate a cupcake and questioned if it was made with store brand flour? You see my point. 

3. Cereal
Hans will attest to this. Its pretty hard to screw up Rice Crispies and Frosted Flakes. Even Cheerios are generally comparative to the store brand. Over all, there isn't much difference if you go generic, except of course, the savings.

4. Bottled Water
Water is water in the area of plain old purified H20. I would prefer you didn't buy water, but just used a reusable bottle instead. But if you are like my mom, and have to have bottles of water around, then buy generic.

5. Aluminum Foil                 
Again, foil is foil. Saran wrap ( plastic wrap) is often another story. If you buy cheap, its harder to get out of the tube and can cause some annoyances.

6. Cleaning Products
Bleach, window cleaner, toilet bowl cleaner
All these things have mainly the same ingredients. Check out your brands to see how they compare. 

7. Pain Relievers
Tylenol & Advil can be replaced with store brand. Again, ingredients are comparable. I have never noticed a difference.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Credit Card Rewards: Secret Weapons Part 1

I am always on the hunt to get the most for my money. More recently, I was having a battle over whether or not its worth spending $50.00 on a bra from Victoria's secret. Since all of mine are basically ready to break at the seams from overuse. I have been wearing them for God only knows how long, College or longer. I decided that I would of course shop around, but since they last for years and are high quality, its worth the money. This lead me into thinking about sharing some money saving secret weapons. I know what works for me and I will share those sites and ideas with you tomorrow. This morning, I enlisted the help of my best friends. I am asking everyone to let me know which splurges and expensive products you hate to spend money on. My goal today is to research these products and find you money saving coupons and alternatives to paying full price. If you have something to share, please post a comment and I will do all the leg work to bring you the deep discounts. Today starts  a two part mini blog series I like to call Sneaky Money Saving Secret Weapons. Today, I will feature credit cards as weapons and tomorrow bring to you sites and cheap secret weapons for shopping. 

Secret Weapon: Discover Card
Credit Cards- I know in some instances credit cards can really be evil, but if you can control your spending they can sometimes give you major kick backs.  When getting a card, do your homework to make the most of your spending. The savings can really add up! I can only speak of the Discover card, cause I only have one credit card but its really awesome for Cash Back. Like many cards, each month there are specific sign ups for cash back. Here is the calendar for Discover. 

January- March- 5% cash back on all restaurants and movie tickets

March-June- 5% Home Improvement

July- September- 5% Summer Fun

October- December- 5% Holiday Shopping

You also get 1% cash back on all purchases. You can save  or spend your bonus cash.Each month you can use your points to get gift cards ( which I do) or use it to get a cash back bonus check. You can have the check sent to you, or use it toward paying your monthly bill. They also allow you to use your reward cash to donate to charities such as Make a Wish Foundation and The Red Cross. As always, its best to pay off your balance in full each month, so make sure you are careful with the card. You don't want to get into debt just for the sake of rewards. For years, I was using a crap Citi bank card with rewards that sucked. You couldn't use them unless you wanted to get a discount off of an item you still had to pay for. Totally lame. Depending on how much and where you shop, you can really make out. For instance, I try to buy groceries at Walmart. I save money because its cheap and I also get 5% cash back each time I use my card. Not too shabby. I also like to buy from Groupon and Living Social. I get cash back from each Groupon purchase, plus Groupon in itself is a discount for services or goods. If I buy gifts and beauty supplies at Ulta, I get 10% back each time! Its not for everyone, but it may be for you. Here are the current cash back bonuses for Discover.

5% Cash back 





10 % Cash Back 



15% Cash Back 

20% Cash Back 

  If you are like me, and you shop at any of these stores. It might be worth your while to look into the Discover cash reward card. To sign up or get more information, click on the link below.

* If you decide to sign up for a card, leave me a comment so I can email you. If I refer you, we both get a $50.00 cash back bonus! *

Here you will find a website listing other credit cards with cash back or rewards bonuses. Check it out!  It ranks them by reviews as well as credit scores so you know what you can get! If you have another card you use that gives you great deals, I would love to hear about it. 

Until tomorrow, Stay Cheap my friends.