The Casting Dock

Posts from — July 2011

good deals. I just can’t get enough.

The older I’ve gotten, the more I’ve realized, I truly am my mother’s daughter. Now with any such realization there’s a solid mixture of pride and trepidation. Pride because my mom’s awesome and I love, respect, and admire her to pieces and trepidation because, well, the thought somehow infringes on my sense of being independent (which I highly value) and because, let’s be honest, we are all very accustomed to our parents’ lovely little “quirks” which we claim we will never adopt…

Nevertheless, I am definitely my mother’s daughter. She called me yesterday to talk her through sending a picture as an email attachment (thankfully I don’t have her tech illiteracy, but that’s mainly just a function of my generational advantage). Since we use different email providers I logged into her account to talk her through screen by screen and what did I find but like 10,000 emails in her inbox. Junk mail never bothered to be sorted through. What’s my gmail right now? 6,386. Drives Jerry nuts. Similarly, our houses aren’t obsessively tidy (that’s the nice way to put it…), we’re both pretty flexible and laid back, we both have reputations as strong “talkers” (she wayyyyy more than I…), we both enjoy thinking about, talking about, and planning vacations almost as much as we enjoy taking them, and most importantly for today’s purposes, we just can’t pass up a good deal.

I seriously can’t get enough of a good deal. I have to caution myself to not spend money on something I don’t need or wouldn’t normally buy simply because it’s such a good deal. That caution failed miserably yesterday when I bought this adorable little dress simply because it was marked down, marked down, marked down and I just thought it was so cute:

Now bear in mind that I have no one to give this to and I certainly don’t intend to have a child for a few years, so what in the world am I going to do with it??? Jerry’s cousin is the only person I know with a baby girl and she was JUST born and lives in Ohio so by the time she’s big enough to wear this, it will be the middle of winter. The funny thing is that I know for baby clothes mark downs, $5 really isn’t that much of a “steal” but the fact that it was originally $30 made it too much of a deal to pass up. It doesn’t matter that no one would have paid 30 bucks for this. Just wayyyy over-price something and then mark it down and I’ll buy it just cuz…

Next up, groupon getaways and living social escapes. OH. MY. WORD. I love checking out the daily deals in my area, but these “escapes” take it to a whole new level. I HAVE to capitalize on one of these someday (remember how I loooooooove planning trips??!?). I mean, $499 for TWO people for SEVEN days at a resort on the beach??! Is there anything more heavenly, particularly in the middle of a New England winter?

My favorite thing (almost) ever? Free. Money. Bank of America (our bank) has this Keep the Change savings account. It rounds off all your debit card purchases to the nearest dollar and then transfers the change automatically to your savings account. The best part? They will match every cent that gets transferred for the first 3 months (up to $250). ONE HUNDRED PERCENT MATCH for 3 months. That’s what I call Free. Money. So yeah, I use the self check-out at the grocery store and ring up like every item individually because I am intent on maximizing that free money. Shooting for the $250 limit…

Lastly (for today), Smarty Pig. I LOVE Smarty Pig and I pretty much tell everyone about it.

Now they do give a referral reward, but for the first few years they didn’t and I still talked it up like the Second Coming, so don’t go thinking that I only want to capitalize on the reward, because I am obsessed with this company. Basically it’s an online savings bank for specific goals. You set a goal and link it up with your checking account and then it withdraws the amount you designate (minimum of $10 monthly) as frequently as you like. You get 1.10% APY, which isn’t AWESOME (it was 3.25% when I signed up a couple years ago which was an incredible rate given the state of the economy), but it’s the highest I’ve found for online savings without ANY fees or hoops to jump through. Once you reach your goal (or really any time you desire) you can close it out free of charge and send the money back to your savings or you can put your money on one of their retailer giftcards and gain an additional percentage boost. For example, if you want to cash out $100, you can choose to cash it out on a macy’s giftcard and get an additional 11% boost, meaning your $100 cash would become a macy’s giftcard for $111. Free. Money. They have about 100 really awesome retailers all with different percentage boosts. I think LLBean is the largest with 14%, but they have Pottery Barn, Panera, Banana Republic, etc. Can you tell I LOVE this company? If you’re interested in signing up or want more info, leave a comment or email me (lisa.m.stabile@gmail.com) because I really do just love helping other people get free money.

Please, please, please share any awesome deals you have! I’m always on the hunt…

July 29, 2011   4 Comments

my favorite weekend of the year

Every summer I organize a “reunion” of sorts for my closest friends from college.

It’s easily my most highly anticipated weekend of the year.

A weekend chock-full of sports, games, quality conversation, abundant time outside, bountiful food, and most importantly, LAUGHTER…yeah, I eat it up every year. Even though we were (sadly) missing a whole host of people this year and happened to stumble upon the hottest weekend of the year in Maine (with highs allegedly reaching 102), we still had an absolute blast playing tennis, bocce, ladder ball & volleyball and enjoying quality time together at the beach and around the dinner table.

I am so thankful for this unique group of people. And to those of you who couldn’t come–we truly missed you!

Classically, I’m already looking forward to next year.

July 25, 2011   4 Comments

a splash of alaska and seattle.

Big trip for the summer, ladies and gents?

Alaskan cruise with the Logan fam topped off with a few extra days in (shockingly) sunny Seattle. GLORIOUS.

Some highlights:

1. Glacier Bay: not quite the iceberg infested waters that I was envisioning but super sweet nonetheless!

2. EXCURSIONS! Hiking in Juneau and ziplining in Ketchikan, both of which were BEAUTIFUL and a total blast despite the mid-50 degree temps and the constant drizzle/all-out rain.

3. Quality Logan family time :)

4. Mr. Logan getting completely doused in what we first thought was a GIGANTIC splash of bird excrement while in Victoria, BC. We later determined that while the smell may have been in line with that deduction the sheer volume was too much for any one bird. The culprit is still undetermined, but the majority vote goes to someone dumping sewer water out their window and down onto the street. Man, it was gross, but equally hilarious. Poor guy had to just throw away his jacket. There was no saving it.

5. DANI! We got to see our friend Dani twice while in Seattle, once for fireworks on the 4th at this BALLIN’ house overlooking the water and once for a fun night out at this little jazz club. I just adore her. :)

6. Pretty much everything about Seattle. We had PERFECT weather and I just fell in love with this city. So liveable and not horribly congested; the people were super friendly and very outdoorsy/greeeeeeeeen. A little something for everyone. Plus, they had a crumpet and tea shop. Aaaaaand we got $5 tickets to a Mariners game 15 minutes before it started. Now I know they’re not the Red Sox, but I certainly appreciate convenience and a good deal.

Now that I’m back in the blogging world, I’m dying to know–where are summer vacations taking you this year??

July 20, 2011   6 Comments

starting off with a wedding…

One of my college roommates got married back in June.

(What better way to re-enter the blogging world than with a little photo recap?)

Technically, she was one of my “apartment-mates” since we never actually shared a room, but I’m liberal with the roommate title. Makes it easier that way, I think. You know, to basically say, “This is a person who I deeply care for and have an abundance of shared experiences with and basically just think the world of” all by simply saying, “My college roommate…”

Anyway, she got married in beautiful, sunny southern California and I just HAD to have a little photo documentation on the blogfront. I was able to attend with my two ACTUAL college roommates for a delightful whirlwind of a girls weekend (Jer was at another wedding in NC…the motto was “divide and conquer”).

Congrats Lauren & Eric!

July 16, 2011   7 Comments