Thursday, January 30, 2014

Angry Birds Friends


I had to look back and see when my last Angry Birds related post was and it was just last month when Angry Birds Go came out. That is the Mario Kart like game.

I actually completely forgot about that one, my attention span for games is apparently pretty short. BUT...If you are at all competitive and did like Angry Birds at one point, or still do now, check out Angry Birds Friends.

I don't believe it is anything new, I just happened to notice it in the app store. What I like about this one is you get 6 levels to complete each week and your goal is to score higher than your friends on each of the levels and overall. The game itself is similar to the original Angry Birds, other than the head-to-head part.

I'm super competitive when it comes to things like that and don't like to lose. Right now I am competing against just 2 others, one is my cousin John and the other is a former co-worker Scott and it appears we are all equally competitive.

The first 3 weeks I came in 3rd, then last week I came in 1st. Woot!

This week I was the first one to start the week out and thought for sure I had done so well that I couldn't be beat. I opened it up today and found the pic above. I'm pretty close to my cousin, but wayyyy behind Scott.  Bummer....I got some catching up to do!

Each week the slate is wiped clean and you start from scratch so you can jump in at any time.

I'd love to have a few more peeps in there. Jump on in and prepare to meet your doom! 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Turbo Tax 35% Discount

It's tax time again.  I've always used TurboTax and it transfers over all my data from the prior year so I continue to use it.  I believe there are free options such as TaxAct, but I figure one place with all my personal financial info is enough and since there is no state tax in Florida, I just have to pay for the Federal. 

Unfortunately, the Bank of America discount, which was 35% off appears to be no longer available in 2014.  However, here are a few others ways to get discounts...

For anyone wanting/needing to utilize the desktop/download version, Amazon offers the same discount that the companies mentioned below offer.  And what I found is that this year, they have rolled up several forms and schedules from their lower priced online versions into their higher prices $79+ online Business version.   However, that is not yet the case for their desktop versions, so this year I'm having to utilize the desktop version myself and I did so via this discount link to Amazon:

Scottrade offers members 30% off online or 20% off desktop versions
Vanguard offers members a 25% discount  
Wells Advantage has a $20 discount
Fidelity gives its members a $20 discount
T. Rowe Price gives a discount up to $20 
USAA Turbo Tax Discount has a 25% discount
Progressive Insurance has a 25% discount
AAA Member gives its members a 25% discount

And since it's the time of year to be thinking about funding those IRAs or opening a trading/investment account, definitely check out Options House. 100 Commission Free trades and $125 in transfer fees. If a Free Kindle Fire HD is more appealing, you can choose that offer instead.  Great deals either way!

Open an IRA @ OptionsHouse Today.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


No, the subject line isn't a personal confession, it is a product that I saw on George Takei's Facebook page yesterday and thought it was hilarious. I actually think it would be great for our nephew Max!

He LOVES playing on GiGi's iPad and since he's right at that age where he is discovering the potty chair, this could work out well.

Only problem is that he may never leave the chair!  How funny...At only $35 it's actually not a bad deal, as it includes a regular seat too.  iPad not included.  :p

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

2014 Goals and 2013 Goal Recap

As a result of my sister Jen's goal update yesterday, I decided to revisit last years goals and highlight some for 2014.  Jen was a bit disappointed in her results and looking back at my 2013 goals, it looks like I didn't quite hit the mark either.

It's funny, I thought I was working towards some goals with my website stuff last year and now that I pulled up my 2013 goals, apparently I did not have any website related goals for 2013.  The goals I was thinking of in the back of my mind were from my 2012 beginning of year goals and 2012 goals revisited posts.

So apparently last year was an off year for goals for my sister and I for whatever reason, at least I'm in good company!

Here is a quick breakdown of how I did based on my 2013 Goals:

1. Stocks: Get 12 performance bonuses on the site that I am a member of. It is a friendly competition where you paper trade 1 stock each week and attempt to beat out the "Spikers", which are a group of about 10 seasoned stock traders. I did manage to get 9 performance bonuses, which was better than the 8 I got the year before, so not bad, but didn't get 12.

The other part of this goal was to get a 10% return in my personal trading account, which is an old rollover 401k account.  Unfortunately, I didn't quite hit this goal.  My rate of return was 7.5% and with the overall stock market up almost 30% last year, I wasn't happy with those results.  Luckily our regular 401k and Roth IRA account got much closer to the overall market rate than I did, but I definitely need to do better here.

2. Fitness: Gain 20lbs, make better meal choices and try to increase cardio.  Fail, fail and fail.

3. Travel:  Go on vacation somewhere and visit our niece and nephew, Hadley and Max more. Accomplished.  We went to Riviera Maya in Mexico and stayed at the Excellence Riviera Cancun.  We also got to see Max and Hadley for the July 4th weekend and for Christmas this year.  We would like to see them more, but weekly FaceTime chats definitely help to fill in the gaps.

4. Job:  Keep the options open.  Job has still been the same and I am keeping my options open.  Still always on a quest for less work, more pay and more freedom when it comes to the day job!  ;)

5. Dream/Vision board:  Did not do this one.

So overall, I'd have to say, other than travelling, I really didn't do real well on my goals as a whole.  And it is odd to me that I didn't have goals for my website stuff in 2013.  Looking back at my 2012 goals, I did seem to meet the goals I had set in 2012, so I was on-track, just a year off apparently.

Goals for 2014

I'm going to keep my personal goals much more simple this year.  

1. Stocks: Continue to shoot for 12 performance bonuses for SpikeTrade. In my personal account, perform better than the overall market by the end of the first quarter or put most of the $ in the existing mutual funds that I'm holding.

2. Fitness: Eliminate soda and phase out caffeinated drinks in favor or water or drinks like lemonade. Stretch and strengthen my lower back at least every other day for at least 5-10 minutes.  Add in more vegetables and salads and have smaller portions of pasta and white/enriched carbs. Hit up Planet Fitness at least once per week, preferably twice.

3. Travel: We already have our 2 week cruise to Alaska/Seattle/Vancouver booked, so this one doesn't really count.  Mom is going along with us as well.  Would like to see Max and Hadley and our new niece or nephew that arrives in June as well.

4. Job: Continue to learn new skills and keep options open.  Less work, more pay, more freedom!

That's all folks!  I think keeping it simple this year is key in regards to my personal goals.  

I did an entire post in relation to my website/online adventure goals for 2014 here.  I have lots of specifics in there, but I'm most looking forward to interacting and engaging with others on a more personal level!

How about you?  How did you do in 2013?  Any new goals for 2014? 

Monday, January 6, 2014

Happy Birthday Wifey!

Happy Birthday to my wonderful wifey!  

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