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Cabin Fever, Tax Refund, & Lots of Photos


I can not wait for Spring. I am feeling cabin fever like crazy and it’s MAKING me crazy. Not to mention I am no fun to be around.

Thankfully I have a financial pick me up coming in less than two weeks. The glorious tax refund. I have PLANS for the money.

For Me:

  • iPhone
  • Nikon D90 (body only)
  • starting WeightWatchers
For Keith:

  • iPhone
  • starting WeightWatchers
For Daniel:

  • new bike
  • new shoes
  • new video game

For Tristan:

  • teethers
For the Household:

  • accessories for the bathroom
  • new duvet cover and sheets
  • new scales (bathroom and food)
  • new stove
  • paint
  • curtains

I think there’s more but I can’t remember off the top of my head right now. I do know I have to pay my vehicle sticker which went up $20 since last year.

Anyway, as you can see I am planning on purchasing two iPhone’s. I would love it if you could suggest your five favorite apps!

Does anyone else have a hard time during the cold months? I know this is due in part to having the baby, I don’t want to drag him out in the super harsh weather. I am just not used to being inside SO much.

See, it’s been just about a YEAR of being “trapped” in the bedroom. Last March is when I started bleeding at 12wks pregnant and was put on bedrest. I then developed SPD, which also kept me in bed, combined with recovering from the emergency repeat c-section this past October… yeah… I am itching to be outside! It doesn’t help that most of my photography is of the nature variety which is not easy to do inside!

We are planning on redecorating the house (FINALLY!), starting with the bathroom as the space is extremely small with a really odd color paint. We are going to paint the walls/ceiling a bright white and have the accent color be in the blue family. I figure I can use some sky prints of mine on the walls to really pull it together, such as the following.


Road Sunset

A Sneak Peek



Or perhaps the accent color could be pink (the male folk won’t care)…






Or maybe green!





The hardest part in some ways, is just deciding on the color palette! Do you have any favorite home design blogs/sites?

Well I suppose I am going to sit here in bed, I’m sure the baby is going to wake up soon enough to nurse (yay for co-sleeping and breastfeeding!), and watch some TV quietly.

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posted on January 30th 2010 at 7:48AM CST

Gorgeous photos. My husband has an iPhone – I’ll point him this way to see if he wants to give you suggestions.

I cannot believe you’re getting enough of a refund to buy all that stuff! What am I doing wrong? Our refunds are never more than 2k. Sometimes we end up owing money.

posted on January 30th 2010 at 7:51AM CST

We still sit waiting for our paperwork so we can file for the tax refund. It is frustrating since we need so many things. We both have Iphones already :) and I would say that my favorite apps are….Pandora, “Blowfish” (the babe gets the biggest kick out of it, will even let me suction her nose and brush her teeth if she’s playing!), “Tappy Tunes Light” (same reason), and that’s about it. Oh, Tweetie. And a WordPress App. All free ones!
I am also having horrible Cabin Fever. It is snowing right now for the first time this winter but I honestly spend almost all day indoors every day. So it gets old. She just hates being outside and burrows into me like she’s freezing, so I stopped trying as much.
Lastly- are the photos all yours? They are lovely, very sharp. What kind of camera do you have? I would love a new camera (swoon) but we def. don’t have the money for that now. I can dream about it though, and I do love the look of yours from the above!

posted on January 30th 2010 at 7:56AM CST

@Lynda Thank you! Oh that would be great if he could suggest some apps!

I qualify for the Earned Income Credit which really helps and this year (well for the 2009 tax year) they upped the amount due to the economy. I do my taxes online through TurboTax. Last year I got a bit over $5k. This year, sadly, not THAT much, but enough to get all the fancy stuff, I am hoping we luck out and get some great sales/package deals but otherwise I planned out the money expecting full price on everything.

@Beecher I got my w2 fairly early but had to wait a bit for the 1099-R. I don’t think the boyfriend has gotten his tax documents yet, he has an appointment with his tax lawyer in about 2 weeks I believe.

OH yay for free apps! I am thrilled about the WP app, even though I have their blackberry one, I think the iPhone one works a lot better/smoother.

Yep the photos are all mine from the past couple of years! Shot with my old Panasonic Lumix FZ-20 and my Nikon D50 DSLR. I feel like I “deserve” the new camera body because I’ve had the D50 for… 4 years now? The D90 is much better in low light situations which is what I need this time of year! I will be giving the D50 body to my boyfriend so he can dive into photography. He has a GREAT eye and I would love for him to have a photoblog!

posted on January 30th 2010 at 8:20AM CST

I’ve spent more time inside this winter too – my lil guy is just a few weeks older than yours, so I totally understand not wanting to take him out in the cold.

Don’t have an iPhone, so I’ve got nothing there.

Your photography is divine!

posted on January 30th 2010 at 8:20AM CST

We finally filed our return yesterday and I cannot WAIT. We’re going for an SUV (for this winter weather we need one), some away for an apartment, and Randy’s fines for his license and then who knows what other fun stuff. Remodeling is fun but I’m not creative at all and know nothing about redecorating. Enjoy the iphone, i’m using an original env, lol.

posted on January 30th 2010 at 8:25AM CST

Oh my gosh, I cannot pick a favorite picure – they are all so gorgeous!!

posted on January 30th 2010 at 8:55AM CST

Amazing images so bright and pretty! Love them, aw I want an iphone, we don’t seem to get this tax rebate like the USA so unfair :(

posted on January 30th 2010 at 8:56AM CST

I like the sky pictures btw! for a bathroom anyway :)

posted on January 30th 2010 at 10:40AM CST

I like pink or green for the bathroom. (Mostly because those were my favorite sets of pictures. lol)

I’m getting a new DSLR with my tax refund as well. Canon Rebel XS, and a few lenses. I’m sooo excited to be able to take good photos again.

As for iPhone apps, I really like LoseIt (calorie/exercise tracker. Free), Yoga Stretch ($.99), Sally’s Spa (I got it for $.99 on sale a while back.), Tweet Deck (free), and PusupFu ($.99). They’re all really great. :D

I’m thinking about starting weight watchers as well, let me know how it goes for you!

posted on January 30th 2010 at 1:20PM CST

I think I like the pink a lot more. The photos are way more vibrant. I just started on the bathroom. I’m half way done. I just need some frames and a few photos printed up and then one of those over the toilet storage units. We don’t have much storage in there so one of those would come in handy. We just bought one of those nice bamboo bathroom sets so any colors we choose will go great with it.

As for the iPhone my favorite apps are…

Backgrounds – It allows you to choose from a large variety of backgrounds for your iPhone. You can download the ones you like and use them whenever you want.

CameraBag – Allows you to add effects to the photos you take with your iPhone. Like black/white, fisheye, etc.

Echofon – My Twitter app of choice. Truthfully I’m not sure why I choose this app over the other 2 I have. I guess it just feels more comfortable.

Pingle – Sort of like ping.fm. You can ping all of your social networks at once.

BeejiveIM – Allows you to chat via AIM, Yahoo, MSN, whatever. It’s expensive, but worth it if you’re big on those chat clients. There’s even an option that allows you to sign onto all accounts at once.

FunnyPics – Juan actually downloaded this one. It’s good for when you’re bored with nothing to do.

Ambiance – Lots of soothings sounds to help you to relax, fall asleep or whatever.

Flixter – If you go to the movies often this is cool because you can see trailers, show times at whichever theater you want, etc.

RunKeeper – Logs your runs/walks/bike rides, etc.

For the games I like Bookworm, Rock Band and Distant Shore (which isn’t really a game, but it’s still fun).

I can mail you a full list of my apps if you want. I have a TON. It’s an addiction.

posted on January 30th 2010 at 1:54PM CST

Love love LOVE the pink photos! (Not that I don’t like the others too — but the pink ones I absolutely ADORE. I can see how the menfolk might prefer a different choice, though. :-)

posted on January 30th 2010 at 3:39PM CST

zomg, you will LOVE your iPhone!

Best apps:
Amazon (ohmygod, the Amazon app is so cool, it lets you take a picture of anything, I seriously mean anything, and it will find that object for you. I tried it with a freaking PEN and it found that pen for me.) You can also do one-click-purchase with it, which is awesome, and dangerous, and awesome some more.

posted on January 30th 2010 at 5:44PM CST

I would love suggestions on a cheap, but GOOD Camera… I am looking into getting one with our tax return, along with photoshop. I would love to start taking more pictures well, better pictures of my kids…

posted on January 30th 2010 at 6:40PM CST

Lovely photos. I like the pink set best, with the last two in the green set after that- but I was thinking green trim with green and pink photos on the walls.

No idea what’s going to happen with our taxes. I didn’t even bother to file last year : / I couldn’t get my info from the company I was working for because some people don’t understand, ‘The software on the server logs me out every single time.’ After a while, I just gave up : (

I thought about a new camera, though… but probably just a netbook, if I get anything for me. That way I have something super portable to work on my programming all the time! I like that you have a sorted list for yours : )

posted on January 30th 2010 at 10:40PM CST

Beautiful photos. And you just gave me something to blog about :P We’re getting about 4.8k back and I have a list of things to do with it too (though most of it not fun stuff).

As for the iPhone (which I still want one, just can’t bring myself to switch to AT&T meh), I would have to get SitOrSquat simply cause it makes me giggle. It’s an application to find the closest bathroom. lol >_<

posted on January 31st 2010 at 1:07AM CST

I like the green… But I’m a green fanatic. It’s my favorite color. :)

I don’t have an iPhone so I can’t give you any advice there, but I would love to get one.

You know, this past year has been crazy for me. I lost my license and my car on January 2nd, 2009 and have been without a car since then. I quit my job shortly after that happened because I was pregnant and it was just too much. I have stayed at home pretty much every single day since then. I hit the store when we have a ride and we’ve got out of town to visit my mom a couple weekends over the course of the year, but mostly? I’ve been home. So I know ALL ABOUT cabin fever! And that financial pick up you’re talking about? It’s my saving grace. I get my license back and a car. Thank goodness. It’s about damn time! I need to get the eff out of the house. I love my kids, but Jeezy Chreezy could I use a break.

Can’t wait to find out how you decide to do your bathroom! Let us know!

posted on January 31st 2010 at 1:51AM CST

I really love all those pictures. Looks like you have big plans for your return, hope it all works out the way you have it planned.

posted on January 31st 2010 at 3:41AM CST

@ Natasha the plus side too is that when it IS warmer out, the baby is going to be a bit older, so I won’t be dragging a newborn around! Ohh thank you! I need to shoot more, I just am not that good with indoor photography lol.

@Amanda oh that will be great for him to get his DL back! I am hyper creative but the problem is before Keith and I got together he surrounded himself with bad people and they did a lot of damage to the house (holes in the walls for example) but he is willing to fix everything and the progress he’s made is astounding. He is going to HomeDepot tomorrow since we plan on buying all the paint at once. My problem is deciding on colors for every room!

@Dionna Thank you so much!

@Damita Thank you! Most people get a small rebate, I don’t think Keith will get anything back this year sadly.

@Caitlin I am leaning towards the pink as well, I would probably do bright pink accessories, not a soft baby pink. Yay for a DLSR but why Canon? LOL. I am so excited about getting the iPhone and Keith desperately needs a new phone, just in the past few days the vibrate function of his current phone died. Oh I’ve used WW in the past and had great success! I would have started sooner but I wanted to make sure my milk supply was well established first, thankfully WW has a breastfeeding option so I will get some more points that way so I don’t have any issue with my milk supply.

@Lisa Marie I think you’re right, I figure if Keith get’s his office, I can make the bathroom pink! I also want to put up some hooks for the towels and add two shelves for storage. OMGOSH I would love it if you could email me a list of the apps you use!!

@Cheryl thank you! I know Daniel could care less about the pink and it wouldn’t bother Keith… I think a nice bright pink instead of a soft pink would work the best too.

@TheFeministBreeder Oh I hope you’re right!! I am so thrilled that TweetDeck has an app… a FREE app at that, since I use their desktop version!

@Danielle what’s your budget? I naturally suggest Nikon or Panasonic for a point and shoot. Whatever you get make sure it has a high OPTICAL zoom and around six mega-pixels (big enough for poster size). For a DSLR you can get a brand new Nikon with a kit lens for around $500-700!

@Echo I think the pink set has won lol! You don’t have to file if you made $600 or less, you can file for back taxes though so that might be worth looking into. A netbook would be neat! I have no need for one though.

@Keeshia Thank you! Wow that is a great amount to get back! Last year I bought new tires for my car lol. As for the iPhone I figure we should have awesome service being so close to the city!

@Erin W. oh we love green here too, it’s DS1’s favorite color! I think we are going to paint one of the rooms green though… maybe the activity room since that’s the one he spends the most time in. Oh yes, I haven’t driven since… the summer really because it was too painful with the SPD so I need to ease back into it as I keep feeling like all the other cars are too close to me lol. I will for sure do a before/after of the bathroom!

@Sean thank you! I hope we manage to get everything we want and more!

posted on January 31st 2010 at 9:09AM CST

That sounds so exciting! It’s always fun to redecorate the house! You can always start over fresh and add in new ideas. I actually love your blue prints. Blue is cool and calming. It also brings great peace into the home. Whichever you choose, I’m sure it will be beautiful.

Here are some of my favorite home/interior blogs:


posted on January 31st 2010 at 10:31PM CST

Indeed, you have a great eye/camera skills/finishing skills. I, on the other hand, have a great “mind’s eye” – I see the shot ending up better than what the outcome is – plus i just don’t take the time to post-process hardly ever.

I would go w/a light blue bathroom, lots of “bathroom things” look good w/ a light blue (shower curtains, towels, etc)

posted on February 1st 2010 at 9:46AM CST

@Angel we are now pondering yellow and orange lol. Awesome links!! I am going through them all now!

@Tom aww thank you! I wish we could remove the shower/tub sliding doors and have a shower curtain but alas, the BF is hardcore about the doors lol.

posted on February 1st 2010 at 9:51AM CST

I can’t suggest home decorating blogs. I have no talent in that area. At all.

That said, my favorite 5 apps are: the official flickr app (duh), Bejeweled (what? it’s a great “i’m at the doctor waiting forever” app), smartICE-4family (I reviewed it here and believe every mom and dad should have it as the first app on their iPhone screen), echofon (my twitter app of choice; I use the paid version) and PS mobile (photoshop for your phone).

We’re also dying of Cabin Fever over here. I’m trying to be more creative with photos this month but last month was… well, difficult at best.

I don’t quite know what we’re doing with our refund yet. House stuff, I’m sure. Just don’t ask me to decorate. I may watch HGTV all day but I suck at doing it myself.

posted on February 1st 2010 at 2:17PM CST

Hi Sarah!
I’ve gotta tell you… I’m developing a bit of a photography crush on you! lol You always have such great photos. I wish I had more time to go out and take photographs, but time seems to be one of those things I don’t have enough of lately.
Moving on… I’m waiting for my tax returns to appear in my account any day now. I wish I could get a new Nikon body, but I’ll be holding onto my D60 for a little longer. As for the iPhone if it hasn’t already been mentioned, purchasing the Apple Care program is worth the $60-something investment. I’m on my 3rd iPhone thanks to my clumsiness. In fact, I’m using my old 3G because I killed my 3GS. I’ll be replacing it with a new 3GS soon.
Enjoy the tax return and keep on posting those photographs. I love them!


Lauren @ Hobo Mama
posted on February 1st 2010 at 3:35PM CST

Aaaaaaaaa!!!!!!! Such beautiful pictures.

Just had to pop in to scream.

posted on February 2nd 2010 at 1:00AM CST

Not sure why I didn’t post it before, guess I forgot the question (pea brain, I know) but here’s one of my favorite home sites. It has a lot of other stuff I find useful too. http://www.realsimple.com/

posted on February 2nd 2010 at 9:36AM CST

@FireMom I blame YOU for my newfound HGTV addiction lol! I am very excited because watching HGTV in combination with watching Hoarders, really motivates us to clean/decorate lol.

That smartICE-4family app is on my “to download” list for sure now. I will also make Keith get it as well!

@Kristi thank you SO MUCH!! I still need to branch out from nature only photography, Daniel doesn’t stop running around long enough (or wear a shirt lol) for me to take many photos of him to share and Tristan has to be “tricked” into smiling otherwise he tries to pounce at the camera!

I did ask on twitter about the AppleCare and the consensus was to wait since you have the full year to purchase it I believe?

@Lauren LOL thank you!!! I feel the photo love!!

@Keeshia oh I LOVE RealSimple! I subscribe to the magazine too!

posted on February 2nd 2010 at 10:20AM CST

Okay, my favorite apps…

Hipstamatic (and all the add-ons. It’s a fun photo app)
QuadCamera (another fun photo app)
Words Free (scrabble you can play w/ another iphone user)
Slacker Radio

Teresa (Chrissy)
posted on February 2nd 2010 at 12:39PM CST

Gorgeous photos!!!

5 iPhone apps I use constantly:
• MobileRSS – access your Google Reader account
• Echofon – twitter
• Livejournal – lj
• Trillian Pro – instant messaging
• Flixster – for movies; allows access to your Netflix queue through it

posted on February 3rd 2010 at 12:10AM CST

@Ally I am so excited about TweetDeck (and the fact that it’s free!) and OH Words Free sounds great, since I am getting Keith an iPhone it will be nice to do those… inter-phone games lol.

@Teresa (Chrissy) thank you! OH I did not know Trillian had an app for the iPhone, now that is something I will look into!

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