A Better Cat Bowl – Bistro

If you’ve spent any time reading my blog, you’ve likely discovered I’m a sucker for gadgets, making my life easier, and my cats. Today, I bring to you something that combines all three.

For those of you who do read my blog, you may remember back in April I raved and then shortly afterward complained about my purchase of the Wireless Whiskers Auto Diet Feeder. Despite their awful website, for $160, I really expected quality from this cat bowl, and I’m sad to say it’s absolute junk. It cracked less than a month into using it. It’s constantly telling me to reset the clock which takes about 5 minutes due to the poor interface. Top that off with their customer service being absolutely awful and humorously trying to tell me that they were better than Apple, I 100% completely regret this purchase.

Sadly, there’s not another bowl on the market that meets my needs:

- Reduce the amount of time/number of times I spend “feeding the cats”

- Prevent my overweight cat from overeating and in turn throwing up.

- Also prevent that same cat from eating the other cats’ food causing them to get nothing.

Up until yesterday, aside from the awful excuse of a product above, the only options were to let my cats free feed which wouldn’t work solve 2 of the above needs, or spend my days carefully feeding and monitoring the three as I feed them specific amounts making sure they don’t eat each others food.

Now if you read carefully, you’ll notice I said “up until yesterday.” That’s because yesterday, a campaign on Indiegogo popped up for a new and improved “smart” cat bowl called Bistro. Not only does it control how your pet eats, but it also monitors food AND water consumption as well as their weight which is sent to a companion app. For the really creepy pet owners, you can even watch your pet eat from your phone and share it with other fellow cat enthusiasts. If that weren’t futuristic enough for you, this all works, not by clunky collar tags, but by facial recognition. Yes, you read that right.

In less than 24 hours it’s nearly halfway to it’s goal, and right now you can score almost 30% off of one of these bowls if you support the effort.

As an owner of multiple pets, knowing how much or little my pets are eating even when I’m not home is a great idea, and it could alert you to problems and save your pets’ lives.

If you haven’t checked out Bistro, please do.

If you use the link below and choose to support the campaign, I’ll get $15 off my Bistro. {With a new house in the future, all the money helps.}

Click Here to Learn More About Bistro

Check out Bistro and enjoy your day everyone.

Signature Update

Creative Frugal Choices Pay Off

I have a bit of a confession and a big lesson learned for anyone reading this.

For the past couple years, I’ve been living at home helping my mom with her finances. Living at home definitely has it’s perks. I won’t lie. One of those perks I took advantage of was not having bills. Aside from the $900 I gave her each month, I had very few “bills” and even then they were more like conveniences (Netflix, Birchbox, etc.) The result – I blew my money away like no tomorrow. If I saw something, I bought it. A trip to the grocery store for dinner for one night might have been $40 bucks. Seriously what was I thinking?

Word to the wise: don’t do what I did. I’d be in a much better situation without the $2K in debt. Thankfully that’s all I have.

Fast forward to today, I’m looking to buy a home. If my offer on this home goes through, by the time closing comes, I’ll have nearly $13,000 in the bank to put towards a small downpayment, a part of closing costs and some minor expenses when I move in. All I can think of is had I saved my money instead of blowing it, I’d have more money to put down, and more money for repairs afterwards. But, live and learn.

So not wanting to put more money on credit cards and wanting to be as thrifty as possible, I’ve started getting creative with options, and here’s what I’ve accumulated over the past week and all for free:

- $95 in Home Depot gift cards from Nielsen Mobile Rewards and MyPoints

- a side by side fridge

- a George Foreman grill – why not?

- a blender

- a full set of silverware

- gifts of $2500 from family – THANK YOU!

Sure it’s just a start and it’s going to take work to get everything that I want done, but even so that’s significant amount of savings that I won’t need to be paying out of pocket or on credit cards when I move in, which means more money left over that can go towards the new floors and saving for other improvements and paying down the credit cards.

In fact knowing I made nearly $5 in Amazon gift cards this afternoon alone gives me hope that provided I curtail my spending {I have to…}, stop buying retail first and check out thrift stores, and find other means to do things has given me a new goal – Try to pay for everything on Amazon with gift cards and cash back offers as much as possible.

Next on the list, sell some of my old things I don’t use – tons of American Eagle Jeans and other clothes, a full size Yamaha digital piano, an acoustic guitar, some old text books, and a few other gadgets here and there.

It won’t be instantaneous, but slow and steady is going to have to win my race because as far as I know, I’m not getting a raise anytime soon {although if any of my employers are reading this, one would certainly help out the financials :)}.

Thanks for stopping by, and hopefully I have good news shortly.

Signature Update

 

 

 

Today’s a Big Day

Well folks,

I never imagined I’d be saying this, but I may soon be a homeowner.

I scoured the internet for places I could afford. I also learned afford and what you qualify for are totally different things. Somehow I could qualify for a home that costs $225,000 but of course, I’d be eating rice everyday and sitting in the dark. Not much fun there.

As much as I love the idea of owning a house, as a single woman, I knew yard work and major exterior projects were just not my cup of tea, so I set out looking at condo or at least town homes that did the yard work.

I quickly found 3 places, oddly enough all roughly on the same street

There were two 2 bedroom-1 bath condos. They had some upgrades, but nothing major, and wonderful windows. I’d still need to replace most of the appliances, redo the kitchen and tear up the carpet. Both had traffic noise AND both happened to be on the fourth floor. I was winded after just carrying my Vera Bradley wristlet up with me. I can’t imagine moving furniture in or bringing groceries up, or just walking up every day. I’d need to add another 1000 calories to my diet or something. Both had at least one balcony, but one had two. Sadly they were completely unusable because they were either too small or off the master bedroom.

The 3rd place was my favorite right away before I even saw it for the simple fact that it was a 2-bedroom 2-bath. Not everyone else agreed. From the pictures it looked horrible. Whoever lived there must have loved red carpet, mirrors, bad mini blinds, and wallpaper, and it hasn’t been touched in over a year. Thankfully, it was also the cheapest and happens to be on the 2nd floor (which is actually down a flight of steps in the building). There’s barely any traffic noise, and it’s even got a fireplace.

The last one won my heart over in an instant. Everyone noticed immediately. I saw myself sitting on the balcony either with friends in the evening or drinking coffee in the mornings, and I started picturing what I’d do to the rooms and where my furniture would go.

But let’s be real here, the reason it won me over was the second bathroom. My real estate agent may have laughed at my reasoning, but I absolutely did not want my toilet trained cats using the main bathroom. Until my cats learn to flush when they’re done (which I don’t see happening anytime soon), that’s just something that is hard to explain and definitely not pleasing to guests. Plus I really didn’t want to share my bathroom with guests.

It’s may be the smallest unit of the three (only by about 10 sq. feet), but it’s also the cheapest. It has the best layout (the others had a lot of wasted space), and with a bit of TLC, it’s the one with the most potential. (Fixed up 2 br 1 ba units on a top level have sold for $40K more than this place is listed.) I know just removing the red carpet, wallpaper, and mirrors will do wonders for this place, and I can’t wait.

Oh and did I mention it’s even closer to my work than I am now?! The location is perfect. Plus I’m excited to actually be moving back into civilization where high speed internet and public utilities exists, and even if I have to deal with week long power outages (which is unlikely) I’ll at least have running water.

So after drafting up budgets, planning to move things to my own accounts (cell phone, insurance, etc), and secretly pinning a ton of ideas to Pinterest, tonight I go to sign the contract.

I’m slightly terrified in getting my own place especially knowing it’s a fixer upper that will require new floors, paint, and a new fridge right away, but there’ll be plenty of blog posts to write if things work out.

Signature Update

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