OUR LIFE IN 3D

The Home of Daddy's Day Dare! ~ I am just trying to stay above water

We are in good hands

One rainy night while on vacation this past summer we snuck out to see a movie, Guardians of the Galaxy. It was the best choice available at the time, although I really wasn’t excited about seeing a comic book movie with a talking raccoon. I mean how desperate can you get to sell a movie, right? A talking raccoon?

Guardians of the galaxyWell now the movie is out in Red Box and probably Netflix and you know what? It’s just my best favorite movie right now.

The movie is really not what you might expect. Yes, it is modeled similar to a Raiders of the Lost Ark

Kinda Raiderish

But it is accompanied by the best classic song mix and it doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s really funny!

From the very beginning it was a little bit different, not your usual Marvel Super Hero story. You knew this would be a fun, hip movie from this intro below… but what about the story?

And beware.. of the “pelvic sorcery in this fun intro….”

See what I mean about the music?

The song, “Come And Get Your Love” really sticks with you.

Meet Peter Quill. He was abducted by aliens right after his mother died when she gave him her favorite Mixed Tape from back in the 70’s. He grew up a kinda misfit outlaw, stole all my dance moves from that era, and soon came known by another name….. almost.

Star Lord. He is young and hip, misunderstood and not at all a fan of Ninja Turtles….

Through a series of misadventures he steals some sort of destructive orb that lots of people want. After beating each other up he teams up with a band of outlaws trying to break out of jail, calling themselves the Guardians Of The Galaxy!

Introducing Ana,AnaNow anyone old enough to follow Star Trek knows the effects a green woman can have on a man, namely one James T. Kirk. Turns out this chameleon  was also the main blue female character in Avatar as well as playing Uhura on the new Star Trek movies.  She is adventurous in any color, handcuffs or not.

There is also Drax

a good guyThis maniac was in prison with our other heroes. The antagonist in the movie killed his family and he is seeking revenge. He comes from a planet where everyone is quite literal. And it makes for a lot of fun in the movie. Check it out here….

There is also the talking raccoon who is a genetic experiment and he travels with another experiment, a living tree that doubles as his ‘muscle’. The tree is known as ‘Groot’, played by Vin Diesel, and that’s all he ever says.

I am GrootAs well as the hero, slash, outlaw, from our home planet…Peter Quill, a.k.a. Star Lord

meet the Star LoardOur heroes weren’t always good friends but always funny….

There is also the mandatory bad guy…

Bad guyAlong with the customary evil bad chic robotiod…

gbadchick

Along with some more white, black and blue bad guys..

more bad guys There was also the Star Trek destined hot flash between the earth male and the hot green gal..

You really want it don't you?

You really want it don’t you?

 All in all, it is a real fun movie and I really really recommend it. Like I said, it is not your typical Marvel comic book story. Its adventure and some unexpected great laughs (I love to laugh) and some awesome ‘Mixed Tape’  selections for a classic sound track. …although I am so ruining the plot for you here today, aren’t I?

awesome mix tape soundtrack!The music is great, great musical transitions in scenes with some classics. The movie even ends in a dance off…

No, that’s not the dance off. Its at the end with Baby Groot (I’ll let that plot twist marinate for a while). This is dance off is accompanied by the best dancer ever…none other than Michael Jackson…

Yes, we are in good hands in our galaxy with Marvel and some Guardians taking care of us! Go pick it up this weekend..

….and it’s so great having kids so I can be a kid again too.   :)

Have a good week everyone! And I want you back!

Tight-Wad Tuesdays ~ The Average Person Has This Much Saved in a 401(k) — How Do You Compare?

The Average American Has This Much Saved in a 401(k) — How Do You Compare?.

I know I haven’t done a Tight-Wad Tuesdays post in like, years, but Personal Finance is still dear to my heart. (I just prepared a year ending financial report card for my family New Years day ~I am such a nerd).

I ran across this easy to read article today (its has pictures!) by the Motley Fool on doing a report card on your 401K’s. And while it is a Thursday I still thought I might lob a Tight Wad post out to help educate, enrich or inform. …or bore

Of course, a big part of YOUR family’s financial report card isn’t savings per se, but also resources built up for your retirement programs sponsored by your employer and to some degree, your bank.

FREE MONEY!

That is what a 401K is, Free Money, if an employer matches your contributions, dollar for dollar. It is free money in YOUR pocket. (sorry, does anyone like the sound of that as much as I do?) Then you should ind some good or reliable mutual funds to invest your hard earned money in and watch that free money grow! It is one way to pad your nest egg as you head towards your days of not working any more.

vacation 2But 401k’s are not enough. As an ex-financial adviser I can tell you, you need more than money being saved in a 401k to live a standard of living you are used to in retirement. I mean a 401k contribution is what, 4% or 5% of your annual wages in most cases? Coupled with the employer’s match its maybe close 10% of what your check was last week. Is 10% of that paycheck what you want to live off of when you finally have the time to LIVE and travel and spoil your grandkids?

The Beverly Hills Housewives type wedding for your grands

The Beverly Hills Housewives type wedding for your grands

That’s where a few good DRIPs (Dividend Reinvestment Plans) can come in handy to add a lot of value and cash flow to your nest egg. Contributing to a DRIP account regularly in small amounts is a safe, slow and steady way to build wealth over time, with guaranteed growth through reinvested dividends.

dripWhen you retire simply chose to accept the quarterly dividends as cash payouts instead of reinvesting them. And if you begin funding a DRIP account when you are younger instead of older that quarterly dividend will be larger than that of what your employer generously gives you matching your 401K contribution right now.

So how do YOU want to live in your retirement?

vacation 3

Your 401K may not be enough. Check out this easy read by the Motley Fool and see how your 401K stacks up to those of your peers saving. Their graphs are broken down by ‘savings per age’ and ‘savings per income’ using simple Medians (average) and Mode (most common) illustrations.Fooltmf234x60_13001

All you have to do is know how much you and / or your household has it its 401k balances right now.

The Average American Has This Much Saved in a 401(k) — How Do You Compare?.

Do you know?

Do you trust that your balances will magically be enough?

MS-Nest Egg

If you have any questions or concerns or ideas about your savings plans, just ask. I don’t need to know how much, or where, or even get paid. (its just nice to know I got you seriously thinking about it) I just need to know your goals and how you feel about risk in your investments.

Christmas in the Rearview Mirror 2014

Ding dong merrily on high in heaven the bells are ringing.

Ding dong verily the Sky(e) is riv’n with everyone singing…..

Ding dong, Gloria…..“….How was your Christmas?”

Our Christmas was a blast. With all the planning and preparing and anticipation that go into Christmas time, ours went off without a hitch. We had my parents and Aunt Sue in to stay at our lil’ B&B and I have to tell you everything just fell in place. We could not have asked for a warmer, more festive Christmas.

Oh, and the smiles? There were lots of smiles for my girls and family.

Wanna see?

Christmas actually began for us on Christmas Eve as our girls got a surprise box delivered that day from a very special grandmother and her daughter.

Christmas came early from a very special Grandma and daughter...

The girl’s tore into it and loved everything they received!

Thank you!!

Thank you!!

 Including some reindeer food.

No, no, they did not eat the reindeer food sent to feed Santa’s team. They sprinkled it in the lawn later, a now annual event at our house thanks to this very special family.

The annual Reindeer feeding, leaving Reindeer food on the lawn in hopes they stay longer.

The annual Reindeer feeding, leaving Reindeer food on the lawn in hopes they stay longer.

It is always fun to see our girls caught up in the Christmas excitement, and Dylan left a trail of reindeer food right to our front door in anticipation for our midnight visitor. 

All I want for Christmas are my two front teeth

All I want for Christmas are my two front teeth

Santa did not disappoint this year either! Here is a glimpse of the load Santa left before gobbling up the Christmas cookies, egg nog, chocolate and even more egg nog… CIMG0099

And so our girls went to town dismantling the Christmas packages and seeing if Santa met their ever changing Christmas wish list…. 

Her new computer watch camera microphone game thingy that also tells time

Her new computer watch camera microphone game thingy that also tells time

It was a holiday created for the movie Frozen and the girls were not spared ANY Frozen paraphernalia what so ever. More on this later….

And Christmas begins with a Frozen bath towel. Meav, of Celtic Woman looks impressed!

And Christmas included a Frozen bath towel. Meav, of Celtic Woman looks impressed!

Afterwards the living room looked something like this…..

Santa Clause residue all over the living room...

Santa Clause residue all over the living room…

But somebody still wasn’t happy….

 Skyememe

So Grandma and Grandpa and the great Aunt Sue brought out their Christmas offerings for our girls…

 skye thank you

I don’t think they were very disappointed!

Family practically out did Santa! PLUS Frozen wrapping paper.

Family practically out did Santa! PLUS Frozen wrapping paper.

I have a new board game!

I have a new board game!

"Hello Kitty ear muffs and Olaf talking snowman, oh yea"

“Hello Kitty ear muffs and Olaf talking snowman, oh yea!”

The Frozen update?

When Mom put all the clothes away (and they got some clothes!) she counted 18 tops for Skylar that had a Frozen princess on them, or somehow otherwise Frozen related. I am guessing Dylan had a similar tally… 

Princess Elsa hat with braids

Princess Elsa hat with braids

CIMG0129

A Christmas bomb went off

A Christmas bomb went off

After all the Christmas present unwrapping we settled down for the traditional egg nog French Toast breakfast.

Egg nog  French toast breakfast with warm butter pecan syrup and assorted fruit toppings

Family French Toast breakfast with warm butter pecan syrup and assorted fruit toppings

Even Chumley enjoyed some egg nog Christmas morning! CIMG0128

…although he too stayed in his pajamas all morning

We hope you and yours had an enjoyable Christmas too! There are still plenty of cookies and chocolate kisses here for you, whenever you get a chance to drop by.

What was your best Christmas memory this year?

How many Frozen clothes did you get?

Christmas Mood

Merry Christmas everyone!

Now if you are reading this right now you might just be taking a break from your own Christmas festivities. I hope yours was a memorable one! Maybe everyone is taking a nap, or making dinner, playing outside, or over to grandma’s house one horse wooden sleigh? If so, what a great day so far, huh?

Or maybe you are reading this Friday morning with all the Christmas festivities in the rear view mirror, but still filled with all the warmth of family and friends.

You got the Christmas mood!

This December I turn my car radio to the Christmas radio station to get and stay in the Christmas mood. It comes one time a year but I enjoy a month of it!

One song, or singer I should say, stood out this year on the Christmas music, Darius Rucker, the former lead singer for Hootie and the Blowfish.

Is anyone old enough to remember them?

Now I really wasn’t a Hootie fan back in the day but the band is kinda local in my state, coming out of Columbia, SC. So they do get a lot of air play here. And I know they enjoyed some success.

This December the radio station played a few songs from Darius’s Christmas album (often) that I really liked. To me they are future classics. They are bluesy in nature but carry all the lyrics, Christmas traditions, and imagery of the popular Christmas classics.

I mentally tuned in every time they played his songs this month. So if you have a minute or two, grab some egg nog and see if you enjoy this new Christmas classic off Darius’ Christmas offering, Candy Cane Christmas

Isn’t that a nice, laid back Christmas tune that mimics other well-known Christmas carols? I think its real nice Christmas background, ‘mood‘ music.

And another Darius Christmas song the radio station played this December was the following.

And I have to fess up, I had thought twice about doing this post about subjecting readers to sitting through videos. But I saw this video last night and it was really special, shot at a local children’s hospital here in Charleston it appears. Its another great Christmas song, flowing smokey beat, and very touching for the Christmas season, What God Wants For Christmas

That’s not bad Christmas Mood Music, is it? Not a sing-along but very nice background music. Darius and his strong smooth voice do some cover tunes on his Christmas album as well. Here is a great version of a new Christmas classic, complete with a children’s choir for back up in contrast to high paid celebrities on the original….

And an upbeat version of Winter Wonderland country-ized…

And if you haven’t heard it enough yet, here is his jazzy version of a classic, coupling with Sheryl Crow that I am sure you heard all month

Sorry, there I go, I do drag on.

No, I am still not a big Darius Rucker fan.. but after these Christmas songs of his I heard this year for the first time I do really respect the man. And if you are still with me here, I hope you enjoyed some unique views of Christmas classics as well as his very special future classics. I mean it worked for Mariah Carey, right?

And I have so many other favorite Christmas songs I would love to torture offer you but you have probably heard them all month and I have kept you long enough here already.

BUT!!

If you have room for one more, here is my very very favorite, Silver Bells, done by a band I never heard of, the Roches, put to video of my first daughter as she enjoyed her very first birthday in 2009. Its a very special version of Silver Bells. And if you have been following this blog for awhile it is fun to see this very special girl 5 years smaller but still super sweet.

Merry Christmas everyone! Thanks for hanging out with me here in my Christmas mood!

att002343

 

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