Thursday, January 31, 2008

A reprieve from expensive health insurance?

I found out last week that Anthem, my health insurer does have a plan with cheaper premiums.

They sent me information with a quote of how much I would pay for the different deductibles. Sounds great to me, the lowest possible premium would be around $180, almost half of what I pay now each month. Though they did say this plan, Essential Key Care was new, I hope I don't find out that it was available when I signed up in April, because no one offered me this option. If it was available it means I paid over $1,500 that I might not have had to pay. Not nice.

I thought I could just call and have them switch the plans for me.

No, no, I have to submit another application for this new plan so that I can be underwritten again. I asked to make sure that if for some reason I was denied for this new plan that I would still be able to keep my current plan (even if I don't like it that much.)

Unfortunately, when you apply you have to send in your first premium before finding out if accepted or rejected so for me this will be due in addition to my premium for my current plan. That means that this month I will be paying almost $600 for health insurance. I just know that if accepted, I better get that $389 back.

Update: Application was submitted 2/4/2008

Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Power of Wishing

Remember this?
And this?

Well, I start work Monday at 8:30 am.

I will be working with a state agency in their archives department!

Thanks everyone who thought of me.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

When I Dream of Clothes and Shoes...

$172 - Modern Vintage @ Clementine

I go here:

Red Dress Shoppe - vintage-look and VERY affordable
La Redoute
Eliza Gran - reminds me of Liberty fabric
le train bleu - by NO means cheap, but very inspirational

and here:

Sierra Trading Post - great deals on Dansko, Ecco, Keen, and Merrell shoes
Miz Mooz - best selection of funky boots
El Naturalista Shoes - very eco-friendly
Oh Deer shoes
Clementine Shoes - VERY expensive

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Gray skys are gonna clear up....

Remember the good luck I wanted? I think it worked.

I was very worried about this job I had been offered last December and then didn't hear anything about. Now it was a position working with the State and I knew it would take time but I also expected a "we're dealing with paperwork, please be patient" response when instead a voice mail and an email received no response.

Of course a girl still has to eat, so I started this temp job. However, in the course of being sent out on interviews, I was tempted and tried for a temp-to perm job (yes, I'd pretty much given up). Fortunately and unfortunately, they wanted to hire me immediately! And then, that is when damn Hope made its return. So, I had to turn down employer-paid health insurance and a higher salary.

Ugghh, my life for the last 4 years has been ALL about fresh starts and looking toward the future, when I really just want to be living that life NOW.

If this is the career (despite being low paying) that I want, this job (basically a paid internship, no benefits-thing) is the "intelligent" decision. It will get me in there before I even finish my degree, expose me to the issues, and get me acquainted with the main players in this town.

So yes, ideally this is the position I should have been in 15 years ago, but I didn't know myself well enough then. I had no idea what my strengths were or how deep my convictions would lie. I first had to experience a career I loved and have the realities of it (loneliness, no time for a social life, no help when needed, long hours, and little or no recognition for your hard work) slowly wear me down.

I received an email yesterday that said:

"Sorry for delay in getting back with you [ ] time got away from me on this. ...I have passed along the request to refill the position - will get back with you on either Tuesday or Wednesday, once I have heard back to see if you would still like to take on the position."

So all I can say is stay positive, despite all.

It seems to have worked this time. I also got into the two classes I wanted that were full to capacity, people dropped out the first night and I swooped right in! Remember, my whole reason for being in this city is to graduate. No classes being taken, no reason to be here.

First Sewing of the New Year

Now, back to more fun posts!

Vogue 8392

Well, I bought 8 yards of muslin for, well, muslins (or toiles)!
  • Finish taking my measurements according to Fast Fit.
  • Flat-pattern measure to see if any adjustments are needed to pattern before cutting.
  • Trace pattern markings onto muslin pieces.
  • Cut with wider than normal seam allowance for possible alterations.
  • Sew the muslin using wide basting stitches.
Since I will be starting with muslins now, I can play around with the different details before the final. Here are some options I might try with this shirt in the muslin stage:

  • Try a gathered neckline from Simplicity 3835, instead of the pleated one.
  • Lengthen the sleeves and loosen the elastic to resemble the Noa Noa design above
  • Narrow the width of the sleeve and have them be full length.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


Yesterday, I was paid for the first week of my temp job.

The entire amount would just pay the monthly premium for my health insurance.

There has got to be a better way.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Universal Healthcare Now! Please?

My monthly health insurance payment is $389 dollars.*

Yes, three hundred and eighty-nine smackaroos.

Apparently because of an ongoing medical condition and family health history, I am considered Level 3. I am really curious now as to how many levels there are. Or could Level 4 equal un-insurable?

I called about possibly raising my deductible in order to pay a cheaper premium. The very next level from my current $500 deductible is deductible of $1,500. And get this, the monthly payment would be around $336. The deductible has multiplied three times and the premium cost only went down $53 dollars!! This is already the cheaper flexible "pick and choose" plan.

The very cheapest plan they have, well, the customer representative made it sound ominous. I sure wasn't going to make the change right there so she's sending information out to me. I don't know what it will cover yet, but the premium for this one was quoted at $230 dollars a month and that's not bad. If that really applies to "sickly" li'l ole Level 3 me, just imagine what it might cost for the "healthy" people. I'll keep you informed.

*This is the cost for individual coverage. For more scary health insurance stories, read these at blurbomat.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Inspiration + Pattern =...

Just yesterday I was thinking why couldn't I find patterns similar to these shirts by Johnson Shop?

Then today, a post by Hungry Zombie Couture about Fashionista Fabrics, led me to this:

McCall's 3838



I started a temp job yesterday. It's not the job I asked you to wish me luck on, but at least money is coming IN now, and not just out.

Monday, January 07, 2008

2008 Wardrobe Plan...

Because of necessity, I want to rehaul my wardrobe. I want pieces that make sense and enhance each other. Some things I will buy (sweaters, shoes) but most I want to make myself like I used to in high school and college. I also want to learn to properly fit clothing to my body and to eventually create my own patterns. Ultimately, I‘ll be able to think up a specific look and create it without a lot of fuss and anxiety.

I rarely shop, but I have actually seen lots of pieces as inspiration in online clothing stores; Dace, Eliza Gran, Jovovich-Hawk, Le Train Bleu, Mela Purdie, Red Dress Shoppe, Saltwater, Tulle, and Banana Republic. I have also seen many pieces I may want to recreate among the designers at Nordstrom.

This is my plan for winter to spring 2008:
  • A few long-sleeved shirts and dresses based on modified smock designs w/gathered or pleated necklines. I will be adapting/using these two patterns:

    Simplicity 3835, from the Built By Wendy collection and Vogue 8392.

  • This Simplicity 9825 skirt in a black corduroy I bought a few years ago.
  • This shirt from Vogue 8392 and in this great print fabric.
  • This Simplicity 4111 pattern (view B) in the same red stretch suede as this Simplicity 1560 skirt and also in this sweet Denyse Schmidt print, Posie in turquoise.
Future projects:

Karen Walker
  • A variation of Simplicity 4112 view B. I want to make something similar to this Karen Walker blouse. However, I would prefer to use this vintage Simplicity 5112 pattern below. Imagine, no buttons, just a wrap-around tie? How incredible! I will keep looking for the pattern. I should have bought it when I first saw it!
  • This Butterick 4948 pattern made out of a great red corduroy or a gray wool flannel. However, with multiple fabrics and a little bit of shaping, this pattern could easily replicate this Sabyasachi dress from Spring 2007.
could become

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

In the new year...

  • I received an A in my Historic Preservation in Planning course!
  • I am waiting for my car to be fixed.

  • Handling some financial details.

  • Going on another job interview tomorrow.

  • Rearranging the furniture in the living room.

  • Reading Fast Fit by Sandra Betzina and my unread copies of SewStylish magazine.

  • Planning my wardrobe for the new year. (details to come soon)

  • Drinking lots of green tea and popping zinc cough drops.
  • Perusing my copies of Cottage Living. (Got my subscription for Xmas!)
  • Getting my thoughts together to bring you more interesting content in 2008!!
Wish me luck.