Getting Ready for Online School & Trying out the Best Buy Geek Squad

Like much of the country, we are getting ready to jump back into the world of online schooling again. While we were able to fall into an okay rhythm with Jack to finish out second grade, I had him using my personal laptop for his schoolwork… which I didn’t love.

I have two main laptops that I use: my work laptop (provided by my job) and my personal laptop (I purchased it from my last job when I left for a great deal). I also have my previous personal laptop that has been sitting on a shelf for a year or two.

That previous personal laptop is the one that I was hoping to fix up for Jack to use. A couple years ago when I was doing an iTunes update, it went all crazy. When I would try to turn it on, I would just get a blank black screen. Since I had a new personal laptop, it wasn’t really a big deal, but now I needed to figure out how to fix it.

I did some googling and it was pretty clear that this wasn’t something that I was going to be able to fix on my own. I decided to try Best Buy’s Geek Squad and it looked like their typical diagnostic fee for stuff was around $150. At my best (super uninformed) guess, I thought my job would be a little more than that if it was complicated.

It was super easy to make an online appointment on the Best Buy website. On the day of our appointment, we masked-up, and checked in with the rep at the front door, who was restricting the number of people in the store. When it was our turn, I met with a nice Geek and explained my issue. She asked if I wanted them to fix it back to where it previously had been, meaning to clear off any virus issues and leave me with all my previous programs and stuff that was saved on the desktop. Or, she could just reset the entire computer and set it up like a brand-new laptop.

Well, I knew that I had a ton of stuff on the laptop… but considering that I hadn’t accessed it in at least a year and a half, did I really NEED any of it? I decided to have her reset the whole thing and then braced myself when I asked her for the cost.


ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! It literally cost just $40 to get my old, crappy, virus-ridden laptop totally cleaned off and reset! And I’d been putting this off for over a YEAR!?


Sure as can be, when I picked up the laptop the next day it was in perfect, reset condition. FOR $40!

The only drawback was that we no longer had Word or Excel installed on it. However, the nice lady Geek came through for us again and pointed out that many school systems offer the entire Office package to students for free. I checked our school’s website when we got home, did a quick download and BOOM we now have Word and Excel downloaded for an additional $0.

So, if you have an old laptop sitting around that needs a tune-up I would absolutely recommend giving the Best Buy Geek Squad a try. This isn’t sponsored or anything, I was just really pleasantly surprised at how helpful, knowledgeable and inexpensive they were. And now I don’t have to worry about Jack accidentally deleting off my entire bills spreadsheet off my personal laptop!

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Taking a week off

If you’ve been following along on my PocketfulofJoules Instagram account, you’ve seen that I had a little change of scenery for the past few days. We packed up the truck and we headed down to Ocean City for a little family vacation.

It rained on Saturday and most of Sunday, but we were able to get out to a little beach at the end of our street Sunday afternoon.

And then both Monday and Tuesday were GORGEOUS, so we packed up a bunch of snacks and headed to Assateague Beach.

We’re back home now, but I took off the full week from work.

I don’t have anything too exciting planned… just trying to get a bunch of stuff done since I have full days with no work. I need to drop our old laptop off at Best Buy so that they can hopefully get it working for Jack’s online schooling. I have a super-doper exciting eye doctor appointment. I have a bazillion loads of laundry (really, how does it multiply so much when we were only gone for 4 days…?).

I’m also hoping to get lazy in my sunroom and read a book, finish an embroidery project, take a solo run to the thrift store for some medicinal thrifting, and watch the latest season of Lucifer (it’s coming out on Netflix Friday!).

I’ll be back with my regularly scheduled blogging next week!

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Craft Review: Geodes Science Kit


The Michael’s Craft Store by us re-opened, so I was excited to take a little trip and pick up a bunch of arts and crafts stuff for us to play with! We got all sorts of fun stuff, but one of Jack’s favorites was the National Geographic Geodes Science Kit. The kit was $9.99 and came with goggles, 2 geodes and a display stand. It is this exact kit from Amazon. There is also a 4 geodes version for $19.99.

To say that Jack got $10 worth of fun out of this little kit is an understatement. He borrowed a hammer and chisel from dad’s garage, put on his safety goggles, and got to work.

It took quite a bit of tapping to get anything to happen, so I’m pretty sure Travis helped a bit. But then… BLAM, the geode broke open and there was treasure inside!

Jack was super excited about the sparkly crystals and it was a great hands-on way for him to do a science experiment in our driveway. Now that he has a bunch of sparkly geode pieces, he has decided to display one on the included stand and then start his brand-new rock collection.

All-in-all not a bad $10 afternoon craft! I would definitely get one of these kits again, and I even ordered one from Amazon for an upcoming birthday gift.

Disclaimer: This post contains Amazon affiliate links. This means that clicking on a link may help me earn a small commission at no cost to you.

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