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Sunday, August 24, 2008

New Toy

came home on Friday night - SeaDoo ... we put it in the water on Saturday, late afternoon and played a bit before driving it home to put on the lift. Trying to get dh to commit to "doing the do" today ... friend of mine is going up to Hillsboro inlet to anchor ... would be a nice ride. But then again, I think the kids want to play a bit on it. Ds wants to pull the tube BUT I think it would be better to do that during the week after school, less boats & traffic on waterway in front of the house ... We got a 'good' deal on it, dh says. Said that they sell for about $5K used, still. We paid $3K. I had thought he was going to pay $2500 to $2800. This is a high performance model, which means fast. To the point where they offer a key that limits the speed to 35 ... told dh that is what I want the kids to be using for awhile. Otherwise, if they can stomach it, they could go 75-80 ... I slowed down when my cheeks started to flap in the breeze yesterday!! It was fun! I'm laughing cuz it's like the people who park the suvs and take the scooter out. That's us, park the 35 footer & take the seadoo out! hehe Will post pictures as soon as I take some better ones :)

Sunday morning breakfast

This morning, I was up way too early for a Sunday. I'm fighting dizziness & funky head feeling. Hope I am not getting the same thing dh has had for 10 days now (sinus infection, 2 antibiotic shots & oral antibiotics & he's still sick!). Regardless, life goes on & things still need to be done. Made waffles. Funny, we bought the waffle maker back in 2005. Used it maybe 10 times. All started from SIL making waffles & dh raving about the them. She sent us the recipe on February 10, 2005. How funny that I noticed that! Anyways, dh normally makes the batter the night before, BUT he totally misses the fact that the batter needs to be lumpy and you fold eggs in for a reason! Oh well. I made today & they were good. Mix together: 1 3/4 cup flour (I used 1/2 cup whole wheat & rest white) 1 T baking powder (I assumed this was a tbs) 1/2 t salt Mix together and add but leave a little lumpy: 2 egg yolks 1 3/4 cup milk 1/2 cup oil Whip til fluffy and fold in: 2 egg whites. The key to making GOOD waffles, I think: don't be tempted to open the lid until the machine complete STOPS STEAMING!!! I don't have an expensive wafflemaker, just a Proctor-Silex 4 square thing. Would like a belgium waffle maker BUT figured we dont use this one enough as it is!!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Thursdays Frugal Work Clothes

Hmm...seems to be every Thursday is frugal clothing day! Today: Crocs - g/f gave to me, they were too big for her. Actually, I should not be wearing them in the office, but nothing really going on today! Lime green pleated skirt. Gorgeous. I love this thing - $1.00 @ Out of the Closet Thrift. White cotton & lace insert sleeveless top - 25 cents from Broward County Woman's Aux. Thrift store (years ago, this may be the last time wearing as the lace is thinning and tearing a bit) Liz Claiborne cream knit cardigan with beautiful tiny flowers embroided throughout, $1.00 @ Broward County Hospital Woman Aux. Thrift (new location down the street, much smaller than used to be) Yup, I'm lovin it!

Shopping at the Big Stores

In this case, BJ’s Wholesale Club. As you may have noticed from reading some of my earlier posts, I can’t decide between Costco and BJ’s. Well, I can, but, no, I can’t. As we were all home due to Tropical Storm Fay on Tuesday (and she is still making news!) we of course got a little stir crazy. Ds wanted/needed to get stuff for lunches (see my later post on the agreement we’ve made for lunches this year), the weather was ‘clearing’ up which means the winds were finally below 30 mph and the rain was coming every 20 minutes instead of 5 (could almost time it!), we decided to go to BJ’s. Costco was out of the question because a) it’s much further away and west, where the rain & winds were probably MORE constant , b) it was 4pm and I didn’t want to go into the early evening hours shopping and c) I had a visa gift card – Costco only accepts debit cards & AE credit cards. Off we went. Noticed the gas was 2 cents cheaper than my local station. A LOT of people in the parking lot…hmmm, were they all thinking the way we were? Have to stop at customer service desk. Last few times I had to get an “OOPS” pass because I have lost my card. Figured I might as well get a real card again. So smile for the picture, make note to self that I really need to comb my hair one day this week, and off we go to shop. Spent $194.06 for 25 items. Geesh. The GOOD news is that $174 of it went on my VISA gift card that I had (I think I still have $2 left). The other $20 went on AE which I will probably pay tomorrow online. Anyways, it’s always a good shopping experience for ds, in my opinion. He’s much more thrifty & conscientious then his sister, and really, does know how to comparison shop. So as always, I make sure that he looks at the shelf stickers to figure out which item is a better deal when making a choice. He’s pretty good about it, most times. Bad deals: 10 lbs of chix breast filets, $21.99. Crumb. I can get it cheaper if I watch for a sale, but lately, haven’t seen any. 3 lbs of shredded cheddar (sharp) $10.96. What on earth has happened to the price of cheese lately? Milk has started to come down some, so I would think cheese would too? 2 lbs blueberries, $6.99. Ok, that’s not so very bad, BUT at least the kids will eat something healthy. They actually got spoiled in Indiana a few weeks ago picking fresh from the bush … now they know the difference! Actually, now that I look at my receipt, nothing was really a ‘great deal’. What a bummer. BUT I did get plenty of stuff for less than a regular store and it’s really all free anyways with the use of my gift card. I have another $100 one coming in about 2 weeks so I will use that again. Bought flour, 20 lbs for $7.99. That was considerably cheaper than the stores have been lately. Ground beef (93% / 7%), 5.04 lbs for $14.65. About the same as a sale price in the grocery store. Passed the coffee up and I’m glad I did, Publix has it on sale now for $5.99 which of course, is not a GREAT deal, but better than regular price. Of course, picked up the 8 lbs of Valencia oranges, $8.99, dd & I love these things. Bananas, $1.39 for 3 lbs. I really need to go back to looking at banana & orange trees Of course the chips, twizlers, and 2 pizzas for that nights dinner. That set me back about $30. So BJ’s or Costco? There are certain things I like from Costco that I can’t find at BJs. But BJs takes coupons. They take ALL credit cards (not like that’s really a deciding factor for me, but it IS when I have the visa gift cards) … and it’s closer to home (for me).

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Product Review - Glad Microwave Steaming Bags

I had picked up a bundle package of these on clearance at Target a while ago ... there was the box with 7 X-LARGE bags and the box with 10 regular bags. I don't remember how much I paid, but surely, it was under $2.50 for the two!
Anyways. Debating all morning long on what to do with myself today. What to make for dinner. Do I want to make cookies. Pizza dough, etc. Was in guest fridge (in the guest kitchen) and noticed that I still have lots and lots of taters. Yes, I keep them in the fridge. Here in south Florida, we don't have cool, dry, dark places to store stuff like taters in the summer time. Anyways. Take out 1/2 of a 5 lb bag and start scrubbing. Figured I'll start with baked taters for dinner & fill in around that. I grab the tinfoil and see the big box of bags and think, hmmm. Pull out a bag, see it says 5 medium size taters for 8 to 9 minutes and figure what the heck. Dump in 5 of them, zip it up & turn on the microwave.
After about 7 minutes, realize that oops, I didn't poke any holes in them. Oh oh. Start watching (from across the room), waiting for the boom that wasn't the palm fronds falling outside! At 8 1/2 minutes, I turned off the microwave & take out the bag. The bag opens at the zipper and out comes the steam! Hurry up, close up the bag. Leave them for 10 minutes and remove to plate. Think hmmm, those look good. Gingerly poke them with finger. Seem soft. Skin isn't hard and crusty (like they sometimes get in microwave). What the heck, take the smallest one & cut open & eat. Yummm. Cooked all the way through, perfectly!! Woohoo!!
After reading the bags and box more (bags have directions on them) I see that it says one time use only "to avoid cross contamination". Hmmm. Screw that! This here bag is for taters and taters only! I will see how many times I can rinse & reuse it.
Would I spend the money on these again? Well, if I had coupons & clearance price, yes. Normal price, no. The X-LARGE bag is NOT big at all. Says 5 to 6 servings per bag. Ummm. I thought veggie servings were huge? Not by this bags standards. The regular size bag is for 3 cups of fresh veggies and honestly, when I hold them up to the X-LARGE ones, they are about an inch narrower, that's it. I don't know....
So there you have it. I know, I know, gadgets & other things that are suppose to make life easier don't really. BUT - if this will prompt me to eat more veggies because of ease of using microwave, I will. I don't have a tater bag & also have heard about the fire hazards ... soooo.... (don't mention the newest thing about plastic, PLEASE!!!) :)

Still under Tropical Storm Warning

and Tornado warnings, flood watch, etc. Geesh. The kids are now short 2 days of the school year. I'm hoping tomorrow will be back to normal. That's just odd, they will go back on Wednesday & Thursday and have a 3 day weekend already (they don't have school on Fridays). Today is a 'free' day for me at work. Boss called at 8am and said after discussing with other attorney, both agreed, why bother as no one was in the offices yesterday either and today is 100 times worse than yesterday. Was a good day for typing however! Got a lot of probate forms completed finally ... and of course, the billing for one attorney who likes to procrastinate!! The cat is safe and sound in the house, under my bed. I'm guessing he was cold since he was wet when he came in at 6am. Poor thing was freaked out. I got up throughout the night to see if he was waiting to come in but must have been hunkered down somewhere relatively safe, but not too dry. I don't know why he insisted on leaving last night. Silly thing. So I'm trying to debate just what to do with myself today. Playing with the idea of making french onion soup and baking some cookies. But then again, do I really want to do that?? Yeah, probably :) OR I could make some pizza dough and make pizzas for dinner & freeze some already rolled out for ds (driving me batty cuz I don't have any frozen ones in the freezer right now). Then again, I could venture to Costco and/or BJ's and/or Walmart. Hmmm. Probably not the smartest thing to do...get on the roads!! LOL ... oh yeah, that's why I'm off today, so I don't have to drive!! DS is up already ... I think he's excited in his own way about the weather. Was just commenting on the tide at dock, how high the water is already and it's still 3 hours or so til high tide. Will definately be coming over the dock if the wind continues to blow. Boat cover is partially off the boat. Dh went out & rearranged it, for lack of better words, to keep it from ripping off totally. Said that the front pole is down so he wanted to leave it open a little for the water to drain in the boat INSTEAD of pulling the cover & ripping it more. DH had went to work. I think he was having his girls come in too. I don't think that was right. Alot of them have school age kids and well, no school, no daycare, parents should be there. But like he said, they aren't a 'local' company, but nationwide. Oh well. Ok. I'm going to scope out the pantry to see what I can do for fun today ... I'm quite certain I won't lose power so it should be safe to cook & bake. ohhh...here's a cool link for radar: www.sfwmd.org and then click on the link on the left hand side that says weather. That bad girl has an eye ON LAND! whoa....

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Tropical Storm Fay

Well, we woke up this morning under a Tropical Storm WATCH. Not a big deal, really. Except that tomorrow is the FIRST day back to school for the kids & it really would suck if they missed the first or second, even third day back. I don't think we will get much here in Broward County. A little wind, a little rain. Maybe a little more tide (it was just a full moon...). But no hurricane force winds, thankfully. I did do a quick rundown of my hurricane supplies though :) I have batteries, water bottles (not 1 gallon per person per day as recommended...), tons of pantry supplies, etc. I started to fill up large ziplocs with ice yesterday just in case. Like I told dh, if nothing else, at least I will have ice for boat cooler when we go out next. DH was watching to see if he should consider taking the boat out of water & off of lift. It's 12,000 lbs swaying between concerete pilings. Come on. Thats not a pretty site if it starts happening!! The new waverunner lift is sitting here empty as we haven't gotten that yet. I don't know what we would do with that, or should do. I'm just thankful that this is not a direct, big hit!

Muffins

Chocolate Chip & Oatmeal Muffins In my quest to find the ‘perfect’ muffins for teens, I’ve tried this one out. I’m not even going to include the topping as it burned on top (could be my oven, who knows??) 1 ¼ cup oatmeal 1 ¼ cup milk 1 egg ½ cup veggie oil ¾ cup brown sugar ¾ cup chocolate chips 1 cup chopped pecans 1 ¼ cup flour (all purpose) 4 tsp baking powder 1 tsp salt *I didn’t use pecans as ds doesn’t like nuts* Combine oats & milk, let sit for 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease muffin tin (12 cup). Stir egg, oil, ½ cup brown sugar & chocolate chips (if using pecans, add ½ cup pecans) into oatmeal mix. Combine flour, baking powder & salt. Add oat mix to this. Stir til just moist. Fill muffin tinss 2/3 full. Sprinkle with remaining brown sugar (and pecans if using). Bake 20 to 25 minutes. NOTES: you can add a bit of cinnamon & vanilla. I didn’t and these still turned out good. My topping (brown sugar, butter & flour) burned to a crisp on these AND of course, the muffins did not rise. I think it’s cuz I pressed down gently to keep topping from rolling off. They are tasty, but wouldn’t say the best.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Thursdays Frugal Work Clothes

So today, I’m wearing my $2.00 white polo, my $1 tan & white striped linen skirt and my $9 tan and white wedge heel sandals. I love it when I can wear office clothes for so cheap. Top – kmart (hadn’t been there in a looong time so it was a surprise that they had upgraded their selections), Skirt – Out of the Closet Thrift and Shoes, Payless. Of course, as I’m standing there, admiring myself in the mirror, I notice that I really should not be doing my toe polish at 6am when it’s still kinda dark in the house!