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Monday, September 29, 2008

Baking cakes & making frosting

Been wanting to make a cake for a few weeks, but no time, or I was sick. So did that on Sunday. Used one of my stashed buy one get one free box mixes. Grabbed the new black plastic bowl with handle & pour spout that I was so excited about. 3 eggs, 1 1/3 cup water, 1/3 cup oil, all in the bowl. Grab the hand mixer & go to town. Hmmm. What's that black stuff? Pick it out, shrug it off, continue mixing. Wow, that's alot of black stuff. Dawns on me at that point (when it's half full of black pieces) that the beaters were beating the plastic off the bottom of bowl. Crap. Grab stainless steel bowl, no handles, no pour spout. The other stashed box of buy one get one free mix. 3 eggs. 1 1/3 cup water. 1/3 cup oil (had to really let it drip to get there), toss bottle in recycle bag and make mental note to self to buy more next weekend. Beat mix. Pour (and drip) batter, bake & cool. Get 1 pkg cream cheese, 6 tbs butter & leave on counter to get soft. Add one box of confection sugar (4 cups?) and 1 1/2 tsp of vanilla. Beat in another stainless steel bowl. Add 4 tbs milk. Beat. Frost cake. Think oops, should have chilled it a bit as it drips off side of cake a bit. Quick, put cover on & put in fridge. 9pm. Laying in bed. OH. CAKE. Get up, pad over to other kitchen, take cake out & yell "anyone want cake", waking up 2 half sleep teens. Yummm. It was gooooooddddd.

Frugal Tip for the day

Buy Gold Buy Ammo Buy Rice I say this all jokingly, but not really ...

30 Days of Nothing, Day 28

$ - home depot $8 (concrete & gravel for dock area), $5 loews (veggie fertilizer). Had I not agreed to go with my neighbor to pick up her veggies, I wouldn’t have spent any $$ today!! Planted my herbs in dirt finally. Was going back & forth on whether to leave them in the pots but they require too much care with watering that way. Pulled off 2 more beautiful red peppers. They are small, like mini pumpkin size but man so sweet. The plants look horrible but the peppers are awesome. Waiting for some of the flowers to set on tomatoes plant anytime now! Also planted the roots of the green onions I got a few weeks ago. The one’s I have in the pot, the lawn boys keep weed wacking them ??? whats up with that?? Did inventory on main & guest freezer (which is how we had ham sandwiches). Figured I needed to do this since I could NOT find any more chix thighs Saturday night. I don’t have any more unless they are in the garage. I have lots of stuff still in the freezers. I should NOT be shopping. Pulled out a package of 3 hamburger buns & 4 hot dogs buns. Of course, have 6 hamburgers and 3 hot dogs. Go figure. Will make do. I also did a major declutter in the bathroom & my closet. For someone who does NOT wear a lot of makeup, I sure did throw a lot away! The pile for goodwill is growing to the point where it needs to be relocated so it's not so 'messy' looking. thats a good thing! DH & ds finally wrapped up the majority of the waverunner trailer project. Woohoo. Was a point where dh was saying he should have just spent the money & bought a brand new one instead of one for $150. Come on. He saved himself at least $700 this way. Just too much work & aggravation. Breakfast, toast, eggs & sausage Lunch, ham sandwiches Dinner, turkey burgers & hot dogs on the georgie grill. Raining way too hard to grill outside.

30 Days of Nothing, Day 27

$ - it’s Saturday. The spend it all day. Really, you haven’t noticed that yet!!! Bed Bath & Beyond - $15 for a new wire dish strainer (my wood one is held together by wire ties & well, if I scratch the counter one more time with it dh may just toss me!) and 2 bottles of pina colada mix on clearance. Target $50, 2 clothes dry racks (another one broke and can’t find another LARGE one so 2 smaller ones will do), 4 pizzas (coupons & cheaper than grocery store), fabric softener, 2 pkgs of funonions (kids lunches) and a few other things? Publix - $21, milk, oj, eggs (2 18 pks), and a few other things. Too lazy to go pull out the receipts this morning. DH & I switched the tvs out in master bedroom & guest room. Of course, ds was grumbling as his tv is still iffy at times (broke off the cable connect in the back, so has to be ‘just right’ to get signal). Breakfast – bagels & eggs Lunch – fend for yourselfDinner – Spanish rice & chix thighs. Funny, we were planning on going to friends for dinner, but plans changed at last minute so it was a “what do we want” and dh was saying Chinese. At 7pm, I finally said, ok, order Chinese, and he decided he wanted to cook. Eating my 8:30 (I know, late) and glad we didn’t spend the $50 for takeout after all!!

30 Days of Nothing, Day 26

$ - Publix $89. What should have been a $25 shopping trip with my coupons & all turned out to be a whole lot more. And I forgot to get eggs & milk!!!! We really should clarify, it’s not ‘nothing’ but hopefully ‘less’. I so wanted it to be more less than it has been but I suppose for my first time around, not too bad. Just need to show a little more self control! Sinuses are acting up again. Glad that no workout today. DH comes home this evening. When I went to bed last night, the tv in bedroom had no volume. So I turned it up with remote. Screen goes black. Changed channel, picture comes back. Tried volume. Screen black. Tried volume on tv itself, screen black. A new bedroom tv is NOT in my budget anytime soon (or one for ds either!) so dh & slept in guest room so we could watch tv. How pathetic!! Breakfast – toast & eggs Lunch – kids, on own @ home, me, leftovers from freezer Dinner – had some shrooms that were looking questionable, made a mushroom sauce with chicken and pasta. Turned out pretty tasty.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Economic Decline - WARNING

This is a major ramble that is on a very controversial subject, but I'm just besides myself and this is the 'safest' place for me to speak my mind ... so ignore, or read: What a way to wake up to a Friday. WAMU seized. JPMorgan buys assets. If you’re a depositor, don’t worry. If you’re an investor, too bad. My (independent) accountant at the office came in this morning. She had been telling me for 3 weeks that WAMU was going down. Hmm. She was right. She now says, get cash & canned goods. . I already have canned goods. But cash? Where do you get cash from? I can’t very well sell out my stocks & clear my portfolio. Wouldn’t that just contribute to the overall problem? As far as the bailout. Well, I really disagree with the whole concept in general. After all, we, the American people, who are trying to do the right things, responsibly, are going to have to, in the end, help out those big, greedy corporations (and their officers) become successful again. On my dollar? On my children and grandchildren’s dollar? No. I really wish the people would stand up and say NO. It’s not ok for me to screw up and not pay my mortgage. I mean, hey, the government, let alone the large banks aren’t going to say, hey, Jan, its ok. You know what. We will just give you this money and you sit pretty and all the bad stuff will go away. Go ahead, take that cruise to nowhere. Buy that new car and boat. Oh, and you know, while your at it, get yourself a new wardrobe & 2nd vacation home. It’s ok that you can’t pay for it. That’s what the government & other US citizens are for. To take the fall out. I’m just very very very skeptical about this whole bail out. Most people are SCARED right now. The uncertainty of it all. Money. Jobs. Gas/Fuel. The cost of living is rising. Incomes aren’t. The value of the dollar is certainly shrinking. However, we are told not to panic. We will NOT go into a depression. Well, maybe not financially BUT certainly mentally. How can you not?? If I could, I would sell everything last thing I owned, liquidate it and move to some island in the middle of nowhere, living on the land. I mean, heck. It might come down to that right here in America from the tone of things around me! So. What am I going to do? I’m going to continue doing what I’ve been doing. Minimize spending. Save more cash. When my 30 Days of Nothing is done (4 more days) I will take stock of my pantry (which is still overflowing, actually) and prepare for a hurricane type crisis. Who knows, maybe a fairy will come in, wave her wand & all will be just fine!

30 Days of Nothing, Day 25

$ - oops. Target in the morning on way to work (have I not said over & over again, no Target before work??!!) $30 (3 dozen washcloths, swiffer, swiffer refills, deodarant, vasaline, tshirt, all except swiffer on clearance). $3.50 @ Burgerking, was way hungry. Knew I should have made breakfast for me! I need a little support over here! The cold, sinus infection thing is pretty much over, yahoo! Breakfast – for some reason, I didn’t eat at home, which is why I stopped at BK. Ds had eggs & the last of the frozen waffles. Dd ate a bagel Lunch – kids the usual, I had cabbage & noodle salad (again!!), chicken, apple Dinner – dd was at g/f for night. Made ds mac & cheese (bluebox) and I had popcorn. I know, not really nutritional but it was SURVIVOR which is the one show that me & ds watch together (no one else in house likes it) and I was beat from the gym!

30 Days of Nothing, Day 24

$ - $4 at Mcdonalds for dinner. Feeling much better today. Full gym workout. Kicked my butt too. Breakfast – eggs & toast Lunch – kids, usual, me, cabbage & noodle salad, pork tenderloin & apple Dinner – 3 burgers (49 cents each), 1 large fry & 1 small fry (dd was at work – pulled rice, peppers & pork from freezer for her dinner)

30 Days of Nothing, Day 23

$ - none Still feeling like crap. Only did 1/2 of my boxing class. Just couldn't go any longer. The antibiotics I stole from dh seem to be working though. At least I don’t think it will drag on for 2 weeks or so like my colds normally do. I wonder why that is?? DH flew out this morning and will be gone til Friday evening. That will make my meals a little easier as the kids aren’t too fussy about dinners & such. Breakfast – waffles (freezer, bad stuff) and bacon Lunch – kids usual, I brought in the cabbage & noodle salad, apple and bag of sunchips Dinner – soup & sandwiches

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

30 Days of Nothing, Day 22

$ - $20 to kids for week worth of lunches. $12 for me to order lunch (really wanted soup & a sandwich, caved in) Skipping the gym tonight so I can get one more night of rest. Then I will get back into the groove big time the remainder of the week. Breakfast, eggs & toast with sausage Lunch, kids did usual, dh & I had salad with turkey Dinner, not sure as of yet, hoping dh will take pity on me again & feed me. Ended up being that kids ate the rest of frozen stuff and dh heated up lasagna. I just wanted to go to sleep.

30 Days of Nothing, Day 21

$ - none. Got off the couch a bit and moved around some. Breafast, eggs & toast Lunch, pretty much fend for yourselves Dinner, hot dogs on the georgie grill. Easy and didn’t require me standing outside.

30 Days of Nothing, Day 20

$ - none. Didn’t get off the couch alllll day long Breakfast, I had toast, no clue what the rest of the gang had Lunch, bowl of ice cream, no clue for the rest of familyDinner, dh made me chicken noodle soup (ahhh, finally, a little sympathy!) and made the kids something, fell asleep, don’t know.

30 Days of Nothing, Day 19

$ - $70 at Publix. In a moment of weakness. In my defense, however, I should mention that I came down with a cold and part of this trip was for some cold meds. So, $10 of this was nyquil & dayquil. $12 was for a basil, parsley & cilantro plant. The remaining $48 or so is really, junk. The kids have been bothering me to try out the new fryer we got … so of course, being sick, short on time & energy, went to the frozen food section, and well, $50 or so later, here we are. Ironically enough, after the first batch of fries & one batch of chicken tenders, noticed that the cheese sticks took an awful long time to cook. Hmmm. Dang it. The fryer quit working. So after complaining and moaning about it, dh made me just walk away and cooked the rest in the oven. Not the same but good enough at that time! (FYI, the heating element crapped out on it from what we can tell). breakfast, cereal lunch, leftovers and salad dinner, fried / oven baked fast food

30 Days of Nothing, Day 18

$ - none *note, as I've been sick, I'm a little late in posting my daily stuff, will try to catch up asap* breafast, cereal lunch, leftovers dinner, dh got back home tonight, leftover brisket & mashed taters, what was left of it!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

30 Days of Nothing, Day 17

$0 - $8.50 - Thrift store - george forman grill thing. I have a SMALL one that does not even fit one burger, or even a sandwich. This is my frugal attempt to knock off some of the electric bill in hopes that I won't need to fire up the big thermador stovetop to cook chicken. I know, I have a grill outside but some days it's too much of a hassle. Who would have ever thought I'd say something like that!!!???
Breakfast - eggs & toast
Lunch - kids did usual, I had piece of fried chicken (courtesy of dd b/f from Sunday), and small salad
dinner - tacos. Made the meat before going to work and sliced tomatoe & lettuce and diced onions ... my, wasn't I productive! Of course, keep forgetting that I can't FIND my taco packets (had at least 5 of them & they seem to have left the house) so had to whip up a season pack myself. I like but the kids aren't 'crazy' about it. I made mine as a taco salad, by the way, in keeping with my get fit(er) plan.
Heres a pic of when we were up at my MIL 70th birthday. Dh made a huge pan of brats & sauerkraut. Of course, hardly any leftovers for the following day! All them polish family members just chowed down.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

30 Days of Nothing, Day 16

$ - 0 and that is a good thing! Breakfast, eggs & toast Kid did the usual, dh is out of town, salad & chicken (from freezer) for me Mini pizzas using bobolli mini crust (mine used up the leftover tomatoes with balsimic vinegar from dinner on Sunday)
I bailed out on boxing today. Well, not really bailed out. Had some stuff at the office to do that would have put me in there late. So decided to skip it and get my work done instead. Still didn’t get home til almost 7 anyways. Had the crust and pans on counter with cheese, pepperoni & sauce in fridge so everything was ready for the kids to prepare & bake on their own without waiting for me. Anything to ease the dinner time crunch I’ve been experiencing lately. DH called (he’s in Indy for 2 days) to tell me how he ‘scored a showercap’ for me. It’s funny! I’m always telling him to get some showercaps from the room as they make GREAT food covers for the large platters and such. For awhile there, he was getting them everywhere. And then suddenly, they must have been on the downsize list because no one had them in the rooms anymore. Of course, I kept trying to get him to ‘ask’ for one, but he refused. Guess he doesn’t come across as that kind of guy .

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

30 Days of Nothing, Day 15

$ - $20 total, $10 to each kid for the week worth of lunches. dang, when you look at it that way it's expensive. Of course, remember, they don't really 'buy' their lunch at school, but have that option if so desired. It's also not really an 'allowance' but I suppose you could look at it that way. Breakfast - scrambled eggs & toast lunch - kids, the usual, dh & I had leftover lasagna & salad dinner - leftover beef brisket & taters Dh travels on Tuesday, Wednesday and comes back Thursday evening. Woohoo. He's been home way too long this time around. I can finally get some stuff done that I hate to do during the week when he's home (like rip apart stuff ). Of course, now that I'm at the gym til 7pm, I may not have the energy/time/desire to do those things!! The stock market was a little frightening yesterday. So was the news of Lehman, AIG and Merrill Lynch. Shall be interesting to see how the market fairs today. And the price per barrel of oil is BELOW $100 yet the price of gas is still almost $4 here! Not sure what it's like elsewhere but geesh. Gotta get a break somewhere I would think! My microwave is doing funky things, much more consistently. It stinks as it's one of those oven/microwave built in things. Can't wait to try & price out the microwave part alone. Probably a good thing I'm cutting back expenses a little this month. Should be a lot but as you can see from my 'full disclosure' it's not like it should be!!

Monday, September 15, 2008

30 Days of Nothing, Day 14

$ - $9, sent dd to store to pick up gallon milk, gallon of oj & 1/2 gallon of ice cream. That cost $9 and all were considered to be on sale! I have a love/hate relationship with Sunday. It's the day we relax for the most part (aside from the usual daily stuff that needs to be done around the house) but it's also the day to get ready for the work week ahead. We decided to take the Doo out to play. I was to ride it over to George English park and dh & kids would meet me over there with the truck loaded with toys & cooler. Good deal. EXCEPT - dd wants to either go apply for some new jobs (??on a Sunday) which then of course, got put on back burner cuz the b/f wants to hang out. Which then meant that ds didn't want to go cuz it wouldn't be any fun. And too short of notice to call any friends. So, it was just me & dh. We had fun, took turns zipping around the place (it's set off the main waterway and more calm without as much boat traffic, think neighborhood street as opposed to interstate!). Stayed for about 2 hours then came home to check on the brisket. breakfast - made a cinnamonbun cake thing. Not bad, will post recipe lunch - kids fended for themselves, dh & I had sandwiches that I had made for the cooler dinner - beef brisket with smashed taters. I also made tomato & mozz salad with olive oil & balsamic vinegar ... yummm

Saturday, September 13, 2008

30 Days of Nothing, Day 13

$ - do I have to have full disclosure? Does it count that it was using one of my vip gift cards that I get at work? Basically no cash out of my pocket? Does that matter? No? I didn't think so. Walmart - $52 Gennaros - $24 BJ's - $80 Well golly gee, I still need to go to Publix and get milk, oj, special K (on sale b1g1f and dh says its a necessity). Crumb. G/f was trying to get me to go out with her & another g/f that just got back in town from canada for a week. Honestly, I don't want to go out & have cocktails AND spend a ton of money for dinner when I just spent an hour putting together two trays of ... lasagna :) breakfast - egg and toast for me, all others fend for yourself (you snooze you lose in this house!) lunch - dh had leftovers from last night, kids had something, I was still out shopping like a mad woman dinner - lasagna and garlic bread. Came home, asked dh why the brisket wasn't cooking yet and said fine, we can make it for Sunday dinner. Then I decided heck, I have all to make lasagna. Of course, the 2 kids/teens/mini adults asked to have a small tray WITHOUT the meat sauce. Huh? Fine. Big tray with meat sauce has cottage cheese (don't tell dh) and small tray with NO meat sauce has real bonafide ricotta cheese. Don't tell dh So, don't you want to know what I bought today?? Huh, doncha? Ok. I'll tell you anyways. BJ - 3 pairs of pants for me, $8 each, pair of dockers for dh, $12, 2 lbs fresh mozzarella, $9, 10 lbs of sugar, something like $5 or so, unsweetened cocoa, $5, 2 bags of chips, $4, Zantac (ds), $13, big box of minute rice, $6. Walmart (uggg) - 3 mini 6 pks of miller lite (short cans, I love these things) $2.74 each, 2 8pks of g2 (kids lunches/snacks), $5 each, 4 cans tomato soup, .72 each (cheaper here), provolone, cheddar, muenster and mozzerella slices, $2.50 each, 3 pkgs bagels $1.37 each (wow, when did the price go up?? used to be under a dollar!), 2 cottage cheese $2.50 each, loaf of italian bread 90cents, 24 ct chips and 20 ct sunchips (both kids lunch, snacks) $6 each. and last but not least: Gennaro's, my favorite produce store, but now under new ownership: first transaction (to use up $3 left on card) was 3 sausage links, $2.74 2nd transaction: 2 lettuce, yellow peppers, green peppers, mushrooms, cucuumbers, tomatoes, carrots, granny smith apples, celery, sugar snap peas, watermelon, radicchio, bananas, scallions (lawn boys weed wacked mine yesterday!!), spanish onions, red onion, cabbage. Believe me, there was a lot of produce on the counter when I got home. Really wanted red peppers but they wanted $1.99 lb!! Can't wait for mine in the garden to come in all the way. I'm loaded with them but they are half green, half red! So there you have it. Like I really need more food. :( Produce yeah. But not that much stuff, really, I have plenty that I could have made do with ... oh well.

30 Days of Nothing, Day 12

$ - 0 Thankfully it's Friday!! What a week and I was really looking forward to just chillin this evening. DH showed up with a trailer for the seadoo. $150. Uggg. Well, at least that was cheap, as far as trailers go. breakfast - fruit, cheese omlet lunch - rice with chicken & sauted peppers & onions (all from freezer) with yumm yumm sauce dinner - breaded chicken strips & tater tots. Ds made dinner as dh & I were out in the garage messing with the trailer

30 Day of Nothing, Day 11

Being that it was September 11, I chose to simply post a photo that I had taken at my dd's high school ceremony. She is in ROTC and was the speaker during that days ceremony. Pretty cool. $ - $4 @ Mcdonalds (running late that morning & had to eat before the ceremony) $10 to ds for his week of lunches (payback) breakast - kids did cereal as dh did. I did McD since I was running so late :( lunch - left over hamburger from fridge for me, kids bought, and dh fended for himself (was in a hurry that morning) dinner - burgers on the grill. Not what I had planned on but after boxing I was too beat & starving to boot. DH had not gotten home yet when I had hoped that he would take care of dinner so I tossed some frozen burger patties on the grill, as much as I hate them, they do come in handy. Thankfully I had buns in freezer that I wrapped in a cloth napkin & defrosted in microwave.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

30 Days of Nothing, Day 10

$ - $38 at Target. Never ever stop at Target on way to work!! Got 2 scrub brushes on clearance @ 48 cents each, 2 dish brushes, clearance @ 48 cents each. Pair of work out pants on clearance $1.84 (ok, these could NOT be passed up), work out bra $16.99 (sorry folks, it IS a necessity), 8 piece measuring set & mixing bowl @ $1 each and scientific calculator for ds $13.99. Soooo… I went for the calculator and walked out with a bunch more. Was looking for bagels as they are about 70 cents cheaper there, but they were out, of course! So this is Day 10 of Nothing. I think not. I mean, seriously, I’m not suffering. I’m also not showing enough restraint, at least, in my opinion. I am however, sticking to my new exercise routine, which is a GREAT thing (I think I am starting to see a difference in my body, woohoo!!! I do know that I’ve got a lot stronger in the upper body). Tonight will be “Episode 9” at the gym. I could easily say no, I’m not going tonight. I am really so exhausted by the time I get home but still have to motivate enough to make dinner and pick up the kitchen. I do have 2 kids (teens) in the house that SHOULD be doing more to help out around the house. My only problem is/was that I let them be ‘lazy’ with the excuse of them having to do school work & they should be able to relax. Now that they are soon to be 18 & 16 I find myself asking WHY would I have thought that & allowed it?? Grrr. They do help some, but obviously, not enough to keep me happy. Breakfast – omelet for ds, dd wanted the raspberry coffeecake, dh & I had cheerios & fruit Lunch – kids, the usual, snacks & buy if desired, dh had tuna and I had rice with peppers & onions & chicken (all from freezer) with yumyum sauce Dinner – pork stirfry (pork from the crockpot on Sunday with frozen veggies and noodles)

Recipe - Cream Cheese & Raspberry Coffee Cake

1 8 oz pkg cream cheese, room temp
1 cup sugar
½ cup butter, room temp
1 ½ cups all purpose flour
2 large eggs
¼ cup milk
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp pure vanilla extract
¼ tsp salt
½ cup raspberry preserves
2 tbs confectioners sugar

Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour 13x9 baking pan
Cream cream cheese, sugar and butter with electric mixture til light and fluffy.

Add ¾ c flour, eggs, milk, powder and baking soda, vanilla and salt. Beat 2 minutes til very well blended. Add remaining flour and mix on low speed til well mixed. Spread batter evenly in pan.

Distribute raspberry preserves evenly in 10 or so dollops. Swirl into batter with knife to create marbled effect.

Bake in center of oven 30 to 35 minutes, or til toothpick comes out clean. Cool 25 to 30 minutes on wire rack, sprinkle lightly with confectioners sugar, cut & serve. *I’ve decided that from now on, I will not sprinkle with sugar til ready to eat. I don’t think I ever let it cool enough and the top gets a little gummy and no sugar is visible.

Princess and Sonny Boy love this.

Original recipe was posted in the Sun Sentinel.

Recipe - Japanese Steakhouse White Sauce

Also known as yum yum sauce, shirmp sauce, etc.
1 ¼ cup mayo (must be full fat, not reduced or low fat, Hellman recommended)
¼ cup water
1 tsp tomato paste
1 tbs melted butter
½ tsp garlic powder
1 tsp sugar
¼ tsp paprika
Dash cayenne pepper

Using a fork or whisk, blend all til well mixed and sauce is smooth. Refrigerate overnight to allow flavors to blend. Bring to room temp before serving. You must use full fat mayo, and tomato paste to get the right flavor and consistency. This is very yummy with stir fry veggies and steak/chicken.

*Ok, so someone had left a comment for me to give credit where the recipe came from. I can't guarantee this is WHERE I got it from because it's from 2008 (and this is 2011) but looks to be the same... I just remember a girlfriend and I were flippin out about how good the sauce was from the hibachi place down the street and we googled, found, printed and finally I typed it up and posted. So sorry, if this is YOUR recipe, let me know :)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

30 Days of Nothing, Day 9

$ - $10 to dd for the rest of week lunches. Will have to give ds $ tomorrow as I only had a ten on me. The website I spent too much time on this morning is: Yummm Meals for the day: breakfast - croissant with egg & bacon for ds. dd wanted a poptart. dh got cheerios to take to his office (funny, I got an email from him, "not too bad, The Cheerio's, been 15 years since I've had some........") & I had a croissant with egg & sausage at the office. Yup, I've got 4 more croissants left in the freezer, and that's it! lunch - kids had a mix up of stuff to snack on (no bagels left), dh got a croissant & ham sandwich and watermelon, I have some taco salad with watermelon. ALSO remember to bring the bottle of coke which I am sipping on right now dinner will be the cesear pasta chicken salad. Nothing fancy but quick to make. I am still having a hard time getting in to the groove with getting home after 7pm and doing dinner & all the other stuff. I'm afraid I'm going to burn myself out if I don't fall into a routine soon!

Monday, September 8, 2008

30 Days of Nothing, Day 8

$ - $6 ($3 to each kid for lunch today) Well, after what turned out to be an expensive weekend (day 6 particularly!), I am ready to get refocused and back on track! I can do this!! Of course, I’m sitting in my office, hungry and realize it’s only 11:40am. I’ve nibbled on my lunch (rice, chicken & peppers, all from freezer) and know I’m going to be dying by the time I get home at 7:15pm. Grrrr. I realize about 10 minutes ago that I really should have brought one of the 2 liter bottles of soda and the cut up watermelon to have in the fridge here. Odd, I’m only starving on Mondays at the office! I know, I should not be drinking soda. I don’t really drink that much, it’s just when I get a craving for some coke, it’s bad . Breakfast – eggs & waffles Lunch – kids got bagels, chips & juice and option to buy if desired Dinner was kind of up in the air this morning, but when I took the photos, spotted the bag of taco meat that I had made with ground chicken. Out that bad boy came and I grabbed the open can of refried beans & put that in a tupperware dish to rehead too. So there you have it, dinner is tacos and I have everything READY to go when I get home! Woohoo!!
Here's a pic of the guest kitchen fridge/freezer. The freezer is packed too. The fridge section holds the potatoes (I know, not suppose to put them in fridge, but here in south Florida, they go bad too fast), onions, extra eggs, butter, margarine, whack a biscuits, and juices. Basically my stockpiling fridge

Sunday, September 7, 2008

30 Days of Nothing, Day 7

$ - 0 ... but it was hard. Really really really wanted to go to the produce store and get some veggies, lettuce, squash, peppers, celery, carrots, etc. to start eating healthier this week. But dh convinced me it wasn't really all that necessary to drive all the way out there to save $5 or so on what I wanted to buy. Ok. Day 6 turned out to be an expensive day. We ended it with an order to the pizza place which cost me $30 (included tip & delivery fee). I suppose I should know better, that's the way it always ends after boating & drinking. However, today, I am being GOOD! I had 2 green & 2 red peppers that were starting to get soft. Sliced them up with 2 large onions & sauteed them in my heavy skillet. Will freeze a few small portions as dd loves this with white rice (which is already in the freezer in 1/2 cup portions). I also made a batch of japanese white sauce, yum yum, or shrimp sauce, depending on what restaurant you are at. This will be real good with the sauteed veggies, rice & chicken or steak. I see a quick dinner already in progress for the week! And last but not least, I took one of the packages of pork tenderloin that I had gotten last week for $3.00 in the crockpot. As it's already marinated in 'sweet hickory sauce' I don't think we would have liked it grilled (was to have been Saturday's dinner) so figured toss in the crockpot to cook, then slice some, shred the rest for bbq pork. The sliced stuff will go in the freezer for lunches. It's 4:30 and I am waiting for the 5pm update on Hurricane Ike. It looked like we were in the clear of a direct hit, but are still expecting 30-40 mph winds. HOWEVER, in watching the recent radar & tracking, that think looks like it's goin more north than due west, which means it will NOT be over cuba but open water, which a) gives it the chance to grow stronger, if not at least stay strong and b) changes the forecasted track MORE in the direction of south florida and the keys. Oh no. Will have to definately watch and see if it's really tracking more north or if it's just a wobble. Breakfast, bagels and fruit lunch, the rest of pizza dinner, burgers on grill to use up the hamburger buns that I had picked up LAST weekend with tater tots.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

30 days of Nothing Day 6

$ - $45 (dd's car), $8 publix for the real sudafed for dh, $47 publix for coffee cream, laundry soap ($2 coupons), more sodas (coupons), gatorade (kids lunch), tortillas (coupons) and $13 Target (bleach, cream and more laundry soap) Say goodbye to Hurricane Ike? This morning, miraculeously, we are almost out of the cone of death (our nickname for the cone). Today is a gorgeous day and we are boating! Woohoo! Not until later in the day, 2ish or so which gives me time to clean and redo my menus. Didn't stick too well with it last week. Have a girlfriend who is going with us on boat & I think dd wanted to have a friend come along too. Will just be a ride down the intracoastal, maybe out to the ocean, not sure yet. The gas for dd's car is really a double whammy. She just handed her father her $74 paycheck. Her hours at the store have cut waaaay back and she can't really afford more than her car insurance at the moment. However, with a hurricane out there, long gas lines, I figured I should get gas in the car. I really think that gas is going to be an issue for us here in South Florida, regardless of where Ike decides to go. As for target & publix. Well. There is nothing to say. No excuse. Weak. Great coupons on good deals that are going to expire. Looks like I don't have the willpower just yet but I will still keep plugging away at this. On the flip side, I look at it say, gee, day 6 and I've spent that much already?? Grrrr. I'm not giving up. Onward. Breakfast, fend for yourself. Some had eggs, others toast and yet another cereal lunch, same as breakfast, fend for yourself dinner, pork tenderloin already marinated in a sweet hickory sauce. I don't think dh is going to like it but oh well. Will make either a rice pilaf or taters to go with it. I will be making every effort to NOT go to the store any more til next Sunday, if even then.

30 Days of Nothing Day 5

$ - $50 gas, $32 Publix Say hello to Hurricane Ike. At least that's what they were saying on Friday morning when we woke up. Filled up truck (half full already) so there went $50. Stopped at Publix, picked up milk, 2 gallons water, 3 bottles soda, 2 bottles wine (for cooking, honestly!), cat food, cat litter and bread. $30 later. Geesh. Breakfast, cereal and fruit lunch, pork & smashed red taters (leftovers from freezer) dinner, grilled cheese & soup. DH was not feeling well again. Hoping he clears this up soon. I am bummed that it cost me so much @ the grocery store. But like I said before, the only thing that could really derail me is a hurricane.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

This morning, before I left for work, I shot these pics of the main kitchen fridge/freezer and pantry. Fridge/freezer is really stuffed full on both sides. The pantry is the same. I really need to work on organizing both again. I did the freezers (3 of them) a few months back and was real good about marking off what we took out & writing in what I put in but the list got messy & now its stuffed in with my menus & recipes. Oh well. The bottom pic is the pantry. As you can see, the top was organized on Sunday (had my Ipod going so it was much funner that way!) but the bottom half is still a mess ... could be a hurricane preparedness job?

30 Days of Nothing Day 4

$ - $5 - $2.50 for each kid for lunch today. I am thankful there is no school on Fridays! Breakfast, croissant & egg with bacon, fruit Lunch, chicken and green salad Dinner, beef stir-fry (if I can get motivated after working out) Upon waking up this morning, my body is so tired from boxing. Literally, just fatigued. Good, that means I’m working it but I hope I can stay motivated today!! I have a closing today at 1pm, but have a feeling that could be for later in the day as I don’t think the seller’s are all moved out yet. The only thing that I could see possibly derailing this whole plan is Ike, as in forecasted to be a Category 4 Hurricane in my general area on Tuesday, day 9!! Yikes Ike! I’m thankful that Hanna has chosen to take her time & is playing out easterly. Prayers for all the Bahamians and their islands.

30 Days of Nothing Day 3

$ spent - $25 for dd’s parking permit at school. I seriously have an issue that she does not have the $ for it herself. Breakfast, scrambled eggs, waffles, fruit Lunch, leftovers (chicken) for dh & I, kids have bagel/sandwich and buy if desired Dinner, hot dogs (leftovers), leftover sesame noodles & shrimp pasta 2 days in for boxing class this week and tonight, when I got home, dh was already home. We went in the pool, sent ds to fix the pole on boat cover and man, was I exhausted and tired. I've been tempted to go to the grocery store. Sales papers came out yesterday. Quickly, and I mean quickly, glanced at them. Don't see anything that I MUST have. Sure, a few things I think I need, but nothing urgent. That's the attitude!!!

30 Days of Nothing Day 2

$ spent - $10 for the kids lunches ($5 each for 2 days of school lunch) Almost caved in today to order Chinese for lunch. But stuck with my leftover chicken & sesame noodles. It really is the same thing, just someone else cooked it! Breakfast, egg/bacon on croissant with fruit Lunch, leftovers for dh & me, kids packed bagels and/or sandwiches and bought if desired Dinner, tortellini & bread sticks. I just can’t get this quick bread stick recipe down. I guess I should stop using 1 cup of whole wheat flour one time & see if that makes a difference?? Power box class at 6pm which got me home at 7:15. A little rushed for dinner, but heck, needs to be done!!

30 Days of Nothing Day 1

$ spent - $00 Ironically, today is Labor Day, also the first day of Nothing. Hmmm. Piece of cake! We stayed in all day. DH really wanted to go shopping for rugs, but we just did that on Sunday and spent $200 for 10 rugs. Yikes. Not crazy about the front & back door ones, and he's not crazy about the community bath ones, which is why he wanted to go & look for something else. Said nope, it’s a holiday & I’m not going anywhere! Weather was nice, but windy so no boating or riding the ‘doo’. We bbqd though. Made a shrimp pasta salad, massive hot dogs, bean dip. Of course, pretty much depleted my supply of beer for the month. Perhaps I should rename this to 30 days of no beer?? Nah. No gym.

30 Days of Nothing

NOTE: This post was originally typed up on Friday, August 29th after a long & grueling week. Of course, the long and grueling work has continued as I'm just now posting almost a week later! September 2008 After figuring that I spend close to $1000 on average a month for food for a family of 4 (groceries, dinner out & kids lunches) I thought why not give this a try? It’s also a chance for me to do a few other things too: I signed up for a new gym a week ago, called The Cage ( and am taking the Power Box classes Monday through Thursday. Being that its $50 a month, another incentive to save elsewhere. BUT – I would really like to lose the 10 lbs I gained when I quit smoking. And also firm up this 44 year old body. I would also like to start removing some of the clutter I have in my closet & dresser drawers. Some of the stuff I’m holding on to until I lose the weight. Well, if I haven’t lost or toned up within the next 30 days, there is something seriously wrong. And lastly, for me, and no one else in the house, I want to see if I am really that materialistic? I mean, is this what makes me happy? I’ve been unhappy lately. Not depressed, just not happy. Nothing pleases me, gives me warm fuzzy feelings, etc. Everything is a pain in my neck lately and that is so not like me. I feel bad for my family and those around me. So lets hope that all the above will potentially resolve itself a bit within the next 30 days. I am actually looking forward to this.