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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

January is Eating From the Pantry month

Ha. If any one looks above at the header and read what it says, you should get a good laugh :)

Ok, so I've decided to go along with the Eat from the Pantry challenge that these gals have set up.

Here's some of my thoughts/ideas/plans:

Inventory freezers (all 3)

Inventory pantry and cupboards (both kitchens)

Menu plan for the complete month. Leave one day a week open for leftovers, unexpected outings (hey, these things happen and I know if I don't factor a night out once in awhile, bad things will happen)

Get recipes together after menu plan and stick all together for easier organization (is there really such a thing??)

I've decided, rather than give myself x amount of dollars for the month, I will use my 3 $10 gift cards and my $50 gift card FIRST ... the $10 are Publix and the $50 is an AE so that will take me wherever I want to go. If an awesome meat deal comes up though, I'm buying, even though there is still NO room in the freezers.

I have to admit, I'm having little anxiety attacks about this. What if we use up all the food that we've stored and something happens, lose a job, etc? Then what?? Although, I know that there is no way we can eat every last morsel in the house, but still. Oh well. This is what happens when you stop taking anxiety medication and try to go with herbal stuff. OH - wait - do I have enough to get through January? Oh no. Do I need to go stock up on some canned goods?

See. This is what I deal with :)

No, I don't think we are suppose to go all out these last few days and buy up a bunch of stuff to tide us over for a WHOLE MONTH!

So, how about it. Who else is in?

January 1st

Have I mentioned how excited I am for the new year to start?

It's almost a relief to think that you can start all over on the goals you've set (and failed at) the previous year

a. I am going to attempt (yet again) to do a Pantry Challenge

b. Be a little more consistent in blogging. In other words, make more time for myself and the things I enjoy

c. Get the recipes fully up and running at the other site I've been gradually working on here

d. Get the clutter gone. Once and for all. Honestly, I do NOT have a packrat mentality, but lately it seems there are little piles of papers (coupons) here and there, a few piles of clothes (keep or donate?) etc. I need to get back into the mode of dealing with immediately instead of adding to the stack to deal with tomorrow

e. Continue cleaning out the closet and drawers of clothes that I have not worn, will not wear, and just CAN NOT wear

f. Put more effort in to thrift shopping for items needed, primarily NEW clothes. For this I will rely my new favorite place

g. Menu plan, in a way that I can follow through. In otherwords, as hubby always says: Stick with the Plan!!!

and last, but not least

h. try to save one paycheck a month to the savings account. I would LIKE to do the $1088 check. I really think I could do it if I was just disciplined enough. I get 6 checks a month, and then the bonus checks (which SHOULD go to savings!). As I do not have safe, comfty feelings for 2010 as far as the economy goes, I really am thinking that I have the right mindset to do so.

So. What are everyone elses goals for the New Year?

Wii Fun

Oh boy, this thing could become addicting in all aspects!

Last night, Sonny Boy said he couldn't find any of the games on the Wii Fit Plus ... so I showed him what I had seen before.

Then I had the snowball fight. Got blasted but oops. Goes to show that I do not have grace or coordination!

Off to the skateboard thing. Good lord my calves and thighs were burning after about 10 minutes of that. Folks, I am NOT out of shape that much but geesh, just using muscles that I don't use consistenly I suppose?

Sonny Boy took over on the skateboard game. Scolded him that he should NOT be jumping on the balance board. Said that was the only way he could do tricks. Alrighty then.

Hubby wants to play tennis? Huh? Dude. You are NOT a tennis kind of guy.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Frugal Wear

Ahh...it's going to be a nice, peaceful week at the office. I'm so looking forward to it!

Today is the cool little hurley skirt that I scored for $1 from Out of the Closet. Along with the Old Navy brown tshirt that I tossed in the shopping cart online for $5 to offset the $7.95 shipping fee they were trying to nail me for. Shoes. Well. Shoes. See, I've tossed one pair of sandles this past weekend. And I'm ready to toss another pair shortly. And, well, I stopped at Target on my way to work this morning. Picked up a pair of leather slip on sneakers for $24.99. Gasp. But they are really comfortable. And well, I DO need a new pair. I don't know ...

So, what are YOU wearing today?

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas and the after effects

That title sort of sounds omnious but it's not meant to be!

We are grateful to have Princess in for Christmas, along with her boyfriend. As it is the season of kindness, love and sharing, we agreed to let him stay here for most of the visit. Honestly, had I said no, we probably would not have had that much time with Princess. Breaks my heart, but I suppose this is what happens as the children grow into young adults .

Because we spent over $800 on her plane ticket to come home (thanks for the military discount Southwest NOT!) we kept gift giving a little on the low side.

I, however, did by myself a Wii along with the balance board and the Wii Active game.

Played the Wii balance board stuff on Christmas day. Woke up on Saturday with a very very sore shoulder and back area. Whew. Thinking I slept wrong. Popped to Aleve and moved on throughout my morning.

Decided to get out the Active game and see what its all about. Oh cool! It has boxing and heavy bag stuff. Woohoo. This is my kind of stuff!! Played about 35 minutes and was all hot and sweaty and pretty much cursing at the "trainer" for his annoying comments such as "you need to focus and punch a little harder next time" WTF?? Sorry.

ACK! Woke up this morning, Sunday, bright and early as we are driving Princess and BF back to Orlando this morning. Ummm. Hmmm. Yeah, this kind of feels familiar, this tightness, achy pain in my shoulders, back and ARMS. I am starting to think that this MAY be my new work out routine. Apparently I can set it up to track my results (I need to figure out how to tie Active in with the Board stuff) and workouts. Hmmm. This could be good. My girlfriend, across the street, she goes to the gym every morning at 5am and is trying to get me to rejoin the gym. I just HATE that is the only time you can go and not be waiting in line or rushed to finish a piece of equipment. Hubby would never go that early. BUT I think he would like this boxing stuff. It's pretty similar to what we were doing a year ago, the Power Boxing stuff (Alberto, where are you????). Now there is another Active game, newer (I guess?) that has the real cool workout stuff for like abs and such. I don't KNOW if I have that on mine, but plan on checking it out later today when we get back from Orlando.

So Christmas morning was very quiet. We opened the gifts we had. The Princess & BF went ot his moms for the day and night. Sonny Boy picked them up about 6pm on Saturday night and the three of them stayed up late playing cards. Kind of cool. I know the Boy really misses the Girl but can't say that out loud. Breaks my heart yet again.

As I said before, there are unbloggable issues going on in the family. Of course, they have to do with the Princess. Its out of my control, I can only offer my opinion, thoughts and advise, as much as they are not wanted or "needed", so I'm told. I try not to be commanding, I try to remember that she is being molded into a young, responsbile adult, albeit Military Style. But I look at her, my heart swells with both pride and hurt. Who would have thought such a thing was possible? I think I need to just let go of the hurt, but man, that is so hard.

So I just sit here, at the kitchen counter, this last Sunday of my Christmas weekend, hashbrowns cooking in the electric skillet, and not a sound in the house (except for the cat looking for something to get in to), look out the window at the crystal blue sky, see the gently swaying palm trees, and think to myself, All Is OK. It is what you make of it.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Light and Fluffy Cheesecake (non bake)

Really fluffy, not dense like some. And can be made lighter, as I did, with reduced fat items. I have NOT tried with splenda in place of sugar yet but will.

1 8oz cream cheese, 1/3 less fat (I use the tub, not the block), room temp
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup sour cream, 50% less fat
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups of cool whip or store brand non dairy topping, thawed
1 prepared graham cracker crust (or make your own by crushing 1 1/2 cups worth of graham crackers, mix 1/3 cup sugar and 6 tbs melted butter and press into bottom and up sides pie pan.

Beat cream cheese til fluffy. Add sugar, sour cream and vanilla, beat til combined. Fold in the cool whip. Spread evenly into pie crust. Chill for several hours before serving.

*this can be changed up in so many ways to suit your personal taste, such as changing vanilla to lemon or almond, you can pick a flavored whip topping, like strawberry or chocolate.

I am giving this, along with cinnamon rolls, to my neighbors for Christmas today.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

vitamins

A while ago, well gee, almost a year ago, I wrote this post regarding my personal vitamin usage and theories.

A year later, I still stand, for the most part, with the theory. However, a few things have changed.

a. Sonny boy does take a multi vitamin daily along with his 2 carnation breakfast drinks. This is only because he KNOWS that he is not a good eater due to food likes/dislikes and just general attitude about food in all.

b. I have sort of, kind of stopped taking my 2 vitamins consistently. I guess when the doctor finally started me on my happy pill experiment a while ago, I felt that I didn't need to worry about all the other things in addition to my personal issue with attitude :)

BUT now, well, now, I am trying something new, again. See, the happy pills, yes, they do work. But since I have some other 'unbloggable' issues going on (not me personally but a very very close family member), not to mention an extreme increase in the amount of times I feel quezy and sick to my stomach, the amount of antacids I've been taking, along with the fact that Doc is trying to get me to take Celebrex, 2 daily dosages of nanoproxin along with the happy pills, which makes me bruise extremly easy and gives me the distinct feeling that I am burning a whole in my stomach, I'VE DECIDED TO TAKE MATTERS IN MY OWN HANDS.

Yes. Vitamins. From all different sources and friends, relatives and books, blogs, etc. Lots and lots of research. Trust me, to stay on the damn happy, yet make me feel like pukin lately pills, would be oh so much cheaper, I feel I need to try this.

So. Here's what I'm doing.

Going back to the zinc/calcium mix vitamin. Have felt like I've been fighting something for 3 weeks now. Come on. That's way too long.

Going back to the Osteo BiFlex stuff. Now that I've officially been told its arthritis for the fingers, I'm quite certain that's whats up with the wrist and thumb area too. Uggg. I'm way too young to deal with this crap. So, trying to eliminate the future need of Celebrex (have you ever READ the possible side effects?? Holy cow) and daily dosage of nanopraxin (same thing as aleve only a much higher dosage), gonna give this a shot again.

Evening Primrose oil, 2 times a day. Mood enhancer?
Black Cohash, 2 times a day. Mood enhancer and I believe does something for pms/menopause stuff.

AND ... L-Lysine. I still need to buy some. Couldn't find it at costco. But this, I'm told, neutralizes the acid in stomach. Ok, heck of a lot better than taking antacids.

Hubby has been taking cholesterol meds which makes him feel queezy. I picked up some of these Mega Red fish oil vitamins. These are suppose to help lower cholesterol too. This is on the advise of a close friend who is trying to lower his cholesterol naturually and the doctor recommended he try this first before a script. Apparently, MegaRed doesn't have that nasty smell or after taste, along with the burpies that come along with that. Lets see if it helps him.

So, how about it. Anyone else out there switching from pharmaceutical stuff to healthier alternatives?

A trip to Costco

Pretty much empties the bank, even WITH a list. Oh well, we always have the best intentions.

1. We had record rain on Thursday and Friday. Parking lots all over the place, along with neighborhoods and streets, were still flooded as of Saturday. Therefore, I took the big boy truck.

2. Shopping at Costco on a Saturday AFTERNOON is never a good idea. Make that the LAST Saturday before Christmas and the issue becomes huge.

3. Realize that everyone else around you is just as aggravated and has their own personal issues to. Which, for me, makes me turn into a super nice, considerate individual. Odd. Times of crisis bring out the best in me.

4. Remember to take the list OUT of bag BEFORE you are half way through store. This really helps you alot. Especially if you had no need whatsoever to browse the home goods aisle in hopes of snagging: a flexible light thingy for hubby for Christams, an awesome Kitchenaid dish strainer to replace the flimsy wire thing currently in place, a 9 pk of rubbermaid 20 oz bottles to use INSTEAD of water bottles, which really, honestly, I put the water bottles in cart out of habit more than anything, and then saw the bottles already there and put the maga water bottles back, and oh, I know there were a few other things that I had put in the cart and took out at the end.

5. Realize that those POOR demostration people really do have a heart and are not all harrassed and crabby all the time. Its just that the vultures are circling when there is no food on the tray. Take some sympathy, add a dose of kindness and a smile, and believe it or not, they will return the same to you amoung the hostile shoppers ...

So obviously, my shopping trip was not overly fun. I checked out faster than I snagged a parking space BEHIND the building. Made me extremely thankful that I had went home beforehand to drop off the best buy purchases.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Winterfest Boat Parade

Ahhh...another year has gone by, and with that is the final party of the year at our home, the Boat Parade.

This year, hubby and I decided that perhaps we didn't want to have a big party this year. Matter of fact, lets keep it real simple and just invite 2 other couples. Then it came to our attention that it was our good friends birthday that day. And that another friend was going to be in town.

In the end, we had about 20 people over. Much more than the 4 we were looking at. But that's the way life goes sometimes. Yes, we did make a ton of food. And I guess we made too much as I'm dealing with macaroni and cheese, lasagna, spicy meatballs, an awesome bean dip that a friend brought over, chips and dip, cookies and leftover cake. Ugggg.

It rained on and off all day long. To the point where we were thinking/hoping that maybe some people would back out and not want to come (this is suppose to be an outdoor party afterall!) but all still arrived. Then it stopped raining AFTER the last boat went by northward. But of course, we would rather watch the boats make the trip back SOUTH as they go faster, are not as spread out and it's just better to us, for some odd reason! So my one girlfriend was using that as the photo op time since if finally stopped raining.

So even though I sort of sounded like it was a hassle for us to host the party this year, it's not really that. Its just that we have some drama going on in our personal lives that we have chosen not to share with those outside the immediate family, not even our best friends. It's not even bloggable. Hopefully this will all be over and done with by the first of the year so we can start 2010 with a nice fresh, clean start where we can all be happy and well rounded.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

FrugalWear

Ahhh...another day of FrugalWear!

Hurley skirt, cream with these cute little beige & teal apples in the insets, $1 at Out of the Closet thrift store, about 1 year ago.

Cream cotton tshirt, Steinmart, $2.60, about a year ago.

Of course, just the sandles from Target for $14 ... have had them since last summer, 18 months or so ago?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

FrugalWear

Because we have a $2M purchase closing today, I need to dress a little more than usual:

Today's Frugal Wear consist of:

The Loft dress, purchased at Goodwill for $10 a few weeks back. Stunning coral color, sleeveless.
Strappy sandels with medium heel, purchased at Steinmart for $8 two years ago. I absolutley love these shoes and whenever I put them on, I'm always asking myself why I don't wear them more!

So what are YOU wearing today?

Links worth browsing

If you live near a Publix, you really really need to head over to I Heart Publix and check out the deals that she puts up. Seriously. I can't tell you how many times I've written down the website for customers behind me in line and the cashiers. Check it out, its well worth the time. AND, I honestly think its 100 times better than the grocery game site :)

Another great site to check out (which I recently just discovered) is Totally Target. Again, wow. She's got a great system set up for the gift card deals of the week. This is great as we all know how generous Target is with gift cards at this time of year. PS - I've also got this little card in the mail that gives me a $10 GC when I spend $100. You think I can do that at Target??

Michelle is back at Leaving Excess. For a little while there, she took a break. Now she's back. Its always nice to pop in there and see whats doing in her area (chilly Minnesota!), and she's got these great quick links on the side of her blog for some other cool sites (frugal sites and then self sustaining sites).

And of course, for entertainment purposes only (by no means frugal), don't forget about Ree at the Pioneer Woman. Always good for a laugh, and great pictures of her life. Makes me want to sell everything I own and go buy a farm. Wait, I want to sell everything I own and move to an island. But that is another story for another day, totally political in nature and not quite suited for this site!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

FrugalWear

Today's FrugalWear consist of:

mid calf white linen skirt with gorgeous detailing from TJMaxx clearance @ $10
black 3/4 sleeve cotton tee from Casual Corner clearance (when store was closing) for $8
black leather sandels, Target $14

The tee I've had for oh, 4 years? The skirt, 1 year. The shoes? 3 months.

So what are YOU wearing today?