Showing posts from February, 2012

Making Do - Homemade Dryer Sheets, sort of

Ok, first off, I love fabric softener and feel it's a necessity 90% of the time. I get extreme static electricity, to the point where I hate touching anything metal in my office (yikes, sparks fly!)

But in my Year of Zero ... it's not really on my necessity list at the current prices I see, even my Kirkland brand, (very compatible to Downy, by the way)

220 Loads! Wow, that's a lot!!
so when I saw this, I though, heh, what the heck, lets give it a try with some of the stuff I have left. Oh, and don't come back and yell at me if you spend 3 hours browsing that site!

Anyways ... this is super easy. I'm on my 2nd round (and the 2nd time, I made it even easier!)

Pour a little bit of liquid fabric softener into a container such as a bowl or other large, round open dish.

I used a tall deli type container. Dummy me, should have used a shorter dish to make it easier to get the whole cloth in!

Take an old washcloth, or even a torn up towel, I'm thinking even one of them …

How Do You Do It? $20 a week for groceries (February only ... and NOW March too!)

I've had a few inquiries to the $20 a week grocery budget for February ... "How do you do it?" ... both live, in person and online.

I suppose not everyone could do it, and trust me, I'm surprised that I CAN do it myself! 

It helps to have a fairly full pantry, freezers and such (remember, I did the crazy shop at Costco the last week in January?) ... and this makes it a LOT easier.  I suppose if you didn't have a store full of food, it would be much more difficult. It also helps to be "determined" ... just saying. I will be honest that this week is starting to show a few spaces in the freezer and I had to re-evaluate a few ideas I had for dinner plans since Hubby did a mighty fine job of eating from the freezer while I was gone (I love that he loves how to cook and is not afraid to do so!)

1. Browse the food you DO have and make a menu from there. It doesn't have to be solid, set in stone, but you do need…

Menu Plan - Week 9

It's Monday, and time to plan for the week! (I had to go look at the calendar ... it really IS week 9!)

Hubby is traveling Monday and returning Thursday ... and he has a big lunch meeting on Friday (will share details on this at a later date, change is GOOD!) ... so it will be me, Princess (if she's not working) and Kitty Kitty. Can you say EASY??

Seriously, would like to continue with the $20 a week challenge but feel Costco calling for a few items (paper towel, tp, salad stuff, spinach, milk, cheese, eggs, etc.), but the quick trip to the produce store on Saturday took care of the salad, spinach and egg issues as eggs were 98 cents for a dozen! So I'm thinking I can hold out a little longer and stay with my $20 challenge.

So here's what I'm shooting for ...
Sunday - Pizzas since it's been a LONG time ... I do have a few Kashi frozen pizzas in the freezer that we could doctor up if the desire to make the dough subsides (it will, I'm sure!)

Monday - aimin…

Settling Back In

I am back from my trip, 4 days later than anticipated. Thankful that I got out of there when I did last night as they were closing the airport due to the winter weather coming in (what's up with Midway lately anyways??)

I had some extreme Family Drama. What more is there to say?

At the moment, I have nothing to share. Nothing witty, entertaining, funny, valuable, etc.

I'm basically brain dead.

Tired too.

I'm going to take the rest of the day and this weekend to re-group and will resume posting on Monday.

Thanks for sticking around (and shame on that spammer that snuck past me!)

Easy in the Kitchen Hand Scrub

My hands have really been bothering me the past week or so. Not sure if it's from all the housecleaning and cooking or if I'm coming into another flare. God please help me if it's another flare ... been awhile since I've had a bad one and this is starting to feel like it. Ironically, typing doesn't make anything hurt more, but makes it more difficult (fingers swollen, don't respond the way the should, etc.)

So I'm looking for something to make them feel better. Well, that, and I'm really missing the manicures (the hand massage was the BEST thing of whole process!) ... and came across numerous hand scrubs using sugar or salt, and oil or whatever.

So I look in my pantry and see:

Baking Soda (score!)
Coconut Oil (double score!)

I get the coconut oil through Amazon Subscribe and Save program. So I currently have TWO ... one in the bathroom and one in the kitchen. Because I've never cooked with it yet, the kitchen one is still sealed. So I had to get the…

Menu Plan Monday - Week 7 - Traveling Week

This is going to be a funky week as far as menu planning goes ... I leave on Wednesday and return on Monday bright and early ... so here's a few days worth and then suggestions for Hubby and Princess ... they most likely will do a night out together and Hubby is not afraid to tackle the kitchen ...

Great news in that I am rolling over $11 so there is $31 for the grocery budget this week (but of course, traveling will BLOW the remainder of budget). Will stop and pick up a loaf of bread, milk, cat food and some salad stuff.

Sunday - Chili (freezer) over mashed taters (the ore-ida frozen steam & mash stuff)

Monday - Salad (Hubby) and Green Smoothie (me)

Tuesday - leftover chicken and rice. I am well aware it's Valentine's Day, however, I fly out the following morning AND I'm probably going to hit the gym ... unless Hubby request I come home for something special

Wednesday - Soup (canned, pantry) and sandwiches (need to get bread, lunch meat, cheese and other condimen…

Chicken Kiev

I love them little Barber chicken things, but you know, 2 to a box and $3.99? wow. That's expensive. Not to mention, the list of ingredients is a little frightening (AND Princess will eat TWO while holding a conversation with you). And they have served a time and a place in my life.

Ahhh....what a safe standby to have on hand (need to try the cordon bleu recipe next!)

So when I saw this recipe (and CRAP I can't find my original link!) I said OH YEAH, I'm so putting that on the menu! Fortunately I have everything on hand (except fresh tarragon, not even sure if I have dried, but will improvise) since I've put myself on an extremely reduced grocery budget for the month of February.

So, here you have it, the way I did it in this neck of the woods! Just a note: it did not look pretty, my buttery goodness all leaked out because I sort of cheated by using big chicken breast and slicing in half then pounding. Ummm, yeah, you should just use FOUR breast and pound them out. Next…

Nails, and nail polish, manicures, all that girly stuff

Remember here, this picture, I was so bummed that I even mentioned the purple nailpolish not holding up as well as I'd hoped?

Well, since then, I've done a bright coral, and this week, it's back to the purple.

I keep having to add another coat like every other night, (heck, the cheaper stuff constantly wears off the ends from typing, and being used as tools). The polish is thin and then it just doesn't set right and I end up getting dings and smudges ... which I HATE. So. I sprayed them with Pam.

89 cent polish at Walgreens a few weeks back ...

Yes, I did. I sprayed Pam all over my nails. It works, not a smudge and super shiny!!

Excuse the ugly swollen hands, arthritis and lupus are NOT kind to hands (I used to have long lovely fingers back in the day ::sign::)

Here's how I did it:

Apply polish (in this case it was just another coat, otherwise, do the base, color and then top coat).

Shake can of Pam.

Remove lid.

Walk over to sink.

Place hand over sink, palm side do…

Menu Plan Monday - Week 6

Still plugging away on the $20 a week grocery challenge. So far it hasn't been difficult, thanks to the last blow out at Costco ... will be hitting the store Monday or Tuesday for milk and spinach though.

I made THREE new recipes last week and all were hits. Thankfully. Even better that I had everything on hand to make (substitute half and half for cream in one) ...

So here we are ... another week and $27 (carrying over $7 from last week) to shop with as needed, first from the pantry, then the freezers and THEN the store ...

Sunday - Hubby is hosting Super Bowl for the two of us (long story but no party) so he is making stuffed shells and then pizzola meatballs

Monday - Spinach smoothie and gigantic salad with turkey and hard boiled eggs over the top (gym night)

Tuesday - taco salads (gym night for me)

Wednesday - should be date night but I'm going to push for staying in and having leftovers (probably shells and such)

Thursday - chili (freezer) (gym night)

Friday - Not a s…

Chicken - Tuscan Garlic Style

I've never eaten the Tuscan Garlic Chicken at Olive Garden ... I've not been to Olive Garden in over 18 months ... but when Mel posted this ... I bookmarked it...and kept it in the back of my mind ...

It was suppose to be FRIDAY's dinner, but it ended up being Saturday.  And it was odd making it because I was sharing space with Hubby in the kitchen while he made his stuffed shells for Sundays game ... we don't share space too well when it comes to the kitchen.

Regardless, we worked around our issues  ... and actually complemented each other on progress (with the exception of WHY DO I have to go get your parsley??)

And since we were sharing space, it took way longer than it should to complete. I did it piecemeal style and then just sort of heated everything up when we ate at 10pm. Yes. TEN O'CLOCK at night.

But it was worth it. Delicious! So go ahead, share your kitchen space with someone you love and make this!

2 large chicken breast - slice them in half (which no…

Olive - Y Garden Salad Dressing

I used to make this recipe every stinking weekend and as odd as it may be, THIS is what I would bring for dinner at a friends ... I have an odd group of foodie friends :-) 

Yes, it does have corn syrup and apologies all around, but it does make a difference. If anyone can tell me a suitable replacement, I'm all for it!!

It's a very very thin dressing, not thick and creamy like you would expect .... I would recommend you double IF you like your salad dressing and plan on sharing!

Italian Dressing - just like OG ...

1/2 cup mayo
1/3 cup white vinegar
1 tsp veg oil
2 tbs corn syrup (now that I'm a little healthier minded, need to find something as substitute)
2 tbs parmesan cheese (I'd like to say use the real deal, but I've used the green canister in a pinch)
2 tbs romano cheese (if you don't have this, just double up on the parmesan cheese)
¼ tsp garlic salt (or one clove of garlic finely minced)
½ tsp Italian seasoning
½ tsp parsley flakes
1 tsp lemon juice

DIY Beauty - Uhhh... Waxing

*This post may contain pictures that are disturbing if you refuse to admit that women have facial hair that needs tending ...

Following along with Year of Zero? You aren't? Why? You can watch me fall flat on my face, sit up, dust myself off and continue onwards. 

Or better yet, you can read along on my daily adventures and nod your head in understanding at why sometimes I don't always succeed. I'd much prefer the latter but heck, if you really need entertainment value, go along with the first.

Anyways. Rule #10 , the very last one I made, because it was HARD for me to commit to was the NO MORE manicures, pedicures, lip/eyebrow waxing (What???), professional hair coloring ($200 plus a pop) and so on. Yeah. What was I thinking when I committed to THAT?? Hubby is most likely going to be calling a divorce attorney, or maybe just a mediator if the grey hair gets any further along ...

So I've been on a mission for DIY stuff. Which I've actually been doing for awhile b…