Monday, August 29, 2011

Weekly Money Checkup

1. The most I’ve spent this last week was on a hotel room when we were traveling to Wyoming for a wedding. We split the cost of going up there so it wasn't that bad. I just wish the trip could have been longer and more relaxing.

2. Today I am thankful I am home and can get some things done. As I posted the other day my plate is full and I had a rush purity bracelet order to send out this morning.

3. Money can’t buy happiness. One free thing I did last week that made me happy was go through old clothes that I have had for years and not worn. I thinned my closet out a lot. Some in boxes, some to Goodwill. It is so refreshing to see what I have to wear now, before I had so much I forgot some of it was there.

4. I will consider this week a success if I can manage to get my sisters wedding agenda done and clean my house before we have guests. Oh and definitely give our dogs bathes, they STINK!

5. The thing I will miss most when summer is over is flowers. I love fall and even winter for different reasons but I love the green plants and the flowers. I have lots of plants in my house and one thing I try to do in Fall/Winter is buy fresh flowers at least once a month for the house. It keeps me happy inside while I look at the beauty outside.

Have a wonderful week! Check out My Pretty Pennies to join in Weekly Money Checkup.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Plate is REALLY Full

Do you ever need a day just to breath?

I am preparing for us to head to a wedding about 7 hours away. While making my list of things to get done to leave I looked at my calendar for the next few weeks. Sigh....

August 26-28- Driving/wedding/pick dogs up/driving home

Labor Day Weekend- Relax in the mountains at cabin/go to Taste of Colorado w/ friends (Remember to get my Dad's key from my Uncle and make new copies)

Tuesday after Labor Day, Sept. 6- Dr. Appointment then pick up friend from Airport at 11am

Sept. 7- Husband took day off from work, hang out with friend before he flies home

Sept. 8-11- Sister in law and family arrives Thursday evening and is staying through Sunday, my husband also took Friday off :)

Sept. 14-17 -Head up to my parents house to start my duties of final wedding prep with my sisters wedding on the 17th. My husband will come up the 16th.


Somewhere in here I need to finish my sisters dress, jewelry, and clean my house! Sometime after this wedding is over though I am getting a new fully functioning stove! That alone makes me want to jump up and down!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Weekly Money Checkup

1. The most I’ve spent this last week was on sprinkler parts/primer/etc. (I have no clue what my husband picked up) at Home Depot. It was $77 and then he went back and spent another $25 later that day. I have to say that was pretty cheap for all the home repairs he did this weekend.

2. Today I am thankful my sister brought me my serger from the sewing doctor. It took me a few years to warm up to having one but now I rely on it for so much when I am sewing. I also am really thankful for all the books my other sister brought for me. Last night I stayed up WAY too late and read the first book in the Hunger Games series. I haven't been sleeping much so it was a nice relaxing break.

3. Money can’t buy happiness. One free thing I did last week that made me happy was the fact that every day this week we have used something from my garden. I plan on planting less lettuce next year and adding some carrots, more peppers & tomatoes, extra beans, and an artichoke.

4. I will consider this week a success if I complete the other 4 bracelets for the other bridesmaids in my sisters wedding this week. I messed up and bought the wrong size elastic for the cuff bracelet and wanted to see what my sister thought before finishing. Thankfully she likes my mistake better!

Bridesmaid Cuff Bracelets out of Vintage Buttons
5. The best prank ever pulled on me was ???. Oh That is a hard one, I tend to be pretty gullible and I can't count the number of pranks my dad has pulled on me. Not everyone can get me but so far my dad has first place with my husband following closely. I guess at least I know I am loved!

I am working on sewing projects today and then later this evening I am making salsa with tomatoes from my garden and our neighbors garden. I am even able to use the onions and garlic I grew! I cant wait to share it since for the first time since I have been making salsa almost all of it is from my garden and hard work! My husband wasn't sold on the idea of my garden but now he is even going out and using my veggies!

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Saturday, August 20, 2011

What do you do on your weekends?

I dream of doing nothing, ok not nothing. But relaxing, camping, hiking, fishing.....

When I am dreaming I miss the days we lived far away and didn't own a house. Between the house repairs and helping family I miss our old lazy weekends where we wished for things to do. Most of the house repairs are things that haven't been fixed in 27 years so I am hoping we are getting caught up.

My husband says he is caught up enough at work that he is taking the whole weekend off! Let me tell you it is VERY rare the poor guy doesn't have to go in for at least 4+ hours on Sundays. We took a trip to Home Depot this morning and bought 3 new sprinkler heads. Out of the 4 we didn't replace earlier this year 3 died this week. He also fixed a post on the front porch that was rotten and is doing something with our water pipes. I am SO grateful that he is VERY handy! I like to think I am fairly handy but I would have no clue how to do half of the things he does. So I would like to tip my hat to my husband for working hard every day in the week whether at work or at home.

Yea for a whole weekend and for things getting fixed. Now I better get back to jobs I am supposed to be working on to help him get finished. :) I cant wait until Labor Day weekend though as we are actually going up to the mountains and fishing. Yea for a break!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Favorite things in Our House

This little tired guy is one of my favorite things in our house. He is too smart for his own good but is the best little buddy when you need a smile.

Update: Remember that dining room rug I posted about oh 6 months ago and never showed you? It is FINALLY on its way to my house. Not cool I tell you! The smaller version for the room next to it showed up right away, it was supposed to be a month....if I hadn't saved several hundred purchasing during sale/free shipping it would have been a LOT more. I definitely complained almost 2 months ago for not being notified of another delay and they lowered my price again. Thanks Home Decorators! I love their stuff and they have pretty good prices but that turn around for one item is NOT ok. Unless I am in LOVE with something they make I will not be ordering again.

I am off to live in my sewing room again today! I love my air conditioning, thanks to my handy husband! My sisters will both be here this weekend, one for my sewing skills and the other to hang out with my husband. (They enjoy picking on me together).

Have a wonderful weekend!
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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Recipe Adventure: Roast Chicken and Vegetables #1

I am finally getting around to sharing the first completed recipe on my adventure. This recipe is from Real Simple: Meals Made Easy, the first section One Pot Meals. I am sharing my ingredient revisions, prices, and my husbands and my thoughts on the meal.

Roast Chicken and Vegetables

Ingredients getting ready to be cooked

Leftovers, I of course forgot to take a picture when it was done because we were HUNGRY!

Notes in cookbook so I remember my revisions and dates made.
Ingredient Revisions-
Used Smaller 3lb chicken ($1.59 for the whole thing)
Regular salt, I don't have kosher salt and was trying to use as much as I had on hand
One lemon halved instead of 2 ($2.99, for a bag of 10, cost $.30)
1/8 tsp of each dry herb listed because I had those, I am starting to grow herbs in my kitchen to fix this.
 1 1/2 tbs butter, I used salted because that is what I had on hand. 3tbs would have been too much!
1 medium yellow onion ($1.99 bag of 5, cost $.40) 3 was too many, we like onions but not that much!
10 Baby carrots cut up (I had the bag to snack on so I used them instead of buying a whole carrots)
1lb of mixed petite potatoes ($2.99 a bag for red, yukon, and purple potatoes)
3 tsp minced garlic, I keep a large jar in the fridge. I am waiting to dig up the fresh garlic I planted in my garden.

I spent $5.28 on ingredients that I didn't have already at home. I am figuring we will get 5-6 meals out of it. I like tasty meals that are healthy and cheap!

Ok done with the boring part! I used my baker (thinking you could use any stoneware baker though) and cooked the chicken for 30min in the microwave with the breast side facing up uncovered. Then I covered it and let it sit about 10 minutes. Prep time was about 20 minutes and cook time 30 minutes plus sitting time another 10, total time 1 hour.

I served with some little dinner rolls to finish it off! Yum!

Meal Thoughts

Mine-Flavor was good, I think the fresh herbs would have been better but if I had fresh ones I would have only used 1/2 cup. The chicken was juicy and the potatoes/onions were cooked just right. I will cut up the carrots smaller because they were a little hard. I loved that I could adapt the recipe to cook in the microwave for 2 reasons. First its summer and its hot, the oven heats up the house. Second our oven is on the fritz and I didn't have to use it.

Husband-He likes anything with potatoes so we started off good. He had the same feeling with the carrots being a little hard but felt the flavor and seasonings was good. He also liked that it will be good for leftovers.

Overall thought was that we would have this again especially for the cost and it being a balanced meal. It was a kind of standard recipe that tasted good but didn't knock our socks off. Good start to new recipes though!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Weekly Money Checkup

1. The most I’ve spent this last week was on husband was on vacation to a music festival with a friend so I was extra good.

2. Today I am thankful I am home and got to sleep in my own bed last night. Bonus was my husband arrived home last night from his adventure/vacation that he was gone on. 

3. Money can’t buy happiness. One free thing I did last week that made me happy was decorate my moms bulletin boards. I not only did her's but I did all the hallway ones for the entire third grade at her school. Sounds tedious but I really like doing it and she HATES it.

4. I will consider this week a success if I finish the hemming process of my sisters wedding dress. I need to go buy thread for the outer layer and am waiting on my serger to get back from the sewing doctor to do the very interior lining. I also need to make a few mock up jackets to go with it so she can choose which one I make with her extra dress fabric. Not to mention I am still working on jewelry for all the bridesmaids. At least I got my mom's dress altered and done.

5. If I had today off ??? Technically since I work at home for myself I could always have the day off if I was a slacker. I am not sure if my life doesn't work that way or I don't. I always have lists of things I need to get done. My list for the next month is FULL. Since I have the ability to be flexible I can help get my sisters wedding ready, I have been WAY more involved with her's than my own sadly. I need to get the wedding stuff done hopefully this week so I can work on my inventory for a show in October. I have been slacking in working for myself since I have been so busy helping.

I have photos and a my notes from my husband and I on my recipe adventure that I will try and share by Wednesday. I was away from home for 5 days and didn't have much time to be on the computer. Hope you have a GREAT week!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Weekly Money Checkup

1. The most I’ve spent this last week was on a date night. We went to a movie complete with popcorn and snacks. Usually we get a Redbox and relax at home, it amazes me how many people take children under the age of 10 to pg13 or R rated movies.

2. Today I am thankful my father only wanted 2 bushels of roasted green chilies. I am cleaning all of them today and tomorrow and as yummy as I know they will be, What a pain! He is out of the state for work and can't clean them himself so I am helping him out like he always helps me out. Our house smells like peppers....

3. Money can’t buy happiness. One free thing I did last week that made me happy was use our smoker. I LOVE smoked meat and we haven't used it since May. I did ribs, a brisket, and some chicken! I don't know if I was happier to eat or my husband, he seems to have developed a habit for collecting bbq sauce which he likes on the smoked meat.

4. I will consider this week a success if I can get all the work done on my list. Wednesday I am taking my serger to get tuned up (it is sick and not working right). I also need to hem my sisters wedding dress, alter my moms dress and make a jacket for my sister...her wedding is the beginning of next month. Since those are VERY important things I am not planning on anything else until those are completed.

5. This time last year I was probably painting or working on our house as we were new homeowners. My husband goes to a week long music festival every year at this time but I have no clue exactly what I was up too. 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

New Recipes Adventure, first step...find a cookbook!

I am trying to be frugal, really like I think most people these days and am starting my adventure with a cookbook I already own. That way I am not taking up space on my shelf with books I don't use and I  am only spending money on the food, which face it we need anyways.

So I am picking a great cookbook my Grandma gave me almost 5 years ago as a bridal shower gift. I know I have used it but not to it's potential. I am starting my cooking adventure with Real Simple: Meals Made Easy. Which states most meals go from oven to table in less than 30 minutes and freeze well. Perfect for a house of two where number two comes home for dinner at odd times. Namine at The Clutter Box suggested I write the date as well as notes each time I make something so I remember whether we liked it or not. Great Idea! And better than my old use of sticky notes.

I decided to start at the beginning and think I should try EVERYTHING (unless it has shredded coconut, I HATE that). If we don't try new things what is the point of this adventure? So tomorrow is the day!

We are starting with the first section ONE POT MEALS! Sounds easy! I will fill you in with pictures and what my husband and I think, our first adventure is Roast Chicken and Vegetables which says it takes 30 minutes to prepare, 1 1/2 hours in the oven and makes 4 servings....pray my oven works tomorrow! Last night I was down to only one burner working again. I cant wait until next month when I get a new gas stove. :)

I have this really cool baking dish though from Pampered Chef (another great gift from my grandma :), which by the way is an AMAZING piece of kitchenware) that I can use to cook a chicken in the microwave....I think to keep the house cool and cut down time on the recipe I will use it instead. Last time I cooked a chicken in it, total cooking time =30 min. It is a toss up of one of my favorite kitchen items. Thanks Grandma for jump starting my adventure!

I can't wait! Not sure if I am more excited for a new meal or to use my baking dish because I am cheesy like that! :)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A New Recipe a Week?

I am thinking about starting a new adventure! Trying one (to start) new recipe each week.

When I lived by myself and when I had room mates I cooked all kinds of new foods and ate REALLY healthy. I worked down the street from the farmers market and my dad gave me free beef (we raised our own). I ate pretty well in college, way more steaks! Now I never know what time my husband is going to come home from work so it makes it hard to plan meals as well as I am not supposed to eat much beef. I have TONS of cookbooks and I have found I have stopped bothering to try new things over the last year.

So my resolve is to start with one cookbook I already own and try at least one new recipe a week. I also have decided my sticky notes I put in my cookbooks are disapearing...I am going to be a rebel and write in my cookbooks! Why not? It's not like I am giving them away or harming them, I am making them more useful for their intended purpose.

Do you have any recipes that you recommend I try on my new adventure?

Monday, August 1, 2011

Weekly Money Checkup

1. The most I’ve spent this last week was on stuff at IKEA. One of my friends called Friday morning wanting to go since it just opened. I thought it was going to be SUPER crowded but it wasn't any worse than any other IKEA that I have ever been in. I need to go back....

2. Today I am thankful that I can see Fall in sight. It has been too hot this last month and I am ready for cooler weather. I might change my mind when it starts snowing this winter.

3. Money can’t buy happiness. One free thing I did last week that made me happy was share squash from my garden. It feels good to share my veggies (I am proud that I FINALLY have a real garden).

4. I will consider this week a success if I clean the house. It is kind of a mess. Usually I am anal about things being picked up and clean and lately I am loosening up. I think my sister was confused whose house she was in yesterday when she was here. I need to pick it up but I also think I need to stop being as anal as I tend to be.

5. I dream about my new stove and microwave. I cant wait until next month when we have enough to buy them. I also really could be dreaming about air conditioning but then I just go hang out in my craft room and I am good :)

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