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Un-Fall Like Weather & The Garden

October 19th, 2014 at 06:37 pm

Beautiful weather here. Some hot days in the last two weeks - many around 90F!
It was 78F yesterday and going to be about the same today. This weather makes it perfect to be outside doing just about anything.

Yesterday I pulled the old, dry cornstalks out of the garden. Then DH and DD arranged them in bunches out in front of the house for Halloween decoration.

For me that is the definition of Frugal! Big Grin

I also harvested a zucchini and several tomatoes. All the tomato plants are still producing and the sun is getting those green ones to ripen up nicely.




Here is some earlier garden pictures I had meant to share...

DS helping water.




Some of our bountiful cherry tomato harvest.




I'm thinking about planting a few things for a winter garden, but haven't decided on anything yet.

Post Fourth of July Post

July 6th, 2014 at 04:53 pm

We had a busy week here. DH and I decided we would host a BBQ for a few families. I think it has been three years since we invited more than just our family over for a meal - ha!

DD was away all week at 4H camp (which was the BEST ever! Big Grin)
DH and I had to pick up her chores as well as work on getting the house and yard ship-shape. I also had to pick her up from camp Friday midday. So we worked on party preparation a little bit every day of the week. I squeezed shopping for food and supplies on Tuesday afternoon - my half day of work.
We made it a potluck, so that saved some money. I didn't feel embarrassed about asking and everyone was happy to bring something.

Party supplies were:
$ 2 - red plastic tablecloth
$ 3 - blue star paper dinner plates
$ 2 - blue napkins
$ 3 - plastic cups
$ 3 - plastic shot cups
$ 1 - glow-n-the-dark bracelets
$16 - kiddy pool
$ 3 - sidewalk chalk
The last two items are for DS to use all summer. If we are gentle the pool should make it for next summer too.
Total: $33

As far as food goes I wanted to make kabobs. We have never made them before even though I have wanted to many times. I bought 36 boneless/skinless chicken thighs at $2.50/lb. I used fresh zucchini out of our garden on the skewers also.

Food spending:
$23 - chicken thighs
$14 - Kabob produce (bell peppers, onions & pineapple)
$38 - (2) six packs of beer, (2) bottles champagne, (2) bottles sparkling juice
$ 3 - bamboo skewers
$16 - Avocados for guacamole
$ 2 - Tortilla chips
$16 - Huge watermelon
$ 3 - Whole Pineapple
$ 8 - Strawberries & Raspberries
$ 6 - Ice
$ 3 - lime jello
Almost all the fruit/veggies were organic.
Total: $132

The kabobs were a hit. Smile
I even had a few extras that I threw in the freezer - maybe dinner next weekend?

DH crafted a watermelon "basket" filled with the fruit. I should have taken a picture (I think he did) it looked great.

His guacamole was a huge hit as usual.

I had the idea to make jello shots. I saw this really cute idea to make red, white & blue layered jello cups. Well that gave me the idea to make jello shots. And then the idea to make Margarita jello shots.
(Let me say I have only had jello shots once before and I have never made them.)
They turned out really good! I will make them again as they were such a fun little adult item to have. Smile

DH and DD hit the fireworks stand and bought $25 in fireworks.

We all watched our city's fireworks from our house. It is nice to not have to drive anywhere.

It was a really enjoyable party. I would like to do it more often than once every few years. It's one of those things where you keep asking "Why am I doing all this?" and then you have such a good time you feel like "I am so glad we did this!" Smile

Sunday Shopping. Birthday Gifts.

April 28th, 2014 at 01:17 am

Went to Target this morning.
I rarely shop there, but the new one is so close to the house it is so easy to get in and out.

I went for shampoo, laundry soap, fabric softener, sliced bread and a gift for a birthday party DS went to this afternoon.

For the first time EVER I texted a number to get a coupon.
It was text TARGET the promo text LAUNDRY1 and get $5 off a $20 purchase of laundry related items. The coupon then came online on my smartphone with a barcode that the cashier scanned.
I like the savings, but what about folks without smartphones? I don't like that sort of exclusion.
**ETA: CCF commented that this coupon was online and in their ad. So I feel better about that. **

For the birthday gift - a giant bubble wand in a tube of bubble soap. I bought five at $1.99/each. DS has two parties next weekend, as well as one at the end of the month, AND his own birthday.
I felt like this is something that is high fun value, but easy on the pocketbook. Plus you can refill the tube all summer long. Smile

DH made homemade Alfredo sauce for dinner tonight. He and DD took most of it over to his boss' house for a birthday party there. DS and I opted to stay home. We are using up some old, opened pasta to have our sauce with. DH bought the cheese and cream for about $8 (butter and garlic we already had on hand) - so this was also an inexpensive gift.

Abundance of Produce. Two Soups for Dinner.

January 16th, 2014 at 11:30 pm

We get local, organic produce delivered to us by two different companies. We get them once monthly. I try to set it up so that a box shows up every other week.. Well, things got screwy with the holidays and we recieved both our boxes on the same day.

Lots of produce!
(aka bounty of California agriculture)





Just the fruit...



The pears are AMAZING! Like candy. DS and I have already shared three this afternoon. Big Grin

I have several more butternut squashes from last month.
I am getting up right now to go make a big pot of butternut soup. I am also using my fabulous leftover pot roast and the DIVINE broth for a beef, veggie and barley soup.

I have sourdough bread to go with both. Can't wait - Yum!

Vacation, then Christmas, now nearly New Year.. Oh My!

December 29th, 2013 at 05:59 am

Our trip was great!
Really my only complaint was that it was 75F-80F (terrible, hu?) and made the Disney parks a bit more crowded than we were used to. (We always plan to go at "non-peak" times to save money and avoid the crowds. We usually wait 15 minutes or less on the really popular rides and less than 5 minutes for everything else.)
I shouldn't complain, even waiting twice as long as we're used to is better than a lot of people deal with.

It was so enjoyable to watch DS's enjoyment.
This is him on the Toy Story ride which he kept referring to as the "yellow glasses ride".


I used a hotel we hadn't stayed in before. While the hotel was nice and the beds very comfy it was too much of a walk to get into the parks. We walked back and forth twice each day in order to take an afternoon nap, so it was a lot of walking.

Yes, there is a circulating bus/shuttle, but I didn't want to pay the extra money, plus you have to wait for it to pick up and drop off. I prefer to walk, although this time it meant some seriously sore feet by day end.

We did pretty well with food spending. Snacks in the car and hotel room. Eating out *only* twice daily was easy to manage.
We ate at the Rainforest Cafe for $12. I had $100 gift card (credit card reward) that almost covered the "splurg-y" meal.
A character breakfast included with our package at n/c was a great treat.
I had my special treat in Disney - a Monte Cristo - that was filling enough for two meals.
We also ate at the Mexican restaurant in Frontier Land which I have found to be nearly the same cost as Mexican food anywhere else. You can also get free soda refills there. That meant my DH bought a soda with six trips for refills. Big Grin

We rented a car. A 2013 Ford Focus.
It was good for us. I had calculated that we would be about even driving our own gas guzzling car vs. renting a fuel saving car. Additionally, no wear and tear on our aging vehicle (we drove 1370 miles).
With the costs tabulated we saved a little money by renting the car! Smile

Here it is in Las Vegas at the Excalibur - where we stayed.



We splurged on the Tournament of Kings dinner show. It's where you eat with your hands while watching knights battle. I had seen a similar show while in high school so knew what to expect (good for a three-year-old!).
My family really enjoyed the show. As predicted DS was glued to the action. Big Grin

DH and I hit the blackjack tables both nights, but alas, didn't win big. We have found that we can play blackjack for hours on very little money all while drinking *free* beer. Smile

Vacation Spending:
$1414 Disney package (4 nights/(4) 4-day hopper tickets/pkg extras)
$310 Food
$200 Cash for gambling/souvenirs/misc.
$181 Rental car
$159 Dinner show
$146 Gas
$ 94 Vegas hotel (2 nights @ $29+taxes/resort fees)

DH's boss gave us DH's $500 Christmas bonus early so we could apply it to the trip if we wanted.
(I used the Sapphire for almost everything and will use the bonus money toward the bill next month.)

Both DH and I used paid vacation time, so no lost income.
We saved a few bucks in daycare costs.
My dad stayed at our house so we didn't pay anything for house/pet care. As a big plus, my dad totally spruced up the front and backyard - mowed, raked, swept.. That was nice!

This trip was our Christmas gift to each other. Tiring, but good family time and some funny memories made. I'll tell you it was nice - no shopping, no wrapping, no extra crap!

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Christmas was comfortable and low-key.
Santa brought a $25 dump truck set for DS.
Santa used Amazon credit (from selling back the EMT textbooks) for DH and DD's gifts. They cost $0.
Stocking stuffers included personal care products and trip souvenirs.

I got coffee and chocolate from almost everyone. Smile
My boss gave me a nice, crisp $100.

Only my parents were here with us (Yay! no drama!).
I made a nice ham dinner, roasted carrots, mashed potatoes, fruit salad, rolls, pie.

This year I feel like I figured out the best way to warm a ham without drying it out!
I used a roasting bag and set the oven for 275F.
About 10 minutes/lb.
Nice and warm throughout - no dry slices!

I bought a 10lb ham for the extra leftovers. I froze the ham bone for later use and a dinner's worth of slices for a future meal.

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Kids are visiting the in-laws until tomorrow. DH and I have been basking in the quiet laziness the last 48 hours.

Next week will be pretty easy. Work one and a half days, then another paid day off. Big Grin
Then.. WOW.. 2014!

Easy Cheese Stuffed Meatball Recipe

November 3rd, 2013 at 08:36 pm

My DD learned this recipe in her 4H cooking group last year. We have made them several times since and I have been meaning to share. They are easy and yummy! It is a very versatile recipe. You could add ground up mushrooms, spinach, carrots, squash etc. to increase the veggies in your diet.

Made them last night.
Dinner on the table in 30 minutes.

I like to make them a little larger and make a dozen.
I have only used turkey so far because I really like the fine texture and less fat; they don't shrink much while baking.

Before.


After.


Cheese Stuffed Meatballs
1.5 pounds ground turkey (or pork, beef, etc.)
2 eggs
1 cup Italian style bread crumbs (maybe a little more)
String cheese or Mozzarella cheese cut into 1/4" chunks
Spices of choice can be added - such as salt and pepper to taste, garlic salt, paprika, parsley, curry, Tabasco, Italian seasoning, Seasoning salt, etc. (Whatever your family likes)

In a large bowl, mix together uncooked turkey, eggs, bread crumbs and seasonings.
Mix together until uniform (hands work great).
Take a small handful of meat and roll into a ball. Make a dent in the meatball and put the chunk of cheese in the center. Wrap the meat around the cheese.
Place meatballs on a cookie sheet coated with cooking spray or use foil.
Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes (22 min for the larger meatballs I make).
Serve immediately.

Great recipe to make ahead for a busy week.
Leftovers can be used to top a pizza, or wrap in a crescent roll with some marinara sauce and more cheese or meatball sandwiches.

Happy First Day of Fall

September 23rd, 2013 at 12:15 am



We took a trip out to the beach this morning. The Pacific Ocean is a 35 minute drive from our house. DH and I were saying that really we should go more often given it is so close. SO we bought a regional park pass this morning for $69. It is good for unlimited visits to the parks in our county for one year. Plus, we got a surprise when we saw we also get one night of camping at any of the campgrounds. The day use fee is $7/visit and camping is $30/night so this pass will pay for itself quickly.

For our first autumn dinner we are having corned beef with cabbage and carrots. The corned beef I bought on sale back in March - $5 for 3lbs. I am going to bake drop biscuits to go with dinner as soon as I finish here. Welcome Fall! Smile

Updates

April 28th, 2013 at 12:04 am

The days have just been flying by here. We have been having beautiful weather and the seeds we planted in the garden two weeks ago have sprouted up. When they get a bit taller I will take a picture to share.

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The chicks are much bigger now. They have almost all their feathers so no more fluffy downy fuzz. We let them out in the backyard every afternoon and they are so fun to watch. Once they are a little larger I will move the dog crate that is their home out to the coop and they can start acclimating to nights outside.

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I received two more referrals on my Ting account - $50 more credit. Big Grin
A big Thank You to the folks using my referral code (if you’re reading this.)
I am so very happy I switched to Ting. Great service and excellent value.

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Last week I changed my withholdings from 2 to 4 so I could squeeze a little more money into my weekly paycheck.

Then this past Wednesday my boss gave us each a brief review and a $1/hour raise. Big Grin Yay!

Now I’m worried with the raise I might not be withholding enough. What I will do is give it a few months then do a year-end-mock-up and see where we stand tax wise.

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The plan for this weekend is relax, relax, relax. Our calendar is full for the next two weeks once May starts, so we've got to rest up.

We plan to have BBQ dinners tonight and tomorrow, so no "real" cooking to do and I love BBQ'd food. Smile

Awesome Salad & My Green Smoothie

April 6th, 2013 at 03:47 pm



As part of my healthier eating I made this wonderful spinach salad with green onion, cherry tomatoes, strawberries, hardboiled egg and leftover ham. What was really great about it is the dressing I "created" on the spot.

Citrus-Mustard Dressing
- One Tablespoon olive oil
- One to Two Tablespoons honey mustard
- Juice of one Clementine (Cutie)
- Dash of black pepper
Wisk together.

I don't use a lot of dressing so this was enough for two servings over large salads. I think this dressing will taste great with other types of meat too - salmon, chicken, steak, bacon bits. I want to try a few variations like using an orange or a lime or even a grapefruit. Maybe trying Dijon in place of the honey mustard.





Spinach Smoothie
- Spinach
- Coconut Milk
- Strawberries
- Frozen Banana
- Dash of Cinnamon
- Tablespoon of Flax


Plans for April & Baby Chicks Pics

April 3rd, 2013 at 01:47 pm

The biggest plan for DH and myself this month is improved eating. DH wants to drop some pounds for a physical test for his fire department and the life insurance we hope to get started this summer. I want to get serious because I have not started to work on my weight loss goal yet. If I wait any longer we'll be half way through the year. Worse even - I gained three pounds in March. Time to make an effort. Smile

We are cutting way back in the sugar department. We eat healthy foods mostly, but I love fats and sugar. Big Grin (I have the hugest sweet tooth! Seriously! I have dessert almost every night.)
SO, I am dropping breads, cakes, cookies, pie, etc. In addition to reducing my dairy to a tiny amount. So no cheese, ice cream, half & half, etc..

Monday and Tuesday we had oatmeal with fresh strawberries for breakfast. I made myself a big batch of quinoa and black bean salad that I have been eating for lunch in addition to nuts and fruit. Last night I made an awesome spinach salad with leftover Easter ham.

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I am cat sitting again for a few days this week and earning $140. I'll be doing it again for the same cats in a few weeks I think for the same number of days.

I was surprised that their owner didn't leave me a check so I am not sure if she forgot or if she is planning on writing one check for both weeks. You can be sure I'm going to ask! Wink

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We have four baby chicks. Young hens to "freshen" our flock of four older ladies.

I paid $14 for the chicks and $7 for their feed. We had the additional supplies (dishes, heat lamp) from raising chicks a few years ago.

They are about 11 days old now.
We have them in a brooder box under the heat lamp in me and DH's bathroom. I love that our family has the opportunity to raise animals. It is the type of thing I want my kids to remember years later and smile about.

Three days old:


Black Australorp chicks.


Golden (Red) Sex-Link chicks.


Dragging A$$. Juicy Chicken. Ting Credit Correction.

March 12th, 2013 at 10:20 pm

How is everyone doing with the time change?

The time change has been a little rough on me this go around. It doesn't help that it is dark AND foggy when our alarm goes off in the morning. Plus, little DS has been running a low-grade fever that started Sunday night and the guy just wants to sleep until his "normal" wake-up time. I feel bad that I have to get him up when he could really use that extra sleep.

I don't think I have much problem when we fall back, but the spring forward has me dragging a$$ for the first 90 minutes of my day.

Of course the flip side is that I feel like I am slipping out of work early. And the weather here is absolutely gorgeous! The afternoons are full of sun and fresh springtime air. Smile

So much so that I am thinking about starting on our garden boxes early. Several of our clients have been thinking the same thing too. I was talking to a few this morning and it seems there is widespread Spring Fever.

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We had *fabulous* BBQd chicken Sunday night for dinner. Super juicy.

Saturday night I opened the package by mistake so I put the boneless, skinless breasts in a glass dish. Sprinkled them with a bit of black pepper. Then I slivered three cloves of garlic and layered it among the chicken. Then I took some oranges (4) and lemons (2) that were getting squishy, cut them in half, and hand-squeezed the juice over the breast until they were all covered. Tight plastic wrap on the bowl and refrigerated them. Sunday evening DH BBQd them with our regular sauce and they were awesome.
Great use for citrus fruit that isn't bad, but is getting too soft to really peel and eat.

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EDIT:
I was mistaken about Ting's credit - with the referral credit *YOU* still get $25 off, while *I* get the bonus double credit until 3/15.
Sorry for the misunderstanding.

Still it's a great way to save money - so give it a try. Smile

Date Night

February 19th, 2013 at 04:35 pm

Last night DH and I redeemed the $25 dinner coupon and free movie tickets. My mom had stayed with us for the long weekend so she watched the kids for us.

We went to an upscale Italian restaurant that we hadn't been to in about three years. It is very quaint and cozy located downtown within easy walking distance of the movie theater. We each had a drink (I had their champagne mojito), shared an appetizer (bruschetta w/roasted garlic), each a main course (I had the Chef's risotto) and a dessert (Tiramisu). We paid $60 including the tip.

Not quite as cheap as I was going for, but it was because we did splurge and went for everything.

We didn't spend anything at the movie theater where we finally saw "Django". Quite a movie! The acting was superb. It was long, but there weren't any slow spots and the story was very engaging. It didn't disappoint.

It was a nice evening out. And at $60 I'm not beating myself up about doing it either. Smile

Sick this Weekend

February 9th, 2013 at 10:33 pm

It is a beautiful, sunny, blue sky day here.
I am sick and pretty much staying inside trying to rest up. I started coming down with it on Tuesday, it is not the flu or really bad, but I want to kick it as fast as possible.

This weekend I am going to finish updating my cc information with the last few auto-pay accounts. I am also going to call AmEx to cancel. I should call to see if two other cards can give me a better APR now that they have adjusted up from 0%.

DD has a friend staying over tonight. They are going to cook dinner for us (and maybe dessert too). Cheese stuffed turkey meatballs, tomato sauce, noodles, French bread. DH just left to run them to the store - needed breadcrumbs and pasta sauce for this dinner. Milk, bananas, tomatoes needed for the week and I wanted more ice cream. Smile

DH was instructed to keep it under $80 because I know he and DD will buy more than what was on the list I sent them with. This is fine because they need stuff for their lunches and what they pick out they will use up.

No Heat Yet. Soup for Dinner.

October 14th, 2012 at 01:44 am

No heat yet, but it's been really, really close. Last night I baked turnovers so I could warm things up a bit without turning the heater on.

This morning it was 63F in the house. And if DH had been home I'm pretty sure we would've turned the furnace on. He was gone to an all day hazardous materials training class for the fire department and his EMT class. The other reason I held out on turning the heat on was because the weather is going to be warming back up again here. Today it was 74F and so lovely out.

Late this afternoon I started a big pot of soup. Beef, veggie and barley. It's the third meal the pot roast has provided. I also cleared out some hodgepodge veggies that needed using up.

That's the thing about when I make soup, I keep adding stuff until I end up having a full pot. (Like I might be eating soup all week.)

This batch has beef, barley, carrots, baby potatoes, celery, onion, garlic and a mashed squash (no one will even know it's there! HeHe!) I had some frozen corn and zucchini, but I didn't think I needed to add anymore stuff.

Toasting some buttered sourdough bread under the broiler right now and then it's time to eat. Smile

'tis The Season for Crockpot Dinners

October 10th, 2012 at 08:42 pm

I was reading the other new posts and it seems like many of us are fixing slow-cooker meals this week. Smile

This morning I started a nice big roast in my crock pot. I added new (baby) potatoes and baby carrots. Seasoned everything with some salt & pepper, garlic and a packet of onion soup mix. It was already smelling so good when I left the house.

What I love is when I get home I'll be able to smell it before I even walk in the door and nobody has to cook; it'll be all ready to eat.

The roast was $12.50. The potatoes were in our produce box (maybe $3) and the bag of baby carrots were $1. There is always enough for two dinners, plus seconds. Sometimes on the larger roasts I'll have enough meat for a third dinner. I'll make shredded BBQ beef sandwiches or tacos, because you really don't want to eat pot roast three nights in a row no matter how good it tastes.

Enjoy your slow-cooker meals everyone. Smile

Busy! Good Weather. Family Vists. Good Food.

October 9th, 2012 at 05:07 am

The past few days have been so busy! I was happy to get back to work today just so I could rest from the weekend. Wink

The weather has been fabulous here. Last week we had some near record heat. It was crazy! Now the last few days have been beautiful, sunny, mild days. I wish you all could visit my area right now - it's just wonderful! Smile

My parents came for a visit starting on Saturday. It was DH's birthday. I went grocery shopping, cleaned the house and did some laundry. DD participated in a charity walk in the evening.

On Sunday, DH worked a pancake breakfast fundraiser for the fire department. My mom treated us to breakfast there. Afterward we drove to a family farm and picked apples (and a pumpkin). The apples were organic and huge (think softball sized). My mom purchased the farm share and the apples, I bought the pumpkin for DD to carve. $16. Yes, more than I was wanting to spend for sure. I took a bit of comfort knowing the money was going right to the family who owned the farm. (Father and son would cut the pumpkin you picked, sister and niece helped in the apple orchard and mom collected payment.)

I stopped for gas and paid $4.39/gal. Supposedly a fuel shortage here in Cali. Rolleyes
Then we rushed home for the 49er game. They won!

Tonight my sister and her boyfriend stopped in to have dinner. DH BBQd some of his catch from Alaska, salmon and halibut, and my mom made the sides and a fresh apple cobbler.

Halfway Through September

September 17th, 2012 at 11:53 pm

Jeez, halfway through the month already.

"No Eating Out Challenge": We ordered pizza and a family salad last night for dinner. We had planned to do this because the 49ers played in the Sunday Night football game. It was a special meal deal from one of our favorite local places. $30 total with delivery and tip. That makes this the first 'eating out' for this month. Very likely the only time this month too.

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I fell and twisted my ankle this morning. I was carrying DD's trumpet and when I fell I broke the corner of the case. Trumpet is fine. Phew! I am really thankful we own this trumpet. I guess we'd have to buy a new case if we were renting?

The ankle is a little swollen, but it hasn't been too busy here at work so I've been mostly sitting and sitting helps. When I get home I hope to get a little sympathy from the family and I'll get to put my feet up for the evening. Smile

Just This 'n That

September 9th, 2012 at 10:24 pm

DH is coming home this evening. I am planning to make the hash brown quiche that everyone loves so much. I'll add either a fruit or green salad on the side.

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I paid DD her new higher allowance today. $20/two weeks and $5 for mowing the front and back yard.

I also set DD up with her own email address. She was thrilled.

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I went to the grocery store this morning. $157. I bought five boxes of cereal because they were $2 each and I had a $2 off 5 boxes coupon. I like cereal, it's good for breakfast, snacks and sometimes dinner. Wink I don't plan to go shopping again for two weeks.
Going to get that grocery spending down this month. Smile

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My BFF had her baby girl this morning! Big Grin

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The weather has been fabulous here the past week. Mild. I haven't had to use heat or AC. I love that! Big Grin
Right now it is 80F and just beautiful.

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I checked my $1k that I invested in my ROTH a few weeks back and it is up $14. Smile

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Getting excited about all our favorite shows as the new season starts up. I so enjoy curling up on the couch on cool fall nights and watching TV.

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Had some corn from our garden two nights ago. It was not quite ready, but still very good. I've also been getting lots of green beans and I need to pick more today. Getting plenty of zucchini and summer squash. Enough for us and anyone we know. DD's pumpkins are thriving. I bought more spinach seeds so I can replant that area. I've had several lemon cucumbers and a bell pepper. The tomatoes are really taking their sweet time getting red. I've picked one red one and the puppy pulled one off and the chickens ate two almost red ones. There are *tons* of green ones.

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The Amazon seller that we ordered DH's book from offered to refund my shipping *IF* I change my feedback (3 stars). The shipping was $7. I don't know if I want to change the rating; they should do a better job. Still, $7 back in my pocket.....

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Off to watch the second half of the 49er game. When it ends it'll be time to switch to the SF Giants game.

Happy Labor Day Holiday!

September 3rd, 2012 at 09:48 pm

Hope everyone is enjoying their holiday!

It's a very low key Labor Day here with just me and the kids. Doing laundry, washing all the bedding and doing some general pick up are the only things happening today. For dinner tonight I am going to fix spaghetti noodles to go with our leftover sauce.

DS is coming down with a little cold. He has a runny nose that bothers him at night and wakes him up. Hopefully it clears up soon because we both get cranky when our sleep gets interrupted.

My mom and dad are coming Wednesday for a visit and to help me out by watching DS and picking DD up from school. The kids and I are looking forward to them visiting and helping out. Big Grin

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Just before DH left, he and I agreed to give DD an allowance raise. We added poop scooping to her daily chores, something we had been paying for based on amount picked up. We increased her pay from $5/week to $10/week. She was totally jazzed. Smile

She wants to open a checking account soon. I think middle school might be a good time for that. I am going to check what, if any, age requirements there might be so we can plan based on those.

I had my first checking account when I was a high school freshman. When did you get yours?

Great SA Meet Up and a Crazy Day

July 14th, 2012 at 02:03 pm

Must make a quick post. We have to leave for a wedding soon or else we'll be late.

Yesterday's SA meet-up was WONDERFUL! Big Grin
I had the chance to meet Frugal Texan, Swimgirl, Monkey Mama & Big Monkey and Ray & her DD. I ended up getting to the bakery 45 minutes late due to driving my kids all around the county to drop them off and then getting stuck driving behind an impossibly slow truck for most of the way.

Important lesson: If you're going to meet up be sure someone has your phone number and you have theirs! Wink (I didn't have anyone's number so I couldn't call and tell them I wasn't trying to be a total flake.)

Anyway, I finally made it and just as Swimgirl describes it was like a blind date. The bakery was full of people and I didn't know what any of my SA friends looked like. Of course I was thinking because I was so late they all could have already left. Frown

Thankfully they hadn't. The two women in line in front of me turned out to be FT and MM!! Big Grin Big Grin

I didn't go with the rest of the group to SanFran, I had a crazy busy day ahead of me.

After the meet up I had to rush to work. My boss was waiting for me with a dog to take radiographs on as soon as I walked thru the door. And we just kept hustling all afternoon. My boss never got any lunch because we were slammed. I didn't leave until 6:20pm. I'm not complaining. I love my job and it's great when it's busy.

I met up with DH and DH's friend to shop for the wedding clothes for wedding #2. The wedding where DD and DH are going to be in the wedding party.

We all didn't get home until 8pm. We ordered pizza on the drive home because we had no time/energy to cook. DH's buddy and soon-to-be wife had dinner with us.

After dinner I put together the spinach dip for the wedding we are headed to now and packed for me and DS for the overnight stay at MIL/FIL's house.

*Phew*
I can't wait for Sunday when I can sit and take a breather!

Summer Salad

June 27th, 2012 at 04:15 am

Just DS and myself home tonight for dinner. DH is at firefighter training and DD is at camp. I just wanted to fix something quickly. I ended up making veggie burgers, baked baby potatoes and this salad...



I noticed my spinach is growing like crazy, so it's fresh spinach from our garden, ripe strawberries and avocado. I mixed up a little batch of oil, vinegar and honey to use as dressing. It was great! The only thing I wished I had was some of that feta from the goat dairy, but I ate that all up last week. Smile

Cool Beans (coffee beans that is..)

June 7th, 2012 at 10:17 pm

Just a few days back I got a $15 Strbks card as a reward in the mail. And I wrote how nice and easy it was to earn.. Well, I just got another email from BoA to do the same thing. Big Grin

Just a few quick clicks through the email link + pay our cell phone bill in a few days with that card = A second $15 gift card.

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Beautiful weather here. Nice and mild at about 75F. Going to have BBQ chicken breasts, baked sweet potatos, corn on the cob and maybe a few other fruits/veggies that need eating tonight for dinner. Once I finish up on the computer I am going to get a bunch of strawberries cut up for strawberry shortcake for dessert. Smile

I see a few posts about grocery spending. Well, I just checked Quicken and we spent a whopping $1005 in groceries last month! That is much higher than usual. I'm going to look through it and see when I spent all that. Our chest freezer and fridge/freezer and pantry are all FULL so we have something to show for all that spending.

Updates

May 22nd, 2012 at 07:20 pm

Busy here. Not finding much time to be online for anything more than checking email and paying bills.

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Last Thursday we finally had to say goodbye to our Shetland Sheepdog Sasha. Her health really deteriorated pretty quickly starting last Sunday. She had lymphoma. All of us were very sad to have to say goodbye.

Here she is at DD's last sleepover with a pair of glasses on. She was very popular with all the kids because she was smaller and calm.



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I celebrated my birthday by having dinner on the Napa Valley Wine Train. DH and I went to the "Murder Mystery" dinner. A very fun and entertaining experience. The food was quite good. The train and scenery were both fabulous. I had asked for gift certificates for the train for Christmas. We did have to buy an additional gift certificate from Costco to cover the cost for both of us to go. It was a $100 gc for $80. While on the train we also spent on a glass of wine, a glass of champagne, a beer and a special coffee at dessert. We also left a tip for our server making our total out of pocket cost $150. (The total price was $370.)

My parents watched the kids for us. And the next day they stayed and helped fill our garden boxes with dirt and have BBQ dinner with us. The weather was gorgeous.

Sunday I went kayaking on the Russian River with two girlfriends. Afterwards we went to an early dinner. I had a cat sitting client over the weekend and made $50 which paid for most of my outing. $37 for kayak rental, $5 snack/lunch, $20 for dinner.


This is the last week of school for DD. Wow!
Welcome Summer! Smile

April's Daily Expense Wrap-Up

May 1st, 2012 at 02:37 pm

Monday, April 30
$180 Childcare for DD. Contract hours for May, plus extra hours from April.
$300 Horse board.
$ 3 McDonalds. Lunch for me.
Dinner: BBQ hamburgers, potato salad, artichokes, strawberry shortcake.

Sunday, April 29
$104 Safeway. Groceries.
Dinner: Pizza, strawberry shortcake.

Saturday, April 28
$15 DH lunch out.
Dinner: soup, sandwiches, steamed veggies, frozen yogurt.

Friday, April 27
$ 9 In 'n Out Burger. Dinner for me and DS.
$30 Parking in SF.
$19 Dinner for DD and DH at the ballgame.
DD played her trumpet with the Junior Philharmonic at the SF Giants game. She and DH stayed for the game.
Dinner: out.

Thursday, April 26
$ 0
Dinner: leftover lasagna, ice cream.

Daily Expense

April 17th, 2012 at 02:36 am

Sunday, 4/15
$25 Pedicure. Went with a girlfriend.
$ 3 Tip.
$26 Kohl's. $16 shirt for me. $8 clearance sundress for DD. (I think I'll save it for a bday gift)
Dinner: BBQ chicken breasts, brown rice, steamed broccoli, avocados, kiwi, frozen yogurt and mini creampuffs.
I was laughing because we were eating a bunch of green colored food - broccoli, kiwi, and avocado. Smile

Monday, 4/16
$110 Haircut and color for me. I go about every six months.
$ 20 Tip.
Dinner: leftover BBQ chicken breasts, baked sweet potatoes, steamed spinach, avocado, chocolate ice cream and mini creampuffs.

Saturday Spending. EF Chip.

April 15th, 2012 at 05:41 pm

*groan*
Yesterday's spending.

I knew there would be a bunch. Then to top it off DH wanted to have french bread with dinner. He is on a diet and he gets to splurge/cheat one day per week now. Anyhow, he headed off to the grocery store for french bread and he took both kids with him. When he came home he had spent $60 and had changed the dinner plan to homemade pizza. Rolleyes HeHe! He's as dangerous in the grocery store as I am!

Okay Honey, it's YOUR splurge day, but it would've been much cheaper to buy take'n bake pizza.

It wasn't just pizza making stuff. He also bought stuff to make sausage gravy and biscuits for breakfast this morning. And DD talked him into a box of cream puffs.

Trying to remind him that we'll be spending money in Hawaii in a few days...

Saturday, 4/14
$ 60 Safeway.
$150 Cell phone bill.
$196 PG and E. Gas and electric.
$325 CC payment.
$ 43 Garbage service. Auto-pay every 3 months.
$149 Comcast. Cable TV, Internet, Home phone.
Dinner: homemade pizza, frozen yogurt, cream puffs.


Friday, 4/13
$78 Safeway
Dinner: Loaded Baked Potatoes (baked potatos with bacon, sour cream, cheddar cheese, green onion), green beans, fruit, frozen yogurt.

Thursday, 4/12
$0
Dinner: green salad & homemade cheesy potato soup (frozen from a batch I made about 3 wks ago), fruit, chocolate/peanut butter ice cream.

Wednesday, 4/11
$11 Lunch & tip.
$74 Gas. Fill-up at $4.13/gal.
Dinner: pasta w/homemade tomato sauce, fruit from the new box.

Tuesday, 4/10
$0 Starbucks. Free drink coupon. Smile
$86 City water/sewer.
$92 Diapers.com.
Dinner: more Easter leftovers and pizza leftovers.

Monday, 4/9
$0
Dinner: Easter leftovers.

------
Additions to the EF yesterday

+$ 6 Three SF Giant's Win 4/12, 4/13, 4/14
+$ 3.25 Coupon savings

New balance: $3036

Daily Expenses

April 14th, 2012 at 07:00 pm

Quick catch up on the daily spending.

On Thursday I was going to pay some bills and knew there would be some auto pay stuff posting, but I didn't set up any payments just so it would be a NSD. Wink HeHe!

Friday was all set up to be another NSD until DH asked me to pick up some sour cream to go with dinner. I figured I'd pick up a few other items at the store. Then once in the store I saw some really good deals I didn't want to pass up. I love food, so grocery shopping can be ... well.. dangerous. Smile
(I am planning on posting about my grocery shopping a little later.)

On to the tracking...

Friday, 4/13
$78 Safeway
Dinner: Loaded Baked Potatoes (baked potatos with bacon, sour cream, cheddar cheese, green onion), green beans, fruit, frozen yogurt.

Thursday, 4/12
$0
Dinner: green salad & homemade cheesy potato soup (frozen from a batch I made about 3 wks ago), fruit, chocolate/peanut butter ice cream.

Wednesday, 4/11
$11 Lunch & tip.
$74 Gas. Fill-up at $4.13/gal.
Dinner: pasta w/homemade tomato sauce, fruit from the new box.

Tuesday, 4/10
$0 Starbucks. Free drink coupon. Smile
$86 City water/sewer.
$92 Diapers.com.
Dinner: more Easter leftovers and pizza leftovers.

Monday, 4/9
$0
Dinner: Easter leftovers.

Daily Expenses for Monday & Today

April 10th, 2012 at 06:32 pm

Tuesday, 4/10
$0 Starbucks. Free drink coupon. Smile
$86 City water/sewer.
$92 Diapers.com. Diapers, wipes, misc. baby stuff.
Dinner: more Easter leftovers and pizza leftovers.

Monday, 4/9
$0
Dinner: Easter leftovers.

Daily Spending - Week One

April 10th, 2012 at 06:14 pm

Sunday, 4/8
$0
Happy Easter! Smile
Dinner: Ham, Hawaiian rolls, fruit salad, au'gratin potatoes, roasted root veggies with glaze, chocolate mousse torte.

Saturday, 4/7
$157 Safeway. Groceries.
$ 12 CVS. Egg dye & candy.
$ 10 Papa Murphy Pizza. Coupon used.
Dinner: Take 'n Bake Pizza

Friday, 4/6:
$342 DS's Daycare Lady (we pay on the 5th and 20th)
$19 Oliver's Market.
$10 Amended tax return online.
Dinner: chicken sausage & potatoes, mushrooms sautéed in butter and garlic, oranges.

4/5:
$19 Sears.
$ 0 Victoria's Secret. Free panty.
$42 Local ham store.
$81 Costco gas. Fill-up. $4.15/gal.
$112 Costco.
$1776 Mortgage.
$90 V. Secret Online.
Dinner: grilled apple/chicken sausage, grilled veggies.

4/4:
$ 8 My lunch.
$13 Safeway.
Dinner: pancakes, egg scramble.

4/3:
$35 DD's After-School Enrichment class #1.
$45 Class #2.
$ 4 Starbucks.
Dinner: Leftovers

4/2:
$11 Lunch.
$156 Betty's Organics month of service.
Dinner: BBQ chicken breasts, brown rice, veggies

4/1:
$18 Whole Foods.
Dinner: baked chicken breasts, green salad

Friday's Expenses

April 7th, 2012 at 04:12 am

Hawaii in two weeks! Big Grin


I like that MonkeyMama is listing their dinners, so I think I'll do that too.

Okay, on to the spending...
Friday, 4/6:
$342 DS's Daycare Lady (we pay on the 5th and 20th)
$19 Oliver's Market. I went for a cannoli today and saw that they had a special local beer on sale that my parents, DH and I all enjoy.
$10 Amended tax return online.
Dinner: "Bangers n' Mash" (chicken sausage & potatoes) mushrooms sautéed in butter and garlic, oranges.

4/5:
$19 Sears.
$ 0 Victoria's Secret. Free panty.
$42 Local ham store.
$81 Costco gas. Fill-up. $4.15/gal.
$112 Costco.
$1776 Mortgage.
$90 V. Secret Online.
Dinner: grilled apple/chicken sausage, grilled veggies.

4/4:
$ 8 My lunch.
$13 Safeway.
Dinner: pancakes, egg scramble.

4/3:
$35 DD's After-School Enrichment class #1.
$45 Class #2.
$ 4 Starbucks.
Dinner: Leftovers

4/2:
$11 Lunch.
$156 Betty's Organics month of service.
Dinner: BBQ chicken breasts, brown rice, veggies

4/1:
$18 Whole Foods.
Dinner: baked chicken breasts, green salad


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