Monday, November 15, 2010

Newbie frugal tips

I spend money. I spend my Boyfriend's money. I spend anybody and everybody's money.

I also have the ability to be simultaneously cheap. I am new to the idea of frugality and probably need to learn a lot more. I have gone threw a trial by fire process to see what makes a difference in my bottom line and what doesn't. These are my top five frugal tips (that are working for me now, they can and most likely will change):
  1. Recycle Paper: This one may seem like a no-brainer but its a twist. I do take my newspapers to the recycling facility on Tuesdays (most of the time). But, what is making a difference in my wallet is saving copier paper. The Boyfriend teaches and usually comes home with 75-100 test sheets that they turn back into him every week. He will never reuse the test (they are always different). So I started cutting off the bottom third with nothing printed on it and using it to make my to-do list or grocery list. I also saved about half to print my coupons on or a recipe. I was buying one ream of paper from Office Max for $7.79 every month and a pack of poss-its for $4.49. Now I can go 4 months with out buying new computer paper and I stopped buying post-its. Total saved per year: $123.99
  2. Use Dishcloths: This was super hard for me. I love the convenience off just tearing off a paper towel and using it. I stopped though, in June. I was buying one roll of Viva paper towel every week at least at $2.29. I used it for spills, washing dishes, cleaning around the house. Now I have a full drawer of dishcloths and I use them. When dirty I toss them in the towel load and wash once a week. It doesn't cost any more in water, detergent or energy. I still have 3 of six rolls I bought in June. total saved 4months: $43.51
  3. Stockpiling: I think I do this pretty modestly compared to those with 6 months worth of food, health, and beauty items. I came across a sale for expensive shampoo that I love. I had coupons that made it .06 a bottle instead of the normal $6.49. I bought 5 bottles and put them under the sink in the bathroom. Now when I run out I grab a .06 bottle instead of driving to the store and paying $6.49. I have done this with deodorant, body wash, and laundry detergent (all purchased under .50 and item). I never buy more that 5 or 6 containers. I don't buy more till I am down to my last one or two of that item. So the shampoo deal saved me: $32.15
  4. Gas Points: I shop at Kroger for almost all our grocery and personal needs. I always take my bags in (all billion of them). They give you the option to have cents off your total or gas points for using your bags. We take the gas points. At the end of the month the boyfriend and I have around 700-800 points. We use those points for a gas discount at Shell Stations. Its .10 a gallon. He puts 11 gallons in his car every week. I put 10 in my car every week. total saved: $100 a year
  5. At Home: I love to have a glass of wine while I cook. Or while I chat with friends. Or folding clothes...watching TV...okay anytime is good with me. But when I go out to order a glass of wine I spend $6-9 a glass. At home I have a box of Blackstone wine. The box contains the equivialent of 4 bottles of wine and 5 glasses of wine in a bottle. The best part is that I don't have to worry about it going bad if I open the bottle and only have 1 glass. Its is sealed so no wasting. So at $7 a glass it would cost $140 (and a tip) to have 20 glasses at a bar or restaurant. The box of top rate wine cost $20. That is $1 a glass of wine. Total saved: $120 not bad since that is about a month for me :)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Nashville half marathon

My stepson ran in the Nashville half marathon this morning. He placed 2nd in his division. I am very proud, he has only been running in races for about 4months!

I, of course, was bundled up with coffee, bagel, nuts, fruits (so it was more bagels and less fruit). I even had my ipod and refused to get out of the car until the temperature reached 65. But, I am celebrating like I won the whole damn race! He on the other hand has been asleep for the last couple hours.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Money Tracker Thursday

Weekly Earnings:  $12.35
Swagbucks $5.00 Amazon gift card
coins from washer/dryer $0.02
Upromise $2.99 10/27-11/3 $2.84
Rebate (staples) $4.49

Monthly Earnings: $25.57
November Upromise $3.83
November Swagbucks $10.00
Rebates $4.49
coins from washer/dryer $7.25

Yearly Earnings: $164.54
Upromise 2010 $45.87
Swagbucks 2010 $75.00
Coins from washer/dryer 2010 $39.18
Rebates $4.49

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I saved up 1,000 Swagbucks for the Cyber Monday sale!!!

I made it to 1,000 swagbucks. I normally cash mine out for a $5 Amazon gift card as soon as I earn 450 points. But, I saw on a blog that last year they had a sale on the gift cards on Cyber-Monday so I thought I would try to save all of mine for the month of November and see if I can score a few deals.

If you’re not familiar with Swag Bucks, it’s a free rewards program where you can earn points for doing web searches, online shopping, taking polls and more. Just a few searches a day can help you rack up points pretty quickly. Plus, you earn 30 Swag Bucks right off the bag just for signing up for the free program.
Every Friday is Mega Swag Bucks Day, which means you can earn Swag Bucks in increments of 50, 100, 200 or even 1000 just by doing routine web searches. A $5 Amazon gift card is just 450 Swag Bucks, so it shouldn’t be too hard to get your hands on one.
If you’re new to Swag Bucks, or even if you signed up some time ago, here are five tips to help you earn Swag Bucks quickly.
  • Search Regularly at I usually log on in the morning and search facebook or Google to check my mail. Just try to be natural in your searches. Don't keep searching over and over for the same word, the system can tell. One of these usually gets me first win. It may take a few minutes, but it’s always a rush when you win Swag Bucks!
  • Once you Win, Come Back in a Few Hours. Once you win Swag Bucks doing web searches, come back again in a few hours. It does happen, but it’s rare. I figured the pattern that works for me is about every four hours I get a win. It varies but I will probably not search swagbucks for about four hours after a win, I switch back to google.
  • Download the Swag Bucks Toolbar. I love having the toolbar because not only does it update me on how many Swag Bucks I have, but it is also a source for a code to pop up in! Gotta love those free bucks!
  • Check out Swag Bucks Outside of Visit Swag Bucks on twitter, facebook and on the Swag Bucks Blog to get codes that you redeem for more Swag Bucks!
  • Tell Your Friends. Once you sign up for Swag Bucks you have the opportunity to grab a referral link that you can send to your friends to encourage them to sign up. You’ll earn a Swag Buck for each one that your friends earns (up to 1,000 Swag Bucks) on searches. 
  • Swagbucks TV. All you have to do is watch a video that interests you.  At the end of that video, you may get anywhere from 1–5 Swag Bucks. You won’t win every time you watch a video, but you can win multiple times a day. Personally I have won 5-6 for each of my TV wins.
I have earned $65 in Amazon gift cards. I am saving mine for a Kitchen Aid mixer. I see a lot of my friends save them for Christmas and that can add an extra $100-400 to your Christmas Budget.

Monday, November 8, 2010

White Monkey, yummy

*I saw this saved in my draft posts so I thought I would share this with you that way your thighs may be just as large as mine. ENJOY...

I love coconut! So much so that I will willingly try new things if it has coconut in it. One of the new things I have been using is coconut milk. I opened a can and was in love with the velvety consistency of the contents. Today I was trying to use up the last of the coconut milk and came up with this winner, The White Monkey.

White monkey
1/2 cup vanilla bean ice-cream
1/3 cup coconut milk
3 teaspoons sugar
1/2 cup whole milk

Put everything in the blender and pulse it a few times. It will be thinner than a milkshake but still have some body. It is so freaking good. I was going to post a picture but I already finished it so, next time!

The truth waistline

On Saturday I was lucky enough to attend the wedding of two of my dear friends. I spent the first hour on the verge of tears. No, no they were not tears of joy. The were tears of fat.

I had spent the morning at a race for my step son so when we got back with only two hours until the wedding The Boyfriend and I said, "nap time". We woke up with 20 minutes left for two showers and a quick pressing of clothes. Not great since I can easily spend 20 minutes under the shower.

I rummaged through the closet for clothes while he got his shower and laid everything out. That is where is all starts going down hill. The first outfit The Boyfriend put on looked like it was three sizes too small. I gave him another coat, a gift from two Christmases ago. That one wouldn't even button up. Out of five custom made suits, only one was able to pass for the wedding. It was not better for me. I even put the spanks full body suite on before trying to wiggle into my clothes. The pencil skirt refused to go over my hips. The cocktail dress didn't zip up and my boobs were a full cup size to big for the maxi dress!

I ended up wearing something that looks more bank teller than hot tewnty-somthing out to party and celebrate. I told my better half that starting monday things have to change. I mean it. If want to be able to walk in my closet and not be scared to try on anything. Living in sweat pants and t-shirts gives you a false sence of your shape. I put all my in a suitecase and shoved it under the bed today.

So everyday for better or worse I will enter my weight and try in ernist to keep a food journal.

Oh the Monday, why do you always show up?

Anyone out there ever have the Mondays? I am currently suffering from this ailment.

We got up this morning and discovered The Boyfriend was suffering from Gout again. This always complicates a very hectic schedule. I am not medically inclined. I can't stand to see people bleed and it takes more than one person to hold me down when I get a shot. I am being completely serious. But, the Gout.

I have researched online and read all the material the doctor and pharmacist have provided  us with. We changed his diet and modified lifestyles.

It just doesn't seem to make a difference. In fact I would say the flare ups are coming more frequently after each episode.
It is hard to see someone you love hurting or feeling bad and not be able to fix it. So today I am feeling useless.

Friday, November 5, 2010

There is a man cooking in MY kitchen

My Honney Bunney is in the kitchen right now cooking dinner. I really should have know something was up when he walked in the door and put a bouquet of flowers in my face. That is his let me go ahead and apologize for that which is about to happen. I was to happy arranging my flowers to notice the peppers come out of the shopping bag.

He has been in there for almost an hour now. He has managed to chop two bell peppers. He is working hard and unfortunately slow. Always has been in the kitchen.  I am sitting in the living room infront of a fire playing on my laptop. Trying not to think about how late it is going to be when we finally sit down to eat.

Wanna see what me Puppy Dog looked like for Halloween?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Money Tracker Thursday

Weekly Earnings:  $15.22
Swagbucks $5.00 Amazon gift card
coins from washer/dryer $7.23
Upromise $2.99 10/19-10/26

Monthly Earnings: $38.58
October Upromise $16.35
November Swagbucks $5.00
coins from washer/dryer $7.23

Yearly Earnings: $151.20
Upromise 2010 $42.04
Swagbucks 2010 $70.00
Coins from washer/dryer 2010 $39.16

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The diagnosis is...

I went to the doctor yesterday. He diagnosed me with stress/ anxiety and mild to moderate depression. He gave me a prescription for a new anti-depressant and told me "little lady, sometimes its hard to be the one at home, but women have been doing it for centuries". I felt the smack across me face, couldn't you!

I felt completely dismissed. He didn't think counseling or therapy was necessary because he wrote a prescription. I know I may be in the same shoes as hundreds of other women but I feel like I am drowning most days. I sit in the floor in my bedroom and cry more days than I would care to admit. I feel cut off from friends and family and it seems like the boyfriend is out having a blast every night while I am stuck here in the 'burbs dealing with HIS son.

yes. I think stress, anxiety, and depression are all present. But I don't think a pill alone can sure all. Do any of you ever feel this way? Should I try to suck it up and carry on? Any advice????

Monday, November 1, 2010

Oh my GOSH, ...ohmygosh ohmygosh ohmygosh

*Excuse me while I try to squelch the panic...
For the last hour I have been pacing in my house. I have opened every cupboard and drawer in the place. Here is how we got to this point...

I woke up this morning, all snuggled into a warm ball (yes, I really curl up in ball to sleep). I opened my sleepy eyes and the Sweet One was putting a cup of coffee on my bedside table. Awwwe! I know what your thinking, how does this lead to pacing?

Well I got up to see him off, lock the door, and turn up the heat. Then he called from the car to say can I pull some articles for his class to read over the Thanksgiving break. He just wanted to start reviewing options.  I was fine, wrote it on a post it and stuck it to my laptop. Then IT hit me in the face.

Today is November 1. Where did October go? No really, there were things I was going to do in October that aren't done yet! So I started pacing the house looking at all the things that need to be done, NOW!!!!

November starts a downward slope for us at the Smith-Harrison's. We Start the month with going back to Chattanooga to have friends over for a vacation. The next week we go to Raleigh, NC to spend the Holiday with his other two kids. We come back and turn around the next weekend to see his parents. After that We hit December. He finished us teaching and giving finals, I substitute and proctor, then help grade. I also have a ton of meetings for the law program I am in. We have no less than 8 holiday parties to attend.

And one big stresser. We split up in the middle of the month. He goes back to Raleigh to For his daughters birthday and then brings the kids down to Chattanooga for Christmas with the Family. In the mean while I will finish shopping for the kids and get things ready to go to Chattanooga. One week before Christmas I head down to visit with family and help Smoochie-Kins mother prep for the Christmas Eve Party (we have over 30 friends and family for a sit down dinner). It is no small feat. I am not organized enough this year. Having his son around just throws it all off axis for me, big time. So I just walk around the apartment opening drawers and cupboards and looking at everything that needs to be done and then I take an anti-depressant and cup of coffee and climb back in bed with my laptop.

Friday, October 29, 2010

I am walking 3.2 miles for boobies

Tomorrow morning, at 8am I am going to walk 3.1 miles for Breast Cancer Awareness. This is truly a first for me. My Aunt C suffered and lost both her breast to the cancer, but not her life. I am walking with a great group of girls and my Sweet Puppy Dog, and his son. Here is the thing though...

1. I hate getting up that early. I mean REALLY hate it.
2. It is going to be cold in the morning. Like, 39 degrees cold. I am shivering already.
3. I am really lazy, I don't want to do it.
4. I was drunk when my best friend talked me into this. I want takseys backseys

I have been whining all night trying to impress the importance of these points to the Boyfriend. I really want him to tell me, "Okay, Honey, if you don't want to go you can stay bundled up in bed. We will bring you a bagel and coffee when we come back". -But that is not what he said, instead he said this...
"Honey, think of the breast! We have to save the breast! I mean, boobies, Honey, the world needs boobies!"

Okay, so to be serious. I have truly wonderful and amazing ladies in my family. Some of them have been touched by this horrendous cancer. It has taken lives, taken hope and faith, and it has taken their identities in some cases. I hate to say that I don't know anyone now who has not been touched in some way by Breast Cancer.

I will be out tomorrow proudly pounding the pavement with my girls to raise money and awareness for Breast Cancer. I believe we can and will find a cure. If you can, please click the pink link and make a donation. If you can't try to find a way to be involved wherever you may be. Every little bit helps and it makes a big impact.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Stay at home girlfriend, is this the trend?

I was listening to the radio while running errands this morning when I had a light bulb moment. The talk radio personality was chatting about the effect of the current economy on the rate of weddings. According to her fewer couples are getting married than in the past few years.

Now, I am sure that doesn't mean the couples are breaking up just because they haven't walked down the isle yet. It made me wonder just how many Stay at home girlfriends are actually out there? As far as I have found there are only a handful. I can name oodles of housewives and stay at home moms, but house-girlfriends? Well, no not really.

I know that for me this was not really a planned path. We did not plan on me becoming a stay at home girlfriend it just evolved. And truthfully I will go back to being a student in January. But in the meantime, where are my girls at?

Need: New Laptop Spending: Swagbucks

I am desperate need of a new laptop. Mine is slowing down more and more everyday. The BF and I have the same computer though they were purchased about 4 months apart. Mine was a gift from my mother. His held up a little better than mine. Mine gets ridiculously hot doing nothing at all. When you turn it on and wait for the process to launch you can go fix breakfast and brew 12 cups of coffee and come back with fingers crossed that its ready to work.

The boyfriend and I are still working out our finances since I am a stay-at-home-girlfriend until January when I go back to school. When I go back I get a stipend to supplement my income but until then, nothing. So, my new $500 laptop in not in the budget.

I figured something else out though. In March I stared using Swagbucks. I instantly loved it. I installed the tool bar and do simple searches like amazon or facebook and they randomly award me points called Swagbucks. I like to save up my currency and then redeem my points for an Amazon gift card worth $5. I apply them to my amazon account and voila. I probably won't have enough Swagbucks to pay for a computer by the time I get my stipend, but today I realized I have $60 sitting in my account. By January hopefully I will have earned another $50. I am actually going to hold out as long as possible to continue saving.  I encourage you to sign up for Swagbucks too. You can stack your amazon gift cards in your account and they make a great treat for yourself or even stash them away until Christmas. Happy Swaggin'!

This or that?

desktop or laptop? -Laptop

city or country? -City

books or movies? -Books

East Coast or West Coast? -East Coast

modern or vintage? -Vintage

go out or stay in? -Go Out

quilt or comforter? -Comforter

Disneyland or Disney World? -Disneyland

Facebook or Twitter? -Facebook

order or chaos? -Order


Monday, October 25, 2010

I miss London and the life I wanted to have...

I met Honey Pot about 4 years ago. We will have been together 4 years in February, but that's not important.

So lets do a little background. I am a bit younger than him (by a decade or so). He is well traveled and brilliant (no, the over-degreed kind). For as long as I can remember I have wanted to live in London. It had to be London, and not some other shire or village in England.

I also had a less obvious desire to be my grandmother. She has never actually held a job. She was a mother and a political wife. She hosted teas, was an integral member of various campaigns and so forth. He life was glamorous and never mundane. I wanted that job (even if that job was a glorified housewife).

So when I met Boyfriend I learned he had just left the Foreign Service and had been stationed in London. I felt a twinge. Obviously I has smitten, he is very cute and charming (-when he wants to be). But he had just walked away from what I was working toward. Damn his scene of timing. I could have been a ex-pat housewife in London on my Governments dime. I am Super Hostess and would have made a great F.S. wife.

So, after we had been dating a year we took the big step of traveling internationally together. Sort of an anniversary gift for us. Yeah right, he was really there doing research for his PhD. But I was there for more. I slept in every morning and had a full English breakfast sent up to me room about 11am. What, didn't you know calories don't count if you are on vacation?

I wondered all around that city. I would pick up lunch and meet the BF in a park somewhere for a picnic. We would make dinner plans then he would head back to work. I would head to a Pub or Harrods (still paying those three hours off on my credit cards :(  ).

I guess today I am just missing those 2 weeks of what I thought my life would be like by now. Instead I am doing the school pick-up in Tennessee and laundry, lots of laundry.

When he proposes there had better be a plane ticket to Heathrow under that ring!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

My *perfect dinner party

I have seen this question floating around the blog world a lot lately. I have been asked in the past or tagged for this question and just put it off. I mean, there are so many fabulous people how could you choose so few. Well, mission accomplished.
Hey, its not like I have anything better to do with my time...

*by the way, everyone here is still alive and kicking as far as I know
1. The "everything" one- The everything one has to go to my sister. We are two completely mismatched peas in pod. We fight and annoy each other and two minutes later we break into song and dance. No, really, we do. we are a short a few marbles.

2. The funny one- When Snookie-Wookie started his PhD. classes we met some very interesting people. One in particular has become a dear sore of giggles and rudeness for me. She is a pirate and also studies them. she is currently in The Hague. She says completely inappropriate things and no one is safe from the spread of laughter and happiness she brings with her.

3. The thought-provoking one- John Stewart. I actually think he would be able to engage this mess of people in a thoughtful way and keep the topic of conversation on the vital points of current events and force people to think outside their own boxes.

4.The wow factor- Any number of my favorite authors. some are beach trash, some are legal minds, some are keeping ideas of romance in a small cottage in the English countryside alive.

5. The wild card- Kim Jong-IL. Because everybody at my party would be sitting across from him at the table going, "Dude, what the He$$!" or "Have you stopped or never started taking the anti-crazy pills?" Hay, it was a wild card.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Sings: The thrill is gone, the thrill is gone away

I will stop singing now. Feel very blessed that you cannot actually here me through your computer. I can say honestly that I won't being winning Idol anytime soon.

Anyhoo loverlies- Last night was the last night my Smoosh Cheeks and I had alone before his son came back from a visit to his mothers. I was trying to get the romance going. I had Casablanca on the TV. It is a favorite for both of us. In fact I think we spent one of our first dates watching it. He wasn't into it at all. He sat at the dining room table playing some stupid conquer the world game on his laptop. Men! I turned the lights off and lit some candles. Still, nothing. Finally in the last two minutes of the movie he comes and sits beside me on the couch. Of course this is after I have thrown my hands in the air in defeat and went to the bedroom to collect my cuddle cow.

I think in an effort to appease me he payed for another of my favorite movies on the on-demand option. I watched Bridget Jones; The Edge of Reason. If that woman can get the romance going there may still be hope for me. Seriously people, at the end of the movie she was batting with two members of the VIP club. Sheesh!

How do you all keep the romance alive and well? Do you let love take its course? Are there planned date nights? Do those even work or do you feel pressure of forced into a mood that you may or may not be feeling on that day?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

vocalpoints, you owe me

I signed up for vocal points when they had the $25 amazon gift promotion going on. I also completed the promotion by writing twenty reviews, all more than 900 words, and on products in the suggested categories. I was really looking forward to me $25 to add to the rest of my swagbucks AGC I have been stacking.

Well, I received my email today with my gift-card. My gift-card for $10. I am so mad. I don't think I will be writing for them anymore. From now on I am sticking to Swagbucks. Take my warning and avoid

How not to wake a woman up...

So my Snookie Wookie-ums gets up and heads to class long before I like to open my eyes. This morning I got up behind him to lock the door on his way out. Sometime I do, sometimes I don't. I ran back to the bedroom and tried to get back to my warm spot and snuggle back in. I was successful!

But not an hour later, maybe 8:30ish I hear a knock on the door. A very loud knock. Oh mister UPS man, just leave the box there I will get it later. No, not this guy, he continues to BANG on my door for another five minutes. A woman can't sleep with this kind of distraction. So I get up to sign for a dumb package only to discover that this is not the UPS man at my door. This is very large, slightly scary looking man. He hands me a notice saying all door and breezeways must be kept clear and this was my final notice. Next time, as I was informed, my item would be removed and I would be fined $200!

Well, can you imagine how pleasant I was since I hadn't had coffee or enough beauty sleep? First, I told him I didn't have anything blocking the door or breezeway or any other f*cking place! He gruffly told me that if I didn't remove the lock from my bike that was secured to the staircase downstairs they would cut it and take it. I looked him square in the eye and told him to do it...because:

2. I will be telling my neighbors when they get home (obviously they didn't get the notices so management is going to be in big trouble.)
3. If you don't leave one way or the other I will call the police for harassment and destruction of property.

By the way, I went through and read the lease agreement and there is absolutely nothing in it about obstructions in the breezeway. HA! I never want to be woken up that way again. I am in such a bad mood, can ya tell?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Who are you and why are you talking about my eggs?

I fully admit I don't get out of the house nearly enough! That doesn't mean that I can't handle social interaction because people, I am a butterfly.

The fella and I went to pub trivia last night, like we do most Tuesday nights. Last night there were several new people , friends of friends, joining us. The night went on, we had a blast,...and we won $50.  Now lets get down to eggs.

I sat at the head of the table of 12. One the other end was a new girl that I didn't get a chance to properly introduce myself to. Toward the end of trivia I got a question right and pulled out some rather embarrassing trivia knowledge, a la real housewife's of Beverly Hills :( This girl (We will call her Suzy) went crazy telling me how brilliant I was.

Yes, I was eating it up. You know, not everyone notices how amazing I am. Their fault, no mine. So, I moved to the end of the table to be modest and bask in the girl showing me attention. Before I know it, we had won, the table was starting to disband and head home and it was just the two of us. DUN DUN DUN.....

She starts talking politics and then all of a sudden puts her hand on my lower stomach (glad I wore the spanx). She starts telling me how the Democrats of America are keeping me from getting pregnant and at the same time have forced me into submission by being a stay at home. I won't tell you my political beliefs but I didn't agree with her. She told me she was Libertarian but she wasn't. She kept telling me if we put all the random people in office I would be pregnant when I want to be pregnant and I could do anything I wanted. I was really confused. I decided not to tell her I was physically incapable of getting pregnant no matter who was the president and that sweetie pie had a vasectomy a few years ago. It was really creepy coming from someone I had spent an hour talking to. And she held my hand a lot and touched my stomach. I don't think I am going to make that coffee date she wanted today.

the crazies are coming the crazies are coming

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Master List 10/13/2010 - 10/19/2010

  1.  hit up Food Lion for awesome Kraft deal
  2. Deep clean my kitchen
  3. Change sheets on our bed
  4. vacuum
  5. find a home for sweeties books
  6. get everyone around the table for dinner at the same time
  7. deep clean master bathroom
  8. finish a knitting project
  9. make poodle skirt
  10. clean out closet
  11. make trip to donate at thrift store
  12. polish wood furniture
  13. clean candle sticks

I can't work under this kind of pressure

My Sweetie-Cakes only has one class on Wednesday. Usually he stays close to campus or his office and catches up on grading or works on lectures. However, this morning he told me he could feel his gout (yes, we are really that glamorous) coming back so he was going to try and see someone at the campus clinic. Well, at 10am he was back home. I like having him home. I really do. BUT...

When he is here I can't get anything done. He isn't bothering me or constantly interrupting what I may be working on. What is doing is being here. I feel like I need to be constantly busy to justify the fact that I didn't get a job this semester but stayed at home. But having him here means I can't get anything done. I don't know what to do with the spot light shining on me.

Crap, I am just going to Starbucks and read for a while.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

They were dropping like flies,...but

My day is suffering from bipolar disorder. No, ...really, it is! I got up early to see my sweetie off to work. So that's fine. Then I stayed up to get ready to substitute teach for him and I get a call.
"I got the time wrong" he says. "You need to be there at noon".

So, great, whatever, I didn't really want to eat my big bowl of grilled chicken ceaser salad that I had been craving for two days. I would much rather leave it alone on the counter for the next three hours. Yes, I wanted that damn salad that badly!

So I get to the campus I only have one copy of the test for the 28 students. I don't know why!  So I have to find a copier but they put a freaking code on each machine. Guess what I don't have? Yup, a code.

I eventually make it to the classroom only 10 minutes late. I go over the rules, pass out the test and tell them what the bonus question is. Not five minutes later I have two students hand my back the test, no answers and walk out. I look up again three minutes later and there is a line queuing to hand back test. Now people, this test should take a well prepared person an hour to take not 8 minutes.

It onloy goes further down hill after that. I even told students who came in late they couldn't take the test -per the rules outlined in the syllabus.

So I get home and its pouring down rain. I drop my purse, things go everywhere. And there it is. My dishwasher. It died two Sundays ago. I called the repair people for our apartment complex. They come out and tell me it will be two or three days to get it back up and running. Well today was the last straw. They still hadn't been out to fix it. I call the honey-bunches and nagged and cry at him. I tell him I want a new damn washer to he is washing all the dishes from now on.

Was I being a tad over dramatic? Oh. Yes. I.  Was. Did I care? Nope. Did it work? I came back from the school pick up and there was a NEW dishwasher in my kitchen. I was so happy. So, So, happy.

Monday, October 11, 2010

I am stubstituting tomorrow...

Lucky me! My Sweetie is a professor at a local 2-year community college while he finishes his PhD. Tomorrow he has a meeting he can't get out of and I have to fill in for him by babysitting the class while they take an exam. His test make him notoriously hard by reputation. I actually don't mind doing a lecture for him because I am engaged. Tomorrow I just sit for an hour and change while they have mild nervous breakdowns.

Speaking of which. My step-son's school called and told us one of the teachers had suffered a nervous breakdown and had to be "dealt" with. Enjoy this video of the incident in question.

gone crazy

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Well its official

It is official, I am only a stay at home girlfriend. I used to stay I was a student but after last week I was dropped from my classes. I tried to log into my school account and it denied me and when I called they said my financial aid had a snag and I wouldn't receive any for the semester. I was given two days to come up with a couple thousand dollars. I couldn't and my parents couldn't after shelling out $12000 for my sisters medical bills.

I am singing the blues right now. I really am. I am now completely and totally dependent on the boyfriend. Food, rent, anything! I also feel indebted to him. Like I can say no to his request like, "can you pick Jake up from school or Can you run these letters to the post office". It probably would do these things anyway. It is feeling like I don't have a choice that hurts right now. And the boyfriend has been great thus far. January can't come soon enough.

Monday, September 27, 2010

There is a code out...

Be sure and check your swidget or mine in the right colomn for a code clue. This is worth 4 Swagbucks!

If you are new to here is how it works: Swagbucks is a search engine like google or ask.You can click here and sign up with the website. It is completely free! Then all you have do is search a few times a day and win Swagbucks which are your currency. Most people average 10 Swagbucks. I have received as little as 6SB and as much as 50SB per search. Another way to win is the Swag code. Its a string of text released for a limited time and worth a random amount. What are you waiting for, get swaggin'!

The Thanksgiving plan

I have been going to my Boyfriends ex-wife's family the last two years for Thanksgiving (there will be a whole other post about that). The number of people is high, probable 20 people at least. To say they are good cooks is putting it nicely. What can I say. I am a southern girl who owns her kitchen. I know how I want things done and if I don't see it happening I will over-rule with an iron rolling pin!

This year I want to take over the desserts. Last year I made my mother's famous pecan pie and it was a hit! This year I want to make a chocolate tart, pumpkin pie, and the pecan pie. I also would like to get the mashed potatoes done the night before and in the freezer. I will of course have my fingers in every pot on The Day. But this is my game plan.

Chocolate Tart
  • 450 Lindt chocolate - 75% cocoa solids
  • 250 ml milk
  • 225g softened unsalted butter
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 175 g fine castor sugar
  • 60 ml Cointreau (Grand Marnier is just as good)
  • Blind baked sweet, short-crust shell
  • Shaved dark chocolate shavings – use a thick slab or block to make good shavings
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder to garnish
  • Pour milk into a heavy-based pot on very low heat, add chocolate and stir constantly until chocolate just melts
  • Remove from stove and stir until both are well blended, setting aside to cool
  • Cream butter and sugar until light and pale, using electric mixer and add yolks, one by one and whisk very well
  • Whisk the chocolate mixture into the cream and butter mixture and finally whisk in the Cointreau
  • Pour the filling into the blind baked shell and chill until set.
  • Garnish with more chocolate, dusted cocoa.
  • Serve with cream on the side if you wish.

Silky Smooth Pumpkin Pie
Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated, November & December 2008

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk (I used 2 cups of half and half instead of one cup each of cream and milk)
  • 3 large eggs plus 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup drained candied yams from 15-ounce can (regular canned yams can be substituted)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger (I used 1 1/2 teaspoons of ground because I’m not a huge fan of fresh ginger)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Roll out dough on generously floured (up to 1/4 cup) work surface to make 12-inch circle about 1/8-inch thick. Roll dough loosely around rolling pin and unroll into pie plate, leaving at least 1-inch overhang all around pie plate.

Working around circumference, ease dough into plate by gently lifting edge of dough with one hand while pressing into plate bottom with other hand. Refrigerate 15 minutes. Trim overhang to 1/2 inch beyond lip of pie plate. Fold overhang under itself; edge should be flush with edge of pie plate. Using thumb and forefinger, flute edge of dough. Refrigerate dough-lined plate until firm, about 15 minutes.
Remove pan from refrigerator, line crust with foil and fill with pie weights or pennies. Bake on rimmed baking sheet 15 minutes. Remove foil and weights, rotate plate. Bake 5 to 10 more minutes until crust is golden brown and crisp. Remove plate and baking sheet from oven.

Make the filling: While pie shell is baking, whisk cream, milk, eggs, yolks and vanilla together in medium bowl. Combine pumpkin puree, yams, sugar, maple syrup, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in large heavy-bottomed saucepan; bring to sputtering simmer over medium heat, 5 to 7 minutes. Continue to simmer pumpkin mixture, stirring constantly and mashing yams against sides of pot, until thick and shiny, 10 to 15 minutes.

Remove pan from heat. Whisk in cream mixture slowly, until fully incorporated. Strain mixture through fine-mesh strainer set over medium bowl, using back of ladle or spatula to press solids through strainer. Re-whisk mixture and transfer to warm pre-baked pie shell. Return pie plate with baking sheet to oven and bake pie for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 300 degrees. Continue baking until edges are set (instant-read thermometer inserted in center registers 175 degrees), 20 to 35 minutes longer. Transfer pie to wire rack and cool to room temperature, 2 to 3 hours. (The pie finishes cooking with resident heat; to ensure the filling sets, cool it at room temperature and not in the refrigerator.)

Fleischmann's pizza crust yeast

The boyfriend made me dinner last night since technically it was Stepmother's Day (even if technically I am not a stepmother). I wanted a big pot of soup because it was rainy and gray here. He called back from the store and told me he wasn't in the mood for soup-insert soup-nazi reference here- and he was thinking of making calzones.

I wasn't sold. He has never made a yeast project and gets frustrated easily in the kitchen. But I rattled off a list of things to pick up.

He called back again and said, "what kind of yeast,...there are a bunch of different stuff?"

I told him to get the rapid rise. He mentioned that there was a packet that said it was for pizza crust. I flipped out. I had been wanting to try this but every time I go to the store they haven't gotten it in yet. He told me he would pick up a few packets but that I needed to calm down, it was just yeast!

The directions on the back of the package say how to prepare your dough. The boyfriend followed this recipe to make out calzones. I sat on the counter and watched.

My Thoughts:
This is going to be great for those nights we want pizza but I don't have any rising in the fridge. It has a lovely quality of not fighting to return to its shape. You all know what I am talking about, the stretch and snap! Anyway, it rolled out really smoothly and stayed in whatever shaped he wanted.

It doesn't have the same taste as the one I make and rise in the fridge for 24 hours. It doesn't have the chewy/airbubbly/ thin crust ness that I like. I know what a horrible description that was.

All in all I think it worth having in the pantry for a quick pizza night. If you want thin crust you will get enough dough for two pizzas and it will be done in half an hour. But if you are a true artist with your pizza and struggled for a long time to get your recipe just right, stick to making it on the weekends when you have time.

To Do List 9-27-2010

Today, it is raining and rolling thunder. I am having a hard time getting my butt in gear to do anything. I mean it! I am still in pajamas at 9:47 am. I have managed to pour myself a cup of coffee and I did find the remote but other than that, meh, it can wait. Here is the list of what is waiting

Mop kitchen floor
clean master bathroom
Clear boyfriends desk
Clean kitchen
enter a ridiculous amount of grades

Review: Butoni Wild Mushroom Agnolotti

Last night was very busy for us. The boy was getting back into the school routine. The BF and i were meeting friends for drinks late that night. I had data entry to do while the BF had a mountain of grading in front of him. So naturally this is when I am hit with the question of "What's for dinner?".

I knew we would be going out so I didn't want something that would be really heavy on our stomachs but I need something that would fill us up so we wouldn't snack. I peeked in the freezer and spied the Butoni wild mushroom agnolotti I had bought a month ago. I wasn't sure if it would feed all three of us but boy did it.

I cooked it for 6 minutes per the package instructions over a gentle boil. No time at all with two hungry men lurking in my kitchen! I grabbed a jar of left over sauce from the fridge and heated up. I poured it over the plump pasta and ta da! Dinner is done.

I loved this. I loved how easy it was to cook. I loved how it really filled me up, and honestly sometimes pasta just doesn't for me or the family. I liked how fresh the mushrooms tasted even though it had been in the freezer for a month.

By the way, no need to thaw, score!

My only complaint was the size of the package. I would love to find one that was a single serving so I didn't have to freeze the rest. I know my guys don't like to eat a lot of mushrooms but I just love them.

Method Go Naked- Review

I recently helped a friend move into thier new home. She asked me to specifically pick up the Method multipurpose cleaner, Go Naked scent. I have been trying to phase out buying cleaners and instead making my own. The chemical situation is getting to  be too much for me. But at her insistance I picked the bottle up a bottle for myself as well.

The bottle says it is all natural formula without any toxic additives or Uneccassary impuities. It is the scentless and odorless option of their mulitpurpose cleaner line. Since I usually research and read reviews before I buy a product I thought I would let you all know what I thought of it.

And the verdict is: Love it!
I would/will buy this again. Not only does it stay true to the claim of odorless it really has been a multi purpose cleaner. I cleaned the master bathroom last night using only this product. It cleaned the grim out of the bathtub with ease. I got rid of the residue on my shower walls. Pure fabulousness right there ladies!

I also used the cleaner on all my counter tops and fixtures. Everything was super clean and shiny. I noticed that there was no residue or oily feeling left on the surfaces. A big plus. The came my true test: the mirror. BF is notorious for getting toothpaste and the like on the mirror over the sink. It can be really hard to get off with glass cleaner sometimes. Not this time though, I sprayed it on and let it sit while i cleaned the rest of the glass. I came back to it and it wiped off ridiculously easy. I didn't have to keep scrubbing to get it off. And of course, I only had one bottle to tote around!

I will tell you I always use a microfiber cloth. I noticed My firend was using paper towles with the cleaner during the move and I think it made a bit of difference in how little residue was left on the glass surface.
*I was in no way paid or compensated for this review, good or bad. I bought the product at target for $3.00.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

To Do List 9-26-2010

Clean kitchen
Change sheets on bed
Enter Grades/ update grade book
Enter attendance
Clean master bathroom
Clean out fridge
Find expanding file with strap for Steve
Pick up Sunday Paper
Mop kitchen floor
Clean Balcony

I am in love with Swagbucks

I just sent off for my third $5 Amazon Gift Card this month. So $15 may not seem like much but I am saving up all of my AGC for a Kitchen-aid stand mixer. These are very expensive kitchen toys ($183.50) and I don't have the spare cash for that purchase now. So I stash my $5 gift cards in my Amazon account and slowly it is adding up.

So I came to later than a lot of people. But I am so glad I did. Here is how it works: Swagbucks is a search engine like google or ask.You can click here and sign up with the website. It is completely free! Then all you have do is search a few times a day and win Swagbucks which are your currency. Most people average 10 Swagbucks. I have received as little as 6SB and as much as 50SB per search. Another way to win is the Swag code. Its a string of text released for a limited time and worth a random amount. What are you waiting for, get swaggin'!