Monday, August 20, 2012

Garden Harvest August 20, 2012

I came back from a two week vacation and the new neighbor had apparently forgotten about our arrangement. The one where I looked after her can and then she would water my plants. Hurrumph!!!

They are pretty much all dead, though we are trying to rehab the jalapeno. This is the only thing I was able to pull off the plants when I arrived home Friday... Le sigh, it's a San Marzano, in miniature.
Hop on over to Daphne's Dandelions to see what others are harvesting this week.

I feel whole...

Little things and small joys 
Make me feel whole

I am sitting on my balcony
A cool breeze skimming my shoulder
Hot coffee in hand

A morning worthy of being whole

Sunday, August 19, 2012

August 19th, The Weekly Shop

Today I did the main shopping for the week. I hope to make only minor additions to these groceries during the week and in time, not at all. I am new to this concept though, so, ya know, it'll take me a while. Most weeks I am shooting for $50. Holidays, birthdays, etc will bump up the budget at some point though, Le Sigh.

This week I went to Publix:

Publix Dry Pinto Beans $2.99
Canada Dry Ginger Ale $1.50
Ragu Pizza Sauce (x4) $1.49
Publix Milk $1.09
Purity Buttermilk $2.59
Publix Coffee $4.99
Publix Baguette $1.99
Publix Foil (75ft) $2.99
Lemon $0.67
Publix Mild Cheddar (8oz) $2.50
Publix Sour Cream $1.50
Bibb Lettuce $1.89
Romaine Lettuce $1.99
Sliced Button Mushrooms (8oz) $1.99
Collossal Sea Scallops (3) $3.15
BLSL Chicken $5.03
Steak $4.55
GRAND TOTAL $47.37 (before taxes)
Saved 3.22

Back in the saddle again...

This has been a wild ride. I have GRADUATED from school with my A.A.S. in paralegal studies. I start next week at A.P.S.U. to get my B.S. in Legal Studies. And in about two months I am going to start planning my wedding. I am excited!

Now, in the meantime we are living off of one income and we are calling the budget the "Greek Budget" due to some *ahem* country's unfortunate circumstances. We hope that our budget cuts will prevent us from being confused as..Gre... poor planners.

One of our single biggest budget busters in food and Alcohol. I spend a lot of $$$ in both of those categories. We are implementing several strategies to combat our over indulgence. 

The first is freezer cooking. I am working hard and for cheap to fill our freezer with both comfort and convenience foods. This is saving us money in two ways. By stocking the freezer with quick cooking convenience foods like taquitos or pizza bites I am keeping both me and The Fella from stopping for fast food, that saves us $! The second reason for stocking the freezer is to keep us from running to the store when neither of feels like cooking or we just don't have the stuff to pull together a meal without a trip to the store.

The second over indulgence is Alcohol. We are an extremely social couple, and on our own. We often meet up or meet friends for a happy hour. We celebrate with drinks, and we commiserate with drinks. However, we rarely do any of these at home. We are enforcing, or so we hope, dry days. We simply have to turn down an invite to happy hour and (not that we will go out often) but shall not purchase a drink with dinner if out. So that we are feeling totally deprived we will still have days we enjoy a drink or meet up with a friend, just more in moderation. And will try to go through the bounty of booze already in the house before adding more to it.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Back to Class I go...

Today marks a big day for me. Today is the first day of my last semester as a college student. You know, unless I decided to go back for another degree that is :)

It should be a pretty light summer. I have four class, yes a full time load, but nothing compared to the 6! classes I took last semester with an internship!!! Sometimes life has to slap you around like that, lol.

Anyhoo, I'm off, hope the world is wonderful today...
Jamie Girl

Monday, May 28, 2012

Garden Harvest May 28, 2012

Keeper of the Jalapenos
I have been traveling for two weeks and I am so glad  to be home. The first thing I did was run to the balcony to make sure my dear friend Jen had not let the plants die. She called me about half way through the trip and confessed a brown thumb. I love her, but timing is not her strong suit.
Cayenne pepper, yum

Would you believe what has popped up in my garden while I was gone. So far I have harvested about 3 of these little guys.

Keeper of the lettuce

Weeks Harvest : 0.00oz
Yearly Harvest : 1 oz

Be sure to hop on over to Daphne's Dandelions and check out other gardener's harvests for the week!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Garden Harvest Monday 21, 2012

Today is a slightly unusual garden harvest post. We have a condo in Nashville were I have some items in containers and that is what I usually post. Today I am posting from the garden from the big house in Chattanooga. It is there veggies and flowers get planted in huge raised beds that surround the pergola with our patio furniture. There is something so nice about sitting out there, eating dinner amongst the gardens that it came from.

Just like in Nashville we have 4 different types of peppers growing. Those are to keep the fella happy and make lots of salsa, our favorite summer snack!

I plucked this asparagus as soon as I saw it. I can't tell you how much better it tasted than what we buy at the store. It is the very first asparagus spear I have gotten from the garden. EVER!

I have four little broccoli plants growing. they seem happy but the step-kid doesn't seem to happy about what might happen if the broccoli comes inside the kitchen, GASP.

I took this photo on Thursday. This morning I counted over twenty blooms between the two plants. They are boston pickling :)

onions and tomatoes
We put onions in this year for the first time. Beside them are the tomatoes, romas. It really feels like we plant juust enough to come away with good salsa. sigh, problems man, problems.

This rosemary plant is not mine. I didn't plant it nor do I really take care of it, short of the occasional hair cut for pity sake.If i were standing next to it in the photo it would come up to my shoulders. In the back ground you can see  where we eat many a summer meal.

Weeks Harvest : 0.4oz (1 asparagus spear)
Yearly Harvest : 1 oz

Be sure to hop on over to Daphne's Dandelions and check out other gardener's harvests for the week!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Garden Harvest- Monday May 14, 2012

Today is one of those days. It is a day that has started off bad, continued bad, and then got a lot worse. And of course, its not even 9am here yet.
The Pepper want the sun to come out

I didn't have much happening on my Balcony Garden this week. We have had a lot of cooler, grey days. That being said the salad greens have been happy and producing. My friend came over and harvested a bunch while I was out of town, but failed to weigh it (my only stipulation for taking from the garden :(
Guardians of the lettuce bowl

What I manged to pull out before we left town was a measly .5 oz for a salad. Plus a handful of herbs for use throughout the week.
The Cilantro is finally looking good

I use lots of Thyme :)

I am so proud of three rosemary plants I have growing from seed!!!
Next week I will be reporting from Chattanooga where our family home is (ie, not the condo balcony). I have two large raised beds full of veggies, flowers, and herbs. Can't wait to see what is going on there!

Weekly Totals:  0.5oz
Yearly Total:     0.6oz

 Be sure to hop on over to Daphne's Dandelions and check out other gardener's harvests for the week!

Monday, May 7, 2012

My First Garden Harvest

I cannot believe I finally got something from my garden. Oh, it just made my Sunday!
Basil after harvest

I was having dinner at a friends house and she asked me to bring a drink. I made lemonade with strawberry puree and some fresh basil from the balcony. Oh course, it was made better because the basil was homegrown! Even the measly 0.1oz I harvested!
4 varieties of peppers

herbs and flowers I need to get planted this week

Weekly Totals:  0.1oz
Yearly Total:     0.1oz

 Be sure to hop on over to Daphne's Dandelions and check out other gardener's harvests for the week!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Birthdays and student Loans

My birthday was in late April. My sweet sister asked me over and over again what she could get me for the occasion. Finally she settled on taking me out to eat, anywhere I wanted. More and more I kept thinking about how much money we spend on birthday dinners in my family (we are some serious foodies) and what an impact that would make on my student loans or to the debt to the University of Tennessee. So she agreed to make one or two payments for me this summer.

I would encourage you to think about this option when gifting holidays come around for you. Yes, I would love to have some new kitchen toys to play with, and I am drooling to try the new Italian restaurant a few blocks away. Though, non of those wants can compare to my desire to pay off my debts and live with peace of mind.

In addition to that, my parents are paying my final semesters tuition and books. This means I am not longer adding to the principle of my student debts, but those damn interest balances keep creeping up.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Student Loans

I am just gonna say it. I owe the government $20,471.78. That is the cost of my education, plus 25,00 in grants I thankfully don't have to pay back.

I am actually looking forward to paying them off. While I am sure there will be months that I make a minimum payment, overall, I hope to pay them off in 4-5years. The interest rates vary 3.40% to 6.80% and balances of $1,000 to $4,607.95!

I am struggling with how to attack the loans.  Do I pay down the largest balance first even though it doesn't have the highest interest rate or pay the interest rate though its on the low end of the balance spectrum? Hmm? I have a lot of number crunching to get through. Maybe I should knock of the first grand just so I have a confidence booster.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

It's funny because it's true

For the last 13 weeks of school I have been doing something that makes me cry at the thought of a Saturday. What could possibly make a college student drop tears at the thought of another Saturday morning rolling around you ask? I'll tell you. It is a Saturday morning class that lasts until 3pm. Yes, my friends, I am the fool who signed up for the class.

But today marked the last *class I have to sit through. Next weekend when I get up and make my way half an hour up the interstate to the campus it will be to turn in my final and play my part in the moot court. THEN I'M DONE!

And once I am done I have big plans my friends. I am going to go camping at Falls Creek Falls. I am hosting a scotch tasting for my 27th Birthday. And, we will be celebrating our neighbor who is graduating with both his M.D. and PhD. How awesome! Even though all of that will be fun, I am most looking forward to not waking up early on a Saturday and going to class, or making sure my Friday night isn't too fun, cause there is no sleeping it off the next day :(

Monday, April 2, 2012

spring cleaning

I love spring! And since its April 2, I am already itching to get spring cleaning underway here in Nashville. I noticed across the blog-o-sphere that there is a month of assignments to challenge us to get the house clean in bite sized steps.

Assignment 1: 

Clean out your purse
Write down 5 goals for the week
set time for 15 minutes and pick up the house
find 7 items to get rid of today or donate


1. Mail letter to a friend in need of touching and thoughtful words.
2. Assemble the worm-composter.
3. Go for a walk.
4. Make bed every day.
5. Clean our purse.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Seedlings week 1

Everything in this picture is 1 week old, except for the geraniums. They are about three weeks old. I am sure I have over planted and I still have more in the little greenhouse, yet to poke through the surface. I only have a balcony where I live in Midtown Nashville, but it gets so much sunshine I think we will see some yummy veggies this year.

bells of Ireland
Roma tomatoes
Pinto Beans
Cherry red peppers
Cayenne pepper

Monday, February 13, 2012

What Is One more Minute?

I was drafting a complaint for my Criminal Civil Procedure class and was on the second page of the document when a thought struck me. If the defendant had taken a minute to think about what he was doing this could have been completely avoided. What ended up being three pages of complaint could have been prevented. It just reminded to take a minute and think about what I am doing instead of rushing 24/7.

Well, I suppose I should work on that Mexican Legal System paper instead of playing on Blogger.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

I Have A Garden Itch

I know, every year, just about this time, I get an itch to start growing things. I think it's because of a few things; I have yet to try my hand at fall and winter gardening so I feel a ache to get my hands back into the dirt and get something from it. The other problem is that darn it, its cold and grey and looking at seed catalogs reminds me of Spring and 78 degree days.
This an orange geranium seedling

This year we are doing it on our small, Midtown Nashville balcony. My fingers and toes are crossed for luck. I think to help me feel a sustained sense of satisfaction I am going to keep up with the numbers from this years spring harvest and see what I accomplish. maybe I will even spur myself into a fall garden.
This is an orange geranium seedling all grown up

To get started lets look at what I have spent and what I received for that amount.

$23.73 for seeds (I highly recommend generic seeds, so far great germination rates)
$8.00 for seed starting flat and box of extra pellets
$31.73 total expenses

I have:
Cucumber seeds
Tomato seeds
Peppers seeds (4) varieties

Thyme seeds
Rosemary seeds
Cilantro seeds
Basil seeds

Geranium seeds
Coleus seeds
Bells of Ireland seeds
Impatiens seeds

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Downton Abbey, Bless it!

On Tuesday nights you will find me at Corner Pub with some of our very good friends playing pub trivia. The Fella and I have been doing this ever since we moved to Nashville, though at a few different locations until we found our home at Corner Pub.

Last night we were on the last question of the game. We were feeling pretty good about our performance and were hoping for 1st place. The category was TV. The question was, "What Masterpiece TV show showcases the Crawley family and their servents?" Nobody moved or said anything. I knew it, Downton Abbey! I felt like screaming the answer across the table, but alas, that would have shared the answer with all the teams. I must try to be more lady like on Tuesday nights.

I scribbled it down on piece of paper and rushed to turn it in. I was beaming with pride that my Sunday night Masterpiece habit was paying off!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

I am a woman of frivolity

So, some of you may know that last Sunday was a very important date in my and The Fella's world. For him it was Superbowl Sunday. For me, it was be THE hostess with the most-ess, THE superbowl destination- bar none, the one that everyone wants to be at...if they are so lucky as to be invited. That was a mouthful!

The Fella was out of town all weekend only arriving an hour before the start of the game. Naturally I enlisted the help of my best friend and currently holding the title Maid of Honor for some foodie focused time. We went grocery shopping shopping and cooked all weekend to make this thing happen. And for the next week we will be eating left overs, maybe longer.

French Dip Sandwhiches with Au Jus
Wings, with three different sauces
Build your own potato skins bar
Sausage balls
Beer cheese Dip and
Homemade soft pretzels
stuffed mushrooms
and a cheese plate with marcona almonds and kalamata olives

BUT.... the best thing of all, Jenny (M.O.H.) made Young's double chocolate brownies with Framboise butter cream icing. I am eating one right now. See, there is icing on my keyboard.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Money, it doesn't grow on tree's, it grows on paper

I am still in that whole "January is new year, a new me" mind set. Of course I have fallen off the diet plan, and the blog twice a week plan. The wagon I haven't fallen off of it "Be Smarter With Your Money". This year The Fella and I are slowly merging His and Her's finances. We are just feeling it out as we go. So far we have a joint savings and as of this morning a joint investment account. That joint investment account it my little baby. I love reading financial articles and my podcast list would make Ben Bernanke roll his eyes. But I find it all so... worth my while.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

It's snowing in Nashville

Today was my first day of classes for the Spring semester. Before I even got in my car to drive there the snow was falling. I made it to class without any traffic problems, a rare case indeed in Nashville when it snows. My wonderful professor whom I would also consider a friend let us go early since she too didn't want to drive home in slush.
So now I am home and all bundled up. I have candles lit, the curtains drawn back and cocoa in my mug. I am having a great first day back by simply watching it snow. Damn, it is the little things in life.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Thinking of warm days

I get an itch to be back in the garden right around this time of year. So I start flipping through seed catalogs and browsing garden sites while I start compiling a mental shopping list. The Fella really got into helping me in the garden last year because he was able to plant about 10 different varieties of hot peppers. He was a happy man, a very happy man. In fact, he got a dehydrator for Christmas to preserve peppers from this years harvest.

There is a hitch in the plan. We usually go back to the large house in Chattanooga during the summer so that we have lots of land to work on. This summer though, the Fella is teaching at Vanderbilt and I will be in my last semester of college. So we are going to try our hand at container gardening on our small but sunny balcony.

My list:
small hot peppers

It is probably a little to ambitious since we don't have a huge amount of room, but I am so used to a large garden. At least its something to think about on cold days.

anyone have any thoughts on container gardening?

Thursday, January 5, 2012

A New Year, A New List of Goals

I love this time of year, no really I do. I feel like I am passed all the crazy stress of the holidays and for me, and The Fella, it is back to school. I enjoy having a routine and a plan for the day, week, month, etc. My favorite part of the new year is going to the store to pick a new calendar. I can easily spend an hour opening each agenda and looking over, assessing what works for me and what doesn't and then finally, achingly making my decision.

I mentioned this aspect of the new year to a friend of mine over lunch the other day and she shared with me that she feels the same way. She then told me that she puts a stick note on the front page of the calendar with a list of her goals for the year. She says this way she is reminded every day of the things she wants to accomplish. I am excited to adopt her stratagey.

My list for the year:
  • Transition to a cash system for groceries.
  • Exercise 5 days a week
  • Must be better about calling the Grandmother
  • wash all dishes before going to bed
  • I swear I'm gonna do my Christmas shopping earlier this year ;)
  • try to be a better blogger
What are your goals for the year?