Sunday, May 31, 2015

The Beginnings of a Menu for the Week



BREAKFAST:  will include:  choices of cereal, hashbrowns, pancakes, and muffins


LUNCHES:   will be:  mostly leftovers from previous dinners, cheese sticks with fruit and veggies, or roasted mushrooms and garlic with wheatberries


DINNERS:

SUNDAY:  Ravioli Puttanesca

MONDAY:  Salmon for Papa and Guppy1, the last of leftover pizza for me and Guppy 2, spinach salad

TUESDAY:  Crock Pot Pot Roast with Mashed Potatoes

WEDNESDAY:  Anniversary Dinner for Papa and Me, will have to figure out what to do for the girls

THURSDAY:   Grilled Chicken with Honey Chipotle BBQ sauce, Watermelon Cucumber Salad, Roasted Sweet Potatoes

FRIDAY:   Grilled Farmers Market Sandwiches or Hot Dogs, Warm Potato Salad

SATURDAY:  Will be determined by what produce is available at the farmers market


DESSERTS:  I would like to do some baking if I can find the time.  Especially on Monday between appointments since the temperature won't even reach 60.  I would like to make choc chip cookies, possibly a pound cake to go with strawberries we already have, and maybe some cupcakes.  I'll see what I have time and ingredients for!

Anything good on your menus this coming week?  Any good summer time recipes you care to share?

Trying to Get My Act Together Today!

The weather is calling for thunderstorms today so I *thought* I would spend the day catching up on laundry, meal planning, working on my smashbook - got some awesome pictures from the adventure on Saturday which I need to write a post about -,  and general tidying up.

Guppy 2 threw a wrench in those works a little!  A bunch of girls slept over another friend's house last night. But, I got a text this morning begging me to bring her and another girl to Laser Planet - a text as in "Please please please?  I'll pay!"  So, I'll be playing chauffeur for a few hours today.  I'll probably bring some old magazines I have to get through and look for some meal inspiration.

Tonight's dinner is going to be Ravioli Puttanesca courtesy of Woman's Day.  We'll see if it's a hit or not.I

I'm  going to join in on Carla over at www.halfdozendaily.typepad.com No Spend/Low Spend challenge for June.  Well, I will be doing the first two weeks at least.  Not sure if I can commit to the entire month!  Anyway, I have been following Carla's blog for a LLLOOOOONNNNGGG! time and I just love her! She was part of my inspiration to finally start my blogging actually! Check her out if you can!

That's it for now!  I have a little less than 90 minutes before I get G2 and her friend so I'm going to shower and get done as much as I can around here!

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Costco Trip!

I can't even begin to say how helpful the Costco trip was!  And I'm so thankful to my generous relative who brought me!  Unfortunately I had left my list at home on the dining room table and didn't realize it until I was in the Costco parking lot - I guess having the kitchen sink rain into your basement can make you sort of forgetful...LOL

Anyway, I have no idea how much this all cost - as I wasn't allowed to be nearby when the purchases were made. (Relatives thought I would freak out, I guess.)  My "guesstimate" is around $400? Not including the patio umbrella that was purchased for me as "an anniversary present" since they noticed mine had broken and I was in need of a new one.

Patio Umbrella - love it!  Nice to have shade for our table out there again!
1 package of 14 Granny Smith Apples
1 package red seedless grapes
1 package (4 lbs) of plums
4 lbs of butter
1 large container of refrigerator Toll House cookie batter
1 gallon of milk
1 package of 2 eye round roasts
1 package of 2 london broil steaks
1 package of 4 ribeye steaks (I'll repackage for two meals since 2 steaks is usually enough for one meal)
1 package (24 individual cans) of Pringles (Guppy 2 loves these)
1 package (2 boxes) Cheerios
1 package (2 boxes) Lucky Charms
1 package (2 boxes) Frosted Mini Wheats
1 package (12 count) Naan - to go with the hummus I have left in the fridge!
1 package (7lbs) Confectioners Sugar
1 package (7lbs) brown sugar
1 double pack of Skippy Peanut Butter
1 small case (6 cans) of Goya Black Beans
2 packages of Brownie Brittle (Guppy 1 is addicted to these so it was an awesome find!)
1 package Chocolate Covered Almonds
1 package toasted coconut cashews
1 entirely too large bag of mixed fun sized candy bars
1 large flat of Poland Spring
2 large flats (24 bottles each) of Diet Snapple Iced Tea
1 package (4 boxes) of gallon sized Ziploc baggies
1 package (4lbs) Trail Mix
1 package (2lbs) chocolate covered pomegranates
1 very large Chocolate Cake (it was remembered that Guppy 1 loves this particular cake)
1 package (6 count) Lysol Wipes
1 48oz bottle of salsa
1 large bag of tortilla chips

Ummmm...I feel like I'm missing stuff but that's the bulk of it.  All of it isn't the healthiest I know.  But, this will go a long way to saving grocery money for June and keep the guppies happy with some of the goodies.

Heading out for a bit today to go on a possible adventure with G1, G1's friend, and G2.  Plus maybe Papa.

Happy Saturday everyone!


Apparently I Spoke Too Soon....


Obviously the RN I spoke to yesterday was wrong.  I spoke with my GYN and I need to have minor surgery to have the polyp removed.  I'm blaming Murphy still!  LOL

Prognosis is fine.  She told me they want to remove it before it causes a problem and she told me it was benign. I meet with the surgeon next week for a pre-op appointment and then will schedule the procedure.  After that, I have to get an ultrasound once a year to make sure the little sucker didn't grow back and/or bring any friends along.

I am trying not to be negative but it feels like I have been doing that a lot on here.  I am really sorry if that's how I am coming across!  It has just been a long two weeks.  Hope everyone hangs in there with me!

I will be recapping my Costco trip a little later.  Right now, I want to soak up a little sunshine on my deck and relax with a magazine or two.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Go Away Murphy!!! And Another Medical Update....

Anyone else want a turn with Murphy?  He's been hanging around my house for the past twenty four or so hours and it's time for him to be evicted!!!

Let's talk about Murphy....

1.  As I mentioned before (I think) the dishwasher sprung a leak and caused a bit of a flood in my basement.  Last night at 11 PM, Papa decided it was a good time to check it out.  Admittedly I was a bit peeved he was tearing apart my kitchen that late but we discovered there was a hose spraying a continual fine mist.  So, who knows how long that leak was there?  He disconnected the hose, after I ran down to turn off the power because he thought it would be fine to take the risk and leave it on!  What is it with men?  LOL

2.  Vacuum cleaner went KAPUT!  As in won't even make a single noise when turned on.

3.  This morning, as I finished doing the dishes, I heard "rain".  I looked under the kitchen sink to see that the J pipe thingy was completely disconnected and turned to the side!  It was completely fine last night when I did the dishes by hand after Papa was done diagnosing the dishwasher issue.  Sometimes I swear we have poltergeists!  Anyway, my little sink debacle sent water pouring down into the basement (AGAIN).  Papa will reconnect the pipe when he gets home from work.

4.  I went into the basement to switch the clothes over to the dryer and noticed they were still saturated.  I tried doing an extra spin....only to find out that the machine wasn't spinning!  I got all worked up about that happening and needing to probably get a new belt.  But, then decided I had to wash some shorts for Guppy 2 because she was completely out.  Lo and behold - the machine is spinning again!  I'll have to keep an eye on it but I'm hoping Murphy was just teasing me!

Guppy1 is having a friend sleepover and we are heading to a local venue in Hamden to watch our friends' concert.  After all that's happened today and no use of the kitchen sink, we are having PIZZA!  No way am I cooking -- did I mention it's hot and humid today as well?  LOL


Medical update:  Sort of another Murphy moment since it was an RN who returned my phone call and not my GYN!  Anyway, my lab work came back fine - although my cholesterol was off a tad.  When I asked about the ultrasound, she just read me the preliminary report and said she would have to contact the GYN to call me about it.  You don't say?  LOL  But, it looks like nothing too earth shattering to do with my "lady parts".  WARNING -- DON'T READ THE NEXT SENTENCE IF YOU ARE EASILY GROSSED OUT!  I have some fibroids in my uterus and a possible polyp/cyst which is what has been causing my pain.  So, I am very thankful about it and will be even more thankful when I hear it from the GYN herself!

And, even with Murphy here, I am actually still cheerful because hey, I can stand up this week!  Big improvement over last!  =)

Have a great Friday night!  I'll be back at some point tomorrow with a run down on my Costco adventure!

Food Waste Friday


In preparation for our Costco trip this morning,  I did an extensive fridge cleanout.  I didn't take any pictures though - you didn't need to see it, trust me!  LOL  Here is a list of what got thrown out/composted/given to the dog:

*  1/4 of a quart of vegetable lo mein (composted)

*  1/3 lb of Boar's Head Honey Maple Chicken (mixed in with the dog's food) It's frustrating because this is either hit or miss.  Some weeks it's gone the first day! And, others (like this week) it sits and sits.

*  6 oz or so of green beans lurking towards the back of the lowest shelf (composted)

*  6 oz cubed butternut squash (composted)  I was going to make myself soup and then the vertigo hit.

*  3 crusty opened Newman's Own Pineapple Salsa with levels left from 1/4 to 1/2 the jar.  (composted)  I will have to gently "remind" the family to finish one up completely before opening a new one!  There was no way to tell which one, if any, were "fresh".   They all looked pretty gross to me - I can't do crusty jar rims!  ((Shudders))

And, there you have it.  The ugly truth of it.  Today at Costco I will try my best to be mindful to not "overbuy" anything highly perishable because I don't want another week of huge food waste!  Tomorrow, while Papa is doing the swing set dump run, I'll (hopefully) sit down and work out a menu plan for next week.  Truthfully, I need to search the internet for some new recipes.  I'm stuck in a rut cooking wise and need some new tasty summer style meals.

Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

This Week's Freebies Report

This week's freebies aren't many in number but very helpful price wise!

1.  The Costco Trip I have been talking about scheduled for tomorrow morning

2.  I took Guppy 1 back to the orthodontists for new retainers - she has been out of braces for a little over two years but they still want them to wear retainers at night. The retainers they give out when you get your braces off suck!  Think glorified mouth pieces you get for sports.  Anyway, her bottom one cracked in half and the top one wasn't in great shape either.  Her orthodontist replaced both with heavier duty plastic and wire retainers for FREE!  (Saving me at least $300)
     Then again, Papa and I are meeting with the same orthodontist on June 1st to work out Guppy 2's braces plan.  So, that money won't be staying in my pocket for long!

Next week, one of my goals is to try to ramp up the freebies and earn more swagbucks!!

Some Results Are In....


We went to the neurologist yesterday to get the results of my latest MRI.  The good news is that he doesn't believe the nasty dizziness/vertigo ended up being  from my MS - which is great news since quite often patients who get that type of MS symptom have to manage it forever.  He thinks I have a viral infection - forgot the fancy schmancy name of it.  I don't care what it is as long as it's on its way out! And, thankfully, it is slowly but surely getting better.

However.....the new MRI did show two new lesions in my brain that are scarring over already (so no steroids needed).  That means those new buggers showed up within the past six months!  Doesn't make the doctor, Papa, or me very happy.  We cannot figure out why it is happening now, after being on the same drug therapy for the past six years.  I will have another MRI in six months and we will take it from there.  Changing medications will definitely be on the table if any new lesions pop up again.

Oh - and today is MS Day (I think) so this post is pretty timely I guess.  LOL

I missed a phone call yesterday from my gyn regarding my ultrasound results.  She left a message to say she will call back today.  I have some connections though in the health field and someone took a quick peek at my ultrasound/report.  (But shhhhhh!  They weren't supposed to do that!  haha)  It doesn't look to be anything too worrying - just some monitoring is what we are guessing will be suggested for now.. Obviously I can't know for sure until I get the official confirmation today.

Fingers crossed that I can be healthy and free of doctors and testing until six months from now!

And....If anyone see that damn Murphy, please tell him to stop coming by my house! He messed with our dishwasher and we have a flood in our basement where it leaked out.  So, it's back to washing dishes by hand until Papa can pull out the dishwasher to check hoses and connections this weekend.

Have a great Thursday!


Gas and Garbage.....



I really really thought the garbage was going to be out of control this week.  With my being down for the count and one 13 gallon kitchen sized garbage bag going out, I honestly thought we would be up to our garbage cans in, well, garbage! I'm not sure how, but, that was not the case!  The house is basically reassembled/cleaned up from last week's beating and there are only two kitchen sized bags this week!  Woo Hoo!!!

Still going fairly well with gas.  I did have an unexpected drive to Branford yesterday(like 40 minutes away) to get MRI results - we had to take two cars due to Papa's schedule.  And still, I have a little less than half a tank, which *should* still be plenty to get me to June 1st.

Though these updates are nowhere near exciting, they do keep me accountable and cognizant of my wastes and usages.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Happiness Is....A New Upcycled Craft Project

Yesterday while Guppy 2 had her drum lesson, I was feeling extremely unmotivated and blech.  So, I parked my butt on the couch in the family room and did something I very rarely do now --- Opened my time sucking Pinterest app and saw a very pleasant surprise on the everything page!

Do I have any fellow scrapbooking friends out there?  About six years ago, I was a scrapbooking fiend.  It was a wonderful creative outlet for me. But, I was also the "one" who agonized over the placement of every word, picture, sticker.  You know the one I mean - the perfectionist.  Still I loved it and actually was asked to create albums for my brother in law's wedding and a book for my mother in law of old pictures she had just stuffed in boxes.  Then life threw my a curveball - my Multiple Sclerosis hit my hands and it wasn't as easy or enjoyable to do it anymore. The Guppies love it and take out scrapbooking stuff even now to do their own projects.  However even though the bout with my hands subsided, I never let my heart back into the scrapbooking world....until now.

Have you heard of a "Smashbook"?  I am guessing a lot of you probably have, but this is a new concept for me.  In case you have been living under that rock with me, a smashbook is a funky, less fussy, way to journal and scrapbook at the same time. I literally spent NINETY minutes looking up stuff on Pinterest! It appeals to me because it seems quicker and more in the moment than traditional scrapbooking and put less pressure on me for "perfection". The best part of the whole thing is that I have a good NINETY FIVE PERCENT of what I need already! 

Both Guppies want to make Summer Smashbooks this year.  And we will probably have a "Summer Smashbook Making Party" for Guppy 2 and her friends. All I would have to buy is some cheap composition notebooks from the dollar store (remember those old black and white ones?) Like I said, I have accumulated a LOT of scrabooking supplies through the years prior.

Anyway, I thought I would share this since - 1. It's frugal since it's upcycling stuff I already have and  2. I feel like I have been a "downer" lately on my blog and truly that's not me.

So, I'm off to have some breakfast - I'm starving because I had to fast for some blood tests this morning -, try to get a few chores done before it gets too hot and humid here today, and maybe look through my old scrap supplies while waiting to see the neurologist later today.

Any good plans today for you?

And Off to Costco I Will Go!




I am sure many of you think I have lost my mind, or even worse, am being a hypocrite!  I talk about wanting to do fresh local foods and stay away from grocery stores and then I am going to COSTCO?!?!  I know, I know!  Even I am shocked!  But, hear me out....

An extremely generous family member wants to help because they are worried about some of my medical costs since the bills for the MRI  and ultrasound are not in as of yet.  I have no idea what they will cost - especially since this will be my SECOND MRI in less than a year and insurance isn't going to be too happy about that.  So, they have offered to take me to Costco to purchase some staples/groceries/household items.  This generous act is going to be so helpful for June's overall financial health!

So, I'm trying to work out a list of what to get there.  One thing I am definitely torn on is the meat - I am just wary about that sort of thing and will have to decide when I'm there.  And, morally, I do have an issue with feed lots/cramped chicken coops/etc.

Right now, my list includes:

Butter
Snapple for Guppy 1
Fruit2O for me
Dishwasher tabs
Peanut Butter
Olive Oil
Pasta
Tomato Sauce
Toilet Paper
Granola Bars
Bread
Fruit - whatever looks good I guess
Veggies - again what looks fresh
Milk
Cereal


And, that's it as of this moment.  Anyone have any suggestions?  How is the quality of the fruit, vegetables, and meat at Costco?  It has been quite a while since I have ventured in there and that's when I only used to  grab process stuff mostly.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

This Week's To Do List


Since today feels like "Monday" due to the holiday, I am getting my list of things to do ready to go!  Last week's illness really put me behind on quite a bit so let's hope I can get all this accomplished!

1.  Another doctor appointment today @ 1:15 for an ultrasound (No I am NOT pregnant! Just need to double check something.  If there is something up, I'll talk about it but right now there's no cause for alarm.  It is just a P.I.T.A. to have to do.)

2.  Schedule follow up appointment with my neurologist regarding the MRI I had on Thursday.

3.  Straighten up at least the living room (today) since Guppy 2 has drum lessons here after school.

4.  Guppy 1 to orthodontist on Thursday to get new retainers. (No charge!  Woo Hoo!)

5.  Catch up on laundry and ironing.

6.  Go through garage and basement to see if there is anything to add to the dump run being done on Saturday to dispose of the rotted swing set.

7.  Some sort of menu plan needs to desperately be done!

8.  Areas of the house that need some care this week include: dining room table, family room, my room, and upstairs bathroom.

9.  Organize the kitchen a bit better due to Costco run on Friday. (More to come on that tomorrow)

10.  Get list together for Costco run.

11.  Go to the lab to get blood drawn for a multitude of tests ordered by GYN.  (She's lucky that I love her!  LOL)

12.  Update the calendars to include new activities scheduled.

13..  Whatever else comes my way I guess!


While I am not 100% back up and running, I am getting way to antsy to not try to accomplish stuff!  As I have said before, it's nice to be able to stand upright without falling over!  I will pace myself for those things that aren't time sensitive and rest when needed.

Happy Tuesday all!  Hope you had a nice long weekend!

Monday, May 25, 2015

It's Finally Coming Down....





So, this is what Papa spent part of yesterday doing.  At first I was pretty heartbroken.  It felt like we were dismantling our guppies' childhood.  And then....

We found out the truth...The structure is infested with holes from carpenter bees, rotted wood beams, and little tiny white bugs - which I am guessing are termites.  Now, he can't get that thing down fast enough for me!

Thankfully our yard is large enough (1/2 acre) so that he can move the nasty timber way away from the house.  We have plans to dump it next Saturday and I think it's going to take a few trips to haul it away! But, it also means no upcycling any of the timber for anything else - like around the garden as planned.  

That's okay though.  Sometimes, you just can't save everything.  And, it's not worth possibly exposing my house to termites since the garden bed starts against our garage.

Still so weird to see an empty space where the swing set was.  I mentioned this to G2 and her response was "Now we can get a pool!"  Ummm, I am not so sure about that!  LOL

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Quick Grocery Shopping Check in....

It's shaping up to be a gorgeous day here in my part of Connecticut!  Plus....I'm starting to actually feel like "myself" again - fingers crossed it continues!

Here are some quick grocery totals from yesterday:

Papa and I spent approximately $40 - $50 at the farmers market.  (I forgot to put the money in a separate envelope so I could get a true figure.  My bad.) We purchased:

2 whole wheat croissants
1 small Potato Leek focaccia (I didn't get to try the one from the previous Saturday and Papa loved it)
1 bunch Rainbow Swiss Chard
6 cider donuts
2 lbs "Happy" (pastured/humanely raised) ground beef
1 small round sourdough loaf (for spinach dip today)
1 large sourdough baguette
2 quarts of soup from The Soup Girl - such a cute name for a little restaurant!


Later that afternoon we ran over to Stop and Shop.  I can give you a thousand excuses....I was tired....My brain stopped functioning....I was trying to appease the kids....I got extra for our little picnic today.  No matter what excuse I use, it could have still be under my control.  And, I kinda blew it.  I spent $158.93!  Even though I did stock up on a few items (5 cases of Coke for $12.99!), it was embarrassing to see the total I spent. And, quite honestly, more "junk' food than healthy food ended up in my cart.  I'm not going to break down the total receipt but here are some highlights:

2 Family size Lays potato chips
1 Regular size Spicy doritos
1 package of Oreos
1 half gallon cookie dough ice cream
Hot fudge sauce
Caramel sauce
Chocolate Sprinkles
2 packages of marshmallows
1 lb Boars Head Honey Maple Chicken Deli meat
1 large watermelon
4 granny smith apples
1 Newman's Own Lemonade
3lb bag of onions
2 vidalia onions
Eggs (forgot them at the farmers market)
2 containers of sour cream
1 small mayo
1 Knorr Veggie dip mix
Boars Head hot dogs
1 package Hot dog rolls
1 8 count package of bakery rolls
.......
The list goes on and on.  But I didn't just "fall off the wagon"....I tumbled off, face first, in the mud!

Grocery shopping is officially over for the month! I don't have an "exact" amount for the month - remember G2 threw out those receipts by accident?.  But, I am WAAAAY over.  I'm done beating myself up though.  This is a learning process after all.  Time to pick myself up and start again! It's okay to screw up sometimes.

And, most importantly to me at this very moment is that it's a gorgeous day outside!  I get to actually help cook and enjoy a picnic with the people who keep me going and mean more to me than anything in the world - Papa and the Guppies!

Have a great Sunday everyone!!!
......

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Back to My Regularly Scheduled Blogging..I Hope!

Hi everyone!  Still hanging in here and hopeful that I will be back to blogging regularly.  This vertigo/dizzy attack has kicked my tookis in ways I could never have imagined!  But, I AM going to get through this!  =)

I missed Food Waste Friday yesterday, which is probably a great thing.  It was BAAAAD!  I know it was but I can't say the full extent because I just asked Papa to deal with it and compost what he could.  Unfortunately I saw a LOT of compost going outside.  ((( SIGH )))  I have to think about how to handle this in the future.  Problem is I never know when an attack is going to happen. I don't ever want to see what I saw go out in food waste again!

I'm also a bit off track with my grocery spending.  In an effort to help me, Guppy 2 cleaned up a bit around the house - which was amazingly helpful! - but threw out a bunch of receipts I had on the dining room table.  I'm going to have to guesstimate from memory what those receipts totaled.  But....things could be worse, right?

This morning Papa and I were able to run over to the Farmer's Market.  I have NEVER seen it so packed!  We were there by 10:30 and most of the vendors were out of a LOT of stuff!  Papa and I were able to grab the most important stuff still and, even though there were quite a few people grumbling about the lines and lack of products, Papa and I were sort of happy about the crowds.  After all, that means the farmer's market is going strong, right?

This weekend is shaping up to be a relaxing one at home I think.  I don't have the energy to really do a whole lot yet.  Guppy 1 asked if we could go hiking in Vermont this weekend and I had to say no.  (How I would love to do that but I just don't think I can yet).  So, tomorrow we will have a nice little picnic the four of us and hang out as a family.  The girls are happy to see Mama vertical again and able to stand for more than thirty seconds!

I don't know about you but I can't wait for June to come around!  I want to kick May to the curb something fierce!

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!!!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Gas and Garbage Update






Oscar is smiling because this week was a success in the garbage and gas departments!

Garbage:  ONE bag this week! That's it!  Partly I'm sure it's because of my being "down". My hope is that, as I put the house back in order, that I don't have a huge increased number for next week's garbage total.  But, for now, I'll take it!  =)

Gas:  Another silver lining to my dizziness is FOUR NO DRIVE days!  I should make it into June with ease on the gas I have in my tank!  If I am up to it, I may have to drive Guppy 1 to an eye appointment tomorrow but that will only happen if I feel confident enough to drive -- otherwise that will get rescheduled.


I'm BAAAAAAACCCKKK...kind of

Hi everyone!  Miss me?  LOL  Just kidding.

Anyway, sorry for the blog silence on my part. I don't know if anyone out there as dealt with extreme vertigo and dizziness but it has thrown me for an absolute loop!  Yesterday was the first time in a couple of days that I was able to get out of bed for even a little while - and that was thanks to Valium and a anti nausea med which was prescribed by my neurologist so I could get to his office!

I had an MRI this morning and will probably have to wait until next week at the earliest to get the results.  My doctor thinks it's possible that it's a new brain lesion due to the MS but it could also be a viral ear infection (even though I have no ear pain or symptoms).  At this point, I don't care what it is - I just want it gone! Haha

The good news is I think I'm starting to take a turn for the better.  I'm able to stand up for longer periods of time and getting "antsy" - like thinking about how the laundry is behind, the rabbit crate needs changing, how the kitchen needs cleaning, that kind of thing.  As of yesterday, I couldn't care less about these issues.

The food waste this week is NOT going to be pretty. I'm trying my hardest not to stress about it.  My family pulled together and did what they could in the way of dinners.  I couldn't be any prouder of how my guppies stepped up to help me, especially since this is the first time Mama has been officially this down for the count.  And, the silver lining to this is that I think they completely understand how much I truly do to keep the house running.

I have some catching up to do here with the blog - there are a few times some grocery shopping was done but unaccounted for. (Like on Sunday before this mess hit)  Plus I have a new expense coming up -- Braces for Guppy 2.

However, right now I just wanted to say Hi and I'm still here.  Hopefully you will continue this journey with me!

Have a great Thursday!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Not Having So Much Fun at the Moment...

So today I will be BFFs with my bed.  Gravity is obviously mad at me since I am unable to stand up without falling.  LOL

Actually I'm having a pretty bad MS attack with being absolutely completely dizzy as the main issue this time around.  It's hard to lift my head off the pillow to take a sip of water without the world going topsy turvy on me.

My DVR will be getting a lot of use today as I catch up on everything that I have taped.

I will be back tomorrow (hopefully) in better shape and mood!

Hope you have a great Tuesday!

Monday, May 18, 2015

The Waste Not Want Not Cookbook



Even though I'm still not completely through this book, I'm talking about it now because I simply LOVE it!  I bought it the other night when I took BFF out for her birthday.  I hemmed and hawed about whether I should buy it, and, I have to tell you - I am so happy I did!

This past week's food waste bummed me out.  I really wanted to do something about it.  This book is a huge help to me in fixing this issue.  The beginning of the book gives some sobering facts about how much food waste there really is in the world. Then the book is divided into three sections:

Fresh Fruit and Vegetables
Staples
The Weekly Feast

The fruit and veggies section goes through each type of produce, gives a few recipes, and has a buy/store/serve and a don't waste it! section.  So, there is a lot of reading and good information!  Admittedly, some of the info I already knew but it's at the very least a good refresher course.

The staples section goes through popular pantry staples with the same set up of recipes and information

The Weekly Feast section has six popular types of protein (Salmon, Chicken, Turkey, Pork, Lamb, Beef).  It goes through the same information as the other two sections but has a main recipe for each protein and then recipes on how to "stretch" leftovers through the week.

One caveat - the price of the book was $24.95.  I don't know if that is the "going rate" on cookbooks because I don't usually buy cookbooks anymore.  The price is well worth it for me because I'm positive I will be referencing it again and again for the recipes and info. However, my advice is to check it out at the library first and make sure you will do the same before you buy it.

Happy Cooking!

Farmer's Market Finds


Saturday's trip to the farmer's market was a pretty quick one.  Partially due to the rain and partially due to the lack of vendors/goods.  It's still early in the season so there isn't a ton of produce from which to choose.  But, I still love it and can't wait to see more as the weeks progress!

Here's what my $57.50 got us:

1 bunch asparagus
1 small potato and leek focaccia bread
1 large olive and tomato focaccia bread
Baker's dozen mixture of sugar raised and cider donuts
1 quart of Roasted Beet Bisque
1 quart of Curried Carrot soup
1 lb of scallops


I love everything we got but, unfortunately, I will have to supplement this with a grocery store trip for some fruits and veggies at least.  It's okay though.  Later in the season it's my goal to do ninety percent of my food shopping at the farmer's market.  =)

Sunday, May 17, 2015

What's Kept Me Busy and Away From the Computer Today...

Beautiful day here in my world....

I went out into the yard and picked these:





I spent some time reading this...



I also did some laundry.

My family and I took the dog out for a long walk on the recreation path close to our home.

We had a water balloon fight on the deck after dinner.

And,  now we are getting ready to watch a movie before bed.

Really nice Sunday in my book!

I'll be back tomorrow with (hopefully) a menu plan and a review on the above book.

Hope everyone had a great day!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Zero Motivation Today!

I'm blaming it on the rainy weather....or maybe the stresses and busyness of the week caught up with me? But today I have exactly ZERO motivation to do much of anything remotely productive. LOL

Papa is out getting a haircut right now.  Then we are off to the farmers market - which I'm hoping won't be too crowded since it's raining.  And, finally, back to the eye doctor's office I was just at yesterday so Papa can get his reading glasses which finally came in.

I'm looking forward to a nice night out with my BFF to celebrate her birthday (we are heading to New Haven to go to a bookstore then an Indian restaurant for dinner).  But, part of me really just feels like coming home from errands with Papa, throwing back on my PJ's, and watching movies tonight with Papa and the Guppies.  Of course I won't do that because BFF and I planned this outing two weeks ago, I know once I get moving this morning it will be fine,  and it's good for Papa to spend some quality time alone with the kiddos.

So, yeah.  A boring post today.  Hopefully I'll be more exciting tomorrow.  Haha  There are some things coming down the pike to talk about but I'll save that for next week.

Have a great Saturday!!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Gas Update...


After dropping off G2 to school this morning, my low gas indicator light went on.  I still thought I could "eek" out today (I don't drive my car normally on the weekends) and fill the tank on Monday.  Until, I realized that G1 has to go across town today to the eye doctor to be "taught" how to put in/take out her contact lenses.

Things here have been stressful enough - why add in something like getting stranded without gas into the mix? Especially if I can prevent it!  So off to the gas station I went....

To the tune of $31.00!  Gas prices are going up - I noticed that it was up to $2.85/gallon.  So, I think I need to adjust my budget for gas.  I had wanted to stay at under $52.00 for May but that just can't happen due to the increase in price.  What I am aiming for is no more than two fill ups per month for this month and next.  Once the summer is officially here, I will most likely be doing quite a bit more driving and will have to rethink how many fill ups are needed/doable.

In my world lately, it;s better to be safe than sorry!

My First Food Waste Friday Post



My first week of Food Waste Friday posting almost didn't happen.  I cannot believe how much food was wasted in my house this week.  It's shameful and embarrassing!  But, it makes me more aware of the bigger picture and that's the most important part.  (((deep breath))) Here's all that was wasted or composted this week in my home:



My deli meat compartment hasn't been cleared out in a long time. Here are two packages of (expensive!) Boar's Head hot dogs and some very old Boar's Head horseradish cheese.  I tossed all into the garbage since I don't think you are supposed to compost proteins.





A very old and slimy half package of white mushrooms that were buried in the back of the fridge. These were composted.





This is proof why you don't take children of any age shopping with you!  Especially if they are hungry!  G1 came with me to buy these cookie mixes.  The two Toll House were buy one/get one but, when I asked G1 why she never baked them, she said she didn't realize they were chocolate cherry and didn't like that kind. She thought they were just chocolate when she grabbed them.  The sugar cookie dough went past its date (May 3rd) and I didn't want to risk it.  These were thrown in the garbage. 






The picture doesn't show it but these two ears of corn went moldy on me.  And, when I pulled the husks back to check the cob, I saw that half the cobs weren't even developed and some of it was pink with I am guessing was mold.  I bought this as part of a 6 pack at Stop and Shop a couple of weeks ago.  From now on, I'm buying fresh corn on the cob only when in season and individually.








Another failure.  Pizza night last week.  Pictured underneath some of that pizza is 1/2 a pepperoni calzone. I had planned on freezing the unused calzone sauce but, obviously, that never happened.  Right after taking this picture, my chocolate Lab jumped up and scarfed about half the pizza shown before I could get her away.  So, does that count as part of this being saved? LOL  The rest went straight into the garbage.






This bread is completely 100% on me.  I bought it to make paninis for myself for lunches and did it exactly one single time.  I'm the only one who likes this bread, so IF I ever do buy it again,  I will freeze it and take out what I need as I go.






So, yeah.  First week opened my eyes to the truth of what was being wasted in my kitchen.  There was a bit of good new though -  I managed to save a few things.  Leftover roasted/grilled veggies were put together to make a vegetable wrap for Papa's lunch today. And, I will be finishing up the last bit of pasta salad for my lunch.  Plus the biggest success is that  I have a clean(er) fridge that can be organized better so this doesn't continue.

How did you do this week with Food Waste Friday?

Thursday, May 14, 2015

More Shopping Totals...




I'm behind on posting my shopping trips so I have TWO to write about today.  The first one was done on the 12th:

PRODUCE:  $17.84
1.36 lb broccoli  
8 oz mushrooms
2 lbs cherries (a weakness of mine!)

MEAT: $8.81
Flank Steak (forgot to defrost the one I bought at the farmer's market and wanted to stick to the meal plan!)

FROZEN: $3.99
10 count hashbrown patties (G2 eats these almost every morning for breakfast)

DAIRY: $10.99
4 pack of Dannon Lite Vanilla yogurt
10 ct flour tortillas
8 oz shredded mozz
8 oz shredded cheddar jack

PANTRY: $2.00
McCormick brown sugar and bourbon seasoning

SEAFOOD:  $5.37
Seafood Salad (Papa's lunches and snack at home)

BREAD: $3.58
10 count croissants  

MISC/TOTALLY UNNEEDED: $5.98
Rachel Ray Magazine
Family Circle Magazine 
Didn't need these and shouldn't have bought them but I was tempted by the recipes.

Total Spent once taxes are included: $58.94
Total Spent for month: $299.81




Now onto today's trip....

DAIRY: $8.12
Sugar Cookie dough (G1 requested to make her cookie pizza)
4 pk of Jello Chocolate Pudding
can of Cabot Whipped Cream
(Sadly the pudding and whipped cream are mine as a "treat" considering all the stress I am under.  Not the wisest of choices to make.)

DRINKS:  $44.93
4 6pks of Diet Coke
2 6pks of Diet Raspberry Snapple
1 12 pk of Diet Raspberry Snapple (to be stockpiled)
2 10pk of Peets KCup Coffee (to be stockpiled)

PANTRY: $25.08
4 packages of various Fiber One bars (to be stockpiled for quick on the go snacks in summer)
4 packages of marshmallows (2 for stock pile)
2 24oz Vermont Maid syrup (G2 doesn't like real maple syrup! lol  1 for stockpile)

SNACKS: $3.00
Family size bag of Lays Chips

Total after bottle deposits/taxes: $82.90 (UGH!)
Total spent for month: $382.71

Definitely need to cut back on the shopping since I'm getting close to that $650 total.  Plus, frankly, I am not in the right frame of mind to be doing anything mindful.  Far too much stress/drama at the moment. I think I need to turn to my pantry for some dinner inspiration and just go to the farmer's market if possible.

Hope your Thursday is going well!

Update on Sealed Pot Challenge




The other day I was adding a few coins to my "sealed pot" and noticed it was getting rather heavy!  I decided to check out how much paper money I had accumulated and was absolutely shocked!  $203.00!!!  In just mostly dollar bills, fives, and a few tens!  The coins are mostly silver and fill a little over 1/3 of my 7 1/2 inch container! (Can you tell I'm excited by all the exclamation marks? Haha!)

At first I was pretty worried that we (mostly me!) would all "dip" into this money since we know it's there. But, we haven't at all.  The only time we have gone in was to "make change" exchanging fives and tens for their single counterparts.  I'm pretty proud of this fact, actually.

For now the pot stays sealed!  Eventually I will have to figure out the most efficient/best way to cash in the change (Coinstar? Rolling by Hand?) but right at this moment it sits happy, healthy, and untouched!

Anyone else doing a sealed pot?  If so, how is it going?

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Gas, Garbage, & Back to the Routine....

Phew! I feel like I have literally been running since last Saturday!  Not that I am complaining, because, honestly it is rather nice to be busy.  But, I will appreciate today's "down" day all the more for it!

Now, to the gas and garbage....

Gas:  Still riding on the first tank of the month.  Extra driving happened Monday when I went to BFF's grandmother's wake (30 or so minutes away) but, I'm still at right under 1/4 tank.  I am anticipating another fill up on Friday but will try to stretch it to Sunday night/Monday morning.

Garbage:  This week went much better actual garbage wise. (My first Friday Food Waste post is not going to be pretty though.)  I was able to compost quite a bit more than throw out.   I am having a problem with the packaging my medication comes in and how to dispose of it, however.  I used to get a three month supply that was sent in a styrofoam cooler with gel packs encased in a cardboard box. Now, my meds have been changed (less shots per month yay!) but my insurance requires a monthly delivery with the same packaging as before!  So, my problem is 1. How many ice/gel packs does one person need?  I have a ton and don't want anymore but don't know how to dispose of them besides throwing them out.  2. Styrofoam!  What the heck do I do with all the styrofoam? I know it's horrible for the environment!  I did mention this to the insurance company/pharmacy and got a very wishy washy response about how this is how to had to be.  I'm not allowed to pick up my meds from my local pharmacy per my insurance.  Every time I get a package, I think about all the other MS patients who also get this particular med (probably the most popular in the injection choices for the disease) and all the WASTE that is being produced.  Any suggestions?






The concert was great last night.  Wish I had better pictures but, let's blame the IPhone for the poor quality rather than the photographer right?  LOL  We all had a really fun time and the best part was that the Guppies got up without any complaining at all this morning about getting ready for school!  Thankfully, this concert was at a venue 15 minutes away from us.

And with that, I'm off to do some laundry and start to reassemble the house since it's been kind of neglected for a few days.  I have yet another grocery trip to post about later.

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Our Adventure on Sunday....

When it comes to days like Mother's Day, I'm a little bit different than most moms probably.  Due to my illness, if I feel "good" on Mother's Day, I want to be up and moving!  This past Sunday had us looking for an adventure and I got to choose!

On our last little day trip to Vermont, I had picked up an interesting little brochure on "The Retreat Trails" in Brattleboro.  (Unfortunately the brochure is at work with Papa in his car so I'm going by memory here.)  Basically, these trails were created for use by the patients at the nearby mental health facility back in the late 1800's. (We drove by the brick facility buildings but I'm pretty sure they are being converted for other use since there were workers and equipment about.)  I wasn't sure how much of a "hike" it would turn out to be but I knew it would at least be interesting since we love historical places - especially the "creepier" ones.

Here is what greeted us when we went to park the car.  It's the Harris Ski Jump and these pictures don't do it justice.  This thing was scarily massive!



Yup, we walked all the way up to check out the view!  Unfortunately the top 1/3 was gated and locked.  The above is a picture from as high as we were able to get - which was high enough for me!  LOL


The ski jump area connected to a trail called "The Ice Pond Trail".  Apparently back before refrigeration was widely used, the facility staff would come up to this pond and "chop" ice blocks to be stored in an ice house.





The Guppies stuck their hands in the water and said it was still very cold.  There were a ton of cute little fish as well but the water was too dark to catch on my IPhone camera.


After the pond, we backtracked and headed over to "Cemetery Trail".  Guppy 1 was thrilled with the creepy old cemetery and strange boarded up building.







The really intriguing thing about this building is that is was completely bricked in!  Not a single doorway to be found!  There were a few very high up boarded and barred windows but that was it!


After hiking, we drove back home to Connecticut and had a really nice dinner with the items we bought at the farmers market on Saturday.  After dinner, we drove over to the beach (about twenty five minutes away) to take a walk and look for shells and sea glass.  Then back home where Guppy 2 wanted to have a water balloon fight (at 8:30 PM!).  Nine o'clock found us all beat and ready for bed.

Papa and the Guppies then gave me my gifts:

I love bags like this!  It's super sturdy and can be used to lug stuff to the beach or for the farmers market!  Not included in the picture are concert tickets for tonight at a nearby venue.  The Guppies were very excited about the tickets since it is a show they want to see too!



So, that was my Mother's Day adventure!  LOL  Not all years have been or will be like this - thank you so much MS! - but that makes these type of years extra special!



Grocery Shopping Update





Good Morning! I survived yesterday (barely!).  And, I have to say I adore the Guppies orthodontist even more now.  When she noticed that I had to bring Guppy 2 back to the office for an appointment an hour after Guppy 1's, she offered to just take care of Guppy 2 then and there. One less drive across town!

Anyway....  I realized that I never logged my grocery store shopping total in from Saturday.  Unfortunately and fortunately I ran into the Guppies old 6th grade math teacher and we got to chatting.  She remembers my family very well and was actually G1's favorite elementary school teacher.  However, after chatting for so long, I panicked and hurried through my list and forgot a ton of stuff on top of that too!  Here is the mess I made of this trip:

DELI:    $5.39
1/2 lb Boars Head Honey Maple Chicken Breast

PRODUCE:  $15.51
2lbs Strawberries
Bag of Dole Baby Spinach
Bag of Dole American Mix Salad
5 Red Peppers
1 lb Zucchini
.89 lb Summer Squash

BEVERAGES:  $20.95
12 pack of Poland Spring Water (for Mother's Day hike)
4 6 packs of Diet Coke
2 6 packs of Diet Raspberry Snapple

SNACKS:  $3.98
2 Boxes of Wheat Thins

MISC: $5.00 (Not sure where to put this.  Maybe snacks? Although I will eat it for lunches with veggies)
1 tub of Tribe Garlic Hummus
1 tub of Tribe Olive Hummus
1 tub of Tribe Sundried Tomato Hummus
1 tub of Tribe Chipotle Hummus
1 tub of Tribe Zesty Garlic Hummus

Total Spent after taxes, bottle deposits, and Jimmy Fund ticket purchase: $54.20
Total Spent for the month so far: $240.87

Some of the buys were great (like the hummus!) but others not so much. Especially since I have to go back out again today!  Going to have to try and keep the chatting to a minimum next time I see someone at the store!


Monday, May 11, 2015

Weekly Dinner Plan



Writing these menu plans has been pretty successful for me!  Usually I stick to at least four of the five days, if not all.  Fingers crossed this continues!  So, I noticed after I wrote this out, rice is starring as the side dish in quite a few of these days.  I'm not stressing over this since we all love it and I'm chalking it up to some weeks will have recurring themes.  =)

MONDAY:  Choice of Pasta Salad or Mac-n-Cheese

TUESDAY:  Steak Fajitas, Rice, Corn

WEDNESDAY:  Beef and Veggie Kabobs

THURSDAY:  Chicken Stir Fry, Rice

FRIDAY:  Veggie Casserole


Not sure about this weekend's menus yet - especially since I'm taking BFF out to dinner in celebration of her birthday.  I'll have to talk to Papa and see what he thinks he'll want to make or do with the Guppies. I'm thinking I would like to make something decent for "Sunday dinner" but I'll need to think this through and see what the market has on Saturday morning.

What Happens When You Don't Write Everything Down...

First off, I hope all the moms out there had a great Mother's Day! It was a wonderful day here and I actually want to write another post about it later.  Hopefully that WILL happen!  I'm just exhausted from all the fun stuff we did yesterday!  LOL

Do you love calendars?  I do!  I love day planners, calendars, organizers, you name it.  But, what good are they when you forget to actually USE them for their intended purpose and WRITE appointments in them?  Yup, today just got crazier than originally "planned".

So, here's what I thought was happening today - Pick up Guppy 1 from school at dismissal time and drive her over to the orthodontist to have new retainers made.  drive home, get some sort of dinner prepped for the family, (Papa is coming home a little late since he has a meeting), and then head (by myself) about 25 minutes away to go to BFF's grandmother's wake, and come home.  All that was after the usual morning stuff - laundry, clean kitchen, iron, etc.

Well, nope!  Here's what that afternoon schedule really is - thanks to my forgetting to write in all appointments!

Pick Guppy 2 up early from school
Pick Guppy 1 up at dismissal
Bring Guppy 1 to orthodontist for 2:20pm
Bring Guppy `1 to eye doctor for contact fitting at 3:10pm
Bring Guppy 2 to orthodontist for 4pm for check as to when we can actually start braces
Bring Guppies home and get dinner prepped/ready for them
Go to wake
Come home and CRASH out for the rest of the night! =)

I guess I'm lucky that I found out about the other appointments early enough through email and text  reminders.  And I'm thankful that, although cutting it close, no appointments actually overlap.  However, I will be zipping back and forth around my town today!  Plus, I had no choice but to pull G2 out of school early because of time constraints between appointments. (Not that she is complaining!)

Time to get more organized again!  Be back (hopefully later today) with that Mother's Day post and hopefully some sort of menu plan for the week!

Enjoy Monday everyone!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Happy Mother's Day.










So, as silly as this is, these shells are some of my most favorite things in the world. They "live" on some shelving in my downstairs bathroom.  They were absolutely free but are priceless to me.  My oldest daughter, G1, especially loves sea glass.  While at the beach last year, I happened to mention how much I love these particular types of shells. Now every time we head to the beach, G1 looks for these to give to me as well as her sea glass.  When I look at these, I am reminded that she loves me and, even though I make a million mistakes, I must be doing something right because she loves me.  

My sweet Guppy 2 and Papa tend to express their love more through the notes, letters, and cards I receive from them through out the year.  I most have a least two dozen little notes and drawings from G2, hoping to cheer me up on those days my MS makes me feel too tired and sick to move/get out of bed. And, my lovely husband, who NEVER buys cards for occasions but prefers to write me ove letters. These are all carefully put away in my hope chest in my bedroom, ready to be pulled out in a moment of weakness/sadness.

We Moms are our own worst critics.  We need to remind ourselves that it's okay to be imperfet.  Look around you today....I'm sure you all have your own little tokens of love surrounding you.

Happy Mother's Day!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Mama Had a Great Time at the Mall...Maybe Too Great?




So I'm completely shopped out today!  Papa (the saint that he is!) spent about  2 1/2 hours at the mall with me, giving me his honest opinion about the clothes I tried.  And, he lived to tell the tale!  Haha!

Part of me feels like I'm going to get a lot of flack for posting about a shopping spree but there are a few things you need to know.  1.  I was literally down to two t shirts that weren't stained, ripped, or stretched to heck and back.  2.  I also only had one pair of shorts I could wear since I gained a bit of weight since my last summer clothes shopping trip two years ago.  3.  I "financed" this trip with the money that my parents gave me for Mother's Day. - Yes, it could have gone to something more practical but I have been feeling so badly about the sad state of what was left of my clothing that I was actually embarrassed to go anywhere.

Anyway, here is what my $200 got me.  I think I did pretty well since I shopped at Old Navy, The Loft, Payless Shoes, and NY & Co.

OLD NAVY:
1 pair of boyfriend style jean short
5 various colored short sleeved t shirts (I found a style I liked and they were on sale for 7/each)

THE LOFT:
1 black skirt
1 sleeveless black dress top
1 short sleeve peach linen top
(The black skirt/shirt were especially needed since I have to go to a wake for my BFF's grandmother on Monday)

NY & CO:
1 pair cropped jeans
1 pair light jean shorts
1 pair dark blue twill shorts
1 pair black cotton shorts
1 light pink short sleeve top
1 dark pink short sleeve top
1 salmon pink tank top

PAYLESS SHOES:
1 pair of black lace casual flats
1 pair white tennis shoes


I only had to buy the "next size" up so even if I lose weight (fingers crossed!), the above clothing should serve me very well.  Ninety percent of it can be mixed and matched as well.  I will keep my old ratty shirts for household chores and cooking so I don't ruin the new ones.

Part of me definitely feels "guilty" for this shopping trip but part of me knows it was needed.  I'm done now. My wallet is shut until the fall (if then!) for clothing for myself.  But, it was kind of a fun day while it lasted.  LOL

How do you replenish your wardrobe?  Do you go all out one day at the mall? Do it little by little?  Where do you tend to find the best bargains/bang for your buck?

Farmer's Market Finds



We got to the farmer's market ten minutes after it opened and they were already low on/out of some items!  Poor Guppy 1 couldn't get her fresh scallops because they literally sold the last pound to the person in line in front of me!  However, we did get some great stuff!  Because I didn't officially count the money in my wallet before I left and there aren't any receipts there (note to self - put market cash in an envelope before going!), this is what I got for approximately $85.00:

1 bunch of ramps
2 quarts of soup - one roasted beet bisque and one west african peanut soup
1 bag of swiss chard
1 bag of rose potatoes
1 bag of purple potatoes
1 very large french baguette (G2's favorite bread)
1 Bakers dozen of cider donuts
2 mini raspberry pies (for G1)
1 lb of flank steak
1 lb of beef kabobs
4 filet steaks (for tomorrow dinner)

I was disappointed because the facebook page had said that there would be asparagus there but there wasn't any to be found.  And, I was hoping to get some mushrooms to go with tomorrow's steak but maybe it's too early in the season for those around here?  Still happy to see some fresh greens at the market and I know there is much more to come in the weeks ahead.

Later today I will go over to the grocery store to round out the shopping needs for the week. I'll hopefully post that total and where I stand overall grocery budget wise later on today or tomorrow evening.

Off and running again!


Busy Saturday Ahead for Me And A Final Recap of Freebies...

Today is going to be one heck of a busy errand day here including:

*  Farmers Market with Papa
*  Running to my mom's house to bring in their mail (they are away for the weekend again), drop off Mother's Day gift, and pick up my card (yes she give ME a gift, don't know why!  LOL) and the coupons circulars she saves for me
*  Mall run for a few new t shirts for me (I only have TWO that aren't stained, worn out, or just plain ratty), a new pair of shorts for me, a new black skirt, and possibly a pair of Toms since I need something between flats and bulky sneakers
*  Yard work - Papa needs to mow the lawn while I turn over the soil in the garden area to start planting!
*  Drive to MIL's house to drop off her rose bush
*  Bring G2 and her BFF over to another friend's house where they plan to do some "cooking" and "baking".  More power to THAT mom -- better her than me!  Haha
*  Grocery store for drinks

I feel like I'm missing more errands but I hope not!


Anyway, the other thing I wanted to do this morning is do a recap of my freebies for this week:

*  25 ECBs from CVS!  Even I can't believe this!  2/3 of this came from the Guppies make up shopping sprees though!  But, I put it to good use!

*  2 large size Kit Kats, 2 large size Three Musketeers, and 2 packages of Chips Ahoy  --  All G1 brought home for us from a generous teacher at school  (who was trying to get rid of her stash of candy!!)

*  4 free books from Kindle to add to my ever growing collection of books on there!  Thank God it's all digital!  I can't imagine if I had all the hard copies of the books stored on it!

*  Free pepperoni pizza on Friday night (it was a change in menu plans due to the addition of G2's BFF sleeping over)  Pizza place messed up my order and gave us a small pepperoni pizza instead of a small pepperoni calzone.  When I called them after I found out when I got home, they promptly offered for me to come back and pick up the correct item and to keep the pizza.

*  Complimentary New Haven Register newspaper on Tuesday morning in our driveway  (This sometimes happen as a way to hook us into becoming a customer...Nope!)

*  I started back up with MyCokeRewards since Nathalie over at http://imperfectlyfrugally.blogspot.com/ has inspired me.  So far I have managed to rack up 74 points but the website "blocked" me from inputting anymore because I had reached my weekly limit.  Grrrr!  My parents drink a lot of diet Coke and I've asked them if they wouldn't mind saving the caps for the codes.  (They would have thrown them out and not bothered anyway.)  So I will be getting at least double if not triple the amount of codes I would've had if it was just my family!

Ummm...I think that was all the "freebies" for this week!  I think I'll have to keep a running list somewhere so when I do a recap I can be sure it's accurate.

Well, I'm off!  Happy Saturday everyone!

Friday, May 8, 2015

What I Did With That Free Time Last NIght...

I knew staying home would drive me nuts...  So, after dropping G2 and two of her friends off at the middle school, I decided to head over to the shopping complex where both CVS and Pier One Imports are housed.  Sounds dangerous, in the mood I was in, I know.  But, fear not!  LOL

At CVS, I used the ECB the Guppies earned and bought myself some new makeup - not a lot since I'm not a huge make up kinda girl anymore.  Total OOP after using my ECBs was $19.91.  And I got an additional 10 in ECBs back again.

Over at Pier One, I found two very pretty wine goblets in the clearance section.  They were extremely heavy and seemed to be well made.  I bought them for my mom for Mother's Day.  Total OOP was $6.34.

There was a liquor store in the same plaza, so I headed there and bought a nice bottle of red wine.  I don't have that receipt but it was under $11.00.  I'll pair that with the wine glasses and my mom's gift is done at under $18.00..

Today I will run back over to CVS since they had some very pretty rose bushes on display for $10.99.  I'll use my new ECB and buy one for my mother in law for Mother's Day.  So, both moms will be taken care of for under $20.00!  I am extremely happy with this and I know the gifts will be well received.

I didn't do the housework but I still think it was a good use of my time.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Crabby Day.....Grocery Store Excursion










Yup...It's been one of "those' days.  You know the ones...Where you are just crabby for no particular reason?  Well, I hope you know what I'm talking about and I'm not the only one!  LOL

Early this afternoon, I went to the fridge to double check I had all I needed for the very quick and easy meal I had planned for tonight -sandwiches, chips, and pickles.  Couldn't be easier, right?  Well, all deli meat and cheeses were gone.  And, I didn't have the energy (or mindset) to change my plans.  So, off to the grocery store I went (while hungry no less.) I have more than enough money left to grocery shop but had wanted to not go back to an actual supermarket until after Saturday's farmer's market.  I spent $13.78 at Stop and Shop for deli meat/cheese and a family size bag of chips that were displayed on an end cap advertised on sale. I got in and out quickly at least.

By then I was super hungry....and not so inclined to cook anything at home.  So, I opted to stop at our local FoodWorks (health food store) here in town.  I grabbed one of their freshly made (and healthy!) veggie sandwiches and a salad for me tonight (since I got picky and decided I didn't want to have sandwiches tonight but I will make them for everyone else.) The total spent there was $13.20.  Pricey? Definitely. But, I tried to rationalize it since 1. it's a local small store  2.  I still spent less money than if I had continued to wander through Stop and Shop  3.  quality food.  Not a great rationalization I know but that's what I am going with!  LOL

So, total spent on groceries for May stands at $101.67 out of the $650 May grocery budget.  In the grand scheme of things I know that this is still pretty good so far.

Papa will be taking Guppy1 to her vocal lessons tonight.  And, Guppy 2 is going to an orchestra concert at school to watch her friends perform.. So, after dropping her and her friends off, I should have another hour or so to be home by myself.  Maybe I will try to read a little, or veg out reading blogs, or be productive and get some housework done.

Papa asked if there was anything he could do to help me (because he really is such a sweet guy, honestly!). But, some days are just like this and you ride them out the best you can.  We all have our crabby moments right?  =)