Friday, July 31, 2015

Food Waste Friday


It's Friday already AGAIN?!?  I don't know where the summer is going, honestly!  Here is what has happened this week:

Fed to the compost:

1/2 onion that got slimy/mushy
3 moldy bagels (bag fell behind the microwave and I found it too late)
About 3 T sour cream that molded


Fed to the dog:

1 cooked hot dog (too old to safely feed to my family)


Fed to the garbage:

Nothing!


Not too bad - especially since I didn't menu plan this week.  I think having less options/stuff in the fridge helped me use what I had though.  I'll count this week as a win!  =)

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Winner Winner! Chicken Dinner...Casserole Style


Trying to make it through until Sunday when I officially meal plan again!

 Today, I unearthed a single (albeit on the medium large side) chicken breast from our freezer.  What do you do with a single breast and a family of four?  Especially when the Guppies decided that they don't really care for chicken anymore?

Make Chicken Casserole!  I don't even remember where I got this homey dish but basically you just make a normal chicken pot pie mixture but add cooked rice in the end. Then you dump it into a buttered casserole dish and cover the whole thing with a melted butter/cracker crumb mixture.  Sounds appealing the way I describe it, huh?  LOL

Yes, the oven will be on (briefly) again today.  However, since the mixture is already cooked before baking, it only has to brown the topping so I'm not *too* worried about heating up the house extra.  And, the guppies actually like this even though it has chicken in it.

Right now the chicken is happily poaching away on top of the stove, along with a sprig of rosemary, a carrot, and some salt and pepper - which means I can use the cooking water instead of the required "broth" in the recipe and is an added bonus.  I saw that the chicken was a tad freezer burned so hopefully poaching it will help that problem too.

I have green beans leftover from two farm market trips ago so they will be served on the side.

Dinner tonight is decided and there will be enough leftover for lunches tomorrow.  A win in my book!  =)

This Morning Found Me at....Stop & Shop...


I know I said I wouldn't do it...I know I caved in this morning.  But....hear me out, okay?  LOL

*  It's HOT already here in CT and it's only 10am!
*  My car has been acting up and I was afraid to drive it twentyish minutes to Aldi's and get stuck.
*  The Guppies wanted stuff that couldn't wait/be bought on Saturday at the farmer's market.
*  I haven't been feeling well.

I guess my excuses can go on and on but, I did go to the grocery store this morning.  However, I didn't spend much.  Here's the breakdown:

S&S Plain Bagels (6 count)
Dessert Shells (6 count)
Large Eggs (dozen)  Completely out and needed today!  Will get more at market Saturday
Breyer's Ice Cream (Guppy 2 teeth)
Totinos Pizza Rolls (Guppy 2 teeth as these come out soft from the microwave)
Snapple Iced Tea (12 pack)
Diet Pepsi (3 bottles)
S&S Ritz style Crackers
Hash Brown Patties (10 count)

Total Spent:  $29.67

In the grand scheme of things, that's not an awful bottom line.  And, my trying to shop only the farmer's market/local/Aldi/etc has really brought down my total $$$ in the food category.

And, now I think I am going to park my excuse ridden self in front of an a/c and veg out the rest of the day!  Haha!  Kidding....maybe!  ;)

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Hot Weather and Meal Menu Messes


Another hot and humid day here - full of heat warnings and air quality advisories.  Another day of sitting inside the house with the a/c's blaring all day for me!  I'm very  very thankful to have the a/c's but feeling a bit stir crazy here!

Well, at least the dog stopped puking, right?  LOL

I didn't do a Menu Plan  this week and, truthfully, I am regretting this.  My aim was (and still is) to eat down some of what is in our freezer/pantry/fridge.  The food in the house has stayed the same (except Papa's purchased granola yesterday) but I feel at a loss/disorganized without that meal plan.  (And the nerd in me loved checking off the completed meals too! LOL)  Lesson learned, and hopefully Sunday will find me meal planning again!  =)

I'm ahead of the game today in that I at least KNOW what dinner will be tonight and have it prepped.  Papa has his last golf league night after work and Guppy 2 is spending the day at her BFF's swimming with friends. So it's just Guppy 1 and me for dinner, which will be:

French Toast Casserole (her request and I needed to use up a stale baguette)
Fresh blueberries
Bacon

The casserole is in the fridge, soaking up the yummy egg/cream mixture and will be ready to cook by dinner time.  I hate turning on the oven for it but I'll use the convection mode so at least the oven will be on for a shorter period.  I'm thinking I need some sort of toaster oven or table top convection oven.  Any thoughts on these?

Sorry if I seem grumpy/agitated!  Just hate being cooped up I guess!  LOL

Gas & Garbage


I am so unbelievably happy to have survived yesterday!  Phew!  It was tough and I was C-R-A-B-B-Y!  Anyway, today is a new day and I bring GOOD news with me on this post!

GAS:  I'm still at about 3/4 full - maybe a little less.  Driving my car has become in town almost exclusively and not that often on top of that.  I will be finishing out the month on this tank and don't anticipate another fill up until at the least the middle of the first full week of August - possibly longer.

GARBAGE:  Great news on this front too - I FINALLY got down to ONE BAG!  Now, it is a super over stuffed 13 gallon kitchen sized bag.  But it is still only one, which makes me so very happy!  Not sure I can keep it going but I'm going to try my hardest!!!


Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Trying to Just Keep Swimming...








Holey Moley!  Today has been brutal so far for me!  I guess we all have days like this but this one is knocking me for quite a loop!

It's currently 2:20 and this is the very first time I have been able to power up my computer all day! Why you may ask?  Hmmmmm....Let's see:

*  Guppy 1 had a hair appointment I drove her to at 11:20.  Close enough to walk but way too hot!
*  Guppy 2 is absolutely miserable because of her braces!  Poor kiddo is in so much pain!  =(  I spent this          morning give extra hugs and attention.
*  Guppy 2 requested a special Caramel Frappe from a local coffee shop so I went to grab it for her.  She         needs calories since she can't eat a whole lot at the moment.
*  Ran to the grocery store - yeah you read that right.  But only to buy dog food!  LOL
*  Ran to the local health food store (near the grocery store)  for some granola for Papa.
*  PUKING DOG!!!  She's a Lab so I think she inhaled her food too fast and now has a upset stomach.           And, of course it was much better for her to puke all over the one carpeted area in the whole house, right?     SMH  She's lucky I love her!  =)
*  Ran over to CVS to pick up (more) Mortin and an emergency roll of paper towels. (see above puking           dog)
*  Numerous trips outside in the yard because the dog now thinks she's a cow and wants to eat grass!  (Just     joking about the cow part.  I know dogs like to eat grass to calm their stomachs/help get up what's left)
*  Attempting to clean up the downstairs area because G2 has her drum lesson today. (I already texted the       instructor to give him the heads up about her braces pain.)
* OH!  AND...the car keeps thinking that I am trying to steal it with my key in the ignition!  It trips the anti-       theft device thingy and I have to keep my key turned to the ACC click in the ignition and wait ten minutes     for the anti-theft device light to stop flashing.  THEN and ONLY then will the car decide to start.  This           happened TWICE today.


So, yup!  One of those days to just keep swimming through and then try to forget about!  Thankfully, Papa should be home on time tonight.  Hopefully it will be cooled off enough by then so I can take a walk or something.  Air Quality is very bad here - they are predicting this through Thursday I think - with humidity making temps feel like 100 to 105.

Hope your day is running more smoothly than mine! LOL

Monday, July 27, 2015

Mustering a Bit of Motivation & A Morning Waiting...

Yesterday afternoon the sun came out and brought back a little of my motivation.  I was able to:

*  Accompany Papa as he walked the dog
*  Took an additional walk with G1 while G2 was at a friend's house
*  Cleaned out the fridge - thankfully it needed more organizing than cleaning
*  Washed/Dried 3 loads of laundry
*  Ironed Papa's clothes for the week
*  Made a quiche
*  Spent more time down the rabbit hole of all things Pinterest  (LOL)



The big day has come! This morning I'm off to sit and wait at the orthodontist for Guppy 2 to get her braces. She's a little nervous - but more worried she's not going to "look good" in braces.  I believe the orthodontist said the whole process (getting them on and then instruction on how to care for them) will take 2 1/2 hours.  I could leave if I want, but I think I'm going to stay put at the office with my library book!  The office is only fifteen to twenty minutes away from our house, but, I am trying to drive my car as little as possible.

Food is going to be an issue for her over the next few days since she's going to be sore and probably not want to eat a lot.  Once we are done this morning, I'll be taking her over to Dairy Queen for a treat. Then tonight I'll make her mac-n-cheese (on the soft side).

Wish us luck!

Happy Monday!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Wasting Time Reading About Being Productive



Weather here in my neck of the woods is gloomy today!  Obviously the weathermen changed their minds since the last I heard - I thought it was going to be possible thunderstorms not this gray misty gloom I woke up to!

Anyway, my motivation seems to be hiding along with the sun!  LOL

This morning I decided to jump into the black internet abyss of all things calendars/planners/schedules!  Apparently I have already been doing this for over 90 minutes - how is that possible?  =)

When school is looming on the horizon, I get like this....every single year!  I  love planners and the idea of being organized!  I keep trying different ways to do it and abandon them by December/January and then try a new one.  It's a waste of time & money so this year...I'm reading all I can about the different ways of utilizing your planner and trying to customize one to ME rather than trying to customize me to the planner!

The things I have come up with already about me:

I love "checking" things off To-Do lists
I need a monthly calendar area to keep important appointments/meetings/deadlines
I am 99.9% sure I need daily pages as opposed to a weekly set up....
Or maybe I need both since the weekly pages can be made all "pretty and artsy"


How about you guys?  How do you keep track of all your "stuff" in life? Do you use a planner?

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Lucky Me! & Farm Market Finds Part 2



This morning was a fairly productive (and lucky!) day at the Farmer's Market!  Let's start with the "lucky" part --  Papa found a ten dollar bill on the ground!  We looked around but no one was in the area where we were.  We just kinda looked at each other and I said "What do we do now?" A passerby heard the conversation and replied, "I guess today is your lucky day!:"  So, we started our market trip ten dollars richer.

Here's a breakdown of what my $27.00 plus $10 found bought us:

6 apple cider donuts (because this is a necessity every time we go! LOL)
2 pints of watermelon gazpacho (heaven, I swear!)
1 french baguette
4 medium sized yellow squash
1 head of red leaf lettuce
1 medium sized (maybe a quart?) of shitake mushrooms
1 pint of raspberry yogurt (We have never tried fresh milk/yogurt before so I can't wait!)
1 ziplock package of garlic scapes
1 bunch beet greens


I did run into Stop and Shop to grab some deli meat last week for lunches but, other than that one time for that one thing, I have not gone shopping at a grocery store!  So, I am keeping my "promise" to myself thus far.

As you can see however, I haven't bought any meat lately - besides the ground beef I bought last week at the farmers market which I never used last night.  Thankfully, it's still tucked away, blissfully still frozen!

I will get creative with menus and use up what is left meat wise in my freezer this week.  Papa, the Guppies, and I all want to limit our meat intake a bit anyway.  If for some reason I do get stuck and need to purchase some meat, I am planning on maybe finding a butcher.  Years ago (pre Papa) when I was a nanny for a family in Woodbridge, I would sometimes do a butcher run for the mom.  I guess I will google that butcher to see if they are still around, just in case.  If I am not getting the meat straight from the farmers, at least I can buy it from an independent butcher, right?

It's a beautiful day here!  Hope the sun is shining in your neck of the woods.....

Thinking Ahead to School Supplies


Yes, it is a smidge early for me to be thinking about this since school doesn't start here until August 27th.  No, I'm not trying to rush to the end of summer.  I am just trying to think frugally in an expensive town. (Do you remember my post about the tri fold poster board?)

The Guppies don't know anything about who/what their teachers/classes are until August 15th.  Even then, a complete list of supplies aren't given.  Usually, they find out what each teacher deems necessary for class during the first week of school....when most of the good back to school sales are done.  Plus it doesn't matter if the kids have a different/easier way to stay organized for the classes - In my town, the teachers require what they require and that's it.

I don't even want to tell you how much money I spent on back to school supplies last year!  Though I didn't keep receipts, I can safely say it was in the two to three hundred dollar range!  Totally obscene I know!

Plus this year I need to buy TWO fancy schmancy calculators!  One for Guppy 2 and a replacement for Guppy 1.  (((sigh)))

Taking a quick look at what I already have though, I am in luck (kind of).  Guppy 1's binders (the most expensive items bought last year) are all in great condition since she rarely used them. (She found another way of organizing her stuff that worked better for her but not "approved" last year.)  All we need to do is switch out the labels for classes and keep our fingers crossed they are the required size (inch wise) for the teachers.  If not, I am not going to stress because the binder system doesn't work well for her anyway.  I also have plenty of highlighters and pens/pencils left from taking advantage of last year's sales.

Guppy 2's binders from last year are toast!  As in they look like they were trampled by a herd of elephants!  I can only imagine what her locker looked like last year!  LOL  But, guess what?  I was in Dollar Tree the other day and saw.....binders!  I felt like I hit the jackpot!  I have never seen them in our Dollar Tree before so either 1) this is the first year they have them or 2) I have always missed when they had them in stock.  Not wanting to lose out, I grabbed three.  I wanted to grab more but the only size they had were one inch and I don't know what G2's teachers will require.  (G2 tends to stress if she doesn't have exactly what she needs.)  But, compared to Staples prices, I easily saved myself twenty bucks already!

During errands this weekend, I will head over to Staples and check out what is on sale currently.  There have been commercials already on tv so I want to price out things like loose leaf paper and notebooks.  (I love notebooks so there is no risk - if there aren't needed for the Guppies classes, I will put them to good use!)

How do schools handle supply lists where you are?  Is it overkill and expensive?  Or more laid back?

Happy Saturday!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Farm Market Finds Part 1


If anyone of you follow my weekly postings, you may be confused since my "Farm Market Finds" days aren't until Saturday...Well, confession time - but please hear me out!  LOL

Here's the "I'm trying to eat local and help the farmers" girl's (aka me) secret...I live within walking distance (1/4 mile!) from an actual farm!  Yep, there it is - my dirty little secret.  And, I live in "the bedding capitol of Connecticut" even.  Google it and you will know my town now - LOL!

Now, here's the story...When we first bought this house almost 12 years ago, I was unbelievably thrilled that we lived that close to an actual working farm!  Happily, I would strap Guppy 2 into her stroller and get Guppy 1 set to either walk, bike, or scooter down with me to pick up the fruits (and vegetables and flowers!) of this farm's labor.  They had an adorable little red farmstand and would only sell what they grew or what other area farms grew (and they would tell you this too!  like - oh these blueberries are from Lyman Orchards).  It was literally perfect!

And then....

They made the decision to build a huge farmstand across the street from the adorable little red one.  Prices went up a little - which I understood since they had to "pay off" the building of the new improved stand.  However....

They began to sell more than just local stuff.  How did I figure this out?  Well, last time I checked, fruits and veggies don't grow with little skew labels on them! And, I was equally suspicious of the fact that these skewed items were never at the stand before and I hadn't seen them in any "pick your own" or farm stand locally.  Maybe I shouldn't have jumped to conclusions.  Maybe I should have asked.  But, I didn't.

This all happened about five years ago....And it seemed I wasn't the only one who took notice of the changes.  I am pretty sure they lost quite a bit of business.

Yesterday as the Guppies and I took the dog for her walk, we passed by the farm.  I saw their "fresh corn" sign and was tempted.  Hmmmm...they always had the most amazing corn.  I debated going back to see if they had reverted to their old ways.  I googled them to see they actually have pick your own stuff too - I did NOT know that - talk about extra convenience!

I walked over a little while ago and am thrilled to report things seems to be back to the old ways!  No stickers on anything!  There was an extremely nice lady working the stand as well.  I will definitely be adding them back to my "eating local" endeavors.  Nice to be able to support them again and feel good about it!

Here's what five bucks got me today:






And, I am good with that!

Happy Friday!

Food Waste Friday



Not such a bad week for waste here...Still not even close to zero but making progress....


Fed to the dog:

1/3 of a large London Broil that no one wanted reheated since it was originally cooked med/well


Fed to the compost:

A very large bowl of pasta salad - No one liked the new type of cheese tortellini in it.


Fed to the garbage can:

Nada! Guess the garbage can will starve this week!  LOL


I think my success this week is partially due to making and sticking to my meal plan!  Staying out of the grocery store has also made me more aware of what is in my fridge and what is there to use up!



How did you guys do this week?

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Addressing Future Needs....



When I cleaned out my linen closet (which is also where I keep our medical supplies) I found we were woefully low/out of OTC medicines for cold/flu season.  Yesterday, when I went to CVS for some things Guppy 2 needs for her August trip to Cape Cod -sunscreen anyone?!?!, I took care of those needs using a 30% of all CVS brands coupon.

Here's a breakdown of what was purchased:

For Guppy 2's trip:

1 package of bubble gum
2 packages of candy
1 CVS brand deodorant
4 CVS brand make up wipes (travel sized)
2 cans of CVS spray on sunscreen
1 bottle of CVS sunscreen lotion
****None of the sunscreens were included in the 30% but I did get 3ECBs from them***
1 Aim toothpaste


For Linen Closet Restock:

2 CVS brand tissue boxes
2 CVS brand cherry throat lozenges
1 CVS brand anti-diarrheal
1 CVS brand benadryl
1 CVS brand cough medicine
1 CVS brand daytime cold/flu relief
1 CVS brand nightime cold/flu relief
1 CVS brand tums
1 CVS brand deodorant
1 CVS brand disposable razors (10 pack)


Total spent (after 30% deductions):  $82.57  (only ends up being 21% off due to the things not included - mainly the sunscreen since it is so expensive but needed on our fair skin!)

I could have probably done a bit better but, Guppy 2 now has what she needs for her upcoming trip and I have restocked for the upcoming cold/flu season.  I'm sure I will be happy to have this stuff once one (or more!) of us get sick!

How about you?  Are you ready for cold/flu season?  Or are you still in summer mode?


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Gas and Garbage Update



I can't believe that it's Wednesday again - ALREADY!  This summer has been flying by!

Okay to the updates:

GAS:  I just did a real fill up of the car last night to the tune of $ 25.00.  Before that, I had only put $15.00 in, so that is only $ 40.00 for the entire month of July!  How am I doing it?  By not driving nearly as much as I used to!  I can't remember if I mentioned this already, and I am too lazy to check back, but, while I am doing a happy dance on how great I am doing with gas consumption, there is something else.  My car is seriously on its last legs!  Papa had to take it out around the corner to pick up Guppy2 from a friend's house about a week or two ago.  When he got back home, he declared the car *almost* unsafe to drive and wants me using it as little as possible. (He thinks there is something up with the front end.)   We will NOT be fixing this car since we know it also has a very expensive issue with the engine (that issue isn't dangerous at least!).  So, I will be taking it very very easy on this car until we have the funds/means/way to obtain a newer one.  Then Papa's car will be mine and he will get the newer one.  The car I drive now has been a lemon almost since the get go so I won't be shedding any tears when it finally dies....Unless we aren't financially ready to replace it! Then the tears will flow freely!  LMAO


GARBAGE:  This week's garbage totals three bags - one of which is from my linen closet organization frenzy.  I'm okay with that total for now.  It means that for the past few weeks we have actually been averaging around two bags.  I will try to get that down to one once school is back in session.



Tuesday, July 21, 2015

One of Those Days....

You know the days...When you turn around and it's already almost 5pm and time to start cooking dinner...when it feels like you just cleaned up after lunch...when it feels like your to do list got longer, not shorter!

Yeah, that's what it has been like today....Nothing earth shattering...just a thousand little things that took ate up my day.  No matter though since it's still pretty nasty outside and I would have wanted to stay in the a/c anyhow!  LOL

Hope everyone had a great Tuesday!

Monday, July 20, 2015

When TV Watching Turns Productive...

Another day with high humidity and temps is leaving me cooped up inside.  Since I had ironing to do, I figured I'd watch a little TV to help pass the drudgery - I hate ironing!.  I turned on the DVR and put on an episode of one of my "guilty pleasure" shows....


It's sad....and voyeuristic...and.....motivational?

I always tell the guppies that these people could be me if Papa died first...Now I am not like them currently...You can walk in my house without tripping on stuff...You can see my floors.....You can get into my basement without problems....There is even two whole attics full of nothing but space!  But, I can relate to their pain in a way.

The awesome side effect to when I do watch an episode is I can very very motivated!  LOL

Here is proof....

My linen closet before:

Not a pretty sight in the least!



My linen closet after:


It may not look *all* that different...But, trust me, I have a full kitchen sized garbage bag that says otherwise!


Everything is organized again so no more rooting around for a thermometer or bandaid.  The extra blankets and pillows have their own spot in the very bottom in a repurposed plastic bin.  There is even space (top shelf) for some extra pantry items (currently bottles of soda and four Lysol wipe containers). And, I made note of what over the counter drugs will need to be replenished once cold and flu season comes back in the fall.

This was not an easy job by any stretch, but I'm glad it's been done!

What's on the agenda for you today?

Found the $$ to Cover Braces Payments...


...but definitely not my first choice of where to find the money!

One of Guppy 2's bandmates has decided to quit her instrument completely - no more lessons and no more garage band!  The teacher/mentor cannot go on with only two kids in the band so we will be going on hiatus until/if a singer and new bassist can be found.

Guppy 2 and the remaining girl are heartbroken about it.  The girl who quit gave no warning that she was unhappy so everyone was blindsided.  =(

This now frees up the $120 per month for garage band practices (teacher, space, and pizza fees) which covers about 2/3rd the monthly braces payment.

Wish I could say I was happy about the "found" money but I'm not.  I will use it wisely but would much rather have taken it out of another line in the budget.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Heat Wave


Today starts a possible heat wave for inland Connecticut - lucky lucky me! Temperatures today (with dreaded humidity) are going to feel like 100 degrees!  This is a very bad thing in my little world - heat plus humidity equals one of my MS triggers and an extremely unhappy, numb Mama!

Plans for today are getting rearranged - even Papa isn't tending to the outdoor stuff he originally planned!  The dog is not happy she is only getting bathroom breaks in the yard as opposed to her long walk (maybe we will take her for a walk this evening when temps cool a little).  Guppy 1 is hanging out in her room.  Guppy 2 aka Social Butterfly comes home from a sleepover in about an hour and will most likely want to stay inside as well.

As for me, I am staying inside where all the a/c's are cranking!  My new plan is to spend some time washing/drying/folding/sorting clothes since they are literally taking over all areas in my house!  Plus I will probably do some rearranging and reorganizing of my and G2's rooms.

How's the weather where you are?

Meal Plan for the Week



Trying to get back into the swing of things, menu planning wise.  So, using what I have on hand, here is what I have come up with for this week!

SATURDAY (LAST NIGHT): Chicken fried rice

SUNDAY:  London Broil, swiss chard, sauteed mushrooms, roasted yams

MONDAY:  Asian Salmon, rice, zucchini

TUESDAY:  Choice of grilled veggie sandwiches or hot dogs, chips

WEDNESDAY:  (Papa's Golf League Night)  Homemade pizza

THURSDAY:  Pot roast, mashed potatoes, green beans

FRIDAY:  (Just G1 & me) Leftovers or, if not enough left, Cheeseburger wraps

Need Ideas for a "Thank You" Gift...


This will be Guppy 2 in a few weeks!  A close friend of hers has invited her to go away to Cape Cod for a week!  Her mom and aunt have rented a house and have decided to take a gaggle of children with them! (There will actually be seven ranging in age from 8 to 13)  And, I am not ashamed to say that 1) I am extremely jealous! 2) I am gonna miss her something awful!

I spoke to the mom last night when she was designated driver to the local carnival.  When I brought up the question of how much money Guppy 2 should bring, I was told only "souvenir money"!  Incredibly generous, right?!?

I know this mom well enough to trust her with my thirteen year old for a week but, not well enough to have a clue as to what to get for a "thank you" gift from G2.  She's a runner so I was thinking maybe a gift card to a running store that Papa (also a runner) loves.  But, I'm not sure....

I'm putting the question of on the blogsphere...Any suggestions?  Am I the only one who wants to stowaway in Guppy 2's suitcase? =)

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Farmer's Market Finds


I'm not sure if it is just because the season is in full swing or the fact that Papa and I got to the market earlier today...but, WOW!  There was TONS more to choose from this weekend!

Here's what $52.00 got me:

1 lb of ground beef
1 bunch swiss chard
1/2 dozen cider donuts
1 pint raspberries
1 pint blueberries
1 pint shitake mushrooms
1 lb green beans
2 smallish heads of broccoli
1 very large zucchini
1 medium sized eggplant
1 large french baguette

I'm pretty happy with this total actually.  It made a difference to stick with "whole" foods (except the donuts!) in keeping my costs down.

Later today I will hopefully make that menu plan using the above ingredients and what's in my pantry and fridge!

Happy Saturday!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Whoops! Food Waste Friday Revisited...


PART TWO


As many of you may have figured out (or do yourself), my "garbage night" is a different day than Friday.  Usually, when I clean out the fridge on Wednesday, I will either jot down what got "wasted" or I'll do the post early and schedule it for Friday - which is what I did this week.

But, it backfired on me...BIG TIME!

I have a LOT to add to this week's waste.  (((sigh)))

For the sake of honesty and full disclosure, here is the rest of my list for the week:



FED TO THE DOG:
6 slices of cooked bacon (I am using it as "treats" today and tomorrow)


FED THE COMPOST:
3 ears of corn
1 lb of spring mix
4 oz of mushrooms
1 medium sized eggplant
1/2 bag of baby colored peppers

FED TO THE GARBAGE CAN:
5 slices of very slimy deli chicken (not even suitable for the dog!)


Definitely NOT as great as I thought, but, the fridge is completely cleaned out now!  A nice new blank slate for next week, right?



It's Finally Time to Go All Local!












....Or at least MOSTLY local!  Summer is in full swing so there shouldn't be any excuses now!  So, this Saturday, Papa and I will go to the famer's market and I will try to shop almost completely for the week's meals. I am, however, allowing myself a few exceptions...

If I have trouble finding all the produce I need, there is a small farmer's type stand in Woodbridge/Amity that I will use to round out what I need.  I'm fairly sure that the produce is from area farms (I'll make sure to ask next time I go!) and, at the very least, I am supporting a "mom and pop" style store.

Guppy 1 *cannot live* without her Snapple Iced Tea - which I will continue to buy where there is a sale. If I have to walk into a supermarket to get it, I will but that will be the only thing I get there.

Any other miscellaneous items I need - snacks, cereal,flour, sugar, etc - I will buy at Aldi's.

My hope is to save some cash along the way, keep our local farms running, and reduce my family's carbon footprint!  Let's see how my experiment goes....

Food Waste Friday...

I have to say, I am pretty happy that I didn't give up a few weeks ago.  Another decent week, waste wise - which is bizarre since I can't say I have been doing *that* much different...

Here's the damage:

COMPOSTED:

6 store brand hot dog rolls that fell behind the microwave and molded
1/2 large container of spring mixed lettuce (think I am going to buy whole heads from now on)




DOWN THE DRAIN:

Approximately 2 cups of spoiled milk


That's a pretty successful week in my eyes!  Hopefully I will actually be able to get it even closer to zero once I start menu planning again next week.


Happy Friday everyone!  How did you do food waste wise this week?

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Attempting to Catch Up!

I'm up and about a bit more today after a decent night sleep. Granted I am running at about 50%, but I am out of bed so that is a plus!

So far today I was able to:
Shower
Get a load of towels in the washer
Get to the grocery store
Start cleaning up the kitchen

Left on the list for today:
Straighten dining room table
2 more loads of laundry
Fold and put away laundry
Straighten and vac family room
Take dog out for a walk
Cook dinner
Change rabbit and hamster bedding

I'm also hoping to get out onto the deck for a bit since today is supposed to be the nicest day over the course of the next few days.

Well I am off to get some more crossed off my list - I'm thinking tonight will be an early night for me again.

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Gas and Garbage



Another decent week in the Gas and Garbage departments!  Here's the scoop:

Gas:  Yesterday, July 14th was my first time putting gas into the car for the month of July!  I was in a rush and didn't fill the tank.  I only put in $15.00 but I am very confident that it will get me through until at least the beginning of next week, if not longer!  I truly anticipated my gas consumption to skyrocket for the summer.  So far, that hasn't been the case and I have no clue why that is - besides I haven't been driving as much/as far.  Weird.

Garbage:  I haven't done a complete rounding up of the smaller garbage cans (bathrooms & bedrooms) but I can confidently say that we only have 2 kitchen size (13 gallon) bags of garbage this week!  I haven't cleaned out the fridge yet, however, whatever "waste" that is in there should be able to go straight to compost since I'm sure there is no sort of protein/meat waste in there.

Another decent week!  Makes me very very happy!

Just Couldn't Help Myself....

It's a strange thing...To not only have Multiple Sclerosis but to have the type I have.  I have Relapsing Remitting - which is a fancy way of saying that I have good and bad days.  I consider myself extremely lucky because the other type is a devastating march to being disabled.  The problem with "my" kind (besides having it at all) is that many many days I can fool myself into believing that nothing is wrong with me at all.  I feel great and, besides having to take a few pills during the day and my injections three times a week, I can ignore it.  Until I can't...

I've been so busy since last Thursday and pushed myself to the limit - but, because I felt great, I got "stupid".  I spent waaaaay too much time in the heat and sun (two of my MS triggers), didn't get enough sleep (trigger), and tried to just "do" way to much (trigger).  Adrenaline was probably the only thing that got me through Monday and Tuesday.

Now I am completely exhausted and dealing with my usual "symptoms" that are brought on by my being stupid.... Exhaustion, fatigue, numbness and tingling that radiates from the inside out.

There are a few silver linings at the moment though:

1.  We had such a great time at both concerts this weekend.  Most importantly, the Guppies did and I would do just about anything to make them happy.
2.  G2's birthday was an amazing success!  She was so happy and everyone enjoyed themselves tremendously!
3.  Both Guppies are tired today too.  G1 is already napping and has been since we got home two hours ago.  G2 is planning on taking a nap after she showers and tries out her new fancy schmancy hair dryer (bday gift from her friend) that has eight million attachments.  This means Mama can rest!
4.  Papa has his golf league tonight.  He will probably grab a sandwich with his friends afterwards. And, that leaves just us girls for dinner - which I or even G1 can cobble together easily.

So that is what's happening here today.  No need to feel bad for me either.  I am a big girl and did it to myself.  Now, I need to suck it up and do what is needed to recover - which I will of course!  LOL

And I wouldn't trade a single memory of the past few days!

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Guppy 2's 13th Birthday!



Guppy 2's 13th birthday is Tuesday.  You'd think this would be something that would not give me stress right?  After all, she is a girl and girls always have a laundry list of stuff they want right? WRONG! 

My little G2 is not a shopper by any means.  She very rarely wants for anything - which is normally great.  But, I have actually had to nag her to think about what she wanted for her birthday this year!  LOL

And, then the heaven opened (okay dramatic yes, but you don't know how stressed out I have been about this!) and rained down my solution....

G2 wants to go to Lake Compounce for her birthday (something I already knew).  As the year has been progressing and her friends have turned 13, she has complained that no one wanted to do anything for their birthday - they all just sat around the birthday girl's house on their phones or watching tv.  G2 said that she definitely wanted to be out and about so we knew Lake Compounce was a given.  But, here's the twist and G2's "big" present...

Lake Compounce opened up a campground on the premises that has tent, RV, teepee, and cabins - very small, one bedroom, and two bedroom ones.  The two bedroom one can sleep up to ten people, have a fully functioning kitchen, full private bathroom, a/c and heat, cable, etc.  

If anyone is interested, here is a video of the two bedroom style cabin:

The plan for tomorrow, her birthday, is to spend the day at the amusement park with her friends.  I will go check us into our cabin at three.  All the kids will come back to the cabin for dinner and cake - Papa will be leaving work early to come for this part and actually help me by picking up the ice cream cake since it would melt by cabin check in time!  Two of the kids are not staying - one is a boy (enough said) and the other, G2's BFF, is leaving for Maine early the next morning.  Papa has also elected not to stay. (Smart man!) So, as of right now, it will be G2 and three of her friends staying over night - along with me and G1.  We may have been able to squeeze into the smaller cabin but I like having the extra room anyway.  The one night stay will cost us under $215.00 and has made G2 the happiest soon to be 13 year old on the planet!


And to think she chose this "experience" as her "big" gift, rather than something materialistic.  I am pretty impressed actually.  I am actually partially relieved too because I am looking around the house right now and see what a disaster it is! Now, I don't have to go crazy trying to clean it up today!  LOL

Of course, we did buy some little things for her to open as well.  Many of you will probably disagree and think I am spending too much money on a birthday.  I understand that and realize that I could be spending the money elsewhere or even saving it.  But, we celebrate birthday and Christmases on the larger side and I am trying to scale down slowly and where I can.  This is an experience she will always remember so I am okay with this decision.  =)

Back From the Weekend...


And I am sunburned like you wouldn't believe!  As in, even my eyelids are swollen!  I used sunscreen both days yet, here I am in some serious pain.  But, guess what? I am letting my inner teenager out to tell you all that...

IT WAS WORTH IT!

It was a lot of fun and the bands sounded great both days!  Yesterday even found Papa and I in the middle of the pit for one of the biggest acts on the tour!  LOL



Now, MAMA is going to tell you why it was REALLY worth it....

I could have cried watching the guppies together.  They were having so much fun on the car ride home Saturday night, just being silly.  Then, Guppy 1 invited Guppy 2 to spend the second day of the concert with her and G1's BFF.  Papa and I were amazed until...we got to see G1 "in action" yesterday!  Then we were floored!  G1 was so good to G2 - every time we ran into the girls, we saw G1 doing things - making sure G2 stayed hydrated, ate, put on sunscreen, etc.  And it wasn't  just an "act" for us since...we saw them a few times they didn't see us!
Also, an added bonus was, after seeing her favorite band, G1's BFF came running up to me in tears, hugged me, and was thanking me for bringing her.

So, yeah, the "mother stuff" made this weekend worth the pain I am in now!  (Though my teenage side isn't complaining either!)

Be back in a bit wit a "real" post!  Have a great Monday morning!

Friday, July 10, 2015

Oops! Forgot it was Food Waste Friday!


OOPS!  I'm still screwed up from our trip and forgot it was Friday for a second!

Anyway...

No waste to be reported!

But, I feel like I am cheating in a way....like that's not something that "huge" to celebrate since we haven't been home all that long and I had to restock the fridge!

 But, still I will take it and hope I  can continue with the trend...

How did you guys do this week?

Papa's Coming Home & A Busy Weekend Ahead

We are picking Papa up later tonight from the airport and I couldn't be happier!  I hate when he has to travel for work - even if this time was only for a few days!





I probably won't be blogging this weekend.  We are off to The Warped Tour on Saturday at Jones Beach in Long Island and will be off to see the same tour on Sunday in Hartford.  For anyone who has no clue what I am talking about, the Vans Warped Tour is an all day alternative music event with something like eight stages going at once so you can pick and choose what groups/acts you want to watch.  Basically, it is one of the yearly concerts the Guppies dream about!  (And did I mention that parents get in FREE?)

Normally we only attend this show once and it is usually the New York show. (G1 likes going to out of state for it so she doesn't have to deal with people from her school.) This year, we are going to the one in our state too because 1. G1's BFF is going with her and can't go to the one on Saturday and 2. A local band we love is getting to play the "local" CT stage and we want to be there to offer our support.

So, the plan is...

Friday:  Pick up Papa from airport at around 9pm
Saturday:  Be on the road to Jones Beach by 7am.  Show starts at 11am but lines are fierce and Papa & I need to wait in an additional line to get our free parent passes. Show ends around 9pm so hopefully we will get home by midnight. (with any luck)
Sunday:  Up to Hartford for round two!  I'm guessing we will want to be up there by 10am.  At least the drive home from Hartford will be much shorter than the drive home from Long Island!

I'm tired just thinking about it...

Have a great weekend everyone!  I'll be back on Monday!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Lesson Learned....

It's a brave new world out there internet wise and I am still learning....

Waaaay back around the time I started this blog, I talked about breaking away from the Guppies original music teacher.  There were a variety of reasons why this was a necessary thing to do. This studio has left a very bad taste in my mouth.  I took down my glowing facebook review and I took down my google review as well.  But...

I forgot about the actual "testimonial" I gave the owner to put up on his website. I gave an over the top glowing review of the studio - back when the owner was still in butt kissing mode over my kids (his MO for all new students for however long it takes to get them "hooked").  And, it has my first and last name attached to it!  And I have no way of getting it down myself....I am at the mercy of the person who manages the website -- the owner of the studio.

((Sigh))

Maybe it wouldn't have worried me so much if my full name wasn't included. But, reality is, I probably would have still worried.  I don't want to be part of what I consider a "bait and switch" operation where new students are gushed over and then pushed aside when a new student he has to smooze comes along.

I was so naive...

A friend suggested I write a scathing review to "get him back" but that's not my style.  I just want it deleted.
In the end, I took the high road and sent him an email and said  (very politely I might add) I was made aware that my testimonial was still up on the site and I would like my review taken down.


Lesson learned.  I won't be giving out reviews for any services via the internet that I cannot physically take down or change myself.  And I will be extremely careful/wary of who I give them out to in the first place.

Hopefully he will do what I request without any drama.  Time will tell I guess.

Dreary Day Outside...


I woke up too late to get the weather forecast from this morning's news, however I saw enough from the internet to realize today is not going to be a pretty day outside.  That is actually fine by me since it makes me focus on cleaning up the house a little.

Since Papa left yesterday I have been "bad" about straightening up the kitchen and dining room.  Both of these rooms are trouble spots for me and need to be done at least twice per day!  Anyway, my plan (after grabbing something from the kitchen for breakfast) is to clean both rooms and then spend some time (in the dining room) working on my summer smashbook and creative (can't use the word "art" since I can't draw!) personal journal.  Hopefully the Guppies will join me and work on their scrapbooks as well.  I have oodles of supplies left so this will cost us nothing to do.

Also, thanks to http://frugalfrontline.blogspot.com/, I have realized that the Guppies have not read nearly enough yet this summer!  And they usually both spend a LOT of time reading!  I will "gently encourage" (haha) them to do some reading later today and will lead by example!

Hope the weather is better where you are!  Or, you are making the most of the rainy day you have!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Gas and Garbage Update


I guess you could say this week was successful....but I feel like that is cheating in a way since we weren't really home much to make a lot of garbage or use a lot of gas!

GARBAGE:  1/2 bag (13 gallon kitchen sized)  And, we only had that much because we cleaned out Papa's car from the weekend ride - Amazing what kind of little garbage accumulates during a long drive!

GAS:  My car is still in great shape gas wise!  I am hovering around 1/4 of a tank and don't foresee having to fill it at all until the beginning of next week!  (That will be my FIRST FILL UP FOR JULY!!)  Since Papa is leaving town on a business trip today, we will have use of his car so that makes me very happy!  From both a safety and financial standpoint!  When he gets back from his trip, he really needs to take a look at my brakes.  While they are working, I feel like something is "up" with them from the sounds my car has been making (not the typical sounds brakes make when needing to be changed either).


I really feel like I need to get back on my game, tracking the finances.  I did pretty well in the spring and then all fell apart.  It's time to fix that!  =)

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

"Total Rewards" BS!

Warning: I feel a major rant coming on!  You have been warned!  LOL


As I was sorting through the mail from the weekend, I came across something from Papa's employer.  For the past three years we have been receiving these handy dandy little "statements" and every year my blood just boils!

It's called a "Personal Rewards Statement" where Papa's company breaks down what his "total" compensation is for working at the company.  And, it is complete BS!  It inflates his salary by over ONE THIRD!

Look, I know I have been out of the workplace for a very very long time (SAHM since G1 was born) but...since when should insurance benefits be included in salary?  He works for a very large company that has branches all over the USA!  This isn't some small mom & pop place.  Also included are things like unemployment insurance, medicare, social security, short term disability (he has never used this btw), term life insurance, and AD&D!  They include the 401K contribution, which okay, I can completely understand.  But the rest is just CRAP in my opinion! They need to people to work in these positions and would be paying out these monies no matter what!

I think it is extremely suspect that we started receiving these notices once the company started cutting costs...They changed our insurance carrier, bonuses became harder to obtain, perks like the company picnics and parties were nixed, and raises were all but frozen.  However, interestingly enough, the company starting buying out other smaller companies (in the same field) left and right!  It doesn't sound like a struggling company to me!

Speaking of insurance....can you believe that the insurance carrier actually questioned my neurologist and tried to block payment of my MS injections?!?!  They actually asked my neuro if the medication was necessary!!! And, it's not the only medicine/service they have tried to block either!  Papa's company has more control with this new HMO and there are kickbacks/incentives when medications, services, and procedures are denied/questioned.

I know there are probably people out there who would tell me to stop complaining and be happy Papa has a job.  I know there are people who would probably throw this all up to "ObamaCare".

What I know is this:  Our cost of living is going up and our insurance deductibles are through the roof.  Papa is burning out at this job and is much less patient and more cranky than he ever was!

There is good news however:  The job opportunities are opening up in Papa's field.  He's starting to look for a new company.  And, with any luck, this will be the last "rewards statement" we will ever receive.

Having a husband who is stressed out and unhappy with his job is not a "reward", no matter how you try to spin it!

Okay, rant over!  Sorry!  LOL

Where Molly "The Thing Of Evil" Lives...

In my still completely tired state, I forgot about another place we stopped at on Sunday to take pictures....

If you have heard about Molly aka The Thing of Evil and her famous author owner and were wondering about what kind of house they live in, today is your lucky day!

Hint:  Notice the bats and spiders on the gate...


Last hint:  We were in Bangor Maine at the time.


So, anyone care to guess?  We didn't stay very long since there was a car in the driveway and I hated being "that" kind of tourist but I had to snap a couple of pics anyway.  LOL

The Wedding Weekend...

So, I guess the best way to attack this post is to do a quick recap...

FRIDAY....

found us up extremely early....As in we were packed and on the road by 3:30 am!  Papa was worried about hitting fourth of July weekend traffic so we figured better be safe than sorry.  My parents had raved about a "famous" breakfast place on the way up to the state park we were hitting before heading to the hotel.  Ummmm....yeah not so much.  Guppy 1 (who up to this point swore she wasn't "snobby") was horrified by the local townsfolk - LOL.  As in there was an older woman, also waiting for a table to open up, who was click clacking her dentures OUT OF HER MOUTH and then sucking them back in to pass the time. I hope I am not offending anyone here with this but honestly, I think Saturday Night Live could've done a skit of our exact experience!  The food was mediocre at best but it's quite the story to share now at least! 
The hike we did was nice and definitely much easier than the ones we do in Vermont.  Here are a couple of pics from the top:



It was quite pretty, I had to admit.

After the hike, we drove another hour to get to our hotel.  When I went to check in, they decided to upgrade us (they love my mom there I guess) and we got a room on the executive floor - which the Guppies got a kick out of.
The rest of the day was pretty uneventful.  We hung around the hotel and went to dinner with my parents at The Texas Roadhouse across the street.  (We have never been and thought it was pretty good.)




WEDDING DAY:

The weather ended up being overcast but pleasant enough. And, the bride's terminally ill relative was able to be there for the ceremony but then needed to rest in the house afterwards.

The turnout was very small - fifty people max - but my brother and his wife seemed extremely happy.
 
Dinner was not such a hit though.  At least not at our reception table.  My uncle and cousin's husband kept talking about the pig being roasted and tried passing the IPhone pictures of it around the table.  (The pig was roasted and carved at least forty yards away from the reception tent which was great.) And, they were discussing its size (about 60 lbs).  They were just "being guys" and didn't realize how squeamish my daughters were but that ended the possibility of them eating anything.  My cousin decided against eating anything either - I'm thinking probably due to the pig pics too.  We ended up hitting a Denny's on the way back to the hotel to get some food into the Guppies.

And.....What you have been waiting to hear about.....There weren't any guns!  At least, not while any of us were still present.  My mom stayed a bit longer than we did and she told us things were starting to get "rowdy" and someone brought out some homemade moonshine.  Hey, if that made them happy, fine. I just couldn't have my kids in danger.
  
Oh, there was one funny story about poor Guppy 1....
We all were up on the hill watching a golf game where people were trying to hit a target near the lake.  My mom asked G1 to go down to the reception tent and grab her another glass of wine.  After G1 got it and was walking out of the tent, the bride's mid-twenty-something year old brother hit on her! The conversation went something along the lines of...
Bride's Brother:  Hey there...Why didn't the groom tell me about you?
Guppy1: Probably because I am his niece!  
And then she walked back up the hill.  The guy was pretty wasted so I am guessing he won't even remember doing it.  And, she was holding a glass of wine so he probably thought she was 21.

Am I glad I went? Yeah, truthfully, I guess I am.  It was very difficult to give up the chance to hike to see fireworks this year but, keep your fingers crossed my health continues to improve so I can have my chance next year.


SUNDAY:

....found us heading out to breakfast with my parents, my uncle and aunt, and my cousin and husband.  There were ten of us in all so we had quite a loud table. I think the biggest surprise for me was the reconnecting with my cousin.  She and her sister said something extremely hurtful to me when I was seven or eight years old and, yeah, I held onto it all this time.  I don't even know if she would remember saying it if I brought it up, actually.  Basically, she is my "step" cousin and it had to do with that.  My mom marrying my step dad was a pretty touchy subject for me so, yeah, the silly comment they made ran deep.  Anyway, my guppies and her hit it off really well and she genuinely wants to spend some time with all of us.  She lives one state away so it wouldn't be difficult to do. I really really like her now.  Weird the things that happen when you grow up.

After breakfast, we and my parents headed over for a quick trip to a national park.  It was nice but crowded beyond belief.  No hiking for us that time but we drove up to one of the most popular summits.  We took some pictures but it felt like cheating - we didn't "earn" the view since we drove up instead of hiking up.

Then we headed to dinner in a little shoreline town.  It was cute but Papa and I thought the stores were all tourist traps.  Dinner was delicious though.


MONDAY:

We got an early morning start on the drive home.  We needed to stop for lunch and let Guppy2 chose the restaurant since she had no say where we ate all weekend.  She chose TGI Fridays which worked well for all of us.  No one was hungry for much that night so I made grilled cheese sandwiches for G1 and Papa.  I had a PB&J on an English muffin.  And Guppy 2?  Well, she was home for about ten minutes before heading back out the door to go to her BFF's house for a sleepover so I didn't have to worry about her dinner.  LOL


Now, as for today....  I will still be catching up on laundry, heading to the grocery store to restock our fridge,  looking for birthday presents for Guppy 2, and packing Papa for a business trip - he leaves tomorrow and comes back late on Friday night.

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Home Sweet Home!

....Which is completely how I am feeling right now!  We are wicked exhausted and it will be nice to sleep in our own beds -with the bunny, hamster, and dog all safe and sound right along us in their own crates.

Even with the minor flood we found in our basement - Papa thinks it came from the first floor bathroom's sink hose when we ran the water for the first time since coming home, something about water pressure he said - I am overjoyed to be back here!

I'll leave it for now by saying it was an interesting trip but not one I would ever take again.  Way up north is not my cup of tea by any stretch!  It appears that I am a Connecticut (even with all its problems) and Vermont girl through and through!  LOL

I'll post tomorrow about the wedding and highlights of the weekend but until then Happy rest of Monday!  I'm off the get some laundry done and sleep......

Friday, July 3, 2015

Food Waste Friday


I'm sure you can surmise that I scheduled this post before we left for the wedding.  I wanted to keep up with FWF, even after my meltdown last week!  LOL

It wasn't *too* bad this week in the waste department...

Here's the breakdown:

COMPOSTED:

About one cup of leftover shredded lettuce too brown for the rabbit
1 large English cuke
1/2 cup leftover pineapple (wasn't sure if I should due to the acid but it was such a small amount)
4 moldy hot dog rolls



THROWN AWAY:

About 1 cup of leftover ground beef from cheeseburger wraps I made for lunch earlier this week




So, yeah....there has been improvement here I guess.  One of these days I will be able to report zero waste for the week! Until then, I continue to report my "shame".

Have a great Friday!  I will try to blog while away as long as the hotel has decent wifi!  Otherwise, I will be back to fill you in on Monday night!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

My Decision on the Wedding Gift....

This seriously took me until yesterday to decide and I can't tell you guys I'm comfortable with my decision but....it is what it is, right?

I took another look at her registry....And, even the "little" things were on the expensive side. I mean, let's face it, registries usually are this way!  And, to her credit, she did try to mix uber expensive with less expensive.  However, honestly, after taking some time to check out the baskets at Michaels Craft Store online (didn't want to take the trip if unnecessary), I knew that the whole kitchen gift basket would not be a great idea after all.

The baskets at Michaels were all over the place, price wise, which would be good....IF the lowest ones I could find to suit my needs weren't all around the ten dollar and up range!  ***For the heck of it, since I was driving by doing other errands, I did check out our local consignment shop and struck out there too!***

I love making baskets for people - and I  think I am fairly good at it.  But, this one would have looked cheesey and just, well, wrong.  I don't think I could have worked a lot of magic on it to make it otherwise.

So....drum roll please....

The bride and groom will be getting a wedding card and a $75 gift card for Bed, Bath, & Beyond.  It feels somehow "wrong" and "cheap" still but I can't help it.  This weekend is still costing me more money than I can spare for July.  (Guppy 2's 13th birthday is this month, plus a large music festival my family goes to every year (guesstimating around $150 for the whole day), and I need to also cough up an additional $850 for her braces at the end of July!)

If the wedding was here in the fall in CT as originally planned, I would have been able to give double that amount easily since there wouldn't have been as many expenditures - including the $130ish to board the dog for the time we will be away.

Like I said, it is what it is and I need to make peace with that.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Gas & Garbage This Week


Happy Wednesday everyone!  Here are my updates - which are a bit more cheery than the nasty thunderstorm that shook my house in the wee hours of the morning today!



GAS:  I had budgeted $75.00 for the month and really though I was going to eek out without going to the gas station again - which would have left me under budget at $60.76!  However, after a few unexpected extra "Mom Bus" runs and Guppy1 needing to get to the mall for a new bathing suit for this weekend (definitely a need!  Her last one got waaaay too teeny a bikini!!!), I ended up at the gas station on Monday.  BUT, I only put in 10 bucks!  So, I am technically stayed under budget for June!  Granted only by $4.24, but I'll take it!!!  I have to come up with a new targeted amount for July still.  But, the car will just be "sitting" from after today until next Tuesday morning so that will help my bottom line a LOT!


GARBAGE:  Another week where things are improving!  Currently there are two full garbage bags in the bin ready to go.  Usually, I would stop there since the bag in the kitchen in literally only 1/6 full.  But, I will have to get rid of that one too since, once we are gone, the house will not be air conditioned at all and I do NOT want to come home to a stinky house!  So, I am going to say 3 (13 gallon sized kitchen) bags this week.  Still a better number than I have had in awhile!  I will also make sure to go around to all the little bins in our bathrooms and bedrooms to make sure that sucker is stuffed in the end!  LOL



So, a little bit of rebounding here this week!  Which is nice to have!  I hope this continues for a good long while!!!