Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Way Behind Today....


We didn't even have a Memorial Day BBQ/party here yet my house is a disaster area! 

But, come to think of it, that's not exactly true since G2 invited friends over on Sunday to walk over to the town parade (our house was closest to the parade route) and the kids ended up staying until 9:30 pm.  Plus did I mention they had a silly string fight AND water balloon fight?  LOL  Thankfully both of those happened OUTside!

Anyway, everywhere I look is TRASHED!  And, this mamma ain't all that happy about it!

Tonight I take a few deep breaths and "discuss" the issues with the family...mainly the Guppies.  What is it about teenagers not picking up their stuff?!?!?  (Sadly, I know I was the same way when I was their age however.) 

This isn't how I plan on spending every day this summer after all.....

Until tonight's discussion can happen though, I will be cleaning....and grumbling...and cleaning some more!

Maybe this is why it feels like a Monday to me!

Monday, May 30, 2016

Reading Challenge: What I Read in May



2016 Reading Challenge

1.  A book published this year
2.  A book you should have read in school, but didn't
3.  A  book you have been meaning to read
4.  A book with an interesting cover
5.  A book you own but haven't read
6.  A book that received bad reviews
7.  A book with water on the cover
8.  A book in a genre you have never read
9.  A favorite book from your childhood
10.  A book by an author you have never read before
11.  A book that deals with an issue close to your heart
12.  A book "everyone" has read but you
13.  A book about the decade you were born in
14.  A book based on a true story
15.  A book set in the summer
16.  A book set in a country you wish to visit
17.  A Young Adult best seller
18.  A book that's longer than 500 pages
19.  A book that makes you smarter
20.  A book you can finish in a day
21.  A NY Times best seller
22.  A book about a culture with which you are unfamiliar
23.  A book with an apocalyptic theme
24. A book set during Christmas time
25.  A funny book
26.  A book with a one word title
27.  A popular author's first book
28.  A cookbook
29.  A book by someone with the same first name as you
30.   A book of your choosing


What I Read This Month:

22.  A book about a culture with which you are unfamiliar
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
Maybe using this for my #22 is cheating a little bit since I have already read The Kite Runner, but this book is so completely different as it focuses on women in Afghanistan.  It tells the stories of two women in particular, Mariam and Laila, who are forced together by circumstances out of their control.  Truly it is a heartbreaking read and I'm not ashamed to admit that I had nightmares for a few days after I finished reading it.  A complete five out of five stars for me!




Additional Books:

Say Goodbye to Survival Mode by Crystal Paine
I really wanted to love this book and I was hoping for a HUGE return for the time I did invest into reading it.  Sadly, that didn't happen for me.  I think someone who is just starting out figuring budgets, schedules, and the like could be able to glean more information that I was.  Also, some of her advice was very redundant and almost Dave Ramsey verbatim.  I think my biggest pet peeve was the ever returning theme of religion.  Almost every page had "pray this" "God that".  I'm sorry if that sounds harsh (and by the way, although I don't talk about it, I DO believe in God), but I find this sort of writing preachy and, quite frankly, it detracts from what is supposed to be the message of the book.  I'm just not a fan at all.  I can only give this book one out of five stars.

Manic by Terri Cheney
When I read about this book on my daily Book Bub email I was pretty excited.  I have a close friend AND a family member with bipolar disorder (one is diagnosed with it and the other doesn't have the "official" diagnosis but we all know what is happening).  So, naturally, this book intrigued me and I took the plunge of buying the ebook edition for 99 cents.  Like the Crystal Paine book, I had high expectations and really was hoping to love it.  And like the Crystal Paine book, I was disappointed.  Other reviews complained that she didn't write the book chronologically - that didn't bother me since I understood she was trying to portray the way her brain functions with the disorder.  I even loved the beginning few chapters of the book.  After that though, I don't know.  It fell apart for me.  Possibly there was too much focus on the men/relationships in her life - although to be fair to the author, this WAS a primary focus when she was manic.  Also I feel that the ending chapter scenario's truth may have been stretched a tad and turned into the happy-sappy ending of a Disney movie.  I am giving this book a one out of five stars.

Giving Up the Ghost by Eric Nuzum
This is the second memoir I read this month.  And, the second to disappoint me.  While I enjoyed reliving some of the '80's nostalgia thrown into the mix, I just couldn't get into this book.  I realize memoirs aren't always tied up with a bow at the end, but this one left too many pieces unraveled.  The author brings us on a journey through his past - growing up as a teenager in the 80's, his drug and alcohol addiction, his time in a mental ward, his unrequited love for his best friend, and the "Little Girl in the Blue Dress" apparition who plagued him in dreams and real life.  Sadly, I wasn't a fan.  I rate this book two out of five stars.


Four books this month and I only truly like one!?!?!  Obviously May was not a good book month here!  Hopefully that will change for June!  My next book up will fulfill #1's "book this year" requirement and I can't wait to start!


Happy reading!


Sunday, May 29, 2016

Sumday Cooking....

The Use It Up Edition


This morning has been all about trying to get some cooking done...using up ingredients that were getting close to their expiration/demise.

A few weeks ago I bought 3 dozen eggs from Big Y during their Buy 1/Get 2 Free deal, thinking that it would be easy to use them all by their 5/30 USE BY date since G1 was eating a LOT of bacon & eggs.  Well, of course she lost her craving for them and I have had almost two dozen left to try to use up!  Here's what I did/am going to do with them:

I made a leek, shitake mushroom, and parmesan quiche for breakfast/lunches this week.
I "oven hard boiled" eggs (since oven was on) for Papa to snack on/make egg salad sandwiches.


Also, I had three different shaped pastas (bow ties, spirals, and smaller shells) all languishing in the cabinet...each with between 1/4 to 1/3 left in their boxes.  I decided to make pasta salad using all three shapes.  I was able to use up two half used bottles of similar salad dressings and a few fresh
veggies that were becoming not so fresh anymore.

In looking in the pantry, I saw that I had 1/2 bag of campfire sized marshmallows that were getting a little dried out.  So, I made Rice Krispies Treats and combated the potential dryness of the marshmallows by increasing the butter in the mixture a tad.  I scraped a bit out of the bowl and found they tasted perfect.

Lastly, I made peanut butter chocolate chip cookies - using one of the dated eggs and 1/2 bag of chocolate chips sitting in the fridge.

Everyone is happy with what I made and I'm happy to have saved food from being wasted!

Now...I have to figure out what we are eating for dinner tonight since we don't have any Memorial Day cookout plans!

Have a happy Sunday!



Saturday, May 28, 2016

Farmer's Market Finds..




Absolutely perfect morning for the farmer's market this morning and we were able to bring home quite a variety of things!

But, the first item I "found" today was....

Ms. Sandie!  It was really nice to see you!  =)


Here's what we spent and purchased:

Dairy: $28.50
** Had to pay for more bottle deposits since the bottles at home still had a little bit of dairy in them**
1 bottle of whole milk
1 pint bottle of heavy cream
1 pint bottle of half & half
1 pint (? not sure how big the containers really are) of raspberry yogurt
1 pint (?) of cherry yogurt

Veggie Stall #1: $5.00
2 gorgeous and large bunches of leeks

Veggie Stall #2:  $7.00
1 bunch of asparagus
1 bunch of mustard greens

"Mushroom Lady":  $8.00
1 medium sized box (probably 1/2 quart?) of shitake mushrooms

The Soup Girl:  $10.00
1 pint of asparagus soup
1 pint of watermelon gazpacho (my absolute favorite!!)

Sweet Madeline's Donuts:  $5.00
1/2 dozen apple cider donuts

Bakery Stall:  $12.00
1 small potato & leek focaccia bread
2 monkey bread muffins


Total Spent:  $75.50

Yes, it was a pricey week at the farmer's market.  But, as I have said before, it feels a whole lot more satisfying to spend it here than at the supermarket....Although sadly I spend there too.


Off to visit our niece and our first grand-nephew at the hospital!  She gave birth on Thursday and this is the first time we have had a chance to go visit!

Have a happy Saturday!

Friday, May 27, 2016

This Week's Frugal Fails....



It's been a horrible few days with the frugal fails in this house!  And I'm hoping this is NOT a trend and this kind of post won't become a regular one!

Ready for the list?

1.  Broke two wineglasses (large ones that I decided to keep from the BFF free to me ones) while attempting to put them away in the cabinet

2.  Forgot to put away G1's leftover Chinese takeout in the fridge.

3.  Forgot to do an errand in a town I had already visited this week so I had to drive back there again.

4.  Forgot about leftovers in the stove TWICE!

5.  Forgot about clothes in the washer for two days and had to rewash them (funky smell)

6.  Didn't pull extra cash out while using my debit card at the grocery store so I had to pay the ATM $3.50 withdrawl fee  (my bank doesn't have branches close to my home)

7.  Leftovers from the dinner last weekend with my BFF ended up in the back of the fridge, forgotten about and spoiled.

8.  G2 lost a library book...She can't find it at school OR here at home. I have looked as well.  So, now I have to pay a lost book fine!  Grrrrr!



I'm off to do more errands today:

meet an old friend I reconnected with on Facebook for coffee, run to the grocery store for the few things I forgot for G1's dinner menu, pick up some DVD's at the library and pay lost book fine, visit my mother in law in the hospital,  pick Papa up from work this afternoon, supervise G1's attempt at cooking dinner (I'll be hanging around in the next room if she has any questions!), and pick up G2 from school at 10pm tonight when she returns home from DC!

Have a great Friday!  And here's to having a better week next week!  =)



Thursday, May 26, 2016

Found Money Challenge Totals for May






Bottles: $15

Papa and I went to the grocery store this past weekend to redeem the dreaded mother load of bottles that had accumulated in our garage!  We got through most of them, however, three of the machines were out of order and/or acting wonky so after $15, we gave up and brought about 1/2 bag back home.

Consignment: $0

I just dropped a bunch of stuff off yesterday.  Hopefully the accept most of it and it sells!  (I always have them donate anything they don't want to resell.)

Game XChange:  $7 credit

Little bummed that I had to get a "store credit" for the DVD's  I brought in however, they were only going to offer me $3.50 cash and wouldn't write a check for under $5...and don't give out actually cash for trade ins either!  But, I'm looking at the bright side and will remember I have this credit come Fathers Day...Papa would appreciate a new game or two.


Coinstar:  $20.72 Amazon gift card

I really have been loving how this whole gift card thing has been working out!  I don't think I would continue to do it if Coinstar didn't offer Amazon gc's but I'll keep doing this as long as they are available!


Misc:  $5

I found $1 cleaning G2's room...I already warned them IF I ever had to clean up their rooms and found any change/bills, I would keep them!  LOL  And the other $4 was in the wash!
Both this $5 and the $15 bottle money went into the bank!  =)



So, that's where our found money for May has been! I know I am closing this out a few days early but I don't forsee "finding" any more cash AND I wouldn't be redeeming it before the end of June anyway!

How has your "found" money been going this month?

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Gas & Garbage


Oscar has been missing from my posts for far too long! 


I have decided to reimplement my Wednesday G&G posts...mostly because I need the accountability again!

I have NOT been paying attention to either of these areas much at all and this has to end....today!


Gas

Even though I no longer really have a car - and it kills me that it's sitting in the driveway with about 3/4 of a tank of gas!, we do need to start monitoring our gas consumption with Papa's car.  Our new budget is still not completely known since we are awaiting his first paychecks with all the deductibles taken out but, I do know I am going to need to keep this budget line as low as possible!

Here's what we spent this month (since Papa started the new job):
5/19:  $30.15
5/24:  $28.40

Total Spent for May;  $58.55

In theory, I would need about $125 each month to cover gas...that is IF things stayed this way.  There have also been "extra" trips to the hospital on the weekends to visit my MIL too so this isn't just work and errand transportation usage.
  BUT....
 I also have to factor in that I will be probably needing to drive Papa to work more often during the summer to keep the car available for errands and the Guppies' plans.
This is obviously going to be a LOT of trial and error but I am going to put our gas budget for June at $150.  I am going to do my best to keep it under this amount....Hopefully the Guppies being in school until June 10th will help a little with that too!



Garbage

Even though we missed garbage night last week, it still is absolutely no excuse for the amount that is going out tonight....SEVEN BAGS!!!
I am really disgusted by the amount of things being thrown out/spoiling/etc.  It's completely wasteful and, quite honestly, inexcusable.
So, back on track here I come!

Hope you all have a wonderful Wednesday!  I, for one, am exhausted from getting up so early to get Guppy 2 on the bus for DC so it will be an early night for me!







Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Recent Freebies

Phew!  Today has been a blur of running around since it is one of the days I drive Papa to and from work to get errands done!  Sadly, I think I need to do the same thing tomorrow because I just didn't have time to finish today!

Anyway, here are some recent freebies I have received:

1 12 pack of Diet Snapple (my mom bought with coupon)
1 6 pack of Diet Coke (again mom)
1 set of 6 floral etched wine glasses (BFF got "tired" of the pattern)
1 set of 6 plain large wine glasses (again BFF tired of them)
1 Victoria Secret bra with tags (BFF...not my size but may fit G1)
1 bag of marshmallows & full box of Rice Krispies (BFF had them to make RK treats but decided to get rid of the temptation)
1 10oz powder puff with prefilled sparkly powder (BFF)
8 various "chick flick" DVDs (BFF)
1 small porcelain monogramed tray (BFF and both my daughters share first initial but neither wanted this tray)
1 Talbot's argyle patterned sweater (BFF)

The two sets of wine glasses, the powder puff, the DVD's, the sweater, and the monogramed tray are all sitting in my ever growing consignment area!

If I take the car again tomorrow, I will be heading over to the consignment store the second they open since this pile is starting to overrun my living room!

Haha!

Monday, May 23, 2016

Meal Plan for This Week

It's going to be an interesting week around here since we will be down to just three of us for most of the weekdays.


Breakfasts
Croissants
Lemon or Blueberry yogurt with fresh fruit
Cold cereal
Maple Apple filled muffins
English muffins with peanut butter or butter


Lunches
Leftovers
Spicy salad mix with beets, sweet onions, and gorgonzola
Grilled veggies on onion focaccia
Sushi rice balls
PB&J's
Wheat berry salad with apples and dried cranberries


Dinners

Sunday
Maple Glazed Pork Chops
Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Sauteed Broccoli with garlic

Monday
Cheeseburger Wraps
Pickles
Watermelon

Tuesday
Spaghetti with garlic, olive oil, & parmesan cheese
or
Black beans and rice

Wednesday
G1 wants to cook!  She'll be making:
Teriyaki Meatball Bowls with Jasmine Rice

Thursday
Veggie Quiche
Homefries
Bacon

Friday
TBD but probably Pizza


And....that's how far I got with this week!  It's an easy and uninspired menu but, it fills the belly!

Anything tasty on your menu plan this week?



Sunday, May 22, 2016

Guppy 2's DC Trip

Bright and early on Wednesday morning, G2 and her 8th grade class are off to Washington DC until late Friday night.

Today I started packing for her and it has been a....very strange experience.  (FYI:  Guppy 1 didn't get to attend this trip back when she was in 8th grade due to her anorexia so I'm a "newbie' mom to this field trip.)

Why strange you may wonder?

Did anyone else have an 8th grade trip to DC back in the day?  I remember going....and needing a LOT of stuff - including a "dress up outfit" for our 8th grade picture in front of the Lincoln Memorial.

Nowadays, I guess that is completely different since G2 barely needs anything packed at all!

She came home Friday with three T-shirts (all the same logo but different colors) and told me that these were the shirts they all had to wear during the trip....which actually makes sense because it will be easier for all the teachers/chaperones to keep track of them!

So, all I have to pack otherwise is...

two to three pairs of shorts
a pair of jeans
a zip up sweatshirt
undies and socks
PJ's
a lightweight rain jacket
an extra pair of sneakers
(and she will of course pack up her makeup essentials....LOL)

And that is it! 

I am LOVING how easy this is and how CHEAP!  No need to buy anything new, except G2 had requested some new "teen style" undies....You mean the Justice ones with the bears and monkeys don't cut it anymore?  Haha!  And, I grabbed a small cheap black purse so she had a place to carry her phone and spending money.

I was worried that it would be at least $100 to get what she needed for the trip.  My out of pocket ended up being right under $30! 

Love it!


Saturday, May 21, 2016

Farmer's Market Finds & Weekend Plans



Strange morning at the Farmer's Market today.  Many of the regular vendors seemed to be missing and there were a LOT of empty spots.  Papa thinks maybe there is some festival going on in Connecticut today...Who knows?

Here's what we were able to purchase....

Dairy Vendor: $12
1 bottle of whole milk
1 bottle of heavy cream
1 pint lemon yogurt
1 pint blueberry yogurt

Yale Vendor:  $3
1 small bag of spicy salad mix

Knife Sharpening:  $15
We have desperately need our two chef knives sharpened!  While this may seem expensive, it is far more frugal than purchasing new knives!  Plus, I am kind of attached to these two.  LOL

Bakery Vendor:  $18.50
We haven't visited this stand in awhile so I gave into temptation.  =)
1 mini apple pie
2 large monkey bread muffins
1 round of onion focaccia

Organic Plant Vendor:  $15
2 organic raspberry bushes
(I'm really excited about getting these babies planted!  The guy said we will get some berries this year but, obviously, won't get a full crop until next.)





They are predicting overcast skies and rain for this weekend!  So, G2's trampoline won't be assembled until next week now.  (We take it down every winter and it really seems to have been helping it stay in good condition.)

Papa is going to be relaxing from his first week back at work...Only thing he has to do is mow the lawn.  The fertilizer he dropped last week has been helping almost too much!  Haha

My BFF and I are heading down to New Haven tonight to (belatedly) celebrate her birthday from a few weeks ago.  We are going to an Indian restaurant (my treat) and then to the Yale Campus Barnes and Noble bookstore.  This seems to now be "our thing" for birthday celebrations since this is the third time we have done the same exact thing! 

Other than that, it will be just be a weekend of the usual...

Visiting MIL in the hospital - she will probably be there for another two plus weeks
Driving G2 to her boyfriend's house
Laundry
Housework
Hopefully some downtime catching up on DVR'd shows


How about you?  Any good plans for the weekend?

 Happy Saturday!


Friday, May 20, 2016

PROJECT: 15 MINUTES


  My list of things to do is a million miles long and I just can't seem to get ahead.  Everyone is gone off to school and work, the house is completely quiet and mine (well mine and the animals), and nothing should be in my way to be productive.

But, there IS something getting in the way....

And I think that something is...

ME!!!

I don't understand why I get so overwhelmed....

Or why I am always so unorganized....

Or why I even procrastinate.

But, that's who I am at the moment.

Anyway...

I'm sure you have all heard about the "15 minute" approach to things - where you set a timer to work on something for 15 minutes and that's it?  I've read about it a zillion times but never actually tried it to see if it works...

In my case it DID!

I got a LOT more done using this technique today rather than wandering from room to room wondering what to try to accomplish next!  It helped me focus completely on only the task at hand and I got started on a few things that I have been putting off because I only focused 15 minutes on them.  (Of course for a few of these things, I am going to need many more sessions! LOL)

Have I stumbled onto something to consistently use?  I'm not sure.  But, it did help me today from taking my house to looking like a crime scene to relatively tidied up!  =)

Hope everyone is having an awesome Friday!


Thursday, May 19, 2016

Searching For Rhythm



Even though I am not trying to officially figure out a new routine this close to the Guppies being out of school, I do need to find some sort of rhythm....

G1 has work on Tuesdays and Thursdays so I drive Papa back and forth to his job so I can have the car.  Of course this means that all the errands should be done these days too, right?  Yeah, except tell my brain that!  I find myself unorganized this morning with a ton of stuff to accomplish before G1 gets out of school!

Obviously planning the night before is essential....

Just gotta get my brain on board!  LOL

I'll have a better post for tomorrow...Right now I need to start getting my act together and getting stuff done!  =)

Have a nice Thursday!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Today is Brought to You by the Letter...



Why the letter "F" you ask?  And, no I am not referring to THAT word!  LOL

Here's what I am talking about....

Sorry the picture quality is a bit fuzzy

The above cute little critter is Guppy 1's new Ferret, Rum. 

She wanted another animal since her beloved hamster, Rebel, died a few months ago.  And, she bought Rum (and his expensive crate) with her own money.  She didn't  necessarily even want a ferret when we walked into the pet store.  But, when she walked by his enclosed area, well, they noticed each other and that was the end.

He's almost perfect...He loves G1 and is very interactive, curious, and friendly.  He is what G1 called "a baby and a kitten" rolled into one.  So what's the problem?

Ferrets are a tad smelly.  And kits (baby ferrets which Rum still is considered) have a more offensive odor.  I warned G1 of this but I guess she wasn't prepared.

I had a ferret back in the early '90s.  In fact Papa is the one who bought him for me for Christmas!  So I knew what we were getting into when we purchased Rum - which is good because we all know Mom will be helping take care of him when G1 is out on adventures this summer.  Haha

I think Rum's a bit extra smelly also because we have to keep the door to G1's room shut because our 84 lb puppy is very curious....and can't be trusted!



Today's project is now all about Frugal Fresheners!  Here's what we have decided upon so far...

G1 used the rest of her Amazon gift cards to buy a Pet Air Purifier that had almost 500 reviews and received a running 4 out of 5 stars.  It arrives here on Friday.

Changing out ferret bedding often is key so I found an old black fleece blanket which, after cutting to size, will turn into four mini cage blankets for Rum.

Underneath the cage is shelving...I plan on tucking some Bounce sheets in there.  (Aerosol deodorizing sprays are a "no-no" around ferrets)

G1's windows will be cracked as often as  possible.


Not as frugal....

I will be walking over to the very knowledgeable local feed store around the corner once they open this morning.  I am hoping to gather some more wisdom/advice from them but also have to buy (using G1's bank card) an extra sleeping hammock so Rum has an alternate while one is being washed.  Also, G1 wants me to ask about a water additive she read about that can help with the smell.


Anyone out there have any other suggestions to combat the stink?  =)

Happy Hump Day!


Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Creating My Mini Office



I have a bit of a confession...

My dining room table hasn't been completely usable since Christmas!

Sure, when we decide to sit down at the table to eat dinner, I can clean it off....by putting stuff on the floor! LOL

Clearly this isn't (and CAN'T) be a long term solution for us anymore.

Many months ago my BFF gave me her old laptop briefcase since she preferred the rolling kind.  And, a few years ago my mother's good friend passed on a Longaberger covered basket she no longer wanted to me.  Both have sat in my closet, unused, until now.

Today's project is to create a mini mobile office - one that I can unpack in the morning onto the dining room table and then easily pack back up in the afternoon.  I need to weed through all the crap important papers I have scattered everywhere and develop a filing system for the things I need - this will all go into the covered rectangular shaped basket.  My planner, laptop, and files/magazines/mail that are time sensitive or I will use more often will go into the briefcase.

Sounds easy peasy right?

Yeah, once I get through the clutter of papers surrounding me!  =)

Have a great Tuesday everyone!


P.S.  I just wanted to take a quick moment to say that Papa is loving the new job!  He feels so excited to be working there and, most importantly, wanted!  He said there are signs all over the area where his little office is welcoming him to the department!  How nice is that?  Especially after the last three years he spent at the old job.


Today's project is creating a mini mobile office for myself

Monday, May 16, 2016

The Sound of Silence



For six months (plus a few days), my house has been a daily flurry of activity.  I haven't spent a single full day alone...

Until today.

The Guppies are now off to school and Papa is off to work!

I'm not sure I can convey to everyone how truly elated I am to be able to write the last few words of that sentence...Papa is off to work!  He is so excited about this new job!  We really believe this position is the best fit for our family that he could have ever found!  Today is just orientation for him but his new boss wants him to stop up to his office afterwards to get his itinerary for this week.  He wants Papa up and running in this position as soon as possible so the rest of this week will be a flurry of meetings for him....and Papa couldn't be any happier about it!

And now I sit in a quiet house and start to make plans!

Getting into a new routine is kind of pointless since the Guppies get out of school on June 10th - when another new routine would be put into place anyway!

So what's a girl to do?

Come up with projects, of course!

This morning I am planning on getting out my notebook and writing myself a month long "to do" list!  And probably turning on the radio....It's too damn quiet in this house now!  =)

Happy Monday!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Welcome to Mama's Used Parts Business!

No! I haven't lost my mind..YET!  Reread the title with a major hint of sarcasm and continue reading this post! 

Happy Sunday everyone!  I wasn't planning on posting anything until tomorrow but a phone call last night got me to thinking....

First, I was in a very strange mood yesterday....not bad or anything but EXTREMELY blunt maybe?  You guys have to know that before I continue...

So....

I got a phone call in the early evening from our VERY pregnant 22 year old niece.  Apparently, she and her fiancĂ© decided to buy a car from a private owner.  It's two years older than MY car - you know, the one that we are using as an emergency vehicle only? The one that we have decided is such a deathtrap that we are finding solutions other that driving it?

Well, I guess she and the fiancĂ© figured good ol' Auntie and Uncle would let them strip parts off our car for theirs.  BUT we aren't talking about a hose here or a pump there...We are talking ENTIRE DOORS!  She wants to strip my car and leave it in MY driveway as parts for the taking!

I (in my very blunt state of mind) first asked her why she bought the car when you need to use wire to keep the doors closed?!!  And then told her that I wasn't going to let her take any parts from my car. (I tried to get that out as nicely as possible)

We are heading over to her baby shower later this afternoon and I got to thinking....

Am I in the wrong for saying no?  It's not like she has anywhere to put my car where she lives so it would have to stay here in MY driveway (and also in my name).  And she certainly didn't offer to buy the car off us either.

Yes, Papa and I are planning on getting rid of the car very soon.  But, we were going to attempt to find an organization and donate it (any tax write offs we can get this year will help us).  Since we aren't going to use it anymore, I want the car off my property and I would like to keep it in one piece.  At least right now it is just a normal "parked" car in the driveway, you know?

I am offering the floor up to you guys...What do you think about her question?  And, more importantly, what do you think of my answer?  Was I wrong to say no way?



Friday, May 13, 2016

Still Here!



Hi guys! I'm still here!  Yesterday, today, and the rest of the weekend is going to be a flurry of activity in my world.  We are trying to finish up our To Do list (we added a few things to it since I last blogged) AND trying to balance some family time into the list as well before Papa starts work again on Monday. Oh...and let's throw some teenage girl drama into the mix too with Guppy 1 breaking up with her long term boyfriend (Good Riddance btw).

I have LOTS of ideas whirling around in this head of mine about my blog and life in general and I can't wait to share some of them with you.  But, it's going to have to wait until next week I think.

Tomorrow we will be out of town and Sunday we have our niece's baby shower so I guess I'll be back on Monday morning....when my house is (hopefully) nice and quiet again.

Happy Friday the 13th and have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Go Take A Hike!




Papa and I have been doing really well with our To Do list for this week!

So far, we have accomplished:

Getting two new tires for the car
Oil change for the car
Bought fertilizer (Papa still needs to spread it though)
Researched a new shower enclosure
Cleaned out the garden area to plant veggie garden
Brought his pants to be hemmed
I caught up with laundry
Papa cleared the fallen sticks from the yard
Papa mowed the lawn
A very thorough scrub down of the rabbit cage

I think we are doing pretty well with our list...Especially when you add in daily trips to visit MIL in the hospital AND Guppy 1 being home sick with the stomach bug yesterday and today.

Anyway...

This morning we are going to take the dog and go for a hike at Sleeping Giant. 

But first one quick errand....

Yesterday I cleaned out my planner and little computer bag and found a card that our emissions testing is due by May 16th!  Whoops!  Glad I found it yesterday because I definitely don't want to pay the additional $20 in late fees!

Thankfully there is a garage that does emissions testing right around the corner from our house so it's not too terribly inconvenient.

And, I'm off!

Have a great Hump Day everyone!


Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Mother's Day Grocery Costs...




I can't remember the last time we went out to a restaurant on Mother's Day.  Truthfully, I think it was way back in 1989 when I went to a brunch with my high school sweetheart's family!  But, I am pretty confident that if the four of us had gone out this past Sunday, it would have been $100 minimum in my neck of the woods.  Plus, honestly, I haven't been all that much in the mood to "dress up" anyway.  Avoiding the crowds and getting to eat dinner in my PJ's made me much happier!

So, how much did Papa spend on dinner? Here's what he spent at Stop and Shop:

$57.10

Not too shabby considering right?  But, not all that he bought was just for that dinner!
Here's a breakdown....

Money Spent Strictly for Mothers Day Dinner

1.68 lbs of of beef filet $26.86
Ciabatta Baguette  $3.99
1 package of sliced Shitakes $3.99
.93 lb of asparagus $3.71
Beef Broth $1.79

Other Groceries
Arborio Rice (partially for Mother's Day dinner but more than 2/3 of jar left)
4 Apple Turnovers (G1 requested breakfast)
KerryGold unsalted butter (partially for dinner but more than 1/2 left)
1 lemon


Total left for May Groceries:  $284.22 



Monday, May 9, 2016

Last "Free" Week!

Notice how the word free was in quotes?  Yeah, this week is definitely NOT free - time or money wise!

However...

It IS the last full week Papa has off before starting his new job next Monday!  He is SO HAPPY and EXCITED about starting this new position (which of course makes me the same)!  And, I am so grateful that this opportunity has come for him and our family!

There are some things on the docket this week that we haven't had time to do yet.  So, it's crunch time around here!  Thankfully we have a couple of "fun" things on this list too!

Here's what we need and hope to accomplish this week:

Oil change for the car
New back tires for the car (still need to take care of this as they are almost down to the steel and not safe for Papa to keep driving!)
Guppy 1's learners permit test on Friday
Papa's new work pants to tailor to be hemmed
Hike at local park with puppy
Trampoline back together and outside
Lunch out with Papa
Home Depot run to research new tub enclosure options (one we have is leaking again) and new cushions for outdoor patio set
Clean out garden area so we can finally figure out our garden plans
Haircut and color for me (it's been almost nine months since my last one!)


Added to that is the usual household stuff like laundry, cooking, cleaning, shuttling the guppies to and from work/activities, etc...

Visiting Papa's mom in the hospital daily....

PLUS...

Guppy 2 is going on a class trip to DC in a few weeks and needs a few items before then as well. 

The more I can get done this week the better since we still need to figure out the car situation.  We have decided mine is completely toast so we are a one car family for the moment.

Anyway, I am sure I am missing stuff on the above list but, as you can see, it's going to be BUSY!

Have a great Monday!  And here's to a productive week!


Sunday, May 8, 2016

Happy Mother's Day!



Taking a blogging break today!

Hope you all have a nice Sunday/Mother's Day!


Saturday, May 7, 2016

Soggy Saturday



Whoa!  This morning was S-O-G-G-Y at the Farmer's Market!  The "Milk Lady" commented on what "brave souls" we were to be out and about.  LOL  We did NOT stay long at the market, trust me!

Here's what we ended up buying...

Total Spent:  $34.00

1 bottle of whole milk
1 small bottle of heavy cream
1 container of salted butter (luxury item to be used only on good bread!)
1 pint of raspberry yogurt
1 pint of lemon yogurt
1 pint of asparagus soup
1 pint of loaded baked potato soup


Left in May Grocery Budget:  $341.32


Papa and I drove over to my parents' house to pick up their mail for them since they are away in Canada for Mother's Day weekend.  While there, I picked up the Coke Rewards caps, some coupon inserts, and a couple of magazines they saved for me.  Also waiting for me was a nice Mother's Day card and $50!  Thanks Mom & Dad!

With the weather so gloomy, I don't feel motivated to do much of anything at all!  G1 is doing some baking today so I'm helping her with things like deciding when her buttermilk pie is done. (Of course I will be one of the official taste testers too!  LOL)

I'm not sure if I will be going to the hospital later today with Papa to visit my MIL.  I know I will feel very guilty if I don't go but... We will be heading over again tomorrow for a visit and there are things I should be doing if I can get my butt in gear!

Hope you all are having a terrific Saturday!

Friday, May 6, 2016

Friday Freebies



Only a few free things to report for this past week but more than happy to take them!  =)

20 trial pairs of contact lenses (from eye doctor while awaiting order to come in)
1 pair of non prescription sunglasses (freebie from eye doctor for ordering a year's supply of contacts at once)
2 DVD's (Freebie Fairy)
1 Old Navy short sleeved T'shirt (FF)
1 Old Navy white long sleeved T-shirt (FF)
1 whale keychain (FF)


Your turn....Any good freebies come your way recently?
 

Thursday, May 5, 2016

This Week's Grocery Totals...



Spending more than half the day at the hospital is continuing to make life a tad more complicated here in my world.  As I dropped G1 off at school today she turned to me and said "I wish life could be normal again.  Even if it's only for a day or two."  Trust me, I feel ya kiddo!  =)

All things considered, I am not doing too terribly on the grocery front.  And, we have NOT been eating out nearly as much as we could be....Mostly thanks to Papa.  I can't tell you how many days we have run home from the hospital with barely enough time to eat before picking the girls up from school where I just want to grab a sandwich from the deli!  Papa has been keeping it in check for me by reminding me we have "such and such" already at home so...Thank You Papa!


Big Y Trip #1:  $115.18
*done Sunday May 1st*


1/2 lb of olives from the olive bar
3 dozen eggs
1 bag of tater tots
3 1/2 gallons of Friendly's ice cream
1 small jar of hot fudge sauce
1 large jar of chocolate sprinkles
1 small container of Crisco
1 large bottle of Heinz ketchup (brand loyal here for Papa)
1 box of peanut butter cookie mix
1 box of granola bars
1 strip (3 count) of yeast
1 bag of honey wheat braided pretzels
1 large bag of dog food
1 large bottle of BBQ sauce
3 packages of English muffins
2 bags of honey BBQ potato chips
3 bags of Doritos
1 bottle maple syrup
3 cases of Coke products
2 lbs of red onions
1 pint grape tomatoes
1 lb of sweet onions
2 bottles of Marie's dressings
1 bag of mini sweet peppers
3 bags of salad mixes

If you are paying close attention (or any attention at all LOL!), you will see that I bought multiples of things and quite a bit of junky junk.  This is part of the summer stock up I am attempting this month.  So, the extras of each snack item (besides the soda) is being stored out of sight and not in the kitchen!  Haha!



Big Y Trip #2:  $11.06
*done Wednesday May 4th*

1 small container of seafood salad (for Papa)
1 large bottle of Sweet Vidalia Onion salad dressing
1 bag of croutons
1.25 lbs of broccoli

This trip was due to poor planning on my part.  I needed the dressing for pasta salad and didn't realize I didn't have any left in the cabinets when I shopped on Sunday.  Ditto on the broccoli.  I underestimated how many croutons we would go through this week since, because of the hospital routine, I have been making us quick salads every day for lunch.  And well, the seafood salad was a treat for Papa.


Total Spent This Week:  $126.14
Left in May Budget:  $375.32



I'm off to get ready for my eye exam!  Have a great day all!




Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Mission (Mostly) Accomplished amd MIL Update



...At least for now, that is!

We were very successful during this morning's clothes shopping!  We still need to look for another pair of shoes for Papa and a few more shirts but I don't feel quite as much pressure now that the "big" stuff is done.  And, we came in $300 LESS than what I thought we would spend at the bare minimum!!  And, Papa ended up with classic quality clothing which should get him through quite a long time....

1 light grey suit
1 navy blue suit
2 dress shirts
2 silk ties (that could go with either suit and the clothing he already owns)
9 pairs of dress socks (80% of his had seen way better days)

We will do some real weeding through his wardrobe this weekend, but, I gave it a quick first once over.  My best guess is he had in his closet already:

1 VERY nice suit (his "interview" suit)
3 to 4 pairs of nice dress pants
4 to 5 nice dress shirts
5 ish? ties that don't scream trendy '90s/2000s  LOL

It's funny how a lot of businesses had gone away from suits to "business casual" and now seem to be leaning back towards more professional dress.  From Papa's work experiences, he says a lot of people tend to dress sloppy in the business casual dress code.  He's actually very excited to be dressing professionally for work again.

Oh, and I know that this amount of clothing may seem like overkill to some.  However, I need some "padding" in the amount of clothing in case I don't feel well and laundry gets a little backed up!  =)



Onto Mother In Law news....

I hadn't posted much about her since I told you guys she was doing well.  And she still is but has had a few more hiccups...

The current hiccup is that she isn't eating.  She feels like she is going to choke and like there is something blocking her throat.  She had been intubated for a long time due to the quick succession of surgeries and that can wreak havoc with your throat and ummmm...secretions.  Just yesterday respiratory therapy came up and suctioned her out and got out a large mucous plug - so yeah she had every reason to think something was there then!  (And sorry if TMI)  She did so well after that and even had a few spoonfuls of soup and could talk really well and easily last night.  But today she is back to feeling something is stuck there.  Last we heard the doctors were going to double check again.  I'll know later tonight since I just dropped Papa off to visit her and see what was happening.

I swear that lady can't catch a full break yet though!


Okay, off to start dinner now.....

Sharped Dress Man...Part #2



Yesterday did NOT go as planned!  Remember that quick "pee in a cup" health evaluation?  Ummm....Yeah....Not as quick as expected!  We were there for almost TWO HOURS! 
Total
Waste
of
Time...
At least for me.  I could have been home working on a zillion things had we known it was going to take that long!
Anyway...
We had to scrap the outlet mall trip since we would have had to turn around to come home right when we got there.
So, today we try again!
This will be the THIRD day in a row that we have attempted to get this shopping done!  Monday morning had to be scrapped too because Papa's mom had an embolism scare.  (It took from 9am to 5pm to find out she was actually fine with no blood clot in her leg!!)
I warned Papa we are going to get to the outlet before it even opens today!  I don't care what it takes!  LOL


Hopefully tomorrow I will have some sort of meaningful post...

Today I just want to get Papa some clothes already!


Tuesday, May 3, 2016

May 3rd...A Perfect Day to Order....






Heating Oil?!?!?

Crazy right?

It has been so raw and rainy here in Connecticut!  And even though there is hope on the horizon - I'm hearing 70's this weekend, we had less than 1/4 of a tank of oil left.  

We have had the heat off and were using the family room fireplace to help chase the chill but, all of our stored wood from the garage is now gone and we are left with the wet mess outside.

And,

Because I get nervous when the tank gets low (I don't want any sludge clogging up the furnace!), I caved and bought 175 gallons @ $1.71/gallon!  OUCH!  It was the highest price I paid this entire heating season (October until now)!

But, it's done and everyone is more comfortable with the heat now set at a toasty 64 degrees!

Plus, we (hopefully) will not have to deal with buying more until the end of 2016 since the tank gauge is at a healthy 3/4 full.

Anyone else in the Northeast in the same boat?

Have you caved and needed to fill your tank this far into Spring?