Thursday, March 23, 2017

Really Behind..

Happy Thursday everyone! 

Just stopping in quickly before I start trying to get everything done today!

I need to run (well, run isn't quite the right word at the moment, thank you Left Leg) to a mall 45 minutes away because G1 is having a "makeup emergency" and is completely out of foundation.  (My gas and time, her money)  She is heading over to Ramsey's right after school because tomorrow is a teacher in service day...hence said teenage emergency.

G2 texted me and asked if a friend could sleepover tonight.  But, not just any friend...the one who has been having all the depressive issues - she is doing a bit better by the way.  So, how could I say no?  Cue the straightening up of the family room, bringing the mattress down and make sure I have clean sheets for it, cleaning the downstairs bathroom, and figuring dinner out since the friend is partially vegetarian.

Add walking the dog into the mix and the usual laundry....

Oh, and ALL of this needs to be done by 12:30....

And I'm hobbling around!


I downed some Tylenol for the pain and, yes, this afternoon I will probably breakdown and email my neurologist.

And, I keep trying to remember that one day the chaos that is created by the Guppies will be gone...

And I'm going to miss it more than I can even imagine.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Day Book for Wednesday March 22, Plus Gas & Garbage

G2 and I are always texting each other silly memes.  I have no idea why but this one cracked me up yesterday!

Outside my window....
It literally just began to flurry...which is strange because I don't remember hearing that in the forecast.  The wind is blowing the trees around like mad.  Other than a few cars going by, there really isn't much activity.

What I am hearing....
The furnace kicking on AGAIN! I really didn't want to fill the oil tank again until after the cold weather was over.  There was something satisfying in being able to say we only filled up twice for the entire winter.  But, with only a quarter of tank left and some more cold weather on the way, I'm not sure I am going to win this one!

What I am feeling....
Meh.  But, I am not going to be one of those bloggers who just complains all the time!  LOL  Yesterday I logged in almost 12,000 steps so that's definitely progress from where I have been lately. So, let's stick with that!  =)

What I am wearing....
Still in PJ's as I have yet to hop in the flannel PJ bottoms, black long sleeved T shirt, and dark blue Disney Beach Club zip up sweatshirt.  Yeah, I know you are jealous of my fashion sense!  Haha!

What I am reading....
Trigger Warning by Neil Gaimon.  It's a compilation of his short stories.  It's awesome so far and I am taking my time with it! 

From the kitchen....
Nothing yet.  Papa was my hero last night when he cleaned the kitchen for me!  So, I have a nice neat kitchen to mess up today!  HAHA  I need to make more granola later on this morning.  And, it would probably be a good idea to figure out tonight's dinner as well!  Papa already warned me he is most likely working late - more snafus in the final phases of the computer portion of his project.

From the learning rooms....
I don't use this one quite often but I have something to say today!  G1 got a formal written warning via email from Gaggle/Administration.  It was beyond ridiculous!  And, I'm not talking about just because I don't agree with it!  It was a form email that said her work had been "flagged for inappropriate words/content" and to "refrain from such language in the future".  Talk about being vague?!?!  No specifics whatsoever!  We have encouraged her to go to administration and ask for particulars!  (As her English teacher did as well)  Before G1 went to bed last evening, she told me she WANTED to continue to turn things in on Google Docs because she strongly believes in freedom of expression in a creative writing classroom.  She even told me the idea she has for her next short story and, wow!  It's a doozy! It draws on past experiences over the years at the high school while still staying in the fiction realm.  It's not her usual gory stuff, but, if she does indeed write it, it will probably freak administration out, which is fine.  Let G1 graduate with a bang!  I'm pretty sure her AP Creative Writing teacher will get a kick out of the story too!  Especially after G1 shows her the one she wrote sophomore year!  Some people may think that we are encouraging G1 to go looking for trouble....What we are doing is helping her find her voice and stand up for what she believes in.

My goal gas budget for the month of March was $130.  This is for my car only.  As of last my last update, I had $73.57 left.  Last Friday night I filled up for $30.43, leaving me with $43.14 for the rest of the month.  I have a little over 1/2 tank currently and will most likely need to fill up again on Friday.  I am considering only putting in $20 and trying to make it the rest of the month with only that.  This way, I can "bank" $23 towards summer driving.  We will see how this goes!  =)

Only ONE (13 gallon kitchen sized bag) this week!  (((cue applause)))  LOL  I'm extremely happy with this!

I'm off to take that shower and get the dog out for a quick walk!  I hope everyone has a wonderful Wednesday!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Positively Monday!

Apparently I need this weekly post more than even I realized!  LOL

I can feel the grumpies overtaking my mood so let's see what positives I can come up with to negate it!

1.  My leg is slowly on the mend!  Papa helped out a ton this weekend so I could rest up and it made a decent difference.  While I still can't "lead" with my left foot while walking, it doesn't hurt quite as much,  I am beginning to walk downstairs one at a time again as well - rather than stepping on each step with both feet, if that makes any sense.  Plus, I am trying to batch chores together so I can stay on each floor for a good amount of time rather than taxing myself going up and down the stairs constantly. 

2.  I have cut way back on the Tylenol/Motrin regimen for my leg pain.  Even though it's over the counter, I hate taking meds!  I also never needed to add the valium in to sleep!  So YAY there!

3.  I have very giving parents!  I am very grateful to have the extra food in the house for so many reasons....not just the freebies of it either!  It's great to have organized meals that can be easily prepared.

4.  G1 had a great weekend!  She was in a new social situation and isn't always good with that type of thing due to her social anxiety.  But, this weekend went very well!  She was able to handle even the bumps and hopefully feels more confident!

5.  G2 had a very nice weekend as well!  I had given her $35 to use but she and her boyfriend chose free things to do!  Last night she asked if I wanted the money back even - honest kid!  I told her to keep it since it's a long weekend coming up - Friday is a teacher inservice day.  So, I guess in a way, I  saved some money too since I don't have to give her anymore this weekend!  =)

6.  G2 and I went for a nice night drive on Friday night after she came home from her boyfriend's.  It was great to have time just the two of us and we had a really awesome uninterrupted 90 minute conversation.  =)  Some may say it's a waste of gas but for me, it's precious time to spend with my growing Guppies.

7.  I have reached a little more than the half way goal of wanting to "earn" $100 this month.  I cashed out my consignment account's balance of $28.28 and ordered a $25 Target gift card from Papa's rewards credit card.  I still have a few more tricks up my sleeve so I have a decent shot of surpassing this goal - if I can get my act together!  =)

8.  The plethora of free/cheap magazines I was able to score at the beginning of the year are starting to be delivered!  Perfect timing as it gives me something to do during the short rest periods I take throughout the day for my leg.

9.  We have been having a successful run of new recipes for the most part.  =)

10.  I did a quick averaging of the steps I have been taking, using my cellphone's counter.  While not perfect (since I sometimes walk around the house without the phone in my pocket), I still feel like it's a fairly accurate depiction of my activity.  So far, this month I have walked an average of 8613 steps per day.  It's much lower than I would like BUT I'll take it considering the snow and my decline in mobility for a good portion of the month.

And, with that, I am starting to feel a little more optimistic today!

Happy Monday!

Gagging Over Gaggle & Other High School Hells

Maybe I am being rather unkind, but, the new principal at the Guppies' high school is completely reminding me of the evil Miss Trunchbull from Matilda!

I'm sure everyone isn't going to agree with me here.  And, that's okay. Be prepared for a rant however because I just really need to "get this out".....

But first, a quick history..
When we were house hunting back in the early 2000's and decided to spread our search farther out into Connecticut, we used a LOT of criteria for helping us make the decision as to where to settle down. Schools were one of the top three things that helped our ultimate decision....
Our town's schools were ranked behind only one other town (Madison) for the "best" school system for our town's size when we purchased our home in 2003.  And, for the elementary school years, I couldn't agree more!  With the exception of two elementary school teachers (one for each Guppy), we were thrilled with what we saw.
Middle school was horrific for G1 on so many different levels - especially seventh grade!  Her seventh grade teachers were of absolutely NO help during her depression/anorexia.  And, even said straight to Papa and my faces that 1. she couldn't wear certain clothes other kids could because of her "figure" (ie big boobs even during the anorexia) and 2. when she wanted to promote a benefit concert for a teen outreach program that she was having in lieu of a 13th birthday party, we were told that her teachers imagined her down in some basement with these musicians smoking pot and having sex. YUP!  That really happened!  And we were offended on a THOUSAND different levels trust me!  And those "musicians" were our friends who were good honest guys who never did a thing untoward to her! Oh AND, the day after we met with them to discuss G1's depression/anorexia, they searched her locker for DRUGS!  Didn't find any but no surprise to us there.  (Sorry, first rant over!  LOL)
G2's middle school years were okay.  Definitely nothing special.  But, we did love her eight grade teaching team to be honest.

Onto high school....

There have been many issues here since G1 entered four years ago...
However, one that made us very angry was when her sophomore literature teacher gave her a pretty unfair grade on a creative writing project.  The teacher told her class that nothing was off the table besides pornography.  Well, G1 stayed within her parameters and still got the lesser grade AND a trip to guidance and administration for her disturbing story.  G1 writes a LOT of horror and loves Clive Barker so you can imagine what she wrote.  LOL  In the end, I was okay with the fact that the school wanted to make sure she was "Okay" and brought us in about it. And, the way guidance handled it was an improvement from how we were all treated by her seventh grade teachers.  But, I still won't get over the fact that the sophomore lit teacher gave her a piss poor grade because she didn't like the subject matter.  (Teacher is extremely Christian and story had satanic undertones.  And, yes, G1 did do this on purpose.  I'm not going to sugar coat that!)  We have had this story viewed by other teachers who agree with us that the grading is not fair and the work was actually quite good.

Okay, now to present time....

G1 FINALLY got the teacher I have been wishing for the entire four freaking years!  Starting in January G1 is in a half year AP Creative Writing class with the best English teacher they have. I was probably almost as excited as G1 because I figured she would be able to really blossom and rediscover the love of writing that other teachers had squashed.  And, it worked!  This teacher teaches the class like an actual college course - all things are open for discussion during class and they can write about anything they chose that can fit the parameters of each assignment...

Until now....

There's a new principal this year who I have nicknamed Miss Trunchbull.

And, she has started a new lovely agenda including the use of  "Gaggle".

I had no idea what "Gaggle" was until a week ago.  Gaggle is software than sifts through anything students write on Google Docs - which is how the students turn in assignments.  It looks for "swear" words - hell and damn are even offenders - and "trigger" words.  It then alerts the administration and students can be spoken with, given detention, or even expelled for what is found!
Can Gaggle have some usefulness?  Possibly.  But, IMO, it has no place in a senior AP Creative Writing class!
So, G1 turns in some poetry for this class last week which explores the mind of a murderer.  (This was before we knew about Gaggle)  I read it and it's a great piece that is actually not gory.  But, G1's teacher apologized because, while the teacher knows G1 and her style, Gaggle doesn't.  We are waiting for her call down to administration about it.  (((sigh)))   Papa and I are both very passionate about the subject of creative censorship so, if anything happens to G1 regarding this piece,  we will be down there having a lively debate!
To the creative writing teacher's credit, she announced to the class that she will no longer be having them turn their work in through Google Docs so their creative integrity can stay intact.   So, kudos to her!
But, I have another creative writer (although not nearly as edgy) coming through the high school for three more years so this should be fun....

Also last week...

I'm driving G2, her boyfriend, and her friend home from school.  And, they are all abuzz with  the news they got from their Advisory teachers.  Apparently, students were told that the school could watch everything they did on their chromebooks, personal phones, and personal computers.  They were told that the school has a right to monitor every single song, text, social media picture/post, Netflix movie, website, etc they go to- even while at home!  SAY WHAT?!?  And, if students went on anything/did anything administration disagreed with, the students would be punished accordingly.  I spent the entire ride home explaining to everyone that not even the POLICE could do anything like that without a subpoena and "just cause" so the school had no right to look into anything they did during their own time.  Could they monitor what kids did during school on their school issued chromebooks?  Possibly...if they had a reason to do it.
I'm completely for stopping bullying at school and I know it can extend into social media and texts etc.  BUT, I also think that these cases should be examined on an individual basis.  NOT the school essentially bullying every single student with this kind of scare tactic bullshit!

Also, Miss Trunchbull wants to end "Senior Privilege" - where seniors can leave school up to 90 minutes early if their schedule permits and all required classes need for graduation are completed.  A LOT of these seniors go to an afterschool job or pursue their passions with the extra time.  Whelp, not if Miss T can help it!  She wants seniors in school taking extra classes! 

And, she wants teachers to start actively "checking" that students are completing homework/schoolwork during free period study halls.  Well, when the Guppies don't have any work to complete, they always carry a book to read or listen to Spotify on their phones and draw/doodle to relax.  Again, I don't think it's fair that they dictate how the students use or don't use their study hall time - especially if they aren't being disruptive to others and their grades are fine.

It's not freaking prison for crying out loud!

Bottom line is our high school already places an incredible amount of stress on its students for the almighty "good review/standing" in the state of Connecticut.  Does this principal really need to make it any worse?

Okay, ranting over.  I wish I could say it was out of my system though!  =)

I'll be back later with a Positively Monday post to counteract this one!  LOL

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Semi- Recap of Dinners Last Week & Slow Sunday Prep Day....

I didn't keep up with my usual menu/food post for last week but here are the highlights of dinners...that I can remember (in no particular order)....

One day (Thursday I think) we did take out Chinese.

Orange Brined Roast Chicken with mashed potatoes, roasted yams, and bacon Brussel sprouts (Tuesday)

Corned Beef with mashed potatoes

Loaded Baked Potato Soup with Olive Bread (last night)

Cheeseburgers & Fries

Oh, and homemade Cheesecake for dessert a few days!  YUUUUMMMY!

Honestly that's all I can remember!  But, I do know we had everything else at home besides the one take out day.

This week I hope to keep better track of it all.

Today's prep work for the week is going to be slow going.  First, my leg is still bothering me but not quite as much thanks to Papa helping out yesterday!  I would be shocked if it wasn't MS related though, because as the constant ache has started to go away, I can feel more of the little electric ripples going up and down my leg.  (Electrical ripples are typical MS signs for me.  BUT they aren't usually accompanied by pain.)  I'm trying not to complain too much though because it's starting to get better overall I think.
Sometimes it feels like I just can't win healthwise!
Last night, right when I was done cleaning up the kitchen from dinner, it was like someone flipped a switch in me!  I got shaky, cold, and felt like I was going to throw up.  It was only seven o'clock and I went straight to bed anyway.  I slept through but Papa said I was feverish all night.  This morning I woke up feeling meh but not as bad as last night.  I'm going to try to pace myself and make sure the most important items get done today:

Iron Papa's laundered work shirts
Wash/Dry two more loads of laundry
Figure out easy breakfasts for the Guppies this week - bake muffins or mini cherry turnovers?
Update calendar for next week
Pull bacon out of freezer - DONE (needed for the bacon broccoli cavatelli I'm making)

There is SO much more I want to add to this list but I'm stopping it there.  I need to try to rest more today if I am able.  Papa's project (while mostly done) has been having some snafus and he's been having later nights again (usually between 8 to 10pm) which will most likely continue through this week.  I have to try to be as close to my A game as possible for this week to ensure everything runs smoothly.

With that I'm off! 

Hope you all have a nice Sunday!

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Groceries This Week (March 2017)

I am striving to keep my grocery bill to $450 or under for March. I am aiming for $100 less than a "normal" budgeted month.  Don't know if it can happen, but, I'm game to try!  =)
What is included in my monthly budget?  Food, paper and cleaning products, and health/beauty items.  We are a family of four....Papa, Me, Guppy1 (18), and Guppy2 (14).  Plus we often will have an impromptu dinner guest or two thanks to the Guppies!  =)
After last week's big trips, I had $160.39 left in the March budget.  Let's see what happened this week...
The plan to stay out of the grocery store....and that didn't happen completely.  Having two extra kids snowed in for two days, thus feeding six of us, took more than I anticipated.  However, the loaf of bread stayed mostly intact - LOL....Joke from another post earlier this week.  Plus since I have been having (what we think is) an MS flare up, I needed to adjust some things around.
Here's what I did spend...

Big Y: $73.29
1 store brand cream cheese block
1/2 lb of store brand butter - price was right and it should hold me (hopefully) until a new sale
1 (16 oz) container of Daisy sour cream
1 (32 oz) store brand whole milk (I knew I should have grabbed two at the farmer's market!)
1 (18 count) package of eggs
1.5 lbs American cheese (deli)
1 bag Ore-Ida fries
3 half gallons ice cream (buy one/get two)
1 (12 pack) diet Raspberry Snapple
1 jar pickled ginger
1 container of chocolate sprinkles
1 container of Rinaldi pasta sauce
1 Ortega taco dinner kit
1 package store brand hamburger rolls
4 (32 oz each) Gatorades
1 container fresh salsa
1 bag green beans
1 bag croutons
1 (8oz) container of sliced mushrooms
1 (12 oz) bag of salad mix
1 container of Marie's Super Blue Cheese dressing
1 (2lb) bag of whole carrots

Groceries: $$$?
My parents know that I have been having trouble with my leg and wanted to help in the best way they knew how!  =)  I don't have a receipt so I have no clue what this all cost.   But I feel like I have to add it here to be fair so you guys know that I received more help....and didn't wonder where all the extra stuff for meals came from!  Haha
So, what did we get?  I'll try to break it down into meals first and then miscellaneous.  My parents gave me everything in its "raw" form.  (They figured it was helpful to have the stuff in the house and not need to do any additional walking around the store.)
1.  Chili fixings:  ground beef, cheese, peppers, canned diced tomatoes, canned red kidney beans, onions,and canned diced green chili peppers
2. Stuffed Shells: (G2 loves stuffed shells and they know it!)  dried shells, ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, sauce PLUS salad mix, olives from the olive bar, cherry tomatoes, and two types of dressings
3,  Fajitas:  Flank steak, onions, peppers, tortillas, cheese
4.  London Broil, sweet potatoes
Also purchased:
2 frozen mini chicken pot pies (throw back to my childhood)
1 frozen mini turkey pot pie
1 frozen mini beef pot pie
1 large bag of pizza rolls
1 veggie sushi for G1
1 kid cuisine for G2 (she hasn't had this in forever and apparently they can be oven cooked)
1 container of 12 mini St. Patrick's Day cupcakes
1 box Cheez-Its
6 pack of Vitamin Water
6 pack of Sparkling Ice drink
and, in case you are wondering...
NO loaves of bread were purchased...I'm guessing that's because I told my parents how MUCH we went through during Tuesday's storm.  Bahahaha!

Farmer's Market:  $10
1 quart of whole milk
1 pint heavy cream - free!  They were already out their heavy cream at 11:00 am so they gave me the pint  for free because it was at its sell date
1 pint blueberry yogurt
1/2 loaf of olive bread

Total Spent This Week:  $83.29
Total Left in March Budget:  $77.10

We are definitely still in "doable" range to stay on budget.. A large part being the free supplies my parents gifted us!  I have quite a few meals sketched out (in my head mostly) for the coming days which is a bonus.  I anticipate needing fruits/veggies, milk, Snapple, and soda - my downfall and one I'm trying to work on -before the month is over.

How is everyone doing with their March menus and grocery bills?

Friday, March 17, 2017

Thank God It's Friday & Miscellany

I, for one, am very happy today is Friday!

And, I am hoping for a fairly quiet weekend where I can relax a bit...I guess we will see how it goes!

To those of you who have reached out, thank you.  It means more than you can imagine!  I'm getting through on a mixture of Tylenol and Motrin.  And, if that ends up not being enough to help me get the rest I need during the night, I do still have a partial bottle of Valium left from an old prescription - though I view this as a last option.  I'm not one to take a lot of meds which ends up being a GOOD thing, because, boy are they effective when I do use them!  =)

Ramsey & G1 have left for the weekend to head over to one of Ramsey's friend's houses two towns over from me.  And, wow!  After having him here since Tuesday, the silence is crazy!  LOL  Of course I'm sad I lost my chef de cuisine from this past week too!  =)

G2 is heading out with her boyfriend tonight for a bit....if they can decide on what to do!
 I'm not sure what she is doing the rest of the weekend yet.  I don't think she even knows!  haha!

And, Papa had to leave work in the middle of the morning to pick his brother up to come to the hospital since he has two or three appointments during the day.  Papa will also be driving him home afterwards so I don't know how late he will be tonight.

On a happy freebie note, my parents gifted me with some more groceries!  Yeah, I know how lucky I am and I have included the "haul" in my grocery post for the week which will be posted tomorrow afternoon most likely.  I have a good six or seven dinners "planned" in my head between what they brought and what I already had.  We will still head to the farmer's market tomorrow, because, you know we need our dairy fix!  =)

I feel like I'm rambling on like a crazy person....or at least one who didn't get a lot of sleep last night!  My almost ten year old puppy has been getting a case of cabin fever because of the snow!  We have finally been able to walk her (briefly) in areas that were cleared but it's been nowhere near as long as usual.  (Leg partly to blame there too)  Anyway, last night around 1am, she started whining.  Between one and three am I took her out a total of three times....Two to just eat snow (seriously?) and one to pee.  I didn't get back to sleep until after four!  And, now this afternoon, puppy puked on my bed (thankfully on one of Papa's bedshirts!) and on the floor of my bedroom!  Hope she isn't sick too!

Oh, and there is some major crap going on at the high school with the new principal!  I'll leave this for another post....maybe over the weekend?  But, I already have a nickname for her....Miss Trunchbull!  Any Matilda fans out there?  =)

Okay, I'm done!  Hopefully I will have more cohesive thoughts tomorrow after a nice night's rest!

Have a great Friday night all!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Day Book March 16, 2017 and Gas & Garbage

Trying my best to remember this right now!

Outside my window....
I see a ton of white!  Especially built up around my driveway where the snowplows seem to always dump the brunt of it!  Ah, the joys of living on a corner!  LOL  Schools were off both Tuesday and Wednesday but there still isn't a ton of foot or car traffic out there.  I'm guessing most people decided to drive their kids to school today rather than having them struggling at one of the bus stops!

I'm hearing....
the dog snoring on the living room couch (as usual!), the washer and dryer both doing their thing, and the TV on in the family room - Ramsey is still here and is binge watching a Netflix show while G1 is at school.

I'm wearing....
I'm a real fashion plate at the moment!  I have on baggy pink LL Bean long john bottoms, a black long sleeved t-shirt, and a white cardigan.  (The t-shirt and cardigan are what I wore all day yesterday!)  I guess this means Ramsey is "part of the family" now since I don't care about wearing this "outfit" around him.  Haha!

I'm feeling....
I'm not doing so well right now.  To be completely truthful, I'm pretty depressed and a bit scared.  I have been having a lot of problems with my left (dominant side) leg - not being able to "lead" with it while walking up/down stairs, intense pain when I move it "wrong" or getting into or up from a crouched position, getting into bed using my left leg first, etc.  Originally, I thought it was possibly a strain from walking the dog since she tends to yank at times.  But, it's not getting any better.  I keep trying to trudge through and "ignore" it the best I can.  But, it's getting harder to do that with each passing day.  This definitely could be an MS thing and it's scaring me.  When I was first diagnosed with MS, I worried about two things - being unable to process words correctly (which happens when I can't think of very simple words at times) and being unable to walk.  Even if this leg thing is MS related, I know it will most likely heal since I have Relapsing Remitting MS.  BUT, it would also mean that it's a new lesion since I haven't ever had this issue before AND it could come up when I get flare ups.  I have decided to give myself through the weekend to see if it feels better at all.  If not, I'll call my neurologist.  There isn't much he can do for it anyway, even if it is MS related.  He would order a new MRI to document a new lesion and possibly put me on steroids to help with the healing process...I say possibly because there is some debate as to whether it is more helpful to allow lesions to scar over on their own without medicinal help.

I'm reading....
Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances by Neil Gaiman which I borrowed from the library.  I absolutely LOVE Neil Gaiman so I'm really excited about reading this book!  I just finished a book from my huge Kindle collection titled Colony of the Lost by Derik Cavignano with which I was pretty impressed.  I usually don't have high expectations for book I have amassed on my Kindle since they are usually of the free or 99 cents variety.

From the kitchen....
Right now I have Tuesday night's chicken carcass simmering away in the crockpot with some black peppercorns, salt, garlic, onions, and carrots to make much needed chicken broth.  I found a recipe for potato soup that I would like to try but needed to make the broth first!  After I type this up, I have to clean up my poor kitchen too! With the kids home the past two days (and having extra kids around), my kitchen (and our mouths!) have been getting quite the workout!  I also still have to decide what I'm making for dinner tonight....unless I ask Ramsey to cook since he's going to be here until tomorrow night I think.  =)

About Stella the snowstorm....
We survived, obviously LOL!  The state had a HUGE range of snowfall amounts.  My section had an "average" of about a foot or so.  We were lucky to keep our power the whole time, which I hadn't expected to happen.  Papa stayed home from work on Tuesday. And, like I mentioned above, the Guppies didn't have school Tuesday or Wednesday.  I was less than excited about this March snow.  I truly wished it had happened in January or February when this type of thing is more expected!
Oh, and as for that lonely loaf of bread?  Almost the entire thing is still left!  =)

As of last week's posting, I had $101.75 left in the gas budget for my car.  Last Thursday I filled up for $28.18 which leaves $73.57 for the rest of the month.  My car currently has a little under 1/2 tank so I will most likely fill up at some point this weekend.  I think I am doing really well in this category and should be able to stay well under budget.

I peeked in the garage and counted FIVE thirteen gallon kitchen sized bags in the garbage cans!  YIKES! It definitely hasn't been a great week here garbage wise!  But, that does include one full bag of cage/litter waste from our bunny and ferret since I cannot compost during the winter months.  Also included is one bag of miscellaneous "crap" from when the Guppies cleaned their rooms.  Plus, I think one bag may be from when G2 cleaned up after having her little sleepover party last weekend.  I know I haven't been nearly as on top of this as I should have been. As bad as it sounds, I'm just grateful that my family is helping straighten/clean up right now since my health is such a mess.  Hopefully I will be back on track next week!

And, with that, I'm slowly off to take care of my "to do" list.
Have a great Thursday all!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Only ONE Loaf of Bread?!?!

I was having a conversation with my mom yesterday about the contingency plans she and my brother had regarding today's snowstorm.  My mom is a nurse at a well known university and was working last night (having to drive home in the storm).  My brother, who is a biomedical engineer assigned to the tristate area plus parts of Pennsylvania and Massachusetts, was scheduled to be in Cape Cod this week.  (In case you are curious, Mom got out of work two hours earlier since the day shift was required to show up early.  And, my brother did not have to attempt travel to the Cape.)
The conversation turned towards food supplies.  When she found out that I had one lonely loaf of bread, she was incredulous! Here was the general conversation....

Mom, practically screaming...."Only ONE loaf of bread?!?!"
Me:  "Ummm, yeah."
Mom:  "What if the kids want sandwiches? French Toast?"
Me:  "I think we will be okay. Besides, I have croissants, and English muffins, half a loaf of Jewish rye, and a LOT of crackers.  Plus I could actually BAKE bread if I need it that bad."
Mom:  "But don't you need more bread from the store?"

LOL.  No Mom, I don't think we are going to starve! 
After that conversation, imagine what she said this morning to me (I asked her to call me when she got home safely) when she found out that I have FOUR children in the house instead of just my TWO!  Hahaha!

To her credit, there actually WAS a food shortage back in the Blizzard of '78.  I was only 7 and only remember how much FUN that snow was!  I wasn't a parent worrying about the fact that supplies couldn't reach the grocery stores because the state was essentially crippled for a week.
And, if I'm not completely mistaken (which I may be), I *think* the whole "gotta go buy the bread and milk" stuff began from that 1978 blizzard!

I wasn't pulling my mom's leg about the extra mouths to feed.  I DO have two extra kiddos for this blizzardy snowed in day!  G1 asked if Ramsey could come yesterday afternoon and stay for the duration - which is good since we can put him to work with Papa clearing the snow!  =)  And, then G2 asked to have her BFF sleepover too.  As Papa put it when I ran it by him, "Does it even matter after you add one extra person?"  G2's BFF is practically my third child anyway and, well, Ramsey is fast becoming part of the family too so it doesn't matter all that much to have them here.

As for the snow...

The weathermen are calling for a few hours of possible rain to mix in later but it only lowered my area of the state's overall prediction a tad - we were downgraded from 15 to 25 inches to now 12 to 24 inches.  BUT, now that snow is going to be super saturated and heavy due to any rain we get.  Lovely right?  Winds are supposed to still be brutal and high so the threat of power outages still loom over us.  I have no idea if there will be school tomorrow.

It's 10am and everyone but G2 and me are still sleeping!  Once they wake up, I will make sure everyone is fed and is charging their phones!  I also charged three portable phone charges overnight should we lose power because, hey, I know how teenagers are with their phones!  LOL  I'm hoping to talk at least half of the crew here into a game of Monopoly which I think could be a lot of fun with this many people.  And, much to what will be Ramsey's delight, I will let him start a fire - he's been itching to start one since last night!  =)

Well, I'm off to clean the kitchen and then pull something out of the freezer for dinner tonight....I'm thinking a nice roast chicken could hit the spot today.....Fingers crossed we keep power!

Have a great and safe Tuesday everyone!

Monday, March 13, 2017

Positively Monday!

And another week begins!

In case you are new to my blog (Welcome!), for the past few weeks I have been trying to start off my Mondays with some positive things since it's far too easy for me to be crabby and catch a case of the Monday blues!  LOL

Let's see what I can come up with today!

1.   So, I am definitely no longer disappointed with how much money I spent at the grocery store after hearing about the horrid Nor'Easter heading our way for early Tuesday morning! Current prediction is 15 to 25 inches!  I am super pleased that we are completely ready kitchen wise for whatever comes our way....which in turn meant no elbowing my way through people at the grocery store fighting for supplies!

2.  In doing a quick inventory of stuff, I realized that we don't have any "backup" batteries in case of a power outage.  But, I decided to NOT go out and try to grab some because 1. the batteries in our flashlights are fairly fresh and 2.  I have a TON of candles that can be used.  So, the money stayed in what's left of our grocery budget.

3.  Last Nor'Easter related positive....when I heard on Saturday that we were most likely in for a wallop, I went out to our dwindling woodpile and hauled most of the remaining wood into the garage so it can be used should needed.  Much better than trudging across the yard and unearthing it from a pile of snow during the storm!  =) 

4.  Papa & I went out yesterday afternoon!  For less than $20 (cost of two tickets and a box each of dollar store candy), we went to see the movie Before I Fall.  I think the adaptation was pretty well done.  While they didn't keep the story exactly like the book, the writers did keep its integrity/essence.  I am not ashamed to say I may have shed a tear or two. 

5.  G2's sleepover/ birthday party for M went great!  All the kids had a great time - from what I am told.   At one point, G2 asked if we had any speakers to hook up IPhones  for music and I remembered that G1's Orange guitar amp had a way to do it so Mama was the hero of the impromptu "dance party".

6.  After all the kids left, G2 took it upon herself to completely clean the family room and her room up!  No nagging or asking involved from me!  She even vacuumed the family room.  I could've cried from happiness!  LOL

7.  A huge positive and stress reliever was that, as I blogged about a few days ago, G1's prom dress was still at Windsor and was half of what I budgeted for a dress!  Also (not sure if I mentioned this or not) but my mom offered to buy G1 a second dress should she change her mind about this one!  Neither G1 nor I think she will but G1 will probably ask Grandma to buy some accessories for this dress - such as potentially a rhinestone belt.
Here is a picture of her in it (without her face).  Remember the theme is Hollywood Red Carpet..  In the picture you can see what I was trying to describe regarding the neck/choker area.
And, yes I am aware that is a LOT of cleavage!

8.  I attempted to make a new recipe last evening....Braised Corned Beef.  Papa liked it and thought it was done "the right way".  G2 hated it.  I thought it was okay but I'm not a fan of the texture.  I am including this as a positive because I tried something new that was successful even if I wasn't that much of a fan.  And leftovers will be consumed this week by a happy Papa as corned beef sandwiches on Jewish rye.

9.  Papa goes back to regular hours this week at work!  Enough said!  =)

I wanted to make this an even ten so let me think about this....


10.  Since we are now in the "Blizzard Zone" of the impending snowstorm, Papa will not be trying to venture out to work tomorrow!

Have a great Monday all!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Groceries This Week (March 2017)

I am striving to keep my grocery bill to $450 or under for March. I am aiming for $100 less than a "normal" budgeted month.  But, I'm game to try!  =)
What is included in my monthly budget?  Food, paper and cleaning products, and health/beauty items.  We are a family of four....Papa, Me, Guppy1 (18), and Guppy2 (14).  Plus we often will have an impromptu dinner guest or two thanks to the Guppies!  =)
Last week I ended up spending only $33.37 AND was treated by my parents to decent sized Costco haul for free!  That leaves me with $416.63 for the rest of the month.
Even with the Costco haul, a LOT of my kitchen still seems pretty bare by our "normal" standards.  So, off I went to the grocery stores this week to try to do some cherry picking and overall shopping because of the big sleepover last night....

Olivers:  $37.84
1 120ct paper napkins
1 container (18) bite sized apple strudel
1 box Prince ziti
1 box Prince linguini
2 boxes Kraft Mac n Cheese
1 5lb bag of red potatoes
1 lb Boars Head (our preferred deli brand) American cheese
1/2 lb Boars Head Teryaki chicken
1 (8 oz) package white button mushrooms
1 (2.5lb) corned beef brisket (Never made it before but, Papa loves it and, since it was on sale, I am willing to try to make it.)

Aldi's:  $37.94
1 (5lb) bag Jasmine rice
1 bottle vegetable oil
1 bottle pancake syrup
3 cream cheese
1 box iodized salt
1 can cherry pie filling
1 large container of oats
1 bag AP flour
1 box Cheez-Its
1 box Frosted Shredded Wheat
1 box Marshmallow & Stars cereal
1 box saltine crackers
1 loaf white bread
1 container (12) croissants
1 bag of powdered sugar
1 bag of oyster crackers
1 mini cherry pie (impulse buy big time! and it was delicious!  LOL)
1 box clubhouse crackers
1 container of salted caramels
1 bag of honey mustard pretzel pieces

Big Y:  $58.46
2 packages of Udon
2 packages of peanut butter cookie mix
1 box kosher salt
1 very large bottle of soy sauce
1 bottle of chili paste
1 jar of Newman's salsa
1 box Cap N Crunch
1 (6 pack) store brand everything bagels
1 container Hershey chocolate syrup
1 bag store brand chocolate chips
1.5 lbs green peppers
1 6pack of Poland Spring
2 pouches of chocolate chip muffin mix
2 packages of English muffins*
6 Sparkling Ice drinks
*was supposed to be buy one/get one but when I noticed I was charged for both and brought the receipt back later they stated I bought the "excluded" flavors.  I'm not sure what flavors the buy/get applied to then because she read off all the excluded flavors which were every one I knew!

ShopRite:  $99*
*they are doing a "rounding up" for hunger donation thing which is why the number is even
1 jar of chocolate sprinkles
4 bottles of Ajax laundry detergent
3 12 packs of Pepsi products
2 bottles of Aussie Instant Freeze hairspray (preferred brand and on decent sale)
4 tubes of Colgate toothpaste
2 Lady Speedstick deodorants
2 Men Speedstick deodorants
1 package of Glad garbage bags (8 count)
1 box of Philly Cheesesteak steakumms
1 (16 oz) container of sour cream
1 box pizza rolls
1 bottle extra  virgin olive oil
2 half gallons of Friendly's ice cream
2 Perdue chicken nuggets
1 bag curly fries
1 5lb bag of russet potatoes
1 bag Wise regular flavor chips
1 bag Nacho cheese Doritos
1 bag Wise Garlic and Onion flavor chips
1 bag of Sweet Chili flavor Doritos
1 bag honey wheat pretzels
1 bag regular pretzel twists
1 bag of tortillas (10 count)
1 3lb bag of onions
1 bag UTZ honey BBQ chips
1.5 lbs of red grapes
1 lb of strawberries
1 bag (6 count) Portugese rolls
1 carton (18) eggs

Farmer's Market:  $23
1 quart whole milk
1 pint heavy cream
1 pint maple yogurt
1 pint cherry yogurt
1/2 loaf of Jewish rye bread (for corned beef sandwiches next week)
1/2 loaf walnut black pepper bread

Total Spent This Week:  $256.24!
Well! That happened pretty damn fast!
However, I won't be doing any shopping next week unless we need Snapple, fruit, or veg.  And, of course next Saturday's farmers market for more dairy.  I'm relatively happy with the stock I have now and can easily make meals for the next week plus!

Grocery $$$ Left for the Month:  $160.39While there is a whole lotta month left, I am not too concerned. Staying within budget is still pretty doable at the moment -especially if I continue to use up leftovers as well as I have been so far in March.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

What's Cooking?

Another week!  Hard to believe it's already March!

G1 is at Ramsey's house until after dinner tonight.
G2& BFF:  Croissants
Papa: Cereal with milk
Me:  3 bite sized cinnamon rolls and a clementine

G2:  Leftover Bacon Broccoli Pasta
Papa & Me: Blackened Chicken Salads

G2 requested Fridays take out, using the balance of a Christmas gift card
Papa & Me:  Leftover Meatballs for Meatball subs

G1:  Buttermilk Coffee Cake
G2:  Croissant
Papa:  Lemon Yogurt with granola at work
Me:  Buttermilk coffee cake and one clementine

G1:  Chips, salsa, laughing cow cheese
G2:  At BF's afterschool and ate there
Papa: Blackened Chicken Salad at work
Me:  Blackened chicken salad

G1 & Me:  Pierogis with onions
G2:  Chicken noodle soup with ciabatta roll
Papa:  PB&J, Pringles, Coconut Dream cookies (at work)

G1:  A few saltines  The whole family gets migraines and she had a wicked one!  She ate her few saltines and then went back to bed.  Poor kiddo!
G2:  Croissant
Papa:  Oatmeal at work
Me:  Buttermilk Coffee Cake and a clementine

G1: Scrambled eggs and toast
G2: Pasta salad
Papa:  Veggie Pasta salad, Pringles
Me:  Meatball sub (last of the leftover meatballs), Pringles

G2 was at a friend's house for a birthday party.
G1 & Me:  Beef with broccoli and rice
Papa:  PB&J and Pringles - this is all he wants me to pack him for dinner while he has to stay late at work!

G1:  Buttermilk coffee cake
G2:  Croissant
Papa:  Scrambled eggs and toast at home before heading to work a little later in the morning since he worked until 3 am
Me:  PB&J

G1:  Rice and Sunnyside Up Eggs bowl
G2:  Pasta salad
Papa: Leftover beef with broccoli and rice
Me:  Small bowl of plain rice

Papa:  PB&J and Pringles
G1, G2, G2's BF, and Me:  French Toast, Bacon, Diner-style Home Fries

G1: the last of the Buttermilk Coffee Cake
G2: Croissant
Papa:  Scrambled eggs and toast
Me:  ??? Something really small - I just can't remember what!

G1:  Laughing Cow cheese with clubhouse crackers, fruit
G2:  Chicken noodle soup
Papa:  Pasta salad
Me:  Famished because I hadn't eaten much for breakfast!  I ended up having a crap-tasticly preservative laden but ultimately tasty cherry hand held fruit pie thing!  So bad I know but I had a very long morning doing errands!  LOL

Ramsey was here so he cooked dinner for me, himself, and G1. It was so yummy!
Philly Cheesesteaks
G2:  Since she doesn't like cheesesteaks, she had Perdue chicken nuggets and curly fries

G1:  Everything bagel with cream cheese
G2:  Croissant
Papa:  Egg McMuffin style sandwich
Me:  Small bowl of dry Lucky Charms and handful of grapes

G2:  Curly fries with ketchup - junk food junkie!  LOL
Papa: Had a late breakfast and was planning on only spending a half day at work so he didn't bring anything
Me:  Grilled Cheese and Pringles

G1 was off to Ramsey's again for the weekend.  And, Papa decided to work late on the final numbers/finishing touches of the work project since the hospital's OR was on the quiet side for a change.
G2:  Pizza Rolls and Grapes
Me:  Leftover Philly Cheesesteak
Papa: (when he got home around 9pm) Leftover Philly Cheesesteak

G2:  Croissant with butter
Papa:  Cereal
Me:  English muffin with butter

G2:  Picked at some snacks while getting things ready for her sleepover
Papa & Me:  Chicken & American Cheese sandwiches on Walnut Black Pepper Bread

is going to be a pizza party tonight!

How did your week go food wise?

Busy Last Few Days!

  It's been a few busy days around here! 

Thursday found me doing all my errands among throngs of people who were worried about the impending Friday snowstorm....that ended up being nothing.

Yesterday a LOT of the day was spent on cleaning up - including SPRING cleaning of both the Guppies rooms which were just plain awful! 
But, in the middle of the day as I was driving G1 and Ramsey to a friend's house, I got a phone call from G2 about the sleepover she is having today....
Having a large group of kids over for a hangout/then girls sleepover isn't that strange an occurrence to us.  I would say it happens at least every other month.  BUT, G2 confessed that this one is "sorta" a birthday party for her close friend "M".  I guess M really wanted to have a birthday party sleepover but didn't want to do it at her house because of her family situation so.....I guess we are hosting a sorta birthday party?  LOL  And, then G2 asked if we could go to the mall yesterday to pick her up a gift.  Well, since we would be buying her a gift anyway, we headed out after I dropped G1 off. 
This "birthday" party isn't changing much in the way of what we were doing today in truth.  M doesn't like cake so G2 and I will bake some cookies instead.  A trip to the dollar store later to grab some birthday plates and streamers/decorations and we can call it a day.  M doesn't want much really....she just wants to be with her friends and that's something G2 and I can do for her.

While at the mall yesterday, I stopped over at Windsor in search of G1's prom dress.  G1 found an absolutely gorgeous dark green velvet dress there a few weeks ago.  She sent me a pic of her in it and she was stunning!  And, it so happened to fit the prom theme of "Hollywood Red Carpet".  She didn't buy the dress because it was a little snug when she buttoned the neck.  Whelp, wouldn't you know when we went to order it on the website, the dress didn't exist?!?!  Luckily the dress was still there yesterday!  However, when I asked if any other stores had it one size up, we found out that this was the last dress anywhere in any size!  The clerk said it might be discontinued.  I was on the phone with G1 and she told me to grab it!  We can see if the buttons can be "let out" at all.  And, if not, she said she could deal with how tight it was and that it wasn't strangling her or anything!  LOL   Bright side is that I don't think anyone else is going to have this dress at prom since it's the last one anywhere!  =)  And, best part is that is was *only* $74.99!  Approximately half of what I expected to pay for a prom gown for her.

Anyway, we are off to the farmer's market this morning.  Then I have to come home and do a little more cleaning (including mopping the downstairs floors), and bake those cookies I mentioned above.  Dinner will be easy tonight - pizza for which I budgeted already.  Then Papa and I will hang out in our room tonight to catch up on some DVR'd shows while G2 and friends will have the run of the downstairs!  I can't complain though - G2 and friends are all really nice kids.  =)
G1 made the smart decision to be out of the house at Ramsey's all weekend.  Haha!

And, finally on the docket for this weekend is a potential date night for Papa & me! There was a slight surplus in money for "entertainment" since Papa and his coworkers didn't go out for drinks after work on Thursday night as originally planned.  Plus G2 decided against going to a concert last evening for which I had already budgeted.  So, Papa and I are thinking of going to the movies to see "Before I Fall".  My entire family loved the book so hopefully the movie doesn't disappoint.  I mentioned to G2 that, since we were already probably going, that she and her BFF could join us (but sit somewhere else in the theater of course because, you know, "cool" factor  haha!).

Phew!  Sorry that was a bit of a ramble wasn't it?  =)

Have a great Saturday!

Friday, March 10, 2017

Winter's Wimpy Return and That's a (Mostly) Wrap!

Sorry for the lack of post yesterday....It was errand day around here and, coupled with the threat of a snowstorm for today, every place I went was jammed with people!  Unfortunately, I HAD to be out there with them since I needed to grab pet and people food.  LOL

As for the snowstorm we got today?  Wimpy at best!  The road outside my house (and even my driveway) are still completely blacktop so the snow seems to only be sticking the grass and trees  The Guppies did have school cancelled today - more because of the timing of the storm, not the amount.  They are happy for the long weekend but, you know the storm was a bust, when I say they should have gone to school and I would still go out driving right now.  (I am a BIG baby when it comes to driving in bad weather!)

It is nice to have them home today because, when the movie they are watching is over, I am putting them to work cleaning their rooms!  LOL  G2 especially since she is having a bunch of people over to hang out tomorrow - with the girls invited staying overnight.

Papa's big project at work in officially (mostly) over!  There are now things that have to be fixed/checked computer wise on the back side of course but the "big stuff" is done.  As a matter of fact, it's almost 11am and the poor guy just got out of bed to have breakfast - the hours have finally caught up with him.  LOL  (He's going into work for noon today and will be home at a regular hour!)  He was figuring out how much time he has put in over the course of the last three weeks and it's astounding - He was averaging SEVENTY TWO HOURS!  Can you imagine if he wasn't salary?  All that extra $$$$?  LOL   The three consultants gave rave reviews to Papa's boss about him - which can't hurt!  And, the boss (and big boss) are both super pleased with the end results!  I'm very proud of him and really am hopeful that this could help advance his career at the hospital rather quickly.  Fingers crossed!

I'm off to make my list of things to accomplish now.

Have a great Friday!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Day Book for March 8th, 2017 Plus Gas & Garbage

Picture of the little s'more bonfire we had at the Lake Compounce cabin we rented last year for G2's birthday.  Yes, that means I am actually ready for summer to come -which isn't usually like me!

Outside my window....
Because it's so much later than when I normally am writing, there's not much traffic (cars or pedestrians) at the moment.  It looks like the sky is brightening up and maybe the sun will poke out soon!

I am hearing....
Not much besides the dog snoring and the ferret upstairs running up and down her two flights of steps in her cage....She is a bit strange.  LOL

I'm wearing....
Sadly, it's 10am and I'm still in my PJ's!  My gray Pooh sweatshirt and pink Santa flannel bottoms.  I'm not "in season" or matching but both keep me warm!

I'm feeling....
Pretty tired actually.  Papa didn't get home from work until 3am and I don't sleep very well until he's home.  I'm so happy this is most likely the last week of this crazy schedule for him!

I'm reading....
I just finished a book last night called Somebody Else's Daughter by Elizabeth Brundage. It was an unbelievably well written, raw, and depressing book.  But, soooooo good!  Highly recommend it!  I am currently charging up my Kindle to find a book to read since I have a bajillion stored on that thing!

I'm grateful....
that tomorrow is payday here, that G1's migraine is better, and that Papa's work schedule will resume normally next week.

From the kitchen....
Nothing planned in there yet....besides cleaning up the rest of last night's mess sadly.  I have to figure out what I am going to make for dinner.  I may just do good ol' reliable (breakfast for dinner!).

Coming up for the rest of the week....
Let's see...
Tomorrow I have my grocery lists ready.  I'm hitting three separate stores to cherry pick the deals.  Also, G2 has an orthodontic appointment afterschool.
Friday the weathermen are calling for snow in the morning so I may or may not have company during the day (aka The Guppies)!  Either way, I have a LOT of cleaning to do in preparation for G2's Saturday night sleepover here.
Saturday we will go to the farmer's market for milk and poke around inside to see what other vendors are around.  Then G2 has her sleepover....I don't know how many kids are coming over but I'm guesstimating at least five.
Sunday, I plan on relaxing and getting set up for the following week!

As predicted last week, I did have to fill up my car on Friday evening for $28.25.  Currently I have a little over 1/2 tank left since driving G1 back and forth to Ramsey's house (40 minutes away) eats up some gas!  That leaves me with $101.75 left in the March budget for my car.  So far so good!  =)

Two bags again this week....which seems to be my new normal.  I would definitely like to cut that down to one.  I need to put my thinking cap on and get to cutting down the waste around here!

And, with that, I'm off to change and walk the dog!

Hope you all have a great Wednesday!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Dreary Sleepy Day.....

Ridiculously dreary day in my part of the world today!  Scattered rain has left an overall murk on the world...and leaves me very sleepy to boot!

G1 got a pretty awful migraine in the middle of the night and hasn't been able to shake it yet.  She's in her darkened room trying to sleep it off while I am downstairs creeping around, hoping to not wake her up.  Did I ever mention she is a light sleeper and seems to have bionic hearing?  (LOL)   I'm so paranoid I think the click clacking of my keyboard is going to wake her up!  =)

So, I have resigned myself to the fact that not much is going to get accomplished today...which is fine.  Some days are like that.

I'll just sit (very quietly) and catch up on blogs and read my book until it's time to pick up G2 from school and bring her to therapy.

Have a great day everyone!

Monday, March 6, 2017

Positively Monday!

Happy Monday everyone!   I think Mother Nature missed the memo here in Connecticut!  We are supposed to be warming up as we inch closer to Spring....It should not be 15 degrees out this morning!  Brrrrrrr!

Anyway...Here are my positives to start the week off right!

1.  I was able to "save" some chicken breasts in my fridge before they spoiled.  (I took them out of the freezer last Tuesday I think.)  I made them into Blackened Chicken salad which we ate yesterday for lunch and will both eat today for lunch.

2.  I used up the last of the buttermilk (dated 3/2) in a new recipe for Buttermilk Coffee Cake. While the recipe is not going to be one of our new favorites, it's definitely delicious enough to be eaten!

3.  I divided/hid/froze some of the Costco haul to help make it last a bit longer which will help my overall grocery bill this month.

4.  This *should* be the last big week for Papa's project!  Come this time next week we should be  back on a relatively normal schedule....where long work days mean seven or eight o'clock in the evening not two or three in the morning!

5.  This weekend Papa was able to fix the hot water handle in the shower with extra washers he already had in his tool box.

6.  I got my planner "in order" and feel so much better about it.  Even though this week doesn't have much planned, there is just something about feeling organized and more in control when my planner is set.  I also customized it a bit more so I can keep track of other stuff (my meds, exercise, food diary, meal plan, grocery list) so I can keep it all in the same planner now. And I did it solely with stuff I already had so it was free!  =)

Those are my top 6 positive things!

Anything positive to share on your Monday?

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Sunday Plans....

I feel yet another cold coming on!  I am positive it's due to all the crazy temperature fluctuations in Connecticut lately coupled with the crud everyone keeps passing around.....over and over!
But, no I refuse to be cranky today!  Especially since right now all I have is a bit of the sniffles, a tickle in my throat, and some overall tiredness.

Yesterday, Papa asked me to go with him to work and help with the big project.  They are pushing for it to be completed by this coming Friday.  And, even though his actual job doesn't have him physically processing parts, it's been all hands on deck since the project is a complete overhaul of the OR supplies room -which Papa was head of researching and reconfigurating.  Anyway, we spent over four hours walking through the areas that have been completed...with me reading him stock numbers and him inputting it into the new location spreadsheet.  I enjoyed watching Papa interact with all the people bustling in and out and I am super proud of him....As are his bosses so YAY!
My point in saying all this is....


By the time I got home, G2 and her BFF (who came while we were out and was sleeping over) were starving!  So, I focused on that and sadly didn't get much done afterwards.

Which leaves a bigger "to do" list today than I would have liked but it is what it is....

1. Iron Papa's shirts
2. Fold the 2 loads of laundry already done
3.  Wash & fold 2 more loads of laundry
4.  Walk the dog (daily chore) 2x
5.  Bake buttermilk coffee cake to use up buttermilk with date of 3/2
6.  Figure out what dinner is going to be!
7.  Repackage and freeze half of bite sized cinnamon rolls for later this month
8.  Set up planner for coming week
9.  Clean both bunny and ferret cages
10.  Straighten family room and vacuum
11.  Clean kitchen and sweep floor
12.  Sweep dining room and clear table of my papers and junk
13.  Sweep and tidy living room
14.  Make blackened chicken for salad during the week (if chicken is still good as it's been in the fridge for a few days)
15.  Try to get some reading in!

And, there you have it.  I am a LOT less organized than I was last Sunday but I'll get my act together today to make sure this week is as smooth as I can make it!

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, March 4, 2017

What's Cooking?

G1 still at Ramsey's but coming home for dinner.
G2:  Breakfast Delight - Open faced toasted English muffin with bacon and American cheese drizzled with syrup
Papa:  Egg McMuffin style sandwich
Me:  English muffin with butter and bacon

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup (using the leftover roasted chicken from last week)
Garlic Bread (leftover from Saturday night but doctored up a bit with garlic powder)

"Picky Party" for Oscar night:
Jalapeno Poppers
Mozzarella Sticks
Broccoli Bites
Pigs in a Blanket
Caramel Popcorn

G1:  Everything bagel with cream cheese
G2: wasn't hungry - stomach bothering her
Papa:  Lemon yogurt with granola and fruit (at work)
Me:  Small bowl of Lucky Charms without milk

G1:  Egg McMuffin style sandwich
G2:  Pasta salad
Papa:  Chicken Noodle soup at work
Me:  PB&J, pretezel rods

G1, G2, & Me:  Tacos
G1 & G2: I also finished frying up the leftover broccoli bite mixture for them
Papa:  Leftover Broccoli & Cavatelli from Saturday night

G1:  Everything bagel with cream cheese
G2:  Croissant
Papa: I made him a big breakfast before he headed to work later than usual (since he worked until 1 am last night)  Fried Eggs, Sausage, Toasted English muffin
Me:  English muffin with butter

G1:  Onion & Cheese Quesadillas
G2:  Goldfish on her way to therapy and then cheese and crackers when she came home
Papa:  Taco and Rice Bowl with cheese and tortilla chips
Me:  PB&J with pretzel rods

G1 & G2:  Chicken nuggets with French fries
Me:  A handful of fries
Papa:  PB&J
Dessert for G1, G2, & Me:  Homemade Bengiets with powdered sugar and honey butter  --- YUUUUM!

G1 & G2:  Leftover Bengiets
Papa: breakfast at home - scrambled eggs and bengiets
Me:  a cup of pineapple and dry Lucky Charms

G1: Scrambled eggs, sausage, & cheese on bagel
G2 & BF:  Chicken nuggets and pretzels
Papa:  Tuna salad on everything bagel
Me:  Picked on the bengiets all afternoon ((oops))

G1 at Ramsey's
G2, BF, and Me:  Breakfast for dinner - Pancakes, bacon, & diner style homefries*
*we don't observe Ash Wednesday/Lent so having meat isn't an issue for us today
Papa:  PB&J  - He said it worked well yesterday evening and requested it again.  Easy peasy

G1: Last of the beniegts
G2:  Croissant
Papa & Me: Breakfast at home:  French Toast with syrup  Papa had kiwi with his as well.

G1: Quesadillas
G2: Popcorn - didn't want anything else
Papa:  Roasted Veggie sandwich on everything bagel at work
Me:  PB&J  I have been on a PB&J kick all week long!  LOL

G1 & Ramsey wanted to get fast food.  I told them I would drive them but not pay.  G1 decided to pay for them and got something for G2 too.
Me:  Grilled cheese
Papa:  PB&J

G1:  Can't remember
G2:  Croissant
Me:  Dry Lucky Charms
Papa:  Croissant

G1:  Pot stickers
G2: Lunch afterschool at her boyfriend's
Me:  Pot stickers & a clementine
Papa:  French toast (leftover from Thursday)

G1 at Ramsey's and G2 at her boyfriend's
Papa & Me:
Split one New York Strip Steak
Au Gratin potatoes (lurker in pantry)
Roasted Brussel sprouts

G1 at Ramsey's until tomorrow evening.
G2: Croissant
Papa: French toast (leftover from Thursday) with syrup
Me:  Piece of French toast (leftover from Thursday) with syrup and a clementine

G2: Lime chips with salsa
Papa took me with him to work today around 11:30 to help with the project where I as able - which was basically reading off numbers to him that coordinated with bins and such.  Exciting stuff I know - LOL.  While hands on inventory processing isn't part of his normal job, it's all hands on deck since the push is for the project to be completed by this coming Friday!  Woo Hoo!
Since we had a later breakfast, we didn't have lunch before we left.

G1& BFF:  Bacon & Broccoli Pasta with Ciabatta rolls
Papa & Me: Meatball subs (made meatballs yesterday with 1/2 lb ground beef)  and Pringles

There's our past week's food in a nutshell!  I am hoping to incorporate at least one to two new recipes next week.

How did your week go food/meal wise?