Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Tackle It Tuesday # 1

Tackle It Tuesday Meme

This is my first Tackle It Tuesday...and my first project will be transforming the spare room/guest room/"office" to a home office. In less than two months now, I'll be working from home---full time---until after the baby is born and at least a few months old. So I'm fortunate that I work for my dad, as an office administrator, and have for almost 10 years. And while I won't get the traditional "maternity leave" (or any real "time off" for that matter), I also won't be taking a pay cut or losing any money because I WILL still be able to work!

My goal is to have the home office almost completely set up by NEXT be sure to tune in to check my progress!

Guest Room/"Office" Beginning Photos

(To read more Tackle It Tuesday projects, go here)

Monday, October 29, 2007

Maniac Monday - October 29

Thanks Mel!

If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be and why?
I wouldn't change anything~I was fortunate enough to have an amazing childhood, I was very blessed and my parents are absolutely the best ever!

Do you think that the world will be a better or a worse place 100 years from now?
Definitely worse!

At the beginning of a relationship, do you trust your new partner unless there is something specific to make you do otherwise, or do you withhold your trust until he/she has earned it?
I try~in the past I've been TOO trusting, naive almost, which has come back around to bite me hard in the ass! I definitely have my moments of insecurities and doubt but just try to work through it without rocking the boat too terribly badly! Fortunately, I have an amazing man who's been through a few rough relationships himself, and knows where I'm coming from....

(To participate in Manic Monday or read other folks' responses, go here!)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Think About It Tuesday

So in light of the burning wildfires in California, my local radio station 100.7 The Wolf was taking a poll for callers to call in saying what they would grab if they had only 15 minutes to evacuate their home; family members and pets excluded, and only what you can carry.

Well, being as I have 5 cats and 2 dogs, I think it would take up the whole fifteen minutes to round 'em up and load 'em up so there wouldn't be much time for anything else! ;) However, it really got me to thinking what would I grab??

Most of my pictures are up in boxes in the attic, so there wouldn't be time for that. As are all of my fave pre-pregnancy clothes (aka. Seven Jeans, etc)...

So this is what I came up with:

  • Laptop
  • Purse, keys, cellphones
  • File of important papers (birth certificates, divorce papers, savings bonds, etc)
  • Change of clothes/shoes
  • My "survival bag" (or adult diaper bag as D likes to refer to it as!) which includes my flat iron, makeup, some jewelry, and perfume in a cute Victoria's Secret tote. And yes, it really does go everywhere with me! LOL I would of course, toss my hair dryer in!

I think that's about all I would have time to realistically grab! But now it's gotten me to thinking that perhaps I should buy a fireproof lockbox for those important papers and maybe some duplicates of pictures that aren't downloaded onto my laptop or desktop computer at work.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Menu Plan Monday: October 22, 2007

Here's what's cooking in my kitchen this week!

  • Monday: Baked Lemon Pepper Chicken Breasts, Parmesan noodles, and string green beans
  • Tuesday: Hamburger Stuffed Pita Rolls
  • Wednesday: Bacon Cheeseburger Meatloaf (*new recipe from my Aunt Candy!!*)
  • Thursday: Biscuits and Gravy with corn
  • Friday: Pizza
  • Saturday: Out to eat
  • Sunday: Pot Roast with carrots and potatoes
Be sure to go visit the other Menu Planners over at OrgJunkie!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Bacon Cheeseburger Meatloaf Recipe

My aunt was over visiting from Spokane this weekend for my baby shower and brought along a few tasty recipes with her that she left behind for me to try!! This one caught my eye and I decided to share it with you all!

Bacon Cheeseburger Meatloaf

What you need:

  • 1lb ground beef
  • 10 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 8oz grated cheddar cheese
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 3 Tbsp. mustard
  • 3oz can French Fried Onions
What you do:

Preheat oven to 350.

In large bowl, combine hamburger, bacon, cheese, eggs, breadcrumbs, mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper. Mix well.

In small bowl, combine ketchup and mustard. Stir 1/4 of mixture into meat mixture. Reserve remaining ketchup mixture.

Press meat mixture into greased 9x5 loaf pan.

Spread remaining ketchup mixture over loaf.

Bake 40 minutes.

Top with French Friend Onions and bake additional 10-15 minutes, or until done.

Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

**NOTE: You can also add barbecue sauce to taste to give it a BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger taste!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Sunday, October 7, 2007

To Save, or Not To Save...??!

Well as I mentioned in my last post about joining a group of other "thrifty mama's" in search of savings called Coupon Mama's, I've made little progress so far in actually saving. BUT...I also haven't been grocery shopping yet this week. I DID hit Safeway today in a SUPER SHORT spree with my mom to pick up some dinner for us and the guys. While there, I decided to grab some Rockstars and Hostess Donettes for Doyle and Cocoa Pebbles for my own breakfast. The Cocoa Pebbles were on sale for $3 (regular $3.89). Donettes were 10 for $10 (saved .87), Rockstars (saved $1.42 on 5 cans) and in the checkout line I spotted select candy bars on sale, buy 3, get 3 free...also another goodie for Doyle's lunch (saved $2.25)!! I also spotted and grabbed a 24-pack of canned of Friskies canned cat food (in the winter time I splurge and give the kitties this small treat once a day) for just $8.99 (regular $10.69, I saved $1.70). TOTAL SAVINGS: $6.24. I didn't spend enough to earn my gas discount though. =(

Another savings this weekend is an old habit I've placed on hold the past few years...EBAY. Now seriously, I was an addict. I would buy EVERYTHING on there...and also spend time at work shopping, until MySpace replaced that habit! Now THAT saved me some serious moola! LOL But seriously, you REALLY can save on there! Last week, I ran out of my Proactiv Renewing Cleanser. I pay $20 from the vending machine in the mall for it, after canceling my membership because I was getting bulk in the items that I DIDN'T need (and paying for it)---Repairing Lotion lasts FOREVER, as most of you Proactiv users know!! ;) Anyway, so the mall's Proactiv vending machine was EMPTY when I hit it last. I even had my cousin stop by to check again a few days later, since he lives in the area...still, no refills. So desperate, I decided to hit Ebay. Side note: I DO sell The Body Shop, and while I absolutely LOVE our Tea Tree Acne/Blemish prone skincare line, I bounce back and forth between that and the Proactiv. Okay, so back to my saving story---I found a full sized bottle,4oz, BRAND NEW, SEALED of Proactiv Renewing Cleanser on Ebay last Friday for $9.80. + S&H ($4.50). I bid, I won, I bought! So for $14.30 and a couple days of waiting, I saved $5.70!! WHOOP WHOOP!!

So ecstatic about my great bargain, on Saturday I hit Ebay again, to shop prices on my Ralph by Ralph Lauren perfume. The last bottle I had was a Christmas gift from the ex last year. I ran out a few months back, early on in my pregnancy. Now I'm not kidding, foods haven't really bothered me much during my pregnancy, but the smells of perfume has!!! Weird??! I think so! So while I have an almost full bottle of my Pink Sugar perfume, the smell makes me feel ill!! First off, I can't wear a lot of perfumes, I get headaches. So I usually just have my Pink Sugar (which now makes me want to retch!) and my Ralph, on hand. LOL, no pun intended, actually, the Ralph DOES NOT make me wanna ralph! =)

I've been desperate for my Ralph but reluctant to spend the $59.50 + tax (bringing it to just under $65), because we haven't really had the extra fundage and I've been a bit more cautious now that we're expecting. Last night I decided to hit good ol' Ebay. And I got my Ralph for $46, INCLUDING SHIPPING!! =) Saving just under $20!!!!!

My last bargain isn't so much of a savings but it DID save me money, so I've gotta share! My friends Mel and M both mentioned shampoo/conditioner savings in their blogs, so that reminded me that I DID save on my purchase of shampoo and conditioner last week. I usually buy Pureology and The Body Shop's Honey shampoo and conditioner. I bounce back and forth between these two brands every couple of weeks or so, as I feel like I need the "change". As I sell The Body Shop, I receive a 25% discount which means I pay somewhere around $11 for a bottle of shampoo or conditioner, whereas I have to purchase the Pureology at my local hair salon. Now, I'm one of the lucky souls because my bestest friends work at said hair salon and one even manages it. They've even dubbed me the honorary employee as I spend so much time there and with them all. Pureology retails for something around $25 per bottle. I scored the awesome deal of getting my shampoo AND conditioner for $27-something AFTER tax!! Talk about the hookup!!! I love my girls!!!! Just two weeks ago, I THOUGHT my Chi flat iron shorted out (my GFI outlet sparked, smoked, caught fire and turned black!)--when in all actuality, I'd instigated the short by a necklace hanging off of the medicine cabinet that arced when I unplugged my flat iron. Thankfully, my dad's an electrician, however, he was hunting when this particular accident happened. I was sure it was the flat iron going bad, so immediately tossed it in the trash and called my best friend Jen, to BEG and plead with her to hit the salon supply house to get me a new flat iron,which she did! LOVE YA JEN! She bought me the Infrashine for just $110, regularly a $200 iron!!! And as a super bonus (?), when dad came to check out my outlet a few days later, he also tested my Chi iron and declared it in perfect working order...guess now I have two flat irons, a backup in case of emergency, eh?!

So all in all (flat iron story aside), this weekend I saved about $50 on products that I LOVE and USE!!! Now to me, that is savings!

Friday, October 5, 2007

Some Not-Quite-New-Year's-Resolutions...

I am currently at the end of my 2nd trimester of my very first pregnancy. 13.5 weeks to "go"! =) We've got the baby's room done, the house in order, and two baby showers scheduled. We both work full time outside of the home, and then some IN/AROUND the home in the evenings and on weekends. We lead very busy lives. Who doesn't, right?! LOL

So some things I've been thinking of lately to improve myself/life, etc are:

1. Eat Healthier. I am pregnant...NOT an excuse to eat for 10! LOL Thanks, Mel! ;) I am going to try to eat better, fruits, veggies, less portions, instead of just going HOG WILD and chalking it up to pregnancy. I'm sure it'll be worth it in the end, after Madison is born, and I want to fit into those size 27 $250 Seven jeans again!! =P

2. Exercise. Even a walk. I am going to start at least 3 times a day, talking my dog, Ellie May, around the neighborhood on a walk. She's a high-energy Border Collie trapped in a back yard, the exercise will do HER good as well! And perhaps on Sunday's, while D is watching football, I'll spend 15-20 minutes on the Elliptical trainier, which was relocated out to the garage.

3. BE ON TIME TO WORK (er, or TIMLIER!)...I am SICK of getting up late, hence getting to work late, which means STAYING late! Ugh. I don't like getting home at 6PM, rush to do dinner, dishes, and laundry before I can relax. If I can just manage to actually GET UP at 5AM when D gives me my wakeup call, rather than rolling over and drifting off back to sleep for another hour-hour and a half, I would be home by 4:45! Woohoo!!!!

4. Be thriftier, save money. With a baby on the way and unforseen (okay, well FORSEEN but NEW) expenses on the way such as formula and diapers, not to mention possible daycare and sick days for when I have to miss work (unpaid) to take care of Maddie. So there's two ways to make money: make more, or spend less. Hm. It seems that I have more control over the spending less option, however, if I'm on time to work (and more productive!) then perhaps that too would result in a raise! ;) So I've made a budget. Step one! Also, my friend Mel started a coupon exchange group with some friends, so not only have I met some great new ladies, but will also be saving here and there on products that I will actually USE! =)

So while it's not quite New Years, these are my almost-New-Year's resolutions. I'll keep ya posted on my progress, ya'll!!