Saturday, May 31, 2008

happy weekend!

Hooray! I love Saturdays :-) Today we're spending the morning at home, letting the boys burn off some energy, and then going into town this afternoon. Hubby needs new shoes for work-I'm betting those will cost us $100, only because he wears them out, and w/ his size 13 feet, we can't shop just anywhere for him. As much as I hate spending that kind of money-heck that's a week of groceries now (or a little over a tank of gas!), I know he's on his feet all day, so its worth the investment.
We're also headed to a birthday party today. I know the child is into Disney princesses, but honestly, I've never been one for getting junky toys. I'd rather give her an educationa; toy from my toy closet, or clothes, since I know she's growing. I know I'm coming from the mom stand point, and while it may not be a popular view (heck, the child is already 4), I know I can only control what I give, not what the parent decides to do with the gifts her child recieves/doesn't recieve. If she's not happy, oh well-for me, it should be about friendship and celebrating an occasion, not about getting the hottest toy out there. we'll see how it goes.
have a great weekend everyone :-)

Thursday, May 29, 2008

thinking ahead has its perks

Hubby has a potluck today. He told me about it two weeks ago, and I had reminders up the wazoo. Still, the brownies I promised him went unbaked-sadly, the kids sleep pattern never aligned last night. Instead of going to the store, and paying a small fortune for a small tray, he walked out of here w/ a bag of homemade chocolate chip muffins-that are quite tasty. He pulled out the bag late last night, and they're defrosted and smelling yummy. Gee, I guess baking ahead and freezing extra batches came in handy :)

Last night I tried a new recipe from my Rachael Ray cookbook. It was ground burritos w/ beans and salsa. I loved how I added bell peppers to the mix, and the boys gobbled it up. Yay! I made a double batch of the meat, and making tamale pie (basically cornbread on top of meat) for tonight's meal. I hate waste, and this way we stay on top of the leftovers. Our parenting workshop got changed to tomorrow night, otherwise we'd have the leftovers then (the workshop provider provides meals for the families involved in the program). I'm just glad we made it to the end of the month, and payday is around the corner.

We have a lot of plans going on next month, and I hope I can stick to my internal budget. I'll work from home in the coming days on baking ahead, to take advantage of the cooler weather while it lasts. I also need to run by the store and see if there is any produce marked down-I found a ton of bananas last time that were bruised-but still firm-they were marked down to .33 cents a pound vs. the .79 cents for the same ones (that happened to be green!) I told my MIL about that, and she just laughed. She said the stores do it all the time. How was I supposed to know-I just knew about the meat and bakery-I hadn't seen my store mark down the produce too. Oh and the bananas, I turned them into banana bread. Can someone say yummo? :)

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


mornings never were my forte. however, since having children, i'm awake earlier and earlier every passing day. maybe by the time my eldest goes to kindergarten, i won't even go to bed-i'll be up the whole night and then some. something to think about while i have my cup of coffee this morning.

i'm hoping today is a positive day. i'm printing up m's birthday invites while running errands this morning. we're headed to a nearby park for a playdate. the weather looks sunny and warm, yay! love this kind of weather before the dreaded heat (and monumental) a/c bill start.

have ground pork defrosting in the fridge. i have to go through my recipes to see what i can make. last night, hubby was less than thrilled w/ my grilled chicken salad dinner (w/ hot dogs for the boys). oh well. we're far from starving. i've told him in so many words that we should count our blessings because there are people less fortunate than ourselves. anyways, as long as i can craft something delish out of the pantry it's all good.

one last tidbit, yesterday the book i requested from the library came in. the tightwad gazette-the first one. i've ordered the compliation, but it's making the rounds right now. i've noticed a definite increase of usage of the frugal living books i've borrowed from the library. i'm thinking w/ the local economy, people are trying to think what else they can do to improve their financial status. i'm just glad we didn't wait until now to start.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

have lunch?

all i heard yesterday from hubby was how he was bringing lunch to work today. he even got the ingrediants out, but eventually got sidetracked from kids calling his name. did it ever happen? not even close. we had leftovers from dinner, so i figured, perhaps he'd take that. not even close.
so today he asks me to meet him at costco for lunch. we're out of milk, or close to it-only because he guzzles it like water (a pet peeve of mine). i don't want to drive 25 min just for milk-i could make it stretch until tomorrow. i don't want him to spend money on lunch-he should have brought it, there was food at home. i hate dwelling on the small stuff like bringing lunch, but i know how a cheap lunch w/ me somehow morphs into an expensive lunch by himself-sounds backwards, but its true. hubby's called me a compass, for keeping us on track financially. that doesn't mean i don't have the urge to say shove it, lets go out for some good food. i just remember the food we have sitting at home, how less and less is getting tossed out (yay-progress!!!), and the urge dies down into wimper, where it can hang out.
the month is almost over for us, and it brings a new set of challenges w/ it. june will be an expensive month-between our trip to san fran to help hubby's aunt move, m's birthday party, and i'm sure some unforseen expense will crop up.
i hate feeling so blah-when really, there is a lot to be grateful for. i really need to count my blessings and think positive. maybe some baking is in order for today. nothing like fresh banana bread/muffins to put life in perspective.

Monday, May 26, 2008

coming home

It seems whenever I head back to the bay, the thought crosses my mind-why did we come to k-town? Was it the farms? The small town vibe? Nah, it was the fact that we were limited to what we could do in our lives if we stayed there. Owning a house? Sure, but a 2 bedroom upstairs apartment w/o a garage started at $450,000. So we moved, clear to where the grapes grow, and citrus trees are down the street. How I miss the days of freeway hopping from one edge of town to another city was a piece of cake, and shopping-well, shopping is in a class by itself there. Here's where our family lies, and I'm grateful for that.

On our way there, hubby and I had quite a discussion about the expense of these pictures that we've paid for over the years. He gripes at the cost, the long drive, but loves the results. I love the drive (in fact I drive the whole time), the visit with family and friends, plus the awesome pictures that come from the camera. I would rather have good quality pictures than a house full of material objects that are used and abused by our three sweet boys. At the end of the shoot, hubby says those oh, so sweet, words-"Honey, you're right" So here for your viewing pleasure, the pictures. All you need to do is go to , click on client log in, then go to view gallery and enter password “ allene36"

By the way, I love hearing what others think of the pictures, please let me know what your favorite images are :)

I have more to write about our trip, but will need to do that in another sitting-kid duty awaits :)

Friday, May 23, 2008

highs and lows

so the job interview didn't go as planned. they wanted someone w/ clinical experience, and i don't have it. gas was 3.95 a gallon at costco and it cost us $72 to fill the tank. yuck! now i'm debating whether we should hit the farmer' market tonight since we just drove all the way back home for a few hours. there's plenty of food in the freezer, i just don't want to cook
can tomorrow come sooner so i can escape? like someone posted recently, i just want to run away....

growing up activities

so i have an interview this afternoon for employment. this agency found my resume online so i have no clue offhand what type of position it is, but once again, i'll just take it as a learning experience. hubby will watch kids so i don't have to worry about that.

yesterday i enrolled both older boys for swim lessons. on the advice of one of the people in charge, i put both boys in the same beginning "getting used to the water" class session. i put them in the first session, so if they do well, i can hopefully move them to the next level later on this summer. at $40 per child, it was the most affordable option. plus, we'll see if the boys are even ready for this step.

i had talked last night w/ a mom at the parenting workshop about the dance studio in town. she has just finished there w/ her 5 year old daughter. i asked her about her experience, and she gave me a lot to think about. not only do the classes cost money, but the studio charges for the outfits for the recitals, tickets for the recital (w/ a 5 ticket minimum purchase), and other fees. all together, she spent approximately $1500 this school year on that one activity-i must say she was thrilled when her daughter didn't want to do it anymore. i am going to see what the summer progam entails-and i still need to see what other local places north and south of us offer.

this weekend will be eventful. we're headed to san jose tomorrow for pictures and seeing my siblings. i'm hoping to either take the boys to santa cruz (free entertainment) or vasona park (free entertainment). we'll spend the evening at a place called the jungle, since my sister's apartment is not conducive to 3 kids hanging out all evening long. my sister told me she has a bogo coupon for the boys (parents and infants are free).

last time we went to the bay area, i planned ahead and brought drinks and snacks, enough to get us though that whole trip. i'm sure i'll pull it off again this weekend. i'll probably buy some food at the grocery store in the bay area, only so i don't have to worry about meals spoiling on the road-but we're always economical when we travel, and i have our coupon book, and my sister's book for her area too. if i'm lucky, the boys will behave well tomorrow night, and maybe my sister and i can go out for a late evening once she gets off work-anything's possible. i figure as long as i have realistic expectations, i'm not prone to being disappointed.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

saving money in the kitchen

taken from a flylady email received today:

Dear Friends,We're talking about saving some real money in the grocery store thisweek. About 13 years ago when my daughter was a kindergartener, I hadabsolutely no money for my food budget. Well, let's just say I had aridiculously under budget food budget. 100 bucks a month is all I hadto feed a family of 4. True, the kids were little, but there were also2 adults that needed to be fed and I was bound and determined to keepmy budget so we could pay off some big time debt and meet our currentfinancial obligations. The following is excerpted from an article I wrote about 5 years ago.I put together my best tips for saving major money at the grocerystore out of necessity and they still work today. Here you go:

1. Be a Bounty Hunter. If your grocery store has a sale on ground beef(for example) and it's a great big package, buy it any way, and cut itup into sizes you'll use. Use the freezer quality zipper top, plasticbags. You're going to go to all this trouble; you might as well havesomething quality to eat when it's time to thaw!

2. Bigger isn't Better. Not necessarily anyway. Don't automaticallyreach for the biggest package at the grocery store thinking you'regetting the better deal. Compare prices and watch for the price perounce or unit, on the price tag.

3. Make Mine a Markdown. Check the back of the store for a markdownshelf. Not all stores have these, but some do. My market deepdiscounts dented cereal boxes and I save a small fortune that way.Watch the dented cans though--I'd pay retail just to avoid any problems.

4. Count Your Losses. Loss leaders (the cheap stuff they advertise onthe front of the flyers they send out every week) are designed to getyou into the door. That's fine; buy those things, but watch for theend cap displays in the store. They're usually NOT the loss leaders!Just regular old merchandise. Don't be duped into buying it thinkingit too, is on sale. Most of the time it is not.

5. Grocery Store Smarts. Give yourself this quick test before leavingthe house. Do I have my list? Is this a bad time to shop? (avoid rushhour and prime time at the grocery store) Can someone watch the kids?(no explanation necessary) Am I hungry? (you know what happens whenyou're hungry and you're shopping for food!). If you've passed thetest, go to the bathroom, tuck your list into your pocketbook and GO!

5. Spice it Up. I use a LOT of spices when I cook--if you ever usedany of my recipes you know that. But I DON'T buy them at the regulargrocery store or I'd go broke. Instead, I get them at a discountstore, like Wal-Mart for $1.00 each or the health food store. You canget them in bulk jar for pennies and the quality is outstanding.

6. Take Stock. Be careful about stocking up your pantry. Will youreally use it or will it go bad? I bought spaghetti on sale once atBig Lots for 10 cents a package and by about the 20th package, therewere little bugs in them! eeewww! Stocking up is smart; hoarding is not.

7. Go Bananas. If your bananas get a little too ripe, peel them andfreeze. Use them for banana bread, smoothies or just let the kids eatthem as is for a delicious snack -- especially in the summer.

8. Menus aren't just for restaurants. You MUST plan your meals. Noplan spells disaster--you know that. If you need some help, go to mywebsite for a week's worth of FREE dinner recipes complete with agrocery list.

9. Rubber Chicken. This is the mother of all dollar-stretchingrecipes. You take one measly, little chicken and turn it into threegreat meals (get it? rubber chicken?). The recipes are all on my site,absolutely free.

10. My Freezer, My Friend. In this day and age, the freezer is anextension of the pantry. Use it wisely! Get rid of the freezer burnedgarbage and feed it regularly with stuff you'll use. For example, doesyour family love your world famous meatloaf but you don't make itoften because it's time-extensive to make? Make TWO or even three nexttime, cook one off for dinner and freeze the others in their raw state(again--freezer worthy bags only).

And here's another nifty tip, use aSharpie pen (the only pen that will hold up in the freezer withoutrunning) to mark the date and contents (you must do this--you WILLforget) on the freezer bag. To avoid losing your Sharpie, keep ittucked into the freezer bag box and don't tell a soul it's there oryou will lose it for life.

And while this is not on the list, I'd be negligent not to mention theever-present fast food draw. You simply must drop the drive-thrumentality. Yeah, it is easier just to grab something to go and youmight not want to cook. But it's costing you your family's financialfreedom, not to mention health. It's the little things that add up androb you blind. And don't fall for the .99 menu either--it's all fat,cholesterol and those 99 pennies could be going toward a bill thatneeds paying off. You deserve better than that.

I have learned that being faithful with the small things has given methe privilege of handling the bigger things. As you keep diligentlyplodding along, you will get you where you want to be. I used to be inhuge debt, had next to nothing income-wise and an IRS problem thatalmost made me wish I had the mafia after me instead! But taking theslow road (it took me over ten years) gave me room to chip away at thefinancial problems; one small step at a time, using the brain God gaveme. Today, I am debt-free.
Love, Leanne************ ******

Kelly here: Leanne is absolutely correct, you must have a plan!!! The cost of the stress, the money and the cost on your body for eatingdrive thru, carry out, delivery and convenience foods is exorbitant!You can change this vicious cycle by having a menu plan. If you donot know how or need some help go and check out all of the menu plansthat Leanne has available. There are plans for every dietary need,there are plans for the freezer, babies and even your dogs!! You canwhittle down your waistline, your timeline and your bottom line with amenu plan! Here is the link for more info:http://www.savingdi about/about_ products. htmlHere is the link to the rubber chicken recipe: http://www.savingdi archives/ recipes/rubber_ chicken.html

clear the air

I love the fresh air blowing through town right now. It not only clears my head, but reenergizes my focus on my personal and family goals. Also, it'll definitely be a day for open windows-yay!
Today will be a simple day of a trip to a new park, and then home to recollect ourselves. I'm thinking about letting the boys play outside while I tend to the garden. I may stop by Target to see if there are any veggie plants left, or I may just use the seeds I have to plant. We'll see how the boys behave and go from there. I have snacks packed, so cost out today should be minimal, if we spend anything at all.
Looking forward to the sunshine :-)

Sunday, May 18, 2008

weekend review

hubby has two pairs of shorts for this summer, and i'm determined not to be stuck doing more laundry as i already am. so we trekked everyone to walmart, and bought him 5 pairs at $13 each. while the total adds up fast, it's definitely not the $25 per pair from the casual big and tall store. we also got him new underclothes-his have been tattered for a few months, and i knew it was only a matter of time before he got them.
we also went to costco. i think we did pretty well considering we loaded up on produce at the farmer's market and needed some basics (milk, fruit, bread, chicken) to get us close to the end of the month. had our coupon book in tow, and spent $114 out the door. i'm keeping our chopping in perspective-we've been eating at home, bringing snacks w/ us on our family days out, coming home early before the munchies hit. hubby got his snack of turkey jerky, and i got my bottles of snapple. it'll come in handy when we go on our upcoming trips out of town-we won't be inclined to hit up the convienance store for snacks/drinks.
enjoyed the afternoon in the wading pool/big pool. i need to get coupons for swim diapers. i have a feeling e is going to run through the one pack i have more quickly than i did w/ the boys-maybe because we'll be outside a lot more than we used to. i also need to figure out how to keep the wading pool clean. it got dirty w/ m and g playing in the yard and hopping in the pool. trying to keep it in perspective since they were happy, but i don't want to sit in yucky water w/ the baby-and the older boys don't seem to mind either way.
dinner was done on the stove top tonight, i'm planning on using the crock pot tomorrow so idon't have to cook in the heat. have new recipes to use, so that'll be different.
have to clip coupons too- i doubt i'll be shopping, but w/ the diaper deal from last week, i've learned its better to be prepared for anything.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

spending money on weekends

family days are always an adventure. never know how much we'll really spend until we are wherever we had planned to be. i try to budget accordingly, but i'm learning the importance of flexibililty. more often now, we're making better choices, so it all evens out.

for instance, yesterday was the farmer's market. we ate at costco on the way there, so i figured we wouldn't need to eat. make a long story short, we bought fresh produce (yay!) and then hubby goes off to get a drink for me and him to share (we planned ahead and brought stuff for the boys, but forgot about us). he came back w/ a tray of food. i could have gotten upset, but figured, it could be worse. we're eating at home, i won't try and make a big deal. the only problem was he got the iced tea from the stand that didn't offer free refills (and doesn't mind how often you come back for more). so he goes and gets another drink-a lemonade for $3-ouch. on second thought, scratch the ouch-because it was unlimited refills. i think by the time we got done at the end of the night, we had 6 refills, and the guy knew that hubby was sharing w/ me (and for the record, he knew that from the start). the night was a success, m showed me his rock star moves, and i decided i'm going to look into the local dance classes once they post their summer schedule.

today was k town' swedish festival. went there for the parade and walked around a bit. considered eating at the stands, all that food was calling my name. we decided to hit up the kids area nearby. they wanted $3 for a bounce house ride-per child. forget that-we did have a tantrum because of it, but hubby said $6 for a few minutes of bouncing was insane. because g and m both pitched a fit, we decided to go home for lunch. no sooner do we get everyone packed up, but g's asleep in the car, e's already asleep, and m's just hanging out.

m went w/ me to kmart to get our outside tent. the cost was a bit more-$124, out the door (and I had a $10 g/c so paid $114), but hubby was pleased w/ the size of it, and is setting it up as we speak. i'll post a pic once we get everything set up.

it may have cost us $150 between the pool, pump, and tent, but the family fun it'll provide-priceless!

Friday, May 16, 2008

the cost of staying cool

it's only 102 here, no need to complain, right? screw it, its freaking uncomfortable!
trying not to turn on the a/c, we ate dinner outside last night, heading to the farmer's market tonight to beat the heat. i'm at my wits end trying to just keep busy in a house whose walls seem to get smaller as the heat rises.

in other news, the freezer isn't broken. hooray! i just have to toss out the door, whenever hubby switched the cord originally, the stuff never completely thawed out the whole freezer, only the items in the door. i have double, triple, checked continuously since the beginning, and nothing in the back part was defrosted-the food was rock solid, never looked like it had been refrozen (i've seen what that looks like), only the stuff furthest away-hence, the door stuff. i'm beyond being upset, i just told him he's never allowed near it again. i did double check w/ my mil and other resources to see whether or not i should dump everything, and she (and my findings) said as long as nothing had started to thaw, the items that were rock solid were okay. if anything looks suspicious, i will toss-rather dump than get food poisoning.

i listed some baby boy stuff on ebay. as well as some other yard sale finds. i'll probably list more once were home bound more, gives me something to do amongst the chaos.
scored extremely well on diapers/pullups at target yesterday, while looking for a tent for the bakyard. thankfully i had my coupon binder-scored a ton of packs w/ $2 off pampers/pull up coupons that were mailed here. I'll post my total later, but totally rocked the deal. and kandoo products were clearance for 1.87 and i had $2 off coupons for those too-and they scanned w/o a problem. i had such a high after that shop, made me feel like carrying around the binder wasn't pointless, and that it was actually a good thing to have in the car. people always looked at me funny while i'd look for a coupon, but heck, its there to be used, and hubby doesn't care-he thinks its a bit amusing how gung-ho i am, and always asks me if i have a coupon for something before we buy it. this will make having to plunk down $89 for a sunshade tent that much easier.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

freezer hell

not pointing fingers since he already apologized, but now i have a freezer full of items waiting to be dumped/cleaned out since someone thought the extension cord would power the freezer better than the original cord-wtf??? when he made the switch, i don't know-i'm guessing a week. why he did it, i still don't get-something about not thinking the cord would stay in since it was stretched to its limit-need i mention its been that way for 3 1/2 years? grrrrrr.

having someone come out today or tomorrow to rule out any other problem before restocking the freezer. apparently the freezer is still under warranty. i just told hubby to say goodbye to meat for awhile, since i'm not paying full price to it-he can load up on the fresh produce from the farmers market.

total damage-probably $200-300 worth of frozen items-that i paid about $100-150 for over time. i'll try not to cry as i dump stuff out this morning while i'm going through the wreckage. it could be worse, that much i know. still, it's upsetting. :(

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

dinners at home

i have the urge to eat out way too often. its a bit sad, since really, once we go out, i usually wish we ate at home. traveling w/ the three boys is much harder that it was with one, two was doable, but three is often out of control. i understand why many families opt for take out at this point. however, my being insistent about using what we have in the fridge gets me in trouble. we have food in the fridge, therefore we have no excuse to eat out. bah. i hate being so practical sometimes. tonight we had pasta w/ sauteed veggies. the boys picked out every stinking vegetable. oh well. glass of wine for hubby and me, milk for the boys. how i wish i could have chocolate covered strawberries too. maybe tonight once the boys are asleep. otherwise, i think another glass of wine and fresh strawberries is in order.

changes are happening

where do i begin? random thoughts....
the car will be donated tomorrow
the dealer for the van called last night, wants me to bring in the van for repairs tomorrow, i had to laugh, they expected me to just leave the car there-but what would i do for the whole day sans car-and w/ 3 kids? chuckling, the guy said he didn't think i'd like being at the dealer all day, i said no, i wouldn't mind-but i bet his employees would-no one wants to hear my kids all day (except for me, of course). so now i'll have a rental, on their dime, thank goodness-i dn't want that expense!
more later, baby crying...
okay, typing and nursing at the same time.
i got nominated for two board positions in a local moms group-haven't been involved for a year, but have slowly been reentering activities-i accepted the nominations so we'll see where that leads
another group is having issues w/ declining membership, i'm interested in revamping it, so we'll where that leads
what does this mean finanicially? i'm still watching our dollars-searching out inexpensive things to do w/ the kids, or better yet, free events to attend
i need support as a mom, and feel others do too-right now this is what i'm passionate about-so i'll see where it leads
i hit up target while down south yesterday-stocked up on rice mixes, seasonings, and mac and cheese. should last through the summer. no more grocery shopping for the week, except for milk. having two growing boys we go through it like crazy. we'll eat at home this week, until farmers market this friday night.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mommy's Day

To think, it all started with seeing a pink plus sign.....

Friday, May 9, 2008

looking forward to the weekend

so yes, the blazer is officially dead as a doornail. it would cost $3800 to fix it, and that would seriously set us back. so, we'll see if it sells this weekend on craigslist or the local yardsale online group. otherwise we're considering donating it to the local high school for their auto shop class. boy, they'd have fun w/ that mess. ugh....maybe i'd be happier if we didn't just pay $1000 for repairs a month ago. can't cry over spilt milk.
off to the farmers market tonight. probably drown my sorrows in a ice cream cone. have a couple of coupons for food, so maybe we'll use those to treat ourselves. otherwise, we'll eat once we get home.
this weekend should be quiet. no plans for either day, not even mothers day. all i want is to enjoy the sunshine before it gets sweltering hot. maybe a trip to the zoo is in order. we shall see. at the least i'm going to assess our finances and work on a plan for us to reduce our debt more. i want to set up an esa for each boy as well as a retirement account for myself. need to see if we can swing that while paying off the credit cards (what a nightmare that has been-but i'm accountable and responsible for getting into the mess, so i'll get us out of it too). maybe one of these days i'll post what's due-it seems to help one of my friends keep on track-maybe that's the difference between her and me getting ahead-or her just staying focused longer.
enough of my thoughts, happy friday everyone!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

what has become of us

2:42 pm May 8th, 2004, you pushed your way into the world. You had us on our toes from the beginning, barely letting Daddy get me to the hospital where they said "you're at 10, go ahead and push, he's coming!" Whatever happened to planning for a birth-well, you introduced me to the fact that nothing ever happens the way you think. Oh the days drag on sometimes, but the years go fast! Happy birthday my sweet one!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

using all our resources

I'm tired of asting food, supplies, endess amounts of stuff that we use in our daily lives. I'm all for reusing, recycling, using our stuff until we have no more useout of it. This isn't just better for us but healthier for our environment too. This is the latest ephipheny I had after going through our refridgerator, and having to toss what would have been perfectly good food, had it been used by hubby as he had told me he would. Knowing that I have to accept responsibilty for it too, I told himonce I'm done clearing the dinner dishes at night, I will freeze the leftovers, providing it can be frozen. Whatever he plans to take for lunch, he can take from the freezer. This will allow us to cut back on having to toss stuff because he forgot to grab it, didn't want it, and it not being edible by the time I discover it (frm one of the two above mentioned reasons). I have no trouble eating leftovers, I just hate seeing them getting tossed because someone wont touch them, wheareas someone else would have already devoured it. It'll be interesting to see how this change affects mealtime at home.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

the silver lining

so the car damage may be worse than we expected. initial assessment is that the engine is no longer good. this means we can either continue to pour money into it, o write it off, selling it for parts. while the thought of being a one-car famly doesn't sound so appealing at times, i know it's doable. my parents relied on one car for two years, until they were in a financially sound place. i remember driving my dad to work, picking him up, i'm sure it was a hassle, but at the same time, it wasn't so bad. given how we want to watch our expenses, having one vehicle would definitely cut back on how much gas we consume each month-or at least cut it by 30%, if not more. time will tell.

Monday, May 5, 2008

put it back

its hard to walk into a store, put stuff in, check the price, and then put it back. normally its not a big deal, but when i'm trying to cut back on endless clutter, mainly what the boys have for playthings, it makes a difference. i walked into target to window shop, and found a couple of containers of moon sand. i've never let the boys have it, but its something they play with at preschool, and i've heard other moms buy it for their kids. i found two containers on clearance and put it in my cart. i walked around, found nothing else. e started to cry, and rather than pay for my items, i stuck them on a nearby endcap and left the store to feed/change him. it was a bit different, but i still enjoyed looking, just thought twice about buying it.
only purchase made today was at the mexican bakery for some goodies for a playgroup. spent a few bucks, and got a ton of sweets. guess what i'm having for breakfast tomorrow :-)

vons had a great sale on power bars and granola bars. i'm going to roll the deal tomorrow when i'm in the city. i don't mind stocking up on that stuff, since we will use them like crazy once it gets warmer, and we continue to spend more time outside. i rather have a bag full of munchies, than consider hitting up mcds every time (even though we will go there once it gets too hot to play outside).

one last success, we ate at home. yay!

tomorrow is a new day, i hope it's a good day :)

Sunday, May 4, 2008

give me some cake

and a bounce house, and call it a birthday! we just came from the best birthday party ever, and it was easy. a bounce house, pizza, and fresh fruit. one craft table, with an easy to do craft that even g got into! sparkling juices and bottled water. the kids had a ball. i am totally going to use all these ideas for m's birthday this year. hubby doesn't want to do a party at the house, but considering how easy it would be, and inexpensive to do, i'm totally sold on the idea. now to get the ball rolling. i'm thinking the first week in june, just need to consult the almightly family calendar.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

great day for a salad

Gosh, I love farmers markets-only I wish we got there earlier than later in the day so we could really score on some treats. Hubby and I took the boys to a small one this morning, walked away w/ a bunch of radishes, fresh garlic, and two different heads of lettuce. That, along w/ our finds at Costco, will make us yummy salads this week.

We checked out the car; Hubby said it was a fan that broke/slipped off-the same one that was just fixed a few weeks ago. So, we'll see what happens when the place opens on Monday morning. I'm just hoping that it's not too costly.

I did stop at WalMart on the way home and bought us a cheap salad spinner-considering that we're buying fresh produce now, and I had no good way off drying the salad greens once I rinsed them. I also found a knife that I had wnted at the outlets-this will allow me to chop, mince, and cut the food I want-and not tear it to bits. I'm hoping it'll serve its purpsoe-if not I'll return it, and spend the money on a better knife. Hubby did want Crystal Light-so I bought him the WalMart brand-although I told him I felt it was a better alternative to buy Splenda and just add it to my iced tea, or lemonade, since really, the Crystal Light didn't seem to have any nutritional benefit. Hmmm, maybe I'm becoming healthier, one step at at time, since there was a time I didn't read the labels on products like I do now.

The rest of the day is a stay home day; maybe a trip to the park, letting the boys nap. I have to pay bills for the month this weekend, and work on our menu for the next week. I'm hoping we'll have pleny of meals at home, but time will tell.

don't count the chicks before they hatch

isn't that what th saying goes? no sooner do i sit down and caculate how we're going to spend or not spend this extra tax money that we should be getting, do we enter the world of car troubles. last night on my way home from the interview (which totally sucked) the car began to overheat. given that we just put $2000 in the car a few months back, i'm not really looking forward to what the cost is going to be this time around. thank goodness for aaa, since i got a tow to our car repair shop, and hubby was able to pick me up on the side of the freeway. not a pleasant way to end the night. i'm hoping for a better day today.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

month in review

we kept on track this month, eating mostly at home, keeping away from frivilous purchases. this month will be more if the same, if not more. we'll face challenges, including m's birthday, mother's day, and i'm sure one or two unexpected crisis'. however, now knowing that it helps to be prepared, i'm expecting the unexpected. what a change from a few months ago.
i need to tally our bills today, and figure out what we have left for the rest of the month. hubby already said there won't be overtime this month, and not to expect any in the coming months. even more reason for this upcoming job interview to pan out, makes me more nervous to succeed, but i just need to remember to breathe, and i should be fine. even if this job doesn't pan out, i'm sure something will come along. like i keep reminding myself, at least i know how to work with what we have, and so much less. now its about applying that knowledge to our day to day life.