Wednesday, December 30, 2015

New Year Planning

My brain is running wild - thinking of all the things I hope to accomplish in the new year.
I know I will be busy with the kids and their activities and trying to stay on top of stuff at home.
I'm looking forwards to getting back into a groove of things - off of holiday break mode.
Starting with the un-decorating of the tree - Jan 1 (usually I wait until the 6th, but this thing is dropping needles like crazy!)

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Thinking ahead to 2016

Coming up with my goals for 2016

I'm trying to be realistic in them, something's I want to work on are family, self and house.
Household ones include to tackle some improvement projects that we need to address such as
Closet systems to be installed in kids closets, repainting inside, general deck uttering
Personal ones include exercising more, doing something crafty every month, either in a class or carving out the time myself, getting ready to sub at school-app & legal forms, and planning my garden boxes for the yard.
Family goals will focus on cooking & eating healthier for all of us, decluttering, and a new savings strategy for next years Christmas shopping - more on that later.

I have resolved to NOT buy any more new clothes (other than shoes) until I have hit a certain size/weight goal. I won't be naked. Maybe not as stylish as I would like but clothed.  I've been really good with only buying certain good pieces and keeping them in good shape - band if I have to replace something it will be on sale with a coupon from kohls or at Savers or the consignment shop near hubby's office. Or at goodwill (which I've started to not like since they are pricey and it's getting grungy there)


How about you?  Do you set resolutions or goals for the new year? Or a little of both?

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Recovering day

Recovery Day.
Putting away presents and reconfiguring areas of the home.  The kids want to rearrange their furniture. I'm thinking of holding a FB tag sale - I'm in the mood to part with shit big time -

I did go for coffee and to a Scrapbooking store that is moving sale with a girlfriend this morning.  We have both been so busy with caring for our families, volunteering and caring for relatives & parents we haven't had much catching up time - it was good to get out and I even bought some stuff with my Christmas gift money.  My New Years resolution is to make crafting time for myself each month.  I have tons of supplies and tools and I find it relaxing.

I'm even thinking of starting to take a sewing class - since my sister bought me a fancy pants sewing machine for Christmas - I have a very basic portable one but such limited skills with it I think it's time.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

T'was the night before Christmas Eve.....

In true fashion of our last few years.....it's not the holidays for us without an appliance failure.

5 years ago it was the washing machine - this resulted in a rearranging & reprinting of the dingy dungeon like basement laundry room. Then a new washer and dryer and all the plumbing bills that go with the installation of them. Also included were several weeks of laundrymat trips - very costly but amazing how one can get 6 loads of laundry done in 2 hours.

Last year it was the fridge for my birthday. Another completely inconvient time

Today it was the washing machine. It luckily i had just moved one load of whites into the dryer and threw in another load of towels. That's when it all went to crap. Just as I started the machine the power went out.   It came back on a few minutes later so I restarted the washer and hubby and I went about our business - when we got back home I went to move those towels to the dryer - well the door was still locked and there were error codes flashing.    We looked them up - toast!
Finally we were able to get he door to open - not sure where it was in the wash cycle - I'm now at the 24 hr laundrymat re-washing those towels and the other 2 loads of colors - will dry and hang at home

Such a drag heading into the holidays.   Will be calling the appliance store tomorrow to see about getting them to come out Monday - hopefully it's fixable - And this is silly but it's the first time I've ever had a matching set - I don't want an un matching set :-(.

Plus I don't remember if appliances are on super sale in January.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Paper, tape & scissors

I am officially done shopping!  I was going to go get jeans for hubby - but remembered I just bought 2 pros of dress pants for him and hid them away.  The kids got mostly clothes - they are getting a really $$vacation hiking over the summer so if they don't wear it its gear for this trip - they're totally aware that Christmas is smaller because the trip is coming up.

Now, it's time to.....wrap!
Pass the paper, scissors and tape!  So tomorrow after my dr appt - you will find me hidden away wrapping like a fiend!

Many  years ago when I was single - I had a brilliant idea to sew gift bags for family gifts - they went over really well - my siblings would open the gift and return the bag to me, I would press it and use it again.  Once I got married, those fell out of favor - hubby didn't grow up like that and likes paper and ribbons.  Young kiddos in the family shouldn't be near safety pins that can be used in the place of tape.

I'm really thinking of maybe making them again for my in laws to use & return

Finally done!

wowsa!  I'm actually done Christmas shopping :-). Well except for a pair of jeans for hubby(Wallys tonight)

This year I tried to scale back in all aspects - buying useful needed items and spending s little more for quality vs quantity.  I guess I'll know Friday if it was a success.

I still need to clean bathrooms and do all the wrapping - but the paper is from super duper clearance post holiday sales last year - yay!

I may even do a little post holiday shopping for Christmas themed goodies on Saturday/Sunday. To stock for next year.  Then again - I may sleep in and drink coffee both days!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Dreading this Holiday school break

actually I'm not dreading the break - I'm dreading the end when the kids go back to school.  Youngest had a teacher resign this week.  Just found out who the sub is - a classmates mother.  I have so many reservations about this I'm sick about it.

Youngest has one of the many invisible disabilties that plagues students now.  Add to it he is extremely anxious about it being discovered by the others in the grade.  The teacher who resigned knew about it and was fantastic and exceptionally patient with him.  This is the same parent who questioned the fact he doesn't participate in a lot of sports (due to it). This mom also lacks a filter - whatever is on her mind just blurts out, she has discussed confidential items about other classmates at lunch to us moms (and not very nicely) and she yells!  Yelling is one of the worst classroom management skills out there.

So, needless to say I haven't told youngest - font need to wreck his vacation about it.  I have to discuss with husband about how we proceed now - do I have him pulled from the class, do I have his record sealed in guidance - I don't want her knowing his conditions since she feels "all the alphabet soup diagnosises are excuses for bad parenting and lazy learning habits", or do I go to the principle and register my concerns.

Same parent subbed for odest's class and the students said she spent both periods chewing them out for talking and behaving worse than the elementary classes she had worked in...

I'm sick about this....

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Christmas news

since the concerts are done - this week I've been focusing on my Christmas shopping.  Hubby had me hold off on some because we bought a 'tide us over' car.  It's a good used car, well small suv. He knows the mechanic we bought it from - who assured us it's a sound one - so oldest child will start driving it once the license is obtained this spring.  Hubby is listing his pickup truck to sell.  He desperately needs a new one and this one is not as good on gas and is actually now more than what we need.


So I've been out and about Christmas shopping.
I'm actually nearly done.  Every year the in laws and their college age kids provide me with a list and I try pull things off it in budget. I was shocked at some of the prices of things the kids requested.

My kids don't give lists anymore. Which is fine with me.  They should be thankful for whatever they receive.


Sunday, December 13, 2015

Survived - so far

Back in the land of the living - concert were a huge success!  As I knew they would be.

The kids even gave me flowers!  Total shocker, since I'm not a teacher - just a parent that helps with the stuff I know how to do.  I never voulnteered to get flowers - but they look very pretty on the table :-). I really enjoy working/helping in the performance arts area of school.  The kids are fun, honest & don't have the skills that the adults do yet - but they are totally willing to learn if we take the time to teach them.  This set of shows 2 boys learned how to sew a button back onto their tux jacket - yay!  (We don't have home ec class), later I'm teaching some of the girls to repair a hem without a stapler or tape!

 I think it frosted one of youngest's classmates mom - but I honestly now know where her kids get their need to prove to all adults they are right (regardless of how rude they are in the process) even when they are wrong.  

I'm going to just plug along and to what I can for the students and I have to accept there are so many kinds of people out there our kids come in contact with some good and some not so nice.  I'm striving to be nice.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Halfway there!

today is the halfway point of December crazy for us.
The musical is done, now it's a concert tomorrow and another on Thursday nigh then I can breathe.

Thanks for being patient as I've gone missing....

Monday, November 30, 2015

The next 10 days!

Holy crap!  Hubby and I looked over the calendars for the next 10 days.  Wicked busy! Band Rehearsals for both kids, musical for youngest, sports for oldest, 3 performances this weekend for the youngest, sports and leadership class for oldest.  Next week has the same band and sports schedule but add in the winter concert & reception after and another performance at school.  Then I have a fundraiser I helped organize on the weekend -while hubs and youngest go hiking & camping and oldest has sports again.

Really looking forward to mid year exams! And the break after

Friday, November 27, 2015

Black Friday Adventures

wasnt going to go out....but the kids are wearing out the over 20 year old blender it's whining badly - mission accomplished. Also a successful run to kohls for useful gift items - where I was able to use not only the 15% off BF coupon but also the $10 off coupon even though it was well after 1 pm and I earned $60 in kohls cash (already know what I'm buying & for whom with that).  

Tomorrow is small business Saturday - my favorite shopping day - but I'm waiting for church fairs next weekend to hopefully wrap up my shopping.


Monday, November 23, 2015

Freaking Turnips & meal prep

We have turnips every year.  They are diced and cooked with carrots and mashed roughly with a bit of butter.  Every year my mother makes them and another vegetable of her choice - not this year.  She has a dr appointment the day before thanksgiving so she doesn't have the time.  She doesn't like entertaining so I kinda learned how on my own.

Luckily for me the turnips I require were on sale at big y this week.  I just have to peel and cube them - this could be easier said than done.

My plan is to  do heavy cleaning tomorrow after getting my fingerprints done to start subbing.

Wednesday will be cooking day.  The turnips and carrots need to be peeled. Chopped & cooked.  Sweet potatoes to be baked and whipped, rolls to be baked, cranberry sauce to be cooked & chilled, onions to be creamed and refrigerated.  Turkey to be brined.

Thankfully my Inlaws will bring stuffing and dessert and my sister will do appetizers..

I'm thinking Wednesday night is going to be grilled cheese and soup or pizza night.

I guess I better get to sleep - I'm going to need it!


Sunday, November 22, 2015

Turkey Savings

Woo hoo - I have my turkeys for Thursday!
In the past I usually did my grocery shopping at whichever close store had the best turkey deal for loyalty card.  This year I haven't done too much regular grocery shopping - we've been eating from the freezer and pantry - I was running out mostly for fresh veggies and dairy.  So, that means I didn't spend the required $400 at shoprite for the free turkey.  Shoprite was the only one with a free offer, the others were selling turkey's for $.99/ pound if your bought $25 of $50 of other groceries.

Except for Big Y - a couple weeks ago hubby and I were errands together and they handed me a coupon for $7 off a turkey.  I hung on to it, until today when I went for my veggies & stuff for Thursdays dinner.  I bought 2 smaller turkeys, expecting to use the coupon towards one, the cashier used the coupon twice!  So I got $7 off each one - so excited!

Sometimes it pays to wait. Instead of paying full price of $1.39/# I paid about $.87/#!  Yay!!!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

A Day of Wonder

What a wild and wacky week here! I've totally burnt the candle at both ends to a little stub.

Bet you thought it was something profound huh?  Nope just me having a day of wonder...well morning of wonder.

It's a frosty Saturday morning and I'm wondering how I'm going to get everything accomplished I want to by the end of the day - when I have a nasty head cold thing happening & want to stay in bed and drink tea all day

It's a day of wonder because I wonder how to help the youngest with a friend situation with a particularly 'high stress - snaps at everyone center of attention - hero of all complex- mom" which causes her child to behave in a Snarkey middle school way and alienate friends by picking on them then crying victim.  I wonder how I can teach my youngest to be resilient and not get sucked into the early teen drama causing poo-flinging fest it has become.  I want  my youngest to be strong and secure in doing the right thing so others don't get hurt.

It's a day of wonder because I have NO idea about Christmas shopping this year - all the bargains ads are coming and are flooding my email box - it is info overload!  I should have been more prepared this year - that was my plan....after last year.

It's a day of wonder since I got the oldest's school winter sports schedule and every weekend there is a competition we have a conflict.  I'm wondering how to make that all work out, transportation-wise and parental support-wise, we could be calling on grand parents to be our substitutes. Also wondering if the coach will bench him for missing Thursday night practice because he has the winter concert for his school concert band class (graded concert). Last year all band kids were benched the weekend following the concert - even though he denied it - no band kids competed that day - the faculty advisor for the team didn't see a problem, skipping is skipping - not a big performing arts supporter I guess.

It's a day of wonder because there wasn't enough 'quiet time' in the week and I get this way when things get wacky & busy.  Don't we all?

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Chaos

So much of it in the world today.  We are not even turning on the TV this weekend.  Just focusing on the kids, their schoolwork and home stuff.  I will read the NYTimes online later.

On the home front, I'm in donation mode, kids have food drives at school and a winter coat drive too.
Looking at my gift closet shelf to see what's in there to be donated for the church toy drive.  I have to admit some years when my kids were little they would get 2 identical trucks or games and 1 would end up on the shelf....I haven't been good about shopping the shelf - but a new Tonka truck will make a kid with none smile I hope.

I also need to shop the freezer for meals this week - both to save $ and make room for the band pies the kids sold.  

My list of seasonal sales items grows and I realized, I haven't made a single batch of granola this fall. I will be adding some ingredients for that adventure to my list too.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

PriceRite Trip

Out on my errands today I stopped at PriceRite on the way home.
Spent $39.xx - not bad but I didn't really get a ton of stuff
Price rite brand 'shake & bake'
Peanutbutter crackers for the oldest's lunch
6 romaine hearts
6 bananas
Pillsbury quick bread mix (using for muffins)
2 links of Turkey kielbasa
2 bricks of cream cheese
2 shoprite brand jumbo biscuit tubes
Body powder
Jello pudding
Chocolate chips

And 10 boxes of brownie mix (Betty brand) for a school event - these have their own tab since I get reimbursed for them

I did a little price list making as I was there - for baking supplies :  it's stock up season!

I will be comparing this list to Aldi and sales at the regular store I shop at.



To Flanellize or not...that is the question!

Having the toughest time making the decision today....do I pull out the flannel sheets yet or do I want a few more weeks.

Last night I was chilled and really wanted them - since I'm keeping the heat off (60 degrees) as long as possible.  

With the temps in the high 50s I guess I can tough it out a little longer

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Weekend Update

November has been a busy month at my home & quiet month so far on my blog - I think the 2 are related!

This past weekend we went away as a family - we haven't all gone away and just hung out in a while - it was nice!  Nothing extravagant or exotic, just north to maine. We stayed cheap, ate well and relaxed.

We did a little Christmas shopping and I have the items squirreled away from the kids so they should be a surprise.    Of course I was able to score the obligatory Christmas Jammie's for them both - thankfully they were on sale -  tried finding slippers at the bean outlet - no luck in their sizes, I will look elsewhere because their feet are still growing - I don't want to spend a bundle of cash on them.  I would spend 30-40 for mine or hubby's because we won't outgrow them before winter is through.

This week plans to be a busy one - kids have a field trip tomorrow (I'm a chaperone for it), each day one or both hubby and I have meetings in the evenings, Wednesday off from school - big research project due for the youngest child on Friday, and a fundraiser on the weekend.  I will have to spend the last bits of the weekend prepping for all that will come at me.  Friday alone I have a meeting with the social worker in town about a project the youngest is involved followed by running to East Hartford for another meeting then picking the kids up at school by 2pm.  Basically - I have to menu plan or it will be a cereal week.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Interesting Home Depot Trip

Hubby asked me to stop at the HD near school after drop off this morning. I went in and looked for the item - didn't find it fast. 

As I was looking though they are already stocking the annoying pallets in the aisles with the thanksgiving sales items for Christmas gifts. Based on the number of mini fridges and microwaves - if anyone is looking for one as a college kid gift - there might be some good deals coming up on those items. 

Other than that - nothing I needed in clearance - which is a good thing. More $$ stayed in my pocket 😛

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Holiday preparations

Let the mahem begin!

This is the time of the year I enjoy and dread at the same time.  We host thanksgiving, hubby's extended family Christmas and Christmas Day.  That means lots of entertaining!

Add to this I'm heavily involved with the church Christmas fair and Christmas concert at the kids school (with a reception afterwards)

This means I have to stay in budget and on schedule.  I'm upping my vitamin C & B complex now - just in case, there simply isn't time to get sick or even sniffly.

This week I will review my holiday paper goods needs (paper desert/apps plates, napkins and cocktail napkins). Sounds un-green of me but - the extended family event is 40 people.  And would I like to use matching reusable appetizer & dessert plates.....where in the hell would I store them?!  I will be checking Christmas Tree shop this week.  

Thanksgiving is a more manageable number of 10 for dinner and 14 for dessert (I will breakout the wedding china and some antiquey dessert plates I collected before getting married).   Christmas Day I will use the phaltgraf Christmas dishes we were given ages ago - they only get used for a month a year, but the kids got such a kick out of them when they were little - it's a heavy tradition but pretty easy to maintain.

I've also decided that this year I will take the time to sort all of my table cloths and get rid of those that don't truly fit the dining table or the serving tables I set up.  I'm thinking of just ordering exactly the sizes I need all in a lovely crimson and ordering or making runners - all to match.  Would eliminate a ton of headaches for me.  We have lots of table cloths, different weaves and shades of red & greens in different plaid combos.  All the patterns together make me a little nutty and I crave calm this year!

I appreciate the gifts of decorations but there are just too many, many, many patterns it causes me to feel jumbled and frazzled and unorganized.  Hubby can't bear to part with anything from his parents and his mom loves to give holiday chotchkis. Of course that all have to be displayed - it takes me a full weekend to decorate for Christmas and that's not counting the tree!

So I will be spending some time this week starting my list & tackling the table linens at least (might be a good time to do a weed out of the sideboard)













Rabbit, Rabbit!

Happy November 1st! So glad October is done!  What a drag of a month, I was in a funk for a big chunk of it and up to my ears in busy.

We survived Halloween - eldest had a friend over & youngest went with a friend for some trick or treats.

October turned into the month I totally lost track of my grocery spending.  I don't even remember how it happened and now that it's November - I don't care, I just need to get back on the low cost wagon.

My goal this month is to try and eat as many meals at home & plan better.  I know there will be nights out and pizza ordered but I'm going to do my best to seriously limit.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Chugging along

I think I can, I think I can.....
Made it thru 2 days.  Good news is Wednesdays errands in the Hartford area don't need to be done now :-)!  Less driving for me - super happy about that.

Gives me time to get some stuff done at home.
Thursday will be a good day to do house stuff too - I'm already thinking Christmas - not decorating - just the mental list of things I need to do to get ready for the holidays since we host thanksgiving, cousin Christmas and Christmas Day here.  There's tons to do.  Pinterest is great for inspiration but there are too many good ideas

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Staying busy

No one can say I'm bored.  I have almost every day booked this week.

Monday is the uncomfortable task of finishing the band fundraiser. May the force be with me!  Also a conference call to work on a flyer for an event I've been asked to help plan.

Tuesday will include oil change and meeting at church about a project I'm working on there

Wednesday has me in Hartford area for errands

Thursday is hopefully a home / housework day because I have a meeting in the evening (in town volunteer stuff)

Friday - I'm not sure yet...but if it's an at home day that's not the end of the world

Weekend will find us all home and doing som much needed fall clean up in the yard

Friday, October 23, 2015

5 frugal things Friday

It's been a super busy week here for me.  Sorry I wasn't intentionally disappearing, just swamped with paperwork. Didn't even play on the ipad so you know I was busy!

I'm back at the 5 Frugal things for the week.  I Lways liked this format.

1.  Used a coupon for 40% off on a supply youngest needed for school at Michaels & in return I got another at the register :-). Will use next week on a Christmas present!

2. Returned some items to the stores from which they came.  They've been lurking around - and annoying me.  All returned because they were wrong size or color or duplicate item.

3. We ate leftovers!  And there is still chili for tomorrow's dinner :-)

4.  Spent 3 full days volunteering at school - frugal since it cut my daily drive by 60 miles a day!

5.  All laundry washed was air dried. - out of towels and will need to wash hot load in the am.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Why do I try to help?

The kids band has a great opportunity to play in NYC.  It's not a cheap trip, since they are staying overnight.  So they are fundraising.  Doing the same successful one as last year - put the word out that if parents had another idea or want to head up more than this one to raise their hands....no one & that's fine - not everyone has time or desire.

I spent the last 2 days getting my ass chewed out because - a parent didn't read the paperwork and was unhappy.

Hello?!  not my fault they didn't read it. It was sent home with the kid and emailed to all parents.  So I'm the bad guy?  I didn't make the rules, school business office did. I'm just trying to help out so lots if kids can go.

Never yell at a volunteer - we won't always stick around to help your kids out when you won't/can't/don't do it yourself.   Especially if you aren't willing to help unless yours is a beneficiary.


Saturday, October 17, 2015

Thank goodness for Saturday!

Thank goodness for Saturday!  It was a crazy week here.  We had something every night this week, it was just nuts!!  I was at the kids school all day yesterday and it totally exhausted me - last night was take out - and it honestly never tasted better - ha ha ha.

Today it's been great - the family actually has nothing planned - nowhere to be, no commitments.  Awesome.  Kids puttered & homework.  I've worked on laundry and computer, hubby has done some catch up stuff and in the office.  It's been pretty good.

Hope everyone is having as relaxing/productive day!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Monkey Wrenches

The universe is throwing them at me lately.  Big ones & small ones.
Some are costly $$ wise and some are costly in the terms of the time they suck up.
Seems that everytime I turn around and get started on a project with a plan in place to complete it - something comes up and someone else needs me to drop what I'm working on to help them or get them out of a jam.  A little frustrating - makes me want to nap more.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Super Bargain!

Long weekends usually mean kids spend time working on school projects - this weekend was no exception. 

This meant I had to run to staples for color ink for the printer - it's an old printer & I only buy ink when we run out because it's $$ and the printer can be temperamental - it's on the list to be replaced when it does finally quit. 

As usual I took a wander thru the clearance section - found this treat! Not sure how they will taste but my kids also know not to ask me for hot cocoa KCups   Because they are almost never on super sale. 

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Plugging away

Still plugging away at getting stuff ready for an event I'm helping at this weekend.  Trying to turn in early and get all errands run in combo fashion.

Stopped at IGA for milk & oldest asked for cheez it crackers - $4.59/12 oz box?!  Nope, picked 2 bags of goldfish crackers instead (2/$3)

Had to pick up stuff at ocean state job lot - same size box well within sell by date of cheez it crackers $2!  Bought 2.  Pays to wait

Monday, October 5, 2015

Swamped & under the weather

Kinda spotty posting this week.  I have several meetings in the evenings and an event to attend to at weekend, kids gave big projects due this week and early next week, kids to commute & feeling kinda grumpy/lethargic.

I'll be reading & commenting but might not get a quality post out for a day or 2 (or until next Monday). Sorry, just didn't want to disappear on you

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Weekend update

Thanks for the supportive good vibes sent my way today.

After i posted earlier today I puttered on stuff to get done here until Hubby came home, sent oldest to bedroom to hit the books while I told hubby I would help him with errands or garage for a set amount of time.  The kids were going to do homework while that happened.  He agreed the errands were where he needed the most help, so off we went.  While we were out I told him of the rest of the things I needed to get done and what the kids needed to complete by the end of Sunday and come hell or high water it would be done - that my days aren't spent waiting around for tasks to fall into my lap begging to be done.  I am perfectly capable of finding stuff around the house that needs doing.

It's been a good long time since I put my foot down and it was done today.

He know he didn't marry June Cleaver  or Betty Crocker or Martha Stewart, he just needs to be reminded of it

Oldest finished homework for Monday and got a start on the project.  Youngest came up with a design for project - I just have to run to Walmart for one item tomorrow after church.

Weekend derailed

Little pity party/whine here....move along to the next blog if you need to - I just have to get this out before my brain implodes

 Have you ever had a plan in place for accomplishing something only to have it changed by your spouse because their plans changed last minute, so rather than figuring out a plan b for themselves they make a unilateral decision that your plans must change to accomplish their new plan and maketheir  new plan a success?

Yup, happened here again - I feel a massive stress headache brewing from it too.

This weekend was supposed to be the youngest & me.  Today we were going to putter around, picking up the house, cleaning that bedroom, working on a school project due Tuesday, instrument cleaning. & practice, then dinner out 1 on 1 kid/mom time.  Tomorrow we would do church and confirmation class, wrap up the school project, study for early week quizzes  & laundry.

Hubby's & oldest's plans were cancelled due to weather - hubby is more disappointed I think than the kid.  Oldest also has a huge project due the following week and saw this as a chance to work on it since next weekend it's a camping weekend.  Plus there is a large homework assignment from yesterday due Monday morning and a display board he has due Monday night.  I think that's why he was relieved for the cancellation.

Hubby has rearranged everything to his liking - rather than what needs to happen to set us up for the next 2-3 weeks for peaceful weeks.    Straightening up the garage being a top priority and this is never a solo job.  And errands he needs me to go with him on. Never mind that there us so much else to do with actual deadlines.

I'm fried!  Had this been me I would have figured a way to work with oldest to see that the academic and other commitments were completed, while puttering around the house taking care of things on my own, ready to assist if asked or needed with the academic stuff

At least cleaning won't cost me any $$. The headache will though....but I have a free coffee at dunkin donuts so I just have to buy the chocolate donut to go with it (stress buster food)

Friday, October 2, 2015

October Grocery Budget

Well, I spoke too soon late last night.
I'm thinking that October is going to be a grocery challenge month here.  Hubby did some grocery shopping near his office (youngest child wanted sushi & hubs & oldest didn't feel like leftovers). The market he goes to has a very good meat counter & butcher.  I'm adding his trips in this month to show him how it affects out food spending.

My trips so far
10/1 IGA $13,91 lettuce, bananas, milk & kielbasa
10/2 Shoprite 70.38 fresh veg, frozen veg restock, vinegar, bleach, barley, boullion cubes, cheese, lunch meat, bread, humus (onsale half price) feminine products

Hubby's Trip to his market $96.23. Meat heavy order & prepared foods & OJ /milk

Grand total: $180.52. Ouch!

That leaves me with $319.48 for the month.  Good thing we have 2 gallons of milk -insert eye roll here.

Definately will be planning meals more carefully this month.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

September Grocery totals

I tallied up my September grocery spending.  Just a little bit over...
I set a goal of $500 for the month.
I went $58 over.

I'm hoping to really track better for October.  I'm still trying to decide if I want to include toiletries/paper goods.   I did this month and went over but I think that was snack food & frozen fruit induced.

I went to market today, kielbasa, milk, lettuce & bananas -  $18!  Not a stellar start.  The novena candles were only in colors (I wanted white)

Storm preps for Joaquin!

Everyone - run out get milk, eggs and bread!!  Buy all the bottled water and batteries you can!

Just kidding!  I know the media needs to alert us all since this is the first real weather thing and it's October.  They gotta get ready for their Snow Storm Game.

I'm actually pretty well stocked and looks like we are just going to get lots of rain - we need it so badly.

One thing prep thing I will be buying is a novena candle (the tall glass jars you see at roadside monuments), they are cheap!  I want to test them out since they are unscented and might make a good backup some day - but I'm buying 1, that's it.   I will be buying is milk (we drank the last this morning) and lettuce for the pets too

My other storm prep involved stacking up the lawn chairs to be covered before the leaves fall.
And I may go buy a bottle of wine.  I want to make a chicken dish and I'm out of white wine.  

A little prep thru the year makes my life a little less nutty

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Tea & Tissues

Yup, it's a cold

Long day of tea (decaf) and Tissues (so glad for lotion tissues).

Had to turn on the central air to dry out the air in the house.

Here us the extent of my creativity....a haiku

Damned stupid cold
You messed with my very busy day
Much love for puffs plus

Monday, September 28, 2015

Fall Allergies?

Finger crossed it's ragweed season.  If not then I'm getting a cold - boo hoo!  I'm super careful to watch what I touch when I'm out too :-(. 

I'm turning in when homework is complete and doublechecked it's truly done. 

See you in blog land tomorrow!

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Kohls Haul

Ran out to kohls with a friend this afternoon.  Last weekish I had gotten a 30% coupon.  So glad I did.
Picked up 2 pairs of jeans for myself. 1 pair on clearance for 15.99  and one on sale for 19.99.
Then I picked up shorts for the kids because they are on clearance and the youngest claims none fit (not surprised, huge growth year)

My total was $127 before my 30% coupon.  $95 with tax. And I got kohls cash!

So excited!  The shorts were on clearance for 8.40, 10 and 12 each. There was 30% off that!  Yah!!

Simple things....considering I haven't bought jeans in ages so I'm happy they weren't super expensive to start with even happier they turnout out cheaper.



Beautiful fall day

Today is gorgeous!  I'm finishing my coffee and seeing what everyone is up to...  Convinced I have ADD when it comes to cleaning - I dislike it so much I just can't focus and get it done.

  I'm stuck inside cleaning.  Hubby and kids are off camping (boys).  I would have loved to get together with girlfriends and gone to the Durham fair - but, sine they all work Saturday is  their GSD day (Get Shit Done).  Besides the fair is never a cheap day out.  We may make a kohls run later in the afternoon though - I have a 30% off coupon!

I've tackled the bathrooms, threw a load of laundry in to wash, need to clean kitchen, organize some papers of mine and do some general tidying.

I would love to try and get some sewing in today/tonight. Nothing major, a little mending and I want to make  a couple cuddle cups for the pets (they love sleeping in them)  and I have some fleece from a project ages ago that's lurking so it will be a freebie project.

Enough of a break - time to get back to work....


Friday, September 25, 2015

Deal of the day!

Woohoo!  Went to a surplus store it's a close outs place - you really never know what you'll find. Kinda like Ocean State Job Lot was in the 80s & 90s. It's near-ish to the kids school. (In the parking lot now). Picked up some large envelopes for a school project - way cheaper than BJs or staples. Of course they are natural color (brown) but they were 1/3 the price at the other 2 places. 

Then as I was looking around to see what else was there today I found they had Method foaming hand soap dispensers in spiced cider scent. 1.49 each!  I bought 3!  We have run out of the foaming refill and I was going to get some method brand (it's non-antibacterial). But I'm holding out for a sale and coupon - really want both at the same time. 

Since the pumper at the kitchen sink is pretty worn out or gunked up I will use one there and pour it's contents into my bathroom dispenser. I'll stash the other 2. For now. 

I've been trying to get the liquid soap:water ratio just right so I can use up the way less expensive liquid hand soap we have. I've also tried inexpensive non creamy shower gel.  It doesn't foam up and it's a dribbley mess. I've found that we do use less water when we use the foaming kind of hand soap. And we never use antibacterial at our house. 

Since it's fall and one kid is stuffy this week, hand washing is a priority. 

So glad to have not paid full price too - you just have to know where to look for the bargains and not be afraid of stores you might not usually shop at. 

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Tough Choices Ahead

Asking you all to keep a good thought for me - I have some things I can't discuss here yet. Mostly it involves big changes and won't be overnight stuff. 

Restarting a career / going back to work after 16 years is the first big change. I have to do this and juggle family, caring for the home, getting kids to school and back, and all the volunteer stuff husband expects me to do on my own and help him with. Biggest bummer is I don't get to be selfish and put me working on a new degree first. It's so far down the list it didn't make the paper.   Sometimes when we are young we don't make the best of choices even if it's for the right reasons. 

Apples. PYO vs Local Grown at store

Wow - I have a goal for myself to put up around 20 quarts of applesauce. Well I actually freeze it since I have no canning experience. Our preferred variety is cortland - alright mine you got me there. But if I'm the mother hen doing the work...you get my drift?  

Well just saw the flyer for a market next town over (don't shop there regularly - it's $$, small and loads of geriatrics & poorly laid out parking lot). 

They have locally grown cortlands on sale (starting Saturday) for $.69/#!  

I was planning on going to PYO orchard and paying $1.89 (today's price). 

Now my plan has changed. I will pick enough to eat my full and full the dehydrator a good 3-4 times and buy the sauce apples, once I check with the store  as to what the constitute as locally grown (must at least be on this side of the state)

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Fed up day

Pretty pathetic when the only good thing in your day involves finding  a new kabuki brush at ocean state job lot.

The day started with the kids needing several wake up calls, then they were bickering until it was time to get in the car.  Just stupid nit picky crap - can't just mind their own business crap.

Once I got them off to school - it was paperwork day - got a bunch done, tedious and boring.

Next on the list was going to ocean state to use my coupon for pool ice pillows - they had them thank goodness.

Off to school for pick up, luckily for me I saw the traffic tie up going in the opposite direction - I checked my phone before leaving the school to see if the traffic was still there, it was & alternate route was used.  Added time :-(

Kids continued bickering once we got home.  I made bisquick cheeseburger pie for dinner.  One liked it, one griped un controllably  which made hubby pepper me with the " why do you make stuff like this, you know they both don't like it....blah blah blah".  hubby couldn't eat it but there was plenty of  dairy free chicken potpie for him.  I totally lost it!  Yelled at them all that if they don't like it then don't eat it, have soup, cereal or what ever...I'm sick of only cooking what 1 wants, what 2 likes, or what 3 can eat special food wise - tonite was what I wanted and that's it!  From now on if they all want something different from what I cooked - let me know and I will try to make it later in the week but for that night they can deal with it and eat what is cooked.


Monday, September 21, 2015

Dairy Free Chicken Pot Pie

I am a Freaking Rockstar!  Hubby can't have dairy anymore so I have had to tweak things like crazy, if I don't feel like making 2 dinners.

I made a dairy free chicken pot pie & it not only was edible, it was really good!!
(I decided to bake bread tomorrow since I got distracted today by laundry)

Here is how I did it.

3/4 rotisserie chicken (from Friday) chopped up to bite size
1 bag frozen mixed veg (I used a steam fresh bag on sale)
Gravy:
3.5 cups boiling water - dissolve 1 knorr stock cube (tubs) and 2 chicken bouillon cubes (I only had low salt knorr tub) add to the roux
Roux: 3 tablespoons of flour browned in 4 tablespoons of nondairy 'butter'. I used earth balance vegan spread (he likes it on buttered items - I'm still eating butter...real butter)
Cook to thicken
Mix veg, meat & gravy pour into 9x13

Topping is bisquick topping....
2 cups heart smart bisquick
1 cup almond milk (we use almond breeze low sugar original flavor)
2 eggs

Not even kidding even if I make it for the kids and I, we all eat dairy with no issues I will not go back to cream of chicken soup.  This was so easy!

Dry milk. Trying Something New

Stopped at Walmart on the way home this morning. Youngest used the last of the milk this morning. 
Bought a gallon of 1% for them to drink. 
Want to make bread for dinner in the bread maker today and my recipie calls for dry milk. I know I'm nearly out on it so I stop in the baking aisle to buy a box - they were out of carnation brand!  Not wanting to risk it buy a big box of another brand at $8  (I use Sanalac usually - my mom buys it at the commissary and I repay her).  There weren't even any carnation envelopes!  What to do?  

I was prepared to walk out without the dry milk and skip bread making. 

Then I walked by the aisle with the Hispanic foods ( yes, the store labled the aisle Hispanic foods) remembered I have been meaning to check the canned Goya bean price (that Brand are yummy canned beans) there was Powdered milk!    Now it is whole milk and Sanalac is powdered skim but it's a name brand company I know. They sell a BIG canister for 15.98 and this small one for $4.98. I'm going to give it a whirl!  I tend to use dry milk where I can in baking this will definitely up the fat & calories in my baking but if it works the price is great.

I also try using dry milk in making my white sauce magic mix ( see www.everydayfoodstorage.net for instructions)

Since this is dry whole milk I will be storing it in the freezer once it is opened. Just to keep it as fresh as possible. 

Sunday, September 20, 2015

To market, to market - jiggity jig

Back out for some items kids can't live without!  More fruit!  Only cost me $14.98 (outrageous). The growth spurt fueled smoothie run has to slow down....this leave me with $77.01 to finish out the month with.   My dollar tree was out of frozen berries last time I was there (earlier this week getting stuff for church).

Bonus was I got 2 lively tomatos at church this morning.  Another member picked their garden yesterday and brought a basket of them in.  I only took 2 since I have some from last week we need to eat up this week.

Dinner tonite & tomorrow is C.O.R.N.  Too much else going on to do anything elaborate.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Grocery Spending Update

Yesterday I had to stop at Shop Rite and do a quick shop.  We were out of plain greek yogurt, vanilla yogurt and frozen berries (smoothies). Also out of ritz crackers and romaine hearts....and nutmeg  (see yesterday's post).

By the time I left the store I was out $106.37!

Granted it was all stuff we will use and I kept it quick.  The restocking if items we use/eat regularly is what kills me on a monthly basis.
Not on my list but I had coupons loaded on my card for them: quinoa, bisquick mix.  Unexpected deals - 3.49/# pork tenderloins (grabbed 2 for the freezer), nice broccoli crowns .99/#, green bell peppers 1.49/#. 20 wash bottle of Persil liquid laundry detergent 5.79 with a $2 off coupon attached - yay!  I know I said no more laundry soap, but I really like the powdered version and this is a great way to try the liquid w/o committing to 50 loads.  So much for Persil being a Walmart exclusive!  This jug was cheaper than the same size at Walmart too.  I'm just glad to have added it to my stash so cheaply.  I just bought the 1 jug,

Today was the BJs run.
Dishwasher tabs, 32 bars of bath soap, jug of Dawn (my annual jug) , bananas, rotisserie chicken, cucumbers and brick of TP set me back: $60


The grand total to get me to the end of the month is:  $91.99
there is still milk to buy weekly  @ 3.29 - 3.89/gallon, and we will need veggies again and I want my apples.   I may just squeak it in


And I still want to go pick a wagon full of apples.  I'm thinking I'm dipping into Octobers monies.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Buy what you need

I've tried this spice company stuff before and like them.   Nutmeg isn't a spice I use a lot of. But there are a couple times a year I use it. I used the last of an ancient jar last week. It wa lurking long enough it wasn't very flavorful. 
At Shop Rite this morning I found just the right amount for a year of baking.  And it was 79 cents!  I could have bought whole but then I have to get a little grater- too much work for me. 

And their cumin is the best I've  bought. And doesn't break the bank. 

Sadly the nearest Penzys is an hour away

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Apples!

I just called the orchard I pick at. 
1.59/# pick your own. Cortlands are ready!  These are my favorites for sauce. And to eat until I explode. Have to find some time Thursday to get there. I have my freezer boxes all ready to be refilled with sauce for the year. 

I'm so excited!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Do I renew the card?

Trying to decide if renewing my big y savings card is worth it.  
It's $20/ year for the silver level. This gets me silver coin prices on items without having to have the physical silver coins in my purse to turn over. This has been a huge convenience over the last year. 

I got the card last year when a new Big Y opened near my home and I was shopping during the grand opening period. Over the 6 months I've saved $78.56 by using the card (yes I tracked it using their app). Since I tend to shop their loss leaders and buy their brand of coffee pods I would continue to see those savings. 

What would you do?  



Sunday, September 13, 2015

September grocery spending

Seeing as it's nearly mid month I had hoped to be doing better than this.  My budget is $500 for 2 adults, 2 teens, 2 guinea pigs (they eat veggies - their grain & hay is a pet expense) as well as our toiletries.

So far I've spent
165.75. @ shop rite
10.78 @ IGA
58.43 @ Big Y
3.39 @ walgreens (milk)
3.29 @ Cumberland Farms (milk)
Grand total is 241.64
This means I have 258.36 left for the month.  I'm pretty sure I can do it.  We are in good shape in most areas.

Things still left to replenish this month are:
BJs - bar soap, finish dish tabs, TP, bananas. I have coupons for everything but the bananas.
Cumbys - milk as needed
Fresh veg, frozen veg & fruit & romaine hearts - most likely from shoprite.
Apples - this could be a budget buster for September, but it's kind of a shell game since we eat the apple stuff all year.  I am getting ready to pick apples - planning on lots of freezer applesauce and dehydrating a bunch for winter baking.  I really wish I knew something about canning because I would can the apple sauce if I did.  I would even try making crockpot apple butter.  There just doesn't look like there is time this fall.




a Winner a Winner a Chicken Dinner

So, Friday I plopped this prepped crockpot freezer meal into my small crockpot, set it on low and went about the day.  The day was busy - with a capital B.  After an after school commitment the kids were so hungry and tired out we wound up eating on the way home at a pizza place.  Crockpot dinner landed in the fridge.  Came out tonight and it went over well.  I only have a minor tweek to the recipe and that's to add some tomato paste to thicken the sauce a little.  Everyone was happy with the flavor, even though one kiddo doesn't like diced tomatoes, but it was fine.  I served it over spaghetti but angle hair might be better next time.

Here is the link where I found it.  It is a meal in rotation now.

https://newleafwellness.biz/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Six-Freezer-Meals-from-Aldi.pdf

Friday, September 11, 2015

Freezer crockpot dinner #1

Tonight is Italian Chicken from my freezer crockpot meal prep day. 
I only made 1 batch of it since it's a new recipie to me. Hoping it's well received by hubby & kids. Will be served with spaghetti, Italian bread and salad. 
Takes 4-6 hours on low so I will be turning on the CP at 10 am so dinner is ready for 5. 

I wish this was a scratch & sniff photo because it smells oniony garlicky and yummy - even tho the picture is kinda blah. 

If it's a winner winner chicken dinner I will post a link to the site I got the recipie from. 

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Simply exhausted!

After a weekend helping at the fair I'm bushed!
One child so tired they stayed home today and slept until noon!  This one was a trooper though. Went Saturday  & Sunday morning at 6:30 worked butt if and stayed until midnight each night while we worked on closing stuff up.  We love agri fairs but glad we've set the family limit at 1 per year.  Last year the youngest and I hit the Big E one day - but have decided to skip it this year, it's way too big for our tastes - although those Maine potatoes and the other state foods are worth it...not the fried Oreos -nasty!

Today's activities have been in slo-mo all day.  Hoping that getting back into my routine and vitamins will help the rest of the week....

Dinner was Tacos - it's Tuesday after all

Monday, September 7, 2015

Weekend at the fair

Sometimes I wish I could think it and it would post.  Rather than having to type my thoughts. 
Volunteering at the fair this weekend - it's been long days but the weather has been lovely!  Lots of neat crafts and entries in the fruit & veg classes.   
I'm gonna sleep good tonight!  I'll be glad for school to start back tomorrow - routine is such a good thing. 

Friday, September 4, 2015

Food Waste Friday

Nothing to report here folks.  Last night was leftover buffet, my favorite night to cook <insert evil grin>

We went into the week with a pretty clean fridge what with my freezer Cleanout.  And not grocery shopping until nearly midweek meant stuff was eaten.

I did pour out the pickle juice after eating the last bread & butter spear with my lunch today - it's jar is in the recycle bin now. (Not a good size)

Friday Productivity Report

After zipping around and doing the school trip I returned home to begin my prep session of crockpot that & dump meals.  I was determined to get things underway. I had 4 pounds of both breasts and thighs and 2.4 pounds of ground beef to work with. The pork chops I bought landed in the freezer already. I split the ground beef into 2 ziplock bags and labled. That will get used in sauce it's fast to brown it up. 
The chicken parts became 2 bags of Chicken chili, 1 bag if Italian chicken and 1 bag of cranberry chicken. 

As I was getting the chicken chili stuff pulled together I realized I have run out of ground cumin completely and there is no substituting that. Also I was totally out of canned black beans. Not a biggie. I had dried black beans and did a quick soak on them. As I have run my errands today I stopped back at shop rite to get ground cumin, oregano and 2 more 12 packs of the nabisco deal (&8.63). That will come off my grocery total for the month. 

I'm trying to only buy spices/herbs as I run low since they don't last forever. Black beans are now on the things to restock in the sales cycle list. I don't think I will make it until the Can can sale in January. But will use the dried ones up and replace those when I stock up on canned ones. 

I had tons of errands to run today also. But all proved cost effective for me. 
Rather than running into TJMaxx for a pair of denim Capri pants ( on my replace list since spring). I got a pair at goodwill for $7!  And when I went to agway for feed & hay my loyalty card got me a $10 discount!  It was like getting the hay free!!  Double yay!

I even remembered to pack my lunchbox with healthy lunchy foods so I would to hit the drive thru - although I forgot a drink so I had to get a diet coke when I got gas.  I think it was a pretty productive day.  


Thursday, September 3, 2015

'Mom, why did you buy raisin bran with no raisins?'

That was the question I was asked when the kids came home and the box of bran flakes (store brand on sale $.99/box) was on the counter.  
I've made a these type muffins before. And I like them. These were even at hit with The Picky Oldest Teen.  

Usually when it comes to muffins I use the little packs that you just add milk, stir and bake.  They make 6. The packs are $.98/ea at Walmart. Trouble is a chocolate chip muffin (or 3) is like eating a cupcake (or 3) for breakfast.  
And those little packs are just the right size for the teens to eat them for breakfast because they just aren't that yummy the next day if there are any leftover.  

So - now the muffin box Tupperware has 7 left in it and one kid plus hubby has yet to eat this morning. 

I'm going to be tweeking the recipie some in the next couple weeks.  As it is they are great!  Although I did add the last scant 1/2 cup of pecan bits from the freezer.  

My changes will be to swap the banana for pumpkin and applesauce (not at the same time) and swap the milk for almond milk and to swap the veg oil for coconut oil. 

These were so cheap in comparison to the packets but I will still keep packets on hand - sometimes you need a little cake to jump start a dreary day :-)

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Sept. Groceries - trip 1

Seems today was grocery shopping day in blogland.

After I dropped my kids at school I headed to shoprite.  Nice thing about going in the early morning is it's not too crowded yet. Plus I get home and get it put away before my day gets away from me.

It was a really big shop for me - I've been not going as often and doing quick top off trips.  Those aren't good for my bottom line.   We have been eating down the cupboards as much as possible.

On sale items
6 boxes of Barilla pasta 7.40
2 boxes of honey bunches of oats cereal 1.99/ea
1 box SR Bran Flakes .99 (muffins)
2 boxes SR freezer zip bags .89/ea
5# jasmine rice 6.49
8 cans diced tomatos .75 ea
2 Nabisco snack packs 2.74/ea (lunch treats)
6 SR greek yogurt singles .80/ea
3 SR shredded cheddar bags 1.99
4 SR cheddar blocks 1.99
2 frienship cottage cheese tubs 1.99/ea
2 half gallon OJ 1.99/ea
2 bags SR frozen blackberries 2/$5
Eggs 3.19/doz (OUCH)
BLSL chicken thighs 1.99/#. 8.12
BLSL chicken thighs 2.49/# 8.81
Bone in pork loin chops  6.01
85% lean ground beef 9.25

Not on sale but still needed
Gallon milk
Half gallon nut milk
Romaine hearts
Carrots
1 red pepper
Bananas
Frozen mixed veggies
Chicken gravy mix packs (used my backups)
Mousse for my hair
Shake n bake (I cut it with breadcrumbs)
2 jars of pasta sauce
1 jar minced garlic
Big box of raisins
Frosted mini wheats (special request)
Potatoes
Onions
Celery
5 nectarines
6 Plums
Loaf bread

Total was $165.75!  This is what happens when I don't go for a while.  All the meat is for freezer crockpot ready meals - another post...

Since my goal this month is $500 I'm nervous it can be accomplished  to say the least.


App I love

If you haven't loaded the free Aldi app you are going to love it!  

I don't get the paper - so I never see a paper ad flyer from Aldi. Now I don't need to. I simply can use the app and make a little list on it - then if I'm nearby I don't forget what I needed from the store. 

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Crock Pot Chicken

It's what's for dinner!  It went over well.  It always does.  I'm happy since I have enough chicken leftover to make a casserole either tomorrow or Thursday night.
Most likely tomorrow night and then Thursday will be LOB - one of my favorite nights (quick cooking)

The crock pot is ready to assume it's position back on the counter for the fall, unless I need to pull the smaller 1 night dinner out and into service.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Meals planned

Yesterday's freezer clean & sort resulted in me taking a package of beef out to thaw with the chicken.
I thought the beef was a 3.25# roast.  As it thawed I realized it was ground beef that hubby had frozen (he dated it and put the weight on it which made me think roast). That's ok.  I browned halfish with onion and made a meatloaf with the rest.  Tonight was meatloaf, frozen beans and tater tots.  Tomorrow us pasts and meat sauce, the chicken is still thawing in the fridge so it's moved to Tuesday, still to be cooked in the crockpot.  Wednesday will probably be some sort of casserole with chicken, Thursday will be leftover buffet - Friday is fair food.

Tomorrow has me doing some school related errands and a meeting in the evening.  Feels good to head in with a plan

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Back to boring....meal planning day

Freezer is defrosting & I will be resorting as I refill it with everything stuffed into the spare fridge and coolers.
This is part 1 of my meal planning for the week.  I had these grand ideas to create freezer crockpot meals - you know thaw and dump in the CP meals...all prep done on 1 day.  Well, best laid plans and all - I figured I better come to my senses and be sure there is adequate space to store these meals after they are lovingly prepped etc.

Here is a sampling of what was culled to the trash
from the deep freeze:
3 breakfast burritos (disliked by kids and hubby 1 year past date)
1 steak - terribly freezer burned and purchased last summer
From the spare fridge
4 tubes of canned biscuits expired may 2015...not worth the risk
1 pack of roll & use pie crusts may 2015 (off color in the wrappers) not worth the risk

Taken out to thaw and use this week -
1 oven stuffer roaster - for the crockpot with rotisserie style seasonings

Friday, August 28, 2015

Day 2 of school

Ahhh the hum of the dishwasher is the only noise today....

Both days the kiddos have gotten up and ready and we've gotten out of the house before 7.  This gives them time to do the locker thing and socialize a little before homeroom without rushing, which is never a good way to start the day.

So far only one schedule snafu but I'm assured it will be resolved by Monday.

The weekend has me buzzing around to be ready for next week completely.  So Saturday/tomorrow has high potential to suck, since it will be my running & gathering day.

If I can keep the kitchen counter and table clear from gathering too much crap on them (both seem to be crap landing pads) I might win the battle.

I'm off to fold laundry in the quiet of the morning!  A very frugal activity - since it's free ;-)



Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Detergent review

As I promised here is my super unscientific results of Persil pearls.
Keep in mind I use Shout as a pre treater as necessary.

Load 1
Whites - mostly bath towels
Washed in hot water regular  cycle. No bleach
Results: dissolved completely (we have hard water) clean, fragrance was ok - almost non discernible after drying in the dryer, those dried on the rack were crunchier and had a little more fragrance but it wasn't strong or unpleasant

Load 2
Mixed colors - shirts, shorts & t shirts
Washed in warm water, regular cycle
Results: dissolved well, but some little dregs were in the gasket drain area, not on the clothes.
Scent was not strong.  Load was ravk dried - scent was pleasant, clothes were very clean

Load 3
Bed linens
Washed on santitzer hot temp, regular cycle length
Results : dissolved completely
Came out of the dryer (no dryer sheet) fine, staticky but looked and smelled clean.

Load 4
Mixed colors - mostly cottons - shorts & shirts
Washed in cold water, regular cycle
Results :  didn't dissolve as well, not stuck on clothes but more dregs in the gasket area
Scent was not overpowering and clothes were clean, although some shirts were still stinky in the pits

Over all I will buy this product again.  I will try the liquid version as soon as I find a good coupon for it.  I like the powder version when I'm going to use the timer wash option.

Right now I have many many bottles of bargain liquid detergent - so I will continue to use those with baking soda added when certain items are stinky.

Schools back in :-)

I'm feeling like the staples commercial - tomorrow is the big day.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Losing my $£%!

I'm so steamed at my teens!

I'm going to totally lose my shit.

Today was the we need to get the house in shape day.  They've had ample goof off time this summer.
More than ample!  Everytime I went to check on the progress they were making in the basement family room as I tackled other areas - read bathrooms- they were goofing off playing xbox!  I'm so ready to throw it in the trash!!

They are in for a rude awakening.....tomorrow I'm buying a luggage lock (the key kind) and locking the power cord to the TV with it until I see some improvements in attitude.  And I'm  Leaving the lock on all week during the school year too - so there will be no sneaking to play it.

The whole having to be the screamer mom is something I'm so over ....such a major pain in my rear end.

If they think I'm a witch now, just wait...I will get a retail job and they can keep the house clean & handle the rest of it while I work evenings.

Calm before the storm....

Took a couple days off from blog world - my calm before the storm...
Today is the storm - a fury of cleaning and organizing happening here today.  School atarts Thursday and youngest wants to have a couple pals over  tomorrow - since the house is a complete disaster - the storm of cleaning....

While the friends are over all I will need to worry about is folding laundry that will be dumped in my room tonight and making lunch for them.

Thus morning found me at ocean state on an errand for hubby...grabbed a pack of jumbo puppy pads for the pet cage.  Jumbos are hard to find and these were a great price 11.99/50.


Enuf break time - I'll be back tomorrow with a great post!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Nail care

Just in case anyone was wondering why I take my own tools to the nail place and then sterilize them at home....
I'm terrified of nail fungus - I had one bout 22 yrs ago I was a young professional and doing the mani-pedi thing every other week.  I thought the place was clean but the dermatologist said most likely not.  It was months of pills and blood tests since the anti fungal pills can do weird things to your liver.  Ever since I'm very early where I go, learned how to do it myself in between and have learned that feet don't have to look glamorous, clean and healthy is glamor shot worthy too.

Today I found a perfect nude shade of polish at Walmart.  It was from the wet & wild brand.  I tried to find this shade for several weeks - although it took 3 coats to get the coverage I wanted, I know that I didn't spend a fortune on it.  I know myself and polishes...so I try not to have more than 4 colors on hand.  They will separate or get gummy if not used regularly.
Currently I have this nude shade, hot pink, sky blue, coral (my love color this summer) and a RED, hubby jokes around and referred to it as hooker red.  It looks great if my feet are tan though. And then there is my pinkish clear for my hands and plain clear topcoat.  I think the blue was the most expensive one, it's OPI brand, but was the perfect shade last summer.


Personal Care Expenses

Well, CT has hit the news with nail salons not paying an actual minimum wage etc...

Time to do my post on personal care costs and what works for me.  Where I will cut costs and what I won't cut costs on.

Hair Care
I don't cut costs on covering my grays or haircuts.  Experience has taught me that I am not capable of cutting my bangs or coloring my hair successfully.  This is something I leave to the pros.
I cut about every 6-8 weeks and color 3 times/year (although that could increase if these grays don't cut the crap and continue to bring their pals to the party).
I use a sulfate free cleansing conditioner every other day and color safe shampoo on the other days- keeps the color good and hair healthy.  I tried the no-poo thing once - not for me...I never got past the 'adjustment' phase.

Brows are another item I pay for a couple times a year - I try to keep them up on my own but when I fall behind - I'm not afraid to have them done

Manicures & Pedicures.
I have my own tools.  I am not embarrassed to take them when I get my annual end of winter pedicure at the nail place.  The rest of the year I do it myself at home.  If I keep up on it - it isn't such a chore.  My hands are working hands so I stick to blue emu oil in the winter or coconut oil and on sale lotions.  For toes - I wear on sale polish and finger nails I'm a clear with a tint of pink polish girl. Simple and if it chips doesn't look horrible.  I've been blessed/cursed with a natural french manicure all my life - my nail tips are extremely white and this makes solid polish a 3+ coat adventure to cover.

Body skin care
Usually onsale body washes always moisturizing versions or dove bar soap.  I have the scrubby cloths ( long and single thickness). They are from body shop and Walmart/target...I love them - scrubby and easier to rinse and dry than the pouf things.  I think they are $2-3 each. Well worth it.
Lotions are always bought on sale - I try for unscented or light scent.

Sunscreen is always 30 SPF. Always lotion - I'm switching brands currently based on scent and sticky factor.  I tend to go with the sport formulas since they feel better on the skin for me

Facial Skin Care
Wash at minimum 2x daily usually with dove in the shower and cetaphil cleanser in the evening - oil free moisturizer (neutrogena at the moment -unscented) and eye serum (helps w eye crinkles)
I seldom wear more than mascara but when I do it's a tinted BB moisturizer, a little concealer, mineral powder and maybe a smidge of bronzer. Just a little eyeliner and nude eyeshadow and my Maybaline Great Lash (pink and green forever!). When I was fresh out of college and making sick $$ I spent tons at the Lancôme counter at GFox and Macys.  I do love their eyeliner pencils so I splurged last year on 2 and sharpener.  I'm good for a while.
I gave up on lipstick ages ago.  I use lip stain from the BodyShop and a tinted gloss/balm from Burt's Bees to get the color I like.
With age I've found what works for me and doesn't make me feel made up and cake faced.

The hair cuts and colors are the biggest expense I have annually and I'm ok with it - when I see what other people I know spend....it's nuts.  Yesterday I spent $75 for a cut and 2 process color (a few highlights). My good friend in town spends about double that (different salon) and she colors every 6 weeks - my hubby would flip out if he saw that bill.  But her hair grows faster ,
longer than mine and she has darker hair with more visible  grays - I don't blame her.



Thursday, August 20, 2015

Allergies already & Fair Season

Man o man, I fear they are back - and early this year!  Very bad news for me since it's agricultural fair season.  I help out at a old one Labor Day weekend too.  I better get myself sorted with meds.

I love the fair!  I only attend the one in my town for 1 day, but help my Inlaws at their fair - those are long dry days but during that time I don't really cook - at all.  I do some baking so we have easy breakfasts and snacks, I prep up some easy to take salads things for hubby and I - since we just shouldn't eat fair food for 4 days straight.

I will stop by my favorite fritter vendor and get my clam fritters one night, I will get my pad Thai from the Thai vendor out of the new haven area, I will consume several beers (at least 1 daily) and I never leave without my strawberry sundae.

Mi love wandering around the goat and sheep barn, catching up with old timers wives and checking out the garden and cooked goods contests.  When my kids were little they would enter veggies they grew and items they baked, and enter collections they amassed during the year between fairs - several ribbons adorn their bulletin boards.  I've even won some runner up ribbons for my lemon blueberry pound cake - maybe I should look over the book and try this year.

Canned products are something I've never entered - maybe that's the "New Thing" I learn this year and enter next fall.



Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Boring computer day

Sorry for the lack of anything exciting...
Today was spent doing budgeting work for a volunteer group I'm helping with.  Loads of phone calls and number crunching, all equals to the same end result.  The group will need to do some serious fundraising or increase dues substantially to provide the beneficiaries with the same level of programming as last year.    Never fun to present that information.

My brain is mush

Hoping tomorrow is more productive (at least more relaxing since it's hair cut day for me - yay!)

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

BJs find & Tuesday's tasks

Ground beef!  We were totally out - have been for a while (since June). Yesterday I stopped at BJs with youngest to see if there were school shoes and/or sneakers in the size we needed - struck out there but got the required milk and bananas and a 6.56 pound of 88% lean ground beef for $3.69/#!  Since we've been out and I need to get some easy to serve up dinners ready for the start of school (next week!) I grabbed it.  It's more than I wanted to pay per pound, but...cheaper than the grocery stores.

Plan today includes browning it all, chilling it and freezing it in 1pound packs.  This will make quick meals faster for me.  I can plop it in the crockpot frozen with sauce for Italian meals or I can thaw in the fridge for casseroles or Mexican nights.  Tonight will be jarred sauce and meat on pasta.

I have on my list for today to come up with a game plan for freezer/crockpot meals ala Pinterest.  The ones in the ziplock baggies...I'm mentally ready to tackle that kind of adventure.

I will figure out what meals, quantity of ingredients and when to do the shop (after consulting the calendar to find out when the others will be away) then I can clean sweep the kitchen surfaces, shop, chop and assemble.   It's a task I find easier without assistance, even from hubby since he is a 'toss it all together' cook and I'm a 'follow the directions' cook.

In the meantime (until there is a weekend they all leave for an overnight/day adventure) it's eat from the freezer to make space for easier suppers.  So a little painful period of having to cook nightly but it will be worth it....hell it better be!  Ha ha ha.

All this is so we have an easier time of the school year starting.  With the school year starting - I have signed up as a sub at the kids school.  Pay isn't as high as the public school systems - but I'm already there everyday dropping off and picking up.  So hopefully I can get a few days a month to help with the commuting costs.  Plus, I'm hoping one of the secretaries there will be retiring before the youngest (middle schooler) graduates from the high school program - and I could be considered for the job.  Which would be good, I can't justify being a stay at home mom forever - especially since these 2 will be going to college.  Having meals ready to plop in the CP will make any subbing days easier once we get home - just make a fast startch or veg and serve!

If nothing thing else, I need to get a better dinner routine so if I re-enter the workplace this year we aren't eating tons of takeout.


Sunday, August 16, 2015

On the table tonight

Sounds crazy, but I did use the oven.  We have the ac on since it's humid enough to make us sick -

Shake & bake chicken thighs (boneless/skinless were cheap last week)
Steamed broccoli
Mashed sweet potatoes

It was all super yummy - I think everyone was happy with a home cooked comfort style meal.  We can only eat so much grilled things in a summer.

Feedback - it's a gift!

I learned that little phrase in a training class ages ago.  It is true.  All feedback should be looked at as a gift.  It's something that should spur us to be better or do better or affirm we are plugging along just fine.

So.....

In borrowing from Carol @ CT on a Budget (see my blogs I read daily list).  I'm looking for feedback.

Do you like what's here?  If not - What do you want to see?
What kind of things are most helpful?
What should I change?

 Feel free to use the comments section - I'm looking for constructive feedback.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Tax Free Week Plans



Making my list and plans for tax free week!  

I have a couple things to pick up for school supplies for the kiddos - those I have to pay sales tax on.

But the kids need under garments, socks , gym shorts for school, sneakers and school shoes - tax free!
I also need to pick up a pair of dressy shoes for  myself - tax free!  
Hubby needs a new belt - tax free!

I'm very happy to NOT  pay sales tax and stock up on any sales I see for these items.  

Careful planning and sorting through their closets means I generally don't over shop on items - socks sometimes.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Solution - finally

It's a problem that makes me nuts. I don't wear rubber gloves as much as I should. Partly because I don't like them languishing over the edge of the sink. Today I was in the office looking for a rubber band and there was my box of command hooks - voila!  A binder clip the dry gloves and 90 seconds later a solution!  Hung inside the door under the sink 😃

Rainy Tuesday

Wow - it's pouring out there!  Looks like today in CT it will be a soaker too. Good since we need the rain desperately. 

Days like this make me believe in reincarnation - I think I was a cat in a previous life. Don't like to go out in the rain and curled up on the sofa is a good spot for days like this. 
A good thing about the rain is it's keeping me home - and hubby took my car today leaving me his truck which I can drive but don't like to when the weather isn't perfect. 

Today I will tackle the under counter portion of the pantry in the kitchen - the last spot. It's lone 2 doors wide but deep with a shelf. So this is really more of an inventory & organize it job.  I know there are lots of canned tomato products in there so I may be making some sort of chili or sauce if I unearth any ground beef or turkey in the freezer - really to re freeze as a quick school night dinner down the line. 

On my quest to use stuff up in the house I noticed we are nearly out of white sugar - I'm down to 1 canister and 1 5# bag in the pantry. I hope this will last until the holiday baking sales cycle starts.  I wanted to make another loaf of banana bread in the abm so I rummaged around and found the canister of 1:1 granulated Spenda. I used it for half the sugar the recipe calls for - also subbed coconut oil for the butter since I'm running low on that and completely out of canola/vegetable oil. I've used coconut oils in a lot of my baking lately and it isn't noticeable. I may try it with a small load of white toasting bread when I get more bread flour (running low on that too)

Well if I don't post this I will just ramble on and get nothing done. If you're in CR stay dray and take it easy in the roads if you're driving!

Monday, August 10, 2015

I have to cook this week?

Oh geeze!  Hubby & kiddos got home last night....took the kiddos straight to camp so it's just hubby and I this week.  But I have to cook dinners!  Kinda bummed & concerned about getting back into that groove.  When they are away at camp & conference, I usually eat sandwiches, cereal, roasted veg & rice and some childhood comfort foods (chef boyardee ravioli or deviled ham on saltines w/baby gherkins - don't judge!) or lots of Caesar salads.  It's simple & fast & frees up my time for other stuff.

The plus side is it gives me a chance to really dig thru the freezer and maybe try some new
crockpot-able recipes.  I'm thinking today might just be kielbasa - it's easy and I didn't grocery shop last week except for replenishing my romaine & milk.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Back to school supplies Part 1-notebooks

ShopRite had them on sale!

Mead 5Star 5subject w/plastic front covers were 4.99/ea with a limit of 4 and 3subjects were 3.99 limit 4). This is the preferred brand & size for the kids and best price I've seen so fat.  So I bought 4 of each, then got a $4 coupon at checkout girls a future purchase.  Put those 8 notebooks in the trunk and went back for 4 more 5 subjects and some milk - used that $4 coupon and got another one at check out - Yay!  Kept the receipts just in case the are somewhere cheaper before school starts.

I've learned that certain brands are more durable and better quality of paper - which matters to my kids as they press hard when writing.  I have a thing about paper, since working in the printing industry for my early career - I'm a bit of a paper snob too.  But I will use bargain brand notebooks.  My kids don't have such luck.  

Now when it comes to back to school supplies - I've tried for years to explain to the kids that 5 1 subject notebooks (70 pages) is more paper than in one of the 5 subject notebooks they prefer.  Oldest explained it that it's annoying to take notes in class and run out of paper or to have a chapter of notes in 2 notebooks.  I get that but when you can get 50 and 70 page single subjects for $.25 I would save money.

Here us my argument to them and hubby this week:
I spent $ 55.88 + tax    For 8 5subject 200 pg and 4 3subject 150 pg. (2200 pages total)

The same number of pages would be 44 50 page single subjects at $11 + tax from staples.  Paperboard covers

Granted the kids would have to carry folders since the 1 subjects don't have them built in (with mine those are a godsend) 

This is my least favorite time of the year


Saturday stuff

Today was stuff day....everyone comes home tomorrow night.
Here's the stuff I spent my Saturday doing:

  • Laundry (never ends)
  • Organized Christmas photo cards (putting them into a scrapbook). I have all the materials already.
  • Organized some other craft stuff
  • Cleaned out sewing box & reorganized threads & needles
  • Bought school notebooks at ShopRite see  next post.
  • Tidied the kitchen & sorted this weeks mail - chucked the junk mail


Friday, August 7, 2015

Motivation & Productivity Returneth

Believe if or not, I was up and out of the house by 9am and home by 5pm.

First stop OSJL - had to return an item, in the process I picked up some CVS brand eye serum $4.99(like aveeno), dried Unsugared mango strips, 3 packs of pants hangers (3/1.99) for me, just like the ones we paid $5/3 for hubby's pants a couple years ago at BB&B, box of cheese straw breadsticks
Next off to BJs to return a pair of sandals for one of the kids who didn't like them & fill tank on the car - only bought gas - yay!
Then off to the school uniform store in RI to exchange the incorrect size (they measured & kid grew a ton)  got that straightened out.  I could have had them ship to the CT store north of Hartford but that takes 2 weeks or I could have paid go have it shipped to me at home.  I drove - it was worth it & it's done.  Stopped at BJs  there to see if there was any good deals - nope.  Can't wait for Costco to open!
Stopped on the way home to buy romaine hearts at shoprite  

Have had a Caesar salad and will go move my pants to their new hangers.  Then it's time to tidy the living room/dining room (open plan).  And find a movie on netflix.

While I was out I did some comparison shopping on notebooks for the kids - tomorrow I will take an inventory of what we need for their classes and start searching the ads like crazy.

I know book sox are on the list - need to keep the books in good shape for good resale value next June.

Food Waste Friday

Whoo!  Good week for me.  No real food waste (not counting veggie stems & inedible seeds). That's what happens when you're home alone I guess.

Here is what was tossed into the trash
1 cup of almond milk & chia seed pudding from that disgusting experiment
1/2 grinder from last Friday night - wasn't that tasty then either
1/2 pint of shriveled blueberries that were looking fuzzy-ish



Thursday, August 6, 2015

Motivation level = 0

Feeling zero on the movivation meter today.  Did some veggie prep for tonight's dinner, unloaded the dishwasher, 2 loads of laundry and watched a Netflix movie - that's it.  I have a bunch of stuff I should attend to - I just don't have the desire to do them.  Pathetic isn't it?  I guess I will do little bits as I feel up to it - just not feelin like it now - hope there are more good movies on netflix until bed time.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Savers

I finally got there!  Alone - and since it's just me this week, no having to be anywhere.  It was great, I gad a good poke thru the place.

I even got a skirt - in like new condition $4.99 (like new w/o tags) and a gently worn pair of old navy Capri pants for $2.99.  I had a good poke through the whole store.  Then I stopped at goodwill - higher prices, dirtier - very disappointing.

Sadly, now I want to find a new top for the skirt...maybe tomorrow I'll hit the outlets

Monday, August 3, 2015

Chia pudding results

Well I had high hopes.  Several great online reviews - a couple friends who said it's yummy.  Nope!  I knew it wouldn't be creamy but it was weird.  Chocolate one was just yucky.  The vanilla cinnamon one was not as yucky, but I still couldn't choke down more than a spoonful.

I think I'll stick with jello pudding or rice pudding or ice cream

Sunday, August 2, 2015

This weeks menu for 1

Menu planning for 1 is so easy!
Tonight I had leftover pizza from Friday night (not sure how that even occurred)
I also almond milk to make 2 containers of chia pudding...to try, looking for a healthier than ice cream desert option.  One is cinnamon vanilla and one is chocolate.  Results tomorrow!

Aldi trip again

On the way home from dropping hubby and the kids off for their trip out to the midwest, I stopped to get a gallon of milk - I stopped a different aldi than I usually do.  Milk was $.80 cheaper than what I paid Wednesday!  Also picked up a bag of  baby carrots fir $.69.  Nectarines were $.39/#!  I grabbed 8 since I know that's what I can eat in a week so they won't go bad.   Also grabbed 2 16oz bags of frozen mangos at $2.09 each. Perfect for smoothies :-)

I really wish there was an aldi closer to us or at least on my route to school, I guess I have to keep a running list.

Friday, July 31, 2015

On break

Super Duper Busy for the next 2 days....check back Sunday :-). Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Aldi Run

As I was out and about today, the kiddos reminded me we were running low on smoothie ingredients.  Quick trip to Aldi fixed that.
2 quarts vanilla yogurt 1.89 ea
1 gal milk 2.99
Bananas .39/#
2 bags of frozen berry mix 2.99 ea
That should hold them until the leave for their trip on Sunday.  It must be growth spurt time.

Also grabbed
1 box pop tarts (travel snack)
3 bags of bagle chips (travel snacks)
1 pack boneless skinless chicken thighs 2.49/#
1 pack of chicken breast tenders 2.99/# (no regular breasts today)
1 vanilla extract bottle
2 packs of mints

Chicken was marinated and all grilled off for tonight's dinner and planned over for tomorrow's dinner

Not bad. Under $35

Intervention Needed!

I'm embarrassed to admit it.  I think I need a laundry detergent intervention. Or a detergent 12 Step program.  I had no idea the stockpile got so big.
I counted up all the jugs of laundry detergent I have (in the drawers under the washer & dryer). I have a problem.  According to the load counts on the bottles I have enough detergent in the laundry room to wash 363 loads of laundry - before running out.

I feel like Sluggy and her Cheese.

Keep in mind - all detergent is bought on Super Sale/loss leaders and sometimes with a coupon on top of that.
There are Fab, Dynamo, Ajax - all bought for around $2 jug. All from ShopRite
There are Method Ultra Concentrate from Home Depot on a Super Duper Clearance for $3.33 each
There is All which was 2/$5 at ShopRite with a stacked coupon
Then there is the new jug of Persil Power Pearls which wasn't on sale but had a $1 off coupon attached.

The fab, dynamo & Ajax are fine for normal soils or whites when I toss in bleach too.
The all is great for the pet bedding (it's fragrance free/sensitive formula)
The Method is my personal favorite - cleans really well and it's pump top means I don't over pour.  I will be measuring out and reusing that container when it's all gone - that will include re-labeling so the teens can use it and not waste any of the 363 loads of detergent {now it's a challenge for me to get the published number from each jug}.

I will reserve comment on the Persil until the load of colors I'm washing in warm is done and next week I will wash a load of my clothes in cold with it before the full review is written up.  Y'all just have to come back for the write up from my unofficial lab, err laundry room.

After having my washer for 4+ years I have decided that powdered detergent is what is needed for the timer loads - the ones that I set on timer to run at 3 or 4 am so I can save on electricity.  The book suggested it but I never saw that fine print until last week.  The liquids would run all over the clothes and into the drum before the wash cycle - clothes were clean enough but I'm hoping this method will be better.  I have 2 bags of the dry pods in the over all count to test that theory with, plus the Persil jug.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

New to Me Product

New to me - it wasn't cheap either. 10.97 with the attached coupon. A friend of mine swears by it for getting/keeping whites white. I have some whites that I've tried everything with. And I'm just very unhappy that they aren't white. Kind of a crummy greige color.  I'm not looking for miracles but whiter would be best. 

Fragrance out of the container is a bit industrialish - hopefully it disappates. 


The smell of tide makes my throat hurt. Always has - weird eh?


Monday, July 27, 2015

ABM in service

Fired up the ABM today.  Banana Bread in the House!  Kids happy, mom happy.
Used 2 of the headed to the freezer bananas and the last 1/2 cup of sliced almonds.  I'm sure I'll need to make another loaf tomorrow.  That's ok.  Everything is on hand.  Good way to use up some stuff too.  And no heating up the kitchen too much.  Thought back, this was a wedding shower gift almost 18 years ago.  I don't use it that often - probably why it's still working.

Tomorrow might be mini chocolate chip & chopped pecans as the add in.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Making my lists

Such a surprise?  No, not to those who know I love my lists.

Tonight I worked on my first pass at the Back To School list - it's in 2 columns, school supplies and clothing items.  Luckily the uniforms have been bought for the kids.  They came in last week - so tomorrow the kids will try on the components and look over what's needed like undergarments, socks, shoes & sneakers.
School supplies will be bought before school starts and  receipts will be saved (in case teachers want something different used - in case I need to return them)
Clothing needs will wait until CT Tax Free Week - the state gets plenty of my $ in tax revenue - they can suck it up for a week.  In the meantime the list grows.

There are 2 text and 2 workbooks for classes that I will need to order from the book company that will happen in the morning.  Then there is the music for the oldest's Music competition auditions.

It's amazing how it all adds up so quickly.