Sunday, January 31, 2010

Eat from the Pantry wrap-up

Budget: $100
Total spent: $85.65

Can you believe it? I recalculated the number twice to make sure I did it right. ;o) When I read on Myra's blog about the pantry challenge, I thought to myself, "Oh, well, I could probably do that for a week or two." But the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to give it a real shot. And I didn't completely wipe out my pantry or freezer. The only thing we are really lacking in right now is meats and perishables but I didn't choose to replenish these just yet because we will be leaving tomorrow night for our Disney vacation.
Also, Brookshire's still hasn't marked their merchandise down to 50% so I didn't really do any blow-out shopping there like I had thought.

Here is what my pantry looks like now, at the end of the challenge.
That is not a full view of the pantry but that was all I could feature in one picture. Please ignore the fact that it is thoroughly unorganized. 
Note all of those noodle packages down low? I believe I still have 8-10 packages of various noodles that I got for about $0.50 a piece. Got any good recipes that use noodles? Let me know!
T and I have decided to Eat from the Pantry every couple of months. Overall, it has been a great experience and it is nice to know that without that extra money, we most likely wouldn't have been able to go to Disney World. Quite a reward, eh? :o)

Friday, January 29, 2010


I won my first giveaway in the blogging world! I'm so excited!
Mrs. B over at From Our Place to Yours had a giveaway for a 6 piece Rachael Ray kitchen utensil set in orange. And I WON! I can't remember ever really winning anything.
It totally made my night better. Mrs. B was also my lovely ornament exchange partner!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Coupon Explosion/To-Do Lists

I have been leaving my coupons in the inserts to see if I prefer organizing them that way. Up until now, it has worked well because I have been using the coupons in limited quantities. But since I will be hitting up Brookshires this week and Kroger is having their game day mega deal, I cut out all of my grocery coupons and will be sorting them my type.
I will spare you the pictures but let's just say, my coffee table took the brunt of the explosion. ;)
I have today and tomorrow off of work. While I would have rather been working(read: making money), I definitely have some things on my to do list to get done over the next few days.
- Cut Coupons
- Organize Coupons
- Shop (til I drop) at Brookshires - preferably before the shelves get wiped out
- Study for Architectural Design 2 test (Wednesday)
- Study for Elementary Surveying test (Thursday)
- Chapter 1 exercises and questions for Revit (by Thursday)
- Give Lady and Coach a bath for their Trip to Honey's house
- Wash/put away all laundry
- Clean out/vacuum car
- pack for Disney World!!
- Work Thursday 2-10:30pm, T working 12-8am
- Work Friday 2-10:30pm, T working 12-8am
- Work Saturday 1-10:30pm, T working 12-8am
- Sunday - Church, Clegg family lunch, Chi Alpha Practice
- And because I love coming home to a spotless apartment:
     * Mop/Sweep all floors
     * Clean bathrooms
     * Clean kitchen and leave the dishwasher EMPTY (I have no problem loading it, but I hate unloading it for some reason. I always end up leaving the clean dishes in there until I need something specific or I have enough dirty dishes to make it worth re-loading. Just keeping it real!)
     * Take apart our old TV shelf (Thank you whoever put a perfectly great entertainment center out on the side of the road. We got a "new" entertainment center and I got my first "drive by" experience.)
I am sure there is more that will added to that but I am so distracted thinking about what needs to be done that I can't concentrate. ;) Ha.
P.S. now that I am back to spending hours a day in front of a computer, give me something to make the hours pass by. If I don't read your blog, let me know! I have plenty of time to hop on over. If I do, give me something lovely to read! ;o)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Last Week of the Eat from the Pantry Challenge!

Menu Monday
Eat From the Pantry Challenge Final Week - Life As Mom and Money Saving Mom.

I am absolutely amazed at how well this challenge has gone. I am about $25 under budget, but I will be spending that later this week. Our local Brookshire's stores are closing. Tomorrow morning they are marking all merchandise down to 50% off and they will still be taking coupons! I know I am going to go over my $100 budget for the month at that point but I feel like it is totally justifiable. :)

Here are the meals I still have left in our pantry.
Baked Italian Chicken Spaghetti
Rice Balls
Deer Roast, Rice and Gravy
Deer Steak
Baked lemon pepper fish
Blackeyed Pea Casserole

Honestly, I feel like there is still a lot in our freezer and pantry to eat. Definitely enough to last us until we leave for Disney World in a week.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

9 days until Disney!

9 days from now we will be hitting the road to my happy place, Disney World. To gear up for the fun, I thought it would be fun to go through some of my old pictures from our CP(College Program) days.
These were taken  July 15th, 2008 with my dear friend Chelsea. Chelsea and I worked together in merchandise in Tomorrowland. Also, our friend Jayde is in the last picture. ;) It was always so fun to go take pictures with Characters when you had friends who are "friends" with certain ones. It was so cute because she saw us coming and did a happy dance. I honestly wish I had it on video tape.

So many good memories!
Next time, pictures from our College Program send-off party in Tomorrowland for those who were leaving at the end of the summer.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Theater Thursday - Candleshoe

Everyone who knows me, even slightly, knows of my absolute adoration of any and all things Disney. While I really like some of the newer Disney movies, my favorites really revolve around some of the older movies. Everyone knows the typical older Disney animated movies, but I feel like the live-action movies have kind of fallen between the cracks(particularly with people my age and younger).
Without further ado, my addition to Theater Thursday over at Crazy Shenanigans.
WALT DISNEY'S Candleshoe

This is the original movie cover/poster.

This is Candleshoe's current DVD cover.

In Candleshoe, Casey Brown(played by Jodie Foster), a juvenile delinquent and foster child is living on the streets of LA. Through the payoff of her foster parents, she ends up in the care of Harry Bundage, a small time con man looking for his next big "financial investment". Harry Bundage tells Casey the story of Lady St. Edmund, who resides in a (absolutely glorious) castle called Candleshoe, with three orphans and her butler Priory is the resting place for a hoard of treasure. Lady St. Edmund Bundage takes Casey to England, where he and his cousin educate Casey on the St. Edmund family, particularly focusing on the details of Lady St. Edmund's long lost granddaughter. Bundage had formulated a plan to use Casey as inside access to Candleshoe to search for clues into the missing fortune. In order for this to happen, Casey had to convince Lady St. Edmund that she, Casey, was the long lost granddaughter. After moving in to Candleshoe, Casey realizes that everyone in the house is working and scraping the bottom of the piggy bank in an effort to keep Lady St. Edmund from realizing that she no longer has a fortune.
Casey gets caught between wanting to help Lady St. Edmund, Priory and the children keep Candleshoe and her original agreement with Harry Bundage.

Thanks for stopping by for Theater Thursday. For more movie picks, head over to Crazy Shenanigans!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Answered Prayers/Haiti Update

"We mourn but our songs are of praise."

Remember my post on Haiti? I never thought I would ever have need, reason or opportunity to say this but...
I (indirectly) received a message from God while watching Oprah today. I don't normally watch Oprah. Wednesdays are my only weekday off of work and since I wasn't feeling well, I decided to rest when I got home from school this afternoon. I saw on my friend Akilah's twitter that they would be talking about Haiti on Oprah today so I decided to tune in. Remember: our TV channels are limited since we cut off our cable. :)

Oprah's first guest was Wyclef. I know very little of him other than the fact that he is a musician and he is from Haiti. The message that I feel was from God? Wyclef said that at night, when he and his wife were going to sleep, you could hear hundreds of voices raised and singing songs of praise even in their darkest hour. I literally started crying.  Wyclef specifically mentioned Amazing Grace being sung over and over again. This gave me chills. Amazing Grace is my friend Bernela's favorite hymn.

God is so incredibly good and always faithful. The people of Haiti have been, and will be, continuously on my heart. I just feel like this was His confirmation to my prayer, and statement on my blog, that though they are mourning, their songs are of praise. I needed to hear this.

I am also posting this as my Words of Wisdom Wednesday link-up. I believe we all sometimes take for granted all that we have and how blessed we truly are. However, I know that are many hard times and trials in life and I hope and pray that in these times we remember what Bernela told me. 
"We mourn but our songs are of praise." 

Monday, January 18, 2010

Eat from the Pantry Menu Week 3

We just completed day 17 of the Eat from the Pantry Challenge. I wasn't sure we could make it this far. :) But we're still in it and we still have plenty of food to eat!
Grocery spending limit for January: $100
Total Spent: $66.58

Menu Monday

Toaster Strudels
Homemade Cinnamon Rolls
Breakfast burritos

Here are some of the meals I have planned to use in the remainder of the challenge. 

Baked Italian Chicken Spaghetti

Rice Balls
Deer Roast, Rice and Gravy
Deer Steak
Baked Potatoes
Homemade Pizza
Baked lemon pepper fish

Once we eat those meals, we will see what we have left and go from there. I am hoping to stretch it out to make it through the end of the month!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

So much for blogging every day

I had been doing so well with blogging every day in January. But the last couple of days have been busy and quite honestly, I didn't have much to say. Rather than make a post just to do it, I decided to break my string of success. But I think that is ok. :)

I have been busy over the weekend. I worked Friday and Saturday. Saturday morning my mom and I went to CVS, Walgreens and Rite Aid. We had pretty successful trips with our couponing (another post for another day because my pictures aren't uploaded yet). I am hoping in 2010 to be more consistent with using coupons and trying to save money. Hopefully now that I have Register Rewards to use at Walgreens and Extra Care Bucks for CVS I will make more trips and eventually form a habit out of saving. ;o)

I have also gotten a lot done around the apartment this weekend. I still need to tackle the storage room. Yeah. You know, the room that used to be a guest bedroom. We've always had some boxes in it but with fall and Christmas decorations taken down, they seemed to have found a home in the storage room. In piles. Shameful, I know. What can I say? I'm a work in progress (and so is our apartment). Ha

I made 50's Prime Time Cafe Meatloaf and Potato Bundles for dinner. I have never made this meatloaf before, or any meatloaf for that matter, so I hope it turns out ok. If it does, I will share the recipe! If not, we will pretend it never happened. :)

Speaking of recipes, my sister made a new blog for all of the Clegg women to post their recipes on. Hop on over to the Clegg's Kitchen. It is another work in progress. Check it out and add it to your blog list if you feel so inclined!

We are a little over 2 weeks away from going to Disney and I absolutely CANNOT wait! At this point, the first thing that I want to do when I get on Disney property is head to Sunset at H.S. and hug my friends, especially Bernela, Celianese and Viadly (my dear Haitian friends).

Friday, January 15, 2010

National Delurker Day

Yes, I am talking to you. I guess I will be following the lovely examples of many of the blogs I follow. If you are reading this, please leave a comment. I, like dear Jaci, can tell from my counter at the bottom at my blog that many others are reading and not commenting. Also, my live traffic feed lends a slight amount of information and lets me know that someone out there is reading. So humor me and leave a lovely comment. :)
Thank you!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

My heart is breaking for my Haitian friends

During the time that Trevor and I worked at Sunset Market Ranch at Disney World, we met several amazing people. Many of the people that worked in QSR(Quick Service Food and Beverage) and ODF(Outdoor Food) for Sunset were from Haiti. Since I heard about the disastrous earthquake in Haiti my heart has been aching for these dear, sweet people.
So much devastation. So many lives lost.
I wish we were already on our Disney trip just so I could be there to hug them.
I feel like I have been in an almost constant state of prayer since I found out. If you have the time, please take the time to pray for the people of Haiti. I have also been specifically praying for our Haitian Disney Family: Bernela, Celianese, Saintvil, Viadly, Gerald, Pierre, and Maurice. They are all from Port au Prince and the reports for that area are not very positive.

This is my sweet friend, Viadly. She was striking a pose on the last day with the old Sunset costumes.

This is Bernela. She adopted me while I was at Disney. Side story: She is the person who introduced me to the wonder of putting a tomato on a burn. Honestly, it was one of the weirdest things I had ever heard and, having a major dislike of tomatoes, thought the idea of rubbing a tomato on a burn was disgusting. But tomatoes stay cold internally for a long time and the acids in them take away the sting of a burn in the same fashion that aloe vera does. The moisture from the tomato also reduces the likelihood of scarring. I am now a firm believer in the power of the tomato and introduce the concept at Chickfila when necessary. ;o)

I cried after taking this last picture. It was my last night of work at Sunset, December 31st, 2008.
I can still hear Bernela and Celianese singing hymns/gospels in Creole. It is absolutely one of the sweetest, most beautiful sounds I have ever heard. All day today, I have been hearing that sound. When one of their friends back home died, they literally spent the entire day singing in the kitchen. Bernela told me, "We mourn but our songs are of praise."
One know that most likely at least one of these dear people have lost friends and family members due to this awful earthquake. My prayer is that, though they are mourning, their songs are of praise.

If you can, please make a donation. There are so many different organizations taking donations. Here are a few super easy ways to donate:
Text "Haiti" to 90999 to give $10 to the Red Cross. It will be on your next phone bill.
Text "disaster" to 90999 to give $10 to Compassion's disaster relief program.
I also found out through Kelly's Korner that there is a blog setup in support: Hope for Haiti - they are going to be doing giveaways to raise money to support the people of Haiti.
If you DO make a donation, leave a comment on Kelly's blog. She and her husband are donating $1 for every comment on the post, indicating which organization you donated to, up to $1000.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Books of my childhood - The Mandie series

My oldest sister, Rachel, loved the Mandie series and by the time I was old enough to read them she had a decent start on the entire collection. I believe there are 40 books in the original series and then a college series was started before the author, Lois Gladys Leppard died.
For Christmas, I bought Rachel and Winnie each a copy of the new movie based on the first book in the series. It was hilarious because we were comparing everything to the book, from her relationship with her step-mother to the architectural design and integrity of the house. So much fun. :) After watching the movies, I decided to re-read the series, just for fun. They are such an easy read, since they are intended for young adults. I wondered if re-reading them would make me wonder/question my original love of the series, but I still enjoy them. I am currently reading book 4.
I love the time period that the books are written in (early 1900s) and the fact that the books involve many historical facts, characters, and actual events.
There really is no way to give a full summary of the series because of the fact that it involves so many books but here is the official summary from the Bethany House Publisher website:
At the turn of the nineteenth century, Mandie Shaw is about to become a teenager. Living in the backwoods of North Carolina, she soon finds herself involved in mysteries, adventures...and fun! Joining Mandie are her new friends, including Celia, Joe, Molly, Jonathan, and, of course, her lovable kitten, Snowball. Each Mandie book is a journey into a world of excitement and a peek into the life of a girl very much like you! More than six million MANDIE BOOKS have been sold.

I am considering doing a series of my favorite books from my childhood. So give me some input.
Has anyone else ever read these books? What were your favorite books from your childhood?

Monday, January 11, 2010

Menu Deviation (Edit: Bachelor, Disney)

Oh, my goodness. Today has been one of those days where absolutely nothing goes according to plan despite my good intentions. Anyway, if you are friends with me on facebook or follow me on twitter, you already know that my nose IS broken. It is fractured from the top of my nose(around the point where my glasses rest on my nose) and goes up between my nose.
I will go into the details after I go to the ENT on Wednesday, including the story of how it happened. Cheapest form of facial reconstruction, I'm sure. ;o)
Tonight we deviated from the menu because T surprised me and fixed supper for me. He made baked lemon pepper fish, wild long grain rice, and green beans. It was so delicious and absolutely amazing to not have to cook after my headache of a day.
I am still running on very little sleep. Hopefully a dose of Tylenol PM will help with that problem. I'll be heading to bed as soon as my last batch of Friendship bread finishes baking.

P.S. What in the world is going on with this season of the Bachelor? I just have no words. Thoughts?

P.P.S. As soon as I hit publish, a Disney World commercial came on. 3 weeks from today we will be on our way. SO excited!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Menu Plan/Pantry Challenge

We are about to begin the 2nd full week of The Eat From the Pantry Challenge. :)
I bought groceries last night, but I am still a good portion under budget.  Honestly, I have enough meals from the last 2 menus that we didn't even get to - thank you leftovers! - that I am making our menu almost wholly from previous menus. I did make a few meals that were on my Pantry meal list though not on my menu. I have been dealing with a possibly broken nose(hopefully we'll find out for sure tomorrow) and, along with my constantly bleeding nose, my appetite has been finicky the last few weeks. Nothing really sounds good when it comes time to cook.

Menu for the week of 1/11/10
Friendship Bread(original cinnamon, chocolate with chocolate chips and trying a new recipe chocolate with mint chips found on Christmas clearance. T loves mint!)
Cinnamon Rolls


50s Prime Time Meatloaf with Mashed potatoes
Black eye pea casserole with corn bread
Angel hair pasta with peppers served with steamed broccoli
Baked Italian Chicken Spaghetti with Green Beans
Philly cheese steaks
Deer Steaks with Baked Potatoes

Saturday, January 9, 2010

And then she bought groceries

I had to cave and buy a few groceries. We are still well under our $100 budget for the month. If I wasn't so lazy, I would get up off the couch and give the exact total but I am totally not feeling it right now. Just keeping it real.
Work was exhausting tonight. We weren't busy. In fact we were dreadfully slow. I hate slow. It made my 8.5 hour shift feel like 14+ hours.

Anyway, we bought bread(loaf, hoagies, hamburger buns, hotdog buns - seriously a LOT of bread but we plow through it like no bodies business), milk, some reduced meat and a few little things that we needed to make some extra meals. It was $27ish. I think we did alright for several reasons:
- This was a non-planned(as in NO coupons) trip
- A hungry husband accompanied me to the store
- And a very tired wife was just ready to get home(read: didn't say no as much as she should have ;) ha)

Honestly, some people might not be impressed by the number or our progress. But I feel great that we have gone 2 weeks without buying groceries, we still have plenty of food to eat from our freezer and pantry and I ONLY spent $27. As long as we stay under our $100 goal for the month, I will be a happy lady. I plan on doing some coupoining over the next couple of days but most of it will be household items rather than groceries.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Eat from the Pantry Challenge update

So far, from our pantry, we have eaten:
Cheesy Tuna Noodle Casserole with corn on the cob
Chicken Fettucine with french peas
Jambalaya with Cajun Deer Sausage
Grilled Cheese and Soup
Spaghetti and garlic bread
Chicken Rice Cheesy Bake

The rest has been filled in with leftovers and sandwiches. So far, so good.
I haven't spent a cent in 2010. I will be making a grocery trip tomorrow night after work. We are in need of bread and milk because we finished our loaf of bread a few days ago and our milk expired today. At this point, I feel pretty confident that we will stay in our $100 grocery budget for January 2010. :)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Spring Class Schedule

I thought that I had posted this yesterday but it was floating in draft status.

Monday/Wednesday 8-10:55 Architectural Design 2
Monday/Wednesday 12-2 Structural Design
Tuesday/Thursday 8-10:15 Elementary Surveying
And a hybrid, work at my own pace class - AutoCAD Seminar for Revit.

This load sounds SO much better than my class load last semester. You know, where I was in class from 8-3 Monday through Thursday and Friday from 8-12. Hello new semester where I am out by 2pm on Monday/Wednesday, 10:15am Tuesday/Thursday and the beauty of class free Fridays. :)

And for the record, Trevor dug out his long johns from junior high(his old hunting digs) so that I don't freeze to death every Tuesday and Thursday morning. Mississippi is having some beyond unusual weather and Elementary Surveying is an OUTSIDE class. Help!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Oh, deer...

 And yes, that is supposed to be spelled like that. Read on. ;)

I can only be still for so long. The 4-5 day migraine was bad enough. Less than a day of being migraine free and I woke up with a sinus headache. Lovely. I spent the day with a box of nearly gone kleenex and a consistent flow of dayquil. I feel a little bit better. No more sore throat, coughing, or runny nose. Mostly just sneezing and a slight headache. =)

Having my sweetheart home for the evening helped. T went in for his shift at 2 and got to come home about 4 hours early(around 6:30) because of the "snow storms" coming. Considering typical Mississippi weather, it really would surprise me if we only got flurries. ;) But the community is not taking any chances and many schools have already canceled school for tomorrow. Ah, snow days in Mississippi! Oh, and since his contract pays him to be there the full time, he got paid for those extra 4 hours that he was home.

T came home and, without saying a word, cooked our dinner tonight. I didn't ask or anything. So sweet! Of course, it was part of our Eat from the Pantry challenge. He made Jambalaya with cajun deer sausage. We have been eating deer meat a lot lately and I feel like we haven't even made a dent in it. We still have some in my mom's freezer and my sister is giving us a deer roast. I feel like deer meat is coming out of my ears but I am so grateful that we have it for this month long challenge!

We have a huge pack of deer steak and I don't have a clue what to do with it. Unfortunately, I have never really done a lot of cooking with deer meat. Growing up, we never really had deer meat on hand. What we have used is just basic(sausage with breakfast, jambalaya, red beans and rice, etc). So if you have any ideas or recipes, send them my way!

Free Raising Cane's Meal

I love me some Raising Cane's chicken. The sauce is fab.
Check out their website, sign up to be a part of their Caniac Club and get a coupon for a free box meal. Super easy, right?

I can have my Cane's and eat it too without busting our no spending plan. :)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Day 5

- of 2010
- of straight consistent blogging
- of zero out of pocket spending

I can't believe it is Day 5 of 2010. Seriously? I am still having trouble comprehending where 2009 went to and I am steadily progressing into another year. Not so sure about this. But then again, keep on trucking because in 28 days I will be going on a visit to my Happy Place/Home(Disney World)! The transmission went out on the car T has been using(his parents "extra" car), so we are down to one car again for a little while and both trying to keep our hours at work. T says we will be going to Disney even if we have to eat sandwiches for weeks. I love this man! ;o)

My Eat from the Pantry Challenge is going well so far. We actually started it mid-week last week, so we are about a week deep into it. I have had migraines the last few days so NOTHING has sounded good. I have been eating but nothing seems to be appetizing. Tonight I cooked Chicken Rice Casserole(recipe coming later in the week) and finally something hit the spot and tasted yummy. :)

I have never been consistent about blogging but I have blogged for 5 days straight! I really enjoy reading blogs and commenting on others but find myself thinking that nobody wants to read what I have to write. Well, I have come to realize that it doesn't matter if anyone wants to read what I have to write, I still need to keep my digital journal/scrapbook up. ;o) Not going to lie, those little comments at the end of blogs make my day complete but I know getting several comments on each post isn't realistic for me and I want to make sure that I continue writing for the right reasons. So I am giving it a full fledged effort.
Notice that the Christmas blog decor is gone? I resigned it this evening while I was on the phone with my dear friend Brooke. Not too bad for about 30 minutes of work, if I do say so myself.

T and I have spent no money out of pocket/unbudgeted in 2010. Let me explain. The only thing that are budgeted for us this month are rent, water, electricity, cable/internet(last big bill whoo!), health insurance, life insurance, $100 for groceries, and gas. We are trying to keep our spending on extras to a bare minimum. This is a challenge but I know that it will be rewarding, if for no other reason than not having to cancel our Disney trip because of the aforementioned car issue.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Week of January 4th
 This is also part of the Eat from the Pantry challenge. All of these meals are completely furnished by our pantry, fridge and freezer with no trips to the grocery store.

I don't work until Thursday this week, so I will be able to cook a lot. I'm excited. :) I am all about being able to take my time and cook a meal rather than throwing it together.

Biscuits and Sausage
French Toast
Toaster Strudels


Philly cheese steaks
Deer Steaks with Baked Potatoes
Fettucine Alfredo with French Peas
Spaghetti with meat sauce and garlic bread
Campfire Stew
50s Prime Time Meatloaf with Mashed potatoes
Black eye pea casserole with corn bread
Angel hair pasta with peppers
Baked Italian Chicken Spaghetti with Green Beans

Want to check out some more menus? Head over the orgjunkie.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Key to Success

The key to success? Not breaking your key off in the door.
T's key broke in the door last night as he was getting ready to leave for his weekly 7am-7pm shift. He had to leave the door unlocked but everything was safe and in place when I got home from work last night.
I locked the door from the inside when I got home and had to let him back in this morning. We made the maintenance call around 7:30am and finally got the door fixed around 1pm(ish). It is our first experience with the after hours/weekend "emergency" maintenance call. Considering it wasn't REALLY an emergency, I guess the long wait wasn't that big of a deal. Unfortunately we didn't make it to church.We had to be here to let them in to work on the door and we didn't want to leave the door unlocked for the whole morning.

In other news, I am "preparing" myself for the switch to local channels and DVDs. Ha.
I am having a Hayley Mills day, most of which are Disney. Surprised? Didn't think so. ;o)
I am watching as I put away all of my Christmas decorations, deep clean and put things back into post-holiday order.

Apparently blogger has made some New Year's Resolutions changes. Hmmmm. Looks like it will be nice but it definitely threw me off. And my little post that should have taken only 2-3 minutes to post pictures and type took closer to 20 minutes. Ha

Saturday, January 2, 2010

So Long, Farewell

Disclaimer: I know some people think we are crazy for this, but this is my record book of sorts. When I look back at the changes we made in 2010, I want to know the reasoning behind them and that is what I am doing - documenting our decision and reasons behind it. Thank you and happy reading. ;0)

Trevor asked me last night what I thought about giving up cable. The thought was absolutely shocking to me at first but the more we talked about it, the more I saw his reasoning behind it. The most obvious reason is that it would be saving money by eliminating an extra bill. Another reason that he pointed out was that with our crazy work schedules, we often find ourselves sitting in front of the TV the few waking hours we have together. T said he would rather go for a walk with me, put together a puzzle or just spend quality time with me without the TV as a backdrop. This reason melted my heart a little. I LOVE spending time with T and it is so rare for us to have time together, and we often miss out on doing anything truly worthwhile. This will also help us fulfill one of my 101 in 1001 goals(to spend quality time daily with each other).
I am by no means saying that this will be easy but I think it is a challenge that I am definitely willing to take on. It's not like we will be cut off entirely from television entertainment. Local channels broadcast some of the shows we watch weekly, we can watch other shows not on local channels on the internet and will will be keeping our Netflix account.
We will be making the switch to local channels only in the next few days. In the meantime, I am going old school and recording what I want to save off of my DVR to my ancient VCR. Ha.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Crockpot Red Beans and Rice

Meal 1 of my pantry challenge. I adore crockpot meals. So helpful for our odd working hours. I came home from work at 7 and dinner was almost finished. Thank you for my stock of minute rice. ;)

1 lb. red kidney beans
1 bay leaf
1 clove garlic, crushed (I use garlic powder)
1 lg. onion, chopped
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. pepper
Rice, cooked
Fresh chopped parsley
Meat - optional (I am using some deer sausage that we have in our freezer)

Rinse beans in cold water (sorting out bad beans as you add them into the crockpot).
Cook in 3 quarts of water for 2 hours.
Add all other ingredients(excluding rice) and cook for an additional 2-3 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low.
Serve with hot rice. Yummm. =)

Pantry Challenge

Somethings have come up and/or changed, so in order for us to make our Disney trip happen in February, I am taking on a challenge.
Through couponing, I have been able to make a very little "stockpile" of sorts in my pantry, freezer, and fridge. I did an inventory of what we have a few nights ago and I came up with 26-28 different meals. Most of these include side of veggies and/or bread and are large enough for leftovers. This does not include 3 "meals for 2" frozen veggie dinners I have, frozen burritos, canned soup or any sandwiches. I excluded these because those are what I consider to be our fall back plans or quick fixes.
I am challenging myself to cook using what we already have, only buying milk, bread and other perishables. I know that this would completely deplete my stash and I don't want to find myself having to do serious grocery shopping at some point in February, so T and I decided on a compromise. I get $100 for the month of January to buy our perishables and then use the rest for couponing and sale shopping only. If it isn't on sale or if I don't have coupons for it, I won't buy it. We will see how we do with this. I was totally shocked once I sat down and looked at all the different meals I could make with what we have on hand. I had NO idea we had that much food stocked up. And T was shocked too. ;) He always says, "Well, what is there to eat?", never saying we don't have anything but certainly making it sound that way. He couldn't believe how many meals I came up with. He asked if I really had the groceries to make all of that on hand. As if I would make something like that up. Ha.
We work on a ridiculously limited budget anyway and I know if we can do this it will save us so much money. Think of how much you would save if you did it? Want to see others who are participating? Check out Money Saving Mom and Life as Mom!