Friday, June 22, 2007

Doggy Question

Our two puppy boys, Beo and Jax, sleep in bed with hubby and I.

This is starting to pose a problem as the two dogs combined weight @ 165 pounds.

So here's the question... how do we get them out of bed?

They have their own beds in the bedroom, but the much prefer the big bed and we don't want to keep our bedroom door shut.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.


Sorry I have been MIA. I have a HUGE project due on Monday and it is eating up all of my time.

Hopefully after Monday I will be able to post more often and actually have something interesting to say.

The blinds we ordered for the bedroom were delivered yesterday. Hopefully hubby will get them installed this weekend. Next step... carpet.

Oh I finally got my immersion blender. Hubby's grandmother died earlier this spring and in the process of cleaning out her house an immersion blender was found. I can cross that off the list.

That's all really. I am going to the market tomorrow... it seems as if we are out of everything, so it should be an expensive trip.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

So Maybe You Noticed...

The ticker above this post.

That's right...

Hubby and I are please to announce that I am pregnant with our first baby!

I am due January 20, 2008 and we are thrilled!

I feel good... no morning sickness (I shouldn't say that out loud and jinx myself), just tired.

Hopefully I can get lots of advice about cloth diapering and frugal baby raising from my wonderful blogger friends!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Food Prices

I have been following the congressional food stamp challenge, which I see as a publicity stunt with the best possible intentions. People go hungry in the "Land of Plenty" everyday and too many people remain ignorant to this fact. I think that drawing attention to this problem is a good thing.

I was watching the news this morning and they mentioned something about food prices going up another 7% because corn grown in this country is being used to create ethanol instead of going into animal feed, so the price of feed has gone up and therefor dairy products, meat, and chicken will also be going up. They mentioned $5 gallons of milk and sky high prices on butter.

This could all be scare mongering... the news outlets are known to do that, one of the reasons I try not to watch all that often. But it got me thinking about stretching food budgets, frugal shopping, cooking from scratch, and all of those things.

I cook from scratch a lot of the time. Not all of the time because I work full time and go to school and some days I am just tired.

I buy in bulk, divide and freeze.

I buy powdered milk and frozen concentrated juices.

We don't buy soda or powdered drink mixes on a regular basis, I make my iced tea from scratch.

I bake my own bread, biscuits, crackers, cookies, muffins, scones, etc.

I frequent the produce outlet (although the quality is going down and the prices going up).

I only buy meat (other than chicken breasts, ground beef, and ground turkey) when it is on clearance.

I have started to keep a price book and know which store have the best prices on staples (for example, Trader Joes bananas are .19 each, and the large eggs .99 without a sale or coupons)

My mom and I will be cooking and canning Jam, applesauce, and tomato sauce at the end of the summer.

My question is.... what else can be done to combat rising food prices?

I don't run from grocery store to grocery store... gas is too expensive and I am very frugal with my gas budget.

I don't garden... I don't have the time or the inclination and the dogs tear up the gardens anyway. [Hubby and I do have herbs and raspberries planted]

So what am I missing? If you have ideas I would love to hear them!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Crockpot Roasted Chicken

Dinner tonight will be a crockpot roasted chicken. This is the easiest way to roast a chicken and I love it. You don't get crispy skin, so if you're a skin fan you may not like this recipe.

1. Remove giblets from thawed chicken. Rinse chicken inside and out with cold water. pat dry.

2. Spring chicken, inside and out with either seasoning salt (like Lawry's) or salt, black pepper, and garlic.

3. Spring inside of crockpot with olive oil spray.

4. Roll up 4-5 ball of tin foil and place in bottom of crockpot.

5. Place chicken, breast side up on top of balls.

6. Cook on low for 4-6 hours depending on the size of your bird.

The meat will literally fall from the bone.


Laziness Day 2

I posted about this feeling of laziness that had descended on me yesterday. I guess I have started to fight my way out from underneath it because last night, not only did I get both bathrooms cleaned (Tuesday's cleaning task) but I also got laundry folded and put away and I cleaned out my jewelery box. Baby steps to be sure, but steps nonetheless. I was also able to sit down and watch one of my favorite movies, Practical Magic, and do a couple of cross-word puzzles.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


I feel as if laziness has descended upon me. For the last couple of weeks I have... well to say I haven't been productive would be a gross understatement... I have been downright lazy. I have loose ends that need tying all over the house and I can't actually bring myself to do any of them. For example, Monday night after work I clean my kitchen. last night I looked around the kitchen and decided to go watch TV instead. It's not that it is all that dirty but.... jeeze! Here is a list of projects that need completing that I have been putting off for .... who knows how long:

1. Get touch up paint for my car. I was keyed and I need to stop at the dealer (around the corner) and buy paint
2. Plant $1 rose bush (it's still not in the ground yet)
3. Plant seedlings we started in the spring
4. Clean out linen closet
5. Wash all of the dogs' bedding
6. Make cards so I can mail them in time
7. Sew, cross stitch, craft in some way shape of form
8. Clean out my craft supplies
9. Clean out car
10. Thats all I can think of at the moment

I chalk some of this up to the fog I get in when working on school/class work, but I can't even motivate myself to do the things I like to do... like bake. I did make chocolate chip cookies yesterday but they were from refrigerated dough from Trader Joes (the shame! the shame!)

Anyone else get like this? How do you get motivated again?

Monday, June 11, 2007

Update on Bedroom Renovation

Here is our bedroom renovation to do list (now updated):

1. Paint Bedroom
2. New Bedding and Blinds for Bedroom
3. New Carpet for Bedroom
4. New Furniture for Bedroom
5. New Curtains
6. Get Really Big Mirror

The blinds have been ordered, next up the carpet. I have never purchased carpet before so I am going to home depot this week to get a baseline price. I expect it will be much higher than I am estimating in my head. After the carpet is installed we can move on to furniture.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Laundry Question

I have looked through Martha Stewart's Homekeeping Handbook and Home Comforts and have not been able to find an answer to my laundry question... maybe ya'll can help.

How do you get a musty smell out of fabric?

Any and all help will be appreciated.

Frugal Experiment

For the last few months I have been conducting an experiment in frugality. In an attempt to cut down my food budget I decided to buy only food at the grocery store and buy cleaning products and personal care products at Walmart. Dog food and treats come from the Wholesale club.

Buying the dog products at the wholesale club has proved to be a smart move. 48 pounds of kibble for $28.00 as opposed to 35 pounds of kibble for $35 at either Petsmart or Petco. Same goes for dog treats. Although I do try to make them $5 for the 10 pound box is had to pass up.

Buying all of our cleaning and personal care products at Walmart has proved less successful. First of all, I am trying to use up all of the cleaning products I have in the house and use Simple Green or vinegar instead, so I didn’t see a lot of savings on products I wasn’t actually buying.

On the other had, although individual prices are better at Walmart and they do accept coupons, they do not double them like my grocery store does. I do like Walmart’s generic brand of many products, but they do not make generics of everything that we use. The other problem with this plan was that since I view Walmart as the “home of all things cheap” (not in quality but in price) I have a tendency to pick up this and that along with what I went in for because “it is only $2 or $3” or “isn’t it cute, I need another xyz.”

I actually ended up spending more money when I split my shopping between the two stores than when I contained it to just one.

So this month I am back to buying personal care products at the grocery store unless Walmart makes a generic I like and in that case I go there for that item when I am a day away from being out of it. It seems to be working out better.

Monday, June 04, 2007

That sounds about right...

You Are 95% Feminist

You are a total feminist. This doesn't mean you're a man hater (in fact, you may be a man).
You just think that men and women should be treated equally. It's a simple idea but somehow complicated for the world to put into action.

Friday, June 01, 2007

The War of the Roses

No, not the Elizabethan drama or the movie with Michael Douglas... this is a real war going on between me and my dogs and my desire to plant one stupid rose bush in my back yard.

Let me explain.

We had a shed in our back yard where we store the lawn mower and flower pots and snow shovels. I thought it would be nice to plant roses on either side of the double doors to make the shed look prettier and bring some color to the yard. Last summer I purchased one yellow rose bush (full price) from Home Depot and another yellow rose bush (half price) from home depot. I planted the full price rose on the left of the doors and the half price rose on the right of the doors. It was late in the season when I did my planting, and I am not a very good or interested gardener, so one rose flourished and one rose died. I'll let you guess when one died... you betcha... the full price one.

Winter can and went and when spring came around the cheap rose in the right came back to life and had many blooms, while the one of the left proved itself to really be dead.

I went to Home Depot this year and purchased another full price yellow rose. I went to dig the dead one up only to discover that there was a hole, but no rose. It turns out that my dogs had been nice enough to remove it for me and eat it.

So I plant the rose (which I paid $12 for), watered it, fed it, and surrounded it with old pots as way to deter the dogs.

Two days later as I trek across the yard to water my newly planted baby I discover... you betcha... another hole. No rosebush in sight. I scoured the yard and was able to find for roots that had not been eaten, but everything else was long gone. Into the belly of the beasts if you will.

So I said, no more. I have spent $25 on roses that have died and been eaten, I'm not doing it again.

So yesterday I was in Eckerd picking up a prescription when I display of roses caught my eye. They all looked pretty healthy just in need of a little water. Then I saw the clearance sign and realized that they were $1.00 each!

So against my better judgment I bought the $1.00 rose. I will be planting it this weekend, surrounding it with a fence, and sprinkling it with cayenne pepper.

I don't think the dogs will be eating this one.