Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Bedroom Rennovation IV

So, some of you might remember that hubby and I were in the process of renovating our bedroom. Well, we finally had new carpet instaledl yesterday... let me check that off of the list.

1. Paint Bedroom
2. New Bedding and Blinds for Bedroom
3. New Carpet for Bedroom
4. New Furniture for Bedroom
5. New Curtains We decided we didn't need curtains with the new blinds
6. Get Really Big Mirror

We are officially one step closer to being finished with the bedroom.

Now on a somewhat lighter note:

I am pretty sure that my big dog is a Buddhist, or at least very Zen. Any time I start to get a little too materialistic or prideful, he makes sure that I an snapped right back into the correct balance and gt my priorities straight.

For example, yesterday after the carpet was installed I vacuumed a couple of times to get up the new fuzz, and was marveling at the new addition to the bedroom and really at how good it looked. The carpet installers had left maybe, maybe 10 minutes prior when my big dog walked into the bedroom and barfed all over the new carpet. The spot he chose to deposit this gift? 2 inches from the threshold... one more step and he would have been in the hallway... but no... my priorities were out of wack and he needed to let me know that.

Thank you Beo, for setting mommy straight. :)

Friday, July 27, 2007

Making Vanilla Extract

Under normal circumstances I am an avid baker. Now that I am pregnant I seem to have lost some of my baking zeal, although I did make a wicked good batch of butterscotch blondies the other day.

Baking is a great way to keep your food costs down. Plus you as the baker have complete control over what you put in the food you make. There are a few ingredients that I use all the time that are fairly costly, nuts, chocolate, and vanilla extract.

I have been keeping my baking costs down by buying both chocolate and nuts in bulk and by making my own vanilla extract. It is really easy to do and the results are fabulous.

First you will need a clean glass bottle (I reused a mini champagne bottle, 6-8 oz is a good size). I washed mine in the dishwasher to make sure it was good and clean.

Then you need vanilla beans. I get mine at Trader Joes. They are 2 beans for $5.00 (when buying vanilla beans make sure that they don't rattle in the bottle. If they rattle they are old and dried out)

Lay the beans on a cutting board and with a sharp paring knife slit open one side of the bean (try not to cut all the way though)

Put the beans in the clean bottle. Cover with Vodka or any other clear liquor.

Let it sit for 2 weeks before using. Shake before using, the vanilla seeds settle to the bottom.

After every use, be sure to refill the bottle with vodka, that way the vanilla keeps fermenting and your extract lasts for a good long time.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Some Days My Heart Just Hurts...

I was reading the news at CNN.com and Michael Vicks' hearing for the dogfighting charges he has been brought up on. I hope he is found guilty... I hope his punishment is to be treated the way fighting pit bulls are treated.

Some days my heart just hurts from all of the cruelty in the world.

On Tuesday I took Jax (the little dog) to the vet to have his nails trimmed. When I pulled into the parking lot I saw both a SPCA van and an Animal Control Van and wondered what was going on. It seems animal control picked up a dog that was too severely injured for the SPCA to treat so they brought it to the only emergency vet in the area. It seems the dog's owner had thrown him off a bridge. The good news is that they arrested the owner and it seems the dog can be helped. I hope the owner is found guilty and I hope they throw him off a bridge.

I don't know how anyone could hurt an animal intentionally, but it makes me wonder how these people treat other people.

Some days my heart just hurts from all of the cruelty in the world.

(It seems one pit bull got revenge on Mr. Vick... very funny)

High School Meme

I found this at Rose Cottage Lane... have fun an consider yourself tagged!

High School Spirit Meme

1. Who was your best friend? Hummm... Joy, Sara, Katie

2. Did you play any sports? Yup, Cheerleading

3. What kind of car did you drive? I didn't have a car in high school.

4. It’s Friday night. Where were you? In my family room with my friends, their boyfriends, and my boyfriend.

5. Were you a party animal? In my own way yes I was.

6. Were you considered a flirt? Not just a flirt... I was considered THE flirt.

7. Were you in the band, orchestra or choir? Orchestra... I played the flute.

8. Were you a nerd? Smart yes, honors student yes, nerd, no.

9. Were you ever suspended or expelled? Nope.

10. Can you sing the fight song? I don't think we had a fight song.

11. Who was your favorite teacher? Mr. Blake. He died at 36 and we didn't get to finish out the year with him... it was truly tragic.

12. What was your school mascot? Black Panther (the animal not the militant group)

13. Did you go to the Prom? Yup. I wore a short flirty red dress too.

14. If you could go back, would you? Sure, I had a great time in high school.

15. What do you remember most about graduation? Not being able to throw my cap in the air because it was bobby pinned to my head.

16. Where were you on Senior Skip Day? We didn't have one.

17. Did you have a job your senior year? I babysat all though high school, college, and into graduate school.

18. Where did you go most often for lunch? The cafeteria with my friends.

19. Have you gained weight since then? Too much to mention, although I am pregnant so lets blame it on that. ;)

20. What did you do after graduation? We had "Senior Celebration" where our entire graduating class went on a dinner cruise until the next morning.

21. What year did you graduate? 1994

22. Who was your Senior Prom Date? Neal VanHoeven, my boyfriend at the time.

23. Are you going/did you go to your 10 year reunion? Nope, I don't do reunions. If I really liked you I'd still be talking to you now.

First Trip to Aldi

I have been on vacation the last couple of days. It was nice to be home and not at work, but it was not nice to be without Internet access.

Yesterday, my mom and I made a trip to Aldi. She had been to one store in the past, and I had never been, so we were looking forward to this adventure. We really went just to scope things out and see if all of the things that Amy (Motherload) and Meredith (Like Merchant Ships) said about Aldi were true.

Both mom and I were pleasantly surprised. The store was very clean and well organized. No frills to be sure, but who really cares about that anyway. The prices were PHENOMENAL!!! As I haven't tried any of the items I bought I can't attest to the quality just yet, but I will let you know what I think when I open something.

For $9.80 I got

2 dozen large eggs -- 2 x 1.24
2 cans tropical fruit salad -- 2 x .69
1 can mushroom stems and pieces -- .45
1 bag (6) cinnamon raisin bagels -- .99
1 can refrigerated cinnamon rolls (soo bad for you yet so good!) -- 1.89
1 Pineapple -- 1.89
1 bunch of Dole bananas -- .72

I am doing my regular marketing on Sunday and will calculate how much this would cost me there.

I don't know that I will completely make the switch to Aldi, but I will certainly split my marketing between my regular store and Aldi.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Rockin' Girl Blogger

Thank you, thank you, thank you... it is such an honor to accept this... oh wait... I'm not at the oscars I'm at work... bummer.

Anyway, Katie at How to Save Money the Easy Way nominated me as a Rockin' Girl Blogger.

Hehehe... I love it! Thanks Katie!

So here is how this works:
If you would like to participate, the rules are simple:

-Place the badge on your blog. (Check!)
-Give credit to the person that started the award Roberta http://www.robertaferguson.com/ (Check!)
-Pick 5 rockin’ girls of your choice and add them to the list (Check!)

Below is the list of those who I have been named Rockin’ Girl Bloggers.

1. Julie at A Little Pregnant (Who knew infertility could be this funny?)
2. Ari at Baking and Books
3. Eric at Librarian Avengers (Striking a blow for librarains everywhere)
4. Not Martha
5. Amy at Motherload: The Mom Advice Blog

We Heard the Heartbeat!!!!

Finally! We heard the baby's heartbeat yesterday. at 160 beats per minute our little hummingbird is right on track. :)

Here is what is sounded like:

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Who Piddled in the World’s Cheerios?

Why is everyone so surly? Why does it seem that everyone is having a perpetual bad day? Why does it seem as if everyone I come in contact with on a daily basis had had their cheerios piddled in?

I have a 20 minute commute to work through the streets and main roads of suburbia USA. I do not have to drive on highways on my way to work. There are lots of trees and lots of flowers and usually not too many people overly stressed and under caffeinated. That is until this morning. I was flipped off, given the bird, given the finger, shown the middle finger salute, etc. twice (that’s 2 times) on my 20 minute drive to work.

Now, I would understand this behavior had I just cut someone off, had I run a red light, had I run over someone’s dog or child or husband, etc. But both times today I was being NICE to the other person.

For example, instance number 1. I was sitting in stopped traffic in front of a convenience store. There was a car waiting to exit the parking lot. As traffic in front of move began to move I stayed stopped and waved to the driver in the parking lot that she could go. She inched ever so slowly toward the street and then stopped and shook her head. I could see that there were no other cars coming so I waved her on again. She mouthed “I can’t go, I can’t see” to which I mouthed “I can, you’re ok” meaning I can see in the other direction and there are no others cars. I then smiled which has apparently taken on some other meaning in today’s society which roughly translates to “you’re a big doo doo head and I hate you.” She throws up her hand in exasperation (I don’t exactly know what was so exasperating) grips the steering wheels until her knuckles turned white, stomped on the gas peddle and sped off while GIVING ME THE FINGER!!!

Uh… sweetheart… what exactly did I do, other than be nice and try to help you that was worthy of that particular gesture?

The second time was, really, even more precious. There was a mother (or maybe a young grandmother) walking with a little boy (maybe 3 or 4). The little boy was skipping and prancing, it was cute. I looked out the window, and smiled at the mother, grandmother. She kept walking by, not really a big deal and then gave me the finger behind her back so that the little boy wouldn’t see. HUH?

Did I forget to have my fangs filed down? If there something so off putting about my smile or my attempt to connect with other people and make the world a little more pleasant that is making these people lash out? What is going on with the world?

Monday, July 16, 2007

Generous Friends and Baby Gear

Saturday hubby and I went to visit friends and attend their son's first birthday party. They really lucked out as the weather was beautiful and all of the kids could play outside in the pool and with the slip and slide.

After most of the other guests left we stuck around so that we could visit and my friend says to me... come up to the attic and lets see what baby stuff I have for you. It seems that even before I was pregnant she had been saving some of her almost brand new baby gear for me. How generous!!!

I was pleased to accepts almost $1000 in baby stuff most of it in pristine condition.

She gave me

I am so thankful that she thought of us and so grateful for her generosity.

There is more to come too... in January there is a Jumperoo and an Exersaucer coming our way.

And if its a boy... more baby clothes than I know what to do with.

Thank you dear friend... thank you!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

I Completely Forgot...

to mention that I made Meredith's (Like Merchant Ships) cobbler for our Fourth of July BBQ. I am not a fan of cobblers, crisps, brown bettys, buckles, slumps, etc.; but, this cobbler changed my mind! It was super easy to make and was a big hit with the whole family. I even liked it. I used blueberries instead of the blackberries Meredith used. I would highly recommend this recipe!

How to Make a Cobbler

Cleaning... hummmmm

SO I went to yoga last night instead of dusting the entire house and windexing all the glass surfaces. Tonight, since it is Thursday, I should be at home vacuuming all of the carpets, but I won't be. I will be watching the newest Harry Potter movie instead. This is why Friday is a "nothing" day in my cleaning schedule, it gives me the opportunity to make up what I missed during the week. What a rockin' Friday night I will have, dusting and vacuuming.

Do I know how to party or what?

Since it looks like I will be sticking with this prenantal yoga class I will have to do some rescheduling as far as cleaning goes.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Cheap Flea Treatment

My dogs, Beo and Jax, are truly my babies. I would do just about anything for them. I want to protect them from getting lost, so I had them microchipped. I want to keep them safe from deadly doggy diseases so I have them vaccinated. I want to keep them free of worms, fleas, and ticks so they are both on a heartworm preventative and on a once-a-month flea and tick preventative.

What I don't like about the flea and tick preventative is how darn expensive it is when purchased from my vet. $24.00 per month for both dogs. I looked in to buying it through mail order catalogs like Drs. Foster and Smith and those places advertised on TV like 1-800-petmeds and PetRX but I wasn't impressed by their prices either.

The best deal I have found so far is on ebay.

Instead of paying $36 for a three month supply for one dog ($72 for three month for both dogs) I was able to get a three month supply for both dogs for @ $50.00 with shipping. Thats a $22 savings.

And I assure you it is exactly the same thing I would buy from my vet.

Ebay its a good thing! (As Martha Stewart would say)

Pregnancy Lifesavers

Although I am not yet out of my first trimester, there are a few products that are making my pregnant life a whole lot easier.

I have been lucky enough to escape the horrors of morning sickness, and have actually lost 5 pounds to date.

With this said, my waist line is disappearing and much of the clothes in my closet no longer fit.

That is why I am loving... my bella band!

This tube top like contraption allows me to wear regular pants and skirts unbuttoned and unzipped without them actually falling off.

I am also employing bra extenders on a daily basis.

I have a large bust (38 DD to be exact) and I swear it is getting bigger by the minute. The bra extenders help prolong the wearing of my old bras.

I am also very thankful someone invented Breath Right Strips!

The extra progesterone in pregnancy causes the membranes in your nose an sinuses to swell, making it feel like you have a stuffed up nose and making it more difficult to get a good nights sleep. These little babies are a lifesaver!!! I can breath all night long and more importantly... I can SLEEP!

Bathrooms... check!

I am pleased to report that both bathrooms were cleaned last night. The tub sure needed a good scrubbing and new everything is sparkly and fresh.

Since tonight is Wednesday I am supposed to Dust the Entire house which would entail:

  • Actually Dusting the Entire house
  • Windexing the glass coffee table
  • Windexing the living room windows with nose prints on them
However, tonight I have my first pre-natal yoga class, so I think all of the dusting and windexing will be put off until tomorrow.

I hate dusting more that just about any other housecleaning task, so putting this off a day is really no hardship for me.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


The kitchen is clean!!!!! When I got home from work I fed the dogs and just started cleaning. It wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be.

Since today is Tuesday it is time to clean the bathrooms.

For me this entails:

  • Windexing the mirror
  • Cleaning the sink and countertop
  • Cleaning the outside of the toilet
  • Cleaning the inside of the toilet
  • Cleaning the bidet (It came with the house and we use it as a water fountain for the dogs)
  • Scrubbing the bathtub
  • Wiping down the shower walls
  • Vacuuming the floor
  • Mopping the floor (If I really feel ambitious)
  • Windexing the trashcan and the scale
Neither bathroom is very big and the second bathroom is really just a powder room (no tub or shower) so cleaning bathrooms doesn't take very long... 30 minutes tops. Plus, I use Sun and Earth as my cleaner and it smells so good that I don't mind at all.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Housecleaning Routines

This is how I feel about cleaning most days... but not today!

Today is my first day back to work after a week of bed rest. I am really hoping that I will not be overly tired when I get home tonight since my goal is to begin my housecleaning routines again.

I have to admit, that I have not cleaned my house in over thee weeks! (the shame, the shame!) I was too tired, it was too hot, you name it, I have been using it as an excuse.

I can't stand it anymore, so I am starting up tonight.

My cleaning routines look something like this:

Monday Clean Kitchen
Tuesday Clean Bathrooms
Wednesday Dust Entire House
Thursday Vacuum Entire House
Friday NOTHING :)
Saturday Laundry
Sunday Laundry

Since today is Monday I will be cleaning the kitchen. This entails:

  • Cleaning all counter tops
  • Wiping down all the things that sit on the counter tops (Knife block, toaster oven, etc.)
  • Cleaning the stove
  • Cleaning the front of the oven, trash compactor, dishwasher, refrigerator
  • Scouring the sink and shining the spigot
  • Vacuuming and mopping the floor
  • Cleaning the kitchen table
  • Windexing the sliding glass doors to remove puppy prints
  • Shaking out door mats
My kitchen is huge, which means this is a really big job. The kitchen alone takes close to an hour if not more to clean.

I will keep telling myself that it is easier to maintain clean than it is to get it clean in the first place!

What is your cleaning routine?

Friday, July 06, 2007

As Promised... Pictures

So here are some of the things that I have been up to today, now that I am allowed back on my feet...

Making Cards

Baking a loaf of Cinnamon Raisin Bread

Walking around the yard looking at my flowers in bloom


and Hydrangea

I also did 4 or 5 loads of laundry and ran a few errands, but they aren't very photogenic.

I hope everyone has a great weekend... I need to go feed the dogs. :)

Thursday, July 05, 2007

A Few Changes...

So I thought I was due in January... it turns out that I am due on February 1, 2008, so I was not nearly as pregnant as I thought I was. Oh well....

I had some bleeding over the weekend and although it was minor it was still scary. I had an ultrasound on Monday which is how my due date got recalculated. The best news is that they had a positive fetal heartbeat, even though my doctor tries with the Doppler in the office and we still can't hear it yet. I don't really care if I can hear it as long as its in there beating!

I was on "modified" bed rest (as my OB put it... you can get up ad go to the bathroom... uh... thanks) for the last 2-3 days and since I haven't had any bleeding since Sunday am free to resume my regular life. YEAH!

That's a quick update. I promise I will post some pics tomorrow of what I have been up to.