Sunday, September 30, 2007

Yard Sale Success

Yesterday was the yard sale. Both my mom and I did really well and count it as one of our most successful for 2 reasons: first, we made a decent amount of cash ($200 combined) and are bringing very, very little back into our respective houses.

Of all of the items purged from my house:

-- a dresser
-- a nightstand
-- a butcher block table
-- a floor lamp
-- a table lamp
-- a TV
-- 3 25 gallon rubbermaid totes of clothes and shoes
-- 1 XL ziplock bag of halloween costumes
-- 1 XL ziplock bag of decorative pillows
-- 1 bag of kitchen items/tupperware
-- 7 Trader Joes bags of books
-- Assorted laptop bags, camera bags, and pocket books
-- 1 poster (unframed)
-- 1 Longaberger basket with liner and protector
-- 1 electronic dartboard
-- 1 step (a la step areobics)
-- 1 Trader Joes bag of "disposable cleaning products" that I got for free
-- uncounted chochkies (junk)
-- 1 diaper genie
-- 3 formal dresses
-- 1 suit
-- 2 hot lights
--1 laptop dock

the only things that came back in were:

-- 1 18-gallon storage tub of clothes
-- 1 laptop dock
-- 1 basket
-- 1 poster

Everything else was either sold, sent to Goodwill, or sent to a local shelter. Of the items that came back in the house, the tub of clothes will go to a consignment shop when I find one, the laptop dock is going on ebay, the basket will be part of a Christmas gift for a friend, and the poster will be hung in my office at work.

I swear I just heard my house breath a sigh of relief!

Muffin Makeover

This weekend was a long and grueling one for me. Mom and I had the yard sale yesterday which was a huge success, I will post on that in a minute. Last night hubby and I went to see Jim Gaffigan perform, very funny, but I really wanted to crawl into bed and sleep until Monday. Sadly, not a possibility since I have to work today (Sunday).

Anyway, hubby got the dogs out of bed and let me sleep until 8:00 (blissful) while he slept on the couch in our family room. When I sis get up I wanted to make a little treat for breakfast and I remembered that I had printed out Tammy's recipe for French Breakfast Puffs. My mom used to make these when I was a kid and I thought that they would be perfect this morning. I did adapt the recipe a little bit and it was a huge success. First of all, in place of the AP flour I used my new obsession, white whole wheat flour. In addition, I used my one-bowl method for making muffin. instead of creaming the butter and sugar, I melt the butter and then sit in the sugar. I then add all the dry ingredients on top of that and then the egg. I mix it all together and then bake according to the directions. They were very yummy and I am not ashamed to admit that I had three of them, after all they were made with whole wheat flour, that means they are practically health food!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Pregnancy Brain Strikes Again

Part pf my job as the education and human sexuality library at this university is to teach graduate students how to research in either the education or sexuality field. The fall is the busiest time for this and today was no exception. At 10:15 this morning I was supposed to go to a graduate research class and talk to the students about library services, databases, searching, etc. I had written down on one calendar that the class was in the K building in room 213. This is where this class has been held for a few years now.

So, at 10:10 I gather up my materials and my umbrella, since its raining here, and head from the library to the K building. I find room 213, knock on the door and walk into the room loudly proclaiming "I'm here!" Only, instead of the graduate students and friendly professor I was expecting there was an undergraduate biology class going on. Oops! My bad, I must have the wrong room. So I back out of the class, and rifle through my materials looking for the paper with the class number on it. I don't have it with me, because, I remember, I left it on my desk. So, back to the library in th rain to find the paper with the room number. I open my office and there is the paper on my desk, alas no room number is written on it.

Oh poopy! I log into my my email (which is slower than molasses in January) only to discover that I deleted the email I need. I am now 5 minutes late. I hate being late. I am NEVER late! Wait... I haven't emptied my email trash for a while so maybe the email is still there. I open the trash folder, and search. Oh thank you Mr. email man, the email is still there and the room number is K 324a. Ok, so out of my office I fly back to the K building in the rain. I opt for the elevator and as the doors open on the third floor I am looking right at room 324a. Only it says "Janitor's Closet" next to it.

Why are they holding a class in the janitor's closet? I think, before it hits me that there is another K building, but it is on the other side of campus. Great, just GREAT! I am 10 minutes late now, so by the time I head over to the other K building I am 15 minutes late. There is no elevator so I huff and puff my pregnant, asthmatic, out of shape self up the stairs to the right floor, find the right room. Luckily for me the class and the professor are still there. The right class and the right professor, I might add. So, after taking a few minutes to compose myself, I teach the class. All is right with the world and the students and professor are pleased.

Now, and for the rest of the day I will holing myself up in my office and not talking to anyone. Thank you, that is all!

Thank God Today is Friday! ;)

Thursday, September 27, 2007


The purging continues... So far we have added to the huge pile of stuff leaving the house

-- 2 hot lights (used for photography)
-- 1 laptop dock

I am sure that between now and Saturday morning there will be more to come.

Tracking Cash -- Wednesday/Thursday

Friday: $25.79 (odds and ends at supermarket)
Saturday: $30 (tip for furniture movers)
Sunday: $0 spent
Monday: $33 (at dry cleaners), $33.70 (birthday presents at Marshals)
Tuesday: $8.40 (at post office), $4.16 (at Starbucks)
Wednesday: $2.99 (a drug store for cushioning inserts for new shoes), $1 (snacks at work)
Thursday: $0 spent

Total to date: $139.04

There is approximately $5.00 left in my wallet at the moment and since I will be going to the bank at lunch, my week is officially over. The $5 will be tucked away for holiday shopping or some other special purchase. That is what I do with left over cash each week. Whether it is $1 or $20 dollars it is collected and saved and then spent on something special like vacation, holidays, spa trip, etc.

It was interesting to see it in print. This week I spent more than I usually budget for a week, but there were a few special expenses in there like the moving mens' tip and the dry cleaning. All in all, not too bad. Of course, there is always room from improvement.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Tracking Cash -- Wednesday

Friday: $25.79 (odds and ends at supermarket)
Saturday: $30 (tip for furniture movers)
Sunday: $0 spent
Monday: $33 (at dry cleaners), $33.70 (birthday presents at Marshals)
Tuesday: $8.40 (at post office), $4.16 (at Starbucks)
Wednesday: $2.99 (a drug store for cushioning inserts for new shoes)

Total to date: $138.04

Free Bulbs

I am not much of a gardener, but I can't turn down free. Last year, and again this year a Brecks Bulb Catalog showed up in the mail. On the cover was a "gift certificate" for $25. Buy something over $25 from the catalog and they will take $25 off. Buy something under $25 and your oder will be free. That sounded way too good to be true, so I gave it a try last year and low and behold there was not hitch, there was not hidden fee. I order a bag of daffodil bulbs and a bag of grape hyacinth bulbs, the total for which was less that $25, used my "gift certificate" and got the bulbs for free.

This year when the catalog showed up I jumped at the chance and ordered 2 more bags of daffodil bulbs totaling less than $25 and got them for free. They showed up in the mail on monday and I can;t wait to get those babies in the ground.

If this keeps up I am going to be overwhelmed by free flowers. Never a bad thing.

Give it a try yourself. Hop on over to, order a free catalog and then order some free bulbs!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Urge to Purge

Once upon a time, a young couple began redoing their mater bedroom...

Last week we went and ordered our new bedroom furniture so I can officially say that the redo is now complete. Hopefully I will have some pics to share in a day or two. Since the furniture was being delivered on Saturday we had to move the old stuff out Friday night. Hubby's dresser was being moved into the soon-to-be baby's room to act as a changing table (repurposing... yeah!) This meant that some furniture in the baby's room had to be moved out to make room for the dresser.

The long and the short of this story is that there was a lot of moving going on. During this process, it became obvious to me that it was time to purge the house again. I can fully understand the phrase "embarrassment of riches" I was embarrassed at how much STUFF we had. So I started to purge.

In three days of purging I have collected the following items to be removed from out house:

-- a dresser
-- a nightstand
-- a butcher block table
-- a floor lamp
-- a table lamp
-- a TV
-- 3 25 gallon rubbermaid totes of clothes and shoes
-- 1 XL ziplock bag of halloween costumes
-- 1 XL ziplock bag of decorative pillows
-- 1 bag of kitchen items/tupperware
-- 7 Trader Joes bags of books
-- Assorted laptop bags, camera bags, and pocket books
-- 1 poster (unframed)
-- 1 Longaberger basket with liner and protector
-- 1 electronic dartboard
-- 1 step (a la step areobics)
-- 1 Trader Joes bag of "disposable cleaning products" that I got for free
-- uncounted chochkies (junk)
-- 1 diaper genie
-- 3 formal dresses
-- 1 suit

The amount of stuff I have purged so far took over my dining room. Luckily my mom and I had planned a yard sale for this weekend so I was able to ship most of it to her house. More will go over later in the week.

How did we possibly accumulate so much STUFF?????

Tracking Cash

I thought it might be fun... well, not really fun, but informative to track my cash spending for a week. Since I go to the ATM on friday after work, my week began then.

Friday: $25.79 (odds and ends at supermarket)
Saturday: $30 (tip for furniture movers)
Sunday: $0 spent
Monday: $33 (at dry cleaners), $33.70 (birthday presents at Marshals)
Tuesday: $8.40 (at post office), $4.16 (at Starbucks)

Total to date: $135.05

Ouch! Although in my defense this week had some unusual expenses like the moving men and the dry cleaner. I will fully admit that the Starbucks was superfluous and unnecessary.

What will the rest of the week bring?

Oh, was the tip too much? How much do you tip movers? There were three of them so it is only $10 a piece. Thoughts?

Sunday, September 23, 2007

My New Baking Obsession

I have always loved to bake, moreso even than to cook. I have started reading many food blogs and one of my personal favs is The Perfect Pantry. A little while back The Perfect Pantry featured White Whole Wheat Flour and I was intrigued.

I stopped at the market on my way home from work on Friday and picked up a five pound bag. I needed to actually bake with myself to see if it was any good. I decided to make my tried and true challah with the White Whole Wheat Flour that way if I didn't like the results I would know that it was the flour and not the recipe. Anyway... I LOVE IT! It is lighter in color than regular wheat flour but has all the goodies and nutrition (12 grams of fiber per cup!) of regular whole wheat flour with the resulting taste of white flour. In fact, after making the challah yesterday, I made pancakes this morning for breakfast.

Now, don't get me wrong, I am and always have been a whole wheat girl. But there are times when you want the decadence of something made white white flour. This is the perfect compromise. As far as I know King Authur Flour is the ony company producing this but I could be wrong and if I am please correct me. If your local supermarketdoesn't sell it, you can order it direct from King Authur here:


Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Casserole Love

I love casseroles. I don't exactly know why. They are truly humble food, but they are real home food. Restaurant's don't serve casseroles normally. My hubby is not a huge fan of casseroles, but he is usually good sport and eats them when I make them. I can, hands down, tell you that hubby would not eat the Duggar's Tater Tot Casserole, but I have such a desire to make it that its not even funny.

2 lb ground turkey cooked, seasoned, drained
3 2lb bags tater tots
2 cans cream of mushroom
2 cans evaporated milk
2 cans cream of chicken
Brown meat & place in large cass. dish.
Cover with tater tots. Mix soup & milk together.
Pour over top. Bake at 350 for 1 Hour.
(One of Daddy’s Favorites!) Makes 2- 9”X13” pans

Why is this so appealing to me? Anyone made it? Is it any good?

Shiver Me Timbers

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

My New Starbucks Obsession

Hi, My name is Molly and I am an addict. (all respond, Hi Molly!)

I used to have a very powerful and expensive addiction to Starbucks. Specifically their Venti Non-Fat Sugar Free Vanilla Lattes. It took alot of willpower but I was able to break myself of this addiction. Since I found out I was pregnant I have cut all caffine and all sugar substitutes out of my diet. (It also helped that I threw up for 6 weeks and did not feel like drinking coffee) I stopped going to Starbucks, I had money in my wallet. That is until Friday.

After my doctor's appointment I decided to treat myself a little and get an herbal iced tea at Starbucks.

There was a very very pregnant woman infront of me in line and she ordered a pumpkin spice frapaccino. I commented that that sounded good, she said she was addicted. I am not a huge fan of frapaccinos, so I ordered the latte when it was my turn.
I paid and went to the other end of the counter to pick up my drink. The barista had mistakenly made me a pumpkin spice frapaccino, so while he was remaking my drink he said to just take the frapaccino too. I am not one to turn down a free... well anything, so I took both the frapaccino and my latte. And in a huge moment of gluttony I drank both of them, thank you very much.
Ever since that pumpkin spice started to surge through my veins I have been jonesing for more, more, MORE!
Apparently I am not alone. Both Ariela at Baking and Books and Amy at Motherload share my addiction and both have come up with copycat recipes.
I will be trying both recipes and reporting back. Until then, I will sit here and try and dry my pumpkin spice addicted ass out.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Swiffer Solutions

I own many a Swiffer product. Two of my favorites are my swiffer wet jet and my swiffer sweep and vac. Yes, I do own both a regular mop and broom, but on my huge kitchen floor filled with the hair of two dogs, neither seems to be very effective.

I have struggled with using both of these products because of all the consumables that they require. A few months ago I thought I had found the solution to this problem. I purchased some microfiber cloths from the autocare section of Target and put them on the sweep and vac. They worked very well and I could wash and reuse them. I "hacked" my Swiffer wet jet and have been refilling the bottle with my own solution. it works just as well as the solution Swiffer sells but without the extra packaging. As far as the pads for the wet jet go, I took Amy's (From Motherload) advice and bought terry cloth pad for the bissel steam cleaner and put them on the wet jet. They didn't fit perfectly, but they did get the floor clean.

All of these solutions were working until I started to worry about all of the dog hair I was putting in my washer. Shortly after we bought our house we had a clogged stack pipe which was a royal pain in the you-know-what. The toilet on our lower level would overflow if I did laundry, I don't EVER want to deal with this again. It required not just a plumber to fix but a "sewage guy" with an industrial strength roto-rooter like piece of equipment. Anyway, I started to become concerned that all of this dog hair I was washing out of these cloths was going into the stack pipe and contributing to another backup. I decided that I would go back to using the disposable cloths for the sweep and vac. My supermarket makes a generic brand that are very affordable and work great.

I then had a stack of microfiber cloths lying around. I did use them to clean with, but there had to be another use for them

The terry cloth pads I was using on my wet jet were proving to be cumbersome. They blocked the nozzle if not put on just right, I wasn't really pleased with how this was working out. But then I thought of my microfiber cloths. I decided to open up my sewing machine and do a little experiment. I took some of the cloths, double them over, and zig zag stitched around the edges to hold them closed and make the "pad" double thick.

Well, they looked like they might work, but would them stick to the wet jet. I ran downstairs, got the wet jet and slapped a pad on. Yup, they stick. Hummm.... would they stay stuck if I used them to mop the kitchen floor? A couple of squirts and a lot of scrubbing proved that they would stick.

YE HAW! I found a solution to my swiffer problem using things I already had in the house. :)

I never in a million years thought that I would get so excited about moping my kitchen floor, but I did and I am.

More Pregnancy Updates

I had my 20 week check up today and (thank heavens) I am measuring right where I should be. The baby's heartbeat was 147 pbm, also right where it should be. I have only gained 4 pounds, but for someone who started out pleasantly plump (chubby, ok, ok, fat) that is good.

I don't know why I worry so much about these things, but for some reason I had it in my head that my doctor would tell me the baby wasn't growing. What am I basing this fear on.... absolutely nothing, but it was in my mind anyway.

Hubby took some arty belly pics last night and hopefully will be finished the processing of them over the weekend, so I really will have something to show you. :)

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Doggone Mess!

Before we left for vacation, our big dog, Beo, started acting out. It was his way, I suppose of telling us he wasn't pleased that we were leaving him home. Anyway, he started acting out by pooping in the house.

This is so out of character for this dog that I took him to the vet thinking that maybe he was sick. Turns out he was just being bratty.

Anyway... I had to figure out a fool proof way of getting these stains out of our tan carpeting and the smell out of the house. I have, I think, tried every carpet cleaner that they sell.

Spot shot-- works well on small stains, too chemically for me to use while pregnant.
Woolite OxyPOD -- Didn't really do diddly.
Resolve -- works well, but too chemically again.

The list goes on and on.

Then I thought.... simplify Molly... and I did... and it worked.

My recipe for getting pet stains and odors out of carpeting:

Mix @ 2 cups of the hottest tap water your kitchen will produce with 1 tsp. of dish soap and 1/2 cup -3/4 cup white vinegar.

Dip scrub brush in the sudsy mixture and scrub the carpet stain. Keep dipping and scrubbing until it appears the stain is gone. The carpet will be sudsy.

Get another container of clear water and a clean towel. Soak the towel in the clean water and ring out. Blot the carpet until all of the suds are removed. Dip in water and ring out periodically.

Let the carpet dry.

Once the carpet is dry sprinkle with baking soda. Let baking soda sit for 10-15 minutes. Vacuum carpet.

Not only does it work, it is cheap! Can't beat that.

Pregnancy Updates

So far so good!

Hubby has always said that we would not have to worry about paying for college for our children because they were all going to be field goal kickers. I have always had my doubts about this since they share half of my genes and I hate sports, but alas, I think he may be right because this baby is kicking up a storm.

It is so COOL! a little strange at the same time to realize that something is moving inside of you, but so cool!

I thought the morning sickness was behind me and replaced with heartburn, but I barfed this morning, so who knows.

We have our 20 week ultrasound on Monday. We are not planning on finding out the sex. We figured that since we would find out eventually (i.e. at the birth) we would just wait and be surprised.

We started a baby registry. The mothers are planning a shower (that's all I know or want to know about that).

We will have to start getting the baby's room ready, stripping wallpaper, painting, and buying some furniture. The bedding will be ordered shortly as a gift from hubby's mom.

That's all that I can think of for the moment.

Hopefully I'll have a belly pic to share in a day or two.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Ebay Deals

I love ebay. Although I do not go here first, I have gotten some great deals, some of which I have posted about before.

Recently, As we began to think about putting the nursery together, I feel in love with this crib bedding.

I have been unable to find it in any brick and mortar store close to me, but have been lucky enough to find several store online that sell it. The package comes with bumpers, sheet, dust ruffle, quilt, diaper stacker and one valance.

I do think that having everything in a room coordinate is overkill (and a little tacky to boot) there were a few extras that we would need for the nursery not included in the package. For example, I really love the mobile, so we would need to buy that separately and since there are two windows in that room, we would need an extra valance.

The mobile retails for $39.99 plus shipping and the valance for $16.99 plus shipping. Humm... I wonder if I can get it cheaper... oh! lets take a look at ebay!

SO I did, and I was able to get the mobile for $9.94 and the valance for $12.99 (shipping included in both prices).

So... instead of playing $56.98 plus shipping I paid $22.93... a savings of $34.05!

I was so pleased!

I'm back!

So my blogging vacation is over, since my real vacation is over. Hubby and I spent the last week on a beach south of here. It was wonderful!

I am not frugal on vacation. I am not ashamed of that either. We rent a condo which means that we can cook some of our meals at home, which is I guess, actually sorta frugal. However my spending/shopping on vacation was not frugal. I was able to do the bulk of my holiday shopping which was really nice and pick up a few things for myself while I was at it.

I did get a could GREAT deals though...

Maternity jeans from K-Mart for $3.00 (regular price $19.99 which is still cheap). I thought they were going to be a steal at $6.00 but I read the sign wrong and they were 50% off of the sale price. :)

I also got a new umbrella from K-Mart for $2.00. Once again it was marked $6.00 but was apparently on sale :)

Since there were outlets close to where we were staying and since the outlets were having their end of the season clearance I was able to get a linen, fully lined Eddie Bauer skirt for $4.99. I can't wear it at th moment, but I will need something to wear next summer as the baby weight comes off.

And my big splurge of the trip was my Vera Bradley diaper bag. It isn't a diaper bag per say, but just a large tote with lots of pockets and room for baby necessities.