Friday, November 28, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me!

Today is my birthday... at 11:57 am I will be 32... sometimes it is hard for me to believe because I don't feel the way 32 sounds (whatever that means). To celebrate Nate, my mom, and I will out shopping the Black Friday sales. I got some very lovely gifts from hubby:

A new wallet (itsn't it yummy):

New PJs:

And from Nate, a new key fob to replace the bottle opener from college:

Anyway, have a cupcake on me...

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Grocery Game

Has anyone tried this? Know anything about this? Any info would be appreciated good or bad.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Better than Starbucks???

I didn't think that I would utter those words, but here I go... I think I have found coffee better than Starbucks.

Seattle's Best Coffee (their cafes are inside Borders Books & Music) make a Gingerbread Latte that is to die for... especially since it comes with a little tiny gingerbread man stuck in the whipped cream! Team this up with a snickerdoodle ( are they good!) and you have a wonderful afternoon treat.

And since Borders send me coupons at least once a week and sometimes there are coupons for beverages and pastries (Something Starbucks doesn't do) Seattle's Best Coffee trumps Starbucks in my book.

Click here for a Seattle's Best Coupon (Free Drink!!!)

A Thanksgiving Recipe

I do not cook Thanksgiving dinner, my mother-in-law does. So, I don't get to make all the trappings of your traditional dinner, I bring whatever it is that she needs. In this case, a veggie. So I will be making Paula Dean's Green Bean Bundles... So, easy, so good!


* 1 pound fresh green beans
* Olive oil
* Salt and pepper
* Bacon


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Blanch green beans for 3 minutes. Toss them in olive oil and salt and pepper. Bundle about 5 green beans and wrap a piece of bacon around the bundle. Place in a roasting pan and roast for 10 to 15 minutes, until bacon is cooked.


Favorite Christmas Movies

I am feeling quite festive today, for no particular reason, so I give to you my top three Christmas Movies:

1. Love Actually

2. The Muppet Christmas Carroll

3. Emmitt Otter's Jug Band Christmas

That is all.

Friday, November 21, 2008

A guest... almost...

I opened the living room curtains this morning to find this guy standing at the bottom of the front steps looking at the door as if he was considering ringing the bell...

I guess he decided not too because he trotted off down the sidewalk, crossed the street, and disappeared.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Weeknight Italian Soup

I created this last night and it was a huge success.

4 Cups Chicken Broth/Stock
2 Cans Zucchini in Tomato Sauce
1 Can White Beans (Drained and Rinsed)
1 Can tomatoes with Italian Seasonings
1 Cup Macaroni (I used organic whole wheat, but use what you have)

Combine the first 4 ingredients in a medium saucepan and heat until just boiling. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add the dried pasta, cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until pasta is cooked.

I made this as a side to homemade chicken fingers, but hubby ended up eating only the soup. I just had the left overs for lunch. Yum!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Thanksgiving on the Cheap

On the news this morning there was a segment about how to host a "cheap" Thanksgiving and the best the reporter could come up with was to buy Wegman's Pre-made Thanksgiving dinner for $99.

Well, I don't cook Thanksgiving dinner, my mother-in-law does, so this really isn't a concern of mine, but that got me thinking. $99 does not seem that cheap to me. In fact, I am SURE that I could do better out of the supermarket flyers sitting on my kitchen counter.

So let's try, shall we?

Wegman's Premium Turkey Dinner contains:

1 turkey (12-14 pounds)
Traditional Stuffing
Green Bean Casserole
Turkey gravy
Broccoli and Cauliflower with pine nuts
Mashed potatoes
Candied Sweet Potatoes
Cranberry Relish

Ok, let's break it down (and we'll assume that the person doesn't like to cook since they are looking at buying a pre-made dinner)

Turkey -- for me it would be free, I qualify at my supermarket = $0
Stuffing -- Stove top is $.99 a Walmart x 2 boxes = $2
Green Bean Casserole -- Frozen green beans $1.00 a bag , cream of mushroom soup, $.79, French fried onions, $2.59 (couldn't find a sale) = $3.40
Turkey gravy -- $1 a can x 2 = $2
Broccoli & Cauliflower with pine nut -- $10 (pine nuts are expensive and $3.00 per lb. for fresh veg.)
Mashed potatoes -- $2.50 for 5 pounds = $2.50
Sweet potatoes -- $2.50 for 5 pounds $1.00 for mini marshmallows = $3.50
Cranberries -- $.88 a can at Walmart x 2 (1 jellied, 1 chunky) = $ 1.76

Ingredients you might not have on hand:

Butter -- $2.50 per pound
Heavy Cream -- $2.00 per pint

Total == $29.66

Now, I am assuming you already have spices, onions, milk, kitchen basics, etc. but... I think you see my point.

The "Cheap" dinner being hocked on my local news is $69.34 more expensive than what I could put together from sale circulars (and that isn't even using coupons!)

Friday, November 14, 2008

What will NOT be on My Wish List this Year...

An automatic doughnut maker.

And not because I think it is silly, or useless, or extravagant... it is because I would use it everyday and become one of those people who are so fat they have to have a side of their house cut away to get them out of bed.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

All Gave Some, Some Gave All

Thank you, Veterans!

Caramelized Butternut Squash

Last night I cooked a real cold weather dinner. We had roast beef (from the crockpot), steamed broccoli, caramelized butternut squash, and homemade biscuits.

Here is the recipe for the squash. Even my mother, who does not like squash, will eat it when I make it like this.

1 butternut squash, peeled, de-seeded, and chopped.
Salt & Pepper
4 Tbs. Butter
1/4 Cup Brown Sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Put the squash in a 11 x13 baking dish or a jelly roll pan.

Season with Salt and Pepper.

Melt the butter and combine with brown sugar.

Pour butter/sugar mix over seasoned squash and toss to coat.

Roast for 45 - 55 minutes or until nice and brown.


Thursday, November 06, 2008

Wet Bags

Nate is 9 months old now and we are still breastfeeding. I beleive in this... I REALLY believe in this and do not plan on weaning him until he is a year old. Since I work, this means that I do a lot of pumping and transporting of milk.

Every day when I go to work, I pack up pump pieces and containers to collect and store milk in. Everyday I come home from work with said paraphanalia in a plastic bag that needs to be washed. When I pick Nate up from my mom's house I get a plastic ziplock bag full of used spoons, bottles, bowls, milk containers, etc. This is leading to a lot of plastic bags. of course, I wash them and reuse them, but eventually they get holes in them and start to leak and then they have to go in to the trash... and then in to a landfill... and then 50 million years later they are still there. Oh my! There had to be a better way.

It dawned on me the other day that a wet bag (the kind used for cloth diapers) would be perfect. Not only would they keep the wet/dirty bottles, pump pieces, milk containers, spoons, etc contained, they can be machine washed and reused a bazillion times. When Nate is off bottles and I am no longer pumping at work they can be tucked into the diaper bag for soiled clothes. GREAT!

So I looked around a decided to get two medium Planet Wise wet bags because they come in really cute fabrics, they had a zipper not a draw string, and were made in the USA. I bought mine from Cotton Babies because I liked their color selection.

They came yesterday and I put them to use this morning. They are great! No leaks so far, and my office looks that much nicer having a fabric bag sitting on the cradenza next to my pump bag then the ratty plastic bag that was there before.

I am loving them!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

A New Beginning

So we have a new president elect... one that I actually voted for this time, which is a nice change of pace. This got me thinking about what I would do if I were elected president...

1. I would want proof, I'm talking DATA here people, that daylight savings time actually saves energy. As far as I can tell all daylight savings time does is screw up an infant's schedule and make me depressed when I leave work in the dark. If someone, somewhere can't provide said data I would get rid of it ASAP. Arizona doesn't participate and they seem to be getting along fine.

2. I would mandate that certain business HAVE to have a drive through. These would include but may not be limited to: all banks (most do, so no big stretch there), all Starbucks, all Dunkin' Donuts, and all dry cleaners. I am up in the air about post offices. This would allow for baby's to nap in cars and parents to get errands run AT THE SAME TIME... novel concept.

3. I would bring etiquette training back to schools. Too many people are rude and ignorant (adults and children alike) and quite frankly I am TIRED of it! (Thanks, Antique Mommy)

I think that would be it. A platform of not screwing up a baby's schedule, drive throughs, and manners. Now all I have to do is find a running mate...

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Monday, November 03, 2008

Clean out your wallet!

No, Not of all the money... although that seems to happen no matter what I try, but of all the superfluous stuff that accumulates there. You will be amazed at what you find.

We had a sudden cold snap last week and that was when it dawned on me that Nate needed a winter coat. So, I trolled the Internet for deals and settled on a puffy jacket from Old Navy. It was $30, but it was the best deal I could find so I ordered it. It came, it fit, I was happy. Then I sat down and cleaned out my wallet. That was when I found my Kid to Kid frequent shopper card which was all filled up entitling me to $10.00 off my next purchase. So I headed to Kid to Kid today and found a a cute little Gap puffy jacket with a price tag of $10.99. Minus my $10.00 discount I had snagged Nate a winter coat for $.99.

The Old Navy Coat will be going back this afternoon and I will be cleaning out my wallet on a regular basis!