Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Wrapping Up Christmas

Christmas has come and gone and what do you know?  I don't really have any pictures.  I'm awful with taking photos, but I swear I'm going to try to do better in 2011.

Before 2011, though, I'd like to tell you about my amazing Christmas.  

1st- We had Christmas with my mom's side of the family.  Every year we get together and celebrate and eat and are merry.  It's one of my favorite things.  And while this year I didn't have any gifts there, it was a lot of fun seeing so many of my family members and teaching my cousin to knit (in front of everyone... yikes).  Mom was wearing her new scarf that I had made her, and I got to show off my awesomeness.  I'm thinking about making several items and then starting up an Etsy shop.  We'll see.

2nd- My wonderful friends got together for a Christmas party!  It was wonderful.  I got to see so many friends, some that came all the way from the west coast!  We had a secret santa, and I have to say the gift I made was well loved.  I was given a book (big surprise there.  I love me some books).  We ate.  We drank.  We were most definitely merry.  Mike was given a gift card.  That just makes him happy.  And he played video games and made friends.  By the end of the night, he and his drunken buddies declared that there was exactly 1 black man in the room (there were in fact 2 bi-racial gentlemen including Mike).  It was entertaining.

3rd- I had a FIVE DAY WEEKEND!!!!  That's cinco dias my friend.  That's a lot.  I spent them well.  I helped my buddy prepare for the party, cleaned my house (and I mean super cleaned), enjoyed Christmas (after finishing the decorations and wrapping) and really just relaxed!!!!  It was amazing.

4th- Have I mentioned the cookies yet?  NO???  Ok, so I like to bake.  And I have to admit- I got some skills.  So every Christmas I try to make some sweets for Mike to take to work, and my work, and my brothers, and Mike's parents.  I really wanted to make quite as many as I wanted, but I got to bake the Chocolate Chip, Snickerdoodles, Peanut Butter cookies, Sugar cutouts, and Gingerbread Men.  While I didn't quite like all of my recipes, the ones that came out I attached the links for the recipes.  I need to find better ones for the chocolate chip and snickerdoodles.  But the sugar cookies?  The gingerbread men?  A-FREAKIN-MAZING!  LOVED THEM!!!  I froze some of the sugar cookie dough.  Never using another recipe for those.

And while I didn't get to them by Christmas I still plan on baking the pumpkin cookies sometime soon.  WARNING- I haven't tried the recipe yet.

5th- Christmas day was... ok.  Mike worked that morning, so I got up and made him Mike's parents came down for lunch and then we had dinner with the family I babysit for.  They are wonderful, and the father cooked his mother's recipe for pork loin.  The meal was Puerto Rican, and it was delicious!!!!!  And they really are a fun group.  We played games until the kids were falling asleep, and then finally left ourselves.

6th- Dec 26 we had our own Christmas dinner since we had eaten with friends on Christmas day.  I made a delicious glazed ham with mashed potatoes, dumplings, green beans, and rolls.  Someone requested the recipe for the ham. The link can be found here.  I did tweak it to my needs- my ham was only 3 lbs., but I used 10 oz of juice, most of a pineapple, and 3/4 cup of brown sugar.  This way I had more glaze.  :)  It was spectacular.

And then finally on Dec 27 I got to have dinner with my mom and brothers and their respective girlfriends (and my nephew).  We met half way at the Fuji Steakhouse.  It was delicious!  And we got to exchange gifts.  My brother was completely surprised that I could knit.  I was a little peeved, but oh well.  His girlfriend wants the same scarf I made for mom!  :)

So there was the rundown of my Christmas.   It was rather calm this year, but it's mainly because my nephew no longer believes in Santa, and my grandpa wasn't here this year.  Mike worked on Christmas as well.  It was nice, though.  It was our first real Christmas.  We were poor in college, and then last year we bought a house, so we didn't really do gifts.  But this year, we have beautiful decorations and a lovely house to decorate, and thankfully lots of people to celebrate with.

And really, that last part?  Right there?  Yeah, that's really what it's all about.  The family and the friends to share it all with.

Happy Holidays, everyone!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Happy Christmas! Merry New Year!

Hope you don't mind my absence.  I was slaving away enjoying my days off before Christmas and didn't put blogging very high on the priority list.

I'll do a post later about all that, but to get to current topics- MENU MONDAY!!!!

On a Tuesday.  Again.

Anyways, food this week?  There's a lot of it.  I mean, hello stuffing your face week!

Monday- Christmas dinner out with the Brudders!!!!  Both of my brothers work at a casino (in the restaurants) so they never get off for the holiday.  SO.  To deal with that and the fact that we live a sizeable distance apart, we met half way and ate at the Fuji Steakhouse.  It's like Benihana's, only a little cheaper (same great taste if you ask me!).  Boy was it yum.

Tuesday- Lasagna
Wednesday- Take your pick of leftovers- Christmas dinner or lasagna
Thursday- I'm thinking Taco Melts
Friday breakfast- Doughnuts!  We love us homemade doughnuts.
Friday dinner- Maple Glazed Chicken with rice and carrots.
Saturday breakfast- Breakfast burritos- if we like them I'll share the recipe.
Saturday dinner- Probably Chili or eating out- it's my cooking day
Sunday breakfast- Pancakes?
Sunday dinner- Beef stroganoff?  I think so...

As you can tell, this is all made up on the spot.  I have a menu, but we've drifted so far off the map that I don't remember what it says- just what's in the freezer.  The good thing is I have probably a week's worth of meals still in the freezer!  Yay for not needing to make so much this month!

PS- The Christmas ham (and apple dumplings) were delicious.  Recipes to follow... Probably tomorrow.  I will try, though!

PSS- Link up ya'll

Friday, December 17, 2010

Happy Friday!

What makes my Friday so happy?  You mean outside of my weekly pay day and Mike's double-bi-weekly pay day?

I have an adorable pup curled up with his head on my heart.

And we're staying in to cuddle.  By choice and much to the sadness of our friends (who are at shadowbox Live as we speak).

I have a cute and warm rice bag on my toes.

My Christmas cards are finished.

And my hubs is on his way home.

What more could a girl ask for?

Happy Friday, everyone!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Grown Up Christmas List

mostly grown up, anyway....

All I want for Christmas is........................


jigsaw blades, a carpenter square, a tool belt, clamps, drill bits, screws, a nail punch, a sander, a workbench, saw horses....


Brave New World, Atonement, Memoirs of a Geisha, Winnie the Pooh, Moby Dick, Five People you Meet in Heaven, Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, The Three Muskateers, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory...

And gift cards

Jo Ann Fabrics, Home Depot, Restaurants...

But the motherload of all things?

Despicable Me.  For real.  I saw it, loved it, and it was amazing.  I want my own little set of minions one day, I swear.

I'm so excited about Christmas, but so not... I'm very excited about my list, but I'm really bummed about Mike's Christmas gift.  First, he got a super awesome birthday present just a few weeks ago (an Ipod Nano), but the condition was that I was spending twice as much as budgetted, so his Christmas gift would be (lots) smaller.  So it's sad already.  But then?  He tells me he wants this really nice thing from where he works that costs over my limit BUT if HE buys it, he can use his employee discount and it's NOT over budget... So he got that.  For himself.  So now I have a grand total of $15 to spend on him on something that will surprise him.  I'm at a loss.  Help?

Other than that, more things to come!  Including a beautiful hand-knit scarf that I just so happened to make for my mother.  For her birthday.  It's a nice and easy pattern that looks like it's not.

What's on your list this year?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wee Bit of Me- Just for fun!

{one} did you buy a christmas tree this year?
Nope.  Had our trusty fake one with lights and all!

{two} what is your favorite holiday tradition?
Decorating the tree and picking out our yearly ornament.
{three} do you open your gifts on christmas eve or christmas day?
It varies.  We open ours usually Christmas Day, but it's hard to tell when we'll see our family each year.

{four} at what age did you stop believing in santa claus?
I don't remember how old, but I remember when it happened... I would say 7 or 8?

{five} do you fill stockings?
No... We don't.  But we will when there are kids around. 

{six} handmade presents or store bought presents?
From friends or For friends: Handmade.  From mom/dad/hubs/etc: Store bought.  For mom/dad/hubs/etc: Can go either way- depends on what they want!

{seven} do you have a favorite christmas meal?
Mike and I are starting a new tradition- We are having Apple dumplings for breakfast, and maple glazed ham for dinner.  YUM

{eight} is your christmas tree real or artificial?
Fake.  It's easier, and safer for the pets.

{nine} what is your favorite christmas song?
I love Vince Gill and his daughter singing "Let There Be Peace On Earth"
I also like Christina Aguilera's "Silent Night"

{ten} did you send out christmas cards this year?
Working on it!  We have 20 in the mail with about 20 more to make, only half of which need mailed... Too many friends and family, I swear!

Link up, folks!

2 years

2 years ago today I was in Mexico.  We were in Celestun- in the Yucatan, close to Merida.  We spent the day doing 3 things- a tour of a factory...

a boat ride in a flamingo reserve...


and an evening at a slightly chilly beach. 

I was making new friends, and using my mad-Spanish skills (I was the one of 3 fluent speakers on the trip, so naturally I was popular), and we ended the day sitting on a beach drinking Corona and watching mine explode because the salt shaker lid broke right as I added some to my tasty drink.

We laughed about the alligator/crocodile on the rocks that scared Ben so badly.  We still never determined whether it was real or fake.  You decide.

We played in the water, and let the fishies nibble at our toes.  Afterwards we returned to our hotel with the beautiful patio in the middle and talked about how my first trip to the ocean went.

It was by far one of the most memorable days of my life.  Mexico, and the friendships forged there will never be forgotten.  But little to my knowledge, on that very special day while I was visiting the ocean for the first time...

This little guy was being born.  A bajillion miles away. 

I wouldn't meet him for almost 3 more months.  But that day?  December 15?  It was special without me knowing it.

I love that little guy.  Happy birthday, Romeo

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Top 10 Signs You've Overdone Christmas

I saw an article online today that listed some pretty goofy ways to tell if you spent too much on your kids.

1- We don't have kids, so it obviously doesn't apply.
2- I never intend on spending the type of cash a lot of parents tend to spend apparently.  Seriously?  You people are just nuts.
3- The article was stupid.

BUT!  People over do the holidays ALL THE TIME!  Every year I hear all of this complaining, and griping, and general "I'm freaking out from so much to do!" ness.  I think people have lost the idea behind Christmas.

Am I the kettle calling the pot black?  Maybe.  I do believe my last post listed how behind I was.  BUT!  I don't feel obligated to do ANY of it.  Did I have to get my brothers Christmas AND birthday gifts?  No.  We don't care.  Did I have to hand make over 40 Christmas cards (20 left, people)?  NO.  Did I have to hand make 3 gifts?  Decorate so much?  Bake 4 batches of cookies (and counting)?  NO!!!  I do it because I love making things, I love baking desserts, I love the "oohs" and "aahs" of all the people I care about.  I love giving.  I do it because I enjoy it.  I don't cuss as I trim the tree, or develop Tourette Syndrome while baking (although the cat can change that...).

So here are my top 5 signs you've over done Christmas-

5. You are fighting with the hubs (wife) more than you are smiling.
4. You emptied your bank account (or maxed a credit card) to cover the expense.
3. You are having trouble sleeping because you are dreaming about things going wrong.
2.  You find Christmas music gives you a sudden urge to turn into the Hulk.
1.  You ended up giving someone a bloody nose in a fight for the last ZhuZhu pet (or thing of silly bandz, or Bratz doll). 

Merry Christmas, and please.  Remember that you are supposed to ENJOY the Holiday season!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Menu Monday- Crunch week

Can you believe it's already Dec. 13?

I was doing so well this year, and now I feel lik I've fallen behind!  I can't believe it's already Dec. 13!!!!

Shopping- almost done, thankfully.  I still have to buy a few things, but I'm going out tomorrow with a friend to do just that, so hopefully I can check that off my list!

Baking- I have 4 batches of cookies on my table, 3 batches of dough in the fridge, and 3 more batches to make!  Plus the 2 batches of fudge.  I have a lot left!  And then to divide it all up.  I hope I have enough- I had to cut down on the snickerdoodles because I ran out of flour and cinnamon.  Crazy.

Homemade crafts/gifts- I still have 1 to finish and 1 to start AND finish!  This is where it's really getting down to the wire.  I'm a littler worried here.

Christmas cards- I still have TWENTY to finish!  That can probably be finished Wednesday, though, and I'm not mailing most of them, so I should be ok there.

Oh, wait, I'm supposed to have a menu? Yeah... a menu.  It's crunch week.  It's really a good thing I freezer cook!!!!

Lunch- soup and sandwiches all week!!!!  This has become a fave.

Monday- Baked Potato Soup and salad
Tuesday- More baked potato soup and salad
Wednesday- Pineapple pork chops with rice and veggies
Thursday- Taco Melts
Friday- Maple Glazed Chicken with rice and veggies
Breakfast Saturday- Oatmeal
Dinner Saturday- Beef stroganoff with veggies and rolls
Breakfast Sunday- Waffles and smoothies!
Dinner Sunday- Christmas dinner with my family.  I can't believe it's already here.  I'm making Mashed Potatoes and possibly Apple dumplings if they ask for them.  If they don't I'm sure Mike will.  He asked for his own batch for Christmas.  I think he might want some.  LoL.

I love the Christmas season!  Maybe I'll get some Christmas photos taken soon and post them for you to see.  Including pictures of "the white death" (We don't like snow here in Cincy.)

Post edit- I forgot to link up!  Here you go.  I also forgot last week...

Friday, December 10, 2010

Putting the Happy in "Happy Friday!"

I love Fridays.  At least most of the time.  I don't often speak of my work on here (because let's face it- who wants to hear about an accountant's work?) but today I think I will share one aspect of my job that (sometimes) makes me happy.

I am an accountant.  I do the payroll, and as such, I'm in charge of the time monitoring system (the phone system we use to clock in and out).  It's a basic system, you call a number, you punch in your id (I say your name), you hit 1 to clock in or 2 to clock out (it verifies that you "clocked in" or "clocked out"), you hang up.

In the process, if you screw up (forget, clock out when you meant to clock in, etc etc) you will get an automated message telling you to call the office (ME!).  When you do, I fix the problem.  If you don't, there could be dire consequences, but that's not what I'm hear to discuss.

Sometimes I get cute calls like this:

"Hi Lynzie.  The lady" (an automated machine) "told me I screwed up this morning.  Can you tell me what I did wrong?"

Or sometimes, when I fix things I get

"Thanks.  You're the best."  I've also heard "awesome" "the wo-man", "amazing"

And then there are the guys that think they are all cute

"Thank you hun" or "Thank you baby"

Normally those would bother me, but... It's usually one guy, and he has a disability of some sort, and he's trying to be cute, and he is.

Other happy moments- We have a few workers who are from a country in Africa.  I don't know which country, but they have a REALLY HEAVY ACCENT.  Do you know who they like to talk to?  Me.  They call me all the time with questions- sometimes questions I don't have the answers to.  But you wanna know why they call me?  They like me.  They know I will help them without yelling at them or getting frustrated, and that makes me happy.

What makes you happy?

Happy Friday, y'all.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Wedded Wednesday- When Sickness Sinks In

Mike... Is sick.

You see, Saturday was the last home football game of the season.  If you remember, we always go.

Except Saturday it was snowing.  It snowed early, and snowed all day.  And it was freakin' cold.  I stayed home.

But Mike- he went.  He kind of has to.  It's kind of his job to record things, and the last game is Senior Night for the band.

And as a result- he's sick.  But not like normal sick.  Oh no, this time, he can't stay home, and he has 2 jobs.  I haven't been able to take care of him, because he works while I'm at home, and I work while he's at home.

It's kind of been a sort of torture.  I hate not being able to take care of him.  I hate that I sit there wondering how he's feeling, and hoping he doesn't feel guilty because he can't do things, or hoping that he's not doing things because he really shouldn't.

And the worst of all?  Mike never gets sick.  So if he was able to catch this, then I will most definitely catch this.  He never gets sick!  I do every year.  This just isn't looking good for me.

All I Want for Christmas- Cards!

So when you're less wealthy than you'd like to be, the best thing to do for the holidays are cards!!!!

But some can get kind of expensive.  Although I have a friend who bought 32 for $2, I have yet to find them... Sad. 

So as a childless woman who loves fun projects- I decided to make my own this year!

Items needed- All bought at Hobby Lobby

1 pack of cardstock- 5" x 6 1/2" (I bought ivory colored)
a stencil of some holiday design (I chose snowflakes)
paint (I bought light blue)
a foam brush

I used basic word to make my saying for the inside, used photoshop and the internet to come up with a few pictures to go with my saying, and printed them off.

I used the paint and stencils to create a very pretty front.  I wish I had a little bit of glitter, though, because the paint came out to be slightly less than what I wanted, but oh well.  Still very pretty.

Voile!  Pretty pretty Christmas cards.  I'll post a picture later, as I didn't take any and have already sealed up the first batch I made.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Menu Monday- Freezer cooking!

This is the start of a wonderful relationship.  I love freezer cooking.  I went to the grocery on Saturday for a whole month!  I thought the lady at Meijer was going to blow a gasket or something!

It was fun though, and pushing the cart was a workout.  I had all my groceries, plus all the stuff for my Christmas baking, plus supplies to make a Christmas gift.  Which I will begin posting information on great gift ideas here soon.  I promise.  **NOTE** I don't want to post a lot of ideas on here now because I don't want certain people guessing what they will be getting!  That would just be silly.

Some of them I think I can post, though.  A few, at least.

Anyways, where was I?  Oh, Menu Monday.

Monday- Spaghetti with green beans, corn, and rolls
Tuesday- Leftover spaghetti
Wednesday- Dinner out (I'm Christmas shopping)
Thursday- Tuna Noodle Casserole
Friday- More casserole, cuz it's big.
Saturday breakfast- Oatmeal
Saturday dinner- Maple Glazed Chicken with rice and carrots
Sunday breakfast- Waffles and smoothies
Sunday dinner- Chicken Tortellini with broccoli and corn

Brown bag- Chicken Pot Pie
Breakfast all week- Muffins, bacon and egg whites

Enjoy your week, folks!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Weekend Wish- Fitting 96 hours into 48

Or at least trying?  Because I'm pretty sure I have well over 96 hours worth of stuff on my to do list this weekend.

Happy Friday, everyone!  And by Happy I mean very happy, because tonight, my friends?  Tonight is a girl's night out!

I hope we can figure out a DD because I really would like to enjoy it, if you know what I mean.  Not to the point of piss-ass drunk or something, of course.  But not worrying about driving would definitely be nice.

And since it's girl's night out tonight, the boys are probably have a guy's night in (I think?).  Michael might not be attending, though, because our weekend has filled to the point of over-flowing, and he'll probably want to get some zzzz's before it starts.

Tomorrow?  Starts with a football game in what will shape up to be 1-3 inches of snow.  BOO!  I like snow, but not on my football games.  I like football, but usually with warmer weather than permitted for snow to fall.  And all in all, I don't foresee a very good game, so this whole day will kinda suck.  But I love my friends, even if we lose fingers or toes from frostbite

Then hopefully I will come home and Mike can go to sleep while I do some couponing, grocery list making, grocery shopping, and maybe some cleaning.  Because Mike's boss screwed up, and Sunday he works 1:30 am - 9:30 am, then 11 am to 6 pm (or something on those lines).  BOO!  He will sleep good that night!

Sunday I will be spending a lot of time in the kitchen.  I prep in the am for cooking day.  Then I'll probably take a break to do some laundry and clean some of the house.  Then I'll spend several chaotic a few organized hours cooking away in our kitchen.  Hopefully I will manage to finish the laundry and the cooking with enough time left to put up the Christmas decorations.  I have some excellent ideas, and if enough snow falls, Romeo and I will spend the evening outside making a snowman.  I don't think 1-3 inches will be enough, though.

And if I finish and I'm NOT ready to pass out on the spot?  I can design my Christmas cards.  That's right- we make our own around here.  I'm a modern version of Martha Stewart (only prettier, with lots less money, better trading ethics, and no stick up my butt (as I imagine...)).

How about I give you some of my awesome ideas for gifts/crafts for the holidays?  Interested?  I might just try that out.  Because I love the holidays.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Wedded Wednesday (Thursday again)- Birthday time!

I did not post this last night because I was enjoying the evening with my husband instead.  It was his day after all.

My hubs hit 25 yesterday.  TWENTY FIVE!  Do we officially count as adults now?  Because seriously.  I could vent a HUGE ONE about all the "you're too young" problems I have.

Tangent aside, it was a great day, minus the present.  Last year we were in the process of buying a house.  So instead of a birthday gift, we said the house was the big gift and I made a cake and decorated the apartment with $1 ribbon and balloons.  It was sad, and I felt bad, but it's all we could do.

So this year I wanted to make up for it.  I spent $100 on his gift (which is twice the normal range).  I went out and splurged on a super awesome Oreo ice cream cake that I just KNEW he'd love.  I even planned to make his favorite dinner.

So yesterday showed up nice and cold on our front door step.  I sent him the Good Morning Happy Birthday text (because we don't see each other in the mornings).  And then I hoped that JUST MAYBE his gift would arrive today while I was at work.

Nature gave Michael a gift in the mean time- snow.  The first snow of the season.

2 pm comes and I realize that I forgot to start his crockpot dinner this morning... Well shit.

4:30 rolls around... No gift.  No email saying the guy I bought it from off of ebay has even shipped it yet.  Nada.

So I head home, and promptely cook what is normally a crockpot meal via stove.  It was actually pretty good, I must say.  Dinner was Chicken and Dumplings with broccoli and peaches.  Followed by amazing Oreo ice cream cake.  Michael was in heaven.  :)  And he got to open 2 birthday cards, so he at least had something.

I told him what his gift was, and he's super excited for it to arrive, but I'm honestly starting to worry that the guy scammed me.  He had an excellent rating from all the people who had bought from him, though.  Maybe it was all a hoax?  I'm worried, but I put it on paypal with my credit card, so to be honest, I still can complain and get my money back.  I'm just nervous and I really wanted that ipod.  I'm hoping he just shipped it instead of emailing me.  Only time will tell I guess.

Happy birthday, Michael!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Oh the Turkey

When I was little and my grandma lived within yelling distance, we would always eat Thanksgiving dinner at her house.  And all day long, while cooking this delicious turkey (it really was amazing), she would call it "turkey lurkey".

I swear, it's been in my head all freakin' week.  "Turkey Lurkey".  I think it has something to do with the chick who claimed the sky was falling.  (I'm not joking, it was this tiny little "I Can Read" book from my childhood about a chick baking bread and the sky falling)

Anyways, there I was about a week ago facing the prospect of cooking a turkey.  A 12 lbs turkey that my husband received from his previous employer for free.  A turkey that would have to travel 1 1/2 hours to it's final destination before being consumed by 4 strapping young men, a growing 9 year old (also boy), and 3 girls who could have starved wilst we were eaten out of the house.

I was nervous.

So I looked online and found an amazing recipe.

And then I prepped.  I bought the turkey (for $0.68).  I bought the supplies.  I figured out a way to get him into the fridge to wait its fate for 6 days.  Saturday rolled around and I even brined the turkey.  I had difficulties finding all the parts that I was supposed to pull out (never did find those giblets.  I don't think I even want to know what "giblets" are!).  I miraculously fit the turkey into a stock pot with the brine.  That never fit in my fridge.  Thankfully it was cold outside, so poor old turkey slept in the garage while drowning in brine.

And then Sunday came along (I ate thanksgiving twice.  Sunday was my day with my brothers and mom).  I got up, I reviewed the recipe.  I pulled the turkey out of the brine and cleaned it up.  I proceeded to force myself NOT to cry when I noticed I had broken the poor thing's wing.  I scratched my head about where those stupid giblets were.  I texted my mom.  I called my mom.  I gave up.  I chopped vegetables and stuffed the turkey in ways that'll give me nightmares.  I again forced myself NOT to cry at the mere thought.  I placed the turkey in the pan and shoved it in the oven.  At this point I have drowned the bird, tortured the bird, attempted to give it hypothermia (hyper?  hypo?), and then shoved it into a burning hell.  I drank a glass of wine.  At 10:30 am.

The veggies inside burned.  I don't know why.  I had to keep shoveling them out because they were black and I didn't want my turkey tasting like burnt.  I'm worried at this point.

At 3/4 the way through cooking I flip it over.  Do you know how to flip a 12 lbs dead bird that's too hot to touch in a PAN that's too hot to touch?  Neither do I.  But I had those turkey turner thingies.  So I did my best and eventually succeeded. 

And then 4 hours into cooking, we should have left 30 minutes ago, and this damn bird is still not done.  I really want to cry.  What the hell, bird?  I'm calling my mom.  I'm stewing and scratching and pacing.  I realize "Oh... I should have put it in a bag.  Maybe the one I bought specifically for this occasion."  Oh well.  I cover it with foil. 

And finally it finishes.  That popper thingy pops out.  I do a happy dance.  I'm still worried, though, because before we wrap it to leave I pull out MORE burnt vegetables.

But no turning back at this point- 1 1/2 hours to drive and we're running very late.  Off we go.

We were starving, and driving for 1 1/2 hours with a cooked turkey is absolute torture.  TORTURE.

Finally we get there, and my brother takes another 30 minutes to arrive, and eventually we can eat.  My brother goes to carve the turkey.  And finds the giblets (in a bag, thankfully).  Good grief.  I looked everywhere in that damn bird, and he finds them in minutes.  Who puts them in the neck????

So we eat.  And it tastes delicious!!!!  I wanted to dance it was so good.  In your face, father! (No, he wasn't there, but he's always said I couldn't cook... I would love to shove my turkey in his face and then rub in some salt with "didn't your wife burn her sweet potatoes this year???")  I'm so mean.

What a wonderful Thanksgiving!  We really had a great time.  We played games and Mike had fun with Dallas, and Romeo was as happy as a clam (my brother snuck him turkey).  It really was something to treasure.

And then we came home to dishes.  A pile so high we didn't even have clean silverware.  It was bad.

But in all the mess, while washing the turkey turner thingies, I noticed... One had lost it's rubber prong cover.  Hmmm.... It was there when I turned the turkey... I sure hope no one ate it!!!!!

And THAT my friends, is how you cook a turkey.  Can't wait to do it again next year.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Menu Monday- Again??

It seems like Monday happens a lot around here, don't ya think?

It's always so easy to do my Menu Monday, though, because freezer cooking really is the shit. Plus I spent less than $15 at the store this week.  BOOYAH

Thanksgiving was divine, by the way.  I hope yours was just as swell.  I made a turkey.  I'll try to write a post on that tomorrow.  It really is a story.

So without further ado, here's the menu!

Monday- Beef Stroganoff
Tuesday- More beef stroganoff (maybe... or leftovers from Thanksgiving.)
Wednesday- Mike's birthday!  Chicken and dumplings with ice cream cake
Thursday- More chicken and dumplings
Friday- Chicken sandwiches
Saturday breakfast- waffles and smoothies
Saturday dinner- maybe a date night?  Only if Mike's off work.
Sunday breakfast- Cinnamon rolls, please!
Sunday dinner- Probably more chicken sandwiches (we love our leftovers)

It looks like a boring menu, I know, but sunday is a cooking day for next month, and we have leftovers, and we love chicken.  Actually my whole week is the same color- I must not have thought this through very well.  And I miss spaghetti.

Enjoy, and I'm linking up here.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Traveling for the Holidays- Dealing with the TSA

So have you seen all the hype about the TSA and this new back scatter machine?

They're mad scary, to me.

I am thankful this year that I don't have to fly anywhere.  I usually don't have to, to be honest (most of our family is within driving distance).  But I like to fly, and I tend to fly on occasion.  Once a year is pretty standard.  Sometimes more. 

I won't be flying for a long long time, though.  These back scatter machines are over the line, and while I understand the TSA has the authority to say "do it or don't fly" I also understand my right to say "no thanks.  I guess the airline can go bankrupt because I'm not going through that thing nor will I be groped in public."  Notice here, that I do not feel it is appropriate to try to gum up the works or be deliberately rude.  I do, however, love the idea of a boycott.

Please hear me out- here are my reasons.

First, there is the story behind the notorious bomber who created this security mess.  The infamous Underwear Bomber.  #1- Did you know that the back scatter machine wouldn't have caught him?  That's right, folks.  Experts have agreed on that point.  #2- Did you know that the security system ALREADY IN PLACE failed to catch him?  Here's a quote from National Counterterrorism Center Director Michael Leiter "Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab should not have stepped onto a plane on Christmas Day," he declared.  "The counterterrorism system collectively failed and I along with Director [of National Intelligence Dennis] Blair and Secretary [of Homeland Security Janet] Napolitano and others want to tell you and the American people the same thing we told the president, that we have to do better."  He should never have been on the plane.  Period.  The rules that were already established SHOULD have caught him.

#3- And this is a smaller point to be made, but still one to consider.  Medically, the machine could be hazardous to your health.  The levels of radiation used aren't horrible (although we could have a whole debate on whether or not radiation at all is ok).  BUT there are still concerns over how it will affect the skin, especially for frequent flyers.  What about pregnant women? Plus anomallies- machinery fails, ya know.  And if something goes wrong with these machines, you could get a lot more radiation than ever healthy.  I just don't like the idea of frying my body (even if it's for a minimal amount) for convenience.

#4- and my biggest point.  I think we have crossed a line.  We've been getting closer and closer to that point over the years, but this has actually crossed the line.  Where does it stop?  The most extreme and horrible atrocities on this planet started out like this.  Not so harmful things that you normally wouldn't be ok with, but it's for the right reasons, right?  Do you think the holocaust started off with Auschwitz and deathcamps and gas chambers?  Of course not.  They started off with registering all the Jewish citizens, making them paint symbols on their homes and wear patches on their clothes.  Doesn't seem so horrible right?  Or another more useful example (some might say the holocaust is going too far here).  The Japanese internment camps in 1942.  After the attack on Pearl Harbor around 110,000 Japanese-Americans were "relocated" to these camps.  They were seen as a possible security threat.

Now, my question was where does it stop?  Most will say, well that's what it takes to feel safe.  But eventually someone will come along and find a way around the scanner.  Where there's a will there's a way.  What will be next?  How far will you let it go?

Well, you don't have a right to fly.  So they can impose this regulation, right?  Ok.  So what about the movies or the mall?  Or how about an ice skating rink in central Park?  or the subway in DC?  What if someone decides to blow up one of those, and now all of a sudden you gotta be groped or scanned to go see a movie or shop?  What if this holiday season you have to be pat down in all your crevices to go ice skating?  Would you be ok with that?

And then finally #5- I just find it on principle wrong.  Doctors can't share your health records unless medically necessary (ie one doc to another doc).  They can't even give your medical records to your spouse without permission (and I like these rules).  So why is it ok for a security agent to get to see your whole body OR if you refuse to get to play touchy feely?

There are so many issues I have here, and it's mainly because it seems like there is no end.  We have established a bill of rights and a Constitution because of things like this.  We set up rules at the beginning stating "this is wrong."  They were established to prevent things going over the top, because in fear people can lose their better judgment.  It's like teaching safe sex.  You're taught to have a plan.  Set your boundaries BEFORE you start dating someone.  That way when the time comes you aren't making decisions with impaired judgment (be it from alcohol or teenage hormones or peer pressure or whatever).  Isn't this the same thing?  We have a right to privacy.  Don't give up your rights out of fear (otherwise known as impaired judgment).

AND end rant.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

This year I am thankful for...

1.  Family- I have the most wonderful support system I've ever seen!  A lot of people think we're a little weird, though.  We have a lot of different relationships.  Oh, and the hubs.  He's just amazing.  Of course the pets count too.  This list is too big to go into detail, but there's my mom, my two brothers, my husband, the cat and dog, my 4 uncles and 4 aunts, my 5 grandmothers, my 7 cousins... I don't believe any of them have ever NOT been there for me.  Also, for the sake of keeping you sane and because technical titles never matter anyways, I simplified several titles.  Oh, and this isn't even counting all the in-laws.  There are tons, and they are just as special.

2.  Friends- My phone was ringing off the hook with all the love.  Although there were a few interesting tweets as well "I'm supposed to do WHAT to the turkey???"

3.  My house- I had abundant room for house guests, and while not all ended up staying, we were very comfortable.  We had ample space for cooking (kind of) with nice new appliances (pretty new at least).  The house isn't always as warm as we'd like, but it'll do.  And it's full of our lives- our things with our memories.

4.  My car- you know, the one that had a water bottle get crushed under the back seat, and this morning had a HUGE WATER PUDDLE all across the back?  Yeah.  That car.

5.  My job (and Mike's)- Even though we both had to work today (he's still there) I will say we are rather lucky to have our jobs.  And I did get to leave early, after all.

6.  My new school!  I am so thankful that I got into grad school (and I got the loans needed as well!).  I just hope I can be registered for classes ASAP.  I've already emailed the advisor AND financial aid AND put myself on a few waitlists.

7.  The food we ate- it was delicious.  My mashed potatoes are by far one of my favorites.  And mom's dumplings.  yum!  And turkey, of course.  Too bad there weren't any leftovers (of the turkey).  We devoured a 23 lbs turkey.  Can you believe it?

8.  My health- I managed well yesterday, and I still feel healthy.  I didn't overeat, and I want to exercise.  I see way too many people who just don't care, and it's sad.

9.  My ambidexterity- I think it's a big help with my knitting.  This means I can make some pretty awesome gifts for some pretty awesome people!

10. My time- I'm considering doing some volunteer work this winter, but I haven't decided where.  Gotta do some research!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.  I hope yours was as amazing as mine!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Menu Monday- On a Tuesday

It occured to me that I do this a lot- write a post a day late, ya know?

It also occured to me that I don't think I've blogged much lately besides our menu.  I will work on that.

Today's budget sucked.  I went over for Thanksgiving, but there were things I hadn't predicted like a roasting pan for the turkey I didn't know I was cooking.  Oh what's that?  Why yes, I am actually cooking my first turkey.  Ever.  I also needed wine for my turkey and myself.  (who doesn't, right?)

Ok, so the menu:

Monday- we had leftover pot roast!
Tuesday- Maple Glazed Chicken with rice and veggies
Wednesday- Chicken Alfredo
Thursday- Thanksgiving will be at my aunt's house with the usual turkey, spoonbread, green beans, dumplings, sweet potatoes, green stuff, jello salad, rolls, and of course pumpkin pie.  I will be making the mashed potatoes and the apple dumplings (a delicious dessert).
Friday- Leftovers, anyone?
Saturday breakfast- Waffles and smoothies!!!!
Saturday dinner- Probably more leftovers.  But if not, we have stuff to make chicken sandwiches.
Sunday breakfast- Biscuits, bacon, eggs, and fruit
Sunday dinner- Thanksgiving again!  Dinner with my brothers, where I will be making the turkey.

Happy Thanksgiving, folks!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Big Decisions- Big Plans

So maybe I hadn't mentioned it on here, but at one point Mike and I had everything pretty much figured out.  We were gonna have a baby.  Then in a year I'd go back to school.  And it would just continue from there.

But then mother nature got in the way.  And put a wrench in our finances.  A major wrench, unfortunately.  So we took a few months to recoup emotionally, and to take another look at our finances to think of a new plan.

We have finally made (and acted on) that decision.  I am going back to school effective immediately (or as soon as I'm accepted).  The baby will be added to the picture once we are more financially stable (again... good grief).  This will be when Mike gets a full time job.  As of right now he has 1 part time job.  We would be doing well if he got a second, but then we'd be back to him never being home.  Sucky, right?  So we're waiting for a full time job.

NOT that it would be required.  But given our financial situation, it would be.

Anyways, off my tangent- back to topic- I'm going back to school!!!!!

I have applied at Kent State University to obtain my masters in Library and Information Sciences.  That's right, folks.  I want to be a librarian.  My career path was a hard choice for me.  I've stewed for ages and ages.  But I finally made the decision based on the fact that I can really get exactly what I want out of life in that specific career.  I want to run a children's library.  I would be around kids.  I would be helping people (and working for a non-profit, which is really what I want).  I can use my Spanish.  And I'm sure, seeing as how a library is so family oriented, it would be a great place to work while having a family. (I must note that I have had the same career plan for 6 months now.  WOOHOO!  That's probably a record for me!)

I'm very excited about going back to school.  I've missed it.  I've missed having a lot to do and places to go and things to study.  And I'll be working towards a career that I'm sure I'll love.  AND I will be able to use my bachelor's degree, which has yet to really be done.  Oh, and did I mention my cousin has been attending the same program for a year now?  We'll be career-buddies!!!!  :)

Yes, I'm very excited.  And I feel the loans I'll need to accomplish this are going to be well worth it in the end.  I can't wait!!!!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Menu Monday- Freezer Cooking Round 2

And couponing round 1.

So, in recap, the freezer cooking worked SWELL!  So I thought I'd give it a go again, only this time for 3 weeks (to close out the month).

So, step 1- I decided to try couponing as well.

It was a miserable failure.  For various reasons-
#1- I don't have newspapers.  Only the circulars they deliver every now and then.
#2- I dropped a few of my coupons in store... Oops.
#3- My printer decided to turn satanic and spew out 200 pages of coupons, wasing tons of ink and paper.  Along with time and dignity... How does that look when I tell husband I'm trying to save money?  Oh and the coupons... They were repeats.  A lot of them.
#4- I gotta learn my grocery stores.

Step 2- buy groceries.  MISERABLE FAILURE

I went to 4 stores.  FOUR.  That is like... way too many, people.  I first went to Aldi.  I've heard raves.  I was disappointed.  I think it might just be my aldi, though, so I'll probably research and try again.  They barely had anything.  I spent $14.  I then went to Meijer.  Again, raves on prices.  And cheap chicken.  I was actually able to buy most of the items I needed.  And in truth, I think I saved money merely because of Meijer.  But either I don't know the store well (I don't) or they just suck sometimes because they didn't have some certain items I needed.  Like egg whites.  Or Bob Evans Mac N Cheese.  And Green Peppers (who sells produce without green peppers?  Maybe I missed them somewhere).  So the remaining 2 stores (walmart and kroger) were my solution to the missing items.

It was a frustrating day, but I will improve.  And if I had more than 3 coupons I probably would have saved more.  In the end I was still over budget, but by way less than normal.

So step 3- Prepare.  I passed this with flying colors.

I made a list of all the food that needed to be made.  I marked off items that had to be made fresh the day of.  I then made 4 lists of what needed to be done- prep work, cooking (stove top), baking (oven), and assembly.  In each one I numbered them in a reasonable order.  Then, I took my 4 lists, and combined them into 1 big list in a numbered order.  I tried to guestimate how much time each would take and lay out a plan that wouldn't overwhelm me at some points but leave me waiting on a timer at others.

Step 4- execute.  And execute I did.  It was smooth, easy, and QUICK!  3 hours for 3 weeks (not counting thanksgiving!).

Monday- Maple Glazed Chicken with rice, carrots, and green beans
Tuesday- Spaghetti with rolls, corn, and peas
Wednesday- Leftover spaghetti
Thursday- Pork Chops, Mashed Potatoes, and Green beans with a mushroom gravy
Friday- Leftover pork chops
Saturday breakfast- Cinnamon Rolls, Eggs, Fruit smoothies
Saturday- Leftover pork chops (we love this meal.  It's our fave).
Sunday breakfast- Biscuits, eggs, sausage (or bacon)
Sunday dinner- Pot Roast, Potatoes, Carrots

AND I'm linking up here.  Sorry this post is so long!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Food in a Box becomes a Healthy Meal

So remember my awesome menu a few weeks back?

I said I was making Chicken Alfredo.

Yum yum. 

BUT I slightly didn't tell the truth- it's from a box.

This box, actually.

Yeah.  We eat processed food in our house.  Not often.  But we do.  It's easy.  It's cheap (IT'S CHEAP- THIS IS THE BIG ARGUMENT FOR IT'S CASE).  But you know, it gets kind of bland sometimes.

So I took a few extra ingredients. 

See?  Yes- they are cans, jars, bags, and boxes.  We use jarred mushrooms and canned veggies a lot.  Although, frozen veggies aren't really that bad.  So sometimes we use them too.

Would you believe it?  It was amazing.  A-MAY-ZING!

Don't believe me?  Check it out yourself.

See?  Oh me oh my was it scrumptious!  And balanced.  It had lots of color and all kinds of flavor.

Wanna know what I did?  I sauteed some mushrooms while cooking up my chicken (I use boneless skinless chicken breasts, if you were curious).  I then strained the chicken and combined it with the mushrooms, then the water and milk and packet of spices, and then the noodles.  I then microwaved a bag of steamfresh broccoli.  I took the left over peas from the chicken pot pie, and a can of carrots (I only used about 1/2 the can.  Maybe a little more).  I added the peas and carrots, and then about half of the bag of broccoli to the sauce mix.  Finish out the directions on the box and voile!

Oh how delicious it was, and it has given me an inspiration to repeat with other things as well.  Eventually.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wedded Wednesday- Stay at home dads???

Disclaimer- we have no children, in case you are new.  This is mostly hypothetical.

So Mike is officially back to working only 1 part time job.  He wants to get a second one asap, but I'd prefer he doesn't.  I didn't get to see him at all, and to be honest we can survive a little while without it.  Not to make things difficult for us, but sometimes time is worth more than money, ya know?

So on that note, somewhere down the lines I had been discussing the options of having a baby with a few people, and I was absolutely shocked when they ALL made it very clear that the dad HAS TO have a full time job.  Period.

Now, to be honest, I kind of agree KIND OF.  I would prefer to be a stay at home mom some day.  Or work from home.  Or have a small part time job.  Whatever it takes so that I'm the one at home with the kids.  However, I'm very realistic, and I don't see that happening.  I honestly see both Mike and I working full time while raising our kids.  And I'm not opposed to daycare at all- in fact, if you find the right one, it can be the best thing you do for your child.  A lot of them help teach kids the social graces of life.  And they get a jump start on their education, which I'm all about.  Not that I couldn't do that on my own, but a girl's got a lot to do already, you know?

The one option that's more realistic at the moment, however, is Mike staying at home and keeping his part time job.  IF and this is a BIG IF we were to get pregnant now, it might even be more beneficial for Mike to NOT get a full time job.  He works third shift.  I sleep while he's working.  He sleeps while I'm working.  We're both home in the evenings.  With a little adjusting, we could actually raise a child without daycare this way.  It would work well, especially since I carry the health insurance and I have disability leave, etc etc. 

Why is it, though, that this idea just absolutely HORRIFIED these women?  I mean, the answer was very much, unabashedly, big fat in your face NO WAY IN HADES.  I was really shocked.  I thought in today's world that more people would be more open minded.  And the reasons were pretty vague.  Maybe they just didn't want to work?  I just don't get it. 

Now true, I will say that I would have issues with the lack of cleaning, the lack of organization, and the lack of probably a lot of things that I would be doing if I were the one at home.  But financially, it's a very viable option.  Too viable to not even consider it.

Now, of course, if Mike is discovered and then strikes it rich, we will be singing a different tune and I'll be able to have my dream home with my dream kitchen full of freezer meals a beautiful baby and NO JOB.  But hey... He's gotta be discovered and strike it rich first.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Menu Monday- Adjusting to freezer cooking

Last week we decided to try out the "freezer cooking" method.  We made a menu for a month, made a grocery list covering 2 weeks worth of that month (it's a trial, remember), and then went out and spent a ton of money at three different stores.

The idea was that we'll (eventually) make a menu for a month at a time.  We'd go to Sam's Club at the beginning of the month for the bulky items.  Then every other week we'll head to Walmart for the items we don't need in bulk.  Then once a week we'll head to Kroger for the fresh items (like fruits.  We love us some fresh fruit).

So far, we're way over budget.  But to be honest, it's mostly because a) we bought enough toilet paper (and other items) to last us forever.  b) I bought cookie dough (and other unneccessary items).  c) This is a trial, and I seriously think we will survive a long time with what we have.

This week I was supposed to only need to go to Kroger.  However, I had to go to both walmart and kroger because I hadn't realized we'd run out of certain things when we did.  Like face whipes.

Other than that, we are as we predicted.  There's a ton of food still at our house.  I imagine we will probably survive a total of 3 weeks on what I cooked versus the planned 2.  With that, here's this week's menu:

Breakfast for the week includes a muffin, a banana, egg whites, and turkey bacon.  And coffee, of course.

Lunch is soup and sandwiches again.  It's plain but pretty healthy.  And cheap.

Monday- Spaghetti with peas, corn, and rolls.
Tuesday- Chicken Fettuccini Alfredo
Wednesday- Leftover fettuccini alfredo
Thursday- Pineapple pork chops with rice and broccoli
Friday- Taco Salad
Saturday breakfast- Biscuits, eggs, bacon/sausage
Saturday dinner- Maple glazed chicken
Sunday breakfast- Waffles and fruit smoothies
Sunday dinner- BBQ Meatloaf

I'm super excited to see how this week goes, because I can already tell I've left at least 2 meals off of the menu that are already cooked.  I also have lots of leftover pork chops that I have yet to use, along with lots of left over veggies.  I'm predicting that the spaghetti will last 2 days, the alfredo might last 3, and the meatloaf will probably have leftovers as well.  We'll just have to wait and see!

AND I'm linking up here.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Happy Friday!

Fridays are my favorite and least favorite days of the week.

Favorite- it's pay day.  it's also "new line on the budget" day (meaning I have spending money again, or at least we hope).  it's also the start to the weekend (which is actually my favorite time of the week).

Least Favorite- It's pay day.  And in accounting that means that anyone who's check is off by a penny blames me.  I get a lot of complaints. 

But it's Friday!  :)  I can endure the complaints as long as I get my weekend.  And Mike is officially done with his second job today.  :)  This makes me extremely happy.  Poor?  yes.  Happy?  Extremely.

So what's the plan for the weekend?

I'm going to be running tonight after work.  And then doing a "minor" workout (I think it's a major workout, but Shorty SWEARS it's hardly anything at all...) So afterwards I plan on reheating a freezer meal (Beef stroganoff, anyone?  or maybe spaghetti?).

The weekend will definitely include:
Walking Romeo (probably both Sat and Sun)
Cleaning (bathroom and kitchen.  Ew, gross)

The weekend SHOULD include at least something from this list:
Washing the car
Sorting through the garage
Re-arranging furniture
Organizing/Editing pictures
Organizing recipes
Creating an Address book
Raking leaves
Cleaning gutters
Date night
Mapping out Christmas and Thanksgiving
Writing (thank you notes, journal entry, blog post, something)

The weekend will MOST LIKELY include:

So my wish for this weekend?  Relaxation.  Last weekend was just way too busy.  I apologize for not having a blog post.  It was too busy for pictures, and we lost the football game.  And our halloween costumes didn't turn out as well as we hoped.  Oh well, we'll do better next time!

Have a happy weekend!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Oops... Now I feel Naked.

I forgot my purse today.

Not horrible- it has my wallet, but I bring my lunch to work, so I don't need money.  And if I get pulled over or have an accident, whatever I have my license number memorized (it's supposed to be a good trick).  It has my ipod, but I carpooled today, so we chatted instead of listened to music.  It has lots of other things that sometimes are important, but to be honest, there was only one thing that really really is upsetting me.

I forgot my dayplanner.

I'm a creature of habit.  And I'm an accountant.  I NEED MY DAYPLANNER!  It has due dates.  It has my checklist of things I need to get done.  IT IS VERY CRUCIAL TO MY SUCCESS AT WORK!

THANKFULLY I'm an accountant.  This means most of my job repeats from week to week, so... it's mostly memorized and I can do something with my time other than twiddle my thumbs.

But I still feel naked.  Like I'm forgetting something.  Like I'm going to freak out tomorrow when I have to remember what I did today and check things off my list.

It sucks.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Wedded Wednesday- Voting

Since yesterday was election day, I think it's appropriate to discuss politics just this once (ok... I'll probably discuss politics a lot in the future, but I try not to).

I'm very opinionated, and when it comes to politics, I'm extremely opinionated.  That being said I lean one way with politics.  Not because I was told to, but because I am very informed, and I've found that I line up almost exactly with one specific side of things.  From reading my blog, you might even be able to take a gander at which way I lean, but if not, I refuse to tell you because quite frankly it's not relevant.  Just know I do have a very specific leaning.

My husband does not.  He hates politics.  He's very apathetic.  I'm pretty sure he only votes because I make him.  ;) No, I don't make him vote my way.  He does, though.  For his own reasons.  We even argued last night over one of his votes (we disagreed, but his reasoning was because the ad was done so well (in film-speak).  I WILL argue with you if you vote for stupid reasons, such as filmography).

A lot of people believe that it's not polite to discuss politics.  Indeed, I have learned that politics is a bad subject in group setting.  I don't discuss politics with my friends unless I know which way they lean and that we agree.  It's just nicer to have a conversation when you agree, ya know?  I respect their opinions if we don't, but I also put in the effort to avoid a disagreement.  This means that politics are (mostly) a no-no with some specific people, including an aunt and uncle, my cousin, and 2 of my closest friends (yes I have bi-lateral relations).  Also almost everyone I work with.

However, in a relationship?  We discuss politics, but rarely.  Mike doesn't care, really, and I try not to push my opinions on him.

But what if Mike and I didn't agree?

I personally find politics to be one of the BIG RELATIONSHIP TOPICS to discuss prior to marriage (right up there with "how many kids, if any").  If we don't agree, or we automatically start fighting over politics, it won't work out (obviously, it worked out fine with Mike.  This is a what-if).  I've been there and I hated it.  I can respect your opinion, but I don't have to live with it, and I won't.  For myself, politics in a relationship need to be on the same page.  This is definitely something I was wary of when I was dating, and I'm, quite frankly, very happy with the outcome.  It has nothing to do with different opinions.  Mike and I are very different in several areas of life.  It has everything to do with how I relate politics with your character and how you live your life.  As a friend, you have your own thing and I don't judge.  As a boyfriend/fiance/husband, your life and mine are intertwined too much.  And in practicality, to be very honest I never found someone from the opposite party that was really appealing to me as anything more than a friend.  I'm not sure if that's pure coincidence or what the reasoning may be, but it is what it is.

I am very curious about YOUR opinions on the matter, though.  Are you in a relationship with someone of a different political affiliation?  How do you handle politics in your house (whether you agree or disagree)?  Also, what do you teach your kids regarding politics (we don't have them yet, and I'm curious)?

Please do me a favor, though.  I don't want a comment battle or anything, so leave out party affiliations as much as possible.  KThanxBai

Monday, November 1, 2010

Menu Monday- Freezer meals!

Has it seriously been a week since I blogged???  And where are those pictures I promised you?

I have a few posts written, and pictures on my camera.  I swear.  I just need to upload them so I can post them!  I will I will I will I swear.

Just a preview- I was really really ecstatic about the way a certain meal came out last week.  Also, I should have some Halloween pics if anyone else took them I was bad... I didn't.  Maybe some homecoming pics? And this week I hopefully will be... dum-du-du-dum! RUNNING!  I'm terrified, but hey... it'll be worth it, right?

So the menu, right.  Just a quick pre-note: We are trying something different in our house.  We keep trying to take baby steps towards saving money and time.  So this week we planned out the whole MONTH of meals (that's gonna help a lot).  THEN we went shopping for 2 weeks worth of meals at 3 stores.  We are trying to do the whole "freezer cooking" idea.  Eventually I will shop for a month at a time (at Sam's) and have one big cooking day where I freeze just about everything I can for a whole month of meals.  But since this is our first time, we only did 2 weeks worth because I honestly think it'll last a lot longer than 2 weeks.

But it was SO EXPENSIVE!!!!  Ok, it probably wouldn't have been $300 but we needed a lot of other things like laundry detergent and toilet paper and cat food.  We bought those at Sam's too, and seriously.  If they don't last a whole year, I'll be shocked (ok... 3 months).  We won't need things like that every month, so to me, we didn't do so bad.  Oh, and we had to renew that membership too.

So this week, I have already cooked everything!  Here's the menu-

Breakfast- egg whites, turkey bacon, and chocolate chip-banana muffins
Lunch- Rich and Meaty Chili, cornbread, and applesauce

Monday- Maple Glazed Chicken, rice, and veggies
Tuesday- Beef Stroganoff, rolls, and veggies
Wednesday- Chicken Pot Pie
Thursday- Chicken Pot Pie (there's a lot of it)
Friday- Spaghetti, Rolls, and veggies
Saturday breakfast- Waffles, eggs and fruit smoothies
Saturday dinner- Crockpot Chicken and Dumplings and veggies
Sunday breakfast- Cinnamon Rolls, Sausage, and Peaches
Sunday- Taco Salad (not made yet due to needing fresh veggies)

You'll see a lot of repeat foods in our house, because we love our favorites, and it's hard for me to find new things that I'll like.  I'm kind of picky.  Plus, obviously with freezing meals, we'll probably have more left overs than I anticipate.

Oh, and here's the link up.