Thursday, December 30, 2010

Where has the time gone?!

So it's now December 30th. Christmas is over, we are back in Ohio, and life is refusing to settle down. The last few weeks have been insane. We went home for Christmas, my best friend bought a house, and.....we got engaged!!!

Remember all that nice, quiet, relaxation I was looking forward to? Not so much. :) Even though we've only been engaged a week or so, and our wedding isn't for a year, we have done lots of planning and intend to do much more before Manny leaves. Compounded to that is while he doesn't leave until May, he has to go for 4-6 weeks of training in February. :( Which doesn't leave us with a lot of face time before he leaves for real.

We have already picked out a ceremony site and a reception site. We kind of have colors picked out (more on that later), are shopping for photographers, and the list goes on and on. But it's so much fun! I'll post more wedding details later but for now, it's back to work! :)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Money Monday/Weekly Money Check Up

Well this week I'm actually doing really well money-wise. I am well within my budgets considering I get paid Friday (or maybe Thursday!). I completely ignored my budgets when I went home last week for a family emergency (hence the lack of posting) but I got back up to speed today and was thrilled to see that I'm doing great! I do have to say, however, that I am extremely thankful and grateful to my parents for flying me home and thus saving me from blowing my budget/savings to smithereens.

Anyhow, I will proceed now to my Weekly Money Check Up, courtesy of My Pretty Pennies.

1. The most I've spent this last week was on Christmas presents! I finished up some holiday shopping (sort of finished) but that's definitely the most I've spent.

2. Today I feel downright giddy about money. I feel like we're about the turn the holiday corner and I can finally start building my savings back up!

3. Money can't buy happiness. One free/inexpensive thing I did in the last week was eat cheap mall Chinese food with Manny while finishing Christmas shopping. (Does it count even if the shopping itself was expensive?!)

4. I will consider this week a success if I don't lost my mind. I feel like I have a LOT to do before we leave to go home in TWO DAYS!

5. My favorite holiday movie is A Christmas Story!! Red Rider BB Gun anyone?!!!

Truth be told (and I know I'm being redundant) I would not be in the financial position I am not if it weren't for my parents. I would have had to spend a huge chunk of my savings on plane tickets to get home quickly it would have hit me hard financially. So here's to parents and building that Emergency Fund back up ASAP. :)

Sunday, December 19, 2010


Life has thrown a curveball or two in the last week. Hence the complete lack of posts. I'll try to resume regular posting as soon as possible. :) Hope everyone is well.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Money Monday

Here we are again. Money Monday. Ugh. I feel ok about money today, I'm just kind of in a funk. More on that later. But my budget looks beautiful...look at all that green!! ;) Mind you, I got paid 3 days ago.

Gas: under! I still have about 75% of this budget left. I increased this budget slightly these two weeks and probably will keep it this way throughout the winter because gas prices have skyrocketed!
Grocery: under! I have about 90% of this budget left and intend on coming out way way under budget here for the next two weeks.
Other: under! I only have about 40% of this budget left but it is very much a catch-all. If I go over here I'm not too worried because I'm sure some of the other categories will make up for it.
Christmas: under! I have 100% of this left because I haven't done any Christmas shopping yet this check. :)

I really hope to come in under budget, my savings account could certainly use a boost. And now, I'm going to go ahead and do my Weekly Money Check Up right without further adieu....

1. The most I've spent this last week was on a case for the Kindle Manny bought me. (The Kindle was my sorry I'm going to leave for 6 months present.) :)

2. Today I feel optimistic towards money.

3. Money can't buy happiness. One free/inexpensive thing I did last week that made me happy was spend a lovely and lazy Sunday at home with Manny watching Christmas movies and wrapping presents.

4. I will consider this week a success if I hold it together.

5. My favorite holiday treat is do I have to pick one?! :) Anything that has mint and chocolate is fine by me.

Weekly Money Check Up is provided by My Pretty Pennies.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sunday Etiquette Series: Part IV

I have some opinions on etiquette, I know you're shocked. :) And recently, a friend and I were talking about the many social faux pas that people our age (twenty-somethings) tend to make, so I thought it may be a good idea to do a little series on etiquette, especially with the holidays right around the corner. You may disagree with some of what I say, and that's just fine. These are just my personal opinions, and I am well aware that there are exceptions to every rule. :)

New to the Sunday Etiquette Series? Check out Parts I, II, and III here. 

I've been thinking a lot lately about Facebook etiquette. Every day, I see something on Facebook that makes me think "wow, did you really just tell your 1000 closest friends that?". There are a lot of reasons to be aware of Facebook etiquette, but the two that jump out at me are A: preserving your own privacy and B: future employment. With regards to "A," I guess that's just a personal choice. I don't care to share my deepest emotions on Facebook. As far as "B," do you really want your future employer to know you are "omg, like so hammered!". I don't. So here are my little tips on Facebook etiquette, and as always, feel free to disagree. :)

Part IV: Facebook Etiquette

1. Please do not share the deepest darkest depths of your soul on Facebook. I know status updates are a quick and easy way to let people know how and what you're doing....but if you're drowning in a pit of despair, phone a friend, don't update your status.

2. Don't fight on Facebook. It's trashy.

3. Keep the PDA to a minimum. I'm not going to elaborate because I don't want to call anyone out, but it's just kind of...annoying.

4. If you're profile isn't completely and totally flattering (to a potential employer) either clean it up, or make it impossible to find.

5. Don't bad mouth others. It's trashy.

I could probably list 17 other things not to do , but just use good judgement is what it all boils down to. And remember that what you post on Facebook (statuses, pictures, likes, etc) is by no means private. Make sure that you are okay with your 2000 closest friends knowing what you just posted on your status. :)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

More about Winter...

A couple years ago I was living in Maryland and experienced my first "real" winter. It was nice, didn't last all that long, and I got to see some snow. Winter in the midwest is a whole different beast. I haven't seen the warm side of the twenties in over a week. My puppy's paws get frozen and he whimpers every time we take him out to pee. A week or so ago, I wrote about our first "real" snow...and it snowed for like 5 days. Now it's just colder than all get out and, surprise, it's going to snow some more later this week. (Apparently this is "uncharacteristic"...goody for me.) Anyway, here are some more things I've learned about winter.

1. Wear a hat. A warm warmer head goes a long way.

2. Shuffle when walking on ice. I generally walk with a purpose, and if you do that on ice, you'll be on your ass in 3 seconds flat.

3. Winter hats ruin hair and make-up. Keep emergency hair/make-up supplies in your purse. And don't try anything fancy with your hair in the winter, your hat will just smush it.

4. Getting out the door, even just to take the dog out, takes at least 5 minutes of preparation (hat, coat, boots, etc.) I mean, I could just take the dog out and be cold, but I choose not to.

5. I have never loved hot coffee so much.

That's all for promised I will keep you abreast of all the things I learn this winter, lest you ever have to spend a winter in the midwest!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

December Goals

Well I've never done a goals post before, but I figured it may be time to start. Or maybe I did do one, and then forgot about it? Well anyway, I know we're several days into December but better late than never right?

1. Play nicely with Ok, so I signed up for, and promptly ignored it. I've heard from a couple people that's it's great but I'm just not there yet. So, this month I'm going to really spend some time "getting to know" and see if we can have a better relationship. One where I understand what the heck it's saying, and it helps me keep track of my finances.

2. Send out Christmas cards. I need to do this yesterday.

3. Develop workout plan for January. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, along with every other woman in America, one of my goals is to start working out again in January (although I have no intention of dieting). I sincerely hope to make it past the 3 week drop out period, and I feel the best way to combat that is to have a plan!

4. Unpack my last 3 boxes. Yes, I moved in July. Yes, there are still 3 unpacked boxes.

Ok, I think that's enough for now. I'm sure I'll have a whole mess of goals for January but since it's already a week into December, four it is. :)

P.S. It's Librarian Lizy's Birthday! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! 

Monday, December 6, 2010

Money Monday

Ok, so this is pay week so as of Friday I'll have a new budget to stick to! These two weeks have actually gone pretty well spending wise and I really wish I would have known which categories I was over and under in, because I think I would be under a lot! No matter, I will be back on track come Friday. (If you missed last week's Money Monday, check it out to see why I didn't manage to have a budget for the last 2 weeks.)

So, this Money Monday will consist mainly of the Weekly Money Check-Up, compliments of My Pretty Pennies.

1. The most I've spent this last week was on rent/utilities. Not exactly "fun" spending. :)

2. Today I feel perfectly content towards money. It's pay week and I really shouldn't have to spend a whole lot of money between now and Friday.

3. Money can't buy happiness. One free/inexpensive thing I did last week that made me happy was bake lots of holiday cookies. It spreads lots of holiday cheer, and doesn't cost all that much.

4. I will consider this week a success if I don't spend any money except on gas until payday.

5. My favorite holiday drink is homemade hot chocolate! Yummy and frugal! :)

Want to participate in the Weekly Money Check-Up? Click here!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The First "Real" Snow

Today marks our first "real snow" here in Ohio. It's our second snow by my standards but today is the first day that it's really accumulating so I guess this is first "real" one. Here are some things I've learned about winter in Ohio so far.

1. Snow is pretty to look at, but it's just really cold rain that sticks to your face.

2. Waterproof mascara is a must from now until March (see previous statement re: snow)

3. Snow sticks to everything. Shoes, puppy noses, face, eyelashes, etc.

I also bought my first "real" ice scraper today. It is 3 feet long and has a snow brush on the end. My old one is about 10 inches long and is good for just about nothing up here. I'll be sure to share the rest of my winter learning as the season progresses. :)

Friday, December 3, 2010

Iced Christmas Sugar Cookies

My very first recipe post! I'm nothing to write home about in the kitchen, but we've been doing a lot of baking lately and I'm (slowly) learning to do other things as well.

When I was a kid, my godmother would always have myself and my cousins over to make Christmas cookies a few days before Christmas. Since I now live too far away to participate, I'm going to start my own tradition of holiday cookie making.

Iced Christmas Sugar Cookies
Cookies very slightly adapted from Pillsbury's Old Fashioned Sugar Cookie Recipe
Icing slightly adapted from Wiltons' Buttercream Icing Recipe

Cookie Ingredients:
3        cups all purpose flour
1        teaspoon baking powder
1        teaspoon baking soda
1/8     teaspoon salt
1        cup margarine or butter
2        eggs
1 1/2  cups sugar
1        teaspoon vanilla
1/2     teaspoon lemon extract

Cookie Instructions:
1. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix well. Cut in one cup margarine until mixture is crumbly. In small bowl, beat eggs. Gradually add sugar, vanilla, and lemon extract, beating until light. Beat in flour mixture. (If necessary, knead dough 10 times to incorporate dry ingredients.) Refrigerate until ready to use (at least 1 hour).

2. Heat oven to 375 degrees F. On lightly floured surface, roll out portion of dough to desired thickness (we did about 1/8 inch). To keep dough from sticking to rolling pin, cover dough with wax paper while rolling. Once dough is rolled to desired thickness, cut using cookie cutters, and place on cookie sheet ~1 inch apart. (We actually use stoneware for most of our baking.)

3. Bake at 375 degrees F until light/golden brown. (Should be 6-10 minutes.) Let cool for about 2 minutes, then remove from cookie sheet to cooling rack. Cool cookies completely before icing.

Icing Ingredients:
1       pound powdered sugar (4 cups)
1       cup Crisco shortening
2       tablespoons of milk or water
1       teaspoon extract of choice (lemon, vanilla, etc.)

Icing Instructions:
1. Add sugar, one cup at a time, to shortening while beating on medium with electric mixer. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. When all sugar has been added, icing will appear dry.

2. Add milk or water and beat at medium speed until icing is light and fluffy.

Coloring the Icing:
1. Remove desired portion of icing to small bowl.

2. Add desired amount and color of food coloring.

3. Stir, stir, stir. (A regular spoon will work just fine).

4. Add food coloring as needed to achieve desired color. (The color will darken as icing sits).

Decorating with Icing and Sprinkles:
1. Ice cookie desired color. (I spread icing with a teaspoon, I'm sure there is an easier way to do this, but it worked just fine.).

2. Sprinkle sugar or sprinkles or whatever else as desired. Pat decoration into icing with finger (lightly) so sprinkles don't roll off the second you move the cookie.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A Day in the Life...

I've been asked many times in the past..."so, uh, what exactly do you do all day?" I understand that most people don't understand exactly what an athletic trainer does and honestly, depending on your setting/time of year/etc, everyone's day looks a little different. My days even vary depending on what day of the week it is. For example, on Monday and Wednesday mornings, I work in a physical therapy clinic for half the day until I head out to the high school, but Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday I have the mornings off (which is blissful by the way). Anyway, this past Monday was pretty typical so I thought I'd give a little insight into what this fairly typical Monday looked like for me...

7:00am - hear Manny's alarm clock and grumble something about where he can find his socks
7:15am - roll out of bed and try to figure out which way is up, grumble something about where Manny can find his tie
7:30am - search for Manny's hat and send him off to work
7:35am - something smells horrid in the kitchen, rinse out some dirty dishes to try and get rid of the smell
7:40am - oh shit, i'm starving, greasy, and so not ready for work; it's cool, i still have an hour
8:00am - i should probably get my sorry butt in the shower now
8:20am - i should probably get out of this really warm shower now
8:25am - shit, i still have to iron my shirt...and my pants...and put on makeup...and fix my hair; screw my hair, into a bun it goes
8:35am - ok, 10 minutes...
8:40am - how am i not downstairs yet?!, i need coffee before i leave
8:45am - come on coffee maker, faster!
8:55am - only 10 minutes late!...F-word! i need gas
8:58am - F-word twice...i forgot to put on deoderant; good thing i need gas anyway
9:28am - totally made it to work on time, win!
9:40am - email from a coach, needing the impossible
11:46am - provide something very close to the impossible which manages to keep coach happy, win!
12noon - lunch! no, wait, musical office time
12:20pm - get commandeered by my boss to have a 15 minute discussion, eek, i need lunch!
12:40pm - i hope i can wolf down this mcdonalds and get back to the clinic in time for my 1 o'clock patient
12:58pm - pager beeps, great, chew chew chew. ok, done. 
2:00pm - leave clinic, breathe for 5 minutes on my way to the high school
3:00pm - re-eval weekend injuries, chat with coaches (
3:10pm - run up to field house to check on other sports, chat with coaches (see all this rapport i'm building?! do ya?!)
3:45pm - come back to gym, get phone call, oops, they need me at the field house, it's not like i was just there or anything
3:48pm - go back to field house, oops, my scissors are in the gym
3:50pm - arrive panting to field house; perform athletic training magic with tape
4:00pm - take a breather, browse Kroger ads on computer
4:01pm - email boss
4:05pm - write two home exercise programs for injured kids
4:10pm - do paperwork (injury reports and updates and more oh my!)
5:00pm - check and recheck this week's calendar to make sure i haven't missed anything
6:00pm - really? i can't go home yet
7:00pm - what's that?!! practice ending 30 minutes early!?! win!

A pretty typical day. Just like anyone else (especially if you work in health care or any other service profession) my days are spent trying to avoid crises, divide and conquer the crises that do arise, and generally trying to keep everything and everyone in order until quittin' time. I love my job. :)