Sunday, October 28, 2012

I'm Not Lost

Hey everyone! I hope you aren't thinking I've abandoned you! If you missed it, I've moved over to my new blog My Everyday Life.

Please come on over and check it out!!!

Monday, October 22, 2012

BIG ANNOUNCEMENT!!!

Today is the day! My new blog is officially live! Please head over to...




Thank you all so much for your readership and I can't wait to see you there!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

What I've Been Up To

'Tis the season for change around here I suppose. In case you missed it, I accidentally quit my job last week. If we're being honest, it was good that I got out when I did. This also gives me tons of time to work on my new blog. You heard me! I'm starting a new blog. :) Now don't get all excited, it's nowhere near ready for the public eye yet, but I promise to let you know the minute it's launched. 

Right now I'm trying to wrap my mind around Wordpress. It's so different and honestly, I'm a little overwhelmed at the moment. I think I'm taking it a little too seriously but that's what happens when your biggest concerns at the moment are laundry, job applications, and your new blog. 

My biggest problem at the moment is the look of my new blog. I want it to look nice and clean and readable without having to pay a fortune for a custom theme. I do intend on paying for a custom theme eventually but for now, I just want something that's not going to turn readers away.

I've heard from so many that the switch to Wordpress is just oh-so-awesome and I really hope I feel that way soon. I think it will be much like the switch from a PC to Mac. A little painful at first but awesome in the end.


I also need to remember that I only bought the site/got on Wordpress yesterday....these things take time.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Recipe: Scalloped Sweet Potatoes

I see stuff on Pinterest all the time that I like. Food. Clothes. Makeup. Nails. Every once in a great while (actually, I think this is only the second time this has happened) I decide to actually make/do something I see on Pinterest. So yesterday we decided to try the aforementioned scalloped sweet potatoes.

According to Manny, they get a husband approval rating of 3 out of 5 and could "use some work." If we made it again we'd try some different cheese so that it's a bit more melty. We love us some melty around here.

Here's our finished product.


Doesn't look quite like the one on Pinterest but, hey, this is real life. ;)

We mostly followed the recipe, but made a couple of substitutions. Original Recipe Here

What We Did:
Ingredients:
2 regular sized sweet potatoes
1/2 of one medium onion, grated
1 1/2 cups of milk
1 tbsp flour*
1 cup swiss cheese, shredded
black pepper*
a little bit of nutmeg*
1 tsp salt*
1 tsp of Fresh Sage, finely chopped*

Instructions:
1. In a bowl add the milk, grated onion, swiss cheese, salt, sage, flour, nutmeg, and black pepper.
2. Grease a 7x11x2* casserole dish and put one layer of sweet potatoes and then pour some* of the milk mixture over the top. Continue to layer until you have run out of potatoes and milk mixture.
3. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

*The italicized items are ones for which we did not follow the recipe exactly.


Monday, October 15, 2012

How I Accidentally Quit My Job

Last week, I went in for my normal Friday meeting with my boss. It was a rather frustrating meeting because upon presenting him with information I had gathered for a project last week, he basically told me it was all wrong. I had asked for guidance and direction on this project beforehand and was told to just "do whatever [I] thought." Things like this have been getting me more and more frustrated with my job but felt like I needed to stick it out until I found something else. The universe had other plans.

We got into a conversation about how I was feeling about the job. I had been having doubts for a few weeks but was trying to remain positive and I really didn't want to tell my boss that. Because let's face it, I was thankful to be employed. And to be honest, I really did think at the outset that this was going to be an amazing job! Maybe the pay wasn't great, maybe I was still working nights and weekends (something I swore off when we moved), but for some reason, I really wanted it to work! After a little prying I told my boss that I didn't think this job was going to work out long term. I felt foolish because I had been trying so hard to make it work and since I had only been there for about a month and a half. I guess that's why they make 90-day probationary periods, right?

I left the office on Friday totally deflated and in tears. I mean, I didn't really want this job anymore anyway but I still felt like a failure. So what gives? Why the tears? Some may say that I'm a little too emotional and that could account for the crying. And while that may be completely and totally true, I also felt guilty for being happy about accidentaly quitting my job. And I also felt guilty about no longer bringing home a paycheck, small as it was.

Fast forward a few days and I'm feeling much better. I already have some leads on new jobs and am excited to spend a little time being a SAHW (stay-at-home-wife) again. The last time I didn't embrace it like I should have. I also want to be a little a lot more discerning about my job selection this time around. I'm pretty sure I said something like that before but I didn't follow my own advice very well. I don't want to look back on my time in Nebraska and see my resume littered with 2-3 month stints at various jobs. I'm sure I'll find something, I just need to have some patience, something I am usually sorely lacking. ;)

Saturday, October 13, 2012

discouraged

Now that I've gotten this idea of a new blog in my head it is all I can think about. One problem, I cannot for the life of me think of a name for the new blog. I had one all picked out and I swear I thought the domain was available, but alas it was not. So my dreams were squashed. *exaggerated sigh* I've asked for help from friends and family and some of them (Dad) have had some really great ideas but nothing has really "clicked" yet. Well, except for the one that wasn't available of course.

I'm sure I'll come up with one eventually but for now I just want to get started on my new blog but I can't without a domain. So frustrating. And I'm trying so hard not to get discouraged because that would just defeat the purpose.

Ok. Rant is over. Hope everyone is having a great Saturday night and has a nice relaxing Sunday. :)

Random Acts of Kindness

Thursday evening after work we decided to head out to the Apple store to get a case for Manny's brand new iPhone 5. Unfortunately, the Apple store had zero iPhone 5 cases. Um, what? On our way home we decided to pick up Chinese food for dinner since Manny was in a hurry to get home for the debate and neither of us really felt like cooking.

As we're turining into the parking lot, we notice two people in the road with what looks like a whole load of wood...that had obviously just fallen out of their truck. Huge. Bummer. Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on how you look at it, my husband and I are incapable of passing these sorts of situations by without offering assistance.

While we're helping them re-load their truck, another guy comes by with some sort of tool called a "load blocker." The problem was that the bed of their truck was too short and the wood kept sort of flipping out the back. The load blocker was like a magic wand. So Random Guy #1 loans them his tool, not even knowing whether he would really get it back or not. Then, Random Guy #2 pulls up in his big giant pick-up truck and offers to load to wood in his truck and drive it to their house! Y'all, Nebraska is the friendliest place ever!

We ended up helping them get the wood all loaded and then went to their house (just a mile or so down the road) to help them unload and to get the tool to bring back to Random Guy #1 (since we were heading back to the Chinese place for dinner anyway). During all of this we  made some small talk and learned that they had recently honeymooned in New Orleans (our hometown!). We ended up exchanging phone numbers and plan to have dinner sometime soon!

Sometimes the strangest of circumstances can lead you to new friends. Or even help restore your faith in humanity, at least a little.

Friday, October 12, 2012

I'm Guest Posting...sort of

In all of the craziness of this week, I forgot to mention something super awesome!!!

Today I have a "Reader Profile" post up over at Budgeting in the Fun Stuff. Crystal is an awesome blogger and if you're looking to make a little money from your blog, you should definitely talk to her!

Please click on over and check it out!!!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

at a crossroads

I've been thinking lately. About my blog. I think I've decided to make the switch to Wordpress. (Shhh. Don't tell blogger.) But here's the thing...paying someone to migrate my blog is not something I'm into doing just now. Doing it myself seems like a disaster waiting to happen. So now (it seems) I'm left with two options...

1. Wait until I feel like paying someone to do it.
2. Start a new blog.

*gasp* I know. But here's the thing, this blog doesn't have that much traffic and I'm really hoping that most of my readers would follow me to a new blog at this point (please?). 

But then I also feel kind of like an abandoner since I've been with this blog for about 2.5 years. 

And I'm not really sure whether I really want to start anew or bring all my old bloggage (blog baggage) with me.

I've actually thought of starting a new blog before. This blog is/was my very first ever venture into blogging and while it holds some sentimental value (we can talk about my inappropriate attachment to webpages later), I kind of like the idea of a brand new blog.

I'm totally at a loss.

So here's where you come in! Give me your opinion! 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

why we had to buy dinner twice in the last week

Yes. Twice. Yes. Had to.

See, what had happened was, one day last week I decided to bake some chicken. No big thing, I've done this dozens of times. Except that this time I was cooking bone-in chicken and I had decided to sort of slather it with butter first. (Don't judge.) Right. Anyway, as I'm cooking the chicken all manner of grease and other stuff starts to make its way to the edges of the baking stone. Did I mention that I was baking this on a flat stone with no lip at the edge? As all this oil/grease/butter makes its was to the edge of the stone I started to get very nervous thinking that this is going to cause my gas oven to catch on fire. Fortunately, it did not. But by the time I pulled the chicken out of the oven there was a less than appealing collection of grease and butter at the bottom of the oven. But since I was finished cooking and had turned the oven off, I decided not to worry too much about it.

Fast forward a couple of days and I decided to bake some chicken again. Except this time I was going to be super smart ;) and use a pan with a lip at the edge. I turned on the oven and after about 3 minutes a terrible smell began eminating from the oven. And then came the smoke. Apparently there was a lot of grease at the bottom of the oven and heating it up was not a good idea. It was actually so bad that we had to open several windows downstairs, put a fan on to vent the air outside as quickly as possible, and leave the house. It was awful. The house was still stinky when we returned several hours later.

That was the first time we had to buy dinner rather than eating at home.

On Sunday I decided that I finally needed to clean the grease out of the oven as I couldn't avoid using it forever. The puddle of brown...stuff...on the bottom was, well, a bit larger than I expected. It took several rounds of covering it with soapy suds, letting it sit, and scrubbing like my life depended on it. We eventually decided that by the time it was clean enough to actually cook anything, we would be starving. So we broke down and ordered pizza. 

After my other spending mistakes last week, I wasn't exactly thrilled about spending more unnecessary money but that's what happens when you have a puddle of grease on the bottom of your oven.

Oh, and as a random side note, my arms are literally sore from scrubbing the oven. It's a little pathtic.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Two Financial Mistakes I Made Last Week

Last week, well really just Friday, was not great for my financial decision making resume. I made two mistakes that were really more annoying than devastating to my cash flow but if I continued to make these types of mistakes, I'd be in serious trouble.

Financial Mistake #1

My car was in near-desperate need of an oil change. So like the good frugal girl I am, I printed of a $10 coupon before heading to a nearby quick-lube place. Once there (and once I had already been in the waiting room for 20 minutes) they called me out into the shop to show me all the things that are "wrong" with my car. We then started talking about what sort of oil they were going to put in my car. They started talking to me about all these expensive oils and didn't even mention the "conventional" oil (and I didn't ask). They had me really convinced that I needed the $60 oil. I didn't even get to use my coupon because they were doing a $15 off "customer appreciation" event. Ha. With tax and everything I ended up paying $47 for the oil change. *choke* The conventional would have come out to about $27 after tax. (Sidenote: They also tried to tell me I needed replace my days old air filter, tried to convince me that replacing my windshield wipers would cost me $40 even if I did it myself, and tried to replace a belt that I had replaced about 4 months ago.)

Mini Mistakes within My Big Mistake

  • Not researching prices before going.
  • Not researching what kind of oil I would need.
  • Letting them convince me I needed more than a standard oil change.

How I'm Going to Avoid Making This Mistake Again

  • Change my own oil (or, you know, have Manny do it)
  • OR Do my research before going to the shop.
  • AND/OR Don't let myself get talked into something I don't need! 
  • Never go back to that particular place.

Financial Mistake #2

Saturday morning I was scheduled to go to a Farmer's Market with work. We had a booth there and were going to be standing outside for about 5 hours. It was forcasted to be about 32 degrees in the morning and only get up to 40 by early afternoon. Last spring Ella ate my good gloves. :/ I decided Friday night (nothing like waiting until the last minute to fuel a bad financial decision) that I needed some new gloves. We had looked at some gloves at a local sporting goods store a week or so ago and I decided that I would just invest in a good pair since I live in a place with pretty cold winters (and a pretty cold Fall apparently). I picked out a pair that was $45. Yes, a little pricey, but I live in Nebraska people. I deserve some good gloves and I had made a conscious decision to invest in a good product. It was closing time by the time we got up to the register (seriously, I waited until the last minute) and I was shocked when my total came to $62. *gulp* I stuttered a question about how my $45 gloves could have come to $62. The cashier showed me the packaging of the glove with a price tag of $55. Now here's where things got weird. The price tag on the packaging did not look like the price tag I had seen on all the other gloves. Also, she pulled the packaging off the gloves. Weird, right? Since it was late, the store was closing, and there was a line behind me, I decided not to make a scene right then. We left there and went straight to Target for some $20 gloves (which kepy my hands very warm by the way) and I plan on returning the over-priced ones.

Mini Mistakes within My Big Mistake

  • Not asking for a price check.
  • Not asking why she had pulled the gloves off their original packaging.

How I'm Going to Avoid Making This Mistake Again

  • Always ask for a price check if things don't add up. (hehe, see what I did there?)
  • Double check the price before I get to the register.
  • Don't wait until the last minute to purchase something that is a necessity.
  • Don't let the time of day or attitude of the cashier keep me from asking questions.


Have y'all made any silly but costly mistakes lately or in the past? What have you done or will you do to avoid them in the future?

Sunday, October 7, 2012

How I Coupon and Actually Save a Few $$

You've seen them on TV. Those crazy people who are all "OMG I bought 52 tubes of toothpaste and 47 packs of disposable razors and only spent $0.13!!!!!" Yay! Good for you! Now you'll have fresh breath and hairless legs in the event of a zombie apocalypse! I want you on my team! Not.

Too many people watch these women on TV and get to thinking that if they use coupons they can seriously decrease their monthly grocery bills with the use of a few coupons. Yes and no. Unless you're an extreme couponer and have a serious need for 52 tubes of toothpaste, you really shouldn't expect to save more than a few bucks each shopping trip.

Here's the thing...I save between $3 and $5 each shopping trip with coupons. (If I ever have a week where I save $7-$10 I feel like I've won the lottery. It's the small things people.) I shop once per week, so that adds up to about $208 per year. Give or take a little obviously. I know you're thinking that $200 isn't that much money but would you turn your nose up if someone handed you a check for $200? Didn't think so.

What you do have to be careful of with coupons is spending money on things you don't need. That's where a lot of people get into trouble. They end up spending more than they originally intended because they "had a coupon." Thus negating the point of couponing in the first place. Don't buy 6 packs of yogurt because you have a coupon if you don't like yogurt. No matter how much you swear you'll eat it because it was on sale, you won't.

So here are my rules of engagement when it comes to couponing:

  • DON'T spend a ridiculous amount of time cutting coupons. If you spend hours each week pouring over coupons, you're probably not even covering the cost of your time.
  • DO use free coupon websites like coupons.com and redplum.com. A lot of store websites now even have special coupons on their website.
  • DO NOT buy things you don't need with coupons. My policy is that if I wasn't going to buy it anyway, I don't need to buy it with a coupon.
  • Don't expect couponing to seriously impact your monthly budget. If I save $20/month with coupons I am thrilled.
  • DO pair coupons with weekly store specials! (I am terrible at doing this, I don't have enough patience.)

There you have it. My $0.02 on how to actually save a few $$ with coupons. :)

Thursday, October 4, 2012

a few sparkles in an otherwise crappy day

Yesterday was a weird day. I had planned on being home from my morning errands by 10am at the latest. Somehow I didn't make it home until 11:30am. Odd. I sat down and tried to get some work done since I had an appointment at 3pm that seemed to be appraoching rather rapidly.

As I'm sitting at my computer typing away at some emails and other things I hear my dogs in the backyard barking as though the world is ending. So in a huff I run down the satirs to go yell at the dogs for barking. As I get to the back door, I see my neighbors at the fence with their children and I hear my neighbor scolding his son. I couldn't hear exactly what he was saying but it was something to the effect of "don't try to hit the dog with the stick." Um, what?!?! Your kid was trying to hit my dog with a stick? Granted, he's a pretty small child and there is a fence so he really can't damage my dog but....what the hell has my dog ever done to you?! Then my neighbor proceeds to ask if his daughter can feed my dog a hotdog. The appropriate response would have been "Oh, gee, I 'd rather you not. It would probably upset his tummy." But I was so dumbfounded by the whole situation I think I just stared at him and muttered something about how Louis will eat lettuce off the floor given half a chance.

Sigh.

I then ran off to an appointment with the surgeon for my stupid hip. I almost ran out of gas on the way there in awful traffic. I'm not even going to talk about how long it has taken me to get this appointment. The point of this little story is that I spent 50 minutes in the office to be seen by both a PA and a doctor only to be told that I had been sent to the wrong doctor. Double sigh. Even though I had explicitly told everyone in Nebraska who would listen that I needed an hip arthroscopy specialist I had somehow ended up with a guy who does hip replacement but not the repair of a tear like mine. And then I found out that I couldn't even see a doctor in their office because....well it's a long story and I suspect you're all bored already. I am.


Now on to the sparkly parts of the day. One of the reasons my morning errands took too long is that I went to Target. Hehe. And bought these. On clearance.

Yes, these shoes were first featured on my 365 blog. :)


I'm pretty sure they're my new favorite shoes. They also come in a black sparkly color and I'm pretty sure I'm going to buy them.

The second sparkly part of my day was that I got to have dinner and some girl time with a friend! We had some awesome sushi and awesome cupcakes and awesome company. :) But I forgot to take pictures of either the sushi or the cupcakes. I was too busy stuffing my face. :)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

pretty please?

Hello everyone! I hope your week is going great! And if it's not...it's Wednesday, so it's nearly halfway over! Today I'm asking for some favors.

If you don't already subscribe to the blog...please do. :) See the right hand side of the page to subscribe in pretty much any way you'd like. :)

If you haven't seen my 365 photo blog, please check it out! And if you like it, could you subscirbe to that too? :)

Let's talk Twitter. You can find me here... @louisianagirl16. Check it out, could be fun. :)



And I probably don't say this enough but thank you, thank you, thank you for reading!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

on being masterful

Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good. -Voltaire

Recently I talked about "better that what?" and the concept of not letting the perfect be the enemy of the good. Though somehow I forgot to include the above quote. But I also feel like we shouldn't lower our expectations to "good enough." This may sound counter-intuitive but it's really not. There is a difference between good and good enough. While I do feel like you shouldn't let your fear of not being perfect get in the way of doing something, I also think that if you're going to do it, you should strive for mastery.

This is something I'm guilty of not doing most of the time. I get the "good enough's" and convince myself that whatever I've done must certainly be good enough and the best I can do. Usually not true. My husband, however,  is the king of striving for mastery. He prides himself on constantly being a student of everything he does. I want to be that way. Can you imagine how much awesome stuff you could do if you tried to learn and do the absolute best job you were capable of every time? We would probably go far beyond our own expectations. But it takes a lot of work and effort to be masterful. I think that's why I don't even try sometimes. And that's where "don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good" comes in.

It's like this:
I want to learn to take nice photographs. I should not expect myself to be perfect at this immediately and thus scare myself away from starting. But once I begin, I should constantly strive to take the best pictures I can each time I pick up the camera.

Sounds exhausting. But I also think it's a mindset. It never even occurs to my husband to do a project or a job half-assed. It's just not the way his brain works. Others of us (*ahem*, me) may need to train ourselves to think this way. And even though it is a lot of work, it's so rewarding to look at the task you've just accomplished and be proud of what you did.

Monday, October 1, 2012

October Goals


1. Write goals on paper and post in office.
2. Write 5 letters.
3. Read 2 books.
4. Visit a pumpkin patch.
5. Try baking these cookies.
6. Find a desk or other piece of furniture to repurpose into a vanity.
7. Finish unpacking office boxes.
8. Set up spreadsheet to track monthly household expenses.


All of this is stuff I wanted to get accomplished anyway but mostly just forget. Hence the very first goal. ;)



What are your goals for the month?