Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Reading and Knitting Yarn Along

Reading and knitting are two things I enjoy the most so participate with Ginny - Small Things in her weekly Yarn Along.

This week has been spent knitting on a plain basic sock pattern.  It is the first of my Christmas gifts for next year.  My goal  is to have a totally home made Christmas which would include knitted items and cooking/kitchen items.  Knowing myself and the way I can procrastinate I need to get going now otherwise it may not  will never happen.

I started reading The 12 Tribes of Hattie but just can't seem to get into it.  So far it is good, but not a "I can't put this down" kind of book where you stay up until 2 AM when you know you have to get up at 6 AM for work.  So far, not that kind of book.  My book club a couple of months ago read Minding Frankie.  It was in December, I was super busy and didn't get it read.  So far a great book so hope to be done by the end of the weekend although it is Super Bowl Sunday and there are parties to go to so it may take a little longer.

The sock I have decided is actually for my s-in-law.  I need to knit about an inch more on the foot and then do the toes.  Am hoping to be done with this by tomorrow, will cast on another and hope to finish by mid February with that one. With that accomplished her Christmas gift is done.  I need to keep plugging away.

The needles I am using are square, I love them.  They seem to be easier on my fingers than round ones. If you haven't tried them most shops will let you experiment before buying them to see if they are for you or not.  The brand that I like is Koliage.  

Monday, January 28, 2013

Applesauce muffins

Yum made the best muffins this evening.

Applesauce Muffins

Sorry no pictures.  They are much better sprinkled with cinnamon sugar, than without.   Super yummy, used up 2 jars of canned applesauce.  Hopefully this will help fill up some stomachs here.

Menu Monday

I have discovered that even though you don't follow the menu you have printed it still helps in the long run to use supplies you have on hand and to help be prepared on the nights you do end up using the menu.

Monday was changed before even published.
Tuesday we had homemade chicken tenders.
Wednesday we had an unexpected night off from babysitting my grandson so my husband and I went out to eat.
Thursday I honestly can't remember but we didn't have what was on the menu.

So we'll try again this week.

Monday - chicken noodle casserole (left over chicken to use up).

Tuesday - Roast with vegetables.

Wednesday - Butternut Squash Chowder.  Sandwiches.

Thursday - Stir-Fry.  Egg rolls.

Friday - Pork Chops with apples.
              Mashed red potatoes. (I have a few left to use up)

Sounds good, looks like everything I have on the menu we have the items in storage for will need to pick up only a few items.

Hope everyone has a great week.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sunday/Friday Post

Why do I feel so unmotivated.  My goals for the week are still going to be the same as last week for the third week in a row.  Need to get off my butt and get going.  About 1/2 of the shirts gone done, but the goal was not achieved.  Truly I am motivated in the big picture, it is the day to day that I can't seem to get going on.

Financials for Friday are:
 1/20 - Auto Gas $46.05
1/20 - Supper - $20.62
1/21 - Soda - $1.25
1/23 transferred $50 from Paypal into checking.
1/24 - groceries - $$$ forgot to record it.
1/24 - Kum & Go - $9.87 food for son-in-law and cough drops
1/25 - Payday !!!!!!!!!!

All my credit cards payments are due so will make those this next week and then figure out what extra I can put to them.  A charge came through on my Mastercard for $294 which I thought had already cleared, it is legit, a hotel bill from our daughter's wedding but all the other charges from the wedding cleared I guess I assumed this one had to.  So that is a little higher than I would have wanted but such is life, it will get paid.

The husband and I went away for a mental health break from the rest of the family.  We are trying to be supportive but it is difficult.  Honestly I don't know how multigenerational families did it for years on end.  We are coming on the end of our first month and it has been difficult.  We will continue to make it work, for my daughter and her husband to get in a better place we have to have patience.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Menu Monday

This is the third week I am making a menu and have discovered that we eat the same thing all the time. I realized we need a little creativity so in an effort to spice up the menu and also clean out my file of recipes I want to try every week there will be a new recipe to try. What a great way to take care of two things, boring menu and a file that definitely needs to be cleaned out.

Monday - Spaghetti (my fallback when we have too much going on) Husband has a meeting and needs to eat early, others need to eat later.   Pancakes, eggs and bacon, he didn't eat supper.

Tuesday - Chicken Stir-Fry
                 Egg rolls.

Wednesday - Herb Chicken Cutlets
                      Roasted potatoes

Thursday - Butternut Corn Chowder (new recipe)

Friday - Gone.

This week's new recipe I will post next week if I like it.

This week's recipe is the Herb Chicken cutlets.  This is a recipe I found cruising the internet and it is so good.  To change the recipe you can easily omit the alcohol.

Herb Chicken Cutlets

This is just chicken scratch from a recipe I found.

On a plate put 1/4 cup flour.  Salt and pepper chicken cutlets.  Coat in the flour and fry until crispy.

The sauce is the best.
After frying the chicken cutlets, take them out and keep them warm in the oven.

With the drippings add 3/4 cup white wine, 2 Tbsp butter and let mix.  Add parsley and one stalk of mint, both chopped fine.

Plate the chicken and drizzle the sauce over the chicken.  Sprinkle  a little chopped parsley over the dish for decoration.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sunday To-Do List

Well last week was for the most part disappointing in goal achievement, so all the goals stay and I am only adding a couple.

This is my biggest project this week.  I let my ironing pile up, then it is overwhelming, but I have to get through it and this week is as good as any.  So #1 on my list is getting this ironing done.  I would bet there are at least 50 shirts in the pile.  I did 12 already today, it is looking better, but still way to much. When looking at this I also have feelings of what a waste, why the need to have so many.  These are all my husband's shirts except for perhaps 1 or 2.  Maybe if I bombard his closet with ironed shirts he will stop buying them....honestly I doubt it but it is worth a shot.

One goal that was nice to get done was the magazines on my desk.  It went from this:


So much nicer.  I have learned that when I go through magazines any more to tear out what I want to read if I don't do it at the time, if I want to look up something on the internet or make a recipe, pull it out and get rid of the magazine.  These magazines have been there for probably a year, they looked bad but were not in the way.  I have many of these little "projects" i.e. stacks or boxes of stuff, tackle one a week and they will all eventually will be taken care of.  Looking at the picture the eyes looking at you are kind of weird, I want to try to do the make-up like she has it and it is a reminder to me.  I should probably put it somewhere else, kind of creepy.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Financial Friday

This week went very well.

1/14 - $2.00 soda and candy bar
1/15 - $1.25 soda
1/16 - $2.74 cough drops
1/16 - Committed to Haiti Church Trip
1/16 - $1,000 paid on MC (extra payment)
1/18 - Transferred Ing Money to checking, closed accounts.
1/18 - Returned a Christmas gift that didn't fit, $106.50 back into my checking.
1/18 - $1.25 soda.

Need to stop the soda (bad for you) and the candy (again bad for me)....I could stand to lose about 45 pounds.  This does not help.

I was interested in going on a Haiti mission trip with our church this year, starting talking about the possibility last year.  Finally decided that I felt the need to go, asked off work, got off, then was planning the budget.  I will probably need to contribute $500.  My mom feels pretty strongly that I need to go and wants to make a contribution (which in actuality because of her generosity will be $500).  Between fundraising and her contribution I don't believe I will need to pull money away from paying off the bills for this trip, if so it will be minimal.

Was a good week, low spending and a lot of organizing, cleaning, planning (other than I missed my first day of work for being sick in three years).  Irritating.  Obviously I truly was sick.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Yarn Along

I love knitting, and love reading so participate in Small Things Yarn Along.  I think knowing that you are going to post something every week gives that little extra push to get with it and not waste time.

This week I have on my to do list to finish a baby bunting that I made for my grandson, who is now 2 years old.  Why do I do this?  I have a full at least 7 months to prepare, you would think I could get it together but obviously not.  As you can see there is a grand total of 6 buttons to sew on, really I can't finish this in time.  The knitting part has been done for almost 2 years.   So, that is project 1 in the knitting arena that I am working on.  Not that you can really see it in the picture but the yarn is a turquoise tweed with little flecks of yellow in it which is why the yellow buttons.  The yarn has long ago lost it's band so don't have a clue what it is.

What I am currently knitting is a sock.  I always try to keep a pair on hand for a last minute gift, which came in very handy last week for Secret Sisters at church.  My secret sister was someone I didn't know, had never met and had to have the pastor's wife point her out.  It is really hard to choose a gift for someone you don't know but usually something hand knit is enjoyed so made a gift basket of foods from our area, a kitchen dish towel and a set of hand knit socks.  I didn't make the party but everyone thought the socks were pretty cool.

Yarn:  Regia - Kaffe Fassett  The link is to his yarn but I bought mine so long ago they no longer make the color.  Is a nice soft yarn to knit with and I kind of like the stripes, a different background would take a better time.

The book I am reading real quick is Proof of Heaven.  I say real quick because I am having to use my e-reader, I prefer a book.    Book club is on Tuesday and I haven't even started it yet.  I hate when I forget what is coming up.  Anyway I hear it is a quick easy read, lets hope so.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Monday menu 1/14/2013

Sunday - Lasagna

Monday - Chicken Noodle Soup

Tuesday - Pork Chops
                 Au gratin potatoes

Wednesday - Roast with vegetables.

Thursday - Spaghetti

Friday - Chicken Stir Fry

Saturday - Ranch burgers

Last week actually went better than I expected.  It was nice to not have to run to the grocery store (1-1/2 blocks away - unfortunately a little too convenient) to buy ingredients for supper.  What I have on my menu I have almost all of the ingredients for in storage.  Things that need to be used up anyway.

The only change last week was my husband was out of town on Tuesday so my grandson and I did our favorite supper, pancakes and bacon.

It is interesting the stress of having to figure out what is for supper when I get home from work is just gone.  We did not eat out except for our party on Friday because there was not a question and indecision about what to make.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Financial Friday

This is the post I dread, the confession post.  I have a great job, not a job I love but a great job and I make decent enough money for my education level.  For the level I spend I should be at a doctorate level.  So in that vein I have debt, enough debt that it makes me nervous with the economic conditions as they are, it makes me irritated that I feel I have lost control and every month when I get the bill and look at the interest I get angry at myself.  So here goes.

American Express - $28,000.00
Mastercard - $9,750.00
Christmas money to deposit - $300 or 350.00

Money available:
Reimbursement credit card - $1.56
Victoria Secret Gift Card - $22.18
Coldwater Creek Gift Card - $42.51
Target Gift Cards - $15 and $50.00
Starbucks Gift Card - $5.00 (So I can use the internet if needed)
CVS Bucks $3.50
Staples Rewards $23.50
Cash - $43.00 (misc)
Cash $40.00 (budgeted)
CU Savings - $15.33
X-mas Club - $150.00
Savings - $213.74
Checking - $381.14
Ally Savings - $376.08
CU Savings - $149.72
Paypal - $51.47
CU Checking - $213.22
ING - $62.65

Money Owed:
Daughter $1,869.50
Son $697.00

Obviously some of the savings accounts need to be consolidated, some of them are used for various purposes.  The CU checking is so my mother can transfer money to me.  That is how she handles my children's birthday and Christmas gifts, then I just write them a check or get cash.    But some of the other accounts I either need to consolidate or withdraw the cash and pay on my credit cards.

Since the start of the year I am giving myself $40.00 monthly spending money.  The $43.00 above is misc cash that I had.  I am not including it in the budget (I know probably wrong way to go right).  So far this month (since the totals were gotten) I have spent $1.50 on a soda.  As soon as I put the money in the machine and hit the button for the soda I kicked myself.  It was a waste of money plus I am trying to cut out coffee and soda from my diet.

I am realistic enough to know I will not get this all paid off this year, but 50% would be a great start.    If anyone leaves a comment please encourage, give advice don't scold or demean, I know it wasn't a smart thing to do, I don't need to be reminded.

In my goals starting next week I am going to start aggressively selling some books on Amazon and other things either through Etsy or E-Bay.  There is the possibility of a part-time job I can do from my home also which would make a huge difference.

I will be getting paid today and will probably pay another $750 on the Am Ex and $250 on the MC.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Knitting and Reading

Joining the Yarn Along at Small Things.  I love to read and love to knit, honestly don't have enough time to do either.

I am just beginning to read The Twelve Tribes of Hattie, it has gotten good reviews so I truly hope it is good.  For a while I read all of Oprah's Book Club selections and then she seemed to go through a dark phase and I lost interest, can only do doom and gloom for so long.  The sweater I am knitting is for my grandson's in Florida, I'm not sure which one it will fit, depends if I can keep gauge. It is the Anchor's Away Pullover.  Have just started the sweater knit from the top down, my first attempt with this technique.  Was able to learn a new skill also the provisional crochet cast on.  Super easy and really easy with the video.

Also this week finished a scarf I have been working on forever, super simple but for some reason took me forever.

 Ignore the pile of ironing in the picture, I know I do, much rather knit.

Isn't this a fun fabric.  It is tecido trico.  The link I pulled is actually the least expensive I have found the fabric/yarn.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Menu Monday

Monday - Shrimp Scampi
Tuesday - Soup or Stew (left over roast from Sunday evening meal)
Wednesday - Chicken with dumplings
Thursday  - Lasagna
Friday - Children left overs. Husband and I have a Christmas party.  I hate Christmas parties in January, doesn't feel the same.
Saturday - Husband and I are not home.

It is so much easier and cheaper to function with a menu so am going to try again to have one each week.  Also am going to try to go through the file of recipes I have tore out of magazines to see if they are keepers or not.  So many sound so good but then I never make them.  Time to start.

Beautiful day today in the high 20s.  I can live with that.

Yesterday was pretty tough, felt under the weather.  Slept for probably 16 hours, today am feeling exhausted.  We have the flu going around the community, wonder if I got it, or still have it.

Sunday, January 6, 2013


Okay time to try again.  I really need/want to do document my life changes, if only for myself.

The plan is on Sunday post a weekly to-do list, Monday post a menu, Wednesday post knitting, and Friday post finances.  My end goal of self sufficient living is still the same, there is much to do before that will ever be a reality, but honestly until you are dead you have the opportunity to make changes to your life, to bring it into the rhythm of what you believe.

My d and s-in-law with their son have moved in with us for probably 6 months.  It will be a test of my patience but if we can help them get a good start it will be worth it.  They have been married for five years and are still at the bottom.  This will work.