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Showing posts from November, 2011

Easy Instant Pancakes

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Pinterest has struck again! I know that it's easy to get sucked into browsing and repinning -- only to realize an hour has gone by.

However, tonight I redeemed some of that time.

I actually put one of the pins into practice.

Tonight was a rough dinner night. My plans to roast a lovely pork tenderloin in the oven fell apart when I realized that my intention to clean the oven earlier in the day was never fulfilled. I had an oven full of sprayed on oven cleaner and no amount of scrubbing and wiping down could make it stop smelling like chemical.

Opting not to subject my family to chemi-loin, I went to my clutch dinner option -- pancakes!

While I was whipping up a batch of from scratch pancake batter (courtesy of my friend, Deborah), I realized -- "hey, since I'm taking the time to make this stuff from scratch, I should utilize the time and make a DOUBLE batch for breakfast this week."

And I knew I could not only do that, but store it in a convenient and easy way due to…

Money Monday: The Power of Cash

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This week was another tough one for us as we continue to adjust to the zero based budget idea and how close that takes us to the wire every month --and this is not necessarily bad since funds are allocated to savings, etc, but can still cause the "more month than money" phenomenon if you are not on top of things.

Our house was plagued with the stomach flu last week (causing us to miss out on Thanksgiving...boo, sniffle) and we let things slide. I've come to realize that in order to keep our budget from breaking, I have to be vigilant about checking our bank balance and envelope balance on Inzolo.

Well, due to the above circumstances (and a little bit of laziness), I didn't check things enough. We didn't get into much trouble (and it was easily corrected), but still...I was bummed out that I let it get out of hand (which goes to show you just how quickly that it can happen). I'm glad that it wasn't a "painful lesson" like it was a few months bac…

Money Monday: Prepare to Win

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Happy Monday All!

I trust you're having a great week.

This week has been interesting, with some highs and some lows. First the highs...

Last week, I shared about being given a Kohl's $10 off card in addition to $20 another person gave me to use with that card.

This week, I went shopping with my mom to use her 20% off savings pass to see if I could find a sweater (like the person who gave me the $ suggested) and to see if I could perhaps find some new jeans -- my favorite pair were on their last leg...literally.

I'm pleased to say that between a great sale, a clearance rack, the 20% off coupon, the $10 off card and a credit that my mom had on a gift card from the store, I was able to get a pair of jeans and a very cute sweater for $16!!!! I paid with the $20 I was given and then gave the rest to my mom to go towards the credit she "donated" to the cause.

Now...I'm a bargain shopper, but even that kind of a deal boggles my mind.

Couple that with more Starbucks…

Run Your Race

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A few days ago, I ran in what was my sixth official race...and the fourth time that I have done this particular local event here in my hometown.

This year, however, was the first time that I did not run the half-marathon event. Instead, I ran the two-person relay with my friend, Gina. This was due to a variety of reasons including an injury (mine), not loving the current course, gearing up for another half mara in a few weeks in Vegas, etc. But, none of these reasons could keep us from participating in the race in some way and the relay was the best of both worlds.

Yet...somehow it felt a bit like cheating -- knowing we have done the the full 13.1 before, but chose this time to halve that distance. However, as relay participants, we got all the swag associated with the event, got to share the road with thousands of other runners -- some competitive, some walkers, and even some friends and family. It was too good to pass up.

So, once again, a group of us were out there excited, cold a…

Money Monday: Changing Your Perspective

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So, yes, it's Monday once again (funny how they keep coming around every seven days) and I have another opportunity to share what's been happening on the financial front.

As per usual, we are daily living in a state of grace and dependence upon God to meet our needs and help us deal with not getting some of the "wants."

Last week, I mentioned about how tough it was for me to buy that $29.99 Target sweater/shrug -- even with a coupon. However, this last week when I wore it to our weekly morning Bible study, I got a ton of compliments and someone brought up how I had blogged about it and so I shared the story.

Later on in in the morning, one of the ladies there gave me a $10 off Kohl's card to use towards the purchase of $10 or more. She said she wanted me to use it to buy something I needed. I was so touched by her gift because really, it was like handing me $10! I put it on the table next to my stuff and didn't think about it until after the lesson was over …

Money Monday: Working the Program

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It was a little like Christmas last Monday.

It was payday and unfortunately, (or fortunately) we had followed FPU's philosophy of allocating our budget down to zero. Although we did what we were supposed to do, taking your checking account down to zero is not really a good idea (or easy on the ol' ticker either).

Because we haven't had enough time to create any "sinking funds" yet for various envelope items -- thereby creating "savings" of sorts in our checking account for various envelopes -- we had the classic, "more month than money."

To be completely honest here (and I feel like we should be), we cheated a bit last month. We did a Ramsey no-no and used a credit card to float us one day until payday. We were out of milk and some other essentials. We are supposed to eventually cut up our card(s) -- and we will. This has shown us how easy it is to fall back into bad habits. In hindsight, we should have at least used our emergency fund (altho…

He calls us "Wanted"

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I'm a firm believer that a person's name is important. We put a lot of thought into our four children's names. We went through baby books and picked out top choices and then tried them out loud, wrote them on paper and made sure their three initials didn't form an embarrassing word or anything like that. We test drove every possible nickname to make sure they wouldn't one day reach a certain age and demand to know what on earth had possessed to name them what we did.

Their names are fairly unique. And mostly, I'd say that's a good thing.

However, we have spent a fair amount of time spelling our children's names or correcting pronunciations. Undoubtedly, we have had to do this the most for our third child (and oldest son), Declan.

I adore his name!

I first heard it when I lived in Belgium for a year after college. One of the t.v. programs they showed over there called Heartbreak High, was imported from Australia -- their version of  90210. Crazy high sc…

'Tis the Season...to be Grateful!

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I have to admit to being a little cranky the last couple of days. Some of it has to do with days getting shorter and darker earlier (I love the long days of summer!), some has to do with the never-ending cleaning and organizational projects I seem to have on my plate (my clean house on Saturday no longer looks that way), but the biggest thing that is yanking my chain is the advent of Christmas.

I'm a scrooge.

Bah Humbug!

Why, you ask?

I really despise/loathe/dislike all the Christmas paraphernalia, decoration, merchandise, music, and yes, even Starbucks holiday drinks (c'mon...has the pumpkin latte even been on the menu for that long?).

I mean, I don't in theory. I really do love all of those things....come the day after Thanksgiving! But it really irritates me to no end to see stores (yes, even my beloved Target) putting this stuff out earlier and earlier every year. (I think I spied Christmas stuff at Target at the start of October after they clearanced out "Back t…