Happy Thanksgiving! Go Pats!

I hope everyone has a wonderful time with friends and family today!

Here is something interesting:  I live in Detroit, but I’m from New England.  The Detroit Lions are playing the New England Patriots today.  Of course I’m rooting for my Pats.  Thankfully, I won’t be alone.  Although my father-in-law is a Detroit man born and raised, he is a big-time Pats fan.  There may be some trash-talking today.  At least I’ll have one other person on my side 🙂

Happy T-day to everyone!  May the best team win.  By the best team, I mean the Patriots. 😉

Advertisements
Published in: on November 25, 2010 at 9:57 am  Comments (1)  
Tags: , ,

Tuesday, Friday?

Happy Tuesday!  I know that for many of you, this is your last day of the week– your Friday, if you will.  Have a nice holiday and vacation!  Since Jim was here sanding the drywall today, I decided to spend a few hours out of the house to avoid breathing in the dust.

First off, I went to Penzey’s Spices to get my free 1/2 cup jar of Arizona Dreaming spice — which seems like it might be similar to taco seasoning.  I’m not sure what I’ll use it for, but it was free!  While I was there I also picked up some Pacific Fine Ground Sea Salt.  Good stuff.  From there, I went to Bed, Bath and Beyond and bought felt furniture bottoms.  The floor we are going with is Bamboo and it is very soft and easily marked, thus felt furniture bottoms are a necessity.  Also, there will be no heeled shoes allowed on my floor!  I never thought I’d be a person who doesn’t allow people to wear their shoes in my house, but I need to protect my floor.  It’ll keep dirt out as well, so that’s a bonus 🙂

I had to stop in Birmingham to visit my friend at Tiger Shoe Repair to see if he could fix Nick’s brown Ecco dress shoes.  Sadly, he cannot fix them.  Nick has had them for years and definitely gotten his money’s worth, but it is always better for the budget if we can fix old shoes instead of buying new ones.

Then, I was on to the Somerset Collection — dangerous place for someone on a budget.  Alas, all I left with were a few freebies from Aveda (I’m on their email list), much to the disappointment of the Aveda shop girl, I’ll wager…

My final stop of the day was where I got my best deal!  For my birthday, DSW sent me a $5 gift certificate.  I also had a $10 rewards certificate from them.  I ended up buying a pair of Minnetonka Moccasins (my favorite!) for $9 out the door — they were on clearance and then an extra 40% off.  I saved $51.03!  Whether I actually needed another pair of Minnetonkas is neither here nor there for that price.  They will get worn, for sure.

When I got home there was another surprise for me in the mail – a free sample travel-size toothpaste from Tom’s of Maine.  I’m not a die-hard Tom’s of Maine person.  Not in the way I’m a die-hard Burt’s Bees person.  I actually don’t prefer Tom’s toothpaste because it still has sodium lauryl sulfate in it, so we use Jason brand.  But it is better that Colgate!  Today was a good day for the freebies 🙂  Thanks Aveda and Tom’s!

You’ll notice the Daily Roundup will be absent this week.  With Nick off of work this week (except today), all the work going on at my house, and the fact that it is a holiday week, I don’t have as much time to track and I don’t really want to know what my nutrition is like this week. 🙂  You only live once, and the holidays are meant to do just that.

I hope you’ll all check in once or twice during the rest of the week but if not, have a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving.

Published in: on November 23, 2010 at 4:14 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Craigslist isn’t just for lunatics

Happy Monday!  I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend.  We had a nice weekend.  Nick worked on the brakes in the VW, I worked on gathering donations and eBaying.

shabby loveseat

As many of you know, we are in major renovation mode to finish the last two rooms on the 1st floor of our house.  This is in preparation for our special house guest from Japan, Kana, who will be arriving December 10th.  As I write this, Big Jim is working on the mudding and we’re hoping it will be done this week so Tom can come in and paint.  Then, the floor will be installed.  We’re really coming down to the wire on this, and Nick and I are keeping our fingers crossed that it will be done on time.  Another concern of ours was finding furniture to fill our living room.

A few months ago, we bought a sleeper sofa off of Craigslist with the intention of moving it into the TV room/guest room after the renovation.  In the meantime, it has been sitting in the living room, along with a very shabby loveseat we acquired years ago from one of Nick’s friends.  We’re both dying to get rid of it.  In fact, it is going on the curb Friday.  If you need a shabby loveseat, come and get it. 🙂  My brother-in-law has the matching shabby couch that he’ll be looking to get rid of, if you want a set.

So, anyway, we needed a new couch and since we always felt the loveseat was too big for the room, a chair to replace it.  I’d been looking on Craigslist periodically, but hadn’t really found the right combination of style, color, condition and price.  Saturday morning, I found it.  A midnight blue, low-back suede sofa from a pet-less, child-less home in Troy.  Killer price, great condition.  The guy is moving to Palm Beach this winter and unloading all of his extra furniture.  Since that was the case, we asked if he happened to have a chair as well.  He did, and the style matches the couch.  The chair is a bit more worn than the couch, and we’re uncertain about the color, but I figure that I can always slipcover it very easily.  All in all, we got a very nice couch and a good chair for under $200.  Very much under budget.

I think people hesitate to use Craigslist because of the “Craigslist killer” stories and other stories of people getting ripped off.  It is just like anything else though — be careful and use your head and common sense.  We’ve found two sofas, a chair and one of our cars on Craigslist and we’ve sold a door.  If you are looking to get some good stuff for a good price, give it a shot.  If you need to get rid of some things but don’t want to use eBay, give it a shot.  Craigslist isn’t just for lunatics.

Published in: on November 22, 2010 at 9:55 am  Comments (1)  
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Daily Roundup

This is actually for yesterday, but I was too tired to post before bed last night.

Productivity:

  • On the needles – finished the last pot holder in Nonie’s Christmas order.
  • Planned meals for the week and went grocery shopping

Nutrition:

  • 4 strips of nitrate-free bacon
  • coffee
  • salad with chicken and guacamole
  • strawberries with primal whipped cream
  • Simply Bliss Mint Chip coconut ice cream
  • Honey Hoisin pork tenderloin with mashed cauliflower, red wine
  • egg nog (yeah, this isn’t great but, ’tis the season!)

Budget:

  • Stayed under budget in total for Costco and Holiday Market.  I admittedly bought some things that were not necessary – the little Christmas pine tree, coconut ice cream, egg nog – but still ok because still under budget.
  • Stayed in and watched “Christmas Vacation” so didn’t spend money out.

Tip:

  • To clean stainless steel appliances, cut one lemon in half and sprinkle with salt.  Scrub the appliances with the lemon and they will be clean and sparkling.  As an added bonus, your kitchen will smell lemony fresh!

Happy Weekend!

I’m afraid I don’t have a witty and/or useful post today.   I spent the morning watching “Wives and Daughters”, a very good mini-series by the BBC.  Netflix threatens they will only have it available to stream until December 4th.  Since my house will be filled with various craftsman until past then, I figured I should get it all in now.  This afternoon I ran my weekly grocery errands.  I nearly bought live garland and Costco, but couldn’t decide if it is a good deal or not ($15, but I can’t remember how long it was…).  I’ve never bought live garland before.  I usually buy a swag for my front door at English Gardens — I love the swag with blueberries in it, so I get it there even though they are a bit pricey.  So, I will see what their garland price is and decide.  I did buy a little Charlie Brown pine tree from Holiday Market.  I’ll take good care of it this winter and make it strong so I can plant it in the spring.  It has decorations on it now and is very cute 🙂

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend and gets plenty of rest in preparation for the holiday week.  And Black Friday, of course.  🙂

Published in: on November 19, 2010 at 5:21 pm  Comments (2)  
Tags: , , , , , ,

Daily Roundup

Productivity:

  • On the needles – Finished the third pot holder of Nonie’s order.  Hoping to start and finish the fourth and last one tomorrow.
  • Raked front lawn.

Nutrition:

  • 3 strips nitrate-free bacon
  • coffee
  • chocolate soy pudding (trying to use this up…), primal whipped cream (heavy whipping cream, tsp vanilla, tsp pure maple syrup)
  • German Sausage and Sauerkraut Casserole
  • Homemade Primal Beef Stew (beef, carrots, celery, onion, garlic beef stock), red wine
  • Royal Oak Brewery – beer!

Budget:

  • I didn’t leave the house, other than to go to the ROB, so pretty good.

Tip:

  • As promised, a replacement for your conditioner:  Mix 1 tbsp of Apple Cider Vinegar with 1 cup of water.  Rinse well.  Apple Cider Vinegar seals and smooths the hair follicles and as long as you rinse well you won’t smell like salad dressing. 🙂  I’ve been doing this and the baking soda and water mixture for months, never have to use a styling product, and my hair has never been healthier!

Use what you have

The area at which I am working the most hard for staying under budget, is the grocery/meal planning area.  For the past few years, I have planned our meals for the week and grocery shopped accordingly the weekend before.  Inevitably vegetables, fruit and meat would go to waste when we veered off of our plan, going out to dinner one or two or three nights instead of eating in.  Sometimes I just bought too much.  That kind of waste is no longer an option.  Now, when it seems like something is not going to be used up before it goes bad, I use it or freeze it.

Now comes step two.  Using what I have.  While I’m planning my meals for the next week, I take a look at what I already have in the freezer, fridge and cupboards (there isn’t much in the cupboards these days since we eat mostly fresh food — just spices, oils and the like).  Shop at home first.  You may be surprised at how many meals you can make with what you already have.  Get creative!  Use the internet!  There are some great recipes out there.

Step three: buy in bulk.  Costco is awesome (Sam’s Club too, pick your poison).  We buy our coffee, organic eggs, organic butter, tilapia, cottage cheese, carrots, bourbon, toilet paper, paper towel and sometimes berries and canned goods there.  Buying bulk is great because there is less unnecessary packaging and often you will find an item is the same price as the regular store, but in a bigger package (eggs, cottage cheese, lettuce — for example).  This is also where freezing comes in.  We are fortunate to have a chest freezer, so we don’t really have to think twice about buying a huge portion of something that needs to be frozen (except for now, because it is full of a cow).  If I buy strawberries at Costco, I’ll slice up enough for one week’s worth of Nick’s breakfasts (cottage cheese and strawberries), and slice the rest into canning jars and put them in the freezer.  When I buy the 10 lb bag of carrots at Costco, I peel 5 lbs and cut them into various sizes for various uses.  When those are gone, I peel the second 5 lbs.  They seem to stay good for quite a while.

We like to think of unused grocery items as money on the shelf.  That’s exactly what it is.  That money is on the shelf instead of in your pocket, so use it before you lose it.  When you throw away old food, it is like throwing dollar bills in the garbage.  Who would do that?  With a little planning, creativity and attention, you can keep a little money in your pocket, off the shelf and out of the garbage.  Use what you have.

Published in: on November 18, 2010 at 12:21 pm  Comments (1)  
Tags: , , , , , ,

Daily Roundup

Productivity:

  • On the needles – Finished the second of four pot holders in Nonie’s Christmas order.  Two more to go!
  • Cooked and shredded three chicken breasts for daily salads for me and Nick.
  • Raked the back lawn.  Still have behind the garage and the front lawn to do…  Thankfully the trees are almost bare!


Nutrition:

  • 3 strips of nitrate-free bacon
  • coffee
  • 1 serving of German Sausage and Sauerkraut Casserole (http://busycooks.about.com/od/sausagerecipes/r/sausagekraut.htm – I use 2 lbs of sausage instead of one, raw sugar instead of brown)
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs with organic salted butter
  • figs covered in almonds (I suspect these were old, so threw the rest away)
  • Salad with shredded chicken and guacamole
  • String cheese
  • water

Budget:

  • I didn’t leave the house, so I didn’t spend any money!

Tip:

  • Instead of using shampoo, use 1 TBSP of baking soda diluted in 1 cup of water.  Commercial shampoos strip your scalp of its natural oils and contain parabens and other nasty things.  Beware — there is and adjustment period for your scalp and your hair may seem greasy at first.  This is normal.  This is your scalp balancing out oil production.  You will find you need to use this mixture less and less, often just giving your scalp a good scrub under warm water to move the oil around.  It is also important to brush your hair regularly with a boar bristle brush.  This also disperses the oil to the rest of your hair.  The other bonus is that baking soda is very cheap.  Think of all the money you’ll save!  You’ll be healthier for it too!  Check back tomorrow for a tip on a conditioner replacement.
Published in: on November 17, 2010 at 9:42 pm  Comments (2)  
Tags: , , , , , ,

Another Day, Another Blog

Yeah, yeah.  I know what you’re thinking — assuming you’ve landed here because you know me.  Another. Blog.   How many does she have now?  2?  5?  10?   I’ve lost count myself!  Let’s leave it at 2, for now.

The purpose of this blog is to keep myself accountable.  In my nutrition.  In my productivity.  In my spending.  You see, I’m a housewife.  That means I spend my days exactly how I choose.  That also means, we live on one income.  Nowadays this seems to be unheard of.  But there was a time when living on one income was the norm.  What happened?  I think we got greedy and spending habits went out of control, thus the need to bring in more money.

Anyone who knows me knows that I’ve gone through jobs like crazy.  I’ve had one job for every year out of college.  Why?  I get bored and I feel like I am wasting my life because I’m not doing what I should be.  What should I be doing?  No idea.  That’s the problem.  But I’ll say this: the job of “housewife” is the best job I’ve ever had.  The hours are awesome, the work is fulfilling and the boss is pretty easy-going.  Maybe this is the job I’m meant to do.  However, in order to keep this job, I need to be productive and I need to run the household under budget so that a second income is not necessary.  This blog will keep me accountable in those areas and hopefully show everyone else that money does not equal happiness.  Living life to the fullest equals happiness and that is different for everyone.

So welcome to the Happy Beehive!  Being a housewife also means I’ll have plenty of time to update this little blog, so visit often!

Published in: on November 17, 2010 at 4:03 pm  Comments (1)  
Tags: , , , ,