Saturday, February 26, 2011

Simply makes me happy...

It makes me happy inside when the dog next door howls when he hears the fire trucks go by....

All images courtesy of

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Friday, February 18, 2011

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Simply Valentine's Day & my first cake ever...

I made my first home made baked item ever: A two layer red velvet cake with home made frosting. It tasted AMAZING. It looked, pitiful, but I loved it. AND, the BEST part? I GOT TO USE MY NEW PINK MIXER!! :)

My husband got me the mixer, flowers & a card. I got home a watch & made him a valentine's day card. My mother in law & my girlfriend both sent me a valentine's day card :) Mail/letters/cards/packages make me SO happy to get!

Simply learning to budget...

In part of my quest to learn to budget, I want to put my spending habits out there. I Feel like if I know that I have to share with everyone how I spent my money, then I have a better chance of making better decisions. Right? :) Lets hope so! Here's a list of how I spent money today:

Starbucks: 16 oz skinny machiatto: Free (money left over on a gift card)

Groceries: Ruffly $14.00 (I had a $10 off any purchase coupon that expired on the 14th - sad!) I was able to get 3 containers of liquid smoke to save future trips to the grocery store to buy it. I use it to flavor meats - tonight I'm using it for kalua pig. I got a pack of grapes that I was able to package in to 4 bags for snacks and two packs of pre-cut pink grapefruit, that I'll be able to package into 4 containers for snacks. So not counting the liquid smoke, I spent about $8.00 for the 8 HEALTHY & NATURAL snacks that I'll be able to enjoy over the next few days & I think thats a great deal!

Postoffice: $2.46 I had to mail a $30 rebate & free magazine rebate as well as mail a card to a girlfriend. To save money, I am going to cut a few stamps out of my sheet of stamps & place them in my wallet.

Ok so, total spending today totalled about $17.00 for the day. At this rate, if I spent $17.00 a day every day for a week, I would be averaging $119.00 per week. I have a lot of room for improvement. BUT, I'm happy to say, we're making so many changes for a better life! I really want to try and share these things with you because even though I'm sure you're aware of how to do these things, maybe you aren't aware of just how awesome the changes feel & maybe you aren't doing them yet & maybe, just MAYBE, I'll inspire you in some way!

Awesome tip number 1: Cook & pre-package your lunches and/or dinners for the week.

I can't emphasize how smart this is & I have no idea why I've put this off for soooooo long. With our work schedule, it's so easy to get caught up in the hussle of getting ready for work & just not grab anything for lunch because it would take too long to make something or you just don't think about it. It has been so wonderful to know that every morning, I have something waiting for me to grab in the fridge & take to work & to know that I have fresh fruit and veggies. Just knowing that I am making great decisions for my health is motivating enough to want to continue this new method. We made chicken mole & rice & packaged it up in to 6 seperate meals that we froze. This was so inexpensive. We took a few boneless chicken thighs & a container of mole. Shredded the chicken up & then seperated it between 6 containers with a 1/2 cup of rice in each. Let me tell you why this saves us so much money...

The two of us were pretty much eatting out of the house for lunches, every day. Thats atleast $10.00 to $20 per day between the two of us, or $70 to $120 per week (upwards of $480 per month just on eatting while working!!). This covers 1/2 of our weekly lunches, for about $1 a day :) Along with these we each have different things. I'm not sure what the husband packs, but I'll tell you what I've been eatting & how I've been eatting it.

Breakfast: Chicken mole. Oh I know, you think it's weird to eat rice & chicken for breakfast, huh? It's not. It's a healthy breakfast that gives the carbs and things I need to make it through the day. Just the last few days I've noticed my energy levels have increased & I'm feeling better than usual.

Snack: Kumquat (mini orange)

Lunch: Salad - spinach, nuts, cranberries & honey mustard dressing. Chocolate pudding snack.

Snack: 1 bite of chocolate that my husband saved for me.

Dinner: Lean frozen dinner that I have had in the freezer. I usually avoid frozen dinners after I purchase them. I don't know why. But, in an effort to try and be less wasteful, I decided I will eat these dinners now until they are gone. All the onces I have average around 200 calories each, which is great. And I also had some grapefruit.

Is there room for improvement? Sure. But, I have to tell you, its SO so so so soooooooo much better than what I have been eatting! Probably 1/3 to 1/4 of the amount of calories that I would normally be eatting & so many more vitamins & stuff.

Another thing we did was in order to use meat up before it goes bad, that was in the freezer, we pulled it out & cooked it for the doggies to eat since we weren't going to be able to eat it in time.

To make sure the coffee we bought stays fresh, i've put it in airtight containers vs. keeping it in the foldable bags the coffee comes in.