Friday, August 29, 2008

So sweet!

After work today, I was checking out at the front office when a student came up to me and said here this is for you and she handed me a newspaper clipping. It was a picture of me from when I was in the local newspaper way way back in April, It was a fluke thing I just happened to be at a restaurant at the same time as the paper photographer was taking pictures and asking patrons questions for an article.
I was touched that this little girl had recognized me in the paper and saved my picture all spring and all summer in hopes of giving it to me at school. So sweet, I never remembered my substitute teachers when I was in school.


Back to work!

School started yesterday. With an expecting baby I did not aggressively seek a teacher position but decided to keep substituting for as long as I can before the baby is born. After talking with other substitute teachers and my experience last school year I was expecting a very slow start. In fact I wouldn't have been surprised if I didn't get a call to work until late September even October. Last school year while in South Carolina I wouldn't have worked but a few days during the first few months of school had I not landed a long-term substitute position early in the year.

Today, the second day of school, I got a phone call to come into work. So surprised and so excited. I'm back to work! While I haven't been feeling my best, I've found that If I eat a little bit I usually feel better. I think I'm ready and I'll be armed with a purse full of granola bars.


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

book recommendation

Last month my friend lent me a book, she said it was really good (she was right.) I didn't think much of it, and I finished the other books I was reading and finally got around to reading my borrowed book nearly three weeks later, I finished the book in two days, two days! over 400 pages and I finished it two days. I don't remember the last book that I just couldn't put down. It's such an easy, quick and enjoyable read. Enjoyable may be the wrong word, some parts are quite horrific and heart-wrenching. The book: Stolen Innocence by Elissa Wall. It's about a young girl who grew up in a polygamous sect, was married at the age of 14, escapes the church, and later goes to court as a key witness against the corrupt leader in the church she ran from. The story of courage and heroism is I said I couldn't put it down. Go to your library and check it out.


Thursday, August 21, 2008

Menu Plan

I've been a little lazy in my blogging pursuits.
I'm about 4 days late on posting my menu plan, but better late than never (right?)
here's what I'm eating the rest of the week

Thursday- Pasta and broccoli (this will be kind of thrown together, no recipe just pasta, garlic, broccoli, pine nuts, and what ever else I can find to add)


Saturday- Leftovers

Sunday-Enchiladas, rice and beans


Saturday, August 16, 2008

Pink Cupcakes!

My good friend and neighbor is moving back to the states to go to school. A couple of other friends wanted to pool some money together and buy her a cake to take to dinner tonight. It was decided that I should bake something instead (a much more frugal and tasty choice)I decided to make cupcakes since we'll be taking these to a restaurant and I thought it would be difficult to cut and serve a cake. Cupcakes seem easier for a crowd.
These white cupcakes are topped with raspberry frosting (easily the best frosting I've ever tasted, so yummy)flavored with raspberry jam instead of the strawberry jam the recipe called for.
I made little paper flower toppers(which look better in person than in picture)
I can't wait to share my cupcakes.


Thursday, August 14, 2008

eating well

I confess when my husband's gone I don't eat as well as I should. I get lazy. Real lazy. I find myself eating cold cereal for dinner, once I ate popcorn for dinner (Popcorn!)I knew I was making unwise choices in my diet but it didn't bother me much because I knew it was temporary and I figured I was allowed to be lazy and eat what I want when I'm alone.
When I poured myself a bowl of cereal for dinner the other day it hit me that it's not OK for me to be lazy and make unwise choices when I eat. I have a baby growing inside me, and growing fast. I read online that last week my baby was about the size of a sesame seed, this week my baby is about the size of a lentil and next week my baby will grow to about the size of a raspberry. AMAZING!
I have a responsibility to eat well, it's not just me that I'm eating for.
So I'm going to do my best to stick to my menu plan and eat well-balanced meals.
No more cold cereal or popcorn meals for me.
My husband is going to be gone more often the next several months and it's my duty to take care of myself and our little one yet to come.


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Choosing a name

I know that 6 weeks along is early to start deciding on a name for your baby but choosing a name is so difficult that I'm going to need the next 8 months to decide. Finding a name I like is not giving me a hard time. The problem is finding a name that we both agree on. I don't know what my husbands requirements for a name are but these are mine:

1. no overly popular name (but I do want a classic name)

2. no strange or bizarre sounding name

3. prefer a bible name

4. a name that has a special meaning

My friend sent me to the Social Security Website which lists the most popular names given. I knew I wanted to stay away from the top ten names.
Two names I've been thinking about were on the top ten list Hannah for a girl and Daniel for a boy, I had no idea those names were so popular, I must have good taste. I haven't seen Hannah or Daniel as common names in school classrooms at work, but than again the names on this list are names given to kids that are just now entering school. Both names have been shot down by my hubby and now after seeing them on the top ten list I guess those names weren't mean to be.

The baby name search continues on....


Monday, August 11, 2008

Menu Plan Monday August 11- August 18

I'll be dining solo this week, which means lots of leftovers and meals that my husband doesn't always appreciate as much as I do. Although I'm not sure how much I'll be eating, today I had my first battle with morning sickness, nothing terrible just a queasy stomach and a feeling of nausea off and on.........Yes I'm Pregnant! we found out last week and were totally taken by surprise, we are very happy and excited. I'm only 6 weeks along and there is a lot ahead for me. The more I think about it the more I just love my blog name, I feel like I have been given a very good and perfect gift straight from heaven. Be'll seeing a lot baby posts in the future, my mind has been overtaken with thoughts of baby and the upcoming future.

Without further ado here's my menu:

Monday 8/11 Frittata

Tuesday 8/12 mostly likely leftover frittata

Wednesday 8/13 Soup and Salad (I LOVE soup.. my hubby doesn't think it's a real meal)

Thursday 8/14 Leftover Soup

Friday 8/15 homemade pizza night ( I can't skip pizza night)

Saturday 8/16 Turkey spinach lasagna (I ate this at a friends house on Sunday and it was great, I had to have the recipe to try myself)

Sunday 8/17 leftovers


Sunday, August 10, 2008

Flip Flop Cake

My friend and I worked together to create a flip flop cake for a friend's birthday.
Our frosting was droopy (I think from the warm weather and humidity) my boarder was not crisp and my flower looked more like a mere dollop of frosting, I rescued the flower by adding some almonds to look like pedals. The straps are fruit roll-ups.
We traced a shoe on paper to use as a template. (marked the top so it wouldn't touch our cake) When we cut out the "shoes" there was a little cake left over. My friend had the great idea to use up the left over cake pieces as "sand" we pulverized the crumbs in a food processor, I think it looked great.


Friday, August 8, 2008

Baking Caddy

I skipped my water aerobics class and decided to clean house, as usual I was distracted with an organizing project. I am so pleased with myself. I found this wire caddy at a yard sale several weeks ago. I was using it to store craft items but I decided I didn't like how cluttered it became, It's really to small for hoards of craft supplies. It's been empty and sitting on my counter for a few days....until now.

I turned it into a a baking caddy to hold all the items that I use when baking, it's going to be perfect-no more running back and forth to gather ingredients.
I had two spots open so I added my silicone baking cups, which didn't have a spot, they were always wandering around the kitchen cabinets and drawers. I also added my measuring spoons. I think a baking caddy is the perfect use for this piece.

OK back to cleaning-I have a half clean kitchen that's calling my name.


Plans to make a birthday cake

A friend's birthday is this weekend and my neighbor and I are making the cake! We found the perfect cake to make for our eclectic friend. Being the frugal fanny that I am, I'm tweaking the cake design a bit. There's no need for us to buy a bunch of candy to decorate a cake. I have some red hot candies in the pantry to use for decorations but I'll also pipe some frosting designs. (I just got some new cake decorating tips for my birthday-a perfect excuse to use them)
My friend is going to buy some fruit roll-ups for the cake (I gave her a coupon) we only need one but they'll make nice treats for the neighbor kids.

I can't wait to post some pictures of how our cake turns out.

We are making the cake and frosting from scratch with ingredients we have on hand.
This cake won't cost us very much but I'm pretty sure the results will be impressive.


Monday, August 4, 2008

Menu Plan Monday August 4 - August 10

Monday - Wraps and avocado/cucumber salad

Tuesday - Chef Salad with the works

Wednesday - Chicken Enchiladas with rice and beans

Thursday - Leftovers

Friday - Pizza Night

Saturday - Dinner out with Friends

Sunday - Buttermilk Baked Chicken with coleslaw


Sunday, August 3, 2008

Brand New Shelf!

The shelf we wanted was going to be custom made and take months to arrive we were also told that if we were to move to a colder less humid environment the back and sides of the shelf would crack. We decided to make a different choice and found this shelf made of teak wood and less expensive. Plus we were able to have it delivered the same day. The shelf is my birthday gift and I love it!
It's already cluttered up with books which Greg says looks terrible but that's what a shelf is for and I'd much rather have books out of boxes where they can't be accessed as easily. I do agree that it looks cluttered and messy, perhaps that means we need to save for a second shelve-one that can go in the spare bedroom hidden away.

We made a choice that we won't buy cheap furniture, we want pieces that will last several decades and we are willing to spend more for quality. That means that our furniture accumulation is moving along very slowly. I've wanted a book shelf for a very long time and this one was worth the wait.


Friday, August 1, 2008

sticker shock!

I haven't posted a Frugal Friday tip in ages. I haven't had an original frugal idea lately. Oh well that shouldn't keep me from posting. Today I was browsing the mall with some friends (we were passing time before a movie showing) we went into a couple of stores and I was floored at the price of clothing. I was sick with sticker shock. $60 for a shirt, $130 for a pair of pants and the prices went upwards from there. Now maybe these prices are perfectly normal and I've just been out of the mall scene for too long but I was still shocked.
After seeing clothing prices I'm all the more happy with my bargain wardrobe.

My Frugal Friday tip is avoid the mall and other high-end stores when shopping for clothes. Try the bargain stores like Ross and TJmax, better yet visit a thrift store or a yard sale. There are good deals to be had on nice clothes at a fraction of the cost. I'm happy to be digging around looking for my size when it means I pay $6 for a shirt instead of $60.