Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Tuesday

We had our office cookie swap yesterday and everyone brought such yummy cookies. My Tupperware was overflowing when I was bringing it home! I've only sampled a few, but so far they are delicious!

I went to Target last night to pick up a few things and was able to finish my Christmas shopping too. I just love that place. It's so dangerous because the one I go to is within five minutes from the house and is brand new so it is really well stocked. I can rarely get out of there without spending a small fortune. I was good last night and stuck to just what I went in there for and only spent $53.

We're going to start the Dave Ramsey plan in January, but have already started working on a cash only basis. I think that's what really kept me in check last night and I am very proud of myself. I hope the plan works well for us. I'm hoping to have our credit cards and the truck taken care of by the spring/early summer and then start putting the money we had been paying on credit cards toward our mortgage. It would be so awesome to get it paid off early. I keep saying to Michael that I want it paid off by the time we are 45, LOL. That may be wishful thinking, but it's a good kick in the pants to try to get to that goal.

Well, I'm off to lunch. Have a great day everyone!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Thursday

Hello all!

Thanksgiving went really well. Thank you Flylady and Leanne! We all had a yummy dinner and it was nice to be able to visit with everyone and not be stuck in the kitchen the whole time.

We've been doing really well with the cruising missions and Christmas shopping. The shopping is just about finished - I have just a couple more things to pick up. My vacation starts next week on Thursday so I'll do my wrapping then and then just wait for the big day.

My office is doing a cookie swap this coming Monday. I usually make these yummy chocolate crackle tops but my food processor bit the dust so I can't make them easily. I think I might try to make some spritz cookies this year instead.

On the baby front, we met with our new RE last week. She is awesome! I really like her and her plans for us. What a difference from my last RE -he was such a jerk! Anyway, she gave me a rx for progesterone that I started today so that means my test date will be Christmas eve. Fingers crossed! If this cycle works out, I will be soo happy. This is what I wanted to do last February, but Dr. Jerk wouldn't help me. Anyway, I'm being hopeful and taking it one step at a time.

I also wanted to send some hugs to SK. You know that Michael and I are here for you if you need anything! Love you!

I'm off to heat up leftovers for lunch - BBQ pork, baked beans and cole slaw. - Yum!

Have a great day!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Wednesday

Hi all!

Just a quick post today to wish everyone a safe and happy Thanksgiving!

I'm heading out of work early to finish up some last minute preparations for the big day. I'm really excited and know that it will all go well and even if it doesn't I'm sure it will still be fun.

Well that's all!

Have a great day and hopefully you all have a nice long weekend too!

TTYS!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Monday

Hello all,

The house was busy this weekend getting everything together for Thanksgiving. Michael had to work on Saturday so that gave me the day to dust and vacuum and move furniture to try out a new set up, and then move it back because I didn't like it, LOL. Well, it was all worth it as everything looks nice. Just a few things left to do tonight and then I can start the cooking on Tuesday. I set the table too, but I need to run a few things through the dishwasher since they got a little dusty in the china cabinet. I had time this morning to empty the dishwasher, so as soon as I get home I can load it up and then reset the table again tonight. It looks really nice, but I am wondering if I should put the other leaf in the table. With all the serving pieces it feels a little cramped so I think I will since I have to reset the table anyway.

If you're following the cruising missions, today is Clean and Fling day. I've already done a lot of the things in the mission over the weekend so that will be an easy one for me tonight. Maybe I can get my Christmas cards started instead? (Note to self: print out address list.)

That's all for now. I hope you all had a great weekend and Happy Monday!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Thursday

Hello all,

Things are finally getting back to normal at our house now that Michael is back on days. Yay!!

My domestic diva-ness is coming back and I'm loving it. I can cook dinner for us and we can sit down and really enjoy it together since he doesn't have to rush out the door to work. The bed can be made when I leave for work in the morning since he's not in it. I can put the house to bed at night and it still looks good when we get home from work since no one is there messing it up during the day. I know this all sounds kooky, but it's really nice to be back in the groove after being so twisted around for so long and the house just feels happy and peaceful again.

Continuing on the domestic front, we're hosting Thanksgiving! I'm really excited about it. I'm following the menu mailer from the Dinner Diva, one of Flylady's friends of course. It's been super. It has the menu all planned, the grocery list, the recipes and a timeline of everything you need to do from ironing my tablecloth to making the pumpkin cheesecake. The one deviation is that Mum is making the turkey. I really have this turkey cooking phobia since the one time I tried to do a turkey breast it was a disaster, so I'm so happy that I can guarantee at least a yummy turkey for dinner if all else fails. I have almost everything I need since I have been getting a few things each grocery order over the past couple of weeks. I just need to pick up the green beans closer to the day so they'll be nice and fresh.

Since I work outside the home, I've been doing a little bit each night so the house will be ready to go on Turkey Day and I won't be the frazzled hostess. I'll be setting the table this weekend and throwing a sheet over it to keep the dust away. Tuesday night I'll make my cheesecake. Wednesday night I'll be chopping my veggies for the stuffing and side dishes. Thursday morning I'll do my potatoes and then just pop everything in the oven to cook while I get the relish tray together. The fam is coming at 2 o'clock and I'll be all ready to greet them and visit, rather than be stuck in the kitchen.

Then, on Thanksgiving weekend, we can decorate for Christmas!!! YAY!! I'm thinking this would be a nice Sunday thing to do while we watch football. I can't wait to see our decorations in the new house. I think I might get us some new stockings this year. The ones we have are cute, but I'd like to get us some pretty, more grown up type ones now that we have the house and can start some new traditions. Also, Advent will be starting that Sunday, so I'd like to do an Advent wreath this year. I have the ring and will pick up some real greens to decorate it.

I've been doing the Cruising Through the Holidays with Flylady, surprise, surprise, LOL. I've got our Christmas cards and labels and stamps all ready to go. Our Christmas shopping is just about finished and for the things I still need to get, I know what they will be so I feel really good about it. We'll be hosting Christmas Eve and I know what I'll be making for dinner and who is coming so all and all, I really have been cruising and can enjoy the season!

Well, it's almost lunchtime and I'm starved so I'd better sign off. Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Happy Veteran's Day!

First and foremost, I want to thank all of those in the Armed Forces for all they do and sacrifice to keep our country safe. Thank you!! Happy Veteran's Day!

I got the notice with my appointment scheduled with the new RE for December 4th. Things are moving along! Now, I just need to get my records all transferred over so that she'll have my background.

As I mentioned in my last post, I've been on Twitter for the past week or so. It's been a good tool for FLYing, as we've all been posting our quick updates as we get things done. It's the kick in the pants I've needed for the last couple of days.

Oh, I had to redo my aquarium this weekend. I went to clean it and then realized that my filter was broken and the gravel was icky so I just started over. It was a bit stressful since I had to move Fatty and Dottie to fish bowls while I got everything set up and allowed 24 hours for the new aquarium to get going before putting them back in. The lady at the pet shop said we would need to stir the fish bowls every so often so that there would be enough air for the fish in their temporary homes. We dutifully did so but felt a little silly doing it. It felt like I was making fish soup or something, LOL. Anyway, they are now happily back in their newly redesigned tank with a new filter, gravel and plants. I think it looks really nice and the colors actually go with the room better now, so that was a little bonus to make up for my stress.

In other news, Michael found out that Friday will be the last day on this crappy shift! Yippee! Things should be getting back to normal next week and we'll be able to have dinner together without having to rush through it. And I'll have my sweetie home when I'm home, YAY!

I guess that's all for now. I'm off to do some work. Have a great day!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Friday

Hello all!
The weekend is almost here. Yay! And, Oldies 103 has started their Christmas music! Double YAY! It was a nice surprise to hear it last night on my way home from the train. I've been waiting for it to start and was afraid they we're doing it this year. So despite the rainy night, I had a smile on my face and finally got the tune to The Hustle out of my head. LOL.
Well, I met my new doc this week and she is really nice. She is my new primary care doc and was really helpful in reccomending some new REs at the hospital. She's going to make an appointment for me and then I'll meet the new RE. I think this is all a move in the right direction. As you may remember, my past RE was a real ass so I'm glad I'll be done with him and moving onto a better clinic at one of the best hospitals in the country. *FX* for 2009!

I finally remembered to bring my camera in to work and get my recent pics uploaded.

As promised, here's pic of the new living room curtains. I couldn't really get a pic of the whole window since our living room isn't wide enough, but I think you'll get the idea.



The light green fabric blends nicely with our wall color and gives some nice texture.

Michael has finished the front steps and they look awesome. I don't have a pic of them yet, but I'll try to get one this weekend and share it with you.

Oh, is anyone doing Twitter? I just signed up for it as a lot of FLYbabies are doing it, but I didn't know if any of you are. If so, leave me a comment with your sn so I can follow you.
That's all for now! Have a great weekend!
P.S. Here are a couple pics from Michael's birthday dinner at home. I made Chicken Divan and we had birthday Hostess Cupcakes, kinda like the birthday Twinkie that S & C do at their house =)


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Wednesday

Hi All!

Things are going OK here in C. The front steps are almost finished. Michael says he has one day left in his contract to finish them, LOL. (pictures to come)

Nothing too new here otherwise, hence my lack of a blog.

We did get some new curtains for the living room and I will post a picture as soon as I've ironed the drapery panels. They look really nice, just a little rumpled.

Anyhoo, Michael is still on the shitty shifts and will be for a while. He's been tapped as the lead guy (yay, but boo). I suppose with they way the economy is we need to take all we can get. I'm so proud of him and his work, but I wish he had a better shift so we could hang out more. =( OK, enough of that....

I have my doc appointment next week with a new woman and I hope she's nice and can give me some input on the baby front. Every cycle that goes by is really starting to get to me, but I hope this new doc can help us on our way and I'm sure she will. *FX*

I hope you are all well, and I have been reading up (sorry for the lack of comments), and I have been thinking of you all.

Donna, if you're reading, please know that you and hubby and babies are in our prayers and we are pulling for you! (((HUGS)))

Well, that's all for now. TTYS!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Chili Recipe

Here's the recipe for the chili I made this weekend. It's based on one I found on Cookingcache.com.

Enjoy!
Crockpot Tex Mex Chili Recipe
1 pound ground beef or pork sausage (I used ground beef.)
2 cloves garlic -- minced
3 tsp. chili powder -- (I used about 3 tablespoons of chili powder, but it all depends how spicy you like it.)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 (15 1/2 oz.) red kidney beans drained
1 cup chopped celery ( I used 4 stalks)
1 cup chopped onion (One onion or two dinky ones)
1/2 cup chopped green pepper (I use a whole pepper)
1 (16 oz.) can tomatoes -- cut up (I used petite diced)
1 can Rotel tomatoes and chilies
1 cup V8 juice or tomato juice (I used V8)
1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
1/4 teaspoon salt
Shredded Cheddar cheese (for garnish)
Sour cream (for garnish)
Chopped Scallions (for garnish)

In skillet brown meat and garlic. Drain. Stir in chili powder and cumin; cook 2 minutes more. Meanwhile in 3 1/2-, 4, 5, 6- quart crockery cooker combine beans, celery, onions, green pepper. Add undrained tomatoes, tomatoes and chilies, vegetable juice, tomato paste and salt. Stir in cooked meat. Cover cook over low heat setting for 10-12 hours or on high 4-5 hours.

Ladle chili into soup bowls. Pass shredded cheese, sour cream and chopped scallions with chili. Serves 4 to 6.

Monday

It's Monday again, and as usual I didn't want to get out of bed. Oh, well....such is life.



We had a nice weekend. I helped Michael with the front steps and they are almost finished. They look really nice. Sunday morning, we had the electrican come over to give us a quote on the things we need done. He was really nice, and as it turns out he and Michael know a lot of the some people since the grew up in the same part of Boston. Small world! Anyway, we just need to figure out our schedules so we can get the work done. I can't wait to have our TV squared away and have all of those pesky wires hidden.

Later in the day, we had friends over to watch the Pats game. It was definitely a meat fest as far as the food went. We had kielbasa - grilled with Ah So sauce (mmmmm), burgers, hot dogs and chili. It was yummy, if not the most healthful spread, LOL.

I'm battling a cold that came over me all of a sudden yesterday so I've been pumping myself with Dayquil and orange juice and hope I can get over it quickly. My cube neighbors here at work have been sick so I think I caught their plague. Boooo. Oh well, at least it's kinda quite in the office today so that helps.

I hope you all have a Happy Monday!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Friday

GO SOX!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Wednesday

Hello out there,

Sorry I haven't posted. I've been all messed up with my time lately. Between Michael's wierd shifts and my own, well, blahs, I haven't had much to say.

We've made good progress on the front of the house planting and the steps (the steps have been all Michael, of course). It's really coming together. If it would just stop raining I'd be able to finish my planting and get the last of the mulch down. It's supposed to start clearing so I think I'll be able to get that done this weekend.

I feel like we're getting stuff done with the house. You know, that stuff that didn't need to be done the second we moved in but you want to get done before the holidays. We've got the chimney sweep and electrician coming in the next week or so and the steps are almost done so I'll be glad to cross this stuff of this list.

I really hope that Michael's shifts will straighten out. I think it's been really hard to adjust to this one, so hopefully it's almost over and we can get back to normal. It's been kinda lonely while we've had this schedule since I catch him only for a few minutes before I leave for work and he's been sleeping when I get home and I feel like I hardly get to see him before he's off to work. I guess this will pass once the next gig comes up, but for now it sucks. That's life I guess.

Sorry for the "poor me"...

On a lighter note, my FLYing has been going pretty well. The house is company ready, almost. Those damn dishes just kill me. It's bad since one of the first steps is to keep your sink shiny, but that just hasn't happened. The rest has been going awesomely (is that a word?) over the past several months, but those dishes, I tell ya, they get me every time. This month is about getting your paper clutter under control. I've been "dream decorating" (ie: not actually buying anything) our office that houses all of our paper clutter. I think I have a good plan in place for the office as a whole and that will help keep the paper demons in their place. Now I just need to figure out what furniture to get to make it a proper working office rather than the mish mash of non-functioning furniture that it is now. I think we'll tackle that (the furniture that is) this winter after the holidays. In the mean time, I need to get boogieing that paper monster.

Well, I guess that's all for now. I better head off for my before bed routine and get those dishes tackled.

Have a great night everybody!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Thursday

I was able to get my daffodil and tulip bulbs all planted last night and then Michael and I laid out the new mulch. It looks great, though I noticed some high spots in the mulch as I was pulling out this morning, so I need to straighten that out. Otherwise, I think we did a good job in the dark. Tonight I'm going to get the crocus planted. That won't take but a minute so I won't be stuck in the dark with the creepy animal sounds. I swear, I heard the squirrels and birds chatting as I was planting last night to plot how they were going to steal my freshly planted bulbs. Well, hopefully the 3-4 inch layer of mulch will deter them. FX!

I don't know why I'm so surprised that by 6:45pm it's dark in my yard. What is is fall or something? ;)

When we went back in, I was trying to be my best domestic diva self. I sewed up the seam split in our comforter, changed the sheets, did the dishes, swept the floors, and did a few loads of laundry. I felt good getting all this accomplished, but I was pissed that I was up until 1am. Now, I wasn't staying up to get these things all finished, it was more that I was wide awake so I got all these things finished. Hopefully, I'll get back on a normal sleep schedule tonight since it's been all wonky this week.

Now that the fall planting is pretty much taken care of, I need something else to do. I was thinking of maybe making a quilt now that I figured out how to get my sewing machine to cooperate and actually sew things. I saw online that there's a fabric store in town so I might try to stop by this weekend for some inspiration. We'll see...

It's just about lunch time so I'll sign off for now to get my post office errands together. I must be crazy going to the post office at lunch, but whatever it's not gonna get there by itself.

OK, I'm outtie!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Wednesday

Hi all,

I have some pics to share of the almost finished garden. I'll have more hopefully tomorrow. We got a lot done on Saturday and then on Sunday I started to feel like crap so I couldn't finish everything and then I was down for the count Monday and Tuesday. The mulch I ordered was delivered on Monday and it's still in a pile next to the fence. I'm feeling better today and am back at work, so hopefully, I'll still have the energy to get the bulbs I want planted in that flower bed and get it mulched tonight.
Anyway, here are some pics:


The Before:

I took this from where our front stairs were and will soon be again.

The view from our mailbox looking down the yard.

The During:

This is the edging I did all by myself. I'd say it's pretty good for being just done by eye.Here's Michael doing the tilling since I would have been dragged behind the thing if I tried and a shovel would have taken me far too long. Thanks Baby!
Here's me and my wheel barrel on one of the many trips to the compost pile.
The Almost After:
This is best one I have where you can actually see my new hydrangeas and the bits of the daylilies we got from Mum a few weeks back. (This one was taken Sunday because it got too dark on Saturday to actually see anything when we were actually finished.)
I suppose my After pics won't look too different since there won't be any other plants, but I'm sure our new mulch will look awesome!




Saturday, September 20, 2008

Break in the action...

I'm getting my butt kicked by this flower bed. It's not wanting to be dug out. Grr...there are so many flipping rocks, it's taking forever.

I've decided to take a break and make some lunch, finally. Hopefully this will keep me going so I can get it done.

I stopped off at the nursery on the way back from Walmart and was able to get the hydrangeas I wanted on sale with an additional 10% off. Thanks P!

I took a before picture and will take an after if I ever finish and I promise I will post them this time! LOL.

Well, I think my lunch is just about ready so I'm off.

TTYL!

Productive Morning

Hi all,

It's about 9:30 and I've been a busy bee this morning. Michael got home a bit late from work and came in to crash and then of course I woke up and couldn't get back to sleep so I just hopped up and got to it. So far, I've made juice, blueberry muffins, enough coffee for like 10 people (I can never get my water to coffee ratio quite right, LOL) and got dinner going in the crockpot. I'm making stuffed peppers. I'm using the same filling I used for the cabbage rolls I made a while back so hopefully they will come out just as yummy. They certainly look good!

Well, I'm off for a shower and then to Walmart to get a couple new books to read on my commute. When I get back, I hope I'm still in this go go go mode so I can get that bed cut out out front. FX!

Have a great Saturday!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Friday

Hi folks,

I'm so glad it's Friday. As quickly as this week has gone by, the days at work seem to drag. I came in this morning on the early train to be here in time for my weekly Friday meeting only to learn that it's been moved to Monday because my fellow participants are too busy this morning. Normally this doesn't bother me. But today, I'm a bit irked because I gave up an extra hour that I could have spent with my sweetie who I feel like I don't get to see enough since he's working crazy hours when I'm home and sleeping when I'm at work so I can't even really talk to him on the phone. Boo, hoo....=(

Well, hopefully we'll be able to get some time together tomorrow afternoon after he sleeps and before he heads out (yes, he does have to work Saturday). I'll have to make him a yummy breakfast, well maybe more like brunch for when he wakes up. I wish he liked pancakes and/or french toast because I saw this yummy recipe for a creme brulee french toast that I really want to make, but I don't think he'd eat it. Oh, I just had a thought, I could make it so I can have some at breakie, and save the leftovers for a dessert. That would work. Yay! That is helping me out of my poor me mood.

Let's see, what else? Oh, I was hoping to help be matchmaker for my BFF from college and a good friend from high school. As it is turning out, she is studying hard core for a licensing exam and will not be up for dating until the exam is finished and he just found out yesterday that he might be going to Texas to help with the storm destruction for three months (he's an electrician). Oh well, maybe I can get them together for New Years? We'll see. I'm usually not one to do any matchmaking, so it figures that when I do try, it doesn't work out right away.

As I mentioned yesterday, I'm hoping to get some flower beds ready for my bulbs that I'll be planting next week. While I'm at it, I think I'm going to pick up some mums and maybe a pumpkin for my steps (the ones that are still standing that is). I know I'll have to get another one at Halloween, but I'm ready for fall and want to finish up with some outdoor decorating. I'll have to get some mulch too for the new bed so it won't just be a pile of dirt. Maybe I'll get some mums to plant there too.

Well, I guess that's all for now. I'm off to get a bagel. Have a Happy Friday!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Hello out there

I finally have a working oven! Yippee! The appliance guy was able to fix our existing oven and it has been working perfectly. I've been cooking up a storm and feel better that I can cook nice dinners and weekend breakfasts for my sweetie. I haven't made anything crazy, but a good meatloaf and roasted potatoes can do a lot for the soul.

Fall is arriving slowly but surely here. I'm loving it. The weather has cooled and dried out and I can actually wear a sweater again and not by too hot. I was really getting tired of my summer clothes. I've been getting into the fall mode around the house too. Along with my real cooking, I've been pulling out my fall candles and I hung up our fall harvest banner at the front door. I also picked up two silk wreaths at the Christmas Tree Shop with fall flowers and berries and put those on the front and side doors. I ordered my spring bulbs and they should be arriving on Monday, so I hope to get the beds ready this weekend so I can just pop them in the ground after work next week.

Michael has been working on the front steps too. He's begun the demolition of the old brick and block steps and been roughly laying out what the new stairs will look like. The stone he picked out looks really nice. I can't wait to see the finished project.

Our neighbors are having a party for us this Sunday to welcome us to the neighborhood. Now that everyone is back from their respective vacations and summer homes, it will be a nice way to get to know everyone better. I'm looking forward to it. Thanks S and A for doing this for us!

On a completely random note, I've been having high school flashbacks the past couple of weeks. Several friends from high school have found me on Facebook and we've connected and chatted and such. Then, New Kids on the Block comes out with a new CD - yes I did buy it, and 90210 is back on TV. What is going on? Don't get me wrong, it's all good, just kind of funny, don't you think?

Well that's all for now. TTYS!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Tagged!

Karen tagged me so here I go:

Here are the rules:
1. Link to the person who tagged you
2. Post the rules to your blog
3. Write 6 random things about yourself
4. Tag 6 people at the end of your post and link to them
5. Let each person you have tagged know by leaving a comment on their blog.
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is posted.

Random things:

1. I've recently taken to listening to country music. Now this may not be odd to a lot of people, but since I am a faithful Top 40 listener, it's making some of my family and friends go "Hmmm."

2. You know that little thing inside your top lip that holds you lip to your gum? Well, I don't really have one. When I was little I was sitting on the counter and fell off and I ripped it. Michael says that's why I talk to much. ;)

3. I like green beans but won't eat them since I can't stand the sensation I get when eating them. It's like they're squeaky beans against my teeth. It makes me shudder.

4. I'm a pretty neat person other than with papers. My pantry has to be stocked in just a certain way - labels out and kind of like a grocery store. The shoes in my closet have to lined up just so. The clickers need to be on the table perfectly parallel to each other. Towels and sheets have to be folded in a certain way. These are just a few of my neat freak tendencies, but if you look at my home office, you'll see that papers and filing are not for me, yet my office supplies are neatly arranged on a bookshelf. Go figure.

5. I used to be dink toed as a little child but now my feet are fine. Michael says that I still secretly am because if you see me with my feet up they are always turned in. Maybe, it's not that weird, but I don't know anyone else whose ankles flop in like mine do when I'm sitting around. Maybe that's why I'm so prone to twisting my ankles?

6. This isn't so weird, but I can roll my tongue. I always think it's funny that some people can't do it. I always laugh when they try but only end up sticking their tongues out. Call me cruel, but I'll still laugh.

I'm sure there are other things about me that people think are odd or weird, but these are the things that I can think of right now.

I don't really have anyone to tag, since I think you've all already been tagged. Oh well.

Shopping

Michael and I went to a new (to us) mall last night. It's a smaller one than we normally go to, but it's closer to the house and since it has a Macy's and a Sears it works for us. There is also a Toys R Us across the street from the mall. That's good to know since the one I used to go to for presents for our niece and nephews closed.



Well, I was able to find 4 new tops and a black skirt for work and a new work purse. My fellow FFs probably saw my purse post a while back. I needed to get that straightened out and I'm happy to report that I don't' have nearly as much junk in my bag now. =) The tops I got are those ones that look like a shirt and a sweater, but they're one piece. I'm pretty psyched. I'm wearing one today. It's a short sleeve satiny blouse in a black and green and silver pattern and the sweater part is black. It's perfect for today since there's a touch of fall in the air so it's nice to have a little heavier top on.


Michael made out well too with finding a bunch of shirts and jeans for work. Don't you just love a sale!


After, we went out for Chinese. As usual, it was tasty.


The oven saga continues. Ughrr! The appliance guy came yesterday with the part needed to fix the oven. He was working on it for 3 hours and it's still not fixed! He couldn't get the ignitor to sit right and then found that some filter or something wasn't right so he had to take the whole assembly back to the shop to fix it. Michael was home to meet the guy and he said that he was back and forth on the phone to his shop to try to get working, but they couldn't remedy it. They're going to call back, hopefully today, and let us know if/when it can be fixed. Damn oven!

I've been able to manage pretty well without the oven, but I really want to make a lasagna and it won't really fit into a toaster oven. I've been using my crockpot a lot and that's been great, but the handle has now broken off of the lid. It still works and all, but I think it's time to invest in a new one. I think I need to actually get a smaller one, since the one I have tends to burn or dry out the food when I'm just cooking for the two of us.

OK, vent over. Got to get back to work.

Have great day! Talk to you soon!


Monday, August 25, 2008

Back from vacation

Hello all,

I'm back at work today after a lovely and productive week off. I wish I could have had as productive a morning. I came in the morning and within and hour, our internet when down - no internet, no email and no IM. Ugh! It just came back up about an hour ago so now I'm catching up and some work downloads and definitely with my blog! =)

I couldn't have asked for better weather last week. I was sunny and mid 70s to low 80s everyday. I got so much done around the house since Michael was off at work. I redecorated our little sun room and hung some curtains and put down an area rug. It looks much nicer and not just like a entryway dumping ground as it had earlier.

We hung our pictures up finally. It's nice to have them back up. I missed looking at them and now the house feels even more like home.

I rehung the door on the china closet in the dining room. Back when we were painting, E had built us some shelves in there. It looked really nice but once we started getting everything unpacked, it was looking more utilitarian than decorative. So I went out to the garage and got the nicely painted door that was on the closet and rehung it all by myself. I needed something to help me shim it up while I screwed it back in so I did what anyone would have done, and used my cookbooks. Very MacGyver, don't ya think? Lol, anyway, it looks great.

I went on a quest for a new oven, but alas, apparently 1960's 24 inch ovens are not compatible with today's standards. Since we are not ready to totally redo the kitchen, I called the appliance guy and he came out to repair it but since it's so ancient he didn't have the part on his truck so he's coming back today to fix it.

The plumber came over to fix our downstairs toilet too. It wasn't bolted to the floor right and was kinda smelly, but all is well now and he put the new toilet seat on too. He was super nice and told me step by step what he was doing. They will definitely be our plumbers for a while.

This past weekend, we went down to the Cape for the K family weekend. We had great weather and it was nice to just hang out and chill at the beach. On our way home, we stopped at the Christmas Tree Shop and I was able to find a new bedding set and curtains for our room. When we came home I hung the curtain rods and new curtains and changed the bedding. It looks so nice. I know Michael probably wouldn't agree with the fact that I started the screws for the curtain hardware with a hammer and used sheet metal screws on drywall, but whatever, they're up and look fabulous.

I must say, my trusty little Ryobi power screw driver is awesome. I used to to hang all the curtains and for the closet door. we have other drills, but this one is light enough that I can easily use it for those jobs that I have to reach for. Thanks Babe!

There were a few other things that I hoped to get finished last week, but didn't get a chance to. They're fairly small projects, so I can probably crank them out after work this week.

I guess that's all for now. I hope you all had a great week!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Green Thumbs and Frogs

Hello all,

I think my black thumb is turning a bit greener! Yay!

We had a great weekend of yard work and boy was it a workout. My legs are finally not so sore today, thank goodness!

As I mentioned, Michael was out with his buddy on Saturday so I had the day to myself. I went to Sears to check out the appliances. I found a freezer that will work for us, but then I thoroughly confused myself with the ovens and couldn't make up my mind so I just turned around and walked out. I really need to figure this out this week so I can have the installs done next week. Anyway, I came back home and was doing some weeding out front so that started our gardening weekend.

The lillies that we planted are still looking a bit dreadful, but I'm just leaving them alone with the hope that all will be well next spring. I weeded around the light post and the dogwood tree and turned the mulch around and it looks like new. Then it was over to the front steps. They we full of weeds! How weeds grow in brick and concrete is beyond me, but I cleaned it all up and it looks really nice. Now, if I can just get the broken bricks fixed, I'll be in business. Oh, I know, maybe my brickie husband can do it! LOL, love ya babe! (In his defense, he's been working some crazy shifts and hours so he really hasn't had time to do it.)

On Sunday, we tore into the back yard and it looks awesome! With the help of M and S, we got a boat load done. We reclaimed our flowerbed from the crab grass that took over and S showed me that if we dig a little trench between the lawn and the flower bed that it will help keep the weeds from invading. It looks really nice too and like an actual flower bed. She also showed my where to trim the dead wood from the roses and just a bunch of other gardening type things that I should know. It's so awesome to have a MIL that is such a gardener!

Michael was a maniac with the sawsall. He cut down the three juniper bushes at the back foundation planting and then cut up the pine trees about 6 feet at the back property line so that you can see some of the tree trunk. We didn't lose any privacy by doing that since it's still all woods behind us, but it has made a nice area for a future shade garden and we gained back about four feet of yard. S said she had some hosta that we could have and I think it will look super nice in this flower bed-to-be. I think I'll just plant some annuals this year to fill in where the bushes came out since we might be doing the deck over in the fall so I don't want to waste any money on expensive perennials if they're just going to get pulled out or trampled during construction. M manned the wheelbarrow and made a gillion trips to the compost pile as S and I filled it up from all the weeding. She also helped Michael get the flag pole put up and we hung up the American flag as well as the Irish flag that C and S gave us with our last name crest in the white part. We've been waiting for a good breeze so that we can see the flags waving, but alas, so far they've just been hanging against the pole. I've got some pictures, but I don't have my camera with me to upload them, bummer. I'll try to do that tomorrow.

Thanks so much to M and S for all of your help!

Oh, one other tidbit....while I was weeding the front steps what do I see but a little frog jumping around at the base of the stairs. We also saw a bunch in the backyard on Sunday. I know it's an old wives tale, but maybe that's the start of something on our TTC journey. We shall see!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Catching up

Hello all!



Yet again I've been a crappy blogger. I haven't had much to post about so that's why I've been absent.

Let's see, what have we been up to?

Michael and I had a nice time in Maine for our anniversary. We went to Portland. There are a lot of cute shops and restaurants so we had fun checking them out and eating a bunch. We had lunch one day at DiMilo's. It's a floating restaurant and had really cool views of the harbor. The food was yummy. I'd go back there again. Generally we found the folks we encountered while strolling around to be a bit odd. They like to stare. We'd be walking down the street and people would be staring at us. We were beginning to get a complex about it, then just chalked it up to wierd Maine people. I was a spazz and forgot my camera so unfortunately, I have to pictures to share.


Last weekend we went up to Mum and Dad's to get some day lillies. Mum has tons of them and needed to divide them so she said we could come up and take a few clumps for our yard. We took two huge plants and were able to divide them into nine plants. We planted them along the split rail fence in the front yard. They looked pretty pathetic and floppy, but they are starting to perk up a bit now that they've been planted to about a week. I hope we didn't kill them, but we won't know until next spring since the season has passed for them this year. Fingers crossed!

I was going to make some of those cabbage rolls I told you about in a previous post for dinner on Tuesday. Well, I had everything all ready to go and then my cabbage didn't look so good. I was nervous since the turkey was the only meat I had thawed and now didn't know what we were going to do for dinner. I pulled out my trusty Fix it and Forget it crock pot cookbook and found a spaghetti sauce recipe that I could make with only a few substitutions. Well, it came out great! I was going to serve it with pasta, but we decided to have it with the left over rice from Monday night so basically we had the cabbage rolls without the cabbage. There was a lot of the sauce left over so we made these quesadilla/pizza things Wednesday night with it and cooked them up in the toaster oven. Those were yummy too. I just love it when you can get multiple meals out of one batch of cooking.

In case you are interested, here's the recipe as I made it:

1 pound ground turkey
1 medium onion, chopped
2-3 t. minced jarred garlic
2 t oregano
2 t Italian seasoning
1-2 pinches of red pepper flakes
2 14.5 oz cans of diced tomatoes
1 8 oz can of tomato sauce
1 6 oz can of tomato paste

Brown the meat and onions with some olive oil in a skillet, transfer to your crock pot. Add in the other ingredients to the crock and give it a stir. Cook on low for 7-8 hours.

Michael is going to hang out with this buddy, C, tomorrow so I'm planning to check out some appliances in Sears. I think I've mentioned my crappy oven before, we are finally getting around to replacing it. We haven't really needed it over the summer but with fall approaching I want my oven back. I'd also like to get a new freezer for the basement. the one that the previous owners left us is kind of ancient - it works, but I don't think it's the most efficient since it's probably 25 years old. Massachusetts has a tax holiday coming up on the 16th so I'd like to get everything all picked out so that we can just go pay for it on that day to save the sales tax.

I'll be on vacation the week of the 18th and will be able to be home for the delivery of the oven and to have to plumber come and install it. I also want to have the electrician out to fix a plug that sizzled and died on us and also have him hang our chandelier in the dining room. I have my Nana and Papa's Waterford one that I've been dying to hang so this will be the prefect time to do all those sorts of things that are hard to do when we are both working full time.

My shipment from the Flyshop arrived Wednesday. I was so excited for my new ultimate duster, calendar and Flylady CD. Michael thought I was losing it when I was so happily opening the shipping box with a picture of the Flylady cartoon on it. Oh, well. It's the little things in life and if a feather duster and a CD with the FLY songs on it make me happy, so be it. =)

I guess that's all I have to say for now. I hope you all have a great weekend!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

It's hot, ick!

Hello all!

I know I've been a bad blogger lately. Things have been pretty borning around here so I haven't had too much to report.

It's super icky and humid out today as it has been for the past couple of weeks. I'm so glad that my train and the office have working AC. Luckily I think this streak is supposed to break later this week. We have a window AC in our bedroom, but that's it. I should just retreat right in there when I get home from work but I am a glutton for punishment and sit in the living room with the fan on to watch TV. Once the sun goes down it's not too bad, as long as I don't make any sudden movements, LOL.

At work, we just finished doing a new computer delpoyment. It was a ton of work to get ready and make sure everyone followed all of the directions so they wouldn't lose any data, but I am happy to report that we didn't have any major disasters.

We have our accountants coming in on Thursday to do the year end review. I hope it all goes smoothly since I will be out of the office on Friday and Monday. They've already been doing a lot of work back at their offices, so hopefully it will all go well. Last year we did an audit with our old accounts and it took for-ev-er! They sent over a junior person who really didn't know what to do and and what should have been a day or two in our office turned into 3 weeks - eek! That stunk, but our new accountants are super awesome. I really like working with them and they really get what we do and what we need them to do. It's been a pleasure so far and I'm sure it will continue to be.

Michael and my anniversary is on Monday! We're doing a nice long weekend away (hence being out Friday and Monday, yay!) in Maine and plan to relax and take in the scenery and vist some lighthouses. I can't wait. It will be a really nice get away. It feels like forever since we've been away anywhere. Fingers crossed for good weather!

I've been trying again to drink more water. I've gone so far as to set up reminders in my Outlook calendar to get my butt to the water cooler and drink my fair share throughout the day. I hope it works, because I'm sure I'm constantly dehydrated since I know I never drink enough.

I haven't tried any new recipes lately. I was hoping to have one to post this week, but I desparately need to go grocery shopping and have decided to hold off until next week since we'll be away for 4 days. Ooo, I just had a thought that I could do a Peapod cart and have it delivered Monday when we get back. I'll have to get that together tonight.

Well, I better get back to work. I've got stacks of paper to get organized. I'm getting a new bigger file cabinet tomorrow which I'm super excited about since my desk drawers are chock full and files are creeping onto my desk. That's the one thing I don't really like about my job - so much paper and no where to put it all. Well, that problem will be solved tomorrow. I need to pick up some extra hanging file folders so I can get everything all organized. I think I'm going to get some pretty pastel ones since I will probably need a whole box and won't need to share the leftovers with the office. I'm sure some folks will be sweating my pink files, but others will think I'm silly. Oh, well, to each her own.

Until next time, stay cool!

P.S. The date of this blog is not showing up correctly. I was editing a draft I started before so I guess it kept that date. Anyway, it's 7.22.08 today.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

New Furniture, Good Recipes and FLYing!

Michael and I headed out to IKEA this past Saturday to find some things to furnish his "Man Room". We had great luck! We got a leather sofa, a chair and footstool, a set of nesting tables and a pair of lamps. Oh, we got a rug too! We decided to embrace the 1970's of the basement room for now and played it up with orange and green in the chair and other accents. I think it came our really cool. It has a hip retro-ness to it. Michael is a bit nervous that I like it too much and that he might lose his man room. LOL. He has deemed that my services as decorator are now complete and he will take it from here. I expect that there will be some Guinness posters and maybe one of those neon beer signs hanging down there in the near future. I think that will be really cool but I'm not saying anything since this is "his" room. =)

Sunday I went up to my parents house to see Dad and have a little birthday cake with them. It was a nice visit. Among other things, we were talking about the "K" family weekend down the Cape this summer and all the fun activities we can do. Michael and I, my parents and my brother and SIL and their 3 kids will be going. It should be a nice time and a nice way to end my "staycation" since I'll be off the week leading up to the family weekend.

I made the Garlic Chicken Farfalle I mentioned in my previous post. I did a half recipe of it though I made the full amount of chicken. It is soo good, but I found it a bit heavy on a hot June evening. We used the left over chicken for sandwiches. That Mesquite Lime marinade is awesome. I cooked the chicken in the crockpot Saturday and then we had the pasta dish for dinner on Sunday. If I was up earlier on Saturday and not rolling out of bed at the crack of noon, the chicken would have been ready at a more dinner like hour and we could have had the whole meal that night. Oh, well. Everyone needs one of those mornings once and a while. The end result was that we have a lovely Sunday dinner and yummy left overs for lunch on Monday. =)

Tonight's dinner will be Italian Pork Chops in the crockpot. I put them in this morning. It couldn't be easier. Place 2-4 pork chops in the crock, pour in about a bottle of Italian dressing (depending on how many chops) and cook on high 6-8 hours. I put mine on low for 10-12 since I'm at work all day. We'll have baked beans with pineapple with the chops.

I must say that I am doing well with my FLYing these past couple of weeks. I made myself a new control journal over the weekend to adapt my routines to the new house and my schedule with work and Michael's. I got my Home Blessing finished on Monday evening when I got home. Last night was a free night so I just picked up here and there to eliminate any brewing hot spots. I forgot to put the trash out last night though so I'm kinda peeved with myself. I don't think Michael would have caught it in time this morning because I think the trash man was early this morning as I saw him heading in the direction of our street on my way to the train and Michael was still sleeping. As least we have an extra empty barrel still so we should be OK until next week. Today is paperwork day so I'll be paying our bills and doing some filing. We're also in Zone 4 - the master bedroom this week. Today's mission is to dust the tops of the windows and door jambs. That sounds like something I can handle in a jiffy. =) I love easy missions!

That's all for now. I hope you all have a great rest of your Wednesday!

Friday, June 20, 2008

The weekend is almost here...

happy friday

Hello all,

Yesterday was the rolling rally for the Celtics and it did in fact go by my office, despite the fact it didn't follow it's usual path. I got some good pictures, including some of Paul Pierce with the MVP trophy since his duck boat stopped for a good few minutes right in front of my building. I was right up front at the barricades since no one thought they were coming up as far as they did so I was able to get a prime spot before the crush of fans came up the street.

Well, it's finally Friday. This has been a weird week. I've been so messed up on the days so needless to say I was quite happy to realize it was Friday this morning. We don't have too many plans this weekend. We have some stuff to do around the house but nothing too crazy. I was hoping to get it done tomorrow, but tomorrow is supposed to be the better weather day so I don't know what we'll do when. All I know is that it will get done before bedtime Sunday.

I don't know if I mentioned that we got a croquet set and a bocce set last weekend. I set up the croquet set and Michael and I had fun trying to race around the course. He hadn't played before so I was able to kick his butt. ;) LOL, I love you baby! I hope we can try the bocce this weekend. We've got the perfect place in mind to set it up and I think we can have that area double as a horseshoe pit. Gotta love that. It's so nice to have a yard!

I made some cabbage rolls in the crockpot last weekend and the result was awesome! You can find the recipe here. We've never had cabbage rolls before, but the we liked all of the ingredients so I thought I'd give it a whirl. They came out yummy, but I didn't get the leftovers packed up before bed so I had to pitch them. =( Well at least I know that they are good and I will definitely make them again. I was going to serve them with some instant mashed potatoes but we ran out of milk so I didn't bother. Next time though - they'd be tasty with the juice/gravy in the crock.

I can't wait to try this recipe this weekend: Garlic Chicken Farfalle. I have most of the ingredients on hand so I'll just need to pick up a couple of things. It seems like it will make a mound of it so I think I might half the recipe this time around to make sure we like it. It will still be plenty for us.

I hope you all have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

WOOOO HOOOOO!!!!

Our boys did it!!! OMG! I'm so pumped! Sweet 17 on the 17th for the Celtics!

I know I've been a terrible blogger this past week. These playoff games were killing me. Late start means late end means a sleepy Ali in the morning, LOL. Well the sleep deprivation has been worth it. 22 years in the making and the Celtics finally have another banner to hoist up the the rafters of the Garden.

The mayor announced that there will be a rolling rally tomorrow. He'll be releasing the details at 11:30 this morning. I really hope it follows it's usual path and passes by my office. That would be awesome! Isn't it nice that I can say usual path? How lucky I am to be a Boston sports fan these past few years!

That's all for now. I'll be back to post my usual ramblings later on. TTYS!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

AHHHH - SPAM!!!

I just need to gripe here for a second... In the past 45 minutes my work email has received 192 (and counting) undeliverable messages. Some f*&%er is sending spam from my account and now I'm getting these messages because of the firewalls on the recipient's end. GRRRR! My IT guy says there's nothing they can really do. I just set up a rule to have these alerts go into a folder, but it's still super annoying.

Angry Angry

OK, end of rant.

Talk to you later! =)

Toasty Tuesday

Hello all,

It is broiling yet again today. The weather folks are predicting 96 degrees today with a heat index of 104! Thankfully, this heat is supposed to break tomorrow. That is awesome since I will be working from home tomorrow since the security system is being installed. I must say, however, that our house has stayed relatively cool. We did get the AC in our bedroom hooked up but otherwise we've been running the ceiling fans in the dining room and kitchen and an oscillating fan in the living room. The big oak tree in the front yard is doing a great job in shading the front of the house. Last night was the first night we had to retreat into the bedroom for relief well before going to sleep.

Believe it or not, I made some soup on Sunday. I know you must think I'm crazy given the heat wave, but I made it in the crockpot and didn't have to stand over a stove and stir anything. It came our really good. It was a Taco Soup that I found on the blog I mentioned in my previous post, by the way I fixed that link. Anyway, you can find the recipe here. It came out really well. I also made up a little instant rice on the stove top and put that in the soup dishes with it and topped it with shredded Mexican cheese. Yummy!

I was pouring over my cookbooks and recipes last night to get some ideas for dinner. We've been in the burger and hot dog rut a lot lately or ordering out. Given that we are trying to eat better and save money, neither of these options are very good in the amount that we've been doing them. I think I'm going to do some of the chicken dump recipes that I have for marinades that a FF member posted a while back. Since Michael will be working the second shift again for a while, I thought I'd be better able to get a healthy dinner on the table. I love to cook so this will be a great thing to keep me busy until he gets home. I'll be doing my shopping tonight and can hopefully put together a bunch of freezer meals tonight and tomorrow while I'm home. That big freezer in the basement is calling my name. =)

If anyone has any ideas to get us out of the ho-hum dinner rut, I'd greatly appreciate the suggestions.

On a final note, I'd like to wish the Celtics a good game tonight. We'll be watching! Beat LA!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Friday - almost the weekend!

Hello all,

It's still grey and rainy here today. It's just as well since I am stuck at work. As I mentioned, this weekend is supposed to be boiling and mostly sunny so it should be good and I promise to take pics of the garden.

Well, last night we were total lazy bums. No ACs installed and no grocery shopping. I'm mad at myself for not getting the shopping done since I missed out on my week on "The List". Hurumph....oh, well, I can get cracking on it this weekend again and get my behind to the store.

I found this cool blog about crockpotting: A Year of Crockpotting. The woman who writes it made a New Year's Resolution to cook something in her crockpot everyday this year. There are some yummy sounding recipes and she's a hoot. I highly recommend checking it out. Hopefully, between "The List", using my crockpot for more meals and keeping up with my FLYing, I'll be able to save us some money and some time. I think all of the things combined will lead to a neater, healthier and happier home for us. Not that we aren't happy by any means, but I know I'd be little happier to come home to a straightened up house and a home cooked meal that takes little effort to prepare.

Our dear Red Sox won last night, but WTH happened?? We were playing the TB Devil Rays and there was a bench clearing brawl after Coco Crisp was hit by a pitch in the second inning. Then Manny and Youk were having words in the dugout. Dude, you're teammates, relax. Anyway, they did win, but tempers were running high on all fronts.

On a better note, our beloved Celtics have started off the NBA finals with a win against the Lakers! Woo, hoo! It's like the Garden in the 80's and awesome. I can't wait for Sunday! My brother is planning a get together so we'll go over there to watch the game. I'm so excited!

Well, that's all. It's lunch time and I'm off to get something to eat.

Have a great weekend! Go Celts!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Happy Thursday!

Hello all,

Sorry I've been slacking this week. Time just got away from me and I realized I haven't posted at all this week. Let me catch up.

The weekend was nice. Michael had to work Saturday but finished up around 1pm. I met up with him and his coworker, T, when they got out and we had a few pops. It was a fun time.

Sunday was all about gardening. We got up early and headed to HD to pick up a couple of things then went over to Pollilio's to get the flowers for our new bed in the back yard. The folks there were soo helpful! We were reading the little stakes in the flower pots religiously to make sure we picked the right kind of flowers for our super sunny flower bed. We picked some blue nemorosa salvia, red sizzler salvia and yellow marigolds. Then it was off to buy the dirt for the bed. It always seems funny to me to have to buy dirt. Isn't our yard full of it anyway, LOL? OK, back to the point. We were standing with an obviously puzzled look on our face trying to decipher the different options we had for top soil. Right when we thought we had it figured out, one of the nursery workers came over. Thank Goodness! We were going to pick the wrong thing. He steered up to the correct kind of soil and then recommended that we ditch our plans for a weed screen/mat thing and just mulch over the bed once we had everything planted. He told us that the mulch would do the trick for helping to keep the weeds down as well as hold moisture so we wouldn't have to water as often. I know some of you gardeners are like "Of course that's what you do, silly," but as I think I have mentioned before I have a total black thumb and while Michael is great with the grass, his flower skills are still a mystery. All and all, it worked out. We didn't need to buy as much soil as we thought, we got to return the weed screen, and now we have a pretty flower bed. We did, however, buy a few too many sizzlers and marigolds so we added another small bed along the side of the shed and also planted some around that odd post in the backyard. It's been kinda wet and gray this week so I haven't taken any pictures of our masterpieces yet, but this weekend it's supposed to be wicked hot and sunny so I know we'll be out there and I'll take some pics then.

Speaking of the wicked heat that's coming, we've got to get our ACs in! I say we, but this is all Michael. Though I consider myself pretty strong, there is no way I'd be able to wrangle those babies in! We use window ACs since usually it's really only hot in July and August here so we don't need central AC, though that would be lovely. We have 2 ACs from our apartment, but I think we may need to get a more powerful one to put in the dining room so it will also cool the living room since we don't have a window that can hold an AC in the living room. I'm sure the whole world will be out on Saturday buying them, so maybe we could go tomorrow to get one.

We met with a "life safety specialist" last night. The title makes me chuckle, he's actually a security system salesman. Anyway, he was really nice and we went through our needs and designed a system for the house. It's nothing crazy, but will definitely put my mind at ease. They're coming on Wednesday to install it. I just hope we don't set it off my accident, but I'm sure we'll get the hang of it and have no problems.

So I forgot to reset my pedometer from last week so I just added my goal for this week to last week (30k +50k) and see that I've got to get my feet moving if I'm going to meet my goal of 50k steps this week.

One last thing, I had heard of The Grocery Game a while back and checked it out but wasn't sure if it was for me. Well, when I saw that K signed up for it recently, I thought I'd give it a shot. (I gave you your credit, K, so hopefully you get some free weeks!) I think it makes more sense now that we're in a house, we get the Sunday paper and we have some extra cabinet space. I've clipped my coupons and made my list to go along with "The List" and am hitting Stop and Shop tonight. I'll let you know how I make out. Hopefully it will save a few bucks.

I guess that's all for now. Sorry for the book, but I wanted to get you all caught up on our fascinating adventures, LOL.

Have a great day everybody!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Yay for Friday!

I'm so happy it's Friday again. I just love short weeks! To make it even better I found 20 bucks in my pocket this morning when I put my jeans on. Gotta love that!

No big plans for the weekend. I'm sure we'll do something tonight, but I don't know what. Tomorrow is supposed to be rainy and thundering so I think I'll stay hunkered down in the house. DMil brought over my remaining china from the apartment the other day so I'll just plan to finish unpacking that. Sunday is supposed to be nice so hopefully we can cook out and do a little gardening.

I'd like to get a outside seating set for the deck. We have a dining table and chairs already that we put on the grass and I'd like to add some comfy living-room type seating on the deck as well so we can just hang out and put our feet up. I'm off to search the net...

Talk to you later! Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

One other thing...

You may have noticed a "blessing my heart" link on the side of my blog. Well, I've pulled out my pedometer again and am trying to walk more. Taking the train has helped since I have to walk further to/from my office, but I'm also taking walks at lunch. So, I set the ticker up yesterday with a target of 10,000 steps this week. Well, I blew that out of the water already. In one day I walked 10,005 steps. I guess my goal was off a bit. So I revised it to 30,000 steps this week. Next week, I think I'll raise it to 50,000 steps. Stay tuned.

Oh, and if anyone has any idea of what "step" goals should be, let me know. I'm sure my targets are still off. TIA!

Happy Wednesday!

wednesday

Hello all,

Nothing too much to report today other than the recipe I want to share. Last night we had the yummiest dinner if I do say so myself. I found a recipe from the Leanne, the Dinner Diva, one of Flylady's friends, on savingdinner.com for Garlic Lime Chicken. I didn't have regular chicken breasts, but I did have cutlets so I used those. I served it with a deconstructed guacamole salad (meaning everything was in big chunks over romaine lettuce) and black beans seasoned with Adobo. OMG, it was to die for! Luckily, there was enough left over that I was able to bring some for lunch today. =) I'm a happy girl! I highly recommend it and think the chicken itself would be great with anything and would most definitely make a yummy sandwich too. Michael said this one is a definite keeper.

Oh, one more thing, I bought my June commuter rail pass this morning. I think I am a true convert to the rails. I was kinda slow getting out of the house this morning and still caught my usual train. I thought for sure I'd have to wait for the next one. The beauty of my line, I'm realizing, is that it is always on time and never early so I can count on it being there at 8:01am, not 7:55am or 8:10am. I'm used to riding the subway that runs more frequently, but I still felt like I was always running to catch those trains. It's just a different scene. It's so much more civilized, a smoother ride and none of the trains I've been on so far has been overly packed. I've always scored a seat in the morning and mostly get one on the way home. Very different than the subway. All and all I am very pleased. And, as I mentioned in an earlier post, saving money too! Can't beat that. =)

I hope you all have a great day!



Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A wonderful weekend!

Hello everyone!

I hope you all had a lovely holiday weekend. Ours was great. It went just as we had planned. I was able to get out early on Friday and catch a 3:35 train. I called Michael as I was waiting for the train and he was already half way home from work and I beat him by a good 20 minutes! Hee, hee. Anyway, when he came home, we just chilled on the deck and had a few beers. The weather couldn't have been better Friday and for the whole weekend.

Saturday, I went on my errands and Michael worked on the yard. I had to go all over the countryside to find a place to return the beer cans. I thought I could do it at the grocery store, but the one I went to doesn't sell beer so you can't return the cans there. Ugh, anyway, I was able to find a place and did my good deed for the environment. Then I headed over to BJ's and bought the bulk items we needed and then finally went back to the grocery store after a pit stop at home to unload. The house was in good shape so the weekly home blessing didn't take too long. We're living on the first floor for the most part, so upstairs has remained nice and neat, so other then a swish and swipe in the bathroom, I was all set.

Sunday was beautiful. Our first Sunday paper came to the new house so I was able to have some coffee and sit on the deck in the morning and read it. It was terrific! Later, the family came over for a cookout. We did the traditional burgers and hot dogs with mac and jack salad and Julie's yummy potato salad. Everyone was stuffed. I think I made the burgers a bit too big this time. Oh well, next time they should be just right. After our cookout, we went over to C & S's for round two. S's brother and family were visiting. It was nice to see them, especially since I don't think I had seen their boys since C & S got married, almost 12 years ago! We had a nice visit. After we left there, we were going to go to the cultural center, but it was closed so we just went home.

Monday we just had a lazy day. We just hung around, had more hot dogs, watched movies and napped. A perfect day if you ask me!

I didn't get to plant any flowers, but I did tend to my potted petunias and they are looking fab!

Well, it's back to work for me. At least it is already Tuesday! Have a great day!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Woo hoo, a long weekend!

I'm so excited it's Friday! And a long weekend is ahead! Yippee!

I was messed up on my days yesterday and it didn't hit me until I got home last night that it was Thursday not Wednesday. Gotta love that!

We'll be hanging at the house this weekend. Tomorrow the junk guys are coming to get rid of the construction mess and I am going to try my hand at a little gardening in the front yard. Please say your prayers for the flowers I get that they don't die as soon as I plant them. You may think I'm kidding, but I have the worst black thumb ever and even killed my air plant that needs nothing at all! I was thinking of going to the nursery rather than HD to get some plants because I think I may get some better advice from the nursery workers as to which plants will work in our front yard. Also, Michael and I are trying to support the local businesses more and are going to try and avoid HD, unless we need something big. There's an Ace Hardware that's even closer to the house, so we'll go there for the smaller items. We have nothing against HD, but we just want to support our town businesses, rather than go to the next town and support corporate America.

OK, off my tangent and back to the weekend plans...Saturday will be a work on the yard-go grocery shopping-weekly home blessing (that's a Flylady thing if you're not in the know) kind of day. Sunday and Monday are supposed to be beautiful - sunny and in the 70's and near 80! =) We're going to take these days off from any kind of work. We're planning on cooking out both days and just enjoying our yard and being outside. (Note to self: Pick up some sunscreen) If you're in the neighborhood, come on by. I'm sure the grill will be going all day. (Other note to self: check the propane level.) I plan to make up some of my yummy hand packed burgers for you all to enjoy along with the usual hot dogs and all the other summertime fixin's. Yum, I can hardly wait!

It is so dead in the office today. It's a floater holiday for us and there are only 6 of us here so far. I know most people took the day off and I'm sure others will be strolling in late. I didn't take the day since I just came back from vacation. Oh well, I'm sure it will be an easy day and hopefully I can scoot out a little early.

I hope you all have a wonderful and safe weekend! Talk to you Tuesday!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Home Sweet Home

Hello all,

As promised, here are some pictures of our new home. I think there are some more I need to add, especially in the afters, but you will get the idea of what's been done since we bought the house.

We'd really like to thank everyone that helped us turn this house into a home. Mum, thanks for all the trim and door painting; Dad, thanks for hitting all those high spots and ceilings =); Mum, Dad and Sarah K, thanks for the lazy lasagna and spaghetti pie to make sure we ate something; Wendy, thanks for your superior taping skills and window and panelling painting in the kitchen; Mike, our little Donkey Apprentice, thanks for your help beheading the rocking horse, dismantling the vintage swing set and of course painting; Eamonn, thanks for my beautiful china closet and our wonderfully fancy digital thermostat - It works wonderfully, even though you needed to use my pink tool set ;); Sarah S, Mary and Sean, thank you for all of your help with all the packing and cleaning up our new yard - it's looking greener already so I better not touch anything ;) and last but not least, thank you Uncle Jimmy for all of your work on the side of the house - it looks amazing.

And of course, I want to thank my sweetie, Michael. You did an awesome job with everything! I <3 you!

I'd also like to give myself some props for replacing all of the door locks all by myself! Yay me!

Without further ado, please click below and watch the transformation! Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

I think I'm gonna save some dough!

Hi all,

So I took the commuter rail today for the first time. Wow! What a difference! Since we bought our new place, I had been driving to work and burning through gas like crazy, not to mention the $325 a month I pay for my parking spot at work. I decided that with $4/gallon gas prices looming, I needed to find an alternative. So I joined my fellow commuters on the train today. 23 minutes from the burbs to Boston. Woo hoo! My drive had been taking me 65-70 minutes each morning and about the same on the ride home. It was so nice to be able to sleep until 7, get ready and drive the 4 minutes to the station (it's just a little too far to walk it). I stepped off the train and had a nice walk to my office - it took about 8 minutes. It's a beautiful day so it was a pleasure to walk to work, until, like the klutz I am, I wiped out on some spilled coffee on the sidewalk. Luckily, I'm no worse for the wear and didn't get any of the coffee on me. So all and all, I'm very happy with my new alternative.

I figure I'll save $308.40/month. As I mentioned, my parking is $325, gas is $46.60/week (for now), so that's $511.40 a month. My train pass will be $163/month + parking at the station will be $40/month = $203/month. (I'm not going to count the gas to get to the station since it is so minimal.) That's a nice chunk of change I'll be saving. Yay me! And I know Michael will be happy about it too.

On another note, the side of the house project is finished on the outside so now we have a pile of construction debris to dispose of. We were thinking of getting a dumpster, but that just seemed to be a little bit of overkill since we don't have enough to fill it. Luckily, we got a postcard in our mail from a junk removal service. I called them last night and their prices are based on how much you fill up the truck, so if we fill 1/4 or 1/2 a truck that's all we pay for and they'll take anything as long as it's not a flammable liquid. So, we scheduled them to come out on Saturday for a quote and if it's agreeable, then they'll take the stuff right then. It's great because we can also have them take the old washer, AC and swing set that the sellers left. I hope it all works out.

Well, that's all for now. I promise I'll get cracking on the pictures for you all and post them this week. TTYL!

Monday, May 19, 2008

I'm Back!

Hello all!

I'm back at work today. As you know, I was on vacation last week to deal with the move and all the unpacking. I must say, it all went really well! We've got just about everything unpacked, our new fridge was delivered, and it's really feeling like home. We have a few things left at the apartment, but I plan to pick up as much as I can on my way home today and the rest tomorrow if it doesn't all fit in the beetle.

We've got to get our fish over to the house too. I'm not sure how to do that without completely messing up the tank. We've let the water go down a bit so I'm hoping that we can move it over and then just top off the tank with treated water. We were originally going to put the tank in the living room, but I think that it might be a bit tight so I think Fatty, Dotty and Oscar will be living in the office.

We've got most of the before and after pictures taken so I plan to put together one of those montage thingys for you all to see. I hope to do that this week.

We've met a few of the neighbors and they are all very nice and happy to see another young couple in the neighborhood. Slowly the street is turning to folks like us or couples with young children so I'm sure we'll be very happy there for a long time. The house next door is vacant as the owner went into a nursing home, so hopefully that will be occupied/sold soon.

Well, that's all for now. I'm off to catch up on your blogs! =)

Friday, May 9, 2008

7 and 1/2 hours left...

My vacation will be starting st the end of the day! Yippee! Well, sort of. The moving trucks are coming on Monday to clear out the apartment and head over to the house. We're very excited about that, but it means we'll have a gillion boxes to now unpack, ugh. I must say that it will be a relief once this move is complete. It will be so nice to be able to sit on our couch again and watch TV at the end of the day and sleep in our real bed. (We've been sleeping on the guest bed that we brought over.) I hope to get the kitchen squared away as far as the unpacking goes early in the week so that we can have a home cooked meal. All the take out we've been having is getting old, not to mention expensive.

Michael and I are going to go to Home Depot tonight to get the remaining paint we need and also pick out our new kitchen appliances. We were going to wait on the appliances, but have decided to just go ahead since we're already hemorrhaging money. After hearing the vintage copper tone fridge moan and groan and give off heat we decided to go for it. The oven is also a disaster. It too is vintage copper tone and last Saturday when we were heating up a casserole that Mum and Dad brought over, it popped and scared the crap out of us. I had been preheating the oven and the bottom broiler came on with its pilots and it seemed like the top oven was working too. Little did we know that the pilot for the top oven hadn't lit right away so the oven was filling with gas and then when the pilot did come on, it popped and the door bounced open a little. To get to the point, basically, there was an explosion in the oven. Thankfully nothing bad happened except for our hearts skipping a beat. We decided then that we needed those new appliances and figured we may as well get the new cook top too. (We haven't tried that yet, but the way things are going , I don't really want to.)

Well, I've got to get back to work so I can get out of here at 5 o'clock today. I'll write more next week when I have some time (and my desk).

Happy Friday and I hope you all have a super duper weekend! Yes, I said super duper and I am a complete dork and damn proud of it! =)

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

We're almost there!

Hi everybody!

We closed on the house last Wednesday! Whoo hooooo! Grumpy played his usual antics right up until the end saying he wasn't going to sell the house. Our attorney, K, told him he "wouldn't put up with one minute of his bullsh*t." *insert thumbs up here* When Grumpy came into the office he was quiet as a church mouse and didn't make any fuss. Michael and I realized later that his antics are completely sexist. He will only make a fuss around women and won't make a peep in front of men. *eyeroll*. Anyway, we never have to see that guy again and we have a house!!!

I can't wait to post the pics for you all to see! The before and afters are awesome! We finished up the living room last night. It went from boring beige with dark wood trim and paneling to a pretty light apple green and marshmallowy white trim and paneling. It looks sooo good and so fresh and young. The room is so much brighter. The dining room is a pretty light coral color with the marshmallow trim. It's almost finished, we just need to finish up around the ceiling and baseboards. The kitchen looks amazing. We painted the cabinets and paneling with the marshmallow and spray painted the hardware with gold. The walls above the paneling are a pale yellow. I haven't decided on a color for our room yet, but I think I'll pick a neutral color so that it will go with my ever changing bed linens. So we're almost there. Just the bedroom and the rest of the first floor hall and we'll be finished! I'm so excited! The upstairs is all white and looks freshly painted, so we're going to leave that alone for now.

Michael and Uncle J made the run to Home Depot today to get the supplies for the side of the house project of taking out the door and replacing the windows and demolishing the wacky stairs. They headed out around 7 this morning so I can't wait to see the progress when I get home from work. (Yes I'm at work this week, ugh.)

I'll be off next week to really work my magic organizing everything and decorating. Ooooooo, I can't wait! We're moving in on Monday. It can't get here soon enough!

Well, I've got to get some work done. Talk to you soon!

Monday, April 28, 2008

It's almost time...

...to buy a house! Yippee! Wednesday can't get here fast enough! We'll be closing at 2pm. I can hardly stand the wait!

I kept waking up last night thinking that the movers were at our house and I had nothing packed. The movers aren't coming until May 12th, so I think I'm a bit paranoid, LOL. I got some more packing done on Saturday and took the curtains down in most of the rooms and washed them. I just left the living room and dining room ones up for now so that we'll still have some privacy since our current place is so close to the street.

I called and set up our utilities too. We're going to be without internet from Wednesday until Saturday, but I think I'll be able to survive since we'll be busy cleaning and painting. =) The cable company is coming on Saturday to hook up the cable and internet. We have DSL from Verizon now, but they don't offer it in our new town. They have Fios. That was going to cost $139/mo! OMG! So, needless to say, we're switching to the cable modem instead.

Well, I have to get back to work and get the payroll finished. TTYL!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Finally!

I can breathe a sigh of relief now. I just got the final commitment letter from the bank. Thank goodness! I was really going to tear someone's head off if I didn't get it today.

I think it's time for a little....

Rachelp

Grumble...

I'm am a bit PO'd today so please excuse my rant.

As you know we are buying our first house. Michael and I had submitted all of our paperwork to the mortgage compnay weeks ago. All of our finances are in order and the bank agrees. However, we had to file a time extension with the seller for the mortgage commitment because the appraiser sucks. We should have had the letter last week on Friday, but the bank needed additional comps so we moved the deadline to this Friday - tomorrow. I still don't have the freaking letter! GRRRRR!!!! I just sent basically a WTH email to the mortgage guy and the loan processor. Now I'm very nervous that we won't be able to close on Wednesday. Everyone has told us that these things happen, but come on. I wouldn't be as upset if the closing was weeks away, but it's in six days. - 4 business days.

It just figures. We waited until we had a good downpayment so that we could be responsible buyers and now we get a higher interst rate and all this BS. All of the people in MA that bought houses a few years ago with the low rates and 0% down are now getting screwed and foreclosed on and that is causing our problem. I don't necessarily blame these buyers because some of the banks were very tricky and deceptive and that's what caused this whole economy disaster. Our bank says MA is a declining market and they're clamping down on the appriasals. If they just looked in the f%$#ing newspaper they would see that the land alone for this property is worth more than we are mortgaging.

OK, my blood pressure is going through the roof and I'm about to crack teeth since I'm clenching my jaw because I'm so mad, so I'd better end my carrying on and chill out. Sorry for the grumbling post, but I needed the vent.

I'll come back later and write about my nice night last night having dinner with Mum and Dad. =)

TTYL!

Monday, April 21, 2008

It's Mondy again, boo!

Hello all!

I'm bummed that I am in work today. In MA, today is Patriot's Day, a state holiday. In my office, it's a floater holiday and I have always had it off. But, since I was out at the beginning of last week, I needed to come in today so that my boss and I could go over the financials. Hurumph, but oh well.

It's so noisy here since today is the Boston Marathon and the finish line is just down the street, 0.2 miles to be exact. There's lots of cheering, helicopters and across the street there is a stage with a band playing. The Red Sox are playing today too just a few blocks in the other direction so there are people everywhere. I had to take the train into work today because I didn't think that I could be able to cross the street from the garage. So, I'm a bit peeved that I have to be here today. In all of my 32 years, I have never had to go to school or work on this day. I love having it off since it usually falls on my birthday or at least my birthday weekend. OK, I'll stop complaining. ;)

The weekend was good. We just chilled on Friday night since Michael just came home. Saturday was my birthday. I did some more packing in the morning and then we had a cookout in the afternoon/early evening. My BFF, T, came and spent the night since we were up til the wee hours. It was a lot of fun. Yesterday was my nephew, T's, birthday party and my brother's house. It was a really nice day and we all had a good time. On the way home, we stopped off for some Chinese food take out. It was really good! I wonder if the cook has changed? The past few times it's really been a crap shoot of how the food will be. We took our chances since this was the only take out option for a Sunday night in our neighborhood. The egg rolls were gigantic! I wonder what our new take out place will be once we move? I hope it's good!

Hopefully, I'll be able to leave a little early today so that I can get home and enjoy some of this beautiful weather. I really should be packing, but I also really want to to some planting though I know that it makes no sense since we will be moving in a couple of weeks. I guess spring fever has officially hit. Oh, well, I guess I can just tidy up in front of our place and sweep the steps and maybe buy a potted plant for the step, that will have to do.

That's all for now. Enjoy your day!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

I've been MIA

Hello all,

I know I've been MIA the past few days. I've been blessed with a stomach bug that started Monday and is still blessing me today. I stayed home Monday and Tuesday and watched Little House on the Prarie and The Waltons in between trips to the bathroom. It was nice to see those old shows again. I used to watch them when I was little. Anyways, I crawled into work to get a few things done and hope to head home in a little while. I hate being sick - well I guess everybody does, but I'm bummed I'm still feeling crappy because I really was feeling better last night and thought the nastiness had passed, but alas it came back and found me this morning.

Luckily, I was OK for the weekend. Michael and I went out to dinner with one of his work buddies and his girlfriend. We had a lovely meal and then headed over to the yacht club for a few pops. It was a lot of fun and great to meet M's girlfriend, S.

Sunday was the anniversary party for Mum and Dad. It was a really nice time and everyone enjoyed themselves. Mum and Dad loved the portrait of us kids and grandkids! We got one for Uncle J too for his birthday. The blue frame and mat looked really nice on his and Mum and Dad's had a pretty champagne colored frame. I think both frames will look really nice in each home. We also gave Mum and Dad some smaller pics of me and Michael, C and S, and of the three grandkids. Those are in pretty silver frames. High five S! I think we hit the nail right on the head for the gifts!

I'm supposed to go over to Mum and Dad's tonight for an early birthday dinner tonight so I hope I start feeling better. I'm sure I'll still go up, but I'm not sure if I'll be able to eat. =(

Well, that's all for now. I need to finish up some work so I can roll on home and cozy up on the couch.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Almost time to go home!

I don't really have anything to write about today so I will just wish you a

Happy Friday


Enjoy your weekends everyone!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Making Progress,Congrats and Happy Birthday!

Hello all!

I made some great progress with the packing last night. My MIL, SR (I'll use two initials here since I refer to alot of S's), came over to help. I got all of the snowglobes all packed up and we got almost all of the china cabinet done. We did pack all of the things that I'll bring up to Mum and Dad's, but there are a couple of things left to pack, probably a box worth. We would have done it last night, but we were swimming in boxes and we're getting stuck since there was no room to move around, LOL. Since most of these things we packed are breakable, I didn't want to stack the boxes so they are all on the floor and under the table. The way the table legs are, it's hard to stick them underneath, they still stick out. After Mum and Dad's anniversary party this weekend, I'll be able to bring the boxes of the most fragile/sentimental up to their house. I just don't want to bring them before since they have a small house too and we don't need to have them in the way of the party guests.

I think I will move the packing operation up to the guest room tonight. I'll be able to pack up the stuffed animals, books and craft and office supplies that are in there. There isn't too much else to pack in there except for the extra bed linens. The clothes that are in the closet will just get transferred on their hangers to one of the cars on moving day to I don't have to worry about those.
Its a boy

One another note, I would like to send my most heartfelt best wishes and congratulations to W and C! They had their baby boy on Monday! I can't wait to meet little N. I spoke to C last night and he said everyone is doing well. I could tell that he was just bursting - the proud new Papa!! He said he is the cutest thing ever. I called Michael to tell him and even though he was working and had his mask on, I could hear him hooting and Yippee-ing! I think "Uncle" Michael is just as excited as C!

birthday
And last but not least, I would like to with my Uncle J a very Happy Birthday! And yes, you are still 30 years older than me, wink, wink! I hope you have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Packing

Hello all!

I took a suvey of the house last night to see what really needs to be packed up for the move. I know I'm probably terribly underestimating, but, I don't think it's going to be that bad. Here's what I've come up with:

Living Room: a few knick knacks, the fish supplies for the tank and the toss pillows and throws. (We're going to move the fish tank ourselves).

Dining Room: a few knock knacks, the snowglobe collection, the china cabinet contents, the table linens.

Kitchen: Pots and Pans, plates, glasses, utensils, table linens, dish towels, cleaning supplies and maybe a few non-perishable food items if we don't finish them off before we move.

Office: Computer, monitor, printer, desk accessories, modem.

Guest room: Video games, books, stuffed animals, craft supplies, bed linens.

Master Bedroom: Bed linens, my shoes and hanging clothes, my make up and hair stuff, a few little knick knacks and picture frames.

Bathroom: Towels, toiletries, shower curtains, bath rugs.

Throughout the house: Curtains, hanging pictures and mirrors.

The rest of the things are can't be packed, like the sofas and tables and such, so I think it won't be too bad. And the movers said we don't have to empty our dressers as long as we just have clothes in them. Yippee!

I plan on purging through a bunch of stuff so that I'm not bringing any clutter to the new house. The main area to purge through is my clothes. It's good that we're moving as the seasons are changing so I can go through last year's spring/summer things and get rid of anything that doesn't work for me anymore. I'll do the same with my winter things. I know there are some sweaters in my drawer that I didn't wear at all this year, so I think it's safe to say I can get rid of them. I'm sure there are some things in my kitchen too that I can pass along. My bff, T, said she'd take any kitchen things we didn't need anymore so I'll need to set aside a box for her.

Wish me luck and if you have any tips, please pass them along!