Tuesday, September 16, 2014

It's about the little things...

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I'm a Scrooge. I do not like spending money. I especially don't like spending it on myself. I guess I belong to that sad group of people who don't think they deserve "this" or "that", and would rather spend it on the kids (or stash into savings if kids don't need anything). I know that Dave Ramsey likes to point out the importance of the "blow" money but I'm yet to learn to blow without feeling guilty...

It happened to me again yesterday. In the past few weeks my body started turning from a cute little pregnancy-belly mama into a clumsy waddling duck. Just FYI, I measure about 34-35 weeks right now, and it's getting increasingly hard to walk or do simple things. Considering I still have more than 10 weeks to go (in reality), it makes me a little uneasy, to say the least...

The other problem I ran into is that I have less and less maternity clothes that I still fit into. In fact, I'm living in leggins and shorts about 80% of the time. I knew that I needed to buy more or, should I say, bigger clothes because even though I'm all for comfort, I still need to look presentable when I go to Church, for example.

I needed a new skirt. After scavenging a few thrift stores in fruitless attempts I had to accept the fact that there are just no comfy (or really any) skirts out there in a 25 mile radius from our house, so I have to buy new. The thought made me cringe because I would only wear it for 10 weeks... And yes, I could, probably, make one myself but try to do it when your belly extends another 10 inches in front of you... Yeah, not happening.

So to the Old Navy we went. I found a simple, black maxi skirt and turned the tag: $29.94. Ouch! After pacing a few circles around the store, I finally convinced myself, "Buy the skirt or go naked, girl!" At around that point my legs gave up on me and I passed the skirt to my sweet husband who was nice enough to accompany me to the store and then I found a spot to sit down...

As he was standing in line, he noticed another tag that I didn't see at first. He gestured me about the discount:

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Nice!! The price was getting better by the minute. But when the cashier ran the tag, the price just became incredible. You want to know how much we spent??

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Yep, just 51c!! Hubby even double-checked it with the cashier but she said that if that's what it rang for, that's what we pay. The little Scrooge in me was really happy! And there is nothing wrong with the skirt but, apparently, if it was returned for any reason, they are not allowed to sell it for full price. Store policy. Gotta love me some Old Navy...

It's all about the little blessings in life :)...

Have you gotten any awesome, fantastic deals lately that you care to share? Or, maybe, your best find ever?

Monday, September 15, 2014

The weekend came and went...

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Yikes! Where did the weekend go??? I swear, the weekdays last twice as long when you count weeks but the weekends? They just fly by!!

I can't say it wasn't a busy one. Last week my oldest son turned 8 and we had a little Birthday celebration with a few friends from school on Saturday (unfortunately, my computer wouldn't allow me to upload pictures today. Ugh!!). We didn't do anything big and stayed well within our budget.

But one of the best parts of the day (I'm not sure if it was for him but definitely for me :) was a Skype conversation with my parents. In the past few weeks Skype has been acting weird and we haven't had a chance to see each other. It was nice to finally get a connection. But what's more important is that we received some big news. The next stage of my Mom's treatment was scheduled for the end of September. Well, they decided to move it closer (and not because of anything in her test results. All her labs are still great! She's a fighter, my sweet Mom!). So as of today she's officially in Moscow. This is great news! She just celebrated one year post diagnosis, and we hope for a good outcome and many years ahead. The first two weeks they will run a bunch of tests and also collect her bone marrow to prepare her for the transplant accompanied by very intensive chemo that will happen some time at the beginning of October. It brakes my heart to know that I can't be there by her side. Not that they would let me be there anyway since she will be isolated from visitors. It's still so hard that I cannot support her physically right now. But, please please, keep her in your prayers. It will be an intense and hard month for all of us!!

I started writing this post about our food waste and meal planning but I just couldn't keep going. It seems too small and irrelevant at the moment. So I'm taking a week off :) I will share more updates with you as I get them. But I appreciate your prayers, kind comments and e-mails with all my heart!!! Thank you, my dear friends!


Thursday, September 11, 2014

Please, somebody explain it to me...

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You all know that I'm a mother of two very fun and rambunctious boys. This also mean lots of scraped knees, dirty socks, soccer and football memorabilia and legos spread everywhere in a thin layer no matter how much I try to fight it.

I don't really have anything pink in the house (other than a pair of glorious rocking heels and a couple of shirts strictly on my side of the closet). We also don't have dolls (yet!) and I know very little about them, honestly.

The other day somebody posted on local Facebook classifieds an American Girl Doll for sale. It's a 2013 retired version that comes with an extra outfit, a hat and a helmet. All this for a mere $275... $275 for a doll?? I mean, it's a cute doll and all but seriously? That's like most of our grocery budget for a month or a third of our mortgage.

What am I missing? What's the deal with these dolls that they are so stinking expensive? I mean, there are tons of cute dolls in Walmart or Toys R Us that are a fracture of the price. Any moms of girls, can you enlighten me, please? :) Thank you :)

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Apple zucchini carrot muffins

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You, probably, already noticed that I try to sneak in vegetables everywhere. Like in these stuffed peppers or beef and zucchini meatballs. And no, my boys are pretty good about eating their veggies but hey, you can never have too many, right? Well, you can but let's not go there, OK? :) Great.

But I always get especially excited when I stumble upon a recipe that I know the boys will love and that is loaded with the good stuff. That's why I fell in love with this muffin recipe from Taste of Home. After a few tries, I adjusted it to our taste and now it's a new family staple. And did I mention, they freeze well?? Another plus in my book.

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So you will need (with my changes):

  • 2 cups zucchini, shredded
  • 1.5 cup carrots, shredded
  • 1 apple, peeled and shredded
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup flaked coconuts
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 tsp. orange peel (optional but I say it's a must)
  • 1/2 cup apple sauce
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 TB cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • a pinch of nutmeg
How-to:

1. Preheat your stove to 375 F.

2. Shred veggies and toss them together with coconut and orange peel. Set aside

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3. In a large bowl, combine flour, both sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda and salt, whisk together really well. Combine eggs, apple sauce, oil and vanilla; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened (batter will be thick). 

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4. Add carrot mixture just until mixed. Spray a muffin form (or use paper liners). Fill about 2/3 full.

5. Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for ten minutes, then move to a wire rack until completely cooled down. Makes between 20 and 24 muffins

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Monday, September 8, 2014

Food waste and a menu, week 9/8-9/14

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I had an appointment with my doctor today. My throat (and it's definitely strep) is doing better, so, hopefully, I'm finally on my way to recovery. Unfortunately, looks like I shared my cold with the rest of the family. They don't seem to have strep (yet - keeping fingers crossed here!) but everybody is sneezing, coughing and have runny noses. Ugh! I'm so not ready for this season...

I also talked to my OB about GD and a new diet and she comforted me a bit. I will have a meeting with a nutritionist, hopefully, very soon. In the meantime, I'll start testing myself and will go on a diet like I did with my first but add extra protein and calories. Fun times...

But going back to food waste :) I was really hoping not to have any this week. And I was close, so very close. But alas... On Sunday I discovered some moldy bread in the pantry :(

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That was our only waste but I'm still not happy. I need to do better with food waste as I've been slacking lately...

And so far on our menu this week:

Mon. - spinach raviolis, salmon (leftovers from last week), salad
Tues. - zucchini pasta (with lower carb pasta for me)
Wed. - Kid #1 Birthday (going out)
Thurs. - meatballs, mashed potatoes (mashed cauliflower with loads of cheese for me), steamed green beans and carrots
Fr. - chicken salad sandwiches (with low carb bread for me)
Sat. - leftovers
Sun -  TBD, not sure yet

There will be many adjustments to our meal plans but I still want the boys to eat normal sthat they are used too. Plus, low carb food is EXPENSIVE. Seriously, a loaf of bread is almost $4! And I don't know how to bake low carb bread myself, unfortunately. All the recipes I found are still kind of high. So whatever I buy will be mine, all mine :)

And what's on your table this week?

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