Saturday, March 28, 2009

Weekend Update aka Links Galore Because I Have A Life (kind of)

Here are some of the things I've been reading. (Thanks to Emily... one link led to another)

Absolutely scan through 5BX Plan progression charts. The workout for champion athletes made me laugh out loud. But also made me want to try and do it. I am smitten with the idea of a universal exercise routine (that anyone could do anywhere at anytime) that is infinitely expandable to be challenging for your entire life. Genius. Look for Kid and I to be acting this out on YouTube in the very near future. I think giving your kids a fitness tool like this to adopt as a lifetime habit would be a fabulous start to a fit life. (note modifications are necessary on some of the outdated exercises... bend knees for situps)

I'm going to try and get Mr F to do this ten minute series since I think he'll respond better to exercises he's seen before. I think that this is a great basic series of body weight exercises... and if he were to say... ride his freaking bike to work... that he would be covering all bases. Which would be a major improvement over his current regime of NOTHING.

If you want to laugh your ass off read the original women's plan.


Completely unrelated I stumbled upon this blog last week and her series on eating a 1950s diet (read the posts from the bottom of the page up to watch the experiment unfold). Of course this was fascinating to me on all levels and it kind of made me want to dig out my 1948 Better Homes & Garden Cook Book and do the same thing.


This afternoon Kid and I will be joining my mother and The Cougar for afternoon tea. We're very excited. We might overdress. If you're there you'll be able to spot us as the group with the young girl wearing a slightly wrinkled and way too small pioneer bonnet. Nothing says high tea like an old bonnet... and Crocs. I'm going to shower and not wear Target kid's jeans.


Wow... this explains some things. (You should be watching "How email starts a fight")


And I'll leave you with this... an Amish kitchen. (Thank you Haley)

Friday, March 27, 2009


Yesterday afternoon Mr F called to tell me that we were officially a one car family. As in... finally... the volvo was sold and he had cash in hand to deposit at the bank.

For the last month or so Mr F has been compulsively looking at cars online to replace the volvo. This was a source of contention.

It's not that I think we should be a one car family indefinitely but I think we should be cautious about how we handle this money before we commit some of it to another car.

What I mean is... until we have paid off the appliances, the medical bills, and repaired the van & replaced the tires... we don't know how much will be left for another car.

We do know it will be less than $2000... or I should say I know it will be less than $2000. However, when Mr F is sucked into ebay world $2000 quickly becomes more as the fever of an auction winds down.

Mr F had to be schooled (yet again) on how REALLY serious our situation is. It just doesn't seem to be sinking in.

We haven't even settled our debts and he's ready to spend our windfall. And that is a pattern for him... and the reason I'm in charge of the finances. I'm not trying to be controlling... I'm trying to save us from our ruinous situation.

Mr F was in charge of our finances for the first several years of our marriage... and... it was (by his own admission) disastrous. Because of this very pattern of behavior. Mr F likes to round up our assets and round down our debts. EVERY SINGLE TIME.

So the car is just another example. Before he'd gotten the money from the buyer (aka maybe the car wasn't sold) he was ready to bid on a car that was well over our budget.

It didn't matter that just a few days ago we got a notice from our mortgage company that our monthly payment was going up $200 to cover some escrow issues. You may recall that our budget was EXTREMELY tight before we had to cover our own health insurance. Add this in and our monthly expenses just went up $900. That's more than 20% of our take home pay. Sadly Mr F did not get a 20% raise.

Mr F sees the cash in hand and thinks we *have* money. You probably know someone like this... and how frustrating for the money manager it is to keep breaking down why that money doesn't really exist. Over and over and over.

Sometimes I just want to yell "Why do you think we sold the car?!!!"

We had a discussion about how the replacement car will not be a car that he wants. (So stop looking at Saab wagons in PA (that you'll have to fly to pick up!) just because it's a really good deal... it's also REALLY over our price range.)

Are you sensing my frustration?

My proposition is that we pay everything off. We get the van completely fixed. THEN Mr F can look for a car with whatever cash is leftover. Doesn't that make sense? Because we are not in a position to cover even a $500 mistake right now.

I'm not even sure we're in a position to pay all our bills anymore.

So last night I called Mr F at work and said...

"There's a 6 o'clock bus. You get it about a block from your office. One stop and you're home. It's one dollar."

Get used to it.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


Today is Kid's turn to go to the dentist. She's been going for the last 3 and a half years... but I'm not sure she's technically gotten a cleaning. She's not a big fan of strangers... and is understandably reluctant to let them stick sharp tools in her mouth.

Well she's got quite a few of her permanent teeth in now and I think a cleaning is in order. So she's going. I gave her a couple of days notice.

I thought I'd butter her up with some juicy and enticing tidbits about her new dentist... "She has a little baby" I said enthusiastically.

I didn't notice the kind of relief I thought that should merit so I stretched a bit with...

"And the baby does the cleanings!"

Kid's faced became aglow with wonder and amazement.

Yeah that's what I'm talking about!

"Really... the baby does it?" Kid asked excitedly.

"Yeah... the dentist holds the baby up and the baby sticks all the tools in your mouth." I replied giving a good eyebrow waggle that we all know negates any truth to my statement.

Or does it?

I'd kind of forgotten about my whole little embellishment (if you will) until yesterday afternoon when Kid asked me about the baby dentist.

"Oh yeah ... it's going to be CRAZY." I replied.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

It's Official

The kids are definitely holding private meetings where they plan out exactly what kind of tag teaming method will be most effective in driving me completely insane.

Randomness Of The Day

Don't have time to watch?

I've got you covered...

One more way to use that ground turkey. You already know that I brown up a pound with salt, pepper, garlic powder & ground oregano. I use half in some jarred sauce for meat sauce (w/ 1 T sugar) and I use the other half with a can of black beans season it on up (chili powder, salt, onion & garlic powder, cumin & more oregano) and use it for taco filing. On taco night I also cook up seasoned rice (season it like the taco filing and cook in half stock half water)... it stretches those tacos (well burritos really). Whatever leftovers I have after dinner... typically an annoying 1/2 c or so of the filling I mix with the rice. Later in the week I mix it with 1/4 c of salsa and microwave it to rehydrate the rice. I use this as my quesadilla filing. God I love quesadilla night... so easy... so delicious. I put 1/4 c of cheese down on a tortilla put 1/2 my leftover mixture (3/4 c) and top with 1/4 c cheese, some green onion, and the other tortilla. I can get two full quesadillas out of my leftovers which is enough for 4 servings. I serve each 1/2 quesadilla with 1/4 avocado... for 450 calories each.

Here's my nifty quesadilla trick:

Oh and if I have a little bit of meat sauce left on pasta night I use that again as pizza sauce... it's got the meat built in which my kids (and Mr F) believe is sausage.

We're pretty much down to zero food waste!

Other tidbits..

If you tried my bread machine bread recipe and it failed... try again. We had made months of great bread... then we bought a different brand of yeast and a different type of whole wheat flour... and BOOM... horrible bread. Dry, dense, mealy... terrible. So if at first you don't succeed try, try again. We've had good success with King Arthur brand Bread Flour and Stone Ground Whole Wheat flour and the Fleischmann's BreadMachine yeast and SAF- instant yeast.

Now I must go clean!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Talk About Letting Things Go

"Oh I hope he's not going to be all ruthless on my mouth." Mrs F muses to Mr F about her upcoming dental appointment.

"He won't be... your teeth won't be as bad as mine." Mr F replies

"Well you're not a dentist." Mrs F mutters.

"No... I haven't flossed in a year... I don't even brush as frequently as I used to." Mr F says with conviction.

Mrs F chokes on her water

"I can't tell you how many nights I'm just like "screw it I'm going to bed". Mr F continues

Good to know.

Choose Your Own Adventure

For the highbrow go HERE and read this Gourmet Magazine series on Extreme Frugality. It's a really good read (make sure you read them chronologically)

For the lowbrow amongst us.... it is time to get our J &K + 8 gossip on! People, ever since I read all that negative stuff about them I have never quite been able to reconcile my feelings. It's like a train wreck... it's hideous... but I can't look away. Anyway I've been holding it in much too long.

I'm off to the Dr but when I get back I expect some kind of juiciness to be going on in the comments!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Drum Roll Please

The Winner is....



PS email me your address

This Week The Plan

***Remember to enter my Easter box giveaway... time is running out***

The week in review:

Alright Ladies & Gents... I am officially better. Good God that was a complete nightmare, and at a certain point I actually started to forget how good normal feels. Let me tell you normal feels great. Even if every other part of your life is falling apart... being able to digest food is a big deal... so count your blessings. ;)

A lot of stuff is going down this week... I have my tailbone check up tomorrow. I'm curious what he'll say since I've been having some pain lately. Although this has gone on so long that I don't remember how much pain I had 6 weeks ago... maybe this is an improvement. We also all have EARLY morning dental appointments (7 freaking 30... if you know us you know it would actually be easier for us to stay up until then rather than get up then) that we are trying to squeeze in before we cancel our dental insurance.

RE: Insurance... that was actually not as simple to shut down as I had anticipated. I spent about 2 days on the phone last week talking with 100 people to get everything completely closed on those other two policies. (Hold Up: I just got 3 pieces of mail from them... so... maybe not)

I filed our taxes. Feds, Michigan, & North Carolina. They all owe us money. Aww yeah. Maybe we'll be able to get a fence (or at the very least eye hooks at the top of our doors)... so that I don't find Baby wandering outside on the sidewalk (unbeknownst to us) in her diaper. Don't worry she took Canine with her.

My mother and The Cougar are coming down at the end of the week for Kid's grandparents tea. I am SO happy about that. I'm happy that I'm going to see them but I'm also really glad Kid didn't have to be that kid with no one showing up to her event. Added bonus... we have a timely motivation to get the house in tip top shape.

Okay enough randomness, onto this week!

Baby is eating her oatmeal with a chopstick. This has bought me an unprecedented chunk of time... I might get through this all in one sitting.

Well for the 2nd week in a row most of my meals have gotten bumped. The girls ate mostly happy meals last week (when your parents can't cook for you or pay attention to you the least you deserve is a little plastic toy... am I right?!... don't answer that).

Monday - Ginger & Scallion Noodles w/ Shrimp

Tuesday - Quesadillas (new use of leftover rice & taco filling) w/ avocado & salsa

Wednesday - Orange & Honey glazed Salmon (recipe coming), potatoes & green beans

Thursday - Tomato & Meatball Soup, dill rolls

Friday - Pizza & Salad

Saturday - go out

Sunday - Beef Brisket w/ Potatoes & Carrots

Exercise & Diet
You know that whatever loss I managed through acting like a human funnel for a full week is gone right? Yeah it is.
So now that I feel rehydrated sufficiently I will commence my daily hour on the old treadmill. Hopefully I'll get some good news from the butt doctor on Tuesday and I'll be able to add back in my pilates. Until then I'll be kicking ass (ha ha) on my incline workout while I catch up on Millionaire Matchmaker.
I'm also back on the food journal. I'm sticking back to my 1800 limit and then I'll adjust from there next week.

Errands & Chores:
Unbelievably I'm almost done with my desk area. That is my top priority. I need to get that baby to 100% so I can stick with a new regime of daily management. I got rid of all our old outdated paperwork and filed everything else. I've still got bits of miscellaneous crap that does not have a good *home*... plus a lot of shit I'm sick of holding onto. I'm about to get ruthless on all those weird business cards and old checks!

Sunday - major house clean up (Mr F & I almost had a fist fight over *how to get things done*... you should have been there)

Monday - groceries, laundry

Tuesday - put away laundry (wipe that smirk off your damn face Mr F), clean off counters

Wednesday - vacuum, toy clean up

Thur- Mon = guests
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