Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Since When Do Cherries Look Like Oranges?

I bought a container of fruit slices (or as they should be called, sugar flavored and made to look like fruit) and I found it strange that the cherry flavored slices look like the citrus fruit slices.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Dirt and Lava Update

I didn't quite get to the pile every day this last week, but I did make some progress.
I forgot to include the picture of these two containers with the picture of the larger pile.  I had originally started placing the dirt and rock in these containers, thinking that they would be big enough (was I ever wrong).  There are holes in the bottom of the containers for drainage, so I decided that I would use them to store the lava rock.  I had to stop working on the big pile in order to clear out one of the containers.  I was surprised at the number of large earthworms I found neat the bottom of the container.

I thought that I would include a picture of my tools.  My gloves are no longer nearly this clean since we had such a good rain on Thursday.  The thumb on one of the gloves had begun to develop a hole, so I think I will be looking for a new pair of gloves (or two).

Here is a picture of the pile on Saturday, September 25th.  I was able to clean out one of the containers and I have started placing just the rock in it.  I think that I will work on the larger pile for a little while before I clean out the other container.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Cool Temps = Good Day to Bake

One activity I have looked forward to doing since I have become a stay-at-home mom is baking, but during the summer, I did not want to heat the house by turning on the oven.  Fortunately, today was a perfect day to keep the windows open and embark on this delicious endeavor. 

This is a basic cinnamon rolls recipe.  The recipe actually came with my bread machine.  I really appreciate being able to put all the ingredients into the bread machine and let it do all the work.  I made two batches of rolls because I need to take treats to church on Sunday.  Soon they will be frosted and hopefully they will be enjoyed by all who try them.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Shopping at Kohl's

Before I became pregnant with Lucy, I had gotten down to a size ten and I had gotten rid of many of my larger clothes.  Since her birth, I have not lost enough weight to be able to fit in my previous clothes.  With cooler weather approaching, I need to get a few items to carry me through.  Fortunately, I had a $10 coupon to Kohl's, so I picked up a pair of pants and a shirt.  After the coupon plus 15% off the outfit came in under $20. 

Monday, September 20, 2010

Dirt and Lava - Saturday, September 18, 2010

These pictures represent a project that I want to complete by the end of the month or the first week of October at the latest.  This pile of dirt and lava rocks have been sitting in our backyard for a couple of years.  The previous owners of our house made some interesting landscaping decisions to say the least.  Unfortunately, they did not lay down any landscape fabric under all the lava rock they placed around the yard (some of this lava rock created a path that actually cut through the yard.  One goal I have for this house is to finally have a nice backyard where we can hang out and kids can play.  Two years ago, I spent the summer digging up the lava rock and dirt so that we could begin the process of planting some grass seed.  Since there was so much rock and dirt to go through, I decided to just create a pile and then go through it later.

Well, later has come.  We need to fill in some uneven patches in our yard, so we want to use what dirt we can from this pile before going out at purchasing some dirt.  This pile will not go away on its own, so I am planning to spend at least thirty minutes a day sorting out the rock in this pile.  I spent almost two hours on it on Saturday and I plan to work on it again on Tuesday.  I figure that little-by-little, it will go away. 

I need to make sure I have a big bottle of ibuprofen handy because my back is already getting stiff from the work that I have done. 

PS If you know someone who would like some inexpensive lava rock, I will soon have a significant pile of it that they can have. 

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Still Learning

For the month of August, I did pretty well with our grocery budget.  I went over a little bit because Dillon's ran some good sales on items that we will use often, so I stocked up on some of the products (I was able to pick up Pillsbury crescent rolls for 70 cents a container!).  Matt reminded me that he is looking for us to average a set amount each month for groceries, so it was okay to go over. 

I recently discovered the blog Money Saving Mom.  Her blog is a good source of information on where to find coupons and how to use them to get the most out of them.  Every week she will post the best deals at various stores.  She is also from Kansas, so many of the sales she highlights are applicable to the area.  On her website I learned about stacking coupons, and when I was at Target I learned that you can stack a manufacturer's coupon with a store coupon.   Today I was able to stack a 75 cent coupon for Ragu with a 50 cent store coupon which means I saved $1.25 instead of just the 75 cents or 50 cents.  I picked up two jars of Ragu for less than $1 per jar. 

I have to keep reminding myself that this new way of shopping and thinking about shopping is going to take time to get used to.  I have done better about making a list and sticking to it, and I am getting out of the habit of buying foods just because they sound good.  It has been fun looking for the good deals and I look forward to the challenges of staying within our budget in the future.