Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Why my grandmother is amazing.

She's 98 and just bought a condo. And she got a 30 year mortgage. That's a woman that thinks positively.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Blog Titles that spoke to me today

* How to lie, as taught by the world's worst liar
* In awe, or just hungry?
* Taking Grandma to a Neil Diamond concert?
* The Pitter-Patter of Baby Fever
* Snarky Gratitude
* Sometimes You Just Can't Win
* Dibs
* How many snowmen can you punch?
* Get in the kitchen and blog me some pie.
* Snap
* The three little vultures
* When we last left our heroine...
* Santa! I Know him!
* My Morning in Whoville
* Rock Star
* Boy is January going to be boring.
* MORE whining but this time with shotguns
* Sometimes a Snake is Just a Snake
* driving miss lazy

Friday, December 12, 2008

You know what this kind of photo means....



HotMommy and Buzzkill made a sibling for the Punkinhead. Of course, we're also just excited that a special new individual will be joining our family next year.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Trader Tuesday. No one will probably notice.

It's been such a long time since I posted a recipe.

Spicy Appetizer Meatballs

2 lbs. frozen meatballs
15 oz. can jellied cranberry
12 oz. jar chili sauce

Combine the jellied cranberry and chili sauce. Blend until smooth.

Pour over frozen meatballs in a large skillet. Cook over med. high heat for about 15 minutes.

Serve in a warming bowl (or regular bowl; they go fast before they get cold) with those fancy long cocktail toothpicks next to the bowl.

Yum!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

I swear this is not a Polish joke.

It's more of a cubicle prisoner joke (aka about the dudes Buzzkill works with).

The other week they were all pumped to go check out this new restaurant called Simply Polish for lunch. Buzzkill couldn't go with them, but asked how the food was when they returned later.

"Well, we parked and walked into the front entrance, and were overwhelmed by a horrible stench. We then noticed there were only women inside and they all had their hands and feet soaking in water. It was a nail salon!"

Simply Polish (Pawl-ish, as in nail), not Simply Polish (Pole-ish, as in from Poland).

This tale is going to be repeated at every holiday party we attend this season.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

A Christmas Glimpse from Punkinheadland

I'm holding back some great pictures from our family photo shoot because I want friends and family to "oooo" and "ahhh" when they get the annual holiday card, but here's a few of our other favorites featuring HotMommy, Buzzkill, and our star, Punkinhead. I promise to post our card and annual update later once all the paper cards go out.





Admission

I know I coveted it. I begged for it. I blogged for it.

And I finally got it.

But I don't entirely like it. The Couponizer.

I love the money I save using coupons. It takes work, but as a stay-at-home-mom, I consider it part of my job to make the most of the one income we have. So, coupons. It's not for everyone, but I've grown to love the process. But not the disorganization that happened because I dove into the deep end. Total immersion into the coupon culture.

I've search all over YouTube, frugal blogs, coupon blogs, etc. for a coupon sorting system that would work for me. The Couponizer seemed to be the be all, end all, and I was eager to try it.

But here's why it sucks for me. I hate to cut coupons. The Couponizer needs you to cut all the coupons you file in it.

I use The Grocery Game to stockpile food deals and I like how it allows me to cut only the coupons I use. But I also need a way to quickly and easily sort through and keep track of all the other coupons I use at CVS and Walgreens.

I've decided to start my own system. When the Smart Source(SS), Red Plum(RP), and Procter & Gamble(PG) come in the Sunday paper, I'm entering all the coupons into an Access database. I'll be able to search it by publication date, source packet(SS,RP,PG), product type, expiration date, product name, quantity of coupons, etc. The time spent entering these once a week will be an hour at most.

Then all the coupon packets will get put into an accordion file(uncut) by source packet and then by packet date. When I need I coupon, I can search the database, pull the correct source packet, cut the coupon, return the source packet to the file, and go shop. No cutting a million little squares, no scissor blisters.

Never fear about The Couponizer being wasted though. All those random coupons that I get in the mail with samples, the blinkys from the grocery store aisles, and the ones I pull from magazines will get sorted in it. These loose coupons will also be entered into the database, but their "source" will list TC(The Couponizer).

It's taken some work, but I think I'm one my way to a system that's finally going to work for me. Yay!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Holiday Contests & A Little Horn Tooting

I know when I think about the holidays, two things at the top of my list are Walmart and Subway.

Well, maybe not the top, but I kicked tushie at Walmart on Black Friday and I crave Subway roast beefs more than fortnightly. So, I think about them. Your thinking about them now too, aren't you?

Luckily for us, a terrific frugal blogger (and soon-to-be mommy), The Centsible Sawyer is giving away a $100 Walmart gift card and a $15 Subway gift card.

Check out her YouTube channel as well. She's from my home state and I just love hearing the accent so dear to my heart.

P.S. On a bragging note, I payed $3.26 for 3 12-packs of Caffeine Free Diet Coke at CVS today. It was 3 packs for $11 and I had $7.99 in ECBs from Black Friday shopping to use. Buzzkill LOVES the stuff and I find it drinkable as well, so we go through a good bit in a month. I'm always trying to find a way to pay less then 20 cents a can.

Attention procrastinators!

So you haven't order your holiday cards yet? Good for you! This Kodak deal is rewarding you for taking your sweet time.

I, myself, have already ordered this year's holiday cards. Okay, I did it last Friday, and they haven't even been delivered yet. I decided to go ahead and get some more cards with this deal because I always find that there are folks not on my official list that I get cards from and need to add last minute.

I found this deal at another great "frugal" site Money Saving Methods . Her site's great and I'm going to add it to the frugal blog list to the right for y'all to check out.

So, the deal:

You can get THREE sets (30 photo cards total) for free! Plus, you get 75 4x6 prints free for registering with Kodak Gallery. You have to use the 75 prints within a month, but still, score..


I'm reprinting Carrie's instructions here, but you can also follow the link above to her original post.

* Click here to register with Kodak Gallery. Your 75 Free Prints will show up as a credit on your account. You ONLY have 1 month to use them. So, don't delay and lose those prints.

* Upload your holiday photo and create 30 cards (3 sets) Your quantity should show 3.

* Enter code tryus3

* Enter code 20freecards

You will have to pay shipping/handling, but it comes to a little over $3.(HotMommy paid $3.48)

Carrie also has instructions on how to save on shipping by having the cards sent to CVS. I personally thought spending the $3.48 to have them sent right to me was totally worth it.

The cost of the cards is pretty decent if you want to order more than 30 cards too.

No word on when this deal ends.....get busy!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

She's caught up!!!!!


We had the Punkinhead's latest appointment with the developmental pediatrician today and she's completely caught up to her chronological age. No more preemie 9 week adjustment!!!!!!!!

Verbally she's right on schedule and her fine motor skills are somewhat advanced. Such a miracle.

We'll still need to go in for a 2 year check and then again when she's 4 1/2 - before she starts full time school. But no more need for constant concern and worry. And no more reports. I hate the reports.

I'm a joyous HotMommy and Buzzkill is cautiously relieved. Pretty characteristic reactions.

P.S. Yes, I know I need to correct the date stamp on my camera....

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

We missed you!

It just wasn't the same without a dry erase board! Luke was great to watch.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Date Night

Buzzkill and I don't do many things just the two of us. I mean, we go out for a movie every now and then, for our anniversary, and we have a great group of friends that we do non-baby attending things with, but we just don't often make time to do something special just him and me.

So, when he found a great deal (awesome, awesome deal - $15 each!) for Platinum level seats to a Dallas Stars game, I was very excited. I'm not really the type of girl that prefers to get super dressed up and go to the ballet. It can be fun, but I'd much rather go to some sporting event. In preferential order: Auburn football, SEC football, non-SEC college football, hockey, baseball, and then basketball.

Buzzkill even called his mom to babysit and picked out a restaurant for us to go to dinner beforehand. I was giddy; it made me feel like I was being dated again. Normally I'm the organizer. It was nice to have it all planned by someone else.

The night could not have gone better. The restaurant he picked was one of my favorites, but not one he'd been to before. We got there before happy hour ended and had half price drinks. I promise it made them taste better. The food was delish.

We rode DART incident free. Okay, it might have been nice to have a funny public transportation story to blog about.

Buzzkill bought me lots of pretzels, beer, and popcorn at the game. The Stars won 4-2 which made Buzzkill happy. And when we got home, the Punkinhead was feed, changed, and sound asleep.

The best part of the night was talking to one another uninterrupted for a few hours. We definitely need to do this kind of thing more often.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Future Blogger?

The Punkinhead has totally mad computer skills. She likes to do her creative writing in the morning before HotMommy wakes up.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Jon Stewart is a funny dog.

My new birthday flashlight has a laser pointer thingy that Buzzkill has been having fun with all week. Stephen doesn't fall for these tricks, but man, oh man, Jon totally does.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Halloween Photo Shoot at Walgreen's for 31 cents



I'm such a deal addict and man, Walgreen's knows how to get me to their store! On Friday, Walgreen's Photo is offering a 31 cent Halloween Photo Package, which includes:

* Photo CD with your child’s image
* Halloween Photo Greeting Card of your image

Punkinhead is dressing up as, what else, a pumpkin! Okay, technically, it's a Jack-O-Lantern costume. I know all the grandparents are going to want a pic, so I'm going to head over there right after we do our play group's photo at the Halloween event at our neighborhood Rec center. It's going to be a busy Halloween. We have such amazing friends and neighbors that make such a production out of Halloween. I can't wait to see what everyone dresses up as!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Back with a Barbie Deal

Well, it's been a month. Wow, I've never taken this long a break, but honestly until about a week ago I hadn't even missed it. Why, you ask? The first week was just laziness and lack of creative thought and then a horrible, horrible plague descended on our house in the form of flu. WE ALL GOT IT!!!!

It was the worst time too - we missed seeing friends in town from Nashville, a family member's baby shower with Sprinkles cupcakes, and my BFF's daughter's first birthday party.

It's taken a good two more weeks to feel back to myself and catch up on all the housekeeping, laundry, etc., but I have been trying to read everyone else's blogs so that I at least know what's up with y'all.



But I'm back and I have an awesome Barbie deal. Punkinhead isn't quite ready for Barbie yet, but I'm thinking about going ahead and storing stuff for Christmas/birthday gifts in the near future. All you mommies with the over-3 Barbie addicts should take advantage of this.

The deal is, buy $100 worth of the products listed below and get a $50 Visa prepaid card that you can use anywhere Visa is accepted! (Dude, that sounded like a commercial.....yikes.)

1. Barbie The Diamond Castle Princess Liana Doll $19.94 @ Walmart.com
2. Barbie The Diamond Castle Princess Alexa Doll $19.94 @ Walmart.com
3. Barbie The Diamond Castle Horse and Carriage $44.94 @ Walmart.com
4. Barbie The Diamond Castle Glimmer Flying Horse $22.99 (sale price) @ ToysRUs.com
5. Barbie The Diamond Castle Playset $94.97 @ Walmart.com
6. Peekaboo Petites Peekaboo Place $29.97 @ Walmart.com
7. iDesign Ultimate Stylist $29.97 @ Walmart.com
8. Barbie My House $34.97 @ Walmart.com
9. Barbie Party Cruise $64.94 @ Walmart.com
10. Candy Glam Style Station $44.88 @ Walmart.com

Go to BarbieBucks.com to download the Offer Certificate.

You have to make all the purchase by 11:59 p.m. 12/31/08 and have the forms received by Mattel no later than 1/21/09.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Tuesday Trader - Transition back to meat with fish

This is a recipe that was served at one of my baby showers and is an Easter favorite too. It is NOT a bargain recipe. Definitely a holiday/party treat recipe. Or maybe you're a lottery winner and can pass it off for your personal chef to make weekly; I'm not totally clear what my average reader is.....

Noodles in Dill Sauce with Smoked Salmon

Sauce:
3 Tbsp minced shallots
1/2 c. dry white wine
1 c. heavy cream
2 Tbsp fresh chopped dillweed

Combine shallots and white wine in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce and simmer until the wine is reduced to about 2 tsp. Pour in cream and bring it back to a boil. Reduce and simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove it from the heat and stir in the dillweed.

Noodles:
Cook 6 oz. of dry egg noodles according to directions.

Salmon:
4 oz. thin sliced smoked salmon. Cut it along the grain into narrow 2 inch pieces.

Pour the dill sauce over the noodles. Toss until coated. Add the salmon and stir gently. I like to add a little kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste before serving it.

This is also good the next day cold.

Monday, September 22, 2008

You ask them to do one thing and they do another.

But at least this time it was cute! I was trying to get the Punkinhead to show off her "find your nose" skills. Instead, she gave us a glimpse into her future as a cast member of The Lion King. That bit of cuteness is right up top in the show; the rest is fun to watch as well. Buzzkill on the sofa is about the height of his activity on weekends. Actually, he's a tremendous help with the Punkinhead on weekends. Also, Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart make a rare appearance.

Hey Buzzkill!

You claim I don't tell you about the things I want gift wise, right? Well here's a link to a description of something - The Couponizer! Yes, Common Sense With Money is giving one away, so maybe you should enter....

I apologize to my readers that I'm not married to, which is quite fairly, a lot. Just needed to put a little wifely directive out there.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

5 SEC teams in the top 10!

That's all I have to write. Just proof that the SEC is the TOUGHEST conference in the country. We deserve to have a team play for the national championship every year. We're that good.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Contest, contest, contest

One of my favorite frugal blogs is running a contest in conjunction with the new season of Lipstick Jungle. The Punkinhead and HotMommy love Brooke Shields.

Go enter the contest and check out the blog: Penny Pinching Parent

Penny Pinching Parent lists the diaper and formula deals every Sunday all in one convenient blog post. They always have a link to it on their front page too.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Just a thought I had on 75 North

I passed Condoms to Go (a chain of stores in DFW carrying, I assume, condoms) and thought, "When they named it, were they worried people might use the condoms in store? As in, for here or to go?"

Buzzkill would like Trader Tuesday to go vegan.

If it does, should we call it Traitor Tuesday?

Anyway, in honor of Buzzkill, a requested recipe I can tolerate. But I may add bacon to it!

Vegan Black Bean Soup
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 or 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 1-pound cans black beans, drained and rinsed
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
Freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
4 cups water

Optional toppings: Green onions, thinly sliced, soy yogurt, reduced-fat sour cream, or low-fat yogurt.

1. Heat the oil in a large soup pot. Saute the onions over moderate heat until translucent, 3 or 4 minutes. Add the garlic and saute until the onion is lightly golden, another 3 or 4 minutes.

2. Add the remaining ingredients, except the toppings, along with the water, and bring to a simmer.

3. Mash some of the beans with a potato-masher, just enough to thicken the liquid base of the soup. Cover and simmer gently but steadily for 10 minutes.

4. Serve hot topped with one or two of the optional toppings.

Serves 6 to 8.

This also freezes pretty well. And makes the whole family farty. Be prepared.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Isn't that just like a Punkinhead?

She has a million toys to play with (look behind her) and all she wants to do is play with an empty can of Puffs......

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Soaking Saturday

Man, the rain has just poured buckets today! I had to do my Walgreens, Kroger, and Target deal runs this morning in the rain, but afterward I just settled into the sofa with discounted Coke Zero to watch SEC games. I literally dreamed about the Auburn game last night - that I was watching it, cheering, and teaching the Punkinhead about the game. I'm so glad fall is here. It's always my favorite season.

I'm on a "saving money" push for the next week or so to try to only buy Punkinhead's milk at the grocery store in the next week and really use the great bargains I've stockpiled in the freezer and the pantry. Let's call it Eat Your Freezer Week!

To that end, we did the ol' comfort food meal of spaghetti and meat sauce. I think I could serve this to Buzzkill EVERY night and he'd be in heaven.

So, I racked up at Walgreens today. I spent $50.65 out of pocket for merchandise that would have cost me $200.30 at full price. Plus I have the monthly Easysaver rebate items that will give me $25.76 back at the end of the month. So, really I got $200.30 worth of items for $24.89!!!!!!

I had one last 50 cent coupon for a 4 pack of Cottonelle toilet paper to use at Kroger today. It was $1.21, so with Kroger double coupons, I paid 21 cents. I'm going to miss my little stockpile of Cottonelle coupons.....

Target was good. I did some diaper and bottle scenarios to get 2 $5.00 gift cards. I also took advantage of some of this week's baby-themed sales for some baby shower gifts. It wasn't a money-maker day a Target, but some good, solid deals I'm content with. According to Penny Pinching Parent I got LUVS for 6 cents below standard per diaper cost. I don't think I'm going to be really satisfied with diaper costs again after last month's Walgreens 10 cent per diaper bargain. They've ruined me for standard, run-of-the-mill sales.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Just Now

I was asking Buzzkill, "Isn't the Punkinhead extra funny this week?"

To which he replied, "Yes, if by funny you mean screamy and uncooperative."

She's such a daddy's girl.

Trader Tuesday - Because bacon and butter make everything better.

Yummy Popcorn the Menfolk will love. Good with tail-gaiting beers.

4-6 slices of bacon cooked until crispy, drain and chop up

1 standard size bag of microwave popcorn, popped

1/4 cup grated Parmesan

4 Tbsps melted butter

2 tsps buttermilk Ranch dressing powder mix

1/4 tsp pepper

Toss everything in a big bowl.

Makes 2-3 servings.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

HotMommy's got video!

I bought a couple of Polaroid digital cameras this week - it was an awesome deal that I'll blog about later. The best part is that it has video! Now I can show you live exactly how unorganized my house really is despite my stellar reputation! In moving picture!

Here's the first test run I did after setting the camera up. I'm hoping in the future my skillz get smokin'.

I forgot Tuesday Trade day

It was the Punkinhead's first day at Mother's Day Out and for the first time in maybe six weeks I couldn't swing the energy to cook so Buzzkill was sent out to fetch a Little Cesaer's pizza. After making my own crust and having lots of yummy toppings I combine lately, the takeout pizza tasted like cardboard and horrible dry cheese.

So no new delightful recipe to share. But I did like Auntie M's drink recipe. Here's what I mix up when I'm screaming War Eagle! on the sofa. And okay, whenever an SEC game is on period.

Currantly Absolut Zero

Sprite Zero (Diet Sprite - has to be because it has a sweeter flavor needed for the drink)

Currant Absolut vodka

Ice

Highball glass - or iced tea class

Fill the glass with ice. Pour in 2-3 fingers of the vodka. Fill up the remaining space in the glass with Sprite Zero. Stir and drink.

You can make this with plain Absolut vodka but then it's just an Absolut Zero!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Target Pop Tart Deal

This is the kind of fun I can have when Buzzkill is home an extra day during the week!



Target had Pop Tarts 4 boxes of 12 for $9. Good deal, but wait.....when you buy 4 boxes of 12, you get a $5 gift card for Target! I bought 12 boxes yielding me $15 in gift cards.

Kellogg's has a deal that if you buy 10 products and submit a Fuel for School rebate form from the newspaper a few weeks ago, you get $10 back!

So basically, I paid $27 upfront, got my $15 gift cards, and will soon have a ten dollar rebate on the way = overall cost to me the consumer...$2 for 144 Pop Tarts.

Yes, experienced frugal shoppers, I know there were coupons I could have used. I even printed them out and took them with me, but the store told me they were no longer accepting web coupons. I'm new to this wheelin' and dealin' so I let it go for now....

But all in all I was pretty psyched about the deal.

I was going to be responsible and put the gift cards towards groceries next week. Then I remembered that the swimming vest I wanted to buy the Punkinhead for next summer was marked down again from $24.79 to $12.38 so i put that in my cart. And then there were some beach balls marked down to 76 cents each so those hopped into the cart too. Whoops, grocery budget help all gone!



But wait! I won a $25 gift card to Save-A-Lot from Sisterly Savings last week! I tell you, I can't wait for grocery day on Friday!

Our last deal for Saturday? We dress in Auburn t-shirts and went to Chick-fil-a for the free 3-strips of chicken for each person wearing college logo adorned clothing. I asked for our free food and sent Buzzkill to a table, then I pulled out a buy-a-Med.-Coke-get-a-Large-Waffle-Fry-Free coupon. I took that yummyness to our table and sent Buzzkill back with a buy-a-Med.-Dr.Pepper-and-a-Med.-Waffle-Fry-get-a-Chicken-Sandwich-Free coupon. So to recap: for $4.49, we feasted on 6 chicken strips, 1 chicken sandwich, a large fry, a med. fry, a Coke, and a Dr.Pepper!

I tingle inside with a little cha-ching! noise.

New blogging path

This blog has been such a great outlet for me as a mom. Recipes, baby bragging, embarassing moments - you name it, I feel free to talk about it. So even though I was brought up to believe that talking about money is not polite, I'm going to do it anyway.

Not money exactly, but financial responsibility and saving money by practicing frugality.

Buzzkill and I were shocked by the skyrocketing gas prices this summer and the escalating prices of everything else related to that via shipping costs. Buzzkill works a good job and makes good money, but we made the decision that until our youngest child enters 5-day schooling, my career will be stay-at-home-mom. And that means our income decreased after the Punkinhead to complicate things even more. So, part of my new job description is household accountant and I want to make sure that I use every penny we earn to the best use it can have.

After doing research (where else?) on other mom blogs, I found there is a whole network of moms (and dads) working to be frugal. Not cheap, frugal - responsible and thoughtful about their money choices. It's been such a great education and I've loved getting to make more online friends too.

All that to say, from time to time, HotMommy's going to post about some of the great deals she's learned how to buy over the last month. It's another area I'm a newbie to, but it's become a big part of my life recently and one that I believe is here to stay. I've been stock-piling entries and will be sharing them very soon.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I'm falling behind

Lots to write about and I promise it's coming soon, but since is Tuesday Trade day and I've been instructed to focus on a crock-pot meal, here's something to fill bellies until I can fill y'all with my genius writing about our fabulous adventures.

Crockpot Enchiladas


• 1 lb. ground beef, cooked
• 1 medium onion, sauteed
• 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
• 1/2 tsp. salt
• 1/2 tsp. pepper
• 4 flour tortillas
• 1 14 oz can corn, drained
• 1 10 oz can enchilada sauce
• 1 can Rotel tomatoes and green chiles, undrained
• 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
• sour cream, salsa, guacamole

In a bowl, combine ground beef, onion, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.

In another bowl, mix the Rotel and enchilada sauce.

Place 2 tortillas in the bottom of the slow cooker.

Place half of the following in layers over the tortillas: meat, corn, sauce mixture, and cheese. Repeat layers.

Cook on low 5-6 hours. Use the sour cream, salsa, and guac as garnishes if you like.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Tuesday trade for Ms. Should-be-in-Texas-by-now

Since you posted a Paula dish, I'm posting one too. Also because I made it this week and everyone and their pets asked for the recipe. Two birds, one stone.

Strawberry Pretzel Salad

2 cups crushed pretzels
3/4 cup melted butter
3 tablespoons sugar, plus 3/4 cup sugar
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese
1 (8-ounce) container whipped topping
2 (3-ounce) packages strawberry gelatin dessert mix
2 cups boiling water
2 (10-ounce) packages frozen strawberries
1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
For the crust, mix the pretzels, butter, and 3 tablespoons of sugar. Press this mixture into a 9 by 13-inch pan and bake for 7 minutes. Set aside and allow to
cool.

In a mixing bowl, beat together the cream cheese and 3/4 cup of sugar. Fold in
the whipped topping, and spread over the cooled crust. Refrigerate until well
chilled.

In a small bowl, dissolve the gelatin in the boiling water, and allow to cool
slightly. Add the strawberries and pineapple, and pour over the cream cheese
mixture. Refrigerate until serving time.

The Neutering - Yes, it does sound like a horror movie.



I've meant to tell a little funny story about Jon Stewart and his snip-snip trip for a while. He got through it just fine, unlike his life companion Stephen Colbert's spaying. (Yes, I have the gender/operation correct. Boy Name + Female dog = You're caught up.) Stephen managed to chew her stitches out on Thanksgiving day, bleed all over my MIL's carpet, and cost $1000 in emergency (holiday) vet bills.

Why is it that boy dogs take 4 days to recover and the girls take 2 weeks? Even in animal recovery the female gets the bum deal. Well, the boys don't have it so hot either.....

Anyway, Buzzkill thankfully did not have reservations about Jon getting snip-snipped. I remembered my mother having to wait until my father was on a business trip to sneak the male cat to the vet for his, ummm, procedure. I don't think my father knows even now that the cat died "gender-neutral."

Jon was dropped off early morning and picked up late afternoon. While I was checking him out, the office assistant asked me if I wanted to spend an extra $8 for pain meds for him. She misconstrued the confused look on my face as an aversion for spending extra and assured me they weren't necessary. My confused look was because I didn't know I hadn't already asked for them. My response to her was, "We SURE DO want them. It's a firm rule in our house. If your testicles get removed, you get pain medication!"

When I told Buzzkill about the above exchange, he wavered between relief that I understood the importance of limiting male genital pain and fear that there was some reason for us to keep it an official "house rule."

Monday, August 18, 2008

Remodeling Bug

I've caught the bug. When we bought our house a couple of years ago, we knew eventually we'd pour a bucketful of money into this place in flooring, kitchen, and master bath. But we had a live-with-what's-here-but-paint policy for 4 to 5 years.

The Punkinhead pregnancy interrupted the completion of some rooms being painted and up until now I could live with it. Unfortunately, two things have happened this summer. One, our neighbors sold their house and I saw the upgrades they put in just before. Two, a playgroup mom and her husband have done AMAZING things to a house in our neighborhood and I got to see them when I took them a post-new baby meal.

These visitations have infected me and there is no cure other than.....REMODEL NOW!

Clearly, the budget still isn't ready for a flooring, full kitchen, or full master bath gutting. But I CAN paint. And maybe a little more.

So the plan:

1. Repaint all the mismatched trim throughout the house as this bothers me every where I go in the house.

2. Repaint the kitchen.

3. Do a cosmetic update on the master bath including: rent a steamer to get the border off the walls, repaint the walls, paint the cabinets, replace faucets and fixtures, maybe replace the mirrors, and hire someone to lay down the tile left in the garage by the previous owner so that the shower room matches the rest of the bathroom Here's an inspiration room:



It's probably going to take me a full year to do all this since I'll be a DIY queen. I'm going to budget for a tile guy 'cause I KNOW that's not something I want to learn in the tiny, awkward shower room, but I think the rest is totally within my capabilities and I know it will make me happier at home.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

MDO Prep

The Punkinhead is starting Mother's Day Out (MDO) next month and I've spent a big portion of the day calculating what she needs to be prepared. You know, enough play clothes, the right size bag, something for her lunch/snacks/etc. to be carried in. It's her back-to-school list.

I'm so overwhelmed to realize that she ALREADY HAS nearly everything she needs because of all the generous first birthday gifts from friends and family!!!!!!

These wonderful items include, an adorable insulated lunch box monogrammed with her name from our neighbors from the Roswell days, a perfectly sized NAME BRAND backpack monogrammed with her name from close friends from our high school days, and a butt load of cute clothes from cousins, aunts, friends.

As much as I love, oh no, wait....HATE to shop, it's such a relief to have these things all done. We have the best friends and family EVER!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Co-opting the Breakfast Club


I've noticed and listened to a lot of discussion about JCPenney's ad features the teen models/actors in scenes reminiscent of the 80's classic John Hughes movie The Breakfast Club lately.

The comment mostly commonly made is that teens today aren't going to "get" the connection to the movie or find it cool.

Of course they won't! I mean, maybe some of them HAVE seen the movie, but they're still not going to make the leap that JCPenney is cool from that commercial. Want to know why?

They ARE NOT the target audience of this commercial. Parents that were teens when the movie came out in theaters are!

The line of clothes featured in the ad is geared towards an age group of teens that still has their parents shop with them and purchase their clothes. If JCPenney can convince the PARENTS that their store and these clothes are cool, then the parents will shop there for the teens. So the commercial is supposed to appeal to the older folks' (yes, we are now) memory of cool. Trigger it and you trigger the credit card.

I admit I squealed a little inside at the blob-like sculpture Judd T. climbed so many years ago and the Pixie Sticks on a Capt'n Crunch sammie. If this commercial was for toddler clothes, I'd be willing to go check out those clothes. But I'm very impressionable.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Inspiration Post

Ms. Longing-for-Texas posted about her recent easy and delish recipe , so I thought I'd share the quick-bake mock cobbler (mockler? mobbler?) that I wooed Buzzkill with last night. Keep in mind I substitute Splenda for sugar since I'm diabetic.

2 1/2 cups berries (we used Blackberry)
1 cup sugar divided
1 cup self-rising flour
1 cup milk
1/2 cup melted butter.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine berries with half of the sugar. Kinda smush it together so it's juicy enough to dissolve the sugar but still has clumps of berry.

In another bowl, combine the other half of the sugar, milk, and flour. Mix in melted butter.

In a greased 8 inch pan, pour the batter. Spoon the berry mix as evenly as possible on top of the batter.

Bake for 40-60 minutes (depending on how hot your oven can get, 350 is REALLY hot in mine). Just check on it after 40 minutes to see if the crust on top is golden - then it's done.

I served it with whipped cream, but vanilla ice cream is good to. Or if you don't like topping, have a big glass of cold milk. Or soy milk or whatever.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Summer of Punkinhead-Cousin Fun

The Punkinhead has a sweet cousin. He's one of her only boy playmates and man, you can tell already that they're going to get into some trouble together!

Hat drama from a swimming Sunday at Grandma's:






Friday lunch and playdate fun:




And for fun, yoga meditation. Ohmmm.....



Thanks to her Auntie S. for the pics!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

I was denied membership

to my regional Freecycle. Who knew a group that I want to offer stuff free to is so picky about its members?

Apparently, you have to join a neighborhood (your city) Freecycle before you can join the regional. But there isn't a Freecycle for my particular city, so what's a girl with stuff she doesn't need to do? Another yard sale? But this time just put up a sign that says, "if you can haul or carry it out of my yard, have at it?"

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Adventures in cooking


HotMommy was a Super Suppers addict for ages, but with skyrocketing gas prices this summer, I decided to sign up for Menus4Moms and do my own weeknight meals. Menus4Moms.com sends you weekly menus, recipes, and most importantly...groceries lists for under $100 a week!

I've been on a quest for years for the perfect mac and cheese recipe. We've tried Paula's, Southern Living, you name it, but until Menus4Moms I was never able to nail it. The B├ęchamel sauce is the secret to it. It was a hit at pool night and I'm taking it to book club this week.

Here is the recipe:

Macaroni and Cheese

* 2 tbsp cornstarch
* 1 tsp salt
* 1/2 tsp dry mustard
* 1/4 tsp pepper
* 2-1/2 cups milk
* 2 tbsp butter
* 2 cups (8 oz) shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
* 8 oz Mueller's Medium Shells (this is adaptation - the original recipe calls for elbows), cooked 5 minutes and drained

In medium saucepan combine corn starch, salt, dry mustard and pepper; stir in milk. Add margarine. Stirring constantly, bring to a boil over medium-high heat and boil 1 minute. Remove from heat. Stir in 1-3/4 cups (425 ml) cheese until melted. Add pasta. Pour into greased 2-quart casserole. Sprinkle with reserved cheese. Bake uncovered in 375 degree oven 25 minutes or until lightly browned. This can be prepared ahead of time and kept refrigerated until you are ready to bake. Add 5-7 minutes to the cooking time if cold.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Here is what I have to say about the Real Housewives of Atlanta....



based on it's preview tonight.

Atlanta may be about new money to YOU, but Atlanta is NOT about new money to anyone who's opinion matters. Yes, that makes me a bitch, but all I have to say about that is, "you're in my prayers y'all."

Next point: Your houses are tacky McMansions. If it's on less than ten acres, it's not an estate - it's just a big yard. And if your house is attached to another house...it's not even a McMansion. It's a condo or townhouse.

Bless your over-reaching hearts, if you have to work so hard to look like it....you ARE NOT IT. Kind of like that quasi-countess from New York. Even if she does have nice manners and plays tennis well. In Atlanta, you're just good for a donation. Heck, my family had the largest single family owned farm in Alpharetta and my grandfather was president of an institutional Buckhead business, but I don't have the gall to claim to be Atlanta society. There are standards and these housewives clearly don't cut it.

Bravo, maybe you should document the real thing. Or did the ones you approached first realize how tacky it is to be on a reality show? Must have...I can't think of any quality people that would appear on this show.

I do understand the groups in Orange County, New York, and Atlanta you've shown until now are very "good tv." But not good society. Not even nouveau riche - just nouveau unimportant.

Yes, I feel bitchy tonight.

Walker Texas Punkinhead

She took a step! Her very first independent step.

She was cruising along the edge of the sofa, reached her little Punkinhead hand out to hand me a ball, and when I didn't stretch out my arm to get it, she let go and took a step toward me! No fear or freak out from her or anything. I'm sure full on walking is coming any day now.

What a precocious Punkinhead we have!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Punkinhead does an awesome Sean Penn impersonation

Just for fun. It's good to know she'll fit in with the Hollywood teens fleeing from the paps. 'Cause she's my LiLo and I'm her Dina! What, I don't seem like a stage mom?


Give me your camera now! I want that film!


LiLo on a Saturday night impersonation thrown in for free...


There's the pretty smile we all know and love! (yes, that is sweet potatoes on her face. Deal with it - she got a bath just after!)

Punkinhead Parade

Our HOA puts on a parade for the 4th. Punkinhead invited her gang over to watch from our front yard since our house was on the parade route this year. So much fun!


Shakes your maracas! Or just one.


Again, so lucky to have a handsome hubby and pretty Punkin.


A neighbor asked if they were triplets. My response should have been, "No, but we all share a husband!" That would have started some neighborly gossip!!!!


This is as good as it gets when posing 3 babies!


Yes, I look concerned about my snow cone. No, Punkinhead doesn't look concerned about ANYTHING!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Nicole Kidman names her baby girl Sunday

I had a cat named Sunday as a child. Because we found him in the church parking lot on a Sunday. Other than that, I'm not going to comment on celebrity child names.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Mmmmm, goldfish crackers



One of the biggest benefits of being a mom is the unlikely, unexpected special moments that I wish could last always. That's so cliched isn't it? Anyway, here's today's moment.

Punkinhead discovered a love of goldfish cheddar crackers at VBS this year, and me, lazy mom that I am, just remembered today at Target to get that GIANT pour carton of them for her.

I filled up her snack cup when I got home, handed it off to her, and collapsed from errand-induced heat exhaustion into the armchair.

Suddenly she made a howler monkey noise and when I glanced down at her, she was so delighted by what she found in her cup the glee was just plastered across her face.

She then proceeded to stuff as many as she could into her mouth, chew them, and then opened her mouth to show me the yummy goodness inside. See-food Mommy, get it?

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

A little sadness in my heart

If you don't know already, HotMommy was adopted when she was six months old. Before Buzzkill and I knew we were pregnant with Punkinhead (but were in the planning phase), I sent a letter to my birthmother asking for medical information so that we'd have as much knowledge as we could about possible complications, genetic diseases, etc. If you want to read more about it, I blogged about it on my old Myspace blog back in '06.

The trail

So, the sadness thing. My head understands that she's not willing to provide me that information, but every day before the mail comes, my heart leaps a little and I wonder, "Maybe today I'll get something."

I wonder when my heart will give up the hope?

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Wedding Dress Quasi-Tag



Not actually a tag, but a blog friend wrote about hers because a friend did and back and back, and now voila I'm thinking about mine.

We got married half-way across the country from where I lived, so to make the alteration process easier on me, I bought it where I lived, flying my mother and my grandmother's check out to me. Buzzkill's mom joined us for a day of shopping.

We had an appointment with a snooty Dallas shop that I now know caters mostly to snooty Highland Park debs. We got out of there toot sweet (yes, I actually know how it's spelled in French).

We found this quaint little place of Routh Street and I tried on everything they had in store in my size. I wanted to get it THAT DAY and not have it ordered. I get paranoid and didn't want to buy I dress I hadn't seen in person.

I was facing away from the big mirror and as I slipped my arms into the sleeves, the fabric fluttering against my skin, I thought, "This is the one." I turned around to face the mirror and what I saw was nothing less than everything I never knew I wanted. It was totally perfect. I capped off the day with a giant glass of white wine. Trust me, I needed it.

I'm pretty sure it preserved in a closet at my folks house for future archaeologists to study and display in a Natural History Museum under "Middle Class Ritual Coupling Attire."

Monday, June 23, 2008

Blog titles I liked this week

They all spoke to me in one way or another. The titles, not always the blog entries when I read them.....

Suck it up and go to the pool
Bootcamp, Day 13 & 14 -- Sleeping In
Urgent Apparently Has Different Meanings For Different People
Mosquitoes, please have mercy
It’s Because I’m Psychotic. I Mean, Psychic.
Flag Cake Smackdown
Because I’m immature.
Baby showers are fun!
I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up
Find a Safe Laundry Detergent without a PhD in Chemistry

Summer is a time for reruns



My ol' myspace blog readers will recognize this tale from my marriage, but frankly, it's funny and bears rereading. Plus, sometimes I'm just lazy.

Buzzkill and I discovered a key component in maintaining martial accord towards the beginning of our marriage: Our home MUST be a two Tivo household! My Tivo once went kaput and suddenly every night was a battle.

We had to lay down some ground rules for what got recorded on the only working Tivo. We actually wrote the rules down, signed it, and discussed having it notarized. We finally agreed not to drag the legal process into it and just trust that we would follow the rules self-governed.

Rule 1: If you could get someone to record a show for you, your choice lost out. Rule 2: If you can buy the entire season of a show on DVD in the near future, your choice lost out.

This went on for a month before my replacement Tivo arrived. (And the villagers rejoiced. Yeah!)

Among the benefits of a two Tivo home, Buzzkill can record Gossip Girl (his O.C. replacement) on his Tivo and the Bachelorette only gets recorded on mine! But stangely, The Soup, The Daily Show, and The Colbert Report must be recorded on each one or we both get fussy.

VBS workers of the world unite!

This blog is awesome....that's all I can write. Please enjoy it.

V-Very-B-Bad-S-Sign

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Seriously?!!!????......

This word seems to pop up more and more frequently in my day-to-day life as a reaction to things that completely shock me. Comments friends get from family, scoldings from a stranger at a religious event, it goes on and on....

Today's was two for the price of one. I did my weekly grocery shopping at my FAVORITE super store (no sarcasm, I love it) and while passing the group of slacking sample-offerers at the frozen foods area, I overheard the engrossing topic that kept them from their jobs. How much pot they smoked and how much they wished it was legal. Okay, moving on.

As I unload my items for check out, I ask if an item being bag is one that I was rung up for because it was definitely NOT one I had selected. This question apparently hits the "non-English speaking immigrants should be deported" button in my cashier's brain because she launched into a diatribe the likes of which you don't even hear on AM radio.

So, seriously???? I'm not even going to say what my opinions are on these subjects, but you'd think a national chain would have a policy that controversial topics are not to be discussed with customers to reduce the risk you alienate those patronizing your establishment.

I know that when I worked at one of the "big two" bookstore chains, during the 2004 election, the only political statement I could make to customers was that it is important to vote. I had to be familiar with both sides of an issue so that I could make book recommendations once a customer expressed an opinion, but even if I shared that opinion I couldn't have that discussion in the store.

I can let the stoned sample-offerers pass 'cause they were talking amongst themselves (although I don't think I'll sample whatever they might be offering), but the cashier lady just shocked me.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

HotMommy's doing a mediocre job skimming the pool

It's summertime and HOT, HOT, HOT! We're in the pool nearly every day. Montana, Montana's cousin (HotMommy is mulling over her nom de plume still) and their mommies are joining us lots. All the daddies join in on "Pool Night."

I think we also need to post a rule - "No cannonballs by Dads!" I'm tired of having to refill the pool after one!

Little Love Bug!


Yummy raft!


Punkinhead has found a toypedo..

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day

One year ago today.....


And now, a word from the Punkinhead:
Most girls think their daddies are much nicer than the rest.
But I know something they don't know - my daddy is the best!
Happy Father's Day! Love you always!

HotMommy has some words too:
Sometimes in a special moment when we're talking or laughing or I'm watching you being a caring father, something makes me see you as if for the first time - and I realize again all the wonderful reasons why I fell in love with you!

(Words reprinted from Buzzkill's Father's Day cards. You can buy some really deep, emotional cards at the Dollar Tree, no?)

The Punkinhead loves to hang with friends.


Who knew a 1-year-old could have so many friends? The Punkinhead was born during a girlie baby boom. There are a couple of dudes in her gang, but for the most part, it's all chicas!

Her oldest friend (ie the friend she's had the longest) is Miss Montana and Miss Montana's mommy is HotMommy's drinking buddy, uh, I mean Vacation Bible School co-teacher and go-to in any situation friend. What would we do without them?

And now we have their aunt/sister and cousin/niece to hang out with too! Girls, I promise at least ONE morning this summer, Punkinhead and I will join you for walking!

PS - Forgive me for snaking the photo. It was simply irresistible...

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Bye Tim...



You weren't consider just a journalist in our home, but a friend.

We'll miss you.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Buzzkill causes thrill. Now chill.

So maybe I had to threaten his life. And maybe he had to work non-stop for 4 days in his non-job hours. I also may have withheld sex until it was complete (and believe me what there is is precious to him).

But he DID it! And before the Punkinhead's second first birthday party on Saturday! (It was awesome, pics to come.) He built us a new entertainment center based on the gianourmous display we saw at Ikea. And ours is bigger than that one.

My hubby totally rocks. He deserves sex. But I think he just wants to sleep now. And yes, he is plotting for the 42 in. flat screen to replace the current tv.

So now, gentle readers view below what my strong, masculine husband creates with his 2 hands and an L-shaped Swedish tool thingy......

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Georgia trip, the random sweet moments

Just some pics that weren't a part of the "big' events.