Thursday, October 31, 2013

I Was Tricked....

I rarely buy Halloween candy. Not because I don't like Trick or Treating, but because I'm never home on Halloween. Every year since the Princess outgrew Trick or Treating, I've volunteered at the local Police Department giving out candy. That got derailed this year as I've been home sick for two days. I'm well on the mend I think, but didn't think it was a good idea to hang out around a bunch of kids this evening.

But uh-oh! I didn't have any Halloween Candy in case we get trick or treaters. So I ran to Publix today and picked up a 40 ct pack of 3 Musketeers, Starburst, Twix and Snickers. I figured there would be a good variety in there, and I'd give out the 3 Musketeers first since they are my least favorite! (Ha!). Imagine my disappointment when I opened that bag and discovered 23 3 Musketeers. And only 15 total of the other varieties. That's only 38 pieces in my 40 count bag! And way heavy on the ickier stuff! I was tricked on my treats!!!!!!!

Of course as I type this, I haven't had a single trick or treater.... I may be stuck with all those 3 Musketeers!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Don't Judge, Just Love

 I'm home sick today. I've been feeling puny all week, and finally my body just said "sit your butt at home!". So here I am, sitting on the couch, watching the Today Show and perusing Facebook and reading blogs. One thing I might do today is a rework of my budget. My grocery budget just isn't cutting it anymore. I've kept it at the same level for several years, but honestly, grocery prices have risen SO much that I'm going to have make a bit more room there.

Anyway, the constant precarious position of my job for the last two years has definitely made me wonder more and more about what I would do, what I would be willing to do, what I'd HAVE to do if I found myself unemployed for a time. That's why I make sure I have "sleep at night money" in the bank, to get through a couple of months should I find myself in that position. Anyway, all that rambling is to introduce this link: Those People -- As the holidays grow near, maybe we ALL need to be reminded that sometimes we are closer than we care to admit that we could actually be THOSE PEOPLE. So, I will make every effort going forward to not judge, just love.... And maybe just maybe put a few extra cans in the food drive box at work.

Monday, October 28, 2013

End of October? Already?

I can't believe how quickly October has gone by! Time flies when you're having fun I guess.... and boy have I lived it up this month! And my budget is screaming because of it! Trips to Gulf Shores and Memphis, went to see Bama play, had dinner out with friends, went over my grocery budget, BADLY.... all that and the holidays aren't even here yet!

I promised myself no lifestyle inflation, but I haven't done a great job of that. Time to kick it into gear maybe? Get back to doing what I need to do. I won't be able to get through Christmas without debt if I'm not a lot more careful. So, I need a plan. I need to polish up the budget -- and stick to it. And I need to quit being so cavalier. That gets you into trouble fast!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Fall Is Here.... So I Cook......

I've noticed in the last few years that as the weather turns cooler, my culinary ambitions heat up. Seriously, the cooler it gets, the more I want to be in the kitchen. I plan meals a few day in advance instead of deciding what I want to fix when I walk through the door.

I don't know why it goes that way, but my desire to be in the kitchen is directly related to the temps outside. And not just that, but I want to experiment more --- last night I made a creamy garlic spaghetti squash I found on Pinterest. Tonight I made a Tomato Tortellini Soup, that while it wasn't a "new" recipe, had to be tweaked a bit based on what I had on hand. Both were raging successes.

So, now to decide what to cook next --- because I'm getting all pumped up about trying new things and using up stuff that's in my pantry and freezer -- and cooking yummy things! What are you cooking up lately?

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

And Another Fail

I had hoped to wait until the end of the month to turn the heat on. However, Mother Nature conspired against me. When I went out of town this weekend, the temps were supposed to plummet. I knew that the Princess would want or need to turn the heat on over the weekend. So, before I went out of town, I flipped the heat on, and set it to the normal "winter" setting. I told the Princess that the heat was set and she shouldn't touch it. It would come on if it was needed. She said she's not sure if it came on or not.

Since its been dipping cool at night, I've left it set on the winter setting overnight and waking up its been dead set on that temp in the morning. So, I don't really know if its been kicking on or not. I do know that it hasn't been running after I've gotten up in the morning though. So, another seasonal fail.

Maybe next year?

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Rambling Woman

I used to travel A LOT. Mostly for work, so I pretty much gave up much travel for fun because I got so sick of being on the road. I became basically a homebody. Of course that's pretty good on the bank balance. Since we've been on a two year hiatus from most travel, I'm not as sick of it as I was. And that is showing itself now.

Last weekend, I took a last minute trip down to Gulf Shores with some friends to attend the Shrimp Festival. Had an absolute blast! Shopped the booths, ate some fabulous food, walked on the beach, soaked up some sun. It was FANTASTIC. Coming back to the real world was lousy.

Tomorrow I'm heading to Memphis to help my niece get moved into her first "real world" apartment --- the one where she's supporting herself. It's a big milestone for any young person and I'm excited to be a part of it. And while we are there, we are attending a beer festival. So, combining work and some play. I just can't wait!

After that, I still have some travel on the horizon -- likely a trip down south for Thanksgiving. And hopefully a trip to Tampa either around Christmas or Spring Break --- gotta see that new niece of mine!!!!!

So, I'm busy crunching numbers and hoping against hope that I can figure out how to get where I'm going without breaking the bank. Wish me luck!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Driving Down The Gas Buget

I absolutely adore it when Publix does it $10 off a gas card promotions. I especially love it when it falls in a week that they have good sales on other things we use. For one, I was running dangerously low on laundry detergent! Don't like getting down to one bottle. I'd HATE to have to pay full price! So, the Publix sale did me right.

I did buy one thing there that I normally never buy..... a rotisserie chicken. This came about from a rough week at work, the Princess begging for her fave dinner of chicken puffs, and I had no thawed or pre-cooked chicken. I've bought the rotisserie chickens at Sam's before, so the Publix one was a big disappointment. Relatively dry, half the size and almost twice the price of one from Sam's. Lesson learned.

Anyway, the rest of the deals were pretty good.

3 Palermo's Thin Crust Pizza
1 Angel Soft 12 Pack
2 Betty Crocker Brownie Mix
4 Nature Valley Protein Bars
4 All Laundry Detergent
3 Publix Canned Dog Food
4 Progresso Soups
1 Rotisserie Chicken (NOT worth the $, even for the convenience)
1 Philadelphia Cream Cheese
2 Glade Twin Pack Plug In Refills

Spent: $48.97
Saved $55.57 or 53%

PLUS got a $50 gas card for $40 -- Not too bad.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Out With The Old...

So, it occurred to me recently that I haven't done a really thorough closet cleaning in about, oh... SEVEN years... since I moved into this house. I've straightened, I've reorganized some shelves, I've gotten rid of a few things here and there. But item by item cleanout? Negative. Honestly, it is NOT a job I want to do. My closet takes up a full wall. And it is full of clothes, shoes, odd items, accessories, old photo albums, books and all that kind of stuff.

However, my clothes have been crammed into their section and everything gets wrinkled and then has to be ironed or whatever. And I've lost weight, so a lot of stuff is too big, and I might just be able to get into some of the stuff that was too tight. Time to clean out. Since I really didn't want to take up a full Saturday, I've been spending 45 minute to an hour after work every day this week, cleaning out, trying on, reorganizing outfits and bagging up the discards.

The hangers in the picture above represent clothes that I've got bagged up and ready to donate. And I'm not even done yet. Its a pretty good start. Out with the old -- but going to try to not bring in any new.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

First Brrrrrr of the Year

We had a little cold snap come through the past couple of days. Woke up this morning to 48 degree temps outside and 68 in the house. A little bit of a jolt to the system for it to be that cool in the house, but not so bad that I was tempted to turn the heat on. Just put on my heavier robe and slippers and went on about my morning.

Last year, I had a goal (I think) of not turning the heat on until after October 31. If that was indeed the goal (I'll have to look back to be sure), I think I caved and flipped it on around October 20 or thereabouts. I'm hoping that will not be the case. I'm hoping for a no heat or ac October. I bet I won't get it, but I'm sure going to try!!!!!

But, this is Alabama, and going from heat to ac in one day is not unheard of! Wish me luck!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

The Princess Went Back To Work

After four days of being cooped up in the house, the Princess went back to work last night. I don't think she has ever been so excited to go to work. She was starting to go a bit stir crazy being cooped up. And honestly, I was pretty excited for her to go too. She's a good patient, but I was ready for a bit of time to myself too. Not that I did anything exciting -- laundry and watched football -- but not having to tiptoe around the house because she was trying to sleep was pretty nice.

She's a hostess in a restaurant so her job requires her to be on her feet her entire shift. On Saturday nights they usually have two hostesses, but the Princess is "lead" --- which means she generally has the most responsibility. In deference to the fact that she was not up to full strength, the managers had someone the other hostess take lead "just for tonight", much to the Princess's relief. They also relieved her about once every hour and told her to go sit down for a few minutes. They also let her be the first "off shift" so she could get back home and go to bed early. All in all it made her first day back to work as easy as it could possibly be when recovering from pneumonia.

She got home and I heated her up some leftovers because she was "starving" (I generally have dinner ready around 4 on weekend nights she works so she can eat something besides frozen or canned crap before her shift). She ate her dinner, and went straight to bed.

She goes back and works again tonight. Sundays are often a mixed bag.... either super busy or slow. I'm kind of hoping for the latter tonight since she will be the only hostess on shift.

Here's hoping it all goes well!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Long, Long, Long Week

So glad the weekend is finally here. I'd had just about all could take of this particular week. It started simply enough. Just a normal week. A bit high pressured at work as I was struggling to catch up from being away from desk for the better part of three days last week (leadership classes), but seemed pretty normal all in all.

Monday night the Princess started feeling kind of icky. Tuesday it got worse. Wednesday she went to classes, but went to the doctor right after. Diagnosis: Walking Pneumonia. Lovely. She feels awful. Beyond awful. In addition to just the ick of being sick, she's weak, jittery and at this point a bit afflicted with cabin fever. She missed her shift Thursday night. And Friday night. Working today will totally depend on how she feels when she gets up. The doc said she could work when she felt like it (after the first couple days). Our priority is for her to be well enough to attend class on Monday, so work is secondary.

As for me, work pretty much blew up in my face on Thursday. A department meeting, a change in my job duties..... which accounts for about tripling my workload. I will be getting some "help" with it, but as the girl that will be helping me is retaining about 75% of her prior workload, that will NOT make up the difference. I'm beyond stressed and quite honestly pretty pissed off about it.

What REALLY gets me, is that these grand changes came about as part of the Leadership Project in the class I was taking. There were 8 of us in the class and we each had to create a project to "improve" certain areas of the company. Come up with ideas to streamline processes, to promote programs and initiatives, etc. And we were SUPPOSED to work with the people that would be affected to get input. I was pretty shocked when listening to this particular presentation last week that my job could be potentially and primarily affected by all of these "ideas" and none of it had been mentioned to me at all. Our CFO even asked the presenter directly if she'd gotten input from all who would be affected and the presenter said "yes". My jaw was on the ground. In hindsight, I should have said something, but I didn't want to flat out call a co-worker a liar for something that when looking at it, I felt was kind of too far fetched to even be workable.

Hindsight is 20/20. Maybe I should have said something.... Thursday we had a department meeting and BAM! I got my workload tripled. Yeah, I am NOT happy at this point in time. Glad the week is behind me and I can go back into workload hell on Monday. Fun times ahead.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Lots of Good Deals To Be Had

I really like coupon shopping, but lately the deals out there have been less than stellar, so I've been doing most of my shopping at Aldi --- although lately when I've gone there, half of what I need at the time is out of stock. Anyway, this week's Publix ad had enough stuff that I decided to make a quick run (yes, some of it is junk.... but really.... who watches football and eats healthy stuff?).... So, this is what I picked up:

1 Beneful Dog Food
3 Fiber One Protein Bars
1 Beneful Beef Stew
2 Hidden Valley Ranch Dressings
1 Cheez-its
3 Zucchini
2 DiGiorno Frozen Pizzas
1 Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder
3 Farm Rich Cheese Bites
2 International Delight Coffee Creamers

Spent: $36.17
Saved $42.53 or 54%