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Archive for March, 2008

Suze Orman....

March 31st, 2008 at 08:50 am

Today is the last day to open an Ameritrade account and get your bonus $100.00 after a year with minimum $50.00 deposit each month. I am still trying to decide whether to do it. I am considering actually opening them for my three daughters too. That would be $200.00 a month. It would be Christmas presents for them, which is a little more than I normally spend for them, but it might be a good idea to encourage them to save.

Mmmmmm what to do, what to do? All three already have accounts at ING.

French Toast Casserole Recipe

March 30th, 2008 at 12:30 pm

I got this recipe from: http://freezerchicks.blogspot.com/

French Toast Casserole
1 pound load of Italian breast
8 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar, divided
1/2 tsp vanilla or almond extract
1/2 cup chopped pecans, optional
4 eggs
2 cups milk
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter, melted

Cut bread into cubes. Place half in greased 9 x 13 pan. Microwave the cream cheese until melted, stirring halfway (about 30 seconds). Stir in half of the sugar and the extract into the cream cheese. Pour this mixture over the bread (will not cover completely, sort of spread it around with the back of a spoon). Sprinkle nuts over cream cheese layer. Top with remaining bread cubes.

Beat the remaining sugar, eggs, milk, cinnamon and melted butter together. Pour over bread cubes. Freeze at this point or let sit overnight in fridge. Bake at 350 for 35 minutes. Serve with syrup or fruit.

NOTE from Janet: I use any type of bread I have on hand for these recipes and they always turn out great. If I have frozen them, I just take them out of the freezer the night before and put it the oven on time bake. Then they get their thawing and soaking time.

NOTE from Me/Homebody: I found whipped cream yummy on top of this. I made it for Christmas 2007 for the first time and my family really liked it. This second time I didn't add the sugar in the milk/egg mixture and did not add the butter either and there were no complaints, so it must have been okay!

Bad Things Come in 3's Right?

March 29th, 2008 at 10:34 am

First it was the freezer, then Friday morning I had a french toast casserole that had sat in the refrigerator overnight. I turned the oven on, stuck the casserole in, turned on the timer for 30 minutes and went back to work. 30 minutes later.... the oven is still cold. Great! Luckily it worked the night before when I made swiss steak and a batch of healthy not fat oatmeal cookies.

I passed off the casserole to a friend who doesn't like to cook and who's two older kids are home from college this week. They called this morning to say thank you.

In the meantime, with trying to regain my lost skills, I dug out a half made quilt, set up my ironing board, turned on my iron, waited a few minutes and started to iron the slightly wrinkled quilt squares to get started on the borders. Well my iron starts spitting out some gritty stuff while water came dripping out the bottom!

Great, so that's the freezer, the oven and now my iron all in one week. I hope that's it for a while.

After reviewing irons at Amazon and a couple of other places, apparently all irons need to be replaced 4-5 years as they all start this "spitting out water" problem. Ugh.

DH called from Costco, they no longer have the Rowenta we saw there, but a Sharp Steamer. My MIL volunteered to go get the Rowenta that is on sale at Joann Fabrics and DH will pick up on his way home.

Okay at least I don't have to go into town today! But I do guess I have to clean house and do laundry instead of sew until DH gets home from work!

Oh and the repair man will be here Monday between 8-12 to see if the oven can be repaired. I really didn't want to buy another oven until we remodel our kitchen. Our cooktop and oven are separate. We just dodged getting a new cooktop when DH took a paper clip (unwound) to the place the gas comes out. Now our cooktop works better than it has in a long time.

We need a new Freezer

March 25th, 2008 at 06:36 pm

Our hand me down freezer is having trouble staying shut so DH hooked up a bungee cord to the door. So today we went hunting for a new freezer. It is just the two of us so we are thinking a smaller freezer, but ours is stuffed full!

Fortunately or unfortunately while walking through Sears I noticed a 70% off sign above a rack of baby girl clothes.
I bought four items:
A cute red corduroy long sleeved dress with little scottie dogs on it for $4.97.
A long sleeved snap crotch red turtleneck with embroidered hearts on the turtleneck for $1.97.
A cute little pink playsuit with pink ballerina shoes appliqued with "baby ballerina" embroided on it for $3.97.
Total with tax $10.35.

Then I went to Borders to buy a book for my great-nephew who is turning 1. I knew what I wanted, a book named "I Am A Bunny".

Of course when I walked in there were a bunch of children's books cheap. I ended up getting two for great-nephew and 4 for Ally Ayn, all for just over $23.00.

Okay the key to not spending money is Don't Go Shopping!

Grieving my Lost Skills

March 20th, 2008 at 05:53 pm

First I want to say thank you for all the well wishes on Baby Ally.

Which brings me to today's post. I learned to knit when I was 10 and sew when I was 14 or so. My skills progressed so that I made all my nieces and nephews who were born before my own children sweaters. I made so many of my own clothes as a teenager and my DH's flannel button down shirts when we were first married.

I hand smocked and made my oldest daughter's first Christmas dress and then later a smocked pinafore dress for daughter #2 another Christmas, with another cute dress for daughter #1. By the time daughter #3 came along, I did manage to crochet her a blanket and that was it. So through the past 20+ years I made one halloween costume for YD when she was about 10 and made a few quilts, but have not quilted even for a few years.

So I had some time today after meeting with our tax accountant, dropping off K-1's and decided to run into town to look at patterns and fabrics. I went in with high hopes and came out so depressed. I feel like I am starting over again. I look at fabric and can't picture the actual item (like I used to). I'm not sure which sized pattern to buy. I feel like I don't know anything!

I made buttonholes, I lined vests and made cuffs.... what happened to me??

So I'm going to stop sniffling and start easy, just start getting to know my sewing machine. I bought it after 9/11 and my oldest daughter has probably had it more than me because she started quilting and had so many coworkers and friends having babies.

There is so much I want to make and do and I feel totally incapable at this point....

So back to my plan...I want to try and sew something every day, just a straight line, change up the stitching, whatever.. just familiarize myself again and see if I have anything left in me.

How could I have let myself lose the skills I had?? sniff, sniff....

I HAVE A GRANDDAUGHTER!

March 19th, 2008 at 07:00 pm

DH and I could not be more thrilled. After raising three daughters, a granddaughter is going to fit right in. It was all I could do not to run out and buy baby girl stuff. But I keep reminding myself baby Ally is going to be the first grandchild AND great-grandchild on both sides of the family.

I started knitting a white blanket (why did I pick such a hard pattern?) and I have plenty of fabric to make a couple of quilts.

I admit I did fill a pink basket and sent it off to North Carolina with a few items in it for baby, my daughter and my SIL, practical stuff actually. My daughter can't find the hair wax stuff she likes in North Carolina and SIL really likes a local restaurant's salad dressing, so I picked that up along with a bar of premium chocolate and some changing pads, one little outfit, a blanket, some receiving blankets and some pink hangers.

We are a little halfway through the month of March and I have $77.53 left in my $345.00 budget for food (groceries, alcohol, restaurants). We are making chicken cacciatore for Easter (weird I know, but my MIL was just diagnosed with congestive heart failure, so we have to make low sodium, ham and commercial turkeys are out). We are using tomato sauce that we made out of roasted tomatoes, garlic and basil from FIL's last year's garden, so hopefully I can stay under budget for the month. We have some chicken in the freezer, but may need to pick up another package of boneless thighs at Costco.

I budgeted $515.00 for utilities and spent $514.22. Pretty good estimating there...

Something seems wrong in the auto category, I show only a little over $100 for gas so far... did DH pay cash or charge to Renner (a card lock place). Must ask him when he gets home.

I dodged a bullet this month and talked DH out of going to Las Vegas. He received three free nights at the MGM because they screwed up his reservations last year at the convention he attends each year (every other year held in Las Vegas). Luckily they extended the gift certificate another year.

We will find out what DH's bonus is the last week of March, but there are many things it can be used for including landscaping at our rental home (needs to be done, it's neighborhood rules), fund Roth IRA, fund HSA for this year, or just save, save, save. Our home needs painting, but DH did it himself last time, he just is too worn out to do it himself he says.

We had a gift certificate to:
http://www.tututun.com/main.html

So we scheduled that and hopefully that will satisfy DH's need to get away. Owning a business, he has a hard time relaxing unless he is out of town (especially since he gets called all the time by employees).

All in all I just keep plugging away....

Of course I want a receipt!

March 3rd, 2008 at 05:17 pm

Occasionally I have little "mini-nervous breakdowns" about the disorganization in my house. So my latest one involved not being able to find a library book, but somehow it led me to cleaning out our pantry. I was amazed at the amount of food we had that was past it's due date. We must have had 30 cans of chili that we don't remember buying and it's so old there is no date on it. We also 20 cans of tuna dated 07/2007 and a bunch of other assorted stuff. I felt terrible throwing it away, so I called the local St. Vincent de Paul dining facility. They were happy to take it all.

The intake person asked if we wanted a receipt. DH automatically said "No". I said, "Oh yes we do!" Guess who pays the bills in our house, sees the tax accountant each year and has a file to put all tax related items... yeah me that's who!

So now I am really ready to stay organized, rotate the food in the pantry and get all that stuff in the freezer eaten!