Saturday, 31 May 2008

Friday, 30 May 2008

Mutterings, musings and stuff

Yes yes I know - I am a slacker and I apologize.

I've just been workin people. And not organized enough this week to prewrite and schedule some decent posts.

I usually do either Frugal Friday or Favorite Ingredient Friday on Fridays, but I've got nothing. I cannot for the life of me think of anything frugal to write about or a decent recipe to post.

Instead I will tell you about my weekend plans - ohhhhhh exciting huh?! :)

It is supposed to rain all weekend. Well that sucks - guess that means no yard work - not that I had any planned anyhow.

I do plan to go see at least one movie. My son is begging us to go see Ironman, so we probably will. I would also like to see the new Indiana Jones movie, event though it has received less than stellar reviews.

A trip to WalMart is also in the cards. Yes my life is exciting - I told ya that din I? :)
Last week we ordered new glasses for the kid. One regular pair and one goggle type pair for when he plays soccer. They look pretty cool actually. Kind of like this only his are red frames with clear glass. I will post a pic of him in them once we get them.

I should also get going on some sewing this weekend - definitely an area I have been slacking in since I went back to work.

I have a bunch of baby stuff (bibs, burp cloths, quilts) to make before my niece has her baby in August. I also have some half-finished totes and probably about 5 more other projects in the works.

So that is about it - that is all I got.

I'll leave you with this.....

The reason coffee is so important in the mornings....

Thursday, 29 May 2008

Family News

I got word from my sister that her son will be going in for brain surgery on one side of his head on June 13th. They don't yet know when the other side will be done. I don't know the reason why they both can't be done together.

As for my brother, he is still on meds to keep his blood thin and that seems to be keeping the blood clots in his lungs from moving or any more from forming.

In happier news, my oldest niece is 5 1/2 months pregnant with her first child and is due sometime in August.

My nephew that had been driving me around, got a full time job and can no longer drive me.
Good for him - not so great for me.

Mornings aren't bad because my husband drives me to his office, where my co-worker picks me up.

Evenings are little trickier. Normally, my co-worker would drive me most of the way home (to the city she lives in), and then my nephew would pick me up and drive me home. My husband will have already gone home to be with my son by the time I am dropped off. I could take local buses but it would take about 45 mins - 1 hour to get the rest of the way home and still my husband would have to pick me up closer to home as the bus doesn't go in that far.

What I will probably do instead, is to leave work at about 3:30pm (instead of 5pm), get the GO bus (highway bus) back to Oshawa. My bus will get in at 5pm, my husband works right nearby and gets off at 5pm. He will pick me up and drive me home. That solves my ride problem but shortens my work hours, so I will have to make up that time on my work from home days.

It should be fine - or I can just win the lottery :)

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Works For Me Wednesday - Working From Home

Working from home (occasionally) works for me.

My current contract allows me to work from home occasionally, usually once per week.

There are many benefits to this:

  • I get to sleep a little longer as I don't have to shower, dress, do hair and make-up.
  • I get to wear comfy clothes (jammies) all day (and save wear and tear on business clothes).
  • I don't have an hour long commute.
  • I start work the minute the boys are out the door.
  • Since I start so early, I finish early too or put in extra hours (which I get paid for).
  • I can do little household things while I work, such as throwing in a load of laundry (I don't fold until I finish work)
  • I also, don't spend any money on coffee or lunch, so I actually save money.
I love being able to work from home!

For more great WFMW tips, check out Shannon's place.

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Oh how doctors annoy me....

Almost 3 months ago, my husband and I decided to get addition life insurance to cover our mortgage instead of using the mortgage insurance we currently have with the bank.

We filled out the application with our insurance company, we both had long conversations on our medical history with a different insurance rep that called. We had a nurse come check our urine and take our blood pressure.

Then we waited....and waited.


A couple of weeks ago, my Dr's office left me a message saying that he wanted to see me about my test results. I called them back and asked what test results, as I had not recently had anything done. She looked in my file and then called me back saying I must have been called in error as there was nothing she could find as a reason why he needed to see me.

2 weeks go by, my insurance rep calls to say that a form had been sent to my Dr on April 14th - he has not yet filed it out and returned it and if he doesn't so it by the end of May, our application will be canceled. She also mentioned that the insurance company pays the Dr $100 to fill out these forms.

I called the Dr's office and explain the situation, asking why this is taking so long. She says he has a stack of paperwork to do and if I want it done, I will have to make an appt. I mention the call I got 2 weeks previous, she says that was probably for this. So now he will get paid by the insurance company and gets to bill for an office visit as well.

My Dr is not close by, I have to take time off work to go there, as does my husband who drives me. I managed to get an appt for today. I had planned to go see him in a few weeks for a new prescription, so I decide to just combine it all today.

I wait for 45 minutes past my appt time before I am even called into the office. I wait a further 15 minutes until the doctor comes in. I mention the form, and he says there is info requested that he cannot supply, such as a recent pap test, which I get done at a different Dr.

So anyway, he fills out what he can and writes a note telling them to contact the other Dr for everything else. He promises to have it faxed today.

Now the other Dr is even farther away and has not yet even received a form to fill out. She will probably want to see me before filling it out it too. This is not going to be done by the end of May.

I call my insurance rep when I get home and explain the entire situation. She says they will probably consider it a new requirement and extend the deadline - I hope.

If his office had been more on the ball in the first place or if he just filled it out without having to see me and not sat on it for 6 weeks, we wouldn't have this issue.

I am really annoyed with this Dr right now. We have a shortage of Drs here, so I can't just switch no matter how much I would like to.

Ok vent over....for now :)

Kitchen Tip Tuesday - Leftovers in wraps

The other night I made curry chicken and rice. Last night we had leftover curry. I decided I didn't want just plain reheated curry, so instead I got myself a tortilla and placed some of the curry & rice (reheated together) in the wrap with a tiny bit of sour cream on top.

It was SO good! It made the leftovers different and not so boring.

Just think of all the leftovers you could eat in a wrap and therefore make more interesting:

  • pot roast sliced with sauteed onions
  • shredded chicken with lettuce and tomato
  • meatloaf cut into chunks with salsa
  • pretty much any rice dish will be yummy in a wrap
  • sliced steak or pork chop with leftover veggies
Simply add some different condiments and veggies and you have a totally different meal!

Try it!

For more great kitchen tips, swing by Tammy's place.

Sunday, 25 May 2008

If You Give a Mom a Muffin

(Based on "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" by Laura Numeroff)

If you give a Mom a muffin, She'll want a cup of coffee to go with it. She'll pour herself some. The coffee will get spilled by her three year old. She'll wipe it up.

Wiping the floor, she will find some dirty socks. She'll remember she has to do some laundry. When she puts the laundry in the washer, She'll trip over some snow boots and bump into the freezer. Bumping into the freezer will remind her she has to plan dinner for tonight.

She will get out a pound of hamburger. She will look for her cookbook (101 Things to Make With a Pound of Hamburger). The cookbook is sitting under a pile of mail. She will see the phone bill, which is due tomorrow. She will look for her checkbook.

The checkbook is in her purse that is being dumped out by her two year old. She'll smell something funny. She'll change the two year old. While she is changing the two year old the phone will ring. Her four year old will answer it and hang up.

She remembers that she wants to phone a friend to come for coffee on Friday. Thinking of coffee will remind her that she was going to have a cup. She will pour herself some.

And chances are...... If she has a cup of coffee...... Her kids will have eaten the muffin that went with it.

Saturday, 24 May 2008

Drink your veggies

A while ago I read someone's blog (sorry I don't remember who) where they talked about Green smoothies.

Basically, it is blending up vegetables and fruits to make a smoothie and in turn, consume more of both. The idea is to include veggies like kale and spinach which are high in nutrients and that you may not eat regularly.

I had made fruit smoothies before and I have also juiced both fruits and vegetable, before so I decided to give it a try.

I put about a cup of baby spinach leaves, a banana, 1/2 cup frozen
raspberries, 1/2 cup frozen blueberries and about a cup of water.
Nice and colourful huh?

Starting to blend.
Oh what a mud colour

So now to taste - not quite sweet enough so I added another banana,And a scoop of plain yogurt
Now a lighter shade of mud

Yum....ummm thick and chunky

Here is a nice close up of the not-quite-smooth-enough smoothie

The verdict: It tasted fine - mostly like bananas. Next time I think I will add ice to make it colder, blend it longer and also not try to drink it all at once - it really does make a lot.

Friday, 23 May 2008

Frugal Friday - Frugal Baby Steps

Since I am a consultant and sometimes go months without working, I have had to become frugal in many areas, but there are still many other areas that I could work on being more frugal.

Some of the frugal things I currently do:

  • Always wash clothes in cold water
  • Use cloth napkins
  • Make sure lights are turned off when not needed
  • Keep the heat/AC down
  • Buy on sale as much as possible
  • Buy most of my fabric for sewing from thrift stores
  • Only run the dishwasher/washing machine when full
  • Write posts for PayPerPost to make money for eBay fabric purchases

Things I need to start doing:

  • Menu planning and cooking ahead more to avoid ordering in
  • Stop buying my morning coffee and bagel - I can easily make them at work
  • Use less meat in recipes and have meatless meals more often ( I am ok with this - I have to convince DH :))
  • Bake more to avoid buying snacks for DS
  • Do freezer/pantry inventories more often to use up what we have
I have to take baby steps and work on slowly incorporating these habits into my life. Ever little step helps right! :)

For more fantastic frugal tips, stop by Biblical Womanhood.

Thursday, 22 May 2008

Ever wondered where to buy tactical gear?

Ya right tactical gear. You're thinking, what does she need tactical gear for? right?

Well check this site out, 5.11

If you can think of any type of tactical gear or clothing you need, they will have it.

I am thinking some of the bags/pouches would come in handy for sportsmen. A place for a hand-held GPS for the hunter in your family?

How about a tactical watch or sunglasses? The have a lot of stuff listed - check em out!

Bad bad Mirrors

I don’t think I like the bathroom at my new office.

It has far too many mirrors.

As I head out the door, I am faced with a mirror that reflects the mirror behind me.

I can see the back of me. I don’t like to see the back of me. I now know that not only am I fat, but so are my elbows.

Fat elbows! I mean that is just wrong!

I can see that the back of hair isn’t styled as nicely as the front.

I can see when I wear a bra that doesn’t fit and causes my back fat to be more noticeable.

Did I mention that I don’t like these mirrors? I really don’t.

Even the elevators here are completely mirrored.

In my head, I don’t look like what I do in the mirror.

Does that make any sense?

I am always a little surprised when I see myself in the mirror. There is always that split second where I wonder who that is. The person in my head is about 20 yrs younger and at least 50 pounds lighter.

I have decided to boycott mirrors.

I thought about just avoiding the bathroom, but being here for 8 hours and not peeing would not be a good idea. So instead I will just stop looking in the mirror, I will keep my head down in the elevator and while washing my hands and exiting the bathroom. People may think I am odd, but I won’t have to face that fat stranger in the mirror.

Ya so, I like being in denial J

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

What if Dr. Seuss wrote technical manuals?

What if Dr. Seuss wrote technical manuals?

Author: Gene Ziegler

If a packet hits a pocket on a socket on a port,
And the bus is interrupted as a very last resort,
and the address of the memory makes your floppy disk abort,
Then the socket packet pocket has an error to report!

If your cursor finds a menu item followed by a dash,
And the double-clicking icons put your window in the trash,
And your data is corrupted 'cause the index doesn't hash,
Then your situation's hopeless, and your system's gonna crash!

If the label on your cable on the gable at your house,
Says the network is connected to the button on your mouse,
But your packets want to tunnel to another protocol,
That's repeatedly rejected by the printer down the hall.

And your screen is all distorted by the side effects of gauss,
So your icons in the window are as wavy as a souse,
Then you may as well reboot and go out with a bang,
'Cause as sure as I'm a poet, the sucker's gonna hang!

When the copy of your floppy's getting sloppy on the disk,
And the microcode instructions cause unnecessary RISC,
Then you have to flash your memory and you'll want to RAM your ROM,
Quickly turn off your computer and be sure to tell your mom!

Copyright © 1995 by Gene Ziegler.

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Here comes the bride....

All dressed in ….. a floor length blood red gown with a slit up her left leg to the hip and a plunging neckline. Her luscious black locks are piled in a mass of curls atop her head. She is wearing 4-inch red stilettos and as she glides down the aisle with grace and confidence, every eye in the house is on her.

This was my friend’s wedding. It was her 2nd marriage and she said this time she was going to do it her way, as apposed to her Mother’s way. The wedding was definitely different, yet still lovely and oh so fun.

Although the wedding was not traditional, the 1st Class Wedding Invitations were.

They were absolutely lovely, very similar to this one.

The elegant style of her invitation never foretold how daring and different the wedding would be.

The choices of wedding invitations on 1st Class Wedding is staggering.

They have something for every taste. You can find every style from nautical, religious, contemporary, handmade looking, Asian, floral and so many more.

They also have this cool Zoom feature that highlights selected portions of the chosen card. You just move your mouse around to see a larger image of any portion of the invitation. It really is like you have the item in your hands.

Kitchen Tip Tuesday - Kid fixable meals

As my son's soccer season begins, we are faced with a dilemma.

Soccer practice is on Monday nights at 6pm. My son gets home from school at about 4pm, but my husband only gets home at 5:30pm (I get home around 6:30pm and will miss practice).

The actual games are on Tuesday nights at various times between 6 - 7:30pm.

My son has to eat dinner before going to practice and as early as possible so that he is not full while playing.

He will have to make himself dinner when he gets home from school.

BTW, he is 11yrs old.

I do not want him using the stove while we are not home, but I think the microwave will be fine.
(His Papa lives in the basement, should he need any help with anything).

I am thinking I will make a big batch of homemade mac & cheese, freeze it in individual containers, and then take one out on morning needed and put it in the fridge to thaw.

After school all my son has to do, is dump it into a bowl, microwave for a min or two and then eat. He can also have an applesauce container with it.

I think this will work fine - I hope it does. I don' t want to have to stuff anything into him on the drive to the game.

I may also be able to get him to eat breakfast burritos (scrambled egg, sausage and cheese). He is pretty picky so I am not sure what else he will eat and I don't want soccer nights to be just PB&Js.

Do you think this will work?

For more great kitchen tips - check out Tammy's place.

Monday, 19 May 2008

Sunday Sillies

more cat pictures

more cat pictures

more cat pictures

more cat pictures

humorous pictures
humorous pictures
humorous pictures
more cat pictures

humorous pictures
humorous pictures
humorous pictures
more cat pictures

humorous pictures
more cat pictures

Sunday, 18 May 2008

An absolute major thrift store score!

My sister and I did our semi-monthly trip to Value Village - the local thrift shop - we actually visited two different locations today. I scored big time!

My oldest niece is expecting her first child in August - I plan to make at least one quilt, some burb cloths, and some bibs. This will be the back of one quilt and maybe some bibs and burb cloths too. It is a really soft flannel - at least 3 metres for $4.99
These flannels will be added to several pastel ones I already have to make a baby quilt.
The striped one is a sheet $2.99, the other two are receiving blankets - 99 cents each.
This is a sheet that will become the back of another baby quilt - $2.99

SO so soft mini fleece throw - 99 cents - will be something for the baby

This is a double sheet and will become the back of this quilt - $4.99About 1 metre - I am thinking a purse or two - $2.99 - really gorgeous fabric
About 2 metres - will be used as lining - $2.99

This fabric will probably be used for lining totes - about 3 metres
and the bottom edge has lace sewn to it - $2.99About 1/2 metre of this fabric - will probably be added to a quilt - 99 cents
About 2 metres - not sure what I will use it for but it really is lovely - $2.99

About 1.5 metres - I am thinking totes - $2.99

This is a plain cotton pillowcase - I bought it for stitch work - 99 cents

About 3 metres of this fabric - will become totes and purses - $3.99This fabric is a valance but I'll probably use it for the lining of totes or in quilts - $1.99
About 3 metres of thin corduroy - I'll use this for totes and bags - $3.99
This is a pillowcase that will become the lining for one of the corduroy bags - 99 cents
I love the fabric on this apron - $1.99

I bought this full apron ($1.99) and it actually fits me! I should wear
it when I eat - I always drip something on my shirt :PI bought this to use as a bread basket - it was 99 cents
This I got at Dollaramma - it is a cute little fabric tray with ties at the ends.
My sister looked at it and said "You can make that!" Ya I can, but not for a buck!
I just loves these, they are so cute! $1 each. I have no idea what I will use them for :)
And one open

My sister has yard sales each summer to raise money for the weekend to end breast cancer walk that she participates in each September. Friends and co-workers donate stuff for these yard sales. She knows the type of stuff I am looking for, so always keeps me in mind when she gets new stuff.

I told her I wanted a teapot for work , so she gave me one of her own.

She saved this teacup for me.
And these two Pyrex bowls (there were 3 but she dropped one :))
I think I am set for fabric for a little while now :)