Sunday, March 29, 2009

A few photos I'd Love to share!

That sweet fluffy mutt is Marco ( Michael's brother) and his wife Casey's new dog! They adopted him on Saturday from the Local SPCA, yay for rescuing dogs! He's SUCH a sweet boy, VERY well trained and just all around adorable! :) To celebrate his new life, we all decided that Charley needed to meet his cousins, Lily and Luca, our adorable dogs, and that a trip to the dog park was appropriate! In the photo above, Michael and Marco, are standing in front of our house, getting ready to get in the car to drive to Woodward Park, ie: The dog park!
Mike and I, walking with our dogs, and Marco walking with Charley
The Two Ruelas Brothers, their wives and dogs :) I love this photo!

And this adorable one, is my sweet Sister Karie, she sent this email to our folks and I, this is her " I CANNOT wait to see you in 10 weeks" Photo. She and her husband live in Cambodia, and are returing in 10 weeks! I cannot wait either Karie, I love you!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

oh I'm so excited!

It's offical, we're going to LA bright and early monday morning! We're leaving at 5am monday morning from here and we'll be spending the day in LA, going to the coast, the fashion distrcit, Lunch with my uncle, (hopefully) and then staying the night with Donna and Lutz! YAY! These are very good friends of ours... I cannot wait to see them!

I'm loading up the i pod with Iron and Wine and the weepies and we're hitting the road! I cannot wait.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Between now and then, my 101 Things in 1001 Days

101 Things in 1001 Days

Start Date: February 28Th, 2009
End Date: November 26Th 2011
Status: In Progress

The out of doors:
1-Start and maintain a vegetable garden.1/1
2-Participate in a community garden.0/1
3-Climb half dome again.0/1
4-Walk at least 3 times a week w/dogs. 0/143
5- Buy & fly a kite. 0/1
6- Picnic more then 20 times in 1001 days. 2/ 20+
7- Sweep the patio once a week. 3/143
8- See the Grand Canyon

Domestic Goods:
9-Buy a good mop.0/1
10-Mop weekly
11-Go all 1001 days without buying a loaf of bread ( failed... :)
12-Make all my own bread (failed :)

13- Buy a big ole soup pot. 0/1

Things I Should have Done Long Ago:
14-Take Piano Lessons for as long as possible. 4/143
{ I started Monday March 9Th}
15- Get my SLR Camera working and take more photos
16- Send a care package to Karie's kids. 0/1
17- Make a list of my friends favorite things 0/1
18- visit historical monuments on the East Coast and learn more about the history of this country. 0/1
19- get something made with my families plaid.0/1
20- go to a giants game and eat garlic fries.0/1
21- find the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe.0/1
22- buy a waffle iron
Having Fun:
23-Attend 5 concerts. 0/5
24- Travel with friends to an amusement park. 0/1
25- Send 4 packages to __________. 2/4
-26 Bake cookies for 10 neighbors or friends (0/10)
27- Buy antique Piano Bench for my new piano! (0/1)
28- Get Piano tuned and fixed up
29- Take a book and have a hot drink at the Public House by myself come wintertime.
30- do a puzzle with Michael. 0/1
31- go on 5 weekend trips to new places. 0/5
32-go to Europe.
33- plan a trip to see Scott and Amy
34- Sew a dress! 0/1

Being More Frugal:
35- Spend only this $__ much per week at the grocery store
36- Use only home made laundry soap and dish washing soap
37-Eat out only once a week
38-Starbucks only once a week
39-Pay off the remainder of our credit card debt
40- Learn 10 ways to be more green. 2/10
41- Go one week at a time 5 times, without buying anything but food and gas. 0/5

Wise Things:
42- Go 5 days without saying anything negative. 0/5
43- Give money to ____ .1/1
44- Save Money for & buy a house. 0/1
45-Find 5 ways to save some water. 3/5
46- Turn off lights when they're not needed
47- Use cloths napkins at every meal we're home
48- Donate my time walking for a cause. 0/1
49- practice piano at least 4 days a week
Kind Things:
50-Keep in touch with Donna and Amy
51- Get to know a new Friend. 1/1
52- Leave 20 random notes/ gifts for 20 different people. 0/20
53- Send a card to my cousin Michael for completing his Flight Training. 0/1
54- Host a neighborhood BBQ in the warmer season
55-send flowers to my mom on 4 separate non birthday non mothers day occasions . 0/4
56-give compliments to ten complete strangers. 3/10
57- throw seasonal breakfast's for the ladies in our neighborhood
58- do something kind for the Pastors in my church. 0/2

Personal Goals:
59- perfect a pie crust
60-Have a themed dinner party w/ invitations, decorations, placement cards, party favors ( in progress!)
61- adopt a Cat
62-Read 50 books. 3/50
63- Get down to size __
64- Use weights for arms at least two days a week
65- Take a Tennis Class
66- Eat 2 or more of a fruit and veggie all 1001 days
67- Eat at 10 new restaurants. 1/10

68- Write my lists of memories for each year we've been married
69- come up with 10 healthy new snacks. 0/10
70- Stop using the phrases, " uh-huh, yeah and sure"
71- take a ballet class.
72-learn to drive a stick shift.
73-have 4 girls night for the sisters in our youth group. 0/4
74- Send a letter to my brother. 0/1
75- Have fresh blueberry muffins with my sister at a lake
76- go to Yosemite 10 times. 0/10
77- Visit Donna and Lutz 1/1
78- Frame a photo of Pappa's Flowers and send it to my Grammie. 0/1

Because I love him :

79- Go on 20 creative date nights. 0/20
80- Plan a HUGE party for his birthday each year. 0/3
81- write 20 cards loving and mail them to his office. 0/20
82-dote more :)
83-openly compliment him in front of his friends more
84- buy him 5 random things. 2/5
85- do 10 things He enjoys doing 0/10
86- make his favorite meal 10 times. 0/10
87- plan a camping trip on the coast for the summer. 0/1
88- make him a few totally un healthy breakfast. 0/5
89- stay in the bugs ear in Mendancino again. 0/1
Crafty me!:
90- finish our wedding scrapbook before our 3 year anniversary!
91- Make a quilt! 0/1
92-Make Christmas cards for next two Christmastimes. 0/2
93- Make
this for 5 friends. 2/5
94- Start Etsy store ( 0/1)
95- Make something for Tammy's Griffith and send it
96- Learn to embroider 1/1
97-bake a cake from scratch 1/1
98-Send a care package to The Lesueur Girls. 0/5
99- Fill my button jar. 0/1
100- Buy 100 children's books for my children's library. 10/100
101-finish this list & create a new one!

Something on my list of things to do today!

{ Before :( }

{ After!}

A package from my best Sister friend

# 14- in progress

#7- in progress

in order to keep #7 going, I had to do a MAJOR clean sweep of the patio, move things around, wipe things down, throw/ recycle things i don't need or use, or have goten old. I wish I would have taken a before photo= you would have been amazed. This is what I spent my sunday afternoon doing before going to the BBQ at the Annamal Shak.

# 97- completed

# 1 in progress!

# 21 I think I've found it :)

Monday, March 2, 2009

Meal Prep/ planning on a budget 101

Step One: Make Lovely charts that lay out precisely what meals you are planning for each week and where and what you need for those meals to happen.

Step Two: Hunker down with a nice piece of paper ( I make a list for the store and a calendar of the week I'm planning for) and a stack of cookbooks from your book shelf.

Step Three: Find fun healthy, happy meals that satisfy the needs of your family and budget.

Step Four: SHOP, bring only cash and set aside an amount of Money every week for those things you need, be frugal, you really get creative when you need to. The amount we go by is $100 a month for every person, hence our home= 2 people= $200 a month for food= $50 a week. Easy, trust me... I make wonderful things with that amount you can too.
Trick is, STOP BUYING PROCESSED FOODS! Make it yourself, you can do it, I PROMISE!
Step Five: Make it one of your goals in the week to make everything you planned on making, I understand life happens and things don't always go as they planned, ie: I planned on making Chinese Chicken Salad Saturday night and my hubs and I ended up eating artichokes and french fries instead. just depends... but every other night this week except Friday and Saturday, I made what was on my list. It's really important to stick with it! It's rewarding!!!!! And fun!!!!

Step Six: This little trick I've learned is a GREAT way to get in your veggies and fruits during the day, before a meal while you're cooking, set out a few bowls on the table, olives, grapes, cut apples, orange slices, come over, we've got a TREE full that need harvesting, bananas, carrots and ranch, pickles, etc. It helps you and your loved ones get the fruit and veggies they need, and helps them fill up on the good stuff, which meals they'll eat less during the meal, and you'll have more left overs for lunches.

hint: Lunches are rarely made in our home, it's a rare thing, maybe once a week, we just take leftovers. Live with it, you don't want to waste right? Even if you don't want to eat it, just do it.
hint: each meal should cost somewhere within these ranges:
Dinner: $2 per person per meal
Lunch: $2 per person per meal
Breakfast: 75 cents or less per person per meal.
it isn't THAT hard planning out how much meals cost, ask me, I'll help you.

Another thing is that this $50 a week does NOT include household items, toilet paper, paper towels, make up, soaps, shampoo and conditioner. There is another budget for that, about $35 a month on those things, so about $85 total. I do use the home made laundry soap and dish washing soap, this saves LOADS of cash.
Here I go, I'm going to walk you through what I'm planning for this week:
March 2-8
Monday: Italian Meat Loaf, Mashed Potatoes, green beans, foccia, & banana pudding pie

We're having company tonight, but I'm still going to try and stay in budget as far as this meal goes:
From the Jessica Seinfeld Deceptively Delicious cookbook:

The idea behind her cookbook is that you're hiding pureed veggies in all the recipes from the book. We've tried a few, but I just adore this idea, my husband hasn't LOVED all of them, but for the most part, they've been enjoyed by both of us.

Tuesday: Chicken and Sausage Paella
{Since we were invited over to my mother in laws Friday for pizza, I didn't get to make this recipe, but I have all the ingredients for it!}

Wednesday: Sloppy Joes
{I'm going to try yet another meal from Jessica Seinfeld's recipe book, I'll also try and make it today, my day off, and put it in the fridge for Wednesday.}

Thursday: Tuna Cassarole
{bible study night, I'll most likey make this thursday morning, throw it in the fridge till I can cook it when I get home from work thursday around 5:30pm}

Friday: Chicken Corn Chowder

Saturday: Dinner with Suzanne and Martha, we're making ravioli

Sunday: Left- overs