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Archive for September, 2009

Making spaghetti sauce

September 28th, 2009 at 05:29 pm

I accomplished most of my goals for the weekend. I did not do a lot of studying (I still have time... the test is Thursday) and I did not do the IS quiz. Why? Because there was no IS quiz. There is not a quiz for another month and I figured I will wait to do that one until about a week before it is due.

Everything else though is complete! Yay!

I will be depositing about $800 into our checking today- my last paycheck at my previous work and fiance's latest paycheck.

I am making spaghetti sauce as I type. Ok, technically, my crock pot is the one making the spaghetti sauce, but I am the one who mixed all the ingredients together! I decided to use canned diced tomatoes instead of buying tomatoes and dicing them myself because the canned version was a lot cheaper. Next time I will probably use fresh tomatoes. It was pretty easy and a lot more fun then buying pre-made sauce.

The sauce I am making is pretty basic in flavor. Oregano, basil, and a bay leaf are all the spices I am using. Oh, and a little bit of garlic and onion. I wanted to see what this tasted like before I started experimenting with different flavors. I figured I can use this recipe as a "base" and go from there.

It is (finally) beginning to get colder here. I actually need a little cardigan today. Towards the end of the week is when the temperatures will start to really drop. Our stove REALLY heats up the apartment every time we use it so I don't think we will have to run the heater a lot this winter.

Goals for today and tomorrow

September 25th, 2009 at 05:24 pm

I have been slacking the past few days. I did, however, have three tests this week so everything else got put on the back burner while I studied for the tests. Now that the weekend is here I can do some catching up.

So today's goals are:
1. Get my IS quiz done. And possibly get a couple quizzes done that aren't due for awhile.
2. Do the accounting hw and quiz.
3. Pick up my paycheck and turn in my work shirts.
4. Upload all the food pics I have taken and flip through my cookbooks for more ideas.

Tomorrow's goals:
1. Get the probability hw done and start studying for the test.
2. Clean the bathroom (tub and shower curtain- don't ask me how that got dirty, I really don't know), living room, and the kitchen. Also put the clothes away properly (fiance originally did this but I don't like how he put my clothes away so I am going to redo it).
3. Go for a bike ride in the morning.

Wow!

September 25th, 2009 at 04:07 pm

My credit limit went up again- but this time on a different card!

I have a CC with wellsfargo that has a limit of $1,800 and a CC with Barnes & Noble that used to have a limit of $500- now it is $1,250!

Yay! I now have a total credit limit of a little over $3,000! Later this year I am going to check my credit score. It must be decent if my limits are going up.

For some reason I want

September 23rd, 2009 at 11:07 pm

I don't drink soda. I don't like it. Every once in awhile I will have a can of soda (almost always Sprite) but it is not a regular occurrence for me.

And yet, I so want this: Fountain Jet Starter Kit.

You can make your own soda! Isn't that awesome? I have never thought of making soda before... not that this is making it from scratch but you know what I mean.

This would be a good gift for fiance. He loves soda but since I never buy it he never drinks it at home. He does buy it from the vending machine though.

The soda-making-machines start at $100 and go to $200. But if you frequently buy soda, this will probably pay for itself quickly.

I'm still breathing

September 16th, 2009 at 10:33 pm

Just barely though. :P

I have been so busy this past week and a half with school and work and family... I've been popping in and out, reading a post here and there, or reading a thread.

Last week I did try a new recipe, but it wasn't from any of the cookbooks. It didn't turn out too well. In fact, I hated it. Fiance insisted it didn't taste that bad but I think he was lying to me to spare my feelings. Lol. Tonight I will not be trying a new recipe, but rather a new thing.

Chicken thighs with bone and skin. I have NEVER cooked chicken thighs or breasts with the bones and skins. I always buy them boneless and skinless. But, it is more economical to buy them with the bone and skin still on. We'll see how it turns out. I've seen cooks add herbs and spices underneath the skin so I think I will try that.

School is going well. Info Systems is really boring but really easy. I really like my accounting class. The only class I don't like is probability theory. It is challenging, which I like, but I don't like probability. Which is a bummer because several people have told me to consider becoming an actuary.

Fiance and I are doing well with not spending a lot of money. We went to sushi over the weekend and got all you can eat for $30 for the two of us for dinner. We even got a coupon for the next time we go. But we both agree we won't be eating out again this month.

I will be sticking to Walmart to do my grocery shopping. Last week I went to a different grocery store that my friend said is really good and not expensive and ended up spending a little over $50! I got the same items I usually get at Walmart. So I'll be doing my shopping at Walmart for groceries, with the possible exception of fruit. Sometimes the Walmart here doesn't have the best fruit so I'll go to another grocery store (same shopping center) for that if I need to.

So far my half.com total for this month is $21. Not bad.

I think that is all so far... it seems so little to update on for the past week.

Confusion in the air

September 8th, 2009 at 04:12 am

(Sung to the same tune as "Love is in the air").

I've been noticing a lot of confusion the past few days with my life.

1) I had fun at work yesterday. And that made me question my decision to quit. Did I do the right thing by finding a new job and turning in my notice? I think so. One good day does not outweigh the many reasons I am leaving. But I have been there for a couple years and it is hard to say goodbye.

2) Marriage. I want to get married. Fiance wants to get married. Our families are mostly happy that we are engaged. But they don't want us to get married now. Or in a year. They want us to wait until after we graduate (2 years+).

I don't see the big deal in us getting married in a year. It is not that I am against having a long engagement, I just think for fiance and I it is kind of silly. We've pretty much been married for awhile now anyway. After my mom died and we started looking after my brother a friend commented "You guys have been dating for a year and now you have a 17 year old son!". And that was how it was for awhile. I know both of our families consider us practically married so why are they wanting us to wait?

They say we should wait because of the cost of weddings. But I would seriously be just fine with having the ceremony and then taking the family out to dinner. A pretty white dress is nice (and I have seen many beautiful ones that I like) and a reception would be a lot of fun... but I don't need that. Nor do I care about those things so much that I would want to delay getting married.

I think there is some other reason they are holding back from us but why? And what is it? It bugs me so much when people don't tell me things. Especially when it comes to major things like this. And when it has to do with a decision that is mine (and fiance's) to make.

And there are other things too. Much smaller things that aren't as important but still confuse me nonetheless.

1) My kitchen. It is so poorly laid out that it is hard to organize. I am so used to large, spacious kitchens that what we have feels like a shoebox sometimes. Ever since we moved in I have organized and re-organized the kitchen every few days. I think fiance is getting a little annoyed. But I just haven't found a way to organize my kitchen yet that I like for more than a few days.

2) Probability theory homework. I don't even know where to begin. Seriously. I take notes in class, I *think* I understand everything and I try to do the homework and I don't get it. At all.

3) My fish tank. Why is the water green? All the levels (ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, etc.) are OK. I changed part of the water. I checked the filter. I cleaned the bottom of the tank. Why is it green? My fish seems to be doing just fine but I am a little worried.

When I start to get overwhelmed by one thing, every other problem (whether important or not) overwhelms me even more. I need to relax for the night.

Sometimes I wonder...

September 5th, 2009 at 09:54 pm

A really random thought came to me today.

What do all of you look like?

I have images in my head of what all of you look like based on your blogs and what you post in the forum. I guess I like to connect posts to a face. I doubt, though, that my idea of what everyone here looks like is accurate.

I can understand why people don't want their pictures on their blogs. It's nice to have some anonymity. Still, I wonder.

Anyway, nothing exciting going on. I did laundry today. I've been noticing that fiance and I are having less and less laundry to do. It used to take literally all day, now it only takes a few hours.

My friend and I are playing phone tag. Both of our cell phones are dying because we forgot to charge them and we keep missing each other when calling our home phones. We'll eventually be able to talk to each other directly. Maybe. Lol.

This weekend should be fun

September 5th, 2009 at 02:57 am

Thank goodness it is a three-day weekend!

Fiance is getting paid Monday and I was technically paid today. Today was payday but I didn't pick up my paycheck as I will be working on Sunday and can get my paycheck then.

Tomorrow should be interesting. A friend of mine, who I thought was married but is actually engaged (really long story), invited her fiance to visit her this weekend and I get to meet him tomorrow! I'm really excited. He sounds like a nice guy (but of course, he hasn't gotten my stamp of approval yet. :P).

Actually, both my fiance and I will be meeting her fiance tomorrow. We haven't decided what to do tomorrow. She was thinking of going out to dinner (fiance works until 6pm), but that's not feasible for us and I don't want her to pay for us. If she wants dinner, I'd be happy to cook for the four of us.

Fiance loves to eat breaded fish. We ran out of bread crumbs today (guess what he had for lunch) so I was going to buy some when I go grocery shopping on Sunday. But then an idea came to me. Walmart sells a loaf of French bread for $1.42 (about $2 less than regular sliced bread). I normally get one a week. But why not buy another loaf this week and use that for bread crumbs? It will be cheaper than buying a box of breadcrumbs and I will probably get the same amount, maybe even more. And later on, if I get good at cooking and baking, I can make the bread myself!

The recipe I plan on trying next week is a ravioli recipe. But instead of buying pre-made ravioli I want to make it from scratch. Dough and all. So I googled "how to make ravioli" and I found the coolest videos! This guy demonstrates how to make various pastas using a kitchenaid mixer and the pasta attachments. It was so cool! And he made it seem really easy to make pasta from scratch (that may be how they get you.. lol). Since I don't have a kitchenaid mixer (and consequently, none of the pasta attachments), I am going to be using a rolling pin to flatten the dough. Maybe someday I will get a mixer. When, you know, I have a few hundred dollars to spare. And if I find myself making enough things that would be easier to make with a mixer. They do come in pretty colors though...

I found this website, I think it is called moviewatchlist or something. You pay a small fee and can watch movies that come out in theaters. I'm not sure if you pay per movie or if you pay per month/year. Seems like a good idea. You can download the movies to your computer and watch them from home instead of going to the theaters.

Starting again

September 3rd, 2009 at 12:49 am

I read somewhere that it takes 60 days to make something a habit and 6 months to make something a lifelong habit.

I was a little surprised by that but it makes sense once I thought about it.

I started out so strong with my cooking adventure. I sat down religiously and planned out meals, searching for new recipes. And then things began to wane (probably just shy of the two-month mark).

But it really fell apart when fiance and I moved into our new place. Unfortunately, we just don't have the money to constantly be trying new and "exotic" recipes.

For awhile I shelved my cookbooks and recipe planning. But I have been inspired by my two new cookbooks to start again!

In a smaller dose this time. Smile

My goal is to try one new recipe a week. Something I haven't tried before. Nothing really expensive- no lamb or three course meal here, but something nice that is still fairly inexpensive. And I will be sure to make extra so fiance and I can take it to school so we won't be tempted to buy something there.

I'm going to make it a little more interesting. The recipe I pick has to come from a different section of the cookbook. For instance, one week I might make something from the dessert section, so the next I might make a dish from the breakfast section. I haven't decided if I am going to go cookbook by cookbook (do a recipe from each section of one cookbook before moving on to another cookbook) or if I will skip between cookbooks. We'll see.

To hold myself accountable, I will take pictures of the finished meal. Probably of the cooking process too.

I am also going to set a day of the week to do the new recipe: Tuesday. Wednesday is fiance's longest day at school (from 9 am to 8 pm) so he can take "fresh" leftovers to school the next day and not buy something there.

I'm also doing this partly to curb my sudden desire for more cookbooks. I just got two and haven't even tried any recipes from them and I want more! They are addicting. Big Grin

Rant of the day

September 2nd, 2009 at 12:40 am

Every once while someone does something that is so annoying you just gotta rant about it.

That happened today.

Around lunch time I was walking from one class to another. The hall was very crowded as there were a lot of people in a small hall. The girl walking in front of me was texting and just randomly stopped walking.

I bumped into her. She gets irritated at me that I bumped into her (when she turned around to say something snarky is when I noticed that she was texting while walking).

Why the heck are you getting irritated at me when it was technically your fault I bumped into you? It is not like we were walking in a wide, open field of daisies and I had my mind set on running into you. Text and walk if you want to, I don't care. Just don't get upset with me when I run into you because you stopped suddenly!

Jeesh.

Ok, happy news!

A friend gave me a cookbook. It is a Better Homes and Gardens cookbook. It is a special edition and it features favorite recipes from the 1930's until now. Some of the desserts are so mouthwatering it was hard not to eat the page! I'm very glad to have this friend back. She was gone for two years on a religious mission and is now attending the same university as myself. She's really gotten into cooking as myself so we'll probably end up exchanging a lot of recipes.

I also bought a cookbook yesterday. It is a gluten-free, sugar-free cookbook (the recipes are gluten-free, sugar-free, not the actual book Big Grin). I don't know if I am going to go gluten-free but I bought it for a couple reasons:
1) A relative of fiance has Celiac disease. I was curious about what kind of recipes that relative could have.
2) The back cover really upset me. My mom had fibromyalgia, along with a couple other auto-immune disorders, and the back cover said that going gluten-free could help with that illness (among others). So it played at my heart strings.

My total for August for half.com was $162.88! One of my most profitable months! I even sold a book this morning so September is off to a great start.

As for savings... I'm not sure. Fiance and I did put money into savings this month but then we had to take money out because of school. So I think we ended up saving a negative number this past month. But that just reinforces the importance of a savings. We'll make up the lost amount over the next few months (hopefully).