Category Archives: Finances

TGIF Happy Dance #409 & Recipe

Okay, that’s a lame title!  Of course the 409 is for days left, but I’m really happy it’s Friday.  This is the first weekend in a long time that I don’t *have* to do anything.  I’m going shopping though. 

I have a list of *trinkety* type items I want to look for for decorating, gifting, etc.  I’m going to hit up TJ Maxx, Dollar Store, Target, Pier 1, etc.  I’m also thinking of going to Joann’s to look for some FQs for Christmas/Holiday fabric for ornamentifying.

I cannot believe there were no comments about what I want for Christmas 😆  Didn’t anyone like my sweet little Pink Lady?  😉  M and I had great fun discussing the ramifications of some thug being shot by a girl with a pink gun.  His jailmates would have a blast with it I’m sure.  And can you imagine some female judge’s outrage if that girl had to shoot through her Dooney and Burke purse?  Lifetime sentence, I’m sure!

M loved the recipe I mentioned and I’ll post the recipe when I get home.  The ingredients are super easy and you probably have them all in your home right now, except maybe the capers.  You know I may even remember the recipe….let’s see:

1 1/4 pound chicken thighs

1/4 cup flour

1/4 tsp black pepper

 1 cup chicken broth

1 1/2 tablespoon capers

2 tablespoons lemon juice

Mix the flour and black pepper.  Sprinkle it over the chicken.  Spray a non-stick pan with cooking spray.  Cook the chicken for 6 minutes, turn and cook for another 4.  Remove the chicken.  Pour in the broth and scrape any bits off the bottom of the pan.  Return the chicken, add the lemon juice and capers, bring to a simmer, cover and cook until heated through.

Yep, I remembered!  Easy-peasy.  I used chicken breasts cut in half (through the middle).  I used 1 tablespoon of olive oil instead of spray.  I steamed green beans to go with it.   M wants me to serve it with rice or something next time for the extra juice.  The recipe as posted above is 5 Weight Watchers points per serving (2 thighs).

Still trying to tweak my 2011 Stitching Challenge.  I was emailing back and forth with Melissa last night and she and I are also going to do a *no spending* challenge.  Since I just started thinking about this 2 days ago I can only think of a few exceptions:

  1. The fees for the stitching *class* I attend once (sometimes twice) a month.  Because I’m paying that fee I’m going to be diligent about taking ONLY my needlepoint project and get my money’s worth of help from the teacher.
  2. Anything needed to complete a current WIP from my challenge list. 
  3. Only finishing items for an ornament. 
  4. SANQ magazine.
  5. JCS magazine after I look though it at the bookstore.  This year I bought 3 issues.  I know I can have a yearly subscription for just about what 3 issues cost, but I’m trying to *save* trees, too.

Guess I’ll have to post this at the bottom of my challenge page to keep reminding me that I’m trying to buy a new “stitching room” 😉


Budgeting – we all do it, in all aspects of our lives.  Some of us are better than others, some succeed in one area of their life and fail miserably in the others, some of us have it down to a science.  I don’t know that I’ll ever get to the “science” part, but I am trying!   😆

Money – I thought since I’m starting a new job on April 1, I would use that as a jumping off point to faithfully budget in one area of my life.  I have mentioned (over and over) how ready I am for Kahuna to retire.  While I want to get myself out of college debt, I want to have a life too, so I’m looking into budget programs.  My goal is to be personally debt free by 10/10/10.  😀

I would greatly appreciate comments from you if you budget.  What do you use to budget your finances (pencil or computer)?  What do you like about it?  What don’t you like about it?  Where can more information be found about it?

Work – I’ve been very busy at work this past week while we’ve been getting ready for a federal trial, plus I’ve been trying to wrap up some loose ends so New Girl can start fresh in those areas.  Naturally, on Friday, the Judge continued the case until mid-April. 🙄

I expect to be super busy at the new job for at least the next two months.  The paralegal in the office is going out on a leave of absence in May to have surgery and recuperate, so I feel a bit under the gun to get everything down in April.  Nervous, you betcha.  This is where the “I’m not good enough” demons come out to play havoc with my self-esteem psychy.

Fitness – I’m focusing on fitness, just not my own.  I’m to the point where I just mentally roll my eyes while he tells me something that’s going on with his training.  The same something he told me about yesterday morning, last night, and will talk to me about this afternoon.  I do care about his fitness, it’s the repeating that’s getting to me but I know he needs to get it out and we’ve always been sounding boards for each other.  He hasn’t even started this race and he’s already told me he’s taking his checkbook hoping to get a roll-down slot at the AZ IM in November.

Weight – Goes hand in hand with Fitness, but I’m doing okay in this area.  I have continued to go to WW (not today because they’re closed for Easter).  I love the support of my group.  I’m even in contact with several members outside of the meetings.

Stitching – Haven’t touched a needle in 2 weeks.  I’m going to try to sit down with it today though.  I need it.

Downtime has been at a premium for me this past week.  Kahuna and I have been on the go a lot.  It’s mostly focused on his getting ready for next weekend’s race and I am really looking forward to it.  I know this coming week I’ll be super busy again getting everything turned over to New Girl at work, I’m working race registration Thursday and Friday evening and Saturday morning will find Melissa and I standing on a street corner at 4 a.m. waiting on the first cyclists to exit T1. for Kahuna it brings tears to my eyes.  I have my fingers crossed that I’ll be able to find him out of T1, in and out of T2 and be there as he crosses the finish line.

Woohoo it's Monday!

and I don’t have to be to work today 😆

I managed to make a dent in the “to-do” list I posted on Friday.

The swim went great for me. I managed to push myself 100 yards further than the last trip, plus for the 1st time I managed to swim 100 yards twice without stopping. The second time I had to roll over and backstroke a couple of times, but I did NOT stop. This is a great breakthrough for me as it shows me that I have not been pushing myself hard enough. Kahuna is convinced I need to be swimming everyday, and I’m going to ramp it up a little this week. I don’t know if that means going more yards per trip, or more trips. I’ll be playing it by ear.

Saturday I got my hair cut….short. She even shaved my neck, which I’ve never had done in my life!! I’m not sure I like the cut. It’s really the same as I’ve had, just shorter in the back. My hair grows in a circle around my head and with it being this short, it kind of wants to do the fuzzy chicken thing unless I mess with it a lot. I’m not the sort of person who wants to mess with her hair much. I got it cut short for less messing with. I’ll see if it “grows” on me. I love the way it looks, it’s just a little more work than what I’m wanting. I also went to a new stylist, who was 50% cheaper, fast, great – and pregnant. Why is it I feel like I find someone I like, they’re never around for long? I didn’t ask her if she was going to return after having the baby (her first). I’ll go to her again in about 6 weeks and I’ll talk to her then. I’ve also found myself a new manicurist, who’s also 50% cheaper than my last one. I wasn’t going to continue having my nails done but the swimming just destroys them, and while I don’t keep them very long, I would like for them to look nice. Both ladies work at the salon on the base which is 5 minutes from where I live. Amazing the great resources you can find when you take the time to look. But you realize that I’m moving right? 😆

During all this beautifying Kahuna was surfing, and then he had a cycle/run brick which left me at the house working in my office. I think it was 3 before we left the house to do our errands. I went to Joann’s and got the fibers picked out for Hannah Beeby. I am really happy with my choice and am looking forward to the stitchalong starting the end of March. I’ve decided on DMC 839, 3863, and 224 on Lambswool Linen.

I haven’t decided on 28 or 32 count, but am leaning toward the 28. I just need to see if what I have is large enough. I also picked up a pair of embroidery scissors, a thread holder for my sewing machine and a couple of other little things bringing my total to less than what I would have paid for the scissors full price. Yay for sales and coupons. I neglected to get a new bulb for my OTT though and I have a 40% coupon for that, that I really need to take advantage of, since the lighting by my sewing machine is next to none.

I went through my pantry Saturday and made a menu and grocery list around what was in there. I’m determined to get us back to eating better and not break the bank doing it. I spent less than my budgeted $75 on groceries Sunday, and only forgot 1 thing. Woohoo!

The rest of the day was spent doing a whole lot of not much. We really enjoyed Daytona 500. I would have been happier if Dale Earnhart or Casey Kahne won, but it was great that Tony Stewart or Jeff Gordan did not! 🙂 The rest of my time on Sunday was spent on and off in my office. I made great headway with my desk and got my keyboard and printer moved and almost everything put where I want it OFF the desk. I have some photos to be framed and moved around and I’ll be tickled with my desk setup.

Stitching? Well except for playing floss toss for Hannah, I didn’t have anything to do with stitching on Saturday or Sunday. That will be different today though. I am running out to town to see about the above mentioned picture frames, and to hit up Costco for some bread (but will still be way under budget). The rest of my day will be spent doing laundry, stitching, and catching up with the stuff I have recorded on the DVR. I only have 1 small thing to stitch on the RR that I want to mail out tomorrow and then I’ll be working on Ann Holewll. I’m going to have to piece together some qsnap components for it, but am planning on using some of the money I get from selling my stash to buy another set of rods for my Handi Clamps.

I would like to get the fabric cut for Houses of Hawk Run Hollow today, but if it doesn’t happen I’m not going to worry about it and just put it on next week’s “to-do” list. My poor French Alphabet Sampler is probably going to be ignored today as well since I really need to get caught up with Ann Holewll.

I wanted to stay off the computer over the weekend and except for cleaning out some old emails and emptying my camera chip, I did pretty good! I managed to sell several of the Shepherd’s Bush items I posted so was on the computer getting that squared away. I didn’t do any posting of The Silver Lining stuff, but that’s because the box they’re in is sort of out of reach right now as I work my way across my office cleaning and sorting and selling. I do need to get them up though.

I didn’t get anything done on either. I could probably do that from work, since I’ll have to haul them in for mailing anyway. I know the prices won’t be much, but they’ll be more than just sitting in my office taking up space and collecting dust. I’m almost to the point of throwing things away so I don’t have to move it or clean around it so if I can get some money for it, that’s better. I also want to look into for a bit more income. I think I’d rather go this route for now and not increase my hours at work until we decide where we’re going to live. I may increase them by 15 minutes a day though in a week or so. We’ll see.

I’ve decided to split whatever extra I have coming in equally 3 ways:

Training – Kahuna is building me a bike from components he’s selling on one of his bikes, and I want to contribute. This money will stay in paypal, since he buys a lot of components from places that accept paypal.

Stitching – I love my hobby. I have tons of money invested in it. I have lots of beautiful things to work with without buying more so I’m trying to buy only what I need to stitch from my stash. The first item will be the 14” bars for the Handi Clamps I mentioned above. I’ll probably also use this $ for finishing. I have a savings account I don’t use that I’ll keep these funds in.

Debt – While it won’t be much, the last 1/3 of my extra income will go toward getting my debt paid off.

I thought I would feel deprived while I worked on getting myself out of my debt fix; however, I have taken the advice of several blogs I read and made sure to have some “wants” budgeted for (like my manicures). It’s working and I almost feel like I’m playing a game seeing what I can accomplish with what I have. I’m also trying to get out of the impulse spending that I practiced in the past. I’m doing pretty good! I also have my wonderful hobby that entertains me which helps a lot.

I didn’t mean for this to get so long, but I guess I had a lot to get down after all my thinking this weekend. I guess I’d better say “The End” to this novel and get on with my day.

Give a gal a hand?

I was off work again yesterday while 90% of the world went to work.   If you read my blog then you’ll recall that staying home when most everyone else is at work makes me yearn to be a kept woman.  I’m still on that quest.  Yesterday, I spent lot of time thinking on how best to get me there.  I have a couple of areas that need some major straightening out.  They both revolve around money.  We do not want for anything right now, and I’d like for it to remain that way when Kahuna finally retires.

I am trying to get my act together to where I don’t H.A.V.E. to work.  Not today, next month, or probably even next year, but at the most in 5 years, I want to be able to be voluntarily unemployed.  I don’t know if I’m the type of person who could just quit and be 100% financially dependant on Kahuna, but I would like to find out, and if I find myself going cabin crazy, I’d like to be able to either just be a volunteer somewhere, or if I feel the need for pocket money of my own, temp, or at the most work part time a few days a week.  So, while I’ve been working on that, I’m wanting to ramp it up a bit.

With that I stand here, hat in hand, sort of, and ask you for your help. 

  • I want Kahuna and I to start “eating clean.”  If you have any resources that you personally swear by, I would appreciate the referral.
  • I want to only spend $300 a month to do the above and am looking for some “shopping lists” that accomplish that.  So far I’ve only found $200 a month for 1 person.  Right now I’m spending close to $500 and I feel like I’m wasting a lot of money.

I’m hoping by putting this out there, someone may suggest something that I haven’t thought of.  I’m planning on going to the bookstore this weekend for a sit and browse and any books suggestions will be hunted down.

Searching for my past

The weather held pretty much true yesterday and we had some wonderful rain/wind storms. It was a perfect day for sitting in front of the computer trying to find myself.

Last year one of my stitching goals was to start Lavender & Lace’s Mother’s Tree. I had information on my “mothers” as far back as my great-grandmother; however when I got to her mother, all I had was a name. I have been half-heartedly looking for more information and a couple of weeks ago decided to search on her husband instead. Surprisingly one of the sites that popped up was someone I knew from the stitching world, and had had the pleasure of meeting a few years ago when she was here on a business trip. I sent “T” an email telling her about this.

Yesterday “T” wrote again asking more questions and during many wonderful emails back and forth I think she helped me find not only my great-great-grandmother’s information, but her mother and grandmother’s info as well. Two extra generations! And “T” thinks this search has helped her find more info on the family member she was researching because they’re the same last name.

So for now, I have 8 generations. Am I satisfied and ready to begin? Of course not! I’ve always secretly hoped for 10 generations on the sampler because it will end as my being the last mother, since I had a son. I put a call in to my mother this morning and she is to pass on to me a family member who is the holder of our family tree. She’s the wife of my mother’s cousin and I’m hoping she can confirm the information discovered yesterday and have more for me to add.

This has renewed my interest in my father’s side of the family as well as Kahuna’s. I have tons of paperwork on Kahuna and need to start plugging it into a “tree” format because it’s very hard to follow the way it is right now. I know somewhere there is paperwork on my father’s side because his mother was always interested and I remember her talking to me about it.

A nice thing about this is it was free.  I spent a wonderful afternoon not spending any money getting something I needed.

I forced myself to get off the computer and stitch some last night. I’m almost finished with my current design and should have a finished project report come this weekend since I plan on finishing it out as a banner.

P.S. For those interested in Hannah Beebe, the chart can be found at under “Products,” “Timeless Designs.”

Financially speaking

I just realized that I have not been including any tracking on my finances.  When I started this blog it was to combine all areas of my life, and a major one is getting my debt paid off.  It’s a little intimidating but I’m taking it one paycheck at a time.  One of the reasons why I need to cut myself off in the stitching stash department.  I seem to have all the other spending areas in my life under control.

I still have packages trickling in, which is helping me to not spend.  The latest is Carriage House Samplings’ The Song They Sang.  I purchased it as a “kit” so the fabric and NPI silks also arrived.  Let me tell you, this is another one of those poor photographic efforts.  The silks, 186, 302, 335, 336, 693, 767, 773, 957 and 998, are just beautiful and rich and the design is smaller than I thought it would be so this may be one of those “small starts” that I do this year.  Definately sooner rather than later since I also ordered the frame at a discount but it won’t arrive until February some time.

I’m trying to keep my wish list updated so if I do get a financial gift I have some place to look for inspiration.  That said, we are probably going to be receiving a tax refund but it will go toward my debt.

Today I received the NPI list for Shores of Hawk Run Hollow 🙂 and have put it on my wishlist.

Weekend recap

Melissa came to visit yesterday and we shopped until I had a blister on my foot.  I can honestly say I was home for about an hour and a half from the time I got out of bed, until she left.  I had a mani/pedicure appointment first thing and was home less than 30 minutes when she came driving up.  We went to lunch and then headed to Barnes and Nobles, Ulta, Avenue, Henry’s (I’m in love!), came home ate  some supper and then headed back out to Sports Authority and Bed, Bath and Beyond.  I slept great last night.

I had my first weigh-in after returning to WW this morning.  Down .6#  While a lot of people may be discouraged by this small amount I was fine with it.  I never worry too much about how many points I’m eating the first week since I’m really just getting myself in the habit of being accountable.  I also use the first week to gauge if how I’m eating is going to work for me.  I managed to have 10 weekly points left over, but there were a couple of days I felt like I was starving and wanted to eat everything in sight. 

Since my meeting is at 9 a.m. I’m making sure my grocery list is ready the night before so I can hit the Commissary as soon as I leave the meeting.  This will help keep me motivated to stay with my grocery list and not pick up something that I probably really don’t need.  I have noticed over the past month or so that I’m more and more shopping from the perimeter of the store.  I would guess 90%.  I’m also buying pre-cut fruits and veggies since that seems to be the biggest deterent to me, the chopping.

I’m stalking the postman right now for the cast-iron bra and wicking top I ordered. As soon as they arrive I will have the perfect ensemble to start my Couch to 5K program. One of my purchases yesterday was a watch to help me track laps – and yes, Melissa Husband set it up for me last night 🙂 A little off the subject, but still in the way of fitness, is the current book I’m reading. I picked it up before my surgery because on some blog (which I cannot remember) I read before my surgery it received high reviews. It’s called Slow Fat Triathlete by Jayne Willams, and I highly recommend it as one of the funniest books I’ve ever read in my life. I’ve gleaned information from it too since she is a “fat” triathlete and gives great references on where we big girls can buy perfect exercise clothing.

I sat and paid bills today since Friday was payday.  I’ve been working on paying off my CCs and currently have 4.  None are maxed out, but they’re all higher than the zero balance I want on them.  I’m focusing on my WaMu card right now and I’ve put another $159 toward it.

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