Saturday, January 31, 2015

One Month

Today marks the end of my first month as a non-smoker.  I used to smoke 25 or so cigarettes a day and for the last month I have had none.

I am so proud to add my name to the long list of people who have successfully gotten rid of this nasty money eating habit.  I had had this habit since I was 14 years old.  I have never made it more than 2 month without a cigarette before so I am very nervous to start my second month of this but with everyone's support I know I can make it.

I finished my second pair of socks for my 2015 goals today too.  Without smoking I seem to have way more time to knit.  Or, I knit more to keep my hands and mind occupied lol.

This will be given to K for his 15th birthday.  They are a 64 stitch cast on a 7" leg, 30 row heed, and 8" to the toe decreases.  I did a k1,p1 rib for 10 rows and then switched to a k3, p1 rib for the rest of it.  I used Bernat Sox in the blue/brown colorway.  I started them on the 19th and finished them this evening.

I found G his valentines for his classmates at Wal-Mart today too.  He is a huge Monster Jam fan and has given out Monster Jam valentines for the last 3 years lol.

G is going to give rice crispy valentines to her daycare friends.  We went with a treat so everyone can have one.

We stopped into my moms work which is JC Penney because they have their mens coats on clearance and K has grown so tall in the last year that his barely fits.

It is an off brand Columbia style coat.  It has the typical zip out liner which should be great for a boy of his age.  I hope to get it washed tomorrow so he can wear it to school on Monday.  

Friday, January 30, 2015

Cartwheel Clearance

It is a little later than my usual posting time because we were out shopping and spending time with the younger two kids.

K is at church on a field trip to check out a Jewish service and after they are going to Perkins to discuss what they saw and learned.  I do have to say I have never attended a Jewish church service and I am curious how it is different than the Lutheran services we normally attend.

So while K was at that we took the little ones out to dinner and to do some clearance shopping because it is almost season change and winter wear is going on sale so it is time to buy for next year.

We got dinner at Wendys because they have $1.99 kids meals.  G thinkt that is a great idea because Z is too little to care about the toy so he gets 2 lol.

They are running a promotion right not that if you buy a key tag for $1 you get a free jr frosty at every visit.  A jr frosty is normally $0.99 so if you use it twice it more than pays for itself.  

So after Wendys we hit up target.  We don't normally check Cartwheel until we start to shop but G had to use the restroom so while we were waiting for him we checked it out.  We are so glad that we did because Target Cartwheel is doing a 20% off all clearance clothing, shoes,and accessory discount.  Well that is what we stopped in to look at anyway so off we went to shop.

I don't have pics of what we bought because I am lazy and left it all in the car to be brought in tomorrow.  Ok, if I am lucky it will be brought in tomorrow and if not it will sit in there until I need the trunk room lol.  But, Z already has her coat and snow pants for next year which together cost me less than $20 so our trip was very worth it.

Tomorrow is the last day of January and if i can make it through it I will have officially made it a month without smoking.  Yup you heard that right I have made it 30 days now without a cigarette.  

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Help Us Decide

Day one without cable has taken some getting used to.  I don't think that any of us knew what to do to kill time.

K and G did some reading on their tablets after they got their homework done.

D worked on testing his new meat thermometer/timer.  We are still working on getting the review together but keep an eye out for it.  While he is using it we are having some delicious meals so I am not going to complain lol.

I worked on G's police blanket as usual.  Right now I think it looks a lot like johnny 5 from Short Circuit lol.

Yes we own both movies and watch them very regularly along with Batteries Not Included.

We are also looking into getting streaming video service of some kind.  The ones we are considering are Amazon Prime, Netflix, and Hulu Plus.

Amazon Prime for the streaming video, kindle library, and 2 day shipping make it very appealing.

Netflix for streaming and DVD rentals looks good but it is more expensive than Amazon.  As well as I hear that it takes a while to be able to get TV episodes.

Hulu Plus because they get TV episodes next day but, I hear that their movie selection isn't the greatest.

So I ask you my rear friends which have you tried?  Is there one that you recommend?  Do I stay away from one of them for a reason?

We plan to use the Wii to stream them on as well as some occasional android tablet use.

Opal Apples

The kids and I just got to try these delicious apples from BuzzAgent.  We got them for free kind of.  We were given a $5 off coupon to go to our local grocery store to buy some to try.  We also got 3 $1 off coupons to give to our friends or family.  We gave one to Nana, one to aunt S, and one to our daycare lady.  Oh and as a bonus we got a cutting board with the Opal Apple logo on it.

These apples go for $1.99 at my local Cub Foods.  So I bought just over 2.5 pounds and got 7 apples.  Not a bad deal if you ask me.

I don't like apples myself.  I know you think I am weird now but thats ok lol so D and G tried them first.  D says that they taste like a cross between an apple and a pear.  

Z did some other tests like if she put a slice down for a while would it turn brown.  When we found it the next day it didn't.  We didn't taste it because thats just gross lol.

G just couldn't get enough of these.  He said that they are juicy but not too juicy that it drips down your chin.  When you are 8 this matters apparently.

G also had to try these with the Reeses Spreads that we reviewed last week.  

I have pics of everyone but K trying these I guess.  I would get one but unfortunately we don't have anymore and I just bought some yesterday.  Anyway K said that they are good.  He liked that when he had them in his lunch they didn't turn brown before he got to eat them.

So the consensus here is that they are delicious and totally worth buying again and again because we have.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

No More Cable

Today is a sad day at our house.

Yup look at that a DVD player and a Wii but no more cable box.  Gone are the days of the kids being bums in front of the tube.  

We dumped it because we can't afford it anymore.  Ok, we can if we don't want to get our bills paid down to be able to take a vacation this summer.  

Our bill is going from $149 a month to less than $80.  I still think that $80 is crazy but with no home phone line nothing else is available in our area.

So what to do when you can't watch TV anymore?

G says read a book on his tablet.

Z says play with blocks.

K said nothing because he had confirmation class at church this evening so he wasn't home to complain about it.

D worked on the Suburban.

I checked out my planner to make sure that I am where I wanted to be for January and looked ahead to February.  

I did some knitting and actually finished one of K's birthday socks.

I did some Amazon shopping and bought D's birthday present.  He made a comment when I was leaving to return the cable box that he is going to miss Hogan's Heroes the most so I bought him the 6 season collection.

I his 77,777 miles on my car today so I had to get a pic lol.

I made it to day 28 without a smoke today.  That is 4 whole weeks that I have gone without this weight that I have been carrying around for most of the last 20 years.

We have only gone 4 hours without cable so I can't say if it is worth it yet but I am looking forward to watching some of the movies that we own that I have yet to see.  Ok, and I am looking forward to my kids actually talking to me instead of watching TV.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Technology Free Tuesday

Today on one of the morning radio shows I listen to they were talking about doing a technology free Tuesday thing.  Basically no phones, no tablets, no computers, no TV, nothing electronic.  It is so you can spend more quality time with your family.  They were doing it from 5-9 but we did ours from 4-8 because 8 is bed time.  

The boys and I worked on the puzzle G started a while ago and stashed under his bed.

He got it from my mom for Christmas and the plan was for the boys to take turns with the puzzle board so when K finished his last one G would get to do his.  The problem is K does a puzzle in less than a week and G never finishes.

We got the puzzle done and then went in search for the 7 missing pieces.  Both boys helped look.  G searched under his bed because he is the only one who fits.

K searched the closet.  I would ask why he thought that a piece would be in the closet but, he found one in there so I didn't bother.  We even searched in Z's toys.

Now the puzzle is taken apart and back in the closet with a dated label saying that it is still missing pieces.  We label them because if we ever find a piece it gets a bag with a label saying date found so we can try to make them whole again.  We date the box so we know if in 3 months so that if no pieces for that puzzle get found it gets used for art projects or it goes in the garbage.

So we started another puzzle because we had some time to kill before bath and bed time.  This one better not be missing any pieces because we just cut it open.

G is bored already but K and I are enjoying the challenge.  K and I have always enjoyed doing puzzles together because when he was small I was a single mom and had no money to do anything so we spent lots of time reading and doing puzzles together.  I think that we both have missed that.

While the boys and I were doing puzzles Z and her daddy made a blanket fort in the living room.

She is climbing over his head in the second pic lol.

We have decided to make this Technology Free Tuesday thing a weekly occurrence at our house.  It was so nice to spend time with the kids without the distraction of the TV and other electronics.  

Oh and today was day 27 without a cigarette!  My one month splurge is already being planned in my head.  I love Chipotle but just can't justify it in my budget so that is what I am going to do I think.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Cream Cheese Wontons

I got a call at 5:45 this morning that daycare was going to be closed today.  I guess her friend had a heart attack last night and she just got home from the hospital at 5 this morning.  The friend is currently in a coma and they plan to try to wake her tomorrow.  Daycare is on so I guess she wants to try to keep her mind occupied and try to visit her friend tomorrow evening.  Out daycare lady and her friend have not been far from my thoughts and prayers all day and if you have a prayer to share please say one for my friends friend.

I normally drop the kids off at 6:30 on my way to work so this kind of left me in a pinch.  I texted my boss at 6 and at 7 texted my Mom to see if she was awake.  She texted back right away and said that she was but not dressed yet so I figured it was ok to call her.  She got dressed and rushed to my house on the other side of the metro area in rush hour just to help me out.  I made it to work only 2 hours late so I get to skip lunch all week so I don't have a short paycheck to go with this mess.

So I just want to say thanks Mom for saving my butt today.  No matter how old I get you are still there for me when I need you.

This evening we finally got the chance to try making cream cheese wontons in the deep fryer.  These things are the only reason I wanted a deep fryer lol.

So we tried this recipe.  They turned out ok.  They tasted more like cheese cake than wontons.  As in they were way sweeter than we wanted.  The kids really seemed to like them anyway.

I think that if we make them again we will just do cream cheese only.  The sugar made them too sweet and the egg made them too fluffy.  They were a little time consuming to make as well.

So what did we make to go with the wontons you ask?  Well, we made good old Hamburger Helper Cheesy Italian Shells.  Is Asian Italian a good food combination?  I am still undecided but whatever it was food.

Even with all the stress of this morning I still managed to survive the day without a smoke so I am at 26 days and still going strong.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Outlet Shopping

Today we went to the outlets in North Branch to get some measuring cups and check out the stores.

We found some good stuff!  Store one was Oshkosh.  We found some lined overalls for Z on clearance so we got a few pairs.  Ok we got 1 18 month, 2 24 month, 1 3T, and 1 4T.  The only reason why we stocked up was because they were only $7.19 each so 5 pair of overalls for $35.95.

Then it was the Kitchen Collection for the measuring cups which was a 19 piece set for $9.99.  We love these measuring cups because it goes up to 2 cups and sometimes you don't want to measure twice.  We also got a 2 whisk set for $5.00 that is a carrot and corn cob and we thought that they were cute lol.

Carter's was next and we found Z's Easter dress on clearance for $13.59.  With all the trouble we had trying to find a reasonably priced Christmas dress for her we had to buy it now or we would have trouble later.  I have no clue why girls need holiday dressed but D says that they do so I just agree with it and let him buy one lol.

We got Z's next pair of shoes at Famous Footwear because they were cheap as in $5.00 cheap.  She is now the proud owner of light up spiderman shoes.  Not very girly but they fit in our budget.  I couldn't believe that they had infant shoes that they wanted $50 or more for when the kid is just going to grow out of them in 3 months.

I stopped into Rue 21 next to buy some undies.  No I won't share a pic of those but they do sell 5 pair for $7.50.  I will share the pic of the bucket hat we bought for G there for $3.00.

The last store we stopped at was Old Navy.  They are closing that location so if you want some good deals check them out.  Keep in mind that they are closing at the end of the month and it is very picked over.  I got a black polo for G for $1.99, blue dress pants for G for $2.49, and a Star Wars tee for Z for $1.24.  The Star Wars tee is Halloweenish but who cares its Star Wars lol.

I think that we had a good shopping trip.  All of that was only $86.78.  I would say thats all we spent but when you figure in fuel and lunch it was probably more like $150.  We could have had a cheaper lunch that we did but sometimes it is fun to splurge a little.

So we had Famous Daves for lunch.  G is a huge fan of the Sweet and Zesty BBQ sauce that they have and yes, I know that you can get it at the grocery store because I have 5 bottles of it lol.  But, like I said eating out is a treat sometimes.

I had a productive day because with D driving I got in some serious sock knitting time in.  I am past the heel and trucking along on the foot of my 3rd of 20 socks that I hope to get done in 2015.

This one will be given (along with its mate) to K for his 15th birthday in April.  He is a huge fan of knitted socks and his feet grew so much last year that he only has 2 pairs that fit at the moment.

I managed to road trip and get some serious shopping done without smoking so I almost believe that I have finally kicked this nasty habit.  I would say that I have but if you ask anyone who has ever been a smoker they will tell you that cravings can show up at any time so for now I am just going to say that I am doing well with my quit and have made it 25 days.