Saturday, February 21, 2009

What I Have Been Doing

This year has already been so busy but fun. I have not taken the time to post lately as I have been trying to get so many different things done. Plus, Carson does not sit patiently on my lap while I type anymore. Giving him his own keyboard does not work either, he attacks the one I have and gets his determined look and lunges for the mouse as well.

I am taking a Photoshop class and LOVING it! One of my goals is to write Carson a story about his own adventures and create a fun book where he can see himself doing all the things of his imagination.

I am also working on organizing my home and life a bit. This is a PROCESS... I did check out a book called "The Ultimate Career" and it has inspired and helped me quite a bit. Then again, I only started reading it a week ago and my biggest problem is being consistent. So, we will see.

We just got back from going to Jill's cabin outside Kamas last weekend and it was incredible. Carson was a champ sledder. He is quite the daredevil with some things. We played board games, pool, sledded, cooked, and just relaxed. I think J needed it a lot; he has been under a lot of pressure at work and is creating a fabulous product that apparently would cost the company over 2.5 million to outsource. So far, everyone has been pretty impressed with the job he is doing. I am so proud of him. I do think we deserve at least 10% of what he is saving the company...but I guess they don't see my rationale.

Lately, I have also been obsessed with blue cheese. No, I am not kidding. I have had it in some form everyday for the past few weeks. I made blue cheese meatballs (and made so many that I froze some as hamburger patties), blue cheese pork chops, lots of salads with blue cheese, blue cheese and apple snacks, blue cheese with avocado and craisins (thanks, Esther) and blue cheese melted on turkey burgers. I am so glad you can get a huge one at Costco for cheap. All this talk is making me crave it now. Does anyone else get this obsessed with a food item? And NO! I am not pregnant.

Justin and I are also working really hard to stay on a budget. We sit down and set goals frequently and then FAIL miserably. Here are some ideas I had (or borrowed) that have helped us stay on our budget this month.

First, go grocery shopping only once every two weeks (we do have to make additional runs for milk for Carson since I fridge does not have a ton of room)--but THAT IS IT! You will be surprised at how creative you can get. Use all the fresh produce first and then have frozen fruits and veggies you can use at the end of the two weeks.

Have an egg dinner once a week. This may sound silly but we like our meat and proteins in our home. I am estimating this is saving us about $25.00 a month. That really adds up. We make quiches frequently.

My favorite is the green chili quiche:
Frozen pie crust
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups half and half or milk
2 cups cheese
1 can green chilies
dash of cumin

Mix eggs and milk and cumin. Place cheese in bottom of pie crust, reserving 1/2 cup for top. Spread chiles on cheese. Pour egg mixture over. Top with rest of cheese. Bake for 30 minutes at 375 degrees.
Yummy with orange julius and pancakes or whatever you want!

Date Night Budget:

Well, first of all having a date night would exciting anyway. To help us focus on having a date night once in a while we decided to start a new tactic. I think J fears that going out means dinner and movie and averaging $50 each time. We decided we wanted to limit our date night spending to $40 a month total for now. But this works for any amount you choose.

  • Take the cash out in whatever bills you want. Making sure you have some small bills as well. Decide how many dates you will be going on for that month.
  • Divide the money UNEVENLY in envelopes. For example, one envelope may have $5, one $1, one $12 and the other $22.
  • Take turns planning the date. Hear that guys.... you get a TURN too.
  • Early in the week the planner pulls an envelope and has to plan a date with only that amount of money.

It is fun and creative.

Some ideas:

  • $1 movie
  • Picnics
  • Star gazing
  • Snowman Building
  • Temple Night
  • Try a new restaurant
  • Go to library and check out a book on a new hobby you want to try and try it together!
  • Cook off (pick set ingredients and compete for best tasting creation)
Anyone have other ideas? Please share.

Well, that is all for now. Oh, for blue cheese meatballs:

I preferred them as a hamburger patty that I could add additional things to.


Paula said...

I love your idea on the date night thing and taking turns planning a date using the allotted money. And I also want to try out your recipes because they sound delicious. Those are great pic's of your trip!

Esther said...

I am so glad that you shared your blue cheese meatball recipe. I have wanted to try it ever since you mentioned it.

jayna said...

sometimes i get obsessed with a certain food item, but usually its something like chocolate chips... ;) i love the ideas you have for date nights (not that i need them... i just need someone around who wants to do any of that with me. lol.) and jill's cabin looks like it was a lot of fun!!


Mrs Applejuice said...

Our favorite date lately has been just going on a bike ride and exploring new parts of the neighborhood, other neighborhoods, a park, etc. Sometimes we stop at the grocery store and get a treat or a $1 movie to watch that night. I've never tried to make quiche, but if it's a budget-friendly meal, I'm excited to try!