Monday, June 15, 2009

Complicated math solutions!

So I've been on this frugal kick for awhile now. Growing our own vegetable in the garden, finding some sweet clothes at goodwill, canceling cable, you get the idea. However what I never really posted about was why I do it. On most blogs you read about women who have a dozen or so kids and need to save money for barbie birthday parties and new school clothes. In my case I save money so I can spend it on stuff I love. Stuff I love does not include barbie birthday parties. Fuck barbie and her size negative 4 waist. Things I love are sushi, awesome furniture, hammocks, vintage jewelry, traveling, massages, and clothes. As it turns out, if you are cheap about buying things that you don't love then you can spend more money on thing you do love. I devised this complicated math solution which thoroughly explains my theory. If I have 200 dollars to spend on groceries and I only spend $25 then I am left with $175 to spend on really cool stuff! Here it is laid out for you..

$200- $25= $175 to buy some sweet shit!

Also, since I plan on having kids never I have no reason to plan ahead and "make a little nest egg" I poached that egg long ago and had a ridiculously fun time doing it! Bottles of gin and high heel's don't wake you up at 3am crying. Unless said bottle of gin is consumed by ex boyfriend, in which case said situation is possible, and likely. But I digress, money is so trivial and if I had a ton of it I would pay off all of my bills, buy some expensive laundry detergent, AND a new outfit. However, I am a social worker and have no hope of making millions. So instead, I pay my bills, make my own laundry detergent, AND buy a new outfit.

I hope this post clears up any misconceptions of me ever wanting children, being frugal in order to better myself or the environment, or enjoying budgeting my life. I am selfish, love to shop, wish I had ton of money to blow, and want exactly 0 kids.
I hope everyone is having a great Monday (if there is such a thing).

Friday, June 12, 2009

Busy Busy Busy

I have been pretty busy these past few days but now that the weekend is here I intend to reeelax! As promised I took some pics of the garden...

Most of the plants my dad started from seed, which was a big help for us! We only spent around 30 dollars for all the plants. 

Our hot pepper plants already have peppers! 

Our tomato plants have flowers on them!

I can't wait until we have tons of fresh produce from our garden and don't have to buy any! I feel like I am finally getting our grocery budget under control. Tonight I went to Aldi's and spent 25 dollars which should last us through the week with the exception of buying a bulk bag of popcorn kernels tomorrow and possibly some sour cream (which aldi's for some reason doesn't sell)

Heidi had a burst of energy the other night while we were watering the garden. Sometimes it is hard to believe she is almost 10 years old. She does good for an old girl!

Tomorrow we are off to Ikea to buy a couch. Im sure it will be a fun trip. Ikea is hands down my favorite store in the world. If I had 3 wished it would be to end hunger, create world peace, and have a shopping spree at Ikea. Ahh in a perfect world...

Have a good weekend!

Monday, June 8, 2009

The loves of my life

It seems like all I've posted about lately has been food. So I thought today I would switch it up and tell you about the 2 loves of my life.

I got Paco and Heidi at the end of my Junior year in college. I decided that I wanted to live off campus and a friend and I found a duplex not far from school that had a huge fenced in yard. I have always loved animals and have always owned animals. Growing up I begged my parents for a dog and finally my grandma (who always spoiled me rotten) brought home my first dog, Molly. Molly is a daschund and she is the sweetest and smartest dog I know. She was my first experience with dachshunds and ever since I have loved the breed.
One day right before I moved off campus I was looking around at different dachshund rescue in the area and stumbled across the Dachshund Rescue of North America. I had some free time so I submitted an application with all of my info and stating that I was interested in adopting a dog. To my surprise I received a call a few days later explaining the process of adoption. A week later someone came out to complete a home visit and the next day I got several photos of availible dogs from a lady who fostered dachshunds in my area. I remember getting a few photos of younger dogs who were cute but for some reason they just didnt click. About a week later I got a picture from Paco and Heidi's foster mom and their story.

Paco and Heidi had been rescued from abuse in Alabama and had made their way to a humane society. However they were at a kill shelter. When pure bred dogs are taken to a kill shelter the shelter calls around to rescues of the coresponding breed so that the dogs can be saved. The DRNA agreed to take them but the only foster home that had room was all the way in Pennsylvania. A series of volunteers drove Paco and Heidi as many miles as they could to the next volunteer who would meet them and continue their journey to Pennsylvania.

The second I saw their picture I emailed Paco and Heidi's foster mom back and said that I would be there the next day to get them. It was the last day of classes for my junior year and I left immediately from school with a friend. It took us about 2 hours to get to their foster mom house. As soon as they saw us they ran and jumped into our laps. I knew at that second I was going to love these dogs more than any one person should and I was right. I have had them for 2 years and they amaze me and make me love them more every day.

I may be somewhat biased but is this not the cutest dog you have ever seen?

Before Paco I had never even been near a chihuahua. I had the misconception that all chihuahuas are mean and yippy. Paco loves everybody. When somebody new comes to the house Paco is their best friend. He is just a calm low key dog.

Heidi is also very calm. She does like to bark and run around the yard but for the most part she just lays around the house and waits for food to fall on the floor so she can devour it. Im convinced that Heidi would eat her body weight in food if I let her. I think its more of a mental thing since she was abused and so skinny when I got her. She always eats like it will be her last meal.
If you're thinking about getting a dog Petfinder is a great site to find any type of dog and they are all from rescues and shelters. If you are thinking about getting a Dachshund the DRNA has an awesome site and was such a pleasure to adopt from.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Veggie Cakes

Our garden is growing like crazy thanks to all the rainy days we're had here in western Pennsylvania. Last summer, before our garden, we made trips to the local farmers market and always had so many great vegetables on hand. The only downside to they amazing fresh produce was that by August I had exhausted every recipe I had for a quick vegetable dish. One day when I was thinking about how to use my leftover zucchini, squash, carrots, etc I decided to make some veggie cakes. I was skeptical at first but they turned out so great I make them all the time now.

Veggie Cakes

1/2 cup zucchini

1/2 cup squash

1/4 cup carrots

1/4 cup onions


1 egg (in addition to the egg called for by the bisquick recipe)

Shred all vegetables and put in strainer to let excess water drain off. While vegetables are draining follow directions on bisquick box to make 4 pancakes. Add pancake batter to vegetables and mix well. Next add 1 egg and combine wit mixture. Heat a small amount of oil in pan or on griddle. Drop about 2 tablespoons of batter onto a skillet and cook about 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown.

I usually serve these with a green salad with a tangy dressing. The dressing with the veggie cakes just seems to compliment each other. I have also made these by adding or substituting other vegetables like mushrooms and green peppers. These are super simple and so good!

Tomorrow I am going to a Fleatique in my hometown. There will be 3 miles of vendors selling crafts, antiques, baked goods, books, as well as families having yard sales. I'm like a little kid on Christmas because I am so excited to go!

If anybody is in the area and would like to check it out here is the link...

Fleatique on the Mon

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Yes, it's another post about dinner

I got home from work tonight and felt like making a dish of absolutely nothing for dinner. For some reason my 1 hour and 15 minute commute just doesn't put me in the mood to come home and cook a 5 course meal. However like a good girlfriend I sucked it up and made the easiest and fastest thing I could think of. Luckily it used up the green pepper that was beginning to turn mushy.

Deconstructed Stuffed Peppers

1-2 green peppers (depending if you eat a whole or half)
1 bag instant rice (I use brown but use whatever you have)
1 can crushed tomatoes
1 1/2 cup water
4 green onions
1 1/2 cup TVP (or for all you meat eaters, 1 1/2 cup ground meat)

Cook the rice according to directions and set aside. Next cut green peppers in half and roast in the over at 425 for 15 minutes or until soft. If the pepper is really thick or tough I will boil it for a few minutes prior to roasting. While pepper is roasting put tomatoes, water, half the chopped onions and cooked TVP in a pan. Once the mixture comes to a boil and starts to thicken add the rice.

Place half or a whole green pepper in a bowl and top with the tomato, rice, tvp mixture and voila deconstructed stuffed pepper.

I realize this isnt an exact stuffed pepper like most people are used to. However it takes about 20 minutes to make as opposed to the typical hour it takes just to stuff the peppers. I hope you enjoy!

The perfect lunch

Today was a yucky rainy day outside. However I did manage to venture out with a co-worker for lunch. It was the most perfect lunch ever courtesy of Whole Foods and Starbucks.

The perfect vegetable roll. Carrots, avocado, cucumber, bliss.

And what beverage pairs best with sushi? Well a venti white chocolate mocha with soy of course.

And of course I haven't taken any pictures of the garden. One day. One day. But until then I will keep you in suspence. Due to the yucky weather and sleep deprevation I don't see today being the day that garden pictures are going to happen. Paco the sweet little, calm chihuahua that he is has been terrified of the severe storms we have been having at night so me being the softy that I am has let him sleep in bed instead of his crate. By sleep in bed I mean pace all night, shake, and lick my face. Hopefully tonight it will not storm and I will have my sweet, calm, chihuahua who loves to sleep through the night back.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Uneventful bliss

Ever since Jason came home I have been doing a whole lot of nothing except spend time with him. We finally got our garden planted last weekend and it is looking good! We planted tomatoes, lettuce, onions, green, hot, and yellow peppers, egg plants, brussel sprouts, zucchini, cabbage, and cauliflower. We hope to have a huge crop that will last us well into the winter and thus save us money! I will hopefully get around to taking some pictures of the garden tonight.

We also bought a hammock this weekend. It is so nice to relax and read a book while laying in the hammock.

Speaking of reading a book, Jason and I have decided that we are going to cancel our satelite! This is a good thing because we are now going to save about 80 dollars a month! We don't really watch TV that often and if we do its usually a netflix or a redbox movie. Im pretty excited to save more money!

I have also found a recipe for homemade dishwasher detergent. You mix equal parts of borax and baking soda and use one scoop per load of dishes. Since using this I have found that some dishes don't get completely cleaned. I don't know if its because I didn't rinse the dishes well enough or if its the dishwashing detergent so I may pick up a box of store brand detergent and mix a 3 part ratio for the recipe- 1 cup borax, 1 cup baking soda, 1 cup detergent.

Nothing else exciting has happened lately so I will now bore you with tonights dinner menu. At least once a week I try to make a vegan dinner. In a perfect world I would be a vegan and never eat any animal products. In reality I am but a mere vegetarian. But one day a week I pretend..

Roasted Brussel sprouts, Vegetable Orzo, and Curried mashed cauliflower (instead of using all of the butter, cream, and milk in this recipe I use soy milk and soy yogurt). Eating vegan one night has so many benefits, its healthier, cheaper, and (not to be preachy) its a compassionate act that is easy to do!