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Archive for October, 2007

Mmm, mmm good!

October 31st, 2007 at 08:02 pm

I made the seafood pasta dish from the Quick Fix book tonight and it was YUMMY! It was the same dish as my favorite pasta from Buca Di Peppo -- and just as good. The whole family loved it, so I bought it used tonight online. Well worth the $8.84 (the book plus S&H).

On another note, I actually bought just the right amount of candy to give away for Halloween tonight, so no leftovers lingering around for the next year. However, my daughter brought home a full bag of treats after making her rounds with my husband, sister, mother and Elvis (YES! THE KING LIVES!!!)

To buy or not to buy ... that is the question

October 30th, 2007 at 10:35 am

I am thinking about buying a cookbook. I never buy books. Instead I check them out from the local library. Every time I go to the library, I grab a new cookbook and try a few recipes from it.

Recently, I've been cooking meals from Robin Miller's Quick Fix Meals and I have to say it's one of the few cookbooks I've used in the last year or so that I think might be worth investing in. Everything I've tried out of it so far has been great, not to mention fast and easy.

Part of her schtick is that she starts with one recipe that includes cooking extra of something, which you then use for three or four other meals. Last night, I whipped up this incredible talapia dish with a sauce that I'll use later in the week with another meal.

Given how crazy busy I am, it might be worth having a book like this around for weeks like this one where I barely have time to sit down -- let alone stand in the kitchen for very long.

Tomorrow's big family Halloween dinner comes out of the cookbook. I've already prepared the sauce part of it. Assuming it's as good as the other recipes I've tried, I think I might splurge and invest in my own copy of the book.

(p.s. Checked PaperbackSwap.com and it's not available there for free, but I found it used -- but NEW -- for $4.85 on Amazon Marketplace. Definitely buying it at that price...)

A ghoulish week

October 28th, 2007 at 07:08 pm

This coming week is shaping up to be a killer.

A coworker at the "office" job broke her finger, so I've been called in for some extra hours tomorrow even though I was already maxed out on my shifts this week.
I'm also scheduled to work Tuesday as well.

Then there's the classroom Halloween party that I signed up to help with. I have to make 40 monster fingers at the crack of dawn Wednesday, dress up like a witch (which should be easy for me), and then fly into school on my broomstick by 9 a.m. to feed the little buggers. The monster fingers consist of cocktail weiners wrapped in tortillas to resemble a surgical bandage, and then baked for a few minutes and dipped in ketchup so they look bloody.

That evening my whole family is coming over for trick-or-treating with Mini Me, so I have to feed them as well. My plan was to toss some leftover monster fingers their way, but that idea didn't go over so well with the Big Sis and her Germaphobe Hubby, so I'm whipping up some pasta, a caesar salad and bread after the kiddie party. Then I'll be dashing Mini Me across town for an appointment, then back here in time to eat dinner, then letting the kid and the rest of my family loose in the 'hood for some good-ol'-fashion begging.

Hopefully, soon after someone will toss a bucket of water on me so I will melt ala the Wicked Witch of the West, which would mean I can get some sleep before heading to the "J-O-B" Thursday to work a "double."

A "double shift" in my line of work is the equivalent of a regular 8-hour shift for the rest of you. But because of the nature of my work, we can only work in 4-hour increments or those around us tend to suffer.

And, lest you think I'm whining about having to work a mere 8 hours Thursday, I still have two projects lingering from my booming side business -- with another one expected to drop sometime tomorrow.

Oh, and then some brillant bureaucrat who obviously doesn't have kids of his own decided that Friday should be a half day at school, so after doing a couple hours of work on the side job, followed by a couple hours of volunteer work, I'll be entertaining Mini Me that afternoon as well.

In between all that, I need to hit the bank, dry cleaners, post office, Costco and Whole Foods this week.

Boy, I can hardly wait!

October has me seeing red....

October 27th, 2007 at 08:31 pm

As the end of the month is fast approaching, I'm tallying up the monthly spending plan and it ain't pretty.

I've gone over in numerous categories and right now am "overdrawn" by $854. Technically, I'm not "overdrawn" to anyone but myself since the shortage is covered by one of my savings accounts. But I'm falling back into my old habit of robbing Peter to pay Paul.

My biggest problem area is eating out. Aside from the fact that I spent way more on food during a four-day trip with my husband earlier in the month, I've gone out for dinners here at home just because I haven't felt like cooking.

I also spent more on medical than I had planned to since my daughter had to have a vision therapy evaulation, which involves a $200 doctor visit -- not covered by insurance ($@$@!&$ insurance companies....)

Then there was the little issue of my utility bill being paid for twice due to user error when adjusting an auto bill pay with the bank. (Yes, I screwed up....)

The good news is I made $668 more than I anticipated I would this month. This allowed me to put more into savings and toward debt repayment. Of course, if I had known I was going to overspend, I could have put more toward the categories where I was over but it's always best to sock a little something away in savings and throw extra toward the creditors every now and then.

Updated my numbers

October 25th, 2007 at 08:16 am

Hey, look at that ... two posts in two days. I'm on a roll!

If you look to your left, you'll see I've updated the debt and savings figures. The debt is very slowing going down and the savings is slowly going up. The savings could have gone up faster if I hadn't just spent $5,500 on a new fence. But it's a beautiful new fence and the dogs are happy with it, so I can't complain.

I've been a bad, bad blogger....

October 24th, 2007 at 09:44 pm

In order for a blog to be successful, it helps if one actually posts on a regular basis. I, however, appear to be going for the title of "Worst Blogger" since it's been two months since my last post.

I will try to do better. Seriously....