Sunday, May 31, 2009


This has been a great weekend! We had so mch fun!

Saturday was errand day - Blanca and I both had our hair d
one- I went to the library- and did some shopping ... I have a baby shower to go to next weekend .... and then I made a super tasty pork chop casserole ... which we followed up by watching Fireproof. More on that, maybe later, in a different post.

Anyway, this MORNING we woke up and went to the blueberry farm!

There's one about 7 miles from here (we live very near the true country) ... and we picked enough blueberries for a year.

Here's me ... and what you can't see here is that even at 10AM it's so hot and humid, my makeup is literally streaming off my face.

The supermarket sells 1/4 lb cartons for $2.98 and this place charges $3 a pound. AND you get to pick them yourself - what a bargain and fun too! Here's Conrad reaching for his next blueberry victim.

This was only day two of the season ... which lasts about 6 weeks ... there had been so many little kids come through yesterday that the bottoms of the trees were bare. So it's good to take a tall boy with you- so they can reach the juicy berries at the top of the tree. Make sure to get you a boy that's at least six feet tall- MY boy is taller than that ...

Blueberries start off pink! But they aren't ripe until they are blue and look like they're covered in powder. Unlike other fruit, they also don't continue to ripen. They can only ripen on the tree. So you should not pick pink ones ... they will never ripen. I confess a snitched a few off the tree to sample, during our picking ... and they were YUM!
Conrad made me wear my tennis shoes. They looked ridiculous with what I was wearing, but he ended up being right. The blueberry bushes are very scratchy- my arms are all scratched up AND the lady out there said they had seen snakes yesterday! I didn't see any snakes, but if I had- I can assure you I'd have moved faster than Conrad has ever seen!

We go out to eat, and we shop and we work on the house a lot, but we can rarely be found outside. When it's hot and humid, we are nowhere to be found - but this morning I thought it would be so much fun to get up and go pick our berries! So we went ... and had a great time!
Look at all the yummy berries! We'll be having homemade blueberry muffins, pancakes, cheesecakes - you name it. I think you can even make a sauce for pork chops with these babies. The total? $ 8!
Now I am in the process of freezing them on cookie sheets and bagging them up. You freeze them flat so they don't stick together. That way, if I just need a cup or something for a recipe, I can just scoop them out - and they freeze well. They'll last at least a year.


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Tearing it UP

Well ... we've had a contractor come out to look at the house.

We need a few things done that we either CAN'T do ourselves or don't WANT to do ourselves ... and we got the quote and it was great! We are replacing the front door and getting some water damage there fixed, as well as the back door which has a few problems ... but the REAL kicker is we are attaching our garage ... it's not attached just sort of butted up against the house. So we're putting in a through door from the laundry room. Oh how NICE it will be to walk out to get in the car without getting wet ... or to be able to get tools from the garage without going out, and around and waiting for the door to open ... OR taking out the garbage at night, when Conrad isn't home without thinking about taking a gun out with you. Ok- so it's not THAT dangerous here ... but you know what I mean.

We also had him quote out tiling the walls around the garden tub. We MAY get that done- but right now we're focusing on the doors ... and we are HAPPY it will begin very soon. YAY Tax Return!

Anyway - I'm sure there will be pics to follow ... once it starts.... and I KNOW we're looking to get some land and build a house- but these things either will make the resale better, make living here more comfortable or need to be done anyway before we sell ...


Tuesday, May 26, 2009


The weekend was a little weird. I had all these things I really wanted to do and I did none of them. I didn't rest very well - almost every night I had trouble sleeping ... and I just feel like I didn't get a whole lot done. I even sort of cooled out on my cooking- we ate out a lot towards the end of the holiday. Conrad, however, had a great weekend. He said he got lots of rest and relaxation - and he had a great weekend. Not saying mine wasn't good- anytime you're at home, it's all good - but I had books I wanted to read and I barely cracked open a book, movies to watch - I only got around to one. VERY strange for me. Oh and that stupid neighbor dog barked ALL Sunday night- I think his people went out of town again. I am SERIOUSLY going to have to have a talk with them! I can't do it this summer- should they decide to leave him at some point and go on vacation. I mean other people have to work. We're not ALL children and teachers for goodness sake!

Last week, I made some delicious meatballs! Most people can make them, they're not hard- but I stuffed these with mozerella cheese before I baked them. SUPER yum. Conrad had five!

Also on Saturday, I did get out and attended a tile workshop at Home Depot. It was an hour long and it was free ... they have them all weekend, and all week nights ... on all different kinds of things. You can go to Home Depots website and sign up for them. I won a $25 gift card! I didn't know it, but they do drawing for prizes (at least at my store they do) when you sign up and attend these classes. That alone was worth going for! It was like I made $25 this weekend. It was AWESOME! ... oh and yeah, I DID learn about tile too!


Saturday, May 23, 2009

I Remember

It's 12:30 in the morning and I'm laying next to my sleeping husband and dog, with tears rolling down my face ... because suddenly I am remembering and missing my grandparents ... who are gone 14 and 18 years now.... and it feels very suddenly like I just lost them yesterday. I haven't cried for them since I was planning my wedding and realizing they would not be there- in body. Although I promise you I did everything I could think of to get them there in spirit and I HAVE to believe they came ... and before the wedding, with just LIFE - I don't think I cried for years. There is no anniversary coming up - neither one of them's birthday (grandma was born at the end of June) or their death dates (Oct and Nov) coming up - so I have no idea what brought this on. But I know I can't sleep. Is grandma trying to get me to write some memorial tribute or something? I don't know - but I'll write it because I want to go to sleep. Thinking about it is all of the sudden to much for me. I do know I am frighteningly a LOT like them both - and most of the time it brings comfort ... I love junk and garage sales and a good deal - I throw a darn good party and I'm really finding myself in the kitchen. I know a hand written note is the way to go everytime and I try to religiously send out birthday cards. I am my grandparents spawn.

I don't expect this post will mean much but to a handful of people - my mom, my Aunt Robin, my former stepdad Chris, my Uncle Dick ... but here we go.

I remember ....

A ledgendary Christmas party, pecan tarts, lunch at 11 AM sharp- everyday, snores that would wake the dead, long painted fingernails, fingernail polish on the TV channel buttons, fingernail polish on everything, Cody 24 lipstick, red orange bathroom fixtures, avocado green bathroom fixtures and kitchen appliances, a strange door cut in half in the kitchen, 2003 Cosgrove Ave, metal trash cans, a backyard garden and clothesline, birdbaths, Papa's shop, an old fashioned coffee percolator, omlets made with ANYTHING from shrimp to spaghetti sauce- his eating habits were disgusing :), fly swatters, garage sales, S&S Cafeteria, Buick Skylark, El Camino, chain link fences, "Well I DECLARE!", 554-7427, grandad's Conway Twitty perm, suspenders, black socks worn with ankle boots AND shorts, watermelon, beer - pronounced BEAR, trips to FL, Kmart, the cedar chest full of presents, the Christmas tree never decorated the same color, talking on the phone for HOURS, complaining about the price of stamps going up (boy would she be ticked NOW), Corningwear, sliced tomatoes, pepperoni pizza, clocks, Werther's, figs, the attic, rolling grandad's head up in the car window, "All my Ex's live in Texas", furniture, chewing gum, The Price is Right, castor oil, The Old Country Buffet, Mr and Mrs William R .

I sure do miss you guys


Editted to add (per my Mom) : The Mayflower chinese buffet, The Chicken Wing King and a pet spider that ate ... HAM

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Another One!

I am on FIRE this week!

Tonight I made what I call : On Hand Chicken Packets

You basically cook - what's on hand.

I put out two pieces of alminum foil - and put a chicken breast on each one. I sprinkled some garlic salt and minced onion on each one ... then I chopped up 1/4 of an onion (long pieces, like fajitas), and I emptied out a half jar of sweet roasted red peppers I had "on hand" and I had like 5 small potatoes left. I peeled and chopped those up. Then I topped the whole pile with salt and pepper - I rolled up the sides and the top and made little aluminum foil packets. Wrap them up tight- you don't want steam to escape! I baked at 375 for 45 minutes - I put the little packets on a cookie sheet with a lip on it in case it dripped and SHUT UP it was so good! Another winner! I also made corn on the cob and some biscuits.

Ok and the recipe for last night : Chopped Steak with Mushrooms and Onions

In a bowl put a pound of burger, one chopped shallot, and a couple of cloves of minced garlic. Salt and Pepper and a little bit of worchestishire sauce ...and I mixed it up like meatloaf. Then divide evenly and make two big patties, about 1/2 inch thick. In a pan I heated up a couple tablespoons of EVOO - until it smokes. It means it's HOT!

Put the patties in and put the lid on it- for 45 seconds. Then flip, lid on for another 45 seconds - then take them out and put on a plate. This forms a nice crust on each side.

In the same pan with all the drippings, add 1 tbsp of butter, an entire onion- cut long like on a fajita and a cup of mushrooms. Lid back on for a few minutes - the add one cup of beef broth, but the patties back in, lid on and let it simmer on medium for about 20 minutes.

Then super YUM! Good luck!


P.S. - Mikel, send the salisbury steak recipe!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Good Wife

That's me!

I was driving home from work today thinking about a chopped steak and a baked potato - I can get at the Pecos Steakhouse. I had been thinking about my grandma- we used to go to the S&S Cafeteria in Charleston every summer and get the chopped steak. So, it's been on my mind. But remember I have been really trying to cool it on the eating out ... so I though SHOOT I can make the chopped steak!

So I came home and put two potatoes in the oven and started cooking a few pieces of bacon ... and then I got to work on the chopped steaks, which I have never made before. I was somewhat worried they would turn out more like hamburgers, but they really didn't ... they soaked in the beef broth mixture - and it made it more steaky and less burger-ish.

SHUT UP- it turned out SO good, it was JUST like a restaurant. So we had chopped steaks with onion and mushrooms - with fully loaded baked potatoes and garlic bread.

WHEW! It was a delicious meal. I was really impressed with myself ... yay me!

Happy Hump Day to you all. Tomorrow is the home stretch to Memorial Day Weekend!


Tuesday, May 19, 2009


My time with Big Al has ended ... after 24 long sessions. Looooooooooooooooooooooong sessions. I am SO happy it's over. If only because now I can do whatever I want on Tues and Thur nights. I still plan to go to the gym, I'll just be doing it on MY time - if I want cardio, I'll do cardio ... if I want to lift - I'll lift .... and the freedom is AWESOME!

We're looking forward to the weekend .... the long weekend. I have a list of chores to do and I'm determined to get them done this WEEK so this weekend is FREE. I want NOTHING to do ...

All I want to do is cook. So far on the menu? Spaghetti and Mozzerella stuffed Meatballs, Chicken with Roasted Red Peppers and Potatoes in a Packet and I'm going to try my hand at Chopped Steak with onions and mushrooms. Wish me luck!


Friday, May 15, 2009


Oh JOY! I have been waiting for the weekend ... this week seemed really long to me for some reason. It's Friday at 8:30 PM and I've already done all the chores I had ... grocery shopping, library, laundry - I'm sort of like a superhero!

Sometime this weekend I'll do a picture post .... I've got two options.

Since you all seemed to think Conrad's disgusting former office was so funny - there's more where that came from! Surely you didn't think that light switch plate was his ONLY inheritance ... oh no. Anytime something gross or disgusting of his granddad's is found, it makes its way to the house, via his parents .... I guess he really DOES have his grandpa's sense of humor - just like I've got mine papa's flea market and junk collecting bug ... we don't ask for these gifts ...

So anyway, more vulgar things on the way!


Wednesday, May 13, 2009


First things first! I had put aside $200 from the budget to grocery shop this week - (payday) for the next two weeks ... and I went to both Kroger and Wal-Mart today after work - I made a list of what each place had on sale we wanted or needed and also the coupons that would match up. Ended up spending ... DRUMROLL - $47. That's RIGHT! Only spent about 25% of the budget and bought enough for like 15 meals. How proud am I ????

Ok- this post is a long time coming.

You remember we had Amy here in April ... and you remember that Amy is an interior designer. So I put her in the pretty guest room. We have two. One has a smaller bed, but it has the TV and satellite - then we have the room that used to be Conrad's office. It has a nicer, bigger bed and the super cute bed in a bag we got for our wedding ... and I just love that room. It has three great big barn stars hanging that I love ... LOVE that room and it's the PERFECT place to put an interior designer, should you ever have one visit. I made sure that room was clean, the sheets were clean, we vacuumed - the works .... but I forgot it had some remnants from his former life ... like, the closet still has all his sales materials ... and the dresser drawers have CD's and computer stuff in them ... and then there was THIS ... I found it one day after Amy left ... when I was in the room ----

THIS used to be Conrad's grandfather's light switch ... and the light "switch" is the man's um ... his stuff. He is a diver and his pants have fallen down. SUPER classy - and I could NOT believe I had put this woman in this bedroom and she had been "handling" this light switch for five days. MORTIFIED does not even begin to describe how I felt when I saw this. I let out a holler and Conrad came running - and he LAUGHED when he saw it ... I ran out of the room ...

and I heard him laughing even louder. WHAT? I said ... and he pointed to the back of the door ... when Amy closed the bedroom door every night, THIS is what greeted her ...

If you can't read it - it's a doorhanger. It says " I had beans for lunch. You've been Warned!" ... and it features a man standing in what can only be described as the remains of his home ... I suppose it alludes to some massive gas attack that caused his home to be torn to pieces.

Well, I was just speechless. I tried SO hard to make that room nice for her ... and yet, the ghosts of Conrad's former office still remain.

Conrad was howling, tears rolling down this face. He thinks this is one of the funniest things ever.

Not so much.


Saturday, May 9, 2009

Random Updates, Via Pics

Hey! Happy weekend!

Just had a few pics I thought I would upload. You know I bought this new laptop a few months ago, but I had never downloaded the Kodak camera software, so I had pics just sitting on the camera. I also had to download a new virus protection. Got a lot done today!

Ok - so first pic is Conrad and I (and some of Blanca) on our first anniversary. This is a self portrait we took on the way to the super yummy Grand Luxe Cafe!

The second pic is just of my new super cute shoes. I got these at Steinmart. They were $35 and I had a $15 off coupon. SCORE for $20 - I will say I am really starting to dig ballet flats and I like the Sam & Libby brand - that's what these are. And yep, I wore them on our anniversary dinner with my pink shirt and my jean capris. Polka dots are the new neutral!

Next and last is the picture of the great shopping deal I got on Thursday. WOO HOO! Don't ever say coupons don't matter. I used to think that coupons were useless because they are for brand names, and if you get the generic, you pay even LESS than the brand name plus coupon. WRONG! You have to clip and wait ... usually it's about three weeks later. You clip, you wait about two-three weeks and suddenly, your brand name stuff is on sale. Example: Kellogg's Raisin Brand is what - $4 a box? and you can get Kroger brand for $2.50 right ....? But if you wait two weeks, Kellogg's Raisin brand goes on sale for $1.99 and you can use your $1 off coupon- BAM! - cereal, BRAND NAME cereal for 99 cents baby! That's what happened on this trip ...


Velvetta Mac N' Cheese, Velvetta Mac N' Cheese with Broccoli, Kellogg's Rasin Brand, Kellogg's Frosted Flakes, (2) Diet Cokes, Suave Deodorant, (2) Secret Deodorants, Joy of Cooking Red Potatoes with Rosemary, Jennie-O hotdogs, Cracker Jacks, Raspberry Tea canister, 24 Ct Tea Bags, 24 Ct. Tylenol- Extra Strength

Price: $32.25

MY price, with coupons: $14.40

The cereal, deodorant and medicine alone should have cost that much!!! So get to clippin'!


Thursday, May 7, 2009


Big Al says he is starting to see results in me ... and he's right! My arms are starting to show some definition. That's really ALL I can see - although I FEEL muscles in my legs. I have three more sessions before I'm set free to do my own. I'm ready - I'm for SURE ready to pick my own days to go. It might be nice to be home on a Tuesday night for a change.

I also had a GREAT shopping trip yesterday with coupons. I took pics and listed out what I bought. I'll post it tomorrow, don't feel like downloading the pics tonight ... it's getting late - and I'm ready for night night.

Hey- what did everyone think of that Elizabeth Edwards interview today on Oprah? I think he is one lucky man .... to lie, and lie, get caught and lie some more and now maybe he has a baby with this woman? I mean is it not enough that his wife has terminal cancer. GEEZ ... makes me like her and not like him.

Happy Friday


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Back on the Plan

The money plan, that is .... I've been trying to bring my lunch and cook more, again ... and so far, SUCCESS!!!!!

Sunday night I made chicken green chile enchiladas and YUM YUM YUM- they were good! I've only attempted true Mexican food once more and I didn't like what I made, although Conrad did. THIS time we were both very excited!

I took the leftovers to lunch yesterday - brought my lunch today ... and I have a menu plan laid out for the rest of the week- gonna use up that $19 I spent at Kroger this past weekend! We've got taco salad, pork chops, egg salad- all planned this week.

No other news to really report. We did replace a light in the guest bathroom this weekend- as we have pledged to do SOMETHING to the house each weekend, no matter how small. It was a complete and total nightmare and not even complete yet. Let's just say we found holes behind the old light - the new light we bought didn't fit over the hole, etc ... when we're done I'll take a pic and explain the entire thing. Home improvement- HA!


Saturday, May 2, 2009


I didn't realize it had been since Tuesday that I blogged. It took a few days to get back to normal after the Great Flood of 2009- ha ha!

Big Al even called Tuesday night and canceled our session! THAT means it was BAD! Next thing I knew it was end of the month at work and Thursday- so I had to go workout.

Yesterday was Friday and I went with Tosha after work to see Obsessed with Beyonce. I don't suggest getting anything to drink during that movie- you'll probably wet your pants!

Then today Conrad and I were out and about looking at land. We'd like at least an acre. We found a new custom builder called Sienna and their houses are SWEET!!!!!

I also went to Kroger today with all my coupons and the weeks menu plan. Got $45 in groceries for $19.20 - SCORE!!!!!

Conrad's outside now grilling burgers. We are using the new Applewood Bacon Cheddar slices I got for a BUCK and we'll have the Frito Lay BBQ chips with them- that I got for FREE! LOVE COUPON SHOPPING!!!