Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sundry Stuff

A spattering of sundry information for your ... well, unclear what it's for. But here it is:

-- Got on the bike for the first time. Yes, I've owned it two weeks. But alas it was raining and then I had The Disease ... so I couldn't ride it. But today I did! It was beautiful outside, so I took the bike onto post and rode the triathlon course. 14 miles. And I didn't die. But it did take me just under an hour. So I need to cut down on that.

-- My back is now hurting from the bike riding. Yowee. I also learned that biking and the running is hard. So that's another thing to work on.
-- After many moons of resisting I've decided to give cloth diapers a try. I just can't get past the idea that at our current rate I will spend at LEAST $700 on diapers this year, and that's only if he remains the same size ... which he won't ... so it will be way more because the bigger they are, the more they cost. So despite our retarded washer/dryer and despite the fact that the concept kind of grosses me out, I'm going to try it. So at least I can say "I tried."
-- Closing ceremonies? Stupid. I want to watch more ski jumping!! A conversation that Luke and I just had about the closing ceremonies:
Us: watching opera singing guy
Luke: Is that the Prime Minister?
Me: Singing?
Luke: Yes.
Me: Why did you think that was him singing?
Luke: I didn't.
Me: I'm confused

Now there is a lady in a pant suit. Whoa crazy times here.

-- Tomorrow we are going to the commissary. We need like 10 things. It's going to be a good week for the Grocery Envelope. No wait, I lied. There are 15 things on my list. Whatever. I'm cleaning out the freezer and pantry this week (thus the stir fry and rice a roni), so here are the things I am making for dinner:
- Spaghetti Squash Spaghetti (and rice a roni)
- Birds Eye Stir Fry
- Butternut Squash Flatbread (new recipe from Real Simple)
- More Birds Eye Stir Fry
- Tilapia
- BBQ chicken (more rice a roni)

-- Speaking of envelopes, this is the first month on full time budgetness. I already mentioned above that I'd love love to eliminate that diaper line item. Stupid expensive diapers. Seriously! It's like highway robbery. Or ... armed robbery. Or something bad like that. You HAVE to have a diaper on your kid (because the alternative is not acceptable) and they are at LEAST .20 cents each ... and thats the really cheap ones! It's making me mad just typing about it. Meh.
-- A new delicious vegetarian recipe I used last week that was SO GOOD: find it here ... seriously, SO GOOD. (and cheap!)

Monday, February 22, 2010

Nothing New. No, Really.

I was all set last night to jump into a really long blog post about the mystery that is Amy Watching the Olympics, when it dawned on me that this theme seemed vaguely familiar.

And guess what? It is! Why? Because I wrote the EXACT SAME THING the LAST time the Olympics were on! Really, this isn't that surprising. I'm a creature of habit.

Dave is ALSO a creature of habit ... except his habits change constantly. Not unlike fashion fads, if you will. For example, two weeks ago going around with his tongue hanging out of his mouth was ALL the rage. Now, tongue is usually where it belongs and we've moved on to the super-fun activity of clapping all. the. time. And it's ADORABLE. Because when he looks SO excited and starts clapping, you can't help be get excited with him, clap along and say "yay!! good job!!"

Seriously, it's a big party here people, 24/7.

Recently it's also been a SUNNY party. Why? Because it's been gorgeous out! Something about El Nino and not so much rain.

Sadly the sunny party that COULD be turned into an sunny party where everyone looks really skinny because of all the running that happens in good weather is really just a regular, not so skinny party with lots and lots of kleenex. This is because of my head cold that continues to linger. I'm going to go ahead and blame Kellie. Kellie, you stalker, I know you're reading this. 'Fess up.

In other, related news, the rain is expected to return tomorrow. Perfect. I bet I wake up healthy then.

But no worries! Because even when that happens I am in possession of "Carmen Electra's Aerobic Striptease" ... yes, you read that right.

And this, too, counts as "nothing new," because -- get what? -- it's like a step by step on how to be a strip dancer and NOT actually an exercise video. Oh yes, I checked.

Now you are wondering WHY I have this in my house. It was the top exercise video on and I wanted to see what all the fuss is about. Plus it looked like something I could easily make fun of here on my blog. Guess what! It is!

First of all, it starts with this disclaimer that not ALL the exercises may be appropriate for everyone. Ya think? Then it promises that I'll be "ready to tease in no time." And says things like "do not underestimate the importance of the finger in the mouth. It looks hot."


I did, in fact, try following some of the instruction. To do this I took off my sweat shirt. I figured that was appropriate. And then I did the beginners "exercise" routine. Other than my sweat shirt removal there was no actual recommended stripping. So that's (positive) false advertising.

Let's just say -- I'll stick to zumba. Mmmk.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Budget Eating

It's been about a year since I started couponing. And it's been a great year! I'm not sure I've actually saved any money, but I definitely have felt good about myself, so that's something.

The goal for this coming year, as I mentioned a few days ago, is to ACTUALLY save money. I know, crazy talk.

A major part of this, I feel, is saving on our groceries by eating low-cost meals. I am trying to serve at least one vegetarian meal a week. I used to think this required either using cheap, highly-processed canned food OR very expensive fresh vegetables and tofu.

Alas, it is not so.

It takes some hard core deliciousness to convince Luke that a meal without meat is good. I don't know how it happened, but he has been super excited about most of the vegetarian meals I've made in the last few weeks.

And if they are THAT awesome, I should share them. So here they are:

Spaghetti Squash Spaghetti

Cheesy Beans and Rice

Butternut Squash Ravioli (from costco... yummy!)

And, a recipe I couldn't find linked but we LOVE:

Black Bean Taco Pizza:

-- tbps cornmeal
-- 1 refrigerated pizza crust (or make your own)
-- 1 bottle taco sacue
--2 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped
-- 3/4 c. canned black beans
-- 1/2 cup frozen corn
-- 1 can (4 oz) chopped green chilies
-- 2 green onions, chopped
-- 1-1/2 c. (6 oz) shredded reduced-fat Colby-Monterrey Jack Cheese
-- shredded lettuce
-- Reduced fat sour cream

1. Coat a 12-in pan with cooking spray; sprinkle with corn meal. Prepare pizza dough according to package directions. With floured hands, press dough onto pan. Bake at 450 for 7 minutes or until lightly browned.
2. Spread with taco sauce. Top with tomatoes, beans, corn, chilies, onions and cheese. Bake for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and crust is golden. Serve topped with shredded lettuce and/or sour cream if desired.

This coming week we're going to have more bean recipes because they are on sale at the commissary.

Join the Chorus

I'm cranky, Dave's cranky -- everyone is cranky!

Join us, won't you?

I ran around this morning running a few errands. The entire trip was incited by my need for tissues. It was something like an "if you give a mouse a cookie" scenario ... at Walgreens I was told that they could not refill my ink cartridge (item 2 I was going for), on my way to Target for ink I stopped at Safeway where I wandered aimlessly and ended up buying a cucumber. At Target there was more wandering, capped with an ink purchase where I attempted to pay $13 for $15 purchase.

I was in a bit of a fog, shall we say.

And still am. It should be noted that ice cream hasn't helped with the fog. Who knew?

(I'm tired).

Dave is also in a fog. This is the only thing that can explain him fussing and being unhappy in the store. He LOVES the store. It's full of distraction and wonderful noises! But he was fussy. I'm afraid this means we have a baby on our hands who does not feel well.

Poor bubs.

It's another gorgeous day. I'd love to go on another walk but I'm afraid I'd get half way through and wish I was next to my couch so I could take a teeny tiny nap. I think it's just better if I stay near the couch just in case.

And that, my friends, is the status of my cold.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


Ok, so I'm not THAT sick. It's actually more annoying this way, I think, because I'm not nearly sick enough to get any sort of pity, just sick enough to FEEL blah and NOT like exercising at ALL.

But it's gorgeous and sunny out and so sooooo soooooooo pretty that we simply HAD to go out. So we took a 3.5 mile walk and called it "good." This is more than I did yesterday when I just sat on my couch and watched Gilmore Girls, courtesy of the local library. It felt good.

It is not good, however, for the triathlon training. Nor is the ungodly number of (rather delicious, I admit) twizzlers I ate while sitting on the couch (I mean you might as well go all the way if you're going to do something decidedly un-triatlon-ish.

I DID however, drive over the run course on post. So that's something.

In other news, Dave is happily munching on cheese and scrambled eggs and a little bread. It's adorable.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Living from Envelopes

As part of our "husband is home from war" to-do list, we are taking stock and reexamining our budget.

If you know me at all, you know I LOVE saving money, or feeling like I'm saving money (two entirely different things, lets be honest). This budgeting business is just another way to do it ... or to do it better ... or to keep track of how I'm doing on it. Whatever.

I've been inspired over the last year by a variety of sources, including ladies at my PWOC chapter, a few blogie friends and, most recently, the lovely Alisha, to look into the whole Dave Ramsey budgeting system, which includes a detailed plan and paying cash for certain things, such as groceries.

Over this holiday weekend the husband and I have made a budget and started using the envelopes. We are doing a few practice weeks over the end of February, just getting the hang of things, and will start diving fully into the system come March. The reason for this is our fluctuating income (thank you, post deployment) and an inability to figure out exactly HOW MUCH we are making due to the whole mid-month government LES business.

Alisha will be making me some truly lovely envelopes so that I dont have to use the boring white ones. So phew that's done. And I'm taking a new view towards our groceries to make sure I'm not only using coupons, but preparing meals that are economic to start with (think: chicken and vegetarian meals based off commissary sales).

For this coming week (starting tomorrow) our menu plan is:

Hamburgers (a Luke request)

Cheesy beans and rice

Honey-mustard chicken

Ravioli with sweet potatoes

crock-pot sloppy joes (to use up those extra hamburger buns from Tuesday)

In other news, I'm actively preparing for my triathlon! I'm going to try to add a countdown clock to this blog. Luke bought me a bike we found on sale! ... more info later.