Monday, October 31, 2011

Miscellany Monday

I am linking up at lowercase letters for Miscellany Monday.
1. Tonight I served Madison and Chris Bagel Bites and Pizza Rolls for dinner...both from the freezer section and both on sale at the grocery store today.  I had an apple with peanut butter.  I just didn't have the energy to make a real meal.

2. Madison decided not to go trick or treating this year.  Instead she passed out candy to the kids who came to our house.  I think our door bell rang about 5 times.

3.  Tomorrow I am making this Cafe Rio pork in the crock pot.  I have never been to this restaurant...but my sister told me it is it's tomorrow's dinner.  I cannot wait to try it.

4. I won FREE Shutterfly Christmas cards this week by entering on other blogs.  Woohoo!! I've got a great idea for them up my sleeve...and knowing I won them for free makes it even more exciting.  I have applied to offer free codes to my blog hopefully I will hear back from Shutterfly soon so I can pass the freebies along.

5. I failed at my 31 days of blogging challenge for myself.... BOO.  Oh well...  I think I did 26 posts...

6.  I haven't bought one single Christmas present.  I started a list though. 

Friday, October 28, 2011

Boots & Dates

It is so cold here in Rhode Island today.

I am missing the warmer weather in Virginia Beach.

I know I am not going to be able to wear flip flops here for as long as I did in Virginia and that makes me sad.  Flip flops are my wardrobe staple.

I need to find some boots.

I want Ugg boots without the Ugg boots price.  I realize my 12 year old thinks I am she has three pairs of the real deal which she loves (1 pair came from Grammy and 2 pairs came from my sister who doesn't need them living in Las Vegas).  I just cannot see the justification in buying such expensive shoes for myself...

Does anyone have any Ugg-like recommendations? I don't want a heel and I want them to be comfortable.  I would prefer black.

I am going to attempt to straighten Madison's hair for her this afternoon as well as make a few loaves of pumpkin bread.

Madison has Rec Night at her school tonight...which means we get to drop her and a friend off from 7-9 for some middle school fun.  Chris and I are going to go on a mini-date.  In my quest to be as frugal as possible and to save as much as possible... I have decided I want to go to a local hole in the wall BBQ place.  It closes at 8, so who knows what we will do after dinner. 

We lead a wild and crazy life here in Rhode Island.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Wednesday Night Randoms...

~I got a work assignment for my new job on Monday.  I received an Excel file that I had to go over and verify some things.  I worked on it Monday night and Tuesday morning.  Tonight I finished one more thing on it and went to send it via email to my boss. It was missing. I looked everywhere for it.  I posted on Facebook for help.  I googled about it.  Nothing worked.  I had to re-do the entire thing.  The light at the end of the tunnel as far as this goes is that it didn't take me as long the 2nd time, I really feel like I "get" this process for my next assignment, and I will be 110% sure to save save save my files the next time.

~Madison wanted Eiffel Tower cupcakes for her 12th birthday.  I ordered the candy molds and melted purple chocolates to make little Eiffel Tower candies to use as toppers.  It wasn't until they were finished and I shared them on Facebook when someone mentioned and I kind of realized.... they also kind of look like something else stuck on top.  Thankfully nobody mentioned that to Madison when she brought them in to school today... they did however mention it when Chris brought in a dozen to work today.

~Tomorrow I am working at the book fair for four hours at Madison's school.  It will be good to get out of the house and to be social for a little bit.  I wasn't very productive today.  I wasn't feeling well. I pretty much just caught up on my shows from my DVR while Chris and Maddie were at work and school.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

My Baby is 12 Today - Happy Birthday Madison!

I cannot believe I am the mother of a 12 year old today.  I am making her favorite chocolate cupcake recipe with butter cream frosting and I am decorating them with little purple Eiffel Tower chocolate candies I am making (I will share pictures soon). 

I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite photos of Madison and 12 things about her.

1. Madison loves the computer and is fabulous at doing things on line and at making Powerpoint presentations.

2. Madison loves to read.  She always has a book in her hand. 

3. Madison has her own sense of style.  Gone are the days where I can buy clothes for her.  If I suggest something, she isn't interested.  Her wardrobe staples are skinny jeans, Ugg boots, graphic tees, and a hoodie.

4. Madison loves animals.

5. Madison loves babies. 

6. Madison loves France and anything French.  She would love to go to Paris one day.

7. Madison really should be in 6th grade.  She started school early.  It was definitely the right choice as she does really well both socially and academically at school.

8.  Madison has a super close relationship with her Grammy (my mother).

9.  She loves to make things especially friendship bracelets out of embroidery floss.

10.  Madison adores my husband, her step-dad, Chris.  99.9% of the time she thinks he hung the moon.

11. Some of her favorite foods are French toast waffles, bagels with chive and onion cream cheese, and red velvet cake yogurt.

12.  Madison loves to be creative and dream of businesses she can create, stories she can write, and TV shows she can produce.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

A Great Weekend w/ my Mom

My mom flew in from Virginia Friday morning.  I let Madison stay home from school and we arrived at 8:30 to the airport to get my mom.  After we picked her up we headed to Target, then Best Buy, and then back to my house to drop off our Target stuff and my mom's luggage.  We headed to Papa Gino's for a pizza and salad lunch.  Then I took my mom to a local gift shop/boutique and then to Michaels before we headed home to relax.  That evening we went out for Mexican at El Parque and then I went to bed early because I had a horrible headache.

Saturday morning we woke up early to head to Massachusetts to meet up with two of my mom's sisters.  We then rode in to Boston with them for my cousin Lisa's bridal shower.  She had a beautiful brunch bridal shower at a restaurant along the water in Boston's North End. 

Here are some photos Madison took yesterday at the shower-

The favors were amazing.  They were wedding dress cookies with the bride's name on them from a Vermont bakery called a Dozen Eggs Bake Shoppe.  I was so surprised to see my aunt had used them.  We had considered using them for our wedding...and even ordered samples, but out baker convinced us to go with her candy cupcake toppers (which ended up being horrible) instead.

It ended up being a fun, yet long day in Massachusetts.

Sunday afternoon we had reservations to celebrate Madison's 12th birthday at the Melting Pot in downtown Providence.  Then we did a little shopping at the Providence Place Mall before bringing my mom to the airport.

We always love when she visits and had such a wonderful time.  Now we are sitting in the living room watching a movie with the fire going (for the first time).

Thursday, October 20, 2011

My Finished Pine Country Server - The Final Paint Job

I bought this off of Craigslist a few weeks ago for $100.  It was solid pine and I knew I wanted to paint it.

My color inspiration came from my new living room pillows which were made from these fabrics I purchased at Hobby Lobby -

Photos of the process -

The finished product -

The finished product {I sat a pillow on top so you could see how the colors coordinate}.

Here it is all decorated.  I just love it.  Right when you walk in the front door this is on the left.   I think I am going to put some baskets on the bottom.  To the right is our living room.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

When Your Family Leaves You Hanging... {Day 19}

I have typed this, edited it, retyped this, etc... several times for weeks.  I have went back and forth on if I wanted to share it openly, what I wanted to say, and the best way to say it. 

It really stinks when someone who should be one of your go to people has chosen to not have a relationship with you or with anyone in your family.  As much as I don't want to admit that it bothers me, it does.

I guess since I have a relationship with everyone in my family... it is even more confusing to me. 

I have one sister.  She lives all of the way in Las Vegas.  I love her.  I love my niece and nephew.  We have had our ups and downs.  We are super different from one another.  We do not talk every day.  Some days we just exchange text messages.  But I know without a doubt if she was local we would see each other at least once a week.  We'd meet for dinners.  I'd pick her kids up and take them places...and she would do the same.   We would help one another out.  Our husbands would hang out and drink beer and watch college football.  We would be there if one another needed something...anything.  Because in my opinion... that is what families do.

How much of an effort do you make to try to form a friendship with someone who has kind of  made it clear they could care less about you, your husband, and your daughter?  I guess if this person wasn't a relative... I would tell myself NONE... you make no effort. 

But, what if they are a relative? A relative who has made no effort to form any sort of a relationship with you....when you have done nothing wrong.

How far do you go to salvage family relationships before you just throw in the towel?

Monday, October 17, 2011

Day 16 & 17 - Monday Morning Ramblings....

I'm combining days 16 and 17  because I forgot to blog yesterday.... it just slipped my mind.


*My first meeting for my new job is today at 9:15.  I think I will just have to introduce myself and then it will be a lot of listening... I have to call in from my phone and log in from my computer. 

*After my meeting ends I am taking a nap.  I was up most of the night last night because I didn't feel well and couldn't sleep and I am exhausted.

*I had a repeat customer place an order last night from my baking business.  That makes me super happy.  I am making these little goodies for Madison's school's bake sale... how cute are they?  I made a sample one last week.  It is a split chocolate cupcake layered with butter cream frosting, sprinkles, and a candy pumpkin.

*My mom is flying into town on Friday.  I am letting Maddie stay home from school and we are going to pick her up from the airport.  Then we will do lunch and some shopping.  Saturday we have to go to my cousin's bridal shower in Boston... so that should be fun. 

*Sunday we are taking Maddie to the Melting Pot for her birthday dinner.  She won't be 12 until Tuesday but we wanted to celebrate while my mom was here.  She is currently obsessed with anything French so I ordered these candy molds on Amazon last week.  They should arrive tomorrow.  I am going to make little Eiffel Tower candies to use as toppers for birthday cupcakes.

* I am beginning to think of Christmas card ideas for this year.  I am not sure if I want to order them or if I want to design my own.  I am kind of holding out to see if Shutterfly does that great deal for bloggers again... where if you blog about their Christmas cards you get a free set.  Has anyone heard anything?


I am linking this post up over at lowercase letters for Miscellany Monday.


*This morning once Madison left for school I put this BBQ chicken in the crock pot.  I hope it turns out good. 

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Day 15 - The Versatile Blogger

This past week Nikki from Me to Wee Est. 2011 awarded me The Versatile Blogger Award.  Thanks Nikki for thinking of my blog.

The rules for the award:

Thank the person who awarded you. Share 7 things about yourself.  Then share the award with others (listed below).

1. My husband is not Madison's biological father, but he is her true father in ever sense of the word.  They have an amazing relationship with one another.  I know when we have a baby together there will be no distinction between the kids. 

2. I was hired last week for the job I interviewed for.  I am starting out part-time (20 hours a week) and I get to work from home.    The pay isn't great... but there is room for advancement. PLUS I get to be at home and can still put forth effort into my baking business and my Scentsy business.
3. I am obsessed with Pinterest.  Obsessed.  I think it is the best thing ever.

4. I love reality TV.  It is pretty much all I watch.

5. I want a baby. 

6. I am working on a new blog name and design.  I have some things I have created myself... but I know nothing about actually making it into a blog header.  Does anyone know of someone affordable to help?

7.  I am a huge procrastinator.

I would like to nominate the following bloggers whose blogs I love.  If you don't follow their blogs, you should check them out.

Kaitlynn at Sew LeeLa

Friday, October 14, 2011

Day 14 - The Direct TV Guy PEED on my Floor!

Let me just say since moving to Rhode Island our experience with Direct TV has been less than satisfactory.  I won't go into detail how we sat around all day when they were scheduled to hook up our service and never came, the countless phone calls, being on hold, etc... the set up process was a nightmare.

Last Thursday (over a week ago) my bedroom TV started doing weird stuff and I couldn't get a picture.  It kept saying "Searching for Satellite".  So my husband called.  The earliest they could come out was Monday.... so almost 5 days with no bedroom TV.

The guy comes on Monday (which was a holiday).  By the way, he was scheduled between 8-12 and he came at 12:30...even though my husband and I got up at 8... it always works like that.    He says the issue is with the DVR in my bedroom.  But he doesn't have a new DVR he has to go to another town to get one.   Mind you I have tons of recorded shows on there I haven't watched it and all of my favorite trash reality series scheduled to record on a weekly basis.  GONE... all of it.  He comes back at 3:30.  Now we have been stuck in the house on a holiday dealing with this mess for 7.5 hours.  He replaces the DVR and says all is well.

Before dinner I went into the bathroom and noticed pee all over the floor in front of the seat.  I blame my husband... who thinks I am crazy and reminds me we have lived together for awhile and I have never found pee on the floor.  He tells me the Direct TV guy had used our hall bathroom.


How do you pee on the floor at a customer's house?

Later that evening the living room TV starts doing the same thing my TV had been doing.  Seriously? We call again.  We are told that a special department will be calling us because of our issue.

Tuesday morning and I hear from the special department... who calls right as a pull into the garage with groceries.  I explain the issue to her and she says one of their top guys will be out on Wednesday between 12-4.

On Wednesday the "top" guy calls around 9:30, he is in the area, and comes by early.  Great! He is nice and friendly and I tell him the pee story from the other day.  I want to make it clear early on he will not be allowed in our bathroom.  He goes on to tell me that the DVR didn't need to be replaced.  Really??? He says it is an issue with something in the basement.  He "fixes" it and goes on about his way.

I watch a recorded episode of the Kardashian wedding special in the living room on the DVR.  When it ends I try to turn on TLC.... and it isn't working again.  At this point I am fuming, I text my husband, he is pissed too.  This is getting old.

I call them back.  They assure me there will be no charge for someone to come out.  Really? Thanks... because I had no intention on paying for it.  I have been inconvenienced twice already and you still do not have anyone capable of fixing the problem.  So apparently "the top guy" is coming out today to fix our ongoing issue.  I am told everything will be on the truck to complete the job.  They will do a 25 point check.... blah blah blah.  I just want it fixed.  We pay way too much money to have this not working.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Day 13- Christmas Vintage Subway Art Printables

I created these last night for Christmas.  I look to do a seasonal or holiday printable in an 8x10 frame in our living room.  I came up with these two.  They print best as an 8x10.  If you would like one, just leave a comment letting me know which one(s) you want and if your email isn't attached to your comments, leave that as well.  I think the second one is my favorite and the one I am going to order for myself.

Here they are -

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Day 12 - My Pumpkin Bagel Experience

Over the weekend Madison and I went to visit some family in Massachusetts.  On Sunday morning my aunt had these awesome limited edition pumpkin spice bagels for breakfast.  They were fabulous.

So today when I went grocery shopping I knew I wanted a bag.  So there I was pushing my cart up the bread aisle and I stop at the bagels.  I find the pumpkin spice ones and go to grab a bag and while I am doing this... an older lady practically charges up, swipes the other three bags into her cart, mutters that they are her granddaughter's favorite, and hurries off.  Umm... excuse me.  Am I wrong for thinking this was rude? If I am grocery shopping and I approach something that someone else is looking at, I patiently wait, or I may say something to the effect of, "Excuse me, may I just grab a can of corn?"  I have never ever just grabbed every single one of an item another customer was shopping for.  Had I wanted 4 and there were only 4 left and she was there also, I never ever would have taken all four.

Am I crazy?

Or was this rude?

By the way.... if you like pumpkin, pick up a pack of these bagels because they are fabulous... just watch out for bagel hogs.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Day 11 - And the Winner is...

A big thank you to all of the ladies who entered my Scentsy giveaway.  My first time experiencing Scentsy was when I won a giveaway on Megan's In this Wonderful Life blog.  I ended up signing up to be a consultant under the lady who sponsored the giveaway.

Scentsy has lots of great items for fall and winter.  Here are some of my favorite items -

This is perfect for the winter holidays.  This is the Merry  Berry Premium Full Size Warmer.

This Fright Night Premium Full Size Warmer is perfect for Halloween.

If you purchase one of our fabulous warmers, then you are going to need some great scents to burn.

My current favorites are pumpkin roll and black ruby.

If you entered the giveaway, but didn't win, I am offering FREE SHIPPING from now until Friday October 14th at 10 PM EST if you place an order with a $25.00 minimum in products.  You would have to contact me via email to place your order instead of going through the site in order to get the discount.

Now on to the good stuff...

# 5 - Julie

 Congratulations.  I will be contacting you so we can discuss Scentsy and you can start thinking about how you are going to use your gift certificate.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Day 10 - Monday Randoms & a Scentsy Giveaway

You have until midnight (EST) tonight, October 10, 2011 to enter my giveaway for a $15 Scentsy gift certificate. So check it out if you are interested in some fall or winter Scentsy products for your home.  Be sure to check it out.

Maddie and I went out of town this weekend, just overnight, to visit some family in Massachusetts.  We had a great time.  We even had lunch today at Moe's before heading home.  Moe's is Maddie's favorite place.  There isn't a Moe's in Rhode Island, so we stopped at one today for lunch.  A bunch of my mom's family lives in Massachusetts (about 90 minutes) from us and they have been super welcoming since we have become Northerners.  We did some shopping, ordered pizzas and salads, played some Uno, had desserts, and talked and hung out last night.  I got to see three sets of aunts and uncles, another aunt, another uncle, my grandfather, two cousins, and a cousins' daughter. It was lot of great family time.

Both Chris and Maddie are off today.  Direct TV is coming... our bedroom TV isn't working.  I need to go grocery shopping.  We have some painting and house work to do as well.

Happy Monday!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Day 9- Grocery Budgets, Meal Planning, & Coupons

I dread going to the grocery store each week.  I hate spending so much money.  Back in Virginia we ate out a lot.  Too much.  Since being in Rhode Island and on one income we have really scaled back the eating out.  When we do go out it is usually not something expensive.  However I have been spending a ton at the grocery store.  I have been meal planning and making detailed grocery lists, but I am still spending a ton.  Last week I had 3 coupon fliers and went through them all and cut out one coupon.  There was only one we could use for something we like, will eat, and that was on the meal plan.  I try to grocery shop once a week.  Last week I spent $150 at the grocery store, $16 at BJs, and $12 at the local market. We are a family of 3.   INSANE!!!

I wish we had an extra refrigerator so I could stock up with meat is on sale, but our current freezer is small and I cannot fit too much in it.  I also probably need to be better at shopping sales.

I make breakfast for Chris and Maddie every morning, so that is 7 breakfasts.

They both pack their lunches for work/school so that is 10 lunches.

I eat a lunch at home every day, so that is 5 for me.

Plus snacks to go with lunches and dinners each night.

This is what we did this past week-

Monday- Steak and cheese subs
Tuesday- Greek Style Grilled Chicken Wraps
Wednesday- We went to a new local Mexican place.
Thursday - Spaghetti
Friday- Crock pot Chicken Tacos
Saturday - Madison and I went out of town so we ate out and so did Chris
Sunday - We ordered pizza... thinking they were buy one get one half off, but they weren't.  The good news is Maddie loves taking leftover pizza for lunches during the week.
Here is my plan for next week -

Monday - Grilled Steak & Veggie skewers, baked potatoes, and corn (which I have)
Tuesday- Chicken Enchiladas (using leftover chicken from last week) and Mexican rice
Wednesday- Beef Tacos
Thursday- Chicken Italian sausages, baked beans, and macaroni and cheese before a school event
Friday- Subway $5 foot long subs

I would love to be at about $100 or less total each week on groceries!  I stopped at Trader Joes today when we were in Massachusetts and spent $30, so that gives me $70 for the rest of the week.

I am stunned when I saw this lady's grocery budget.  But I am impressed.

I would love to know the size of your family and the amount you spend each week at the grocery store if you don't mind sharing. 

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Day 8 - Paint Chip Art - Canvas Monogram

I made this the other week for Madison's bedroom.  You could even make several letters on one canvas or make several canvases to spell out a word or a full name.

It was super easy to make and I love the way I turned out.

Supplies -

-any size canvas
-paint color of your choice
-paint chips in any color(s) of your choice
-mod podge
-saran wrap

Directions -

-Paint your canvas.  I used spray paint, but any craft paint would work.

-Choose your paint chips and cut them into various sized squares and rectangles.

-Draw the outline of the monogram on your canvas.

-Spread mod podge over the monogram and add the paint chip pieces until the monogram is completely covered.  Some of them should overlap.

-Cover the entire canvas with another layer of mod podge. Then cover it with saran wrap and smooth it over the canvas, this helps you make sure the paint chips are laying flat without getting the mod podge on your hands.  When everything is smooth, remove the saran wrap so the canvas will begin to dry.

-Let dry and then hang.

I swear I had scheduled this to post yesterday, but I guess I didn't.  So Day 8 and Day 9 will post today.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Day 7 - Insta Friday

I am linking up for Insta Friday over at Life Rearranged.

life rearranged

These are the doors I am painting for my latest project.

Here are the knobs I am working on for my latest project.  I cannot wait to share the finished item.

Wednesday night I baked some sugar cookies.  I put some m-n-m's on a few and the others I frosted with homemade butter cream and put Halloween sprinkles on them.

On Thursday I worked on two baking orders - a pan of iced brownies and a pan of 6 layer bars.

Last night Madison brought over dinner to our elderly neighbor.  We usually bring her dinner once or twice a week.  I usually make extras and it makes me feel good to help a neighbor.  I sent over a small salad, garlic bread, pasta with meat sauce, and two 6 layer bars.

Happy Weekend!