Saturday, May 16, 2015

Update

We have been completely swamped lately.  Last week was the last week for Lil Punk's spring activities.  She had her school program, gymnastics finale and last swimming class last week.  That frees up 2 evenings during the week.  This coming Thursday is her last day at school.  She has a couple weeks off before starting soccer and T-ball with the summer rec program.  Thankfully her daycare will take her to both of those activities so I can just sneak away from work occasionally to watch her.  That reminds me that daycare costs are going up for the summer with both kids full-time.  It will be $1060 a month.  It would be more but Lil G is now 18 months so the cost goes down for him.

We've been using up what is in our pantry, fridge and freezer.  I need to tally up our exact spending for the month so far.  This is what I have planned for the next week:
Veggie pot pie with rice and broccoli--new recipe that I'm winging
Steaks with mashed potatoes and veg
Asian sesame chicken with stir fry veggies
Spaghetti
BLT's with salad

I also want to make BlackBerry crumble bars today because the blackberries are kind of sour.  I also plan to make a roast, potatoes and veggies for a friend who just had a baby this week.  She's not much of a cook but it will be nice for her to have a good home cooked meal for her and her family.

My garden is about two thirds planted.  I haven't planted corn, beans or any vine plants yet.  It has been raining like crazy for the last 10 days after having an extremely dry spring.  This is making it hard to get the garden in.  We also had frost this last week so we covered the tomato and pepper plants.  Gotta love zone 4 gardening.

Everybody is up from napping now so I gotta go!

Friday, May 8, 2015

We're Debt Free!!!

**except for our mortgage

One of my goals this year was to pay off the pick-up.  I had been paying it down quite rapidly but still owed $4488.  I was sick of having that payment and I set up an automatic transfer this month to our retail investment account.  I logged in this morning and paid it off.

This is the first time since we've been married that we've not had any vehicle or student loan debt.  I'm not really counting the one day last summer that we paid off my car and bought the pick-up the same day.

Woohoo!!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Personal May Challenge

After adding up what we spent for groceries in April, we were stunned to realize that we spent $782.  Yikes!  Our freezer is stuffed full of food.  Our challenge for this month is to eat down our freezer and pantry.  I will plan meals around what we already have.  For grocery shopping, I will focus on replenishing what we always eat down, fruit, fresh veggies, milk, cheese, bread, soda (yes, I know!) and snacks like raisins that seem to disappear quickly.

We will do a better job this month!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Spring Gardening

Y and I have been busy this spring with both planting and making improvements.  Y put up a metal cage around my two apple trees.  They were a gift 2 years ago for Mother's Day and the deer love them.  The Sweet 16 apple tree is budding out nicely but the Honeycrisp has not done anything yet.  I hope it comes back.  Our mulberry trees are still little but look to be coming back.  I only have three mulberry trees left because the deer ate one last summer.  We had hardly any snow this past winter so the trees and shrubs didn't get the snow cover they needed.

Y built me two raised beds.  One is for raspberries and we got 18 plants from our friend's dad who wanted to be done with them.  I also ordered another 12 plants.  The other bed is for asparagus.  We put it right over my existing asparagus bed which had 4 plants last year.  We planted another 32 roots.  Asparagus is a hard plant to establish but we love it so we struggle along.  We have our fingers crossed that many of the roots take.  I planted 16 roots a couple years ago to get the 4 plants to take.  After its established, it is super easy to maintain.

Y is also going to build me two smaller beds for strawberries and herbs.  I ordered 50 strawberry plants so we need to get moving on that bed.

I planted garlic last fall and its coming up nicely.  We also planted lots of onions, potatoes, peas, radishes, carrots, beets, spinach and arugula.  The soil isn't warm enough to plant the other things we have planned:  corn, beans, tomatoes, ground cherries, cabbage, eggplant and the vines.  I will probably keep adding to my list.  I have 5 different types of pumpkins and at least 6 types of cucumbers.

What am I forgetting?  Anybody have any good veggies to grow for a northern climate that I'm forgetting?

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Saturday Cooking

I feel like we've been so busy during the week lately that we have not been eating as well as we could be.  We have been eating easier meals with more precooked components.  The key to eating better during the week for us is making more meals on the weekend or having a meal ready to throw in the crockpot.

Last night I made stuffed shells with ricotta and beef.  I made corn chili for lunch.  I am defrosting T-bones streaks for tonight and I will make an asparagus pasta salad to go with it.  I have a whole chicken thawing for tomorrow.  I will make a delicious lemon and butter chicken with mashed potatoes and veggies.  I need to plan for another crockpot meal this week and we should be set between leftovers and meals made with the leftover chicken.

I feel so much better when we eat meals made from scratch.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Payday Happenings

It was payday for Y and myself today.  I paid another $1000 to the pick-up loan bringing the balance down to $5000.  I also transferred money into our savings account bringing it to $14,500.  I have thought about paying off the pick-up but I'm holding off for a few things.  We are building our front covered deck.  I have $2000 in gift cards for Lowe's for the decking.  The gift cards are from my bonuses for 2014 and 2013.  I don't know how much more the deck will cost and I don't want to cut ourselves short.  We are also still debating buying the living room furniture that I talked about a few months back.

I also set up an automatic transfer for $500 starting next month into our retail investment account.  Speaking of investments, the energy stocks I bought in December are up over $1000.  Woohoo!  My goal was to have $50,000 in retail investments by the end of the year.  We have just over $21,000 right now so there is a long ways to go.  Since I've been putting a lot of our funds into our savings and the vehicle loan, I need to focus on the investments next.

Paydays are the best!  I wish we weren't paid on the same day.  Lol

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

A Sober Tale

My best friend is an incredible person.  We met in 4-H when I was 12 and she was 11.  We bonded instantly.  We both showed horses, lived on farms, were interested in boys and liked having fun.  But we really liked having fun!  More than our other girlfriends and most of our boyfriends.  We realized in our mid teens that we could easily get whatever alcohol we wanted.  We partied and drank and had good times.  Then, we needed more.  That progressed to doing drugs to keep the partying going.

We grew up.  She joined the army and I moved away and went to college eventually.  When we got together, the partying was a whole new level.  We drank Coronas for breakfast, had Redbull/vodkas all afternoon, had wine with dinner and headed to the bar where we took shots, I drank beer and she drank vodka.  We woke up drunk and drank away our hangovers.  We had so much fun.

Until we didn't.  She continued drinking and I drank less because I was in college.  She would call me and be hysterically crying.  She quickly spiralled out of control.  To make a long story short, she sobered up...for the first time.  I tried to support her because I loved her.  I didn't want her to hurt the way she was at the end of her drinking.

Sobering up our friendship was very hard.  She relapsed with my help.  I would buy her shots and slip them to her.  We had to completely redefine our friendship if we wanted ton remain friends.  I needed to support her 100% in her sobriety 100% of the time.  It was kind of awkward and very hard.

Today she is sober and an addiction counselor.  Sobriety is and always will be a topic of our friendship.  We recognize that it is there and always needs to be there.  We are having our annual girls weekend in Minneapolis this weekend.  We might go out or we might stay in.  Either way, I'm so grateful I have put in 100% to our friendship because I get 100% back.