I love my fans

Meet my bff these days:

It follows me everywhere. While Mr. Galaxy mostly resides in the living room, he also makes appearances in the kitchen and just outside the bathroom where I get ready in the mornings. 

J and I are strange people. We believe that we can make small sacrifices to put ourselves in a better financial situation. We pay just over $50 extra on our mortgage every month. J rounds up his truck payment and has already eliminated one payment in just under a year. 

Last fall as we were saving for closing costs on our house, we decided to bundle up and go without heat as long as possible. We made it until November. 

Earlier this spring, we were contemplating when we would turn on our air. J said "How about June?" and I agreed. 

We have ceiling fans in our kitchen, master bedroom and office, so it was no biggie. We have Mr. Galaxy who camps out in the living room. The kitchen and master are even on the second floor, so we can keep those windows open 24/7 if we please.

Until last week. It hit 90 degrees. But we powered on, hoping our bill would show the difference. Our electric company just implemented a 15 percent increase and since we're putting up a fence, paying off a lawnmower, etc., we know every little bit helps. 

Well, the sweet reward came Thursday. I got an e-mail notification of our bill — and it was $80! Considering our bill is normally about $150, this was huge! Since our home is all electric, we were ecstatic. 

But I'm so.ready.for.June. 

Sorry Mr. Galaxy.


Fill the grill!

I love love love grilled food! It's yummy and good for you!
We tried something new this week to maximize the grill and keep the house cool - filling it up! 
I bought a package of very lean patio steaks for $2.49/lb at the local grocery store, thawed a 3 lb. bag of chicken tenders and a big hunk of ground beef to get ready. I also tried a new chicken marinade that was quite yummy. 
So ... here's the grill with all the food. We didn't have room for the burgers and it was late, so we'll make them later this week. I made my super-awesome potatoes - just slice, season and top w/butter, then sprinkle cheese to melt once done. 

We still have at least three meals of leftovers - which means all I have to do for the week is sides! 
I think this is going to be a common happening at our place this summer. 

Oh, and here's a pic of us. Just because :)


Like a lobster

I should be bathing in ice water ... instead I'm up playing on the computer, as my back and shoulders are BURNING due to a really bad sunburn.
It reached 90 here today, and boy am I feeling it! After some work outside on Saturday didn't equal any real color for me, I went without sunscreen for an hour or so while working on the garden ... wearing a bikini top of course ... and baked.
My entire back is red, as well as my shoulder. There is a thin white line and that is it. So I won't be wearing any tight-fitting clothes for awhile :)
My saving grace now is aloe vera. Speaking of which, have you ever tried aloe vera spray? My sis in law sprayed some on me and it is AMAZING! My new best friend.


catching up

I've been on a bit of a blog break. 
I've still been reading, but that's about it. 
Mostly because I feel like I have nothing to really say these past couple of weeks. I work (a lot off the clock!) and go home and clean, cook, etc.
My grandma was hospitalized a week ago so I've been to Cape three times to visit her. Last night she was much better and she is set to move to a nursing home today. Prayers ... 
We have horses and hay is expensive! For the past few years, my man and his brother have worked to bale square bales so we can cut some of those costs. Well, J got tired or borrowing equipment so he and I have purchased some used equipment of our own! This week, he's been working to get it all in line so when there are four or so dry days in the forecast he can cut, let it cure and then bale it. So I've seen him about 30 minutes each night, if that. I think the best quality time we spent together all week was this morning when we left for work at the same time and followed each other in, talking the whole way. Yes, I am a nerd.
We tried on bridesmaids dresses for my friend Jessica's wedding last night. 
This is what we chose:

I LOVE it! We also looked at another with a round neck, but I knew I'd be ripping that thing while shaking it on the dance floor! This is it (or a similar style):

Thank goodness I don't have to work this weekend and I have no plans, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed for some downtime!


Thursday tidbits

- This has been the craziest week at work! I got up at 4:15 a.m. to ride along with the police department for a warrant roundup and that took up most of the day ... but it was crazy fun!
- I was off work on Wednesday, during which I caught up on sleep and house cleaning.
- Poor J is on vacation this week and has hardly gotten to rest at all while he works on putting up a fence. Ugh. 
- I work this weekend. If I ever get another job, I WILL NOT work Saturdays ... at least not if I have to be there at 5 a.m.
- I can't find my journal, but I think I'm down about 5 pounds since I began losing weight. I desperately need to begin working out again, but I'm so busy getting my house back in order and doing laundry it's just not happening. 
- I can't believe it's almost June! This year is going by much too quickly. It's almost time to go to the river. 
- As much work as I've been doing off the clock, I should just start working from home. Working in my pajamas sure sounds nice.
- I really hope this weekend is nice so we can finish the fence! We've borrowed a tractor and desperately need to finish and take it back. 
- I'm in the process of some home improvement projects - hopefully I'll have some pictures soon :)


Sounds like life to me

As anticipated, the weekend was absolutely crazy! So here's a recap:
Thursday after running around to get all my work done in half a day and going to a lunch for the United Way board, on which I serve, I got up to my mom's for the sale. It was a slow day, other than selling my dresser set, so I wasn't feeling too great about the sale. Especially considering how many there were over the weekend! 
Friday I got up at the crack of dawn to go back and it was a MUCH better day - very steady. In the down time, I managed to till my parents' garden (my mom doesn't till and dad has a pulled muscle and is wearing a brace) and also planted the okra. I also went to a nearby strawberry patch and picked eight quarts in less than an hour. We made a strawberry pie and some freezer jam later - yummy :) That night we went out to BWWs with a couple of friends. 
We actually had quite a few sales on Saturday, although there was a lot of dead time in between. That's when I planted some flowers I bought Mom for Mother's Day and we made the jam. After we closed the sale, we got it all boxed up - I went from seven boxes (I think) to two! So I was very happy. I also exceeded my goal, making $175 instead of $150! Hello cash for a fence!
On Mother's Day, we went to J's brother and sister-in-laws for a little family get-together. I made some rolls that are to die for and brownies - my specialty. By the time we got home, I was ready to drop.

And of course, this is the weekend J is on vacation. So imagine how hard it was for me to roll my butt out of bed this morning while he snored - not fair! 


Crazy busy

Crazy busy ... that's what I've been. 
Mom and I are having our garage sale this weekend, finally. After weeks of pulling out odds and ends, I went through the closets and drawers with a fine tooth comb over the past couple and weeks in a real effort to clear out the clutter! 
I've got way more than I thought, but I've priced it all and hope most of it moves.
Sunday I helped mom get her garage cleaned out. All my boxes are up there already, so when I get off work today, I'm going to help her set it all out, which hopefully won't take long - cause you know I'm going to be parked on the couch come 8 p.m. for Criminal Minds. 
We're using the proceeds from this garage sale to help pay for the horse fence, so I'm hoping and praying we make good money. My goal is $150 ... and my mom has an excellent location where I usually make $100 with half the stuff, so I think we'll be good. 
That doesn't include a piece of furniture, though - if that sells, I get all the money! 
Long story short, I bought a dresser before my sophomore year of college (so six years ago!) and nightstand set. I got to the apartment and it turned out I didn't need the dresser, so it's been sitting in my parents' basement since. 
I've been meaning to get the dresser to bring to the house but never did that and we went to a garage sale last week with a dresser and mirror that was more modern and matched the rest of my furniture much better - for $75! Mom talked me into getting it with our sale this weekend, so I'm hoping to get my $75 back out of it. Fingers crossed!
Anyhow, I'm leaving work at noon Thursday for a lunch meeting and then heading to the sale, which will be that afternoon, all day Friday and all day Saturday. I have a feeling I'll be pretty worn out every day, so there likely won't be any updates until Monday. Hopefully they will be happy ones. 
Oh, and the scale has been moving down a bit more quickly lately, so I'll try and have some numbers on Monday, too!


Menu planning

It's been a couple of months since I've posted a menu plan on here. 
And the truth is, I haven't really been writing it down. Although menu planning helps me get out of cooking ruts to an extent, it doesn't totally do the job. I get tired of just rotating hamburger, pork steak/chops and chicken recipes. Maybe we're just too picky that we keep eating the same variations?
The past few weeks have also been sooo busy that sometimes I don't have he time to cook a good meal and we end up with BLTs, hamburgers or something quick and easy to cook. J could live off of things like burgers and fries, so this suits him just fine. 
Since I do stock up, we still manage to have everything in the house for just about any meal we want - other than perhaps produce items, like tomatoes. Which means as long as I get a meat out to thaw in the morning, we're OK. Although I haven't been menu planning, we haven't been getting take-out, so I think we're good. 
So for now, I won't be posting menu plans. However, I will continue to post really yummy recipes - and I'm hoping to start trying some new ones again soon!


Too cute

In the almost three months since we brought home Baby, I have never gotten to get a good picture of her and Hank. Yesterday I saw this and had to snap a picture. 

Gorgeous, aren't they?