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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Together Tuesdays

This week is our second week of having our new feature: Frugal Wedding planning.

My thought for this week is almost as important as last week (har har), we are going to talk about location.

Your first step is to find out if your dream location is a reality. If you live in Wisconsin and you're thinking a cheap castle wedding, it probably isn't going to happen. Analyze reality vs fantasy.

There are also many, many things that go into the choosing of your venue. If you want to serve meals to your guests, do you want a specific company, will the venue work with said caterer or do they only use themselves or close friends?

Honestly, my aunt cooked our meal, but this is something to know: if you are going to an owned non residential sight, and desire to have the food done by your aunt, you have to check out your venue's licenses and requirements.

Meals can vary in cost. Our dinner was only about 60 to feed 150 people. But that was with my aunt's sacrifice to cook for us and my buying ingredients on sale.

So, really check around and see what your options are before you jump into a decision.

If you are open to it, try campgrounds, state/county parks, backyards, etc.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Monday's Recipes- Hot Spinach and Artichoke Dip (Like Olive Garden's!)

My husband has what I have seen in my life as “expensive” tastes. You know the restaurants that serve the nice warm hot artichoke-spinach dip? He absolutely loves that. It’s not a favorite of mine, but I like to see him happy. I have made it for him. When we feel like splurging or being fun, I write in on our menu plans, our own special phrase: Bachelor Night.
There’s a story about this…when we got together and I moved in with DH, he lived with his best friend at the time. Paul, his friend, would go grocery shopping and come back with those little pizza bites, or hamburger helper “singles” or other little mini appetizer type things and microwave them and that was lunch and/or dinner. I am not kidding, he would even buy that microwavable bacon. I shudder just thinking about it! So after Paul’s apparently eternal bachelor-hood, we named it Bachelor Night.
So, without further ado…for Hot Artichoke-Spinach dip you need…
1 cup chopped artichoke hearts (canned, or frozen than thawed)
½ c frozen, chopped spinach, thawed
8 oz cream cheese
½ c grated parmesan cheese
½ t crushed red pepper flakes
¼ t salt
1/8 t garlic powder
Dash of pepper

Boil spinach and artichoke hearts in 1 cup of water over medium heat until tender. Drain.
Heat cream cheese in small bowl in microwave. Add vegetables to cream cheese, stir well. Combine rest of ingredients, serve with tortilla chips.


Sunday, May 2, 2010

Sunday Goals

Wow! What a week.
This week, I accomplished a milestone-I hit the marker of having lost 5 lbs. I almost cried that morning on the scale. See, aside from my pregnancy, I have always had a hard time losing or gaining weight, which sounds okay until you realize the much of that has been spent in the state of "overweight". Now that I am regularly exercising, eating well and all, I'm feeling better.

So anyhow, I'm supposed to be writing about my goals.

Last week:
Blog at least 6 days. Lets see...I got Sun-Thursday down...just gotta get either Friday or Saturday back in there
Work out each weekday. Wed, I wound up fighting hard on my depression. I could barely get myself to do anything. So, technically I didn't do so hot on this one.
Clean 15 min each day. I did this. I am still trying to catch up but I'm trying and that is what counts.

This Week:
Blog 5 days a week
Work out Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri
Attempt to not fight with my sister while I assist her in moving on Saturday
Not lose my patience with my toddler

Thursday, April 29, 2010

ABC Get To Know Me!

This is called the ABC's of me. How could I possibly pass on the chance to answer questions about myself!

A. Addiction: Redline energy drinks or's a hard choice.

B. Bed size: Queen, though some nights I wish it could adjust larger.

C. Chore I hate: worst? Cleaning in general.

D. Dog or Cat?: Cat. though I do also love Dogs.

E. Essential part of my day: Breakfast. Without it, I am lost.

F. Favorite Animal: I don't really have a favorite...when I was a kid though, I loved Zebras because they came at the end of the alphabet and I thought for sure that due to that, no one paid attention to them.

G. Gold or Silver: Silver, I tend to look sickly in gold.

H. Height: 5'3" Yup, I'm a shorty.

I. Instrument I wish I could play: Guitar, than our guitar sitting around wouldn't be so pointless.

J. Job: Wife and Mom extraordinaire

K. Kids: 1 little girl

L. Living Arrangements: Own home in a suburb (almost too far out to call it that)

M. Mom's Name: Pam

N. Nickname: Sapphire, was my name as a camp counselor

O. Overnight Hospital Stay: I think only with the birth of my child.

P. Pet Peeve: When my husband doesn't look around for something that is within 3 feet of him.

Q. Quote from a movie: can't think of one.


S. SIBLINGS: technically 2 brothers and 3 sisters, but only one of each are actually in my life.

T. TV Shows:Uh...I don't really get to watch tv.

U. Underwear: What about them?

V. Vacation I am dreaming of: Ireland

W. Why I am always late: I have a toddler.

X. X-ray: Had them on my back a few times.

Y. Yummiest food the hubby makes: Sweet and Sour Meatballs from scratch (I promise I will try to post that recipe soon)

Z. Zodiac sign: Libra

So now that we have established how much I rock, what are the ABC's of you?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wordless Wednesday With A Twist

It appears as though I was "Photo Tagged" by MN Small Town Mom.

So here are the rules to play along:

1) Go to your photo files, select the 8Th photo folder.

2) Select the 8Th photo in that folder.

3) Post that photo along with the story behind it

4) Then challenge 8 blogging friends to do the same!

Now, I don't have an 8th photo folder, in fact most of my photos are actually backed up on discs in my firebox. So, I did this by going to the 8th created album of mine on Facebook and chose the 8th photo, hope you don't mind.

This was my wedding day. This is my husband and Mother in law dancing for their "Mother-Son Dance". We chose the song "Than They Do" by Trace Adkins...I'm pretty sure this is just before MIL started tearing up.

Now to tag 8 people...
1. My Tots Exactly
2. Rational Mind of a Crazy Woman
3. How could You Not?
4. Piggy Bank Dating
5. The Happy Atheist Homemaker
6. Hearts Make Families
7. Work, Wife,!
8. Loving and Living in TX

If I didn't tag you and you'd like to join, please, feel free to leave a comment and let me know to check out yours.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Together Tuesdays

I am working on a new feature, that I call Together Tuesdays.

I am looking at life, and so many are getting married, which is wonderful and exciting. When I was planning my wedding, it was not unheard of for weddings to breech the $10,000 mark after all said and done. So I would like to share with you how we kept our wedding down to about $2500 or less.

Our first feature is about the Dress. dress was one of the most expensive parts of my wedding. My husband proposed 2 Octobers ago now, and we married last September. I began looking at dresses in February. I ended that same day. I went down to David's Bridal after hearing too many of their "$99 sale" ads.

I asked to see some of these dresses that were so cheap...but I am bigger, and they claimed that they didn't have any in my size...I still don't know to this day if they did. They brought me some truly ugly dresses. One had a giant bow on the butt and looked like they have been trying to sell it since the 1980's! Another looked fabulous-on the model in the picture of it-on me, however, it made me look even shorter than I am.

The manager than brought one and I fell in love. It was a $1200 dress marked down to $600.

We used layaway. One thing I will say is that everyone will offer you credit cards to pay for your wedding. DO NOT DO IT! Either save up, put it on layaway, or don't get it. I have never heard of someone that was happy still paying off their wedding years after the fact.

Try consignment shops and thrift stores-I have seen so many different dresses there. There is also a non profit, Brides Against Breast Cancer, if they come to your area with their donated dresses, please consider trying them. All their profits go to breast cancer research.

Also, a bit of advice from my sister is to start asking questions, how much to alter this; What is the designer and style number, etc. If they will not give you the information of the designer and style number/name-you can probably find it cheaper elsewhere!

What suggestions do you have for readers looking for wedding dresses?