Tuesday, April 23, 2013
I hope you are not weathering the storms as we are in Kansas and that you have a little sunshine to brighten your day!
Being in the house for long periods of time always make me want to renovate....
I really need a closet door. The cats get in there and pull down dresses and curl up on the shelves or worse...Loki piddled in there!
So over the weekend I was on my hands and knees putting down odor remover and scrubbing the carpet...
He was mad that I made him get off of my clean clothes that I had folded on the bed.
He is the most beautiful cat
Imagine chocolate and caramel swirled together and that is his coloring. He has amber eyes and he is super big and fluffy!
But, he is a pissy cat....plain and simple!
We love him anyway, we adopted him from the vet, (no one wanted him) and she felt that we could love a "special" cat.
I need to paint the bedroom white. Find a nice thick white quilt and some batten burg curtains. We are going to be replacing the windows next year and demo-ing the bathroom, so I thought it would be a good time to redo the closet and maybe buy some new bedroom furniture. The one dresser we do have is pretty beat up and really just too small. 4 drawers just isn't enough for two people.
Well that is all the time I have today to share!
I will pop on tomorrow for a little chat!
Posted by Brandi at 11:17 AM
Saturday, April 20, 2013
Chris and I decided we wanted to go more green this year! So, after much chatting we decided that we would purchase a "green" mower that would be electric. After searching around for a few months we came to find that a "green" mower was wicked expensive. Starting at $350.00 upwards to $690.00, we knew we could not afford one :(.
Two weeks ago, we stopped by Home depot and found a electric mower for only $237.00 originally, $359.00 brand new, but marked down due to a small cut in the hand grip.
I could not decide if I wanted it and as I am fairly cheap in spending, we left.
SO, long story short...on Tuesday I decided if we could talk them down to $200.00 and it was still there, we would buy it.
We took it up to the courtesy desk and they agreed to our terms and when they rang it up....It was only $87.00!!!!!!!!!
So we bought it, and love it!
Being frugal and green??? We feel pretty awesome right now..
Posted by Brandi at 1:44 PM
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
The following recipe is the altered version.
- 2 cups sugar
- 1-3/4 cups spelt flour
- 3/4 cup HERSHEY'S SPECIAL DARK Cocoa
- 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 flax seed eggs
- 1 cup soy milk
- 1/2 cup vegan butter, melted
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup boiling water
- "ESPECIALLY DARK" CHOCOLATE FROSTING (recipe follows)
- Heat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9x13 cake pan
- Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add flax eggs, soy milk, melted vegan butter and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pan.
- Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost with "ESPECIALLY DARK" CHOCOLATE FROSTING. 10 to 12 servings.
"ESPECIALLY DARK" CHOCOLATE FROSTING
1/2 cup (1 stick) vegan margarine
2/3 cup HERSHEY'S SPECIAL DARK Cocoa
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup soy milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Melt butter, Stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency. Add small amount additional milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla. About 2 cups frosting.
The cake on the other hand was not a success like I had hoped. I am guessing that since I didn't use the oil and subbed vegan margarine and I used soy milk that it didn't rise like it should. The cake tastes delicious and the frosting was amazing, So back to the drawing board....
We all know I have issues with baking cakes while being vegan, lol
I am glad to know my skills have not changed in the past year since I baked a cake.....LOL
Well if anyone would like to tweak it, and I am hoping it will be Blessed Mama, please send me the recipe and what you did!!!
Posted by Brandi at 1:21 PM
Saturday, March 23, 2013
I decided to start juicing on Monday and get ready for spring and summer.
I gained 10 pounds over the fall/winter season and I am just not happy that my favorite pants are not fitting right and all my adorable clothing is just hanging in the closet gathering dust.
I tried to juice early in January, but the cold tore through me and I felt like a Popsicle, so I held off until it was warmer out. And now, it is snowing...LOL
I am going to go through with the juicing, but I am layering my clothes until the chill is out of the air and the grass starts to turn green again!
If you haven't heard about the benefits of juicing, you really need to go to google and look into it!
I first heard about it while I was flipping through Netflix and stumbled upon Fat Sick and Nearly Dead. It is an amazing story of what the world of fruit and vegetables can do!
Being ill myself I was riveted by the complete transformation I saw through Joe Cross. He was able to completely stop his medication and heal his broken body.
While I know that I most probably will not be able to stop my remicade, I am hoping that I will be able to stop all the other medications.
I also would like to lose about 30lbs and get back to my pre-baby weight (ahem...18 years ago)
I would love to be a size 2 but I will settle for a curvy 12. LOL
So, I will be letting you know what juices I am making and I will attempt to find my missing card for my camera so that I can share my pictures and recipes!
Let me know what kinds you make!!
Posted by Brandi at 7:07 PM
Friday, March 22, 2013
Sometimes you are the only shadow standing in your own sunshine.
That was said by one of my favorite chefs on Top Chef.
Isn't it true?
How often do we let the worries and doubts seep into our mind and ruin a perfectly beautiful day?
OK, I have been on a purge in my home, I have been getting rid of all the nonessential items I do not need. While on my purge, a thought started in my mind.... what if I purged every area of my life.
So I started going through my mind and I really made a serious list of what I could really do without.
Could I live without lights on in the house at night?
Could I turn the heat down to 72 degree's and still be warm and comfortable?
One warmer days, maybe I could just turn off the heat....
What if I started using better toilet paper...would our usage drop? It did!
What if, instead of renting movies I bought Netflix, and watched what was on there?
Then, I realized that I didn't need to go to town more than once a week.
I didn't need to eat out every Thursday.
I didn't need to use so much gas if I could get all my groceries in one go.
So, now I play the game of how cheap can I really be....
My gas bill for last month through the huge snow storm, was only $123.58 and it was warm in our house. I just made sure to keep the doors shut and utilize the sunshine through the day in the east facing windows in the dining room.
My Electric bill is ridiculously small.. $68.00
Water bill is down to $82.00 that includes sewer and trash with recycling.
We put our trash out every other week.
I compost all my kitchen scrap.
I do not waste food. ( that sadly did not happen this week, I threw out way too much food to the compost heap.)
I had a friend that was all doom and gloom and in constant competition with some invisible person. She would try and one up you any time she could.
She was my best friend for the last 10 years..
I wanted to get a boat, she bought a boat. I couldn't afford one. Still can't.
I wanted to get my husband a motorcycle, she went out and bought her husband one. He doesn't ride. I decided against one after my friends husband was killed one night on his way home.
I needed new floors in my old 1890 colonial house. She bought new floors for her new house.
I am happy and a glass half full. She was a no glass, no water, type.
We are no longer friends. I could not handle the day to day of drama and negativity. I am not sorry for it, but I do wish I had never started the friendship.
My uncle is an alcoholic and abusive. He is no longer in my life.
My father is a manipulator. He is married and uses women like I use bath towels. He is no longer in my life.
Last year was a hard year for me. I was very negative and I know I was not living to my potential. I was allowing outside influences to put me in a foul mood.
So I cleared out my mind, removed the bad and started cleaning up all the good that I had been neglecting.
I rekindled all my friendships that have stood by me.
I tell my husband that I love him at least 12 times a day whether he deserves it or not, because he love me, no matter what.
I listen to my older daughter talk about everything, because she is important and needs someone to listen to her.
I tell my youngest daughter not to be so stern, and see the happy in each day. She sulks away, but she is smiling more and has rekindled all of her friends from elementary and middle school, she has also let go of the friends that were bringing her down and making her feel less than who she was.
I adopted an orphan cat last year. She is cranky, but we love her so, she is taking time mellowing out.
This year we adopted another cat who was dumped at my vet by a woman who wanted to put him to sleep because she no longer wanted him.
Can you imagine being taken somewhere to be put to sleep because someone didn't have the time to invest in you? He is annoying and arrogant, but he is mine and I love him.
I named him Loki. The God of Mischief.
Sometimes I think back to when I was younger. It seems I was never unhappy.
I like to think I can be that way again.
Posted by Brandi at 9:17 PM
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Have you ever been in such a rut that you rarely cook regular meals.
The only meal I am sure to cook is lunch when I have my granddaughter Evie over.
I make sure to have all the basic vegan food groups present and accounted for.
I do not know if it is because it is just a 17 year old and I in the house, or if I just really could care less what is for dinner. My husband is at work every night of the week so it seems ridiculous to make a full meal for two....
Having a full house to cook for was most of my life. Up until recently I was making at least 2 meals a day everyday. Now it seems like everyone has a place to go and things to do, except I am still being a housewife. Never has my house been so clean, organized and ready for anything, and never have I felt as if I had nothing to do. A few minutes and my house is ready to go. Once a week I deep clean, usually on Sunday and then the rest of the week, I hardly move.
So, back to food.
How do I cook for two. It just seems ridiculous.
So how many of you cook for two or just yourself?
Do you have any ideas for me...
Plus, has anyone else had the empty house syndrome?
Posted by Brandi at 3:42 PM
Friday, March 1, 2013
No credit cards
No car payments
No past due utilities
I don't know what to do with myself.
I have been doing alot of pacing.
I thought when this would happen, that I would be jumping around and high fiving random people on the street. Instead, I am withdrawn and quiet and I am stressful.
My daughter blames it on the fact I have never been debt free.
I started out at 17 with a beautiful apartment, a large banking account, 2 full time jobs and everything paid for, but somehow life happened and I ended up trying to keep with the Jones. When we got married we went a little crazy with credit cards. We gave up credit cards in 1994. It seemed like we were on the right track, but we always buried ourselves in debt again. It was a constant struggle.
Until we bought this house.
When we decided to once and for all end being in debt, I was the only one who saw the light at the end of the tunnel. My husband couldn't imagine us ever being out if it.
So, I did everything myself. I set out on a stringent budget. I saved and skimped. I argued with my husband over allowance for snacks, we didn't eat out. We watched movies at home. I refused to get cable and instead got dish for $15.00 a month. Then, later I added net flix for $7.00.
Sometimes, I actually have mini panic attacks about stupid things like buying new underwear. I wear it out, use it up and I always make sure we don't waste food. If it starts to get sad looking, it gets cooked. I hate to waste anything, but food is the worse.
One good thing that is happening, I have started taking my animals to our amazing vet to get them fixed up. I never have an issue paying for them, but I do feel sad that I had to wait so long to do it.
I always had to decide between paying my medical bills or taking my pets to the vet.
My poor cat Mushu had to have a polyp removed from his ear and Chi has a weird cyst on his back that he is now taking antibiotics for.
My cat Hatsumomo is getting fixed and having her claws removed on Monday, as she is a vicious kneader.
Cocoa needs to get her allergies in check and shots.
Next are Kaiti's cats Joe and Dolce, they just need shots and a wellness check.
Then finally everyone will be good as new and taken care of.
I am ready for spring. When I make the final payment on the house I want to take a week and do nothing. I just want to lay protected in this little house that saved our family.
I am so grateful for finding this little jewel in the midst of us falling apart. It truly is the shelter from the storm.
I have gone backward in an attempt to move forward and it made all the difference.
My husband beems with excitement when I tell him all the utility bills are paid in the first week of the month.
He is so proud of what we have accomplished, although he is rare to take any credit. I have to remind him that without all the hard work he does at his job and all the weekends he has given up with us for overtime, we wouldn't have been able to pay our house off so soon or take care of all the loans and past dues that came with our pats, without his hard work.
I am grateful and to be honest a little fearful of the future.
I have never ever felt like I was in control like this before.
I am 40 years old. I own my house and cars. I have no debt. WE HAVE NO DEBT.....
I have plans for this year, Chris is leveling the house, we will be painting and replacing screens. Rebuilding the window sills on the south side of the house. Repairing the roof and having a metal roof installed. New Carpet with a super thick pad underneath.
Planting a few poplars on the south side of the house to shade the dining room.
We will also be putting up fence, so our rather strange neighbor Don, won't be walking into our yard in his short shorts and no shirt.....UGH....LOL
Thank you for listening.
I know that this is a 1st. world problem, and people usually do not complain of being out of debt.
I just feel odd.
And happy. but mostly odd.
Posted by Brandi at 8:03 PM