Sunday, January 31, 2010

New Roof

We finally got our new roof! This past February in Atlanta we had some storms that had caused hail damage to roofs in the northern Georgia counties. We kept noticing all our neighbors getting roofs and we finally asked one day what was going on. I was hoping it wasn't time to replace roofs because our house is less than 10 years old. They confirmed that there was a lot of hail damage to the roofs if you got up and looked at it. We had our insurance company come out and take a look. They verified we did have damage and we were a candidate for a new roof. This process took quite a long time to even get started. Here are some photos of the work being done. 

 Font View

Side view

Back view

Here is the after! It's hard to see on this view, but they are 30 year black architectural shingles 

With the new looking roof we made a conclusion, we need to pressure wash the outside of the house! Everything else now looks dirty after getting a brand new roof! I have started a list of house projects for the short term and long term that we want to get done. I figure we spend so much time here we might as well get going on some easier/cheaper projects soon.  David is fixing the inside back door area where we've had water damage on the hard wood floors (since we moved in). More to come on that later. Pin It

Thursday, January 28, 2010

I saved 40% on my grocery bill!

Here is a little background to catch you up. I have been clipping coupons since mid October. I started reading money saving blogs and got intrigued by it all. I thought "I can do that".  I read their blogs daily and they do all the work for me. I know I don't have a big family of 4+, but its still fun for me to save money. We are on Dave Ramsey's Debt Snowball plan and this is just one way that I can contribute by not overspending, but by saving money. I told David yesterday that it was a rush! I am over-exaggerating a bit, but I thought it was fun.

This is the most I have saved since starting this little adventure. My average savings is usually around 30% each bill. So this was pretty big for me. My store of choice is Kroger. It's close to the house and they have great sales and good quality. This week was a MEGA sale event where you buy 10 items from a predetermined list and you get $5 off your total bill. This makes for .50 off each item. Here is where the fun comes in. You match your manufacturers coupons from Sunday papers and online with the sale items and you get even more money off! This week I actually got that box of cereal for FREE and I think one of the cheeses and dressings absolutely free. I know I am getting way more excited than most of you are so just bear with me.

So for my grocery budget for the month, I only had $50 left to spend. I usually spend about $70-80 at the least on groceries so this was going to be a challenge. I did have half a beef roast and some chicken frozen from previous weeks good deals so that would help me out a lot. I needed to buy a lot of fresh vege's (asparagus, carrots, zucchini, broccoli, peppers, etc.) which they hardly ever give coupons for produce. So the grand total before the coupons and kroger card was $78, man was I nervous. It wasn't the end of the world if I went over, but I was determined to be under. The amount I actually paid was $46!!! That is a pretty great deal for all this!

Here is a picture of my Coupon Organizer. I use a photo organizer I found at Michaels and wrote my coupon categories on the tabs. When I get my list made for the week, I put it on the back of an envelope(my mom has always done that and I do it now too) and you can put your coupons in the envelope instead of lugging this around to the store. I go one step further by organizing the coupons by aisle or how I walk through the store. I was only in the store an hour, but sometimes I'm in there for 1.5 hours just trying to see what my coupons are for and I'm running around the whole place.

Here is the actual receipt that I am so proud of!
Now comes the fun of making food with all this good stuff. I want to start posting my menu plan for the week. I'd like to say that I shop every Sunday, but that just doesn't happen sometimes as this week it was Wednesday. I will post the recipes after we eat them so you can enjoy as well.

Meal 1- Chicken Lo Mein (Kraft foods) One of Davids favorites!
Meal 2- Italian Sausage Calzones (Fairhope Foodie Blog)
Meal 3- Chicken Giardino (olive garden recipe) Thanks Jen for telling me they have them online!
Meal 4- Slow Cooker Beef Roast with Sweet Potatoes ($5 Dinners Blog)
Meal 5-Baked Ziti (no recipe, just my own concoction)

Well, I'm pretty sure this all sounds super psycho, but this is what I do and I really enjoy it.
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Wednesday, January 27, 2010


I thought I would take a few minutes to talk about my husband, David. He hasn't really made an appearance on the blog so I thought this would be the perfect time. I'm sure he won't appreciate the picture I'm about to put up, but this is David. If you know him, then you already know that he is Mr. Inventor, Mr.Fix-It, & Mr. Build Anything.

We most of the time use our Shop Vac to vacuum since we have lots of dog hair and our wood floors show all the grass and dust everywhere. One day he figured it would be easier to maneuver the vacuum around if he made it into a back pack. It is made from truck straps that he uses to hold down furniture or large items and a big blue hiking backpack frame.  It's very practical for him, he straps it on his back and away he goes vaccuuming. It's too heavy for me, I put it on once and almost fell over backwards (guess I can't do the vacuuming any more, darn). My sister has also experienced seeing the vac-pack in person and she can attest that we actually do use it.

This particular instance he wanted to unclog any lint that came from our dryer so he got a tall ladder and went to the vent hole on the side of the house. He then put the vac-pack-back-pack on and began vacuuming the vent pipe. The picture speaks for itself.

Well, there you have it. Now you know a little bit about David. I really am lucky to have such a great, handy, loving guy for a husband! Pin It

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

French Dip Sandwiches

You are going to LOVE this recipe! It is so easy and tastes so good!! It came from Our Best Bites blog. Here is the recipe:

1 2.5-3 lb. beef roast
2 Tbsp. olive oil
salt and pepper
2 1-ounce packages dry onion soup mix
2 c. water
2 cans beef broth
6-8 large buns
Swiss, provolone, or mozzarella cheese, shredded or sliced.

1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat and rub roast with salt and pepper.
2. When very hot, carefully place roast in pan and sear on all sides. You're not cooking the meat, you're just browning it quickly on all sides to add flavor and seal in the juices. I have never done this step before making this recipe and it really does make a difference.
3. Place in crockpot and sprinkle with onions soup mix. Pour water and beef broth over roast.
4. Cook 8-10 hours on low or cook 4-5 hours on high and another 3-4 hours on low. It's done when it starts falling apart.
5. Shred the Roast with a fork, I put it back in for 20-30 mins to soak in the juices.
6. Serve in Rolls or you can broil your bread in the oven with your meat and add cheese. Pour juices in a small bowl for dipping.
It shreds so easy when it's done
Delicious! Don't mind the paper plate (didn't want to do the dishes that day). I didn't picture with cheese, because most all of you know I don't really like cheese and it doesn't need it.
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Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Lovely Bones

The work gals and I went out to dinner and a movie on Thursday Night. We like to see movies our husbands probably won't see with us. We went to the Thai diner and had sushi, lo mein and stir fry. We went to see the Lovely Bones. They had all read the book and I got through about 5 chapters before we saw it to fill myself in. I won't spoil it if you haven't seen it, but they all said that the book was better (as usual). I thought it was pretty good, but I did get scared a few times and had some scary weird dreams!

All of us gals

Lacey and Angela

Leah and me

Movie Time!
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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

This picture needs a little explaining. Yes, that is our garbage can in the middle of the family room. Yes, we've been non-crate training molly to stay alone in the house like the good little 4 year old doggie she is. Yes, its going pretty well... Until I came home one day last week and found the contents of the garbage can pulled out all over the floor!! She pushed it and either stepped on the foot release to open it, or tipped it up with her nose because the garbage can wasn't tipped over. She is a smart, but naughty and mischievous dog sometimes! This is what she normally does all day, so you think she is sweet, but watch out shes sneaky!

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Monday, January 18, 2010

I LOVE Cilantro and Fajitas!

I've discovered that I have an obsession with cilantro. It is one of the most delicious things to put on a meal.
Tonight, we made the best fajitas ever. I want to say that it comes close, if not better than the fajitas in authentic Mexico that we had on our honeymoon. I will post a few pictures of it, but I can't explain it better than one of my favorite food blogs, Our Best Bites.
Head on over to Our Best Bites and make some fajitas! You really should marinate the chicken for 24 hours, you will thank me later. It doesn't matter how cold it is, you can go outside for a few moments to grill up these chicken and vegetables. It'll be worth it later. David stopped by Moe's on the way home to pick me up some of my favorite salsa verde (its the best because it has lots of cilantro in it!) and chips. It was a little over $1 for chips and salsa. You can't beat that deal!
We used our new tortilla warmer my sister got us for Christmas. I lost the directions, but on the front it says Tortilla Oven so I pre-heated the oven and put them in to warm.... Ok so I guess that wasn't the correct directions. You are suppose to put it in the microwave or keep them on a burner on your stove if they are already warm. Well, mine melted a little bit, but I learned from that experience. Ole!
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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Teriyaki Chicken and Fried Rice

We love to order teriyaki chicken and fried rice whenever we go to hibachi Japanese restaurants. We finally learned how to make it at home. It is sooo good and not hard to do. The most important thing is you have to cook the rice ahead of time and let it cool in the refrigerator. We have a rice cooker and use 2 cups of rice (and 2 1/2 cups of water). After it is done, I put it in the fridge to cool the night before I make it. It makes a lot of rice, but its great for lunch the next day too.

Here are the recipes:
Teriyaki Chicken
3 Chicken breasts cut up
Kikkoman Teriyaki sauce (A must buy, it is awesome!)

1. Cut up your chicken into bite size pieces
2. Put olive oil into a frying pan to heat up
3. Cook the chicken until its no longer pink
4. Pour the kikkoman sauce generous in the pan (I use about 3/4 of the bottle)
5. Cook on low while you are doing the rice to simmer and let the sauce season your chicken

Fried Rice
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
3 Cloves Garlic, minced
4 Green onions, chopped thinly(or 1/2 cup reg. onion-I love the green onions in it thought)
1/3 cup diced carrots
4 cups cooked white rice (not sure if my 2 cups of uncooked rice equal this but use what you would like)
2 eggs lightly beaten
3 Tablespoons Soy sauce1. Heat the oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat.
2. Add the garlic and onion and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.
3. Reduce the heat to medium, and add the carrots, rice and cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes.
4. Use your stirring spoon to make a well in the center of the rice and pour the eggs into it. Let the eggs cook for 1 minute, then slowly start to stir and incorporate the egg into the rice.
5. Add the soy sauce and cook for 2 minutes longer, stirring and tossing with the spoon.
6. Serve with your chicken!
This recipe comes from a website that shows you how to cook the rice, so there is no excuse not too make it. Click here for the video.

Bon Appetit!
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Friday, January 15, 2010


In celebration of the end of the work week, I'll leave you with some fun photos of some yummy drinks and great friends! We went out this Tuesday after work to celebrate the launch of our new website and blog for work that Leah and Lacey designed. Cheers in hopes of a long and great weekend for all. Too bad we don't get off Monday for MLK day.

Frozen Strawberry Margaritas and a Swirl Margarita

Lacey and Me

Me and Leah
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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Atlanta Weddings Event

Yesterday I went with Amber to the Atlanta Weddings Magazine Bridal Event at the Georgian Terrace Hotel. It was right across from the fox theatre. Amber and I had fun adventures trying to navigate our way to the event. The parking garage may have been the most confusing part of all. We are definitely suburb gals that love our open, free parking lots away from the tight space spots of city parking. 

I got free tickets to the event because David and I were in the Spring/Summer issue of the Atlanta Weddings Magazine! Don't get too excited though, it was just a small picture towards the end of the magazine. It was pretty cool to see it in there though. Our wonderful photographer, Pam had also placed an ad in that issue and used a photo of us. So we are in it twice! Here are the photos from the magazine. 

We got to see Pam in one of the ballrooms. She had a great display set up with tons of books with photos and a digital photo frame. She brought a photo album she made from our wedding and it was right by the sign-up form. So of course I got excited and took a photo of my photos. Check out her awesome photography on her blog here.

The event was extravagant and well decorated. I think a lot of the vendors catered to the high-end budgeted bride. We got orange bags with a few goodies in them as our parting gift. All-in-all, it was a fun event. It makes me miss wedding planning a little, but glad I can help Amber out in planning hers. I think she might even book Pam as her photographer!!

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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Speaking of snow...

This past Thursday we got a dusting of snow in Georgia. Of course that doesn't seem like anything, but with our temperatures never getting above freezing, it all turned to ice. Our office on Friday delayed opening until 10am. It wasn't bad on interstates, but side streets and neighborhoods were pretty icy.

Speaking of snow, when I went to Texas for Christmas we got a surprise in the white and fluffy kind of way. The wind was blowing and causing a full on snowy blizzard! We tried to have fun and play in it, but didn't have the right boots or gloves to play. This is a picture of Michelle's new and pretty house they built out there.

Poor little Maddie didn't like it outside at all.

It was a gals trip this go around and we had fun doing some pre-Christmas shopping, making cookies, cooking and having friends over.


Even Bella and Maddie had a great time at Christmas!
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Monday, January 11, 2010

Pasta and Pups Night In

We had David's best friend David and his wife Dana over for dinner this weekend. We wanted to show them our new pasta attachments for our Kitchen aid Mixer that I got for Christmas. We grilled up chicken apple sausages and put it with our pasta and sauce.

We had fun watching them try it out and I think we convinced Dana even more that she needed a mixer for herself. Just keep trying Dana :)

They also brought their dog with them to play. Molly and Lola are best friends and get along great. They had fun destroying toys and playing together.

After dinner we played the card game Phase 10. It's similar to Rummy and very fun. The object of the game is to be the first player to complete all 10 phases.

This is David's artsy photo of our scores.
Glad ya'll could come over!
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