Thursday, March 31, 2011

Official Square Foot Garden Plan for 2011!

I have finally made my garden plan for this year! I got overwhelmed to go from 16 squares to 48 so I was procrastinating. I realized that there was no way I wanted to fill 48 squares with veggies and herbs nor did I want to spend more money doing it (by buying more plants). We made each square a little bigger than 1ft x 1ft and now have 30 squares that will fit nice in the space.
This year I am only growing things that I know I will eat and love. I really want lots of tomatoes, bell peppers, onions and basil. I envision a lot of salsa and pesto this summer. The little dots mean how many plants/seeds you will need and what areas to plant. Since tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, basil and broccoli grow to get so big you only need 1 plant per square. It still produces a lot of veggies per plant. You are also suppose to plant the taller plants on the north end of the garden so they don't shade the smaller plants. They require a wire cage or something to help them grow taller. I used this website and also this one to do my research on companion planting (what goes well next to each other). If the weather holds up I will be planting within the next 2 weeks! Pin It

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Molly "Tails"

I am so glad that I haven't started planting in my garden yet because Molly thinks its her own personal outdoor dog bed.
 When I work out, Molly usually heads outside and tries to steal dog toys from the neighbor dogs, but during one of my water breaks I peeked out the window and saw her here. I went out and she still didn't move. Shes looking at me like, thanks this is a nice cool spot. We will be getting some chicken wire or some sort of fencing around the garden very soon. It's almost planting time!
We have been having crazy thunderstorms and weather around here lately. Molly decided she all the sudden hates them. At night she crawls either way under the covers or lately shes been climbing on top of my head by the pillows. Insert my head right by her stomach and that's how I was sleeping. Even after I showered she stayed there and I went to take a picture and caught her with her tongue out. I think it was either perfect timing or she really was sticking her tongue out at me. Pin It

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Meatball Sliders

I like to save recipes in my draft folder in my email with the subject: recipes to try. Lately, my list has become so long because we have been sticking to our P90x eating plan. I could venture away, but we have a nice routine going. I shared my list with my sister and she has tried a recipe for us all! Recipe comes from Let's Dish. These would make great appetizers for a party, too.

Meatball Sliders-
Ingredients (If making for dinner, you probably want to half this recipe)
1 bag frozen Italian Style meatballs (32 meatballs) Michelle made her own meatballs and these turkey meatballs would work great
1 jar (28 oz.) pasta sauce
2 cans refrigerated crescent rolls
11 slices mozzarella cheese, cut into thirds (shredded works just fine)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Simmer meatballs and sauce over low heat until warmed through (10-15 minutes). Separate crescent rolls into triangles. Cut eat triangle in half to form two triangles. Place 1/3 slice of mozzarella cheese on top of each crescent roll, top with meatball and roll up. Bake at 375 for 15-18 minutes, or until golden brown.
 Michelle gave them a thumbs up and said this would be great for entertaining or for dinner. This looks great, thanks for cooking these up to share Michelle!
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Monday, March 28, 2011

Noche or Nachos?

We had a fun saturday this weekend. After grocery shopping and cleaning up the house we headed to Leah and Kyles to visit with baby Emery. I got to hold her while she was sleeping for 2 hours! Of course they inform me that this isn't normal, but I'd like to think that she's always that good. She was making cute little noises and stretching while sleeping.
It was great catching up with Leah, I miss seeing her every day at work. She looks great and said that she is feeling really good.  Kyle and David were talking computers and gadgets most the time, so they were in their element.
 Aren't they adorable? It's fun to hear about their new adventures in parenthood, I wish we lived closer.
Here are David and I before we headed out to dinner. I wanted to take Emery with us, but didn't think that wasn't going to fly.
Around Leah and Kyle's house we saw a carriage and horses. I thought it was prommers, but it turned out to be Cinderella and some other princesses. Not sure what that was about, but cool to see.
 I decided to start Davids birthday celebrations a little early by taking him out to dinner at this cool tapas bar in the VA highlands. He turns the big 30 this year and he deserves a long celebration. I had bought a groupon a while ago and haven't used it so I thought this was the perfect timing. David loves everything about downtown Atlanta, the buildings, the people, the restaurants. He would live there in an instant. I wouldn't be opposed to it, but am not a fan of never finding parking and always paying for it, narrow streets, bums everywhere, housing prices being ridiculous, etc. Anyways, we went to Noche and all David kept saying was, "we're going to nachos?!" He didn't take spanish in HS so he was lost, but was just saying it to be funny the rest of the night.
You walk in literally at the bar and have to squeeze by to find the hostess stand. We got there around 7:30 so it was pretty crowded already. I'm glad we made reservations, we got sat at a cute 2 person table. I love tapas restaurants because you can order a bunch of things to share and this was no different. Their prices per tapas were around $4-$9 each.
 Lacey told me to get the patatas as she called them, which we found out are southern fried potatoes. They were AWESOME. I started eating before I took the pic so that's why the plate looks a mess.
 David got to try lobster cakes, pulled pork taco and calamari. David eats too fast for me to take any food pics of his stuff. That's why I caught him mid eating.
I got the most amazing taco I've ever had. It was a grilled chicken fajita taco with peppers, onions and a heaping pile of guacamole. I know its just a taco, but it was incredible. I also tried the empanada.
 I also had the yummy house margarita. I know I look extra happy, I swear it wasn't the margarita, I'm just a happy person.  It was a bummer it was so rainy and cold this weekend or we could have walked around the highlands, its a really interesting area with shopping, parks and restaurants.
One other cool thing about Noche was our server! This is Bethany, Davids family and her family grew up together and went to the same church. His parents and her parents still remain great friends. I got to meet Rita (her mom) at my bridal shower and just LOVE her. Bethany comes from a big family as well so she was telling us what every one was up to. It was nice meeting her and catching up. Small world. Pin It

Friday, March 25, 2011

I wanted to share this video about Khan Academy with you all. If you haven't heard of it, you need to check out his website. This comes straight from his website:

A free world-class education for anyone anywhere.

The Khan Academy is an organization on a mission. We're a not-for-profit with the goal of changing education for the better by providing a free world-class education to anyone anywhere. 

All of the site's resources are available to anyone. It doesn't matter if you are a student, teacher, home-schooler, principal, adult returning to the classroom after 20 years, or a friendly alien just trying to get a leg up in earthly biology. The Khan Academy's materials and resources are available to you completely free of charge.

Help us change education. Our small team is on a mission to deliver a world-class education to anyone anywhere, and you can help. Here is a video from when he was on TED talks, its a little long but very engaging with graphics so it goes by really fast.

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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Vacation Brainstorm and Vote!

We are still excited from paying off our debt a few months ago! There is a world of opportunities and breathing room left while you look at your budget and money for the month.  While you are doing your debt snowball you only buy things you need and you try to fix what is broken. You start to realize things that you can live without and that aren't necessities. Since starting it 18 months ago we haven't been eating out much, buying electronics, buying a lot of new clothing and no lavish vacations. We have a small list of things that we are saving up for (with cash) that we will get start on in April after our 3-6 month emergency fund is fully funded. Our list includes saving up and taking a big vacation, renovating our house, buying a new laptop (I've had mine for about 6-7 years now and its falling apart), buying a nice camera (something similar to the Nikon D50 we're borrowing from Darrin and Stacey), and possibly getting new bedroom furniture (we've had hand me downs and walmart stuff for 5 years and the spray paint is just not holding up on touching things up.) I know this seems like a lot of "stuff" but we deserve it and are ready to update some of our dinosaur electronics and items.

Since the vacation part is next on the list, I wanted to do a little brainstorm on places we are thinking of going and get your votes. Our vacations usually consist of something tropical and on the cheaper side with destinations in Mexico and Dominican Republic as our most recent ones. Last year during our snowball we visited some of my family across the US, but for us its not a vacation unless its on a plane and longer than a 2 hour flight. So its been about 2 years and we wanted to reward our sacrifices with a bigger, more expensive vacation. Keep in mind we'd like to go for 10 days- 2 weeks. Here are the top choices in no particular order:
Australia- We want to see kangaroos, the great barrier reef, Sydney and Melbourne to name a few ideas
Italy- We want to see Rome, Naples, Amalfi Coast, Florence, Venice and Milan. Eating all the amazing Italian food is top on the list here.
Northern Europe- We want to see Ireland, London and Paris with all their attractions to name a few
Greece-Island hopping to Santorini, Mykonos, Crete, Rhodes, etc.. Mama Mia- Need I say more?
California- We want to see various cities and wine country

It's your turn to vote! Comment below on where should we go? Have you been to any of these places? What can you recommend. If you win, you will be selected to come with us, oh wait.. just kidding :) We really would like your help though.
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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Texas Tour of Homes

Last weekend while my mom was visiting my sister in Texas they went to a tour of homes in Abilene. If you're not familiar, you get to go in new houses and usually they are decorated so you can get ideas. They'd love if you purchased these homes, but they are usually 350k and up. In Rochester, NY where I am from they have a GREAT one every summer and I really haven't found anything like it here. David and I went to one last year in one of the cute downtown areas in Atlanta, but there wasn't that many homes to tour.  I am keeping my eye out this year since we really do need ideas. I told Michelle to take a ton of pictures and to be my tour guide at her home show.
 Here is our tour guide Michelle, who can usually be found touring closets as you can see above. She had a mission of bathrooms and kitchens, since that is the area I need to focus on. You'll see mom a bit later in the tour.
 I love the look of the counter tops here. I like how the pattern isn't so crazy and that back splash is very nice.
 This shower has a lot of the features we are looking to do. I like the smaller tile on the floor, the bigger tile on the wall, the seat area and the decorative strip in the middle. I know its pretty standard, but its good to see put together.
 This is similar to how our bathroom will look with the half glass wall and the tub.
 I love this kitchen! It has beautiful cabinetry and great kitchen islands/counters.
 Look how cool the driveway is. It has the famous Texas stars, can you see it?
 In this bathroom I really love the granite and the cabinets. I love the stain they used to make it look distressed. I wish I could do that!
 This is an interesting bathroom. Take a look at the window areas behind the tub.
 There is a walk through type shower in there!
 I like how they made the shape of the shower different and not so square. This is also very similar to what we want to do with our bathroom.
 This is our favorite kitchen. The island is curved! Its like a cooking show! People could sit and hang while I cooked. This is awesome!
 I really LOVE the tub in this bathroom. The small tiles and the shape of it really makes it stand out. Oh, and look, there's mom!
 I like the built in shelves in this shower with all the diff. shower heads (and the ceiling one).
 Michelle snuck another closet picture in. I love my big closet, but just look at all the built-ins! This is impressive.
Last, but not least check out this sink! My sister actually has those exact faucet and handles.This makes it look so fancy! Thanks to Michelle and Mom for taking such detailed photos, I felt like I was on the tour.  As for our home renovations, we decided to put that on hold until June. We have just about saved up our 3-6 month emergency fund, but we'd like to save up money for a vacation. Since you have to book things well in advance we thought we should get that money first before we started renovating. More on possible trips later. Pin It

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Making Money on Craigslist

I am not sure I ever talked in detail about our home gym. We used one of our spare bedrooms upstairs for a gym for a little while now. Since starting P90X we really haven't used any of this.
We decided to list the whole gym on craigslist for $300 for all of the items above. I know it looks like a lot of stuff, but let me talk in detail about how much we paid for all of this. The ab curl bench was $6 from goodwill, the treadmill was free (a neighbor was throwing it away and David asked if he could have it and fixed it), and the golds gym work out system was $50!
This was a steal. We bought this on craigslist maybe a year ago from a guy trying to move and sell all his stuff. I guess he didn't realize what a hot commodity it was. The day I posted it we had a bunch of calls, texts and emails from interested buyers. I wanted to price it so it went fast and I think I definitely did that. A lot of people just wanted the treadmill, but we nicely explained that was just an add on and it wasn't a high tech one like they'd want. It literally has a slide button that goes from slow to fast, but it does get the job done. We had someone coming over on Sunday to look at it and then we received another call saying they were really interested and wanted to buy it. We told them we'd call them if the first lady didn't end up buying it. He then said, no thanks I'd like to offer you $400 and buy it first. This has never happened to us before! Someone asked $100 over the asking price. See what you get for pricing things right and not overpricing! David was also small talking with the guy and mentioned we were also selling a nice built in car navigation system and he called us after he left and said he wanted to come back next weekend to buy that too. Isn't that nuts? I was tempted to let him into our house to see what else he'd like to buy. We did check to make sure that his money wasn't counterfeit, it looked good to us and the bank took it so I guess we're clear! So needless to say that we were glad for the extra money, but the next day David had to go to court to pay a speeding ticket and guess how much it came to.... $386 (speeding in a work zone). The money came and went so quick. I was glad that we had the money though, I guess it was fate! I am now making the room upstairs my sewing room to encourage me to try and learn.
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Monday, March 21, 2011

Shave Your Head For a Good Cause!

This weekend went by too fast for us. David had to work on Saturday for the whole day so it was a shorter weekend for us. I cleaned our house, which was very much needed, but it didn't make for a fun activity. We did end up going to Athens last minute Saturday night. Davids BFF David was up there doing a firefighter charity event to benefit children. He said that he was going to shave his head so we hopped in the car and drove up to see this. It was a beautiful night with temps in the high 70's even after dark. It was the perfect night to wear my cute sun dress and sit outside on the patio.
Unfortunately I didn't take any pictures of us, but I'm sure you won't mind looking at a bunch of firefigthers instead. David is the 2nd from the left on the top row. They did try to get my David to shave his head since he was basically the only guy there without it done. We nicely passed, but David was tempted with the free t-shirt they were offering him in return. We were excited for the $1 beers, gotta love college towns. We also made another profit with a craigslist sell that I'll tell you about tomorrow! Hope you all had great weekends. Pin It

Friday, March 18, 2011

Presto Pasta Night!

Friday is Presto Pasta night in the blog world and this week Debbie Does Dinner Healthy was the host. She featured my homemade Chicken and Spinach Ravioli. Check it out here along with lots of other fun and delicious pasta dishes! Pin It

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Happy St. Patricks Day! 
This is a pic from last year, but I don't have anything more festive than this! You can see that our gear gets good use. It's time for some festive food!
*image from google images
You can check out our corned beef and cabbage with carrots and potatoes that I made last year here.
Some other festive foods to get you in the St. Patricks Day spirit are:
Irish Soda Bread from
Shamrock Pretzel Cupcakes- From Apples to Zucchini
You could also use regular foods that look green, like guacamole or dye your mashed potatoes green. Hope you have a lucky day!
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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Stock Up on Silk Ties!

This weekend we made a few trips to Good Will for some frames for our vision boards and some other items for upcoming projects. We brainstormed and had a nice quiet session to write down ideas for our vision board, but the gathering of visions (photos) is taking a while so we are going to finish this weekend.
We purchased fancy 100% silk ties. And no, David didn't decide to start wearing ties on a regular basis (or at all). These are for an upcoming project that we did last year, but never posted a step by step tutorial for you.
Here is another small hint. It has to do with an upcoming holiday that last year was way earlier than it is this year. Stay tuned in a few weeks! If I were you I'd stock up on 100% silk ties, make sure to ask your husband if you can destroy use them first. Pin It

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Soil Mixture for Square Foot Gardens

I wanted to document the soil mixture that we used this year to help fill the garden box. I'm sure you're tired of seeing our lovely garden box by now, but just hang in there a little bit longer.
We knew that we could use the soil mixture that we had already in our wagon garden, but we were almost tripling the size of the new garden so we would definitely need more. We ended up needing about 24 cubic feet more of soil. David helped me with all of the math to see how much we would need. You take the length of your box (12') x width (4') x depth you want to fill with soil (1'). I rounded to make it easy on the depth. For a square foot garden you need approx 8-10" of soil for the roots to grow (you could get away with 6"). This for us equaled 48 cubic feet of soil. We filled our box with the wagon soil and now only needed 6" (1/2 foot) of soil or 24 cubic feet.
We headed to Pike Nurseries to get all our supplies. We found them last year after calling around for vermiculite. Their prices were cheaper than any home depot type place. You need 1/3 of peat moss, 1/3 vermiculite and 1/3 compost (they say to use at least 3 diff. kinds).  For us that was 8 cubic feet of each. You see here Hen Manure/compost, mushroom compost, and cow manure for our compost mixture. Last year we just used the cow manure compost because it is much cheaper, but if you can splurge try to have a variety. The total for all this was around $55. Another tip, peat moss expands when you take it out of the bag, so we only got 3.5 cubic feet to keep our cost down.
We had to just use our hands to mix it all together. It was kind of fun, but was very hard to wash it all off.
So far, without any vegetable transplants, we've spent $85 on the garden this year including building materials, weed mat, and soil mixture.
I went back out later Sunday evening only to find that something got into the garden box. She has 4 legs and is really cute if you ask her if she was in the garden. We're going to maybe put some wire fencing or something around the garden to keep our silly little doggie out of it! It's cute now only until there are real vegetables in there. Pin It
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