Monday, January 28, 2013

Menu Plan Monday

Monday- tuna melt

Tuesday- chicken and dumplings

Wednesday- taco bake

Thursday- chicken taquitos

Friday- grilled cheese and soup

Saturday- pork chops, stuffing, veggies

Sunday- BBQ chicken nachos

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Saving Money Saturday-Heating, Part 1

Winter is in full swing in the STL area. Per usual, our winter precipitation is lacking and the temperatures are comparable to a roller coaster. I used to be a fan of cold weather, but I'm finding myself more content with the 32-80 degree range. Anything below freezing is for the birds.

This is our second winter in our new home, and it's a fairly energy efficient house which surprising for its age and lack of updates. Still, utility costs are on the rise (I'm looking at you Ameren with your 10.1% increase), and I'm looking for any way I can to save a buck. I've done a bit of research, and want to share the information I've dug up.

*These are all simple ideas you can do ASAP and will not cost you a dime. I'll do another post with options that may cost a bit, but will save you in the long run.

-- Use those ceiling fans. According to the Department of Energy, turning on a ceiling fan, set to spin clockwise, for just one hour will help disburse the heat in a room. Here's a cute little diagram I found demonstrating the air flow from a fan.

--If you have a fireplace you are not using, close the damper. Heat rises and if the damper is open, it's basically a nice little hole in your roof that allows heat and dollars to fly right out.

--Unused rooms. If you have any rooms that are rarely used, shut the vents and close the doors. This allows for more air to be pushed to other rooms more efficiently.

--Unblock any vents. Vents can be mistakenly covered up with toys, rugs or towels. Removing them helps circulate the air more efficiently.

--Use your curtains. If you have south-facing windows, open the curtains up during the day to let the sun do some natural heating of its own. Close the curtains at nighttime prevent the heat from escaping.

--Turn down your thermostat. Turning your thermostat down one degree can potentially save you 3% a year. Just one tiny degree! When you aren't home, turn it down ten degrees. No sense in wasting that money on ghosts or dust bunnies.


Sunday, January 20, 2013

Movie Review- Ted

From IMDB: As the result of a childhood wish, John Bennett's teddy bear, Ted, came to life and has been by John's side ever since - a friendship that's tested when Lori, John's girlfriend of four years, wants more from their relationship.

I'm quite the Mark Wahlberg fan, but when I saw the previews for Ted, I knew this wasn't my cup of tea. I felt it was going to be along the lines of The Hangover, which I despised. I rented the movie because Mr. 'man Clan wanted to see it. I'm secretly hoping I can con him into watching The Hobbit with me. This will be my bargaining chip.

This will be a short review. We didn't even finish the movie. There were some fun one liners, but for the most part, the film was extremely boring. It didn't hold our interest. The premise alone was ridiculous, but I was willing to try it out any way. Mark Wahlberg, WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?!?!

My biggest concern? Everyone loved this movie. Since the hubs and I did not, does this make us old??

Grade: F, two thumbs down. I want my 45 minutes and $1.45 back.


Sunday, January 6, 2013

101 in 1001

If you read a lot of blogs on a regular basis, there's a chance that you've come across this concept before. For the newbies, hop over HERE, and see what it is all about.

I really love this idea instead of the normal New Year Resolutions because I feel like 365 days just isn't enough time to get stuff done. I swear. The older I get, the faster time goes by. I tried dividing my list into groups and then putting equal things into each section, but I had too much trouble trying to even it out.

Without further wait, I present to you my 101.

1. Pay off Chase
2. Pay off Bank of America
3. Pay off United
4. Pay off Amazon
5. Pay off Zales
6. Pay off car
7. Pay off van
8. Pay off Paypal
9. File bills every month
10. Collect change for 1001 days

11. PR 5k race
12. PR 13.1 race
13. Run a sub 2 hour 13.1
14. Run a marathon
15. Complete 100 Push-up Challenge
16. Complete 200 Sit-up Challenge
17. Run a sub 8 minute mile
18. Run a 10k race
19. Lose 2 pant sizes
20. Lose 10-20 pounds
21. Go one week without eating meat
22. Learn 10 yoga poses

Around the House
23. Organize the pantry
24. Organize the laundry room
25. Organize the workshop
26. Organize the storage area
27. Type up recipes
28. Blog 10 recipes
29. Make tortillas from scratch
30. Make white bread from scratch
31. Make English muffins from scratch
32. Hang photos of family
33. Find/make DVD rack
34. van once a month
35. Vacuum van once a month
36. Refinish orange chair
37. Make headboard
38. Crochet a blanket
39. Refinish desk

Family Life
40. Renew wedding vows
41. Attend Cardinals spring training
42. Go on 2 family vacations
43. Go on 2 trips with just hubby
44. Family fun night once a month
45. One on one time with Aubrey 1 day a month
46. One on one time with Tay 1 day a month
47. One on one time with D 1 day a month
48. Start a diary to my husband
49. Date night one time a month
50. Do one RAK once a month for my husband
51. Visit park 4 times a month
52. Visit with siblings 10 times (When your closest sib is 40 miles a way, this is harder than you think.)
53. Visit grandma 10 times
54. Visit parents 10 times
55. Attend 2 out of town family functions
56. Send birthday cards ON TIME
57. Watch nieces and nephews over night 5 times (or more)
58. Buy 10 movies
59. Buy 10 cds
60. Take photos of the kids 4 times a year

For Others
61. Donate collected change to charity (I need to pick which one.)
62. Donate cart of groceries to food pantry
63. Adopt a family at Christmas
64. Pay for the person behind me in drive-thru
65. Leave a tip that's 100% of the check
66. 10 RAKs

67. Attend 5 Cardinal baseball games
68. Attend 1 Broncos game
69. Attend 1 hockey game
70. Attend 1 Colts game
71. Visit 2 new ball parks
72. Attend 1 Springfield Cardinals game
73. Attend 1 Memphis Cardinals game
74. See 2 concerts
75. Visit the zoo 3 times
76. Visit Grant's Farm
77. Visit the Science Center 3 times
78. See a play
79. See a musical
80. See the symphony
81. Visit Elephant Rock
82. Have dinner/lunch with a friend once a month
83. Join a book club
84. Go horseback riding
85. Visit a winery
86. Pick apples
87. Go fishing
88. See a movie at the drive-in
89. See 10 movies in theater

For Me
90. Paint nails once a month
91. Read 101 books
92. Blog once a week
93. Eat at 10 new restaurants
94. Get tattoo that represents the kids
95. Get heart tattoo
96. Get Superman tattoo
97. Quit job
98. Become SAHM
99. No eating out for one month
100. Buy a pair of leggings
101. Get 5 manicures