Friday Favorites #15

Friday, August 31, 2012

How is it already Friday??

And the last day of the month??

Trying to relax before my two days on…here’s my favorites from around the web this week…hope everyone enjoys their weekend!!

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Favorite fruity bitePeach Slab Pie…doesn’t the word “slab” in the name make it SO much more appealing!  This looks uber juicy and yumm!

 

Favorite funny…you know this is SO TRUE if you are a cat lover 🙂

 

Favorite chocolate/peanut butter comboGiant Peanut Butter Cup Blossoms…peanut butter cookie and peanut butter cups!!! WOW-ZA

 

Favorite DIYHomemade Hair Detangler…on the cheap

 

Favorite coffeeCold Brew Mocha Frappe…looks so insanely delicious!!

 

Favorite truth

 

Favorite baked dishNoodleless Zucchini Mushroom Lasagna…makes me long for fall, while still using up summer produce!

 

Favorite consumer websiteGoodguide.com…”find safe, healthy, green, and ethical products based on scientific ratings”

 

Favorite cupcakeSalted Caramel Cupcakes…ooey, gooey caramel and the bite of salt…I so want a bite of one of these!  Don’t they just scream fall 🙂

 

Favorite creative website….Floorplanner.com…create your own floor plans to assist in your home design!!

 

Favorite ice creamBanana Pudding Ice Cream…the best part–you DON’T need an ice cream maker!!

 

Favorite goal-setting quote

 

Favorite dipCreamy Avocado Yogurt Dip…looks so creamy!

 

Favorite brownie(s)… I couldn’t help it…BOTH of these brownies look SO delicious…I am a brownie monster!!!!

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Brownies

 

White Chocolate Brownies

 

Favorite cheap privacy decoration….these Sheer Curtains are EXACTLY what I want to put on our porch next spring!

 

Favorite side dish…I love tator tots…these Baked Parmesan Sweet Potato Tots make them more healthy!!

 

Favorite advicePractice a Monthly Home Maintenance Schedule…saves money in the long run!  Must get on this.

 

Favorite inspirational quote

 

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Published in: on August 31, 2012 at 2:56 pm  Leave a Comment  

!!!!!!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

All I can say is….WOW!!!

When you really put your mind to something, good things can happen 🙂

This month, with our budgeting, we were able to save OVER $1000!!!!!!

This month I did receive five paychecks (happens about 3 times a year, and ALWAYS helps!) and I did work 12 hours overtime one week.

But…I also called out sick one night, received reduced pay due to vacation pay one week, and also used 8 hours of personal time.

Things that helped us save this month as well…

–NO TARGET 🙂  That place just pulls you to spend money.  It’s so true what they say…if you don’t see something, you are not drawn to want it!

–less driving and thus less gas money

–getting stuff from our garden and Kimm’s parents garden

–Kimm having her surgery…she was eating less for a bit, and not drinking coffee

I can’t believe that we were able to save so  much…ESPECIALLY considering we spent over $500 on our animals this month…the cats had their yearly visit and needed blood work.

So far since we have really tried, we have put aside close to $2000 to our emergency fund.

AND we have continued to “Pay Us First”–only for two months so far (1% the first month, 2% the second month, and I’m going for 3% next month).

I’m SO excited!!!!!

Anyways…today was basically a catch up day….laundry, baking (zucchini bread, blueberry sauce), paying bills.

BTW…the muscle relaxants helped Kimm (and me!) tremendously.  Kimm had her first GOOD night’s sleep since her surgery.  I took a muscle relaxant as well since I’ve had this pain in my upper back for months now.   When I woke up in the morning my entire body was sore from mowing the lawn, but that spot in my back…the pain was gone!!  It only leads me to believe that I possibly had a muscle spasm that just would not go away with Ibuprofen or rest.  Yay muscle relaxants!!!!

I can’t believe that this month is almost over…Labor Day this weekend and then on to a new month…crazy.

 

 

Published in: on August 30, 2012 at 8:48 pm  Leave a Comment  

A New First

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Today I …

MOWED THE LAWN.

For the first time EVER 🙂

There’s not too many times that you can have a first at this point in your life!

You may remember that one of our neighbor’s kids mowed the lawn a bit ago when Kimm first had her surgery.  He did an okay job, but I KNEW that when it needed it again, I was going to attempt it.

Kimm came out and checked the oil/filled the oil, filled the gas, showed me how to start it/use it, and how to scrape excess grass off the bottom.

And then I WAS OFF!

Let me just say, mowing the lawn is QUITE the workout.  I was at it for almost 2 and 1/2 hours!!!  And my forearms and hands were burning at the end!

But it looked awesome (it’s the perfectionist in me!).  Nice straight lines 🙂

I can finally say that I know how to mow the lawn.

Our afternoon was filled with Kimm’s follow-up doctor’s appointment.  It was scheduled for 3 pm and we didn’t see the PA until almost 4 pm which is so not right.  Thankfully he was super nice and didn’t rush us at all.  We learned several things:

1) they consider Kimm’s surgery to be a success if in a years time she has no worsening of symptoms (read, they don’t even worry about improvement in symptoms!)

2) even though the spinal cord is no longer pinched, it will take a while for the nerves to have less pressure on them (he used a great analogy…when you move a couch that has been on carpet for a while, there is an indentation that stays for a while…that’s basically what happens with a pinched nerve…the doctor has released the pressure, but it’s still dented in for a while)

3) hopefully Kimm will see some relief in her symptoms over the next few months (both her hands and legs)

4) they try to avoid the steroids if at all possible, just because they can interfere with the body’s healing process

5) the pain in the back of Kimm’s neck is pretty common so he prescribed some muscle relaxants to help her sleep (hope it works!)

6) we have another follow-up appointment with the doctor in 6 weeks

I just keep hoping, hoping, hoping that Kimm will regain the sensation in her hands/legs…she has good motor function, but the sensory function is still not normal.   A year is a long time to wait to see what happens, but it will pass.  I still can’t believe it’s been over a week since the surgery…time goes by so fast.

After the appointment we stopped in at the tattoo place to get Kimm’s earrings put back in and the lady who does it talked up a storm and so we were there about 45 minutes.  At that point I decided we should get some food out because I was exhausted and didn’t feel like cooking.  So we dropped off the prescription, placed our order, got our order, picked up the prescription, came home, let the dog out, fed the animals, and then basically dropped on the couch, exhausted, and ate our meal!

I see a possible nap in my future tonight!

 

Published in: on August 29, 2012 at 7:09 pm  Leave a Comment  

Goodbye summer…

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

It seems like I’ve been complaining about our hot summer, and now, just this week, it’s changed.

The nights are definitely cooler, there is a difference in the air that signals fall is on its way.

I LOVE fall, but I’m sad to see summer go, if that makes any sense.

There were so many things that I wanted to do this summer that did not get accomplished…hopefully next year.

Next year…

…I WILL get to the beach more than one time

…I WILL get a new bike and go biking

…I WILL go hiking

…I WILL get a grill so we can grill out

…I WILL get to a drive-in movie

…I WILL embrace all that is summer

But for right now, I will completely enjoy my favorite time of night…twilight, as I listen to the insects chirp, and bid farewell to summer…

 

Published in: on August 28, 2012 at 9:37 pm  Leave a Comment  

ER Nurse

Monday, August 27, 2012

I’m going to say to people now that I’m an ICU AND ER nurse…geesh…I get floated there often enough!  First four hours of my shift in the ER last night…and it was busy, busy, busy…non-stop for me.  Then back to ICU where I had one ICU pt and then another admission at 4:30.

A cool morning drive back home and now I’m heading to bed.  One more night before another three off…CAN’T WAIT…I can’t help it, working is overrated 🙂

 

Published in: on August 27, 2012 at 8:29 am  Leave a Comment  

Two steps forward, one step back…

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Today is one of those days where I feel like, “where did the time go??”

It’s already almost 2:30, only one and 1/2 hours until I have to start getting ready for work!

Aack!

I got stuff done, but I don’t feel very accomplished today…err…I hate when that happens.

I managed to get done the Capnography stuff I had to get done for work…I can finally cross that off my list.  Still annoys me that I had to spend my “at home” time to complete because there is no time for this at work.

I also caught up on writing my blogs.

Did some research for fun stuff to do when my parents come to visit!

Kimm had a rough night.  Madeline was SO bothersome…constantly climbing on stuff, knocking stuff over, wanting to be fed…she finally got locked in the bathroom but Kimm didn’t get very much sleep.  I’m not sure if that’s what’s causing her to just feel more run down today or what.  She just doesn’t even look as well as she did yesterday.

Bummer.  I know when people recover it’s not always a linear progression, but she was doing SO much better yesterday.  Just hoped it would continue that way.  There’s been lots of sleep today.  We were supposed to go for some free ice cream today (our realtor invited us!), but with Kimm feeling not so great, we canned that.  When she feels better, we’ll treat ourselves 🙂

So now I’m going to try to relax for just a bit before the “getting ready for work” routine begins…

 

Published in: on August 26, 2012 at 2:26 pm  Leave a Comment  

Weeds be gone!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

WEEDS!!!!

There are far too many around the exterior of the house to photograph to show you!

Considering that one of my goals was to try to keep up with the outside weeding this summer, I completely failed.

Several reasons…hot/humid weather during the day, buggy at night, and not to mention, it’s not my favorite task 😦

But I’ve been looking at the flowers I put around the mailbox every time I get the mail and it was driving me crazy…TONS of weeds.  So every day I would put “weed flowers” on my “to do” list and every day I would move that task to the next day…probably for a good month or more!  What a procrastinator.

Anyways, today I finally decided it WAS going to get done.

Here’s the before

 

WOW…even worse than I thought!

After an hour of work, some moving around of plants (the petunias had to come out…they were pretty much dead), LOTS of sweat, you have the after

MUCH better!  Hopefully my marigolds don’t go into shock from being replanted.

How’s the patient doing?

Also MUCH better.  In fact, she ate her first REAL meal tonight 🙂

A salad of garden cucumbers and tomatoes, with croutons and Italian dressing.  Cheesy pasta for the main course.  And ice cream with strawberries for dessert!  The swallowing is really coming along.

Not much relief as far as symptoms go in her arms yet, but we know that may take quite a while.  Just glad that she is finally starting to feel better.  The pain meds are down to every six hours instead of every four hours.  She’s taking walks in the house.  She’s on the computer again…yep, I think she’s truly on the mend now!

Here’s what the incision looks like at this point…I can’t wait to see how it looks when they remove the steri-strips on Wed.

The nights are changing…starting to get dark BEFORE 8 pm 😦  Fall is on it’s way…

 

 

 

Published in: on August 25, 2012 at 8:51 pm  Comments (2)  

Garage Door Done (really!!)…and Friday Favorites #14

Friday, August 24, 2012

A few things first before all the fun, okay?

**the garage door is DONE…and much more beautiful without the metal bar showing through the window…$75 well spent!

Up close…

**Kimm took a shower today…progress!

**grocery shopping done…another great week…$18 at Price Rite and $15 at Stop and Shop

And now…my favorites from around the Internet this week…

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Favorite cakeCaramel Apple Cake…bring on fall baby!

Favorite tipStoring Basil…I need this with the abundance of basil I have!

Favorite inspirational quote

Favorite sip…this Peach Margarita looks so refreshing…perfect way to end the summer!

Favorite landscape…pretty cool, huh?

Favorite frugal tip…this Fake Betty Crocker Brownie Mix is something I’m definitely making…even though I always buy the brownies on sale, by mixing my own dry ingredients I can save even more, which is good considering brownies are on our monthly rotation 🙂

Favorite salad…this Dill Cucumber Salad looks so yummy…love crisp garden cucumbers, love dill…seems like a classic match!

Favorite perspective…the next time I think I have it rough, I’ll re-read this and know I am hugely blessed…

Favorite summer treatBlueberry Pie Bars!  Fresh plump blueberries in a buttery bar…mmmm!!!

Favorite organizing freebies…lots of Household Management Forms…Daily Docket, Chore Charts, Cleaning Lists, Menu Planner, Stock Up List…am I the only one who gets excited about stuff like this??

Favorite snack…Emily’s Coconut Date Energy Bites look so good…I’ve never worked with dates but I think this is on my “to make” list!

Favorite inspirational post10 Things You Must Give Up To Move Forward

Favorite cookieMaple-Walnut Shortbread Cookies…love maple, love walnut, love shortbread…sounds like I’ll love these!

Favorite pasta…this Pasta Salad looks so fresh and simple…and best of all, very cheap to make!

Favorite “take away” quote

Have a SUPER weekend everyone!!!

Published in: on August 24, 2012 at 4:41 pm  Comments (1)  

New Garage Door…almost

Thursday, August 23, 2012

It was an early morning.  But I was able to get a little bit better sleep last night since I slept upstairs in my bed 🙂

Kimm is still working the couch!

We were up early because the garage door people came at 9:30 am.  Or at least they were supposed to come at 9:30 am, but they pulled in at 9 am.  Good thing we were up.

We used Atlas Overhead Door Company and I was pretty happy with them.

Everything was going fine…I was periodically checking in on them, I had told them to knock on the door if there was anything they needed.  When they were done (about three hours later), I went to take a final look.  The garage door was up at that point.  I’m SO glad that I took the time to put the garage door down.  Because right smack dab in the middle of one of the windows was a wide metal bar that was attached to the actual operating system of the opener.  Aesthetically it was ugly and I noticed it right away.

So I tried to remain calm and I asked the guy if it was possible to move it over to “in between” the two windows.  He said probably but that it would take about an hour or so and that it would cost extra (of course, doesn’t everything cost extra!)  I asked him for a quick estimate, nothing that I would hold him to, and he said about $125 maybe.

So they left and I called to speak to the company.  Honestly I felt like they should have realized that a metal bar showing right through a window would not look good.  Men!

I mean, I wouldn’t have even gotten windows if I knew it was going to look like that.  Supposedly they said it was because the door is an odd shape (1 1/2 car garage vs. 1 or 2).  That’s fine, but I still think that when they saw the metal was going to show right through the window they should have called the owner and asked his advice, and if it was going to cost more they could have at least made me aware that the bar was going to be in a noticeable spot and if I wanted it moved I would need to pay more…then I could have at least made a decision about it!

Here’s a pic…I know it’s not hugely obvious, BUT to me it was, AND I was putting out a good chunk of money for the door and I wanted it to look it’s best.

So I had to leave a message asking them to call back.  The owner of the company finally called back about 2:30 pm and after describing the problem, he said it could be fixed and we set up a time for him to come tomorrow.  He said he was going to charge $75 which in my eyes will be worth it.

So now tomorrow will be very tiresome for me since I have to work tonight and then I’ll have to be up to deal with the garage door person tomorrow.  I can’t wait for bed!

My only hope is that I put in for 1st cancel…but that generally never works.  The hospital doesn’t like to cancel ICU nurses JUST IN CASE we get additional patients.  So if we don’t have any patients, then we get floated.  Fun, huh?

Anyways, here are some pictures showcasing the progression of our new garage door…

Before (love the sun shining down!)…

After (absolutely LOVE the colonial windows we choose…they really dress up the door!)…

I can’t WAIT until tomorrow when that metal bar is gone…then I’ll be REALLY happy with this door 🙂

Published in: on August 23, 2012 at 3:15 pm  Comments (1)  

Garage Prep

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

When it rains, it pours, right?

This week has been BUSY!

Mostly because of Kimm’s surgery and helping her recover.  If you’ve never helped anyone recover from major surgery, it is a lot.  Especially if the person is in a lot of pain and can’t do the things that they normally do.

I’m not complaining about this…believe me I WANT to do this, I know Kimm would do the same for me if I ever had surgery…I’m just saying, it takes a lot out of you!

Anyways, today was more of the same…Kimm is still having quite a bit of pain with swallowing and pain in her neck.  I can only imagine…I mean they cut right through the muscle in the neck.  So more pain med, more sleep.

It helped her a lot sleeping on the couch rather than in the bed last night.  Too much of an incline or something in the bed, and too hard to move to get a drink of water (which she does frequently!)  So we both slept downstairs…or I should say, Kimm dozed on and off, I watched a shitload of TV (have to say I REALLY love that Food Network show Chopped…ever seen it?), and occasionally I was able to nap as well.  Certainly not a very restful night for either of us…BUT we made it through.

The one good thing about today is that she was able to eat a bit more…some scrambled eggs and toast (without crusts) for lunch, mashed potatoes for dinner, a strawberry shake for a snack.  Got to get those nutrients in.

Anyways, while Kimm was resting during the day, I had only ONE MAJOR goal today that HAD to get done.

Cleaning out and organizing the garage.  It had to be done because we are getting our new garage door tomorrow 🙂

Exciting, but geesh, did it have to happen this week?

It was a long, slow, HOT process, but I got it done.  I swept the entire floor, rearranged stuff into zones, and threw out a bunch of junk.  I’ve been meaning to organize the garage since we moved in…talk about super procrastination!  I’m just so glad it’s done.  I was SO proud.  I should have taken before pics (#laziness) but I do have some after pics.

It doesn’t look as neat as it does in person, believe me.  That floor was LITTERED with dirt and leaves and lots of stuff I was glad to shove in a plastic bag!

When I was done I was SOAKING wet with sweat and I fully enjoyed my shower.  After some ibuprofen and Tylenol, I was relaxing for the rest of the night.

My plan is to sleep in the bed tonight because I NEED to get a good nights sleep since I’m scheduled to go in to work tomorrow night.

I just can’t wait to see the newly installed garage door tomorrow!!!

 

Published in: on August 22, 2012 at 6:41 pm  Leave a Comment