Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Just because I'm a Girl....

...doesn't mean mechanics have the right to screw me over! I HATE going to the mechanic, auto repair, car shop, whatever name you boys (and some girls) like to call yourselves. They think they can just give me the most expensive item in their inventory and I will just bat my eyelashes and pay the ridiculous amount. Well...I'm not that girl, suckers!

A couple days ago I got a flat tire. Typical Jenn car stuff. Something seems to always be wrong with cars I have. I went to an auto repair shop to get it fixed. They quoted me $165 and $145 for ONE tire!! I have had flat tires, blowouts on a L.A. freeway, nails, you name it and never in my flat tire career have I ever paid over $120. Oh, and then they said I needed another tire because it was going bald too.

My eyeballs almost popped out of my head when they told me the price..then I asked if they gave military discounts. With her confused look on her face (similar to my sticker shock face) she said no one has ever asked, so she didn't know. The smart thing to do would be to ask someone if they did. She just kept looking at me. Maybe I had a booger, but I doubt it. I politely told her I would discuss it with my husband and get back to her.

So, I called a different place. Oh wait, back-up. I looked up what kind of tire I needed and did a tad of research so when I called I didn't "sound" like another girl they could get to pay a trillion dollars for a minor repair. Research, check. Called to see if they would rather me walk-in or make an appointment. He said appointment, check. I told him what kind of tire I needed, the price I expected, and how long the appointment would take. He was very matter of fact with me, answered my questions, and BAM! Tire change success.

It is amazing what a little knowledge can do for you. I'm sure I'll forget what kind of tire I have by tomorrow, but today I knew. I'm actually pretty impressed with myself. Lesson of the day: just because you are a girl doesn't mean you should have to pay an arm and a leg for a single tire. Find out a little information. Be confident. Ask relevant questions. DO NOT GET TAKEN ADVANTAGE OF!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Cloth Wipes Experiment

As my cloth diaper research continues, I have now added something else to my plate. Why I didn't think of this when we decided to cloth, I don't know. Probably because it's all just so new. I joined a couple co-ops to get better deals on cloth diapers. Super excited about the co-ops too because the patterns and prints are so adorable it could very well lead to a horrible addiction. While reading all the comments from other mommy's, I stumbled on someone who mentioned cloth wipes. I thought to myself...cloth wipes? That is interesting. I had never heard of anyone EVER using cloth wipes. I was intrigued.

The research on the wipe wonder was off and running. I googled how to make your own and what was in the "wipe solution". Most are made out of flannel material, but others use terry cloth, washcloths, or make them out of paper towels. Great...more options. The diaper situation was more than enough to comprehend and now this. I am ready for the task. Go big or go home, right?

I chose flannel because I want to make my own and it seems like the most comfy for my little guy's booty. I went to Salvation Army and they had a bunch of receiving blankets. I picked 5 of my favorite patterns for a total of $4.50. Then I went to Joann Fabrics. Obviously Joann is way more expensive, but the selection is huge and I had some leftover money on a gift card from Christmas. I picked 4 fabrics I fell in love with and only ended up paying $.71!! AWESOME!

Next step is sewing them. My research/googling tells me to cut the fabric into squares about 8X8 and sew the 2 fabrics together. When ready to use on baby, make the solution, dip the cloth wipes in solution and WIPE. Sounds super simple. I still need to wash the fabric and actually sew them, but I think I can handle sewing a square.

Finding the "right" solution to make is a work in progress. They go from basic to anti-fungal to calming, etc. The basic is water, baby wash/shampoo, and some oil, such as tea tree. The more complex solutions have way more ingredients, but still organic and simple to make.

I'll update when I finish sewing and then again when baby gets here and they get put to use. Here are my super cute fabrics to make the wipes. I'm going to mix and match. :) Since you are going to be wiping poop and pee off the fabrics are pretty useless. Plain white or brown would definitely do the trick, but I'm a girl and couldn't help myself.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Super Start to my Sunday.

When you wake up at 6:30, you get stuff done. Georgia (my cat) thought 6:30 was an amazing time to start the day so I went with it.

A little note about myself: I heart Pinterest. So many cool things to pin, 90% of which I will probably never do. But this morning I was on a mission. I wanted to make a baked oatmeal I had pinned about 3 months ago and today was the day. Partially because last night's dinner was yuck to me and partially because I was up and had the time. Here is the actual link to the recipe from a blog...

I'm not sure on the "rules" of blogging yet, so I hope giving the link to her blog was enough credit. If not, please let me know.

I got all my ingredients out and started. This recipe is super I loved it already. I made some minor changes. 1. I used blueberries and strawberries instead of raspberries. 2. I used pecans instead of walnuts (pecans taste better to me and they are cheaper).

Here is how mine turned out. Feel free to compare it to "Urban Nester" (blog girl).

It is really good! Next time I would make a couple more modifications to be more healthy. The only reason why I didn't do them in the first place is because I am a chicken when it comes to changing recipes. I like to follow them exactly/ I am getting better about this...after all, I did sub raspberries or TWO types of different berries. Watch out now!

Healthier option: 1. Omit the chocolate and add more fruit and nuts. 2. Use Almond milk instead of regular. 3. Use coconut oil instead of butter. Small changes can make a difference. I should've done these this time around. Oh well, gives me reason to make this again. It would be perfect for a potluck bunch. Or I could make one of the other hundreds of Pinterest items I want to do...

Here is my Pinterest page if you would like to see some other ideas. Have a Super Sunday!!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Butternut Squash Risotto=BUST!

I wanted to make something I've never made before. Jason and I watch Hell's Kitchen and they ALWAYS serve risotto. Why? I have no idea. Maybe because it's hard to make and easy for Chef Ramsey to yell about. I even found a recipe for butternut squash risotto in a crockpot. Can't get much easier, right? Negative, ghostrider.

First of all, cutting a butternut squash sucks. After I peeled and cut the end and top off, I started to cut. The cutting lasted for about five minutes, trying to get the stupid knife through the squash. Once I finally got through, I scraped it like it was a pumpkin. There were seeds and that slimy, stringy stuff all over the kitchen. Jason had to take over at this point. He finished cutting and cubing the rest while I cooled off in the shower. Seriously...I needed a break.

Everything was in the crockpot 15 minutes after the squash cutting and the waiting began. We went to the Farmer's Market and watched some of the Olympics while it cooked. It was ready a couple hours later and I was excited to try my new dish.

UHHH...yuck! I'm not sure if it's because I'm pregnant, I made it wrong, or the baby food texture it had. Maybe it was a combination of all three. Why do they serve this at fancy restaurants!? Jason seems to think it is because rich people do not want to chew and risotto is easy to eat. His other reason was you can have it as a meal while at a meeting and not worry about getting food stuck in your teeth. Hmmm, seems like it could be the truth to me.

No more risotto for this household. I'd rather make oatmeal for a fraction of the price and it takes better. Good thing we had leftovers from dinner last night or I would not be writing this post...i would be driving my booty to Mickey D's. I'm just glad Jason is not like Chef Ramsey or the kitchen would've been shut down.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Lovely Laundry.

I think it is safe to say no one really likes doing laundry. Sure, all you have to do is separate the colors, put it in the wash, wait an hour, put it in the dryer, fold, then put it away. 6 simple steps and laundry is done! HA! That is a joke. I actually don't mind steps 1-5. Step 6 is the one that gets me EVERY week. Since it is only me and the hubby, we only need to laundry once a week. That will all change in a couple months with the little one.

I was thinking to myself, as I often do, what can I do to make laundry better...step 6 in particular. In our GA house, the laundry room was about 15 feet away from our master. Now, it is 12 stairs AND a hallway away. CRAP! I must sound extremely lazy at this point in the blog, but would rather me be honest then say I'm the master laundry lady, doing 6 loads in less than an hour, right?

What was my laundry master plan? Crates! I found 2 crates, one pink and one blue, at Walmart in the Back to School section for about $3 bucks each. Let me show you(on a good day) what the top of the washer and dryer look like at my house...

It would be fine with me if this house had a separate laundry room, but it is in the basement with the other bathroom. Translation: while you pee, you will see this hot mess. Not cool. I don't think guests will want to see my goodies and Jason's boxers while they do their business.

These are the crates I got, along with some initial letters from Target in the dollar section. I already had chalkboard paint, so I decided to paint the letters with that. *note: paint or letters isn't neccessary.

First, I painted the letters and let them dry. After they dried, I attached them by using ribbon I already had. Once attached, put on top of washer and/or dryer.

As you can see in the picture, both of our crates fit on top of the washer. This leaves me room to fold first, then stick everything in the crate. I also wanted to show a total of 4 crates can fit on both the washer and dryer for those who have larger families. I love them because I don't have to worry about walking up stairs and loose socks and undies falling. Plus, it looks a lot neater. I can't do anything about the washer and dryer being in the bathroom, but this was a simple and cleaner look. If I thought about it a tad more, I would've gotten either black or white crates instead of the boy/girl theme.

If you are a parent, the chalkboard spray paint can be fun. You can write messages on their initial, such as, "DO IT NOW!", "Clean", "Please put away", "Now you will smell clean!", etc. It is your choice how nice you want to be. I don't have my little one yet, but I plan on having my kid put away his own laundry. The crate makes it easy for them to take to their room, put away, and take back to the laundry room.

I know for a fact when my crate is full it will still probably sit there until the next time I do laundry. At least it will look a little more pleasing to the eye!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

New Year Resolution in August?

Kinda, sorta, not really. Let me explain. First of all...if you didn't know already, it is August! This year is flying, as most years do, and Jason and I are doing our August resolution. I know, I know, you are confused still.

Every December, millions of people are trying to decide what they want their New Year Resolution to be. Most of them pick save money, lose weight, eat healthy, the usual, the predictable. They they get through January and give up. Jason and I came up with the idea to do a different resolution each month. If you can do something for a month, a whole 30 days, I call that a success! We also couldn't chose just one thing we wanted to do. So we made a list of 12 and assigned them to a specific month of our choice. Here was the list...

January: 1 mile post dinner walk. (Success and continue most days)
February: No electricity. (didn't accomplish)
March: 1 hour of reading. (Success and continue most days)
April: 30 minutes of cleaning. (negative- our house is not dirty, but I definitely didn't clean everyday)
May: 1 hour of being outside. (1/2 success? We still walked and were outside as much as possible)
June: No T.V. (We cancelled our cable this month, but we also have a Roku...another 1/2 success?)
July: Only 30 of Internet per day. (Not a chance. We moved this month, needed directions, information, and stuff to do. Maybe another month.)
August: Drinking only water. (I modified mine-I can have a cup of coffee before 8am. It's my resolution and I make the rules, dang it!)
September: No shopping, except food. (Made this resolution before we were pregger...doubt I can make it. It will be a cake walk for Jason)
October: No sweets. (What the hell was I thinking!? The month of Halloween!? This must be a typo)
November: Bed by 9 or 8 hours of sleep. (Another made before being preggers...definitely need to revise. Maybe switch October and November/)
December: Hobbies-meaning try something new each week. Whether it be bike riding, new recipe, taking a class, etc.

So there is the whole year, all of 2012's resolutions. Looking back, we didn't do that great. We only fully accomplished 2 months. Yikes. We need to do better.

August is only water month and for Jason it will be a breeze. He always only drinks water...CHEATER! As for me, this is a huge challenge. I like to drink other things. I don't want to live a boring beverage month. And it doesn't help that I want Cherry Coke everyday. Thank goodness I made my modification. But with my modification brings another challenge. I have to wake up early to be able to make coffee and enjoy it before 8am. Woot, woot for my timer!

Let the water drinking month begin! And wish me luck.