Long time coming

I did something today that I have needed to do for quite sometime.

I joined Weight Watchers Online.

Online, because I don't have the nerve yet to go to an actual class AND because with Chris being gone, online will be easier.

I am...
  • nervous
  • excited
  • happy
  • overwhelmed
... all wrapped up into a little package.

It's been a long time since I have been on a diet. The last time being in 2004 when I stared the Atkins low-carb diet. I dropped 75 lbs in 6 mths and then met my husband. I gained it all back plus some within a year.

I was so mad at myself. How could I let myself go again like that?

Then I got pregnant. Then I got pregnant AGAIN.

Which brings me to now.

My "baby" is now 3 and I can no longer blame my weight on "having just given birth".

I am anxiously awaiting a new scale that I ordered online from Wal-Mart. Chris went to the store to pick it up tonight and it was about $20 MORE than the price online. What a rip off! I ended up ordering the scale instead with free shipping and it will be here next week.

I officially started my diet tonight. I will officially weigh in next week.

I will take all the prayers I can get with this journey. I NEED to lose weight. I need to lose it for my husband, my children, and my family. But most importantly I need to lose it for myself.


Tell Your Time - Special Black Friday Sale!

Are you looking for an easier way to get things done? I seem to run out of time most days and then end up feeling like I didn't accomplish anything I wanted to.

I am not a perfectionist by any stretch of the means, but there is always that thought in the back of my head that I *could* have done more if I just had the time.

This is where the e-book "Tell You Time" came in to play. I jumped at the chance to download this book right when I heard about it.

This book has helped me come up a schedule and STICK TO IT. (which is always the hard part)
What if you could change your life in less than 30 pages?
Like Amy says in the beginning of her book, this book will help you:
  • Identify the most important things in your life
  • Set long-term goals for each
  • Determine how you can reach those goals
  • Manage your time so you can accomplish those goals
It really does.

Starting tonight at 12:01 am she is offering her book to you for half off! Her book currently sells for $12 and let me tell you, it is worth EVERY penny of that, but starting tonight her book will be on sale for only $6.00!!

When: Sale starts Black Friday (Nov. 26) at 12:01am and ends Cyber Monday (Nov. 29) at 11:59pm.
Coupon Code: MONDAYBLACK (this code must be added to your shopping cart at checkout to get the deal)
Sale Price: $6 (that's 50% off!)

Run don't walk... wait... SIT don't stand and order this book starting tonight! You will not be disappointed.


Happy Monday!

It's Monday and I am happier than a bird with a french fry.

It's true.

First off, I survived the grocery store yesterday. The good news: They actually had a cart that held 2 kids for once.  The bad news: The basket on it was so small I still needed 2 carts. At least I should be good for another 5 weeks without having to go back!

Second of all, my husband, my loving, hardworking, dedicated, fun, adorable husband is on his way home. I couldn't be more happy right now. Well I guess I could be happier. But only if he walked through the door holding 1 million dollars and said let's move to a deserted island and live happily ever after. THEN I might be a little happier.

Next, it's Thanksgiving this week! Duh. Since we won't be making it to my father's house on Thursday, we are going to the next best thing. His cousins house! They are very special to us and just some of the most wonderful people you could ever meet. I always feel like a better person after being around them. They just ooze positivity. I love it!

Last, but certainly not least, Lilly. She has been coming in my room in the middle of the night to sleep with me. Which means, she wakes up when I do, which means we get some alone time just the 2 of us. It doesn't happen very often, even though I wish it did. She is a fun kid!! She has the best giggle and loves to be tickled!

I need to get my camera out. It's been a while since I took any photos. I have been doing a lot of reading on how to take better pictures so hopefully they will turn out, well, better. :)

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!
Gobble gobble!!


Housing wants/needs

I try to cut costs wherever and whenever I can and one of the biggest cost cutting undertakings has been with our utilities.

When we moved to this place last year, we had a very specific list of things we were looking for.

1. More space (duh)
2. Windows that were not in direct sunlight
3. Tile floors
4. Newer HVAC system
5. Newer appliances
Well we got more space but it was more expensive each month for the rent. No biggie since it only about $50 more a month then what we were paying, BUT water was included in the rent. Score! That completely offset the higher rent.

The way that our building is situated, none of our windows get direct light. This was a huge deciding factor in us getting this unit. Our old place had windows all along the front of the unit which faced west. The sun came through the windows for about 8 hours during the summer. The house never got cool. NEVER.

Tile floors was a must. I absolutely despise vacuuming. It's loud and I don't like the way it smells. I know... it's weird. Anyway, tile floors stay cool in the hot summer months and if our feet are cooler, then our bodies are cooler and we can leave the thermostat at a higher temperature.

The newer HVAC was also a must. Our old place had an ancient HVAC unit. It was so loud we had to turn it off just to be able to watch the TV. Talk about annoying. It was inefficient and expensive to run.

Newer appliances was a want, not a necessity, however I really REALLY wanted newer appliances. We lucked out with this place. This was the model condo for the community so the appliances had never been used. Newer appliances also equals lower utility costs so it was a win-win for us.

Nearly everything on our list was geared toward saving money in the long run. I can honestly say, it has paid off.

When we moved in we replaced all the bulbs with CFL bulbs and plugged all of our electronics into power strips/surge protectors. Every night I turn off the switches (if they have even been turn on). Lights stay off for the majority of the day. We are lucky enough to have 2 big sliding glass doors that let in a LOT of light. Our electricity bill has been slashed in half since moving here.

Also, when we renewed our leased for another year, the manager gave us the option to renew for 14 months. If we chose that option, we would get a discount of nearly $100 a month!! We absolutely jumped on that offer.

Now not everything here is rainbows and unicorns. There is the occasional ogre that pops it ugly head in here. There are definitely new items that we have added to the list that will be for our new place. Land being one of them. Being in a condo community has it's ups and downs. The biggest down for us has been dogs. People love their dogs here but don't like picking up their poo. And the dogs especially LOVE our back yard.

Doesn't like dog poo


Cooking and Cleaning Day

I have less than one week to get my house in order and get some bulk cooking done.

See, there's this guy that will be coming home and I want to spend all my free time gazing into his eyes. OK that will never happen since we have 3 kids and never have any free time, but one can dream.

I am SO stinkin' excited about seeing my husband. I think I am finally getting used to being a truckers wife too. This past time he went out has just flown by, which is GREAT!

I actually got some time off last week. My oldest was out of school Thursday and Friday, so on Wednesday we loaded up and headed to my dads house. We won't be able to make it to my dads for Thanksgiving so this worked out perfect for us to be able to spend some time with him. All the girls love it there. He has a great big yard where they can run around and get out all the built up energy. By Saturday, they just wanted to lay around and watch cartoons.

Mission accomplished.

But now my house is a mess and I am running low on groceries. I try to only shop once a month now since I absolutely HATE it. We do make mini-runs for milk and eggs but that's it. It's been over 4 weeks since I have set foot into a grocery store and it feels great!

I have about 2 weeks worth of meat left in my deep freezer. I plan on putting most of that in the slow cooker in the coming days for easy but delicious dinners. I recently purchased a slow cooker e-cookbook and it is FILLED will great sounding recipes.

I love to cook, but have come to the conclusion that I am just not that great at coming up with new recipes. I will gladly pay for someone to do the thinking for me.

This week I plan on making some granola, pigs in a blanket, homemade hot pockets, homemade pasta sauce, home made buttermilk bread and also some date muffins.

I have been on the lookout for a waffle maker and a large electric skillet. There are tons of them out there but I have yet to find one that I like AND that is reasonably priced. My kids are always asking for pancakes and waffles for breakfast but I really, REALLY don't like having to make the mess and take the time everyday. I make double and sometimes triple batches of pancakes so I can freeze the rest. Triple batches of pancakes in a frying pan takes a long time. LONG time.

So my list grows and grows for convenience items. I should go to the Salvation Army store. It's where I've bought both of my bread machines, numerous baking pans and my electric mixer.

OK... going to cook and clean. Care to help?


It's that time again...

... Home time!!

I love home time.
Love it.


it always takes some adjusting on our part at home. Like big adjustments.

Just about the time I get into a good routine and get the kids on a good schedule that works for everyone, it's home time again.

Now don't get me wrong. I love my husband and I love having him around, I just don't love having to adjust.

I'm lazy.


Really, I just don't like to be bothered with it.

I'm not a fan of change.

Why change something that works? Right? RIGHT???

On the other hand, I love my husband very much and want him to be as happy at home as possible. So, we change things up a little.

You know, being a truckers wife really is like leading two separate lives. For approximately 9 months, I have been a single parent. The other 2 I have been a parenting team with Chris. It's hard enough on me, I can't imagine what a pain in the rear it must be for the kids.

I really wish there was somewhere online that allowed me to meet up with other truckers' wives. Just to see if they go through the same thing as us. I'm sure they do, but it sure would be nice to actually hear someone say it that has been or is going through it.

(I know there are places online to meet truckers' wives. I used to be a part of them. I don't want to sound mean or conceited, but a lot of them were just as foul mouthed and raunchy acting as some truckers. Is that normal?)

Anyway, I am getting way off topic which was..... home time! I nearly forgot.

Home time is next week. My house is a wreck and I need to do some bulk cooking. I have laundry to do and dishes to wash. You'd think I'd get off my behind and do some work.... Sheesh... don't I get some time off?



It's a pretty common occurrence for my friends to call me up and ask me if such and such is a great deal down at the wall-to-wall mart or the grocery store. I am a certifiable penny pincher.

I am. Really.

I even have a whole 'nother blog chronicling my life as a penny pincher. I cut coupons, I buy 4 or 5 Sunday papers just for the coupon sections. I am that lady in front of you at the grocery store checkout that has a coupon for everything. I am also the one that can buy $200 worth of grocery for less than $50.

BUT... I had my husband to help me. We have 3 kids. I am but one person. My coupon clipping time has been cut down considerably and my shopping time even more. See, when you have 3 kids, you want to get in the store and out of the store as fast as possible.
Shopping with 3 kids is kinda like herding cats.

It's difficult, lengthy, but is possible.

This year has been a struggle for me.
I like order.

I like budgets.

I like assurance.

I LOVE consistency.

OK quit laughing. I know this is the wrong profession for Chris to be in if I like all those things. I have budgeting software that hasn't seen the light of day since November 2009.

I feel like a lost puppy wandering around looking for something, anything to come in and swoop me up and show me the way.

I do need to pat Chris and I on the back for a moment. We paid off our car last week. 6 months early too! We could have paid it off last February when we got our tax return, but we needed that money to live on until he got a steady paycheck.

Steady paychecks have pretty much been nonexistent since he started in January. It has definitely been hard to get used to and actually still is. Last week he had an awesome check, this week... well... he will be lucky to get 1/4 of the amount he made last week.

Now that our car is paid for, we have no debt other than our household bills. And since getting on the budget plan with our electric company, those bills are pretty consistent from month to month.

I'm gonna pull out the ol' budgeting software and give it another go. I am also gonna try to prioritize my time more so that I am able to clip those coupons more!

If you don't hear from me for a while, send backup.


Are you a canner?

I have only canned once in my life and it was this past spring. I made strawberry jam. It was/is delicious.

Like, the best jam ever. Never mind that it has about 6 cups of sugar and lots and lots of strawberries.

I am pretty sure the reason is was so good was because I made it.
In my tiny kitchen. 

OK, yes it was the delicious strawberries and sugar that made it good but who cares. Not me. I won't be buying the stuff at the store again.

Homemade jam is so much better. Aaaaand I know what is it in.

Have you ever noticed how hard store brand jams and jellies are to spread? I guess I never noticed until I made my own. They spread without ripping the fresh bread to shreds.

I bought a bunch of green beans at the store over the summer while they were cheap and I had ever intention of canning them.

I ended up throwing them away.

All 10,000 lbs of them.

Actually only about 8 lbs but still... that was like 6 bucks worth of beans that I could had made into food for my family.

The reason I didn't can them was because I don't have a canner. I wanted to purchase one but then realized I would need an expensive one since we have a glass top stove. I can't use those cheap ones on glass top stove.

Who knew? Apparently not me.

I could have improvised with a large stock pot like I did for making the jam, but my pots just weren't tall enough to fit jars and still have them covered with enough water to ensure proper sealing.

Fast-forward to today and low and behold I found a place in our city that will help you can food!

Here is a little exerpt from their website.

... the Canning Center provides an institutional kitchen environment.  All equipment necessary for canning is provided onsite.  Users provide their own ingredients. 
... The client list includes Duval County residents, boaters, various churches, people on restricted diets, non-profit organizations within the city, the 4-H School Enrichment Program and other governmental agencies.

It's not free, but if a large group of people got together to make food for their families to share, it would totally be worth it. Like a co-op type thing.

The canning center provides ALL the equipment to can. All you have to do is bring the ingredients and jars. How easy is that??!!

They also occasionally have workshops that teach people how to can soups.

Depending on whether or not I break down and buy an expensive canner, I may just give this place a try. Our kitchen is small tiny and it was a little cramped while I was canning the jam.

It would be a nice change to actually cook in an industrial sized kitchen!

I may never want to go back to my little tiny kitchen. (when I say tiny, I mean it. I have less than 3 ft of counter-top space.)


Hopelessly needs a bigger kitchen and flat bottomed canner