Tuesday, December 30, 2008

time to stop being negative

i really wish the snow would just stop already.
i'm sick of not being able to get around town without having to jump into big piles of snow
or walk in HEAVY traffic because snow removal trucks have plowed-in the sidewalks.
*end rant*

*new rant*
i'm scheduled full time hours at work next week.
i like the pay, but hate working past noon.
also means that i have to pack a lunch for 4 days out of the week.
which means one more bag to carry with me as i'm leaping over snow mountains.
*end new rant*

strangely enough, my body isn't sore anymore from all the extra effort of walking in mounds of snow.
and i'm on the tightest notch on my belt now...
so maybe steve's mom's scale was right after all?
maybe the 20 pounds i've gained back since may, i've almost lost again?

new years eve?
i wanted to go to first night downtown, but i don't have money to spend for it.
so hopefully steve will be able to make it over and i can make dinner/drinks and play quelf.
i wanna get drunk, but i can't even afford to do that.

i purchased (regrettably) an ipod touch online last week.
it is supposed to be delivered tomorrow.
but it looks like fed ex guy isn't even coming into the apartment building.
he's been leaving the notices on the front door.
so... guess who's not gonna get their ipod touch anytime soon?

okay, time to stop being negative.

Friday, December 26, 2008

the last week or two has been wonderful

i would like to state that i had the best possible christmas this year, despite the fact that this is my first holiday season away from my family.

steve and his family welcomed me with open arms for thanksgiving and then for xmas.
it was definitely a christmas more about sharing experiences rather than fancy gifts.
and i am sure without a doubt in my mind, that i preferred time spent with steve and his family over anything that could have been bought.

i finally got to meet steve's brother travis and his wife erin on xmas eve.
they were just as nice and friendly as i hoped they'd be.

erin made us a yummy dinner and dessert.
then we all exchanged gifts and played apples to apples and farkle.

on christmas day, steve's mom was very patient with me and taught me how to knit (i'm still not so good yet) and she took us to the movies to see marley & me.
the movie was a lot better than what i expected because i had read the book this summer.
it's the first time i've been in a theater where you can hear a lot of people around you crying at the end.
i even cried and i was trying so hard to hold it in too.

so, i've walked away from this christmas with a few nice gifts, but a lot more cherished memories. :)

unfortunately, there has been a small black cloud looming over christmas this year for steve's family.
steve's grandma rose passed away the day before xmas eve from colon cancer.
it's something that the family had been expecting for about a month now, but it still sucks pretty bad.

my mother called me on christmas for the first time in a year.
it was nice that she finally actually called and talked to me for awhile.
it sounds like my family is not doing so well financially, which is no big shocker.
some of it couldn't be helped, but a lot of it is their own fault.
they have a constant pattern of poor choices made over the course of my life.
i feel bad for them, but i know there is nothing that i can do but offer advice.
i also found out that my sister accepted her abusive girlfriend back into her life.
it hurt to find out, but i was not surprised at all.
just another pattern of poor choices.
i love my family, but it's much better to keep them at this distance away from me so that i do not continue to make the mistakes they have made.

i never got a chance to mail out my family's xmas presents or any cards to friends.
due to all of the snow that we've gotten here, the post office was closed for a couple of days.
when i got off from work, it was closed also.
and buses in my neighborhood were not running either, so i was not going to walk a mile and a half in the snow to get to the post office only to find out it was closed again.
i hope that everyone understands and won't mind getting them late.

i just want to say that, despite the snow, leaking window in my apartment, horrible work schedules, and the overall crappiness of the weather and the misfortunes it has caused, the last week or two has been wonderful for me and i am very grateful for the people that i have in my life (especially steve). :)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

stay inside and make sweets!

this will just be a blog of pictures:






morale of the story: stay inside and make sweets!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

baby food jar chandelier

today, it has snowed more than i have seen since i lived in indianapolis.
i am used to snow.... but it's been a loooong time since i've seen so much!
brandy, on the other hand, is not used to snow.
at least, not snow that is so high that she can not stand in it and be able to see.
so..... she has not went potty outside today. :(
but we had fun running in the snow today before the sun went down.
i took off her leash for once and just let her run around behind me (as i cleared a path for her).
i hope that whatever snowfall we get for the rest of winter does not accumulate to more than this.

sometime in january, after all this holiday crap has worn off and life is back to feeling normal and boring again, i want to attempt to make this baby food jar chandelier.
i seriously think it would be awesome to hang from my living room ceiling above my coffee table.
downfall is that i will have to probably eat 12 jars of baby food.
i am hoping maybe steve's mom knows someone with a baby that has some old (matching) jars to get rid of.

i bought a bag of cranberries to make food with, instead i ended up decorating with them:


i joined freecycle over the weekend.
i had joined when i lived in indianapolis and tulsa before but never gave or got anything.
i was more annoyed by the emails than anything else.
but i am giving it a third go.
i am finding myself more needy of free stuff now than ever.
and craigslist is mostly a joke.
"free pile of dirt"...... riiiiiiiight.

i was flipping through a 3 year old edition of real simple magazine.
there was a really nifty button bracelet in it that i wanted to make.
yeah, needless to say, mine turned out bad.
it was a waste of time and effort sewing buttons onto a piece of old sweater.
maybe it will look better with more buttons on it.
but i am doubting it.

turns out target has the same hamilton beach stand mixer that i got on black friday, for only $19.99 this week.
yeah, i'm not going to lie, i was pissed that i found out i waited in line FOREVER that morning just to pay more for it.
but... it was still a great buy. and hopefully my co-worker Lil will get one this week!
i keep telling her how much i love mine...
and i know it will come in handy for her baking lots of goodies for the holidays.

it's my second round of bread baking!
and i am happy to report that it turned out even better this time. :)
i let the bread rise for a little bit longer before putting it in the oven.
next time, i will try making it with honey instead of sugar and olive oil instead of butter.
i've been told the bread turns out even better this way.
sorry for the crappy picture!


and, as requested, here is a picture of the bourbon bottle snowflake wrapping paper:


Saturday, December 13, 2008

bourbon bottles arranged into snowflakes

when you are engulfed in flames by david sedaris makes for a good audio book.
i was much better to listen to than dress your family in corduroy and denim (which i liked better as a book).
my favorite chapter to listen to was the understudy.
my favorite quote was david and his sister mocking one of their babysitters, "ya'lls got the same damn thing. only theys ain't poked out yet. "
i have decided that listening to audio books from time to time while at work (instead of music on my ipod) might be a good change.
i listened to most of the audio book on friday at work and it put me in a much better mood than just listening to music.


i attempted to make my first loaf of home-made bread today.
i followed trent's recipe over at the simple dollar.
it turned out better than expected considering it was my first attempt at bread making.
it actually reminded me of the pizza crusts that i make.
so, evidently, i have been making bread all along.

i also made the most delicious stew ever on thursday.
it doesn't have a name (that i am aware of), because i didn't use a recipe.
but its something i've been able to eat for lunch and dinner since thursday and still not being sick of yet.
i browned up some sausage and then put it in the crock pot with 2 cans of beef broth, water, cumin, parsley, salt, tomato sauce, onion, green bell pepper, mushrooms, and potatoes.
it really heats the spot on these really cold, snowy days. :)

maker's mark sent me free wrapping paper and ribbon in the mail.
the wrapping paper has bourbon bottles arranged into snowflakes.
so naturally, i decided to wrap all of my family's gifts in this paper.
they already think i'm an alcoholic, so what can it hurt?
i may use it to wrap a few misc gifts with as well, but honestly, who wants gifts in paper that screams, "i drink so much, i get free wrapping paper from liquor companies!"
this quote is so untrue, but that's what most people would think.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

i'm a good co-worker to have...

i am excited to announce that i have my very first blogger follower!
that's something that i never thought would happen. lol
i just figured most people found my blog through my myspace.
i guess not. :)
yay for zombie kitty!

i am even more excited to announce that i finally started my "financial" blog!
it has two entries already for you to read.
i don't plan on keeping myspace updated on this blog,
so if you want to be kept up-to-date on the financial blog (sunny savings),
you'll need to subscribe to the rss feed.
you can subscribe either by clicking the rss icon in your foxfire toolbar, or with the subscribe option i have given you on the blog itself.
and of course, if you are a blogspot user, you can just become a follower. :)

guess who's making peppermint bark now??
well, technically, i made some on monday night for steve to take home.
but i made some more today to take with me to work tomorrow.
the peppermint bark reminds me of the new candy cane hershey kisses.
oreo bark is REALLY good too!
which i made a bit of as well. :)
this blog post is also a good peppermint bark making guideline to go by.
i'm a good co-worker to have...


i have decided that audio books would make a really good xmas present for my mom.
she doesn't read, but she has always seemed to like to listen to them instead.
i was going to get her some used ones on paperback swap, but i takes 2 credits versus 1 for a book.
so that was out of the question because i have so few credits left now.
i opted to rent audio books from the library instead and rip them into mp3 format, and then re-burn them to cd.
yes, it's cheap and copyright infringement.
but it's not like i am trying to re-sell these audio books, so i think it's ethically okay to do.
and i think these are something my mom might actually enjoy.


santa's kickin' it in a new hat.
someone in my apartment building set a box of old christmas stuff by the building entrance.
i grabbed up this cute little hat.

Monday, December 8, 2008

it's sweater time!

spokane has had a lot of movies filmed in it's city.
but i never thought i would run into so many movie sets on a regular basis.
today, while i was at work, they filmed a protest scene for the movie oy vey! my son's gay!!.

Dec 07 2008 - VID00050_1

which looks to be a rather retarded movie... i mean, it has carmen electra in it.
then i saw previews for the movie give 'em hell, malone. which was filmed downtown also near the old otis hotel.
i remembered the street being blocked off in the area everyday for about a week when i would walk to work in the mornings... but it looked like construction purposes to me.
but know i realize that was not the case.

like, i have talked about before, i love the site A Year of Crockpotting.
i have now made two recipes from this website.
I am thoroughly impressed with the second one that i tried.
it's called salsa chicken and black bean soup.
i only used one chicken breast for the entire dish, and it was enough.
first, we ate it as a dip with tortilla chips.
but, later we ate it as a real soup.
it lasted me for several meals and was good every time.
this is a new favorite for me.
it's CHEAP and EASY and GOOD.

this is one of my new favorite pictures (it's sweater time!):

i have been heavily considering creating a financial blog of my own of some kind.
maybe not one that actually offers financial advice (because i am not a trained professional),
but maybe just one of those quirky frugal ones.
i just want somewhere to share my ideas about saving money and the steps that i take (or would like to take).
because i know there are hundreds (maybe thousands) of these types of blogs out there now,
i have been kind of hesitant about it.
but i know that most of my friends do not come to my blog to read that stuff, they come to read about how i am doing. :)
does anyone have any thoughts on this idea?

so the christmas movie-athon has begun.
so far we have watched:
1. scrooged
2. a christmas story (my favorite)
3. christmas with the kranks (totally stupid)
i intend on watching the nightmare before christmas and home alone 2 sometime soon. :)

Saturday, December 6, 2008

stop hurting yourself

so, i've been doing a lot of complaining recently about a guy at work.
he's really slow and sometimes he doesn't show up for work.
so all of the other signers have to work twice as hard because of him.
over the thanksgiving holiday he pissed us all off.
long story short, he finally put in his two week notice today.
this makes me so happy.
he is a really nice guy, but he just can't do his job.

brandy and steve are the best of friends...


i've been baking again today like a crazy woman.
i finally made some cookies that steve liked. *shock*
they were the cooky cookies with peanut butter chips in them.
i also made some cooky cookies with regular chocolate chips and chunks of a chopped up weight watchers bar (same thing i made a couple days ago).
aaaaaaaand i baked up some cranberry sugar cookies with green sprinkles.


i feel really let down by season 4 of it's always sunny in philadelphia.
this quickly because one of my favorite shows (and only shows i watch).
but this season was just not up to par.
i re-watched the last episode "the nightman cometh" last night with steve.
it was more enjoyable to watch the second time around, but i still feel like it was lacking.
according to wikipedia, it's always sunny will run until at least a 6th season.
hopefully they will be better than season 4!

as usual, i have been scouring the internet for cool (but inexpensive) holiday things to do. i ran across beingfrugal.com's favorite christmas tradition that i thought was so cool.
unfortunately, i can't really use the idea (because i don't have kids), but i am hoping to come up with something that could play off her wonderful idea.

i have been considering following up my halloween horror movie tradition with the christmas movie tradition this year.
maybe watch 12 of my favorite xmas movies before christmas?
what's your favorite christmas movie?
mine is, without a doubt, a christmas story.
i've watched it EVERY christmas for as long as i can remember...
and it was always a big hit because it was based in Indiana (my home state).
i love everything about this movie. :) it makes me happy just thinking about it.

also, before i forget, i want to thank anyone who took the time to click my google ads the last time i blogged.
i have managed to accumulate a small amount of money from the clicks, but will not see any money until it reaches a certain dollar amount.
so please do not stop clicking.
i want to actually see this first google ads paycheck!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

$5 tees again for the holiday season

this is going to sound really lame.... BUT...
i still have google ads on the left side and bottom of my blog.
every click to one of these ad sites earns me a few cents.
every few cents grows into dollars.... and i am REALLY broke right now.
so if anyone wants to say merry christmas, clicking on the ads would be MUCH appreciated!
it only takes a couple seconds...
i've had thousands of hits to my blog, but very, very very few hits to my ads. :(
just make sure you come back to my blog and read though! :)

i need a cooking utensil holder.
since i moved into this apartment, i have been storing them clumsily in a party tray that i keep on top of the microwave (which also happens to be on top of the fridge).
i have not wanted to dish out money for a fancy one i can attach to the wall above my sink or stove... but i have wanted to make one myself.
i have extra shower curtain hooks that i have been trying to find a use for forever.
if i glue them upside down onto a piece of wood or something, they would be perfect for my utensils to hang from.
but i don't have a piece of wood to use.
...and i don't want to go buy any.
i considered gluing them to a spine of a hardcover book and nailing the book to the wall.
but it just wouldn't be the look that i am going for. lol

i've started a new book called "the time traveler's wife" by audrey niffenegger.
this is a book that i somehow knew i was going to enjoy so much, that i bought two copies of it by mistake. lol
i'm not too far into this thick novel, but so far, it's interesting and entertaining.
this might be a book that i would like to give the other copy to steve's mom (if she hasn't already read it).
unfortunately, i don't see myself finishing this book before the new year (i hope to stay busy doing other things).

my work schedule for this month sucks.
it's part-time... working weekends... and now i am working a few nights also because corporate has decided anytime that we have a one-day sale from now on, they are going to start it at 5pm the day before.
so that means the signers get to come in at 5pm the day before to put up new signs.
at least the holidays will be over soon and i can go back to some sort of normality... if there is such a thing.

i have decided that there is no fool-proof way for me to take a multi-vitamin and not throw up afterwards.
no matter how much i eat before taking these damn pills, i still get sick.
if you don't eat, you get REALLY sick.
if you do eat, you get mildly sick.
oh, the joys of trying to stay healthy.

i LOVE threadless.com !
they have been offering $5 tees again for the holiday season.
(i tend to only buy when they are $5 anyways)
i think everyone should visit them and show some love. :D

why does everyone give me coupons at work for $10 off a $30 purchase when i clearly can not afford to buy anything from there right now?!
i could have used these damn coupons like... 2 weeks ago!
gee, thanks for nothing.
i wish i could give them away to other people... but they are employee coupons. :(
such a waste.

the lady who writes for her blog
a year of crockpotting
is so cool.
she inspired me to want to get a crockpot again.
it's amazing the kinds of meals/desserts/dips/etc she has made in her crockpots.
i did try one of the recipes (so far!) that she has written in her blog... and it was pretty darn good.
i look forward to using her blog as a reference many, many times in the future.

okay, that's all i have to say for now.

p.s. i want to learn how to knit soon.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

i have cleaned nearly every inch of my apartment

i found this sign in my neighborhood and thought that it was cute (click it for the full photo):


i finished reading the book "smashed : story of a drunken girlhood" by koren zailckas.
it's supposed to be a fascinating memoir on koren's "drunken girlhood".
i suppose the book was likable, but it was a little over the top.
i could have lived without the pop-culture references mentioned on nearly EVERY PAGE.
in fact, it probably would have made the book more enjoyable to read.
the memoir (like so many others) is supposed to be made into a film soon.
i can't even see myself enjoying the movie version.

i am half-way through reading the book "blink" by malcolm gladwell.
this was another book that got a lot of hype.
and i think this book actually deserved it.
it makes you question your immediate gut-instincts and what you would do in a blink of an eye.
it goes over series of various tests, statistics and algorithms to prove points.
there is also a section of the book about the music artist kenna (who i love), so that makes it even more enjoyable to me.

on sunday night i decided to make cooky cookies with my new stand-up mixer (a black friday buy that i will go into further later).
normally i follow the recipe as usual.
but this time i grated up some orange peel and added that and orange peel powder to the ingredients.
i also added chocolate chips to some.
if you don't like oranges, then you probably would not like my results.
but i love them. especially the ones i added chocolate chips to.
i plan on taking some to my co-worker (doug) tomorrow and see if he likes them or not.
he'll eat just about anything so i dunno if he is a good food critic, but maybe he will enjoy them.

i tried to call my sister on thanksgiving, but it went straight to voicemail.
and i was thinking maybe my mom would finally call me on thanksgiving... but she never did.
it is my first thanksgiving/christmas a way from family, and they did not care to call me.
mom has not even emailed me back in the last 2 or 3 months.
i guess i could continue to keep pushing for a relationship with her...
but i am the kind of person that always waits for the other person to initiate contact.
only because i feel like i am intruding.

so i spent thanksgiving with steve and his mom.
she made a nice meal that we were not able to eat until about 7 or 8pm. lol
the turkey just didn't want to cook.
but it was nice visiting with her and steve and watching Big and playing some weird dice game.
i brought sweet potatoes for our thanksgiving dinner.
i never make them because i don't like them. so it was a first for me.
i followed a recipe that said to make them with orange juice.
at first, i thought it'd like them... but no, i didn't.

even after staying awake well until midnight or 1am on thanksgiving, i decided to wake up at 5:30am to go to target for black friday shopping.
i had my list and my plan.
i was to go in and get what i needed and get the hell out.
well, when i got there a little before 6am (when the store opened), there was a line of customers wrapped all the way around the outside of the building.
as i was making my way to the back of the line, it finally started to move a bit.
it didn't take long for us all to get into the store.
i grabbed a shopping cart (bad mistake, but i needed it) and made my way to my priority items on my list.
i was surprised that there was plenty stock of the kitchen items i was going to buy (the crockpot and stand mixer).
after i made sure those two items were safely in my shopping cart, i continued on with my list.
all the while people are hitting you with their shopping carts and not really bothering to acknowledge what they just did.
then there was the task of trying to find where the check-out line begins and ends.
i ended up somehow in the electronics check-out line.
which took about 45 minutes of waiting and bonding with my fellow customers around me.
after check-out, i still had to push my way (with my cart) back through the crowds of people to get to the front of the store to leave.
by the time i exited the store, i was so mentally drained that i decided no more black friday shopping.
so this year was my FIRST and LAST time shopping black friday.

a few weeks ago, this column was posted in the Inlander under the "I Saw You" section (click it for the full photo):


naturally, i felt that steve needed to make a reply back to it.
so we emailed a response to the Inlander promptly about it:

I wasn't choking on your odor, I was choking on my pride.
I couldn't bring myself to speak to you at the time, and for that I am eternally sorry.
As an educated business-woman society tries to keep us apart, but I will no longer let society dictate my life.
You take my breath away, yet only asked for a dollar.
Would you accept my heart instead?
A 3-course dinner, a couple drinks, then relax in my jacuzzi.
You can search me for change.

my guess is that they got so many people replying back to it, they chose not to print any of them.
because ours has not gotten printed in the last couple of issues. :(
the only result of emailing them the above passage proved was that they sell your email address asap to other companies and you get hit hard with spam mail.
luckily, i used a spare email address i have laying around.

as many of you may know, i had been sick (amongst other things) the last few months.
i have finally regained all of my energy back!
and just in time to have my hours cut-back to part-time again at work.
so, this means i have cleaned nearly every inch of my apartment (and washed every article of dirty clothing) and now i am so terribly bored.
i've cooked and baked all that i can.
i've walked the dog more times than she has needed.
i'm more than half way through a book i started less than 5 days ago.
i'm in the process of researching a long list of household items (empty dish soap bottles, egg cartons, etc) and what they actually can be reused for.
i guess at the moment i feel like i am going a bit (more) crazy.

i subscribe to rss feeds for 35 financial type blogs.
one of them is even in a different language.
i just like the photos she posts. lol
i have WAAAAAAAAAAY too much time on my hands now.

i need friends?