Thursday, May 27, 2010


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Be back Tuesday! Leave me some love in the comments and I'll put up some free digiscrap stuff as soon as I get back! And just to show how much I love you, my shop will be 40% off this weekend!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Spiders in my Soup

I have a hard time with spiders. They don't even have to be real and I burst into tears. Seriously. For example, this picture is at our wedding reception. I am the one in the white dress, hiding behind my father, and the kid who looks all too pleased with himself is my brother, Rick. If you look real close, you'll notice that there is a very large spider hand-puppet on his hand. This hand-puppet's name is Phillip.

I hate Phillip.

I understand he is not alive, nor real, nor could he eat me. However, he is gross. I do not like gross things.

I do not like spiders.

So, yesterday, I came home from work around 5:30. It had been extremely cold and I was all set on making a great warm dinner for C so we could cuddle up and watch the 4 hours of Lost we'd been waiting for. [It was the finale. No judging!] I have one last Tortilla Soup mix that we wanted to use up because it's not a very good warm weather food. I also put on a batch of chai tea. [Worth it! Want the recipe?]

Here's the image. Two pots full of water on the stove. I walk across the kitchen to get the soup mix and come back. Before I can put the rice in, A FREAKING SPIDER THE SIZE OF A 50 CENT PIECE COMES CRAWLING OVER THE BACK OF THE POT AND INTO MY SOUP. [And you know how much more creepy spiders become when they come crawling over the edge of something. freak. legs everywhere, and you KNOW they're looking straight at you with all 8 of their ugly UGLY eyes mocking you for being so dang petrified.]

So while I'm flipping out, HOPING that stupid thing falls in the water, that devil of a creature makes the BURNER CATCH ON FIRE. So now, there is a spider in my pot, still very much alive, the burner is on fire, and I can't move the pot because there is the mother of all nastiness inside and I can't turn off the burner because the spider will get me. *too close* I am perfectly content to let the house burn down so long as that spider does NOT come near me.

I don't think I've ever actually screamed out loud at a spider. Not because it startled me, but because I was so upset that it was there. And oh, I screamed.

And then I ran up the stairs to introduce myself to our new next door neighbor and ask if he can come save me, because C was on his way home, but that stupid thing was ON THE MOVE.

Wonder neighbor came over and coaxed it onto a paper towel and carried the thing LIVE out of the apartment and set it free.

And I am alive.


I still periodically get up and do the arm flail, body shake thing.


Monday, May 24, 2010

Open Mouth, Insert Foot

I normally pride myself on being socially savvy. I am a total extrovert and gain energy around people. Sure, I like time to myself, but more than an hour or so makes me crazy! I enjoy first impressions, dinner parties, game nights, etc. You get the idea.

Because of the recent layoffs at work, I spend a lot of time alone. The room I'm in has 2 empty desks in addition to my own. It's in the corner of the office, tucked away. It's silent, and frankly, I think people forget that I'm still working here. Either way, I spend a lot of time in front of a computer screen. In an attempt to avoid inevitable blindness, I wear my glasses. Friday afternoon, I took my glasses off and walked across the office to find my boss and schedule an interview. I noticed someone new sitting at the desk of one of the employees who just got laid off. Being an extrovert and having been completely alone/secluded all day, I walk up and say:

"Hi! I'm Kristin. I don't think I know you!"

[Keep in mind my eyes are super blurry because I'm no longer wearing my glasses.] She looks up at me and things start to clear up. It's the CEO's wife. This is my 3rd time "meeting" her. I've said "I don't think I've met you before!" every single time. Ouch.

And then I started to backpedal & try to explain my situation. Fail.

Is it over? Oh, no. Fast forward to Friday night at Comedy Sportz. Like I mentioned before, the CEO of my company works there for fun on the weekends. He's a pretty cool guy. It was a great show, and we went to talk to him afterward. A young man and his wife also came up to talk to him he introduced us. "Kristin, this is Gabe. Gabe, Kristin works at my company. Gabe and me go way back. We were great friends before he went all big and famous on me. Gabe's a part of Jericho Road."

Me: "No way! I saw you in Phoenix when you toured with John Bytheway, back when I was like 11. We loved you guys. My friend, Julie, was probably your biggest fan! You guys still have a fan, I'm sure."   [Note: I meant to say "She's still a fan, I'm sure." It definitely didn't come out like that!]

Gabe's Wife: "Hey! They just released a CD last year!"

Me [again, trying to backpedal in front of the CEO]: "That's not what I meant! I'm so sorry. That came out all wrong!"

I don't think Gabe heard me. C didn't even hear me, but I know how it is when defending one's husband. I felt terrible! Not exactly the confident conversation I was hoping to have. heh.


Finish It Friday: How'd You Do?

My Finish It Friday went 2 for 3 again...though maybe I could say it went 2.5 for 3, I'm not sure. Things went a little crazy this weekend. Friday was date night, so C & I went to a comedy show on center street, where I just so happened to see the CEO of my company up on stage. It was hilarious. Then I proceeded to stick my foot in my mouth twice in one day...more on that later.

On Saturday, honest to goodness, the only thing I finished was that new logo up there [which I quite like! What do you think?] But then, we got to go play house with these cute kiddos. I'm thinkin' that's a pretty great excuse.

Sunday, I finally got to be productive. I finished my portion of the LDS blog train [church related kit, I don't feel guilty at all. Especially because I WAS NOT watching the lost finale with the rest of the world, even though I've seen every single episode. We're watching it for family night tonight.]

The pictures still haven't been ordered [how's that for setting a bad example for ya? sheesh.] However, they've been compiled into a folder for editing and resizing. One more week and it's happening!

What about you? How was the weekend? Productive? Distracted? Did you Finish It?

Friday, May 21, 2010

Finish It Friday: Come Link Up!

Last weeks super productive Saturday really sold me on Finish It Friday. I've decided to make this a regular thing here on the bloggy blog. {And thus spend more than 5 seconds designing a cute little logo}

Post your Finish It Friday list on your own blog and come link back here. On Monday, we'll see how everything went for ya with another link up!

This weekend's projects are:

  1. New Finish It Friday logo

  2. Blog Train Contribution {Look for some FAB digi scrap supplies on June 1st!}

  3. Pictures ORDERED for the kitchen. Not even put in the frames, just ordered. Sheesh. Heaven knows I should be able to handle that!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Love Like Crazy: Be A Best Friend

I'm still in love with the song, Love Like Crazy by Lee Brice. It's funny how lines from that song really stick out to me because they apply to my life in amazing ways. Today's line is "Be a Best Friend." It starts out every chorus in the song and begs listeners to recognize its absolute importance in a healthy relationship.

C is my best friend. hands down. He knows me better than anyone and can make me laugh harder than my sister Lindsay, which is saying something. [The woman is hilarious.]

Sunday, when we walked home from church, the weather outside was too beautiful to stay inside for long. C got a blanket out and threw it on our front lawn. I brought out the cards and games. We laid down and took turns answering cards from the game Loaded Questions.

Try this with me. Take your bottom teeth and run them repeatedly over your top lip [outside to inside.] If you get the chance, look at yourself in a mirror. Are you cracking up? I totally am.

I looked over at C. He was doing that.
K: What on EARTH are you doing?
C: My lip itched.

Thus began various lip scratching/lips wrapped over the teeth endeavors, all in the wonderful sunshine Utah's been missing for the past 2 months.

Example #2: C is my best friend because he knows what I love. Before I met C, I was a bit of a celebrity at the country dance hall every Wednesday and Saturday night. I fell back in love with country music and could swing, two-step, line dance, waltz, and cha-cha with just about anybody. It was a BLAST! I've taught C a few moves here and there, but I'm not very good at letting him lead.

For mother's day, he got me this:

Dance the Night Away Over 100 Dances

And we Rumba'd and Cha Cha'd for hours. [Slam Dunk on the gift, C!] It also includes a "crash course on how to look good on the dance floor," which is something of a necessity for us lanky folks. The best part is it teaches C how to lead me! It makes us both into great dancers. It's a little old school, but the dances aren't out-dated at all, just the costumes... which makes for a good laugh.

Thanks for letting me live out my DWTS obsession, C. You totally rock!

Monday, May 17, 2010


Me & Oreo. My parents got me Oreo for my 4th birthday.

I received an e-mail today from one of my best childhood friends, Nicole Paolini. We used to live next door to each other when we were about 4 years old, on Birch Falls road in Houston, Texas.

I'm on the far left. Nicole is right next to me.

This is what Nicole's e-mail said:

Hey girl!

I noticed you weren't on fb anymore and got your email from there. Just wanted to forward you this email since Oreo was originally your cat! :) Hope you're doing great!!

Nicole Paolini

Dear Neighbors,

You might know our family cat, Oreo. As she was pretty well known, for a cat, in the neighborhood, I wanted to let you know that she died today. She was 19 years old and had an very happy, comfortable life on Birch Falls. She was quite friendly to everyone. And I think that most of the male cats on the street thought she was pretty hot.

Just want to thank everyone for keeping an eye on her for us over the years and for giving her the occasional scratch behind the ears.

Amy and Keith

Mostly, it makes me happy they kept her original name. And that she was a total babe. And that the people of Birch Falls are still as wonderful, kind, and thoughtful as I remember them being. I love change a whole lot more than most people, but sometimes, it's awesome for things to stay just the way they are.

Finish It Friday: How'd You Do?

I have to say, I'm a huge fan of Finish It Friday! I was impressed with how motivated I was to stay on task and finish my projects on a lazy Saturday. My 3 goals were to finish the little pink/blue/brown quilt I started about a year ago, make almond milk yogurt, and order pictures for the frames in the kitchen. I finished 2 of the 3.

I learned a lot this weekend.

  1. Quilting takes longer than you think. Your quilt will also look better if you start out with squares that are actually square. [This was the first quilt I ever attempted. I didn't have the right tools to get everything cut accurately. It shows in the final product, but I'm so proud that it's finished! A pucker or two isn't going to make the blanket any less warm. :)]

  2. Almond Milk needs some extra somethin' somethin' in order for it to thicken up right. [I'm sparing you the pictures because it was gag-worthy in a major, MAJOR way.] I mentioned before that you'd be hearing about my failures right along with the successes. Almond Milk Yogurt was a failure, without a doubt. I will, though, be trying it again with regular milk.

  3. Pictures for the kitchen...nope. Quilting took a LONG time, and when your husband wants to camp out on a blanket in the sunshine on the front lawn...well who would say no? Not me! I'll be finishing these pictures next weekend.

So what about you? How was your weekend? Did you get that nagging little thing done? Tell me about it!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Finish It Friday: Join Me!

I stumbled across the concept of "Finish It Friday" on this blog, and I immediately fell in love with it! It looks like they haven't really kept up with it, though, so I'm starting it up again here on Call Me Kristin.

I had a bit of an epiphany this morning. I woke up and thought, "wow! I'm so glad it's Friday. The weekend is almost here and I'll have time to really work on my goals!" Then, I realized I didn't even know what my goals were anymore. It occurred to me that I haven't really been progressing toward much of anything lately, and that's a recipe for some serious creative block not to mention self-pity. [Sorry, C, for the self-pity breakdown Wednesday night. My bad.]

I've decided I'm slightly addicted to the internet. [Phew. I said it. It's out there for the world to see!] In an attempt to fix that, I'm only going to be updating this blog on Monday through Friday [unless a catch up the blog on our real lives post is on my Finish It Friday list.] I'm going to use the rest of that time to go into super productive mode. That way on Sunday night I don't go into an intense bout of depression because the weekend is gone and I have no idea where it went.

Here's the lowdown:

Your Finish It Friday project can be any of the following:

  • Any incomplete craft project. I.e.  half-finished scrapbook pages, quilt tops, etc.

  • An organizing project that never got finished. Pick an eye-sore that bugs you every time you walk by [*cough* on top of our piano *cough*], organize your magazines by topic, clean out a closet and get a box together for a garage sale or goodwill, etc.

  • A nearly complete home decor project. Finally get pictures IN the frames! Put the finishing touches on those pillows, find the candles you need to finish the dining room table, etc.

  • A simple item on your to-do list. You know, the ones you put off just because they seem annoying and tend to stress you out way more than they're worth? Yep. Write the thank you note! Send the gas bill! Call your landlady to get the disposal fixed...again. [o wait, that's just me.]

  • Basically, any little project or to-do that has been incomplete to the point of annoying that you can finish up by the end of the weekend!

Here's my Finish It Friday list:

  1. Make Almond Milk Yogurt [link to recipe on my inspirations tab]

  2. Pictures in the frames in the kitchen

  3. Quilt this bad boy. Haven't touched it for almost a year. Here's to finishing!

To play along with Finish It Friday, simply:

  1. Choose a project. It seriously doesn't have to be a big deal. It could be as simple as trying that new recipe you've been meaning to make, or sweeping the porch.

  2. Post your plan in the comments.

  3. Complete your to-do by the end of the weekend. That’s right, simply check this item off your list before you go to bed on Sunday (and be sure to let me know you did it in the comments section!)!

  4. Enjoy the power of completion!

Sound like fun? I can’t wait to hear what you finish this weekend!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Shame On Me

I spent the better part of my day yesterday moping around and feeling sorry for myself for being so absolutely burned out. I took my frustrations out on C, the last person in the world who deserved that. My level-headed, balanced husband e-mailed me about a video from one of my favorite bloggers, and mentioned that I should take a look at it. It is absolutely incredible.

Stephanie Nielsen is an inspiration to so many people, including myself. I can't believe her optimism, love, faith, and endurance. I would have crumpled a long time ago. My favorite thing is that she is real. Life isn't always a field of daisies, and to ignore the pain would be counter-productive. The best thing is to just remember that "life is to be enjoyed, not merely endured." Gordon B. Hinckley

So, how do you keep your chin up when times are tough?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Stick a Fork in Me

This picture taken while looking for a campsite at 2 am this weekend.
[More on that later...]
I'm currently feeling more like C is looking in this picture than how I'm looking. The deliriously funny state of tired hasn't quite set in.

For some reason all I can think of today is that song that me and my sister Lindsay used to sing when we were younger that goes about like this: "Sometimes dontchya feel like you are drunk behind the wheel!" I'm sure there is a much more popular song with those same lyrics, but the tune is most likely different than what's going on in my head.

I am 100% burned out. My brain doesn't work right now.

I should be thinking about:

  1. dinner tonight

  2. softball game later

  3. finishing this article that's 75% done already

  4. designing

  5. scrapbooking

  6. networking

  7. projects, projects, projects

  8. how to get myself out of bed in the morning

  9. finding time to do everything that I want to/feel obligated to do

  10. try some of the millions of new recipes I've come across

  11. pick up my books from the library

  12. support C in his psycho school day today

  13. figure out how to help a beautiful, wonderful girl at my church whose husband decided he doesn't want to be married anymore. :(

  14. figure out how to be a better friend to a friend who's having a really, really hard day

  15. schedule visiting teaching

  16. catch up the checkbook [1st month trying REALLY hard to keep track of everything and I still forgot about $275 we had to pay to get a drain unclogged. sheesh.]

  17. transfer money to cover the dirt cheap car insurance C set up for us last month

  18. blog our garden/Moab trip 2.0/recipes for you lovely ladies

  19. design stuff for the multiple collabs I've committed to

  20. get almond milk to make yogurt with this weekend [and then blog that too.]

I'm not really stressed. I'm just tired, I think. Yesterday, I stayed an hour and a half late at work so I could finish the voice-overs on tutorial videos for our next product launch and I'm beat. [Not to mention I came in early yesterday, and every day for the past month...] And then, my colleague got laid off a couple days ago, so the number of accounts I'm managing just doubled.
And honestly, being a stay-at-home mom is tugging at my heartstrings every single morning and makes it quite difficult to get out of bed and go. When is it going to be my turn?

I Swore I Would Never Do This

During her angsty years, one of my sisters

Monday, May 10, 2010

Taking Me Back

I feel like its been ages since I sat down and scrapped our pictures.

I can't live like that. I was tired, burned out and cranky from not taking the time to do the things that I love.

Hopefully, this is the first of many pages to get done this week! I'm embracing the "just get it scrapped" mentality, so the page is far from perfect, but it's done. And I personally think it conveys the message I want it to.


text reads: It’s been really cold in Utah lately. I normally can’t stand the cold. My toes are always frozen. This picture was taken on a cold April day. I was angry all morning because it didn’t feel like spring time and I was ready for some sunshine. The clouds were upsetting me and making me wonder if Utah even remembered what warm felt like. As I walked out to the car, the wind bit my nose a little bit and it took me straight back to when C and I first got engaged. I was riding in the beamer with the top down, amazed at the fact that this amazing man wanted me. I was alive, excited, anxious to see him. I felt on top of the world. I felt beautiful. I remembered what it was like to be all lit up inside. Suddenly my day was just beginning, I knew I was adored. The air was excited. It’s funny that the weather I was so angry with brought me the most cherished memory I have. The beginning of me and C. The beginning of my life. Our life together. I wish I could bottle this feeling.

Makin' Dad Proud

On January 2nd 2009, I took the last name of Call. Completely in love with C, I couldn't wait to take his name and start our life together. However, it occurred to me on Wednesday that I am still a McGuire in so many ways! I've tried to be a "lady," per my mother's requests, and I'll admit, I love a new pair of earrings, shoes, getting a manicure, etc. every once in a while. It's fun to get prettied up!

It is also fun to run around, get dirty, sweat, and throw like a boy.

I had a softball game on Wednesday, and I'll admit I was on fire! C was in the stands cheering, I was hitting well, fielding well, etc. It was awesome! I out ran a play and slid into second. [My mom's favorite thing to watch when I was in High School.] Man, I felt invincible. I was BACK!

I got this bad boy:

And couldn't stop smiling/talking C's ear off about how awesome it was to play well again all the way home. Thanks babe for supporting me and letting me play like a kid again!

And thanks Dad for coaching me and going to EVERY game and waking up with me at 6 in the morning to play. [Read: dragging me out of bed at 6 in the morning and/or throwing water on me...] Thanks for teaching me how to run the bases and for warning me that I'll get thrown out if I'm not a little more humble on the baseline.

Actually...I haven't quite learned that lesson yet. I drew a pickle between second and third and was a leeetle too far off the base. I was trying to buy the girl running to first some time but ended up getting tagged out by the short stop. Although, I don't think that ever happened in high school, so maybe I just need a better base coach. lol.

I love it.

This is one family legacy that will definitely get passed on to our kids. Now we just need to get C a mitt.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Money Management Week: Day 5

#5 Get out of Debt

Money is a heck of a lot easier to manage when you minimize your debt. Plan, plan, plan ahead to get ready for those hefty expenses without going into debt, like buying a car, or having a child. You might not be able to pay for it all at once, but if you can manage to put some money down, your interest payments will be lower and you will not be constantly making monthly payments. Do NOT go into debt for things that you really can't afford. Yes. At the moment, I really want an entire bedroom set in this beautiful mahogany wood. Unfortunately, it's not in the cards as of the checkbook this morning. I've contented myself with the dresser-which is a need...we refurbished ours to give to the baby and two nightstands-which is a want. My savings can handle that. Be smart...that's the best advice I can give. Let your money work for you!

If you haven't had the chance to enter our Dave Ramsey Giveaway, you can enter here!
Lindsay graduated from Brigham Young University with her Bachelor’s in English. She has lived in Colorado for a little over a year. Her husband loves her because she makes him laugh. Her daughter loves her because she makes the best food in the world. :) Lindsay loves her book club, quilting, her family, and going places-the library, the zoo, hiking, sporting events. She loves to GO!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Money Management Week: Day 4

#4 Save

Save money for a rainy day. Save for a speeding ticket. Save for those emergencies, getaways, things that are unexpected. I'm all about planning ahead...but sometimes you need a little extra cash in the bank for that spontaneous part of life. Trust me on the value of saving. Your car might break down, or you really might need a "getaway weekend" with your spouse. Either way, you'll be darn pleased you've got a couple extra hundred in the bank. If I'm being really good, I will put any extra money left over from our budget into savings. Save, save, save. Even if it's just $20. You'll be glad that you did.

One thing that always confused me is that we're told to save, but at the same time we're told to invest. I never knew what the magic amount in the bank account was that made it alright to invest. Dave Ramsey has a great, clearly outlined 7-step approach to this dilemma. It's completely changed my approach to saving! Have you entered the giveaway for his new book: The Money Answer Book? Check it out here!
Lindsay graduated from Brigham Young University with her Bachelor’s in English. She has lived in Colorado for a little over a year. Her husband loves her because she makes him laugh. Her daughter loves her because she makes the best food in the world. :) Lindsay loves her book club, quilting, her family, and going places-the library, the zoo, hiking, sporting events. She loves to GO!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Money Management Week: Day 3 {& A DAVE RAMSEY GIVEAWAY!}

Welcome to halfway through Money Management Week! To celebrate we're kicking off our Dave Ramsey giveaway. One lucky reader will receive a fresh off the press, newly revised edition of Dave Ramsey's Money Answer Book: Quick Answers for Your Everyday Financial Questions.

Dave Ramsey has got our new little family off to a great start financially. Because of him, we have a PLAN. We have realistic {and slightly weird} goals and we know how to achieve them. I immediately fell in love with Dave's financial philosophies when C & I took Financial Peace University right after we got married. His personality and motivational nature is addicting. He breaks things into little bite sized pieces to make them easier to understand and undertake. This book is no different than watching the man speak to a live audience. His charismatic, encouraging, and logical voice is prevalent on every page and you feel energized and ready to DO something as soon as you put it down.

What I most appreciate about Dave's outlook, is his understanding of marriage and how money affects it. He is a huge advocate for balance. Most of all, his recommendations just make sense! If I can logically put together and understand what he's teaching, I can move forward in confidence.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a little bit more direction in their financial life. So what are you waiting for?!

To enter the giveaway, tell me 1 thing you want to be/do/have/etc. in the next 5 years.

I'll pick a winner after there are 50 entries. You can get additional entries by mentioning this giveaway on Facebook, Twitter, or your own personal blog. Just be sure to come back here and leave a comment telling me what you did & a link to where you mentioned it!

Now, back to Money Management Week.

#3 Track your Expenses

Hi! It's Lindsay again. How did your budget turn out? Today we're talking about the grunt work of actually using your budget.

When we moved into the real world, we found out a very important lesson.


Bummer. Rent, food, gas, seemed like everything cost more than it did when we were in college.  It was so frustrating to see our happy paycheck come into the bank and then a couple days later, we wouldn't have any money. Where was it going? I mean, really.

A lot of people use Quicken to figure out the question, where is my money going? Quicken frustrated me-so I rely on Excel instead. Either one works. Basically, I just type in the amounts from each transaction into their category...and add them all together.  Excel lets me split receipts and put those diapers in their rightful place. So $30 goes in the diaper budget and 100.54 goes in the grocery budget. Here's an example of ours.  I made up the numbers, but you get the idea.

In truth, I don't track my expenses as often as I should. But it's useful when I feel like our money is disappearing.
Lindsay graduated from Brigham Young University with her Bachelor’s in English. She has lived in Colorado for a little over a year. Her husband loves her because she makes him laugh. Her daughter loves her because she makes the best food in the world. :) Lindsay loves her book club, quilting, her family, and going places-the library, the zoo, hiking, sporting events. She loves to GO!

Note: I received a free copy of Dave Ramsey's book, but the opinions and recommendations expressed in this post are my own. I intend to keep all reviews completely honest.

Make Ahead Stuffed Hamburgers

No, really. C actually grilled the burger like that. Impressive, eh?

These burgers were a brand new recipe for us, but we're 100% sold after just 1 bite! I'm excited to try different combinations of fillings.


  • 2 pounds of ground beef

  • 1 T. oil

  • an onion

  • 1/2 c. sliced mushrooms

  • 1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese

  • 1/4 c. parmesan cheese

The How-to:

  1. Make 10 super thin patties out of 1 pound of ground beef and lay them on a cookie sheet

  2. Sautee the mushrooms and onion in the oil until onions are translucent and everything smells awesome.

  3. Throw in the cheese until it's melty

  4. Spread equal amounts of the mixture on the 10 patties

  5. Cover the patties with another layer of ground beef

  6. Freeze uncovered for an hour, then bag

On Cooking Day:

  1. No need to thaw, just throw these on the grill!

Alternative Fillings we're planning on trying: Jalapeno Cheddar, Bacon & Cheese, and Mushroom & Swiss. If you come up with any other ideas, I'd love to hear 'em!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Money Management Week: Day 2

#2 Make A Budget

Yup. You knew this had to be on here somewhere. Figure out where your money goes-so you know how much you can have to play with and how much you need to put away for a rainy day. :)

Our budget is very unique, and it changes probably every 6 months or so. There are categories that are generally about the same each month-rent, utilities, cell phone, and cable, categories that vary-food, clothing, entertainment; and categories that are specific to us-diapers, travel, etc. Make your budget personal for you. If I'm trying to spend $300 a month on groceries, there is no way diapers are going into that category-I would never be able to stay in my budget.  Just make rough estimates, try to stick to it, and see how you do. It will take you a couple of months to get a workable budget. Add your car insurance payment into your budget. Set aside money for those plane tickets  that you're going to be needing during the summer. Try and make your budget as helpful as possible so you aren't suddenly surprised because you forgot a semi-annual bill or an anniversary.

Oh yeah, and if you hate having to be accountable for every penny...add a running money/allowance category into your budget. Take $20 cash out every month-and do whatever with it. No questions asked. :)

To get you going on your own budget, check out these free downloadable templates!

Join us tomorrow for Day 3: Tracking Your Expenses!

Did you miss Day One? Check it out here!

Lindsay graduated from Brigham Young University with her Bachelor’s in English. She has lived in Colorado for a little over a year. Her husband loves her because she makes him laugh. Her daughter loves her because she makes the best food in the world. :) Lindsay loves her book club, quilting, her family, and going places-the library, the zoo, hiking, sporting events. She loves to GO!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Money Management Week: Day 1

Greetings. :)  To start off with, let's pretend that I am a close enough friend to even ask this question...So. How are your finances? Do you know where your money goes? Kristin allowed me to guest blog and offer up my two cents on being financially savvy. So here we go. This week, you'll get 5 easy ideas for realistically managing your money and staying on top of your finances. On top of that, Call Me Kristin will be giving away a copy of Dave Ramsey's Money Answer Book: Quick Answers for Your Everyday Financial Questions!

image via anh-minh

#1 Keep a Checkbook

In this day and age, thanks to your handy-dandy debit card, every transaction you make shows up on your bank statement. So why bother keeping a checkbook? Because there is a constant flow of money in your checking account-well, at least there is at my house. Money comes in. I write checks for rent, utilities, cable, tithing (church offering) and various other bills. I go grocery shopping, pick up the photos, and buy a new book, etc. A couple days later, my husband wants to pay for two airline tickets because there's a great deal. He asks how are the finances? If I'm not keeping up my checkbook, my only answer is the online bank statement amount.  I check online, and hey-we've got $800 in our account. He buys the tickets...and a couple of days later, we are in the red. What happened? The  online bank statement doesn't show those checks you wrote but haven't cleared. Keeping a checkbook is CRUCIAL. I highly recommend reconciling your checkbook every week/two weeks. That means writing down every transaction in the check register. Yes. I know. Make sure that your online balance (minus the un-cleared checks) matches the balance in your checkbook. It takes some time, but it is worth it. I have never had an overdraft charge. And I can answer confidently when the husband says, how are the finances? I got my Bachelor's degree in English...which translates into I AM TERRIBLE AT ADDITION AND SUBTRACTION.  More than once I've "lost" over $50.00 Not kidding. Balancing the checkbook on a regular basis keeps you in the black. Trust me. Some weeks it takes me forever, but I know where every penny goes, and eventually everything balances. If I can do it with my HORRIFIC math skills-you can do it.

Keeping a checkbook doesn't have to be outdated. There are so many C.U.T.E checkbook covers out there. Pick up one for a pretty little reminder to stay up-to-date on your finances!

Join us tomorrow for Day 2: Conquering the Dreaded Budget!

Lindsay graduated from Brigham Young University with her Bachelor's in English. She has lived in Colorado for a little over a year. Her husband loves her because she makes him laugh. Her daughter loves her because she makes the best food in the world. :) Lindsay loves her book club, quilting, her family, and going places-the library, the zoo, hiking, sporting events. She loves to GO!

Poppyseed Chicken

This recipe has been C's favorite since the very first time I ever made it. It used to be the meal we ate on the major cooking day, but since converting it to a freezer cooking recipe, we can have it whenever we want!


  • 2 chicken breasts, cooked & cubed

  • 1 can of cream of mushroom soup [we also like this with cream of chicken. depends on what we have on hand most of the time!]

  • 1 cup sour cream

  • 2 cups crushed Ritz crackers

  • 3 tablespoons melted butter or margarine [margarine kind of makes the crackers soggy, but it's up to you!]

  • 1 heaping tablespoon poppy seeds

The How-to:

  • Put chicken in the bottom of a casserole dish

  • Mix soup & sour cream; spread over the chicken

  • Combine crackers, poppy seeds, and melted butter in a zip lock and mix

  • Spread cracker mixture over the sour cream & soup

  • Cover & freeze!

On Cooking Day:

  • Thaw

  • Bake at 375 degrees [uncovered] for 30 minutes

Monday, May 3, 2010

May 2010 OAMC: Spicing Things Up!

C helped me with OAMC this weekend! It was wonderful to not be alone in the kitchen all day. Happy Saturday to me! We only had 16 meals to make and I grossly miscalculated how much chicken we already had, and so we're left with an extra Costco bag for next month. True to form, I definitely modified almost every recipe from the cookbooks I told you about in my plan. So stay tuned for my version of these delicious freezer meals!

We made:

  • 2 Barbecue Chicken Sandwiches* [Homemade BBQ sauce that made our mouths water every time we opened the crock pot to stir it. YUM!]

  • 2 Chicken-Asparagus Pot Pies [More on this later.]

  • 2 Poppyseed Chicken [YES. C's favorite dish gone freezer style. I was giddy when I figured out this could be frozen!]

  • 2 Italian Chicken Rolls*

  • 2 Cheese Mushroom Burgers* [Really excited to try different combinations of fillings for these! Jalapenos are next on our list!]

  • 3 Lemon Chicken Marinades*

  • 2 Souvlaki Marinated Skewers

  • 1 Buffalo Chicken Pizza*

  • Homemade Refried Beans*

  • Homemade Baked Beans

  • Lemon-Dill Rice Mixes*

  • and 20 Whole Wheat Brown Bag Burros

We finished in just a couple hours so we decided to go ahead and make up the salsas we'd planned for Sunday. Holy Cow they're INCREDIBLE. We like things spicy! These salsas are about a 5 on a 1-8 scale. [The book's scale, not mine. Who makes a scale up to 8? Really.]

Still to make:

  • Blackberry Jam [Got a good recipe that uses Sure Jell? Please send it my way!]

  • Strawberry Jam [These were on sale $4.44 for 5 lbs. Jam time it is!]

The [*] indicates that the recipe will be up soon! I realize that almost the whole list is marked, but the [*] is more for my own notes than anything else. I have to remember what I promise! If you see one you'd LOVE the recipe to that isn't starred, just let me know in the comments and I'll add it to the list. The starred ones are just my favorites for now. If you need more ideas for OAMC recipes, be sure to check out my recipes page!

Also, be sure to come visit later this week for a series on realistic money management and a Dave Ramsey giveaway!

Tomatillo Salsa Verde

This salsa was easy, smooth, spicy & delicious! If you've never used tomatillos before, don't stress. We hadn't either. They're right by the chilies in the produce department and cost about $1 a pound. They often have a little husk on them, but it peels off really easy. For this recipe we washed and quartered our tomatillos and then threw everything in the blender.


  • 1 pound tomatillos [husked, rinsed, quartered]

  • 3 serrano chilies with seeds

  • 3/4 cup cilantro leaves

  • 2 tablespoons lime juice

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • 1 teaspoon salt

The how-to:

  1. Throw everything in a blender and go for it!

We had this with taco salad on Saturday night. This salsa + sour cream made for some serious magic on top of those chips! [So much so, that C requested taco salad for dinner on Sunday night, too. Yep. It's that good.]

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Can You Keep Up?

C ran the Provo City half marathon this weekend. The race started at 8 in the morning. So did a freezing cold hail/slush/snow/ice storm. My job was to be at the finish line by 9:30. I had my A game on. Prepped with an extra sweatshirt for C, cold chocolate milk [his favorite recovery drink], flip video, and regular camera in tow I headed out the door. I even had an umbrella. [I know, mom. Be so totally impressed.] One major thing I’m missing?

My keys!

They’re mocking me from between the seats inside my locked car. Awesome.

My phone goes off. It’s my sister asking if I want to g-chat at the moment. Great timing. lol. In one breath I lay out the entire situation and she promptly hangs up the phone.

I call my prego neighbor…who are we kidding? It’s 9:25 on a Saturday morning. No prego is going to answer the phone, even if they CAN hear the ringing.

Enter new friend Lacey from the building down the street. I’m getting really good at explaining my situation and no lie, 1 minute later she’s in front of my house, looking fabulous and car warm. Meanwhile, I’m selfishly praying the weather really takes a toll on C’s time. She jets me down to the finish line where I miss C by…

3 minutes!

[ironically, it's because they blocked off the road so the runners could get through.]

C didn’t mind too much. Awesome, patient, wonderful man that he is. I felt horrible. He was freezing and assured me that he was glad I wasn’t waiting in the cold for too long. Sometime I’ll develop that level of maturity.

He came in 13th in his age group, with a time of:

1 hour and 42 minutes.

Super proud of you, babe. Can’t wait for the real deal on June 12th!

And just in case, I’m making a duplicate key for Lola, our [mostly] reliable little purple car.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

On The Fence About OAMC?

I found this poem in the intro pages of Suzie Roberts' Girlfriends on the Go. It sums up my thoughts exactly, even though I don't have kids...we're still a busy family!

What's for dinner?" So you say
It's been another crazy day
Soccer, piano, homework, and more
I didn't have time to go to the store.
"Let's order out!" The kids say with a grin.
"Pizza again?" says Dad with a cringe,
Then what should we have? Something homemade for sure.
None of this stuff in a box from the store!
"Never you fear," I say with a sigh
The freezer is full of meals to the sky.
How 'bout lasagna or chicken sweet n' sour?
"Hurry quick, put it in, I have book club in an hour!"
Now there's one more problem left to be solved,
Whose turn to clean up after everyone involved?
"We'll clear our dishes," the kids say and dash.
Mom grabs her book and is out with a flash.
Dad looks around--all these empty seats,
A familiar sight after everyone eats.
It's time for the game; Dad's a huge football fan
But not 'till he throws out the disposable pan.

Just think of all the time you'd have! Time to spend with your kids. By yourself. On a date with the husband. Not to mention the money you'll save on all those times you don't eat out when you're too tired to cook!