The Good Kind of Dorky

 

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Randy's Recessionista Recipe

Your recessionista tips are fabulous--keep 'em coming! It seems a lot of your ideas are centered around how to cut back in terms of food costs. That is a big place where we could improve too. This year I have been making a concerted effort to eat out less and to be smarter and less wasteful when it comes to buying food and making meals. I thought I'd share the yummy, cost saving way I turned a package of $5 Wal-Mart ground beef into three meals. One meal was soft tacos with all the fixins. The second was really just Edgar's meal--a bunless burger with sweet potato fries on the side--because I was having some frozen meal and he wanted a burger. After dinner last night I decided to use the rest to make homemade meatballs since I had all of the ingredients already in the house. Preparing them last night saved me a ton of time after work tonight. All I did was cook the spaghetti and then throw in the sauce and meatballs. It was a really, really easy and yummy meal. I thought you might like the meatball recipe. To give credit where credit is due, I got it from a Martha Stewart Everyday Food that randomly appeared in my mailbox. I'm sure Martha is just trying to lure me in, but I will resist you Martha...I will resist you. But really, there is nothing like a free "cookbook." Possibly better than free panties. So totally recessionista chic!

(Oops, I think I accidentally jumped the gun and hit Publish. I had a spasm! I wasn't done with this post--WTF!)

So the meatball recipe is as follows:

Ingredients:

coarse salt and ground pepper
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (I only had dried, so I used what I had and it worked fine)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 large egg
1 pound ground beef
1/4 plain dried breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon olive oil

In bowl, combine Parmesan, parsley, garlic, egg, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add beef and bread crumbs; mix gently. Form into 16 balls.

In a pot (or pan!), heat oil over medium. Add meatballs and cook, turning occasionally. I think it took 10-15 minutes until they were done. At this point I put them in the fridge, but if you were going to eat them immediately, then make your pasta and add the meatballs to the sauce! I decided to mix everything together, but of course you can make the sauce separately to pour over the pasta.

It's just the two of us, so we had a bunch leftover too. I hope you try it and love it too!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Are you a recessionista?

I work in a retirement community and it never ceases to make me smile when I see a resident toting her things around campus in an old gift bag instead of a purse. Many of these residents lived through the Great Depression and don't want to waste a thing. I've even seen one lady carrying her things in one of those small, sturdy pink-striped Victoria's Secret bags. Save Everything because you never know when it could come in handy. Maybe these ladies are onto something.

Growing up, the Great Depression Era always fascinated me. My peers often wanted to write their history reports on the roaring twenties, but I was always so much more intrigued by the '30s. Grapes of Wrath anyone? I never imagined that I might one day live through a depression era all my own. My generation has trouble relating to the mindset of the older generations because when we want something, we get it, and we get it now. Times they are a changing and we're having to learn to make do with a little bit (or a lot bit) less than we're used to. I've been coming up with little ways to save money...little ways to be "recessionista" chic! I know this is a play on "fashionista," but I love it and I plan to use it loosely and often. So how fun would it be to share with each other the things we are doing to live on less? Way fun, I say!

Today I bring you...

Recessionista Tip #1: You know you took the soap and/or mouthwash, etc. the last time (or ten times) you stayed at a hotel. So when you run out of soap, don't run to the store. Pilfer through your linen closet instead. It's amazing the things you'll find. I bet you won't have to make a store run for these everyday items for at least a few weeks.

Recessionista Tip #2: It's winter and my hair gets dry very easily. I started shampooing my hair every other day rather than everyday. My hair is less frizzy and I'm totally making my expensive shampoo last longer!

Recessionista Tip # 3: When you get a coupon for a free pair of panties at Victoria's Secret, use it. Go into the store, don't look at any other tempting merchandise. Go straight for the freebie, check out, and leave. You'll totally get your shopping fix, you'll have new undies and you'll totally be sticking it to the "man." Take that, man.

So, what are your fabulous recessionista tips? Let's keep a running list. Let me know whenever you come up with something new! This will be so fun. I promise.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Blonde Moment

The morning after the college football championship game, Edgar informed me that the Florida Gators had won. We had been talking about their quarterback, Tim Tebow, the night before. Anyway, the breakfast conversation went something like this.

Edgar: Florida won last night 24 to...(I am so not even paying attention at this point)...

Pause

Me: Oh are you talking to me? Sorry, I was reading an e-mail. What did you say about the 24th? Oh, who won the game last night?

Edgar: Are you kidding me? Yes, I was talking to you. I said, the gators won 24 to (whatever, I don't even remember what he said)

Me: Oh, cool.

Edgar: Did you know that Tim Tebow is really religious and he and his family have done all these missionary trips around the world?

Me: Oh really? That's cool to hear about a football player doing some good in this world.

Edgar: Yeah, he actually went to live in a Leper Colony.

Me: He went to live with leprochaunies?

Edgar: Yeah, in a lepercolony. (I still have no idea that he is saying "Leper Colony")

Me: Whoa, that is awesome! He lived with leprochaunies? So they really exist??

Edgar: O. M. G.

Me: Oooooooooh (just realizing what he actually said) you said LEPER COLONY! I was going to say, go get me my Lucky Charms!!

Sunday, January 04, 2009

My Resolutions

Like I've said before, I'm not really a big New Year's Resolutions person. I don't like to set myself up for failure and I like to make small improvements day by day, blah blah blah. I do, however, like to make a short list of a few goals I'd like to work on throughout the year. In 2008 my goals included reading more, going to church more, getting in shape (lifting weights) for the wedding--all things I accomplished--go me! Focus on career goals was on the list too, and I think I can safely say that I considered options this past year. For the most part though, I'm still in the same place career wise as I was this time last year. We'll call that a work in progress. Of course, for the past 5 years "write poetry" has been on my list and I really still haven't gotten around to that. Maybe 2009 will be my year!

So here is my documented list of resolutions for 2009:

1. Get back into lifting weights and staying fit! Not that I'm sooo "unfit," but the motivation has not been there like it was in the past.

2. Continue going to Church on a semi-regular/regular basis.

3. Volunteer.

4. Keep reading, more and more! :-) Book club, here I come.

5. Continue to learn to cook new recipes. (see, a lot of my resolutions are things I've already begun. Not a bad place to be if you ask me)

6. Maybe run a 5k? This is a set-myself-up-for-failure resolution, but I'll put it on there anyway.

7. Save $$$!

8. Organize my house and do a couple of renovations.

9. Write poetry...obviously.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Hello 2009

Happy 2009! Where exactly did 2008 go? I have no idea, but I do know that it was one of the best years of my entire life. I know exactly what you mean, Ashlee. How can 2009 top 2008?

Let's just get right to the highlights:

In February, we had leap day and Edgar and I actually had a real anniversary--four years together! In May, a bridal shower and bachelorette party were thrown in my honor, making me feel very, very, very loved. Of course, June 7 was probably the best day of my life thus far--Edgar and I tied the knot! My memories of the day are such a blur, and just under seven months have passed. Everything seemed to happen so fast that day. Not only was there a heck of a lot happening in a relatively short period of time, but also there was total sensory overload. Lack of sleep, heaps of emotions, family and friends all there supporting Edgar and me--it was all so beautifully and breathtakingly overwhelming. Barring a few very minor things, I wouldn't have changed a thing about the day.

That's me...behind the bubble

After the wedding, I got a new stamp on the 'ol passport when we travelled to Dominican Republic (Edgar's homeland) for the honeymoon. All-inclusive resorts? Heart! Heart! Heart! I remembered what it was like to feel relaxed and my appetite returned. Happiness weighs more, right? Maybe 2009 will be the year I get back in shape then. ;-)

In early October I went to the New Kids on the Block concert, aka The Best Concert Ever, with Sarah and Lauren. I rocked the shirt I've had since 4th grade!

Mid-October I visited my parents in Central New York to celebrate my birthday. We rocked out in style at a Sugarland concert. Kellie Pickler opened the show and was signing autographs afterwards. I got to meet her and she signed my ticket. Pick Pickler!

For Christmas vacation I took the train to NYC and Mom took a train down from Syracuse and we spent a day in The Big Apple with my sister, Sara. Then all three of us took the train together back to Syracuse for the holiday.

Those are just a few of the highlights. There was also a trip to a water park, apple picking, pumpkin picking, a Halloween costume party, a trip to Central New York for a friend's wedding and Sarah's graduation and celebration. My resolutions for '08 included lifting weights and reading and going to church more regularly, three things I actually did! I also rediscovered my long lost love of reading and consequently fell in love with a fictional vampire. I did fun things that I hadn't done in ages, like sewing...
I think this sewing thing is stressing Sarah out. Lauren thinks it's funny.

The first half of the year leading up to our wedding was filled with much stress and excitement and flew by quickly because of it. There was just so much to plan and deal with on top of regular pressure from my job. I want to say that if I could go back and tell myself to just take a deep breath I would, but I know that if I had to do it all again, the stress would be there just the same. In the second half of the year, I relearned how to relax and just enjoy each day. Marriage is quite nice. Life is quite nice.

My feelings toward my job have been across the board--a true love/hate relationship. The career aspect of my life is not completely in balance, but only time will tell on that one.

And blogging. Could I have blogged any less??

When I reflect upon the moments of joy that I experienced this past year, I cannot help but smile. I feel so blessed to have such a wonderful husband, two great dogs, amazing friends and a loving family. Edgar and I both have our jobs and although we may not have everything we want, we have our health, our jobs, a roof over our head...and we have love. And really, what more could we possibly need?

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving was two days ago, but it's never too late to say what you are thankful for.

This year, I'm thankful for:

1. My husband! I can't believe it was just about 6 months ago that we tied the knot. Sometimes it feels like it was years ago and yet, it feels like it was just yesterday. Even though much of it was a blur, I'm pretty sure it really happened. I have pictures to prove it. I'm thankful for our commitment to one another and for the life that we share.

2. I'm thankful for my parents, as individuals and as a "whole." I am eternally grateful for all that they've done out of love to provide for me, guide me, challenge me and support me. I am also thankful that they've morphed into friend-parents over the past few years. Being an adult child is pretty cool.

3. I'm thankful for my sister for her friendship. I am also thankful for the things she gives to this world...her undeniable love of life, her ability to inspire others to take risks, her positive, energetic spirit and her perseverance.

4. I am thankful for my friends both near and far and even those I've never met! Near--I am so lucky to have found a great little group of friends who I genuinely hope to grow old with! Far--a couple of my very best friends I only get to see maybe once or twice a year. No matter how much time has passed, we can always just pick right back up where we left off. That's true friendship. Those I've never met--some of you blog friends I feel just as close to as I do to my "real life" friends. You know who you are...

5. I am thankful for Bugs and Zoey. They bring so much hairy joy to my life.

6. I'm thankful for my job and the ways in which the people I work for and with enrich my life in ways they'll never know. I'm thankful for a roof over my head and food on the table.

7. I am thankful for faith.

8. I am thankful for optimism and hope and the knowledge that they are not necessarily synonymous with naivete.

9. I am thankful for the great nation that is the USA. We are not without our problems, but we are optimistic and we are hopeful. I am also thankful for those who serve in the military.

10. I am thankful for my good health and the good health of those around me.

11. I am thankful for fictional vampires.

AND I'm thankful for YOU! What are you thankful for??

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Open up...it's time for "party mouth"

It's late Saturday night and close enough to tomorrow to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY SARAH! This year, Sarah won't have to share her birthday with a turkey, which is awesome. Instead, a group of us are going bowling to celebrate. My bowling skills are about as good as my singing skills, so it's bound to be a fun afternoon of me rolling a heavy ball into a gutter. Enough about me though, let's talk about Sarah. How about we all say why we love Sarah, as per tradition...Sarah's tradition...that she probably started on her own birthday. :-)

If you don't know Sarah you could always visit her blog and come up with something. Or just make something up.

Here are 10 reasons why I heart Sarah, in no particular order.

1. She has pretty hair.
2. Actually, all of her is pretty. Sarah is pretty inside and out!
3. She is funny, witty, smart.
4. She is one of the most considerate people I've ever met in my life. She's a good listener and a giver.
5. If Sarah does not approve of your actions, she will cut you.
6. No really, she will.
7. Sarah is creative. She knows how to do things like knitting and coming up with cool designs for her blog. She's a reader, a writer and a lover. Unless of course she is about to cut you.
8. Sarah is full of passion.
9. She inspires people to be better.
10. Sarah is a true friend and one of the best friends I've ever had.

Happy Birthday, friend of mine.

Edward Cullen wants you...
to have a happy birthday.