Sunday, April 15, 2007

Weekly spending:

Monday: $0
Tuesday: Kohl's (amazingly comfy flip flops - did I need them? Uhhhhh sorta...) -$16.10, Hancock Fabrics (final touch on Sarah and Sherry's b-day presents)- $2.04, Salad Mix - $3.49
Wednesday: Saw "The Last Mimzy" - $13.00, Snacks - $11.25
Thursday: Round Table pizza for four - $36.85
Friday: $0
Saturday: $0
Sunday: (Xavier Rudd's "Solace" CD) - $9.35

Total -$92.08

Oops! We were a little undisciplined this week. Oh well, next week we'll do better. :-)

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Will Someone Please Come Get Me?

Matt and I went to see The Last Mimzy today. I haven't decided how I feel about the movie, but it was set in Seattle. Oh homesickness! Every time they showed the Space Needle or the wonderful clean beaches and mountains it just grabbed me (Kinda funny - they showed them going to Whidbey by way of the Seattle ferry - uh, no! The Seattle ferry doesn't go to Whidbey! Haha.). I am so so so ready to come home but we made a list of unfinished tasks and Matt says it'll take much longer than a week. I want to go home next Tuesday (the 17th) at the latest. I'm done now! Unbeknownst to Matt, I looked into one-way flights to Seattle - about $180, not bad. However, I can imagine Matt would not relish the idea of me leaving without him and it would be kind of cruel to leave him to drive 13 hours alone in an overloaded van with Tink and Lucky. Oh goodness gracious, what's a homesick gypsy to do? Someone just come get me please. ;-)

OMG Fun!!!

I just joined and it's so fun! This is another great tool for focusing on your goals. You just type in what you want to accomplish (go skydiving, learn to play guitar, etc.) and it pops up other people with your goals and you can post comments about your journey in working towards that goal and read what others are saying. This is a great opportunity to examine what you've always wanted to do and realize it's not so scary or unattainable, after all. Love it! This is the year to go after big dreams!

Monday, April 9, 2007

Weekly spending:

Monday: $0
Tuesday: $0
Wednesday: Gloriously healthy dinner (tiramisu, beer, and tea) - $17.30
Thursday: Six Flags - $82.98, Parking -$15, Lunch - $20, Cold Stone - $4.19
Friday: $0
Saturday: $0
Sunday: $0

Total -$139.47

We only bought fun stuff this week, and I'm so glad! We had a great time at Six Flags. I'll probably post some pix of it in a couple days. Not exactly frugal, but it was worth it. :-)

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Matt, the Gourmet Cook

Matt made a wonderful dinner tonight for us and the neighbors, and I just had to pass along the recipes. He did a fantastic job even though he had never before cooked asparagus, artichokes, or monkfish. I'm very proud. :-)

He even presented the meal artfully!


2 1/2 lb. fresh asparagus spears
1/4 c. plus 1 tbsp. butter
1 1/2 c. slivered almonds, toasted
2 tbsp. plus 1 1/2 tsp. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper

Snap off tough ends of asparagus. Remove scales from stalks with a knife or vegetable peeler, if desired. Melt butter in a large skillet, add asparagus and saute 3-4 minutes. Cover skillet and simmer an additional 2 minutes or until asparagus is tender-crisp. Add remaining ingredients; toss gently.

Now, when we make this again we'll use less butter and almonds (maybe olive oil rather than butter, for a healthier option) but it was really simple and delicious.


3      lg Artichokes
5 ounce Parmesan cheese -- grated
1 lg Clove garlic -- minced
1 cup Italian bread crumbs (Progresso®)
1/4 cup Olive oil (this needs to be good extra virgin olive oil)
Lemon juice

Cut the stems and the tops (Just low enough to remove the pointy ends of the
leaves) off of the artichokes.
Mix cheese, garlic,and crumbs. Spread the artichoke leaves so you can fill each
layer, from the outside in, with the crumb mixture.

Place the artichokes in a pot with about 1-2 inches of water. Drizzle olive
oil and lemon juice over the top of each artichoke. Cover and steam 45 minutes
or longer, checking occasionally that the water has not completely evaporated.
The artichokes are done when a leaf can be easily pulled off.

Matt didn't love the artichokes, but I thought they were wonderful and looked beautiful! To improve upon this recipe we'd probably add more garlic and maybe some black or white pepper, maybe a little something else, too.

Monkfish Provincial

4 servings



  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Cajun seasoning to taste
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 pounds monkfish fillets, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 1 (8 ounce) package sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley


  1. In a resealable plastic bag, mix the salt, pepper, Cajun seasoning, and flour. Place the monkfish in the bag, seal, and shake to lightly coat.
  2. Heat the oil and melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Place the monkfish in the skillet, and cook for about 3 minutes. Mix in the garlic, tomato, and mushrooms, and continue cooking 3 minutes. Mix in the wine and parsley. Continue to cook and stir 2 minutes, or until the monkfish flakes easily with a fork.
Everyone said this was wonderful (of course, I just took their word for it). Matt used about half as much flour and substituted Italian breadcrumbs, and next time he'd do very little flour and more breadcrumbs and add lemon juice. Also, we found out after the fact that monkfish is an environmentally irresponsible choice, so a good substitution would be tilapia or halibut.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

What a Powerful Year Already!

I just wanted to let you all know how proud I am of you. This year has already been a season of big decisions and exciting changes. So far in these first four months of 2007, in just my small circle of good friends, there have been these developments:

  • Four couples have bought houses (three of them first-timers).
  • Two couples have gotten engaged.
  • Two couples had babies.
  • Two friends have chosen and committed to pursuing a rewarding and challenging career.
  • Both of those friends are going back to college.
  • One stay-at-home mom became a work-at-home mom.
  • One friend has chosen her long-term career goal.
  • Two friends strategically changed jobs.
  • Three friends moved out for the first time.

I can't wait to see what the rest of the year has in store! Those of us that are working on creating change, keep in mind that this will continue to be a VERY powerful year and the perfect time to shake things up and grab hold of your dreams!

A few of us are going to be getting together on the 20th to make "Treasure Maps" to help us focus on the goals at hand. Treasure Maps are essentially collages you make with visual reminders of what you want for yourself. Simple as it may be, this is an amazingly powerful tool for focusing your prayers and energy into attaining what you want. I've yet to talk to anyone whose Map didn't "work", and they're fun to make!

"To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe." - Anatole France

Go get it, my go-getters! :-)


Sunday, April 1, 2007

Discovery Channel's Planet Earth Mini-Series

While I'm usually snobby about trying not to watch TV, I highly recommend that you guys check out the Planet Earth 11-part series on the Discovery channel. It's on Sunday nights, 8:00 and 9:00 pm. The show is loaded with remarkable, unusual visuals, reminding us why it's so important to change our habits to protect our Mother Earth. One warning, it does have plenty of predator and prey moments (which I could do without...) but even so the show is just stunning. It's also available to preorder on DVD (but will probably be cheaper on Amazon once it's released). It's REALLY amazing in HD, too. Everyone should see it! :-)


Weekly spending:

Monday: Melaleuca (2 cans of protein powder, herbal tea, tea tree oil, and 2 massive bottles of detergent, plus tax and shipping) - $78.61 (my SIL sells this and I wanted her to get her bonus)

Tuesday: Brunch - $28 inc. tip (Darnit - I feel guilty about this. Entirely unneccessary.)

Wednesday: Stamps and shipping for nieces' Easter package (not the hand-knit lambs I'd planned on...) - $11.85, Two advance 3-day passes to Bumbershoot - $120 (haha -OOOPS! Guess I won't be meeting my goal this month...)

Thursday: Pet food - $32.00, Target (Easter gifts for Nick and Eli, kitty litter, contact solution) - $21.73

Friday: Our half of Indian food (I have decided I don't love Indian food - it's just too ugly!) - $23.00

Saturday: $0

Sunday: Lunch - $26.00 inc. tip (third meal out this week! SHAME!), Solar Clothing (2 really cute tanks off the sale rack - I did NOT buy the shoes, hat, or earrings that I liked - go me! Kinda. Could've lived without the shirts too.) - $10.74, Tiny yet delicious latte - $1.00

Total - $352.93!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Went over my $250 monthly goal by, ohhh, $196.)

Oh my, this week was out of control!!! I have only one thing to say: PMS. Yet another reason why every 28 days I should be locked up like a werewolf, to protect myself and others. ;-)