Sunday, January 31, 2010

January - Month in Review

I journal pretty regularly for Luke but don't write anything down for our family as a whole. I'm going to start a weekly review on Sundays so that I can print them out and keep them as a sort of family journal. I'm typing January's all at once since I just decided I wanted to do this. :)

First week of January:

College friends were here over the New Year's holiday and we had so much fun with them. We were able to get our mortgage refinanced, saving us $150 a month which we are rolling into paying off the good ol' credit card. In the last few weeks of December/January, we were given $600 - $500 anonymously and $100 from a couple that we know. This money provided the repairs needed on our house to fix it up before reassessment and move us into a different bracket. God has been teaching us SO much about trusting Him with money issues. He really does always take care of us and sometimes He just smacks us over the head with the realization that we need to STOP WORRYING!
Started teaching voice lessons again to a very sweet girl from my church and I love it.

Second week:

Saw a dear friend again unexpectedly as she had to travel up from Florida for her grandfather's funeral. One of those things where we hate to see her under the circumstances but were glad to see her nonetheless. Visited my friend/fellow music teacher from last year and her newborn son for the first time. Had a freezer cooking day with a friend and it was a big success!


Third week:

Visited a former student and her mom and another student's mom - so nice to spend some time visiting with them and left with a huge bag of gifts for Luke. :) Officially got accepted to sub for our local school district, so hopefully that will be starting soon. I'm just planning on working 2 days a week for a little extra money. The three of us got sick and my parents and brother came to stay for the weekend.


Fourth week:

Luke has been extremely sick with what they think is RSV. What started out as a cold turned into a hacking cough, wheezing breaths, and rattling lungs. He had no appetite, but when he did manage to eat, he would cough so hard that he projectile vomited numerous times. I was starting to get worried about him getting dehydrated. He was given two prescriptions to help open his lungs and an inhaler treatment. He's been to the doctor twice, and tomorrow we take him back and hopefully the prognosis will be good! He is happier today and his appetite is back so that's a good sign. This has been one of the hardest weeks of my life. Sickness in an already high-maintenance baby does not make a happy mommy and daddy. :)

Bring on February! :)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Thank you Geri!

Geri from Heart N Soul Cooking has given me this award! I have seen these awards around blog land but I've never gotten tagged for any so this was fun to wake up to this morning!

Slightly on the corny side? Absolutely. :)

But definitely fun!

Here are the award rules (copied from Geri's site):
Copy the award image in your post. Then, list 10 things that make you happy and tag 10 bloggers who brighten your day. For those 10 bloggers who get the award, you must link back to my blog. Don't forget to mention the person who gives you the award and notify the award winners and put their links in your post.

I'm a pretty happy person, so there's a lot more than 10,
but here's the first ones that came to my mind!

1. My faith, without a doubt (any questions please ask!)
2. My family (husband and son obviously at the very top)

And on a MUCH less serious note,

3. Singing and playing the piano
4. Yard sales and thrifting
5. Reading People and drinking Starbucks at Barnes 'n' Noble with my husband
7. The thrill of saving money with all of my coupons (haha I'm dead serious!)
8. Cooking and baking
9. The smell of tennis balls, Florida, the first warm day of Spring, and the beach
10. Moments when my husband and I are making our son laugh together and my heart just feels like it will burst at the seams

The teacher in me is reeeeeeally feeling guilty that I can only pick 10 people to do this! lol
I want everything to be fair but I also don't have the time to go around and tell all of you about this.

So, here are a SELECTED few blogs that I really enjoy!

Melissa @ 320 Sycamore
Heather @ The Hennesseys (She's having a baby! lol)

Some of you I know in real life and some of you I don't - but I enjoy all of your blogs, ladies!

Monday, January 25, 2010

One Recipe - Breakfast and Dinner!

TastyTuesday200pix Welcome to my new home   Tasty Tuesday

I tried a new recipe last week that I think works equally well for breakfast or dinner. Since that is a rare find in my opinion, I had to share it with all of you!

I have no idea what the real title of this recipe is - I'm calling it "Ham and Cheese Pie." I got it off a woman from last year, and she got it from The Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook, so that's what I'm crediting!


Ham and Cheese Pie

1 8 oz can refrigerated crescent rolls
{I used biscuits because it's all I had; it came out okay
but I would definitely recommend the crescent rolls if you have them}

1 1/2 C finely chopped cooked ham

1 8 oz. package Monterey Jack cheese, cubed
{I used shredded Colby Jack and it turned out fine}

2 T grated Parmesan cheese

2 T finely chopped onion

2 large egs, lightly beaten

Unroll crescent rolls, and separate into 8 triangles. Fit 5 triangles into a 9-inch pie plate, pressing edges together to seal. Combine ham and remaining 4 ingredients; spoon into prepared pie plate. Cut remaining 3 triangles into thin strips, arrange them over mixture. Bake on lowest oven rack at 325 for 1 hour. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. {I let mine go for 40 minutes and it was a little dark - I would check yours after 30 minutes.}


I tried this last week because I was still trying to "Eat From the Pantry" and it called for ingredients I already had. I have to say that I was really impressed! My husband and I both liked it - I think it would have been even better with the crescent rolls, although the biscuit dough is a lot less fattening. :) I heated it up another day for breakfast, and it worked just as well! Since it only has 2 eggs, my husband was willing to eat it because it definitely does not have the consistency of a quiche.

As you can see, my biscuit dough didn't quiiiite stretch over the top, but here it is, already half-eaten before I thought to take a picture! Enjoy!

Update for those of you who responded to my question...

Well, first of all, I feel a little embarrassed to say that you all had much sweeter spirits than I did about my blog etiquette question from a few weeks ago! I very wrongly assumed the worst, instead of assuming that she had tried to mail my package and something had gone wrong. Thanks to you guys, I had a major change of heart.

So, I e-mailed her today, and guess what?! She DID mail my package, except she accidentally sent it to the wrong winner! (She had two giveaways that day on her site.) Somehow she put my name on the other girl's address, and the other girl never contacted her to say she'd won two prizes instead of one.

The "hostess" told me that she'd considered contacting me earlier to see if I liked my gifts, but she didn't want to seem annoying. She apologized and said that she will definitely send out my prizes.

This was a good lesson for me, both in blog etiquette and as a reminder to not assume the worst in others but to assume the best instead. Thank you for the gentle reminder that you all gave me without realizing it!

Eat From the Pantry Challenge - It's So Over!

Technically I ended the challenge last week - I feel like it was a total success but I just had to go to the grocery store and re-stock. I feel that it was successful because it stretched my creativity, cleaned out a bunch of food that needed to be eaten, and got me into the habit of making weekly meal plans - a habit I am definitely continuing.

In my "naivete", I thought that meal-planning would be boring because it would make life so predictable. Um, hello! lol With a 6-month old, I need that one piece of predictability in my life! It's nice to have a plan for the week and to know exactly what I need to buy. I should also add that with just the two of us, I really don't usually need to cook 5 days a week - something I didn't actually realize until I started writing it down. About 4 meals really works for us, with leftovers the rest of the days!

In the process of eating from the pantry, my friend and I had a Freezer Cooking Day. It was a lot more fun than I thought it would be, and we are definitely doing it again! I'll share what we cooked when FishMama and Money Saving Mom host their Freezer Cooking Day in February.

Without further ado, here's the plan for this week:

Monday: Chicken in a Bag from Freezer Cooking Day (crockpot meal) {I found this originally on Money Saving Mom but can't find the link now}

Pan-Seared Tilapia Recipe

Tuesday: Pan-Seared Tilapia (I use 1/3 cup or less of flour, only 1 T oil and add Montreal Chicken Seasoning and some garlic powder)

Wednesday: Angel hair with meat sauce

Thursday: Leftovers

Johnny Marzetti III Recipe

Friday: Johnny Marzetti (very easy with pantry staples; I sub some garlic for the celery - obviously not 2 cups though :)

Weekend: Leftovers, soup, etc.

I'll probably make up some pumpkin chocolate chip bread since I have the mix leftover from buying it in the fall.

And there you have it!

Linking to Org Junkie's Menu Plan Monday

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Some Frugal Workout Tips

I missed the party last week at Kelly's blog, but she was asking people to share their weight loss tips and advice.

I started Weight Watchers after Labor Day Weekend to take off the last 16 pounds after Luke that just decided that they were going to cling to me with all their might. Thankfully, my mom had given me all of her old Weight Watchers materials so I didn't have to join myself. If someone in your life did Weight Watchers in the past, ask if they're currently using their materials - I think the program is fantastic. I'm not someone who needs to go to weekly meetings - I had enough internal motivation because I was so tired of being chunky from baby weight! :)

Using Weight Watchers and the free exercises I'm going to show you below, I did lose all of that weight (slowly, because I wasn't always super strict) before Christmas.

However, I gained weight over Christmas and New Year's, and I'm still working on those pounds - the chocolate reaaaally wasn't worth it. :)

Anyway, being a SAHM with not a lot of disposable income, I looked on YouTube for exercise videos, and to my surprise, I found quite a few! I rotate between all of these 10-minute Pilates videos:

Bonnie's Pilates Workout Routine - Thighs

Total Body

Flexibility (I've only done this one a few times; it's definitely not a workout - more of a 10-minute stretch but it feels really good!)

If I want to do something more aerobic for free, I click on any video by Paul Eugene. There's tons of them online and just type in his name on You Tube to find him. I do two at a time.

He's definitely not like any instructor I've seen before. :)

But, he has a lot of videos that are 10 minutes long and all of them have praise songs in the background. I usually have to jog when he walks, etc. to keep my heart-rate up, but his videos are free and make me laugh and keep me thinking about God so really I can't complain.

You'll understand why I'm smiling as I'm typing this if you try one of his workouts! :)
You'll feel a little ridiculous but you can't help but have fun! My kind of workout is one that makes me forget that I hate exercising. :)

Hopefully these links and tips will be a help to some of you looking to lose weight like I am!

Linked to:

Frugal Friday @ Life As Mom
Works for Me Wednesday @ We Are That Family

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Burlap Tissue Box Cover

This craft cost me about the equivalent of $1 and I'm so excited to show it to you!

I try to buy my tissues as dirt-cheap as possible, usually at CVS or Aldi's. However, that also means that I never have cute designs on my boxes. I hated how the designs always clashed with my bathroom. Thankfully, this idea popped into my head last week and I'm really happy with how it turned out.

As you'll see from the pictures below, I got so excited to do this that I didn't bother to clean up my counters. :)

I had purchased this magazine holder from Target's $1 Spot a few years ago. It was 2/$1, I think. I was about to throw it out, because it had definitely seen better days.

I realized as I pulled it apart that the bottom formed perfectly square corners and it could be perfect for my tissue box project.

I took a razor blade and "traced" the edges.

Then I took my pen and drew along the lines to show where they connected.

I removed the tissue box, and me and Claudia got to work. Yes, that's my glue gun. It's way more fun to name objects you work with frequently. (P.S. Did anybody else read The Babysitter's Club as a kid? Claudia was the cool one, remember? ;)

I glue-gunned along the pen lines I'd drawn, and let it set.

Here's the top, semi-finished:

And here's the bottom:

Then I cut a big piece of burlap and began gluing and tucking and cutting.

(I had a ton of burlap left over from these, and I still have quite a bit left over even after this project.)

When I finished I realized I had a problem. Oops!

Nothing another strip of burlap can't fix:

And here she is, sittin' pretty in the bathroom! The tissue box is easily popped out when it's empty.

I was very fortunate to grow up minutes from the beach. Every time I go in the bathroom, I enjoy looking at all of the shells and driftwood and sea glass I've collected from home and on vacations in Maine.

I'm 99% positive that Target is currently carrying more of these magazine holders right now. This project's not limited to burlap - use any fabric that will work for you!

Linked to the following parties....

Finding Fabulous - Frugalicious Friday
Between Naps on the Porch - Metamorphosis Monday
The Shabby Chic Cottage - Transformation Thursday
Reinvented - Trash to Treasure
My Romantic Home - Show and Tell Friday
Blue Cricket Designs - Show and Tell
Funky Junk Interiors - Saturday Nite Special

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A Blog Etiquette Question For You...

I have been pondering this question in my head for months now and I don't know what to do so I just figured I'd ask all of you fellow bloggers for help!

Waaaay back in September, I won a giveaway from a blogger. Well, it's the middle of January, and that giveaway never came. She has my address, because she asked for it in an e-mail. She has never contacted me to say "sorry, it's delayed" or "my husband lost his job and I can't afford it anymore" or anything like that.

She has two boys and of course as a mom now I understand how things can get pushed to the back burner and totally forgotten about with kids in your house. But at the same time, I feel like it's okay to hold her to what she promised. I mean, isn't there something to be said for blogging with integrity? I was a follower of hers long before I won the giveaway, and every time I read her posts now I almost feel like I can't trust her 100%!

So here's my question: Do I let it go, and she therefore is not held to what she "promised", or do I gently bring it up and risk sounding snotty for asking for my free gift? lol

I really want your honest opinion - I told you, I really don't know what to do!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Eat From the Pantry Challenge - Week 2


Crystal asked everyone to post how they did last week with the challenge. (Check back here if you want to see my plan for Week 1.) I bought chicken, milk, formula, and $11 worth of other food because we had guests on Saturday night.

This week, I spent about $35. $31 was for us (mostly produce and dairy/cheese items we were out of) and the other $4 covers the meal I'm bringing to a friend. She had a baby a week before Christmas and I'm bringing her dinner tomorrow because I remember how awesome that was when people did that for me!

Here's the plan, Stan!

Monday - Homemade {Turkey} Bacon and Onion Pizza

Tuesday - Veggie Stir-Fry (this is the meal I'm doubling because my friend is a vegetarian and also breast-feeding. It's a hard combo to cook for, let me tell you!)

Wednesday - Chicken Parmesan (Rachael Ray's recipe - I don't use the thyme or rosemary)

Thursday - Burgers with Rachael Ray's Oven Fries (are you sensing a theme?!)

Friday/Saturday - Taco Soup (I couldn't make this last week because I forgot that I didn't have any crushed tomatoes; I made two crockpot meals instead)

Sunday - Any leftovers (we eat a big family dinner every Sunday afternoon)


Banana-Chocolate Chip muffins (those got subbed for berry crisp last week)

Berry Crisp (this will be doubled for my friend - can you tell I have a lot of frozen berries taking up space in my freezer? :)

I think this challenge has been great for us so far - we've definitely come in below our $75 weekly grocery budget both weeks. We've also only spent $16 of our $50 household budget (so $100 total) for the past two weeks. Since I'm not really shopping, I'm not picking up anything for the house while I'm in the store. Although we're definitely going to need diapers and toilet paper next week. :)

The biggest challenge so far is not buying a lot of my regular "diet" foods (they're SO expensive!) So far I have been steadily losing weight again, so maybe I'll realize I don't need them anyway!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Attention, Attention!

Hellooooo girls - I have some fun news today!

You will notice from now on that I have a Tupperware blinkie on my site. This is because I have my very first sponsor! Amy is a Christian SAHM looking to make a little extra money, and she's the sister-in-law of a friend. She wanted a blog to advertise on, I said yes, and the rest is history!

So what does this mean for YOU?

It means that we'll be hosting some fun Tupperware giveaways in the future (yeah free stuff!) and you'll periodically get the inside scoop on Tupperware's great sales (for instance, they're having a 40% off sale right now on their "Modular Mates" collection, shown below).

Clicking the link on my website takes you directly to Amy's site, where she'll advertise the current specials. Her site will also take you directly to the Tupperware website, where you can make purchases.

It's a quick, easy, and painless way to order more Tupperware!

Remember to check back for that giveaway! :)

Saturday, January 9, 2010

$1 Target Shopping Trip

We were at Target the other day to pick up some formula, and as we rounded the corner toward the Christmas section my heart stopped beating for a minute when I saw the sign:

90% off!

Of course, it had reaaaally been picked over at that point, but I was able to snag 3 ornament packages for a quarter each! That's right people! Perfect for filling glass jars with next year.

Then I went through the food clearance section and on my way over noticed that the Select Harvest soup was $1.25 each. Using a $1/1 coupon I had, the price was brought to only a quarter as well.

{I just want to say that I never was all that crazy about veggie soups before, but now that I've been on Weight Watchers for a while I eat them several times a week. They are usually really low in calories, and the Select Harvest soups use all natural ingredients. The one I picked up was Southwestern Vegetable and if you top it with a little reduced-fat sour cream and some reduced-fat cheese, it's only 3 points and it is SO good! I told you I'm a mexiholic! lol}

Anyway, you know you've done well when even your male cashier comments that "You can't beat these prices!"

Nope, you really can't. :)

Happy weekend!

{Linked to Money Saving Mom for Super Savings Saturday.}

Friday, January 8, 2010

Show Us Your Life: New Year's Resolutions/Goals

This is my first time ever participating in one of Kelly's parties and I think this is as good a one as any to start (wow, bad grammar but you get the point!).

Chris and I sat down a few days ago and made a list of our goals for this year. As I wrote before, this is the first year I really feel like January's a fresh start (rather than September). I figure writing out some of the resolutions here will help keep me even more accountable. I'm going to share the resolutions that directly involve me (not the two of us).

I'll revisit this list on June 1st and then December 31st/Jan 1st to see how I've done!


1. Lose 7 pounds by March 1st and 7 more (reaching my goal weight) by June 1st. I am back on Weight Watchers after my holiday hiatus. I'm so mad at myself for gaining 5 pounds over Christmas, but there's nothing I can do about it now except suck it up and work it off!

2. Be more engaged in prayer. I know this might sound ridiculous, but I tend to be a sporadic and quick "prayer-er". I am also one of those people whose mind always never sits still and Chris and I will be praying and I'll realize that I've thought about 50 things before the prayer's up and never really heard most of it. Prayer is a gift that God gives us and I truly want to be more engaged in it.

3. Continue working out at least 4 days a week.


1. $300/month on groceries (this includes formula and baby food) and $200/month on household (this includes diapers, wipes, and other baby needs), with the goal of reducing these numbers drastically by the end of the year

2. Cut household waste and find even more ways to save money

3. Find ways to substitute homemade foods for convenience foods (yogurt was my first food like this; next I'm going to try making my own bread crumbs)

4. Make $300 via consignment shops and the flea market {already made $71.17 so far, so I'm off to a good start!}

5. Find some other ways to bring in money besides subbing part-time (which I will start in approximately 2 weeks) {God has already brought two small money-makers into my life - he has provided a voice lesson student and the other one is a surprise which I will share on my blog as soon as it works out!}

*Our goal is to roll as much money as we can into paying off our credit card*


1. Sleep train Luke (he starts next week - poor baby, if he only knew what was coming! lol)

2. Get Luke on a routine that works for both of us

Yikes, this is my 3rd post this week without pictures - I hate reading posts without pictures, so thanks for sticking with me!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Eat From the Pantry Challenge

I just want you all to know that as I typed this title I accidentally wrote "panty" the first time. Whooo!! Not that kind of blog, that's for sure! :)


Anyway, a friend and I are doing a freezer cooking day on Martin Luther King day, so I figured that these two weeks would be the perfect time to work out cleaning out the freezer to make some space. It's actually kinda fun!

This week wasn't completely grocery-budget free; I purchased about 12 pounds of chicken on sale for $1.88/pound and some milk for both of us and formula for Luke. Next week I'll probably have to stock up on some raw veggies again. But other than that, we're pretty much good to go!

The plan:

Wednesday: BBQ Turkey Meatloaf {from the freezer}

Thursday: Rachael Ray's Pasta Carbonara {I make a few subsitutions like turkey bacon, white cooking wine, and whole wheat pasta}

Friday and Saturday: Taco Soup using freezer beef {we'll eat the leftovers on Saturday}

Sunday: Pasta with meat sauce {I'll reserve a little meat before I add it to the soup}


Chocolate Chip Cookies from the freezer

Banana-Chocolate Chip Muffins {bananas from the freezer}

We may have my brother- and sister-in-law over this weekend; if so I'll make a berry crisp using frozen berries when they come over.

I think this is my first week EVER to use a menu - it was more fun than I thought!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Tasty Tuesday - Smothered Chicken

MMMmmmmmmm girls, this recipe is fabulous! I am doing the "Eat From the Pantry" challenge this week (I'll post about that tomorrow) and as I made this tonight I remembered that today is Tuesday and I could link up to the party at Beauty and Bedlam (I'm just fashionably late).
If you are a mexiholic like I am (yes, I made that up), then hopefully this will be a recipe you will learn to love as well. Super easy, relatively cheap, and not all that bad for you. I feel like Applebee's sells/sold this meal, but I'm not really sure. What I do know is that I've been making it for years and it's in the regular rotation at our house.

TastyTuesday200pix Welcome to my new home   Tasty Tuesday

Smothered Chicken
{all amounts are approximate - use what you have!}

10 chicken tenders/chicken breast strips
oil for sauteing
salt and pepper
1 green pepper, cut into strips {can add as many as you want; can also add colored ones}
1 onion, cut into strips {can also add mushrooms}
mexican/colby jack/cheddar cheese
salsa, chips, sour cream

1. Cook rice according to package directions
2. While rice is cooking, saute chicken in oil until cooked. I always add garlic at the last minute so it doesn't scald. Add s & p to taste.
3. Transfer chicken to plate and saute onions and peppers in leftover oil, adding salt and pepper {this step is totally due to the fact that I hate washing dishes - you can definitely cook the peppers and onions at the same time in a different skillet}
4. When peppers and onions are cooked, add chicken back to pan and scoop the veggies on top. Smother with cheese.
It will look like this:

5. Serve with salsa, chips, and sour cream on the side.

In case you're wondering, this is a salad plate - not a regular. I'm really not a porker. :) I'm trying the whole trick-your-brain-into-thinking-you're-eating-more deal as advocated by Weight Watchers.

Also, if you use reduced-fat cheese, sour cream, and nacho chips like I did, it's really not bad calorie-wise!

I have no doubt you will love this as much as we do!

2009: The Year in Review

When I was pregnant with Luke, I kept a detailed pregnancy journal - something I have also continued after he was born to document his milestones and day-to-day experiences with him. I have a picture in my head of him being a little boy and wanting to read his journal with me and us sitting on the bed and reading all about when he first smiled. Maybe I'm a sap but that's what I hope for! (The pregnancy journal, however, is just for me - I reaaaally don't think he's gonna want to hear about the first time I got stretch marks or how much water I retained. ;)

However, I don't journal everyday life events for myself or us as a family, so part of the reason for this blog was to capture moments of my family's life. I have drifted away from that a little bit recently, so I will be making more of a weekly effort to do that. For my own records, I just wanted to capture a few brief highlights of 2009 for us so I'll remember them later.

Severe morning sickness pretty much dominated my life for a few weeks.

Not much happened this month, although I finally was able to stomach ground beef again so we celebrated Valentine's Day by going to Johnny Rockets and it was FAB. :)
This was also the month I started to feel Luke move.

Found out we would be having a Luke and not an Olivia. One of the best and most emotional moments of my life.
Traveled to Florida for free thanks to wonderful friends and spent the weekend with them. It was so much fun.

First baby shower in Connecticut, thrown by my mom.
Officially decided I'd be leaving my job in the fall to stay home with Luke.
Last time seeing my brother before he left for 6 months in Iraq to work with a Christian non-profit.

First yard sale at my house - actually had fun and made some money!
Second baby shower in Pennsylvania, hosted by my mother- and sisters-in-law.
Labor scare with Luke that turned into hospital stay.

Luke was born via unexpected c-section after induction on the 8th. We had lots of family and friends come visit. First grandchild for my parents, 8th for my in-laws. Luke was born on our niece's 11th birthday, which thankfully she turned out being thrilled about and not jealous or upset.
Recovery coupled with my attempts at breastfeeding was extremely difficult and painful. Not gonna lie, those were some really, really dark days. I have never been happier to see a month pass.

Able to drive, exercise, and be normal again!
Celebrated our 3rd anniversary with dinner at Olive Garden and seeing The Proposal.
Mom and Dad came to visit twice and my sister visited once.
Decided to start blogging again.

First road trip with Luke over Labor Day weekend to see all of my extended family and friends in Connecticut.
Started Weight Watchers to lose the last 16 pounds of baby weight that refused to come off on their own.

Fall party at our house - definitely going to become a fall tradition!
Mom and Dad came to stay again.

We don't celebrate Halloween, so Thanksgiving was Luke's first holiday!
Spent it in Connecticut and saw many family members and friends again.
Saw my brother after 6 long months.

My birthday - celebrated again with Olive Garden (definitely a favorite)
and The Blind Side (SO good!)
Officially lost all the baby weight (only to gain back 5 over the holidays - yes, you heard me!).
Got our house reappraised in order to refinance our mortgage, saving us over $150 a month.
Spent Christmas in Connecticut, and had 5 college friends come over/stay over for New Year's Eve. Some of these friends we hadn't seen in two years so this was really wonderful!

It's been quite the ride - I can't wait to see what the 2010 brings! I have lots of blogging and personal goals for this year that I really hope I'll be able to accomplish.

This is the first year in basically my whole life that I haven't lived by a school schedule, so January really does feel like a fresh start for me.

Happy 2010!