Monday, March 31, 2008


The other night at garden club I was talking to 2 of my girlfriends about someone. It was someone whom we all know in the same capacity-None of us are closer to this man than any of the others. We aren't close personal friends with him. Between the three of us we came up with the following opinions:

-He's geeky
-He's gay (he's married so this one is a guess on the person's part who thought this)
-He's a hottie
-He's a pervert

I could hardly believe we were talking about the same person. How could 3 people see someone so completely different?

We tend view people based on who we believe them to be. At least for me, this is based on the person's actions and personality. Rarely do we consider that they are this way to us because of who we are.

I'm a very concrete thinker so the idea that someone might appear a certain way because of me is something I really need to think about in order to wrap my arms around it. I like to call a spade a spade. I like black and white. I don't trust gray. I like knowing who I'm dealing with. Friend or Foe? I quickly make decisions and form opinions. Those opinions and perceptions don't change much. This has caused me to hang onto people for much longer than I should have in some instances and has probably caused me to pass over someone whom I should have given a second look to.

Maybe this is all elementary stuff to those of you more empathy oriented than I am but this is really food for thought for me.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

My $145 Shoes

Yes, unbelievably, I am the owner of a pair of $145 shoes.

Mind you, I didn't buy them for $145. While on vacation my MIL took me to an upscale clothing store and there they were in the back of the store in a clearance pile. It was a really fancy store so the clearance pile was in a dark recessed corner. I think most of the women shopping in the store probably didn't even venture to that part of the store lest someone think THEY were perusing the clearance stuff. But I'm not proud. I found the shoes. They were $20!

The woman at the cash register reminded me of what a great deal I was getting even though the original price was on the bottom of the shoe (and at the same time, judging me, I imagine for my very poor choice.)

Anyway these are really cute shoes. I did not have occasion to wear them until last night at a dinner party we hosted in our home. I never wore them outside. I have hardwood floors. I didn't run or dance in them. During a game of Apples to Apples, the heel broke! I was sitting down. I was leaning on it a little with my foot. It was a skinny heel. BUT IT BROKE THE FIRST TIME I WORE IT.

Having never before owned a pair of $145 shoes I must say I expected a little more life out of them (Ok, perhaps that is why they were on clearance!) But can you even imagine what kind of PO'd I would be had I spent that much (or even half of that!) Heck, if a pair of $20 shoes from Target break I would take them back.

Anyway, I suspect these are some more cheap crap shoes made in a foreign country with questionable labor practices. Some joker just found out a way to charge even more for them than the cheap shoes you expect at Payless or Target. People in upscale shops are paying more than I spend on groceries for something the same quality of the shoes all of the rest of us wear.

And now I am even more convinced that labels and prices tell us very little about the quality of our clothing and exist more to make you feel good about the exorbitant price you are being charged.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

I look like who???????

Ok I did this online thing with my picture to match me to which famous person I look like. (And yes, I was NOT surprised that it is saying I look like Christie Brinkley ;-)

At any rate please note that they appear in the order of the % match to my face, with the top left person being my closest match. I'm finding it SUPER ODD that my closest match is an ASIAN WOMAN. A 78% match (Christie was only a 72% match)

Please note I have nothing against Asian women. I just don't think I look like one.

Then I did this thing where you put your child's photo up with you and your partners picture and they tell you who the child looks more like. Well if you know me you know I think she looks very much like me. The darn meter said she looked like us both equally! (perhaps because my child does not look 78% like an Asian woman.)

Look now you can watch me morph into an Asian woman.

And yes, I do have better things I could be doing with my time this evening.

MyHeritage: Family trees - Genealogy - Celebrities

Green Smoothies!

I've been hearing a lot about green smoothies lately.

I'll admit, I had my doubts about this. I mean, I just don't typically drink things that are green! (heck, I even use yellow split peas for my split pea soup because I think it looks better!) I like green food, I just don't DRINK it.

Anyway, Monday of this week I jumped on the bandwagon. It was surprisingly good! As I was having one, my daughter walked into the room and asked for some! She loved it! We've had 3 green smoothies this week. Today we had them with a blueberry muffin and a hard boiled egg for a nice lunch.

My smoothies this week all consisted of:

1 banana
Some cut up mango
Some cut up apple
About 3/4 cup baby spinach
Some water to get it all blended together. Today I used crushed ice.

Whirl it around your blender until it looks like the picture. The banana helps mellow out the spinach taste. The possibilities are endless. I'm going to try another recipe next week-This was all I had on hand this week for a smoothie.

Trust me-This was good! And my girl and I each had 5 different fruits and veggies for lunch today!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Sex and Murder

I overheard two old ladies at the library today:

Old Lady #1-"Sex and Murder, that's all there is anymore"
Old Lady #2- "I know, I'm almost getting tired of it....."

Hmmm...It must be interesting to be Old Lady #1, who seems to only have sex and murder in her life.

And old lady #2 is ALMOST getting tired of it. Like perhaps she's ALMOST had her fill of sex and murder, but not quite.

And I guess they could have been talking about the books. But I imagined they were talking about a racy dangerous old age home!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Cleaning House

One of the things that I noticed on my vacation was that there was much less stuff down there than we have up here and it was so much easier to keep neat.

My daughter had a very limited amount of toys there and was able to quickly clean up herself. She was also not bored with less toys to play with all at once (and trust me, I don't think she has a lot of toys to begin with.)

When I got home I immediately cleared out 1/2 of the toys in her room. I put them in a closet to sort at a later date. She and I love it. She can't put it into words but I think it's the feeling of openness in her room. Everything is more restful and stays neater.

Yesterday I wondered why, if we only have 3 people living in this house, do I have 16 dinner plates in the cabinet?? I do have nice size kitchen with a lot of cabinets so I just put them all in there when we moved in. FOR WHAT? I put them in a cabinet (along with a bunch of other things (10 tea cups anyone? ) in the dining room today-If we have guests we'll just be eating there anyway. And now I have open space!

Why does my one child have 5 different child's plates? Where did they even come from? I know one was a gift and I think grandparents bought the others. I wash dishes every day so it's not like she'll ever use 5 dishes! I kept the beautiful ones we got as gifts that we didn't let her use at first (what!!)

This whole thing has my husband and I talking about living smaller and downsizing our things even more (mind you we moved here only 18 mos ago and it seemed like we had de-cluttered at lot at the time.) Apparently we have more work to do before we reach our comfort level with it.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Adventures at Aldi

It occurred to me last week that living beautifully frugally just isn't as glamorous in the winter as it is in the summer (At least I'm not seeing it these days!) It's not that I'm not being frugal and enjoying the fruits of my labor, it's just that who wants to listen to me talking incessantly about NOT spending money. I need some pretty projects or to score some excess fruit for some jam! (I'm working on it people!)

Anyway, here's a new one on my list! Aldi! Pretty much to anyone who lives near me, Aldi is not new. And I have shopped there in the past. But the ones that I went to were kind of dumpy in dumpy places and left me feeling poor. NOT something to make me feel good about frugality.

Anyway, there is a new Aldi that I need to drive by to get to my parent's house. For the heck of it I gave it another try a few weeks ago. I love it! It's neat and clean and there is hardly anyone in there during the day.

I'm not really brand loyal so the different packages did not bother me. I am ingredient loyal though so the first few times it called for me to read packages. (Aldi, does not, for instance carry applesauce without corn syrup in it and our health is not worth the savings!)

I have found some great buys on what I would consider pantry items though.

Decaffe Green Tea- $.99 vs $2.49
Decaffe Coffee- $2.49 vs $3.49
Sugar- $1.99 vs $2.29
Pepperochini peppers-$1.19 vs $2.49
Head of Cauliflower- $1.69 vs $2.50 (or even $2.99 some weeks)
a Mango- $.59 vs $2.00

And the list goes on. The produce is somewhat limited but seems to be in good condition for what they do have. We don't eat a ton of packaged food but this place would be a mecca for you if you did. I'm not sure I need to go every week but I might go every few weeks on the way to stock up on things I know are cheaper. The savings may not seem that big to you-$1 here, $.75 there but I calculated I saved $15 last week on stuff I would normally buy. My grocery budget is $100.That's 15%. So my groceries were %15 cheaper (or I got %15 more if you want to look at it that way!)

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Back from Vacation!

Well lest you think that I lost my head in the heat in Florida and ran up credit cards sipping margaritas every night, I'm here to tell you it isn't so. I, in fact, did have a margarita most nights but it was one my FIL made me and he didn't charge me for it.

It was a pretty wonderful vacation. Marco Island Florida is a beautiful place! At first I wondered why only older people lived there, but then I quickly realized it was because they are literally the only ones who can afford it. If a trip like this doesn't solidify saving for retirement then nothing will!

Thanks to nice in-laws, our financial outlay for this was very limited. I almost didn't post about it because while this would be considered a beautiful life, it really would not have been frugal had we paid for it.

Weather was warm, company was nice, every morning I had coffee sitting on the lanai looking at the beautiful gold course (who would think a gold course would look so nice and peaceful!) The best part, by far, was being outside. I'm not much of a play outside in the snow kind of person so being outside swimming and walking and having fun (all free I might add) really made the vacation special.

2 days before we left we found a free spray park which was a blast. We walked each evening and one night we had a very expensive grown up dinner out while the in-laws watched our girl.

Getting back to reality was cold, hard and a little bit sad. Hence my not writing last week. I was tired and everything looked so colorless after the hot colors of a Florida winter! I wasn't feeling like talking frugal, in fact, I didn't want to do much but go back to Florida and take a nap every afternoon.

But back to reality I am and back to living beautifully frugally, I'll be!