Friday, January 30, 2009

No more plasma...

...TV that is! Today we had the Geek Squad over to fix our plasma tv. It's been acting up since November and luckily we bought the warranty 5 yrs ago which ran out this month! Anyway, after several attempts of them getting the correct and unbroken parts, the two nice "geeks" came to the door! Let me just say, there was nothing "geek" about them! They were ordinary guys who laughed and enjoyed their job. It took them a little over an hour to take the tv apart to get to the plasma panel. Well, after all the hard work they did, when they opened up the wooden crate and unpacked the new plasma panel, they found it too was cracked. That was the bad news. The good news is because of the time that had gone by since the original service call in Nov, and since this was the 4th attempt to fix it, they decided to give us a store credit for the amount of the original purchase price! Ok, we bought this tv 5 yrs ago and prices have gone WAY down on tv's since so we're pretty much making out like bandits. So, we're off tomorrow to Best Buy to pick up a new tv!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Easy recipe time...

Tomorrow we're celebrating Spanish Heritage Night at our house. OK, so we're not Hispanic nor are we really celebrating, it's just what we call it when we make pork roast, yellow rice and black beans! So, all you chef's out there looking for a SUPER easy dinner, here goes:

- Crock pot - a must have!

- 1 Pork butt roast a.k.a. Boston Butt roast - about 7.5 to 8lbs (Sam's sells these in a 2 pk for about 20.00, I buy them there and freeze one for next time)

-1 - 24oz. bottle of Goya Mojo Marinade (usually found in the Mexican food aisle)

-1 pkg yellow Rice mix (I like the Vigo brand in the yellow bag)

-canned black beans (how many depends on how many people you are feeding)

-1 onion

-bay leaves (about 2)

Now for the easy part:

The day before, place the pork butt roast with the fat side facing up in your crock pot (that is if your crock comes out of the base/electric part!) or a big enough bowl to marinate it in overnight in the fridge. I poke mine with a fork a few times to make sure it's dead... no really, so the marinade gets inside! LOL... Pour the whole bottle (after shaking it first) of Mojo over the roast, cover with lid and put in fridge overnight. In the morning (time will depend on when you plan on eating) put the roast in your crock pot base with the lid still on (do not empty the Mojo, it is used to cook the roast). Cook on HIGH for at least 8 hours (do not lift lid, I promise it will be ok!)

When time is almost up, cook yellow rice according to pkg and heat beans in a separate sauce pan with the bay leaves. In the meantime, chop up your onion to be served along with the beans.

When the roast is done carefully place it on a big serving platter (I use my Thanksgiving platter); With two forks, gently pull the pork apart and remove the bone and any excess fat (there won't be that much). The pork should just fall apart. I also take a ladle full of the juice and pour it over the pulled pork. Wallah! Serve with yellow rice, cooked black beans with chopped onion on top and some warm dinner rolls! Oh, don't' forget the hot sauce! mmmmmmmmm

FYI, a 7.5 lb pork roast will serve about 4 adults and three hungry teenage kids!

Note: leftover pork can be served the next day heated in a pan with your favorite BBQ sauce and served on hamburger buns.


Just as I suspected..

Well, it's confirmed... the squirrel family came to eat up Kaylee's peanut butter and BIRD seed pine cone! They were cute though and must have loved the tasty snack. Late last night, I saw a possum trying to get at it but he just couldn't reach it! Anyway, we were happy to see our furry friends enjoying the treat! We have plenty of them around here with all the trees in our back yard.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Got my van back!

Yippee, I got my van out of the shop this evening and it only cost me a small fortune. Ok, I lied, it was a medium fortune... about the amount of a nice vacation! But I look at it in a positive way, like "gee, look at all the frequent flyer miles we just added to our credit card." Anyway, it sounds much better; after all, it's almost like having everything new under the hood! On my way out, I told the cashier that it was nothing personal but I'd hoped not to see her for a long, long time! She laughed.


An early morning Jennah story...

Last night, Jennah was talking to her grandmother on the phone and I heard her tell her grandma that there are 40 something more days until Kaylees birthday. Then I heard Jennah say "Well, when it's my birthday, I'm having a surprise birthday party." Then she told her "Well, actually all of my birthday parties are surprises since I don't know when my birthday is!" It was too cute. I've been trying to teach her when her birthday is but she has no time concept yet. I guess she gets that from her dad!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

I'm on the band wagon...

Ok, here are MY coupon savings for the week. Inspired by friends (you know who you are), I thought I'd take my shot at some savings:

I received a magazine which promotes our local non-WM grocery store. In it was a coupon for greeting cards... buy three get one free. So, I stocked up on cards and whatta ya know, Valentines Day is coming up.. cha-ching, done!

I also spotted a coupon for $10 dollars off the purchase of two gift cards. I picked up one to pass on for an upcoming birthday and being greedy, I also picked up a Starbucks one for myself. Got to treat yourself sometimes right?

We also used Jennah's FREE 1/2 gallon of Ice Cream coupon that she received for getting straight A's on her report card! Gotta love a smart kid (and the school for the ice cream coupon!)

I also had a coupon for a free bag of salad mix when purchased with a bottle of salad dressing... hmmm, it just so happens I'm out of salad dressing too!

Anyway, with the buy-one-get-one free items and my coupons, I had a total savings of GET THIS...$43.19. Don't quit your day job just yet Mike, I've only just begun!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Recipe for PB and Birdseed pinecones - see prior post

Grab a few pine cones, a paper plate, some yarn or string, plenty of paper towels (for those sticky hands!) some peanut butter and some bird seed. The pine cones that are "opened up" work better than the long tubular ones. Tie a string or yarn around the wide end making sure the string is long enough to tie around a tree branch to hang. Do that first so the string doesn't get covered in peanut butter! Spread peanut butter on the pine cone getting it into the openings as well. We did this over a paper plate as it was a tiny bit messy but not too bad! We also used a Popsicle stick so Kaylee could help spread it! Coat with birdseed and hang outside for the furry little critters! Be sure to take pictures too!

Here Birdy Birdy...

Today Kaylee made a peanut butter and birdseed covered pine cone. Remember those!! She did real good being that I didn't think she'd even touch the peanut butter. When she was done, she looked at her hands and instantly said "eeewwww, nakin" (for napkin of course). We hung it up on a tree in the front yard so that she can see it through the front window. I was out there tying it to the branch and she was saying "Eat birds!" I'm sure the squirrels will eat more of it than the birds will but that's ok too!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

shopping trip...

Today, Jennah and I went out shopping for bedroom decor. We picked up some pretty cool girly things for her and a desperately needed storage cart for all her little toys that have the dreaded tiny pieces. She's very much into the Littlest Pet Shop and Polly Pocket toys. My only gripe is that they have these microscopic pieces that you can never seem to keep together. Ok, so I'm exaggerating that they are that small but they are pretty small! Anyway, we decided that a three drawer cart would work well with these as she could put them in separate drawers and they wouldn't get mixed up or lost. Her dollhouse furniture will also have a new home in the cart as well. We tried Ziploc Bags at first but then she kept losing the bags and some of the larger doll house furniture wouldn't fit in the bags anyway! I also picked up a new pop up hamper, an over the door shoe holder for her shoes as well as some wall decals and some fabric covered letters to match her bedding. The letters spell out the word "BLOOM" as her bedding is flowery. When I get it all put up, I'll have a pic for you all to see. Other than that, it was drop the van off at the shop day AGAIN! The check engine light came on and the brakes need to be worked on. Hopefully, it won't cost me too much!