Friday, April 30, 2010
However, I know that it is good practice to keep maintenance records for cars for several reasons. So, since binder systems seem to be working out well for me, I started one for the cars. Mine is pretty simple. We have two cars, so I put two page dividers in the binder. Each has the car's model written on the tab. At the top of each page divider, I wrote "Oil Change Log." This way I can just write the date and mileage of each oil change right on the page divider for each car.
I added clear page protectors to the binder so that I can slip any maintenance receipts in right when we get them. I'm also going to keep a photo copy of our registrations and auto insurance in the binder.
That's about it. You could definitely add more, but for us, I think simple is best. I just think it will be helpful to have an easy place to store everything. Plus, whenever we sell our cars (which hopefully won't be for a long time) we will have the maintenance records to give to the new owners!
Tonight, I baked them a batch of yummy all natural peanut butter treats! A friend e-mailed me a great recipe when she saw it on my list for the month. The dogs TOTALLY knew I was baking for them. They didn't leave the kitchen the whole time! That is unusual for this time of night... usually they are upstairs sleeping.
I used a little dog bone shaped cookie cutter that I've had for YEARS (since I used to bake them treats!) but you can use any cookie cutter, or just cut them into little squares. The recipe said that it makes two and a half dozen, but I got four dozen out of it!
These were super easy and quick to make! Not to mention, much cheaper than buying processed dog biscuits!
Peanut Butter Goodness Dog Biscuits
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups white flour (* I used un-bleached)
1/2 cup peanut butter (all-natural or organic)
1 cup water
2 tablespoons oil
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Combine oil, peanut butter and water. Add flour, one cup at a time, forming a dough. Knead dough into firm ball and roll to 1/4 inch thickness.
Cut into 3 to 4 inch pieces or cut shapes with a cookie cutter. Place on an un-greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 F for 20 minutes. Makes 3-4 dozen.
The closet itself is pretty deep. Previously, there was a shelf/coat rack all the way at the back of the closet. This was kind of annoying because if we hung coats on it, we couldn't really keep anything in front of the coats or we couldn't easily access them, but then we just had all of this wasted storage space up front. Our solution was to remove the existing shelf/rack (which we had to do anyway in order to put the door in) and we are going to hang a coat rod across, closer to the front of the closet. Then we will have room to store infrequently used items back behind the coats. You can see how deep the closet is here:
So, finishing out this closet will be on May's list. For right now, I'm just happy to have the door painted and have a home for all of my Christmas bins!
Next, I contacted Time Warner Cable (my favorite people to call... note that is dripping with sarcasm) to get a price quote on having an additional phone and cable jack installed in the house. Apparently, in order to hook up our modem for the cable and the phone, they needed to have both jacks next to each other. This information might have been something helpful for the people working in the design center for our builder to know AND pass along when we were picking out locations for these things...but... I digress. So, the only room that had both jacks is our bedroom, but they aren't next to each other. So, our modem is sitting on the floor, and we have a super long phone cord running across the floor from the other side of the room. Very well thought out and planned on our part. Today I found out it will cost $85 to have the new jacks installed next to each other in our office. That actually isn't as expensive as I thought it would be. I'll be calling them back next month to get that taken care of so that we can get our office set up!
And finally, I submitted my first claim to the warranty office. We have one small issue and one possibly larger issue with the house. The first is that the veneer on the front of one of our kitchen cabinet doors is bubbling, so they need to replace that. The second is that we have MAJOR floor squeaks under the shower in our master bathroom and on the floor right in front of the shower. The project manager told me to have warranty look at it, but they might have to rip out all of the bathroom tile to fix it. This is most likely not an option I'm in favor of, BUT... I want to make sure that there isn't water getting down in there somehow and it's causing the floors to start to squeak. That's been going on for a while, but I guess I've just been putting off calling because in comparison to the myriad of issues we have at our rental house (which was built in 1920), this doesn't seem like as big of a deal!
I'm also really happy to be back home from North Carolina. I had a wonderful time, but am happy to be home and glad it's Friday so Matt doesn't have to go to work tomorrow! I'm going to spend my weekend picking out plants for the front of our house because according to our home owners association, I have to get them all APPROVED first! Sigh. I'm all for H.O.A.'s because I know they help keep the neighborhood nice and maintain home values, blah, blah, blah, but give me a break! They planted the crappiest plants EVER in front of our house, but I have to submit two copies of plans for what I want to plant where along with the size and color and have it approved?! Whatever. I will play by the rules. I guess the upside to this is that it will make me have a well thought out landscaping plan!
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Mostly I'm just glad I don't feel a sense of shame when opening that door! Everything now has a home, and that makes me VERY happy!
Saturday, April 24, 2010
It's just kind of a boring and random space that tends to collect clutter. I haven't done any kind of decorating on the walls of our stairs... no pictures... nothing. Everything just looks very bare. I really like having the bench there, but it's purely decorative. It doesn't open for storage or anything like that (although I guess we could make it open and use the space for storage if we were ever so inclined).
I thought that if I made a cushion for it, that it would spruce things up a bit. So, I bought a piece of foam today at Hancock Fabrics while it was on sale for 50% off (because it turns out that foam is expensive!) and found two and a half yards of this blue striped fabric in the clearance section. Tonight I cut the foam to fit with a serrated knife and wrapped the fabric around it. Here is the final result...
Friday, April 23, 2010
This morning, I saw a story on MSNBC about a Metformin study that shows a correlation between type II diabetics who have used the drug for five years and an OVER 50% less chance of developing breast cancer. It does not talk about women with PCOS who take the drug, and more studies are being conducted, but it was still encouraging news!
I have read that women with PCOS have in increased risk of developing breast cancer because they typically have higher insulin levels (even if not diabetic) and since high insulin levels promote abnormal cell growth, PCOS patients are at an increased risk for several types of cancer.
The thing I found most interesting about this article is that in addition to the reduced cancer rates, most likely attributed to lower insulin levels, some studies are suggesting that the Metformin actually inhibits tumor growth in patients already diagnosed with breast cancer. A study is being conducted now to see if Metformin helps lower the rate of recurrance of breast cancer after standard treatment in early breast cancer patients.
Personally, knowing all of this information is going to make my Metformin pills a little easier to swallow every day!
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Since we had to pull out the pedestal sink to install the hardwood floors, we decided to do a little upgrade. We figured we lived in a neighborhood where everyone's half bath looked exactly the same, so why not do something a little different.
Of course, I painted. The kitchen and the powder room are both this grayish green color called Dusty Miller from Home Depot.
I fell in love with this mirror from Lowes. I know it's more of the type of mirror you would put in an entry way, and not a typical bathroom mirror, but I LOVE it in here!
We found this cute vanity at Home Depot. We loved it because it has two drawers (so we can store toilet paper!) but it's still open. We didn't want something with a cabinet, but then a pedestal sink doesn't give any storage options. This was the perfect solution!
The reason I took care of this today is because my (almost) 81 year old grandfather called me on Tuesday and asked "when are you going to get your camera set up so that we can Skype?" Apparently he got a web cam and has been Skyping with other family members. When I gave him my excuse he told me "Well, it only takes 5 minutes to set up, you know!" So, I figured if my grandfather is Skyping, that I'd better get on the ball! Now, I know that my high school age cousin is visiting right now and I'm sure he set up the web cam for my grandfather, but STILL! Sometimes it just cracks me up how technologically "savvy" my grandfather is, and other times it drives me crazy when I'm trying to explain over the phone how to do something in Excel and I have to specify whether to left click or right click... but mostly it just amazes me. When I was visiting for a week in January he was instant messaging with my cousins in Vermont. It was cracking me up how they would use all kinds of "chat" shorthand and lingo and he, of course, would have no clue what things stood for. Overall, though, it just made me happy that he will try any new technology so that he can stay in touch with his grandchildren and I know it will make him and my grandmother happy to talk to and see Andy on the web cam!
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
I made some space on the other side of the room for Andy's little table and chair. This is where he colors. I had those additional block mats stored in a closet, so now they are being put to good use!
This is Matt's vintage Bucs lamp. Personally, I think it's really cool and I'm excited to buy a shade for it and have it functional in the room. The only issue I have with it, is that I can NOT find a matching Patriots one! Right now, this sits to the left of the TV. The poor little empty spot on the right side is just screaming for a matching lamp! I found ONE website that sells these. They didn't have any Patriot's ones and the ones they did have were well OVER $200. Sigh. I suppose if I could just find a vintage helmet, I could make my own lamp. That is a definite possibility!
Otherwise, as far as decorations go, Matt had a vintage Bucs pennant, so I bought a "matching" vintage Patriot's pennant off of Ebay for $5 and we are going to frame those and hang them on our respective team's walls. I'll probably also make some pillows for the sofa. I can't even tell you how relieved I am to finally have this done! I told Matt that I honestly feel like I've been painting for 4 years straight. He told me that is because I pretty much have been! Between renovating the two NC houses (including the whole exterior of one of them!), repainting our entire rental house because I was "nesting" when I was pregnant with Andy, and tackling this house one room at a time... I will be soooooooo glad when I'm done here. It is fun though, trying to turn this house into a home, one room at a time!
Last month, one of my resolutions was to make a dermatologist appointment. I had several spots and a few asymmetrical freckles that I wanted to get checked out. I had my appointment on Monday. I was actually expecting everything to be fine. I thought maybe the doctor would tell me to keep an eye on a few spots. What I wasn't expecting, was to have any spots that concerned him so much that they had to be removed. But there were.
I had two spots on my back removed and sent to pathology. I know that the odds are in my favor that these will be benign, but every so often the thought creeps into my head... what if they are not? I'll know in 10 days. Of course I wish the nurse hadn't specifically told me that I'll get a letter in the mail if they are benign, but they will call if not. So, basically, if the phone rings and I can see that it's the doctor's office, I'll completely panic and think I have skin cancer. I would have rather just been pleasantly surprised with a letter in the mail!
I'm definitely more aware now of my sun exposure, and making sure I'm always wearing sunscreen when I'm outside. Of course, I'd like to be nice and tan for my brother's wedding in September, but I might just be getting my first spray tan instead!
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Yesterday morning I hauled our one un-opened box of hardwood floors down to Lumber Liquidators. Per my memory, I was pretty sure that we could return any unopened items for a 20% re-stocking fee. So, I put Andy in the stroller (he did NOT want to be confined in his stroller, at ALL), brought my receipt (where the return policy is clearly written ... right in front of where I had to initial it... did I read it? Nope!) into the store and expected to just get a refund! Ha ha ha. The guy took one look at the receipt and said "Ummmm.... you bought these almost a YEAR ago! (June, to be exact!) Our return policy is THIRTY DAYS." Are you kidding?! Thirty days? It took us at least 210 days to finish them! Not working continuously obviously... but you get the point! Uggghhhh! He said he's not even supposed to exchange anything after that long, but I think he felt bad for me. After discussing it with his co-worker for at least 15 minutes... while Andy was saying "Down! Down! Down!" over and over and over and OVER again the WHOLE time... he decided we could do an exchange. And then he handed Andy a Lumber Liquidator's NASCAR truck to play with and said "Now, you can't keep that, Buddy." Uh, huh. So, now I'll be leaving with a screaming child when I take it away, thanks.... Buddy. So, if I was going to exchange, it had to be equal to my refund value. We needed thresholds, but that still left us $75 short. Okay, so, it's a store that literally ONLY sells FLOORS. We already have really nice floors that took us 210 days to put in.... WHAT ELSE AM I SUPPOSED TO BUY? So, we are now the proud owners of some ridiculously deluxe hardwood floor maintenance kit... that is most likely going STRAIGHT onto Craig's List... because I'll probably never use it! All, in all... success! Because 1) the box of hardwoods is out of the study and 2) We now have our thresholds to install. Yeah. Maybe we will have finished the floor trim before we've lived here a year!
Okay, next up... returned some curtain rings to Target that I bought in DECEMBER... but, diligently kept with the receipt. Yup... had to exchange for store credit since it's been over 90 days. But, honestly, isn't store credit to target and cash the same thing? So, success!
Then on to Publix where I returned a strainer that was 60 days old. Matt had bought it knowing he needed it for a recipe that night, but NOT knowing we already had one. They actually gave me cash for that! Whoo hoo! Definite SUCCESS!
Alright, so... refills... I'll get the easy one out of the way first... I called in the refill for one of our dog's pain medication. In August, she tore her ACL. She is 9 years old, and we opted not to do the ($2,200) surgery. We let her heal on her own, and she did great! She slowly worked up to being able to run again and not need her pain medications. We felt good about our decision because since we knew we weren't going to do the $5,500 surgery, the outcome with and without the $2,200 surgery really weren't very different, so we opted not to put her through the procedure. Well, either way, she had a much higher chance of blowing out her other knee. That's exactly what happened a few weeks ago. So, we started her back on her pain medications and are trying to let her rest more. It's different this time around though, since her "good" knee isn't as strong. I'm a little worried about her, but we're going to give her a few more weeks to see how she does healing. All three of our dogs and our cat are all the same age. I've been dreading them all getting older at the same time because I know it will be very difficult. We've had them all for almost 10 years.
And last, but not least... the dreaded METFORMIN. I posted about re-starting my Metformin last week. Today, I increased to two 500 mg pills per day. I have felt nauseous and tired and had gastrointestinal issues. I have cried (a few times) and been generally annoyed that I'm going to feel sick for a month, but overall, so far, it hasn't been as bad as when I first started on it. Honestly, it hasn't. Yesterday I called my OB/GYN and asked them to call in a prescription for the 750 mg extended release pills. That way, when I am ready next week to step up to 1,500 mg per day, I can take two of those instead of three . I remember feeling much better on the extended release pills last time. I just keep telling myself that this is good practice for what it will feel like during my first trimester while I'm also running after a toddler all day. Keeping the goal in mind helps make it easier!
Monday, April 19, 2010
Because we have so many other projects we are trying to tackle, we opted to just buy a compost bin from Home Depot instead of making one ourselves. It was $50 and, I think, worth the investment. I need to get a canister to keep on our kitchen counter for food scraps to take out to the compost pile every 1-2 days.
Rachel blogs about frugal living, cooking, family life and crafting. I'm sure now that Paxton has arrived there will be a lot of blogging about being a first time Mom!
Friday, April 16, 2010
So, tonight, I cleaned out the closet! It's TOTALLY cleaned out and empty. My goal with this house is to not store anything for the sake of storing it. (my husband is going to laugh his rear end off when he reads that... but I'm totally serious!) Aside of craft things, or tools, or sports equipment, etc. if it is something that I don't know that we'll ever use, I'm trying to get rid of it. This means there is no reason to keep anything in the guest room closet! I need to put some clothes hangers in there, and I'd like to find a small, distressed dresser that I can fix up and put in there for guests to put folded clothes.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Rachel posts about frugal living, cooking, crafting and every day life. I've found lots of yummy recipes on her site as well as some good money saving tips! Enjoy!
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
I have been super duper slack at working on my list for the past week while she's been here, with good reason! BUT... I need to get back to it today. I just got home from the gym (at least I was keeping up with that while she was here) and am just sitting down to plan out my day. I am for sure going to get the linen closet cleaned out today, and hopefully at least one other thing on the list.
I'm feeling less anxious and overwhelmed today. My Mom helped me get caught up on laundry yesterday, which was fantastic, and I think that helped a lot. It's just hard trying to form new habits. I'm trying to improve in a lot of different areas, so I know that I'm going to have days where I feel like I'm just not succeeding at anything. I also know that the important thing is that I keep on going. I need to keep working out in the mornings, try to eat healthy, try not to waste too much time on the Internet and get things done, etc.
The other thing that I will be getting back to tonight is my Metformin. I stopped taking it when I had the stomach flu and then I was out of town for a week and a half, and well, since then it's just been REALLY hard to re-start it! It just NEVER seems like a good time to feel sick for four weeks! Ugggghhh! But, I'm going to start it again today. As I'm losing more weight I'm feeling more and more ready to try and get pregnant again. I know that I want to be on the Metformin when I get pregnant so that I can stay on it through the first trimester, but really I'm hoping that I'll somehow be able to get pregnant on the Metformin alone this time and not need the Clomid. We'll see. My doctor told me to try for only three months the second time around before using the Clomid again, but we might stretch that a little if we aren't in any hurry. I do have friends who have PCOS that have gotten pregnant on just the Metformin and on nothing at all the second time around!!! So, I'm hopeful!
I'm also almost done with all these doctor's appointments I've been scheduling! So far I have been to the eye doctor (and got my glasses, much happier!), had my follow up appointment with the breast specialist (everything looks good! Don't need another mammogram for a year! Yeah! You can read my previous post about this here), went to the dentist (have to go back for 2 sealants and go to a periodontist for some recession... bleck!), and I go to the dermatologist on Monday. It has been a lot to knock out in a short period of time, but it feels so much better to be on the path to a healthier me!