Friday, April 30, 2010

Friday Fives - nothing mushy please!

Just Me and My Life

Well, folks I am sorry to be getting this up so late! It has been crazy here the last couple of weeks and I have fallen behind on some things. But, better late than never I guess...

Ok, on with the Friday Fives! As you may know, I link up with a friend of mine who comes up with these and they have been a real hit so far. So, I will keep them going as long as you all tell me you still enjoy reading them!

Today's topic is my 5 favorite movies. That will be tough! I love watching movies! It has always been one of my favorite things to do! I could be fixing dinner, working, or folding laundry, it doesn't matter.... I will turn a movie on while I work. The problem will be getting my favorites narrowed down to just 5. There are so many, but I will try to keep it brief since I have already rambled on quite a bit.

So, I should probably elaborate and tell you that I am rather picky when it comes to movies. For many of you this will come as no surprise. To the rest, sorry.... my taste is a little different than many. Anyway, here it is:

1. The S
ound of Music
This is a classic! It isn't one that I sit and watch over and over, but I still love it.
Now, be prepared. This is probably the only "chick flick" t
hat will show up on my list.... I don't do "mushy" movies!

2. The Ring
Oh man! This one was good. Actually, just about any creepy, scary movie will work for me! Not the cheesy, predictable "Jason" or "Freddy Kreuger" will do. I prefer the ones that have a creepy twist that really requires paying attention.

3.Shining Through
I know, you may have never heard of this one. It is a spy movie based in WWII. Over the years I have come to really like war movies. Maybe the fact that I cannot count the number of relatives in my family who have served in the military (including my husband) has given me a soft spot for them. Who knows? My husband was a history major, so his interest in them has really had a lot to do with it too. The spy aspect of it just makes it that much more exciting. Yeah, there is a little bit of a love story in there but it doesn't overwhelm the theme of the movie.

4. My Big, Fat, Greek Wedding
This movie was just hilarious! I will admit, I am most picky when it comes t
o comedies. I think it was the family dynamics that cracked me up most about this movie.

My husband and sister (who strangely share more of the same interests in stuff like this) get a kick out of teasing me. That's OK! I am not ashamed to say that I HATE dry, dumb, slapstick humor. I know most people will call me crazy and I may never hear the end of it, but here goes..... I can't stand Will Ferrell, Saturday Night Live, or any of those comedies where people are just acting like idiots! There, I said it! Go ahead and make fun. Just don't make me watch them!

5. Memphis Belle

Did I mention that I have a thing for the guys in uniform??? When I was in college, my roommates and I liked this movie so much we went to see it 8 nights in a row! Now, at that point it had moved into the $1 theater (I was in college, I couldn't afford full price!). We were all in school at Austin Peay, just minutes from Ft. Campbell and we all happened to be dating guys in the military at that time, who were all overseas in the first Gulf War. For some reason we latched on to this movie. By the end of the week we were quoting it line for line. I haven't watched it in a while, at least not until a few days ago. I walked in and saw Chip watching it with the boys. I was so excited, and they loved it!

Envelopes, baby!

Hi guys (and gals)!
I was so excited to hear that today's "show us your life" link up on Kelly's Korner was money saving tips. BOY DO I HAVE LOTS OF THOSE! I will try to keep them to a minimum today, though. I know you don't want to be reading this all day.

Here goes!

1. Envelopes, baby!!
Laugh all you want, but I am a total Dave Ramsey nut. I have been listening to him for years and I really believe that someone who has made a VERY good living following his own advice because of screw-ups he made is his own past (and learning from them), not to mention the fact he has helped thousands of people out there cannot be wrong. I have mentioned before that The Total Money Makeover is a book that everyone should read. If you follow his advice, doing the debt snowball and the envelope system you will find yourself getting out of debt and building wealth. You can click on the blue link I gave you to go to Amazon and get a good deal on it. It is really one of the best books I have ever read!!

Now, does this mean that I have made it all the way through the plan? NO. But, I am working on it!

My own mom even taught me growing up that you should use envelopes for things. I promise you, it works! When I want to save up for something specific I make an envelope for it. Even if I only have few bucks to get it started, the envelope is there and it gives me hop
e. Dave even suggests using it for monthly expenses, which works great too.

Right now I have an envelope for my driveway, which I intend to have paved. I have an envelope for it, and it makes me so e
xcited every time I can add to that. Plus, because I have the envelope stashed away, I am not tempted to spend it on crap stuff.

2. Round up in your checkbook
It may sound strange, but this is something I have been doing for years, and as long as you are careful it works great! Any time I write an expense down in my check register, I round up to the next dollar. Whether my total was $5.09 or $5.89 I automatically write down $6. First of all, this helps with the math when I start trying to balance things. My husband was a math major, not me! I hate all the scribbling and subtraction in the edges of my check register, this makes it so much simpler. Then, every month when you get ready balance stuff out you will notice there is a little extra in there. You would be surprised how fast those pennies and quarters add up!

OK, I know you are tired of me talking about all the Dave Ramsey stuff, but hey if it works I go with it!!

The whole argument I have heard about credit cards is " I need it for emergencies", but if you have your emergency fund built up (starting out this is $1000 in the bank, in a normal savings account) then you have it there to fall on if that emergency happens. You know, the $400 car repair you weren't counting on...... (well, in my case this year it was more like $700 - ouch!) then you have your emergency fund there to take it out of. Then, you just gradually put it back, and just think you won't have to pay interest on that purchase or dread going to the mailbox for the inevitable credit card bill that you know is coming.

4. Pay cash for

This one should be obvious, but if you cannot pay cash or write a check for it DON'T BUY IT because YOU CAN'T AFFORD IT!!
OK, I know this might get me some nasty comments but that is alright. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but that is mine and I guess if you are reading this then you know that by now. This is just how we do things. Plus, it has been proven that when you use a credit card to pay for stuff (even if you intend to "pay it off at the end of the month") you are more likely to spend more than you would if you paid cash. Interesting, huh?

Ok, so those are my tips! Let me know if you have done the same and how well you are doing!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Photo of the day! - for Mom

Aren't these two cute!?

They came to me wanting to surprise their parents. They are two sisters, both attending a local university. They knew that the most recent pictures their parents had of them was their individual senior portraits, but none together other than snapshots.

I thought with Mother's Day coming up this was fitting. While these two were planning for Christmas, how thoughtful they were to think of such a gift they knew would be loved and appreciated much more than flowers, chocolates, or dishes.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Photo of the day! Scooby dooby doo!!

Ok, so today's photo of the day is pretty special to me. My husband and I worked really hard on it. For the 2nd year in a row Christian told me that he wanted a Scooby Doo cake for his birthday. Since this is my newly found passion I was happy to oblige.

My husband likes to pitch in and help too, so it became a family project. I have to admit that he did a lot of work. He baked and stacked it and then got the green icing on it, very smoothly I might add. After that I got to work on all the fun additions. I have to say that I am really pleased with how it turned out and it was a lot of fun to make.

Most importantly Christian was thrilled! That was all that mattered. Happy Birthday baby.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Friday Fives - food!!!

Time for the Friday Fives again! Today is going to be my top 5 favorite Restaurants. Sadly, that will be easy since I really love to eat!!

1. Ruth's Chris Steakhouse
Ok, the first thing I should say is YUM!!! I don't get to eat here often because it is so expensive, but it is by far the best meal on the planet.

2. The Genghis Grill
This place is just amazing! What is so great is that it works for anyone's taste, even children. The pickiest person in the world could walk in and find something they like.
The way it works is they bring you a bowl and tell you to fill it up. You go through the line and pick out which meats you want, then you throw on the veg
gies you like (if any), fruit, etc. Next stop is the sauce. You have about 16 different sauces to choose from. They even have small cups and spoons to allow you to taste them and figure out which one you prefer. You fill up your sauce and then proceed toward the grill. A man will ask you which starch you want: white rice, brown rice, noodles, etc. From that point they put your food on a HUGE round grill top and cook it with big wooden skewers. When it's done they bring it to your table. HOW COOL IS THAT!? You are guaranteed to go in and there and get a meal cooked the way you like it because you made it!

3. Any Japanese Hibachi restaurant
It isn't just the atmosphere where the guys come in and cook in front of you, although that is lots of fun too. I just love the food! You always know it is fresh, from the meat to the vegetables. You get food and entertainment all wrapped up in one.

4. La Hacienda
Honestly any AUTHENTIC Mexican restaurant will do, this is just one of my favorites! Bring on the fajitas and cheese dip! Yum!

5. Chick-Fil-A
Ok, so I figured I couldn't make them all sit-down places. I do honestly LOVE Chick-fil-a though. To be fast food you can't beat it. The employees always bend over backwards to take care of us and it has a SOUND PROOF play room for the kids. My friends and I love to go there for play-dates because the kids can play (in the clean, dry, air-conditioned/heated) play room while the adults sit and enjoy "grown-up" conversation. Plus, they are never out of your sight. I can always look up and see where they are when they are playing. Then, they are allowed to trade in their toy for ice cream. AWESOME!

So, that's it! I am pretty simple when it comes to food. I don't like all the "fancy-dancy" places that focus more on how the food looks than how it tastes. Those are usually the places that give you enough to feed a squirrel but no more. You could say I am an American "Meat and Three" kind of girl. You won't find me eating anything I cannot pronounce or involving feta, brie, duck, etc.... you get the idea!

As for dislikes, here are a few:

1. Any deli or sandwich place.
I know! Many people think this is strange, un-american, yada, yada, yada..... For as long as I can remember I have always disliked sandwiches. That doesn't mean I don't ever eat a sandwich, but the thought of going OUT only to eat a sandwich is crazy to me. People on a budget (like me) end up eating stuff like this at home a LOT. Why on earth would I want to go out and pay $4-$5 for a sandwich or soup??? I can do that at home for way less. When I leave home I want something yummy!

2.Chinese food
This is a whole different beast than Japanese. I am never quite sure where it came from or exactly what it is..... scary just doesn't begin to cover it. Yuck!

3. Seafood or anything Cajun
I have no idea why. This has always been something I cannot stomach or even stand to smell. When I was pregnant with Cameron it became worse. I could not walk down the aisle leading to the seafood counter at the grocery store without becoming physically sick. (Pregnancy does weird things to you!)

As for the cajun food, it is a little tricky. My husband is from New Orleans, so this was tough for him to get used to. Fortunately, when we go down to visit, most places have other (simpler) things on the menu. Thank Heavens!!!