I want to share my biggest budgeting secret with you.  Actually, it's really not a secret since I tell everyone who will listen about it.Anyways, it's  Mint is this completely and totally awesome website that will allow you to link all of your accounts from credit cards to checking accounts to savings to 401K to car financing to student loans.  I can keep going but I'll spare you and let you discover it for yourself. The best part is that you don't have to go and label everything or download things every week/month.  It loads everything from your accounts and takes the best guess at labeling the transactions.I won't show you our spending but here's a sample.  You can let Mint go ahead and label all these for you, or you can even create your own personalized labels!  Jon and I have set "fun" budgets that we also track under "Shopping".   Then when you're all done having fun labeling your transactions, you can go over to the next tab - Planning.Okay.  This is a bit embarrassing.  You see, the red means that you spent more than you budgeted for.  I seriously promise that I have good reason.  Like mortgage - well...there isn't anything I can do about that one.  Sometimes it hits a couple days early but it'll straighten out after next month.  And The gas thing...yeah.  Ugh, apparently we drive a lot but we have all these weddings and babies to see.  Anyways.  Yellow means that … [Read more...]

My really cool stuff

I got a couple questions about some items I use so here they are:My totally awesome onion goggles that protect you from tears while cutting up onions and keep you looking fashionable.There are options for colors.  Mine are pink.  Because I love pink.This is where they make an appearance:Vareniki, kinda like PirogisAnd this is the Cuisinart Smart Stick thingy that you can use as a mini food processor, chopper, masher, and many other fun things.It is, indeed, as awesome as it looks.  I got mine at Macy's but for slightly more than amazon offers.  If I could live in, I would.Vareniki, kinda like PirogisFinally, the hand mixer.It's really not very pricey at all, but I just love the snap-on case that it comes with.  I'm a total neat-freak and it allows me to put everything back together into a compact little case that snaps right onto the mixer. It even hides the cord! Yes, it's that awesome.I think I use it in every recipe, but here's the oatmeal cookies and brownies ones.Oatmeal CookiesCream Cheese Brownies  … [Read more...]

When you can’t decide on hair, eat cookies.

I don't know if I've ever mentions this before, but I live with a cookie monster.  Yup.  A real life cookies monster.  When there are cookies in the house, he can be found with his hand in the cookie jar, or rather, the pantry where we keep cookies.  When there are no cookies, he can be found moping around, looking for cookies, sighing loudly.The cookie monster's favorite cookies are oatmeal cookies.  So today, I made oatmeal cookies because, frankly, I love my cookie monster and I don't like to see him moping around. Here's what you need for very simple, but delicious oatmeal cookies:2/3 cup granulated sugar2/3 cup packed ground sugar1/2 cup butter or stick margarine, softened1/2 cup shortening1 teaspoon baking soda1 teaspoon ground cinnamon1 teaspoon vanilla1/2 teaspoon baking powder1/2 teaspoon salt2 large eggs3 cups quick-cooking or old-fashioned oats1 cup all-purpose flour1 cup raisins, chopped nuts, semisweet chocolate chips or whatever else your little heart desires.  I'll be using chocolate chips and craisins.Heat the oven to 375 degrees.  Beat all ingredients except oats, flour and whatever deliciousness you decided on in a large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed, or mix with a spoon.Now, listen carefully because this is important. If you want perfect cookies, you need to make sure that your butter/margarine is about room temperature.  If it's too soft, then your cookies will be watery looking and flat.  And if … [Read more...]

Hair advice

Hi my name is Kat and I'm addicted to changing my hair. I can't ever decide what to do with it and what's worse is that now our well water is out to get any blond hi-lights that make an appearance on my head. Anyways, it's been about 2 months since I've last changed my hair and I'm getting antsy.  I need opinions.  Here are some previous hair-do's and colors. Please weigh in.  Thank you. Most recent, and most daring, brown hair: Pro: I love the way it makes my hazel eyes stand out; Con: After 2 weeks it always looks red-ish due to my natural hair color which is blond.  Plus I'm a little scared of what it will look like when it starts to grow out. Previously blond hair...although it's a bit longer now.  This is what happens with well water so please keep that in mind when making your decision.  Also, feel free to comment with ways to fix our water that doesn't require me to spend my life savings and then some: This is a little bit before - so less well water, but still the same. I think: Really short and still blond: Pro: I love the way short hair looks when it's styled - almost as if I actually have oodles of hair; Con: After 2 weeks, it doesn't look like that anymore.  Hair cuts are not cheap, at least not good ones! And finally, long and blond.  Please remember how impatient I am. Also, these are from forever and a half ago, which means I probably won't look just like this.  You know, because I'm getting old and stuff like … [Read more...]

Chicken with spinach & artichokes

I'm obviously on an artichoke kick lately. I blame Pioneer Woman and her ridiculously amazing recipes.  A friend found this recipe for Goat Cheese and Spinach Stuffed Chicken.  I was excited about making this and went to the store to get all the ingredients and then my husband informed me that he would rather stick needles in his eyes than eat goat cheese.  I sulked for a minute or two, and then decided to alter the recipe so he didn't have to stick needles in his eyes.I cut the chicken breasts into strips and threw it on a skillet to brown a bit.  Some salt, pepper, and a bit of cayenne pepper adds some deliciousness to it.Give it 3-5 minutes and flip them over.Try not to get burned with the hot oil.  That's what I almost always do.In the meantime, I drain some artichokes and layed them out to dry a bit more.Then warmed and drained the spinach.  I throw all that stuff into the skillet with the chicken.Then add some red wine vinegar and chicken stock. Mush it all up and throw it in a casserole dish. (You can totally use one of those awesome stove-top to oven skillets, but I don't have any.  Feel free to send one my way.)This went in the oven at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes (you can check the chicken temperature about 175 degrees).While that's cooking, I made some boil-in-a-bag rice.So, after all this, we decided that the rice was a bit blend.  Next time I'm thinking of putting some chicken stock in it or some spices.  Maybe … [Read more...]