24 February 2009

Gratituesday: Huge News Edition

For more Gratituesday, check out Laura's blog.

I have BIG news!

We (my brother and I) have the most amazing mother on this planet. She is that crazy fun mom that still knows how to make everything better, find your missing sock, and laugh at herself. She is so strong, an immense model for women everywhere ... most specifically me, and she doesn't take any crap from anyone. I have her same no-nonsense attitude ... just possibly amplified to 11. I feel like I could go on for 100 years and still not say all the good things about her. For her, for our relationship, for our living situation (we own a house together that we all live in -- crazy fun), and for every single day that I get to share my life with her ... giggles, hilarious stories, sous chef dinner duties, and the occasional tears. I love you, Mom. For you, I am most thankful.

Enough suspense? Really?! Come on, lady, where's the BIG news ...?!

My amazing mother has a birthday coming up a week from today. It's a big one, this birthday, like the capital B-I-G kind. 3 years ago, around her birthday time, my brother and I were sitting around dreaming of places we could whisk our mother off to for her BIG birthday this year. She deserves more than I can ever give her, and we wanted to give her one of those 'experience of a lifetime' kind of trips.

But ... what about your frugal life? ... your debt?

Yea. Exactly. I mean, where can you really 'whisk' someone off to when you have a bare-bones-we-just-keep-the-lights-on-and-try-to-climb-this-mountain-of-debt budget?

Well ....

3 years is a long time to plan. Really, it's a long time to save. We spent almost none of that time actually planning. We knew from the word 'go' where we wanted to take her, we just didn't know how we were going to pay for it. I am happy to announce that through budget tightening, extra income acquisition (eBay, craigslist, surveys, cashcrate, inboxdollars, etc), collecting change, shorting the grocery budget, and doing odd jobs we have managed to both keep up with the debt snowball AND fund this BIG birthday vacay. *whew*!

Alright, already! Where are you going?!

Ok, ok ... we are departing on Thursday, southward bound to ...

That's right! We have a date with a mouse. We shall return (never? please? ha) on Sunday, 3/8. I will endeavor to blog from Orlando, assuming Be packs the laptop. If you don't hear from me, he probably left the computer at home, or I'm simply far too busy living up the not-so-wintery Florida weather and spending time with the most deserving woman in the world. To her, I am forever grateful.



22 February 2009

Super Saver Saturday: 100th Post Edition

Hooray 100th blog post! Not-so-hooray shopping this week. I didn't even look at the Meijer ad until last (Friday) night. I didn't cut last week's coupons until then either. School has been weird, and I spent a lot of time writing a 16 page midterm exam last week instead of worrying about grocery shopping (or doing anything else). That is one of my favorite parts of having a huge stockpile of food and household goods. If I don't make it to the store, we will not starve. It allows me to put my attention on my family, on school work, on my job, or whatever else distracts me from deal finding at the moment. There will be more sales, I always tell myself, even though it is impossible to believe at the moment. Today, we happened to go out in a blizzard to get car parts ... a long and painful (for the frugal and/or broke-ish) story, so I decided to make it worthwhile by swinging into Meijer for some last minute deals. Literally last minute, since my receipt says I checked out at 1115pm. Yikes.

6 Fancy Feast Medley cat food: .75c/ea on sale - $1/6 coupon = .58c/ea
8 Friskies Indoor Select cat food: .75c/ea on sale - BOGO coupons = .38c/ea
6 Ortega taco seasoning: price dropped to .57c/ea - .75c/2 coupons = .20c/ea
1 Fryin' Magic: price dropped to $1.69 - .75c peelie on box = .94c
10 Dannon yogurt: .40c/ea on sale - $1/10 coupon = .30c/ea
2 Jimmy Dean's breakfast entrees: $2/ea on sale - $1/1 coupons = $1/ea
1 Popcorn Seasoning Shaker: clearanced to $1.44

and in the 10/10 (11th FREE!) ...
6 Knorr noodle sides - .75c/2 coupons = .53c/ea
3 Chef Boyardee spaghetti - .35c/3 coupon = .78c/ea
1 Meijer zip top bag
12 Bumblebee tuna lunch kits


Ok, not my best showing. Mostly, my little brother loves those Bumblebee lunch kits. So much that I usually put them in his stocking at the holidays. He got a new job last week, and I'm so darn proud of him that I splurged on a case of them (small box, only 12 of those buggers in there) since they were on the 10/10 (11th FREE!). Now he can throw them in his lunch and think of how much he loves his rad sister. Riiiiiiiight.



17 February 2009


I'm not inclined to write huge prose about my gratitude this week. There's not necessarily an overarching theme or common thread to pull it all together other than I happen to be grateful about a bunch of random things (ok, about mostly everything ...), so I will save you the forced narrative and we'll do a snippet version today.

(Ooooooh, and I have to number things. It's one part former policy debater and one part current minor OCD-er)

1. My baby brother got himself a job this week. That's no small feat in this state these days with our double digit unemployment rates. It's pretty good paying for his experience, and I don't think he hates it, a bonus.

2. We had a full house over the weekend, which I love. We got to hang out, relax, be crafty, cook yummy food, and laugh hysterically (remember the late night cake run excursion?).

3. The weather was actually pretty ok ... warming up a little during the day, letting the sun peek out from behind the massive gray grossness that has been smothering us for months. Sunny weather always makes me inherently more grateful. It's not that I'm not grateful on overcast days, simply that the conscious act is culled to the front of my brain by warm sunny weather.

4. There was cake. And pie. And ice cream. And pita. All reasons to be praiseful regardless of the rest of your life.

5. The adorable Be was exceptionally adorable this week. I like it when he takes the time to remind me why I like him in the first place. Haha. Those of you in the 'we have been together 100 (ok, 8 ...) years' club can relate, no?

6. The house is cleaner than it was on Friday. This is always a good thing.

7. I got to spend some absolutely blissful time alone in my house this afternoon. Seriously, I have not had the house all to myself in ages ... months at least. I enjoy even a few hours of time to clean, deal with clutter, prepare food, tidy the office (read: write blogs and waste time on the internet), and just relish the super quiet of our home. It's one of those 'Aaaahhhhhh' moments.

8. I found a number of great reads online this week. A couple helped me with some crafty things I've been trying to figure out. Another, a blog about conversion stories, spoke to my heart. How great is the internet? I. Love. It.

9. We have an abundance of produce in our house this week. This doesn't happen in the winter months here ... um, ever. I will enjoy the bounty of broccoli and bell peppers more because of that.


Of course, before I could get to 10, I came to the realization that my house has grown quiet again. This means only one thing ... everyone scampered off to bed (because I'm really writing on what most people consider Monday night). This brings another thought ... I bet the 2 that ate dinner at 1130 left it out for me to put away. Ugh. Moments of inconsideration make it difficult for me to be perfectly grateful. Now, to close my eyes for a moment and let the warm fuzzy feelings of living and loving that which we are most grateful for erase the beginning to bubble irritation about what I'm likely to find in the kitchen only moments from now ...



... still trying ...


... come on, guy, be still my heart.



16 February 2009

Menu Plan Monday: Use it Up Edition

For a million more menus, check out Org. Junkie.

This week we are on a mission to use up the bits of this and that which are cluttering up the fridge. I want to cook/eat everything in there, clean the whole thing top to bottom, and start over with stuff from the freezer. I couldn't even get a frozen pizza into my outside freezer right now, it's so crammed full of awesome deals. Maybe it's the coming spring weather or the fact that I can walk outside without freezing immediately to the core, but I'm getting those 'Clean Everything!', 'Start Anew!' feelings. Now, to be practical about it instead of cleaning like a crazy until 4am only to collapse, exhausted, with more of a mess than I started with ...

Crockpot Beef Roast, Carrots, Onions, Red Skinned Mashed Potatoes, Broccoli

That's it. Haha. The only day I know for sure, simply because it's already been cooking for 5 hours. The rest of the week will be an amalgamation of things from the fridge. What? I have no idea. There's some leftover fajitas in there, some ground beef, cheese, celery and carrots, some onion and bell pepper, a head of broccoli. Hmmmm. I should put some solid time in taking stock of what pieces can go together. Yea, maybe I'll go do it right now ...



14 February 2009

Super Saving Saturday: Buy Nearly Nothing Edition

I didn't really grocery shop this week ... well, kind of. On Tuesday, I swung by Meijer to use up some rain checks that were expiring for beef round roasts and Fast Fixin' frozen chicken. The chicken wound up being a super deal when the cashier took the 1/2 price rain check to mean 1/2 off this week's sale price making them $1 each after the adjustment and a $1/1 coupon. 32oz bags of breaded frozen chicken for $1?! Yes, please.

Friday and Saturday, while out running other errands, we swung back into Meijer for the Super Weekend Sale. Friday included a handful of ingredients for stir-fry night because we had company, almost all of which we found on clearance ... yay! We needed mushrooms, baby corn, water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, bell peppers (which are NOT in season ... which I still feel incredibly guilty about ... shhhhhh, don't tell, ok?), and pita.

Saturday was solely for the purpose of getting Buy 2, Get 3 Free 16.9oz 6pks of Dr. Pepper products. I have a house full of pop drinkers, and even though I continue to find 100 other ways to cut our grocery budget, they insist that pop cannot be cut entirely. *sigh* On this issue (unlike the ongoing prodding toward cancelling the cable), I do not intend to win. Instead I just make sure to stock up on great sales and call it good. We can't win them all, right? We really can't win them all when arguing exclusively with adults. 5 6pks including the bottle deposit was less than $11. That's good enough for me.

Now, confession time. Friday night, after making amazingly yummy cooked to order stir-fry, we wanted dessert. Sensible people would throw something together. Good hostesses would have prepared for this inevitability and made something ahead ... or at least had something good to pull from the freezer and defrost into dessert magic. I, on the other hand, was persuaded into the entirely non-Em act of 'running to the store' to 'pick up a few things' (read: CAKE!). Can you use your immense psycic ability to forecast how this turned out? Ha.


We came home with 2 loaves of clearanced Italian Bread (for Saturday's french toast breakfast), 1 pkg of clearanced cheese bread twists, 1 clearanced 6 count cupcake tray, 1 cheese cake, a can of raspberry pie filling, 1/2 gallon of vanilla ice cream, and a clearanced strawberry rhubarb pie (Be capital L loves pie ... and I never buy it ... or make it, meanie I am). Yes, that's right, 'run to the store' alright. On the one hand, this is a never ever (ever ever ever) happens here occurrence and that inclines me to chalk it up to craziness and not worry about it. On the other hand, I'm kind of disappointed in myself for not a: being better prepared, b: being willing to come up with something on the fly from what we had on hand, and c: for getting a little clearanced baked good crazy. On top of all of that, it's a solid 15 mile drive from my house to Meijer ... which I happily drove at the time ... just for cake. Did I hit my head somewhere? Was I abducted by the pod people? I do love (Love!!) cake, but this is soooooooooooo not an Em thing to do. *hmph*

Forgive me, frugal bloggy readers, my name is Em and I have had a temporary relapse. For cake. And assorted other clearanced baked goods.



11 February 2009

WFMW: Condiments Galore!

For more WFMW, check out Rocks In My Dryer.

Photo: zen

In the past, when packing school or work lunches, I would squirt a bunch of the lunch-bearer's favorite condiments into tiny little plastic Tupperware containers and toss them in the bag. Nearly every lunch left the house with a wee fistful of those little buggers since we don't 'dress' sandwiches when packing them to prevent squishy nightmares at lunchtime. It's a good plan in that everyone can have what they want in their lunch, however it has failed us miserably on more than one occasion.

The lunch box gets left over the weekend in someone's desk with remnants of mayo left unused and forgotten ... a joy to clean out on Monday night when it finally makes its way home. The condiment containers have spilled, both because the lids didn't make it on tightly and because they simply bumped up against too many other things and came loose ... another evening spent trying to scrub mustard out of a nylon lunchbag. Or, my personal favorite, the person will not grab the containers, which have inevitably (and magically) wandered off in the middle of the night to some back corner of the fridge to party it up with their full size compadres ... leaving a complainy lunch eater with a dry sandwich or salad.

At the same time, when ever we got take out there would be a massive pile of those little packets of whatever sauce or substance is supposed to go with your food. There were always approximately 843 more of them than any one person needs in one meal, and at the end of the night they would make the trip from the counter to the trash can with the rest of the 'dishes'.

Then, it kind of hit me one night ... wouldn't it be fun to have those little packets in your lunch instead of potentially spilling, woefully oversized, and requiring a utensil to use containers? Ah ha! It's the simplest thing, really. When we get take out, the leftover sauce and condiment packets go in a plastic shoebox sized container on a shelf in the pantry. When I make lunches, they get tucked inside. Easy peasy! Plus, it's kind of fun to have mini-sizes of things you wouldn't think to pack in a lunch ... hot sauce, soy sauce, relish, and the like. It makes lunch more interesting, it keeps the lunch eaters in this house happier, and it saves me from doing extra dishes. Oh, and did I mention that the whole endeavor is free?! Hooray all around!

I mean, really, have you ever tried to scrub mustard out of nylon webbing?



10 February 2009

The Pinocchio of Bloggers ...

You know how Pinocchio asks all the time about being a 'real boy'? That's how I feel about blogging today. I never set out to be a 'real blogger'. I mostly wanted a place to share this crazy frugal life with a handful of my friends who both a: think me crazy for washing out ziplock bags and b: secretly want to be frugal-cool (... or not so secretly as in the case of my buddy WesO who thinks my breakout calculations of what dinner ingredients cost are fun ... nerds unite!). I never thought I'd be bloggy friends with a bunch of amazing people, or that I would participate in regular features like today's Gratituesday. Today brings the next big step ... a blog carnival.

If you follow me on facebook, you would have seen my status about entering the carnival yesterday. I entered the 164th edition of the Festival of Frugality hosted this week by Broke Grad Student, and my entry on the (not-so-traditional) way we reused our holiday wrapping paper this year was accepted for inclusion. If you're looking, it's second from the bottom, haha. Now, I'm not entirely sure how these bloggy carnivals work exactly. I have a small inclination that they accept everyone that writes anything at all related to the topic. I am ridiculously proud regardless.

Someday, I'll be a real blogger.



Gratituesday: Sing-a-long Edition

For more Gratituesday, check out Laura's blog.

For this week's Gratituesday, I'm letting Leonard Cohen do the talking for me. The emphasis is mine. Turn it up.

Now I've heard there was a secret chord
That David played, and it pleased the L-rd
But you don't really care for music, do you?
It goes like this
The fourth, the fifth
The minor fall, the major lift
The baffled king composing Hallelujah

Your faith was strong but you needed proof
You saw her bathing on the roof
Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew you
She tied you
To a kitchen chair
She broke your throne, and she cut your hair
And from your lips she drew the Hallelujah

Baby I have been here before
I know this room, I've walked this floor
I used to live alone before I new you.
I've seen your flag on the marble arch
Love is not a victory march
It's a cold and it's a broken Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

There was a time you let me know
What's really going on below
But now you never show it to me, do you?
And remember when I moved in you
The holy dove was moving too
And every breath we drew was Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

You say I took the name in vain
I don't even know the name
But if I did, well really, what's it to you?
There's a blaze of light
In every word
It doesn't matter which you heard
The holy or the broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Halleluah

I did my best, it wasn't much
I couldn't feel, so I tried to touch
I've told the truth, I didn't come to fool you
And even through
It all went wrong
I'll stand before the L-rd of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Always, very simply,


09 February 2009

Menu Plan Monday: Mutiny Edition

For more menu ideas, check out Org. Junkie.

My family is trying to mutiny against the menu plan this week. As a compromise, we're making a list of meals, and not assigning days to them. I think this would be easier if they were all 2s and not 20s.

Cheesy Broccoli Alfredo
Ham Steaks, stuffing, green veggie
Mongo Night (stir fry to order a la the restaurant Mongolian BBQ), rice or tortillas
Whole roasted chicken, mashed potatoes, corn, and green veggie
Chicken Pot Pies (w/leftover roasted chicken)
Everything but the Kitchen Sink Dinner Nachos
Leftovers, probably.

I'm hoping they don't actually start protesting out front. I wish you better luck keeping your families on menus than I seem to have.



08 February 2009

Much to do on a Sunday ...

I would very much prefer to spend the entirety of every Sunday hanging out with my family, being crafty or playing a mean game of euchre. The reality of my work/school schedule, however, means that most Sundays are spent toiling away at homework and to do lists of things I didn't feel like doing earlier in the week. There is probably a better way to organize and routine-ize these things, but I digress.

In the interest of both reminding me and holding me accountable, my Sunday 2/8 to do list is below.

[] Menu for Monday
[] MM blog post
[] Checkbook balanced
[] Finish clearing off desk
[] Package up rebates for mailbox on Monday
[] Make phone calls to finish up pending order
[] Cafe Press order
[] Bribe someone into emptying the compost transfer bin
[] Tidy bedroom and night stand
[] Read Tuesday Anthro assignment
[] Write Tuesday/Thursday Anthro reactions
[] Listen to Soc assignment
[] Write Soc paper
[] Sort out coupons/ads from paper
[] Clip and file coupons
[] Read Thursday WGS assignment
[] Check master to do list for additional tasks
[] Consider nap, since I'm still up posting to do lists at 430am.

Are you a to do list maker? Feel free to post a link to yours, and we can be accountable together!

07 February 2009

Super Saving Saturday: Late Night Walgreens Edition

Why in the world do I wait to shop until Saturday night? Haha. This week, it actually worked out.

First Stop: Costco
(I put the stuff away without paying attention to the actual sizes, and they aren't on my receipt. Rest assured, they are nothing short of gigantic containers.)

Schuler's Sharp Cheddar
Hummus (mmmmmmmmmy favorite!)
Land O Lakes Butter
Arm and Hammer Baking Soda

TOTAL: $23.69

Second Stop: Meijer
(I was going to use up my wee fistful of rainchecks tonight since this week's ad was less than impressive, but then the selection of items I had rainchecks for was also less than impressive. I will endeavor to shop Monday before they expire. We shall see ...)

2.23 lbs bananas, which I did not put in my cart ... (insert eye rolling): $1.32
2 Valu Time powdered garlic: $1
3.48 lbs ground beef clearanced to $1.75/lb: 6.09
4 avacados: $4
1 tray organic white mushrooms: $1
Mrs. Dash: $1.99 - 50c/1 coupon = $1.49
5 40oz Meijer hand soap refills: $14.85 - $3 Meijer brand cat = $11.85
2 46oz V8 juice: $6 - 50c/1 coupons = $5
5 Dry Cleaner's Secret single use packets clearanced to 79c: $3.95
(we use these instead of paying for regular dry cleaning ... they work great, and are so (!!) much cheaper ...)

TOTAL: $36.65
SAVED: $19.98 + $8 OYNO catalina generated by the hand soap = $27.98

Third Stop: Walgreens
(... and now, the fun part ...)

3 Glade Wisp Candles clearanced to $5: $15 - $5/1 coupons = FREE!
2 cans of BBQ Pringles on sale for 99c: $1.98 - 20c/2 coupon = $1.78
Garnier 100% Hair Color clearanced to $4.49 - $3/1 coupon = $1.49
2 Theraflu Warming Liquid: $10 - $1.50/1 coupons = $7
(-$6 rebate, below)
2 bags of Walgreens Orange Crush Vitamin C Drops: 90c
3 tubes Silk and Shine Blistex chapstick on sale for $1.99: $5.97 - 35c/1 coupons = $4.92
Crest Weekly Care Intensive Toothpaste: $3.99 - $3.99/1 mailer coupon = FREE!
Garnier Fructis Wonder Waves Shampoo: $3.99
(- $3.99 rebate, below)
4 Starbucks Truffles on special 2/$10: $20 - $6/2 Walgreens ESQ - $1/1 manufact. coupons = $4
Spiderman Activity book clearanced to 20c
Justice League Huge Activity book clearanced to $1
5 pk Ramen Noodles
(because my pre-tax subtotal was -70+ cents without them ... haha)

$15 Walgreens OYNO catalinas from last week's deals

TOTAL: $3.01 ($2.73 of which was tax ... subtotal = 28c!!)
SAVED: $94.70 + $3.99 rebate for Garnier + $6 rebate for Theraflu = $104.69

Yes, that's right, Walgreens paid me $6.98 to take home all those lovely goods this evening. Thank you kindly, Mr. Walgreens, wherever you are. Ha.

TOTAL Spent: $63.35
TOTAL Saved: $132.67 ... huzzah!

Did you save a bundle this week? Tell me about it! I love hearing about other people's deals.



05 February 2009

... but free is fun!

In my mailbox today, a check for $15 from Beck's for the Stella Artois purchase I made on New Year's Eve. 6 packs were on sale for $7.19 that day, and I had to buy 2 to qualify for the rebate. Ah yes, that's two 6 packs for $14.38 - the $15 rebate = 62c profit. Yay!

Then, a post at MoneySavingMom reminded me that one could sign up for a free subscription to Women's Day magazine. I used to pay for this magazine ... back when we had no sense about spending money on luxuries ... and now, I will soon be getting it for free! Double yay!

Two days ago, I got 2 $10 gift cards from MyPoints. One for Starbucks, and one for Panera. Have you joined MyPoints yet? You click through emails and rack up points which you then turn in for gift cards of your choosing. If you need help, I'd be more than happy to refer you. (/shameless plug) They also threw in 2 discount cards for $15 off any order at FTD.com. They currently have 12 multi-colored roses on sale for $17.99, fyi.

That same day, I got an envelope from 1800-flowers.com that had a gift card inside for $20. I scored it through a rebate I found that I had happened to have already purchsed the items for. We had done our holiday baking shopping, and the items needed for the rebate were things we had needed. I dug out the receipt (a bonus of being woefully behind on updating one's pricebook) and sent it in. Free flowers abound this month!

I seriously love getting things for free in the mail. These are just a handful of the lovely things the mailman has brought me recently. There was also the Juicy Juice sippy cup, a veritable ton of coupons from Vocalpoint, and a ton of sample sized items. I find freebies a great way to add to my budget either by including rebate money in my grocery budget, or by supplementing the items we need with samples. Just last weekend when we travelled to Debate States, I packed shampoo sample packets instead of a full sized bottle. Keep your eyes open for freebies and rebates. They're everywhere, and they're almost always worth the couple extra minutes to do the paperwork.

What have you gotten for free recently?



01 February 2009

Top 'o the Month: Welcome to February!

January was an alright money month here at GSF. I actually both happened upon some extra cash for the budget AND managed to save up the rest of the required 'Dream Savings' for our secret surprise. Now we can put future snowflake sized savings toward the last part of the debt instead. Hooray!

Here are the numbers ...

EFund: $1000.
This may need to be ramped up soon. We are still doing the 'no consistent income thing' with Be, and I would be more comfortable with a more significant amount of savings in the event that we need to start paying bills with it.

Dream Savings: DONE!
We saved everything we needed to and the secret will be revealed in a very short 24 days. Yay!

Jeep: $0!
PAID OFF this month. Yay!

GP: $4511.28

C1: $87
Yes, that's right, a drop of $400.

AV: $0

VSA: $12
Will be paid off this month. He had to use the card to keep the account active because he refuses to close the stupid thing. So, really, $0 because we won't be carrying a balance for more than a couple days. It's still lame.

It was a great money month here. We still have an EFund. All the bills got paid. We finished the savings for our surprise. We found an extra $400 to pay on the C1. The Jeep is now paid off. We had extra grocery budget money. It was good times all around. I like these kinds of months the best.



Links All Around!

I could tell you that I'm posting links despite my impossible Sunday schedule, but really I simply have a giant list of great reads from an evening of sitting on my couch, feet up, trying to recover from the whirlwind sleepless reality of coaching my kids through a high school level state debate tournament. Yes, it's 7pm and I am still in my pajamas. Slacker, am I (and loving it).

Angela at Random Musings wrote what may (hopefully) become a new regular feature highlighting sweet local Michigan products. I love buying local, and feel very strongly about supporting the (absolutely horrendous) Michigan economy any way I can. I encourage you to buy local as well. Or if nothing local meets your fancy, buy Michigan instead. We could use the help.

The Happy Housewife had a paper control problem, and posts about remedying it with a binder system. I think everyone on the planet may have a paper control problem, and this post may actually be the solution. We had a near meltdown over not being able to find a certain stack of paper at this very house earlier today, and I may have to consider switching my 2 file crates smashed full of too many folders hidden under a table system over to something else. Binders ... now that would prevent me from having to buy an evil (and super ugly) filing cabinet.

There is also a Hot Breakfast Challenge going on at the HH. We are those people with a ton of basically free cereal on our shelves, and since I'm not the throwing things away for no reason kind, it would be difficult for us to abandon our mass storage of fiber-laden goodness in favor of buying other (new) things. In the future, I absolutely agree with the merits of eating a hot and healthy breakfast. In the present, we need to get through the rows of cold cereal first. So, in the name of at least being healthy by eating breakfast in the first place (something we often skip around here), we will be doing a Not Hot Breakfast Challenge of our own this month. Join in! Breakfast all around, hot or cold, in February.

You know those commercials on TV about how 'cool' HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) is? Yea, the ones put on and paid for by the 'Corn Council' or some equally entertaining and alliterative lobby group paid to find research to meet ideals rather than changing ideals based on research. Well, if you were at all compelled by them (the commercials), check out the recent article at The Good Human about mercury in HFCS. Eeeeeew, gross.

I love Sara and her fabulous blogging. I also love this snappy little number that she was doing a giveaway for last week. She is one snappy mama with wonderful taste in art and absolutely divine ideals. I *heart* her blog. You should too.

Sooooo, that's just the highlight of the sweet things I read this afternoon. There are tons more great posts in my reader I have yet to get through. Oh how I love having a blog reader so I don't miss all the great stuff when I'm not online. I hope you had a fab weekend, all.