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Archive for October, 2006

Haha. One more time... my pumpkin soup recipe...

October 31st, 2006 at 06:59 pm

I recieved a request for one more post. This time for my pumpkin soup recipe.

To tell you all the truth, I have no idea how much of anything really I put in, but I'll try my best to remember...

Sweet onion
butter or margarine
2 13oz cans of pumpkin puree
2 jars sweet potato baby food
1 jar carrot baby food
1 can chicken broth
2 cups applesauce
Spices: ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon
Half and half

Well, first I cut celery and sweet onion into very tiny pieces. I'm not sure how necessary these two ingredients are, but they seemed logical in a soup, so I stuck em in there Smile At any rate, I sauteed them in butter until cooked, but still a bit crunchy (well, the celery is still crunchy anyway).

I poured about a fourth a can of chicken broth in and let them simmer a bit more, then added one 13oz can of pure pumpkin puree. I mixed everything until it was well mixed.

Now, I got 3 jars of babyfood at the dollar store for a dollar total- 2 jars of sweet potatoes and one of carrots mushy babyfood style. I have no kids, I just figured it would be a lot cheaper to add these instead of fresh. hehe. And it has the same consistency of the soup, so why not?? I'm sure there are many ways of going about this, it's just what I found cheapest. At any rate, I added these next.

After everything was mixed and smooth again, I added my second can of pumpkin. I then added about 2 cups of applesauce... the recipes I found online mostly had apples in the mix, and once again, applesauce is kind of the same consistency and we happen to have a lot of it.

At some point, I added the rest of that can of chicken broth.

The only other things I added to the soup were spices and half and half to make it a bit creamy. The spices I added to taste, but included: nutmeg, a bit of cinnamon, a bit of ginger, and a few packets of equal to sweeten it up. That was it, really. The soup ended up being a bit thicker than originally planned, but when I got home from work, I mixed a little milk into it to liquify it a bit and it tasted just as yummy!

As you can see, this was a trial and error type of thing, and I cannot say it's perfect, but it's totally easy and does the trick. Not to mention, it makes a bunch! I filled 2 medium sized tupperware containers and freezed them after the 2 meals I made of the first bowl. Great comfort food! ( I can vouch for that one...) Yay for pumpkin!

Soup makes everything better, I think...

October 31st, 2006 at 12:49 pm

I've already posted today, but I felt it was necessary to post, because I did in fact run to the grocery store (silly me) to get the ingredients needed to make soup. I originally wanted to make butternut squash soup, but because my grocery store is stupid and has crap for selection, it ended up being pumpkin soup- only because I could find it canned. But in the end, it's very yummy. I browsed for a long time online trying to find a recipe I liked, but I ended up "winging it," as I like to call it. I'm like a mad scientist when I do this. Maniacal laughter and the addition of every random ingredient I can find in my kitchen. It turned out really good, and it was super easy. I could probably add a little more liquid to it, it's pretty thick, but other than that, it's all good! Not to mention, it made so much that I put 2 tupperware containers of it in the freezer for later. BF doesn't eat soup, so it's all mine...

At any rate, I feel a lot better than I did earlier. Probably because I was craving a gourd-like veggie, and because I got to cook (that always puts me in a good mood. hehe) I think it just proves that soup makes things much better, for the most part. ha.

Talk to y'all later! I promise I wont post again today Wink

Tired Day

October 31st, 2006 at 10:23 am

I'm not quite sure why, but I'm so tired today! Grr... I've been a bit worn for the past few days, perhaps my health is failing me? I hope not. I think I've just been rather homesick and making myself unhappy. No good. At any rate...

I bought my bus pass today, so that was $54. I also managed to spend $3 on campus, despite bringing my snack to school. I was really hungry for some reason... I didn't even really enjoy what I bought either, so I see it as a waste. I managed to keep myself from stopping at the grocery store, though I really wanted to. Not sure what exactly I wanted to get, but for some reason I'm craving pumpkin and butternut squash anything. But instead I trekked home and looked at recipes for something I may want to make. Everything is so involved when it comes to this soup! grr. I ended up popping in one of my "budget gourmet" dinners in the microwave... I might make that bean soup for dinner. I haven't decided yet. No pumpkin or squash, but I just went grocery shopping and I'm really trying to use the food that I already bought... jeez.

I guess I'm just looking for comfort food. It's really frustrating that I've been so lethargic. I usually get some small case of unhappiness when it starts getting cold outside. Looks like it's coming early this year. poo.

No-Spend Day

October 30th, 2006 at 09:32 am

So I was determined to make today a no-spend day. And i believe I have succeeded. And then some! I went to psych class this morning, then hit the library. I had to read an article on reserve there and post on a discussion board. I was going to photocopy it, but instead I decided to just read it there and post. I'm sure my prof wants us to have a copy of it for class on thursday, but I didn't have the spare change and honestly, that article isn't worth 10 cents to me Smile more for my challenge money...

Speaking of change, I also stopped by the bank (after returning that very much overdue movie at the library... no good), and made both a deposit into the checking and savings accounts. I managed to accumulate $20.51 in my coin jar for October, and it went into savings as planned. Yay!

Talked to mom for a while on the phone. I miss her. I miss everyone back home, but I miss my mom a lot. She's having a rough time and that's no good. I'm really looking forward to going home for Thanksgiving. At any rate, we discussed money for a while. haha. I think it may finally be getting through to her that I'm a responsible adult! (which is a relief. I've been trying to convince her for a long while now)

As for the rest of the day, I started the laundry (finally), loaded the dishwasher, and set out chicken to thaw for dinner. I'm feeling like a regular Martha Stuart right now... BF will be so happy when he gets home! Maybe I'll even put my laundry away... he would be floored. That's my one big flaw. I HATE putting laundry away. He gets on my case all the time, and it drives me crazy. I've never been able to just be my messy self. boo. Ah well. I could be nice just this once... hehe. Well, to homework now...

French Boo.

October 29th, 2006 at 02:31 pm

So it's only the first day of the month (according to my budget calendar) and I've already started spending money on food... erg.

My name is Tara Dawn, and I have a problem...

Heh. No kidding. It's sunday, which means me and 2 members of my french class get together to study. We meet at a coffee shop and do french...things. At any rate, my one friend was hungover, the other sick, and I am unfortunately suffering from a long night. Needless to say, we didn't get too much homework done. Erg. On top of it, the coffee shop had this delicious butternut squash soup that I couldn't resist! A bit over priced, but I'd say that the $5 I spent on that big bowl of soup with it's accompanying big chunk of delicious bread was well worth it. Of course, I bought a drink and a little cake thingy beforehand, so it ended up adding to about $9. Grr.

Ordinarily I would put this down as a school expense (it IS for school, afterall, haha), but given that we didn't do any real studying, it's going out of the eating out fund...

On the flip side, I ate half the jambalaya I made last night for dinner today for lunch, BF finished it off for dinner, and I used the remaining pancake batter from yesterday's breakfast for dinner. Yum! I guess you could call the soup my snack?? I think I eat too much haha. :/ At any rate, we have 0 leftovers now, and a clean plate to start with for the week in food.

I'm determined that tomorrow be a no-spend day. I had one yesterday, which puts me ever so close to my goal. There's nothing pressing I have to buy, though I may have to make a copy at the library. Blast it! Grr... perhaps I can get out of it. We'll see...

November Budget and Goals

October 29th, 2006 at 08:14 am

November Budget and Goals:

Rent, phone, elec, cable: $450
Transportation: $60
Insurance: $26.75
Perscription: $25
Loan interest: $65
Groceries: $80
Food on campus: $40
Salsa Classes: $20
School expenses: $20
Dining Out: $50
Clothes: $75
Entertainment: $20
Xmas gifts: $50
Misc: $20

Total Budgeted: $1001.75

Estimated income (by the 28th):
17 nights @ $60 => $1020
4 lunches @ $10 => 40
2 paychecks @ $30 => 60

1. To be under budget.
2. To be over income.
3. To have 3 no-spend days.
4. To put $250 toward the $20 challenge.
5. To only eat out 4 times this month.
6. To knock 3 people off my xmas list.

Sooooooo. I gave myself a little more slack as far as the budget goes. I realized that it's damn near impossible to only spend $40 in groceries in a month. I spent $100 last month (and me and BF keep our food separate), so I'm shooting to only spend $80 this month. Clothes is up a bit, only because I'll be buying new work shoes here in about a week. And I understand that just because I cut myself a little slack doesn't mean that I can slack off, I'm just expecting myself to be under budget this month.

Hopefully it'll work out. I took inventory in my kitchen again this month, and even wrote out a list of possible dinners I could make posted on the fridge- so when I'm wandering around saying "we dont have any food!" I have a list to look at, and say, "oh wait, yeah we do, I'll make ___." And I cooked twice yesterday, so I give myself credit. ha. Well, I think I'm gonna cut this short here, well, not really short, but ya know... Smile

October Recap...

October 28th, 2006 at 11:11 am

Alright, considering that October is a few days away from ending, I figured I'd jump the gun and add everything up. I need to use the figures to structure November's budget anyhow... so here goes:
Rent: 431.68 = 18.32 under
Groceries: 101.06 = 61.06 over
Transport: 59.06 = 5.06 over
Food on Campus = 43.62 = 21.38 under
Entertainment, misc: 339.68 = 289.68 over
Salsa Classes: 0 = 30 under
School Expenses: 58.45 = 48.45 over
Total: $334.55 over Frown

Estimated Income: 980.00 (by today)
Actual earned: 1110.14
(which means I'm 130.14 over, yay!)

Total added to $20 challenge:
$190, but that doesn't include my change jar... which has over $15 in it.

Total times I ate out this month: 7 (I went out of town though... )

My Progress a la Goals:
1. Come up under budget. NO. Not quite, but my budget really didn't give me ANY slack... I need to revise for next month.
2. Come up over income. YES. I actually got this one. yay!
3. Put at least $364.25 into my savings account. NO. Midway through the month I realized I should be paying off some of my loan, as it has 14% interest... I did manage to get my principle down, though, so I feel I did one better.
4. Have at least 4 no-spend days. NO. I only got one...
5. Knock off 2 people from my xmas list. YES. I did manage to finish buying gifts for both my lil sis and BF's Gram, so that one was done.

Okay, so 2 out of 5... I guess it's better than none?? I'll try harder in November, and not forget as much in the way of my budget... going out of town really takes a chunk out of the dining out and such, so we'll see if my trip back home this month can be any better. I'll be eating turkey at the family's anyhow! Well kids, thanks for helping me along!

Long (fun) day... and free lunch!

October 27th, 2006 at 06:00 pm

So me and BF left the house around 11:30 to go to lunch at our favorite mediterranean restuarant. I ended up running into the wife of the owner of the restaurant I work for. I said hi, she and her two friends ended up sitting at the table next to us. It was nice, and we talked cordially and all that. I was really confused when the server came back with my credit card sans pen, etc. It turns out she snuck from the table to "use the restroom" right after I gave the boy my card and paid for our meal! It was so suprising, and of course I insisted that she shouldn't have done so, but of course I was pretty psyched. So my lunch was free (as was BF's).

We caught the matinee of "The Departed." It was really good, and ended up not costing too much. I did, however, buy some new guitar strings and a capo, since my ex band member walked off with mine. Boo.

Me and BF hit the grocery store on the way home... we DESPARATELY needed food. I just couldn't bear the thought of eating ramen AGAIN. I needed solid food. So I stocked up on frozen veggies, apples, cottage cheese, chili, and a few other random things. When we got home we were so excited to have options! haha. I felt like a kid in a candy store.... pretty sad. ha.

Tomorrow is laundry/homework day, then work. I guess my coworker is dressing up for halloween at work. I may do the same, though I dont have a costume. Ah well. The first year I've ever not dressed up... But I really cant afford the extra expense and it kind of crept up on me. Either way, better get going!

Finally! My day off...

October 27th, 2006 at 07:11 am

Alright. It's been a few days as I have been mondo busy this week. Wednesday about kicked my butt... what with class and working a double. I collapsed when I got home. haha. Made pretty good money that day, though.

French class is proving to be a pain at this point. We have an exam, and my professor is quite a joke. I'm very critical of my professors (as I should be!) and this is an awful case... she has little to no structure during class, expects us to speak french perfectly if it is a concept we have already covered, and furthermore, when we ask her for extra material to practice with (us few in my class have a study group on sundays) she doesn't give us any because she feels we should move on rather than practice the things that we've already covered (my foot!). Needless to say, with this exam coming up, I'm cracking down, along with my classmates. There are only 5 of us in the class... we should be getting a far better education than we are currently recieving. But I'll stop the ranting.

With all this said, I'm going to attempt to work a little less next semester. Perhaps pare it down to 3 nights. My mom thinks I should find a bartending job, which would be great because I'd only really have to work on the weekends and I'd make good money, but then again I wouldn't have weekends to go back home to visit. Erg. That would be great, though, otherwise. I'd study, and perhaps pick up a tutoring job through the university during the week, then work 2 nights on the weekends and be set. I dont go out anyway. haha. We'll see. I could always be a "dancer," haha. I'd only have to work ONE night a week. Smile Just kidding...

This weekend should be both fun and productive. Today, me and BF are going to our favorite restaurant for lunch, then going to see a movie. Neither of us have really gotten out in the last few weeks, and I think we deserve it. After that, my friend may be coming over to study french. I have no idea when we'll be grocery shopping, but it is needed dearly! We really, for all intents and purposes, have NO food in our apartment. We have ramen. That's about it. No milk, no bread, no juice, nothin. So either today or tomorrow we'll be off to the grocery store...

I work tomorrow night, but I'm off again sunday. I've got my study group at the coffee shop, which should be a good time, though stressfull as this exam is going to be. The point is, I CANNOT get anything lower than an A. Ordinarily, B's didn't bother me, but now that I'm planning on applying to med school, every thing counts.

Which reminds me, the club is coming along great. My professor talked to the dept and it seems that everyone is not only good with the idea, but more or less super-excited as well. I know they're trying to establish a grad program for psych in my university, so I'm sure it will attract some more people, or give the dept an edge. At any rate, I'M excited and glad that things are moving so smoothly. There's much more planning to come, but so far so good!

It's been cold. boo. I'm hoping it doesn't rain, though the forecast calls for it. We'll be doing a bit of walking to the movie theatre, and I dont want to be soaked! Ugh. Alrighty, talk to y'all later!

Work so slow... but a very productive day.

October 24th, 2006 at 08:39 pm

... Unfortunately, it was loaded with spending. poo. 8am class, then studying with a friend of mine. Bought food. Then Bio, then met with my psych professor to talk for an hour or two... he's awesome, I must admit. The best professor I've ever had, and the only one I can visit and talk to intelligently for lengthy periods of time! Not to mention, I'm starting the psych/philosophy club at my university, and he offered to be the faculty adviser. Sweet! I wanted to join an extracurricular activity, but there was nothing that interested me. Instead I decided to devise my own student organization! I figured it would look good to be a leader on my med school apps anyway... hehe.

At any rate. Post Bob's office, I bought lunch. Saved half my wrap for later. Hit the library, got 2 more DVD's to rent. Printed out the power point lectures for bio, ran off copies of journal articles. I also had to stop by the mass comm department to make up a quiz I missed last week. After that, I just studied until I went into work... which was SLOW. I made a grand total of $17... not so good. But anyhoo... I've got so much to do! I figured I have about 2 years until I take my MCAT and apply for med schools. I bought a couple books the other day that have been incredibly helpful in informing me of the steps I need to take to prep for the MCAT and applying. Also, I looked through the complete list of American Med Schools, and decided I may just have to return to Ohio. haha. I always thought I hated it, but I miss my family and friends. I'm pretty set on going to Ohio State's med school. I've got family in Colombus. All my friends at OSU will probably have graduated by the time I get there, but it'll still be nice to be close. At any rate, I better get going. I've got class in the morning!

Ah, mondays.

October 23rd, 2006 at 08:03 am

So it's getting to be that time of year... the time when it starts getting so chilly that I refuse to get out of bed in the morning, well, almost. BF paralyzed me, I've decided (you know, when they roll over, and cuddle with you it makes you so comfy!). I couldn't move, I just couldn't get out of bed despite 8am class calling my name. So FINALLY, when he rolled back over (he didn't seem to hear me when I told him in that super groggy voice that I had to go) at 7:40, I jumped out of bed, threw some clothes on and bolted out the door. I got to class at 8:05. This is a miracle. Just to clarify, it usually takes me AT LEAST 35 minutes to get to class from my apartment because I walk. Well, I power walked today. Seriously.

As for spending, I didn't eat breakfast before class, so I grabbed a breakfast sandwich on campus (I'm such a sucker) and some juice. It's the end of the month, and I'm trying my best not to buy any groceries until I give BF the check for the rent. So basically, besides ramen, we have nothing in the apartment to eat. So maybe we have a little more than ramen, but it's slim pickin's. I about jump on anything that isn't in noodle form at this point.

I also stopped by the University Barnes and noble to look at "Point Park Mom" shirts for xmas... my mom mentioned something about not having any novelty items to show off my university a while back... that's that. I've decided to make the purchase next month, along with the work shoes I'm buying from shoesforcrews.com (thanks for the advice, my fellow blogger!) I did, however, purchase a couple books on the MCAT. I feel it's never too early to start studying and looking into med schools. They were rather pricey, however.

I also stopped at the dollar store on my way home to pick up razors... I'm out and in desparate need Smile

As for the rest of the day, homework, crocheting, relaxing, then work. Talk to yall later!


October 22nd, 2006 at 07:26 pm

So after last night, I decided to have a relaxing day. I blogged in the morning, then got together with a couple kids in my french class to study. After that, I watched "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" with BF. Good movie. I gotta get King Kong back to the library... It's a bit overdue. At any rate, I've started working on a scarf for moi. Tomorrow is my official homework day. woo! Hitting the library right after class. Well, I think that's all for tonight.

A not so good night at work... quite a rant, actually.

October 21st, 2006 at 09:49 pm

I just didn't win tonight. Not one break. Zilch. Let me expain:

I work at a japanese restaurant. It's pretty upscale. We get fairly busy on saturday nights. Tonight's recap...

The first table of the night: 5 highschool girls. Not only do they take a half an hour to decide what they want, but they all (as predicted) only ordered one sushi roll each. This is like going to an applebees or fridays and only ordering a small cup of soup. So okay, not a huge check, but to top it all off, they tipped me far less than %10. It gets better.

Customers who I happen to like came in. They had a big intricate order that seemed okay when I put it in, until the kid's, along with the dad's sushi had wasabi in it (very spicy, I would never feed it to a child...) When I took it back to the sushibar to get it fixed, I realized where the communication error had occured (we just got a new POS system), but my flustered coworker instead decided to get an ultra-attitude with me and I had to bite my tounge-hard- to keep myself from saying things forbidden to be said in front of customers. Oh, it gets better.

While serving shabu shabu (a very complicated setup involving a portable stove burner, a pot of stock, plates of veggies and beef, various sauces), my hostess and close japanese friend hands me a check for a new table and explains to me that the 2 people are a bit strange and she decided to give me the table because she thought I, as an american, was better suited to deal with the weirdos. WHAT?? It wasn't even supposed to be my table, and I was already swamped.

So a little more than peeved, I went smiling to deal with the crazies. She wasn't kidding. For an upscale restaurant, these people looked WAY out of place. Not to mention, the woman had serious OCD. Not like I'm speculating and making fun of the situation. She really had obsessive compulsive disorder. The repetition, the germ-phobia, the meticulous routine. The whole nine. Now, if I was in my school state of mind, as a psych major, this would have been cool. But you can only tell a person so many times that thier sushi cannot be cooked before you want to jab your eyes out. And the man she was with seemed to not get the concept that the japanese restaurant he was sitting in did not indeed serve chicken sandwiches OR fish sandwiches. On top of it all, they tipped me $1. I had to remind myself to breathe a few times tonight.

Aside from all that, my blood sugar started acting up mid-shift... I felt weak and shaky, but didn't really have time to stop and eat anything. I really need to get those shoes, too. My feet are still killing me. And to top it all off, I made on average $60 less than everyone else in my shift. And I was there the longest. Whew!

Needless to say, I stopped by the convenience store to buy some orange juice... I had some peach absolut just calling my name. I'm enjoying my well-deserved cocktail for the evening and looking forward to my day off tomorrow...

Lazy day...

October 21st, 2006 at 12:14 pm

Today was a lazy day... woke up and blogged for a bit. Went to the post office to ship the book I sold on amazon, then finished BF's Gram's scarf, which means I made my goal of taking care of 2 people on my xmas list. I'm trying to make it a stress free xmas. Last year I put off all my shopping to the last minute, and ended up spending too much money and going crazy. haha. Cant say the scarf was cheap to make. Circa $40, but it's NICE. Very plushy and warm, thick. I think she'll really like it. Finished up with my little sis's present too, between the gift card and the book I bought her, I spent around $18. I'm buying my mom a shirt or a hoodie with my university's name/logo on it. And I got her this cutesy calendar, so that'll take care of that. I already decided to get BF a gift card to World Market. We love that place, and I know he'll like it. He's just the worst to shop for. Everything he wants is super expensive, like an iPod, or a car. Not quite in the budget. We've talked about xmas already though, I think he's gonna get me a fold-up treadmill. He'll use it too, so it'll be a good purchase. As for the rest of my siblings and my stepfather, I'm lost. I'll figure it out later though. I've got a little time.

I've got to work in a couple hours. Not really in the mood, but my checkbook tells me I better be. hehe. Yesterday's spending made a considerable dent. At any rate, better get going!

Shopping has commenced...

October 20th, 2006 at 07:42 pm

So today's shopping went over well... I guess. I bought the yarn to finish the scarf for BF's Gram. That concludes her xmas present, just have to get crocheting! I also bought the yarn to make myself a scarf... though mine is going to be a bit thinner, I wont use quite as much yarn as hers cost me. I also bought the $15 build-a-bear giftcard for my little sister. So that's the 2 people I'm done with on my xmas list. Yay! One goal reached!

Picked up the sorely missed laptop. Now me and BF can both work at the same time (that'll prevent some future disagreements!). I did not find any shoes for work, unfortunately, but a fellow blogger here gave me a little advice, and I'll be looking into that matter probably next month given the unexpected purchase I made at Victoria's Secret. No, nothing fun for BF. haha. A coworker of mine told me about this bra they have... It's pretty cool, acutally. I think it's called a vertical cup something or other, but it's incredibly versatile and pretty sexy, if I do say so myself. The most money I've ever spent on an undergarmet ($48), but I'm in need of a new bra or 2, so it was money well-spent.

The only items picked up at Giant Eagle were the peppermint mocha creamer, udon, and an avocado (my little treat!). And the book I bought 40% off at Borders ended up being about the same it would be on amazon, but it goes toward my borders rewards either way. Twas quite a dent overall to my checking account, but I'll be fine for bills due at the beginning next month after earnings made this week. Not to mention, the spending was all on my debit card, which goes toward my national city points. I use the points I earn to get B&N gift cards... I can use them at my college bookstore for next semester.

That's it for news in the financial category, except the other day I put another $50 toward my loan, which puts me under my principal. That's pretty cool in my opinion. More of that is to be done... That puts my total of the $20 challenge for me at $190. Yay! Hopefully I'll have enough money left over at the end of the month to add to the cause! We'll hope, anyway. Thanks for reading, guys!

Shopping Day

October 20th, 2006 at 09:12 am

Okay, so today is my shopping day. I'm on a mission to get a couple people off my xmas list, among other things. What I need to get today:

Yarn to finish BF's Gram's scarf (xmas)
$10 build-a-bear giftcard (xmas)
New work shoes
Pick up my laptop(apple has had it for 3 weeks!)
The Audacity of Hope (40% off coupon at Borders!)
Coconut Mocha coffee creamer

I think that about covers it. Let's hope I break a good deal on the shoes! They are sorely needed...

Great (money making) day at work!

October 19th, 2006 at 12:15 pm

So yesterday I made a ridiculous amount of money at work. It was nice for the financial aspect, but a bit stressful, and I didn't get a chance to study for my bio exam. I did end up skipping my first class to study, though, and I think I did a good job. So let's cross our fingers... as for that money, $50 of it went to my savings account, the rest went to my checking, but then I put another $50 on my loan. That puts my principle under what it was originally, so there's a step forward! I also sold one of the books I listed on amazon, so there's $2 I wouldn't have had. I picked up some coin rolls at the bank, so I'm gonna start attacking my coin jar soon. I cant believe october is almost over! Tomorrow is a shopping day. I really need to buy new work shoes, and the yarn I need to finish BF's gram's scarf for Xmas. Then a build-a-bear gift certificate for my sister, and a book I got a 40% off coupon for at Borders (I was going to buy it either way, so it was a pleasant surprise when they sent me a coupon via email). At any rate, that's all I have for today! Just trying to save up for next semester and pay some of my loan off now... And yay for doing well on my exam! In case anyone wanted to know, I got a 98% on my psych exam on monday! Woo!

Such a rainy day!

October 17th, 2006 at 11:36 am

I got up to go to class this morning and it was pouring. I put on my new boots, busted out the new umbrella, and was still soaked when I got to class. I have to walk circa 25 minutes, and it was raining so hard! My feet were soaked for 4 hours... a little pruny... Gotta put my boots in the dryer! sheesh. And I was so cold and tired in between classes that I bought another coffee and a breakfast sandwich. I needed something warm! At any rate, that was about $4 spent on what I thought was going to be a no-spend day. Tomorrow... tomorrow I will triumph!

Mid-month Assessment... hehe.

October 16th, 2006 at 09:30 am

Alright, so I asked the question last night, "where did all my money go??", and today I actually counted it up, item by item.

Money Earned thus far this month: $680.49
Money spent this month:
Groceries: (budgeted) $40 - (spent) 47.81 => -$7.81
Food on campus: $65 - 22.52 => $42.48
School expenses: $10 - 8.22 => $1.78
Loan interest: $65 - 50 => $15
Perscription: $25 - 25 => $0
Eating out: $0 - 99.44 => -$99.44
Entertainment: $0 - 0 => $0
Misc: $50 - 33.03 => $16.97
Transport: $54 - 59.06 => -$5.06
Clothes: $0 - 32.96 => -$32.96
Xmas Gifts: $0 - 8.51 => -$8.51
Salsa classes: $30 - 0 => $30

Budget: $47.55 over
Earned - spent:$293.94

Soooo... I'm a little over budget at this point, but the good news is that I really didn't budget ENOUGH... so it's not so much a matter of me spending too much, it's a matter of forgetting that I need to factor things like Xmas money and transport outside of my zone, and clothes (especially since the colder months are upon us). I need to refrain, however, from eating out for the rest of the month. Going out of town that weekend really killed it, but in actuality, I budgeted in only $50 for eating out, entertainment, clothes, and misc items... not a whole lot there. At all.

At any rate, spending for the day was on a book from amazon (and here I'm talking about not spending money, sheesh!), but it was only $5.28... not too bad, and it's the one actual splurge I made outside of going to restaurants. The only want thus far this month. I'm not gonna be too hard on myself. But no more grocery shopping!!! Well, except for milk and bread and whatnot... I really need to eat up what's in my freezer, cupboards, etc. We have so much food! It's just hard for me to not grocery shop... it's my favorite activity! hehe. I am happy to say, though, that last night I cooked dinner using only things we had already, and the only purchase I made for dessert was a box of baking soda for a dollar. So go me! Tonight will be the same. And I made my run to the bank, and realized that I left the remaining $4.01 in my pants pockets, so it didn't get deposited. I instead put it in my change jar for the end of the month savings. Figured my Sobe Bottle needed some paper products... hehe. Well, now to studying!

A few more tidbits... where has all my money gone??

October 15th, 2006 at 10:52 pm

So like other bloggers here, I've noticed that october is roughly half overwith. So I took a look at my spending and my budget and noticed a few things. First matter... where in the heck did all my money go?? I'm sure we've all said this before, but I still stand pretty baffled. I guess I did go way over the entertainment and misc category, but I went out of town last weekend, and that pretty much zapped all of that. Not to mention, I dropped one of my classes since changing majors, and I'm eating at home now more than I had anticipated, so I've spent more on groceries. I'm still under budget on food bought on campus. But aside from that, I still grabbed my highlighter, ready for a rampage of "what useless silly things did I buy THIS month?"... but when I looked through the list, I honestly found nothing. Nothing that screamed "pointless purchase," so I put down my highlighter. All of my outlandish spending was in the restaurant category when I was out of town, that's it. I am SO PROUD of myself! haha. I've spent very wisely... I guess next month I just need to allow myself a little more in the ways of groceries and cut back on food on campus, and give myself a little more in the misc category... or better yet, spell it out... clothes, dining out, etc. I guess this trial run was a nice eye-opener. I may be over budget this month, but it wont be for silly reasons!

And aside from all this, I baked cookies today, that, once again, prove that my skills in cooking are something short of normal. I have this tendency to pick recipes that are just a little... off. So BF deemed these cookies the "muffin cookies"... they were a little less cookie a little more spongy cake-like, but they were delicious! And me and BF cant get ourselves out of them. haha. I think I'm going to take some to work tomorrow. I've got a huge over-abundance of cookies. And the only thing I had to buy was baking soda! A whole $0.99 for the batch of cookies yay! At any rate, gotta get to sleep. Have my psych exam in the morning!

A little spending here...

October 15th, 2006 at 02:20 pm

... and a little spending there. But nothing too frivolous. Me and BF went to lunch today at Aladdin's, our favorite restaurant. I ended up spending $13 on that. Then we stopped at Burlington Coat Factory because I absolutely NEED new work shoes. My feet stand at a slant on level ground because I've worn them down so badly. I have no direct access to a wal-mart, so on to Burlington I went. The bad news is I couldn't find any work shoes, but the good news is that I found boots- an item that I've been looking for for a couple months now. I've held off buying until I found the perfect ones, and so I succeeded today. Yay! They were exactly what I was looking for, and they were only $20! I live in a cold, river valley city, and without a car, walking in the winter is going to be a bit chilly! I also looked at sweaters (because I dont have very many) for the season as well and found a cute one for $10. Not too shabby. So yes, did a little spending, but like I said, nothing dreadful or silly. I'm really happy I found those boots! Well, better get studying now. Later!

A conjumble... 12 hour workday. Whew!

October 14th, 2006 at 09:11 pm

That's right, I said it, a 12 hour workday. No fun... I've had a lot going on, and there's been a lot of transaction-ing this weekend. Yesterday was my study day, and I'm happy to say I got much done. I commend myself on the great amount of time management I've done. Budget-wise I've let go a bit... it's my happy week and I did a little impulse grocery shopping- which ended up in a bar of chocolate and about 5 cans of soup, for some reason. hehe. Today was a bit different, though the sweets cravings raged on and I gave into a delicious starbucks applestreudel cake. I also took a visit to the bargain bookstore in the mall I work in. I found a couple things I can give away at Christmas time. A cutesy calendar about "bad dogs" that I think my mom will like, and a book I know my sister will like. They both totalled to $8 so it was no huge splurge. And I made really good money today. $45 at lunch, which was surprising because we were so slow... we had a highroller at the sushibar. And $100 at dinner. It was overall a steady night too. The only downside is that I have this awful cold. Which means salsa is out tomorrow night. But my coworkers instead are coming over to the apartment and cooking dinner, then we're going to relax and watch a movie. I like that. Relaxing day... just have some more homework to do before relaxation time. 2 big tests this week. Gotta love midterms! Well, better get going. Later guys!

My day off [finally!]

October 13th, 2006 at 07:11 am

So finally... my day off. Long awaited. It was a long week. But I've got some good news. I only spent a whopping $7 for food on campus this week. My coffee strategy has done me good. And kept me awake during class! Unfortunately, there were some misc items I had to buy... an umbrella, coughdrops [me and BF both are pretty miserable right now], and I think that's it. But I also make a good amount of money on wednesday- which makes up to the day I missed and the overall slowness of the last week. I do have to take a trip to the store today. But it's definitely an essential item.

I've noticed a few other people doing this, but I too started a change jar. What I've got in there will be put into my savings account at the end of the month. I honestly dont know how much is in there at the moment, but at least a couple bucks!

I've got 2 tests this week, a paper to write, and a french vocab quiz. Much to do! So today will be spent cleaning up the apartment a bit, and then off to the library. Me and BF have realized that when we study in the same room, we dont get quite as much done. Not to mention, I've got a book waiting for me at the library. yay! I love free entertainment!

I re-calculated my budget to add in a couple things that I entirely forgot about... my monthy perscription, for instance, loan interest, and school expenses. So just a general summary:
Total budget: $815.75
Estimated income: $1180
Estimated savings: $364.25

So the new estimated savings is what I'm aiming to put in my savings account at the end of the month, but really I'm hoping to put in more! That trip back home really put me under in the entertainment/misc category, though. I dont regret it, however, I had a great time and I only get to go back home every once in a while. I just cant really go out for the rest of the month. haha. With all the school work I have, it shouldn't be a problem. heh. I'm up to 1 no-spend day. I'm waiting patiently for the second, it's just hard with all these little things here and there. And I need to get more yarn to finish BF's Gram's xmas present. I've decided I'm just going to buy my lil sis a $10 gift card from build-a-bear and something small. Perhaps something on sale as well. hehe. So that's the update on my goals! I'll keep truckin!

And last but not least, I will start the $20 challenge AGAIN. [I always start up, then dont follow through...] but I'm gonna do it a little differently than usual. I'm going to take what I saved at the end of the month + any money I put towards my student loan [outside of the $65 I'm going to put towards the interest every month] and set my goal at $2700 by the beginning of may. So for right now...
Challenge money: $20

Time to get workin!

So much to do!

October 10th, 2006 at 06:34 am

Alrighty... much to do, much to do. I was bad yesterday. I didn't go into work. Part of this was the fault of the public transit system here. Turns out one of the trolleys was derailed yesterday during the day... A mighty long wait, and by the end of it I was tired and had homework to do. My coworker didn't seem to mind at all... at any rate. I'm going to drop my mass comm class today. The current events quizzes are bringing my grade down, and since I'm switching majors the class wont count for anything in the long run anyhow. Time wasted on my part. That'll give me more time to focus on my psych and bio classes. Anyhoo... brought my new insulated coffee mug with my homemade coffee to class with me this morning, packed my lunch, and I'm set for the day! I just have to get over to the library at some point to look for a book I want to read and I'll be set. I was moving pretty quick this morning... quite a suprise. I didn't get too much sleep last night. I was too busy with mitochondria and chloroplasts... hehe. I've got a bio test on thursday that I'm trying to ace again. Everyone wish me luck!

Home again!

October 9th, 2006 at 08:00 am

Alright, so after a long, expensive weekend, I believe I have hit the limit as to how much food an individual can eat in one weekend. I tried to stay within my limit of $50 on eating out and entertainment, but we ate out with friends, family, then more friends. It ended up being a bit pricey. I do have hopes, however, that in the end my total amount spent will be under-budget.

I was inspired this weekend at my friend's house. It was a hungover morning and we were sitting around talking and drinking coffee, and why oh why dont I buy coffee and make it at home?-I thought. My friend had all these fancy flavored creamers and it was delicious! Not to mention, I totally forgot about the french press BF bought me for valentines day this year. I was going to go out and buy a big coffee maker, but really I only drink one cup a day, but I spend $1.39 on each cup. I bought a small can of maxwell house for $3.09 and some coconut creamer for $2.09, so I'm $5.18 down, but that's still less than what I spend on my 4 cups in a week's span. And I definitely think at one cup a day it will last me more than a week. Yay! I'm enjoying today's cup as we speak... I think the only thing I may buy is an insulated coffee cup that I can take with me to class. I'm sure, though, that it will cost less than a coffee maker. I'm proud of myself for that! Though I'm spending a little extra right now on these things, it will be much cheaper in the long run.

As for other expenses today, we're going to pick up the laptop at the mac store... my baby will be back! But that's a nice $331 tab there... I had the amount set in september's budget though, so I've got enough to cover it. That, and I have to pick up more yarn for BF's gram's scarf. I ran out. Which reminds me... I came home with a few things this weekend. Family freebies, I guess you could say. Gram sent me and BF home with homemade choc chip cookies from the family picnic, plus BF's favorite cheddar scoopers she gets at west point market. I also picked up a new toothbrush at my parent's. I was planning on buying one soon, but I saw 2 still in the package in the drawer and snagged one. Our dentists office gives them out like candy... and my mom also gave me a cake pan, because outside of a cookie sheet, me and BF have no baking dishes. [we have pots and pans, but nothing to bake with! It's a shame...] So I think I made out pretty well on the trip.

At any rate, I'd better get going. I have homework and laundry to get done before going with BF to do some shopping. Later!

a little of everything...

October 5th, 2006 at 05:33 am

So I've got good news and bad news... we'll start with the bad. Ugh. Last night was awful. Customers stayed 45 minutes after we closed and tipped me under 10%!! Japanese people dont have to tip in Japan, therefore they know not how to tip in the US. Slightly frustrated... stayed up until 2:30 last night because I didn't get home until after 11 and I had things to do. 3 quizzes today. grr. Now the good news...
I'm going to visit my family and friends in my hometown this weekend, which is great because I haven't seen anyone in a month and a half. Also, yesterday I had my first no-spend day of the month, only 3 more to go to reach my goal! I got out of class at 9:20, and instead of buying coffee on campus, I went into work an hour early, put on a pot of coffee, and studied an hour before I had to clock in. Saved me $1.39. The other good news is that I made $40 more than I estimated yesterday, which I guess makes up for being under for the last couple days. But I've been saving money on campus all week, so I'm proud of myself. Immensely! Today should be alright, though I'm going to lunch with a friend... weekly ritual. Either way, must get going!

eBay, anyone?

October 3rd, 2006 at 12:16 pm

I was just thinking about eBay and christmas... perhaps buying gift cards and the like [my lil sis has a soft spot for build-a-bear]. I know a few of you sell gift cards on eBay, or places similar, and I would think it to be pretty practical, but I wanted to make sure. Also, for anyone that knits or crochets... buying yarn on eBay?? Never have, so I dont know. Any advice would be great. By the way, I never posted my goals for October....

October Goals:
1. To come up under budget.
2. To come up over income.
3. To have 4 no-spend days.
4. To take care of 2 people on my Xmas list.

Thanks for reading!

Feeling a Bit Better

October 3rd, 2006 at 05:19 am

I think by the time I went to work last night, I felt a bit better. And once I was on my feet and moving around, a little closer to normal. I'm still a bit tired and sniffly, but for the most part- I'm upright. :P Work last night, however, was not so happy. One of my coworkers assumes way too much when he's "running the show" and cut our shared 20-person party's tip 4 ways instead of 3 [there were only 3 of us waitresses serving the table!] No one else seemed to mind, though, because the other 2 servers were his girlfriend and her best friend. Stupid. So I came home last night with $48... not the best of nights. Hopefully tonight will be better. Soooo.... as for today, I had to pick up some milk, $1.41. And I packed my lunch and some things to eat with my dinner, so I'm trying to keep it under $5 for dinner tonight. I accidentally slept through the first fourth of my class [you tend to need sleep more and sleep heavier when you're sick], so I didn't go. I'm gonna spend the time studying for the test I have later today. Not to mention, that means no coffee today. $1.35 saved! Hopefully it will be the start to a good day... I need one!

A very blah day :(

October 2nd, 2006 at 10:42 am

I have a cold. Woke up this morning a little sniffly [I have been for days] but what's worse is that I fainted during my class this morning! I'm still not quite sure why, but it's a dreadful experience, and I had to leave the class 15 minutes early to go buy water. And I'm a little peeved not only by the fact that I've felt rather weak since, but also that I had to pay $1.25 for water! :/ I get it out of my sink for free... I guess health is kind of urgent Smile I also bought my bus pass today, though I didn't have it for the trip down the mountain and since it's the 2nd the guy made me pay my trip to the University. Another $2... so $3.25 I wouldn't have originally spent. Blah. I did manage to get home, however, and stop at the bank on the way home to deposit my remaining $85 in cash into savings. [The only upside to this story!] And I drank a good amount of water, ate some food, and took a nap. Trying to feel better before I go to work at 5. It's gonna be a busy night, but I really need the money [and it's almost certain to be good tonight], so I cant call off. I'll just have to suck it up and try and stay on my feet. ha! My loving BF has been texting me every hour to make sure I'm okay, and mom said she would book me a friday doctors appointment if I didn't feel better before friday [I'm going to visit my hometown this weekend! Yay!] So I at least feel incredibly loved. Indeed. I'm gonna try and turn this blah day around yet!

Day's total Spending:
Ride down incline: $2
Dasani [grumble]: $1.25
Bus Pass [on discout cause I bought it at the university]: $54
Total: $57.25


Previous balance: $1240
Today's deposit: $85
New balance:$1325

Apple Pie yum!

October 1st, 2006 at 01:17 pm

So I baked this apple pie today because we had so many excess apples... I got a recipe online and all seemed well. Smelled delicious! When I took it out it looked GREAT [see picture]. Tell me that doesn't look delicious! Well, I cut a peice and it was for lack of better wording, apple soup. Much like many of my other attempts at cooking, it just didn't seem quite right. But I'll tell ya, apple pie vanilla icecream soup is pretty darn good. hehe. Any suggestions for what I did wrong?? Smile Thanks guys!

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