Archive for ‘Blogging’

Thursday, January 28, 2010

life happened…

…to be continued.  Hopefully someday soon.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

missing in action


I miss you blogosphere.  I miss talking to you.  I miss having time to talk to you.  I thought not shopping would give me more time?  I guess I shouldn’t have had a second child if I wanted time to do fun things like write a blog.

I hope to talk to you soon.

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Monday, October 19, 2009

are weekly accounts weak?

Boy giving his vote to girl

I’m having a tough time decided whether to keep the weekly accounts posts.  I still make my weekly menu plan and we certainly track our budget.  I just don’t know if anyone cares to see it other than us.

I can tell by my blog stats I have more than 10 readers, but you are a very quiet bunch.

That’s okay.  Just knowing you’re there is nice.

Bud I do have a question I hope you will answer, it won’t require you to reveal your identity or even post a comment.  Just take this survey and I will listen to the masses.

I want you to be totally honest with me on how the machine makes you feel (can you name that movie?), I won’t be hurt if it’s a resounding “don’t care”, I will just fill the space with something more (or less) interesting.

Thank you for your help in this incredibly important decision.  (There was humour there.  Just sayin’.)

Monday, October 5, 2009

the beauty in life

I’m feeling uninspired these days.  At least when it comes to my blog.  I have tons of thoughts about creative projects I’d like to do and plans I’d like to make.  But I just don’t seem to have much to share about the Compact, how it’s affecting my life or what I’m doing about it.  I’m not sure what to write or if I want to write at all.

So instead I thought I’d share a few of the images that do inspire me.  Our trip to Portland and subsequent drive down the Oregon and California coastline has reminded me of one thing…

Get outside.  Life is happening all around us.

IMG_7304this way

IMG_7306that way

IMG_7307over here

IMG_7315stop and smell the roses


IMG_7326and up

IMG_7382a little boy in a great big world

IMG_7384may we always keep that sense of wonder


IMG_7410ahhh, brotherly love

IMG_7418my perfect family

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

7 things you still don’t need to know

If you thought Monday’s re-post was a little bit about me (yeah, I know I said it was, so how could you not think that), check out this useless information.  Most of it’s still true too.  Not that I’m fickle or anything.

I’ll be back Friday with all current issues.  I bet you can’t wait.

(By the way, Thing 3 is my favorite.  And I wish I hadn’t written Thing 5.  I’d rather be publicly humiliated by talking about my food waste.  Now I should rename this post 9 things you don’t need to know.)


I’ve got Twitteritis.  Or at least a twitter-bug.  I spend far too much time (just ask anyone who doesn’t twitter) in inane conversation of 140 bits or less with friends and family.  And what has it gotten me.  Well some of you, dear readers.  Which I am eternally grateful for.  But in addition to that?  I got tagged to do this post.  And it has nothing to do with the Compact.  At least not yet, maybe I can weave it in before the end.

My good twitter-friend @jamield convinced me it would be a good idea to write a post listing 7 things most people don’t know about me.  She was doing it.  Heck, apparently lots of people were doing it.  All I had to do was ask 7 other twitter-people to do it.  It’s like a chain-post-tweet thing.  Can you tell I’m doing this off the cuff and don’t have a list in my head yet?

Okay, here we go…


Thing 1) I’m a Shaquille O’Neal fan.  I have been since his early days.  I listened to his first attempts at rap music. I’m really glad he’s a good basketball player and didn’t need to rely on that as a sole career. I even follow him on Twitter.

Thing 2) My favorite singer is Eddie Vedder.  For those of you that actually know me you probably think this is just a lame attempt at sucking up to my husband so he will do something nice for me.  But it’s really not.  True, he’s the reason I listen to Ed as much as I do but I have come to love his voice.  I could listen to him every day.  It’s the gravelly (?), sexy, rock-ish voice that soothes my savage soul.

Thing 3) I lived in a treehouse for almost a month.  Not as a protest, as a free residence which just happened to be in the woods.  It was a long time ago.  I was a lot younger.  I could climb trees.  A lot of friends were camping that summer.  One particular friend built a house with a door, a window, a bed, a stove and a front porch.  It just happened to sit 10 feet above the ground.  I sublet it for a month.  I’m really glad I did.

Thing 4) I was supposed to be named Tiffany.  Thankfully my grandmother stepped in and forbade my drug induced mother to do such a thing.  (No offense to any Tiffanys out there.  It just doesn’t suit me.)  Grandma nicely insisted suggested that I be named after my grandfather.  Luckily he wasn’t named Horace (it is a family name).  He wasn’t named Leigh either.  That’s my middle name.  I love my grandfather but when I decided I wanted to change my name I chose my middle name.  My mother was less than thrilled.  I’ve thought about that a lot in the naming of my child and future offspring.  Don’t give them names you don’t want them to use.

The Princess Bride
The Princess Bride

Thing 5) I’ve had plastic surgery.  Not intentionally.  I mean, I meant for the doctor to do what he did, I just didn’t go in for plastic surgery.  I had to have sinus surgery.  In through the nose.  Did you know they can perform rhinoplasty while they’re there?  Neither did I.  So when the doc told me I said “sure, just take off that little bump”.  It took 2 days to recover from the rhinoplasty and 3 weeks to recover from the sinus surgery.  It’s the X + Y factor.

Thing 6) One of my all time favorite movies is The Princess Bride.  I even owned it once.  (Sas-ymama if you’re reading this, I’m sorry.  I don’t know what happened to it.)  It’s not just the fantastically romantic story or the fact that my husband will now say to me “As you wish”.  It has some of the funniest dialogue I have ever heard.  It’s a classic for-the-adults kids movie.  Anybody want a peanut?

Thing 7) My favorite food is mac and cheese.  Yes I know, there are truly wonderful things out there like lobster and a perfect rare filet mingon, not to mention sushi on the whole.  But really, when I think of my favorite things mac and cheese always comes to mind.  And I have to confess, I love Kraft Deluxe Mac and Cheese in the blue box (the one with the weird bag of cheese spread) more than any other.  I’ve had some really fantastic stuff (yes you @jamield) but I’m just being honest.  It’s a childhood thing I guess.  Just one of those things I can’t let go of.  Kind of like I can’t let go of eggplant.  It is without a doubt my least favorite food.  In all it’s forms.  I don’t like it.  Please don’t make suggestions, I’ve had it again and again.  I will teach my children to try everything at least once.  I’ve tried it.  Yuk!

Well, nothing about the Compact but don’t you feel like you know me better now?  Wish you didn’t?  Just be glad you’re not one of the seven I tag.  Unless you are.  Then good luck!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

much ado


There is so much going on I don’t know where to start.  I took a few days off as the family was traveling and my oh so perfect schedule was thrown into chaos.  Okay, I don’t have a perfect schedule.  But I do have chaos.

(I haven’t digressed in a while, so here goes…  The husband put on one of my favorite albums as we sat down to our computers tonight.  I’m slightly distracted because it is so soothing and I greatly enjoy it.  I also greatly enjoy a husband who loves music completely yet plays an album he doesn’t love because his wife does.  Was that enough digression?)

Back to your regularly scheduled meanderings.  To start off on a high note, I won an award while on vacation.  (Can you be on vacation if you don’t have paid employment?)  It may come as a surprise to those of you who don’t know me, but I can’t remember the last time I won an award.  It might have been that 5th grade science fair.  I won a trophy a few years back, but that was for gambling so I don’t think it counts.

This time, I’m truly honored.  Angela, from My Year Without Spending, gave me a Superior Scribbler Award!  Thanks Angela.  What started out as an idea no more well thought out than the one to join the Compact has really changed my days.  (And if that sentence doesn’t just emanate Superior Scribbler I don’t know what does.)

The first Superior Scribbler was an accomplished journalist/blogger/teacher.  In her wisdom, that Scribe passed along her appreciation for other scribblers.  And so on, and so on, and so on…  Almost two years and 800 recipients later is little ol’ me.  This blog has become a part of my daily life in so many ways.  Beyond the enjoyment I receive just from writing, I have come across some amazing people and ideas that have enriched my thinking about living within our means and how to give the most to my family while still keeping something for myself.  If I can pass that along then I truly feel accomplished.

As with any award, there are a few hoops to jump through.  Here are the Superior Scribblers’…

1.  Each Superior Scribbler must in turn pass the award on to 5 most-deserving bloggy friends.

2.  Each Superior Scribbler must link to the author and the name of the blog from whom he/she has received The Award.

3.  Each Superior Scribbler must display The Award on his/her blog, and link to this post, which explains The Award.

4.  Each blogger who wins the Superior Scribbler Award must visit this post and add his/her name to the Mr. Linky list. That way, we’ll be able to keep up-to-date on everyone who wins This Prestigious Honor.

5.  Each Superior Scribbler must post these rules on his/her blog.

To fulfill rule #1, I give you my five (in no particular order)…

acme eclectic – it’s not girly/frugal/design/food/green/parenting or anything else you might think I would read, but it’s great writing and it makes me sound well read when in conversation with the husband.  Check it out, you might be surprised.

Good Pens – I like a good obsession.  I also like pens.  I don’t obsess about them, but the Good Pens Junkie does.  If you know how to retrofit a vintage ballpoint with a $2 Bic insert (or you’d like to), this blog is for you.

Pleasure Notes – through some pretty serious ups and downs Emma has blogged about life.  Specifically her life, with some great randomness thrown in.  I especially love the weekly flowers she brings into her (and at least digitally my) home.

Dispatches from Utopia – I found this blog via another project she has, Eating Well on $50 a Week, which I found out about from my father-in-law.  Cari is truly a kindred spirit.  She lives in the city I hope to one day call home.  She feeds her family well by cooking her own food and she has a sense of humor.  Sounds just like me right?  Okay, so she might actually be a writer with training and skill but other than that I’m sure we have a lot in common.  Check her out.

Creature Comforts – I couldn’t not give props to a design blog.  As you know, I’m a design junkie.  I love a good design idea.  I love a good design download.  And whoa, a design freebie?  You’ve got my number.  Creature Comforts has all that and more.

. . .

If you don’t spend all your time checking out these great blogs be sure to come back.  I have some ideas, and some blog changes, up my sleeve.  As a Superior Scribbler I will do my best to enlighten you.  Okay, maybe I can at least amuse you.  If not, too bad, I amuse myself.  And that’s enough for me.

Monday, May 4, 2009

got fun?


I have not worked in nearly 2 years.  For almost that long the husband and I have been discussing how to get on a budget.

Neither of these things were even a whisper of a thought when I decided to join the Compact.

I did it because I thought it made sense to be more sustainable.  And I love old things so why not make a commitment to renewing their use.  I started this blog to discuss how being a part of the Compact has affected our lives.  I know, I’ve strayed.  I can only hope somebody else has benefited from my work.  If not, I’m happy in the knowledge that my decision to Compact has opened up this whole new world of living to me.  Including finally getting that budget we’ve talked about for so long.

So what?  You say.  Say what, I say.

Say what I’m grateful for.  I like being a part of the Compact.  I like coupon clipping and finding a good deal.  I like cooking all our meals.

I also like doing things.  For fun.  You remember fun right?  There’s been a big push about frugality recently (yes, the new F word), and  many seem to see it as an end to fun.  I didn’t start this year thinking I would be frugal.  In fact, I don’t think I’d thought about the word since Frugal Rock.  Or was that Froogal Rock?  I’m old.  I can’t remember details.

All digressions aside, fun and frugal can coincide.  Saturday night we went to a baseball game at UC Long Beach.  Neither husband or I have an affiliation with the school.  We just thought it would be fun.  You know, something to do.  Tickets were a whopping $5 each.

Husband had a blast, Toddler L had a blast, and I love that more than I care that I don’t really care about college baseball.  It was a great night out.

It cost money.  So what?  If you forget to have fun, frugal really is a dirty word.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

not here, over there


No, I’m not changing the the game here at CBD, I’m just letting you know I have a guest-blogger post up over here.  This site is written by the great Emma James, who is in Ireland this week.  She is not very frugal and I don’t think she’d survive a week on the Compact.  But she promised to bring back lots of Irish somethings or others so I agreed to write a post.

Okay, that’s not really true.  She didn’t promise me anything.  But she did ask me to write.  And when a great person taking a trip you’d die to take asks you to write something, how do you say no?

I’m completely intimidated as her writing has actually ended up on TV (and good TV at that) and I talk about what I’m cooking and how much money I spend on groceries.  Oh well, I’m sure her audience is open minded.  At least that’s what I tell myself.

If you’re feeling open minded check it out.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

free stuff


I know I just went on a bit of a rant about Freecycle.  And it’s not that I don’t like Freecycle.  It’s just that I’ve been to busy distracted to do my part to get the most benefit from the program.

I’m not going to do anything about that particular issue now.  Instead, I’m going to offer you some free stuff.

Sorry, this is not a giveaway.

I can’t afford fabulous (if used) prizes and as I’m sure only 3 people besides my mother read this that wouldn’t be much of a contest.

Okay, back to the free…

There are two categories for that which I’m giving freely.  The first is the free I like because it’s fun and creative.  These great sites offer free downloads for things I like to imagine I might make one day.  A girl can dream.  No, the supplies are not free, but the design and the idea are.  That’s the hard part for me.  Sometimes I’m creative, I just lack the design and the idea.  Check these guys out:

Creature Comforts – not only are there great designs to download but links to other free stuff.  It’s a two-fer.  Love the mailing labels.

LollyChops – not only is Lolly a kind gal giving away her designs.  She’s also a fantabulous graphic designer.  I adore the chocolate cobbler packaging.  (Mom, you might be seeing one of these boxed up with a gift tag this year.)  And the MerivelMoon paper, and the calendar template and the…  Oh, just go look.

Vintage Glam – this is primarily a wedding site but there are some really great design downloads available.  Lots of labels, fonts and cards.  Gotta love Freebie Fridays.  Check out the Mad Libs Thank You notes.  Gotta get me some.

So that’s enough nice.  Now something for the general audience.  Assuming you haven’t left me yet.

You haven’t left have you?

I’m a fan of acme eclectic’s blog.  It’s not the kind of blog you might think I’d enjoy.  But it’s eclectic.  Like me.  And sometimes there’s something of national interest.  Okay, maybe not national…but I think you’d be interested.

A while back ae posted about great free music.  Specifically free Song of the Day downloads.  If you have a radio station that offers these you know how great they can be.  Well, here’s what acme eclectic has to offer…

KEXP 90.3 FM (Seattle)

KCRW 89.9 FM (Los Angeles)

KUT 90.5 FM (Austin)

The Current 89.3 FM (Minneapolis)

Each station’s “Song of the Day” rotation includes a little flavor of the local market, as it should be.  But you will find emerging artists from around the world featured on a daily basis.  Each of these stations also present in-studio performances that are generally available for download and that periodically serve as material for that day’s offering.

Time, ideas, sounds…I cannot hold these things in my hands although I consider them all consumable.  All of these things may be free.  All of these things may have value.  I hope I have shared some valuable freebies today.

Do you have anything to share?

Monday, April 27, 2009

monday – menus and more


The second week home after a vacation or even a three day weekend is when everything starts to feel normal again.  I’m starting to feel normal.  I’m trying to build up my routines.

Boy #2 is due the end of June.  I have about 9 weeks of routine before all hell breaks loose again.  But in the meantime I’m making my lists, checking them twice…oh, wait, that’s another story.  Back to my story.  Grocery list, check.  grocery shopping, check.  Menu plan, check.

Let’s see what we’ll be eating…

Sunday:  leftovers

Monday:  chicken breasts, mashed cauliflower (I love this dish, it’s like mashed potatoes but healthier)

Tuesday:  boneless pork sirloin chops, sautéed carrots

Wednesday:  pancakes

Thursday:  WOHO (wife on her own)

Friday:  pulled chicken sandwiches, green beans

Saturday:  tuna pasta (not sure if this is going to be traditional with cream of mushroom soup or something lighter with flaked tuna, oil and some veg.  I guess it depends on the weather that day.)


Our budget was $80, we spent…

Sprouts Farmers Market – $9.09 (this was all of our produce [minus the bananas] and eggs for the week, amazed even me.)

Vons – $24.96

Trader Joe’s – $10.95 (I can’t believe how little I shop here now, I still don’t want to live without a TJ’s nearby but they used to be my go-to for almost everything.)

Walgreens – $22.41

Target – $7.86 (no food but household items that I consider part of the budget)

99¢ Store – $2.00 (potatoes AND bananas!)

Lots of stops this week but with a final total of $77.27 I think it worked out to shop around for the deals.  All of these stores are within a couple miles and typically on our way home from some other outing.


I came across this picture essay from about the foods and budgets of families around the globe.  Although it’s quite old it’s definitely worth checking out.  Can you guess which is the American family?