Thursday, September 27, 2012

Polly goes to crossfit

Boyfriend took Polly to Crossfit and snapped this photo.

Don't tell me she's not the cutest little thing you've ever seen!!  Always photo ready :-)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Squeaky Clean Oven!

I have a confession.
I cleaned my oven.
.... and it made me giddy.

I remember back when I had my apartment with Courtney, I was in charge of cleaning the oven when we moved out.

And boy was that a mess.

Have you ever tried using that chemical oven cleaner?  I coughed for about a week straight, swore I developed asthma, and couldn't walk into the kitchen without my chest feeling heavy.

Screw nuclear weapons, oven cleaner will do the trick!

Well as you may know from this post, boyfriend and I will soon be moving in our new home!  I'm trying to prepare by cleaning and packing the little things.

Today I started with the oven.

I didn't want to develop asthma for a second time in my life, and I value my lungs, so I sought the advice of Pinterest. 

Baking soda. 
A girls best friend.

I read a few places to mix baking soda and water and let the oven stains soak for a little bit.

I like vinegar better than water. 
So here's what I did:
  • Scraped the easy stuff to remove crumbs/chunks (yum)
  • Combined Baking Soda and water to form a liquidy paste
  • Poured the paste on the perma-stains
  • Went to watch Dredd at the theater (very crucial step in the process)
  • Came home, scraped off my baking soda solution and VOILAAAAAAA!
It was a miracle. 
Everything scraped up so easily. 
I'm amazed. 
And in love.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Friday Letters

I'm so happy it's finally Friday! It seemed like it was Friday on Wednesday, which is never fun.
Today I'm linking up with this Gal for Friday Letters!

Dear Polly - I was a little more than irritated to wake up this morning to a messy bathroom full of accidents. Again. Is your food not agreeing with you? Do I need to wake up in the middle of the night to take you out? If you could let me know, I'd greatly appreciate it.

Dear Rain - I'm liking it right now, but in 2 months I'm not so sure I'll like it still. Although I can't wait to start wearing my boots again so I'm still a little giddy for the rain. As long as we get a mini-break for when it's time to move, that's all that matters to me!

Dear Boyfriend - Thanks for putting up with me this morning and my moodyness for having to clean up the entire bathroom since Polly exploded. Also, thank you for taking the pups out so that I could get the bathroom in order.

Dear Maggie's owner - Please stop yelling "Maggie COME! Come, Maggie! Maggie! Maggie! Maggie, COME! COME! COME! MAGGIE!" at 12:30am. Put the damn dog on a leash since she always seems to never come the million times you yell "COME!" Kapeesh?

Dear Waffle Friday at Work - so good. That's all I have to say. Best. Breakfast. Ever.   Hope everyone has a lovely Friday and it goes by quickly!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Toothpaste, Gum, Savings OH MY

I recently paid $3 for $17 worth of items and got back $7.  Can anyone say $4 profit??

My obsession with coupons is no secret around my house.  My boyfriend puts up with coupons throughout the house.

Every now and then he'll find a coupon on the ground and say, "Can I throw this away?"


... I mean, "Darling boyfriend, of course not."

I'm not extreme by any means, but goodness I love that Extreme Couponing show.

Here is my latest purchase from Walgreens (and keep in mind, I had recently used all of my colgate and Glade coupons, so I wasn't able to use those but my savings would have been even GREATER):

2 Colgate Toothpaste for $6 (regular price = $3.89 each)
Received $3 Register Rewards (RR)
Total: $6
Received Back:  $3

2 ID Gum by Stride for $2 (regular price = $1.49 each)
Received 1,000 Reward Points (=$1)
Used $1 of 2 coupons
Total: $1
Received Back: $1

3 Glade Air Freshener Holders for $4 (regular price = $2.29 each)
Received $2 Register Rewards
Received $1 Reward Points (=$1)
Total:  $4
Received Back:  $3

I used $8 worth of Register Rewards from previous purchases (shaving razors!).  Keep in mind I only used 1 coupon since I had already used my others for previous purchases, however I could have used two $.75 off for colgate ($1.50) and two $1 off for Glade ($2) meaning I wouldn't have paid ANYTHING.

But here's what I did anyway
Total After Coupons and Sale Prices:  $11
Register Rewards Used:  $8
Total Paid:  $3
Total Received Back:  $7


Saturday, September 15, 2012


I can't contain it any longer.  I didn't want to talk about this much for fear of jinxing things but...

Boyfriend and I are buying this house, and close in 2 short weeks!!

We are buying it completely independent of help from family, so we are so excited and proud to be owning this home! 

Boyfriend has a majority of the pictures on his iPad, but I managed to snag a picture of the kitchen.

Can't wait!!
We are accepting visitors of all shapes and sizes :-)

Friday, September 14, 2012

I opened a bill, then cried

The title of this post says it all.
But what it doesn't tell you is that this happened twice within 2 minutes.
Here's the scoop:
After day 4 of hospital visit - looks
who's walking upright!
Before I moved to Portland, I was in the hospital twice in two weeks.  Stress kicked in and my body felt it was necessary to pass a kidney stone.  Twice.
Moved to Portland and 1 week later, my body decided to part ways with my appendix in a non-routine appendectomy.  I spent 1 week in the hospital.
Appendectomy problems, back in the hospital for 2 days.
Doing great!!  Until another Kidney Stone made its appearance into this world.  Hello hospital.

Last month I was SO HAPPY to finally pay off all of my hospital bills.  Even with insurance, I was up to my chin in hospital bills.  Over $3,000 now.
So this past weekend boyfriend and I went to the Post Office to pick up mail.

I began ripping through my mail expecting it to be all spam when I saw at the top of a statement:
Granted, it was only $50. 
But what??? 
I paid off all of my bills!!

Did you know you have to pay for the doctor who sees you IN ADDITION TO the emergency room visits?  True flipping story.  So slap my booty and pull my hair, my emotions kicked in. 
I know it's only $50 and compared to the rest of my bills was relatively tiny, but I was so relieved to have all of my bills paid off that this just sucked. 

So I cried. 

And boyfriend calmed me by saying:
"At least it's not that much."

He was right.  Buck up and grow a pair, Ashley.  It's not the end of the world and other people have it 10x worse.

So I open the next letter and see:


What's the damage? 

Release the gates, it's flood season. 
I bawled. 
You know the kind where you blubber and gasp for air.
That kind of bawling.

The kicker?  This bill was from service I received 7 months ago!!
To some people who have constant hospital bills this might not seem like much and I might seem like a total whiner.  But to the average healthy Joe Schmoe who gets a flu once a year and maybe allergies, this is ridiculous.  And it totally sucks for the girl who is in the process of buying a home and wondering:
"Where the heck does all of my money go?"

Well let me tell you. 
It's going toward healthcare where expenses are increasing drastically from people who can't pay their bills or afford insurance.

With $3,000 (and growing) I could afford:
  • A bigger house down payment
  • Lots of clothes for Fall.  Boots anyone?  Tons of boots.
  • A princess castle for Polly
  • An epic new computer
  • Investment opportunities
  • Braces/Prettier Teeth (don't even get me started)
  • Flying back home 12 times
  • Ski tickets to Whistler, and then some
  • 300 Puppies
...I'll stop now

Thursday, September 13, 2012

My baking bff

I have a ton of little recipes I have been wanting to post.  I always take pictures when I'm cooking my favorite meals, but never actually get around to writing the blog post.

Talk about lazy, right?
Cake by Santanna
Well tonight I took all of my pictures and sat down at my computer and WHAT DID I DO???

.... I went on Facebook.

But you see, there's a happy ending for all of us.

Whenever I am cooking my little recipes or making my boyfriend dinner, I think:

"Damn, I'm a GOOD COOK!  But still probably not as good as Santanna."

Santanna has been my best friend since the second grade.  And Santanna is a master chef.  ... actually, she's a pastry chef.  But I'm sure she can be a master pastry chef, right?  At the young age of 25, Santanna has been a chef for years and has proven her talent in the industry.

**Click here to read a bloggy post about her**

Anywho, so I log onto facebook and see that Santanna was co-hosting a video for some Madeleine cookies. 

Watch this video and tell me:
1. Doesn't this make you want to make these cookies?!?
2. Is your kitchen ever this clean when baking?  I know my kitchen is disaster-zone-central after baking anything
3. Isn't my best friend a gem?  Whatta catch :-)

Sunday, September 09, 2012

My "About Me"

I have added a page to my bloggy (Link Here) with my About Me! 

I realized I needed to update it a bit since I no longer live in Reno and things have changed since I last wrote it.



Saturday, September 08, 2012

He's a keeper

I'm not sure how I got so lucky, but I sure have a keeper.
Boyfriend came home last Sunday with roses and a Sunday newspaper.
It was a "just because" occasion.
He sure knows how to touch my heart :-)

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Berry Huntin!

One thing I've been wanting to do since I've moved to Portland is go berry picking!!

You see, blackberry bushes grow wild here.  Apparently they're also a "weed" in the sense that they grow uncontrollably and are a pain to remove.  So last summer when I visited Aaron, we saw blakcberry bushes on the side of the road and I decided I wanted NOTHING MORE than to pick berries!

Aaron and I went to Thousand Acres Dog Park with the pups to take them for a little walk and let them play in the river.  During our walk, we found berries!

... and ate them.  I don't care if they're dirty.  I want blackberries, darnit.

On our way home, Aaron noticed a sign that said "U-Pick - OPEN"

STOP THE CAR!!!!!!!!!

...we're berry huntin' :-)

So we picked berries!  We filled an entire coffee can with the best tasting blueberries EVER!

I feel satisfied :-)

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Trader Joey

In Reno, I shopped at Walmart.  And Winco.  But mostly Walmart.

After moving to Portland, I had a hard time adjusting to the lack of Walmarts-on-every-corner.

Instead, there's a Whole Foods or Trader Joe's on every corner (at least where we live).  We tried Fred Meyer, but lordy that place is pricey... and under construction.

So boyfriend and I typically shop at Trader Joe's for some things, and Winco for the rest.  I never shopped at Trader Joe's before because it was too pricey, but boyfriend and I have been discovering some little gems that are decently priced and super yummy!

1.  Pomegranate and Blueberry Cereal - this stuff is AMAZING.  If you don't know, I can't eat mushy foods.  Call me picky, I'll take it.  But I don't do mushy.  Mashed Potatoes, Yogurt, Pudding, gag me.  Can't do it.  So one thing I HATE is when your cereal gets soggy.

This cereal never gets soggy/mushy.  The blueberries are real.  The clusters add a touch of sweet.  I can't get enough of this cereal! 

2.  Hummus Salad Dressing - I found this little gem when I was at my mom's house in July.  Which also means it's  GLUTEN FREE.  So unique - I've never seen anything like this anywhere else! 

3.  Trader Joe's Black Beans - Boyfriend and I eat black beans with everything.  The Trader Joe's brand black beans are supepr firm (NOT MUSHY).  The best part is they don't come in that thick-gunky-black-bean-residue stuff, which means you don't have to rinse them first!  Lovelove!

4.  Carne Asada - THIS IS SO YUM YUM!  It took 25-ish minutes to cook.  Threw it on some corn tortillas with chopped onion and cilantro.  Added some lime and INSTANT YUM YUM!  This is a keeper and well worth the $7-$8. 

I could go on and on about the little gems we get from TJs (don't even get me STARTED on the Rosemary cheese!) - but these are some of the hidden hotties that I'm unable to find at other stores.  Lovelovelove!

Anyone have any other Trader Joe's hot items?!