Sunday, November 29, 2009

A Thanksgiving suprise

Well it was intended to be a Christmas package from my family, but do to the fact it was one of a bundle, and it contained Christmas decorations, I let the hubby open one box early and called it a Thanksgiving days present lol.

I wish I would have taken photos. But I will take some and add some later.

But we were super excited to open it and find:
2 American stocking and Christmas decorations
A pink and black hoodie for me
Ear warmers for me
A new laptop bag for hubby
and Sloppy joe mix and kool aid


Saturday, November 28, 2009

My new favorite author

Many of you already know that I am a nerd for books. I love to read. I could easily sit up all night with a book. Ok well maybe not, now a days I am getting old and 11 pm is the new 5 am for me lol. But I sure do out in a good faith effort.

Recently a family member sent me 3 Dean Koontz books. I could not even begin to tell you how fabulious they are. They are edge of the seat can't put them down thrillers. So my new goal is to read all of his books. However, I was highly disappointed to see that a lot of his early books are no longer in print. I doubt the libraries here will have out of print English books, but one can hope right?

So my modified goal is to read all his still in publication books.

I finished "Odd Hours" which was fab.

And I am currently reading "The Bad Place"

If you enjoy a good thriller, I full heartedly suggest you check him out.

So what Author do you go crazy for?

Top 10 Thankfuls... (Belated Thanksgiving Post)

I came across this activity on All that is Good and thought it would be fun to do myself.

I am thankful for (in no particular order)...

1) A wonderful Family who supports me no matter how wacky my ideas or aspirations are

2) A Husband who can always make me laugh no matter how angry I am

3) The change to live in such a wonderful country overseas

4) Great Friends who have never forgotten me even though I am a world away

5) The wonderful friends I have made in Germany, who bring so much joy into my life, and make living in Germany such a joyful experience

6) Good Books the kind you can curl up under a warm blanket and read for hours

7) A loving God, that never gives up on me, no matter how many times I doubt him

8) A amazing German teacher who not only makes learning fun, but has taught me so much about so many things, her sense of humor is worth millions

9) The wonderful friends I have made online via Forums or Blogs, who are just as much a part of my life as those near me

10) My mac who brings me so much joy, fun, and keeps me in contact with those that I love

I hope that everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I wish that I could have been there to celebrate with you. But I have so much comfort in knowing that everyone is just a phone call away.

I love you all so much.

Happy Thanks giving

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Toni's Brain

Today I clicked a link to a news story and came upon this. This is one of the things Toni was trained to do, writing coding. Now I do not know about you, but this junk looks like a foreign language to me. It just goes to show that intelligence really does manifest itself in many differnt ways among all of us.

So heres to my computer man.

}  if (vv_ads['postroll']) {   vidavee_ad_ref_str += 'post=' + escape(vv_fixAdRef(vv_ads['postroll'])) + '&posttype=' + escape(vv_ads['server']) + '&';  }  if (vv_ads['midroll']) {   vidavee_ad_ref_str += 'mid=' + escape(vv_fixAdRef(vv_ads['midroll'][0])) + '&midoffset=' + vv_ads['midroll'][1] + '&midtype=' + escape(vv_ads['server']) + '&';  }      var movieHash = 'movie' + (new Date()).getTime();  var proxyFilesPath = '';  var playHeight = 405; // internally- height + 53(skin controls)  var objectStart = '<' + 'object width="470" height="' + playHeight + '" align="middle" id="' + movieHash + '" codebase=",0,0,0" classid="clsid:d27cdb6e-ae6d-11cf-96b8-444553540000">';  var objectEnd = '<' + '/object>';            var scriptSrc = '' + movieHash  +'&">=&width=470&wmode=transparent&height=352&dockey=D9CBA4B679637D35DB8F0326182ED6BD' + '&p2=off' + '&p7=on' +'&p16=v3AdvInt_oregonLive.swf'+vidavee_panad_skin_params + '&'+vidavee_ad_ref_str + escape(adseek_param);  var param1 = '<' +'param value="always" name="allowScriptAccess"/>';  var param2 = '<' +'param value="' + scriptSrc + '" name="movie"/>';  var param3 = '<' + 'param value="high" name="quality"/>';  var param4 = '<' + 'param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" />';  var param5 = '<' + 'param name="wmode" value="transparent" />';  var embed = '<' + 'embed allowscriptaccess="always" wmode="transparent" src="' + scriptSrc + '" name="' + movieHash + '" quality="high" pluginspage="" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="470" height="' + playHeight + '" allowFullScreen="true">';  var embedEnd = '<' + '/embed>';  document.write(objectStart + param1 + param2 + param3 + param4 + param5 + embed + embedEnd + objectEnd);  delete(adseek_param);   delete(vidavee_ad_seek_policy);    delete(adreplay_param);   delete(vidavee_ad_replay_policy);   delete(vidavee_ad_ref);   delete(vidavee_ad_type);   delete(vidavee_ad_offset);   delete(vidavee_ad_ref_str);  delete(vidavee_ad_preroll_ref);  delete(vidavee_ad_postroll_ref);  delete(vidavee_ad_midroll_ref);  delete(vidavee_ad_midroll_offset);  delete(vidavee_panad_skin_params);  delete vv_fixAdRef; delete vv_fixOffset; delete(vv_ads);

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Look what I made


1 month....

Until Christmas oh boy oh boy.

The Christmas tree is up and already has two packages underneath it how exciting. This will be our first Christmas at home, so I have to start thinking of what type if meal I will put together and how to make it our own special day.

So I through this out to you, for those of you without kids, or even those with reflecting back, what are or were your christmas traditions before kids were in the picture?

Monday, November 23, 2009

5 Meals under 5 Euro

There are always times when we need quick and easy super cheap meals. Be it the end of the month, or just a late day at work. So here are a few ideas to get you through those tough times.
(On a note these are German based meals, but could be easily adapted in the states)

Note many of these only use part of the ingredients listed so they are actually even cheaper yeah!!

1. Spatzle with Rinder Fleish and Jager Sauce
Spaztle 88 cents
Rinder Fleish on sale 2 euro
Jager Sauce 3 for 99 cents
Just add a salad or some veggies and you are good to go

2. BLT's with egg and cheese (yeah I know its not really a BLT, but who cares)
Eggs 1,29
Lettuce ,69
Tomatoes ,50
Toast cheese ,89
bread ,45

3. Steak Pfanne and rice
Steak pfanne (in the frozen section) 1,79
Rice ,35

4. Spaghetti and herb bread
Box set with noodles, sauce, and sprinkle cheese ,69
bread ,78

5. Salad with Tuna
Tuna ,99
Lettuce ,69
Tomato ,50
Bell pepper for 3 ,99
Carrots ,99
Dressing mix 5 pack ,99

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Organizing your life in Binders

One of the most helpful tips I have ever come across was in regards to paper clutter. We all have it. Those odds and ends that you just have to hold on too. So what do you do with it all? Well the old days of filing are just too out of date and nothing gives you more control then organizing your life in binders. I am happy to say at any moment I know exactly where to find things, and that is a huge relief.

While everyone has a different system accommodating to their own needs here is a brief example of what works for our family. I am sure this process will evolve with time, but this is what I have as of now and it works great.

When my husband and I first moved in together he had a system he refers to as organized chaos, or in my vocabulary mass headache. Nothing could be found. Papers were strewn about in boxes drawers and all throughout the house.

So I took upon the task of getting it all organized. Now that in itself is a process, but let me tell you how much fun that is in German. Oh man!!! lol

So here is what I have as of now:

Binder 1: Husbands work and education history- this includes all school related papers, grade sheets, certificates, and degrees. As well as all work history documents- work contracts, pay stubs, old tax cards, vacation cards, important letters from employers

Binder 2: All government affiliated paperwork- unemployment, retirement, financial administration

Binder 3: Household- rental contracts, electric bills and contract, telephone contracts, health insurance

Binder 4: All things financial- banking, investments, insurances

Binder 5: Mine: Now I have only lived overseas a year so my paperwork is much less at this time thus it is easier just to keep it all together in one binder this includes- banking, bills, health insurance or records, and any misc documents I need to keep

I keep these all nicely tucked away in a bookshelf. I do have a separate folder for currents months bills, or applicable documents and I file those away after being paid.

So how do you organize your papers?

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Day Book

FOR TODAY Saturday November 21st

Outside My Window... Darkness and scary shadows from trees
I am thinking... I do not feel well. I hope a good movie comes on tonight. I need to work on my German.
I am thankful for... Having a wonderful husband who cooks me chicken noodle soup when I do not feel well.
From the learning rooms...Still chugging away at German.
From the kitchen...Oh yeah, I spent 28 on groceries go me.
I am wearing...jogging pants, a long sleeve plain old navy tee, and a hoodie, oh and socks
I am creating...A new blog, and a household control binder
I am going...nowhere in particular this weekend
I am reading...The Parenthood Decision
I am hoping...I get feeling better, I get all the cords in the house organized this week
I am hearing...Spiderman in German
Around the house...Need to tidy up, and deep clean the bathroom.
One of my favorite things...Journals and collages
A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week: clean up the living room, work on my control binder- nothing too fancy
Here is picture thought I am sharing...

For more information on Monday daybook check out The simple woman

Friday, November 20, 2009

Ode to Ramen

One of the wonderful American foods I have come across in Germany is the super cheap and easy Top Ramen. Now they do not have such a wide variety of flavors. I would kill for some creamy chicken, but they have oriental so I can't complain too much.

Now the possibility with these noodles are truly endless. Here is a few of my favorite ways to whip up Top Ramen.

1. Use the noodles as a stir fry base add veggies and or meat.

2. Cook into Tomato soup

3. Add an egg or veggies into the noodles while cooking

4. Eat the good old fashioned way, just as they come

So what do you do with Top Ramen noodles?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Spend to save- Buying in Bulk

I recently came across a great post at The happy Housewife in which she talked about spending money on dental care products in order to save money on long term dental repairs, and she tossed out the questions how do you spend to save.

So here is my tid bit.

I know for a lot of us on a tight budget we live paycheck to paycheck. Planning every detail of our spending. But one thing that has helped me tremendously is occasionally buying extra products.

To give you an example today while grocery shopping I found butter for 65 cents a tub, normal price 1,29. Now I could say ok, I will buy two which equals the normal amount I have planned to spend. But instead I bought 6. Now my husband thought I was nuts, but think about it I saved 50% and that will last us a while, and save us on our upcoming grocery bills.

Buying more at the sale price saves you money in the end. This can also be true of buying in bulk. The key is being able to access what your family needs and will actually use.

I also buy items we do not currently need but are always using for instance bathroom products, why wait a week and pay 1,29 for shampoo that is this week 40 cents. Planning in advance always saves in the end.

So how do you spend to save?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

You Capture- Real Life

Today while reading The Happy HousewifeI came across a post she made for You Capture. I went to I should be folding laundry's Blog and checked out what it was all about. Basically every week is a themed photo post and it looks like loads of fun. So this weeks theme is real life and this is my interpretation of it. A few of these photos are old, but starting next time I plan to try to get out and take new photos, which is the whole theme behind this activity. Head over and check out their blogs and leave me a link if you post a entry n your blog as well.

This was just a totally unplanned moment captured by my husband. I am quit the beauty in the morning aren't I.
This was after a few too many drinks in Bremen.
This was our wedding anniversary and I just thought this really captured the real life theme.
Yes this is the hubby, and yes his pants are on backwards. This is what happens when smokers don;t have their morning cigarette fast enough.
And nothing gets better then the unexpected hear cut shots.

So what do you think. Do these represent real life to you? How do you define it.

Monday, November 16, 2009

To vaccinate or not to vaccinate that is the question here

The Swine flu......dun dun dun.... We are all going to die right? A global pandamic, one marked with fear world wide. But is the fear actually rational? I mean how many people die yearly from the standard flu, and you sure don;t see people robbing armored trucks to steal the yearly flu vaccine.

I mean yeah I get it, it is a new strain and is attacking a previously safe age group. So yeah it is a bit scary. Don't get me wrong, but I do thing the media is as biased as ever, and for once we need to form educated opinions on our own.

So to vaccinate or not? No one can answer that for you, but it does make for an interesting discussion, and I would love to hear your points of view, so here are ours.

Hubby recently received the H1n1 shot, after a women at his work (hospital) came down with the Swine flu. Now I understand that when working in a hospital environment it makes since to be vaccinated, many jobs require this.

So the big too do, side effects. Well here is what happened to him. He got the shot 8 am and by noon felt like crap, he came home early. He was tired and his arm hurt like hell. The next morning he went back to work and came home after an hour. He had a elevated fever, but I wouldn't even call it a fever. Just a overall sense of crappiness. He stayed home a few days, each day feeling a bit better and plans to return to work Monday. In the end, you feel like crap for a few days but nothing too serious.

Then comes me, I have not gotten the vaccine, nor have I formulated an opinion as to if I actually want to. My doctor seems to suggest against it. Now I am not in an at risk group. If I was for example pregnant, I would get the vaccine. But I am stuck now in the position of deciding if I want to or not. I have never in my life had even a normal vaccine against the flu, and have perhaps only once as a child actually had a serious case. Other then a few stomach bugs here and there.

So what is your take on the swine flu and the vaccine, will you or wont you get the shot?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Medical Adventures in Deutschland Update

I had previously posted regarding issues with my ear and an upcoming MRI. Well that appointment was yesterday, so I thought I would post the update here.

It was an interesting adventure. I got some great advice from people who had been through an MRI before and it really helped prepare me for what to expect. I was so nervous the night before that I could barely sleep, I stayed home from my German class and caught a few extra hours sleep before my appointment. The hubby left work a few hours early to take me. So we had to drive to a nearby city about 15 minutes away to a radiologist. Once there I had to do the standard prep paperwork. I was asked if I had anxiety in small places and wanted to be sedated, I said yes. But did that happen? Nope.

So after waiting in the waiting room a bit I was called back. The radiology assistant did not speak English, but luckily my German was good enough to go through the procedure without ordeal. I was taken to a little room where I had to remove all metal and leave my personal belongings. Then I went into the MRI room and saw the machine. I never knew how small those little tunnels really were, but let me tell you I had one hell of a panic attack when I saw it up close in person. I told her I was freaked out, but that didn't help much she just loaded me up on the machine.

They put a Hannibal looking cage over my face, and a huge head set on me, and then handed me a ball and told me if I freak out to squeeze it :). Then placed a huge pilot looking headphones over my head. The head piece had a mirror so I was able to see outside of the tunnel. Then I was slid into the tiny tunnel, which words can not even describe unless you have been in one.

So I couldn't help but notice the women kept waving at me, I guess in hopes I would not have a mental break down lol. But then once the machine came on, nothing, even the warnings I received could have prepared me for the noise it made. At first it wasn't so bad un un un di di di, I am like ok I am at a Daft Punk concert, then came bam bam bam, alright I am at a Daft punk concert that is being bombed, every time you become accustomed to the noise it changes. So in the end I cam to the conclusion that I was on a train listening to daft punk, while being bombed in world war two berlin. great visual lol.

So after that joyful experience, I was told to go back and sit in the waiting room. That had to be the longest twenty minutes of my life. WE were then called back to talk to the radiologist. Now this in itself was rather entertaining as I had looked to Toni to help me answer his questions, at which point he told him to shut up he wanted to hear from me hahahah. Well I managed pretty well and in the end was told it is in fact not a Tumor. Thank God. However, he was only trained in Brain scans, so he could only comment on that aspect and was unable to see f a problem lied within the ear itself.

So back to square one, at this point I need to go back to the HNO and have her review the films. I am unsure what will happen from there. She had said before it may be the case that no medical explanation is found and only the symptoms can be treated. So our next step will be researching into the costs of the ear piece that is needed, finding out how much is covered by health care, and if it is something we can afford to do at this point in time.

I am so thankful for everyones well wishes. It helped me so much, and meant more to me then I could ever express with words.

I will keep you all updated on how things unfold.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

My Belated Veterans Day post

These are my veterans day heroes. To often we are caught up in the politics of war and forget to take the time to realize that these soldiers are real people, not just names, they are mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, children, and grandchildren just like us. So what makes them special? The fact that they are willing to put their very own life's on the line to protect the very freedoms we so often toss aside frivolously. I am not ashamed to be a part of a military family. I am damn proud.

My Meal Plan

For a long time I have been trying to come up with a meal plan our outline to help me with shopping and meal planning. I am sure with time this will change, and I would love your tips and suggestions, but here is what I have as of now :) Enjoy and leave me feedback.

Breakfast- American hot
Lunch- Sandwiches and veggies, leftovers, or odds and ends whipped up

Breakfast- Cereal or yogurt
Lunch- Sandwiches and veggies, leftovers, or odds and ends whipped up
Dinner- Fish themed

Breakfast- Cereal or yogurt
Lunch- Sandwiches and veggies, leftovers, or odds and ends whipped up
Dinner- Meat themed dish based on sales

Breakfast- Cereal or yogurt
Lunch- Sandwiches and veggies, leftovers, or odds and ends whipped up
Dinner- Soup or canned themed

Breakfast- Cereal or yogurt
Lunch- Sandwiches and veggies, leftovers, or odds and ends whipped up
Dinner- Hot sandwiches theme

Breakfast- Cereal or yogurt
Lunch- Sandwiches and veggies, leftovers, or odds and ends whipped up
Dinner- Frozen themes

Breakfast- German Hot rolls and wurst
Lunch- Sandwiches and veggies, leftovers, or odds and ends whipped up
Dinner- Vegetarian themed

Snacks: Fruit, crackers, a few sweets, veggies

Desserts: ( weekend only) Saturday: yogurt, pudding, or canned fruit Sunday: Cake of some form

Share your thoughts or a link to your meal plan or outline

I think I set a new record

We went shopping today and purchased food for 8 days (minus a few items needed from other stores) for a wopping total of 28.59. Originally 6.25 more, but we brought back bottles.

So here is my method:
1. Normally I sit down every sunday and look for the shop with the best deals. I used to try to go to every store to get the cheapest of items, but hubby would always see something he wanted. So I challenged him I said give me one week and we only buy what is on my list plan the meals and eat what we planned, and this was our result.

2. Always take back bottles, we do it every week or 2 weeks since hubby drinks so much water. I do not count this in the total since it is already money paid, ie this weeks will go toward next week.

3. When regular items are on sale buy a few more, it cuts off the later need at a higher price.

4. Plan your meals based on the items you already have on hand, and build your stash with just a few extra items per week, it only costs a few bucks more and saves in the end.

5. When you can use coupons. I have not found so many here, but I do use them when I come across them.

So here is my 8 days of meals for 28 Euro

Breakfast: Weekdays- Yogurt or cereal Saturday- American breakfast Hashbrowns and Eggs, Sundays- German breakfast hot rolls with wurst

Lunches- Sandwiches, or misc odds and end funf minuten terrainen, salad, left overs

Snacks- Bananas, 99 cent cracker mixes, bagel crackers, and cheese twists

Desserts (weekend only) canned fruit, and a cake

Dinners (9 total)
1. 2x Soup and krauter bread (I buy this in the can it is only 85 cents cheaper then self made and I buy the frozen break two loafs for 78 cents)

2. BLT's and french fries

3. Asian stir fry with rice (I buy the cheap noodle mixes and add rice)

4. Fish filets, spinach and potatoes

5. Spatzle with jager sauce, butter veggies, and salad

6. Salad with Tuna

7. Tortilleni with bread and salad (I buy the frozen mx all ready just cook for 1,79.)

8. Mexian fahitas (I paid teh most for this, but it was mexican week I bought a burrito set for 1.79, and a mix with marinated fresh meat and veggies for 2,89)

I will have to pick up a few missed items under 5 euro at our local store
rice, water, sunday cake, and one can of fruit

For the longest time hubby insisted we eat only a few hot meals a week. He insisted cooking hot costs to much. Luckily h got sick of so much bread and took up my challenge. Even up until the moment we paid he insisted the costs would be over 50 euro, he was flabergasted. But happy, that with the right amount of planning you can eat hot every day of the week and super cheap. So I will try to keep this up and let you guys know how it goes.

As you know right now we are in a pinch so we have to live frugally, but I think either way it is a good skill to have, and while I am sure when we can we will spend more on food, I will try to keep up saving money by careful planning. That just leaves extra money for those special moments or long awaited purchases :)

Friday, November 6, 2009

Big mouth

So in a moment of randomness, I said one day to my husband that he had a really small mouth. He insisted no he didn't. So we had to compare. His conclusion he has a normal mouth and I have a big mouth. While I do agree with the latter, I still say he has a small mouth. Now up for review.

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Customized Jewelry Giveaway

My Blogger Buddy Monica over at Pixel Perfect is having an awsome giveaway on her blog. One Blog reader will win a awesome personalized handmade necklace by MagPie Designz

Hop over to her blog to check out how to enter to win.


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