Showing posts from February, 2016

Books and Blogs I Read Last Week


How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen so Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber & Elaine Mazlish

Illinois, Indiana,  Ohio Month-by-Month Gardening by Beth Botts

Kindle Books While cleaning up my kindle this week, I came across some books I had started, but not finished. So while I didn't read these books in their entirety this week, I did (finally) complete them.

Radical Frugality: Living in America on $8,000 a Year by Nic Adams

Objectivism: What Ayn Rand Left Us by Ashton Cruise

How to Write Great Blog Posts that Engage Readers by Steve Scott

Let's Go! Field Trips for Teachers, Homeschoolers and Active Families b Traci Matt

The Non-Consumer Advocate by Katy Wolk-Stanley

down to earth by Rhonda Hetzel

What are you reading this week?  Please share in the comments.
Peace -- Ann

Do You Paperbackswap? How about BookMooch?

I do! And I love it!!

It's been probably 3 or 4 years since I first came across paperbackswap in a facebook group I enjoy. Most people were singing its praises (endless supply of desirable books at minimal cost), and some where sharing their own frustrations (the pressure of getting a book in the mail in a timely manner). I checked it out, explored the FAQs, costs, etc. and decided it was for me. Weeee!
Membership in the club is free... sort of. There is no charge for joining, but there is a swap fee for every book you order after your first two (2) which are truly free, well after you post your first 10 books. Confused? Let's try that again.

The Standard annual membership fee is $20 which allows the member an unlimited number of swaps received at no extra cost. The Limited annual membership fee is $12 and allows the member 30 swaps received at no extra cost. And the Ala Carte annual membership (this is the default setting) which costs 49 cents for each swap requested.
Wait! …

Budgeting - Our 3-part system

About  a year ago, I wrote a post about writing out a budget using just paper and pencil, no spreadsheets, no apps. Since then we've also used a spreadsheet budget that I had created, an online software program (free version), and another spreadsheet pre-formatted. Sometimes it takes a few trials and errors to find a system that really fits you well.
The spreadsheet we finally settled on came from this website. It is the EOD Deluxe Budget which is formatted to match Dave Ramsey's budget and cash allocation forms from his Financial Peace University course. We use the budget to create a big picture for the whole month -- how much we expect our income to be and how much we expect to pay out in each and every category. Not when, just how much.

We use the cash spending allocation form each week to record where we are spending the actual income. We may partially fund a half dozen envelopes or we may pay bills in full or we may set money back (record it spent, but just leave it in the …

Books I Read Last Week....

Here are my books for this week:

Pinch it Like You Mean It:101 Ways to Spend Less Money Now by Dr. Penny Pincher. This book was an easy read and lightly educational. I did get a few new ideas for saving money, but mostly he just confirmed the choices I am already making.

Even if you're already a penny pincher, I do recommend reading this book. Even though you may have already read many lists or even written your own, I believe there is always something to take away from someone else's list.

The Secrets of Happy Families by Bruce Feiler. I LOVE this book! which I've read before and keep coming back to for ideas. In fact, I am so taken with this book that I've asked my local library about starting a discussion group around it, but I'll save that topic for a blog post on another day. *wink  I actually only read one section, "The Buck Starts Here: The Warren Buffet Guie to Setting an Allowance" because we decided to start giving our daughter an allowance, and …

Lunches for the Week

We are packers -- well at least Kenn and Isabelle are, in that I pack their lunches for them and they eat packed lunches. So, what are they having this week?

Kenn -- tossed salad (romaine lettuce, chopped carrot and cucumber, feta cheese, cherry tomatoes, croutons, italian dressing), tuna salad (tuna, mayo, mustard, worchestershire sauce, lemon juice, hard-boiled egg), apple, and coffee. Usually with Monday being his long day, he takes more snacks, but our snack cupboard was bare this morning.

Isabelle -- ham slices (4), some shredded cheese (I usually pack string cheese, but I'm out of that too.  Plus the packaging....  (I may stick to shredded cheese for her.), carrot slices, pretzel sticks, croutons (because they're yummy), and water (doesn't spoil in her water bottle the way milk and juice do).

Kenn - has Tuesdays off work, so I don't have to pack his lunch today.

Isabelle - has chosen to buy school lunch today so I packed just a couple of pretzels and…

Making Friends....

.... has always been a challenge for me. So this year, I am acting with intent and putting myself out there, outside my comfort zone. Meeting new people, and cultivating new friendships.
I joined a book discussion group at the public library and what a treat that is turning out to be. We only meet once each month, and I can't wait for the next meeting. The group is good sized, about 12 attending, and everyone participates rather than being dominated by just a few. I'm really looking forward to getting to know these women better.
While at the grocery store, I heard a couple address their daughter, who looked to be about our own daughter's age, by a name that I recognized from Isabelle's class. So I asked Isabelle if that was the girl from her class. Of course she said yes, went running over to give her a big hug, and of course it was a different girl by the same name!  But her parents are lovely,  and we exchanged contact info anyway. We've already had a couple of …

Books I've read this week....

This week, I have somehow ended up with two books for entertainment, and none for education or enhancement. Not exactly sure how that happened as I do have some other books selected and even on my table, but I didn't open them for some reason.

For next month's book discussion group, the book is "The Humans" by Matt Haig. I'm not sure what to say about this book. I guess it has me stumped. It's a sci-fi book with an alien visiting earth, taking on a human form and inserting himself into the life of the (now dead) human. And when he first arrives, he makes some profound observations about (western European style) human culture. And it doesn't take him long to start questioning his main objective and finding value in the messed up lives that humans live.

At this beginning, I really like this book with it's observations of our culture, but as the alien acclimated, these stopped happening and the story was a moderate story to me. Not horrible, but not gr…

Ramblings in my mind....


first the definition from Merriam-Webster (and because this is English, there are many):

1:cultivationtillage 2:  the act of developing the intellectual and moral faculties especially by education 3:  expert care and training <beauty culture> 4a:  enlightenment and excellence of taste acquired by intellectual and aesthetic trainingb:  acquaintance with and taste in fine arts, humanities, and broad aspects of science as distinguished from vocational and technical skills 5a:  the integrated pattern of human knowledge, belief, and behavior that depends upon the capacity for learning and transmitting knowledge to succeeding generationsb:  the customary beliefs, social forms, and material traits of a racial, religious, or social group; also:  the characteristic features of everyday existence (as diversions or a way of life) shared by people in a place or time <popular culture><southern culture>c:  the set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that char…

Books I read last week

I picked up Minimalist Parenting thinking I'd get through it in a couple days, and sadly I was mistaken. There is a lot of (good) information in this book, and it was a lot to take in so I only got about half way through. And I'm good with that. I'm going to set it aside (return it to the library, my off-site book storage unit), and work on some of the suggestions.

If you're looking to make life simpler by cutting back in commitments, working hours, housekeeping hours, stuff, etc; this book can be a good help. I wouldn't recommend reading the whole thing and trying to do it all though. I'd focus on just one area.
What did you read last week? What are you planning to read this week? Let me know in the comments.
Cheers! Ann

February Meal Plan

It's always good to have a plan so here is February's. And yes, it looks a lot like January as I couldn't be bothered to come up with new recipes. That happens sometimes.

1 Mon - leftovers
2 Tues - chicken & rice & veg in the slow cooker
3 Wed - shepherd pie, fruit
4 Thur - pork steak, baked beans, corn, grapes
5 Fri - pizza
6 Sat - chili, cornbread, apple slices
7 Sun - chicken tacos
8 Mon - leftovers
9 Tues - beef sausage, hash browns, green beans
10 Wed - chicken in slow cooker, pg 70
11 Thur - pork roast in slow cooker, potatoes, veg
12 Fri - pizza
13 Sat - lentil soup, french bread
14 Sun - baked fish, roast veg, fruit
15 Mon - leftovers
16 Tues - beef gravy over toast, peas
17 Wed - chicken, angel hair pasta, veg
18 Thur - stuffed baked potatoes
19 Fri - pizza
20 Sat - chicken veg & rice soup
21 Sun - beef spaghetti
22 Mon - leftovers
23 Tues - sloppy joes, corn
24 Wed - chicken ala king in slow cooker
25 Thur - ham & cheesy baked potatoes, peas
26 Fri …