Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Four Months and Counting...

Are you ever in a situation where you feel like you should be nervous...but, you're not?  Today I am exactly four months from my wedding date.  Weird, huh?  And no, I'm not feeling nervous or jittery or anything.  I know that's probably because I still have four WHOLE months left and I've already done most of the biggie stuff.  But, I do still have a lot left to take care of...though, generally I feel this is all going very smoothly.

I suppose at this time I should give some updates on what has occurred since my last one...  Just this past week I got my cake topper in the mail, which is a large, pretty "Z."  Yes, I'll be moving to the veeeeeery end of the alphabet...but hey, at least it's a cool last name.  Plus, my cousin made the exact same trek to the end of the alphabet when she got married and she says all the "Z" stuff is left over when you buy monogrammed items...therefore, you typically get it on sale.  Wahoo!  The only problem I see with this, thus far, is that I don't particularly like some of the cursive "Z" we'll just have to see.

Another thing, we have officially picked out our wedding rings!  Mine is still on order and David's is waiting for me to pick up at the jeweler.  I guess I should get on that, huh?  We both are getting exactly what we wanted and neither one of us could be more pleased!

Hmmmm...what else...oh, yes!  The current project is the invitations.  After fiddling around with different designs we've agreed on a slightly unique pattern.  Next is choosing the card stock, then RSVP cards, thank you cards and programs.  Fun stuff...I can't tell you how excited I am to make out each and every envelope!

I believe that's about it for now...I'll leave you with a little funny that everyone should appreciate in this day and age!

Monday, March 29, 2010


Remember way back when I read Reading Lolita in Tehran?  That book stimulated my interest enough to read the book denoted in the title, Lolita.  I could already tell from the context in which this book was referenced in Reading Lolita in Tehran that this was going to be a disturbing read.  It's about molestation...'nuf said.  I've had a hard time writing this review, so bear with me.

The main character, Humbert Humbert (no, that's not a typo), has a fascination with what he refers to as "nymphets," which are essentially prepubescent girls.  This French scholar moves into a small boarding house and instantly becomes infatuated with the landlady's daughter, Dolores.  Dolores has numerous nicknames throughout the book, namely Lolita.  So, this twisted tale begins...

I'm not going to go into the minute details of this book for obvious reasons.  However, I will say that there is not a lot of great detail as far as what actually occurs between Humbert and Lolita physically...thank goodness, I don't think I could have read that.  A lot of the narration is Humbert's thoughts, feelings, obsessions and so forth. 

You learn early in the novel that Humbert's compulsion began when he was prepubesent and the girl he was interested in died unexpectedly.  Because he was never able consummate this young relationship (kissing, hand holding, etc.) his fascination with this age of girls begins...  And in the end of this book you see that, in a way, once he's able to fully love (physically and emotionally) a girl of this age...he'll love her forever. 

Even after Lolita runs away and abandons him, years later when she reappears in his life Humbert is still completely and totally in love with her.  In fact, because she is in dire financial straights and pregnant (she is married, though) Humbert gives her thousands of dollars. Humbert also begs her to run away with him again, but she refuses. 

The way this novel ends, and the style it has been written throughout, is actually a "confession" for the police.  You learn that Humbert has murdered a man of a similar age, Q.  In fact, Q is the man that Lolita ran away with...because she was in love with him.  But, Humbert is still so protective of Lolita that he can't stand the idea of another man hurting her.  Even though in his own sick way, Humbert has hurt Lolita himself.  At the conclusion, Humbert makes some commentary about when he wants his memoir released as well as well his good wishes for Lolita and her marriage/pregnancy.

Weird, weird book.  The man is clearly deranged and sick...and he knows it...again, weird.  I know I say this every time I read a weird and/or disturbing book,'ll be a while before I read another.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie

When I set out to make a cherry pie for my office's Friday food day last week, I knew I would need to make an additional pie.  Like myself, most of my fellow co-workers are not super fond of cherry pie, so I decided to make this pie.  Little did I know, that cherry pie would go over so well and I probably didn't need to make this pie. 

However, I really liked this one.  In fact, I preferred it.  But, shhhhh...don't tell anyone.  While a fruit pie can be very good, my favorites tend to be sweet and/or creamy pies.  David's favorite is coconut cream...we see eye to eye on some things.  In fact, it is almost impossible to make a dessert too sweet for me.  It's been done, but it's a very rare occurence.  Kind of like finding a cheese I don't care for.

To me, this pie's filling looked like exactly what it is...chocolate chip cookie batter...mmm...

And see how pretty it is in my beautiful pie crust.  Did I mention that this pie crust and the cherry pie crust were my first two pie crusts where I fluted the edges all by myself?  Yes, they are.  And they're mighty pretty if I do say so myself.  Though, the cherry one did have some cherry juice dribble on it...but, we won't talk about that.

And here's the finished product.  Yum...good stuff. 

And as a sidenote: there was no need for me to make any alterations in the above linked recipe, this turned our perfectly!

This pie is very, very sweet so if you decide to take it are officially forewarned!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

No Cream...Banana Ice Cream

This isn't really a "recipe" per se...I've seen it posted numerous times on other blogs and even on Tasty Kitchen.  I look at it as a good way to preserve bananas that are quickly heading towards the garbage. 

Remember last week when I said that I had five bananas and that muffin recipe only called for three?  This is what I did to the other two...

Start off mashing whatever bananas you have in a container, preferably whatever container you intend to freeze them in. 

You like my lovely circa-1973 Tupperware container my mom gave me?  Matches the bananas perfectly, huh?  Haha! 

Then, then add approximately two teaspoons of cocoa powder for each banana.  I had two bananas, so I added four teaspoons.  Measure out 1/2 tablespoon of sweetener (sugar, honey, Splenda, etc.) for each banana.  I used 1 tablespoon of regular ol' plain granulated sugar.  Finally, a dash of salt.

That's it!  Now mix it all together, then freeze it. 

There you have it, quick and easy and tasty too! 

I will add that if you wait until the bananas are practically BLACK, that there will be a sort of "liquor" flavor in this treat.  I did this the last time and David insisted that I added some sort of alcohol or liquor...which, I did not.  Instead, this time I saved the bananas a couple days prior to their fermentation period.  Much better...though, now David won't touch this treat with a ten foot pole.  That's fine...more for me!

Also, if you insist upon a recipe to print, feel free to print this one.  I found it on Tasty Kitchen and the author has some nice notations/recommendations to go with it.

Monday, March 22, 2010

To Laugh...Or Not To Laugh...That Is The Question

Do you ever get into those situations where you feel really bad about it, but you can't help but laugh?  Sometimes it makes you feel insensitive.  Sometimes it makes you feel juvenile.  Regardless, you don't necessarily feel good about laughing at the fact, I considered not even posting this blog entry for that reason...phew...but, here goes.

This occurred to David and myself on Saturday night.  We have season tickets to the Oklahoma City Philharmonic and decided to brave the first day of Spring's icy, cold snow storm to watch this month's performance.  First of all, that just doesn't sound right...but it did happen.  Nice, huh?

Anyway, this is a monthly event that we go to where we love to people watch.  You see people dressed to the nines...and those not.  It's always surprised me when people go to nice events like this and wear...sweats.  Yes, we saw someone wearing sweats last month.  No sweats this past Saturday, though we did see the normal number of furs.  Real ones.  Oh yes, and we saw a certain 80's look-alike...his full look complete with feathered hair and scarf.  It looked like he was ready to bust out Faith or Careless Whisper at any time.  That's not what we had a hard time not laughing at though...

Once show time arrives the first violinist comes out...the orchestra tunes...the musical conductor comes out, gives a little one-sided chit chat with the audience after the performance of the national anthem...then the orchestra begins playing.  All was going well; the performance was usual.  Then, for the second piece there was some necessary staging that needed to take place to move the grand piano out onto the stage.  The guest performer, a pianist, was to perform with the rest of the orchestra.  Don't worry, no one fell nor were there any other mishaps onstage.  The sections of the orchestra that had to leave while the stage hands made these adjustments filtered back on stage.  Pianist and conductor emerge.  Everyone applauds.  Orchestra begins as does pianist...

::warning::  If you don't feel comfortable reading about something semi-gross and slightly off-color...stop reading this post now...don't say I didn't warn you.

Two chords of piano-playing in I heard a very...loud...unpleasant sound...from ten or so rows back...  Note that, like other auditorium-like centers, the Civic Center has plush chairs that are bolted to the floor.  I am initially startled...wait about five seconds...then looked at David who has his lips tightly pressed together.  I quietly whisper, "Did I just hear what I think I heard?"  He immediately looks away from me and starts quietly chuckling.  At this point I know I'm not crazy and smile a little myself.  OK, so I quietly laughed a little too...quietly

At intermission I asked David if that could have possibly been what we both considered it...he immediately chalked it up to someone scooting their chair...instead of flatulence.  Ummm, remember that the chairs are bolted to the floor?  Hmmm...I guess I should just be happy it wasn't the other season ticket holder that sits right next to me. 

I know laughing is good for you and all that, but there are times when it would behoove one to all know what I'm talking about.  For example, when someone trips and falls or if you're in a professional business meeting and there is something funny about the speaker's appearance (use your imagination).  But, honestly, how do keep you from laughing?  Or at least smiling?  I simply try to not think of the "funny" and focus on the present matter at hand.  Such as, on Saturday night I then focused ON STAGE. 

On a side note, Saturday's performance was the best I felt we had seen in quite a while.  Well worth the trek out.

And yes, I felt juvenile after laughing at the start of the evening...just in case you were wondering.

Crystal's Sweet Dark Cherry Pie

We had a food day at work this past Friday.  Why did we have a food day?  Seriously, does there need to be a reason?  Half the time we sit around and think of reasons why we should have a food day.  This time we actually had a semi-good reason though; it was our deputy administrator's birthday.  His favorite kind of pie is cherry, so I volunteered to make one.  It had been a while since I had made pie and I have never made a cherry pie, so this was a definite experiementation.

I googled some cherry pie recipes to see what I could find and the filling in cherry pies is actually quite simple.  Just some cherries, sugar and cornstarch.  There are other ingredients you can add to "jazz it up," but these are the premises.  So, I packed up my purse and headed to the grocery store to buy my ingredients. 

Ummmm...have you ever tried to buy fresh or frozen sour/tart cherries in mid-March?  Yea...I was not so productive.  I suppose I could have gone the easy route and bought some canned cherry pie filling and followed the directions on the back of the can.  That would have been boring though.  So, instead I was rummaging through the frozen fruit section and found packages for dark sweet cherries.  Hmmm...this might work. 

Once I got home I began searching, yet again, for cherry pie recipes.  Only this time for dark sweet cherry pie recipes.  Success!  The below recipe is one I modified from an All Recipes listing as it called for canned cherries.  Plus, I made some more modifications to the other ingredients and bake time since my crust did not follow their same recipe.

Crystal's Sweet Dark Cherry Pie

2 freshly-prepared (unbaked) pie crusts (one for base and one for top)

1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 12oz. bags of frozen pitted dark sweet cherries
juice from half of one lemon
dash of almond extract

Combine sugar and cornstarch in a microwave-safe bowl.  Stir in cherries, lemon juice and almond extract.  Microwave on high for 2-3 minutes.  Stir and microwave an additional minute or two until mixture comes to a boil and is thickening.  Pour into crust.

Roll out remaining pastry crust to fit top of pie.  Place over filling.  Flute edges.  Cut slits in pastry.  Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.  Reduce heat to 350 degress and bake an additional 45 minutes longer or until golden brown.  Cool on a wire rack.

Here's what my pie looked like going into the oven...

And here's what it looked like once it was done...yum!

This was very, very, very good!  Even some non-cherry pie lovers liked this pie.  Oh yea, and my deputy administrator loved it!  Try this today if you're looking for a sweet, fruity pie!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

You guys know how I always like to cook up a tasty breakfast treat on Sunday nights so that David (and myself sometimes) has something scrumptious to eat each workday morning?  Well, here's this week's breakfast treasure. 

I had some bananas turning a lovely shade of black this past week and decided to make something with mushy banana in it.  I had a total of five...this recipe only calls for three...stay tuned for another banana recipe coming soon!

Sooooo...banana recipe, banana recipe, banana recipe...hmmmm...oh, here's one!  This recipe was posted just in time to save my bananas.

I forgot to take a picture once the muffins were done, here's a pic from the other night after a good number of them had been consumed. 

These muffins are really good and I will definitely make them again, however I'll probably half the amount of peanut butter morsels included...making the recipe list include only 1/4 cup of peanut butter chips.  The sweetness factor was just a liiiiittle much for breakfast.  I'm not a huge sweets person when it comes to breakfast.  Doughnuts, pancakes, french toast,, not my fav.  I know that sounds ironic considering I just posted a pancake recipe prior to this one, but it's true.  Gimme my biscuits 'n gravy, eggs and sausage any day of the week.  David, on the other hand, could have pancakes every day of the week and be perfectly happy...opposites attract, I suppose.  Just one of the many proofs of this in our relationship.

Carrot Cake Pancakes

I decided to try a "different" kind of breakfast item this past weekend.  I didn't really know what I was in the mood for, until I saw this recipe.  This is a blog I follow, Multiply Delicious, and she's always coming up with some tasty treats.  To read her blog click here.  This recipe is very good...just look at the pancake batter...

And pretty once you start cooking them up!

Here is the finished product.  The recipe states that it makes six pancakes; when I made them I was able to cook up four large pancakes (partially pictured below).

This recipe really does taste like carrot cake...only in pancake form.  And I love carrot cake...the only thing missing was the cream cheese frosting.  These pancakes were nice for a change and didn't have a strong carrot-y flavor.  David wasn't too fond of them, but he didn't dislike them either.  Though, carrot isn't his favorite vegetable either...his favorite vegetables all have one thing in common.  They're all green.  Not orange.  Eh, you can't win 'em all.  If you're in the mood for something a little different, try these!  They're good, trust me. ::wink::

Thursday, March 18, 2010

PW Tres Leches Cake and Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie Bars

I have been horrible about blogging for the past week.  Why?  Well...I've been cooking and baking...just not uploading my pics.  Sorry guys!  Be prepared for my next few posts to be ALL food related!  Yum! 

On Sundays or Mondays I usually make one dessert for the week and we snack on it after dinner each night.  Or at least David does, sometimes I have will power.  So, our dessert for dinner this week was the PW Tres Leches cake.  This cake is phenomenal and to get the recipe please click here.  Unfortunately, I did not take a pic of the cake I made...just got distracted by how good this cake is, I guess.  I will say, though, that this cake is extreeeeemely rich and because of this I will probably make it rarely.  You really have to be in the mood for a rich, moist cake.  Definitely something you might want to make in a large gathering as well.  Because the cake is so moist, it might be hard to keep for more than a couple or three days.  We snacked on it for about three...I wouldn't want to go any further than that.

Well, once I made this cake I realized that the last cup or so of milk mixture the wise and powerful PW tells you to discard.  Whaaaaa?  I hate waste and thought that surely I could find a good use for this tasty mixture...and I did!  I took an Eagle Brand recipe that is normally for Toffee Bars and mixed it up a little making chocolate peanut butter cookie bars.  Sound good or what!?  Below is my recipe and pics of my experiment.  I tried one and thought it was quite tasty and will be sending the rest to David's work...these types of cookies are sooo rich that I'd normally snack on them for days.  Who needs that when you're trying to lose weight for your just over four months...aaahhhh!  Haha, just kidding.  I hope you enjoy this recipe!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie Bars

2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup butter
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 (12 ounce package) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 (12 ounce package) peanut butter bits
1 cup of milk mixture left over from PW Tres Leches Cake (if making this for the heck of it, just use a can of sweetened condensed milk AKA Eagle Brand instead)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In large bowl, stir together flour and sugar.  Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Add egg; mix well.  Stir in half of the chocolate chips.  Reserving 1 1/2 cups of the mixture.  Press remaining crumb mixture onto bottom of 13x9-inch greased baking pan.  Bake for 10 minutes.  Pour milk mixture evenly over crust; top with half of the peanut butter bits.  Sprinkle reserved crumb mixture and the other half of chocolate chips on top.  Bake 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.  Sprinkle with remaining peanut butter bits. 

Cool completely. Cut into bars.

And finally...ENJOY!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

A Change For Today...

Today's post is going to be a little different than most of my posts.  It's not going to include a recipe, a book review or any wedding updates.  No, today I just want to chat quickly about a couple of organizations that I participate in. 

Yesterday I mentioned a little bit about Junior Hospitality Club.  This is the second year I have been a member of this great Oklahoma county organization.  Each year, the club reviews grant applications and votes on the grant recipient for the following year.  In addition to community service activities at various locations each month, the club focuses on raising money for this grant recipient.  There are two major fundraisers and the second one is coming up soon, Saturday March 27th. 

Chips for Charity is a casino night where participants pay $50 to enter and this takes care of their food, drinks and $500 in play money (for Vegas-style gaming).  A grand prize is awarded towards the end of the night for one lucky player.  Also, throughout the evening guests are encouraged to view and bid on silent auction items...all items in the auctions are donated from generous vendors. 

This is a very worthy cause because all of the proceeds this year will benefit the CARE Center.  If you are unfamiliar with the CARE Center please click here.  If you are interested in donating items or participating in Chips as a guest, feel free to leave me a comment OR check out the JH website or email us!.  Be sure and tell 'em Crystal sent ya!  Below is our poster for the big event!

Another organization I like to volunteer with, but do so only rarely is a group that my mother volunteers with regularly!  The Oklahoma Westie Rescue Mission (OWR) is an organization that focuses on rescuing westies (go figure) from puppy mills and other environments.  For example, many times when elderly owners move into nursing homes and assisted living facilities they can't take their "babies" them.  If these "babies" are westies or a member of a close breed (westie mutt, scottie, cairn, etc.) the Westie Rescue Mission steps in.  OWR temporarily adopts and actively searches for new loving homes for all "rescued" westies.  To learn more about this organization, please click here.

You might be wondering why I brought up the OWR.  Well, this Saturday is the Oklahoma City St. Patrick's Day Parade and the OWR participates in this parade to raise awareness of their organization...not to mention the fact that members get to dress up their dogs and themselves in greenery galore.  For the second year in a row, my mother and I will be participating in this parade.  My mother will be walking Lacy, her puppy mill mommy, and I will be walking one of the other adopted westies as many members have myriad westies.  I believe the original founder of this group has over half a dozen!  Below is a picture of my mother and I (and Lacy too!) from last year's parade.  Parade kickoff is at 1:00pm downtown, feel free to come watch the plethora of westies march!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Chicken Empanadas

A good friend of mine suggested that I try these empanadas because someone from her office had made them and they were outstanding.  Well, I had a Junior Hospitality get-together last night and decided to whip these up as my contribution.  BTW, if you're unfamiliar with JH, you should click on the link in my blog list.  It's a great organization and I love being a member!  But, back to the subject at  The important stuff. 

Since the meeting was early in the evening on Tuesday, I actually put these little suckers together on Monday night.  The recipe states that you can make these and then freeze them for up to one month.  Because of this, I decided to put them all together the night before and refrigerate them overnight.  Then yesterday I popped them in the oven for the fifteen minutes required when I got home.  Here's what they looked like pre-baking:

And here's what they look like as I was walking out the door last night, post-baked.

I have to say that I did not include the red bell pepper that is listed in the ingredients list...I had used all of that up on Susan's meatloaf.  Oops!  To make up for that, I put three instead of one jalapenos in the mix.  I only used half of the filling mixture and froze the rest; there just wasn't any more pastry crust left!  So, I would definitely recommend having more pastry available when creating these tasty nuggets, otherwise you'll be like me and have leftovers. 

I'm going to add the bell pepper to the leftover mix and whip up the rest of these sometime soon, just to see the difference the red bell pepper makes.  I guarantee it'll make a beneficial difference, I love red bell pepper in case anyone was wondering.  And I must say that the empanadas were a little salty for my taste.  Red bell pepper adds a sweetness factor, so I'm hoping that will balance out the sweet versus saltiness flavors a little bit.  Otherwise, the next time I make these I would reduce the salt content by half.  Saying that, I was the only one who thought they were a tad salty; all the other girls gave them a thumbs up.  Sooo...I guess that's simply a preference.  I'll report back on my recommendations for this recipe once I've completed this entire batch.

Not to go off on a tangent...but, I am...I do not add salt to anything I eat.  You get more than enough sodium in the regular day-to-day food you eat that I do not feel the need to heavily salt the finished product.  Nor do I add large amounts of salt when I'm cooking.  When a recipe requires "salt and pepper to taste" I'll add a good amount of pepper, but only a dash or so of salt.  Obviously, with baking it's a necessity...there's a chemical reaction that needs to occur, so I'll add the required amount in these instances.  Anyway, that's just me...not a big salt fan!  Is there an ingredient that you use sparingly in your recipes?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Remember when I talked about my meatloaf experimentation a while back?  As soon as I posted this recipe my friend, Susan, let me know that her husband was craving this meatloaf.  Well, last night was his chance...Susan had surgery a little over a week ago which has hindered her normal day-to-day household chores, like cooking.  Because of this, I offered to prepare this fantabulous dish for them and their two kiddos.  I received outstanding reviews for these loaves last night and you will too!  Try this recipe soon!

Monday, March 8, 2010

You May Have Noticed...

There's a new button on the right-hand side of my blog!  As you know, I am a HUGE Pioneer Woman fan and have been a Tasty Kitchen member for quite some, since it started, haha!  For those of you who aren't PW freaks, Tasty Kitchen is her spin-off website that she created for regular Joe's and other food bloggers to submit their recipes to the wide, wide world for sharing and viewing.  You can give these recipes ratings and browse, browse, browse recipe after recipe after recipe!  That's what I've been doing for the past year or so.

I love this site, but I have to regulate my viewage...otherwise I'll print off 15 recipes before I even know it.  And the last thing I need to do is add to my "to-try" pile at an exponential rate like that.  Regardless, if you're just looking to peruse or you're looking for something specific, Tasty Kitchen has it. 

Today I went ahead and submitted my first recipe, it's one I've showcased here before.  I thought this would make it easier for readers to print out my recipes and give them a go without having to copy and paste into a document and messing with formatting and such.  And forget about pictures, that's more fun cutting and pasting and printing.  The PW has made this website so user-friendly that you can pick how you want the recipe printed and includes a picture as well!  I'm going to try to start submitting my recipes to this website and provide you the link for printer-friendly versions.  For recipes I've tried from other food bloggers, I will simply link to their page like I have been.

This may be slow-going because I don't know how long it'll take for the recipes to come up on TK.  The FAQ section says within 24 hours, but we'll see how it goes!

The Wedding

I was a bit absent last week, sorry about that.  I just didn't have anything to post.  Between my regular busy schedule and whatnot I didn't have time to read or cook.  Plus, it was David's week to cook dinner.  That bratwurst and banana sure was taaaaasty...or something.  Oh yea, and Mansfield Park has been kinda difficult to get case you've noticed my current read on the side of my blog.  Not the most riveting work.

While I was running around I did have time to listen to my then-current audiobook, The Wedding by Nicholas Sparks.  I'll bet you thought I was going to talk about my wedding plans when you read the title of this blog entry...haha, gotcha!

Raise your hand if you've ever watched The Notebook.  Raise your hand if The Notebook is one of those movies that you HAVE TO STOP AND WATCH if you're thumbing through the channels. 


Sorry, I had to raise both hands and that prevented me from typing for a minute.  OK, back to the subject at hand. 

The main premise of The Wedding is the story of Noah and Allie's daughter (Jane) and her husband (Wilson).  Obviously, this book is a semi-sequel to The Notebook.  Wilson narrates this story...about their marriage, their children, how they met, but most importantly the current state of their marriage after nearly thirty years. 

I have to say that this book was a bit hokey.  I know that Nicholas Sparks books are hokey and meant to be extremely sentimental, but this was was a bit over the top for me.  While I enjoyed it I couldn't help but think every once in a while, "a man doesn't think like that."  Women are known to always get caught up in how they feel and typically over-analyze things.  Men...don't.  Wilson definitely feels and analyzes things overly so in the book.  It was just kind of weird for me picture a man thinking that way...and even more so since I know the book was written by a man.

However, this book was a nice romantic quick read if that's what you're looking for.  I'll probably listen to this again some time when I'm feeling up for a bit of sappiness and a good cry.  David only heard the last 15 minutes and he was fake gagging...just to give you an idea of the sappiness factor.

Monday, March 1, 2010


I'm reaaalllllly sore today.  Why am I sore?  Read on and you'll find out...

This weekend kick-started my attempt to pack up my personal items and random non-day-to-day items at my house.  Oh yea, and transport them to my future home, David's house.  These things included my jewelry box, personal files (i.e. bank statements and credit card statements), school memorabilia, etc.  I had pulled two tubs from my attic and decided to empty them out, denote one tub for garage sale items and the other for transportation to David's.  After sorting through them I was able to discard numerous items and refill both tubs.  I loaded my car up with this tub and then some on Saturday, then loaded up even more items on Sunday.  In my spare time this weekend (hahaha) I cleaned my house and made it the way, my house went on the market first thing this morning.  After this weekend, needless to say my house is squeaky clean and ready for strangers to inspect.  My fingers smelt like bleach all day Saturday...can you guess which day I scrubbed the bathroom?

So...after reading all this you can probably guess why I'm a little sore...scrubbing, packing, hauling, etc.  But, that's not all.  David and I had tickets to the Philharmonic on Saturday night so, though I had hauled items up to his house earlier that day, I had no time to unpack anything.  The real surprise came yesterday after unloading my second mass o' stuff.  I pride myself on planning ahead and being prepared, that's why I decided to start with baby steps and move one box/carload at a time.  However, I also am an adult and know that unexpected things happen.  Especially, when it comes to weddings (I've heard enough horror stories) and selling houses (I've experienced it myself!).  This I was not planning on...

I started to try and find places for my "stuff" to go and thought that my SpotBot would go nicely set side by side with the vacuum cleaners.  Yes, I already knew that David had vacuum cleanerS.  You know how when you're single and moving into your first place everyone wants to unload all their old stuff on you...because you need it, right?  This happened to me when I moved into my first apartment in college...with numerous things: wall hangings, towels, pillows, name it, I had 5 of 'em.  All from different relatives and friends. were always missing one or two necessities that no one seemed to donate...  Regardless, David has three...yes, three, vacuum cleaners.  One he bought and two "donated."  But, that's not what I was surprised by.  When I signed up to marry David and move in with him afterwards...I didn't stop to think that maybe...perhaps...possibly...I'd have to organize and de-clutter his house.  Wow.  That's all I can say.  When I opened the entry door there were coats thrown haphazardly over the rack, vacuum attachments strewn and just about every piece of sports paraphernalia known to man.  I kid you not, there was a fishing pole (with a package of lure), a baseball bat, a bag of baseballs, a football, a golf bag, a broken tennis racket and a motorcycle helmet complete with visor replacement.  There were other random items, like the original box to his Guitar Hero game...

::sigh::  I've now added "clean and organize David's house" to my list of many to-do's.  Haha, he's lucky I love him!  All this being said though, David did jump in with both feet and help me clean out and organize this closet as well as a couple of other items/sections of the house.  We definitely have our work cut out for us; I think a few more sore muscles are in store for me in the months to come!

Another thing I did, that I thought I would share...I know a lot of us will be performing some "Spring cleaning" within the next few weeks and this might help.  One of the items I transported, like I mentioned earlier, was my vat of files.  The amount of space David had reserved for me was not big enough for the quantity of paper I hauled, I needed to downsize.  Therefore, I decided to call one of my best resources, my CPA...also known as my mom.  Here are some time periods you might want to consider when trying to thin out your personal records. 

Bank records: keep for seven can be audited up to four years prior, but if the IRS is suspicious of fraud they can go back an additional three.
Medical: keep ALL records always, this should be a permanent fixture in your records.
Automobile: As long as you own the vehicle.
House: As long as you own the home.
Credit card documentation: Once you receive your annual interest statement for tax purposes you can discard statements.

***Disclaimer: I am not an accountant nor am I a recordkeeping not take what is listed above as legal advice.  I'm just letting you know what I'm doing based upon the recommendations of my mother because I love her and respect her opinion/research.

This all being said, I had a wonderful weekend.  David and I had a fun weekend of bonding by looking at old pictures and finding little trinkets from our past.  We discovered that we're both semi-packrats...but, only when it comes to certain items.  Some of the things each of us has saved over time made the other laugh. He even had car keys to his previous vehicle that I never saw! 

I hope everyone had a fun weekend as well, whether it was nostalgic or not!


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