Sunday, November 7, 2010

LET THEM EAT CAKE

Well a good frosty Sunday morning to you all! Sorry for the delay but this weekend has been super crazy busy believe it or not! Football games, bike rallies, car shows, coupon shopping, and more! We still have a pizza block party to go to today and a PowWow next weekend! Plus we have football games... well at least 1. Our team made the playoffs for the 4th straight year so its gonna be a week by week thing now.



Remember the young boy who lived with me named Michael who I treated like a son? Well he is somewhat back in our lives now... but not living with me. So Friday was "Senior night" and all the seniors had their parents escort them across the football field. It was a way for the school to "honor" their seniors in the Football, Band, cheer, dance, and drill. Michael had asked me to escort him a while back and I gave my word I would. I keep my word, so no matter what I was gonna be there. I got a little emotional... as I think most people would. However NEXT year when I escort my daughter... I just know I'm gonna cry!

Then of course you have the ongoing saga with the doctors. Last week I went and everything looked really good. My blood cell counts are steady, my BP was back down, I dropped another 4.5 pounds, and my pulse was awesome. She wants to try cutting my BP meds in half... not the actual pill, but the frequency of the med. I currently take one every day in the morning. She wants to try to go every other day to start IF my BP is good at the next visit. So I am trying to eliminate as much stress as possible. I heard from my attorney too! Hopefully sometime after the 20th I go to court and I will be a free woman! YAY! So that's ANOTHER stress factor eliminated!



Ok, so yesterday first thing in the morning the kids and I went and did some coupon shopping. We did assaults on CVS, JCPenny, and Kroger LOL. We started at CVS cause I also had to pick up a prescription for Alex. OK... I picked up a bottle of Arm & Hammer laundry soap, a bottle of the new Gain dish soap (which smells just like my favorite LAUNDRY soap LOL), 2 beef sticks, a jar of peanuts, a box of alcohol swabs, and 4 blue velvet mini stockings. Total was $19.42 and I had lots of coupons... save off a purchase ones, item coupons, and extra bucks. Total AFTER was $7.09! Woohoo!

Then we went to JCPenny where I had one of those lovely $10 off $10 or more coupons. SOOOO I found a very nice Christmas present there for VERY VERY inexpensive courtesy of the coupon and doorbuster savings!



Then off to Kroger! This one was fun! Ok, so they have this "Mega event" where if you buy 10 items then the price is cheaper. I have a load of coupons for most of those items AND others I know are fairly inexpensive! On top of ALL this, they have the Jenny-O turkeys on sale for 39 cents a pound when you buy $20 of additional items. No problem... had that (before coupons anyways LOL). Man did I find the biggest turkey ever!!!!! 25.20 pounds! OMG I started singing and talking to the turkey in a Cartman voice (a character off of the cartoon SouthPark for those who don't know) and people were looking at me funny, but I didn't care! That turkey was like the mother of all turkeys! That is the biggest one I have ever found and you better believe I'da beat down someone who tried to take it from me LOL! Ok so after my moment of madness LOL, we got the rest of the goodies! I even found a butterfly shaped Wilton cake pan on clearance for less than $4! WOOHOO! Total price before was well over $128 and after was $12.37 out of my pocket... so not my personal best, BUT I did save over $115.06 in coupons! WOOHOO! Call us weird, but the kids and I have so much fun doing this... coupon shopping I mean.



OMG I so have to tell you about my cakes! LOL... the other day I got on a baking trip... I wanted to bake cakes. SOOO, since we didn't do anything for Halloween, I baked. The "Betty Crocker Baking Bug" has apparently bitten me quite early! I have baked like 3 cakes in a week! The first one I did was "Jack" the pumpkin cake. It only LOOKED like a pumpkin LOL but it was strawberry with blood red icing in the center, so when you cut the cake, it looked like it was bleeding! I know morbid, but very cool! 2 layers of yummy deliciousness! I was gonna do a sculpted cake, but I did not have enough powdered sugar to make more icing, time to bake more cake, etc... so we stuck with the simple 2 layer decorated version LOL!



THEN we have my Texas cake! I loved this cake! Super cool, right? Too bad nobody got a piece of it but my son! It was a Butter Pecan cake with white icing. I took so much time coloring the icing, sectioning and separating, etc. I was quite proud of this cake! Apparently so was Alex LOL... it started with the Panhandle... ok fine... then west TX disappeared, the Guly Coast, and finally Central Texas and the Hill Country! WTH? Where is my cake?? Then out walks Alex with EVIDENCE! No not an empty plate... but the bluest teeth I have ever seen LMAO! Oh well... guess it was meant to be eaten! LMAO! Just not all by him... which totally threw me off cuz he normally doesn't eat sweets... except pumpkin pie LOL!



So then a couple of days ago was one of my "kids" birthdays. Becky is one of Madison's friends who's been around us for years that calls me mom... okie dokie... She turned 17 and Madison wanted to make her a small cake for her birthday. Ok... so we are rushing around the night before trying to get this cake done and I realize AFTER the cake is made OMG what am I gonna put it in?? LOL. Well the triple chocolate fudge with milk chocolate cake and cream cheese decoration was set enough in the morning to lightly tent a layer of foil, so that's what we did. Becky LOVED it and started to cry!

I think I'm gonna try to go through my recipes today and pick out all the cookie recipes I am gonna do for our Annual cookie party. I have Gator Blue stockings to make as well, and I think I am gonna try to do some crafting this afternoon once we get back from the Pizza Block party. So next week I will try to do more entries and share more recipes, photos, etc... trying to get back to "normalicy" is harder than I thought LOL! OK Until next time... Peace, Love, & lots of HUGS!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

OCTOBER A GO-GO

Good morning all my little gholish girls and boys! How are you doing this chilly end of the month? I had a rude awakening this morning but now all is better LOL! I rolled off the bed and then once I got my mental faculties about me, I noticed my poor little toes were blue! Talk about getting cold feet! LOL!

Ok so I have had 2 doctor visits since I talked to you last... the one that was SUPPOSED to be the last sadly is not the case! So its ANOTHER 6 weeks of annoyances by medical ignoramouses! UGH... ok so at my visit on the 21st, it was well weight wise! I shed those 3.5 pounds of "Marching Band concession evils" PLUS another 2 pounds YAY! ok so I am back on track... BUT my BP was skyrocketed so THAT plus some of my labs is why I have to keep going back for another 6 weeks eval. period YUCK! Needless to say the BP meds stayed too. OK fine UGH... last week only resulted in a half a pound drop but the BP was back to "Lets-try-not-to-stroke-out" levels. However good news is I am down 1 whole pant size! YAY! My goal was 2 by Christmas, so it just may happen. I have set a couple of other goals to try to hit by the new year... keep your fingers crossed! For now they remain a secret LOL until I know whether they are obtainable or not LOL.

OK so on the "June Cleaver" side... sadly we are not doing anything for Halloween. We're just not in the mood. However I have been reviewing cookie recipes for our 2nd annual get together for our friends. Yes kids, the baking bug has fluttered around the house a couple of times. Gonna try to catch him soon LOL! The kids and I have also wanted to do a "Gator Blue" Christmas next year but we don't have the stuff so I might look for freecycle stuff... who knows. Madison found her a blue Santa hat for the Christmas Band parade and that's when it started... there are tons of blue decorations out there, hopefully someone can give us some... hmmm... curious if my kids can ralley and make a Gator Spirit House! Oh and I want to make a gigantic wooden Gator cutout for the yard! LOL! SO I'm gonna get stuff on after Christmas special too! LOL!



Well I'm both happy and sad to report that Marching Band season is coming to a close. They performed at Area competition in Galena Park and made the finals. However that is where it came to a halt. They are NOT going to state competition. And there is one football game left. If the FB team loses, they will NOT go to playoffs and marching season will officially be over. So next Friday, we will know. I am sad because we love band season but hate the hectic chaos we live in temporarily during that time LOL. So I'm happy as things will be slowing down... is that wrong? LOL.

Its a pretty day outside, so I think I'm gonna get off here and maybe prep my containers in the yard for a winter crop! Summer cooked my plants... lets try for a better winter one! I'm also thinking about having a couple of craft sales this coming month! WHO knows... so I'll talk to you all again soon! HUGS!

Friday, October 15, 2010

PEEKABOO LOL

Hi there my friends! How you doing on this crazy crispy fall Friday? Let me tell ya... mother nature gt me good last night! Went to bed in boxers and my T-shirt woke up with the most horrible cold muscle charlie horses like you could not imagine!

Well, we're gonna start today's wekly wrap-up with the Dr. report... ick! Not happy at all!

10-14-10: I wasn't feeling real well yesterday and really didn't want to go, but off I went for my early morning butt chewing! I got so depressed when I got on that scale! I gained weight! NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! BUT I lost almost a whole inch, so dr. says its muscle mass cause she can see rock hard muscles now and more sculpting to my body contour. I don't care! Gaining is a BIG NO-NO! On top of that, my BP and pulse were "a bit" high too! She argued with me and that made it worse. I threatened not to come back anymore. Can you believe she threatened to have security remove me until I could cool off??! SHE wanted me there... I didn't care! Throw me out! Geez... but once I calmed down, she asked me about the additional exercising I was doing to pinpoint how I was building the mass and she altered it a bit for me. So maybe I won't gain as much mass, but will shed more weight. I was also very swollen for some reason. She can't figure out why I am retaining so much fluid, even on my meds to help that... we shall see what the next week has in store!

STATS: + 3.5 pounds, BP- 185/102, P- 108

Then as you all know, its the peak of Marching band Season. Last weekend we had the Katy Invitational. My parents got to go with and Dad got some good pics of the DD! Tonight is a football game til late and then tomorrow we have the Lone Star Preview all the way in Conroe and OMG it plans to be a long day! We probably won't get home til 1am Sat/Sun. am! Luckily the only plans we have on Sunday is my "nephew" Josh is coming over to work on a project and the landlord is having a plumber come over. Then of course I have my DD's PMS! So I am eating everything in sight and grumpy beyond belief LOL! I haven't had to deal with that issue in almost 10 years! And now this! OMG seriously!?Betcha once that is here, I will stop eating and swelling! LOL! Its crazy...

I figure at the end of marching season/this month, I'm gonna get super crafty cause I am already thinking of doing a craft sale or 2 and then making stuff for personal reasons. I am also advertising all my services (catering, personal chef, sewing/crafts, etc) on Facebook too. Trying to get out there! I need to make mucho money and fast.

So anyways, that's about it for right now. Got a couple of small jobs to make some potential change, but other than that this has been kind of an uneventful week. So I will get off here so I can go shower (just finished working out) and get todays preps done. Talk to you soon! HUGS!

Friday, October 8, 2010

HOW PATIENT CAN YOU BE?

Good morning everyone! I hope this crisp fall morning finds you well. Betcha didn't expect me back, huh? As my dear friend Cindy told me... It's been a great week!! Made it through without needing bail money or having any of those messy "hide the body" episodes... LOL. True I have been MIA but I wanted to come on here and thank everyone for the kind emails and comments and to let you know what's been going on. Yes, I'm choosing to air dirty laundry, vent, spill the beans... whatever you want to call it LOL! I am getting a divorce, got health issues, money woas, and lots more! But I want you to know that whatever you are going through, you CAN get through it... let my story serve as your proof. That's the reason I am sharing all my personal stuff with you now!

6-4-10: The young man I let move into my house and treated like a son decided that drugs, booze, and girls were more important than a loving safe home and a "family" who would help him get a good education and a better life. His attitude and actions became intolerable. Then he cowardly moved out the day I took my mom to the casino without even saying goodbye. I felt very used and "abused" both myself and for my family. My Best Friend Vicki (who is more like my sister) saw him in the store the other day and my "nephew" Josh kept asking why he wasn't at Aunt Nay's house, etc. He fessed up that leaving was the biggest mistake he ever made. GEE, YA THINK? Oh well... young, dumb, and full of... um STUPIDITY LOL!

My brother also breaks off relations with the young lady he was seeing and the baby I was watching quite frequently is no longer in my life now. I got attached yes, but didn't cry. I just hope she realizes how special he is...

8-25-10: Separated from husband... we've been having alot of problems for the past couple of years actually. I decided to "kill" the old me and change my life. Went through my boo-hoo's and why me's and then finally said OK, Bring it on! I am quite proud of myself for not trying to get him to come back home... standing my ground! After what all he did to me over the course of our marriage (I admit I enabled him quite a bit), I realized I could not hold on to the good to get through the bad because things had changed and been damaged too much. It would never be the same. So I used the last way I knew how to show him I love him... I let him go!



Time to work on me and my kids!

9-8-10: Went to the doctor. Got my release and rehab "instructions". SUPPOSED to be exercising 30 minutes a day, 3 times a week. Appointments every week for 6 weeks of what I think feels like "Fat camp". Goal is to lose weight put on by meds and bone disease, steriod meds, shots, and other health issues. Doc also wants to re-evaluate at 6 wks and see if we can lose the BP meds. Personal Weight goal is to lose 100 pounds by my birthday next year (Sept. 7, 2011). Left the doctor and the next day, started... ended up exercising for 3 hours cause it felt so dang good!

** Aside from the exercising, I am implementing alot of other changes. I have already quit smoking (May 27, 2009) and only have the social drinks (except right after kicking out husband LOL). I am not using any salt other than to cook with, I hardly eat sweets unless my blood sugars go too low, I won't eat hardly any red meat, increase my veggies and raw salads (didn't think it was possible as I LOVE fruits and veggies already LOL but I did it), and increasing my water intake (just to name a few LOL). **

9-16-10: First doctor visit. Got lectured a bit... but its ok. I lost 9 pounds, my BP was 171/102 and my pulse was 99. Doc said the first 5-7 pounds of that was probably water weight and I said THAT'S OK! It took 2-4 pounds of its fatty friend with it! LOL! She warned me to be careful and she wanted a goal of like 2 pounds a week... I cock an eyebrow and think "Uh yea ok" LOL.

STATS: -9 pounds, BP- 171/102, P- 99

** Am loving doing 2-3 hours a day of kickboxing! Met with an atty and he is going to do the divorce for me, so that paperwork has been filed! Hopefully I can be saying my thanks over my Thanksgiving turkey saying "Thank you for this divorce and pass the gravy!"**

9-23-10: Second visit to hell-o LOL! Doc starts really fussin' cuz I drop another 4.5 pounds! WOOHOO! I am excited, she's not so much. She asked if I was doing the 30/3's and I had to fess up that no, I'm doing 120-180/5's LOL! She started fussin that she thinks I am over-doing it and doesn't want me adding too much stress to the heart or problemed bones. I say :P LOL! She asked me if I was eating, etc. Fuss Fuss Fuss... gonna do what I want to do so hush LOL!

STATS: -4.5 pounds, BP- 147/93, P- 96

** Am finding that since working out, I have more energy and when I listen to music, I just wanna move LOL so I end up dancing my butt off for another hour or so some nights LMAO! **

9-30-10: What a wonderful way to end September! In fat camp! Ok, doc's getting P-turbed with me now LOL and has the nerve to ask me if A. I'm actually eating, and B. am I taking any kind of drugs because I am losing the weight too fast. I was like seriously offended and the b*tchy side comes out and tells her NO and go ahead and test me if ya want! I stressed to her that when you're doing more than the 30/3's, you're more likely gonna lose it faster DUH! Plus the dancing... but I know my body and I know when to stop or slow down. I feel great about myself and I can actually look in the mirror now and not be so disgusted! After going a couple of rounds (more like an hour or so LOL), all she could really say was "well just be careful PLEASE" LOL! Renee 1, Doc-0! Think I might need to dance and celebrate tonight! LOL

STATS: -6 pounds, BP- 135/94, P- 101

TOTAL LOSS FOR SEPTEMBER: 19.5 lbs.
REMAINING GOAL LOSS: 80.5 lbs.
REMAINING TIME: 11 MONTHS

10-7-10: Today really sucked! I felt a sort of dread yesterday and didn't want to go to the dr. today. Couldn't put my finger on why. But I had an overactive brain yesterday and today, so I had tons of things running through my head. So I grabbed an extra hour almost of kickboxing. Well I had found a picture of my STBX (Soon To Be Ex) in my son's room that I had removed and forgot to put away... still in a frame of course. Got very angry again and OOOPS!



There went some more glass. Got a few cuts on my hand, but it's ok... nothing too deep (Note to audience- do NOT box with pics of STBX around LOL... the adrenaline gets going and soon you think the pic is their face and there ya go! LOL). I woke up today with a really low feeling in my gut, but I went to the doctor anyway. Well she couldn't gripe at me too bad, cuz my numbers were "much safer" to her but very disappointing to me. I have some swelling in my legs for some reason, but other than that she is pleased with my visit. She says I have slimmed but apparently am building up more muscle mass. NOOOOO! I am so upset that I have been working so hard and this is what I end up with... uh no. Think I need to step it up some or change it somehow! We'll see what next week brings!

STATS: -0.5 pounds, BP- 130/92, P-104



So that in a nutshell is what I have been up to with myself. Of course October started DD's Marching Band season in full swing. (LOL Like the pic? Late night football marching followed by early next day marching = Sunday morning Marching Lag! LOL) The competition last weekend was great! They got lots of good pictures of her. We have comp's every weekend this month... plus football, etc. Busy... Busy... Busy. I finally did some more painting in the kitchen- just have 2 cabinet doors on the bottom and then applying the lemons and that project is done. Because of everything going on, the fabric challenge and the Christmas Challenge came to a screeching halt. Christmas will be rough this year because of finances, but also that Frank & I were married December 23rd... so yea... I would say I see some "special" eggnog this year, but I hate eggnog YUCK! LOL!



My little bunny Rescue I got at the flea market passed away. Mom thinks she may have been bred diseased but says I gave her a very good life. I got a new rabbit though... rescued him too in a way. He is a 3 yr old black rabbit named Midnight and he is fixed! YAY! LOL... also my landlord got stupid and said I had too many cats and that some had to go. SOOOO Miracle and Gizmo are now living out at my mom's house. I still have to get rid of 1 more (2 if he learns about the baby in Madison's room). He "graciously" said the bunny can stay since it's in a cage. Gee thanks dillhole! And then DD's friend needs to place 2 gerbils and they decided they should come here. UM NO! Anyone want 2 gerbils and all the goodies? LOL.



We had my little brother's birthday lunch a couple of weeks ago too... wow I feel so old, but I love my family so much! We had a great time, great food, and I even managed to get him to give me a great picture... one he is not shooting the finger in! WOW! LOL Love ya Michael! My other brother Mark is currently in TDCJ (Texas Department of Criminal Justice) boot camp to start a new career as a Correctional Officer. We were discussing this as a possibility for me too. But I won't even consider applying until I lose at least 50 more pounds! Its just a thought right now... a vague thought. But my brother's doing great and I think this is gonna be a good thing for him! Way to go Mark!

As you can see, lots of things going on right now in my life. When I started this blog it was as a wife, mother, and basically a "June Cleaver" Kinda person. However I'm NOT that person anymore. I am still a mom and I love cooking, sewing, etc. and if you want to still hang around, I will continue to be here... maybe not so much right now (definitely not every day right now) til my life settles into a normal chaos. I will still do crafts, cooking, etc... if you'll have me- the NEW me?

Well I'm outta here. Time for "The Oldies Sweating To Hate Music" LOL! (No offense to anyone- especially the makers of "Sweatin to the Oldies" LMAO!) I want to hear your thoughts and comments, etc... so until next time... HUGS!!!!!!

Monday, August 30, 2010

OPEN FOR POLITE & CIVIL DISCUSSION

(Edited 9-1-10 7:30am)

Hi there everyone. I am glad you stopped by today. I thought you were going to blow up my email box yesterday LOL. Thank you for all the kind words of encouragement you all sent... witout even knowing my problems. There are still good people in the world. I am going through some very rough times in my personal life and you can probably figure out what that is... at least a little. I have been trying to collect my thoughts. I'm just praying time heals and for strength... the less time the better.

Well I need to discuss with you all that I am toying with the idea of shutting down The Frugal Mom on November 30 (my 1yr. anniversary) in more detail, as some of you are utterly confused. I don't feel I can continue to bring you a wonderful journey like I used to... at least right now. I started this blog as a mother... a family woman... with a happy life and that's what I wanted to share with you all... the fun of my "June Cleaver" life and the knowledge I have acquired over the years. However, those fundamental building blocks have since crumbled into the ground- especially this last week- and I don't feel it fair to present you with "fake" happiness. That would be lying to you all and that is something I cannot tolerate- to or from anybody! Many of you asked if there is something you can help and what have I lost. Without going into details, there is nothing that anyone can do or is resposible for, but thank you so very much. The rapid life changes have left me spinning and now I must tell the ride conductor I want off LOL. Rollercoasters have never been my thing anyway LOL.

Maybe I just need a break, I don't know... nothing is written in stone yet. If I choose to stop the blog, I would leave it up thru the end of the year so you could pull your favorite recipes and crafts off the site. I would go thru each blog entry and put as many labels on each as I could so you could quickly locate the various things. However, I would not be continuing with any new entries, unless something was so profound in that time, that I wanted you to know.

With the help of my family, a few good friends, and the good Lord above, I hope that I will make it through this a better person... stronger even. I have not made a final decision yet, but I will keep you informed of when I do. Please do not send emails of negativity or "bashing" as I call it, as only a few know the entire story. And that only makes matters worse anyway. I thank you all for coming and reading every day and all the wonderful comments and emails you have sent over the past almost year. I appreciate each and every one of you far more than you will ever know. I love you all and until next time... Be smart, Be safe, and Be Frugal! HUGS!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

TO BLOG OR NOT TO BLOG

Hi there everyone. I am so sorry I have been M.I.A. for the last couple of days. I am going through some very rough times in my personal life and have not been the best company to visit with. So I took a couple of days away to regroup, collect my thoughts, and gain my composure. I'm praying that starting today, things will be easier and improve each day there after. SO, it seems that I owe you alot of info, huh? Well never fear, the next couple of posts should have as much stuffing as your Christmas turkey! LOL!

First I want to bring you this article I saved that I saw on Yahoo. Its about reminding women to breathe in stressful or painful, etc. situations. More than ever I have to keep reminded of this right now in my life and I thought for those others who may be out there, this might help you too! Being reminded to breathe is good for your body, have you ever just taken a deep breath (I mean a full and purposefull breathe?). While meditating, breathing is something of a distractor. It allows the mind to relax so people can sleep better and not have as much anxiety. Also Oxygen is a natural drug, when you take a few full deep breaths your brain is almost experencing a natural "high". EMT's say that sometimes for those people that were having anxiety attacks or what they thought was something worse... a little oxygen saved the day. So no matter what we are going through in life, remember to stop for a moment and just BREATHE!

Remind me: why do women need to be reminded to breathe?
by Piper Weiss

There are at least four songs by female pop singers with the title Breathe. Yoga studios across the country bear the name. An entire network for women is devoted to Oxygen and Bliss Spa has created a signature oxygen treatment. Meanwhile, Lindsay Lohan, Miley Cyrus have "Breathe" tattoos. Now Drew Barrymore is the latest to imprint the reminder on her body. Is breathing something we're chronically forgetting to do? If so, I'd like to recommend a portable oxygen tank.

Not that kind of breathing silly! In the world of wellness, breathing is a luxury. You pay $20 bucks to have someone tell you to just focus on your breathing. (Also to remind you to thank yourself for showing up.) The age old practice of meditation gets choked in translation to take the form of a congratulatory reminder that you're already doing something. That thing being the bare minimum to stay alive. You're breathing. Isn't that great?

Shouldn't our self-expectations be a little higher? We are owning the job market, we're bearing children in our 40's and 50's. Back up. We're bearing children. I'm pretty sure the breathing thing under control by comparison.

In Lamaze, breathing techniques are supposed to refocus your attention from the unbearable pain of a human detaching from your organs. So what are Drew or Miley doing that is so painful it requires a ink-stained Lamaze coach at the ready?

The self-help industry has made a killing on the idea of "women who do too much." The common complaint being: "I don't take enough time for myself." And that's true of a lot of women who juggle work, family and relationships. We're nurturers and all that, but we're also highly capable creatures. Multi-tasking is in our DNA. There has never been a time when women haven't been expected to be responsible for keeping alive multiple humans at a time. It's what we do. We also breathe if we're lucky.

The implication is that we're dysfunctional. And like the word "relax" the more you're instructed to do it, the less you're able to. It fosters anxiety and coddles the panic. If anything, I'd rather it be one less thing to think about it. If I'm not aware of it, my body is working fine. The things we've got down, shouldn't be dwelled on. Things like confidence, organization, anger-management wouldn't be bad reminders. Personally, I could use the tattoo "shower". But breathe? I can do that in my sleep.

Not so for Taylor Swift song, who's song Breathe speaks directly to a guy who needs to give her CPR every minute. "I can't breathe with out you," she sings. That right there may be why he left. Talk about pressure. So no wonder we're given applause when we do it on our own. We've really turned a corner with our expectations of what makes an independent woman.

Then there's Michelle Branch (who performed her song Breathe at the Oxygen festival, above. ha). "When life's like an hourglass stuck to a table, just breathe," she advises. I would suggest leaving the Salvador Dali museum, drinking lots of water and never ever letting someone talk you into dropping acid at that high-art funhouse again.

(Just a corrective note- Piper, you're confusing Anna Nalick and Michelle Branch! Anna Nalick's song is "Breathe (2 AM)", which has the lyrics "And life's like an hourglass glued to the table." The Michelle Branch song you linked to is a completely different song, also entitled "Breathe". You might want to fix that last paragraph!)

And my apologies, but it seems the box office was closed for renovations the last couple of days for MEMORABLE MOVIES week. But fear not, the remodeling is done and tickets are now available! So I am gonna bring you some movies that maybe had 1 or 2 memorable foods that really stick in my mind and I thought would be fun to feature. Whether or not you make them is a whole other story LOL!



Fried Green Tomatoes

(Synopsis: 1991 comedy-drama film based on the novel Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg. It was released in the UK under the novel's full title. Directed by Jon Avnet and written by Fannie Flagg and Carol Sobieski, it stars Kathy Bates, Jessica Tandy, Mary-Louise Parker and Mary Stuart Masterson. It tells the story of a Depression-era friendship between two women, Ruth and Idgie, and a 1980s friendship between Evelyn, a middle aged housewife and Ninny, an elderly woman who knew Ruth and Idgie. The centerpiece and parallel story concerns the murder of Ruth's abusive husband and the accusations that follow.)



Ingredients

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
5 green tomatoes, sliced 1/2 inch thick
1 cup crushed saltine crackers
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup butter

Directions

In a small bowl, stir together the flour, salt and pepper. Place the crushed saltine crackers in another bowl, and the beaten eggs in a third bowl.

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Dip each tomato slice in the egg to coat, then in the flour mixture. Dip the floured tomato slice back into the egg, and then into the cracker crumbs. Place the coated tomato slices in the hot skillet, and fry until golden brown on each side, about 3 to 5 minutes per side. Add more butter to the pan, if necessary. Serve hot!



Armadillo Grooms Cake from Steel Magnolias

(Synopsis: 1989 American comedy-drama film about the bond among a group of women in northwest Louisiana. The movie is based on a 1987 off-Broadway play by Robert Harling, which in turn dealt with the playwright's experience with the death of his sister. The title suggests the female characters are as delicate as magnolias but as tough as steel. The action centers on Truvy's beauty parlor and some women who regularly gather there. The film begins on the morning of Shelby's wedding to Jackson and covers events over the next three years, including Shelby's decision to have a child despite having Type 1 diabetes and the complications that result from the decision. We also get a glimpse of the unlikely friendship between Clairee and Ouiser; Annelle's transformation from a shy, anxious newcomer in town to a good-time girl and then to a revival-tent Christian; and Truvy's relationships with the men in her family. Although the main storyline involves Shelby, her mother and Shelby's medical battles, the underlying group-friendship among all six women is prominent throughout the drama.)The comedy-drama takes place in Louisiana and stars an incredible cast including Dolly Parton, Sally Field, Daryl Hannah, and Julia Roberts, among others. It explores the bonds of women, and the armadillo grooms cake debuts. The armadillo cake is made for the wedding of Jackson (played by Dylan McDermott) and Shelby (played by Julia Roberts) by Jackson's Aunt Fern.
The popularity of the movie, the uniqueness of the cake, and the comedic lines surrounding the cake in the movie have made the armadillo grooms cake popular years after the movie's release.

People choose armadillos as a grooms cake for reasons other than its appearance in the movie, of course. Many Texans embrace the armadillo as a mascot, since it is the state mammal of Texas. Randolph Community College in North Carolina claims this armored creature as a mascot along with other schools across the country. Whatever your reason for coveting an armored gray critter cake, it is sure to be charming.



The Bleeding Armadillo

Since grooms cakes are often fun, quirky, or unique, a bleeding armadillo cake can be a perfect choice. In Steel Magnolias the type of cake makes it appear as if it is "bleeding" when cut into slices. The type of cake used to achieve this affect is a red velvet cake, which is a rich, sweet cake that can be made with or without chocolate flavoring. Instant red velvet cake mixes are widely available in supermarkets, and recipes are also available.

The exterior of the armadillo is often made with a butter cream or cream cheese frosting that is colored to resemble an armadillo. While the cake in the movie was made with grey frosting, frosting can be white, black, brown, or other shades. Fondant frosting is used in some armadillo cakes to lend a smoother appearance, and airbrushing used to add detail. The back of the cake may be detailed with score marks or frosted to resemble an armadillo's scales.

An armadillo cake can be served on top of a sheet cake if necessary to accommodate more people for a large wedding party or if served at the reception. Surrounding details can include frosting or plastic grass, insects, logs, and lizards to evoke an armadillo's natural surroundings. Other cakes are shaped as if the armadillo is lying flat on the ground

Making the Cake

Since an armadillo cake requires a bit more work than a standard sheet or round cake, it may be best reserved for experienced bakers. For those willing to try, the cake can be made using a football cake pan as the base and using a mix or recipe for red velvet cake. The head, arms, legs, and tail, can be made from using sections of a loaf cake or from rolled fondant or butter cream frosting. Petal dusts, available at many bakery suppliers, can be used to add sheen to "scales" of the finished cake.
All in One Bake Shop also offers a recipe and full instructions for an armadillo cake, making it possible for anyone to enjoy this unique type of tribute to the groom.



Shrimp Cocktail from Beetlejuice

(Synopsis: 1988; Thanks to the carelessness of a cute little dog, newlyweds Geena Davis and Alec Baldwin are killed in a freak auto accident. Upon arriving in the outer offices of Heaven, the couple finds that, thanks to a century's worth of bureaucratic red tape, they're on a long celestial waiting list. Before they can earn their wings, Davis and Baldwin must occupy their old house as ghosts for the next fifty years. Alas, the house is now owned by insufferable yuppies Catherine O'Hara and Jeffrey Jones. Horrified at the prospect of sharing space with these obnoxious interlopers, Davis and Baldwin do their best to scare O'Hara and Jones away, but their house-haunting skills are pathetic at best. In desperation, the ghostly couple engage the services of a veteran scaremeister: a yellow-haired, snaggle-toothed, profane, flatulent "gonzo" spirit named Beetlejuice (Michael Keaton). The problem: Beetlejuice cannot be trusted-especially when he falls in love with O'Hara and Jones' gloomy, black-clad teenaged daughter Winona Ryder.)



Tejano Style Shrimp Cocktail

By: Rey Garza
"For those of you unable to make it to south Texas, A shrimp cocktail made Tex Mex style to include cilantro and chile serrano for that authentic flavor that will blow your tastebuds away, without leaving your home! Serve with saltine crackers."

Ingredients

1 pound cooked medium shrimp, chilled
1/2 large cucumber, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 large tomato, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
8 green onions, thinly sliced
1 ounce fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1 serrano pepper, thinly sliced
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 lime

Directions

In a large bowl, combine shrimp, cucumber, tomato, green onion, cilantro, and serrano pepper. Stir in tomato sauce, and vinegar. Squeeze lime juice over mixture.

** For more kick, add an additional pepper **

Well kids I need to get off of here for awhile. I want to thank everyone for coming. I also want to let you all know that I am toying with the idea of shutting down The Frugal Mom on November 30 (my 1yr. anniversary). I would leave it up thru the end of the year so you could pull your favorite recipes and crafts off the site. I have lost a lot the last few months and I don't feel I can continue to bring you a wonderful journey like I used to. Maybe I just need a break, I don't know... nothing is written in stone yet. Anyways, be safe, be smart, and be frugal. HUGS!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

TIME TO DESTRESS

Good morning my fellow bloggites! How are you this steamy sticky Wednesday morning? I am just dandy. I had a good night's rest, the kids are off to school, and I got a busy schedule ahead of me! Let me be the first to wish you a HAPPY National Second Hand Wardrobe Day! Whether its passed down to you from a relative or bought at a thrift store... today is the day you should put it on and let it shine!



Alright, first on the agenda this morning would be to address something that effcts everyone at one point and time in our lives... it does not discriminate on age, sex, weight, religion, nothing! And it can even kill you if you have too much, can't handle, or don't deal with it. I know this all too well. Boys and girls I am talking about STRESS! Millions of things, both very little and very big, cause us stress all the time. Sometimes when we don't even really realize it. The less stressed you can be, the healthier you can become. I am working on this. I also found an article that gives some tips on some things you can EAT to help with stress. WAIT A MINUTE! You mean to tell me that there can be GOOD stress eating?!?!? OMG tell me more! Ok, I will LOL! Read this article about some stress fighting foods!

7 Best Stress-Fighting Foods
By David Zinczenko

I send out a lot of info on my Twitter feed, from nutrition news to management tips. I get the most passionate reaction—and the most retweets—when I talk about stress. In fact, a friend of mine recently told me that stress was her biggest dietary villain. “I eat when I’m stressed,” she said.

To which I reacted, “Good!” You should eat when you’re stressed—it’s our bodies’ natural reaction to want to store calories to face whatever challenge is causing the stress in the first place. The key, however, is to eat what your body wants—the foods that actually counteract the effects of stress, and make you stronger (and leaner) when the tough times pass. So next time anxiety runs high, be sure to grab one of these seven stress-fighting foods.

(And while you're at it, be sure to follow my Twitter feed for hundreds of instant nutrition and health secrets like these.)



Papaya
Wouldn’t it be awesome if there was a magic nutrient that could stop the flow of stress hormones—the very hormones that make your body superefficient at storing fat calories? Wouldn’t you want to gobble that food up like crazy, especially if it tasted great? Half a medium papaya carries nearly 75 percent more vitamin C than an orange, and provides potent protection against stress. Researchers at the University of Alabama found 200 milligrams of vitamin C—about as much as you’ll find in one large papaya—twice a day nearly stopped the flow of stress hormones in rats. It should work for you, too.

Other smart sources of vitamin C: Red bell peppers, broccoli, oranges

Bonus Tip: The closer an ingredient is to its original form, the healthier it is for you. Avoid the worst side of the nutritional spectrum by familiarizing yourself with this shocking list of The 15 Worst Food Creations of 2010.



Peppermint Tea
The mere scent of peppermint helps you focus and boosts performance, according to researchers. Another study discovered that peppermint tea makes drivers more alert and less anxious.

Other smart sources of peppermint: Peppermint candy and peppermint oil

Bonus Tip: Beware of disastrous drinks that only pretend to be healthy. Avoid 2,000-calorie shakes, 1,500-calorie smoothies, and other big offenders in this eye-popping list of The 20 Worst Drinks in America in 2010.



Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds are loaded with stress-busting potential thanks to high levels of magnesium. Only about 30 percent of us meet our daily magnesium requirements, placing the rest of us at a higher risk for stress symptoms such as headaches, anxiety, tension, fatigue, insomnia, nervousness and high blood pressure. (Basically we’re frayed wires, and magnesium is the electrical tape that can pull us back together.) A quarter cup of pumpkin seeds gives you half your day’s magnesium requirements.

Other smart sources of magnesium: Spinach, Swiss chard, black beans, soybeans, salmon



Avocados
The healthy fats buried in the avocado’s flesh make it an ideal choice when you’re craving something rich and creamy. The reasons? Monounsaturated (healthy) fatty acids, and potassium--both of which help combat high blood pressure. Avocado fat is 66 percent monounsaturated, and gram-for-gram, the green fruit has about 35 percent more potassium than a banana. Whip up a fresh guacamole or slice a few slivers over toast and top with fresh ground pepper.

Other smart sources of potassium: Squash, papaya, spinach, bananas, lentils



Salmon
Not only does omega-3 fat protect against heart disease and cognitive decline, but according to a study from Diabetes & Metabolism, the wonder fat is also responsible for maintaining healthy levels of cortisol. And what’s the world’s best source of omega-3s? Salmon. But there’s another trick in salmon’s arsenal—a sleep-promoting amino acid called tryptophan. One salmon filet has as much tryptophan as you need in an entire day, and if there’s one remedy for stress, it’s a good night of blissful Zs.

Other smart sources of omega-3 fats: Flaxseeds, walnuts, sardines, halibut

Other smart sources of tryptophan: Chicken, tuna, beef, soybeans

Bonus Tip: The favorite trick of your friendly neighborhood restaurant? Substituting salt for flavor. Studies have linked high-salt foods to increased risk of high blood pressure, stroke, and even heart disease--and experts recommend getting no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium in your diet each day. Keep your salt intake in check by cooking with high-quality, locally sourced ingredients—and by dodging the salty disasters in this list of the 30 Saltiest Foods in America.



Almonds
The almond's first stress-buster is the aforementioned monounsaturated fats, but at risk of belaboring that point, let’s look at another almond-centered, mind-calming nutrient: vitamin E. In one study, Belgium researchers treated pigs with a variety of nutrients just before sticking them in a transportation simulator (basically a vibrating crate). After 2 hours of simulation, only those pigs treated with tryptophan and vitamin E had non-elevated levels of stress hormones. Almonds, thankfully, are loaded with vitamin E. To reach your day’s requirement from almonds alone, you need to eat about 40 to 50 nuts. Or you can mix them with other vitamin-E rich foods to save calories and add more dietary variety.

Other smart sources of vitamin E: Sunflower seeds, olives, spinach, papaya



Oatmeal
A biochemical effect of stress is a depleted stock of serotonin, the hormone that makes you feel cool, calm, and in control. One reliable strategy for boosting serotonin back to healthy levels is to increase your intake of carbohydrates. That said, scarfing down Ding Dongs and doughnuts isn’t a sustainable solution. Rather, to induce a steady flow of serotonin, aim to eat fiber-rich, whole-grain carbohydrates. The slower rate of digestion will keep seratonin production steady and prevent the blood sugar rollar-coaster that leads to mood swings and mindless eating.

Other sources of fiber-rich carbohydrates: Quinoa, barley, whole-wheat bread, Triscuits

Now it's time to talk crafts. Molly over at the Purl Bee has something I absolutely fell in love with! Giant Strawberries! Now you know that there is a huge berry bandit running rampit somewhere in my house that hides from me and I can never seem to catch LOL. But every time I go to the Farmer's Market, it manages to eat my crate of strawberries! LOL! I love them so much that once I saw this craft I have contemplated redo-ing one of my rooms in the house in a strawberry decor! OMG these are just too cute! Make sure to go to the site for the step by step photos and instructions. They are pretty easy to make and cute as a... well a BERRY! LOL!



Craft Idea of the Day: Giant Strawberry Pillows

Materials:

1 1/2-yards of Kiyohara Organic Woven Dots in Pink
1 1/2-yards of Kiyohara Organic Woven Dots in Red
1/2-yard of Organic Cotton Duck in Avocado
Two bags of Stuffing
A spool of light green thread to match the cotton duck, I used color #8975
A spool of neutral thread for sewing the berries
A ball of cotton embroidery floss
A Creative Grids 6.5-inch by 24.5-inch ruler or a protractor
A Strawberry Pillow Stem Template printed and cut out, available for free here

Ok folks, time for another crazy pick for your MEMORABLE MOVIES week. Today in the theme of destressing our lives, I have picked a light-hearted movie full of hope, humor, and the goodness of humankind. The movie is called "Michael" starring John Travolta, Andie McDowell, William Hurt, Bob Hoskins, Robert Pastorelli, Jean Stapleton, and even Teri Garr. (Synopsis: Frank Quinlan and Huey Driscoll, two reporters from a Chicago-based tabloid, along with Dorothy Winters, an 'angel expert', are asked to travel to rural Iowa to investigate a claim from an old woman that she shares her house with a real, live archangel named Michael. Upon arrival, they see that her claims are true - but Michael is not what they expected: he smokes, drinks beer, has a very active libido and has a rather colourful vocabulary. In fact, they would never believe it were it not for the two feathery wings protruding from his back. Michael agrees to travel to Chicago with the threesome, but what they don't realise is that the journey they are about to undertake will change their lives forever.) Ok, so in this movie, they are at a tavern and they order pie... lots and lots of pie! They even make Andie McDowell's character sing a song about pie. OMG I love pie! I can't help but to sing the song everytime I even think about pie! Its a super cute movie, so if you haven't seen it, definitely check it out! And with that, I have picked 5 super yummy pies for you today... although there are literally thousands of types of pies out there! Eat & Enjoy!



Saskatoon Pie

A not-too-sweet and fruity pie. Saskatoon berries are known as serviceberries in the United States. This berry has often been compared with blueberries though it has more of an apple flavor

Ingredients

4 cups fresh serviceberries
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3/4 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch double crust pie
1 tablespoon butter

Directions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).

In a large saucepan, simmer berries in 1/4 cup water for 10 minutes. Stir in lemon juice with berries. Combine sugar and flour together in a medium bowl, then stir into berry mixture. Pour mixture into a pastry lined 9 inch pie pan. Dot with butter. Place second crust on top of pie; seal and flute edges.

Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Then reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) and bake for an additional 35 to 45 minutes, or until golden brown.



Creamy Peanut Butter Pie

Ingredients

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
3/4 cup whipped topping
10 peanut butter cups, divided
1 chocolate crumb crust (9 inches)

Directions

In a small mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar and peanut butter until smooth and light. Fold in the whipped topping. Coarsely chop half of the peanut butter cups; stir into cream cheese mixture.

Spoon into crust. Quarter remaining peanut butter cups; arrange over top.

Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before cutting. Refrigerate leftovers.



Sunshine Pie
By: Cool Whip

"A creamy layer, a fluffy pudding layer, and a topping made with fresh orange zest fill the graham cracker crust of this sweet, no-bake orange pie."

Ingredients

1 (8 ounce) package PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
1 (14 ounce) can EAGLE BRAND® Sweetened Condensed Milk, divided
1 (8 ounce) tub COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, thawed, divided
1 (6 ounce) HONEY MAID Graham Pie Crust
1 orange, zested and juiced
1 (3.4 ounce) package JELL-O Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding

Directions

Beat cream cheese and 1/4 cup condensed milk with mixer until well blended. Whisk in 1/2 cup COOL WHIP. Spread onto bottom of crust.

Whisk orange juice, remaining condensed milk and dry pudding mix in medium bowl 2 minutes. Stir in 1-1/2 cups of the remaining COOL WHIP. Spread over cream cheese layer.

Stir orange zest into remaining COOL WHIP; spread over pie. Refrigerate 4 hours.



Caramel Pecan Pie

Buttery, nutty, and a touch of caramel, this is a very yummy pie! Full of flavor! Serve hot or cold, with a good size dollop of whipped topping or vanilla ice cream."

Ingredients

1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust
36 individually wrapped caramels, unwrapped
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup milk
3/4 cup white sugar
3 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup pecan halves

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C.) In a saucepan over low heat, combine caramels, butter and milk. Cook, stirring frequently, until smooth. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine sugar, eggs, vanilla and salt. Gradually mix in the melted caramel mixture. Stir in pecans. Pour filling into unbaked pie crust.
Bake in the preheated oven for 45 to 50 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown. Allow to cool until filling is firm.



Nectarine Pie

Ingredients

2/3 cup white sugar
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
5 nectarines
1 (9 inch) unbaked pie shell

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C). Place a large pot of water over high heat, and bring to a boil.

Combine sugar, flour, cinnamon, heavy cream and almond extract. Set aside.

Place the nectarines in boiling water for 30 to 45 seconds. Immediately place nectarines under cold running water and remove skins. Cut nectarines in half and remove pits. Place halves in the pie shell with the cut side down. Pour the cream mixture around the nectarines.

Bake at 400 degrees F (205 degrees C) for 35 to 40 minutes. Good served warm or cold.

Well kids, I'm outta here! I am off to clean, freecycle, sew, and whatever else suits my fancy! Thanks for joining me today and I say... let them eat pie! LOL! Be smart, be safe, and be frugal in whatever life leads you to today! Until tomorrow... HUGS!