Thursday, June 30, 2011


I like Dutch words that sound exactly like English words if you tried to say them with a Faux-Dutch accent.

This summer, at least in theory, I have had a lot more time to do stuff like, keep posting to my blog on a relatively frequent basis.  However, (un)fortunately for my readers, and fortunately for my family, I have chosen to spend my time doing other things. But not this morning.  This morning I look like this:
Morning me, sans shower, wearing husband's oversized sweatshirt because it is amazingly, miraculously cool outside!  Oh, and of course, that's my cup of coffee, in my super-awesome Baby Mug!  Yep, that adorable little shy-faced baby is mine, back when she was only 6 months old.  Oooooh ooooooh, couldn't you just kiss that face??  I know I could!
Aww loves.  Also, it should be noted here that this picture kind of hurt to take.  That coffee was really hot, thus, that cup was really hot.  My lips still feel a little bit burned.  I will officially no longer be making kissy-faces at my hot beverages.

Any-whosit, one reason I have been neglecting my blogging is that I have decided to take more steps toward being an awesomer Mom and Wife.  So more time hanging out with my kid, days with the TV off, more home-cooked family dinners around the kitchen table (which no longer serves solely as the place where we keep the mail).  And even though my daughter would rather go watch Toy Story for the bazillionth time than play puzzle with me, and my husband would rather eat his dinner in front of the O'Reilly Factor, well, I'm still going to assume I'm doing a good thing.  Suck it, family.

Another reason that I've been writing HERE less, is that I'm writing somewhere ELSE more.  I shouldn't be telling you this (it's really top secret private information that is likely to make me feel embarrassed later), but I'm spitballing the idea of writing a book.  I'm about 4 pages in so far (impressed?  I thought so) and it's very much just in the zygote phase of book development, so we'll see if I'm able to carry it to term.  I'll give you more information if it survives its first trimester (as that's the phase in which most book ideas are miscarried).  I'm sorry, I've probably taken that too far somewhere, but I'm really loving this whole, book-writing/pregnancy analogy.  I think it's spectacular.  Maybe I'll write a book on that instead.

Not sure what else I'd write about though... do you have writing contractions?  Does that have to do with the editing process? ... I'll have to work this idea out some more.

TTFN, time to go read my daughter Hop on Pop for the Bazillionth time, (sufficient movie substitute), hope you don't find yourself sitting on cat, hat, or cactus plant!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

That Damn Can

About a month ago we bought a case of Pepsis.  As my dear and devoted husband started loading the groceries into the fridge, he called me over.  "Hey Ashley, catch."

Then he reached into the Pepsi box and chucked a can at me.

Once I recovered from my momentary panic, stopped screaming, and peeled myself off the floor, I realized I'd actually caught the can.  And it was weightless.

Upon further investigation, we realized that there was a tiny hole in the bottom of the can, which coincided with a similar hole in the bottom of the box.  Fascinating.

Anyway, the point being, we realized we had something neat.  A fully sealed, completely normal looking soda can, without a drop of soda in it.  Should lend us some fun right?  Screwing with house guests or something is always fun, and this was definitely something we shouldn't just let go to waste.  So, we stuck it in the fridge.

Only one problem.  We haven't fooled any house guests.  We have fooled me.  Over and freaking over again.  Once we got to the end of the soda supply, I had our last couple cans figured out.  We could each have one in the evening.  So I got one for Shane, and saved mine for later.  But when I got to later, I reached in and realized that, well, PRANKED ME!  Stupid can I was looking forward to was the stupid empty one.

Of course, this was a couple of weeks ago.  I took the can out of the fridge that night.  Somehow, it wasn't funny anymore.  But I couldn't throw it away because I am, it seems, a hoarder of stupid things.  So it sits on the counter, and I keep seeing it, and I REALLY WANT A SODA but we don't have a soda and that damn can is really starting to tick me off.

It's distinctly possible that I have a "problem" with caffeinated beverages, but it seems safer than drinking or smoking, and I stick to diet, so I'm okay with that.

I'm just not okay with that damn soda can.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Shock and Awe... and Chocolate

So I need to post quickly, as there is something amazing happening in the Miller household.  It's 9pm, the baby's down, dinner is over, dishes are done, my reports are sent in, and we've been hanging out in front of the television watching some Scrubs we never saw when it was on.  So there's the scene.

It was at this point that I had a minor melt down, and commenced the whining about how much I want sugar right now, ("Shaaaaane, get me suuuuuugar!!") something in the form of brownies or cookies or, yes, ICE CREAM.  Unfortunately, we stupidly choose to not keep these things in the house, because when I am grocery shopping I'm typically not PMSing and it's not late at night.  And I care more about what the scale says than I do at the moment.  Shane suggest that I go, since, logically, I am the one who wants the stuff.  I said no, I wasn't going to go, it's late, it's unnecessary, blah blah blah.

And I'm assuming that this is the end of the story, until Shane starts strapping on his shoes and asking what FLAVOR I'd like!!  This is serious business, folks.  First off, Shane doesn't really want the ice cream.  He's not that big on sweet stuff and would never make such an effort  for himself.  Secondly, Shane didn't even make late night trips to help with my cravings when I was carrying his child!  Shane despises the grocery store more than, like, any other location on the face of the planet!

So there you have it folks, it seems I'm wearing him down.  My husband has taken a liking to me.  Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go shave.  As a reward for unprecedented niceness, SOMEONE won't be forced to sleep next to Sasquatch tonight.

Nighty night y'all!

And then there was time to chillax

So in terms of the root canal,  it seems I'm officially off the Tylenol!  As long as I'm careful not to chew on the right side, or let any food wander over there well I'm chewing on the left side, or squeeze my jaw, or close my mouth to quickly or touch my teeth together while talking, I think I'm okay.  So two days of varying degrees of throbbing pain, followed by intense contact sensitivity until the crown is placed (I'm assuming). Can't wait till Wednesday!

Anyway, here's yesterday's thrift store shirt.

I decided to change up my poses a bit, for your viewing pleasure, and, you know, to diversify my portfolio in case the Goodwill is looking for a new model.  And in case you're reading this, The Goodwill, I'm just putting this out there, I'm available for print ads, and can also do a little acting, in case that helps!

So this shirt (still only cost $2.95) is Calvin Klein, a very light cotton blend that feels incredibly soft, cool, and flowy, but wrinkled immediately when I held my daughter for a minute or two.  I think those fell out pretty quickly though, so no love lost.  This one seemed to get the strongest reception from the viewing public and the husband, so I suppose it's the current thrifty-winner.

Today it's back to layered rib tanks, as it is a non-work day.  And as the daughter is napping and I have chosen to be a lazy sack of human parts, I'm looking a little bit like this:

Ah Friday, Friday.  Fun fun, fun fun.

Hope you ALSO get sometime this weekend to lounge on the couch and watch really bad TV!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Sed a... Sed a... DIRTY WORD! [S]he said a dirty word!!

Yes, for any of you astute movie watchers, that's a quote from Young Frankenstein.  But it's also true.  "She", did say a dirty word.  But not just any dirty word, THE word, the big one, the queen-mother of dirty words, the "F-dash-dash-dash" word!  That was, in fact, also a quote.  5 points to the one who can give me the movie that belongs to that little gem.  

I'm sorry. I'm not just throwing movie quotes around willy nilly to prove myself to be a great big movie nerd, my mind is just giving me more movie quotes than independent thoughts at this point.

Okay, so I had intended to tell you about my root canal shortly after coming home, but I never got around to it.  And it's not a bad thing I waited, because I've gathered a lot more information.  The actual procedure wasn't bad.  Long, uncomfortable, but not too painful.  I came home slightly numb, and waited for that to fade and the pain to show up.  About 30 minutes later, it did.  A bit.  A little bit of throbbing, I took some Tylenol and it was gone.  Things changed around 3pm, when the Tylenol and anything else that remained in my system began to fade.  I have since taken a 4 o'clock and more recently a 9 o'clock dosage of my Tylenol, to absolutely no avail.  It's just getting worse.  I've been mostly fine most of the day, and now I'm getting that, "did someone just try to use my head as a pinata" feeling.  It is AWESOME.  No, no wait.  It is, rather, making me want to say all SORTS of dirty words.

BAH. Rancid Monkey Balls this hurts!!

There we go, now I have a potty mouth.  I can't believe that I have to do this again.  Kids, don't neglect your teeth.  Visit your dentist happily, because regular cleanings now will help avoid baseball-bat-to-the-face pain later.  The more you know.

Anyway, other parts of today.  I wore my second thrift store shirt today.  It's from Izod, and it, once again, cost me $2.95.  I must say, 'new' clothes that cost so little are definitely sprinkling little happy glitter bits on my otherwise crap-hole week.

For your viewing pleasure, me, before the pain made it impossible to take pictures without, say, giving my camera the finger.

It looks similar to the blue one from yesterday, but that's the end of that.  The others are different-er.

Anyway, have a great night kids, and remember to brush your teeth before bed!!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Dressing fail, and some scary s**t

You know those little plastic things that hold the price tag onto your shirt?  Well I certainly do.  And I most certainly wouldn't have washed my clothes with them still attached, and then worn my shirt to work today with that little piece of green plastic sticking out of my shoulder.  Of course not.  That would have been ridiculous.  And embarrassing.  And really, I'm sure EVEN if I would have gone so far as to do all that, there must've been someone I saw throughout the day who had the common decency to let me know I was making an arse of myself.  Right?  No?  No one???  ::Crickets chirp::  So, apparently not.  That was pretty awesome.

So, I'm nervous guys.  I'm nervous and embarrassed and not at all looking forward to tomorrow morning.  You see, although I take very good care of my teeth, it seems I skipped well, about a decade's worth of regular dental check ups.  After that kind of neglect, with no apparent problems and no dental insurance "just to check in", I went and got knocked up a couple years ago.  Despite taking my daily Prenatal Vitamin more religiously than I, say, change my socks or shampoo my hair, my teeth began a terrifyingly rapid deterioration process that was a little bit painful and a lot bit horrifying.

Needless to say, I've gotten the verdict:  I'm in need of TWO root canals.  I've never had a root canal.  I'm in my frickin 20's, I should be able to maintain my teeth at this age without ridiculously frightening and painful medical procedures... right?  It would seem not.

Tomorrow at 9am sharp I'll be plopped into a seat by my nice Korean dentist (I assume he's nice, I can't understand a cotton-pickin thing the man says, and he does NOT seem impressed by the half dozen Korean words and phrases I thought I knew).  He will then, I assume, act out one of the scenes from Hostel, focused largely on the inside of my mouth.  Again, from what I've been told, this is what I'm assuming.  "And then, there's this big drill..." "And then my face swelled up to the size of a pumpkin and it got infected and they had to cut out half of my tongue..." "That's when I prayed for the sweet release of death and stabbed a kitchen knife through my own hand...."

Yep.  It all sounds pretty grim.  Also, I'm severely allergic, like, Doc says I might just die kind of allergic, to NSAID pain relievers, meaning Ibuprofen and Ibuprofen related products, also known as everything stronger than Tylenol.  Oh, and I shouldn't take too much Tylenol because my body may THINK that I took Ibuprofen and I might die.  Stupid body.

I guess what I mean is, I'm sending my daughter to her Grandmother's house tomorrow, so that I can be alone while I have my OWN chance to scream, cry, and pray for the sweet release of death.  Guess I'd better hide those kitchen knives!

Hope your day looks absolutely nothing like mine tomorrow.

Cheapening Effecs

Day one as a thrift store shopping platinum blonde... or something like that.

Today, I've got my first $2.95 shirt on, American Eagle, and I can finally see the full effect of my hair dye-stravaganza.  So survey says: pretty much the same, although it got rid of some of the brassiness, which is nice.

So far, I'm calling yesterday the day of ultimately positive choices, however, I'm definitely open to suggestions, reviews, and mockery.  Here's some pics, for your viewing pleasure.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Strappin on my cheap-skates

So I've done two slightly odd and very "college" things today.  The first, was shopping.  Not that shopping is odd, but my shopping choice was.  After a stop at the bank to collect my weekly Benjamin (or 5 Jacksons, as it were), I headed to the Goodwill.  I've had a dilemma lately.  I need shirts that fit, and aren't falling apart because I've had them since high school.  On the other hand, I've committed to spending less money.  Focus on the debt.  Become a grown up.  I decided I wanted to spend very little money and get a lot for it.  I wanted to spend $20.  That felt reasonable.  Even at Target though, that's MAYBE one shirt.  I tend to avoid thrift stores since my post-teen years.  I feel weird about them, like I'm stealing from poor people, or like maybe I'm homeless.  But today I swallowed that last bit of pride.  I hit up the Goodwill and got 5 nice quality, attractive, great fitting, work appropriate tops for a grand total of $14.75.  I am officially in love.

The second thing is that I dyed my hair.  More though, I dyed my hair blonde.  Scratch that, I dyed my hair Ultra Light Ash Brown.  Scratch again, pretty sure I dyed my hair crazy.

Last time I dyed my hair, I picked a medium ash brown.  Ash is supposed to minimize redness, and redness is my biggest annoyance with hair dye.  Of course, as some of you so astutely pointed out, the last dye job came out, well, red.  Maybe auburn, okay, but definitely red-familied.

I chose today's color for a few reasons.  One, the Crack-addict version of Mrs. Robinson  on the box cover actually seemed to have (what I assume to be) my natural color.  Apparently, I have a Ultra Light Ash Brown hair.  I'll need to remember that, next time someone asks.  It should sound a lot better than saying "dunno".  Next, it was a color that proclaimed to be specifically FOR those of us with darker hair.  And while it specifically warned against using over hair that had been dyed anything darker than medium brown, I thought, well shucks, lucky thing my last dye job was a medium!  I figured this box was meant for me.  Thirdly, even though the last ash-dye was a miserable failure, I chalked it up to the brand. L'oreal certainly won't fail me.  Certainly.  And lastly, well, I just like the word ultra.  It sounds powerful.  It sounds electric and exciting.  Exactly what I think of when I think light ashy brown hair.

So I did it.  And the results are, well... I don't know.  I'm scared.  It looks ridiculous wet, like, strawberry blonde roots and nearly black the rest of the way down.  And I followed the instructions on the box!  I'm... pretty sure I followed the directions on the box! Start at the ends, do the roots for the last ten minutes, right?  Ah well, I'm hoping it'll look better dry, but I'm just too nervous to accomplish that.  Plus, we're watching The Postman Always Rings Twice, and it's a riot, so I'm not going anywhere.

If you think I'm terribly upset about this, then it seems you don't know me.  I consider a bottle of hair dye  an adventure.  The color never looks anything like the picture, and you could come out looking like a complete imbecile.  It's almost like some cross between a Choose Your Own Adventure novel and Russian roulette.  I guess this particular bottle may have been the loaded chamber.  Just the same, I bought a back up bottle.  If it's as bad as I suspect, it'll be nearly black again within a week or two.  Just the same, it would have been nice to go au'naturel again, if only for a little while.  Seems I may not have the patience for that.

Another reason I'm not concerned though, is that I've firmly decided to not ever go to a salon again.  Or at least a while.  It's been over 10 months since I paid for a haircut, and I'm shooting for at least 2 total years.  I'll dye my own hair, the same as I cut my own bangs, and suffer any consequences that follow.  I don't like going to salons.  I don't like paying $100 for a cut and color.  I have no idea how much to tip a hairdresser.  I don't even know why we tip a person who sets their own rates.  And to top it all off, I can't help but feel that they're constantly judging me.  Sometimes I even tip more than I think necessary (of course, what the heck do I know) just to make them like me.  Because here's the thing.  Every hairdresser I've ever met is amazingly cool, WHEREAS, I am a raging dork.  Somehow, it always feels like high school again.  And anyway, who really cares what your hair looks like?  Am I going to be socially shunned for having roots lighter than my tips?  Well by golly, it's a little too late for that, again, DORK.

Anyway, I'm back home for good now, and I've been marinating LOTS of thoughts, so stay tuned in for lots of chatter in the next couple weeks!

Hope you're all having a honest to box-picture kind of day!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

A-camping we will go!

So this camping thing, gotta say, it's not too bad.  For starters, we're not so much "camping" as we are "staying in a hotel room with 2 sinks, beds, housekeeping, hot showers, electricity, bathrooms, and, as you can see here, rare, but present, internet service".  I don't have to work, don't have to cook, don't have to make our beds, or vacuum, or do the dishes.  Mostly, I hang out with my kid.  Oh, and read a lot, while she takes naps and goes to bed by 9pm.  Camping is flipping incredible.

Just to make things exciting, I set a personal goal for the trip: 3 pounds lost.  That will move me from about 147.5 to about 144.5, and I REALLY want to see the underbelly of 145.  Really.  Plus, that means less than 5 pounds till Shane needs to start doing sit ups.  Did I mention that Shane and I made a bet?  He grows 2 ab muscles for every 10 pounds I lose from here on out.  The idea is, I hit 120, he has a six pack.  We would officially become the hottest couple you know.

Anyway, the reason my 3 pounds MAY actually work out, is that, as you may previously have heard, most camping is done in nature.  More specifically, in the mountains.  Oh, and my swanky hotel room?  Well, it's about a mile downhill from the place where our camp-tivities are happening.  And while Shane has had the car to cruise himself around, I've been hoofing it.  Hoofing it, while pushing my I-didn't-realize-she'd-gotten-so-heavy daughter in her monster-truck sized stroller.  One way, the trip is downhill, and I have to lean back and tense every muscle in my body to avoid letting the stroller careen down the side of a mountain.  And the other direction, well, that would be uphill.  I walk uphill bent at a 90 degree angle so that I can use my leg muscles to push the 1000 pound child/stroller contraption upandupandup.  Oh, and it's not all paved roads.  No no.  A good portion of this trip is over dirt, or sand, leaves, pine needles, pine cones,  large, half-buried rocks, tree branches, protruding tree roots, and the largest number of giant ants I've ever seen in my life.  I don't think they bite.  Sometimes they try (I wear flip flops, so I'd know), but it feels more like a very tiny person trying to kung-fu grip your toes, rather than that normal ant-bite stinging sensation.

By the time I get to the top of the hill, I've been huffing and puffing for 20 straight minutes, and every muscle in my body feels like it's on fire.  I do this multiple times a day.

Now, I should mention, there have been attempts to subvert my weight loss progress here.  Jeff Atherton, our churches youth group leader and my self-proclaimed "biggest fan"  (Hi Jeff!) would like it to be known that he served me up an EXTRA helping of fries for lunch on Tuesday.  But he should also know that I ate a grand total of ONE french fry.  And about half my burger.  My family ate the rest, and to be honest, I don't care if they get fat.  So HA!  The ones who should really be proud of subverting my progress are the nice ladies at the Snack Shop, who  provided me (for a nominal fee) with a very decadent, very delicious chocolate milk shake last night.  I can also gladly say though, that my tiny peanut of a daughter finished most of that too.  It seems the kid likes ice cream.  Who knew?

So that's where my weight loss is right now, the one good sign I had was realizing I could pull my belt to the next tightest hole yesterday.  So once again, Either my tummy's getting smaller, or my belt is stretching!

Oh, and something I may delve into more later:  Freakin teenagers.  I don't care if saying this makes me creepy, or whatever, but if you have any sort of body-issues, just, stay as far as you can from freakin teenagers and their stupid skinny, firm, tanned, gorgeous bodies.  With their stupid short shorts and teeny weeny bikinis, it's just insulting.  Models do not look as good as these freakin 16 year olds do.  And why?  Because models are generally not 16.  Nothing sags when you're 16.  Nothing even wiggles.  Live it up ladies, in a few short years, it'll change for you too.  At least, that's what I keep telling myself.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Dress it like it's hot!

I've decided this summer has a dress code.  Seeing as I'll only be working 2 days a week, the rest of the summer will be clothed in....

Drum roll please....

Layered ribbed Tanks!!!!!  Wooo hoo!

As I'm writing this, it occurs to me that I just ripped that straight from Tosh.0.  It wasn't on purpose, but apparently I keep cable television comedians in my brain in place of an actual internal monologue.  That's unfortunate.

Any-whosit, this decision came around for a number of reasons, which I will list..... wait for it.... now:
1)  I already have some that fit pretty well.
2)  It is outrageously hot during the summer where I live, and sleeves seem masochistic.
3)  I find styles and trends to be both expensive and confusing.  Pants I'm okay with, but I'm not good at buying shirts, so I tend to... not.
4)  I actually DID buy some shirts today.  I ran across some ribbed tanks at Walmart for $3.88 a piece.  I bought 4.
5)  I think layered tank tops nicely conceal my stomach.  I also think they look really great with jeans and flip flops, which are other things I love to wear.  Here is a picture of a smokin' hottie wearing the aforementioned ensemble:

This is definitely what I'm going for this summer, although my less delusional mind says I probably look a little more like this:

Well, that's it for tonight folks.  Here's hoping you all get the sensation that you're smuggling a couple of perky grapefruits instead of one giant, hairy watermelon in YOUR summer tanks!

Today is a Risky Business kind of day

Yeah!  HECK yeah!  WOOwooooWOOOO!  ::Irish Jigging all over the living room::  ::Realizing I have no idea how to do a jig::  ::Sitting back down in an attempt to regain dignity and composure:: Ehem.  Yes.

At the moment, my daughter is in time out.  She woke up at 8, wanting to go outside.  Despite breakfast, play time, and cartoons, she wouldn't give that up.  She said outside. I told her no.  She said outside.  I reminded her I said no.  She brought me her shoes.  I put them aside.  She cried SHOOOOOOEEEES!!  I made her ask for the shoes.  She said peeeeaase. I gave them back.  She cried OUTSIIIIIIIIDE!!!  I said no.  She made snarly-demon face and smacked me.  Then she cried aaaall the way to time out.

Then, I sat down on the couch to do some important morning internet work, only to have the cat bite my hair.  WHY?  Cuz it moved.  And she had decided to sit behind me.

So you may be wondering why I'm in such a good mood?  Well, that's because a couple good diet/exercise/prayer days have helped to move the scale again, and this time in the RIGHT direction.  I know I said I was 150 yesterday, but I hadn't actually checked.  In fact, I was only 149 yesterday, and today I was a superduper skinny 147.5.  WOOT!!!  You have no idea what being over 150 had been doing to my brain for the past two weeks.  In that span of time, I managed to decide I really REALLY do want to be back under 140, while at the same time became incredibly defeated, assumed hitting 140 would never again happen, and that I would probably wind up gaining ALL the weight back and being an obese lady forever.  Gosh, it's kind of amazing what a few stupid pounds can do to a person's psyche.

Body's getting better, 145, here I come!!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Budget-cation. Also, I got fat again. Bums-ville.

Hello old blog-friend, I missed you.  By way of explanation for my blog-quitting, it should be said that today is my first full at-home day since Memorial Day (I've been working a TON during the last 2 weeks of school since I had some extra childcare), and we had company at our house then.  And the week before that, we were on vacation.  Basically, I haven't been on my normal life/work schedule since mid May.  This ALSO means that I've neglected my blog, my reports, my Bible reading, my exercising, and my house cleaning.  Oh, and the lawn is starting to look all "Welcome to the Jungle".  So.. can you guess what's on my To Do list for today?  Potato chips and couch-lounging, here I come!!

Anyhow, onward and upward.

This is week TWO of my cash budget living and it's going.... pretty well.  Pretty well?  Yeah... I think so.  Yeah.  I'm definitely making money-saving choices in life, I switched to cheaper coffee creamer, and I'm noticing the "little extras" that I'm inclined to go to the store for, and am now forced to choose not to.    In essence, life has become a zero-sum game.  You want to spend extra money on X?  Well then you won't get Y.  And as we're going on vacation AGAIN next week (Seriously? Who have we become?) there has been extra stuff we need, and no extra money to buy it with.  Sorry local restaurants, we won't be patronizing your fine establishments, well, maybe ever again at this rate.  It's going to take some time getting used to, some time till I get really good at this, but I think it's possible.  And in the mean time, we're still saving some money!  Debt-free future, here we come!!

Oh, and are any of you still interested in my weight?  Well, with all of our vacationing and celebrationing and what not, I gained some weight back.  I'm sitting rather solidly at 150.  Not. Going. Well.

Oh number two:  Vacation is not TECHNICALLY a vacation.  At least, not for Shane.  It's Hi-Camp.  Maddie-pants and I are coming along to vacation in the vicinity of Shane's strenuous work week.  It's gonna be AWESOME.

Hope you're all having a faux-cation worthy week!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Getting Budget-Faced

Why hello there!  Hey, remember when I used to post everyday?  Yep.  That happened once upon a time.

Well, we're home from vacation, and empty homed now that our parent-visitors have now all left.  Whew, what a week!  Lots of fun, lots of crazy, and it's time to get back to it.

One way in which I thought I'd help us "get back to it" is to institute our first official cash budget!  ::Trumpeting fanfare time is now::  Now I have found that I have the ability to do all of our grocery shopping for about 50-60 bucks a week.  This CAN include all of our little possible extras, toiletries, makeups, pet supplies, baby wipes, whatever shopping must be done CAN be done for that amount.  If I focus.

Because if I DON'T focus, I find myself making loads of unnecessary trips to Target through the week buying. . . I don't know.  Target stuff.  Oh, and we start "picking something up" when I am too lazy to cook the stuff I so frugally planned for earlier in the week.  Laziness is expensive.  Laziness is officially banned from the Miller house.

So, as of yesterday, we are now officially spending no more than 100 bucks a week on variable expenses, including everything except gas for our cars.  So any food, clothes, shopping, gifts, dates, etcetcetc, have to fit in that $100.  And I'm carrying it in cash, so that I can feel the painfully clear stop sign at the end of the money.

My first experience of this, was that it was thrilling.  Because I'm an idiot.  I got the cash out of the bank, and ran straight to Target to purchase some printer paper, my weeks supply of slim fast bars, and diet soda.  But guess what?  Target carries SOOO much more stuff than that!  The demon in my brain started pointing out all the extra stuff I could buy.  "Hey, as long as it's not over 100 bucks, it's no big deal!"  Because buying a purse or cute top in lieu of groceries this week makes tons of sense.  Right.  Thankfully, I made it out of Target with only the few items I'd gone in for.

I'm going to have to get used to this, but it's kind of exciting.  I couldn't do all the ridiculously specific budgeting at the beginning of the month, but I know we'll do away with tons of thoughtless junk spending this way, and I get to know exactly how much money I have to spend (as opposed to the previous mindset: spend as little as possible and feel really guilty about it).  I get to make decisions each week, for any monies above the regular grocery budget.  New jeans for the husband?  Cute earrings for me? Date night? Family trip to the zoo?  Save it up for next week and go on a crazed 50 dollar shopping spree?  Ah, the possibilities are nearly endless.

Oh, and Grandma, (who won't read this, as she doesn't have the internet because she believes it may be infesting her home with bugs.  No Grandma, that's not what "bugs" means.) you've convinced me.  All the adorable thrift-store dresses that you've purchased for my daughter has finally gotten through my thick brain, that Target trips are no longer necessary for my life. Wow.  Can't believe I just said that.

Have a wonderful week y'all, hope you're finding the bestest ways to spend YOUR blow money!
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