I absolutely love paying down/off debt!

Friday, May 30, 2008

In the past, money has been tight for us for reasons outside of our control. Recently though, money has been tight for us, because we have agreed to agressively pay down/off our debt. I only say this, because we honestly have people in our lives who are like, what do you mean you don't have money? You both have jobs! It's so hard to explain to people that while yes, going out and blowing $300-500 a weekend by shopping/eating/entertaining ourselves may be fun . . . it's just not worth it to us.

Personally, I think that Americans need to talk about their money more. I grew up in a house that money was not exactly a taboo subject . . . but I never understood how magically my Mom was able to produce money when a need arose. I think so many people could be helped, if only they had a friend that could swallow their pride and tell them, "Put down the trivolty and credit card."

I managed to survive college without any credit card debt, I actually didn't even have one! I knew myself better than to open an account lol. When Tony and I married however . . . I inherited his debt.

Since then we have gone on to create our own debt. Lol, marriage is grand. :)

Financially per month our payments equal 55% of our income, consisting of:

Mortgage

Credit card (1)

Student loans (4)

Car (1)

Honeymoon personal loan

CU personal loan

At this time I am so thrilled to report that one of our personal loans is paid off, in addition to the credit card!!!!
Next up the Honeymoon personal loan, which we are only 1 1/2 months away from accomplishing. After that Tony's student loans!

Fontaine's Lasagne

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Okay, so I'm not a cook, but I looove cooking and trying new things. I'm just not known for any one dish yet.

With that said, my husband eats everything that I make, and loves it. He'll rave about the simplest foods. However, I do not see this as a good thing, because he never requests that I make something. Given that everything is good, everything is fair game, and nothing is special. It's a sad world I tell you.

Oh and I'm not being a girl about this, by complaining and not doing anything about it. We have had a few conversations about the fact that I need his help and that I need to know what dishes he particularly would like!

Additionally, Tony doesn't eat leftovers, or atleast not in their original form and never back to back days.

I tell you all this to to bring relevance to the following recipe. Not only did my husband talk about it the entire time he was eating it, followed by a second portion that night, he also spoke of eating it for dinner the next day at work, which he actually followed through on. And the clincher, he was upset he didn't bring it for lunch 2 days afterwards, which would have made it 3 days in a fow of lasagne.

That is beyond huge my friends, I almost thought I had a new husband!

So without further delay, I give you the Fontaine Lasagne Recipe:

INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 pound Archer Farms mild Italian sausage
1 pound Archer Farms pork sausage
1 (26 ounce) jar Prego Ricotta Parmesan
1 (26 ounce) jar Prego Roasted Garlic & Herb
1 (8 ounce) Archer Farms Wheat oven ready lasagna noodles
1 (15 ounce) container ricotta cheese
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 1/2 cups shredded asiago cheese

DIRECTIONS

Crumble and cook sausage in large skillet over medium heat until browned, adding garlic. Remove from heat and stir in pasta sauce.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spread 1/3 sauce into bottom of coated 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Top with 3 noodles. Cover noodles with 1/3 of ricotta cheese, 1/3 mozzarella and 1/3 sauce. Repeat layers. Add last 3 noodles. Top with remaining sauce and the rest of the cheese.

Cover and bake 35 to 40 minutes or until noodles are tender.

The 53 Runner’s Commandments

Monday, May 26, 2008

I recently stumbled across this posting of the Runner's Commandments on Duffinger from the Health & Fitness board's blog.My favorite are as follows:
1. Don’t be a whiner. Nobody likes a whiner, not even other whiners.

2. Walking out the door is often the toughest part of a run.

3. Don’t make running your life. Make it part of your life.

10. All runners are equal, some are just faster than others.

14. When standing in starting lines, remind yourself how fortunate you are to be there.

15. Getting out of shape is much easier than getting into shape.

21. Approach running as if the quality of your life depended on it.

22. No matter how slow you run it is still faster than someone sitting on a couch.

30. There is nothing boring about running. There are, however, boring people who run.

33. Never throw away the instructions to your running watch.

34. Don’t try to outrun dogs.

35. Don’t trust runners who show up at races claiming to be tired, out of share, or not feeling well.

38. Never run alongside very old or very young racers. They get all of the applause.

46. Unless you make your living as a runner, don’t take running too seriously.

48. Never tell a runner that he or she doesn’t look good in tights.

49. Never confuse the Ben-Gay tube with the toothpaste tube.

50. Never apologize for doing the best you can.

52. Running is simple. Don’t make it complicated.

53. Running is always enjoyable. Sometimes, though, the joy doesn’t come until the end of the run.

And with that . . . Tony and I ran 8 miles today. Eight. EIGHT freakin miles. That's the most I've ever, ever, ever run in my life. I estimated that we could finish in 90 minutes. After the first mile though, I was dying. I initiated a run/walk approach. I hear it's all the rage with marathoners . . . and felt pretty stupid doing it for 8 miles, but after every mile we walked a minute, counted in my head . . . which means some minutes were verrrry long minutes.

I absolutely thought we sucked, and by we, I mean me. And as we rounded the bend to finish, I was trying to prepare myself for how bad our time was . . . all for no reason!!!

80:00 minutes, exactly. We ran 8 miles in an hour and 20 minutes, on our same 10:00 mile pace!

I'm already done!

All of my annuals are planted and I could not be more happy with them!

The above contains:

4 - Cleome or spider flower

5 - White rocket snapdragon

5 - White salvia

6 - White begonia

3 - Sweet potatoe vine

2 - Goldilocks

2 - Starsister purple picotee dwarf dahlias

2 - White salvia

2 - Kaliedoscope Coleus

2 - Sweet potatoe vine

1 - Lamium 2 - Ageratum

1 - King coleus

6 - White begonia

8 - Riveria lobelia mixed

2 - Lamium

Symmetrical.

I figured I should take some pictures before I cut them to make a nice arrangement!

* Sorry, for the most part this is for my benefit only . . . as a reference for next year!

F21 came calling.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Score! $13.80 a piece and I didn't convince myself that spending $75 was worth the free shipping.

Never again.

Yesterday we had a company paid lunch, as there were only 6 people in the office. The majority agreed on Baja Sol, which I had never been, so I didn't raise a fuss. Might as well try it out, right?

Never, ever again.

It was nastiness that you paid an arm and a leg for.

I kid you not, my tacos had 2 Tb of meat, I didn't get cheese or lettuce and they completely skimped on the rice!

Ewwww. Free lunch or not, I should have just had a lean cuisine.

Well, well, well.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

It appears the lovely Dr. Erin has tagged me.

1. Sometimes I need reminding, but marrying Tony was the single greatest action of my life. I honestly know I could not survive without him.

This was a week before we were engaged.


2. I should have an older brother, named Philip. He died at age 1 1/2 due to complications at his birth, when the doctor failed to be in the room. His loss developed my Mother's approach to parenting. She was sooo over protective and was dismissive of it, because she rationalized everything because of him. I think I've resented him for years, which is truly unfortunate.

3. I really wish that we lived in a communist country. I'm kidding, but wouldn't it be amazing? If human nature were not a factor, and we all just lived to be normal, so that our neighbors could be normal? Such an amazing, completely unrealistic concept.

4. I'm scared to be pregnant. We're thinking this fall to conceive . . . but as much fun as I'm having entertaining the thought and taking my prenatals. I'm literally scared to death. What if I I'm not cut out for it? What if what we've accomplished together so far isn't enough, as in we'll regret how early we had kids? On the flip side, what if we don't get pregnant? What will that do to our relationship? I've noticed that through blogs I've started to emphathize with infertiles, and it's starting to make me wonder if my body knows something I do not. Which doesn't make any sense at all.

5. This was me, less than a year ago. I need to continue to make and accomplish goals like I have so far this year. Running has done my body good. Last summer, I was training for 5K's, playing soccer once a week and eating healthy . . . which obviously was not enough for my body. I want to look like this again, I'm sort of inbetween right now.

6. I get on huge food kicks. Like I'll eat the same thing for dinner repetitively for a few weeks. One of the only things that I do not phase out of is hummus. I love, love, love hummus. I could eat it every day. Right now the kick is Archer Farms Thai Peanut Sauce.

7. I used to be quite the poker player. My ex boyfriend taught me. It was the best part of our relationship.

8. I actually do not have a tatoo. At the bachelorette party, the stars on my arm were stickers. However, Tony and I have spoken of getting tatoos of the others initials on the palm side of our ring finger. Tastefully.

I'm tagging Megan of Mrs.Keith, even though she's going to be busy moving, and my Gnome Girl.

Life is crazy fast.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

So . . . this weekend flew by! And I remember all of it, because I barely drank anything! Craziness.

Friday night was one of my high school bff's bachelorette parties. We went to Azia and then a few bars, but specifically not Zeno's or Gay 90's, which is sad, because that's exactly what the girl of the hour wanted to do. :(



Saturday was interesting. Months ago it was decided that Matt, Angeli and the other couple we are friends would all join us on a trip the first week of January. We initially spoke of cruise, and then when all of the weirdness happened between Angeli and I, it wasn't mentioned at all. Well, apparently it's still on and we all got together on Saturday to discuss travel options. The most important detail being that I may be pregnant and how terrible it would be to have to deal with ocean sickness . . . We had a good time, but Tony and I were made uncomfortable a few times when they brought up the dinners they've had together in the past few months - without us. I only say this, because in the past it was always us and them, but not the other couple . . . now it's the other couple and not us. Kind of sad.

After that I met up with some of my college friends at Nadia's apartment. Given that we were all running the 10K the next morning it was extremely laid back, and we ended up watching p.s I love you. No offense Cee, but I hated it. HATED. It's like they put the book in a blender and then added things. It is soooo different.

This morning we ran our 10K at the beautiful Minnehaha Park, gorgeous neighborhoods to run through, for the Run for the Ribbon for AIDS. We finished in 56:20. :) 6.2 miles = 9.33 min miles = under our goal time.

I then had a soccer game at 5:30 . . . and I then played another soccer game at 6:30. I'm on crack lol. But sadly, I'm still not seeing a change in my body. :(

19.5/mile week

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


This is obviously not a training blog, and I understand that unless you are involved in the training, not much can be gleaned from training updates . . . but I'm running more than I ever have in my life.

I can honestly say that I am slightly amazed at my body.

I'm running for an hour now.

An hour, straight of running.
Don't get me wrong, I've played 8 years of highly competitive soccer, worked out twice a day while toning up for the wedding, the longest being 1 1/2 hours on the eliptical . . . but I've never in my life just ran for an hour.
I've always thought runners were crazy psychotic and for once in my life, I'm hoping to become one of them. The mental and physical willpower being used is fascinating.

We're maintaining our 9:00-10:00 min miles.

This week I ran 6 yesterday, 3 tonight, 4.5 tomorrow and then a 10K race on Sunday, with kickball and two soccer leagues thrown in there as well.

My baby bro.

Saturday, May 10, 2008




Levi James is only 2 years younger than I, and actually less than, as his birthday is Oct 12, mine is Oct 20. He used to always get confused when we were younger as to why I was the oldest, when his birthday came first.

With how rampant divorce is in our society, I know we do not share an exclusive story, but when my parents divorced they were the first in social circle. They actually split our church, some siding with my Mom, other's with my Dad. None of our friends understood, it was still pretty much a rariety into middle school. So we clung to each other.

Levi and I were always good kids. Dedicated to school, athletics and God, we didn't cause my Mom too many headaches (not that she didn't create a few). I always thought that it was because of an inner drive, an ultimate sense of the bigger picture that allowed us to get through childhood and adolescence basically unscathed, but Levi has told me on a few occassions that it was me. It was my leadership. He didn't want to disappoint me, and that if I had accomplished a goal, he could stand down the challenge in his path as well. I still remember the first time he informed me, I couldn't believe it. It filled me with so much happiness to know, he looked up to me to such a degree.

He's graduating on Sunday and I couldn't be more proud. I can't wait until he's back. Our relationship has changed throughout my years of college, followed by his own, but it's also strengthened.

Bonfires commence!

Tony and welcomed our backyard to our friends last night, for the first bonfire of the season! It was so great to have everyone over again.

I, as customary, finished a bottle of Vihno Verde from Trader Joes. Super tasty . . . but I didn't feel it. At all.

Until all of a sudden I saw a woman in our backyard, the unfenced part. All conversations ceased immediately, except for Allie who did not let up on barking. It was quickly determined that she was either high as a kite or mentally handicapped. She was trying to find her dog, who did surface, but ran away again as soon as Allie starting barking. She was wearing a silk sleep set and told us that she didn't know where her house was. We called the cops, who asked that we stand at the end of driveway so that we could motion over the patrol car . . . while our friends spoke with Jennifer. Now Mounds View is 4 sq miles, and yet it took 15 minutes for the cop to show. During which time Jennifer left the gated part of back yard, citing that her Dad told her to not talk to strangers. Tony and I felt a little foolish that she wasn't there, Tony walked with the officer for a few mintues before he left. We really felt like he thought we were making it up, but a few minutes later received a phone call from the dispatcher that she had been seen at another bonfire down the street. The people there knew her and saw her go back to her house.

So, that was interesting.

What a weekend . . .

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Friday night Tony and I did absolutely nothing, other than get into disagreements. We had tentative plans with two sets of friends and bailed on both, for their sake. We worked through it though and just chilled at home.

Saturday morning our plan was to be out the door at either 9 or 10 to kick out our 6 mile run . . . Whoa boy, that was rough! It was a bit chilly, in addition to being very breezy! So . . . we got out the door at 11:30 lol. We did it though, still going decently strong! Six miles was our longest run yet, but we finished it in 57:30.

At 1:30 we had our bags packed and struck out to Mora. I have this problem with being suckered into making plans with people that either I don't want to do or that I'm incredibly unsure how it will result. This weekend was one such event. While working at Acapulco, and frequenting the restaurant for 5 years, I've gotten to be friends with a girl that I graduated with. Well, when she asked to go to the John Michael Montgomery concert, and asked, and asked, I finally said yes. I also have a problem with just saying "No," even if we don't have plans. I always feel like if we don't have anything then just saying "No," isn't efficient and is rude. I really need to get over this . . .

So off to Mora we went, with absolutely no expectations. Parties involved, included Jolyn + Adam (boyfriend), Jolyn's parents, Adam's parents, James + Amber (Adam's friends), John + Kelsey (Jolyn's brother & girlfriend). Within 5 minutes of meeting Jolyn's Dad and Tony and I knew we were going to be in for some tense moments . . .

Fast forward to the concert. Tony and I both like country, but are not huge fans of JMM. The guy does have almost 20 #1 hits though, so we figured it'd be a pretty good show. We just didn't realize it would be a comedy.

He was TRASHED.

Completely bombed out of his mind. JMM entered the stage, almost fell over when he went for his guitar, missed and had to grab for it again. He was "giving away" picks, because they kept flying out of his hand. He was literally rocking from heel to toe, with one hand constantly on the microphone, because it was the only thing keeping him up. It was painful to listen to Life's a Dance, and when I say painful, I do not have a musical ear. It was terrible. The ultimate kicker however was that when it came to Sold one of his most well known songs, he went to the audience through the fast chorus. HE COULDN'T SING IT!

By song #4 we were out of the concert and joined the crowd in the lobby demanding a refund. We were promised tickets to any upcoming show, hotel accomodations and fuel reimbursment. I'll believe it when I see it, but for now, they we're telling some good stories.

From there it only got worse. We went back to Jolyn's parents house, which is a converted cabin and started to play some drinking games. Jolyn's brother was being an ass, so whenever someone had a drink to "give" they blessed John with it. Big mistake. I've never in my life known a 28 year old to be such a baby. The night ended with his girlfriend in tears outside, Jolyn comforting her and James denying John a fight, be it verbal about karma or just an all out brawl. John called his girlfriend a "replaceable whore." Tony and I honestly debated leaving at 1:30 am. John was so unstable I worried that there may be a weapon available to him. It was bad.

After that, there's not much to report. We're back at home. But wow, what a 24 hour period.

Which do you guys prefer?

Thursday, May 1, 2008




So the first two pictures are of the "nook" bottle, the 3rd is of the camlebak bottle.
We're having some issues with give-aways for our upcoming golf outting . . . as one of the principals really has his heart set on a Nalgene-esque bottle which of course are no longer "safe." These two are our BPA free options.
Do you think the Camlebak brand is well known? Specifically as being BPA free?
 

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