Sunday, March 27, 2011

how do you like your coffee?

Last weekend, we headed to Jackson, MS for Kyle's grandmothers (Mimi) 87th and Great-aunt Eloise's (81st) birthday party. I've talked before about his Mimi. I could write so much about her. Mimi and Aunt Eloise live in a duplex with a wall separating them.

Oh where do I begin with the Mimi stories? We arrived Friday night to Sutter Home wine and chips & dip. This is a staple at Mimi's place ever since I've known her. We've gotten her wine  for 2 years for a  Christmas present. What do you get an 87 year old?! So we're eating chips & dip, having a good time talking and Mimi made a face, like she just smelled a skunk. Kyle said "Mimi, why the gross face?" She said "I don't like the way wine tastes, I just like the way it makes me feel." We about passed out! She is a hoot!  I tell you, she still has her sense of humor!

Saturday morning, Kyle and I got up for a run. She had us cereal and coffee. We sat down for breakfast. She did not have creamer so Kyle and I dumped sugar in our coffee. I did not put as much as Kyle did in mine. Kyle took a sip and made a face like he just smelled a skunk. Then Kyle said "Angie, try this, it's horrible." So I took a sip and I said "Kyle, this tastes like salt!" So I put my finger in the sugar bowl only to confirm that she had salt in there. Mimi claimed she had no idea how the salt got in the sugar bowl!

Saturday night was the gathering. We went to Kyle's cousins house (Matt and his wife Laura). I loved the way it was decorated! I need her up here to help me! And Laura is expecting a baby in June. The nursery is SO CUTE!

Mimi's grandkiddos plus grandchildren-in-law (did I just make that word up?)
Meredith, Laura, Matt, me, Kyle, Leah

 The Southern Belles ready for the fun! Mimi and Aunt Eloise

Mimi told me that I needed to write my stories down because when I'm 87, it will help me remember them. THAT is what my Meme told me too! So I did. I have a travel journal that I started back in 2001. Now I have this blog and it has taken over as my online journal. Old people are so smart and wise. I could sit for hours and talk to them, take advice from them. So I am. Thanks to both of my Meme's/Mimi's, I hope I'll remember all these times so I can share my youngsters!  

food for finance: it really happened

(healthy) food for finance is a column where we talk about how fitness and finance correlate with each other. join us on our journey to be both physically and financially fit.

"Wealth consists not in having great possessions but in having few wants." Epicurus

Last month, I talked about how we completed baby step 2. Currently, the only debt we have is our home. We had fun checking off our debts from our debt snowball. FUN? How is it fun to pay bills? When you see it on paper, you see results! Like weighing in, we were losing debt!  We made cuts. We were putting all of our extra money towards our debt. It was exciting to see where we were headed and how much freedom we'll have once we are totally debt free! Finally, we only had one debt left....the dreaded student loan.  We were super weird and paid the remaining balance off in 5 months! It did not hit me until I got this letter in the mail a couple of weeks ago.

All of our hard work paid off! It did not hit me until I saw it on paper because we rolled right along with the plan and started baby step 3. Ah, such a relief! We told our financial peace class about our success and since then, others have completed baby steps. It is nice to go through this process with others so I can say "oh yeah, I know exactly how you feel!"

Friday, March 18, 2011

the madness of march

Kyle is STILL celebrating his birthday! His parents gave him a ticket to the SEC men's basketball tournament in Atlanta. Well, his parents got the tickets for them and his mom did not want to go. So she gave her ticket to Kyle for his birthday. A perfect gift for him.

Note-I am blogging about a trip I didn't even go on! This is crazy to me. Anyway, last Thursday Kyle flew to Atlanta and met his dad and his dad's college roommate Tony. They stayed with Tony as he lives in Roswell (outside of Atlanta.) or as we like to call it "the Mancuso bed and breakfast." They watched basketball for 4 days straight. Since we have no cable, this was a perfect way for Kyle to watch all the games! HA!

When Kyle goes on guy trips, he never takes any pictures (very normal for guys to do.) He did take my our camera to St. Louis 2 years ago and the only pictures that were taken was of the baseball field. NOT ONE PICTURE of the guys! Come on boys! You have to capture the memories! Well, Kyle forgot our camera. So I told him to take a picture with his camera phone of the 3 of them. I didn't think he'd really do it.

I got a text while in church on Sunday and this picture was in my inbox! I was proud of him! This was taken right before the SEC championship game.

I feel like a reporter for a paper. Kyle and I are in the car now so I am going to ask him about his trip.
(Angie) Q: "Tell me about your trip?"
(Kyle) A: "I watched a lot of basketball, which I enjoyed. We had great weather. Ate some great food. The best deal of the weekend was when I bought a $6 cup and got free refills all weekend."

(Angie) Q: "How did you get around Atlanta?"
(Kyle) A: "The MARTA. I wish Memphis had a system like that to get around."

(Angie) Q: "What was the best part about your trip?"
(Kyle) A: "I got to hang out with my dad and Tony and spend the day with my dad on his birthday. Oh and watch a lot of basketball."

(Angie) Q: "How many games did you see?"
(Kyle) A: "11 and it was a lot of fun. I would go every year if I could."

So there is Kyle's trip via Angie reporting. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

food for finance: cutting the cable cord

(healthy) food for finance is a column where we talk about how fitness and finance correlate with each other. join us on our journey to be both physically and financially fit.

"Money talks, but all it ever says is good-bye" -American Proverb

If you know my husband, you know he is an avid sports fan. By sports fan I mean a huge Mississippi State fan. His grandfather attended MSU. His parents met and attended at MSU. He attended MSU. His sister went there and many more of his family graduated from State. It is in his blood. In turn, I joined a cult! My in-laws have season tickets to the big 3 sporting events: football, basketball, and baseball. Kyle grew up playing sports. It is a part of his life. So what happens if he can't make a game?  He watches it on TV. Sometimes the games are on local stations but sometimes they're not. Kyle even watches his rival school, Ole Miss, play. Why, you ask? Because he likes to see them lose. He would watch all games if he could. Not just MSU games. Don't get me wrong, Kyle does other things than watch ESPN! He is married you know! He does a good job at balancing it out.

However, Kyle did the unthinkable. He cut the umbilical cable cord. WHAT?! WHY?! HOW?! We talked about it for a year before it happened. We had DirecTV in our bedroom and the living room. In March of 2010 we cut off the cable in our bedroom. That saved us $8 a month and we got the "free tv" converter box. We didn't really watch TV in our room so that was easy. We were still paying over $80 a month for cable just in our living room (we had a HD/DVR box.) Kyle called and got it lowered to $60 a month for 6 months. Well, that ended in August. Then he called to cancel and they gave him 2 months free. So we rode that out until October.
Kyle finally said he was ready to cut if off.  He said up until now, he felt like he deserved cable. Then he said what he deserved was to pay off our debts. Now I'm not saying that if you have debts and cable that I think you're horrible for enjoying cable. I am saying that Kyle realized that we could take that $88 we were spending towards cable and attack our debt snow ball faster. We've decided to live under our means to get ahead. We cut a lot of things that I will talk about later. We still have fun. Especially now since we're debt free but the house!

So, since October of 2010, we have had no cable. And we're making it just fine. We even got us a HD antenna. Whoo Hoo! I laugh at Kyle because he didn't cut off the cable. He had it suspended for 6 months. In April we are supposed to tell them if we want it back on or not. Wonder want we'll do!?!

We did splurge and get Netflix. We honestly don't watch that much TV anymore. I do miss it but we are so busy and we get so much more done! It is amazing how much time was spent watching TV. I really miss my DVR! This is just a temp thing until we complete baby step 3.

We are taking financial peace university at our church. The teacher asked the class what can you do to cut your bills and we told our cable story. All the men in the class looked at us like we were crazy! Who would ever do that?! We did! We are so on board with this plan it is not even funny! I feel like I'm training for a marathon and we are only about 10 miles in.  I like to think of it this way; If you're trying to lose weight, you want to exercise and eat better. This will help you to lose calories and weight. I am a chocolate peanut butter fan. I love the Reese's cups that come out during Easter time. I'm so bad that I will buy them up, freeze them, and eat them all year. Well, I'm giving up my Reese's so that I can lose some pounds. We've got this!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

breakfast bunko birthday bash

Kyle is now 29. I keep waiting for him to catch up with me! Come on Kyle! We celebrated Kyle's birthday for 2 weeks.  The weekend of this birthday, we went to Starkville so Kyle could see the opening weekend of Bulldog baseball and to a basketball game. I went with my sister-in-law and mother-in-law wedding dress shopping. Yup, Kyle's sister is engaged! Woo Hoo! Kyle's parents took us out to eat for his birthday at Restaurant Tyler. I had the Vardaman sweet potato gnocchi and OH MY GOODNESS it was good! I have no idea what the others had as I was too focused on my gnocchi.

Last weekend, we had yet another party.  Well, my friends do a pot luck dinner club once a month and play games. Kyle and Ray have the same birthday. Kristy decided she'd host the February dinner and cook all the food as well (so I guess it was not a pot luck)!

The boys wanted to do breakfast for dinner aka brenner. At our January pot luck, we talked about bunko and a lot of us had never played, including Kyle and Ray. Since they are good sports, the were all for it! Thus, breakfast bunko birthday bash was born. This might have to be a yearly theme!

from left to right: biscuits, cream cheese sausage dish, egg and sausage dish, chocolate gravy.
If you are not friends with Kristy Krotzer, then you need to be. She is an amazing cook! And she is funny too!

Monkey bread served as the birhday cake.

She went overboard!

Since we were eating brenner, we wore our PJs! Kyle was very excited about it all.

After we ate, it was time to play bunko. Out of the 8 of us that attended, only 3 knew how to play. It was my 1st time to play too! Kyle always wondered about the game his mom played while he was growing up. Now he knows!

Kristy got BIG bunko! 

It was a pretty easy game to learn. No wonder women play it. Shelly said it best...we (as women) talk a lot and bunko is easy for us to talk and play a game.

Ray looks scared, and he should've been! Bunko is a loud game, espically with the group we were with!

Thanks Kristy for hosting AND cooking all the food! Can't wait till next month!

 Last but not least was Kyle's annual birthday meal with my parents. Kyle requests the same meal from my mom.  And of course, she cooks it for him every year.
Fried chicken, mashed potatoes with gravy, fried okra, cream corn, and peas.

Kyle had been waiting for this meal all week!
The okra was extra special.  It was what we grew from our garden last year. We realized that okra is super easy to grow.

Kyle says this is the best red velvet cake in the universe. He means it. Every year he looks forward to it.
We ran a lot the week we ingested the heart attack on a plate. And we should probably run more too! I asked Kyle how many calories were in our meals. Not a good question to ask! Good thing we do this in moderation!