Get In My Belly: Easy Peasy Peanut Butter Pie

Say that six times fast because that will be way more difficult to do than making this pie.  Oh and it’s obviously stolen from allrecipes.com.  Remember when I promised you I’d send along the recipe?  Turns out, I’m not a chump after all because here it is.

Ingredients:

  • 1 8 oz package cream cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 (16 ounce) package Cool Whip, thawed
  • 2 (9 inch) prepared graham cracker  crusts or…live dangerously and try Oreo.  Yes.

Instructions:

  1. Beat together cream cheese and sugar and taste for quality control.
  2. Then, add in peanut butter and milk. Beat until smooth.  Again, taste.
  3. Fold in whipped topping.  Don’t be an idiot and forget to thaw it first.
  4. Spoon into your mouth and then into two 9 inch graham cracker pie shells.
  5. Cover with the plastic top that came with the prepackaged shells and FREEZE UNTIL FIRM.

I did not freeze until firm.  My running buddy stopped over to share Easter dinner with us and I sent her home the sloppy leftovers.  They were Scary.  You don’t have to live with this shame.  Freeze until firm, you won’t regret it!

 

Mad Money

Money has been on my (mad) mind a bit…you know, ever since I upped and quit my job last summer.  Sure, I got a new job (with a handsome boss) but the pay is lots less than what I was making before.  And in truth, money has always been something I’ve thought hard about, even as a little girl.  I can get all ninja psychoanalyst and tell you the root of why I feel the way I do, but let’s not waste your time.  Since you’re already here though, I thought I’d start a running conversation about some ways I am trying to cut spending, save greenbacks, but still live life in between.

Today’s topic: DEBT. Eew.

Just a month or two back, we became completely debt free and that got me thinking about the journey we took to get here.  Fresh out of college, I bought a car and paid it off just before purchasing my house in 2004.  Then, shortly after getting married, Hubs and I paid off his car loan.  As you know, last summer we sold our house.  Thanks to  having renters early in my mortgage and throwing in a few extra payments, we were able to come out just *barely* above zero, even though we sold it for 20k less than I had bought it for.  But, above zero nonetheless.  My final debt was a small chunk of school loans that was so piddly, we decided to pull the trigger and pay it off a few months back, leaving us completely debt free.  Wow, it feels niiiice.

A few contributing factors to this new found debt freedom:

*We both bought used cars and they have been low cost to maintain (thankfully).  I bought my car in 2002 for 11k and was still able to sell it, 9 years later, for 4k!  It was a great little car and I’m hoping Hub’s car writes us a similar story.

*I bought a cheap house and rented it out.  Sure, I wanted a yard so I could plant a garden.  Sure, I wanted a few extra bedrooms so I could sleep overnight guests.  Sure, sharing your space with renters isn’t always a dream come true.  And SURE, I yearned to host a bridal or baby shower!!  My place was just was too small to do so.

*We both went to cheap colleges.  In fact, I spent my first two years at a community college, living at home (thanks, Mom) and sharing a car with my twin brother (a truly awful experience).  It was far from glamorous and you’d better believe I was incredibly jealous of all of my friends that went away to college and got to live in the dorms.  I felt like a complete lame wad.  But, it saved me a ton of money.  Then, I transferred to the University of Minnesota and thanks to some healthy internships and a few scholarships, I walked away with 8k in debt after 3 years, and even got to live on campus!  But, let’s be honest, my college experience was fairly low on the “fun” spectrum.  I was dead broke.  I had stupid clothes, couldn’t go out to eat and didn’t do much of anything, unless it was free.  Hubs, on the other hand, got a full ride.  I know.  So, when we got married, he didn’t come with any school debt – only good looks!  Go me!

Anyway.  My point is, being debt free feels good and has given us some leverage to take new risks but it came with sacrifices.  It came with some serious lack of fun.  And one day, we can only hope to afford a house again and we’ll be back on the debt wagon.  Until then, we’ll have to endure the annoyances of apartment living.  But for now though, we are trying to enjoy the ride and I’m trying to look back on each of these sacrifices with fondness, because it was part of the journey.

Does anyone want to talk about debt and what they are doing to pay theirs down?  Any sacrifices along the way?  Any mistakes, bumps in the road?  Anyone want me to just shut my trap already?

Flashback Friday

So there’s this HUGE 10k race hosted in Boulder each year called the Bolder Boulder.  It’s always on Memorial Day and it’s insane.  It has such a large field of runners participating that the start waves go ALL morning long!  They actually set up a temporary store at the mall so you can pop in and register for the race.  Hubs and I decided to swing by on a whim during an afternoon bike ride a few weeks back, just to check out the tshirts.  Little did we know, we’d get lured into jumping on a treadmill and running TWO miles so we could qualify to get into a faster heat, all for free if we wore the shoes they provided!

Excuse my hair.  Hadn’t washed it in days because I’m disgustingly lazy.

It was not the most comfortable run donning jean shorts and a regular bra, but I’m so excited for all of hulabaloo this weekend!  It should be a good time, assuming we survive the 10k first.  It also reminded me of my last race in MN, also on Memorial Day, where I shuffled through a half marathon.  I can’t believe that was a year ago already!

Doing any running around this weekend?

Badabirthday!

It was my birthday a few weeks back (ok, like last month) and I just *know* you are super anxious to hear all about it.  Let’s waste no time, shall we?

I started off my day like I do most mornings, with a run and a friend.

To my surprise she gifted me a pair of running socks and so I clutched her with gratitude.

Hubs was waiting for me when I got home, for we had a breakfast date at the local bagel shop!  It was such a pretty morning that we hopped on our bikes and headed over.  That’s when I receieved my second present of the day and you’ll never guess what I got…

A lululemon tank top that I picked out myself the week before my birthday!  Surprise!

Even Sephora jumped in to celebrate my birth by sending over a sample of two high-end lip balms.  You didn’t think those two words could go together but a full size version of this would cost you $25!

Hubs thinks it was because they do that for all of their overspending clients but I know in my heart it’s because my birthday meant something to them.

I did have to log in some work time after breakfast, but then Hubs sweetly grilled up some delicious food to eat outside in the sunshine.

But my birthday fun didn’t end there.  That afternoon, I headed to practice.  They sang me happy birthday (all 150 of them!) and then I got to jump in and run a leg of a relay workout with my distance kids.

Holy hell I felt my age.  That HURT.

As if I couldn’t be any more spoiled, Hubs took me out to dinner that evening.  We got Pho at a new favorite restaurant of ours!

And, MORE presents!!  

We capped off the night with cupcakes and an early bedtime.  Getting old is exhausting!

Before I end, I must make mention of a few more birthday highlights.

No matter how old I get, receiving birthday love in the mail is THE BEST.  It just can’t be beat.

During Mamap’s last visit, she bought me a pair of Smart Wool socks as an early birthday gift and I’ve already worn them snowboarding and to my track meets that go late into the evening.  They are so perfect!

I also got a homemade birthday delight from a dear friend.  I absolutely luuuurve it.

And finally, my MIL got me TOMS!

For those of you that don’t know, “with every purchase, TOMS will give a pair of new shoes to a child in need.  One for One.”  So, amidst all of my birthday selfishness, some good did come of it!

Am I spoiled or what?

(Check out what turning 32 looked like for me last year)

Flashback Friday

A lot of my track kids made it to the State Meet this season; a success I am attributing to their incredible coaching staff, *cough* *cough*…

And today is Day 2 of the 3 day event.  I couldn’t be more proud, impressed, inspired by all of the student athletes – a few of their performances yesterday brought me to tears.  Now, I never competed at the State level myself so it’s a real treat to be here, soaking it all in.  I can’t help but be reminded of my high school track days, where I was quite the track star, winning numerous medals in the worst hair and scary-eyebrows events.  I was also fairly annoying, which left quite the legacy.  Here is a picture of my girls track team from 1994.  Can you spot me, Walmart shoes and all?

I’m pretty sure the hair is a dead (end) giveaway, but just in case it’s early and you haven’t had your coffee yet, I’ll give you a little help.

Almost twenty years later, another track picture and still rockin’ bad hair.  Thankfully, I’m in the waaay back.

Sorry for the crappy resolution, I had to take a picture of the picture because my printer/scanner combo is out of ink and therefore refuses to scan anything.  Isn’t that the stupidest thing you’ve ever heard?

Happy Friday, friends!

Raves & Faves: APRIL

Here is my Top 7 (seven? really?) list of April loves. In other words, another chance to List thing-ys. *claps*

1.  Remember this post?  Well, I finally got my hair highlighted by a professional and 50 foils later, I’m a brand new person!  Go ahead and do the slow clap if you want to.

2.  Easter!  The Easter Bunny came!  He didn’t even fill Hubs basket to the brim, wth?

To celebrate, Hubs made a ham, sweet potatoes, deviled eggs, and green bean casserole while I napped.  I did rouse with enough time to make a sloppy five-minute peanut butter pie.  I’ll be sharing the recipe soon!

3.  In addition to our allotted Easter Bunny magic money, Hubs dipped into his *own* spending budget and bought me a little something extra special- this Ironman watch!  It’s perfect to take splits with at my track meets and I luuurve the cream and bronze-y gold color.

4.  My MIL sent us an Easter package and inside was an entire kit to grow our three favorite herbs from seeds.  She even sent along the dirt!  We got to planting and our cilantro, basil and chives are all doing well!  The lush greenery is also a major happiness booster.

5.  Maybelline Color Tattoo.

A few months ago, I picked up the Bad To The Bronze from Target after reading some rave reviews from a handful of beauty bloggers.  It’s a lovely build-able metallicy bronze cream shadow that doesn’t melt off your face, like cream eye shadows normally do.  I’ve been wearing it every single day.  I like to smear it on as a base and then layer other cheap drugstore shadows over it.  It really brings out their colors and gives them depth.  It’s been so fun to play with, I’m slightly concerned I’m a 16 year old girl trapped in a 33 year old body…

6.  I know I sound like a broken record, but I am loving my time with my track kids.  The weather has been gorgeous and I’ll feel so empty when the season ends and I don’t get to see these smiling faces on a daily basis:

7.  MY BIRTHDAY.  The day was so overwhelmingly exciting that I might need a whole year to recover from it.  It was awesome and plain tuckered me out.

April’s Easter and birthday calories have been digested, which let way for a beautiful MAY.  I already know it’s gorg because we are half way through it (doh!).

Read all about April 2011’s Raves and Faves here.

Flashback Friday

I know I’ve taken a small hiatus from the blog, but trust that I am still alive and consuming more sugar than I ought to, so don’t worry!

 

You weren’t even worried?

 

It’s Mother’s Day weekend and it’s only right to give some blog love to the very lady that sprouted my handsome brother and I from her uterus:  MamaP!

Love you so very very much, MamaP.  Happy Mother’s Day and thank you for all that you’ve done for me!

Of course, I need to give a shout out to my other mother of sorts:  My MIL Betsy:

Not only did she do an outstanding job of raising Hubs to be the most caring and kind man, but she churned out three more kids just as wonderful!  She is a stellar Mom and I am over the moon thankful for her.  Do your Moms right this weekend and tell them that you love them!

Photo credit: My sweet, Emily Griffith

Flashback Friday

Late!  Again!  So sorry, my days are zooming by because I spend my days at the track doing this instead of blogging:

Between taking splits and pictures and reapplying sunscreen and cheering until my voice disappears, I’m finding it hard to squeeze in time for the blog!  I have a track meet this afternoon and it’s going to be 90 degrees…Oy!  Please wish my kids happy race thoughts!

I hope you have a racy weekend yourself :)

Growing things

At our old house, I didn’t have a place to plant so I just potted a bazillion things and crammed them onto our tiny patio.  It was something I really looked forward to doing every year but I always yearned for a real garden…

Luckily for us, our new apartment has these cute little plots on the property that the residents can plant in!

It’s been a beautiful spring, so last weekend Hubs and I decided it was time to give growing things a try.  We went to Home Depot with a plan and $70 later, we got to planting our very own garden!

We planted four different kinds of tomatoes (YUM), an eggplant, two pepper plants, marigolds and stock (purple flowers for our patio).  We also got some herbs from my MIL in our Easter basket, so we planted some of them in the garden and started the rest in pots at our house (those have already sprouted – yaaaay).  We picked the middle of the plot because one side looked like it was “reserved” with old rusty tomato cages and the other was so over-grown with mint that it would have taken centuries to weed it out with our wimpy garden tools.

After I carefully planted the marigolds evenly spaced around the perimeter of our veggies, Hubs decided to go ahead and plant the last two as a pair.  See, in the above right hand corner?  I may have to dig them up and move them for symmetry’s sake.

Anyway, we are giddy, seriously.  Growing things just feels good.  We’ve noticed a little visitor has been nibbling our eggplant this week (nooooo!) but I am hoping the rest survive!  Any of you planted a garden this year or just grabbed some flowers to pretty up your outside?

Spring Cleaning: The Pantry!

I started small with my Spring Cleaning efforts, but had secret high hopes I’d actually continue organizing bit by bit, making this some sort of series.  And about a week ago and a half ago, I tackled the pantry!

Actually, *two* pantries.  They are side by side.  I’m so sorry if this bores you.  You’ve been warned.

Although outdated, one of Emily Griffith’s fancy calendars hangs on the door.  Awww.

Anyway, back to the reorg.  This thing was a mess.

I had crammed those pantries full when we first moved in and after living with it awhile, we realized it was NOT working for us.  The tupperware was driving us mad, the kitchen linens were stacked in a precariously leaning tower, the extra dishes (that we use often) were waaaaaay too high, there was a weird assortment of food/baking items on one shelf and lastly, every time we opened the damn thing, a water bottle would come flying out like an escaped bat.

You know the story.  I pulled *everything* out and wiped down the shelves.

(Isn’t my hair abhorrent??)

Then I snooped around our house to find *free* storage to fix my problems.  I found a plastic shoe box to corral the tupperware lids and an old basket to house the linens.  It’s not perfect but it was FREE.

Now the dishes are much easier to grab and put away, the not-as-often-used items are on the top shelf (admittedly the waffle maker is used too often so I’m hoping the high shelf will act as some sort of deterrent) and I decided to put the food stuff in the other pantry.  Speaking of the other pantry…

For those of you wondering, the bottom laundry basket houses all of Hubs coffee roasted supplies.  This pantry may not be the worst but it was slyly out of control.  The napkins were tucked way too deep in the corners, the wire bin with our canned goods never made sense and our tea bin was chaos.

Random: both wire bins I found dumpster diving last August – see?

Like before, I pulled everything out and wiped down the shelves.  How do those things get so gross so fast?

I organized our tea bin and stacked the overflow on the side.  Normally we don’t have this much, but it was recently on sale, so Hubs stocked us up!

I used the other wire rack for small baking supplies, so I can just grab the whole thing out when I get the yearning for baked goods (which, btw, is continuously).

Our alphabetized spice rack.  *drool*

Certainly I wish I could buy all new jars – the cute ones from Ikea – so they’d all be uniform – but remember, this mission was intended to be free.  Pretty-fying it will have to come another time, maybe when I have a house again someday?  I am in love with all of the beautiful painted and wallpapered pantries on Pinterest!  One day.  Maybe.

Picture courtesy of House of Smiths.

Weird coincidence.  Sherry, over at Young House Love (one of my favorite blogs) declared a Spring Cleaning boot camp this week and she’s tackling an organizing project PER DAY. That encouraged me to at least get this post up (since I did this almost two weeks ago) and hopefully be inspired by her awesomeness to keep on keepin’ on with my spring cleaning efforts.

Here’s my big scary list:

  • our outside storage closet
  • clothes storage – also, swap out winter for summer wear
  • Old CDs that I need to rip the music off & put in one place
  • digital photos (TERRIFYING AMOUNT OF WORK)
  • digital files (gah!)
  • actual photos that I’d like to scan in as digital files (could take decades)
  • craft bin (again!) because I have stuff everywhere
  • our car! *shudder*
  • file paperwork (the worst, even worse than yeast infections)
  • laundry area
  • under the sink drama in both bathrooms
  • the office.
  • my god, there’s so much more.  I’m tired already.

Anyone else caught the Spring Cleaning Bug?  Or did you fall into the Pinterest rabbit hole, never to be seen or heard from again?