Monday, November 30, 2009

Great Gift for Brides and the Holidays - Back to Basics Egg & Muffin Toaster

The Back to Basics Egg and Muffin Toaster was one of the first items I chose on my registry. This product is fun, easy and no mess. Hubby and I find ourselves having a balanced, healthier breakfast more often, and it's GREAT for a quick, healthy snack in front of the TV. Creative types will like the meat warming tray can also be used to heat a veggie patty, a tomato slice, or other yummy things.

Monday, October 5, 2009

"Is My Fiance Abusive?"

This is a vlog to a question from a VERY dear reader. I give her insight from my own experience with an abusive relationship, plus excerpts from a book that really helped me turn my life around, Verbally Abusive Relationships by Patricia Evans.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

My Cat Died

I had to put down one of my cats

yesterday. I will write a post or do a video on her. I'm so upset. I had pets as a chld, but this was MY first pet. Rest in peace, my sweet little pretty kitty girl, Maya.

Friday, August 28, 2009

First Time Home Buyer's Blues

Was our offer really that 'insulting?' Or, are the owners unrealistic? We were pretty frustrated. We're over it now and ready to continue our search. A bit nervous that we may not close on something in enough time to take advantange of the $8k incentive.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Budget Bride Has Been Tagged

I was tagged on my YouTube Channel by Ladypradege with "21 Questions." It was fun to to and thought I'd post it on here as well.

here is Lady's Vid:

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Our First Home?

We took a second look at the house last night. We brought my mom the first time a few weeks ago when we found this among six we were viewing that evening. This time we brought my in-laws who just returned from vacation. They liked it, too. They agreed that it seems like this was a solid, well-built and well-cared for home. We met the owners for the second time as well. They've lived there for over 40 years and now wish to permanently retire to their second home in Florida. The husband is a retired firemen, which further boosted our hopes that this is a well-constructed, well-wired, safe home

We like its character, too. Since it was built in 1930, it has lots of charm with old wood and leaded glass windows. There will have to be several cosmetic updates including the destruction of outdated wallpaper and carpet. These will be fun (hopefully) weekend projects in the future. I wish the kitchen was a little bigger, but it's definitely 'doable, and better than my 5x5 'kitchen closet' I cook in now at the apartment.

Our realtor is taking her kid to college this week, so we're meeting next week to write an offer. I'm getting pretty excited, and have alredy began my 'mental move-in.'

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Our Wedding Photos

Finally, the professional photos arrived in the mail. We saved money and took advantage of a special deal our photographer and the website he publishes on extended to us. Our photographer (who is a friend of my brother so we got a good deal, more on that in a future post on budget wedding photography) publishes to a website that offered all the wedding guests a free duplicate offer for the first 10 days and the last 10 days of the 90 that they would be available to order online.

We would have gotten them earlier if our first order went through. For some reason, whether it was my fault and I didn't click on something, or an oversight on their part, our first order in the first 10 days did not go through. We realized this a week later, as I was stalking the mailman and received an email from the site saying that our cart was still full. We checked the card we used and (thank goodness) it was not charged and the site still had my order unprocessed. We called the company and told us there were two ways we could still get free duplicates:

1) Ask the photographer to re-submit the photos under a 'new event;' therefore, our order would qualify under the first 10 day offer.

2) Wait until days 80 - 90 to order them. We'd get an email from them reminding us of the last minute deal and we can submit our shopping cart then.

We contacted our photographer, and of course we was more than willing to set up another site for us. However, after discussing it with my husband, we thought that waiting a couple of months or so for them would cut on an immediate expense when we came back from the honeymoon (the photographer didn't publish them until we came back and approved them).

We told him that he didn't need to bother to set up a new site. We'd wait until the end of the 90 days to place our order. With that extra time, we were able to fit it into our budget and save for it for a couple of months. Yes, we were getting a little impatient and anxious at the end to get them, but happy that we were able to get a few things paid off on our card before we added something else to it.

Pork Fajita Stew

So easy in the slow cooker, which I swear is a gift from Heaven.

WildTree products used:

Wicked Good Slow Cooker Sauce
Fajita Seasoning Blend
Cilantro Lime Rice Seasoning

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Great Dinner Invention with Leftovers - Cheesy Casserole

With some leftovers and Wildtree, I was able to 'wing it' and made a fantastic Au Gratin Potato Casserole with Mushrooms, Ham, and Turkey.

I used:

3 leftover baked potatoes with skins peeled off, sliced, diced, or 'chunked'
two cups skim milk
one cup water
two tablespoons WildTree Butter Flavored Grapeseed Oil, 1/4 cup of WildTree Alfredo Extraordinare.
1/4 (approx.) of grated Parmesan cheese (I just finished off what was left in the container)
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 small (4oz.) can of mushrooms
2 slices of lunchmeat turkey,
3 slices of lunchmeat ham sliced into squares or torn into pieces

Combine all ingredients in casserole dish, cover and place in preheated over at 400F for 40 minutes. Remove lid and keep in oven for 5-10 minutes until the top is brown enough to your liking.

Easy Coleslaw: Low Carb, Low Cal, Low Fat

Coleslaw is even healthier if you make it with low fat mayo. Quick, crunchy and perfect for summer.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Smooth Away - Great for the Honeymoon

Forget trying to get your razor checked at the airport - this products is great on the legs when you travel. Although, I do not recommend it for the bikini area or face.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Our House Hunt

We may have finally found our future home! The search was not without frustration, and to my surprise was not as an enjoyable experience as I hoped it would be. We got so tired of looking at 'dumps' in our price range and beautiful places that were either beyond our budget or a reasonable commute to my husband's job. It was stressing me out BIG TIME - worrying that we won't find something in time to take advantage of the US Stimulus' 1st time home-buyers offer - 8k if you close on a house by Nov 25. It would be silly for us to pass this up.

However, we may have found one. It's a 1930 all-brick colonial that's close to my husband's job, and it even has a separate workshop. This was a 'must have' on our list, as my husband is a machinist and can't wait to finally use the machines he got from an old job that closed and are stored in his parent's basement. This limited our search somewhat, of course. There weren't too many homes with a separate building for a workshop in our budget.

So, we're thinking that this house may be ours. My husband got that 'feeling' as soon as he walked in. I definitely got the best feeling in that house, but I was hoping for a slightly larger kitchen. However, I still have not found anything better after almost a week of additional searching.

We're scheduled to go looking again on Wednesday. If we can't find anything by then to look at then we're going to put in an offer for the colonial - which fits everything on our checklist and happens to be our ideal price.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

A RAVE REVIEW for WildTree's Alfredo Extraordinare

1Xellus1, a long time reader, friend and valued customer recently posted her review and recipe using WildTree's Alfredo Extraordinare on her blog What's Cookin'? It's a SUPER EASY sauce mix you make just like mac'n'cheese - only it tastes far better, it's more versatile and it is low-sodium and preservative free.

Just a bit of what she says:

"My family LOVED this! Forget about those prepackaged noodles & sauce mixes. Having the Wildtree Extraordinare as a staple in the pantry is the way to go!"

Read her review and her recipe for Grilled Chicken Alfredo with Broccoli here:

Buy it here:
Large 8oz

Small 3.5oz

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Benefits of Grapeseed Oil

I did not know this until recently, but there is a cooking oil out there that is better than olive oil. A few benefits listed and recorded on video.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Gift Ideas for Bridesmaids

There's no need to spend a lot on bridesmaid gifts (unless you want to and have the budget for it). Especially if you're having a large bridal party, gifts can get pricey and eat in to your budget. However, with a little brainstorming and time to browse online or in stores, you can find affordable, yet thoughtful gifts.

The best gifts in my opinion are ones that will help prepare them for your special day. They are going to be spending, too; not only on their dresses but on your shower, bachelorette party, etc. Keep that in mind when selecting their dresses and accessories. Do you want them all to wear the same shoe or same color? Consider purchasing their shoes and/or getting them dyed.

Spa gifts are great - who doesn't like to go to a spa with their friends? This can be expensive, so look for local beauty colleges (even Aveda has one!). You may not get the total 'spa experience' but you'll save lots if you want all your girls to have a mani/pedi. Massages are nice and well-appreciated, but, if you are all on a budget consider this: what would be better for the 'Big Day,' buying them massages or their make-up application or up-dos?

Don't worry - there are plenty of more affordable ways to make your girls feel and look beautiful. One of my readers, Lilli, is considering buying teeth whitening kits for her girls. What a great idea! It's a great bridesmaid gift under $50 (heck, even under $30 for some kits). Not only will their smiles look great in the photos, they'll thank you for their pearly whites in the future, too!

Eyeshadow and foundation primers also have immediate and long-lasting appeal. These will keep your and their eyeshadow and foundation looking flawless and it should last through the evening with little to no 'touch-ups' required. The best primers I've ever used are the Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion
for eyes and Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer
for face. A friend gave me a gift certificate for a professional make-up application for my wedding - I made sure I brought these two products along to the artist, just in case she didn't have them. She had the Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer
, but not the Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion
. I would not have walked down the aisle without Urban Decay under my eyeshadow - it was the only way I knew I wouldn't have to do any touch-ups. And, zero touch-ups were necessary. I bought my Maid of Honor these primers as a Christmas gift. She loved them and used them before, during and after the ceremony.

I plan on doing some review vids on the products I used for my wedding. Until then, you can see an older review of the Urban Decay Primer Potion:

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

First WildTree Cooking Video

New Job for a New Bride

As some may know, the economy killed my last job. So far, I'm really enjoying doing this. It's not been as lucrative as my full-time career or 12 years, but I have made a profit and it's only been a month or so that I started. And, I have not been doing this full time, either.

As a new bride I have plenty of things to do to lay foundation for our future. We're looking at tons of homes online and in person. Fortunately, it's a buyer's market; however, it takes time to find YOUR needle in the haystack. Plus, I'm packing for our eventual move. So, I haven't even been able to devote the time I want to into WildTree. I haven't even had my own tasting party yet. I may have one in the next few weeks. I was waiting to have it when we moved to our new house. I had thought we'd be there by now. I've just been taking orders on my site:

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Post Wedding Update

Oh my goodness! I can't believe how busy I've been since our honeymoon return. I was pretty busy before the nuptials - getting everything together for the ceremony - but now I jokingly wish I only had tasks like that on my 'to-do' list. Now, instead of preparing for one day, I'm preparing for the rest of my life with my husband.

I'm not complaining, though; in fact, I'm quite happy taking on all of these new responsibilities, it's just been a slight challenge fitting new tasks into my routine. First on this list is to start looking for a home. Fortunately, it's a buyer's market. More on that another time.

Another task at the top of the list has been to find a job. I have been in media sales since '96 - mostly local magazines. Due to the current economy, print advertising has REALLY taken a hit. One of the magazines I worked for recently ceased operations after 28 years. Another one I worked for is just barely surviving, but I had to part ways. One of my paychecks bounced and the others had been late. I understand that most of those said problems happened because advertisers were late paying their bills; however, I cannot cureently base my life on others' payment schedules or lack thereof.

I need a change. I may have found one. More on that later.

As for bellydancing, I had full intentions getting back into it after the wedding, but I broke my right pinky toe almost two weeks ago. OUCH!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

In-Law Challenges with the Rehearsal Dinner

As the big day gets closer the stress and possibility for conflict seems to be growing.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Ped Egg Really Works!

It's been a LONG time since I've posted. However that does not mean I have not been thinking aobut the wedding. Actually, it's been quite the opposite.

I've been wanting to do a video demo and review for the Ped Egg since I got it for Christmas. IT REALLY WORKS. And, better yet it works WELL!

This is a great item for the budget bride, as it will definitely cut down on the need for a professional pedicure. I've been using it twice a week since the holidays, and my feet haven't looked better. And - this is the middle of a harsh, cold winter and after a vacation week of SCUBA diving. My feet have taken a beating, but you wouldn't know it.

You can see all of the Ped Egg products here

Thanks to those who have already posted comments on my You Tube channel