Saturday, September 18, 2010

Book Review: Making LIfe Rich Without Any Money by Phil Callaway

Making Life Rich Without Any Money by Phil Callaway blew me away.  It is an incredible book that I think everyone should read.  This is a book that I'd like to read every 6 months to keep the teachings in the forefront of my mind so I dont forget and take for granted all that I've been blessed with.

Meet Squiggy

Squiggy was given to me as a “surprise” from my mother.  I love my mother to pieces, but what was she thinking?!?!?  She remembered a time 5 years before that I saw a pot bellied pig at a pet store and commented on how cute it was.  Well, she had the opportunity to get one from a patient of Doc’s (my mom’s husband,) and she jumped on it!  This was less than 6 months after Todd and I were married (October 2007) and trying to renovate our home.  Needless to say, Squiggy was a thorn in our marriage for some time.  We were not expecting a “child” so soon and were completely caught off guard. They say that pot bellied pigs are like 2 year olds…their entire life!
This is a picture of Squiggy the day after we got him (please note, the date is wrong on these photos).
 Yes, the floor in our house was that color orange before we re-did the room! Squiggy eventually grew into that snout.  He was an adorable 8 lb. piglet when we got him.

 In this picture, he was approximately 7-9 months old.
Do you see how big he got?  Pigs grow until they are 3 years old!

This is Squiggy at about a year and a half.

This is Squiggy Michael (Marroo) today.  He just turned 3 this August, and should be at his maximum weight capacity!

A lot of people ask if I wished he was small again, and I would say ABSOLUTELY NOT!  I love that he is grown up, goes potty outside by himself (he can open doors to let himself in and out to go potty), and he is very independent.  He is such a “ham” and is always making me laugh.  I love going to kiss him and he squeals.  I love lying in front of the fireplace with him (this picture taken Christmas Eve 2008) and falling asleep with us cuddling.

When we last weighed him (last year,) he was over 200 lbs. 
He is my baby boy…and always will be.

Meet Chance

Chance was adopted in 2000 from the Humane Society close to where I lived.  My boyfriend at the time adored the way Chance looked.  Neither of us knew a thing about cats.  Chance had been given to the Humane Society by an elderly woman who was going into a nursing home and could no longer take care of the cats.  Chance was required to go along with his sister, Muffin.  So, we adopted both of them.  They were a year and a half old at the time.

Chance and Muffin have seen me through my early 20’s to my mid-20’s.  Muffin is no longer with us, but Chance is still thriving.  He is approximately 11 years old and the best, laid back cat ever (unless being chased by a 4 month old puppy!)

I sometimes wonder what he thinks about us always bringing in more animals.  He is the original – and he will always be the king of our animal kingdom!

What Can You Do In 10 Minutes?

I will be the first to admit, I dont like to clean.  It isnt so bad when the house is already clean and I have to put things where they are supposed to go, but our house never stays that way for more than a few days.  Todd is the main cleaner in the house, and I pick up when the mood strikes.

I am part of a message board and one of the ladies asked, "What can you do in 10 minutes?"  The premise is cleaning up in spurts when you have just 5-10 minutes instead of taking a half hour or 45 minutes to pick up.
Well, I tried it this morning.

On weekends that Todd works (every other weekend) and I'm at home, I normally sit around and am lazy all day.  I piddle around in the garden, pick berries, take the puppy for a walk and sit outside in the sun with the animals as they play for several hours while reading a book or thinking. I also enjoy taking naps on the weekend and watching movies.

This morning, I got all of the posts for the blog done through Friday.  I was proud of myself.  I wanted to watch a movie that I have from the library.  I put the movie in, and decided to go unload the dishwasher while the previews were playing.  I cant stand unloading the dishwasher.  Todd loads it (because I dont like to do that either), and I unload.  Well, I got it done in less than 5 minutes!  Previews were still playing, so I decided to go put some laundry in the washing machine.

When the movie is over, I'll have some lunch and hang the clothes from the washer on the line outside while playing with the animals. 

This may be just the thing for me!  Take 2-3 10 minute breaks throughout the day and get some things from the "to do" list done!

What can YOU do in 10 minutes?

I Love Blogger!

Moving my blog from Blog to Blogger has made such a huge difference.
I love the features on Blogger and how easy it is to use!  My favorite feature - setting up blogs to post at a later time/date!  I have set up posts twice a day through Friday.  It gives me time to come up with some other things I'd like to post and allows me to carry on with my life throughout the week without worrying about posting.  This way, I can get more done around the house in the mornings and evenings after work.
Win-Win! I love it!

Book Review: Love and Respect for a Lifetime by Emerson Eggerichs

In the book, Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs, it is repeated over and over that women need love and men need respect.  Every other page says this.  That was a bit redundant.  However, the message in between the simple love and respect is what God intended from a man and a woman, and I think that’s what is most important in this book. Those reminders of what He wanted from us were refreshing.

My favorite passage from the book: Together you and your mate reflect the image of God on this earth.  To me, that line is so powerful. God made women in pink and men in blue.  When combined they form purple which is the color of royalty, the color of God. 

I was in desperate need of this book 4 years ago before I got married.  I think the teachings would have made it easier for my husband and I realize what each needed through the tough times we experienced in the very beginning with these simple yet effective understandings of what each of us needs in this relationship together and to serve our awesome God.  This book would be a perfect gift for a newlywed or even those who have been married but going through difficult times.  There is nothing better than a strong relationship with your partner with understanding and the mutual love of our creator.

I received this book free from to review.   All opinions are unbias and my own.

I was lucky enough to marry someone who is as frugal as I am!

(Please note: I wrote this BEFORE Todd and I started having a heated discussion about our well water and him inviting a high-sales team in to test our water on Monday.)

I cant tell you how many people I meet who have a saver husband (and they are a spender) and vice versa.  I couldn’t imagine what it’d be like to have a spendthrift spouse.

I am so fortunate that Todd pretty much goes with whatever zaney idea I have at the moment.  He agrees with me completely on wanting to be debt free.  Even though some of my ways of getting debt-free are a bit extreme, he understands. 

What I’ve grown to love about him is that without my input at all, HE is trying to help us save money any way we can.  We bought a house that was a complete fixer-upper.  It needed EVERYTHING done to it.  We spent a lot of money on supplies, and are still spending money to this day to get projects done.  He has been recycling a lot and saving  a lot of money on many of the projects!  One of them is my garden.  We need a fence around the garden because of Squiggy.  Todd was able to get some oak from work (they were going to throw it away!) and he enclosed the garden.

Even though the garden cost us quite a bit this year (we needed to get dirt for the garden), the garden will pay itself off in produce over the next couple of years. 

Friday, September 17, 2010


“Buy it used, wear it out, make it do, or do without.”
Author Unknown


"I went to the bank and reviewed my savings.  I found out I have all the money I'll ever need.  If I die tomorrow."

~Henny Youngman


Entertainment Budget

Our budget consists of a $100 entertainment fund each month.  This allows us to do whatever we want to for fun or to unwind.  We have gone putt-putt golfing, eat out at a restaurant, grab an ice cream cone, go wine-tasting, go to a carnival or fair, etc. 

We are always looking for things to do for little or no money.  Because Todd and I only have 2 weekends a month to spend the entire weekend together, we like to go out one of the days for lunch.  We choose lunch for a couple of different reasons. 

1.)    We are morning people.  We get up early and are usually on the road by 8 or 9 in the morning to go explore and do whatever we want to do.
2.)    Lunch at a restaurant is a lot less expensive than dinner.

Our favorite food (I must admit, I turned Todd onto it) is sushi.  Sushi is expensive. We have easily spent over $50 on a nice sushi restaurant.  We would go every week if we could, but we cant - it’s not in the budget.  So, our resolution is that we found a Chinese buffet in a nearby town that has really good sushi along with all the other cuisine.  Todd and I go there and load up on the sushi!  Because we go at lunch – we can get out of there for less than $15 for the two of us.  Oh, and did I mention that I LOVE ice cream?  Instead of getting a cone on the way home, I get it there.  They have hard ice cream for dessert at the buffet and it’s just as good (if not better) than the soft serve I’d get from the local DQ at nearly $2/cone!

We also like to go to the movies; however, neither of us is willing to pay $6.50-$9/person to see one.  We drive to another neighboring town about 30 minutes away and go to the dollar theater.  Due to inflation, the dollar theater is now $1.50/person to see a movie that is a month or two old, but we get the “theater” experience for a fraction of the price!  We usually make it a lunch & movie date for less than $20!

Todd and I also found out that we really like wine when we first got together.  Neither of us ever liked it until we went to a winery in the Thousand Islands, NY.  We were in love instantly, and found out that not all wine is dry! We like the sweet stuff.
Shortly after discovering wine, I found a place in Akron, Ohio that offers wine tasting and you can make your own batch of wine!  For our 1 year dating anniversary, I surprised Todd with this place where we tasted all of their sweet wines and then made a batch.  A month later, we went to go bottle it at this facility, and we’ve been making and drinking our wine ever since!  What’s the point of me mentioning this? 
We like wineries, but don’t like paying $4-6/glass of wine.  We now make our own wine (3-6 gallons/batch : 15-32 bottles/batch) for approximately $2/bottle!  1 bottle will give us 4 glasses of wine.  We make a couple of batches in the fall, and enjoy it year-round!

One last thing that we really enjoy – sight-seeing.
We enjoy going to museums around town, old houses, and just drive around through the country. Those are the best dates of all because we are focused on one thing and one thing only – each other!

What do you enjoy to do for little or no money?
Do you still go on dates with your significant other?

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Over this past week, I have really come to realize how much I need to manage my time better.  I always say that there is no time for ME, and I still feel that way.  It used to be I considered my “me time” when I was on the treadmill listening to motivating music trying to hit another weight loss goal or endurance goal.  Since Summer rolled around, I have lost that 30 minutes to an hour on the treadmill and replaced it with being outside with the Squig-man and now Lana. 

Over the past week, I have learned that I need to have a schedule, even for the mundane tasks.    I wake up at 5:30 in the morning, nearly every morning.  I have to be to work by 9 (it’s an hour away).  That gives me 2 ½ hours to get things done in the morning.  In the past, I would piddle that time away on the computer and catching up on TiVo’d shows (and playing with the animals.)  Before I knew it, it was nearly 7:30 and I hadn’t even showered yet!

Now, I have a schedule for each morning.
It goes a little something like this:
5:30 – wake up & take Lana out to go potty – Feed Squiggy
5:45 – shower
6:00 – walk around the block with Lana
6:30 – make dinner for Todd and I for the evening / stupid chores (put away dishes, put in a load of laundry, etc.) and make my lunch for work
6:45 – outside to play with the animals / harvest in the garden
7:30 – check emails
7:45 – get ready for work
8:00 – leave for work

Do you notice how much time I have for internet/TV in this schedule? Not much! And I think that’s why I’ve been so productive lately in the mornings!
We needed a couple of things from the grocery store like milk, yogurt & potatoes.  I don’t like to go to our local stores because they are so expensive (unless they are having a sale) – I prefer Aldi’s on these items.  Aldi’s is about 15-20 minutes away from where I live – but only 5 minutes away from where I work.  During my lunch break, I ran in, ran out and got everything we needed for the week…in less than 20 minutes! 

I have also been reading on my lunch break – which gives me my “me time” during the day.  I get to escape for a half hour while I’m at work and relax.

In the evenings when I get home (around 6:30), I rush to make dinner for Todd and I, then it’s time to play with the animals (more like wear them out for bedtime) until 8 or 8:30, and then it’s time to spend with Todd or catching up on emails.  Bedtime is usually around 9:30 for me.

The key point here is – I need a schedule!  I need something to tell me what I NEED to be doing at a certain time to ensure everything gets done throughout the week.  The weekends are much more relaxed – anything goes!

What does your schedule look like?


“Buy it used, wear it out, make it do, or do without.”

Follow-Up: Overwhelmed

I wrote last week about being completely overwhelmed.  Most of it was due to my disorganization.  I am learning that now.  So, how did everything turn out?

We are ready to close on the mortgage!  We will be closing on the new mortgage 2 ½ weeks before we originally expected to.  Everything turned out great.  The house appraised for a lot more than I expected considering the market and what projects still need completed.  We are going to be signing the papers this week!

The meeting with local business-women went OK.  I am still not very confident about the business we are trying to get up and running.  I feel like I need Todd to be my wing-man.  He is the talker out of the two of us.  He can talk to anyone.  I feel very uncomfortable going up to people and starting conversation.  But, I went, and I have a couple of leads for the business.

I have been doing really well with the library books.  I returned all but 2; however, many more came in.  So, I am keeping 1 out of the batch.  I hope to read at least one book this weekend (I am home while Todd is at work all day) and start on another. Not having a stack of books on the bedside table helps with my stress because I don’t have that nagging feeling that I should be reading all of those books.  Instead – I got rid of that and made a book wish-list in a document that I can get whenever I’d like.  Problem solved.

One thing I learned through being so overwhelmed last week is that I need to do better with my time-management.  I also need to work on my communication skills.  And as I mentioned in the original post, I need to loosen up on having to be in control all of the time. 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Our Spend-Free Weekend!

Todd and I only get every-other weekend together due to his rotating schedule at work.  That being said, we like to go out and have lunch together and do something fun one day of the weekend, and the other is spent at home getting things done.

This weekend is the first weekend in a LONG time that we had an absolutely spend-free weekend.  We didn’t spend a dime.  Or even a penny for that matter!  We probably SHOULD have (we ran out of dog food Monday morning – she got some cat food to substitute, apples, and stale bread), but we didn’t.

How could this be?  Saturday, I went to visit my father and his wife along with my two adorable nieces.  Todd stayed home because he wanted to get some projects done around the house (he’s making Squiggy’s bachelor pad outside.)  Sunday we stayed around the house and relaxed a bit.  I walked the dog, cooked some muffins, picked berries, read a book and watched a movie.  Todd watched a football game and relaxed.  It would have been really easy to order pizza, but we ate leftovers instead.

This may seem like no big deal to many – but for us, it is huge.  Even though our weekends are never really expensive (we only get a $100/month entertainment budget), this goes to show that we CAN do it.  And to be honest, I think we should do it more often!

Do you find that you spend more easily on the weekends?
If so, on what?

Wordless Wednesday

My father and two nieces (Annabelle & Natalie)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Quote: Content

"Success is getting what you want.  Happiness is wanting what you get."
~Dale Carnegie


How Much Could You Live On?

In Jim Yeager’s book, The Ultimate Cheapskate’s Road Map to True Riches, he states that earlier in his marriage he had it in his mind that if he made $40,000/year, he would be “set.”  He states that while he had a mortgage payment, he and his wife were actually living off of this $40,000/year comfortably and saving the rest of their combined income.  Now that the mortgage is paid off, they live on approximately $30,000/year.

 My question to you is, how much could you comfortably live on?

 For us, we are currently living on approximately $45,000/year.  We had 3 debts at the beginning of 2010 that totaled $25,120.85.  We currently owe $14,377.10 and moving in the right direction! Once our debts are paid off (freeing up $800/month in payments!), I am pretty confident we could live off of $35,000/year.  Once the mortgage is paid off, $30,000 should be a comfortable number for us. To clarify, I am referring to $30,000/year gross, not net.

 How would we do it?  I hate to admit this, but our debt is our biggest money leach.  Second would be our utilities (though we are trying to cut back.)  Third would be our mortgage & property tax (we do not have an escrow account).  Fourth would be “the farm.”

 What are your “money leaches?”

Simple Sunday

This morning has been a great morning.

I woke up at 5:30 to the puppy (Lana) wimpering in her cage because she had to go potty.  Shortly after, Todd woke up and joined us in the family room.  I made breakfast when I heard Todd's belly grumbling.  Ham, egg substitute & cheese on english muffins with OJ.  Yum!

Afterwards, I decided to take Lana for our daily walk around the block (1.25 miles!).  Even though she's not even 4 months old , she is really doing great with walking since we got her new leash.  It is a time for her to get her puppy energy out and for me to get my exercise in!

When we got home, I remembered that I hadnt picked red raspberries from our bushes in a couple of days.  I picked a large bowl-full of berries.  Then I went inside and started making some red raspberry muffins.  While the muffins where in the oven, I decided to FINALLY put away my clean laundry from the past two weeks.  Todd has been asking "where are all the laundry baskets? "  Well, I had 2 of them full of clean clothes, one of them is in the laundry room full of Todd's clean clothes, and one of them was holding Christmas gifts I've purchased and I have to put in the Christmas closet.

So, as the muffins were baking, I decided to put away my clothes.  You know, it took me less than 20 minutes to do two full baskets.  Why cant I just do it when they are taken off the line?  Why do they have to sit there for a week or two before I get to them?

My closet doors are now closed for the first time in two weeks and no more baskets of clothes hanging out everywhere.  And it is time to sit down and read... it's only 9 AM and I got all of this stuff I've wanted to get done - done!

I'm in a cooking mood lately.  I'm thinking homemade pizza for lunch, watch football with hubby (I dont really like football, but I am going to try to share this pasttime with him), and have a good time with our little furry family.

Simple Sundays - I love them.

How We Saved Over $750

Over the past few months, I have been listening to Dave Ramsey’s FREE podcast on iTunes.  I’ve read his books over the past year and have been inspired, but listening to his podcast has really helped me get “gazelle intense.”  I decided that I wanted to see what we could do to lower our monthly utilities.

It started with a flier in the mail for Satellite.  The flier was for a package costing $29.99.  I knew we paid A LOT more than that from the same company.  I asked Todd to call the company.  Needless to say, we got $15/month knocked off of our bill just for giving them a call.   $15 x 12=$180/year

 Trash:  We have had our current trash company since we moved into the house in 2007 because they were the only ones that would service our area.  I noticed that there was another truck in the area and found them online.  When I called to get a quote – it was HALF the price of the company we are using.  So, instead of paying $96 every 3 months, it is now $43 every 3 months.  $53 x 4 = $212/year

DSL: We had a promotion on our DSL for one year that expired.  So, I paid the new price of $56 for a month.  I decided to shop around to see if I could do better.  There was another company offering DSL for $29.99.  I called the original company and let them know that I found a better price and that I’d like to stay with them.  They matched their competitor’s price for me!  The contract is extended for $29.99/month until next year.  The customer service rep said to call again next year and they will re-adjust it again to keep me as a customer.  The bill per month now: $32.  $24 x 12 = $288

 Mortgage :  Todd and I have a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) on our house when we bought it  3 ½ years ago.  It was a 20 year loan at 5.99%.  I found out that we could get a 15 year mortgage for 3.85% from the same bank we use.  By making this change, we are saving $15/month on our mortgage payment, cutting 2 years off of our mortgage and saving $25,000 in interest over the life of the loan (assuming we’d pay the loan off in 15 years.)   We will pay an additional $150/month toward the mortgage and it will be paid off in 10 years.  We are winning all the way around with this deal.  $15 x 12 = $180

That right there saves us $860 a year and we haven’t had to adjust our standard of living.  It is amazing what these companies will do to keep your business!

I did this with our propane carrier as well.  They jacked up our rates and I refused to lock in.  I called and told them that I had a quote from another supplier.  The lady was not very pleasant on the phone, so I informed her that we would be discontinuing our service with them as soon as our tank was out of propane.  We got a letter in the mail from a Manager who lowered our rates and is locking it in for a year!  We are saving $300/year and staying with the same company.

 There is ONE LAST THING we saved on this past month.  3 years ago, when we first moved into our house, I got a speeding ticket on a back country road on my way into work (yes, I am a speed daemon : 61 in a 45.)  Insurance for our two cars was over $550 every 6 months.  Now that the ticket dropped off the insurance, our insurance is now $320 for 6 months! That is $230/half we are saving.  This has helped me see the cost of speeding and has helped control my lead foot!

 I did not include the last two items in my total (which would be $1620/year!) because not everyone has propane and not everyone is reckless with their speed. Everything else was easily negotiated and took less than an hour to negotiate a savings of $860!

The Story of Us

The picture shown above was taken July 4, 2009 with my niece, Annabelle.
 I originally thought I did not want to use our names in the blog but what the heck.  Why not. I am going to abbreviate my name because it has a different spelling (thanks mom!), and I would prefer to keep my personal life personal from the hundreds I work with across the country in my occupation.

So, hello, my name is Meg.  My husband’s name is Todd. I thought it may be nice to introduce ourselves and let you know how we met and how our relationship has evolved to what it is today.

Todd and I met online at  When I read his profile, I felt we had a lot in common and I could relate to him.  I messaged him in December of 2005 and we’ve been talking ever since.  Actually, that’s not true.  He never responded back to my original message, so I messaged him again.  Today, he says that he thought I was “a little crazy,” but he messaged me back! We met face-to-face approximately a month later in January.

Within 6 months of meeting, Todd took me to Niagara Falls as a surprise for an evening and proposed after dinner in a beautiful suite at the Red Coach Inn.

This is the living room of the suite.   Afterwards, we decided to take a walk by the Falls (we had a view of the Falls from our suite, but we wanted to go enjoy the July evening.)  We were walking around and enjoying the sights when fireworks went off! It was incredible. Apparently, during the summer, Niagara Falls has free fireworks for everyone to see on Friday and Saturday evenings. We had so much fun and a lot of great memories there.

We decided that we wanted a small wedding.  I am not really a girly-girl.  I cannot honestly say that I had dreamed of my wedding as a little girl. Todd and I are both very family oriented so we decided that we wanted a wedding with immediate family only.  We also enjoy “Amish Country.”  Where we live, there are quite a few areas that have a predominant Amish population, one of them being Berlin, OH or Holmes County.  My mother found this bed & breakfast called Hannah’s House.  When we went to go view the property, we knew instantly that this is where we wanted to get married: outside on the back patio in front of the rock waterfall.

We got married on Thursday, May 3rd, 2007.  Why Thursday?  Because I always liked May 2nd or 3rd, and our flight for our honeymoon left Friday afternoon!  Todd and I were both late to our own wedding…but we figured they couldn’t start without us.

We had 9 guests at our wedding.  My brother, who is a Marine, made it from California and surprised me by wearing his dress blues.  That in and of itself brought tears to my eyes.  My only surviving grandparent, my grandmother (from my father’s side) was there, my father and his wife, my mother and her husband, my brother and his wife, and Todd’s parents.

We decided to make our own dinner as well.  Even though my parents are divorced, it was nice having everyone all together at the dinner table laughing and having a great time with one another.  Everyone had their own separate room for the evening – and we woke up and had breakfast together as a family the next morning.  It was absolutely perfect for us.

The honeymoon was a cruise to Alaska.  Todd was in the Navy many years ago, and has been to quite a few places around the world.  I wanted a once in a lifetime honeymoon (within the budget!)  Well, the Alaskan Cruise was just that! We had am amazing time and we cant wait to go back again one day. OK, so maybe it’s a twice in a lifetime place to see!

I will not sit here and say that our marriage has been all roses the past 3 ½ years.  We have been through a lot as a couple.  With the help of a mediator (our counselor) and a lot of hard work and perseverance, we are getting to where we want to be in this relationship.  I am being forced to learn the meaning of “compromise.”

Advice and tips are always appreciated.

Did You Know...? Frozen Bananas

Did you know that bananas can be frozen?  Peel them while they are ripe (not brown, but like a normal banana) and freeze them in a container.  I do this so that when I'm cooking and I dont want to use an egg, I take one frozen banana out of the container, nuke it for 30 - 45 seconds in the microwave, and voila!  Super-simple and very healthy!

Quote: Time Is Money

This quote is from Jeff Yeager in his book, The Ultimate CHEAPSKATE'S ROAD MAP TO RICHES.

"...if time is money, then money is time. Ergo, spend less money and you'll have more time.  More time to do more, see more, be more.  More time to have more experiences."

I couldnt agree more!

Recipe: Lasagna

I love this recipe because it's so simple!  I prepare it the night before and cook it in the morning before work.  When hubby and I get home from work, I nuke it and voila! 


  • 16 oz. pkg. ricotta cheese
  • 3 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups frozen cut leaf spinach, thawed, well drained
  • 1 lb. frozen meatballs
  • 2 (28 oz.) jars spaghetti sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 cups grated Mozzarella cheese
  • 8 uncooked lasagna noodles
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese


In medium bowl, combine ricotta cheese, cream cheese, egg, and 1 cup Parmesan cheese. Beat until blended. Stir in thawed spinach.

Bake meatballs according to package directions. Remove from oven and coarsely chop.
In 13x9" glass baking dish, pour 1 cup spaghetti sauce. Layer 4 lasagna noodles over sauce. Top with half of the ricotta mixture, then half of the cooked, chopped meatballs. Pour half of the water over. Sprinkle with half of the Mozzarella cheese. Top with half of remaining spaghetti sauce. Repeat layers, ending with spaghetti sauce. Top with 1 cup Parmesan cheese.

Cover tightly with foil and refrigerate at least 8 hours, or overnight. When ready to eat, place in preheated 375 degree F oven. Bake for 1 hour, or until lasagna noodles are tender when pierced with fork. Uncover and bake 10-15 minutes longer until bubbly. Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes before serving. Serves 10


I’m not sure if it’s the time of year or if it’s just me, but I am feeling completely overwhelmed lately with a lot of things going on in my life.  I have an ongoing to-do list that never seems to dwindle because I add on more than I check off.

 My husband and I are currently in the process of refinancing our home.  I have taken the reigns on getting everything taken care of for this.  It seems that they are asking for an additional piece of information every other day to which I have to go and try to find.  Needless to say, my “filing system” is not the best one right now.  I have put off organizing paperwork and putting it into our BRAND NEW (9 months ago) fireproof safe for the past 6 months.  Now, I need to find specific documents in stacks and stacks of paperwork.  How could this be resolved?  Take an hour or two and file away all of our documents!

My husband and I are also in the middle of starting a business. Again, I have taken over the reigns in getting the EIN number, Vendor’s License, getting brochures printed up, finding the best price on web hosting, etc.  Today, I have a meeting with local business women in our small town of 5,000 residents.  I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to get our name out there.  I had 100 brochures printed up last week.  Guess what I just noticed?!?  The website is spelled wrong!!!!  So...the meeting is today at 6 (to which I have to leave work early to get to fashionably late) and I have two sheets of stickers with the correct web address printed.  I have to sit and apply them during my 30 minute lunch today.  How could this be resolved?  Quadruple check everything when it comes to business documents!  AND don’t wait until the last minute to do everything!!!  I have to fold the brochures into 3’s as well.  It should be an interesting lunch – I don’t see myself actually eating lunch today.

 I frequent the library.  I have OCD tendencies (that is where the “bonkers” comes into play), and when I get something in my head that I’m interested in researching, I get every book on the topic out from the library.  It’s kind of like beating a dead horse.  The thing is, I read about 2 books from the batch and then end up taking everything else back without even turning a page because I am no longer interested.  I looked online today to see that I have 19 books out from the library.  Mind you – I am a slow reader.  SO, to correct this issue, I have decided that I am taking all but 2 books back to the library.  The one I am currently reading and one other book of interest.  The rest are going back.  I have listed them in a Word document so that if I want to read them in the future when I have more time, I can. Oh, and did I mention I signed up for BookSneeze last night?  That’s another thing to add to my list.

This morning, before work, I walked the puppy around the country block which is 1.25 miles.  I prepared lasagna last night at 10:30 and cooked it this morning while out with the puppy.  I planted 28 tomato plants and 100 green beans in the garden this year in hopes to make my own tomato sauce and freeze green beans.  This morning, I put the tomatos in the blender and because it was not enough to simmer down and make sauce, I put them in containers and put them in the freezer.  I also cut and blanched the green beans before work.  Mind you, I get up at 5:30AM.  I leave for work around 8. 2 ½ hours seems like plenty of time to do all of this, but I was extremely rushed.

 What is the point of all of this?  I may be venting.  I am in desperate need of organization in my life.  A lot of my stress comes from no one other than me!  I take control of a lot of things in our home (pets, finances, schedules, cooking on the days we both work, etc.) It is time I let hubby help out or take over completely on some of the tasks.  Next week, I will provide an update as to how it all works out.

 Thank you for letting me vent!

Did You Know...?

You can use a banana to substitute for an egg in a recipe.
My husband and I were trying to eat everything we had from the cabinets and refrigerator last month.  I wanted to make something sweet, but didnt have any eggs.  I tried this recipe from a fellow blogger, Rachel.  And guess what?!? It worked!  The muffins turned out GREAT!
I am watching my cholesterol, so anytime I can substitute a banana with an egg, I will.  I also used applesauce in place of the oil in this recipe.

Wordless Wednesday

Originally Posted September 8th:

Hail - September 7, 2010

What's In A Name?

When thinking about a name for my new blog, I had many possibilities.
The only problem: most of them were taken.

I wanted to use: Simple Yet Elegant, but I felt like a hypocrite.  This is a phrase I use often, but when talking about artwork, jewelry, clothing.  This phrase is not something I would consider myself.

Then, out of nowhere, I thought Simply Bonkers was perfect!  I strive to lead a simple and frugal life.  And, well, anyone that knows me knows that I'm a little bit crazy.  So, why not tie it all together?!?  I'm Simply Bonkers!

You will get a personal look into the craziness I like to call "My Life."


Welcome to my blog!  I wish I could say that this was my first blog, but it's not.  However, this is the first blog I will try to keep up with.

I am looking forward to writing about everything in my life.  I am not one that holds much be prepared!

I'm Moving In!

I have been trying to work with on my blog for nearly a week now.  It has gotten to the point that I am so frustarted, that I'm switching over.  In the meantime, I am going to post all of my old posts from

Here goes!