Wednesday, October 26, 2011


I'm really bad at blogging.

When you have a blog about getting out of debt and losing weight, yet you spent the last month NOT budgeting* and eating out too much, what are you supposed to write about?


Boyfriend and I drove up to Michigan for the weekend (score for a day off!) to help marry off one of my college friends. So happy for her! It was a beautiful wedding. And you have to love having another Adam around :)

I am relieved that this was the only wedding I attended this year. Last year was three, and I know some people are going to MANY more than that in a year, but it's a relief on my wallet and sanity to only have one!

What's the most amount of weddings you've attended in one year?

*Editor's note: In my defense, I gave myself a free month off from budgeting since I paid off a student loan in FULL last month! Huzzah! And I haven't been going overboard on spending, anyway. I'm just used to living on the cheap.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Happy Birthday Bentley!

Pssssst.....wanna hear a story?

A story about this guy?

Today, Bentley MacDuncan is 3 years old.

The story actually begins with Captain Jack.

He was my first Westie (and first dog, period for that matter). I went through a lot with Jack in the few short months that I had him--driving the grouchy downstairs neighbor up the wall with his barking and whining, going to the bathroom all over the place, and other assorted puppy behaviors that make one crazy. I really started to finally connect with him just before I went off on a trip to Israel for two weeks. I left Jack with my dad while I was gone. The entire two weeks I was gone, I was absolutely petrified that something would happen to him. Turns out, when I got home, my fear had come to fruition and Jack had been hit by a car.

I was inconsolable. I immediately wanted another dog, not knowing if it could fill that void, but trying anyway.

Fortunately, the Westie rescue of the area just happened to have a 7 month old puppy who was rescued from a puppy mill in Virginia. What are the odds?! I remember the day I laid eyes on Bentley. I cried so much and was beyond ecstatic to find him.

This was right after we met!

At first, he was very timid and scared. He cried the entire drive home after I first picked him up. Once home, he would cower in corners when anyone came near him and slink behind furniture when he heard loud noises.

That Bentley is hardly the dog I know today. When you meet him, it's hard for you to get him to stop licking you or demanding you to pet him. He's one of the happiest dogs I've ever met, and he's made me feel like I'm on cloud nine. Bentley brought me back to life after Jack died, and his presence continues to add joy to my life every single day.

Happy Birthday Bentley!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Cop Out

Four signs it's been a (and will be another) stressful week.

No desire to cook, plan meals, or enjoy food (not that these aren't entirely enjoyable).

Hey, it's more variety than taking the same leftovers all week, am I right?

Hallelujah for four-day work weeks and a great friend's upcoming wedding!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Master Chef Competition

Last week was customer service appreciation week at work. Our department provided us with a free breakfast on Monday, a house of cards building competition Tuesday, a cooking competition Wednesday, trivia day Thursday, and a carnival Friday afternoon (hence my awesome balloon penguin headband!).

Obviously, I was all over the cooking competition.

Every year for this, they pick a theme (last year was honey), they provide your team with a $25 gift card to go shop for ingredients, then on Wednesday, we had 30 minutes of prep time and 30 minutes to cook. This year's theme was food on a stick! One of my coworkers on my team found a banana fritters recipe and we went with it. Thank goodness one of my coworkers owns his own deep-fryer. :)

Banana Fritters on a Stick with Bacon Chocolate Dipping Sauce
(adapted from Food Network)

6 bananas, cut into halves
2 eggs
1/2 c milk
2 c Panko bread crumbs
Peanut oil for frying
Powdered sugar
Dipping sauce of your choice (we made our own chocolate bacon sauce)

Skewer the bananas with craft or popsicle sticks. Whisk the egg and then whisk in the milk. Dip each banana in the egg mixture then toss in the bread crumbs to coat. Repeat the process to create a second coating. Heat oil to 365 degrees and drop in the bananas, moving them around to brown evenly on all sides. Place on paper towels to drain.

Doesn't that look tasty?

The recipe called for a chocolate/peanut butter dipping sauce; however, we wanted to make it extra-gourmet. What's more gourmet than bacon?

I bought a chocolate bacon bar, and we crushed that up and mixed it with some semi-sweet morsels and milk before melting in the microwave (for future reference, I would have left out the semi-sweet morsels so you can taste the bacon better). We also made a peanut butter chocolate dipping sauce for the not-so-adventerous palates.

The final product was judged by 3 men from another department, based on originality, taste, and presentation.

So, did we win?


I may have been a little too excited and jumped up and screamed and gotten funny looks, but I was really excited! One of the judges said it was the bacon chocolate that won him over. And I guess since the other two teams we competed against BOTH served Italian food and BOTH picked the same team name (we opted for Vicious and Delicious for ours), we stood out. 

Our prize is dinner on the company, and you should know by now that I'm ALWAYS pumped for free food!

Have you ever entered a cooking competition?

Friday, October 7, 2011

Weekly Money Check-Up: 10/7

1. The most I’ve spent this last week was on rent. How did the first of the month come back already?!
2. Today I am thankful for penguin balloon animal head-pieces.

3. Money can’t buy happiness. One free thing I did last week that made me happy was spending Saturday at the St. James Art Show!
4. I will consider this week a success if I can make it to the other end of the work week without pulling my hair out.
5. I like big butts because I cannot lie...? Happy Friday! :)

 Thanks My Pretty Pennies!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

St. James Weekend

This past weekend was the annual St. James Court Art Show in Louisville, and what a stunning weekend we had weather-wise. St. James is a beautiful area in Old Louisville with mansions dating back to the 19th century, small grassy courtyards, and one gorgeously restored fountain.

At the show, held the first weekend in October, you can find paintings, photos, jewelry, sculptures, carnival food, and some of the most bizarre knick-knacks you'll ever encounter.


Adam's parents come down every year for the event, and this year they brought his aunt as well. While I'm sure most people like browsing the different vendors and the crafty items they've created, I love looking at the houses!

While I didn't buy anything, Adam and I did split a corn dog and both had a beer. Why did glorious fall weather make me want an ice cold beer...?

We both opted for the Goose Island 312 Urban Wheat Ale and it was a FANTASTIC choice! However, it left me very little tolerance to walk a straight line around the rest of the show, much less take any more pictures of the vendors.

Beauty is in the eye of the beerholder.

Does your city hold any fall events?