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In Memorium

Happy Memorial Day Weekend! 

I will be gone gone gone far away from here for the next few days.  Yep, I'm going up to the cabin to enjoy fresh mountain air, sunshine, and wicked ATV jumps& trails.  I have literally been counting down the hours to this mini-holiday since last week!  Due to unavoidable circumstances {ie: summer school tuition} I don't get to go on a tropical vacation/cruise this year, and so this is as close as I'll get to a real "vacation."  Let me tell you mini or not, this holiday is MUCH NEEDED.  

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Save Money Challenge | Month 1

It sounds so easy... too easy...  But I saw this tip on Oprah a few years ago, and was amazed at how much money this woman saved on her power bill every month.  What is this too-good-to-be-true device?

A Surge Protector!

Surge protectors are often found in home offices to prevent expensive electrics from getting zapped when there's a storm, or power outage.  But did you know that they can help lower your elecectric bill by up to 10%-20% each year?!?  While it sounds like a free lunch, I assure you, there is a catch.  This money saving method requires a bit of work from the "operator," but it's not hard work, and once a habbit is established (after about 21 days), it will become second nature.  Home electronics, even when not turned on, use a ton of power just from being plugged in.  Cell phone chargers are reportedly the worst power suckers out there!  By using a surge protector, the amount of electricity wasted in your home can be significantly reduced.

Step 1:  Purchase a Surge Protector for each room in the house.  These little babies can be found at just about any store, and I know that Belkin makes one with 6 outlets for just under $10.00.  Because you have a month to complete this challenge (think in terms of pay periods), 2 pay periods, the total cost shouldn't be too devastating to your wallett.  I have 5 bedrooms, a kitchen, a living room, a dining room, a family room, and 2 hallways (but only one currently uses electronics so I will only count the one) in my house.   I did not count bathrooms, because most electronics used there are used briefly, then unplugged and put away.  So I need to purchase 10 surge protectors.  That comes to $100.00 over the course of the month, or $50.00 each pay period.  $25.00 is easy to budget for, but maybe I'll take to plan two free date nights this month and use that money towards my surge protectors.

Step 2:  Plug all "non-essential" electronics into the surge protector.  What counts as non-essential?  Anything that doesn't HAVE to be plugged in all day.  For example, the refrigerator is an essential electronic.  It needs electricity to keep the food in it cold.  If I unplug it, my food will go bad.  Things like the TV's, DVD players, Nintendo systems, lamps, stereos, etc. are all "non-essential."  I only use them when I'm in the room.  When I leave, they don't need power, so they don't need their own individual outlet, they can be plugged into a surge protector. 

Step 3:  Ignore the On/Off Switch.  Now that all of your non-essential electronics are plugged into the surge protector, plug the surge protector into the wall.  Most surge protectors come with an On/Off switch.  Turn it on, and then ignore it.  Seriously, don't touch it again.  When you leave the room, unplug the surge protector, and thus, all of your non-essential-power-sucking-electronics.  When you go into a room, plug in the surge protector for that room.  EASY.  Don't just think that you turn off the surge protector, because even in the "Off" mode, the AC circut is still able to suck power from the wall.  This is why the plugs on electronics feel hot, even if they've been turned off.

It seems silly, but this little trick will save tons in wasted electricity costs.  For rooms like the kitchen, you won't use your surge protector as much as, say your bedroom.  In my kitchen surge protector, I have the Microwave, toaster, can opener, and magic bullet plugged in.  I only use the surge protector when I need one of these devices.  However, I use my bedroom surge protector 80% of the time I'm in my bedroom.  My TV, cell phone charger, bed side lamp, computer and external hard drive are all plugged into that surge, and most of them get used when the surge is plugged in.  Again, when I leave my bedroom, I disconnect all power supplies/ wasted electricity. 

I should mention that simply using a surge protector won't reduce electricity bills.  If I plug in my appliances and then plug the surge into the wall and leave it all day, I'm still wasting a bunch of electricity.  

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MissPriss Beauty Poll | May 20, 2011

1. Mood:  Energized & a little disappointed!  There is one good thing about not eating solid food for four days...  The finally getting to eat real food euphoria that follows!  However, I don't get to revel in the euphoria for too long, seeing as the world is ending tomorrow {rubbish I say!}.

2. One great thing about getting older?  Being comfortable in my own skin.  I no longer feel self conscious next to the pretty girls at school.  I like just being me.  I don't feel the need to fit into a specific clique, because I can be friends with everyone.  I wear whatever I want to because I don't feel peer pressure to dress a certain way, or wear a certain brand of clothing only royalty can afford.

3. What color do you use most in your eye makeup and why? I use mostly neutrals as far as eyeshadow is concerned.  Sometimes I might get crazy and throw a light pink in the mix...  I mostly wear dark brown eyeliner cause black is kind of harsh.  And I always wear the blackest black mascara I can find.  As far as lips and cheeks go, I usually wear pinks.

4. What’s one thing your mom was right about?  Uhhh, besides everything?  Well, to name a few: I did get over that boy, and he wasn't the right one for me, I do need lipstick in order to not look washed out, If I go out into public without getting ready I will see people I know, a clean house is a happy house...

5. What’s your favorite book series?  I don't read a lot for pleasure... unless you count the fascinating series about Biochemistry I've been going over the past year...

6. Your last sweet treat?  Fudge.  My grandma makes really good fudge, and gave some to Gibbs for his birthday... I keep sneaking it... shh, don't tell him!

7. Do you collect anything?  I collect vintage cameras.  I started with a few super old ones I bought on e-bay and at thrift stores.  Then, one day, my grandpa sent me three big boxes in the mail... It turns out, he collected vintage cameras too, and he gave them all to me!  I love my grandpa.

8. Seersucker clothing — yea or nay?  I don't know what this is... but anything that has to do with sucking and clothing seems to me like a bad idea.  Like swimming in a t-shirt, just don't do it.

9. Eyes/Lips/Cheeks: MAC Shroom, Soft Brown, Soba & Espresso (my favorite combination), with Urban Decay Corupt Eyeliner and Tarte Lights Camera Lashes Mascara.  Cheeks and Lips are Benefit Benetint with chapstick.

10. Weekly goals:  Work on my tan!  It's summer break and I plan on spending this entire weekend out by the pool!  I went to the grocery store and got some non-alcoholic strawberry daiquiri and pina colada mixes...  It should be a good time, and hopefully I won't burn.

It's Friday!  And yes, I'm feeling much better as of yesterday evening.  I've been following Dr.'s orders since Monday afternoon, only laxatives and clear liquids (which to me mean, water, Gatorade, Popsicles and Jell-o), and to be honest, it wasn't bad (well, it was kind of bad). Because of the infection, I wasn't hungry at all, it was more of a psychological "I should eat" sort of thing, but even then, the thought of food made me nauseous.

I realized I was better when, last night my mom offered to make me a tuna fish sandwich on sprouted 7-grain bread, and I said, "yea, that sounds really good actually."  I only hate about 1/4 of it, and I ate slowly, but I was able to keep it all down! 

Thank goodness I'm on the mend! Anyway, any fun weekend plans?  Besides hitting the pool, I'm seeing Pirates of the Caribbean tonight!  Yes, we are a little nuts to want to be out in the mêlée of people, but it should be a good time!

Your turn!
Fill out the survey below and post it on your blog!

1. Mood:
2. One great thing about getting older?
3. What color do you use most in your eye makeup and why?
4. What’s one thing your mom was right about?
5. What’s your favorite book series?
6. Your last sweet treat?
7. Do you collect anything?
8. Seersucker clothing — yea or nay?
9. Your go-to eye cream?
10. Weekly goals:

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Some days I hate everything

Yesterday, I had a moment of weakness.  A rare moment of vulnerability, and I hated it, but I needed it.  I was in the car and the song "Wonderful" by Everclear came on the radio.  As I sang along and listened to the words, it hit me.  I completely relate to this song, in a way I never have before.  My parents first separated three years ago, and their divorce was finalized last December.  It still hasn't gotten easier, and I am still learing to deal with it.  As the song came to the end,

♫ ... I don't want to start over again
I just want my life to be the same
Just like it used to be
Some days, I hate everything
I hate everything
Everyone and everything  ♫
I did the only thing I knew how to do.  I pulled my car over, and cried.  I cried for a good four minutes, and then realized that I felt stupid, and that other drivers probably thought I was nuts.  I don't wish my parents were still together, I realize that things are better this way.  A lot of blessings have come out of this change, including stronger relationships with most of my family members.  But still, it's hard sometimes.

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The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

The Good:  I will survive this extremely painful stomach ache I've had for the past two days.

The Bad:  It turns out, I'm not faking the pain to get out of things like working, heavy lifting, cleaning my room, etc.  I have an intestinal infection... Yep, my intestines are sick and basically stopped working.

The Ugly: At this point in time, I cannot eat solid food for the next 48 hours because my sick intestines can't digest it.  As for everything I've eaten in the past two days, it's just sitting there at the bottom of my stomach... Yes folks, I am literally "full of crap."  (actually, I'm just full of food... "pre-crap" if you will.)

I hate going to the emergency room.  I was trying to put it off, but mom was worried I had something wrong with my gallbladder, or appendix.  I assured her it was neither, because those areas of my abdomen weren't hurting, the pain was just "behind my belly button."  (Anatomy classes can come in so handy.)  I decided to take mom's advice, and go to the quick care.  I walked in, pale as a ghost, nauseous, and doubled over from the pain, and the first thing the doctor asked was, "Are you pregnant." 

The thing with doctors is that they never believe young female patients who say, "no."  No matter how many reasons or combinations of reasons are given justifying a non-pregnancy, "Birth Control Pills," "currently on my period," and "not sexually active (eww I hate that term)" they don't listen.  And so, like Freshman Gym, there was no getting out of it, and I had to pee in a cup- so embarrassing. 

Turns out, I was right.  (Take that E.P.T.!)  It's just a simple, very painful infection.  How or why I got it, I don't know.  What I do know is that I'm starving, but am confined to ingesting only Gatorade, water, and Popsicles for the next two days... I guess that's not such a bad thing.  I L♥VE Popsicles! 

After today's events, I'm left with more questions than answers.  "Like, does being pregnant hurt?"   Because if my state - extreme pain, doubling over, and nausea -  is common amongst pregnant women, I want no part of that, and the stork is just going to have to bring me babies.

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Fleetwood Friday

Hooray for Friday!  I know I say it all the time, but until recently I didn't think my job was stressful.  I have noticed though, that I have more stress than normal, so much so that others are commenting on it, and I go home at least once a week with a migraine!  I like my job, don't get me wrong, but I SO look forward to the weekend.

With finals also being this week, I'm spent.  Most of my co-workers are out of the office today at a conference at Disneyland (jealous!), so I've declared it Fleetwood Friday.  Yep, I've got the iPod shuffeling songs by Fleetwood Mac, and I'm chug-chug-chuging away at my work.  I find myself exteremly relaxed, and despite other things on my mind, I'm in a surprisingly good mood.

I strongly recommend Fleetwood Friday.

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Small Space Gardens

Recently, I have gotten some comments and e-mails from discouraged followers who would like to start a garden, but have little or no garden space.  To them I say, "despair not, for I have answers!"  A garden does not have to be an entire backyard setup, it doesn't have to be big, fancy, or look amazing.  Essentially, all anyone needs to garden is some dirt, water and seeds.  Yep, that's it.  In this post I'm going to talk about gardening in small spaces.  After reading, everyone will be so determined to go out and start their own little garden!

Where can I grow?

I dont' know why people thing they need a five acre spread to plant a garden.  I think, if there's space to walk, there's space to garden.  I'm lucky that I have a backyard, but BF doesn't, he's always wanted a garden but felt discouraged because all he has is a teeny-tiny balcony.  I showed him a few tricks, and now, we may as well call him Farmer John.  I've read of people in New York City starting gardens on their fire escapes (like Mike), or in window boxes as well.  The bottom line is that if you have any space where you can get 6"-18" {deep} of dirt, you're already on your way to success.

Mike from UrbanOrganicGardener.com grew a garden on his 2'x3' fire escape!

Whether you decide to plant on your balcony, in a window box or even on your welcome mat you need to make sure your garden will get enough sunlight for the "crops" you want to grow.  Most fruits and vegetables require full sun, but there are some like lettuce, carrots, and raspberries that can get away with a little more shade.  South facing areas are best, then comes east and west facing ones.  Do you ever notice that the north sides of mountains stay covered with snow long into spring time?  Since there isn't enough sunlight to melt the snow on a mountain, try to avoid planting on a north facing area.  If it's all you have, well it will do.  If you need to, you can go to a home store and pick up some growing lights for about $30.

Old dresser drawers, baskets and miscellaneous boxes and containers help this balcony garden

What can I grow?

Regardless of what people say, everyone everywhere can grow everything.  However, depending on where you live, some crops may grow more slowly than others and some may produce more fruit than others.  I live in a desert.  We have two extremes really hot or really cold.  I didn't think it would be possible to grow much, especially in the summer months when temperatures reach 120+ F, but to my surprise, there is a lot that does well here. 

To get started, the most important things to know are your Hardiness Zone, as well as your zone's First Frost and Last Frosts dates.  Based on these dates, you can figure out when to sow (put the seed in a planting cup), and when to transplant (put the seedling into the ground/dirt).  Once you know when to plant, deciding what to plant, won't be difficult.

If you're just wanting to know, "Morgan, what are going to be the easiest, most-fool-proof crops I can plant?"  Well, I'll tell you.

  • Leafy greens:  Salad staples like Lettuce, Cabbage and Mustard Greens grow quickly, and you can harvest the outer leaves while the inside leaves are still growing.  These greens prefer cooler weather, and will do well with partial sun and a little bit of shade.
  • Bush Beans and Peas:  such as Green Beans grow very well once they emerge as a seedling.  Although they don't tolerate cold weather very well, they require little attention.
  • Green Onions: these babies tolerate a wide range of cool to warm temperatures making them ideal for any planting season/location.
  • Zucchini and Summer Squash:  These guys are from the same family and are probably the easiest crops to grow.  Once they sprout, they grow like weeds, and one plant is enough to feed an entire family, however they need a little bit of room to grow, at least 12" per plant.
  • Cucumbers: Cucumbers are fairly easy to grow, but they spread out and take up a lot of space.  Using a trellis is a good idea to grow them vertically, saving space.
  • Blackberries:  Blackberries grow like weeds, and because they are a perennial, once you plant them, you'll never have to re-plant them.  They grow in almost all weather conditions, and as long as they get adequate sunlight you'll have to work to keep them under control!
  • Radishes: radishes grow from seed to plate in just over two months!  As long as they have warm weather, and full sun, these are easy peasy to grow.
  • Carrots:  Small spaces are ideal for growing carrots.  There is usually more shade than sun, and these babies aren't fussy.  While they take a while to grow, once planted, very little needs to be done with them.
  • Raspberries: These berries can grow on a trellis and do well in shady areas.

But what about tomatoes?  Tomatoes, although a staple in every garden, aren't that easy to grow.  They require some care, full sun, and warm temperatures.  In fact, if nighttime temperatures get too cool, the plants will bolt (flower) and they will stop producing fruit.  However, for any small space garden, I recommend a small variety of tomato like grape or cherry tomatoes!

Get Creative with Themed Gardens

Since beginning gardening, one of the cutest ideas I've heard about has been themed container gardens.  Do you like salad?  Great! Plant some lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, carrots, and radish seeds all in the same container!  Once it grows, there you have it, a salad garden!  For fun, add some edible flowers.  They make a tasty and colorful contribution to any summer salad.  My favorite edible flowers are violas, marigolds and nasturtiums! 

Another themed container garden idea is a Spaghetti garden.  Grow a single tomato plant, as well as basil, garlic chives, oregano and parsley.  Come harvest time, all you'll need is the pasta!  Still in the mood for Italian?  How about a Pizza Garden?  Tomatoes, peppers, and basil.  The simplest of all is an herb garden.  These will grow inside or out and don't require much sunlight.  I have an herb garden separate from my "big" garden where I grow Cilantro, Oregano, Basil, Sage, Rosemary, Thyme, and Parsley.

Growing Herbs in small spaces can be so cute!

What do I put it in?

"But Morgan, I don't have anywhere to put a bunch of dirt on my balcony/fire escape/window box..."

Small space gardening is often referred to as "Container Gardening."  Yea, it's that easy, get a container- 5 gallon buckets are only $2.00 at Home Depot- put some dirt in it and get growing!  Containers come in all shapes, sizes and colors.  Obviously, flower pots are a good choice, but remember they need to be at least 12" in diameter for most crops.  I recently found these at home depot, and of course bought the raspberry and lime ones for my two watermelon plants! 


Other common options include, wine barrels, plastic trash cans or storage bins (like the ones from Target in your garage), or planter boxes.

Check out this video from my favorite garden guru at GrowingYourGreens.com

Window boxes are another good option.  They can be found at any home or home improvement store and have been good garden homes for centuries.
The Topsy Turvey!  While they are a bit gimmicky and a bit cheesy, these work so well for small space gardening.  They hang from the ceiling, so as long as there is sun, you dont' need much else.  Not only do they grow tomatoes, they grow just about anything (that isn't a bulb, like onions and radishes, or a root crop, like potatoes and carrots) with a strong stalk, such as peppers, bush beans, pole beans, strawberries, zucchinis, squash, cucumbers, etc.  If it grows on a vine, you can grow it in a topsy turvey!  Another amazing reason to buy a Topsy Turvey, it is IMPOSSIBLE to over-water the plant inside it!

While writing this post, I discovered another one of John's videos about the Phytopod!  This thing is about $65.00, but holy cow, it is amazing.  Watch and learn!

Get Creative with Containers
Just for fun, I google image searched "creative small space gardening."  Below is just a sample of the gloriousness I found, and all I have to say is that if they can do it, anyone can do it!

How do I plant the seeds?

Uhh, you put in the dirt and then water it....  I'm just kidding.  To be honest when I started my garden, I was a little nervous about this one.  Do I just put one seed in each hole, or can I put in more than one?  I started all of my seeds in peat cups and put about 2-5 seeds in each one, depending on the size of the seed.  Once they sprout, and grow four sets of true leaves, it's time to put them in the dirt... the real dirt, like your container. 

I have been using a method called Square Foot Gardening.  Established in the 1980's, it was developed to get maximum crops from minimum planting space.  Square foot gardening focuses on organic methods including compost, closely planted raised beds/containers, and a small clearly defined garden area.  Essentially, the theory is to divide your container into square feet.  The size of each crop will then determine how many plants/seedlings you can put in each square foot.  For example, one square foot will hold one tomato plant, but another square foot might hold 16 carrot plants.

My 2012 Garden plan with black beans, peas, edamame, green beans, bell peppers, tomatoes, radishes, cucumbers, squash, zucchini, carrots, sweet potatoes, strawberries, celery, green onions, onions, garlic, chives, asparagus, endive, New Zealand spinach, artichoke, broccoli, cauliflower, bok choy, arugula, kale, leaf lettuce, crisphead lettuce, radicchio, Malabar spinach, swiss chard and spinach

When gardening in containers or small spaces, there is a loophole to planting more per square foot than you would think.  For example, peas can be grown vertically on a trellis in a container, but you could also plant carrots in the same container, which don't take up much "air space" as they are a root vegetable.

For a list of plant spacing, click this link.

Now, You're Ready

But wait!  I have a few side notes you may want to read. 

When you purchase your containers, be sure to drill a few drainage holes in the bottom.  Otherwise you plants may get waterlogged or grow a fungus.

Because you're growing in a small container as opposed to the large ground, you'll need to water and fertilize your plants more often.  Since my plants are still in their growing cups, I'm giving them a decent watering twice daily.  Once they go into the ground, they won't need so much.  Fertilizing is usually done ever 3-4 weeks.  With container gardens I would go every 2-3.
The most important thing in starting any garden is to use good soil.  Ideal soil is made of 100% compost or worm castings (poop) with rock dust minerals.  Many people are grossed out by the though of making their own compost, so luckily is sold fairly cheap at most nursery's.  If full compost is not an option, get a good mix of 30% compost, 30% Vermiculite or Perlite (available at Walmart, Home Depot or Lowe's) and 30% Peat moss.  Ready made planting soils are often a waste of money because they lack necessary plant nutrition, and you end up spending a fortune in fertilizers and soil amenders.

If you want to start a garden but don't want to fuss with watering, or if you are a little forgetful, you could try building a self-watering container.  For a variety of different video tutorials, check out Mike over at Urban Organic Gardener.  These containers are incredible and so convenient for our super-heated desert climate!
OK, Now you're ready.  Good Luck!

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My Mom is the Best

Most moms get one day to celebrate how great they are.  This past weekend, my mom got two.  This is proof that she is the best mom in the world!  Not only was Sunday Mother's Day, but Monday was my Mom's birthday.  I would just like to give a little shout out to my mom.

Thank you for sewing buttons on my clothes, making me dinner almost every night, taking care of me when I'm sick, holding me when I cry, giving me good-I-need-to-hear-it-even-if-don't-want-to advice, being a good example, demonstrating faith no matter how many obstacles you encounter, never-ending selflessness, telling me to have a good day every morning when I leave for work even when you're still in bed, my "I love you" text messages every morning, wishing me luck before every exam, praying for my happiness, letting me borrow your shoes, all you have taught me, doing my laundry, helping me plant my garden, always being honest, cleaning my room for me, cleaning my bathroom for me, always thinking positively, making family your number one priority, helping me with homework, being supportive of all of my endeavors, and so much more.  I love you mom, more than words can express.

"All that I am or hope to be, I owe to my Angel Mother."
~ Abraham Lincoln

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Save Money Challenge | Introduction

Lately I have really come to enjoy gardening and all of things that go along with it.  So what "goes along with it?"  To be honest, one of the major benefits, and reasons I started gardening is to save money.  I love saving money at the grocery store, but I love getting stuff  for free even more.  My diet consists mainly of produce, and cereal, with a few rice/chicken/beef/pasta themed dinners thrown in somewhere.  Because I eat a lot of produce, I was shopping for it once or twice a week, and spending a fair amount of money. 

For example, I eat a salad with at least one meal every day.  Typically I buy the pre-cut, pre-bagged stuff.  Why?  Because If I were to just buy a head of ice berg lettuce, I'm substituting cost for nutrition.  Since I'm not willing to do that, I buy the more expensive, ready-to-go, healthier stuff.  These bags of lettuce/spinach/mixed greens, etc. cost me close to  $3.00 a bag (and I can eat the whole bag in one setting).  Even if I don't have a salad every day of the week, and cut out a few days $3.00 x 5 days is $15.00 per week... just in salad!  However, I bought a pack of lettuce seeds with 5 different varieties, as well as a pack of iceberg lettuce seeds for $0.75 each.  That's $1.50 for a whole bunch of lettuce.  It converts to the price of one head of lettuce, plus much more for FREE!

I realize that it takes a few months to grow lettuce from seed to harvest, but lettuce can be grown year round, so once started  I'm not missing my salads during the overlap periods.  Also, it is important to know a few things about lettuce in particular. 

  1. Stagger planting times.  I planted 8 plants right at the start, and then planted 8 more about 3 weeks later.  This means the plants will all come to maturity at different times, so that when I harvest one crop, I will have more lettuce ready in just a few weeks.

  2. With lettuce, it is smarter to practice "sustainable harvesting."  What is this?  When it comes time to eat the lettuce, I have one of two options.  First, I could cut the entire head of lettuce out of the ground, chop it up, and make a salad.  Easy enough, but this leaves me in a pickle for future eating.  If I cut the whole plant out of the ground, it won't grow back.  It won't produce more lettuce for me to eat in a few weeks.  I basically have to start completely over from a seed - which takes months.  My second option is to go around each my 8-16 plants and pick 1-2 leaves from the outside of the plant.  This will give me 8-32 huge lettuce leaves, plenty to chop up and put into a salad. 
I Challenge You to Save Money

I know that many people don't have a garden, or an interest in gardening.  But like I said, gardening has opened my eyes to other money saving lifestyle changes- like reducing my power bill by 75% ever year.  Over the next few months, I will post an easy, inexpensive idea people can do to help them save money.  Notice the key words  EASY and INEXPENSIVE.  The great thing is that I'm allowing an entire month to complete a task.  After all the steps are complete, your cost of living will be dramatically reduced!  So, if you're interested in saving some serious dough, stay tuned for more!

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In Recovery

I hate those weekends where all I'm left with on Monday morning is the need for another weekend.  I haven't been feeling well since last Wednesday, but chalked it up to allergies.  I ate a meal of Allegra, Benedryl and Pseudophed almost twice daily.  However, early Friday morning, I was sent home for work with more than allergies.  Turns out, I had been treating the flu with allergy medicine.  No wonder I never felt better.

De ja vu  from 2009

I wish I had amazing weekend pictures to share, or interesting things to write about.  I actually do, but that will have to wait for another day when I'm feeling less coughy, stuffy, runny-noesy, and achey. I spent the weekend on the couch watching the DIY network.  Have you seen it?  It's my new favorite channel.  I was able to make it to church with my mom for Mother's Day, but that's about it. 

Today, I feel a little better, but I'm upset that it's Monday.  I had a lot I wanted to do this weekend, you know, instead of studying for finals...  So here's to Monday, the worst day of the week!

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Happy Birthday Gibber-Snibbs

My little brother turned 21 yesterday!  I can't believe he's getting so big.  I remember the day he came home from the hospital, how much I instantly fell in love with him, and the idea of being a big sister.  Being a big sister meant that I had someone to look out for, someone to play with, and someone to dress up!

I love that as we get older, our relationship has changed from that of brother/sister to that of friends.  I have so enjoyed this "little" guy.  I loved his prayers when he was little (we still tease him about how he used to say them), and his dolphin laugh.  I love that he doesn't mind when I call him Gibber-Snibbs in front of his friends, I love his random-off-the-wall conversation starters, I love just hanging out with him, I love how he quickly and casually says, "Love ya Morg," at random times, I love how he let's me call him "Debbie" because he was downgraded from "Nancy," and most of all, I love how he always has my back.

Griffin, the "single triplet," I love you so much, and am so glad you're my little brother!

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Scenes From the Weekend

 Big M has a lung infection.  I made fun of her when she was taking her medication, declaring "It's not marijuana, it's salvia!"

  I visited the Las Vegas Springs Preserve for the first time.  I liked it so much I signed up to be a volunteer.  If you haven't been yet, GO!

♥  Have you ever seen Iceberg Roses?  They are white roses that grow on a bush, not a vine.  They grow in clusters, and are gorgeous!

  Speaking of roses, I bought a bunch of red Carpet Roses for my front yard.  They are much smaller than typical roses, and grow outwards, covering the floor like a carpet.  I nearly died I got so excited, they are so beautiful.

  My compost is coming along nicely.  Would you believe that not even a month ago, this black dirt was actually all of my kitchen's organic garbage as well as some lawn and shrub clippings?  Every time I walk by my giagantor compost bin, I expect it to smell like what it is... rotting garbage.  But it doesn't!  It smells like lush potting soil!  Us Las Vegans don't get to smell that smell, our natural soil is just desert rock...  I take every opportunity to get a big whiff when I'm watering and mixing it!

  I was craving chocolate so I made some cupcakes.  Note to self, store bought cupcakes do not taste like the chocolate in Grandma's Surprise Cupcakes.  Note to self #2, next time, check the expiration date on the frosting before putting on all 36 cupcakes.

  I finally finished my garden bed!  I added another 6" of redwood, attached the poles (for the shade covering) and filled it with 50% soil and 50% compost!  Ev ordered me some mycorrhizae (if you don't use this in your garden, get some ASAP, it's amazing).  I also purchased some Rock Dust Minerals, and now I am ready to get my veggies in the ground!
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