Sunday, February 28, 2010

Wal-Mart vs. Kroger

I will be the first to give you a long list of reasons that Wal-Mart is miserable. It is dirty, the lines are long, your fellow shoppers are not friendly, I am scared for my life in the parking lot, etc, etc...However, one of my new year's resolutions was to keep track of all my grocery receipts and to go over them at the end of each month and see where I was spending money I didn't need to spend. All throughout January I saw the commercials on TV about how much money the average family saves a month by shopping at Wal-Mart. So at the end of January I decided that for the whole month of February I would shop at Wal-Mart and then compare the receipts at the end of the month. I'm proud to say I did my grocery shopping at Wal-Mart the entire month and didn't lose steam (which I was nervous about)! There were a few trips to Kroger during the month, like when chicken was on sale at Kroger or when I couldn't find what I needed at Wal-Mart. So I just finished putting all my receipts in to an excel worksheet and here are the numbers...

January at Kroger: $94.29 for the month
Average Spent per Trip: $31.43

Wal-Mart: $83.49 for the month
Average Spent per Trip: $26.67

The difference was less then I expected. However, I realized that my earliest receipt from Kroger was from January 12th. So it wasn't an entire month, since the beginning of the month I was in Memphis. So unfortunately...It is worth it to shop at Wal-Mart. And I have to say as pleased as it makes me to save money I feel distressed that my shopping days will now be spent at Wal-Mart. I am nervous about how expensive life is going to be when I am supporting myself, so I'm trying to start good money-saving habits now. I was so happy with this experiment...until I talked to my sister Abigail tonight. She went to a "couponing" workshop last weekend and came home with a coupon binder as well as many new tips and tricks for saving money. This past week she put her new knowledge to work and changed her grocery bill from $95 to $55! This makes my savings seem pretty measly. However, her savings center around the Publix coupons and BOGO, which I can't experience because Auburn has no Publix! So if you have a Publix, it sounds like their coupons can change your grocery experience dramatically! When I move to Birmingham I am going to call Ab and learn all her tricks for the Publix Coupon Game!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Million Dollar Muffins

This has been the week of enjoying Christmas subscriptions! My mom got me a subscription to the cooking magazine "Simple and Delicious" and it came in last week. I've been looking through it for the last week trying to decide what to try first. There was a recipe for "Apple Cheddar Muffins" that caught my eye. I love cheese, and this recipe sounded so odd I figured it must be good. And I happened to already have almost all of the ingredients, so I decided there was no harm in trying it. The recipe called for 1/2 cup shredded apple, so that was the first thing I did.

Next I mixed together the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Once I mixed them together I added the cheese. Then added the 1/2 cup apple.

Lastly I added milk, melted butter, and an egg and put them in the oven at 400 for 18 minutes.

They turned out well! It is hard to explain exactly what they taste like. The apple spice taste is the most dominant flavor, but if you think about it while you are eating it you can definitely taste the cheese. It sounds so weird, I know, but they were good!


So you are probably wondering why I am calling these the "Million Dollar Muffins." So here is why...I came home this afternoon ready to make the muffins, but when I got out all of the ingredients I realized I didn't have any milk. So I got in my car and went to the grocery store. As I was pulling in to the PACKED Kroger parking lot I was kicking myself for forgetting the milk and having to go to Kroger during the after school/pre-dinner rush. So I was scurrying through the grocery store, doing my best to go straight to the back of the store for the milk and leave as soon as possible. But as I was walking down the frozen food aisle I almost ran in to an old lady coming out from the organic section. I quickly (but sincerely) apologized and kept moving when I heard her say "Hey! Are you in college?" My heart sank and I prepared myself for a lecture about how I'm old enough to know better than to move so fast. However this is the conversation that followed...

Jean: "Hey! Are you in college?"
Me: "Yes ma'am."
Jean: "Have you graduated yet? When do you graduate?"
Me: "I graduate this May."
Jean: "Well I have a gift for you." (Hands me an envelope)
Me: "Oh...(confused) Thank you."
Jean: "Well open it." (I open it) "Read the paper!" (Jean was a little bit demanding)

-So I open the envelope, pull out a coin, and read the paper. It was a piece of paper that Jean herself had typed out. It included all the information about the coin and was signed by herself.

Me: "This is so nice, but I really don't want to take your coin from you." (Try to hand it back to her)
Jean: "No! Its a gift! For you! I've already given away 700!"
Me: "Okay well thank you so much." (I say, smile, and begin to walk away)
Jean: "If you keep that coin forever you will never be poor a day in your life! You'll be a millionare one day and think back about the old lady from the grocery store!"


So with the promise of a lifetime of wealth I went to get my milk, and left the store. My roommates were asking what she looked like, so if you are interested, she looked completely normal! The only odd thing was that her basket was full of small individually wrapped candy canes, and she had no groceries. But other than that, Jean was just the average Kroger shopper.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Saturday Style Watch

So, it's Saturday night and Anna and I are sitting here reading the newest People Style Watch (thanks rob and al!). It is awesome first of all because Kate Hudson is on the front, and secondly because it features all the styles for SPRING. If you don't know this about me, I HATE winter. Hate It. When October comes and all my roommates start getting excited about their sweaters, I sit and dread the upcoming chilly months. And if you ask me February is a particularly unfortunate month. The only good thing about February is that March comes after it. And I do love March! Okay, so enough about my feelings about the seasons and months...These are the latest Spring styles and trends:

-Clear Jewelry
-Wedges
-Floral shirts, skirts, and dresses
-Bright lip colors (Ex: Orange Red)
-Sorbet and pastel colors

This skirt below is on my spring wish list... It is from Forever21. Which means since it is cheap I will probably order it by the end of the weekend, but I'm going to sleep on it for a night.

And I decided my spring resolution is to wear more heels. And this should be easy since I love all the wedges that are in stores. I was trying to think of the reasons that heels are good: They make me seem taller/make my legs look longer, they help with posture, they make casual outfits more dressy. Anna said heels are good because they are feminine...but she expressed this by saying, "Girls wear shirts, boys wear shirts, girls wear pants, boys wear pants, girls wear heels, but boys don't wear them."

So here is to warm weather, new trends, and heels.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Valentine's Day Cookies

I oftentimes use Fletcher coming in town as an excuse to bake something I've been wanting to try. For months now I've wanted to try to make Royal Icing. I have been very intimidated by it for multiple reasons...but since it was Valentine's Day I decided to try it.
I started by making sugar cookies and then shaping them with my handy dandy heart cookie cutters.
Next, I made the icing...this was quite the task! It was made of meringue powder, powdered sugar, and water. I had to beat it for 15 minutes! At the end of this 15 minutes our poor hand-held mixer (which we estimate is about 30 years old) was smelling like fire! I think 15 minutes of hard beating was asking too much of the old mixer. After it was finally finished I separated it into three bowls and colored them red and pink.

The cookies didn't turn out quite as I had hoped, but thankfully Fletcher is always pleased no matter what.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Snow Day

Yesterday afternoon we heard the exciting news that Friday classes were canceled because of the winter storm that was headed our way. We were all so excited! This morning I woke up at 7:30 and looked outside, expecting to see a world of white...There was nothing! So then I was thinking that class got canceled for nothing (not that I was complaining) and that there wouldn't be any snow. But around 9:00 it started snowing and it hasn't stopped since. Big fluffy snowflakes! This is definitely the first time I have experienced such a heavy snow in my time at Auburn! They say we might have up to 5 inches! However, I'm anxiously awaiting to see if this snow will keep Fletcher from coming to Auburn this weekend. It looks like Mollye might have to be my Valentine this year...

Monday, February 8, 2010

Chased

Mollye and I had a very traumatizing experience yesterday. I like to take mollye around a small loop right near our house. It only takes 5 minutes to walk around and she always likes it. So yesterday after church I decided to take her around the block to go to the bathroom. So we are walking and we are on the street behind my house and all the sudden I hear a growl and look up and there is a german shepherd running towards us. And its not like there was an invisible fence that I just couldn't see, it was crossing the street and coming towards us. So I start yelling "No! No! No!" and running back in the direction of my house. Mollye is old and has bad joints so she can't keep up and so I'm pulling her as hard as I can to try to make her run and she is crying because I'm hurting her by pulling her. So I look behind me and the dog is still coming so I stop, pick mollye up and sprint home. Once we rounded the corner the dog didn't follow us, but I was nervous mollye and I were going to be toast. I hate german shepherds in the first place, and definitely don't like dogs coming after me and mollye. And I'm sure it looked very funny, me holding mollye sprinting down the street in my church clothes, and now that we are safe and sound I can laugh about it but I was not laughing at the time!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Chocolate Peanut Butter Love

I've been wanting an excuse to try out my new heart-shaped cookie cutters, and this week I found my excuse! I needed to make up the work that I missed last Thursday in my hospitality finance class...miserable! So I thought before I got started on hours of staring at excel spreadsheets I would do something a little more enjoyable...Make peanut butter cookies!


Since I wanted to use my heart-shaped cookie cutters I decided I would put Dove milk chocolate hearts in the center of the cookie instead of a hershey kiss.

And I was excited to unwrap the hearts and read the "dove promises", but was disappointed to find that they were special edition dove hearts with tips from Martha Stewart-Lame! None of the tips were interesting at all, Thanks for nothing Martha.

After they came out of the oven I immediately put the heart in the center of the cookie, and then after a few minutes, while they were still warm, I cut out the cookies.

My heart cookie cutter provided the perfect afternoon distraction!


Update on Mollye's Auburn Adventure:
-Lacey was offended that I didn't add an exception to my last post and let you know that Mollye DOES like Lacey. Earlier this week mollye let lacey take her out, but yesterday...not so much. So now mollye officially won't let anyone in the BH take her out but me.
-I take her out probably 15-20 times a day. For example this morning I took her out 3 times before my 9 o'clock class (and it was freezing and raining). So each time she was standing by the door whining I took her out, and she didn't go to the bathroom once!
-Also, yesterday morning I took her out when I got out of the shower and was standing outside in my bright pink robe with wet hair, wishing she would go to the bathroom. As I was standing out there waiting, numerous people were walking by on their way to class. After one guy looked at us and literally laughed out loud, I gave up and went inside.
-Kree and Anna have decided they aren't going to risk petting Mollye. Kree said last night, "Well I love dogs, and I think she's cute but I'm just scared to touch her."



Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Scattered...

I have alot of different things to say, so this is going to be a scattered post...This weekend I went home to Memphis for my mom's wedding. It was a busy busy weekend, but it was so good to get to spend time with my siblings. Now that we live in 4 different places it is always such a treat when we get to be together. As I left Memphis on Sunday I realized that very possibly the next time I see Allison and Rob it will be to welcome Baby Girl Bradsher in to the world, and the next time I will see Abigail and Matt, I will be an Auburn graduate.

Mollye's big Auburn adventure has begun. She left Memphis with me and Fletcher on Sunday and began her 2 week stay in Auburn. She did a really good job in the car! This is what it looked like as we were pulling out of my neighborhood, a winter wonderland!

I think if Mollye could talk she would tell me that she does not like Auburn and that she would like to go back to her winter wonderland. She follows me everywhere! Anytime I leave the room she gets up and follows me. And when I'm gone during the day she doesn't interact with any of my roommates, she sits in my room on her bed. Today I had class from 8-12, then work from 12-5:30, so Leah tried to take Mollye out in the afternoon to go to the bathroom. It was unsuccessful, Mollye snapped at leah 3 times and wouldn't let her put her on the leash. But now that I'm home Mollye has not left my side. Just now I was looking at all the blogs I stalk daily, and Mollye was right here, head on the computer...

For those of you who watch the Bachelor, but think that it is absolutely ridiculous you might enjoy this website-www.ihategreenbeans.com. It is very funny!

And lastly, the AORTA running group in Auburn is putting on a run to raise money for Haiti. It is on February 13 at 8 a.m.. There is a 5k and a one mile run, both start at Amsterdam Cafe. It is $15 or $10 if you don't want a t-shirt. Let me know if you are interested!