Tuesday, May 14, 2013

We did it!

We really did it!  We paid off our car this morning!  Boy did that feel good!  :)  It probably won't really sink in until we get the title in the mail in a few days.

So.... next up is our $1,000 Emergency Fund.  I know, I know, we're supposed to have done that FIRST, but that thing was causing us a lot of problems, so we decided to skip ahead, pay off the car, and then do the $1,000 Emergency Fund before hitting the student loans extra hard.  So... that's the plan!

We're also looking forward to a PAID FOR vacation, date nights and giving a little bit more money away.  That's the plan for now anyway!  :)

Oh... and Daniel is getting his wisdom teeth out in June, and his dental insurance should be covering most of that.  That's the biggest reason why we were able to pay off the car, since we didn't have to hang on to extra to pay off the oral surgeon.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

I'm back!

Bet you all thought I was gone for good, didn't you!  Well... I'm back now!

Life got crazy busy for us there for awhile.  We were sick, which I why I wasn't blogging at first.  And then my piano studio went crazy.  I picked up a bunch more students (four last week alone) and now I have 16 students each week!  Yikes!

The adventures in gluten-free, casein-free, egg-free eating continue.  I just started a loaf of french bread in our bread maker.  This is the first time I've used the bread maker since last summer. I'm hoping the loaf turns out okay.  I'm still trying to figure out the best egg substitute for various items.  I'm using Ener-G egg replacer in this bread mix.  I guess we'll see what happens.  :)

Our car is getting older.  We're going to have to do some repairs on it next week.  We're hoping that will be it for awhile, but it sure is discouraging watching our savings disappear into yet ANOTHER repair bill.  :P

Speaking of savings... we're still trucking along, trying to get out of debt.  I think it has helped that we're getting really close to paying off the car, so it's giving us that extra little bit of excitement that we've been missing.  We'll probably have the car paid off by August, if not before.  Then it's on to the student loans!  :)

That's the update from us!  How are all of you doing?

Monday, February 11, 2013

Missed you all last week!


Sorry to disappear off the face of the blogosphere like that.  I ended up with a cold, and then spent the rest of the week trying to get my feet under me.  My piano studio is GROWING.  :)  I have five students now, and a trial lesson with one more tomorrow.  I'm still waiting to hear back from a mom I replied to last week (I think I will e-mail her again today), and that could be two more students!  I'm definitely keeping busy!  :)

How have you all been?

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Oatmeal with Craisins and....


Since we've gone gluten-free and discovered Daniel's egg allergy, breakfasts have gotten more complicated, or more interesting, however you'd like to look at it. One thing we've been eating a lot more of is oatmeal.  But what do you do when you run out of your "standard" toppings?  You have to get a little more inventive.

I've been watching some episodes of Cupcake Wars lately, and one thing that they do a lot is mix two flavors that you might not otherwise put in a cupcake.  So, I decided to try the same thing with my oatmeal yesterday.

Usually I put brown sugar in my oatmeal, but we ran out on Saturday when I made a GFCF apple crisp.

We did have Craisins on hand, and they taste great in oatmeal.  But, I wanted something salty to help soothe my sore throat, balance the sweetness of the Craisins, and give me a little protein with my carbs.

Enter.... BACON.

That's right.  I put Craisins and bacon in my oatmeal yesterday and it was.... GREAT!  I'll definitely be doing that again.  :)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Birthday!


Happy Birthday to my loving husband, Daniel!  :)

Monday, January 28, 2013

The Promised Foodie Review

I mentioned last week that I might do a food review during ICLW, so here you go, on the last day of ICLW!


Last weekend we were invited to another couple's house for dinner, and I offered to bring dessert.  I had a box of Betty Crocker Gluten-Free Brownie Mix on hand, so I decided to whip that up and take it along.  Good thing I started early, because it was an epic fail. However, I don't think it's a bad mix.

Let me explain.  I didn't follow the instructions to a T, and I made one modification to the recipe.  Here's a list of the things I think might have gone wrong, and how I'd like to change them for the next time I attempt to make this mix.

Possible Issue #1--In addition to all his more run-of-the-mill allergies, Daniel is also allergic to eggs.  So, that means I have to get a little more creative when I'm baking.  I had some Ener-G egg replacer on hand, so I decided to use that in place of the eggs.  Next time, I think I might try something like applesauce. I've done that in cakes before, and it has worked just fine.

Possible Issue #2--Our oven's temperature is off by as much as 50 degrees.  We are aware of this issue, and we know how to compensate for it.  But, it might just be that this particular GF mix is not forgiving enough. Next time I think I might try to get my hands on an oven thermometer.

Possible Issue #3--You're supposed to test it with a wooden toothpick.  I don't have any.  So, I did what I always do with all my baking, and tested it with a metal knife.  It never did come out clean, even though the top got hard and crispy.  Next time I'll use a match if I have to!  :P

Possible Issue #4--I left my pizza stone in the oven while it was baking, like I always do.  But again, I'm wondering if the GF mix is just too finicky for that.  Next time I'll take the pizza stone out.

Possible Issue #5--I used a glass pan.  The instructions call for a non-stick or dark pan.  I have neither (nor would I want to.  Teflon and heavy metals? No thank you!).  I won't be changing anything about that.

So... there you have it.  Five possible reasons why my gluten-free brownies didn't turn out last weekend.  I will say though, that the batter tasted just fine (no eggs, remember?), so I think that the mix itself is still good, it's just my baking process that may need a little tweaking.

I did turn up some reviews on Amazon of other bakers that had similar issues with this mix and Ener-G egg replacer.  I do not recommend using Ener-G egg replacer with this mix.  It just seems like too many of us have had issues with the mix and that replacer for it to be a coincidence.

Friday, January 25, 2013

There's a First Time for Everything


Today I'm filing business taxes for the first time ever.  *gulp*  I'm a little nervous about it.  I was REALLY nervous about it until yesterday when I called the Department of Revenue and a nice lady there walked me through the e-file process and helped me to figure out exactly what categories I needed to file under.  I'm so proud of myself that it looks like I collected enough tax to cover what I owe!  :D

So, yep, first time filing business taxes.  Fun stuff.  :)