expr:class='"loading" + data:blog.mobileClass'>

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Tasteful Tuesdays

This week's tried recipe - Pasta Carbonara:

A little bacon in olive oil (Italian's use pancetta)

The su chef isn't too happy to assist! (but loves the eating part)

A little more bacon is needed

Yum Parmesan grated by su Bill


Crisp bacon and lots of garlic added

A toss with the spaghetti, eggs, and Parmesan (2 eggs per 1 lb. pasta, not 3 - oops)

Plated and ready to eat!

Monday, February 25, 2013

85 Years and Counting

Happy Birthday to the most wonderful person I know, my grandma Reva Sahm, who is 85 years young!  Thank you for being the best, grandma!
This is what my aunt Kathy posted about her mom, my grandma, and Addie's great-grandma - 

Happy birthday to my mom, Reva Sahm, the only child of farmers who-- graduated from Purdue, became a high school teacher, got married and popped out 9 kids in 14 years, lost her husband at the age of 45, battled breast cancer at 70, flew a plane at 83, is an amazing grandma to 25, great-grandma to 8, soon to be 10, and still enjoys life (and wine) to the fullest.

Grandma Reva, in the quad at Purdue

Grandma's late husband, my grandpa Bill
Photo: My 80 year-old mom, Reva Sahm, taking her first flying lesson last week, trying to upstage my birthday.
Grandma taking her first flying lesson

Grandma with her 9 kids

Grandma with her 9 kids and the inlaws outlaws

At our wedding

Grandma with Addie Jo, her youngest great grandchild (February 2012)

Grandma with Addie at her 85th birthday party yesterday (February 2013)

We love you!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

7 Quick Takes

7 quick takes sm1 7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 208)

Back again with Jen for 7 Quick Takes Friday.

1.) This week I wanted to start posting something about FOOD on Tuesdays and maybe call it something like Tasteful Tuesdays (hopefully I won't be plagiarizing).  It would be a way to post something related to food from the week - like recipes, dinners we've had, places to eat, etc.  Since I didn't get my act together enough to get a post together, I at least took a pic of what my sister Katie made for us last Friday for dinner:

Katie's gluten free gnocchi with thyme and basil, served with sauteed esparagas - perfect for a Lenten Friday

2.) This past week I learned another of the many mom lessons I keep learning lately - Always have more than one pair of shoes on hand for your little one.  Addie's feet are growing so fast that I can't keep up with buying her new ones!  And unfortunately, last Saturday night, she lost one at grandma's house!  So she had to wear her socks to church on Sunday morning, and then afterwards, we headed straight out to buy her some shoes (half off of course)! 

She thought she was pretty cool picking out a pair with her dad:

Check me out, mom

I'm off!

Then she thought this was the coolest thing - walking in the alley with her dad and her new kicks!

Stepping in sync with dad; view of Minnie shoes

Look at me, guys

3.) Speaking of grandma's house, grandma and grandpa have some new tenants living with them now - the Sahm Family!  My brother Andy and sister-in-law Jessie and their three boys sold their house downtown and are living with mom and dad until they find a house in our neighborhood!  So you can imagine how much AJ loves going over there - well, she always does - but now that she has cousins to play with too.  And let me tell you, she walks with a swagger because she "thinks" she is one of them and "thinks" she's playing basketball and tag with them.  It's hysterical. 

Ari, I'm just going to stare at you until you notice me ;)

Showing some "I'm cool" swagger

4.) AND since Addie is obsessed basketball hoops and points them out everywhere we go, she loves that there is a hoop her size that she and Zeke can play with at grandma's.  She claps for herself after every shot, and sometimes even before she "shoots."  We have to get her one for our house for Easter...

Two Points!

Yeah, Zeke!

5.) Dadadadada is what is constantly coming out of Addie's mouth around here.  This week, she's been calling and looking for Bill constantly, even when he's at work.  Then when he comes home, she wants me to hold her.  Of course!  But these two have the best time together - 

Growling like bears at each other

6.)  Addie came down with her 4th cold this winter and whenever I take her to the doc, they just say, keep with the Benedryl, it will pass in a week.  Well, after a really tough Wednesday afternoon and two semi-sleepless nights, we heard from the doctor that she has an ear infection.  It was finally something this time that we could give her medicine for!  She's already feeling better, but man, those things stink!  And she still has her cough on top of that, poor thing!

7.) And for number 7, I just had to share two of my best purchases from Once Upon A Child yesterday:

Diaper bag for $8. I was using a regular bag from Goodwill but this is large enough for two puffs and all their pool things!

Baby Bjorn Active Carrier, $20 - I didn't even know they had this larger size - up to 34"!!!

I saved almost $200 by buying these items used rather than new!  Yippee!  Happy last weekend in February!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Savings vs. Splurges

Someone asked me the other day how "Casa Williams" makes it by on one income.  
I first responded, "With careful thought," and then continued to list a couple of ways we save on our purchases...
 But in actuality, even though it is a sacrifice on one income in many ways, I DO know how blessed we are to be able to do it and don't want to catch myself complaining because we have decided it is definitely worth it for our family! AND yes, that means that I am a stay at home mom, which, by the way, someone just reminded me that that's what the acronym SAHM is; but it is ACTUALLY my maiden name.  Haha, and German, at that. 

- First of all, I have so much admiration for extreme couponers and can't believe how much savings there are to be had out there, but don't think I'd ever be able to become one because: 

1.)  I'd rather do other things in the 30 hours a week it takes to stay on top of extreme couponing
2.)  It takes too much math and science for my brain to handle
3.)  Even though we think our house is so cute and charming - 1,300 square feet doesn't leave any extra space to store 732 rolls of paper towels...

I DO use coupons here and there but am not a "couponer"
So here are the ways in which we SAVE - AND I know I could be MUCH better with this, as I'm sure some of you can cut costs like crazy!

- Addie Jo's clothes and toys- This is probably the biggest one for us.  I live by Once Upon A Child - a second hand kids' clothes store in Indy but I believe elsewhere too - and I try to to hit up the BIG semi-annual sales.  It is so great to find an Easter dress for $4 rather than $25, especially because kids only where some things ONCE!

costume, undershirt, tights, shoes - all second hand - like every other outfit!

- GYM MEMBERSHIP - We walk, run, bike, and swim outside instead - although I know many people have CHEAP memberships. 

Does pushing the stroller count as weights?

- BABY FORMULA - Even though I nursed for 9 months, when I switched to formula, after a month of the name brand formula, I realized that all baby formula has to be approved by the FDA and saw that the cheap stuff was 1/2 the price of the real!  It was hard to go back to buying the name brand stuff (which I might get some slack for from a few of you ;))

- Hair dye supplies - I don't get my hair dyed professionally and haven't for ten years.  Instead, I buy in bulk at Sally Beauty and do it myself every 3 weeks, rotating highlights and regular dye every other time on my roots!  I also cut my own hair, with the help of my mom, and Bill's hair, too!

- Most of our clothes - I don't remember the last time I bought something that wasn't on sale - and usually a pretty good one!  Even though we don't save as much as we do with Addie's clothes, most of our stuff is on SALE at already marked down Marshalls.  Brand name shoes, coats, socks, etc. are all bought from there!  I've even been known to find some good things at Goodwill's 50% off first Saturday of the month days.  It's not always easy to find the time to go rumaging, but I'm pretty proud of the deals I find!
*I definitely get this thrifty-ness from my mom, who had 3 daughters to help dress for special occasions - she actually bought the my bridesmaids dresses for $40 at Macy's for the bridesmaids (without asking me, of course... and of course they worked).

Some of my favorite stores for savings -
Marshalls/TJ Maxx/Homegoods - for everything under the sun - purses, socks, shoes, dresses, candles     
Big Lots: for makeup, specialty foods
Christmas Tree Shop - a hidden treasure out of New England, located south of Indy
Dollar Tree for Kosher Salt, spices, thank you cards, party decor and balloons.  I even bought the hurricane vases for our wedding centerpieces here.
Trader Joes: Cheeses, olive oil, and wine - not just Two Buck Chuck but there are some great 4 and 5 dollar bottles, too.

Trader Joe's

BOTH Savings and Splurges-

Phones - we justify me having an iphone with a hefty monthly payment because Bill doesn't have a monthly cell phone bill - he uses his work phone as his "all the time phone."
Bill's phone looks something like this, poor thing.
Shoes - it's a must to buy quality shoes because I have plantar fasciitas and Bill is on his feet all day.  It doesn't mean we don't shop sales or Marshalls, but they have to be good shoes!
Yea Mizunos!

Food - I almost always cook!  Even though we LOVE to go out to eat more than most things!  If someone asks what we want for a birthday, we usually say giftcards to eat out!  AND we still do it once in awhile or order pizza here and there, but we save a ton by cooking.  We don't use Costco yet, but I'm sure we will someday.  Instead, I hate to admit, I do most of the grocery shopping at Walmart.  I know, I know, supporting the big guys, but it saves me about $50 a trip compared to Marsh and Kroger AND we walk to The Fresh Market, which is a block from our house, a couple of times a week for odds and ends.  We also splurge by buying some fancier foods like good coffee, fresh herbs, cheeses and beers that we could definitely pass on if we wanted to. 

Napolese - One of our favorite neighborhood spots

furniture - this was actually under savings until we bought our house last May.  Almost everything we owned was free or really cheap - mostly from garage sales, re-purpose stores, or alley ways.  Now we have a few pieces that we purchased mixed in with our other stuff to really make the house work.
Yes, alleys are great places to find junk furniture, especially in Chicago and Boston


Diapers - name brand all the way is a must for us, and I probably don't need to go into why that's the case.

Cable, DVR, and Internet - we haven't given this up... yet!


Travel - we try to make important events whenever we can but still can't figure out how to afford Italy every two years ;) haha. Traveling could be as simple as going three hours up to my aunt's lake house for us or up to Michigan to visit Bill's family - it all counts as traveling ;)

Lake Michigan Summer 2012

Catholic grade school and high school - this hasn't hit our account yet but we know we will do whatever it takes to get the puffs there and are having to save accordingly!

Zumba - when I'm not pregnant ;) so worth it!

With Jess Daugherty, of course!

Girls Night - once a month or every two months we try to get together... again, so worth it!

And if I get too depressed with how much we splurge, I can always drink some Trader Joe's Two Buck Chuck to make it easier to swallow!  (well, not at the moment, of course)

01 09 10