November 30, 2011

Swagbucks. Yes, Again. With Boots On.

Look, I just need to show you something. I know you're skeptical about Swagbucks, and I know how much you don't want to sign up for something that will end up being a hassle.

But here's the thing: these boots, that Mr needed so desperately this year (uh, last year, more like)? I paid for part of them (the coolest part, obviously) with $25 in gift cards that I earned by using the Swagbucks search engine.

I don't have time to do the quizzes, and watch the movies, and perform the tasks, and, and, and...all I do is search. And every once in a while - like about five minutes ago, when I was searching for the picture of the boots - I win some SBs. And I collect them. And I redeem them.

Since I joined in February of last year, I've earned 4,628 Swagbucks. That's $50 worth of Amazon gift cards. There's all sorts of other kinds of gift cards, too, even Paypal credits. I just happen to like Amazon (when it's free. Or deeply discounted. Remember the cheapskatery?)

So do yourself a favour and sign up for Swagbucks (through my referral, obviously, because you want them to match what you earn for the first 1000 SBs, right? Because of the awesome cartoons? Or my stellar Halloween costumes? Possibly because of the Root Beer Pulled Pork?).

You're welcome.

November 29, 2011

Lannis: The Kindness of Strangers and the Fickleness of Childhood

See yesterday's post for all my (really great) reasons for not writing or drawing things myself.
Also: awwwww....

* * *

I was purging this week. No, not that kind — the healthy kind. The kind that gets unused crappit out of your house and gives you more room to breathe.

That kind.

And in my dusty travels through our storage bins, I found this—

This would be Zeebee. Zeebee was acquired years ago on a trip to our local zoo (yes, we have a local zoo. It takes about two hours to run through the entire thing — it’s perfect for little kids — and it has giraffes. I love giraffes. So much so I really want to buy this shirt).

Anyhow, back to Zeebee. Once upon a time I had a little boy — little enough to walk on his own but not speak, or at least not any language we understood — who fell in love with Zeebee and brought him home from the zoo.

Zeebee went everywhere. Zeebee was essential. Zeebee spent more time in my toddler’s sticky hands than food.

Yes, I know, you’re looking at that photo and thinking, “that toy does not looked well-travelled-loved.

That’s because it’s not the same Zeebee.

You see, one day we silly parents did our requisite inventory list while leaving the grandparents’ house and somehow overlooked Zeebee.

Quelle horreur!

Oh yes! And the hours that followed were full of tantrums of epic, epic proportions, of the like never seen... the kind which, thankfully, I have blacked from my memory because they were that bad.*

It lasted, oh, I don’t know, some inconceivably long period of time until Papa was able to bring Zeebee back to his rightful owner and appease the toddler rage.

So. I did what any parent in need of spare sanity would do. By this time it was October. I drove back to the zoo to discover that since it was a seasonal production, they’d sold out of Zeebee’s counterparts!

YES! I mean, NO!

Yeah. Not pretty. Not, not pretty at all...

So. I did the next best thing. I collected a business card. And I went home and called the number, which was for a toy import company in Mississauga, Ontario.

And I actually reached a woman! A woman whom, when I requested a Zeebee double for future insurance purposes, said her own children were now grown, but she knew exactly what I was going through, and she would love to send us a complimentary stuffed zebra since I’ve gone to the trouble of tracking down their company.

(Yes, it was the same kid from The Secret Weapon — apparently his super powers can work over phones lines and from great distances...)

Anyhow. A few weeks later, a box arrived in the mail. Stuffed inside, were these —

A replacement Zeebee, who apparently decided to relocate his entire family!

I was so touched. And then what happens?


You guessed it. Despite having a whole family of zebras to play with, suddenly my kiddo wasn’t that into black and white stripes anymore. Or their cuddly relatives.

But it’s nice to know other parents have your back. And finding Zeebee was a nice reminder that yes, other people have been there, and yes, they commiserate.

I’m sure this nameless woman would understand toddler fickleness, too.

So I put Zeebee back in the storage bin, where he’s destined to one-day-down-the-road remind me again that there are people out there with good hearts.

People other than those who read this blog, that is, because we all know the ones who hang out here have the biggest hearts. ♥

*Who’m I kidding? My memory is shitty and I’m 99% sure if you’re reading this blog, you probably know that. I forget everything. Apparently whole people, but that’s another (probably not appropriate) story for another day. Actually, my memory’s so crappy I’m not even sure I’ve mentioned my crappy retention before because I forget everything!. But what I do know is that I announce the faulty memory all the time so chances are good that I’ve said it here, somewhere, sometime... maybe?

Occasional poster at The Mrs, I'm Lannis - or Leslie, depending on which circles you're swimming. A while ago I decided that I don't care anymore, hence my general standards for life are lower than The Mrs' (but she still loves me.) [Editor: I do]

I live in a small town with my favourite people: my husband, Mr Lannis, and our two boys, along with two cats and one hamster.

If you follow me on Twitter, you might witness my issues with linear thought, road rage, spending more money on food than books, and potty mouth. Be warned.

November 28, 2011

In The Spirit

...of posting things other people have drawn, that is, I give you this gem, straight from 1988.

You're welcome.

(Oh yeah: we're home. We pulled in at FOUR AM on Sunday morning. I managed to menu-plan and grocery shop sometime on Sunday; I think it was in my sleep. If you think I have pictures you are mentally disturbed. I am now experiencing what feels like a 29 hour sleep deficit and am worried because I think I might be sleep-parenting, which - as far as I know - is worse than sleep-texting. Hence, the posts largely written or drawn by other people. The end.)

November 24, 2011

Historic Moments

Last week, I got a package in the mail. You know how I feel about this (hint: good).

This package was special (because none of the other ones are ‹/sarcasm›), because it marked an historic moment in my package-receiving life. Although Maggie Stiefvater's apology for breaking my eyeball was pretty awesome, it cannot compare to the first time I ever won something in a blog giveaway.


So when Jane at Adventures In Dinner told me I won, I couldn't quite believe it. AND THEN, when I received this lovely recipe book in the mail and there was a teeny-tiny gift included for Baby Bean...well (fans herself) I do declare.

And how - you might be asking - do I justify using the plural in the title of this post?

Because my friendship with Jane marks the first of many (here's hoping) real friendships made online because of blogging.

I get to be a narcissist, a goofball, a certifiable crazy person, AND I get to make friends?

Blogging. Is. Awesome.

(Thanks Jane. You're the Jane-est.)

November 23, 2011

Fantasy Football For Girls: Gasp

Hold your breath. Just for a minute, I promise.

For this minute, this is true:

It isn't true anymore. I'm no longer exactly in first place in our fantasy football league. But I'm close.

And I DID clinch the very first playoff spot, so I have that going for me, which makes me feel pretty awesome - or would, if "feelings" and "fantasy football" could co-exist in the same universe. (They can't.)

November 22, 2011

Oh, Help!

You will never guess who's name I drew for Secret Santa at work.

Go on, try. You'll never get it. (<---possibly because I never told you her name, but what's life without a challenge or two, hmmm?)

That's right, my dear bloggy friends: The New Girl. As in "Work Cartoons With".

And I have only ten dollars, so that kind of nixes the whole giant metal chicken named Beyoncé idea.* (Although I'm pretty sure Leslie's idea to send her on an internet scavenger hunt is a great one.)

The floor's open to you, internet.

*If your version of cussing has stars and symbols or various types of dessert in it, you might not be so fond of this post.

November 21, 2011

Project Grocery: Leaving. But Not On A Jet Plane Because They're Too Expensive

Traveling again.

Well, traveling soon.

Which means that this weekend was filled with laundry, cleaning, and general sorting, and as you can see, it pushed grocery shopping into the evening (past four o'clock, anyway, which passes for evening around here these days. Listen to the enthusiasm in my typing...)

It also provided an excuse to go hog wild at the grocery store, and buy all sorts of ridiculous things that we don't need, like fancy water (on sale 4 for $5, so calm down), amaretti biscuits, and weird candy that Mr likes (tell me he's not the only one, because I think it's disgusting, and I don't want him to be crazy alone.)

This means that this year, just like last year, we managed to spend $76.90 on a trip that was meant to tide us over for four days until we leave for Pennsylvania.

Good job us.

November 19, 2011

Lannis: Rainy Day Cookies

I love Leslie. That is all.


  * * * 

Some days it pays to look at the world through your kids’ eyes.

This particular, craptacular day, I picked up my kids from school. It was dreary and cold, and as soon as the bell rang, the skies opened up and rained all over us in that way that sinks into your core, cold settling in your spine.


Once we were home, the boys raided the cookie jar (with permission). It was empty.

This is where I was surprised by my almost-six-year old, when he said confidently, “That’s okay. Can you make us some, please, Mom?”

Pardon, cowboy?

Bake them?

This is not to say that I am not a baker. I bake. Not too often, but me in my apron is not an unknown sight to my children.

What I realized, at this moment, was that my kids considered me to be the kind of mom who was perfectly capable of producing cookies on demand to brighten a rainy day.


What I realized, immediately thereafter, was that barring having the proper ingredients on hand, there was no reason why I couldn’t produce the requested cookies.

I dug through the pantry. Lo and behold, I had the needed items. Only enough shortening to do a half batch, but that would certainly satisfy my rugrats.

Not long after, I had this —

In part because of this —

Pay no attention to what’s behind that bag of chocolate bigger than my child’s head. It might be an antique radio. It might have a tape deck. Maybe. Maybe dual tape decks, because we’re just that cool and up-to-date on techno-gear! You’re jealous, I can tell. And not just of the giant bag of chocolate chips, I know. (Wink.)

Anyhow. Also to blame for those cookies is this, the holy grail of cookbooks —

And more specifically, this recipe for chocolate chip cookies. (To which we’ve deleted chopped nuts and added raisins and dried cranberries — yum!)

2/3 cup shortening
2/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar (packed)
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla (I always add a touch more)
3 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (at least — but it’s your boat you’re floating!)
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup dried cranberries

Heat oven to 375F. Mix thoroughly shortening, butter, sugars, eggs, and vanilla (this cookbook apparently doesn’t believe in the Oxford Comma. We NEED the Oxford Comma. Hmff. Hereby abandoning “official” write up out of disgust.).

Toss in other ingredients and mix until your arm’s sore. Or it’s a sticky cookie-dough mess. Your call.

Use a teaspoon to dish cookie-sized lumps onto your ungreased baking sheet. Sometimes I line mine with parchment paper, which, despite Mr Lannis’ insistence, will not spontaneously ignite into flame in the oven unless it touches the element. Trust. (I’ve had plenty of parchment paper in the oven and nothing’s ever happened, except for that one time, hence I know about the element...)

Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are light brown. They need a few seconds to set before you move them, and they taste much better when cooled — that’s not just burnt mouth talking.

According to the book, this recipe makes about seven dozen cookies, but apparently a hell of a lot fewer than that if you like big cookies or are prone to eating raw cookie dough. (Just assuming, here.)

Quick to make, quick to bake, and quick to eat, too, unless they’re also magical vanishing cookies...

Hm. Maybe it’ll rain today, too.

Occasional poster at The Mrs, I'm Lannis - or Leslie, depending on which circles you're swimming. A while ago I decided that I don't care anymore, hence my general standards for life are lower than The Mrs' (but she still loves me.) [Editor: I do]

I live in a small town with my favourite people: my husband, Mr Lannis, and our two boys, along with two cats and one hamster.

If you follow me on Twitter, you might witness my issues with linear thought, road rage, spending more money on food than books, and potty mouth. Be warned.

November 18, 2011

Work Cartoons With The New Girl

So I lied to you yesterday.

I said (and I quote, because quoters have more fun): "I also have not one, but TWO (2!) installments of Work Cartoons With The New Girl."

This was a lie. I have three (THREE!) installments, only one of which I'm going to share today.

Because I'm greedy like that.

And as an added bonus? This poem:

I. Love. Her.

November 17, 2011

Things I Was About To Tell You

I was going to tell you an utterly fascinating tale, taking you with me on my three year old daughter's first Christmas shopping trip, and charming you with The Story Of The Christmas Plungers.

I also have not one, but TWO (2!) installments of Work Cartoons With The New Girl.

But before I could put any of those (totally awesome) posts together, I made the mistake of opening the latest issue of Food & Drink Magazine, and instead, am going to write some of the most beautiful prose you've ever read. I promise. It might even move you to tears.

Okay, here we go. Ready?

Gingerbread Cheesecake...

Oh, boy. I don't know if I should continue. It's getting a little too delicious in here, and I've barely even started. Let's move a little slower.

Smoky Beef, Potato & Mushroom Stew...

Mushroom Risotto....

Frosty Pain D'Anis Leaves...

Seriously, is the computer screen fogging up, or is it just me?

Gingerbread-Spiced Candied Pecans...

Browned Butter Crab Risotto...

No, really. I have to stop. I have some magazine pages to lick.

November 15, 2011

Happy Day

Two (very short) things today:

Those pernicious disposable diapers, on which I have spent many dollars and am destined to spend a few dollars more, have finally given something back to me. Other than an (almost) complete lack of poop on my floors.

Back in my days of spending enormous sums of money on name brand diapers instead of cardboard ones that should come with "insert tab A into slot B" instructions, I managed to amass a fair number of these Pampers Gifts to Grow points. "Amass" is the key word here, because I've been collecting for three and a half years, and this is the first time I've used them (and presumably the last). Finally - a pair of Baby Legs. Lucky Bean.

Last night was date night, and it looked like this:

Yum. Lucky us.

November 14, 2011

Project Grocery: I Think We're Alone Now

Well, we were. Mr left Wednesday night for his annual cabin trip, which left me here with the kids until Sunday. Except not, since my mom was with me from Friday morning until Saturday night.

I cannot for the life of me imagine what I would have done without her.*

One of the things she graciously allowed me to do was go out grocery shopping so that we wouldn't have to try and squeeze it in some evening after work**, and since Mr had already stocked the house with treats for me before he left, I was able to resist the temptation of the Wavy Lays aisle and managed to come in under budget.

I spent $102.44, despite the fact that I bought three different kinds of yummy cheese for our date night on Monday, and had to buy the cursed (very generic) disposable diapers that are crouching malevolently behind the pizza. This makes me happy. (The dollars, not the malevolent diapers.)

We're eating Chana Masala, Slow Cooker Korean Tacos, Chicken Tikka Masala, and Pork Chops this week. Oh, and cheese. With crusty baguettes, and PC shrimp hors d'oeuvres. I may not be a food blogger, but this girl is pretty excited about her suppers this week.

*This is a lie. I can imagine it quite vividly, and it involves yelling, tears, and biting. And the kids would probably act up too.

**Also known as Hell On Earth

November 12, 2011

Lannis: The Secret Weapon

Also - and maybe only a select few of us will find this unbelievably charming - he's been known to occasionally sing about zombies. 
* * *

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, my youngest has a secret weapon.

On top of this, he’s a flirt. A charmer. A regular little Casanova.

He’s only four-and-a-half, but he’s got women of all ages wrapped around his little finger, doting on his every whim, insert-appropriate-love-is-blind-and-easily-manipulatived-cliché-here.

The last time Mr Lannis took the boys to the rink to help them learn how to skate, the four-and-a-half-year-old was on the ice for thirty seconds before he’d roped a ten-year-old girl into holding his hand for balance.

My dear husband returned home, stumped. Apparently our youngest had not only never met this girl before, but he’d cited “I need help to balance” as the reasoning behind the hand-holding. (Mr Lannis had asked the girl -- who had declared our boy’s approach, her own age, and that no, she didn’t know him from school, as Mr Lannis had previously assumed).

And this clingy behaviour from a child who usually steadies himself on the boards, but doesn’t need much help, even though this venture into skating is relatively new.

Now, to be honest, I’m usually the one bearing witness to our little Casanova in action. I’m the one with him in the grocery store, where he chats up girls from 6 months to 60 + years, be they in a shopping cart, pushing a cart, or behind the cash register.

If she’s breathing, he’s flirting. It’s that simple.

And he’s usually the first to toss out his name, age, and where he lives, too (don’t worry, we’re working on street-proofing).

When put on the phone recently with a female (my auntie), the first words out of his mouth were “When are you coming to visit me?”

Understandably, she melted.

And over Hallowe’en, once the trick-or-treating had been burned out of their systems and the boys were home helping dole out candy while checking out the neighbourhood kids’ costumes? There was my youngest, at the door, looking every little girl in the eye and telling them, “You’re pretty. And you’re pretty. And you’re pretty, too.”

Of course these girls were more concerned with thanking me for their candy and moving on to the next house. Some tittered and giggled.

Most clearly thought he was weird.

I asked him why he was giving the girls compliments, and he threw his arms wide and said, “I want all the girls in the WORLD to know they’re pretty!”

Well, isn’t that lovely!

My mental cynic reasoned that either he’s genuinely trying to express his appreciation for girls’ beauty, or he’s tapped into a vibe of insecurity that not many males tend to notice until they’re well into puberty (and sometimes beyond).

And my exuberant little four-and-a-half-year-old is in love with life, too.

He’s bouncy, and energetic, and oozing positivity until you want to bang your head against the wall because he’s just so dang cute in his never-ending-optimism, it makes you want to puke.

He’s freaking adorable.

Which is why, when he’s told to Sshust! in a restaurant or in public because he’s yapping away in his plucky, upbeat way (and interrupting the grown ups), he usually ends up winning. Because whatever random female we’re chatting with will bend down to say hello to him, because, well, even silent, the secret weapon lurks.

(Cutest unibrow you’ll ever see. Trust.)

So hide your girls, parents. He’s got a way to go until puberty, but he’s clearly just using the time to hone those skills...

Lord save us all.

Occasional poster at The Mrs, I'm Lannis - or Leslie, depending on which circles you're swimming. A while ago I decided that I don't care anymore, hence my general standards for life are lower than The Mrs' (but she still loves me.) [Editor: I do]

I live in a small town with my favourite people: my husband, Mr Lannis, and our two boys, along with two cats and one hamster.

If you follow me on Twitter, you might witness my issues with linear thought, road rage, spending more money on food than books, and potty mouth. Be warned.

November 11, 2011

Food Waste Friday: Yes, Indeed

Back in the land of the living and organized, and it only took my husband going away for four days to get me to this point.

Strange, but true.

My fridge isn't full, and it's a good thing. These, however, are not good things:

Why save a mouthful of scrambled eggs? Why not just eat them? I have no excuse (well, I do, but he's out of town).

Below the eggs we have stir-fry that started out meh and got progressively worse each day. Or progressively worse in my mind, anyway, since I couldn't actually bring myself to eat the leftovers.

This concludes our wasted food broadcast. Tune in tomorrow when I'm posting any one of three (3!) posts Leslie wrote for me on Tuesday as she desperately tried to avoid doing other work. I have the luxurious responsibility of choosing between Rainy Day Cookies, The Oxford Comma, or The Secret Weapon.

Too much work. Voting

(Food Waste Friday is graciously hosted by Kristen at The Frugal Girl. Her pictures are better than mine.)

November 10, 2011

Child Prodigies

Like you didn't already know it (or at least suspect): my kids are prodigies. Think Phenom, but lose the tennis (and possibly miss the reference. It was only thirty seconds of pop culture with the bald guy who was the nanny in Jerry Maguire.)

Back to the geniuses I spawned:

At the end of a random day last week, I pulled into our driveway and laid on the horn (like I always do. An adorable habit, I'm sure.) Mr left his dinner prep and came to help me wrestle the kids out of the car, and when he opened the door to get Miss out, she says: "I smell celery".

And he Freaked Out.

"I was TOTALLY cutting up celery just then!" he says.

And then, to confirm: two days later, she walks into the kitchen and says she smells shrimp.

"I was TOTALLY just cooking shrimp just then!" he says.

So now we're looking into Culinary Preschools.

And Jr? He's learned The Divine Language. Er, the language that Leeloominaï Lekatariba Lamina-Tchaï Ekbat De Sebat speaks in The Fifth Element. Yeah. That language.

See? Geniuses. I wonder what Bean will do...

(Probably draw cartoons.)

November 9, 2011

Another Totally Awesome Work-Related Cartoon

...but not by me this time. This is what was waiting on my desk when I got back from (my construction worker sized) lunch yesterday (in handy, stapled-together, post-it book form):



I. Have. No. Words.

(She doesn't know about The Mrs. But she's obviously sharing my brain.)

November 8, 2011

Lights, Camera...Lights

How do we celebrate children in the Mrs household?

We buy lighting, obviously. I mean, that one was such an easy answer I'm thinking of going back on the offer of a reward.

And by "buy lighting", I mean, go to Home Depot immediately after finding out the flavour of the new baby from the ultrasound technician, and pick out the perfect chandelier for their room.

And then wait for it to go on sale.

For Miss:

For Jr:

And, although still in the box because her room isn't ready for it yet, for Bean:

Half price, people. And we only had to wait a measley few weeks. Can't you just feel the pride radiating off of this Daddy?

I think we'll take off all the dangly bits (the lamp, my friends, the lamp) and keep them for if she ever has a Super Girly phase and wants to reattach them.

Or maybe not.

November 7, 2011

Project Grocery: Sixty-Three Cents, And One (Or Two) Parentheses

So there you have it, sixty-three measley cents over budget. I'm going to tear my clothes and weep. (No I'm not.)

We managed to stock up on laundry detergent (needed), and toilet paper (muchly needed, and with coupons to boot), as well as get things for steak sandwiches (date night), pork chops (regular night), grape jelly meatballs (yum night) and hot dogs (Mr leaving for his annual trip night). AND on (or nearly on) budget. That makes me happy.

And kind of bored.


November 5, 2011

Lannis: RAWR! Monster Jeans!

Do you think these would go over at work? Me too.

Prepare for banker with monster jeans...

* * *

Yep. You guessed it. Another tutorial. I got crafty this week, and I’m sharing.

As a mom, one of my big pet peeves is holes in kids’ pants. And as a mom of boys, you can see I’m fighting a losing battle.

Being frugal, I can’t get rid of them — they’re banished to the play clothes pile, where knobby knees poking out still plague me on a daily basis, but at least I know they’re dressed decently when we actually get out of the house... oy.

And don’t get me started on the many reasons why jorts are just wrong (for starters, this isn’t the 1970s...).

So imagine my glee when I heard about this:

No, I didn’t come up with this idea myself. I found it here (I can hear you rolling your eyes — yes, it’s another Pinterest link). The reason I wrote this tutorial? I followed that little Pinterest link to the source website to discover it’s in Dutch. Or German. Or some other language my ignorant-self can’t recognize.

And the first three pairs turned out pretty cool, so I thought I’d take some photos as I finished the last.

And it only took scraps! Red flannel for the patch itself, and a little black and white felt for the eyes and teeth. And a sewing machine, of course (though it looks like the original poster did theirs by hand — I’m dubious as to the durability without machine stitching).

First thing’s first. Cut a patch more than wide enough to cover the ripped knee. It’s difficult to see, because I used red thread, but I zig-zag stitched the edges of the patch to keep it from unravelling (how I wish I owned a serger!).

Then cut some teeth out of felt and sew them to the red patch — remember to make the teeth long enough that the stitches are hidden once the patch is in place.

Put the patch inside the jeans and make sure the fabric is laying nice and flat. Looks cool already, doesn’t it?

Pin the edges of the patch in place — this is important because it’s tricky to get inside the pant leg with the sewing machine, so you’re basically sewing blind. If you’ve got the edges nicely pinned, you can sew inside your pinned border and know it’s catching properly.

Now zig zag that patch in place! My sewing machine had an entire section that came off to make getting into that pant leg mercifully easier! Though I did some swearing anyway...

I added an extra line of stitching to keep the jean edge from rolling up over the teeth.

Then I added eyes — just black felt and red stitching. The nice part about felt is that it doesn’t need to be edged, and the nice part about this project is that it’s supposed to look imperfect and homemade, so go for goofy and uneven — it’ll look great!

Like I said, I did a bunch, and it took me about an hour and a half to two hours to get them done. What’d I learn? The black and red eyes look snazzier than the orange, and I’d stick with mismatched circular eyes.

(Artsy secret: the more you make it obvious you’re deliberately not going for symmetry, the cooler it is.)

And now those play clothes are extra fun! I won’t cringe when they’re outgrown and put into the hand-me-down bag for the next kid in line! They’re not perfect, but they’re much better than passing on jeans with a hole in the knee!

And of course the boys love them — had to show everyone their monsters!

Hm. I should probably tell them not to go around telling people there’s a monster in their pants, shouldn’t I?

Occasional poster at The Mrs, I'm Lannis - or Leslie, depending on which circles you're swimming. A while ago I decided that I don't care anymore, hence my general standards for life are lower than The Mrs' (but she still loves me.) [Editor: I do]

I live in a small town with my favourite people: my husband, Mr Lannis, and our two boys, along with two cats and one hamster.

If you follow me on Twitter, you might witness my issues with linear thought, road rage, spending more money on food than books, and potty mouth. Be warned.

<< This Title Has Nothing To Do With My Post 
Project Grocery: Sixty-Three Cents, And One (Or Two) Parentheses >>

November 3, 2011

This Title Has Nothing To Do With My Post

Now that we've got the totally awesome pregnant fairy costume that took me a really long time to put together and was worn with complete enthusiasm out of the way, let's go back to Plan Bean for a minute.

Remember this?

Groceries: $571.08 (+$51.08)
Gas: $433.26 (+$259.33)
Date Night: $0.00 (shut up)
Other: $586.93 (+$261.93)

TOTAL: +$572.34

To that I say "Ha-HAH!", because those numbers are LIARS! An old hag with a terrible mole problem should have emerged from the crowd and started haranguing them, was how much they were lying.

You'd think that - for a banker - I'd have a little more confidence in my calculator skills. (Stop that laughing out there.) But I added up those numbers again and again, each time mystified by the overage, mostly because I thought I would have had a lot more fun (or food) if we had actually spent that much.

And then - in passing - Mr mentioned that he had been putting gas for his business on our personal gas card (Exclamation Point. In Bold.), which means that we were only over $59.08 over our gas budget.

Okay, that means that we were still $372.34 over budget in October, but that's an improvement, and I'm celebrating.

Probably with food.

More Plan Bean Posts:
Plan Bean
Plan Bean: September Update

November 2, 2011


Because I know you've been sitting at your computer, refreshing your browser every thirteen seconds (approximately), and waiting to see the pregnant fairy:

I know how happy and fulfilled you feel now. Me too.

November 1, 2011

Plan Bean: October Update


Wanna see a pregnant fairy?

Hm. We'll see. I'm not entirely convinced you've been good enough. (Or possibly I don't actually have a picture, but might try to convince Mr to recreate it for me tonight. Did that sound strange to anyone else? Thought so.)

Meanwhile, the October spendy-spendy report: I can see from your faces that you already know what's coming, and I'd like to preface my remarks by saying that most of these things are budgeted for weekly, but reported monthly, which we all know is SO INACCURATE!

Um. Pardon the outburst. On to the numbers (sit down). As a reminder, our budget, otherwise known as

Groceries $520
Gas $173.33
Date $40
Other $325

Now for the sad truth, otherwise known as

Groceries: $571.08 (+$51.08)
Gas: $433.26 (+$259.33)
Date Night: $0.00 (shut up)
Other: $586.93 (+$261.93)

TOTAL: +$572.34

Seriously. No, really. SERIOUSLY. I already explained away the groceries, but the gas? What's up with all that gas, other than an eyeball appointment two hours away, a fairly long trip to our extended family Thanksgiving, and a visit to my brother's two hours in the other direction?

Oh. That's what's up with all that gas. And let's see, in November I'm driving two hours away to meet up with my dear friend Lindsay, who I haven't seen in far too long, and - of course - we're headed to Pennsylvania for Thanksgiving: The Sequel, so I don't see that gas category going down too much, unless I can call in poor to work a few weeks in a row.

And let's not even talk about other, okay? Except for this: remember last update, when I talked about my problem with packing my lunch? Having to report back here gave me the motivation to stop going out for lunch, already!, so lunch is not to blame.

I don't really know what was. I know we spent $40 on snowsuits, fall jackets, hats and boots for the kidlets, but that's not it. That was actually some good spending.

We ate out a lot more than we should have (surprise!), but again, not THAT much. Hmph.

The short answer is that we spent more than we should have, on small things that added up, as numbers are wont to do(the little buggers). We clearly didn't stick to the cash allowance budget that was supposed to fix this problem from last month, so stay tuned for my plans to electrify my debit card.

It will be awesome, I promise.

More Plan Bean:
September Update