So while I’m on bedrest, I’m trying to keep my calories between 12oo and 1500 a day… it’s pretty easy, since I’m rarely hungry except for dinnertime. But… this week, I want brownies. I keep thinking about them. Just look at this amazing shot from Annie’s Eats:

Annie's Eats Caramel Brownies

I don’t think there is a single greater substance on this earth than caramel. Plus, this totally beats my craving last week for an entire can of cold peas. (Side note: I only eat one type of peas, typically. It’s the one thing I’m picky about, aside from raw tomatoes. That craving grossed me out…)

So… the list of Amazing Brownies!

Well, these brownie recipes would make Cookie Monster a convert… so I’m dying to know if you’ve got any to add! 🙂 If you try any of these, let me (and the authors) know… I think the Bacon ones, the Cookies and Creme, the Caramel cheesecake and Bourbon Pecan Pie ones are all on my short list!

As most of you probably know, I stopped updating my baby blog. It made me too sad, too depressed to think about how much crap I’ve been going through with my doctor’s offices to get my BP down (and they were failing). It made me feel like a bad mommy because for every day my BP is high, that’s one less day Zoe will get to grow inside of me before they need to take her later on. It’s a scary, scary thought. I packed up the stuff that the movers won’t be taking and came down to Charleston.

The past few days have been a harder climb than I ever thought I would have to face during all this. My medicine finally started working, I could rejoice! No sooner did it start working than it brought terrible side effects… pain all over, constant drowsiness and the need to sleep more, on top of headaches and increased heart rate.

Even though I’ll be fighting through this until I can see my new specialists at MUSC, tonight I came to terms with the fact that I really am grateful for being so blessed. When I flip over in pain, Zoe flips over inside of me, she likes to stay upright. When I am feeling sick and tired from my BP being low, Zoe is getting more blood circulation and feeling twice as good as she usually does. I would do this until September if I had to, for her. I think my best first mother’s day gift is a gift from Zoe… to know what the love for my child is already.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there… just remember how blessed you are.

I get giddy about the most ridiculous things sometimes. About two months ago, I started couponing.. not the extreme kind (because no one needs 900 boxes of cereal or TP or whatever) but the normal kind where you usually just save money.

I swear, this week was like the jackpot of free and super cheap stuff. I spent $23 and got:

  • 2 boxes of Total Raisin Bran
  • 2 boxes of Wheaties Fuel (1.3 of the boxes were free, plus $5 gift card back!)
  • 1 box Ritz Crackerfuls (I don’t normally eat crap like this, but hey, they were free! The crackers are whole grain/whole wheat, so there’s not as much guilt there.)
  • 1 box Uncle Ben’s Whole Grain rice
  • 3 lbs ground beef
  • 1 jug Purex laundry detergent (This stuff is seriously awesome, and so cheap everywhere, even without coupons)
  • 1 stick deodorant (free!)
  • 1 Nivea men’s body wash (free!)
  • 2 4-packs YoPlus yogurt (free!)
  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • birthday card for brother in law
But wait. I didn’t hit up my fourth usual grocery store so when I go on Tuesday, this is what I have left to get:
  • 2 boxes Green Giant broccoli – free!
  • AA batteries – free!
  • Stove top stuffing – free! (Ok, before you hate on me, we really don’t eat crap like this often. But this is one of those childhood comfort foods my mom used to make once in a blue moon.)
I kind of like scouting out the deals, though I have to wake up earlier on Sundays to beat the old ladies to some of the better deals. Seriously though, this week my newspaper and the new print cartridge I need plus the gas it took me to get to these places paid for itself. This doesn’t happen all the time, but this week’s deals were great!
Do you coupon? What free stuff do you get? Do you want to teach me the art of CVS free stuff (I hear it’s good)? 😉

For reasons I don’t really want to divulge, Friday I gave 2 weeks notice at work. It was a fairly sudden move (though we had discussed it – Chad knew it was coming) and honestly, scary as hell. It meant we had to go on a budget ASAP and figure out what our essentials are, and if we could afford them. Thank goodness Chad starts his new job in just a couple of months – it’s going to be a tight few months!

Aside from some very cheap eating out this weekend (we ate out twice for $30, mostly since my sis and her BF were visiting), we lived our new lives of “living simply.” Our A/C is out, but that’s a good thing… we got to keep the windows open to this nice weather all week. I don’t think I mentioned it before, but our cable has been out since some idiot screwed it up about two months ago… we get 21 channels, none of them being ESPN… and it’s nice. We watch some netflix, but mostly we don’t watch TV at all. I started couponing (not the extreme stuff… no, I’m just into the “get this for cheaper” type) a few weeks ago and it’s strangely nice to have a little project. We’re cooking lots of stuff ourselves from scratch and reading more. I’m making a list of (cheap!) baby projects I want to tackle, planning our move and all kinds of other stuff. I planted herbs and lettuce in a container garden today, too!

The only unfortunate thing about my new less-stress life is that we won’t be going to Charleston as much now – that gets expensive! – but that trade-off is well worth the things we’ll get in return… and Skype is free 🙂

Have you ever taken a major risk in quitting a job without a new one in sight? Any money saving tips you want to offer? 😉

I know. How much more big news can you take?  I mean first on this blog we got engaged. Then we got married. Then we announced that we’re having a baby. What else could there possibly be?!

I’ll tell you what else:

from James Stapleton on flickr

That’s our new home. Two big colleges, one major league baseball stadium, a large river and situated on the border of two states… nearly three.

That’s right, we’re moving to Cincinnati, OH! We finally have a “permanent for now” home. A place where we can order digital cable without having to worry about that pesky two year commitment. A place where we can finally transfer licenses and have a basement. A place our child will be born (are we crazy for thinking we want to drive to a hospital in North KY so our kid will be southern like us? haha). We could be there as little as 18 months and as much as “indefinitely”.

So that, my friends, is the end of our long stretch of big surprising news updates. Thank goodness. Now I can go back to planning where we’ll live, baby stuff, and how many different places “near” Cincinnati I’d like to visit (Pittsburgh? KY? Indy?)

I didn’t feel like being only a baby blogger. No, no, no. Well, that wasn’t the only reason I considered leaving this blog. Do you know what it’s like to work on a wordpress site all day then come over here and write and edit a blog? So tired of the blue/gray scheme here. And the way the buttons change shape depending on what browser you use. And just about everything else, really.

So Chad’s going through his interviews for two separate companies this week. It’s frightening how quickly the first is giving him an answer… on Monday! If it’s for the location that we would prefer (Atlanta) and the benefits are better than company 2, our choice is made.

Except… well, we had decided that we didn’t want to buy a house. Honestly, we really have no right buying a house. We’re barely out of college, about to have a kid, I have student loans and a job that isn’t considered “mortgage-worthy.” So what does this mean? We’re looking for rental houses.

Have you seen rental houses? They suck! I don’t know if it’s the time of year or what, but it’s been hard finding one that we like. Depending on where we go, we need to put a deposit down by the end of next month… that really puts the time crunch on. And I am getting more, and more, and more frustrated!

I’ll temporarily be making a move (ok, it’s possible it will be permanent) over to http://sweetlovelybaby.blogspot.com so come join me there! I’ll be continuing my white brick theme, only now with better header images!

You should be forewarned that it’s mostly baby themed, and mostly letters to the baby. You know, completely like that. 😉

See you soon!

I would buy if I had a screened porch:

Arholma, IKEA, $899

Botanist Flow end table, All Modern, $655

Sawgrass Mills sparkler orange outdoor rug, Amazon.com, $455

24″ pendant light in Pomegranate Red, Alluminaire, $240

Photoshop, Gmail (not pictured), Rss (not pictured, Flash and Illustrator pillows, $17 each, Craftsquatch

 

Yeah, I’m throwing down some dough for my imaginary space. What does yours look like?

I haven’t posted in a while… I know, it’s so random. I’ve been crazy busy with… well, I can’t say housework. We’ll go with “buying random crap off the internet”

Chad got two second interviews today, for over spring break! We’re obviously pulling for whichever company likes him more and wants to offer him a job. 🙂

So yeah.. we could be moving to NC or Cincinnati for real! Or… you know, staying in the Atlanta metro, as we found out. Ha. Not that I’d mind now. We’re going out to Farm255 tonight to celebrate this… it’s an amazing step forward in our lives.

Oh, and another step forward: we’re having a baby sometime around the first week of September!

Happy Friday!

Planned Parenthood’s funding was cut by the House of Representatives… not just for pregnancy related things, but for things like STD testing, cancer screenings and other health care necessities for many people. While I believe that spending does need to be cut, it’s in things like raising the SS age limit, not in cutting vital healthcare resources in many communities.

Click here to sign the open letter to Congress.

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