As for me and my house, we will save the turtles.

Turtle hitchhiker

Yesterday I received this image via text message from my husband.

 Our ensuing conversation went like this:

ME:  Umm… there’s a turtle in your car.

HUSBAND:  Yah.  I picked him up trying to cross Hwy 6.  Just dropped him off at Oyster Creek Park.

ME:  I love you.  So so so much I love you.

HUSBAND:  Aww.  I love you too.  He’s not a puppy, but I think the turtles need more help than the strays. 

ME:  I think all of Gods 4-legged creatures need help.  🙂  You make my heart happy.

HUSBAND:  I agree, but have you ever seen a turtle try to sprint across a 6 lane highway?  SAVE THE TURLTES!

ME:  Lol.  Save the turtles!

Recipe Review: Pimping on a Budget – Spaghetti with Parmesan & Tomato Sauce

Last night I was actually home (thanks to the girl I nanny for being on Spring Break in NYC) so I resumed the tradition that used to be normal in our house… I cooked dinner.  I’d had a coupon a while back for Ragu pasta sauce and I’d purchased some (the sautéed onion and garlic) and it’s been hanging out in our pantry ever since.  I don’t actually use purchased spaghetti sauce for much of anything unless it’s called for in a recipe.  Since I do have some recipes that call for it, I decided to buy it but since I don’t cook much anymore, I decided I needed to use that sucker.  Enter the Pimping on a Budget – Spaghetti with Parmesan & Tomato Sauce recipe provided by Mandy Rivers.  I love the wonderful hystericalness that is written by her.  I totally want Mandy as a friend in real life.  Anywho, we had all of the ingredients on hand (even better) so I got to cookin.

This recipe is super easy which is great for a weeknight meal.  Serve with a salad and garlic bread and you’re set.  You can also choose any kind of jarred spaghetti sauce that floats your boat.  I think next time we’ll try a different kind (it’ll probably be whatever I have a coupon for next).  Everyone liked the dish.  Mom & the hubs both had good things to say.  Peronsally, I thought it was a little salty… then again, I don’t really add salt to anything, ever.  So, for me I would have preferred only adding salt once (either liberally salting the pasta water OR salting the sauce) instead of doing both.  Otherwise, it was tasty and quick… and you really can’t ask for much more on a Monday night. 

Check out the recipe here:

Please don’t feed the dust bunnies. ~ Author Unknown

So if you knew my husband and I before we were married but when we were living in sin together you’d know that our refrigerator was home to a huge calendar that had a chore schedule on it for each and every day of the month.  I cannot tell you how many of my friends (especially the men) teased me about this.  It worked though.  The hubs and I came home every day, looked on the fridge, found whatever day we were currently in, and completed the tasks assigned to that day.  Our apartment was pretty darn clean all things considered.  Don’t get me wrong, no house is ever truly as clean as I’d like it to be.  Not my own, not anyone else’s, not even one that’s professionally cleaned.  I can always find something that could be cleaned better (I totally blame my mom for this).  That being said, no one is coming into my home doing the white glove test (except maybe mom). 

Anywho, when we moved into our current living situation we ended up getting a maid as well.  Basically, that means the hubs and I haven’t touched any sort of cleaning instruments since then.  I’m not even sure I know how to turn the vacuum on anymore.  Sad huh?  Well, our living situation is about to change in the sense that we’ll no longer have a maid (sniff sniff) and that means the hubs and I are going to have to become good friends with vacuums and scrub brushes and Pledge and Comet. 

Sooo… that means that the hubs and I need a new chore list.  It also means that the chore list has to change some because we went from a 900sqft apartment to a 2500sqft house with an enormous yard.  Over the last few days I’ve started putting together a chore list but I want to see if I’m missing anything so I’m putting it out there to you guys.  Let me know what you think we’re missing (FYI – we’ll do 1 load of laundry every day and cook/do dishes every day so those aren’t on the list).


  1. Clean Bathrooms (master & powder)
    1. Clean toilet w/ Comet & scrub brush – pour bleach in bowl
    2. Clean shower/tub with Comet & scrub brush
    3. Clean counter tops and sink with LIGHT comet and hot, wet rags
    4. Clean mirrors with Windex
    5. Empty trash cans (upstairs, downstairs & porch)
    6. Vacuum floors (upstairs, downstairs & porch)
    7. Mop floors (hot water only!) (downstairs, upstairs bathroom only)
    8. Mow/edge/sweep or blow front and back yard
    9. Pull weeds / dead head / water & fertilize as needed
    10. Clean kitchen
      1. Clean counter tops and sink with LIGHT comet and hot, wet rags (remove all appliances/knickknacks/etc from countertops first)
      2. Clean microwave (place soaked sponge on a plate, microwave for 2 minutes, then spray inside of microwave with grease remover such as 409 and wipe down w/ a wet rag); remove tray & wash/dry
      3. Clean stove
      4. Clean oven (wipe up any/all crumbs on the bottom of the oven using a wet rag – no other cleaning needed)
      5. Wipe down insides/outsides of small appliances (coffee maker, toaster oven, etc)
      6. Wipe down any other items that ‘live’ on the kitchen counters
      7. Dust
        1. Use pledge for wood surfaces
        2. Use damp rag for all other surfaces including bar top
        3. Wash bed sheets & pillow cases



  1. Clean refrigerator
  2. Clean Upstairs (all items listed in ‘weekly’ above)
  3. Clean ceiling fans & ‘table top’ fans
  4. Clean birdbaths
  5. Vacuum garage & wipe down garage windows
  6. Wash bed duvet cover & mattress pad



  1. Pest control (inside & out)
  2. Clean gutters
  3. Replace AC filter
  4. Vacuum AC vents (in ceiling)
  5. Clean bird feeders
  6. Vacuum mattress & rotate



  1. Wash windows inside & out including blinds & screens
  2. Clean chandelier
  3. Clean freezer(s)
  4. Pull out washer/dryer/refrigerator/big freezer and clean behind them
  5. Wipe down baseboards
  6. Give outdoor furniture a good cleaning
  7. Have AC serviced
  8. Replace batteries in smoke alarms



  1. Have yard aerated
  2. Have mower/weed eater/garden tools serviced
  3. Hose down exterior of house.  Power wash flatwork.
  4. Drain & replace water in water heater

It’s bizarre that the produce manager is more important to my children’s health than the pediatrician. ~ Meryl Streep

Ok so we all know I don’t have kids, but I totally get that statement.  Recently with all the craziness in my life my dietary consumption has stunk.  I don’t think I’ve seen a fresh vegetable in weeks and let me tell you, by body is NOT happy.  I love my vegis.  Usually, I eat lots and lots and lots of them.  Fruit?  Well, I’ll take a vegi over a fruit any day, but I get my daily serving of fruit each morning in a smoothie so I figure I’m at least getting some fruit nutrition.  But oh, how I miss my vegis.  Each night after leaving my second job and heading home I wish that it wasn’t so late because I’d love to stop by some place like Souper Salad and make me a huge dinner salad.  I have been craving Greek salad for weeks now.  The problem is I just have zero time to do any cooking whatsoever.  I’m sure that comes as a shock to anyone who knows me because usually I cook all the time.  However, now that I’m working until super-late Monday thru Thursday (till approximately 9pm) and then trying to cram in a weeks’ worth of chores and ‘to-do’s’ during the Friday – Sunday timeline, it just doesn’t leave any time for cooking.  So, my lunches have consisted of Lean Cuisine meals (not necessarily bad for you except for all the chemicals), soup from our frozen soup stock (made on New Years Day), and chocolate almond milk.  Yeah, the soup has vegis in it, but I want cold, fresh, crisp vegis.  I truly am dying for a salad.  I’m honestly at the point where I don’t really want to eat anything if I can’t have a salad.  Is that weird?  I’m not really sure.  I do know that my body agrees with me.  My stomach just feels… weird.  That’s the only way I know how to put it.  You know, I DETEST those Activia commercials that talk about ‘feeling sluggish’ but I totally get it now.  It’s not just my digestive tract either.  I just feel like I have sludge on my insides.  Blech.  So, this weekend I’m picking up the fixins for Greek salad (spring mix, cucumbers, grape tomatoes, purple onion, kalamata olives, lemons, and feta or parmesan cheese) and I’m going to make it a point to eat a huge Greek salad every day next week.  I’m also hoping to make my Mexican Cabbage Soup (1 head cabbage, 2 cans black beans, 2 cans Rotel, 4 bags frozen bell peppers and onions, 1 bag frozen corn, top with enough beef broth to make a full pot of soup) which should help me feel better (Lord willing).  Oh, and I’m going to cave and buy those pre-cut cartons of fruit.  They’re expensive, but obviously I don’t have time to even cut vegetables (because if I did, I’d be eating them) so I’d rather spend a little extra $$$ to get them pre-cut and that way all I have to do is throw ‘em in my lunch sack.  Anyone have any ideas for other ways to incorporate lots of fresh vegis without needing any time?  I mean, seriously, I have less than 5 minutes a day to do anything and I’m already getting waaaay less sleep than I’m used to.  Everyone go eat a salad for me and I’ll enjoy through osmosis! 

What’s everyone’s favorite salad?  I have three.

  1. Greek salad (as listed above but I’ll relist the ingredients): spring mix, cucumbers, grape tomatoes, purple onion, kalamata olives, lemon juice, feta or parmesan cheese.
  2. Spinach salad:  baby spinach, mushrooms, red bell pepper, parmesan cheese, Italian dressing
  3. The ‘Barker house salad’:  spinach, spring mix, broccoli coleslaw, cucumbers, celery, carrots, snow peas or snap peas, radishes, cabbage (purple or green) and occasionally but rarely something fun and ‘different’ such as bok choy or kale.