I wish someone would have told me.

How expensive life is.  Check this out:

I drive a Ford Explorer to work.  There are no good gas stations on my way to work, so after dinner I went to fill it up.  I normally never fill it up all the way.  I find it mentally easier to fill it up twice at $35+ a week, but decided to fill it up last night – the price of gas is $4.16 in my neck of the woods – so crazy!

My first “real” job was at a bank in Richmond, Virginia.  I was 20, living with my Aunt.  My sister had decided at that time to move to Florida, and I was like, well if she’s moving, I am moving too.  Her plans fell through but I went ahead with mine. 

I intereviewed at this bank to work in their international division, converting checks from foreign countries into U.S. businesses.  I thought the interview went great, and literally by the time I got back to my Aunt’s house, I had a phone call that they wanted to offer me the position.  Sweet!  I’ll never forget calling this woman back, and her telling me my salary was going to be $13,500 a year. 

I was so excited!  That meant I was going to make over $1,000 a month!  Well, when you are 20, and only pay your Aunt $50 a month for living expenses, that’s a lot of discretionary income.  Way before a mortgage payment, real estate taxes, prescriptions, utilities, life and car insurance, college tuition, etc.  Tony and I both think that we were the “richest” when we were in our early 20’s!

Do you remember how much you got paid for your first real job?

Breakfast was so delicious yesterday, I may repeat it this morning.  Two of my pumpkin scones and 2, 1 point string cheeses.  I just put the scones in my office toaster oven for about 5 minutes, I swear they tasted as if they just came out of the oven the first time.

10 PointsPlus for breakfast

Over the weekend I roasted a butternut squash to make soup.  I decided to make this recipe, except I threw in a peeled apple and 1/2 a chiptle pepper, and ditched the goat cheese crostini.  I love the sweet/heat combo of this soup – a generous 2 cup serving is only 6 points.  I had a romaine salad on the side with diced apple, 1/2 ounce sharp cheddar and light balsamic.  Lunch comes in at 8 points.

I didn't puree it all the way and liked the little chunks of potato

Note to self:  Don’t bring soup in a ziploc bag because 1/3 of it will spill out in your lunch bag on the way to work.  Yep, it took me about 10 minutes to clean up my lunch bag once I got to work. 😦

I got in my 50 minute walk at lunch.  I told you the other day I found a bike path near my office – it takes 20 minutes to walk to, so I really only get to walk on it for about 5 minutes before I have to turn around and go back.  I need to see if I can drive there and just walk on the path – I saw lots of bike riders and moms with strollers – and its absolutely gorgeous scenery. 😀

I knew I was going to make a cauliflower gratin for dinner, so yesterday morning I just put a whole head of cauliflower, in the plastic (just poked holes in it) and hit “fresh vegetable” on my microwave.  Then before work I just stuck it in the fridge.  When I got home I made a stove-top version of cauliflower gratin, which came together really quickly since the cauliflower was already cooked.

Stove Top Cauliflower

  • 6 servings (2/3 cup) is 3 points, 4 servings (generous 1 cup) is 5 points


  • 1 head cauliflower (about 1 pound)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup skim evaporated milk*
  • 2 tablespoons panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese

In an oven-safe dish, melt the butter and add the garlic.  Cook until the garlic starts to brown.  While the butter melts, cut the cooked cauliflower into bite sized pieces.  Add to melted butter and sautee until the cauliflower starts to brown, about 5-7 minutes.  Sprinkle flour over cauliflower and cook for 1 minute.  Add evaporated milk and stir until sauce thickens, about 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and add parsley, salt and pepper.  Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of shredded parmesan cheese over the top and put under the broiler for a couple minutes until the cheese is browned and the gratin is bubbly.

I did breaded pork chops on the side – I was at the bottom of my panko bread crumb container, which was good – it was almost like a powder so I got away with using only 1/4 cup of bread crumbs for two chops.

Breaded Pork Chops

Using 8 ounce bone-in chops, each pork chop is 10 PointsPlus – but you get your healthy oil in for the day! 😀

  • 2 bone in pork chops
  • 1 egg beated with 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil

Salt and pepper the chops generously.  Heat oil over medium-high heat.  Dip in egg mixture, then into bread crumb mixture.  Cook approximately 5-6 minutes per side, depending on how thick your chops are.


Worth the 10 points for the crunchy goodness of that chop - dinner comes in at 13 points

I get a double dose of Hanging with Hannah today – she’s coming to my office to have lunch today.  She babysits for one of my co-workers and they are comparing schedules to see when Hannah can babysit.  Then tonight after dinner we are going to see Bridesmaids now that the movie is actually out!

I am taking a rest day for exericse today – it’s rainy today, so I think I picked a good day to rest. 😀

Stats for Tuesday:

  • 38 points (including 2 glasses of wine while watching Biggest Loser last night!)
  • 36 flex points remaining
  • 20 activity points earned
  • average blood sugar 122

Happy Wednedsay – make it a great day! 😀


35 thoughts on “I wish someone would have told me.

  1. It cost $86.00 to fill my Durango on Saturday so I know what you mean. On a nicer note, that pumpkin scone recipe looks lovely…will have to give that a try, for sure!

  2. Yikes I’m glad I don’t drive anymore!! I think in NYC the gas prices got up to $5 a few weeks ago; crazy.

    I do kind of feel like now (well… I’m not quite early 20s anymore as I’m almost 25) is probably when I will have the most discretionary income in my life. I don’t have any kids yet and I don’t own a house or anything like that. Lol… not that I have a lot of discretionary income though 😉 It’s a little pricey living in New York. (PS – You should definitely bring Hannah to the city for a trip! There’s nowhere else like it.)

  3. Gas prices are SCARY! I graduated in 2004 and I think my first job was like $55K. Unfortunately, I was living in the DC area, but I still had more money than I knew what to do with :). I never puree my soups all the way either- I love the little chunks. And the cauliflower looks totally delicious. Hope the rest of your week goes well!

  4. $3.35 an hour at the grocery store. $4.00 an hour at the gas company.

    My first “real” job out of college, I was in the Navy. I made $19,200 a year, and it was 1992, and I was living in DC. That money didn’t go far in DC.

    SOOO glad I drive a civic right now!

  5. Just didn’t want you to think I’m not reading and enjoying your posts. I am!!
    It cost $108.00 last time to fill up my suburban. OUCH!!
    I am so glad you and Hannah get time to spend out and about together, that is so excellent. Mike and I do the same thing except our outings have to be free right now since both of us are broke. Not a big deal, we play tennis, hike and just got the boat ready for the lake so soon tubing and water skiing. When I say boat, don’t imagine BOAT!!!, ours is a 1950 trihaul with a 20 horse motor but it makes us happy and I can go fishing without all the weeds from short.
    Take care my friend and have a blessed and awesome day.

  6. I love that turqoise bowl with that soup! It looks gorgeous! Gas is insane. I work at home so my commute is pretty cheap. I just have to roll out of bed. 😉

    Starting a dieting challenge this summer. Took inspiration from you! Just posted details on my diet blog.

  7. It’s hilarious that sometimes I catch myself saying… “when I was 18 I remember gas prices being $0.99/gallon”. (which I actually do! – I think one time it was 79 cents!)
    Soon I’ll be telling people “I walked 2 miles in the snow to go to school, with no shoes on, both ways!” 😀

  8. My first real, full time job paid by the month: $600. I thought I was rolling in dough. I agree that probably the richest time of life is when you’re working but real life bills have not yet set in. Too bad we don’t appreciate it. Sort of the way we didn’t appreciate our 20 year old bodies, either!

  9. The gas prices are insane right now. I wish they would go down already!

  10. Gas is killing me. It cost me about $85 dollars to fill my tank completely full. The best thing to do is fill your tank and then refill when it gets to 1/2. Once it gets past 1/2 I hear gas goes a lot faster because there is more oxygen in the tank. Sounds silly researchers say it all the time in the winter months. I’d assume it would be the same in the summer months.

    My first job was when I was 19 and I had a 6 month old kid at the time. I was making $9.28 an hour and I was amazed that I landed a job making that much. Now I make $50k a year and its not enough. Mortgage, credit cards, gas, food, misc bills, etc….not enough money to go around.

  11. I am amazed at how many people still drive such enormous vehicles. My neighborhood is chock full of them. It IS expensive to drive but I thank goodness everyday that we don’t have such a large vehicle that guzzles gas & hubs works closer to home. He came home the other day and said “I did something today I have never done before in my life. I paid $4.29 for gas.” I about choked. It had gone up .20 cents in one day.

    My first real job after college I made $22,000.00 a year in 1991. I too lived in the DC area, but my salary was just gravy for our family. We lived on my husband’s which was a bit higher I think around $27,000.00 It was so much cheaper to live here back then.

    My daughter is on her own for the first time this summer, in her own apt., and she has to cook for herself. I gave her your name as a great place to come to get great recipes and ideas. 🙂 She knows how to cook, but she wants to expand her repetoire – she is very excited.

    And now I want pork chops and cauliflower. YUM! Hope you guys are having a great day.

  12. My first real job about of college was the membership coordinator at the YMCA…I made 18,000/yr. So horrible…

  13. right there with you on the gas prices, ours is hovering around ~4.20. hurts to think about it. :\

  14. My husband and I traded cars because his truck uses way more gas than my little 2 door car and I just drive to a park and ride and catch a bus every day. He’s not happy about it because he loves his truck, but we calculated that doing that alone will save us $80 a month!

    That salad looks delicious! I love apples and cheese on salads.

  15. When I got my driver’s license gas in CA was $0.89! 89 cents! I remember freaking when it went up to $2. Oh if I only knew then…

    Life is way way too expensive. I just paid some medical bills and picked up prescribtions. Glad we have insurance but it’s STILL bad!

  16. I’m really glad we have small cars–I have a Honda Fit and Noel has a Civic Hybrid. When we bought our cars, we knew that gas could go up, so we decided to get something small.

  17. I hate filling up the gas tank, but what are you going to do, right? The gas price around our house can be from $4.13 by the freeway to $4.03 if you drive in a little bit. Good thing it’s bike to work month so at least my husband’s gas bill is very low this month!

    My first job was during school hours at my high school for the minimum wage back then. Gosh, maybe $4.25/hr? Then my first real job after high school was for $7.00/hr. I was making bank back then!!! 😀

    OMG…make sure you totally empty your bladder before Bridesmaid or you will end up peeing your pants! And even then you make leak! 😉 It’s HILARIOUS!!!! I nearly cried during the movie it was so funny! Have fun tonight!

  18. I remember going to the gas station with my sister (who is 8 1/2 years older than me) and her putting $5 in her tank – which filled it more than halfway. Where I live, it is $4.24 a gallon right now!

  19. I’m with you – it feels like way less money to fill up half way twice a week 🙂

    I still haven’t had a “real job” – soon enough 😀

    HAVE FUN with Hannah!

  20. Ha! When trying to think of what to make for dinner last night I immediately thought of your cauliflower gratin!! I love that stuff! 🙂

  21. Oh definitely, we were richest in our early twenties, before kids and a mortgage. Life was fun back then – no real worries.

    My mom and I are going to see Bridesmaids this afternoon! Can’t wait – I hear it’s great. Hope you and Hannah have a wonderful time tonight. 🙂

  22. I’m still at my first “real” job and I will admit that I get paid pretty well, plus I’m married so there’s his income too, however, LIFE IS EXPENSIVE! Gas is ridiculous, groceries just keep going up, it’s insane! Who can afford to live anymore? ug!

  23. Get this, my hubby filled up the car with gas and while his car sat in a friends driveway overnight someone siphoned all of the $65 worth of gas out of it!

    Your food looks great. I have a huge head of cauliflower to use up!

  24. oh my goodness!! that looks good!!! I love watching the Biggest Loser, one of our local radio stations (Memphis) calls it the “cryin’ fat people show” lol

  25. Eek, makes me feel lucky that I do not have a car! That cauliflower gratin looks delicious – so creamy and yummy. The perfect side dish! 🙂

  26. One of the reasons I love our Saturn is the gas economy of it. I used to have a Geo Metro until I literally ran it into dust. That car got 70 miles to a gallon highway! The oil change guys laughed at me and called it my sewing machine until I told them my mileage. Then I was laughing.

  27. Gas prices…don’t even get me started! lol My first REAL job was as a nurse working at a local hospital making a pittance of what nurses make today…I think I made $9.00 and hour, can you imagine? lol Thought I was rich too! Enjoy the movie, Biz. I want to see that with my daughter too! Hope it’s good!

  28. It sucks being a grown up. I wish I appreciated being a kid more when I was a kid.

    Enjoy you time with Hannah…I am off this week and my sister took offf Wednesday – Friday. So we are having loads of Jamie and Debbie days. Today we went to a few consignment shops and just hung out at home watching movies. So FUN!

  29. Yeah, gas prices are crazy. I drive a big Nissan Armada (for all my children!) and I am visiting the pump waaaay to often. Pumpkin scones are one of my favorites!

  30. Today I learned that the going rate for babysitters (as in high school or college kids) is $10/hour. I remember making $5/hour to watch SEVEN kids. Rambunctious ones who weren’t allowed to watch TV or play inside!

    But my first real job offer was $15,000 a year to work a 50 hour/week split shift (including some Saturdays) at a local newspaper. When I explained that I could hardly afford to live on that salary, he said “Think of it this way: you just paid $15,000 a year to learn in college. We’re paying YOU $15,000 a year to learn on the job.” It was 1998. I turned it down. The job I eventually took only paid $18,000 a year, but it was a much better schedule and work environment.

  31. Thank you so much for your recipes. I’m looking to try simple yet delicious ones. I’m definately going to try the pumpkin scones. I need to change out my breakfast options.

  32. When I was 13 I started my own baking business from home (from scratch breads, cookies, cakes, pies – no wonder I have weight problems?). During the holiday season I cleared about $400/week. I probably did 20-30hrs worth of work, so it was well over $10/hour, maybe even $20. In high school, I made $7.45/hr at Wal-Mart in the summer. My first job out of college (4 years ago) I started at $54k/year. That seemed like SO much money to me. I remember when the lady called to offer the job, I my heart skipped a few beats when she said “$4500 a month.” That was more than I had previously made in a YEAR! I was surprised to only take home about $3000 a month. However, the insurance, the rent, the TAXES, the 401k, the utilities, the gas, etc! It turned out to be a lot less discretionary income than I thought.

  33. I got really lucky with my first job out of college. I think a lot of it had to do with timing. It was way before the economy went bust. My first job out of college was a District Marketing Manager for a food company. They relocated me to Chicago and I traveled throughout the west 3-4 days per week. I made $42,000. The job was tough for being so fresh in the business world. I gained a ton of experience from it. Since I’ve recently gone back to grad school, my view on money is completely different. It’s more about value over cheap. I would rather save up for something I love than settle for something cheap.

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