Thursday, March 31, 2011


Here in the Amato household we have a weekly pizza tradition.  We love making homemade pizza!  It never comes out the same twice - which makes it awesome.  That being said, we have perfected the pizza making down to a science!

Start with Trader Joe's white flour premade pizza dough.  We've tried the wheat but never like it as much.  We typically have a few in the fridge or freezer at one time so the 1st step is defrosting a dough.  1 dough = 1 pizza.  After the pizza is thawed overnight you put in a bowl with some flour to come to room temperature.

I know this TJ's dough isn't organic - but it's our favorite (plus they don't offer an organic version!).  We typically put mostly organic toppings so it's 'semi organic'!

Roll it out into a flat dough.  Do so on a lightly floured surface.  I like the rolling pin, Tony likes the hand gravity method.  (letting gravity stretch it down as you hold it vertically)  We always go with a rectangular shape since thats what our baking sheets are. 

Note: flipping above your head is optional.  Yes my lovely husband did work at his parents pizza shop for many years.  Hey it's named after us! 

flipping optional

So once you roll the dough out to about 10"x 14", sprinkle a little cornmeal over the baking sheet and brush off excess flour on dough.  Then lay the dough on the sheet and bake for 7 minutes at 450F.  Yes.  Bake the empty pizza dough!

baked dough
Once that's ready take it out and let is sit for a few mins while you get your toppings ready.  This is where the fun starts!  Oh, forgot to mention that the dough will typically create some large pockets that puff up - just slam them down. 

We like to usually start with tomato sauce - we use what most people call 'spaghetti sauce'.  If it's in a jar & tomato based, flavored with cheese, mushrooms, bell peppers it's been a base for our pizza.  There is no need to buy special "pizza sauce" in cans. 

Then add toppings.  Options we've done and recommend include the long list:

{mozzarella, parmesan, cheddar, goat cheese, bell peppers, roasted peppers, sliced tomatoes, mini heirloom tomatoes, sun dried tomatoes, fresh spinach, mushrooms, chicken, sausage, fake sausage, mango salsa, artichokes, pineapples, caramelized onions, garlic, sprouts, broccoli, olives, zucchini, asparagus, rosemary, basil, bbq sauce, black beans, corn, red pepper flakes and more!}

After you select your toppings, sprinkle the cheese last.  Then comes the secret ingredients... okay well not secret for long.  Olive Oil & Salt!  Put a little of both at the very end before it goes into the oven.  Then bake for about 12 minutes.  Depending on your oven. 

Let cool and slice - you're choice of square or triangular pieces.

an experimental (aren't they all...?) pizza with spinach artichoke dip as the base.  It was yumm!
Hey you like the dip, why not on pizza!  We put tomatoes and peppers on top with mozz.
the typical final result - a yumm fest.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

House Tour

The time has come for a house tour!  I snapped some photos with my limited photo skills on the manual setting of a fancy camera.  Welcome to our humble abode... that is until we move.  I wanted some shots of our place as it remains intact and un-packed before the move.  This is and will always be 'our first place together'. 

I have no complaints about our apartment.  True, we're not homeowners so we haven't done anything big, and we just chose the place since it was new, modern, clean & decently priced.  It's not our dream home, but seriously does the job these days, and we're happy.

We have a bright, warm living room/dining room/open kitchen floor plan.  Yes we have yellow walls & ceilings - my photo skills are that out of wack (okay maybe some, but I try).  The colored walls drew us to this place since most rentals have stark white walls that are bland.  Also we have high vaulted ceilings which make the place seem huge!  We have a Big Lots couch & World Market love seat with other furnishings from IKEA, Target, a dumpster & stuff from friends moving across country (thanks Lauren!).  And Bonus points to you if you can count 3 fake plants in the room!

We finallllllllly completed our dining set a few weeks ago.  Previously we had 2 bar chairs of the correct height, and 2 of incorrect height (aka too short).  I spotted a 55% off sale on amazon and with some gift card credit we bought the matching pair.  Plus after we sell the first 2 chairs on Craigslist we'll recap some of the cost to less than $40 a chair!  The table is from World Market a few years back.  This nice built in nook holds all our cookbooks & wedding goodies like platters n such (oh and a puffer fish!).

Bedroom #1 is the master and as I mentioned in my dream bedroom post we have these Crate and Barrel bedding set that I base our entire living design around.  Yep, the whole apartment.  Oh, do you spot the made over dresser I finished?!

I luuurve our kitchen!  It has plenty of counter space - as you can see it crammed with stuff and we have big, tall cabinets.  Maybe you can't tell by the photo, but the cabinets are taller than me reaching even with my arm extended!  We bought a step stool to reach the top 2 inside shelves.  It's awesome!  As far as rental places go, we've got it made.  We know we're spoiled with this luxury. 

Bathroom #1 is decent sized with even some storage for all my hair crap.  The bathroom holds the closet too.  Which is somewhat of an awkward arrangement but we make it work. 

I have a little nook with a mini desk that I use.  It's got some nice built in shelves.  I chose a desk chair that wasn't black or industrially on wheels but soft, fabric and slightly girly.  It's not yellow like my photo looks - it's more tan/white with colored stripes/dots.  This nook is perfect for my little laptop and a few papers. 

Finally we have the deck.  As you can see, we live pretty far up in the building.  It's great for the following reasons: no loud upstairs neighbors, a little workout each time we come home & the kitty can safely play outside with out escaping.  (horror almost death fall story for another time - hence the fencing around the bars).  We've got some plants growing nicely - most notable my rose plant.  Once that sucker blooms in a few days there'll be photos!

Note: not shown are: bedroom & bathroom #2, laundry room & entry way - they're okay but not web worthy.  Read all about a trend I'd like to try in our home - now that you've seen it - here!  It'll make much more sense!

So that's the tour! 

Check back to see how we use what we've got and furnish a new place when we move to Richmond this summer!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Around the semi organic household we have a special helper - the cat Cornelius.  Named after the Babar character he's got quite a personality.  Some of his finest achievement are doing tricks, gently patting your cheek if he's hungry whilst you're sleeping and of course napping.  Wait... what?  Tricks?  Yep, our proud fellow does tricks - as in dog like tricks.  Currently he knows Up, Sit, Speak & Shake.

It all started out when he was a kitten, he'd try to get you to pet his head by rubbing up on your hand.  He trained himself to jump front paws off the ground and touch the top of his head to the bottom of your hand - no matter how high the hand is.  Typically we place our palm face down in the air about 3 feet off the ground, and he'll just jump up.  We call it 'up'.  He'll do higher; even 4 feet!  He even does 'up' sometimes if your standing and casually have your hand by your side!  He's gotten so good that he knows the command perfectly and will even do it for other people.

Then we started training him in other tricks.  First Sit, then Speak.  He knows those pretty well now.  It's taken a long time for him to learn since his brain is quite small (hey that's no insult! it's true).  He knows all the tricks best when doing them in sequential order (and the same spot in the kitchen).  Recently we've been teaching him Shake.  It's the basic put his paw on your hand deal.
kitty yoga in the living room - he needs it!  he's chubs
How do you train a cat?  Same way you train a dog - I guess.  I've never trained a dog; or owned one.  We use treats, repeat, repeat, repeat.  Praise when he does it right and such.  I never started out wanting a cat that does tricks - but he just taught himself to do the first one so we went from there!  I know it kinda sounds weird, but to us he's extra special.
he loves tv, he only wants to watch his purrfect dvd - yes we have a dvd for cats!

he helps me play angry birds

He's quite a heifer - at 17 pounds.  The new vet heard about him before ever seeing him and expected a bowling ball.  He's not.  He's just large.  He's really tall and really long.  He's got some fat on him - you see it more in some photos than others.  I've tried putting him on a diet but he's just too darn cute! 
he's overall a lazy, fat cat


Tell me you don't think this is the coolest? 
What's the coolest trick you've taught a pet?

ppssttt:  coming soon - house apartment tours! (with glorious photos)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Top Fives

For an interesting insight into our newlywed lives check out our latest top fives:

Last 5 books Read:
1. At Home - Bill Bryson
2. Freedom- Jonathon Franzen
3. Squirrel seeks chipmunk: A modest bestiary- David Sedaris
4. Pass CCRN (necessary for this)
5. ??

1. The Life of Pi - Yann Martel
2. A Reliable Wife - Robert Goolrick
3. At Home - Bill Bryson
4. Say you're one of them - Uwem Akpan
5. Water for Elephants - Sara Gruen

Last 5 Albums Purchased/Obtained from Friends:
1. The King Is Dead- The Decemberists
2. The Beatles Complete Collections on iTunes
3. All Alone in an Empty House- Lost in the Trees
4. iTunes Essentials- Led Zepplin
5. God Willin' & the Creek Don't Rise- Ray LaMontagne & The Pariah Dogs
6. Sigh No More- Mumford & Sons (I get 6 since I only had 4 books)

1. Taylor Swift
2. Taylor Swift
3. Love Story meets Love Story
4. ...i got nothing.
5. music sucks.

Last 5 Movies Watched:
1. The Puffy Chair
2. Milk
3. Blue State
4. The Parking Lot Movie
5. Changeling

Last 5 Purchases:
1. Dr. Sholl's Custom Fit Orthotics 
2. Cheap pair of Target-brand hiking boots to wear at work (hence the need for inserts that cost more than the shoes) :(
3. Gas ($3.53/gallon!!!!!)
4. Trader Joe's
5. Box of Starbucks Coffee (for my coworkers @ Duke)

1. sweater at GAP - $1.25 after sale and contest won visa gift card!
2. Flights to California - yikes expensive
3. B&B reservation in Yosemite - aww the little old lady sounded so nice on the phone
4. Dentist appointment - no cavities yay!
5. Trader Joe's

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

patent pending hiccup cure

I have an honest to goodness real cure for hiccups. 

I've been debating about blog posting this since I'm sure I could keep it to myself and [somehow] make money off of it.  Doesn't everyone have a couple inventions they're keeping secret until it more than likely someone else makes them?  I know everyone and their grandma has a cure for hiccups but I'm telling you - this one works - every time.  Google 'cure for hiccups' and there are 340,000 hits.  You'll never need 339,999 of them ever again.

Robin's hiccup cure:
  1. take a long slow deep breath through your nose and don't let it out.
  2. while continuing to keep that deep breath in - try to take in more air
  3. when you think you're lungs are filled with air - take a tiny bit more.
  4. then suck in the tiniest bit more through your mouth - standing upright helps.
  5. then hold it in. for as long as possible.
  6. then when you want to exhale it all at once. don't.
  7. s l o w l y let the breath out.
  8. release the air in your lungs as slowly as you possibly can
  9. keep exhaling slowly - painfully slowly
  10. try to get every little last bit of air down out from the bottom of your lungs out through your mouth. - hunching over helps.
then return to normal.  If done correctly (aka a little painfully) hiccups will be gone immediately.  If not, try once more.

couldn't follow all that? 
Simple steps:
  1. breathe in slowly.
  2. breathe out slowly.
When you've discovered that my cure all (patent pending) hiccup removal works - come back and comment to tell me it works.  Then tell your friends and then tell them to come to my blog and read the incredible testimonials.

note: there is no actual patent pending on this idea.  But I'm here to say I've known about this since at least 2006.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Weekly Menu - March 21st

This is our menu for the week!  It's a little jumbled since I already made the lasagna this past Sunday but listed it as 'this' week here.  Whateve's people.  Overall about a third of our menu is probably organic.  We typically get organic veggies (if they're on the dirty dozen) and have a mix of regular and organic sauces, bread & rice so that makes us Semi Organic.  We love it.

See our first try at sweet potato pasta here.  It's one of the most 'out there' things we've done in a while.  I'll hopefully snap some photos of this week's creation and keep everyone updated.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Favorite iPhone Apps

  1. tiny wings - the newest addicting favorite - try it. now. go
  2. angry birds - they're angry.
  3. facebook. duh.
  4. mint - keep track of your dollars.
  5. iSlash - very fun for 50+ levels and free
  6. pandora.  also the best for music. and free.
  7. cardstar - new and convienent - keeps all your 'shopper cards' in one place
  8. groupon - it gives me great deals on stuff
  9. snaptell - my best friend when I'm at barns & noble
  10. BirdStrike - Jerry says hi.
m y
f a v o r i t e s

Friday, March 18, 2011

Potato Noodles

Inspired by the ingenious Richard Blais on this week's episode of Top Chef, tonight we delved into the world of sweet potato pasta!
No, no this isn't sweet potato FLAVORED pasta (think spinach or red pepper flavored pasta).  We mean pasta made from sweet potatoes... or rather noodles made from sweet potatoes.  Sweet potatoes are one of our new favorite things (also espresso flavored chocolate mousse!), and we are learning how to utilize them beyond your traditional baked sweet potatoes or sweet potato pie.  We've been perfecting baked sweet potato fries with rosemary and olive oil, sweet potato gnocchi, and sweet potato chocolate chip cookies.

Tonight's dinner was a prototype on this concept of using sweet potatoes as the noodles.  On Top Chef, Richard had some fancy mandolin-type machine (even though the whole episode took place on a "deserted island"!) to cut the potatoes into even, paper-thin ribbons, which he hand cut into noodles.  Lacking this luxury, we simply used a potato peeler to peel beyond the skin! It worked pretty well, except it did not result in uniform noodles:
no not carrots.
We made a simple sauce for the noodles, which involved sauteing some garlic & shallots, mushrooms, artichoke hearts, tofurky sausage (the weakest link of tonight's dinner) and herbs de provance.  The secret ingredient was Trader Joe's Roasted Red Pepper Spread.  Once the sauce was ready, we dropped the noodles into boiling water for about 3 minutes and it was done!

Served with goat cheese, the result was a scrumptious,  fresh new take on pasta. It was a big hit, and we can't wait to make it again. We need to perfect the noodle making process to allow for more uniformity & perhaps more of a pasta-like feel (while it was delicious & the taste was A+, the texture was not quite what we were going for).
Stay tuned for more food updates!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Homemade Chocolate Almond Butter

This weekend I did a mini project (yep feeling crafty & productive).  I had been thinking about making homemade Nutella but since almonds were easier to get and cheaper I went with them.  I had seen recipes online that just directed to use a food processor on the nuts until a liquid.  And so I did!  This is an easy vegetarian & vegan little snack.  I added a little salt and melted milk chocolate for extra goodness. 

firstly chunk style
then it got finer after a minute. 
now I'm wondering how almond flour is made... hmmm.
then more pasty/crumbly after about 6 minutes

then more smooth & cohesive after about 10 minutes

It's finally liquid after 15 minutes.  add the melted chocolate for goodness!
Note: I had to stop for awhile since the food processor overheated after about 12 minutes.  So much so that the machine turned itself off!  Yikes!  I let it cool down for a while so I didn't blow anything up.  (explains the change of lighting in photos)  Safety first - also expensive new wedding gifts first over safety.

Mix all the almond liquid & chocolate together and store in a seal able container.  I used about 1/2 teaspoon of salt also.  You can add as much chocolate as you want to make this your own.  You could add other ingredients - honey, flax seeds, other nuts & more!  Use it on warm toast. 

Monday, March 14, 2011

YouTube Monday

It's Monday, and who wouldn't want to see a funny Youtube video?!  This one stuck in my mind from a few weeks ago when I first found it here.  Love that this [random] kid already knows how to manipulate the family - even the dog.

Robin's Spring Wish List

Sources of awe:
scent, polish, scarf, sandals, bikini, glass, plate, shirt, bag, necklace, shirt, lantern, dress

Who else wants spring to be here NOW???

Friday, March 11, 2011

The trend I've been wanting to try in my home is

Thanks to Liz at It's Great to be home for throwing an awesome blog party.  To continue the party (second month) off the topic isThe trend I've been wanting to try in my home is ...

a more refined, open, flowey, polished, "us", furniture and home decor theme.  I want tall flowey curtains, a nice bench for the end of the bed, dining room table or entry way.  I like this nice living room chair in a cool color (not brown or beige) - like grey, blue or cream.  I really like this buffet table - it has accordion doors and would be perfecto for our wedding china.  Could never justify it's price tag of $700 though.  In truth I love our hand-me-down (aka heirloom) wedding china but am looking for a solid piece of furniture to hold it - no glass doors.  The pattern is beautiful but only 50-85% our style and will save it for special occasions. 

I want to incorporate more blues and whites as a trend in our home, to go along with the dark woods and greens and browns we already have.  Perhaps it'll be too boring, I dunno.  Also I love this rug - or any rug with a cool geometric pattern.  Ours currently is a hand-me-down and the cat has destroyed it - so it's being trashed (recycled?) when we move. 

psst: see my first months blog adventure here.


Thursday, March 10, 2011

Free Starbucks Petites

Because I love FREE, coffee (even if I don't drink it now-a-days) and desserts (who doesn't?) I thought I'd share this with everyone. Hope I can stop by Starbucks this weekend and grab a mini freebie sugar rush.

Anyone else love the fonts on this video?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

DIY Detergent

In our quest to become more organic and save money we have arrived at that place.  You know that place where may people snicker behind your back, give you shocked looks when you tell them and sub-label you 'hippie', 'trying to hard', 'must have too much time on your hands' type of person.  Bah!  Whatever.  I've made our own laundry detergent. 

It was very easy and actually kind of fun.  It's cheap, is more organic than the harsh chemicalized ones and I feel good about it.  I got the idea and recipe from Danielle here.  There are many ideas and concoctions out there on the web but I just stuck with this one.  We obviously had none of the ingredients already.   (HEY we do use soap in our house - had that.  jeez.  okay, no I had to buy that too since we use body wash :/ ). I halved the recipe since I was nervous beginner [true story]. 
I know this is a ridiculous effect but why pay for pro Picnik and NOT use this?!? 
The cleaning powers are going to blind you.  right?
  • 1/2 bar of soap.  I used Ivory but you can use any bar soap.  Fels Naptha or Zote are common (wait what? I know right).  [for some reason] Heavily perfumed soaps aren't recommended.  Not sure about ones that include lots of dyes, chemicals or added stuff - like oatmeal or flavor crystals?
  • 2 cups of boiling water
  • 1/2 cup of Washing Soda
  • 1/4 cup of Borax
  • 1 1/2 gallons of hot water
  • bucket or large vessel.
Use food processor or box grater to chop your bar soap.

Add soap shavings to 2 cups of boiling water on the stove.  Stir gently until melted.  Turn off heat and stir in washing soda and borax. 

Add 1 1/2 gallons of hot water to bucket. 
I used regular tap water that was hot (aka scalding since ours is turned up too high and we can't figure out how to adjust it - need to put in a ticket for that someday)

Add mixture from pot to bucket o' water.  Stir, cover & let sit for 24 hours.  It becomes a mixed gel/water solution but it's ready to go!  Use 1/2 cup per large laundry load. 

The low down: Total price for all ingredients: $10.20.  That included the bucket and bars of soap.  This batch has has the potential to last 3 months and will break down to 2 pennies per load.  Compared to about 20 cents per traditional detergent load.  That's a huge savings!  I can make about 14 more batches before I need to go out and buy more ingredients. 

Truth is I had to go to 7 stores before I was able to find Arm & Hammer Washing Soda.  Turns out it was at my local grocery store but I managed to go to every other store just to waste gas.  Guess you could factor that into the price.

Also it works great!!!!

Monday, March 7, 2011

My side job

I have a little extra semi secret side job.  I do MRI scans for money.

my actual brain!
For close to 2 years now I've been doing medical research for pay.  This isn't anything weird like taking crazy pills that aren't FDA approved or anything.  There are in fact no pills at all!  I participate in brain fMRI studies at one of the local major hospitals. They pay me $20-40/ hr to lie (and try not to fall asleep) in an MRI machine.

I usually do 1 every month or 2.  My average pay is about $45/scan but I once made $133 for 3.5 hours!  They also pay me for the time it takes to fill out the paperwork before and after.  I won't say the name of the program since a. I don't know their privacy policies and b. if you're local I don't want you taking studies/time slots I want!

There are no risks since MRIs are completely safe.  Inside the scanner they have me do simple tasks - look at pictures, test my reflex's and other simple games.  That's the research part of it.  It's really easy, although if you were claustrophobic you couldn't do it.  I assume most people haven't ever had an MRI and I'm here to tell you despite the loud noises and cramped conditions (for me) it's very easy to fall asleep.  Crazy huh?!  After an hour in the scanner I forcibly have to keep myself awake to do the tasks.  You're not allowed to move around inside - even a tiny bit, so it's easy to forget how small the space is.  
this makes it look way smaller than it is

Also you have to be normal, healthy, english speaking, often right-handed & between an age range.  Also you can't participate if you have any metal in your body.  Which you might think is weird but you're excluded from these studies if you've got/had things like: permanent retainers, many plastic surgeries, facial tattoos/permanent make up, pacemakers, permanent pins/staples from surgeries, colored contacts, shrapnel or bullet wounds, dentures, implants or medication patches with metal or if you've ever worked in a metal (grinding) factory.  I am lucky enough to have none of those.  So I get to participate.  --  You of course can't have any metal on you when you go - belts, shoes with metal, zippers, underwires etc.  I go in gym clothes since they're metal free (which lends the look like I'm about to go running after I made my $55 for the afternoon... even if I'm not). 

The benefits:  So besides the free non taxable cash on the spot, I get free vouchers for parking and can get copies of my scans!  Which is just a cool novelty really.  Although their policy is that if an MRI tech notices something abnormal they'll advise you to see a doctor.  The grad students and techs aren't allowed to medically advise you on anything.  Also females have to pass a pregnancy test each time regardless of relationship status (since MRI's while preggers are considered dangerous), so I guess you could consider that a benefit.

Anyone think they'd be brave enough or have a weird side job?

Friday, March 4, 2011


TJ's Pita with TJ's mozzarella, feta, TJ's artichokes, TJ's fresh wilted spinach, TJ's tziki sauce, cucumber, TJ's grilled onions, and banana peppers.  Best sandwich a girl could come home to.

Anyone else thing I should have named this blog 'Our Semi Organic/Semi Trader Joe's Life'?!?

ps. check out our new wheels!  It's one week old now.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Let them eat pancakes

Warning: these photos will make your mouth water.  Consider reading after lunch. 

After going for a Saturday brunch at local Flying Biscuit Cafe here in Raleigh we decided to make a copy cat version of their pancakes.  We didn't go local, organic or even from scratch here - just basic old Easy Blueberry {heart smart} Bisquick pancakes.  Correction we did use organic berries.  Yay semi organic!  To try something different from boring old sugary syrups we used plain vanilla soy yogurt and a berry compote.  It made for a slightly sweet, very berry, yummy breakfast. 

The berry mixture is from frozen rasberries (and maybe strawberries & blueberries?) and who knows what else.  Most likely vanilla, brown sugar, orange juice, lemon juice.  Just boiled down and mashed then drizzled over warm pancakes and cool yogurt. 

All photos by Tony on his fancy camera.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Car Hunting part 2

We now officially have a new addition to our household!  No, again not a baby, new cat or even bedroom furniture... {in my most Bob Barker voice} A NEW CAR!  cue music.

Yep, we bought an actual new car.  It's a Scion xD.  Which for anyone who doesn't know that means it's practically a Toyota - same engine, safety features & even same key fob.  Isn't it pretty?  It still smells new.


We had very mixed experiences when car shopping.  We'd gone to a few dealerships & Carmax to test drive vehicles and just 'start looking' for cars.  We told all of them that we were in the market to buy a car in 3-6 months from now.  Reason for that is we'd have our tax refund and Tony's work bonus by then.  Also we wanted to buy the car before we move to Richmond.  We were primarily interested in used cars (excuse me, pre-owned) but quickly changed our minds. 

We had some good, okay and terrible experiences.  One salesman tried to convince us to make the sale that day if he could get us $200 more on our trade in - BEFORE even showing us the new car!  It was ridiculous.  He sold us on nothing, had terrible eye contact (as in too much) and didn't promote excellence in the company.  Too bad since the Fit was our #1 front runner and we're both Honda people.  Ehh.. he's a sucker.
Then we went to Tony's old stomping grounds to see the Toyota dealership and look around.  We had such a different experience!! :)  We didn't have to awkwardly sit at a desk - they had couches, the salesman was nice and we were way more comfortable.  He explained that they don't work on commission and have no haggle pricing.  This was key!  For 2 young people who've never gone through the car buying process this method spoke directly to us.  We instantly felt comfortable talking to him and hearing what he had to say.  Yes he actually did sell us the car instead of pointing to it and saying  "so... want to buy today?".  Yes that happened at two other places...  Seriously?

In the end we liked the Scion xD and they had just two 2010 models still left on the lot.  We went back the next day and made the sale.  It's our first big official purchase as a couple.  Both our names are on it.  Hello Marriage!  We got some perks that changed our mind about buying new and waiting a few months: 
  • Buying new would give us a lifetime warranty
  • Their no haggle pricing made it easy to see how much it'd cost and how far it'd been marked down - meaning it was as affordable as some used cars
  • Since Tony's enrolled in grad school we got an extra $1000 off.  Yippee!
Welcome to the family little car!  Nope. we're not those people who name their cars or inanimate objects.  Except IKEA products - those actually have names like senor.  Alright another day post.


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