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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Re-Stocking the Pantry

FishMama wrote (another) great article in which I found inspiration. I am starting tomorrow the Eat From the Pantry Challenge. Giant has extra lean ground beef on sale for $1.99/lb and chicken breast for $1.87! I was planning on going and buying at least three packs of each until I read THIS article. Now I might just go buy a pack of the hamburger. Because we are seriously running low on that (theres none left). We'll see...

Free coupon booklet from ConAgra Foods

Copy and paste this link into your browser to Receive Your Free Coupon Booklet Worth $17.00 in Savings from Conagra Foods.


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Works For Me Wednesday - Eating More Fruit

I have some fruit leftover from when we ordered Angel Food that I don't want to go to waste. I got this awesome bowl for Christmas. It came with a bag of chips, a jar of salsa and a smaller bowl. I piled all the leftover fruit into this bowl and set it on the table. Little Man has asked me twice for an apple, Hubby has eaten a few oranges and Big Man ate a pear. So, this is working for me!
What works for you? Share and find out what works for others at Works For Me Wednesday!

Please Pray

I recently found out that a little boy in our community needs some prayers. While I can't share anything at all about his situation with you, I hope that you can say a small prayer that God will just watch over this young man and help him in his time of need.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Eat From the Pantry Challenge 1/10

I am planning on joining Crystal and Fishmama in the Eat from the Pantry Challenge for January 2010. I'm hoping I can actually stick to this and not go shopping with the extra money.
I(with help from the boys) have complied a menu for the month and we're headed out tomorrow to get the extremely few things we'll need to make it through. (Milk, sour cream and pepperonis)
I'll share our menu with you on Monday. I'm hoping to put most of our grocery money for the month in our savings. Currently we spend about $50/week. I'm hoping to put $100-$150 in savings. I might be thinking too high but with only needing milk, sour cream and pepperonis? Usually we get our milk through WIC but Colin and I have been it drinking a lot and we're out.

So our goals are:
  1. Spend less than $100 on groceries for January ($30 goes to Angel Food)
  2. Put the remainder in the savings!
  3. Go to the store only for milk and eggs (WIC)

At the end of each week in January, there will be a post with a Mr. Linky for you to share about what you ate from your pantry the past week and how the Challenge is going for you. HERE

Huggies Reward Program

I have just gotten back into this program. It's great! You don't need to have children in diapers. Anyone can join Huggies Enjoy the Ride Rewards Program. You can keep your account updated with all of the free codes Mercedes at Common Sense with Money posts on her blog. Just by joining the program you enter for a chance to win a year’s worth of diapers.You can find all of the past codes HERE. Good luck!

Dog Food Deal @ Target

Do you have dogs? I do. Two. Big Dogs. They eat ALOT. Target has a deal right now where you buy a 40 lb bag of Pedigree dog food($18.89), a 40 lb bag of Iams($32.69) or a 31 lb bag of Beneful($23.74) and select others and get a $5 giftcard. They have $2 coupons on their website for Pedigree. $18.89 - $2 -TC - $5 giftcard = $11.89 or $0.30/lb. I usually pay $6.99 for a 17.6 lb bag ($0.40/lb).

Ryleigh is my boxer - my baby.

Casear is a border collie

You can also request a free sample of Natural Nibbles treats HERE

Free 50 ct box of Sweetleaf All Natural Sweetener

If you want a FREE box of Sweetleaf All Natural Sweetener go HERE and tell them how it has made a difference in your life in 75 words or less. They'll send you a free 50-count box.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Target Trip - 12/26

I went to Target the day after Christmas and found:
a new Christmas CD -$5
valentine cookie cutters - $2.50 (thought they were $1! oops)
Christmas cookie cutters - $1.99
7 packages Hefty quart bags $1 each
4 Reynolds wrap 80 feet -$1.49 each(holiday clearance)
1 holiday marsh mellows $0.52
Total - $11.01
This post is linked to the Grocery Cart Challenge

Free Cheerios!

Sign up HERE to receive four $1.00 coupons and be entered to win a FREE full sized box of Cheerios. There will be over 50,000 winners. Pair those $1 coupons with a good sale and they could be free or close to free. Enjoy!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Meal Plan Monday 12/27-1/2

Now that the holidays (well Christmas) is over, I'm hoping things will quiet down around here... I doubt it, but I'm hoping.
I'm going to be trying once again to shop once for the whole month of January. Hopefully it won't be much becasue I'm trying to eat from the freezer/pantry. Plus Angel Food has a nice menu (RIBS!) this month (like they usually do). I'm off to do my menu plan now. Who knows how far I'll get though because I'm watching the football game... Cowboys vs Redskins.
I'll share my monthly menu and hopefully the results of the grocery shopping next week. Here's what we're eating this week:

27 pizza
28 chicken corn chowder in bread bowls
29 meatloaf
30 enchiladas (if I get to the store to get enchilada sauce)
31 OUT (I hope!)
1 leftovers (enchiladas) (if I get to the store to get enchilada sauce)
2 chicken and rice

You can find 100s of other menu plans at Meal Plan Monday.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

It's Christmas Eve....

It's Christmas Eve and I STILL need to:
  • wrap presents (all the kids are done, but extended families need done)
  • vacuum
  • sweep
  • clean up the living room

Hopefully I'll get done everything today but if not I'm not really worried about it... well except the presents. Off to play dinosaurs with the boys.... and hopefully get some work done. :)

Merry Christmas!!

I won!

I won a cool holiday pack from Housewife Hacks! It included ornaments, a box of lights, a wreath and some safety information. I was super excited!

I also won a Tastefully Simple Dessert Pack from Amy's Finer Things. Talk about awesome!! I was SOOOO excited about this prize. I ended up giving it to my mamma for Christmas. I know she'll love it as much as I would have.

If you have some extra time (because we all have tons of that right?!) go check out these sites. Amy's has TONS of yummy recipes and Housewife Hacks has all kinds of good ways to save money!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


I got a lot done today. I think anyway. Here's what's done:

  • kitchen is DONE!!(except the floor. That will get done Thursday)
  • figured out what's for dinner Christmas Eve
  • completed my Grandpa's basket
  • Finished MIL's present
  • took most of the boy's toys upstairs
  • and everything HERE.

Now I'm off to wrap presents...

So Far...

So far today I've:
  • attended Big Man's holiday program
  • bought the rest of the things for my grandparent's baskets (need to make the rest)
  • dusted
  • put away dishes
  • wrapped Edward's present
  • payed bills and figured out how much $ we have (always a good thing right?)

Hmmm... not so much done... off to wrap a few more presents and clean!!

Am I the Only One?

Certain songs make me cry. I'm not just talking a few tears rolling down the cheeks. I'm talking bawling, hard to see through the tears kind of crying. THIS one definitely does. I have never listened to the whole song until today. And I was sitting on the couch bawling my eyes out. It is so true and just reminds me how fast time does go by. My boys are growing up before my eyes and before I know it they'll be grown with kids of their own. Just puts things in perspective and makes me cherish these times with them even more.
In case you were wondering... THIS song, THIS one and THIS one make me cry too.
Am I the only one who does this? Which songs make you cry or puts life in perspective for you?

Monday, December 21, 2009

I need some accountability.

I stole (borrowed?) my title. :) I got it from HERE. I read this post and laughed. I need to do this! Like everyday. Then maybe I'll get something done.
I should be doing something right now. I need to pay bills, clean!!, cook, clean!, and get some sleep! Tomorrow looks like my only day to get things done this week and I am going to be gone half the day. But I'm sitting here watching the Redskins get [horribly] beat by the Giants. Here is what I need to do before Christmas:
  1. Clean the house top to bottom (or at least the kitchen, living room, hallways and the bathroom. I'd like to do the back porch but I doubt it gets done) This includes dusting, vacuuming, sweeping, scrubbing and picking up.
  2. Figure out what's being served for Christmas Eve dinner.
  3. Wrap presents
  4. Finish shopping!
  5. Deliver cookies to neighbors
  6. Grocery Shop (just a few things, I'm out of eggs already!)
  7. Pay Bills (so I know how much $ I have to spend on after Christmas sales!)
  8. Get all of the boy's toy's upstairs into their rooms/the toy rooms.

I know there is so much more I need to do but I can't remember it right now. I know number 1 will take me at least 4 hours. Wish me luck! And Merry Christmas!!

Homemade Laundry Soap

I'm not sure why it took me so long to post this. I've started to replace things around the house with their homemade versions, cleaning supplies, laundry detergent, dishwasher soap, things like that. This laundry detergent is as good as the store bought. The only difference is the smell but that is easily changed. I use a fabric softener (when I run out, I'll be making my own! Stay tuned for that post!) and it makes my clothes smell great!

You need:
1/3 bar of Fels Naptha soap
1/2 cup Borax powder
1/2 cup Arm and Hammer Washing Soda
a bucket (I use an old 35lb cat litter bucket)

Grate 1/3 of the soap and put it into a saucepan. Add 6 cups of water and heat until the soap melts. Add the washing soda and borax. Stir until it is dissolved. Pour 4 cups hot tap water into the bucket. Add soap mixture and stir it together. Add 22 cups of water and stir to combine. Let the soap cool for 12-24 hours. The finished product jells up. Part of it will be jello like and part will remain liquid. It all dissolves in the laundry tub.

I use about 1/2 cup of laundry soap per load.

I've been able to find the Arm and Hammer Washing Soda and the Borax powder the cheapest on Alice.com and there's always free shipping!! I got the Fels Naptha at Giant for $1.03.

German Apple Pancakes

I have been wanting to try this recipe for a long time. Today I finally did and I am so glad. It was wonderful! The only thing I didn't like was how long it took to cook (25 minutes) I am not a very patient person. But it was well worth the wait. And fairly easy to make.

German Apple Pancake (serves 2-3 people)


2 large eggs

1/2 can of Carnation Evaporated Milk

3/4 cups all purpose flour

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

2-3 tablespoons butter

2 medium apples peeled, cored and chopped ( I used 1 and didn't peel it)

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

3/4 tsp ground cinnamon.


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.First, mix together the eggs, milk, flour and vanilla. Beat until there are no lumps and set aside.In a 10″ or 12″ nonstick pan that’s oven safe, melt the butter. Saute the apples slices until soft. Mix in the brown sugar and the cinnamon. Remove pan from the heat and pour batter over the apple mixture in the pan. Place pan in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until pancake is puffy and golden. Remove from oven and let sit for a couple of minutes. Then place a large plate over the pan and flip the pancake onto the plate.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Meal Plan Monday 12/20 - 12/26

(photo courtesy of kraftfoods.com)

Meals this week are going to have to be easy... it is a VERY busy week for us. I have decided (again) to eat from the pantry/freezer for January because my freezer is so full it's not funny. Hopefully I can find some ready made meals in there somewhere for this week.

Sunday - [as
always] pizza

22 steak (using steak from Angel Food)

24 not sure yet... we were supposed to have company but who knows?

25 Christmas!

26 spaghetti (or leftovers!)
head to orgjunkie.com for more wonderful meal plans!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Snow Day!

We were hit with A LOT of snow today! 12 inches as of last count. The boys loved it! We went outside three separate times today, for about an hour and a half at a time.

After shoveling the porch, he had to shovel his house.

" weeeeeeee!!! Dad! weeeeeee!!!"

Then we came inside for hot cocoa and snacks.

They're looking forward to heading out again in the morning!

Baking Day!

I must be crazy. I decided to do all of my baking in one day. I know most of you have already done this, but I never thought it would be possible for me. My little ones don't like to be alone (at least when I'm in the kitchen they don't) and hubby usually isn't the biggest help when I'm cooking.
Big Man and Little Man helped me for a little while. Then they disappeared into the living room and I could hear them singing and playing together. They are such angels.

Hubby worked half a day and came home in the middle of it all. He actually helped me with the peanut butter cookies.

I made waffles, chocolate covered pretzels, vanilla trail mix, peanut butter blossoms, peanut butter temptations, hot chocolate and 2 loaves of bread.

Little Man loves to cook! He usually is such a big help. He loved making chocolate covered pretzels with me.

Big Man liked eating the chocolate more than he liked helping.

I wanted to make pizza dough and some more bread but maybe tomorrow. We're snowed in and what's better to do than bake?! (and play in the snow!)

Friday, December 18, 2009

Holiday Party

Big Man's [first] holiday party was yesterday. Edward took off work to watch little man so I could go. We had such a great time. They made stockings, Christmas trees, reindeer food, ornaments, played games, exchanged presents and had a visit with Santa!
making his stocking

waiting so patiently to open presents!

he really was excited with what he got!

Homemade Waffles

(this one's a little crispy!)

I have been wanting to make waffles again since I got my new waffle maker. Today I finally have. They turned out very crispy at first, I'm not sure the boys liked them much. Last time I made waffles, they cleaned their plates and asked for more. This time, not so much. There was a lot leftover. I'm going to try to get them to try another that's not so crispy. I used this recipe and tweaked it a little. I thought they turned out pretty well!!
1 1/2 cups white flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 eggs
1 3/4 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix all waffle ingredients in bowl. Mix. Pour into waffle maker and cook until steam stops.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Cookie Swap! (kinda)

I have been wanting to have a cookie exchange party for like 2 months. I finally look at my calender today to set a date and... Christmas is in 10 days! Even if I had a day open to have (and plan) a party, I doubt anyone would actually be able to come. So I've decided to do a mock cookie exchange on the blog. Share your favorite recipes and get some new ones to try!

This is my all time favorite cookie:

(photo courtesy of jif.com)

1 stick of butter

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 egg

1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup peanut butter (most of the time I add close to a cup, I love peanut butter!!)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

Hershey kisses/Reese's cups (optional)

Beat butter, sugars, peanut butter, egg and vanilla until fluffy. Stir together flour baking soda, and salt. Gradually add to butter mixture. Place dough on cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 8 minutes or until done.
And Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies are really yummy too!

OK, Well I was going to have you link up to Mister Linky but I can't figure it out. SO. Leave your wonderful dessert recipes in the comments! (And a link to your blog so I can come visit).

Monday, December 14, 2009

Sunday Night is Football Night!

At least in our house anyway...

(hubby is actually helping little man although it doesn't look like it)

(he's putting the helmet back on...)

(watching the Cowboys vs Chargers game)


We love football around here. Big Man is a huge fan. He has a cowboys uniform (little man's wearing it), an eagles uniform (he's wearing it) and he has been asking for a redskins uniform for Christmas. (he's getting it) Hubby jokes that at least they're all in the same division.

Sunday nights are always pizza nights. We have pizza in the living room watching the game. After dinner we play football. We play in the house now because it's too cold outside. It is so much fun! I think hubby and I have just as much fun as the boys do.

When the Redskins (Big Man's team this year) played the Cowboys (pawpaw's team) and the Cowboys won, my dad called Big Man. When Dad said the Cowboys won Big Man replied "Not on my TV, on my TV the Redskins won!"


Sunday, December 13, 2009

My Pizza Helper

Little Man loves helping me in the kitchen. Tonight, he was helping spread the sauce...

and sneaking some "bites"

(yes, he's in PJs. Both Little Man and I spent the day in our jammies. It was FREEZING and rainy (icy!) That kind of day!)

Angel Food Pickup

When I picked up my Angel Food order this weekend, I tried to pay for it but she would not let me. As I said before, she gave us a fruit box in addition to the regular box we usually purchase. And I am telling you, I will be trying to purchase fruit boxes in the future. This one had lots of apples, some oranges, tangerines, pears and grapefruits. As you can see from the time it took me to pick up my camera and snap this picture, Colin grabbed an apple. This "extra" box was definitely a blessing. And they have Christmas presents for my boys! I wish I had a way to show them my gratitude. I have no clue how though. Any ideas??

My Poor Camera... Again!

If you read this post, you'll know I JUST sent my camera in to be repaired. Well I tried to use it this past weekend (well I use it almost everyday) and it wouldn't turn on. Just in time for Christmas parties and programs and Christmas! Luckily, I have a "backup" camera... the one I had before my current one. I don't like it as much because the picture quality is not as good, but at least I have a camera! So, I'm apologizing in advance for the bad quality of the pictures until I get my "good" camera back.

Meal Plan Monday 12/13 - 12/19

Last week we did pretty well sticking to the meal plan. I ended up making Chicken and rice soup from leftover chicken and rice. We ended up going out on Saturday because we didn't get done pictures until 530 (our appointment was for 3, we didn't get seen until after 4) Then Santa went to dinner and since we had already promised the boys.... Here's what we're eating this week:

Sunday - pizza
Monday - Salisbury steak and veggies
Tuesday - BBQ pork roast and veggies
Wednesday - chicken fajitas
Thursday Edward's cheeseburgers
Friday -
Bourbon chicken
Saturday - Christmas party

Check out more menu plans at orgjunkie.com!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Giveaways @ Common Sense with Money

There's two giveaways I want to share with you.
You could win one of two $30 Wal Mart giftcards HERE.
You could win a $100 Visa Gift card HERE.
Good luck. :)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Giveaway @ A Heart for Home

I love Stephanie's blog, A Year of Slow Cooking. And she's recently come out with a giant slow cooking cookbook with all her delicious recipes. And you have a chance to win one!! Go HERE and leave some comments for your chance to win.

Target and Aldi

Aiden has his checkup today. (he's gained a pound in three months and has two ear infections...) I ran into Aldi to get the rest of the groceries for the month and ran to Target again. I still need to get a couple things Aldi didn't have but I'll get them Saturday when we go to Htown for our Christmas pictures...

Target: Transaction One:
Motts for Tots
3 Swiss Miss Hot Chocolate
2 Cheez-it crackers
3 Fudge Shoppe cookies
OOP - $8.41

Transaction Two:
Townhouse cracker
3 Fudge Shoppe cookies
OOP- $1.15 (used GC from transaction 1)

5 loaves wheat bread ($.99 each)
pretzel sticks
ground cumin
baking soda
2 pepperonis
chopped walnuts
4 powdered sugars
graham crackers
3 dozen eggs (not pictured)
OOP - $23.04

(I still need to go to get 3 things that Aldi didn't have but there should be no reason to go over $100 for the month. That would equal out to $25 a week!)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Works for Me Wednesday

(I don't know what's up with my computer... it won't rotate the image... but you get the idea, right?)

When we installed my dishwasher I lost two cabinets and two drawers. The drawer I lost that mattered the most (the other was a junk drawer) was the drawer that held all my kitchen utensils, spatulas, spoons, etc. Instead of buying a "kitchen utensil holder" for $10 I went to our local thrift store and bought this vase for 75 cents. And it does the same exact thing the holder would have done. For a lot less. Works for me!!

Share what works for you and find out what works for others HERE.

Groceries this Month

I'm trying something new this month... I'm grocery shopping for the whole month now. I'm trying to save money. And time. With the holidays approaching, I don't think there is one day that my calender doesn't have something on it. And while the appointment or whatever might not last all day, the times that I have "downtime" need to be spent cleaning my house or, even better, with my boys. Go here to see our monthly menu. Here's what I've bought so far:


8 packages Kotex pads
5 strips yeast
1 box Little Debbie cupcakes
1 chocolate syrup
1 veggie oil spray
2 packs shoe laces
2 cans evaporated milk
2 raisins
(not pictured) Christmas present for Aiden
Total OOP: $21.44


1 command hooks
1 Belgium waffle maker (merry Christmas to me!)
5 boxes Cheez-it crackers (yes, I did buy 5, the boys have stolen the other already)
Total OOP - $14.81 + $5 GC from Cheez-its

Save - A - Lot:

1 loaf white bread
3.43 lbs bananas
2 rawhide bones (Christmas gifts for my 4 legged babies)
Total OOP: $3.96

5 cases soda (hubby's lunch)
4 boxes Kellogg's Special K
4 cans Progresso Cream of Mushroom
3 packages shredded cheese
smart balance sour cream
1 yeast strip
1 can rotel tomatoes
1 Hershey's cocoa
1 country crock butter
24 hamburger rolls
1 loaf wheat bread
super washing soda
Total OOP:$29.54

Total So Far - $69.75

If I decide to deduct the Christmas presents from the grocery budget (which I should, right?!) then my total so far would be $47.75. Which would mean I'm under budget for this week!! I still need to go to Aldi but only for a few things.... I'm liking this so far. :)

This post is linked to the Grocery Cart Challenge.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Send a free card to those in the service

If you go to this web site, http://www.letssaythanks.com/ you can pick out a thank you card and Xerox will print it and it will be sent to a soldier that is currently serving in Iraq. You can’t pick out who gets it, but it will go to a member of the armed services.

This takes just a few seconds and it’s a wonderful way to say thank you. Please take the time and please take the time to pass it on for others to do.

I just sent mine, go send yours!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

God is Great (but you already knew that didn't you?)

God sure does provide. Edward has been laid off for two weeks. He goes back to work for two weeks and then is off again. We're being hit with a few unexpected big bills that is pretty much going to wipe out our savings. I was kind of freaking out.
Then this wonderful woman helps us out. I have enough food in our freezer to feed us for two months. Mostly because of her.
Then Edward's grandparents sent him our (his?) Christmas gift this year (last year they didn't for some reason). It is enough to pay off our two [small] credit card bills and still put a some in the savings. Enough to make me feel comfortable through this month.
I needed a faith lifter, if you want to call it that. I have been praying extra hard lately. And He showed me that if I have patience and faith and I try to help myself instead of feeling sorry that He will provide. God is great.
This post is linked to Gratitusday.

Angel Food Ministries

Have you tried Angel Food Ministries? If you haven't, you should. In my opinion anyway.
We have been ordering from the same host site for about 8 months now. We have come to know the wonderful woman who takes the orders. She asks about my boys every time we see her. They provided Colin (he's 4 and in K4 this year) with a book bag full of school supplies at the beginning of school, at no cost to us. When we ordered a regular box last month, she also gave us a holiday box - at no additional cost to us. I offered to pay for it and she wouldn't hear it. This month I called to find out when the ordering was (our site doesn't do online ordering) I had missed it. (They did it a week early) She added me to the list for a regular box (what my order would have been) and she added a fruit and vegetable box. And she said not to bring any money because she wasn't going to let me pay for any of it! Of course, I'm bringing money, I have to try to pay for it.

If you order online, there are coupon codes you can use!
The coupon code DECSIG5 is good for 5% off a "Signature Box" of Angel Food Ministries. The other online coupon code CHRISTMAS5 is good for 5% off a "Senior/Convenience Box". Both Online Coupon Codes expire on December 31st, 2009 and are good for the first 2000 users.

Also, giftcards are avaliable:
Angel Food gift cards can be purchased for $30 for the Signature Box, $28 for the Senior/Convenience Box and $22 for the Produce Box! Gift cards can be used for online orders or through the local host site. These gift cards make a great gift for family or friends. To purchase gift cards email Katrina@angelfoodministries.com.

Meal Plan Monday 12/6 - 12/12

I have made my menu plan for the month. (I know it's the 6th, but better late than never right?) I just hope we stick to it (or close to it!) More than likely we will eat what's on the menu, but most likely not on the day it says. But this gives me a guideline. And although there are usually no sides or veggies listed, rest assured there is usually two veggies served a night.
Check out more menu plans at orgjunkie.com!
Sunday (6) - pizza
Tuesday (8) - tacos
Wednesday (9) - [crock pot] Chicken and Rice with peas
Thursday (10) - [crock pot] chili
Friday (11) - lasagna
Saturday (12) - Chicken Fried Rice (Angel Food Ministries)
13 pizza
14 Salisbury steak
15 BBQ pork roast
16 chicken fajitas
17 Edward's cheeseburgers
19 Christmas party
20 pizza
21 chicken manicotti
22 steak (using steak from Angel Food)
23 steamers
24 roast chicken (holiday meal with Edward's dad)
25 Christmas!
26 spaghetti (or leftovers!)
27 pizza
29 meatloaf
31 pork chops
1 leftovers (enchiladas)
2 chicken and rice

Friday, December 4, 2009

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 cups brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
2 cups butter, softened
4 eggs
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup ground pecans (optional)
4 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
In a large bowl, cream together the brown sugar, white sugar, and butter until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each one. Stir in the vanilla, salt, and baking soda until well blended, then mix in the ground pecans and flour. Stir in the chocolate chips last. Try not to over mix once you add the flour.
Drop spoonfuls of cookie dough onto ungreased baking sheets about 2 inches apart.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until the cookies are just starting to brown at the edges.

The Hunger Site

I just came across this site again and wanted to remind you also. You can click here once a day and their sponsors will donate a cup of food to someone in need. How cool is that?

You can also click here to help feed animals in animals shelters. Their sponsors also donate food to feed the homeless animals.

Afraid you'll forget to click everyday? Sign up for email reminders!

So start clicking!
**Edited to add - Along the top of the site is more sites you can click to give at! They include: breast cancer, literacy, rain forest, and child health (also the hunger site and the animal rescue site!)**

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Another Improvement..

I found another post by FishMama that I think would help me a lot. I don't like to clean. If I don't write it down that it needs done, it doesn't get done. So, I'm following her example and making a "master" list. Each day I will do what is on the list. I for some reason I don't get it done that day( doctors appointments, hospital visits etc.), I will NOT freak out over it. Instead, I will make sure it gets done next week. Here is my list:

Monday - living room / laundry / pay bills

Tuesday - dining room / office / put away laundry

Wednesday - boys room / toy room

Thursday - our room / bathroom

Friday - kitchen / hallways

Saturday - back porch / catch up

Sunday- relax / plan for next week

I am really hoping this will help keep me on track and help keep my house clean! (And I guess I'll have to do Monday and Tuesday next week since I didn't really do what I should this week. ;) )

2010 Calender

Need a calender for the upcoming year? Sign up at EatBetterAmerica and they will send you one FREE! Plus, you'll get access to 100's of yummy healthy recipes and coupons! Sign up here to get this FREE calendar filled with delicious recipes.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Want $50 CASH?

How great would that be for the holidays? I know I could use an extra $50! Go here and enter for your chance to win $50. Good luck!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

New Habits

So I just read this post by Fishmama and I think it's a great idea. There is so much I want to change about my daily habits and I am not sure how to start. I will try to pick one thing per MONTH for right now. I know that doesn't sound like a lot, but you've got to start somewhere right? ( And that's what this post said too! One thing a month) So for the month of December I will be trying to go to bed earlier. Right now it is 11:46 pm on a Sunday night ( in my defense... it IS football night. :D) I am exhausted and should have been in bed 2 hours ago. I know I will be exhausted in the morning. I want to try and get in bed before 11 every night. There was a few nights last week where I did this and I did notice a difference the next day. But then I get all worried about the house and getting everything done and I get to bed after 1 am. So my goal for the next month is to be in bed before 11 pm every night. Wish me luck (I'm going to bed now, the game's over. The Ravens won in overtime, if you care ;) )

Meal Plan Monday 11/29 - 12/5

Last week the menu pretty much went out the window. I made up a new one because hubby did not want turkey every night. We added baked potato soup in bread bowls. The Turkey-Green Chile Enchiladas were awesome, but too spicy even after some of the changes I made. I'm glad the boys didn't eat with us that night. Here's what we'll be eating this week:

Sunday - I went to see my grandpa who is in the hospital, so we ended up eating out, me at the hospital and the boys got pizza.

Monday - homemade pizza

Tuesday- Ultimate Chicken Fingers & veggie

Wednesday - Shepard's Pie (using leftovers!)

Thursday - Grilled Cheeseburgers

Friday- Beef Nacho Casserole ( I do mine a little differently but this is similar)

Saturday- [hopefully] leftovers

Check out other great mealplans at orgjunkie.com

25 days of Christmas

Instead of a "regular" candy calender this year, I came across an awesome idea that I had to give a try. I am so excited about it. I saw a this picture on flikr and hubby and I made up 25 origami envelopes. Inside the envelopes I am putting a slip of paper with each of the 25 activities we will do. Here is what we will be doing from December 1st through the 25th.

1. Decorate the Christmas tree
2. Christmas video with popcorn & hot chocolate
3. Make pine cone Christmas ornaments
4. Write letters to Santa
5. Christmas in our town (gingerbread house contest and all kinds of other goodies)
6. Crystal Snowflakes
7. Make magic reindeer food
8. Holiday Tabletop Christmas Tree (Kraft magazine Holiday '07)
9. Hand & foot print reindeer craft
10. Christmas bingo night
11. Christmas party at story time
12. Go see Santa & have pictures taken
13. Christmas cookies!
14. Make Christmas Trees
15. Dinner & a Christmas movie
16. Candy making day - fudge, and chocolate covered pretzels
17. Christmas party at school
18. PJ Day! Lots of Christmas worksheets, games, etc while mommy gets ready for the party!
19. Family Christmas party (extended family)
20. Wrap presents (Mom), Christmas "lacings" (kids)
21.Make Gingerbread house
22.Watch The Polar Express, Red and Green Dinner (everything is red/green!)
23. Drive around town to see all the lights & decorations (we used to do this as a kid and I loved it)
24. Christmas dinner
25. Merry Christmas! Spending all day with family.

There will also be lots of Christmas stories, online Christmas games, and Christmas songs! My hope is to create a fun memorable way to count down to Christmas and add some new traditions to our holiday season!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Unemployed? Free Health Care!

Rona at BerryMorins Bits and Tips shared this post about:

Free health care for the unemployed through the end of 2009 on clarkhoward.com

This program ends on December 31, 2009 but if you have the flu, no health insurance and limited funds you'll still be able to get health care at Take Care Clinics!

Giant Trip

Giant Trip

(see the little one trying to eat the ice cream? he had a fit because I would'nt let him have it!)
6 - 1/2 gallons turkey hill ice cream - $12
2 packages hamburger meat - $17.42
1 Little Debbie cupcakes $2.50

Total before coupons - $ 31.92
Total OOP - $24.42

Total for the week: $38.96
Under budget this week by $1.04 (I had to change the budget to $40 because of some bills that came up)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Black Friday Shopping?

Are you going Black Friday shopping? I haven't decided yet... I have a sitter for the boys so in case we do decided to go they'll be take care of but I haven't seen much that I HAVE to get, you know? Especially with us being on such a tight budget this year. We have money set aside for it but I'm not sure I want to go. I always end up impulse buying on Black Friday. Always. So I'll probably go over budget. Anyway.
If you are looking for Black Friday ads, Thanksgivingblackfridayads.com is your place to go. Plan early, you can get in and out [hopefully] without much pushing and shoving. Have fun!


There's some awesome giveaway going on at Babybiz. She is giving away a Playskool Monty Rex Dinosaur. This giveaway ends 11/27 so hurry up and enter!

Save - A - Lot Trip

We headed to Save - A - Lot today to get dog food - we were out.because I noticed the other day they had their dog food (the brand our dogs eat) for $6.99. I bought a bag a few weeks ago at Giant (on sale) for $7.99. Here's what we got:

2 - 17.6 lb bags of dog food
1 Imperial butter sticks
9 cans cream of mushroom
Total: $14.54
Look over here for the rest of the grocery trip.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Meal Plan Monday 11/23 - 11/28

We did a pretty decent job of sticking to last week's menu, except for the meatloaf (which I couldn't find in the freezer) and fish. We had chicken soft tacos instead which were amazing. Colin, Aiden and I all had the leftovers for breakfast the next morning.

As for this week... We had our Thanksgiving dinner at home tonight. Even though we go to our families houses for dinner on Thursday, I like to cook one for us at our house. I chose tonight to do so because Edward was home to watch the boys while I was in the kitchen. And he carved and deboned the turkey and even helped me clean up! I love when all four of us are in the kitchen together. :)

Since we had our 21 lb turkey tonight, and there is a LOT of turkey leftover (and that's even with feeding almost all the dark meat to my dogs) there is a few turkey recipes on the menu. Come back later in the week for recipes and meal costs or email me. :)

Sunday - 21 lb Turkey, stuffing, peas, broccoli casserole, mashed potatoes, Pillsbury Grands! biscuits, homemade gravy - $3.46 - I kid you not. We used our free turkey from Giant, coupons, and veggies from the garden. I also have 6 cups of turkey broth(plus a stock pot full of more that needs to be bagged and frozen). Plus all the leftover turkey.

Monday - Smothered Turkey Sandwiches (come back tomorrow for the recipe!)

Tuesday - Turkey-Green Chile Enchiladas

Wednesday - steamers, french fries and a veggie

Thursday - Thanksgiving!

Friday - probably dinner out or at my parents as most likely we will still be with family out of town with our families.

Saturday - Turkey Quesadillas

Check out orgjunkie.com for more menu plans!

Save - A - Lot Coupon

Since there is a brand new Save-A-Lot in town, I wanted to share this coupon with you. It's for $5 off your $20 purchase... I'm new to Save-A-Lot so I'm not sure of their coupon policy... but as I learn I will share with you because I am planning on shopping there quite often.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Rotel Coupon Reset

There is a $0.50/1 can of Rotel HERE. (It's on the third header) You can print two. Hold these for a sale to get your can FREE!!

Crocs for only $8.49 SHIPPED!!

Crocs Deal of the Week are Crocs Sports team for only $9.99 each. Use code secondchance to get 15% off and free shipping. These Crocs Beach and Cayman include not only NFL teams but also college football teams, as well as baseball teams. I just bought hubby a pair for $8.49 shipped! Sign up for Ebates.com and get 5% back!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


There is an awesome giveaway going on now at Common Sense with Money. She is giving away a Merry Madagascar Prize Pack. This includes a $25 Walmart Gift Card, Merry Madagascar Plush Toys, Throw Blanket and Kelloggs and Kraft goodies. I know my sons would love to win this!!! Make sure you enter for your chance to win also!

Chicken Corn Chowder in Bread Bowls

I know this is a horrible picture, but oh it was SOOO good! I started with this recipe and twisted it into my own. Enjoy!

Chicken Corn Chowder

2 cups chicken broth
1 cup cubed peeled potato
1 can of corn
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon pepper
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/3 cup 2% milk
1 cup cubed cooked chicken breast

In a large saucepan, combine the broth, potato, corn, garlic, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Combine flour and milk until smooth; gradually add to vegetable mixture. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until slightly thickened. Reduce heat. Add the chicken; heat through. Serve in bread bowls.

Peanut Butter & Fudge Swirl Pie

My favorite pie is any one that has peanut butter in it. This is the first recipe I found in my recipe box so I thought I'd share this one. I found it in a Kraft magazine a few years back.

Peanut Butter & Fudge Swirl Pie

You Need:
8 oz Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
2 cups thawed Cool Whip
1 Oreo Pie Crust
1/4 cup hot fudge ice cream topping, warmed

Beat cream cheese, sugar and peanut butter in large bowl with mixer until blended. Stir in cool whip. spoon into crust; drizzle with fudge topping. Swirl gently with knife. Refrigerate 4 hours or until firm.
This post is linked to Love the Pie Party

Monday, November 16, 2009


I am so thankful for coupons! I have bought so much stuff over the past 8 months and paid full price for almost none of it. I have bought most of my kids Christmas presents (on a budget!) for half of what I paid last year. And I have gotten them more. My family has been able to try so many new foods that I was able to get cheap with coupons. I am able to keep my budget under control (when I don't get carried away!) and have been buying more food then ever. My family jokes that when they run out of something they'll come to my "store" to get what they need. I am so thankful for all of the wonderful things I have learned these past 8 months, especially how to use my coupons!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Meal Plan Monday 11/15 - 11/21

Last week's menu was shot. LOL. We ended up eating out FOUR days. Monday we had to visit the doctor because Colins ear drum ruptured. Friday, Saturday and Sunday we went shopping. Hopefully this week we'll do better. We have to! We're out of money! Check back later in the week for recipes and meal costs.

Sunday - Red Robin for lunch, eggs for dinner

Monday - lasanga and salad

Tuesday - porkchops and scalloped potatoes

Wednesday - chicken corn chowder in bread bowls

Thursday - steak, mashed potatoes, corn and salad

Friday - meatloaf

Saturday - possibly sister in law's house for dinner or fish if at home

Check out MPM for more great menu plans.

The Weekend - 11/15

Well, I worked on my big outside freezer last night. (Well, Edward did all the work, I just wrote down what was in it.) It's not really "organized", but now I know what's in it. I had no choice but to "rearrange" it. I bought a turkey at Wal Mart and got the "free" one from Giant and there was no room for either of them. Plus, we had to pickup Colin's fundraiser which meant 4 tubs of cookie dough needed to be stored until I could get them to their owners. We did a roast chicken Saturday night so there is homemade chicken stock and leftover bags of shredded chicken needing to go into the freezer also. I have four pages worth of food that I need to organize. And another list that needs done. Slowly but surely I will get my "problem" under control.
We also got ALOT of Christmas shopping done this weekend. I went shopping Friday, Saturday AND Sunday. Colin is DONE. (OK, I have to order one thing for him, but other than that he's done.) Edward is DONE. Aiden is ALMOST done. I still have our family parties to buy for but this year there is a $5 per person limit for presents. How sweet is that? The best part will be trying to find something awesome for the person we exchange with for only $5... I'm excited!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

My "Problem"

OK. So I have a problem. A really big problem. I am SO unorganized it's not funny. My husband has started to say things to me. We've argued about it. I can't find things. Like, anything. Pants for Colin are who knows where. My keys were being lost every single day. Papers we needed to sign for our house? Coupons? Hah. Your guess is as good as mine. So. I'm trying to change and become more organized. I'm going to be posting things on here as I want to get them done and hopefully airing out my "dirty laundry" to you will make me change. I'm trying.
Over the weekend, Edward and I tackled the filing cabinet. I had been throwing everything into the back of it and not actually filing anything. It took us FOUR HOURS. But it's done.

I also cleaned out my inside freezer.


I took the advice of someone on WFMW (I'm not sure who, sorry!) and made a list of what is in the freezer. When I add something I write it on the list, when I take something out, I cross it off. Once I get it looking neat I'll post a pic. Right now it's a mess. (But really, would you expect any different of me?!)
I still need to do the big outside one, but hopefully that will get done this weekend. Providing the boys are feeling okay.

I also need to clean out the fridge....

We still have A LOT to do. And Edward wants to help. We need to get rid of a lot of stuff. So I have a lot of things I'll be working on the next few weeks. I'm going to be BUSY.

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