Tuesday, September 27, 2011

I'm Back!

My happy baby girl!

It's been an entire week since I blogged last.  Things have been a bit crazy around here.  We had a garage sale that I was getting ready for all last week and a Thirty One party. I also started my training for the "Lose the Baby Weight" contest that I won a three month training package with Your Training Domain and WHOI Good Company.  Instead of blogging, I spent my free time snuggling with my sweet almost four month old and playing with the boys.   Hopefully, I be able to get caught up during nap times this week! 

Monday, September 19, 2011

Whatcha Eatin'?

This is going to be one crazy busy week.  I am trying to get ready for a garage sale on Friday & Saturday.  Also,  I have a Thirty One Party this week.  Instead of doing any new recipes, I am trying to eat from our pantry.  This is what I came up with using what we had on hand. 

Monday:  Pasta Bake, Corn, Salad, Garlic Bread

Tuesday:  Cheesy Enchilada Hamburger Helper (this is the ONLY hamburger helper that Hubby will let me make.  It really is pretty good!), Fruit

Wednesday:  Beef Stroganoff, Green Beans, Rolls

Thursday:  Cheesy Chicken Casserole, Peas (will share recipe this week)

Friday: Frozen Pizza, Veggies & Dip (Boy's Night with Daddy...Mommy has a Thirty One Party)

Saturday:  Wedding (Woo hoo!  No cooking!)

Sunday:  Chicken'N' Noodles, Mashed Potatoes, Corn, Rolls

I am linking this up with other bloggers @ Organizing Junkie.  Join me next week and get great meal ideas from others/

Saturday, September 17, 2011

A Very Frugal Christmas!

I love the holiday season.  I love absolutely everything about it...the Christmas Story, the sparkling lights, the music, the snow, the hustle and bustle of shoppers, the gift giving, the fifteen family get togethers, the chaos...everything.  In fact, usually by October I break out my favorite Celine Dion Christmas CD and start my shopping.  The Season is wonderful.  What I don't like is December 26th...the let down.  It's over.  The bills start coming.  It's cold, and snowy, and we are broke!  Well, not this year!  We have made the decision to have an all cash, frugal Christmas,and I am going to LOVE EVERY MINUTE OF IT!  Each week, I will be sharing with you frugal gift ideas and money saving tips so you can do the same.  Please tune in...you won't want to miss out!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Pizza Snacks

I promised to share the pizza snack recipe from this week's menu.  My boys loved having Daddy to themselves on Wednesday, and this was a perfect meal for Daddy to throw in the oven.  I came home to only two of them leftover, so I would say that they were a hit!

This particular recipe is from my sister-in-law.  We used to have these at ACYF (church youth group) gatherings when I was in high school.  LOVE them!  

Here is what you will need:
  • 1 lb. hamburger
  • 1 lb. sausage
  • 1/2 tsp. oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic salt 
  • 1 tsp.  Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 lb. Velveeta cheese, cut up
  • 1 can tomato sauce 
  • mozzarella cheese
  • English muffin, small rye breads, little Italian bread slices (I got a huge back on sale at Kroger of $0.99 this week) 
This is what you do:

Brown hamburger and sausage with onion flakes.  Add oregano, garlic salt and Worcestershire.  Add Velveeta cheese, stir until melted.

Spread 1 tsp. tomato sauce on bread.  Put 1 tablespoon meat mixture on bread, then sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.  Bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted.  Makes about 3 dozen per batch.  Enjoy!

What a week!

Wow, is it Friday already?  If you haven't noticed, I have been a bit quiet this week.  We have been B-U-S-Y!  I thought I'd share a couple of pics I was able to snap this week.

Well...it's harvest time!  Tractors are in the fields and that means my boys are happy!  Everywhere we go, we have to stop and watch a combine harvesting corn.  I don't mind stopping and letting the boys watch because many times they will be able to hitch a ride.  Big Brother got really lucky on Monday when his Grandpa came home with a newly painted tractor.  Grandpa gave him a ride and even let him drive!   Little Brother had to miss out because he was napping....we didn't tell him about this.

Check out the joy in this smile!

Tuesday, we started our church playgroup off with a trip to the park.  It was beautiful outside and the boys had lots of fun.   Baby sister enjoyed the fresh air also.  She is getting so big and changes everyday! She is starting to drool a lot which means teeth are not far behind!  Both boys got teeth around 6 months, so I am sure she will too!

Wednesday night I was able to get out for a little "me" time.  My cousin hosted a Thirty One party for me and we had a great time!  She had a great turnout and the gals that she invited were so much fun to be around.   The only bad thing about the night was this...

My beloved mini-van got rear-ended while it was parked on the side of the road.  Luckily the young man had insurance.  It was his first accident, so he was a bit upset.  He said he sneezed and smashed right into it. It was dark out and my car is black...I guess it could happen.

Fortunately, this week, Little Brother decided that he wanted to nap again. Mommy is really happy about this decision.  However, he is still up to his old tricks with the dog food.  I just happened to have my camera in my hand when I walked into the kitchen to see what he was doing and found this...

Now, he's moved on to Sammy's water!

Yesterday, I got some exciting news.  I had entered a contest on WHOI Good Company to win a training package for moms who want to get the baby weight off.  Well...I won!   I am very nervous, yet excited about this.   I will have to share my success on the show, so hopefully this will keep me motivated.  I will keep you updated with my progress.  Click HERE to see a clip from the show.  Wish me luck!

Whew!  It has been quite a week.  This weekend will be even busier!  We might try to visit the Pumpkin Festival or at least go to the parade.  We have townwide garage sales next week, so I will be pricing and going through things all weekend.  If you need boy clothes 0-2t...you need to hit me up!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Tortellini Soup

What a great week to make soup!  It has been chilly and fall like...and I LOVE it!  I can't wait to start trying out other new soup recipes.  This particular Tortellini Soup recipe was one that my mother used to make when I lived at home.  I remember loving it, so I asked her for the recipe.  I ended up making it Tuesday night because I wanted to use my leftover sausage for the pizza snacks that I made last night.

Here is what you will need:

1 1/2 lb. Italian Sausage
2 Cans Chicken Broth
2 Cans Beef Broth
2 large Carrots, sliced
1 Cup of Onion, chopped
2 Cups of diced Roma Tomatoes
2 tsp of Garlic, minced
1-2 Zucchini, sliced or chopped
1/2 Cup of Red Wine (optional)
2 tsp of Basil
2 Tsp of Oregano
20 oz. Tortellini 

Here is what you do:  
Brown sausage with onion, drain.  Add all ingredients except tortellini.  Simmer for 1 hr. and 15 min before adding tortellini.  Simmer until tortellini is done.   Serve w/ Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top. 

This is what we thought: 

Hubby was not a fan of the Italian sausage because it had fennel seed in it, and thought the soup would taste great with ground beef.  Big Brother loved the tortellini and carrots, but picked around the tomatoes and zucchini.  Little Brother ate everything...of course. I thought it was flavorful and delicious.  I served it with little slices of Italian bread and salad. 

Monday, September 12, 2011

Whatcha Eatin'?

We have a busy week ahead, so planning in advance is so helpful.  Monday, I am taking a meal to a my cousin who just had a new baby, so we are eating something simple.  I had planned to do a big pot of soup for both of us, but it is supposed to be 90 degrees out.  Therefore, I am making them Lasagna Casserole (we had it last week), salad, corn, garlic bread and apple pie for dessert for their family.  I did make an Apple Pie for us too.  Then, on Wednesday I have a Thirty One Party so it is "Boys Night" with Daddy while Baby Sister will be with Grandma.  Finally, on Saturday, we have a cookout to go to.

Here is what we are eatin' this week...

Monday:  Tacos, Mixed Fruit

Tuesday:  Chicken Pot Pie

Wednesday: Pizza Snacks, Veggie & Dip (I'll share recipe this week)

Thursday:  Tortellini Soup, Salad, French Bread (I'll share recipe this week)

Friday:  Grilled Chicken, Baby Red Potatoes, Green Beans

Saturday:  Company Cookout...woo hoo! No Cooking!

Sunday:  Stir-fry, Cottage Cheese, Bread

I am linking this up at Organizing Junkie...join me and see what others are having and get great recipes!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remembering 9/11


Ten years ago a mother lost a child.  Ten years ago a child lost his/her mommy or daddy.   Ten years ago someone lost the love of their life.  Ten years ago the entire nation was shaken.

It is hard to believe that it has already been ten years since the attacks on September 11, 2001.  I will remember it always.

My thoughts and prayers go out to all the families who continue to grieve for their loved ones.  I give thanks to our soldiers who continue to protect our nation.  Most of all, I thank God for our freedom.

**Photo Credit**

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Addicted to Chocolate Peanut Buttery Thing-a-ma-Jigs

So I don't know what these are officially called...but they are addicting!  My cousin brought them over right after I had baby sister and we I devoured them in a matter of days.  I called her for the recipe and they are so simple to make!  I made them Sunday when we had family over, and unfortunately there were just a few left that I was able to scarf down.  (I am still eating for two when I am nursing, right?)  Thought I'd share the SIMPLE recipe.

Melt together the following in a saucepan:
  • 1 Bag of Butterscotch Chips
  • 1 Bag of Milk Chocolate Chips
  • 3/4 cup of Peanut Butter
Then, mix the melted mixture with 8 cups of Rice Krispies.  Then press onto a cookie sheet and place in fridge for 30 minutes or so before cutting.  Then, devour!

First Day of PreSchool

Today was Big Brother's first day of preschool.  Unbelievable...Time flies!  It seems like just yesterday I was holding him in my arms for the first time. 

He is actually doing preschool through our church, so he already knows all the children that he will be around since they are also in his Sunday School class.  He felt pretty special with his new "Cars" backpack and all.  It was quite hectic trying to get three kiddos ready and out the door by 8:45.  I am realizing that I need to be a bit more organized...

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

My CVS Addiction

I so wish I would have discovered CVS years ago.  I just started frequenting CVS in the past year, and I must say that I am addicted!  I thought I would share my transaction from my late Saturday night visit (after the kiddos were in bed).  Maybe you will be inspired to check out CVS.

***quick note...as I was snapping the picture of this, I heard my husband chuckling in the living room.  He thinks I am ridiculous for sharing my shopping adventures...what do you think?  

Here is what I purchased for $10.91 out of pocket, plus I received $6.99 in ECB to spend next time:

Here is how I did it:

  • First of all, if you go to CVS late on Saturday in my area, you are able to take advantage of the current week's sales and the sales that will start on Sunday.  Sometimes last week's items are sold out, but CVS will give you a rain check that NEVER expires for the item.  
  • I bought 4 Dawn dish soaps that were priced $0.99 each, but I had four $0.75 off coupons.  So I only spent $1 for all four.
  • Then, I picked up 5 Suave deodorants that were priced at $0.99 and I had five $0.75 off coupons which brought the total of these to $0.25 each or $1.25 for all five. 
  • I was able to get a free pack of Jumbo Huggies diapers because I had bought six jumbo packs in the past two months (having two diapers...we go through a ton!).  A coupon printed out at the red coupon center in the store.  
  • The Carefree liners were on sale for $1.00 with a $1.00 ECB.  So these would be "free", but I also had a $0.50 manufacturer's coupon.  Even better than free!  
  • I picked up 1 Hershey's bar and 1 Hershey's Air Delight.  I had a coupon for buy one Hershey's bar get 1 Air Delight Free.  So I spend $1.19 for both...Plus I got $0.99 ECB to spend next time. 
  • Next, I got two Skintimate Shave Creams that were on sale for $1.99.  I had manufacturer's coupons for $1 off and paired that with the $1 off CVS coupon that I printed from the CVS website.  Therefore both of these were FREE!  
  • Then, I got the Shick Quatro Intuition cartridges for $8.99.  I used a $2 manufacturer's coupon.  This purchase also gave me $4.00 back in ECB.  
  • Finally, I bought a gallon of milk for $2.79 and got a $1.00 ECB. 
  • In addition, I used a $5 off of $30 coupon that was emailed to me this week from CVS.  
 Pretty good, wouldn't ya say?  It says that I saved $45.42 on my receipt with the sales and coupons.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Our Labor Day Weekend

What a weekend!  We had so much on our "to do" lists that did not get done...but overall our weekend was great.  


Saturday was daddy's work day. His big project was to paint a navy blue strip on Big Brother's lime green wall.  I needed to get the kids out of the house otherwise they would be his little "helpers".   Therefore, I took the kids to my parents' house.  I absolutely LOVE having my parents five minutes away.  It is truly a blessing! 

While we were there, I was able to snap this shot of my father and my son "taking a break" after a long day of hard work.  (Grandpa was truly working in the yard and big bro was tagging along.) 

I also got a great shot of baby sister smiling at Grandma. 

The boys were very excited to come home to see the room finished, but when we pulled the painter's tape off, we saw that they navy blue bled through in spots.  So...that means at least another weekend before we are able to get the boys moved in together and baby sister out of our room.  Oh well! 

Here is what it looks like...if you look closely you can see blotches of navy blue where there shouldn't be. 


After attending church, we were able to invite hubby's family over for a cook-out.  His brother has a little girl who is 5 months older than baby sister, so it is always fun!  We were able to spend several hours just hanging out and enjoying the beautiful fall-like weather. 

I love this picture that I took of our niece grabbing big brother's hair...too funny!


Today was "boys" day.  They loved having the entire day to spend with Daddy.  This is very unusual since he works six days a week.  They spent most of the day playing outside and rough housing with daddy.  By eight o'clock they were exhausted.  After a quick bath, a few books and songs, they were out! 

It was a perfect weekend with the ones I love the most!  

Whatcha Eatin'?

Whew...this weekend was super busy, but wonderful.  I absolutely love this fall weather that we are having!  I can't wait to make chili for the first time this fall. I Love the smell of chili simmering all day...yum! We will also be trying out a new recipe for Philly Cheese Steak in the crockpot.

Here is what we are having this week...

Monday:  Homemade Tomato Soup & Grilled Cheese

Tuesday:  Lasagna Casserole, Salad, Corn, Garlic Bread

Wednesday:  Crockpot Philly Cheese Steak Sandwiches, Potato Salad, Veggies & Dip

Thursday:  Easy Chicken & Cheese Enchiladas, Mexican Rice

Friday:  Homemade Pizza

Saturday: Cheeseburgers on the grill, baked beans, cottage cheese, oven fries

Sunday:  Chili, Cheese & Crackers

 What are you having this week?  Link up at Organizing Junkie and get lots of great meal ideas from others.

Friday, September 2, 2011

BBQ Chicken Quesadillas (from All You)

I love meals that are super quick to make...this was one of them. I got this recipe from the All You magazine June issue.  The day before you make the Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken for dinner and then use the leftovers the next night for this recipe.  When I made the recipe, I left the jalapeno out so it wouldn't be too spicy for the boys.  Little bro and I really enjoyed this recipe, while Daddy and Big bro thought it was just okay.  If you are looking for something new to try, this would be a great one! 

Here is what you will need:
  • 1/2 cup of diced red onion
  • 4 cups baby spinach 
  • Salt & Pepper 
  • 1 cup canned kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3/4 cup of corn kernels, defrosted and drained if frozen
  • 1 tbsp chopped pickled jalapeno
  • 1 Cup of Slow Cooker Barbecue chicken 
  • 8 taco size tortillas
  • 8 tbsp of shredded cheese
1.  Preheat oven to 200 degrees.  Warm a skillet over medium heat, mist with cooking spray or use a tablespooon of butter.  Saute onion until tender about 5 to 7 minutes.

 2. Add spinach and cook, stirring until wilted.  Then, the season with salt and pepper and remove from heat.

3.  In a bowl, mash beans with a fork.

4.  Add spinach mixture, corn, jalapeno, and chicken. Mix together.

5.  Spread 1/2 cup of filling on half a tortilla, sprinkle with 1 tbsp of cheddar cheese and fold over.  Repeat with remaining tortillas.

6.  Warm a skillet over medium heat.  Cook quesadillas in a single layer until brown and heated through, about 4 minutes per side.  Place on a baking sheet in the oven to keep warm; cook remaining quesadillas.

Ta Da! You're done!  Eat and Enjoy!  (Baby Sister was crying and I forgot to get the final product.)