Friday, July 23, 2010

What are you reading?

Each year I set goals for myself. I give myself a whole year to incorporate this goal into my life, each year adding another one. One year it was to become more organized. I started using a calendar coupled with a planner for my purse. So far so good. Dunno why I did not think of that sooner. Actually, I did. When I tried it, a dayplanner that I carried around worked best. So you see, sometimes our goals need a little tweeking to make them work in our busy lives.

This year I wanted to spend more time with my friends. Let's face it, friendships are relationships. You have to WORK at relationships. Not like a marriage, but it still takes spending time together. It does not have to consume your time. It can be as simple as an early feature movie, appetizers together, coffee and dessert, movies at home, or shopping. This year I can happily say that I have made time for my friends and enjoyed it. My husband is a huge help with this. He knows how valuable friendships are and encourages me and tells me it is OKAY to spend time with the girls. For many years I was a stay at home mom and there was no time for girl friends or shopping or leizure lunches. I sacrificed a lot. I rarely had ME time. The kids are teens now and love going to the mall for the afternoon while the girls and I shop at MOM stores. They love sitting at their own tables when we grab a bite. They feel so grown up. I feel like I am setting a good example to them by making time for myself but also including them.

Another goal was to bring back a favorite past time of mine: Reading. I used to spend hours reading. My friends would come spend the night and we would lounge around and read, swap books, and talk about the books. I love holding a book and turning the pages. I love the smell of a new book. The spine is tightly bound. It creeks a little when you push it too far. The pages are crisp. The hard covers edges are pointy and hard. Even a paperback has the same feel. You don't wanna bend that cover around the back just yet.

I remember diving into books for hours on end. We did the summer reading programs at the public library. Times were very different then and my mom would even dropped us off at the library while she ran errands. I can remember gathering up a stack of books and turning the rest of the world out, becoming lost in the story on the pages. Animals of every kind. Kids doing amazing things. Far off places.. the visions danced in my head. I was practically there myself!

Somewhere between finding boys, getting married and having a house and kids there was no free time to read. Where there was time, I wanted NO stimulation. I wanted to REST my brain.

My other goal this year was to start reading again. And read I have! It feels so good. I love to spend a rainy day curled up on the couch or the bed reading. My boss loaned me some books to read. I blazed thru them. This was becoming addicting. I was spending less time in front of the computer and more time using my imagination. I was able to slow down my brain at the end of a busy day by deverting it with a book, giving my brain something else to focus on.

Then my boss informed me she bought a Nook.

A
Nook
?

Oh yeah! A NOOK! I had to have one. I am a gadget freak. A Nook is an Ereader. You read ebooks on it. Remember when we had 8-tracks and 45s? They were cumbersome to carry around. Then came cassettes and CDs. Now we have Ipods to carry around all our music. The same goes for an Ereader. You can put hundreds of books on there and carry them around with you. You can make notes, highlight things, put bookmarks for reference.... you can even lend an Ebook to a friend who also has a Nook. You download books from Barnes and Noble. They also offer Free Book Friday. You can download a book for free! There are even free books on the B&N website. Awesome!

Then I discovered you can also download books from the public library onto your Nook (and various other Ereaders).

I am loving it!

So, what are you reading?? Right now I am reading Dirty Harriot and have Dear John waiting next! I have already burned thru a few books from the library and some paperbacks my boss loaned to me. My Nook is charging, getting ready for a weekend of reading. Goal accomplished!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Bento - Frugal Style

I dunno why but I love bringing my lunch to work. Maybe it's knowing what I am eating. LIKING what I am eat. Or, maybe it's the Frugal Person in me! What ever the reason, I love bringing my lunch to work. Having an obsession with containers does not help, at all.

I made a list (yes, I love making lists) of all the foods that would make good lunches and divided them into catagories: Main, fruits, veggies, snacks, desserts. I check this list while making my grocery list for the week. Nothing worse than having nothing to pack in your lunch. It's supposed to be FUN to eat your lunch. Chances are if it's not fun and flavorful you won't bring your lunch very often. We have a microwave at work, so that helps when I need to reheat things. I also have a thermos to keep soups hot. Nothing beats soup and a sandwich in a pinch.

I had a fetish for a bento box. I really wanted one. That turned into wanting a Laptop Lunch Box. What an expense. Yikes! Instead, I opted for Fit and Fresh Containers that were purchased at Marshalls. This one is my favorite. I was worried it wasn't going to hold enough. Trust me when I say it does! Leftovers or a sammie in the bottom, chips and fruit/veggies or crackers and cheese in the smaller containers. Sometimes I take apple sauce, yogurt or cereal and eat it mid morning or late afternoon as a snack. The ice pack will keep my foods cold until lunch. Whatever I don't eat, I put in the fridge at work after lunch if it needs to stay cold. Surprisingly, even those smaller containers hold a good amount of food. Having set sized containers also helps with portion control.

Besides being frugal by bringing my own lunch, I am also big on recycling/reusing. Reusable containers cut down on wasted ziplocks. And when packing my lunch, a homemade cloth napkin and real utensils also get tucked into my tote bag. I am sure my co-workers think I am some crazy nerdy dork.

I have also snagged some other Fit and Fresh containers that I love - especially the salad container. Perfect for those bulkier leftovers that need a lot of room. I also tote around these.

I keep the ice packs in the freezer to they are ready to go anytime. These containers are perfect for those errand days. Pack up some veggies, dip, cheese, pepperoni, etc.. make your own lunchables.

My sister and I pack up containers when we do our Cmas shopping. There is no time to stop for a lengthy meal and no extra funds for splurging on lunches when we are power shopping for the holidays. This is one of our favorite traditions. Summer sauage, spicy mustard, crackers, cheese, carrots, dip, celery, grapes... we swing by Sonic and get a drink during 1/2 price time and nibble our power lunches. Then it's off to more shopping after eating an energizing lunch!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Netflix

We did Netflix years ago. Like, 5 plus years ago. Boy, has it changed.

We signed up for the 2 week trial. I think we may end up keeping it a bit longer. We opted for the 1 DVD at a time package. We get a movie near the weekend, enjoy it, mail it back and by the next weekend we have a new movie waiting to be watched. The only drawback is there are a lot of things we want to see. We are kind impatient.

That leads me to the next topic... streaming Netflix! WOW. Besides the 1 DVD at a time, we also get unlimited streaming Netflix. We hooked up the PS3 to the TV and stream the "watch instantly" movies to the TV. Granted, not everything is "watch instantly", but some really good ones are! We have also been catching up on movies we wanted to see, but for some reason we missed them. We are also enjoying watching some old favs.

It's a great way to spend a HOT day or a rainy day.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

The job, uhm, the NEW job

Has it really been over a month that I have been at my new job?? Really? Time sure flies when you are busy.

First, yes, I love my new job. I love going to the office. I love hearing about how everyone spent their weekend, what they like, what they hate, etc. I love talking about current events, hearing their views and their opinions. I love learning my job. The "teacher" is awesome and I'm doing really well. I love the mix of medical work, office work, spread sheets and phone calls, faxes and copies.

Crazy?

Probably.

I can say the move was the best thing for me. I feel very comfortable in my new job, with the people I work with and all the other people I come into contact with on a daily basis. Work is good.

How is the homefront? Trust me, it suffered. My poor bathroom! YIKES. It's clean now. Whew! It was a mess.

It helps to have older kids. It helps it is summer time and they are at home to pick it up and keep up on the chores. You know, unload and load dishes, sweep, vacuum, mop, dust. Yes, these are their normal chores, but it sure helps !!

The only problem is squeezing in the grocery shopping and the cooking of the food. Good thing my husband loves to cook and is home a good bit of the time and does most of the cooking. When he is gone we fall back on simple and light meals.

The only other thing that bothers me is the constant having to pick up and put things back where they go. Like, the nail file or the clippers, the tiny pieces of paper that seems to sprout in the middle of the night on the living room floor, the book that never got put back, the pen, the paper, the magazine, the purse, the keys, the cell phone, the DVD, the... surely you know what I am talking about???

Usually on the weekends we hit the mall, a few other fav stores and go out to dinner. This weekend I vowed to stay home and enjoy the time off. Laundry is always done on the weekends, so that was a given. I have enjoyed just being home and feeling quite rested. Hopefully tomorrow I can get a few chapters in on a book I am reading and make a run to the store for much-needed items.

Monday, May 10, 2010

First Day

I feel like it's the first day of school. I'm nervous and anxious, excited and eager! My mind races and soon I'm daydreaming.

Why?

Today is my first day back to work, in an office. I have worked for the past 9 yrs..8 yrs at home. I recently took a new position that requires me to go back to work in the office. Most would say I was crazy to give up working at home. HAHA. If they had worked for the company I did, I doubt they would feel that way. I loved working a home. I loved it. But it was no longer fun. It was miserable. So miserable that I often hated my job. NOBODY should have to work a job that they hate. I prayed every morning when I sat at my desk. It helped.. but I still hated my job.

I worked at home so I could still be a MOM to my kids. It was great. My kids are 15, 18 and 21...not hardly babies. My husband is home more now. I know, but we were both WORKING at home. People often have the image that if I work from home that I don't actually work.. but someone get a check put in my account. HAHA!~ It's work... just like if I were to go to the office, just my desk is at home.

My old job I worked long hours for measly pay. Often I was still working and my husband was cooking supper. Now I will have set hours. I can PLAN things!

I am looking forward to working with people again, people I know and worked with before. I was feeling pretty lonely at home. I look forward to starting a new career. I don't like change.. but I do like learning.

I am sure there will be an adjustment period... everyone will have to find their place ... it will all be fine. I had God's push and blessing to take this new job.. I'll have to tell you about it one day. For right now, I know this is where I am supposed to be!

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Love of Lists

I love lists.

Why? I can think about it once and be done. After that, I can let the list tell me what to do and can concentrate on other things. Why burdon my brain with unneccessary things??

I made a list of meals we eat routinely. I put them on index cards and keep them in my home binder. When I get in a rut, I can pull out the cards and it gives me ideas. I have them in categories like: chicken, beef, pork, sides, crockpot/quick and easy.

I based this off of Flylady. I made of list things I wanted done weekly. Then I divided that up between Mon - Fri. A little each day is much easier than a full day of cleaning. I made of list of all the things I wanted done in each room, divided my house into zones like FlyLady suggests, and now have a list for each room. I keep my pages in page protectors and check them off with a dry erase marker. This way, if I don't get to it this month I will know where I left off when I come back to it. No more trying to remember.

I make a list of menus for the week, making my grocery list for the week based on that list. I also put my list in order of the store. Ohoo, i can feel your face tensing up and looking at the computer funny! I'll tell you why I do this.

Ever go to the store and forget something making you back track with that loaded cart?? I have. Many times I decided it was too much trouble to back track. I regretted that once I was home and NEEDED that one thing to make my meal. A quick trip to the store can turn into much longer than you wanted if your stuff is not in order. One day I drew the layout of my store. I labeled each isle. Now I can look at my drawing, see what's on that isle and make my list in order. Rarely do I have to back track now. I also put the pages in my coupon binder according to the store. flip the page as you hit the next isle. Think about it once and then it's done!

Running errands is no different. I make my list of stores and what I want at each store. I then number the stores in order of going to them. I group store together by location and the same side of the road. It's a pain to cut across the traffic back and forth. This way I can go up one side of the road, stopping as needed, but across once and then do the places on that side of the road. Much less stressful.

When my sister and I Cmas shop at the mall, we park at one end then walk to the opposite to start shopping. We have our list for each store and each store is numbered as to what order we will hit them. When we are done shopping we are near the car. Much easier to carry bags once thru the mall.

I love lists. Think about your list while you have free time, make it and forget it! Let the list tell you what to do next. Free your mind, ease your stress!

Monday, May 03, 2010

Menu Monday

Monday - leftover northern beans and hamhocks.

Tuesday - meatloaf, mashed potatoes, green beans.

Wednesday - Porkchops n gravy, rice, veggie

Thursday - Loaded baked potatoes topped with chopped chicken breasts.

Friday - Leftovers!

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Shopping venture

One of my best friends' and I did some shopping on Saturday. I packed a "snack bag" of carrots, cherry tomatoes, ranch dip, laughing cow cheese, pretzel rods, gogurt and drinks for us to power snack instead of stopping for lunch - we were meeting up with other friends later that evening for dinner.

I found some really good deals. My friend is a fashion diva and mixing and matching clothes is right up her alley. I was able to snag some navy, khaki and gray slacks from Dillards for 20.00 each. wow! Reg 40.00 a pair.

Then we made our way to Kohl's and I picked up 4 shirts on sale, of course!

Next was Ross. Love the prices. I was able to pick up 2 of those tiny sweaters (shrugs?) for the cost of 1 from the mall. I finally found a shirt to go with the black skirt I have had for, oh, 2 yrs?

We slipped into a little shop of accessories and she helped me pick out some new earrings and necklaces for my new tops.

Met up with friends for dinner. What a great time. I was pooped.

This morning I laid out all my new clothes, mixed and matched, then hauled out some stuff from my closet to mix and match some more.

Next weekend.... shoes!

And to think at one time I did not like shopping???

oh, I also splurged and bought some nice perfume. MMMMM

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Taxes

Whew! Mailed them last night. All done.

It seems around here we are either full steam ahead or doing nothing at all. We went for weeks of weekends with friends and enjoying the weather and each other to OH.MY.GOSH.I.HAVE.SO.MUCH.TO.DO!

Every weekend is filled with wedding, showers, parties, things to do... I have to go to work to get a breather. In a few weeks most of what I MUST DO will be past me. I know I need to slow down and enjoy the excitement and the ride.. but it's just so hard when you have lots on your plate.

Monday, April 12, 2010

menu monday

Better late than never!

Monday - Lasagna with garlic bread

Tuesday - Left over chicken or left over Lasagna.

Wednesday - chicken nuggets with mashed potatoes and veggies.

Thursday - Taco Soup!!

Friday - finish up the leftovers in the fridge!!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

2 weeks

I'm just about back to my old self. I still cannot carry heavy things, twist, or reach about my head too quickly or it hurts or starts to burn. It hurts if I accidentally push up against something with my stomach. I'm not tired, no more naps and I feel great. It's amazing.

The doctor said my cyst was actually a tumor and it was 5 cm! He said the surgery was rough and was worried I would be in a lot of pain afterwards. He was right. They will be watching me with ultrasounds and blood working because this type of tumor has a history of popping up on the other ovary. They want to catch it asap. I have an awesome doctor.

We have a wedding to go to next weekend. I am due to start my cycle that same day, except now I can still go to the wedding and enjoy it! I am sure had I not had the ablation, there would be no way I would attend the wedding. I never realized how bad my cycles were until a friend asked why was I letting my cycles control my life. That really got me thinking on all the things I had missed. A few kind words by others who had gone thru it and the final words of "just talk to your doctor" was all it took. I am so glad I listened to them.

Now, to just finish up healing from the removal of the tumor and my ovary!

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Easter 2010

He is Risen!! Happy Easter, everyone!

Saturday, April 03, 2010

More Savings

I love saving money, and using coupons is a great way to do it!

I saved 56.00 today at Kroger. I bought the must-haves for the week and was able to stock up on some items at some awesome savings.

Yes, I bought MORE detergent, but just one All. I have a strange love of having detergent in the house. I also believe I am stocked for the year on dish soap. yes, for the YEAR. I go thru about a bottle a month.. and today was able to purchas 2 more bottle to add to my stash. I also bought 4 packages of dishwasher detergent. That stuff is expensive, but I love using my dishwasher.

An item here and there every trip will add up. I try to buy frozen veggies when I have coupons and there is a good sale. It may not seem like much at the time to buy 1 package, but to know all the veggies in my freezer were bought at the cheapest price possible.. well, that just makes me feel really good.

I also added to the cheese stock pile LOL We go thru a lot of cheese.

Shopping is also great for running into others who share your passion and bumping into old friends. I am sure I get strange looks from people when they see my binder, list, coupons and multiple items, but they sure would love to have the savings I am getting!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A blurr

Today is Wednesday. When did that happen?? Are you sure it's Wednesday?

That's what happens when you nap, lounge, have kids who help with cleaning and clean up, have friends visit, visit friends ( I had to get out of the house), and your mom brings food and dessert every day!

I am so very thankful for my family and friends - I dunno what I would do without them.

The pain pills are mainly at night to help me relax and induce sleep; since I'm not busy during the day it's hard to be tired at night.

My kids say I MUST be feeling better since crumbs on the cabinet, dishes on the bar and papers on the living room floor are bothering me as much as they do. I am glad they are home for spring break, or I am sure I would have gone stir crazy or done waaaay too much too soon.

There are the simple things that make me feel 100 times better: The volunteered foot rubs with such tenderness, the cookies baked, the text messages, surpise background changes on my computer, the sitting with me watch TV so I'm not totally alone, and the asking if I need anything.

Each day gets better and easier, but the naps still feel awesome!

Monday, March 29, 2010

improving

Each day get a bit better. I'm getting back into the swing of things. I'm surprised at the pain from the incisions for the ports and how long the pain it is lasting. I don't remember being in this much pain for my Csection. Yipes!

Naps are good. I actually got 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep last night. Putting the pain pill next to my clock with some water to take BEFORE getting out of bed has been a life saver. Why didn't I know this already??? Live and learn!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

traditions

Today is Palm Sunday. My mom brought me home some palms that she twisted into a cross. Many wonderful memories this week, first starting with the palms twisted into crosses.

Friday is Good Friday. We gather at my mom's house with our boiled eggs. We dye the eggs with a tradition too. First, we make an egg for each person. We use colors to color or write on the eggs. The kids usually do something that reminds them of that person. We write their name on the egg and that's their egg for pocking. Then we move to making designs on eggs. The colored part does not dye, but by matching crayons with dyes you can get some pretty eggs. Everything from flowers to polka dots and eggs to look like critters.

While some are dying eggs, others are preparing the food. Fried fish, homemade fries, onion rings and then we usually make deviled eggs with the eggs that were broken during dying.

My grandmother brings a special tradition for Good Friday. Nobody is allowed to dig in the ground. Nobody is allowed to hammer a nail. When she was small they usually fasted until lunch. At lunch they had boiled beets, boiled eggs and boiled potatoes sliced on a platter. YUMMY! I love family traditions.

This is such a special time for use to get together and do something fun and creative. This also frees up our Sunday to do our own thing with our family.

I'm so looking forward to Friday. My grandmother is 89 yrs young.. each gathering is so much more special with her there to tell us stories from the past and their traditions.

cannot sleep

I explained to the doctor that I am a mother. A mother will get up and do things even when she is not supposed to, say like, after surgery. Knowing this, I asked the doctor for good drugs after surgery. Afterall, I am supposed to be resting and healing. My husband is home and my kids are not babies anymore.

The drugs are good. I just cannot sleep! I was so tired at 8:30, I didn't think I could stay awake until Richard made it to bed to join me. Pills had been taken, supper had been eaten and I was tired. Sweet sleep. I rolled over at midnight. You cannot toss and turn too much when your tummy muscles are so tender. I popped another pain pill and decided maybe I needed the bathroom. After making my way tenderly across the room and using the bathroom I was fully awake. I am tired, I just cannot sleep. I know in an hour I will be ready for bed again... until then, hopefully the TV and internet can keep me company.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Ablation and Ovarian Removal

I finally decided to see my doctor for my heavy cycles. While evaluating me for that, a huge cyst was discovered on my right ovary.

I had surgery this past Thursday. The ablation was NOTHING. If that had been the only procedure, I would so be out shopping and enjoying this beautiful weather. The ports sites for my ovary/cyst removal hurt. It's like having a csection all over again - minus the screaming baby. thank goodness for that. I dunno HOW i would take care of a baby. I'm stiff and sore and tired of lounging around.

Each day gets better. I know my cycles are now under control and no more pain on the right and no worries the cyst will rupture or torse my ovary.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

coupons and sharing deals


I wanted to share the great deals I cashed in on! Hubby was working Saturday and I was up and raring to go. I hopped on over to albertson's. they were having a great deal on cereal - buy 4 get 3 free AND get a coupon for 3 gallons of free milk. I had coupons for the cereal. They also had buy a tub of butter and get a loaf of bread free. I had a coupon for the butter too. Sweet! i had a coupon for everything in the above picture except the cookies. I needed 1 more item to make my 16 items for the mix and match to save 4.00 at kroger.
I was giddy with excitement after getting home and stacking my goods for a picture. I figured it out:
I paid 70.76 and saved 107.00! That includes my 6 gallons of free milk :)
After that, daughter and swung by old navy with a save 30% coupon from the internet and then off to payless with a save 20% coupon from the mail. I saved 23.00 at Old navy and 4.00 at Payless.
now it's time to cut coupons from Sunday's paper and get ready for another week of savings.
how did you do this week?


Saturday, March 20, 2010

Ready

I have my list and coupons ready. There are some really great deals this week and I'm hoping to cash in on some good savings. Hopefully I can get it done early!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

A new home for RED

Our neighbor had a rooster and some hens. They divorced and gave the rooster and 2 hens to another neighbor. Ol Red frequently got out and would walk up and down the fence to our pen and taunt the hens and Big Daddy (blog picture). The hens walked the yard. The neighbors stopped coming to catch their animals. We feed them and pick the eggs from the hens.

My youngest child is in the Ag program at her school. It's to teach the kids about agiculture in our area - farming, raising animals, building things. Sarah signed up for Poultry classes. She recently went to a judging contest and we are waiting on the results. She has learned how to grade eggs, parts of a chicken and taking care of chickens. This is great since we have chickens and she's pretty much hands-on with them.

The teacher purchased chicks for the class. I asked if they needed a rooster to raise some more chicks. It's a great learning experience for kids. We have done it for our own kids and it was so exciting to count the days and wait patiently for baby chicks. Peep! peep! They chirp a LOT.
The teacher said Sarah could bring the rooster. Whoohoo! He has a new home at her school and his own lil flock of hens to call his own.

We don't need 2 roosters. They fight for control of the hens and get really aggressive. The neighbors don't want Red. I don't want Red greeting me every morning - including weekends - on the porch outside my window way before I am ready to wake up.

Enjoy the new place Red! We'll miss you, but not your crowing!!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Solar Power

We are very interested in solar powering our home. Does anyone out there do this already? We have several places here in Louisiana that will set you up. Louisiana also has the best refunds! Whoohoo. This is a dream of ours and hopefully it will come true.

If anyone is interested, this is the place we are considering:

Wilhite Solar Solutions

Thursday, March 11, 2010

it won't last forever

Time stands still for no one. How true.

My sister has come up with a new way to deal with things. You know how you are dreading something happening? It eats at you and sometimes can even make you physically ill? She is having her toenail removed and the roots killed so it will not grow back. She is nervous. Very nervous of the shots. After that, it will be a breeze. So, she tells herself:

The shots will take just a few moments in time. They will not last forever. They shots will come and go and then the procedure will be done. It will be fast and easy. The staff will move on the next patient and I will go home to recover. It will be over and done with faster than I think.

My baby sister is full of wisdom. I have now resorted to telling myself the above whenever things arise for me! And... it works!

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

swapping coupons

A small group of us gathered last week to swap coupons and tips for getting the best deals with sales.

This week my bill went from 318 to 176. I was able to stock up on body wash and deoderant pretty much for the rest of the year. whohooo! Buying in bulk is nice. Again, I need toothpaste! Cmon sales.

Such a rush to buy things at their cheapest.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

My Peeps

Last night I had so much fun. Eight friends gathered for dinner. Girl friends. After dinner we gathered at my house for a card game called Cadillac. FUN!

I don't know what I would do without my girlfriends. We played until almost 2am. My sides hurt from laughing. What great company. We may not always agree, but we always try to be supportive and understanding and keep an open mind.

I am blessed to have such awesome women in my life.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

trying to stay organized - home binder

My job now keeps me busy. Very busy. CRAZY busy. Factor in hauling kids around and keeping up with a house, the bills, the cleaning, shopping, errands and cooking when Rich doesn't and you get one tired mamma.

In my quest for organizing I stumbled across FlyLady. Taking her idea and making it work for my home and life... wow.

I sat down one day and thought about all the things I wanted done each week and then in each zone. Once the list was made my thinking days were over. FREEDOM. I can look at my list for the day or the zone and see what needs to be done. No more thinking when was the last time I cleaned the windows or purged the drawers or closets. It has all be thought out for me!

At the end of a 12-16 hour day, my brain is mush and I don't want to make decisions or think anymore. Now I don't have to. My menu planner tells me what to make and the home binder tells me what needs to be done in the house. This means more free time for me and much less stress.

If I slack off or get swamped at work, I can just pick up the binder and jump right in knowing in a month whatever got skipped over will get done.

Think once, use a list after that. It works for me.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

trying to stay organized - meal planning

Meal planning is a must for my sanity. There were many years I went from freezer to cabinet scratching my head trying to create something for supper. Naturally, I was always out of that ONE thing I needed to complete a meal. After 3 kids, I realized I needed to get better organized when it came to meals. Dragging 3 tired kids to the store for 1 or 2 items was not fun. It also meant supper was usually later than I wanted.

Menu planning! What a novel idea. The internet has truly helped me become organized. A quick search brought many web pages (there were no blogs back then LOL) of women who planned menus. whoa. Why didn't I think of that before?

Everyone gives input for the weekly menu before I do the shopping. I find the kids eat better when they get what they want, which also takes a lot of burden off me when it comes to thinking up meals. Most of the meals are based on the sales ads for that week, but I'm willing to splurge or dig into our stock pile.

After a few weeks of having menus planned I was hooked. I keep a pretty good stock on hand and have a few of our favorite standbys and quick meal fixings in case we change our minds or something comes up. The planned meal just gets pushed over to another day. Gotta be flexible you know. Having everything in the house for 7 complete suppers to mix and match that week is .. well.. AWESOME. I check the menu list the night before and take out anything needing defrosting.

The list for the week is on the fridge and everyone knows what to expect. No more "what's for supper? " or "Ugh, I am not hungry for THAT."

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

coupon catchup

I love saving money and I am having a ball doing it! Kroger has been having great sales these past few weeks. I started couponing in 2005 and haven't looked back. Thru trial and error I have muddled my way thru couponing 101.



Here recently, my stock was starting to get depleted so I'm working on getting it built back up. I don't order coupons and buy in mass quantities, but I do stock up when prices go low enough with or without coupons. The extra freezer is stuffed with hotdogs, veggies, cheese and meats. The hot pockets and stroudels were the first to go. I don't think I could ever have enough of those. The cabinets are full of canned goods and boxes of brownies and cakes mixes. The snack cabinet is filled with cereal, cookies, bread and chips. The medicine cabinet is stocked full of cold and cough meds, aspirin, Tylenol, Excedrin. The bathrooms have xtra soaps and shampoos. The cleaning cabinet is packed with cleaners, and I probably have 6 to 8 months of laundry detergent, softener and dryer sheets, and dishsoap.



I'm needing toothpaste, toilet paper and paper towels, and deoderant. Not too shabby!!



I will never forget when I first started using coupons my oldest asked, "Are you embarrassed?" hahaha, not at all! I usually save 60.00+ a week on my grocery bill. I also buy EVERYTHING at the grocery store.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Menu Monday

Monday - Homemade chicken nuggets, mashed potatoes

Tuesday - Salisbury steaks w/rice, veggies

Wednesday - Hot dogs w/chili, chips

Thursday - Spag with garlic bread, salad

Friday - leftovers.


It's been awhile since I have posted my menu for the week, but I do plan them before shopping and based on the calendar that week. The menu may seem sparse or lacking of veggies and fruit, but remember the kids have a snack after school (around 3) with supper at 6. Snacks are usually fruits or veggies. :)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Confetti Rice




We needed something to go with the kabobs. Veggies were on the kabobs... we needed some starch. I had leftover rice. Tada! Confetti Rice to the rescue.



I make this without measurements, just going by how it looks. It really depends on how much rice you have left over.





1 tablespoon of Oil

chopped onion

left over rice - warmed in the microwave

bag of frozen peas and carrots

Chicken broth

salt and pepper

nonstick pot/pan with lid



Saute chopped onions in oil. When onions are wilted, add leftover rice. Stir well. Add frozen peas and carrots to the rice. I add in a little chicken broth and cover, cook on low to let the carrots and peas heat thru. Season to taste. I'm sure you could use any type of frozen mixed veggie, we just love peas and carrots in ours. This also make a good stir fry. Add in some chinese veggies (water chestnuts, pea pods, bell peppers, brocolli, etc) and chopped meat or shrimp, soy sauce and some ginger for a one pot meal.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Homemade Salsa


I stumbled on a recipe for homemade salsa. Hmm.. with the recent couponing, I have ohoo just a few extra cans of tomatoes. We were needing a dip for Super Bowl. I made the recipe with the following changes:

I used 2 cans of tomatoes ; 1 can of Fire Roasted tomatoes and 1 reg can.
I added cilantro MMMM
I sauted my onions in some olive oil before adding to the tomatoes.
I added more garlic, pepper, salt, hot sauce, jalopenos.

It was really good right then, but I let it sit in the fridge overnight... MMMM. The kids loved it. Love this recipe because you can do the seasonings like you want and you can have it as chunky or smooth as you like. Heat, toned down, different flavors of canned tomatoes, corn, beans, bell pepper and onion sauteed or raw, celery.


Let me know if you try it and how you liked it.

Monday, January 11, 2010

early to bed... early to rise!

Amazing what you can get done when you get up early, and that happens when you get to bed early! Lazy day yesterday let me stay on top of things in the kitchen department. It never seems to fail, I will cook a wonderful meal and pretty dishes and everything is spendid and then... i flop. I have no energy left to clean up. I put the food up, load up the dishwasher and wipe down everything. But those last few dishes that are not allowed in the dishwasher tend to soak overnight in the sink. Vicious cycle. Yesterday I closed the kitchen early. It was every man for himself when it came to supper. A peeve of mine is hearing "what's for supper? you didn't cook??" when the icebox (fridge) is full of leftovers.

Last night I closed the kitchen early. Brought the dogs in with help from Sarah. Situated things for the morning and scooted off to my nice warm bed. MMMM. My 10pm i was sleepin. I really didn't think i could go to bed by 10, but I did. I woke up around 4.. but rolled over and quickly went back to bed.

At 6, I popped out of bed, took the dogs on a tinkle break and put them back in their kennel. BRRRR I think it was 21 degrees out. I dunno how you northerners do it! Let the cat out and in again and got today's supper going in the crockpot. Cabbage casserole. MMMMMM I had cooked the meat last night. This morning I assembled and started it cooking. I warmed up the truck for 20 mins and then Sarah decided she was too sick to go to school - tummy issues. GRRRR.. I have kitchen cleaned up from this mornings assembly and I even started a fire! Let's hope I can keep it going. It's not gonna be warming up much today.

Time to start my busy Monday!