Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween my pretties!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Wednesday in the Word
"Praise be to his glorious name forever;
may the whole earth be filled with his glory.
Amen and Amen."
Psalm 72:19


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

and then the rain came.

Today is going to be long. I will be on the move from start to finish. But I'm ready. And I slept pretty well last night so that's a plus.

On the weather front? Rain. Rain, glorious rain. I love it. And I'm glad to see it. But I'm not gonna does make me a little sad knowing that another summer is gone. Not so much the heat itself, but the goodness that comes with the heat...fresh tomatoes, bountiful gardens, sun tea. will all be missed.

But I am going to plant a few winter veggies to keep me in the garden loop and I'll dig the Earl Grey out from the back of the cabinet. I'll be adjusted to hot tea with milk and honey in no time.

Enjoy the day...xo

Monday, October 22, 2012

What's for dinner?

sorry it's a little blurry!

Last year I found a notebook style calendar organized by months of the school year...August to August. I liked it. It worked for me. But then this year I couldn't find one again. So...I decided to wait and get a planner for the new year.

In the meantime, I needed calendar pages...for date keeping, for appointments, and for the weekly menu. 

Enter Calendars That Work. I have been printing out blank calendar pages and paper clipping them together and it's been working splendidly. Granted, it's not as cute as some calendars are, rather it's very utilitarian...and that's OK. I needed a job done, and these pages do the job.

Maybe someday I will add them into a nicely organized binder with cute tabs and handmade pockets made from cute scrapbook papers. But until then, printed pages and paper clips are working for me.

And now...on to the menu plan.

This week I decided to plan the menu for two weeks rather than just one. I did this for a few reasons: one, I had a lot of meal ideas; two, I am on a tight budget and wanted to make sure I used what I have on hand; three, I wanted to test it out and see if it was twice as helpful planning for two weeks as it is planning for one week. We shall see.

This is what we will be eating for the next two weeks...

MON: Pork Burritos with Guacamole
TUE: Leftovers
WED: Pot Stickers/Rice/Broccoli
THU: Clam Chowder/Corn Bread
FRI: Potato Skins/Salad
SAT: Pinto Beans with Ham hock/French Bread
SUN: Pork Tenderloin/Roasted Potatoes/Salad

MON: Chili/Corn Bread
TUE: Leftovers
WED: Ravioli/Salad/Bread
THU: Tamale Pie/Salad (using leftover chili)
FRI: Deluxe Quesadillas
SAT: French Toast/Bacon
SUN: London Broil/Fried Rice/Green Beans

There ya go...two weeks of meals. And would you believe I have all but salad fixings and french bread? If I do this right, I should only need to buy milk, salad fixings and fresh fruit, breads, frozen fruit and juice for smoothies, and cheese.

And now that I list it out, it seems like more than I planned. But I've got to be realistic. I am feeding hungry men around here!

This does not include lunch items for the boys. But the plan is to make muffins and homemade granola/snack bars. This does include lunches for Chris as he has been taking leftovers almost every single day. I eat leftovers for lunch, too, when I get home from work.

So let's see how this works out. I am feeling good about it.

Now, to post it on the fridge so everyone knows "What's for dinner!"

Friday, October 19, 2012

Friday night.

  • Friday has always been my favorite day of the week. Gotta admit...not so much now that the boys are big and like to spend time with friends instead of us.
  • Gotta admit...I'm kinda bored.
  • I am working on a budget. It's not fun.
  • Did I ever mention I'm a Giants fan?
  • I came home from work today and cleaned the bathroom, vacuumed, organized a drawer and did a load of laundry.
  • Did I mention I love my job?
  • Since the boys are both hanging with friends I decided not to make dinner. Instead I ate waffles. That'll help the budget.
  • I shopped the sale ad at the grocery store today...BOGO meats and free sausage and toothpaste for spending at least $25. That'll help the budget, too.
  • The weather is finally supposed to cool down...for good. It might even rain next week. I am so going to bake muffins and cook comfort foods for dinner this coming week. I'll share the menu on Monday.
  • Until then, I will enjoy the weekend...I'm looking forward to waking up without the alarm tomorrow morning!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Menu Plan Monday

Why is it that making a menu plan, even though it's extremely helpful and beneficial, is such a major task? I go over and over what I have on hand...I make lists and potential meal ideas and jot them down for this day or that, only to move it to another day due to a commitment or hot weather.

I think one thing that is making it a bit more of a challenge is that I am trying to use what I have and not shop. (Although I did shop today to utilize a was worth it.) I have a feeling that once our finances level out and we get a good budget in place, meal planning once a week, and being able to shop for that specific menu, will make it less of a challenge I think.

All that being said, I did make a menu for this week.

Mon: Tilapia/Fried Rice/ Steamed Broccoli
Tue: Super Burritos
Wed: Chicken Sandwiches/Fries
Thu: DIY/Leftovers
Fri: Sausages/Cheesy Orzo
Sat: Calzones (we never did have them last week!)

So there it is. Nothing too exciting this week since I am working around lots of outside activities...youth groups, concerts, meetings, classes. So it's better than nothing. If nothing else, at least I have a guideline!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

good Saturday morning my peeps!

Garden clean up and future garden plans.

The weekend is here. The weather is beautiful. You can find me doing the usual today...taking care of my home and family. I won't list it all seems that's all I write about here, anymore. The daily grind...chores, food, life, I guess.

Life is so busy lately...and my brain is always full, it seems. So much to do and remember and think about. Maybe it's one of the reasons I am in bed and asleep by 9 many nights lately. Early mornings contribute to that, as well.

But I don't mind.

I actually do better when I have to be something...when I contribute. I feel more accomplished at the end of each day. I don't have to stop and ask myself, 'What exactly did you do today?" I know what I did. And I know that I did my best.

That's a good feeling.

I have a lot to do's all close to home. I love home days. I enjoy puttering around the house. Especially in the cooler makes me want to be in the kitchen more. (Who wants to cook when it's a thousand degrees outside? Not me!)

Speaking of being in the kitchen, we didn't end up making calzones last night so we'll have them tonight. I am waffling between buying the dough and just making it myself. I don't really like to make dough...anything that needs to be rolled out, actually. I hate rolling. Maybe because I don't have a decent rolling pin? Or because I hate that flour gets everywhere? Or because the dough never seems to do what I want it to do? Ya know, like stretch?!

It's all very frustrating. Some people make it look so easy. I probably need to get over this aversion, eh?

Either way...we will have calzones for dinner tonight. As for the rest of the week? The menu is still in the planning stage. I need to take a peek into the freezer again today and see what I want to use.

Last weekend I started organizing one of my cabinets and then it snowballed into organizing three cabinets...during which I uncovered lots of pasta, some orzo, different rices, sauces and seasonings. I have a lot to work with here. So I am going to really limit my shopping. I will need milk and yogurt, and some produce and cheese. But other than that I can "shop" my freezer and pantry and we will eat just fine.

Better than fine, really, as it always seems when I cook with what I have on hand I have to be more creative which results in trying new recipes. And this usually has a good outcome. Usually.

Wow...and just like's 10:30...I better get this day started.

Enjoy your Saturday. I know I will enjoy mine...

Monday, October 8, 2012

This week's menu plan.

I have been making a weekly menu for the last 3 or 4 weeks or so and it is SO helpful! It's so nice to know that one of my daily responsibilities is already planned out and ready to last minute rush to the store, no running to the drive-thru (unless we choose to!), no getting frustrated at my family as they look at me wondering, "What's for dinner?"

Nope. It's all right there...scribbled onto a scrap of paper and displayed on the fridge for all to see. I think it let's us all breathe a sigh of knowing it's planned and ready to go, them knowing they get to eat something other than cereal or quesadillas for dinner...again.

Here's this week's menu...planned based on what I have in the freezer and an experimental tomatillo salsa Ian wanted to make!

Sat: Super Burritos with homemade tomatillo salsa
Sun: BLT's and frozen fries
Mon: Fish tacos with homemade tomatillo salsa and cheesy beans
Tue: Crock Pot Chili and cornbread
Wed: Roasted chicken with potatoes and carrots
Thu: Ravioli, salad and garlic bread
Fri: Calzones and salad

I am a bit off with my days...but I will just post menus when I can. I like to think I could do this consistently each week...but in case you haven't noticed, my blogging lately has been sporadic at best. But I will do my best to share.

And feel free to share your menu plan,'s always nice to get new ideas from other busy moms!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Sunday morning...


  • Spent lots of time in the kitchen yesterday.
  • I made pink cupcakes with white frosting...because I could, because the weather has finally cooled.
  • Ian made tomatillo was delicious on our chicken super burritos at dinner.
  • I took some pictures. But didn't cut and paste. There's always today.
  • I made a menu plan. I am considering sharing it weekly to keep me accountable.
  • Woke up to a clean kitchen sink this always makes for a good start.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

the light is shifting.

The light is shifting. The shadows are different. Rather than beating down on us overhead, the sun is coming in at an angle...letting me know that summer is over. I just breathed a deep sigh...cooler weather makes me feel like I can breathe better.

Seth is taking the SAT this morning. We are talking more and more about colleges, applications, scholarships, essays. It's exciting...and completely overwhelming. We are going to visit a nearby college on Thursday...even though he would love to go to school down south. Really, we just want to see college campuses and get a feel for what he (and I) can expect. (Mostly me, if I'm honest.)

The summer garden is in need of attention. The zucchini is basically composting itself...which is fine.

The tomato plants are gigantic and crazy and wild...with maybe 4 tomatoes on them. Not sure how that works? At a certain point the plants go nuts but stop producing fruit. Interesting.

The pepper plants have TONS of peppers on them. I am wanting to harvest them all, chop them up and turn them into...something. A sauce? A chutney? Not sure yet...I'm thinking it's a good day to peruse some preserving books and come up with something interesting. I'd hate for them to go to waste.

I bought a few cauliflower and cabbage starts yesterday. I am the only one who will eat the cauliflower. I also want to plant some greens of some sort...and garlic...and onions.

Not sure what else...if anything. I'm still at the "let's try this whole winter gardening thing and see how it goes" stage. I'm wishing now that I'd grown some sort of winter squash. Butternut would be good. Next year. I really need to get that garden journal going...maybe I can work on that today, too.

Speaking of a garden journal, I have been itching to be creative lately. Every time I pull out scissors at work I get an urge to cut and paste...collage. I haven't made anything in a long time. I've taken lots of photos...and glued them to notecards. And I love that. Photography is a great form of creativity...especially with limited space. But there's just something about taking little bits of paper that mean nothing and turning them into something interesting that gives me satisfaction.

I have tubs full of collage supplies...origami papers, tapes, fabric scraps, vintage newspapers and books, outdated calendar pages. I tucked them away years ago...and there they've stayed. Maybe it's time to get them out.

First things first, of course...clean up the garden, start some laundry, boil some chicken for tonight's dinner (Super Burritos), dust and run the vacuum...and then maybe I can cut and paste.

I think I see why I haven't been creative in a while...first things first.