Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Saving Money

I always get a comment from someone whenever I go grocery shopping because of my coupon book. People always say to me, boy I wish I had one of those!
These days it is easier then ever to get coupons and great deals. Not only do I look in the Sunday newspaper to get coupons, the internet is overflowing with coupons and free samples of products.

After I have cut my coupons, I put them in my 3 ring binder that has clear photo sleeves organized by different areas of the grocery store. The clear sleeves make it easy to glance down and look at the coupons instead of rummaging through envelopes like I used to. My coupon book may be big, but it's easy to use.
I have just recently added coupon and freebie sites to my side bar. Check them out and start saving!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Bird Feeder

I have had my eye on this bird feeder from the Victorian Trading Company Magazine for quite sometime. Just this week, I found the same bird feeder for 1/3 of the price at T.J. Maxx! Of course I had to purchase it.

Isn't it just the cutest?

Menu Plan Monday

Monday: Panera Bread Company Cream Cheese Potato Soup and chopped salad

Tuesday: Portobella Lasagna with Basil Cream

Wednesday: Sandwich from Spanglish Have you ever seen the movie Spanglish? It is one of our favorite movies. There is this sandwich that Adam Sandler creates in the movie and it looks so delish that I had to find the recipe!

Thursday: Pork and Sauerkraut

Friday: My Family's Favorite Sloppy Joes and potato crowns

Saturday: Legal Seafood Style Baked Scallops

Sunday: Still working on the menu

This post is linked to Menu Plan Monday at I'm an Organizing Junkie.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Easter Tree

I have wanted to decorate an Easter tree for years.

One warm afternoon, I headed to the back field, gathered some twigs, spray painted them white and then decorated them.

Here were my results:

I just love these adorable little carrots.

I fell in love with this paper napkin in this gorgeous green toile pattern. It was so cute I put it in a frame.
I also found these matching toile plates. I loved them so much, I put one on display. You can't even tell it's a paper plate!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Meal Plan Monday

Monday: Ordering Out

Tuesday: Beef and Broccoli

Wednesday: Chicken Pot Pie with Two Crusts

Thursday: Spicey Fried Chicken Bites with Derby Dip and Bacon Corn Muffins with Savory Cream Cheese Frosting

Friday: Taco's with homemade taco seasoning

Saturday: Date Night out with My Sweetie

Sunday: Simply Sour Cream Enchiladas

This post is linked to Menu Plan Monday at I'm an Organizing Junkie.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Berried Custard French Toast

A friend recently returned from a Bed and Breakfast where they had this breakfast dish. It was so wonderful they asked for the recipe.

We tried it this week and I had to share it because it is DELISH!

Berried Custard French Toast

4 English Muffins
4 Ounces Cream Cheese, softened
1/3 cup strawberry preserves
6 eggs
2 cups milk
1/2 cup sugar
2 t vanilla
ground cinnamon
4 pats of butter

3/4 pound strawberries,sliced
1/4 cup powdered sugar
2 T rum or brandy (optional)

Split English muffins in half. Spread bottom half generously with cream cheese, then spread preserves on top half, and place them together like a sandwich. Place in loaf pan that has been coated with non-stick spray (2 muffins per pan).

In a mixing bowl, whisk eggs until frothy. Add milk, sugar and vanilla. Whisk again until blended well. Pour custard over muffins, making sure to wet the top of each muffin. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Before baking make sure to spoon the custard mixture over each muffin to moisten. Sprinkle with cinnamon over each muffin. Place pat of butter on top of each muffin. Keep french toast covered and bake at 325 degrees for about 45 minutes or until custard is set.

For the topping, mix sliced strawberries and powdered sugar together. Let sit while the french toast bakes.

Once the french toast is done, remove from oven and let sit for 5-10 minutes.

To serve, cut in the middle of each pan and top with strawberries.

This dish is very sweet and taste great with either sausage or bacon.


Friday, March 19, 2010

It May Not Be Pretty...

So this past weekend, during nap time and when the little ones went down for the evening, My Sweetie and I built this 8 foot long tool bench for the garage.

It may not be the prettiest thing ever, but it is sturdy! I think it would survive an elephant sitting on it!

So, this weekend we will finish doing our spring cleaning on the garage.

I love the extra time I get while building something with My Sweetie! Plus, I love how well we work together. Most of the time when we work on projects like this, we always end up telling funny stories of our childhood.

Good quality time with My Sweetie.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Saint Patrick's Breastplate

Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort me and restore me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Menu Planning Monday

Monday: Leftovers

Tuesday: Cream of Chicken Soup, Salad and Homemade Bread

Wednesday: Corned Beef and Cabbage, Potatoes and Shamrock Shake

Thursday: Rubens from left over Corned beef (This is My Sweetie's specialty..so I don't have to cook!)

Friday: Chipotle Tamale Pie with a side of Chili's Salsa and chips

Saturday: Marinated Flank Steak with Blue Cheese Schmear (THIS IS DELISH)

Sunday: Fish and Fries

This post is linked to Menu Plan Monday at I'm an Organizing Junkie.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Artichoke Season

Spring time is artichoke season and right now, you can find fabulous fresh artichokes in your grocery's produce section.

Several times while I was picking one out, other customers would ask me how they are prepared.

Here is your easy how to guide on preparing boiled artichokes.

Pick an artichoke that has tight uniformed leaves.

Give it a freshness test. Pull back on the top of a leaf to break in half. If it snaps, it is fresh. If it bends and is pliable, keep searching.

Once home, trim the pointed tips and cut off the entire top of the artichoke. (You can now sprinkle with lemon juice to keep the leaves from going brown, but I never do this!)

Now, pull the leaves slighly apart and rinse.

Place in lightly salted boiling water. (To help the artichoke from not bouncing around, you can either put another lid on top of it while boiling or an upside down steamer basket.)

Boil on a high simmer for 30 to 45 minutes. (You can tell when it is done because the leaves will just fall of the stem when easily plucked.)

Sprinkle with salt.

Dip the bottom of the leaf in melted butter.

Scrape the bottom portion off with your teeth (you will not want to eat the whole leaf, just scrape off bottom portion) and enjoy!

Here in our home, this is a favorite appetizer. Even my 19 month old Sissyboo loves them!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Come On In


Come On In
The Martins
Standing outside the door
Of love and mercy
You wonder if there's a place for you
You know there's peace inside
But you're searching
For someone who understands the pain
you've been through
Well, the Father waits with open arms
And He's calling out your name.

Come on in
Welcome home
You are loved
And you belong here now
No matter where you've been
Come on in

You'll find a place of rest
In the arms of Jesus
He's waited so long for your homecoming day
He knows the peace you need
And the hurt you're feeling
He wants to hold you and to wipe your tears away
Well, the door's unlocked, the lights are on
What are you waiting for?

I love that song by The Martins.
It states exactly what I want my home to be like.
So, Come On In!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Road Trip

You don't know how much you miss something until you move away. That was the case with my favorite grocery store Kroger. I grew up in Ohio and it seemed like there was a Kroger just around every corner.

So, to my surprise, I found a Kroger only 40 miles away! I was so excited that one day I packed up the little ones in the car and we headed up the highway. The whole drive there I had visions of organic produce and the large whole foods section swirling in my mind. I had my coupon card out and was all ready to start saving some money too.

I was expecting to see this:

Instead, I saw this:

When I pulled into the parking lot I literally laughed out loud! I had to go inside and check it out. It was smaller than an Aldi's and so packed full of merchandise that you could hardly get a small cart through.

No organics or whole foods to speak of. The funniest thing was that their refrigerated cheese case was out in the entrance next to the grocery carts!

Sometimes you just got to laugh!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Sowing the Seeds of Love...

Ok, so I wasn't really sowing any seeds of love..but that catchy tune by the 80's pop group Tears for Fears has been bouncing around my head....

However, I did manage to get all my tomato seeds planted in the seed starter container this weekend.

This year I ordered all of my seeds from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. I ordered 7 different types of tomatoes. My Sweetie helped me in the process of planting the seeds but was wondering if we really needed 7 different types! Sure why not.

This year I planted the following:
Amish Paste (Red)
Beefsteak (Red)
Green Zebra (Green and Yellow striped)
Ground Cherry also known as Strawberry Husk Tomato
Henderson's Pink Ponderosa (Pink)
Riesentraube (Cherry)
Paul Robeson (Purple)

Now comes the hard part....waiting!

Menu Plan Monday

Monday: Minestrone Soup
Friday: Pizza
Saturday: Dinner out with family

This post is linked to Menu Plan Monday at I'm an Organizing Junkie.

Friday, March 5, 2010

A light exists in spring
Not present on the year
At any other period--
When March is scarcely here.

~Emily Dickinson~

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Did you know that Dawn Dish washing Liquid isn't just for dishes? When I first started feeding table food to Sissyboo I could not get the strained carrots out of her clothes. So I started pre-treating her clothes with Dawn and they would come out of the laundry spotless!

According to Associatedcontent.com, not only is Dawn a great stain pre-treater, you can use it for the following:

1. Dawn Takes Grease Out of Your Way

2. Dawn Dish washing Detergent Kills Fleas

3. Dawn Repels Ants

4. Good For a Manicure

5. Shampoo Buildup

6. Use Dawn As a Laundry Pre-Treater

7. Dawn Is Fun to Play With By Making Bubbles

8. Dawn in Your First Aid Kit as an Ice Pack

9. Wash Your Stained Driveway

10. Soak your Tools

There you have it, while I use it for dishes and laundry, there are many more uses for Dawn.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Welcome March

"The March wind roars
Like a lion in the sky,
And makes us shiver
As he passes by.

When winds are soft,
And the days are warm and clear,
Just like a gentle lamb,
Then spring is here."
- Author Unknown

Menu Plan Monday

Monday: Tomato Bisque and toasted cheese (since we didn't have this last week)

Tuesday: Meatloaf, riced potatoes and green beans

Wednesday: Out with the family for another birthday dinner for My Sweetie

Thursday: My Sweetie is out for a guys night away, so the kids and I will eat leftovers

Friday: Chicken Broccoli Braid, corn on the cob

Saturday: Chili with cornbread

Sunday: Chicken Cordon Bleu, Overnight Salad, peach jello salad

This post is linked to Menu Plan Monday at I'm an Organizing Junkie.