Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Meal Plan 4/30 - 5/6

Honey butter mexican shrimp tacos w/ dips
*cilantro lime rice
*cilantro lime coleslaw

Cola marinated flank steak
*grape salad
*potato salad
dessert: cola chocolate cake

*cola baked beans
*potato salad

Crustless quiche
*fruit salad

Southwestern egg rolls
*cilantro lime coleslaw
*refried beans
treat: lucky lime pie

creamy tomato soup
*grilled cheese sandwhiches

leftovers or freezer meal

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


glee is making me giddy. although i am worried it's going to be full of crude humor. hopefully not, but the music is amazing!

Friday, April 24, 2009

check it out

*tutorial on altered tins
*20 tips for finding your routine with kids
*art with letters
*peeling paint technique
*placemat tote
*little things make a big difference
*magnetic chalkboard
*pj's from sheets
*simple ribbon organizer
*monogram plate
*chicken wire frame
*$5 indoor clothesline
*modge podge table
*glider remake


Dream by Priscilla Ahn

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Meal Plan 4.23 - 4.29

i've seen some blogs out there that post what there weekly menu plan is so i thought i would start sharing mine. if you read my previous post i talked about how i have a meal outline for each day:
Monday: food storage meal, family home evening treat

Tuesday: crockpot meal (my husband has to leave the house by 7:00 so i have to have a ready made meal , plus i love my crockpot!)

Wednesday: leftovers or freezer meal (clean the fridge out day, sometimes i like to be creative and make something out of the ingredients that i have in my fridge)

Thursday: new recipe

Friday: nice meal or out to eat (date night at our house) oh and i can't forget dessert (i'm not talking about that kind of dessert, geez)

Saturday: childs choice (have your child help out)

Sunday:breakfast or freezer meal (lately my husband has been fixing dinner on these days, i like that option the best!)

so with that in my mind here is my meal plan for this week:

BBQ ribs
*spinach salad with strawberries
*potatoes (baked)

Chicken Alfredo (using this cream sauce)
*green salad with tomato
*grape salad
Dessert: pound cake with fresh strawberries

Crunchy oven baked chicken

Crustless quiche
*fruit salad

Chicken Parmesean
*green salad
*french bread
Treat: Bliss bars

French Dip Sandwhiches
*sweet potato fries
*salad or veggie

leftovers or freezer meal

Saving Money on Meals

awhile ago i taught a class on couponing and planning meals. i am no expert, but i thought i would share with you the handout that i did. (i would have done it sooner, but i just figured out how to copy and paste, i know i am slow) anyway if you would like me to give you some more information just let me know. this was just the handout, so there is not a lot of detail so just let me know if i need to explain more.
Saving Money on Meals
*Where to get coupons: online (pinchingyourpennies gives you links), newspaper, All You magazine, in ad coupons, blinkies, stick ons, catalinas, misc: magazines, American profile, etc.
*How to organize them:
1- Cut them out and put into a 3 ring binder divided into categories
2-Place inserts in a file by the date

*General Information
-You can combine an in store coupon with a manufactured coupon
-Look for double coupons (Albertsons and K-Mart)
-Don’t use a coupon just because it is going to expire, use it when an item is on sale and you’ll get your best savings

Menu Planning:
*This is probably going to be your best money and time saver and stress reducer
*I usually designate a day to plan my menu (usually while my little one is sleeping to save my sanity)
1. I start by going to and write down a list of what I am going to buy. Pinching your pennies does all of the work for you by indicating what is on sale, links and references to coupons. It is an AMAZING site, take advantage of it!!

2. I make a list of what is going to expire in my fridge and in my pantry.(now I have a list of ingredients based on what I already have and what is on sale for the week) (make sure you use what you have!!)

3. Now I go through my recipes and pick out recipes based on my “ingredient” list. I also use a meal outline for each day here is mine:
Mon: Food storage meal, Tues: crockpot meal, Wed: leftover or freezer meal, Thurs: new recipe, Fri: out to eat or nice meal, Sat: Childs choice (have your child help out), Sun: breakfast or freezer meal. It’s also a good idea to pull out your calendar to mark in when you are going to have a potluck, etc. You can also go to and do an ingredient search to find recipes based on your “ingredient” list.

4. Once I have found my recipes I gather them or mark them and put them in a folder with my menu plan.

5. I look through each recipe and write down a list of what I need to buy to complete my meals and essentials such as milk, bread, etc.

6. Lastly I mark which recipes I can double and freeze and make sure I have the containers and items to freeze them in.

*I also like to write down what we are going to have for breakfast, lunch and snacks.
*If you don’t use a meal save it for next week or use it on your leftover/freezer meal night

Storing and using your food:
*Stock up on good deals for your food storage (I store mine downstairs in a cool, dry place) (Organize it so you can see what you have and rotate it)
*Organize your fridge: it’s easy to see, easy to get and easy to clean
I organize my fridge into these categories: snacks, meats and cheeses, leftovers, dinner prep, and misc.
*Designate a category in your recipe book for “Don’t feel like cooking nights” these should be recipes that contain items you normally have on hand, quick and easy. You can also always pull out a freezer meal for nights like these but I recommend that you thaw or partially thaw your meal before baking it
*Type or file new recipes that you have tried and like (I have a day designated to do this)
*I like to do a lunch time dinner prep. I usually have more time at lunch time than at dinner time so I do all the prep I can so that putting dinner together is quick. I also look ahead and do any prep you can for meals i.e. chop vegetables, cook extra rice or noodles.
*I like to have baskets one in the fridge and one in my pantry for dinner prep roundup. (basically you gather all your ingredients for your meal the night before into the baskets)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


how come nobody told me it was so easy to post a youtube video onto blogger? by the way if there is anyone out there who is still new to blogging like i am in order to paste into your post you have to switch to edit html instead of compose. it took me months of frustration to figure this one out. i have lots of posts to share with you now that i've figured out how to paste.

Love Story meets Viva La Vida { love it }

if you want to hear another great song by jon schmidt check out my playlist to the right- pachelbel meets u2

Tip Tuesday { double the life of spatulas }

This tip comes from First magazine November 2005 issue:

Double the life of rubber spatulas

"Forget spending money on a set of new rubber cooking spatulas when your current ones are frayed, singed and not scraping as well as they used to. Instead, snip 1/4" off the tip with a pair of sharp scissors, cutting a smooth line from one corner to the other. The fresh, sharp edge works like new, ensuring your favorite scraping tools are more effective and last twice as long."

Thursday, April 16, 2009

My not so extreme home makeover: kitchen inspiration

okay so here is my long overdue post on inspiration pics of the kitchen. i wanted to use some photos of fellow bloggers, but lets just be honest i was too lazy to get permission to use the photos. i got these photos from BHG, country living, and potterybarn. to see the before pictures of my kitchen go here. so i have several options for my kitchen so lets begin

EASY AND SAFE opt. #1:
Walls: keep them the same (green)
Cabinets: white
Counters: same or black laminate

this is my dream kitchen! absolute perfection!
i know these two photos have blue walls but lets pretend they are green. or maybe i should consider blue, see why nothing ever gets done at my house decisions, decisions.

Walls: white
Cabinets: white
Counters: same or black laminate

the white on white is just so crisp and clean, i love it!
Walls: white
Cabinets: vintage green
Counters: same or black laminate

maybe because its spring, but i am really digging the green cabinets. it would be so cute in my little, old house.
Walls: vintage jade green
Cabinets: white
Counters: same or black laminate

{ i love the flooring in this photo!} {and the vintage appliances and mulitcolored chairs!}

here are some random kitchen photos that i really liked:

this kitchen has the farmhouse feel that i like

i love the bright and bold colors

this is a brilliant idea to hide your grocery list!

chalkboard doors, awesome

maybe i should go all white and bring in the vintage jade green accessories

is it called jadite? or something like that, i don't know but i know i love it
it's probably really expensive

did i mention that i love vintage?

i would love to have a pantry like this, oh wait i would just love to have a pantry period. some day

i am seriously thinking about painting my table and chairs like this

i've been collecting random glass containers to display on shelf like this one in my kitchen

screen door on the pantry, love it!

like the dishes hanging above the cabinets and the love the light fixtures

pretty much love everything about this kitchen, except for the glass door fridge

love the pop of green, the chalkboard fridge, and the wood plank ceiling
wow that was a lot of photos! so tell me what you think, which option do you like best:
opt #1
walls: same (green)
cabinets: white
counters: same or black laminate
opt. #2
walls: white
cabinets: white
counters: same or black laminate
opt #3
walls: white
cabinets: vintage jade green
counters: same or black laminate
opt #4
walls: vintage jade green
cabinets: white
counters: same or black laminate
like i said decisions, decisions!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Cilantro lime coleslaw

Cilantro Lime Coleslaw


1 bag of coleslaw
1/2 bunch of cilantro, chopped
1 juiced lime
1/8 c. coleslaw dressing
1/4 c. mayonnaise
salt and pepper to taste

Mix coleslaw dressing, mayonnaise and lime juice together, then add coleslaw, chopped cilantro and season with salt and pepper. really easy and really delicious!
*added note: can use lite house pineapple coleslaw dressing...yum!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Tip Tuesday { get clothes even cleaner }

this tip is found in First magazine, August 2005 issue.

get clothes even cleaner!
"if your clothing isn't emerging from the washer as spotless and as bright as it used to, it's likely due to the accumulation of soap scum in the washer hoses. to dissolve, simply add one cup of white vinegar to an empty machine and run a small load cycle using the hot water setting. the acetic acid in vinegar dissolves clog causing buildup, so the washing machine runs more smoothly and clothes come out their absolute spiffiest."

Friday, April 10, 2009

Check it out: Easter Edition

are you all ready for the easter weekend? i'm sure not ready but for you last minute people like me here is some things to check out:

*retro mama's fabric easter eggs
*working woman's easter decor
*punched paper easter egg
*white chocolate mousse and brownie eggs
*cute little edible nests
*paper bunny garland
*"tie-dyed" easter eggs
*alternative to candy easter basket filler
*modge podge easter eggs
*easter celebration ideas
*coloring easter eggs naturally
*fabric easter baskets
i know it's a little late for these, but go and have a fun easter weekend with your family!

put your records on

Put your records on by Corinne Bailey Rae

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

lemon-cornmeal cake

i made this lemon cornmeal cake this past weekend and it was delish! i added some sliced fresh strawberries with a little whip cream, you've got to try this one. go here for the recipe.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Tip Tuesday { questions to ask yourself... }

here are some questions to ask yourself to help you declutter and prevent more clutter.
this tip comes from Woman's Day magazine, April 2009 issue:

* do i absolutely love it?
*do i already own anything that performs the same function?
*does this item save me time or space, or otherwise make my life easier?
*where will i store this?
*is this the best possible price and quality i can get?
*do i need to do more research before i buy?

*does this item serve a clear purpose in my life?
*do i have another item anywhere in my home that does the same thing?
*have i used this in the last year?
*is it broken, and if so, will i actually get it fixed?
*does it make me happy to look at or use?

Monday, April 6, 2009

Check it out

*square foot gardening
*layla's tips to great design
*felt shopping bag tutorial
*love this kitchen!
*room arrangement by ty
*keeping it together with the family board
*dressing up a tee with fabric
*repurposed crafts
*recommended parenting books
*fabric flowers
*spring spruce up
*tips for organizing your home with peter walsh
*cute quilt tutorial

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Neutrals vs. Colors

before i post my inspiration photos for my kitchen, i have to tell you that i have a design dilemma. i can't decide if i'm a lover of neutrals like layla at the lettered cottage or a lover of colors like meg at whatever. if you haven't checked out these blogs you are missing out. layla and meg are my design idols! i can't decide if i want a calm, classic, neutral feeling for my house much like layla's. or if i want a quirky, fun, colorful, not to mention kid friendly feeling like meg's house. i absolutely love both of their homes, but i can't decide which way to go with mine.

so tell me what kind of design do you prefer:

neutrals or colors?

quirky or classic?

calm or fun?

potterybarn or anthropologie?

My not so extreme home makeover: the kitchen { before }

let the games begin. if your just passing by and want to get it on my not so extreme home makeover refer to this post. so i thought i would start the makeover with my kitchen/ eat in dining area. we painted most of the house before we moved in so the kitchen has received a coat of paint. it is a very neutral green almost tan in some lighting. we also had laminate flooring laid through out the dining area and kitchen. it was nasty, nasty blue carpet. i don't know who would put carpet in their kitchen, i spill so much i would have had to have them steamed cleaned on a weekly basis. back to the before tour of my kitchen:

this is the hutch that my mother gave me. i plan to paint it black with either white or the green wall color for the background. similar to this hutch.

across from the hutch is our dining table and window. i used to have a shelf hanging on this wall, but i am going to put up a framed chalkboard.
this other wall i would like to hang three plates. i want to paint the legs and backs of my chairs and table black. i couldn't get a good picture of my window. i took down the vertical blinds and replaced them with bamboo roman shades. i want to find some curtains to hang for more privacy.

i know you are all so jealous of our plywood cupboards! i wish we could replace them and go to town with new cupboads but it's not in the budget so the plan is to paint them most likely white with oil rubbed bronze hardware. i also would love to replace the coutertops with a black laminate and get a white sink with a nickel brushed faucet. i also put roman shades on the kitchen window.

if we get to replace the countertops i would like to put white beaded board or white subway tile for the backsplash. i also need a solution for the icky trashcan hole. probably will end up with fabric to conceal it. there used to be a trash compactor there that we took out. i would love to hear any ideas you have for that trashcan hole.

wow i guess i need to make some banana bread with those very ripe bananas. i would like to hand a couple of white shelves above the microwave to hold glass jars of sugar, oats, noodles, etc.
and there you have it, our lovely kitchen with plywood cabinets. my next post will be on "inspiration photos" of kitchens, following "the plan" post. so i would love to hear any ideas you have for my kitchen, i really need some advice so please tell me what you think.

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