Thursday, April 19, 2012

food friday {early}

I am completely uninspired to cook this week.  Todd is traveling, I'm finishing up some scrapbook projects for Asher's class{yes, along with Dr. Seuss week I also did the front covers and the teachers front cover, with Easter yet to do}, my dad was here, my mom is coming next week, I'm trying to get a work out in 3 or 4 times,  couponing{oh yeah, saved 35.00 this week} and the house needs to be cleaned.  I am just trying to cross things off my list this week and keep calm.  I pretty much function like this.  There is either a lot going on and something{like cooking} takes the back burner, or there is nothing going on and I cook like crazy.  So here is my uninspiring menu for the rest of the next five hope is that my lack of inspiration can somehow{??} inspire you

roasted zucchini and tomato pasta{matha stewart} + garlic bread

marsala chicken with sage and cremini mushrooms{martha stewart} + veggie

turkey sloppy joes{martha stewart} + chips + fruit

chef salad{martha stewart}

fettuccine alfredo{cooking light} + grilled italian sausage + broccoli

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

weekend review: a visit from grandpa

My Dad came to visit this weekend and as always we had a great time.  Not only did he mow the lawn for us, he *let* us take him to Dollywood!  And not only did we drag him to Dollywood, but we even took him to a truck show.  Seriously, it amazing he's still talking to us! 

For a guy who has never been to a truck show, he sure had the right attire! 

 Making memories thanks to Dolly. 

Looking forward to seeing you in July Grandpa.  We love you!

Friday, April 13, 2012

one little itsy bitsy teeny baby step

It's no secret I'm not the most frugal person in the world.  I have always kept costs down by not buying a lot.  I know a lot of people that buy a lot, a lot of stuff they don't need.  So being a minimalist was my way of being frugal.  I have recently been convicted to coupon. I really felt stubborn about it, frustrated and just plain lazy about finding, organizing, remembering to use{one of my biggest stumbling blocks}coupons. 

I'd been asking friends questions about couponing, peaking into{not really reading}blogs about saving money and then Todd and I sat down and did our budget and it was time to get serious about saving money.  Let's face it, I like to buy shoes and in order to make new shoes happen in my "new" budget I had to cut my Target bill in half or better.  Cutting a Target bill in half isn't very hard-I just have to go there half as often, but to feel really empowered about my grocery/home costs, it was time to coupon.

I have taken the first step towards figuring this whole grocery game out.  I know a few things about myself and couponing.  

1. I am not willing to hit seven stores in order to save ten dollars.  I am only couponing at Kroger and Target-those are the only stores I go to. 

2. I'm not able to give up some brands but can certainly become more flexible with others. 

3. I will only buy things with coupons that I already use.  There is no trying something because it's on sale and I have 1.00 off coupon.  Chances are my family will hate it and then it's just a waste in several ways.

4. I am not interested in a four year supply of trial size tooth paste to save money.  It would simply piss me off to open a new tooth paste tube every other day .  I'll leave that to extreme couponers thank you.

I do how ever need to learn how to watch sales and trends.  I need to learn the art of stock piling and I need to learn to get in the habit of checking coupons for all purchases and dinners out.

Learning to use and organize these little things are a challenge as well.  I guess you just have to test out methods and ask questions{thanks Tisha for helping me!}.

Currently{two weeks into this}, I am making my lists this way.  On my best weeks{sometimes I just wing-a major no no in the couponing world-intention is everything} of grocery shopping I make my list by areas in the grocery store.  Kroger has e-coupons that are difficult *for me* to remember.  You can print a list but I'm just so visual that I need the picture :)  Paper clip the other ones on my list so I don't forget to use them. 

Last week I saved $57.00
This week I saved $37.00

I feel pretty happy about that and so does my budget.  Target however is probably going to have to close down stores due to lost revenue-ha!

Have a great weekend! 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

In case you were wondering...

This is what Dr. Seuss week for 20 students looks like scrapbooked. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

nothing says easter like a tex-mex fiesta

Hope you all had a wonderful Easter.  We had a very nice and quiet one ourselves.  I have to admit that one of the hardest things about being away from family at holidays is making them special despite the lack of activity and people and excitement that cousins and traditions make.  It is also a major bummer to do all the cooking that goes along with a traditional holiday meal, although it is getting better now that the boys have bigger appetites and make requests. 

I made a ham and this yummy frittata for breakfast before church{people actually cheered when I took the ham out of the oven, what mom wouldn't love that!}, but I just didn't have it in me to do something all fancy for dinner as well. Instead, I just decided to get festive and hope that it becomes something they look forward to in the years to come.

 on the menu:

So the rest of our weekend included:
 decorating eggs

Holden participated in a race to raise funds for the schools. Umm, focus please!

 Lots of play with the neighborhood kids.  It gives me such joy to see all of them running around together.  I'll save the sob story of how I miss our old neighborhood for another post, but I have immense gratitude to God for giving us the neighborhood we live in now despite my heartache. 

I was so concentrated in taking this picture that I didn't realize the moment I captured until I was adding it to this post.  Asher just got hit in the nose with the football{the hand up to his face, everyone looking at him cry should have become clearer to me before that!} The next several pictures I took were of him walking back home with a sore nose.  Opps. Maybe not exactly the moment I was hoping to get.

I'll be back this week with{maybe, hopefully, possibly}pictures of the master bath. 
Happy Tuesday!

The power of the resurrection means that nothing but the tomb
is meant to be empty.

Friday, April 6, 2012

random: catching up before moving on

The title says it all.  This is a complete and utter random post of things I have been meaning to share for quite a while...

Not doing so well on my New Years resolutions.  Despite the fact that I bought ballet shoes, I have yet to be able to make the adult evening class.  I blame the hectic basketball schedule this winter for throwing me off. 

I have however become a Zumba fan.  Think about trying it, it's pretty fun to shake what your mama gave ya.

 Back in February I was fortunate enough to take part in a wonderful woman's retreat with these lovely ladies.  We headed up top Gatlinburg for a few nights and it was fabulous to get away.  It was the first time Todd had spent a couple days with the boys by himself.  He did great, the boys did great, as I see it, I should be able to get away by myself more often. 

 Holden had his second grade musical in March.  It was so much fun to watch.  We are still singing the songs{that Holden claims to have lip synced-a seriously eight year old boy thing to do} about the big bad squirrels.

Grammy and Papa took care of the boys while Todd and I were in the Bahamas last month.  This picture was taken AFTER we got back and everyone is able to smile.  Impressive!

Much to our surprise we had a frequent visitor to our pond earlier this spring. This is one big bird fishing in a very small pond.  The odds were in his favor for sure.  He showed up about once a week and we were certain he had demolished our fish population, but low and behold they survived{he is clearly not the fisherman I took him for}. I think we can plan on seeing this big 'ol Heron again next year.

Holden was chosen to be part of the school art show although I am still wondering where the show part of it was.  It was not actually at the school, but at a pizza restaurant where the art teacher hung the artwork on the wall behind the booths.  A head scratcher to say the least, but I'm still prouder than proud.  He really makes some wonderful pieces, especially with pastels which were always my favorite to work with as well.

My last bit of randomness is to vent my frustration a bit with my youngest child.  He has no interest in "going" on the big potty, yet insists that I change his diaper every time he takes even the littlest pee in it.  I am slowly being driven insane.

All right, that's it. Ahh, I feel better releasing that all from my brain.  Time to focus on some projects.

Happy Easter!  I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. 

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

A house full of boys finally has a proper basketball goal.
Best two hundred dollars we have ever spent.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

more ripe banana recipes

Major blogging block going on here{oh you could tell}.  I have several posts I want to write, pictures to catch everyone up on, but instead I'm obsessively reading The Hunger Games, reading couponing blogs{I'm not sure it's in my blood but I'm giving it a try}, and thinking{only thinking}about the scrapbook pages I am supposed to be putting together for all twenty of Asher's classmates.  Easily distracted, that's what I am right now. 

When all else fails on POQAL I post recipes, so recipes you will get.  A while back I posted this and confessed that I have lots of overly ripe bananas on my counter.  Always on the hunt for yummy recipes to use up those two last brown ones, and these two recipes certainly fit the bill. In fact, they more than fit the bill, they are SUPER YUMMERS.

 Banana Bars from 320 Sycamore{recipe here}

Bananas Foster Upside Down Cake{recipe here}
p.s. I left out the rum, not because I was headed to church with it{ha!}. It wasn't missed.