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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Walgreens and Target Coupon Shopping

It's a great week to stock up on diapers at Walgreens, and I was super excited that they had both of our sizes left!  Jonah loves the slip-on or pull-up type diapers, and while they're not my favorite, I'll take what I can get for this price.


  • 6 Huggies Slip-On Jumbo Packs: $9.49 each.  Used $4/1 (Walgreens August booklet - took off $24) and six $2/1 (SS 7/8/12) = paid $20.94 for 6 packs, or $3.49 each!
 Then we went to Target for some other deals.

I got everything pictured for $0.84!
  • 2 Method 8-load Laundry Detergent: $2.99 each.  Used two $3/1 coupons that I won = 2 free!
  • 2 Chobani Champions 4-pack Yogurts: $2.50 each.  Used two $1/1 printables and two $1/1 Target printables = paid $0.50 each!
  • 3 Rose-Art Glue Sticks and 6 Rose-Art Crayons: $0.25 each.  Used three $1/3 (SS 7/29/12) = free plus $0.75 overage! The coupons didn't even beep, but just went through and automatically gave me the extra.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Menu Plan Monday

Monday/Tuesday: Black Bean Taco Salads (one of our summertime favorites!)
Wednesday/Thursday: Cheesy Chicken Rice Casserole
Friday: Burger Basket (local monthly Marine benefit)
Saturday: Dinner out
Sunday: Ham and Pea Pasta

Lunches this week will be pretty simple, although Jonah has requested that we eat outside for lunch, so we might do a PB&J picnic one day.  Otherwise, we'll have a few kinds of sandwiches, corn dogs, and leftovers.

I'm also planning on trying a new peanut butter cookie recipe, and I've pulled apple butter out of the freezer from last year to eat with graham crackers for a yummy snack.  I hope it's still good!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

What I'm Reading...

This past Friday was our fifth anniversary.  We celebrated by leaving the kids with my parents and going to a Twins game.  What a wonderful weekend!

Why Moms Need To Set Goals.  This is how I feel when someone asks how I am or what I've been up to lately.  I don't really have anything exciting to say other than cooking/cleaning/diapers.  I think that should change. (Money Saving Mom)

Where Motivation Ends And Discipline Begins.  To go along with that first post, this one also got me thinking that I need a project to work on.  Because I too, was awesome at doing a ton during college, and since then, I have been really good at running my household...and not much else.  (Work Your Way)

6 Creative Gift-Giving Ideas For A Limited Budget.  I think I have done all of these at least once.  (Money Saving Mom)


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Bottle Caps and Dried Beans Busy Bag Idea

A few days ago, the boys were getting crabby and restless.  It was hot (hence the diapers only apparel), and they didn't feel like doing much.  So I got out a few plastic cups and bits for them to play with.


For Matthew, who is just shy of 18 months and still occasionally puts things in his mouth, I grabbed some bottle caps I had been saving.


He started dumping them back and forth between the two cups.  I had cut a slit in the bottom of one of the cups for him to push the bottle caps through, which he did once, but then he decided dumping them was more fun.


Jonah, on the other hand, thought the slit in the bottom idea was a great one. I put him to work on a container of dried beans.


He was quite amused for awhile, picking up a handful and dropping them in, one by one.


Since that night, I have cut the slit in the bottom of Jonah's cup bigger, and split the bottle caps between the two of them (and I still add caps as we come up with them).  


We have left the beans alone, because Jonah got upset about something and threw a bunch on the floor, which we had to quickly pick up so Matthew wouldn't put them in his mouth and choke.  So, for now, bottle caps it is.  Both kids have enjoyed that game, and we get the cups out almost every day!

My monthly goal for May was to make 2 busy bags for Jonah, which I never did.  Since my June goal was to move (successful!) and my July goal was to get settled in our new house (also successful!), we'll count this as half of May's project.  Perhaps I'll be able to come up with another one sometime soon...

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Walgreens Coupon Shopping

I didn't have any coupon shopping planned for this week, but we were almost out of baby wipes, and there were a few freebies I wanted to pick up, so the kids and I went to Walgreens.  Here's what we got (coffee not included...):


  • 4 Huggies soft packs (56 ct.): $1.99 each.  Used four $0.50/1 (SS 7/8/12) and $1/1 (Walgreens July*) = paid $0.49 for one pack and $1.49 each for the others.
  • Stayfree pads: $1.99.  Used $2/1 (SS 7/22/12) = free! I would have gotten more but there was only one pack on the shelf.
  • Ivory soap 3-packs: $0.99 each.  Used two $1/1 (P&G 7/1/12) = 2 free!
  • Arm & Hammer unscented deoderant: $3.49.  Jesse has been having some problems with scented products, but this deoderant works for him.  No coupons though. 
  • 8 Milky Way bars: $0.59 each.  Used four $1/2 printables = $0.72/8!
  • Total spent: $10.48.
*The Walgreens coupon says 64-ct. or larger, but it works on the orange "soft skin" packages.  I was hoping it would also work on the other soft packs, since there was only one orange one on the shelf, but it didn't.  We still needed wipes, so I got them anyways.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Menu Plan Monday

Monday/Tuesday: Black Bean Taco Salads
Wednesday/Thursday: Mini Chicken Pot Pies
Friday: Anniversary! Dinner at the Twins game
Saturday/Sunday: TBD

Not a lot of planning going on this week, but I will have to figure out our menu for the next few weeks pretty soon!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

What I'm Reading...

Six Tips For Reading More Often.  The one that resonates with me the most is #5: Be willing to give up other habits.  I've found that in the summer, when most of my favorite tv shows are in reruns, I have more time for other hobbies.  (Sorta Crunchy)

Pinterest Tips For The Serious User.  This post had me laughing out loud.  And then going to reorganize my Pinterest boards, something I had been meaning to do anyway.  (The Martha Project)


Study: Physical Possessions And U.S. Families.  As I lean more and more toward appreciating minimalism, I find studies like this really insightful.  (Unclutterer)

Simple Solution: Pre-cut Spaghetti.  As a mother of two toddlers, this is awesome.  (Be Simply Organized)

Clear The Clutter: Free Stuff.  As we become more grown up, we're starting to replace our free and cheap things with actual quality items.  Or, at least, the cheap crappy things.  We still love our hand-me-down dining room table and chairs, as well as our crib, from my parents.  Quality stuff.  The dorm light with the shade that broke when I tried to vacuum it?  Not so much.  (Small Notebook)

Freeze Extra Staple Foods.  I do this all the time, especially with rice and dried beans.  You'd think after cooking them for a couple of years, I would understand the conversion from dried to cooked, but I always end up with extra.  (The Simple Dollar)

Friday, July 20, 2012

Cherry Apple Popsicles

Growing up, one of my favorite parts of summertime was popsicles.  I was always a fan of the fudge pops, but I occasionally branched out into other flavors, and cherry is pretty much a classic when it comes to popsicles.

Enter the bowl of cherries.  These are after I pitted and halved them all.  And after Jonah stole about 12 of them.  The boy likes his fruits and veggies, at least when Mom is cutting them up.  I make sure to do that when he's awake if I can.


After cutting and pitting that many cherries, your hands might look like you've murdered someone.  For the next 2 days.


Small price to pay?  I think so.  Better than onion smelling hands.  I get those a lot.  And, in case you were wondering, Jonah eats those straight from the cutting board too.  But that's a story for another day...

 
Cherry Apple Popsicles (adapted from this recipe):

Ingredients:
  • 1 1/4 cups cherries, pitted and halved
  • 1/3 cup vanilla yogurt (or whatever flavor you have)
  • 1/3 cup apple juice
Directions:
Put in the blender.  Liquify. (I'm all about easy recipes)


Pour into popsicle molds.  This filled my six little 3oz. molds, with enough left for Jonah to drink a tiny glass of cherry goo.  You could also add ice before blending, and this becomes a cherry apple smoothie, another yummy summer treat. 


These little babies are pretty low-calorie, at about 40 each, and they're still a sweet treat.


Another popsicle win!  What sweet treats have you had this summer?

Cherry Streusel Muffins

I love muffins.  They are probably my favorite baked good.  Especially with a streusel topping.  So with some of my free cherries, I decided cherry muffins were in order.


I used this recipe, and added 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract to the batter.  Then I added the streusel from this recipe.  You can see my combined version of the recipes below.


These were moist, but still crumbly.  They were sweet, but not too sweet, so the cherries could really shine.

Muffin Ingredients (again, from bakinandeggs.com):
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil (I used canola)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract (my addition to the recipe)
  • 2 cups pitted, halved cherries
Streusel Ingredients (from preparedpantry.com):
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
Directions:

Mix sugar, egg, oil, milk, and almond extract.  Add dry ingredients and stir just to combine.  Fold in cherries.  For the streusel, mix the flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl.  Cut in the butter until the mixture becomes crumbly.

Scoop muffin batter into greased muffin pan (should be enough for 12 muffins).  Top each muffin with a generous helping of streusel.  Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes, until tops are a bit brown and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.



The boys weren't impressed, but I sure was!  I'll be popping the extras in the freezer so I can pull one out for a treat.  No wasting these yummies!

Target Coupon Shopping



My favorite coffee, Level 4 Seattle's Best, is on price cut at Target right now for $5.69 (it's normally $6.00 at Walmart).  There's also a $2/1 printable coupon, which means I was able to get these for $3.69/bag, almost half off!  Super excited!  I also like that the organic fair trade version of the coffee costs the same as the regular, so you can make your choice without worrying about the cost.

I also got 2 free pounds of cherries at Cub Foods earlier this week.  They are $1.98/lb., and there was a printable coupon out for $2 off a pound.  It's no longer available, but to cheer you up, I'll have a few cherry recipe posts coming up!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Iced Mocha Popsicles

I like iced mochas.  I think I've raved about International Delight's Iced Coffee drinks before, but if I haven't, allow me to do so now.  They're delicious, sweet and creamy, like the name says.  And much cheaper than going out for coffee, which is good, because you can't really sneak off to get an iced mocha at the coffee shop during naptime without getting into trouble.  But this.  This is easy.

 

Here's the recipe: Pour International Delight Iced Coffee (whatever flavor you choose, but in my house, it's always mocha) into popsicle molds.  Put in the freezer.  Find something to do for several hours.  Or, do this before you go to bed so they're ready tomorrow.  And then enjoy a sweet and creamy, ice cold bar of deliciousness.  

 

My popsicle molds hold about a quarter cup each, so by my calculations, that makes these babies about 40 calories each.  And that, my friends, is delightful.

*I was not compensated in any way by International Delight for this post, although I would not argue with them if they wanted to send me coupons.  I just really really like this product, and this was too easy and yummy not to share.*

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

I Hate Summer

We moved into a new house recently, and we just got our first electric bill.  Yowza!  We've had the air on a lot, so it probably shouldn't have come as a great shock, but we immediately turned that sucker off. 

I've shifted my cooking and cleaning mostly to the morning before the heat gets as bad, and we've been frequenting the mall for the free air conditioning. One boy has a heat rash in his diaper.  I'm torn between drinking my daily coffee and sweating, and hoping the caffeine headache isn't too bad or that I'll remember to cold brew some coffee one of these days for iced drinks.  Jesse and I have been sleeping downstairs on separate couches, because our upstairs is a heat-trap, even with the air, and without it there's no way we could manage.  I've gained two pounds this week, and I'm hungry.

All of these things had me really down today.  The heat has been oppressive, and this is the first moment in four days that I've been able to sit in my own living room without dripping in sweat.  I went and had a good cry (and a coffee popsicle, a super simple recipe I will post soon), and came back out to the living room to find Jesse teaching Jonah to count not to five, not to seven, but eight, nine, ten!  And he was doing a pretty good job of it too.

And it rained.  Not a huge flooding gush of a storm that we so desperately need, but enough that after sitting on our front stoop, watching the factory employees next door run out to close their car windows, and getting "drippy-drops" on our arms and faces, we could come inside and not feel like falling over.

I don't have much laundry to do, since the boys have been in only diapers this week.  I got free cherries at the store today.  I found a few new blogs to read.  We're recycling now, and Jonah thinks it's fun.  And we've decided to splurge and turn the air on for a few hours before the boys' bedtime every night so they can fall asleep.  They're little things, but they're helping. 

I share these things, not to throw myself a pity party, but to show that I'm not perfect.  I feel like sometimes who I am online hides so much of how life actually is.  I post mostly my successes, but I have a lot of failures too.  It's okay.  I'm human.  And while I guess I don't hate every single bit of it, I'm still not a fan of summer.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Am I A Minimalist?

As I sit in my living room, surveying the piles of puzzle pieces and blocks and toy cars, I can't help but think that this doesn't look anything like the minimalism I've read about online.  You know, the people who have clear dining room tables, a select few items on the bookshelf, and one pair of shoes by the door?  That's not us.

And yet, I read every article I can find on the subject, get rid of more and more of my possessions, and feel that twinge of elation when I discover I've cleared enough out that I have half of a shelf free to use for whatever I want!  Am I a minimalist?  By the definition, no.  But perhaps I could call myself of the minimalist mind.

I look at the piles of toys my children have, and wonder who we could bless with some of our things.  I pull out clothes that I haven't worn for ages, and add them to the donate pile.  I plan our menu based off of items in the pantry so we won't have shelves overflowing with food.  And we still have far too much.  I look at pictures of families in third world countries, who share one room and have maybe their basic needs covered.  I look at those closer to home, who live in tiny houses, and wonder what it would be like.  Compared to these, I certainly am not a minimalist.

And yet.  I want less.  I want less clutter.  I want more imagination.  I want less to pick up.  I want more to experience.  I am not a minimalist.  Not yet.  But I'm taking steps.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Menu Plan Monday

Monday/Tuesday: Slow Cooker Black Bean and Sausage Soup, leftover Bread Machine Buttery Rolls
Wednesday: Veggie Loaded Pasta Bake
Thursday: Homemade Pizza (sausage, bacon, black olives, mushrooms) with this freezer-friendly crust (which makes 2, so one will go in the freezer)
Friday: Broccoli Mushroom Alfredo
Saturday/Sunday: Shepherd's Pie with Sausage

I wish I had thought ahead to pick some cooler meals, because the temperatures here have been very warm, but at least I know we enjoy all of these foods!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

What I'm Reading...

The Art Of Saving Money On Food - Or Anything Else.  I don't mind making bread or other homemade versions of things because I generally have the time, and it usually tastes really good.  (The Simple Dollar)

6 Ways To Pimp Your Tiny Rental Kitchen.  I have definitely been trying to figure out the best way to do things in our new rental kitchen.  It's a decent-sized room, but there isn't much counter space and the one set of cupboards are very tall.  (Offbeat Home)
 
How To Budget, Save, And Still Have A Life.  I really like the specific example of what percentage of the savings goes where, and the idea of a "distribution" account (go read the post). (Offbeat Home)

8 Hidden Meanings Behind Cravings. An informative post about some of the reasons for the cravings we have.  (Simple Mom)

How To Make Organic Meat And Produce Affordable.  One day, when we're grown-ups and have a big freezer and so on, I'd like to look into both a CSA and a bulk meat purchase.  (Deal Seeking Mom)

Preschoolers And The Art Of Persuasion.  "My goal is to help my preschool-aged daughter Sally understand why I ask her to do what I ask her to do, and to help her choose to do it herself rather than simply forcing her to do it. I often remind her that when I tell her to do something she is allowed two responses: 'okay' or 'why?'" (Offbeat Mama)

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Homemade English Muffins

English Muffins cost a lot in the store.  Like over $2.00 for 6 of them.  Or...you can make twice as many for about a quarter of the price.  That seems like a good use of time to me.  So I went searching for recipes.  I found this one, which I followed pretty much exactly, and have rewritten below for your convenience.  This is her recipe, not mine.  But I didn't want to fry them in a skillet like she did, because I'm terrible at frying things that involve flipping, and I knew the boys would be awake when I made them, so hot oil and close attention seemed like a bad idea.  


Ingredients:
  • 1 tsp. yeast
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1/2 cup warm water 
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 3 cups flour, divided
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal 
Directions:

In small bowl, combine yeast, sugar, and warm water.  Stir to dissolve and let sit 5 minutes until foamy on top.  In separate bowl, microwave milk and butter in 30 second increments until butter is melted.

In a third bowl (I promise the dishes are worth it), combine 1 1/2 cups flour and salt.  Add in the yeast mixture and the milk mixture and stir to combine.  Add 1/4 cup flour at a time until dough forms and starts to pull away from the bowl.  Knead on lightly floured surface for 5 minutes. 

Form into a ball and put in a bowl (yes, another one) greased with non-stick spray.  Cover and let rise until double, about an hour.  Punch down, cover, and let rise until double again, about an hour.  The recipe I linked to recommended a third rise to get extra air in (to help form the nooks and crannies that are yummy in English muffins), but I didn't do that this time, since we were heading out of the house.  Next time I probably will.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Roll about 3/4 inch thick and cut circles out.  Use the top of a glass (just put a little flour on it so it doesn't stick.  Cover cookie sheet with cornmeal and put circles on top.  Sprinkle more cornmeal on top of them.  Let rise 5 more minutes and pop them in the oven.  Flip them over after 8 minutes, and bake 5-7 more until they're golden brown. 

The Result:

Here's what I did wrong: I had shorter rise times and cut out the 3rd one, which, while optional, probably would have helped.  I also rolled them out too thin and used a slightly small glass to cut my circles, so my English muffins ended up on the small side.  Otherwise, the baking in the oven worked well, and they tasted okay.  I might see if I can play with the recipe a little bit to make them tastier (it will probably involve more butter and/or honey), but overall they were pretty good, and I will definitely be making them again.

And, for reading this far, here is a picture of our snack from yesterday: Crazy Crabs!  These were more fun for me than for the kids, but still a mostly healthy snack, so we all win.


Monday, July 9, 2012

Menu Plan Monday and Easy Chili Recipe

Monday/Tuesday: Slow Cooker Jambalaya, as usual for us, minus the shrimp, adding carrots and cauliflower
Wednesday/Thursday: Mexi Beans and Rice
Friday: Breakfast Sandwiches with Homemade English Muffins
Saturday: Chicken Noodle Soup
Sunday: Hot Ham & Cheese Sandwiches with Homemade Rolls

I've made the rolls before, but this will be my first attempt at making my own English muffins.  I'm going to do a combination of this recipe and baking them instead of skillet frying them, because that seems easier.

I'll also be cooking up a batch of Easy Chili (recipe below) for lunches, and making some cupcakes for my brother's birthday on Friday.  Jonah is super excited to help decorate with "psychos" (sprinkles, and yes, that is what he calls them). 

Easy Chili

Ingredients:
  • 2 cans pinto or kidney beans, OR 2 cups previously cooked dried beans
  • 3 cans tomatoes (stewed, crushed, or diced)
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper
Directions:
Mix everything in a pot.  Feel free to change the amounts of the seasonings to fit your tastes.  I usually just sprinkle and taste as I go.  Simmer on medium-low heat for 2 hours, stirring occasionally, until flavors combine and onions are tender.  You can saute the onions first if you prefer them softer.  OR Mix all ingredients in a slow cooker.  Cook on low heat for 4-6 hours.

I'm linking this post up to I'm An Organizing Junkie's Menu Plan Monday as well.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

What I'm Reading...

Why Are American Kids So Spoiled?  (The New Yorker)


Why I Use Deadlines.  I'm definitely more productive with deadlines. (Simple Organized Living)


Microrewarding Yourself.  I like the visual aspect of the ideas in this post.  (The Simple Dollar)

Is Your Baking Soda and Powder Still Fresh?  Apparently it's really easy to check. (Simple Organized Living)

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Easy Labels For Toy Storage

One of my favorite rooms in our new house is Jonah and Matthew's room, because it is HUGE.  That means not only did we have room for this big dresser that my parents had been saving for us...

 

...we had room for the refinished blue toy shelf, and...


...we also had room for the cubes we used to store the boys' clothes in, which we can now use for toys.

 
I'm really excited about all that toy storage, because it means (in theory) that we can have plenty of space for everything to be put away.  I also know that with toddlers, putting each thing in its place is very much a learning process, so I made some labels for the cubes to help the boys remember what goes where.


I found simple clip art pictures for the train and the cars (and a picture of Little People online), and added the words below.  I printed them out, mounted them on cardstock to make them sturdier, and used yarn to hang them on the drawers.  I do want to eventually either laminate them or get some sturdier labels, because I have a feeling these will get ripped off at some point, but for now, they work.

Jonah helped me make them, and he was really excited to hang them on the drawers.  He kept going "People, trains, cars, cars!" so I think he gets it.  Right now both boys have been more excited about exploring the rest of the house than staying in their room and playing, but I hope once they get used to it, they'll have lots of fun in there!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

How To Hang Pictures

One of the more overwhelming parts of moving, at lease for me, is having all of the photos/decorations from the old house and trying to find a way to decorate the new place, while doing it in a hurry so they're not lying all over.  I found this idea on Pinterest, originally from Better Homes & Gardens, to cut paper to the size of your pictures and tape it on the wall before hanging them.  So I decided to try that for our living room family photo wall.  I was also partially incorporating this idea, originally from Martha Stewart, to line up one side of the frames and let the other sides vary.



I used two brown grocery bags, traced my pictures onto them, and cut them out.  I marked where the nails would go, and gave them appropriate names, such as "odd-shaped 4 frame" or "nieces and nephews".  Yes, those were really my names for some of them.  I taped them up, and used a level to get them mostly straight.  I may be a perfectionist in some things, but this is apparently not one of them.  The 2 longs pieces of blue tape were my level lines, and as long as everything else pretty much line up with those, it was fine.

I did that all during naptime, so then when the boys woke up, I just pounded all the nails in, ripped the paper down, and hung the pictures up.  The bag part of it took me around 45 minutes, and the actual hanging only took me about 5 minutes.

And here's the after shot.  Some of the pictures were a little crooked, because after I hung these, I was pounding on the other side of the wall in the boys' room.  But overall, it worked really well, and I didn't have any "oops" holes in the wall like I normally do when I hang things.

Cub and Walgreens Coupon Shopping

Our first stop was at Cub, and it was a small one, but a good one.


Essential Everyday Pasta: $1.00.  Used $1/1 Essential Everyday item (Cub Fresh Summertime booklet) = free! I plan on getting one of these each time I go there until the coupons expire, because we go through a lot of pasta in our house, and free is good!
Larabar: $2.19.  Used free coupon (up to $1.90) = paid $0.29.  With the tax on that it was $0.45 total.



Then on to Walgreens for a few things:
  • Huggies Wipes (56 ct.): $1.99.  Used $1/1 (Walgreens July, took off $2) and two $0.50/1 (insert) = paid $0.98/2! I would have bought more, but that was all they had.
  • Ivory 3 pack: $0.99.  Used $1/1 (P&G 7/1/12) = free! 
  • Nice! Aluminum Foil: $0.79 (ad coupon)
  • Hershey's Simple Pleasures: 2/$6.  Used $1.50/1 (Walgreens July, took off $3) and two $1/1 printables = paid $1/2! 
  • Total with tax: $3.64.
We are going to try the experiment with the Ivory soap where you microwave it and then it becomes a dough you can play with.  I'll have to post with how that works out!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Menu Plan Monday and Corn Muffin Recipe

Lunches:
  • Ham & Cheese Waffles (the boys and I thought these were okay when we had them, so we'll eat them for lunch)
  • English Muffin Pizzas
  • PB&J/Soups
  • Turkey Sandwiches
I will make a batch of Veggie Tomato Soup and Creamy Tomato Soup for some of Jesse's and my lunches, while the boys will have other things.

Dinners:

Monday/Tuesday: Slow Cooker Red Bean Jamaican Stew, Mini Corn Muffins
Wednesday/Thursday: Cheesy Chicken Rice Casserole (the boys didn't do well with the wild rice last time, so we'll just be using brown rice this time)
Friday: Chicken Mushroom Tortilla Pizzas
Saturday/Sunday: Mini Turkey Loaves, Green Beans


Mini Corn Muffins (makes 24 mini muffins or 12 regular muffins)

Ingredients:
  • 1-1/2 cups flour (I use whole wheat)
  • 2-1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 3/4 cups cornmeal
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
Directions:

In microwave safe dish, melt butter.  Add milk and eggs.  (Important! Add milk first to cool down the butter, or your eggs will start to scramble.  I cannot tell you how many times I did that until I made a note of it on my recipe card.)  Add dry ingredients and stir to combine, just until moist.  Bake in greased muffin cups at 425 degrees for 10-12 minutes for mini muffins, or 22-25 minutes for regular muffins.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

What I'm Reading...

We moved! We went on vacation!  Now to unpack, decorate, and get back into routines that got lost along the way.  And, during my coffee breaks, catch up on my blog reading...

6 Tips To Start Canning.  I would really like to learn how to can things.  I may start with a few jams, and hopefully some applesauce this year to see if I've got the basics down.  Once we are permanently settled somewhere and have a garden, I can do even more.  (Simple Organized Living)


6 Ways To Keep Your Home Organized (Organizing A Little Every Day).  This is especially important for me to remember as I find places for everything to go in the new house.  A little bit at a time... (Home Your Way)

Is There More Than Please And Thank You?  Teaching the meaning behind the principles will have a bigger and better effect. (Motherhood Your Way)


All You Need Are Two Words For A Better Marriage.  Love this.  (Simple Mom)

Having It All Part 1: In Defense Of Ordinary Life.  I haven't personally seen this magazine cover, but I like this post that talks about it, and I like my ordinary life.  (The Happiest Mom)

And finally, The Advent Calendar Project looks like tons of fun!  Basically, you make an ornament each week from now-ish (I think it started a week or two ago) until Christmas time, along with an Advent pocket calendar, and then the month of December you'll have a new ornament to put on the tree each day.  I might have to play catch-up on this one. (Just Crafty Enough)