Monday, April 30, 2012

A me day...

If you have not had any "me" time lately I highly recommend it.  My schedule used to be such that I was guaranteed at least a morning to get stuff done and have a bit of time to do what I wanted and not have a toddler at my heels.  This week was the 1st week in over 3 months that I have had such a time, and it was glorious.

Due to scheduling, it wasn't so much a day as an afternoon, but hey, it totally worked!  I didn't do much.  I ignored all of the dishes in the sink and the laundry that needed to be put away.  I ignored the huge list of things to do before baby comes, even though it is becoming more pressing everyday.  I caught up on a TV show or two, took a nap and goofed off online without guilt.  I needed it!  I would have started the next book on my list, but a nap was much needed for this prego.  Heck, I even had a good and needed cry.  It energized me to the point where when my hubby and baby boy got back home, I was able to fully engage with them and connect.  It was marvelous.  I highly encourage you to take a "me" afternoon.  It will make you a better homemaker in the long run.  Here are some fun things you can do:

Go on a walk
Sit outside and stare at the sky
Read a book
Take a nap
Bake something for FUN
Do a fun project
Watch TV/Movie
Sit and drink a hot beverage while it is still hot (a rarity in my home)
Go to stores you love, and window shop
Get a pedi/mani
Take a uninterrupted bubble bath

See, there are lots of fun things to do! What is your favorite "me time" activity?


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Pinterest Inspiration

I LOVE pinterest.  I spend way too much time on it, and find some pretty amazing ideas.  I thought I would share some of the ideas I plan on completing this summer.  Even if I don't get to them, they are great for inspiration!

Easy way to make tutu's from here
Easy car storage from here

Great craft storage idea from here
Alphabet board on an oil pan from here

Decoration made from paper towel rolls from here

These projects may be a bit ambitious for me to tackle all of these (and other projects I want to do this summer) with a baby coming sometime in the next 5 weeks (give or take).  I only get a short 6 weeks of maternity leave, and then I have to quickly adjust to being a working mom of two.  Feel free to follow me on pinterest, and let me know so I can follow you too.  What projects have you found on pinterest?



Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Monday Meal Plan

Apologies for this being a day late, yesterday was quite a day and I went to bed early as I was totally exhausted.  Here is our plan for dinners this week :)

Monday: Shell pasta w/ white cheese sauce

 Tuesday: Chicken Parmesan Bake

Wednesday: BBQ pork w/ corn bread

Thursday: Crock Pot Potato Soup

Friday: Pizza night

Saturday: Left overs!

Sunday: Family dinner at my parents



Friday, April 20, 2012



So I skipped my very 1st blogiversary last Friday, which is "officially" April 13th  I had it on my calendar, I was going to do a post, but honestly, I don't feel like its really an anniversary.  You see, I really didn't start regularly posting here until this past January (hey an New Year's Goal I actually kept!).  However, I would be remiss if I didn't do "something", because it is a milestone.  My something is to share with you a few things I have learned about bloging this last year.

1) Set up a time to blog, and stick too it.
I am notorious for scheduling my time, and then allowing something to change my entire plan.  I have worked really hard to guard my bloging time so that there are actually posts on here.  I have 2 nights a week that I set aside for blogging, and then I create several of my posts during that time, then schedule them to post throughout the week.  This allows me to not blog on the days that I work 12 hours, and to maximize my family time.

2) Have something to blog about
There are many weeks, when I fall short of this.  I don't cook as much, or forget to take pictures.  My craft projects are piled up in the land of "halfway done" and I don't want to share them with you until I can do a full post of the project form start to finish.  I am working to create more substantial original posts for you to enjoy, but I also know that me being honest with where I am, is important.  Perhaps it even comforts a few of you to know that you are not the only one who falls short.

3) Read other blogs
If you blog, you should read others as well.  This not only helps you get a feel of the community but commenting and talking with other bloggers actually helps you feel apart of it.  It also allows you to build relationships and gather readers when you participate in things like blog parties, and allows you to get fresh ideas that can inspire you.

4) Be flexible
I try and plan out several posting for the week, I know I can't post everyday at this junction in my life.  I also have experienced times when writers block hits me and I can't put one letter in front of another to share what I wanted to.  I have also tried a few weekly series which I felt really flopped.  I'm hoping that Menu Monday's will stay, but then again it's all about being flexible.

5) Be Yourself
This last, but certainly not least lesson has been hard for me.  It is hard to be yourself, to allow others you don't even know to see your true self.  However, it is the only way to blog.  This blog is a part of me and my journey, if I wasn't honest, and raw, I couldn't be myself. It makes my posts more real and a ton easier to write when I am completely myself.  Spastic and all.

There are many more things I have learned this past year in bloging, but these are the ones I wanted to share with you today.  Thanks for being here!


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Breakfast the easy way! Part 2

Sweet syrup is a staple at the breakfast table.  Growing up, my mom used to make syrup and it was ALWAYS the best.  It is one of the EASIEST things to make, in small or large quantities.  Here is the recipe:

1 part sugar
1/2 part Water
1-4 tbs of desired flavoring (vanilla, maple, etc)

Combine water and sugar into a pot on the stove, mix well and then bring to a boil on high, then reduce to low.  Stirring occasionally (while cooking the rest of your breakfast yummies)
When it returns to a boil, remove from heat and flavor to your preference.  I never measure, but I always use vanilla extract.  It tastes AMAZING!

It is absolutely amazing, quick and easy to make while you are cooking the rest of your breakfast.  I always poor the finished product into a liquid measuring cup before serving.  However, if you have a syrup cup then that would be ideal.  A note, this is a bit more runny than your standard syrup, however I have found that adding molasses or cornstarch, while it does thicken the syrup takes away from the flavor.




Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The struggle

 Have you looked at homes, and ever gotten home envy?  They look amazing, spotless, and welcoming all at the same time.  When looking for ideas for my home, I often look at these "perfect" homes and get some major home envy.  I desperately want my home to feel inviting, I want my home to look like those ones do.  I mean, who wouldn't want their home to look like these pictures:

Sadly, if you have been reading my blog, you have seen how my living room ACTUALLY looks, most of the time, due to my destructive amazing son.

I know that part of it is the stage of life, where we are letting practical overrule design (ie having a huge white and red plastic toy box in our living room).  Honestly my sweet boy's room is too small for him to really play in, and we spend the majority of our time in the living room so it makes sense to have the majority of his toys out her.  I miss the days when they were smaller, and fit into my cute little basket on the bottom of the book shelf.

I don't want you to miss the all important heart of this post, because here it is...

I need to be content

I'm going to say that again.  I need to be content with...

...where we are in our stage of life
...our current limitations for decorating (time, financial, practical) amazing home, that is a home because we live there, not because of how it looks.

I know that this is a "for now" content, and that these things are going to change, then I can use my discontent as motivation to change, when I have the proper tools to do it.  For now, this is where we are, this is what I have to work with.  Honestly, I love our family and wouldn't change it for anything.  Right now, I need to be thankful that we have furniture (even if it is mostly hand-me downs), thankful that we have a roof over our head, thankful for what we have, and not discouraged by what we don't.

I want to encourage you in that today readers.  Be thankful for what you do have, not discouraged by what you don't.

If anyone has any suggestions, I'd be happy to hear them.


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Happy Tax Day!

I find it very odd that tax day this year is on the 17th.  It gives all of the procrastinators 2 whole extra days to get things done.  Yet, many are still filing extensions, and struggling to finish on time.  Taxes are the one thing that I absolutely hate hanging over my head.  I finished ours in early February, mostly because with the way my taxes are done, I could very easily end up owing money, and I like to be prepared so that I don't have to scramble to come up with a large amount of money in 24 hours.  However for those of you still sweating bullets trying to get them done, several companies have some fun tax day deals or freebies that I wanted to share with you.  Perhaps they will help you out.

From Panda Express: Get one free Shanghai Angus Steak on April 17 at Panda Express if you "like" the page on Facebook to claim the coupon.

From Seattle's Best: Get a free sample of Level System coffee brew (about 10 cups). Available through April 17 if you "like" the Facebook page.

From Arby's: Free curly fries on April 17 with this coupon.

From Cinnabon: Two free mini cinnamon rolls from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on April 17. 

From Sonic: Get half-price fountain drinks and slushes all day on April 17. 


Monday, April 16, 2012

Meal Plan Monday

This week, we are trying to use up some of the things that we have, so umm yes, it is an interesting menu

Monday: Chicken w/ Rice and Broccoli

Tuesday: Micowave meat and pasta roni (this is the week where both my hubby and I have evening activities so we need something super fast as we have less than a 45 minute turn around for both of us).

Wednesday: Pasta Night

Thursday: Taco Night

Friday: Pizza rolls

Saturday: DATE NIGHT!  (Seriously so excited about this, it is also my b-day dinner so that make it extra nice)

Sunday: Family Dinner at my parents

That is what we are hopefully going to eat this week, but you know, around our place the key word is FLEXIBLE.  There are nights when it just doesn't happen or we are so exhausted we just grab some mac 'n cheese or Ramon.  However, we are trying to do better.  Also, our food expenses this month are WAY down.  If you haven't tried meal planing to help your budget out, I HIGHLY recommend it!

Breakfast the easy way! Part one

My family LOVES breakfast!  Bacon, pancakes, french toast, waffles, cinnamon rolls the whole nine yards.  Unfortunately there usually are not enough mornings when we have the time to get these on the table, so every once in awhile, we will do a backwards breakfast, or as some call it breakfast for dinner.

We love bacon, however I hate standing over a stove and grilling it, while I'm trying to grill pancakes or french toast.  So here is a way to cook bacon in the oven.

Simply line a baking sheet with foil and lay out the bacon, and place it into a UNHEATED oven.
 Turn the oven up to 400 degrees, and let it cook for 9-11 minutes.  Everyones oven heats up at a different pace, so you may have to cook longer or even less time.  Watch it carefully and when it is just shy of the crispiness you want, pull it out of the oven and immediately transfer the bacon to paper towels to absorb the greece.

Voila!  You have fantastic bacon the easy way!

The 1st time I cooked my bacon this way, my husband (the bacon critic of this house) said that this bacon was "good" and "works" but there is "something about frying bacon that this can't beat."  He also has stated that he was completely fine with me making bacon this way in the future.

Hope that this helps make breakfast meals go a bit smother in your home.



Saturday, April 14, 2012

Toddler Fun

I love being the mom of a rambunctious toddler.  My sweet boy is amazing and completely mischievous.  Finding activities to keep him entertained, even for 20-30 minutes can be a challenge.  One of his current favorite things to do inside is coloring.  So for easter, I got him his very 1st markers.  I wasn't sure how he would do, but he really seemed to have a great time with them, so I could them as a win!

Here is his easter basket, we went for a no candy approach this year.  The markers, are front and center, and I just got them out this morning for the 1st time.  It has been a crazy week.

As you can see, they are made for 12 month plus and my sweet boy had SOOO much fun with them!

Here is the finished product (with mommy adding his name, teaching habit)

Obviously my son is an artistic genius, (HAHAHA, I doubt his art will go further than our fridge at this point).  However, he really did enjoy them, and they fit really well in his hands and did not attempt to put them in his mouth and couldn't break them (unlike crayons).  Win of another easy toddler activity!

Friday, April 13, 2012

My favorite Coupon deal by far

So I have been couponing for almost a year and a half now.  I love flipping through the coupons each week and choosing products we use, or may want to try.  It is the entire reason we get the newspaper 3 days per week.  Well that and the fact that my hubby loves being able to read the LA Times sports section.  For me, its all about the coupons and I had never see a coupon deal to get groceries for free, so when I saw this deal, I couldn't pass it up.

You read it right, there were 10 items we could purchase and submit our receipt and UPC's for a full rebate!  I'm so excited about free groceries, well after we get our rebate check in the mail, but still it had some items that i have been wanting to try.

We got to try some of the following products (as well as several more):
Yoplait Greek yogurt.
Peanut Butter multi Grain Cheerios
Pillsbury Grands! biscuit sandwiches from the freezer

The only thing I was bummed about, is we were planning on donating some of the cereal to our church's food pantry, however since we had to cut up the box, we couldn't do that.  However we will get to (or already have) enjoyed some fun new products that I never would have even picked up with out this great deal.

Basically, we got $38.21 of food for free!  That is a deal that I wont turn down :)

Have you gotten anything for a great score with coupons?  Please share!


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Meal Plan

Monday : Eating out with the Family
Tuesday: Potato Soup
Wednesday: Tortellini
Thursday: Make your own Taco's
Friday: Homemade Pizza

This is our plan for dinner this week.  What is yours?

Monday, April 9, 2012

The silence...

I honestly am BURSTING at the seams to tell you all so really big news.  However, I am currently not "allowed" to.  My hubby and I have decided to wait until everything was final before making our news public.  It is big and exiting.  I seriously feel like a little kid who has to keep my hands clamped over my mouth so that I wont say anything.  Saying nothing is easier than talking and avoiding the one thing you want to share so badly but you can't.  I've never been good with secrets or surprises.  This one is killing me.  However, I am convinced to make it with out sharing before it is time.  *sigh.  I will try to not be so silent, I will try to continue posting and talking about my brilliant homemaking skills and give you all some more ideas.  However know that it is hard for me to, without sharing a bit more than I'm able to at this point. 

Also, I am going to post my meal plan tomorrow, as today my wonderful Mother and Sister in-law are visiting us, and we will be enjoying an evening out.  Yeah for one less meal for me too cook, and getting to go out to eat.  This no fast food thing is harder than it seems and we are only on day 9!  Honestly last night was especially hard.  We had a FANTASTIC Easter lunch at my moms, and ended up staying until 7pm.  The baby boy got fed, but mommy and daddy didn't.  I worked from 7am - 1pm when we went strait to my mom's.  After tons of family and fun, I'm not going to lie, this prego lady was swollen and hurting. The last thing myself, or my hubby (after being subjected to my family all afternoon) wanted to do was cook dinner.  Normally we would have ordered a pizza.  However, my hubby rose to the occasion and made me a grilled cheese and something else for himself.  We can make it work this month, we WILL make it work!  Why is it so hard?


Monday, April 2, 2012

Monday Meal Plan

This week we will be making some fun food around our place.

Monday: Parmesan Chicken Bake
Tuesday: Crockpot Potato Soup
Wednesday: Fajitas
Thursday: Sloppy Joe's mix on cornbread
Friday: Breakfast for dinner

This is the first week I have ACTUALLY meal planed in months (see, I really am Homemaking challenged!).  So I'm starting slow to get back on the wagon.  Hopefully I will actually get this done this week.  I have ingredients for all of this (minus a few small things), that need to get used.

What are you eating this week?



Sunday, April 1, 2012

April Goals

This month, my goals are more simple as we will most likely have a ton going on this month.  I'm not quite ready to share our hopefully soon to be exciting news as we have a few more ducks to get in order.  However my goals are hopefully going to help us to ahead financially a little as we have loosened our belts a bit too much the last 3 months.  The largest area that we are bleeding money where we shouldn't be is in the area of food, therefore my goals this month are all food related.

This month I dare to...

... actually meal plan and tame our crazy grocery bill, which has slowly been creeping higher than it should the past few months.
... NO fast food!  We are going to attempt to not eat out at ALL this month.  The only exception will be my birthday dinner date with my hubby.
... Not drive myself crazy with finances.  This will be the hardest, for sure.

It isn't that we have been going backwards, we just need to tighten the belt a bit.  As you may (or may not as I'm sure not everyone who reads this are diehard fans) we are expecting a little bundle of joy at the end of May.  Which means we need to adjust our spending to be able to accommodate the extra mouth to feed.  We are just practicing, but this category is going to be extra hard for me being pregnant and having cravings.  Hopefully we can stick to our guns!

What will you dare to do this month?