Showing posts from April, 2015

Menu Plan Monday, April 27 - May 3, 2015

Join us for Menu Plan Monday at I'm an Organizing Junkie.
Last week was a good week food wise.  We did end up eating out a couple more times than we had originally planned but we tried some amazing recipes, many which will be hitting the blog in the near future.  I have definitely been in the mood to be creative in the kitchen the last few weeks.  When we were at Disney World we stopped by the Columbia Harbor House for dinner one night and I had lobster mac n' cheese, it was delicious!  I have been wanting to try a version of this at home, and plan to do so this week.  
Here's what I have planned for us this week:
Monday Brunch - Bacon, Eggs, Biscuits Dinner - Sandwiches, Pretzels, Fresh Fruit
Tuesday Breakfast - oatmeal Lunch - chili dogs, baked beans Dinner - Shrimp Mac N Cheese, corn on the cob
Wednesday Breakfast - cereal Lunch - ravioli, garlic breadsticks Dinner - Chili Con Queso
Thursday Breakfast - ham and egg sandwiches Lunch - chicken noodle soup, peanut butter a…

Mom's Favorite Baby Finds and Must Have Items for 2015

Are you expecting a baby!  If so congratulations!  Whether you are a new mom or a mom who hasn't had a baby in a long time you may be wondering with all of the new baby gadgets on the market what are the ones that are the best buy.  Here is a look at what mom's say are their favorite baby finds and must have items for 2015.

Fisher Price Rock 'n Play The Fisher Price Rock 'n Play seems to be at the top of many a new mom's wish list.  I had a very similar item when my fifteen year old daughter was born but it was much lower to the ground than this model.  The reason so many moms love the Fisher Price Rock 'n Play is for it's versatility.  It can easily be moved from room to room during the day for baby to nap in, it is portable enough to take with you for use when you aren't at home, and some moms even use it at night beside their own bed for baby to sleep in, as it is a much safer alternative to co-sleeping.  Babies who suffer from reflux seem to do well…

Saving Money on Groceries at Meijer Without Clipping Coupons

I have mentioned time and again on this blog that I am on a tight budget when it comes to grocery shopping.  I am always looking to save as much as I can when it comes to groceries.  While I still clip coupons I don't use many of them because they are for foods we don't eat.  The majority of the coupons I use are for laundry detergent, cleaning supplies, household items, and health care.  One of my favorite stores to shop at is Meijer.  Meijer offers a mPerks program that you can use in addition to coupons, or you can use if you don't use coupons.
In the last month I have saved $56.34 by using mPerks.  My weekly food budget is $125 so this is nearly half of one weeks grocery budget for my family.  
You can sign up for mPerks by visiting Meijer's website.  Once you sign up for this free program you simply go online to chose from Rewards and coupons that you digitally clip.  To use these coupons and rewards at the store, you enter your phone number and pin on the credit…

What I Wore Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The last couple of weeks have been warm, and I was able to wear some spring styles.  This past week however has cooled back off, and it's back to trying to keep warm.  It sounds like we have a couple more weeks of chilly weather before it warms back up for good.
My daughter was sick this week, and I spent Saturday night with her in the ER.  Sleep was not a friend of mine this week as she kept me up most nights.  So I am exhausted in most of these pictures!

Wednesday - School and Shopping Cardigan - Merona at Target (only plus size left here) Tank - Merona at Target (here) Shoes - Macy's (here)  Necklace - Amazon (here

Monday - school and grocery shopping Cardigan - Mossimo from Target (here)  cami - old Pants - Gap (here) Shoes - old (similar here

Tuesday - date night with my husband Sweater - same as Orange above Merona at Target (only plus size still available here)  Dress - TJ Maxx Shoes - old

We went out to dinner and to see the play Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.  …

Will Your Kids Still Homeschool if Something Happens to You? Time To Make a Plan!

Death.  It's inevitable.  However, it also something that we don't like to talk about.  Many of us have wills in place.  Many have life insurance plans.  Many know who will become guardians of our kids should something happen to both parents.  But what about homeschooling?  What would happen to your kid's education if something were to happen to the primary homeschooling parent?  What would happen if something were to happen to both parents?  
This is a topic my husband and I have been recently talking about, and is also a topic that came up today on a homeschooling forum I frequent.  I used to not worry about things like this, I used to think bad things couldn't happen to me.  Then my husband had his car wreck.  The car wreck that left him disabled and unable to work.  It hit home that bad things can happen to me.  So as much as I don't want to think about what would happen if something were to happen to me or my husband it is something that I definitely need to …

Healthy Stuffed Green Peppers Using Ground Turkey

Five years ago I posted a stuffed green pepper recipe (here) that was full of cheesy goodness, and while it is still a great tasting recipe this stuffed green pepper recipe is for a healthier stuffed green pepper.  Which is exactly what I need right now! 

Ingredients 4 Green Peppers 1 pound ground turkey 2 cups brown rice 1 jar marinara sauce (or even better use homemade sauce)

1.  Remove the top and seeds from green peppers.  Brown ground turkey and cook brown rice.

2.  Mix together ground turkey, brown rice, and marinara sauce.  This will be your stuffing mixture.

3. Fill green peppers with stuffing mixture and place in a greased casserole dish.  Bake for 40 minutes in 375 degree oven.
Trim Healthy Mama - use a sugar free marinara sauce and this is THM compliant.

Menu Plan Monday, April 20-26, 2015

Join us for Menu Plan Monday at I'm an Organizing Junkie.
This week is going to be a busy week and this week I am cooking on a budget so my menu will be based around what I have at home, along with inexpensive meal ideas.
Here's what I have planned for this week:
Monday breakfast - cereal lunch - slow cooker corned beef and cabbage dinner - chicken noodle soup, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
Tuesday breakfast - oatmeal, fresh fruit lunch - sandwiches, pretzels, applesauce dinner - turkey and gravy, mashed potatoes, corn
Wednesday  breakfast - cinnamon vanilla pancakes lunch - chili dogs dinner -ham and bean soup
Thursday breakfast - ham, egg, and cheese sandwiches lunch - potato soup dinner - skinny pineapple teriyaki pork chops, rice
Friday breakfast - bacon and egg crescent squares lunch - sandwiches, pretzels, applesauce dinner - salmon croquettes, macaroni and cheese, baked beans
Saturday breakfast - cereal lunch - chicken fried rice dinner -pork chops and cabbage

Gingham Apron Sew Along - Progress Report

My favorite apron pattern has come up missing!  I have no idea where it has gone!  Luckily, Joann Fabrics had Simplicity patterns on sale 5 for $5.  I knew I wanted a vintage inspired apron, so this is the pattern I chose.  I am having a hard time deciding which one to make though.  I prefer full aprons and bought the fabric for a full apron but I am loving the ruffled half apron.....

Unfortunately Joann's didn't have any gingham fabric.  What?!?!?!  I had assumed it would be easy to find gingham fabric.  I guess I was wrong.  
So off to Hancock Fabrics I went to find some fabric.  They did have a small section of gingham and I decided on yellow because we are in the middle of redoing our kitchen and the color will be yellow.

I actually have a lemonade theme picked out for the kitchen, and pink is going to be an accent color.  I am trying to decide now how to add a little pink to my apron to break up the yellow a little.  I am planning on sewing it next week so I have a littl…

The Perfect Mother Lie

The words were so sweet and so well meaning, “I really admire you.  Seriously, I really admire you as a mom and am amazed by what you do.”  Those words.  If only she knew.  If only she knew about the times when I am screaming at my kids because I have already asked them twenty times to pick their shoes up out of the living room floor and they still haven’t done it.  If only she knew how I stayed up late at night worrying that I wasn’t good enough.  If only she could see me as I was losing it while shopping for Easter dresses with my kids and my daughter was having an epic meltdown.  If only she could hear my nagging.  If only she knew how hard I struggled to be a good mom.  I bet if she had a glimpse into those scenarios she would think I was the worst mother in the world.
Sometimes being a mom is hard.  Let’s be honest, everything about being a mom is hard.  It doesn’t matter if you are a stay at home mom or a working mom.  Everything about being a mom is hard.  You have to make dec…

Spring Has Sprung

This last couple of weeks has been hit and miss with rain.  In fact it looks like the next few days are going to be the same way.  However, today we were able to get a little break from the rain and while the sun was out we decided to go outside to get some yard work done.  I haven't felt well all week and today was the first week I have felt good so out we went.  
We mowed the yard and found time to climb in trees.

I transplanted strawberries that had been planted directly into the ground and were being taken over by weeds to a raised bed.  I am hoping they will do better in the raised bed.  I also uncovered my mint bed for summer, and pulled the weeds.  Then we set up two new flower beds and planted some iris plants in the new beds.
I have plans to set up two more raised beds to set up for vegetables.
The kids were exhausted and went to bed early tonight.  I think I need to get them outside more often!

Fudge Brownie Recipe

As I mentioned in my Menu Plan Monday post I fell in love with cooking again last week.  Which means I want to cook all the time again.  Needless to say my husband and kids are loving it.  I haven't made brownies in forever.  I had forgotten how easy they were to make!  These brownies are a rich fudgy cake like brownie.  You can't eat too many because they are so rich but the ones you eat are absolutely wonderful!
2 cups sugar 4 eggs 1 cup butter 1 teaspoon vanilla 1/2 cup cocoa 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 1/2 cup flour powdered sugar
In a mixing bowl mix together sugar, eggs, butter, and vanilla.  In a second bowl stir together cocoa, salt, and flour.  Slowly add cocoa, salt, and flour to the mixing bowl.  Once fully blended pour brownie mix into a greased 9x13 cake pan.  Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until baked completely through.  Once brownies have cooled dust with powdered sugar before serving.

I am linking this post up to Link Pa…

Throwback Thursday - Italian Herb Rolls

These Italian Herb Rolls were one of my first bread machine recipes and they have been a staple ever since.  This recipe was originally posted here on August 11, 2009.  I have changed the recipe just a bit since it was first posted, I now omit the sugar in the original recipe and the results are still the same - nice, fluffy rolls.  The original post was also written well before Pinterest so there were no pictures, and I have included pictures in this post.
Here is the recipe:
Ingredients 1/2 cup Warm Water 1/2 cup Warm Milk 1 Egg 1/3 cup Butter Softened 1/3 cup White Sugar  I no longer include this when I make the recipe 1 teaspoon Salt 1/2 teaspoon Each of Dried Basil, Oregano, Thyme, and Rosemary 3 3/4 cups All Purpose Flour 1 (.25 Ounce) Packet Active Dry Yeast
Place all ingredients in the pan of the breadmaker in the order suggested by your manufacturer. With my breadmaker I put them in the breadmaker in the order that they are listed. Select the Dough Cycle.

Once the Dough Cycle i…

Fresh Green Beans Recipe

I've mentioned on this blog several times before that when I met my husband I had no idea how to cook.  I mean NO IDEA.  I used to have to look up recipes for simple things like mashed potatoes, baked potatoes, and green beans.  So sometimes I post simple recipes, recipes that most people think everyone should know how to cook but the reason that I post them is for that young wife out there that has no idea how to cook or where to even begin.  And this is one of those recipes.

1-2 pounds fresh green beans 1/2 an onion, diced 1 beef bouillon cube water
Break green fresh green beans and place them in a pan.  Cover green beans with water.  Add in onions and beef bouillon cube.  Cook on medium heat for about an hour or until green beans are soft.  Add more water if necessary.

Using Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime in Homeschooling

I like variety when it comes to homeschooling.  We read a lot of living books, and I think literature is very important.  However, I think watching documentaries or movies on a subject can be equally important.  There's something about seeing history or science on the screen that can really help it click in a kid's mind.  Videos don't make up a large part of our school week, we will watch an hour or two out of the entire week.  
There are three video streaming resources that we use those are Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime.  Netflix and Hulu are each less than $10 a month, so the cost isn't a large amount.  Amazon Prime is $99 a month which equals less than $9 per month.  We use Amazon Prime less than Hulu or Netflix but I find that the free Prime shipping justifies the cost, and the Prime videos are just an added bonus.
Finding which movies you want to watch can be the biggest hurdle.  The first place I look for movies is in the textbook themselves.  Many textbooks a…

What I Wore Wednesday, April 15

I haven't felt well this week so I don't have that many outfits to share.   The weather has been nice but it is still chilly so I stuck with long sleeves and pants. 

Saturday - grocery shopping shirt - thrifted pants - Gap (here) shoes - old similar here

Sunday - church sweater - Target similar here tunic - Target (last season, couldn't find similar) shoes - same as Saturday

Monday - school and errands shirt - New York and Company (from winter, couldn't find anything similar) pants - Gap (here) shoes - Macy's (here)

I am linking this post up to 

What I Wore Wednesday at The Pleated Poppy
Sydney Fashion Hunter

Baked Ranch Parmesan Pork Chops

So a few of the pork chops in the picture look burnt but I promise you they weren't.  In fact they were absolutely delicious!  My whole family loved them, which is something that doesn't happen to often around here.  What's even better though is that they were extremely easy to make!
Pork Chops 2 eggs 3 cups of flour 3 tablespoons of Ranch powder 1 tablespoon paprika 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes 1/2 cup Parmesan

1.  Break eggs into one bowl, and mix dry ingredients in a second bowl.

2.  Dip pork chops into eggs, and then dredge pork chops through the flour mixture.  
3.  Place on greased cookie sheet and bake in 350 degree oven for thirty minutes or until pork chop breading is golden brown.

Ideas for Celebrating Earth Day in Your Homeschool and an Earth Day Booklist

Earth Day is April 22nd and it's only a week away.  I love incorporating holidays and important events in our homeschool, and there are so many unique ways you can incorporate Earth Day into your homeschool day.  Here are some of my favorite ideas for teaching my kids about Earth Day.

The Lorax Unit Study on Homeschool Share The first unit study that we ever completed was The Lorax unit study on Homeschool Share.  This was seven years ago, and the kids still talk about what they learned in that study today.  The unit study has activities for all subjects and a majority of the activities deal with pollution, making it a great study for Earth Day.  You can find this free unit study by visiting Homeschool Share

Disneynature Movies Each Earth Day Disneynature releases a new film.  This year's film is Monkey Kingdom, and there is an Educator's Guide to go with it making it a perfect Earth Day study.  You can get the Educator's Guide and learn more about Monkey Kingdom by v…

Dairy Free Bread for the Bread Machine

It seems like we always run out of milk.  It doesn't matter how much I buy it is never enough.  My Yummy Dinner Roll recipe was the result of running out of milk and this bread recipe is also the result of running out of milk.
Sunday morning I had lunch going in the crockpot for after church and wanted some bread to go with it.  I had my bread machine out, and my recipe ready to go when I discovered we were out of milk.  So, that called for some changes on my part.  The result?  This bread machine recipe that is made without milk.
Ingredients 1 cup warm water 3 tablespoons vegetable oil 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt 3 tablespoon of sugar or 2 packet of Truvia (if you want sugar free) 3 cups bread flour one packet or 2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
Directions Place all ingredients in your bread machine in the order listed.  Start bread machine on the white bread cycle to cook.
Optional:  If you want to cook this in the oven, turn your bread machine setting to dough.  Once the dough is re…