Friday, January 16, 2009

When is the point you lose your mind?

So....... Its like a hundred below here in the Buckeye state. I have two sick kids and I have a cold.

Its like I live in the house of germs.... which at this point could be the title of a horror film.

Snow and ice are keeping us trapped inside. Its going on three days now. My kids are getting a scary glassed over look in their eyes. Its making me nervous.

I am wondering at what point do you lose it? I can only play so much candyland, Diego legos and potato head.

The kids are getting wise to my crazy. I think they can smell fear.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Kroger's secret stash..... check it out!

I don't know about your Kroger but my Kroger has a secret room. Its full of manager mark downs and little orange stickers that makes my heart go pitter pat. Its in the place where the garden center should be by the produce/ floral department. They usually have a couple of things but this time the whole place was filled with name brands, organics, furniture... it was amazing! I asked the cashier why so many deals and she told me that they got too much in at one time. WORKS FOR ME!

I went shopping today and found the best deals!!!

Huggies diapers for $4.99!

Chicken stock ( 32 ounce) for $1.00.

Disposable tin ( I use these for freezing meals for later) a 3 pack for .25.

The big Folgers coffee for $3.49.

and much more.....

I was so excited I called my friend and asked if she wanted anything! My Kroger is on Bethel Road but you may want to ask if your Kroger has their manager markdowns in one central location. It would be worth the trip!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Works for me Wednesday- Keeping track of library books

This is a pretty simple WFMW. It has, however, saved me alot of time and effort since implementing it in our home.

I found an odd shaped basket at TJ Maxx. ( You girls know how I love TJM) It was only $5 and it matched my furniture so I bought it. I started thinking of what I could do with it and it hit me. KEEP ALL OUR BORROWED ITEMS FROM THE LIBRARY IN IT.
Every time we would make a library trip I would be rushing around looking in my kids room and my room for those books. My kids rooms were the worst. In my sons attempt to clean his room he would put the library books with all the other books. A local search and rescue team (me and hubby) had to be dispatched. Alot of grumbling was involved.

So..... I decided to put my lovely basket in the main room of our house and all library books live there until returned. My kids get to read their books more because we know where they are. The best part about it is that when library day comes around it takes me a couple of seconds to grab the books. And this works for all of us!
For more great WFMW tips check out the awesome website Rocks in my Dryer.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Tempt my tummy tuesday

I am turning hubby's yummy recipe Tuesday into Tempt my Tummy Tuesdays. I found this great site and am excited to get some great ideas. I don't know about you but it is cold here... brrrrrr. I thought a good hearty soup sounded good. Hope you enjoy!

Sausage Tortellini Soup

1 1/2 lbs hot Italian sausage
3-4 cups beef broth
1 (28 ounce) can Italian plum tomatoes, crushed into puree
1 onion, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
1 package frozen spinach, thawed, (8-10 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
1 package cheese tortellini, fresh or frozen

Remove sausage from casing and brown, breaking it up. Drain sausage and transfer to a stockpot or dutch oven.

Add remaining ingredients, except tortellini, and simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until vegetables are tender.

Add tortellini and cook for the length of time indicated on package.

For the slow cooker, follow steps 1 and 2, but cook covered on low for 6-9 hours; add cooked tortellini. ( Cook 15 minutes)

Big deals at JoAnne's- check it out girls!

I went to JoAnn Fabric today, armed with my 50% off coupon. I was pleasantly surprised that they had A TON of Christmas things left over and alot of it 90% off !!!!

I am not talking about the cheesy left over- nobody wants decorations. This stuff is very very nice! Wreaths, swags, platters, stockings, stocking holders, kids items, decor. You name it they have it! Most places I have been has had nothing left and what was left was stuff I wouldn't want.....

I have been looking for garland for my mailbox. ( For Christmas time) I didn't, however want to pay alot for it since it would be outside and probably get trashed quickly. I found a swag that is at least 6 feet long and looks real. It was $30.00. I got it for $2.99! I am so geeked :)

The only thing I would warn you about is that the Christmas stuff is all over the store and not in one general area. You have to look over the ENTIRE store to find all the things they are offering. I also don't know how quickly the stuff is going and different stores may vary, but its definitely worth checking out.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Getting started - party planning

Its hard for me to believe that my baby is turning 1!! It seems like I was just pregnant, praying for her safe arrival. Then wishing for the love of all that is good that she would just sleep for more than two hours. Now I am starting to yearn for those "squishy" baby days. Sometimes I just watch my little angel sleeping, her full little lips happily sucking away. I am starting to tear up as she claps her fat little hands in glee when her daddy walks in the door. Oh how fast these days go by!

This leads me to the all important first birthday party... woohoo! The first birthday seems so special to me. A kickoff to life if you will. I used to be an event planner in a previous life so I get all geeked up to start the planning.

I thought I would give some tips that I used when I was a planner. When I quit planning, I thought I would never use my skills again. Boy was I wrong! I am still planning events... I am just not getting paid. Well in money at least... I get lots of hugs and kisses which makes me a very rich woman indeed.

There are 3 basic things that you should do when planning any event.

Determine: budget, guest list, theme

Budget- These days money is tight. You can plan a very nice party and still not break the bank by planning and cutting some corners.

1.) Prioritize- Figure out what is important to you. If you feel like your party has to have great food then you will spend the most money on a caterer or food items. Others feel , especially for a children's party, that entertainment should be the primary concern. Whatever you decide, you should then budget accordingly. You know how much you roughly want to spend on your party.

2.) Start a spreadsheet- Put all the items that you need in a left hand column. Then start to divide your money amongst the category's. Put your priority at the top and then work your way down. Remember that your budget will change along the way as you find out what things cost. That's OK as along as your bottom line doesn't change. ( If the food is going to cost more than you realized and its your priority, then cut back on your decorations budget.. etc. )

3.) Ask around- You would be surprised what deals you can find by asking family and friends of resources that they know about. Often friends and family know of someone else or know of an Internet site that has great deals.

Guest list

Start your guest list with people that must be invited. Then optionals towards the bottom of the list. If cuts need to be made you can start at the bottom of the list.

Depending on the situation you may be planning multiple parties. ( Divorced parents that can't play nice or a kid versus adult parties are some examples) You will needs multiple guest lists and budgets of this is the case.


This can be a very specific theme (Pirates) or a more general theme. ( Pink and purple) Whatever your theme is, it gives you a great guideline in which to do the rest of the planning. The theme tends to tie everything together so its pretty important that you establish one in the very beginning.

Now I have to go and take my own advise and figure out what in the world I am going to do for my baby's first birthday. Since she is the only girl out of 10 boys I am thinking tiaras, castles and pink pink pink. Wish me luck girls!

Menu Plan Monday

Hope everyone has a yummy week!

Monday: Cheddar macaroni beef casserole , green beans, bread

Tuesday: Leftover night... if its not movin you can eat it.

Wednesday: Pork stir fry, rice, egg rolls

Thursday: Hungarian Stew , salad, cheesy rolls

Friday: Pizza night!

Saturday: Stuffed Green peppers

Sunday: Easy chicken cacciatore ( Recipe follows)

Easy Chicken Cacciatore

1 lb boneless chicken breast, pieces
1 tsp olive oil
1 can crushed tomatoes ( whatever style you prefer)
1/4 cup chopped green onions
3/4 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp dried oregano

Using a skillet, lightly brown chicken in oil over medium heat. Remove the chicken. In the same pan, cook the green onions until tender. Add crushed tomatoes and remaining ingredients, stirring to blend. Return chicken pieces to pan and simmer, covered, for 30 -40 minutes. Serve over whatever noodles you like.