Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Works for me Wednesday: Traveling in the car with little ones..eeeek!

Traveling with two toddlers makes my left eye twitch. Everyones nerves are shot by the time we arrive at our happy destination.
I have learned that the trick to traveling without mama totally losing it, is to layer the activities.

First there is the movie. Then snacks, followed by some quiet and hopefully nap time, and then mama whips out the magic trays.

I got these trays at Odd Lots. I fill them in secret with snacks, drinks, crayons, books and trinkets from the dollar store. They get so excited to see what treasures are in those trays and it saves some mental anguish....and maybe half a nerve.

And that works for this mama!

For more great WFMW ideas visit We are that Family!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Mama Knows best: End of year teacher gifts

We as mamas have to be innovative and thrifty all in the same beat. Some how we find new ways of doing things that save us money, time and maybe if we are really blessed.... sanity!

Everyone I know right now is scrambling to come up with a unique end of year teacher gift so here are few!

Class Flower Pot - Put each students hand print with uv/water safe paint along with their name. Place a potted flower inside. The teacher can use it year after year and remember her class!

Personalized Dish Towels- Get a couple of white sack cloth large dishtowels. (I get mine at the dollar store) Have the kids write one thing they love about their teacher with washable paint.

Personalized book- Companies such as Shutterfly has great on-line books that you can make with your own captions and pics. Compile pics from field trips, class pictures, and even handwritten letters from the kids. (I really love when the kids write what they love about their teacher or a difference they have made in their lives.)

Pedicure Gift Certificate- Who doesn't like their pigs painted? :)

Coffee / Tea Basket - Get a lovely basket and fill it with gourmet coffee, bags of fruit flavored teas, a coffee mug (the ones that I found at the $1 store this week would be perfect. Have your little person decorate the mug.....make sure you include the year!) a fancy stirring spoon, honey sticks, chocolate covered spoons, some fancy chocolates, anything decadent for your sweet teacher!

Movie pack - Get one of these giant buckets I found at the dollar store and fill it with a gift certificate from a movie store, microwave popcorn, movie boxes of candy, some fuzzy slippers and a candle. Perfect movie night in !

Do you have a money/time/sanity tip to share? E-mail me at

Monday, May 17, 2010

Menu Plan Monday- Use whats in that Freezer!

Happy Monday !! I have been on another "use what we have" kick. One look in my freezer let me know we need to use a bag of chicken tenders, shrimp and beef roast. I love the feeling of using the good deals I have found and not having to go to the grocery store. I am trying a chicken satay recipe this week. It sounds easy and delicious, which is a combo I cannot pass up. :) I will also give you a wonderful tip to add some zip to your baked fries. Add Greek seasoning to them. (Can be found in any grocery store spice isle!) You will be amazed at how yummy they make things! Happy eating y'all!

Monday: Shrimp, sun dried tomato and basil pasta, garlic bread , salad

Tuesday: Chicken satay (recipe at bottom), fried rice with carrots and peas, egg rolls

Wednesday: Cheeseburgers, grilled corn on the cob, tomato salad

Thursday: Leftover buffet- if its not movin you can it it...but mama is not cookin!

Friday: Pizza Night!

Saturday: Cheddar french onion chicken fingers, baked seasoned fries, green beans

Sunday: Pulled beef sandwiches, spinach salad, rosemary potatoes
Chicken Satay
2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup lemon or lime juice
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons curry powder
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
6 skinless, boneless chicken breast

In a mixing bowl, combine peanut butter, soy sauce, lime juice, brown sugar, curry powder, garlic and hot pepper sauce. Place the chicken breasts in the marinade and refrigerate. Let the chicken marinate at least 2 hours, overnight is best.

Preheat a grill to high heat.

Weave the chicken onto skewers, then grill for 5 minutes per side.