Tuesday, September 20, 2011

And the winner is......

Sorry ladies, sickness landed right in the middle of our little home! I want to announce the winner of the BP gift basket and gift card!!! And the winner is .....


Congrats girl! Please send me an e-mail at everythingmom@live.com letting me know where I can send your card!!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Menu Plan Monday: Cool to Hot !

Fall is here!!! Except its in the eighties. (Its Ohio, Ok?!?!) So the beginning of the week is summer cooking and as it cools down, the menu warms up! This week we are doing one night with all veggies. I remember my mama doing this and it was so refreshing! I also included a crock pot chili recipe which feeds a ton and freezes well. :) Hope you have a yummy week!!!

Monday: Corn on the cob, green beans w/ red potatoes, fresh tomatoes and salad

Tuesday: Grilled lemon pepper chicken, grilled asparagus, butter noodles

Wednesday: Leftover buffet- If its in the fridge......

Thursday: Crock pot chili in bread bowls, tossed salad

Friday: Pizza Night!

Saturday: Beef enchiladas, re fried beans, tortilla chips and salsa

Sunday: Italian pot roast, mashed potatoes, broccoli

Crock Pot Chili
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 (16 ounce) cans kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • Shredded Chaddar cheese

  1. In a skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Transfer to a slow cooker. Add the next nine ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 4 hours. Garnish individual servings with cheese if desired.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Moms are busy people- Giveaway!!

I have to say that this fall my schedule has really exploded. I have a 4 month old that needs to go to doctor appointments. Two kids in school- different schedules of course. Dance, soccer and swim lessons. The list goes on and on.

Good times....for them.

Mostly I find myself in the mini van wondering how I got to be a taxi driver.

((I had time to think about it alot when while buckling my babies into their car seats. I got snagged by a fishing pole that the hubster had rigged inside the top of the van. We had recently been on vacation and he hadn't removed them out of our van, a hook got lose and well.... he caught himself a big one. I was hooked from behind so I could ponder these deep questions like, "how did we get so busy?" I also wondered how many ways I could make him pay for this too but I digress.))

So when BP offered some tips and tricks for busy moms, I thought I would share. I have to say that when I read them, I got some great ideas! See them here.

As an added bonus they are sending one lucky reader this "Mom on the go commuter basket which includes a gas card!!!. (Who couldn't use a gas card?)

Just leave a comment below telling me where you would go with your handy dandy gas card and I will pick a winner next week!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


Hey all !!! I didn't blog at all last week. I was just in a funk. So that means that I have put off menu planning and a couple of giveaways that I have had planned. ((I also managed to get the hubs to drag all my fall decorations out so that I could decorate the house.))

Priorities. :)

Anywho. I will be posting 2 giveaways this week and hopefully sharing some recipes that we tried.

Hope you guys are having a great week !!!

Friday, August 26, 2011

my emotional ramblings

My baby, my son, will be starting in kindergarten this week.

Gone are the days of lazily laying on the couch asking his mama for some more milk while he giggles with his sister. All day movie marathons, running through the sprinklers, morning zoo trips, eating cherries on the porch, making Popsicles, chasing lightning bugs, painting, taking long strolls.

I still remember praying for his very existence. I begged God for him to bless me with a healthy baby. Fresh off of a loss, I was raw, exposed and hurting.

God did bless me with a baby. I laughed and cried when I felt him move from within me the first time. I held my husbands hand and cried again when we saw that beautiful heartbeat on the screen.

Every ache and pain and discomfort was worth it. I prayed every night and day that this baby would be healthy and strong. (God got the last laugh on this one because he made him strong all right....strong willed!)

Then the day of his birth which I can recall every last scary detail. The day we almost lost our precious baby boy before his life even began.

How an awesome God spared him.

How I was changed forever.

I thought the painful breastfeeding and sleepless nights would last forever. I was oh so wrong. They passed without me even noticing. Now where a crib once stood, stands a big boy bed with fire truck sheets and prized possessions stacked on a play tool bench beside him. Treasures.

Where has the time gone? Where is that baby boy that I used to rock and sing and soothe every fear that he had? He has been replaced by a big boy that doesn't want me to walk him in his school and wants to wear "cool clothes" .

My first instinct is to hold even tighter onto my baby.

God is working on this mamas heart to not live in fear. That this child has an awesome purpose. One that goes beyond anything that I could imagine.

"Let me work everything out"...I hear God whisper to my heart.

I have a difficult time with letting go of my precious one. I try to remember that God loves my baby even more than I do. I can't quite wrap my mind around it.

So I pray.

I pray that he will maintain his kind, kind heart and compassion for others. That he will not become hard to this world while not getting trampled over either. That he will have the courage to stand tall for what he believes is right and doesn't follow the crowd. That he will keep his innocence.

I pray and try to let the Lord pry away the white knuckled grip that I want to have on my boy.

The awful truth is that he will get hurt. People will be unkind. He will learn things that I would never expose him to within this home. He will have some tough choices to make.

The glorious truth is that God is still on the throne and and still in control. He cares about this mamas tears. He holds my son in his hand and calls him his own. He has patience with me and reminds me to savor these moments because they go by too quickly.

"Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert." Isaiah 43:19

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

WFMW: Bad fruit

I just love when I buy fruit and about 1 1/2 days later it starts to go down hill.

NOT !!!

I hate to waste anything so this really irks me. I have found a solution that works for us and I thought I would share it.

I take any banana, peach or berries that are starting to turn to the dark side and remove any stems or peeling. I think slice or cube it, place it in a freezer bag and pop it in the freezer.

Then whenever my littles want a smoothie for breakfast, I grab it out of the freezer. Add some vanilla yogurt and milk and you have an easy nutritious breakfast!!

(You can also do this for peppers and onions....just don't use them for smoothies. Save them for recipes and pizza toppings!)

And that totally works for this mama!

For more great WFMW ideas visit We Are That Family !!!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Menu Plan Monday: School time!

I won't even get started about my emotions on my first born starting school. (I have a tissue in my hand right now!) I do know that I need simple easy meals that I don't have to think about while we get into the swing of things!! This also means trying to stretch our meats again. (I use this weeks pot roast leftovers to make yummy beef and noodles !!!) Happy eating y'all !!!

Monday: BBQ chicken, mac and cheese, baked beans and salad

Tuesday: Pork stir fry, egg rolls, brown rice

Wednesday: Leftover buffet- Big Mama is not cookin!!!

Thursday: Crock pot beef roast, roasted carrots and broccoli

Friday: Pizza Night !

Saturday:BBQ chicken wraps (see below) with fresh garden salsa

Sunday: Beef and noodles, mashed potatoes, green beans

BBQ Chicken Wraps

Take leftover BBQ chicken and cut into strips or chunks. Brush a whole wheat tortilla with some extra bbq sauce and fill with cheddar cheese and tomatoes.

Fold bottom up, then both opposite sides, until tightly folded.

Grill seam side down, about 10 minutes or until golden. (Turning halfway through)

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Project Kitchen Organization: Baking Drawer

I will be the first to admit that I went a little crazy with the nesting when I was pregnant with my last princess. I was like a mad woman with the crazy look in her eye and all. My family simply stepped to the side and let me do my thing. (Often stepping over piles of containers, bags and bins)

After the baby I found the organization very useful and effective and am thankful that I got it all done. I thought I would take the next couple of weeks to go through and share some of the things that worked really well. Happy Organizing!!

I have to tell you that I love to bake! I also have to tell you that since I have three children I don't have alot of time to do it !! So when I do want to bake, I want to know where to find my apple core thingy (technical term), lemon zester, rolling pin and other essential tools.

So I made a whole drawer that is nothing but my special little gadgets and tools. (A drawer that no one has any business being in except me! :)

Today I am participating in I'm an organizing junkie

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

WFMW: What my child CAN do.

This week over at Works for me Wednesday, they are talking about what helps you "back to school". I have been thinking about this alot since I have my oldest baby going in to kindergarten (gulp) and the other one starting preschool. (double gulp)

I have been thinking about sending them out in this world and what tools they need to have to survive it. (I know, I know....they are only 3 and 5 but it starts young.)

I sat down and made a list of all the things that my kids CAN do this year. You know....things that they are not currently expected to do and won't kill them to start?!

* Clear their own dishes
* Put their dirty clothes in a hamper
* Pick up their own toys
* Put their book bags in their room and on their hook
* Pick out their clothes the night before
(Thus saving all the drama for their grandmama..just sayin.)
* Make their own bed in the morning (and I will resist the urge to re-do it !!)
* Start to give some of their own coins to church (I will match it )
* Help their sibling with a task. (Because we are in this together in this house!)

This list is going to go on the fridge the first day of school and hopefully will be a reminder to this mama !

For more school WFMW ideas visit We are That Family!

Friday, August 12, 2011

And the winner is......

And the winner of the Sweet Clove Sunshine cafe gift certificate is......

April !!!!

I will be e-mailing you...congrats!!

Project Kitchen Organization: Junk Drawer

I will be the first to admit that I went a little crazy with the nesting when I was pregnant with my last princess. I was like a mad woman with the crazy look in her eye and all. My family simply stepped to the side and let me do my thing. (Often stepping over piles of containers, bags and bins)

After the baby I found the organization very useful and effective and am thankful that I got it all done. I thought I would take the next couple of weeks to go through and share some of the things that worked really well. Happy Organizing!!

Everyone has one, right? A place to put those random trinkets like tape, balloons (for that "I need a balloon mama" emergency), mints, pens, post its. You name it. It's useless, however if you can't find anything in the drawer.

I found that with just a couple of dividers the drawer stays neat and I keep a little sanity. (Notice, I said a little.)

Today I will be posting at "I'm an Organizing junkie".

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Don't Forget !! School countdown jar!

Don't forget your school countdown jar!! (If you forget what it is , see the original post here )

This year I have 2 going to school so we changed things up a little bit. We used some leftover pastel Valentines M&m's for the princess and primary colors for the big one. :)

I also made them count out the number of M&M's they needed.

Cause' I'm super mean like that :)

They have really been enjoying their daily m&m !!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Menu Plan Monday: Cleaning out the stockpile!

Hey girls!! My name is Summer and I am a stockpiler. Notice, I did not say hoarder. I don't collect 453 salad dressings just to feel good. :) I do however believe that if something is a really good deal and my family will eat it then I will buy however many I have a coupon for! So, this week we are living off our stockpile. (It may or may not have something to do with not wanting to a big grocery trip. Ill never talk.) I found these chicken thighs in the freezer and bunch of homemade orange french toast that I had made. To me that says, "breakfast for dinner and find a recipe for chicken thighs!" I hope you have a yummy week!!

Monday: Orange french toast, bacon, eggs

Tuesday: Lemon baked chicken thighs, brown rice, broccoli

Wednesday: Leftover buffet..mama is not cookin!

Thursday: Ravioli lasagna, garlic bread, salad with garden veggies

Friday: Pizza Night!

Saturday: Grilled chicken, grilled asparagus, corn on the cob

Sunday: Pot roast, mashed potatoes, green beans

Lemon Chicken Thighs

3-4 pounds chicken parts (thighs and legs recommended), skin-on, bone-in, trimmed of
excess fat
  • 2 Tbsp lemon zest
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 Tbsp fresh chopped thyme (or 2 teaspoons dried)
  • 1 Tbsp fresh chopped rosemary (or 1 teaspoon dried)
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2-3 Tbsp melted butter

1 Place lemon juice, lemon peel, garlic, thyme, rosemary, salt, and pepper in a small bowl, whisk to combine. With the tip of a sharp knife, cut into each chicken piece one or two times by about 1/2 an inch. (This will help the marinade penetrate.) Place the chicken pieces and the marinade in a gallon-sized freezer bag. Rotate the bag so that all chicken pieces are coated with the marinade. Seal the bag and place in a bowl in the refrigerator (in case of leakage). Let marinate for 2 hours.

2 Preheat oven to 425°F. Remove chicken from marinade and place in a single layer in a large baking dish, skin side up. Reserve the marinade. Use a pastry brush to brush a little melted butter on to each piece of chicken.

3 Bake for a total of 50 to 55 minutes, until the skins are crispy brown, and the chicken is cooked through, juices running clear (breasts have an internal temperature of 165°F and thighs 175°F). Half-way through the baking, at about the 25 minute mark, baste the chicken pieces generously with reserved marinade.

Depending on the size of the breasts, they may be ready before the thighs, so if you are cooking a mix of chicken parts, keep that in mind, you may have to take them out of the oven before the thighs.

Let rest, covered in foil, for 10 minutes before serving.

4 Pour the juices from the pan into a serving bowl. Use a tablespoon to skim the fat off the top (save the fat for cooking with later, or discard, but do not discard down the drain or it will solidify and clog your drain). Serve the chicken with the juices on the side or a little poured over the top of the chicken.

Serve alone or with steamed rice.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Confessions of a desperate housemama: Grocery store woes.

I had the best of hopes for the day.

That was my first mistake.

I needed to do some grocery shopping and I decided to take the princess with me. Since I am a human cow, I was afraid she would open her big blue eyes the moment I pulled out of the driveway and cry non stop.

I told the hubs that I would take her because she would probably snooze through the whole thing. I had grand visions of a peaceful, beautiful baby sleeping while I save my family money couponing and deal hunting.

EHHHHHHHH. (That was the sound of the buzzer signaling my wrongness at this assumption.)

I got about to the front door when the little ball of joy opened her eyes and decided that she had slept enough. I felt my belly flip flop in worry with the hours of shopping I had before me than I just as quickly told myself that she would either go back to sleep or be highly entertained by all the sights.

Do I need to sound the buzzer again??

It started with little whines and a couple grunts. Three isles in we were in full crying mode. I had to search for the right deal and then again through my coupon binder while pushing the cart back and forth, back and forth. Over and over again.

By the time I reached the canned goods that wouldn't even appease my little blessing. I thought maybe she would like to be in the carrier against me. Then she would fall asleep right?!?

I got her feet in the carrier right as she threw her arms out and knocked a jar of olives out of my hand, sending it to its death. I heard the glass break and the very nice grocery man came and assured me it was no big deal.

I broke a speed record going to the next isle.

"Clean up in isle five...just follow the screaming baby."

Little miss was not satisfied with this carrier arrangement however, so I started to bounce my body down the isle, singing the Steely Dan song that was blaring over the loundspeaker.

bounce bounce. " When you smile for the camera.....you know I love you better" People were trying to look without being rude.

Then even this would not satisfy. I felt my milk come in, a direct response to her little shrieks of discontent.

I looked around in panic. I had a cart full of food, some things left to get and a very unhappy girl on my chest.

Why oh why didn't I wear my nursing tank or a top that could be shoved to the side to nurse?!?
I had to have a t-shirt that you had to lift completely up to get to the girls...geesh.

When I hit the frozen foods, I tried to maneuver one of the girls out the top of the t-shirt while having the carrier cover any show that I might give to the patrons. I then tried throwing a receiving blanket over one shoulder, lifting my t-shirt up on one side to expose enough for her to be appeased while yanking it down in the back so I wasn't totally naked from the rear.

That didn't work and generally ticked her off.

I was a desperate woman, which isn't a far jump for me. (Ask my friends or hubs...they will tell you.)

As the beads of sweat started to form, I pushed my cart to the front of the store, looking for a chair, bench or anything where I could discreetly sit my bottom down and feed my child.


I saw that off to the left was a semi- segregated area.

The liqueur section.

I made my way there, screaming baby and all and hid in front of one of the shelves. I then lifted my whole shirt up. (I told you I was desperate.) and attached crying baby to an udder.

Sweet, sweet silence.

I did manage to get a receiving blanket over me but who was I kidding? My back was totally exposed and you could hear, suck, suck, gulp. (The girl was hungry, ok?!?)

Of course being my child, she was going to be leisurely about her eating. (The experts always see eat slowly, right?)

I had nothing to do but look at all the liqueur around me. I seriously contemplated opening a bottle and taking the edge off my nerves. I wondered to myself...

"Self, wonder if I could unscrew a bottle with my teeth, while only being able to hold the bottle with one hand?"

I shook my head into rational thinking again and decided that alcohol was not the answer. Especially if someone came around the bend and saw me nursing and drinking.

My thought soon turned to panic while I then thought about all the people who could come into my isle. You know, ex-boyfriends, that perfect mom from the PTA, construction workers.

The princess finally did get her fill and I gently placed her in her carrier while trying to put all my clothes back in place. I told little girl that mama had been through the ringer today so I expected her to be a quiet little angel the rest of the trip.

She responded with a goofy grin and moving her bowels in a mighty way...as in blowout in isle 20.

Not the sign I was looking for.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Sweet Clove Sunshine cafe review and giveaway !!!

I am not a breakfast person. Never have been. So when I was asked to review a brand new breakfast/ lunch restaurant, I was a little skeptical. I have been to those type of restaurants before. It's not like I didn't like them, I just wasn't impressed. Just being honest here, people.

But I went with another bloggy friend for lunch. I had just had the princess and I needed some much needed time out. We decided that we would try the new Sweet Clove Sunshine Cafe, which is owned by the Honey baked ham store. Its brand new and I like me some ham so we thought we would give it a shot.

The first thing I noticed when we sat down on a lovely terrace is that the menu that they handed me was the largest selection in a menu that I have seen in my life. And it wasn't just ham (although Honey baked ham entrees could be ordered. ) It was an extensive breakfast and lunch menu with many options and pictures that made my mouth water. I decided on the french dip served on rustic pan bread and a cup of the baked potato soup. It was excellent. (I wanted to lick the bowl, ok? )

I loved it so much that I asked my hubby to take me back for breakfast on my birthday! I had pineapple upside down pancakes that was as big as my head. (I especially liked when my lovely waitress brought out a huge bowl of freshly whopped cream and asked me if I would like some. Yes, please !!!!) Then we had the bacon.

My hubs is sort of a foodie and it takes alot to knock his socks off. He tasted the bacon and almost dropped his fork. Listen to me when I say, "This is the best bacon that you will ever taste. Period." Some genius decided to caramelize the bacon with the glaze they use on the Honey baked ham and they should win some type of award. :) Can you tell I liked it?!?!

So I liked it so much I had to share it with you. Click on the link above for the menu to see the awesome selection for yourself or the main website here. I have also been given a $25 gift card for a lucky reader. (Remember, you can always take me with you :) )

Just look at the menu and leave a comment telling me what you would order with your gift card. I will be choosing the winner next Wednesday! Good luck!!!!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Menu Plan Monday: Simple is in!

Sometimes you just don't want to think about what your gonna eat in the upcoming week. :) We are blessed to be able to join some family this week at a lake cottage. Fortunately, it comes with a great kitchen that we can cook in. So, this week we will be having very simple meals together. (Its all about the company, right? ) No new dishes or complex recipes = a more relaxed mama. I hope y'all have a tasty week....happy eating!

Monday: Spaghetti and cheese filled meatballs, salad, garlic bread

Tuesday: Taco bar, refried beans, black beans and rice

Wednesday: Hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill, baked fries, fruit salad

Thursday: Leftover buffet- if its not movin.....

Friday: Pizza Night!

Saturday: Lemon pepper chicken, zucchini fritters, broccoli

Sunday: Italian beef roast, mashed potatoes, fresh green beans

Friday, July 29, 2011

Project Kitchen Organization: Coffee Shelf

I will be the first to admit that I went a little crazy with the nesting when I was pregnant with my last princess. I was like a mad woman with the crazy look in her eye and all. My family simply stepped to the side and let me do my thing. (Often stepping over piles of containers, bags and bins)

After the baby I found the organization very useful and effective and am thankful that I got it all done. I thought I would take the next couple of weeks to go through and share some of the things that worked really well. Happy Organizing!!

We are coffee drinkers in this house! When someone tells us that they don't drink coffee I shudder and question our friendship. :)

When you are a coffee drinker you may have alot that goes with the morning ritual. Filters, sweetener, creamer, stir sticks. It can become overwhelming!

I have found a solution that works for us.

I have used a bottom shelf right above our coffee maker and made it our "coffee shelf". (I also include salt, pepper, Kosher salt, our favorite seasoning and toothpicks.) Everything we need is right there for easy convenience. I also find it easier to know if we are running low on something for grocery list without digging!

Today I will be posting at "I'm an Organizing junkie".

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Chicken Bruchetta Recipe

Sooo.... hubs and I had some garden tomatoes and basil and it was too hot to really cook. We had a loaf of bread that was getting sort of crusty. (Being me, I didn't want to waste it) So we decided to try our hand at some bruschetta. It was so delicious that we decided to make it again, this time with some sauteed chicken and make a meal out of it.

We used bigger style bread than french loaf so it would feel less like an appetizer. It was light and refreshing and even the kids liked it!! (It also uses your garden veggies, which I am all about these days!)

Happy Eating y'all !!

Chicken Bruschetta

  • 8 roma (plum) tomatoes, diced
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 loaf crunchy bread, toasted and sliced
  • 1/2 lb chicken, chunks
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
Saute the chicken chunks in 3 Tbs of olive oil until cooked through. Remove to a paper towel.

Toast bread in oven until slightly browned.

In a bowl, toss together the tomatoes, basil, Parmesan cheese, and garlic. Mix in the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, kosher salt, and pepper. Place on toasted bread and cover with mozzarella cheese. Place back in the oven until cheese is melted.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

No Menu Plan this week- too hot and too busy!

Hey Y'all !!! Just wanted to let you know that I am not doing a menu plan this week due to several factors! My hubs is out of town a couple of days, the kids have VBS every night and it is so hot out!!! We are simply doing alot of simple sandwiches and leftovers. (Hey, you do what you have to do, right?!? )

I will be posting later today a recipe that my hubby and I sort of made up and it turned out so well its worth sharing! Its light for summer and the kids actually liked it so I hope you will too !!

Hope you guys have a yummy week!!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Project Kitchen Organization: Bakeware, beware!

I will be the first to admit that I went a little crazy with the nesting when I was pregnant with my last princess. I was like a mad woman with the crazy look in her eye and all. My family simply stepped to the side and let me do my thing. (Often stepping over piles of containers, bags and bins)

After the baby I found the organization very useful and effective and am thankful that I got it all done. I thought I would take the next couple of weeks to go through and share some of the things that worked really well. Happy Organizing!!

I am a baker. Or at least I am when I don't have a little baby. That means I have a ton of cake, pie and bunt pans along with ramekins and other assorted bake ware. The pans are usually bulky and thick and makes it hard to keep all of it organized.

Hubs plan was to get rid of most of it.

Yeah...that wasn't going to work for me. Geesh.

I was in Target one day and happened upon a plate organizer that was clearanced out for under $5. (Often when they change brands or design they will have some really good prices on their organization things so its worth a trip down the isle just to stock up!) I didn't know what I could use it for but being in full nesting mode I decided that I needed it.

I have a small narrow cabinet that use to be where things would go to get lost. (I couldn't get to the back of it !) With the dish organizer I can clearly see my bake ware, its not on top of one another and I can fully utilize the space in the back!!

Don't you just love when a plan comes together?!? :) Happy Organizing y'all!

Today I will be joining I'm an Organizing Junkie.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Have you been encouraged today?

I have to tell you that since having my third, I don't always get to my devotional every day. I often can tell because my day doesn't start out right. Just hearing a verse in the morning can really make a huge difference in how I handle, screaming children and poopy diapers. (Its the glamorous life, really! :) )

My girlfriend from high school just started her own blog and its called "Joyful Word". I have to tell you that I have really enjoyed it!! Its a encouraging way to start a mamas day.

I wanted to share it with you and tell you to check it out. Maybe its just the Joyful word you needed to hear today !!!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Menu Plan Monday: Veg out!

Its all about the veggies this week! We have an abundance of green beans in our backyard so while looking for a new way to use them, I found Ms. Paula Deans recipe that is so delicious!! You have to try it! I am also having a taco bar this week. I have found this awesome container where the kids can just put whatever they want to on their taco. (My hope is that they will eat their food this way! :) ) Happy Eating y'all!!!

Monday: Shrimp pasta, spinach salad, garlic bread

Tuesday: Taco bar, refried beans, chips and salsa

Wednesday: Leftover buffet- if its not movin.....

Thursday: Chicken kabobs with fresh garden veggies over brown rice

Friday: Pizza Night !

Saturday: BBQ pork chops, rosemary potatoes, green beans

Sunday: Oriental steak, rice, roasted brussel sprouts, broccoli

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Project Kitchen Organization: Recipe? What recipe?

I will be the first to admit that I went a little crazy with the nesting when I was pregnant with my last princess. I was like a mad woman with the crazy look in her eye and all. My family simply stepped to the side and let me do my thing. (Often stepping over piles of containers, bags and bins)

After the baby I found the organization very useful and effective and am thankful that I got it all done. I thought I would take the next couple of weeks to go through and share some of the things that worked really well. Happy Organizing!!

I had a recipe problem. I had one whole drawer of any recipe that I had run across in the last 5 years that looked halfway good. In this cabinet was whole magazines, inserts and chicken scratch notes that I could stuff in one place.

I won't even go into what would happen if one would open the door...ahem.

It took a good week but I went through each and every bit. I found that half the recipes were not practical now that we were a family of five. ( Poached pears? I don't think so...maybe when we retire :) ) I felt awesome with what was left because now I actually had things that I wanted, could and would make!

For my loose recipes, I found that I prefer the recipe books. They have handy pages that can be whole pages for bigger recipes and then index card sectioned pages for the cards and smaller recipes.

My favorite part about this cabinet, however is the recipes for the week area on the door.

I took a cheap file folder and cut it in half. I then taped it up on the cabinet that held the recipes and I place all the recipes for the week there.( I should have used double sided tape to make it look a little cleaner but I was in crazed nesting mode!)

Its so easy when I menu plan to pull them right then and there and that way I have them!!

((I am linking up this week to I'm an Organizing Junkie!!))

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

What do I do with all these garden veggies?!? (recipe)

So you put in the time to pick the perfect seeds or plants and painstakingly planned, dug, planted and kept critters and weeds out of the way. You get your first crop and are thrilled!!! Then.... you start to get so many tomatoes you are actually seeing red. (Don't even get me started on zucchini :) )

I found the perfect recipe that uses 5 (or more) different veggies and is delicious. An added side bonus is that the kids gobbled it up without realizing that it contained so many things that were actually good for you. I don't know about you but it tastes even better to me due to the fact that I know where it came from and it was as fresh as it gets!

I can't wait to try it with shrimp....yummy!

So here you go....enjoy!!

Garden veggie pasta
  • 1 (16 ounce) package pasta (any type will do )
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 1 yellow squash, chopped
  • 1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 5 roma (plum) tomatoes, chopped (or a can of diced tomatoes)
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese/ mozzarella
  • 1 lb of chicken diced
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook diced chicken until cooked through. Add onion, garlic, zucchini, yellow squash, mushrooms, bell pepper, and chopped tomatoes until tender. Season with basil, oregano, salt and pepper. Add pasta and 1/4 cup olive oil. Mix well, and heat through. Sprinkle top with Parmesan or shredded mozzarella.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - I'm back in the saddle !

Hello!!! After 2 months of looking at my newest little princess, I am ready to get back to saving, blogging and cooking! It wasn't until I stopped menu planning that I realized hoe much money and time it saved!

I had a bunch of garden veggies from my garden that I needed to use this week and came up with the yummiest pasta. My kids loved it and didn't even know they were eating 5 different kinds of veggies!! I will make sure to post it tomorrow! Happy Eating y'all!!!

Monday: Summer garden veggie pasta (see recipe tomorrow), garlic bread

Tuesday: Marinated chicken kabobs w/peppers, onions, mushrooms, salad, rosemary potatoes

Wednesday: Pork stir fry over brown rice

Thursday: Italian pot roast over egg noodles and spinach salad

Friday: Pizza Night!!!

Saturday: Roast beef sandwiches with Au jus, baked fries and green beans

Sunday: Leftover Sunday- If its not movin, you can have it but big mama is NOT cookin!!

For other great meal plans visit I'm an Organizing Junkie .

Monday, May 30, 2011

Menu Plan Monday: Happy Memorial Day !

Happy Memorial Day !!! I hope that your family is remembering the sacrifices that our armed forces have made...and of course having some good food!! I am going to try to have a meat free night one night a week. ( I can't wait to eat from our garden this summer!) What did you plant this year? Happy eating y'all!!

Monday: Hot dogs, hamburgers, chips and all things picnic!!

Tuesday: Grilled lime chicken, grilled asparagus, potato packets

Wednesday: corn on the cob, sliced tomatoes, green beans with redskin potatoes

Thursday: Leftover buffet - big mama is not cookin!!

Friday: Pizza Night!

Saturday: bacon wrapped cheeseburgers, baked fries and salad

Sunday: BBQ shredded pork sandwiches, baked beans and mac and cheese

Monday, May 23, 2011

Menu Plan Monday: Back to the grind

So I guess I am back to cooking! :) I am excited that the weather is finally warm enough to do some grilling. I am trying a new recipe (Mexican lasagna) and an old favorite (sausage with potatoes and green beans). I hope y'all have a yummy week!

Monday: Grilled sausage with potatoes and green beans

Tuesday: Stuffed shells, salad, garlic bread

Wednesday: Leftover buffet

Thursday: Grilled steak, corn on the cob, asparagus

Friday: Pizza Night !!

Saturday: Mexican Lasagna, salad

Sunday: Chicken kabobs, tomato salad, baked beans

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Works for me Wednesday: Gift bags for older siblings

I am so blessed to have a beautiful healthy new baby girl.

I was worried, however, how the big ones would react to said baby girl. Oh sure, they acted excited before she got here. But any mama knows that things can change after you add a little one to the mix. :)

So, to help a little I came prepared.

I went to the dollar store and got new packs of crayons, fresh coloring books, juice boxes, candy, a little lego kit and a princess compact. I put them in a colorful gift bag for each child and put a big bow on each. I carefully packed them away with my overnight bag awaiting our little blessed event.

When the time came, in the trunk they went. When the kids came to see their new sister, they got a gift from her. They were thrilled and I would like to think that gave the newbie a little edge...but that is probably just mama's wishful thinking....

(( It also helped keep them occupied while daddy got to visit and relax. ))

For more great WFMW ideas visit We are That Family!!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Menu Plan Monday: Living on the kindness of strangers!!

So ......I am a proud parent to a beautiful baby girl! I have not been posting due to wanting to do nothing but stare at my beautiful princess.

I am blessed to have an awesome husband who has been doing the cooking and this week the ladies from church has been feeding us. (Can you say THANKFUL !!!)

My hubs came up with an awesome chicken bruschetta recipe that would knock your socks off and I will be sharing that this week.

Next week I hope to be back in the kitchen....or at least have a menu plan to be :)

Happy eating !!!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Kroger changed their Fuel Savings!

I just got word that Kroger has changed their fuel savings and I thought I would pass it on to all your Kroger shoppers out there. Here are the basics:

* Beginning May 1, Kroger and Shell will team up to help Columbus area customers save on fuel.

* Kroger customers will receive instant savings with Kroger’s new Fuel Rewards program at Kroger, Turkey Mini Market and participating Shell stations.

* Customers have the opportunity to instantly redeem 100 Fuel Points for a 10 cent per gallon price savings at the pump, or up to 1,000 Fuel Points per visit to save up to $1.00 per gallon.

For more info on this exciting new fuel savings (and who couldn't use savings on fuel?!) , please visit www.shell.us/kroger or www.kroger.com/fuel.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Menu Plan Monday- that baby isn't here yet?!?!

When I walked into my OB's office this morning the first thing she said to me was "I cannot believe you have not had that baby yet !!!". This should tell you about my mental state of cooking this week. :) Its easy and simple this week until Sunday and I am soooooo hoping that I will not be around to see that meal! Happy eating y'all!

Monday: Grilled cheese and soup

Tuesday: Rotisserie chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans, salad

Wednesday: Leftover buffet- daddy's in charge!

Thursday: Chicken enchiladas on whole wheat tortillas, refried beans

Friday: Pizza and wing night

Saturday: Burgers and dogs, baked beans, corn on the cob

Sunday: Beef roast, roasted carrots, asparagus

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Free Bowling - Central Ohio !!!

Its about 2 weeks into summer vacation (ok, so maybe less) that the kids start whining that they are bored.

My son decided his birthday activity this year would be for the whole fam to go bowling. I would like to stop and interject here that its sad when you still bowl bad as an adult.....with the bumpers out but that is another post.

Anywho, I picked up a little pamphlet that promised free bowling all summer long to kids 16 and under. Here is the skinny......

AMF is offering a program where kids under 16 score free bowling all summer long.

Just visit freebowling.amf.com to sign up and learn more.

Each week you will be e-mailed coupons for 2 free games per day, per child.

They can bowl for free and also enjoy activities, contests and more!

Just thought I would pass it along :)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Menu Plan Monday: Bring on the HEAT !!

I am not sure if its a craving or the fact that I am willing to try anything to help this baby find "the light", but I am craving spicy!! I found several diabetic, healthy recipes that promise the spice that I need and I am excited to try them!!! I hope they are as good as they sound....happy eating, y'all!!!

Monday: Sloppy joes with cheese, mixed veggies

Tuesday: 3 alarm chili, salad

Wednesday: Buffalo tenders, green beans, baked fries

Thursday: Leftover night...BIG mama is not cookin!

Friday: Pizza night!

Sunday: Quesedillas with green pepper, onions and cheese, re fried beans

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Pregnancy makes you crazy

Since this blog is my therapy I would like to just get some things off my chest. Mostly some crazy things that this pregnancy has made me do...

** Wake up in the middle of the night unable to sleep because some things have been bugging me. So what do I do? I make of list of people to call the next day to tell them all the things that they are doing that bug me....and then I actually do it. Yikes!

** Re- paper and organize every single cabinet and shelf in my kitchen in a week.

** Put a giant anaconda shaped pillow between me and my love at night so that I throw my arms, belly and legs over it. Leaving him exactly 4 inches to sleep....like he is in a coffin. (I may have squinted my eyes at him, daring him to say one word but I'll never talk.)

** I have the worst case of non filtered verbal vomit a prego has ever seen. If it runs through my mind, it slides out my mouth. Often with me slamming my hand over my mouth in disbelief that I just said what I said.

** Deciding I need to tear out my pantry and totally reorganize it, go through 25 totes of kids clothes and pack away my winter clothes.....3 days before I have 40 people come over for my son's birthday party. No pressure.

** Go through 2 whole days of enduring kidney stones because I had stuff to do.

** Getting mad at hubs because he had the audacity to not have kidney stones and a pregnant belly and he was whistling. I started to get out both the big shovel and hefty bags.....it was a close call that day.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Resurrection Rolls

I love the idea of making these rolls at Easter time! It really is a physical reminder that the tomb is empty!!!! (Kids seem to love them too) I especially like a recipe like this since its store bought crescent rolls and this pregnant, contracting, kidney stone dropping mama is all about easy :) Ii hope you enjoy them this resurrection Sunday!!

1 (10 ounce) can refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
8 large marshmallows
1/4 cup melted butter
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons white sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Lightly grease a baking sheet.

Separate crescent rolls into individual triangles.

In a small bowl, mix together cinnamon and sugar.

Dip a marshmallow into melted butter, then roll in sugar mixture. Place marshmallow into the center of a dough triangle. Carefully wrap the dough around the marshmallow. Pinch the seams together tightly to seal in marshmallow as it melts. Place on a baking sheet. Repeat.

Bake in a preheated oven until golden brown, about 15 minutes.

Find the original recipe here !

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Menu plan for the week!

I must admit that this weekend has put me through ringer! I had my sons 5th birthday extravaganza, hospitalized with multiple kidney stones and having contractions like crazy. You can imagine my enthusiasm for cooking at this point. :) But......my family still insists on eating. (They are needs in that way.. ) so the menu planning continues. Its just we are keeping things as stress free and simple as possible. So here it is...happy eating y'all!!!

Monday: Leftover Monday- mama is tired.

Tuesday: Club sandwiches and homemade chicken noodle soup (from freezer)

Wednesday: Grilled marinated chicken, salad and baked potatoes

Thursday: Ravioli lasagna (frozen from previously), spinach salad, garlic bread

Friday: Pizza Night!

Saturday: Grilled Delmonico steak, corn on the cob, steamed broccoli

Sunday: Ham and fancy Easter Fixins (That I did not have to cook!)- HE IS RISEN !!!!!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Keeping under the sink, under control!

In keeping with my nesting theme, I thought I would share how I got under my kitchen sink under control. I had everything....well but the sink under there ! :) (Some of the stuff, I wonder how in the world it got there!!! )

I found this 3 pack of baskets at Walmart for $2. I then divided my hand soaps, sponges, dishwasher detergent, dish soaps, gloves and anything else I might need.

It works for me because it stays neat and I can pull the whole thing out if need be....and that works for this crazy mama!!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Menu Plan Monday: Recipes under 20 minutes!

I have a confession to make. The closer I get to birthin this baby.....the less I want to cook. I usually love to cook but these days I am just not feeling it! Which would be fine if I didn't have to eat perfectly balanced due to the gestational diabetes. ~sigh~ So, I have made it my quest to find some EASY diabetic/healthy recipes that won't leave me tired or more importantly, grumpy! I hope you enjoy...happy eating y'all!!

Monday: Stuffed burgers, salad, corn on the cob

Tuesday: Chicken Tacos, re fried beans

Wednesday: Leftover night- yeah!!!

Thursday: Pork kabobs with fresh veggies, green beans, tomato salad

Friday: Pizza and salad night!

Saturday: Tequila honey shrimp, sauteed summer squash and zucchini, brown rice

Sunday: Beef roast, roasted Brussel sprouts and carrots, salad

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Works for me Wednesday: Keeping bakeware organized

I am in the midst of hot and heavy nesting. I know this baby will not care that I have re-lined all the cabinets in the kitchen and gotten rid of the Tupperware without matching lids, but somehow the need drives me on.

I have a cabinet for all things baking. It frequently gets cluttered with measuring cups, spoons and tools. (It always seems to happen when I am in the middle of baking something too :( )

While in this most recent nesting kick, I have found the best solution for this.

I used hooks to hang both the measuring cups and spoons. They are out of the way and very easily assessable. And that totally works for me !!!!

For more great WFMW ideas visit We are That Family!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

Hey all !!! I am still trying new diabetic recipes and I have not tried one that my family and I have not loved!! I may just stick with this new way of eating. I have included a new one I want to try. :) I hope y'all have a yummy week!

Monday: Club sandwiches, green beans, carrot sticks with dip

Tuesday: Spicy linguine with chicken, salad

Wednesday: Stuffed green peppers

Thursday: Leftover buffet...if its not movin.....

Friday: Pizza night!

Saturday: Steak kabobs with peppers, mushrooms, onions, over brown rice

Sunday: BBQ ribs, lemon broccoli stir fry, corn on the cob