Monday, February 28, 2011

Menu Plan Monday 2/28/11

We had a busy weekend! :)

My husband started working from home on Thursday.  Now his office will be put to good use on a daily basis.
Then that evening was Upward practice.  I am an assistant coach to one of the cheerleading squads and Emeri is an assistant coach to another cheerleading squad.

Friday evening 2 of my nieces spent the night.  Then on Saturday morning we had Upward games followed by some photography practice that afternoon.  The 4 girls and I had a blast and found a couple new spots in town.
Saturday evening my girls went to my Sister's house and stayed all night.  (the girls had a blast being together all weekend) While hubby and I enjoyed a dinner date to Red Lobster. Yum!

Then on Sunday we went to my Mom's for a cookout.  It was a super fun and busy weekend.

Last weeks menu went very well.  It helps me so much more just to plan when we will eat at home and when we will eat out. It keeps me on track and definitely saves money.  When I don't plan this way I find that I convince myself to get take out much more often.

Now on to this weeks menu:

Breakfast options:  Cold Cereal, Eggs, Oatmeal, Fresh Fruit, Yogurt

Lunch options:  PB&J, Grilled Cheese, fresh fruit, fresh veggies, applesauce, yogurt, cheese, crackers


Monday:  Black Beans and Rice

Tuesday:  Mexican Soup (instead of beef I will be shredding 2 chicken breast halves)

Wednesday:  Spaghetti

Thursday:  Brown Rice & Lentil Casserole

Friday:  Pizza

Saturday:  Grilled Cheese and Salad

Sunday:  Sandwiches, fruit and veggies

**All meals will be served with fresh veggies and possibly fresh fruit.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Pink Cloud Cake was a Hit!

Even if I didn't exactly make it right.... well I almost made it right but I had a couple minor glitches.  I mostly followed the original recipe however I only had one bag of frozen strawberries and when I bought jello I accidentally got 2 strawberry and 1 raspberry! Oops!

Even with a couple mishaps the end result was great!  It made a nice little treat to end our Valentines family dinner in.  Everyone loved it and let's just say that it didn't survive the night.  ;)

Did any of you try it? Make it Yours @ My Backyard Eden

Monday, February 21, 2011

Menu Plan Monday 2/21/11

In this weeks menu we are trying to use up items that we have on hand because we are in the process of going organic! We do not have a huge stock of food, it's actually relatively small, but I cannot just afford to get rid of everything non-organic.  So instead we are going to work our way through what we have on hand and slowly start bringing in organic until we our 100% organic.

This past friday was my off week in shopping, the week I only pick up a few things, but I did get a large container of organic baby spinach, fresh organic broccoli, a 5lb bag of organic oranges, organic milk and organic peanut butter.

So here is this weeks menu:

Breakfasts:  Cold cereal, oatmeal, eggs, fruit

Lunches:  PB&J, Grilled Cheese, yogurt, fresh fruit and/or veggies


Monday:  Eggs, Turkey Bacon, Toast, Fruit

Tuesday:  Mexican Rice, Fruit, Salad

Wednesday:  Crockpot Chicken, Saffron Rice, Corn

Thursday:  Gortons Beer Battered Fish Fillets, Mac & Cheese, Green Beans

Friday:  Pizza, Nieces staying the night!

Saturday:  Date Night!

Sunday:  Free For All

Image Credit

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A Photo Birthday Gift

This was a super frugal but super special birthday gift!

A few weeks ago I took Jonah and her best buddy out for a practice photo shoot.  We had so much fun and ended up with alot of great pictures. 

Knowing that her buddies birthday was just around the corner we found out which photos were her favorites and I had them printed.  I got her the 2 8X10's and the 5X7 in the picture above.  

For the 2 8X10's I used frames from this purchase and I didn't frame the 5X7.  This gift was a huge hit.  Not only was Jonah's best buddy thrilled but her Mom was too.  :) giveaways

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Our Tennessee Christmas Vacation: Ober Gatlinburg

After spending a little while in Pigeon Forge we headed on to Gatlinburg. We stopped on the side of the road by this beautfiul creek and took some pictures.  It was just so lovely and serene down there with mountains all around.

Our plans were to check out the sites in Gatlinburg then to go up the mountain.  I personally had never been and I am not sure what I was expecting however I am pretty sure I imagined it differently than how it turned out.

As we drove into Gatlinburg it was packed.  People were everywhere and the sidewalks were so close to the car.  I have been to downtown Chicago before and have walked the streets however for whatever reason this seemed different.  I was pretty stressed by the time we actually found a place to park and walked to the Aerial Tramway to Ober Gatlingburg.

We paid and got in line and at this point it sank in that I was about to get on what looked like a subway car with a whole bunch of people but we were going up a mountain.  

Let's just say I didn't like it at all.  We did make it up to the first stop where the shops and skiing and ice skating were.  Then my hubby showed me where we could go up to the scenic lookout.  We stood there for awhile as I contemplated whether or not I thought I could actually do this.  I didn't think I was scared of heights, I have ridden so many roller coasters but this was different.

I finally agreed since Emeri was dying to go up. She didn't get to go when hubby and Jonah went on a church function the year before and visited Ober Gatlinburg.
So up we went.

I didn't like this ride up to the lookout at all.  On the way up Emeri rode with me and Jonah rode with hubby.

We made it to the top and by then it was getting dark.  I personally just wanted to get off the mountain.  The ride down was worse than the ride up, at least for me.   
The girls however were not phased at all.  :)

Once we made it back to the first level we had to wait in a huge line for 1 1/2 hours to get off the mountain.  Let's just say that I was totally stressed out by that point.  :)  The girls had a blast and I did live even though I was not happy at all.  

I don't think I will be asking to head back to Gatlinburg anytime soon.  I thnk maybe we will head back to Destin next time!  :)

Monday, February 7, 2011

Menu Plan Monday 2/7/11

Well last week I didn't have a menu plan and I really wish I had written one out.  I didn't write it over the weekend so I planned on doing it Monday morning.  On Monday I woke up with a headache which only proceeded to get worse as I began doing my morning routine.  By mid morning my head was killing me and my vision was blurred, I had a migraine.  So I shut of the computer, closed the curtains, turned off the lights, took some Excedrin migraine and laid down.  The headache did not go away!

My head hurt until I went to sleep that night.  I didn't write out a plan and on Monday I texted my hubby to bring home Subway for dinner.  On Tuesday I woke up feeling fine.  I was gone all day long.  Hubby and I got home just in time to get the girls and head to the County Spelling Bee.  Jonah our youngest got runner up at the Spelling Bee and afterward my Mom went with us to eat at a local Mexican Restaurant for dinner.

Wednesday we had sandwiches and Thursday I made shredded chicken tacos.  Friday was mine and my hubbies 17th Anniversary.  We did not get to go out that night and I didn't want to cook so we had "free for all" (everyone eats anything they want).  Saturday my hubby and I had our date and we ate at Red Lobster and on Sunday we went to our friends for a Super Bowl Party.

So what about this week?  Well my hubby is out of town for a few days. So here is what we are looking at.

Breakfasts:  Oatmeal, eggs, toast, fruit

Lunches:  PB&J, Grilled Cheese, yogurt, fruit, pretzels, granola bar

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday:  Hubby is gone so the girls and I are eating easy.  My plan is sandwiches, soup, fruit, veggies.

Thursday:  Baked Chicken Breast

Friday: Pizza

Saturday:  Homemade Waffles with Strawberries and Whipped Cream (this did not get made last time)

Sunday:  Sandwiches

Dinners will include fruit, veggie!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Our Tennesse Christmas Vaction: Pigeon Forge

Sorry I hadn't finished this yet, for some reason in my mind I thought I had.  On our last day in Tennessee we got up early and headed to Pigeon Forge. During the drive from Crossville I got car sick for the first time in my life.  All of the hills and curves were just way to much for me.  I sat in the car with my eyes closed and head laid back for most of that ride.

We only had a short while to visit in Pigeon Forge because we were also planning to visit OberGatlinburg that day.   In Pigeon Forge we checked out the sites and were in awe off how there were so many things you could do there.

We went on the Jurassic Jungle Boat Ride which the girls thought was pretty fun.  It was similar to something you would ride at a theme park.  You get in a boat in the dark and it drives around inside this large builiding and every little bit dinosaurs jump out at you.

Here are a few of the creepy dinosaurs you would meet on this ride.

Just for fun the girl posed with the manequins outside the ride.

After we braved the jungle we headed over to Corky's BBQ for lunch. We Love Corky's but we do not have one anywhere near us so we go there whenever we have a chance, which isn't too often.  It was delicious as always and way more food than I could dream of eating in one sitting.

After lunch we got ready to head to Ober-Gatlinburg. This part of the trip was a little more than I bargained for. 

Next time I will share about how I barely survived going up the mountain.  ;)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Hot Amazon Deal on the Entire Deadwood Series

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of HBOseries. All opinions are 100% mine.

You may or may not know that we do not have satellite.  We used to have satellite for what seemed like forever but when we started revamping our budget and trying to save money we dropped it.  So in order to get our television or movie fix we rely on DVD's as well as being able to stream shows. 

We have a ton of DVD's, both movies and television series.  I really prefer to watch television through DVD where there are no commercials involved and I can watch whenever I want to.   However I only want to purchase DVD's when I can get a good deal on them. 

Today only, 2/3/2011, will be running and unbelievable Gold Box deal on the entire Deadwood series.  I love to be able to buy my favorite shows by the season but a hot deal on the whole series is so much better. If you desire all things Wild West this is a deal you should definitely check out.

When I think about the old West  the first person that comes to mind is Jesse James. He is a legend that will not be soon forgotten.  Despite the fact that he was a pretty dangerous individual he was still a charmer and loved by many.  Although I can enjoy watching shows set in the old west I prefer the modern conveniences we have today and don't think I could possibly live in that era. 

So tell me guys, are you a fan of the Wild West?  Are you a fan of Deadwood?  Do you think you could live in that era?

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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

How We Got Rid of the Fish Smell in Our Basement

Image by How Can I Recycle This

This last week has not really went as plannned.  We have a large upright deep freeze in the basement and I love it.  It is digital and has buttons across the front of the door which turn it on/off, change the temperature, lock it, etc.

Apparently someone accidentally turned it off.  Yeah the freezer was off and I had no clue until one week ago today I went down to the basement and just noticed the little screen on the front said "OFF".  Uggh!  I really did not want to open the freezer.  Thankfully it wasn't very full but it held a turkey, 3 chickens, 4 rolls of ground turkey, 4 rolls of ground sausage, 5 packages of bacon and a huge package of FISH!

I threw everything out and began cleaning with a mixture of hot water, soap and bleach.  I scrubbed out the freezer, I scrubbed the concrete floor underneath and all around it.  I did this multiple times but as the day wore on the smell of fish seemed to be getting stronger.

Since I do my laundry in the basement I thought the smell had gotten into the dirty and clean clothes that were in the basement so I started washing everything and then taking it straight upstairs to be folded and put away.

By the time my husband got home from work it seemed as the the smell was permeating through the house but worse in the basment.  I scrubbed the area down one more time and went to bed for the night.

The next day I started with the bleach, soap and water.  I had windows open in the house and fans in the windows.  It was so cold here and I had the heat cranked up so I wouldn't freeze.  I finished washing all the clothes in the basement.

After scrubbing multiple time with the bleach/soap/water solution I did some googling.  I came across a forum discussing power outages and meat/fish odor.  (cannot seem to find it now) One of the tips I read was washing the area with vinegar and water.  So this I did!  I made hot vinegar water and washed down the entire area, let it dry and then repeated 2 more times.  Another tip was to pour coffee grounds on a plate or pie pan and put in the freezer while it is off and shut the door.  This is supposed to absorb the odor.

Because the smell seemed to have lingered all over the basement and up into the house I put out like 8 or 9 plates of coffee.  Most of them I put around the basement and then I put one in the kitchen, one in the living room and one in my bedroom.  By the next day you couldn't even smell it upstairs at all anymore and the basement was drastically better.  I left the coffee out for a couple days and guess worked! :)

Everything I used we had on hand however I didn't want to use my good coffee just to soak up nasty fish odor. So I ran to Fred's which is like a Dollar General Store and got a big can of generic coffee for $5. Still super frugal!

Have you ever had a freezer disaster?  How did you remedy it?

Wallet-Friendly Wednesday