Archives for May 2010

Menu Plan Monday

For the next 2 weeks, I’ll be planning my menu around 1 or 2 people. My goal is to put some meals in the freezer for the summer. With some great finds at a local store, I’m now the new owner of a 14 cup Cuisinart food processor, a 4 cup Cuisinart food processor and a few J. A. Henckles knives! I got a great deal on them (under $50 one has a scratch, only 3 knives with the set, and I’m missing a couple blades), and I’m so excited!

I”ll definitely be at the farmers market this week looking for fresh tomatoes, I’m in a great need of salsa this week. Some things I will be doubling to freeze, other things I’ll only be using as a freezer meal, I’ll mark which ones are which.

Monday: Grilled Fajita Chicken ( I will keep about a cup of this out for my dinner, and freeze the excess )

Tuesday: Chicken Noodle Soup (I will be making stock this day to freeze, and keeping a little out for my soup)

Wednesday: Ribeye Steaks (DH may or may not be home this day, if not I’ll slice his steak for salads and freeze)

Thursday: Smoked Spiraled Sliced Ham (I’ll eat a few slices of this for lunches and maybe dinner, the rest will be divided and frozen)

Friday: Carribean Style Pork Chops (I will be making the marinade, and freezing the entire package)

Saturday: Stuffed Buffalo Chicken (I’ll double this recipe and have one for dinner with friends, and one for the freezer)

Sunday: Roast Chicken with Red Potatoes (I’ll be slicing and dicing the leftovers for sandwiches and salads)

I also plan on making cinnamon rolls and dinner rolls as soon as I find a good recipe.

This week is dedicated to packing your freezer with great family meals. I’ll be bringing you great tips throughout the week so don’t forget to subscribe. Do you have any recipes that you would like to share that are great for the freezer? Maybe you have a great mix to keep in the pantry for muffins? Add a comment below, or contact me using the contact form and I’ll be happy to add a link to your site in an upcoming post this week. I’ll also be sharing things on our Facebook Page.

Ponderings of Recent Days

I sit here tonight all alone. Its been a really long time since I’ve not had someone at home with me 24/7. my husband flew out on Sunday for a job. We don’t know how long he will be gone. School is out, and the kids left for their dad’s today. Earlier than I had expected, I’m alone.

Its time for bed, and all of the troubles of my life come rushing in. A conversation with my 12 year old son echos in my head. He doesn’t want to be home schooled again. He says that I’m not a teacher and I’m the reason he’s behind now. A blow to my self esteem if there has ever been one.

afternoon tea in the sun

Creative Commons License photo credit: Melissa Gray

Falling back into bad habits.

I’ve been spending a lot of time doing research, learning new things and generally not being domestic what-so-ever. I love learning, its a wonderful addiction. But yes, its an addiction. I have fabric sorted by color on my sofa that needs a home, a couple baskets of laundry that need to be folded and put away. At least 2 loads of my own clothes the be washed, not to mention linens. Geez! My habits are horrible!

I’ve been sleeping late, and staying up very late. I’ve never been a night owl, but for the last 18 months, I can’t sleep normal hours. I end up sleeping 4 hours, getting up for a few hours, and back to bed for another 4. No, its not conventional. I won’t even mention my midnight snacking. ๐Ÿ™

Unreachable Goals

I set goals all the time. I just never seem to reach those goals. Am I being to hard on myself? I think not. I really don’t like goals. I love how others can use them, but they just don’t work for me. When I write out a to do list, if there are more than 3 things on it, just don’t worry about me getting half of it done! It’s horrible isn’t it?!

I really want to be a WAHM, and so far I’m loving what I’m learning on a new WAHM Forum that I’m on. I get a lot of support, and the ladies there are so friendly, its like I’ve been there forever. Making enough money to stay at home with my kids is my goal, but how much is that exactly…I really don’t know. What would it take for you to stay at home with your kids?

Creative Commons License photo credit: delphaber

Is there really balance?

I’ve struggled to find balance since I became a mom. I’m not sure that balance exists. What I’m coming to realize is that instead of balancing work and play, you must join them. Add the kids to the work, and add mom to the play. Let the kids help with your WAHM projects. Teach them what you are doing, so that they can do it also. Work with your husband on what he enjoys, and find a way to use that time for yourself. Does this make sense at all? There is no balance, there is just life and how you live it.

Save Money and Green Your Beauty Routine – Make Your Own Natural Skin Care Products!

When many of us become pregnant or have a new baby, we became more interested in using only safe, natural products on ours and baby’s skin. We learn that many skin care products contain questionable, untested ingredients. But if you start shopping around for natural and organic alternatives, you find they are way out of the budget. What’s a frugal mom to do? One suggestion is to make your own!

Making your own natural skin care products is inexpensive and fun. It’s also a way to green your beauty routine, since homemade products create less packaging and waste, and it’s easy to create them in bulk. Homemade skin care products are also great for gift giving.

Here are a few easy recipes to get you started. For more, search my blog or download my free ebook at

Papaya Peel

(Fruit acids exfoliate and reduce fine lines and wrinkles)

* 1 cup fresh pineapple
* 1/2 cup fresh papaya
* 1 tbsp. honey

Puree pineapple and papaya together in blender.

Add honey and mix to create a paste.

Apply to the face and leave on for 20 minutes, then rinse

Oatmeal Mask/Scrub

(Oats are soothing for sensitive skin, and the honey is a powerful humectant – it pulls moisture from the air)

* 1/2 cup uncooked oats
* 1 tbsp. honey

Mix oats and honey to form a paste. Massage into face and neck. Leave on face for 10 to 15 minutes and rinse off.

For an exfoliating mask, grind the oats finely in a blender, food processor or spice grinder.

Mix with water to make a paste, apply and gently scrub. Rinse and moisturize.

Simple Sugar Scrub

(Great for especially dry areas like your feet. In a pretty jar with a ribbon, sugar or salt scrubs are awesome as gifts)

* 1 tbsp. sugar
* A few drops of olive oil

Put sugar in a small bowl. Mix in a few drops of olive oil at a time until a paste is formed.

Massage into skin and rinse with warm water. Kosher salt may be substituted for the sugar to make a salt scrub.

Under Eye Circle Eraser

(Potatoes contain an enzyme called catecholase. Itโ€™s actually used as a skin lightener in cosmetics, so why not skip the expense and extra ingredients make it yourself?)

* 1 potato
* Piece of cheesecloth

Peel the potato and mash thoroughly in a food processor.

Place in cheesecloth and hold under each eye for 15 to 20 minutes, taking care to keep juice out of eyes. Rinse away residue.

Some of my favorite natural beauty treatments involve no recipe at all. For example, coconut oil is my favorite moisturizer and hair conditioner. It’s also antifungal and antibacterial. A dab of coconut oil (believe it or not!) on a blemish can dry it up quickly.

From Cleopatra’s milk baths to Sophia Loren’s olive oil treatments, natural beauty ingredients have been used for thousands of years by women all over the world. Why not try some of them out for yourself?

Carrie Lauth is a mom whose blog and podcast aim to educate families on natural living. Listen to her show at: Natural Moms Talk Radio

Menu Plan Monday

This week is gonna be one of those weeks where I try to keep busy. My husband is leaving on a plane this evening, and we don’t know how long he’ll be gone. I’m not looking forward to this one bit, but he needs the work.

I have a new project lined up for this week, its called Once a Week Cooking.

I’ve done once a month cooking (OAMC), well I never did it for the whole month because its soo overwhelming. I think that it took about 3 hours to do 5 meals last time, and then I was so proud of those meals, it took a couple months to actually decide that it was ok to eat them. Have you ever done this? That’s why I picked OAWC. I”ll let you know how it goes.

Stay at Home Summer Camp planning

One of the things that I want to start this week is working on a Summertime menu with Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner (or supper for those in the south) and snacks. It will be a couple weeks before the kids are all here (or any kids are here after Friday), so I have a lot of time to plan for our Mess Hall for Stay at Home summer camp.

Monday: Pancakes with Bacon

Tuesday: Chicken and Dumplings (cause I keep getting sidetracked when I start to make them)

Wednesday: I’ll be taking a Chocolate Pound Cake to church.

Thursday: First Day Out of School! Yippee! Homemade Pizza! woohoo!

Friday: Its just me ๐Ÿ™ I’ll prolly eat left overs.

Saturday: I need cooking for 1 recipes, anyone have any answers?

Sunday: Grilled Chicken Salad

Today’s Tip: Super Cheap Pizza Stone

Pizza stones can be super expensive, especially the nice thick ones. I don’t think that those thinner ones work nearly as well as a thicker pizza stone. The thinner ones are available just about everywhere these days, but where do you find the nice ones?Big Green Egg Pizza Stone

For me this is the best pizza stone: Big Green Egg Baking Stone – Large It’s expensive at , but its worth it if you have that kinda money to spend on it. The quality is outstanding. I sold these things for 10 years, and never did I have one returned, I never heard of any problems with one, and to top it off most people wanted more than one. Yep even at that price!

If this is a little out of your price range, and you are making more than one pizza at a time I have a tip for that. Go to your local home and garden store. Buy large pieces, 12″ x 12″ minimum of unglazed ceramic tile. Check out that link above to get an idea of what it should look like (but most likely it will be sold square not round and that’s ok). These tiles normally run you less than 2 bucks! Yep, you could buy…let me get my calculator…..22 of these things for the price of that nice that I linked to. Now I would be careful not to get a red clay tile, but make sure that it is ceramic.

Menu Plan Monday

This morning I woke up to a call that came 30 minutes before my alarm was scheduled to buzz. I really thought something was wrong. It was, but nothing that serious, just about a sick kid . That’s 2 kids in 2 days. Hubby and I were sick, but thought it was something different. Oh well, life goes on. That being said, I’m sure that we will have more kids sick this week and will plan on making a huge stock pot of chicken broth (which will be needed for Loaded Potato Soup also).

Thanks to my Facebook Friends for helping with my menu this week, I was totally lost when I woke up. Also a big thanks to Amy at MomAdvice for sharing this totally cool music streaming find, Stereo Mood. Uses moods to help pick appropriate music for your pleasure. Pretty cool, right! Ok, on with the show.

Monday: Chili, grilled cheese sandwiches
Tuesday: Homemade Pizza (I promise to share pictures and recipes this week, ok! – remind me if I don’t get them up Wednesday)
Wednesday: Chicken Parmesean, salad, homemade bread (from the pizza crust recipe too!)
Thursday: Grilled Chicken Salad with Loaded Potato Soup
Friday: Pork Tenderloin, steamed broccoli and homemade Mac N Cheese

For snacks this week: Granola Bars, Chocolate Chip Cream Cheese filled Chocolate Brownies (that’s a mouthfull!!), and gonna try these Giant Breakfast Cookies. (I will be reporting back on my culinary adventures this week)

Stick around by subscribing to my feed or Facebook “like” page I will be working on a Pantry List, Freezer list and Fridge list, to keep an idea of what we need to keep them well stocked. I’ll be sharing my forms! (yep I’m still compiling information on this, if you have a list that you would like to share, contact me)

Menu Plan Monday

This week I’m cleaning out the pantry, fridge and freezer so I hope that there will not be a run to buy groceries for anything other than milk between now and the end of the week. These are meals that I know we will have this week, just from what I have on hand. Do you keep a well stocked pantry, so that you could eat for several days without running out to get ingredients?

Monday: Hot Dogs, Mac and Cheese

Tuesday: Chicken and Dumplings

Wednesday: Vegetable Beef Soup

Thursday: Grilled Salmon

Friday: Grilled Chicken, Pasta Salad

Saturday: Grilled Hamburgers with homemade buns

Sunday: Fried Chicken, Potato Salad

Of course I will be adding side dishes from things made out of the pantry. I will use up some of the dried fruits and cereal into Granola Bars. I may even be baking cupcakes, and sticking them in the freezer for a rainy day. I will add an update next week on MPM, to how I did with emptying my pantry.

Stick around by subscribing to my feed or Facebook “like” page I will be working on a Pantry List, Freezer list and Fridge list, to keep an idea of what we need to keep them well stocked. I’ll be sharing my forms!!

Freschetta Pizza – $1.00 Off Coupon

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

We we were given the chance to try out Freschetta FlatBread , and boy did we love it! Normally on Friday night we make our own pizza, and even though that’s our favorite sometimes its just not happening. Freschetta offered us some cool stuff in return for a reveiw, and just let me say…we love cool stuff almost as much as we love pizza so how could we say no?!

Freschetta Flatbread Pizza is awesome! I’m not Italian or anything, but the Spanish blood in me loved the flavors dancing around in my mouth. Not all frozen pizzas are made eqaul, but this one ROCKS! The kids loved it, my husband loved and if there would have been any crumbs left, I’m sure the pups would have loved it.

Right now you can get 1.00 off Frechetta Flatbread Pizza. (I’m enjoying all of these deals I”ve been bringing you lately, have you?) Go get your coupon, and see if you love this stuff as well as we have here on the farm.

So what is your favorite Frozen Pizza for Friday nights?

Visit my sponsor: Freschetta Pizza

Lookie Who I found!

I’ve been reading a few new to me blogs, and loving them. Go check them out and tell them I sent ya!

Field Trips for All

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

Last Friday, my two son’s were both on field trips for their history classes. I went with my 4th grader to the Alabama state capital, Montgomery. We had a blast really, although it was a really long trip. The kids learned a lot from this little adventure, and I’m so glad that the teachers arranged it so well.

I remember several of my field trips over the years. I took a similar one to our capital when I was my son’s age. We always learned new things. Once at the Sea Lab, we learned exactly what the lens in your eye is like, by dissecting a squid. I love our area, because its so rich in history and wild life, and field trips always helped with that.

Field Trips For All is the first effort from the Lunchables Teamโ€™s new initiative called Project Potential. Aimed at empowering kids with opportunities to help them reach their full potential, Project Potential will provide enriching experiences kids might otherwise not have.

According to a 2009 report from The American Association of School Administrators the number of school districts eliminating field trips will increase by 56% Thatโ€™s more than 30,000 schools!!!

Go nominate your favorite class at Lunchables.

Lunchables is giving away 50 field trips…check this one out:

Go nominate your favorite classroom, I’m going to nominate my daughter’s 2nd grade class how about you?

Click Here

Visit my sponsor: Field Trips For All