Sunday, June 28, 2009

Meal Planning

Last week's menu plan got all messed up. Hopefully this week will go more smoothly. It's going to be a crazy busy week though. 4th of July stuff, plumbing stuff, roofing repairs, etc.

Monday (clean house, clean out fridge, make croutons)
Lunch - peanut butter crackers, cantaloupe (leftovers)
Dinner - Baked Potatoes & veggies

Tuesday (bake bread)
Lunch - garden salad with homemade croutons, strawberries (leftovers)
Dinner - pasta with veggies

Wednesday (craziness)
Lunch - Grilled cheese, mangoes/cantaloupe
Dinner - Italian pasta salad with tons of fresh veggies (leftovers)

Lunch - leftover pasta salad
Dinner - quiche, salad

Lunch - leftover quiche
Dinner - pepperoni pizza, salad

burgers, hot dogs, salad, fresh fruit, dessert

-hot dog and hamburger buns

Friday, June 26, 2009

I *heart* SwagBucks!!!

Okay, so maybe I'm a little weird, but I am so excited!! I've been using SwagBucks for a while now, running a search or two on it every day. And I finally turned my points in for Amazon giftcodes...$25 in Amazon gift codes to be exact. They showed up today in my inbox, ready to be redeemed and I went over to Amazon to browse around.

I have wanted an immersable blender since last fall when we made pear butter and I borrowed my friend Michelle's. I put it on my Christmas list and everything. But there never seems to be enough spare cash to get one.

On they had the $55.00 Cuisinart one for $29.95 and free shipping! So I was able to get a blender that was far nicer than one I would have gotten for myself under normal conditions and I was able to get it for $4.95 shipped after my swagbucks gift codes!!!

I LOVE SwagBucks! Want to join? It's so easy. Go here to signup: SwagBucks (this link will add me as your referral.)

How does it work? You just run your searches through instead of Google or another search engine and you win SwagBucks that can be redeemed for all sorts of prizes and giftcards. You can even install the SwagBucks toolbar so you can have the search box always available at the top of your window.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Right Now

Being inspired by Ali Edwards to blog right now.

Autumn and I have been cleaning her room today and re-organized her kitchen. I have to say that in now looks 10 times better than my real kitchen.

We even got out the label maker to assign baskets and bins to her pretend food, dishes, pots and pans. We just got finished and she's super proud of her work!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Today's Grocery Trip

Didn't really need much for this week, but had a lot of soon-expiring coupons and a great deal on the only hot dogs I like. :0) Stocked up for the summer.

We do still need lettuce and milk, but I'll have DH pick those up later in the week.

Total after taxes, coupons, and rebate: $16.18
Total saved: $80.40

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Domino's American Legands Pizza Party - Part 1

Today was the day for our Domino's American Legends Pizza HouseParty! It was HOT today (heat index was 106), so I was really glad we planned on playing in the sprinkler/kiddie pool. :) Despite the heat, I think we all had a good time and the pizza was great!

Votes for favorite new pizza were pretty evenly divided between Cali Chicken Bacon Ranch and Philly Cheese Steak.
Best part? DD and MIL do NOT eat pizza. And they both enjoyed the Philly Cheese Pizza. DD wouldn't try it at first, but when I told her she had to taste it, she gobbled it down and begged for more! MIL said that it was good because it was more like eating a sandwich on a pizza.
Here are some pics from our party. :)
Pizza's Here!!!
Kiddie Table

DD actually eating pizza!!! She loved the Philly Cheese Steak.
No issues with pizza eating here!
Say "pizza" :)

Domino's American Legends Pizza Party - Part 2

Coupons courtesy of Domino's and Zobmondo games!

Printed off kids activity sheets and crayons/markers. These ended up going home with guests, as the kids just wanted to stay in the pool and sprinkler!

Trying to stay cool in the shade with popsicles and fudgesicles.

Domino's American Legends Pizza Party Photos - Part 3

Friday, June 19, 2009

Domino's House Party

So...if you follow me on twitter or facebook, you already know all about it, but if you don't...

I was chosen to host a Domino's American Legends House Party! And it's tomorrow! We're going really relaxed and low-key. Decided to have a lunch, instead of dinner, since it's mostly moms and kids coming. Pizza, salad, watermelon, popsicles, and drinks.

And it's going to be around 100 without the heat index, so we're also going to be setting up fans in the carport and a sprinkler for the kids. Thinking I may need to fill the kiddie pool up too!

We got a party pack including a $75 gift card to purchase American Legends pizzas (will probably be getting a couple plain ones too-picky kid), and I think it will be a lot of fun. :-)

This post making you hungry? Go here to order your own pizza: Domino's (And check out the pizza tracker-so cool!!!)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

This week's menu plan (pantry edition)

soooo...I'm trying to keep the grocery budget as tiny as possible this week, due to the fact that I did some unbudgeted spending and I have to buy some things for a party on Saturday.

breakfasts will be any of the following: cereal, oatmeal, toast, yogurt, fruit (whatever I find on markdown at the grocery store)

Tuesday (bake bread, make paneer)
-Lunch: loaded baked potatoes or peanut butter crackers and apples
-Dinner: grilled cheese with tomatoes and pickles on homemade oatmeal bread & carrot sticks

Wednesday (grocery shopping)
-Lunch: PB&J with sliced apples and carrot sticks
-Dinner: grilled paneer and veggie skewers with homemade flatbread or tortillas

-Lunch: vegetarian baked nachos with fresh salsa
-Dinner: pasta primavera with fresh veggies

-Lunch: grilled fish and sweet potatoes
-Dinner: brocolli beef skillet meal

-Lunch: pizza party with a big salad, drinks, and popsicles
-Dinner: leftovers

Groceries needed:
-markdown produce
-red leaf lettuce
-beverages for party
-paper plates for party
-ice for party

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Bye-Bye Stripes!

This room has been in a state of limbo for a while now. Once it was Autumn's nursery and we spent a LIFETIME measuring, taping off, and painting all these stripes.
Then, the window was knocked out and a couple doors put in when the addition was added. Autumn moved to the former master bedroom, and we got a new space.
No one really sees this space except us, so it's taken a while to get to.
The goal: office area for Matt as well as a space for the couponing/rebating to happen, and an area for shipping supplies for etsy/ebay/amazon sales when we get back into that.
Obviously, the stripes are not very condusive to actually working, so they had to go. They are being replaced by a simple pale gray, since there is no natural light in the room and we want to be able to see.

After looking at options for months, this will be Matt's new desk. Shelves to hold the printers, supplies, etc, and still a nice open desk area.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Hummus Recipe

Okay, I make this differently every single time I make it, but it always turns out good. This is one of Autumn's favorite foods when we go out to eat. It's hot down here and after a busy week, I decided on a no-cook dinner for tonight.

We'll basically be having apps from our favorite (no longer in business) restaurant. Homemade hummus, toasted pita bread and veggies for dipping, salad, greek olives. YUM!

So, tonight's hummus recipe...sorry, no actual measurements as I just dumped stuff in.

  • 2-6 cloves of garlic peeled and quartered
  • 1/3 cup or so of fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cans garbanzo beans (chick peas) rinsed
  • 1/2 - 2/3 cups tahini (sesame paste, the only pricey item in this recipe)
  • a couple tablespoons olive oil (optional)
  • a bit of water to help with blending, maybe a 1/3 cup?
  • a few dashes of ground cumin (optional)
  • salt to taste
  • fresh greek oregano, olive oil, ground black pepper or paprika for garnish (all optional)

-Put all the ingredients except water, salt, and garnish into blender. Begin blending and adding water bit by bit to work through all the ingredients. Add salt to taste. Blend some more until you get a consistent creamy consistency, scraping sides and stirring occasionally.

-Pour into containers and chill. Add olive oil, oregano, and pepper or paprika just before serving as garnish.

-This recipe makes a lot. You can keep in the fridge for up to a week or freeze. (But it never lasts long enough in our house for that)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

two years

Just found the picture of this same bed not long after I put it in. Yeah, definitely need to thin things out a bit.

Gardening Update - Part 5 - Finished...sort of

Had to snap a picture of one of the magnolia blossoms in the big tree out front. They're so gorgeous right now.

This is the big bed along the carport I put in two year ago. When I put it in there was a total of three canna plants. There are at least 60 now. Nothing has stopped this bed. I pretty much neglected it since putting it in since we have had drought watering restrictions, but it doesn't mind at all. Everything in it has thrived. Too much in fact, all the bulbs in here really need to be divided.

Roses are taller than the roof of the carport now.

Oregano has turned into a huge plant as well. No matter how much I use I can't keep up.

Gardening Update - Part 4 - New Plantings

These all look a little sad right now, as they're waiting to get established, but this is where the bulk of the work has been over the last few weeks. I've completely dug up these beds by hand and amended the soil and taken out all the old stuff and replanted. It has been incredibly hard intense work, but I'm hoping it will pay off by next year. We've already had butterlfies, bees, and a hummingbird visiting the new plantings. :-)

Gardening Update - Part 3

Autumn loves helping me plant, especially when it means she gets to play in the sprinkler in between. Her attention span only lasts a few minutes on any task, but she still loves playing in the dirt. Today we were adding mulch to the little beds I put in around the trees a couple years ago. We also planted some annuals in after mulching, but I don't think those made it into the pics.

Gardening Update - Veggies Part 2

This is the third raised bed I put in this year. This one obviously made of cinder blocks. Two more cages of tomatoes, more zucchini, more eggplant, a few sunflowers, a few carrots, LOTS of garlic, a big bunch of tarragon (thanks Michelle!)

There is also a large section of the garden not pictured that has blueberries and lots of random squash/pumpkins/vines growing.

Gardening Update - Veggies Part 1

It's been taking just about every moment of my time lately, so I thought I would add some updated pics.

Please ignore the weeds and stuff. I'm in the process of adding more boxes/newspaper/leaves to the areas between the beds to keep the grass and weeds down, so that's what all the messy stuff is that you see in the pics.

First, this is the strawberry/herb bed. LOTS of strawberries, but we have yet to get one to eat. The squirrels have gotten them all before us. See how big the rosemary has gotten? We use it frequently, but can't keep up. This was a baby plant three years ago.

The first raised bed I put in this year. Made out of old yard timbers we pulled from a neighbors' trash pile. Five types of heirloom tomatoes (started from free seed in stryrofoam cups using the winter sow method), Zucchini, a bunch of herbs, bell peppers, chard. The tomatoes are really getting big and I think just about all have baby tomatoes on them. The cages I use are 5 1/2 feet to 6 feet high and are homemade out of concrete reinforcing mesh.

Second raised bed I put in this year, also made from old yard timbers. four more cages of tomatoes, hot peppers (we used a lot), eggplant (a bunch), okra, a little baby basil. And a bag of grounds from Starbucks waiting to be added in. :-)

The other side of the same bed above. You can see some of the buckets I made into planters to hold overflow items. Mostly basil. Autumn also has a bucket with collards growing in it. The board across the bed is so I can get to the middle without stepping on stuff.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Oven-Fried Chili Chicken Recipe

Here's a link to the recipe for dinner tonight:

We also had Basmati rice, spinach, and fresh cherries-YUM.

Life With The Girl - Thumbsucking Edition

We've been going through a kind of traumatic time lately. A couple weeks ago, Autumn fell and nearly knocked one of her teeth out against a piece of furniture. She cut her gum pretty badly as well. The tooth tightened up again pretty quickly, but the gum has taken longer to heal.

As a result of the super-loose tooth, we put medical tape on her thumbs to try to keep them out of her mouth. You have to understand she sucks either one and one of them is in her mouth pretty much all the time. The tape has been a great reminder not to suck them.

And she hasn't. Not for the last couple weeks. Which I'm thankful for....

and also about to go crazy!

No sucking thumbs means its harder for her to go to sleep. And when she wakes up in the middle of the night (which inevitably least twice) she can't suck them to comfort herself back to sleep. Which means that she cries until she can think of something she has to tell me, then she screams her way to my room to tell me whatever it is.

Waking up several times a night to deal with a hysterical kid is really getting old.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Today's Publix Trip

Thankfully, Matt had Autumn tonight, because this one was really complex. 32 coupons and had to ring a raincheck 8 times as well. Also had to make sure I got just the right items in the right amounts to get a $10 rebate gift card back.

Total after coupons, rain checks, rebate, and taxes: $30.51

Total savings (not even counting clearance items): $102.44!!!

Not only that, but after adding that coffee to my accumul8 rewards account, I'm one bag away from a $25 visa gift card!!!
Would have saved even more, but I got several items without coupons.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Menu Planning

Things are so busy around here, we're going super simple this week. Breakfasts will be cereal, oatmeal, and/or waffles from the freezer.

Monday-(bake bread)
Lunch: PB&J, veggies
Dinner: brocolli beef meal from the freezer

Tuesday-(shopping day)
Lunch: penne with olive oil and veggies
Dinner: oven-fried chili chicken and salad

Lunch: BLTs and fresh fruit
Dinner: baked potatoes with toppings

Lunch: potato and egg skillet with toast
Dinner: leftover pasta from tuesday

Lunch: lemon pepper fish and roasted veggies
Dinner: hummus, pita, and veggies

Saturday-(paint office!)
Lunch: pasta with sauce from the freezer
Dinner: lentil soup with ham bone (lots of extra for freezer)

Lunch: lentil soup leftovers
Dinner: tacos with fresh salsa

Groceries Needed (we're running really low on fresh produce, so we'll have to buy a bunch)
-fresh ginger
-fresh green chilies
-fresh cilantro (not getting enough from the garden)
-parmesan cheese
-half and half

Monday, June 01, 2009