Monday, October 31, 2011

Menu Plan Monday


Time to bust out the crock pot! Mine has a permanent place on the counter nowadays. I am always on the lookout for a good crock pot recipe that my family will actually eat. I've been quite busy in the kitchen the last few weeks and it's time for me to chill. I'm going to let the crock pot be the rock star!

OH I did finally make those glowing green smoothies using the freezing method that I mention in my Window Wednesday-Food Edition. My did not turn out glowing, they looked more like baby food BUT they were delicious! The only problem was that after 20 minutes I had a blinding headache from it. I can only assume that the spinach had some type of preservative that my washing did not get rid of entirely. Such a bummer because I made 5 of them and I had to get rid of all of them. Anyone else experience this?? Any ideas on how to remedy? This is a fantastic way to get mega nutrition in and I would love to give it another go.

Speaking of nutrition...I have NEVER liked oatmeal. Well unless it's in a cookie. I want to like it! I know it's good for me but my taste buds reject it every time. I keep hearing about baked oatmeal recipes. These sound so good to me. Maybe because I'm thinking it will taste like a cookie. :) I found this peanut butter baked oatmeal recipe that I am going to make this weekend and try it out on my family. I'll let you know next week if it's really oatmeally or if it's like a big cookie. :)

Monday-Chicken Tenders in Crock pot w/mac & cheese & corn ***Family FAVE*** This is about as easy as it gets. My kids LOVE this meal. I buy two packages of chicken tenders and put it in the crock pot frozen with a bottle of BBQ sauce. I cook it on low all day.

Tuesday-Beef Hot Links w/peppers & onions-My hubby and I love spicy food! These are so hard for me to stop at one!! They are so flavorful though so at least one is really satisfying. I cook these babies on my grill pan which makes this one of the easiest and fastest meals that I make which makes it a Chillmoms FAVE.

Wednesday-Crock pot Lasagna ***Family FAVE*** my kids are not big meat eaters so this recipe has been great for us. I was afraid with the minimal ingredients it might be bland but it's quite the opposite. If I want to change it up, I add some mini turkey pepperonis which my kids love. I swear it comes out PERFECT. I'll serve it with some crusty bread and call it a night!

Thursday-Southwest Steak & Potato Soup in Crock pot & Grilled Cheese ***Nick's Pick***-I talked about this recipe in my Window Wednesday Autumn Edition. I am so looking forward to coming home to this delicious zippy soup next week when the weather dips down to BRRRRR!!

Friday-Out!

Saturday-Date night with hubby <3

Sunday-Freezer Pot Luck-Freezer Potluck (I got this from my PC lady's web page after I bought the large bar pan. You could do this with any cookie sheet OBVIOUSLY. I just liked the idea. Take all the remaining 'bits' of frozen food that have started to collect in your freezer; you know what I mean! The 5 French fries someone put back and the 6 chicken nuggets. Dump the contents of all of these bags on the Bar Pan. Bake at 425 for 18 to 20 minutes or until everything is golden brown. Get a spatula, scoop some on their plates and whatever they get, well, that's Potluck! Great way to clean the freezer AND feed a bunch of hungry pre-teens!! http://www.pamperedchef.biz/debderry?page=news-detail&featureId=276913


Need some yummy dinner ideas? Check out menu plan Monday at http://www.orgjunkie.com/!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Window Wednesday-Leftover Candy Edition



Today we are going to deal with an issue that most moms deal with this time of year. That would be a big ole sack of leftover candy. Now I'm not one of those moms that controls my child's sack of candy and only lets them have one piece here and there. Halloween is only a few precious years in a kid's life and I like to let them go at it on the one day that they have permission to do so. It also allows them to get a little sick off of it and then you can swoop it away from them so they don't drive you crazy bouncing off of the walls. I have learned that if you find a cool recipe that you can make with the kids, they will happily hand over the leftovers for everyone to share. Here are some cool recipes I will be presenting to my children this year, pending what type of candy will be leftover. :)

My husband loves Mike & Ike's so I'm not sure if we would have any leftovers, but if I might convince him to leave a few behind if I made him this yummy looking trail mix. -www.justborn.com

One of my sister-in-law's signature recipes (hello Amanda!) is a Snickers Apple Salad. This would be a great way to get rid of those little Snickers candy bars, IF you had any left. -http://www.food.com
Doesn't it seem like there are always Tootsie Rolls randomly in the bag? Pull them out and make some of this ice cream sauce! Wouldn't that be super cute & yummy topped with Nerds?? In fact you could create a whole sundae bar with leftover candy! -http://www.tootsie.com

If you just want to make a bunch of cupcakes with different random candies inside, click on the link to the site Bake it in a Cake here. She has baked everything in a cupcake from Almond Joy to Fig Newtons! -http://bakeitinacake.com

If you don't want to make anything with leftover candy, go ahead and join in the fun! I like to dig all of the Dots and Razzles out! If you want to check yourself before you wreck yourself, you can visit Taralynn McNitt's site here...she is the cutest little girl who comes up with not only some of most inventive low calorie meals, but the cutest too! Another little Iowa girl that knows how to eat, but eat well healthily. -http://undressedskeleton.tumblr.com

Hope the rest of the week is FABULOUS.

XXOO,

D

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

How I Conquered My Tupperware

What is the deal with Tupperware/Rubbermaid/whatever else brand lids anyway? I'm convinced that the socks in my house are sneaking around with the lids in my cupboard and running around together while we sleep. Hate to cut their little adventures to an end, but I had to devise a trap.

The best part of this whole story is that it cost me $2.00 and a half hour of my time. SERIOUSLY.

First things first. Visit your local Dollar Tree pronto and get yourself as many of these little lid traps as you think you may need.


I know it's scary. I know that feeling of getting ready to open that cupboard and waiting for lids to attack. Try to be brave and let them! Pull the rest of them out along with all of the bowls, and take a few minutes to make sure every single one has a match. If it doesn't, TOSS IT. Don't worry about finding the match later, get rid of the thing for I am quite certain it ran away with one of your socks.





See they are harmless really. They don't like being trapped but they at least have each other. Every bowl has a lid and the lids can't go running around with the socks anymore. TOUGH.


I can turn this cupboard all the way around and not one thing slips out. This new lid trapper system has given me great joy as you can see.

Now go forth and conquer! (and don't forget the to learn that theme song!)

XXOO,

D

Are you organizationally challenged like me? Go to http://www.orgjunkie.com/ and check out her 52 weeks of organizing and get yourself in shape in no time!

This post has been featured on  Juliecashe, Frugal Playground, Learning the Frugal Life and Confessions of a Frugal Mind!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Menu Plan Monday


This week we have a lot of running around to do on top of our normal activities which include soccer, dance & a Pathfinder meeting. These are some fast & kid-friendly recipes that I turn to on weeks like this. They might not be the healthiest around, but I use whole grain pasta, bread & tortillas to sneak in as much nutrition as I can. :)

Monday-Spaghetti & Garlic Bread-if I don't serve this once a week my family locks me in a closet.

Tuesday-Pizza Sandwiches served with fresh cut carrot sticks (my best GF bought a huge amount of organic carrots from Costco and shared some with me!)

Wednesday-Pioneer Woman's Fried Round SteakPC Rice Cooker Mashed Potatoes & Corn-this recipe is so fast sometimes I amaze myself when I start to serve because it looks so impressive!

Thursday-Turkey Bacon & Cheeese Quesadilla & chips & salsa (still working on that Costco bag of chips!)

Friday-Out

Saturday-Tombstone Extra Cheese Frozen Pizza-family fave!

Sunday-You're on your own!

For more great recipe ideas visit Menu Plan Monday at http://www.orgjunkie.com/!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Family Photo Shoot Mood Board

OK I might have made that sound a little more fabulous than it is but when you are a mom you sometimes have to create your fab. My husband's family is getting one ginormous picture taken together and then we of course will all break off to do our individual little family pictures. Everyone decided that each family should wear their own color instead of the whole gang wearing the traditional black or white or whatever said color you usually see in these ginormous family photo shoots. The colors that have been claimed are red, black and white. I told them I would take grey. The problem is, 1. I'm not much of a matchy-matchy gal. 2. I have 3 girls to style and being forced to find 5 grey tops 4 of those being for girls of extremely different styles is kind of a daunting task and finally 3. I want everyone to look like themselves with their individual styles. Am I over thinking this? Probably. But hey this is my fab and I have to grab my moments when I can.

So I have decided that I will go along with the group and my family will wear grey, well, sort of. I've decided if there is some grey in it, it works. If they love it and feel great in it, it works even better.

OK confession time. I've purchased a few things already. I got this Anthropologie cardi vest at Burlington Coat Factory. This is what inspired my "touch of grey" theme. It not only fits like a dream, but is a perfect way to trick the camera in to not showing every bump and bulge I've acquired the last few years. Stacy and Clinton would be so proud of me.



I am a longtime fan of Lauren Conrad and I finally went in to check out her LC line for Kohl's. So glad I did! I found these great skinny cords in whaddyaknow grey.



Younkers was having a killer sale on shoes and I scored these hip Madden Girl boots for $40!


Now I just need to get everyone else's wardrobes! Here are a few things that I'm thinking might work.

My hubby isn't exactly a real flashy guy. He's a regular dude so to speak. He will be our grey anchor to tie us all together.

He would look gorgeous in something like this:



Now my stepdaughter Meredith likes to blend, blend, blend. She is almost 14 and loves normal "junior" clothes that I can NEVER seem to get right. So what I think she would like will probably be 1000% incorrect. BUT-that's what personal style is about, even if you are a blender. :) Here is what I THINK she would like or what I think she would look nice in.



Sayler is my tomboy. She likes to be different. She likes to be comfortable. She hates being too girly. I don't think she realizes how much of a fashion diva she really is. This jacket makes me smile just picturing her rocking it with her Converse shoes.


If I didn't have Quinn, I wouldn't even know what it's like to have a girl. She is as girly as they get. If it's pink, if it sparkles, if it's a dress or if it has hearts on it...it's for Quinn. This sweater is kind of plain for her actually, until I pair it with a great skirt and girly tights and a pair of boots I bought her that look similar to mine as she hasn't stopped talking about them since I wore them the other day.



Our photo shoot is next Sunday at Waterworks park. We will be 8 adults (4 couples), 9 kids (ages 7-16) and 2 newborn babies (one boy, one girl). No matter what we all wear I'm sure the pictures will turn out great. You know I'll be sharing them so you can see what we all came up with!

Have a fabulous weekend!


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Window Wednesday! Autumn Edition

Is there a person alive that doesn't love fall? It seems it's the perfect time to put on your favorite cozy sweatshirt and sockies after lighting a pumpkin candle and putting something in your crock pot to cook all day! Fall is all about coziness and chilly nights that lead to cuddling. Oh and don't forget those fun Halloween parties!

Now unlike most of my gal friends, I don't watch football. My husband however, does. This gear from VS Pink is about as close as I get to supporting his addiction. Apparently I am a Bears fan. I married in to it. -www.Victoriassecret.com

Of course I don't want my tootsies to get cold so I will need a pair of these super cute crocheted socks! - http://www.etsy.com/

I like to make sure that my big bear is fed and happy! Usually soup just doesn't cut it for him, but if you add some steak and salsa it totally stops his grumbling! He loves this awesome & easy crock pot recipe for Southwestern Steak & Potato Soup. He doesn't like green beans so I substituted frozen corn and served it with grilled cheese. Perfect for a fall afternoon football game! -http://www.mealsmatter.org/

Everyone in my family has their own Snuggie and we just love them. I might have to score one of these Snuggies for Two for when the kiddos are gone! I'll make us some of this Hot Vanilla to sip on...and I'll light this adorable pumpkin pie candle!- http://www.snuggieblanketfortwo.com/, http://www.food.com/, http://www.etsy.com/

We all need a little me time! That's when you bust out this awesome little pumpkin brulee bath salt and take a hot bath and relax. Afterwards sip on a cup of Sleepytime Tea, while using some of Jason's Sleepytime Lotion. Just seeing that little sleeping bear on the bottle will make you feel all warm and cozy and happy. -www.etsy.com, http://www.celestialseasonings.com/, http://www.luxoryparlor.com/

Time to get cracking on some Halloween plans with the kiddos! With Christmas looming right around the corner, who has the money to spend on elaborate costumes? Zombies are like, the new vampire. I think a whole family with regular clothes (good way to keep warm!) and zombie face would be super cool. Here is an easy and cheap way to get zombie faced for the whole family. Aaaahhh sweet family time. -www.instructables.com

Tired of cutting the same old faces in to your pumpkin every year? Have at least one child who is creative and loves to stand out? Here are some pumpkin carving alternatives! -www.tipjunkie.com

Here are some fun pictures of our Halloween last year. I don't usually dress up but I joined in the fun at work for the first time in years. My hubby has kind of brought me out of my shell a bit. :)


This is Meredith dressed in her "Bollywood" outfit from a wedding we were in a few weeks before. They did a dance at the reception and it was amazing!
This is Sayler as the Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland. I bought the hat and the bow tie and came up with the rest!

This is Quinn the "killer" bee. She wanted those vampire teeth that light up so she came up with this costume idea. I, of course, styled it.
Here is me with my husband (the Bears fan!) in my Supermom costume.

This is Supermom with her pumpkin pie. One of my good friends from work, Marc VonAhnen. His costume is genius!

The rest of my Ingramite friends who dressed up as a Pink Lady, a witch, Sue Sylvester, Charlie Brown & Abby from CSI.

Now go and enjoy fall! All two weeks of it! :)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Menu Plan Monday!


I have a few new recipes and a few tried and a few family faves. My kitchen will be hopping this week!

Monday-Cavatelli Sandwiches & Salad
I made up a quick batch of cheese cavatelli, warm up some small italian loaves in the oven, cut them open and fill them up with the cavatelli. My kids LOVE these. It's quick and easy and fun.



Tuesday-South-of-the-Border Meatloaf in the PC Deep Covered Baker, Stove Top Stuffing & Mexi-Corn
I had bought a huge bag of tortilla chips from Costco for the birthday party at my house so I'm going to use it for this recipe. I use my Pampered Chef Deep Covered Baker in the microwave and it turns out AWESOME. I will prepare it on Monday night and pop it in the microwave when I get home on Tuesday.

Wednesday-Crunchburgers on the grill pan with Crash Hot Potatoes

Thursday-Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons

Friday-Out!

For more great menu plans and lots of great recipes check out http://www.orgjunkie.com/!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Sephora How I Love Thee...

Sephora and I are in a long term relationship. She can do no wrong. When and if she does, she will kindly apologize and take back whatever it was she did and replace it with something so right. Due to circumstances beyond our control, we haven't spoken in a while. We are having family pictures taken soon, and I've reached out to her for help. She never lets me down.

Getting your picture taken definitely warrants looking fabulous. It's like, REQUIRED. Here are some items that have my heart thumping.

I've been fantasizing about this eyeshadow palette from Urban Decay for months. It was so hot that it was sold out everywhere! It even comes with UD's eyeshadow primer. Once you try eyeshadow primer, you can never not use eyeshadow primer. UD's is right up there with the best. There are hundreds of Youtube videos that show the UD's Naked Palette. I want one in every room.


I recently received a deluxe sample of Dr. Jart's Beauty Balm. BB's are a huge trend going on in the beauty world right now. BB's are a one step skin perfecting balm that you use in place of foundation. It is a moisturizer, sunscreen, and treatment serum that also hides imperfections. Dr Jart's BB is made of 50% water. At first I didn't know what to make of it. As I put it on you can literally see tiny drops of water on your skin. They light up and soak right in to your skin. I have seriously temperamental skin. Some days I wake up and I have a little eczema going on and my nose is as red as if I had washed my face with a Brillo pad. That is what prompted me to pull this out of my bag and use it the first time. It was like applying a moisturizer and I didn't think it hid a darn thing. When I was done with the rest of my face and checked it out in the mirror it had settled in somehow and calmed my face down. It was just natural and dewy. The best thing about it is that by the end of the day, all traces of patchy dryness and redness were completely gone. My face was buttery soft. This now has a permanent place in my make up bag.



Now I'm not the only person in the world to write about Clinique's Black Honey Almost Lipstick. This stuff is legendary. In the past 10 years there isn't a moment in which I have not been in possession of at least 2 tubes of this lipstick. This looks good literally on every single person that puts it on, and has the consistency of a velvety chapstick. It's perfect for day or night. I not only buy it for myself but also as gifts for other people. This is makeup magic at work right here.




Ever wonder how the stars have that glowy look in their cheeks? Lots of water and a healthy diet right? WRONG. They are so trixie! They are using highlighters like Benefit's High Beam! This is one of my fave products. I've used lots of highlighters but this one has a staying power and it's very subtle...unless you use too much. Don't ask me how I know that. You can put it on your brow bone, your cheeks, your cupid's bow (that's the little curve on your upper lip)...you will have a dewy complexion in no time! (you still want to drink your water!)


Now ladies, if you want to order from Sephora online, make sure you go to http://www.retailmenot.com/ first to check out all of the coupon codes for free deluxe samples! Sephora also gives you 3 free samples with every order! It's a great way to try out new products. Have a BEAUTIFUL day!

XXOO,
D

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Window Wednesday! FOOD EDITION

I've been peeking in on some great blogs this week! I'm planning a birthday get together, 2 slumber parties and 2 holiday get togethers at my house in the next few months so this Window Wednesday is all about FOOD.

This site is from an Iowa girl who eats, runs and travels. Any girl from Iowa is ok with me. This cornbread topped chili in a jar is not only eye appealing but looks divine. I'm going to be trying this recipe soon!-www.iowagirleats.com


 I'm thinking a cookie dough dip would be perfect for a slumber party menu! Better yet, a cookie dough dip trio!-www.howsweeteats.com


I'm thinking these cinnamon roll french toasts would be awesome for a slumber party breakfast. Another Iowa mom! I'm telling you we know how to EAT. -www.busy-mommy.com


Next week I vow to try freezing smoothies using this glowing green smoothie. I've been wanting to do this forever and this recipe has convinced me it's time. -www.lynnskitchenadventures.com & www.lindawagner.net/blog


I would be willing to make these beautiful caramel apples just so I wouldn't have to unwrap all of those caramels! -www.101cookbooks.com


Hope you have a great week of GOOD EATIN'!

How I Conquered My Schedule!

Lost Invites No More! Find Receipts Fast!

I used to have a terrible time remembering everything I needed to do. Even with my calendar I would lose invites and not remember where the heck the party was or I would forget about a  fundraiser pick up and so on and so on. Even with my calendar I couldn't seem to keep things straight for some reason. So I came up with a new system. It all started with the simplest of inventions. 3M Post-it Pockets. It's just a little pocket shaped like a file that has sticky stuff on the back. This is how I used them to change my life.

The package I bought was a 3 pack and had 3 different sizes. The biggest one is here in the picture. This is where I have lunch menus, soccer directions, invitations, etc. After I put "party for Quinn at 2:00", I put the invite in this pocket for future reference. I haven't forgotten a thing since. :)

The other two are the size of an envelope. I put these on the inside of the cabinet where I keep our medicine. I use the upright one for receipts of anything I order online, and the vertical one for receipts on items purchased at stores. This system saved us when my husband recently broke his very expensive fishing pole! I had put the receipt in here and Bass Pro happily exchanged it for us.


Here is my tiny little table where I keep all of our writing utensils, paperclips, pads of paper etc. Homework time and need a pencil? Need to make a quick note while you are on the phone? Need to write something on that calendar in a hurry? No more scattering around looking for paper and a pen. It's right here and everything is always returned right back where it belongs!

Fabulous, right?

Need more organizing ideas? Visit http://www.orgjunkie.com/!


Visit Celebrating Family for some tips to better your little family and http://www.tipjunkie.com/ for some great tips!



For more Frugal Tuesday Tips visit Juliecashe, Frugal Playground, Learning the Frugal Life and Confessions of a Frugal Mind!

Shared on www.creationcorner.com


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Me, Explained.



I absolutely love entertaining. That is, I absolutely love coming up with ideas to entertain. Most of the time I get so many ideas that I have to cut half of them because even if I did get them all done, half of them don’t get noticed, utilized, or eaten. I have learned over the years to go ahead and let my brain overdo it, but I’ve stopped writing checks my butt can’t cash. Sure I can try to kill myself getting everything done and I might even do it, but I am a completely crazy grump butt in the process! Not only that, I unfortunately suffer from migraines that always seem to creep in on me when I’m dealing with any type of event in my life. I’m starting to think that this isn’t exactly a coincidence. I get myself all worked up trying to figure out how I will possibly get everything done in the short amount of time my life affords me.

I’d say really in the last year or two, I have made a real effort to chill about it all. Now that doesn’t mean that I still don’t want things to be fabulous. That doesn’t mean that I don’t end up being a grump butt either. I most certainly do! I’m a working mom it’s bound to happen. I guess what has happened is my idea of fabulous has changed. I have realized that it’s not the perfect cake or the perfect menu or clever ideas for the party theme I’m after…it’s the smiles and joy that it creates in my family and friends. That’s how I show my love. That’s kind of where the idea for Chillmoms came from. You don’t have to be the perfect mom who remembers every single birthday and permission slip and detail of everyone’s life! What is this a mom contest? We all do things different. We are all wired different.

I wasn’t born with that “neat freak everything needs to be perfect at all times” bone. It’s just not in me to be that way. I used to think I was a failure when I would lose an invitation or forget that my child needed cold lunch one day and forgot. I know there are moms out there that do all of these things to perfection, I know a few myself, but I know there are also a lot of moms out there like me too. I’ve learned a thing or two from some of these “perfect” lovely moms (whom I genuinely love and admire!) and I’ve totally copied some of their God-given skills to make my life a bit easier. That’s what I want to share on this blog. I want to share their perfection mixed with my non-perfection. I want to help you throw a birthday that won’t make you crazy but is still personal and cool. Lost invitations? A total thing of the past. Want to add a little beauty in your life? Me too!! I will copy others and you can copy me and we can all feel fabulous again! Life should be fun!!

XXOO,

D

P.S. Much love and Mad Respect to all moms out there! Especially my own. Love you mommy.

I need a cake and QUICK for the BIG CHEESE.

In my little office we always celebrate birthdays by 1. making the person a cake of their choice and then 2. gathering together in the lunchroom to eat it. It's pretty much the highlight of the afternoon some days around here.

So here it was my turn to make my boss her big birthday cake. Of course I had not remembered this fact until I got home. I had to run to my pantry to see what I had on hand. Here is what I came up with:

Thank goodness for that Duncan Hines Amazing Glazes coupon! I hadn't tried this stuff yet and it was chocolate and chocolate is never, ever wrong. I adore sprinkles not only for the texture but because they make everything so instantly gosh darn cute. That's why I have this gigantic thing of sprinkles "on hand".

I won't bore you with the details of mixing the cake and getting it in the pan and in the oven...I'm pretty sure you've all whipped up a box of cake mix at one point in your lives. Instead I will take a minute to give props to my favorite kitchen accessory. Without this piece of equipment, I wouldn't be able to get a thing done. It helps me cook, clean, and hang around in there longer than I should.


My under the counter DVD player! I have been playing all of my old Project Runway DVD's for months. This show seriously never gets old. Here we are just finishing up the team challenge for INC where Angela is trying to put those horrible rosettes all over those pants! She was like the Wendy Pepper of season 3.

I guess watching PR got me thinking I could get all creative and I busted out some little frosting "writers" and tried to jazz up this cake a little bit. Cake Boss I am not. BUT-it's done and I know it will still be the highlight of the afternoon when we all gather to chow it down.

Happy Birthday to the best boss EVER.



I seriously need to put some batteries in my camera. These were all taken with my bony little phone. :)

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Menu Plan Monday







This week is about frugality and speediness! We have conferences, dance, volleyball and soccer this week so I need cheap and easy! Wednesday is a bit of a splurge since it’s my one free night and I really try to make something REAL. J

Monday-Meatless Mondayspaghetti, salad & bread-I have to make two sauces, one NON-chunky version for the kids, and a spicier more adult version for the hubby & I. I usually add about 1/3 of a bag of Bird’s Eye pepper stir fry mix in our version and lots of red pepper flakes. (I always add a little sugar to kill the acidity and my kids lap it up...my grandpa's secret..sssshhhhhhh)

*Timeless* Tuesday-Pizza Bread-I use a big loaf of Italian bread and cut it right down the middle. I will use the leftover meatless spaghetti sauce and top it with turkey pepperoni (love the new mini’s!) for the kids and for me and the hubby I add jalepenos and roasted red peppers, sometimes pineapple or whatever the heck else I have lying around! I often have a loaf of this bread in my freezer for nights like tonight where my children’s activities keep me out until the evening. You can pop it out of the freezer and cut it and cook it just like that. If it’s a little too frozen just microwave it for 30 second intervals.

(hamburgers for the kids on the grill pan-although I will make them at least try this!)
Frozen Corn

Thursday-Crockpot Chili*       **Nick's Pick!** (that's my hubby)
(kids eat OUT due to double soccer schedules-oh and they happen to loathe chili)

Friday-OUT

*Nick's Fave Chili Recipe

1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 lb ground beef, cooked & drained
1 can rotel
2 cans chili tomatoes
1 cans kidney beans
1 can spicy kidney beans
1 can water
2 TB chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp each allspice, cumin, oregano
1 tsp basil
1 TB parsley
1 TB sugar


Put beans in food processor and pulse once or twice. Put in crockpot and cook all day.


Make sure you check out the Menu Plan Mondays on www.orgjunkie.com for tons of great meal plans, recipes and ideas!


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Oh I am SOOOO going to make that! No seriously I AM!

You ever do that? See some cool project from some clever person who makes it look SO easy and you get all geared up and scout out the thrift stores for just the right piece and buy the paint and the glitter and you get it all home and it ends up scattered around the house in different bags only to be found like a year later and given right back to the thrift store secretly so that your husband doesn't claim that you are throwing money out the window & dang it you can't help if you have to work 40 hours and pick up the kids and get them to all of their designated places and make sure everyone is fed and homework is done and everyone is clean and you didn't have the time to be the fabulous creative person you were intended to be! *blush* Wait where was I going with this? OH YEAH-I finally figured out a solution to this whole mess. I found a cool shop that let's the people with the time to be fabulous do just that. They are always updating their stock and even if you don't find anything particularly it's a fun store to look at. Please don't fall in the trap of seeing something in there that you just KNOW you could do yourself for half of the price and go and get all geared up and well, you know...you don't have the time and that is OK. You could always buy something and just tell people you did it. They know you are cool like that!

The place is called Herb's Salvage. You can view some of their fabulous-ness here.

3940 E. 29th St. Unit #1 - Des Moines, IA 50317
Phone: 515-202*8336

Monday -Friday 9:00am-5:00pm

Sunday - 10:00am -5:00pm

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Birthday Chillin' at My House!

It’s my parent’s birthdays this week! I don’t get to see my family nearly often enough, which is why I am forcing everyone to come to my house for a meal. I figure if I feed them, they will come. Due to overly packed weekends with Church, soccer games and general family fun I used to really sweat hosting these get-togethers. Then I read this great book called “The Reluctant Entertainer” which opened my eyes to the fact that people are seriously not checking your banners for dust or thinking your menu isn’t Martha Stewart perfect. They are usually pretty jazzed that they don’t have to cook for a night, you know? Most people’s houses aren’t perfect….not if you are a chill mom anyway. If someone looks like they are checking out your pile of papers stashed in your hutch (ahem)…shove a plate of food in their face and they will forget all about it.

Informal Birthday Bash at my house!
Menu:
Crispy Burritos (ok the recipe is called Tasty Burritos but I like my name better)
Mom’s Famous Taco Salad*
Costco Cheesecake & Ice Cream-Dad’s Favorite!



 *This had become a lost recipe when Kraft decided to go and discontinue our beloved Seven Seas Creamy Italian. You cannot have this salad with any other dressing. Kraft had no plans on bringing it back so we had to seriously block this recipe out of our minds because just talking about it would make us drool. I had joined a page on Facebook to “Bring Back Seven Seas Creamy Italian Dressing” as I was not the only person on earth that was going through withdrawal for this dressing that we had all grown up with. One of the gentlemen answered one of my posts on the page that Kroger sold a version and it was indeed the same exact recipe and company that made the Seven Seas version. As I do not have a Kroger here, I had my mother-in-law who lived in Arkansas bring me up a bottle to test it out.  I am pretty sure I had a physical reaction to the first bite it was exactly the same zippy deliciousness I had been missing for years. Now she regularly brings me multiple bottles to share with my family and I am able to serve my mom’s taco salad recipe again. It’s a family THANG.

Here is the recipe if any of you are interested:

Mom’s Famous Taco Salad for a crowd
Iceburg Lettuce (2 heads or 2 bags)
2 cans of dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 bag of cherry tomatoes, sliced in half, or quartered
1 bag of shredded taco cheese (of your choice)
2-4 bunches of green onions sliced
Fritos-crushed

Start with the lettuce, add the beans, tomatoes, cheese, and green onions (if you are going to make the salad the day before, I would wait to add these before serving as they tend to lose their ZIP). Put the crushed Fritos in a bowl and have the bottle of dressing on the side. This salad is so good and filling it seriously could and has been a meal. J

It’ll be great to hang out with my family for a few hours. Even though it’s a bit of work, it really is rejuvenating to have time with your family. Try to do your best to carve out some time with them…do the best with the time you have. Or-let someone else do all of the work and you show up! Yeah!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Window Wednesday

Window Wednesday-Let's take a peek!

They say that the eyes are the windows to the soul. Aren't blogs kind of the same way? I am always in awe at how much endless talent and inspiration you can find on the net. Here are some cool things that I peeked in this week!

This sandwich makes me want to go on a road trip with my honey, just to have an excuse to make it! -http://www.halleethehomemaker.com/

Picnic in a jar? Sounds perfect for one of my fave Twinkie Strawberry Shortcake recipes! -http://www.savoringthethyme.com/

I am so going to make this coffee-cinnamon infused salt scrub for Christmas gifts this year. I've already made labels up on http://www.zazzle.com/stickers! The gals in my life deserve some fab! -http://westcoastcrafty.wordpress.com/

Now that the weather is getting chilly and schedules are getting busy....time to bust out the crockpot! You are bound to find a few new family faves on this site! Stephanie O Dea made a different recipe every day for a year! She just came out with a great new book, Totally Together. Helps manage your chaos while still finding some time for fabulous. (that would be YOU!) -http://stephanieodea.com/

Planning a Halloween Party this year? Here are some new ideas! Pumpkin Veggie Tray, Skin-Flayed Cheeseball, Baked Halloween Rats, Apple Nachos, & Warm Peanut Butter & Jelly Dip!