Friday, December 28, 2012

Blog Update

Hello out there!!!  You may have notice a bit of a change to the blog. A little uplift of sorts.  Brown was getting a bit boring for my taste. 

I wanted to give you all a heads up.  I am going to try and be MUCH better at this whole blogging thing starting up again in January.  I have a few ideas to keep the blog updated with and hope you will find it to be entertaining or if nothing else a 5 minute break from life. 

A few things to look forward to:

Booking it: Sharing my 2013 book list with you all. I plan to read 2 books a month and share about them on here. Feel free to join me!

Pinterest Reviews: We've all been on Pinterest for a long time now, and we probably all have about a billion "pins" that need to be tried out.  My goal is to do one idea a week, whether that be a kid activity, a recipe, a DIY project, or a workout

One last possibility is my weight loss journey.  Gotta lose that last bit of baby fat! :)  I've already been doing Jillian Michaels revolution so I plan on restarting that from the beginning as well. I am currently in the the first month, but keep going back and forth with the different workouts, not really following how it should be done. Now whether or not I keep you updated on that sort of depends. I'm not planning on going all out and doing weigh in's and such, but posting new healthy recipes and workouts I'm doing will be a big part of it.

Product Reviews: I plan on reviewing products that I have or end up buying. If you have anything you want me to review before you purchase it, let me know! :)

That's about it for now. The things I used to do will be kept up such as Monday Menu Planning, sharing recipes, and being the normal dork you all know and love!

Until next time....

Monday, June 11, 2012

English Muffin Bread

Another recipe I wanted to try this week was an English muffin bread recipe I had found.  While I love English muffins, especially with peanut butter, I was a little nervous to make these puppies.  The recipe I followed was enough for FOUR loaves.  I cut it in half for 2.  I also used a combo of white whole wheat flour and regular bread flour.  I bought the WW a while back thinking I would use it, but really don't.  I'm not a fan of the taste as much as my kids are.  So I have about 5 pounds left then can't say I will ever buy it again. 

So how did they turn out?  They look good.  I ended up doing the dough in my bread machine. No, I'm not lazy I'm pregnant and why not?!  :)  Anyway, they really are VERY sticky.  I had a hard time digging it all out of the machine then getting it to stay in the pan and not on my hands.

I haven't tried them yet as they are cooling.  I'm hoping for breakfast the kiddo's will gobble up a piece with their raspberry sauce and a German mini pancake. Me? I will be smothering mine in either peanut butter or almond butter.  The hubs thinks once I have this baby I will not even be able to look at peanut butter. We will see. 

Will definitely update on the taste!

Here is a picture also taken from onegoodthingbyjillee because my camera is broke. :(

 I will leave you with that yummy looking thing!  For the recipe go HERE.  While you are there take a look around because she seriously has some fabulous recipes on there.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

WOWZA! These are a must try!

I love food.  Seriously, LOVE it.  I can make and recreate things and totally screw it up, but still love it.  Tonight I tried a German Pancake recipe.  They were Mini's, but thought that would be perfect for the kids.  Now, when I read that title, I went to tasting pancakes in my mouth.  The hubs said to him they are someone like crepes, only better! Definitely more of an eggy type meal, but still delicious.

I used the picture from the ladies blog as my camera is broken? Not sure what is wrong.

They look much bigger in the picture then they actually are, but they are still just as delicious. 
For the recipe go HERE.  You won't regret it I promise.  For the sauce, instead of her triple berry sauce, I used her Simple Raspberry sauce.  I had a package in the freezer I knew I would never use, so used it tonight.  Pretty much everyone loved it!  The hubs asked for strawberry sauce next time.

One more tid bit of advice.  I did not do these in a blender like the recipe calls for.  I used a whisk.  They did turn out just fine, but think next time I will try the blender as I couldn't quite get all the flour chunks out.  Not that they were noticeable, but you could see it in the batter. 

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Meal Plan

Meal Planning Time!!!

I did not include breakfast as we plan on doing a combo of cereal, pancakes, waffles, and fruit.  The kids NEVER pick the same breakfast and the hubs is happy to oblige with what they choose.

Egg Salad
BBQ bf Pizza
L/O x4 (making enough from supper to have for lunches)

Spaghetti with homemade bread, Salad
Mini German Cakes w/ Berry topping
Calzones (freezer) with Salad
BBQ Bf Sandwiches w/ corn on the cob
Best Ever Burgers (freezer) with corn on the cob/fruit
Smoked Mozz. Meatloaf
Apples/Cheese/Popcorn (Fathers day meal.. hubs used to do this when he was younger w/ his dad)

If the recipes that we are trying are good I will be sure to post them!  Now I will leave you with a recipe that is really good and sure to please!

Monster Cookie Bars:  These are sooooo good that I seriously could have eaten all the dough before baking it.  Yeah yeah, raw eggs, but whatever it is good.  I also used crunch peanut butter, not bad but, highly discourage it ;)

Eating out AGAIN!

So. After our no eating out challenge we did pretty well the following week staying home.  We didn't eat out a ton, maybe twice.  The next week, more times then I care to admit.  We went out of town for a few days and got to basically eat out for every meal.  I brought food for breakfast, so mostly just lunch/supper were eat outs.  Once we got home I got lazy.  Actually having to meal plan, shop, and cook seriously!?!?! 

I've been using the excuse well, I'm 9 month pregnant and I'm tired.  Hubs won't help, blah blah blah.  Anyway, not only have we all been feeling a little yucky lately the hubs has started getting grumpier. :)  We all have really.  Eating out is more then just "fast food."  It makes you feel grumpy, slug-ish, and just plain crappy!  Our kids have been MONSTERS and I seriously think that is a big part of the reason.

So last night I mentioned at our random supper.  Should we do the not eating out challenge again!? Crazy enough the KIDS were the ones who started cheering.  The hubs and I were happy to oblige. So starting TODAY no eating out until the hubs gets paid.  That is 12 days.  We do have a few things we will be out of town for and again aren't going to beat ourselves up if we don't take sandwiches.  However, we are going to make a conscious effort to eat at home.

When making our meal plan for the next 12 days, I decided since we are moving we also need to clean out our pantry/freezer.  So the only things on our grocery list will be staples that we go through often.  (ie: milk, eggs, fresh produce, ect)  So there ya have it.  We are trying again!

I will keep you update, maybe not as completely as I did before, but will still post meal plans and recipes.

Recipes we are trying: 
 Mini German Cakes with Berry Topping(homemade)
 Best Ever Burgers
 Smoked Mozz Meatloaf 

Stay tuned for a meal plan for the next few days! :) 

Monday, June 4, 2012

Meal Planning/Trying New Things

So I feel like all I post is our menu plan.  I do have a few challenges in mind however, can't do them until AFTER babe is born.  So if you have any that I can do before then let me know!

Monday: Grilled Chicken, Corn on Cob, fruit

Tuesday: Leftovers: I have some left overs in the fridge. Tball games!

Wednesday: Calzones (from freezer) Softball game!

Thursday: Sushi (Yes, I'm trying my hand at making CA rolls... any advice is GREATLY appreciated!)

Friday: Spaghetti - Homemade bread sticks

Saturday: Left overs/Eat Out

Sunday: Chef's Choice (which really means whatever I can get my hubs to cook, because I'm not doing it!)


A cool thing I AM doing this week is having a freezer cooking party through wild-tree.   If you hadn't noticed our menu is a bit easy/cheap looking. Well, that is because I bought enough meat for about 10 meals that ALL contain meat! I will be honest, I'm going to try and stretch that meat into 15 or more meals.  Our kids aren't HUGE meat fans, plus we only ever use about 1/2 of the recommended amount anyway!  So I tried to make this week's budget stretch by using up some stuff we already had.

Have you even done a freezer cooking party? There will be about 9 of us doing this! Should be fun AND we will have 15 meals to go ready in our freezer for the last 2 weeks of pregnancy PLUS for after babe comes. :)  VERY EXCITED!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Meal Plan

So my meal planning is a bit off this week.  We were on vacation last week and got to celebrate an amazing couples wedding!  So this week I started off with today the 29th!  I am working on cleaning out our freezer for our 1/2 beef that will be here soon and also because in mid June I am going to be making 20 freezer meals at a freezer cooking party for the freezer.  Why 20? That way when baby gets here and in the midst of packing up our house I won't get the "what's for supper?" question.  Hoping this will be easy enough the hubs can just pull something out the night before and grill it up the next day for us.  I'm also hoping that will eliminate most of our grocery store trips while we are trying to pack/move. I digress! Sorry!

Tuesday: Stir Fry (chicken, broccoli, cauliflower, and rice)

Lunch: Calzones(freezer)
Supper: Left overs (we have a tball game tonight, so supper will be late anyway)

Lunch: Sandwiches/watermelon
Supper: Tacos with Chips and homemade salsa/guac

Lunch: Left Overs
Supper: Stuffed Shells with Choice of sauce.(freezer)  (Girls prefer marinara while boys prefer Alfredo!)

Lunch: Hot Dogs at the library
Supper: Left Overs

Lunch: Clean out the fridge
Supper: Chefs choice.

Need a new challenge!

Alright friends.  I am looking for some new challenges!  I personally like the cooking type challenges better then say the budget type ones.  I am not comfortable posting specifics on our budget and that seems to be the main challenge working it's way through the blog-o-sphere lately.  Does anyone have a challenge for me?!?!  I am willing to take up ANY idea's!

I do have a few things I want to try too!  I am going to be making this English Muffin Bread recipe soon.  I had planned on making it today after I made the dough for these Ham/Cheese Calzones.  However, I realized I'm out of yeast.  Seriously, for those of you who know me, have to know that this is not only a huge inconvenience, but a VERY rare one as well!  So, the English muffin bread will be saved for another day.

I have been scouring pinterest looking for easy grilling ideas so if anyone has any recipes for grilling let me know! I would love to try them.  Now I'm off to roll dough!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Last Update on the 28 day challenge

While I'm happy today is officially the last day of the no eating out challenge, I am bummed to say that I didn't make it the full 28 days not eating out.  I am quite proud of ourselves though.  The first 14 days were flawless thanks to my major planning skills.  The last 2 weeks I was trying to hard to cut the grocery budget and get by with what we had.  That my friends is apparently my downfall.  While I'm a semi lazy person when it comes to cooking not having stuff on hand for quick sandwiches and suppers was my downfall.  Trying to save on lunch meat and jelly was my killer. 

I am proud to say we only spent about $50 eating out when our normal eating out is between 150-250.  I know.  Most of you can now pick up your jaws from the ground.  :)  Eating out is a big thing for us and to be able to spend $50 was HUGE!  I am proud to say that we are beginning to enjoy eating at home MUCH more then before.  We actually prefer it now.  When we do eat out instead of always going to the sit down restaurant that costs $25 a pop we used coupons and choose the cheaper places.  Subway could feed our family for $10 thanks to the BOGO Cardinal card and McDonald's had the 20 piece nugget for 4.99 so really between those two good deals it helped save. 

So the big question.  Am I doing it again?!  I do plan on having 1 day a week as an eating out lunch or supper.  However we have a few times this month we will not be able to cook from our kitchen.  About 5 days actually.  I plan to pack lots of PB&J's, Go-gurt(it's on sales this week), and homemade trail-mixes to help us not have to eat out at every one of the meals we would normally need.  A 5 day road trip is no joke with 2 kids.  Talk about a TON of money eating out!  I'm hoping to only eat out about 4/5 times.  2 suppers and 2 lunches for sure.  I am also going to pack some breakfast options in case our hotel doesn't have a continental breakfast. 

Well, there ya go.  28 days complete with only a few mishaps.  I'm happy with our progress this month.  Once things settle back down over here we will be back to the no eating out thing.  I think having the teacher home for the summer will help take some of the stress off of me having to cook everything.  LOTS of grilling will be going on over here.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

lazy week...updates 17-20

Sitting here trying to give myself reasons NOT to write.  To forget I even mentioned a challenge and move on.  But, I cannot tell a lie.  ;)  This week sucked. We did eat out twice.  Both times it was my fault and the result of pure laziness.  Once was for lunch on the kids' last day of preschool and the other time was also for lunch after J's Kindergarten round up.  Not proud, but what's done is done.  On to a new week. 

We also strayed greatly from our meal plan.  I don't think I made but 1 thing on the plan.  I guess that's why they call it "a plan."  At least this week the grocery store will be quick and very little money spent.  I made up our meal plan today for next week, which is basically the same as last week.  I won't post it because how boring, but I did add in 1 fun thing.  I'm going to make ham and cheese pockets.  I was inspired by this post here.  Since I have all the ingredients on hand and wanted something to help simplify lunches this is what I'm doing. 

We are good on waffles since the cereal seemed to be all the kids wanted this week.  Guess the "healthy" cereal needs to make a come back so they eat the waffles instead! 

Lunch: Egg salad sands
Supper: honestly not sure, something from the freezer OR ham/cheese pockets if I get to those this afternoon!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Update days 13-16

What a weekend.  It has been cah-ray-zee over here.  We did fairly well staying on plan.  We had 1 mishap which honestly I didn't even realize! How sad is that.  The hubs and I got a babysitter and headed out of town to celebrate.  No, I'm not telling you what ;) We just wanted to get away for the night.  On our way to the casino we stopped and grabbed a 20 piece nugget to share for 4.99.   Half way there he said, "do you realize we just ate out."  All I could do was look at him with the most bummed out look.  It did NOT even cross my mind.  We had planned on eating at the casino, but instead stopped on the way out of town since it was cheaper.  I didn't even factor that in when we went.  I can say it was an honest mistake.  However at the same time it still put a bump in our road on Day 14.  (Our half way mark I might add)

Other then that we have done no eating out!  I worked out a budget/meal plan for the week with mostly freezer meals so our grocery budget came in well under $50!  I was pretty excited, but have yet to tell the hubs, because I'm hoping to make the rest of our weekly budget last through next week.  That way we will have 1 full weeks worth of groceries saved!  That buys 3 cases of diapers!! WOOT WOOT!

So freezer eating for us! I'm only giving you the 1 meal a day b/c we all know we eat for lunch the left overs from the night before.  We also still have 1 bag of waffles left in the freezer to last the week.

Monday: Left overs from the weekend.

Tuesday: White lasagna (freezer)

Wednesday: Chimichanga's/rice(freezer plus had rice from last week)

Thursday: Picnic for J's graduation from preschool (we are taking dessert)

Friday: Pizza(dough in freezer)

Saturday: Beef Stroganoff (Freezer) (this meal keeps getting pushed back! lol)

I'm also planning on making some yummy egg rolls I found on pinterest.  They aren't normal egg rolls, but they look fab!  See..

Yes, yes I am.

Our budget this week actually was mostly the ingredients for this since I didn't have hardly any of it on hand.  I also got 5 boxes of cereal for 1.49!  No coupons!  So I had to snap those up for a treat this week.  Also, I had one pregnancy grab.  GARDETTOS!  Since writing out a list I generally don't sway from it.  Maybe 1/5 times do I go off and grab a few extras.  However, when I walking through the candy isle getting my peanut-butter mm's I saw them and HAD to have them!  Enough blabbing today. Whats your meal plan????

Thursday, May 3, 2012

update 11 and 12

Wow! I can't believe I forgot to update yesterday.  Oops. Sorry.  Well, yesterday went fine even with the hubs gone all day.  We had left overs and spaghetti all day.  The kids didn't care and we gobbled up the rest of the cobbler we made on Sunday.

Today.. Well, that's another story. :(  The kids had sandwiches for lunch and while I wasn't hungry I should have eaten.  After dropping J off at preschool we went to run errands. Before I knew it, I had a doc appointment in less then 20 minutes and STILL hadn't eaten lunch. So I did stop and grab a taco on my way.  Low blood sugar in a pregnant mama who is sweating from cleaning out cars is NOT a good combo.  Anyway, I feel okay with it since I only spend 1.07!  Plus, I used the change that I found while cleaning the car out.  So I don't feel guilty at all.  When I told the hubs he said "wow that's bad."  I think he tried to make me feel guilty, but I didn't let him.  hehe

Anyway those are our updates on that.  I'm thinking our grocery budget for next week will be very slim since we have eaten a combo of weird things NOT on my menu plan.  For instance, the poor chimi's are getting moved AGAIN! Plus, tonight we gotten invited out to eat (their treat) so we may do that.  We have decided that as long as we aren't paying we are fine.  I realize that makes us sound cheap or moochy, but we have lots of family in the area who generally take us out, or find coupons for a free this or a free that.  Maybe that's wrong, but that is the great thing about having our own challenge.

Speaking of challenges. Have any of you checked out lately? She is have a 4 week freezer cooking challenge.  While I was very tempted to follow along and cook 1 or 2 things a day in May for the freezer I decided not to.  I know shocker right!  I am in June hosting a freezer cooking show where I will be making 10-20 meals for when the baby comes AND I have a 1/2 of beef coming in May as well, so figured I better save the freezer space!  That also means we will be eating/cleaning out our freezer in the next 3 weeks, so I don't want to refill it again until the other meals are made and the beef is nestled safely in so I know how much room we have.  Our deep freeze isn't that big so I hate to over fill it.

We did have an extra small freezer that we ended up giving away because we didn't think we would need it.  Well, so much for that now we are regretting getting rid of the darn thing.  Who knew I would become such a freezer cooking nut. LOL Another reason is we usually only get a 1/4 of a beef at once, so our freezer will be extra full with double what we usually get.  Even though that should last us a good year or so.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Day 10 Update

WOW! Our meal plan this week has pretty much gone out the window!!! :(  My kids may not have eating the greatest things, but we have NOT eaten out either!  I have been struck by the 3rd trimester "morning sickness" so it has not been easy to cook.  Last night instead of pot pie casserole dad came to the rescue with Chicken/Ham sandwiches.  

Today, we were on schedule, however the pot pie that got moved to tonight is again not happening. Thank goodness for left over spaghetti from lunch!  However, I'm also fairly certain that when may baskets get delivered to grandma/pa in a little bit they may get some supper made for them.  I have a pot luck/bible study tonight so I am already taken care of, so I figure the hubs will con his mom into cooking for them. That is what usually happens. :) 

So TOMORROW we WILL have pot pie.  Probably for lunch, but we will make it.  The chicken can't last much longer thawed in the fridge and I HATE wasting chicken! So check in tomorrow to see how the cooking goes.

Today my son asked me if we could go out to eat.  I said no, not yet.  He then replied with a "how many more days until I get to eat at Angela's?"  For me this was amazing yet disturbing all the same.  I worked at Angela's on and off for about 7 years so we always eat there when we eat out to support them, so it was cute for him to say it, yet disturbing that he knows we eat there too much and knows it by name.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Day 7, 8, 9 update

Hello all!  How is your challenge going? Ours is going surprisingly fabulous.  Usually not eating out is a HUGE deal for me and I struggle with it.  However, since it hasn't even been an option for me it seems to make it easier.  Maybe we just need to live in an even smaller town with no option of eating out! (Just kidding)

Day  7 and 8 went great.  We seriously had so many leftovers that I didn't really have to cook.  We had someone make us a 9x13 pan of lasagna which honestly I usually make us an 8x8 so we STILL are eating left over lasagna.  I have been in the mood for pb &j's with hard boiled eggs. Yes, it must be a pregnancy thing.  So I wait until the kids are done eating their healthy meals with fruit before I bust those out for me.

Today is day 9.  The kiddo's had waffles for breakfast and for lunch we are doing 1 more meal of hodge podge leftovers.  The pasta and lasagna from last week should be gone after that!  Then for supper we are doing pot pie which I am THRILLED about. We will see how the kids react.  They are so back and forth on that one I haven't made it in a while.   So no eating out for us again today.

Snack: The fruit cobbler is seriously going over like chocolate.  They love it! Plus I don't feel guilty for giving them a HUGE plate full since it is mostly fruit!! Hello big winner!  Speaking of Chocolate I have brownies in the oven. Most of which go to my 17yr old cousin and his friend for helping us move some stuff this weekend, then tomorrow I have to make him lunch!  Only spaghetti so should be easy!

Well, I'm off to play outside with the kiddo's.  Hope you all have a fabulous day.  <3

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Well, more like Sunday menu planning, but you know.  Here is our plan-ish for this week.

   Lunch: Left over lasagna
   Supper: Beef Stroganaff (Freezer Meal)

Lunch: l/o stroganaff
Supper: Chicken Pot Pie

   Lunch: Spaghetti ( I owe my 17yr old cousin and his friend lunch)
   Supper: Grilled Burgers/Corn on the cob (burgers from freezer already made)

   Lunch: l/o
   Supper: Chimichanga's/rice (chimi meat already in freezer ready to go)

  Lunch: l/o Chimi's
  Supper: Pizza/Calzones (homemade)

 Lunch: Sandwiches
 Supper: White Lasagna/homemade bread (freezer meal)

  Lunch: Sandwiches
  Supper: Clean out fridge

Snacks:  String cheese, smoothies, fruit, cinnamon rolls, and fruit cobbler that didn't get made this week.

Sunday Prep


Fruit Cobbler
(These were both done yesterday b/c of the cooler weather!)

Pretty easy Sunday prep again, mostly because of the massiveness of freezer meals I'm going to be using this week.  I also didn't make the fruit cobbler from last week so that will go down and be a snack/dessert throughout the week.

More fruit smoothies!  Those smoothies were pretty much to die for and I am planning on making up a couple of batches throughout the week on hot days.

I would really like to get some smoothie pops you can find on amazon, but again, trying to save money here.  

What is your plan for the week?

Friday, April 27, 2012

Day 5 & 6 Update

Wow. Yesterday and today have been good days.  Yesterday I decided we had so much food left over in the fridge that it would be best to put the chimichanga meat into the freezer for next week.  Then we ate left overs.  ALL.DAY.LONG.  No one really minded, however, today at lunch the hubs did ask when we would be done with left overs. ;) 

Tonight, I don't have to cook either.  We had someone offer to make us lasagna/rolls for supper to give me a break. No, not from cooking.  From the whole pregnancy cooking thing.  You see outside of my 2 readers on here we haven't told anyone about our challenge.  You know in case we slip up.  Yes, I would own that to you if we did.

Now, 3 times this week I have splurged on a coffee.  Yes, I know I need to make mine at home.  The reason? I usually get 1 pop a day! I LOVE me some fountain d.Pepsi so rarely do we have pop in cans in the house.  These are on sale for a LARGE for 95 cents. (please don't lecture me on the pregnant/caffeine thing, as we all have our own opinion on that.) I have been doing the coffee's because I use 1/2 shot in a large and so it's mostly milk which we all know I could use more calcium. 

The goal for next week is 1 coffee and 2 pops.  I still feel like we are saving money since I'm taking this out of a different envelope, but still don't want to be spending that much a week on coffee/milk when I could just buck up and make my own for way cheaper. 

See you this weekend with our menu for next week! :) Luckily, I can move a few things over that didn't get used from this week (ie.chimi meat) so that should save money as well!

Have a FAB weekend <3

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Our Grocery Budget

Now, I must first say I am in NO WAY an expert.  However, I thought a little post on budgeting for not eating out would be fun.

I usually budget about $85.00 a week for groceries.  That totals about $350 a month for our family of 4.  However, that also includes toiletries, personal products, and the like.  With this 3rd little bundle of joy on the way this is going to also have to stretch to include diapers.  EEKK!  I remember spending $20 a week on one case of diapers.

I told the hubs that next week I was going to try and only spend $50 that way I could buy a case of diapers with it.  His response "I want to eat good, not eat crap."  At first I sort of understood, but then I thought, SERIOUSLY, you doubt my abilities?  So born a crafty idea.  I am ONLY going to spend $50 next week on groceries.  I will save the extra money just in case, but, if we don't need it will buy that case of diapers with it.

How on earth am I going to spend that little to eat on all week with NO eating out?  I'm not sure.  I have been stalking coupons for the cereal.  One BIG part of our budget is cereal and milk. I'm talking a good $20 a week.  Like I said yesterday, I want to make a big batch of waffles up to have around for breakfast.  Our son is big on that type of food while our daughter is a cereal fan.  So some cereal is needed, but I did find some fab coupons for that.

Next, I plan on raiding our freezer. While I know that is not going to be an option every week since obviously we would have to replenish it. I need to get it fairly empty as we have a 1/2 of beef coming in the next month.  I noticed when I was out there "shopping" for our week I had 3 freezer meals in the big freezer and 3 freezer meals in the house freezer.  So I am planning on using at least 3 of these meals next week and the others the next. 

So, with buying fruit and the minimal that we need I think I can keep our budget to $50 next week just to prove that I can.   What do you do for a grocery budget? How to you shave off that extra little bit?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Day 4

Today was a day.  We will put it that way.  We had our left over waffles from our fab neighbors for breakfast.  Seriously need to consider making up a HUGE batch of those suckers for the freezer.  Waffles smothered in almond butter and syrup equals close to heaven.

Lunch was different for everyone.  We have so many leftovers right now.  Every person had something different.  I think tomorrow will end up being a FULL day of left over eating.  Our fridge is overflowing with food.  I guess when you cook every night it "adds" up. 

Supper almost didn't happen!  Yes, we almost did leftovers again.  I laid down with the kids during their nap and we all slept until 4pm!  We took a THREE hour nap.  It felt great to say the least.  Grogginess and cooking however, do not go hand in hand.  Finally at about 4:45 I got that wind I needed and just did it. We switched it a little. We were suppose to have chimichanga's, but I was tired of beef so we switched to Thursday's supper and had the Crispy Chicken with Pasta.  This was good, but honestly not something I would probably make a lot.  I would rather grill/bake my chicken and the sauce was a little "fat" for my liking. 

So there ya have it.  Four days down and not one time have we eaten out.  Honestly, it almost seems easier calling it a challenge.  In the back of my head I know eating out is NOT an option so I don't even think "where should we eat?"  I just do it.  Maybe that is the trick who knows. 

I really think by not eating out not only is it saving us that money, but I also think it is saving us money in other ways.  We haven't spent one penny all week besides on the grocery store trip.  If we aren't going "out" to eat we are going out, so there is nothing to really go buy.  I got a pop with some change I found yesterday and actually felt guilty about it!  I felt like I was cheating on not eating out.

Our daughter won a daddy daughter date night this week.  We give her and her brother little competitions and since she won she got to pick ANYTHING she wanted to do with dad. (since he is gone the most) Anyway, we were lucky when she said she just wanted ice cream.  I had a coupon for a FREE dessert from McDonald's.  The hubs was a little bummed he didn't get anything, but got over it when I told him we had ice-cream in the freezer for later.

Now that I have probably bored you to death come back tomorrow for a post on budgeting! :)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Day 3 update

I must admit I'm pretty proud of myself.  I am doing way better with keeping you all updated then I ever imagined I would or could! *Knock on wood*  I planned on for sure updating every 2 or 3 days, but this past 3 days there has just been time where I could whip up a post for you.

Today we had cereal for breakfast. Lame I know.  Then for lunch we did a hodge podge of left overs.  I had fed the kids early since they have activities today, then around noon our neighbors who are amazing, brought us over about a dozen waffles.  So that is what the hubs and I had for lunch.  Topped with my share of peanut-butter of course!

Supper tonight is in the oven and are these amazing looking taco shells.

Photo from Taste of home 

Kids enjoyed their berry banana smoothie I talked about yesterday. For me it wasn't quite sweet enough.  Maybe need to add some honey to that not sure yet.  I will keep testing different ways to make it.  Until tomorrow. See ya lata! :)

Monday, April 23, 2012

Day 2 Update

Day 2 has gone pretty well.  Generally, when the hubs is out of town coaching, the kids and I hit up fast food for lunch and then sometimes we cook supper. ;)  For lunch today we had our planned egg salad sandwiches.  Then for snack I was going to do a combo of string cheese and strawberries THEN I got on Pinterest.  That place is great, but scary all at once. 

So we ended up NOT doing the string cheese/strawberries for snack.  Instead we had this glorious smoothie: 

Seriously they are great. Tomorrow we are going to try the Berry Banana ones on her website.  I was a little hesitant to try these because I do not have luck with smoothies, but I decided to go for it because the kids were hungry and these were seriously easy.  I have never thought to put oatmeal in my smoothies either! This would also make a fabulous breakfast! 

For supper since we had egg salad for lunch I'm planning on doing "muffin tins" for supper.  Yet, another idea from Pinterest idea. Instead of the planned egg "cupcakes."  I won't make that mistake again. While the kids love eggs, I think that is a little egg overkill. 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Day 1

Today was only day 1 of the 28 day challenge.  Not as difficult as I thought, except for the fact that our supper ended up being pancakes.  I couldn't bring myself to pay 3.58 for a bag of half hard Texas toast today at the store.  So we improvised!  Can't believe we already had a snag in day 1, but we didn't give in and that is the important part.

Tomorrow is Day 2 and it is an eggy type of day.  I have egg salad sandwiches for lunch and egg "cupcakes" for supper.  I didn't plan that to well, so we may be trading one of the suppers meant for alter in the week with the egg cupcakes.  Oops.  I should have I paid more attention to that one as well.

I got most of my "prep" done.  er not really.  I thawed the hamburger, but forgot to cook it and I boiled the eggs, but forgot to salad them.  There is always tomorrow.  Also the fruit roll-ups that I was trying, didn't work out so well.  So I have one roll and am not trying again.  I hate the dehydrator and also hate the fact that it takes 8-10 hours to dehydrate.  Loud dehydrators bug me. 

The Wheat thins I will try tomorrow. Other then that I did buy a few snack-y items for the kids this week since mine weren't the greatest.  I also got a ton of fruit today, so hopefully that will last us the week.

Are you doing the 28 day challenge? What are your go to recipes in a crunch?

Friday, April 20, 2012

Menu Planning for 22-28th

Hello again!  It's only been a few days since I posted last.  How proud of me are you.  Anyway.

Here is what we are planning for our first 7 days of this challenge. I hope to update you a couple times a week to let you know how we are doing. Also if you have any easy fun recipes or snack ideas then pass them my way.
 Lunch: Pot Luck at church
Supper: Rest of the left-overs from last week

Lunch: French toast bake with watermelon
Supper:  Egg Salad Sandwiches (for me and the kids, Jeff-leftovers)

Lunch: BBQ Beef Sandwiches (Freezer meal)
Supper: Stuffed Taco Shells (The recipe I found makes 2 batches, 1 for supper and 1 for the freezer)

Lunch: Leftover Taco Shells
Supper: Chimichanga's with Rice

Lunch: Leftover Chimi's
Supper: Crispy Chicken w/Bow-tie pasta

Lunch: L.O. Chicken
Supper: Homemade Pizza with Cheesy bread-sticks

*Clean out the fridge day* any and all leftovers*  (if there aren't any we will do pancakes)

Snacks: Yes, the kids MUST have snacks. So here we go, we will be doing homemade fruit roll-ups, homemade wheat thins, and mozzarella bites
I also plan on trying this cobbler  one day.

How do I plan of making this all happen without cooking everyday.  Oh friends, how you doubt my awesome abilities. :)

Sunday is officially going to be my day of cooking/getting ready for the week day.  I usually do all of my grocery shopping this day anyway, so why not add in a few hours of prep as well.

Brown 3lbs of Hamburger (2lbs for taco shells, 1lb for chimi's) 
Boil Eggs
Make Wheat thins/fruit roll ups 

This week seems fairly easy for food prep. I did a lot of leftover lunches so hopefully that will take care of cooking twice a day!  Also some of these are new recipes so we will see!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Another Challenge?

I cannot believe it has been a whole month since I have last posted.  Where does the time go?  I definitely am not one of those "good" bloggers who blog 1-3 times a day!  I try, I have the best intentions, then a month goes by!

Anyway, on to the title of this post.  Another challenge is in our midst people! ;)  Yes, I sound so serious.  It's not that bad.  I hope not anyway.  After looking over our finances the last month I realized we ate out A LOT!!  That is saying a lot for us, because we do our fair share of eating out.  If I think it is to much then there is a problem.

With that being said.  The hubs and I have decided to go from 1 of his paychecks to the next with NO eating out.  That is 28 days of no fast food, no Arby-Q's, no Angela's fajita's, and no chicken nuggets.  For us eating out is more of a convenience thing.  We don't do it because we have to, we do it because we are tired and neither of us want to cook.  Our night meal is the equivalent to most people's lunch.  I generally make a healthy good home-cooked lunch.  That is our family meal.  I stay at home and the hubs works, so for us that just works.  So by the time supper comes around, I'm tired and the hubs doesn't get home until at least 6 most nights.

There will be a couple of days in there where we won't worry. For instance, the 21st we will both be out of town for various reasons, so we crossed that day out and then we are ending on the 19th since it is a Sunday.  So we are cutting out 2 days.  Not bad. 

For those of you saying this isn't a challenge, well, then you don't know me very well!  This will be more challenging for me then working out everyday or giving birth. So I may be a little dramatic, but I'm serious too. :)

So, watch for menu planning again and yummy recipes to come.  We start in T-Minus 3 days!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Could not be more proud...

This challenge has been just that, a challenge!! More so for Jeff and I then the kids.  They will really eat anything you put in front of them.  When explaining things to them you could tell they were a little weary of doing it, but yesterday I had my proud mama moment.

Our neighbor lady asked my kids if they wanted a snack, the came running to me and said can we?!  I said sure.  My oldest son said, well, mom what if it has sugar we will have to tell her no.  Will that hurt her feelings???  Luckily it was nothing with sugar, but for my kids to know and not want to accept that as a snack made me quite the proud mama. 

Are you and your family doing the challenge? How have things been going???

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Breakfast Cookie

One of the blogs I follow is fitnessista.  She is gluten free, healthy eating, new mama.  She makes her own recipes and manages to come up with some pretty delish finds.  One thing I have done in the past is her breakfast cookie recipe.  It was perfect for me this summer when I was working because I would just take it with me and eat it during my morning rush.  It worked perfectly.

Now that we are working on cutting out sugar I have decided to bring this back.  For me at least. ;)  Yes, I realize I need to let me kiddo's enjoy the benefits, but for now, it's my little secret. 

The recipe for this is HERE.  It is right along the lines of the "real food" we've been trying to do.  The add in's can get tricky if you aren't paying attention.  I just made one and popped it in the refrigerator.  Mine included oats, 1/4 scoop protein powder, 1/2 banana, almond butter, milk, and a small squirt of honey.  I believe she used stevia and cinnamon, but I used a small dribble of honey.  hmm... In the morning I will top it with the left over strawberries or blueberries that we have.  In the past I have added in chocolate chips, but thought I better pass on those.  Also I usually put applesauce instead of the banana.  I'm feeling fiesty today so went with a banana.

If you try this let me know! I'm anxious to see what you add.  What do you do for an easy and healthy breakfast? 

Monday, March 5, 2012

Being aware...

Today marks another day eating "real foods."  Now while we have not gone 100% we are being incredibly conscious about what we are putting into our mouths. We have changed out about 1/2 of what is in our pantry to healthier no sugar versions.  Peanut-butter and Jelly were the first 2 things to go. I was actually surprised to see sugar in peanut-butter.

Luckily, my granola is still a big hit with the kids, and today they even added blueberries to it.  Major score with Jared! <3  He was definitely impressed.  Lunches were scheduled to be egg salad, but this preggo mama is not feeling it.  So today we are going to do some left overs that we have including chicken noodle soup and meatballs.  All made with "real foods."  Along with that we will have some apple slices and triscuits.  YES! You can have triscuits!  here are less then 5 ingredients and NO sugar.

Tonight we are having a ham and cheese braid along with salad.  The bread is ww and cheese approved!  Speaking on bread. I did make the honey whole wheat bread and it was great. Jared loved it, while the rest of us used up the rest of the bread.  In my opinion that is definitely one of those acquired tastes.  So, instead of going cold turkey with the bread, I'm going back a little and doing half and half until we get used to it. Perfect? No, but it's a start!

What are you doing this week to change your eating habits?!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

chicken pox

My baby has the chicken pox! :(  My husband has a terrible sinus infection and I discovered today that I have a fever and body aches.  Our son is the only healthy one and I pray he stays that way.  With 3 out of the 4 people in this house sick, it makes things very difficult. 

Eating has gone to the way side as no one has been hungry at the same time.  We have been snacking throughout the day and eating what we can when we can.  Lucky we decided to wait until Monday to start out little challenge since day 1 would have already gone up in flames!

Hope you and your family are doing well and healthy! 

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Meal Plan for the First 4 Days

 I have come up with my meal plan for the first 4 days. 


Granola Cereal with milk and fresh blueberries
Egg Salad(6 hard-boiled eggs mixed with mayo, salt, and mustard. Apple slices, cheddar squares
Apple and popcorn
Veggie Burgers

Granola Cereal
PB & J(all fruit spread) raisins and ½ banana
Apples with Peanut butter
CX Fajitas on Whole wheat tortilla’s, Monterey Jack cheese, sour cream

Granola Cereal
Left Over Egg Salad on ww bread with sliced apples and grapes
Fruit Kabob with apple, banana, grapes
Quesadillas with left over fajita mix. On whole wheat tortilla’s
Thursday 8

Granola Cereal
PB & J(all fruit spread) raisins and apples
Left Over Veggie Burgers?

Nothing difficult and yes we are having cereal all those days.  My husband and kids pretty much live off of this stuff. Plus over the weekend I plan to make some Whole Wheat banana pancakes to supplement if they get bored.  My son will eat oatmeal while my daughter won’t. So it will be a juggling act for breakfast. I need to make it as easy as possible since my husband is such a great guy and does the breakfast thing so I can sleep in.  Yes, he is that great. :D

You'll notice I decided to wait until Monday the 5th to start, as I honestly already have a meal plan in place for next week and this will give me a chance to look over items at the store to see prices and what fits into our price range.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

What are you giving up?

 Everyone in my family is going to have to give up something that they love. Be it, the sugary ingredient filled cereal they love, the chocolate, or the drink of choice.

One thing I have been looking at today is my drink of choice.  Being pregnant I can, but choose not to, have caffeine.   I do have 1 small cup of coffee at church every Sunday for my fix.  As far as pop goes, I gave it up.  I have had 3 since finding out I was pregnant, and now will have none until the end!  With my other two pregnancies pop and chocolate were my number 1 craving.  With this one, pop tastes like acid and is way to sweet.  I guess that is the point huh?  I digress.

I choose to drink only water at this point.  Lately I had been getting tired of plain boring water.  Instead of switching to juice or some high calorie form of drink, I chose to drink crystal light.  By the gallons!!  I drink a good 65 oz a day, so I make a lot.  Last night, while drinking my amazing strawberry crystal light I grabbed the container to look at the ingredients.  My thoughts, it only has 5 calories so it can't have many ingredients. WRONG!

Ingredients listed: citric acid, Maltodetrin, Aspartame, Red 40, Calcium citrate, Acesulfame, potassium, artificial flavor, calcium silicate, magnesium oxide. 

WHAT?!?!  I don't even know what at least half of those are, nor could I pronounce them.  I was trying to stay away from acid and fake sugars. Guess what?! This is filled with acid and at least 2 different kinds of fake sugars from what I can tell.

I was a bit disappointed, but glad that I realized this now and not after my challenge!  It just goes to show that some things, even "low fat", are not healthy or "real."  Have you checked your pantries and refrigerators?! What did you find?? Were you as shocked as I was?

Monday, February 27, 2012

Menu Plan

Some of you know that I have decided to wait 1 week to start this 10 day challenge.  We plan on starting March 5th, instead of the 1st.  Mostly because I already had a meal plan in place for this week that involved needing very little groceries.  This actually worked out well, because this week I can get part of what I will be needing for next week without going over our weekly grocery budget.

I am going to experiment this week with the whole wheat flour tortillas and honey whole wheat sandwich bread.   These will be 2 staples that will greatly change in our house, so I figured we would practice up this week.  Plus, at the request of my husband, I am already making more granola/cereal!

Monday: BBQ BF Sands.  (On homemade whole wheat buns)

Tuesday: Left Overs (or pancakes)

Wednesday: Taco's (w/ homemade ww flour tortillas)

Thursday: T-bones, potatoes, corn

Friday: Meatballs and potatoes

Saturday: Eat Out for lunch(traveling) and Left Overs for Dinner

Sunday: Left Over Buffet. 

There you have it.  Like I said many of these items I already have on hand.  Therefore, helping stock up for next week will be easy.  Monday I will be trying to turn the ww sandwich bread into buns so if that works out I will let you know.  We will be having our taco's on the ww flour tortillas from the challenge as well.  Just to help semi-incorporate some of the rules, so the kiddo's are not completely shocked when we switch up the next Monday.  Stay tuned for my constantly changing meal plan starting next week.

Snacks/Lunches will be sandwiches and leftovers along with apples, grapes, banana's, and yogurts.  Triscuits are also an approved snack, so we may also add that in this week too!

Do you meal plan and grocery shop on one day? 

Sunday, February 26, 2012

What are we going to eat!?!?!

Remember me talking about taking the 10 day "real food" challenge? I know some of you are asking. What on earth will you eat? What will your kids eat?  These are good questions, I suggest checking out her blog and reading through her 100 days.

I will admit I may cheat a tad. No, not like that.  I will NOT be cheating as much as I can help it as far as the food part goes however, no one said anything about the planning part. :D  She has 2 meal plans (free) that outline  Breakfast, Lunch, Snack, and Dinner for 14 FULL days.  So basically you have 14 days to pick and choose from.  One thing I am honestly excited to try are the vegetable burgers.  Made completely from Veggies!  While this is not on her meal plan, it was one of the meals that she made while on the 100 day challenge.

I will write up a plan for our first few days and post for all of you to see.  It may not be exactly as she has outlined, but very similar. We will be making changes as far as fish (YUCK) and meat go.  Mostly because my family is not a fish lovin' family and finding local meat around here is pretty non-existent.  If I am wrong on that PLEASE let me know!

I have already tested out a few of the recipes and am thrilled that the her granola/cereal recipe will be a huge snack/breakfast substitute in our house. Now if I can only keep up with making it!  The great thing about these recipes is that they are totally flexible.  If you don't have an ingredient, omit it, it will not make or break any recipe.

The main thing is learning what foods you should and should not consume because they are highly processed.  The 5 ingredient thing will definitely be a shocker.  Just tonight at the store, I picked up a few different items and was shocked at the amount of ingredients in them.  Luckily, I'm pregnant so the pop thing isn't an issue. The chocolate thing however, may be a bit harder. I'm a chocolate NUT!  So we shall see! :)  My kids are condiment nuts, so omitting ketchup, bbq sauce, and mayo may be a shocker for them at first.  But again, it's only 10 days.

Like I said I'm pregnant, but that will not keep me from following this.  I don't see how eating "real food" would in anyway be bad.  Granted, I'm not a doctor so don't quote that.  :D

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Have you looked in your cupboards???

I am not one to judge. By no means is my pantry perfect or clean for that matter.  I decided after working on this meal plan that I should check out what I have and see what I need.  I was shocked to say the least.  Looking at the back of the containers I was surprised to see that basically everything had sugar or some form of "non approved" sugar in it.

In my head I see the dollar signs racking up, however, I also was brought to the realization that we, as a society, do not feed out kids or our bodies properly.  No wonder we are all addicted to sugar. It's in everything!!!! 

This weekend will be a different look at what I have going on in my pantry and getting rid of or donating most items that are not "real foods."  Will this be hard to give up my beloved chocolate and peanut butter of course.  I have to just remember anyone can do 10 days.  I also have to remember that what I'm putting in not only my body but my kids' bodies is all processed and, to be blunt, crap.

I don't want my kids to grow up being dependent on that. I want them to be able to make choices that are healthy AND real.   Okay, enough ranting for now.  My point of this post was to challenge you to look in your pantry and refrigerator and take stock.  Look at the ingredients lists and be aware of the food you are putting into your bodies.

Friday, February 24, 2012

10 Days of "real food" Challenge

Hello friends <3 Who has missed me???  I know all of my 1 readers have.  I know you are wondering where I have been and why I haven't been blogging.  To be honest I ran out of things that I felt were interesting enough to keep you all interested.  Alas, I found something.  Not only something that many people are starting to focus on, but something that by blogging, can help keep my family and I accountable.

I have currently been reading a blog about eating "real foods." I have already started cooking healthier for my family and been making more homemade items. I think this challenge will be a good challenge for our family. I often get lazy, yes I will admit that, and run through the drive through. I am hoping that by doing a modification of this challenge that will help to curb that nasty habit.

Modification? Why not just do the challenge as is. A couple reasons; in NE leaves very few options as far as local meats, fruits, and veggies. A large part in this persons diet is shopping at a farmers market. 2. We have been trying to stay away from wheat as my daughter has serious skin and tummy issues when eating to much. So I will continue with our bread that we currently use. However, I am going to give the Ezekiel bread a shot.

For the most part we will be following this challenge as closely as possible. If you would like to know what you can and cannot eat go HERE and read this article.

Benefits of Taking the 10-Day Pledge (taken directly from the website)

Upon completing your goal we predict you will gain the following:

* A first-hand, eye opening experience of how to identify the real food in our processed food world.
* At least one improved health benefit such as having more energy, losing weight, improving regularity, or just feeling healthier overall.
* The realization that some of those pre-packaged processed “food-like substances” don’t even taste that good compared to real food.
* The opportunity to teach your children (if you have them), by example, the healthiest way to eat and enjoy the food mother nature has given us.
* The ability to continue on with your life however you chose, but with the new knowledge of how and why to avoid processed foods. Hopefully your 10-day experience will convince you to consider making at least a few changes for life.

So, we begin. I will be taking a few days to get the meal plan figured out and clear out some of what we have going on in our pantry. My goal is to start this challenge on March 1, 2012. With a couple of "curve balls" thrown our way this will be an interested time to do it. (ie. out of town for BOTH weekends involved) That will mostly just take a lot more planning on my part!

I encourage you to join with me and eat as many "real foods" as possible. Here's to a HEALTHY and CHALLENGING 10 days! :)