Monday, November 30, 2009

Menu Monday

I think I might stop eating for a week or so.... I am still full from Thanksgiving, the leftovers and our annual day after Thanksgiving cookie bake.

Speaking of being full .... I was watching a show on Discovery that momma whales don't eat for something like 9 months after they have a baby whale. Ummm yeah.

Someone might call CPS so I think I'll feed my family this week.

Monday: 5:45 pm Hit the gym (my favorite class) + dance for Kate = meal on the go, Grilled Cheese Sandwich and Tator Tots. Slim Fast bar for me.

Tuesday: I am hosting a neighborhood women's Cookie Swap. Lots of cookies and appetizers.

Wednesday: Whole Wheat Spaghetti and Meatballs (I use Prego Marinara sauce and I do meatballs separate because I don't eat them)

Thursday: Grilled Burgers and Chips ( I don't eat very much red meat so I usually do a grilled cheese and pepper quesadilla)

Friday: I think I am going to do a Make your Own Stir-Fry with chicken, meat and veggies.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Happy Thank You

Happy Thanksgiving was translated into Little Miss language as "Happy Thank You".

She sang it like Happy Birthday all day long. My big and little girl.

Madeline taking Will down while watching the Texas game.
Me and the girls braved the shopping crowd on Friday.

We hit Kohl's and found some great deals. The line was wrapped around the store.

Then went to Wally World for my weekly grocery trip. We did venture over to the electronics. I couldn't believe at 10 am they still had great deals on flat screens.
Nope I didn't get one.... not on the list this year.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Clutter Crazy

I had to break away from Thanksgiving cooking to de-clutter a bit.

This is my desk area. It's been driving me crazy. It's in the kitchen and it just looks like a mess. A little rearranging and viola it feels better. I am thinking about putting black bead board on the back of the cabinets to make them pop.
What do you think?
On to the laundry room. Still loving the black cabinets but when you open them... what a mess!
Much better. I have my candle stash and I just can't seem to part with the nice glass containers once their all gone. Thinking up some fun projects for that.
The best part all of the cleaning and organizing it was FREE!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Menu Monday- It's Thanksgiving Time!

Who else can't wait for all the food on Thanksgiving Day? What is your favorite food item? Mine is my mom's broccoli cheese rice casserole. A great southern dish.

I am so excited!!! We have both sides of the family here in town so we have a big day of family, food and fun. Oh yeah.... and stuffed bellies. Should I pull out my old maternity pants? I will need them after this week. I don't know what I was thinking when I meal planned I have big meals this week.

Here is my menu:

Monday: Grilled Chicken, corn and mashed potato's. This is a big meal for a Monday night. Last night we had BBQ for our family night so our big meal was pushed forward. Plus it's a nice warm day to grill. Gotta love Texas weather.

Make your own Nachos. I put out all the fixings and each person makes their own. We have these toppings: leftover grilled chicken, ground beef with taco seasoning, lettuce, cheese, guacamole, jalapenos, diced peppers, black beans and sour cream.

Leftover nacho stuff. I will probably throw the ground beef, peppers and black beans in some mac and cheese and call it Tex-Mex Mac. The kids love this.

Thursday: Thanksgiving! I make Great Aunt Mary Ann's Pumpkin Pie/ Cheesecake recipe. This is my 2nd year making it. She passed away and before she was sick shared her secret recipe. We sure miss her smiling face. Sorry this is one recipe I keep in the family. She protected it for years.

Friday: Leftovers, the best part!
We put up the Christmas tree, eat leftovers and bake sugar cookies. An annual family tradition.

Friday, November 20, 2009

100 FREE Christmas Photo Cards

This is a REAL FREEBIE! I did it myself. I saved over $50 and got 100 cards!

Go to sign up or login

Design a photo Christmas card in a 4 X 8 size. Then order 50 cards and for check out enter the code newbaby .Check out you will get them free including shipping.

Go back and pull up your saved card and order 50 more then use the code freebies4mom-1109

This offer ends November 30th so don't miss out!

Thank you Kingdom First Mom for the heads up!

I went to Goodwill...

Some of my home decor bloggy friends frequent Goodwill. Not me, in the past. I don't mind dropping things off to donate but I just haven't been in the store. Honestly, I thought it would be dirty and junky.

Well it was neither. I was SHOCKED to find tons of movies, books, baskets, home decor items. They weren't nasty they were in good condition.

We picked up an unused yoga mat still in the orignial wrapper for $1.25 compared to the $20 average going rate at Target. The little kids each bought a book for 75 cents.

I decided to browse down the kids clothing isle. I saw row after row of designer clothes in great shape. Really I did!

If you have one and haven't been check it out you never know what treasure you will find.

Coming soon.... after Christmas I hope to do a Goodwill furniture transformation.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Mommy Love

Sorry today isn't a frugal post. It's a little about me. I know I have a family blog but I felt like most of you bloggers out there could relate.

My friend Aimee tagged me to answer 5 experiences that helped shape me into the mom I am today. So here I go..

1. I got pregnant when I was 19 and a freshman in college. Faced with my options I choose life for my daughter and gave birth to my oldest daughter Katelyn. My parents were very supportive and I lived with them and finished college where I met my now husband Josh. Who later adopted Katelyn.

2. My mother is an incredible women. She is very giving, loving and kind. I learned from the best! Although she has more patience than I do. Still working on that.

3. After having my 2nd child Will. I decided to leave the rat race and become a stay at home mother. I've never looked back! However I do miss the extra pay check and not so frugal lifestyle.

4. Trying for baby #3 we had a miscarriage. A whole new world of loss and heartbreak opened up to me. I never considered that a pregnancy could end in loss for me. There are so many women who have lost babies. Wonderful women I know have opened up their hearts to me and have become close friends because of this bond we have.

5. I found by trial and error no mom is perfect. No matter how hard I try to be super mom you can't do everything. I've learned to say "no" to take on more responsibility when I am already overwhelmed. This has empowered me to be a better mother.

All you moms out there give yourself a big pat on your back!

Sorry I am not going to tag 5 more moms because I know so many more I would like hear about. So I am asking you to do a post on your blog... if you feel like it. Leave a comment and tell me you did it. I want to read about all you moms out there.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wasteless Wednesday - It's Potty Time!

** Photo by apmDesign Photography**
Thought wasteless Wednesday was a good time to announce......

My little miss is officially in potty training mode.
She actually decided this all on her own.

Let me share.....
The other day I put her down for a nap like usual.
Quiet than I hear some noise and her talking to herself.
Then I hear "poopy".
When I go upstairs I see she has tried to change her own diaper. She's even got the dirty wipes to show. Too bad she put them in the clothes hamper.
I've officially potty trained 2 other children so I hope to this goes well. I was putting it off until after Christmas and closer to her 3rd birthday.

After learning with my first daughter, little girls have to explore every bathroom when out and about. Then they really have to go at the dirty one's.

So potty training it is!

My plan:
  • I'm not taking it too seriously at first. We will try to "go" a couple times a day and she will start with pull ups.
  • We will purchase a pee-pee doll to have her potty train.
  • I plan to wait until after Christmas to have potty bootcamp at home for a few days. We will only do big girl panties and lots of sippy cups of water. Fingers crossed she can wait.
  • After that I will officially save $50 a month on diapers!!!
Do you have any potty training secrets? Please share!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Under the coffee table?

I've been looking for a rug for at least a year. I've found some fabulous one's in Ballard Designs and Pottery Barn.

Yes... one problem. I am not about to shell out a ton of money on a rug that my kids will drop pizza on.

I've thought why do I need a rug? Selfish reasons, let me share....
  1. Every time the kids jump on the couch (when I am not looking) they pull the sectional apart. Then I spend 30 minutes putting it back together. It just slides on the wood floor.

2. Will hides gummy packets and snacks he shouldn't be eating under the coffee table.

3. I just want a rug.

We went to Lowe's for air filters and I found a bound carpet frieze carpet remnant on clearance.

Best part it was only $40.

Compared to the similar carpet look rugs for $150 or more.

Notice the wrappers under the coffee table when we moved it??

Now here it is all nice and cozy under my coffee table. The color of the photo doesn't show well. But it matches the light wall color perfectly!
On Saturday night we moved the coffee table and all laid on the new carpet while we watched a movie. Oh how I've missed carpet in the living room.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Menu Monday

Monday: Peanut Butter Sandwiches and Chips on the go. We are skipping the weekly grilled cheese sandwich too similar to the paninis for tomorrow.

Tuesday: Grilled Panini's - shredded pepper turkey from deli, red and green pepper slices, mushrooms (for hubby not me), provolone cheese, avocados and bacon. Just a dash of Italian dressing. All put together and melted on the George Foreman grill (love this gadget). Served with a side of Pasta Salad.

Wednesday: Spaghetti and Meatballs

Thursday: Chicken and Rice - I have some cooked shredded chicken from the freezer I will throw in the skillet with a bit of EVOO and season with Kickin Chicken seasoning. 2 cups of cooked rice, 1 can of cream of chicken soup, 1/2 a can of chicken broth mix with chicken. Top casserole with mozzarella cheese and bake. The seasoned chicken makes the dish flavorful and a bit spicy. Served with a side salad.

Friday: Make your own pizza's back!

A friend gave me a packet full of new recipes. I am going to pick a new one each week to make... starting next week. She's an instructor at my gym and is in amazing shape. So the recipes are good but also healthy.

Also hoping the weather here in North Texas changes cold so I can make some yummy crockpot recipes (side note: did you know crockpot comes up on spell check as wrong but suggested spelling is crack pot????)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Freebie Friday

Free Bowling at Main Event. We visited the location in Grapevine. What a blast! I am now patiently waiting for some laser tag coupons.

Me and my girls enjoying our family time. The boys were busy playing video games.
Sign up for Mimi's Cafe email club and get a coupon for a free breakfast up to $10 value. I love free food!!

Join See Here and get 100 free photos printed. This is Fuji films photo site.

I've decided to only list freebies I've used myself. So they are 100% real and frugal fabulous!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Gifty Games

My friend Jenny found a great Christmas gift for well.... cheap.

Let me share what she did.

Toys R Us Hasbro Games
  • Buy 7 for $3.99 each
  • Use the Hasbro Rebate form and get $14 back
  • Also qualify for a $10 Toys R Us gift card
  • Total Cost 56 cents a game!

Way to be frugal Jenny! Thank you for sharing.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Christmas Cards Already?

Can you believe Christmas is around the corner? It seems like I was just writing about our Christmas cards for last year.

We usually send out the cards the first week in December. In order to get them on time I order at least a week before Thanksgiving.

This year I used Kodak Gallery and a card template it was super easy. Get your coupon for $15 . Just sign up and they will email you a code.

I only ordered 10 to start I am silly like that. I wanted to make sure they looked good before I ordered 175. We've got an outragously long list we include some of my husband's client friends.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Procrastination Project... DONE!

I've been talking and thinking about recovering my dining room cushions for .... well years. I finally did it!

Take a look, nice clean cushions. The kids haven't had at them yet.

When we first got them they were nice and white and clean.

Well that didn't last for long once we actually started using the dining room for Sunday night dinners.

The chairs became stained then I tried to clean them and they looked worse.

I found some fabric at Garden Ridge or (Garbage Ridge according to Will). They now have fabric remnants for $5.99.
I got 3 yards total in my fabric bolt all for $5.99 total!
Here is one chair recovered and the before.

So glad it's done. Now I just need some nice wood floors in the dining room....

Monday, November 9, 2009

Just Praying For Stellan Today

I am not doing my normal Menu Monday because I would like you to stop what y0u are doing and say a little prayer for Stellan. If you don't know his story visit his mom Mckmama's website.

Their family is in great need of prayers today.

I cannot imagine what she must be going through. Today hug your children a little tighter and forget about the crazy world.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

I'm Back, Lots to Share!

The open house was a huge success! The new business is going incredible, such a blessing. For those wondering, my husband went into private practice. Understand why I'm self proclaimed Frugal Jen? We put into practice effective money management.

I think things are finally going to get back to a new "normal" for us.

To save money for the open house I made my own flower arrangements. Tom Thumb has a great floral department. I got all the flowers for $14! We rented some cocktail tables. I put the little arrangements on a small round mirror. Simple elegant look.

We put the food in the conference room. I had 2 fruit and cheese trays made from Market Street. They did a great job and it took a huge load off me.

We got the rest of the goodies at Costco; meatballs (seasoned with 1 12 oz jar of gravy and 1 packet of onion soup mix), taquitos, hummus and crackers, cream puffs and the best brownies ever.
The new double crock pot was wonderful. I didn't know you could keep things warm (like taquitos) and they stay crispy after you bake them.

So proud of you Josh! I love you! Cheers :)
I realized after this photo I need another haircut and I want bangs again.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Gotta Have Gadget!

I interrupt my bloggy break to show you the greatest thing to hit a crock pot!! I saw it at Wally-World and fell in love. Seriously, it was sent down from heaven when I was about to gag from the price to rent a nice warming tray for the open house.

It looks nice and it's super functional!!!
It was on sale for $60.

Did you know it was going to cost me $75 to rent 2 warming trays?

I am going to do a warm dip on one side and meatballs on the other side.

The very best part is.... I get to keep it at home!!

We enjoy entertaining, this will be put to lots of use. So.... my IRL (In Real Life) friends my new gadget will be signature item for parties. I will have my queso on one side and spinach dip on the other.

In other news....

I do have a confession..... I ordered fruit and cheese trays because I didn't want to make them myself.
Not at Wally-World or Kroger but, Market Street. The swanky grocery store.

Did you know their trays are much, much nicer and cheaper than Tom Thumb and Kroger?

So I guess I scored a little bit of frugal in my decision.

Sometimes it sounds great to do everything yourself but in reality you have to put your time in as a variable.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Off this week!

I am taking a bloggy break this week. We've got a big week for the business. We are having a client open house. Instead of hiring a cater I am doing it all myself.

What is your favorite appetizer at open houses or holiday parties? I am trying to decide the menu.