Friday, December 18, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

It's a New Year! This is my first complete meal plan of 2010 (momentarily I was sidetracked by catching TWO different colds. Lucky me!). Looking forward to trying all the yummy things! This recipe collection for the week incorporates several goals:

1. Eating from the Pantry - use up what we have!
2. Eating healthier! Snagged some great recipes from Chubbie Chica with Weight Watchers points
3. Making more from scratch. Found some fun new recipes to try from the Heavenly Homemaker.

I'll let you know how it goes!

1. Corn Chowder and Biscuits
2. Steak Chicken with peas and Fresh Fruit Parfait Mold
3. Spicy Black Bean Soup
4. Crockpot Hamburger Casserole
5. Beef, Spinach, and Blue Cheese Quesadillas with corn
6. Baked Chicken and Rice
7. Classic Shepard's Pie

1. Oatmeal
2. Fruit Smoothies
3. Cereal
4. Bacon Hashbrown Bake
5. Fried Eggs on Toast, Oranges
6. Breakfast Cookies and Apple Sauce
7. Scrambled Eggs and Bacon

Black Beans Salsa and Brown Rice
2. Soup and Grilled Cheese
3. Mexican Meatball Sandwiches and Carrot Sticks
4. Soft Pretzels and Cottage CHeese
5. Turkey Sandwiches and Fruit
6. Burritos
7. Leftovers

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Muffins
Banana-Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins

Homemade: Peanut Buter

Friday, November 27, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Cinnamon Rolls
Breakfast Burritos
Oatmeal and Peaches
Banana Crumb Muffins


Freezer Meal Enchiladas

Freezer Meal Lemon Lime Chicken
Roast with Potatoes and Carrots
Ham and Cheese in the Crock Pot
Black Beans and Rice with Steamed Veggies
Baked Potatoes and salad

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Financial Goals

1. Save 100% for a home
2. Spend $200 or less on groceries a month
3. Bring in $75 per month via Ebay, surveys, or other means

Menu Plan

Menu Plan:

Breakfast: Easy Oatmeal Muffins, Scrambled Eggs, and Peaches
Lunch: Grilled Bacon, Apple, and Cheddar Sandwiches and Steamed Carrots
Dinner: Chicken Tetrazinni (Freeze Leftovers

Dinner: Cream of Celery Soup and Cheesy Breadsticks

Lunch: Brunch for Baptism
Dinner: Chicken with Broccoli and Garlic Sauce with Rice

Lunch: Brunch for Blessing

Breakfast: Egg Sandwich
Lunch: Tuna Salad
Dinner: Slow Cooker Chicken Paprikash

Breakfast: Bread Machine Cinnamon Buns
Dinner: Orange Honey Glazed Ham and Mashed Potatoes and Vegetables.


Lunch: Jello Salad
Dinner: Thanksgiving at Brent's!



Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thrifty and Chic Giveaway This Week

If you are a nursing mommy you will definitely want to check out this giveaway. This tank top by Skinies has cut outs so that you can still wear your favorite nursing bra that provides the coverage you need. Plus it slims and covers your tummy while you are nursing!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Meal Plan Monday
Toast and Yogurt
German Pancakes and Peaches

Muffin Tin Monday (Astronaut Food: Popcorn, star shaped cheese and sandwiches, apple rings, etc.)
Classic Baked Spaghetti

Grilled Apple Bacon and Cheddar Sandwiches, Salad, and Steamed Carrots
Black Bean Soup and Cheesy Bread
Cheeseburger Vegetable Soup and Toast
Chicken Tetrazzini
Sloppy Joes and Fruit

Monday, October 26, 2009

Thrifty and Chic Giveaways This Week

This week Thrifty and Chic mommy is giving away Michael Buble's Crazy Love CD. Love Michael Buble! Perfect for cleaning and getting in a good mood!

She is also giving away some beautiful Pearls from Pearl Distributor!

Muffin Tin Monday

I've seen this on a few blogs and decided I would join in. I am so glad I did - because my two year old Mini Diva LOVED it! She ate much more for her snack than she typically does and we had lots of fun doing it. I think we will keep it up!

This week's theme was Fall/Halloween and I found this darling monster over at Picky Palate that i wanted to try for our first Muffin Tin Monday. Mini Diva ate the monster almost as quickly as we made him so here is the picture from Picky Palate:

Monday, October 19, 2009

Thrifty and Chic Giveaways

These are fantastic giveaways by Thrifty and Chic Mom!

I am definitely in need of the chic nursing blouses from A Mother's Boutique. They have a large selection of nursing friendly garments. Looks great for the holidays, too. You can enter to win a top here

Thrifty and Chic is also giving away a Halo Sleep Swaddler. We have one for our son and we love it! Let me tell you, it has made all the difference in his sleep habits. Because the swaddler has velcro - it is much harder for him to get out of it. It keeps him warm and secure all night long. Plus I have the peace of mind knowing that he his safe and I don't have to worry about blankets getting stuck over his little face.

You can enter the giveaway here:

Menu Plan Monday

Birthday Dinner at California Pizza Kitchen

French Toast and Pears
Dinner at the Zoo

Sunshine Toast and Peaches
Black Bean Burritos
Birthday Dinner for Johnny

Oatmeal and Pears
Lunch in Park City
Sweet Pork Salad with Cilantro Dressing

x Black Bean Soup and Cheesy Bread
x Birthday Cakes and Olives



Banana Bread

Chicken Tetrazzini (make enough to freeze)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Aveeno Giveway!

I am always on the look out for the latest in hair care! I recently was given the opportunity to try shampoo and conditioner from the AVEENO® NOURISH + Hair Care Collection via Bzzagent. I tried out the Nourish + Volumize. I have used the Aveeno brand in the past and have loved the results. After only a few days use, my hair has felt soft and definitely has more volume.

I am giving my readers the chance to win a miniature bottle of the shampoo and conditioner!

Here's how you can win. Post a different comment for each entry.

1. Leave a comment with your name and favorite hair care tip.
2. Visit and tell me what your favorite product is.
3. Follow my blog

Here is more information about the fantastic product!

Now you can banish bad hair days for good with the AVEENO® NOURISH + Hair Care Collection. No matter your hair type, AVEENO® NOURISH + has a product for you. These products work to help repair strands and nourish hair back to life in just three washes.

What makes the NOURISH + products different is their ability to help restore the healthy look of the hair? Using the AVEENO® ACTIVE NATURALS® technology, the AVEENO® Brand has captured the natural benefits of wheat protein. The result is a cutting edge Nourishing Wheat Complex Formula that targets damaged areas of the hair shaft, leaving hair restored and revitalized. These formulas with wheat germ oil and wheat protein have the power to help hair resist future damage.

And because NOURISH + is from the AVEENO® Brand, you can trust the science behind the line. AVEENO® is a pioneer in the study of natural ingredients, always standing by the belief that botanicals have the power to soothe and heal. For over 60 years, the AVEENO® Brand has been blending the best of science and nature to create skincare products that dermatologists trust. With the NOURISH + hair care line, they followed their time-tested method of developing products that really work, relying on a team of experts that included a leading hair stylist and dermatologist.

You are just about ready to hop into the shower right now and start washing your way to healthier looking hair. We've lined up some general information on each NOURISH + Shampoo and Conditioner along with some haircare tips from a celebrity stylist, so keep reading. With AVEENO® NOURISH +, you'll be on your way to happy hair days in no time.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


I am huge into contests! Occasionally I win something fun :). Here are the contests I entering this week:

I have always loved Vinyl! Slave to save is having a giveaway featuring Studio JK Vinyl. Isn't it darling?

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Menu Planning Monday

This week I am using up leftover vegetables from last week. I am happy to say that I can make everything on my list without going to the store :). The breakfast menu is a bit repetitive, so I may pick up something from the store on Thursday to get us out of the muffin rut.

Oatmeal Muffins and Fruit
Toast and Fruit
Oatmeal and Fruit
Peanut Butter Banana Muffins
Bread Machine Cinnamon Buns


Mozzarella and Tomato

Thinly slice two large beefsteak tomatoes. Layer the slices with 4 ounces thinly sliced part-skim mozzarella and 12 basil leaves. Sprinkle the stacks with 2 teaspoons aged balsamic vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
Serving size: 1 1/2 cups
POINTS value: 4

Black Bean Burgers and Salad
Cream of Celery Soup and Cheesy Breadsticks (Tuesday)
Soy Sauce Chicken and Vegetables in the Crock Pot
Chicken with Broccoli and Garlic Sauce
Sloppy Joes with Homemade Buns
Dinner at show for date night :)

Tot Week 3

This week's Tot School was pretty simple as we adjusted to Savvy Dude's new work schedule and his having Jury Duty. This next week we should be back to normal!

Mini Diva (and ME!) loves Melissa & Doug's word puzzles. The box says it is for 3+, but she does very well with it. She picks out most of the letters on her own. It is a fantastic way to introduce spelling words.

I decided to get Connect 4 back down for some play time. Mini Diva likes to put the pieces in the slots. She counts them and tells me what color they are. She does great with numbers (can count almost up to 20), but is still working on colors.

A life skill she did good on this week was sharing! She loves giving mini-dude stuffed animals.

For a field trip we visited a local corn maze and children's activity place. Lily is pretty interested in different sizes and relationships right now. She told me that this pumpkin was the little baby one.

The place had a Princess Pumpkin patch to play in. Mini Diva loved her dress (even though with her bear on her back she looked a little like a hunchback).

A night with cousins and aunts is always fun!

This is Mini Diva and her Aunt looking at the moon. Mini Diva has always been very interested in the moon. I think I'll have to do a unit on it soon. Any ideas?

Her favorite part hands down was the jumping area! She jumped for about half an hour.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Freezer Spaghetti Sauce

Our first year of gardening was a semi-success. Semi-success=at least some produce! I've never gardened before so it was an adventure. Our tomato plants thrived and did awesome! We did get a few small onions. Unfortunately, my niece was helping with weeding and pulled most of our carrots when they were just little and coming up from seed. Next year I think I am going to do all starts.

So now we have massive amounts of tomatoes! What to do? We've been enjoying salads and tomato sandwiches. Today I decided to make some spaghetti sauce that I can freeze and use later. Next week I think I'll can my own salsa.

I used this recipe from My Food Storage Deals. It was super easy and it is VERY GOOD! I halved the recipe because I am saving the rest of my tomatoes for the salsa. Still I got about 9 quarts!

Here is the recipe:

Marinara Red Sauce (great for freezing!)
Makes 18 qts. (can 1/2 recipe for a smaller batch)
4 lb. ground Italian sausage (spicy is optional)
1 8 oz. pkg. mushrooms, sliced
3 large fresh garlic cloves
1/3 c. salt (or more depending on taste)
1 T. pepper
Red pepper flakes (optional—to taste)
1 1/2 lb. mini carrots finely blended/diced
1 bunch celery finely blended/diced
3 medium white onions/diced
Other vegetables-optional (zucchini, peppers, etc.) (I did zucchini and peppers)
1 tbsp. olive oil
5 T. basil (Add at the end of the cooking process to retain it's flavor)
2 T. sugar
30 cans of stewed tomatoes (15oz.), with juices (whole) or frozen/fresh tomatoes from your garden-if they are fresh, add a little more sugar and salt to balance the acidic flavor. If you use only fresh tomatoes you will need anywhere from 40-50 tomatoes (depending on their size).
4 cans tomato paste for thickening

Use food processor to dice carrots, onions and celery (and any other vegetables) into small chunks. Sauté all above ingredients (carrots, onions, celery, sausage, mushrooms & spices) in large saucepan with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add tomatoes including juice from can. For a smooth red sauce, puree all tomatoes and ingredients together in blender (or use blender/wand-- they work great!). Or, for meatier sauce, puree tomatoes only, and leave other ingredients in chunks. Allow sauce to simmer 2-5 hours on low with out the lid, sauce should reduce about one third. Add basil right before serving. Taste to make sure sauce does not need any more salt, sugar or seasoning. Simmer on stove or in roaster pan until thick. Let sauce cool and then freeze sauce in Tupperware’s or freezer bags for later meals.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

A day late! We had a busy weekend - went up to my grandparent's cabin to enjoy the fall colors. One of my favorite meals from last week was a free dinner that I won from Dream Dinners - delicious Swiss Chicken! It reminded me why I love freezer meals. So fast and so simple! I'll need to stock up again for the holiday season.

I didn't have a chance to get to the store to get ingredients for some of the meals last week so some will be repeats.

Glazed Pear Muffins

Tuna Sandwiches and Tomato Soup

Tomato Chicken Stir Fry
Chicken and Black Bean Enchiladas
Italian Turkey Burger with Homemade Hamburger Buns
Chicken with Broccoli and Garlic Sauce
Slow Cooker Chicken Paprikash

Body After Baby Challenge

Body After Baby Challenge

I am joining this group of mamas that is trying to be more healthy for ourselves and our families. So, I am hoping this is the motivation that I need to loose this baby weight. Over the next eight weeks I will be posting updates here each week about my progress and exercise and such. Here are my beginning stats:

Weight - 161 lbs (8 weeks post baby)
Goal for Challenge - 16 lbs lost (146 lbs)

I am hoping to reach this goal through tracking what I eat on weight watchers, enjoying walks during this beautiful fall weather, and using my Wii Fit.

Each week the host is offering a giveaway and a mini challenge to keep us on track. This week's mini challenge is to track our water intake. Each glass is another point toward our total at the end. These points will help to determine the winner after the eight weeks. I will let you know next week how many points that I was able to get from this challenge and also update you on my weigh in.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Tot Week 2

I started the week out with an apple theme to keep us busy during Savvy Dude's new work schedule. However, we were hit hard with colds Monday through Wednesday so it was more of a relaxing and life learning week for us. Here is what Mini Diva has been up to and learning!

Once a week she goes to class at Little Gym. This week was bring a friend week so she brought her two cousins. I enrolled her in Little Gym because I love the equipment that they have for her to swing, play, jump, etc. on. It is also nice to have some one on one time with just her.
Mini Diva loves to roll in the donut. Or sometimes she just like to chill!

The parachute is definitely a favorite. While they were underneath they sang their ABCs together. Lily made it almost all the way through! She is getting so good at singing them!

I meant to do the Ten Apples on Top activity that I saw in last week's blog round up. However, being sick we never made it to the library. So Mini Diva decorated her picture with stickers instead.

This activity was not in the plans this week, but it was fun anyway! Mini Diva loves anything having to do with water and pouring. So we filled up one bowl with ice cubes and she transferred it from one bowl to the other. It kept her busy for almost a half an hour!

During what was supposed to be our apple week we explored the physical aspects of apples. She had fun quickly exploring their color, shape, and size. We were going to sort them into green and red bowls, but she got hungry. She loved having apple snacks all week!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Craft Ideas for Christmas!

I saw this adorable Roll-Up Kitchen Play Mat on Balancing Everything. I'm thinking Christmas present for mini-diva! So cute! But then I might need to make some felt food as well! Or maybe just frequent some of those Etsy shops ....

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Tot School this week

We're still getting the hang of having two under two so Tot School has been a little unorganized, but I am excited to get started this week on our apple theme!

Here is what we did this week with our Mini Diva:
State Fair

Our State Fair had a fabulous interactive Little Hands Interactive Farm Exhibit. Mini Diva was a little tentative at first, but warmed up to the whole concept. In this picture she is harvesting vegetables into her basket.

She also learned about taking care of sheep. She brushed her wool and then collected some from a basket. In other parts of the interactive farm she planted seeds, picked apples, and milked a cow. At the end she traded in her harvest for money to spend at the store. She was pretty happy to spend her money on chocolate milk!

Mini Diva also took her first Ferris Wheel ride with her Daddy - Savvy Dude. Each time it rounded the top she shouted out - awesome! amazing! cool! You can also see her well earned chocolate milk beard from the interactive farm exhibit.

We also checked out the animals. Mini Diva loved feeding the ponies.

She was also pretty proud of riding the pony all by herself!

But she wasn't quite sure what to think of this friendly cow!

However, she was enchanted with the rabbits and wanted to hold each one.

As far as day to day Tot School, we did do some Free Art Marble Mosaics. She enjoyed putting the pebbles into the play-doh.

We also enjoyed dancing and shaking her rice music maker along with some of her favorite songs.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

This week I will be putting my bread making skills to the test! I will be making all my sandwich bread, hamburger buns, and tortilla shells. I'll let you know how it goes.

Green Smoothies and Toast
Egg Omelets
Oatmeal and Peaches

Cheddar, Bacon, and Pear Sandwich
Tomato Sandwiches and Fruit

Grilled Tuna Sandwiches and Tomato Soup
Tomato Chicken Stir Fry - Thursday
Orange Honey Glazed Ham, Mashed Potatoes, Vegetables
Maple Roasted Turkey with Sage, Smoked Bacon and Corn Bread and Mashed Potatoes, Vegetables - Sunday
Gobbler Cobbler Pie - Monday
Chicken and Black Bean Enchiladas - Tuesday
Black Bean Burgers and Salad - Wednesday
Balsamic Chicken Pasta - Thursday

Thursday, September 10, 2009


It's a day of firsts for Savvy Dude and Savvy Diva. The list includes:
1. First blog post!
2. First acceptance of our offer on our first home!
3. First day of our new budget!

This blog will be a he says/she says look into living the dream, and quite fabulously I might add, creatively on a budget. We're a young couple (30 and 28) with a mini diva (2) and mini dude (2 months).

Join us on our journey into the lands of menu plans, toddler activities, mortgages, money making, and lots more!