Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Menu Plan Monday, even though it's Wednesday

I am so discombobulated without my computer! I have my system, in my area, at my desk with my when you send my computer off to get fixed, everything seems to be falling apart! But I'm trying to pull it together, and be strong. I am trying! And I have managed to put together a menu in spite of all the goings on around here!! So, here we go ~

Wednesday ~ Wild Rice Chicken (pulled from the freezer)

Thursday ~ Wet Burritos & Spanish Rice

Friday ~ Homemade Pizza

Saturday ~ Chicken Parmigiana

Sunday ~ BBQ'd Chicken
For more ideas, check out

Monday, December 29, 2008

Ooh. Yay.

Well...last night (oh, say around midnight) as I was playing on the computer, I noticed that someone was running a chainsaw. I found it rather odd. Odd enough to mention it to David in the other room. Why on earth is someone in such a hurry to chop up that dead body tree that it couldn't wait until daylight?

Jump to this morning.

As I turned on my computer, I noticed that the same crazy, chainsawing person was at it again. Hmmm, not so fast. Is it making? that? noise? That can't be good...............can it?

So I called Geek Squad and ask if there is still a warranty on it (it's only four months old and there'd better be!) I tell the girl that it sounds like the fan. She said that I can bring the CPU in and they will send it off to the will take 2-3 weeks. DID YOU HEAR THAT? 2-3 weeks!! Is she nuts? That's a long time to be without my computer. She's not my friend anymore.


I guess if I don't want to spend money to buy pieces to fix it myself (because I've gone all frugal and stuff), I'm going to have to hand it over to the Geek Squad to send it to HP...for 2-3 weeks. Lucky for me, I still have three other computers in the house to use, but this one has all of my stuff on it. Go figure. It couldn't be one of the other computers. Nooooo. So I've moved everything over to my external hard drive, and am about to disconnect the computer to take it to Geek Squad to get rid of the crazy chainsaw person.

Wish me luck!!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas 2008

Merry Christmas!! I hope that your Christmas was a good one this year, as was ours. Last night we had a quiet dinner at home. The boys were quite helpful getting the ham ready to go in the oven.

Then, before bed, we had to make sure to put out the Magic Reindeer Dust to insure that the reindeer had something to eat, and that Santa could find our house.

Jordan was still awake at 3am waiting to hear hooves on the roof. Surprisingly enough, he never did hear anyone sneaking around in the house. However, someone clearly was here as the milk was gone and the cookies had definitely been nibbled on. Kelton on the other hand, was totally oblivious to anything and everything. He probably has no recollection of being woke up about 11:30 pm to go to the bathroom. So I'm pretty sure he heard no hooves.
Morning found us about 7:45am. I can't believe we didn't have kids jumping on our bed at 5 o'clock! But it was nice to get a little more sleep, especially since I've been feeling under the weather the last couple days. Every little last "Z" caught was me! The boys started with their stockings...

...and Jordan wasn't embarrassed about getting underwear in his stocking (crazy how Santa knows what kids need)Kelton found underwear in his stocking as well, but wouldn't hold it up for the camera. Instead he "cheesed" (or squeezeaduck'd - another story enitrely) for the camera with R2D2.
On to "Santa" presents, Kelton was quite elated with his new Big Wheel...

...and Jordan was ecstatic to find a Didj under the tree with his name on it!

Other presents to follow for the boys were calendars, backpacks, Battleship, coin sorters, Chutes & Ladders ~ you know, run of the mill stuff. Then Grandma Penny and Grandpa showed up (the true heroes of the day) as they brought the much anticipated Legos set for Jordan

and a building set for Kelton.

But the true thrill of the day is to see what you can do with the packaging.

As for me, I had been dreaming of a White Christmas. We had hail for about 30 minutes and it made things white (briefly) before it went back to rain. SO. Since the two main ingredients for a White Christmas is White, and Christmas, I'm going to claim that I got my wish! That's my story and I'm sticking to it!!!

Merry Christmas to all................and to all a GOOD NIGHT!!!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Menu Plan Monday 12/22 - 12/28

Oh good gravy, it isn't really Monday again, is it? And it's the Monday before Christmas too??! I'd say "it can't be!!" but according to the calendar, it is. I'm not exactly sure where the week has gone, let alone the year! But as always, they have both managed to sneak up on me, and for once, I'm actually prepared for it! I've heard that being organized has its perks, and I'm beginning to see that now. However, I'm not an organized person. I am the illusion of an organized person. I'm a list maker to the core. I have lists which consist of master lists with sub-lists, and sub-lists to my sub-lists. And if that isn't bad enough, we can add in post-its to my neuroses. On paper, I am categorically and unequivocally the Queen of Organization......................but that's all on paper. It's the execution of the list(s) that things go fuzzy for me. But on the outside, on occassion (like today), I look like I've got my act together! See? It's all part of the illusion!

However, when it comes to my menu planning this week, it was already done. I mentioned last week that my menu was already laid out thru the 31st, and that fact alone has been a huge relief for me. It was one less thing to have to worry about in an already hectic time. But I love the fact that I looked prepared and with it!! So, here is my menu ~

MONDAY ~ Corn Flake French Toast
TUESDAY ~ Soup & sandwiches
WEDNESDAY (Christmas Eve!!) ~ Ham, Sour Cream Potatoes, carrots and rolls
CHRISTMAS DAY~ Sausage Crepes for breakfast, and snacks for the rest of the day. (Our tradition is the Christmas Eve dinner)
FRIDAY ~ Pretzel Dogs and tater tots
SATURDAY ~ Left overs or Sloppy Joes from the freezer
SUNDAY ~ Turkey Dumplings

For more ideas, check out orgjunkie.

Merry Christmas!!!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

I'm so excited!

OK, I just totalled up what I've saved utilizing coupons, club card savings and sales between November and now (so not even two full months) and my total is $752.68!! I'm so proud of myself!

Just thought I'd share that little fun piece of news! =)

I need help

I have just spent the majority of the day wrapping Christmas presents. I realize that I'm in dire need of a better system for next year. Does anyone have a system to their madness? Because my madness is lacking...severly! I'm open for suggestions and so is my back!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Menu Plan Monday (Dec 15-21)

This week, I'm trying something *new* for me. I going to attempt a week's worth of meals without grocery shopping...or at least not shopping that much! I think I can honestly swing everything out of my freezer or pantry, with the exception of the onion I needed tonight, and two cans of great northern beans for Sunday's meal. Actually, I already have my menu laid out thru the 31st, and I think the only things needed at all are the ones I just listed! How cool would that be?! I'd love to say that I'm going to be able to save the money, but I couldn't pass up the cross rib roasts on sale for $1.99/lb at Safeway, as well as the hams for 99¢/ I stocked up! But I still have $37 for groceries if something comes up, and for me, that is a record! I never have a plan and money left over!!

Also, last week, I made Chicken Pasta Toss for the first time. I will say that it is absolutely a keeper recipe! It sort of has that alfredo thing going on, and believe it or not, it actually reheated quite well!

Ok, so here is my plan for this week...

Monday ~ Split Pea Soup
I didn't get to it last week, so I made it tonight. I also made a double batch so half of it is going in the freezer.

Tuesday ~ Pot roast, potatoes and carrots

Wednesday ~ Spaghetti and garlic bread

Thursday ~ Vegetable Beef Stew using the left over pot roast and the veggies I've been saving in the freezer.

Friday ~ Leftovers

Saturday ~ Homemade pizza

I needed a recipe to use up the rest of the heavy cream from last week's pasta toss.
For more menus and ideas, check out orgjunkie.

Creamy White Chili

This is a wonderful meal ~ very comfort food-ish. You won't be disappointed. However, if you are looking to make a large amount and freeze it, freeze it BEFORE adding the heavy cream and sour cream!

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into ½-inch cubes
1 medium onion, chopped
1½ teaspoons garlic powder
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
2 cans (15½ ounces each) great northern beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (14½ ounces) chicken broth
2 cans (4 ounces each) chopped green chilies
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
½ cup heavy whipping cream

In a large saucepan, saute chicken, onion and garlic powder in oil until chicken is no longer pink. Add the beans, broth, chilies and seasonings. Bring to a boil.

Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in sour cream and cream. Serve immediately.

Yield: 7 servings (this is what the recipe says, but I'd say 4)

Chicken Pasta Toss

10 ounces uncooked spaghetti (I used angel hair)
1 teaspoon minced garlic (I used about 2 Tablespoons, we love garlic!)
2 Tablespoons butter
¾ pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed
1/3 cup chopped green onions
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon dried thyme
¼ teaspoon each onion powder, rubbed sage, white pepper and black pepper
Dash cayenne pepper
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
2 Tablespoons minced fresh parsley (I omitted this because I didn't have it)

Cook the spaghetti according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute garlic in butter. Add chicken, onions and seasonings; cook uncovered for 3-5 minutes or until juices run clear.

Stir in cream. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 4-5 minutes or until slightly thickened.

Drain spaghetti; toss with chicken mixture. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and parsley.

Yield: 4 servings

Friday, December 12, 2008

In other Cool news

We finally took the plunge and bought the boys real snow gear. You know, snow pants, boots, gloves, and actual jackets (not sweatshirt hoodies!) And believe it or not, they were excited! We have been planning on going up and playing in the snow during Christmas vacation. However, it seems that the snow is going to come to us first! Snow levels are supposedly dropping to between 1,000 - 2,000 ft elevation by morning, and by Sunday morning to around 500 ft elevation. Since we live in the foothills at 1,600 ft, we fall within that snow line!! Yay for me! I actually miss the snow and I get all giddy when it does snow here ~ which is only about once or twice a year for about twenty minutes, if even that much. So the prospect of a little accumulation is very exciting for me! Here are a couple pictures of the boys in their new pants and boots. If I would have let Kelton, he probably would have gone to bed in them...he's so excited for "the snowflakes to come"!!!!

I know, I'm a dork

It's okay, I'm coming to terms with this. Some may have been a little quicker to come to this conclusion. I was rather slow. However, I'm a dork who just got another crazy deal! Check it out...So, in case you are having trouble counting the cereal boxes, that is TEN boxes of cereal. Wanna know how much I spent on said cereal??


That's right! Go ahead and laugh at me while you go spend more than that on your one box of cereal!! So...want to know how I did it? Safeway is having a sale - buy 5 boxes (Frosted Flakes and/or Corn Flakes) at $2.29 each and save $5.00 making them $1.29 each. Then if you go here, you can print off coupons for $1/1 Kellogg's cereal. It seems that my four computers are good for something afterall, because I printed out ten coupons!! After the sale and coupons, it made them 29¢ each!

So, all said, I saved 93%...............doesn't get any better than that, unless of course we're talking about my Electrasol deal!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

My latest deal

Ok, I just have to share this one. I'm still in shock at what a deal I scored!! I went to the commissary, and I was able to get 7 boxes of 60 count Electrasol gel tabs with Jet Dry for the amazingly low price of.....

...drum roll please......

$3.43 (total!)

No, that isn't a typo either! The boxes were normally $6.49 each, but they were offering them for 49¢ per box with $6 in coupons!!! There was no limit, but I only got seven boxes. I realize now that I should have just bought them out! Oh well, I won't have to buy dishwasher soap for over a year now! Here's a picture...

...93% savings, isn't it beautiful?!

Homemade Sloppy Joe Seasoning

Here is the recipe for my Sloppy Joes. They are so much better than Manwich!!

To make 1 seasoning packet, combine the following:

1 Tablespoon instant minced onion
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon instant minced garlic
¼ teaspoon celery seed
1 teaspoon cornstarch
¼ teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon chili powder

To make sloppy joes, brown 1 pound of ground beef and drain off excess grease.
Return meat to skillet and add:
1 sloppy joe seasoning packet
½ cup water
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve on buns.

For other recipe ideas, check out the Grocery Cart Challenge!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Menu Plan Monday (Dec 8-14)

Ok, I need to get back in the swing of things. I actually have had my menu laid out; I have just been woefully neglectful in getting it posted. So here it is...
Monday - Sloppy Joes
Tuesday - Baked Joes (that's the left over sloppy joe mix thrown in a baked potato, and a hit in my house!)
Wednesday - Spaghetti & homemade Italian Bread
Thursday - Chicken Pasta Toss & Carrot coins with thyme
Friday - Split Pea Soup & homemade rolls
Saturday - Cranberry pork roast, stuffing, corn & green beans
Sunday - Turkey & dumplings
For more menu plans, ideas or possible recipes, check out