Monday, February 27, 2012

Menu Plan Monday 2/27

Well, some hits and some misses last week. The squash lasagna, which I thought was amazing, my kids didn't like at all. I wrote the recipe down, but I'm looking for someone else to try it before I post it, cuz who wants to post a cruddy recipe?!? My hubby will be home for a day this week, so I'll try to get him to taste it.
Cottage pie is always a hit with my family. Meat with gravy and veg smothered in potatoes. Yep, it's what my family would always eat if they had the choice.

Here's this week's menu;
Monday- Orange Chicken with quinoa and a steamed stir fry vegetables
Tuesday- Scrambled Eggs W/French toast made out of English Muffin Bread
Wednesday- I'm bringing a huge batch of Sausage, Kale & Bean Soup to church for our Lenten Soup Supper.
Thursday- Turkey Burgers or Bean Burgers w/potato salad
Friday- Beef Stroganoff

For more meal plans check out

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Ash Wednesdays

Well, we made our official decisions over dinner.
I will be giving up Facebook games (though I will try to minimize my other ideas from my last post)
Levi will be giving up invading personal space
Liam will be giving up soda and juice
Lore will be giving up his pillow and also utensils (except chopsticks)
Tim is out of town for work, so we haven't heard his yet.

My children pick their own items to give up. Once in a while we veto, but these are their own
What are you all giving up?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Do you give something up for Lent?

My family is not the typical family that you would expect gives something up for Lent. We're not Catholic. Not all of us are all that religious in general (though some are.) However, we always give something up for Lent. We have for as long as I can remember.

So why give something up at all if it's not because you "HAVE" to? Well, it's nice once a year to re-examine your life and see where your vices, addictions, or distractions lie. Then see if you can live with out them, even if for a short time. It opens you up to new experiences and opens your heart/life up to let other items in. Be it God, spirituality, family, exercise, healthy habits, meditation, whatever. Though many people go by the honor system and be their own personal Lent police, we choose a charity as a family and any slips we have to put a quarter in the jar. Then at the end of Lent we give the money to that charity. (We have another jar where throughout Lent any money we find gets put into this and donated to our charity also.)

We'll be having our family meeting tonight to declare what we are giving up for Lent. I personally haven't decided yet. Last year I gave up soda. Now I only drink about 1/2 of a soda a month. I'm considering giving up;
  • Facebook games. I do catch myself playing those a bit too much.
  • Multi-tasking. This one would be really hard, but good to fully pay attention to each item of my life. No talking on the phone- making dinner- checking homework- signing permission slips all at the same time.
  • Pinterest- enough said for those who enjoy it
  • Sitting on the sofa- I know this one sounds weird, but my husband and I have "our spots" at night and both are on the sofa. I think getting off the sofa and changing things up would be interesting.

So are you giving something up? What?

Monday, February 20, 2012

Meal Plan Monday 2/20/2012

Last week we did pretty well sticking to our meal plan. Let's hope we do again this week!
Monday- Spaghetti w/ meat sauce and garlic bread
Tuesday- Cottage Pie from freezer
Wednesday- Squash Lasagna
Thursday- Tacos
Friday- Homemade Pizzas
Saturday- We have chess tournaments all day and so we'll bring chicken salad, veggies, grapes, popcorn, Liam's "crack" (it's ranch oyster crackers) and pickled carrots.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Meal Plan Monday 2/13

Sausage Bean & Greens Soup by ezri_b
Sausage Bean & Greens Soup, a photo by ezri_b on Flickr.

Ok, so I normally meal plan once a week anyway, I figured why not share it here. I love getting ideas for my meal plan from other blogs, and it's a way for me to keep track of our eating habits.

Monday- Sausage Bean & Greens Soup (recipe below)

Tuesday- BBQ Chicken Legs with Roasted Beets

Wednesday- Reuben Ravioli (winging it, no recipe yet)

Thursday- Crustless Quiche

Friday- Homemade Pizzas

Saturday- Orange/Honey Chicken on rice

Sunday- Potluck at Church

Before I post the recipe I feel the need to explain how I cook. I don't follow recipes. I don't measure, and I rarely make the exact thing twice. I use what's in my fridge or garden. I taste and see if it needs a "little of this or a little of that." So all of these "recipes" are guidelines. Don't feel limited, just use what you have.

Sausage, Bean, & Greens Soup (sort of recipe) Serves: about 12 main dish
1 large diced onion
3 diced celery stalks
2 diced carrots
2 large handfuls of diced hearty greens (today I used beet greens, but I use kale frequently too)
1 T coconut oil (any oil/butter that you like works) * only if you go vegetarian or have a very low fat sausage
1 diced sausage (we had a large smoked beef sausage that I diced up, but I've used turkey sausage with great results.)
2 15 oz cans great northern beans drained and rinsed
48 oz chicken broth
2 T flour
1/4 c milk/cream *optional
salt and pepper
favorite herbs (I used thyme and marjoram)

Brown up you sausage in large pot, then set aside. Cook vegetables in drippings until soft (if you don't have drippings add a bit of oil/butter)
Once vegetables are soft add flour and cook on low. Add milk/cream and broth. Bring to a low boil. Add remaining ingredients. Continue cooking on low until everything is warm through.

This is great because you can use up pretty much any veggies you have laying around. Also if you have some leftover barley, rice, etc... go ahead and throw it in.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Angry Birds Valentines

Angry Birds Valentines
Well, it is most likely my last year for school Valentines. My youngest is in 5th grade, once in middle school they really don't do anything for Valentine's Day anymore. So my son wanted Angry Birds. We found some simple Valentine cards online from Angry Birds. Then, to add candy, we put stickers on the bottoms of Hershey Kisses. Bagged, tagged, and ready to go!

Angry Birds Valentines

Monday, February 6, 2012

Time, Money, & Need

Laundry Sorting
(This is real laundry, no "staging" was done on these pictures)

I like many others see these amazing blog pictures with gorgeous projects, lovely dream homes. I dream of implementing many of these ideas and having these picture perfect homes too.

I have been really wanting a lovely laundry room and have been wanting for about a year to make this:

but I just haven't had the time or money or ambition.

Then I was walking through Target with my husband and we saw these shelves on sale. I ran over to the laundry basket section grabbed 6 and went to see if they fit. They did and I had 2 shelves to spare. Now I know that this isn't "picture perfect" but it works way better than my system did before, and it didn't cost me as much money as the lovely dressers. I got the shelves for $35 and 6 baskets for $3.50 each. Total cost $56 and I have room for our paint, vinegar (cleaner), caulk, etc. on the bottom shelf and detergent, bleach, dryer sheets & balls on another shelf. Yes, I hope to make it a little nicer looking, but guess what it works and I love it!

Do you ever have these unattainable dreams from looking at different blogs? Do you find yourself putting things off so until you can make it "perfect?"