Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Spring Garden

This year I have begun my very first vegetable garden and I am super psyched!  I am generally a black thumb (my college roommate actually stole my plants when she moved out and left a note and some money  saying she just couldn't stand the thought of their inevitable death if left in my care.)

BUT....this year will be different.  I have a 2 year old who insists on playing outdoors daily and so I will have the time and attention to pick weeds and water.

My loving husband build me these two rad boxes, 4'x8' and 10" deep.  He even bough and shoveled in 2 parts soil and 1 part mushroom compost.  What a man!

So this is your sneak peek, next up...the plan for the plants and after that updates of my unparalleled success (or so I hope.)

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Spring is Here!

Fellow blog readers, so sorry!  100 posts and then we disappear for a month?  I know, but we are back and have posts planned for at least a week ;)

To start you off, what are you doing for Easter?  Just a little peek of what is happening at my house.

I want to make Easter special to my kids for more than eggs and baskets though.  It's my favorite holiday for the REAL reason.  Not sure how to explain death and resurrection to a 2 year old however, pretty sure he has no concept of death.  So maybe we'll just focus on 'Jesus is alive!'

Any ideas?  Fun traditions at your home?  Share!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A Winner!

Thanks (to both of you) for entering our giveaway celebrating our 100th post. I used to select a winner *giggles* and it picked 2 so that means Alicia is our lucky winner! Alicia, I'll be getting up with you soon :)!


Thursday, March 4, 2010

100 Posts Giveaway!

In celebration of our 100th post, I am giving away two coupons that are good for 1 free Beech-Nut cereal and 2 free Beech-Nut jars.

To enter, leave a comment with your first name, email address (so I can contact you if you win), and tell us what your favorite blog post has been. The winner will be randomly selected from the list of comments.

Ready? Set? Go!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Power Freezer Cooking

When Alicia’s Homemaking asked me to do a cooking day with her where we would cook a month’s worth of food for TWO families of four, I was scared. And I had a lot of questions. And I was scared. Honestly, it took me a long time to wrap my mind around what we were going to be doing. However, Alicia steered me in the direction of Once A Month Mom and I started to do a little bit of reading… and I became less scared and a little bit curious.

First I looked at the menu for the month of February. Next, I looked at the grocery list (it was very long!), and finally I read the instructions for the “Big Day”. OAMM had all these things on google docs, which made it super easy to read and understand.

The menu (which we followed EXACTLY) consisted of three breakfast, four lunch, and eight dinner ideas. Usually, each meal was portioned in two so that we had at least 6 breakfasts, 8 lunches, and 16 dinners.

I started planning for our cooking day about two weeks in advance. I met with Alicia at her home and we went over the grocery list and decided who would buy what. I had some of the items already on hand and so did Alicia. We tried to make it as even and fair as possible. For most of the items we just decided to split it 50/50. If our grocery list called for 10 pounds of bananas we each were planning to buy 5. We also looked at the instructions for the day and planned to use four crockpots, many mixing bowls and measuring spoons/cups, among other things. Also, in the instructions we had to chop the vegetables and cook some of the beef and chicken the day/night before.

I started shopping for our cooking day about a week in advance. I went to Southern Savers and tried to find grocery stores that had the items I needed on sale. I probably could have spent less if I started shopping at least 3 weeks ahead of time, but like most things that overwhelm me I take baby steps and try not to get overwhelmed by going too fast. That’s just how I roll. I went to Wal-Mart twice and spent $35.11 and $51.76, Publix twice and spent $6.82 and $13.67, the Dollar Tree and spent $9.68, and Winn-Dixie once and spent $23.70 for a grand total of $140.74 (for 30 meals). Alicia spent $115 (for 30 meals). She’s so awesome!

The night before our “Big Day” I chopped up all the vegetables (cried quite badly while chopping the 80 million cups of onions) and put the crockpots on to cook the beef and chicken overnight. I double and triple checked all my lists to make sure I had everything and packed up the non perishables in laundry baskets to make it easy the next day to transfer to my car.

The day of I loaded my car with tons of stuff (including my 8 month old son and all his supplies) and went over to Alicia’s. I got there at 9 am and didn’t quite get started until 10 am (busy baby wrangling). Alicia and I cooked until 7:30 or so and I was home at 8 something. Alicia has a three month old baby so we took plenty of breaks for feedings, playing, nap time, and diaper changes.

Even though it cost only $140 listen to this – I have tons of leftover ingredients. Here they are – baggies, tuna, cherry filling, raisins, honey, butter, brown sugar, mustard, lentils, olives, corn, tomatoes, mushrooms, carrots, green onions, sweet onions, garlic, potatoes and the disposable pans I bought from the dollar tree (which were too big to put the actual meals in, but great for holding the frozen meals in the freezer). This is what I used that I already had in my kitchen – black beans, cumin, eggs, beef stock, ranch, foil, cream of chicken (I bet there is more but I can’t remember them). Last night and today for lunch we ate the black bean salsa chicken and it was yummy! The banana pancakes are AWESOME.

All in all, I would totally do it again. In fact, I’m planning on doing March’s menu in April with my friend Stephanie. Can’t wait!

Here are some photos from our day:

The finished product (Alicia's food is in the freezer):

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


Collections are funny for me.  I don't collect, I don't like the clutter.  But I LOVE when I see collections of cool things.  Maybe I need to find something I love and find a neat way to display it?

In the March 2010 issue of This Old House (my 2nd favorite magazine- New Old House is #1 for me but sadly is only quarterly) they featured a really awesome collection of light switch plates.  To see them all click here.  These were a few of my favs.  Are these cool or what?


Do you collect something?  What?  How do you show it off?