Saturday, March 31, 2012

Winner Winner CHILI Dinner!

Like most  all of my readers, we didn't win the mega millions drawing. Of course, in order to win, you need to play. We don't have a lottery in our state, and I didn't particularly feel like driving across state lines to buy a ticket.

But that doesn't mean we can't win something this week, right?

The church had a chili cookoff last night. I always love entering a cooking contest. Leelee also has a love of entering. Heck, she loves any excuse to cook or bake.

I decided to make my special chili where I add cocoa powder and a bit of cinnamon. It gives it a great flavor.

Leelee had never made a chili before so I found an easy peasy recipe for her. I can't remember exactly how I found the recipe at Grateful Belly. I'm sure it was through a link party. I left the house and told her to have at it.

When I got home, she said the recipe was easy but it was a bit bland so she added a LOT more chili powder. I'm not sure how much she added, maybe an extra two tablespoons. She also added a smidge of cumin. The chili wasn't hot at first...then it came at the end and went GOTCHA to your tongue.

Apparently, the judges appreciated the spice at the end.


I guess I just have to accept that my teenaged daughter is a better cook than I am.

Leelee's Award Winning Chili

Ingredients:
1 lbs. ground beef
1 cup water
16 oz. tomato sauce
1 tsp. salt
4 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  4 Tbsp. chili powder
1/2 large onion, diced
1 tsp. garlic salt
1 T cumin
1 can of corn, drained
2 cans kidney beans
shredded cheddar (optional)

Instructions:
In a large pot, brown and drain ground beef.  
Add water and tomato sauce, then add everything else.  
Heat through, and serve.
Serve with cheddar on top. Maybe even some sour cream if the heat gets to be too much.

Linked up at:

Friday, March 30, 2012

Friday Finals: Clearance Bargains

I love hitting the clearance section. I can always find some super deals.

I was completely prepared to brag on the 15 cent yoplait I scored at Winn Dixie this week, until I hit the Walmart today. I was able to use coupons and clearance items to score 85 percent savings at Walmart! I did a total happy dance.


Little Miss is turning 3 on Easter Sunday. I was able to pick up these shirts for her for just $1. The slippers are for Punky Brewster. Normally $11, and I scored them for $1! And the "ahem" lady products...Those were $1.24 each and I happened to have $1/1 coupons!

I spent less than $10 for 15 packages of liners, a pair of slippers and three shirts!

How awesome is that?

The WinnDixie savings this week were pretty good if you looked at what I was able to grab overall.


1 lb of sirloin steak
Cajun shrimp skewers
Salmon
Hot Dogs
2 Splitz Yogurt
1 quaker rice cakes
Hot Dog Buns
Tin Foil
Fresh Taste Cheese/Bread Crumbs
2 Lemonade
18 Yogurts

The yogurts were a great deal. I've never seen the priced that low before. And yes, I cleared the shelf. I admit it.

The clerk said I needed to eat them quickly, but with 6 kids, that many yogurts will last three days, tops.

My total was $21...and I only used THREE coupons! Gotta love the discount dairy and meats!

And, we can't forget the stop at Publix. It was a big week! I don't normally shop three big retailers in one week.



1 pack TP
2 Toilet Cleaners
Special K protein drink
2 dozen eggs
2 boxes cereal
2 pepperidge farm cookies
8 cans green beans
6 frozen veggies
5 ramen packs (not pictured)

My total for this trip was just $19!

What were your great bargains this week?

Linked up at:

I Heart Publix 
Southern Savers

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Totoro Party!

One of our favorite movies of all time is My Neighbor Totoro.

This movie is like crack for toddlers. Or glue. You put it on, and they don't move. At all. They just stare at the screen. Completely enamored by the story, the animation, the subliminal messages...I have no idea. I just know I put this movie on and none of my toddlers moved. I could shower. I could shower, wash my hair and shave.

Magical movie.

The older kids love it, too. Obviously not for the same reasons I love it, but still...good movie.

Leelee and her friends are in to anime and Totoro is a classic. Over spring break, she decided to have a party with her friends to watch the movie...and to make snacks.

Naturally, we had some onigiri





It's basically rice with fish in the middle, wrapped in seaweed. Yummy. Not pretty, but delicious.

We also had Pocky Sticks. Cookie sticks dipped in chocolate. Very Japanese.

And, thanks to Pinterest, we found all sorts of Totoro themed snacks and bentos!

I looked at them. And...decided they were all too hard.

Until I found this one for Totoro Cream Puffs. The blogger said she made up several batches in one evening, then more the next evening. She promised said they would be easy.

She lied.

First, you have to make your own custard. From scratch. That part is not hard. Unless you're making them in Alabama in March and it's nearly 85 degrees. You have to stand at the stove and stir the custard non stop for 15 minutes.

Next, you leave the house and tell your 13 year old to make the pastry herself. It takes her two tries.

The third step is to come home and want to murder your husband because he's decided that two and a half hours before guests are supposed to arrive, it's the absolute PERFECT time to replace the bathroom sink upstairs. The new vanity has been sitting in the dining room for more than a month. But he wants to do this NOW.

And...it didn't go like he planned...As in, "honey, I need to cut the water off to the house and I have a meeting at 7, so I won't have the water back on til I get back."

This is when the lasers shot out of my eyes and he decided that it would be a good time to skip his meeting.

OK, back to the pastry for the cream puffs. This is the part where it turns to not easy. Totoro looks like a pear. I suck at piping shapes. Needless to say, Totoro looked a bit...deformed.



After the first batch, we opted for round cream puffs. Those were easy.



At least they tasted good. Not like French Cream Puffs or the ones you get in the frozen section. These were very non-sweet. Very Japanese.

The girls had  a blast. My house wasn't totally trashed.

And, I did eventually get water back on before the end of the party. The sink isn't installed. But hopefully it will get done sometime before the end of Spring Break.

linked up at:

Adventures in Dinner 
Redoux 
 Project Queen

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Organizing movies!

Some of my favorite bloggers are hosting a link party.  The theme is It's a Cinch. And I'm posting it today because it's Spring Break this week. That means I'm going to have to beg borrow and steal time on the computer from my husband and kids!







I thought long and hard about what project I could whip up for this.None of the projects I'm working on right now are remotely easy. So, that leaves organizing. Because if it's an easy organizing tip, I'm all about that.

We have quite a few movies and game discs. They take up more space than I really have to give. This is just a small sampling. I think at one point, we counted more than 400 movies.






One big problem for us has been the kids don't always put the movies back in the cases and then the cases break, then the movies get scratched. I'm pretty sure we're not the only ones with this problem.

Then one day the lightbulb went off and we realized there was an easy solution to storing all of these movies: Get rid of the cases and put the movies into sleeves!

Going with small CD sleeves wasn't really the solution with small kids who are bad about putting things where they belong. So the answer was as simple as getting a disc case at WalMart that holds 500 discs!



Each movie slips into a spot. You flip through the movies and find the one you want. We're not very particular about where movies are put back, as long as they are put back.

And, because it's in a case, that also means it's very portable!

It also takes up far less space than what we were doing before.



The BluRays are stored separately from the DVDs. But the games are divided up by game system. We don't have nearly as many games as we do movies. The binders fit nicely in the drawers and the discs no longer make a huge mess.

Be sure to check out the other easy peasy projects posted on Tuesday!

Also linked up at:

Project Queen 
Spring into Organization link party

Menu Plan week of 3/25

This is spring break! Which means my break is over for a bit. I have the kids home all day and need to keep them busy. Busy kids don't fight. Busy kids don't make messes. Busy kids don't annoy mom!

Last week, I stocked up on snacks. And, my kids are learning a very big lesson this week:

When you eat all the snacks in three days, you don't get any until the next time mom goes shopping.

Needless to say, when I discovered  SIX boxes of fig newtons gone in two days, I was not happy. I mean, I LOVE me some fig newtons but oh..my...gosh. I was gone doing other things (like the HUNGER GAMES party) and D was grading papers because it was end of term. So the kids were left to sneak into the foods without the snack police around.

What we're left with until I go shopping again are a bag of apples and super pretzels.

Sunday:
snack: NONE
Dinner: Grilled Pork Tenderloin, oven fries, veggies

Monday:
am snack: apple/nutella sandwiches
pm snack: NONE
Dinner: taco salad

Tuesday: 
am snack: muffins
pm snack: Pretzels
Dinner: pizza (Teen Movie Night)

Wednesday:
am snack: fruit
pm snack: no bake cookies
Dinner: BBQ chicken Velveeta Easy Meal

Thursday:
a.m. snack: yogurt
pm snack: pizza frizza
Dinner:  Curry

Friday:
a.m. snack: homemade goldfish crackers
pm snack: cookies
Dinner: Chili Cookoff


Saturday
am snack: veggies & dip
pm snack: pretzels
Dinner: Spaghetti

linked up at:
 

Friday, March 23, 2012

friday finals: savings on meat!

One of the biggest complains I hear is there are never coupons for meat.

Not so! The coupons are usually attached to the purchase of other items like spices or charcoal.

Also, big savings on meats can come by checking the markdowns in the meat section of your store.

Today, I found these lovely pork loins that are normally $9.99, with $4 off stickers on them. Not a bad deal, but it was made even better because I had $1/1 hormel meat coupons PLUS a $5/30 store coupon!

I was able to score 4.5 lbs of pork tenderloin for just $7! That's just $1.75/lb! It was 77 percent savings.

I also had to buy a yogurt (marked down to 45 cents) in order to hit the $30 total. Without the yogurt my total was $29.97 and the coupon won't round up even for 3 cents.


linked up at

southern savers
i heart publix

The Hunger Games party

I have a dark confession to make.

You know those crazy people who show up at midnight openings of movies in costume?

I'm one of them.

Last night was the opening of The Hunger Games. I loved the books. Survivor meets Lord of the Flies.

A group of us got together in costume a full Capitol makeup thanks to a very talented make-up artist friend. We also had a lovely meal of Hunger Games inspired foods!



Fish shaped cheese biscuits representing District 4.


Each arrow had a quote from the book! So Creative!

For my contribution for the evening I made Angel Food Cake filled with Nutella and topped with "Nightlock." Recipe is at the bottom of this post!


After eating, I was able to get all Effie'd Up.



Leelee dressed at Katniss. She had the scowl down really well. I got props from random teens who shouted they loved my costume! I even had people ask for pictures. It was by far the best costume for a midnight showing I've done. There were lots of kids dressed at Katniss and Peeta, but I was the only Effie!




Nutella Filled Angel Food Cup Cake with "Nightlock"

1 Angel Food Cake prepared according to package directions and baked into cupcakes
1 jar Nutella
1 package frozen berries, defrosted, reserving juices

With a serrated knife, cut each cupcake  though the middle giving a top and bottom. Spread 1-2 Tablespoons of Nutella between the layers of cake.

Arrange berries on top of cake. One large strawberry and two-three smaller blueberries or blackberries. Spoon 2 spoonfuls of the juice from the defrosted berries on top of each cake.




linked up at:

Handy Man, Crafty Woman 
Mrs. Hines Class 
Project Queen 
The Shady Porch Rock nShare 
Redoux 
Cups by Kim



Our Delightful Home


Maia the Bee

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Brown Sugar Cupcakes

Last night was New Beginnings for the young women at our church. It's an evening to introduce the girls who are turning 12 this year into the girls youth program. The girls in the program already are asked to participate. Leelee hates speaking in public so whenever a chance comes to volunteer to help, she's always right there with "I'll make cupcakes!"

It's a good thing she's good at it!

Taste anyway. We're still working on the decorating.




But hey, we have a cupcake tower made from plates and cups from the dollar store. Points for presentation effort, right?

This time, she made Brown Sugar Cupcakes we found on pinterest, but without the peanut butter frosting. The theme for the night was Rise and Shine Forth and brown frosted cupcakes wouldn't have gone with the light theme. (They even had yellow drinks. It was a very yellow night!)

makes 24 regular or 6 dozen mini cupcakes

Brown Sugar Cupcakes
2 cup loosely packed brown sugar
2 large egg
2 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup milk
1 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt, stirring to mix. Set aside. Line a cupcake tin with liners.
In a large bowl, whisk brown sugar and egg until smooth. Add in vanilla extract and milk, again mixing until combined. Slowly pour in melted butter, continuing to whisk. Add in the flour, soda and salt, mixing with a large spoon until batter is smooth.
Using a 1/4 cup measure, add batter to liners. Bake for 16-19 minutes, or until tops are puffy and golden, and don’t jiggle when touched. Let cool completely.


The frosting was a complete and utter disaster. Leelee had plans to pipe the frosting, but she didn't want to do a cream cheese base! When it's 90 degrees, you really can't do a butter based frosting and expect it to hold shape.

Then we ran out of powdered sugar. If this ever happens to you, run regular sugar through the blender. Easy Peasy.

In the end, the cupcakes still tasted delicious and no one really cared what they looked like.

Linked at

Handy Man, Crafty Woman

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

ohhh a bloggy award

Ashley from Keeping up with the Joneses recently picked little ol' me for a bloggy award. I don't get noticed much in my little neck of the woods. She had some very nice things to say about me.  Be sure to check out her blog some great recipes and projects.


Leelee is sure to point out Lieb sounds like Love (lieben) in german. So this award is a little bit of bloggy love.

I am choosing five bloggers to get this award :) Please be sure to check them out and give a little bit of Lieben of your own in the form of comments.


A great food blog. And there's a cat involved. Always a good time. 

Crafty. Fun. I only recently found her blog and I now check it every day. You should, too. 

I totally stalk this blog. Lots of neat makeovers. And craigslist finds that never happen in my area. Envy.

A family chronically their move to Sri Lanka! wowsers!

Inspiration for dinner. Just what I like (need!) And also, she likes pie. I like pie. Pie is good.


Now, the rules of this bloggy love award state that the recipients need to be blogs that are up and coming (aww shucks) and have less than 200 followers. I wasn't sure whether that meant google or linky. so I went with linky since I heard the google thing was going away.

If you received my award, please nominate others and pass the love along! Let your recipients know you nominated them and link back. It's all sorts of fun love and a great way to get new followers :D

Some picker picks

When your husband of nearly 18 years says "Honey, I heard on the radio about this huge antique sale thing today. Did you want to go?"

The answer is YES!

Then, when you get back you can wonder where your husband actually is and what this body snatcher has done with him. Because my husband would never in a million years suggest to go looking at an antique store, flea market, yard sale, etc. He believes its a form of torture.

I'm still wondering what actually came over D that it was his idea to go. Even crazier still is that last weekend, he wanted to again.

I may be bringing him over to the dark side.

I hit the sale with a purpose: I wanted a chair and some type of end table.

But the first thing I saw was this:


I'm not really a jewelry person, but recently I've come to adore chunky necklaces. This one definitely needed to come home with me. And since I don't normally ask for jewelry, D had no problems agree to the purchase.

We spent the next couple of hours going back and forth trying to find some goodies that really spoke to me.


Hello, please take me home and love me. And paint me. Promise me you will never ever stick a lamp back in that hole. Then, I will be yours.


I am a chair. I am old. I am reinforced. I am the exact same color as your floor. A boppy pillow fits perfectly in my seat and will provide a uniquely odd sense of comfort. Almost like a post surgical donut pillow. But weirder.

Even though, I am just a piece of fabric decoupaged to a canvas, I will make your husband happy. I contain all the colors of the bedroom, including the orange walls you were deciding whether or not to keep. The orange walls will remain because together we create zen. Or at least enough Asian inspired zen that perhaps your husband will no longer push to have the living room completely in an Asian theme. I am a $12 compromise.

I'll be sure to share the makeovers later this week. And D is pretty happy there is one less room to repaint. Since the orange is staying.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Little B's room ideas

This year, Little B is having his room redone. Spiderman is leaving us. Can't say that I'm incredibly disappointed by that!

I'm also not sure how much longer I can call him Little B since he's only about 2 inches shorter than I am! I suspect by the time school begins next in August, I will be looking him straight in the eye.

Needless to say, it's about time he got a room that's more...tweenish.

The only problem with all of this is Little B has a new obsession and wants me to do his room around that particular obsession. Tweenish it is not.

It's Geek. Pure Geek.

To be truthful, I'm sort of excited to Geek Out his room.

I have already started on one piece...


And it's been painted this lovely shade of blue. The bluest blue


Hopefully some of you are already getting excited for this project with me...because you KNOW already what I'm turning this dresser in to. Hopefully it will be as epic in reality as it is in my head.

Meanwhile I need to pick some wall colors that will allow the room to shine. And pick up some art for the walls...

Here's my lame attempt at an inspiration board. I do plan to buy the Van Gogh inspired poster and maybe some other fun posters and frame them. I want a cool graphic element on the walls that won't compete with the dresser.


I was hoping to do a grey or silver on the walls, but Little B already vetoed that. Crazy kid.

Any suggestions? Links to awesome etsy shops?

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Chicken and Artichoke Heart Fettucinni Alfredo

Tonight's dinner was all kinds of delicious. I was checking out some link parties last week and came across this recipe for Chicken and Artichoke Heart Fettucinni Alfredo. I went to the store several times with the intent of buying the artichoke heart and never did. Finally, I made a trip Friday and snagged it.  I had all the other ingredients, which is  a huge plus for me. I mean, it took me FOUR TRIPS to the store before I actually checked it off my list.

Yet another reason to go shopping without kids.

I decided to take this crazy easy recipe and make it all the easier.

Let me also share that not only was this dinner super easy (under 30 minutes and most of that time was for the pasta!), it was very inexpensive. I made extra...probably 12 servings..and my total cost was  $6.84! That works out to be about 57 cents per serving.



First, I poached four chicken thighs in my crockpot. I am saving the broth for another meal this week. Then, I shredded the chicken and set it aside. You could easily do this and then freeze the shredded chicken, which would make this recipe even easier.

1 lb Fettucinni
1 jar Alfredo Sauce, warmed
- 1 can
marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped roughly  

2 chicken thighs, poached skinless chicken breasts (roughly 1 cup)
- Mozzarella, Asiago, Romano or Parmesan cheese
. I used Romano



Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain. Mix everything together. Sprinkle with Romano cheese. Serve.

Now, here's my fun little tip when cooking pasta. Before adding the pasta, spray in some PAM. It will keep your pasta from sticking!



linked up at
Project Queen
Handy Man, Crafty Woman


Friday, March 16, 2012

Friday Finals: Farmers Market Goodies

This week was pretty good at Winn Dixie for me.

I got the meal deal and spent an additional $16, so I could use a $5/$30 coupon.  For some reason, the picture on my phone disappeared, so I'll  just share what I picked up:

2 bags chicken nuggets
1 Alexia fries ( FREE plus $1/1)
1 Mrs. Smith Pie FREE
1 Chex Soda FREE
1 Bag Steam Fresh Broccoli ( FREE plus.50/1)

2 right guard extreme deodorants ($2/2)
2 Kraft Homestyle Mac n Cheese (.75/1 X2)
2 Velveeta Skillet Meals (.50/1 X2)


I think I picked up a few other things. The total was just at $30 before tax. After coupons and sales and before tax, my total was just $13.50! The meal deal was for $13.98! So that means everything except the chicken nuggets were basically free. I also received a catalina coupon for $1 off my next purchase for buying the deodorant.

My trip to publix wasn't stellar savings, but I did finish up my 6 month stockpile of pasta sauce.

A second trip to Winn Dixie also brought home some bacon wrapped sirloin for $1.99! Love the meat markdowns when they pair with  a sale.

I also saved big by shopping at my local farmer's market for produce. We are very lucky to have a year round farmer's market!


3 heads of broccoli
3 green tomatoes (yum!)
3 limes
1 onion
4 avocado
7 lbs of oranges
6 lbs of apples

All of this for just $15!

I've started canning already this  year and plan to make marmalade this weekend. We are also looking forward to some fried green tomatoes. We're definitely going to be eating well :)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

To paint or not to paint

I recently picked up this beauty in the rough:



My TV is going to live on top.

I'm on the fence about painting it. I have painted most of the furniture in the living room. Would painting this be overkill? Am I going to look back at my furniture painting frenzy with as much love as say...the wood paneling someone put over the plaster walls in our house in the late 60s, forty years later?

This is a solid piece of furniture.

If I paint it, I'm thinking a soft yellow.  And maybe oil rubbed bronze for the drawer pulls? Because I'm not as inclined to update those. I think they are pretty retro-cool.

As an aside: Those aren't my muddy foot prints...that's pollen! My car is already coated in it. And walking in from the outside just tracks it all over the house! YUK.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Last Minute Mom Miracle

Sometimes, my life feels like a sitcom desperately in need of a laugh track.

About a week ago, I got a Facebook message from a friend asking if I knew anyone who could sew and was willing to help with the costumes for the second grade play! And in my temporary insanity kindness I offered up myself as someone who could help.

Monday, I picked up this lovely fabric:


I was shown the dress they needed me to make, but not given an actual pattern.

Thank goodness it was a peasant dress and I knew I could make four dresses in an evening.

Because I'm such an awesome mom, I took two patterns and Frankensteined them together to create the pattern to recreate the dress.

In the end we ended up with four of these:


The performance was tonight and the kids did a fantastic job. I was so proud of my kid because she can carry a tune. Definitely doesn't take after her mom on that one! Danger Girl was one of the dancers for a rendition of Hard Knocks Life from Annie. None of the girls actually had to dress like Annie.







I distorted the faces, though I probably didn't need to. They are all about as clear as Danger Girl's...that is to say, I seriously need a camera besides the one on my phone!

The post where I get all sappy

Fifteen years ago today, I became a mother.

It's hard to believe.

The Boy was a preemie, 7 weeks early weighing 4 lbs 1 oz.


I have to say, I am rather relieved his looks improved.

And now, he's bigger than I am!



We've had some struggles. The Boy has Asperger's Syndrome which is a form of high functioning autism. For the most part he's doing really well. We are having some school struggles. It's not because he's not smart or capable. His school is on a modified block. This means they do four classes one day and four different classes the next. It's too much back and forth for him and he tends to miss work and feel overwhelmed.

We tend to be free range parents and letting our kids fly when they are ready. This is a time when our little bird came back to us after making a giant SPLAT as he flew straight in to a window. The window was beautiful stained glass and we all warned him not to fly into it to get a better look, but ya know, he's a teenager and knows better than we do. So he went SPLAT and now we're trying to get him to able to know how to walk through doors instead. The windows are cool and all, but he gets distracted by his own reflection!

Recently, he asked for a computer. We told him not until he could pay for it himself. So he begged and scavenged and built himself his own computer without spending any money! He's very resourceful.

He wants to drive. Our condition: He has to be an Eagle Scout first. He was a pretty dedicated scout before. When he decides he likes something, there's no turning him away from it. He has more reason than ever to love scouting if it means he gets to drive!

He takes his responsibilities at church very seriously. We don't have a lot of young men in our congregation, so The Boy helps pass the sacrament each week still. It's usually a job for the 12-13 year old boys. We have three and need about 7 to get the job done. On a recent scouting overnight, The Boy reminded the other scouts they needed to read their Scriptures before bed. He wants to serve as a missionary when he's 19.

Listening to my friends with boys this age, we don't have many of the same struggles. Girls? Not even on the radar. Mouthy? Sure, but it's more like 10 year old boy mouthy, not teenager mouthy. Believe me, we're getting to know teenager mouthy with Leelee! He still is very much a little kid. He plays with legos and nerf guns. He loves Star Wars. He's our little Sheldon Cooper


Monday, March 12, 2012

Little Miss Diva Photoshoot

This post is dedicated to what happens when your 2 year old gets your phone...

She takes about 200 pictures of herself making goofy faces













Friday, March 9, 2012

Friday Finals...I'm not a hoarder, I promise

Sometimes when I go shopping, I want to bring all six of my kids with me. Then, when I load up with 10 or more of each item, people don't mistake me for one of those couponers...The ones who clear the shelves for no other reason than they got there first.

Really, when I buy 7 boxes of cereal or 10 bottles of juice, it's because it's a reasonable amount for a family our size. If I were to give all the yogurt eaters in my house just one yogurt a day for a week, we'd go through nearly FIFTY, yes 5-0 containers. It's a bit mind boggling when you start to think about quantities.

I try to limit to 10 of like items per trip. But sometimes, I need more...and it's not always there. So, I have to go back to the store a few times to get what we need.

We are planting a garden soon. It's a necessity with a family this size. Your head would spin if I told you how much fresh produce we go through when the kids are home during the summer. It's all they want to snack on. I bought strawberries this week. We ate a pound in one afternoon. I froze the other two pounds. The week before, I picked up three pounds and turned it all in to jam.

At the store this week, I managed to pick up almost $160 worth for just $47! I noticed on my receipt that I bought the wrong sized Frosted Flakes and yet I still managed to have fantastic savings! And by Fantastic, I mean I saved a heck of a lot more than I spent.


7 boxes of cereal
10 bottles of juice
11 bottles pasta sauce
1 box of pasta (I know, right? But we usually use the sauce on other things besides pasta)
14 cans of soup
2 boxes of CheezIts
1 dozen Eggs
3 lbs Strawberries
2 boxes Fruit & Nut Breakfast
2 gallons of milk

I do get asked how much milk we go through in a week. It's just 2 gallons. We are not milk drinkers. Milk is more of an ingredient here, usually used with cereal. Everyone in the family is lactose intolerant. We do stock up on lactaid pills. Milk is typically purchased at Costco, but this week the coupons (and gas prices) made Publix the place for milk. It was buy 2 Kellogg's cereals and get $2 off $2 gallons of milk.  It made the milk $2.89/gal which isn't that bad. I also had coupons on the cereal, of course.

Is there anything your family goes through crazy amounts of? I'd love to hear about other family freaky food habits ha ha

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Taking the plunge

Five years ago, I made a commitment to lose weight. I went to the gym five days a week. I did an hour of cardio a day and an hour of pilates.

And I didn't lose any weight.

I lost inches, but I didn't lose weight.

So many people tried to make me feel better by saying "Muscle weighs more than fat."

Here's a newsflash:

A pound of muscle and a pound of fat...both weigh exactly a pound. Fat just takes up more space.

And it jiggles.

Muscle is more dense than fat, certainly.

I went from a size 10 down to a size 6. And weighed pretty much the same. But I was tone. No more jiggle.

And whoever said I'd lose weight in the chest lied. Size 6 and still a DD. The husband was happy but clothes were still nearly impossible to find.

Then, I had a baby.

Then, I had another baby.

Then, I had major surgery which required me not working out for nearly a year.

I jiggle again.

My arms are awful.

A week ago I made a commitment to start working out again. It's unrealistic for me to expect to perform at the level I was five years ago right out of the gate.

Right now, the goal is consistency. Work out every day. Thirty minutes of cardio.

I wish I could see results already. I don't. In fact, according to my Wii-Fit, I weigh MORE than I did a week ago. D said "Muscle weighs more than fat" and I about smacked him. If that were the case, I'd be seeing some sort of change.

The pants fitting a bit better. They don't.
The arms less jiggly? Well, sure because it hurts to move them!

I guess, I have to take the muscle soreness as a sign that my body is noticing what I'm doing.

By the end of March, my goal is to be consistently doing an hour of cardio a day. Maybe by the end of April I'll see the results.

I don't have any real "number" goals of weight loss. I don't want to jiggle. I have a pair of pants (or five) that I'd like to fit in to for summer. Some tops that I'd like to wear where my arms don't look like sausages.

So there you have it. My fitness goals. My taking the plunge in getting myself back to a healthy lifestyle.

Now, anyone want to be my accountability buddy?

Hitting publish before I change my mind...

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Black Eyes? Or Mama's makeup?

She's going goth...

Little Miss climbs. She found my makeup. So I put it up higher. Didn't work. Now I have to keep it in another room completely. She thinks she so pretty. My mom thought she got a black eye. Nope. Just trying to go goth.