Tag Archives: cooking

Mini Meals

24 Jun

Today I made Emma a grilled cheese sandwich for lunch. She has like five favorite lunch meals that we tend to rotate through and I try to throw in something different each time. It’s been hard to come up with new lunch ideas when I don’t want to make an ENTIRE meal and her not eat it and then I’m stuck with the leftovers..

An idea popped into my head. Meals for one – better yet mini meals!

Although these look great – they still make a bunch! What I was really looking for was recipies that create a nice meal for one!

So I’m going to attempt to take a couple meals and create a recipes for one! I’ll be posting it here with the ingredients and instructions and Emma’s taste test approval 😉

This will be exciting!!

Got any recipes you think would be perfect for this project? Please let me know below!

Thanks!

J

A Little White, A Lot of Color!

10 Dec

This weekend I had a high school reunion with one of my best friends! We spent the entire weekend shopping, crafting, catching up and creating a masterpiece 🙂

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This girl rocks my world! She is always up for a good time and ready to get crafty in seconds 🙂 We are so much alike that it’s scary sometimes but my favorite thing about her is that she always surprises me! Just when I think I know her so well, she shocks me with more personality and drive. Catching up was way past due and I am so thankful we found the time to make it happen.
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During our shopping trip I bought a new item for my craft show table to display my new necklaces. Nothing shows off what you make than seeing it worn and I felt like this necklace needed that. I’m excited for this new addition to my table 🙂

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We also bought a pack of 80’s glam sharpies. We love color and we decided to try a project with them! You’ll get to see the whole thing soon but for now I’ll just give you this as a sneak peak 😉

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Another sneak peak is what’s about to happen! There is going to be a huge change in my blogging life. I am now starting a blog with Leslie! We are still working on getting it set and ready – so it won’t be open until January but I am so excited I couldn’t not share!

The Underestimated Mom will still be updated but more like two – three times a week instead of almost daily. Most of my time will be spent making articles for A Charming Twist. If you are interested in keeping up with Leslie & I head on over there now or starting in January.

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We are also offering a space to add your button to our page! If you are interested you can email me or our joint address on our page! We will also be doing guest posts so if you think you have something awesome you want to share that’s craft, fashion, food, or home decor related – you’d be the perfect fit for our blog!

Lot’s of fun new things going on!

Hope you are as excited as I am 😉

Love Always,

J

Nick Mom, You Crack Me Up

24 Nov

I don’t know if you all have heard of Nick Mom or not but while staying up and finishing chores I decided to watch it one night. I haven’t laughed so hard in such a long time! This show is like Comedy Central for mothers.

 

For those of you who are mothers that love to laugh at all the ridiculous things that your kids get into – this is for you. For those of you who are mothers that get offended easily – don’t watch this!! As for me, I’m a mom that laughs and this made me laugh.

They have two different shows that I’ve seen: Parental Discretion which is basically like SNL for Moms. Some parts are funny some parts are just plain dumb.

Another show is Mom’s Night Out which is stand up comedy, again funny.

Something you probably weren’t expecting, the commercials are even jokes and one liners to make you smile. This was definitely an interesting night for me!

Don’t have time or want to stay up to watch these shows? Oh don’t worry, they have a website! NickMom.com get your laughs in when you want 😉

Thought I’d share the fun!
Love Always,

J

Happy Thanksgiving!

22 Nov

This year for Thanksgiving – we are spending time in Front Royal with Brian’s side of the family. We do it potluck style where we each bring  something, we catch up, watch the game (I married into a Redskins family), and eat!! I can picture it now – the men in their jersey’s hanging out in front of the TV, the women talking about life, and Emma running around like she’s been eating sugar for weeks 😉

So while that image entertains you (hopefully as much as it entertains me) here’s a list of things I am thankful for this year:

My loving family.

The ability to do what I love each day.

That even though sometimes we are stressed out and trying to make things work around here – that we are able to do it and we make it through all the hard times together.

 

I know that there is WAY more to be thankful of but right now, those are the most important for me 🙂
What are you thankful for this year?

 

Love Always,

J

Look How Far I’ve Come!

20 Nov

So last night I was checking out some of my first posts here at The Underestimated Mom. I was reading about how I had no idea what I was going to write but that I really wanted this to become a way to tell my life to anyone who was interested.

 

Back then, Emma was 9 months old and napping so much during the day that I had all this extra time on my hands that I didn’t know what to do with. I had just quit my job that I loved/hated, and was on my way to discovering what it was I wanted to do with my life (besides the obvious: be there for my daughter 24/7).

At that same time, I started to crochet and of course the crazy person I am decided to START crocheting one of the most difficult patterns ever. Here’s a picture of a sweater jacket I was making for Emma. It turned out great (minus the fact that there was supposed to be a hood that never happened).

It was then I learned that I loved being home with Emma, I loved to crochet, I loved to blog, and I wanted to do whatever it took to keep those three loves in my life.

After facebooking and blogging about what Emma and I were up to, what I was crocheting, and my random thoughts along the way, a friend introduced me to Etsy. A place online where I could sell what I made. When I first searched the website I immediately daydreamed of having a shop and making an income so I’d never have to leave Emma to work again!

After months of not selling anything I went route two. I decided to provide child care from my home for a child. I can’t even explain how much I am so grateful for the moment I made that decision. Now I have two other children besides my own in my life that I’d never want to not care for! Of course, they will grow up and not need me anymore, but until then I’ll imagine they’ll never grow up!

It’s been over two years now that I’ve been blogging, selling the items I’m making (on my own site now!), and providing child care. It’s been a long two years!

 

 

For those of you who have been with me since the beginning I’m sure you are shocked at how much things have changed around here. For those of you who are new – now you know the back story! It’s amazing what a little time can do to someone. All I needed was a few weeks at home with my daughter to figure out the rest of my life. A few weeks is all it took and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

I’m excited, nervous, anxious, and hopeful for what the next two years might bring!

Thanks for stopping by!

 

Love Always,

J

 

Late Night Chats With Myself ;)

15 Nov

Even though you are reading this at some point and it’s probably Thursday for you – technically I am writing this at 11:15 pm Wednesday. So I’ll go ahead and apologize for the lack of pictures and random long sentences.

I’m sitting up after realizing that I have absolutely no clean clothes to wear to my appointment tomorrow. Little Mrs. Has It All Together from my list post yesterday, doesn’t quite have it all together 😉 Well at least not for tomorrow!

If you are a mom, you probably understand when I say that I tend to put everyone before myself. In this case, the rest of my families clothes managed to get done before mine. Silly me thinking I’d be fine with raggity t-shirts and leggings. Whoops!!

So tonight I will be sitting up listening for the dryer to stop so I can move loads in order to have an outfit that is allowed to step out in the public clean for tomorrow!

It’s been a long time since I’ve stayed up late and been the only person awake. If you have been a long time follower of my blog then you’d know that I used to do this all the time. It was the only way to get peace and quiet to myself. Emma was hardly napping for a while there and when she was, I was too!

I had gotten used to staying up later just to get some me time and I spent it sewing, crocheting, blogging, catching up on music and tv shows. It’s amazing that an hour or two of dead silence for your brain to think can really change a person! I felt so free, got so much crafting accomplished, and almost felt like a teenager all over again 🙂

My blogging might have even been better because of it! When I have time to think, writing comes so naturally. Like now. I could probably ramble on for hours because it’s like my mind has space to stretch out and breathe! That is if you like it when I ramble 😉

Staying up like this tonight is a reminder of all that. It’s also a reminder of why I quit doing it!! Sure an hour or two of freedom sounds so refreshing and exciting, but I was also dead tired the next day. I hardly woke up on time, counting down the hours to Emma’s nap time so I could nap too, and feeling like a zombie. I really don’t miss living like that. I missed out on so many fun things with Emma!! I’m not so much looking forward to that tomorrow – but at least I’ll be clothed properly.

Luckily tomorrow is a day off for me as well. Emma will be playing with Nana all day and I’ll be with my Mom in Alexandria for my appointment, her appointment, and then running a few errands. I’ll be able to not be completely all there tomorrow 😉 and if anyone understands that – it’s my Mom!!

As much as I’ll hate this tomorrow – I may just end up doing this again every once in a while. My brain needed it!

Well it’s time to change loads and catch up on shows 😉 See you all bright and early tomorrow and probably napping as soon as I get home haha!

Love Always,

J

 

 

 

Keeping It Old School

14 Nov

If there’s one thing I love the most – it’s a fresh pad of paper 🙂 I know that sounds ridiculous but it’s the only thing that keeps me organised!

One Steno pad lasts me about 2 months. So every 2 months I get a fresh new one to re-organize my goals and lists. On the first page I put my Money Goals for the two weeks and the year. It keeps me on track for how much I hope to make in order to make this my sole income. It also gives me a perspective on what my goal was for the past 2 months and what I made during that time.

I also make a list of things I want to finish in that two months. As soon as it’s finished I get the joy of crossing it out!! It also is a way to remind myself to put it in my inventory list, know what yarn I need to purchase to replace the materials, and when it’s sold I mark it out on my inventory list to put it in outright for my taxes.

How can you be organized without a shopping list?! This girl can’t! I write things down in two sections: Home & Work. In order to keep this sheet available for two months I tend to white out what I’ve purchased so I can use it again 🙂 This page gets some serious love by the end of two months!

Then on the rest of the 75 sheets I write my daily lists of what I want to accomplish. It includes: housework, Emma’s needs, my goals, and sometimes even reminders for Brian. Since I’m limited on time I can get projects done, I schedule those during nap time and night time. You’ll see it says crochet during nap time, which today means I’ll be finishing up a boot cuff and making a matching one to create a pair. It then says crochet after bath time, which means I’ll be finishing up cup cozies and starting on a scarf.

It may seems silly to not organize my things on the computer but I can’t always take my computer with me when I’m shopping, I need time away from my computer (especially when I’m trying to get things accomplished), and I like the satisfaction of writing things down and crossing them off my list! It’s a joy I just can’t even explain!

How do you organize your life? Do you make sure to re-evaluate your list after a period of time?

I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Love Always,

J

We Makin’ Cookies!

11 Oct

This is what Emma chanted last night the entire time we made cookies 🙂 I’ve been trying to bake more often around here and now that the weather is cool and the toaster keeps us warm – it was time to make some cookies!!

Today we decided to make Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies – if it weren’t for Betty Crocker Mixes – I’d never make these cookies so tasty!

First we stirred in the butter, egg, and a little bit of vegetable oil.

Then came the mix!

Stirring takes a lot of concentration, muscle, and some tounge 😉

Then we took a spoon and made cookie blotches on the pan. Emma was so shocked she got the cookie dough off the spoon without having to use her finger. That’s right – she banged it on the pan until it came off. That’s my girl!

Someone was so excited to watch them bake in the toaster oven. She wouldn’t leave the stool until they were ready!

I bet you can imagine her disappointment when she realized she had to wait for them to cool. In order to make time fly by we counted the cookies – a bunch of times!

Then it was time for a taste test! Nothing ends a great day like fresh cookies and milk 🙂

What’s your favorite thing to bake?

Thanks for stopping by!

Love Always,

J

How I Coupon

9 Oct

Today’s post is going to be about how I coupon. There are so many different ways to coupon and so many different techniques for saving money, so I decided to share mine!

I keep my coupons in a binder that has a billion pockets in the front. It holds coupons that aren’t necessarily for the grocery store but that way all my coupons are together. I have a divider for my grocery store points cards, a section for the coupons I want to use currently, and the notebook pages for my lists of what I need. Behind those are how I sort my coupons – I use sheet protectors to keep everything organized and easy to flip through for searching.

I start out with the latest pile of coupons from the newspaper and my binder. I thumb through the coupon pages and if I find one I like I take the entire page out. If there’s coupons on the back that I like also I dog-ear the page to remind myself when it comes to sorting time! After I’ve gone through and separated out all the coupons I want – I throw away the excess pages.

Once I’m down to my small pile of coupon pages – I sort by expiration date and get them ready to add to my existing coupons. Before I add them in I go through and take out the coupons that have expired or are going to expire before I make it to the grocery store. Once I’ve done that I take the empty sheet protectors and add them to the back so they are ready for new pages.

Then I start adding in the new pages. For the coupon pages that have a coupon I want on one side and nothing good on the other I will put it in the sheet protector with another facing the opposite direction. That way when I’m flipping through I look at both sides and there’s something I want on each side. If I have dog-eared the coupon page because there’s something on either side – I’ll put that page in the sheet with nothing behind it so that when it’s flipped I see the back as well.

Because my mother-in-law is awesome and gives me her coupons that she doesn’t use – sometimes I’ll have multiple sheets. As you can see above on the left hand side I have multiple Domino coupons. I pile them together and put them in one sheet protector. Since they have the same expiration date it keeps me from flipping through pages of the same coupons and if I decide I want more than one I just peek in to see how many pages of that coupon I have!

This works great for things we buy often like crescent rolls and yogurt. It may have an expiration date of 12/31/2012 and I have three different pages of that same coupon and expiration. I’ll use one each time I make a run to the grocery store so I save three times and I’m only hogging up one sheet protector.

Once I get all the coupons in their sheets by their expiration date, I take a look at my two weeks grocery list. This is a list I came up when I was sick of trying to figure out what all ingredients we had and what dinner I could make out of it. I spent a day gathering breakfast, lunch, snack, and dinner ideas and wrote down what ingredients I needed for each meal. You can check out my list of meal ideas here!

This list keeps me from standing in front of the refrigerator trying to figure out what we have and it gives me a full two weeks worth of meals for each day. Plenty of options!! Another thing I did to make this as easy as possible, I put what I buy in order of the how I go through the grocery store. This keeps me from having to read the whole list while I’m in the grocery store trying to make sure I didn’t miss anything. (Yes I’m that annoyingly organized about it!)

After I make the list of what we need to restock for the two weeks – I flip through the coupons and see which ones match up with what I’m buying. Sometimes there’s a lot! Sometimes there’s nothing. Each time I find a coupon that’s expiring that we might not necessarily need but I’d like to use the coupon so I’ll buy it. I keep these off to the bottom right so that I know if I’m hitting my budgeted amount I can take those items off my list since we don’t really need them.

After I’ve pulled out the ones I’d like to use on the next trip – I cut them out so it’s not a huge piece of paper and count up all my savings off my coupons. Then I put them in the pocket and all I have to do when I’m ready to go shopping is grab my notebook!

This two weeks I’ll be spending about $80 and with coupons alone I’ll have saved $14. Once I get there and buy everything on my list and use my points card I end up saving another $10-$15 dollars. After my grocery run – I’ll update at the bottom here and let you know how much I saved exactly!

How do you organize your coupons?

If you are interested to see how I prep my food after grocery shopping – I have a post called Preparation Meets Opportunity about it!

Thanks for stopping by!

Love Always,

J

Taking it Easy Today!

27 Sep

 

I have two little girls here today and we are going to be taking it easy! Most days we spend half the day inside and half the day outside but since the weather is going to keep us from going out – I decided to take a practice day of keeping them entertained inside!

 

Since they are 2 and 3, their attention span is about 30 minutes. Here’s our usual schedule for a day that includes outdoor time:

8:30-9:00 Excitement to see each other which involves, hugs, kisses, chasing each other, and showing each other toys. Then they’ll usually “help” me get breakfast ready.

9:00-9:30 Breakfast time!

9:30-10:00 Free play time in the house.

10:30-11:00 We go for a walk.

11:00-11:30 Color or Play-Doh

11:30-12:00 They help me make lunch

OR

10:30-11:30 Park Time

11:30-12:00 They help me make lunch

12:00 Lunch

12:30-1:00 Quiet Time

1:00 -4:00 Nap Time

4:00 – 4:15 Snack

4:15 – 5:00 Puzzles, Reading Time, or Blocks usually.

 

So what I’ll need to do is find an indoor activity to keep us busy from 10:30-11:00. Some days we’ll bundle up and play out on the back patio but for those really cold or yucky days I wanted a few options to keep us entertained.

Today we are going to try music time. I’ve got a bunch of musical toys ready and I’m hoping it will include lots of dancing and giggling to get out all their energy!

Do you have any great ideas you’d love to share?

Thanks for stopping by.

 

Love Always,

J

 

 

 

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