Tag Archives: dinner

Holiday Weekend Fun :)

26 Nov

Emma had a blast this thanksgiving weekend. Thursday we went over to see the North side of the family and Emma got to play football with her cousins and color with Dodo:

All that good food and playing led to this on the way home:

One zonked out child 😉 It was only a matter of minutes when we got her in the seat to get to this state!

Friday we had thanksgiving with the Durhams where Emma got to play with Tyler:

They are like two peas in a pod! Playing ball, building lego houses, puzzles, and chasing each other through the house. I have a feeling these two are going to enjoy growing up together.

Saturday we spent the day at Josh & Sarah’s house dog sitting. Emma spent a majority of the day building “sand castles with slides”:

and pretending to be a princess with the new necklace that mommy made:

Sunday was Papa’s birthday! So Emma went to Nana and Dodo’s house to play while the grown up went out to the movies and dinner.

This was on family filled holiday weekend! I hope your weekend was just as entertaining 🙂

Love Always,

J

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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

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

Preparation Meets Opportunity

22 Aug

In this case – preparation meets the opportunity to spend less being grumpy in the kitchen 😉

So I did it! After all those lists, coupons, and shopping – I prepped the heck out of this weeks meals. I sat down a decided out of the two week list that needed to be prepped – which ones I was going to do for this week. Here’s the list in case you forgot:

  1. Taco Soup
  2. Enchiladas
  3. Vegetable Soup
  4. Tortilla Roll Ups
  5. Muffins
  6. Banana Bread
  7. Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
  8. Meat Sauce: (3 meals)
  9. Red Sauce: (2 meals)
  10. Crockpot chicken in broth for meals: 8 meals worth
  11. Hard Boiled Eggs: 6-8

So for this two weeks I did:

  1. Hard Boiled Eggs (8)
  2. Crockpot Chicken (3 Meals Worth)
  3. Meat Sauce (3 Meals Worth)
  4. Taco Soup
  5. Banana Bread

I’ll be doing the rest later as I go (you may notice a few things came off the list – those are the ones I’m going to make when I want them and save the rest for leftovers).

I started off with the meat sauce and the hard boiled eggs. Since meat sauce takes attention and a lot of standing in front of the stove I decided to pair it with eggs since those are easy peasy and I could easily check on them.

One of the tricks I use to my sauce is to let it cook for a while on medium low. Get all those seasonings in there and cooked really well so it’s even (this takes a little stirring too). Once it was done I put it in a container and put in the freezer. When it’s time to cook I’ll just defrost in the fridge the morning of, throw it in the pan on medium to warm up and TADA we are done. Easy peasy.

When the eggs were done boiling I cooled them off under the sink with cool water and put them in a container (shells still on) in the fridge. Later I can decide if I want to make egg salad sandwiches, put an egg in a fresh made salad, or have a hard boiled egg for breakfast! I made enough to have all three options. Leaving the shells on is something I chose to do so the eggs wouldn’t absorb all the other smells in the fridge as well as making them last longer. But now I won’t have to wait 15-20 minutes for these suckers to be ready to eat.

After that I put chicken broth in a crockpot with three meals worth of chicken. We buy chicken tenders at Sam’s Club because it’s cheaper to buy it in bulk and chicken tenders cook faster that big chicken breasts. Since there’s three of us in our family I use three chicken tenders. These cook on high for 2-3 hours. I kept checking them to see how they were doing.

While those where cooking I moved on to the banana bread! The first time I did this recipe it took FOREVER so I always make sure I am going to have plenty of time and not try to do anything else while I’m making this. Which meant while I was waiting 2-3 hours for the crockpot I had plenty of time!

Now that I’ve done this recipe a couple of times it’s getting easier and faster to do and my confidence in making this has spiked since I haven’t messed it up yet 😉 After it was all ready I popped it in the oven at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.

Yummmm. It came out looking fantastic! I let it cool for 10 minutes and then came back ready to cut it up and give it a taste test.

Brian helped with the taste test and decided it needed chocolate chips in it. I told him this was supposed to be a somewhat healthy breakfast or snack alternative and if he wanted chocolate chips he’d have to ask his mom to make him some 😉 haha. Good thing she lives five minutes away – so I can get away with that!

After all that the chicken was ready. I pulled them out of the crockpot and put three tenders in each container and stuck them in the freezer. When it’s time to make a meal I’ll defrost them in the microwave throw some sauce on them and heat them up in a pan 🙂 (I just saved myself 30 minutes of cooking in the kitchen!)

Since I had just bought some fresh hamburger meat I went ahead and made mini hamburger patties to freeze. I thought sliders would be the perfect lunch for the girls and I one day since they have little fingers and big buns are hard to hold. Emma and I actually had a taste test of these Monday and they were DELICIOUS! ❤ It took about 15 minutes to make.. maybe less than that and one pan to clean 🙂 I can handle that!

Taco soup was the other thing on my list but we previously made that so I was off the hook there 😉 If you haven’t heard of taco soup click this link and you can see the recipe for it. It’s so easy and so yummy I make a batch every time we run out so there’s always some on hand at my house.

This entire process took about 3 and a half hours including stopping for 30 minutes to eat dinner. Doing this every Sunday night might just be worth it to make each meal during the day cut in half with easier clean ups.

I’ll keep you updated on how it goes 🙂

Love Always,

J

If you like my blog – click on the link below daily to vote for me!

Making Food Easy

20 Aug

One thing that this family does not have – is a good grasp on food and making our grocery trips the best. Part of my budgeting is couponing. Part of my couponing is not buying things we don’t need. Part of my problem is I don’t know what we really do need..

So to solve this problem I made lists upon lists upon lists: Are you ready for this?

First off – I grocery shop every two weeks or less if possible. So I needed to make 14 different meals for each three meals a day.

Breakfast:

  1. Waffles
  2. Cereal
  3. Pancakes
  4. French Toast
  5. Sausage Biscuits
  6. Bacon Egg & Cheese Sandwhiches
  7. Oatmeal
  8. Muffins
  9. Banana Bread
  10. Yogurt & Granola
  11. Cream Cheese Bagel
  12. Oatmeal Smoothie
  13. Breakfast Bar
  14. Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Then I separated lunches in two sections. One for the girls and one for me because we obviously eat different lunches!! Brian’s left out of the lunches since he buys lunch each day at work and he has his staples on the weekends that are always in the house.

Girls Lunches:

  1. Pizza
  2. Fish Sticks
  3. Ham & Cheese
  4. Quesidilla
  5. Hot Dog
  6. Raviolis (Mac N Cheese)
  7. Chicken Nuggets
  8. PB & J/Banana
  9. Cheeseburgers
  10. Chicken Noodle Soup
  11. Egg Salad Sandwiches
  12. Meatball Mini Bites
  13. Tortilla Roll Up
  14. Pasta Salad

Lunches for Me! (Note: There are a few main course meals in here because Brian refuses to eat them – so I make them for lunch and just portion myself appropriately)

  1. Chicken Potatoes & Carrots
  2. Chicken Rice & Veggies
  3. Enchiladas
  4. Taco Soup
  5. Beanie Weenies
  6. Rotel Chicken Wraps
  7. PB&J
  8. Ham & Cheese
  9. Pizza
  10. Vegetable Soup
  11. Quesadilla
  12. Egg Salad
  13. Tortilla Roll Up
  14. Leftovers

And finally the easiest to think of meals – but the hardest to get myself to cook them.. Dinners!

  1. Spaghetti
  2. BBQ Chicken & Pasta
  3. Steak Bites & Potatoes
  4. Tacos
  5. Baked Ziti
  6. Teriakyi Chicken Rice & Corn
  7. Lasagna
  8. Breaded Chicken & Pasta
  9. Sloppy Joes
  10. Chicken Cacciatore
  11. Shredded BBQ Chicken Sandwhiches
  12. Quesadillas
  13. Chicken Cordon Bleu & Pasta
  14. Easy Chicken

You’ll notice some of these meals are repeats of lunches but since I have two weeks I can do one meal for lunch and the next week for dinner. That way we don’t get sick of it but honestly they could be eaten for lunch or dinner!

Okay!! So now that I have the list of food and my grocery list all set I needed to come up with a prepping plan to make it easier for the rest of the two weeks easier.

Prepping Plan: I hope to do a majority of my cooking on Sunday. The meals that probably won’t get prepped on Sunday will just be made the day I want to eat them and the leftovers saved for another meal 🙂

Fully Prepped Meals:

Chicken Potatoes & Carrots (throw everything in the oven and cook for 30 min)

Chicken Rice & Veggies (will probably be made the day I want to eat it and saved for another day of eating)

Taco Soup (This batch makes enough to last a loong time and is frozen. Will only have to make this every 3-6 months.

Enchiladas

Vegetable Soup (again frozen)

Tortilla Roll Ups (refrigerated and easy peasy)

Muffins

Banana Bread

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies – which might be knocked off my list depending on how irritating they are.

Partial meals to prep:

Meat Sauce: (3 meals)

Red Sauce: (2 meals)

Crockpot chicken in broth for meals: 8 meals worth (lunches & dinners) this makes it easy to pull out a cooked piece of chicken, shred it, and cook it in a quesadilla with some cheese and veggies. Same with other meals – just heat up with whatever sauce you use and it’s ready to go. I think I’ll be splitting this up into a weekly event where I crockpot four meals worth and divvy it up for certain meals then repeat on the next Sunday.

Hard Boiled Eggs: 6-8

Along with the meals are of course, fruits, veggies, pretzels, crackers, and a few other snacks/sides! But now that I have a serious list of what we are going to eat for the next two weeks and enough choices to not get sick of things, I am thinking our grocery list will dwindle down without all those unnecessary foods that never get made into meals or go bad before I actually use them.

Let’s see how this goes 😉

On Wednesday I’ll be posting about my prepping that I did all day Sunday 🙂 and I’ll let you know if it was worth all the trouble.

Thanks for stopping by!

Love Always,

J

If you like my blog – click on the link below daily to vote for me!

Tuesday Tutorial: Fabric Beach Balls!

13 Mar

Welcome to Tuesday Tutorials – where I find awesome easy tutorials for you – now go get crafty 😉

This crafty tutorial comes from: ThePurlBee

Fabric Beach Balls

 

 

Thanks for stopping by!

 

Love Always,

J

Spotlight Sunday: A Pop of Color

19 Feb

SPOTLIGHT SUNDAY!

New Listings 🙂

Hair Flower Fascinator - Royal Blue & Yellow 3.75"        Shabby Chic Floral Cuff Bracelet, Indie Vintage Inspired, Red Yellow Flowers Pink Roses Floral Lace, Shabby Chic, Delicate Gift Idea, Resin

Hair Flower Fascinator – Roy        Shabby Chic Floral Cuff Brac

HeckmanCrafts                                JesseAnneDesigns
$8.50 USD                                        $28.00 USD
Music Soothes the Soul Cell Phone Charm or Zipper Pull        Handspun, Art Yarn, 98 yards "Baby Boy Blue", Super Soft Merino Wool, Plyed with, White Angora
Music Soothes the Soul Cell P       Handspun, Art Yarn, 98 yard

justByou                                           theSheepandI
$4.00 USD                                       $48.00 USD
Hawaiian Orchid Hair Clips, Hula, Wedding, Bridal, Luau, Hot Pink       Simply Sweet Mittens in Gray
Hawaiian Orchid Hair Clips,         Simply Sweet Mittens in Gray

natashaaloha                                  anniebeeknitting
$6.00 USD                                      $16.00 USD
Pink Orange Stripes Mary Janes - Baby Shoes       Dalmation Bars-Dog Treats-Peanut Butter Swirl & "Chocolate" Carob Chips--10ct
Pink Orange Stripes Mary Ja       Dalmation Bars-Dog Treats-

ShwimmyKids                                 TrueTreatsPetBakery
$32.00 USD                                     $7.00 USD
Antiquedbrass i love you more handstamped necklace with amethyst swarovski crystal and sterling silver disc       Girl bodysuit with pants size 3 to 6 months
Antiquedbrass i love you mor      Girl bodysuit with pants size 3 to 6 months

Lolasjewels                                      lilcleo
$25.00 USD                                    $28.50 USD
Brooklyn Bridge ACEO - "Balloons over the Bridge" - limited edition fine art print - vintage - Hot Air Balloons - whimsical       Cormo Wool, organic roving buy 1 Ounce of cloud like softness Our Farm Speciality
$6.00 USD                                       $3.75 USD
Peanut Butter Milk Chocolate - Reverse TIGER BUTTER - 4 Individual 2 oz bags       Wedding Dress Card - Tiffany Blue, Will you be my Bridesmaid, Blank inside, Thank You Card, Invitation
Peanut Butter Milk Chocolate      Wedding Dress Card – Tiffan

justByou                                          HeckmanCrafts
$8.00 USD                                      $2.50 USD
Handknitted Unisex Neckwarmer       Knit Swaddling blanket dark brown
$24.37 USD                                    $10.95 USD
Thanks for stopping by!
Love Always,
J

Super Bowl Sunday: A Crafter’s Day

5 Feb

It’s Super Bowl Sunday!!!!!! Although since the Steelers aren’t in it – I’m not really that excited lol. Football is a big thing on Brian’s side of the family and it’s been something I enjoy. Every Super Bowl Sunday we go over to his brothers house for a party and it’s been a tradition that I always look forward to. So while Brian is sitting here flipping between all the pregame news and soccer game – I’m being crafty! I’ve got until 5:00 to do as much sewing as I please, so I planned a full day of CRAZYNESS!

This one pattern set has three things I’m so excited about making! I’m attempting to make a bib, boppy pillow cover, and a hoodie blanket! I’m so excited to finally have a set of things for a baby shower gift, but knowing me – it might take a few attempts to get it all right 😉 I’m also doing a few nursery decorative pieces with the leftover scraps I have so that will be a surprise for everyone to see!

I am actually looking forward to next seasons football already – is that sad? lol.

 

Thanks for stopping by!

 

Love Always,

J

Sum it UP Saturday: What the WHAT!?

7 Jan

So to sum up this week I’d say it was a crazy blast!! We had our first BNR on Etsy  for the new year and although the sales didn’t compare to Christmas I’d say it was a success! Along with the new year I have a ton of new products to be made. It’s a little overwhelming but if you think about it being spread out in a 10 month process it makes it a little easier to swallow 😉

Although this week came with a fun-filled success – it also came with sickness!! Emma and I were sick most of the week with this cold that’s been going around and the little girl I watch (who I will refer to as the one year old) had it too! Three sick girls cooped up in one little house was far more exciting than I thought it would be! Even with all the struggles we all managed to have fun and giggle a little here and there. Now that the one year old is walking well, running a little, and playing with toys instead of eating them – it’s been an adventure. Emma’s learning to share toys with others and the one year old is learning to gladly take them 😀 haha. I am however excited for this weekend off so that we can all get over this cold and rest up.

What can you look forward to this coming week? We’ve got our usual Motivation Monday and a Tutorial Tuesday that will make you want to pull out all your extra fabric scraps and get busy! We are hoping to have a Work-In-Progress Wednesday this week so if you have an item your working on that you would like to show off – go up to the contact tab at the top right-hand corner and email me pictures and a description! I hope you’ll come back to see all the excitement and let us know your favorite parts of the underestimatedmom blog 😉

Thanks for stopping by!

 

Love Always,

J

Happy Holidays To You!

25 Dec

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