Tag Archives: food

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

I’M BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

12 Jun

I hope you didn’t miss me too much 😉 of course you all know I missed you!

A few things you may have missed:

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We bought our FIRST house!  ❤ So we can mark that of the 30 before 30 list!

If you want to see the house tours the are here, here, and here! Yes there are three or else they would have been huge posts!

If you hadn’t noticed I’ve been blogging over here at A Charming Twist with my friend Leslie:

 

 

I decided to start writing with Leslie as a way for us to keep in touch, share my DIY & Craft obsession with her and as a way to keep this blog more family related. So from now on you’ll see posts about my life, Emma, and things we are doing as a family!  Sure there will be the occasional DIY post because – let’s be honest – I can’t help myself 😉

If you love my DIY and organizing posts please be sure to follow us at A Charming Twist so you don’t miss out those goodies.

And just because I can’t help myself – here’s what Emma’s been up to these days:

 

Trying out Mom & Dad’s new bed.

Helping Mommy set up her new craft room / office space!

Attempting the piano (she’s actually pretty good!)

Cuddling with Mommy on the new couch watching the NEW TV!

Taking baby for walks in our new neighborhood!

Enjoying some sun on the deck!

Passing out in her new bed after a long hard day of play!

Trying out new restaurants!!

Walking in the rain with her monkey umbrellie 🙂

Being Mommy’s big helper on shopping trips!

 

Doing big girl things like puzzles!

Playing in every room of the house!

 

and of course being as cute as possible 🙂 

 

We are so happy to be back and we hope you enjoy following our lives here and our crafts at A Charming Twist!

 

Love Always,

J

Missing Something?

13 Feb

Hey everyone! Just wanted to make sure you weren’t missing what we are chatting about over at A Charming Twist!

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Monday I posted my famous Chicken Cacciatore Recipe – this is one that Emma helps me with all the time 😉 It’s super easy and super delicious!

Tuesday Leslie posted about Nail Art! There are some seriously awesome ideas on her page and even a really cute one for Valentines Day!

Today I posted What’s New in my closet! You know finding a great deal is an all time favorite of mine so you won’t want to miss the deals I got on these!

 

Thanks for stopping by today!

 

Love Always,

J

 

 

Christmas At 3

1 Jan

This year Emma had 5 different Christmases!! That’s what happens when you have a huge family and you live close to all of them 🙂 We actually missed out on one family Christmas this year so there could have been six! Whew. So instead of splitting them all up into different posts I’ll just give you the quick peak at a few of them.

 

 

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Little miss too excited to wait two minutes for me to get a pick before she saw all the presents! She was so excited!

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This year we let her play with each toy after she opened it. Needless to say it took from 9am-4pm the first day!

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Emma’s dressy outfit 🙂

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By Round 3 of Christmas she was a professional at opening presents!

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Brian and I enjoying watching her open presents instead of having to help her like last year 😉

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Chick Fil A treats for Christmas this year! I had to share mine of course 😉

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A beautiful mist of snow just in time for Christmas this year.

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Now it’s time to say goodbye to December and hello to the new year!

I hope you all had wonderful holiday’s this year and I am looking forward to a new year of blogging here! What are you looking forward to this year?

Love Always,

J

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

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

Our Little Family.

21 Nov

It’s not often that the three of us go out together. If we are all home then usually one person stays with Emma and the other will run errands or one of us will take Emma out while the other stays home. Since a majority of the time Brian and I are both working there isn’t much time that we have together that overlaps and when we do we like to spend it together being lazy and enjoying each other’s company.

My schedule this year has picked up and we’ve been working a majority of four days a week instead of three – which I am not complaining about all! I love providing child care and watching the girls play together. Brian’s schedule is a normal Monday – Friday schedule but he has most Tuesdays off.

Almost every Tuesday I dedicate to running errands, getting groceries, and getting ready for the next week. I like to do all those things during the week because it’s so crowded on the weekends so it’s much more relaxing to go while everyone else is busy. Saturday’s and Sunday’s are when I get to work in the studio or we have family events. It’s a rare occasion around here when we don’t have at least one thing to do on the weekend.

Thanks to thanksgiving break this week and last Tuesday doing 99% of my errands for two weeks – this Tuesday was going to be an easy day. I only had one errand to run and we were all going out as a family together 🙂 Since this doesn’t happen often I like to soak it up and enjoy it!

I spent the morning getting ready, doing my hair and make up (which hardly happens), getting Emma ready, and cleaning up the house so we’d come home to no chores. Once we were all in the car I snapped a picture of Emma:

I think she was pretty excited about going out with both of us. We went to Harris Teeter to pick up rolls for Thanksgiving and a few other things. Watching Brian push her in the cart and chat with her was adorable! I don’t know what it is about men and their children but it makes my heart melt!

After wiping one Harris Teeter out of rolls we realized we needed to make another stop at a different Harris Teeter. Emma found it amusing that we were going to another grocery store!

It wasn’t much but I loved it.

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

A Special Surprise

3 Oct

This past weekend we went to Front Royal to celebrate a special person for her birthday 🙂

 

Here’s Emma’s view of the event!

Nana and Emma patiently wait for Ninny to come be surprised!

Ninny sure was surprised!!!

Then it was time to eat all the yummy food

Emma hung out with Aunt Sarah

and Uncle Josh!

Then it was time for family pictures – here’s Ninny with all her grandchildren and significant others.

And Ninny and Pop with Emma

Then Emma with her two soon to be cousins!

Emma had a blast – this was everyone’s view of her that day!

A successful surprise party and a great day to spend with family 🙂

Love Always,

J

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