Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

I know it is a day early but I won't be on here tomorrow.  Happy  Thanksgiving to all my friends in the blog world.   I hope everyone has a safe and fun Holiday. We will be spending ours with my husband's family and eating too much food as always. 

On Friday my daughter and I will venture out to do some Black Friday shopping.  I know there are lots of opinions out there about Black Friday shopping but my daughter and I enjoy it.  We spend Thanksgiving with our family and then get up early for shopping.  Do we save a lot of money ? Yes/No, Some are good deals and some are not. Last year I ended up getting everyday items and not much Christmas shopping.  We just enjoy going out and spending the time together. I know she won't always be home so I am enjoying it.

Happy Thanksgiving !

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Day 26 - Hard time staying focused

I have had a hard time staying focused on publishing my daily Thanksgiving post. It seems like this month is just slipping away.  Here are the days I missed plus my weekly menu.

Day 22:
           Thankful for our bowling group. Hubby and I started bowling on a Friday night league this year. Hubby has bowled for years but I have only done it on a league a few years before my daughter was born. We have a lot of fun and just hang out. It is technically a competitive league but no one makes it that way. We all encourage each other and reward each other when someone has a good game. Nobody takes it too serious.  It is something that just Hubby and I do. The kids come along but all go watch a movie together at the owner's apartment that is attached to the building. 

Day 23:
           For our vehicles. Hubby and I both have vehicles that run. They may be older but they are still running. Hubby's truck is paid off and my van is getting closer.  I am thankful that we are able to afford two vehicles. It makes transporting kids a lot easier that both of us have a vehicle.

Day 24:
          Relaxing Sundays: Sunday is my favorite day of the week. We usually try to make Sunday a down day. We go to church and try not to plan anything else for the day.  I try to have all the housework down also so we can just relax. This doesn't always work out but that is the plan. Some Sundays I make a big dinner ( I enjoy cooking so this doesn't seem like work) and then some Sundays we just have sandwiches. It is football season so we usually have a game on or we pick a movie to watch.  Sundays is family time. :)

Day 25:
           Food. :) We had a huge Thanksgiving potluck at work today and I was so full that I didn't need to eat dinner last night.  It was nice fun event at work. Everyone in our department brought something and we just sat around and talked and ate. Of course we had to work in the afternoon but  I think we all really just took a nap because it was very quiet yesterday afternoon.

Day 26:
          Short Work Weeks.  I am one of the luck ones that I don't have to work on Thursday or Friday so this is a short week for me. It has been a busy couple of weeks at work so i am ready for a few days off.  We are going to my sister - in laws on Thanksgiving and then my daughter and I are venturing out for Black Friday shopping.  My daughter loves to go so I am taking her. I am not sure what all we may find but we have going. I know I know some thing we are crazy and we are but it is something we do together and enjoy.  she is 15 and I know that eventually she won't be here to go with so I am making the most of it.

Weekly Menu:
            Monday: Sandwiches
            Tuesday: Spaghetti & Garlic Bread
            Wednesday: Ham n Beans. (That is if I remember to soak the beans I keep forgetting)
             Thursday: Thanksgiving. All I have to do is the green bean casserole. Yay me !
            Friday: Bowling night, and everyone is bringing food. Will feed the kids before we go so they are taken care of .
            Saturday:  ??
            Sunday: ??

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Day 21 - I missed a few days

          I have not done very well the last week with my thankful list. I would think about sitting down and writing one every day but just didn't take the time. It has been a crazy busy few days. Here is what I am thankful for in the past week.
  1.  My youngest son. M2 - He is still in that little boy stage ( 7) but wants to be a big kid. Even though he wants to be a big kid he still welcomes me home everyday with a great big hug. Sometimes he almost knocks me down because he launches himself at me. Those are the best hugs ever.
  2. My daughter - She is 15 years old and going through Drivers Ed right now. She tries my patience at times especially with her driving :) but I love that she is growing up to be a very special young lady. She loves school and already knows what she wants to do after HS. She wants to be a surgical nurse. 
  3. Friends - I am not a very outgoing person and I tend to be very shy. I don't have a lot of close friends but I truly cherish the ones that I have. There are a few that I can relax around and tell them anything.
  4. My House - I live in Central IL and several communities within 20 minutes of my house were hit with an EF- 4 Tornado on Sunday. My sister in law lived in one of the communities and was luck they only damage they had was a tree came down on part of their front porch. I know several people that live in the area and none of them lost their homes but there are hundreds of homes that were lost in our are and it just seems unreal the damage that is done. Our small town had heavy wind and some rain but the heavy stuff missed us.
  5. First Responders - Be it  Fire , Police, Medical there was a huge show of support on Sunday.  There was so many Medical personnel that showed up that they eventually had to say we have enough Dr and Nurses. 
  6. Electricity Lineman - We lost power on Sunday before the worst of the storm hit.  We ended up being without power for about 12 hours.  The Lineman were out quickly and worked all night to get power back on to the affected areas. We got ours back around midnight. In the town where I work there were lineman working for two days to restore power. I know they are paid well but it is still time away from their families and it is a hard and dangerous job. 
  7. The Volunteers - The amount of people that have turned out to Volunteer and contribute help to the Tornado victims has just been unreal. I have not made it over to the affected area yet but our church has been sending in supplies. There was a group that drove up from Louisiana to feed the volunteers and victims yesterday. It restores my faith in people. 

With everything that has happened in our neighboring community my list of things to be thankful for could go on forever.  It makes me realize how much it is the little things we should be thankful for.  Hold close to your loved ones they are what  matters most.

I hope everyone else is having a good week.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Day 11 and Weekly menu

Today I am thankful for all the veterans past and present that have served our country. I want to thank one special Veteran, my dad. He was a MP in the Army and stationed down in Panama. I don't know the exact years but I know he was proud of the time he served.

Weekly Menu: I only have through Thursday figured out but here is what I have so far.

Monday: Pulled Pork from the freezer.
Tuesday: Meatball sandwiches.
Wednesday: Ham n beans ( this didn't get made last week) 
Thursday: Salisbury steak and potatoes

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Day 10 of Thanksgiving

   Today I am thankful for my health.  I am 39 years old and I am healthy. I may have some weight to lose but other than that I am healthy. Today in our area was the annual Jingle bell Run/walk  which is a money raiser for arthritis research.  Our company pays the $20 entry fee every year for any employee that wants to participate.  This year I participated in the walk portion which was walking 3.2 miles, 5K. 
    There were a lot of people participating today. I don't have a number but the starting line was very crowded. There was also a lot of people out there that couldn't walk or run because of arthritis that positioned themselves along the race path to encourage the walkers and runners.  It was a nice sight to see all the people out for the event. Some were in groups from work and there were some doing it as a family. There were a lot of young kids walking with their parents. One boy even rode his bike. I don't know how old he was but his bike still had training wheels on it.  
    I do have some members of my extended family that suffer from arthritis. It attacks the young and old. I know my participating was just a drop in the bucket but every little bit helps.  

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Day 9 of Thanksgiving

    Today I am thankful for Nature.  Our family spent the day hiking at a state park. It was perfect weather and we got to see some beautiful sights.  The park is filled with several canyons and overlooks the river. The colors of fall were out in full force. The best part was being with my hubby and 3 kids.  After we got home we spent a relaxing evening hanging out and enjoying homemade pizza. It is the simple things.
    Here are a few pictures.

Overlooking the river from the eagle lookout.

One of the Canyons. When it rains there is a waterfall.

Another beautiful canyon. Lots of stairs involved getting to the bottom of these two canyons. Going down was not hard going back up was another story. Our family had a blast.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Day 7 and Day 8

      I am behind a day it has been a busy week.
 Day 7: I am thankful for my son's love of sports. It may keep us very busy running to practices and games but I am glad he likes to be active.  It is so much better than sitting in front of the tv. Please don't get me wrong he loves to watch tv but he gets bored if he is not playing a sport. he is in the 6th grade so he is still trying all the sports out.  He plays baseball, football and basketball. We go from one sport straight into another. He always wants to try something new. 

Day 8:  today I am thankful for our small community.  My husband works for our small town so he knows everyone. :) Living in a small town has good and bad but I think the good outweighs the bad. Whenever their is a need in our community it is amazing how many turn out to help. 

  This has been a very busy week with our daughter starting drivers ed and our son starting basketball practice. We have a very busy weekend ahead, I hope everyone has a good weekend. 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Day 6 of Thanksgiving

      Today I am thankful for my Dad. He was hard working and went out of his way to do anything for us. He led by example and showed us how important it was to keep God first in our lives.  He has been gone for 6 years now and I miss him everyday. He was the best dad and the best Grandpa anyone could ask for. He loved spending time with his grand kids. My oldest was 8 when he passed away and she does remember him. My oldest boy was 5 and has a few memories. He would follow grandpa around everywhere. Unfortunately my youngest was only 1 when he passed away so he doesn't remember him but we tell him stories and knows who he was from pictures. 
      I have struggled with the fact that he died all too soon , he was only 66 when he had a massive heart attack and died in his sleep.  I know God has a plan we don't always understand. I cherish all the memories I have.  

I Love you Daddy! 

Hope everyone had a good Wednesday !

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

30 Days of Thanksgiving Day 5 and my first craft.

I am doing 30 days of thanksgiving. Just as a warning some of my entries are serious and some are fun ! I think it is important to be thankful for even the simple things.  Today I am thankful for Facebook. Yes you read that right. If it wasn't for Facebook I never would have connected with my ex sister in law Melissa from House Full of Searls . Melissa opened me up to the world of blogging after reading her blog. She also inspired me to start getting us out of debt with many of her money saving tips. She also inspired me to start crafting .

Here is the first thing I made, a burlap wreath for out front door.

I got the idea off of Pinterest. Here is the original pin, Burlap Wreath. I didn't get any pictures during the process I completely forgot to do it. The wreath cost around $12 to make. Originally it cost me $2 but I tried using some leftover burlap and cutting it down to strips but I didn't have enough to complete the wreath.  I ended up buying 6 inch burlap ribbon and redoing it. I found the ribbon on a 50 % off sale at Hobby Lobby. 

Monday, November 4, 2013

30 days of Thanksgiving

I haven't blogged in quite a while. I have still been reading everyone's blog but haven't felt like sharing. I felt like my blog was getting boring. I am still struggling with our debt and our debt did increase over the summer because of poor planning on my part. I am back on track though.

On Facebook a lot of people do a 30 days of Thanksgiving, posting something everyday they are thankful for. I decided to do it on my blog. I will play catch up with the days I missed and then try to post one everyday.  :)

Day 1:  Family. I am thankful for  my husband and my 3 kids. They are everything to me. We don't see much of our extended family because of differences so it is very important to me that our kids are close. They may argue some times but our kids are all pretty close when it counts.

Day 2: God. I know not everyone believes in God but I do. I grew up in a Christian home and I am thankful for that.

Day3: My Job. I thankful that 4 years ago when I was laid off I found the job I have now and I was only off work for 6 weeks. I work with a good group of people. I may not always enjoy what I am doing but without my job we would not have a roof over our head or food on the table.

Day4: Food in the freezer. With so many people in the world wondering where their next meal is going to come from I am thankful that I have enough food in the freezer that my family won't go hungry.  We may not be eating steak every night but I know I can feed my family.

My daughter starts Drivers Education tonight so that means 3 nights a week (M - W) I have to drive her to class from 5:30 - 7:30. The class is about 30 minutes from our small town so I won't be going back home. I will be finding something to do for those two hours.  Our High School doesn't let Freshman take drivers ed because they don't have enough teachers so we have to do private lessons if we want her to have her drivers license on time. In Illinois a student has to have their permit 9 months before they can get their license.  Since I am taking her to class my husband is at home with the other two boys. He will be fixing the meals while I am gone and taking my oldest boy to basketball practice so I am trying to make things easier for him and have the meals planned out. My husband can cook but I am the one that buys the groceries so I know what we have available.

Here is my menu plan for the week.

Sunday:  Meatloaf , Potatoes , Green beans.

Monday: Spaghetti & Garlic Bread

Tuesday: Hamburgers, Mac & Cheese, Carrot Sticks.

Wednesday: Italian Beef Sandwiches ( Italian Beef made in the Crock-pot)

Thursday: Eggs, Bacon/Sausage/ Toast. 

Friday: Ham and Bean Soup.  ( Crock-pot)

Saturday:  Homemade Pizza.

Sunday:  Leftovers or Pork Chops on the Grill.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Weekly Goals

Instead of setting Goals for the whole month I am setting just weekly goals. June is another busy baseball month for us so and it works better for me to plan things a week at a time.  Our two boys are in baseball and between the two of  them we have baseball every night of the week. The oldest boy plays on a traveling team so we have games on the weekend also. The youngest games are only 1and 15 minutes but the oldest boy games are  1 and 45 minutes and we always play a double header (with warm up we are there for 4 1/2 to 5 hours). We spend a lot of time at the ball diamond it can get crazy but we love it !

Meal Plan

Monday:  Pancakes
Tuesday: Pulled Pork Sandwiches / Fruit / Chips
Wednesday:  Chicken Breast on the Grill /Vegetable ?

Thursday:  Spaghetti / Garlic Bread
Friday:  Hotdogs/ Smores in the Fire pit. ( Hubby also got the Fire pit done )
Saturday:  ??
Sunday: Roast in Crock pot - We have a baseball game but this will be waiting for us when we get home

Weekly Goal:
  1. Have daughter write Thank you notes for Graduation gift.
  2. Inventory Pantry/Freezer - I have gotten bad about knowing what I have on hand
  3. Start on Daily Vacation Planning - We are going to Orlando and have flights, rental car and rental house already booked. We want to plan what days we are going where and buy tickets etc. 
  4. Exercise 3 days 
  5. Track my meals in My Fitness Pal - I do so much better with losing weight when I track what I eat. I am down 24 pounds but have been struggling lately.

Monday, June 3, 2013

May Recap

May Recap
May was crazy busy for us so I didn't do much blogging.  Our oldest graduated (promoted) from 8th grade so next school year I officially have a kid in High School.   Our school district still does a full promotion ceremony for 8th grade. The kids wear graduation gowns and everything.  We told our daughter we would do a small party with just family and she could invite some friends.  My husband has been working on our deck for two years now and it was still not finished. The flooring was all done just no stairs or railing. The party gave him the motivation to finally finish it up.  :) I am happy to say we have a beautiful deck on the back of the house now.  This picture angle makes it look bigger than it is but it is good size.  We were able to buy a new patio furniture set on SALE also.

Every free moment was spent getting the house or the deck ready. We cleaned the house from top to bottom for the party and ended up moving the party to the community building in town because of weather. The party was Memorial day weekend and we got rain ALL weekend.  Oh well, the House is clean and the deck is done. Hopefully it will eventually get used if it ever stops raining. :) 

I over planned the food for the party and not everyone showed up so I had more food than I knew what to do with. We lived on leftovers last week. :) I put a lot in the freezer and only ended up throwing out some of the fruit that went bad by the end of the week.  I wrote down how much I bought so next time I have a better idea.  I chalked it up to a live and learn experience. We had never done anything like this before.   I have plenty of veggies in the freezer for soups this winter. :)

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Weekly Plan

Once again I am late with posting my menu plan for the week. Monday was my son's 11th birthday and also his middle school orientation so it was a busy night.  We did his birthday meal on Sunday night since Monday was so busy. I always let the kids pick what they want for their birthday dinner. His choice Lasagna. 

This week's plan.

Sunday: Lasagna
Monday: Left overs Lasagna / Chicken from previous week.
Tuesday: Pulled Pork Sandwiches from last week.
Wednesday:  Goulash
Thursday: Chicken in the Crock pot
Friday: Baseball Game so Sandwiches.
Saturday: Leftovers.

With spending so much time on the weekends at the baseball field I have started dividing up my cleaning a little bit.  Also, kids are helping more now.

Tuesday: Dining Room. - Our table becomes a catch all for everything.
Wednesday: Bathroom
Thursday: Living Room
Friday: Gone all evening
Saturday: Kitchen - Kids are responsible for Dishes so this is just moping the floors and making sure the appliances are clean.

See you next week.


Friday, April 12, 2013

5 Things I Did That Were Frugal This Week

Melissa over at House Full of Searls does this every week so I decided to play along this week.

1. I made a meal plan using items I had in the freezer and I stuck to my meal plan. I only had to buy a few items to fix this week's meals.

2. I took my lunch every day this week even though I really wanted the Chinese food for lunch on Thursday.

3. I used my Silhouette and scrap paper I already had to cut out items for my son's school project instead of buying them. 

4. I combined my errands to save gas.

5. I froze leftovers for future use instead of throwing them out.

I didn't get all my to do list done this week as I have had something come up every night. I will see what I can accomplish on Saturday.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Meal Plan Monday

This week kicks off baseball season for my 10 year old.  Our first game is Friday night.  At the beginning our game days are Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.  About the middle of May we start having Mid week games.  My meal planning usually goes out the windows during these week because it gets so hectic. I am going to try and plan ahead this year and have freezer meals ready to go.We usually have to be at the ball diamond at 4:30 during the week so dinner will be sandwiches. I am going to make up BBQ Pork and BBQ Chicken for sandwiches to make things easier.

Here is what I have planned for this week.

Monday: Chicken Penne Pasta Dish  - This is new to us. I am using up some leftovers.
Tuesday:Pork Chops on the Grill: Love Grill weather.
Wednesday: Tater Tot Casserole
Thursday:  Homemade Pizza Night
Friday:  Sandwiches - Ball Game night.
Saturday: Steak Fajitas
Sunday: Leftovers - Ball Game Day.

Weekly To Do List:
  1. Cook / Shred Chicken and Pork for Sandwiches. - Separate into meal size bags.
  2. Plan Memorial Day Cookout Menu - This is also a 8th Grade Promotion party for my Daughter.  I am hoping if I plan ahead I can start watching flyers for deals.
  3. Monday: Clean Bathroom
  4. Tuesday: Clean / Pick up Dining Room
  5. Wednesday: Dust/Vacuum Living Room
  6. Thursday: Clean Kitchen 
  7. Saturday: Pick up Bedrooms/ Do remaining Laundry. I try to do Laundry throughout the week but Saturday is my catch up day.

I am linking up with Organizing Junkie Meal Plan Monday  

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Weekly Menu

I never seem to get this posted on Mondays anymore. I am going to start posting on Sundays when I make the menu.  This week is pretty simple. 

Monday:  Eggs/ Bacon/Toast - My family LOVES Breakfast for dinner

Tuesday: Spaghetti / Garlic Bread/ Salad

Wednesday: Mac & Cheese / Hot dogs - This is for the kids. Hubby and I get to eat out at work dinner. We get Smoked Salmon and Stuffed Pork Loin. Daughter will be fixing supper for the boys.

Thursday: Chicken and Noodles / Mashed Potatoes- Chicken will be done in the Crockpot and using home made noodles.

Friday: Hamburgers on the Grill / Baked Beans  - First time grilling out this year. :) Forecast is calling for 60 degree weather this weekend . I can't wait.

Saturday: ??

Sunday: Dinner at my Moms with my Brother and his family. We weren't able to get together for Easter.

Hope everyone has a good week!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Week in Review

I haven't updated this week so thought I would recap the week for everyone.

This past week was Spring Break for my kids. It is always the last week of March for as long as I can remember.  It was a crazy week for weather.  Last Sunday it snowed and by Monday morning we had 7 inches on snow on the ground! Crazy! Today the high is supposed to be 55.  I am ready for warmer weather.

I only took one day off from work during the kids' Spring Break and of course the day I picked was Monday. My 10 year old had a Dr appointment with his neurologist so I had to get out in the snow. We made it to the appointment and are now officially released from pediatric neurology.  He had two seizures when he was two and went on medication. We were told the type of seizures he had he would probably grow out of with time.  Last summer they did another EEG on him and came back clear. So we started the long process of weaning him off of medicine. He was on two different ones and we had to wean off of each of them separately.   In January he was officially off both medicines. Since he has been seizure free off the medicine the Dr are releasing him. Woo hoo!!

While I was out I was able to check out the Costco that opened in our area last November. I decided I liked it and some of the prices were pretty good and may have to be a monthly trip.  It is a 30 minute drive for us but for once a month it won't be bad. There are plenty of other shops in the same area so will be able to make the trip worth it.  There is a Bass Pro Shop close and my husband is always willing to go there. :)

Cleaning. This has been the week of cleaning at home. Thanks to my wonderful 14 year old daughter who has watched her brothers this week and cleaned the house.  I gave them one area of the house to clean each day and it worked wonderfully! She even caught up all the laundry. The chore for us is to keep it up. I am not the best housekeeper in the world but I do try. I am trying to be better because I want to set a better example for the kids. I had created a cleaning schedule back at the beginning of the year so I had one room/area  to clean a day. I am posting this on the Refrigerator and sticking to it this time. I am the type of person that gets overwhelmed when I look at all the cleaning to do in one day so I break it up to make it easier for me. Baseball season starts for us in two weeks and my Saturdays are busy so I don't have all day to spend cleaning.

Weekly Menu Plan.  I didn't post my weekly menu plan for the week but I did create one. As part of the cleaning we did I cleaned out the fridge. I threw out WAY too much food waste so I am working on making sure I use up leftovers or if possible freeze them for later. Here is the menu I created this week with leftovers in mind for lunches for the kids.

Sunday:  Chicken and Dumplings
Monday: Salisbury Steak
Tuesday: BBQ Pork Sandwiches
Wednesday: Tacos/ Taco Salad
Thursday: BBQ Chicken Pizza - I will make a separate post on this.
Friday: Leftover night!  We have plenty of leftovers for everyone to choose from.
Saturday: ?? - We will be on the go so leftovers again or Sandwiches.
Sunday: Easter Dinner at  Mom's.

Hope everyone had a good week ! Enjoy the weekend and Happy Easter.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Weekly Menu Plan

Here is the menu plan for the week. I had it ready to go last night but ended up changing things.

Monday: Son's End of Year Basketball Banquet - We only  had to take rolls.
Tuesday: Frozen Pizza ( Was supposed to be Tacos but that is what was served at the banquet)
Wednesday: Crockpot Chicken and Dumplings
Thursday: Salisbury Steak
Friday: Pancakes / bacon
Saturday : tacos
Sunday: ??

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Catching Up

Sorry, I didn't get my post out this week as usual.  I have been playing catch up all week.  Last week my Husband's Grandma passed away and we had to head out for the funeral.  It was actually his Stepdad's Mom but she has been a Grandma since he was 12.  Of course there was last minute things to take care of so we could go. Mostly just items I was planning on doing over the weekend now had to be done before I left.  My menu plan from last week kind of went out the window but I was able to re use items for this week.

Here was my menu plan for this week.

Monday: Cheeseburgers/ Tater Tots/ Cottage Cheese
Tuesday : Spaghetti - Yes this is a repeat from last week but Tuesday night is a busy night for us and this is simple and quick
Wednesday: Pork Chops/ Salad/
Thursday:  Ham and Potato Soup - I used a Ham Bone left over from a few weeks ago instead of cubed Ham.
Friday: Enchiladas
Saturday: School Family Fun Night
Sunday: Reuben Strata - Different way of using Corned Beef instead of typical Corned Beef and Cabbage.

I have still been exercising but only got to do two days last week.  This week I have gone 3 days so far. So far since the beginning of the year I have lost 13 pounds. The weight is coming off just very slowly.  I wish the weight would come off as easy as it goes on. 

Monday, March 4, 2013

February Fitness Challenge Final Numbers

I have been doing the Fitness Challenge from The Hawaii Plan for the month of  February. I have been recording mine from Monday - Sunday.  Here were my goals at the beginning of the month.

1. Record every day in MyFitnessPal even if I go over my calorie goal.
2. Exercise 4 days a week
3. Increase Daily servings of Veggie
4. Increase Daily servings of Water.

This week's recap.
 1. I recorded every day !! I went over some days but still recorded.
 2. I was able to work out at the gym 5 days this week! This is a first for me.
 3. I did better with getting veggies in. I made sure there were two servings at dinner and usually two at lunch.
 4.  I was able to get 6-8 glasses of water in every day this week. 

I did a lot better this past week with all my goals.  On the weight loss side of things I lost 1.8 pounds last week. My total so far is 11.2.  The previous week I had gained a pound so it was nice to see that come off this week.

Thank you Hawaii Plan for doing this challenge!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Menu Plan Monday

My grocery bill is definitely lower when I plan a menu. I did really well with this for several months and then the Holidays hit and I had a hard time getting back in the swing of things. Here is what I have planned for this week.

Monday:  BBQ Chicken, Grean Beans, Salad, Rice (This was not used the week before)
Tuesday: Leftover\Sandwich Night. We have a busy night of activities so everyone will grab a bite when they can.
Wednesday: Chicken Cordon Blue Casserole ( Using leftover ham from Sunday), Veggie, Salad,
Thursday: Barbecue Beef Cups - (These are so simple and the kids love them) , Salad
Friday: Fish, Veggie, Rice.
Saturday: Eat Out
Sunday:  ??

I am linking up to I'm an Organizing Junkie

I really like how Melissa does menu planning for a month. I am not sure I can get up to that but I am working towards menu planning for two weeks.  Baseball season starts for us in April and that is a very busy time for us as we have games during the week and on Saturdays and Sundays.  My weekly food budget comes out of my husband's weekly paycheck so that will be a change for me to plan out two weeks.

February Fitness Challenge Week 3 Recap

This was supposed to post last night so not sure what happenned.

I have been doing the Fitness Challenge from The Hawaii Plan for three weeks. I have been recording mine from Monday - Sunday.  Here were my goals at the beginning of the month.

1. Record every day in MyFitnessPal even if I go over my calorie goal.
2. Exercise 4 days a week
3. Increase Daily servings of Veggie
4. Increase Daily servings of Water.

This week's recap.
 1. I recorded every day but one day so this was pretty good this week.
 2.  I was able to work out at the gym four days this week.  Woohoo!! I did have to decrease my workout one day because I have had bad shin splints this week.
 3. I am not doing too good with this one. I get veggies at night with my evening meal but need to work more into my lunch.
 4. This week was bad for the water drinking. I usually do really well with this but this week I am not sure what was wrong.

Starting the last week on Monday  morning!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Weekly Menu Plan

 February 18th - February 24th. 
Breakfast is always cereal or eggs for the kids.Lunches for hubby and me are leftovers or sandwiches.

Monday - Chicken and Noodles - I even made home made noodles for the first time.
Tuesday - Spaghetti , Garlic Bread, Salad
Wednesday -Oven Baked Fajitas - Steak and Chicken
Thursday - Chili  with toppings. Sour Cream, Cheese, Crackers.
Friday - Meatball Subs/ Chips, Salad.
Saturday - BBQ Chicken Legs, Pasta Salad, Green Beans ( this didn't get used last week)
Sunday - Ham, Potatoes, Salad, Corn

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Mid Week Recap

The Flu bug that has been going around decided to hit our house Sunday night. My 10 yr old son was just not feeling well and just wanted to lay around on the couch.  He had a low grade fever and was just achy all over.  On Monday morning I woke up with a terrible headache so I stayed home with him.  He only got sick one time but just laid around all day Monday.  He woke up Tuesday and went back to School.  So far he is the only one to really catch it and I hope that is all.  Even though I was home with him I got nothing done all day since I had a headache.

Menu Plan
Monday: Left Overs
Tuesday: Tacos for kids. Taco Salad for me.
Wednesday: Goulash
Thursday: Beef tips and Noodles
Friday: Eat Out - Daughter has a band competition and son has a basketball tournament.
Saturday: ??
Sunday: Ham and Potatoes

Fitness Challenge Catch Up

I started the Fitness Challenge from Hawaii Plan last week on 2/4. Here are my results through Sunday.

Here are my goals for the February Challenge.

1. Record every day in MyFitnessPal even if I go over my calorie goal. - I did this every day so far
2. Exercise 4 days a week - Last Week I got in 4 days as the gym.
3. Increase Daily servings of Veggie - Didn't do great on this one in week 1.
4. Increase Daily servings of Water.- I do better at this at work than at home. Still working on it.

This week has been a little crazy since the dreaded Flu has hit the house. I have not worked out at the gym at all this week so far.  I will have to change things up to get 4 in this week.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

February Fitness Challenge

This is a few days late as I am catching up on blogs from last week. Hawaii Plan is doing a February Fitness Challenge. Since I am late starting my start date will be Monday 2/4/13.  In January I set a goal for myself to start getting healthier. In January I was able to lose 7 pounds!! It is not much but it is a start.  I also started going to a gym over my lunch hour.  I only get to work out about 30 minutes but I figure doing a 30 minute exercise is better than doing no exercise at all.  

Here are my goals for the February Challenge.

1. Record every day in MyFitnessPal even if I go over my calorie goal.
2. Exercise 4 days a week
3. Increase Daily servings of Veggie
4. Increase Daily servings of Water.

Here is to a healthier February!

Monday, February 4, 2013

February - Clean Slate

January was not a good month for us at home so I am looking towards February with a clean slate.  We spent the weekend in St Louis with a group of friends. This had been planned for a year so the money was set aside for it. I did overspend a little at the outlet mall but I found some good deals for the kids that I couldn't pass up.

Thankfully February is not as packed as January was. Basketball is coming to end and we have a little break before Baseball games start.  Our son is in a traveling league for baseball and games start mid April. They started winter practice at the beginning of  January so right now they practice every Sunday for two hours. Our daughter is done with Cheer-leading and won't have High School tryouts until March.  Our youngest still plays Rec Baseball so that won't start until May.  I will take any break I can get even if it is a short one.

Since our weekends have been so busy my house has really suffered. I end up trying to do a lot of my cleaning on the weekends and this is just not working. So for February I am creating a list for everyday. Thrifty Crafty Girl gave me this idea on her Cleaning schedule . If I have a check list and it is staring at me in the face then I am more likely to do it. It will also make my weekends easier. Each kid will get an age appropriate item to do also. During the week the oldest two are in charge of doing dishes every night. They are 14 & 10 and they act like it is the end of the world to do dishes. We don't have a dishwasher so dishes are done by hand.  My husband and I have tried to do everything ourselves and it is not working. We work all day and do the shopping and cooking. We don't think it is too much to ask for help with the dishes. :)

Here are my February Goals:
  • Create Cleaning Schedule and stick to it.
  • Menu Plan every week
  • Spend only Cash
  • Go through Bedroom Closet- left over from last month.

Here is this week's menu

Monday: Spaghetti, Garlic Bread
Tuesday: Ground Beef Casserole: our own concoction
Wednesday:  Potato Soup
Thursday: Leftovers/ Sandwiches
Friday:Brinner ( Breakfast for Dinner) Eggs or Pancakes.
Saturday: Dinner at Church
Sunday: ??

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Bad Month but looking Up

This has not been a good month for me. Several things have been going on at work including not getting a promotion that I had hoped for. Life at home has been crazy and the Low spend challenge went out the window within the first week. Here were my goals I set this month.
January Goals

  1. Keep track of my weekly spending-  Fail
  2. Plan a Meal plan for every week and stick to it.- So far have done this
  3. Pack a lunch every day for work.   -So far so good

I guess keeping track on two out of three goals isn't too bad. I have planned our meals this month using what I had in the freezer.  I cooked some of the chicken I had and shredded it and put it in the freezer for meal. I then used the leftover bones to make chicken stock. I had stocked up on a lot of items during the Holiday season so we I still have plenty to go through. The only thing I am out of it ground beef.

This week's Meal plan is
Monday:  Taco Casserole
Tuesday: Biscuits and Sausage Gravy
Wednesday: Teriyaki Chicken in the Crockpot
Thursday: Goulash
Friday: Leftovers
Saturday: Boy Scout outing.
Sunday: ??

I have managed to save money by packing my lunch every day.  I put leftovers in individual containers so it is easier for me to grab and take with me for lunch.

This has been a very expensive month for us. Our son is in baseball and winter practice started at the beginning of the month. This includes buying all the necessary uniform.  We are given one uniform but we usually end up buying a second one because of tournaments and needing a clean one. There is also the extra stuff they need. A new bat , a new glove and the list goes on.  January is also the only month when parents can buy team apparel. So we can all show our team spirit at games and tournaments. :)  Usually we have a chance in November and January but this year we only got January.  This is our third year and last year we didn't buy much so it seems like this year we had more items to replace.  I need to add this to my yearly budget so I can plan for this. 

Planning for big items is definitely my weak area. I can budget the monthly expenses but I struggle on budgeting for the little items that come up.  I have an emergency fund but I don't count these as emergencies. I need to create a slush fund or extra fund for these items.

Hopefully I will be back to weekly blogs next week.

Have a good rest of the week. 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

January Goals / Meal Plan

I don't do well with making year long goals so I am just starting out with Monthly Goals.

January Goals
  1. Keep track of my weekly spending
  2. Plan a Meal plan for every week and stick to it.
  3. Pack a lunch every day for work.   

I also need to lose weight and keep it off. I usually do pretty good at first but then fall off the wagon quickly. My goal is to make small changes so everything is not drastic.  So I will be making small weekly goals.
  1. Drink more Water - This one is easy for me at work but not at home or on the weekends.  I tend to reach for the Diet Coke at home.
  2. Eat smaller portions. 
I am not doing any special diet because I know those don't work. I am counting calories which seems to work the best for me.  I have been down this road before so I know what I need to do.  For me it is Eat healthier, smaller portions and Exercise.   The exercise is the hardest part for me especially during the Winter.  We have a big family vacation planned this Summer and I want to be in the best shape I can be to be able to enjoy it.

I didn't do a full Meal plan this week with the Holidays. Here is what we are having the remaining of the week. All of this is coming from the Pantry/Freezer and we should only have to buy Milk/Bread this week.

Wednesday - Stuffed Pork Chops  w/ Green Beans
Thursday - Breakfast for Dinner. Either Pancakes or Eggs.
Friday - Potato Soup - in the Crock Pot.  - This may change but it will be some kind of soup.
Saturday - BBQ Chicken Sandwiches- I have chicken in the freezer that I will be cooking down and shredding. Some will be used for Sandwiches and the rest will be portioned off for upcoming dinners.
Sunday - Ham and Bean Soup & Cornbread.

The only Items I have to buy for the rest of the week is the Buns for the Sandwiches and Beans for my Soup.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Christmas Recap

I have taken a few weeks off from blogging during the crazy Christmas season. I will have to say that I have missed it. I am posting a Christmas Recap and will be back later with January Goals.

Christmas Recap

On Christmas Eve we have a tradition of fixing a big Christmas Eve dinner for just the five of us. We go to my Mom's on Christmas day so this is just for us. This year I fixed Prime Rib, mashed potatoes, Green Bean Casserole, Strawberry Pretzel Salad and White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake for dessert.  We had a really nice time and we were so full we had to leave the cheesecake for the next day. :)   We then settled down and watched Polar Express as a family.

On Christmas morning we were up bright and early to open gifts. With a six year old in the house you don't get to sleep very late. :)  Everyone was very happy with their gifts even the clothes. My gifts were a Dutch Oven in the pretty blue color.  I also received a Silhouette Cameo Cutting Machine . I wanted one for a while and my husband got it for me. My daughter and I have already been playing with it. Here is a card her and I made for a birthday party she went to. She picked out the bright colors.

 We are still learning everything it can do. It can do vinyl so that is definitely on my list.

We spent part of Christmas Day at my Mom's house with my Brother and his wife. It is always hard at Christmas as I miss my Dad being there. 

Overall we had a really good Christmas Day. I took the week of Christmas off from work so I got to enjoy being home with my kiddos for a few days.

January Decluttering & No/Low Spending


Carla is having a challenge and I decided to join at the last minute. Here is the link to her Challenge

Financial Goals:
  1. Stick to weekly budget of $250.00. This will cover Food, Gas and expenses for each week. 
  2. Track all Spending. 
De-cluttering Goals:
  1. Go Through Closets of everyone and get rid of extra items.
  2. Go Through Computer Desk and Organize and file items.

I am starting pretty small and I may add as I go.