Friday, June 27, 2008

pineapple smoothie

Crystal posted about Smoothies for Frugal Friday and I knew I had to chime in with my newest and currently most favorite smoothie recipe. It's so simple:

1/2 cup plain yogurt
pineapple chunks and juice (frozen)
a squeeze of honey to taste.

blend in a blender until smooth and enjoy, so YUMMY! and refreshing. (makes one serving)
I've been drinking these every day for the past week.

I take a can of pineapple chunks and it's juice and freeze in an ice cube tray, I use about 5-6 frozen pineapple cubes in my smoothie

This particular smoothie is cheap to make ( at least for now) I had bought half a dozen cans of pineapple for 45 cents a can (They were on the clearance shelf and have a few dents but still just fine to use. One can will make at least three smoothies) and I make my own yogurt which is significantly cheaper than buying it (basically the cost of milk)

I just love smoothies! (they feel like such a virtuous treat, being so full of healthy ingredients)


Peanut Butter and Jelly Muffins

I checked out Deceptively Delicious from the library a few days ago. It's a cookbook with recipes that "sneak" vegetables into recipes. All the recipes look fabulous and the pictures are beautiful.
I made the Peanut Butter and Jelly Muffins and they are scrumptious. There is carrot puree in the batter but there is no "carroty" taste in these muffins. I substituted real butter in the recipe instead of the margarine spread it called for, only 2 tablespoons but I like to keep things as natural as possible.

So yummy! I've already eaten two.

I can't wait to try some of the other recipes.


Thursday, June 26, 2008

pretty storage

My hubby has been organizing his tools, giving me the thought that I ought to do something with my craft stuff. I really didn't need to organize but I was inspired to make my crafting area a little more pretty. I transformed my shoe box storage system with computer printed labels, some pretty paper and a little glue.

The result looks good and I think makes my little storage cart look neater and more uniform.

I admit every time I'm at the store and I walk by the storage and organizing products I'm tempted to buy something. For now I think I can be content with my pretty shoe boxes.

Here's my before photo

click here for Works for Me Wednesday


Monday, June 23, 2008

Menu Plan Monday June 23 - June 29

Monday - White Chili, with salad and homemade bread. ( I use less chicken than the recipe)

Tuesday- Spaghetti with meatballs and a salad

Wednesday -Tuna Casserole

Thursday Leftovers

Friday Pizza Night

Saturday Grilled Pork Chops and grilled veggies

Sunday Sloppy Joes

go here more more Menu Plan Monday


Mighty to Save

Yesterday we skipped Church (Yikes! we don't make a habit of it) our excuses were poor. The weather was stormy (very dark and wet) and we were tired (slept in with only an hour until church started, we could have made it with a little rushing). Oh well I don't want to beat my self up over it.

My husband plays his guitar every weekend and some weeknights and strums his heart out to the Lord, often singing along loudly (sometimes to loud for me) I usually clean house and just listen along. Last night I joined him in his praise and I sung along. We had missed church but I still needed to connect to my God in the way that only singing and worshiping Him will do.

We sang Mighty to Save. It was refreshing to sing it to my Lord. Here are the lyrics:

Everyone needs compassion
A love that's never failing
Let mercy fall on me
Everyone needs forgiveness
A kindness of a Savior
The hope of nations

He can move the mountains
My God is Mighty to save
He is Mighty to save
Author of salvation
He rose and conquered the grave
Jesus conquered the grave

So take me as You find me
All my fears and failures
Fill my life again
I give my life to follow
Everything I believe in
Now I surrender

Shine your light and let the whole world see
We're singing for the glory of the risen King...Jesus


Saturday, June 21, 2008

My first sketch something challenge

This is my first time participating in a stamping challenge and I don't think it will be my last. Also it's the first time I've used a sketch. Using a sketch helped me make a card super fast, I am totally going to be using sketches more often.
I'm not sure that I care for the pink rick rack ribbon across the top, but overall I think the card turned out great. Of course it looks so much better in person, my photo just doesn't do it justice.

This card is headed in the mailbox soon. It was made for my parents who recently ran an errand for me. It's so nice that I can count on my family, they deserve a thank you note.


Friday, June 20, 2008

Refried Beans

Tonight there was a request for double decker tacos, I had everything I needed and ready to go except the refried beans, an essential component to double decker tacos.
I like to stock up on cans of refried beans when they go on sale, it's considerably easier than making refried beans. Don't get me wrong I like making my own beans, I prefer homemade over canned but sometimes it's just too easy to open up a can and get going with dinner.

Sadly, I had no cans of refried beans hidden in the pantry and I had no time to make beans from scratch not even with a quick soak method, you really have to plan ahead to make refried beans so that they are ready in time for dinner. When I do make beans from scratch I like to make a large batch and freeze meal sized portions.

Tonight I got creative and it worked. I had a can of pinto beans (the kind for chilies and soups) I cooked a little onion and garlic until soft added the can of beans, some cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper. I could have just mashed the beans but I like a "creamy" consistency so into the blender the spicy bean mixture went. The result tasted great and was just what I wanted. While not as convenient as opening up a can of refried beans or having some homemade beans in the freezer ready to go, it worked in a pinch.

We ate our double decker tacos and they were fantastic.

I am always proud when I make use of what I have in my pantry, it makes me feel creative and it saves me money.

go to here for more Frugal Friday tips


Monday, June 16, 2008

Menu Plan Monday June 16 - 22

Monday BBQ chicken pita sandwiches

Tuesday Roast chicken and couscous with Zucchini

Wednesday Sweet and Sour chicken with Stir fried veggies

Thursday Leftovers

Friday Pizza Night

Saturday Grilled Pork chops and some grilled veggies probably a mixture of onions, squash, mushrooms and whatever else looks good in the produce section

Sunday My mom's Taco Casserole

Go to I'm an Organizing Junkie for more Menu Plan Monday


Saturday, June 14, 2008

Using your library

This Frugal Friday post is nothing spectacular or any sort of new frugal trick, but it certainly saves money. Here it is -Use your public library.

For cheap at-home entertainment you can borrow movies from the library. (free beats the couple of dollars you pay to rent movies)

We've lived here for four months and I just recently went to the library. I'm so mad that I hadn't visited sooner. The movie selection was awful but the book selection was fantastic the best selection of brand new books that I have ever seen in a library. I checked out 6 books and wanted to take more but I knew I could only read so much in a two week period.

I checked out a brand new Martha Stewart cook book and several other books I've wanted to read for a while (a couple books I had almost purchased several months ago).

My frugal tip - use your library you may be surprised at the books you'll find and you avoid spending money at a book store or movie rental store.

Totally unrelated to Frugal Fridays - I volunteered to read during the story hour at the library I'm super excited I absolutely love reading to children and I can't wait.


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Flowers from my sweetie!

I was told I was getting flowers for our 4 year anniversary so when I didn't I was a little bummed. I was determined to have a fun and pleasant evening so I didn't make a big deal about it and I tried to hide my sadness. I tried to understand that my husband had been at work for nearly 40 hours. Not being the kind-hearted woman I ought to be, I did comment on my lack of flowers the very next day. Imagine my surprise when nearly a week after our anniversary, I received flowers, my little heart just burst with love.

I didn't have a vase large enough to properly hold my bouquet so I trimmed the stems and separated the flowers into smaller vases. The yellow and white daisies looked just right in a slender blue vase and the pink flowers were arranged in an old glass milk bottle. With smaller vases I can enjoy the flowers in different rooms through out the house. I just love fresh flowers. being so expensive they are a rare treat, but that just makes them so much more special.

Rearranging store-bought flowers into multiple vases works for me.

Go here for more Works for me Wednesday, Shannon's clean fridge tip resonates with me, I do the same thing when thawing meat and I also just cleaned out my fridge (super well too, all shelves bins pulled out and scrubbed clean)


Monday, June 9, 2008

Thrift Store Bargins!

I have been in desperate need of new clothes for months. I just don't have enough warm weather clothes. I have not had any luck finding decent clothes at the local thrift store and not much luck at yard sales. My wardrobe has suffered so much that I broke down and bought new clothes last week, something I haven't done in so long I don't even remember the last time (well actually I do it was last summer) Everything I bought was on a super duper clearance sale I spent about $40 and got 4 shirts and a pair of Bermuda style shorts (you know the kind that go to your knees-super cute)

My wardrobe still needs some sprucing up and I'm still on the look out for warmer weather clothes. Today I hit the jackpot. I went to the thrift store with time and money to spend (doesn't happen often) I wandered around and I couldn't find anything special to buy (of course when I don't have time or money to spend I find all sorts of goodies) I was ready to call it quits and leave when I noticed a huge pile of clothes in the corner "yard sale" style just piled high as could be. I spent a good ten minutes sorting clothes and it was worth it I found:

1. Brand new Gap jeans in my size and my preferred style.
2. Nike "Yoga" style workout pants (you know the kind that are cropped)
3. A cute summery pink top
4. A cute Gap skirt - it's a neutral Grey and could be dressed up or down.

all in great shape and a $1 each. The jeans were the best bargain, I have only one pair that are faded and looking ratty. I almost bought some new jeans last week but even on sale they cost more than I want to spend. I always see jeans at thrift stores but never in decent condition and never in my size. I was so pleased with my finds. My "new" clothes are just as cute and functional as my store bought clothes but at a fraction of the price, not to mention I have a lot more fun digging around in a thrift store than I do shopping for new clothes (I'm weird like that)


Menu Plan Monday June 9 - June 15

We just bought a new grill last night! We've wanted one for a while but didn't want to spend the money. We had a rusty one that was found on the side of the road but it needed to much work to be usable anytime soon. This was a somewhat spur of the moment purchase but I'm so glad we did it! We bought a standard Weber, it's not enormous but it's not small. I can't wait to get grilling.

Monday - Grilled steaks and grilled veggies ( an extra nice meal to break in our new purchase)

Tuesday- Enchilada casserole

Wednesday - Pineapple chicken salad pitas I made these a long time ago and I remembered them being good, let's hope my memory serves me well.

Thursday - Leftovers

Friday - Pizzas (I'm going to try them on the grill)

Saturday - Greek chicken kabobs I saw this recipe in Everyday Food's May issue and thought it looked pretty good

Sunday - Grilled Hamburgers (a very favorite meal)

Go to Organizing Junkie for more Menu Plan Monday.


Wednesday, June 4, 2008

An Anniversary Card

Today is our four year wedding anniversay! I made a card, which is seriously hard to do. I wanted so much to have made my best card ever that somehow showed all my love and appreciation I have for my husband, the last four years and the years to come I piddled around for a long time before I decided to just do something simple. (maybe a little to simple?) You can not tell from my picture but my tag says True Love. I tried to keep the card somewhat masculine with my color choices. It's so much easier to make cards for ladies, maybe that's why I still haven't made my father's day cards. (It's on my to do list)

Today we celebrate four years of marriage, and let me tell you a lot can happen in four years!

just for fun here are four things we have done:

1. Bought a house

2. Joined the Navy (sold the house)

3. I earned my Bachelors in Education and my teacher's certificate. We did this without any debt or student loans, just a lot of patience and sacrifice (mostly on Greg's part)

4. Drove across America, twice (the first time with all of our personal belongings packed in an SUV)

and one more...... moved overseas.

If you had asked me four or five years ago I would have never thought this would be my life. I thought I'd live close to my family, have kids and be in the same town forever and yet here I am a Navy wife living on the other side of the globe.

Life is not what you expect and that's ok, I think that makes it all the more necessary to trust and rely on God.

I can't wait to celebrate four great years tonight with my husband and I look forward to the years ahead.


French Bread Pizza

I had to share my pizza made with French bread baguettes from our last pizza night which seems like so long ago. Instead of making my usual crust I pulled out some baguettes from the freezer. (I had made French bread and put several loaves in the freezer for future meals.) I had one lone tomato which I sliced up and used as a topping along side some fresh basil. The green basil was so pretty next to the red tomato and white cheese that I had to take a picture to share.
It's nice to change things up once and a while but the truth is that I really didn't want to dirty up the kitchen counter to make a crust (I'm a really messy cook). The French bread just happened to be available and a made a good crust substitute.


Monday, June 2, 2008

Menu Plan Monday June 2-8

Monday 6/2 Soup and homemade French bread (my soup is very similar to the linked recipe but I used fresh basil and parsley instead of thyme and I also used chicken broth)

Tuesday 6/3 Enchiladas with rice and beans

Wednesday 6/4 Our Four Year Wedding Anniversary! we haven't decided to go out or stay in but we are leaning towards staying home and may make a nice meal of grilled steak and seafood.

Thursday 6/5 Leftovers Night

Friday 6/6 Pizza Night

Saturday 6/7 Breakfast for dinner

Sunday 6/8 Tuna Bagels, veggie sticks and fruit