Thursday, December 31, 2009

Things I Made For Christmas

This year opened a whole new world for me...Crafting, who knew?

I "made" a few gifts this year, and wanted to share a few of them...
My Sister-In-law's Great Grandmother "nearly" finished a quilt, so for Christmas, I helped it along a little and finished it up..hopefully doing it justice.
It is entirely hand quilted and full of fun scrap fabrics.
I also made a scrap fabric journal for my sister-in-law and sister, these photo's are before I attached the buttons, but you get the picture...
You can see the tutorial here from Happy Together.
(She's a craft genius BTW)

This is coincidentally the fabric that I used to make
her a quilt last year for Christmas.
And then, my favorite little craft of the year....
a little piece of my heart.

When my grandmother died the week before Christmas,
I had to quickly fly out for the Memorial Service.

For the first time, I had to leave my
little Lily behind...sniffle sniffle.

That day, I quickly went to my sewing machine
and sewed her this little heart.
I then stitched it up with red embroidery thread.

Right before I left,
I gave it to her and told her to
hold onto my heart because
I'm coming back for it...


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Final Thursday Thoughts of 2009

Pretty pathetic that I've only had about 4 Thursday Thoughts
for all of 2009,
but why not finish it off with a bang!

I was driving in my car this morning, thinking about my life and where I wanted it to go...yup, I'm the driver for MY life
(or so I think I am)...

Anyway, I was thinking about how my life had changed since I woke up to the reality
that we don't have endless amounts of fake money through credit cards.

That was a year ago..almost exactly.
In some ways,
life seemed easier then because I was blissfully ignorant.

But in NEW ways, life is WAY more sweet.
I have had to change my perspective on life, and learn
(yes, I said learn)
to cherish my family and spending time together.

I did not grow up in a family that spent that much time together, but when we did, I truly enjoyed it. I want those treasured memories for my children...
but it does not come naturally for me.
I REALLY have to work at "creating" quality, family time.
That's why my New Year's Resolution is to invoke a Weekly Family Night.

Brian, my husband, remembers having them
growing up and they are some of his favorite childhood memories.

I have learned to accept the fact that I am not a "natural" family person, but when I do settle into that role, there is nothing sweeter...

Have an amazing blessed New Year and resolve to cherish your family every day of your life...


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Monday, December 28, 2009

Menu Plan Monday- Week of December 28, 2009

It has officially been one year since Brian and I stopped using credit cards...woo hoo! This week, in honor of continuing to pay down our debt, I am going to have a "Use What's in The Pantry, Freezer and Fridge " Week... Aside from Milk, Butter and Eggs, I am not going to purchase anything extra. Here's what we have leftover from Produce Last Week: The Lemon Poppyseed Winter Salad from Last week was AMAZING!! I highly recommend it! FL BASIL
Breakfasts: Oatmeal( Slow Cooker), Eggs & Toast, Egg BLossoms with Turkey Apple Sausages, Cinnamon Buns Treat for New Year's Morning

Lunches: Leftovers, Chicken Salad, Mac N' Cheese

Snacks: Mango Orange Smoothies, Banana Sour Cream Bread


Monday: Easy Pork Tenderloin served with
Collard Greens, Sauteed Yellow Squash and Zucchini, Leftover Mashed Potatoes

Tuesday: Split Pea Soup (Using Leftover Ham Hock from Last Week)

Wednesday: Leftovers

Thursday: Fiesta Beef Soup served with Cornbread

Friday: Honey Garlic Glazed Meatballs (Served all Day in Slow Cooker) w/ Fried Rice, and
Bok Choy, Carrots and Green Beans
Saturday: Garlic Broiled Chicken served with
Leftover Veggies Cooked Up!
Beef Stew w/ homemade rolls Well, that's about it for now! Thanks!

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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas Letter Idea...

Sometimes when you don't have any money, you are forced to think outside the box....hence my Christmas Letter Blog...why? Because blogs are and free. Plus, I can make it as long as I want and don't have to worry about printing out color pictures. Here is the link to my Christmas Letter Blog... I would encourage you to write a Christmas Letter, even if only for yourself. It is a great way to look back on the year, document important (or really unimportant) things in your family's life.

In my Christmas Card, I just printed small squares that said to visit the site for our Christmas Letter...that way, the people who Actually Care...probably 3% can go read it, and I don't waste my ink cartridge on those who don't


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Menu Plan Monday- Week of December 21, 2009

Well, I'm a day late...and it feels like I won't be able to catch up with anything in my life until after Christmas. I have the exact feeling I dread during Christmas time, the feeling that I won't get it all done.

In light of that feeling, I am crossing one thing off my list and actually doing my menu plan!
We are receiving are produce share is what it will be:


Fruit Share:
Cantaloupe, Asian Pears, Persimmons

Here is this weeks Menu Plan:

Breakfasts: Special this week: Egg BLossoms, Danish Oven Pancake, Christmas Morning: Crepes served with Berry Compote, Fresh Whipped Cream and Powdered Sugar...mmmm

Lunches: Leftovers, Chicken Salad, Quesadillas


Monday: Chicken Fajitas using This Recipe served with Rice and Beans & Salad

Tuesday: Beef Stew from last Sunday that I didn't make on Sunday

Wednesday: Having early Christmas Dinner w/ mom and stepdad- making Baked Ham w/ Spiced Sugar Rub served with a Sweet Potato Granola Crunch Casserole, Green Bean Casserole and of course I have to have my indulgence...Pillsbury Crescent Rolls....I could eat a whole tube of those things.

Thursday: Going to Christmas Eve Party... going to make these: Maharani Cupcakes

Friday: Herbed Rib Roast, Collard Greens, Mashed Potatoes, Cranberry Sauce, Winter Fruit Salad w/ Poppy Seed Dressing, and store bought stuffing dolled up w/ mushrooms, celery and onions

Saturday: um, can you say Leftovers?

Sunday: Slow Cooker Turkey w/ leftover stuffing, and anything else we have

Desserts: Angel Cookies, Linzer Cookie whatever else I can make...gotta love a good excuse to make sweet things right?


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Sunday, December 13, 2009

Menu Plan Monday- Week of December 13, 2009

I felt like last week was the beginning of the "party and event" Christmas season...which in some ways irks me because I feel pulled in so many different directions and that in a way I am forgetting what this time is all about. Nevertheless, I had a great time at all of the events I went to, how's that for cliche' ?

Here is the list of produce we still have left from the Organic Produce Share:

Green Beans

Baby Bok Choy
Lacinato Kale
Red Romaine
Sweet Potatoes
Yellow Squash
Meyer Lemons
Cara Cara Oranges (Navel Oranges)
Orlando Tangelos
Red Seedless Grapes
Satuma Mandarins

Here is the low-down for our meals this week!

Eggs & Toast, Pancakes, Granola w/ Milk, Pancakes, Oatmeal( Slow Cooker)

Lunches: Leftovers, Mac N Cheese, Chicken Salad Sandwiches, PB&J, Easy Snack Wraps

Snacks: Apple Squares, Muesli Bars, Hummus & Veggies


Monday: Red Romaine Salad w/ Chicken & sautee'd Yellow Squash

Tuesday: Herbed Chicken Nuggets, Cranberry Sweet Potato Bake Green Beans

Wednesday: Hearty Harvest and Ham Stew- uses Kale

Thursday: Bok Choy, Carrots and Green Beans I'll add 1 Chicken Breast into the stir fry...

Friday: Pizza Margherita

Saturday: Turkey Burgers w/ Broccoli, Sweet Potato Fries and Cucumber Salad (Recipe Below)

Sunday: Slow Cooker Beef Stew for Football Sunday!!

Desserts: Maharani Cupcakes- Uses the Lemons & BASIL!! Crazy!

Cucumber Salad:

3 Cucumbers Sliced- Peeled or Unpeeled
1/4 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1/2 t. Celery Seed
1/4 t. Pepper
1 T. Sugar

Put all ingredients into plastic sealable container and close lid. Shake around till all cucumbers are coated with vinegar and other ingredients. You can serve then, or let them marinate and become almost like pickles! Enjoy :)


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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Okay, I'm Jealous...

There, I said it...
There aren't many women who can say they are jealous
of their husbands craft skills,
but I can say...



I am jealous.

He's knitting up some pretty
cool projects for family for Christmas,
and he's pretty darn good at it!
He just knit these adorable fingerless mittens for Lily...
she thought she was pretty cool wearing them
to the Boat Parade this past weekend...
thank goodness it was cold enough for her to wear them!
Click Here for the Pattern!

He's also making this....
a cozy for your coffee.

Next thing you know, he'll be doing the dishes...
a girl can dream right?

ps- Did you notice that it's snowing on my blog?
Living in Florida, I have to get it somewhere!

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Monday, December 7, 2009

Mama's Holiday Wish List

Mama’s Holiday Wish List Meme
TodaysMama and Provo Craft are giving away a sleighful of gifts this holiday season and to enter I’m sharing this meme with you.

1. What 5 items are on your holiday wish list this year? (Probably won't get any of em...oh well!)
  1. Macy's Gift Card to Get Make-up
  2. Cricut Machine...can't stop watching those darn infomercials...pathetic
  3. Affordable Pregnancy Insurance...who wants to get me that? Obama maybe?
  4. A new car- preferably a Volve XC90
  5. To be debt free by New Year's.... 2010!

2. What is your favorite handmade gift you have received?
  • My sister made me homemade teas which were awesome.
3. What handmade gift have you always wanted to tackle?
  • I'd love to sew my children really cool clothes out of old clothes...
4. What was the best Christmas gift you received as a child?
  • Pogo stick and ironically Lily wants one this year too!
5. What items are on your kid’s wish list this year?
  • Pogo Stick
  • Microphone
  • Easel
  • Claire would take anything she could chew or tear probably paper
6. What is your favorite holiday food?
  • Stuffing or Apple Pie...its a toss up
7. What will you be hand-crafting for the holidays?
  • Cards- we'll be bringing them to the Senior Home
  • Quilt- re-make for someone...can't say who
  • My hubby is knitting some really cool stuff
  • Some stuff made with fabric scraps...more to come
8. What is your favorite holiday movie?
  • Elf
9. Favorite holiday song?
  • O Holy Night
10. Favorite holiday pastime?
  • Breakfast on Christmas Morning w/ Family

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Sunday, December 6, 2009

'Twas the Night Before....

'Twas the Night Before Tomorrow which would make it Tonight,
I pledge to wash all my dishes have not one in sight.
The socks are in the wash cleaning with care,
hoping I remember to dry them so they'll be ready to wear.
The children are nestled all snug in their beds,
without a bath I might add, so don't smell their little heads.
With mama so tired from kids always on her lap,
She has visions of sleeping through the night or maybe just a short nap.
When out in the living room she trips over the kids toys,
wondering who can I blame the little girls or the boys.
Away to the toy room she flew like a flash,
Tore open the toybox and threw in the kid's stash.
The moon shaped bump on her left big toe,
Was aching with pain she thought how could they not know.
When what to her weary tired eyes should appear,
but all her little children who couldn't help but hear,
That they made mommy mad, boy they made her upset,
so they picked up their toys,gave her a hug and made mommy smile yet....

Just something I was thinking up while doing the dishes tonight
and thought I'd write it down.
Can anyone else relate?


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Menu Plan Monday- Week of December 7, 2009

This week we will be receiving our Produce Share which includes:

Green Beans
Baby Bok Choy
Egg Plant
Lacinato Kale
Red Romaine
Sweet Potatoes
Yellow Squash
Sungold Cherry Tomato
Pinora Apples(Similar to a Pink Lady)
Hass Avocados
Meyer Lemons
Cara Cara Oranges (Navel Oranges)
Orlando Tangelos
Red Seedless Grapes
Satuma Mandarins

Here is the menu plan for this week:

Breakfasts: Danish Oven Pancake, Eggs & Toast, Pancakes, Granola w/ Milk, Oatmeal

Lunches: Leftovers,
Chicken Salad Sandwiches, Quesadillas, Pasta & Marinara Sauce

Extra: Whole Wheat Bread (Yup, doing it again!), Playgroup Granola Bars, Guacamole


Monday- Beef Bulgogi with Green Beans

Tuesday- Leftovers for Kids and Brian- Women's Dinner at Church for me!

Wednesday- Moussaka Cottage Pie- Uses up the Eggplant- REALLY GOOD!

Brown Rice and Black Bean Casserole- (Chicken goes a long way)

Friday- Chicken Pasta- uses Yellow Squash & Basil mmmm....

Saturday- Pizza- gonna buy it this time!

Sunday- Carne Asade Steak and Avocado Sandwiches

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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Advent Wreath Tutorial- Using Clip Art

Advent Wreath Tutorial

You will need:

Contact Paper- Clear
Mini Clothespins 24 ct.
Small Wire Wreath

Christmas Clip Art of Your Choice- My PDF here
24 Activities typed up to fit on back of clip art- MY PDF here

I first went on my Microsoft Word and typed in all the "Christmas-y" words I know in the clip-art search. I then adjusted them to the appropriate size.

Print out pictures and cut to desired sizes.

Lay out pictures with approx 4 cm between them so you have room to leave a small edge of contact paper around each picture.
Place all pictures face-up and lay contact paper on top making sure to avoid bubbles. It should look like this... with the back still sticky.
Print and cut out your Daily Activities and/or Verses see bottom PDF if you want mine for ideas. Place cut out activities face-up on back of pictures.
Place contact paper over the tops of activity cutouts and press firmly to eliminate bubbles. The front should look like this:
Cut out each picture and place in circle on wreath starting with Day 1 at top.

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Sunday, November 29, 2009

Food For Thought...

When you don't have a lot of money, but do have a lot of produce....what do you do?

Make a Produce Thanksgiving Centerpiece of course!

Produce is not just for eating folks....

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Menu Plan Monday- Week of November 30, 2009

Can you say Too Much Turkey? I think I can... Phew, after 4 straight days of lunch AND dinner Thanksgiving Leftovers, I can honestly say I'm Turkey-ed Out!

With that in mind, last weeks menu plan was virtually non-existent because
I didn't need to make any meals.

I have a lot of catching up to do as far as cooking and
baking with the produce before they go bad.

Here's what we've got going for the week:

Breakfasts: Waffles (Leftover from Weekend- Made w/ Kefir, delicious!), Eggs & Toast, Pancakes, Oatmeal( Slow Cooker)

Lunches: Chicken Salad Sandwiches, Homemade Mac N' Cheese, Turkey Quesadillas (YES, we still have more turkey)


Monday: Chicken Fajitas

Tuesday: Crispy Rosemary Chicken and Fries and green beans (Really Good Last Week!)

Indian Spiced Lentils with Chicken (Slow Cooker)

Spicy Black Bean Empanadas- I'll use ground turkey served with Glazed Carrots and Kale Chips

Friday: Grilled Chicken Strips served over Fresh Greens Salad w/ Roma Tomatoes

Saturday: Slow Cooker Flank Steak served with Noodles and Carrots

Sunday: Eggplant Pizzas & Black Bean and Spinach Pizzas

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Friday, November 27, 2009

Smell the Fresh Air... Eat Apple Pie!

I am so excited that it is finally cool here in Florida..
Could Fall actually exist in Florida?

I just have to capitalize on this opportunity because who knows how long it will last.

I came across this blog post and had to share it with you.
Its about Plein Air or Plain Air
from Pioneer Woman

I am taking my kids outside right after lunch to get some...
and perhaps Lily can draw a little too!

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thankful... Tree.... Craft.... Fun...

So I saw this post a while back and really wanted to make one for my wall.

Here is what we came up with...
Here's how I did it....frugally

2 Paper Bags Cut Open
Freehand a Tree....shocking, I know.

Then you cut it out!
Tape to the wall...
Ask your kids what they are thankful for...
I felt special because I came right after Lily being thankful for pillows and the wall.
I used this leaf template.
I had them laminated for a church project, which I recommend because...
if you use a dry erase marker,
you can use them over again!

Write Thankful Things on Leaf of your choice, and have children tape to wall!
During this project
I let Lily practice her cutting skills
on a scrap piece of paper bag,
and I showed Claire how to Tear to increase
her hand-eye coordination....

I'm Thankful for my husband and my children, and our health....
What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?

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Monday, November 23, 2009

Menu Plan Monday- Week of November 23, 2009

Thanksgiving is just around the corner!! I can't wait for turkey!
Lately, we only have a roast turkey on Thanskgiving, so it has been a long time coming...
This year I am only roasting the turkey and making a dessert.
My mother- in- law is making everything else...bless her heart.

This week is also a produce share pick up week. Here is what we will be receiving:

Green Beans
Table Carrots
Green Kale
Green Romaine
Poultry Bouquet
Sweet Potatoes
Russet Potato
Cremini Mushrooms
Roma Tomato
Winsap Apples
Bosc Pears
Sunburst Tangerines

Here is the menu plan for this week:

Breakfasts: Eggs & Toast, Pancakes, Oatmeal( Slow Cooker)

Lunches: Leftovers (Hope there's lots from Turkey Day), Chicken Salad Sandwiches, Quesadillas


Monday: Leftover Cranberry Pork Tenderloin and Sweet Potato Puff- still have a ton of sweet potato left over from last share served with Wilted Spinach

Tuesday: Crispy Rosemary Chicken and Fries and green beans

Wednesday: Spicy Black Bean Empanadas- I'll use ground turkey served with Glazed Carrots and Kale Chips


Friday: I'm pretty sure we'll be eating leftovers!! YUMMY

Saturday: Indian Spiced Lentils with Chicken (Slow Cooker)

Sunday: (Slow Cooker) Beef Stew- The picture looked too good to pass up!

Well, that's it for this week...hope you all have a great Thanksgiving ! For more recipes, visit for her MPM round-up!


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