Thursday, December 31, 2009

A year in photos

Oh. I know you were waiting for it. Sitting on the edge of your computer chair on pins and needles. I am making my triumphant return to blogging. You see. My darling hubby loves to hog the computer. He seems to have a monopoly on it. Santa did not bring me my own puter, so my posts will be few and far between. I will try to schedule as many as possible.

2009 was a pretty decent year. It was very calm and mellow. Just the way I like it. I am thankful to have the life I do. I am a very lucky person. God has truly blessed me, and for that, I am very grateful.

January- Grace's 9th birthday
February- Moose's birthday (my bro)

March- I have no idea what happened. I think we were deep in the middle of renovating the house. EEK!

April- Easter

Angie's Bridal shower
Crash's first time bowling

May- A and Angie get married
I met my bloggy friend Alyssa!!
T's Birthday Bash
Fishing with my hubby.
June- June was baseball season for Tater. I had photos, but they are gone. :o(

July- 4th of July

Baby shower for my SIL Amanda
A trip to Hermann with the boys.
Our "Wedding Reception"
The arrival of D. Lee!!

August- Baby shower for Danielle

Annoying the fam with my new camera.

September- Tater started football
October- First ever visit to Bigfoot
Crash's first head wound to land us in the e.r.
Crash's nasty tongue after he bit it. Two days after he bonked his noggin.
The birth of my "niece" Lily.
Moose hopped the pond and spend some time in Ireland.
Danielle's 21st bday. It was cuuuuuhrazy.
November- Grace's first choir concert

I got to meet Joshua Radin. Swoon.
Crash's second birthday
December- Tater's seventh birthday


Friday, December 11, 2009

Frugal Friday Tip

Shop the dollar stores for wrapping paper

I know that it isn't the highest quality paper in the world. It's wrapping paper and it is going to be torn to shreds any way. Why spend top dollar for the Hallmark stuff?

Friday, December 4, 2009

Frugal Friday Tip

Scale back your cable/satellite service

Yes, it may be very nice to have EVERY single channel known to man, but how often are you really using it? We cut our movie channels a while ago. It seemed like there was never anything on we wanted to watch so we decided to save ourselves $12/month. I'm trying to convince my hubby to get rid of the dish all together. All we watch is the news and sports. We can get the news on satellite radio and we can find several places on line that offer deals for watching sports on your computer. If we did this, we would save a bunch more money. I don't think I will win this battle though. :o)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Craigs List Observations

I love scouring Craig's List for deals. Most of the time, everything is really over priced, but it is still fun to window shop. It's also fun to laugh at some of the grammar and spelling errors people make. I wonder if they edit their ads before they post them? Probably not. Here are a few of my observations:

bedroom suit- Is this like a bedroom suite? Is it some sort of special clothing for the bedroom? If that is the case, isn't it lingerie?

chester drawers- Is this a chest of drawers? Did you name your dresser Chester?

New _______ (only used once)- Pssst....if you use it even just one time, it is no longer new. It is now used.

hot tud- ?? a 6 person one at that.

IS IN GOOD CONDITION STRUCTLY- What the hell does "structly" mean???

retro= vinyl

antique= wooden and very broken down


shabby chic= usually just shabby

mid century=They mean last century, 1950s, not 1800's which is my thinking.

priced to sell- Nope, not for that price. If you really wanted it gone, maybe you wouldn't take a whopping $100 of the price you paid TEN years ago.

What are some funny CL posts you have come across?

Monday, November 30, 2009

HP TouchSmart Give Away at Jolly Mom

My hubby and I were out pricing computers the other day and he fell in love with the HP TouchSmart 600. Well, I stumbled across a fantastic blog and Jolly Mom is actually giving one of these babies away!! Head over to her blog right now to see what you need to do for a chance to win this awesome computer.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Frugal Friday Tip

Set limits for gift giving

This sounds easy, but I have a hard time doing this. I started shopping early this year and have not kept very good track of what I have bought and how much I have spent. Shame on me.

Also, talk to friends and family about using a set dollar amount. Another idea for families is drawing names. This works very well for large families. No one is burdened down with buying 20 gifts. They are just responsible for one.

What do you do to save money around the holidays?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

French Onion Porkchops

I found this recipe on Alyssa's blog at the beginning of the year. I immediately bookmarked it because it sounded so tasty. I finally got around to making it this evening. Boy, was it yummy!! Here is my adapted version:

6 boneless pork chops (1-1/2 lb.), 1/2 inch thick
2 onions, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp. A-1 Steak sauce (didn't have Worcestershire)
2 boxes of stuffing mix (used Aldi brand)
3cups hot water

Place a skillet over medium-high heat. Spray with nonstick spray. Add pork chops and onions. Allow to cook for 5 minutes and turn the pork chops. Cook an additional 5 minutes.

Remove pork chops from skillet. Continue to cook onions until golden brown.

Add steak sauce and pork chops back to the pan. Reduce heat to low.

Mix stuffing and water. Spoon around pork chops. Cover and let cook 5-10.


Monday, November 23, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Monday- Honey Pecan Chicken

Tuesday-French Onion Pork chops

Wednesday- Waffles

Thursday- THANKSGIVING!!!! (My hubby hates turkey day food which saddens me greatly. I LOVE it. I am hoping to score a meal off someone making it. I hate to cook a ton of food that my hubs won't eat.)

Friday- Leftovers

Saturday- Island Chicken

Sunday- Chili with grilled cheese

Honey Pecan Chicken

This chicken was so delish. I could definitely see myself eating this on a salad with some sort of fruity vinaigrette. I found the recipe at Elly Says Opa. The original recipe is Balsamic Honey Pecan Chicken. I did not have balsamic vinegar, so I had to improvise.

4 chicken breast halves
2 Tbsp. honey
2 Tbsp. vinegar
5 cloves smashed garlic
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 cup chopped pecans
salt and pepper

I added 1 teaspoon of Old Hickory seasoning. I know it sounds odd, but I thought it would help take the place of the balsamic.

Mix the honey,vinegar and garlic together. Add the chicken, and rub in the marinade. Season with salt and pepper. Allow to marinate for about 20-30 minutes. It's best to marinate over night.

Preheat the oven to 425. Combine the bread crumbs and pecans. Cover both sides of chicken with nut mixture.

Place the chicken in a baking dish/pan. Bake for 20 minutes.

The Old Hickory wasn't a failure!! It didn't taste awful. I will definitely use balsamic next time though because I LOVE the flavor. I will also marinate the chicken for longer than 10 minutes.


Friday, November 20, 2009

Frugal Friday Tip

Stop Smoking

There are a million and one reasons to quit smoking. It won't be easy. My hubby has been smoke free for 8 months and I couldn't be prouder.
Cigarettes are expensive and many states are talking about raising the taxes on them even higher. Let's say you are a smoker who goes through a pack a day. If you quit smoking, you will save at least $1500 a year! That's a lot of dough back in your pocket.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Free Holiday Cards

I just ordered my 100% free Christmas cards. I cannot wait to get them!! I found the deal on Money Saving Mom. She has instructions on how to get this fantastic deal. The second part of the deal comes from Freebies 4 Mom. You don't even have to pay shipping!!! Hurry over soon and make yours before the deals expire!

Bourbon Chicken

I really need to at least keep my point and shoot upstairs. I took a photo of this dish with my phone. Boy, is that thing crappy!!! I will try harder.

This recipe was DELISH!! My hubby said it is his new favorite all time recipe. He means serious business. I found the recipe on My Kitchen Cafe. Of course, I had to tweak it because I just can't leave well enough alone. The only thing I will do different next time is for go seasoning the chicken. The soy sauce has enough salt in it.

2lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
a light oil (veggie oil works) just enough to barely cover the bottom of the pan
cornstarch (for dusting, optional)

4 garlic cloves minced
1 inch section of ginger minced
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (I think I will add a whole teaspoon next time)
¼ cup apple juice + a splash extra
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon vinegar
½ cup water
1/3 cup soy sauce

Cut chicken into bite size pieces. Toss with cornstarch (enough to cover lightly).
Put a skillet/wok over med-high heat.
While you are waiting for the pan to heat up, combine the ingredients for the sauce and set to the side.
Fry chicken. Remove chicken from pan and let drain on a paper towel.
Add sauce to the pan and bring to a boil. Add chicken to the sauce. Bring to a simmer and reduce the heat. Allow to cook for 10-15 minutes, or until the sauce thickens slightly.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Huli Huli Chicken

The name for this recipe cracks me up!! I found this recipe on Elly Says Opa's blog. My hubby told me he wanted to try some new recipes and this was unlike anything we have made before.

Go here to check it out.

Mine didn't look quite like that. I didn't let it blacken because I knew my kids would not eat it. The boys thought it was tasty. Grace doesn't like anything new, so she thought it was vomit. I haven't talked to my hubby yet today to see what he thought of it. I thought it was AMAZING. I hope my hubs likes it so I can make it again.

Here is the recipe copied from Elly Says Opa in case you are lazy like me and don't want to click the link. :o)

1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/3 cup pineapple tidbits/chunks
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. ketchup
1 Tbsp. rice vinegar
1 knob ginger, grated
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 bone-in, skin-on chicken leg quarters (or 4-6 thighs)
1-2 tsp. canola oil

Preheat the broiler. Add the soy sauce through the Worcestershire sauce into a food processor and pulse until smooth.

Rub the chicken with the canola oil and then broil skin side up, about 6″ from the element, for 8 minutes. Flip and broil for another 8 minutes. Brush the chicken with the glaze mixture and broil for an additional 16 minutes or so, flipping and basting every 4 minutes.

I forgot photos. Again. Story of my life. Enjoy!!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Monday- Bourbon Chicken

Tuesday- Grilled Chicken Soft Tacos

Wednesday- Waffles

Thursday- Grilled cheese and soup

Friday- Leftovers

Saturday- ???? (Girls' night out and boys' night in. The boys will probably do pizza. Grace and I are eating out.)

Sunday- Chuck E Cheese (Splurging to celebrate Crash's second birthday!!)

What are you having this week?

Happy Birthday, Crash!!

Today is my youngest son's birthday. I don't know where the time has gone. It seems like just yesterday we were feeding him bottles and burping him every 4 hours. Now, he is drinking from big boy cups and sitting on the big boy potty. Here are a few photos from Crash's first two years. I don't have any from when he was a baby. They are on the laptop that died. I hope I am able to recover some of them. Here's my little man:

5 months

5 months

Eating the wrong end of the bottle. :o)

Shaking the movies oFf the shelf.

Trying to behave at Tater's pre-k graduation.

7 months

9 months

1st birthday

First trip bowling

First time seeing monster trucks

First time getting his forehead glued.

My little man two years later.

Here is one of the first videos ever taken of him. He likes the music. The second one shows off his new moves.