Monday, October 13, 2008

Continuing my Weight Loss Journey

Week 1 back at Weight Watchers was 3.4lbs lost! Tonight will be week 2 back at Weight Watchers. Hopefully I will do half as good as I did last week. I have done well for the most part I think. I did have a bad weekend.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Continuing weight loss journey

Hello anyone who is reading, I haven't been posting lately. I had carpal tunnel surgery in the beginning of September and after recovering from that I hurried to finish getting my School Bus Driver Permit so I could start driving the bus route my kids ride while it was available to me. I finished on September 23rd. I started driving the bus that afternoon after passing my driving tests. I started back to Weight Watchers on Monday of last week. I have not been successful with weight loss on my own, I do not want to take any pills, I didn't need them to get fat, I can get thin again without them too. I tried taking Alli and cannot deal with the side effects of that horrid pill. Not only is it very expensive to keep buying but the side effects or "treatment effects" as they call them are dreadful. So I figure for the past several months I have been paying for those pills so I would put that money towards my Weight Watchers meetings instead. So all that being said tonight was my first weigh in and I lost 3.4lbs!!! Yay for me! I'll post again next week if I can remember!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

My Weight Loss Journey Week 7

Okay everyone, as you all know I started this journey to attempt to lose two dress/pant sizes by my sister-in-law Kendra's wedding which is Aug. 30. I have not quite gotten the full two sizes but I have continued to lose weight and will keep it up even after the wedding. Here are this weeks stats I lost another 1.4lbs for a total lost of 9.6lbs. Inches lost are Arm: -1/4", Bust:-0,
Waist: -3/4", Hips: -3/4", Thigh -1"! Yeah for me!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

My weight loss journey Week 6

OK, first off I know I missed last week completely, with school registrations for both children and trying to finish up all my certifications for being a school bus driver, I was slightly busy. So here are the stats for this week. I have now lost a total of 8.2lbs. Measurements are Arm:-1/4" / Bust: -1" / Waist: -3/4" / Hips: -1/4" / Thigh: -0. Well thats all for this week. See you all again next week!!!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Menu for Saturday Aug. 9 thru Friday Aug. 14


S-Bacon, eggs n toast

S-Biscuits n gravy







S-chicken patties on buns w/ french fries

S-garlic bread pizza

M-bologna sandwiches n chips

T-corn dog muffins

W-veggie soup w/ grilled cheese

T-pizza cups

F-dogs in sweaters

S-rosemary chicken w/roasted potatoes

S-Grilled Herb Tilapia w/ grilled potatoes

M-Steaks w/ baked potatoes

T-Grilled Shrimp w/ veggies

W-Herb Tomato Grilled Chicken w/ potatoes

T-Super Grilled Salmon w/ veggies

F-Cumin rubbed grilled pork chops w/ cheesy potatoes

For more fabulous menu planning ideas head on over to Organizing Junkie!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Making Flubber

Okay, as I have said before I hate with a passion this nasty hot weather. I am babysitting three children plus I have two of my own who are bored, bored, bored inside. I decided tomorrow we are going to do a project. We are going to make flubber we did it with the kids at their fun night on saturday, and I thought the kids would get a kick out of it. First the preacher found the idea on this website:

Okay now the recipe on that page makes an insane amount of flubber so I have halved the recipe, which still makes a large batch of flubber. I use quart freezer storage bags because they are simple and sturdy. You will need two bags for each "batch" of flubber you make, you will also need white school glue, borax, warm water & food coloring to color your flubber.

Container 1: 8oz white glue
few drops of food coloring(I use 20 drops to make
vibrant colors)
3/4C warm water
Mix these ingredients together very well.

Container 2: 2/3C warm water
1 1/2t borax
Mix these together very well & make sure the borax is dissolved in the warm water. Then pour the contents of container 2 into the contents of container 1. Mix well with your hands, squeeze out air if necessary. It will turn to "flubber" as you mix and mix. If their seems to be too much water you can pour some off, but make sure you have mixed well first. I pull the flubber out of the baggy and place in a bowl to let some of the water air dry for a few minutes then it is ready for play! It needs to be kept in a baggy or it will dry out due to the glue in it. My kids love playing with this stuff it is similar to slime only not nearly as ooey gooey and sticky, I would say it is similar to putty only not as stretchy.

P.S. I will post a few pics of this project and the finished result just as soon as I can get my digital camera working again.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Yummy Artichoke Dip

4 oz fat free cream cheese, softened
1/2 C skim milk
1 14oz can artichoke hearts in water, drained
2 1.4 oz envelopes vegetable soup mix
1 garlic clove, pressed
2 T lemon juice
1 8oz container fat free sour cream
grated fresh parmesan cheese optional

Preheat oven to 450*. Whisk cream cheese in bowl until smooth, add milk, whisk again til smooth. Chop artichokes & add them, soup mix & garlic to bowl with cream cheese & mix well. Microwave on high 5-7 minutes or until hot (do not boil). Add in the lemon juice and sour cream and stir well. Pour into an oven safe bowl. If desired grate parmesan cheese over dip & bake for about 13-15 minutes. Serve with warm sourdough or beer bread cubes.

I tried a recipe like this at a friends on saturday, she is a pampered chef consultant and gave me the card to make my own, so of course I changed it to make it lower in fat or "points" for weight watchers. This makes approximately 12 servings of 2T each. I am figuring about 1 point per serving, but I am not a professional weight watchers lady so don't hold me to it. By the way this is incredible and I could never stop eating at just two tablespoons!!!

My Weight Loss Journey Week 4 Pt.2

Okay everyone I weighed this morning and I lost another 3.8lbs for a total loss so far of 6.2lbs Yeah! I deserved it too I worked my tushy off literally!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

My Weight Loss Journey Week 4 Pt. 1

Okay this week I took my measurements again on Tuesday like last week and here are the fabulous results. I lost Arm: -1/4" Bust: -1" Hips: -1 3/4" Thigh: -0(This discouraged me until I read an article saying it was the hardest weight to lose, that you had to lose a significant amount of fat in the rest of your body to start working on that inner thigh fat) Waist: -2 1/4" WOW. Hopefully the scale will be nice to me tomorrow as well. See you all again next week.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Menu for Saturday Aug. 2 thru Friday Aug. 8

Su-Biscuits n gravy
M-breakfast scramble
T-French Toast

Sa-Pizza Snacks
Su-Chicken Tenders w/fries
M-Tatertot Casserole
T-Veggie Soup w/grilled cheese
T-Bologna & Chips
F-Fzn. Pizzas

Sa-Brats n chips
Su-Beef Roast w/ potatoes, peas & carrots
M-Meatloaf n gravy, mashed taters & corn
T-Boneless Pork filets w/ mac n cheese
W-Bacon wrapped chicken fillets w/ broccoli & mushroom rice
T-Steaks & baked potatoes
F-Rosemary Chicken w/ roasted potatoes

My Taco Popcorn Snack

1 bag 94% fat free microwave popcorn popped
1/2 pkg taco seasoning
2T parmesan cheese
spray butter

I spray a little spray butter on the popcorn then sprinkle with parmesan cheese and taco seasoning give it a shake and enjoy. It is a quick easy different snack for me. Me and the kids love it!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

My Weight Loss Journey Week 3

Okay, I did not do well on the weight loss this week at all! I am not making excuses for myself, I just didn't do well, I exercised regularly and I ate right that is until Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday. We went to holiday world this past weekend. Rather than fix supper friday night while we were packing and such we had pizza and breadsticks, need I say BAD, I did fairly well while we were gone over the weekend, but Monday night we weren't even close to ready to go back to normal so we had leftover pizza and breadsticks again. So my weight loss this week was horrid, I actually gained. I have now gained back and have only a total loss of 2.4lbs. Measurements Waist -1inch, Thigh -1 1/4inch, Upper Arm -1/4inch, Bust -1 3/4inch and lastly apparantly I did not measure my Hips properly or my husband measured a different area this week than I did last week because they grew +1 1/4inch which isn't likely compared to the other losses.

Hopefully I will do significantly better this week. I never said it was gonna be easy!! I just wish it came off as easy as it goes on!!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Lack of New Recipe posts this week

I apologize for all the missing recipes and pictures this week. My husband has been working overtime the past few weeks. On a regular day he leaves at 5am and doesn't return home until 5:30pm. The past few weeks he hasn't been returning until 9 or 10pm. Which leaves me to take care of our two little monsters by myself all day. I also babysit three other children during the day. I do have to say I have moved single parents up to a completely new pedestal. I honestly don't know how they do it all! I think I would go crazy if I didn't have any help from DH. I have been known to gripe occasionally about the lack of help from him around the house but man do you ever realize how much they help you by not doing anything but entertaining the kids.

My Weight Loss Journey Week 2

Okay everyone, this week I have been really discouraged. I am only on my second week of weight loss and total I have like 44 more pounds to lose to get to a healthy weight. I am so incredibly focused this time around I have never wanted to lose my weight as bad as I do now. I took all my measurements this morning and weighed. I didn't take my measurments last week, so I don't know if I lost any inches or not(wish I had), as far as weight went I gained 0.6lbs which isn't too awful bad...but when you consider that I have been using 17-23 of my points allowance of 23 points it is very dissappointing for me. I have exercised daily walking at least a mile and the last three days I have started including upper and lower ab crunches and I still gained. I am seriously hoping that it is either muscle gained(ya know they say muscle weighs more than fat) or any woman knows the other reason it "might" be. Lets just hope its one of the too. Until next week everyone, then I can share any inches lost with you too. WooHoo!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Okay...I would really really like to get my basement all clean and organized so that it could be used for storage. I would post before pics, but honestly I am too totally ashamed to show you what it looks like. It is really awful! I went down there this morning and took a good look around and I am really overwhelmed. I know that I can do it, but man is it gonna be hard. It will be extra exercise for my weight loss which is a plus. I think my problem is there is so much that I just don't know what to do with. There are a ton of old glass jars that aren't worth anything as far as selling them, and they need to be recycled, however there is no recycling center that accepts glass around here that I am aware of.

My Weight Loss Journey Week 1

Okay, I weighed in last wednesday, and I'm posting late. I lost 6.6lbs last week my first week. I did really well on my walking I only missed one day. I was really proud of my loss!

Monday, July 21, 2008

My Homeade Laundry Detergent Recipe

1 Bar Fels Naptha Soap
1 Cup Arm & Hammer Washing Soda
1 Cup 20 Mule Team Borax Soap
1 Cup Oxi-Clean

I shred up the bar of Fels Naptha Soap with a cheese grater into an old ice cream bucket or gallon container with lid, then add in the remaining ingredients, give it a stir or a shake to mix up all the soaps. I put in 1/4 Cup per load and it lasts me at least a month usually. The box of Arm & Hammer Washing Soda, Borax Soap and oxi-clean usually last me for several months, as I can never remember the price of each. The Fels Naptha soap I buy at the grocery store it costs me $1.06, Borax soap is usually around $6 a box, washing soda is less than $3 & I believe oxi-clean is around $7-$10 depending on if it is sale or not. As you can see even if you add up all the ingredients to start making it it only costs roughly $20. Compare this to the price of Tide which I was using and having to buy every other week, because I thought it cleaned my clothes better than anything else, this homeade laundry soap gets my clothes just as clean as tide ever did for way less $ and the soaps last me for months.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Grilled Salmon with Ginger Orange Mustard Glaze

1/4C fresh orange juice

1/4C tamari or soy sauce

1/4C cream sherry

1/4C dijon mustard

2T fresh ginger, peeled, grated

2T honey

4(6)oz salmon fillets

Combine all ingredients but salmon in a large zip-top plastic bag. Add salmon to bag, seal and marinate in the fridge 30 minutes. Remove salmon from bag reserving marinade. Prepare grill or broiler by spraying with non-stick spray. Cook 6 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Basting frequently with reserved marinade. Place remaining marinade in a sauce pan; bring to a boil and serve with salmon.

I served this with some sauteed vegetables and mushrooms and boiled brown rice. Wow I wish you could smell it, it made the whole house smell wonderful & it tasted absolutely fabulous!!!!!!


Well ladies and gentlemen I have done it again! I guess its safe to say that the dishwasher is not safe for squirt bottles that you would like to clean out and use for a different cleaner. Better wash those bottles by hand or else they'll look like mine!
So tell me all about your Oops! if you dare!

My Weight Loss Journey

Okay, this morning I was telling my one of my best friends about my weight loss this week. She informed me that I should share my journey and maybe it would inspire others.
I initially decided to challenge myself with losing two dress sizes for my sister in law Kendra's wedding on August 30. My four year old son asked "Mommy why is your belly fat?" That comment may come off rude for some folks, but I answered his question with well mommy had two children and that made her belly get bigger. After thinking about it I was a little upset at the thought that my child thinks mommy is fat. I started out easily just watching what I was eating. I have done weight watchers a few times and quit, so my Hubby just thinks well whatever she is starting okay big deal she is just gonna quit again like she always does. Maybe this is mean of him, but the stubborness in me is fueled by this reaction from him. Last week I thought well, how can I really boost my weight loss other than just eating less. So I started going to my friend Trena's to walk on her treadmill. I quickly realized that having to load up two kids and drive 5 miles to her house would be an easy excuse for me to be lazy still and not go, so I started shopping around for a treadmill of my own. I quickly was discouraged because the starting price for a new treadmill is $250 and up. Then I thought why not try calling some resale stores and seeing if they have one and I found one for $49.95. It may not be the most beautiful thing in the world, but it is fully functional and it does the job just fine. So instead of just going to my friends every other day I can walk at home everyday which is much more convenient. So far I have walked a mile 6/7 days that I have had the treadmill and this week I have lost 6.6lbs!!!! For those who want to know what are you eating well, I am following weight watchers flex plan at home. I won't give you my points range because that would give away part of my weight, lol. I will tell you that to "kickstart" my weight loss I have been eating about 5 points less than my points for the day. I don't know if weight watchers recommends it or not and I really don't care. I just know that it is working for me. I don't starve myself I know that the points can be used if I need them and on a few days I do need them. I have been trying not to sit in front of the t.v. or the computer too long, then I just think about eating. I have been completing a few things that need to be done around here one at a time and keeping my house clean by chasing my kids around picking up after them, just keeping myself busy in general is keeping me from snacking all day. I also have been trying to keep myself from getting "hungry", by drinking alot of water and coffee. Once that "hungry" feeling creeps up on me I'm tempted to binge and end up overeating so keeping it at bay is helping me tremendously. I hope someone else is inspired by my attempt to make myself feel better and make my son feel better and proud of his mommy. I'll keep posting about my progress!!!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Cheddar Roasted Red Potatoes

1 pkg baby red potatoes
2 containers molly mcbutter cheese powder
a little garlic powder, oregano, italian seasoning, basil and some dried chives

I halved and then quartered the baby potatoes to make them bite size even for kids. Rinsed them in water. Then added all the dry ingredients to a gallon freezer bag, then added the potatoes gave them a shake and put them on a lightly oiled cookie sheet and baked at 425 for about an hour or until the potatoes start to brown a bit on the edges.

Grilled Lime Chicken

1/4C fresh parsley chopped (I used dried)
1/2t grated lime zest
1C dry white wine or chablis
1/2t pepper
2T lime juice
6 chicken breast halves (I used chicken leg quarters they're cheaper at aldi's)
Combine all ingredients except chicken in a shallow baking dish. Add chicken turning to coat. Cover and marinate in fridgerator for 1 day. Remove chicken from marinade reserving marinade. Coat grill rack with pam. Cook for 5 minutes on each side or until done on med-high grill basting with marinade. Another find from #8360
This chicken was awesome! It was an interesting change from lemon flavored chicken. Sorry the picture is a little blurry. The roasted cheddar potatoes were incredible too, closest I have gotten since they quit making shake n bake cheddar potatoes

Works for me Wednesday

I really like to cook!!! Especially with 5 ingredients or less so here a few of my favorite recipes.

Hamburger Goulash

1pkg egg noodles

1lb ground beef(I use ground turkey instead)

1 family size can of cream of mushroom soup

Boil egg noodles, brown ground beef. Add all together in pot mix up well and enjoy!

Tatertot Casserole

1lb ground beef(I used ground turkey)

1 family size can of cream of mushroom soup

1 pkg tatertots

1 bag shredded cheddar cheese

Brown ground beef and mix it with the cream of mushroom soup. Spread into a 9x13 pan, cover with tatertots and bake at 350 for about 30 minutes or until tatertots are done. Remove from oven cover with shredded cheddar and bake just until cheese is melted.

Pork Chops & Potatoes in the crock pot

2 boxes scalloped or au gratin potatoes

milk & butter for the potatoes

4-6 pork chops

I usually put 2 pork chops in the bottom and 1bx of potatoes mixed then 2 more pork chops and the other box of potatoes mixed. I turn the crock pot on low for 4-6 hours and have wonderfully tender pork chops that literally fall apart.

Hope you all enjoy my easy 5 ingredient or less recipes!!!!! Have a wonderful week!!!!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Parmesan Tilapia

1C Mayo(Not miracle whip)

1/2C parmesan cheese

1 1/2T garlic powder

1T black pepper

2T Lemon-Dill Blend

4-6 Tilapia Fillets

Mix all ingredients but the Tilapia. If it appears too thick add a little extra mayo. If it appears too creamy add another few shakes of cheese. The consistency will be thick, but still stirable and slightly creamy. Coat only one side of the fillet and place coating side up in a slightly greased oven dish and bake on lower rack at 350 for 35 minutes. Don't worry if it browns some some browning adds to the flavor. I served this with a side of cornbread stuffing. Recipe #186913 on

I made this for dinner this evening. The tilapia was okay, but I thought the mixture was too thick and it needed to be even creamier I think this could be accomplished by adding a little milk next time. Family enjoyed, I did still notice the "fish" taste in this which I don't mind but some folks might. All in all it was a good recipe although I don't think it will become a regular for us. Anyways here is a pic of dinner tonight. So I'm curious...What did you have for supper this evening?

My Deep Freeze Cleaned & Dethawed

Well, I was inspired to clean my deep freeze today by a post on The Lazy Organizer's Page on Talk about Tuesday. So I unplugged it, emptied it, placed a pan of HOT water in there, closed the lid and left it for 30 minutes. When I came back the ice slid right off. I scooped it all out. Cleaned the inside and wiped up all the water. Then instead of throwing everything back in like it was, I grabbed a couple of milk crates to sort everything and make the search process much easier next time I am after something specific. I put all the meat into its own crate, all the ice cream and desserts in one, anything related to breakfast in its own and a small storage container minus the lid was perfect for the few veggies I keep in the deep freeze. Awesome! I did it and it really didn't take me that long and it's all over and soooooooooooo much nicer! I can't wait to hear what my hubby says next time he goes looking for some ice cream snacks and doesn't have to dig!!

Menu for Plan for week of 7/19 thru 7/25/08

I am posting early as I am going to town Wednesday this week instead of on Friday as we will have a very busy weekend.

We will be having breakfast, lunch and dinner at the tractor show
Breakfast: Breakfast Casserole
Lunch: Eat at tractor show
Supper: Tequila Lime Shrimp w/Buttered Corn on the Cob
Breakfast: Leftover Breakfast Casserole
Lunch: Taco Crescent Bake
Supper: Beef Ribs w/ Jack Daniels Glaze
Breakfast: Store Bought Breakfast Pizzas
Lunch: Sausage Crescent Bake
Supper: Zesty Tilapia w/ Zucchini Herb Casserole
Breakfast: Breakfast Burritos
Lunch: Tatertot Casserole
Supper: Rosemary Lemon Pepper Chicken w/ Battered and Fried Squash
Breakfast: Pancakes
Lunch: Chili Dogs w/Potato Chips & Fruit Cup
Supper: Eat on the way to pick up Sister
Breakfast: Chocolate Cream of Wheat or Bowl of Cereal
Lunch: Breaded Chicken Tenders with Cheese Fries
Supper: Bourbon Glazed Salmon w/ Baked Potatoes and Mushroom Rice

I linked to any recipes already posted (some are my good friends I'm trying out) and I'll add pics of anything without them still one once I fix it each day along with the new recipes on the menu I haven't posted yet. Hope everyone has a great week!!!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Melted Toothpick Holder

Today I learned that the back of the stove is not the proper place for a plastic toothpick holder. The pictures say enough for me. Hope everyone enjoys a good laugh at my expense. Ha Ha

Grilled Steaks, Baked Potatoes and Leftover Corn on the Cob

4 ribeye steaks
1 bottle Andreas Steak Sauce and Marinade

We get several steaks from Angel Food Ministries every month so we have this almost every Monday. It is the only "beef" night of the week my hubby gets.

I usually place 4 steaks of any type in a ziploc or gladware bowl and pour over a bottle of Andreas steak sauce over them on Sunday night before I go to bed. Then they have all night and the next day to soak up the marinade. I find the steak sauce in the meat department at our grocery stores although sometimes it is hard for me to find.

Baked Potatoes
4 lg baking potatoes
Olive Oil
Sea Salt, Freshly Ground Pepper, a little garlic and onion powder

I wash the potato skin very well and brush them with a little olive oil then sprinkle the seasonings on the outside and wrap them with aluminum foil and put them on the grill over low-med heat and cook for 30 minutes or until a knife easily slides into them.

Cupcakes for the Little Ones

Today my little ones asked mommy for cupcakes. I thought I would write about it. I used a regular box cake for the cakes, but I jazzed up the canned frosting a bit. I used just a cheap can of white frosting and added about a 1/4C of pineapple orange banana juice, a few packets of True Orange for some extra orange flavor, a little bit of vanilla, and some extra buttered crisco and powdered sugar to make it fluffier. I used a freezer bag with the tip snipped off to ice them quickly. My kids went crazy for them.

Pinepple Skewered Shrimp w/Corn on the cob

Pineapple Skewered Shrimp

12 Jumbo Shrimp, peeled and deveined(or more depending on people being served) (Shrimp comes in large bags at Aldi's)
3/4C teriyaki sauce
2 green onions, chopped
2 T sugar
2 Garlic cloves, finely chopped
8 oz. Pineapple chunks
1/2T fresh ginger(optional)
2T lime zest(optional)
wooden skewers

Add all ingredients except for pineapple and shrimp to marinating pan. Now add the liquid from your pineapple can. Stir until sugar is well mixed. Add the shrimp to the marinade and rotate to coat. Cover and marinate for 2-3 hours. Set aside pineapple chunks. After marinating place shrimp and pineapple alternating on skewers. Coat your grill with a touch of cooking spray or oil. Put the skewers on the grill. Rotate once after two minutes, and once more after two more minutes. Let sit one minute then serve.

Okay, I marinated this overnight on the skewers. It was good, but it was not a family favorite at all. Sorry there is not a picture, I would say that I would post one next time I have this, but I'm not sure if I will make it again. I enjoyed it, it did have a little bit of an oriental taste to it, so If you like oriental flavoring you might try it and let me know what you all think. It just was not a hit with my family, sometimes they are a little harder to please than me.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Honey Grilled Pork Chops with Roasted Red Potatoes

Honey Grilled Pork Chops

1/2C soy sauce
1t ground ginger
1 1/2T minced garlic
4T brown sugar
6T honey
1T oil
4 center cut pork chops, 1 1/2 inch thick

Combine soy sauce, ground ginger and garlic in a bowl. Place pork chops in a resealable containter and pour mixture over pork chops. Marinate overnight and grill over med heat. While chops are cooking on grill, simmer brown sugar, honey and oil in a sauce pan until sugar dissolves. When pork chops are almost done place them on the top rack away from direct heat and brush on the glaze cook until finished.

Roasted Red Potatoes

Bag of small red potatoes
1 envelope dry onion soup mix
Grated parmesan cheese( I probably used 1/2C to 1C)
Seasoned Salt
Olive Oil

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cut the potatoes into bite size chunks and rinse off in strainer. Combine all dry ingredients in a gallon Ziploc bag. Add the potatoes to the dry mix and shake well to mix. Drizzle a little olive oil on a cookie sheet and pour potato mixture onto the cookie sheet. Bake in preheated oven for about an hour or until potatoes are slightly browned and crisp on the outside.
Yet another fabulous couple of finds from It was also another hit with the family which is never easy to do with my family. Hope everyone else enjoys as much as we did.

My outdoor palace

I don't really enjoy being outdoors much, especially when it is really hot. I don't have air conditionnig in the kitchen though so I have been trying to do most of my dinner cooking on the grill. Here are a few of the things I have purchased to try to make my experience not so bad: Shade canopy, picnic table and a really nice grill.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Other Household Shopping

dog food, cat food, dish detergent, pine sol, liquid bleach, huggies 30pk, glad trashbags, paper plates, wet wipes, pig ears for puppy, puppy food, cat litter, two tank tops, copy paper, headbands, cascade, baking cups and a variety puzzle book Total $97.16

Kenneth's Pre-Kindergarden supplies
Watercolors, Kleenex, folder, crayons, pencils, baby wipes, bag of rice, bag of dry beans, glue sticks, hand sanitizer Total $28.58 his backpack from last year is completely re-useable he only went to preschool and for a paint shirt he gets an oversize t-shirt

This weeks Shopping!

My friend Heather tells me I am great at budgeting and meal planning and should blog about it so here goes.

Here is my meal plan for this week. Saturday July 12 through Friday July 18. I babysit during the day so for breakfast and lunch I am feeding 6 people and then for dinner us four.

Saturday July 12
Breakfast: cereal
Lunch: Sandwiches & chips
Supper: Honey Grilled Pork Chops w/ Roasted Red potatoes

Sunday July 13
Breakfast: Biscuits n gravy(Tip: I am not a person who "functions" well in the morning so to cheat I buy the powder mix country gravy and add crumbled browned sausage to hubby never notices the difference!)
Lunch: Sandwiches & chips
Supper: pineapple skewered shrimp with rice and veggies

Monday July 14
Breakfast: Poptarts
Lunch: Hamburger Helper
Supper: Steaks marinated in Andreas Steak sauce with baked potatoes

Tuesday July 15
Breakfast: Chocolate Pancakes
I use regular pancake mix and add a little nesquik for something different and serve them with a little powdered sugar instead of syrup
Lunch: Spaghettios
Supper: Parmesan Crusted Tilapia with Stuffing

Wednesday July 16
Breakfast: French Toast
I put about 8-9 eggs in a cake pan, add milk, cinnamon and a little sugar to them, mix well. Dip Texas toast bread in the mix, and cook on a griddle pan. (Hint-I make the whole loaf at once and freeze in freezer bags then pop in the toaster for breakfast to warm it back up.)
Lunch: Hot dogs with Chips
Supper: Grilled Lime Chicken with Roasted Potatoes

Thursday July 17
Breakfast: Pancakes (Hint: I make several of these at a time as well, make several batches then add the nesquik syrup to the mix and start making chocolate pancakes, I freeze them in freezer bags and a quick trip to the microwave in the mornings to heat them back up.)
Lunch: Hamburger Helper
Supper: Grilled Salmon with Ginger-Orange Mustard Glaze with rice and veggies

Friday July 18
Breakfast: Scrambled Eggs with Bacon and Toast
Lunch: Chicken Nuggets w/Macaroni and Cheese
Supper: Beer grilled pork chops and spanish rice

My total for groceries only(not including household supplies and diapers and such) this week was $73.66. I didn't clip or use any coupons either.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

My Awesome Resale Find

I have made a decision that I AM going to lose all my "having two children" weight. I made myself a mini goal that I am trying with all my might to attain. I would like to lose two dress sizes by August 30 as I have been asked to be the matron of honor in my sister-in-law Kendra's wedding on that date. So I have been walking for 20 minutes every day to boost the weight loss I hope. I however am the hottest natured person you will probably ever meet and I can barely stand to be outside for my children to play in the 90 degree weather we have been having let alone walk a mile down the street in it. I had been driving to a close friend of mine's to use her treadmill, but started thinking that 70 extra miles a week in gas would add up quickly with gas at $4.05 a gallon. So I started calling resale shops in the area and searching for a used treadmill.(New ones start at $250.00) I found one for $49.99. It is old and doesn't look the greatest in the world, but it has all the functions of a new one including incline, all its missing is a pulse check, but heck I can take that myself.

I'll post a picture as soon as I can get some help getting it out of my van and into the house!!!

Rasberry Tilapia

4 4oz Tilapia Fillets

1/4C olive oil

1/4C raspberry vinegar

1/4C honey

1t yellow mustard

1/2t dried dill weed

Preheat oven to 350

Grease an 11x7 inch baking dish

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the olive oil, raspberry vinegar, honey, mustard and dill weed. Arrange the tilapia fillets in a single layer in the prepared baking dish. Pour mixture over the fish fillets, coating them evenly. Bake in preheated oven uncovered for 20 minutes or until fish is flaky with a fork.

I sauteed these on the stove in a little olive oil so I wouldn't have to heat my kitchen up as hot as the oven would. This tastes incredible!!! I would eat it again and again!!!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Update to my post on Artificial Sweeteners

As I eliminated all artificial sweeteners from mine and my family's diets, I searched for something other than sugar as over use of sugar is not good for us either. I stumbled upon a natural sweetener called stevia leaf. They are selling it now it is called Only sweet. It is an all natural zero calorie sweetener. I found it at Krogers $5.99 for a box of 100 packets.

Angel Food Ministries

I thought I would write and let everyone know that I have been ordering food every month from the Angel Food Ministries. It costs $30 for the basic packages and they usually have other available boxes ranging from $16 to $20. They are either grill boxes, or chicken or this month they even offered a fresh fruit and vegetable box. They come with a variety of food in them. Last month I was able to provide all the meat for my family except for fish and shrimp for $70 for the whole month. This month I paid $86 as I ordered the fresh fruit and vegetable box as well for an exta $16. I am excited about it, as we are able to eat steaks and ribs which we ordinarily would never be able to afford to eat.

this months menu was:
40oz. marie callenders family crock pot dinner(meat included)
1.5lb boneless pork filet
5lb breaded chicken chunks
1.5lb meaty beef ribs
28oz meatloaf and gravy
1lb beef fajitas
1lb fully cooked meatballs
1lb all meat hot dogs
1lb broccoli
1lb peas and carrots
28oz pasta sauce
1lb pasta
32oz borden 2%red.fat shelf stable milk
32oz hawaiian punch
12ct. corn tortillas
7oz blueberry muffin mix
1 dozen eggs
1 dessert item
all for $30.oo, with the purchase of this you may also purchase
July Special #1-1.5lb new york strip steaks(2x12oz), 2.5lb boneless netted boston butt roast, 2lb meaty beef ribs, 1lb mild italian sausage $20.00
July Special #2-1.5lb kansas city strips(2x12oz), 1.5lb ribeyes(2x12oz), 1.5lb bacon wrapped chicken filet(4x6oz) $20.00
July Special #3-10lb breaded chicken tenders $18.00
July Special #4-6 ears corn, 2lb carrots, 2lb yellow onions, 1 cello wrapped lettuce, 1 pineapple, 1lb strawberries, 1 seedless watermelon, 6 russet potatoes $16.00
They are even approved by the government to accept link cards!!

Grilled Chicken Legs with Lemon and Pepper

8 chicken legs with thigh
1/2C olive oil
1/3C fresh lemon juice
1T chopped fresh rosemary
1t salt
1/2t fresh ground pepper

Arrange chicken in shallow bowl or baking dish, whisk together remaining ingredients and pour over chicken. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours. Heat grill to medium-high heat. Place chicken on grill until browned on all sides(about 10 minutes) turning once or twice. If using gas grill reduce heat to low and cook 20 minutes.

I placed this in a glass baking dish and baked it for almost two hours at 350 instead of grilling. I also doubled the ingredients because it was barely enough to cover four chicken legs with thighs let alone 8. I did not use fresh rosemary because I didn't have any on hand, but it was still delicious even with dried rosemary. Yet another fabulous find from #28279

Zesty Grilled Tilapia

6 6oz tilapia fillets
6 T olive oil
1T grated orange zest
6 T freshly squeezed orange juice
1 T grated fresh ginger
1 t hot sauce, to taste
1 t salt
fresh ground black pepper

Place fish in a large nonmetal dish, whisk together remaining ingredients, pour over the fish. Cover and marinate in the refridgerator for 30 to 60 minutes. Grill until fish just flakes when tested with a fork, about 5 minutes per side for each inch of thickness.

I marinated overnight. I also cooked the fish in a disposable foil pan on the grill, which made it easier to manage. Another wonderful try from #291446

Grilled Bourbon Salmon

1/4C pineapple juice
2T soy sauce
2T brown sugar
1t bourbon
1/4t fresh cracked pepper
1/8t garlic powder
1/2 vegetable oil
1lb salmon fillets

Combine ingredients in a bowl. Remove skin from salmon. Place salmon in a glass dish side by side. Pour some of the marinade over(reserve some for basting while grilling) refridgerate for at least 1 hour a few hours will be even better. Drain and grill over med. -high about 5-7 minutes per side or until fish flakes-basting with the reserved marinade.

I used olive oil instead of vegetable oil and I combined my ingredients in a freezer bag and put it in the fridge overnight. I also think it would be okay to omit the bourbon if you so choose as it was only a teaspoon, and I couldn't taste it not even in the background.

This is also a find from recipe#548

Tequila Lime Shrimp

Tequila Lime Grilled Shrimp
1/2C Olive Oil
1/3C freshly squeezed lime juice(i used the little plastic lime found in the produce section)
3T tequila
2T chopped garlic
2-3T chopped cilantro
18 jumbo shrimp, raw, deveined and shells removed

Combine ingredients and marinade shrimp for several hours or overnight. Grill 2-3 minutes per side. Serve hot or cold.
recipe #276009 from

I doubled this recipe and used two bags of the frozen cooked jumbo shrimp from aldi's. Still turned out terrific!! We will definately have this again and again.

Monday, May 19, 2008

For Heather

My best friend of nearly 25 years lost her dear "Bagaw" Sunday evening. My heart goes out to her. I hurt so much for her, I haven't lost any grandparents myself, but to think that we are only 30 years old my best friend just lost hers is terrifying. I hope that in this poem she might find peace for a moment. I love you with all my heart Heather!!! I am so sorry for your loss, call me anytime day or night no matter what you need, if only someone to listen I am always here, if you need my shoulder my van is always parked right outside.

. . . REMEMBER ME . . .
I never meant to leave you,
Could I have only stayed;
We would be going on in life,
With all the plans we made.
Now all the hopes and dreams we shared,
Are but sweet memories;
For you to tuck inside your heart,
Now when you remember me.
Remember all the good times,
And all the joy we shared;
Remember how you touched my life,
And how I really cared.
Think back on all the laughter,
And wipe away your tears;
You still have many miles to go,
And still have many years.
Don't look back....look forward,
This day is a brand new start;
And as you travel on in life,
You'll take a bit of my heart.
I never meant to leave you,
But still you'll not be alone;
For as long as my love lives in you,
I'll never really be gone.
Allison Chambers Coxsey

Thursday, May 15, 2008

A scary thought

I have recently been hearing by word of mouth that artificial sweeteners are bad for us. I have read recently that they can cause cancer and obesity and a slew of other horrible things. Initially I was interested in it, as I have struggled to lose weight since I have gotten married and had children. I recently asked my doctor what I could do about decreasing my hunger. I honestly feel like I am always hungry even when I am miserably full, (which I shouldn't be anyways, this I realize) I have full on hunger pains and am miserable. His response was for me to drink more water. This is not going to work for me, I consume tons of water a day. Then one of my best friends Heather mentioned to me that she heard diet soda actually increased you hunger. So I did a little research on it. Now soda in general is not good for us, as I think we all know, however aspartame which is widely used in diet sodas of all types is horrible for us. It has been linked to everything you can think of, multiple types of cancers, depression, anxiety disorders, obesity, problems with diabetes, multiple sclerosis, lupus, attention deficit disorders and multiple other problems. On the internet just today here are a list of things I found to be associated with Aspartame

the initiation or aggravation of diabetes mellitus, hypoglycemia, convulsions, headache, depression, other psychiatric states, hyperthyroidism, hypertension and arthritis; the simulation of multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease and lupus erythematosus; increasing aspartame addiction (12); an apparent causative role in brain tumors (10); a neurologic condition in overweight young women known as pseudotumor cerebri; and even the carpal tunnel syndrome (11).

Damage to the retina or optic nerves is largely due to methyl alcohol exposure. Unlike most animals, humans cannot efficiently metabolize it.
High concentrations of phenylalanine and aspartic acid occur in the brain after aspartame intake, unlike the modest levels of amino acids following conventional protein consumption.

Aspartame alters the function of major amino acid-derived neurotransmitters, especially in obese persons and after carbohydrate intake.
Phenylalanine stimulates the release of insulin and growth hormone.
The ambiguous signals to the satiety center following aspartame intake may result either in increased food consumption or severe anorexia.

Large amounts of the radioactive-carbon label from oral aspartame intake have been detected in DNA.

It causes headaches, dizziness, confusion, memory loss, severe drowsiness and slepiness, severe depression, extreme irratability, severe anxiety attacks, marked personality changes, severe insomnia, severe aggravation of phobias, shortness of breath, hypertension...high blood pressure which i have, nausea, diarrhea, abdominal pain, pain on swallowing, severe itching without a rash, severe lip and mouth reactions, hives, severe genital itching, rash or both, lubus erythematosus-type eruption, other rashes, marked thinning or loss of hair, aggravation of respiratory allergies, dual sensitivity to msg, paradoxic marked weight gain, marked weight loss, sever joint pains, fibromyalgia, leg and hand cramps, problems with diabetes, loss of control of bladder function, precipitation of clinical diabetes, aggravation or simulation of diabetic complications, hypoglycemia, menstrual changes, severe reduction or cessastion of periods, hyperthyroidism, frequent urination, intense thirst, bload, fluid retention and swelling, kidney stones
the age of onset of reactions ranged from infancy to 92 years most were in their 20s to 50s. Many reactors consumed prodigious amounts of aspartame, especially during hot weather. Conversely, some experienced convulsions, headache, or other severe symptoms after exposure to small amounts (e.g., chewing aspartame gum; placing an aspartame strip on the tongue; babies while breast-feeding as the mother drank an aspartame beverage). Nearly two-thirds of aspartame reactors experienced symptomatic improvement within two days after avoiding aspartame. With continued abstinence, their complaints generally disappeared.

Aspartame is likely to be found in any sweetener you put in your drink. Anything labeled 'diet' or 'sugar free', any gum or breath freshener, all will have aspartame as a sweetener. When the temperature of aspartame exceeds 30 degrees centigrade (86 F), which the body acomplishes quite quickly once it is ingested, the wood alcohol in it converts to formaldahyde (a poison used to preserve body parts) and then to formic acid which is even more toxic. Aspartame may cause miscarriage because it makes the body have an immune reaction to it, which can destroy the fetus.

Let me tell you the last part of this brought immediate tears to my eyes, as I have suffered from 5 miscarriages trying to conceive my two children. To think that something as simple as avoiding aspartame could have prevented that loss is in my book unacceptable.

Here are some of the websites I have gotten information from:

These are just my finds and results for Aspartame(Nutra Sweet & Equal) by the way, I have found harmful effects of saccharin(Sweet n low) as well as sucralose(Splenda). Some of which are similar to the effects of Aspartame.

All of this was enough for me to completely empty my kitchen and bathroom(some cold medicines and vitamins(even Flinstones) contain aspartame) of any and everything that contained aspartame or any artificial sweeteners.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

This is an actual copy of what meals we will be having during the month of may. I just typed it all up in a blank spreadsheet and saved it. When I am ready to make a new menu, I just type over the information I no longer need and reuse the same file. If you do not have spreadsheet on your computer, there are several printable calendars you could choose from the web and hand write your menu as well. Listed at the top above the days, I have chosen a meat or soup to designate to each day of the week. This makes my menu planning very easy as I either refer to old recipes I already have or search for new ones on the internet to try. is my new favorite for searching for new recipes. I just pick the meat or soup type it in, and it offers thousands of recipes for your ingredient of choice.

April 22, 2008

For dinner this evening we had baked catfish, pork and beans and buttered carrots. I placed the thawed catfish in a 9x13 pan, sprinkled a mixture of many different seasonings and herbs over both sides, I baked them at 425 for about 30 minutes or until the fish flakes easily. For the buttered carrots I placed a bag of baby carrots into my Micro Steamer with a stick of light butter and cooked for approximately 15 to 20 minutes in the microwave. It was a huge success, the fish was delicious.