Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Fun Box

One of my goals this week was to create a fun box for a special day. The girls quickly get bored with their things. I decided to create a box of fun things that either they have not seen in a while or new things. In this case, all the things in the box are new. I plan to create another with a few more things we have here. I will be able to either give the whole box to them to have fun with, or I can pull out one or two things at a time. They will be excited to have something new to do.

Included in the box is:

4 glue sticks
1 hole punch
4 pads of post it notes
2 coloring books
6 preschool & kindergarten workbooks
2 Care Bear paper doll books
1 pad of colored paper
1 box of envelopes
6 sheets of stickers
1 roll of number stickers

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Crock Pot Beef Sandwiches

We like this recipe and I thought someone else may enjoy it also. I like that it is so easy to make. I can just put it on and then I don't have to do anything else to it.

2.5 lbs beef roast, chuck roast or thick chuck steak, fat trimmed and discarded
2 dry Italian or Ranch salad dressing packets or onion soup mix packets
1 cup water

Buns, Hoagie Rolls or Bread

In a cold crock pot, place thawed or fresh roast.
Pour the contents of the salad dressing or soup packets over the meat.
Pour the water over all.
Cover crock pot with lid.
Cook on high 6 hours or over night on low until meat shreds easily with fork.

We actually use deer instead of beef. Both my dad and my brother like to hunt and usually get a couple of deer each year. They always give us some of the meat.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Using Coupons

Here is a picture of some of the things I got at Wal-Mart over the weekend. I used coupons for each one.

-The Honey Bunches of Oats were $1.98 I used a $2 coupon, I got these for free.
-The Windex wipes were on clearance for $2 each. I had 2 $1 off, so I paid $1 for each one.
-The Zantac was $4.23 and I had a coupon for $5 off, so I got this for free.
-The Pampers wipes were $2.54 each and I had a coupon for $2 off 2, so I got each one for $1.54.
-The beans were $1.25 each and I had a coupon for $1 off each one. So I got these for $0.25 each.
-The Clean Team wipes were $1.64 each, I had a $3 off 2 coupon, so I got these for $0.14 each.

I saved $16.00 with the coupons, so for the things here I spent a grand total of $5.07 without tax. Of course, I needed many other things. I wish I could get such discounts on everything I need.

With some of the money I saved on Saturday, I bought a new coupon organizer. I was so excited. It is nice be be able to find the coupon I want to use without having to look at every coupon I have. Here are a couple of pictures.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Reuseable Bags

I got a free reusable shopping bag (the green one) last week at Wal-Mart. They were giving them away in honor of Earth Day. After I got that one, I decided I liked it and bought the blue one from Kroger. Later I discovered that you could design a reusable shopping bag online at and a free bag would be loaded on your Kroger card. So I have 3 reusable bags and only paid for one of them. The one I paid for only cost $0.80.

I took all three of them to Wal-Mart this morning and everything I bought fit in the bags, except the 2 gallons of water I bought. I was happy that only three bags could carry so much.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Champagne Salad

Here is a recipe called Champagne Salad. Ryan and I really like it. It is a nice frozen treat. We like to get ours out and let it thaw a little before we eat it.

0.75 cup sugar
8 oz. cream cheese (at room temperature)
10 oz. frozen, slice strawberries; thawed
20 oz. can crushed pineapple
2 bananas, diced
1 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped (optional) - we don't put nuts in ours
10 oz. cool whip, thawed

Drain pineapple. In a large mixing container, cream the sugar and cream cheese together. Add strawberries, pineapple, bananas, and nuts (optional). Mix well. Fold in the cool whip. You can freeze in a metal or glass pan and cut off the pieces you want to eat. I like to put it in the cupcake container and then pop them out and put in a freezer bag. Then it is easy to get one serving out. I also put some in small plastic containers this time.

Here is a picture of ours.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

I Spent $3.54

Here is a picture of what I got at Kroger. I only spent $3.54! WOW! I have never got so much for so little (unless someone else was buying). I got 5 boxes of cereal for $0.50 each. When we got to the check out, Callie wanted some candy. I let her get some since I was getting the cereal so cheap.

Here is how I did it:
Kroger has select cereal on sale this week for 4 for $10.00, and then if you buy 4 you get $4.00 off your bill instantly. So that would make the price 4 for $6.00. I then had 4 coupons for $0.50 off Cheerios and Kroger gives you a bonus coupon if the original coupon was $0.50 or less. So for each box of Cheerios, I got $1.00 off the price. So now I have 4 boxes of Cheerios for $2.00. That makes the boxes of Cheerios $0.50 each.

Then I found a site to print $2.00 off a box of Honey Bunches of Oats with Chocolate. I thought we would give it a try. The sale price at Kroger was $2.50. So this box of cereal was only $0.50 also.

Of course, the candy was 3 for $1.00.

I also got $0.08 off because I brought in my own bags.

Look in the lower right hand corner for the place to click for the coupon.
Honey Bunches of Oats with Chocolate Clusters Coupon

The Cheerios coupons can be found by clicking the link below. You have to sign up, but you can print at least 4 coupons, maybe more.
Cheerios Coupons

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Roasted Chicken

One of my goals for this week was to try a new recipe. I decided this one looked good. It was very easy to do.


1 whole chicken (approximately three pounds)
Salt & pepper (or any other seasoning of your choice)

Wash chicken inside & out (removing anything inside).
Sprinkle seasoning of your choice on the chicken.
Next put three balls of aluminum foil in the bottom of the slow cooker (this creates a rack so the chicken doesn't soak in its own juices).
Place the chicken in, breast side down, and cook on low for six to eight hours.

Banana Bread Recipe

One of my goals this week was to make some banana bread with the overripe bananas we had. Here is a picture of the bread I made. This is a quick recipe to make. We think it is very good.

4 tablespoons of butter
0.5 cup sugar
1 egg
2 large ripe bananas, mashed
0.5 teaspoon vanilla
0.5 teaspoon baking soda
0.5 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup flour
Dash of salt
0.5 cup nuts, chopped (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cream butter and sugar together.
Add eggs and beat.
Add bananas and vanilla and beat.
Sift together dry ingredients and add gradually to banana mixture, mixing well.
Blend in nuts, if desired.
Pour into greased and floured loaf pan (pour dough until pan is half full).
Bake for 45-50 minutes for a large loaf or 25-30 minutes for small loaves, or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.

Free Samples

Here are some free samples I have requested and thought you might like to try.

This is for a free sample for Sunsilk Shampoo. There are 5 different kinds. You can request one of each.

This is for a free sample of Starbucks Coffee. There are a few varieties from which to choose. It takes a little work to get to the free sample page. Let the page fully load, then click on "Explore Our Coffees", then click on "Enjoy Your Complimentary Sample" in the top right-hand corner, and the sample request form will pop-up in a new window.

This is a link for a free baby bottle from Playtex. Chloe is not taking a bottle right now, but I figured she will in the future.

Here are a few free samples from Wal-Mart. There is a diaper, cereal, heartburn medicine and more. Check it out.

Here is a 14 day sample of Nature Made Vitamins. You just have to click on the picture of the vitamin you would like to try.

Here is another website that lists free sample offers. Of course you don't have to be a mom to request these free samples.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Brownie Recipe

Here is a brownie recipe that we tried. It is pretty good. I didn't put the nuts in, but I think I will next time.

1 cup butter, melted
2 cups sugar
0.5 cup baking cocoa
4 eggs, beaten
2 t. vanilla
1.5 cups flour
0.5 t. salt
0.5 cup nuts (optional)
powdered sugar

Combine butter, sugar, and baking cocoa.
Add beaten eggs and vanilla. Mix together well.
Beat in flour, salt, and nuts.
Spread in greased 9 x 13 pan.
Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 20-25 minutes.
Test for doneness; do not over bake.
Sprinkle powdered sugar over warm brownies.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Burp Clothes for Chloe

One of my goals this week was to make more burp clothes for Chloe. Last night the younger girls were sleeping and Cassidy was coloring. I decided to try to make some more burp clothes. She really doesn't need them, it is just fun and special to make them myself. I made one (the white with pink polka dots) by just zig zagging around the edges. The other one is two sided. I sewed it with the right sides together and then turned it inside out so the pretty side would be seen. The only thing I have left to finish on it is to zig zag around the edges. I was going to finish it last night, but my sewing machine started acting up on me. It wasn't sewing right. I will have to see if I can fix it or have someone else look at it. I am happy to have one new burp cloth for my baby girl.

"Space Bags"

This week I tried the "Space Bags". They are the bags you vacuum out the air after you fill them up. I started with a clothes basket and a tote full of clothes I needed to store. I ended with two extra large space bags full. I think I am going to really like these bags. There is only one problem I see. The bags are heavy. I may need to use large bags and just use more of them. Overall I think I really like these bags.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Quick Calzones

I thought I would try something new. I saw a recipe for these and here is how they turned out. I made one cheese, one sausage, one ham, and one pepperoni. Ryan already got the pepperoni one before I thought to take a picture. I personally liked the sausage one the best. I will try this recipe again some time.

  • Spaghetti Sauce
  • 1 package refrigerator crescent rolls
  • Sliced pepperoni
  • Cooked sausage
  • Chopped ham
  • Shredded mozzarella cheese


  1. Unroll crescent rolls; separate into 4 rectangles. Press together perforations.
  2. Spoon 1 tablespoon sauce on one half of each rectangle. Top with pepperoni, sausage, or ham and shredded mozzarella cheese. Fold other half dough over cheese and press to seal edges.
  3. Bake on large baking sheet in 350 degree F oven 10-12 minutes.

The Girls Room

Wow! I looked at Cassidy's and Callie's room this morning and thought "What a mess!" It seems I just helped them clean it up. It quickly became messy again. I decided to put up a net for some of the stuffed animals. It was given to me by a friend (Thanks Heather). I thought I would post a before and after picture. Their room is still not as clean and as organized as I would like it, but it is much better. I also wanted to say thank you to my mom who helped clean up the room and hang the net.



Monday, April 14, 2008

A New Book

Recently Shutterfly offered us a free photo book. We just had to pay for shipping. We decided to take this opportunity to see if we would like photo books. I have to say I love how it turned out. It was supper easy to make and looks great. We got an 8x8 album, but they also come in 12x12. I have decided this is how I would like to make a baby album for each of the girls. Below are a few pictures of the book. The first on is of the outside cover and the second on is one of the inside pages.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Chicken Parmesan

Right after we had Chloe, one of our neighbors brought us dinner. It was so good, I asked for the recipe. We have made it a couple of times and it is delicious. I thought I would share it with you.

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 can Italian bread crumbs
4 slices provolone cheese
2 eggs
olive oil
1 jar Ragu Parmesan & Romano spaghetti sauce
whole wheat Rotini pasta
shredded Parmesan cheese

1. Cook the pasta according to directions on package.
2. Pound the chicken breasts with a meat mallet until 1/4 inch thick.
3. Beat the 2 eggs together and dip each piece of chicken into the eggs before coating with bread crumbs. (You won't use the whole can of bread crumbs, so just dump a little out on wax paper and save the rest.)
4. Put enough oil in your pan to cover the bottom and heat it over medium heat. You might need to add some oil as you go along.
5. Cook chicken in oil a few minutes on each side until the thickest part is no longer pink in the middle.
6. Place a slice of cheese on each piece of chicken and spoon sauce of the top.
7. Serve over whole wheat Rotini pasta seasoned with a little salt, olive oil, and shredded Parmesan cheese.

Monday, April 7, 2008

My 101 Goals

1. Finish making my 101 goals - COMPLETED


  1. 2. cook & eat at home more often
  2. 3. prepare and freeze meals
  3. 4. weigh less than 170 pounds
  4. 5. drink at least 64 ounces of water a day (4 bottled waters)
  5. 6. take a walk at least 4 times a week
  6. 7. join an exercise class
  7. 8. include a vegetable and fruit with dinner
  8. 9. find healthy snacks to keep in the house


  1. 10. paint kitchen cabinets
  2. 11. put new flooring in the kitchen
  3. 12. add a low countertop and chairs to west side of kitchen
  4. 13. decorate our house in an updated style
  5. 14. iron all clothes that need to be ironed and put them away
  6. 15. start ironing the clothes after doing laundry before putting them away
  7. 16. have a yard sale and get rid of unused things - COMPLETED
  8. 17. prepare a plan for keeping the house clean and follow it
  9. 18. landscape the front yard - WORKING ON THIS
  10. 19. get lawn furniture for the back patio - COMPLETED
  11. 20. get an air purifier system for the house
  12. 21. devise a better way to save and store clothes for the girls until they can wear them
  13. 22. organize recipes
  14. 23. try homemade cleaning solutions
  15. 24. get a battery operated vacuum for quick cleanups
  16. 25. find a better way to organize bills
  17. 26. create a master shopping list
  18. 27. buy new pans
  19. 28. create a place for mail to avoid making piles
  20. 29. clean and organize Chloe’s room (so she can sleep in there) - COMPLETED
  21. 30. put up shelves in hallway to display pictures - IN PROCESS - 1 COMPLETED
  22. 31. get an address book to keep web sites with our user name and password
  23. 32. clean and organize laundry room
  24. 33. find a good system to store scrapbook supplies
  25. 34. clean and organize my closet
  26. 35. buy a new computer - COMPLETED
  27. 36. take down the upper cabinets that are currently between the kitchen and living room
  28. 37. get a picture of each girl as a baby (at about the same age) and display it
  29. 38. organize the books for the girls
  30. 39. organize hall closet - COMPLETED


  1. 40. have a “date” night with Ryan at least once a month
  2. 41. spend individual time each day with each girl
  3. 42. turn off the TV some during the day – Get the kids doing other things
  4. 43. turn off the TV some during the evening – I need to do other things
  5. 44. complete the hooked on phonics with Cassidy
  6. 45. take a new family photo
  7. 46. have a professional picture taken of each girl or all the girls at least every 3 months
  8. 47. decide where Cassidy will go to school
  9. 48. plan table activities for the girls to work on before supper
  10. 49. make a chore chart for Cassidy
  11. 50. make a chore chart for Callie
  12. 51. find a hobby to share with Ryan


  1. 52. go to the Zoo
  2. 53. go to the Science Center
  3. 54. go to Holiday World
  4. 55. go to the Magic House
  5. 56. go on a vacation to the beach
  6. 57. have friends over at least 1 time each month


  1. 58. Become a Better You by Joel Osteen
  2. 59. Raising Girls by Vicki Courtney
  3. 60. Power of a Praying Wife
  4. 61. The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis
  5. 62. read a book together with a friend
  6. 63. read a book together with Ryan
  7. 64. The Strong Willed Child by James Dobson
  8. 65. read a book just for fun
  9. 66. read a book about homeschooling


  1. 67. spend less money – track spending more carefully
  2. 68. plan meals for the week and buy only what we need at the grocery store
  3. 69. track what we eat and use for a month
  4. 70. take less trips to the grocery store by buying most of the stuff we need for an entire month at a time except the milk, bread, fruit, and veggies
  5. 71. get Cassidy and Callie the All Kids insurance (or better insurance)
  6. 72. make a budget for Christmas spending
  7. 73. complete Supermarket Savings 101 course
  8. 74. Learn to shop at CVS and earn the Extra Care Bucks - COMPLETED
  9. 75. Learn to shop at Walgreens and get their rebates - COMPLETED
  10. 76. set up a will


  1. 77. take sewing or craft lesson
  2. 78. learn to take better pictures
  3. 79. make (or finish) a baby album for Cassidy
  4. 80. make a baby album for Callie
  5. 81. make a baby album for Chloe
  6. 82. make a t-shirt quilt
  7. 83. sew an outfit or dress for Cassidy
  8. 84. sew an outfit or dress for Callie
  9. 85. sew an outfit or dress for Chloe
  10. 86. make Ryan a quilt from flannel
  11. 87. take 2 online/community classes just for fun
  12. 88. take a class involving a career/job I may like to have
  13. 89. create a weekly goal list and work on one of the goals on my 101 goals list


  1. 90. make homemade gifts for our family
  2. 91. make at least 2 Christmas gifts for the girls
  3. 92. buy cards for family birthdays and anniversaries for 1 year
  4. 93. address and put stamps on the cards
  5. 94. mail the cards out a week before the birthday or anniversary
  6. 95. take a meal and a gift to someone with a new baby - COMPLETED
  7. 96. make cookies and/or candy to give to our neighbors at Christmas


  1. 97. pray with the girls every night - DOING THIS
  2. 98. read the Bible at least 4 times a week
  3. 99. write down a weekly scripture and keep it where I will see it often
  4. 100. read the Joel Osteen devotional book
  5. 101. find another good devotional book

Saturday, April 5, 2008

101 Goals in 1001 Days

While looking at other blogs one day, I came across someone who had made 101 Goals to be completed in 1001 days. I really liked the idea and thought I would give it a try. There is actually a website devoted to this task. The site is: 101 Goals in 1001 Days

Here is some of the information from the website.

The Mission:
Complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days.

The Criteria:
Tasks must be specific (ie. no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and stretching (ie. represent some amount of work on my part).

Why 1001 Days?
Many people have created lists in the past - frequently simple goals such as New Year's resolutions. The key to beating procrastination is to set a deadline that is realistic. 1001 Days (about 2.75 years) is a better period of time than a year, because it allows you several seasons to complete the tasks, which is better for organizing and timing some tasks such as overseas trips or outdoor activities.

Some common goal setting tips:
1. Be decisive. Know exactly what you want, why you want it, and how you plan to achieve it.

2. Stay Focussed. Any goal requires sustained focus from beginning to end. Constantly evaluate your progress.

3. Welcome Failure. Frequently, very little is learned from a venture that did not experience failure in some form. Failure presents the opportunity to learn and makes the success more worthy.

4. Write down your goals. It clarifies your thinking and reinforces your commitment.

5. Keep your goals in sight. Review them frequently, and ensure that they are always at the forefront of your thinking.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

My First Post

I decided to create this blog to help me stay organized, set and accomplish goals, and to have a place to express myself. One of the first things I want to do with this blog, is to create a set of goals. I am going to try to track which goals I have accomplished and which I still need to work on. I have found a web site where you have 101 goals in 1001 days. I think this will be a wonderful thing to become involved with. I am planning to post my goals soon. Keep reading.