Monday, March 30, 2009

Week 13 - 2009


4 boxes of food storage bags, used a $3 RR for them

Bread Store
2 loaves bread, 1 box sweet rolls

1 jug bleach - it was a good price and I did not remember I had a new jug in the cabinet

Dollar Tree
2 bags snacks

spring mix greens, red leaf lettuce and 2 iceberg lettuce

bell pepper, cucumber, red onion and roma tomatoes

2 bags chips

4 bottles soda - used 2 free coupons

sliced cheese

sliced ham


French bread

cornstarch, 2 packs yeast and Vietnamese cinnamon

2 bags dog snacks - used B1G1coupon

3 Cascade Complete - used 3 $3 coupons on these, these coupons were in a sample bag at the Walmart photography studio

March 25th
Chicken with dressing, mushroom gravy and potatoes, spinach and broccoli

sloppy joes on homemade buns with a big salad

sausage pizza with a big salad

biscuits and sausage for breakfast

refried bean and jalapeno nachos for lunch

grilled chicken, potatoes and salad for supper

sweet rolls for breakfast

sandwiches for lunch

pork carnitas on whole wheat tortillas, corn and salad for supper

Chicken strips with broccoli, corn and Spring mix salad, bread and butter

beef and bean chili with salad (will make a big pot so I can freeze the leftovers for our favorite law school bachelor)

for more real shopping and meals, visit Gayle at Grocery Cart Challenge.

Easter Decorations 2009

I have been Easter decorating for years and have 2 storage tubs full of Easter things. So believe it or not, none of this stuff was bought this year, just arranged differently than last year.
I saw on Martha's TV set all the baskets in the background of eggs, sorted by color. I think hers look great so I sorted mine too. I was really surprised I had so many plastic eggs.
My kids have been too old to hunt eggs for a long time.
The apothecary jars are new this year, both were anniversary gifts from my husband.

The living room mantle

My version of Jen's Egg Hunt sign - I repainted an old sign with black paint and added letters I cut with a Cricut. Thanks Jen, for the inspiration!

outside by the front door

in the entry way
light fixture over formal dining table, my mom crocheted the Victorian egg covers.

More Victorian egg covers by my mom

The shelf over the TV

I like the way it all looks but when my dd Nina comes over, she will probably say something like it looks like the Easter Bunny threw up all over everything.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Use what you have - pretty pantry - Show and Tell Friday

I am very fortunate to have a large pantry but I never thought it looked very pretty. But I decided this week that I was going to make it pretty. Before, it just held food and supplies, in an organized way but not too attractive. And I know you all have seen some the same pretty pantries on other blogs just like I have seen.
First, I took out all the canned goods. On the bottom pantry shelf, I lined up all the cans according to type. Then for cans that we just have a few of, I lined them up on patchwork placemats.

Snacks and little packets are in a big mixing bowl. When all my children were at home, I used to make big batches of bread and cookies in that bowl. I bought it at a pottery place in Laguna Beach when we lived in California. But now, I mostly make smaller batches and use much smaller bowls,

This is the bread box and I topped it with one of my mom's doilies.

Coffee cans covered with pretty paper, one holds tea bags, one has coffee.

One jar has drink packets, one jar for straws, and the other is that cookie jar from the thrift stores last week. It hold Starburst jelly beans, they are only available at Easter and are Jeff's favorite candy so he bought 4 bags last week.

Baskets hold chips and gelatin boxes.

Everything looks better when it is sorted.

Bottom view of the pantry.
The pink storage box holds assorted jars and lids, I think they will be easy to get to now.
I am very happy with how it turned out, my husband even noticed and said he liked how it looked too, he does not usually notice or comment on things like this.
I still want to make some pretty labels for cans and other containers but have misplaced the webpage I saw last week where I could print some pretty red and white ones, any one know any good places to do this?
Pretty Pantry and I just used placemats, bowls, baskets and jars I already owned.

For more pretty ideas, visit

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

decopaged eggs

I saw the cutest Easter eggs at Inspireco Her's are glittered and tied with ribbons. I planned to make mine just like hers.
I started with old plastic eggs in various sizes. Then I used pages from an old dictionary and encyclopaedia and some scrapbook paper that looks old.
For glue, at first I used the last of some Mod Podge thinned with a bit of water. When that ran out, I switched to Elmers School Glue, also watered down.
Both glues work great, I like the mod podge ones because they have a bit of a shine but the Elmers glue is much easier to wash off your hands.

This batch of 2 dozen eggs won't be for Easter though. I really like they way look just plain and in a black egg basket in our dining room all year.

Tracey at Frugal Luxuries by the Seasons also made some very pretty decopaged eggs. She used real eggs.

These would be a great craft for children and youth to make. You just have a way for them to wash their hands afterward, my hands were pretty much covered with glue.

Toile Party

There is a Toile Party going on. Check it out at

I made these pink toile window coverings several years ago for our breakfast room and I think I like them even more now than when they were brand new.

oops- on the table is a stack of coupons to clip and sort!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Week #12- 2009

What I bought

10 rolls Jimmy Dean Sausage
6 Grands biscuits
2 iceberg lettuce
2 gallons OJ and 1 gallon milk
3 loaves of bread and 3 bags of snack popcorn and chips at Dollar Tree
ice cream and topping at Walmart

Actual Meals

goulash with bread and butter -goulash is a real budget dish. My mom made it frequently and Jeff said his mom did too. I used to be a fraternity house cook and goulash seemed to please just about every boy in the house.
Goulash is just browned hamburger and diced onion with tomato sauce and cooked pasta. I like to add canned diced tomatoes and a little bit of garlic, oregano and black pepper.
cornflake chicken with a big green salad and unfrosted chocolate cupcakes
chicken & noodles and green salad
biscuits and sausage for breakfast
sandwiches and apple slices for lunch
French bread pizza for supper
doughnuts made like this for breakfast
sandwiches for lunch
grilled steak, baked potatoes and corn fritters for supper
( I rarely fry anything but after I fried the doughnuts, I left that pan with the oil still in it, then I used the same pan and oil for the corn fritters. And I won't be frying again for quite some time. But both the fritters and doughnuts were delicious!)
stuffed bell peppers and sauteed cabbage
smoked chicken from the freezer

for more real shopping and menus, visit Gayle at Grocery Cart Challenge

giveaway at Em's TODAY!

Em is having a giveaway for a really pretty vintage butterfly broach.

It would be perfect to wear on Easter. Go register and tell her Rhonda sent you :)

hurry, today is the last day.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Todays shopping

Jimmy is on his spring break this week and has been home with us. He has been busy with studying and working and I have been busy at home. But we were able to spend most of today together. We both like thrift stores so we went to 5 in my town. Then we had lunch at a new place on Main Street. I had a wrap and fried green beans. My wrap was very tasty but so big, I brought half of it home for my lunch tomorrow.
Jimmy got a nice coat that was half price for $2, a few books and a few decorative plates.

I found some great things.
2 brand new stainless steel baking sheets $4 each
silicone baking pan - each hole is shaped like a flower 50 cents (it is even this one that sells at Target for $24.99)
a bundle of hangars - 50 cents
2 recent magazines - 10 cents

a sweet little bunny - $1
big candy/cookie jar - $3
We stopped at Dollar Tree to get some bread for Jimmy. DT had sold out of bread but I did find this 3 pack of Danskin socks - $1. They had a whole endcap of them, I got the ones with gray trim but they also had pink and blue trimmed ones.
I've opened them since I've been home and they are really nice, I plan on going back to get another package.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Dollar Tree Find

The Dollar Tree in my town started selling bread about a month or so ago. I had one appointment today and then all I needed was bread, so I stopped at DT to make it quick. I was very pleased to find this Natures Own organic high fiber bread for just $1 a loaf. I am sure similar bread at Wal-mart and other supermarkets sells for over $3 a loaf.
And believe it or not, all I bought was this bread.
Then I came home and had some of that bread made into a peanut butter and red plum jam sandwich with an apple. Yum!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Week #11- 2009

Walgreens and Food Pyramid

Much less shopping this week!

5 whole chickens - Jeff grilled all of these Saturday, we ate some Sat. and some Sun, then the rest were put in the freezer for future meals
5 pounds chicken breasts
8 heads of cabbage - on sale for 9 cents a pound for St. Patricks day - we like cabbage!
1 gallon orange juice
Head country barbecue sauce

5 mouthwash
3 toothpaste
1 floss
1 small pack macadamias needed for a filler

Food Pyramid
gallon milk

Actual meals

Turkey Mexican casserole with spring mix salad
Roast beef baked with potatoes and carrots, gravy, green beans with onions, newlywed rolls
Burgers on whole wheat buns, corn
bacon, eggs and biscuits for breakfast
open faced roast beef hash sandwiches for lunch
grilled chicken, potato salad, big green salad and homemade rolls for supper
cinnamon rolls and grape juice for breakfast
leftovers from Sat. supper for lunch
cheese toast for suppper
Swiss steak with mashed potatoes and big green salad
homemade veggie pizza and more salad

For more real menus and shopping, visit Gayle at The Grocery Cart Challenge

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Early Anniversary gifts

Jeff and I will celebrate our 29th wedding anniversary this month. Jeff likes to celebrate a little early and gave me this present last night, a large apothecary jar. I filled it with pink and green eggs. Jeff thinks it should be filled with Starburst jelly beans, his favorite candy. It would sure take a lot of bags of jelly beans to fill it up!
He gave me these 4 large mugs Tuesday night. I love white dishes!

And here is new picture of baby Gavin, he is just about 5 weeks old here.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Quote about home

I've known Melanie for about 10 years through a yahoo homemaking list. She has this Wadsworth quote on the banner on her blog and I think it is so sweet, and it really fits me too.
Thanks Mel!
Her blog is called Mel at Home and she likes to be at home as much as I do.

So just in case you can't read my handwriting
"Stay at home, my heart, and rest...homekeeping hearts are happiest." (Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Week #10 - 2009 - a really big shopping week

Aldis canned goods
Aldis produce

Aldis assorted canned good, baking supplies, household items.

I did so much shopping this week. One reason is because of the great deals at Walgreens. The other reason is because we went to Aldis in Edmond, about 60 miles away, while we were nearby doing another errand. I think it is the nicest Aldis we have ever been to, everything was well stocked and the produce was especially fresh. They also had a great sale on cheese. Their canned goods are cheaper than I can get in my town even when the stores have sales.
We bought so much, and I don't expect to need cans of anything or baking supplies for quite some time.
So hopefully even though I spent way over my $75 weekly goal, I won't need to shop much in the coming weeks and my weekly average will go back down.

What I bought
3 12 packs toilet paper
3 boxes tissues
8 12 packs sodas
2 Nutrisse hair colors, 8 shampoos/conditioners, 8 stylers
2 Loreal foundations
2 Colgate toothpastes
sorry, I've misplaced my receipt but most of it except for the cold things is in the pictures above.
Walmart and Food Pyramid
20 pounds potatoes
1 peanut butter
whole wheat flour
french bread
balsamic vinegar
corn tortillas
1 gallon OJ
1 gallon milk
6 pounds converted rice
apple butter, plum jam, unsweetened apple sauce
dog chow

Actual Meals
Pork Loin with twice baked potatoes and green beans with onions
Turkey and noodles, broccoli and corn
Baked chicken with rice, green beans, salad
sausage and biscuits for breakfast
sandwiches for lunch
deli chicken, french bread and salad for supper
biscuits, eggs and sausage for breakfast
grilled chicken, salad and spicy potatoes for supper
Cracker Barrel for late breakfast-early lunch
pasta with stewed tomatoes and cheese, french bread for supper
chicken fajitas

See more real shopping and real meals at Gayle's Grocery Cart Challenge She spent way less than I did this week.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Saturday Sandwiches

We like sandwiches and eat them almost every Saturday for lunch. This is our current favorite.
I take 6 slices of light wheat bread and spread them with dijon mustard. Then I put cheese on 3 slices of bread and ham on the other 3. Then I toast them until the cheese melts and the ham warms up. All 6 slices fit in our toaster oven at one time and it works just right for us as Jeff eats 2 sandwiches and I eat 1.
Then I add some thinly sliced tomato and red onion and whatever kind of lettuce we have and just a little black pepper.
Put the 2 sides together and cut each sandwich in half, I like diagonally.

Better than Quiznos!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Organizing Cash

I think the biggest key for me to keep our spending in check and our budget balanced is planning ahead. If I just look in the checkbook and see how much money is there, I might think I should not spend in one area or I may think I can spend more than I should in another area.
So now, I pretty much plan out all my spending. Bills get paid online. But I use cash for other spending. Putting a stack of cash in my billfold did not seem organized. Then I tried paper envelopes but they wear out very quickly.
I saw several cloth billfold systems on Etsy, and after a few attempts and using fabric I already had, I sewed up this system. I've been using it over a month and so far it is great.
I made 5 pockets that all can be removed and moved as needed. Mine are labeled
Gas - this is just for my car
Home -household, grocery items
Personal - stuff for me
Fun - eating out, movies, plays - whatever Jeff and I want to do
I also made another pouch with a zipper to hold change.
Jeff gets a separate amount of cash that he uses for his gas and personal spending but he does not use a cute fabric billfold for his like I do
The labels are just scraps of seam tape and I used rubber stamps for the letters.

So once a month, I pay bills on line and then figure out how much cash I need to put in each envelope. Then as the month goes on, I just spend from each envelope. I don't try to divide the change back out exactly, it all goes into the zippered pocket.

Last month, I spent most all the of the home, gas and personal funds. But the fun and gifts envelopes were still pretty full.

Jeff looked in the fun envelope this week and was surprised to see so much money in there. I think he is planning some fun activities for us this weekend - I am such a homebody, I rarely plan an outing so having the funds set aside should keep us more active.

And our budget is not so tight that if I do spend all my cash and still need things, I can write a check. This planning ahead is helping us save though. Even though I have not been employed for almost 2 months now, our checking and savings accounts balances are higher now than when I got my last paycheck.

a few St. Patricks Day decorations

See more Friday Show and Tell treasures at Kelli's There is no place like home.
I am ready for spring and spring weather so I thought a few green decorations were in order.
A rag garland inspired by ones I have seen Emilie make, Bunch of Scrap.
Little stuffed shamrocks inspired by Heidi, Celebrate the Seasons.
And an early Easter bunny in a leprechaun hat surrounded by clover. I made this plastic canvas project a few years back.

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

traditional gaelic blessing

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Light Oat Bread/Rolls

I baked this recipe last night, Light Oat Bread, except I made my batch without a bread machine. I did let the Kitchenaid do the kneading though and formed this batch into rolls instead of a loaf.

They were really good and use a very small amount of sugar and fat.

We had salmon patties and a salad with our rolls for supper. Jeff eats salmon patties but they are for-sure not his favorite meal. So these hot rolls made him pretty happy last night.