Monday, December 31, 2012

Costco Trip and 2 Week Meal Plan

Well today the family and I headed to Costco to stock up on some groceries to last us the next two weeks. Here is what we bought:

1. Costco Rotisserie Chicken $4.99
2. Beef Stew Meat $23.00/ 5.5lbs.
3. Romaine Hearts $2.99/ 6 hearts
4. Celery $2.99/ 4 stalks
5. Cuties $5.99/ 5lbs.
6. Bananas $1.39/ 3lbs.
7. Strawberries $5.99
8. Low Sodium Bacon $11.99/ 4lbs.
9. Eggs $5.98/ 4 dozen
10. Milk $5.19/ 2 gal.
11. Heavy Cream $6.49/ 1/2 gallon
12. Goldfish Crackers $???
13. Quaker Oats Breakfast Bars$???
14. Towels (2 Bath Sheets) $18.98
15. Hand towels (4) and Wash Cloths (4) $18.98

Total Spent $145.00

2 Week Menu Plan
Turkey Meatloaf with rice and a veggie
Baked Chicken with roasted potatoes and broccoli
Parm Crusted Tilapia with pasta and veggies
Italian Sausage Spaghetti and Salad
Beef, rice and bean burritos and salad
Pizza with a veggie or salad
Beef Stew or Beef Barley Soup over rice or pasta
Hot Dogs and Rice with onion or Hot Dog Fried Rice (my own experiment)
Chicken and Veggie Stir-Fry over rice
Pork Chops with Baked Mac n Cheese and Green Beans

There are 10 items here the other 4 nights will be leftovers

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Brownie Time

Chocolate Chip Brownies

1 stick of butter (1/2 cup)
2 cups of chocolate chips (your preference)
3 eggs
1¼ cup all purpose flour
1 cup of granulated sugar
¼ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375℉
  1. In a heavy bottomed sauce pot heat 1 cup of the chocolate chips with the stick of butter. Stir them together until completely melted and smooth.
  2. Remove pot from heat
  3. Beat the eggs in a bowl and slowly add to warm chocolate mixture while constantly stirring until incorporated
  4. Add the flour, sugar, baking soda and vanilla to chocolate mixture
  5. Mix until fully incorporated
  6. Stir in chocolate chips
  7. Pour batter into a greased 13×9in pan and bake for 18-22 minutes at 375℉
  8. Remove from oven and let cool in pan
  9. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Costco Shop and Menu Plan (8-1-12 thru 8-14-12)

Okay so this week I'm going to be posting my Costco shop (should last me 2 weeks +/-) and menu plan for the next two weeks or so :-)

So this is the Costco shop

2 Rotisserie Chickens $9.98
Baby wipes (900ct) $19.99
Nature Valley Granola Bars $12.79
Golden Potatoes (10lbs) $6.99
Shredded Mexican Cheese Blend $5.99
Thin Sliced Deli Ham (3pack) $8.99
Drumsticks Ice Cream (16ct.) $8.99
Eggs (24ct) $3.69
Daisy Sour Cream (3lbs) $3.99
Whipping Cream (1/2 gallon) $4.79
Low Sodium Bacon (4lbs) $10.59
2% Milk (2 gallons) $5.19
Ruffles $5.29
Sara Lee Bread (2 loaves) $4.99
Asparagus (2.25 lbs) $5.99
Strawberries (4lbs) $5.99
Bananas (3lbs) $1.39
Organic Spinach (1lb) $3.59
Artichokes (4ct.) $4.99
Burrito sized Tortillas (30ct) $2.89
Pork Loin Chops ($3.49lb) $16.89
Beef Chuck Roast ($3.99lb) $20.03
Ground Beef 88% lean (6+lbs) $18.09

Total $194.31

2 Week Menu
Chicken Salads
Chicken and Gravy over Biscuits
Fried Rice
Mexican Beef Stew
BBQ Chicken
Stuffed Zucchini

* The rest of the nights we will be having leftovers or will be having dinner with family

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Costco Shop (7-22-12)

Okay so today was shopping day. We went to my most favorite store in the whole world...Costco! So I did my weekly shop and this is what we got:

Activia Yogurt (24ct) $9.89
2% Milk $5.19
Chinet plates $16.79
Organic Carrots (10lbs) $4.49
Watermelons (2 mini) $5.79
Baguettes (6ct.) $4.99
Bananas (3lbs) $1.39
Organic red grapes (4lbs) $6.79
Drumsticks ice cream (16ct) $8.99
Tortilla chips (3lbs) $3.59
2pk keep cool bags $10.99
Eggs (24ct) $2.79
Butter (4lbs) $7.39
Tollhouse semi-sweet choc chips $10.79
Sharp Cheddar (2lbs) $4.99
Clorox Wipes (4ct) $10.29
Organic Blueberries (2lbs) $7.99
Rotisserie Chicken $4.99
Marinara (4 jars) $6.29
Low Sodium Bacon (4lbs) $10.59
Starbucks Coffee (2lbs) $12.49
Romaine Lettuce (6ct) $ 2.99
White Nectarines (9ct) $8.99

Grand Total $172.83

I'm hoping that this shopping trip will last me longer than a week maybe two...???
We shall see...

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Cloth Diapering

So today I ordered some cloth diapers online. I'm super excited to try them out because in the long run we'll be saving a heck of a lot of money...SCORE!!! Also, I won't ever need to run out for diapers because these are reusable and just need to be washed :-)

I've already had Jaden in cloth diapers but his newborn ones were pretty much too small at birth (he was 11.8lbs). So that only left me a very minimal amount to use and washing 3 diapers seemed like a waste of water. So this morning I ordered some one size ones. I bought some Bum Genius 4.0 and some Fuzzi Bunz pockets. They were both on sale for buy 5 get one free. So yay for me! Got 2 free diapers :-) Also, bought some cloth diaper safe diaper rash cream. Going to try Grandma El's and CJ's Butt Butter. Hope they work! Both of my kiddos have sensitive tushes and I don't want any rashes.

I'll be sure to to do updates and reviews for those who are interested or curious about cloth diapering. Please let me know if you have any questions!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Meal Plan 7-15-12 thru 7-22-12

Italian Meatloaf with veggies and rice
Baked Spaghetti with salad and bread
Fettuccine Alfredo with Shrimp and Broccoli
Homemade Pizza with veggies
Chicken Salads with homemade dinner rolls

These dinner rolls are half white half whole wheat
This is my menu plan this week. The other 2 days we will be having leftovers so that we're not wasting any food. Follow my blog to stay posted on what I'll be making next week :-)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Making Whole Wheat Pita Pockets

  So today I decided to make some homemade pita pockets to stuff with a chicken salad. It was way too hot to want anything hearty. So I pulled out the KitchenAid mixer and set out to make pita heaven with my daughters help, of course. Here is the recipe...

8 pita pockets

1 1/4 cup warm water (110-115℉)
1 Tbsp. oil
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. sugar
2 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup vital wheat gluten
1 1/2 tsp. rapid rise yeast (bread machine yeast)

1. Put the first 4 ingredients in a large bowl and stir to combine. Add the gluten and 1 cup of flour, along with the yeast, and stir to mix. Add remaining flour and knead to make a soft dough. (Add more flour if necessary during kneading).

If using a bread machine dump ingredients in pan, in the order listed, and use dough cycle. Skip ahead to step 3 if using the bread machine.

2. Put dough into bowl, lightly oil the top and cover. Set in a warm place to rise until the dough has almost doubled in size (about an hour).

3. Punch dough down and put on a lightly floured surface. Cut into 8 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball. On a lightly floured surface, roll each piece into a 6 or 7 inch circle.

4. As you roll the rounds place on a lightly floured countertop or table and cover loosely with a towel. Let rise for 25-35 minuets, until slightly puffy. (The rounds will still be thin though)

5. Preheat oven to 500℉. Place two rounds, side by side, onto a wire rack (metal ones used for cooling things). Place rack in middle of oven. Bake for 4-5 minuets, until puffy and just slightly browned. (If bread is too browned, it will be dry and not pliable).

6. Remove rack from oven and immediately wrap/layer pita breads in a damp towel, to soften. Continue baking the remaining breads, layering them between damp towels as soon as they're baked. Allow breads to completely cool.

7. Cut pita breads in half or split the top edge. Fill as desired.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Helping Hands

  I don't know if anyone else has this problem but I often find it hard to except help from others. I'm not sure why, but I just can't ever seem to bring myself to ask. I think I might be trying to live up to the "Super Mom" stereotype. The truth is I do need help!

  I consider myself one lucky woman to have so many people who are willing to aide me in my time of need. For instance, my B.F.F., is always willing to drive down to my house to help my sorry butt out when I need her. Yet, I only seem to ask her to come help when I have to go somewhere and don't want to take children with me. When I'm home and she's here I still try to do too many things at once and don't ask for help even though it's obvious that I need it. So she follows me around asking if I need anything and my answer is "No, I'm good, but thanks though!" How dumb is that?!

  Yesterday was the 4th of July and both B.F.F. and my M.I.L. were here. So I had tons of hands to help if I needed it and I still had a hard time asking when I knew that both were ready and willing. Finally, last night, I gave in and let the B.F.F. hold the little guy while I went to use the restroom. I followed that up by letting my M.I.L. take him while I went outside to enjoy the fireworks with the rest of the family. It was so nice to enjoy the rest of the family for awhile :-) After that I followed it up by letting my M.I.L. put my daughter to bed.

  It feels so nice to let the reigns go for awhile. I need to stop and realize that mothers are just regular people too. We need help and can't function on little sleep forever! Sometimes we need to let others give us a helping hand. It doesn't make us less of a good mother but makes us better! Sometimes we all just need a few seconds to ourselves to reorganize our thoughts and to dos. I can say that I felt a lot more relaxed going to bed last night and it made getting up every 2hrs not so bad ;-) Do you have the same problem?


Sunday, July 1, 2012

Spousal Support

  Okay okay, I know what you're thinking.  Are you getting divorced? The answer is a big NO! What I'm talking about is your spouse supporting you in parenting and all that comes with it.

  I definitely thank my lucky stars that I have such an awesome and supportive husband! While we don't always agree on everything we do try put up an all for one mentality. Meaning around the kids they know that if Mom or Dad give a specific answer then the other will give the same answer. That way there's no confusion on anything. No trying to put one over on either of us...At least that's the idea!

  Also, it's so nice having a husband that's willing to change diapers, feed the little ones, get up with me in the middle of the night, make dinner, help with other household chores, ect... While, I don't always give him credit, I do realize that he is amazing.  I'm just so thankful to have such a wonderful man as my husband :-)

Friday, June 29, 2012

Lost Memories...

  Well last night didn't go exactly as I hoped. I thought Jaden would be asleep by 10pm because he had been up fussing all afternoon and evening. I figured he was exhausted and there would be no possible way he would be up any later than that. Obviously, I was wrong!

  Poor little guy was so overtired. He kept rubbing his face and his eyes but he just couldn't fall asleep. Mommy was feeling the same way too since I'd been up for a good part of the night before and had started my day around 5am. Long story short Jaden cried and cried because he was tired and since nothing I did (feeding, burping, changing, rocking, holding, ect...) helped I cried with him in frustration.

  Finally around 10:30ish I gave in put him in bed with me and nursed him to sleep lying in bed. It did the trick and we were both out. I woke up around 12am and put him in the co-sleeper and he stayed asleep until 3:50am. Not bad, plus we both needed the sleep! He woke up two more times since but has gone back to sleep without a problem.

  As I sit here writing this blog it just reminds me how important sleep is. I know I can't function mentally or physically well if I don't get enough sleep. Reason for my crying episode last night. Looking back on it I feel silly for crying over him crying but in the moment I couldn't control my emotions. I know this happens to lots of parents out there and I am in no way the first or last that it will happen to. That makes it seem like a right of passage, I guess. I forgot about these sleepless nights since my daughter hasn't been a newborn for 5yrs. Now as I hit a bump in the road those lost memories are slowly coming back to me. I wonder what else I've forgotten?


Thursday, June 28, 2012


  Wow, I haven't blogged in like forever! Where to begin? Haha... Well I guess I'll start with some exciting news. I am now the mother to my brand new baby boy Jaden <3

  Jaden was born on June 12th and weighed a whopping 11 1/2 lbs... Talk about a buffalo!!! He may be a bit big but he's perfect and all mine to enjoy. So far he has been a pretty good baby. He eats, sleeps and poops just like he's supposed to. However, I wouldn't mind if he slept a bit more at night but what new parent doesn't wish the same?!

  As for home life we're all still trying to settle in to our new roles as a family of 4. I'm trying to figure out how to juggle 2 kids while making sure that I still give plenty of attention to my daughter, Alyssa. I find that it's definitely harder than I thought it would be but not impossible. Everyday is a bit better and I am just trying to take it one day at a time.

  Alyssa on the other hand has had her ups and downs. She loves being a big sister to her new brother but she is very aware that she no longer gets all of her mommy and daddy's attention. It's a hard adjustment for her, to say the least. She's improving though and loves to help hold the baby (assisted of course), feed him a bottle, kiss him and just love on him. Can't really ask for more than that at this point!

  So all in all it has been an eye opening 2 weeks. Everyday I look forward to what tomorrow will bring. I can't wait for the day when Jaden can interact with all of us as a family but for now I'm just going to sit back and enjoy my beautiful baby boy. Kids are only kids once and we all need to remember that! Enjoy the time you have together and be thankful for the gift of life. I know I am!


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Teaching In The Kitchen

Some of my favorite ways to spend time with my daughter is to bring her into the kitchen. I love to cook and consider it to be a dying art. In this world, of convenience and ease, I find that most people I see shopping, at the grocery store, have carts full of microwave meals and over processed items. I refuse to teach my daughter that eating junk everyday is okay and acceptable.

As a past time I often ask my daughter to help me in the kitchen. She has so much fun helping me measure ingredients, season meat, help with salad making, creating delicious baked goods...etc. I also find that these little projects help to her learn: early math skills, fine motor skills, contributing to our family and are plain ole fun. Here are some pictures of her helping to make blueberry muffins.

She really enjoys the process of helping to create in the kitchen and that's wonderful. However, I also make sure that she learns about helping to clean up as well. I find that letting her wash dishes with me is another fun activity. She feels like she's getting to do water play and I find that she may not be the best dishwasher but she really does help a lot too. It's a very good way to kill time while the food is cooking or baking as well. By the time we're done we can sit done and enjoy the fruits of our labor.
Every time I bring my daughter into the kitchen I feel better about her growing up and living on her own. At least I know that she will be able to feed herself well and be healthy in the process!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

New Years Resolution

So for my New Years Resolution I have decided to really take a look at my grocery spending. I am determined to slash the amount I spend and use everything I buy without having to throw it out. I am sadly one of those people who see things, not on the list, and throw them in my cart. This had led to spending more than necessary and more waste.

So this year I will be documenting all my grocery purchases and evaluating how often I buy items and how much of the items I really use. This will help me to develop a better system of making grocery lists and weekly meal plans (coming soon). I hope this will hold me accountable and keep me on track. Plus, who doesn't want to save more money?

So here is my latest grocery trip to Costco with a stop at Target on 01-14-12. I will be listing the items and adding the price and amount purchased.

Quilted Northern Bathroom Tissue $19.69
Yellow Onions (10lbs) $3.49
Organic Gala Apples (5.5lbs) $7.49
Multi-Grain Cheerios (2pk) $5.69
KS Tortilla Chips (3lbs) $3.59
Veggie Straws (1.25lb) $4.99
KS Orange Juice (1gal) $5.59
Dawn Advance Dish Soap $6.99
Eggs (24ct.) $2.99
Bananas (3lbs) $1.39
Red Seedless Grapes (4lbs) $8.49
6 Demi-Baguettes $4.99
Rotisserie Chicken $4.99
Ground Beef 88% Lean (~6lbs) $17.61
Chuck Steak Asada (~4lbs) $15.81
Pork Loin Chops (9 thick cut chops) $15.88

Total w/tax $132.15

Hello Kitty Coloring Book
2pk Neutrogena SPF
Oven Off
1 snack cup Fruit Loops

Total about $25.00