Sunday, November 29, 2009

Knock, Knock!

MZ: Can I tell you a knock, knock joke?
Me: Yep.
MZ: Knock, knock!
Me: Who's there?
MZ: Time to go to bed!
Me: Time to go to bed who?
MZ: Time to go to bed for me! Let's go!
Me: You don't have to tell me twice!

I think he wanted to go take a nap because I told him he could watch Up after he has lunch and takes a nap. But I'm not complaining ;)

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving

Before



After



Before



After



And on a totally unrelated note, look at this beautiful set of china my grandma gave me!



I love these tea cups, I'm thinking a tea party might be in order!



But then again, do I want to take the chance that something gets broken? What to do, what to do?!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

I Don't Get It...

With New Moon being released into theaters, Twilight mania is everywhere. The thing I don't get?


Why is he considered attractive? Now, I understand that every gal has her own personal preference, but really...he always looks like he's on drugs. Or, if you rather, there is this picture:



Yep, he's a cool one alright. And then there's my personal favorite:



Need I say more?

Friday, November 20, 2009

Christmas is Just Around the Corner...

Note: If you are not a member of my immediate family, feel free to disregard this post =)

I've decided I should get around to figuring out Christmas gifts. Because of recent car events, we won't have as much money as we'd planned for Christmas this year. So I want to make sure the gifts we make/buy for you all are things that you want and will use. I figured that I would give you guys some ideas of things that I can make and you can let me know what you'd like =) You can also throw in color or style preferences if you want. Or, if there is something else that you want/need that we can purchase, please let me know! Mom and Melissa, if you can give me some direction for the men and children, it'd be much appreciated!



A cute little purse


A fancy winter hat


A beret


A manly hat


iPod cozy


Reusable Swiffer covers


Hotpads


Washcloths


Slippers


Scarf


Cowl


Convertible gloves


Mittens (these ones were inspired by some gloves that Bella wore in Twilight lol)


Headband/ear warmer


Fingerless gloves


Legwarmers


Sackboy


Beer sweater


Sushi toilet paper cover

Ok, so maybe not those last ones ;)

Homemade Cough Syrup



Since there has been so many illnesses going around, I thought I'd share a recipe for making your own cough syrup this week. The nice thing about this is that you can make the basic syrup using things from you own kitchen, definitely cheaper than buying the stuff from the stores! Plus, there's the added benefit of the ingredients providing healing properties.

Ingredients:
1 cup freshly chopped onion or garlic (or mixture of the two)
1/2 cup honey (raw is best, you can buy this at the Flour Mill in Hayden)

Optional ingredients (combine any of these, but no more than 2 tbsp total):
1 tbsp cloves (relieves pain)
1-2 tbsp. comfrey ( helps with healing)
1-2 tbsp. slippery elm (coats and soothes sore throat)
1-2 tbsp. fresh chopped ginger root or 1 tsp. Ginger powder (increases circulation and effectiveness of the syrup)

Directions:
Add all ingredients in small pot and simmer covered over low heat for 20 min., stirring occasionally. When finished, strain and store in the refrigerator.

Dosages:
Take as often as needed
Children under 10 - 1 tsp
Over 10 - 1 tbsp

Check out these links to find more Frugal Friday ideas!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Winter Fun






Sunday, November 15, 2009

Trapped

Well folks, we decided to just get our car fixed. It sounds as though we were able to get a pretty good price, but unfortunately that means we are looking at another week of being carless. Now I'm used to being home quite a bit, but I at least always know I can leave if I need to. I haven't left the house since last Sunday. A week. And another week to look forward to. No church, no home group, nothing. I'm feeling trapped, can you tell? Ok, I'm done complaining now :)


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, November 14, 2009

She's 10!!!!!

Today is K-Lou's birthday...she's now in the double digits!



2006 - This is actually Christmas, but I can't find the birthday pics from this year...they're somewhere though! Sadly, I don't have any pictures much earlier than this. The few I have are on disk somewhere. I'll have to dig those out one of these days.



2007 - Tea party birthday!



2008 - We all went and saw Narnia preformed by CYT. In the back is the White Witch and Aslan. That kid in front? No idea...he just jumped in the picture.



2009 - This is K-Lou right now. Laying on the couch with her new Snuggie, Pikachu slippers and playing Sudoku. Yep, that's my girl.



I just added this one in because it's funny =)

Friday, November 13, 2009

K-lou's birthday list

Fuzzy socks so she stops taking mine
Anything Pokemon
Anything Avatar
Gift card to Hastings or Borders
Fun hats so she stops taking mine
Board games and card games
Stuffed animals
Polly pockets
Doll clothes ( American girl size)

Oops

So, today is Friday. I forgot! I don't have anything to post right now, there's always next week though!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

More Car Woes

That's right folks, out car problems have not magically disappeared. It looks like the car repair estimate is at just over $500 right now. And the guy hadn't even looked at the breaks yet, which certainly need work. We paid $1000 for our car, it doesn't seem smart to pay that much to repair it. So we started looking on Craigs List. Sadly most of the cars in our price range are junk. Although we did have some fun reading all the ads. People can really be stupid. There was one that said that everything works except the engine. Hmmm, tempting. So, we're still looking at our options.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I hate cars

Our car is dying. I hate cars. It is currently at the shop getting checked out, hopefully it can be repaired inexpensively otherwise we will be looking for a new car. Poor K-Lou though, her birthday is on saturday and we likely won't have a working car yet. And since we will have to find money to either pay to get the car fixed or possibly buy a new one, we won't have as much money for her birthday as we planned. The one good thing is that I may have a new car before it snows. Our current one is rear wheel drive. Let me tell ya folks, that is no ffun in the snow!


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

10 Things Tuesday

Just 10 random little things:

1. I wasn't upset about the podcast thing, mainly I was just trying to give you all a hard time because I had nothing else to post about yesterday =)

2. I finally purchased the long awaited 12th book of my favorite series. I have been up past 2 am the last two nights because of said book. I am rather tired.

3. Our car seems to be dying.

4. Anyone want to buy me a new car?

5. K-Llou's birthday is this weekend, she still hasn't decided what she wants to do.

6. My little girl is going to be 10!!!

7. I bought myself a knitting loom designed especially for knitting socks, it came in the mail yesterday.

8. I think I will start a new trend of wearing mismatched socks, that way I can wear all the socks that I've made where I finished the first one but got bored before starting the second.

9. I think someone may need an owl cup cozy for Christmas ;)

10. Speaking of Christmas, I really need to get going on gifts. I have one item completed. I don't think that's enough to go around.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Slackers!

Apparently I need to be more obvious with my bragging. I tried to be sneaky about it yesterday, but not one of you clicked on the link....shameful, people, shameful. I love StatCounter ;) Anyway, as I mentioned yesterday, Lion Brand Yarn has a weekly podcast. Lion Brand Yarn is the largest yarn company in the US, and therefore has a very large audience. Their most recent podcast was talking about ways to make money selling things like yarn, products and patterns. They featured online stores as examples of different things to sell. Guess who's store they featured as an example of selling patterns? Mine! Pretty fun, eh? Funny thing is, they linked to my Artfire.com store which I was just considering shutting down because of the lack of sales I get through them. I guess I'll have to keep it open a while longer.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Wanna See Something Cool?

Look here. It's Lion Brand Yarn's (the biggest yarn company in the US) podcast.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Monkey

This conversation took place earlier tonight while watching Planet Earth:

(My husband shall be called "Computer Guy")

Computer Guy: look MZ, it's your brother! ( points to a monkey on the tv)
MZ: No, that's not a brother.
Me: I dont think he even know what a brother is.
Computer Guy: MZ, what is a brother?
MZ: a monkey!

A short while later the narrator is telling us that the monkey we are seeing is a howler monkey.

MZ: No, it's a brother!

Friday, November 6, 2009

More Owls!

OK, so remember those owl gloves I showed you? This time I've made owl cup cozies. You know, like those yucky cardboard things you put over you coffee cup? How much cuter is this?


Or, if you'd prefer, one to go around your mug of hot chocolate.


Just as an update for those who may be interested, the owl glove pattern has been selling like crazy. Since it's the first crochet pattern to have a cabled owl, I've gotten a ton of positive feedback. So, I'm hoping these patterns will do as well too.

On a somewhat related note, I'm considering making up some of these cozies and maybe some gloves to sell. What do you think? Do you think anyone would buy them?

One more thing, K-Lou wanted me to show everyone the lip gloss cozy I made her. She always has chapped lips and is always loosing her chap stick. So, this was my solution:



It has a little chain so that she can hook it onto her backpack or belt loop or something. She thinks she's pretty cool now. Remember when they started making lip gloss lids that had little loops so that you could string them all up on a necklace? That was way cool. I remember seeing kids with like 30 of them on one necklace. My favorite kind of lip gloss was Dr. Pepper. Good times, good times.

Frugal Friday

OAMC 101
Today I figured I'd share with you some basic steps in freezer cooking. I am by no means an expert, but I'm learning. So far, this is definitely saving us money. We spent about $175 on all our dinners for the month (including buying "supplies" like freezer bags) and the meals we made are large enough to have leftovers for lunch the next day. So basically that leaves breakfast left to buy! Maybe a few random items too. So, that puts our expected grocery total for the month somewhere between $200-225. That's quite a bit below our budget! We also bought about 95% of our groceries organic, so the cost could be even lower for those who don't. So, here we go:

1. Menu Planning: OAMC works best when you can incorporate one item into many meals. Meat is obviously the main ingredient in many dinners, so I started with that. For the month I planned on 2 chickens, a roast, and ground beef. I then planned 3-4 meals for each item of meat. As I mentioned before, RecipeZaar has a great recipe selection, which is where I got all my recipes. I then filled in the rest of the dinners with meals that don't require meat (but can be added if there's extra) like pizza and soups. The hardest part of all this for me was finding recipes that aren't filled with pasta and cream of chicken/mushroom/whatever soup. Also, try to find recipes that incorporate inexpensive items such as beans, rice or canned tomatoes.

2. Grocery Shopping: Make a list! Make sure you write down exactly how much of each item you need. You don't want to have to run to the grocery store in the middle of your cooking day!

3. Prep Day: The night before, I put one of the chickens and the roast in crock-pots to cook overnight so they'd be ready to go in the morning. Crock-pots are great...I highly recommend them. I plan on trying to find one or two more at thrift stores so that I can cook beans overnight too =) Soak any beans you'll need (this is worth the time, buying dried beans is so much cheaper than buying canned. Plus it really doesn't take that much work), chop any veggies you can, and shred all the cheese you'll need. Getting all this done the night before makes things a bit easier for your cooking day.

4. Organization: Make sure you have gallon sized freezer bags, plastic wrap, some casserole dishes (I used disposable foil ones), plastic storage containers, and a Sharpie. I've read of people who line their casserole dishes with plastic wrap, put in the casserole, freeze it, then once it's frozen pop it out of the dish and wrap it up all the way. This way the dish can be reused. Don't forget to label everything. Once frozen, things are kinda unrecognizable. Don't forget the date too! If you can, find some way of putting the cooking instructions on the meal, that way when it's time to cook it you know exactly what to do and don't have to rummage around for the recipe.

5. Cooking Day: Cook any rice, beans or pasta; if you've cooked anything in a crock-pot take it out and let it cool. Unfortunately, rice and beans take a while to cook, I'm still working on that one. Cook up any ground beef, and cut up any pre-cooked meat (chicken, roast). Assemble any meals that you can. When everything has finished cooking, assemble the rest. Wrap, label and freeze as you go! This is obviously just a starting point, individual menus will require other steps.

6. Clean up: This probably the worst part. My suggestion is to hire someone to come do it for you. Or bribe your husband.

When you're done, you freezer will look like this:


Thursday, November 5, 2009

As Promised..

A lovely picture of my breakfast sandwich. See how I stacked one on top of the other all fancy like? My food photography skills are right up there with the Pioneer Woman. Sadly, by the time I finished telling K-Lou to stop freaking out and eat it even though it has onions in it, telling MZ to stop playing with Legos and sit at the table, and grabbing my camera, the food had cooled off a bit and you could no longer see the yummy melted cheese. Oh well.

Since I have nothing better to do, I'll give you all an update on our dinners so far. We've had shredded beef enchiladas, chicken salad sandwiches (K-Lou's favorite dinner!) and tonight we're having tacos. So far so good...except I just realized I forgot to take dinner out of the freezer last night. Oops.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Kiddos

The kiddos have a blog. Yep, they are cool now too. K-Lou had one at one point, but it hadn't been updated in abut a year. We figured it's time for something new. You can find their wonderful blog here.

Freezer Breakfast

So, to continue in my freezer cooking spree, I decided to make some on the go type breakfasts. Especially for those morning when K-lou takes 10 minutes to get out of bed, and another 10 to get dressed. Then The MZ can't find his shoes...those are great mornings. Since we don't buy cereal, we usually have smoothies or oatmeal, but last week some friends of ours showed up at our door with 2 dozen eggs they had gotten from someone who raises chickens. Yay! So I decided to do a couple of egg dish dinners for my OAMC plan. One of the meals was a quiche, the other is breakfast sandwiches. This I just kind of made up, so here's my "recipe":

Breakfast Sandwiches (makes 6)
  • 8 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 slices cooked bacon, diced (you could also sub ham or sausage)
  • 1 cup diced onion (approx. half and onion)
  • 1-2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (I wasn't to picky on that, I just grabbed a big handful)
  • 12 slices of bread or 6 biscuits
  1. Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 9 X 13 baking dish
  2. Beat eggs and milk together in a large bowl
  3. Mix in bacon, onion and cheese
  4. Pour into greased baking dish and cook until solid and slightly browned on the edges (approx. 30 min., you want to leave the eggs slightly undercooked since they will cook up a bit more when reheated)
  5. Let cool, cut into 6 equal sized pieces and place each piece between 2 slices of bread (or one biscuit), wrap with plastic wrap and put them all into a labeled gallon sized freezer bag.
  6. To reheat: Take out of the freezer the night before and place in the fridge to thaw. Reheat in microwave or oven. I haven't actually done this part yet, so I'm not sure how long =)
I made two batches of these for a total of 12, which should give us 1 dinner and 2-3 breakfasts (depending on if K-lou is home). I would have been all fancy like and taken pictures, but I didn't. Sorry. Maybe I'll snap a few when we have them for breakfast ;)

Today I did some more breakfast cooking and made these Egg, Bacon and Cheddar Scones.


They are really good! I would definitely recommend them. I mostly followed the recipe, I just changed the flour and milk to use what I had on hand. Oh, and I tossed in some chopped onion too. Everything needs onion. A little tip though, since your oven is going to be on 450, make sure there are no stray chunks of food in it. My smoke detector got a workout this morning. So, now I have several tasty breakfasts in the fridge ready to go. I also plan on making some waffles to freeze, but I think I'll wait until Saturday to do that so we have have some for breakfast too =)

Other freezer breakfast ideas:
Breakfast Burritos
French Toast Sticks

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

More OAMC Stuff

Since many of you asked about what recipes I used in my OAMC adventure, I figured I'd make today's post about that. There are several websites that have tons of information including recipes, shopping lists and step by step instructions (just use good old Google). I didn't actually use any of these because my gluten allergy makes things a little harder. I did however, find all my recipes on RecipeZaar and got some good tips/ideas from the RecipZaar Forums. If you haven't used RecipeZaar before, you should. It has a great search (aka "recipe sifter") and you can put any of the recipes into your "shopping list" and will generate a shopping list for you. Bet you couldn't have put two and two together to figure that one out. This is especially handy if you're shopping for a months worth of groceries at once ;) They also have a good size collection of freezer meals. I thought about linking to all the recipes I used, but I figured I'd save those up so that I could have something to post about if I run out of ideas! So, tonight's dinner is in the oven as we speak (shredded beef enchiladas...yum!) and it was rather nice to not have to worry about what to have for dinner! I ended up making my own enchilada sauce and refried beans, so it should be pretty tasty =) Maybe if you're lucky I'll post a picture of it.

Monday, November 2, 2009

OAMC - Yikes!

Well, people, I've decided to jump on the bandwagon and post every day for the month like everyone else. I'll get the little button up tomorrow ;) Unfortunately, I think I'll probably bore you all to tears because I really don't know if I have enough excitement in my life to justify blogging about it every day! So, if you'd like to take a leave of absence from my blog until December, I understand. Also, I am also going to start calling us all by code names. The kids will henceforth be known as "K-lou" and "The MZ". If you can't figure out who's who then you probably shouldn't be reading this.

Now, onto the post. I decided that I was going to try out the whole once a month cooking thing. You know, where you cook all you dinners for a month in one day and then freeze them? I figured this would help with my inability to get dinner on the table. Supposedly it helps keep the grocery bill down too. So we did our shopping on Saturday, and let me tell you, that was not fun. Mainly because we had both kids with us and The MZ has figured out that if he says he has to go pee he gets to leave wherever he is at the moment. The total was kind of a shock, but once I remembered that it was for 24 dinners (plus a few other items) I realized that it was quite a bit less than we'd normally spend. So far so good. Today however, was the really hard part. Cooking day. Let me just tell you, I was totally unprepared. Thankfully, my wonderful husband was there helping me and giving me a hard time because I wasn't keeping him busy enough! I let him cut up the chicken and remove the bones. I'm nice like that. So, long story short (because I'm sooooo tired) we spent hours cooking and have a freezer full of food! Not only that, we've spent a little less than half of our monthly grocery budget and will only need to buy things like milk, yogurt and a bit of fresh produce for the rest of the month. That's promising =)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Matthias Playin' Games

This poor kid was so tired by the time it was his turn to play games!



This is what he did while the rest of us finished our dinner.



He's not too sure about things.



This was his version of throwing the ball into the fish bowl.



Waiting patiently in line.



This was the only game he played properly.



Oooh! A duck!



He was supposed to throw the ball at the bottles...he thought it'd be more fun to try and balance all the balls on top of them instead.

This is about when we left, the kid was too tired! On our way out he proudly showed everyone the sucker he got.