Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Oh so good!

This week for dinner I made turkey/veggie soup and fried bread.  I LOVE fried bread.  My mom made it occasionally when I was little.  Her mom made it for her and my great-grandma made it for my nana when she was little.  It is so easy and oh so good!

First, make some bread dough.  Any recipe will work.  Let it rise.

Then, tear off a piece about the size of a ping pong ball and flatten it with your hands, like this:

Drop it carefully into a frying pan filled with about 1/2 inch of oil.  Brown on one side (about a minute), then flip over (carefully!) and brown the other side.

Place on paper towels to absorb the excess oil and sprinkle with salt immediately.  One batch of bread dough makes about a dozen pieces of fried bread.


Hey I found a new carnival to participate in over at Blessed with Grace.  It's called Tempt my Tummy Tuesday.  There are tons of yummy looking recipes!

Monday, March 30, 2009

"It's Monday Again" - Update!

These are my cleaning goals for today:

I am going to pick-up/vacuum the rest of the house as well, but I really try to focus on a specific area and DEEP clean it each Monday. My catch-all spot in the kitchen I will try to do before naptime & my craft area/dresser probably during naps. I will update this post with after pictures once I am done.
Is there a specific problem area in your house you need to tackle? Wanna do it with me? It's much easier with two!

Update - I finished one of my projects!  Hurray!  I've accomplished something today (*does silly happy dance that I'm glad you can't see*).  Isn't it amazing how dirty one's house can get in only a week?  Growing up I always thought our house got dirty 'cause we had kids.  Now that I am older and wiser (stop laughing at me!) I realize that it's not completely the kids' fault.  My house is very lived in - so it gets dirty.  And cleaning my house is not fun, but it is good for me.  Helps me practice things like persistence, nicely dealing with interruptions, etc.  Once I buckle down and get the work done, I LOVE how my house looks when it is clean.  Doesn't the kitchen catch-all look so much better?

Check out Monday's Muse over at Maternal Spark!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Saturday Shout Outs

Sunday Shout Outs has been changed to Saturday from now on and I've become super cool.  I now have a Mr. Linky at the end of the post so you can share something you read and liked this week.
It can be from your blog, someone else's, whatever.  Just something interesting, clean, and family-friendly!

Here's my top three pics for today:

Build a Water Rocket - this looks so cool.  If it wasn't raining I might try this today!

Secret to great cold coffee - I tried this coffee yesterday and oh my gosh!  It is hands-down the very best coffee I've ever had!  It easily rivals any iced coffee at any coffee house.  This is the only way I am drinking coffee from now on!

Mom's Smile - I thought this was a great visual for teaching kids how their actions have an affect on others.  My boys are too little right now...but I'm saving it!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Bad Sporatic Writer

Man, I am such a horribly sporatic writer.  That was one of the reasons I started this blog, to help me be more consistent with writing.  Sigh ~ I'm working on it.  I think I have a plan to help me though.  I was trying to come up with a schedule for a topic to post about.  I have noticed if I already have a theme/topic/subject/etc. I am far more likely to actually follow through and write the post.  So here is my proposed posting schedule:

Monday: Cleaning/organizing related posts
Tuesday: Recipes
Wednesday: Parenting tips/stories
Thursday: Things I Love Thursday carnival hosted by the Diaper Diaries
Friday: Crafts
Saturday: Saturday Shout Outs of the best of the web I've found that week
Sunday: no new posts

I'm also going to try to work in book reviews under the appropriate category occasionally.
What do you think?  Am I insane for trying to post almost every day?  I am hoping I can do it if I work ahead a little and plan things out better.  It's going to be my challenge to myself.  Hopefully this schedule will keep me on track with writing more consistently, being a little more organized, and planning ahead.  We'll see how things go.  Are you with me?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Carnation Instant Breakfast

Geez it has been a busy week! My boys have been HORRIBLE at naps this week and I have dropped into bed each evening exhausted so I haven't posted a whole lot :( I'm hoping to come up with more of a schedule for posting to remedy this. Anyways...

This Thursday the thing I love is Carnation Instant Breakfast mix. I got some for basically free last time Shoppers had triple coupons. Will, Ken, and I tried it for breakfast one Saturday and are hooked! It isn't super-sweet but still flavors your milk, plus it really does give you energy! A quick, tasty, healthy form of energy is something I definitely love in the morning (and as a after nap pick-me-up).
For more fun Things I love Thursday, head over to the Diaper Diaries :)

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Playing and Learning

Okay, I used to think I was a pretty crafty person.  Then I started reading Little Hands, Big Work and discovered that I am a rank AMATEUR compared to Mrs. Packer.  Wow!  I think I've bookmarked every post on her blog :)  Here are a few of my very favorites:

The Big Busy Book - Will, Evan, and my little brother CJ are all getting one of these for Christmas

Make your own balance beam - I'm going to show this to my hubby and request one for Will.  It will be perfect for those days when we can't go outside because of weather!

The Weather Wheel - I like that it's simple enough for even Will to do.

The Donut Game - I think Will is going to really enjoy this game.  I loved her video with her husband too :)

Color Matching Mat - I am going to make one of these to stick in the diaper bag.  Now I am thinking I need a laminator...

See, I told you this blog was cool!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

A Sane Woman's Guide to Raising a Large Family

My friend Mary over at OwlHaven is doing a giveaway of her new book: A Sane Woman's Guide to Raising a Large Family.  I'm sure it's awesome.  Mary has ten children (six of them adopted) and her passion for her kids shines through her blog.  As the oldest of ten children, I am really interested to see the ideas she has in her book.  I am hoping someday she will come to our side of the country and visit our church - Mary would feel RIGHT at home :)

A Bear of Very Little Brain

Winnie the Pooh.  My son (and I) love Pooh.  The old classic cartoons and the book are just wonderful.  I love the unique, memorable characters and the situations they get themselves into.
For his second birthday Will got a snuggly Pooh blanket and giant plush Pooh from Nana.
Winnie the Pooh is so much fun - how could anyone NOT like him?
"It's snowing still," said Eeyore gloomily.  "So it is."  "And freezing."  "Is it?"  "Yes," said Eeyore.  "However," he said, brightening up a little, "we haven't had an earthquake lately."
~ A.A.Milne

"If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day so I never have to live without you."
 ~ A.A.Milne

Join in the fun of Things I Love Thursday over at the Diaper Diaries!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Unexpected Find

Tonight I was making homemade pizza for dinner.  I was scooping out the flour when I noticed something blue in my flour container.  This is what I fished out:
You just never know what (or where!) you'll discover next when you have kids :)

Coupon Organization

  Okay, so I know other people have posted on this same topic, but it's such a vital tip for me that I thought I'd stress the point once again.  Coupons.  They. Are. Worth. It.

I am not an organized person.  I try to be.  Really I do.  But it's just not a natural thing for me.  My mom is the opposite.  She is naturally very organized and planned out.  I want to be more like my mom :)

When I started doing coupons, I was a mess.  In my typical non-organized fashion I would get the occasional printed/in the mail coupon and stick it in a drawer somewhere to be forgotten until after it expired.  After I started seeing how my mom was saving SO much money by using coupons (and having FUN doing it too), I decided I really needed to figure out this whole coupon thing.  So I signed up for our local (biased rag) paper and began receiving LOTS of coupons.  I put them all in a bag, took them to my mother's house and said, "how do I organize these?"  She showed me how she
 keeps a shoebox with categories and just puts the coupon in the correct category.  So I tried
 that.  But there was a problem.  My mom does not usually go shopping with small children.  I do.  I decided I needed a different system after the 3rd or 4th time my box of coupons got dumped (not totally my kids' fault, I dumped it accidentally too).  Do you know how stupid I probably looked grabbing at my own personal confetti shower while trying to keep my kids entertained/contained?

So I started looking around online to see how other people keep themselves organized.  This is what I finally decided on:
As you can see, I got a three-ring binder and a BUNCH of sport card pages (from ebay 4 cheap :-)  I can have all my store cards in the front, along with a pouch for a pad of paper, scissors, pens, calculator, receipts, pacifiers that have fallen on the floor, etc.  Then, when I shop, I just flip to the right category and can see all my coupons clearly laid out.  If I have more than one of the same coupon, they all go into the same pocket.  The pocket in the front of the binder works perfectly for store flyers.  Plus, it doesn't take long for me to clip/file coupons this way!  Bliss!  It saves me time & has already been dropped several times without losing anything out of it.  It took a couple of hours for me to set it up, but now that I have it - it is WONDERFUL!  A coupon binder works great for me!

For more Works for Me Wednesday tips/tricks, head over to We Are That Family.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Sunday Shout Outs

Sunday Shout Outs from my browsing this week:

Jessica asked me this week where I get all my coupons.  For that I must send you to the expert :)
Money Saving Mom - she explains several different strategies for accumulating coupons.
Once you get a nice stash of coupons, you'll want to organize them.  I'll have a post coming up this week on that topic...stay tuned!

I am still hanging onto extra pounds, but have trouble with diets/regular exercise.  I totally LOVED this idea of Losing Weight By Sleeping (found thanks to Rocks in My Dryer).  I read it to my husband and he agreed to try it with me.  So...we will be trying to get to bed at 9pm (*gasp*) every evening.  I'll let you know how it goes :p

Rocks in My Dryer also highlighted Jelly Telly this week.  Started by Phil Vischer the creator of Veggie Tales, Jelly Telly is another way of reaching kids with "Sunday morning values, Saturday morning fun!"

Oh, and going back to coupons again, here are a couple of the blogs I use to stay updated on deals:
Mommy Making Money is local to my area which is really nice deal-wise
Southern Savers is probably of even more use to Jessica than me, since she lives south of me :)

For all you who have noticed the time - my "sleep diet" starts tomorrow, so I don't have to feel guilty about staying up late until then :)  G'night!