Monday, May 20, 2013

Vintage Kitty and Puppy Birthday Party

Oh, hi.  It's been a while.

We celebrated our twins' 5th birthday this weekend.  One wanted a cat party.  One wanted a dog party.  Of course.  So we comprimised, as we often do, and came up with a Vintage Kitty and Puppy Party. 

We don't do birthday parties very big so I wanted something super simple and easy to throw together.

I found some vintage printables on etsy and cut some illustrations out of some old books we had.  We also just happened to have The Poky Little Puppy and The Shy Little Kitten in our library.  Easy decorations. 

I made the cupcakes...Chocolate with Chocolate buttercream and Vanilla with Vanilla buttercream...and topped them with the printables I found on etsy.  I also mixed together some "pet food"...just some Scooby Snacks, pretzels, goldfish grahams, and cereal...and served it from a pet dish.

We made puppy and kitty ears out of paper bags we had at the house.  And the guests all took home a cup with candy, stickers, and eraser bones.  The cups are Little Golden Book from  We got lucky that they only featured The Shy Little Kitten.





Monday, March 4, 2013

Organizing the House : Dining Room

I'm on an organizing/cleaning kick.  It's about time.  This place is a mess.

I found a 14 week challenge at A Bowl Full of Lemons that I'm going to start following.  They're on Week #9 for the second time so I've missed a lot.

This week's area is the Dining Room.  I kind of thought it'd be a waste of time since I don't store a lot in the Dining Room, but I just spent about an hour cleaning it out and reassembling it!  And now I want to paint.

Here's a few photos of what I did...

This is the Dining Room

This is a small cabinet.  The two small drawers will have straws, napkins, etc.  (The lamp base is upstairs.  I know.  It looks weird.)
This is inside the small cabinet.  I never thought to store our paper products in here.  It used to have random junk in it.

This is a straw holder thingy I whipped up today.  It was a Pringles can.


I'm not showing before because it doesn't LOOK that much different.  Now I just need some paint!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Easy Minestrone

Easy Minestrone
makes 6 bowls

2 cups chicken broth
1 can diced tomatoes with basil and garlic
1 cup water
1 can Cannelloni beans
1 medium zucchini
2 big handfuls of baby spinach
1 cup dry mini shell pasta

Bring broth, tomatoes, and water to a boil on medium heat.  Add beans, zucchini, and spinach.  While soup is simmering, cook pasta in a separate pot.  Add pasta to soup.  Simmer another 10-15 minutes.  Serve with parmesan bread.

Parmesan Bread

French Bread
parmesan cheese (the real kind...not the powdery kind)

Slice bread.  Butter each slice.  Sprinkle with parmesan.  Bake at 350 until cheese melts. 

This Week's Menu

I realize my blog is INCREDIBLY boring these days.  Stay tuned though.  There's a cool birthday party coming up!

Weeks #3 and #4:

Friday  11: Sandwiches - bread, turkey, ham, deli cheese, tomato, avocado

Saturday 12: Beef & Noodles - Stew Meat, Frozen Dumplings, Brown Gravy Mix 

Sunday 13: Dinner at Grandma's

Monday 14: Pizza Pasta - Penne Pasta, Jar Sauce, Pizza Toppings and Bread and Broccoli

Tuesday 15: Beef Pasties aka Michigan Pasties - Pie Crust, Ground Beef, Potato, Carrots.  We had neighbors (like, the whole street) that were from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and one of them would make these.  Hers were better.  I don't like them with the pie crust that all the recipes have.  She used pizza crust I think.

Wednesday 16: Chicken Quesadilla - Tortillas, Chicken, Cheese, Salsa, Sour Cream, Avocado, and Beans

Thursday 17: Sonic

Friday 18: Fajitas - Leftover Chicken from Quesadillas, Bell Pepper, Onion, Tortillas, Cheese, Salsa, Sour Cream, Avocado

Saturday 19: Minestrone - Chicken Broth, Cannelloni Beans, Can Tomatoes, Mini Shell Pasta, Zucchini, Spinach, and Bread

Sunday 20: Breakfast for Brunch - Pancakes, Eggs, Bacon and Dinner at Great Grandma's (had to bring a dessert (Pecan Pie Brownies YUM!))

Monday 21: Beef Enchiladas - Ground Beef, Tortillas, Cheese, Enchilada Sauce, and Rice

Tuesday 22: Baked Chicken Parmesan - Chicken, Bread Crumbs, Parmesan, Spaghetti, Tomato Sauce and Bread and Broccoli

Wednesday 23: Sandwiches

Thursday 24: Leftovers

For lunch we had - Deli Sandwich, PB&J, Grilled Cheese with Chicken Noodle Soup, SpaghettiO's, Mac-N-Cheese, Chips, Fruit

For snacks and dessert we had - Flour Less PB Cookies, Chocolate Chip Cookies, Vanilla Wafers, Goldfish, Ritz, Bananas, Grapes, Cuties, Apples, Applesauce, Yogurt

(We shopped at Aldi last week and got SUPER CHEAP bananas and Cuties.   The bananas ripened quickly but I'll make bread or muffins with the rest of them.)

(Oh, and WOW, adding up costs is too hard.  But, my brother ( sent me an app that should help...MenuBoard.  I'm using it next time.)

Total this two weeks...$210 + a trip to Walmart for fresh bread and such.  A lot better than last time but I didn't have to buy dog food either.  That's next week.  The first month or so of menu planning and shopping like this is always kind of expensive until you build up your pantry and get into a routine.  Then it becomes just picking up sale items and fresh foods to supplement what you already have.  I also should mention that we receive WIC so we don't have the cost of milk and such to worry about.  Milk is expensive for three kids.

I used some coupons and a couple of new apps to save money on this trip.  One was ibotta.  It pays you rebates for buying certain products (like coffee creamer and cereal...stuff we buy anyway).  The other was SavingStar.  It sends coupons to your store card and adds it to your account when you scan your card at the store.  I saved on yogurt this week three times by buying on sale, using coupons, and using SavingStar.  The savings on both are sent to your PayPal account.  Both are free apps.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

New Year. New Goals. Menu Planning.

I'm starting something new.  Or restarting something old and adding to it.  I've gotten out of the habit of planning our weekly menus and using coupons around here and it's caused our grocery spending to skyrocket.  So, in order to keep better track of it I'm sharing it with all (ten) of you.

We shop every 2 weeks on pay day.  We eat out once a week and my mom cooks dinner for us once a week (sweet, huh?).  So, I plan 10 meals for the 2 weeks.  Eventually I'm going to list prices on each meal but I forgot this time and threw away my receipt.

So, here is Week #1 : December 28 - January 10

Friday 28 - Sandwiches with Chips : bread, deli lunch meat, deli cheese, condiments, lettuce, tomato, chips
Saturday 29 - Stuffed Shells with Salad and Bread : shells, ricotta, mozzarella, cottage cheese, tomato sauce, salad, bread
Sunday 30 - Mom's
Monday 31 - We had two meals today since daddy was home from work and it was NYE.  Popcorn Chicken and Tots : chicken, tots and Nachos : chips, beans, Velveeta, rotel
Tuesday 1 - Tacos : tortillas, meat, beans, cheese, lettuce, tomato, onions, avocado, salsa
Wednesday 2 - Pot Roast : roast, potatoes, carrots, green beans, brown gravy mix
Thursday 3 - Mac's BBQ (we had a gift certificate)
Friday 4 - O Pasta with Fried Zucchini : tortellini, tomato sauce, zucchini
Saturday 5 - Cheesy Chicken : chips, rotel, cream of chicken soup, cheese, can chicken
Sunday 6 - Mom's
Monday 7 - Spaghetti with Broccoli and Bread : spaghetti, tomato sauce, broccoli, bread
Tuesday 8 - Breakfast : eggs, bacon, pancakes, OJ
Wednesday 9 - Meatloaf with Mashed Potatoes and Green Beans and Bread : meat, meatloaf mix, ketchup, potatoes, brown gravy mix, green beans, bread
Thursday 10 - pay day!  Papa Murphy's Pizza B1G1 50% off coupon

Total Spending including a bunch of items not listed (like two bags of dog food eek!) $340.

Holy Moly that's unacceptable.  It's still better than what we spent before menu planning and coupons a few years ago...$200 EVERY WEEK....but it could be a LOT better.

So, there it included if applicable.  And next time there'll be a price break down along with it.