Saturday, October 31, 2009

So, a needle pulling thread

I have been sewing since I got home and have successfully made a snail costume for "Hail the Snail". Yes, she is a slow snail when it comes to...just about everything.

Making the costume put me in the sewing mood so I started another project that just makes me giddy inside. Bread bags for my homemade bread!!! Can't wait :)

Thursday, October 29, 2009


  • I had a very productive day at work.
  • I spent a few minutes with my Hubby when he stopped by work.
  • I went to dinner "Authentic Mexican Style" with dear sisters in Christ. 13 to be exact!!
  • I saw Avalon & Selah in concert with the same gals. Wonderful!!
  • I got home just time time to tuck my little Haily in bed.
  • Now I will do some tidying up and watch the Yankees snuggled up with my Hubby.
I must mention that Aaron helped Haily with her homework, cleaned up the house and is now folding the laundry. He did all of this gladly so that I could enjoy a night out. Thank you Lord for my husband you have given me!

Sweet Dreams, Jac

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Meal Planning

Do you find yourself approaching dinner with panic? You rummage through the fridge and cabinets in hopes to find something quick to make. Or your in the middle of making dinner and realize you don't have the ingredients to make what you planned. I’ve been there too many times to count and I dislike the feeling. I usually end up throwing something together that isn’t appealing or the least bit nutritious. One of the best tips I could give a mother who works outside the home is to meal plan, it is a good idea for anyone really.

I didn’t meal plan for many years. My mother didn't meal plan therefore it wasn't something I even knew about. When going to the grocery store I threw things in the cart that "looked good". I ended up spending way more than necessary on items that I couldn’t even make a balanced meal with. Now when I go with a plan, I spend less and have more with a BIG smile. This is one of our budget eaters (it also includes all household products).

There are many ways to meal plan and I have adapted mine several times. Please take the information I give you and make it your own. I don’t have any fancy shopping lists or meal calendars, nor do I spend a ton of time doing this task (it takes about 20 minutes).

Let's get started

-I clean out my refrigerator/freezer (Easy tip 1: keep the fridge clean) and make note of what I still have on hand (meat, veggies, etc.)

-From there, I sit down with the sale papers and my running list that I keep (Easy tip 2: Write down items as you start to run low). Look through the paper and see what's on sale. Remember just because it’s cheap, if your family won’t eat it, you are wasting money.

-Now that I have a list of items I can plan start planning. By looking at the sale list and knowing what meals my family likes, I form a menu. Items may need to be added depending on the meals I want to make. For breakfast I keep oatmeal, granola bars, waffles and pancakes on hand. No one is home for lunch. I plan 6 meals for dinner and we either have leftovers on the 7th day or eat with friends/family. When doing this I keep in mind how much time I have to cook. Plan simple things like salad with grilled chicken on nights that are going to be rushed (Easy tip 3: think ahead = less stress)- Save the more time consuming meals for another day. Some of my friends like to theme their meals for each night of the week. My husband is not a planning kind of guy so this doesn’t work for us although I think it would be fun.

-After I have finished, I write the meals on the bottom of our family calendar, the one with all of our appointments, events, etc. By having everything in the same place there isn't any excuses for not knowing what is going on or what is for dinner. I use a free printable calendar that I found online. I keep ours right above our command station which has pens, paper, church directory/phone book, extra calendars, etc.  This is where I also keep the cook books, recipes we want to try, my running list. (Easy tip 4: keep things together).

-When heading to the store I take my list with me, sometimes taped to my forehead (this is just a reminder for those who need it :). Most of the time I stick to the list but I hardly feel bad if I stray a bit. If an item that I use often is on sale then I might buy extra so I will have it "in stock" for those times my husband wants something "unplanned" (Easy tip 5: be flexible).

Easy tip 1: keep the fridge clean
Easy tip 2: write down items as you start to run low
Easy tip 3: think ahead = less stress
Easy tip 4: keep things together
 Easy tip 5: be flexible

There you have it! It took much longer to think and type the process than it does to actually do my meal planning. Feel free to ask me questions or better yet tell me how do you meal plan?

Monday, October 26, 2009

This moment in time...

  • Finished my meal planning
  • Went grocery shopping 
  • DH put up hooks for my aprons and robes
  • Tucked my silly girl in bed
  • Got back on the treadmill for the first time in a long time
    Now it time for some BBB with DH. Night folks.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

All the laundry supplies are up on the shelf...

...use what you need but do it yourself!

This recipe was given to me by a friend which she got from The Duggar Family website. I made my first batch back in March and have been using ever since. Our family does about 1 load of laundry per day for a family of 3. Here is the breakdown of the cost to get started (I don't remember exactly what I paid, so I used prices from an online store).
  • 5 gallon bucket w/lid                                   $5
  • 1 bar Fels-Naptha Soap                               $2
  • 1 box Washing Soda                                    $8
  • 1 box Borax                                                  $8
That is $23 which breaks down to $3.29 per month for laundry soap. Keep in mind that you have enough washing soda and borax to last for 3 more batches. It could add up to be a great savings for your family.

You will need a 5gal bucket, 1 Fels-Naptha soap, 1 box Washing Soda (not baking soda), & 1 box Borax. Now let's get cookin' makin' some soap...
*Put 4 cups of water in a pot (I use one I don't cook with) and bring to a boil

*Shred the bar of soap

*Add the shredded soap to the boiling water and stir until melted

*Fill the 5 gal bucket half full with steamy hot water

*When all the soap is melted pour it into the bucket. Add the 1 cup Washing Soda and 1/2 cup Borax.

*Mix, mix, mix!!! Then fill the bucket up to the top with hot water.

*Put the lid on and let it sit over night. It will get very thick.

* The next day (or whenever you get to it) you are ready to finish up the soap. Get a couple of containers and something to pour with. I bought these at Wal-Mart but you can use some old laundry soap containers too.

* Fill each container half full with the soap and then fill with hot water to the top. Shake each time you use it because it will settle some. I use the same two containers and keep the bucket in the basement.

Wasn't that easy :)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Stack'em up

It's Sunday at 6am 8am and my family is  waking up with a rumble in the tummy.We have to be a church at 9:15 with belly's fed or else we'll be famished by the time Sunday School rolls around. I would love to eat something warm and filling but I just don't think there is time. Maybe I will set out the milk and cereal, DRAB, DRAB, DRAB.

Does this sound like any of you out there? C'mon tell the truth... read on for "the rest of the story" (said in my Paul Harvey voice)

{Oh, but wait} What is this?!?!?!

Why it's the Pancake and Waffle mix that I whipped up the other day. HALLELUJAH, breakfast has been saved! Scroll down to find out how you can save breakfast for your family too ~smile~

Here is the base recipe: 
3 1/2 cups of flour
    you can use whole wheat
    or white (I use a mixture
    of both)
1/4 cups of sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt                         
*make sure all ingredients won't expire before you will use all of the mix

I use a big glass jar with a screw on lid. Just add everything and whisk around. I suppose that you could put the lid on and shake but I like to whisk!!

To make Pancakes:     1 cup mix
                                  1/2 cup butter milk*
                                  1/2 cup milk*
                                  1 egg*
                                  1 tablespoon melted butter*
                                  1/4 teaspoon vanilla*
                                  *whisk together first
Let batter rest for 2 minutes before cooking. Cook on medium-low on a lightly greased pan or griddle. Makes about 6 Pancakes.

To make Waffles:     1 cup mix
                               3/4 cup milk*                      
                               1 egg*
                               1 tablespoon melted butter*
                               1/4 teaspoon vanilla*
                               *whisk together first

Lightly oil the iron plates and cook until golden brown. Makes about 4 Waffles.

This recipe is one of the best I have tried for Pancakes or Waffles. You can add in wheat germ, ground flax, fresh fruit (Pancakes), etc. They whip up in no time and I feel like I am giving my family something hot and nutritious with out giving up time.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Yup, She's a giver and a keeper!!!

My daughter has a heart of gold. She is a caring, compassionate little girl who wants to put a smile on every face she comes in contact with. These YUMMY, OH SO YUMMY cookies are just what she ordered up for some people in our church. Bill, who is going through treatment for cancer (throat) and Debbie, who has Lou Gehrig’s frequent our hearts and lips. We are praying for their strength and their families as they face the unknown. God is their guiding light, which no matter what the outcome may be, will be eternally with them. Haily was set on making these cookies for them so they know that she was thinking and praying for them. How sweet is that (you can get a Kleenex now). {She’s a giver and I think I’ll keep her}

It is pure joy that God has given me this child to raise up. I need to constantly be reminded that she is only mine for a while and I need to use that time to train her in the ways of the Lord.

Proverbs 22:6 Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.


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