Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Years Menu...a Southern Tradition!

Well being from North Carolina I grew up with a traditional New Years Eve meal!
Black Eye Peas, Turnip or Collard Greens and Cornbread! It just wasn't right to bring in the New Year without those 3 things on the menu! Black eye peas represent good health and the greens represent money and well you just have to have cornbread with those two things :) I cheat and make cornbread from the packages at the store, my cornbread just doesn't turn out all that good if I try to make homemade corn bread!

You can buy canned black eye peas or make your own from dried peas (which is what we do for the sake of saving a bit of money). Greens can be made many different ways as well. Below are my two recipes I use for both items...

Black Eye Peas

1 onion chopped and sauted

1 teaspoon of minced garlic

1 teaspoon of salt

2 cups of dried peas

8 cups of water

1 ham hock or fat back

After you saute the onions and garlic add peas and water, Bring to a boil and boil one minute. Turn off and let sit for 1 hour. Then cook on medium low heat for 3 hours. If the peas start to dry out, add boiling water to the pot *Cold water will make the peas crack an turn to mush.

Southern Greens

How to Wash Collard Greens

Fill clean sink 2/3 full with cold water. Immerse greens, in batches, in water; swish greens gently to remove any grit.

Makes: 12 servings, about 2/3 cup each

3 pounds fresh collard greens

12 slices Bacon, chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 cups water

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

WASH collard greens, removing all grit. Remove and discard hard stems. Place greens together in small bunches; roll up. Cut crosswise into wide strips; set aside.

COOK bacon in large skillet on medium heat to desired crispness. Remove bacon from skillet with slotted spoon, reserving 3 tablespoons of the drippings in skillet. Set bacon aside. Add onion and garlic to drippings; cook and stir until tender.

ADD greens, water, sugar, salt and crushed red pepper to skillet. Reduce heat to low; simmer 45 minutes to 1 hour or until greens are tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in bacon.

Our new little one arrived....early!

Isaac made his arrival 5wks early but he is doing very well! He was taken to St Louis Cardinal Glennon Hospital after he was born where he spent almost a week. He was able to come home on Christmas Day though and has been doing wonderful! He is now up to 7lbs which is AWESOME for a little preemie born 5wks early! We are so blessed to have him, and our other 4 children!

New Years Resolutions?

Ok so of course I want to lose weight (I just had a baby) we definitely need to save money (who doesn't lol) and more of the other "typical" New Years Resolutions.... But you wanna know what mine are?


2. Quit trying to make my house look like one from magazine pages!

3. HAVE FUN with my kids more

4. Make my home welcoming by decorating it with things we love, not whats in "style"

5. Remember to be more grateful for what I do have and not envious of what I don't have!

I think these are pretty simple resolutions, though we do plan to pay off bills, save more money and I plan to tone back up. I am not making those things a "focus" for me, they will happen when they happen :)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Twas' a country Christmas Eve....

The pond was froze over & so was the branch.

The snow was piled up belly-deep to a mule.

The kids were all home on vacation from school,

And happier young folks you never did see-

Just all sprawled around a-watchin' TV.

Then suddenly, some time around 8 o'clock,

There came a surprise that gave them a shock!

The power went off, the TV went dead!

When Grandpa came in from out in the shed

With an armload of wood, the house was all dark.

"Just what I expected," they heard him remark.

"Them power line wires must be down from the snow.

Seems sorta like times on the ranch long ago."

"I'll hunt up some candles," said Mom. "With their light,

And the fireplace, I reckon we'll make out all right."

The teen-agers all seemed enveloped in gloom.

Then Grandpa came back from a trip to his room,

Uncased his old fiddle & started to play

That old Christmas song about bells on a sleigh.

Mom started to sing, & 1st thing they knew

Both Pop & the kids were all singing it, too.

They sang Christmas carols, they sang "Holy Night,"

Their eyes all a-shine in the ruddy firelight.

They played some charades Mom recalled from her youth,

And Pop read a passage from God's Book of Truth.

They stayed up till midnight-and, would you believe,

The youngsters agreed 'twas a fine Christmas Eve.

Grandpa rose early, some time before dawn;

And when the kids wakened, the power was on.

"The power company sure got the line repaired quick,"

Said Grandpa - & no one suspected his trick.

Last night, for the sake of some old-fashioned fun,

He had pulled the main switch - the old Son-of-a-Gun!


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Simplifying Christmas.... Day 7 Simple Gift Ideas

This has been such a fun journey and it was started by Heart of a Mommys Blog so be sure to check out her posts as well as those linked through the MeMe she is hosting!

Well I will be honest, this year as of Christmas day I will officially be 36 wks pregnant and I have not made many gifts at all! I have been on bed rest with pre-term labor since 20 weeks so that has not allowed me much time to be up and around getting supplies etc to make any gifts. So this year my gift giving will be a bit more complicated than usual :( but I am still going to do my best to be "simple" about my gifts. I really don't like the comment of "we can't afford it" because even if we offer our time there is always SOMETHING we can afford for every person/family on our list's. Even if we just make a pan of brownies or cookies I am sure they will appreciate it, I know I personally LOVE getting homemade gifts!
Here are a few simple gift giving ideas I have used or seen over the years-

1- Make up your own gift baskets. These can be so simple to make up! Grab a couple of cheap baskets throughout the year from thrift stores or yard sales and store them for closer to Christmas time. Or you could even pick up a few of the cookie tins that many thrift stores have.... I know ours has TONS of them for only 10 cent each! You could add crackers, pop corn, hot chocolate, coffee, cheese, fruits, nuts, homemade goodies etc! The list is endless as to what you can make up!

2- Do you sew? Well if so the possibilites are ENDLESS as to the awesome gifts you can make! I have found tons of FREE craft/sewing ideas online... just Google whatever you are looking for and more than likely you can find a free pattern out there somewhere online for it :)

3- Gifts in a Jar anyone... this one, for me, takes a bit of planning ahead of time. I don't like to use jars that have been used by someone else for sanitation issues so I buy new jars if I plan on doing this. Well I have found that the best time of year to buy jars is around gardening time. Here at our local farm supply place I can get 12 of them for $4.49 if I keep an eye on their sales paper they send out. This is a quick easy gift and you can always pretty up the jars! Add a piece of material to the top of the jar and tie it with some raffia or ribbon. Or you can even go all out and print out a label for your jars and add those along with a large bow, and a small kitchen utensil (often found at $1 stores!). Again Google can help us out here as there are TONS and TONS of Gift in a Jar Recipes... check out this site for Gifts from Your Kitchen I have it set as one of my homepages when IE starts on my computer :)

4- Homemade toys for kids.... these are so much fun to make, no matter what you end up making! You can again find tons and tons of free patterns and ideas online for homemade "toys" for kids! One thing that is fun, easy and 2 gifts in one are I Spy blankets! You can buy lots of different already cut quilt squares now on ebay, or even buy the material and cut them yourself. But all it takes is some 5in quilt squares and some batting (or even 2 layers of flannel for the middle) and a little sewing know how. These little lap quilts are great for long trips because parents can tell the kids things to look for and they can search right there on their own little quilt... Here is a kit a friend of mine recently bought on ebay to give you an idea of the type of fabrics that are used to make them.

Gift giving can be really simple, we don't have to spend $50 per person to make a gift be "thoughtful" or "meaningful" to the receiver.

Be sure to hop over to Heart of a Mommys blog and join the Meme and share a link to your posts!!! We would LOVE to see all of your Simplifying Christmas ideas!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Simplifying Christmas....Simple Family traditions...

Day 6 of Simplifying Christmas...following along with the meme started on Heart of a Mommy's Blog 

What are some of your simple family traditions? Now that my kids are getting older some of the things they found "So Fun" when they were little are getting a bit boring to them :( So I try to think of new and exciting things each year to keep them excited about the holidays. Some of our Christmas traditions are

Our Christmas traditions start out with the parade welcoming Santa into town. And next with the first Saturday of December when the kids get to go to the church and have Breakfast with Santa :) They serve pancakes and orange juice, the have craft tables set up and the kids get to talk to Santa.
Then the following day, the first Sunday of December we put out our table top nativity set. I have one of those cheap little round tables from the Dollar General store that I drape a red table cloth over and we set the nativity scene on that table in the corner of the dining room.

They are very simple traditions, and hopefully we will add some more to our Christmas season here...but what we do is definitely simple :)
On Christmas Eve the kids get to open one gift, and they always know that it will be PJ's :)
On Christmas Day in order to make the unwrapping of gifts take a little longer (great for families like ours who do not get each child lots of gifts) we play a game using a deck of cards. My husband shuffles the cards very well and then each child gets to draw a card. The person with the highest card gets to open a present, but the person with the lowest card can say if they get a big or little present to open :) We started this one year when we did not have many gifts and the kids LOVED it and request it every year.
We don't have many food based family traditions I guess... I do let the kids make Chrismtas cookies each year all on their own, even though they do make quite a mess lol! We have done that every year now since we have moved into our house we live in now so thats probably the only real food based tradition we do. I bake alot in the winter time as it is, and all 3 of the older kids love to make a mess in the kitchen :)
Here is a picture of them from their first year making cookies...

and let me just say my how they have grown from them until now!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Busy getting ready for the holiday...

Heart of a Mommy's Blog Be sure to check out her Simplifying Christmas Meme she is hosting! It's an AWESOME IDEA!!!!!! and We are definitely going with that in our home this year! So be sure to check back every day for new posts about Simplifying Christmas

So I have been thinking about some more simple ways to celebrate Christmas here at our home. And my main focus right now is getting a tree and getting it decorated :) I do put up a Christmas Tree every year as all 4 of the kids enjoy a tree and they are all still young. This year we are doing a Candy Land theme for Christmas!

It is so simple and so SWEET! We are getting a tree for free from an old closed down Christmas Tree farm, we just have to do some looking to find one thats the right size and full enough. It will probably resemble the Charlie Brown Christmas tree LOL but that is perfectly ok with us :)

Tonight me and my husband are going to browse some stores to see what items we can find that are needful items for the kids. Needful items are socks, under wear, PJ's, clothing etc not toys or other things that will be forgotten after 10mins of play ;) Plus it's nice for us to be able to get out for a bit, though we are taking E (my 18mth old) with us. She is stuck to her mommy like glue lately, which is just fine with me because I know one day she won't want to even hug me... just part of them growing up. And with Isaacs arrival date, Jan 23rd, getting closer and closer this may be one of the few times I am able to get out before he makes his arrival :)

Now back to my simple Christmas plans.....
I found some styrofoam balls in my craft stash along with some popsicle sticks so those will be turned into lollipop ornaments (pics coming soon!) and I also found a walmart bag full of mardi gras beads someone gave us that will be turned into Christmas tree bead garland. I picked up some bright colored candy canes to hang on the tree, for decoration as well as treats for the kids. For along the walk way I plan to make some lollipops out of styrofoam and wooden dowels, and I will be sharing that craft as well this coming Monday so be sure to keep an eye out! This Saturday is another traditonal day for our family as we go to the Breakfast with Santa at our local church. This year they are taking canned items for the food pantry and each of the kids will take in two cans of food to donate. As part of another family tradtion this coming Sunday we will be putting up the table top nativity set, we do this each year on the first Sunday of December. It is nothing fancy, just a simple nativity set, but then again the place where Jesus was born was nothing fancy either :)

Blessings to everyone and I wish you a wonderful Weekend! I will be back tomorrow with more on our Simple Christmas!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Simplifying Christmas....

I saw the link to this in the Econobusters Newsletter from "Molly Green" and I had to go take a look!  Well with 4 kids I am ALL ABOUT making Christmas easy for us! I think Christmas, like most other holidays, should be about family and traditions but with 4 kids who "want" things. I remember when I was younger my stocking had an apple, orange, some nuts, a candy cane and a pair of gloves :) I was delighted with those things.... and I loved the handmade doll I got when I was 4 and her handmade clothes and blanket. And the next year I got a "barbie" doll house my grandpa made his self and it was furnished with all handmade wooden furniture he made as well. My grandma sewed curtains for all of the rooms along with cushions for all of the furniture and sheets etc! It was the BEST Christmas present EVER!!!!!!!!!!!! I loved to get homemade Christmas presents when I was younger.... but to some people now-a-days seem to turn their noses up at homemade Christmas presents. Granted I am 29 I would still love to get a homemade doll LOL!

So with that said I thought that joining in on the Simplifying Christmas idea would be PERFECT for us!
Be sure to check out the link below the picture above so you too can sign up to join!

Well my hubby had his week vacation...and now I am back :)

Thanksgiving countdown banner

Well my husband M had his week long winter vacation :) We didn't go anywhere but instead stayed home so he could work on the addition. Our home has come a LONG LONG way from being the very 80's looking home we bought in February 2006. No longer are the walls covered in paneling and wall paper with colors of blue and mauve. Long gone are the gold fixtures in the bath room and the very very tiny kitchen that meant the dining room would have to house our stove and fridge. And once the addition is done we will have 4 bedrooms instead of just 2, and with baby #5 on the way we DEFINITELY need those 2 extra bedrooms! Not to mention that the oldest 3 kids will be upstairs and me and my hubby and the 2 little ones will be done stairs in the new part of the house. AND the best part..... I will FINALLY get to have a regular full size washer and dryer! I have been here with a very small stacked one piece apartment style washer and dryer combo and oh how nice it will be to finally be able to do a whole load of laundry at once! And the best part of all of what we have accomplished is knowing that we did IT ALL ourselves! I knew a bit about wood working since my grandpa owned his own business when I was growing up, and I spent pretty much every summer going to work with him when I was little. And the demolition part was easy too! I mean I had no problem ripping out paneling, walls, flooring etc. But when it came to hanging new drywall, taping and mudding it and sanding I was scared to death! Not to mention plumbing, laminate wood floor installation, carpet installation and more. And I learned quickly how to figure out the square foot of any space as well (who knew it was SO easy to figure out LOL)
And once the addition is done my oldest daughter B will have her VERY OWN ROOM complete with her very own Queen size bed! She is only 11 but has pretty much always had to share a room with one of her brothers so this will be an extra special occasion for her as well! Once me and my hubby get moved out of that room I am going to block it off so that she can't see it until I am completely done re-decorating it so that she has a TOTALLY new room! We have already added new drywall, paint, carpet and new ceilings so I will just have to make it personalized for her. It has been a long adventure but a fun one! I will post some pictures later once I get them uploaded :) 

And as so many of us know Thanksgiving is drawing very near... today I made sure to get the turkey out so it could thaw out and I decided on my menu. It will just be me, my husband and our 4 kids so I don't have to cook a whole lot because otherwise I would have left overs for a month! But there are some of us that like corn pudding and some who don't so that leads to 2 different corn dishes...and so on :)

~Our Thanksgiving Menu~
Turkey (of course)
Mashed Potatoes
Green Beans cooked with bacon and onions
Corn Pudding
Whole Kernel corn
Sweet Yeast Rolls
Pumpkin Pie
Apple Crisp
Yummy milk to drink

We are going out this coming weekend to find a tree to put up for Christmas so that I have time to put away all of the Fall - Thanksgiving decor. Which is a whole other topic...but let me say I am having a VERY hard time deciding on Christmas decor! ALL of ours got ruined last year due to water leaking into the large tote I had it all stored in. The kids had been in the storage room and knocked the lid off and a bad wind storm led to some loose shingles and well you pretty much know the rest :(
So this year I have to get new everything!

Well its almost 11am and my time is up here on the computer. I have some things to get done....I really think I got LESS done last week with my husband home than I normally do so I have to play catch up this week.... Of course Thanksgiving is already going to make it hectic so it will be VERY busy!

Hope you all have a wonderful day!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Decorating on a Shoestring Budget

Decorating on a Shoestring Budget is a post I found on Econobusters website/blog and oh honey it is just the most addorable laundry area! Please click on the link above to head over and take a look!
She did a wonderful job!

WOW! Walmart has Halloween things marked down 75%

This is our house decorated for Halloween!

So I went to Walmart yesterday to do some grocery shopping and I was surprised to see their Halloween items marked down to 75% off already! They didn't have much along the lines of candy left, but I did manage to get some of the bags of the pumpkins, that remind me of candy corn :) Our local school doesn't have Halloween parties, but instead Fall Festivals the second week of November so I will be sending the pumpkins with my son for his class. I didn't need to buy any candy anyway as I had bought 2 walmart bags full to hand out to Trick Or Treaters and well living on a dead end street has its dis advantages because we only got 4 visitors the whole night :(
A friend of mine picked up 8 costumes for my little Miss E so that she can play dress up. So for those who don't celebrate Halloween they still have some VERY cute costumes that your little ones can use as dress up clothes! I know alot of people don't think of this, but I called and ask her and well all together she bought 27 costumes to use as dress up outfits LOL! They had doctors, princesses, lady bugs, pumpkins and more so check out the Halloween aisle for some super cheap dress up clothes!

Carving our Jack O Lantern Mr Z, Miss B, and Miss E in her TuTu

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Raindy Days Weather....and the flu :(

Well the weather here has been rain rain and more rain! It has rained all week, sometimes a slow drizzle and other times a steady down pour. The kids are tired of being cooped up in the house all week as well as the fact that we have not been able to do much regarding outdoor activities either. We were supposed to go on a Nature Walk/Fall Scavenger Hunt as well as gather leaves for leaf rubbings, but with so much rain we haven't been able to do any of that. I did manage to find some great sites with some printable lap book activities and coloring pages for them as well as some fall stationary for writing practice.
I also found this lovely blog Frugal Family Fun Blog with a great idea to make an awesome Autumn Tree Suncatcher craft! All you need is some clear contact paper, tissue paper, construction paper, scissors, and your creativity! She has TONS of frugal crafting ideas on her blog and my kids have picked out a few already that we plan to make :)
I am still not back to feeling 100% while dealing with the H1N1 flu, and I am sure being pregnant makes it a little harder for me to get rid of the "flu bug" that is hanging on tight! Emma is not feeling well either, so I have been trying to make her feel comfy, which means she gets to lay on mommys lap pretty much all day :)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Sweet Blessing Bum Genius Cloth Diaper Giveaway at Econobusters!

As many know I am all about being GREEN! And I have baby #5 on the way so I was DELIGHTED to see this giveaway in the Econobusters Newsletter! Be sure to check it out, you could win a 3 pack of Bum Genius Diapers!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I love this time of year!

I am not sure what it is about this time of year but I would be completely happy if it stayed like this year round! They have a movie on Disney channel on TV called Halloweentown, well I wish I could find Autumntown and move there LOL! I love the colors, the smells, the sights of the leaves changing just every thing! I mean who can resist a smile when you see the beauty of the changing colors on trees, and grinning jack o lanterns on front porches paired with jolly scare crows! Alot of people are re charged by Spring but not me, Fall is my time of year. It seems to really perk me up way more than any other time of year. I don't think it has much to do with the idea of the holidays that will follow, because well those are just stressful if you ask me.
I love to go walk around stores and look at the interesting pumpkins and gourds, all of the beautiful mums in their glorious colors, oh and lets not forget the lanes at stores that have all of the Fall tableware! Oh I could just live on that lane alone :) Just the other day I was out our local farm/builing supply store here in town, ughhhh we were buying shingles for the addition we are building, anyway back to happy thoughts! Ok well they had yellow mums for .99 each, yes thats all!!!! They were 6 in pots so it was a pretty good price....only problem is that I personally do not like the yellow ones because you have to constantly dead head them, otherwise they aren't so pretty, so I didn't get any of them. I did however think of a cute idea, which I *might* try this year. They have TONS and TONS of pumpkins for sale at the store here for only $1.99 ea and they are quite big! So I was looking at them wondering how I could use a few of them to decorate besides the typical carved pumpkin way. Well I thought about cutting the top off, digging out the insides and just plopping a potted mum inside of it! Now granted I am sure I am NOT the first person to think of this idea....I haven't seen it done, yet that is, so I might give it a try this year, maybe closer to Thanksgiving, or atleast after the price of mums go down some.
I have to get my little Emma up and ready for our day now, but I will post some Frugal Fall Decorating ideas in a bit. She has a doctors appt. today at 10am, so NO FUN at all because she has to get immunizations :(

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Time Wasters for Women?

We as women, wifes and mothers have so many things to do during the day. What can you think of that is a "time waster" for you? Maybe it's Tv, the computer/internet, the telephone? For me it tends to be all 3 at times, and I admit that sadly :( What could we be doing with that time? What joy could we be bringing into our families life?

That is going to be my focus from now on. Identifying the "time wasters" in my life and slowly but surely getting rid of them! It may be hard, but I know I can do it :)

Monday, August 10, 2009

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Are you crafty?

Have you been looking for a great place online to sell your items? Well then look no more! Check out ArtFire it's the place to sell your homemade crafts!
Register on

Friday, July 3, 2009

Getting ready for the 4th of July!

The pillow in the picture above is super easy to make and I will be featuring how to make that one, plus other holiday pillow wraps very soon!

HAPPY 4TH of JULY! well ok not quite yet lol :)

Sorry I have been away this week... I have been getting ready for a few things I would like to share with you all. I am also happy to announce that my camera will be back home today! YAY!!!!!!

1- I am going to college starting this Fall and I had to take my placement test to find out what level classes I should start out in plus meet with the counselor and the financial aid person. I am VERY excited to be going back to school and nervous all at once! My first day of class will be August 24th so I still have a ways before I actually start school.

2- I found out back in May that I was expecting baby #5 but wanted to wait until I heard the heart beat and knew things were going well before I shared it with everyone. SO baby #5 will be making his or her arrival to our family in January. This will be our last baby as my body is just not able to handle being pregnant anymore, and this time will be pusing the envelope so to say.

3- July is a VERY activity busy month for us, we have 3 birthdays to celebrate, our BIG 4th of July plans and my husband always takes his vacation in July.

So coming up we have my mother in laws significant others birthday, not sure how old he will be, but its on July 8th. My 29th birthday is on July 10th, and my oldest son, Matthew, will be 13 on July 17th!

Now about our 4th of July Celebration! It's not big compared to some celebrations I have been to by any means! Me and the kids make decorations and I make TONS of patriotic themed foods :) This year I thought for a while about what drink to make that everyone would enjoy and here is my idea.

4th of July Blast Lemonade!

1 container of pre-sweetened lemonade drink mix or

20 lemons for juicing and sugar to sweeten

pre made red (strawberry is the best) and blue kool aid poured intostar shaped (or regular shaped) ice cube trays and frozen

The night before- make up your kool aid in red and blue. Pour it into the

Make your lemonade to your own preference, we all like it differently, and I actually do prefer all fresh squeezed! Make up your lemonade in your pitchers and get your ice cubes popped out of the trays (I leave mine in a bowl in the freezer until ready to serve)

To serve- Pour your lemonade into glasses (I use clear plastic glasses with red and blue stars all over them) Add in 2 red and 2 blue ice cubes and garnish however you would like. You can add a sprig of mint and a thin slice of lemon to the edge of the glass if you would like.

These drinks are SO festive looking, and well they taste great too!

I will be back tomorrow to add pictures of my 4th of July celebration meal!

We are having burgers, hot dogs, homemade potatoe salad, pasta salad, cole slaw, chips, baked beans, apple pie, cherry cheese cake, strawberry shortcakes and of course our 4th of July Blast drinks!

Later in the evening before we go to watch fireworks we will have a weine roast for the kids and make smores! YUM!!!!!!!!!!

Wish Upon a Hero

Wish Upon a Hero

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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Well before I could post again...

Before I got the chance to post the rest of my video for yogurt making my camera officially died! I have tried to charge it and NOTHING :( I have no clue what is wrong with it, but I am just heart broken. I have had my digital camera for a while now, well so long that the words are all rubbed off of it, and I just dont know what I will do without it....

It will be missed.... alot!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Menu Monday

This weeks menu will be pretty simple as I have 2 appointments at the college 2 eves this week. Monday (today) I have my Compass testing and have to leave home at 5pm and then Thursday I have an appt at 6pm with a guidance counselor to get my test results from my testing and also set up a few things. OH and I also have my first doctors appt. on Thursday with my obstetrician.
Breakfast- Cheerios with fresh sliced strawberries and Orange Juice
Lunch- Bologna and Cheese sandwiches, Cheese puffs and homemade strawberry yogurt
Dinner- Crock Pot Sloppy Joes, tater tots and mac n cheese
Breakfast- French Toast and scrambeled eggs
Lunch- PB&J sandwiches, celery sticks, homemade strawberry yogurt
Dinner- Spaghetti, Green Beans and Garlic Bread
More to come in a bit... I have to go look through my cabinets to see what we have!
Be back in just a bit!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The start of my "living" kitchen...

Well I have started turning my kitchen into a "living" kitchen! What is that? LOL!
Well the first thing I am starting with that will live in my kitchen is a Yogurt starter so that I can make my own yogurt. I have added a video of the first step of the process and will list the supplies that you will need as well.
Supplies to make your yogurt starter
  • Large 6qt crock pot
  • 8 cups of whole milk (approx 1/2 a gallon) Pasteurized and Homogenized is fine, but do not use ultra-pasteurized.
  • 1/2 C of plain full fat yogurt from the store. After you make this first batch of yogurt you can use the yogurt from your own homemade yogurt for this ingredient.


1. Pour the milk into a crock pot, and turn the crock pot on low. Leave it alone for 2 1/2 hours, cooking on low.

2. Turn the crock pot off, leaving the cover on, and let the milk sit for 3 hours.

3. Mix the yogurt starter into the milk thats still in your crock pot.

4. Put the lid on the crock pot, and then fold and put a heavy bath towel over the crock pot to insulate in the leftover heat (leave the crock pot turned off), and go to bed.

5. The next morning, you will have yogurt ready for storing in your crock pot. Home made yogurt is thinner than store-bought so the consistency will be a bit different

6. Pour the yogurt into a container, or clean sterilized canning jars, and put it into the fridge. Let the yogurt cool down to the fridge temp.

You can chop up some fruit and put it in the blender with the yogurt for a few seconds if you prefer. You can also sprinkle some of your home made granola on top of it as well :) (I will be adding a recipe for homemade granola very soon)

Here is the 1st part of the video on making your own yogurt-

Wanted to share a freebie site...

Being a mom of soon to be 5 children, and not to mention being a mom on a budget I LOVE freebies! Hey who doesn't? So I thought I would share a site that I really enjoy with you all. I have had alot of luck with this site as they keep their freebie listings up to date as far as dead links etc.

Thunder FAP freebies (just click on the word freebies)

Friday, June 26, 2009

Sorry I am so behind on posts....

Where does the time go to?
I have been so busy around the house lately that I haven't been online much to blog. The kids got a new pool, so that took about 3 days to put up because we had to get the area ready, plus get the chemicals balanced etc. Plus I went a de-cluttering spree, which isn't done yet, and I got rid of a van load of stuff we didn't need. Plus it has just been too hot for the kids to go outside so I have spent aot of time thinking of things for them to do inside.
My husband is taking vacation in July, the 10th through the 19th, so we went today to check out camping sites so we could pick the one that we want to camp in for a couple of days. We are also going to go to the Science Museum, St. Louis City Museum, Transportation Museum and the St. Louis Zoo while my husband is on vacation... so that will be a busy 9 days :)
This coming week I will be posting recipes for Yougurt as well as how to make your own cream cheese, butter and Peac Upside Down Cake (like in the picture above) YUM-E!
I should also be ready to start a new batch of Kefir this coming week so I will post information on Kefir as well. It is a very healthy "drink" to make... and my kids LOVE it.
I must get back to playing with the baby as she is letting me know she does NOT like to be ignored.
Have a Great Evening HUGS

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Free Dunkin Donuts Coffee Sample!

Ok so many who know me know I am a COFFEE lover! Well I found a free Dunkin Donuts Coffee Sample HERE!

Dunkin' Donuts. Dunkin' keeps me blogging. Try Dunkin' Donuts Coffee For Free. Get a Sample

Monday, June 8, 2009

Menu Planning Monday!

Since today is Monday I always get my menus planned out on this day. It makes the rest of the week SO much easier! I don't plan the weekends until Thursday or Friday because I never know for sure what our plans will be.

Snacks for the week will be- rice pudding, pop corn, muffins, banana nut bread, home made donuts and/or fruit and veggies.


Tuesday- Cream of Wheat with Sausage Links

Wednesday- Baked Oatmeal

Thursday- Breakfast Casserole

Friday- Scrambled eggs and Sausage


Tuesday- Grilled Ham and Cheese Sandwiches Cucumber slices with ranch dressing

Wednesday- Roast Beef and gravy with mashed potatoes and corn as a side

Thursday- Raviolli and green beans

Friday- Left Overs from the weeks dinner


Tuesday- Spaghetti, garlic bread and green beans

Wednesday- Baked Chicken, Stove top stuffing, corn, velvetta shells and cheese, homemade biscuits and apple cobbler.

Thursday- Kids Cook Night (they are still deciding on their menu)

Friday- Sub sandwiches, chocolate pudding, chips and 7 layer salad

Friday, June 5, 2009

Welcome to my new blog!

Well I finally decided to start a blog! I know I am so far behind the ages it seems... I will introduce myself first :)

My name is Brandi, I am 28 and a SAHM to 4 children with #5 coming in January 2010. I have a 13yr old, 11yr old, 7yr old and a 1yr old so as you can imagine I am quite busy with them. I am going to try to make my blog look a little better, and have to figure out how to add a new template... and hope to get that done soon!

I am so excited to get to share my life as a stay at home mom and wife with all of you. Not to mention sharing my home making tips, recipes, cleaning tips and more!

Thank you all for reading!