Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Whatcha Eatin'? Week of March 24

Well, I finally got a membership to Costco. We made a trip there on Saturday to do a little shopping.  Thankfully my sister and mother came along to help with the three kiddos.  Come to find out, you can spend an awful lot of money in a little time. Plus, all the darn samples they are handing out makes you want to buy more.  That is why I ended up purchasing the $15 Chicken Alfredo meal we had last night.  It was delicious, but not so nutritious.  I admit, I loved the convenience of it!  However, $15 a meal is just not in the budget.  Needed to plan my menu based on what I already had in the pantry for the rest of this week.  Here is what I came up with:

Monday:  Costco Chicken Alfredo, Green Beans, Salad
TuesdaySalisbury Steak, Mashed Potatoes, Corn, Dinner Rolls
Wednesday:  Taco Meatball Ring, Cooked Carrots
Thursday:  Steak Stir Fry over Rice, Cottage Cheese
Friday:  Upside Down Pizza, chips, veggies & dip
Saturday:  Family Get Together...not sure what I am bringing yet. 
Sunday:  Grillin' out!  Forecast is 64 and sunny...it better not change.

I am linking this up with many other bloggers on Organizing Junkie's blog...join me and get some recipe inspiration! 

Monday, March 17, 2014

Crock Pot Chicken and Noodles

This is one of my favorite meals.  It is simple.  It is yummy.  It is NOT healthy.  Sometimes we just need a little comfort food, and this is definitely the recipe that I go to. 

Original Recipe:

2 Cans of Cream of Chicken Soup
2 Cans of Chicken Broth (14.5 oz)
1/2 Cup of Butter
1 Package of Split Chicken Breasts (Usually 4 halves in a package)
1 24 oz package or Reames Egg Noodles (Must be this brand)

Cook chicken breasts, butter, soup and broth on low for 6 hours in crock pot. Pull chicken, then add Reames noodles. Cook another 1 1/2 - 2 hours. Salt and pepper to taste.

Changes I made: 

* I just use frozen chicken breasts...usually 3 for a full batch and 2 small if I halve it.
* I added a little chopped carrots and celery.  It makes you feel a little better about eating it.
* I added my salt and pepper to the crock pot when putting it all in.
* My noodles didn't take as long to cook. 
* Keep extra chicken broth handy if it gets too thick for your liking.

This makes a huge batch.  For our family of five,  I can get two meals out of it.  It is so tasty that my entire family will eat the leftovers.

***Special shout out to my sister-in-law Heather for sharing the recipe with me.***

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Whatcha Eatin'? Week of March 3rd

After several months of eating out and whipping together dinners, I am finally fed up and ready to make a menu this week!  I am organizing and cleaning out my pantry & freezer this month.  In fact, I am going to start phasing out all the processed foods in our home over the next month so we have quite a bit of food to get rid of. 

Monday:  Cream Cheese Crock Pot Chicken over Rice, Cooked Carrots
Tuesday:  Goulash, Salad, Garlic Bread
Wednesday: Leftovers or Chicken Strips & Fries(my hubby will be gone)
Thursday: Chicken and Noodles (Super Yummy and Super Easy recipe I will share this week!)
Friday:  Pizza
Saturday:  Cheeseburgers, French Fries, Baked Beans, Cottage Cheese
Sunday:  Chili, Cheese & Crackers, Veggies & Dip

I am linking this up at Organizing Junkie's blog.  Check out the other blogs to get some recipe inspiration.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Getting Back to (a new) Normal

Today marks two months since I lost the most important man in my life, my daddy. 

It still seems so unbelievable. It just happened so fast. Stupid Cancer. He fought for two months.  No more pain.  No more suffering.  For that, we are thankful.  It hurts. A lot.  It's different. But, it is definitely real.  I know it was all part of God's great plan, but there are still times that I question God.  Why my dad?

What about my children?  They still need their grandpa.  He loved them so much.  I still need him.  And my Mother. She's only 63.  Sometimes it just doesn't seem fair.

The past two months have been hard. Very hard. But, today as the sun is shining, I am reminded that there is always something to be thankful for.  Our God is always good.  While I miss my daddy, I rejoice that he is in Heaven. I am thankful for the two months that he fought to give us time. My siblings and I became closer.  We spent many nights together sleeping on the floor of my parents' bedroom during his last days.  We laughed together and cried together.  Now we grieve together, but I am thankful that we have each other.  My husband and I grew closer.  He was an amazing support during his illness.  Making sure I spent as much time as possible with my father.  Seeing my husband say goodbye to my father was a very hard, yet wonderful thing to experience.  Their relationship was special and for that I am thankful.   I have an amazingly strong mother and an incredible family.  I am truly blessed.   My three children will remember their Grandpa who adored them.  Between afternoon naps, tractor rides, trips to Florida, and everyday snuggles, my children were lucky to have a Grandpa who made them feel special and loved.  Yes, we miss him. A lot. He left behind wonderful memories and so many life lessons.  We must continue to make the best of each and everyday...and that's what I intend to do. TODAY, I am going to stop feeling sorry for myself and get back to (a new) normal.  I am going to start living life intentionally.  Join me.   

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Gift Cards from Kroger make Great Gifts!

Still looking for the perfect gift?  Well, chances are you might not find it today, so why not purchase a gift card?  Right now Kroger is offering 4X the gas points when you purchase gift cards.  There are so many different stores to pick from.  Gap, Bass Pro, Old Navy, iTunes, Lowes, Chili's, Panera, Subway, Justice to name a few.  Why not save money on gas while shopping for Christmas?!

Also at Kroger.com, you can download coupons to get even more for your money.  Right now you can load a coupon good for $10 in free groceries when you purchase 2 Gap Gift cards.  Head to www.kroger.com to find out more!

I hope you all have a Merry Christmas!

***I was notified of these awesome opportunity through Bzz Agent.  ***

Thursday, October 31, 2013

A Trumoo Review and Sweepstakes too!

Growing up in a large family of eleven where money was tight, there were some things that we just did without.  Chocolate milk was one of them.  In fact, there were some days when we had to make do with powdered milk.  Yuck!  My kiddos however are lucky, they had a father who grew up loving chocolate milk.  When I got the opportunity to try out Trumoo flavored milk, I was so excited and I knew they would be too!  

Trumoo and Bzz Agent were nice enough to send me a coupon for 1 FREE Trumoo Flavored Milk and several $0.75 off 1 half gallon coupons! We, of course, had to try out the Chocolate first.  Sad thing is that it literally lasted 2 or 3 days in our house. 

We had it long enough to make one of these..."Monster Mash Mudslides"!

  • 4 cups TruMoo ® Lowfat Chocolate Milk
  • 10 chocolate wafer cookies, coarsely broken We used Oreos,
  • ½ cup frozen non-dairy whipped topping, thawed
  • 8mini chocolate chips or mini chocolate candies (orange/brown color recommended) We used M&M's.
In blender, combine TruMoo ® Lowfat Chocolate Milk and chocolate wafer cookies. Blend until smooth. Heat mixture in saucepan or microwave until just heated through.* To serve, pour chocolate milk mixture into 4 glasses. For each serving,spoon a large, upright dollop of whipped topping to resemble a ghost. Insert chocolate chips or chocolate candies into the dollop for eyes.*To enjoy a cold mudslide, do not heat in saucepan or microwave. 

So...what did we think?   

We really enjoyed the chocolate milk.  The boys drank most of it, but daddy also was able to get a glass full.  He thought the chocolate was a little weak.  I personally like the flavor.   I also loved the fact that the milk came from cows that were not treated with the growth hormones and the chocolate flavoring did not contain high fructose corn syrup or any unnatural sweetener.  

Next on our list to try was the vanilla-flavored Trumoo. This was quite festive in the orange color.  Though the flavor was not a hit for me, the kids loved it! 

We decided to try out another one of Trumoo's recipes and made the "Spooky Smoothies". 

We definitely had fun trying out Trumoo Flavored Milk and will purchase more in the future.  We found that our local Walmart carried all of the flavors.  Also, right now Trumoo is also having a new Sweepstakes where you could win a Haunted Hollywood Vacation!  So go out and celebrate Halloween with some orange Trumoo and take your chances!  

Note:  I was given Trumoo to try as a Bzz Agent for free, I was not compensated for any of this post!  Just wanted to share!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

A Little Family Fun

Before this beautiful fall weather hit us, we enjoyed a little sunshine at Rader Family Farms in Normal.  If you have never visited, I highly recommend this place!  They have some many fun activities for the kiddos!  We plan on making a trip back over there before they shut down for the season on November 2nd. 

The boys enjoyed the big tricycle track, while Baby Sis spent some fun time going down the big slide. 

We had to ride the green caterpillar...at least three times!

The kiddos got plenty of air on the big bouncy mat!

Little Bro enjoyed getting tangled up in the web of one of their farm's new additions this year.

There are plenty of animals to feed and look at on Rader Family Farm.

We were so busy having fun that I didn't get a chance to snap a whole lot of pictures.  There is SO much more at the farm, like a Kiddie corn maze, pumpkin patch, little town of playhouses, tractors to climb in, etc.