Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas!

This year I did not send out Christmas cards. Judging from my mailbox, many people didn't. Or maybe I just didn't get too many. :) Anyway, I just wanted to share some photos I took of the kids. I took them to the park earlier in the week to get some pictures for a project. It was a lot of fun and I was really happy with how they turned out.

December 2009

Big Brother

Big Sister

Lil' Sister

From our family to yours, may your CHRISTmas be merry and your new year be filled with HIS love!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Holiday Eating Guide-Just for Giggles

A friend emailed this to me and I had to share!

1. Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Holiday spirit. In fact, if you see carrots, leave immediately. Go next door, where they're serving rum balls.
2. Drink as much eggnog as you can. And quickly. It's rare.. You cannot find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It's not as if you're going to turn into an eggnog-alcoholic or something. It's a treat. Enjoy it. Have one for me. Have two. It's later than you think. It's Christmas!
3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That's the whole point of gravy. Gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano. Repeat.
4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they're made with skim milk or whole milk. If it's skim, pass. Why bother? It's like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission.
5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating. The whole point of going to a Holiday party is to eat other people's food for free. Lots of it. Hello?
6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Year's. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do. This is the time for long naps, which you'll need after circling the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog.
7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, likefrosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa, position yourself near them and don't budge. Have as many as you can before becoming the center of attention. They're like a beautiful pair of shoes. If you leave them behind, you're never going to see them again.
8. Same for pies. Apple, Pumpkin, Pecan. Have a slice of each. Or if you don't like Pumpkin, have two apples and one Pecan. Always have three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert? Labor Day?
9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it's loaded with the mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean, have some standards.
10. One final tip: If you don't feel terrible when you leave the party or get up from the table, you haven't been paying attention.

Re-read tips; start over, but hurry, January is just around the corner.

Remember this motto to live by: "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate and wine in one hand, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO what a ride!" Have a great holiday season!!

Merry Christmas !!!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Menu Plan Monday 12/14

Menu Plan Monday 12/14/2009
I am hoping for an easy week. Last week of work for a couple of weeks! :) I am looking forward to using the most of my two weeks off and stocking up my freezer with OAMC meals and breakfasts. So come back next week and see what I will be making! Here is this week...
Tuesday - Left over pork loin(thanks dad), mashed potatoes
Wednesday - Teryaki meatballs and rice
Thursday - leftovers
Friday - Tostada night
Saturday - Soccer party
Remember to stop by for many wonderful recipe plans!

This morning I made zucchini muffins. Here is the yummy recipe.
Mix together:
3 eggs - beaten
3/4 cup oil
2 cups sugar
2 cups zucchini-grated
2 tsp. vanilla
Mix together in separate bowl:
3 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1/ tsp baking powder
Add dry ingredients to zucchini and mix well.
Bake at 325 for 25-30 minutes in paper lined muffin pan or bake 1 hour for loaf.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

It has been WAY too ling since I have done MPM. I love menu planning. It saves me time, keeps me organized, and makes me feel better. Time has really gotten away from me. I am hoping to keep up with this now. I really need to! Be sure to stop by for hundreds of recipes!

Wednesday - BLT's
Thursday - Girl Scout pot luck
Friday - Tostada night
Saturday - Meatballs/rice

Have a great week!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Fall is here???

Well it has been fall for a least that is what they tell me. It is still 85 inside my house and it looks like we will be in the high 80's this week. One advantage to living in AZ is the weather during this time of year. However, I am ready to wear my sweaters and get a hot mocha from Starbucks, not a cold frappuchino!
With Thanksgiving around the corner, I decided to make a Pumpkin Roll today. No, not an actual pumpkin, but this great recipe!
It was the first time I've made it, but it is a keeper. Everyone really enjoyed it. It may not be healthy, but that's what New Year's Resolutions are for, right?

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween 2009

Here are some pictures of the kids, Halloween 2009!

The Unknown Phantom

The Candy Corn Witch

Dorothy and Toto

Monday, October 12, 2009

Final Count.....3

My husband and I have known for a while that we did not want any more children. Our family feels complete and our youngest will be in kindergarten next year. So, in July I had the Essure procedure done. It is non-surgical permanent birth control. Today we found out the results and I am happy to report that our final kid count is 3! The procedure was easy and I would recommend it to anyone who is not looking to have any more children.
God has blessed us with three healthy, smart, and of course beautiful children. We are so thankful and grateful to have 3 awesome kids! We could not ask for more. So the blog name stays...My Fabulous Family of 5!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Menu Plan Monday August 31!

Menu Plan week of August 31.
I can't believe August is over! I recently had a Pampered Chef party and I am trying a few new recipes so I can use my new stuff! For fabulous recipe ideas head over to ! I hope to post the recipes later this week.

M - Chicken Fajitas
T - Mexican Chicken and Rice
W - Boca Burgers
TH - Greek Chicken with Orzo
F, S, and S - Out of town

Saturday, August 22, 2009

A few great recipes

This last week I made a few new recipes that my family and I really liked.

The first is Beef Baked Ziti. It is super easy and good for you.
1 lb ground beef or turkey
1 t olive oil
1 T minced garlic
28 oz stewed tomatoes
1/2 t pepper
1 t oregano
1 t rosemary
1 t thyme
1/2 t salt
12 oz ziti, cooked and drained
1 c shredded part skim mozzarella

Brown ground beef in olive oil and garlic. Drain.
Add all other ingredients except pasta and cheese.
Cook for 5 minutes.
Combine pasta and meat mixture and then pour into sprayed 9 x 13 pan.
Top with cheese and bake for 30 minutes at 350.
Makes 8 servings.

The second one I'd like to share is Hash Brown Casserole. YUM without all the fat of the original version.
2 lb bag frozen hash browns, southern style
10 oz can cheddar cheese soup
16 oz fat free sour cream
1/2 t salt
1/2 t pepper
7 oz Kraft 2% shredded cheddar cheese

Mix all ingredients except for the shredded cheese.
Pour into sprayed 9 x 13 pan.
Sprinkle with shredded cheese.
Bake 1 hour at 375.
Makes 8 servings.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Menu Plan Monday August 17

Last week I didn't menu plan and we paid the price...ate out too much! I am so happy to have a plan for this week! Head over to for tons of great recipes and ideas!

M - Beef Baked Ziti
T - Hash brown casserole
W - Cobb salad
TH - Turkey chili
F - Taco salad
S - Dinner with friends
S - Turkey and all the fixings!

I'll try to post recipes as we have them.

If you have any easy and healthy recipes for breakfast..send them my way!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Menu Plan Monday August 3

School starts next week so I am now officially back to work. The summer was great but went by entirely too fast. I am so glad I plan menus to help with the "what is for dinner." It will especially be helpful as I head back to work. Hope you enjoy it!
Check out each week for great recipes. The Happy Housewife is hosting MPM this week. Love her website..check it out!

M - Scrambled eggs, toast
T - Whole wheat waffles
W - cereal
Th - Egg McMuffins(homemade)
F - No-oil muffins with blueberries
S - cereal
S - Omelets

M - Cheese stuffed shells
T - Taco Soup (recipe below)
W - Loaded baked potatoes
Th - Out (Meet the teacher for me)
F - Italian herb chicken
S - Chicken spiral salad
S - Italian burgers (recipe below)

Taco Soup
1 lb extra lean ground beef
1/2 c. onion, diced
1 pkg reducedd sopdium taco seasoning
1 pkg ranch dressing mix
2 cans black beans, drained
1 can corn, drained
1 14 ozz can rotel

Brown ground beef and onions in a large pot.
Add remaining ingredients and mix well.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes.
Garnish with reduced fat cheese and light sour cream.

Italian Burgers
1/2 c onion, diced
1/3 c fat free italian dressing
1 1/2 lb extra lean ground eef
6 whole wheat buns

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Divide into 6 burgers and cook.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Thrifty Thursday July 30

Thrifty Thursday

ALERT!! Today is National Cheesecake Day! Head to your nearest Cheesecake Factory and grab a piece of cheesecake for half price! Go here for more information or call your nearest restaurant to make sure they are participating. Someone PLEASE eat a slice for me!

Honey Bunches of Oats has a $2.00 coupon on their website. Go here to print it!

Thrifty Tip:
When produce you use regularly goes on sale, purchase extra and freeze it. A few weeks ago, a new Fry's opened and they have been having some great deals on produce. They had grapes, blueberries, and green and red peppers on sale. I bought enough for the week and then bought extra to freeze. This way we can enjoy them when they are not in season.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Menu Plan Monday July 27

July 27 Menu Plan

For many great menu plan ideas visit!

Sorry for dinner only and no links this week. We were out of town again.

M - Teriyaki chicken with edamame
T - Grilled shrimp with rice
W - Salsa Crock-pot chicken
Th - Veggie pasta salad
F - Boca burgers
S - Round steak/potatoes/corn
S - Out

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Thrifty Thursday

Hey there! Sorry this is many things going on here.

Wal-Mart online is a great place to get free samples. Go here to see what they are giving away right now. If you see a deal, sign up fast because they go quickly. They also change. Yesterday I got a free roll of TP and wipes!

Do you like Hidden Valley Dressings? Go here to download a cookbook from Hidden Valley.

Go here for a Healthy Lunch Box Recipe Guide. All you need is two UPC codes from Ziploc products. Now I just need to go and buy one more Ziploc product. (I only have one right now.) There are also other offers to sign up for!

Thrifty Tip:
Clean out your pantry regularly. It seems simple, but when you have a small pantry like I do, sometimes things get pushed to the back. Then when you go to use them...they have expired. Sadly, I had to throw out three items this week...taco shells, jello singles, and broth.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Menu Plan Monday July 20

I am back after two weeks off. We went on a very nice vacation in San Diego. I am ready to be back on a plan so here is my menu for this week.

T - cereal
W - cereal
F - cereal
S - egg/potato burritos
S - pancakes

Lunches will be leftovers, english muffin pizzas, and sandwiches

M - Caribbean jerk chicken and zucchini
W - Chicken pasta salad
Th - Meatloaf
F - chili (we will be camping for the weekend)
S - hot dogs
S - out

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Baking Day

Today I baked some goodies to store in the freezer for easy breakfasts/snacks for a later time.

First I made whole wheat waffles. I make these regularly and they are great!

Then I made pumpkin chocolate chip muffins. Lastly I made Good-For-You Choc-Oat-Chip Cookies. The recipes are below. The last two aren't that healthy, but I made modifications where I could to eliminate some fat/calories.


Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins (from Money Saving Mom)

4 eggs

2 cups sugar

1 (15oz) can pureed pumpkin

1 1/2 cups oil (I use unsweetened applesauce instead)

3 cups flour ( I use whole wheat flour)

2 tsp baking soda

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp salt

1 12 oz package chocolate chips

In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs, sugar, pumpkin, and oil until smooth. Add dry ingredients and mix well. Fold in chocolate chips. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups 3/4 full and bake 16-20 minutes at 400 degrees. Makes 24-30 muffins.

Good-For-You Choc-Oat Chip Cookies

I got this from Nestle. Click here for the recipe.

Now I am off to do the dishes!

Thrifty Thursday

This week has been extremely busy for me. I am sorry to only have one deal. It is a great one though!
Did you know Friday is Chick-fil-A Cow appreciation day? Check out their website here for more details. You can go into any Chick-fil-A dressed as a cow and receive a free meal. They are also running a few contests to go along with it. Enjoy!

Thrifty Tip: Going on vacation in another city? Go to the city's website and sign up for their newsletter or visitor guide. Some will send you coupons for attractions/restaurants in their city. You can also search for free or cheap activities!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Works for Me Wednesday

This is the first time I am participating in WFMW. I have lingered a long time.
For great tips go to .
This is not just a summer tip - but an anytime tip!
It seems when all of my children reached about 4 they started to have bad dreams. Last night I was reminded of a trick I used with my older two children. "Sweet Dream Spray" Lately my 4 year old has been having bad dreams. I tried other "tricks" to help her have good dreams from prayers to special stuffed animals. Last night I remembered that I use to use a body or room spray as "Sweet Dream Spray" to help my children have sweet dreams. So last night I found some body spray from Bath and Body Works, told my youngest about it, and then we sprayed some in her room. Guess bad dreams last night and her room smelled great! I will do whatever it takes to help my kids sleep soundly.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Thrifty Thursday 7/2

Check your local Chick-Fil-A. The one closest to me is having "Free Breakfast Week!" It ends tomorrow. Thursday you get a free chicken biscuit and Friday you get free chicken minis. Yum!

Old Navy is selling their flag T for just $1.00 on Friday, July 3!! Limit 5 per customer.

Check out and redplum for new coupons. They usually provide new coupons at the beginning of each month.

Thrifty Tip of the Week:
Have bananas that are turning brown? Peel them, slice them, and freeze them to use at a later date. I usually slice mine, lay them on a cookie sheet and freeze them for about an hour. After that I put them in a Ziploc bag and freeze them to use in smoothies or recipes.

Have a fabulous day!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Menu Plan Monday June 29

Menu Plan Monday week of June 29-July 5
First I'd like to thank Laura at for hosting this every week. Check out her website and many wonderful menu plans with recipes!

M - No -oil muffins with oats and chips(will freeze some for later)
W - Cereal
F - Cereal
S - Muffins(from freezer)
S - Omelet bake
Lunches - Leftovers/sandwiches/salads
M - Mini Pepperoni Pizzas (recipe below)
T - Turkey taco wraps (recipe below)
W - Chicken Kiev with steamed veggies
F - Taco salad/tostadas
S - BBQ of course
S - Smothered chicken with asparagus
Fun foods for the 4th
I am hoping to make Patriotic Pops. They are fun for the kids and taste great!
I am also hoping to make a Summer Berry Pie. I will be making it the "healthy" way to lessen to amount of calories and fat.
I have made both of these before and they were a hit!
Mini pepperoni pizzas (from Suzanne Somers' Fast and Easy)
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, at room temp
2 eggs
salt and ground pepper
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup marinara sauce
pinch cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
6 ounces pepperoni
Preheat oven to 350. Butter a 9x13 baking dish. Set aside.
In a bowl, blend cream cheese and eggs. Season with salt and pepper. Add Parmesan cheese and stir until combined. Pour into baking dish and bake for 17 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cream cheese crust cool 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, mix together marinara sauce, cayenne pepper, and oregano. Set aside.
Raise oven to 400 degrees. Using a 4 inch round cookie cutter, cut 6 rounds out of the crust. Discard the extra crust, leaving the 6 pieces in place in the baking dish. Top each crust with marinara sauce, cheese, and pepperoni. Bake for 8 minutes or until cheese is bubbly.
Turkey Taco Wraps (from Suzanne Somers' Fast and Easy)
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup dices red onion
1 pound ground turkey
2 tsp taco seasoning
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup diced tomato
1/3 cup sliced scallions
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
1 head of lettuce
1 cup shredded cheese
sour cream and salsa, for garnish
Place a large skillet over medium high heat. Add oil and onions. Saute for 3-4 minutes, until onions become translucent. Add turkey and saute until brown, about 5 minutes. Add taco seasoning and salt. Cook for 1 minute more. Remove from heat and stir in tomato, scallions, cilantro, and jalapeno.
Lay 2 lettuce leaves on a clean work surface. Spoon 1/4 cup cheese, 2/3 cup ground turkey mixture, salsa, and sour cream onto the lettuce. Roll up lettuce leaves in cone shapes.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Pineapple/Mango Smoothies

I am becoming a fan of smoothies!
Yesterday I made a great smoothie! It is light and refreshing.

1 cup orange juice
1 cup frozen mango (cut into cubes)
1 cup frozen pineapple (cut into cubes)
4 oz water, or more if needed

Place all ingredients into blender and blend to desired consistency.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Thrifty Thursday 6/25

Welcome to another Thrifty Thursday!

First I'd like to wish my friend Amanda a great Happy Birthday!!!

Now, on to the deals!

You can go here to order a free DVD from Fisher Price. It is about princesses. It would make a great stocking stuffer!

Go here to print out coupons from RedPlum!

Get a coupon for a FREE sample of Yoplait Whips here.

Here is one more freebie. Go here to sign up for a FREE sample of Dunkin' Donuts coffee!

Thrifty Tip of the Day:
Your turn! Please share your thrifty tips. I'd love to hear from you!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Menu Plan Monday June 22-28

Here is my Menu Plan for the week of June 22-28.

T - Smoothies
W - Cereal
Th - Breakfast sundaes
F - Whole Wheat pancakes (I will use the waffle recipe to make pancakes)
S - Cereal
S - Omelets

Nothing special - Just sandwiches and leftovers

W - Chicken Lettuce Cups (recipe below)
Th - Round steak, potatoes, corn
F - Tostada night
S - Steak kabobs
S - Free for all

Chicken Lettuce Cups (from Good Housekeeping)
3 tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
2 tsp grated peeled fresh ginger
1 tsp honey
2 tsp Asian sesame oil
1 1/4 lbs chicken tenders, cut in chunks
1 cup frozen shelled edamame
2 medium stalks celery, chopped
12 large boston lettuce leaves
1. In a cup combine soy sauce, ginger, and honey. Set aside.
2. In a non-stick skillet, heat sesame oil on medium 1 minute. Add chicken chunks and cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Add edamame to chicken in skillet; cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in celery; cook 2 minutes longer. Add soy sauce mixture; cook 1 to 2 minutes or until chicken is cooked through, stirring occasionally to coat chicken with sauce. Makes about 3 1/2 cups.
4. Arrange lettuce leaves on 4 plates. Divide chicken mixture among the lettuce leaves, using a generous 1/4 cup per leaf. Fold leaves over chicken mixture and enjoy!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Dads and donuts!

Happy Father's Day to the two awesome dads in my life - my husband and my dad!

This morning I made breakfast for hubby. I made semi-homemade donuts.

Take a can of biscuits and use a small cookie cutter or water bottle lid to make a hole in each biscuit. Then fry the hole and the rest of the biscuit in oil to make them donuts! Fry each side about 2-3 minutes. Then place the donuts on a paper towel. When partly cooled, put on the topping you prefer. I use powdered sugar and a glaze using milk and powdered sugar. Yum!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Thrifty Thursday

Thrifty Thursday is here.

Here are some links for coupons.

Get two free packets of seasonings from Emeril's Original Essence here.

Get a free sample of Huggies Pure and Natural here.

Looking for Lysol coupons? Go here for $11.00 worth of Lysol coupons.

Thrifty Tip

Always wash/dry clothes during off-peak hours. Also, invest in a clothes line. They are convenient and save tons of money that your dryer sucks up!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Here are a few pics for Wordless Wednesday. See you tomorrow for Thrifty Thursday!
That dark spot is Lil' Sister after she came shooting off the slide during swim lessons!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Great deal with fun!

Yesterday we went to the Phoenix Zoo. They are having a special right now - kids are free! You know I love free. So, we were there when they opened at 7 AM. Yes, it was quite early, but we got to see all but two animals. They also have a fun new feature for the kids, a water area for them to play in. That may have been their favorite part. We were there for about 4 and a half hours. We may go again before summer is over. Here are some pics I got while we were there.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Menu Plan Monday 6/15

Good Monday to everyone! Last week I didn't get to a few dinners, so you will see some repeats. We are still eating as much as possible from the pantry and freezer!
Please stop by
for many awesome meal plans and ideas!!

Monday - Whole Wheat Waffles
Tuesday - Breakfast Sundaes (Granola/yogurt/fresh berries)
Wednesday - Cereal
Thursday - Strawberry/kiwi muffins
Friday - Whole Wheat Waffles
Saturday - Eggs/toast
Sunday - Homemade donuts

Monday - Picnic at the zoo
Tuesday - Out (after Dr. appointments and two kids that have to get shots)
Wednesday - English Muffin Pizzas
Thursday - Leftovers
Friday - English Muffin Pizzas
Saturday - Sandwiches
Sunday - Egg/Potato/Sausage burritos

Monday - Black Bean Burgers
Tuesday - Easy Feta Chicken Bake
Wednesday - Baked chimichangas
Thursday - Lentil tacos
Friday - Tostada night
Saturday - Spaghetti
Sunday - Out

I will also be making homemade twix bars for Father's Day. My hubby loves Twix candy bars!

Have a super week!

Friday, June 12, 2009

What's with the Swidget???

So you may have noticed that there is a Swidget at the top of my page. I am inviting you to join Swagbucks! It is a great way to earn prizes. All you have to do is sign up. Then anytime you want to search for something online, search through swagbucks and you can earn swagbucks to be redeemed for prizes. You can also shop through the swagbucks website and earn swagbucks for that as well. Check it out! Please go through this link so I can earn swagbucks! Thanks!

Family Friday!

Here are some updates of what happened around here this week.

Big brother - Still kickin' away with soccer.
Big sis - Had her first volleyball game this last week. She is getting better each game and we are excited to see her growth.
Lil'sis - Swim lessons are done. Her instructor made the comment that she had "great enthusiasm". Is that a nice way to say she is hyper? :)
Exciting news - The school I teach at will offer a pre-k class for 4 year olds. So that means Lil' sis can now come to school with the rest of us. Yeah! She is super excited! So are Big brother and sister - now they can sleep 20 minutes more each morning!

Have a blessed weekend!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Thrifty Thursday

Check out the Cherrios website here to sign up for $4.00 in coupons!

Who likes chocolate? How about FREE chocolate? Go here to register to receive a coupon for FREE chocolate.

Want to earn while you search, shop, or play? Join swagbucks! I just started last week and I am earning swagbucks each day. Go here and sign up today!

Thrifty Tip of the Day!

Have leftover bread? Why not make bread crumbs? Instead of throwing away bread heels or leftover bread, use them to make bread crumbs. Store in an airtight container or for use later, store them in the freezer.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Isn't she pretty?

Isn't she pretty? I have been wanting this mixer for about 6 months now. Friday I took advantage of a great sale Kohl's was having. I had planned on getting a black one to match my kitchen. However, when I got to Kohl's the pink was $50.00 LESS than the black one! Plus, I got another 10% off the 20% I was going to save. I saved $160.00!! Also, when you buy the pink one, KitchenAid donates $50.00 towards the Komen Foundation! I am super excited. I plan on making bread with it today. No more hand kneading for me!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Menu Plan Monday June 8

For fabulous menus and recipes be sure to visit for hundreds of ideas!

Last week was a success with my first Menu Plan! We ate very well and had a lot of leftovers. This week I planned more leftovers. We are also eating as much as possible from the freezer, food I got from the co-op and pantry.

Monday - Smoothies and cantaloupe
Tuesday - Banana bread (from freezer) and watermelon
Wednesday - Cereal and kiwi
Thursday - Granola/yogurt/peaches
Friday - Strawberry/kiwi muffins (we loved this new recipe/from freezer) and oranges
Saturday - Whole Wheat Waffles (from freezer)
Sunday -Pancakes

Monday - Mac/cheese and cherries
Tuesday - Grilled cheese and grapes
Wednesday - Leftovers and cherries
Thursday - Leftovers and oranges
Friday - Grilled cheese and oranges
Saturday - FFA(free for all)
Sunday - Out

Monday - Healthified Mexican Pasta Skillet and cauliflower
Tuesday - Hearty Fiesta Bean Soup (see below for recipe) and salad
Wednesday - Black bean burgers/asparagus
Thursday - Pasta salad
Friday - Tostada night
Saturday - Spaghetti
Sunday - Grilled tilapia/asparagus

Hearty Fiesta Bean Soup
1 - 15 oz can chicken or vegetable broth
1 - 16 oz can fat-free refried beans
1 - 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 - 15.25 oz can corn, drained and rinsed
1 - 10 oz can tomatoes and chilies
Put the broth and refried beans into a soup pot and heat, while whisking together, until the beans have incorporated fully into the broth.
Add the rest of the ingredients and heat, while stirring until the soup is boiling.
Serve with a variety of toppings: fresh cilantro, shredded cheese, light sour cream, or tabasco.

Serves 6
Calories 215, fat 1.7, fiber 11 g, protein 12 g
WW Points Plus - 23 points for entire recipe. If you divide into 6 servings, it would be a little less than 4 points.

Bountiful Baskets

Yesterday I participated in a food co-op for produce. I went through Bountiful Baskets Food Co-op. I used to participate regularly. It is worth every penny and I decided to participate again. For $15.00 this is what I got:

1 head lettuce

1 bag of cherries

1 bunch of asparagus

1 english cucumber

9 bananas

1 head of cauliflower

1 watermelon

1 cantaloupe

2 red peppers

11 fuji apples

10 peaches

9 roma tomatoes

I am thinking it would have cost around $30.00 in the stores. Here is some more information about the co-op. If you live where they offer something like this, I highly recommend it!

About Bountiful Baskets Co-op
Bountiful Baskets is not a business. It is a group of people who work together for mutual benefit. We are up front and open about how things work. Our policies are as follows:
Bountiful Baskets Food Co-op serves the Phoenix Metro Area, and we are branching out to Tucson, Yuma, Flagstaff, Northern Arizona, and Utah. We run at least every two weeks at each site. We are completely volunteer-run and make no profit. We have the following distribution sites and look forward to adding other distribution sites as volunteers are trained and ready to open them! Please see our home page for a complete listing of current sites.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Family week in review

The first full week of summer vacation with all three kiddos has been very busy!
Big brother - Started soccer training his week. It is four nights a week. I am so proud of his dedication and hard work!
Big sister - Has her first volleyball game on Saturday. She is nervous but is going to do great! She has even been practicing on her own at home.
Lil' sister - Started swim lessons this week. My favorite quote she said this week was, "Oh my gosh, that was a challenge!" That was after she swam across the pool! She also had her first dentist appointment and I am happy to cavities!!!

The crazy chaos continues next week...more soccer, volleyball, and swimming.
Enjoy the weekend! See you Monday with Menu Plan Monday!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Thrifty Thursday!

Welcome to my first Thrifty Thursday post. I hope each Thursday I can share some links for coupons, freebies, or thrifty ideas. Hope they can help you!

Get a free cup from Juicy Juice here. This offer is for first time registration with their website.

Go here, for to print coupons for your next shopping trip.

If you are like me, the precious photos you take are on your computer, not printed. Here is an offer from CVS to get 50 free prints! Then, just find some frames and you are good to go!

Thrifty tip of the day: Dryer sheets can last more than one cycle in the dryer. I always use mine twice!

Hope you enjoyed this post and I hope it was useful to you somehow!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Free Root Beer Floats!!

Anyone who knows me knows I like anything free. Today from 8pm - midnight Sonic is giving 10 oz root beer floats for FREE! This is only good today, June 3. Enjoy!!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Whole Wheat Waffles

I made these great waffles last night. I like to make a batch and them freeze most of them so the kids can eat healthy waffles whenever they want. I modified this recipe from The Happy Housewife's recipe .
Here is mine.

Whole Wheat Waffles
3 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
4 tbsp ground flaxseed
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce(instead of oil)
1/4 cup honey
4 eggs
3 cups buttermilk(I use powdered form and add water)

Combine all dry ingredients, then blend in all the liquid ingredients. Bake as you would in a waffle iron. Enjoy!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Menu Plan Monday!

I am super excited to be posting my first Menu Plan Monday post!
For fabulous menus and recipes be sure to visit for hundreds of ideas!

Monday - Smoothies
Tuesday - Whole wheat waffles(with flaxseed)
Wednesday - Cereal
Thursday - Strawberry/kiwi muffins
Friday - Eggs/toast
Saturday - Cinnamon vanilla french toast nuggets (recipe below)
Sunday - Oven baked omelet

Monday - English muffin pizzas (I made whole wheat english muffins last week)
Tuesday - Grilled ham and cheese
Wednesday - Quesadillas
Thursday - Cheese/veggies/crackers
Friday - Bean burritos
Saturday - FFA(Free for all)
Sunday - Out for lunch

Monday - Shrimp and cauliflower
Tuesday - Chicken Stir Fry(from freezer)/brown rice
Wednesday - Egg/potato/sausage burritos
Thursday - Meatloaf(from freezer)/baked potatoes/green beans
Friday - Tostada night
Saturday - Baked Chimis
Sunday - Salsa chicken

** The english muffin pizzas, grilled cheese, and quesadillas will have have hidden veggies in them. See "more veggies please" post for details.

Cinnamon-vanilla french toast nuggets (From Hungry Girl 200 under 200)
2 hot dog buns
1/3 cup fat free liquid egg substitute
1 t. sugar free french vanilla powdered creamer
2 dashes cinnamon
Optional topping-sugar free pancake syrup

Split each bun in half and cut into four pieces(so you have 16)
In a small bowl, dissolve powdered creamer in 1 tablespoon warm water. Add egg substitute and 1 dash cinnamon, stirring until mixed well.
Bring a large pan sprayed with nonstick spray to medium-high heat. Dip or soak bread pieces in egg mixture, covering them completely. Place egg dipped bread pieces in the pan and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, flipping occasionally to cook all sides.
Remove from heat and place on a plate. Sprinkle with another dash of cinnamon or sugar free syrup.

Makes 2 servings.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

More Veggies Please!

My children are really good about eating their vegetables. But what mother wouldn't want their child to get even more into their diet? Almost two years ago I bought Jessica Seinfeld's book, Deceptively Delicious, in a quest to get my youngest to eat her veggies. It worked then, but finding time to puree is difficult during the school year. So, I decided to puree some veggies today. Today I spent about 2 hours steaming and pureeing carrots, butternut squash, spinach, and sweet potatoes. Over the next few weeks my children will be getting more veggies hidden in some of their favorite meals(english muffin pizzas, grilled cheese, mac n cheese). My two oldest will know about the deception, but not my four year old. (Although she may figure it out.) Wish me luck!

Whole Wheat English Muffins

Yesterday I made whole wheat english muffins. The kids loved them! You can find the recipe here. I froze half of them to be used for a recipe next week. Come back Monday for Menu Plan Monday to check out the details!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Welcome family and friends

Here are my awesome kids! We are at our favorite place, Disneyland!

I am hoping this blog can be a place where I share what is new with our family, along with cooking ideas and of course, saving money! Hope you enjoy my blogging adventure!

Monday, May 25, 2009

I finally took the plunge

Well here is my first blog. I am excited to be able to share with family and friends what is going on with us. I look forward to having fun with this!