Saturday, June 26, 2010


For the past past week or two, I haven't been blogging much.  I seem to have been in another world.  And honestly, I'm not sure I can tell you where.  I think my brain has been so obsessed with Sprout's 2nd birthday, can't believe she's going to be 2 next week.  My parent's visit (yea!).  Our crazy mixed up life.  Keeping up with Sprout and just trying to keep up with life in general.

I had all of these ideas and objectives about what I wanted to do over the past few weeks, and I feel like I have accomplished very little.  Even with Sprout, I have had ideas as to what I wanted to do with her, and for the most part it just hasn't happened.

The other day, while I was doing laundry, Sprout came into the laundry room (where her supplies are stored) and pulled out the paint and a tray to put it in.  It was almost time for bed, so I told her that we would paint the next day and put the paint on the counter.  Then next morning, she was sitting next to me on the couch, while I was talking on the phone.  I looked at her to find that she had opened the paint, and had a little in the tray (thankfully not all over my couch).  Man, did I feel oblivious!!!  I got her set up at her easel with the paint she picked out.  As she painted, I thought about the fact that this wasn't an activity I picked for a tot tray, or an art project I planned out, but that my daughter was having a great time.  Isn't that what it's all about???

The other thing we've been doing a lot recently is Preschool Time Online.  Sprout really enjoys this as she works on letters, numbers, shapes, computer skills, etc with all of her Disney friends.  I love watching her as gets something.  It amazes me how she picks up on the things.  She pointed at the letters on The B Book  and said "B-O-O-K."  I know she didn't really spell a word, but I loved listening!!
The B Book (Bright and Early Books)

We've also been trying to get outside, but with the crazy hot weather we have here, it hasn't been much.

Though this isn't a typical Tot School week for us, I am going to link up with Tot School, as this is what we have been up to recently.  I will try to do a post of the other activities we've done when I have a chance.

Tot School

Monday, June 14, 2010

Menu Plan Monday - 6/14

I was going to post this yesterday, but last night I realized my original plan needed some rethinking.  I had planned to make Veggie Pot Pie for dinner Sunday night, but after being outside for a very limited about of time, I realized that when it's 90 degrees out, veggie pot pie doesn't sound all that great.

This is a kosher meal plan for me and my family.  This means that there will be some meat for JGD and Sprout, but there will always be a vegetarian (or fish) alternative for me.  We try to eat as naturally and organically as we can.  This is limited some by budget, but we're doing the best we can.

*** means that we have no tried this recipe yet, but I will try to give you a review later in the week or in next week's MPM post.  I know I owe you a couple from last week.  I'll try to get to them for you.

Monday - Drumsticks (if they defrost in time) for JGD, still not sure what I'm eating
Tuesday - Pioneer Woman's Pasta Primavera
Wednesday - Lo Mein (chicken for JGD and Sprout and Tofu for me)
Thursday - Falafel (didn't make it last week)
Friday - Chicken

Recap of last week
Monday - Rachael Ray's Fettuccini Alfredo *** & Caprese Salad. 
Didn't make the caprese salad, and wasn't a fan of this recipe.  Maybe it was the pre-grated cheese I got at the grocery store.

Tuesday - Tilapia (probably picata), broccoli and angel hair (salad?)

This is an old standby that I haven't made in a while.  I will say a bigger pan would have been good, and I need to work on that whole sauce concept.

Wednesday - Skirt Steak ***, portobello mushrooms, tofu?, carrots (salad?)

Turns out JGD wasn't home this night so I didn't make meat.  Sprout and I had veggie fried rice.

Thursday - Falafel ***, pita bread ***, hummus, tahini

The skirt steak had been marinating from the day before so we at that instead.  I used lemon juice instead of lime as that's what we had.  JGD said it was good.  My mom told me I totally changed the recipe.  I'll have to do it the right way next time.  I also did sweet potatoes, onions and green beans on the grill.  Yummy!

Friday - Honey Glazed Chicken Dump ***, Gardein, Green Beans, Challah 

I did make chicken, but forgot I had planned this recipe.  We'll do this one this week.  I made a Rachael Ray recipe instead.  This is a good one to make for us because the sauce is made separate so it's not hard to do real and "fake" meat.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Become a Savvy Shopper in 12 Weeks - Week 1


At the beginning of this week, I joined in the Coupon Teacher's Become a Savvy Shopper in 12 Weeks online class.  She did give us assignments for everyday this week, but seeing as how she listed them all in one post, I thought I would post my "homework" in one post as well.

Monday - Set a budget.

This is definitely a very hard assignment for me.  I know what I spent on groceries last time I shopped, which was 2 weeks ago (since JGD was out of town).  I knew that I wanted to be lower than that.  Though I was really happy when I saved $30-something.

This week I had a number in my mind and was hoping to stay under it, but I went over by $20.  When I looked at receipt to see what I could have done differently, I couldn't really come up with anything.  I felt really defeated, and wasn't sure how I was going to fix it in the future. 

Then I got an email from the woman who heads up the Organic Buying Club I help coordinate for asking me if I wanted to go to weekly coordinating instead of biweekly.  After debating the time this would entail, and if we would be able to eat the food, I went back to this week's receipt and added up my dollar amount for produce which was $20 - $30.  Between taking part in the No Dining Out In June Challenge and trying to make a dent in our grocery budget, I decided to go for it!  Hopefully, that will help.

Tuesday - Choose a coupon organization method.  Be sure to check out Become a Savvy Shopper in 12 Weeks for more information.

Well this I did quite some time ago.  I use the Couponizer.

Wednesday - Set up your organization method.

Thursday - Make a space for the stockpile.  

Well, I guess I still need to do this.  I'm working on clearing the cabinets in the master bath so we can use those for stockpiling toiletries.  Paper goods are going to go down in the laundry room, and food goes in the pantry.

1.  Biggest newspaper circulation in the area.  -  Well we already get the one paper.  It is suggested that I get 1 for every person in the house.  I am having a tough time with this one because I don't want to waste a newspaper by buying or subscribing to a paper we're not going to read.  I feel like it's a waste.  Though it will go in the recycling bag later, I'm still a little iffy on this one.

2.  Frugal blogger that covers my area stores.  There are several.  
The Prudent Patron
Frugal Follies

I Heart Publix

Looks like we survived week 1.

Aloha Friday #3?

Hmmm... it's been another busy week around here, and I have been making many resolutions to try to improve... well everything.  Yes, I know I beat myself up too much, but I'm working on it.

I have so many questions for the blogosphere right now, I am having a tough time choosing one.  In a post earlier this week, I mentioned that my family went from a 1 income family to a no income family (in December).  Well, as of this week, we have a part time income (I think), so maybe it was just time for us to be honest with the cosmos so that we can change direction.

Okay so my question for this week...  Do you budget?  And if so, do you have any tips for someone who is just getting started in the world of formal budgeting (and working with someone who doesn't understand the meaning of the word)?

Monday, June 7, 2010

Menu Plan Monday - 6/7

This is a kosher meal plan for me and my family.  This means that there will be some meat for JGD and Sprout, but there will always be a vegetarian (or fish) alternative for me.  We try to eat as naturally and organically as we can.  This is limited some by budget, but we're doing the best we can.

*** means that we have no tried this recipe yet, but I will try to give you a review later in the week or in next week's MPM post.  I know I owe you a couple from last week.  I'll try to get to them for you.

Monday - Rachael Ray's Fettuccini Alfredo *** & Caprese Salad.

Tuesday - Tilapia (probably picata), broccoli and angel hair (salad?)

Wednesday - Skirt Steak ***, portobello mushrooms, tofu?, carrots (salad?)

Thursday - Falafel ***, pita bread ***, hummus, tahini

Friday - Honey Glazed Chicken Dump ***, Gardein, Green Beans, Challah 

To see what other people are planning for this week go to Menu Plan Monday.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

What's going on with Tot School??? and life in general

You may have noticed over the past few weeks, well maybe the past month we have been slacking on Tot School.  This is definitely my fault.  We went to visit my parents, and I've had a tough time getting back into the "swing of things."  Part of this is I am trying to focus on so many things right now, that I haven't really had a chance to work on the curriculum I was creating for Sprout.

(We are now going to pause for a Blogger identification break.)

I haven't mentioned any of this before, but I'm feeling the need to share, so bear with me.  In December JGD lost his job.  So we've been coping with the fact that our originally 2 income household, which dropped to 1 when Sprout was born is now.... um.... in trouble...  JGD has been working very hard to find a job, and I have been working very hard to figure out how I can help.  I've decided that I will be opening an Etsy shop where I will sell crocheted products.  Here are some of the blankets I have made.

I am currently working on a basket weave pattern for Sprout and I will upload pictures of that when I'm done.  I think my plan for right now is to load pictures of the blankets I have completed and make them to order.  Based on my time right now, I think this is best way.  If you have any suggestion I would love to hear them. 

In addition to that, I am working on creating and sticking to a budget.  This has included couponing and meal planning.  I am currently, really into one man's story of living on $1 a day.  He has shown me that if he can find food and other products to donate while living on $1 a day, then I can get some products to donate to the local shelters and food banks.

I am also trying to decide if I can work from home, and what I can do that will fit into our lifestyle.  It's important to me that anything I take on not interfere with my time with Sprout.

I will say that on the plus side of this JGD has finally been given the push to really pursue the career that he has wanted since graduating college and receiving his Masters.  This will probably mean a move for us, which I wouldn't mind (I think) as it would probably move us closer to my family.  I'd love to be in driving distance to my parents and brother.  I feel very far removed from them down here.  Especially, considering that JGD isn't all that close to his family, who does live here.

Anyway... thanks for listening to my babble...

(Now back to our regularly schedule program.)

I think I've decided to use established "curriculums" and enhance them when I can.  Several months ago I downloaded ABC Home Preschool - Age 2.  So that is what we'll be using, with addition and enhancements from other areas.  It is a 9 month program, but I may extend it seeing as how we are starting in June.  We'll see how Sprout does as we go along.

The first month is working on A, B and C and 0, 1, 2 and 3, transportation, and general good health practices.  I will continue to give a guideline of these activities on the side.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Aloha Friday

I really like the idea of Aloha Friday.  Not only does it give me the chance to check out new and different blogs, but I get to "converse" with other adults.  Thank you to Kailani for creating this great meme.

A couple posts ago, I talk about my great plans for this week.  Well, so far I have accomplished none of them.  I really do want to accomplish something, but at the same time when Sprout takes a nap, it is far more appealing to take a seat and have some "me time."  I really do want to help get my house organized (I accept that I am part of the reason it's not). 

My question to you this week, is what do you to get organized??

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

What are you doing this week?

I ask because all all of a sudden I have big plans for this week.  Though none of them all that fun.  I shipped JGD off to Las Vegas for a conference this week.  And wondered when will I get to go to a conference???  I think that SAHM's should have conferences.  Do they, and I don't know about it???

So for the next week this is my four legged "man of the house".  Don't let the sleepy face fool you, he is actually very protective!

So anyway my plans for this week are to try to get the house in order while JGD is away.
  • Clean the outside refrigerator (This would be from when the breaker got turned off and everything spoiled.  I will admit sadly that we haven't want to approach it, and it had sat untouched for a while.  Which is both an energy and wallet drain.)
    • While I'm already in the garage, I should probably work on straightening the garage as best I can.  This will be a major trick, since I think half of my mother-in-laws 4 bedroom house currently resides in my garage.
  • Clean out the kitchen so Sprout will not be able to dump stuff off the tables and counters anymore.  Wouldn't it be great if the counters were actually clear???
    • I guess that would include trying to straighten out the "tupperware" cabinet.  Ugh.
  • Actually put the childsafe lock on the drawer in the master bath.
    • If I'm already in there, I should probably clean out the cabinets under the sinks so that they are ready for stockpiling.
  • Put away everything in the study that we took out when we were "cleaning" the closet.
    • Which means that I need to clean out the filing cabinet too.
  • Make a pillowcase just for Sprout.  Who knew it would be so hard to find a just a pillowcase for a child?  I have a plan, the question is can I execute it?
  • Clean up the laundry room, and downstair bathroom cabinet.  Again looking for room to stockpile.  The laundry room is also where I store everything for Tot School.  Looks like that needs some looking at.
  • Straighten up the living room.  While it looks like a furniture showroom due to the very different couches that currently reside there.
  • Try to set up a chore schedule that meets our needs. 
    • Including a laundry schedule.
  • Try to create a daily schedule for Sprout and I that includes exercise, Tot School and outside time.
I would love to hear any suggestions anyone has because I am trying to overcome the Messies and get organized.  As I love to say I am the most anal disorganized person I know.  My files are color coded, but no one said there's actually anything in them :-).


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