Friday, June 14, 2013

Meal Planning Series Part 2-How to shop stress free

Tip 1

When shopping with small children, bring a distraction

I like to keep a container of a snack my son likes ( goldfish, organic teddy grahams etc.) to enjoy when he gets hungry and cranky.

I also keep a mini notebook and a pen in my purse just for him. I make him a list to use while I shop. It makes him feel like he is helping and keeps him busy.

Tip 2

Always have a list!

Whether I am shopping for the entire month,just for the week or picking up a few things I ALWAYS have a list. If I didn't, I know there would be at least something I forget.

I like to organize my list by sections of the store (i.e diary, produce, meat etc.) this makes the shopping trip go much quicker and helps me to not forget anything.

I like to carry a copy of the list of meals I will be making... often when grocery shopping I will see something like Red White Vinegar and wonder why I would even have that on there. Having the meal list reminds me what it's for.

Tip 3

Pack an emergency supply kit

This may seem a bit extreme and odd but I assure you it is not! ha ha Not only do I bring a snack for my son I pack a small snack for myself and maybe even a water bottle. Grocery shopping on an empty stomach is NOT.A.GOOD.IDEA! It will lead to buying treats you don't need just because your hungry. (Trust me I have learned from experience)

OR you could pick up a delicious cup o joe at Starbucks if there is one nearby. ;)

Tip 4

Bring your thermal bags

Having these in your car will keep frozen food cold while you go from place to place and keep your purchases from spoiling especially on a hot summer day.

Tip 5

Clean out your car!!

Having a messy car full of stuff leaves no room for groceries. 'nuff said :)

Tip 6

Pick up cooler items last!

Start with the non- freezer, refrigerated section first. I always pick up the cooler items and produce last to make sure it stays fresher longer.

Tip 7

Stick to the list!

I've mentioned this before but it is VERY important to save money that you stick with the detailed list you have written up.

So that's it! Those are my stress free grocery shopping tips! Hope these help!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Meal Planning/Grocery Shopping Series Part 1- intro

I am asked almost weekly from family, friends, friends of friends, people at my church and so on how I meal plan. How I save money at the grocery store and how to use coupons. 
Well, it's not an easy job. It takes detailed planning, research and organization but soon it will become routine. What once took a couple days, for a couple hours a day, I now can plan out my month of meals, clip coupons and organize my list by store in around an hours time. 

Here is how it's done.

I grocery shop once a month. I plan out my meals and shop for an entire months worth in only one trip. 

I make 3 stops, Sam's, Super Walmart and a Bakery outlet. 

It takes me about an hour- hour in a half to shop (depending on what else besides groceries I need to get) in Walmart, 30 minutes in Sam's and about 10 minutes in the Bakery. Having such a detailed list helps me get in and out quickly.

I buy some in bulk.

I make as much homemade as possible.

I set a budget and DO NOT go over it. -If you want to save money you have to discipline yourself to stick to a certain amount. 

I use a calculator. It helps to make sure I am sticking to my budget and it is much easier than adding it all up in your head. (Being good at Math is not a gift I possess) 

Get yourself a binder, to hold your calculator, shopping list, and coupons. (I will go into more detail with this later) My binder sits next to my pocketbook in the front of the cart for easy access. 

Don't forget to look online for coupons! I rarely will spend the extra money to buy a newspaper to clip coupons from and instead with print them off from online. will lead you to where all the great deals are at.

So that's how I do it! Stay tuned for more tips, tricks and a video or two.

Part 2- How to shop stress free
Part 3- Planning out your meals
Part 4- How to use coupons and where to find them
Part 5- Organizing your grocery list
Part 6- Creating a shopping binder
Part 7- Making homemade to save money

See you later for part two!!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

starting the week out right

Make me a servant like you, Dear Lord,
                                                              Living for others each day
Humble and meak,
Helping the weak,
Loving in all that I say.
Give me Lord, a servant's heart
Here's my life, take ev'ry part.
Give me, Lord, a servant's heart.
Help me draw so close to You
That Your love comes shining through
Give me, Lord, a servant's heart,
Give me, Lord, a servant's heart.

As I go into this coming week this song comes to mind. 
As a Mom and a Wife there are times I can get overwhelmed and my servants heart isn't always there. I get tired and at times my focus will shift from serving my family to "when do I get a break?" "why is there always so much to do!?" 

The line "loving in all that I say" I need to ask the Lords help in how I handle situations and how I react to them.

I pray as I go into another week in this wonderful role the Lord has blessed me with that I will have a heart like Jesus, caring and humble. That my priorities will be as they should be and that I will hand my week over to the Lord. Drawing unto Him. 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

how I get through a "mama needs a vacation" kind of day

As Mom's we all have those days... you know, the ones where you just feel burnt out and defeated only an hour into your day kind of days. With only 1 child, a husband and now a puppy I may "have it easier" than those with larger families but this does not make me immune to the "mommy needs a vacation" days.
There are times when child rearing, dog potty training, church activity planning, housekeeping etc. just overwhelm me. I am only a person. I am far from perfect or having it all together.

For those days when I just know it's going to be one of " those days" here are my go-to's to help me press on and do what I am called to do.

1. Pray!
I may not have it all together but I know someone who does and is more perfect then we can fathom. His name is Jesus and he is always willing to help me out. The best way to break from a bad mood or to relieve some stress it to kneel and tell the Lord all about it. Give thanks for all that you have, praise him for the family he has blessed you with and ask Him to give strength and give you joy to better serve your family. I promise you, this works!

2. Break time!
 Sometimes Mom's need a break. My son doesn't take naps anymore but once in awhile I like to have "quiet time." This is where he has to stay in his room for 30 minutes-1 hour.
He can nap if he chooses, look at books or watch a video but has to do it quietly and stay in his room. This gives me a chance to sit, relax, read, or even nap. I know of many Moms who do this every day but for me once or twice a week helps me out.

3. Ask others for help!
This one is very hard for me. I am a do it yourself type of gal. But there are times when I will ask the Hubs if our son could ride with him while he goes out to run errands so I can have some time alone to get projects done around home or just sit and catch up on emails and such. Of course he is always willing to help and tells me all I need to do is just ask more often but gosh that is hard for us Mom's isn't it?

4. Turn on some music and light a candle!
Sometimes turning on some good ol' southern gospel and dancing around the room with my boy is an instant mood booster. I also like to light a lovely smelling candle. Seeing the flame as I walk by is very soothing and cozy.

So there you have it, my tips to go from grouchy to joyful.

Have a blessed day, keep on keeping on!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

A dozen things I am thankful for...

(This post was meant for Tuesday evening. While typing it out, I fell asleep in the couch, it had been a very long day! haha)

Wow what a Monday! Today has been one of those days you need a gallon of coffee, a long cry into your pillow and a big hug all to just get through it.

I pretty much begged my friends on Facebook to pray hard for me. I felt weak, tired, stressed... It has been a long rough day!
Thankfully with help from my praying friends my afternoon/evening got much much better!
I knew I wanted/needed to post tonight but wasn't sure what about... I have a long list of posts I plan to write on but none of those I really felt like thinking out right now.
The idea for the dozen things I am thankful for came from the blog Biblical Homemaking.

So with all that said here is my list.

(in no particular order)

- My husband being home! He normally is out of work by 5 but tonight had to work until 9!! It's just not normal for Logan and I to eat dinner together or just be home at night while it is dark out just us. It was rather lonely :( But not the Hubs is home and I am oh so happy! I miss him so much when he is gone :(

- No doggy accidents since 1 pm!! praise to God!

- For a sweet little boy who kisses my hand randomly like a prince. Who gets the door for me when my hands are full. Who tells me I am pretty and special and his best friend. He is such a sweetheart!

- For coffee on days like today :)

- For snow melting and grass poking through!

- For the few hours before bed my Husband and I have after putting our son to bed. The house is quiet, we can relax, watch our favorite shows or play board games. I just love that time to relax :)

- For our washer being fixed! oh what a blessing! It has been about a month.

- For fleece sheets that feel oh so nice to climb in bed and cozy up in.

- For my crockpot. It makes my job as a Mom a little bit easier. Days that are crazy and hard, knowing that dinner is already taken care of is so nice!

- For our new shower head. It's a rain head and is just so lovely.

- For Gods word. It helps me get through the day. On days that I don't take the time out to sit and study and absorb, those days I am very much reminded why I need it so badly.

- For my prayer journal. I got the idea of a prayer journal (actually journal style) from Courtney at Women Living Well. I put my confessions of things I have done and need to work on in there ( wow isn't that part hard to write!) I have my prayer list, Praise list, verses from my devotions and more! Since starting my prayer journal I have really been able to see how many prayers really do get answered and how much I have to be thankful for.

So these are my Dozen things I am thankful for right now. What are yours?

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Spring Cleaning

OK, so I know it's only February barely but once Christmas is over and your house has gotten cluttered with gifts, the house is dustier or more unorganized than normal because you have been too busy with the holidays to worry about it, I don't know about you but once January gets here I am ready for a clean out. The weather had become unseasonably warm this past week it is now back to freezing ...*sadness* so it has put me in the spring cleaning mood. I like to clean... I know I know I am a weirdo! But I love the feeling of accomplishment, the way everything is neat and in it's place. I feel so much more relaxed.
So for the past week I have gotten 3 closets, our office area and my sons toy box completely re-organized and deep cleaned! ya :) I also am cleaning my parents in laws home for them and have gotten the entire kitchen and half the living room done... yup, I have been pretty busy!... and tired!

Here is my complete Spring Cleaning to-do list for 2013
with some home repairs we need to get done as well.

(side note: my list might seem small but I try to keep up with a lot of the typical deep cleaning through out the year as well as trying my best not to have cluttered drawers)



Repaint walls- a paint that holds up better to moisture
Paint trim
Replace trim around tub
Hook up washer and dryer
Line cabinet shelves


Deep clean tub
Clean behind toilet
Dust window frame
Wash window

Living Room:


Touch up wall paint
Touch up trim
Fix minor holes in walls
Add outlet to office area
Add screen to window


Dust corners near ceiling
Dust tv area and office area
Vacuum under couch and under cushions
Dust all picture frames
Carpet clean floors



Paint new cabinet area
Add counter top to new area
Touch up trim paint
Touch up wall paint


Clean under cabinet area
Deep clean fridge (behind the fridge as well)
Add shelf liners



Replace trim around entry door
Repaint walls
Add large hooks to coat area


Deep Clean all winter coats, boots etc.
Wash windows
Carpet Clean floors

Master Bedroom and My Son's bedroom:

Clean windows
MB- Touch up wall paint
Carpet Clean floors
LR- Repaint, paint trim, add double bed,add bookshelf

I would also like to fix up our back stairway leading to my husbands work shop and a small grassy area outside. I want to use that for our outdoor eating/ grill area.

My husbands work shop needs to be organized and cleaned.

Our car needs deep cleaning.

Our little porch area: plant flowers and a herb garden, spray paint light black.

I am hoping to have this all done by March. :) So when do you start your spring cleaning? Leave a comment below :)

Friday, February 1, 2013

In The Kitchen Episode 3- Superbowl Edition

Hey everyone! Can you believe it?! It's that time of year again! Superbowl time!! In our house the Superbowl is a BIG deal. Whether our team is playing or not... sadly this year they are not :( (no...I don't want to talk about it *boohoo*) We have spent each Superbowl Sunday evening at the Hubs Aunt and Uncles house since we have been married ( almost 5 years now! Happy almost Anniversary to us!) We have a ton ( golly it's ALOT) of food. (hot wings, mac and cheese, different dips etc.) This year I am making cranberry crock pot meatballs and a bacon ranch dip (YUM!) I will get the recipes posted tomorrow for those who want to make them both for this Sunday ( they are SUPER EASY so you still have time folks! :) ) So, any who back to the day of the big game... we watch the actual game ( duh!) and of course the commercials! ( though they seem to get less and less funny each year sadly)
Superbowl Sunday is like a holiday here at our house... we love the fellowship with family, making yummy food and cheering on our favorite team ( or the best out of the two playing that's not our team)

What is your Superbowl Sunday like? What sort of yummy things do you make? Do you look more forward to the game, food, commercials or the fellowship with company over to watch? I would love it if you left a comment :)

Happy Football Watching Everyone!

So without further ramblings.... Episode 3 of "In the kitchen" yay! and the Hubs even joined me in this one :)

(p.s seriously make this cake in this episode... you WILL NOT regret it...oh and....your welcome ;)

Thursday, January 24, 2013

In The Kitchen Episode 2 and Behind the Scenes

To watch the newest episode of "In The Kitchen" please click the link below.
During this episode I make a Bacon and Potato Torte. yum! This dish is one of my families favorites. It is SO flavorful and delicious!

Enjoy :)

In The Kitchen Episode 2

My Helper :)

Monday, January 21, 2013

Valentines Day Idea Inspiration

Can you believe it's almost February??! Craziness Man! 
I do love February though and I have always loved Valentines Day. The colors, the happy decorations, the love... gah! I'm a big fan! It also makes me feel in a more springtime mood. ( I live in Maine and by February I am begging for Spring haha)
I also am slightly obsessed with decorating for Holidays... Well, I don't go all out and we turn into the nutty house on the street but I just love all things planning and being creative. So what's someone like me to do?... why go on Pinterest of course ;)
Here is a little inspiration I found:

I think this bunting is so cute! I could use thick card stock from the craft store ( only around 20-50 cents a piece) some cute ribbon and bam done!

 I want to print this to add to our family photo wall and probably leave up year round.
 My son and I could make an adventure to go outside and find the sticks. Felt is also super cheap.
My little boy LOVES oranges so this one is something I have to do for sure!
 Will defiantly be printing this Pre-K pack :)

 what a creative idea! I would paint them red and white probably though to match better and look less girly but they look just like conversation hearts!
 Cute idea! I usually do like a little mail box but I think I like this better. I also could leave it and use it during the week to leave notes or special treats.
This looks simple enough. And so festive and Valentines Day- ish 
                               Oh.My.Goodness! I have to get my boy to take a photo like this!!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Oven Cooked Bacon

I have before on this blog professed my love for baking eggs instead of boiling them, and today I want to shout from the roof top my love of cooking bacon in the oven instead of frying it. Oh, fried bacon... what a hassle, what a mess! It makes your kitchen smell greasy, makes you feel greasy... blah I would try to get out of it whenever I could.
Now that I cook it up in the oven, I really don't mind it at all. My husband is a bacon junkie so I cook it for him often in a week.
It really is a lot more simple this way.
You just need some heavy duty aluminum foil, a cookie sheet and a baking rack.

First you line the pan with the foil, place the rack on top, add bacon and ta-da your done! Cook until desired crispness is achieved at 350.

The rack helps the grease drip off  and the foil makes for very easy clean up :)
I just roll it up and toss into the trash.

Yay Bacon!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Good For You Water

I know your probably thinking "wait isn't all water good for you? what do you mean "Good for you water?" Well, this water is extra good for you. :) Infused with Cucumber, Lemon and Mint this drink is an- aging fighter, vitamin- C filled, energy giving, skin clearing, wonderfully delicious hydrating drink.
Replacing soda or juice with this Cucumber, Lemon and Mint water will give you over 150 less calories which helps you lose weight quicker, but it also includes vitamin C (which  protect against immune system deficiencies, cardiovascular disease, prenatal health problems, eye disease, and even skin wrinkling), vitamin K (to keep your bones strong), vitamin A (which is key for good vision, a healthy immune system, and cell growth), potassium (which can lower cholesterol and reduce high blood pressure) iron (which mainly includes carrying life-giving oxygen to human blood cells) calcium(encourages bone growth) and more!

It is such a light, refreshing drink. I drank around 4 cups of it yesterday and felt great!
(Plus it reminded me of summer...)

Cucumber, Lemon and Mint Water (aka: Summer in a glass)

1 medium cucumber
1-2 lemons sliced
about 10 mint leaves
2 liters of Water

Mix around in water then let sit for a few hours/ or overnight.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

First Episode Of "In The Kitchen"!!

It's finished and uploaded! yay so excited :) Here is the video, hope you like it!
Please remember to "thumbs up" the video and subscribe to the channel, thanks!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Behind the Scenes of "In the Kitchen"

Yesterday the first episode of my new cooking show was filmed!!
 It came out great (shout out to the Hubs for doing an amazing job putting it all together, filming and directing)
I normally work very quickly in the kitchen (I have a 3 year old) so having to plate nicely each of the ingredients, do one step at a time etc was very difficult but so much fun! I made Chocolate Chip cookies. These things are amazing! Seriously!!
Tomorrow I will post the episode as well as the recipe. You will want to make these trust me :D

My Hubs :)
Those lights are SO BRIGHT!

Like father like son haha

Monday, January 14, 2013

A weekend recap

So this weekend was kind of a busy one. Friday night we had a Youth Group fun fellowship Friday at the Church. There was a pretty good turn out of about 12 teens ( some of our group are away on vacation) We ate pizza, Mountain Dew cake, there was lots of soda as well. We played the game mafia (SO much fun!) Watch the vlog video below if you want to see how is played.

On Saturday we got up early and headed an hour away to do our monthly grocery shopping at Sam's Club, the Bakery then back home to our Super Walmart. I was on a mission to stock up on lots of veggies, fruit and whole grains. I actually got some great deals, and was even under budget! score!

Sunday of course is Church day. The Hubs and I teach the teen Sunday School then there is morning service, fellowship lunch each week, followed by another service at 1:00 pm. Then it was back home to cheer on our favorite team... THE PATRIOTS!!! ( they won!! woo!)

We had a great weekend, I hope you all did as well.

My very first green smoothie... it wasn't the best tasting smoothie ever but I want to work on trying different ingredients to make it taste better.

We went out to eat at Finn's an Irish Pub in town. We had never been there before. It was very small but nicely decorated. The burgers were fantastic.

Sunday morning I was in son just happened to be the only kid in there this week so we turned up the message on the tv, played and took silly photos :)

On our way to church :)

One of my healthy meals... salad and a spinach, tomato and chicken sandwich on a 100 calorie bun.
I am trying to eat less as well as focus more on eating veggies and fruit first then see if I am in the mood for something else.

my new bag came in the mail!! I love it! Much bigger than I thought it would be yay!

I love smoothies!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

A little late ...but a Christmas recap

Christmas is over I know, and I am a little late with this post, but better late then never right? ;)
This past Christmas was a very different one for us. We normally do a big church play but this year did not. We had started one but the church just did not have the funding for it and it just did not seem like the Lord wanted us to continue with it, so we didn't. I missed it but did enjoy the extra time we had to spend as a family.
Another thing that was different this year then Christmas past was that we went to a Christmas tree farm and picked out our very first real tree! It was so much fun! I was so afraid a real tree wouldn't last very long in our apartment because it gets pretty dry but it did fantastic and lasted well past Christmas day. :D
About a two weeks before Christmas we all got the flu badly and was very sick right up until Christmas Eve pretty much. It! It lasted for so long! We weren't really feeling up to doing much but laying down watching Christmas movies. We had things planned out on the calendar to do around Christmas but never got to them. I was sad about it at first but realized that Christmas isn't about the activities, the gifts, how much food you make or how you decorate. It is about being thankful Jesus was born to die for our sins. It's about being thankful for your love ones, and spending time with them is enough to make it a wonderful Christmas.

Here are some photos from December...

Early December we took our Church Youth Group to a Nursing Home in town we visit each December and sing carols and bring cookies. I enjoy going very much and the residents there are so welcoming and lovely.

I made 4 dozen cookies for that night. 2 dozen sugar cookies, in the shape of trees with green frosting and sprinkles. I also made pumpkin cookies with a maple frosting ( SO GOOD!)

This year for the Church's float in our towns Christmas parade we did a live nativity. It was so much fun! Though it was time consuming, I really enjoyed being crafty and working on the costumes.
As you can see I was having a bit too much fun ha ha This is me with the angels wig on.

This next photo was from Christmas Eve... we still weren't feeling the greatest but much better. We had just gotten home from the Christmas Eve service. We watched How the Grinch stole Christmas while our son played on the drums my Mom got for him.

I had a few pinecones left over from a wreath I put together for Thanksgiving as well as some ribbon so I made some pinecone ornaments. They came out adorable!

This one is from the Christmas parade. Bottom photos are a few of the costumes. The sheeps headpieces I made as well as the finalized angel head wear I made.

One of my Christmas gifts from the Hubs. I LOVE COFFEE! Isn't this mug the coolest?!
Before we all got too sick we spent a lot of nights watching movies or playing games by the light of the tree :)

Saw the idea for this on Pinterest. Isn't it cute?! The heat from the candles made the room smell like coffee... mmmm :)

The little boy and me made Muddy Buddy ( yum!) lots of ornaments for his bedroom tree and watched Christmas cartoons.

Getting our first tree!!

So that's it, this was a look at our family Christmas 2012. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! I already can't wait until next year :)