Sunday, February 28, 2010


I just found a fun blog called Saving Those Dollars. She is trying to feed a family of four on $25 a week!

I so miss coupons and comparing ads to coupons. That has been one of the hardest things about being over here. I used to be a coupon Queen! OK not Queen but I definatley had my fair share of good deals!

Anyway, she is having a give away for Lysol no touch hand soap! It looks so neat! So if you are interested in checking out here giveaway you can go here

Good luck!


What an expensive month February was! With Valentines Day, 3 birthdays and having to purchase a new mattress & box spring...Yikes!

I am trying to get our budget back under control and so will be planning my menu from my pantry! Which is honestly overflowing at this moment!

Monday March 1st:
B: cold cereal & muffins
L:kabobs, oranges, pasta salad, cookies, juice
D: sliced carrots in maple, ham, beans, rolls
AS: (after school snack)jello

L: pb &j, yogurt covered raisins, granola bar, fruit snacks, oranges, juice
D: chicken & stuffing casserole, green salad, rolls
AS: popcorn

B: scrambeled eggs
L:ham wraps with lettuce &shredded carrot, applesauce, boiled eggs, cookies and juice
D: spaghetti / hamburger, corn, bisquits
AS: pudding

B: cereal & muffins
L: leftovers, fruit snack, treat
D:pancakes, sausage, hashbrowns
AS: nilla wafers & milk

B: pancakes
L:homemade lunchables, dried fruit, applesauce, treat
D:sloppy joes, mac and cheese, brocoli
snack for family movie night: popcorn and choc. chip cookies from Subway (courtesy of a free coupon)

B: eggs & ham, toast, fruit
L:kid choice
snack: muffins
Dinner: (kids with babysitter) pizza, carrot sticks

B: leftover breakfast items
L: kid pick after church
D:turkey burgers, french fries, caramel apple salad, beans

B: cereal & muffins
L: left over hamburgers, salad, treat, crackers
AS:applesauce and graham crackers
Dinner: enchiladas, rice, corn

Thanks for looking at my menu for the week!

Saturday, February 27, 2010


(He was very proud of his work!Although he wondered why he was getting his picture taken!)

(Don't those look yummy?! They were!)

(vegi trays)

(Putting kabobs together)

A long time ago, we decided to only have friend birthday parties every other year. When it is their family party, we keep it nice and simple. We had two big bashes this month. It left me EXHAUSTED! I think that is why we only do them every other year!

My son Connor turned 8 and decided to celebrate with a luau! I had the idea to do Hawaiian pizza's but he wanted to grill. His favorite? "Chicken on a stick". So kabobs it was!

This was the menu for the party:
hot dogs (since kids can be so picky about food (:)
orange slices
vegi trays
apples and toffee dip
bacon &ranch pasta salad
potato salad
deviled eggs
ice cream

It was all very yummy and now we get to enjoy the leftovers!

For kabobs we had steak and chicken, with purple onions and peppers. We also had some that were just meat.

Toffee dip (sooo yummy!)
1 8 oz. brick of cream cheese,softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 pkg of Heath/Skor chips

Mix well and enjoy!

Bacon & Ranch pasta Salad ( I used to just buy the Betty Crocker/Kraft kind but now I just make my own!)

1 box of large shell pasta
1 packet ranch dip mix
mayo to taste
bacon bits ( I use about 3/4 pkg) Of course you can also cook your own bacon and then cut it up
shredded carrots
frozen peas

Eat right away or serve cold.

What are your favorite recipes to serve at parties? Do you like to keep it easy or go all out?

Friday, February 26, 2010


WINNER WINNER CHICKEN DINNER! This morning my beautiful assistant, helped me with our very high tech drawing! (:

She had pulled 2 names out when I realized that I had missed a name! So we re-did the drawing and...the same person won! I guess she was just meant to win!

First place for the cookbook Pioneer Woman Cooks is Angie at The American Homemaker!

Second place for the Southern Living Comfort Food cookbook is Tracy Pine!

Congrats ladies! Angie I will need your snail mail address so I can get this out to you. It is Saturday on Guam so it won't get sent out until Monday!

Tracy I will send yours with Ben on Thursday!

Soon I will be posting pics. from my son's luaua, and on Monday am starting a pantry/$50 a week grocery challenge with more GIVEAWAYS! So come back again and again!

I am really trying to get this blog up and running so I appreciate all of you stopping by!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Cooking Thursday-comfort food

This will be my first time participating!! Fun Fun.

So the past few days have been rough on me and my family. So yesterday I decided that we were in need of some comfort food. Nothing says comfort to me like peanut butter and chocolate! Whoever came up with that combo...well I love 'em.

I made one of my favorite cookies, cake mix cookies! They are so easy! My favorite part is how moist they are though. I love a good soft cookie!

You can make any combo that you want.(: We also like yellow cake mix with choc. chips, choc. cake mix with mint choc. chips in them! There is a lot of variety. The recipe I follow is this

1 box of cake mix
2 eggs
1/3 c. veg. oil
a few tsps of water as needed
whatever chips or other add ins that you want!

Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes. My oven cooks very slowly and so I usually have to do at least 15.

I baked these and then my daughter came in with the question, "what's for dinner?"
Oops...cookies before dinner. LOL

So I looked at what I had out and decided on a quick and easy chicken, rice and brocoli casserole.

2 cups cooked rice ( I just used minute)
chicken, chopped I just eyeballed it ( I had bought a clearanced rotisserie chicken that I cut up)
frozen brocoli (defrosted)
1 1/4 cup milk
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes. Yum!

I forgot to take a picture of it in the casserole dish but this is what my kids' plates looked like. Casserole, corn and toast. For dessert, cookies & milk! Pure comfort food!

I am also having a giveaway for the cookbook, Pioneer Woman Cooks. It is over tomorrow so if you want to enter go here

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Posting this link to Works for me Wednesday over at WE ARE THAT FAMILY

I have two older sisters. And growing up, of course, I wanted to be just like them. They both organized their lives using a planner. When I would get bored in church, I would always look through their planners! (:

So I was raised with a planner in hand. I have never, ever found one that really truly works for me. Why? The squares just aren't big enough!! I write big. I make lists. I make notes. I plan menus. That little square just never has enough room.

My sweet husband bought me an ITouch to use as a PDA. But I am not very techy. So I use it for music, checking my email & facebook and playing Tetris. It doesn't work for me as a PDA because I forget it...ALOT. Usually at home plugged into my laptop.LOL

I finally discovered what works for me. I realize that this won't work for everyone, but it does for me.

I now carry a planner and a notebook. Yep. I have doubled up. I do carry a diaper bag so I don't have to worry about my purse being big enough.

I knew I needed a calender to keep track of appts. etc. But rarely, do I just need to know what day I have something. For example, today on my calender it says "E's field trip". What it doesn't say is, I volunteered to bring in a snack for his class and that the trip is $5.

So the calender portion stays next to my desk or goes to church and school with me. That way I can write down dates.

My notebook goes EVERYWHERE. To my bedroom, to the kitchen, to the living room. Next to the computer, in the car...

In here I write...a to do list for the day, (written out the night before...after checking my planner)what events, if any, and what they require. Example, "piano lessons at 3:30. Make sure to bring check to pay for this month. Also make sure all piano books and folder are brought in."

It has really worked for me. My notebook has 5 sections so I also use it to write lists, make menus etc. It keeps me organized and on track!

Also, there are still a couple days to enter my giveaway!If you are interested in winning a copy of The Pioneer Woman Cooks you can go here

If you are interested in checking out more tips, head over to We Are That Family!

Monday, February 22, 2010

cupcake or ice cream cone?

(practicing my decorating skills)

(baked in the cones)

(without the sprinkles)

(sprinkles and frosting)

(all done and ready to go to school!)

My darling son turned 8 last Saturday!! With his birthday falling during the school year, you know he wanted to bring a treat in!

One morning while dropping my 5 yr. old off at school, I saw a friend carrying these fun cupcakes in. She told me they were totally easy and guess what? They were!! They were fast, easy and he LOVED them. He had a huge smile plastered on his face as he walked into his classroom!

All you do is make cupcakes according to pkg directions. I chose strawberry. Then fill up the cone until it starts to get to the fat part. Bake according to box directions. You just stand your cones up in a muffin tin. Once they have cooled, you frost them. I added sprinkles to make them look even more like an ice cream cone.

A couple of tips
1) If you need to transport these, once you take them out of the muffin tin, place them inside a 5 or 3 oz dixie cup. That way they are easier to carry and are more stable.

You can also cut the bottom off of the cup, and place it inside.

2) Use a dab of frosting to "glue" the cups to whatever pan/tray you are using.

3) I am very interested in learning how to decorate cakes...but I am not there yet!! I bought a "Wilton Dessert Decorator" from our local BX. It basically looks like a really big syringe. I put frosting in, changed it to the tip I wanted (which was included in the box) and easy as pie, they were done!

Happy Homemaker Monday

I have missed doing this!If you are looking for the giveaway just scroll down to the next post! (:

Weather in my neck of the woods: summer all the time!

One of my simple pleasures: watching the sun come up

On my bedside table: Legos, clock, lamp, books, to do list

On my tv: nothing! It is blissfully quiet!

On my menu for tonight: pork tenderloin, couscous, rolls, steamed brocoli

On my to do list: too many things to list! LOL

New Recipe I tried last week: Pioneer Womans potato skins (yummo!)

In the craft basket: I finished making my son's birthday invites for his luau

Looking forward to: my son's party on Saturday

Homemaking tip: clean as you go! Don't save it all for one day!

Favorite blog post of the week: I read so, so many that I forget where I find them

Favorite photo of the week : posted at the top

Lesson learned this week: Last Saturday, I was gone from early morning until 1 pm. I had 3 out of 5 of my kids with me. After a tiring morning I was hoping to come home to a nice clean house. I didn't. I couldn't come home and relax.I had to get things done. It made me think about all the times that my husband has come home from a hard day at work, and the house is a mess. I am sure he has a hard time relaxing too. It really opened my eyes that I need to be more aware of what he is coming home too. I need to make our home a peaceful place to come home too.

On my prayer list: family and friends and troops overseas

scriptures or devotionals: I have been reading a lot lately. I will try to share one next week!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Menu and a GIVEAWAY!

Another menu plan Monday! At this present time, my freezers/pantry and fridge are overflowing. I love having lots of options but totally need to do some planning...So here goes:

B-fast: pancakes, ham slice, juice
Lunch (in my kid's lunch bag): mini corn dogs, dried apples, crackers, applesauce, juice
Dinner: cresant dogs (kid request), baked beans, french fries, cucumber slices

B-fast: applesauce, muffins, boiled eggs
Lunch bag: leftover cresant dogs, cherry tomatoes, string cheese, orange slices,juice, Girl Scout cookies
After school snack: poppy seed muffin bread
Dinner: pork tenderloin, couscous, steamed brocoli

B-fast: cold cereal, leftover muffins
Lunch bags: pb&j, fruit snack, string cheese, apple sauce, leftover eggs
After school snack: chocolate chip cookies and milk
Dinner: mini meatloaves, pasta salad, rolls and a vegi

B-fast: egg, ham, cheese, biscuit sandwiches, apple slices
Lunch bags: leftover meatloaves and pasta salad, dried fruit, peaches, leftover cookies
After school snack: graham crackers, string cheese
Dinner: spaghetti w/ sausage, garlic bread, salad

B-fast: cereal & smoothies
lunch bags: leftover spaghetti, carrot sticks w/ dip, fruit snack, string cheese, juice
After school snack: yogurt and toast
Dinner: pizza

Saturday:(busy, busy day with a birthday party)
B-fast: muffins & cereal
L- leftovers
D- having a luau for my son's birthday. Menu is chicken/beef kabobs, pancit, vegi trays, fruit trays, chips & dip, ice cream, cake...

B-fast: scrambeled eggs w/ sausage, biscuits
lunch: make your own
dinner: friends home

Thanks for looking at my menu! If this is your first time visiting, I am having a Giveaway for the cook book Pioneer Woman Cooks. You can enter here

I will be closing the giveaway this Friday, so enter now!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Bento Love

(Harmony's lunch on Friday. Tuna salad w/ crackers, cherry tomatoes, Hello Panda snacks, string cheese, juice and in the closed container is a dried fruit trail mix)

(the bento boxes)

My interest in healthy kids lunches has been festering for awhile. Having 5 kids (although only 4 that eat "real" food) I know that I will be making lunches for a long time. So I might as well make it fun right?

Well, a little over a year ago, I googled the phrase "ideas for healthy kids lunches" and I came to a site about Bento lunches. You can visit the site here

Bento is in laymans terms a Japanese brown bag lunch. Everything the Japanese do is beautiful right? So you can imagine what they do with their lunches!

I oohed and aahhed at people's creativity but knew I so wouldn't be doing that. I showed some of the most fun ones to Harmony and she loved them too!

Harmony finally convinced me to buy her one! I bought mine off of Amazon. Anyway I started making hers and the boys got jealous! So eventually *gulp* I bought one for them too. I am going to say it right now...not a cheap purchase. They better last forever! (:

We have had so much fun putting their lunches together. They are a fun way to use up little leftovers.

Now here is a disclaimer (lol) I use the term Bento very loosely when I talk about what I make. People have way more time and creativity then I do. I just like to look and get fun ideas!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Works For Me Wednesday-ketchup packets

(my boys goofin' around at the food court one busy day in December)

Ooh I haven't participated forever! Glad to be doing this again. I am linking Works For Me Wed. over at We are THAT Family

When I was in highschool, I spent a lot of time at my best friends house. I still remember that every time they ate out, her Mom would keep anything leftover in the bag that wasn't used...packets for condiments, napkins, straws, silverware...whatever. She kept a container in her fridge with all those little packets in.

Now as a Mom making lunches every day, I keep all mine too! From ranch dressing to bbq sauce, ketchup etc. It is a great way to give your kids ketchup or whatever in their lunch bag. My son's friend always gives him the mustard packet out of his lunchable just so he can give it to me. How precious is that?!

My friend also gave me a fun tip. Whenever she has extra packets, she puts them in the freezer. When one of her kids has a small boo boo, but insists they need ice, she lets them put one of those on it. It is a good size for little hands and perfect when it is just a little ouch!

So keep those packets!

**I have read in frugal books/magazines suggesting that you go and take these from restaurants. I am not suggesting that. I am just saying if you have any left over AFTER purchasing a meal!**

***I am also having a GIVEAWAY for the Pioneer Woman Cooks. You can sign up here

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

quick & easy

Have your ever had one of those days when by 10am you knew what you would be having for dinner? Down to the side dishes and possibly even a dessert? Where you felt like wife/Mom/homemaker of the year?

Well last night, was NOT one of those nights!! After a very long stressful day of trying to find a Developmental Pediatrician for my 5 year old, getting an occupational therapist for the baby, trying to get a perscription renewed by a doctor who is currently deployed, the baby didn't get a nap, my husband came home late and I had to remind him that the boys had Cub Scouts....Made for a long day!

Instead of heading to get a McDinner, I made one of my absolute favorite easy recipes. I originally found this in a Kennedy family cookbook. I have seen others make it though. It is good, cheap, and my 3 out of 4 of my older kids like it! Although, this is not quite *Connor approved* (my pickiest!)

I used to measure everything, now I don't!

Chili Pie Casserole
grease whatever size dish you would like to use!
layer fritos on the bottom (my husband likes to use chili fritos but they don't have them on Guam)
pour 2 cans of your favorite chili on top.
Add onions. Chop your own or get a bag from the freezer!
top with handfuls of your favorite cheese
add another layer of fritos
another layer of chili
I don't add more onions because then my kids wouldn't eat it as much!
top with as much cheese as you want
Bake at 350 until warm and gooey...about 30 minutes

Obviously this can be adjusted bigger or smaller depending on how many people you are feeding!

I like to top mine with sour cream and green onions but the kids don't!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

picky, picky, picky

How sweet is this boy? Pretty darn cute right? With those gorgeous blue eyes, eyelashes a mile long and the sweetest smile he just melts my heart. But when it comes to lunch...I have to really try not to strangle him!! This morning as we were making lunches he gave me the "run down" of all the things he doesn't like in his lunch...

pb&j (seriously what kid doesn't like pb&j? Oh that would be mine)
cheese (string, cubes, sliced etc)
oranges (except mandarin)
wheat bread
cream cheese
honey mustard pretzels
dried fruit
yogurt covered raisins

I think that is it...note that most of it is pretty healthy. So what do I feed him? Here are some ideas that are *Connor approved* (:

chicken nuggets
pizza pockets (warm in microwave and wrap in foil to hold the heat)
mini meatloaves
bagels (ok he is weird he likes mayo instead of cream cheese) w/ lunch meat
pb & honey
turkey & ritz crackers
mini corn dogs
bite size pepperoni's
left overs of foods he liked at dinner
turkey sandwiches on a hoagie roll
tuna w/ club crackers

apples w/ fat free caramel
slim jims
yogurt tubes
apple sauce ( I buy the container and than put it in a small sized gladware)
cheddar pretzels
mandarin oranges(also in a gladware)
trail mix
Gardetto snacks/Chex mix
fruit snacks
Kashi strawberry cereal bars
Quaker low sugar granola bars
He also of course loves any junk food offered!

Those are just a few ideas. I don't buy individual packages for him. I buy in bulk and then divide it out.

I will probably discuss Connor more because he is picky at every.single.meal!

Monday, February 15, 2010


As I was linking up my menu, I saw a giveaway being advertised by another blogger. I looked through her site and it's such a fun blog!

The site is called Happy Little Home and she is giving away some stinkin' cute reusable produce bags! They are adorable. If you want to enter her giveaway head here

The deadline to enter is this Friday Feb. 19th (my husbands birthday!!) at 5pm Eastern time!

Menu and a GIVEAWAY!

**I am having an issue loading pictures on to my computer. If they are just in my picture folder they don't want to come up. But I am linking to Menu Plan Monday at

I couldn't leave my post picture-less though!(: So this is the pizza that my little 5 year old made me at school one day!

Food. I plan it, make it, eat it, pack it, cook it, bake it, and clean it up. I swear my life revolves around food! Anyway, here is my meal plan for the week. It is an unusual week for us as we are eating out 2x's for birthdays. But here we go...

Monday: macaroni w/ chili & tomatoes, corn, rolls, PW's potato skins

Tuesday: comfort meatballs (Pioneer Woman recipe), mashed potatoes and gravy with salad and rolls

Wednesday: teriyaki chicken in stir fry, brown rice

Thursday: eating out

Friday: My hubby's birthday! The menu is t-bone steaks on the grill (Mom and Dad only lol)the kids get turkey burgers, roasted corn salad (PW recipe), crashed hot potatoes, salad, and red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting (of course!)

Saturday: my son's birthday! He requested...TACO BELL. He's 8 what can I say?

Sunday: chili pie casserole, green beans, corn bread

Other recipes I am trying this week: PW's pico de gallo!! (:

If you noticed, lol, I am making a lot of the Pioneer Woman's recipes this week. I found her blog through friends and have been a HUGE fan ever since. I was excited for her cookbook to come out but was worried it wouldn't be on Guam.

However, on Saturday, while walking around our Navy exchange store, I saw it! The last copy on the shelf. I picked it up without hesitation and it went straight into my cart. I was so excited I started looking at it on the drive home.

The book is complete and total eye candy. The food, photos, stories...oh I just love it! My husband opened it and looking through the recipes said, "oh this is so not good for our diets!" (:

I ended up with an extra copy, so I am giving one away! If you want to enter to win the greatest cookbook of all time, all you have to do is...leave a comment telling me what your favorite go to cookbook is. If you want a second entry, you can become one of my followers! Pretty easy right?

I also have one other book to give...a copy of Southern Living Comfort Food!

Can't wait to see your favorite books!

Sunday, February 14, 2010


(my friend made this cake! I am upset that I didn't get better pictures of it! She said she got the idea from Family Fun magazine.)

(knowing these were coming down soon, I didn't want to print them off on vinyl. so I just used regular construction paper)

(a bad lighting picture of the invite)

(the front door)

(the bigger flags were not as tedious!)

(balloons hanging from the ceiling fan)

(the cupcakes that went to class. The swords are a little hard to see but that is what the flag is attatched too)

(pirate banner flag surrounding the living room, there were also some outside the house)

My sweet little Ivan turned 5 last week! For the longest time, he had wanted to have an Indiana Jones party. I looked up ideas (thank you Google). But as I started looking at ordering things, I was bummed to find out that more than half of my ideas would not be shipped to Guam!

Frustrated I made a trip to our local BX and looked to see what they had in their birthday section. I then worked very hard to convince my son to have a pirate party instead! Luckily he agreed easily!

For Christmas this year, I got a Cricut by Provo Craft and I love it. In one of the cartridges that came with it, there are a few pirate-y images!

First thing I made was the invitations. I loved how they turned out. I made over 20 invitations. Then I realized that I didn't take a picture of one. So I quickly made one to take a picture of. But I was tired of making all those teeny tiny jolly rogers! The picture of the cupcakes has the flags that I made.

One way I try to save money is by not buying too many "theme" items. Instead of "Pirates of the Carribean" plates, I decided to just use red,black and white.So all the tableware (including tablecloths) were those colors. I also grabbed red, black and white streamers.

I ordered my goody bag items from Oriental Trading co. While they charged me an arm and a leg in shipping, it really helped with the theme! The goody bags included: bracelets with pirate sayings, bandanas, telescopes, pirate necklaces, gold coins, goldfish, a fish gummy candy, Swedish fish, pirate rings, and eye patches.The kids also went on a treasure hunt and found candy necklaces, ring pops and gold coins.

A friend made Ivan a FABULOUS pirate ship cake.

We had lots of balloons, jolly rogers etc. I also printed off "yo ho ho" and "aaargh" to go on the walls.

The day before his party, he brought chocolate cupcakes with vanilla frosting to his class. Each one had a jolly roger attatched to a sword toothpick and a gold coin. The tiny jolly rogers were all seperate pieces. So I was a tad frustrated as I was making 28 teeny tiny flags. My husband who was watching tv said, "You know those kids are just going to throw them away right? They wouldn't care if there was anything on top." Sigh. I loved the way they turned out though!

My husband teased me about going a little overboard. Normally we don't do this much for birthdays, but my little guy has never had a party before. Well not a friend party. That is why we went all out. He loved it and loves to wear his eye patch around! He wanted to keep the decorations up for "20 more days!"

Being on Guam, I am limited in the stores I have. But I think it turned out pretty well!

Just a few ideas, if you have a little scallywag who is interested in having a pirate party!

Monday, February 1, 2010


If you were to listen to my children, you would get the impression that we are barely above the poverty level. Living in a shack with no running water or indoor plumbing. They are constantly letting us know that "my life is so hard because_______" with reasons from because I don't have an ipod to we didn't go to McDonalds for dinner.

I realize that they are just kids, but that is not a message that I want to be sending them. So with it being February, and a time for love, our theme for the month is "Love One Another as I have Loved You". We made a chart, which is now hanging on the pantry. Anytime one of the kids performs an act of service, they put a heart with their initial on it. If we fill the chart out we will have an ice cream sundae party for the last week in Feb. With an extra something going to the child who has the most on there.

Last night we decorated Valentines and will be sending them to all the Grandmas. The kids had a great time!

Want to contact me?

Feel free to contact me at