Tuesday, November 23, 2010

What's for Lunch?

Life has been CAHHHRAZY around my house lately!

I am busily preparing for Thanksgiving.

My Ralphs store is doing SUPER DOUBLES and so I have been practically living there.

And I feel a cold coming on! Just about everyone in my house has been sick so I guess it is my turn!

So I dug in my picture archives to find this picture! It is not "new". It is also just one of the boxes I used!
I made this for a day at the zoo! So picture another box with an animal shaped sandwich and animal shaped cheese!
Otherwise we have trail mix (for walking those zoo trails!), animal crackers, Scooby Doo fruit snacks (dogs are animals, not zoo animals but...) and pretzels. Round everything out with a bottle of water and we were good to go!
For more fun and much more creative lunches than I make, head over to Shannon's blog!

Be Careful...

what you ask for!!

Since my oldest two boys were 5 & 6, they have been on trash duty at our house!

They started out just bringing it out after I removed the bag.

But now they do it all! From getting the bag out of the can, to getting the big can on the street!

We have had our ups and downs in the "training process" though. Bags ripped and trash falling out on the sidewalk, bags left right next to the can...it goes on.

One night, after taking the trash out, I asked my boys to "make sure you put a new bag in the can." The picture is what I found when I checked later!

I had to laugh but it did remind me that when we are training our children, they need to know what is expected!

Give directions so that they are clear. Then make sure to CHECK their work. That way if something isn't done correctly, you can lovingly help them fix it!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Book Review

**While I recieved this book for free, I am not being compensated financially for this review**
Being a military wife, I was very excited to be able to review the book
The American Patriot's Almanac by William J. Bennett and John T.E. Cribb

I have to be honest in saying that I have never looked at an almanac before this. So I don't know how they normally work.
The American Patriot's Almanac goes from month to month and shares some of the major events in our country's history. The format is easy to follow with 365 entries. You can read one a day, or just dive in! While at first it may look intimidating ( a hard back book with well over 500 pages) you can never judge a book by its cover right?!
While not a book that I would snuggle up with, I found this to be an interesting read. Lots of interesting stories and facts. Every day (or entry) you can read up on the stories that made our country what it is.
One of the parts that I really enjoyed about the book is the "American History Parade" at the end of each entry. Written in a bullet point format it gives you a quick look at dates and events.
From the Revolutionary War, to when Nascar started, there is something for everyone!
Ever since high school I have loved reading about American history. Thanks to the National Treasure movies, my kids also love history.
I am grateful to have had the chance to read and review this book.
If you have a history lover in your family ( I have a few!) this would make a great gift!
I also just have to say that I appreciate the dedication, " to the families of the American Ssoldier, families who, for love of country, have sacrificed in countless ways." It is dedicated to me (:
Thanks to Book Sneeze for the opportunity to review this book!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

What's for Lunch?

OK so this is my oldest sons lunch. He has (in the big container) grapes, banana bread, string cheese. The cup holds ketchup for his mini corn dogs. He also got a fruit snack and 3 cookies.
This was my son's lunch today. He is just about the pickiest eater I have ever met! So we have pepperoni's, string cheese cut up on pirate toothpicks, club crackers, fruit snacks and 3 cookies. He is not the worlds healthiest eater (in case you couldn't tell!)

So my lunches have not been great lately BUT they have been better than they used to be. That is all that matters right?!

Once again, here is my verrry late What's for Lunch post!
If you are interested in checking out some great ideas for kids lunches, head over to Shannon's blog! You can find it all here!


I can't believe the craziness that has been going on around here!!

It is amazing what having 3 sick kids can do to your schedule! Not to mention a husband who is not home in the evenings to help out.

With SUPER DOUBLES going on at Ralphs, Thanksgiving coming up, not to mention Christmas and all that that brings with it...WHEW.

Anyway, I have been super behind but I am trying to catch up. So stick with me! (:

Monday, November 15, 2010


Sure tires a little boy out! Mason had had enough of hanging out at stores today!

We made a very quick trip to Rite Aid for a pkg of diapers. I am such a dork and only brought one of my Huggies coupons! Hello? What was I thinking. Don't worry, I am going back for more! Using a $2.50/1 Huggies coupon and previously earned Up rewards I paid $1.24 for a pkg of diapers!

Then we headed to Target. I had heard some great news about the Tag Reading System being only $5 after coupons. I also had a coupon good for $5/1 2. I was very excited about my purchases but because they are for Christmas gifts, I will leave it at that!
On to Ralphs. I had planned to make a trip Friday evening but just was not prepared. I spent the weekend cutting, sorting, organizing. On Sunday as I was busy putting my trips together, I was so DELIGHTED to see that Ralphs was offering SUPER DOUBLES!

Mason is teething and has a cold and was a total PILL. But I still managed to bring a total of $287 down to $64! It was so much fun and I am not done yet. This is just the "so far" picture!

Friday, November 12, 2010

For the shame...

See that BEAUTIFUL coupon file? Bursting at the seams with coupons just BEGGING to be used?
The POOR thing has been collecting DUST! :(

The last few weeks before my husband deployed, I tried to spend as much time with him as I could. Grocery shopping just wasn't a priority!

Then my inlaws came for a week, and I didn't really have time between various activities.

Then well...I was really behind! I had stacks of coupons to organize, stacks that had expired, inserts to cut out...well it took me FOREVER to get back!

After that my only excuse is the BUSYNESS of being a "semi-single" Mom!

However, even my kids have noticed that the freezers are a little less full. No stacking of groceries have been going on...

With Thanksgiving coming up fast, I need to get in on all the good deals! Cream of ____ soups, gravy, potatoes, baking items, turkey...

It's time to get back in the saddle, my grocery $$'s just have not been going as far!

Hitting Ralph's tonight and will be back with my results! (:

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

a very late What's for Lunch

(Ivan's lunch bag. He has a Sassy box in the back with his snack and a rectangular box that I got from Ikea in the front. The fork is also from Ikea.) (I know, I know not the worlds healthiest lunch. I was almost completely out of produce! So there are cheeto's, fruit snacks, a slice of banana bread, mandarin oranges, 2 cresant dogs with ketchup packets)

(snack is applesauce with orange and yellow sprinkles, teddy grahams, fruit snacks)

Even though it is almost dinner time, I am just now getting around to posting my kiddos lunch!
This past week was crazy, so this is not the best lunch ever. I did some grocery shopping though so they will look better next time. But for now, head on over to BentoLunch for inspiring and fun bento lunches!

Faith Deployed

As many of you know, my husband is currently serving in Afghanistan. We have made it through 1 week with over 29 more to go!

He is very busy and is hardly sleeping. The lines for the galley are long. The comforts of home are seriously lacking.

I am so, so, proud of him. He works so hard and sacrifices for our country.

While he works hard over there, I am here. Being a military wife is one of the hardest jobs you could ever love. I just got an email from a fellow military wife, and she said, " I feel so lonely. Sometimes I would rather be on the front lines than fighting the war at home."

Over at Cooking With Libby, there is a giveaway for military spouses, to win the book Faith Deployed. I would love to win this. We at home need all the encouragement we can get.

If you are a military spouse, and are interested in this book, you can head over and enter yourself. Or you don't have to and then my chances of winning are better! (wink*wink)

As we celebrate Veterans Day tomorrow, I hope that you will keep not only our service members, but their families in your prayers!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Although I didn't follow my menu EXACTLY last week, I did do better than what I had been doing. So I will be counting that as a success. (:

Here is what we will be eating at my house this week:

Monday: chili pie casserole



Thursday: soup & sandwiches

Friday:kids are at a pizza party

Saturday: hot dogs,caramel apple salad

Sunday:leftovers/ choose your own

With my husband being gone, dinners are just a little different around here. But they are workin' for us! For lots of other menu items you can head over to Org Junkie!

Good Monday Morning! I am hoppin' over at Be One Fine Day! Come on over and join in the fun!

**If you are a new follower to MarthaWannabe, please let me know in the comments. I would love to come and visit you and follow you back!**

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Homemade Pizza Rolls

All the players

Hot and fresh right out of the oven! Yum!

I swear I rotated this picture!! :(

"Yum, can we have these every night?!"
Have you ever seen a recipe and just KNEW you had to make it?

This one falls under that category!

My kids loved these!

Ethan asked me, " can we have these every time it is pizza night?!" He even asked if he could have the leftovers for lunch!

I found this recipe at Tidy Mom

Homemade Pizza Rolls
2 cans Pillsbury pizza crust
garlic salt
Italian seasoning
meat or toppings of choice
pizza/marinara sauce

Preheat oven to 425

1)flour a cutting board and roll pizza crust out on it
2) sprinkle desired amount of seasonings on pizza crust
3) top with desired meats/cheeses
4) starting at the short end, roll tightly
5) slice into 1 in. pieces
6) Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown
7) Serve with pizza sauce to dip 'em in

Friday, November 5, 2010

Family Night Friday

Every Friday at my house is family movie night.

The recipe is:
lots of snacks
popcorn (in our popcorn cups from the Target $$ spot)
and a family friendly movie

On tonights agenda: Toy Story 3 and Pizza Rolls (recipe from Tidy Mom)

I am going to start sharing every Friday about what movie we are watching and a recipe for a snack! If you would like to participate, I would love to have you join me! Post in the comments, or type a post on your blog and leave a link!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The banana bars that weren't...

It looks like someone just couldn't wait!!
Does he look guilty for scraping off the top and chowing down?!

There are a few things that end up on my shopping list every week. No matter what the sales & coupons are for the week, this one remains constant: BANANAS!

Monkey Mason ( that is what we call my 16mo old) eats at least one a day.

Some weeks, bananas last all of 10 minutes in the fruit bowl.

Others, they sit and brown.

So I make a lot of banana bread.

I decided to do something different and make frosted banana bars. They are so yummy!

I had enough bananas to make 2. One for now and one for the freezer. I had one pan baking, and one pan cooling.

My son comes into the living room to talk to me...with his mouth full of banana bars!

"Yum, Mom this banana BREAD is so good Mom!" He tells his siblings and the next thing I know, half a pan has been devoured!

Apparently, no one else in my family wanted to venture out of our banana bread rut (:

However, if your family wants to break out, here is the recipe for the BANANA BARS!

Frosted Banana Bars

1/2 cup butter or margarine,softened

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 eggs

8oz sour cream

1 tsp vanilla

2 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

2 med. bananas, ripened and mashed (approx. 1 cup)

In mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, sour cream and vanilla. Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a seperate bowl.

Slowly combine the dry ingredients with the wet. Stir in bananas. Grease a 9 x 15 baking pan. (This recipe makes a lot and I tried to fit in a 9x13. Bad idea. It really didn't fit well and took much longer to bake!)

Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

80z brick of cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened

2 tsp vanilla

3 3/4 cups-4 cups of powdered sugar

Cream together first three ingredients. Then gradually add powdered sugar. Frost cooled banana bars! Enjoy!

**I found this recipe (although there are a ton of recipes for banana bars out there) on That's My Home.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

What's for Lunch?

Instead of using these as goody bags, I placed a pb cup and their ghost shaped sandwich inside. Not exactly waste free, but cute!
All of my kids were having big Halloween parties in their classes. So I didn't want to pack to much food and I didn't want to give any candy either!

The ghost sandwich and treat!

My son's snack: 2 ghost bananas, grapes on skewers, an oreo, crackers and a granola bar that came home uneaten! I love What's for Lunch over at Bento Lunch!
I feel like a dork saying this but...I could seriously look at pictures of Bento's all day! People are so creative and it is just fun to look at.
Because I pack my kids lunches, all my pictures are taken in the darkness of the morning. I really wish I had more light at that time of the morning!
Anyway, if you want to see some awesome lunches, or post your own, head over and sign up!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

It's Wednesday...

So I must be hoppin'!

I am joining in Feeding Four's blog hop. Here is all the info from her site:

How to Participate: Follow the hostess - Feeding Four. If you want me to follow you back, please leave a comment letting me know that you are a new follower and leave a link to your blog. Create a new Friendly Wednesday blog post on your own blog and be sure to use the button provided on the side bar. Enter your information into the linkup below. Follow all the other blogs you want. This is a great way to get more followers! Friendly Wednesday will be posted once a week. Your link must be added every week so be sure to come back to linkup!

Make sure if you are now following MarthaWannabe, that you comment and let me know! That way I can come and follow you back!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

**BIG GULP** It has been FOREVER since I have posted a menu plan. Not just posted one, but actually made one! Trust me, my dinners have shown it! I have had the most random, throw together dinners.

Planning menu's really does make a difference!

So here is what is for dinner at my house this week:

MONDAY:tacos, spanish rice, corn

TUESDAY: soup & sandwiches (grilled cheese & tomato)

WEDNESDAY: pizza, salad, breadsticks

THURSDAY:bbq chicken sandwiches, fries, fruit

FRIDAY: turkey burgers, fruit, potato salad

SATURDAY: chili pie casserole, corn bread, salad

SUNDAY: leftovers/kids choice

For more fabulous meal plans, head on over to Org Junkie!

** I am having a giveaway that I would love for everyone to come and enter! You can find it here.

freezer cooking

It has been a long time since I talked about freezer cooking!

I really haven't been doing to much of it because...my freezers are stocked from couponing!

However, I had a bunch of bananas going bad on my counter, and so decided to make some banana bars.

I thought this would be a good time to show you how I get foods from start to freezer! Ready, set, GO!

1)After mixing up your batter, instead of greasing your dish, lay down a layer of tin foil. Make sure that there is some hanging off the sides.

2)Bake as directed.

3) let cool completely in dish

4) using the extra tin foil, gently pull food out of dish.

5)using the same tin foil, wrap treat. Use more as needed.

6) Place foil wrapped treat, in a labeled ziploc bag. Suck all the air out with a straw. Place in freezer.

Want to contact me?

Feel free to contact me at hecimommy@gmail.com