May is an exciting month for me this year. I am counting down
the weeks and days until my long summer break. I have also decided that I will
only be shopping in town this month, which means no Harris Teeter or Costco. I
will be picking up items as we totally run out or that are need for a specific
meal, like buns. I plan to cook from the freezers and hopefully start to
get some good garden items by the end of the month. We don’t have any more
lunchables so the kids are back to packing lunches on Sunday with lots of
sandwiches. This week of course is busy with baseball and piano. Swim
team practice should start next week as well. Quick easy and summer time favorites
are on the menu.
Breakfast- Saturday– bagels – Sunday-biscuits and gravy for the
girls, boys had a men’s breakfast. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday,
Friday– Choice of breakfast burrito, oatmeal, grits, cereal, or toast.
Wednesday- baked oatmeal- peanut butter/chocolate chip
Lunch–Saturday-steak fajita using
left-overs Sunday-Seafood restaurant for Mother’s Day a week
early. Monday– salad and veggie day. Tuesday– hummus and dip
for me, Kendall and Zach had egg salad sandwiches, Wednesday-Thursday and
Friday- soup, wraps and sandwiches for kids. I have a salad for one day and
Dinner – Saturday-left-overs
Sunday–Left-overs Monday-Mini chicken tacos Tuesday– spaghetti and
garlic bread Wednesday–Steak and ranch potatoes Thursday– Chicken
sandwhich and FF. Friday- pizza roll ups.
Check out the previous post to see where we started.
This is picture overload. We are planning to add a desk this week. The other addition will be a baseball diamond on the wall. I will plan to make another post and link it here as well.
new bedding and beautiful gray walls!
Custom stickers decorate the fan, light switch and outlets….
Lily hand painted the knobs on the dressers and the sign.
Check out the way we repurposed these dressers!
Painted this shelf so it would match and he clean out and organized all his toys! The entire bottom row is nerf guns and at least 2 of the boxes have Nerf accessories in them as well.
Trophy shelf and custom hat rack also thanks to Matt
Final look at his bedding. Hopefully my mother can make a matching curtain.
I was really hoping to find some awesome after Christmas sale this year. I usually buy items for the gift drawer in addition to some new Christmas décor. I will admit that I am disappointed, in fact the best sale I found were at Lowes and Harris Teeter. We headed to Lowes the day after Christmas basically to have something to do. I was surprised to learn that all Christmas was at 75% off and even more surprised at how little was left out. I did find and purchase my favorite item.
It was the display so I was offered an additional 10% discount. I had to wait patiently for around 10 minutes to claim it but ended up paying $20 for this awesome light! Even better, I used a Lowes gift card earned from Swagbucks really it was a nice freebie!
My other find was a jingle bell wreath holder for $1.50 at Harris Teeter. I did buy some gift tags, a couple of table cloths and platters but that was it for sales. I may try to go to Dollar General and Walmart again next Saturday (5th) to see if they have better deals I can not resist.
If you have been at our house or read a couple of blog posts you realize that food is our biggest expense except for the mortgage. It also requires the most time and effort. I honestly don’t mind cooking if and when I have the time. But here is the real confusion, I enjoy and prefer to eat out. Life and our budget tell me that this is not a reality so back to cooking I go. The balance of having enough easy simple meals for school days and cooking ahead is hard to achieve.
During the recent snow, I cooked only two meals a day and we enjoyed left-overs the third meal and even had some for the next week. Last week, we enjoyed quick simple meals Monday- Thursday. I decided on Friday two separate very different things, first- I wanted Seafood, specifically flounder and shrimp for dinner and second- I need to stretch and make a plan for food so we did not waste any food over the Christmas break. The good news is that so far it has been working! I thought I would share a recap and part of the current plan.
Friday night- Flounder and shrimp. The local seafood place has a special for 24 pieces of flounder, 6 baked potatoes and cole slaw for $22.95, I also added 2 plates of popcorn shrimp to bring my total to $45.00. This was ALOT of food especially for the cost and actually around the same as we spend for Chinese. I knew I wanted to save the baked potatoes for a second meal, so I split one for the kids that wanted it. On Saturday, I used the baked potatoes for twice baked potatoes, which became our Sunday lunch. We also had left-overs on Saturday at dinner as well. I know we have at least a fourth meal from this so I am very pleased to stretch $45 into four meals at around $10 each!
Saturday- For breakfast- I used some cinnamon raisin bread that Amanda had brought over to make French toast this was a HUGE hit with only 1 piece left. Lunch was a special treat of McDonalds. I used the app and we brought it home for drinks. Total spent was $15. Dinner was left-overs see above.
Sunday- I really try to make this as much of a day of rest as possible. This week to avoid going out after church, I placed the twice baked potatoes in the oven and they cooked while we were at church. I actually planned ahead for dinner as well. Saturday night we cooked up 2 pounds of ground beef and chopped up the ingredients for Pasta Faggioli soup. Everything was placed in the crock pot in the fridge so we move it out and turned on before heading to church for our special breakfast. The soup ended up much better than anticipated, we made up 4 lunch containers and froze for January in addition to a small container of left-overs for this week.
Monday- I had left-over gravy in the fridge and decided to make breakfast bowls. We used a pound of sausage, 12 eggs, green peppers that were frozen from the garden and onions. I fried 6 hash browns to complete breakfast. The remaining egg mixture will be rolled into burritos and frozen for a quick breakfast during school. We should have an addition 6 breakfast burritos. Lunch is left-overs, I plan on a flounder-cheese sandwich. Dinner is BBQ at my mothers!
This past Saturday prior to the huge, historical, massive snow storm we had family pictures done. I scheduled these several weeks ago. Here are some of the tips I have learned and a peek at some of the pictures.
#1 I have learned over the years that we need to have these done at home or someone’s house we know to save stress and headache. We had an awesome photographer who was as happy as we were to do pictures inside and outside the house.
#2 Prepare food that can be eaten the entire time, no one makes good pictures when you are hungry.#3 Coordinating outfits make awesome pictures. I was luck enough to find us all coordination outfits at Old Navy this year. Unfortunately, Zach decided he did not like the “feel” of his matching shirt but I also had matching ties for him and Braxton which he liked better.
#4 Some times you need causal pictures just to keep it real
#5 Christmas pajamas are a must
#6 Babies make awesome pictures when they are asleep
#7 Black and white pictures make me look better
And finally this is my absolute favorite picture so far
Birthdays are always a big deal around here. Lily’s 13th was no exception. I always think/assume that her birthday will not be as special as the two that she has spent at Disney but she tells me differently. One of the best traditions we have around birthday is picking your favorite restaurant and the entire family going to eat. This year Lily chose Olive Garden. Granny was not able to go with us on Lily’s birthday, so Lily decided we would wait until Friday to eat out.
Lily did get to chose her favorite food for dinner, baked ziti. She also started the day early around 6:30 opening her last present. She received and used a make up travel bag prior to our trip to Michigan.
She open an Lego advent calendar. It was a huge hit, every morning is up to finish the piece for the day.
A fun filled Birthday Celebration!
This adventurer started shortly after my father’s past away unexpectedly. In the last few years of his life, my dad acquired several building and filled them up. After his death, we realized that no one had been in the 4 buildings nor realized how full they really were. We decided to empty out as many as we could. It took almost an entire year but we were able to move everything that my mother wanted to keep in one building, including items from under the house and attic as well. It was decided that my brother would inherit one building and I would inherit the second. My brother lives across the street from my mother so he moved his building first. In September, I paid to have the building moved from my mother’s house to my house.
This could be considered a huge expense but in my opinion it was well worth the money. The company charged $350 and I came home to a perfectly level building and empty building.
The first “free” project was to build steps into the building. We used material from the deck steps that we just replaced. They are not pretty but very functional.
Next we used 2 old door hinges to cut two small opening in the front to allow for air to circulate in the building. Screen was again salvaged from cleaning of the building at my father’s. Inside the building we discovered several pieces of lumber that had been placed up high for storage. There was also an old rake handle and a multiple nails and screws. We did end up purchasing a fast track storage system at Lowe’s using gift cards from Swagbucks. The candy canes are hanging on an old broom handle that we found after the shed arrived to my house. My father used it to hold the door open with. The chairs above the candy canes are on the rake head that was previously used to hold shovels.
Beach umbrellas, pool noodles and surf boards are placed on shelves that were already in place in the building.
The caddy in the corner was purchased at Aldi for $4.99 and everything on the back wall is connected to hang from nails and screws that were already in place when the building arrived.
Yesterday, we used the wood found in the building to add this 10 foot very sturdy shelf with storage above and below the shelf. The top shelf was already in place when the shed arrived and had been installed by my father for storage.
Total spent on my new “she shed” including cost of moving is less than $400. I have gained a TON of storage and organizing space! Can you tell how excited I am to finally show off the results?