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Grocery Update

Many of you know I am doing a pantry challenge this month that seems to have been a little more challenging than I thought. Not the eating from the pantry part. We are doing that, but staying out of the store. I think I just like to shop and get good deals more. I don’t know. I did pick up a few things this week. I got a 25 pound bag of bread flour. I had not planned on purchasing this, but I forgot that I had given out a gift certificate for bread once a month at my Christmas gift exchange last month at my girls Bunco group. See certificate: bread gift cert. I knew I was getting low on bread flour, but I figured for us I would just use all purpose for the rest of the month, then I remembered I had to make bread for someone else and I wanted it to be my best, so off I went to get my beloved bread flour from sam’s club. I also picked up 2 bags of dry beans at the dollar store. I have to eat lots of beans on my new diet and I was sick of the pintos and black beans that I have on hand. I also decided to whip up some navy bean and ham soup for a friend who just had a baby last night out of the beans I purchased and the ham from the other day. I am breaking my own rules all over the place! That’s ok though. I am still well under budget!

Last weeks total: $25.64 + $9.24 (from the beans and flour)= $34.88 for the month so far. I still think that’s fine, don’t you?

Menu Plan for the Week

I decided to finally make a menu plan for this week. I will not have to purchase anything for these dinners as we have everything on hand in the pantry or freezer. Making the most of that pantry challenge!

Monday: Shrimp Tacos with cabbage and yogurt sauce with homemade corn tortillas and black beans

Tuesday: Peanut Chicken with brown rice

Wednesday: Spaghetti, crazy bread salad

Thursday: Ham, cornbread, broccoli

Friday: Pizza

Saturday: Boys will be at the monster truck show. I will have soup or chili from the freezer most likely.

Sunday: Southwest chipotle shredded pork burritos with homemade refried black beans

I also have the main portion of Lance’s lunches planned for the week.
Monday: leftover homemade chicken nuggets, cucumbers, bananas
Tuesday: leftover hamburger and fries
Wednesday: salami, cheese crackers
Thursday: PB&J
Friday: Leftover Ham

I also have a few things I plan on making this week:
Bread for lunches (in bread machine)
banana bread (I have a ton of bananas in the freezer to use up and I need some more breakfast stuff)
ham and cheese muffin bites
peanut butter balls for Lance’s lunches.

I will be modifying some of the meals for myself. This week I can begin to incorporate a few more whole grains in my diet like brown rice and 100% whole wheat bread.

Shutterfly $25 gift certificate

Shutterfly is a a great website that you can make all sorts of customized photo projects on. I have made cards and photobooks on there as gifts. They are offering a$25 promotion for linking a project to your website or blog, so that’s what I am doing. If you have a blog, you can do it too by clicking here for step by step directions! Here is a sample Christmas card.

All Wrapped Up Christmas Card
Make a statement with custom Christmas cards at Shutterfly.
View the entire collection of cards.

A Few New to Us Recipes We Love

We have found a few recipes around here that have quickly become some of our new favorites. I don’t make claim to coming up with these, but I would like to share them with you so that you may try them for yourself.

The first is a meatloaf recipe. Now let me tell you….we are NOT a meatloaf family. None of us really like it, but I read this recipe in a cookbook my friend brought to our monthly girls Bunco night and I just had to try it. Everything is better wrapped in bacon right! Oh yes, yes it is! CLICK HERE for the recipe from Pioneer Woman.

This is what we had for dinner tonight with fresh corn on the cob and homemade french bread.

Another winning recipe I have found for our family is Brown Sugar Chicken a crockpot recipe from another blog: A Year of Slow Cooking. It is amazing with rice. Who doesn’t love those easy recipes you can just throw in a pot and it cooks for you?

For you Jenny…..Enjoy!

So…It’s Been a While Again!

Yep, life has kept me busy and away from my blog yet again. I threw a costume party for my 30th and my husband’s 31st birthday. Since our birthdays are only a few days apart and close to Halloween we decided to have a birthday/halloween party this year. The prep, planning and general prop making for our Zombie party kept me busy the whole month of October. I made just about everything we used to decorate! Lots and lots and lots of cardboard! And yes that is a full size coffin that we built as a cooler. We had zones through the house: we made a movie room with a zombie movie, an arcade with a shooting zombie game and a “re-animation station” for food. The party was a huge success and we all had great time….maybe even a little too much fun in some cases!!!

Here are some pictures….

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As far as November goes….I don’t know where it went! But now it’s December. My son will be 4 tomorrow and I have been busy in the kitchen this week preparing for yet another party. We were not going to have a party for Lance this year. The plan was to just have family over for cake, but my son invited everyone in his class to a party we weren’t throwing….so here I am planning and throwing a Spiderman birthday party! Saturday is the big day! I will post pictures of the cake I will be making as well as the spiderman cookies I made to send home in the goodie bags for the kids.

I’m Back!

So I decided to let the blog rest this summer and spend time with my kid and family, but now I am back and plan on starting with regular posts again next week. We had a busy summer. My son had to have surgery to put tubes in his ears. It has been such a blessing for him to be well and not live on antibiotics constantly! I am hoping that through the school year this year he will not miss as much school due to infections and fevers. We also had lots of parties and get togethers with friends, camping in the mountains, jeeping, the zoo, lots of time on our blow up waterslide and Lance and I took a trip to South Dakota to see family there. We went to the zoo, the pool, the lake and the farm! Lance had such fun playing on the farm with Grandpa! What 3 1/2 year old boy wouldn’t like riding on tractors, combines, frog hunting and building a tire swing? I don’t know, but mine sure did! Here are some pictures to prove it:

Loving the old 3 wheeler. Taking the tire swing to the tree to tie up.
Tire swing is fun!

Walking in the pasture with Grandpa to look for frogs!

Success! We caught 2 frogs and a snake…we let the snake go right away though!

And riding on the tractor is the best of all!

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