30 June 2014

Meal Plan Monday~ Week 27

I don't really know if it's the 27th week, just guessing!  We are finally back from vacation and I want to get what tiny part of our Summer life in check that I can. 

As much as I was looking forward to not having to plan meals around baseball, All Stars started last week. I was really hoping we were done with Red Solo Cup Dinners to go! And I forgot it is 4th of July week, we will have a short week here!

I am also hoping to really crack down on our budget, I know some of y'all are looking for inexpensive meals. I will do my best to give a price break down (for our area) at the bottom!

Monday~PB and Bacon Sandwiches
Been craving like crazy, I would like to blame the baby on this one!

Tuesday~Crock Pot Pork Roast
Nothing fancy, pork, carrots, potatoes and seasoning.

Wednesday~Chicken and sauce w/veggies
Usual, rice or pasta with baked chicken and some sauce I can hide veggies in for the kids!

Thursday~ Potato Soup (If we are here)

Monday~ Bread $0.50 (bread store 1/2 loaf) Bacon $1.25 ( 1/2 package) 
PB, not enough to count. Fruits and Veggie sides $2 (everyone has something different, depending on what they like) Cucumbers, apples, bananas and baby carrots.

Tuesday~Pork Roast $4.00, Carrots $0.50, Potatoes $0.50. Chicken Stock $0.50. Corn Bread $1.00  The rest is such a small amount, not enough to figure.

Wednesday~Chicken $2.00, Rice $0.50, Veggies $1.50, Sauce $0.50 (homemade)
Fruit $1.00

Thursday~Potatoes $1.00, Milk $0.50, Chicken Stock $0.50 Bacon $1.25, Cheese $0.50 Everything else $1.50

Continue Reading ...

28 June 2014

No Spend July!

It's been a good while since we, scratch that, I have done a NO SPEND month. I am the one that makes the day to day purchases around here and I am the one that tends to blow money on things that we don't really NEED. I am a sucker for cuteness, and clothes and coffee. I know I need a month to reign it in, July seems like the perfect month! It's before I have to get serious about school/fall clothes, before baby will be here and before Halloween stuff comes out (BIG weakness!)

I will absolutely need to plan beforehand, like NOW, or I will have some slip ups.

Things that are not making the OK LIST
~Coffee Drinks (or bought smoothies, or any of that stuff) This doesn't happen too often anymore
~Clothes for me (other than exceptions I have listed)
~Clothes for kids (minus exceptions)
~House Decor~ So hard with all the awesome shabby shows going on!
~ Eating out with kids
~Extras at the grocery store

And I have my list of exceptions
I keep it on my phone, no excuses not to use it.

Kids Backpacks, there is usually a good sale on them in July
A few things for me for the hospital
A pedicure, already planned
Cami's for the girl, if they are under $2 on clearance
Some baby outfits, once I figure out how much we have for him.
School Supplies, ONLY if they are on a GOOD sale.

How I plan to manage it all?

Make my own coffee at home,no brainer right?
Stay away from the stores I tend to spend at, like Target
Find stuff to do besides SHOP. That shouldn't be too hard!
Don't look in the big kids sizes at the resale shop, stick to the baby section if I go
Check the ads instead of making a trip to the store to see what is on sale.
Stop notifications and news feed from the facebook groups I usually get great stuff in
Go through baby stuff and make a REAL list about what this little guy will need his first couple months. Not going to buy ahead this time. 
I probably SHOULD stay off of Pinterest, there are always SO many yummy looking recipes. I don't want to be tempted to try a new one every few days and have to buy extra ingredients. Maybe I will just keep them for August!

What am I hoping to SAVE?
$30 on Coffee for sure
And at least another $200 on random stuff I won't be buying!
Will be saving on Gas, won't be going into town as much

Kind of excited to see how much we will have left at the end of the month!
Continue Reading ...

27 June 2014

Road Trip Planning~Part 2

Going to share how we manage clothes for 5 of us and all those bathroom things!

First I want to put it out there that I am a worry wart, I over pack and I don't see that changing :)

Because we were going to be gone for an extended period of time and not just a few days I REALLY packed everything I thought we might need. Kids prone to pink eye and asthma and allergies galore.
I tried to make sure we didn't have to haul everything in to every hotel, and that we wouldn't have to move stuff around we didn't need.

So I made 2 piles of bathroom stuff. Stuff we would probably not need (hopefully) and then a pile of stuff we might/for sure need.  Things like shampoo, toothbrushes and sunscreen in the must take in everyday bag. Kids Nebulizer, pink eye drops, allergy meds and ever reducers in the I HOPE not bag.

I also had a mini version of requirements that had to be accessible without stopping (in my purse)
~Kids tylenol
~Adult tylenol
~Anti Nausea
~eye drops

We were able to stuff the bag we weren't likely to get into under a seat, no one had to mess with it the entire trip! YAY, and it wasn't in any one's way.

I have never packed for that long of a trip for this many people. I wasn't sure I would be able to fit 5 suitcases in our roof rack. I had started putting outfits together a couple months ago. Stuff I knew wouldn't be warn to school or used before we left. As I was packing the kids clothes I remembered a episode, or maybe a chapter in one of their books, of how the Duggar's pack. I think they were packing 1 suitcase per DAY, I can not even imagine. But the process made sense. I used their method for the kids. Fit it into 2 suitcases for the 3 of them! This helped us avoid bringing in 1 extra suitcase everyday! I packed their clothes in outfits, already put together, top to bottom and underwear. We just grabbed the outfit on top. After day 10 the 1st was empty ( we then used it for dirty clothes ) and started on the 2nd one. Ryan and I just crammed all our stuff into 1 suitcase each.

I don't see us going on any long trips again for a while but if the next one has us in a different hotel every night, we will for sure be doing it this way again!

Shoes were very limited! I only brought 2 pair! We stuffed the kids shoes under the seat in front of them, they are old enough to manage their own shoes and did an alright job with it. I don't like to pack shoes in with clothes.
Continue Reading ...

25 June 2014

Road Trip Planning ~ Food

Planning and packing for a road trip is exhausting! We started a few months in advance. Going to share how we ended up doing things.
They are for sure not the only way, and maybe not even the best way.

I am going to share how we plan and organize
~Bathroom Stuff
~The Car
~Keeping Kids Occupied 

Today I am sharing our snack/meal prep and set up.
First we fully expect to eat a whole lot of sandwiches for lunches and don't anticipate eating out a whole lot. Eating out for every meal is just not in the budget!

I tried to make sure we had a good variety of non cooled snacks. Salty, sweet, crunchy etc. Then I headed to the bulk section of the store, came home and separated them into portion size bags and containers. Saved a ton compared to either buying the box and doing it that way and the individual packs are probably 4x as much!

A lot of what we plan to take can be smashed and no one wants sesame cracker crumbs! I grabbed one of these

Used the bottom drawer for utensils, napkins, plates and the canned foods we are bringing. Then I filled the top two with snacks! Should be easy to get to and the vertical space takes up less car real estate! 

Here is a list of some of the snacks we brought 
~Trail Mix
~Dried Fruits
~Fruit Leathers
~Granola Bars
~Somersaults (SOO good!)
~Yogurt Covered Peanuts
~Chocolate Pretzels
~Chex Mix

We also packed an ice chest with lunch meat, cheeses, drinks, yogurt, fruits and cut up veggies. I put everything in the gallon size bags so that nothing got wet on the inside.

We packed a basket with bread, our toaster, bagel thins and some cold cereal.
We also took advantage of the hotel breakfasts and asked the front desks for local coupons, which they had often!

Continue Reading ...

New Favorite Quick Dinner

I made these a few weeks ago from this recipe, they were good but I knew I could change them up to be more to our taste!

I started with 1-2 C of shredded, chunked, leftover, whatever chicken
Mixed in 3 Tablespoons of this sauce

( it's spicy so adjust to your taste) into
2 Tablespoons cream cheese (softened) with 1C shredded cheese
We used Cheddar and Jack cheese cause that is what we had but I don't think you can go wrong with others.

Then I mixed in the chicken and combined well.
 Spread some in a line towards the edge of a soft taco size flour tortilla and rolled it up tight.

Placed into greased pan (I just used spray olive oil)
Repeat until the pan was full and then sprayed the tops with non stick spray.
I covered with foil and baked 20 min at 350. Removed foil and baked another 10, if they aren't as brown and crunchy on top as you would like you can stick them under the broiler for a couple minutes.

Serve with Sour Cream & more Sauce if you like it spicy, and a salad!
That is it. Next time I will for sure be blending some hidden veggies in!
These go fast around here!

Continue Reading ...

10 June 2014

June Goals!

I am so excited June is here, err almost half over! I am ready for sunshine and for the kids to be home from school, for baseball to be over, and for strawberries and blueberries to be the fresh snack of choice!

We listed our house for sale, I feel like a crazy person doing this while pregnant with 3 kids home all day but the time just feels right!

Our Goals for this month are pretty basic.

Haha, just kidding, but kind of. We have a lot going on and our goals are all based around those.
Our house being for sale, a trip the end of the month, school being out. Those are my 3 hurdles for the month.

1. Keep the house 30 minute ready, ideally I would like it to be 15 minute ready but the kids have to be able to play too!
Meal times are going to be tricky, there will be a whole lot of repeat quick prep meals.

2. Stay on budget for our vacation.
We saved for the trip, taking a lot of planning to stay within our budget.

3. Keep the kids doing their school work, summertime often means all fun and no work. Our kids are by no means behind for their age, but I would rather encourage them to learn about something over the summer. We don't have anything set, whatever they decide they want to learn about. As long as it's not spiders and it's age appropriate I probably won't have a problem!

Here is the plan to meet our goals:
 ~Stick to weekly cleaning, be a little better about nighttime tidying.
~Do laundry less, put it away RIGHT AWAY.. my weakness :/
~Do more dishes, I usually wait until the dishwasher is full, but now I am washing a little more often.
~Try to nicely (hound) encourage the kids to keep their room tidy
~Use this list I shared a few days ago

2. too much for this post. I will have a road trip post coming up soon! I promise it will be BIG, my crazy brain has been working on this for months!

3. Lots of talks about what they might want to learn about, trips to the library to support their curiosity. And depending on what they choose, some day trips and fun stuff.

Continue Reading ...

09 June 2014

Meal Plan Monday~Week 24

Because we are hoping to sell our house I have been planning easier meals, 
easier to prep, easier to clean up, a whole lot of chicken! I am baking a few chicken breast this morning so it's ready to go for the week. Excited for us all to eat together, no more baseball!

Monday~Chicken Parmesan

Tuesday~Chicken Tacos

Wednesday~Baked Potatoes

Thursday~Chicken and Pasta
With some veggies and whatever kind of sauce I can throw together
Friday~Sub Sandwiches
Continue Reading ...

06 June 2014

Our Home is FOR SALE!

 Our house is officially for sale, so bittersweet, and a little scary but in a good way. We love this house, it will be sad to not call it home, but we knew when we bought it that this wasn't our forever home. If we could pick it up and move it to the area we want to be in, it would be!
I often have to leave the house to run errands during the day, with our house on the market I don't want to have people come by with it looking less than appealing. I have this little quick list I made for me, outside of usual daily tasks, for when I am leaving the house. I just have it on my phone, I love the list option on my phone!

Kitchen Area
~Put dishcloth, sponge, brush under sink (or in the dishwasher)
~Turn on Scentsy
~Wipe down table real quick
~Sweep (last thing, if there is time)

Living Room
~Put laptops away, tuck cords under couch
~Fluff Pillows, fold blankets
~Set thermostat

~Put the pretty towels out, yes we have some that look better than others
~Toilet seats down.. thanks boys!
~Shampoo and stuff away (I got a little basket I can just easily move everything)
~Wipe out sink

Laundry Room
~Make sure there is nothing on the floor, push bins in

~Pick up.  Kids are doing a pretty good job in the mornings
~Make beds, if the kids didn't get to it.
~Fluff Pillows and put books in drawers instead of out
~Open curtains

~Make sure bikes and toys are stashed
~Nothing on the porch (flyers, wrappers, etc.)

  The big kids are out of school 1 week from today, I am a little concerned with how things will go when they are home so much more than they are now. We have lots of activities planned to help keep everyone busy and I have some ideas for those times we will be killing time for a showing ( I hope anyway!)

Continue Reading ...

04 June 2014

52 Weeks of Organizing~ Week 22

Pictures went well yesterday! I am glad that part is out of the way.
I did end up going through every one's clothes again, through some craft stuff and just selling a whole bunch.
The hardest part is being realistic about what we NEED!

But I can tell by the amount of stuff leaving our house I am doing better with it. We are excited to see how things change for us coming up. This week I am really just focusing on making our Road Trip Lists!
I am taking full advantage of all the articles on Pinterest for ideas. Check out my Rod Trip board HERE

My Goals for this Road Trip are
~Safety  ( of course, right?!)
~Healthy  We can't live on beef sticks and cheetos, even though the kids would be down with that.
~Fun  not just in the destinations, but along the way
~Educational I am sure the kids could have fun with their video games the whole way, but the whole point is to spend time together so that is not gonna fly! They will be allowed to watch the DVD player in the car, saving for the less straight roads, we have kids that get car sick easy.
~Stress Free   I know that is not going to happen 100% but I want to do as much as I can to make it as stress free as I can. 

That is my plan for the week, to make a whole bunch of lists! I will share them next week!

Continue Reading ...

02 June 2014

Meal Plan Monday~ Week 23

Having an easy, as little mess as possible, eat outside as much as possible dinner plan this week!
We are attempting to sell our house and I know as soon as I make a messy dinner we will get a phone call for a showing. Isn't that how it works usually?!


Tuesday~BBQ Chicken
I will throw together a side depending on what we have in the pantry
Wednesday~Tortellini and Pesto
Easy and everyone will eat it!
Thursday~Loaded Potato Soup

Friday~Meatloaf and Mashed Potatoes
We had dinner with family last night so having this tonight!

Saturday~ We have plans out

 Bacon, eggs and pancakes
Continue Reading ...