Monday, July 26, 2010

Grocery list for July26th

Well, i had a number of questions about my grocery list after posting about it on Facebook. I spent about $80 to feed our family for the week (for 5 of us).

So here is my list, and a slight breakdown of what i bought (I'm not including non-food items, or the stuff for our cat)

2 packages of fajita mix
total spent: $1.56
(crazy to go there for just this mix - but its the best stuff we've found!)

1 package of frozen Broccoli
1 jar of pasta sauce
2 cans of cream of chicken soup
sour cream
corn meal
1 package of pre-cooked bacon
1 package of chicken breasts
total spent: $11.28
(approx - i didn't count the kitty litter, which i cant remember if it was $4 or $5)

Wegmans (over 3 trips)
heavy cream
2 packages of whole wheat Tortillas
1 red bell pepper
1 head lettuce
1# of organic carrots
1 pint of grape tomatoes
1 huge container of sliced turkey
gallon of milk
high active yeast
6 bottles of weight watchers soda
1 loaf bread
1 container of dough
1 bag of pre-shredded cheese
black olives
1 box cereal
1 bunch bananas
6 mini apples
total: $55.56

grand total: $68.40

that's not including the occasional ice cream treat out ($1 a kid) during the week... so by the time that's done, $80 is about right. I'd still like to get some caramel syrup for my frappe's - but i can wait till Friday :-D

This is for meals from Saturday (which was leftovers), up though this coming Friday (with some of the items for this upcoming weekend). You can check out my menu here.

Menu Planning Monday - July 26th

Ahhh... here we are again. I feel much better about this week's menu then last week. I don't know why... maybe since I'm making a couple of dishes we have not had in awhile. As well as something new, which I was striving to do every week, and have been really lacking in accomplishing lately.

I did not get all my baking done last week, though I did get blueberry zucchini muffins done. I did these last year too, but WOW, I did NOT remember there being 1 cup of oil in the recipe! With all the humidity and that oil, these were really dense and moist. So moist, I put them in the fridge to try and dry out some! But the kids still gobbled them up, though in the future, I will (and highly recommend) replacing 1/2 the oil with applesauce! I also upped the baking soda and baking powder to help them be slightly more cake like, and less bread like (doubled the soda, tripled the powder).

I also made the English Muffins. There are a few things I did differently. First, the dough was WAY too wet to roll on corn meal, so I used flour. After they doubled, but before placing them on the griddle, I had corn meal in a plate that I drudged them on each side, then placed on the hot griddle. But - they are REALLY good. I think next time I'll just skip the corn meal.

Monday: Chicken Fajitas

Tuesday: Taco Turkey Wraps

Wednesday: BLTs

Thursday: Pasta night

Friday: Breakfast for dinner night

Saturday: Pizza Pinwheels

Sunday: Chicken Divine

While I do need to keep in mind making sure I plan lunches, I'm not going to post them anymore, as usually its just whatever we have on hand, not needed for dinner. Sometimes just sandwiches, or leftovers, sometimes it's even cereal.

Remember, you can always jump over to I'm an Organizing Junkie for more menu planning inspiration!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

30 day Blog Journal - Day 24

I already know I hate this post. Our next topic is - where I live.

So why do I hate it? Where I live is quiet depressing, even though as a family, we make it work. But I still dream of when we can FINALLY move from here... that day can not come soon enough.

So, where so I live? In a motel efficiency room.

Despite the total lack of privacy, it's actually a quite workable room. We have a huge main room, a good sized kitchenette, and then 1 full bath. That's it. We have 1 dresser, a queen sized bed, a recliner love seat, 2 desks and a tv stand in the main room. We blow up a queen sized air mattress at night, and 2 kids sleep there, and 1 on the love seat.

In the kitchen, we have a full size fridge (ours, the room came with a dorm sized one), a shelf that holds a microwave (theirs) and our toaster oven and a space for 1 other small appliance (usually, my frappe maker). We have 1 lower cupboard that holds the skillet, the griddle, electric kettle, and various pans. Another long shelf holds out dinnerware and cups. We have a storage cube set up to hold dry/canned foods, and on top of the fridge holds 2 crock pots. Yeah, we have a LOT of kitchen appliances here, but without a proper stove/oven, with all those we really make do in having more then microwaved meals all the time.

Thankfully there is a nice big grassy area for the kids to play in... and ironically, we are not the only family here. Another family of 5 shares another room, smaller then ours.

I can't complain. We are all here together, and while this is not ideal, we really make it work for us. Staying in this community has been important to us. We have actually looked to move away, and all attempts have failed. I don't know if its density or God or what, but i truly feel as we are meant to stay here.

But I still long for a bedroom that is not also the living and dinner space, and not shared with 3 children, and a proper kitchen (how I MISS really baking!).

Friday, July 23, 2010

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

For more moments, swing over to SouleMama.

30 day Blog Journal - Day 23

So close to the end - I can taste it!

Today's topic is a YouTube video.

Again, how vague.

I have only 1 cool video to share. My son recorded it last march in our old apartment. He was not quiet 3 at the time.

He's so funny.

Join me again tomorrow when i post about where I live.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

30 day Blog Journal - Day 22

Internet connection stunk yesterday, so we'll play a little catchup here posting yesterday and today's 30 day blog posts (can you tell, i want them to be DONE!)

Today's Yesterday's topic was - a website

Well, that's vague enough, isn't it? I visit LOADS of websites! I am sure anyone who reads this, does also.

So, where does that leave me in writing this? I don't know. It would be simple enough to list my most frequented website (facebook) and call it a day. But what sense is that? I think this challenge is more then just the simple 1 word answer (or maybe it's not?). So, instead of the most well known page in my bookmarks to list - I'll go with what i think maybe be a relatively unknown know to the vast majority... Ravelry.

Now, for anyone in the know in the crochet and knitting communities, KNOWS this website. Mention it to anyone who is not (or is not married to one who is), and you get the blank stare of death.

First - this site rocks! When it first was started, there was a month plus waiting list to get approved as a user - DANG! it was the longest time in my LIFE (ok, maybe waiting for my babies to be born was, but you get my point, right?)

The website is basically a social community for those who are into fiber arts (crochet, knit, spinning, etc, etc...). You can search for patterns (there are THOUSANDS, both free, and paid), join groups and post on their forums, and even catalog your projects, yarn stash, have a queue of items you want to work on, and favorites from other users. You can friend other users, and even buy and sell among them.

Personal - I LOVE seeing my WIPs (work in progress) and cataloging my FOs (finished objects, as often what I make, I give away.I've gotten private messages left asking who I've made something (just last week, is was the beards on knit gnomes I made 2 years ago).

So - that's the website I am sharing with you. If you are into fiber arts, or know someone who is - share it! And if you join (it's free!), feel free to look me up on there. My user name is kjoslyn78

Stay tuned for our next topic, a YouTube video.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

30 day Blog Journal - Day 21

Oh, how I love this day... as I do not have to go on and on with an opinion and such. Today's topic is - a recipe.

The question is - WHAT recipe? Do i share one of my favorite things to cook? or bake? something new i recently tried? or a tried and true favorite? decisions, decisions...

I'm going with a non-cook wrap recipe. a tried and true around here that my crew love. And in the hot, humid summer heat that we experience here in NY, no-cook anything is a blessing.

Taco Turkey Wraps
recipe as found on

2/3 C sour cream
2 tablespoons taco seasoning
flour tortillas (about 6 - 8" tortillas)
1 C of shredded Mexican blend cheese OR cheddar cheese
1/2 pound of thinly sliced deli turkey breast

In a bowl, combine sour cream and taco seasoning. spread onto tortillas. Sprinkle with cheese, top with turkey and roll. Serve with salsa if desired.

We also add lettuce to our wraps also. You could experiment with other fillers too! My kids and husband gobble these UP! and are perfect to make ahead and pack in a picnic lunch for a day out.

I hope you enjoy this recipe, and come back tomorrow where the topic is a website.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Menu Planning Monday - July 19th

Here we are again. As much as I do enjoy meal planning, it can become a bit, monotonous. Especially in the summer, with all the kids home. I feel like I am constantly making someone SOMETHING to eat. Let's not forget that with so many "picky" eaters, mostly me, that coming up with something everyone will eat (and not waste food), is a challenge. I HATE wasted food, I rather make everyone a different sandwich then make a great big meal only 1 or 2 (out of 5) will eat.

So - here it is:

Monday: BLTs (we ended up not having these last week, as the hubby was out for his final tux fitting)

Tuesday: Breakfast for dinner (last time i did pancakes, so we'll be going for french toast this time)

Wednesday: Pasta night

Thursday: Hot dogs on the grill, salad, maybe some watermelon too

Friday: Chicken fajitas

Saturday: Pizza night (thinking of trying grilled pizzas - yum!)

Sunday: we'll see where the week takes us!


sandwiches (various, from your typical PB&J to grilled cheese, etc..)
mac and cheese

It's suppose to rain either Friday or Saturday, so I'm looking to doing some baking (in the evening, after kids are asleep, so it may survive a day or two).. esp after the HUGE zucchini my mother-in-law sent home with us!

chocolate zucchini muffins
blueberry zucchini muffins (from this bread recipe - works great as muffins)
homemade hot pockets (ham and cheese, and using home made dough)
Breakfast puffs (made ahead w/ the drizzle)
and if I get ambitious, English Muffins

and as always, make sure you hop over to I'm an Organizing Junkie for my menu planning inspiration!

30 day Blog Journal - Day 20

Only 10 more "days" to go! YAY!

Today's topic is - a hobby if mine.

I already touched on this in my last entry - my talent of being creative. I love to knit and crochet, and often have more then 1 project going at a time.

But, I'll touch on another hobby of mine.... baking.

Oh how I LOVE to bake.

Being sans oven right now makes it a tad more difficult then usual. I hope we are able to remedy that soon, but until then, i can do little baking. Muffins , cupcakes, even small square or round cakes.

In the past i've baked all our own breads (both quick breads and yeast breads), cakes, cookies, muffins. I've done "special diet" baking, including vegan (no animal products at all) as well as tried gluten-free baking (Lisa liked those cupcakes! heck, so did I!)

But I really shine during the holidays. I bakes some wheres around 7 different kinds of cookies, as well as making candy (esp fudge... and most esp peanut butter fudge!). as well as special holiday breads... my mouth is watering just thinking about it!

I don't know if you all consider baking a hobby, but i most certainly do!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Technical Difficulties

Please excuse my lack of blogging the past few days, esp after posting that I would be blogging again! Our DSL has taken to not staying connected for more then a few minutes at a time since a huge storm passed through here Tuesday evening.

Unfortunately with a wedding and a baptism to attend this weekend, we are not going to even have the change to get to a payphone (since our phone is Vonage, which is VoIP, can't use that if we cant stay connected - UGH!) to call and complain about this.

Hopefully I'll be back up and running smoothly on here again soon!!

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

For more inspiring moments, swing of to SouleMama.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

30 day Blog Journal - Day 19

After my much needed break from reality, here I am, back at finishing the 30 day blog journal entries.

Today's topic - a talent of mine.

First, what is talent? Merriam-Webster defines talent as a characteristic feature, aptitude, or disposition of a person or animal, or the natural endowments of a person. Wiki says that talent (in the sense of natural ability or giftedness) is not the same as skill, which is a learned process, and one which is enhanced or inhibited by an underlying talent.

So, a natural ability or endowment, and not a learned skill. So, what is my talent?

After posing the question on Facebook, and doing some thinking, I would have to say my strongest talent is being creativity.

In my teens, this would have been focused in music... I played the flute (but stopped after 2 years due to practice time being too early in the am, I never got back into it), sang (at school and in church, both in a choir, as well as few solos) and played hand bells at church.

As this has changed a bit as I've grown. Lacking time to hone my musical skills, I've taken up working in fiber arts. While I've known how to crochet since I was 8 or 9, I've really only done well with it, since becoming a mother (and naturally felt the need to prepare for my baby). Since I re-started working with fibers 11 years ago, I've nailed down counted cross stitch, and finally learned to knit 2 1/2 years ago. I've done a little sewing (scrub tops and skirts, doll diapers...). My hope is to learn needle felting next. I've also done some pretty creative baking, something I think I get from my father (who was a fantastic baker). And, something that I think helps keep me grounded, I started to play hand bells after years of not doing anything musically. Music really does touch my creative soul.

Without having written this post, without really thinking about it, I may have said I am talent-less. But I truly don't believe anyone is. We all have talents, it just takes recognizing, honing, and using them .

Come back tomorrow, where our topic will be... a hobby of mine.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Menu Planning Monday - July 12th

Here we are again. Finally after the craziness of planning and going, then returning form our vacation to my brother-in-laws river lot in PA (see pic in previous post - it was lovely there!), We are back into a routine.

Even with it being summer, we're tremendously busy! This Saturday my husband will be a groomsman in his brother's wedding. My 7 yr old is in summer reading camp at school for the next few weeks, and my oldest has book club twice a week as part of her summer reading project for school. I'm also assisting again this year with our local Vacation Bible School - I LOVE IT! Again, working on games for the kids (last year I was in charge of the preschool class games) with a lovely lady, I have yet to meet, but I am sure it will be a blast. It's so inspirational to work with children! I know what it does for my faith...

but I digress... we're menu planning! So I have time to take all the kids to their things and still feed them great meals to keep them healthy and growing.

Monday: BBQing hot dogs, pasta salad and chips

Tuesday: Breakfast for dinner

Wednesday: Pasta, salad

Thursday: BLTs, fruit salad

Friday: Chicken Fajitas

Saturday: Wedding day - who knows where we'll be at dinner time!

Sunday: Not sure, we'll be driving to and from my in-laws to pick up the youngest rug rat... so something simple and easy, maybe pizza

Lunches this week will include:
leftovers from dinner the night before
Nutella and fluff sandwiches (the girls LOVE these!)
veggie and fruit tray

As always, make sure you hop over to I'm an Organizing Junkie for more menu planning inspiration!

Back into the swing

For the (very few) reads of my little blog, you may have noticed i haven't written in over a week. Mostly due to being out and spending the holiday with family. It was lovely and nice... and I'd give just about anything to be back there now (though 4 days does seem to be the limit for a few family members, esp sans shower and laundry abilities! LOL)

our view off the camp lot looking at the west branch of the Susquehanna river

some fishing

some boating

some swimming

some fireworks

and of course a big bonfire

Rather then try to play catch up on all my posts I normally would have done, I'm just going to start fresh.

I hope everyone had a happy, healthy and safe holiday!!

Friday, July 9, 2010

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

For more moments, swing over to Soulemama