Saturday, October 31

Menu Plan Monday

Getting used to life without a microwave. Our house had a built in one and I am too cheap to buy one, as we are going back to SmallTown at some point, plus we don’t have room for one, as counter space is already limited. I am also still adjusting to finding where I decided to put things. The menu this week went great, as we didn’t eat out once (except for limeades—does that count?). Here goes another week…

Sunday-Chicken Enchiladas, Spanish Rice
Monday-Broccoli Cheese Soup, Dinner Rolls
Tuesday-Shepherds Pies, Biscuits
Wednesday-Chicken Parmesan, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans
Friday-Baked Potatoes w/ Chili, Cheese, Sour Cream, and Broccoli
Saturday-Chicken Pot Pie, Green Beans
For other menu ideas, visit the Organizing Junkie.


After enjoying our afternoon outing, I came home and slaved away in the kitchen. No, just kidding. It was just really nice to have DH watch the Peanut while I prepared dinner. No trying to keep an eye on the Peanut while having three different things on the stove. I could just focus on the task at hand.

I made Orecchiette with Mini Chicken Meatballs. It was sooo yummy! It wasn’t a very inexpensive dish to make as it calls for ground chicken (I used ground turkey which I got on sale), bocconcini (tiny fresh mozzarella balls), fresh basil, and grape tomatoes. None of those are typically ever on my grocery list, but this was worth it. I also used tiny shell pasta, as the only place I found orecchiette pasta was on the internet and I wasn't about to pay $8 in shipping for pasta, which of course, all tastes the same.

Definitely a keeper that would be good to make for company. That is, when we have some up here in SmallTown! :)

A Day Off

On Thursday, we decided to take a day off from unpacking/sorting/organizing/hanging wall items etc. and drive up to the Super Wal*Mart about 45 minutes from NewTown. Due to the extreme cost difference in groceries, we thought it might be worth the trip. Not so much. Back home in SmallTown, the Super Wal*Mart was comparable to my beloved Winco. (That’s pretty distressing how my former grocer has become somewhat of a sonnet to me now.) Now, the Super Wal*Mart not much less inexpensive than Safeway or Albertson’s or any of the other grocers here in town. I guess when that’s who you are competing with, combined with the fact that we are in the middle of nowhere, the prices don’t have to be that much cheaper. Humph!

The Peanut is such a trooper and travels so well!

But it was worth it regardless, as we did have a fun, relaxing day. It was nice to get out and enjoy DH’s day off just relaxing, drinking our limeades, and enjoying time as a family. The drive was also very pretty with all the fall foliage! It was cloudy, but that’s the Pacific Northwest for ya!

Someone lost their pink ball!

New Shoes and a New 'Do

So has anybody else been having problems with Blogger? I have all these posts I want to write and the baby is FINALLY asleep without me holding her…and Blogger isn’t working!

We bought the Peanut some new shoes to go with her Halloween costume. They seemed just big enough to fit well right now but hopefully last for her Christmas dress. (I did get them on sale, so I don’t feel too guilty.) She looked so cute, I had to share. If only my feet were oh so cute and tiny!!!

I have also started to “fix” her hair each day and the two pig tails don’t work too well as of yet, so one it is. I then went to the craft store to pick up some ribbon to tie in her hair.

Well if that just isn’t the cutest. Like I said, I just had to share.

Friday, October 30

A New Pizza

This was actually our first home cooked meal in the new home, and it has just taken me some time to get this post up. I went to a family member's Pampered Chef party earlier this year and they made this pizza. It's fairly easy to make and it's SO good. So what's not to love?

You'll need:

Pizza Crust or used the tubed kind in your grocer's refrigerator section

Cooked Chicken, cubed, around 2-3 cups
Shredded Cheese (use your favorite!)
Tomatoes, diced, around 1-2 cups
Red Onion, minced, around 1/3-1/2 cup
Avocado, cubed, I used two
Cooked Bacon, chopped, about 1/2 cup

Sorry for the vague amounts, I usually just wing it in the kitchen. My mother taught me well. :) Press your dough out on a stone or pan and then sprinkle your cooked chicken and cheese on top. Bake at 350 degrees until the dough is cooked through, usually about 15-20 minutes.

Mix up the tomatoes, red onion, avocados, and bacon while the pizza is baking. Spread evenly over the pizza once it has cooled for about ten minutes. Serve and enjoy!

Tuesday, October 27

With a Few More Details

So I am definitely getting there as far as making our new place a home. It still feels pretty foreign though--it's all the same stuff, but in someone elses home! But we'll get there. At least the Peanut is sleeping better than ever before; I've only had to get up with her twice since we moved here. That's practically a world record!

I thought I would share some of it. There are some details still yet to be finished (like the drapes and a few pictures that still need to be hung), but you'll get the general idea...

Our little nook...I ♥ my little nook set. I have Fiesta Ware and the chairs match each of the colors of dishes I have. Custom made by my mom. And the table was built by my Dad. Made to order. I told him what I wanted and he made it. I am pretty spoiled! This is how I have managed to decorate pretty cheaply--I have very talented parents!!! Oh, and imagine blue curtains hanging on the slider and please ignore the box in the back ground...I told you I am not quite there yet!

Yes, the itsy, bitsy kitchen. I thought I didn't have enough counter space before! Good grief--at least there is a dish washer and self cleaning oven!

This is the "transition" from the nook/kitchen to the living area. You'll see my attempt at "fall" decorations. Don't get me wrong--I love fall, but when you have plums/mossy greens/creams for your palette, the rich fall colors don't really match too well and it's pretty hard to incorporate those. So a cream colored pumpkin and turkey it is. I have some cream pilgrims somewhere...buried in the garage that still needs to be sorted. Something also needs to be hung on the wall, but I haven't figured that out yet.

The living area. I once had many a nick-nacks and pictures, but those don't mix too well with a 13 1/2 month old. So sparse decor it is. At least dusting will be easier! Notice the half drawn blinds. To keep out of reach of little hands.

The living from the other side. Having the vase and digital frame down is really pushing the limits with the Peanut. However, we can usually keep her occupied enough to avoid that area.

And the half bath...once again pictures and a shelf that need to be hung. Where does one hide the TP tastefully when there is only a pedestal sink and no cupboard? Hmmm...

So that's it for the downstairs. I'll post the upstairs soon!

Monday, October 26

Him and I

My bloggy friend Lucy encouraged us to join in on the fun. I have been a little busy, but finally, here it is...

♥How long have you been together?
We've been married five and half years.

♥ How long did you know each other before you started dating?
We didn't.

♥ Who asked who out?
Um, well we met on a blind date. He called me.

♥ Who made the first move?
He did. But he insists that I was "leaning." I wasn't. (Watch While You Were Sleeping)

♥ How old are each of you?
I am 30 and he is 33.

♥ Did you go to the same school?
Nope, not even close. He grew up in a different state than I did.

♥ Are you from the same home town?
Nope, see above.

♥ Who is the smartest?
Gosh, that is a tough one. I really don't know. He knows about lots of things I don't and vice versa. I'd say it's a draw.

♥ Who majored in what?
Heh. Me-politial science. Him-Bible and youth ministry.

♥ Who is the most sensitive?
Overall, I would have to say him. I have a hard shell, but when you get to me, I fall ALL apart. He is a teddy bear.

♥ Where do you eat out most as a couple?
Mucias Gracias. Cheap, bottom of the barrel Mexican food. Open 24 hours. :)

♥ Where is the furthest you two have traveled together as a couple?
To visit his parents. About 700 miles away.

♥ Who has the worst temper?
Me--I am extremely impatient. Nice quality, huh?

♥ How many children do you want?
I am fine with two, possibly three. He wants three. We have yet to see who wins.

♥ Who does the cooking?
Me. I love to cook, so this is fine with me. He does grill though. The male specialty. :)

♥ Who is more social?
He totally is. I am a total home body, perfectly content to rarely leave the house.

♥ Who is the neat-freak?
We are both pretty neat people. I can have a messy drawer/cabinet and am fine with just closing it--out of sight, out of mind. But I like to have the appearance of neatness. He on the other hand, cannot handle it. If he knows it's messy, he has to clean it/organize it. So I guess he would probably win that one?

♥ Who is the most stubborn?
I definitely am. He always gives in before I do. I am just a brat.

♥ Who wakes up earlier?
Him, because he has to go to work. But if you count who gets up with the baby at 3:24 am....

♥ Where was your first date?
We went to the Olive Garden.

♥ Who has the bigger family?
He does, both immediate and extended.

♥ Do you get flowers often?
Not really. I can probably count on one hand the number of times I've gotten flowers. And I am SO okay with that. They are so expensive and last such a short time. He knows I would much rather have a new cooking tool/dish/clothes/etc before flowers. And he's a really good gift giver. He pays attention.

♥ How do you spend the holidays?
That is all about to change. Normally, it was with my family because we lived closest to them. We have spent a few holidays with his family. But with us moving, him not having vacation yet, his new work schedule up in the air, and the drive home potentially being hindered with inclement weather, we may be starting our own traditions. So we will see...

♥ Who is more jealous?
Probably me.

♥ How long did it take to get serious?
About five dates. But I think we both knew from the beginning. We were just cautious.

♥ Who eats more?
Him, but I occassionally can give him a run for his money.

♥ What do you do for a living?
I am stay at home mom/domestic engineer/housewife. You get the idea. He works in management in the restaurant industry.

♥ Who does the laundry?
I do. I am pretty particular.

♥ Who’s better with the computer?
Me. I am all about using the keyboard shortcuts for everything I can. He uses the mouse for lots of things and it's rather painful for me to watch.

♥ Who drives when you are together?
He prefers to, but if he is tired, sometimes I will.

♥ What is "your" song?
Gosh, you know we really don't have one in particular. But he did make me a mix CD of a bunch of songs that are sort of ours...lots of Brad Paisley, some Steven Curtis Chapman, some Lifehouse, some Lonestar. Not really just "one."

Saturday, October 24

Menu Plan Monday

It feels so good to have a menu plan and also have a kitchen in working order once again. This past week was an expensive reminder of why it is such good thing to menu plan. I am going grocery shopping tomorrow--it should be interesting because I don't have a Winco here. (Sniff.)
I stalked up on a lot of the bulk foods I bought regularly before we moved, but with the dairy and produce I couldn't for obvious reasons. I stopped by the store earlier this week and WOW, was it expensive. Nearly everything I bought was about 30% more than what I am used to paying. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So I will definitely be shopping the ads here to try and get the most for my money. I am also going to the Grocery Outlet to see what they have and if it is any cheaper. And there is always Costco. The only bad thing with that is that you have to buy so many at a time. I guess if I go that route it will force me to take a good look at my cupboards as I sit down to menu plan for the week. SO, without further ado...

Sunday-Roast Chicken, Green Beans, Garlic Mashed Potatoes (I put the chicken in the crock pot. It's soo easy and it turns out so good! FYI~Albertson's has whole chickens on sale for $.49/lb.! I bought three!)

Monday-Pork Fried Rice, Steamed Broccoli (never got to this before we moved)

Tuesday-Spaghetti, Green Beans, French Bread

Wednesday-Chicken Noodle Soup (using the leftovers from Sunday)

Thursday-Orechiette w/ Mini Chicken Meatballs (I saw this on the Today Show a couple of weeks ago and thought I needed to try it!), Steamed Broccoli

Friday-Leftovers (DH is working late)

Saturday-Potato Soup

This is Getting Out of Hand

Have I also mentioned that NewTown has a Sonic (home of my most favorite limeades in the WORLD) only a stone's throw from our new home?

We have been here less than a week and I've already had three.


Friday, October 23

Can Anyone Spell Ebay?

We are officially moved. Note, that is moved, not moved in. Although I have made a good dent, we have many, many things left to unpack--or at least to organize and sort through. I have been avoiding this post, as I have so much I want to share, but my thoughts are still so jumbled and frankly, I am still a little overwhelmed. Each day gets a little easier. But let me back up and start at the beginning.

On Saturday (otherwise known as Pack Up the Truck Day), we had a fun little unplanned event. It's called We Have So
Much Junk
Many Treasures That We Needed TWO UHauls To Make The Move. Yes, folks the 26 foot UHaul was not big enough; we had to get an additional 14 foot UHaul to drive as well. Having had our own home for nearly five years now, DH and I have discovered that we have this mentality of "We don't really need ____ any longer, but we might somewhere down the road and it doesn't take up that much room, so what does it hurt to keep it? We've already paid money for ____, so why would we buy it again?"

Our two trucks waiting for confirmation to take off.

For example, at our first (and only, for me) apartment, we had a cute little kitchen nook sized table and chairs. (Which my dad built the table and my mom painted and recovered the chairs, but that is not the point...their many talents would take several other posts....) When we bought our house, the house had only a formal dining room and a breakfast bar in the kitchen, but no nook. So we got a new (not new, but new to us) table and chairs for the dining room and stored the other set in the garage. Because, as I said, why would we buy it again if the opportunity presented itself to be able to use it once again in the future? Plus, the nook set had much sentimental value. And now, in our teensy little home, we didn't have to go buy a nook set, because we already had it. :) So all these situations equated to an extra truck. Which even in all of our justification, still seems pretty ridiculous.

I am hoping I can now sort through our things at some point and possibly make some of the unplanned expense of an extra truck back on EBay or craigslist. In all my spare time. Heh. Let me get us settled first and I'll think about that tomorrow.

We had several family members help us throughout the day on Saturday, which we wouldn't have finished had they not all helped in some way. Whether it was helping watch the Peanut or helping load or helping pack those last minute items, each person that came helped so much. Thank you, thank you! It was a long day (like 10 + hours long), but at least it was finished as planned on Saturday so we could leave for NewTown bright and early Sunday morning. Our Uncle also asked to pray for us before he left that night and that meant so much. It brings tears to my eyes, even as I sit here and type this. It was very special and we appreciated it so very much.

Auntie and Peanut waiting for me to find my keys.

I misplaced my keys right before we left on Sunday so we left later than planned and in addition, the drive up took us several hours longer than normal, as we also made several stops along the way. Having a little Peanut does that. We had already planned on DH driving the UHaul, but then my sister totally came through and pinch hit for us and drove the extra UHaul. Phew! Have I mentioned we have too much stuff?
There are no words.

So we got there (our five driver caravan--I drove our family vehicle, my Dad drove DH's vehicle, DH drove the big UHaul, my sister drove the little UHaul, and my mom drove up their vehicle so they all had a way to come home) and we did the walk through with our new landlords. DH's uncle (by marriage--the uncle the prayed for us) has family that lives here in our NewTown and they offered to help us unload when we arrived. Of course we took them up on the offer! Eight members (if I remember correctly) of our Uncle's family came and helped us unload. What took us approximately 10 hours to load took less than three and a half to unload. We were so thankful that the "army" as DH called them came and helped us out. What a blessing!

With boxes scattered EVERYWHERE, we got the beds set up and made and we all fell into bed Sunday night. We. Were. Exhausted. We slept hard, as my family had to leave first thing Monday morning.
Grandpa and Peanut snuggling down. 

This is where reality started to sink in and when things got hard. We (DH and I) were so busy all weekend that we hardly had time to think of the hard part. He and I went and picked up breakfast and brought it back so we could enjoy one last meal together before they were on their way. It was like the big elephant in the room as we ate our breakfast and watched the Peanut eat hers. (She is the life of the party, needless to say.)

I thought back to all the important moments in my life and my Mom, Dad, and sister have always been there for me. My high school graduation, college graduation, our wedding, buying and moving into our first home, and now as I moved away for the first time in my life, they were each there for me. Even as an unpopular decision as it was, they all understood (with some moments harder than others) and supported me and DH. Even in having to say goodbye to their first born grandchild and niece, they understood and wished us well. And ordered to

requested we move back at the first available opportunity. Which is certainly the plan.

But we also have to make the best of this situation even as hard as it is. My mom always reminds me that it's even more important how we act/treat people in hard circumstances than what we do during the easy circumstances. Let's face it, it's easy to have a good attitude when everything is going your way. But when the going gets tough, it's even more important to make the best of the situation. And I am trying to do that. Even with being away from my family and having a smaller kitchen (yikes!) and half of our belongings in "storage," it's still important to stay positive and focus on the many, many ways we are blessed and not focus on what we don't have. And I'll be honest, it will be hard at times. But all I have to do is look at our little Peanut and I am reminded of why we are here. And it's worth it.

Thursday, October 22

I will be back soon....

Can't wait to be back and posting again really soon...still trying to get our home to be "liveable" and then I will tell you all about it!

Friday, October 16

Over and Out

I will be offline for the next several days as we pack, load up, and say our good byes. In the midst of it all I will also be creating a new place to call home for our family. Wish us luck...better yet, say lots of prayers. I always heard those work better anyway. ;)

Tuesday, October 13

One Last Time....At Least For a While

We were able to spend some time with my sister-in-law and nieces and have dinner together tonight. It was bittersweet. Sweet of course, because it is always wonderful to see them and share some time together. Bitter, because with us moving away, we don't know exactly when the next time will be to spend some time together again.

The unknown is always hard. That's why trusting Him in all things is so difficult. I seem to make the mistake of not trusting Him practically on a daily basis. But in the words of Anne Shirley, "Tomorrow is always fresh with no mistakes in it." :) Each day I can choose to trust Him, or myself. Let's face it, many times, I don't even trust myself to get up when the alarm goes off. So trusting Him makes much more sense. It's the doing it that is often times hard. I said this before, but looking back over the past few months and how ALL the details have fallen into place, He reminds me. He is not a God of coincidences. In fact, I am often reminding myself, "It's no coincidence that _____."

ALL that to say, we had a wonderful time tonight. Here are some fun highlights:

Can you believe they give 5 year olds homework??!?!?

My little "pupcake"

Peanut enjoying her 1st course...goldfish crackers. Mmmmm!

Sunday, October 11

Menu Plan Monday

One week left! Had I been on top of things, I would have planned ahead and done next weeks menu as well. But I wasn' I may be improvising next week as we start to get settled.

Monday-We had pork loin fajitas with the Aqua Negra Marinade at my Mom and Dad's for dinner tonight and we got sent home with some of the leftovers. YUM!

Tuesday-Crock Pot Lentil and Sausage Soup (I omit the nutmeg, as I am NOT a fan of nutmeg in savory dishes--I so get that quirk from my Mom), biscuits

Wednesday-Chicken Salad Sandwiches, Sliced Fruit


Friday-Out for dinner--our last night out in Hometown

Saturday-MOVING DAY!

Saturday, October 10

Great Timing

Like I really needed this.....I'm no expert, but it hurt like no one's business when I "stubbed" it. It is now black and blue AND it hurts to put too much weight on it. I think it might be broken. Guess I can just sit back and let the DH do all the moving. Yeah, right! There is too much to get done!

Friday, October 9


Sometimes I even impress myself in the kitchen. That sounds really bad, doesn't it? Let me back up. We had take out from Macaroni Grill a couple of weeks ago and I really enjoyed my dish, Carmela's Chicken Rigatoni. It was so delightful and I thought, I could should make this! I even remembered to add it to my menu plan this week.

It was SO yummy. Here is my version...

Chicken Linguine with Caramelized Onions and Mushrooms

2 Yellow Onions
1 Tbl Olive Oil
3 Chicken Breasts
3 4 oz. cans of mushrooms, drained (I am sure fresh would be better, but I did my shopping last week and I didn't want the mushrooms to get slimy....blech!)
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
4-5 cups whole milk
2 tsp basil (again, I am sure fresh would be much better, but I didn't know if it would keep)
1 lb. linguine (they used rigatoni, but I prefer the "noodle" pasta)
Salt and Pepper

Heat olive oil in a large saute pan. The key to caramelizing onions is having a VERY hot pan and time. Lots of time. While the pan is heating, peel, quarter, and thinly slice the onions. Once the pan is hot, saute the onions until they turn a nice caramely color. Don't burn of course, just make sure to stir the onions every few minutes. Mine took close to 30 minutes to seems like they won't ever start to caramelize, but be patient, they will!

They should look about like this:

Once the onions are finished, put them in bowl and set aside. Using the same pan, grill the chicken until internal temp is 165 degrees or until the middle is no longer pink. I like to let the chicken brown on each side on about medium heat, stick my thermometer (like this one--thanks Mom!) in the chicken, set the thermometer to 165 degrees, and cover the pan. When is reaches 165, it beeps to let you know its done. Pretty simple. Plus you won't catch any food borne illness from improperly cooked foods. And that's always nice.
Once the chicken is done, set on a cutting board and let it sit for a few minutes. You don't want to slice it when it's super hot, otherwise all the juices will run out. As it cools, it will help retain those juices when you slice into it.

As the chicken is cooling, place the butter in the pan over medium heat. This will also help the onion and chicken flavor de-glaze the pan. Add the flour. This is what cooks call a roux. Let this brown up a bit, as this helps cook the flour flavor out. Add your milk and stir the roux with the milk. This will thicken as it heats and can take several minutes. Add the basil and salt and pepper to taste.

Prepare your pasta according to package directions. You can cook it just a little shy of being done, as it will absorb some of the moisture from the cream sauce. Drain your pasta and add your cream sauce, onions, chicken, and mushrooms. Let it heat through. Serve with Parmesan cheese on top.

Enjoy! I know we sure did!

This is linked to Life As Mom's Ultimate Recipe Swap.

Tuesday, October 6

Caught in the Act!

Tonight, I caught it on camera!

Because, if a toy box is fun to play with, then surely, it has to be fun to play in.

What will she think of next?

Works For Me Wednesday--Cleaning Tip!

Kristen is having a themed edition of best cleaning tip....this works like a charm! I will be doing it this next week, with the move coming up!

* * * Originally published 06.09.2009 * * *

I hate cleaning our microwave. And I am probably the one that gets it the most dirty too. Ironic, I know. I just found a tip (from a magazine? although I can't remember which one) for such easy cleaning. And it's frugal. And it's earth friendly. But I love the easy part. Simply set a bowl of water in your microwave with several tablespoons of lemon juice and boil the water. It took about four minutes in ours to boil. Then let the bowl sit in the microwave for ten minutes. The steam softens any cooked on food (not that that ever happens in our house) and you can just wipe it down with a cloth. It's as easy as that!

For other great tips, please visit Kristen at We Are That Family.

You Really Should Try This

I made Rachael Ray's Turkey and Stuffing Meatloaf for dinner last night. We had had it once before and the DH really liked it. Personally, I forgot how tasty it was. It is really good, and it got me excited for the holidays...not that I need any encouragement in that department. Ahem.

I served it with the Sour Cream and Onion Mashed Potatoes, however I was almost out of sour cream, so I used cream cheese instead. I really felt like this meal didn't quite have all the daily calories in ONE sitting, so I added a few more. But, yum! We also had green beans from the garden. It's all about balance, right? ; )

Sunday, October 4

Three Hours Later

This is what the pigtails looked like after a nap.

Apparently, fine, wet baby hair and pigtails in little pink rubber bands don't mix well.

Menu Plan Monday

Fall is here! I am excited to be able to be planning menu's without regards to "how hot is it going to be and should I use the oven that day?" Plus, I {heart} fall comfort foods like soups and mashed potatoes and biscuits and pies. Basically, I've never met a carb I didn't like. I KNOW.

Monday-Turkey stuffing meatloaf (the recipe that I printed sometime ago didn't include the apples...strange!), scallion mashed potatoes and gravy, and green beans

Tuesday-Ground beef casserole, green beans


Thursday-Pasta with chicken, caramelized onions, mushrooms and cream sauce (my inspiration came from our take out night from Macaroni Grill and their Carmela's Chicken Rigatoni...YUM); green salad

Friday-Homemade pizza with homemade sauce and crust, green salad
For other menu inspiration, visit here!

Just About There

The Peanut's hair is really starting to get long. It is always difficult to get from the short hair phase to the long hair phase, because there is always that "in between phase" that is so awkward. That's where the Peanut's hair is right now. Her hair is really filling in nicely, however either bangs need to be cut or I need to figure out how to keep her hair out of her face. I am not ready to cut bangs, as they will make her look so much older. Plus once you do that, then those need to be maintained. And the bows to keep her hair out of her face stays in for about .03 seconds before she pulls it out and so sweetly hands it to me. Argh! So we tried pig tails today after she got out of the bath. That only took, oh, only about 15 minutes. As Grandma says, it's like wrestling a snake. Or better yet, an octopus!

Only the hair on top reaches for right now and then not even some of that--I'll let the pictures tell the rest of the story....


Somewhat perturbed?

I'm gonna get that camera in Mommy's hands!

Daddy's outside!

Let's see, what's next?

Probably a few more weeks and it will be long enough to pull back without it falling out of the rubber bands. But probably a couple more years before she actually sits still for me to fix her hair and not pull it out. On second thought, maybe even longer?


Related Posts with Thumbnails