Category Archives: Not My Ideas

Good things.

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I was telling my mother-in-law last night that I was looking for a new desk for my room. The one I have is tiny. As in I can’t type with my hands on the desk or write anything down while I’m on the computer tiny. Teeny Tiny.

Anywho, I asked her to be on the lookout for one that would suit my needs. On our way home, I checked craigslist for curb alerts and found a listing for a whole bunch of stuff from 3 hours prior exactly 4 blocks from our house. I didn’t actually think anything would be left after 3 hours, but we drove by, and it had a desk! Perfect for my needs – shelving up top, nice wide and deep desk, and a drawer! It does have a keyboard shelf that needs a little fixing, but I’m stoked! Ask and ye shall receive, I suppose!

In other news, I made the beef stew from my freezer last night. It. Was Awesome! The only thing I didn’t like was that the potatoes started turning black in the freezer. Next time, I will make up the bag with everything but the potatoes, and just put in the potatoes day of, that will solve that problem!

It was this beef stew from Six Sisters Stuff.

I’ve also tried these from my “cook” day:

Chicken Broccoli Alfredo from Six Sisters, and it was tasty, but needed some salt. It wasn’t pretty, but it was good. I did have the request to add more veg to it next time, like green beans.

I also ate the Beef Strogonoff based off this version of Meatball Strogonoff from Baked in the South. I made it on “cook” day, so it never went into the freezer, however I did put one in there for later. It tasted amazing, but it was so terribly ugly! I’m sure that the meatball version would be better than just the ground beef, but my hubby doesn’t like frozen meatballs; or rather, they don’t like him! I think the problem was that it was too much grease left from the ground beef, so I will try to spoon some off as it’s cooking. That should help a lot.

I’m looking forward to eating the other meals in my freezer, and to my next “cook” day! I found this from Pinterest at New Leaf Wellness. It’s a list of 31 different meal prep sessions with multiple recipes on each, along with shopping lists.

I can’t tell you how great it has been to just dump something in the crock pot and not deal with dinner! On the meal days, I have made 2 pots of pasts, and a tray of crescents. That’s it! Each meal has a little something fresh, but it’s amazing that they have been so good, and SOOOO easy! I’m grateful that Pinterest has so many awesome contributors that have taught me this new way to “cook”!

 

Freezer “Cook” Day

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I wasn’t really planning to do my “cook” day until after Thanksgiving, but we went to the meat market today, so instead of just putting away the meat I decided to do up the bags for the freezer. I call this a “cook” day because there isn’t actually any cooking involved. I chopped 2 onions, 4 carrots, 4 potatoes, and a pepper. Yup, that’s all the “work” involved. We have a total of 7 in our family – 2 adults, a teen, and 4 under 10. Every other weekend, we add another teen and 9 year old that eats like a teen!

The Plan: 6 meals for $35

The logic: My meat market has amazing deals on awesome meats. $1.99 per pound for boneless skinless chicken breasts (one breast, not split, will feed our family of 7) and $1.99 per pound of ground beef if you buy 10 pounds or more. I only used 2 pounds for my “cook” day, so

Mexican Chicken Taco Stuffing and Ranch Chicken and Potatoes from http://www.StacyMakesCents.com (I added 2 pouches of potatoes because, well, 7 people)

Chicken Broccoli Alfredo and Beef Stew from http://www.SixSistersStuff.com

Beef Strogonoff modified from Meatball Beef Strogonoff from http://www.BakedInTheSouth.com

I was also going to make a batch of Man Pleasing Chicken, but the store didn’t have any real Maple Syrup or red wine vinegar.

The results:

$23.24 Meat Market: 2 pounds of ground beef, 1 pound stew beef, 6.5 pounds chicken (that’s 3 breasts… told you they were big!)

$17.84 Save A Lot: everything else

Total: $41.08 for 6 meals. If the stew beef wasn’t quite so much, I would have done better, but not too shabby! I made one each of the above for the freezer, and have a beef strogonoff in the crockpot now. 6 meals, $6.85 each – I’m pretty proud of myself! It’ll get better once I get back into couponing, but for now, I’m happy.

 

The Garden Experiment: egg carton seedlings

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My pumpkin seedlings are doing incredibly well. If I ever needed a project that showed kids how seeds grow… I’d use pumpkins. Right after this was taken, I moved the ones in the ramikin to a glass. They like it better that way. Also, best to ignore the dirty window!

These pumpkin seedlings are getting too big for their britches. I mean ramikin.

One of the things pinned on my Pinterest Garden board is a way to recycle an egg carton for seed starting. Many of my seeds in their Baggie greenhouses were getting mold, so they needed a change. I had an egg carton in the trash! Ok. We can do this!

I took my seedlings one at a time, pulled out the best 3 – 6 of each variety, wrapped their little roots in a little hunk of damp paper towel, and put them in the carton. The sixes had roommates in their egg cup, threes were alone. I tried to label them with the little sticky tabs on toothpicks… Didn’t work. So I settled for putting them on the carton, which did work. I was a little surprised.

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I put a few drops of water in each cup, and off we go. I did not put the onions or carrots in there, mostly because I have a lot of each of them and they are doing ok in their Baggie. I am hoping for good weather and a not-sick hubby this weekend so he can go get my soil. Fingers crossed!

One Little Thing… Get To Know Your Kids

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This is my 6 year old's answers. He's pretty funny, and enchanting.

This is my 6 year old’s answers. He’s pretty funny, and enchanting.

I decided a couple months ago to get to know my kids with a 20 Questions inspired by a post on Reaves, Party of Four. I really loved that idea, and I wanted to recreate it on my own. I was just starting to play with some new found fonts, but I had a blast asking these questions and hearing their creative and, uh interesting answers!

Jake is 11, dramatic, funny, full of himself, and sweet.

Jake is 11, dramatic, funny, full of himself, and sweet.

I sat with them at the dinner table when they were finishing diner and I had already finished (slow, those two!) and started asking these questions. I asked Jake if he wanted to write his own answers and he said no. I don’t think Sean could swing that much writing yet, maybe next year! I would like to do this every year, perhaps on their birthdays. It will go well with their birthday morning photo! Tradition… I like it.

So do a little something to make your Mommy heart swell – get to know the little people living with you!

Menu Plan Monday, and a binder peek!

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Binder Peek!

I have been busily working to get my new binder into something resembling organized. I have many cute pen colors, highlighters, sticky notes… but I keep using the pink pen in the side loop. Kinda defeats the multi-pen purpose. Hrm.

My easy way to see what’s for dinner!
bucketfulofcrazy.wordpress.com

First I wanted to show off my ruler/page finder thing. I used the idea from Living The Good Life that I found on Pinterest to add my weekly menu on that ruler thing. BRILLIANT! When I was at Joann the other day, I found the $1 end cap in the scrapbook area and these adorable rub off letters and thought that would be perfect for my ruler to delineate the Days.

As a quick aside… I may be considered a crafty person, and some crafty things I am pretty good at. However, these had no instructions, so I had to wing it. I sucked at it, lost both of my Ts when I was trying to put the M on, so Tuesday is a U and Thursday is a R (which is what I usually use anyway). Sigh.

Next, I wanted to point out my chore tabs. These are from the Martha Stewart line at Staples. They are re-stick-able so when a chore is done for the week, I move it to the next week. That way I don’t have to write it over and over and it is really easy to see what I still have to do. For example, I have not yet cleaned either bathroom, scrubbed the kitchen counters, or mopped. (Moving on!)

As I get it more together, I will show it off more. I love it, it’s pretty, and I think it may be working. However, it is HUGE and heavy, and somewhat daunting. We’ll see how it goes.

Menu Plan Monday

Menu Plan Monday at orgjunkie.com

Menu Plan Monday at orgjunkie.com

Org Junkie is a site that I find myself pinning from quite frequently. I have many aspirations that started there… and since I think it’s a good idea to have SOME accountability, (and also… I’m a follower), I thought I’d join in the fun. Each Monday, she hosts Menu Plan Monday, a list of bloggers that are showing off what they plan to make that week for supper, often with links to the recipes. It is a great way to stalk see what others are making to give you ideas to steal make, too!

Here is my menu plan for this week (you can see it in my binder ^ up there!)

Monday: Cheesy Potato Beef Bake

Tuesday: Tuna Noodle Casserole – this was hubby’s request!

Wednesday: Crock Pot Cilantro Lime Chicken (from the cook day!)

Thursday: Chili – I use the Chili Magic brand with petit diced tomatoes. My 11 yr old is making this.

Friday: Steak and Twice Baked Potatoes

Saturday: Crock Pot Freezer BBQ Ribs (from cook day!) and Hash Brown Casserole

Sunday: Sunday Chicken

If you’d like to see the rest of those participating in today’s fun, visit Menu Plan Monday!

One Little Thing… Freezer Inventory

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Keeping track of what you have makes it easy to see what you can make!

Keeping track of what you have makes it easy to see what you can make!

I organized my freezer and decided that I needed a better way of keeping track of what I had and didn’t. I used to use that white board and write down what I had by category(ish) and use the Xs like I do here. Line one way for each item you have. Line the other way as you use them – making an X. It’s so much easier than changing a digit each time you grab something out of the freezer.

I took the one from this one from NW Edible (scroll down a little) and changed it up. The awesomeist thing about this printable is that it can open in Word, Pages, or as a PDF. I changed it up to make it something more usable to me by adding another column, changing the fonts a bit, and giving it smaller margins. It’s perfect for my needs.

If it were mine, I’d share my changes… but it’s not. Sorry.

I put mine in a sheet protector so I don’t have to reprint or erase. I also used a wet-erase market instead of dry erase so it is less likely that my marks will go away just by writing on the thing. It would suck to put all that work into counting to have it rub off! I also have this on my Menu board. I make a menu each week so that I can see what I need, and most importantly so I don’t have to answer THAT question 15 times a day! Posting a menu also helps me remember to get out the meat in the morning. MUCH easier than deciding what to make that night, seeing if I have all those ingredients, and then remembering to get the meat out!

Of course Pinterest has eleventy seven other freezer inventories, depending on what you like and how your family eats. Print one, protect it, fill it, out, use it.

It’ll help – trust me!!

Tried and True

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There have been a few Magic Tricks that I’ve found on Pinterest that have worked so well that I have turned them into part of my cleaning. I want to share them with you, maybe they can help you too! I’m nothing if not a giver. 😉

First is the Dryer Vent Cleaning Dohickee. I found one that included purchasing a dryer cleaning dohickee and thought it would be great… but then I saw this!! Over at crazydazedesigns.blogspot.com is a home-made dryer vent dohickee!! I made my own, and it worked great.

crazydazedesigns.blogspot.com

crazydazedesigns.blogspot.com

Next is the Magic Potion to get Oil Stains out of Clothes!! And… it works. Even if you’ve washed and dried the clothes many many times with the stain. This is from http://www.whatscookingwithruthie.com, and I swear it works. 

Stove Vent Cleaning. As soon as I saw this on Jillee’s blog, I did it. Immediately. It worked, but it was gross.

onegoodthingbyjillee.com

onegoodthingbyjillee.com

And finally, A ‘Mum in the Oven showed me a great way to clean grout! For this, I am forever grateful! I pared down the recipe to 1/4 the original recipe, and I still have plenty. My only challenge is that the offending grout is on the shower wall, and the grout cleaner is liquid. Gravity is not it’s friend. That being said, I was able to spray and walk away, come back and rinse and 90% of the ick was gone.