Saturday, January 31, 2009

Dreaming of Spring!!

We had another warm day today here in the Midwest, in the 60's again. It made me long for spring. So, of course I needed to check out what some of the stores had to get me inspired...I love to browse online, it is much cheaper than going to the store. I thought I would show you a list of some of my fun finds.
Here are a few cute additions to your wardrobe to get you ready for the spring weather. All of these things are from Wal-mart, Target, and Payless. Remember I like cute things but I don't like to spend a lot of money. I fell in love with this green trench from Target...I think I will have to have it. I will wait until it is on sale though...of course.
Green trench coat...Target...39.99
Pink light weight scarf...Walmart...7.00
Stripe umbrella...Target...21.99
Green polka dot boots...Target...24.99
Tote bag...Walmart...18.96
Blue beads...Walmart...4.99
Floral umbrella...Target...16.99
Pink shoes...PayLess shoes...16.99
Pink boots...Target...24.99


Friday, January 30, 2009

Todays Treasure hunt!!

Today I had to run to Target to buy milk, In the process I decided to stop at one of my favorite thrift stores. Over at Easy at Home, Suzanne has been talking about thrift stores. I love to go , but I don't have as much time to get to them anymore.
Here are today's purchases:
Sweet little trinket box 1$
Sweet little vase...1$
"Murder She Wrote" board game...1$
"Candyland game...1$
Harry Potter book ...75cents

I know that you must think that I must be crazy, but I love "Murder She Wrote" I was so excited when I found it.

This is where I put my new finds. I needed somewhere to put my rings at night or whatever jewelry that I end up dumping on night table. I will put a flower in the vase when I find one or a fresh one in the summer.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Organization tip

How to put a whole lot of stuff into a really small bathroom...use a clear shoe caddy!
My family moved about a year ago from a very large house to a house half the size. We decided to down size when I got pregnant with my forth child. I had decided to quite my full time job after baby number three. Then my husband changed jobs, anyway we sold our big house and moved to the little house.It has been a challenge to say the least. My husband and I have a small master bath...just big enough for us both to fit into. Well, being the girl that I am, I had more body products than I could use in a lifetime. I had to get rid of a large portion and figure how to make my every day products fit. I started out putting them under then counter, but that was messy and I never got stuff put away. It ended up being all over my counter and then the little ones would get into it...I don't know how many lipsticks I have lost now. This was my solution...the clear shoe caddy. You can purchase these at Target(my favorite place)for around 5 or6 dollars. If I was really organized I would label the pockets but I haven't got there yet. This seems so simple, but has freed up so much room and kept my husband and I from killing each other. I use the top pockets for my keep the little ones out of it and the lower ones for lotion powder and other body products. This is the bathroom that I also bath the little ones in, so all their stuff is in here as well.I also use these on the inside of every door that doesn't show. The pantry for spice packets, tuna packets, any thing small that gets lost in the back. I also use the caddy for the little ones closet to store all their little shoes, mittens, hats, socks, bibs.I hope this helpful to any of you who are storage challenged.

Dinner with my family...Lasagna night!!

Last night my parents came over for dinner. They they live about 40 minutes from us and I like them to come as often as they can to spend time with the grand kids. I wasn't as prepared as I usually am so I dug through my pantry to see what I could find. Well, I always keep on hand ingredients to make lasagna and a few other may stay meals in our house. My lasagna is very simple...I don't add a lot of spices because my kids won't eat if I do. I also make a very portion, so that i can have left overs to freeze.
Here is what you need:
1(12oz) package of lasagna noodles
2(15oz) containers of ricotta cheese
2(8oz) packages of Mozzarella cheese, divided
1(8oz) package of Parmesan cheese, divided
2 eggs beaten
3(26oz)cans of Hunts "meat" flavored spaghetti sauce...yes really 3 cans
1 to 2lbs of ground beef...depends on your families taste

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2.In a large stock pot bring water to boil and add Lasagna noodles...cook for about 9 to 10 minutes or until noodles a tender, but not falling apart. Remove and rinse.
Cool on paper towels.
3.In a medium bowl combine Ricotta cheese, 1 cup of the Mozzarella, 1/2 cup of the Parmesan, Eggs, pinch of salt and pepper.
4.In a large skillet brown ground beef and drain well in collender. Rinse skillet and return ground beef to it.
5.Add spaghetti sauce to skillet...turn heat up to med-low or just until it starts to bubble the sauce, cook for about 5 minutes
6.In a large sheet pan...I use a 11x15x2 inch sheet pan lined with foil....start to make layers. First a layer of the warm meat sauce then a layer of the noodles, then a layer of the cheese mixture. Continue until you have filled the pan.
7.Top with the rest of the Parmesan cheese and Mozzarella cheese.
8.Cover with foil
9.Bake for about 45 min
10.Remove foil and bake for additional 5 min or desired brownness of cheese...I like mine brown around the edges...My husband likes it just melted...its up to you.
Bake for about 45 minutes

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The "sick day box"

We have all been sick here and today has been the first day I have felt a little better. Three of my four children have had either the stomach flu or head colds. I have had the "old fashion all over flu". I finally went to the doctor yesterday and got some medicine. Anyway the point to my whole story is that when I stopped to get my prescription filled at CVS I thought I better get some soup and other meds for the kids...Well CVS is great if thing are on sale but if they are not, the price on products is so much more expensive that Wal-mart or Target. The last thing I wanted to do was make another stop and fight the crowds. So, as I was standing in line to pay for my 3.50 can of soup...every where else it is a 1.50...I remembered when my teenages were little I used to do a sick box. I had stopped doing as they got to be older because it became easier to get to they store. It is so much harder with little ones. Anyway..sick box is a container that contains everything you need when you or someone in your family gets sick. You are always prepared. You will need to rotate and keep your medicines up to date. The size depends on how much room you have to store it in. I used to use a small Rubbermaid container with a lid the seals tight.You can put what ever you may need when you are sick.
Here are some suggestions :

Ibuprofen or Acetaminophen
Infant ibuprofen or acetaminophen
Cough drops
Cold meds
Chicken Noddle soup
Special blanket...only used for when a person is sick...might need two if you have multible kids
Gatorade or pedialyte for babies
New color books or color pagers
Dollar store toy or two
Bear feels sick book

Sunday, January 25, 2009

More Michaels dollar days

I ran back into Michaels the other day and I picked up these cut little tins....they were only 25cents each. I am going to use them to hold a sewing kit or first aid kit. I thought they would a cute candy holder as a small gift. I will just add a cute tag and some ribbon they will be ready.

Pirate birthday party

I love to do birthday parties...It gives me an excuse to be creative. and shop for inexpensive stuff. I always want to be frugal and not spend a lot of money, but I want to have a fun day. This year we decided to do a pirate party for my three year old. I found these pirate buckets at Target after Halloween. They were trick or treat buckets and I got them for 90% off. I think they ended up being .39 cents . I also did a pirate ship cake...this came from the family fun website. We did a treasure hunt as well. I got this treasure box at the dollar store...sorry such a bad picture...I filled this with candy bags.

Here is my three year old with his hat and eye patch from I love target. My husband
was trying to put his fake earring on...he wasn't to sure about that.

The jumpy place

We went to the" jumpy place" today, as three year old calls it. I don't usually go to those places because they are always so busy, but I decided we needed to get some energy out. It has been so cold here in the Midwest and keeping my busy little ones is quite a task. Well, we had a great time and they were worn out...what a great day.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Easy pasta salad

It got to 60 degrees outside yesterday and it felt like summer. I live in the Midwest and it never gets that warm in the middle of January. We had to take advantage of the beautiful weather and cook out. I always get asked for the recipe for this pasta salad and it is so simple.

This is what you need:

The salad:
4 cups of cooked pasta...penne or rotini
1 can small black olives
1 cup grape size tomatoes
1/2 cup of fresh mushrooms washed and sliced
1 green pepper diced into bite size can also use a combination of red yellow and green...I only had green on hand.

The dressing:
1 seven seasonings kit...comes with measuring bottle and season packet
Olive oil...extra virgin lite
salad vinegar
Use the directions on packet

Cook pasta, drain and let cool. Mix salad dressing using directions on package. Add black olives, tomatoes, peppers and mushrooms. Sprinkle with fresh grated parm cheese
and fresh cracked pepper.

Dollar days at Michaels

Today I went to Michaels to buy Valentines stamps and came out with a whole bag full of goodies. They had all of their Christmas items on sale for 90% off. I found things I am going to use for other projects and also gifts. I got these cute note pads and ribbon for .25 cents and I am going to use them for a gift.

I also got many things I am going to use for future projects....these are little round tins that I plan on making a advent calendar with for next year and also fill with candy as gifts. I got the advent calendar idea from another blog...and I can't remember which one...but I thought it was so cute.


I got these sweet little butterflies, watering cans and pails that I am going to use for my Easter tree. They will need a quick paint job and they will be ready for the Easter bunny to fill with candy eggs. They only were .69cents for the butterflies and .19cents for the watering cans.