Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Menu Plan Monday - October 18th

Well here’s my menu for the week posted a couple days late. In addition to being behind on a bunch of household chores, I’m struggling a little with this week’s menu due to lack of inspiration. I have several busy days this week without an opportunity to do any real grocery shopping. So time constraints as well as the desire to stick to my grocery budget have me trying to plan from the freezer and pantry once again.

Monday – Chili Mac Casserole, Tossed Salad

Tuesday (Soccer) – Chicken Cutlets, Brown Rice, Green Beans

Wednesday (Dance) – Spaghetti w/Meatballs, Tossed Salad, Bread

Thursday – Pork Chops, Pierogies, Broccoli

Friday (Brownies) – Homemade Pizza Night

Saturday (Mom’s Night Out) – No clue!!!

For great menu ideas (sure to be better than mine this week!) and links to recipes check out this week’s Menu Plan Monday at I’m an Organizing Junkie.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Puttering (Mom's 30 Minute Blog Challenge)

Do you ever have a ton of things to do and instead of focusing on one task you find yourself puttering all over the house, straightening, tossing, wiping, dusting, etc? Taking the time to study your window treatments, the placement of your furniture and how you maybe need to update your wall hangings and photos. Is it productive, worthwhile or necessary? 

I find I need these days. It gets the entire house to a slightly nicer level and seems to calm me as well as infuse me with new ideas to freshen up my home. For some reason fall seems to be the time of year I do this the most. I think it’s my own seasonal nesting instinct…the days are getting cooler and shorter and we are all starting to spend more time inside the house. It’s nice to freshen thing up and get it all warm and cozy for the coming winter months.

My puttering session last week resulted in a few curtains getting changed out, new floor plan ideas for the playroom, moving a piece of toy organization/storage from the playroom to my son’s room and taking a small table out of hiding to place near the front door with a fall placemat and gourds.  Our house got a nice dose of fall decorating and I'm looking forward to updating the playroom into a more functional family room instead of the toy dumping ground it has become. 

Slow down the next time you find yourself running around the house frantically cleaning.   Take a minute to really look at your surroundings, enjoy the nice things and take a minute to re-think the things that just aren't working.

Here are some links to a few decorating and organizational blogs that I like:

The Nesting Place

The Nester has a great series she’s posting right now called 31 Days to a Less Messy Nest.

I’m an Organizing Junkie
As well as keeping a whole lot of bloggers meal plans organized by hosting Menu Plan Monday, Laura offers great tips on de-cluttering and organizing as well as reviews on organizational and storage products.

Home Sanctuary

Rachel Anne offers monthly ‘small things’ to tackle around your home. You can earn points for monthy giveaways by slowly turning your home into your own sanctuary.

This post was written as my submission to Steady Mom's 30 Minute Blog Challenge.   Check out this week's post Tired Moms - Do You Need a Break?.   The post also includes links to other submissions.


Monday, October 11, 2010

Menu Plan Monday - October 11th - Use It Up Week

One of the things from last week's menu that I planned was a roasted chicken stuffed with my 4th attempt at my mother in law’s stuffing recipe. And….YES I NAILED IT!!! Hubby was thrilled and ate a small mountain of it that night. The Crockpot Swiss Steak was not so good and the Crockpot BBQ Pork Ribs never got made – those are getting pushed to this week. On Saturday we ended up doing an appetizer night with our guests – it was a very fun evening.

So on to this week. My husband is home today and the kids will be home again tomorrow. Sunday we had a lazy day and our menu comprised things made out of leftovers. That’s the theme for this week – Use It Up. The soup I made was very good – it thickened up to almost a stew and was very tasty.

Here are some of the things I need to use up this month (some sooner than others):

Sour Cream
Green and Red Peppers
Chicken stock
Already cooked chicken (full breast and cut up dark)
BBQ Cubed Steak
Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
Hot Italian Sausage
Boneless Pork Ribs
Hot Dogs (I have a TON of them it seems)
Ricotta Cheese
Mozzarella Block

Lunch – Open Faced BBQ Cubed Steak Sandwiches, Hot Dogs (kids), Carrots and Celery w/Ranch Dip, Homemade Potato Chips

Supper – Refrigerator Soup – Sausage, Chicken Stock, Cannellini Beans, Green Beans, Pasta, Tomato, Onion, and Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Monday – Columbus Day (No School) – Grilled Chicken, Noodles Alfredo, Broccoli

Tuesday (No School / Soccer) – Hamburgers, Hot Dogs, Tuna Mac, Freezer Pickles, Carrots and Celery w/Ranch Dip,

Wednesday (Dance) – Crockpot Chicken and Rice Casserole, Green Beans

Thursday – Blackened Blade Steak, Mashed Potatoes, Salad

Friday – Make Your Own Taco Night

Saturday - Boneless Pork Ribs w/Apples and Onions, Baked Beans, Mashed Potatoes, Carrots

Looks like I still have to find something to do with the peppers (I can freeze them if I don’t use them this week), and I have plans to make a lasagna within the next week for the freezer as well. The sausage, along with a few peppers, is getting thrown into the leftover potato chips this morning as hash browns.   I think the kids and I will bake something with the apples later today or tomorrow.  I know I have a few more things lurking in the freezer that need to get used up. We’ll see what other things I find and I’ll share any great ideas I might have for using them.

For more great menu ideas and links to recipes check out this week's Menu Plan Monday at I'm and Organizing Junkie.  Have a great week!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

A New Look

I've been wanting to change things up a bit here but just haven't taken the time to put into being creative as well as working my way through blogger.

So if you happen to be here looking around let me know if you like the new look.


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Personal Validation (Mom's 30 Minute Blog Challenge)

Being a stay at home mom can get lonely and rather dull some days. There is a list of chores that need to get done every day, often multiple times I might add. Often the lack of appreciation for the things that we do each day makes us feel very ‘un-validated’ in our work. I try to keep myself busy and find new things to do and new skills to learn. I really enjoy cooking, menu planning, and getting a good bargain. Some of the times just the personal satisfaction I get from accomplishing these things helps me feel good. Other times I find that yeah I’m doing interesting things, but I don’t have any one around during the day to share these things with. I’m not overly social and don’t see myself as a ‘lady who lunches’ kind of gal. But I often find that I end up either talking to myself or searching out friends online via Facebook or a variety of special interest forums.

I just started volunteering in my daughter’s class this morning. My son is in preschool and the timeframe works out just right. I’m looking forward to interacting with the kids, helping the teacher out with clerical tasks and just having somewhere I need to go every Wednesday morning. Even though it’s an assignment I took on as part of contributing to my daughter’s classroom experience it is also something personally validating.

Blogging for me is probably the thing that is most personally validating – sometimes to the point of selfishness I might say. I’ve always loved writing and taking pictures. My content is comprised of things that are very important to me: my family, my home, food, our finances and my own sanity.

I’m hoping this winter to find snippets of time to actually explore more things that I want to do. I’d love to put a little more effort into decorating my home, give scrapbooking a try, resume exercising regularly, and of course spend more time writing. I love being home with my kids, love having the time and flexibility to care for my family, to cook good meals, to shop for bargains and really ‘make’ our home. But I know that I need to fill that out with a few more things that are a little more focused on Dawn and not just mommy

This post was written as my contribution to Steady Mom’s 30 Minute Blog Post challenge.  Click here to
check out this week's 30 Minute blog post on Steady Mom's Morning Routine as well as links to other posts in the 30 Minute Blog Post challenge.

Ok I'm going to admit the longest part of writing this post was trying to find a picture of myself to share.   Not only do I detest most pictures of myself...there just aren't that many as I'm always behind the camera instead of in front of it!

Wordless Wednesday - The Pumpkin Farm

Check out more great photos on Wordless Wednesday

Monday, October 4, 2010

October Budget

We’ve been pushing the checking account to its lowest limits lately and something has got to give. As a result, I’ve been having moments of panic quite a bit and this always puts the thought that I need to get a job into my head. The last time my husband and I discussed this option he said not yet. I know that the only type of job that would work for us financially would be for me to work the hours when he is home. Even this might not work financially as he gets sporadic overtime that far out earns anything I’d make working part time. Also it would seriously diminish the quality of our family life.

October happens to be a three paycheck month as well as the month my husband receives a lump sum check for the retroactive pay raises from their recently approved union contract. My goal this month is to maximize the additional income by keeping our flexible expenses as low as possible. This is really going to be a challenge as the pantry needs some restocking, we need pellets for the pellet stove, the truck needs new tires and it looks like I will be taking a trip to Florida within the next month to help my father in law start sorting and packing up his house to move (more on this at a later date).

I managed to get Halloween costumes already from a local consignment shop, I’ve been doing a lot of cooking from scratch and have been back to my previous mode of bargain shopping for groceries and household needs.  I’ve also sold some clothes to the consignment shop and have more clothing as well as kids toys to bring down.  We also have a few larger items and pieces of furniture that I’d like to get out of the house so I’m going to list them on Craigslist. 

Hopefully by being smart, and of course with some luck, we can get a little bit ahead of the game before the upcoming holiday expenses start setting in. Now I'm off to finish clipping coupons and making my grocery list for tomorrow.  I’ll keep you posted on our success. Note that I used the word SUCCESS – positive thinking right???!!! 

Menu Plan Monday - October 4th

Last week's menu went pretty well.   We enjoyed the Ritz Cracker Eggplant Casserole.  I used cream of mushroom soup instead of golden mushroom, only blanched the eggplant briefly and used a little more cheese and ritz crackers than the recipe called for. 

This week is a little busy with plans to have company for dinner over on Saturday.   My daughter has two birthday parties on Saturday - a Boo Bowling Party and a Movie Night Sleepover.   I have to get gifts and finish her Brownie sash (the iron on patches sooo didn't stay on!).  On Friday my son's preschool is taking a field day trip to a local farm. We get to go on a hayride, pick apples, have snacks and bring home a pumpkin.   Of course I think he is most excited about riding on a school bus.

This week I'm planning the following:

Sunday - Homemade Pizza - Cheese for the Kids, Eggplant and Onion for Mom and Dad (this was AWESOME!)

Monday - Soup and Sandwich Night

Tuesday (Soccer) - Roasted Stuffed Chicken (my mother in law's stuffing recipe), Gravy, Mashed Potataoes, Broccoli (leftover chicken used for lunches and Thursday's dinner, bones used to make stock)

Wednesday (Dance)  - Crockpot Swiss Steak (I will add chopped tomatoes to this recipe), Noodles, Green Beans

Thursday - Chicken, Sausage and Broccoli over Pasta, Tossed Salad

Friday - Crockpot BBQ Pork Ribs, Baked Beans, Homemade Potato Chips, Carrots and Celery with Ranch Dip

Saturday (Company for Dinner) - Still working on a menu plan for this....considering doing a hearty appetizer type buffet but I'm not sure yet.

For more great menu ideas and recipes check out Menu Plan Monday at I'm an Organizing Junkie.  

Have a great week!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Relaxation through A Clean Kitchen

There is an insurmountable joy in waking up to a kitchen with no dirty dishes. Now granted they aren’t all put away but they are clean, drying in the dish drainer or counter and waiting to be placed in the cabinets. The counters are wiped down, the sink is clean, the coffee pot is set for 5:30am, the stovetop has been cleaned and buffed and my lovely jar candle is glowing and sending it’s scent across the kitchen as I type.

So now I’m off to read a little before bed and know that I’ll wake up to a nice neat kitchen.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Links I Liked - Newly Discovered Blogs

A last glimpse of summer.....bittersweet

I spent a little bit of my downtime last night perusing the Menu Plan Monday links at I’m an Organizing Junkie and found a few new to me blogs that were interesting. Of course this was no small undertaking as there are 277 links up while I am currently writing this at 7:44pm Eastern Time.

I thought it would be nice to share them with you. Here’s what I enjoyed and am planning to continue checking out in the weeks to come:

A Life in Progress
Gia has a great blog with a variety of things to offer.   She's pregnant with a new baby, stepmom to two teen girls, a teacher, a homeowner with a lot of desire to decorate and a cook who shares recipes and links.   I enjoyed Gia's site and will be visiting her again.

Golden Reflections
I liked this blog.  Heather is an occupational therapist who shares child development related OT tips that are great.  I plan to follow up on a few for my four year old who is just learning to use scissors (ahhhh!!!).  She also shares a lot about her interests which include cooking, decorating, photography and scrapbooking.

Creative Cents
Mandy has created an adorable site full of great craft and learning ideas for kids as well as home decor, seasonal crafts, scrapbooking, coupons, sales and deals.  This looks like a great place to get some crafty ideas to work on over the winter.

Check these out and leave me a comment with your own blog link or any others you think my readers and I would enjoy.

Have a great day!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Menu Plan Monday - September 27

I'm trying to avoid the grocery store until Friday - which is the first day of the new month and payday.   The checkbook is a bit tight and most of our bills are due end of month.  October happens to be a three paycheck month so hopefully we can work on getting a little ahead of ourselves before plunging into the holiday season.

My husband has been away since Thursday and my daughter and I attended our local Girl Scout Council's Camporee Camp Out over the weekend.   I neglected to menu plan last week and it was HORRIBLE.   I had a hard time coming up with ideas and felt that all I did was rush and not feed my family very well.   Needless to say we are back on track this week.

Here's what I'm planning for dinner at our house this week:

Sunday - Breakfast for Supper

Monday - (Hubby is still away) - Corn Dog Muffins, Baked Beans, Carrots and Celery w/Ranch Dressing

Tuesday - (Soccer) - Thyme Pork Cutlets, Ritz Cracker Eggplant Casserole, Buttered Noodles, Green Beans

Wednesday - (Dance) - Crockpot Chicken Pot Pie, Salad

Thursday - London Broil with Bobby Flay's Fra Diavolo Sauce, Mashed Potatoes, Broccoli

Friday - Spaghetti and Meatballs w/Homemade Sauce, Eggplant Parmesean, Bread, Salad

Saturday - Dinner at my Aunt's house

Additionally I'd like to make the following items for snacks and for the freezer:  Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins, Zucchini Bread, Oatmeal Raisin Cookies and of course Spaghetti Sauce. 

For more great menu ideas and links to recipes check out Menu Plan Monday at I'm an Organizing Junkie.  Have a great week!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Wonders of Nature

I've been swamped around the house so I decided for today's post I would join Wordless Wednesday.   I've gotten some great nature shots over the summer and thought this would be the perfect opportunity to share them.

For more great photos check out the links at Wordless Wednesday

Monday, September 13, 2010

Menu Plan Monday - September 13th

I was able to stick to last week’s menu plan pretty well. The only meal I didn’t make was the Asian Pork Chops as we were running errands that evening and decided to eat out. The Cinnamon Chicken went over very well – I wasn’t sure as the combination of cinnamon and tomatoes was a little odd to me. I personally liked the Creamy Beef Over Noodles – although we had it over mashed potatoes as we had noodles the night before. The big hit with the kids were the Corn Dog Muffins. I made them mini sized and they were snacking on them all weekend.

We have a pretty active week ahead – soccer, curriculum night at school, dance class as well as a math project that my daughter needs to get finished. I tried to put together a relatively easy menu plan that utilizes what I have in the freezer and has some variety. Here’s what I came up with for our dinner table this week:

Monday – Skillet BBQ Cubed Steak, Roasted Cauliflower, Oven Roasted Potatoes, Broccoli

Tuesday (Soccer and Curriculum Night) - Kitchen Scavenge Night

Wednesday (Dance) – Crazy Slow Cooker Pork Chops, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans

Thursday - Brown Sugar Chicken (crockpot), Rice, Corn

FridayHot Dog Casserole, Cheesy Bread, Salad

Saturday (Soccer and birthday party) – Fried Rice (use up leftovers) Chicken Strips, Vegetable Medley

For more great menu ideas and links to recipes check out this week’s Menu Plan Monday at I’m an Organizing Junkie.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Preserving the Garden - Day One

My pretty garden earlier this summer - by now it's looking rather ratty but still producing

I'm working on putting up tomatoes for the freezer today.   I already have some roasting and have just started boiling water to skin the remainder.   I also hope to get some zucchini shredded for baking and some sliced, blanched and frozen for frying.   There are some cucumbers in the fridge as well as a few more in the garden that are going to turn into freezer pickles.

It was a productive week around here.   I managed to get my desk aka 'command center' under control as well as getting the kids outgrown clothes removed from their dressers and closets.   Now I need to pull out the nicer items and take them to consignment.   I do still have mountains of clean laundry to put away and more to wash as well.  

Next week I'll share my results of preserving the garden.   Wish me luck!!

Grilled Vegetable Pasta Salad

I used these gorgeous vegetables as inspiration for my Grilled Vegetable Pasta Salad.

Clean and slice vegetables for grilling. I used eggplant, zucchini, onion, red pepper, green pepper.  Salt the sliced eggplant and let it rest in a colander to drain away any bitterness. Rinse off salt and pat dry.

Ready for the grill.

Grill Veggies with a bit of olive oil brushed on ntil they get soft and achieve some of those nice grill marks.

My grill didn't seem to get quite hot enough so I don't have as many grill marks as I would have liked

Prepare your choice of pasta according to directions in an amount you think is reasonable.  I cooked half of a 13oz box.   I prefer using tricolor rotini but all I had in the pantry was penne. Cook al dente so it doesn’t get too mushy. Rinse in cold water.

Toss pasta with grilled veggies, a little garlic, parsley, basil and your choice of dressing – I used a Balsamic Vinaigrette. Add parmesan if desired. I had some leftover crumbled Italian sausage and some fresh diced tomatoes that I added in as well.

Serve chilled as a side dish.

I think this dish would also work very well hot.   If I made it hot I would probably not use the Balsamic Dressing but would instead toss with just olive oil, parmesean and cook the tomatoes instead of using them fresh and cold.  My husband enjoyed this as a side in his lunchbox.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Lunch Box Ideas for My Picky Eater

Packing lunches for my 7 year old Picky Petunia can be quite a challenge. I’ll admit she isn’t the healthiest of eaters and is definitely not adventurous when it comes to food. I spent the other day searching for ideas on how to inject a little more nutrition into her lunchbox while still giving her things I know will get eaten and hopefully even enjoyed.

Generally she takes either a turkey or ham and cheese sandwich on a wrap or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. We look at the school lunch menu every month and she circles the days she would like to buy school lunch. Our school lunch program is $2.25 a day and looks to have a very well rounded selection – of course most of them she isn’t interested in so she only buys lunch perhaps 4 times a month.

I visited quite a few web sites as well as did a brain search to put together a list of things I think she will eat. I thought I would share this with my readers. Hopefully at least some of you are able to get your kids to eat more exciting and even healthier foods but here’s my Picky Petunia Lunch Box Idea List:
  • Use “Green” aka Spinach Wraps instead of Flour Tortillas (she actually asks for these)
  • PB&J or Cream Cheese and Jelly on Cinnamon Raisin Bread or Cornbread Muffins
  • Sandwich Shapes – I have some cute mini cutters in seasonal shapes
  • Cheese and Crackers with Grapes and Veggie Sticks
  • Ants on a Log – Celery, Peanut Butter and Raisins
  • Ants on a Raft – Graham Crackers, Peanut Butter and Raisins – maybe throw on banana slices too?
  • Pretzel Kabobs – Meat and Cheese rolled up and skewered with a pretzel
  • Trail Mix – Chex Cereal, Peanuts, Raisins, Pretzels, Mini Chocolate Chips (in today’s lunchbox)
  • Mini Muffins – blueberry, banana mini choc chip
  • Yogurt
  • Carrots, Celery and Peanut Butter
  • Popcorn
  • Fruit – Bananas, Strawberries, Grapes

On Saturday I have these Corn Dog Muffins planned for dinner. If the kids like them then I might include them on the lunch list.

I got some of my ideas from these links:

Save $400 a Year on School Lunches
Living on a Dime’s frugal tips to providing school lunches – has some great comments and additional ideas from their readers as well.

School Days: Fun Brown Bag Lunches for Kids at eSSORTMENT
35 complete lunches including snacks and drinks. I found some very different kid friendly ideas here including apple and banana chips; Ants on a Raft; Peanut Butter, honey and raisin sandwich; and fruit kabobs.

School Lunch Ideas
I didn’t get to spend much time on this site as it is huge! It also includes lunch ideas for peanut free classrooms as well as food safety in packing lunches.

I’d love to hear any of your kid’s lunch favorites – especially those with picky eaters like mine.




Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Links I Liked - Organization

A peaceful summer sunset at the beach

After the extremely busy but fun summer we’ve had things are starting to settle into the school year routine. Of course as I look around my house I realize that everything else here is still chaos. I have laundry all over the place, financial and school papers to deal with as well as the kid’s clothes to start switching out. Feeling totally overwhelmed by all the de-cluttering, cleaning and re-organizing I have to do I searched the web for some inspiration to push me along.

FlyLady got me started on getting rid of the chaos in my home – known by her as the Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome. Whenever I get that overwhelmed feeling I resort back to her teachings – shine my sink, set the timer and accomplish as much as I can in fifteen minute bursts. You can also check Marla Cilley’s (aka FlyLady) book Sink Reflections.  I highly recommend FlyLady for those of you that can’t seem to get out from the clutter in their lives.

Homemaking Organized is a very resourceful site for homemakers. It includes a blog full of interesting topics as well as some great printable checklists. I just recently printed out the September 2010 Home Organizing Checklist. Check it out for tips on organizing your home, kids, schooling and family life.

For those of you who are gung ho on organizing check out Laura’s Organizing Junkie Challenge. I’m not quite sure if I’m game for it but I do love Laura’s blog I’m an Organizing Junkie. There are great posts on home organizing ideas, products and processes. For me the best part of I’m an Organizing Junkie has to be Menu Plan Monday. By contributing to this weekly post I find myself keeping on track two ways – one as a blogger and most importantly as a mom who has to feed her family healthy, interesting meals on a budget. Menu planning has definitely helped me in that last respect.

Organizing Mommy blogs on this conversational and fun site about her trials at keeping her home and family organized. She has some great tips on physical space organization and time management as well as information on homeschooling. She also happens to be one of the followers of my own blog so a little extra shout out to her for that.  Check out Organized Everyday for tips and smiles.

Now that I’ve perused a few of my favorite organizing and homemaking sites I’m ready to tackle things here. If you need a little inspiration and maybe even some education on how to get your home and life a little more organized the information in these links will help set you on the right path.

Laundry, dishes and my dirty sink are awaiting me….so off I go! Have a great day.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Menu Plan Monday - Labor Day Monday

I'm starting my menu this week on Sunday.   We actually have a picnic to attend Sunday afternoon so I'm not sure if we'll really be eating dinner when we get home.   If not the chicken is already cooked and I'll use it for my husband's lunches throughout the week (chicken sandwiches, chicken salad, etc, etc).  I'm trying to use up a few things from the freezer - kielbasa, stew beef, pork chops and hot dogs.   Also trying a few new recipes so I'm rather excited about that - dinners have been a bit boring around here.   

Here's what will be on our table this week:

Sunday – Chicken and Roasted Vegetable Quesadillas

Monday – Mom’s Skillet Kielbasa, Salad

Tuesday – Cinnamon Chicken ($5 Dollar Dinner Mom Cookbook), Vermicelli, Broccoli

Wednesday – Creamy Beef over Noodles, Salad

Thursday – Asian Pork Chops ($5 Dollar Dinner Mom Cookbook), Green Beans and Carrots, Brown Rice

Friday – Make Your Own Taco Night – Taco meat, lettuce, tomato, salsa, sour cream, refried beans, shredded cheese and corn

Saturday – Corn Dog Muffins, Baked Beans, Carrots and Celery with Dip

Lunches for DH this week will consist of chicken sandwiches, Roasted Vegetable Pasta Salad, Bisquick Quiche, and of course - leftovers.

For more great menu ideas and recipes check out Menu Plan Monday at I'm an Organizing Junkie.

Friday, September 3, 2010

The End of Summer Vacation

Well it's over....the last days of summer and school is now back in session.   My daughter started the 2nd grade this past Monday and my son starts preschool in another week.   I wanted to share a few more pictoral memories of our summer.   These are from the last month of summer and include my daughters 7th birthday through the first day of school.  

Hope you enjoy these photos:

My 7 Year Old's birthday at Chuck E.Cheese

Amazing view from Rosecliff Mansion in Newport RI

On the cliffs at Beavertail Lighthouse, Jamestown RI

The "Birthday Boys" enjoying birthday beverages in front of the bonfire

First day of 2nd Grade

Trying out their birthday golf clubs.

I'll be back next week with a new MPM Menu, a recipe for Grilled Vegetable Pasta Salad, an update on my garden and the steps I'm taking to preserve our harvest as well as links to great topics and chit chat.

Have a great weekend!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Menu Plan Monday - July 26th

Last week’s menu went pretty well. I did end up skipping the cube steak and the kielbasa as we used up some leftovers those nights instead. This week our schedule isn’t quite nailed down so rather than planning for individual nights I’ve come up with a list of meals we can have and based on our plans for the day, I’ll pick and choose. I know that one night we’ll be meeting up with my brother in law and his family and we are also planning to spend a couple nights at the beach house weather pending. I’m heading out on Friday morning for a girl’s weekend in Hampton Beach, NH. I can’t wait – beach time, trashy magazines to read, nails to paint, shopping, fried dough, a nice dinner, cocktails and dancing ourselves silly. I’m sure my husband will be ordering pizza Friday night. I only needed to plan 3 dinners this week as well have breakfast, lunch and snack foods available.

Here’s what I plan on cooking this week:

Italian Marinated Split Chicken Breasts, Grilled Mixed Vegetables and Potatoes
Hamburgers, Hotdogs, Baked Beans and Corn on the Cob
BBQ Cubed Steak, Mashed Potatoes, Corn, Cucumber Salad

Breakfast will be cereal, waffles and yogurt.   For lunches we have tuna, leftovers, peanut butter and jelly, grilled cheese and tossed salad.

For more menu ideas and links to recipes check this week’s Menu Plan Monday at I’m an Organizing Junkie.

Have a great week!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Summer Fun Photos

Here's a pictoral glimpse into the activities that have kept our family busy over the past few months and have also been a portion of the reason I wasn't blogging.   Hope you enjoy the pictures as much as we enjoyed the memories made:

First Grade Garden Party

Memorial Day Parade - Daisy Troop Procession

Neighborhood Kids at our Memorial Day Picnic

Dance Recital - Ballet

Grandpa took us to the Dinosaur Crossing when he visited

Spring Soccer

4th of July Weekend at the Beach

Sandcastles in Rhode Island

On the way back from ice cream at "The Shack" in RI

Our Family at Charlestown Beach, RI

It's been a great spring/summer so far.   Now I'm trying to regroup for the second half which includes a Girl's Weekend in Hampton Beach, a getaway to Newport, Rhode Island, and more time at our family's beach house.   Somewhere in there we also need to get my daughter's summer reading and math scavenger hunt completed as well as get ready for school to start on August 30th. 

Hope your family is making good memories this summer as well.