Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow.
Far as the curse is found,

Far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as, the curse is found.

Hoping that your day has been filled with celebration!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Great Shutterfly Cards!

My friend and coworker Michelle over at Making the Frugal Life Fun posted about getting 50 free Shutterfly cards and I was excited to jump on this deal just in time for Christmas cards! I have never ordered from Shutterfly before, but have heard wonderful things about them and have seen lots of great promo codes that they offer from time to time.

I was excited to see that Shutterfly has a lot of cute options for creating a Christmas photo card! You can see the whole collection here. Last year I used another photo site and I must say that these options are a lot cuter than the options available on the other site. I think this folded card is especially cute and this flat card is great too!

I'm not sure which one we will choose but I am hoping to get some good pictures taken of us while we are at the beach. I am looking forward to experimenting with some of these fun card designs and our pictures!

If you want to get 50 free holiday cards you too can blog about Shutterfly's cards. Just go here for more info!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

We're Still Alive...

Life is in high gear for us at the moment but we are still kicking! Ronnie started teaching 3rd grade on Nov. 1 and that has been a big transition. He is already doing a great job! I know though that it has been a little stressful to jump into teaching. Sounds like he has a really good group of kids though.

I am teaching lots of dance classes and have been doing a fair amount of subbing for other teachers so that has kept me hopping (literally at times :). I am also performing in a dance concert in December so that has added to my schedule with rehearsals. Ice the cake with 2 fender benders and you could say this has been a busy and sometimes stressful time- we are anxiously looking forward to the Thanksgiving break!

I hope to get back to some more regular blogging soon!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Great trip to Publix!

$11.90 Spent

Does your Publix consider Whole Foods to be a competitor? If so you are in luck! You can use $1 printable Whole Foods coupons to get free small cans of Muir Glen Organic tomato sauce plus about .11 overage per can. The great thing about Whole Foods printables is that there is no print limit. I have been grabbing several cans every time I shop. There are also .75 Thai Kitchen coupons from Whole Foods that can be stacked with the printable on Red Plum.

The Vivarin and Phazyme medicines were purchased because they were actually money maker deals- took almost $5 off my total because by combining manufacturer and store coupons there was overage.

Oh and I am behind in posting our meal plans. Here is what we have been/are going to eat:

Monday: Baked Chicken Parmesan with Pasta (I don't have a link for this recipe but it is easy and very yummy- if any one wants it I can email it)
Tuesday: Black Bean Soup and Cheese Quesadillas
Wednesday: Pad Thai with Chicken
Thursday: Creamy Spaghetti Squash Casserole
Friday: Leftovers
Saturday: cook out!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Pumpkin Lovin

Don't you hate it when you use a recipe that calls for a portion of something, like half a can of such and such and then you are left with a random opened can wondering what you will use the rest for? Well here are two recipes that are a great compliment to each other! Get yourself a can of pumpkin puree; use 1/2 cup of it for the first recipe and then the remaining cup for the second recipe.

Fettuccine with Pumpkin Alfredo Sauce
This was very good. Don't be scared by the pumpkin alfredo was subtle and the color was gorgeous. I made this according to the recipe and didn't include any meat, but it would have been great with chicken in it.

Finish it off with this:

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Swirl Cake
This cake was really easy to whip up and tasted great. It was similar in taste to a Pumpkin Roll Cake but not as rich or as complicated to make.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Meal Plan:

Monday- teriyaki beef filet, mashed potatoes, peas, salad and sour dough bread with guests!
Tuesday- Pasta with Pumpkin Alfredo, breadsticks, veggie of some sort
Wednesday- Black Bean Soup, corn bread, salad
Thurday- leftovers
Friday- homemade pizza of some sort

Have you tried these??

We ate the teriyaki beef filet tonight and thought it was delish! Just plop those suckers in a pan and bake- yields flavorful and tender goodness. I see coupons for Always Tender products by Hormel and they go on sale BOGO occasionally. I will be watching out for these.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Monday, October 4, 2010

Fall Centerpiece

On Sunday I went to a church women's lunch after the service. They had these cute centerpieces and I was happily given one to take home and enjoy! It is a mix of real and artificial flowers and leaves in oasis in the pumpkin. They even got resourceful and put lemon halves, leftover from cooking, on picks in the arrangement.

I recently saw a cute idea in Southern Living magazine that involved putting potted flowers and herbs in a pumpkin. Might have to try it out- in the meantime I will enjoy my blooming pumpkin and the scent of my pumpkin spice candle!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Fall Food

Lest you should wonder, I promise that I don't intend for this to become a food blog exclusively. I know you have been waiting on pins and needles for me to post my menu plan for the week.

Although a bit delayed here it is:

Monday: chicken and black bean enchiladas from freezer with Spanish rice and steamed veggies
Tuesday: butternut squash soup and focaccia bread
Wednesday: Turkey paninis on focaccia
Thursday: turkey kielbasa penne
Friday: BBQ sandwiches and oven baked sweet potato fries

We are enjoying some cooler fall weather this week and the soup was delicious tonight. I just love a good bowl of soup!

A few observations:
-lately when I cook I seem to be making bigger messes than ever (I am attributing this to the fact that I only have about a foot of counter space and no dishwasher :)
-I have never spilled so many things in one night as I did tonight (I am adding one of those wand blenders to my Christmas more pouring soup into a blender)
-butternut squashes are next to impossible to cut up...I recommend implementing a husband and a very sharp knife

I will try to post about something other than food this week :)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

I almost forgot...

Happy first day of Fall!

Yummy Taquitos!

Tonight I made these Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos that my sister recommended. The verdict: we loved them! We loved how they got crispy in the oven and the filling was very fresh and flavorful. I recommend these for sure!

I also mixed up some Creamy Lime-Cilantro Dressing which we used on salad and as a dip for the taquitos. This was quite tasty too. We aren't too crazy about mayo over here and I read a comment that suggested using plain yogurt. I did this and it turned out great.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Deals and Meals!

Last week I hit up some good deals at Publix. I got all that is below for about $14!

I do much better with meals if I have a good plan at the beginning of the week. Sorry if it bores you to death, but I love getting ideas from blogs where people tell what they are eating.

Menu Plan:

Monday: Sausage and Spinach Fettuccine- well we ate this tonight (see pic below), I am afraid I can't give it rave reviews. It was certainly super easy and quick to pull together. I wasn't crazy about the sausage though (I used Al Fresco chicken sausage that I got on sale at Publix)
Tuesday: Homemade pizza
Wednesday: Lemon Orzo Salad
Thursday: Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos

What are you eating this week?

Monday, September 13, 2010

Unexpected Bounty and a Meal Plan

A few days ago we unexpectedly and happily came into the possession of a rather large quantity of cooked chicken strips, mushrooms, tomatoes, and cheese!! What a pleasant surprise! This morning I knew I needed to get to work on the chicken and use it in some dishes, so I had a mini freezer cooking morning.

The results:
Black bean and Chicken Enchiladas- a variation of this
Chicken Tetrazinni with Mushrooms
Diced Chicken and Sliced Mushrooms frozen for future projects
Pizza Crusts (1 consumed tonight, and one in the freezer for another time)
3 bags of Mojito Lime marinated raw chicken (love to thaw, cook and then use on top of salads or for tacos)

Now for our weeknight meal plan:
Monday: Pizza with mushrooms, chicken, and sun dried tomatoes
Tuesday: Mac and Jack (I book marked this recipe a long time ago and have been meaning to try it)
Wednesday: Salad with mojito lime chicken on top
Thursday: Leftovers

Today I am thankful for the bounty of the Lord!

Matthew 6:26 "Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?"

Monday, September 6, 2010

Come on in and take a look...

Welcome to our humble abode! Two sets of guests this weekend gave us the final push to get things unpacked.

I love the pillow covers and curtains that Ronnie's mom whipped up for me right before we left. She is amazing...aren't they beautiful!

Dining Area- we love how open the main room is!

Kitchen= Poor Ronnie, no dishwasher...His one request :(

We are adjusting to just having one bathroom. At our last 2 places we had THREE bathrooms! We were spoiled for sure! I must say though, this makes cleaning easier.

The hallway is almost a room in itself. This is where Ronnie's computer desk is and behind the striped shower curtain is the laundry area.

Our bedroom...minus some new lamps I am saving for :)

The second bedroom is a work in progress. There is still a little unpacking to be done in here. It doubles at Ronnie's work space and a place for guests. I have several projects for this room eventually, as does Ronnie (he plans to make that wine storage shelf into a model display shelf).

The infamous modeling desk:

We have already enjoyed our balcony so much, especially recently with the cooler weather. It's the perfect place to read, eat a meal, or just sit (it's where I am blogging right now actually!)

Hope you have enjoyed the long holiday weekend! Happy Labor Day!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

I think I like shopping at Publix...

$39.94 Saved, $20.40 Spent
(looks like we will be having lots of pasta in the future)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Nesting in Our New Home

Forgive my blogging silence this past week...we have been nesting in our new home!

We have been here a week and things are coming together. Last week I jumped right into training for my new job so some of the unpacking has been slower than I might like, but overall we have gotten a lot done and only a handful of boxes remain in our second bedroom. I am looking forward to a little more down time this week and knocking out the last bit!

We are really enjoying our apartment. It is quiet, so convenient to lots of great places (we walked to breakfast and shopping on Saturday for a morning date!), and has a great balcony that constantly has hummingbirds whizzing by (our neighbor below has a beautiful garden and humming bird feeders).

Much of this past week was spent doing paperwork and address changes that must be done with a move, we celebrated my mom's birthday, hung out with friends, and even took a day trip today to see my niece get baptized!

Tomorrow I am looking forward to meeting some of my little kindergarten ballerinas and teaching my first class at the studio where I danced from age 4 to 18!

I will try to post more this week as we continue to get settled!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Help! The walls are closing in on me and the STUFF, oh the stuff! Ronnie and I have packed so many boxes, but now it is getting really painful- the stuffy stuff around. You know, the stuff that is random and has gotten pushed to a really random spot since you turned your house upside down with cardboard boxes.

On a brighter note, I thought I would show you some recent purchases and give you a sneak peak of some decorating to come! In packing I found a Dillard's gift card with a little bit left on it. Knowing that we won't have Dillard's when we move, I headed off to the mall to make the most of it. I was lucky to hit some 70% shelves in the housewares dept. You would think that packing like 10 boxes of dishes would deter me- alas, it did not!

I snatched up 2 really cute plates. I had been on the lookout for cute plates to hang on the wall.

Of course when I saw the cute matching tea pot I just couldn't resist, especially when I still had a few dollars left on the gift card to spend.

Out of pocket I paid $1.91 and I am quite pleased with me purchases. The green will be cute with my living room decorating project. And speaking of my project, I thought I would give you a sneak peak:

More to come on that later when we get to the ham and things come together! Now back to packing...

Friday, August 13, 2010

And the winner is...

Watch this video to find out the winner:

Thanks for all the packing tips! We are making progress. Lots of boxes around, but I decided it is less stressful for me to live around lots of packed boxes for a week, then spend the week staring at all the stuff I still have to pack.

Ronnie created this ingenious Styrofoam model airplane hanger.

Nice huh?!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

La Guadalupe Taqueria- you MUST try it!

Our friends Adam and Heather recently moved to San Diego. We were excited for them since we went there several years ago and loved it! We were telling them how we had the best Mexican food ever while we were there. They suggested that we check out La Guadalupe Taqueria here in town. We knew we wanted to try it before we moved and we had to run an errand near by so we decided to check it out. Boy were we glad that we did!

It's an unassuming little building near the corner of Old Canton Rd. and County Line Rd., but the service couldn't have been better! The server recommended the taco combo meal and we both ordered that. 3 tacos (chicken, steak, and BBQ brisket) piled high with fresh ingredients on corn tortillas made right then when we ordered.

Pictures don't do it justice...go try it for yourself though! You won't regret it!

***Don't forget to enter the coupon book giveaway below if you haven't already!***

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Another Month...and a GIVEAWAY!

***the giveaway is now closed, stay tune for the winner!***

Oh dear! Another month has gone by and I have failed to blog. I thought I would fill you in this morning while I enjoy my tea and pastry.

(Fresh Market Strawberry Cheese Danish how I love thee!)

July was spent recovering from the IBC (haha), taking mini vacations out the back door to the apartment pool to escape the hundred degree heat and working out details for the impending move. Yes friends, we have a move date. Aug. 20 we head to the "Magic City." Ronnie will be teaching 3rd grade at an urban Christian school. We are very excited to be a part of the ministry of this school. They have been around for 20 years now and are having a dynamic impact on a rough area of town where many of these students do not know their father and have little chance for escaping the cycle of poverty and illiteracy that is very prevalent. It has been exciting to learn about how God is using this school to further His kingdom. Also, for the last 4 years 100% of their graduating seniors have been accepted into college...pretty cool, huh?!

We spent last week looking for a place to live and I had several job interviews. It has been neat to see how God has provided for our needs! Honestly, I had been worrying about where we were going to live. We knew we wanted to rent for a while longer so as to save more for a significant down payment, but rental options are not always the best. Let me tell you there are a lot of crummy apartments out there. There are also a lot of really nice places out there, but the monthly rent certainly reflects it!

Someone from my parent's church emailed my mom about an apartment for rent sign that they had seen in the area near them. I saved the message, but as we made appointments to see places I basically forgot about it. In the mean time, my good friend Memo suggested we check out the apartments where we have a mutual friend living. By the end of the week we were running out of options and the choices that we had weren't terribly appealing. I called the number that my mom had received via email and discovered that it was the same landlord of the friend that Memo had recommended. We also found out that the rent was GREAT! Better than anything else we had seen or really dared to hope for.

The apartment has hardwood floors and a cute balcony (see above- the pics are of the friends apartment who will be our neighbor)! They are also by a frozen yogurt place which is an added bonus :) We applied and payed our deposit on the spot and are excited to have that nailed down.

Now the packing begins...

Before I go pack some books, wanted to let you know I am having a giveaway!! You already know how much I love coupons. So much so, that a while back when there was a great deal online I snatched up a few of these Entertainment books. They have awesome Kroger and eating out coupons. And there are more than just the coupons that are in the book- you can print additional ones online! Some of my favs are buy 1 get 1 free coupons to Broadstreet and to Aladdin Mediterranean and even one for a free Little Caesar's pizza- no purchase necessary!

I have a brand new Entertainment Book with no coupons missing. Leave a comment giving me some packing advice and you will be entered to win! The giveaway will end at 10:00 PM on Friday night and a winner will be chosen at random. This is a local edition coupon book- sorry to those of you that don't live in the area. Feel free to still leave packing advice or enter if you know someone here that would enjoy this book.