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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

So True-

My husband got a new job...yea! I'm super excited for him, it's totally what he wants. It's great for his career and all that jazz. I am a normal women........I worry about everything!!
Will this take him away from the family more?
Are we going to start waking up at 5am to drive him? Will he be working late on weekends? Will he miss church? Will we make more money? Will we have to buy him a car? Can we afford that?
The list goes on and on. But yesterday he calls and drops a bombshell on me.
He leaves Saturday morning at 6am for 2 weeks
"2 WEEKS"! I yell into the phone. With only a few days notice. This sucks, sucks bad. I haven't been away from my husband for longer than 3 days in the past 4 years or so. This is going to be tough.
So over here in the Ranch, I'm a bit of a mess if you will. The boys know dad is going away for work but I don't think they grasp how long 2 weeks really is yet. We will see who melts down first.
So I'm taking the next couples days to spend with my man as long as I can!
I'll blog occasionally to let you know how I'm holding up. I have a few posts in the works but my mind is only on one topic this week.
Hope you are all having a great week!


Saturday, March 26, 2011

St. Patrick's Day Run

Our town of Highlands Ranch hosts a lot of 5k's and on St. Patty's weekend a few friends and I decided to run this year. We trained for a few months, just so we would run the entire time without walking. It was a blast from start to finish. The adults ran the 5k and then they had a kids run around the parking lot. The kids got to get there hair colored green, free beer and goodies for the adults. Fun was had by all!
I did get a PR, but it only motivates me to do better next time. My goal today is to just run without hurting myself. I pulled my quad muscle running uphill sprints on Thursday, and still deal with shin splints but I'm not giving up yet ;)

                                          Leslie and I coming to the finish line. I'm in the green.
                              Finish line! (the clock time, is not my actual time, we used chips ;)..)
                                                        'D' in the kids run
"T" is in the lead, he's a sprinter just like his mom!
                             3 out of 4 of us that ran the race together! Love my running friends.

Blog Hiatus

As you can tell I have taken some time off from blogging. I have been busy with family, extended family and trying to get some goals started and completed. All the while it is Spring break for my kids and keeping them active is a must.
I have forgotten to take pictures of some new foods I have made, soccer practice and everyday things. I am going to try really hard to get back into blogging this week!
My friend over at At Altitude and I are going to do a blog feature on both sites of a traditional Mexican grub night. So I cannot wait to post about that. The food is to die for!
Busy week coming up, so don't give up on me yet!

Have a great weekend!


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Homemade Sopapilla's

Don't you find that on Friday evenings you just don't want to cook dinner? Well in our neighborhood it's almost a new trend. Us women are so tired by Friday that Take out Friday is our "thing". We usually gather at one of the houses and order some great food or if we feel up to it, we make something and eat together. It's a great time getting to know each other, laugh and the kids play. Well, a few Friday's ago we decided on a Mexican Fiesta theme. My friend Dawnette made margaritas, snacked on chips, salsa, and tomatillo sauce. For dinner the most amazing Chile Relleno casserole, homemade rice and beans..OMG, it was so amazing that you kept eating even after your stomach was so full you couldn't move. So glad I wore workout pants, for the extra stretch! To end the wonderful evening of Mexican food I made, Sopapillas. They turned out good. They are super easy to make.
You can find the premade flour mix in the Latin section of your local grocery store. Put the flour in a bowl and add warm water. Knead dough, let sit for about 10 minutes.
Roll dough out and cut into triangles. I am fortunate to have a deep fryer, so warm it up to 375 and drop a few triangles in. Bake on both sides until golden.
Drain on paper towel lined plate. Drizzle honey on top. Optional is to add cinnamon/sugar mixture as well.
I hope you enjoy this.


Monday, March 14, 2011

Menu Planning Tips

I know a lot of bloggers blog about there weekly menu. I like it because it's almost like a recipe exchange and I get so bored of my own recipe rotation I love the new ideas!
Vicky over at The Pearl District has been leaving me the most wonderful comments on my blog! Don't you just love that? Anyway, she asked me how I come up with my menus each week and I thought I would share with all of you.
Our household is a 1 income family, so we are on a very limited budget, so this is how I do it to save money!
In no way have I got this 100% mastered yet, but I do pretty well. I learn something new every time I shop! I also read a lot of budget blogs and try to incorporate ideas to fit my lifestyle.

Menu planning on a budget:
Lots of scratch paper (kids old homework, old bills or envelopes, old flyer's) Try not to go for the printer paper, it costs money! I think I'm going to do this idea here:

-Every week I do an inventory of my food.
          *In columns under Freezer, Fridge, Pantry and Stockpile (if you do this)
-On Sunday afternoon, I gather my scratch paper, coupon folder, store ads, food inventory list.
*Start by,
-Go through one store ad at a time and write down items you could use/need with the price
-Once you have a list of all the items you need from each store, double check for same sale items, cross off the most expensive item (you will get the cheapest at only 1 store, unless they have a limit).
-Now go through your coupons and see if you have one for each item on your list.
  **This really narrows down your shopping list! In other words if I don't have a coupon for it, I probably won't buy it unless it is important for a recipe.
-I do the majority of my shopping at King Soopers with small items at Safeway, Target or Wal-Mart. I get all my produce at Sprouts! Sprouts is higher quality and better prices.
-Once I have all my shopping lists complete I see what recipes I can make or want to make with the protein and veggies I'm getting.
*Then I add the ingredients I'm missing to my shopping list.
*I also search through cookbooks before a shopping day too.
-You should have a solid 7 day menu with extras before you go shopping.
 *I mean extras cause you may have frozen meals, and leftovers from previous days.
Try not to shop more then once per week, you end up spending more money.

If you are not on a budget.
The easiest way to menu plan is to see what major items (chicken, pork, veggies) you have in your home. Make a list if needed.
Start by looking through recipes you want to make (or love to make) and start piecing it together.
If you need help I love using allrecipes.com; you can click on ingredients. List what you have and suggestions come up!
I also recently started asking my friends to borrow there most favorite cookbooks to see what I can incorporate into my recipe folder.

I get recipe ideas from Bible Study, and another friend of mine belongs to a group of women that email there weekly menu out on Monday's. The meals that are not as familiar include the recipes. Blogs are again a great place to get ideas on new meal ideas.

I hope that this post really helps some of you!
Anyone else have anything they want to add, that works really well for them?


Now, not everyone eats the menu they have planned for the week. Things come up all the time or you just don't feel like eating that item that night...go to the next nights item and work your way around. You already know you have everything!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Vice and Virtue By Jim Dixon Book Review

I received Vice and Virtue last year or so from an event I went to at church. Dr. Jim Dixon is the teaching pastor at our local mega church. I had this book on the shelf for a long time mostly because I was overwhelmed with all the other books I was reading. I then read Radical and couldn't get enough of the religious books. This looked like a short read, which I needed in between book club books. I couldn't of read this book at a better time for several reasons.
I'm in a better place and I'm way more knowledgeable of the word then I was last year. The Lord is present in my day all day long and this made things so much more understandable. Vice and Virtue went perfect also with my current Bible Study lessons.
I really enjoyed this book. Jim is a great speaker and author. I plan on reading another of his books.
The book is about the 7 sins and the 7 virtues, it just goes into depth on each one according to the bible.
This is one book I am going to hold on to for a while, it's one you can read many times.

Anyone read this or another of Jim Dixon's books?


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Water for Elephants - Official Trailer 2011 Reese Witherspoon & Robert P...

Last year my book club read Water for Elephants and we kept saying it would make the best movie. Well it's official coming this year Water for Elephants will be out with the amazing Robert Pattinson! I'm super excited to see it with the girls from BC!
I'm trying to get my husband to read the book as well, I think he would enjoy it. If you haven't read it, please do before seeing the movie. I may even read it again before I see it.
Have you read it? What did you think?

Lent for 2011

Lent is here for 2011 already? That came up so quick! Last year for lent I had a hard time coming up with something to quit, I ended up giving up red meat. So I have officially not eaten meat for 1 year! Well once I ate "beef" from taco bell by accident and got super super sick. In January I gave up drinking (still don't drink much).
2010 Lent post here.
So this year the only thing I actually would have the hardest time giving up would be dessert. So I have to just bite the bullet. This is going to be so hard! So sorry to all my friends and family who were looking forward to my desserts, it's gonna have to wait! Which does mean that my goals for the month might be post- poned as well. Don't hold it against me.
We have several birthday's coming up too, which means no cake..UHHH!!
 Just maybe those few stingy pounds that won't come off, will now! Wish me luck!
Anyone else giving something up for Lent?


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Staircase Makeover

I'm just so addicted to DIY blogs, I could look for hours and get inspirations that I will never be able to afford. But one has stuck with me for weeks, it's a staircase makeover idea. I have like 25 stairs going from my kitchen to upstairs and it's so boring!! I found these ideas that I'm really thinking the hubby and I could do with our tax return money.

              Only problem with above picture, is our walls are very light and it wouldn't look as good.

This one is my favorite! Decor Chick is a great blog!  Click picture to go to her site.

This wall is similar to Decor Chick but I want you to look at the wood stairs. We just got a ton of hardwood flooring for free, I would love to tear out our carpet and do this idea!!
Maybe I could do all this over summer break?
What do you think?

Monday, March 7, 2011

Weekly Menu

Weekly Menu:

Waffles/Yogurt and V8
French Toast/ Powerbar(on race day) 

Sandwiches and yogurts/Chicken Cesar Salad
Mac and Cheese/Chicken Breast
Bagel and Cream Cheese with Fruit/ Carrots and Hummus
appetizers/beer on Saturday (race day)

Soup and Sandwiches
Frozen Wanchai orange chicken meal with rice
Mac and Cheese
Sour Cream Enchiladas
Spaghetti and Garlic Bread
Pork Tenderloin, Starch and Veggies
 Frozen Pizza
Maybe out/take out once

*I eat the food after the / . Saturday is my race day so I don't eat much before a race and we plan on celebrating afterwards. I have borrowed a couple cookbooks, so I plan on getting more creative with my dinners this next week!

Wonton Kisses

Some of you may know that we are huge dessert people here at the Craft abode. I really needed to find something new and better to try. I went to the library and was searching some random books and found some weird girls night cookbook. I found Wonton Kisses, mainly because of the Hershey kisses.
I love Hershey's!! I thought these looked interesting and went for it.

Posted by Picasa
Don't they look so good?!? They were pretty good, but it's an occasional dessert though, not a weekly thing.

First batch I left in a little long, they just need to be lightly browned, and I didn't think to dump them upside down so when I bit into one the hot oil from my deep fryer went on my hand...it hurt a little :)
They do need lots of powdered sugar on top to take away the fried wonton skin taste.
Overall I'm glad I tried it.

Wonton Kisses
Hershey Kisses (unwrap)
Wonton Skins
Deep Fryer (or pan with oil)

Place your wonton skins on counter and place the kiss in the center
wet corners of wontons with water and then connect all corners in center
drop into deep fryer (350 degrees) and cook for a few minutes on each side.
When ready place on paper towel and cool
Sprinkle finished kisses with powdered sugar


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Welcome March!

Today marks a start of a new month..March! I love March, we are closer to St. Patrick's Day (my favorite holiday) and spring! I am so ready for the nice weather, plant flowers, play outside with the kids, drink a beer on the driveway with the neighbors and KICKBALL BABY!
It's also a new month of goals..Cannot forget that right!

*Run a 5k
  *Run that 5k in under 32 minutes
*Close up Pampered Chef business

*Train more for my next 14er (on going)
*Work towards finding the right mission trip
*Indoor Rock climbing


A Tree grows in Brooklyn
Financial Peace and planner by Dave Ramsey
God gave us so much... to the kids

Family*Try making new dinner items
   *tomatillo sauce from scratch
   *Marinara sauce from scratch
   *Challah bread
   *1 more sandwich bread recipe

I still need to try and complete my February goals I didn't get to:

*Make my own Fondant..Cannot find all the ingredients but almost there
*Decorate cupcakes with Fondant...see above, 1 step at a time people
*Make my own bread
*Work towards being Debt free...this is ongoing. I have read several books and trying to put it in place
*Join a bible study
*Register for a pastry class...Not sure if I am going to do this, I don't think this is in the cards for me right now.
*Snowshoe in the mountains...I tried several times, maybe this month!
original Feb. goal post
So much going on, I hope I get to everything! I don't have a major challenge this month but knowing me I may come up with something! Anyone else have a Spring goal they are working on?