Monday, February 20, 2017

Menu Plan Monday 2/20

Monday- Chicken fries, Buffalo Chicken with homemade fries
Tuesday- Pasta
Wednesday- Tacos
Thursday- Barber Chicken with white rice
Friday- Leftover Night
Saturday- Lasagna
Sunday- Roast Chicken or Breakfast for dinner

Last week didn't go as planned because my husband and I were sick so my husband mostly had nothing or soup and I did leftovers if anything while we kept with the plan with my son or whatever he was interested in.  It was a pretty easy because the fridge was really full from having company.  I mostly cleaned it out by Thursday but I had actually planned on leftovers for Friday.  We went with mostly leftovers on Friday and cleared out more of the fridge.  I moved all the meals from last week to this week and crossed off the food that was planned.  I totally forgot to take the lasagna out of the freezer for last week so moved it to this week and we had meatball sliders with salad instead.  I am hoping for a good week this week and still trying to figure out the weekend schedule so we will see how it goes as the week goes on.  Hope you have a good week!!!

Friday, February 17, 2017

Loving the Lawman Book Review

I grabbed a book off of my shelf from one of the summer reading programs where I got like 12 free books.  I have tons of these books and this one was the first one to get read.  Loving the Lawman (Love Inspired\Kirkwood Lake) by Ruth Logan Herne was a short book that had me wanting to know what was going to happen next.  I don't have any other by the same author so I don't know if she has any others with the same characters but I loved this one!!

Widowed and pregnant, Gianna Costanza comes to Kirkwood Lake with her world in pieces. She's determined to put her life back together after her cop husband's death, and romance definitely isn't part of the plan. But when she meets her new landlord and neighbor, she knows she doesn't stand a chance. Deputy Sheriff Seth Campbell is strong and kind, and more supportive than she ever imagined a man could be. Soon he's sweeping Gianna off her feet. But she doesn't know if he's ready for an instant family—or if she's brave enough to love another lawman.

This book started off with a little bit of a mystery because Gianna and her grandmother moved to a new town and there didn't seem to be a lot of reasons behind it.  After getting more into the book, you find out all the reasons that they have moved there to start their new life and business.  Gianna's husband was killed and she lost her baby.  She decided to start over her life and have her husband's child through an already frozen embryo.  After moving to town, she feels an attraction to her landlord and local sheriff but fights the attraction.  She doesn't want to set herself up for another loss in her life after her father and husband to law enforcement.  He is fighting with the attraction as well because she is starting her life with her new child.  You have to pick up the book and find out what happens to their friendship.  I hope that you check out this book and see for yourself.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

February Half of the Month Update

I can't believe that it is already half way through the month but I think that we have done pretty well for our spending. Check it out below:

Eating Out

There has been only one eating out spending at $18.81 for food when we were at the snow tubing adventure.  We haven't gotten a lot of snow this winter so we took the time and money to try out snow tubing which we have never done.  My son and husband had fun and we ate a lunch at the ski lodge when they were done but we literally got very little food with chicken tenders, personal pizza and french fries and none of the food was amazing and it cost a lot more then we would have paid at a restaurant for better food.  That being said, we were spending time with friends and as a family so I wouldn't have done it differently.

My parents did come to visit and bought food for my son at Wendy's and Little Caesars while they were here as well as Chinese food for my birthday celebration meal.  Those meals were all paid for by them and I am hoping that this will give my family their fill on eating out for the month so that we aren't spending a lot more for the rest of the month. Only time will tell how the month works out.


I was glad to get to the store a few times this month and I already posted the results and descriptions of the trips here.  However, this is about my spending so here are my three trips and my total spent so far.  I could have cut back and not bought the vinegar, salsa, chicken and garlic salt yet but they were all things that we are going to use in the coming months so it wasn't a waste of money but when trying to cut back, it was a little more then I should have spent.  While my parents were in town, they used all the milk that we had and bought another gallon so we were all set for milk for a little longer with no money out of pocket.  I am hoping to stay close to $100 for the month and I think that will this total at the halfway point, I will make it under budget.  Crossing my fingers and hoping to make the most out of everything currently in the house.

Trader Joes $6.95

Aldi $16.72

Giant $6.15

Total Retail $42.58
Total Savings $12.76
Total OOP $29.82

Here is hoping that you are having a good month too!!!  Staying under half of my monthly eating out and grocery budget so thinking that the month might go well and hoping that you are as well. 

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Smitten Book Review

I have been set on going through all the books on my shelf to read lots of them so I went through and picked a few easy paperbacks to start off with.  Smitten by Janet Evanovich was one of the first ones to go into the pile.  I looked at the library to see if they had the first in the series but quickly learned that this was more of a collection then a series with the same characters so I grabbed this one off my shelf to read while I was staying up half the night coughing.  It kept me focused on something other then my horrible cough and I was grateful to have it!!!

Single mom Lizabeth Kane isn't exactly carpenter material -- she's never picked up a hammer in her life. But she desperately needs the construction job that builder Matt Hallahan is offering. And even though he knows trouble is ahead, Matt can't refuse Lizbeth's irresistible smile.  Matt Hallahan isn't exactly relationship material -- he has always been too busy working on other people's houses to make a home of his own. And even though she knows better, Lizabeth can't stop thinking about the rugged carpenter.  Is the relationship Matt and Lizabeth are building solid -- or more like a house of cards?

I enjoyed this and when I went through my pile of books in my bookcase, I realized that I have two copies of the book!!  They have different covers so I am pleading the 5th but I know that I didn't pay for either book.  One of them will be going into my garage sale because I certainly don't need both but it did make me laugh that I obviously wanted to read it.  I am trying to go through and make some progress on the large amount of books that I haven't read yet.  Here is hoping that I might get to part with some of them because my shelves are overflowing with books even after selling at least two boxes at the last yard sale.  This book was very entertaining and a quick read.  I loved watching Lizabeth grow into her own person through her construction job.  She worked hard to provide for her family and at the same time became very independent while also learning that she can rely on other people to support her.  Matt becomes that person because he is there with her every day and working to win her over with his continued support.  When she has a strange stalker, he ends up moving in to help with the problem.  Lizabeth is set that she isn't going to open her life up to anyone and then realizes that she might have already done so without realizing it!!  I hope that you read this laugh a minute book and see all the trouble that they get into through the book.  I hope that you enjoy it as much as I did!!!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Hero at Large Book Review

I was looking through the books that I got at the book sales with my free coupons and found two Janet Evanovich books.  I decided to look for the series those were part of and I found a new series of books to start.  I couldn't figure out what was the start and the end but I did some digging and it looked like the list was backwards so I started at the beginning of the series with Hero at Large by Janet Evanovich.

It seems like good luck when gorgeous and mysterious Ken Callahan stops to help single mom Chris Nelson with her car. But then she breaks his arm...then his toe...and then his heart. Not easily discouraged, Ken moves into her basement...cooks her potholder in the spaghetti sauce...attempts to seduce her with cookies...and destroys her favorite pan by trying to make a roast in it. All may seem lost for Chris and Ken, until a meddlesome Aunt Edna, a ride on a Zamboni and a genuine love of family all conspire to turn their luck around.

This book started off with a bang because Chris Nelson had her car die on the side of the road at the very beginning of the book (don't worry Stephanie Plum didn't blow up).  There were plenty of comical parts that Janet Evanovich is known for because Chris continually has accidents that seem to happen that keep you laughing.  Ken moves into the house because he is in a cast and needs to get recovered before returning to work.  While he is staying there, Chris finds herself alone with him and falling in love.  I hope that you check out this book and the new series of Janet Evanovich books that I have found.  I know that you will enjoy them as much as I have.  I does seem like they are all about different characters after looking at the next one so they might not have to be read in order which might have been why it was so difficult for me to figure out the order.  I guess I will see!!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Menu Plan Monday 2/13

Monday- Chicken fries, Buffalo Chicken with homemade french fries
Tuesday- Pasta
Wednesday- Tacos with corn bread
Thursday- Barber Chicken with white rice
Friday- Leftover Night
Saturday- ??
Sunday- Lasagna

Last week was going okay until my son got sick and I was barely hanging on with my sickness.  UGH!  I switched Wednesday and Thursday because I didn't take the meat out of the freezer soon enough but chicken was defrosted so I switched them.  Friday is normally leftover night but we had company come in so I threw in a cheese ravioli casserole that I had in the freezer before leaving for school pick up for my son.  We did the Roasted Chicken on Saturday night after basketball because we had time and Sunday was a little more crazy because my parents decided that they wanted to go out to dinner which was fine but I was going to be at work so they decided that they had to get take out for lunch but it moved later because my son declared that he wanted to go to the game store to check out their games before lunch.  I don't know if they are just going to fix dinner while I am away at work or wait for me to come home...planning is not a strong suit when it comes to this big group!! 

I am set up for an easy week this week although I have no clue when company is leaving so here is hoping that the meal plan will work for whoever I have to serve!!!  I hope that you had a great week!!

Friday, February 10, 2017

2,000 Posts Already!!! Where did the time go!?!

I can't believe that I have written 2,000 posts since I started blogging.  I wanted to share a few thoughts in my 2,000 post of what is going on here.

This post is currently finding our household a little sick.  I have been sick for a few days with congestion and sore throat.  I keep thinking that I am doing better and I get worse at night.  I am thinking that it might not just be allergies.  My son has the stomach bug that is going around his school which resulted in three loads of laundry after bedtime.  Here is to hoping that we are all feeling better soon because we are putting a big dent in the tissues!!

I had a great year last year with shopping and saving money even though I went back to work with two part time jobs.  I was maybe not getting every deal that I would get before but I was still getting lots of food and staying under budget.  This January was not the case because I went way over budget.  There is a balance for me between shopping and having time to make things at home.  I have to set aside my time to make rolls for my husbands lunches, do a little preparation for the meals for the week and bake desserts and breakfast treats.  I don't think that I made enough time to do that in January so I am going to try to do that more often in the coming months.  I am trying to figure out how to post and be accountable for the items that I make during the week so stay tuned for the new post format coming soon.

I have fallen into a rut with making the same recipes over and over.  I have added very few new recipes to my cooking in the last year.  The great thing is that we have a lot of recipes that we really love and that I discovered and shared with you along the way.  I have enjoyed my new Cranberry Orange Salad Dressing and Orange Lemon Shortbread Cookies.  The new pasta maker is going to used this year to try out some new pasta recipes.  I am going to try to make some new recipes coming up and expand our menu and special treats.

Super excited that I have finished my Valentines to give out to my preschool kids and my son has almost finished his Valentine's for his friends at school.  I started really early this year and I am excited to say that I found cards and bookmarks online to print for free and we created them and laminated them all for free.  There is some candy in both that we had from things that my parents gave to us so the whole Valentine process was free!!! You know that I love to put in a little effort and have a great end result without spending a lot of money.  I found a tag that says Valentine's Day Is All Fun and Games. I put tic-tac-toe, maze page, coloring page, x's and o's and a bookmark which are all connected with curling ribbon. It was super easy and super cute.

Of course I am going to try to continue reading.  I aim to read over 100 books every year and this year is no different.  I have books overflowing from my book cases and I hope to make some progress on those books as well as a bunch of free books from the library and through my three different blogging for books sites.  I love getting lots of books for free and enjoy the escape from real life but reading sometimes makes it hard to put other things ahead of a good book!!

I hope that you have enjoyed the last 2,000 posts and look forward to the next 2,000!!  I look forward to sharing lots more with you.