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Archive for January, 2009

I have been having a hard time finding label refills for my P-Touch label maker, so I’ll be postponing my great File Overhaul for a few days. But I’m getting ready, the piles of paperwork are ready too!

I wanted to share about a nice little product that I was introduced to by Money Saving Mom . It was a great deal last week at my local grocery stores so I thought I’d give it a try.

I love using fresh herbs when cooking but in the winter it’s sometimes hard to run out to get the herbs that you need for a recipe. Well I was cooking one of my favorite recipes Farfalle with Zucchini. It calls for some fancy lemon basil, which I did not have. I didn’t even have any fresh basil so I popped out this new product:

Dorot Frozen herbs.

These are cute little cubes of frozen herbs. 1 cube = 1 tsp of the herb. They have a variety of herbs to choose from. For this recipe I needed Basil.

I plopped in 4 cubes (4 teaspoons) into the recipe

And the final product – see those pretty little specks of basil. The flavor was great. I’ll be stocking up on these for wintertime cooking!

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Menu Plan Monday

I’m participating for the first time in Menu Plan Monday
I’m hoping that this will help encourage me to keep up my meal planning because it saves me so much time, money and frustration in the kitchen come dinner time! So here’s a look at our week

Breakfasts: this week: Cereal, Quiche, Pancakes, Eggs, Yogurt

Lunches: PB&J, Grilled Cheese soup and Soup, leftovers (x2), chicken nuggets

Dinners:

Monday: Zucchini W/ Farfalle, Salad, Garlic Bread

Tuesday: Chicken, Asparagus, Rice

Wednesday: Soup and Sandwiches (we have small group at our house on Wednesdays so dinner is quick and simple!

Thursday: Pork Chops, Mashed Potatoes and veggies

Fri – Sunday: Freezer meals, Salad and leftovers

**I’m leaving on Thursday night to go to CT for the weekend a desperately needed “mommy retreat”. I’ll be bringing the baby with me so it will just be Kevin and Claire home for the weekend. I’ll pull out some casseroles from the freezer so they are ready for him to pop in the oven and there’s always leftovers!

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Photo courtesy of Peter Skadberg

Moving into a new home creates lots of opportunities to re-organize. Because it is the start of a new year I’ve decided to tackle my paper files.

I love to organized…repeat… I LOVE TO ORGANIZE, so this is an exciting task for me! I’ll be tackling next week (once I can get a refill for our Labeler!) If you wanted to follow along with me I’ll be posting some guidelines here and tips to make organizing your paperwork easier.

But first I have to decide … Should I change my ways??

I’ve been searching around the Blog world to see if there is an easier way to file paperwork. I’m so tired of having so much paper around!

Option #1:
I’ve realized that most of my bills I pay online also store my statements online, so why should I keep them here? So that would mean that I don’t have to keep credit card statements, bank statements, cell phone, phone or electric bills. Hmmm… That kind of makes me nervous, lets move on to option 2

Option #2:
File monthly. Instead of having a file for each individual bill file each bill monthly. All bills paid in January get filed in a “January Bills” file. That way if I need a bill I can just find it in the month that it was paid. This would make filing time so much easier!

Option #3:
Keep filing the way I did last year. I usually file like bills in a single file folder. For example all of our credit card statements go in one file folder, “Credit Cards” instead of having a folder for each individual credit card company. All of our utilities (phone, electric, gas etc) go in one general “Utilities” folder. (photos to come)

Share how you file your paperwork. What system do you use, if any. Do you still have piles of filing to do from last year? Leave a comment below and share you tips!

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I’ve been busy and super stressed so in order to de-stress I took a walk outside in the snow to take some pictures of the beautiful view
Enjoy…

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Inspirations

I’ve been spending tons of time looking online for ideas and inspiration for decorating. I found a great site http://theinspiredroom.net/ I’m in love with this site. She posts beautiful photos of rooms that are just gorgeous!
We have a little space in our kitchen above the “hand-washing sink” (more on that later) that I wanted to turn into a spice rack area. I found my inspiration on The Inspired Room Blog HERE
Here are a few pictures that I ADORE!!!

Country Living, photo credit: Keith Scott Morton

Country Living, photo credit: Steve Gross & Sue Daley
I’ll post pictures of how our spice area came out once it’s done, we’ve got the shelves up and we’re making a trip to Ikea this weekend to pick up the rest of the jars that I need. This has been my favorite projects so far and I’m really happy how it’s been coming out! Pictures coming soon!!
What are your favorite blogs or websites for design? Leave me a comment and let me know. I’d love to see some more great inspirations!

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Well we’re back online and I’m back to blogging. I thought I’d start things off by sharing a few of the BARGAINS we’ve been able to snatch up over the last few weeks. I want to encourage you if you don’t already use coupons and hunt down deals to start this year, you can save TONS!!

Target

We got all of this 90% off:

Cute boxes:

Pretty gift bags:

More gift bags (these play music):

A total of 18 bags, 4 gift boxes and tons of gift tags.
For under $4.00!!!! We won’t need any gift bags next year!!
We even scored 2 boxes of Choxie truffles for .50 each… they were gone before this picture was taken!
Next up, groceries!! Giant and Walmart . . .

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Christmas Blessings 


 

This Christmas was very different for many reasons. Every Christmas since being married we’ve spent Christmas morning at Kevin’s parents house, they always do a great job of hosting Christmas and we love celebrating with them. This year I knew my brother would come down from CT and that my dad might come down for Christmas day. We didn’t really expect to change our plans.

 

 

My sister called about 3 weeks before Christmas and told me that they had discussed it and really wanted to join us for Christmas.  My sister is newly married with a beautiful little girl who I haven’t had enough time to snuggle, so this was welcome news. This also meant that I had better start getting things ready for their arrival.

 

 

The original plan was that they could stay at a hotel and my brother and dad could crash at our apartment on the couch or air mattress. Well it didn’t quite work that way. After doing the math my sister realized that a hotel stay was out of the question. Adding an extra week on to our rent and “moving in” early was 1/3 the cost of the hotel, so that’s what we did. Our new landlady is amazing  and gladly agreed.

 

 

At this point we were not living in the new house, nor was it adequately furnished for other people to stay there. So we got busy. We brought over pieces of furniture that we knew we’d need, bought some folding tables for  Christmas dinner. Broke out the air mattresses. Then came planning Christmas dinner, which I was eager to do. This also meant that I had to go through my kitchen digging out every utensil that we might need. Into boxes knives, spoons, whisks, Pyrex dishes, pots pans, towels, tablecloths and the kitchen sink (well, not the kitchen sink, we have 3 in the new place!)

 

 

I realized a day or two before everyone arrived how crazy this was!! Luckily my brother was there all week and helped out so much.

 

We moved in the necessary furniture, food, cooking supplies and everything came together just in time and we had one of the best Christmases in a long time! I do think that this might become a new tradition, and next year it won’t be quite as stressful and no one will be eating gas station subs for lunch!

 

 

There were some moments that made this Christmas memorable

 

  • EARTHQUAKE!! – On Saturday morning (12:04am) we had an earthquake! I didn’t know we could have earthquakes in PA but I guess anything is possible. We heard a loud noise and then everything shook. I don’t think any of us would be too proud to say that we were pretty frightened by it!

 

 

  • FOOD,FOOD,FOOD – I wouldn’t say that the food Christmas night was my best, it was far from my most creative cooking and I hope to do better next year. HOWEVER my brother rocked in the kitchen! We had a delicious breakfast on Christmas morning and he made an amazing tortellini, spinach, sausage and fresh mozzarella dish!!! He’s a great cook! Someone marry him already!

 

 

  • NO THANKS – my favorite response to a gift this year would be Claire’s over dramatic tossing of the potty book we got her – obviously it’s just not time for potty training yet!

 

 

  • NO FIGHTING?!? – This is probably the first time in years that my sister and I spend more than a day together and did NOT fight. Yes, we’re adults but we have very different views and both have strong opinions and personalities – let’s just say I hope it stays this way. We had the best time together, even when doing dishes!

 

 

  • CANDLES ON THE TABLE – I’ll have to go in to this more later, I loved that we had a semi-formal dinner. I’ve really missed one thing about our family holiday meals and that is the formalness – not to sound stuck up or like “one of those Connecticut girls” ( this is something my friend Daireth called me a lot when we were in New Zealand and I ate a lot of bruschetta and brie cheese). I really think that the holidays are a time to break out the FANCY!! Use your formal dishes, light some candles, make a special meal, have some wine and spend a nice long meal with family! This is something that I am looking forward to doing more of now that we have a large enough home! 

   What do you think?? Formal? Casual? Fast Food?? How does your family spend the holidays?

 

 


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