Thursday, August 30, 2012

Once A Month Cooking Round 2

We have officially been home for three weeks after our whirlwind of a summer.  Over the last few months we have visited family in California, spent time with family while remembering Tim's grandpa in Oregon and finished up by helping out with some youth camps in Colorado.  Whew!

While in Colorado I spent the majority of the three weeks cooking and by the time we got home the LAST thing I wanted to do was cook.  Of course, we came home to an empty fridge, freezer and pantry....sooo we went shopping and basically bought a weeks worth of food that would take 5 minutes or less to prepare.  Can you tell we were exhausted?

So we spent the week eating a lot of cereal and soup.  We also spent the week taking care of our 3 year old who came down with bronchitis, yikes.  A few days later I was hit by the nasty thing and was out of it for another week.  Did I mention I am 23 weeks pregnant and although I am feeling good I am tired ALL THE TIME?

Ok, so on to the OAMC part of this post.  When I was finally feeling better Tim and I decided it was time to have another go at OAMC.  We did it once before summer and ended up with 6 weeks worth of dinners (and leftovers for lunches).  It was awesome!  Last time we did this we spent about 10 hours on a Saturday and went nuts cooking and got it all done.  This time (because I get tired quite a bit more quickly) we decided to spread out the work over a week.  Here is what we ended up with:

- 20 homemade (yes I soaked and refried my own beans and all) Bean and Cheese burritos 
- 15 homemade Calzones (4 varieties)
- 50 Twice Baked Potatoes (can you tell I LOVE these things??  YUM)
- 6 Chicken Pot Pies (our favorite OAMC meal we have tried thus far)
- 4 Taco Soup meals
- 6 Cranberry Chicken meals
- 2 dozen Mini Meat loaves
- 3 Teriyaki Steak meals
- 6 Teriyaki Chicken meals
- 4 Green Bean/Chicken Casseroles
- 4 Shepard's Pies
- 4 Black Bean Tamale Pies
- 4 Carnitas with Peppers and Orzo in Mole Sauce (which after cooking I came to the realization I do not like mole sauce)

So overall we ended up with 71 meals for our family of 3 (Wowzers, I hadn't actually counted that up until now, good thing we bought a deep freezer!)

We will probably end up eating the burritos and calzones as lunches because you can literally throw one in the microwave for a couple of minutes straight out of the freezer.  The rest we will eat for dinners and enjoy the pure bliss of not having to cook for the next 2 or 3 months (depending on how often we eat out or are out of town, etc).

We spent a total of $300 on the ingredients using about 5 coupons total (I know, sad...I really had poor planning on this shopping trip)  But even still, that is about $4.00 a meal for the three of us (and we ALWAYS have leftovers).

If you want to try OAMC I would suggest going to Amazon and buying the book Don't Panic Dinners in the Freezer.  It has a complete guide on how to get started and a ton of helpful tips and on top of that the recipes are awesome!  After you read through the book and pick out some recipes the internet has tons of freezer cooking recipes.

Good luck and have fun!  If you have any questions, feel free to ask!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Bird's Nest Necklaces!

 Introducing my newest craft obsession, the bird's nest necklace.  I have been seeing these all over Pinterest and Etsy and decided to try them out.  I am in love.   They are fun and pretty and unique and after some inquiries I am officially selling them.  Each necklace is $18.00 SHIPPED to anywhere in the United States.  The ones shown in the pictures are available and I will also take custom requests, just let me know what you would like (wire color, egg color and size, and number of eggs)!

Also, for a chance to win one of these lovely necklaces, share this with your friends (on FB, Pinterest or on your own blog) and write a comment below telling me how you shared the post and what your perfect Bird's Nest Necklace would look like!  Good luck!  I will notify the winner one week from today, March 9th!    

If you would like to order a necklace please email me directly at and I will bill you via PayPal.  Happy Friday everyone!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Star Wars Valentines

Tomorrow is Liam's Valentine's Day Party at school and he wanted to bring his friends some "Cool" Valentines.  Check out what I found while searching for something to whip up!!!  Free Star Wars Valentine Printables!  Liam loves playing with the Light Saber on my phone and as soon as I showed him the idea for his Valentines, he was psyched.  So a couple of nights ago we sat down and put these together while we watched a movie.

I had to make one for each of his classmates and he insisted I make on for him too.  He is very excited to hand these out to his friends tomorrow.  The best part is I only spent $5.00 total to make these!    

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The dinosaur beanie

After learning to crochet, I tended to focus on simple patterns like scarves.  Now that I am finally a bit more comfortable in my crochet skill and ability to read patterns, I decided it was time to make something for Liam.  While scrolling through on Pinterest I saw a link to a crochet monster hat and decided to check it out.   Once on the site, I found a tutorial for making dinosaur spikes (Liam is slightly obsessed with dinosaurs).  Here is the site for the spikes:  The Boy Trifecta (totally awesome blog, by the way).  Once I showed Liam the dinosaur hat idea, he flipped out and demanded it have spikes and stripes and eyes and a nose.  I wasn't quite up for that, but I agreed hoping he would forget about it once he saw the finished product.  I decided to search (an awesome site for knitters and crocheters) for the perfect beanie pattern.  I found it here:  Ravelry - Brr Baby Beanie  The best part is, the pattern was free :)  I made the beanie and added a lime green edge to the entire beanie using a simple single crochet.  Then I made 5 spikes using the pattern (although I stopped at round five so the spikes were smaller).  I attached the spikes and voila!  Liam put the hat on and transformed into a roaring dinosaur.  He wore it to school today and was quite proud.  


School Days

Liam is officially a pre-schooler!  Before we moved to Kansas I decided I would keep Liam home until Kindergarten,  partly because of how expensive preschool is and partly because I am a former preschool teacher and love being with my boy.  He is a very smart little guy and loves to learn, which is really fun for me.  He also loves to be around other kids, but seems to do much better around older kids than kids his own age.  Once we moved to Kansas,  we noticed Liam was having a tough time when we had play dates with kids his own age and was moving rapidly into a "it's mine" phase.  We heard from a friend that there was a preschool here in town that was twice a week in the mornings and we were beyond excited for Liam to get a chance to socialize, learn, and have fun.  We also learned that Liam had to be potty trained and within 2 weeks he was ready to go (gotta say, I was in shock at how quickly the boy did this, overnight and all).  School started this month and Liam loves it.  Honestly, the hardest part of Tuesday and Thursday is trying to convince him school is over and it is time to go home.  He comes home babbling on about his friends and show and tell and the good-bye song.  He lets us know that he doesn't like to share (no surprise here) and that he loves to play with the trucks.  He assures us he is listening to his teacher (hopefully) and he can't wait for the next birthday party so he can have more cupcakes.  Thank you to his teacher Jana for making his school days so much fun :)  It is a wonderful feeling to watch your baby growing up and loving life.

Here he is on his second day of school.

Monday, January 9, 2012

My Super Hero

Meet Lightning Liam.  I made this cape and mask without sewing (happy Mommy!).  All it took was some fabric, felt, ribbon, an elastic headband, scissors and hot glue gun.  

Boys are wonderful.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Ikea Spice Racks?!?!

So here is an idea I found on Pinterest and decided to try out.  After moving into our new house and getting Liam's room set up I was pretty happy with the results.  The only thing it seemed to need was a place to store all of his books.  The kid loves books.  So I found this idea on Pinterest to buy 3.99 Ikea Spice Racks and use them as book shelves.
 I LOVED them and to make it even better, they were cheap.  Here was the problem...I live in the middle of nowhere.  I used to live about 3 minutes from the Ikea.  Sigh.  So I called my fabulous Mother in law!  She happily agreed to venture to Ikea and get me the racks and bring them when they came to visit, I was excited.  So a few weeks later I had the racks and decided I would paint them to match Liam's room.  I got a couple of cheap bottles of paint from Walmart and they were dry and ready to hang in about an hour.

A couple of days later my Mom, Marianne and her husband Louie came for a visit from California, so I enlisted Louie to hang them up for me.  We decided to have all but one on one wall and hang one right next to Liam's bed for his "bedtime stories".  It turned out wonderfully and Liam reads even more now than he did before.  Check out the end result!