Sunday, September 30, 2012

Baked Corndog Muffins

Here is a quick fall recipe for yall. It's really cheap and better for you than the store bought corndogs because they are baked not fried.

Take a box of Jiffy (50 cents each) and make it according to directions. Slice hotdogs into rounds. Fill greased muffin tins (I used my mini muffin tin) and place slice of hotdog on top. Lightly press down into the corn mix.
Bake until golden brown. Serve with ketchup and mustard!
I make these a few times a month for my girl's lunch. I like to serve it with carrot sticks and applesauce so they get their fruit and veggies as well.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Homemade Taco Seasoning

Here is the Taco Seasoning recipe I promised. I like to make my own taco seasoning. In my opinion it doesn't taste exactly like store bought but its very close and I actually like it better. Its also better for you. Have you ever read the back of a seasoning packet? A lot of them contain silica. Silica? Like the stuff in those packets in shoe boxes that say DO NOT EAT? Yep same stuff.

1 tbsp Onion powder
1 tbsp Garlic powder
1 tbsp Cumin
1 tbsp Chili powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
You can adjust this a bit to your taste. If you don't like it too spicy decrease the red pepper. If you love onions, increase the onion powder ect. ect.
I whipped up a batch tonight to season our nachos. I made homemade refried beans (from leftovers) and homemade guacamole. Yum Yum!

National Coffee Day

Hey! Guess what today is? Yep National Coffee Day. A silly, but for us coffee addicts, a very important day. Mmm I love love love coffee. For Christmas last year my hubby got me a Mr. Coffee Kuerig machine. I did the K-cups for a bit and while they are so convenient they are expensive. I ended up getting this reusable cup which you can fill, brew, rinse out and repeat. Saves a bunch of money and you know I like that!
Well since its all about coffee day here is a roundup of some of my fav coffee recipes.

Iced Coffee Recipe

Homemade French Vanilla Coffe creamer

Copycat Mocha Frappuccino

Pumpkin Spice Syrup for Pumkin Spice Latte

Homemade Pumpkin Coffee creamer

White Choco latte

Amaretto Fudge Cappuccina

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Crockpot Southwest Chicken

My crockpot is a lifesaver. I looove making crockpot meals. Here is another easy crockpot recipe I sort of made up.

1 can black beans
1 can tomato sauce or diced tomatoes
1 can corn
4-5 chicken breasts
4oz cream cheese
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 tablespoon lemon pepper

1. Mix together beans, corn, tomato sauce and spices. Add chicken.

2. 1 hour before serving add in cream cheese. Stir several times over the next hour until cream cheese is melted. If you are counting calories you can substitute 3/4 cup of non/low fat yogurt.

3. Serve over rice or tortilla chips.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Current DIY projects

I'm pretty excited to share my current diy projects. The first is a spice rack turned nail polish holder.

This is an old dirty spice rack I got for free. I cleaned it up, spray painted with silver metallic color and stood it in my bathroom to function as a nail polish holder. Pretty cute right? And yes I do have a lot of nail polish hehe! I tend to impulse buy nail polish for some reason. In my defense though a few of those bottles are saved from when I was in highschool.

Here is my second project completed this week.

We have quite a few random yardsale type pieces left over from when we did storage auctions. This stuff never sells! I found a way to repurpose this random candlestick holder and ugly decorative plate. I spray painted both pieces with silver metallic paint and then glued the plate on top of the candlestick. I tried my hot glue gun first but it didn't hold, then I tried gorilla glue and it works perfectly.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Photo of the Day-"Manmade, sometimes and up"

Its been a busy week! I kind of got behind on my photo of the day. I haven't been feeling the greatest. My MRI's came back and the doctor said I have 2 slipped discs in my neck. Ugh. It has been pretty painful but I'm getting referred to a neck and back specialist so hopefully we can get this thing fixed.

I think I will end up doing just one Photo of the Day post on Saturday. It will include all the themes from the week. So here is my catch-up photos for the week :)

This is the Sheldon Church ruins. Love this place and use it a lot for photoshoots.

 Sometimes I take pictures making the dreaded "duck face" hehe!

I took this picture of the storms rolling in while I was working on a fishing boat over the summer.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Pinckney Island

Yesterday the girls and I explored Pinckney Island. It is a national wildlife refuge right off of Hilton Head. It was a bit hot but the bugs weren't bad and we saw lots of wildlife. The girls and I walked a mile out and then a mile back. It was a long walk but the girls did well and I sure tired them out. I ended up piggybacking Haley the last quater of a mile. Next time I'll bring the double jogger and we will do the whole trail.

Pinckney Island Website

The girls and I racing!
One tired girl!
Flowers and butterflies

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Photo of the Day-Underneath

Ok so it's my first day doing the "Photo of the Day". Today's theme is "Underneath"

This is a picture of my girls "underneath" a tree. We went for a nature walk/hike on Pinckney Island. (A post about our hike coming tomorrow!)

Crockpot Chicken&Dumplings

Chicken and dumplings. Mmm. The ultimate southern comfort food. I remember when I first made this dish for Steven and my oldest stepson Bryan. They had never had chicken and dumplings before and absolutely devoured it.  It is a favorite in our family! Its also easy,cheap and filling, which is a necessity in our house.

2 26oz cans of cream of chicken soup
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp paprika
4-6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 cans Pillsbury biscuit dough

1. Dump cream of chicken soup in crockpot. Add 1 1/2 cans of water. Add spices and chicken. You can use fresh or frozen. I prefer fresh but the frozen was on sale and I needed chicken for another recipe this week. Stir all together. Cook on low 4-5 hours.
2. 30 minutes before serving, cut biscuit dough in halves and add to crockpot. Give one quick stir and replace lid. Stir again before serving. Dumplings should be soft but not "doughy" (no idea how to spell that word lol)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Photo A Day

I came across this photo a day challenge, and since I'm slightly obsessed with taking pictures, I've decided to join in the fun. Tomorrow I'll be posting the first one. Here is the link if you want to play too.

The girls and I have some fun stuff planned for tomorrow. Hopefully it doesn't rain!

Monday, September 17, 2012

10 ways to save on your grocery bill

I'm so thankful my mom taught me how to grocery shop on a budget. I didn't realize then how important those lessons would be. Without those lessons, my task of feeding a family of 5 on 40% of a paycheck, would be next to impossible. It has taken some trial and error, but I have grocery shopping practically down to a science. Here are some tips I've learned along the way.

1. The first, and probably most important, is to make a menu and grocery list beforehand. The extra 30-45 minutes of preperation will probably cut your grocery bill almost in half. I make a menu for 7 days, including breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks. Then, from the menu, I make a grocery list.

2. After you have made a list, stick to it! Resist the urge to impulse buy. Impulse purchases can increase your bill by 20% or more.

3. Don't shop when you are hungry. I know thats a classic but it is so true. When I'm hungry, everything looks good, especially the overpriced, hot, ready-to-eat, deli foods.

4. Avoid pre-packaged, pre-sliced, or pre-washed foods. You are basically paying someone to do something that would take you just a few minutes to do at home. This is especially true of sliced or shredded cheese. A pound block of cheese costs about as much as a 1/2 pound of shredded.

5. And speaking of pre-packaged stuff, avoid spice mixes. If you already have a full spice cabinet you can make your own spice mixes much cheaper. The pre-made ones are usually mostly salt anyway.

6. Don't be afraid of store/generic brands. Granted some of the generic brands are just not as good as the name brands, but for the most part they taste the same. You pay a hefty price for that name brand!

7. When my family is just dying for some steak, I buy the marked down meat and cook it the same day. You can save so much on meat that way!

8. Buy produce that is in season. Pretty simple.

9. Avoid buying cosmetics and hygiene supplies at the grocery store. You are paying for the convenience and these products are usually marked up 30% higher.

10. Brown bag it. By bringing a lunch instead of buying it or eating out you can save $30 or more a week. Use up leftovers by taking to work or school. We also have leftover night once a week at our house.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Spinach&Cheese Stuffed Chicken


Olive Oil
1/2 an onion
2 garlic cloves
1 cup raw uncooked spinach
1/2 cup cheese (feta, mozzarella, pepper jack)
3 tbsp butter
1 cup breadcrumbs
1 tsp basil
1 tsp oregano
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1. Preheat oven to 400. Heat oil in small pan on medium heat. Chop onion and garlic and add to pan. Saute until soft, add spinach and cook until spinach is wilted all the way.

2. Place onion/spinach mixture into bowl. Add cheese, salt and pepper and stir. In my picture I have the velveeta shreds but DONT use this kind. I only used it because I didn't realize I had bought it instead of kraft. Velveeta is nasty!
3. Melt butter in pan used for onions, take off heat and add breadcrumbs, basil and oregano. Stir.

4. Cut a slit in the chicken lengthwise and not all the way through, almost like a book.

5. Stuff the spinach mixture into the chicken, letting it overflow a bit.


6. Drizzle olive oil in a pan, rub it around a bit to coat. Place chicken, stuffing side up in the pan and cover with bread crumbs. Bake about 25 min or until juices run clear.

Update and Cute Girls

Yay! So happy to have my blog back! If you have viewed my blog, you may have seen some kind of messege that my blog was gone or locked. Unfortunately someone reported me and the website locked my blog until they could review it. Obviously I have violated no terms, someone was just out to get me. All my comments also got deleted :( I have a pretty good idea who it was, but there really is nothing I can do except forgive them, pray for them and move on. Anyway, I'm happy to be blogging again!

Last night we took the girls to thier first movie. It was "Finding Nemo" in 3D. They were sooo excited! I think I was just as excited to share this experience with them. We got some popcorn to share, and the girls each got a fruit snack. Haley (2) enjoyed the movie but I think we will wait a while before we take her again. I had to take her pee 3 times! She is not quite old enough to sit through a whole movie without getting distracted. Serenity (4) on the other hand loved every minute of it. When she first put on her 3D glasses, she leaned back in her seat really fast thinking something was going to hit her. At the scary shark part she took her glasses off and wouldn't put them on again until it was over. The whole experience was pretty comical, but we all had fun.

My girls are getting so big and independant now! I took Haley to pick out some panties, so we could work on potty training. She chose "Dora" panties, her favorite show. We worked on potty training last week and she has just done so well! She is completely potty trained during the day. No more diapers in our house! (Just overnight pull ups) Yay! Aww its kind of bittersweet actually. They are growing too fast!

Both my girls have such sassy attitudes o my goodness! Last week Serenity was going around saying "whatever" all the time. I had to nip that in the bud. Haley's favorite word lately is "No". We will be getting ready to go somewhere and she will say "NO. I'm NOT going to the grocery store, I'm STAYING here." And she will "Hmph" and cross her arms. Her other favorite saying is "This is ridiculous!"
ME: Haley please pick up your toys and put them in your room.
HALEY: This is ridiculous!
Coming from a 2 year old it sounds absolutely hilarious.Where do they come up with this stuff? Its terrible but sometimes I have to leave the room, laugh my butt off, and then come back and deliver spankings. Another time Serenity asked to go by McDonalds and I explained to her that we only have McDonalds every once in a while. If we eat it every day it will make us fat and sick. So that night at dinner, she refuses to eat her vegetables and explains she can't eat them because she will get fat. O boy. I have my work cut out for me every day, but it is such a joy raising these girls.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Oven Baked Frito Pie

I made this yummy Frito pie for dinner last night. I pretty much followed the recipe, except I used my own homemade taco seasoning (recipe to come soon!) and I doubled it of course.

Frito Pie Recipe

Here is how mine looked...

September 11th

Yesterday was September 11th. I remember where I was on that sad day in 2001. I was still too young to fully understand the impact it had on our country. Now, years later, I feel like we have forgotten too soon the lives lost and sacrifices made. I think we have also lost the sense of patriotism and empathy we felt that day. When I got on my facebook yesterday morning, I saw lots of memorial photos. I posted one as well, but then I got to thinking, "What else can I do to observe this day and pay tribute to the thousands that lost thier lives?" Its easy to just share a photo, but does it really make an impact? I decided to take some things to our local heroes; policemen, firefighters and paramedics. The girls and I made cookies and thank you cards, tied them up with red, white, and blue ribbon and delivered them to the fire and police station. The girls loved seeing the firetrucks and they got to tour the firehouse. I was blessed to see the smiles on these special men and women's faces. You don't really realize how much they do for the community, and I don't think they get enough credit for the stellar work they do. This is going to be a new tradition in our house!

Afterwards, we helped our community by picking up trash at our local playground. Of course we stopped to play for a while!

Monday, September 10, 2012

How to reuse kid's workbooks

If you are like me and always looking for ways to save money, you will appreciate this tip. I am homeschooling my preschooler this year, and school supplies and curriculum are not cheap at all! I got a really great workbook for my preschooler but it was $6 and she goes through the activities so fast. Her little sister always wants to participate as well, but being two she isn't quite at the preschool comprehension level. I figured out a way to use the worksheets over and over. Now the girls can color until thier heart is content, take turns doing the same activities, and I only had to purchase one workbook.

You will need page protecters, a three ring binder and a workbook you want to reuse.

If the book is stapled, go to the middle and undo the staples. I was lucky with this one, it easily came apart. If it's not stapled you can tear or cut the pages out.

Insert the pages into page protecters.
Organize into a three ring binder and wa-la!
You can use dry erase markers or crayons to write with, just remember to wipe off when you are done.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Simple, Cheap Crockpot Chicken

This is the recipe I made for Steven's birthday. It's easy to throw together, very cheap and so yummy! You can use the chicken for chicken tacos, enchiladas, or any other recipe that calls for chicken.

You will need:
1 whole chicken
2 tbsp. Balsamic Vinager
1/2 tbsp. Olive Oil
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. thyme
1/2 tsp. basil
1/2 tsp. minced garlic or 2 cloves

1. Place whole chicken in crock pot. Pour oil and vinager over chicken and sprinkle with spices. Place garlic cloves under the skin or spread the minced garlic over the top.

2. Cook on low 7-8 hours. Pull chicken out and shred, removing bones and skin.

Steven always has to do this part for me, I get too grossed out seeing the chicken parts lol.