Menu Plan Monday

This is my last menu for 2013....can you believe another year has come and gone?!  
Monday ~ sausage cups, scrambled eggs, bananas
Tuesday ~ New Years Eve!
Wednesday ~ crock pot chicken tacos, refried beans, guacamole
Thursday ~ pasta, salad, bread
Friday ~ Birthday dinner!

Linking up with Org Junkie...check them out for more recipes.


Merry Christmas!

...from our family to yours!

"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6



Need an idea for a last minute gift or stocking stuffer?!  How about a Magicstick from Powerocks.  Magicstick is a compact and lightweight mobile charger that you can easily fit in your purse, pocket, backpack, etc...  You will never get stuck with a dead phone or other electronic device again.  A simple USB port and corresponding cable let you charge a variety of devices seamlessly while you are out and about. 


Here is the run down...

·  Charges standard smartphone and other digital devices such as Bluetooth headsets, cameras, GPS, e-readers, and more
·  2800mAh battery capacity provides up to 2 full charges before needing recharging
·  Lightweight & Powerful: Perfect for work, vacation, and every day on-the-go
·  Engineered with smart chip technology to prevent damage or over charging
·  Aluminum housing for durability & safety
·  Fun color assortment for personal style expression
·  Charges as fast as a standard wall charger in an electrical outlet
·  Check power status with a push of button
·  Easy and intuitive use
·  Included carrying pouch

I think this would make a perfect gift for my hubby!  Anyone on your list you think could benefit from one of these handy gadgets?  If you already own a Magicstick or decide to give one a try, I would love to hear what you think!

Use the code Powerblog20 for 20% off to make your purchase even sweeter when you shop powerocksusa.com!  

For more info, check out powerocksmedia.com

  • Charges standard smartphone and other digital devices such as Bluetooth headsets, cameras, GPS, e-readers, and more
  • 2800mAh battery capacity provides up to 2 full charges before needing recharging
  • Lightweight & Powerful: Perfect for work, vacation, and every day on-the-go
  • Engineered with smart chip technology to prevent damage or over charging
  • Aluminum housing for durability & safety
  • Fun color assortment for personal style expression
  • Charges as fast as a standard wall charger in an electrical outlet
  • Check power status with a push of button
  • Easy and intuitive use
  • Included carrying pouch
  • - See more at: http://powerocksmedia.com/#sthash.0RqD5lh2.dpuf
    A single USB port and corresponding cable with micro to USB connectionslet you charge a variety of devices seamlessly - See more at: http://powerocksmedia.com/#sthash.0RqD5lh2.dpuf
    A single USB port and corresponding cable with micro to USB connectionslet you charge a variety of devices seamlessly - See more at: http://powerocksmedia.com/#sthash.0RqD5lh2.dpuf
    A single USB port and corresponding cable with micro to USB connectionslet you charge a variety of devices seamlessly - See more at: http://powerocksmedia.com/#sthash.0RqD5lh2.dpuf


    Menu Plan Monday

    Monday ~ lasagna grilled cheese sandwiches, cheesy broccoli rice
    Tuesday ~ italian beef, mashed potatoes, green beans, bread
    Wednesday ~ mushroom & pesto pasta, salad, bread
    Thursday ~ chicken patties, sweet potato fries, apple slices
    Friday ~ dinner on the go...

    Linking up with Org Junkie...check them out for more recipes.


    Yummy treats!

    Well, we got snow today and are expected to get some more overnight & in the morning.  Sounds to me like a good time to do some holiday baking!  I have been pinning some recipes that look yummo and can't wait to try some of them out....

    Salted Caramel Pretzel Bark - sweet and salty in one delicious bark www.insidebrucrewlife.com 

    You're going to love the fabulous flavor and satisfying crunchy sweetness of this Peppermint Crunch Popcorn!  It takes just minutes to prepare and would make the perfect gift this holiday season!  Take this to your holiday party and let the compliments roll in! | MomOnTimeout.com | #popcorn #Christmas #recipe 

    Delicious Gooey Red Velvet Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting on { lilluna.com } 

    You're going to love this Easy Christmas Peppermint Patties recipe!  Super easy to make, fantastically festive, and always a hit with kids and adults alike.  These holiday treats are the perfect addition to cookie trays and make an excellent gift for teachers and friends! | MomOnTimeout.com #Christmas #candy #recipe 

    Now to check the pantry for which ones of these I can make without trekking through the snow to the store!  

    What fun things do you like to bake during the holidays?


    FREE Tostito Scoops at Meijer

    If you’re a Meijer mPerks member, log into your account to download a coupon good for a Free Bag of Fajita Scoops (9 oz.) or Tostitos Scoops (10 oz.).


    Enter the offer code HOLIDAYCHIPS to view this free coupon. Offer valid through December 10, 2013.

    Menu Plan Monday

    Monday ~ bean bake, broccoli & cheese, bread
    Tuesday ~ taco cups, rice, fruit
    Wednesday ~ tilapia sticks, mac & cheese, green beans
    Friday ~ pizza night

    Linking up with Org Junkie...check them out for more recipes.


    new winners....

    Well, 2 of the 3 winners didn't contact me....so that means I picked 2 new ones.  Sorry!

    Lauralee Moss

    Contact me by Thursday with your address to claim the gift cards.

    Thanks again to all who entered.  Hope you are taking advantage of some of the coupons and trying some of these great products out for yourselves!

    Menu Plan Monday

    Monday ~ turkey, stuffing, green beans, bread
    Tuesday ~ potato corn chowder, salad, bread
    Wednesday ~ pizza night
    Thursday ~ crock pot chicken parmesan, salad
    Friday ~ bean bake, grilled cheese sandwiches, fruit

    Linking up with Org Junkie...check them out for more recipes.


    Thankful Thursday

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    I know, I forgot last week so I will play catch up today.  I hope you all are enjoying the holiday and quality time with family.  I plan to eat lots of yummy goodness and shop til I drop!

    Day 15...my health
    Day 16...time to scrapbook, especially with friends!
    Day 17...my church family & friends
    Day 18...my blog & connections I have made
    Day 19...Tuesday lunches with co-workers
    Day 20...yummy treats, like salted caramel hot chocolate ;)
    Day 21...half days of school & special time with my girl
    Day 22...craft time with my girl
    Day 23...fun nights with friends & free babysitting!
    Day 24...lazy Sunday afternoons & fun family time
    Day 25...holiday decorations & gingerbread cookies
    Day 26...spending time in the kitchen cooking & baking with my girl
    Day 27...for God's protection
    Day 28...good eats & time with family



    Thanks to all who entered the Wake Up Your Walls giveaway!  I used random number generator to pick the winners and they are...

    Dana M
    Lisa Newman

    Please contact me with your name and address so we can get your gift cards sent out!

    Since Thanksgiving is tomorrow, I will give the winners until Sunday to contact me with their info.  New winners will be picked if I haven't heard anything.

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and make lots of memories!


    wake up your walls {Meijer gift card giveaway!}

    The holidays are right around the corner and what perfect time to reflect on those who mean the most.  With Meijer's HP 1 hour and next day photo services, you can create wall decor and gifts that share photos of your most cherished memories.  You can create photo books, holiday cards, photo canvases, mounted photos and much more.

    Thanks to Meijer and HP, I was able to try out these services and share some of the products I created with you! 

    And let me tell you...it was super easy!  I went into the store, used one of the computer stations and my USB drive loaded with my pictures.  I just selected what format I wanted, size and picture...that's it!  They are ready in an hour or next day, depending on what format you choose.

    I chose to create 2 mounted photos, a 5"x7" and an 8"x10".  This format comes with a stand, so it can be displayed either table top or hung on the wall.  These are very reasonably priced as well and would make awesome gifts!!!  Plus they are ready in about an hour.

    I also created an 11"x14" wrapped photo canvas.  These come in a variety of sizes from 8"x8" up to 20"x24".  These are usually ready the next day.  I love the quality and I just used a simple picture {of one cute girl!} from my personal camera!  I just have it propped on a shelf, but you could also hang it on the wall. 

    These would make great additions to a photo wall collage as well!

    Now....how would you like the chance to win a $50 Meijer gift card to create some wonderful wall decor or photo gifts of your own?!  I have 3 of them to giveaway...so get entering!!!  Just leave a comment letting me know which product you would like to create.  I will draw a winner on Wednesday, November 27th...you will have until 2pm that day to enter! 

    Better yet...here are some Meijer coupons to make your photo purchases an even better deal!


    Menu Plan Monday

    Monday ~ chicken & spinach lasagna, salad, garlic bread
    Tuesday ~ parmesan tilapia, green beans, mashed potatoes
    Wednesday ~ mushroom & pesto cavatappi, salad, bread
    Thursday ~ chicken ceasar burgers, tater tots, apple slices
    Friday ~ creamy mushroom & chicken soup, salad, bread

    Linking up with Org Junkie...check them out for more recipes.


    Thankful Thursday

    We are into week 2 of November!  Only 40 days til Christmas....the years seem to go by faster and faster.  So much more reason to be intentional about what we are thankful for!

    Photo: Water park fun!  #greatwolflodge 

    I shared this photo on Facebook, but thought I'd share again here on the blog.  We took a quick family trip to the Wisconsin Dells over this past weekend.  Even though I was sickly...battling a sinus infection, blah...it was a great trip!  So thankful for making memories like these!

    Day 8...my siblings...especially reconnecting with my half sister and her family!
    Day 9...trips with my family {as mentioned above!}
    Day 10...shopping time at the outlet mall in the Dell's...Christmas shopping and a little me time!
    Day 11...snuggle time with my girl!
    Day 12...my friends...there's just something about girl lunches and texting shopping deals that makes me smile!
    Day 13...afternoon naps...especially when I'm not feeling the best
    Day 14...my local library and the wonderful staff

    {family dinner} paninis...

    A panini can be made lots of different ways...so this is just how we made ours!

    I started by gathering up our ingredients...bread, butter, several options of deli meat {we used ham & turkey), slice cheese {colby jack & provolone}, pesto and other toppings as desired. 

    Little Bit and the hubs started out by buttering the outsides of our bread.  I know traditional paninis aren't made with slice bread, but we used some fresh think slices from the bakery.

    Then we layered cheese and several kinds of meat in between two buttered slices of bread.  

    Don't have a panini press...no problem.  We used our Foreman grill!  I just put 2 sandwiches on at a time, close the lid and let cook for a minute or 2.  I didn't time it, I just checked every so often and took out when they were golden brown.  Or you can use a skillet on the stove and just put another skillet on top of the sandwiches to press them. 

    The nice thing is we could all customize what we wanted on our sandwiches.  Little Bit just wanted ham and colby jack cheese.  The hubs had ham, turkey and provolone.  I had ham, turkey, provolone and some pesto!  Yummo!


    Thankful Thursday

    Well we are one week into November and I am so enjoying writing in my gratitude journal!  I hope many of you are remembering to be thankful and maybe even keeping a journal as well.  Here is a pic of my journal that I shared on instagram...
    I included a bible verse on the first page as a wonderful reminder of why we are to be thankful. 

    "Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."  1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

    I am also enjoying that Little Bit is keeping a journal right along with me!  She was so excited to get started and has really impressed me with what she is writing so far.  Just love that girl so much!!!

    I took this picture on day 2...my man and my girl!  We were playing ping pong together and laughing SO MUCH!  I am very grateful to have them both in my life and love every minute with them.

    The planner in my really wants to just sit down and make a giant list of what I'm thankful for.  But I'm really trying to just live in each day and let what I'm experiencing in those daily moments help me express each thankfulness I jot down in my journal.  I'm even leaving room for pictures when I have them to include....that is totally the scrapbooker in me!  ;) 

    Day 1...my relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ
    Day 2...my man and my girl...we share so many fun moments together I can't even count them all!
    Day 3...my parents and their love and support they've always given me...it was my mom's birthday this day!
    Day 4...yummy Starbucks coffee treats
    Day 5...my in-laws and their love and acceptance of me into their family
    Day 6...the job the Lord has blessed me with and my wonderful coworkers I am proud to call my friends
    Day 7...the beautiful fall weather and colors...i love to just drive and admire all the changing leaves

    I'm so looking forward to what lies ahead in the next week!


    lather, rinse, repeat...

    The Meijer Kids 2&1 has a new look!  It now has the same packaging as the Meijer Kids bubble bath and body wash.  It comes in several scents...coconut banana, orange, strawberry and watermelon.  They are reasonably priced at $1.79.   But November 9th - 23rd you can save $.50 off 1 Meijer Kids Shampoo & Conditioner.  Just log into your mPerks account and enter the code “meijerkids” and clip the coupon.

    Meijer graciously sent us the strawberry scent to try and it sure does smell yummy!  Little Bit loved the smell and was super excited to try a bubble bath, we don't do those very often! 

    I filled up the tub and put in a few squirts of the bubbles....you just can't have too many bubbles!  I know this pic is a little blurry but I liked it, so it's here anyways!  Little Bit couldn't get enough of the bubble beards...lol! 

    I was a little worried about using the body wash and bubble bath because we usually stick to sensitive skin products.  The label did say "gentle cleansing" so I figured I'd give it a try.  We have used them all 3 times now and haven't had any issues with her skin.  Yay!

    The shampoo works wonderfully...lots of great lather and smells yummy too!

    Thanks again to Meijer for letting us give these products a try!  I hope you take advantage of the coupon offer and pick some up for your kiddos.  We will definitely be trying out the other scents available....Little Bit thinks watermelon would be good and I'm leaning towards coconut banana.  Let us know what you think!


    Menu Plan Monday

    Monday ~ zucchini pasta, bread
    Tuesday ~ slow cooker pot roast, mashed potatoes, salad
    Wednesday ~ Veteran's program & spaghetti dinner
    Thursday ~ dinner out for hubby's birthday
    Friday ~ meatloaf, mashed potatoes, green beans, bread

    Linking up with Org Junkie...check them out for more recipes.


    30 Days of Thankful!

    Can you believe that today is the 1st of November?!  Where has this year gone?  I was talking to my kids at school today about the month of November and how Thanksgiving was coming up.  It is a time to be remember what we have to be thankful for.  Ashley over at The Creative Place posted her 30 Days of Thankful project today and I decided to jump on board.  It is a month long journey of documenting a gratitude each day.  I try to at least be aware of things I'm thankful for each day but I really like the idea of keeping a journal and actually taking the time to write them down. 

    My bible study group just finished up Beth Moore's James: Mercy Triumphs study.  Once of the things I took away from this is living in each moment and not worrying about tomorrow.  God is in control...not me!  As I read James 4:13-17 again this afternoon, the idea of this gratitude journal for the month stuck out to me even more.  I so want to be aware of ALL of God's blessings and enjoy the journey.

    So, I am going to take Thursdays throughout the month of November to share some things I've documented in my gratitude journal.  I hope you will join in and take a few moments each day to reflect on what you have to be thankful for and the blessings God has given in your life.


    Free 8x8 photo book from Shutterfly, just pay shipping!

    I just saw this on Money Saving Mom and got my 8x8 photo book credit, so I thought I would share it with all of you too!  Christmas is right around the corner and photo books make wonderful gifts.  I make them for the grandparents and great grandparents every year and I think it is their favorite gift they receive!

    Free Shutterfly Photo Book
    Shutterfly is teaming up with IKEA to offer a free 8×8 Photo Book credit to everyone.

    Sign up or sign into your Shutterfly account through this link by November 4, 2013, and a free Shutterfly Photo Book credit will be added to your account. You’ll just need to pay shipping — which is around $8.

    Your free photo book offer is valid through December 4, 2013.


    SO excited!

    I know I have been absent lately but things have just been crazy...I'm getting back into the swing of a weekly menu so those will be back.  I also have a few projects to share, some goodies from Meijer to share, giveaways and maybe even a blog series on scarves...what you think?  Thanks for sticking with me.  

    Right now I am excited that it is Friday and I will be seeing this lady tonight and tomorrow!.....

    I am so excited to be attending the Living Proof Live event this weekend in Springfield, IL.  I have done several of Beth Moore's bible study series and just love them.  So looking forward to seeing her in person!  Anyone else out their loving them some Beth Moore studies?  We are just finishing up one on James and all I can say is WOW.  He sure packs a punch!

    "The urgent request of a righteous person is very powerful in its effect."  James 5:16

    Such a wonderful reminder to be in a prayerful state at all times!  


    bike shorts from leggings...

    OK...those of you with little girls out there....how many of your girls like to wear leggings??  My hand is raised.   Now, how many of those leggings get stained up and holes in them before they are outgrown??  My hand is raised again.  Little Bit likes to play, and she likes to play hard! 

    One day I was going through her clothes and had three pair of leggings in the get rid of pile because 2 were badly stained and 1 had a hole in the knee.  I also realized that my daughter loves to wear skirts all year round and at school they are sitting on the floor, climbing on the playground...and to be honest who really wants to show off their underpants?!  ;)  Well instead of buying a bunch of bike shorts to wear under her skirts, I just cut the stained/hole part off the leggings and had instant bike shorts! 
    Here were one pair of the stained leggings.  I started off my laying them out flat on my cutting mat.

    Then I folded one leg on top of the other so they were even. 

    Then I laid my straight edge above the stained part and used my rotary cutter...swoop and done!

    Tada....and since they are knit you don't even have to hem!  They will roll a little bit but it just makes them even cuter.  Plus they are under a dress or skirt and hardly seen. 

    It is getting cooler and leggings are starting to be worn.  Remember not to throw out those holey/stained ones....chop them off and create some bike shorts for next summer!


    Menu Plan Monday

    Monday ~ honey nut chicken tenders, mashed potatoes, salad
    Tuesday ~ cheesy potato soup, salad, bread
    Wednesday ~grilled hamburgers, tater tots, mac & cheese
    Thursday ~ parmesan tilapia, green beans, rice
    Friday ~ scrambled eggs, sausage, bagels, fruit

    Linking up with Org Junkie...check them out for more recipes.


    Meijer...Papyrus greeting card deal

    From Sept. 29-October 26, Meijer shoppers who purchase three Papyrus greeting cards will receive a free gift bag.  The gift bags are located in the card aisle; shoppers should look for the display and bring their gift bag to the register when they check out.

    Papyrus celebrates graceful living and believes that each moment is a memory rich in detail and in character. With the perfect union of art, sentiment and innovative techniques, Papyrus products make each of your moments more beautiful, more memorable and more meaningful.

    For more, visit their Facebook page or http://www.prgreetings.com


    {family dinner} homemade guacamole...

    I know it's been awhile since I posted but we had vacation in there and I've just had some catching up to do since we got back.  I will share some pics with you next week...we went to Disney again...our home away from home.  

    Anyway back to the originally scheduled broadcast...lol!  Our family cooking nights haven't been as regular now that school is in full swing.  All of our meals have been a success so far.  I love getting Little Bit involved in the cooking process and hopefully help to expand her palate.  

    This particular night we had mexican...beef tacos, refried beans and homemade guacamole.  Little Bit was a big help making the guac.  I was so proud of her for tasting it...and liking it even!  Now we make it about once a week!

    Little Bit loves to help measure out ingredients and pour them in the bowl!  This guacamole really is simple to throw together. 
    1 large avocado
    juice of 1/2 a lime
    1/3 cup salsa
    1 tsp dried cilantro
    1 1/2 tsp garlic powder

    Cut avocado in half and scoop it out of the skin.  I either use a spoon to scoop it out or sometimes I just squeeze the avocado halves and it comes right out in the bowl.  Then using a fork, I mash up the avocado.  Add the lime juice, salsa and spices.  Mix/mash until all ingredients are combined and you have a creamy consistency.  Grab some tortilla chips and dig right into the yummy goodness!

    This makes enough to feed the 3 of us so you might want to double for a larger crowd.



    back to school {organizing}

    OMG...school has been in session for 3.5 weeks!  Little Bit is really enjoying it.  She loves riding the bus, eating breakfast at school, her teacher and making new friends!  

    With school starting I knew there would be lots of papers to keep track of...bus schedule, specials schedule, word wall words, etc.  I wanted somewhere to keep it all that would be organized and cute at the same time!

    So....I was racking my brain as to what I could make, where it would go and so forth.  Then I was sitting in my craft room and looked up from my computer.  I was like duh...repurpose the white board!  It's dry erase and magnetic...perfect.  Right now it was just a random hodgepodge of stuff and a bit of a mess.  Little Bit's desk was a bit of mess as well {it got a good cleaning too}!

    I began be removing everything and laying out what I wanted to be displayed.  I chose a handwriting chart, specials schedule and word wall chart and clipped them onto twine that was already strung across the board.

    I added a little banner spelling {school} across the top and mounted her bus schedule on some cute paper to help it stand out on the white.  I had some cute thought bubble post it notes that I stuck on the board for jotting quick notes and added a couple photos of Little Bit's first day of school!
    At the bottom I straightened up her magnet letters and numbers and added 2 magnetic clips to hold artwork that we can change out.  I also love that I can write bible verses we are working on memorizing.

    I love how it turned out!  Now my fridge isn't overflowing with papers and Little Bit knows right where to look when she wonders what special class she has each day...{she pretty much has them down now but I need help remembering}!   


    mPerks rewards {baby}

    All you mommas of babies out there....did you know that Meijer now offers rewards on baby items purchased as part of their mPerks program?! 
    Photo: The new mPerks Baby Rewards will make you smile so big that people might want to pinch your cheeks.  http://bit.ly/mPerksBaby 

    How it works:

    1}  Sign up for the mPerks baby rewards program here or simply login if you are already an mPerks member. 
    2}  Enter your mPerks number and PIN at checkout and your baby rewards progress will be updated automatically.  There's even a handy baby rewards meter to help you track your progress.  
    3}  Earn a $10 off reward for every $100 you spend on qualifying baby items.  Once you've earned a reward, you can clip the reward offer or you can wait and combine your credits for bigger savings!

    Don't forget to check out the baby coupons available to clip while you are browsing the mPerks site and happy saving!


    {family dinner} manicotti...

    Little Bit has loved getting into the kitchen more these days.  Our family cooking nights have been perfect for this!  She especially loves when cracking eggs are involved!  ;) 

    I also love her having a hand in making the meals because it helps her know what goes into the dish and hopefully gets her to try some new things! 

    We are big pasta lovers in this house, so manicotti was a perfect dish to try and create together!  Sometimes stuffing pasta might turn people off because it seems time consuming, but I thought it was fun and fairly easy to put it all together.

     Little Bit was a big help with measuring and pouring ingredients!

    To stuff the shells I put my filling into a Ziploc bag, squeezed it down into one of the corners and then snipped off the corner tip to create a piping bag.  Then it was super easy to fill each shell!

    Baked Manicotti

    manicotti noodles
    16 oz. ricotta cheese
    8 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese, plus
    3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus
    1 egg
    1 tsp fresh chopped parsley
    1 Tbsp fresh chopped basil
    salt & pepper to taste
    16 oz. pasta sauce

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9x13 baking dish and set aside.  Boil your manicotti noodles for about 4-6 minutes, you don't want to over cook them because they will cook more in the oven.  Drain noodles and let them cool enough for you to handle them.

    Combine cheeses, herbs and egg in a mixing bowl.  Add salt and pepper to taste. Transfer cheese mixture into Ziploc bag and snip one corner. 

    Spoon 1 cup pasta sauce in the bottom of the baking dish.  Begin filling your shells with cheese mixture and place them in the prepared baking dish.  Spoon remaining sauce over top of shells and sprinkle with additional mozzarella and parmesan cheese.  Bake for 30-35 minutes until bubbly and cheese is melted. 


    This meal got rave reviews from my smiley girl!