Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Free Stuff!

Just thought I would share all the free stuff I've received this week
  • 12 Keurig coffees
  • Thank you card (from Cardstore I believe)
  • a couple different cards that I didn't share in the picture because I'll be sending them out!
  • Shape magazine (not pictured)
  • glass cleaner
  • de-greaser
  • towels to go with each
  • drink mixes (fiber and stress)
  • full big bottle of Olay moisturzier, not just the sample size
This has not been through "coupons".  All of this has been sent to my door, it's such a surprise each day to see what comes in the mail!  I use http://www.hip2save.com/ She blogs about different samples going on and each of these companies just want you to try their stuff!  Do you think this will clog up your mail with tons of junk?  Well, I changed from my maiden name to married name and have gotten no junk mail to my married name, so it's not spamming up my mail box either.  Just getting free stuff!  It's awesome! 

Keeping all of the samples organized is tough, so I'll show you that next :)
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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Great Freezer Meal

I love Pioneer Woman, I love Pinterest, and I LOVE babies.  Put them all together and you get a great evening!

We had three (yes...three) friends have babies within 3 days last week and all 3 were little baby girls.  We got to go see little Zoe last night and she was precious!!

But, to the point.  Five years ago when my grandfather passed away I had my first experience with Chicken Spaghetti because someone brought it over to the family.  After that, my life was never the same.  Actually, it was, but that's okay.  I hadn't remembered about it until I moved to Texas and remembered that it was sooo good.  Then I saw it in Pioneer Woman (and I love Pioneer Woman), and then.. I remembered that it's perfect to bring over to people for food.  At most times, I have my own thing of Chicken Spaghetti in the freezer and it's perfect for a night when I don't have time to cook.  And now I bring it to people for funerals, babies, etc. for when other people don't have time to cook.   I love to bring one dish over to eat with them that night and leave them with one for the freezer for later on when they need some more food and don't have time for a homecooked meal!

So, here's Pioneer Woman's Chicken Spaghetti.


I wouldn't change a thing about it, except sometimes if I just have chicken breasts in the freezer I use those instead of a whole fryer chicken.  I just add "better than bouillon" to the water as I'm boiling the chicken.

So where does Pinterest come in??  If you haven't started Pinterest..then don't.  Well do, but be ready to waste too much time!  I saw on Pinterest that you could put boiled chicken in the Kitchenaid Mixer and it perfectly shreds it.  There are few times that I boil chicken, but with Pioneer Woman's Chicken Spaghetti you boil chicken and then shred it.  This was a lifesaver!!!

 Perfect shredded chicken.... amazing.
The Chicken Spaghetti for them for later and the one for us to all eat now! 
Chicken Spaghetti for the freezer for the new family to have later with instructions because they're busy right now and won't remember those later!

Oh, and the trick for it being so good out of the freezer.  Bring it to room temperature and then BAKE it for 30-40 minutes until bubbly.  That's how it tastes like it was made that day!
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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Drink Your Vegetables!

Okay, I get it.  Drinking your vegetables sounds disgusting, right?

But, imagine if you woke up in the morning and while you were getting ready you could drink one little glass and it was filled with all kinds of yummy stuff for you?  Vegetables, fruit, vitamins, nutrients!

Dave was skeptical at first, but soon after I started juicing he started begging for it if we were out.  I now juice about once every week to get ready for the next week.  And it's always Dave's request.

So here's the deal.  There's probably an exact science, but I don't know it and I just go with what tastes good and we're willing to drink every day.

3-4 heads of Romaine (you know the kind in the bag?)
2-3 lemons (take the peel off, doesn't have to be exact, but otherwise the juice tastes like lemon zest)
about 6 apples (whichever kind is cheapest)
kale or spinach (whichever is cheapest)

Rinse them off, cut off the ends, and push through the top of the juicer.  If you're using kale make sure you put apples or lemons through after it because I find the kale juice gets stuck and you need something juicy to push it through. 

Then, I put it in little freezer ball jars.  They're ball jars, but plastic.  I'm sure this is smaller than the recommended amount of "juice" a day, but it's something to kick start our metabolism and it's great for a little bit before a workout, or after a workout, or breakfast for a hubby who doesn't eat breakfast.

If there's extra, put it in a glass and drink it up!

 Put the cups in the freezer and pull one or two out the night before and voila! the next morning if you have a wonderful, healthy way to start your day!

**I started by buying the Sharper Image juicer at Bed Bath and Beyond.  It was about $80 if I remember right.  It worked well, but I felt that there was a lot of waste coming out.  You had to empty the "trash" side quite a bit.  With wedding money I bought the Breville JEXL800 for about $300, it was worth every penny.  Where parts of the Sharper Image one were plastic, this is metal, and there is much less waste!  I feel what I lost at the beginning of spending on the juicer I made up in saved money on the fruit/veggies.

Enjoy!  Let me know if you have other suggestions!
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Monday, January 23, 2012

All I really need to learn I learned ... from Grandma.

All I really need to learn I learned in Kindergarten  from Grandma.
When was the last time you had the opportunity to spend 4 or 5 days with anyone, just the two of you?  It’s been a long time since I’ve had that with anyone? and imagine if you were lucky enough to have that be your grandma?!
A week off from work, a husband in Canada, and Grandma came to visit. 
Dave told me to take advantage of that, to learn everything I wanted to learn from her.  He asked what is it that she does that you all love?  She’s at your house for 5 days, take advantage! And I never knew how much I would take advantage of that.
We made starter bread, we made cinnamon rolls, we made cookies (and many breakfasts, lunches, and dinners).  I suddenly had “grandma’s house” in my house.  It smelled like it, tasted like it, and had all of the love of grandma’s house at my own home.  And even better, she taught me all the tricks to go along with it, to save money and make great food.
If you ask what grandma is great at, everyone would say making good food.  She flies across the country with bread for each of her beloved grandkids, and now I have a thing of starter in my own fridge.  I’m anxious to try it and I learned from the best! 
I left her with a list of recipes to send me and she left me with many simple lessons.  She never voiced them, but she just lives her life to show them to you.
1.       Love God.
2.       Love your family.
3.       Under any and all circumstances, live your life.
4.       Be grateful for what you have.

Grandma, Me, and Dave
(Dave was out working on more wood projects when we grabbed him for a picture!)

And I think everyone should have grandma come stay with them for a few days, it’s amazing how much fun and love you’ll feel.
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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Everything is going to be alright!

As you know I freaked out over the water flooding up through the floor.  I have a tendency to do that.  Dave and I talked after about how one of us needs to be the calm one in these situations.  He goes straight to thinking the worst of it all, and I just sit there quietly taking it all in.  So I guess it will take the next disaster to see who can be the positive, "stay calm" person!  (or not...)

I have to brag on the workers who came to the house, they were wonderful!!!  I've always heard horror stories about contractors, and ours were amazing.  Take a look at the work they did - it's pretty great too!

Gorgeous wood floors, fresh coat of paint.

Another view :)

Look at the edge there, you'd never know that had been a huge puddle!

Where the giant hole had been from above - these guys were amazing!

And a fresh coat of paint here too!  Don't mind the mess....

Now question - how can they do it so fast??  3 days and they got all of that done!  It takes Dave and me days and days just to paint one room...
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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

I want a Landlord again

So Dave and I were lucky enough to buy a house in March, 2011.  I called it my birthday present.  It was perfect, it needed a little bit of help, but it was our first home and I was so excited!!  I had this idealistic view that everything would be perfect in it.  We'd never have to replace anything or fix anything, wow was I wrong! I soon found out that homeownership isn't as much fun as I had imagined. 

The week before Christmas, the week of our Christmas party actually, we noticed water on the floor.  Our first thought was it was an ice cube that had melted, then we thought it was the fridge leaking, then we realized the worst.  A pipe had broken underneath our entryway.  Here in Texas we don't have basements so the only place for the water to go was up.  There was water in our closet, entryway, dining room, office, and family room.  We "abandoned" that waterline and re-routed the waterline through the front of the house and up and over.  This resulted in days of no water, no carpet pads, fans in the house, and large holes in the ceilings and walls!  (Did I mention Christmas party that week?!)   I looked at Dave and just said "I want a landlord again." 


(fans trying to dry everything out)

So here we are now with workers in the house, a WONDEFUL mother-in-law flown in to look after everything, and holes in the ceiling quickly being fixed.  I'm anxiously awaiting the new look.  I'll be sure to post pictures of the process.
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