Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Silly Boy

There are plenty of days when my 2-year-old leaves me wanting to pull my hair out...they aren't called the terrible twos for nothing!! But he is also able to make me laugh every day. He seems to have two goals these days: Climb anything that can be climbed and Build Towers out of anything that can be used to build.

Shoe tower. I almost died laughing when I came down the stairs to discover this last week. We usually keep our shoes away from him because he loves to play with them, but they got left out that day. I'm impressed he managed to get it to stay!
His other passion these days is eating french fries. He talks about them constantly. He pretends to eat the ones out of the play food set. Cracked me up that he also thinks to transport them around in his dump truck!

He's such a silly boy...

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tasty Tuesday - Chocolate Zucchini Loaf

There is some debate at our house on if this should be called bread or cake. I insist that since it is baked in a bread pan, it should be called bread. Hubby seems to think that since it is chocolate, it is cake. I suppose it doesn't really matter what it is called, because it is SO good. Another great find in my family's cookbook that was compiled for a family reunion a few years ago. I did a double take when I saw it has oil AND margarine in it. Probably not the healthiest bread/cake but I think that having zucchini in it boosts the healthiness factor a tad. :)

Chocolate Zucchini Loaf

1/2 cup margarine
1/2 cup oil
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup sour cream
2 cups shredded zucchini
2 1/2 cups flour
4 tbsp cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt


1/4 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup chopped nuts
1/4 cup brown sugar
(I didn't bother with the nuts or brown sugar....just sprinkled a few chocolate chips on each loaf.)

Cream margarine, oil and sugar. Add eggs, vanilla, sour cream and shredded zucchini. In a separate bowl, mix together dry ingredients. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix well.

Grease 4 small loaf pans. Pour batter into each pan evenly. Sprinkle topping onto each if desired. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.

You can view all of my recipes here!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Meal Plan Monday - September 26

Welcome to the last week of September! The month really has flown by. I absolutely love the cooler weather we have been having and being able to incorporate more comfort foods back into my menu plans. Here is the plan for this week!

Monday - Mini Meatloaves, Perogies, Carrots

Tuesday - Tuna & Cheddar Pasta Melt, Green Beans

Wednesday - Braided Pizza Bread (bbq chicken for hubby and I, cheese and pizza sauce for the kids)

Thursday - Enchilada Casserole (another winner from my family's cookbook...will share the recipe soon!)

Friday - I'll be working, so I'm sending hubby and the kids out to McDonalds (grandma sent a gift card!)

Saturday - Probably out...working early that day, and it would be nice to do something in the afternoon/evening with the family.

Sunday - Chili, Macaroni & Cheese

Also planning to bake Apple Dumpling Cake & Ron's Bread Machine White Bread. Might also try to get around to making Peanut Butter Bars.

You can see more menu planning ideas over at I'm an Organizing Junkie!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tasty Tuesday - Lemon Blueberry Muffins

This recipe originally comes from my mom, who found it on as Lemon Cranberry Muffins. She made them for us when we visited in summer and they were SO good. I looked at 4 different stores to find fresh or frozen cranberries, but could not find them anywhere!! So I settled for blueberries, and they turned out just as good.

Lemon Blueberry Muffins

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup sugar

3 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

2 eggs

1 cup milk

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 tsp lemon extract (I use the zest and juice of one lemon instead)

1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries (you could use cranberries if you can find them!)

1/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted (if desired, I left these out)

In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients. In another bowl, beat the eggs, milk, oil and lemon zest & juice. Stir into dry ingredients until just mixed. Fold in blueberries. Don't over mix!!

Fill paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 400 degrees for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from pan to a wire rack after the muffins have cooled for 5 minutes.

These freeze very well. Makes 1 dozen muffins.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Apple Orchard

We are fall lovers at our house. None of us complain when the day comes to put away the summer clothes and pull out the jeans and hoodies! One of our favorite things to do in the fall is to visit a local apple orchard to pick apples. This year we picked 1/2 a peck, and I'm now scheming the most wise way to use them. They taste SO good!

The kids (L in particular) were SO excited to pick apples.

L wondered the entire time when it would be time for a "taste test". When the time came, she was very pleased with the apple she had chosen.

Z on the other hand was anxious to try a bite, but then quickly decided that he didn't care for the taste of apple peel. He much preferred the apple cider donuts that we enjoyed when we were finished picking.

It was nearly impossible to get a picture of these two together. Z had freedom - we had left the stroller in the van, so he was running around like a crazy man. Apparently they are also more interested in cooperating when daddy tries to take a picture than when I do. Oh well.

We had a fantastic family day together. Can't wait to do it again next year!

Meal Plan Monday - September 19

So sorry about the lack of posts again over the last week or two...I started my new job and life has been a bit crazy! Now that I'm through with a lot of my training, I'm only scheduled around 15 hours a week for the next few weeks, so I should have more time to keep up with everything else in life. :)

Amazingly, even though I've been busy with work, we haven't been forced to eat out more. It just goes to show that if I have a good plan and stick to it, I can save my family money. I would hate to work just to pay for extra eating out. Seems to me like that would be a huge waste of time!

Here is my plan for this week:

Monday - Pulled Pork Sandwiches, Orzo with Zucchini & Tomatoes (new recipe!)

Tuesday - (working tonight) Leftovers for hubby and I, mac & cheese or pancakes for the kids

Wednesday - Buffalo Chickpea Patties, Rice, Salad

Thursday - Tacos

Friday - Probably out...L has a birthday party from 4-6 on the other side of town.

Saturday - (working) Something easy for the kids, frozen pizza or whatever my husband wants for himself (hehe...)

Sunday - Chinese food date night for hubby and I!

I am also planning to bake homemade hamburger buns (first time!), zucchini bread and Lemon Blueberry muffins (recipe to come tomorrow.)

You can check out more ideas for your own menu plan over at I'm an Organizing Junkie!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Meal Plan Monday - September 5

Happy Monday! Hope everyone is enjoying the long weekend! Today is my husband's 30th birthday, and we are enjoying the fact that he has the day off work so we can spend it with him! Thanks to a Groupon last week for Smashburger, dinner tonight is covered as well!

Monday - Out for hubby's birthday dinner

Tuesday - Chili, Chunky Cornbread

Wednesday - Rigatoni w/ Chicken & Spicy Cream Sauce, Garlic Toast, Salad

Thursday - (My first day of work!) Breakfast Burritos, possibly waffles for the kiddos

Friday - Leftovers or something easy for me, hubby is taking the kids out

Saturday - My in-laws will be in town and I'm not sure what we have planned yet, or if I will be working

Sunday - Most likely an eat-in date night

Check out more menu plans over at I'm an Organizing Junkie!

Friday, September 2, 2011

What I'm Printing this Week!

Here are a few high value and otherwise interesting coupons that I'm printing this week.

It's the beginning of the month, so there are a variety of new and reset coupons over at

$1/1 Kashi Crackers
$1/1 Totino's Pizza Stuffers
$1/1 Pillsbury Frozen Egg Scramblers or Biscuit Sandwiches

$2/2 Tazo Tea
$1/1 Wheat Thins product (on sale for $1.99 at Meijer this week)
$1/1 Wheat Thins sticks

Remember to visit my Savings Center or Coupon Database for more printable coupons!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Welcome to September!

It's the first day of September, and pretty soon, fall will be here. Just as the seasons change weather-wise, we are in a season of change at our house.

As of next Thursday, I will be employed again! I'm going to working part-time (mostly weekends) at a retail store. I am very excited and a bit nervous too. I have never worked retail before. I've worked on a farm, at an accountant's office, at a hospital, and at a church....but never in a store. I think I am up for the challenge! The best thing about it (besides for the extra cash!) is that it will still allow me to stay at home with my kids during the week.

The extra cash will definitely benefit us too. We believe very strongly that our kids belong in Christian school, which unfortunately comes with a rather large price tag! We also need to start saving for a replacement car for my husband. Life certainly doesn't appear to be getting any cheaper!

I will most definitely continue blogging on a regular basis. I'm sure I will have some interesting stories to share about my new experience!