Sunday, May 22, 2011

Photo Friday #4 on a Sunday

I have been away and busy so I thought I would catch myself and you up from the last few weeks.

2 weeks ago we went to some Breweries with one of my best friends, my husband won a bet with my dad and this was his prize. No one ever wins bets with my dad.
Last weekend my husbands favorite cousin and her boyfriend came to visit. We REALLY liked him! We went to Joe's Crab Shack and a dueling piano bar, that was a fun night.
This week, went to Kansas for a funeral and got Cozy Burgers! I had to take this picture to tease my cousin that we were eating them. He was lucky enough that his mom took some frozen ones home to him. I ate these three days in a row....I really hope I don't get more kidney stones.
My grass seed finally is coming up in the bare parts of our yard.
Our shed with one door, I ran out of paint :( If you look to the right you can see our new almost free patio set! 
Garden Boxes with my tiny plants the back left box has peppers/tomatoes , the front box  has lettuce/onions/garlic and the back right box has acorn squash. I am trying to be healthier!
View of the left side of the flagstone addition to our patio. It looks better in person I promise! Some of the stones have fossils in them which I think is cool. My favorite part of summer is next to the house....our fire pit! :)
I am working on some orders then headed to help my mom for a few days and then out to Kansas again. Since I have been gone so much I am REALLY glad we invested in a security system. Last week I accidentally set it off, in less than a minute they made sure it was me and not a burglar.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Weekly Money Checkup

1. The most I’ve spent this last week was on a Sam's club membership. I shop there or Costco but I am always with my mom or one of my grandmothers. We needed our own membership just to save money on coffee my husband needs for a "coffee club" at his work.

2. Today I am thankful that the sun is out and we are close to our family. 

3. Money can’t buy happiness. One free thing I did last week that made me happy was power rake our yard. Apparently if you don't rake you get thatch and it kills your grass. I had no clue about this but I have raked twice now and it is making a difference.

4. I will consider this week a success if I get my orders out today and run to Kohl's to buy some sandals. Not very high goals this week but I will be away for a few days for a funeral.

5. My favorite magazines are ???? Oh so many!! National Geographic, Fresh Home (DIY magazine), Real Simple (I love organizing), The Family Handyman (tips for projects), Redbook (Great outfit ideas), Glamour, and so many more but those are the ones floating around my house. We got a lot of magazines for Christmas gifts this last year. 

Have a wonderful Week! Go check out My Pretty Pennies to join Weekly Money Checkup.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Its a Book kind of day :)

It has been raining since Tuesday night at out house and hasn't let up as I am typing this. I have my garden plants under sheets and a tarp to protect them from too much moisture and cold. We have lived here exactly one year and it has rained under 5 times for less than an hour or two. I am glad for the moisture for our grass seed and my wildflower seeds but our back yard looks like the great lakes region right now.

Photo from
So I am reading a book today. I have no idea what it is about as my neighbor dropped it off. It is called Beyond the Shadows by Robin Lee Hatcher. I take books when my Mamo is done with them and share them with our neighbor. She cleans house for a women that is home bound and loves the same books as my Mamo. She reads them and gives them back to me usually with a few others I didn't send to her. They may not always be what I want to read but I will read anything. I used to have a HUGE list of books on my "to read" list but I don't have much time when I let books consume me. So now I pretty much read educational books. I read the National Geographic every night before bed, usually just one article. I also have been reading several gardening books specifically for Colorado. Not my old reading material but I am educating myself on things I want to know. We have traveled so much the last few years I made a pact with myself to only buy books for trips. Well now we are closer to our families and aren't taking trips so I need a new strategy. Maybe only buy one book a month? That seems reasonable as a book costs as much as going out to lunch and I would much rather have a book.

Either way I am sitting inside with a cup of coffee and a book. I can't think of a better way to spend a rainy day.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Quick Recipe that is delicious

I used to cook a lot! I made tons of recipes up in college using items I got on sale or from the farmers market. My best friend for instance says she uses recipes I made up all the time. Alas I don't cook fun things anymore as my husband is never home at a normal time. He calls me when he leaves work which gives me about 25 minutes to whip something up.

Right now I really like this recipe app from Campbell's Soup that I downloaded to my phone. It lets me send my hubby a few recipes I am thinking about making so he can pick what he wants to eat. Super Easy! So I thought I would share his new favorite recipe, Chicken Crunch. Below the recipe I have added some of my alterations.

1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Campbell's® Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup (Regular or 98% Fat Free)
1/2 cup milk
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (about 1 1/4 pounds)
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups Pepperidge Farm® Herb Seasoned Stuffing, crushed
2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • Heat the oven to 400°F.  Stir 1/3 cup soup and 1/4 cup milk in a shallow dish.  Coat the chicken with the flour.  Dip the chicken in the soup mixture.  Coat the chicken with the stuffing.  Place the chicken onto a baking sheet. Drizzle with the butter.
  • Bake for 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
  • Heat the remaining soup and milk in a 1-quart saucepan over medium-high heat until the mixture is hot and bubbling.  Serve the soup mixture with the chicken.

The above recipe isn't enough for many leftovers but is a great size for just a dinner of two people. We need leftovers in this house to save money on my husband eating out for lunch.

- I double the amount of chicken but use tenders because they are cheaper and don't get dried out cooking (sometimes I get ten pieces using the batter).

-I use two cans of Cream of Chicken Soup (one is not enough) and add 1 can full of milk into a pot with them. After mixing it up I pour about 1/2 cup in a bowl to use for the batter.

-Seasoned bread crumbs work just as well as stuffing and you don't have to crush them.

-I cut out the butter all together.

-I spray my glass baking dish before baking. I also have found that it needs to cook about 25 minutes but that may be my oven. Just cut into the center of a chicken tender to see if it is cooked. FYI don't let your color blind husband tell you if it's done, he will try and feed you partially raw chicken. :)

I may not be making many new recipes up these days but I am trying new ones out that are time efficient, budget friendly, and adhere to me not eating beef. Enjoy!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Weekly Money Checkup

1. The most I’ve spent this last week was on ??? Oh dear we have been bad this last week. I will have to say the Botanical Gardens of Denver's plant sale. We got in free but of course they were selling things, and I am a sucker for plants. My best friend was in town so we ate out, got our nails done (mine needed it), went know girl stuff that I don't do much. :)

2. Today I am thankful that I can see the end in sight regarding our backyard landscaping/garden/new shed. Yeah!

3. Money can’t buy happiness. One free thing I did last week that made me happy was go for a bike ride with my husband. Money did buy our bikes though, best splurge we have made this year :}

4. I will consider this week a success if I get my last bit of rock moved and some dirt for my new flower beds. I am FINALLY done with my flagstone patio addition though. I am too lazy to get my camera, pictures later this week.

5. The summer movie I am looking forward to is buying the first H
arry Potter: Deathly Hallows Part 1 so I can go see Harry Potter: Deathly Hallows Part 2. I have NO idea what else will be in the theaters, we don't go to the movie theaters a lot which is why I haven't seen the first one when we own all the old ones.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Are you Organized?

I am an organizing freak. To some degree I think it is a problem....I don't seem to function very well when my brain is thinking about a mess. Because of this we have a TON of baskets, jars and small containers in pretty much any drawer/cupboard. I took a few, ok a LOT of pictures of my baskets. Honestly, these are just some of my containers and I am always on the lookout to make our house more organized.
Magazine/book basket, from World Market
Dog Toy Basket, from Pier One
Green tubs, from the Dollar Tree
Laundry Room closet baskets, also from the Dollar Tree
Cube shelves with baskets, both shelves and baskets are from Ikea
Baking Ingredients in jars, from World Market
Guest Towel Basket in guest bath, from Michael's craft store
Master closet baskets, from Lowes
Laundry baskets, from World Market
Master Bath makeup basket, from Walmart
Apothecary Jars in Master Bath, from Michael's craft store.
Baskets in Master bath cupboard, from Walmart
I have so many more! All I can say about this addiction is that my storage choices have made moving every year easier because we always have storage that can move around the house. In my crazy mind being organized makes our life less chaotic. A lot of our decoration in our house are the baskets/jars, I am not much for decorating items that are not functional and can't rotate to another place in the house if needed. All of our baskets (minus the laundry room) coordinate and have moved around our homes every time we have moved. I still buy things with that thought in mind even though we have bought a home and are staying.

How do you organize your house?

Monday, May 2, 2011

Weekly Money Checkup

1. The most I’ve spent this last week was $76 on flagstone to increase the size of our patio. Unfortunately I still need a bit more.

North side of the patio with added flagstone

2. Today I am thankful that we finally have a roof on our shed. 

Just needs a door, shutters, and window boxes

3. Money can’t buy happiness. One free thing I did last week that made me happy was reuse the metal trim we removed where my garden boxes are. We reused it by creating a new flower bed along the fence.

Hard to see but we now have a curved continuous flower bed along the fence where there was none.

4. I will consider this week a success if I get the strength to lay more flagstone. I need to clean the house first because one of my best friends is flying in Thursday so the two of us can hang out!!!! I am super excited!!!!

5. One thing I appreciate about my mom is the fact she made us work hard for everything as kids and as adults. It makes me appreciate everything in my life now because we have worked hard for it. Self worth means a lot and she helped give me that.

Plants from seeds, the plants on the right are marigolds that I will plant in my garden boxes to keep bugs away. The spike grasses in back are blue fescue for my front yard planters.

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