Friday, February 29, 2008

CT - Astro by Paris Designs

This kit by Paris Designs can be found here.

Here is my birthday page that I made using the above kit.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Helena You Will Be Missed Dearly

I am still in shock. Thursday my friend Helena passed away suddenly from an Aortic Aneurysm. She was 43 years old. Her husband Andrew passed away a little over a year ago very suddenly from Pneumonia. He grew a clot, it went to his brain and he would never wake up, and life support was stopped.

Their triplets, Madison, Zoe and Jonathan will be six years old March 14th. Helena was raising them alone with much difficulty. Jonathan has severe CP, and one of the girls has mild CP. Helena struggled greatly in the last year to keep her family together. She loved her "treasures" as she referred to them.

I would meet with Helena once a month at the triplet moms night out when we could get baby sitters for our children. She was very helpful and generous. She kept a blog that I would read when I had a chance to. Due to financial difficulties, she stopped blogging suddenly in October when she could no longer afford to have internet or a home phone, and she lost her connection to the world.

Tanya and Gina had started a blog to tribute her. You can visit it here. She touched my life and will be greatly missed.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Super Savings

I have always used coupons but in January I started to swap coupons with others and purchase some on ebay for items that I use. I even started to shop at CVS. At CVS you can purchase things and they give you Extra Bucks back when you use their savings card.

Take a look at the items I got this week! How much did I spend? $4.86. Not only that I received $7 in Extra Bucks to use next week. How did I manage to get all this for $4.86? Here's a breakdown

4 Nestle Crunch chocolate candies. 2.50 each
Sunlight Dish Detergent - .77
3 Kleenx Tissues .99 each
Soft soap liquid hand- 1.79
Softsoap body wash - 3.99
Q-tips - 1.99
Scott Towels - 4.99
3 bags of eggs .99 each
2008 Weekly Planner 1.79 (Clearance)
Everything above I had coupons for except for the eggs and planner
Plus I had $21.00 in Extra Bucks
Total came to 4.86
Plus I got $7 in EB for next week.

This to me is amazing and by far the most I have ever saved.

Then off to Shoprite for my weekly shopping. I spent $174.91. Saved 96.82 and received $40 in coupons to use on my next purchase. They too are running a big sale. This too is the most I have ever saved as well. I used to save $15-$30 a week. Lately it's been $60-$70 a week. I'm starting to stockpile too. I think I have enough peanut butter and jelly for a year now.

Happy Shopping

Cool Website for Kids

If you have children this website is really cool. It has celebrities reading books to the kids. My kids sat and watched the book Guji Guji read by Robert Guillaume 3 times. They were so excited. I plan on letting them see the other books soon. Check it out here.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Favorite Blogs

I read 133 blogs. Out of the 133 I look forward to reading the following:

Katie the Scrapbook Lady (we are so much alike. When I read her blog it's like reading a part of me. Except for flicker. I just can't get myself to involved there.)

Scrapping till the Cows Come Home
(Love her photography and crafty ideas. I am on her creative team.)

I'm an organizing Junkie (She's my inspiration. I found her in January and she's given me the push to do menu planning and her ideas are really awesome. I'm also following her declutter a room in a month. We're in the kitchen now).

Declutter It!
(Love the little ideas she gives about decluttering your house)

Simple Beauty (Bonnie e-mailed me last month as she's doing decluttering the kitchen with Laura from I'm an Organizing Junkie above. I've been following her blog ever since. Awesome recipes.)

Authentic Artistry (just found this one this past week)

SDV - Scrapbooker's Dream Vacation

For my birthday my mom watched the children so I could go away for 3 days without my husband and without the kids. Before I had children I would go every year and do my paper scrapping. This year I roomed by myself and my cousin came for one of the days. She just had a baby 3 months ago so she couldn't go the entire weekend. Maybe next year.


Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Club Deco

Totally Grungy is what our Club Deco Members have to look forward
to in Feb. 2008
, and boy is it amazing!!... if you aren't a club member, it's just
$36 for an entire year's worth of goodies! Signup today by clicking here,
and you'll get kits like the one shown in the preview below *12* times!!
A new one each month for a whole year....

I am a member and believe it is well worth the membership fee. The designers do a great job each month. You have only a few days left to get Totally Grungy. Last day is Feb 29. So act fast. Wonder what next month's theme will be.

Really Cool Blog

I read 140 blogs a day! I keep track of them using Google Reader. It's great because it actually tells me when new posts are made. I unfortunately need to cut down on the amount of blogs that I read and will be doing a declutter shortly. No wonder why I don't have time to read an actual book.

Anyway, while searching for something in Google I came across this really cool blog called Authentic Artistry. I am so into journaling and really want to make a hybrid book one of these days. Check out the calendars and it looks like they are having some challenges here and there. Also there are some freebies if you keep reading. I was so interested in her blog that I read all her entries. The artwork is amazing.

Been a bit stressed lately so sorry haven't been posting much.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Free Cookbook

Through February 29th, Barilla will donate $1.00 to America's Second Harvest for every cookbook downloaded, up to 100,000 downloads. Go here to download a free cookbook.

Menu Plan Monday

Oops I forgot to post my menu for last week. I went on vacation for 3 days and now I'm forever trying to catch up with the 3 days I was not on the computer.

Unfortunately, I was a little overwhelmed when I got home from my vacation that I fell behind and did not plan my meals. I was back in my "WHAT'S FOR DINNER MODE". Talk about stress! Anyway, here was what we ate this past week.

Mon - BBQ Meatballs (a favorite of ours. Unfortunately, this time I tried the recipe with chicken chopmeat and it wasn't very good. Will have to stick with regular chop meat).
Tues - Sausage Supreme from "Fix-It and Forget-It Cookbook pg 156 (Won't make this again)
Wed - Eat Out
Thurs - Chicken Parm (family favorite)
Fri - Meatloaf, Corn Cassarole (by Paula Dean. This recipe I have made numerous times. It's very good) and Potatoes (yes I went to the box. I bought those Betty Crocker scalloped potatoes.)
Sat - Rory's carbonara(a big thank you to Bonnie for this great recipe. I'm adding it to my tried and true recipes. When I saw a photo of this on her blog I had a craving for it. I'm such a sucker when it comes to pasta as that's my favorite type of meal.)
Sunday - Stirfry beef. (Luckily I had some stir fry package of frozen veggies that I used for a quick meal)

While cleaning my kitchen cabinets I came across an old binder of mine filled with recipes. Some recipes were probably made before and others are recipes I'd like to make so I'm going to use this book for the upcoming week.

upcoming menu
Mon - Honey Mustard Chicken (yuck won't make this again) with rice and Sesame Green Beans.

Sesame Green Beans
1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed (I used canned)
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
salt to taste.

Place beans in a saucepan and cover with water bring to a boil. Cook uncovered for 8-10 minutes or until crisp. (I skipped that part since I used canned green beans). Meanwhile, in a skillet, saute the sesame seeds and garlic in oil. Drain beans (I did do this); stir into garlic mixture. Season with salt.
Blogger: Creative Triplet Mom - Create Post
Yield: 6 servings

Tues - BBQ Steak Strips (NEW) and Oven Roasted Carrots (NEW)
Wed - Burgers and Fries
Thurs - Sweet and Sour Meatballs (husband's favorite.)
Fri - A Good Easy Garlic Chicken (NEW) Spinach and Strawberry Salad (NEW)
Sat - Best London Broil Ever (NEW) and Eggplant con Queso
Sunday - Crock Pot Roast (NEW) and Asparagus and Parm Crust (NEW)

Why oh why does it take me so long to create my menus? This week I went by what was on sale at the supermarket but I tell you it took me over an hour to plan the above. Now, praying it works out that I get to the supermarket tomorrow night to get some items.

Many thanks to Laura at The Organizing Junkie for hosting Menu Plan Mondays!

CT - Winter Kiss by Jen Hanson

You can purchase this kit here.

Here are 2 layouts I made using the kit.



Saturday, February 16, 2008

Friday, February 15, 2008

Digital Scrapbook Sale

Divine Digital is having a big sale 50% off. Check it out here.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

My Life before Scrapping

Ever wonder what I did before scrapping? I got married in 1995. My husband was a workaholic even back then. He told me to get a hobby as I was bored and lonely. So I took a quilting class. The class I took was a hand quilting class. It was a wedding ring pattern. My original goal was to make a queen size quilt. I bought all the fabric to do so but once it came time to do all the cutting and sewing (by hand no machine) I changed my mind and made a table runner. The table runner consisted of 5 circles. From start to finish it took me 3 years to complete this project. Once it was completed I gave it to my mom for mother's day that was in 1999. Why did it take me so long? First, I wound up taking other classes (machine ones). I did many other projects in between this one. Once I learned how to scrapbook I stopped quilting. Haven't touched my sewing machine in years.


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

CT - Preskool by Deb Ammerman

You can purchase this kit here.

Here are two layouts I made using the above kit.

CT - Gardeners Delight by Sue Fata

You can find this kit here.

Here are two layouts I made using the above kit.

CT - Love Letters by Deb Ammerman

You can purchase this kit here.

Here are two layouts I made using the above it.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Kit I made - Love

Here's the kit I made for SNL for the month of February. If you participate in the challenge here you can earn my kit for free along with other kits that others had made here. I have been doing this for a year now. It's a lot of fun.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

First a review from last weeks menu. Tuesday I made meatloaf. I unfortunately ran out of breadcrumbs so I put 3 or 4 slices of break in my food processor. I also used chicken chopmeat. It came out really good. The first time I had no leftovers. Wed we had Whisky Steak. It was not very good. Will not make that recipe again. Garlic Prime Rib was okay and the homemade chicken soup came out okay. I actually had lots of leftovers from these two meals. Some of the soup I actually froze. The Prime Rib my husband chopped up the leftovers and made another meal out of it. Unfortunately I did not make the lemon broccoli pasta. I will have to make that another time. While I was watching food network the other day the recipe Personal Penne Primavera looked so good that I wound up using the broccoli for that instead. It came out really well so it's now in my binder.

Oh, did I mention I now have a menu planning binder? While decluttering my kitchen I wound up going in my basement to get something and then wound up decluttering a box of old papers and found some tabs. In my binder I have tabs 1-10 (need to get 2 more). I'm using this for the monthly menus. Then behind that I have tabs a-z. This is where I am putting the recipes that are keepers. Behind the a-z right now I have recipes that I'd like to try one day. I just bought a new file plastic container that I plan on using to sort my want to try recipes into. The meal planning book will only have tried and true recipes. Ones that I can repeat. If the recipe is not worth keeping I will just toss it.

I am leaving on a mini vacation on Friday. I will be away Friday, Sat and Sun without my husband and without the kids. It's my birthday on the 13th and I'm going away to a scrapbooking weekend. Can't wait! Now to my menu for the week

Monday - Leftovers and Blueberry Crumble for dessert (I purchased 2 containers of fresh blueberries as they were on sale.) This recipe is definately a keeper. The kids loved it.
Tues - BBQ Meatballs (carried over from last week)
Wed - French Dip Sandwiches and Creamy Mac and Cheese
Thurs - Hashbrown sausage bake
Friday - Away
Sat - Away
Sunday- Away

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Tupperware Makeover

After visiting Bonnie's blog yesterday I was motivated to get my tupperware cabinets organized. So the first thing I did this morning was take everything out of my 3 cabinets. I put everything in my laundry basket and then had the kids match all the lids to the bottoms. This is my before photo of my mini tupperware containers. Look at that mess. The lids were taking over!

I threw out a whole garbage bag of lids. Yes, LIDS! Why in the world I have just lids and not bottoms is beyond me. I checked the fridge and the dishwasher and didn't see any extra bottoms anywhere. So off in the trash can they went. Bottom 2 shelves is items I use frequently. I can reach the bottom two shelves without getting the step stool. The 3rd shelf up is items I use less frequently. Well, it's their lunch boxes and pizza dish, soup dish and platter for entertaining. I do use their lunch boxes the ones to the left 2 times a week so I don't know if I will keep them there as it maybe annoying getting the step stool out each week. We'll see!

I had tupperware in the corner cabinet too. Lots of vases, medication and measuring cups here. I think I may have to get a lazy susan for this cabinet because the items in the back aren't very reachable. I got a box ready for donation. I put some vases and glass cups that I just don't need and never use. Why do I need so many vases when I get one each time he gets me flowers. Why keep them all? Medication is now moved to where the other medication is. (That needs to be cleaned out) but not today. Here's the photo before

And after. I put on the very top serving things and 2 vases. Yes, I kept 2. Only because they were different looks and very pretty. Now, if only he will get me flowers! Hint! Hint! Bottom two shelves have my measuring cups and blender which I use quite often.

Under my center island I had big bowls and BBQ utensils. I moved the BBQ stuff to above my oven. Will get to that cabinet in another day. Here's the before.

And after. I only took the photo of the right side as that's where all the tupperware is. To the left of the cabinet will be my food processor and mixer. I normally don't have them on the countertop unless I am using them but again I get lazy so my mixer yes is on the countertop.

Why can't my husband get excited about my new organizing. This is his response, "It won't last long! Why don't you do the cabinet above your desk. It really needs to be done! You're going to do the kitchen and then get burned out and the cabinet above your desk won't get done." My comment back was, "Laura I'm an Organizing Junkie is doing the dining room in March." He cut me off and said, "What's to do in the dining room?" We have absolutely nothing in the dining room that needs to be decluttered. Maybe cleaned (dusted and vacuumed but that's it.) So my continued response was, "I'm going to work on my desk area then and hopefully the coat closet but first want to do the kitchen.

Friday, February 01, 2008

5 Layouts - Photo of the Day


Photo of the Day - Organizing Pantry & Fridge

My goal today was to clean the top of my pantry closet. The other day a fork fell from the top of the pantry and almost hit my husband. Luckily none of the kids were in there when it happened. Here's the before photo.

And now here's the after photo. I don't have that many plastic boxes so I just used cardboard boxes to group all the like items together. Like I had a ton of plastic forks, knives, napkins, cups, plates, etc. I put the utencils in zip lock bags and then put them in the bit box in the back since we only use them when we have company. I also made a bin (tuperware) labeled snacks and I put fruit snacks and cookies in that way up high so the kids can't get at it.

Well, of course, while doing the pantry I came across my soda containers that belong in the fridge so I wound up emptying out my fridge and redoing everything. The kids loved taking everything out and putting it on the floor. Here's the before photo.

And now it looks like this! I moved the milk to the door. Got rid of 3 bags full of outdated salad dressings and condiments. I also took out my label maker and labeled each shelf for what belongs on it. Got the idea from here. Here's more blogs.

February - Kitchen Month

Man is it February already? January just flew by me. I did make some changes in Jan to my schedule. I focused on exercising and menu planning. Yes, I did manage to make it through the month doing both. Now I'm going to focus on organizing and decluttering my kitchen.

Here is a slide show of my kitchen right now. No cleaning done except for last week I did organize the bottom of my pantry after doing my stockpiling shopping in January using coupons.

Laura from I'm an Organizing Junkie is hosting February as Kitchen month so check out her blog here. Check out Simple Beauty's Blog. She has a slide show of her kitchen as well.

Over and Over

Fri 2/1 Blog Prompt

Blog Prompt: Feb. 2 is Groundhog Day. Do you remember that Bill Murray movie where he wakes up to the same day over and over? If it was you, describe the day you would want to repeat over and over.

Well, it certainly would not be today. This morning we were woken up by my oldest. She said her belly hurt. So she hopped into our bed and about 1/2 hour later she started to cough and then she threw up all over our bed! Not once. Not twice. But three times. Why is it that we always have things happen here in THREES? I'm just praying that the other two don't throw up too. This stomach virus has been going around.

Anyway back to a day that I would like to repeat over and over again. I think it would start out with my husband taking care of the kids. Getting them dressed and feeding them breakfast. This would give me time to take a shower without little eyes peaking in on me and me screaming at them not to play with the door and not to leave the room. They always seem to get into trouble if they are out of sight. Then we would go wherever we would have planned for the day. When we return it would be nice to have lunch all ready for us. Then a much needed nap and then dinner. Either we eat out or my husband makes dinner. Then off to bed. Can you tell I hate to cook! It takes a lot of planning and time to cook. I'd much rather do something else. Luckily the meal planning has helped a lot.

Make a Baby

Thur 1/31 Blog: Share something funny: a joke, a funny video, a story, whatever makes you laugh.

Well, on Monday the triplets had their 2nd Wacky Gym class. The instructor asked the kids what they did before coming to class. Here is what Naomi said: "Make a Baby." Of course, everyone looked at me and I had to explain that she just got a new baby doll from Santa and that's all she ever talks about.