December 29, 2010

Meal Plan for Week of 01/01-1/07

I got a dehydrator for Christmas; it’s the only thing I wanted so I can make a healthy snack for my family.  This week oranges are on sale so that will be my first victim. 

Saturday: Over my friend’s house, I need to bring broccoli and cheese and guinness cake
Big Family Dinner Sunday: Roast with gravy, potatoes, carrots, corn, and rolls $14 serves 7
Monday: Crunchy pork chops with noodles and green beans $4 serves 2
Tuesday: Chili with corn muffins $8 serves 4
Wednesday: Left Over/Cereal Night
Thursday: Salsa Chicken and Rice with Corn and black beans $7 serves 2 1/2
Friday: Take Out

Saturday Morning: Pancakes
WeekDay: English Muffins/Oatmeal/Cereal

Guinness Cake
Oatmeal & Raisin cookies
Orange Chips

December 28, 2010

Back to work I go

I had a nice 5 days off and I would like to say that I am getting back into the swing of things but I have another 5 days off this weekend so.... I am moving a little slow ;) Have no fear, I am back to blogging, meal planning, looking for a new book to read (I am open to all suggestions). 

The past month was very busy, I am looking forward to things getting back to normal.  The Advent Chain didn't work out that well, Monkey was just too young, maybe next year. Actual I think Monkey was still too young for most of the Christmas celebration between him not sitting through a Christmas carol show to opening up presents left under the tree.  He opening up one present at a time and wanted to play with that present right away, he really didn't care that there was more gifts for him.

Right now I have alot of work on my desk; wish my clients had 5 days off too. Enjoy your day!

December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

From our family to yours. Enjoy
this beautiful day with your family!

December 16, 2010

Bad Morning

DH and I had a disagreement over Monkey's behavior (we are entering into the terrible twos) this morning and I still am upset.  Every time I think about it and I get upset, I pray for support and guidance but I'm such a sensitive passionate person that it's hard for me not to think about our little fight.  The worst part is now I am at work. I just hate how we left it, I like to duke it out till it's resolve not go to work or bed then deal with it 8-10 hours later. I like to finish whatever is on my mind when it's raw and fresh.  I know this is normal and we are going to have our disagreement over Monkey, in every chapter of your life there will be drama, that's the way God wrote the book.

December 15, 2010

What's in your Church Bag??

Help Mommas!! Monkey is getting tired and bored of his church bag,  I need some ideas or all my prayers will be "please give me strength" lol.  A small problem is Monkey isn't a really toy kid, he likes to color, explore, and move. I think his 2011 goal will be making it to the altar, he is just such a curious kid.

What I have now in my bag.....
2 Books
Small car 
Stuff animal
Easter egg (he loves putting things together and apart)

I also bring raisins and a water cup.

I'm thinking making some "lacing" animals and looking for a smaller wooden puzzle??

December 14, 2010

2011 Monkey Lesson

For the past few days I have been taking a break from preparing for Christmas and working on next year’s Monkey Lesson’s.  I like to plan ahead to I can find books, stickers, craft, and toys now at the fraction of the cost. The most important part right now is picking out the “theme” and what I want to teach a two year old. We will be doing the same activities for each theme (matching, coloring, finding, outings, reading). 

January’s theme will be Snowman (clothes, snow, and cold)
February’s- Bears (Big and Small, sleeping, trees)
March’s- All about Me (Body Parts, Emotions, God Loves me)
April’s- Jesus (easter animals, flowers, church)
May’s- Farm (Farm animals, animal noises)
June’s- Cowboys (Horses, Clothes)
July’s- Noah (Animals, Rainbows, Boats)
August- Beach (Ocean, Fish, Hot)
September- Police and Fireman (Fire Safety, being safe, strangers)
October- Zoo (zoo animal, animal noises)
November- Potty Time
December- Advent/ Jesus

December 13, 2010


What’s the set back about bring your little toddler not liking Santa Saturday night

thinking anybody with a beard is Santa and would not take communion on Sunday morning 

December 6, 2010

Lunch Break

It is amazing on how much stuff you can get done during your lunch break.  I think it’s one of the “pros” about working; you get 30-60 minutes to do whatever you want or need to do.  I can read, call a friend, paint my nails, take a prayer walk, library, run errands, go to the store without a baby (heaven), or have lunch with co-workers.   What do you or would you do on your lunch break?

December 3, 2010

I need to find a way to slow down time

I really dislike that fact that it's December 3rd and it feels like December 25 is tomorrow.  But besides that happy Friday!

December 1, 2010

Our 2010 Advent Chain

I know I am a few days late, it took some time to type this up.  I made an Advent Chain for Monkey, I don't know how successful this will be since he is only 21 months old but what harm can it do.  He enjoys ripping the links off, I'm having a hard time with Monkey ripping one at a time but that's what tape is for right. 

I cut strips of violet and rose paper and wrote something that I know Monkey can do on each of them.

11/28 Light the first candle on your Advent Wreath
11/29 Color the angels picture
11/30 Give a big smile to everybody you see
12/1 Help momma clean the house
12/2 Give everyone in your family a big hug
12/3 Make 4 Candles to hang on your wall
12/4 Have a special day with your parents
12/5 Light the second candle on your Advent Wreath
12/6 Listen to momma as she reads about Saint Nicholas
12/7 Read a Christmas book
12/8 Make angel
12/9 Give everyone in your family a big kiss
12/10 Color Baby Jesus picture for grandparents
12/11 Have a special day with your daddy
12/12 Light the third candle on your Advent Wreath
12/13 Make  Christmas cards for grandparents
12/14 Give everyone in your family a big hug
12/15 Singing Happy Birthday to Uncle Michael
12/16 Say a prayer for those who falling asleep unto the Lord
12/17 Read a Christmas book
12/18 Enjoy a special day with your cousins
12/19 Light the fourth candle on your Advent Wreath
12/20 Watch Christmas movies
12/21 Listen to momma while she reads about the Nativity
12/22 Make a Birthday Card for Jesus
12/23 Help make a birthday cake for Jesus
12/24 Create a Christmas tree
12/25 Light the White Candle! Merry Christmas Monkey

The Advent Chain will be a big part of Monkey Lesson this month.

November 30, 2010

Laundry Time

I hate to spend my hard earn money on things I really don’t care about and I don’t care about laundry. I wanna share my tricks of the trade with you.  Here is a powder recipe that I use;
1 Bar soap (Fels Naptha) finely grated
1 Cup of Washing Soda
1 Cup of Borax
½ Cup of Baking Soda
Mix Well and store in an airtight container
Use 2 tablespoons per load

Here are some tricks that I use;
1.     When starting the wash, use HOT water for 2 minutes so the powder soap dissolves then switch to warm.
2.     Once the washer fills up with water let the clothes soak overnight, this helps with the stains (My DH is a plumber, I know about stains)
3.     I use the warm/cold setting for most loads expect for my DH nasty work clothes which I use a warm/warm setting (also add a scoop of oxiclean)
4.     I air dry all my clothes overnight then toss in them in the dryer for 10 minutes to soften them up
The Pro’s
1.     Laundry soap cost $15 a year
2.     I work in a office and don’t need a dry cleaner
3.     I rarely iron, once the clothes come out of the dryer, fold nice and tight= no wrinkles
4.     We love wearing cotton and our clothes last years
5.     Saves money on gas, life of the dryer, and clothes
1.     From start to finish one load of clothes takes 2-3 nights to do
2.     Yes it does take added time to do the laundry but I save so much money!
p.s. If I only do one full load a night, I don’t fall behind in laundry.

November 29, 2010

Happy Monday

It was nice having a week off with my family; we didn't do anything crazy we just spend every minute together, which I love.  I also love working, I believe me working makes me a better momma and wifey. This is what works for my family and God made every family different. My husband doesn't expect the world out of me and I have a lot of energy to play with Monkey when I get home from work. And the weekends, forget it I don't sleep on the weekend, that might be a reason why I love working, it's the only place where I can relax lol j/k

I have a lot of work to do, it's month end and I was off last week (I wish my clients were off last week too). Lucky I have my Christmas music, dinner cooking in the crock pot, and left over cheesecake in the fridge ;).  Happy Monday 

November 22, 2010

Just stopping by to say Hello

I am on a stayacation and it's just great, spending lots of time with my DH and son. This is the perfect way to start the holiday season.  I'm online right now to make sure I have all my recipe for Thanksgiving since I will be hosting it at my house this year.  This year's menu is finally done, we will have the usually to start our with, nuts, hummus, spinach dip, crackers, cut veggies, chips, bread, pigs-in-the-blanket. For dinner will be ham, turkey, mushroom stuffing, sweet potatoes, broccoli and cheese, mix veggie, cranberry apple sauce. To finish we will have pumpkin cheesecake, apple pie, and random cakes that people are bringing

November 17, 2010

Nativity Lent

It is easy to spend so much time externally fasting (dietary) that we forget how important it is to internally fast though prayer and strengthen our path with Christ.
Christmas lent (Nativity Fast) is similar to Great Lent (Easter Lent) where we keep life simple and less busy so we have time to focus on Christ. It’s a time be humble again, internal true joy, and have patience towards one another. 

I fast not just for Christ but for also the Theotokos (Holy Virgin). I think on how hard it must have been during her pregnancy with the Jewish council and the High Priest who denounced her with shame, as we all know she was proven innocence.  I couldn’t imagine traveling from Nazareth to Bethlehem while being with child or giving a painless birth in such a humble way.

Some people roll their eyes when they see or hear the word “lent” but I look forward to those few weeks where I feel so close to our Savior and can thank our Lord for giving me another chance to prepare to participate in the mystery of our Saviour.

November 13, 2010

3 years

It's been 3 years since I said good bye

but I never really said goodbye, your in my dreams all the time

I still don't fully understand but I don't think I'm suppose to

you did change my world, you taught me to be true

I'm 3 years closer to saying hello again to you

November 12, 2010


1/3 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. dried marjoram
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 1/2 lbs. scallops*
1/4 c. dry white wine
1/4 c. brandy
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
Combine the first three ingredients in a gallon-size food storage bag. Add scallops and shake to coat.
Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add scallops and cook till done, about 5 minutes each side. Remove to a platter and keep warm.
Over medium heat, add wine, brandy, and balsamic vinegar to pan and cook until heated through, stirring from time to time to get the browned bits from the bottom of the skillet. Stir in scallops, making sure they are heated completely. Serve immediately, I like to serve this over Garlic Pasta and broccoli!
*You can use either bay or sea scallops for this recipe. I prefer the smaller bay scallops, but the sea scallops are delicious also. If you don't like the size of the sea scallops, you can always quarter them before cooking.

This recipe require oil and wine so I will only make this dish on the weekend during lent 

Meal Planning during Lent

With Lent around the corner, I wanna get all my recipe together now because I will not be meal planner from now till the New Year.  It's really pointless to spend all that time creating a menu if we eat the same 10 dinners over and over again.

Here is a list of lenten meals that I will be cooking; if you have ANY recipe to share my DH would love you lol

Pan-Fried Scallops with Garlic Angel Hair Pasta
Over Baked Fish with veggies
Tune Pita Pockets
Potato Pancakes
Eggplant Pesto Pasta
Split Pea Soup (hamless of course)
Black Bean Enchiladas
Slow Cooker Three Bean Chili
Navy Bean Soup
Veggie Gyros
Black Bean Nachos
Fisherman's Stew
Fish Tacos
Veggie Lo Mein

Amanda’s Potato Pancake

2 lbs of Potatoes
1 Red Onion
1 clove of garlic
2 Eggs (unbeaten)
2 tbsp of flour
1 teaspoon of salt
½ teaspoon of pepper
Grated potatoes, onion and garlic. Squeeze out excess water. Combine with Eggs, Flour, S&P into a large bowl. Heat pan with oil and fry like a pancake.


1 1/2 c. romaine lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces
3/4 c. sliced grape tomatoes
1/2 c. green pepper, chopped
1/2 c. carrots, shredded
1/2 c. broccoli, chopped
1/4 c. onion, chopped
2 cans (6 oz.) solid albacore tuna in water, drained
1/2 c. lite Ranch dressing
3 whole-wheat pita pockets, cut in half
Put the lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, carrots, broccoli and onions in a large bowl. Toss lightly to mix evenly.
In a small bowl, combine the tuna and ranch dressing. Stir to mix well. Add the tuna mixture to the lettuce mixture and stir to combine.
Scoop the tuna salad evenly into each pita pocket half and serve immediately.

November 9, 2010

Chit Chat Time

I used to be a huge texter (texter is a person who has over 500 texts in one month) because I am so busy and have a lot of friends and family that I stay contact almost daily.  I am not a fan of talking on the phone while other people are in the room; I just find that rude to no end. And when I am home I give all my attention to my DH and son. I thought by texting was the perfect solution but then I saw how much I was paying for a  texting plan and it made me sick to my belly and I friend reminded me that you lose something when you have to type, you can’t really express yourself and truly enjoy a good laugh.  I have a 15 minute commute from the office to my house so now I call a friend or family member and just chat about whatever; Chit Chat Time. Today start a new billing cycle and with God’s help I pray I will have less than 200 texts which means I can lower my text plan and save $10 a month, that’s $10 more I can give to tithe.  

November 6, 2010

Thanksgiving Menu

This might sound shocking but I don’t make our Thanksgiving menu…my DH does! I give him a long list of dishes and ask him to pick. First I have to get a guest list done so I know how many dishes I need to make.
This year’s choices are

Appetizers (2-4)
Stuff mushroom
Shrimp Cocktail
Hot crab dip
Spinach Dip
Pigs-in-a- blanket
Stuff cherry tomatoes
Raw Veggie Platter
Will ask someone to bring Cheese & Crackers

Stuffing: (1)
Cornbread Andouille Dressing
Cranberry-Apple Dressing
Squash-Shiitake Stuffing  (trying this week)

Vegetables: (2-3)
Green Bean Casserole
Broccoli and Cheese
Fried Cream Corn
Glazed Carrots & Pecans

Potatoes: (1)
Baked Mash Potatoes with Parmesan Cheese and Bread Crumb topping
Sweet Potatoes Casserole with a marshmallow topping

Relish and whatnot:
Apple-Cranberry-Orange relish (trying this week)
Homemade Gravy

Dessert: (2-4)
Pumpkin Cheesecake (trying this week)
Ricotta cheesecake with Cran-Rasberry sauce
Apple Pie
Pecan Pie
Pumpkin Pie
Cranberry upside down cake
Will ask inlaws to bring pineapple-upside-pie (dave’s favorite)

What will be on your Thanksgiving table??

November 5, 2010

Christmas is only 50 days away

But before Christmas, we have birthdays, Thanksgiving, Black Friday, little vacation for DH and me, Christmas lent, and one wedding… I’m starting to feel a little sick, J/K I love this time of year.

Looking at my To-Do list from last month; I have completed my budget (less than $500) Santa is coming; he will just have a smaller sack this year.  I have brainstormed and gather ideas for gifts. My Christmas cards are filled out (need to add holiday picture).

What I need to do this month
1)     Make homemade gifts
2)     Wrap gifts
3)     Take Christmas picture (11/22)
4)     Enjoy Lent, read the scriptures, prayers, and fast

November 4, 2010

Pumpkin Head

Songs: MR. PUMPKIN HEAD   Tune: "The Muffin Man"
Come and meet Mr. Pumpkin Head,
Mr. Pumpkin Head, Mr. Pumpkin Head,
Come and meet Mr. Pumpkin Head.
With a red hat (or whatever color it is) on his head.

SONGS: LITTLE PUMPKINS (Sing to the tune of "Ten Little Indians")
One little, two little, three little pumpkins,
Four little, five little, six little pumpkins,
Seven little, eight little, nine little pumpkin,
All found on the farm.

PROJECT 1:Pumpkin Head
Materials: Black and Green construction paper- Glue - 1 paper plates- Orange Paint- and paint brush
DAY 1:            Mommy- Set up the night before, (plate, paint, brush, water for brush, rag for mess)
Monkey- Paint the plate orange (let dry over night)
DAY 2:         Mommy- Set up the night before, cut out black triangles and one green square
Monkey- Glue black triangles on to create a face.  Then use this pumpkin head for the pumpkin head song.

PROJECT 2: Pumpkin Prints
Materials: Black and Green construction paper- Orange Paint-Paper Plate- Pumpkin shaped sponge- Glue- Black Marker
Day 1: Mommy- Set up the night before, (black paper, paint, sponge (cut into pumpkin shape), paper plate for paint, rag for mess)
Monkey- Take the pumpkin sponge and dip it into the paint then stamp onto the black paper. *Let Dry over night*
Day 2: Mommy- Cut little green squares for the pumpkin prints (I also created made pumpkin faces)
Monkey- Glue green leaves onto pumpkin. Then count the pumpkin prints.

We also went pumpkin pickin and painted pumpkins but still after a month long love of pumpkins Monkey still hasn’t said the word “pumpkin”

November 3, 2010

Meal Plan for week of 11/06-11/12

Thanksgiving is 22 days away! For the next few short weeks I will be making some of my side dishes (I love side dishes) and dessert.  I hardly make these dishes, so I hate to make them for the first time in a year on Thanksgiving Day.  This week I will be making a new meatless stuffing recipe, cranberry relish, and pumpkin cheesecake.

Saturday London broil with Squash-Shiitake Stuffing and cranberry relish $5.5 serves
Sunday Dinner over a friend’s house $0
Monday Sausage Lentil Soup with homemade biscuits $2.50
Tuesday CrockPot Roast with potatoes and carrots $3
Wednesday LeftOver/Cereal Night
Thursday Mexican Chicken Casserole with tortilla chips $5
Friday Order In

Blueberry Muffins

Chicken Noodle Soup

 12 bone-in, skin-on chicken leg quarters
2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 tablespoon vegetable oil  
1 medium onion , chopped 
3 quarts water  
2 bay leaves  

 1 tablespoon vegetable oil  
1 medium onion , chopped fine 
1 carrot , sliced thin 
10 ounces of mushrooms
1 rib celery , halved lengthwise, then sliced thin 
1 chicken bouillon cube
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves   
6 ounces wide egg noodles  
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley leaves  

For the broth: Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until smoking. Cook half of chicken side down until deep golden brown (5 mins). Turn chicken and lightly brown second side (2 mins). Repeat with remaining chicken. Pour off fat from pot, add onion, and cook over medium heat until just softened (3 mins).  Add chicken, water, bay leaves, and 1 tablespoon salt to pot. Cover and cook at a medium heat until the meat will fall off the bones (2-3 hours)

Strain broth into large container, let stand at least 10 minutes, then remove fat from surface. Meanwhile, transfer chicken to cutting board to cool. Once cooled, remove thigh meat from bones, shred, and reserve for soup and other dinners (can refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 1 month).

For the soup: Heat oil in now-empty Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onion, carrot, celery, and mushrooms and cook until onion has softened (3 min). Stir in thyme and broth and simmer until vegetables are tender (15 mins). Add noodles and shredded breast meat and simmer until noodles are just tender (5 mins) Off heat, stir in parsley and season with salt and pepper. Serve.

November 2, 2010

BookClub: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith

I was finally done reading this book november 1, took a little longer than I planned but glad that took my time and really enjoyed this book. It had a lot of history in it as well as Vampires (pretty gruesome and bloody).  The author was so good; that I kept asking myself was this real??  Did Abe Lincoln really chase Vampires?  I had to Google on how Abe’s mother and son died, if Abe really meet Edgar Allan Poe, the curiosity got the best of me.  Abe viewed people as individuals of course was true, on how he felt in regards to slavery and was the whole reason why he became our 16th president.  His pure thought was if he can
get rid of slavery he can get rid of vampires.  I enjoyed growing with the character Henry I loved the ending how Henry has used his powers to turn Lincoln into a vampire, believing that "some men are just too interesting to die".

No more books for me until the new year, Lent starts in two weeks so I will spend all my extra time reading the scriptures.

November 1, 2010

Do you think God laughs?

When Monkey crosses himself? He touches his forehead and his belly and will repeat that move 3 times, he will never touch his shoulders. I am sure God is smiling when Monkey kisses everything that has a (Orthodox) cross on it; books, jewelry, and yes even play-doh. I am sure God joins enjoys when we are in a moment of prayer and Monkey screams AMEN, which of course echoes thru out the church.  I know God is proud of Monkey when his two favorite books out of 30ish are his Child’s Bible and Thank you Prayers. Speaking of his bible, he read his bible for 45 mins this past Sunday service, which gave me time to Thank God for giving me a funny-spiritual little Monkey. I love my Monkey and I love my God.

October 27, 2010

Happy Note

Last month I mention that wanted to reduce our food bill to $95 a week; this month on aveage I spent $88 a week!! I might be the only one excited about it but it turns in to an extra $50, which I already spent at the Russian Festival at my church last week lol.  The great thing is we have more snacks in our house becuase I am baking bread, cakes, and cookies all the time.  Please note that we eat our vegatables, fruits, and drink our V8 everyday lol.

In order to celebrate my little victory, here is my list of my most common items I buy at the MAX price I will pay for them.

5lbs of White Potatoes: $2.50 but will try to wait when it’s under $2
1lb Carrots: $1
Red Pepper: $1.75 a pound (dave doesn’t like green pepper)
Fresh Fruit: $1 a pound, we are lucky to have a farmers market close to our supermarket so I tend to get a good deal on all fresh produce

Coffee: $2 we drink Chuck’s Full of Nuts, 4 small cans has more coffee than 1 large can and when it is on sale it’s cheaper.
Orange Juice: $2
V8: $2.50 for a large can (then pour into smaller bottles)
Soda: twice a year I buy when it’s 5 case for $11 (we don’t drink soda normally)
Crystal Light: $4 for the big packets but will stock up when it’s less
Bottle Water: 32 bottles for less than $5

Chicken Brest: $2 a pound
Any other cut of Chicken: 75 cents a pound
Ground Beef: $2 a pound
Bottom Round Roast: $1.75 a pound (which I butcher up into two meals)
Pork Tenderloin: $2.25 a pound (I buy at Sam’s Club then butcher up into 7 meals)
Sausage: $2 a pound but this is usually cheaper
Butter: $2.50 but will try to wait for when it’s under $2
Can Tomatoes: $1 or less a can
Pasta: Never more than a $1
Chicken Stock: $0.00 Homemade :)

Cheddar Cheese $1.25 will stock up when it’s less
Yogurt 50 cents or less
Eggs: 2 dozen for around $2.50

Cake/Brownie Box mix when it’s less than 90 cents a box
Frosting: $0.00 homemade :)