Friday, May 11, 2012

Something to make life a little easier

I found this yesterday while cruising around Pinterest, and decided to share it here, since it will make my life a LOT easier!

Americas test kitchen

How to quickly and safely defrost small cuts of meat (steaks, chops, chicken breasts, thighs, etc)

Happy Cooking!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Wow... just wow

Wow... this woman has an amazing sense of drive and purpose!

Paralyzed woman finishes London marathon

What's keeping you from your dreams?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

From Freezer, to crock-pot, to table!

A little bit ago, I shared that I was searching for "freezer meals" - meals that went from the freezer to the table with minimal fuss. Here's the first one I've made that we've really liked!


Sweet & Tangy Meatballs

1 large bag of meatballs (or 2 small, I put 30 meatballs in the bag)
1 cup grape jelly
10 oz (1 & 1/4 cup)  bbq sauce

Write instructions on freezer-grade gallon-size, Zip-lock style bag with a permanent marker.
Instructions: Cook on low for 2-4 hours ‘til warmed completely. Serve over hot rice.

Put everything into a gallon freezer bag, shake it up, seal, label and put in freezer.

Serve with a side of vegetables.


Super easy, fairly cost-effective, and tastes delicious!!!!!

This is one I'll be making OFTEN and keeping in my freezer for sure!!!

Enjoy!
Vicki

Found here: ringaroundtherosies via Pinterest

Monday, May 7, 2012

What works for me!

Sometimes, people ask me how I get everything done with two toddlers. If they're serious about the question, I share the answer: FLYlady!

I stumbled on her website a few months ago, and sometimes, I flutter more than fly... but I'm getting there!

Her main themes are:
"Make it fun and it will get done!"
"You can do anything for 15 minutes!"
and
"Imperfect housework still blesses your family!"

I have tweaked her "Zones," from the last week of October through the third week of November I really work hard on the zones every week, then float through the holidays just doing the Weekly Home Blessing twice a week. (this cuts down on a lot of stress for me) Come the second week of January, I pick the zones back up. Honestly, it's not even that much catch-up work because I did them so well in November!

Here's her website... start with the "Babysteps" link.
FLYlady

Happy FLYing to one and all!
Vicki

Friday, May 4, 2012

Another fun blog!

While I haven't had a chance to fully explore her blog, Jordan makes saving money and being frugal look FUN!

http://www.funcheaporfree.com/

Let me know what you think of her!

Vicki

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Inexpensive Cash Organizational System

Sweetheart and I have been working very hard to get out of debt. While there are several good programs out there that will work, we chose to follow Dave Ramsey's plan (www.daveramsey.com). One of the principle tools Dave suggests is using cash whenever possible. Well, that requires a way to keep it organized, and I've found that either Sweetheart or I carrying Dave's envelope system (Dave's Envelope System) just didn't work for us, because then the other didn't have access to it when they needed it.

Well, a little creativity and a few household things, and I made our own envelope cash system.

12 business-size envelopes, labelled with the cash categories Sweetheart and I agreed upon: Toiletries & Cosmetics, Entertainment, Fish (for the aquariums), Hobbies (Sweetheart's photography, my crafting, etc), Gasoline (we keep enough cash hidden in each vehicle for 1fill-up, then replace as needed), Adult clothing, Children's Clothing, Household Supplies (Trash bags, lightbulbs, etc), Gifts, Grocery, Restaurants, and BLOW (this is the "whatever" slush fund that helps keep us in budget).

Now I had the envelopes, but I needed something to store them in. Hmmm... looking around our home, I spied something that was the perfect size:
a rice box! I measured how much of the box I needed, cut it, shook it out really well, and placed the envelopes inside! Works perfectly!

Now, if Sweetheart or I need cash for an errand, it comes out of the appropriate envelope, and the others stay put in case the other one of us needs cash for something!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Breakfast Bar recipe

YUMMY!!!! These are amazing! I found the recipe yesterday, picked up the banana and some peanut butter while I was out running errands, and made these yesterday evening. While I do need to practice a bit (I don't have a 8x8 cake pan - or if I do, it's packed somewhere - so my bake time was a bit off), the initial results are a hit with me, even if I end up being the only one who likes them!


Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Squares



1 1/2 cups quick cooking oats
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 large mashed banana
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter

Mix together the quick cooking oats, light brown sugar, baking powder, kosher salt and ground cinnamon.

Add in the vanilla extract, milk and egg. Mix the ingredients together.

Then add in the mashed banana and peanut butter. Combine all of the ingredients.

Pour the mixture into a lightly greased 8 by 8 inch metal baking pan. Bake at 350 F degrees for 20 minutes.

Cut into squares and enjoy!



Recipe and photo from: gingerbreadbagels.com