Friday, August 21, 2009

Blog Changes

I have redesigned and moved my blog to WordPress.

You can visit the new blog Frugal & Simple Living at http://frugalandsimple.com/


If you want to keep up with our family, visit our family blog The Simple Life of the Boreings at http://blog.boreingfamily.com/

Friday, August 7, 2009

Maintenance

I'm going to be doing some blog maintenance and re-vamping. The site may be down some over the next few days! Thanks for your patience!! If you find this post head over HERE to get to the new site.

Our Wedding Reception and Honeymoon



I'm joining in again with Kelly for Show Us Your Life, this week is about your Wedding Reception and Honeymoon!

Our wedding reception was just lovely! We started it off with a receiving line! It was important to us to be able to speak to each of our guests who cared enough about us to join as witnesses to our special day! It did take quite a bit of time but it was wonderful getting to speak to everyone there!

Here we are cutting the cake! John David's Nana made our cake's for us!! It was beautiful and very special to us!

I think this picture is just lovely! The punch was wonderful...I only had 1 glass but remember that I wanted another glass of that great punch!!

The chocolate groom's cake with a tractor on it! You'll understand the tractor even more in a moment!

Leaving...I just love this shot with the bubbles in it!!

The getaway ride...a nice Case tractor!! I love that we left on a tractor...quite fitting since we met in the FFA!!

The tractor in all its glory!! (I suggested the tractor because I thought it would be fun & I didn't want to drive around on our honeymoon with "Just Married" written all over our car!!)

We didn't take many honeymoon pictures (we had a really bad camera that took horrible pics!) We honeymooned in Banner Elk, North Carolina and it was just lovely!! We went to the Banner Elk Cafe a few times for breakfast & dinner, we ate at this amazing barbeque place that I'd love to go back to and went to Grandfather Mountain. We went to the Mast General Store and Blowing Rock, NC and visited the little shops and got ice cream cones!! It was a lovely honeymoon!!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

I Need Your Frugal Input!!

Next month I am going to be teaching a class at church on the frugal lifestyle. I am really excited about this but also somewhat overwhelmed because there is so much I want to share and time constraints won't allow everything! I need some input from you!!

If you are just beginning a frugal lifestyle, what questions do you have? (Questions about anything from groceries, to clothing, to making things yourself!) Please send me these questions!!

If you are already frugal, what are some basic things that beginners can incorporate on their way to a frugal lifestyle and what basics would you cover if you taught this class?

Thanks so much! Just e-mail me at rachel@lifefrugalandsimple.com or leave a comment!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Decluttering the Master

This week I am working on decluttering and finishing a few projects around the house. I started decluttering the master bedroom yesterday and went through all of our drawers, both night-stands and the closet.

All of this is leaving the master bedroom forever:


I have found that going through my house and evaluating our stuff about every 2 months really helps cut down on clutter. It is really amazing how much stuff 2 people living on a tight budget (& therefore not buying stuff "just because") can accumulate in a 2 month period! Our home is neat and organized and we are never overrun with stuff by doing this!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Financial Goals Update: July

1. Save 3 months living expenses by December 31.Yay!! We reached this goal 5 months early!! It's wonderful knowing that we have an emergency fund that is fully funded!!

2. Pay $3,000 towards our "small loan".We completely paid off this loan!! :)

3. Make an extra principal payment every month. This month we finally started doing this!! 60% of my last paycheck went towards it and the money from John David's paycheck that has been going towards the Emergency fund was used too! Yay!!

4. Keep all Miscellaneous spending (Medicine, Toiletries, Clothing, Gifts, everything but food) under $100 a month.We kept it under $100 again! Yay!

5. Sell $500 worth of stuff from around our home by July 31. We sold 1 item in July and made a couple dollars. This goal was not reached on July 31, however we are going to continue to try to sell as much unwanted stuff in hopes that by December 31 we can say we reached the goal of $500!!

Meal Plan


This week's meal plan is using food from the freezer and the garden!

Here's the plan:

Dinner:

Country Style Ribs with Grilled Veggies

Tomato Alfredo Pizza

Roast with Carrots, Potatoes & Onions

Mexican Chicken Salad (Lettuce, Green Pepper, Pico de Gallos, Cheese & Ranch Dressing)

Grilled Lemon Pepper Fish with Grilled Veggies

Chicken Pasta with Bread & Side Salad

Lunch:

Leftovers

Quesadillas

Breakfast:

Fruit

Oatmeal

Cream of Wheat

Cereal with Blueberries

Sunday, August 2, 2009

1 Year Ago...



It's hard to believe that it's been a year since I graduated!! I haven't taken a test, studied/crammed for hours, went to a class or had to endure long lectures & group work in a year! Time really does go by faster the older you get!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Sourdough Rolls


A few weeks ago I began a sourdough starter and tonight I successfully made sourdough rolls!! They weren't pefect; they aren't big beautiful rolls but they tasted really good! In fact John David had 3 (that is success to me!!)

Nothin' Like Fresh Veggies



I just love walking outside and coming back in with a bucket full of veggies!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Our Wedding

I'm joining in with Kelly for Show Us Your Life and the topic this week is Weddings!

May 27, 2006


Our wedding was not typical at all because we weren't too concerned about the wedding!! We were young, very much in love, and firmly believed that it is more important to "plan a marriage and not a wedding." With that in mind we wanted a very small, inexpensive, intimate wedding where we could share the love of Jesus and the beauty of marriage!

We kept it simple and only had two attendants each. My sister, Rebekah, and John David's sister, Jill, were my bridesmaids.

My sister and me!

John David and Jill!

John David and his groomsmen (isn't this picture cute??) Casey was John David's best friend from high school and Adam served with him on a state officer team!

John David's former youth pastor, David, was the preacher for our wedding.

I can't share our wedding without sharing this story. John David was the ring bearer in David and LeAnn's wedding when he was 6 years old (they were living in East Tennessee at the time...where they are from)! At the time of our wedding, David was serving at a church in northern Middle Tennessee. In 2007 he became the Connections Pastor at a church in southern Middle Tennessee and in 2008 we moved to the same town with John David's job & we joined his church! Wow...what a God thing! But, it gets better!! On January 1 of this year John David went on staff as the Media Director at our church!! So, they are both over 200 miles from home and serving at the same church! Their family is like family especially since we don't have family near!

As I mentioned we wanted to keep our ceremony about God and the beauty of marriage. We had a time of worship and sang Be Thou My Vision and Holy Ground. Then we knelt at the alter and had our close friends and family pray for us and our marriage.

This picture of us praying is such a beautiful memory of our wedding.

After the prayer we sat down and David preached! With the ceremony and the sermon I believe we had probably one of the longest weddings ever!

We wrote our own vows . I love to read back over them and am glad we decided to share our hearts with each other during our ceremony.

Then we were pronounced man & wife and shared our first kiss as Mr. and Mrs. John David Boreing!

This is another special glimpse into our day. We are so blessed to still have our grandparents with us! All 8 of our grandparents were at our wedding. That is not something that happens very often and I am so happy that we have a picture with us, our parents, and grandparents.

Our wedding was wonderful but our marriage is even better!

Chaos & Productivity

I brought John David lunch today and stayed a few hours working on the new KIDS building as well as painting the props for the new sermon series which starts Sunday. Since John David & Pastor Joey are so busy working on the new building I figured the more I could do to help with the props the less they have to worry about!

Once I left church I went to Wal-Mart to pick up a few things (I typically avoid Wal-Mart but they have things you just have to have!) There I purchased several packs of $.25 crayons (perfect for Operation Christmas Child boxes), a water bath canner, a pack of wide mouth pint Mason jars and a 5-quart bucket of Mayfield Neapolitan ice-cream! (It's much cheaper to buy Mayfield ice-cream in a 5-quart bucket and Wal-Mart is the only place that carries it!) After Wal-Mart I went to Aldi and picked up staples (sugar, milk, sour cream, butter) and ended up spending $24 there...it adds up fast some weeks!!

When I got home I unloaded the car, played with the dog, and then went out to the garden to see what treasures awaited me! My corn is looking great, several of my cantaloupes are getting riper, my cherry tomatoes look great, and my green beans were ready for picking.
Green beans!!! (The old 5-quart Mayfield buckets are perfect for use in the garden!!)

I snapped the green beans and then boiled water and put them in there for 3 minutes. I then took them out and put them in ice-cold water for about 5 minutes and then in my colander to get rid of excess moisture. I froze 3- 1 1/2 cup bags of green beans!!

Snapped and ready to be blanched so I can freeze them!

While I was working on the green beans I was also busy in the kitchen. I had a sink full of dishes from yesterday that needed to be washed and then I made chocolate chip cookies to bring to church tomorrow to share and Stir-Fry for dinner. After attempting to do those tasks at the same time my kitchen was an absolute disaster!

I don't think it's ever been this bad!!






An hour later order was restored and my kitchen once again is back to normal!! I often say that the kitchen is the best room in the house because everything has a specific place and you can go in there, make a huge mess (which I do when I cook), spend 30 minutes to an hour cleaning and it looks perfect once again with everything in its place! I wish the other rooms in my house were like the kitchen!! :)

Cooking Day & Working Days

This has been a busy week! Monday was cooking day, after a few hours in the kitchen I managed to stock my freezer with some quick and easy meals!

I made and froze:

1 meal of Chili Verde
1 meal of Chicken Packet Stuffing
2 Poulet de France Casseroles
Huge pot of pintos to divide in 1 cup servings

I also chopped up celery that will go bad before I can use it to use in Chicken Noodle & Vegetable Soup this winter! And 2 cups of chicken broth from boiling chicken for my freezer meals! All in all it was productive!

Here are my 2 casseroles

Pinto beans before they cooked...I never took an after photo

That is where the normalcy of the week ends!! Tuesday and Wednesday I went to church with John David to work on the new children's building. It's opening this Sunday and there's work to do!! I have assisted John David with working on the lighting and sound, I've painted, taken inventory of tables and chairs, helped upholster a bench, all kinds of random things to do my part!

And so it's now Thursday morning, I slept in while John David went to the Staff Prayer Meeting and I'm preparing lunch! I'm making Chicken Packets using the filling that I made and froze Monday, but I made it to use on a day I didn't feel like fixing anything and today qualifies as that day!!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Garden Update

The garden's a-growin' and I just get more excited every time I walk out to see it! I have a few ripe tomatoes, several tomatoes ripening, corn growing, cantaloupes getting bigger, it's just wonderful!!

Ripe Cherry Tomatoes!


Growing Sweet Corn


My biggest Cantaloupe


Not exactly sure what these are...I only planted Beefsteak & Cherry Tomatoes but I'm excited about them!


Ripening Beefsteak tomaotes...they aren't beautiful but as long as they taste good I'm happy!


Cabbage...I had given up on the cabbage completely but left it because I didn't want a big blank spot but it's producing now...exciting!!

My First Tomatoes!!


Yesterday I picked my very first Cherry Tomato! This is the very first tomato I have ever grown too!

After finding it ripe, it didn't last long!


Yum!


Juicy!


Wonderful tomato!!




The tomato was wonderful and I think even more delicious than other garden tomatoes because I grew it!!

Menu Plan



I have a fairly simple menu planning system that works great for me. Every weekend, typically on Sunday, I take a few minutes and plan out our meals for the week. Some weeks I am very structured planning a specific meal for every day and other weeks I just write down a list of meals and decide each morning what I am going to prepare that night. I have a dry erase board on the side of our fridge where I write the meals out. When I fix a meal, I mark it off the list!

This week's menu:


Monday
Cooking Day-Chili Verde, Chicken Packets & Poulet de France
Dinner-Beef Tacos on Corn Tortillas

Tuesday
Stir Fry (Chicken, Cabbage, Pepper, Onion, Celery, Carrots)

Wednesday
Chicken Salad Sandwiches with Apple Slices

Thursday
Grilled Deer Steak with Grilled Veggies and Sourdough Rolls

Friday
Country Style Ribs with Baked Potatoes and Cream Corn

Saturday
Alfredo Tomato Pizza

Sunday
Deer Roast with Potatoes, Carrots and Onions

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Homemade Patty Melt

In an attempt to eat a little healthier I have been considering trying to switch to healthier meats whether they be from our families farms, organic or without growth hormones & antibiotics. While we were grocery shopping this weekend I found a pound of ground Laura's Lean Beef marked down to $1.79 and decided to give it a try. It is a 92/8 beef and we could definitely tell the difference when grilling it!



We made Patty Melts for dinner! They were amazing with slices of Cabot Seriously Sharp White Cheddar and buttered grilled bread! The beef was delicious and I loved the lower fat content! I really think it's worth paying a little more for higher quality beef without the hormones and with a lower fat content!

Groceries

The past few weeks I have really thought about the foods we eat and how unhealthy some things are. Our eating habits aren't bad, we don't eat a lot of processed foods like chips, cookies, meats, freezer meals, etc. however we still don't eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables and healthy foods. I am going to start trying to eat much healthier and try to purchase organics and higher quality meats. I am not going to go completely organic and never eat "junk" food but I'm attempting to make healthier choices for our family!

With all that said, here is what we picked up at the grocery store this weekend (we have a freezer full of food and a producing garden so we didn't need to purchase much!)



2- Organic Kiwi @ $.55 ea. $1.10
1 lb. Laura's Lean Beef $1.79 (marked down)
Fresh Broccoli $1.59
3 lbs. Organic Onions $2.69 (less than a 3lb. bag non-organic onions!)
5 lbs. Whole Wheat Flour $2.49
White Vinegar $.56
Red Wine Vinegar $1.69
Hershey Syrup $1.76 (see...not everything is healthy!! Chocolate Milk!)

Total (with tax): $14.73

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The First Green Beans

The first green beans from the garden!

Snapped & ready to cook!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Wedding Dress

I'm joining in with Kelly for Show Us Your Life and this week's theme is your wedding dress!

A front & back view of the dress!


I don't have the typical story that most women do, I never went dress shopping and found "the dress"! Instead I borrowed my dress! (In fact I was the only one in the bridal party without new wedding clothes, my mom bought a new dress & my dad bought a new suit for the wedding...ha!) The girl I borrowed it from is 5 years older than me and my mom babysat her when she was a little girl. We went over to her mom's home where the dress was kept and tried it on and it fit me like it was made for me! It's a beautiful dress with intricate beadwork on it and I just loved it! It not only saved us a ton of money on our wedding costs, I now don't have a wedding dress in the back of my closet to take up space! (Isn't that horribly unsentimental...however I have the most important part of my wedding and that's my HUSBAND!!)

My hair was elegantly pulled up with a tiara & veil!


Here's my husband reading me the vows he wrote!


Mr. and Mrs.!