Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Homegrown Lettuce

Last night we had our first salad with lettuce from our garden!!

A bowl of beautiful home-grown, chemical-free lettuce!

The delicious salads:
2 bowls with lettuce

Add grilled chicken and salad dressing! (John David took this photo... I am really concentrating on pouring the dressing!)

John David's salad-blue cheese dressing with blue cheese crumbles

My salad- ranch dressing

They were both delicious and I must admit I loved the fact that I grew the lettuce!!!

Monday, June 29, 2009

The Garden's Growing

I am one happy girl because my tomatoes are beginning to fruit!! Yay!! Several of my cherry tomatoes & beefsteak tomatoes have tiny little green tomatoes on them which means very soon I will be eating garden fresh tomatoes!! I cannot wait!!

Beautiful tiny green cherry tomatoes!


My lettuce...I'm ready for a big salad!


Here are the tomatoes & lettuce on both sides of my front entrance!! I used up all available ground to plant all of my seedlings!!


Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook-June 29


For Today...

Outside my window...the sun is shining and it is beautiful...not too hot yet!

I am thinking...I am going to have a wonderful and relaxing week at home!

I am thankful for...a wonderful husband to helps me with household projects!

From the kitchen...it's a mess! We came home late last night and hubby is off this morning so I ignored the dishes because I would rather spend time with him! They will be there this afternoon!

I am wearing...red athletic shorts & an old FFA Camp t-shirt!

I am reading...Just to See You Smile by Sally John.

I am hoping...to have a productive week and get several things marked off my to-do list!

I am creating...still working on my pinwheel quilt!

Around the house...things are somewhat in disarray because of the busy week last week but not as bad as I figured it would be!

One of my favorite things...watching my garden grow!

A few plans for the rest of the week...organize studio, clean out guest room, get the basement/garage in order!

This Week's Menu



We had VBS last week so I changed a few of my meals around...I kept things very simple!! So this week the meal plan looks a lot like last week's menu!

Dinners:

Grilled Chicken with Salad
Steak Fajitas
Hamburger Gravy
Grilled Steak with Potatoes and Salad
Pizza
Hamburgers, Baked Beans and Chips
Chicken Salad Sandwiches with Chips

Lunches:

Leftovers!

Breakfasts:

Cereal
Waffles
Cream of Wheat
Fresh Fruit

Absolute Randomness!

It's been a busy past week and a half with my sister having her baby & VBS at church all last week. I've had a lot of stuff going on and even more swirling around in my mind but little time to blog each little thing so here are some of my random thoughts:

*VBS was tons of fun but very tiring! We have it from 9-12 but as an effort to be frugal and save gas I rode to work with John David everyday and stayed at church until 5:00 every evening except Wednesday which was 9:00....towards the end of the week I felt like I lived at church!! (I worked some, blogged a little, read, and hung out with him some!) I worked with the Younger 4's class, we had an average of 14 everyday! They were really great kids...full of energy but great!! I noticed that the little girls were so much more loving...they kept wanting to sit in my lap every time I sat down on the floor with them but not once did one of the boys try to get in my lap! It was just amazing to me those gender influenced personality differences!! Towards the end of the week I was tired but I had a blast with the kiddos!!

*I/John David made Red Velvet Cake Balls to take to a potluck Friday and I found out that Almond Bark and I do not get along! I first tried the microwave, then John David suggested putting my Pyrex in boiling water to create a double boiler but by that time there was too much cake in the almond bark and it wouldn't melt again! I finally dumped that and he melted the rest of it for me. Then as I started to dip one of the cake balls it slipped and I grabbed it thus burning my hand so I gave up! My precious/wonderful/amazing husband finished them for me! I said I wasn't going to make anything with almond bark for 4 years but they turned out so amazing I just might break that promise! Any suggestions on how to make dipping really easy??

*We LOVE The Unit! Last weekend we finished watching Season 4 and we were talking about it at lunch one day this week and one of John David's co-workers has the past 3 seasons and he brought us Season 1! We started watching it Friday night and watched 4 episodes! It is such a great show that keeps you on your toes and it has the man element with the military and woman element with the soldiers wives! But be warned it can become addictive!!

*The Brad Paisley song "Ticks" with the line, "I'd like to check you for ticks" is very cute and could maybe even be considered a "country romance" song but in reality it is completely horrible! We were sitting on the couch the other night and I looked down at my leg to see this tiny fleck, I tried to brush it off but it wouldn't budge so I pulled at it...turns out it was a micro tick!! Well, I got to looking and there was another micro tick and another! I finally asked my wonderful husband to check me for ticks!! We probably pulled off 15 of those micro ticks and they aren't exactly easy to find!! I will never sing that song without thinking about the reality of getting checked for ticks! And I think they were over near my blackberry bushes because John David didn't have a single one on him and he didn't go near the blackberries so next time I will suit up and immediately put my clothes in the wash and shower!! Ewww.....

*I think I will be sewing a lot more! My grandma and mom's friend, Cindy, gave me fabric! Wow! A lot of it is really cute and I can't wait to make quilts and aprons! The best part was that I needed solid red backing and solid white for binding for my pinwheel quilt and there was 3 yards of red and lots of white in this which saves me money! Yay! Here is all the fabric:

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Episode 24: Compost Bucket



It's finally here! Episode 24 of Life: Frugal and Simple. In this episode special guest John David Boreing joins me as we make a compost bucket for your back yard.

Completed bucket with zip ties.


Completed bucket with nylon string.


Inside view.


Close up view of inside.


Where the screen comes together inside.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Beautiful Baby

A few more pictures of baby Emerson wearing some of the adorable outfits given to her! We took so many pictures it was hard to decide which ones to share but these are my favorites of her!













Thursday, June 25, 2009

Pinwheel Quilt Progress

I've finished the quilt top for my pinwheel quilt and I really like it! Now all that is left is the backing, binding and quilting! This will be a perfect project to finish up inside the cool house to stay out of the unbearable mid-day heat!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Emerson

We took a lot of pictures of Emerson when we were visiting! John David took most of them and he did a wonderful job, he is a very talented baby photographer! I just had to share these!

She's gorgeous!


I just love this close up of her sweet face!


Sweet little hand, perfect tiny fingernails and baby bracelet!


Holding Uncle John David's finger!


Monday, June 22, 2009

Our Niece

It's been almost a week since I have written on the blog but I have a good reason! My sister had her baby!!

Emerson Alexandria, was born on June 17 at 9:54 a.m. she weighed 7 pounds and was 21 1/2 inches long.

We were able to go visit and were at my parents house when they came home from the hospital! Emerson is such a gorgeous baby & so sweet! John David and I haven't been around many newborns and we were both amazed at how tiny and precious she was! We loved her the moment we looked at her!!

I'm an aunt!


Uncle John David


Gran & Emerson


Beautiful Mommy & Baby


Uncle John David loves his little niece


Beautiful baby!


Uncle John David, Aunt Rachel & Baby Emerson


I just love her!


She loved him holding her!



John David and me with Rebekah and Emerson

This Week's Menu

We got through last week without going to the grocery store at al! My sister had her baby on Wednesday so we were visiting my family Thursday-Saturday so I never got to cook some of the meals I had planned last week!

As of today we have $77.77 in the grocery budget for the month and only need to purchase milk & bread. I probably will go to Kroger because they are having a Mega Sale this week! Yay!

Here is the plan for this week:

Dinners:
Monday: Chicken Fajitas
Tuesday: Hamburger Gravy with Broccoli
Wednesday: Chicken Salad Sandwiches & Chips
Thursday: Grilled Chicken & Salad
Friday: Grilled Steak with Potatoes & Salad
Saturday: Homemade Pizza

Lunches:
Leftovers!!

Breakfast:
Cereal
Waffles
Fruit

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

100,000 Miles

Sunday afternoon we drove down to Birmingham because friends from Cherry Grove Baptist (where John David grew up) were down there for World Changers. We enjoyed the nice Sunday afternoon ride and really enjoyed spending a few hours with friends!

On the way home we realized that we were going to hit 100,000 on our Escape! I was so glad that John David grabbed the camera before we left & excited that we were going to get to celebrate 100,000 together!



We have a 2002 Escape that my daddy bought me after I graduated from high school & received a full-ride scholarship (we had struck a deal that full ride = new ride!!) We bought it in June 2005 and it had 39,000 miles on it! So in the past 4 years I/we have put 61,000 on it! This car took me all across the great state of Tennessee while I was a state FFA officer, I got my first speeding ticket in it and I made the 8 hour trip from my parents to John David's parents a few times in it! We took the Escape on our honeymoon, on a mission trip to Iowa & have made countless trips to our parents homes in it! We have lots of memories & hope that it keeps going another 100,000!!

About to hit 100,000....99,999 is memorable too!


Wow...100,000 miles!!


To celebrate we stopped & took pictures (obviously) and then got Frosty's at Wendy's! It was a fun way to celebrate the little milestone!

Of course I had to laugh at us & our frugality because most people think it is time for a new car when they get close to 70,000 or 80,000 but not us...we want to see that odometer keep going on up!

Monday, June 15, 2009

This Week's Menu

After grocery shopping last week I had $87.77 left in the budget. My husband went out to lunch one day last week and spent $10 so my remaining grocery budget for the month is $77.77. My grocery budget for this week is $38.88.

I was able to make a meal plan out of foods that are already in my freezer and pantry so my plan is to not go grocery shopping this week although we may have to pick up milk because we have less than half a gallon right now. But hopefully at the most we will spent $3 this week on groceries!

Here is my menu plan using foods on hand:

Dinners:
Monday: Dinner with father-in-law who is in town!
Tuesday: Stir Fry (Chicken, Cabbage, Broccoli, Carrots)
Wednesday: Hamburger Gravy
Thursday: Grilled Steak with Potatoes & Salad
Friday: Grilled Barbeque Salad with Salad
Saturday: Steak Fajitas

Lunches:
Leftovers
Pizza Pockets
Cheese Quesadillas
Sunday lunch: Country Ham with Pintos & Cream Corn

Breakfast:
Cereal
Cream of Wheat
Scrambled Eggs & Ham
Fruit
Yogurt

Here is a link to my grocery shopping methods so you can understand how I can go a week without grocery shopping!

The Simple Woman's Daybook-June 15


For Today...

Outside my window...it's cloudy...I hope it doesn't rain!

I am thinking...about what the day holds!

I am thankful for...my parents & John David's parents for teaching us sound financial principals and most importantly to be good stewards of all that God blesses us with!

From the kitchen...it's a bit of a mess...I made chicken salad earlier this morning for John David to take to work!

I am wearing...shorts & a t-shirt...I am serious about cleaning house today!

I am reading...Even Now by Karen Kingsbury

I am hoping...to get everything on today's to-do list done! :)

I am creating...a pinwheel quilt...I finished the top last week now I need to work on the backing & binding!

Around the house...the fans are running & the dog is laying down...all is peaceful!

One of my favorite things...Frosty's with John David....we had one last night to celebrate my car reaching 100,000 miles!

A few plans for the rest of the week...mop the basement floor, finish staking the tomatoes, send John David to work everyday with a good lunch, paint my upstairs basement door & inside of the front door!

Friday, June 12, 2009

My New Painting

Here is my beautiful painting from If These Walls Could Speak! Annie Brown, who goes to church with me, recently began If These Walls Could Speak and her artwork is beautiful!

This art is in the Special Occasions category on the website. The background says, "But as for me and my house we will serve the Lord."

I had been looking for something personalized to put with our wedding pictures and this was perfect plus it matches my living room perfectly!

You can see that it goes perfect with my black couch and red accents!

All of Annie's artwork is personalized! If you like this painting you can change colors, change the scripture, and have your art made to match your room!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Quilt Progress

I am working on a pinwheel quilt....this has been an ongoing project for months, in fact I referenced the patches in Life: Frugal and Simple on October 24...and again in the episode Easy Baby Quilt-Part One on February 7!

All of the blocks are sewn together in strips!

Now time to sew the strips together to make a beautiful quilt top!

My Grocery Shopping Methods

I have been doing really well stretching my money grocery shopping the past few months even without many coupons! I have learned that stocking up on items when they are on sale is a great way to stretch my grocery budget! Some of my stock up items recently have been $.79 cent Kroger Cocoa Rice cereal (I purchased 5...every box they had marked down), $1.89 boneless skinless chicken breasts at Kroger (this week), and 3 boxes of Lipton tea bags that were on sale at CVS and after purchasing them with ECB's they cost me virtually nothing! By purchasing these items so inexpensively and stocking up I am able to save a lot of money! Since I have been stocking up for a while on items at low prices I am able to plan meals around what I already have and then I go to the grocery store to pick up milk, produce, and stock up on more sale items which is really helping me stretch my food money!

Monthly Grocery Budget:$160 ($40 a week)

Last week's grocery shopping:

Kroger

Italian Sausage (Manager's Special) $1.49
Oscar Meyer Hot Dogs FREE (with coupon)

Total: $1.76

Aldi:

(3 pounds chicken breast, 4 packs tortillas, produce, eggs, chocolate milk...yummy treat!)

Total: $25.67

Budget remaining: $132.27 ($12.57 below weekly budget!)

This week's groceries...no pictures since we went shopping right after church and we came home at 2:00 starving, I had to cook and put groceries away...not take pictures!!

I meal planned before we went shopping and only needed milk and apples, the rest of the items were to stock up with and for snacks!

Kroger:
8.78 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts @$1.89/lb.

6 Yoplait Yogurt @$.50 each ($3 minus $.40 manufacturer coupon doubled, minus $.40 shortcut) $1.80 ($.30 each)

Total:$19.84

Aldi:
5 lbs sugar $2.29
2 Macaroni & Cheese $.35 each*
Peas $.49*
Green Beans $.49*
Baby Dills $1.19
Applesauce $.99
Instant Rice $1.35*
Sour Cream $.89
Butter $1.99
Mozarella Cheese $1.29
Whipped Topping $.85
Milk $2.29
3 lbs Apples $2.99
Tortilla Chips $.99
Kettle Potato Chips $1.99
Cheese Puffs $.99

Total: $21.77

*Items for the food pantry at church

I also forgot to purchase soy sauce and my husband picked that up for me, it was $1.50.

Budget Remaining: $87.77 ($4.80 over weekly budget of $40 but $7.77 under monthly budget!)

So that is a little bit of insight into my grocery shopping method and the way I stretch my food dollars and keep a running total of how I am doing budget wise for the month!