Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I talk good...

Your Linguistic Profile:

45% Dixie

45% General American English

5% Yankee

0% Midwestern

0% Upper Midwestern

I think I got that 5% Yankee because I say "Rotary" instead of Round about or something else. Oh well - I'd never experienced on until we were in BOSTON so I guess that's ok. I think otherwise it's right on the money. I'm born and raised a southern girl, but my mother was a speech pathologist so that 'corrected' for much of my southern dialect. Now the southern rythym to my speech - well some things shouldn't be tampered with.

I'll keep you posted!


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

WFMW: Homeschooling

We Homeschool!

There I said it. Why does that feel like such confession - like coming out of some proverbial closet? I'll tell you why ('cause you knew I was gonna).

I've heard people day that there are two types of families who homeschool:

1. Those who are religious fanatics and want to keep their children "away from the ho-mo-sex-uals" [Please be advised that I truly do not endorse or denounce ANY family's reasons for homeschooling. The above statement is something I heard in a movie somewhere and it always struck me as funny - in sort of a disturbing way.]


2. Those that are elitists and think they are too good for public schools.

We are neither of those people and frankly MOST homeschooling families are NOT those people (though there are a few and everyone in this country is free to have, voice, and exercise their opinions at will).

ARE we Christians, YES. Is that why we homeschool - nope. Are we elitists, NO (well maybe a little). Is that why we homeschool - nope!

We homeschool because it's fun. I love my kids and I want to be with them as much as possible. I like the flexibility of learning through experience. I like being able to travel whenever or go where-ever or take the morning off when things are just not coming together. We read and we sing and we laugh and we play. We cook and we shop and we explore and we learn through it all.

Basically what it all boils down to is that we homeschool because it Works For Us! If your schooling situation isn't working for you give homeschooling at look with an open mind you might be surprised at what you find.

Please click on the logo above for more WFMW ideas.

I'll keep you posted!


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I am France???

You Are France

You are very proud of the culture you come from. You can't help but be a bit snobby.

You cherish your food, history, language, and art. You feel like other people can't match your taste.

Elegance is important to you. You rather stay with the past than love a new trend.

When in public, you look good and say the right things. Only your close friends and family know the real you.

OK - whatever! I did study the country and language for 4 years and I'm desperate to go to Paris so maybe I AM France. Who knows?

I'll keep you posted!


Monday, September 22, 2008

Menu Planning Monday

Family Favorites Week: This week at Organizing Junkie everyone is posting their Family Favorites menu which should be wonderful I can't wait to check it out.

I made my menu based on an entire week of our favorites. It's hard for me to come up with actual or technical recipes because these are all things I just cook - I don't really follow a recipe - I just put them together. I included directions for my Daughter's requested birthday meal, but it is by NO means a recipe.

M: Chicken & Dressing Casserole with green beans and glazed carrots
T: Maria Tortilla with fruit salad
W: Inside-Out Bacon Cheeseburgers with fruit salad, chips, and carrot sticks
TR: Roast Beef Hash with Peas, Peaches, and biscuits
It's shameful to write a "recipe" for this as it's all out of a can! It's one of those quick-heat-something-up-before-we-run-out-the-door meals and it's what my turning 8-yo daughter requested as her birthday meal. It consists of the following (literally everything from a can):

Canned Roast Beef Hash (the reduced fat one at least)
Frozen Peas (ok not a can, but...)
and 'sink' biscuits (those are the ones you have to bang on the edge of the sink to open)

Heat everything up accordingly and dinner is served! I heat the hash for a long time in the skillet so it gets crispy in places, but it's really all about how YOU like it (or maybe you don't and that's OK too).

F: Homemade Make-Your-Own Pizza with carrots & celery & cupcakes for the sleepover
S: Taco Casserole with green salad, and peas for the kids
Sun: Chicken Noodle Soup with crackers and salads

Sounds like a yummy week if I do say so myself - some of our true favorites from my Mom, my friends, and some of our own. Food really is a scrapbook of your life.

I'll keep you posted!


Monday, September 15, 2008

That's Not All....

Menu Planning Monday is not ALL I do I promise. MPM just seems to be the only thing I blog about - gets very boring I know. I am sewing up a storm this week and will have some photos and more interesting posts resulting - I promise.

"What else does she do?" you ask (or maybe you didn't, but you're already here so indulge me).

I've returned to my coupon adventures over he past couple of weeks. I am using the Grocery Game for now as it makes life easier when I don't have to hunt it all down on my own. There are some really great blogs out there about grocery budgeting and coupon savings - these women are truly inspirational! Me, I just want to have some fun (yes for me it's fun) and save some bucks. So far so good. If you do sign up for The Grocery Game please use my email as a referral eemayde AT gmail DOT com.

This morning I braved Wal-Greens and Publix. I've heard some horror stories about Wal-greens and the coupons+sales not matching up, but I had a delightful experience. I got everything on my list and the cashier (use the cosmetics cashier) had some extra coupons for me.

To put it into perspective:
I have shopped three "list" (those on the GG list) stores this week and my totals were:

Shelf Prices: $174.26
OOP (out of Pocket - the amount I actaully spent): $74.02
ECB/RR earned ("cash" for next visits): $8.00
Rebates (due @ end of month): $24.20

Total Savings this week (not including rebates): $100.24 or 57.5% (include the rebates, etc and it's $132.44 saved or 76%)

The trick with all the coupon "deals" is

1. Make sure you are getting a deal - if you won't use it or have to spend money JUST to get it when you normally would NOT - then it is NOT a "deal" at all.

2. Understand the difference between "stockpiling" and "STOCKPILING", by which I mean - even if it's free how many of one specific item does your family really need/want/use... If you are donating, by all means buy all the deals, but for my family - I know what we'll use before it goes on sale again and I'm trying really hard not to get caught up in the "dealio frenzy" (this time).


3. Stay organized - also realize that if you miss a bargain it's not the end of the world - it will either come around again or hey, with all that money you are saving you can afford to buy it at a higher price if you really need to.

There are tons of resources out there and I'm having a good time. If it gets too hard, time consuming, or tedious (or I become the crazy mom with 478 cans of 'free' air freshener that we can't even use because it gives Mommy migraines) I'll back off for a while.

Bottom Line: Casey works hard to earn this family a living and MY job (you know aside from lovingly educating the children and keeping them from destroying the house and/or each other on a daily basis) is to make sure I get the best value from his earnings. If I get a new pair of shoes out of the deal then so be it - these things happen.

I do have a menu planned, but this has droned on quite long enough. Tonight we're having "Maria Tortilla" a dish from Casey's childhood. I'll post more about this week's menu tomorrow.

So go check out the coupon sites linked above and see if it's for you. Let me know what you think and what you do to spend less.

I'll keep you posted!


Monday, September 08, 2008

Menu Planning Monday

I've got a cold, but the family still wants to eat - what's up with that?

The menu planning is such a help. I stay on track with our spending goals better and we eat better and healthier. I love sitting down around the table every night to an actual meal instead of to take-away. With the trying of new things we became a fine dining establishment and we now serve "whine" with every meal! I'm sure Toby will come around - eventually.

Last week went very well - the island chicken was delicious and easy. I adapted the recipe to our tastes and according to what we had on hand (didn't realize ahead of time that I was missing a couple of ingredients).

This week's menu is as follows:

Inside Out Bacon Cheese Burgers
Grilled Tuna w/Mixed Veggies
Pork Tenderloin w/Apple Stuffing & Egg Noodles (leaving out the fennel as we don't care for it)
Lemon Apple Baked Chicken w/Scalloped Potatoes
Black Beans & Rice w/diced Ham
Easy Spaghetti & Salad

Remember to check out other Menu Planning links on the Organizing Junkie site - these gals are REALLY creative; many have wonderful budgeting ideas as well.

I'll keep you posted!


Thursday, September 04, 2008

Following Up: Girly Hair

Thanks for all the comments and personal emails about my learning some girly-dos. For more detailed information try the following links:

Knots (basics of what I did)

Here's how to do rows of the knots:

It's really kind of fun - you just have to make sure your kids will stick it out through the pulling (Anna gripes, but I just tell her to "toughen up!" does that make me a bad person?). Also be sure and have a really full spray bottle and a good comb - those combs with the little metal sticks on the end are called "tail-combs" so when you go to Sally's they don't look at you like you're an idiot (or like me you spend 10 minutes 'just looking').

This past Sunday we did a row of knots (all I've braved so far) across the entire front of Anna's head (sideways) with a braid hanging down on the ending side; she was thrilled! I think I'm going to make some of these bobby-pin bows soon just because they are so cute and make the work look even fancier without more actual work.

Hope you all try some out and I am so glad to know that I am not the only one who is girly-hair challenged!

I'll keep you posted!


Monday, September 01, 2008

Oh Yeah, It's Monday!

That means it's time for menu planning: (I totally forgot until just about 5 minutes ago that it's Monday - no work, no mail, whatever...)

Tonight we had breakfast, bacon, eggs, and blueberry pancakes.

This week let's try some new things alongside our favorites:

Smoky Turkey Shepherd's Pie
Swordfish Burgers with Lemon, Garlic & Parsley (link is for Salmon Burgers, but it's fairly similar)
Island Bird: Pineapple-Rum Chicken (two links to blogs with the recipe & a pic & review)
Quick & Easy Chicken Quesadillas
Beef Stir Fry with brown rice & lots of veggies that we'll have to "encourage" the children to eat

I think it's a nice mix of new and faves, quick and involved. I'll let you know how that Rum Chicken turns out - that one has me interested!

Please check out the other fabulous menus and recipes HERE to see what others are having for dinner and get inspired.

I'll keep you posted!