Thursday, March 31, 2011

Pasta Florentine

Please do not ask me what makes it 'florentine' because I have no idea.  It was exceptionally delicious, though!

pardon my french, but this is some legit sh*t.
 What you'll need:

1 -1.5 lbs Chicken, sliced into strips 
2 cups Frozen Spinach
1 can Evaporated Milk (or Heavy Cream, which is higher in cals,  but I won't judge you)
3 cloves Garlic
1 box Pasta
1 Tbsp EVOO
1 jar Spaghetti Sauce

I totally cheated.  I used frozen breaded chicken and baked it according to the package.  DON'T JUDGE ME!

Boil your noodles until al dente.  Heat up the EVOO in a pan and add your chopped up Garlic.  Garlic tastes so yummy when you heat it first; it brings out the flavor!  Add the spinach and heat through.  Add your Milk and Spaghetti Sauce and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and add cooked Noodles and cooked Chicken.

Done and done and super delish!

The Thursday Push!

First, let's be glad we've made it this far.  HAHA!  I could seriously go for a nice long nap right about now; if I can't have that, please give me another large cup of coffee :)

I will forever embrace you, my delicious cup of wonderfulness.  Caffiene-free is not for me!

OMProcrastination, I have done it again.  All the of activities in Unit 1 for one of my courses is due by tomorrow - this includes a writing test I have to take at a computer lab on campus!  First of all, I have a serious bone to pick with having to go to campus anyway; I am taking a few online courses because I cannot get to class with my schedule, so finding that time to get to campus during the week has become difficult.  I'll just have to suck it up and go this evening after I drop my son off at home.  Ladies and gentlemen, I am going to have a very long night.

So who's to blame here?  My teachers who have NO sympathy whatsoever for people trying to work through college and maintain a full time job?  Or is it Big Steve's fault for not doing something (I usually find a good reason to blame things on him)?  Or maybe it's my mother's fault for letting me be a procrastinator growing up!

Seriously?  It's my own darn fault.  I could have taken the test ahead of time at the campus where I have my Sunday class, but I chose to wait until the last minute to get 'er done, so I have to deal with the consequences.  The consequence in this case will probably be total exhaustion tomorrow.

I was momspired (inspired by a mom, duh) yesterday when I read this quote on another 'mom blog:'

"Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein." H. Jackson Brown

If we spent less time trying to find reasons why things are the way they are or why we simply can't do 'it' and used that energy to actually get crap done, we'd be a little better off.

I hate to use this phrase excessively, but I just have to say it...


Oh, and happy Thursday!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Confessions of a Real Life Mom.

Confessions of a Real Life Mom

I am overwhelmed with the amount of love I have gotten from this blog!  The nice messages, encouragement, etc. have truly made me feel super spesh.  Thanks!

Now, I have a serious confession to make...

I am a real person, too!

My boyfriend and family are probably thinking 'well, duh' because they know my flaws, but I've done a really good job of hiding them. 

I have a habit of posting my best/favorite meals and leave out the ones that were a total bomb.  About once a week, I have a 'super fail' when it comes to cooking and baking.  I just get much more excited about the successes, for obvious reasons, and those take priority because my 'blog time' is very limited.

I try to live positively every day, but that doesn't mean every day is fantastic, stress-free, and LOVELY; it just means I make a conscious effort to try to wake up on the right side of the bed.  I cannot find the source to save my life (so if you have it, help a sister out), but I read a story about a year ago regarding happiness as a choice; every day when you wake up, you can decide to be in a good mood or to be in a bad mood - I make my best attempts to be in a good mood.  By the end of the day, I am sometimes a huge grouch (sorry, Big Steve), but I know the next day I can choose to remain grouchy or be happy.

My promise to you :)...

I promise that I will start posting more 'bloopers.'  The last thing I want is to be unrelatable.  Afterall, the reason I started this blog was to encourage happy living even though life isn't perfect.

I'll start with today.  This morning, I woke up an hour late, did not have time for a shower, and couldn't put any make-up on my eyes because they were (and still are) watering like faucets.  In an attempt to get some sort of breakfast for myself, I threw a bagel in the toaster while I was getting Little Steve ready.  Moments later, my fire alarm started beeping and I ran in to discover a smoke-filled kitchen.  I unplugged the toaster, turned on some fans and decided to give up on breakfast.  I was 30 minutes late for work.

One thing I've learned from Big Steve (among many!) is that I need to start laughing at life.  My house didn't burn down, which is a good thing, so when I got in the car to head to the babysitter/work, I started laughing like a looney.  My laugh made Little Steve laugh, which made my heart mellllllllllllt!

Truth - this is real life.  One of my favorite quotes is:

"We may not have it all together, but together we have it all."

I'm just trying to get through the rest of the week with a smile on my face.  Rest assured, I am just like you.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Harris Teeter Super Doubles - Trip 4 and My Bottom Line


What you see:

3 Hidden Valley Salad Kits
1 Smart Balance Milk
2 Lysol Toilet Bowl Cleaner
1 Lysol 2-pk Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaner
1.5 lbs Ground Beef
3 SteamFresh Veggies
2 McCormick Meal Inspirations
1 McCormick Parsley
1 Wafflebaker Blueberry Waffles
1 12-pk Cottonelle Toilet Paper
2 Tropicana Orange Juice
1 Jimmy Dean 4-pk Breakfast Sandwiches
1 Jimmy Dean Breakfast Bowl

Total OOP: $37.79
Total Saved: $44.18

The Bottom Line:
(refer back to Trip #1, Trip #2, and Trip#3)
Grand Total OOP: $186.28
Grand Total Savings: $280.78

So, you can look at it multiple ways:

1. I got $280.78 worth of FREE groceries
b. I paid around $0.77 per item I got this week

The best part is that I still have $13.72 leftover from the amount I budgeted for the Super Doubles this go-round.  UNBELIEVEABLE!

Garlic Lime Chicken Fajitas with Homemade Tortillas

oooohhh la la :)
 Homemade Tortillas

I cannot and I will not take credit for this easy and delicious recipe.  Thank you, Mommy's Kitchen for sharing it with me!  I was pretty impressed with myself and even allowed myself a personal pat on the back for the way these turned out.  Are they necessarily more frugal than purchasing tortillas?  Not really; tortillas are often on sale and there are always coupons for them; HOWEVER, it definitely added a little something extra to the meal and I plan to make them again.

Garlic Lime Chicken Fajitas

This, too, was a little bit of a cheat.  Thanks to Harris Teeter Super Doubles this week, I scored some free McCormick Recipe Inspirations, but here are the spices included:
1 tsp Minced Garlic
1 tsp Minced Onion
3/4 tsp Ground Cumin
3/4 tsp Oregano Leaves
1/2 tsp Cilantro Leaves
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
You will also need:
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 lemon juice (the recipe calls for orange juice, but I had lemon and love it on chicken)
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1.5 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast cut into strips
8 flour tortillas

Mix lime juice, lemon juice, oil, spices and salt in a small bowl.  Save about 1/4 of the marinade for later and place chicken in a bag or air-tight container.  Refrigerate/Marinate for at least 30 minutes.

Cook and stir chicken in heated skillet on med-high heat.  After browned, add additional marinade and cook until tender.

I added some corn to mine and it was really yummy!

Monday, March 28, 2011

What's on Suzie's Menu?


Happy Monday!

Again, I am behind on my meal planning and would much rather only do this twice a month, but last minute is working right now for me.

Suzie's Weekly Menu

Easy Peasy Hamburger and Hashbrown Casserole aka The Grossest Looking Yummy Stuff
Garlic Lime Chicken Fajitas with Homemade Tortillas
Pasta Florentine
Spanish Pork Chops w/ Creamy Rice

On Friday, Steven and I are going to the Wizards game, so I get Friday night off from cooking.  I would love to include some sort of sweet goodness this week, but I'm not sure just yet what I will make.  I'm in the mood for a good peanut butter recipe, so we'll see :)

CVS Weekly Trip 3/27-4/2
Beginning EB Balance: $11

Transaction #1

The Deal: Spend $12 on select Household Products, get $4 EBs
2 Glade Candles - $6, use $1/2 coupon - $5
2 Scrubbing Bubbles Bathroom Cleaner - $6, use $1/2 coupon - $5

1 Skintimate Shaving cream - $3.49, get $3.50 EBs, use $.55/1 coupon - $2.94
2 Halls Cough Drops - $3.74, get $2 EBs, use $1/2 coupon - $2.74

Total: $15.68
EBs used: $11
Total OOP: $4.68
Get: $8.50 EBs

I'll post an additional transaction tonight when I go through my coupons again :)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Harris Teeter Super Doubles - Trip 3!

Yes, 3 trips!  I am stocking up.  I am hoping to participate in a 'No Spend' Month here shortly, so I want to stock up and use every bit of the money I budgeted for groceries in March.  This trip is the best one so far, but who says I can't beat it?  I did have a cashier who was dead set on 'catching' me do something and didn't double a couple of my coupons due to some store policy stuff that I didn't feel like challenging, so that was annoying.  Next time, I'm sticking with the guys!  They love it.

 What you see:
3 Dole 4pk Mandarin Oranges
2 Lipton Tea Bags
10 cans HT Green Beans
12 SteamFresh Frozen Veggies
1 Country Crock Spreadable Butter Sticks
1 Lenders Cinnamon Swirl Bagels
1 Wisp 4 pk
1 Energizer 'C' 4 pk
1 Little Noses Saline
2 Hillshire Farm Turkey
2 Pillsbury Icing
1 Hungry Jack Pancake Mix
1 Hungry Jack Syrup
4 Success Rice
1 HT Flour
2 Khaki Spring Rolls (4 pk I think?)
2 Perdue Chicken (1.5 lbs each)

Total OOP: $53.60
Total Saved: $67.10

Let's do a recap so far just to emphasize how much coupons can save you:
Transaction #1: Total OOP: $40.85, Total Saved: $89.79
Transaction #2: Total OOP: $54.04, Total Saved: $79.71
Transaction #3: Total OOP: $53.60, Total Saved: $67.10

Total OOP for all 3: $148.49 (about $52 from my alotted Super Double week)
Total Saved for all 3: $236.60

It's always a good day when you spend less than you save.  Fantastic!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Harris Teeter Super Doubles - Trip 2!

2 Starbucks 4 pk Frappucino
4 Starbucks Ice Cream
6 Steamfresh Frozen Veggies
3.5 lbs Bananas
3 Strawberries (16oz packages)
2 Glade Candles
1 Smart Balance Buttery Sticks
2 Smart Balance Milk
2 Quaker Chewy Granola Bars
12 Dannon Activia Yogurt/Granola Parfait
2 Bailey's Coffee Creamer (these were FREE with coupons)
1 Caribou Coffee
2 Cheez Itz Duos

Total OOP: $54.04 (I'd hoped to spend $40, but my $10 off coupon expired!)
Total Saved: $79.71

I always have coupons for everything except produce (sometimes I get coupons for that), so if you all are looking to buy anything in ANY of my trips and would like to know where to find the coupons, let me know!  I am always happy to help.  If you get to me first, I might even have extra coupons to share.

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Long Lost Recipe: Potato, Chicken & Spinach Lasagna w/ Homemade Alfredo Sauce!

This was such a yummy dish, I'm surprised I overlooked it for so long!  That's what happens when you get caught up in this whole 'life' thing ;).

Alfredo Sauce:
3 tbsp Butter
8 oz Heavy Cream or Evaporated Milk (less cals)
1 tsp Nutmeg (my fav spice!)
1/4 c. Parmesean cheese + 3 tbsp for later
2/3 c.  Mozarella cheese
1 Egg
S & P to taste!

Melt the butter in a pan over medium heat (you don't want to burn it!).  Add the cream/evaporated milk and stir until blended.  Stir in nutmeg, 1/4 c. parm. cheese and all of the mozarella and salt & pepper to taste.  Stir until melted then mix in the egg and simmer over medium heat for a bit (5 minutes).  Top with additional Parmesan and keep warm!

Potato & Spinach Lasagna
Alfredo Sauce (you can also buy a jar)
1 cup Milk
10 small potatoes, sliced - you can peel them, but I like the potato peel
5 tbsp grated Parmesan Cheese
More S & P to taste!
1 package Frozen Spinach, thawed
2 cups additional cheese (I used 3 Blend)
3 cups Sliced chicken (I cheated and used Tysons Frozen Chicken Strips)

Preheat your oven to 400.

Combine the Alfredo sauce with additional milk and put about 1/4 - 1/3 of the sauce in the bottom of a grease baking dish.  Layer 1/3 of the potatoes and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Combine your Spinach and additional cheese (again, I used 3 Blend) and spread 1/3 over the Potatoes in the dish.  Then top with another layer of potatoes, parm. cheese, and spinach/cheese combo.  Do this again and pour the remaining alfredo sauce over it.  Bake for 45 minutes covered with foil.  Then uncover and bake for an additional 20-30 minutes.


My week of CVSing.

This week was a profit week!  I didn't get everything I'd hoped because they sold out of some things, but I did get a good amount of stuff for FREE this week.  The best part is, I'm taking money into next week AND I get $8+ for my Winter Spending.

Transaction #1
1 Garnier Ultra Lift Wrinkle Cream
1 Garnier Moisture Rescue Gel
1 Allegra Allergy 5ct
1 Vitamin D Milk

Used $15 EBs from last week, $2/Garnier, $2/Allegra, $1/Garnier
Total OOP: $8.83
Got: $12.99 EBs

Transaction #2
3 St. Ives Facial Scrub (my favs!)
2 Colgate MaxFresh

Used $12.99 EBs, $1/Colgate, $1/Colgate
Total OOP: $1.97
Got: $11 EBs

Sum It Up!

Transaction #1 + Transaction #2 Total OOP: $10.57
Ending EB Balance: $11

What does it mean?  CVS gave me $0.43 and a lot of products for free :)

Harris Teeter Super Doubles - Trip 1!

What you see:

3 BirdsEye Veggies
3 McCormick Recipe Inspiration Spices
2 Philadelphia Cooking Cream
2 Athenos Hummus
1 Aunt Jemima Waffles
1 Wafflebaker Blueberry Pancakes
5 Foster Farms Frozen Chicken
2 McCain Purely Potatoes - Hashbrowns
3 Bestlife Butter Spread
1 Benefiber
2 Tony's Cheese Pizza
2 Danactive 4pk Yogurt Smoothie
2 Danimals 6pk
2 Lysol Wipes
1 Beechnut Arrowroot Cookies

Total OOP: $40.85
Total Saved: $89.79

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Thursday Push!

Let's be honest, I need a little more than just a push this week...

Exhaustion has officially set in.  I think anyone is capable of handling an overflowing plate for a short period of time before sleep deprivation starts to set in.  I like to think I'm Super Woman, but turns out I'm not.

Work is still work and some days (or multiple days in a row!) I get really down about the situation I've put myself in, but for the most part I'm dealing with it and trying to keep a positive attitude.  Generally, something happens that really gets me going, but I'm trying to at least arrive in a good mood then see where the day takes me.  Haha.

Today, I am particularly tired because my sweet baby boy decided to pull an all-nighter.  He didn't finally fall asleep until around 2 am!  We fell asleep on the couch watching some late night cartoons; I felt like I'd just fallen asleep when my 5 am alarm on my phone went off, not to mention the Yo! Gabba Gabba nightmares.  I still have no idea what set him off to begin with, but the possibility of an ear infection was brought to my attention and I hope that's not the case.  The poor child just got over a URI.

An old friend of mine came across a 'why me?' status update on Facebook and reminded me to "just keep swimming..."  After that, my favorite step-aunt-in-law said, "Suzie, unlike Dory, don't forget where you are going" and reading those two comments a few times has really lifted me up.  What would we do without encouragement?

So, that's my advice to everyone having a bad day, week, month, or year:  JUST KEEP SWIMMING!

Monday, March 21, 2011

NEW! My Rite-Aid Plan 3/20-3/26!

This week will be my first week playing the Rite-Aid Pharmacy game and I'm pretty excited about it. I intended on doing it last week to get some free detergent, but I missed out and I don't wanna miss out on anymore freebies!

Here is my plan:

Transaction #1:
Blink Tears - $7.99, get $7.99 single check rebate (SCR)
3 Lysol Wipes - $5.97, get $1 UP and $1 SCR wyb 2 use 3 $1 coupons - $2.97

Total OOP: $10.96
Get: $3 UP
Get: $8.99 SCR
It's like getting a $1.03 profit!

This is just to get me started - I plan to look through the ad more throroughly tonight and see what coupons I have and possibly add to this list for the week!  I will keep you posted with whether or not I plan to keep shopping at Rite-Aid.

The only negative that I can see with Rite-Aid is that there isn't always instant gratification, i.e. - you have to wait for the rebate to come in the mail.  However, they do have a program where you get 10% off your total order every day once you hit 500 points (1 point for every dollar you spend)  and 20% off your total order every day once you hit 1000 points.  Now, I'm not sure I'd spend $1000 at Rite-Aid in a year, but I have already spent $430 at CVS, so it shouldn't be difficult to hit $500 at Rite-Aid within a few months.  REMEMBER this total all pre coupons, so it may sound like a lot of money, but it's really probably less than half that after coupons and money you get back.

My CVS Plan 3/20-3/26!

I promised you this Saturday, but it's better late than never, right?  I like to keep you on the edge of your seat!

I am starting with $15 EBs this week!

Transaction #1:
Allegra Allergy 5ct - pay $6.99, get $6.99 EB use $2 coupon $4.99
Deal - Spend $15 Garnier Products, get $5 EB
Garnier Ultra-Lift Anti Wrinkle Firming Moisture Cream - $12 (I may have a coupon)
Garnier Moisture Rescue Gel Cream - $5 use $2 coupon - $3
(NOTE: You could get different products and use more coupons/pay less money, but I like the Anti Wrinkle Cream)

Total: $19.99
Use: $15 EBs
Total OOP: $4.99
Get: $11.99 EBs + $1 EB for Green Bag Tag + $5 EBs for Beauty Club Spending

Transaction #2

2 Crest ProHealth Toothpaste - $6.98, get $5 EBs use 2 $1/1 coupons - $4.98

Total: $4.98
Use: $5 EBs
Total OOP: $0
Get: $5
Total EBs Left: $17.99

Transaction #3

Deal - Spend $12 Suave Products, get $3 EBs
6 Suave Body Wash - $12 use 2 B2G1 coupons - $8
3 St. Ives Face Wash (my fav facewash EVER) - $10, get $2 EBs

Total: $18
Use: 17.99 EBs
Total OOP: $.01
Get: $5 EBs

Super Grand Total: I will spend $5 OOP and end up with $5 EBs left, meaning I essentially got all of this stuff FREE!  WHOOO!

What's on Suzie's Menu?

Hola, Friends!

Again, I am short-planning this week; I try to plan as many meals as possible at once to choose from, but I have been too busy to sit down and gather a bunch of recipes, so my weekly menu has been very last minute for the past couple of weeks.  Life happens, right?  I will have more time when Summer rolls around and I can take a break from school.  I can't wait to start some DIY/Craft projects this Summer!

Here goes, in no particular order:

Chicken Cordon Bleu (didn't get to it last week!)
Spaghetti & Homemade Meatballs
Baked Chicken Broccoli and Rice
Sausage w/ Peppers and Pasta
Chicken Fajitas

This week, I hope to get all of my recipes compiled into some sort of binder to make this process even easier!

Happy week, everyone!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

My week of CVSing.

I was able to stock up on some things I really needed this week.  I didn't plan properly, so I had to make two trips, but it still turned out GREAT!

Transaction #1:
6 boxes of Puffs w/ Vicks (my FAV)
1 16 ct. Charmin Toilet Paper
1 tub Charmin Freshmates
1 Dial Nutri Lotion
1 Irish Spring (for men) Hair + Body Wash
2 bottles Fish Oil

EBs used: $3 (from last week)
Coupons: $1/4 boxes of Puffs; 3 FREE boxes of Puffs; .50/1 Charmin FreshMates; $1/1 Dial Lotion; $1/1 Irish Spring; $1/1 Charmin Toilet Paper
Total OOP: $25.16
Received: $5 in EBs

Transaction #2
4 boxs Puffs w/ Vicks
1 Crest Pro Health Toothpaste
1 Crest Pro Health Mouthwash

EBs Used: $5 from first transaction
 Coupons Used:  $1/1 Crest Mouthwash; $1/1 Crest Toothpaste; 1 FREE Puffs
Total OOP: $4.95
Received: $15 EBs :)

With both transactions, I spent a total of $30.11 out of pocket and got $15 EBs back to work with next week!  I essentially paid only $15.11 for all of this stuff!

I had a friend ask me what the purpose of doing multiple transactions is and it's so you spend less out of pocket.  I could have split this up into 4 different transactions and paid much less out of pocket, but I would have less EBs to work with for the week coming up.  It all depends on your preference.

If anyone wants to learn the 'Pharmacy Game' better, I am totally willing to meet with you and help you figure it out.  I will even go shopping with you!  I love this stuff and I get really excited about saving money.  Of course, I don't have a lot of spare time, but my Saturdays are free and when the Summer comes around and I get a break from school, I will start having some In-Services at my house!

I will post my plan for tomorrow's CVS deals later today, but I have to take advantage of my son being asleep and hop in the shower!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Bacon Wrapped BBQ Shrimp w/ Creamy Linguine!

O M G.  I can't believe I forgot to share this recipe.  School is taking up way too much of my brain :).

pardon the horrible picture quality - this was taken with my phone which is NOT a smart phone

For the Bacon Wrapped BBQ Shrimp:

16 large shrimp (peeled)
8 slices bacon
barbeque seasoning
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Wrap shrimp with 1/2 slice of bacon, securing with a toothpick.
Line a pan with foil. Place the shrimp on the rack, and sprinkle heavily with the barbecue seasoning, turn and sprinkle second side. Let the shrimp sit for 15 minutes. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes.

For the Creamy Linguine:
1 box linguine pasta
2 thick slices bacon
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup heavy cream (or evaporated milk)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until soft.
Meanwhile, in a small skillet cook bacon over medium heat until crispy. Break up into small pieces and set aside.
In the pasta pot, melt butter over medium-low heat and add cream; heat thoroughly, but do not allow to boil. Combine cooked pasta with butter/cream mixture. Add Parmesan cheese and bacon and toss. Allow sauce to thicken for a few minutes; add nutmeg.

P.S. Nutmeg = my favorite spice!  It's delicious!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Thursday Push.

In spite of recent events in my life, I will try to be encouraging. 

But first, a rant is necessary.  If you aren't interested in it - skip over it and read the happy parts.  Haha.

This week has been extremely difficult.  My poor son got an upper respiratory infection and I was home with him for 2 days.  Though I loved being home with him, I wish it was under different circumstances.  I also started a class on Tuesday night, which I am actually very interested in, but it's going to make Tuesdays overwhelming for the next 8 weeks AND I have to miss GLEE.  I was able to get over these things, but the next part of my rant explains why I've been really down.  I started this job that is basically sitting at a desk waiting for the phone to ring for 8 hours a day; I am not learning any new skills for my future nor am I enjoying the work atmosphere because I just don't understand why grown adults cannot admit to their mistakes - we ALL make mistakes, just admit it and move on and try to fix it in the future.  Now, I was willing to overlook these things because I was told when I was hired that there was no way I'd be able to work from home full time, but that after a couple of months, I would get a review (what review?) and we would talk about the possibility of me working from home one or two days.  So, I asked if we could start this trial period of me working from home on Tuesdays during the 8 weeks that I have my classes and was told that I was needed in the office.  SOOOOOOOO, basically it's never going to happen.  Now, the worst part about this is that I am not sure everyone in the office was aware of what I was told and I believe it was just something that was thrown out there to 'make me happy.'  It's not okay to tell people things just to make them happy, it's most important to be honest. If I was told from the beginning that this was the case, I would have been on the lookout for something new a long time ago; I was under the impression this job was flexible, which is very necessary for my life right now. 

I had every intention of speaking up about what I was told today, but everything here seems to turn into a 'he said - she said' type deal and I honestly just don't want to get into it.  I'm at the point now where I've adopted the 'It is what it is' mentality and I am just going to have to do what I have to do to make it work.  I wish I had the guts to really tell someone off, but I don't; frankly, I don't see the point in doing so.  I am upset that I have only been here for 5 months and I'm already on the lookout for something new because that doesn't speak well for my work experience and for purposes of my resume, but I'd really hate to leave on angry terms.  I've accepted that this is the situation, I will take a deep breath and do what I am supposed to do and wait for a new opportunity to come along.

Rant over...

If you read that, thanks for putting up with it.  Now, the positive part.

The easiest way to ward off negativity and get back into a positive frame of mind is to accept situations for what they are.  Right now, this is my job.  Do I want to up and leave?  Absolutely.  Is that the best thing for my family?  Not at all.  So, I will just trust that God will provide a new opportunity to me when the time is right. 

Now, trusting God to provide doesn't mean letting Him do all the work.  I will have to be actively looking for something; I will have to do my part.  So here goes a period of applying for jobs that a million other people are applying for and hoping that I somehow stand out enough to make an employer choose me.

I refuse to let the actions of someone else determine my attitude.  I did that in my previous job and it made the last couple of months there pretty miserable.  I even loved that job, just not my coworker.

It's really hard to feel like I've failed.  Not particularly at this job, but I feel like I've failed my family.  I left a good job, a boss and coworkers (for the most part) that respected me, and unbeatable experience because I thought I'd be able to be a better mom/girlfriend by taking a position that required less of me.  The phrase that keeps running through my head this week is 'the grass ain't always greener...'

I guess the moral to my story is to accept the situation, choose to have a good attitude about it, and do what you need to do to change it.  I plan to do just that.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Suzie's Weekly Menu Plan.

Poor Little Steven is sick!  He has an upper respiratory infection.  Though I am glad to spend time with him however I can, I wish it was in different circumstances.

I neglected my Menu last week and am only planned for one week as of now.  I am repeating previous recipes (with an alteration here or there) and trying one new one this week.

Easy Peasy Crockpot Chicken & Dumplings (adding mixed veggies to the pot)
Easy Peasy Sausage & Pasta Saute
Easy Peasy Ham & Cheddar Shells
Knock Their Socks Off Chicken Enchiladas
Homemade Chicken Cordon Bleu (new one!)

I also found a recipe that was lost in my mass media files called Potato Lasagna and I will post that tomorrow if I get a little time away from my sick little one.

Happy Monday!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Mama's Chipped Beef and Gravy

Yes, this actually is my Mama's chipped beef and gravy - sometimes better known as 'S**t on a Shingle.'

I decided to switch it up and serve it on Cheese Croissants, but I definitely prefer good old fashioned white toast.

I had to learn a few tricks after making this a couple of times because my mom evidently just goes on auto-pilot when she makes it and can't recall how to make it when you ask...either that or she's hiding something.  In any case, she can't fool me and my recipe tastes exactly like my Mama's.

What you will need:

5 packs Budding Beef
1 cup Flour
1 cup COLD Water
1/2 cup Milk
1 Tbsp Butter
Salt & Pepper to taste

Heat the Butter in a non-stick skillet (medium heat); when melted, add the chopped up Beef and cook for about 5 minutes (this allows the flavor of the Beef to 'come out' more).

Meanwhile, wisk 1/2 cup Flour and 1/2 cup COLD Water.  Using the cold water with flour gets all the lumps out.  Set aside.

Slowly pour Milk into skillet with Beef and bring to a boil.  Slowly wisk in Flour/Water mixture and lower heat (low-medium).  Wisk together the remaining 1/2 cup Flour and 1/2 cup COLD Water and slowly pour into skillet, stirring continuously.  Remove from heat when desired thickness is reached.

Note: Use less Flour to make the mixture thinner and more to make it thicker.  ALWAYS mix the flour with cold water before adding to heat.  Failure to do so will give you a lumpy mixture.

Serve on whatever bread/rolls/biscuits you like!

The Thursday Push!

First and foremost, I want to give a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my man, Chuck Norris.  Thank you, Chuck Norris, for being born and inspiring a long list of hilarious one-liners.
Now that that's out of the way...

I posted a long 'To-Do' list at the beginning of the week.  You know how much of it is done in it's entirety?  Not a single dang thing.  Bathrooms are still dirty, laundry is piling up (again), I haven't worked on anything for classes, my coupon book is still a work in progress, I haven't composed a menu for the next few weeks, and I have not participated in the 'pharmacy game' at all.

Am I little anxious?  You betcha.  This week has been full of out of the ordinary activity, so my list has taken a major backseat.  Evidently, you don't get extra hours to make up for the 'hiccups' during the day.

I decided to 'letitgo' (one word the way I say it) and appreciate the things I was able to do this week; I got to see my sister, Rachel, who is back from college (oh, how I have missed you!), I got to lay down on the couch with my son, I got to go to bed early with my honey, and I got to be creative in the kitchen (let's face it - you have to be creative when you've forgotten to plan).

“Why not seize the pleasure at once, how often is happiness destroyed by preparation, foolish preparations.” -Jane Austen

Maybe I'll get to cross some of that list off this weekend...

Happy Thursday, Everyone!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Easy Peasy Bowties & Piggies

Basically, I didn't thaw any meat and had some stuff in the 'fridge that was ready to be thrown together...

...and so became the Bowties & Piggies.

You will need:

1 box Bowtie Pasta
1 bag Lil' Smokies
1 tub Philidelphia Cooking Cream - Santa Fe Blend

This recipe = the easiest recipe of all time. 

Boil pasta.  Cut Smokies and saute them in butter for a few minutes.  Add the Cooking Cream and noodles when soft.

Um - DONE!  I almost just went and bought dinner, but I was glad I resisted the urge.  I came up with meal that can be easily repeated and switched up PLUS I didn't waste money or time on food made by someone else.

Super Yummy!

Late Night Harris Teeter Trip

I ended up going out to Harris Teeter around 9pm last night because I had to take advantage of the Aunt Jemima B1G1 deal because I had a $2 off coupon (meaning I got 2 boxes for .50 cents!) and Kelly gave me a $10/$30 purchase that expired yesterday.  Here is what my trip looked like:

What you see:

2 bags of HT Frozen Chicken Breasts
2 Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls
2 Pillsbury Grand Biscuits
4 Yoplait Greek Yogurt
1 Farm Rich Mozarella Bites
1 CoffeeMate
1 Egg Beaters
1 Tyson Chicken Nuggets
1 Dr. Wafflebaker Blueberry Waffles (Frozen)
2 Mrs. Schubert's Frozen Dinner Rolls
2 Aunt Jemima Waffles
3 Totinos Pizza
1 Smart Balance Milk
1 Water Bottle
3 BirdsEye Vegetables

Coupons Tendered: $68.36
VIC Savings: $38.66
Total OOP: $40.25

I am pretty pleased with how little I spent last night!  I was able to take advantage of the B1G1 Frozen Chicken Breasts, which will hold me over for at least a couple of weeks as far as chicken goes and I have easy breakfasts for weekdays now that will also last a couple of weeks.  I heart coupons!

Monday, March 7, 2011

It's Monday - LE SIGH!

This Monday is actually better than a normal Monday because I have the week off from posting for classes and I get to look forward to having a relaxing weekend at Lake Anna with NO ANATOMY CLASS ON SUNDAY!  Holla!

I had a wonderful weekend with my ladies (FAB FIVE) and some additional party crashers.  I made some food that I was very proud of and will give some recipes this week!

I have a lot to get done this week before I have a refreshing weekend away:

- Menu Plan!  I hope to get my menu all planned out by tomorrow evening.  I still have some food and meals left to make, so I have a little bit of time.
- Coupon Binder.  I decided to switch up my coupon organization to a binder, which is proving to be more daunting than I thought.  I hope to have it all organized and all my new coupons clipped by the end of the week.
- Grocery shopping.  I still have to scope out the best deals this week, but I know I'll be making a trip to Wegmans because I realized they have the best deals on chicken and beef (only $1.99/lb!) and canned veggies (0.34 cents/can!) AND Harris Teeter is a definite because they are my fav store ever.
- Drugstore Games!  I am planning to add Walgreens and Rite-Aid to my Drugstore game this week.  I have mastered CVS and would LOVE to start getting free stuff from Walgreens and Rite-Aid, too!
- School Stuff.  Even though I'm on Spring Break from school, I still have a presentation to prepare for and I need to set up my weekly plan for my English course so I can stay on track.
- Chores this week.  Laundry (how in the heck do we have so much?), change sheets in 3 bedrooms, bathrooms (again?  I feel like I just did these!), baseboards (this is a BIG maybe).

Okay, this was a boring post.  When I get my Coupon Binder all organized, I'll show you guys!  I know I have a good handful of readers who are just as coupon crazy as I am!

Stay tuned for my first GIVEAWAY this month!  I am sooooo excited.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Easy Peasy Beefy Burritos

I couldn't find the 'open' burrito view!  DANG!

Inspiration and 'How to fold a burrito' came from Pie Birds, Buttons, and Muddy Puddles.

You will need:

1lb Ground Beef (or turkey or boca for my sis)
1 can Black Beans
3 tbsp Chili Powder
1 can Rotel Tomatoes and Green Peppers
2 cups Shredded Cheese
1 tsp Cumin
12 Flour Tortillas

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Brown Beef.  Drain

Return Beef to pan and add Cumin and Chili Powder.  Add Rotel and Black Beans.

Add about a spoonful to each burrito and top with cheese!

Visit Andrea to learn how to roll the perfect burrito!

Don't forget to grease the pan!