Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Our New Apartment Pictures (lots of pics)

This is a comprehensive look at my new apartment. Sorry it's so many pictures we just wanted the family that probably won't see it to know what it looks like.

The plaque that greets you when you enter our house

Our staircase those are our stocking hanging from the dining room wall

View from our patio

My great kitchen, I love it because I can know watch tv or a movie while cooking or doing dishes.

Our Christmas Tree in our dining room area

Living room where we hang out most.

The Tv and office computer area.

My fabulous walk-in closet

My long vanity and sink area

We have large shower and bathtub too!
Our dresser

our lovely bookcase

Our bed, our room is a little bare because we need more pictures for it!

My favorite part of Bellas bathroom her shower curtain hooks. They are so cute! Pink and purple like crystals.

Bells' colorful bathroom, I still need to add a piece of art or somthing on the wall

I finally get to display her name that I made while pregnant, a little late is better than never.

Bells' rocking chair where we read and eat most nights.

Picture less picture frames that I made for her and her cousin Carina in PA. I plan on putting pictures in this week.

Her Christmas little people nativity scene

The man cave where Adam dwells when he wants away from baby and me.

The beer fridge that Adam insisted on.

Great Pizza Recipe

Mexican Pizza

I made this Sunday night and it was awesome so I thought I would share with everyone. It's really easy and it looks really cool too, I made my own crust but of course you don't have to. I wish I had taken a picture of it. Maybe next time.

1 pizza crust
large can of refried beans
2 cups of cheese
taco meat (I used a 1/2 lb, then added 1/2 a packet of taco seasoning for flavor)
1 small can black sliced olives
1 1/2 c sour cream
leftover taco seasoning mix

Preheat oven 400 degrees.

First I browned the meat and then drained it. I put it all back in the pan and added half a packet of taco seasoning mix with some water and let it condense down normally takes 5-7 mins. Next warm up the beans, and grate the cheese. Also drain the can of olives, set aside. When everything is prepared first layer the beans on the bottom of the crust, then goes all the cheese, then the prepared meat, and can of olives. Place in oven for approximately 12 mins or until all the cheese is good and melty.

While the pizza is cooking take your sour cream and stir in the remaining taco seasoning or if you don't like a lot of spice enough for flavor and color. Next place sour cream mixture in a small sandwich bag when you pull out the pizza you'll cut a small whole in the corner of bag to allow for the mixture to slowly ooze out so that you can apply to pizza in a zig zag pattern. Makes it very cute.

Monday, November 30, 2009

31 Days to the New Year

31 days before the end of the first decade of the 21st century. When you think of the coming New Year in these terms it's kind of crazy. Do you remember where you were a decade ago? Do you remember what you were hoping, planning, dreaming to achieve in your life? Were you successful or did life intervene and your goals went by the waste side?

I know a decade ago when we entered the millennium I was still in High School and was looking forward to college with no clear definite goals for what to do for work. So I think my last decade was fairly productive. I graduated high school, graduated college with a BA, got married, finished my teaching credential and had a baby. Two of my major life changes, the addition of the husband and baby, where both happy surprises, God has blessed me infinitely over the last decade. I can only hope that the next decade is just as fun and productive with many new and exciting twists and turns.

So what do you hope to accomplish in the next decade? Do you want to be improved in some way? Do you want to be healthier? or skinnier? better wife? richer? living a simpler life? better Christian? Know your friends on a deeper level? or overall just be a better person? Contribute to the world in some way? There are so many things a person can do in their life in a decade, what do you want to do?

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Selling online

How many of you have ever tried to sell stuff online. It's so time consuming to post everything; then it seems like almost no one ever actually buys what you post. Adam and I have posted many things on Craig's list but out of all the people who respond saying they are interested only like 1/2 of that actually comes to fruition and I am able to sell a product. I just posted a bunch of items on Craig's list in hopes of selling for Christmas time.

Why are people so flaky online? My husband calls most of them snowflakes. If you're going to call someone and say your going to look at their furniture or other items why can't they actually do it? Don't they know someones waiting for them? Did their Mom teach them better than that? I drove from my house to my friends house, who is holding onto my dinning room furniture because it doesn't fit in my apartment, on Saturday so that someone could look at it and they didn't show up. I spent an hour driving to their house $4.75 in tolls to make sure I was on time and nothing. Not even a courteous I've changed my mind. Who does that to people?

We did finally sell one thing group of products that we've had forever to a guy the other night, which was awesome lets hope I can sell the rest of the stuff in the next few weeks. With Craig's List you have to be persistent to sell you items!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


I enjoy the Christmas/Holiday Season, but like many people I'm always thinking about the "commercialization" of Christmas. So I pose the question to you all, how do you keep the season's reason in the forefront? Now that I have my daughter I wonder how do I balance Jesus and Santa.

Many have asked me why even incorporate Santa because of the argument of "if Santa is fake, maybe Jesus is too?" Many people think kids won't be able to differentiate between the fake Santa and the real Jesus. I don't think it would that difficult because many kids learn the difference between fake television, movies and video games while still understanding the real things that happen in the world too. Why not Santa and Jesus? Plus it's not like as a parent I'm bringing up Santa in July or any other time of the year, whereas Jesus will hopefully be someone we talk about all year round. So I ask why do so many Christians have an issue with Santa Clause now a days?

Are kids need ways to relate to other non-Christians and this is one of the two times in the year when people are more open to Jesus and his story. You never know you kids just may introduce Jesus to a non-believer because they first begin with the story of Santa Clause.

Second issue with Christmas how do you budget for Christmas. I know for me I think about putting away money all year round to afford a nice Christmas. What do you do? Plus what hap pens when you go over budget? Do you change your gift giving strategy or do you bring out the plastic?

Friday, November 20, 2009

New Moon Was AWESOME!

New Moon was incredible! I was so happy that I was able to watch the midnight showing it was so Fun! It was so much better than the first movie Twilight! I think it had to do with the difference between having an independent director for Twilight and a more mainstream director for New Moon. I hope Eclipse can be better than New Moon because that is my favorite book.

Kristen Stew was awesome with the emotional zombie-ness of Bella during Edward's absence. And Jacob WOW he was beyond belief with the character he was a.) gorgeous b.) incredibly believable as Jacob I think he may as well be a little sunshine himself c.) great actor for age d.) he was ripped for the movie I kept having to chant to myself he's underage he's underage!

All in All 5 out of 5 stars and I can't wait to see it again and again!

Seriously he's 17?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

This Week for dinner

Meal Plan Tuesday!

Hot/cold cereal
nutella sandwich

Ham or turkey sandwiches
string cheese

Tues: Spaghetti and meatballs salad and bread
Wed: meatball sandwiches w/ salad
Thurs: BBQ Chicken sandwiches and salad
Fri: Murder Mystery dinner
Sat: Pot Roast w/ biscuits
Sun: Parents house for my Husbands birthday!
Mon: Shepherds Pie w/ biscuits
Tues: :Leftovers night

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Sorry I've been gone so long

Moving has been crazy! We moved on Halloween day with the help of two friends, my uncle, and my dad. My Mom watched Isabella while Adam and I worked. It went pretty smoothly, we were done by 1:45ish. I will post pictures of the mayhem and then the resulting house hopefully by the end of the week. Also, I should have the pictures of Isabella from Halloween, she was Snow White. I must say that I love Isabella's bathroom which is also the guest bath.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Amen, a little prayer helps when you feel like sinking

Dear Lord,

I thank You for this day, I thank You for my being able to see and to hear this morning. I'm blessed because You are a forgiving God and an understanding God.

You have done so much for me and You keep on blessing me. Forgive me this day for everything I have done, said or thought that was not pleasing to you. I ask now for Your forgiveness. Please keep me safe from all danger and harm. Help me to start this day with a new attitude and plenty of gratitude.

Let me make the best of each and every day to clear my mind so that I can hear from You.

Please broaden my mind that I can accept all things.

Let me not whine and whimper over things I have no control over. And give me the best response when I'm pushed beyond my limits.

I know that when I can't pray, You listen to my heart.

Continue to use me to do Your will. Continue to bless me that I may be a blessing to others.

Keep me strong that I may help the weak... Keep me uplifted that I may have words of encouragement for others. I pray for those that are lost and can't find their way.

I pray for those that are misjudged and misunderstood.

I pray for those who don't know You intimately.

I pray for those that don't believe…. But I thank You that I believe that God changes people and God changes things.

I pray for all my sisters and brothers.

For each and every family member in their households.
I pray for peace, love and joy in their homes; that they are out of debt or are working to get out of debt, and all their needs are met.

I pray that every eye that reads this knows there is no problem, circumstance, or situation greater than God.

Every battle is in Your hands for You to fight.

I pray that these words be received into the hearts of every eye that sees it
In Jesus' name, Amen!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Sleeping in the Crib

I'm thankful to report that Isabella is sleeping 100% in her crib unless Mommy feels like snuggling. She is doing an awesome job, sometimes she wakes for her feeding and it takes like an hour for her to fall asleep again, which will be easier when we put her in her bedroom at our new apartment since I can let her cry a little bit more without waking Adam.

So I will definitely say that letting her cry for bit in her crib does the job, but I'm not a purist. I feed her, rock her, then lay her down and pat her back for a few minutes before I leave the room and I only let her cry for like 10 minuets before I'll check on her and pat her back to calm her down again. She doesn't normally need me to come in again after that. So I'm definitely not a purist to the let them cry technique but I do it enough that it works and to the point where I'm comfortable with it too.


I'm pleased as punch! I just bought my NEW MOON tickets! My brother and I are going to the midnight showing at 12:02 am, I can't wait. I might be surrounded by screaming teenage girls but I don't care I can't wait to see the movie. I've waited one year for this one to come out; last year I saw Twilight like 4 or 5 times in the theater, I even took Isabella to a showing at the dollar theater. I'm hoping this year I'll be able to see it at least 2-3 times. Just depends on Bells and Adam watching it.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

So we're Moving

One monthly RESOLUTION complete. Yup, were moving and unfortunately were leaving the O.C.! I've never lived outside of the O.C. my entire life, it will definitely be strange. We're moving to Mira Loma, which is between Corona and Ontario off of the 15 fwy. Our community is in the sticks but it's really nice; even if we are living across the street from a bunch of cows. We're moving on Halloween which is another bummer because we might not get a chance to trick or treat with Bella. My goal is to be done in enough time to do some trick and treating before Bella wipes out for the night, but we'll see.

Friday, October 2, 2009

My October Resolution

I have four weeks left and I don't want anything to ruin it. So far I've done great but the wear and tear of little sleep and talking ALL the time is starting to get to me. What's that old saying, "any woman worth her salt can do whatever she has to;" I truly believe that.

If there is extra I want to put it all in savings. Adam and I've been flaking and just stashing some of it away. I want to place 100% away.

This is always difficult because my family likes to do lists but I like to buy things I think they'll enjoy, I get a staisfaction from thinking about them opening it and loving it even though they didn't put it on their list. But if you mess up and are off mark then you feel bad, so their is an upshot and a downshot with my philosophy. My dear husband is a stickler for list shopping.

This is fairly important. We were planning on moving at the end of Nov but the manager just tacked on our door a letter informing us that if we choose to go past our lease date of Oct 31, then we go to month to month which will cost us $1630. That is crazy talk, I'm meeting with him tomorrow to see if he'll play ball and let us keep to our normal rent for Nov, if he won't then we'll be leaving a month early which means I need to find an apartment this weekend or next. Scary Scary...

Monday, September 28, 2009

Budget update

Money has a funny way of sneaking away from you no matter how diligent or on top of it you may be. I once read an article that had a quote that said for every one dollar you make their are ten waiting to take it. This month my husband, God bless him, worked a lot of overtime so we had some extra money come in to the budget. I diligently saved some of it, but not all of it. It seems to us that when we know were getting extra cash we decide to spend it. It's never truly on anything frivolous but did we really need to go out to eat at Papa John's when I know how to make a great pizza at home? ..... The answer is NO we did not but we did anyways or did we need to buy any of the things that we bought, not really at least not right at this moment.

Overall we did good on our budget we stayed within what we made which is great and we saved some money for Bella's 1st b-day party in February and some extra for a cute Dept 56 display for this Halloween but we went over in Store bought food and out food which is not good for our waist lines and our bottom line. So here's to a better month where we learn to put everything extra God blesses us with into savings or tithing.

My Sleepy pants daughter...

Today is the first day of trying the crying technique in our house and let me say one thing about it. IT SUCKS!!!!!!! I can't stand it, hearing my daughter cry is about the most heart wrenching thing on the planet, especially since I know all she wants to do is sleep in my arms. But I need her to be safe and for her to be so she needs to sleep in her own bed. Here are the pictures from this morning when she was in bed with me and what I have to do to make sure she is safe and her in her crib right now(literally). I hope this really works and I hope it doesn't take the 2+hrs it took today to get her to go to sleep in her crib.

The above pictures are from this morning when she was in bed with me and what I have to do to make sure she is safe and her in her crib right now (literally).

Praying for Nana

Please Pray for Isabella's Nana!
She is not doing any better and she needs lots of prayer and love sent her way right now. She's getting out of the hospital for the second time this month after a nasty spill she had at home over the weekend. Luckily she has a nurse that comes during the day that found her and was able to help her get to the hospital.

Getting older is never easy and it is especially hard on the ones who have to endure the pain suffering along with their loved ones. Adam father Bob is bearing most of the burden right now for taking care of Nana, please send some prayers of strength and patience for him too.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Good Sunday Afternoon

I hope everyone has been having a great weekend and some great work weeks. I've missed not being able to do things I love when I want to do them. It's been super busy here with me finishing my credential. I've got no time for much of anything, but I've still been trying to cook good food every night when I get home and I've been trying (key word trying) to keep the house clean but its not easy.

Adam and I have decided Isabella can no longer sleep in our bed. Before my student teaching started I was trying to break her of the habit but it wasn't going well and since I've started teaching I decided to put it off because I need my sleep but she's just too crazy in bed nowadays.

She tosses around, kicks and rolls in her sleep. Only the latter is of concern to us. If she rolls of the bed at night I don't know what I would do, probably cry. So I now have to start putting some kind of plan in action to make sure she starts sleeping in her bed full time every and all night. If I'm really dedicated I don't think it should take more than 2 weeks but well see.

I'll update on our budget later, the beginning of a new month is just around the corner! Are you ready?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

New Respect

So I've only been doing student teaching for one week and it's been super crazy. I love it but it's super hard leaving Isabella with my Mom every morning. She's the one who gets to see her every smile and laugh during the day. Not to mention feeling rushed every morning, it sucks. I can deal with having to do something and go somewhere but to have a very specific time that you are mandated to be somewhere is horrible. All those working moms who have to do this every morning since their babies were like 2 months old and they are leaving their kids with a nanny, I don't think I could do it. I know that any woman worth her salt can do anything she has to but I think it would kill me every single morning. At least I know that I will be back to normal in 6 1/2 weeks. I have an end date.

I was talking to a couple of moms at the school that I'm working at and they were telling me that they were relieved when they were able to get back to work. This tells me that not everyone thinks the same way I do. How were all of you when you had to go back to work? relieved? disappointed? sad? Am I in the minority or the majority?

For all you working mom's I have great respect for you because I'm going crazy doing this for a few weeks and you all do it everyday for years!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Something Different today...

My something different for last week was going shopping at the Cabazon out in the desert. It was interesting, we thought it was going to be over 100 degrees but it wasn't that bad it hoovered around 95.

I'm really looking forward to going to the symphony this weekend. We received the free tickets for the Pacific Symphony through a mail offer. I've never been to the symphony so I'm super excited.

Anyone ever been? It's at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater their website says it's casual attire so I'm not worried about dressing to nice. I can't wait to have a date night with my husband! I so look forward to it.

Hello Everyone

Sorry I haven't posted in awhile. We've been very busy living life. I start school tomorrow! I'm excited and anxious. I'm excited because I do enjoy my time in front of the classroom, but I'm anxious to leave my baby with my mom all day. My mom is great with her but I love my time with her, I'm going to miss her so much!

Update- We did OK with throwing food away. I made peanutty brownie pizza for dessert and Adam and I did not like it so we tried pawning it off on my parents but they didn't like it either. I think it was the bananas and a lack of texture difference. Wasn't great, unfortunately.

So far our grocery bill was good even though we added Oktoberfest beer for my husband. He only gets it 3 months out of the year so I can't say no. We spent $103.12, our budget for the whole month is $450. We'll see how it goes. My shopping and food preparation will be different for the next 8 weeks while I finish up my credential, hopefully I'll be able to make delicious healthy meals, depends on how much energy I have at the end of the day.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Losing that Weight

So it's been two weeks since I've decided to really try and lose weight. I decided to get on the scale yesterday and it showed a little over a one pound weight lose. I was very pleased; I just hope it stays off. I only got in two hikes last week and none so far this week. But hopefully I'll do better this week. Tonight I'm going to go walk Rancho Santa Margarita lake with a friend and her daughter, that should be fun.

To help with my health kick I've been contemplating organic vs. non-organic foods. I wonder if it's really any healthier or if its just a bunch of garbage? I really prefer less refined or processed foods, that's why I've been trying to learn how to cook more from scratch. Other than that I've been thinking about organic meats, cheeses and milk; I'm more worried about hormones than pesticides. Anybody have any information or websites about health benefits from eating organic? Or websites about how inconsequential organic food is?

So frustrating

We had a "planned" electric outage. It was only suppose to last 6 hours...well 13 hours later we finally had our electricity back on and thankfully our a/c. It was so hot and uncomfortable. Isabella couldn't sleep because she was so hot. Adam couldn't sleep for the same reason and he had to get up at like 2 am to drive to VanDenberg Air force base four hours away. Ever time we called the electrical company to ask for an update they would just say the time frame was pushed back due to mechanical failure; code for someone broke something.

Last night was just horrible. We ended up walking the mall for like an hour and a half just to stay cool. Then when we got home it was eerie strange because there was no light. Living in the city my whole life I'm so used to street lights and other houses being all lit up, without light I couldn't see more than a few feet in front of me. Luckily the moon is almost full so there was some light from that.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

My Beautiful Daughter

Oh, how your heart expands for the love of your child!
Every time I look at her I see the beauty of Gods Creation!

Sterling Michael Corbo

A long time friend just had her second son yesterday! I'm so excited for her.

Sterling Michael Corbo
6lbs 6 oz; 18"long
Born August 31, 2009


I can't wait to post some pictures of the cutie for everyone to see.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

This Weeks Menu

This weeks waste was minimal since we ate everything on the list. I had a some leftover parsley, cilantro and celery left over from a few weeks ago that I had to throw out but other than that everything went according to plan.

hot/cold cereal
Banana Blueberry muffins

Pb&J sandwiches
string cheese
granola bars

Enchiladas with beans, chips and salsa
Chicken Cesar salad wraps
Orange chicken and stir fry rice
Pizza with chicken wings and salad
Taco Salad

We should have one night of leftovers and one night Adam will be out of town so I will just throw together whatever for dinner. If you haven't noticed lunch is pretty much always the same for us. We very the type of sandwich sometimes but the rest remains the same. Simple is better when it comes to lunch.

How much prep time do you spend trying to figure out what your going to do for the week meal wise? Planning, shopping, preparing in advance?

Recipe of the Week

This week I made my first batch of homemade Spaghetti Sauce. I would say for how simple it was it was amazingly yummy. It was also very cost effective. I made meatballs in addition to the sauce and it will create three meals for us. First night with the spaghetti, then meatball subs and then I froze the remainder to serve another night.

Italian Spaghetti and Meatballs
2 cans (28oz each) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (12oz) tomato paste
1-1/2 c water, divided
1 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp grated onion
1-1/2 tsp dried oregano
2-1/2 tsp salt, divided
1 tsp minced garlic, divided
3/4 tsp pepper, divided
1 bay leaf
6 slices day old bread, torn into pieces
2 eggs lightly beaten
1/2 c grated Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp minced fresh parsley
1 lb ground beef

1) In a Dutch oven, combine tomatoes, tomato past, 1 c water, sugar, grated onion, oregano, 1-1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp garlic, 1/2 tsp pepper and bay leaf. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered for 1-1/4 hours.

2) Meanwhile soak bread in remaining water. Squeeze out excess moisture. In a large bowl combine bread, eggs, Parmesan cheese, parsley, and remaining salt, garlic and pepper. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well. Shape into the size meatball you like, I prefer 1 in.

3) Place meatballs in a shallow baking pan. Bake uncovered at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until no pink. Transfer to spaghetti sauce, simmer until heated through, stir occasionally. Discard bay leaf before serving.

Most would say it's easier to buy the canned sauce and I would agree but theirs nothing that tastes as good as the home made variety!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Losing that Weight

So today's the end of my first full week trying to lose the weight. Again.

It was not too bad. I wasn't great but I didn't expect to be. I wanted to ease myself into the process. I didn't get on the scale to judge my progress because I don't want this to be a "weight issue." I just want to be healthy, their is too much focus on the number. What I want it is to just be OK with what I'm serving my family every night and what I'm doing to keep my body healthy.

Everyone always talks about the stewardship of money which I think is very important but people don't really talk about stewardship of you body as much. Gods dwelling place is inside of me and I don't want him living in a rundown shack I want to make sure he's at least hanging out in a nice 2 bedroom condo with all the fixings. The Lord knows that I've tried to lose weight many times but its always been without him, this time I trying to make sure its with him, hopefully that will make a big difference.

A girlfriend of mine pointed out that I was making brownies this week and that wasn't exactly health conscious food. She's right its not. I chose to eat a small portion of anything I want to, depriving myself is never a smart move I always go back to eating the deleted food in a large portion when my self control wanes. Deleting any food item or group of items is not balanced or healthy, in my opinion its best to learn how to incorporate all foods into your diet while maintaining control. Unless of course your diabetic or some other disease which cause items to be deleted then you have to work with whats allowable for you body.

Something Different today...

Last week when I was out with a girlfriend I mentioned to her that if you aren't vigilant then life just passes you by. I noticed this because while I was cleaning my house I kept getting a sense of deja vu, it was as if the interceding week had never even occurred. So this week I made it my mission to DO something different, no matter how small it was. I needed a change.

I decided to do a hike! I'm not in the greatest shape yet so I was a little worried to try anything too rugged. So I chose one that I didn't think would be much of a challenge; it's just down the street from my apartment and it starts next to a del taco.

At first when I got out and started with what I thought was the beginning of the trail I was quickly disappointed because it made a sharp circle into a "zen" garden with a few benches and butterfly art pieces. I was sad so I packed Isabella back up in the car and started to drive to the lake. I didn't get very far because not more than 10 yards up the street was the trail head. So I parked at the nearest center and began my exploratory hike at Oso Creek Trail.
(http://www.localhikes.com/Hikes/osocreek_4472.asp) You can use this link to check out my hike and others near you. I enjoyed myself and I got to experience something different besides my normal lake walk.

God said he wanted us to live life abundantly, I think he would want to make sure we all got to experience something new on a weekly basis. Don't be passive, hoping for new experiences to land in you lap we are all creature of habit. If you don't go out and try new things, life experiences will pass you by.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Grocery Shopping

Went shopping yesterday and I did pretty good. I spent $70.90. I didn't want to spend over $70 so I did good. We also had to make a trip to Cost Co. for some beer. That added to are total for the week with an additional 24.13. Still doing good for the month. I still have $75 for next week. Yippee! Maybe I will actually stay within the food budget this month. I never seem to be able to stay within it.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

This Weeks Menu

Last weeks menu went fairly well. The steak in my fajitas didn't get tender enough so those weren't that good. I had to throw those away but for the most part dinner went well.

This weeks menu is:
hot/cold cereal

PB&J sandwiches
string cheese
granola bars

Crispy chicken cutlets w/ egg noodles (leftover from last week)
Tuna sandwiches w/ salad
Baked Chimichangas w/ beans and rice
Hawaiian baked chicken w/ stir fry rice
Spaghetti & meatballs w/ garlic bread
meatball sandwiches

Candy Crunch brownies

I want to hit below $70 for groceries this week. Hopefully I'll be able to pull it off. Only a couple of the dinner I need to buy items for. Since dessert and one dinner I already had the items to from last week.

Recipe of the Week

Chicken and Rice Dinner

1broiler/fryer chicken, cutup
1/4 to 1/3 cup all purpose flour
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 -1/3 cups water
1-1/2 cups uncooked long grain rice
1 cup milk
1 tsp salt
1 tsp poultry seasoning
1/2 tsp pepper
chopped fresh parsley

1.) Dredge chicken pieces in flour. In large skillet, brown chicken on all sides in oil over medium heat.
2.) In a large bowl, combine the next six ingredients. Pour into greased 13in x 9in x 2in baking dish. Top with chicken.
3. Cover lightly with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 55 minutes or until rice and chicken are tender. Sprinkle parsley before serving.

I had to cook this dish an additional 30 minutes so beware. But the rice was super yummy and the flavor of the whole dish is delicious. You can use whichever type of chicken that you please.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Halloween Costumes

Just wanted to take a moment and ask what is up with women's Halloween costumes. It seems as though you can either dress up as a witch, a slut, or a witch who is a slut. I don't get it. Why are men's costumes funny or scary, whereas women have to be provocative?

What started this trend? Did women make the trend popular, where we buying slutty costumes only so the corporations started producing more and more? or did the corporations decide for us that we are only eye candy so they changed the costumes to suit what they deemed appropriate Halloween attire?
The costume to the left was labeled Charm School Dropout. Is that what any female wants to go to a party as. This was the most covered up costume I could find. The rest was basically fetish lingerie.
Would you let your 16 year old wear this out of the house to school? I think not. So why is it ok on Halloween?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

First Workout

So, I called my girlfriend Christina up this morning and we met up at the lake for my first workout since vacation,which was at the beginning of July. It was excruciating. I don't think it would have been so bad except for my daughters stroller weighs like 20 lbs plus her so going up hills while pushing 40+ lbs sucked. But I feel better now that I did it. I now know what it will feel like if I ever have a heart attack. I can't wait until I am at a point when it doesn't hurt so much to workout.

Does anyone actually enjoy working out? If your being honest, do you get jazzed for your workouts or do you only like the after effects of the endorphins and the way it makes your body look?

I personally can't stand working out, it takes everything I have to actually get my booty out of the car to workout, but once the workouts done and somewhere in the middle of it I begin to enjoy the experience. But always at the beginning it sucks and I don't want to do it.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Baby Weight

Oh.... the dreaded baby weight. I was able to shed a large portion of the lbs that I gained with my daughter very quickly due to breastfeeding. I was shocked after I had her, within' like 2 weeks I had dropped the first 20 lbs, then by the time she was 2 months I was down 40 lbs. But that left the last 10lbs of weight for me to work on getting off.

I waited until May before I really started to work at trying to relinquish the last 10 to the diet gods... because I so didn't want to deal with it. Fortunately by my summer vacation trip to Maryland to visit the in-laws I was able to drop 4 lbs which left me with 6 to go. Unfortunately, by the end of that trip I was back up to 10. Now 5 weeks later I am back to 6 lbs left to drop. Which isn't so bad except that I still haven't been able to get focused to try and lose it.

Also, when I got pregnant with Isabella I was trying to lose weight. So just a second ago while I was sitting on the couch enjoying my afternoon cookie I realized I technically have 36lbs to lose because originally I wanted to lose 30 and then I have to add the 6 baby lbs left. While I sat staring dejectedly at the last of my cookie crumbs I wondered if I was going to be able to really focus and finish getting the darn weight off.

I have done weight watchers before but due to a tight budget actually signing up for the program is not a possibility. So now I am going to be conscientious eater and lose this weight. I'm sure we've all made the effort before to lose weight and we all probably only succeed maybe 10% of the time. But I don't want to go to the pool or beach next summer with a roll of baby weight still attached to my middle and dimples where there shouldn't be any. I want to look like the 24 year old that I am.

My cousins, Tessa, Nic and Jen and my Aunt Kim are the perfect example for me. They have all lost the baby weight and look great now. Tessa, especially lately, has been doing outdoor exercise (mountain biking) which is my favorite. I don't think I could do mountain biking because I'm an absolute klutz but I need to start really taking care of my body and lose this darn weight. Plus I need to take greater care in creating dinners that have great taste but less calories. I have a huge sweet tooth since being pregnant so nixing all dessert treats is a no-go but I will try and find ones that are less in calories and fat.

Is there anyone else who wants to try this mission with me? Losing weight is always easier with a friend. We can swap recipes that we find and we can check in on progress every Wednesday. Leave a comment if you want to help each other out.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Comleted Grocery Shopping

I never got to go grocery shopping Saturday like I wanted to, so I went this afternoon and I wanted to say that I came out under budget with the help of a store preferred card and a store coupon for $5 off the entire purchase I walked out of Albertsons for $79.89 with tax.

Rice 1.89, Spagehtti Sauce 1.29, Jelly 3.19, Bread 3.99, Salad Dressing 3.69, Cheetos 1.69, Tortilla chips 2.50, No Yolk Noodles 1.29,Black Beans (2) 2.38
Total 21.91

Baking Goods
Chocolate Chips 2.99, Yeast 2.89, Vanilla Extract 5.99, Flour (2) 4.58, Corn Syrup 3.39
Total 19.84

Soda +crv 5.10
Total 5.10

Milk 1% 2.99, Whipping Cream 2.50, 12 Eggs 1.79
Total 7.28

Chicken Thighs 1.0lb 3.71, Blade steak 1.08lbs 3.23
Total 6.94

Bananas 1.13, Peachs 1.97, Limes 1.95, Avocado (3) 5.97, Garlic .50, Onion 1.41, Serrano chile .04, Cilantro .89, Romaine lettuce 2.99, White Corn .50, Bell Peppers(2) 1.58
Total 18.93

Sandwich bags 4.49
Total 4.49

Full Tota(without coupon)= 84.49
43 items
Hopefully we'll have no food waste this week. Some of the items can be transfered over to next week and beyond. But most of all will be consumed this week.
Have any of you tried to list your food like I did this week? I've heard it can help with trying to cut your food bill because you see item and category of where your overspending? It takes a little time to in put (like 5 minutes) on your computer but it may be worth it if you can learn to cut your grocery bill. My groceries are my largest expense besides rent, so it may be worth it for me do this everyweek. I'll try it for a month and see.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

This Weeks Menu

So this weeks menu will consist of :

Hot/cold cereal

Pb&J sandwiches
String cheese

Tortellini with bread and salad
Chicken and rice dinner w/ mixed veggies
Steak fajitas bowls with black beans rice and guacamole and chips
Steak fajita salad with leftover guacamole
Crispy chicken cutlets w egg noodles

Candy Crunch Brownies

All right off to the market. I have $250 left in my budget for groceries for the rest of the month. I want to spend $90 or less for groceries this week.
Who uses coupons? How do you stay within your grocery budget?

Friday, August 14, 2009

The Joy of Parenting

Last night as I started to go to sleep at 11:00pm my daughter decided to wake up. At first I was annoyed but then I began to remember that God says that all children are a blessing. I have tried to remember this every day when I begin to become tired and run down.

God didn't say that she wasn't a blessing when she wasn't pooping up her back and all over her clothes, or when she bites me while nursing, or when she decides she wants to play at 2:30 in the morning. He didn't say that Isabella was a blessing just between the hours of 9am-6pm when it's convenient for me, I don't get to choose when shes a blessing in my life or what she's doing while she's a blessing. Each and every cry, dirty diaper, midnight wake up call, spit-up down my top, laugh, smile and new skill she learns teaches me how to be a better mom by her blessing me with more patience, perserverance and the ability to find the joy in the middle of it all.

Sometimes it's not always possible to remember that I have so much to be thankful for especially when its been days since I've had more than 4 hrs sleep but everyday I try to look for the joy in the moment. I remember that she's isn't always going to need me for so much, eventually she'll grow up and not want me around; but for now she is dependent on me.

I have been blessed each and everyday with a beautiful, healthy, happy little girl. I can say Amen to that!

How do you remember that your children are a blessing, even when they are having a mega meltdown?

Recipe of the Week

Hawaiian Baked Chicken
Yield 6 servings

12 boneless chicken thighs
2 cans (8 oz each) unsweetened crushed pineapple, undrained
1/4 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup Dijon or spicy brown mustard
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoon butter, melted
1/2 tsp paprika

Step 1:
Arrange chicken in a shallow baking dish coated with nonstick cooking spray. In small bowl, combine pineapple, broth, mustard, honey and butter; mix well.

Step 2:
Spoon over chicken; sprinkle with paprika. Bake uncovered at 400 degrees for 30-45 minuets. or until temp reads 180 degrees.

This was the first time I made this recipe for my family and we really enjoyed it. Its simple to make and very delicious and healthy. You can change the quantity and type of chicken to suit your family. I made it with 2 chicken breasts and cut down on the quantity of the sauce to suit just my husband and I. I made it with fried rice to compliment the pacific islander style of the chicken. Most of the ingredients are normally in my pantry so this was a successful and cost effective recipe.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

My Grand Debut

I've never posted before, but after reading some very fun and imaginative posts I feel like I can do this too. I don't think too many people will ever read this but who knows maybe my struggle will help someone else in a similar situation. I have been a wife for 2 years 2 months, and a mother to Isabella for 6 months. I plan on writing about my life, on how I plan to use God's sovereign will to navigate my life, while being the best stay at home wife and mother I can be. My family lives on a modest budget and we struggle, but with God, family and friends we try our best to live life abundantly and with love. I hope you enjoy reading about my journey, it may never be called an epic story by most... but it is my life.