Friday, November 11, 2011

Pumpkin Muffins

I saw a very yummy looking muffin on Pinterest not too long ago.
It was for pumpkin muffins!
And to me, no other food says autumn like pumpkin. So of course I had to try them.

Needless to say that they were delicious!
I thought they were going to be dry and taste kindda bland.
But they were so moist! And just the perfect sweetness. Not too sweet to be off limits for breakfast.
And the pumpkin definitely was not overpowering. I was actually hoping to be able to taste more pumpkin than I did.

So here's how to make it:

~ 1 box cake mix - your choice...I used white
I read that yellow works well and chocolate kindda overpowers
but is yummy

~ 1 15 oz can pumpkin puree

~ Preheat oven to 350*
~ Mix cake mix and pumpkin together until cake powder is moist
~ Bake in regular muffin pan 25 min.
~ Bake in mini muffin pan 13 min.

Here's the link to the recipe I followed: Pumpkin Muffins

~ Ashley
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Monday, September 26, 2011

Menu Planning

I am so excited that I have made a menu for the last two weeks.  Last week was the first time I made a menu in a while.  And I actually stuck to it pretty well.  It helped out a ton to know what I was going to be last minute stressing.  And it especially helped out with the budget!  I somehow started running out of money with 2 weeks left of the month!  So I really needed to use what we had on hand.  Which consisted of 1 lb ground beef and 2 frozen chicken breast.  Hmmm...

So here are the menus I decided on for last week
(September 19 - 25)

Monday - Crock-pot Rotel Chicken - salad

Tuesday - Refried Bean Quesadillas - tomatos

Wednesday - whatever since Matt goes straight to class after work

Thursday - Chicken Parmasean - corn cobs

Friday - Fish Sticks - grapes

Saturday - Potato Soup - corn, cucumber

Sunday - dinner w/ extended family
September 26 - October 2

Monday - Turkey Burgers - avocado, carrots

Tuesday - Fried Rice w/ Deviled Eggs - veggies included

Wednesday - Potato Soup (frozen leftovers) - veggie tbd

Thursday - Crock-Pot Rotel Chicken (frozen leftovers) - veggie tbd

Friday - Pizza - veggie tbd

Saturday - Fried Rice (leftovers)

It's nothing fancey...especially this since we had to use what we had in the house.  But it gets us through.  Next month I'll plan better and maybe have a few meals that are a little more jazzy.  
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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Thank Goodness Walmart Price Matches!

I went to walmart today to do some desperately needed grocery shopping!  I have been out of fruits for nearly a week. We've had some veggies but just green peppers, lettuce, and onions.  Who wants to snack on those?  So every time Rayelle goes to the fridge for a snack I have had nothing to offer her except hotdogs and peanut butter.  So I had to make the trip today.  And we were just about out of milk. 

But it truly is a blessing from Heavenly Father that walmart will match competitor add prices.  We have a handful of Spanish markets around who send their adds out and they have AMAZING prices on their produce.  Sometimes you can find regular grocery items for a good deal too.  But generally speaking, when I've gone to their stores to buy the produce it isn't the best quality. 

So walmart is the next best thing.  And since we have a budget that we are trying really hard to stick to, we count it as a blessing.  It's almost like stealing the prices are so good! 

So here is what I got today for super cheap.

2.21 lbs grapes for $1.11  (.50/lb)
1.61 lbs peaches for $0.81  (.50/lb)
1.01 lbs plums for $0.51  (.50/lb)
4.19 lbs gala apples for $2.10  (.50/lb)
5 cucumbers for $1.00  (.20 each)
2.47 lbs bananas for $0.82  (.33/lb)
10 lbs potatos for $1.99

Total with taxes:   $8.59
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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Liberty Park

Not sure if I've told you this before, but I have a strange daughter.  She has this fascination with putting things down her shirt.  Toys, pens, money...whatever will fit.  Usually it falls straight out and no worries.  But this time she wore a onsie and it got trapped at the bottom.  We went to Liberty Park and I went to change her diaper before we went to play, and to my surprise she was like a human piggy bank!

And Rayelle loves swings!  It's blurry but you can kinda see her big smile.

This is a cute video of Rayelle eating her ice cream cone after we went to the park.  It was her first cone she's ever eaten by herself.
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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Daddy's Girl

I always thought Rayelle would be a mommy's girl...Boy was I wrong.

I can't even describe how much a daddy's girl she has become now that she is nearly 18 months old.  When we are at church and Matt tries to leave her with me so he can go to class, she cries and runs out the door after him.  When we watch a movie, she climbs up onto the couch and sits next him.  When we wake up in the mornings, she sits in bed and points at Matt to pick her up.  And she loves to do whatever it is that Matt is doing.  So here a few pics I've captured of Matt and Rayelle together.

This is Matt watching a Baby Einstein movie with Rayelle after he got home from work.

Rayelle didn't want to eat the corn we cut off for her.  She wanted to eat it the way were, so of course Matt helped her out.

We got Rayelle some bathtub crayons and Matt was drawing pictures with her.

 This was the cutest thing.  Matt was adjusting the tricycle his mom got for Rayelle.  And Rayelle decided to help him out.  So she pulled out a screwdriver and was poking at whatever Matt was working on. Pin It

My New Cash Envelope System

Over the last few weeks, I have been thinking alot about setting a firm budget.  So at the beginning of this month I decided on a lump some of money that we would withdrawal and use for all the non-bill things that we needed.  Well, that didn't go so well. :(

So I did a bit more studying up on the cash envelope system and decided that that sounded like a more reasonable idea.  To have a system set up with envelopes designated for certain categories.

So I headed to the dollar store today and bought a cute coupon organizer (with colorful flowers all over it) and put new labels on each divider.  Then I had to sit down and decided exactly what categories I wanted to set money aside for and how much for each category.  That was the hardest part.  But after about an hour and a half I had it figured out.  The organizer has 12 dividers in it, which is exactly how many I need.  

The categories I came up with are:
  • Groceries...weeks 1 - 4
  • Case-Lot Sales
  • Household
  • Baby Needs
  • Entertainment
  • section for each of us
  • Receipts

Then during dinner, Matt and I went over the plan I had laid out and talked about what we thought of each category.  And he was just so sweet.  I guessed on the low side of things just to be safe and frugal.  But Matt told me his opinions and what he thought might need more money to work out realistically.  He really is the most caring husband a girl could have.  And we even have personal money budgeted in.  It's just a relief to know that if we want to buy something fun we can!

So it is a big relief to know that I have a system in place for next month and to know how much money I'll have to spend.  I'm very excited to see how things will go.  And an exciting part is that what I don't spend from each category this month, will roll over into next month.  I''m excited to see the clothing budget add up ;)
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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

52 Weeks of Organization...Week 4

There is a blog that I follow called Organizing Junkie.  I am absolutely in love with it!  Everything that she has to say in a precious jewel.  She has great advice...and she motivational too.  But this year she has started  a weekly process call 52 Weeks of Organization.  And every week she goes through and gives a new step to getting your home organized.  Amazing! 

So I'm going to participate in the 52 week process and keep track of my progress on my blog.  Hopefully it goes well and I can get my house in order.  Especially since we live in a small 2 bedroom condo.  And we want to be able to stay here for a little while longer since the mortgage payment is so low...cheaper than renting.

Well, I have already started with a few projects and they went well.  I just didn't think to take before/after pics.  But I will try to remember for future projects.

Things I have already done:
  • Cleaned and organized the kitchen pantry
  • Cleaned and organized under the bathroom sink
  • Cleaned and organized under the kitchen sink (actually Matt did this one)
  • Cleaned Out Rayelle's room (which has previously been used as a storage room)
  • Bought new storage drawers for Rayelle's toys since they have to stay in the living room (there is no room anywhere else)
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She's a Walker!

I can't believe that my little baby is a walker now!  The week that she turned 1 year old, she started walking.  And she refuses to let either myself or Matt help her.  If we try to hold her hands or arms, she pulls away or goes limp and falls to the ground.  So she is very independent.  I suppose that will be something to be proud of later in her life.  :)  But I just wanted to share a few pics and videos of all her cuteness today.

Every night we all brush our teeth together, and tonight I guess Rayelle decided to use Matt's toothbrush instead of her own...but the problem is that Matt was already using his!

We usually watch a movie every weekend, and Rayelle LOVES to sit on Matt's lap and eat popcorn with us. We always pop our own on the stove wit h a special pan we have.

These are evidence of what Rayelle likes to do in our bedroom when we aren't looking.  But she got busted this time :) 

She is so sweet when she sleeps!  She naps best during the day when we wrap her up and lay her on the couch.  I think she likes to be able to hear the background noise of what I'm doing. 

I'll have to upload the videos later because it wont let me right now...but look forward to it!

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