Sunday, September 30, 2012

My Newest Addiction: Free Lightroom Presets

My bff introduced me to free downloadable Lightroom presets today... LOVE THEM! Here is the site he told me to visit. I like that it tells you how to install them, because I literally had no idea.

I have been using just the standard presets and not getting very technical. Here are some photos from a few months ago made YUMMY thanks to new FREE Lightroom preset.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Menu Plan Monday - September 24, 2012

My cabinets are so full that I have NO ROOM to go grocery shopping. My husband asked me if I was stocking up for a natural disaster... This week I will focus on making space in the cabinets, as otherwise I will have to store food out on the counter (yes my cabinets are THAT full). I still have like 6 boxes of Hamburger Helper in the cabinets too....

Monday: Chicken and Dumplings like my Grandmother makes
Tuesday: Grilled chicken
Wednesday: Ravioli
Thursday: RANGERS GAME! Hot dogs and junk!
Friday: Hamburger Helper
Sat: Spaghetti
Sun: Hamburger Helper

Need inspiration? Visit the Menu Plan Monday link up on to see hundreds of meal plans by real moms, and dads, and singles, and everyone in between! 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Pics of My Mini Me

I took these pics of my mini me a few months ago. I have edited them and want to show you! Can't wait to have them printed!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Cooking Something New

So I'm doing a personal challenge where I cook something new at least one day a week. This week I completed my challenge on Monday. I tried a Chicago Deep Dish recipe from Kraft and a really unhealthy garlic cheesy bread recipe. (Recipe links listed on Monday's Menu Plan post.)

The Chicago Deep Dish recipe had the H unhappy before I even preheated the oven. I told him how the recipe had the meat and sauce in the same pan and cheese on top... I had to listen to how that IS NOT how Chicago style pizza is made... MEN!

When it came to the bread, the REALLY UNHEALTHY bread that called MAYO, I let the kids make it. I helped them understand the recipe, but they mixed it and topped it themselves. We made a double batch, so TWO WHOLE STICKS OF BUTTER were in this. The kids loved it, I thought it was way too much butter.
Any thoughts on something new I could try next week?

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Menu Plan Monday - September 17, 2012

Here is my Menu Plan for the week. Last week was a success (minus the fact that the dear husband hated everything because he hates corn and isn't into trying kitchen experiments).

Monday - Chicago Deep Dish Pizza, Cheesy Garlic Bread (I will have to hide the fact that I purchased mayo for these, as my PICKY husband HATES mayo, I'll let you know how it goes), and Salad

Tuesday - Cracker Barrel style Chicken and Dumplings and Butter Dip Biscuits

Wednesday - Hamburger Helper Beef Pasta (don't judge, it was on sale dirt cheap!) and potatoes

Thursday - Mexican Casserole (my family's recipe that I will soon post), chips and salsa, fruit

Friday - Grilled Cheese Social's The Single's Special (looks YUM) and scrambled eggs... seems like a good match

Saturday - Lunch: Snake Bite Calzone
Dinner: Fast food...

Sunday - Lunch: Tortilla Pizzas
Dinner: Hamburger Helper Cheeseburger Mac (I have 6 boxes to get through) and Tots

Last week I was asked why I don't have breakfast or lunch foods listed. My kids eat breakfast at school, and I skip it. As for lunch, with the kids gone M-F I usually just eat leftovers or heat up soup.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Chicken Spaghetti Recipe

As promised, here is the chicken spaghetti recipe listen on my weekly menu plan. We had this Tuesday night for dinner and it was really good!

  • cooked and cubed boneless skinless chicken breast
  • one box of pasta
  • 1/3 of a Velveeta block cheese, cut into cubes
  • one can cream of mushroom
  • one can cream of chicken
  • one can of Rotel
Cook the pasta. I used thin spaghetti, but the woman I got this recipe from uses penne noodles. Preheat your oven to 350 F. Drain, then put them in a box baking dish.

Add in the cooked chicken, the cheese, and all three cans listed above. Mix it up really good. Put it in the oven and baked uncovered for 25 minutes. When it is done, mix it up again, and allow it to cool. That's it! Quick and easy!

10 WW PointsPlus Enchilada Casserole and a Lindsey Pavao Song

Last night I made the Enchilada Casserole recipe from the Taste of Home website. After browning ground beef and layering it together, I sat down and surfed Pinterest while it baked itself in the oven. 30 minutes later we had a home cooked family dinner that was REALLY GOOD!

Here is what it looked like:

10 Weight Watchers Points Plus Points or 9 Points on the old system for a 1 cup serving. This recipe feeds a small army.

Next time the hubby wants to skip the corn and instead add rice. He isn't a corn fan. My boys LOVED IT, and I loved it. My picky eater opted for cereal.

Here is a link to the recipe!
Here is my song of the day. It's a brand new YouTube vid from my FAV Lindsey Pavao. I could listen to her allllll day. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Menu Plan Monday - September 10, 2012

This is the first week I am participating in Menu Plan Monday link up on the Organizing Junkie website. This is what we will be eating this week:

Mon: Enchilada Casserole
Tues: Chicken Spaghetti (Recipe will be posted soon on this blog)
Wed: Chicken and Noodles Skillet
Thurs: Tortilla Soup
Fri: Caleb's 7th Birthday! His fav hot dogs!
Sat: Tacos & Rice
Sun: Pizza

Menu planning saves me a ton of money. I don't have to try to make dinner decisions at the last minute, and I won't end up making the 20 minutes drive to town for fast food. I know exactly what we are eating for dinner, so I don't buy random junk. I shop once a week, or once every two weeks, so I don't have to go to the grocery store every few days.

I URGE you to give it a try. There are hundreds and hundreds of blogs on the MPM link up site to get inspiration from. Many are low fat, dairy free, peanut free, kids friendly, budget friendly..... Whatever you want there will be inspiration for.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Christmas Is When?!?!?! A Christmas Dress Story

My husband pointed out that there is only 8 more paychecks for him until Christmas. I was like "Are you serious!?!?!" He gets paid bi-weekly for those of you doing the math.

Now I have the holidays on the brain. I love Fall. I love Halloween and Thanksgiving and leaves and pumpkins and sweaters and snuggling...

With these thoughts on my brain I went in search of the perfect xmas dress for my 5 year old Hazel. Last year I waited until the last minute and wasn't happy with the picked over selection in stores. This is the dress I bought:

$25 from Zulily for this DESIGNER dress! If you don't know what Zulily is, it's a site that has KIDS AND MOMMY clothes and toys up to 90% off!

I think I am buying this one today:

$13! She can play dress up and wear it to ballet. Heck, I'd even let her wear it to McDonalds for $13!

So here is the deal, if you sign up and later make a purchase, I will get a credit to help fund my kids clothing addiction. Here is the Zulily link. Check it out. It is an affiliated link. I have ordered a ton of stuff from Zulily and never had a problem. I LOVE IT and I think you will too. It's a great place to score deeply discounted holiday gift. Xmas is only 8 bi-weekly paydays away ya know. ;)

Friday, September 7, 2012

This Is What I use

After a nice summer break, I have returned to find emails from several of you that include the same camera and photo related questions: What kind of Canon Rebel do I have? What photo editing software do I use? I have linked to the exact products with my Amazon Associates account that I use. I use them, I am a newbie, I love them, and I am excited to share with others who have wanted to know.

My camera is the Canon Rebel T3. This is a BASIC EASY NEWBIE FRIENDLY camera. I LOVE it! I have nothing bad to say about it. This is also a great price!

As for photo editing, I use two programs; Photoshop Elements 10 and Lightroom 4.

And here are a few of my favorite photos I took while enjoying my summer break. Enjoy!

So many things we saw; the Texas coast, Houston, Galveston... The last pic is from a maternity session I shot for a relative.