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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Frugal Tip - Dresser Drawer Organiziation

Ok, let's come clean ... my dresser drawers are a MESS.

Yeah, yeah, I'm the Laundry Slayer, for the most part ... you will never, EVER find a basket of clean clothes crammed together, unfolded, wrinkled beyond hope.

However ...

Even with good intentions, my drawers, specifically, the tshirt drawer, is a nightmare.

Evidence:



Yeah. I should be ashamed of myself.

Its simply because I have so many cotton shirts, in various colors and styles (tanks, straps, workout, tshirt, etc.) and when I'm in a hurry and it's still DARK, I just grab til I find the one I want, then shove them all back in the drawer and slide it shut.

Repeat the following day ... and so on.

But then I spotted this on Pinterest ... and thought, wow, that's like pretty cool and neat ... but also thought, ain't no way in hell it's going to work for me ... I mean, I'm going to have to refold ALL those shirts ...



Can I tell you ... 10 minutes one morning (while it was LIGHT out) and here's what I have ...



And more than 3 weeks later, it still looks pretty much the same!

I'm enjoying it so much that I've done my pants (yoga and exercise pants) drawer (which also houses my sundresses for poolside) and getting ready to start the shorts drawer.

Another good thing that happened? It gave me the perfect opportunity to weed out the easiest, most undesirable clothing ... once I laid my hands on something in the bottom of the drawer and remembered why I hadn't worn it for months, it went in the Goodwill bag ...



Go ahead, give it a shot ... Works for me!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Easiest Berriest Smoothie

Berry Berry Easy to make ... 

Berry Smoothie ... 

Easy Berry Smoothie ... 

Berry Easy Smoothie ... 

You got the point? ITS EASY TO MAKE A HEALTHY BERRY SMOOTHIE ... 



Yup. That was shouting! Sorry, but I'm so happy about this ... 

See, I stopped doing yogurt and dairy products, for the most part. Imagine that, ME, the huge cheese freak, has given up CHEESE about 95% of the time ... after I took out the nachos and pizzas, cheese just doesn't play a big role in my life anymore ... 

And most smoothie recipes have yogurt or milk. Sure, I could make my own almond milk if I really wanted to but I've not gone there ... so I still wanted something simple ... 

Enter .... 



1 cup of frozen mixed berries
1 cup of coconut water ... 
Ice is completely optional and I've opted not to add it

Toss the two in the Vitamix (oh yeah, I got a Vitamix for Christmas from my bosses and I STILL have not written a post on it yet ... does that tell you anything??) and let it rip ... 



Serve up and enjoy ... 



Did I tell you how BERRY EASY this was?? :-)






Linking up with the following GREAT blog hops ... go check them out! Tempt My Tummy, Tuesday At The Table, Tasty Tuesday, Tuesday Timeout, Handmade Tuesday, Totally Tasty Tuesday, Frugal Tip Tuesday, Tuesday Talent Show, Teach Me Tuesdays, Tiny Tip Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Penny Pinching Party, The Gathering Spot, Anti-Procrastination Tuesdays, Kitchen Tip Tuesdays, Domestically Divine Tuesday, Frugal Tuesday Tip, Show Me What Ya Got, Show Me What You Got, What's Cooking Wednesday, Its a Party!, Show and Tell, Recipe Swap, Works For Me Wednesday, Sugar and Spice, Wheat Free Wednesday, Whatever Goes Wednesday, Wednesday Whatsits, Work It Wednesday, Homemade By You, Lil Luna Link Party, Whole Foods Wednesday, Whole Food Wednesdays, Whatcha Whipped Up, Healthy 2Day Wednesday, Hearth and Soul, Super Link Party, Ultimate Recipe Swap, Thrifty Thursday, Full Plate Thursday, Frugal Food Thursday, Somewhat Simple, Showcase Your Talent, Simple Lives Thursday, Show Your Stuff, Foodie Friday, Frugal Fridays, Food on Friday, Freakin Did It Friday, Anything Goes, Dwell on Fridays, Friday Foodfight, Foodie Friday, Simple Living Foodie Friday, Inspirations, Weekend Wander, Simply Delicious Saturday, Weekly Roundup, Feature Yourself Saturday, I Gotta Create, Strut Your Stuff Saturday, Saturday Link& amp; Greet, Saturday Show & Tell, Say G'day Saturday, Not Bad Sunday, Potluck Party, Sunday Showcase, Savory Sunday, Sundae Scoop, Mop It Up Monday, Mangia Monday, Creative Monday, Melt In Your Mouth Monday, Show Me What You Got, Made By You Monday, Hunk of Meat Monday, Meatless Monday, Marvelous Mess, Mix and Mingle, Making It Cuter, Motivated Monday, Mealtime Monday, Whats In The Gunny Sack, Makin You Crave Monday, Clever Chick, I Gotta Try That Mondays, Creative Corner Blog Hop, Monday Mania, Make Your Own Monday, Mix it Up Monday

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Week 5 Menu Plan

Last week of the first month of the new year. Already ... WEEK 5!!

And to think that writing 2013 on everything has NOT been an issue .... oddly enough.

We continue to use what we have on hand, which is plenty ... I suppose you should think of this as menu planning with what we already have in the house without a special trip just to pick up ingredients for a meal ... last week's Costco trip was a little more than I planned, and I also did 6 lbs of ground beef and 2 lbs of chicken breast at The Fresh Market, just because they were $2.99 a pound and well, it's good meat so I went ahead and bought some ... I also stopped at the cool produce store on my way home from Dad's Saturday and picked up about $15 worth of peppers, fruit, celery and some other odds and ends ... 

We stayed up way too late on Saturday night with some friends over ... had steaks and shrooms AND that damn Onion Dip ... I told Hubby that we have to STOP making it every weekend now, it's become a little obsessive :-) ... too much red wine and too many Bourbon Cider drinks ... which reminds me that I really need to get back on track with the healthier way of eating and drinking ... my hands have been really swollen again and pain in all the finger joints, not fun typing to say the least.

AND I am breaking from my daily eggs routine for breakfast and making a pact to use the VitaMix at least every other day for smoothies ... first up with be a yummy-licious EASY BERRY SMOOTHIE ... which is going to use what I have on hand ... hah, imagine that, will ya??

Not a whole lot of anything going on that I'm aware of at the moment so here's what I plan on cooking:

Sunday - never got around to making the chili last week so that's on for tonight ... we may just make this a snacky evening as we have plenty of leftovers too... beef in fridge and rest of ingredients in pantry ... need cilantro!



Monday - Salisbury Steaks in the crock pot with mashed taters ... I am really excited to give this recipe a try and hope to be posting a NEW recipe for you all! Meat in fridge as is the premade taters, balance of ingredients in pantry

Tuesday - chef salad. all in fridge ... may make a batch of honey mustard dressing ... 

Wednesday - chicken thighs and veggies. Chicken in freezer and veggies in fridge



Thursday - chops and green beans. Chops are in the freezer and green beans in the fridge 

Friday - It's FRIDAY and February 1st! Burgers on the grill baby! Will need to buy buns

Saturday - Hubby's choice ... being tomorrow is super bowl, we may keep it low key as I know there are some good eats in the near future! 

Yeah, nothing too exciting although things have a tendency to change at the last minute!

What are you feeding yourself this week?

Linking up with Menu Plan Monday ... go check it out!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Costco Time!

I enjoyed the Monday off ... worked out in the morning and then did a Costco stop and then came home, put away the food, cooked the chicken, chopped up 4 heads of lettuce, toasted some croutons and said I was D O N E for the day.

Off I went to Pinterest. Lovely way to spend a perfectly good day, don't you think? Uggg. Time Sucker.

Fortunately, I did eat most of the shrimp and finished it Tuesday ... just a simple shrimp cocktail with cocktail sauce and a squeeze of fresh lemon. That was lunch at 2pm. Dinner ended up being Chicken Caesar Salad ... which Princess was home and I had to remind her that her father might like some of that when he got home from the gym ... doh.

Do you want to know what I picked up at Costco? I KNOW YOU DO! :-) I love Costco ... but it's no longer the $200 store ... prices are really starting to creep up there even and it pains me to see that ... because I know it means the regular grocery store prices are creeping up too ...

2 pkgs of boneless thick cut pork chops $16.10 less $3 and $16.38 less $3
80 pack of Donut House coffee $37.99 (the Kirkland brand was MIA ... associate told me they were sold out...of course, 100 cups AND about $10 cheaper and it taste just like the Newman coffee)
2 x 3 dozen xlarge eggs $4.69 each (30 cents cheaper than last time I purchased)
6 pk romaine lettuce $4.29
2 twin pks of ultra thin hillshire farm turkey (lunch meat) $8.39 each less $2 each
3 pk deodorant (Secret Clinical) $14.99 less $4
6 lbs Protein Powder (Musclemilk) $48.99 (for Hubby, NOT me)
24 pk Protein Shakes (Musclemilk) $29.79 less $6 (again, for Hubby)
8 pk toothbrush $13.99 less $4
2 Krill Oil $19.99 less $5 each (by the way, this is the BEST place to buy the stuff)
8 pack of Kirkland tuna $14.99 (not that long ago, these were $8.99, CHEAP ... now they are the same price as the other, name brand stuff. I still buy it because it's the best tuna I've found)
92 pk Tampax $13.99 less $3
Always Pads $11.99 less $2.50
4 pk (lbs) butter $7.79  (oh joy, the price went down!)
LARGE bottle olive oil $11.99
1 gallon 2% milk $3.19
Boneless spiral ham $21.24 ... $2.89/lb, this was a request from Hubby as he really enjoyed the stuff at Christmas
2 pkgs of black forest ham (lunch meat) $7.22 and $7.54
2 pkgs of cooked bacon $11.99 each
large bottle of black pepper (coarse ground) $5.39
large tub cottage cheese $4.59

Grand total? $345.86. $150 more than I wanted to spend ... so let's evaluate where I went over:

$48.99 protein powder
$29.79 less $6 for protein shakes
$10 more for the coffee (since the MIA)
$26 total for spontaneous purchase of chops as that was a good price

Ah, theres about $110 right there.  Only thing is, even though I'm against the protein stuff, they have the best deal, although I should look on amazon ... coffee was the primary reason I went and the chops were something that I could easily put in the freezer for later date (they already are) ... regardless, I still LOVE Costco!

How about you ... love, hate or don't care about Costco?

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Keeping it Simple with Mushrooms

For some reasons, Sunday can get away from me in no time ... we lazed in bed til 9:30 or so ... then got hooked on a movie which I watched while I made breakfast. YES, I do have a TV in my kitchen ... back in 1998 I was BIG into the Food Network and well, I welcomed the opportunity to follow along while I cooked ... at least, that was the reasoning at the time we were redoing the kitchen.

Anyways.

Then I got sucked in to Pinterest for about an hour on Hubby's little notebook thingy that he got for work ...

Then we ran to Target in search of something. Then to KMart. Calmed Hubby down as he was starting to get anxiety as he couldn't find what he was looking for ... and I had a moment of near weepiness when I saw the Hostess store B A R E bones .... not even a shelf was left in the store. Amazing ...

Then we got back home, it was about 3pm. I needed to prep a ton of meat to freeze and of course, Chatty showed up with the fondue pot and seasoning stuff for Hubby. We chatted for about an hour while I finished the meat and cleaned up the kitchen which NOW it's 4:30 or so ... good grief. As a side note: I wondered AFTER the fact if it was considered RUDE to continue prepping raw meat in the kitchen while chatting with Chatty? I think it was, however, I couldn't just stop and walk away from it, you know?

Hubby was hungry. We hadn't eaten since breakfast and well, I might as well toss some chicken together, right?

It's really easy. Like, grab a bottle of salad dressing, toss in the bag with your chicken, close it up and toss in fridge for hour or so.

Yup. Easy.

However, something even better?

Mushrooms. Uh huh.  Shrooms baby. These will just melt in your mouth ... here's how I do it ...


Clean shrooms and cut off the bottom of stems. Cut in half and those that are larger, cut in quarters. Then toss the shrooms in to the ziploc bag and pour a little bit of Caesar dressing over the shrooms and seal it up. FYI - I am really a fan of Ken's Light Caesar Dressing for this ... it's not a creamy dressing, but rather, oil based.  Also, don't drown the mushrooms, a little goes a long way. (I do need to try and find a homemade recipe without all the extra 'bonus' ingredients ... forward if you have one to share!)

When ready to cook, grab a big sheet of foil and put the shrooms in the middle. Try to avoid dumping all the liquid as they will release plenty.  Pull up long sides of foil and fold over a few times, repeat with sides til you have a well sealed 'packet'. I recommend using a better quality, heavy duty foil for this. Toss the packet on the grill or in the oven and cook for about 30 minutes or so.



To serve up, carefully open the foil packet and dish out into a bowl. Use care though, the steam and liquid will be Hot Hot Hot! ... food doesn't taste so good if you burn yourself!

Linking up with some of these GREAT parties ... go check them out! Show Me What Ya Got, Show Me What You Got, What's Cooking Wednesday, Its a Party!, Show and Tell, Recipe Swap, Works For Me Wednesday, Sugar and Spice, Wheat Free Wednesday, Whatever Goes Wednesday, Wednesday Whatsits, Work It Wednesday, Homemade By You, Lil Luna Link Party, Whole Foods Wednesday, Whole Food Wednesdays, Whatcha Whipped Up, Healthy 2Day Wednesday, Hearth and Soul, Super Link Party, Ultimate Recipe Swap, Thrifty Thursday, Full Plate Thursday, Frugal Food Thursday, Somewhat Simple, Showcase Your Talent, Simple Lives Thursday, Show Your Stuff, Foodie Friday, Frugal Fridays, Food on Friday, Freakin Did It Friday, Anything Goes, Dwell on Fridays, Friday Foodfight, Foodie Friday, Simple Living Foodie Friday, Inspirations, Weekend Wander, Simply Delicious Saturday, Weekly Roundup, Feature Yourself Saturday, I Gotta Create, Strut Your Stuff Saturday, Saturday Link& amp; Greet, Saturday Show & Tell, Say G'day Saturday, Not Bad Sunday, Potluck Party, Sunday Showcase, Savory Sunday, Sundae Scoop, Weekend Creations,  Mop It Up Monday, Mangia Monday, Creative Monday, Melt In Your Mouth Monday, Show Me What You Got, Made By You Monday, Hunk of Meat Monday, Meatless Monday, Marvelous Mess, Mix and Mingle, Making It Cuter, Motivated Monday, Mealtime Monday, Whats In The Gunny Sack, Makin You Crave Monday, Clever Chick, I Gotta Try That Mondays, Creative Corner Blog Hop, Monday Mania, Make Your Own Monday, Mix it Up Monday, Tempt My Tummy, Tuesday At The Table, Tasty Tuesday, Tuesday Timeout, Handmade Tuesday, Totally Tasty Tuesday, Frugal Tip Tuesday, Tuesday Talent Show, Teach Me Tuesdays, Tiny Tip Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Penny Pinching Party, The Gathering Spot, Anti-Procrastination Tuesdays, Kitchen Tip Tuesdays, Domestically Divine Tuesday, Frugal Tuesday Tip