Friday, November 26, 2010

Game Giveaway entry

Mama’s Holiday Wish List Meme

TodaysMama  and GameStopGame Stop are giving away a sleighful of gifts this holiday season and to enter I’m sharing this meme with you.

1. What is your holiday wish for your family?
Good health and safety! 

2. What is your Christmas morning tradition?
French breakfast puffs, my dad reading a story, then present opening 

3. If you could ask Santa for one, completely decadent wish for yourself, what would it be? 
A massage, manicure and pedicure

4. How do you make the holidays special without spending any money?
Christmas music on Pandora, hanging out and playing games, driving around to look at Christmas lights

5. What games did you play with your family growing up?
Pit, Taboo, Shanghai Rummy

6. What holiday tradition have you carried on from your own childhood?
Puffs on Christmas morning!

7. Where would you go for a Christmas-away-from-home trip?
Illinois to visit my husband's parents

8. Check out GameStop (link to: and tell us, what are the three top items on your GameStop Wish List this year? 
Playstation Move, Dragon Age 2 pre-order, Guitar Hero Heroes of Rock

Friday, October 29, 2010


Oh hey, it's been a loong time since I posted.  I blame it on work :-)
I just finished planning out our menus for November.  I like to plan for a month ahead of time because then I can just spend a half hour planning and then do a mega grocery shopping trip. (Usually Aldi for almost everything, then to HyVee for stuff I can't get there)  Let's just say the freezer is stuffed when I get home! 
I go about every week to HyVee to get things like fruit or milk.

November is a "clean out the freezer" month--so I'll be able to buy some extra baking supplies for the holidays!

To make menu planning as easy and pain free as possible I have a spreadsheet on my computer with the various things I make for dinner and the ingredients I need to buy.  It took a while initially, but after that it only takes me about half an hour to plan for the whole month.

I'm really bad about planning side dishes--I like to throw veggies in whatever I'm cooking and have a one dish meal! :-)  I also only plan dinners because we usually eat leftovers for lunch or eat at our work cafeterias, and breakfasts we just eat whatever!

So here are the things I'm making by week (or that Mike will be making on weeks where I work evenings):
Chipotle Bean Burritos, Oatmeal Pancakes, Corn Fritters, Dutch Baby
BBQ pork chops, Potato Corn Chowder, Hamburgers and curly fries, Spaghetti Pie, Bacon and egg quesadillas
Hot Wing Soup, Broccoli Cheese and Rice, Chana Masala and rice, Baked French Toast and sausage
BBQ pizza, crock pot potatoes and ham, sausage eggwiches
Spaghetti and garlic bread, Chili dog casserole

This is probably the biggest way I save money and time for our household! Plus I don't like having to think about what's for dinner.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Lemon-Thyme chicken

This is one of my favorite ways to make chicken--also a bonus because chicken quarters go on sale for $.69-.89 a pound!

 (This is the chicken before I cooked it! Just in case you were wondering)

 Lemon Thyme chicken
2 chicken quarters (thigh and leg)
1 lemon
8 or so sprigs of fresh thyme
fresh rosemary
1/2 stick butter

Put the chicken in a roasting pan (I use a cast iron dutch oven) skin side up, cut the lemon in half, squeeze the juice over the chicken and throw the two halved in the pan.  Put the herbs on top of the chicken, season with salt and pepper then cut the butter into small chunks and put it on the chicken.  Roast for about 5-10 minutes at 425 to make the skin crispy, then bake at 350 for about an  hour or until a meat thermometer reads 165.

I served it with some mashed sweet potatoes!  Yum!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Cereal deal

For those of you who shop at HyVee there is a great deal on General Mills cereal and Era laundry detergent.
I got six boxes of cereal and a 100 oz bottle of Era for $6!  I was excited :-)
I had a coupon for the cereal and for the detergent that I got from the paper, and found a box of Multi-grain Cheerios (my favorite, but I never buy them because they are usually too expensive) marked down because the box was squished!
Here's the link to the HyVee coupon. Basically you get $10 instantly and a $6 Catalina prints off for next time (mine didn't print off for some reason, but one of the managers was really nice and was able to get it to print for me).

I also got my hubby Cinnamon Toast Crunch--his favorite.  My guy LOVES cinnamon.  And oatmeal.  And butterscotch.  But not all together. :-)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

anniversary trip

This last Sunday was our first wedding anniversary--we've been planning a trip for a while for a get a way weekend.  We rented a cabin in near Dubuque and it was awesome--there were three cabins--two were empty except for a group in one of them on Saturday night.  They were out in the middle of nowhere and beautiful!  Here's a view from our cabin: 

And the cabin itself--it had four bedrooms in the tower--we were not lacking on space!

On Saturday we went to a local winery for a wine tasting (neither of us had ever done that before but it was fun, and there was a really cute dog there)
Then on Sunday we went to Dubuque to walk along the Mississipi
Then we went to Galena, IL to look around the cute shops that are there and then went out to dinner--it was an awesome weekend!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


I've said that one of my new hobbies is looking for deals--to help our budget go as far as possible!
That said, I have had a ton of help from a few blogs that I read regularly Deal Seeking Mom and Money Saving Mom (I realize that I am not a mom, but these sites don't require that you have children :-)  I have been able to get some pretty sweet deals, and reading these has helped me learn how to use coupons--not very good at it yet, but I'm working on it!  But an awesome deal that I got today was this razor rebate so basically I will have a razor (and extra blade) for Mike free after the rebate.  Thought I'd pass it along!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Fill in the blank Friday

I am going to borrow the idea from my friend Monica and do a fill in the blank post!

1. Today for breakfast I ate... cinnamon graham crackers
2. My go to/never fail recipe is... pizza--I love to make all different kinds like pepperoni, BBQ, breakfast--can't go wrong with toppings and homemade oatmeal crust.  (I did try to make Thai flavored pizza a week or two ago, and it was nasty though :-) so I guess you can go wrong!

3. Something I eat that other people think is weird is... I almost always eat leftovers cold.  And for breakfast (you aren't weird Monica!)

4. My worst cooking disaster ever was when I tried to make a... French Breakfast Puffs, which are a Christmas morning tradition in my family--I used cornstarch instead of baking soda.  I had hockey pucks, not breakfast puffs!
5. If I could only eat one flavor of ice cream the rest of my life it would be... I'm not a big fan of ice cream, but I love the strawberry jalapeno gelato from Capanna here in Ames

6. One food I hate and avoid at all costs is... ah, I can't really think of any food I detest :-) I'll pretty much try anything once.  Oh wait--squid/calamari is gross, and I will not eat organ meats like liver or kidney....blech.
7. What is your favorite meal? Breakfast, lunch, or dinner?... umm breakfast for dinner?  I love pancakes, eggs, bacon, fruit etc., but I don't like to eat them in the morning!