Monday, November 22, 2010

the firepit.

Supplies needed:
1 tractor tire rim
3 walnut logs from wood pile
1 bag concrete mix and stain for faux rocks
1 very handy and talented husband

Friday, November 12, 2010

we love suppertime.

We pray and we eat and we talk about our day. We set Shep in his Bumbo seat on the table right next to us while we eat, giving him little tastes of what we're having. But I have to tell you this little secret that has changed our lives. In the past we absolutely dreaded the what-should-we-have-for-dinner-tonight dilemma. Ugh. And I dislike having an empty fridge, which we often do, because I also despise grocery shopping. But no more. Thanks to Emealz. For real.

Each week I print off a meal plan for that week, which consists of easy recipes for each night (requiring about 30 minutes of prep time) and a grocery list, arranged by department (i.e. produce, frozen, dairy) for ease of shopping. I email the ready-made shopping list to Winn, who stops at the store for those items on his way home from work (usually on Mondays).

In the above photo we're making tender chicken Parmesan with roasted vegetables. Next up on the menu: sausage-cheese chowder with celery sticks and biscuits! So far I have downloaded four weekly meal plans, and we haven't had a single recipe we didn't like. And almost every night at the dinner table Winn and I will say to each other how much easier (and yummier) mealtimes have been lately. A couple more reasons why we love it:

* You can choose meal plans for anywhere from 2 to 6 people.
* You can indicate if you'd like a vegetarian menu, gluten-free, low-fat, low-carb (no thanks!), etc.
* You can specify the store where you'd like to shop (Walmart, Aldi, etc.), and they will base the menu on the weekly sales.
* So far our grocery bill has been between $35-$45 per week (this doesn't include staple items).
* With the meal plan for 2, there are enough leftovers to pack for Winn's lunch the following day.
* Only the popular recipes are repeated and only every 4-6 months.
* Emealz was created by a stay-at-home mom of four kids and wife of an associate pastor and co-created by her sister, so these are real moms creating simple meals for busy families.

It does cost, but only $1.25 a week, which can easily fit into the grocery budget and which can be recouped by the money saved from buying groceries that you don't end up using and time saved from having to plan meals, make grocery lists, and take last-minute trips to the store for something to make for dinner. You can try a sample menu on their website for free.

Lastly, I have not been asked by anyone to write about this. I saw it mentioned on someone's Facebook comment a while back and decided to give it a try, and we have been oh-so-happy with it! It wasn't until after I had already signed up for Emealz (honest!) that I realized there was a referral program. So if you do sign up, please use the link below, and that way I can earn a commission when you sign up. Thanks!

E-MEALZ Easy Meals for Busy and Frugal Families

Sunday, November 7, 2010

at 6 months you...

* Have two pearly whites.
* Can sit up by yourself.
* Make us so happy with your little giggles and smiles.
* Are taking fewer (and shorter) naps during the day.
* Still shudder and gag when we feed you solid food.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

saturday morning favorites.

Pulling Shep in bed with us and cuddling, playing peek-a-boo, and chattering/Donuts from Otto's Bakery/Working outside/A bottomless pot of coffee/Making things, like banana bread and applesauce/Feeding the chickens/Eating cashews while watching local tv