Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanksgiving Dinner Menu Plan and tablescape preview

Thanksgiving Menu Plan:
Salami/cheese/cracker tray
Crudites and dip

Stuffing w/ golden raisins and walnuts
Mashed potatoes w/ gravy
Sweet potatoes
Green bean casserole
Cranberry sauce
Cranberry Fluff

Sparkling grape juice

Pumpkin pie w/ homemade vanilla bean ice cream
Pecan Pie
Pumpkin Twinkie Dessert

A little preview of the tablescape.  Greg and I decided that we are going to use our formal china and flatware for Thanksgiving dinner this year.  We got most of this for wedding gifts and rarely use them (we do use the crystal often).  Please ignore the wrinkled tablecloth, I was just testing out the color combo.  The table linens have been washed and will be pressed for Thursday.

 Noritake Chandon Gold China
 Noritake Vendomme Crystal
Yamazaki Ariana Gold Flatware

I will post a photo of the complete tabslescape later.  I just wanted to give you all a sneak peak.  I hope all your Thanksgiving preparations are going well.  Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday because I love the food and hanging out with my family, without all the stress some other holidays bring.  A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving is also my favorite show of all the Charlie Brown movies.  :)

I bought the movie The Long Way Home for us to watch together as a family.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

I am back with a recipe review Barefoot Contessa's "Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with warm cider vinaigrette"

I have to apologize to all of you for neglecting this blog for so long.  The simple fact of the matter is that I teach 7th grade math full time, have three very active young boys (two of which played tackle football and fall baseball this fall).  That means we had two football every Saturday and two baseball games every Sunday until late October.  We had a wedding in Chicago the second last weekend of October and then we spent three nights in Door County the last weekend of October.  I spent the day shopping in Chicago the first Sat of November and last weekend we visited our beautiful brand new (one week old) niece Josie.  That pretty much brings you up to speed of where I am at.  My dh and oldest son are hunting this weekend and it is honestly the first weekend since last Spring that we I have no plans!

I promise you I have been spending loads of time cleaning, organizing, menu planning, doing laundry (some things never change), shopping, decorating, and getting us ready for the holidays.  I also planned a birthday party in Sept for my youngest, and two parties for my middle in October (which included a sleepover and taking five third grade boys and my oldest two to the HS homecoming game... yeah I am either the best mom EVER or just plain crazy).  I have had the opportunity to try out several new recipes and I will be sharing my feedback with you.  I am anxiously awaiting my copy of my new book:

I love Ina and dream of the day that she invites me over to her house for a delicious home cooked meal.  Until then I will have to settle for cooking her recipes myself.  ;)  I recently made a new recipe from Ina Garten.

Recipe review  Roasted butternut squash salad with warm cider vinaigrette


  • 1 (1 1/2-pound) butternut squash, peeled and 3/4-inch) diced
  • Good olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons dried cranberries
  • 3/4 cup apple cider or apple juice
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 4 ounces baby arugula, washed and spun dry
  • 1/2 cup walnuts halves, toasted
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Place the butternut squash on a sheet pan. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, the maple syrup, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and toss. Roast the squash for 15 to 20 minutes, turning once, until tender. Add the cranberries to the pan for the last 5 minutes.
While the squash is roasting, combine the apple cider, vinegar, and shallots in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until the cider is reduced to about 1/4 cup. Off the heat, whisk in the mustard, 1/2 cup olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper.
Place the arugula in a large salad bowl and add the roasted squash mixture, the walnuts, and the grated Parmesan. Spoon just enoughvinaigrette over the salad to moisten and toss well. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve immediately.    -Source Food Network

A photo I took with my iPhone of the finished salad.

The salad was delicious and I will definitely make it again.  The flavors really seemed to work well together.   It was a bit labor intensive for a salad, but we were eating it as our main course.  I used cubed butternut squash from Trader Joe's which did save some time.  If you decide to make the salad let me know what you think.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Twenty Questions You Should Ask Yourself Every Sunday

The following comes from the blog  Marc and Angel Hack Life.  As a very goal oriented person I think these questions would definitely keep me living my life in concert with my goals.
If you would like to maximize the benefits of self reflection, I have 20 questions for you.  These questions should be reviewed every Sunday morning or sometime during the weekend when you have some quiet time to think.  Remember, reflection is the key to progression.
  1. What did I learn last week? – If you have trouble answering this question, it’s time for a change.  It doesn’t matter how old you are, you should learn something new every week.
  2. What was my greatest accomplishment over the past week? – Reflecting on your accomplishments is a healthy way to raise self confidence and contentment.  It’s also an effective way to track your progress.
  3. Which moment from last week was the most memorable and why? – It may open up your mind to new passions and goals, or simple pastimes worth revisiting.
  4. What’s the #1 thing I need to accomplish this week? – Everything else is secondary, and should be treated as such.  Nevertheless, this question will also shine light on other noteworthy tasks.
  5. What can I do right now to make the week less stressful? – Set reminders in your calendar, get your laundry done, fill the car with gas… organize yourself.
  6. What have I struggled with in the past that might also affect the upcoming week? – The idea here is to learn from your struggles and better equip yourself for future encounters.
  7. What was last week’s biggest time sink? – Steer clear of this in the future.  Setup physical barriers against distractions if you have to.
  8. Am I carrying any excess baggage into the week that can be dropped? – Physical clutter, mental clutter… eliminate the unnecessary so the necessary may shine bright.
  9. What have I been avoiding that needs to get done? – Pencil in a time to get these things done.  For any 2-minute or less tasks, consider scheduling them first thing Monday morning.
  10. What opportunities are still on the table? – If it’s still available and you want it, make a concrete plan to go after it this week.
  11. Is there anyone I’ve been meaning to talk to? – Regular communication can solve problems before they fester.  Always keep an open line of communication to those around you.
  12. Is there anyone that deserves a big ‘Thank You’? – Take time each week to thank the people who have helped you.  Your kind gesture will not go unnoticed.
  13. How can I help someone else this coming week? – The easiest way to get what you want is to help others get what they want.  If you help them, they will remember you when you need help.
  14. What are my top 3 goals for the next 3 years? – You’ll never make any progress in life if you don’t setup realistic goals for yourself.
  15. Have any of my recent actions moved me closer to my goals? – If the answer is no, something needs to change.
  16. What’s the next step for each goal? – Knowing the next step is the key to accomplishing the whole.
  17. What am I looking forward to during the upcoming week? – The answer can act as a great source of motivation.  If nothing exists, schedule something to look forward to.
  18. What are my fears? – Consciously address your fears each week and slowly work on resolving them.  It’s all about taking baby steps.
  19. What am I most grateful for? – It’s a smart way to keep things in perspective, and something you should never lose sight of.
  20. If I knew I only had one week to live, who would I spend my time with? – Another helpful reminder… Life is short.  Spend more time with the people you care about.

Friday, August 20, 2010


If you follow my blog you probably already know about my obsession this summer with gazpacho.  Just as I was obsessed with shrimp ceviche last summer, it seems to be gazpacho this summer.  The good news is that this is so very easy, fresh, and healthy!  It is a great way to get your veggies in.  I cannot sing the praises of my gazpacho enough.

I have made three batches this summer and it is just so yummy! The first time I made it I used a food processor, the second time I only did a couple of the veggies in the processor, the third batch I chopped everything by hand. It is so chunky and delicious and a great way to get some veggies in. I was able to use cucumber, green pepper, tomato, and tarragon from our garden.

This is the original recipe I use with a few modifications. Gazpacho

I use two 11.5 oz cans of V-8 vegetable juice in place of tomato juice. I use a red onion, two or three cloves of garlic, no sugar, 1 tsp kosher salt, 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper, I sub cilantro (because I LOVE it) for the parsley, and I have been using fresh tarragon and basil.

My gazpacho:


  • 2 11.5 ounce cans V-8 juice
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cucumber, chopped
  • 2 cups chopped tomatoes
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dried tarragon (I use fresh)
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil (I use fresh)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (I use cilantro)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

The amazing cast of characters

You can see the coarse chop of the veggies.

With the herbs added in.

Fresh healthy fabulousness in a bowl!

If this sounds good to you I strongly urge you to make it.  I need to make myself another bowl this weekend (it only lasts a few days).

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Pantry Organization

Well the family reunion/50th anniversary party was a raging success!  We had such a great time and everything went so well.  All the hard work and effort Greg and I have been putting in to getting the house and everything else ready was well worth it.  People were completely impressed with the house and extremely grateful for us agreeing to host.  My boys met their cousins from NY and MN and all got along fabulously.

I We did manage to get several organization/home decor projects taken care of this summer.  I will be posting photos of several of the things we accomplished this summer so keep checking back for new posts.

Now on to the pantry!  This project took took less than a day.  I started by going through all the Tupperware storage containers and throwing things out that were outdated and consolidating things into the proper sized containers.  The blue bins (I am not a fan, but my dh bought them and they work for now) hold snacks, baking supplies, granola bars, pudding and applesauce containers.  We keep them accessible so the boys can grab snacks when we need them.  Sorry for the quality of the photos as I used my iPhone, but you can get the idea of what the pantry looks like.

It is amazing how well the clutter can be hidden behind the pantry doors.

Ben wondered why on Earth I was taking photos of the nasty pantry and wanted to be in the photo.  

Scary, I know!

Much bettter!

I love my tupperware containers!  Yes we have an absolutely ridiculous amount of cereal (not all of those have cereal in them, but most do).

Look at those fabulous potatoes we got at the farmers' market.  That empty shelf is where we keep our bread (as you can see we it was time for a trip to the grocery store).

It was such a necessity to get the pantry organized prior to having all our relatives descend on our home. That empty shelf was soon filled up after a trip to Sam's club and a major purchase for feeding all our company.

I am so thrilled that the pantry is looking so great.  I love getting everything organized before school starts.  Greg put up a nail so we can hang our plastic grocery bags that we end up using for all sorts of things.  It is so nice to have them neatly organized instead of shoved in on the side.

Hope you enjoyed the tour of the newly improved pantry!  :)

Monday, August 2, 2010

Menu Plan Monday 8-2

Monday:  Butternut squash ravioli with brown butter sage sauce (cheese ravioli for the boys), garlic sauteed spinach (beans for the boys),  chopped salad, french bread

Tuesday:  (GNO for me) Venison roast in the crockpot, mashed potatoes, wax beans

Wednesday:  Garlic lime chicken, brown rice, corn, fresh fruit

Thursday:  Dinner out before church

Friday:  Frozen pizza, salad

Saturday:  Grilled shrimp, grilled veggies, grilled potatoes, fire and ice salad

Sunday:  Spaghetti and meatballs, italian flat beans w/ garlic, salad, french bread

Chocolate chip cookies
Homemade ice cream

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Why does it take hosting a major event to get your house in order?

The fun and games are over ladies.  I start back to work in 24 days and the thought of it makes me want to cry!  ;)  It has been a wonderful summer here and we have accomplished quite a bit.  I have also made sure to have lots of fun with the boys.

We are hosting a family reunion for my hubby's family as well as his parents' 50th wedding anniversary party.  We will have *GASP* twelve houseguests for six days (as well as five others that will be joining us for meals, but staying in a hotel). Lucky them! ;)  There will be between 40-50 people for a casual Friday night gathering and then the party on Saturday.  The chorus that keeps running through my brain right now is Y'all gonmake me lose my mind up in HERE, up in here.   Hosting this event is definitely stressing me out at this point.  It's hard because this is my husband's family and he has three sisters, so even though the events are at our house, they are helping to plan them long distance.  I have no doubt I could totally pull this off on my own (and it might be easier than getting so many different ideas), but I am walking a fine line here.  Needless to say, the next week as we get ready for all of this is going to be a ton of work.  The good news is that our house will look better than it ever has by the time we are ready.

Some major things we have done:
~Painted the den
~Bought new couches for the living room and den
~Bought new decor for the console in the foyer
~Bought new bedding for our oldest ds's room (he really needed it)
~Organized the boys' bedrooms and closets (God Bless Greg he did this)
~Organized the basement (well Greg and Drew did this, I don't do basements ;))
~The cleaning lady came Thurs so the house is clean and she will be back the day before everyone arrives

Work in progress:
~Paint touch ups
~Grocery shopping and menu planning for the meals and party
~Organizing the kitchen pantry- I have been doing that today and it's been SO not fun! ;)
~Organizing all kitchen drawers
~Getting all laundry done and prior to guests arriving

What we plan on still doing:
~Buying a new blender (ours broke)
~Buying some new pillows for the boys' rooms
~Buying new fingertip towels for the powder room
~Changing the bedding in Drew's room back to PB football
~Painting oldest ds's bedroom
~I am negotiating getting the other two boys' bedrooms painted because they desperately need it.  They still have the craptastic flat builder's beige paint that shows EVERYTHING!
~Organizing the clutter corner of the master bedroom
~Organizing the master closet
~Organizing the office
~Iron and put back up the shower curtain in the boys bathroom
~Put up the valence in the boys' bathroom
~Frame the adorable prints for the boys' bathroom that I got YEARS ago.  
~A ton of baking before people get here and a MAJOR Sam's club run for food.

Things that I wanted done that just are not gonna happen:
~Painting the white doors on the main level
~Painting the white trim on the main level
~Painting the master bathroom
~Painting the powder room (this actually has been painted, but I would like to choose a color instead of beige)
~Curtains for the living room and den
~New office furniture and painting that room (that seems to be at the bottom of the priority list).

I have been taking photos of some of my decorating/organizing projects and promise to post them sometime soon.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Summer Cooking

Hello ladies.  I have been a bit AWOL from the blog world, but I do assure you I am alive and well and enjoying spending every minute of summer vacation with my boys.  Well let me rephrase that, I am enjoying spending the minutes the three of them get along, and refrain from fighting, arguing, and teasing each other.  Those minutes seem to be few and far between on some days.  :)

I definitely enjoyed the leisurely pace to my days this past week.  My oldest had FB(that would be football not facebook) conditioning Mon and Wed mornings for an hour.  He also had two nights of BB practice.  The oldest two had golf camp Friday morning.  Having one thing to do during the morning is perfect.  It gets us out of the house, but doesn't overwhelm our schedule.

I have had lots of time to cook more elaborate breakfasts than we normally have.  The favorite of the boys seems to be ham and cheese scrambled egg with bacon on the side.  We had that one morning and another morning we had the same type of eggs with sausage on the side. 

I have been stocking up on all sorts of fresh produce.  We have had watermelon, pineapple, raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, and grapes.  The boys like to make fresh fruit and yogurt parfaits.  I always have fresh limes and lemons for cooking, slicing up to flavor water, salad dressing, or baking.

I have purchased many fresh veggies for salads, lunches, and snacking.  Staples in my fridge/pantry are lettuce, cucumber, tomato, avocado (I know that is really a fruit, but I treat it like a veggie), broccoli slaw, organic carrots, celery, peppers, onions.  I haven't bought mushrooms, but those are a typical staple.

We like to keep a variety of potatoes on hand:  baking, red,  and yukon gold.  I also like to have yellow(vidalia when in season), white, and red onions for cooking, salsas or pico, and salads.

I have been craving Gazpacho for awhile now and made the linked recipe last night.  I cut it in half (good thing as it still leaked out of my cuisinart).  I did not use the three herbs suggested, but added half a chopped jalapeno (no seeds), and lots of fresh cilantro.  I have to say I was not dissapointed in the results.  It was delicious as well as fresh tasting and refreshing.

We have a very extensive herb garden that we plant every year.  So far I have been mainly using the chives and basil, but there are several herb I plan on incorporating into recipes. 

I made these delicious Nectarine Muffins the other morning.  I have made this recipe before and it never fails.  I always just use nectarines.  The other day I think I used three and then had enough batter to make 12 regular sized muffins.  These are some seriously fabulous muffins and I highly recommend you try out the recipe.

I tend to a lot of sandwiches and salads for lunch for myself.  One fabulous sandwich that I recently discovered and made several times this week, was an Arnold Sandwich thin round, ham, fresh sliced mozarrella (must some in the liquid), tomato, and basil with salt and pepper.  This is so yummy and fresh tasting with the basil picked fresh.  A side salad that I ALWAYS have the ingredients for is my Broccoli Slaw.  I take that and add 1 T sunflower seeds, balsamic vinegar, and garlic olive oil with salt and pepper.  I seriosusly never get sick of this and it's a great way to eat a veggie.  We get all our olive oils and vinegars from The Oilerie.  I cannot recommend them enough.  I use the garlic olive oil ALL THE TIME!  We usually hit the store in Fish Creek when we in Door County for a weekend, but we also can just go to the store in Brookfield.  I use their balsamic vinegar too.  We have many different flavors of both vinegar and olive oil.

We have been making a ton of different flavors of homemade ice cream, but I will do a separate post on that next week.  I hope you are all being able to enjoy that fabulous produce available this time of year (we relish summer produce in WI).

Monday, June 14, 2010

Summertime Organization

Things have been very quiet on this blog due to the end of the school year.  There has been lots of drama and tragedy at school, but I will not bore you with the details.  Suffice to say that I am THRILLED to pieces that my summer break has finally arrived.  Today is officially Day 1 of my break (not counting weekends) and I am definitely going to make the most of my time of to refresh, rejuvenate, and declutter.

We have been busy around the house (well mostly my husband Greg has been).  A few weeks ago he painted the den.  Here is a link to my other blog with photos.  Just to prove we I haven't been a total slacker.  I can't take credit for the painting, other than choosing the color which matches our accent wall in the living room.

Greg has also been busy trying to throw out all the useless crap delcutter and organize the basement.  We are hosting his family reunion/50th anniversary party for his parents this August so we have a ginormous to do list for the summer and most of it must be done prior to the party.  The good news is the house will look awesome with more rooms being painted, the bad news is all the work it will entail.

This week is kind of a transition week for me because the boys are attending VBS and our church is 40 min away so that involves lots of travel.  Fortunately they can spend some time at my parents (who live 12 min from church), but we still have BB games they need to be home for.

I have set a goal for myself that I will spend 60 min daily organizing.  This 60 min will not go toward normal cleaning/laundry, but will involve working on something that I have overlooked for a LONG time.  My first areas of business will be the master bedroom, closets, and the office.  Today I am attacking Mt Washmore so I will spend the 60 min challenge time going through things that have accumulated in our master bedroom (damn that large seating area that is just a clutter magnet these days).

I do plan on revitlazing this blog.  Thanks for all of you that have been hanging on.  I have been getting my life organized, I just haven't had time to blog about it while teaching full time.  Gotta love summer break.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Menu Plan Monday 4-26

Monday:  Sandwiches, Chips, Spinach salad

Tuesday: Balsamic roasted pork loin, Mashed potatoes, Beans, Arugula salad

Wednesday:  Leftovers (Hair appt for me)

Thursday:  Trader Joe's Ham and Gruyere Pizza

Friday:  Pot luck at Church for Drew's Communion Milestone (haven't decided what I am bringing)

Saturday:  Garlic lime chicken, Brown rice, Corn, Fresh fruit

Sunday:  Cheese manicotti, Garlic italian flat beans, Antipasta salad, French Bread

Monday, April 12, 2010

Menu Plan Monday 4-12

Monday:  Sandwiches, chips, fruit and yogurt parfaits

Tuesday: Glazed meatloaf (last time I made two so I just have to take this out of the freezer), Baked potatoes, Maple Roasted Butternut Squash (Barefoot Contessa recipe)

Wednesday:  Leftovers (Exec board meeting for me)

Thursday:  Chicken fried rice, Toast, Citrus fruits (fresh from FL)

Friday:  Pizza

Saturday:  Grilled pork chops, Grilled potatoes,  Salad,   Dessert:  Fruit pizza

Sunday:  Garlic lime chicken, Brown rice, Corn, Fresh fruit

Sunday, April 11, 2010

We're home! Sunday To Do List

We had an absolutely fabulous Florida vacation.  The weather was perfect and we soaked up as much sun and fun as we could before heading back to WI.  Speaking of heading back to WI, the traffic on the way home was absolutely crazy.  So MANY MANY delays.  I thought I might go insane.  After all the fun and games it is back to reality and my rather unglamorous to do list for the day.  I cannot believe that April will be half over this week.  I guess that's what happens when you start the month on vacation.

I plan on getting back on track with Project Organize Now.  There will be TONS of organizing going on in our household this spring/summer as we get ready to host a family reunion of Greg's family (over 20 of us) that will go from Tues-Sun with a 50th anniversary party on Friday night/Sat for extended family (probably over 50).  Thank goodness I have months to figure this all out (and of course Greg's siblings are helping with the party).  His sister's family (SIX kids)  and his parents will be staying at our house.  God Help Me!  ;)

Needless to say there will be lots of painting and some decorating to spruce things up in certain rooms.  A new couch REALLY needs to be purchased for the living room and the basement needs to be decluttered.  Greg has been working hard on that.

In the spirit of full disclosure my 40 day lent trash bag challenge was a FAIL.  I probably through out 10 bags, so the effort was not for nothing.  There was too much to do to get ready for out trip to FL an that was the first priority.

Today is all about getting back to the reality that is my non vacation life.  Boo!   We invited my parents over for dinner tonight so we can give them the goodies we purchased for them on the trip home (lots of citrus from FL and some Georgia pecans).  We will cooks something simple for dinner.  Cooper has missed them much and we skipped church this morning so we could get unpacked and organized.

Sunday to do list:
1) Laundry, laundry, and more laundry
2) Unpack, unpack, and more unpack
3) Grocery shopping
4) Weekly menu plan (after a 2 or more week hiatus)
5) Straighten up house

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Florida bound

I have been a busy busy girl for the past week getting ready for our trip to FL.  I have all three boys packed.  YAY!  Tonight I went through my clothes and put together five outfits and about 20 pairs of sandals.  I have a section of my closet devoted to possible clothes to bring on our trip and I need to keep whittling down what to bring.  I have my to do lists so I make sure nothing is forgotten.

I had a meeting after school today and decided to do some baking for our trip when I got home.  I had made the dough for some chocolate chip M&M cookies yesterday and baked them today.
I also made some Special K bars with some decorative sprinkles.

And also some rice krispy treats.  Everything looks better with sprinkles.  :)

I have all three boys packed up.  Holla!  I haven't had time to post any organization tips lately, because I have been focusing on getting packed up and organizing the house.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Planning for a road trip

We have an upcoming road trip planned to FL and I am starting the process of organizing for the trip.  We will stay at a hotel for one night on our way to visit my ILS.

Things to do before you pack:
~Make sure all laundry is clean and put away (this makes packing so much easier!) (√)
~Make sure the house is clean (no one wants to return to a messy house) (√)
~Make a shopping list for food/travel items/toiletries (√)
~Notify post office to have mail held (√)
~Cancel the paper while you are gone (√)
~Plan route on GPS or map (√)
~Get van serviced and fill tank with gas the night before you leave
~Make sure all bills are paid or set for auto pay while you are gone
~Download songs/shows to iPods
~Haircuts for boys (√)
~Get cash from ATM

Make a list of things you need to pack:
~We always pack our own pillows when we travel
~Each family member gets a list of things to pack (if your children are old enough have them make a list of the games/toys/books they want to make sure to bring)
~Each of our boys has a square carrier to keep their travel items organized in the van
~Food/snacks to pack
~Medications and first aid kit
~Pack one bag per person and then have one bag for all toiletries
~If you will be stopping at a hotel for the night pack one bag with jammies/clothes for the next day so you don't have to unpack every bag

Things to do before you leave:
~Change sheets the night before you leave so you come home to clean beds  (√)
~Make sure your house is clean.  It is so nice to come home to a sparkling clean house  :)
~Clean out the fridge before you go and throw out anything that will not be good when you return (√)
~Water plants or set them up in a water bath before you go
~Notify neighbors that are keeping an eye on your house (√)
~Set the furnace where you want it

Friday, March 19, 2010

PON Week #5 "Organize Your Personal Information"

I am following the weekly schedule found in the book:
The book is available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Week 5 is "Organize Your Personal Information" This is the first chapter of the section on Organizing Your Papers.

This Week's Goals:

~Decide where you would like to store this  information.  I have not decided where to keep my master list of where all information is stored.  If I get super organized I will leave a copy with my parents so it anything happens they have a copy of the master list.

~Label each category so it can be easily referenced.

These are the categories the book lists:  I added anything listed in blue
A)  Finances
     ~Credit score
     ~Credit/Debit Card numbers and phone numbers to call if lost or stolen
     ~Bank account numbers
     ~All budgeting information
     ~Net worth statement

B)  Health
     ~Blood pressure
     ~Health issues
     ~Cholesterol level
     ~Family blood types
     ~Insurance EOB forms
     ~FLEX receipts
     ~Immunization Records

C)  Safety
     ~Emergency contact info
     ~License plate and VIN numbers
     ~Current photos of family members with height and weight info
     ~ Photocopies of passports

D)  Just in case 
     ~Measurements and clothing sizes

E)  Other
     ~Children's report cards 
     ~Important school papers/info (I keep these in a separate binder for each of my boys)

Important Documents that should be kept in a fireproof safe:
     ~Marriage license
     ~Birth certificates
     ~Adoption papers
     ~Auto titles
     ~Stocks and bonds certificates
     ~Death certificates :(
     ~Household Inventory List
     ~Valuable contacts
     ~Home deeds and titles
     ~Insurance info

I need to get myself on track with paperwork.  It is definitely an area in my life that needs much improvement!

*Stay tuned for the chapter on "Organizing Your Trip" coming soon.  We will be a doing a road trip to FL in April and I plan on posting about getting organized for the trip.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Menu plan Monday 3-15

Monday: Pizza hotdish (recipe follows), green beans, fresh baked bread, pineapple, pear, cherry side

Tuesday: Leftovers

Wednesday: Guinness Corned Beef, cabbage, red potatoes, marble rye bread, irish soda bread

Thursday: Leftovers

Friday: Pizza

Saturday: Garlic lime chicken (recipe follows), brown rice, corn, fresh fruit  We ended up having leftovers again

Sunday: Dinner at PF Chang's

Pizza Hotdish:
Brown 1 to 1 1/2 lbs ground chuck in an electric frypan. I season the meat with Mc Cormick's Pizza Seasoning Grinder and also add sliced mushrooms. Cook one 12 oz bag of whole wheat egg noodles al dente while browning meat. Once meat is browned drain any fat and then add one 15 oz can of pizza sauce and parmesan cheese to taste. Mix in drained egg noodles. You can also add sliced black olives if you like at this point. Top with 8 oz shredded mozarella cheese and cook until melted.

Garlic Lime Chicken

Mix together:
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
½ tsp onion powder
½ tsp thyme

Sprinkle mixture on both sides of:
6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves

In a skillet heat over medium high heat:
2 TB butter
2 TB olive oil

Saute chicken until golden brown, about 5 minutes on each side.
Turn down the heat, remove the chicken (keeping warm) and add:
½ C chicken broth
4 TB lime juice

Whisk up the browned bits off the bottom of the skillet. Keep cooking until sauce has reduced slightly.

Add chicken back to the pan to thoroughly coat and serve.

Serves 6. Per Serving: 343 Calories; 11g Fat (31.1% calories from fat); 55g Protein; 2g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; 147mg Cholesterol; 612mg Sodium. Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 7 1/2 Lean Meat; 0 Fruit; 1 1/2 Fat.