Monday, August 29, 2011

Menu Planning: week #3

I'll be honest. I'm a little broke this week. Got a few bills to pay so this week is all about digging through the freezer and cupboards and seeing what I can come up with.

Going to have to rely on some old favorites.

The kids heave a big sigh of relief!!

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Recap: week #2: unbenownst to me The Hubs cooked up all the pork for tacos so on Tuesday went looking for it. No pork. No wonder we had sooo much taco meat. Plan B: In 'n Out cheeseburgers all around (it had been a busy day anyway). The chicken nuggets recipe turned out blah. Nothing that I couldn't have figured out myself and it's something I The Hubs could definitely make better. The BLT's were awwwwesome (we ended up adding a piece of black forest ham to use it up)!! And of course the ribs were {kisses fingers} mmmmmwwwaaa....
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Menu Plan Week #3
Monday: Tacos

Tuesday: Hamburgers
sides: again with the fries?! sheesh!!, veggie

Wednesday: Pork Shoulder Chuck Steaks (say that 3 times fast)
(asked The Hubs if they were pork steaks, he said "well no, they are....")
sides: polenta (a recipe I got from Kate from over at With Heart Full of Daisies), veggie (or something)

Thursday: B4D
(breakfast for...you get it)
don't know what I'll do with this yet...quiche, omelette's, pancakes?

Friday: Take-Out
(our "reward" for paying bills :p)

Saturday: Soup and Sandwich
those croissant-wiches from last week were a big hit! might as well strike while the iron is still hot....(not to mention how eeeeeasy it is)
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I'll be honest, we eat take-out or fast food about once a week or so. I let my kids eat a cheeseburger or chicken sandwich if they want it. What I don't do is buy full meals at fast food restaurants. We all get a cheeseburger (or whatever) and split an order of fries. We never eat inside. I take it home, cut the cheeseburgers in halves for the Littles (my two younger children) split up the fries and they drink milk. They get some fast food and I feel better about the portion control.

If I'm feeling adventurous I'll put a sheet down in the living room and we'll eat in there while watching a movie. It's a nice change and the kids feel like they're doing "something wrong" (or "cool" in Picky Pants words).

What do you do about fast food? Do you go often? Jazz up pizza by adding your own toppings?

Linking up with: Menu Plan Monday.

relax,
paulina

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Eats: philly cheese steak

What with this being the first week of school and all I've been très busy. I did not make it back to com-Pewter (anyone know what that's from??) Monday night and have been movin' ever since. I have a lot to share with you so I'll be blog happy today and split this stuff up into 2 posts.

So, first...

I've been saying that I would share the Philly Cheese Steak recipe and so I finally shall!!
  
This recipe comes from Rival Crock Pot's Best Loved Slow Cooker Recipes. (just checked and it's only $9 on amazon that's a pretty good deal. It's got some great recipes in it and I actually highly recommend this cookbook)

A word of warning: this tastes a whoooole lot better than it looks!!

It was the kids first Philly and it was cute seeing my Little Monster hold on the sandwich, the girls asked for more and said this was "A Keeper!"(hosted by EverydayTastes

Also linking up with Friday's Potluck over at EKat's Kitchen and Delicious Dishes.

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Philly Cheese Steak
Best-Loved Slow Cooker Recipes
serves 8 or more

2 pounds round steak -- we used carne asada it was already in strips and cost about $8.
2 tblspns butter
4 onions
2 green bell peppers - we think 1 more would have been better
1 tblspn garlic-pepper - we used 2 cloves of garlic and sprinkled salt and pepper
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons beef bouillon - it says to whisk the water and beef together then add. The Hubs just crumbled up the bouillon and added everything to the pot
French rolls
Cheddar cheese

basic ingreds
Throw everythin' in to the crock pot








You're supposed to cook on low for 6-8 hours. We started late and cooked on high for 3 hours and they were done to perfection.

When done spoon onto rolls. Top with a slice of cheddar cheese. Put top bun on and watch the cheese meeeeelt....mmmmm...melty cheese. Use any side you want, kettle chips, potato salad or fries would be good.
 (complete foul guys, I could have sworn I took a picture of end product but can't find it)


Eat and enjoy!!

And maybe eat again...

But that's all folks, it's that simple and delicious! Go to work and come home to that smell wafting through the house....divine!!

relax,
paulina



Monday, August 22, 2011

Menu planning: week #2

In all the hub-bub of last week, I completely forgot to post how my philly cheese steak went.

It went marvelous!!

I will expound in further detail in about 5 hours.....that's when Com-pewter will be all mine again...

All mine!! {rubs hands}


Anyway, enough silliness...let's get on to the good stuff!!


Recap: Menu Plan #1:  Every meal went off without a hitch. Kiddies asked for seconds and The Hubs really liked the new recipes. I especially enjoyed the Southern Chicken with Sweet Potatoes. Easy to make and the sweet potatoes and raisins went well with the biscuits and green beans. I mean very well!! I will be making this again. (forgot to mention we did not make the pork tacos...forgot to set out the pork...so they are making an appearance again this week. Today in fact.)
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Menu Plan Week #2

Monday: Pork Tacos
The Hubs idea
side: salad

Tuesday: Pork Roast
two roasts ended up being defrosted today...so gots to cook it
sides: mashed potatoes, california vegetable blend

Wednesday: Chicken Nuggets
new recipe
sides: homemade fries, green beans (from garden)

Thursday: BLT's on croissants
was going to be a new recipe but The Hubs bought regular bacon instead of Canadian. So...I improvised
side: tomato soup

Friday: Ribs (probably BBQ'd)
The Hubs idea
sides: salad, corn (from garden)

Saturday: "Anything Goes"*

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* and yes...saying that does remind of this:


Doesn't it you?!?

relax,
paulina

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Linking up with:

now off to find more yummy ideas....

Thursday, August 18, 2011

21 Days: faint-hearted pattern mixing

Day 3 of the 21 Day Challenge is all about mixing it up. Patterns that is.

I'm not a big pattern girl and if I do happen to wear something pattern(y) the rest of my outfit is muted.

Tuesday night saw me trying on and throwing clothes in a mad fit. Nothing had that perfect combination of haphazard yet still put-together. My second-glass-of-wine state had me thinking that a black & white snakeskin skirt looked good with a black stripe button-down, add in some black wedges and I was good to go.

Wednesday morning my second-cup-of-coffee state looked at it hanging in my closet and lost nerve. In my closet I think it looks good, the button-down is fitted with french cuffs, slightly see-through. The skirt is silky, to my knees and form-fitting. No way am I brave enough to wear this during daylight hours. Maybe next date night?

So my faint heart plucked this out of the mayhem and said "There. That'll do."

Stripes with a patterned hoodie

Muted the rest with a peach skirt and brown heels.
Close up of the oh-so-brave-mixing


Being the Francophile that I am, this hoodie caught my eye and being very cheap I grabbed it. But now that I'm actually wearing it?? I feel a bit juvenile. No one gave me funny looks but I felt like I stood out like the proverbial sore thumb.

Cupcake has had her eye on it. Now she can have her arms in it. 

(trying to be clever...don't think it worked)

Now on to how other brave souls fared with this days challenge....

and maybe work up a little more courage myself

relax,
paulina



21 Days: Using my noodle

21 Day Challenge


Someone will help me get dressed everyday? I'm in!! 
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A little late to the game but I took extra time to think about my first outfit. On day 1 of The 21 Day Challenge, hosted by Kayla at Freckles in April, we were supposed to pick an item that we will wear at least three more times, day 2 was all about the tuck then I still had Inspiration Monday, hosted by two birds, to think about.

Could I somehow combine all three??

My head hit the pillow Monday night with different outfit combinations running through my mind. Upon awakening Tuesday something had clicked and this is what I came up with that fit all three requests.

First: Inspiration picture for Inspiration Monday

karolina Kurkova

Now my take:




This is the only plaid shirt I have in my whole closet. It came with a thick black belt but looks better without (plus I seem to have lost misplaced it anyway). I like the ruffle detail too.
This shirt also fulfills the first request of the Challenge. I could have gone safe with a plain tee or blouse but what the heck? Shake it up a little!! And I'll finally be able to see it's full potential...

The second Challenge was "Tuck it in". So I did the half tuck. I never, never tuck. Not even pre-kids. Although back in the 90's it was the front tuck, with tight-rolled jeans of course...

Too make it interesting I plucked this scarf/belt thingy off my shelve, threw it on and belted it. Looked in the mirror and was like "Hey! I like this!" I would totally wear this again with different jeans.
I think I need more plaid.
I feel so accomplished and creative! I did three challenges in one! Now I don't feel (too) behind.
Now on to Challenge #3....Pattern Mixing...
Oh no....patterns?! Mixing patterns?!
Can I wear the plaid shirt again???
relax,
paulina

Monday, August 15, 2011

Menu Planning: Week #1

I've discovered a little bit ago that if I plan out my meals for the week before going grocery shopping I don't spend as much money, eat as much junk or feel too stressed at dinner time.

Now that menu planning has become a part of who I am why not share it on my blog which is what this 'ol bloggy thing is for in the first place. :)
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Sunday: Asian Chicken 'n Noodles
a returning favorite
 
 
Monday: Pork Stir Fry and Sweet Sour
The Hubs idea

Tuesday: Southern Chicken Breasts with Sweet Potatoes
new recipe
sides: biscuits and green beans (from garden!)

Wednesday: Philly Cheese Steaks
new recipe- crock pot
side: baked fries

Thursday: Pork Tacos
The Hubs idea
side: salad

Friday: Spaghetti
same 'ol, same 'ol
side: crusty bread

Saturday: "Anything Goes"
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Bear with me in the coming weeks if my formatting goes through some changes, just gotta find my groove. The purple does mean that the recipe is shown on the "Recipe" page. The "new recipe" means it's a recipe that is, well, new and "the Hubs idea" means it's his thing so I get to just sit back and watch the ensuing mess eat some, mostly, good food. Yum! The "same 'ol" means just that, a tried and true recipe because I feel lazy or have been pushing my luck with the kiddies on getting them to channel their inner Anthony Bourdain.

I'm looking forward to seeing what others are eating (is that too weird?), trying some new recipes and just basically having fun with food.

Also later this week I'll be blogging about Tuesdays dinner in more detail, it's a new recipe to me from a cookbook I've had for years.

Stay tuned....

relax,
paulina

p.s. If you're a menu planner, stop in and see what others are doing or even join in on the fun! links below...
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participating in Menu Plan Monday hosted by I'm an Organizing Junkie





Sunday, August 14, 2011

Relaxing: Mani on a Sunday

It's Sunday. The girls are at their grandma's house. Little Monster is doing something little monstery.

And since this weeks FBFF (hosted by Miss Rockwell) is all about the mani...hmmm...manicure time!!

Gotta say I don't normally do my nails. I'm usually too tired at night and when I would get my nails done at the salon the  top layer of my nail would come off with the fake. So I just stopped going. Then I told myself that my hands look younger without polish. So I stopped buying.

Then one day I came across this manicure and it's haunted me since



But it's not Halloween yet.

But....I do have some time on my hands (ha!)

top layer: pink
Let dry and add

second layer: orange


I used N.Y.C polish found at Target for .99. Pink Fuschia Creme and Times Square Tangerine Creme.

I just can't spend more than $3 for polish. I absolutely can not. I start thinking of other things I can buy.

I did like how my nails turned out. I could use some nail lines to make the line sharper and some top coat. This is a manicure I would do in the future. Definitely going to check out the others at Lifestyles of the Thrifty and Shameless and get some more ideas.

Has my girlie side come back?


relax,
paulina

p.s. While polishing my nails I got this

"me too! me too!"
hence my nails got a might smudged. Have you ever painted your sons nails? What do you think about it?

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Thrifty Thursday: It's not always about the clothes

because sometimes one picks up something else really awesome at the ye ol' thrift...


I have been wanting a red chair similiar to this for my l. room but had yet to find it within my price range


Then one day.....

Stopped by "R"Thrift with Cupcake to browse for some shirts and cute skirts. Everything was 30% off, saw a red chair sitting in a corner asked how much, took 15 minutes to get an answer back..."$44.95"....hmmm..."o.k. thanks"

Thought about it but since it was going to be an impulse buy, decided to just think about it instead. We went to the counter and found out that if one spent more than $15 one could spin a wheel. Cupcake spun for me and came back with a 50% next item coupon!! Couldn't believe our luck!! Chair was meant to be!! Hugged Cupcake and bought chair for 1/2 half!

Heeelllooo Chaaaairrrr!!!

pic makes it look a little crooked but it's perfect and comfy. I like my throw my snuggie on it for contrast.
Happy am I! and so are Cupcake and Little Monster, who tried to claim it right away....

ok....I did buy a dress (or two) for myself








and maybe a watch....


the same week I bought this, I was wearing my Han Solo one when my dear, sweet Hubs threw me in the pool!! AAAAHHH!!! My watch!!

 He felt bad the next day, took it apart and is now trying to fix it.....aaaaawwwww.... :)

But, hey now I gotta excuse to buy more watches!!

relax,
paulina

p.s. forgot to add...paid $3 total for the dresses and .99 for the watch












Writings: Dream Party

mama’s losin’ it

2.) If you had the opportunity to throw a dream party for your closest family and friends, describe what that would look like.
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Over the years I have given this dream party some thought, actual chin-in-hand-staring-out-the-window-daydreaming kind of thought.

And when I get fabulously wealthy, I'm gonna do it....

all images via googleimages

I would love to throw a Victorian Christmas Party!!

Come early, we'll go out hunting for that perfect tree and go sledding.


After our noses have gotten quite cold, but our hearts have grown quite warm, we'll go back to do some tree trimming and drink and eat to our hearts content.  Off in the corner will be an orchestra playing carols.




Oh, don't forget after dinner comes caroling and dancing.



And we can't forget sleigh rides and snowball fights and ice skating and....




A storyteller for the children while us big kids drink hot totties and maybe have a snowball fight of
our own.


Everyone would stay the night. In the morning would be a breakfast then off to their own merry ways. With thoughts of snowflakes and sugar plum fairies in their minds. With thoughts of how magical this Christmas was....

And yes, costumes are mandatory!

(but don't worry I'll take care of it....I'll be fabulously wealthy, remember?!)

relax,
paulina

p.s. o.k maybe the hot totties aren't authentic but hey gotta have something to warm us up....!!