Sunday, April 23, 2017

Scripture Sunday... 4.23.17,..

This is the day which the LORD has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Psalm 118:24

Friday, April 21, 2017

Grocery budgeting and frugal recipe help wanted....

One way that we homemakers make a house a home is all the yummy foods we prepare for our family each meal.  Nourishing, delicious, satisfying, full of love cooking is what our families want when they walk in the door at the end of the day.

I've recently decided that we need to cut back on our grocery budget.  Mr U doesn't have a problem with it (but aren't we all always looking for ways to save!!!), but I've kind of taken it as a personal challenge to lower my spending in this area.  We spend around $140 a week for the four of us and I'd love to see that number reduced.  I really, really do enjoy cooking, but I've given in to "convenience foods" way to often these days and those prices can quickly add up.

Surely I'm not the only one that would appreciate help in the grocery budget area?  Sooooo... I would LOOOOOVE to hear from YOU!!!  How much do you spend on groceries each week for your household?  How many people are in your family?

Also, please share your favorite frugal dinner meals??  Feel free to add links to your blog if you have the recipes on your blog already.  :)

We homemakers have so much to share with each other.  When you share in the comments here, others will benefit from  your wisdom when they read what you wrote.

Have a happy Friday and a GREAT weekend!!!

Mrs. U

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

How I make our foaming hand soap....

I've shared before how store bought cleaners are horrible on my hands.  Painful cracks are NOT my idea of fun. Even any store bought hand soap seems to bother me, but antibacterial soaps are the worst!!!!  The very next day, the skin on my palms as well as my fingertips will start cracking open.  SO PAINFUL and it takes about a week to heal.  I haven't done the research to find out exactly what's in those soaps (probably should!!!), but I just try my best to steer clear of them.  What do I do in public or in someone else's home?  PRAY!!  I wash my hands and RINSE RINSE RINSE.  Doesn't always work, but it's better than walking around with germy hands in those situations.  

Anyway,  here's my "recipe" for my homemade foaming hand soap.

Mrs U's Foaming Hand Soap
1 foaming handsoap container
distilled water
2 capfuls of Dr Bronner's Liquid Castille Soap (I prefer unscented)
10-15 drops of essential oils of your choice (I prefer doTERRA)

In the foaming hand soap container, fill with distilled water about 3/4 of the way full.  Add Liquid Castille Soap.  Carefully drop in the essential oils of your choice.  Add the pump and use right away. 

Okay sooooo a word about several of the things here...

- Foaming handsoap container.... Yes, you can buy foaming hand soap containers on Amazon.  But mine I got from Aldi!!!!!  The pumps came with antibacterial soap in them, so I just poured out the soap (and yes, I felt completely wasteful doing it, but I knew I couldn't use that antibacterial stuff) and rinsed super duper good to get it all out.  Maybe your Aldi has them, too!!

- Distilled water... Yes, you can use tap water, however, when I use our tap water, the soap gets super cloudy.  Kind of dirty looking.  I prefer to use distilled water so that the water stays clear looking.

-Dr Bronner's Liquid Castille... A couple of things.  First, I prefer unscented because I LOVE to use different essential oils pretty much every time I make our hand soap (we have 5 pumps of hand soap if you're curious).  The scented castille soap always smells like whatever scent it is (Peppermint always smells like peppermint, etc).
   Second, you can buy Dr Bronner's Liquid Castille on Amazon but I've also seen it in Publix and Sprouts.  (And I just noticed that the link to Dr Bronner's on Amazon ALSO INCLUDES A FOAMING HAND SOAP PUMP!!!!!!)

- doTERRA... LOOOOVE using doTERRA!!!  My current favorite scent combo to use in our hand soap is Wild Orange and Peppermint.  Fresh and uplifting!!  

Anyone else make their foaming hand soap?  Let me know!! 

Friday, April 14, 2017

Good Friday... April 14, 1017

32And when they came to a place called Golgotha, which means Place of a Skull,34 they gave Him wine to drink mixed with gall; and after tasting it, He was unwilling to drink.
35 And when they had crucified Him, they divided up His garments among themselves by casting [p]lots. 36 And sitting down, they began to keep watch over Him there. 37 And above His head they put up the charge against Him [q]which read, “THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.”
38 At that time two robbers *were crucified with Him, one on the right and one on the left. 39 And those passing by were [r]hurling abuse at Him, wagging their heads40 and saying, “You who are going to destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save Yourself! If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” 41 In the same way the chief priests also, along with the scribes and elders, were mocking Him and saying, 42 He saved others; [s]He cannot save Himself. He is the King of Israel; let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe in Him.43 He trusts in God; let God rescue Him now, if He [t]delights in Him; for He said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” 44 The robbers who had been crucified with Him were also insulting Him with the same words.
45 Now from the [u]sixth hour darkness [v]fell upon all the land until the [w]ninth hour.46 About the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” 47 And some of those who were standing there, when they heard it, began saying, “This man is calling for Elijah.” 48 Immediately one of them ran, and taking a sponge, he filled it with sour wine and put it on a reed, and gave Him a drink. 49 But the rest of themsaid, “[x]Let us see whether Elijah will come to save Him[y].” 50 And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. 51 And behold, the [z]veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth shook and the rocks were split. 52 The tombs were opened, and many bodies of the [aa]saints who had fallen asleep were raised; 53 and coming out of the tombs after His resurrection they entered the holy city and appeared to many. 54 Now the centurion, and those who were with him keeping guard over Jesus, when they saw the earthquake and the things that were happening, became very frightened and said, “Truly this was [ab]the Son of God!”
55 Many women were there looking on from a distance, who had followed Jesus from Galilee while [ac]ministering to Him. 56 Among them was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

I know I shouldn't have... but I did!!

I originally posted this brownie recipe in July of 2006.  2006!!!!!!  Were any of y'all reading blogs then????

Anyway, this is what I said...
Yes, I did it. I admit it. After my post this morning about Weight Watchers, I made brownies anyway. Not low fat brownies, mind you. Fully charged and loaded brownies!!! Wait'll you see the recipe and you'll see what I mean. These are GREAT brownies. Eat them. Share them. But most of all MAKE THEM!! You won't be sorry!! :)
So now that this is 2017 and I do still LOVE these brownies, I figured I'd share them again!!!  We still love them. We still make them.  These are sooooooo easy to make.  So nothings changed about our love of brownies here!!  

Oh, but, full disclosure here.... I do not do Weight Watchers anymore.  LOL. Y'all probably figured that out by now if you look at my recipes.  

What are you waiting for?  Go make these now!!  Mmmmm. Your family will thank you.

Mrs. U's BEST Brownies
12 T unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups sugar
1 cup salted butter, melted
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup self-rising flour
1 1/2 T vanilla extract

Combine cocoa and sugar. Stir in melted butter, eggs, flour and vanilla. Pour into a lightly greased 9 x 13 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes. Cool, cut and eat!!!

Feel free to add nuts if your family likes.

Let me know if y'all make them!!!!!

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Scripture Sunday... 4.9.17... Palm Sunday...

Most of the crowd spread their coats in the road, and others were cutting branches from the trees and spreading them in the road. The crowds going ahead of Him, and those who followed, were shouting,
“Hosanna to the Son of David;
Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord;
Hosanna in the highest!”

Matthew 21:8-9

Friday, April 07, 2017

How to shop at Aldi....

Who doesn't love Aldi these days?????  Saving money AND getting tasty food??  Count me in!!!!

I heard about Aldi years ago when we still lived in Augusta.  There wasn't one there yet (is now!!!), so I had no idea what I was reading about when everyone was so excited about all the money they were saving at Aldi. I read about the prices being seriously lower, I read about needing a quarter for the grocery cart (we call them "buggies" around here!!!), and I read about there being no bags to put your groceries in.  Hmmmm. No bags for your groceries.  How in the world do you do that????

After a few weeks of seeing others check out, pull over the "the counter area" in Aldi,  and fill the bags they brought from home with their just purchased goods, I decided there HAD to be a better way.  And I found one!!!

Now maybe I'm not the first one to discover this, but I don't know anyone else who has done it except me (and the few struggling mothers I shared it with in the check out line).  Y'all ready?  I keep an empty laundry basket and empty cooler in the back of my van so that as soon as I leave Aldi, I put all my food in one of the two large containers!!!  YES!!  So when I get home, I carry in only two containers.  I don't spend extra time bagging groceries and I don't have to carry in all the bags and then keep them for the following week.  I just carry in the two totes, put all the groceries away, and stick them back in the van for next time.  WOOHOOO!!!  Super easy and major time saver for me!!

Anyone else LOVE Aldi?  If so, how do YOU get your groceries home???  

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Cheesy Chicken Alfredo...

Y'all!!!!  I discovered a YUMMY website!! It's called Six Sisters Stuff and apparently they are really sisters!! What fun!!!  They've got tons of really yummy recipes on their site.  If y'all are like me and always looking for great recipes, their blog is a good place to visit!!!!

This recipe caught  my eye because it's all in ONE POT!!!!!!  Who wants to cook meat in one pot, sauce in another, then boil noodles in another pot.  NOT ME!!!  They've got it all in ONE POT in this recipe and it's super easy and very tasty!!  Not to mention fast, too!!!!

 As usual, I varied my recipe slightly.  Duh.  I always do that.  But the original came from Six Sisters.  

Cheesy Chicken Alfredo...

                3 tablespoons olive oil
                2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
                Sprinkle of sea salt
                1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
                4 cloves of garlic, minced (see video below)
                2 cups homemade chicken stock (store bought is fine, too)
                1 cup heavy cream
                2 cups uncooked pasta (choose your family's favorite shape!!)
                1/4 teaspoon dried basil
                2 cups fresh grated parmesan cheese
                3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Add oil to large skillet pan and heat over medium-high heat. Add chicken and sprinkle with salt and Italian seasoning. Sauté for maybe 5 minutes until chicken starts to lightly brown. (It'll cook through completely later, so just brown it now) Add in garlic and sauté for another minute.

Pour in chicken broth, cream, pasta and basil and mix to combine. Bring to a boil, then cover pan and reduce to a summer. Let simmer for 15-20 minutes or until pasta is fully cooked.

Remove from heat and add Parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese. Stir until cheese is melted and fully mixed in. Eat!!!!!

This makes 4 servings and WOW was it fast, easy, AND delicious!!!!  Definitely one we will have regularly!!!

Sunday, April 02, 2017

Scripture Sunday...4.2.17...

Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And all that is within me, bless His holy name.

Psalm 103:1

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Monkey Bread...

When was the last time you made Monkey Bread?  Oh it's sooooo easy and sooooo fun to make and soooooo yummy!!!!

We had it for breakfast this morning and my girls (who are 10 and 6) cut the biscuits, rolled them in sugar and cinnamon, and placed them in the greased bundt pan.  I melted the butter and brown sugar and poured it over the top then popped them in the oven.  Super easy!!

WARNING: The wait for these to bake seems like EONS when you start smelling the cinnamon from the oven!!!!!!!!!!

Here's our recipe...

Monkey Bread

1/2 cup white sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
2 (16 oz) cans jumbo flaky biscuits
1 cup brown sugar (firmly packed)
3/4 cup salted butter

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Greased bundt pan. 

In a gallon size plastic zip bag, put in white sugar and cinnamon and mix.  Open biscuit cans (this always scares me when they pop!!!) and cut each biscuit in 4 pieces.  Place all the cut pieces in the zip bag and toss to coat all the pieces with sugar and cinnamon then carefully put the pieces in the bundt pan.  

On the stove, melt butter and stir in brown sugar.  Bring to a boil and stir well.  Pour over the top of the biscuits in the bundt pan.  

Put bundt pan in the oven and bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.  When done baking, take out of oven and let stand for 10 minutes before turning out of pan.  Turn out onto a plate and then pick off the pieces you want to eat- like little monkeys picking at their food!!  FUN!!!!!

This is a fun recipe to make with children.  Let them use butter knives or even plastic knives to cut the biscuits!!  Let them toss the cut biscuits with the sugar/cinnamon mix!!!  Will it get messy?  LOL Probably.  But will they have a wonderful time and laugh and make memories? OH YES!!!!!!

So, what are you waiting for??????  Go make some Monkey Bread and make some memories!!!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Scripture Sunday... 3.19.17...

The conclusion, when all has been heard, isfear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person.  For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.

Ecclesiastes 12:13-14

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Thai Peanut Chicken...

Any of y'all LOOOOOVE Asian inspired dishes?  ME! ME! ME!!!!!  This dish definitely hit the Asian spot for me AND it was full of yummy veggies!!!  Double thumbs up!!!

I shared last week that I was going to be making Healthy Thai Peanut Chicken Zucchini Noodles for dinner last week.  And we did.  And, as is my usual style, I HAD to change things around.  Surely y'all do that, too?  You want to make it exactly like your family likes!! 

I linked above to the original recipe, so here's my final recipe.  Yum.

Thai Peanut Chicken
(serve 5)

2 cloves garlic, minced
2 T fresh ginger, minced
6 tablespoons peanut butter
1 T rice wine vinegar
1 lime, zested and juiced
4 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons refined coconut oil (the kind that doesn't taste like coconut)
2 cups chicken breast, oven roasted and sliced
1 1/2 t sesame oil
4 zucchini, spiral sliced
2 red peppers, julienned
1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup green onions, diced

Add the garlic, ginger, peanut butter, rice wine vinegar, lime juice and zest, and soy sauce to a small bowl and mix together. Heat a large sauté pan and add coconut oil. Stir in chicken and sesame oil and heat chicken through.  
Stir in the zucchini and bell peppers and cook until tender, maybe 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally (I used tongs for this.) Stir in the sauce, cilantro and green onions and toss together until all warmed through.

I really liked this!!  I've enjoyed using zucchini noodles in several dishes we've tried and they were super delicious in this!  Even Mr U (who does not care for zucchini noodles) DID like this and said he'd have it again!! WOOOHOOO!!!  Now THAT'S how I know a recipe is a keeper!! 

In case anyone is unfamiliar with how to julienne vegetables, this video show how to julienne a bell pepper.  :)

Monday, March 13, 2017

Happy Homemaking Monday... March 13, 2017...

Happy Homemaker Monday is hosted by Diary of a Stay at Home Mom

I am also linked up with Organizing Junkie's Menu Plan Monday and 
The Art of Homemaking Mondays at Strangers and Pilgrims.

The weather:::
COLD!!!! Dreary, too.  I don't love overcast days.  It's been so warm lately that it's kind of surprising to have a  cold morning!! High today is only expected to be 42!  We didn't get snow like some of our friends in northern states, but we did get cold temps!!!!  Just when we were confident we were done with cold!!!

On my reading pile:::
Honestly?  I have one more chapter of The Excellent Wife.  JUST ONE!!!  I got behind because I read a book for a review for the past week and a half.  So I MUST finish The Excellent Wife today!!  :)

Movies or Shows I watched this weekend:::
We watched a new-to-us veterinary show.  Mr U really likes shows about Alaska and the girls really love shows about animals, so he found Dr Oakley, Yukon Vet.  We only saw one episode, but the three of them liked it!! (I'm more of a Fixer Upper and Pioneer Woman kind of girl! HA!)

On my TV:::
Nothing planned for TV today, but we may watch Bob Ross via youtube during lunch.  He's so calming and WOW he was talented!!!!!

On the menu for this week:::

M- Chicken Cheddar hoagies, green beans
Tu- Spaghetti and Meatballs, salad
W- Easy Bacon Cheeseburger Soup, rolls
Th- Eggroll in a Bowl (I always double it because we LOOOOOVE it!!!)
F- Corned beef, cooked cabbage, mashed potatoes- St Patrick's Day!!

On my to do list:::
School.  Laundry.  Clean bathrooms (on Mondays).  Finish The Excellent Wife.  And OH!!!!!  Good Morning Girls started up again today!! So YAY!!!  We're in Luke this session!!!!!

Looking forward to:::
For the third week in a row, Mr U is scheduled 8-5 Monday through Friday!! WOOOHOOOOOO!!!!  This is the last week he is teaching training, so I'd better enjoy this schedule!!!!  :)  I LOVE him being home EVERY evening for dinner!!! 

Looking around the house:::

I see school bookshelves that need tidying.  How do they get messed up so quickly??? Also, I need to go bleach my kitchen washcloths.  I love white kitchen washcloths for the very reason that I can bleach them when they are stained or start smelling not so fresh.  

From the camera:::
My 10 year old making pizza dough all by herself!!!  It was perfect!!!!  

What I'm wearing today:::
Denim skirt. Again.  I LOVE wearing denim skirts because they go with everything. Also a maroon colored top with 3/4 sleeves with a black lightweight jacket on top.  LOL  Since I mentioned it was cold, you'd think I'd just put a sweater on!!  Ha!! And slippers.  THESE!!! LOOOOOOOVE!!!!!!!

One of my simple pleasures:::
Hot cup of coffee (well, two, actually) in the morning in the still, quiet house as I read the Word.   

Bible verse, Devotional::: 
For nothing will be impossible with God.
Luke 1:37


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