Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wiww #18

Another Wednesday! Where does the time go?? Here are a few of my outfits from the week!

Leopard top and cardi: JC Penney
Pants: Express (Thrifted)
Belt :Thrifted $1

Love ruffles!

Necklace: Lisa Leonard

Not a super stylish outfit, but I realized C and I matched!
Striped shirts and puffy vests!

Vests: Both Old Navy
Striped turtleneck: Target
Jeans: JC Penney
Shoes: Asics

Trying to spiff up a puffy jacket!
Polka dot scarf and green top: Target
Vest: Old Navy
Jeans: JC Penney
Shoes: Sketchers

Hat: Target
Sweater: Kohls
Long sleeve T: Thrifted
Jeans: JC Penney
Shoes: Asics
 (Busy week,.Lots of errands, so tennies were a must!)

Earrings: My Shop

Linking up with:

pleated poppy
Momma Go Round


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup

Now that it's officially winter here (and COLD!) I'm in the mood for soups. If they can be made in the crock pot that's an extra bonus. Do all the work in the morning and have dinner ready with minimal clean up? Yes please.

Here is what you need:

(not all pictured)
3 frozen or fresh chicken breast
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 can rotel
1can black beans
1 can white beans
14 1/2 oz. can chicken broth
2 cloves garlic
1 medium onion
2 cups water

1 bay leaf
1 t. cumin
1 t. chili powder
1 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
1 T. fresh cilantro

1/2 bag of frozen corn

Put everything in the crock pot except for the corn. Stir well. 

 Love my Pampered Chef garlic press! I found it at Good Will! :)
 Ready to be stirred!

Cook on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours. In the last 1/2 hour of cooking, remove the chicken and shred it. Place the chicken back in the soup and add the corn. Let cook another 30 minutes.

Serve with tortilla chips, cheddar cheese and sour cream.


Weekend Bloggy Reading

Saturday, November 26, 2011

New Designs

I'm getting ready for an open house next weekend where I'll be displaying some of my jewelry. Here are a few of the items I worked on yesterday.

Ceramic and brass

 Ceramic and brass filigree.

 Ombre Pearls

 Patterned silver 

 Brass filigree chandeliers. (These are up on my Etsy shop.)

 Silver stitch.

 Brass birds and iridescent green seed beads

Kidney ear wires and howlite.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Wiww #17

Wednesday totally snuck up on me this week! I did get several pictures though!

 White T and scarf: Kohls
Dress, cardi, tights and boots: Target
The boots are new and I LOVE them!!!

Herringbone cowl: Banana Republic, thrifted $3
Green sweater and Jeans: JC Penney's
Tennis shoes: Asics

Rosette top: F21
Cardi: Target
Jeans: JC Penney's
Shoes: Naturalizer

Necklace: Lisa Leonard (Not a great picture)

Linking up with a new blog called Rae Gun Ramblings!
Love it! Check her out if you get a chance!

Linking up with:

pleated poppy
Momma Go Round

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Menu Planning

It has taken awhile to tweak things, but I finally feel like I have a good system for meal planning and grocery shopping that works well for us. I thought I'd share it with you!

We go grocery shopping twice a month for our main groceries and may occasionally stop to get a few extra groceries for a dinner with friends or if C runs out of something. This has saved me so much time! When we first got married I tried to shop less frequently, but it seemed like I always ended going to the grocery store a couple times a week.  

My System:

Between trips I try to take stock of things and write down items we are running low on on a master list so I don't forget. If I use the last of the granulated sugar to make cookies, I write it down. Notice toothpaste getting low? Goes on the list. I just love when I do a huge shopping run and get home to discover I forgot toothpaste and butter. You know you've done it too! :)

I go to several stores; Aldi, Fare-way, and Wal-Mart. Aldi is the cheapest place to buy groceries, hands down. You save at least 40% off name brand items. I get a lot of basics there, kleenex, toilet paper, butter, eggs, salad dressings, olives, sugar, frozen chicken breast, juice, cooking oil,etc...

I buy most of my produce, some meat, and a few more specialty items like wheat pasta at Fare-way.  I get things like lotion, shaving cream, and artisan breads (when I buy them.) at Wal-Mart. It takes a little more time to go to several stores, but the savings is worth it. We spend about $320 a month on groceries for our family. That includes diapers and other supplies like shaving gel, lotion, paper products, etc...

We also have been able to save money on our grocery bill by doing the Body by Vi 90 day challenge.
We take a meal replacement nutrition shake for breakfast that only costs $1.87. You can save even more with their 3 for free program; refer three, your product is free. By doing this we basically get all our breakfast groceries for free. You can learn more at our blog

Another way to save money is to plan meals ahead of time.
My mother taught me this. Thanks, Mom!

Every two weeks before I go shopping I sit down with my recipe box to make a list. I write down the names of each of the three stores. I pick a recipe and then write down the name at the top of my sheet. 

This time the meals I picked were tacos, spaghetti and salad, hamburgers and fries, bean bake, etc...

Then I add all the needed ingredients under the appropriate store. Here's an example of tacos:

I go through and do that for each meal. It actually only takes about 15 minutes. I also add fruit and other healthy snacks like nuts, fruit leathers, and granola bars. I usually plan a few things for lunches too like quesadilla ingredients, and sandwich or salad stuff.

I usually plan for 8 supper type meals for two weeks. That gives us some leeway if we go to our parents or have leftovers to eat up.

I write down the meals I buy ingredients for on our calendar and cross them off as we make them. If I'm in  a hurry I pick a meal that doesn't take long to prep.

So there you have it! My method for meal planning.

Do you have a grocery shopping/ meal planning tip to share?
    Leave a comment!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

5 {Thankful} Things

1. Darling S&P shakers my mom surprised me with for my birthday.
 They bring a smile to my face when I see them on the table!

2. Moments like this:

3. Christmas lovelies!

4. Carmel and Twix Custard. To. Die. For.

5. My shiny new Lisa Leonard Necklace!!

Linking up at:

five days five ways | 5 Things Thursday

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

WIWW #16

This week I did pretty well capturing photos of my outfits. I also got my Lisa Leonard necklace I won in the mail!!! ::doing happy dance:: So I worked that into um... every outfit since I got it. I have only taken it off to sleep. :)

I got the 'rain or shine' design and had our names stamped on the back.
I love that it's a reminder of our commitment through the good and bad times.  

Do you have one of Lisa's necklaces?
If so, which one? 

 So, I knew I wanted to wear this floral top and the black cardi, but couldn't decide about the belt.

a. Belt over cardi                             b. No belt                          c. Belt under cardi    

Which one is your favorite?

This is the one I actually ended up with:

Floral top: F21
Cardi and pants: JC Penney's
Belt: Thrifted $1

Necklace: Lisa Leonard Designs 

This one I kinda threw together when I had 30 minutes to get out the door, but I like it!
Turtleneck, hat and scarf: Target
Jeans: JC Penney's
Shoes: Cherokee, thrifted

 Sweater: Thrifted $2
Lace cami: Gordman's
Jeans: JC Penney's
Shoes: Naturalizer
Necklace: Lisa Leonard

Linking up with:

pleated poppy
Momma Go Round