June – 2011 – Frugal Novice
Monthly Archives

June 2011

Friendly Friday July 1

Welcome to Friendly Friday!

Remember, YOU can host the link list on your blog, too! Just get the InLinkz code and copy it directly into your post. The code is different every week, so be sure to get the new code when hosting Friendly Friday on your blog. Hosting the list is a great way to get even more traffic to your blog and make Friendly Friday more beneficial for everyone.

Thanks for joining the Friendly Friday celebration hosted by Christi at Frugal Novice, Xenia at Thanks, Mail Carrier and Charla at Healthy Home Blog! We invite you to join us every Friday to make more friends in blogville, get more blog followers and follow other great blogs out there.

To join in the Friendly Friday celebration, include your family-friendly link in our list, follow the hostesses in the first 3 spots and then start blog hopping! Visit other blogs on the list and comment to give them some blog love. Then take a minute to follow them through Google Friend Connect – this is a good way to keep up with other blogs, but also lets us show support to each other! Please DO NOT list your giveaways here, links must be to either your homepage or your Friday posting with your blog title. All others will be deleted.

When people comment on your blog and let you know they’re a part of Friendly Friday, return the favor and follow them back. This way everyone gets traffic and followers out of participating, and it’s a win-win situation. We would love for you to also grab our Friendly Friday button and post it on your blog and/or in a post – the more bloggers that find out about Friendly Friday and participate, the better!

Spotlight on Friendly Friday Followers! We love your participation and want to show it! In addition to gaining followers, each week we’ll select three blogs at random and will feature links and a write-up for those blogs in the content of next week’s Friendly Friday post. There are so many seriously wonderful blogs out there, and this will be a great way to highlight some of those each week. Say hello to the lucky chosen 3 for this week (and feel free to stop by and give them a little extra love):

Started as a way to document her journey to getting in shape, Let’s Talk About Me is a blog sharing Sara’s thoughts on everything from awesome posts she has read to her daily life to a Stumble Me Friday Blog Hop and much more. You’ll never know what you might find next, but the fun in visiting is wanting to find out!

Carrie’s description of her blog reads as “Carrie Actually is a purposefully nicheless personal blog about my quest for a rich and fulfilling life as I recover from young adult cancer.” An amazingly talented writer, Carrie writes about anything and everything that interests her and is going on in her life and makes you immediately feel her friendly nature and knowledge on a wide range of topics.

Isabelle at Life Through My Eyes is a self-proclaimed quirky, random, sarcastic 25-year-old with a dry sense of humor that comes through in her posts about her life, her work, and everything in between. Stop by to find out what working, studying, traveling, baking or more is up next!

Now that you know about these 3 wonderful blogs, it’s time for you to join in! Add your family-friendly link below and we’ll see you back here every Friday! And don’t forget, you can get the InLinkz code to share Friendly Friday on your blog!

All three hostesses appreciate followers through GFC and Twitter, and we’ll follow you back – be sure to leave a comment with your URL and/or Twitter username. Hope everyone has a great weekend!



Cars 2 Prize Pack Winner

Congratulations, Kricia!

Affresh Stainless Steel Cleaner – Review

I’m a big fan of affresh products after having used their dishwasher/garbage disposal cleaner and washing machine cleaner, so I jumped at the chance to try their stainless steel cleaner for review.

I love our stainless fridge – it was one of the first purchases we made for our house, and it’s sleek and modern. What I don’t love? Streaks. Handprints. Smudges. With small kids in the house, it’s pretty much inevitable that our refrigerator and dishwasher start to look mottled, not all shiny and beautiful!

That’s where affresh Stainless Steel cleaner comes in – it’s a simple spray that makes it easy for your appliances to achieve their former glory.

Just spray the surface, then buff with a soft cloth. Simple! I LOVE that this is not an aerosol spray, and I love that the cleaner doesn’t drip all over the place. It makes it a lot easier!

Once I finished cleaning the fridge with the affresh cleaner, it was so shiny I had a hard time getting a good “after” photo for you! You can see, though, that it’s smudge and streak-free.

A little more about affresh:

The affresh® brand of products specifically helps keep appliances operating at peak performance, when used in conjunction with a regular maintenance routine as indicated in the appliance’s Use & Care Guide. First introduced in 2007, the products have evolved to include washer cleaners for traditional and high-efficiency washing machines as well as for dishwashers and garbage disposals, and a new line of cleaners designed to help clean everyday kitchen food spills and stuck on residue in the interior and exterior of household appliances. Affresh products are manufactured and marketed under the Whirlpool Corporation portfolio, the world’s leading manufacturer and marketer of major home appliances, with annual sales of approximately $18 billion in 2010, 71,000 employees, and 66 manufacturing and technology research centers around the world. For more, visit www.affresh.com.

Note: I wrote this review while participating in a campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of affresh and received product samples and a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.

Mississippi Mud Sandwich Cookies Recipe

I love to bake, so when I got the opportunity to participate in the Better Homes and Gardens State cookie contest, you better believe I jumped at the chance!

I was given the state of Mississippi to bake for. Now I’m a Texas girl, but Brian was born in Mississippi so I’ve got some love for that state. I immediately thought of Mississippi Mud Pie and decided to translate that into cookie form. I hope you enjoy what I came up with! The finished product is a perfect blend of salty and sweet and is a decadent treat.

Mississippi Mud Sandwich Cookies

Ingredients:
Cookies:

  • 1 ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cups chopped walnuts
  • 1/3 cup milk chocolate chips

Marshmallow Fluff:

  • 3 egg whites from pasteurized eggs
  • 2 cups light corn syrup
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 2 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Ganache:

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 16 ounces of good quality semi-sweet chocolate

Directions:

First, prepare the marshmallow fluff. Mix the egg whites, corn syrup, and salt on high speed until it has almost doubled in volume.

Add the powdered sugar gradually, keeping the mixer on low. Add the vanilla; if needed, add additional sugar to get the mixture to desired thickness. Set aside.

Melt semi-sweet chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave; set aside.

Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Then add in one egg at a time, mixing until everything is evenly blended.

Mix in vanilla and melted chocolate on medium speed. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt, then add gradually to the chocolate mixture on low speed.

Stir in walnuts and milk chocolate chips.

Place dough on cookie sheet, about 1 tablespoon of dough per cookie.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Let cool.

Spread the reserved marshmallow fluff on half of the cookies, then top with another cookie to make a sandwich.

Set the cookie sandwiches aside on cooling racks with wax paper underneath.

On the stovetop, cook the heavy cream over medium heat just until the boiling point, then remove from heat. Add chocolate, stirring until everything is well-blended.; let cool until room temperature.

Pour ganache over each cookie, covering as much of the surface as possible.


Sprinkle chopped walnuts on the ganache while it is still melted.

Set cookies aside until the ganache dries to the touch; about 2 hours. Serve immediately, or keep the cookies refrigerated until about one hour before serving.


Enjoy!

Other cookie recipes you might enjoy:

Oatmeal Spice Raisin Cookies

• Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup “Thumbprint” Cookies

Eggless Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies (we love to eat the dough on these!)

 

Also, check out some other great entries in the BHG Cookie Contest:

Minnesota Chewy Surprise Cookies

West Virginia Caramel Apple Raisin Cheese Cake Cookie Bars

Arkansas Dark Chocolate Pecan Cookies

Massachusetts Boston Cream Pie Cookies

New Jersey Berry Cookies

Nebraska Kool-Aid Cookies

What Are Your Office Essentials?

I have to admit, I’m one of those people that loves office supplies. It started at a young age; I can still remember the excitement of school supply shopping day back in elementary school.

Our “office” just consists of a large desk in our living area, so we don’t really have space for staplers, paper clips and the like. Our desk space is mostly taken up with our computer and our printer/scanner/copier.

What electronics do you have in your office space? Do you have larger items like HP laser printers, or smaller things like netbooks or tablet PC’s?

Menu Plan Monday – June 27-July 1

Menu Plan Monday

Whew! I know I said last weekend was busy… but this weekend was even busier! Fun times, though. Finished up watching the Harry Potter movies, met up with friends visiting from Florida for lunch Saturday, went to a birthday party, and saw Cars 2! Here are a couple of photos from the weekend:

Princess and Buzz Lightyear – and good buddies!

Loved this shot of C next to a bouncy slide at the birthday party we went to on Saturday – he looks so tiny! He was really nervous about the bounce houses the whole time and didn’t really do much other than run around squealing, but he had a blast so I guess that’s all that matters.

Movie time! I promise I took this right before trailers started and not during the movie or anything. :) The boys thought it was so fun going to the movie theater and eating popcorn! We all really enjoyed Cars 2. I had heard it’s geared more towards older kids, which is probably accurate. J and C still really liked it a lot. If you’re thinking about seeing it, just know that there are weapons and explosions, because this is somewhat of a spy flick. The boys were never scared, though. Brian and I actually laughed out loud several times, and we both agreed we like this one a lot better than the original.

Food time! I’m instituting a new feature for Menu Plan Monday throughout the summer – I’ll be sharing a grilling recipe from Weber’s site! We absolutely love to grill, but sometimes get stuck in the rut of grilling the same things over and over again. Weber has some great ideas that would be fun to incorporate into your weekly menu plan. When we make any of these recipes, I’ll be sure to let you know what we think. Here’s the first installment!

Dungeness Crabs with White Wine Garlic Butter

Photo and recipe courtesy of Weber-Stephen Products LLC

Ingredients:

  • 2 large live Dungeness crabs
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted bugger, cut into 8 equal pieces
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2/3 dry white wine
  • 1 baguette, torn into bite-sized pieces

Directions:

  1. Prepare the grill for direct cooking over high heat (450° to 550°F).
  2. To kill each crab, place it on its back and hold it down with a large cleaver. Use a hammer to tap the top edge of the cleaver and cut the crab in half lengthwise all the way through. Remove and discard the dangling tail flaps and mouth parts. Turn the crab over. Pull off and discard the top shell. Remove and discard the gills. Rinse each half of the crab under cold running water and use your finger to scoop out and discard the dark viscera. Slice each half into five pieces by cutting between each leg and through the body. Using the hammer again (or a nutcracker or crab cracker), crack each section of each leg to make eating easier after the crabs are cooked.
  3. In a 12-inch cast-iron skillet combine the butter, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Mix well.
  4. Place the skillet over direct high heat and cook, with the lid open, until the butter melts and the garlic turns golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the wine and cook until it comes to a boil. Remove the skillet from the grill and set it down on a heat-proof surface.
  5. Grill the crab pieces over direct high heat, with the lid open, for about 4 minutes, turning once, and then move them to the skillet. Return the skillet over direct high heat and gently turn the crab pieces with tongs to coat them with the sauce. Cook until the liquid boils and the crab is fully cooked, 2 to 3 minutes. Serve warm with pieces of bread to dip into the liquid remaining in the skillet.

To print or email your grocery list for this recipe, click here. You can find a ton of other grilling recipes on Weber’s Recipe of the Week page.

I hope you’ll check back later this week for a review on one of Weber’s portable grills. We made fajitas while trying it out – one of our favorites!

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On to meals for the week:

Monday: We’re making one of our favorite recipes ever… if you know me, you know what I’m talking about! Here’s a hint – it involves Stove Top Stuffing. Think you know? Check back Tuesday to find out, and for a video of how to make this great crowd-pleaser.

Tuesday: Burgers for the guys and grilled chicken for me!

Wednesday: Chicken stir-fry with zucchini, broccoli, carrots and onions, and Jasmine rice.

Thursday: Busy day, so we’ll probably pick something up for dinner.

Friday: Homemade pizza!

Oh, and I have to update from last week’s menu plan – we tried both frying and baking the lasagna wontons, and I have to say – they’re SO MUCH better fried! Have any of you tried baking wontons before? I wonder if maybe I didn’t have the heat high enough – even though I sprayed them with cooking spray, they still didn’t really crisp up. Brian handled the fried ones and they were amazing.

Have a wonderful week!

 

Country Crock & Wounded Warrior Project Giveaway

Reflecting its commitment to wounded warriors and their families and caregivers, Country Crock® has partnered with Wounded Warrior Project™, an organization established to raise awareness and provide aid for injured service members. As part of the alliance, Country Crock has committed $100,000 to the non-profit organization. In addition, the company has created a specially marked tub of Country Crock that will be on shelves through the end of August.

You can show your support for this great cause by visiting countrycrock.com to donate to Wounded Warrior Project!

Country Crock has put together a fun patriotic prize pack that I get to give away to one of you lucky readers! The kit includes all of your 4th of July and summer picnic essentials:

  • eco-friendly tote bag
  • picnic blanket
  • sturdy plastic plates with utensils
  • corn on the cob holders
  • patriotic cup
  • American flag for your yard or picnic area
  • “corn pen” so you can keep track of your grocery lists
  • specially marked tub of Country Crock to enjoy on corn on the cob and other vegetables this summer and beyond!

Country Crock soft spreads, with 70% less saturated fat and 30% fewer calories than butter, provide country-fresh taste and a better nutrition choice for families.   Every tub contains 0g Trans fat per serving and no partially hydrogenated oils, and Country Crock makes good habits more delicious when paired with vegetables. Country Crock® Original Spread contains 70 calories, 7g fat and 2g saturated fat per serving. Butter contains 100 calories and 11g total fat (7g saturated fat) per serving.

One lucky reader will win the patriotic prize pack from Country Crock, pictured above! This contest is open to all US residents. Entries will be accepted until the end of the day (midnight Central) Tuesday, July 12.

Mandatory Entry: Visit Country Crock’s recipe page and comment below linking me to your favorite recipe! (I’ve read your comments that for some reason you’re not able to post a link; if you can’t do a link, just tell me the name of your favorite recipe – sorry for the issues!)

(Only valid after the required entry has been completed)

Please leave a comment for each extra entry – if you blog about this giveaway and get 2 entries, for example, comment 2 times.

  • “Like” Country Crock on Facebook {2 extra entries}
  • Sign up to receive my newsletter {1 extra entry}
  • Sign up to get my updates in your e-mail {2 extra entries}
  • Subscribe to my RSS feed {2 extra entries}
  • Follow me on Twitter {1 extra entry}
  • Follow me through Google Friend Connect (over in the sidebar) {2 extra entries}
  • Click the Facebook “Share” button below this post to share it on your FB wall {1 extra entriy}
  • Click the “Tweet” button below this post to share it on your Twitter feed –  can do up to two times per day {1 extra entry per tweet}
  • Blog about this giveaway and link it back here; comment with the URL to your post {2 extra entries}
  • “Like” Frugal Novice on Facebook {1 extra entry}
  • Unlimited Extra Entry Option: Leave a NEW comment on as many other posts as you like and get one entry for each comment (entering another giveaway counts too). Be sure to let me know which posts you commented on below.

Note: Country Crock is providing the prize for the winner. I received a tub of Country Crock. I was not compensated monetarily for this post.

Friendly Friday June 24

Welcome to Friendly Friday!

Remember, YOU can host the link list on your blog, too! Just get the InLinkz code and copy it directly into your post. The code is different every week, so be sure to get the new code when hosting Friendly Friday on your blog. Hosting the list is a great way to get even more traffic to your blog and make Friendly Friday more beneficial for everyone.

Thanks for joining the Friendly Friday celebration hosted by Christi at Frugal Novice, Xenia at Thanks, Mail Carrier and Charla at Healthy Home Blog! We invite you to join us every Friday to make more friends in blogville, get more blog followers and follow other great blogs out there.

To join in the Friendly Friday celebration, include your family-friendly link in our list, follow the hostesses in the first 3 spots and then start blog hopping! Visit other blogs on the list and comment to give them some blog love. Then take a minute to follow them through Google Friend Connect – this is a good way to keep up with other blogs, but also lets us show support to each other! Please DO NOT list your giveaways here, links must be to either your homepage or your Friday posting with your blog title. All others will be deleted.

When people comment on your blog and let you know they’re a part of Friendly Friday, return the favor and follow them back. This way everyone gets traffic and followers out of participating, and it’s a win-win situation. We would love for you to also grab our Friendly Friday button and post it on your blog and/or in a post – the more bloggers that find out about Friendly Friday and participate, the better!

Spotlight on Friendly Friday Followers! We love your participation and want to show it! In addition to gaining followers, each week we’ll select three blogs at random and will feature links and a write-up for those blogs in the content of next week’s Friendly Friday post. There are so many seriously wonderful blogs out there, and this will be a great way to highlight some of those each week. Say hello to the lucky chosen 3 for this week (and feel free to stop by and give them a little extra love):

JR Frugal Mom @ The Aldi Spot is the go to site for the scoop on Aldi shopping tips, Aldi product reviews, the latest Aldi ad, and just about anything you would like to know about Aldi.   There are frequent Price Comparison posts which compare prices with Target, Walmart, and Winn Dixie.   You can see for yourself how much you can save.  Frugal Mom also has simple recipes using Aldi products, and one recipe caught my eye instantly:  Grilled Salmon with Raspberry Vinaigrette and Spinach Salad.  Sounds yummy!

Mommy of 1 and Counting is where Heather, who is a SAHM, writes about her four year old daughter, lots of frugal ideas, and giveaways.  She dearly loves her fiance and has his picture on her site along with her daughter and herself.  Heather makes her own laundry soap and bars of soap, her daughter’s clothing and hairbows,  and calls herself a “Kinda Crunchy mom.”    She’ll do just about anything so she can save pennies and uses coupons all the time.

Shawnee State University is where Hannah is majoring in photography. She shares some of her photos at Living Life: Hannah Style! as well as at her Etsy Shop where she sells her photographs.  She has some great photos with a mix of styles and effects, and it’s enjoyable looking through her work.  Hannah has giveaways on her blog as well, loves to laugh and have a good time, believes in God with all her heart, and loves life.  Oh, and she loves to center her text, all of it.  She’s a creative gal!

Now that you know about these 3 wonderful blogs, it’s time for you to join in! Add your family-friendly link below and we’ll see you back here every Friday! And don’t forget, you can get the InLinkz code to share Friendly Friday on your blog!

All three hostesses appreciate followers through GFC and Twitter, and we’ll follow you back – be sure to leave a comment with your URL and/or Twitter username. Hope everyone has a great weekend!



HIT Entertainment is a Hit at Our House!

When we choose movies and TV shows for the boys to watch, we’re pretty picky. Thankfully HIT Entertainment and LIONSGATE make it easy for us to find family-friendly, educational things the boys can enjoy and we don’t have to worry about.

We’ve gotten the opportunity to review several great DVDs from HIT Entertainment recently, and I thought I’d share some of them with y’all in case you’re looking for ideas for your children!

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Roary the Racing Car • Released June 7 • Standard Retail Price: $14.98

With this DVD you have a front row ticket to Silver Hatch Racetrack to delight in the high-speed adventures of Roary, Dragga, Zizzy and Lugga, along with human pals Big Chris, Marsha, Officer Pete and Mr. Caburettor. They drive through lessons in doing the right thing, staying positive, helping others, staying safe, problem solving and friendship.

Our Opinion: We watched this while on a road trip, so Brian and I mostly just heard the dialogue. It seemed a little slow to us, but the boys absolutely loved it, and I did like that it promoted kindness and other good qualities.

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Angelina Ballerina: Pop Star Girls • Released June 7 • Standard Retail Price: $14.98

Join beloved mouseling Angelina Ballerina and her friends as they star in an all-new, show-stopping spectacle full of fun, friendship and dance. Just like all aspiring stars, Angelina and her friends are always ready to dance and have a good time! When kids share in Angelina’s experiences, they’re inspired to go after their big dreams too.

Our Opinion: We sent this DVD with the boys when our friends babysat for them one day; they have two little girls and I figured they might enjoy it more than our boys would. J & C said they liked it but they seemed indifferent. It was a hit with the girls, though!

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Bob the Builder: The Big Dino Dig • Released June 14 • Standard Retail Price: $9.98

Bob and the Can-Do crew star in an all-new, Jurassic-sized adventure. Always on the job with a smile and a can-do attitude, Bob, Scoop, Dizzy – along with new team member Rubble – tackle every project with the power of positive thinking, problem solving, cooperation and follow-through. From start to finish, these hard workers prove the fun is in getting it done!

Our Opinion: The boys loved this movie – it combines machinery and dinosaurs; what’s not to love? I like that Bob the Builder promotes sticking with something until you finish it, and good teamwork.

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Fireman Sam: Brave New Rescues • Release Date: July 5 • Standard Retail Price: $9.98

Fireman Sam is as ready as ever to save the day! With a level head, a courageous nature and a compassionate heart, Sam is a role model for kids of all ages, teaching lessons in safety, loyalty, leadership, cooperation and friendship. Whether showing the community the importance of honesty, setting sail on the sea, organizing a surprise party or hosting a fire station open house, Fireman Sam welcomes you to join in the fun!

Our Opinion: I’m indifferent toward this DVD; Brian wished the siren wouldn’t go off so much, but I guess that’s par for the course with a fireman movie. The boys thought it was great and seemed riveted to the TV.

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Timmy Time: Picture Day • Release Date: June 28 • Standard Retail Price: $14.98

The fun and learning never stops when Timmy is ready for his close-up! Whether struggling to keep clean for class photo day, celebrating the color blue, jamming with the school band or just playing with his pals, you know your in for a barnyard-sized bunch of hilarious antics and adventures with Timmy!

Our Opinion: The boys and Brian like Timmy Time a lot – Brian for the claymation style animation, and the boys for the story lines. I think it’s a decent show, but I get a little bored if I try to watch it with them. C especially loves this, though, and asks to watch it all the time!

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Preschool Fun • Release Date: July 5 • Standard Retail Price: $14.98

Class is back in session with all your favorite friends! Making the grade in this all-new collection of eight episodes are Barney, Thomas & Friends, Fireman Sam, Bob the Builder, Angelina Ballerina, Kipper, Roary the Racing Car and Timmy Time. They’re ready to teach lessons in friendship, responsibility, cooperation, loyalty, sharing and more.

Our Opinion: This is a great mix of shows, and it’s nice to have a compilation with some variety. Great DVD for road trips!

Note: We received copies of these DVDs to review, but all opinions are honest and are our own. I was not compensated monetarily for this post.

 

What’s Your Jewelry Style?

I’m pretty simple in the way I dress. Jeans, a shirt, a cardigan and flats are my standard attire. Because of that, I have a little more fun with my jewelry. I like big chunky bracelets, colorful strands of beads, and unique earrings.

When it comes to rings, though, I’m pretty set in my ways. I have one or two rings I alternate between on my right hand, and then my left hand is reserved solely for my engagement/wedding/anniversary rings (which are soldered together into one piece):

Brian did such a good job picking out my engagement ring – it’s clean and very much “me.” I think every girl spends time looking at rings before she’s engaged, checking out beautiful brands like Tacori engagement rings and imagining what style of ring they’ll have one day.

Then it comes time to choose the wedding bands. We went together – did you go with your spouse to pick out bands?  What type of rings did each of you end up picking? For Brian we initially got a white gold band but then for our one-year anniversary I surprised him with a titanium pipe fit band that was much more his style. For girls there are so many more options, from eternity bands to rings with Pave settings.

No matter what rings are chosen, the sentiment behind them is what matters most of all, don’t you think?

Disclosure: http://cmp.ly/3

Menu Plan Monday June 20-24

Menu Plan Monday

Whew, what a weekend! It has been busy, and a blast. And we’re pooped. And tomorrow’s Monday, and we have to somehow find energy for the morning! Friday night we went over to our friends’ house to watch the 5th Harry Potter movie. I’d seen the first four movies quite a bit, but have only seen the 5th and 6th ones once, so I enjoyed this one a lot. Saturday we cleaned and ran errands, and I worked on painting our master bathroom. It’s a small room, so it theoretically should be pretty quick to paint, but there are nooks that take time – for me, anyway! We’re doing the top third of the walls a really light blue with kind of gray undertones to it, and then we’ll have white wainscoting up the other two-thirds of the wall. We’re going to put up white crown molding too, so I think it’ll really look nice! We were hoping to do some tiling on the floor today, but I need to do another coat of paint on the walls and still have to paint the ceiling too, so the floors will have to wait.

Anyway, Saturday night we got to have a DATE NIGHT! We had a gift card for our favorite Mexican restaurant, and we went to see X-Men: First Class. It was a fun movie and a fun night! Today we woke Brian up with coffee and his Father’s Day cards. The boys both made him handprint gifts at school, too. Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there, by the way, including mine (hi Dad – love you)! What did you do for the dads in your lives?

On to food for the week:

Monday: Lasagna wontons with veggies; we’re going to try baking them, and I might sprinkle some mozzarella over them a few minutes before taking them out

Tuesday: Chicken tenders and baked potato wedges – I saw a recipe that said to coat the chicken with mayonnaise and then dredge it in bread crumbs, so I’m going to try that. I’m going to use mayo w/ olive oil in it, and add some seasoning to the bread crumbs.

Wednesday: Leftovers from Monday/Tuesday

Thursday: Chicken stir fry with onion, carrots, and zucchini

Friday: We’re having our friends over for the last two Harry Potter movies, and I think we’re going to do fajitas, with homemade ice cream for dessert.

Have a wonderful week! :)