Monthly Archives: March 2010

Finance Spring Cleaning

I was recently reading an article from Dave Ramsey’s   newsletter that talked about financial spring cleaning…I think he shared some great advice!  Here are some ways he suggested to spring clean your finances:

Clean out file drawers
Prune unnecessary expenses
Update important documents

 Here are some things I will do along with my “spring cleaning”:

Organize my pantry.  I’ve been guilty of purchasing food that I didn’t realize I had, and wasted money.

Update food storage inventory list. – I love knowing what I’ve got and what I need to stock up on.  We’re starting to get a little low on powdered milk, so I’ll be stocking up this month. (well, next month technically)

Finish up and complete any garden plans. 

To read the full article from Dave Ramsey, head on over HERE

Good for a few more Laughs?

 (photo credit)

Thanks to CleanJoke.com for this and other jokes I’m sure to post on here!

HOW DO YOU DECIDE WHO TO MARRY? (written by kids)

You got to find somebody who likes the same stuff. Like, if you like sports, she should like it that you like sports, and she should keep the chips and dip coming.
— Alan, age 10

No person really decides before they grow up who they’re going to marry. God decides it all way before, and you get to find out later who you’re stuck with.
— Kristen, age 10

WHAT IS THE RIGHT AGE TO GET MARRIED?
Twenty-three is the best age because you know the person FOREVER by then.
— Camille, age 10

HOW CAN A STRANGER TELL IF TWO PEOPLE ARE MARRIED?
You might have to guess, based on whether they seem to be yelling at the same kids.
— Derrick, age 8

WHAT DO YOU THINK YOUR MOM AND DAD HAVE IN COMMON?
Both don’t want any more kids.
— Lori, age 8

WHAT DO MOST PEOPLE DO ON A DATE?
Dates are for having fun, and people should use them to get to know each other. Even boys have something to say if you listen long enough.
— Lynnette, age 8

On the first date, they just tell each other lies and that usually gets them interested enough to go for a second date.
— Martin, age 10

WHAT WOULD YOU DO ON A FIRST DATE THAT WAS TURNING SOUR?
I’d run home and play dead. The next day I would call all the newspapers and make sure they wrote about me in all the dead columns.
— Craig, age 9

WHEN IS IT OKAY TO KISS SOMEONE?
When they’re rich.
— Pam, age 7

The law says you have to be eighteen, so I wouldn’t want to mess with that.
– - Curt, age 7

The rule goes like this: If you kiss someone, then you should marry them and have kids with them. It’s the right thing to do.
— Howard, age 8

IS IT BETTER TO BE SINGLE OR MARRIED?
It’s better for girls to be single but not for boys. Boys need someone to clean up after them.
— Anita, age 9

HOW WOULD THE WORLD BE DIFFERENT IF PEOPLE DIDN’T GET MARRIED?
There sure would be a lot of kids to explain, wouldn’t there?
— Kelvin, age 8


HOW WOULD YOU MAKE A MARRIAGE WORK?
Tell your wife that she looks pretty, even if she looks like a dump truck.
— Ricky, age 10

Some Good, Clean Laughs

We all need to laugh a little more, don’t you think?

A preacher was completing a temperance sermon; with great expression he said, “If I had all the beer in the world, I’d take it and throw it into the river.”

With even greater emphasis he said, “And if I had all the wine in the world, I’d take it and throw it into the river.”

And then finally, he said, “And if I had all the whiskey in the world, I’d take it and throw it into the river.”

He sat down.

The song leader then stood very cautiously and announced with a smile, “For our closing song, let us sing Hymn # 365: “Shall We Gather at the River.”

Do A Deed…

I sometimes wonder…am I the only one who is disgusted by the amount of liter around?  I walk my daughter to and from school, and it’s really not a long walk (1/3 mile each way).  I try to walk often, since I’m getting some exercise in too.  I’m all about multitasking!  However, EVERY SINGLE TIME I’m walking there, I’m astounded by the amount of liter I see around…especially in the school yard.  It’s kind of sad, really.
So, with that in mind, here’s the easy, simple, yet effective good deed for the week:
Take a family walk and pick up liter!!!
This couldn’t be simpler.  I simply grab an empty grocery bag and take with me as I head on over to pick Munchkin up from school, and on the way home we pick up whatever we find.  Munchkin thinks it’s a great game!  In fact, she loves it so much that the other day she suggested we go on a walk specifically to pick up trash.  We took a different route and found all sorts of new stuff.  One advantage…we found a few pennies too:-)  Now THAT made Munchkin’s day (okay, it totally made my day too, I’ll admit it).

What suggestions and/or ideas do you have for simple, easy, wallet-friendly service ideas?  I’d love to feature ideas!

Frugal Friday – Cooking with Rice

Rice. It’s such a staple. It’s cheap, nutritious, and versatile. I feel like I’m a frugal gal every time I cook with rice. (I’m easy to please, apparently)
I’ve included a couple of recipes, as well as the links for a bunch of different yummy rice recipes for you to enjoy:
Apple Rice Toffee (dessert) (Deseret Recipes)
2 cups cooked rice
4 cups sliced apples
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp grated lemon rind
Mix the above ingredients together. Put in a buttered 9″x9″ baking dish. Add 1/4 cup water. Cover apples and rice completely with toffee mixture (below). Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
Toffee Mixture
1/2 cup gluten-free flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup butter/margarine, softened
Mix the dry ingredients well. Cut the butter/margarine into sugar mixture until the size of small peas.
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
 
(photo credit)
Ham/Chicken Fried Rice
1 cup frozen carrots and peas
3 cups cooked rice
1 cup cooked cubed ham or chicken
1-2 Tbsp olive oil
1 egg
2 Tbsp soy sauce
In a large bowl, combine the peas and carrots, rice and ham or chicken. Mix well. Heat oil in a large skillet. Pour rice mixture into skillet and stir over medium heat until heated through, a couple of minutes. Add the egg. Cook and mix in with the rice mixture until the egg is done to your liking. Mix in the soy sauce just before serving.*And now, here are some links for some fantastic recipes!!  Check out the ratings, they really are delicious!
Pineapple Rice                                       Perfect Crock Pot RiceRice Pudding                                         Riz Au Lait

Karjalan Pies                                        Silky and Creamy Wild Rice Soup

Burnt Butter Rice                                 Indian Saffron Rice

Portugese Sweet Rice

Happy eating!

Thoughtful Thursday

 (photo credit)

“The Lord doesn’t expect us to work harder than we are able. He doesn’t (nor should we) compare our efforts to those of others. Our Heavenly Father asks only that we do the best we can—that we work according to our full capacity, however great or small that may be.” Dieter F. Uchtdorf

A Mother’s Courage: Talking Back to Autism

If you have HBO, be sure to tune in on April 2, International Autism Awareness Day, to see A Mother’s Courage: Talking Back to Autism.  This movie is HBO’s documentary of a mother’s journey to get answers for her child’s autism.  Kate Winslet will narrate the film. 

I don’t have HBO, so I will be unable to view it.  If you watch it, please leave a comment here and let me know what you thought about it! 

The documentary debuts Friday, April 2 (6:00-7:45 p.m. ET/PT).

Do A Deed…Meals on Wheels

Want ideas to make YOUR world and community a better place, without breaking the bank?  No problem!  I will be posting new ideas for doing good deeds without spending much, if any, money.
Some ideas may work for you, some may not.  Take what you like and toss the rest!  As you “do your deed” each week, you’ll be playing a HUGE part in improving the world….one deed at a time!
So, without further ado, here is this weeks’ idea: 
MEALS ON WHEELS
When making your family’s favorite dinners, double, or even triple, the recipe and freeze the extra.  If a neighbor or loved one suddenly comes down ill, is going through a tough emotional time, has just had surgery (or a baby!), you’ll have some delicious homemade meals on hand to share for very little time or money.
I have a sweet cousin who had twins a few years ago.  For her baby shower gift, I bought a cooler and filled it with frozen meals I’d made.  She’s probably being more kind than she needs to be (cause she’s SO DANG nice!), but she told me it was her favorite gift to receive.  And honestly, it didn’t cost me that much.  I spent more time than money on it, which is how any gift SHOULD be!  (In my opinion)
I will continue posting freezer recipes.  In the meantime, you can see some here or here.
Oh yeah, you can also go here! 
What are you waiting for?  Let’s get doing some deeds!

March’s Menu

I’ve kinda slacked when it comes to planning meals this month…but I’m gonna make up for it the rest of the month!  Here’s the plan for the rest of the month.  We’ll also be going to Chick-Fil-A one of these days since we have a free meal coming to us!  Maybe on my birthday.:-) 

Anyway, without further ado, the remainder of our menu for March:

Chicken Enchilada Soup

Breakfast – pancakes, eggs, sausage

Meatballs, carrots, mashed potatoes

Easy Fishcakes, rice, salad, Popovers

Roasted Potatoes Dijon, homemade fishsticks

Chicken Noodle Soup with homemade noodles,

French Toast Fingers

Potato Dumplings, Barbecue Chicken (in a crockpot)

Potato Fry

Chicken and Rice Casserole

Scalloped Potatoes

Tacos

Frugal Friday – Homemade "Refried" Beans (GF)

So…this week for “Frugal Friday”, we’re going to talk about beans.

Beans are healthy.  They’re loaded with fiber.
Beans are cheap.  They hardly cost a thing (especially if you buy dry)
Beans are easy to store.
Beans CAN taste good!!

Okay, so there you have it.  Now, go buy some beans!

Just kidding, I really do have a recipe to share.  This is how I make “refried” beans for my family, and it’s SERIOUSLY easy!!!

To start, measure 2 cups of dry beans with 6 cups water and dump it all in the crockpot.  Cook on low for about 8 hours.  (I do this overnight then finish up in the morning, but do it however works for you)

When they’re good and soft, drain them (save the water though) and puree in the food processor in batches.  Add the water from cooking in as needed to get a good consistency.

Once you’ve pureed the whole thing, stick it all in a saucepan over medium low heat on the stove.  Add the following ingredients:
2 Tbsp Chili powder
2 tsp cumin
1-2 Tbsp hot sauce (I always just add a couple of packets of sauce from Del Taco…we get a bazillion of them every time we buy tacos!)
2-3 tsp salt (to taste)
*All these measurements need to be adjusted according to your taste buds.  I’d start with a little, taste, and add more as you like.  These are the measurements I use…

Stir it until mixed well and heated through.  Then serve, or freeze for later use:

Voila!  Easy as pie, and so much healthier than the canned refried beans you buy!