Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Happiness is....

Knowing that I have 20 meals prepared and ready to go in my freezer. Once upon a time, I loved cooking. Really. I even wore an apron (homemade, of course.) I'm still smitten by a cute apron, but I no longer want to be standing in front of the stove, stirring spices into whatever I've concocted, or rolling out buttermilk biscuits on my countertops. Somedays, I don't mind it, but most days I just long to be Joan Jetson and punch in my order and have it magically appear, warm and ready. Since that isn't likely to happen, and Rosey isn't strolling around cleaning up my messes when I do cook, I found a way to simplify our dinners.

Once a month, we do a Costco run. We then come home, and Bo (God bless him) and I spend a couple hours preparing anywhere from 12 to 19 meals. (I think we hit 21 meals once!) These aren't complicated, fancy meals. But they are economical, filling, delicious, and READY when I need them! And it really doesn't take that long to prepare them.

Here's what's in my freezer now:
1 Italian Red Sauce
3 Mango Cranberry Chicken
3 Cheesy Chilada Bake
1 Mariachi Chicken
2 Tequila Lime Chicken
1 Teriyaki Chicken
1 Urban Garlic Chicken
4 Honey Glazed Chicken
1 Cashew Chicken Stir-Fry
2 Ginger Beef
1 Beef AuJus

I started cooking this way when a friend told me about the book The Warehouse Gourmet. They have since discontinued the printing of that book, but published a new book called Fix, Freeze, & Feast. (Check Amazon for it!) We started small...just did three simple recipes which yielded us nine dinners. Of course, in one month, we don't want to eat those same three dishes more than once or twice, so there will be some of them left over when we go shopping the next month. From there, we typically began making 15-19 meals at a time, so now we have lots of meals, ready and waiting. Some are for the slow cooker, others baked, while still others put Bo to work on the grill.

I just wanted to share, because I know lots of people spend a fortune going to places to do this very thing, but you really can do it yourself, at home, for a fraction of the cost.

Fix, Freeze, Feast

Monday, April 14, 2008

Testing out my new signature!

After checking out how to do this on, I generated a signature at Let's see if it works!

WooHOOOO!!! I DID get it to work!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

A New Spin on an Old Favorite

Okay...for all you tech-savvy peeps out there, this is nothing new, but I am sooo not that gal! I bucked computers and the internet for a long time, and still don't understand how to do much more than answer my cellphone when it rings. Necessity is the mother of all inventions (or abilities, as it were) though. I am now doing *digital scrapbooking!*

With the house on the market, there is just no way I can do the traditional paper scrapbooking that I've done for years. It takes forever just to bring all my supplies downstairs, get set-up, and then have to put it all back again. But, as weeks, and then months after returning from China ticked away, I started getting more and more worried about forgetting important dates, stories, and things I wished to express. Well, my friend, Ang (who is uber-tech-savvy) was coming for a visit back in February. She also just happens to be a Creative Memories consultant! I made her hook me up! She downloaded the program I needed for me, and then taught me how to download freebies, oh, how I love freebies, and also how to download cool fonts.

Now, I am able to work on pages during the girl's ever shortening naps and in the evenings, just by pulling out my laptop!

I'll post a couple of pages that I've made so far, and believe me, if I can do this, anyone can!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

My Blog Has Been Spiffed!

My friend, Sharon, over at Spiffy Blogs did an amazing job on my blog makeover. Isn't it just the cutest thing you've ever seen? I'm so motivated now to add to it, if for no other reason than to see this cute design.

And let me tell you...she is a digi-genius! Sharon translated exactly what I asked for into this design (and really quickly, too.) I had even emailed her some fonts I liked, and she incorporated them all into it.

When it was all said and done, I told her I realized I'm alot like Meg Ryan in "When Harry Met Sally." I'm the worst kind...I think I'm low maintenance, but I'm really high maintenance.

What's more, when you have Sharon Spiffy your Blog, she donates $5 towards bringing another child home from China!

Thanks, Sharon!

A Homeschooling Post

I haven't posted anything about our homeschooling on this new blog yet, so I thought I'd share a little about that.

Clay is a freshman, and our favorite find for both him (or is it he, grammar police?) and Mary, our 6th grader, is Teaching Textbooks Math. Oh, my word, how this has saved us! I actually did quite well in math back in my day, but I don't remember much of anything since the extent of my daily practice is balancing a checkbook and doubling recipes (or tripling, if it's cookies.) The kids have quickly gone beyond the scope of my math teaching capabilities, and TT has been a Godsend.

It teaches the lesson, and you watch as it is presented on a sheet of notebook paper (on the computer.) The student watches the examples being worked, as well as hearing the lecture. If any problems are missed, they can then watch the problem being worked out, thus reinforcing the correct way to solve it, rather than wait for mom to grade it (WHEN I get around to it) and then still having no idea how to come up with the right answer.

The best thing is, they BOTH look forward to math now, and it has become their favorite subject!

You can check it out at Teaching Textbooks