positive thinking

It’s Monday.  yet again.  Monday and I are not friends.  However this week is busy and I need/want Monday to be my friend.  I am going with the power of positive thinking!

It is one of those weeks where the whole family is really busy and there are lots of activities in the evening as well.  I work all week, the kids are in school, my husband has his final exam this week, we have a meeting at the school about next year, end of the year portfolio night is this week, dance recital for my daughter is this week, the neighborhood garage sale is this weekend as well as my daughter’s birthday party.  I need each day to be productive and get the to do list done and done early!

So I am going to start out the week with positive thinking!  I can do it.  I will stay focused and get things done.  Monday and I will be friends this week.  I will be productive this week.  The kids will help out.

We can do this!

Talk to you soon,



Mexican Slop

Yes, I served slop for dinner – but doesn’t it look yummy!

My husband and I have been on a Mexican food kick lately (actually we are always on a Mexican food kick).  This week I didn’t have all of the ingredients for our Mexican Casserole (insert large gasp from my husband and all those out there who menu plan).  Never fear I said… I can handle this.  I grabbed everything out of the pantry and fridge that was “Mexican related”.  I browned up the ground beef, add ranch style beans, black beans, corn, enchilada seasoning, diced tomatoes, corn, shredded cheese and voila!  Mexican Slop is born!!!!  The picture above is just one of the pans it made.  We have been enjoying this all week – served with shredded lettuce, some sour cream and salsa!

I don’t have a recipe to share (insert collective awe’s from the crowd), but perhaps I am learning to just cook based on what I “think” will taste good.

Talk to you soon,


what do you call it?

Do you ever rename foods so your family will eat it?  Over the weekend I made a taco ring for dinner.  My 5 year old son wouldn’t touch it.  I don’t like tacos he decided.  After hearing it was just hamburger meat (my husband and I “forgot” to tell him it had taco seasoning on it – wink, wink) and a crescent roll, two things he likes, he decided he liked it.  He wanted to call this sunshine hamburger.

So my do it by the books daughter will call the dinner taco ring.  My 5 year old son will call it sunshine hamburger.  My 2 year old son is still debating it merits.

We are trying to come up with a family name for this recipe so that we all know and like it.

Talk to you soon,


Mexican Casserole

Last month I told you about a pinterest success – Mexican Casserole.  My husband and I love Mexican flavored foods. Yummy!  We have spent the last month eating this meal a lot and tweaking it to our flavor preferences.  Here is what we have come up with.

  • 1 lb ground lean turkey
  • 1 package taco seasoning (we use reduced sodium)
  • 1 package ranch dressing mix
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes
  • 2 cans ranch style beans
  • a dallop of lite sour cream
  • light shredded mexican cheese
  • Sun Chips – original flavor

brown the meat and add the taco seasoning and ranch seasoning.  Add the tomatoes and beans.  mix in a dallop of sour cream (I like to give it that creamy look).  simmer until flavors are well blended.  Then layer the casserole in a 9×13 per the original post.  We prefer the taste of sunchips in this recipe.  As we are currently following Weight Watchers, we divide the 9×13 into 6 servings for 7-8pts per serving (depending on how much cheese you use).

I think we could eat mexican 7 days a week.  Do you have a favorite Mexican flavored dish?

Talk to you soon,



Best Dessert Ever

If you don’t like desserts that melt in your mouth or make you eat the entire batch in one sitting – stop reading now.  Go no farther.  I will also add that this dessert is not Weight Watchers friendly.  However, if you want to give your taste buds a real treat, then this is a must make (and did I mention no bake)

I came across these on pinterest, and the sixsisterstuff.com recipe was a no fail!!!  I made a double batch for my first attempt as we were getting together with friends.  They were gone in record time!!!  The only change to the recipe I made was I used white chocolate peanut butter vs. plain peanut butter.   Happy Eating!

Talk to you soon,


monthly goals

Oops. I just looked back at my March goals and realized that I didn’t do a very good job…

  • workout consistently
  • organize my cookbook cabinet
  • go through kids clothes and see what they outgrew during the winter months

I didn’t workout consistently, I didn’t get my cookbook cabinet organized.  I did start to go through the kids clothes and see what they have outgrown…  that happened out of necessity to clear out closets for the orkin man vs actively working on my goals.

I have decided that life has thrown me some curveballs.  I am going to try and hit those curveballs and turn them into homeruns.  Therefore, no monthly resolutions for April.  I just feel that I need the month off to get life done.   Do you ever feel that way?

Talk to you soon,


Back to Basics

Wow!  What a few weeks it has been.  Flooded basement.  Orkin man out to take care of bugs in the house.  Spring break.  Busy, crazy, fun.  Spring break was definately needed after the other events to recharge.  But my house is a MESS!!!  We still haven’t gotten the basement completely put back together.  We have not gotten the okay from Orkin to move back into the treated rooms.  The Easter Bunny was here.  That leaves ZERO rooms in the house that are not a disaster.  I am about to crawl out of my skin to get my house put back together.  However, as I try and be patient, I am also returning to the basics… my basics for putting the house back together.

1) Make the beds daily.  It gives the illusion that the room is put together.

2) Do it now!  If I can get a chore done in less then 2 minutes, I just do it now!  i.e.  when lunch is done, I just do the dishes.  no sense in letting the dishes pile to do them all later.  And it is fun to set a timer and see how much I can get done in 120 seconds.

3) Don’t panic.  With 5 people living in the house, there will always be a mess.  Tackle what I can, and tackle a little at a time.

4) Clean in order.  Determine what order you need to clean your house.  It doesn’t make sense to do 2 minutes in each room when the whole house is a mess.  Once you have your house in order, then the 2 minutes per room will work.


Today was a lot of deep breathing and tackling one thing at a time.  I worked, did laundry and cleaned toilets  Tomorrow the rest of the bathrooms will get done.  At least then the bathrooms will be spotless!

Talk to you soon,


Review – Money Saving Mom’s Budget Audio Book

I was delighted to be selected to review Crystal Paine’s new audio book Money $aving Mom’s budget.  In a unique twist of audio books, Crystal read the book herself.  I really felt hearing the author read the book gave it even more backbone.  You could hear Crystal’s passion come through in her voice as she read the book aloud.

The Money Saving Mom's Budget: Slash Your Spending, Pay Down Your Debt, Streamline Your Life, and Save Thousands a Year

I enjoyed listening to the book and hearing all of her advice.  I started taking notes as to what I think will work for my family, and what may not.  Seeing it on paper, I was able to start breaking it down, but I also became overwhelmed.  But then I remembered Crystal’s advice – don’t try and do it all at once.

As we are preparing for life changes for our family, the advice that I am taking most to heart is writing down our financial goals, then breaking them into monthly goals and weekly goals.  It has really helped my husband and I to understand what we need to do on the day to day front to reach our goal in 1 year.

Best of all, when I need a refresher, I can just listen to the book again or visit Crystal on her blog moneysavingmom.com.  There is something for everyone in this book.  Where will you start?

Talk to you soon,


About Crystal Paine:
Crystal Paine is a wife and homeschooling mom to three young children who has been writing on topics related to frugality for the last five years—and living a frugal, simple, and debt-free life since she was born. Her blog, MoneySavingMom.com, is one of the top personal finance blogs on the web averaging over four million pageviews per month. Crystal has contributed to articles in Woman’s Day magazine and All You magazine, as well as being mentioned on National Public Radio and CNN.com, in USA Weekend, and Real Simple magazine and numerous other local newspapers and radio and television stations. www.moneysavingmom.com