Wednesday, December 31, 2008

  {A New Year...What now?}

Wow, another year has come to a close and a new one begins. Lots of people thing of New Years as a day of champagne, resolutions, and black eyed peas. For me this year, its more about setting goals that I can actually reach. Our pastor shared a message this past weekend about being honest with yourself about where your priorities are. This is where I get this list...

My goals for 2009 are:

Continue my weight loss. I am not setting a specific goal, I just want to fit exercises into my day and still eat healthy!

I want to have more family dinners. I love having everyone over and cooking a big meal, I defiantly need to do this more this year.

Post more recipes!!! I get emails and comments from you all to post recipes over here of food I really eat, and honestly, when I cook, I take the photos, but I forget to load them up and post them! So I really will try to do more of that this year.

Repurposing. I love to buy new things and go shopping, but repurposing things I already have around my home is way more fun..and when I do this, I will show it off to all of you!

I don't want to list so many things that I don't get around to them, but I think this is a good jumping off point for me!

I want to thank you all for reading and subscribing to my blog, I LOVE blogging and have met some amazing women here, learned more about decorating and cooking than I ever thought I could. But most of all, I have learned a lot about myself! So thank you all for that!!!
God bless and have a wonderful and safe New Year!!
SEE YOU IN 2009!!!

blog siggy

Monday, December 29, 2008

  {Menu Plan Monday: Dec.29}

Last menu for this year!!! YAY! :)
I did the menu a little different this week. I didn't plan specific breakfasts for each day, I just got a few things that I could make over and over to make it easier!

biscuits with egg and sausage
everything bagels with cream cheese
English muffins with poached eggs and bacon
cereal and fruit
oatmeal with sauteed apples and brown sugar

- Crock pot Pot Roast with root veggies and sweet potatoes (save half the roast for later in the week)
Tuesday - chicken pot pie**
Wednesday - BBQ with my sister and BIL for New Years!
Thursday - Mexican skillet with cream cheese added served with crock pot pinto beans**
Friday - TX Cowboy pie made with leftover pot roast
Saturday - chicken noodle soup**
Sunday - Chicken Alfredo pizza with broccoli and mozzarella (made with morning star "chicken" strips)
Monday - crock pot potato chowder with buttery bread machine rolls

**The Mexican skillet, chicken pot pie, and chicken noodle soup are all made from ONE chicken! Click here to see the recipes:

To see more Menu Plan Monday's check out Organizing Junkie!

blog siggy

Friday, December 26, 2008

  {The Secret is out}

Hey Everyone! I hope you all had a WONDERFUL Christmas! I have so many photos to edit and put up on the blog, I will do that very soon, but for now, I wanted to FINALLY list my secret blog over here so if you never got to see it, or just wanted to bookmark it for future use then you are more than welcome!

I sent out over 100 invitations to you wonderful blog readers for the secret blog, and have decided to LEAVE IT UP so that you can come to it year round!

So here it is!

Even better, whenever other occasions come up, birthdays, anniversaries, etc. and I make gifts, I will be sharing them over there as well! I am hoping this will be something really fun to keep up and help me be more inspired to create instead of buy, buy, buy!

Thank you all so much for supporting me and all of the other "Thrifty 50"!

blog siggy

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

  {The true meaning of Christmas}

And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

”Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”
~Luke 2

blog siggy

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

  {Don't Panic..your can still have a beautiful Christmas!}

If your anything like me, you wait until the last minute to do EVERYTHING! I am the queen of procrastination!
But this year I had actually seen and idea for my table on Christmas that I just died over! So I bought the little balls and the candles and the candy and I put it all together, and I HATED IT!!!! So, a quick trip to the dollar store, and some creativity with things I already had, and I have a table fit for 10 in less than an hour. And the best cost UNDER $30!!!

Here was my first table. I had purchased all of these items at Hobby Lobby and the Dollar store for this table. (There is a price breakdown at the bottom)

So I grabbed some garland that I still had in a box...

Still not enough.

Throw on some gold balls from the $1 store

getting better...

"Hey Mom, don't we have some of those paper mache letter that we can paint gold?"

Now, just a touch of ribbon on the candles and it's done!

Don't forget to fix the Chandelier to match!

and look, even Cuddles decided to get in on the red and white theme!!

So how did I do all of this for under $30?
(everything that is $1ea. are from the dollar store!)
Table Runner: $1.00
Crystal like candle holders: $1.00ea. X 4= $4.00
Taper Candles: Already had from IKEA
Small Red Candles: $1.00ea X 2= $2.00
Large white candles: $3.99ea. on 50% off sale= $3.99 for both
Garland: already had
Red Balls: $4.99 on 50% off sale= $2.49
Gold Balls: $1.00 ea X 2pkg= $2.00
J-O-Y Letters: $1.99 ea on 30% off sale= $4.17 for all three
Gold paint: already had
Glass Jars: Already had (From walmart $1.87 ea!)
Candy: Already had red hots and peppermint sticks, peppermint rounds were $1.00
Silver Charger Tray: $1.87 with 40% off coupon= $1.12

Oh, and HOP ON OVER to my Secret Blog, I have one more LAST MINUTE gift project that you can do TODAY!!!

blog siggy

Monday, December 22, 2008

  {Menu Plan Monday Dec.22nd}

I have been wanting to join in on Menu plan Monday for FOREVER but never got around to doing it. I have been menu planning for years to save money and my sanity at dinner time! So now I get to share my meals with you! I am going to try REALLY hard to do this every Monday.
Here is our Christmas Menu for this week:

Breakfast - Gingerbread Pancakes with fat free whipped cream
Dinner - Pork chops with baked potatoes and apple slices

Breakfast - Amish baked oatmeal with rasins and cinnamon
Dinner - Egg salad sandwiches with lowfat chips

Wednesday: Christmas Eve
Breakfast - Breakfast Tacos with black beans and salsa
Dinner - Chinese Takeout

Thursday: Christmas Day
Breakfast - Sticky Buns (these are SOOO good!) and Sausage Kolaches
Dinner - Mexican Feast including: Cheese Enchiladas, Homemade Tamales (we made these a few days ago), charro beans, spanish rice, queso, quacamole, salsa, and Chocolate Cake for Jesus! :)

Breakfast - english muffins with turkey sausage patties and cheese
Dinner - Meatball Sandwiches and salad (I'm using my own pasta sauce for this to save $)

Breakfast - Cereal and Toast with fruit
Dinner - Grilled Chicken leg 1/4's with chicken flavored rice and salad

Breakfast - Leftover muffins from last week
Dinner - Spaghetti with homemade sauce and garlic bread

for more menu plan monday's check out The Organizing Junkie!

blog siggy

Sunday, December 21, 2008


As you all know, I was challenged this year to make all my gifts for under $50.00! Well, the challenge ended before I could add this on, but I thought I would share it over here so everyone could get the recipes to make for Christmas! :)

I did this as teacher gifts, boxed them up in fun little tubs from the dollar store, simple, and cheap! But most important, DELISH!!!

First up is Macadamia Butter-Crunch Popcorn. This one is a BIG hit in my house! :)

Here is what you need:
25 cups (from about 1 cup kernels) popped popcorn
4 cups raw whole macadamia nuts, toasted (about 1 pound)
1 1/4 cups packed light-brown sugar
5 tablespoons light corn syrup
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter
1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda

here is how to make it:
Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Put popcorn in a large bowl. Add the nuts; set aside. Put sugar, corn syrup, butter, and salt in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until mixture comes to a gentle simmer, about 4 minutes. Stop stirring; continue cooking until mixture lightens in color, 5 minutes more. Remove from heat; stir in baking soda.

Pour sugar mixture over popcorn and nuts; toss to coat. Transfer to rimmed baking sheets; bake, stirring every 20 minutes, until almost dry, about 1 hour. Let cool on sheets on wire racks.

Next is Chocolate-Almond Popcorn! Its soooo good!
You will need:
25 cups popped popcorn (from about 1 cup kernels)
3 cups unsalted whole skin-on almonds, toasted (about 1 pound)
1 cup sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons coarse salt

and you make it like this:
Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Put popcorn in a large bowl. Add the nuts; set aside. Put sugar, corn syrup, butter, cocoa, and salt in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until mixture comes to a gentle simmer, about 5 minutes.

Pour sugar mixture over popcorn and nuts; toss to coat. Transfer to rimmed baking sheets; bake, stirring every 20 minutes, until almost dry, about 1 hour. Let cool on sheets on wire racks.

If you make them together at the same time, you can be done in about an hour and a half. I blogged in between stirring times! :)
I hope you like these! If you want even more holiday recipes, visit

blog siggy

Saturday, December 20, 2008

  {Something strange is going on.....}

I think something is up at my house.

Because I think we have all lost our minds...

There is something running around that wasn't here the other day...What could it be?

That's right, we got a NEW PUPPY!!! This is Lagan's Early Christmas gift that she has been waiting A YEAR for!!! She is so excited!

She named him CUDDLES! :)

He has been here with us for two days now and we just love him to pieces! He is a Yorkie-Pom (one of those "Designer Dogs" they are making now! hehe You know, mutts they charge an arm and a leg for because they custom breed them!)
He is so well mannered! Cuddles is three months old and weighs 2 and a half pounds! He's a tiny little monster! :)

I hope you all have a Merry Christmas...even if you don't get a dog as cute as mine......I mean, Lagan's! :) hehe

blog siggy

Monday, December 15, 2008

  It's a sad end...

No, I'm not going to stop blogging! Its just the end of the Thrifty for under Fifty Challenge tonight! I have had the most amazing time crafting my Christmas gifts this year. I hope I am giving some gifts that will really mean something to my family! :) Plus, I made all of my presents for a GRAND TOTAL OF:

Drum Roll Please.....


I have posted all of my gifts onto my secret blog. If you don't yet have the address, let me know by leaving a comment on this post with your EMAIL ADDRESS so I can send it to you!

Also, don't forget to check out the YCMT blog for updates. I am on TEAM KRIS!! We have really been knocking out these gifts! Some amazing girls on there!!!!

I just want to say thank you to Kim, Kris, and the entire staff over at YCMT for letting me participate in this opportunity. I had a blast!!

blog siggy

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

  {Masquerade...every face a different shade!}

Have you ever seen Phantom of the Opera? Well, its my FAVORITE musical of all time. I used to read the book when I was a child, then I grew up and saw the Broadway play, then when the movie came out, I went to see it on Opening night. I have the DVD, both the regular and collectors addition. I also have the soundtrack, both the regular and the extended collectors addition! lol

Anyway, my point. The woman's ministry at my Church hosted a Masquerade this week. It was a BLAST! We had an amazing message, great music, and masks galore! The Masquerade scene is my favorite in Phantom, and I felt so awesome in my mask. Not to mention...

I wore a dress for the first time in my adult life WITH a high waisted belt thank you very much!!

lol!!! I loved every minute of it! I went with my mom and my sister, here we all are before we left. (I must have been tilting my head back here, because my face looks huge! lol)

And here is my lovely sister, Brittany, in her mask.

And me in mine!

It was a night to truly remember!

blog siggy

Thursday, December 4, 2008

  {It's my Business' Birthday!}

**I just noticed, this is also THIS BLOG'S 100th POST!!!! YAY!

This is so exciting! One year ago I set out to work from home and I was determined to be successful at it! The only skill I could sell was Designing graphics. I had learned all about designing blog's while designing mine. And I had been making graphics since I was 12! So that was my mission. I told my mom I would give it 3 months and if it didn't take, I would go back to work.

Needless to say, it took, and it took well! Well, so far so good anyway! :) I have been in business for a year now designing blogs, websites, logos and splash pages for people ever since!

I just wanted to share with you all because I was just so happy that I finally succeeded at something other than being a Chef!! hehe
If you have never been over to my site, you are more than welcome to visit here: EXPRESSIVE STYLE GRAPHICS

blog siggy

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

  {The incredible shrinking woman....well, sort of}

Hey Everyone! So its been a while since I have updated my Live Well Wednesday! I am still working out and eating healthy and loosing weight slowly but surely. I have lost about 18 pounds to date!!! But why take my word for it when a picture is worth a thousand words, right? Below you will find the first photos that I posted when I weighed 237 pounds!! Next to them you will find me TODAY weighing in at 219 pounds! Can you tell the difference?

Oh, and here is my leg in my jeans. I wore the same ones from the first pictures. They are almost a whole size too big in the waist and they are about 3 sizes too big in the leg!

I want to thank everyone for your continued support in this battle to loose the weight. I hope I can get back into posting more often on this subject, because I know a lot of you all are going through this too! Thanks for letting me share my success thus far! :)

blog siggy

link within: Blog Widget by LinkWithin