Oct 31, 2008

Happy Halloween! (Addy update!)

Happy Halloween! I'll be sure to post back tomorrow with trick-or-treat photos. Since this will be Addy's first time trick-or-treating, I thought we'd do a reverse trick-or-treat and hand candy back to the houses we visit. Nick and I made cute little treat bags last night with about 5 pieces of candy in each. We used up some of my scrapbook scrap paper and they turned out so cute. We won't be home to pass out candy, so this is our way to give back. I hope people get it. We'll probably only hit 10 houses or so, but still, it should be fun. The weather looks great too. Between 60-68 degrees. Not bad for Halloween in Indiana!

Yesterday we had an eventful day. After working in the morning, we had to take Addy to Riley for her 18 month pediatrician appointment. She got a vaccine and a flu shot. Unless she gets sick, they don't need to see her for 6 months! YAHOO! Her weight is still a concern, but the developmental team is following that so the pediatrician said he didn't need to follow it too.

I asked the doctor to print the results of her Upper GI and Small Bowel Follow Through for me since I hadn't gotten them (test was done Sept 22). No problem. He did and it showed no abnormalities. I also received the results from the pH probe and the impedance study in the mail yesterday. Once again, no abnormalities... her level of acid reflux was totally in the norm, she didn't even need the prevacid we had been giving her for the better part of a year now! (Of course, she could have grown out of it a little too, but I wonder why no one suggested this test before we started medicating her!). The other day, we received a letter about the biopsies they did during the endoscopy. Of course, they were all normal, so all the tests we've done so far have not gotten us any closer to the answer to why she is always vomiting and can't handle her feedings well.

I called the GI office after returning home from the hospital. Dr. Fitzgerald, himself, called me back and said he really didn't think there was anything else they could do for us and he referred us back to developmental. His suggestion was that it was behavioral. I just couldn't really wrap my head around it. Why on earth would she be vomiting on purpose? Doesn't make any sense to me. Then, while on the phone with someone else, Dr. Fitzgerald called back and left a voicemail. He said that there was one other test that could be done, a gastric emptying test. The results of this may show why she is vomiting and not able to handle volume or rate increases well. He said his office would be calling to schedule the tests.

Dr. Fitzgerald has also passed all of these test results on to developmental and has requested that developmental contact us about doing a swallow study. I think the last one we did was about a year ago. This would rule out aspiration and would allow us to be more confident with giving her food by mouth. I'd also like to discuss a possible food allergy test with developmental, although I think this is done by the pulmonology office. I've asked from day one if she could possibly be allergic to something in her Neosure and all the doctors have been adament that it wasn't possible. We'll see.

Addy is 18 months and 6 days old (14 months and 21 days according to her due date) and weighs 18 lbs, 5.7oz. Her length is 28 1/4". Obviously, this is well below the pecentage charts and we'd all love to see her catch up. Look at the hair growing over her little ears... she may need a haircut soon!

Oct 30, 2008

Car Seat Dillema

So, remember this post about getting Addyson a new car seat? Well, we did get that car seat and tried to install it as a rear facing, but for some reason, the latch system didn't work well with that seat. Since safety is more important than a great deal, we took that car seat back to Kmart and are in search of another one. I'm thinking about getting the Evenflo Triumph Advance LX Convertible Car Seat but I wish it came in a more girly color. Does anyone have any reviews of this car seat that they'd like to share with me before we go looking this weekend? I'd be interested in looking at other carseats, so send me your recommendations. Addy only weighs about 18 lbs, is about 29 inches tall, and is 18 months old. I drive a small SUV, but Nick will sometimes need to put it into the bucket seat of his small S-10 pickup truck. We'd like to do rear-facing for as long as possible.

Oct 27, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

This week is a little scattered with Halloween and Nick being out of town for a bit, but here is our Menu none the less.

Sunday - loaded baked potatoes (Nick brought potatoes home from work and we used things from the fridge to complete the meal)
Monday - leftovers of the Chicken Enchiladas from last week for Nick (they were WAY too spicy for me! and I made Tuna Casserole (from pantry stockpile) for myself
Tuesday - Nick's out of town, so I'll eat leftover Tuna Casserole
Wednesday - Eggs & Toast (late night for Nick at work)
Thursday - Pork Chops (on sale), Scalloped Potatoes (from my pantry stockpile)
Friday - (quick because of Halloween!) Sloppy Joes (on sale $0.99/can @ Meijer + buy 3 get buns FREE!, need to buy ground beef & chips for "side dish")
Saturday - Chili in crockpot (I've been stocking up on supplies for this, so all I need to buy is ground beef!)

I've been overspending quite a bit at the grocery store because I've been stocking up on great prices. Nick bought me a tall storage cabinet to put in the garage (since my car is too big to park in the garage, I thought it only fair that I could use a little of the space for food storage!). I'll store canned goods and cleaning supplies out there, as I worry about critters if I store boxed goods like cereal and pasta. This week, I decided to use my stockpile and only buy a few things we need to complete the menu. Remember, however, this is a great time of year to stock up on baking goods (flour, sugar, etc.) so I did need to get a few things I was almost out of.

What's everyone else dishing up this week? Head over to Menu Plan Monday at I'm an Organizing Junkie to find out!

Oct 23, 2008

Thirsty Thursday

Ok, this one contains alcohol too, like last week. Sorry for those of you looking for family friendly or healthy drinks! I mentioned last week that I'd post about an interactive drink that we like to have with our friends at parties, such as the Halloween Party coming up. I think I learned this drink from a bunch of guys in college, who I'm sure were up to no good teaching this to me. It's called Peppermint Pattie. The "drinker" sits in a chair and tilts head back and opens mouth wide. The "bartender" squeezes Hershey's syrup into the "drinker's" mouth. Without swallowing the chocolate syrup, "drinker" then takes a shot of peppermint schnapps, and mixes the two in their mouth before swallowing. I guess it doesn't really take two people to do this drink, but it makes it more fun and messy. Plus, it tastes like a York Peppermint Pattie.

Leave a link to share your drink. Don't have a blog? - leave your drink in the comments section!

Oct 22, 2008

CVS Steal (oops, I mean DEAL!)

Sometimes I wonder how I ever lived without all these great blogs that taught me how to CVS. Yes, I'm using CVS as a verb. Don't laugh. Here was my most recent senario... done today on my lunch hour.

2.00 Reese Nutrageous Fun Size Candy Bars
2.00 Reese Peanut Butter Fun Size Cups
2.00 Kit Kat Fun Size Bars
2.49 Q-tips (375ct)
2.99 Desitin Ointment
2.99 Johnsons Baby Wash
2.99 Johnsons Baby Wash
2.99 Johnsons Baby Wash
2.99 Johnsons Baby Wash
2.99 Johnsons Baby Wash
2.99 Johnsons Baby Wash
2.79 Huggies Wipes (64 ct)
2.79 Colgate Total Whitening Toothpaste
0.00 Colgate Total Whitening Toothpaste (Buy one, get one free!)
0.99 Gold Emblem Candy (Dum-Dum Suckers) - we can get Addy "eat" these!
0.99 Gold Emblem Candy (Dum-Dum Suckers)
$36.98 Subtotal (before taxes)
-$5.00 off of a $30.00 purchase (got from the price check kiosk when I scanned my CVS card)
-$1.98 off of two Gold Emblem Candy ($2.00 but adjusted down to actual price)
-$3.00 off wyb 3 Johnson's products (from recent coupon insert)
-$3.00 off wyb 3 Johnson's products (from recent coupon insert)
-$1.00 off Desitin coupon (probably from some baby mailing?)
-$0.30 off Q-tips (from recent coupon insert)
-$1.00 off wyb 3 Reese's fun size candy bags (from recent coupon insert)
-$1.00 off Colgate Total (from recent coupon insert)
-$1.00 off Colgate Total (from recent coupon insert)
$19.70 Subtotal (before taxes)
-$10.00 ECB (earned from completing a CVS online survey)
-$2.58 ECB (earned from hubby purchasing 2 bags of Brach's candy corn on Monday)
-$2.00 ECB (can't remember what this one is from... maybe toothpaste?)
-$4.50 ECB (earned from quarterly spending)
$0.62 Subtotal (before taxes)
$0.62 Sales Tax

EARNED $10.00 ECB for the Q-tips, Huggies, Desitin, Johnson's, Similac, or Gerber Deal (needed to spend $25 to earn $10).

Although I spent $19.08 in ECB, I was ok becuase these were items we needed anyways, and now I still have $10 to spend next time.

I had planned on getting 4 boxes of kleenex for $0.89 each - (4) $0.40 coupons, but they were all out. I also wanted to pick up the Excedrin that was on sale for $1.99 and use the $2.00 off coupon I have, but they were out. I'll stop by the CVS near my house and if they don't have it, I'll ask for a rain check so I can get them next week for the sale price and still use my coupons.
Luckily my new work cell phone has a calculator on it, so I was able to rework the deals in the store after they were missing items from my original plan.

Omaha Steak Burgers

For other frugal bloggers, you may already know about the craziness over at the Catherine Wheels blog about the $25 gift card to Omaha Steaks from GEICO. Well, I got my gift card code from GEICO and went through her steps, only to find a minimum purchase restriction of $100. I contacted customer service and they said they would honor the originial gift card without the restriction, I just needed to place the order by phone. I was able to order 12 - 4oz Omaha Steak Burgers (originally $32.99) for $3.xx. They were on sale for $14.99 + $13.xx shipping. Subtract the $25 gift card leaving the total OOP at $3.xx. That's just over a dollar/lb, delivered right to my door. Not bad!

Since I recieved the gift card code this morning, they have placed the restriction on the gift card email, so if you don't yet have your code, you won't be able to get this great deal, but for those of you who may still be attempting to get to the bottom of the process, just give them a call and ask customer service about it.

works-for-me wednesday: Halloween Costumes

Two things about this upcoming Halloween...

I bought a giraffe costume at the second hand store a month or two ago for Addy. It is a 24 month size, but it was only $12 and REALLY cute! I figured she could wear it this year and next year. Then we went to a huge garage sale at my mother in law's church this past Saturday. All clothes were 25 cents each. I found two costumes. One is a lion and one is a spider. The lion will probably only fit her for this year, we'll save the giraffe for next year, and then the spider can be for the year after that... So, $12.50 divided by 3 years equals 4.17 per year/costume. Not bad. Let's just hope she wants to be a giraffe next year and a spider after that. If not, I guess they are fun for dress up. Inexpensive costumes work for Addyson!

Every year, we attend a Halloween party hosted by our friends, Phillip & Kathy! It's a costume party, so I always struggle with what to wear. This year, I've decided to dress as Kat Von D. For those of you who don't know who she is, check out this webpage. She's a rockin' tattoo artist with her own shop in LA. She has a new makeup line at Sephora also. For those of you who know me, you'll understand my hesitation with this. I am NOT a makeup girl - I do wear it, but it's BASIC, a little mascara & lipgloss. So, I'm glad my friend gave me a gift certificate to the salon/spa this past summer. The salon does makeup, so I've scheduled an appointment to have them make me look like this. I'm excited and have almost all the other details planned. I have the wig and it needs a little work... anyone know how to get those folds out of a wig (from being in a package so long)? The tattoo sleeves I purchased are too small, so I may end up trying to draw the tattoos on with a marker (anyone have any other suggestions besides SHARPIE?). I have found the perfect Tshirt at Walmart that I am going to alter too. I'll see what I can do about getting some good after photos done to post.

So, I guess what I'm saying is Halloween costumes work for me... I get excited about planning them and being someone else for a night. It's harmless and fun.

Stop over to works-for-me wednesday over at RocksInMyDryer and see her exciting new blog design!

Oct 21, 2008

Update on Addyson

Well, my little pumpkin had a long day yesterday. She was scheduled for an Upper GI at Riley Children's Hospital. If you'll remember our original issue with this procedure, you'll know they wouldn't do the procedure the first time we went to have it done, but they did the other half of the tests. Of course, when I scheduled it this time, I made sure to ask a few questions. 1. Are you sure she needs to have this done or did you get the results you needed from the tests that have already been done? 2. Are you going to actually be able to do the test this time?

Well, of course, Nick took a half day off work to go with us, we had to skip a feeding for her because they wanted an empty stomach, and we had to head down there for the afternoon. We sat in the GERM filled waiting room for about an hour. They called her name and we went back with the nurse and explained the situation. She wanted to do some checking to see what actually needed to be done and how to do it. Wouldn't you know it? They had the results they needed from the previous test and we didn't need to be there! Oh, I was furious (still am!).

It is rediculous... the follow up care that we have received at that hospital has been nothing short of a jumbled mess. One doctor doesn't know what the other is doing, yet she has to be followed by her regular pediatrician, the devleopmental pediatrician & her dietitian, and now the GI specialist. On top of these, we used to have pulmonology too. Indiana's Early Intervention program, First Steps, also follows her for Physical Therapy (2x/month), Occupational Therapy (1x/week), and we are now being evaluated for Nutritional Therapy (2x/month) and a Child Psychologist is going to come next week for her first evaluation.

Under the direction of the Nutritional Therapy and the Developmental Pediatrician's dietitian, we started a new formula last night. Addy vomited this morning, but not more than she did yesterday morning on her old formula. The new formula is a richer calorie formula, but we watered it down slightly for the first few feedings in hopes to make the transition easier. Addyson has been on Neosure (a special preemie formula) for her entire life. Once she reached 12 months old, we thought she would be switched, but she hadn't reached the weight requirements for the new formula, so we didn't need to switch. Technically we still don't need to, but we are hoping to find a formula that her body doesn't hate. Then again, since we don't know what is causing her to vomit, it may be the formula or it may be her body... we don't have any results back, so we don't have any answers yet. It's so frustrating!

Oct 20, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

Sunday - Baked Ziti Pasta, Green Beans, Garlic Bread... Brownies for dessert (we had company!)

Monday - Betty Crocker Slow Cooker Cowboy Stew and Crescent Rolls (Yes, we finally had this after having on the menu for weeks! It was pretty good, but the beans made it sweet... interesting, but not bad. I think it could have used some carrots too!)

Tuesday - Easy Chicken & Cheese Enchiladas (recipe found in a recent coupon insert... I'll share if it ends up being a good recipe.)

Wednesday - Amish Breakfast Casserole

Thursday - Grilled Chicken & Veggies

Friday - Leftovers

Saturday - Halloween Party (I'll need to have something for my parents who will be babysitting for Addyson and staying the night!)

What's on your family's table this week. Share over at Menu Plan Monday by I'm an Organizing Junkie.

Oct 16, 2008

Thirsty Thursday


This year, Nick and I will be attending our friends' annual Halloween Party. In the past, these parties have been known to get crazy and VERY entertaining! Everyone shows up in costume... and it's all couples - married couples at that, but we still party like we're in college! Last year we were unable to attend due to Addyson's health. This year, we are not missing it. I'm planning my costume and hubby is still thinking of his. Everyone always brings some type of dish to share and drinks too. These aren't your typical beer guzzlers... we have a more interesting palette. I thought I'd bring the makings for these Carmel Apple Martini's. Here is the recipe.(photo above courtesy of mbm951)
  • 2 fluid ounces best-quality vodka
  • 1 fluid ounce sour apple schnapps
  • 1/2 fluid ounce butterscotch schnapps
  • 1 cup crushed ice
  1. Combine vodka, schnapps, and crushed ice in a shaker. Shake vigorously to chill. Pour into martini glass, garnish with dried apple, and serve. Makes 1 serving.
Next week I'll be posting an "interactive" drink that we've had at previous Halloween parties.

Want to share a favorite drink recipe... don't be shy. Maybe it's a milkshake or a punch recipe. Or maybe your favorite hot cocoa drink. Write a post on your blog and link it here. I can't wait to see what you are all drinking!

Oct 15, 2008

Mama Koala Tagged Me!

So, I just realized that last week I was tagged by Mama Koala. She's a regular comment-leaver and participant of Thirsty Thursday, so I apologize for not playing along sooner!

1. I love being barefoot, except walking on concrete... the texture drives me crazy - like nails on a chalkboard!
2. I've recently become interested in aprons. I'm going to try a small smock type apron for Addyson as my first sewing project. My mom is letting me borrow her sewing machine.
3. I'm having lunch today with my friend Wendy. We are meeting at El Rodeo, a mexican restaurant here in town... it's our usual.
4. We honeymooned in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, stayed at The Tern Inn's Honeymoon Cottage. It's cold there in October!
5. I like to dip my Doritos in Cottage Cheese.
6. Along with the Candy Apple Martini drinks, I'll be making cupcakes for the Halloween Party this year!
7. I drive a purple Pontiac Torrent and I named her Hendrix. She has a sun roof and a CD player. I don't love her leather seats - too hot or too cold!

I am breaking the cycle by NOT calling anyone out in particular. However, if you'd like to play along, please feel free to jump in and play. I love reading random bits about other people and look forward to reading about you. Please post a link to your post in the comments section so I know you are playing along!

Thanks Mama Koala! This was FUN!

works for me wednesday = give a way contest

There are many reasons would enter a give away, but I don't do it very often. I usually only enter a give away if I could really use the product. Today I read about Irwin Toys: Baby So Real Review and Give-Away over at The Centsible Sawyer. This Baby So Real looks like the perfect Christmas gift for my daughter, Addyson. As many of you readers know, Addyson was born 15 weeks early causing her to have slight developmental delays and she doesn't take food by mouth, but instead has a g-tube. Her many doctors and therapists have suggested that we use dolls to mimick real life mommy-baby interaction. Addyson does have a small doll that she has recently learned to put a bottle to her mouth, but the doll is far from real looking. I'd love to win the Baby So Real Doll to help her learn feeding and other fine motor skills. So, not only does Baby So Real work for me, but The Centsible Sawyer's Review and Give-Away works for me too!

Want to see what works for other bloggers this week? Head on over to works-for-me wednesday at RocksInMyDryer.

Oct 14, 2008

Toolin' Up Tuesday

Seems that recently, my Toolin' Up Tuesday posts have been online tools. This one is no different. Remember that TV show, PeeWee's playhouse? Remember the "picturephone"? If not, see a video clip here, don't worry, it's clean! Well, check this service out... it's just like the picturephone (except without the tin can!) Last winter, we were introduced to Skype. It is a FREE online phone service with web cam abilities. My sister in law gave us a web cam and told us about Skype. Because she travels the world and is only visiting a few times a year, she wanted us to be able to share Addyson with her where ever she found herself living at the time. It has been a great way for us to keep in touch, although we don't do it as often now as she is currently living halfway across the globe and the time difference is tricky. Many computers now come with a web cam, either as a seperate piece or built in. You can sign up for a Skype account and reconnect with friends and family. Perfect for those with little ones or for those who prefer face to face conversations. Try it, you'll be hooked!

Read about the tools other bloggers are talking about at Toolin' Up Tuesday over at LifeAsMOM.

Oct 13, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

Sunday - Leftovers of French Bread Pizzas
Monday - Baked Pork Chops, Corn Casserole, Fried Apples
Tuesday - Taco Cups (Crescent Rolls in Muffin Cups filled with Taco Meat & Cheese, after baking, add typical taco toppings)
Wednesday - Pancakes & Bacon
Thursday - Grilled Chicken & Veggies
Friday - Ravioli & Garlic Bread & Green Beans
Saturday - Betty Crocker Slow Cooker Cowboy Stew (I keep thinking we are going to have this, then something comes up, so we'll try again this week!)

You'll probably notice we eat Breakfast a lot for dinner on Wednesdays. Sundays we usually have something quick. Nick works late those nights and is usually not ready for dinner until 8 or so. Breakfasts are usually a quick dinner so they fit in our plan. Besides, who doesn't like breakfast for dinner?

You want to know more about menu planning and see other's menu plans? Visit Menu Plan Monday over at I'm an Organizing Junkie.

Oct 10, 2008

Update on Addyson's Surgery

Addy did well, although it was a very LONG night here at home with those wires down her nose and attached to her stomach on the outside too. Those wires were connected to a monitor. Each time Addy woke up, fell asleep, was eating, stopped eating, coughed, gagged, or vomited we had to push a button and make a notation in a journal. The wires were not very long, so we couldn't let her walk around and play without being right by her side moving that monitor. Her arms were in braces to keep her from bending her elbows so she couldn't pull the tube out. It was stressful for her and she hated all that tape stuck to her face. We went back today and had the wires taken out. We will have results in 3 weeks.

Remember when she went in for the Upper GI and the Small Bowel Follow Through? It was near the end of September. They refused to do the Upper GI since she doesn't take liquid by mouth. I requested that they call the GI specialist that wrote the orders for the test to be done, as I was sure he wouldn't have written for it if it couldn't be done. I had read about other G-tube kids having the test done, but the doctor conducting the test assured me that there was nothing they could do and they wouldn't do the test. I spoke with her GI doctor yesterday (as he was the one conducting the Endoscopy and such) and informed him of the issue with the Upper GI. He was very upset and said that it should have been done. He said they could do it with an NG tube (feeding tube through her nose, just as we used to feed her). Of course, we now have to go back and have that test done. It is infuriating because it means another trip to the hospital... especially now that cold/flu/RSV season is upon us. It means another day off of work. It means more copays. It means more parking fees.... the list goes on and on. I'm very upset that Addy has to go through all that again. Anyone know of a way for me to "nicely" get that taken care of? I want them to know we aren't happy, I just don't know the right person to go to.

Oct 8, 2008

Thirsty Thursday

This week's version of Thirsty Thursday is going to be short and sweet. I'm trying to get my family prepared for Addy's surgical procedure that is happening at 8am Thursday, so I'm writing this on Wednesday evening. I won't have much internet access for a day or so, but please participate. It will give me something to look forward to after taking care of Addy.

This recipe came with the Pampered Chef Family-Size Quick-Stir Pitcher.

Orange Plunge-sicle

  • 6 cups milk
  • 2 cans (12 oz each) frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
  • 1 pint softened vanilla ice cream
  • 1 can (15 oz) mandarin orange segments in light syrup, undrained, mashed

Place all ingredients in pitcher. Plunge until frothy (this pitcher has a built in stirring plunger - you could use a whisk or you could make this in the blender). Serve immediately.
Want to participate? Write a post on your blog (you can even use the image I created above) and link back to this post. Insert the link to your post in the Mr. Linky below so others can read your submissions.

Wordless Wednesday, Sleeping Angel Contest, works-for-me wednesday, and Special Exposure Wednesday!

I usually only participate in works-for-me wednesdays over at Rocks In My Dryer, however, I found Wordless Wednesday over at 5 Minutes for Mom, and Special Exposure Wednesday over at 5 Minutes for Special Needs.

I'm combining this post with my contest entry post. You see, 5 Minutes for Mom has posted about a contest they are calling Sleeping Angel Contest where contestants can win either the Lily Rose Bedroom Set or the Summer Breeze Bedroom Set for your child from Home & Bedroom Furniture. Click on the Sleeping Angel Contest to find out how to participate!

This photo of Addy was taken by her Granddaddy while she was sleeping on her Grin's lap this past July. Although Addy still sleeps in a crib, we'd love to win the Summer Breeze Bedroom Set in Vanilla Cream to create a beautiful little girl bedroom for her.

This post is also being used for my participation in Special Exposure Wednesday over at 5 Minutes for Special Needs. I have a link to their website on the left column of this blog. Check them out too!

As always, I am participating in works-for-me wednesdays over at Rocks In My Dryer. I don't know a mom of a child under 12 that this contest doesn't work for!

Addy's Surgery

Tomorrow is Addy's second round of GI tests. She is having an Endoscopy, pH Probe, and Impedence Study. These are tests that require her to be sedated. We will report to surgery at Riley at 8:00AM, the procedure is scheduled to begin at 9:30 and is reported to last about an hour. She is expected to be in recovery for about an hour and a half. They suggested that we plan on being at the hospital for 5-6 hours. It is also my understanding that we will need to return on Friday to have the probes removed (they will leave the probes in place, we will return home and she will continue her normal activity while the monitors are recording her GI functions for 24 hours).

Please keep Addy in your thoughts over the next few days as we know this will be unpleasant for her. It's never easy to hand your child over to be sedated and poked at, but we hope this will bring us the answers we need to make her feel better in the long run. We will report back as soon as we can with outcomes, results, or updates.

Tomorrow is also our 4th wedding anniversary!

Oct 7, 2008

Toolin' Up Tuesday

Last week was fun - guest hosting for fishmama over at Life as MOM.

This week, I'm posting a day late because I was unable to use the internet yesterday - I had a field trip for work to Arthur, IL. It was a long day, but I got to visit Carstin Brands factory where they make cultured marble, solid surface, quartz, and granite counter-tops.

I'm back now and hoping that it's ok that I'm posting late.

The tool that I find very useful for sharing photos is Walgreens Photo. I can upload digital images from my computer/camera to the photo storage on the Walgreen's site. From this site, I can place an order to be printed and mailed to me or I can pick up from a local Walgreens in as little as 1 hour. The best part about this site is I can select prints and have them printed at the local Walgreen's near my parent's house. Mom can pick up photos on her way home from work. I can pay online or she can pay when she picks them up. You can also create a group so others can view your photos, add photos of their own, and order the ones they want. They offer many other photo gifts as well. We used their calendar product last year to create a custom calendar with photos of Addyson and her cousin Grace. We gave these as Christmas gifts to grandparents and great grandparents. We plan to do it again this year. I will be waiting for a Walgreen's coupon to come along, as this is the best way to make a customized, inexpensive, and well received Christmas gift.

Oct 6, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

Well, this isn't a very healthy menu plan this week, but it's getting that time of year when we are craving comfort foods. We need a quick fix, so this week will be very filling. We'll try to get back to a healthier menu next week.

Sunday - Meatball Subs & Chips (frozen meatballs in crockpot with jarred pasta sauce over top. Cook till heated through. Serve on hoagie roll with mozzerella cheese)

Monday - Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans


  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 c milk
  • 1/2 c dry bread crumbs
  • 1/4 c chopped onion
  • 2 T parsley
  • 1 t salt
  • 1/8 t pepper
  • 1/2 t ground sage
  • 1 1/2 lbs ground meat (I use a mix of beef, pork, and veal - $2.99/lb @ Meijer)

Combine all ingredients, pat into loaf pan & bake at 350 for 50 minutes.


  • 1/4 c ketchup
  • 2 T brown sugar
  • 1 t dry mustard.

Mix and spread over meat loaf, return to oven for 10 minutes. I make a second batch of this topping to dip the meatloaf into when eating it!

Tuesday - Pork Chops, Baked Apples & Corn Bake

Corn Bake

  • 1 can creamed corn
  • 1 can whole corn (drained)
  • 1 box Jiffy corn muffin mix (dry)
  • 8 oz sour cream
  • 1 stick butter (melted)

Preheat oven to 350. Mix all ingredients and pour into greased 9 x 9 pan. Bake for 45 minutes.

Wednesday - Eggs, Bacon, Hashbrowns

Thursday - Grilled Chicken and Veggie Foil Packets (This is Nick's favorite right now so we have it about every week!)

Friday - Leftovers

Saturday - Betty Crocker Slow Cooker Cowboy Stew

I was able to return to my weekly budget of $40. After last weeks budget buster, I was happy to see I could stick to the budget even though prices are certainly rising around here! I didn't use many coupons, but with the stock piling that I've been doing, sticking to the budget wasn't too hard, I even had to buy all the meat for this week - our freezer is looking bare!

For more great meal plans, check out Menu Plan Monday over at Organizing Junkie, where her topic this week is Thanksgiving (remember the Canadian Thanksgiving is much earlier than the US Thanksgiving!).

Oct 2, 2008

Thirsty Thursday

One of my favorite recipe books in my collection has to be the Hershey's 1934 Cookbook which has been "Revised and expanded with chocolate recipes brought up to date for use in today's kitchen." On page 120, I found the most delicious milkshake recipe named FROSTED CHOCOLATE SHAKE. It is not a thick shake by any stretch, but more like really cold and thick chocolate milk. Here's the recipe:


3/4 c milk

2-3 Tablespoons HERSHEY'S Syrup

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 c vanilla ice cream

Maraschino cherry (optional - I leave this out!)

In blender container, combine milk, syrup, sugar and vanilla; cover and blend. Add ice cream; cover and blend until smooth. Garnish with cherry, if desired. Serve immediately.

Yield: One 10-ounce serving.

Try it next time you are in the mood for something chocolate-y! It really satisfies my sweet tooth.

Ready to participate? Leave the link to your Thirsty Thursday post below and link back to this post so others can join in the fun.

Oct 1, 2008

works-for-me wednesday

So, being a kitchen & bath designer should make posting about this week's Kitchen Organization theme an easy task, right? But you know that old proverb... "The cobbler's children go barefoot". That's the case at my house. The kitchen in my home is a mess... no organization, no order, no labels. Wish I could say differently, but my cabinets aren't even all from the same cabinet company... nope, you'll find 3 different oak cabinets and three different counter-tops in my kitchen. NOT BY CHOICE, but because we just don't have the money to do cosmetic updates to the house of that magnitude. I design beautiful and functional kitchens all day long at work though, if I do say so myself. I long for the day I can have the budgets that my clients have. Many people don't have the resources to remodel their entire kitchen, but retro-fitted cabinetry accessories are much more affordable and can transform the way you use your kitchen. My favorite website for these items is Rev-A-Shelf. Their tag line says it all "Changing the way you think about Cabinetry Organization!". Not only do they carry kitchen cabinetry products, but also products for your vanity cabinets and your closets. You can't just order from their website though, so if you can't find a local dealer in your area, email me at ryann@yourcabinetry.com and I'd be happy to help you get some pricing and place an order. Haven't you always wanted an ironing board that pops up out of a drawer or a trash can that pulls out of a cabinet door? Perhaps a lazy suzan for your corner wall cabinet so you can reach the things in the back. What about a shelf that holds your large kitchen mixer that you can't lift... they have a shelf that lifts up out of a cabinet and brings your mixer to counter height. I also have used their products in craft rooms. Imagine your scrapbooking space or your sewing room that's so unorganized you don't know where your latest project is. You imagine a product, they probably make it. I encourage you to check out their website if you are wanting to make your home more functional.

These products work for me and for my clients, I hope they work for you too! Don't forget to join me tomorrow for Thirsty Thursday! I've got a really good beverage recipe to share!

Visit works-for-me-wednesday over at RocksInMyDryer to pick up kitchen organizational tips from other bloggers.