New Favorite Things!

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Hi Everyone! It’s been some time since I shared some of my favorite things. Enjoy!

I’m not usually a huge fan of mixes, but sometimes (when its the end of school and you don’t even want to look at six bags of gluten-free flour!!) you cave in. I was super surprised to see this new brand that has an amazing short list of ingredients and actually tastes yummy too! Here’s a picture of the finished chocolate muffin mix:chocolate muffins They are available at several different online stores–and they have crackers also!

Next is ice cream! I have a weak spot for ice cream and while it is fairly simple to make it, I’ve been buying it occasionally because of time. Have you heard of Ben & Jerry’s diary free ice cream? I have to say it is really amazing–one of my favorite flavors ever actually. Unfortunately, the Chunky Monkey flavor is the only one that is gluten-free. Maybe there will be more in the future! dairy free ice cream

I seriously have an issue with pens–when I have a favorite you should really not try to borrow it. I have been known to raise my voice if you try! I’m working on it, but after years of working with the public I know how often pens come back! I didn’t know I needed a new pen, but this one has a super fine point and is amazing for writing in the tiny spaces of my planner.

Speaking of planners, I recently discovered Inkwell Press. I had a credit to use in their store and I wasn’t sure what to think at first. I purchased the Weekly Kick-start notepad and I am in love. It’s made the past few weeks so much easier with the end of school crazies and getting everyone on the same page–literally! The paper is so nice and thick I can write on with sharpies if I want to and not have it bleed through.

And finally–coffee! When I’ve been drinking hot coffee I’ve been using the Starbucks Via Brew. Which are delightful, but a bit of a strain on the budget. I decided to give a French press coffee pot a try. It has been lovely to get the strong dark coffee taste with a fraction of the cost. It is a bit to have to wash it–just so you are forewarned, but I still love the taste that I am willing to add another chore to my list.

What about you? What have been your favorite things for the past month? Do you think you will try any of my favorite things?

Five Frugal Things

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Hi Everyone! It’s a no menu post week and I thought I would try a list post! I follow The Frugal Girl and she occasionally posts 5 frugal things she’s doing. I find it refreshing and a great reminder because while I am always striving to be frugal sometimes I lose sight of all the things I’m actually keeping up with and instead focus on the huge looming bills or other things that don’t seem so frugal.

Feel free to chime in with your list or even your favorite frugal activity that you find easy and fun to keep up with!

bread
1. I made bread. We eat gluten-free and dairy-free bread at my house and during the past few months I’ve just been buying frozen bread. It doesn’t taste the greatest and it really isn’t cheap at $5/loaf, but sometimes its better to save sanity and spend the money. This past week I took the time to make the bread and boy was it yummy! It tasted even better remembering that I didn’t have to spend $5 for a loaf!

2. I bought a French Press coffee maker. I know–I count spending money as a frugal activity?? Well, I’ve been craving really dark coffee. The only thing that tasted good was the Starbucks sticks in the Italian Dark Roast. The cheapest I’ve found the sticks is $1 per more or less. So I made the plunge and purchased a French Press Coffee pot after doing some research. I absolutely love it. It is the exact taste that I was looking for and it’s perfect for that strong cup of coffee in the morning.

3. We chopped up/juiced veggies/fruit in our fridge. We had a ton of veggies/fruit leftover at the end of the week, so instead of going out and buying more and burying what we had we took about 45 minutes to chop up and juice our extra veggies. It worked! We ate/drank them up instead of throwing them in the trash. So encouraging.

4. Bought some local eggs. Also not a “cheap” activity, but the eggs are happier and much more yummy than even the organic eggs in the grocery store–and there’s no comparing the price! I love happy eggs.:)

5. Used a coupon before it expired. I am having a hard time remembering which coupon this was, but I recently did buy some nut milk on sale at the store and remembered to use the coupon I had printed out a few weeks before. This is my favorite way to save a lot at the store when I have time.

So how about you? What are your favorite frugal things from the past few weeks?

Menu Plan Monday, May 2nd!

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Menu Plan Monday! Yay! I love having a plan for what’s happening for meals–makes the week a whole lot smoother! And since my life just seems to go from crazy to more crazy that is exactly the structure that I need. I’ve also been planning at least two meatless meals a week. So far there haven’t been any comments and the food has disappeared! I’m excited about that!

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The theme for this month at Celiac Family is Cakes…and that makes me think of coffee cakes! I don’t have any on my menu plan these next two weeks, but I will definitely be thinking about some for the next plan.

mac and cheese

Breakfast
Shirred Eggs
Chocolate Muffins
Chocolate Banana Swirl bread–never got to make this last time, so I am trying again.
Cereal
Triple Berry Kiwi Smoothie
Grain Free Cinnamon Swirl Bread
Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding

Dinners/Lunches
Mushroom Leek Risotto
Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, veggie
Vegan Sloppy Joes (never got made last week!)
Mac & Cheese (from the freezer as this recipe makes a ton!)
Pizza–we’ve been having Daiya pizza from the freezer case frequently. I love it!
Cauliflower Chili Pasta, grilled chicken
Grilled sausage–still trying to come up with sides for this one!
Chili (froze half of what we made last time–makes for an easy quick dinner)
Clam Chowder
Tomato Soup with sandwiches
Fish, rice pilaf
Popcorn, smoothie

Special Treat: Tumeric Milk

For more menu ideas check out Org Junkie’s Menu Plan Monday. Or for just gluten-free ideas check out Celiac Family and the Gluten-Free Menu Round-up!

Menu Plan Monday, April 18th!

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Well I knew as soon as I said that I would be posting more something would happen.:) I think I’ve established some boundaries and figured out how to make this blogging thing work again at least once a week! I’ve missed writing, so I’ve been reading some more and carving out some time to write again. Without more words, here is the plan for menus for the next two weeks!

Saturday's Breakfast

Saturday’s Breakfast

The theme for this month at Celiac Family is Spring Vegetables. Now, I hate to say it, but I think spring is officially over in Florida. Although, you would have to be hard pressed to find out when it was. We usually do yo-yo weather. I haven’t seen any particularly spring veggies around here and I probably won’t! That being said I try to add in some more veggies as the days get longer — it just seems right somehow!

Breakfast
Cinnamon Rolls
Grain Free Quiche
Eggs
Chocolate Muffins (Has anyone else tried these new mixes? They are amazing when you are short on time!)
Chocolate Banana Swirl bread
Cereal

Dinners/Lunches
Sticky Chicken with mashed potatoes and corn
Mushroom Asparagus Creamy Pasta
Chicken and stuffing Casserole
Vegan Sloppy Joes
Baked potatoes with veggies
Pizza
5 Minute Salmon
Clean out the Freezer Meal
Hamburgers, corn on the cob, beans, ice cream pie (Birthday meal!)
Stir Fry
Chili with corn bread
Nachos with cheese sauce
meat loaf, baked potatoes, veggie
Fried rice

Special Treat: These brownies with coconut whipped cream

For more menu ideas check out Org Junkie’s Menu Plan Monday. Or for just gluten free ideas check out Celiac Family and the Gluten-Free Menu Round-up!

Menu Plan Monday, March 7!

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It’s a new month and a new theme–Salads!! I love salads: garden salads, chef salads, jello salads, potato salads, pasta salads, and more! It’s the perfect way to welcome spring!

mac and cheese

Also with the new month I’m working on some new routines. Doing menus every other week seems to be working well for me, so I’ll be posting two week’s worth of menus every other week. And since I still like to write, but life seems to be getting fuller right now I’ll post something other than menus second week. So, this week is a menu week and here’s a picture of what I made for dinner tonight!

mac and cheese

It’s a gluten-free, HIDDEN veggie, dairy free mac and cheese! I loved it and so did the Princess. Now, she wasn’t in the kitchen when I made it, so she doesn’t know it has hidden veggies, but what she doesn’t know won’t hurt her in this case! See what else we’re eating below:

Chocolate Muffins
Cinnamon Raisin Harvest Muffins
German Apple Pancakes
Cereal
Cinnamon Roll Smoothie
Cinnamon Rolls
English Muffins
Eggs

Lunch/Dinner:

Sticky Chicken, boiled potatoes, veggie
Tacos with Nacho cheeze sauce
Baked potatoes with veggies and cheese and sour cream
Grilled cheeze and Almost Cheater Instant Tomato Soup
Hidden Veggie Mac and Cheeze
Waffles and sausage
Chicken A La King (family recipe) over mashed potatoes
Meatloaf (I’ll see if I can post this soon!) and mashed potatoes
Fish, French fries, veg
Chicken and Broccoli casserole
Smoothie and Popcorn
Pizza

Healthy dessert: Chocolate Chip Larabars

For more menu ideas check out Org Junkie’s Menu Plan Monday! Or for gluten-free menus check out Celiac Family and the Gluten Free Menu Swap!

Are You Taking Care Of Yourself?

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Photo courtesy of Lemongrass Spa Corporate

It’s been almost a year since I started my new business selling Lemongrass Spa products and I’m thankful for so many things that have happened to me since then!

One of the big things was taking time to pamper myself. Being a mom is tough–you are in constant demand for everything from snacks and drinks to hurt feelings and bruised knees. And that’s before they get to be teenagers!

With all that’s going on women and moms tend to put themselves last. I know I did. Having the Lemongrass Spa products in my home helped to change my mindset. Instead of mindlessly scrolling through Facebook I would stop, get the stuff together for a foot soak and just rest. Or I would take 15 minutes before bed to put on a moisturizing mask to help restore the skin on my face. They are little things, but taking the time to just stop and do something for myself has made all the difference in my hectic and crazy life. It might sound weird, but taking time to do things I like helps me be a better mom and know who I am–instead of just the Princess’ mom, the person who does the dishes, or the person who forgot to wash that favorite shirt in time for show and tell!

What about you? What have you done lately, just for yourself? Are you happy with the person you are? Take stock of yourself and make some changes in your life if you aren’t! It’s still the beginning of the year and the beginning of a new month, but anytime is a good time to make changes!

Menu Plan Monday, February 1st!

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Winter2016Happy February!!

The monthly theme for the gluten-free menu swap over at Celiac Family is Winter Produce! I love winter produce–however, the last time I visited the farmer’s market a couple of weeks ago it was like spring had sprung! Everything there was ready for spring. There are still some butternut squash and things like that. I’ll see if I can incorporate that into something my whole family will eat when I do the menus for the next two weeks this week.

Here’s a mixture of the breakfasts we’ll be enjoying:
Egg Nog Protein bites
Grapefruit
English Muffins
Eggs
Simple Grain Free Granola
Chocolate Banana Muffins–modified to be gluten-free/ diary free with earth balance and gluten-free flour
So Delicious vanilla yogurt

Lunch/Dinner:
Garlic Chili Pasta with Cauliflower
Beef Stroganoff–I kind of looked up a bunch of different recipes and then made mine without a recipe. I did use dairy free plain yogurt for the sour cream. We’ll probably enjoy it over rice
Shrimp fried Rice with egg rolls (gluten-free for me and the Princess)
Cinnamon Vanilla Gluten-free Waffles with sausages and fresh berries
Leftovers
Smoothie and Popcorn
Pizza

Healthy dessert: Chocolate Chip Cookies!

For more menu ideas check out Org Junkie’s Menu Plan Monday! Or for gluten-free menus check out Celiac Family and the Gluten Free Menu Swap!