Monday, January 31, 2011

4 Week Fat Blasters Workout

4-Week Fat Blasters I am currently on week 3 of this workout. And since I'm still slowing getting back into the workout scene its been a great starter! Its only 3 days a week but your suppose to be doing 30 minute of cardio 5 days a week on top of it. I'm doing Zumba for the Wii as my Cardio. If you have a compatible game console, Zumba Fitness Game is an absolute blast!!

Tonight's Dinner: Stroganoff

This recipe has been passed down in my family for, as far as i know, 3 generations! I learned to make it when I was in the 6th grade. I don't have exacts because i've always done it by color but I can give you a general idea.


Egg Noodles
1lb ground beef
1 (10.5 oz) can of Cream of Mushroom soup
1/3 of (16 oz) container of Sour Cream


I recommend start boiling the water as your browing the meat because this meal cooks quicker than you think. And cook egg noodles as directed by package.

Brown ground beef in a skillet (season as desired, I use garlic salt). Drain and return to pan.
Mix the whole can of Cream of Mushroom in with meat. Simmer for a few minutes until it bubbles slightly. Then add sour cream and mix it up, let it simmer until it bubbles slightly. (Don't cook too high or it will curd) If you want it a little soupier add just a little bit of milk to loosen it up. Then slowly add the ketchup, this is tricky because if you add too much it doesn't taste good (it will be super orange) but if you don't add enough it doesn't as good. Just play with it until you get it right. But once you add the ketchup and let it simmer until it bubbles, put it on top of your cooked egg noodles and serve.

Couponing.... helpful or overwhelming??

So in my recent attempts to learn to be frugal, I am tackling the idea of coupons. I'm in the process of learning about it. And I want to share my beginners' prospective and helpful links with you.

For me, I personally love my "Household Helper". It comes in the mail tuesday or wednesday and it has all the weekly sales and discounted items for every store in my range (ie. bilo, the pig, publix, etc.). I know what products I buy brand name and what I don't mind buying store brand, and I am trying to buy more basics and less prepackaged stuff.

My favorite coupon site is Southern Savers it lists the store sales and coupons that match the sale, as well as other helpful hints and tips. While at that website click the "Printables" button at the top of the page and that will give you other places to find good coupons for commonly used brand name products. Also, don't forget the amazing selection of coupons in sunday's paper. And in the All You Magazine, there are a bunch of different coupons as well. Its really all about finding coupons to match your needs, instead of using coupons for the sake of using coupons.

There are all kind of helpful organizers at Wal-Mart, Target, and other office supplies stores. I personally like the small accordian or expanding tabbed holder similar to the one below. I can mark the type of coupon on tabs and its convenient to throw in my purse. ( I feel like mine is a little smaller than the picture shown but it was the best one I could find)

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Easy Dinner Suggestions

Tonight we had pizza from Papa Murphy's.... We get the a large zucchini and roma tomatoes pizza for $6 after the amazing prices, specials, and coupons. They are a take and Bake but honestly as crappy as the delivery pizzas I have been paying WAY too much for, I would much rather make it at home. And until i'm in a position to make my own pizza at home, this is a convenient, inexpensive and tasty alternative.

Friday night... sheer genius... my amazing friend told me about Nacho stacks... I mean I know what nacho stacks are i just never thought of making them at home! Some tortilla chips, ground beef cooked in taco seasonings, shredded cheese baked at 350 degrees for less than 5 minutes.. Then top it off with whatever else you want. My hubby just chose salsa and sour cream because i haven't been to the store to get more tasty toppings. I steamed some frozen corn in the amazing invention called a rice cooker/steamer. I've never owned one until now, but now i will never part from it. Nevertheless, definately doing Nacho night again!

My most recent movie reviews... this is going to be a list

As I said before... I love my Netflix... I was always a huge movie person! I'm not a critic or probably a reference for any of these movies... here is just my opinion

Turner and Hooch - PG - 1989- Tom Hanks and "Beasley"
I love this movie! Its such a classic... Plus I'm biased because my parents have a "Hooch" named "Ellie" or "Eleanor". Either way, definately a beautiful picture of a man and his dog... loved it! well except for Tom's incredible tight underwear, i felt that was a bit unneccesary.

The Dilemma - PG13 - 2011 - Vince Vaughn and Kevin James
I have thoroughly enjoyed Vince Vaughn's progression as an actor. He is growing up but maintaining the humor we so know and love. Now I will say there were some parts that are ridculous and could have been left out, but such with every movie these days. Overall a funny movie, aside from Latifah's interesting banter.

Look Who's Talking - PG13 - 1989 - Kirstie Alley, John Travolta, and Bruce Willis
I remember watching this as a kid and thinking it was humorous. Well watching it as an adult with kids. Still humorous but in a whole different way. While some of the stuff is a borderline inappropriate, its an interesting perspective on the perception of an infant. The only thing I would change is Kirstie Alley's horrendous voice... somebody get that woman a cough drop. I can't wait to watch the second one, thats the one with the jokes about potty training!

Red - PG13 - 2010 - Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich, etc...
I found it to be one of the better of these old man shoot em up movies. I can't tell whether they are serious or just trying to be funny. But either way at least they are embracing the whole aging process. But it makes me sad, I'm not ready to consider Bruce Willis an "old guy" just yet. So final opinion, a little cheesy but overall entertaining (especially Malkovich!)

Salt - PG13 - 2010 - Angelina Jolie
Can you say DISAPPOINTED! It could have been good, but they were just a little to all over the place. I couldn't tell who was coming or going. And they set it up for a sequel... that annoys me. And I'm a huge Jolie fan... been very impressed until that. Well i will give it 3 stars just because she's still awesome to me

Inception - PG13 - 2010 - Leonardo DiCaprio and Ellen Page
WOW! thats really all i can say. This movie blew me away! I was impressed. I haven't liked Leo since Titanic. But he wasn't forcing an accent or doing something ridiculous, he was just playing his role. But even better than that was the story, MAN! what a mind bender. I dont even want to tell you... go watch it and we'll discuss! PS: Watch until the end of the credits, I missed that the first time

The Tourist - PG13 - 2010 - Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie
I watched this movie, and then I walked out the theater and sighed with relief! Because my faith in Hollywood to produce a great movie, with a great cast, a great script and a great back drop was restored a little bit. But the second I find out this movie is a remake I think I will cry because it will be true (there is no creativity left in the human mind in hollywood). Either way, I totally recommend this movie!!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Fun Fact: Eggs

So learned something cool last night... really wanted to share!

To tell if an Egg is fresh, place it in a pan of cold water:

  • If it lies on its side, it's fresh

  • If it tilts, it's 3-4 days old

  • if it stands upright, it's probably 10 days old

  • if the egg floats to the top, its old and needs to be thrown away

Fun Fact was brought to us today by the book, "Miserly Moms" by Jonni McCoy

Friday, January 28, 2011

Campbell's Kitchen: Quick Chicken Parmesan

Campbell's Kitchen: Quick Chicken Parmesan

I made this last night... I was quite tasty! I wish I had used fettucini noodles instead of thin spaghetti, but now I know for next time! And I put too much sauce, so dont do that! But the cambell's website has coupons and recipes, I was impressed.

Life's so called "Conveniences"

So going on 3+ years of being at home with my children (i know your saying 3 whole years who cares) but this is a big deal to me! My parents were "professionals" and here I am "sitting on my butt" at home. But seriously making the choice to stay home has been a crazy experience, one that I will treasure all of my life. Now I'm not necessarily enjoying them all that much now... raising kids is a pain (but also a blessing)! But if its one thing i can say for my kids is there are always entertaining.

But today the entertainment of my children is not what has currently captured my attention. I was sitting down with my friend the other day and we were talking about meal planning and such and I had an epiphany.... And this has been long time coming because I've slowing been working my way towards it. Well anyway, I spent alot of my life always thinking that other people can do it better than I can, so why not just buy it. Well and there are just certain tastes you can't quite do at home. But then with the ridiculous inflation of prices and realizing the food has only gotten worse (sold in stores), its cheaper and more healthy for my family if I start branching out and making new and exciting dishes. Because while the same dish is easier, its time for me to stop taking the easy route.

So for example, I buy bone in chicken breasts when they are on sale for $.99 /lb and I buy them in bulk and seperate it in freezer bags and freeze them. And defrost them as needed. But also instead of spending $4.99/lb on boneless skinless chicken, I am able to take a few extra minutes and just cut the meat off the bone and peel off the skin... Really?? I'm paying $4 for someone to do that for me??!!
But on that note, I was using the microwave to defrost. And I have recently become suspicious of the microwave, so I've stopped using it as much as I was, another "convenience". So as I am beginning to plan my meals, I am able to put the meat needed out the night before in the fridge, so by the next night its ready to go.

But on a positive note, I have recently begun putting a little bit more trust in my dishwasher and its been proving me worthy! I have always been skeptical about dishwashers. I had one growing up but my dad told me they were more for sterilizing then actually cleaning. Well one night i just didn't have time to scrub and wash before loading. So I loaded it up just to see what it would do. Yeah It cleaned them great! I was excited. But it will save me time and money, because i wont be running all that water before and I will spend less time with my face in the sink and more with my family.

But I will say as much fun as a TV can be at times, I have come to hate commercials and I'm so glad I don't waste my money on cable! But on those nights that its just nice to sit around and watch a tv show or movie Instant Netflix has just been my favorite! There is a genius out there somewhere and I just want to kiss em! Also the Wii, I've got workout games, activity games, shooting games, weird rabbit games... It has definetly been the best present yet! Right now its all about learning to keep my children occupied without falling into the habit of just flipping on the TV. I only let him watch and hour in the morning and MAYBE a movie at dinner (so I can work in peace). I'm just dont want him becoming obsessed with it, which he does enjoy it a little too much.

Any thing I have said above may not work for your lifestyle because each family has different dynamics, but its what I'm working with. The world is money hungry and I'm working on a tight budget, so i try to do what best for my family. I am going to begin trying out recipes and finding ones that work and making a schedule... I will try to post the ones that work for me!